David Copperfield

By Charles Dickens

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do not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from this Book, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. My interest in it, is so recent and strong; and my mind is so divided between pleasure and regret pleasure in the achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions - that I am in danger of wearying the reader whom I love, with personal confidences, and private emotions. Besides which, all that I could say of the Story, to any purpose, I have endeavoured to say in it. It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know, how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years’ imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his brain are going from him for ever. Yet, I have nothing else to tell; unless, indeed, I were to confess (which might be of less moment still) that no one can ever believe this Narrative, in the reading, more than I have believed it in the writing. Instead of looking back, therefore, I will look forward. I cannot close this Volume more agreeably to myself, than with a hopeful glance towards the time when I shall again put forth my two green leaves once a month, and with a
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faithful remembrance of the genial sun and showers that have fallen on these leaves of David Copperfield, and made me happy. London, October, 1850.

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REMARKED in the original Preface to this Book, that I did not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from it, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. My interest in it was so recent and strong, and my mind was so divided between pleasure and regret - pleasure in the achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions - that I was in danger of wearying the reader with personal confidences and private emotions. Besides which, all that I could have said of the Story to any purpose, I had endeavoured to say in it. It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years’ imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his brain are going from him for ever. Yet, I had nothing else to tell; unless, indeed, I were to confess (which might be of less moment still), that no one can ever believe this Narrative, in the reading, more than I believed it in the writing. So true are these avowals at the present day, that I can now only take the reader into one confidence more. Of all
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my books, I like this the best. It will be easily believed that I am a fond parent to every child of my fancy, and that no one can ever love that family as dearly as I love them. But, like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD. 1869

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David Copperfield



hether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously. In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the nurse, and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted, first, that I was destined to be unlucky in life; and secondly, that I was privileged to see ghosts and spirits; both these gifts inevitably attaching, as they believed, to all unlucky infants of either gender, born towards the small hours on a Friday night. I need say nothing here, on the first head, because nothing can show better than my history whether that prediction was verified or falsified by the result. On the second branch of the question, I will only remark, that unless I ran
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through that part of my inheritance while I was still a baby, I have not come into it yet. But I do not at all complain of having been kept out of this property; and if anybody else should be in the present enjoyment of it, he is heartily welcome to keep it. I was born with a caul, which was advertised for sale, in the newspapers, at the low price of fifteen guineas. Whether sea-going people were short of money about that time, or were short of faith and preferred cork jackets, I don’t know; all I know is, that there was but one solitary bidding, and that was from an attorney connected with the bill-broking business, who offered two pounds in cash, and the balance in sherry, but declined to be guaranteed from drowning on any higher bargain. Consequently the advertisement was withdrawn at a dead loss - for as to sherry, my poor dear mother’s own sherry was in the market then - and ten years afterwards, the caul was put up in a raffle down in our part of the country, to fifty members at half-a-crown a head, the winner to spend five shillings. I was present myself, and I remember to have felt quite uncomfortable and confused, at a part of myself being disposed of in that way. The caul was won, I recollect, by an old lady with a hand-basket, who, very reluctantly, produced from it the stipulated five shillings, all in halfpence, and twopence halfpenny short - as it took an immense time and a great waste of arithmetic, to endeavour without any effect to prove to her. It is a fact which will be long remembered as remarkable down there, that she was never drowned, but died triumphantly in bed, at ninety-two. I have understood that it was, to the last, her 
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proudest boast, that she never had been on the water in her life, except upon a bridge; and that over her tea (to which she was extremely partial) she, to the last, expressed her indignation at the impiety of mariners and others, who had the presumption to go ‘meandering’ about the world. It was in vain to represent to her that some conveniences, tea perhaps included, resulted from this objectionable practice. She always returned, with greater emphasis and with an instinctive knowledge of the strength of her objection, ‘Let us have no meandering.’ Not to meander myself, at present, I will go back to my birth. I was born at Blunderstone, in Suffolk, or ‘there by’, as they say in Scotland. I was a posthumous child. My father’s eyes had closed upon the light of this world six months, when mine opened on it. There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white grave-stone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable compassion I used to feel for it lying out alone there in the dark night, when our little parlour was warm and bright with fire and candle, and the doors of our house were - almost cruelly, it seemed to me sometimes - bolted and locked against it. An aunt of my father’s, and consequently a great-aunt of mine, of whom I shall have more to relate by and by, was the principal magnate of our family. Miss Trotwood, or Miss Betsey, as my poor mother always called her, when she sufficiently overcame her dread of this formidable personage
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to mention her at all (which was seldom), had been married to a husband younger than herself, who was very handsome, except in the sense of the homely adage, ‘handsome is, that handsome does’ - for he was strongly suspected of having beaten Miss Betsey, and even of having once, on a disputed question of supplies, made some hasty but determined arrangements to throw her out of a two pair of stairs’ window. These evidences of an incompatibility of temper induced Miss Betsey to pay him off, and effect a separation by mutual consent. He went to India with his capital, and there, according to a wild legend in our family, he was once seen riding on an elephant, in company with a Baboon; but I think it must have been a Baboo - or a Begum. Anyhow, from India tidings of his death reached home, within ten years. How they affected my aunt, nobody knew; for immediately upon the separation, she took her maiden name again, bought a cottage in a hamlet on the sea-coast a long way off, established herself there as a single woman with one servant, and was understood to live secluded, ever afterwards, in an inflexible retirement. My father had once been a favourite of hers, I believe; but she was mortally affronted by his marriage, on the ground that my mother was ‘a wax doll’. She had never seen my mother, but she knew her to be not yet twenty. My father and Miss Betsey never met again. He was double my mother’s age when he married, and of but a delicate constitution. He died a year afterwards, and, as I have said, six months before I came into the world. This was the state of matters, on the afternoon of, what
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I may be excused for calling, that eventful and important Friday. I can make no claim therefore to have known, at that time, how matters stood; or to have any remembrance, founded on the evidence of my own senses, of what follows. My mother was sitting by the fire, but poorly in health, and very low in spirits, looking at it through her tears, and desponding heavily about herself and the fatherless little stranger, who was already welcomed by some grosses of prophetic pins, in a drawer upstairs, to a world not at all excited on the subject of his arrival; my mother, I say, was sitting by the fire, that bright, windy March afternoon, very timid and sad, and very doubtful of ever coming alive out of the trial that was before her, when, lifting her eyes as she dried them, to the window opposite, she saw a strange lady coming up the garden. MY mother had a sure foreboding at the second glance, that it was Miss Betsey. The setting sun was glowing on the strange lady, over the garden-fence, and she came walking up to the door with a fell rigidity of figure and composure of countenance that could have belonged to nobody else. When she reached the house, she gave another proof of her identity. My father had often hinted that she seldom conducted herself like any ordinary Christian; and now, instead of ringing the bell, she came and looked in at that identical window, pressing the end of her nose against the glass to that extent, that my poor dear mother used to say it became perfectly flat and white in a moment. She gave my mother such a turn, that I have always been convinced I am indebted to Miss Betsey for having been
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born on a Friday. My mother had left her chair in her agitation, and gone behind it in the corner. Miss Betsey, looking round the room, slowly and inquiringly, began on the other side, and carried her eyes on, like a Saracen’s Head in a Dutch clock, until they reached my mother. Then she made a frown and a gesture to my mother, like one who was accustomed to be obeyed, to come and open the door. My mother went. ‘Mrs. David Copperfield, I think,’ said Miss Betsey; the emphasis referring, perhaps, to my mother’s mourning weeds, and her condition. ‘Yes,’ said my mother, faintly. ‘Miss Trotwood,’ said the visitor. ‘You have heard of her, I dare say?’ My mother answered she had had that pleasure. And she had a disagreeable consciousness of not appearing to imply that it had been an overpowering pleasure. ‘Now you see her,’ said Miss Betsey. My mother bent her head, and begged her to walk in. They went into the parlour my mother had come from, the fire in the best room on the other side of the passage not being lighted - not having been lighted, indeed, since my father’s funeral; and when they were both seated, and Miss Betsey said nothing, my mother, after vainly trying to restrain herself, began to cry. ‘Oh tut, tut, tut!’ said Miss Betsey, in a hurry. ‘Don’t do that! Come, come!’ My mother couldn’t help it notwithstanding, so she cried until she had had her cry out. ‘Take off your cap, child,’ said Miss Betsey, ‘and let me
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see you.’ MY mother was too much afraid of her to refuse compliance with this odd request, if she had any disposition to do so. Therefore she did as she was told, and did it with such nervous hands that her hair (which was luxuriant and beautiful) fell all about her face. ‘Why, bless my heart!’ exclaimed Miss Betsey. ‘You are a very Baby!’ My mother was, no doubt, unusually youthful in appearance even for her years; she hung her head, as if it were her fault, poor thing, and said, sobbing, that indeed she was afraid she was but a childish widow, and would be but a childish mother if she lived. In a short pause which ensued, she had a fancy that she felt Miss Betsey touch her hair, and that with no ungentle hand; but, looking at her, in her timid hope, she found that lady sitting with the skirt of her dress tucked up, her hands folded on one knee, and her feet upon the fender, frowning at the fire. ‘In the name of Heaven,’ said Miss Betsey, suddenly, ‘why Rookery?’ ‘Do you mean the house, ma’am?’ asked my mother. ‘Why Rookery?’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Cookery would have been more to the purpose, if you had had any practical ideas of life, either of you.’ ‘The name was Mr. Copperfield’s choice,’ returned my mother. ‘When he bought the house, he liked to think that there were rooks about it.’ The evening wind made such a disturbance just now, among some tall old elm-trees at the bottom of the garFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1

den, that neither my mother nor Miss Betsey could forbear glancing that way. As the elms bent to one another, like giants who were whispering secrets, and after a few seconds of such repose, fell into a violent flurry, tossing their wild arms about, as if their late confidences were really too wicked for their peace of mind, some weatherbeaten ragged old rooks’-nests, burdening their higher branches, swung like wrecks upon a stormy sea. ‘Where are the birds?’ asked Miss Betsey. ‘The -? ‘ My mother had been thinking of something else. ‘The rooks - what has become of them?’ asked Miss Betsey. ‘There have not been any since we have lived here,’ said my mother. ‘We thought - Mr. Copperfield thought - it was quite a large rookery; but the nests were very old ones, and the birds have deserted them a long while.’ ‘David Copperfield all over!’ cried Miss Betsey. ‘David Copperfield from head to foot! Calls a house a rookery when there’s not a rook near it, and takes the birds on trust, because he sees the nests!’ ‘Mr. Copperfield,’ returned my mother, ‘is dead, and if you dare to speak unkindly of him to me -’ My poor dear mother, I suppose, had some momentary intention of committing an assault and battery upon my aunt, who could easily have settled her with one hand, even if my mother had been in far better training for such an encounter than she was that evening. But it passed with the action of rising from her chair; and she sat down again very
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meekly, and fainted. When she came to herself, or when Miss Betsey had restored her, whichever it was, she found the latter standing at the window. The twilight was by this time shading down into darkness; and dimly as they saw each other, they could not have done that without the aid of the fire. ‘Well?’ said Miss Betsey, coming back to her chair, as if she had only been taking a casual look at the prospect; ‘and when do you expect -’ ‘I am all in a tremble,’ faltered my mother. ‘I don’t know what’s the matter. I shall die, I am sure!’ ‘No, no, no,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Have some tea.’ ‘Oh dear me, dear me, do you think it will do me any good?’ cried my mother in a helpless manner. ‘Of course it will,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘It’s nothing but fancy. What do you call your girl?’ ‘I don’t know that it will be a girl, yet, ma’am,’ said my mother innocently. ‘Bless the Baby!’ exclaimed Miss Betsey, unconsciously quoting the second sentiment of the pincushion in the drawer upstairs, but applying it to my mother instead of me, ‘I don’t mean that. I mean your servant-girl.’ ‘Peggotty,’ said my mother. ‘Peggotty!’ repeated Miss Betsey, with some indignation. ‘Do you mean to say, child, that any human being has gone into a Christian church, and got herself named Peggotty?’ ‘It’s her surname,’ said my mother, faintly. ‘Mr. Copperfield called her by it, because her Christian name was the same as mine.’
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‘Here! Peggotty!’ cried Miss Betsey, opening the parlour door. ‘Tea. Your mistress is a little unwell. Don’t dawdle.’ Having issued this mandate with as much potentiality as if she had been a recognized authority in the house ever since it had been a house, and having looked out to confront the amazed Peggotty coming along the passage with a candle at the sound of a strange voice, Miss Betsey shut the door again, and sat down as before: with her feet on the fender, the skirt of her dress tucked up, and her hands folded on one knee. ‘You were speaking about its being a girl,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘I have no doubt it will be a girl. I have a presentiment that it must be a girl. Now child, from the moment of the birth of this girl -’ ‘Perhaps boy,’ my mother took the liberty of putting in. ‘I tell you I have a presentiment that it must be a girl,’ returned Miss Betsey. ‘Don’t contradict. From the moment of this girl’s birth, child, I intend to be her friend. I intend to be her godmother, and I beg you’ll call her Betsey Trotwood Copperfield. There must be no mistakes in life with THIS Betsey Trotwood. There must be no trifling with HER affections, poor dear. She must be well brought up, and well guarded from reposing any foolish confidences where they are not deserved. I must make that MY care.’ There was a twitch of Miss Betsey’s head, after each of these sentences, as if her own old wrongs were working within her, and she repressed any plainer reference to them by strong constraint. So my mother suspected, at least, as she observed her by the low glimmer of the fire: too much
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scared by Miss Betsey, too uneasy in herself, and too subdued and bewildered altogether, to observe anything very clearly, or to know what to say. ‘And was David good to you, child?’ asked Miss Betsey, when she had been silent for a little while, and these motions of her head had gradually ceased. ‘Were you comfortable together?’ ‘We were very happy,’ said my mother. ‘Mr. Copperfield was only too good to me.’ ‘What, he spoilt you, I suppose?’ returned Miss Betsey. ‘For being quite alone and dependent on myself in this rough world again, yes, I fear he did indeed,’ sobbed my mother. ‘Well! Don’t cry!’ said Miss Betsey. ‘You were not equally matched, child - if any two people can be equally matched - and so I asked the question. You were an orphan, weren’t you?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘And a governess?’ ‘I was nursery-governess in a family where Mr. Copperfield came to visit. Mr. Copperfield was very kind to me, and took a great deal of notice of me, and paid me a good deal of attention, and at last proposed to me. And I accepted him. And so we were married,’ said my mother simply. ‘Ha! Poor Baby!’ mused Miss Betsey, with her frown still bent upon the fire. ‘Do you know anything?’ ‘I beg your pardon, ma’am,’ faltered my mother. ‘About keeping house, for instance,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Not much, I fear,’ returned my mother. ‘Not so much as I could wish. But Mr. Copperfield was teaching me -’
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(’Much he knew about it himself!’) said Miss Betsey in a parenthesis. - ‘And I hope I should have improved, being very anxious to learn, and he very patient to teach me, if the great misfortune of his death’ - my mother broke down again here, and could get no farther. ‘Well, well!’ said Miss Betsey. -’I kept my housekeeping-book regularly, and balanced it with Mr. Copperfield every night,’ cried my mother in another burst of distress, and breaking down again. ‘Well, well!’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Don’t cry any more.’ - ‘And I am sure we never had a word of difference respecting it, except when Mr. Copperfield objected to my threes and fives being too much like each other, or to my putting curly tails to my sevens and nines,’ resumed my mother in another burst, and breaking down again. ‘You’ll make yourself ill,’ said Miss Betsey, ‘and you know that will not be good either for you or for my god-daughter. Come! You mustn’t do it!’ This argument had some share in quieting my mother, though her increasing indisposition had a larger one. There was an interval of silence, only broken by Miss Betsey’s occasionally ejaculating ‘Ha!’ as she sat with her feet upon the fender. ‘David had bought an annuity for himself with his money, I know,’ said she, by and by. ‘What did he do for you?’ ‘Mr. Copperfield,’ said my mother, answering with some difficulty, ‘was so considerate and good as to secure the reversion of a part of it to me.’
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‘How much?’ asked Miss Betsey. ‘A hundred and five pounds a year,’ said my mother. ‘He might have done worse,’ said my aunt. The word was appropriate to the moment. My mother was so much worse that Peggotty, coming in with the teaboard and candles, and seeing at a glance how ill she was, - as Miss Betsey might have done sooner if there had been light enough, - conveyed her upstairs to her own room with all speed; and immediately dispatched Ham Peggotty, her nephew, who had been for some days past secreted in the house, unknown to my mother, as a special messenger in case of emergency, to fetch the nurse and doctor. Those allied powers were considerably astonished, when they arrived within a few minutes of each other, to find an unknown lady of portentous appearance, sitting before the fire, with her bonnet tied over her left arm, stopping her ears with jewellers’ cotton. Peggotty knowing nothing about her, and my mother saying nothing about her, she was quite a mystery in the parlour; and the fact of her having a magazine of jewellers’ cotton in her pocket, and sticking the article in her ears in that way, did not detract from the solemnity of her presence. The doctor having been upstairs and come down again, and having satisfied himself, I suppose, that there was a probability of this unknown lady and himself having to sit there, face to face, for some hours, laid himself out to be polite and social. He was the meekest of his sex, the mildest of little men. He sidled in and out of a room, to take up the less space. He walked as softly as the Ghost in Hamlet, and
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more slowly. He carried his head on one side, partly in modest depreciation of himself, partly in modest propitiation of everybody else. It is nothing to say that he hadn’t a word to throw at a dog. He couldn’t have thrown a word at a mad dog. He might have offered him one gently, or half a one, or a fragment of one; for he spoke as slowly as he walked; but he wouldn’t have been rude to him, and he couldn’t have been quick with him, for any earthly consideration. Mr. Chillip, looking mildly at my aunt with his head on one side, and making her a little bow, said, in allusion to the jewellers’ cotton, as he softly touched his left ear: ‘Some local irritation, ma’am?’ ‘What!’ replied my aunt, pulling the cotton out of one ear like a cork. Mr. Chillip was so alarmed by her abruptness - as he told my mother afterwards - that it was a mercy he didn’t lose his presence of mind. But he repeated sweetly: ‘Some local irritation, ma’am?’ ‘Nonsense!’ replied my aunt, and corked herself again, at one blow. Mr. Chillip could do nothing after this, but sit and look at her feebly, as she sat and looked at the fire, until he was called upstairs again. After some quarter of an hour’s absence, he returned. ‘Well?’ said my aunt, taking the cotton out of the ear nearest to him. ‘Well, ma’am,’ returned Mr. Chillip, ‘we are- we are progressing slowly, ma’am.’ ‘Ba—a—ah!’ said my aunt, with a perfect shake on the 
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contemptuous interjection. And corked herself as before. Really - really - as Mr. Chillip told my mother, he was almost shocked; speaking in a professional point of view alone, he was almost shocked. But he sat and looked at her, notwithstanding, for nearly two hours, as she sat looking at the fire, until he was again called out. After another absence, he again returned. ‘Well?’ said my aunt, taking out the cotton on that side again. ‘Well, ma’am,’ returned Mr. Chillip, ‘we are - we are progressing slowly, ma’am.’ ‘Ya—a—ah!’ said my aunt. With such a snarl at him, that Mr. Chillip absolutely could not bear it. It was really calculated to break his spirit, he said afterwards. He preferred to go and sit upon the stairs, in the dark and a strong draught, until he was again sent for. Ham Peggotty, who went to the national school, and was a very dragon at his catechism, and who may therefore be regarded as a credible witness, reported next day, that happening to peep in at the parlour-door an hour after this, he was instantly descried by Miss Betsey, then walking to and fro in a state of agitation, and pounced upon before he could make his escape. That there were now occasional sounds of feet and voices overhead which he inferred the cotton did not exclude, from the circumstance of his evidently being clutched by the lady as a victim on whom to expend her superabundant agitation when the sounds were loudest. That, marching him constantly up and down by the
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collar (as if he had been taking too much laudanum), she, at those times, shook him, rumpled his hair, made light of his linen, stopped his ears as if she confounded them with her own, and otherwise tousled and maltreated him. This was in part confirmed by his aunt, who saw him at half past twelve o’clock, soon after his release, and affirmed that he was then as red as I was. The mild Mr. Chillip could not possibly bear malice at such a time, if at any time. He sidled into the parlour as soon as he was at liberty, and said to my aunt in his meekest manner: ‘Well, ma’am, I am happy to congratulate you.’ ‘What upon?’ said my aunt, sharply. Mr. Chillip was fluttered again, by the extreme severity of my aunt’s manner; so he made her a little bow and gave her a little smile, to mollify her. ‘Mercy on the man, what’s he doing!’ cried my aunt, impatiently. ‘Can’t he speak?’ ‘Be calm, my dear ma’am,’ said Mr. Chillip, in his softest accents. ‘There is no longer any occasion for uneasiness, ma’am. Be calm.’ It has since been considered almost a miracle that my aunt didn’t shake him, and shake what he had to say, out of him. She only shook her own head at him, but in a way that made him quail. ‘Well, ma’am,’ resumed Mr. Chillip, as soon as he had courage, ‘I am happy to congratulate you. All is now over, ma’am, and well over.’ 
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During the five minutes or so that Mr. Chillip devoted to the delivery of this oration, my aunt eyed him narrowly. ‘How is she?’ said my aunt, folding her arms with her bonnet still tied on one of them. ‘Well, ma’am, she will soon be quite comfortable, I hope,’ returned Mr. Chillip. ‘Quite as comfortable as we can expect a young mother to be, under these melancholy domestic circumstances. There cannot be any objection to your seeing her presently, ma’am. It may do her good.’ ‘And SHE. How is SHE?’ said my aunt, sharply. Mr. Chillip laid his head a little more on one side, and looked at my aunt like an amiable bird. ‘The baby,’ said my aunt. ‘How is she?’ ‘Ma’am,’ returned Mr. Chillip, ‘I apprehended you had known. It’s a boy.’ My aunt said never a word, but took her bonnet by the strings, in the manner of a sling, aimed a blow at Mr. Chillip’s head with it, put it on bent, walked out, and never came back. She vanished like a discontented fairy; or like one of those supernatural beings, whom it was popularly supposed I was entitled to see; and never came back any more. No. I lay in my basket, and my mother lay in her bed; but Betsey Trotwood Copperfield was for ever in the land of dreams and shadows, the tremendous region whence I had so lately travelled; and the light upon the window of our room shone out upon the earthly bourne of all such travellers, and the mound above the ashes and the dust that once was he, without whom I had never been.
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he first objects that assume a distinct presence before me, as I look far back, into the blank of my infancy, are my mother with her pretty hair and youthful shape, and Peggotty with no shape at all, and eyes so dark that they seemed to darken their whole neighbourhood in her face, and cheeks and arms so hard and red that I wondered the birds didn’t peck her in preference to apples. I believe I can remember these two at a little distance apart, dwarfed to my sight by stooping down or kneeling on the floor, and I going unsteadily from the one to the other. I have an impression on my mind which I cannot distinguish from actual remembrance, of the touch of Peggotty’s forefinger as she used to hold it out to me, and of its being roughened by needlework, like a pocket nutmeg-grater. This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I believe the power of observation in numbers of very young children to be quite wonderful for its closeness and accuracy. Indeed, I think that most grown men who are remarkable in this respect, may with greater
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propriety be said not to have lost the faculty, than to have acquired it; the rather, as I generally observe such men to retain a certain freshness, and gentleness, and capacity of being pleased, which are also an inheritance they have preserved from their childhood. I might have a misgiving that I am ‘meandering’ in stopping to say this, but that it brings me to remark that I build these conclusions, in part upon my own experience of myself; and if it should appear from anything I may set down in this narrative that I was a child of close observation, or that as a man I have a strong memory of my childhood, I undoubtedly lay claim to both of these characteristics. Looking back, as I was saying, into the blank of my infancy, the first objects I can remember as standing out by themselves from a confusion of things, are my mother and Peggotty. What else do I remember? Let me see. There comes out of the cloud, our house - not new to me, but quite familiar, in its earliest remembrance. On the ground-floor is Peggotty’s kitchen, opening into a back yard; with a pigeon-house on a pole, in the centre, without any pigeons in it; a great dog- kennel in a corner, without any dog; and a quantity of fowls that look terribly tall to me, walking about, in a menacing and ferocious manner. There is one cock who gets upon a post to crow, and seems to take particular notice of me as I look at him through the kitchen window, who makes me shiver, he is so fierce. Of the geese outside the side-gate who come waddling after me with their long necks stretched out when I go that way, I dream at night: as a man environed by wild beasts might
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dream of lions. Here is a long passage - what an enormous perspective I make of it! - leading from Peggotty’s kitchen to the front door. A dark store-room opens out of it, and that is a place to be run past at night; for I don’t know what may be among those tubs and jars and old tea-chests, when there is nobody in there with a dimly-burning light, letting a mouldy air come out of the door, in which there is the smell of soap, pickles, pepper, candles, and coffee, all at one whiff. Then there are the two parlours: the parlour in which we sit of an evening, my mother and I and Peggotty - for Peggotty is quite our companion, when her work is done and we are alone - and the best parlour where we sit on a Sunday; grandly, but not so comfortably. There is something of a doleful air about that room to me, for Peggotty has told me - I don’t know when, but apparently ages ago - about my father’s funeral, and the company having their black cloaks put on. One Sunday night my mother reads to Peggotty and me in there, how Lazarus was raised up from the dead. And I am so frightened that they are afterwards obliged to take me out of bed, and show me the quiet churchyard out of the bedroom window, with the dead all lying in their graves at rest, below the solemn moon. There is nothing half so green that I know anywhere, as the grass of that churchyard; nothing half so shady as its trees; nothing half so quiet as its tombstones. The sheep are feeding there, when I kneel up, early in the morning, in my little bed in a closet within my mother’s room, to look out at it; and I see the red light shining on the sun-dial, and think 
David Copperfield

Bodgers late of this parish. and what would become of me then! I look up at the monumental tablets on the wall. and try to think of Mr. Bodgers bore. and he was in vain. I look at my mother. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I look from Mr. and he makes faces at me.com  . or is not in flames.half making up his mind to come into the church. I might be tempted to say something out loud. who likes to make herself as sure as she can that it’s not being robbed. but she pretends not to see me. I look at the sunlight coming in at the open door through the porch. she is much offended if mine does. but I must do something. What a high-backed pew! With a window near it. and frowns to me. long time Mr. and there I see a stray sheep . that I am to look at the clergyman. and I am afraid of his wondering why I stare so. and think what a good place it would be to play in. I look at a boy in the aisle. and if so. and IS seen many times during the morning’s service. and what a castle it would make. as I stand upon the seat. how he likes to be reminded of it once a week.and what am I to do? It’s a dreadful thing to gape. when affliction sore. Bodgers must have been. I feel that if I looked at him any longer.I don’t mean a sinner. and physicians were in vain. in his Sunday neckcloth. out of which our house can be seen. and what the feelings of Mrs. to the pulpit. But though Peggotty’s eye wanders. that it can tell the time again?’ Here is our pew in the church.I know him without that white thing on. and perhaps stopping the service to inquire . But I can’t always look at him . I wonder. ‘Is the sun-dial glad. I wonder whether they called in Mr. Chillip. by Peggotty.within myself. Chillip. but mutton .

as I remember it. That. where the fruit clusters on the trees. dancing about the parlour. and am taken out. riper and richer than fruit has ever been since.with another boy coming up the stairs to attack it. and a sense that we were both a little afraid of Peggotty.if they may be so called .  David Copperfield .a very preserve of butterflies. until I fall off the seat with a crash. and a gate and padlock.that I ever derived from what I saw. We are playing in the winter twilight. and straitening her waist. Now I am in the garden at the back. In time my eyes gradually shut up. bolting furtive gooseberries. and the ragged old rooks’-nests still dangling in the elm-trees at the bottom of the front garden. and nobody knows better than I do that she likes to look so well. while I stand by. and submitted ourselves in most things to her direction. A great wind rises. and trying to look unmoved. And now I see the outside of our house. more dead than alive. beyond the yard where the empty pigeon-house and dog-kennel are . I watch her winding her bright curls round her fingers. That is among my very earliest impressions. When my mother is out of breath and rests herself in an elbow-chair. and where my mother gathers some in a basket. by Peggotty. and is proud of being so pretty. from seeming to hear the clergyman singing a drowsy song in the heat. in any other garden. and. and having the velvet cushion with the tassels thrown down on his head. I hear nothing. were among the first opinions . with the latticed bedroom-windows standing open to let in the sweet-smelling air. with a high fence. and the summer is gone in a moment.

I would rather have died upon my post (of course) than have gone to bed. at the little bit of wax-candle she kept for her thread .com  . whom I thought lovely. I had reached that stage of sleepiness when Peggotty seemed to swell and grow immensely large. as a high treat. ‘You are a very handsome woman. cerFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and dead sleepy. Master Davy. for I remember she had a cloudy impression. I must have read very perspicuously. ‘were you ever married?’ ‘Lord. that I knew if I lost sight of anything for a moment. at herself. Paul’s Cathedral (with a pink dome) painted on the top.Peggotty and I were sitting one night by the parlour fire. or the poor soul must have been deeply interested. ‘But WERE you ever married. at the brass thimble on her finger. I was gone.’ says I. ‘What’s put marriage in your head?’ She answered with such a start. ‘Peggotty. I felt so sleepy. and looked at me. and looked perseveringly at her as she sat at work. suddenly. And then she stopped in her work.’ replied Peggotty. being so wrinkled in all directions! . to sit up until my mother came home from spending the evening at a neighbour’s. with her needle drawn out to its thread’s length.at the little house with a thatched roof. but having leave. Peggotty?’ says I. where the yard-measure lived. I was tired of reading. with a view of St. I propped my eyelids open with my two forefingers. an’t you?’ I thought her in a different style from my mother. after I had done. I had been reading to Peggotty about crocodiles. alone. at her work-box with a sliding lid. that it quite awoke me. that they were a sort of vegetable.how old it looked.

I considered her a perfect example. ‘that I never was married myself. with the promptest decision. my dear! But what put marriage in your head?’ ‘I don’t know! .’ ‘But what is your opinion. no. but of another school of beauty. because she looked so curiously at me. That’s a matter of opinion. and Peggotty was rough. ‘if you choose. ‘Me handsome.’ ‘You an’t cross. ‘But if you marry a person. Peggotty?’ ‘YOU MAY. she had been so short with me.tainly. Peggotty?’ ‘Certainly not. ‘My opinion is.’ says Peggotty.’ said Peggotty. and the person dies. Peggotty?’ said I. I suppose. after a little indecision and going on with her work. Master Davy. may you. and looked curiously at her. I asked her. 0 David Copperfield . on which my mother had painted a nosegay. There was a red velvet footstool in the best parlour. Peggotty. and opening her arms wide. I really thought she was. but that made no difference. ‘Lawk.You mustn’t marry more than one person at a time. That’s all I know about the subject. The ground-work of that stool. are you?’ said I. taking her eyes from me. after sitting quiet for a minute. and that I don’t expect to be. why then you may marry another person. and Peggotty’s complexion appeared to me to be one and the same thing. The stool was smooth. Davy!’ said Peggotty. but I was quite mistaken: for she laid aside her work (which was a stocking of her own). my dear.’ says Peggotty. mayn’t you.

and gave it a good squeeze. As my mother stooped down on the threshold to take me in her arms and kiss me. or why she was so ready to go back to the crocodiles. ‘Now let me hear some more about the Crorkindills. which they were unable to do quickly. and there was my mother. being very plump. with fresh wakefulness on my part. some of the buttons on the back of her gown flew off. but I had my doubts of Peggotty. I did. and with her a gentleman with beautiful black hair and whiskers. as natives. I thought. We went out to the door. I know it was a good squeeze. on account of their unwieldy make. and we left their eggs in the sand for the sun to hatch. the gentleman said I was a more Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘for I an’t heard half enough.com 1 .took my curly head within them. whenever she made any little exertion after she was dressed. when the garden-bell rang. and begun with the alligators. we returned to those monsters.’ said Peggotty. because. and in short we ran the whole crocodile gauntlet. We had exhausted the crocodiles. and we ran away from them. However. all the time. and we went into the water after them. And I recollect two bursting to the opposite side of the parlour.’ I couldn’t quite understand why Peggotty looked so queer. while she was hugging me. looking unusually pretty. who had walked home with us from church last Sunday. and baffled them by constantly turning. and put sharp pieces of timber down their throats. at least. who was not quite right in the name yet. who was thoughtfully sticking her needle into various parts of her face and arms.

I am sensible. not to give it him. and. as he met it with his own. ‘Dear boy!’ said the gentleman. keeping me close to her shawl. I didn’t like him or his deep voice. Davy!’ laughed the gentleman.I saw him! . laughing. my fine boy. ‘Why. at me. so I gave him the other.’ said the gentleman. over her shoulder. for my later understanding comes. She gently chid me for being rude. MY mother drew my right hand forward. when he had bent his head . ‘I cannot wonder at his devotion!’ I never saw such a beautiful colour on my mother’s face before.highly privileged little fellow than a monarch . and I did  David Copperfield . ‘Good night!’ said I. ‘What does that mean?’ I asked him.which it did. but I was resolved. She put out her hand to him as she spoke. ‘Come! Let us be the best friends in the world!’ said the gentleman.or something like that. Davy!’ remonstrated my mother. that’s the Wrong hand. He patted me on the head. ‘Oh. and. ‘Let us say ‘good night’. she glanced. ‘Shake hands!’ My right hand was in my mother’s left. for my former reason. to my aid here. as well as I could. and I was jealous that his hand should touch my mother’s in touching me . I thought. I put it away.over my mother’s little glove. but somehow. turned to thank the gentleman for taking so much trouble as to bring her home.

and that I swear!’ ‘Good Heavens!’ cried my mother. who had not said a word or moved a finger. .’ said Peggotty. Peggotty. Copperfield wouldn’t have liked. I found Peggotty and my mother both in tears. I fell asleep. ‘Not such a one as this. secured the fastenings instantly. My mother.’ suggested Peggotty. without hearing what they said.’ returned my mother. When I half awoke from this uncomfortable doze. Peggotty. instead of coming to the elbow-chair by the fire.‘Hope you have had a pleasant evening. ‘A very agreeable change. standing as stiff as a barrel in the centre of the room. contrary to her usual habit. and both talking.’ ‘A stranger or so makes an agreeable change. and said I was a brave fellow.’ said Peggotty.’ returned my mother. ma’am. and sat singing to herself. indeed.com  . and we all went into the parlour. and my mother resuming her singing. ‘Much obliged to you. Mr. and went away. and give us a last look with his ill-omened black eyes. in a cheerful voice. ‘you’ll drive me mad! Was ever any poor girl so ill-used by her servants as I am! Why do I do myself the injustice of calling myself a girl? Free eBooks at Planet eBook.not. with a candlestick in her hand. I gave him the other. At this minute I see him turn round in the garden. remained at the other end of the room. and he shook it heartily. before the door was shut. though I was not so sound asleep but that I could hear voices. ‘I have had a VERY pleasant evening. ‘That I say. Peggotty continuing to stand motionless in the middle of the room.

how can you dare.’ returned Peggotty. ‘Then. when you are well aware that I haven’t. is it my fault? What am I to do. No! No price could make it do. coming to the elbowchair in which I was. I thought. or disfigure myself with a burn.’ Peggotty seemed to take this aspersion very much to heart. the dearest little fellow that ever was!’ ‘Nobody never went and hinted no such a thing.’ said my mother . ‘How can you be so aggravating. ma’am. ‘as to talk in such an unjust manner! How can you go on as if it was all settled and arranged. or a scald.’ cried my mother. What am I to do? If people are so silly as to indulge the sentiment.‘you know I don’t mean how can you dare.’ said  David Copperfield . and caressing me. Peggotty.I thought Peggotty would have thrown the candlestick away. I ask you? Would you wish me to shave my head and black my face. I dare say you’d quite enjoy it. shedding more tears than before. Peggotty. ‘for saying that it won’t do. Peggotty. but how can you have the heart . a single friend to turn to?’ ‘The more’s the reason. or something of that sort? I dare say you would.to make me so uncomfortable and say such bitter things to me. ‘my own little Davy! Is it to be hinted to me that I am wanting in affection for my precious treasure. No! That it won’t do. No!’ .’ said my mother.Have I never been married. Peggotty?’ ‘God knows you have. you cruel thing.’ returned Peggotty. that beyond the commonest civilities nothing has passed! You talk of admiration. ‘And my dear boy. she was so emphatic with it. when I tell you over and over again. out of this place.

selfish. though that old green one is frayed the whole way up. ‘You did. You can’t deny it. ‘You know you did. and made it up with me. and Peggotty will love you. and leaning over me. I think I was the loudest of the party. ‘Am I a naughty mama to you. Davy? Am I a nasty. I found my mother sitting on the coverlet. and must have become quite buttonless on the occasion. What else was it possible to infer from what you said. after having made it up with my mother. that on his account only last quarter I wouldn’t buy myself a new parasol. I remember. after that. with her cheek against mine. say ‘yes’. Peggotty. or whether there was any greater lapse of Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com  .Peggotty. for a long time. and Peggotty’s love is a great deal better than mine. I don’t love you at all. she kneeled down by the elbow-chair. you unkind creature. That honest creature was in deep affliction. I was quite heart-broken myself. and the fringe is perfectly mangy? You know it is. and when one very strong sob quite hoisted me up in bed. for a little volley of those explosives went off. cruel. we all fell a-crying together. Whether it was the following Sunday when I saw the gentleman again. and am afraid that in the first transports of wounded tenderness I called Peggotty a ‘Beast’. Davy. when you know as well as I do. but I am sure we were all sincere about it. and slept soundly. bad mama? Say I am.’ Then. We went to bed greatly dejected. I fell asleep in her arms. Peggotty!’ returned my mother. My sobs kept waking me. turning affectionately to me. dear boy. do I?’ At this. my child. when.

of an evening. to my satisfaction. I became used to seeing the gentleman with the black whiskers. but he refused to do that . too.more than usual. to look at a famous geranium we had. and had the same uneasy jealousy of him. She begged him to choose it for himself. Peggotty began to be less with us. He said he would never. and a general idea that Peggotty and I could make much of my mother without any help. and were not so comfortable among ourselves.and we were all three excellent friends. Sometimes I fancied that Peggotty perhaps objected to my mother’s wearing all the pretty dresses she had in her drawers. but I couldn’t. I don’t profess to be clear about dates. never part with it any more. it certainly was not THE reason that I might have found if I had been older. I cannot recall. and gave it into his hand. but before he went he asked my mother to give him a bit of the blossom. than she had always been. It did not appear to me that he took much notice of it. it occurred to me . No such thing came into my mind. make out how it was.so she plucked it for him. in church. still we were different from what we used to be. I could observe. Gradually. He came in. and I thought he must be quite a fool not to know that it would fall to pieces in a day or two. but as  David Copperfield .I could not understand why . I liked him no better than at first. or to her going so often to visit at that neighbour’s. My mother deferred to her very much . but if I had any reason for it beyond a child’s instinctive dislike. or near it. in the parlour-window. in little pieces. as it were.time before he reappeared. and he walked home with us afterwards. But there he was.

I knew him by that name now . and. from being in a perfectly angelic temper. and trotting along on the green turf by the side of the road. I recollect Peggotty and I peeping out at them from my little window. that was. walked slowly up and down on the outer side of the sweetbriar fence. Murdstone and I were soon off. while my mother walked slowly up and down on the inner to keep him company.came by. and looking up in his face. and said he was going to Lowestoft to see some friends who were there with a yacht. on horseback. but I could not make up my mind to sit in front of him without turning my head sometimes. beyond me. The air was so clear and pleasant. He had that kind of shallow black eye . and how.com  . and merrily proposed to take me on the saddle before him if I would like the ride. I recollect how closely they seemed to be examining the sweetbriar between them. and brushed my hair the wrong way. with his horse’s bridle drawn over his arm. as they strolled along. He held me quite easily with one arm. Peggotty turned cross in a moment. and the horse seemed to like the idea of the ride so much himself. He reined up his horse to salute my mother. and in the meantime Mr. Murdstone . and catching anybody in it. excessively hard. and I don’t think I was restless usually. as he stood snorting and pawing at the garden-gate. Mr. as yet. that I had a great desire to go. One autumn morning I was with my mother in the front garden. So I was sent upstairs to Peggotty to be made spruce.I want a better Free eBooks at Planet eBook.to making a net of a number of these pieces. when Mr. Murdstone dismounted.

his regular eyebrows. when it is abstracted.’ said Mr. when we came in. We went to an hotel by the sea. Murdstone. and wondered what he was thinking about so closely. ‘Jones?’  David Copperfield . all bundled up together. of his complexion . I have no doubt that my poor dear mother thought him so too. ‘Halloa. and his memory! .word to express an eye that has no depth in it to be looked into . and the dotted indication of the strong black beard he shaved close every day. by a cast. and had a large rough jacket on. Several times when I glanced at him.made me think him.confound his complexion. A squareness about the lower part of his face. They both rolled on to their feet in an untidy sort of manner.’ returned Mr. where two gentlemen were smoking cigars in a room by themselves. I observed that appearance with a sort of awe. Murdstone! We thought you were dead!’ ‘Not yet. ‘That’s Davy. This. a very handsome man. and brown.which. Each of them was lying on at least four chairs. reminded me of the wax-work that had travelled into our neighbourhood some half-a-year before. than even I had given them credit for being. Murdstone. His hair and whiskers were blacker and thicker. and the rich white. In a corner was a heap of coats and boat-cloaks. taking hold of me. looked at so near. ‘And who’s this shaver?’ said one of the gentlemen. for a moment at a time. and a flag. seems from some peculiarity of light to be disfigured. in spite of my misgivings. and said. ‘Davy who?’ said the gentleman. and black.

‘but he is not generally favourable. for. In short. There seemed to be something very comical in the reputation of Mr. Quinion said he would ring the bell for some sherry in which to drink to Brooks. I looked up.’ replied Mr. and sat on the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and such hearty laughter that it made me laugh too.‘Copperfield. I believe. Murdstone.’ said Mr. Somebody’s sharp. at first. the gentleman whom he had called Quinion. Copperfield’s encumbrance?’ cried the gentleman. said: ‘And what is the opinion of Brooks of Sheffield. Murdstone was a good deal amused also. with a biscuit. if you please.’ ‘Who is?’ asked the gentleman. and when the wine came. for both the gentlemen laughed heartily when he was mentioned. Murdstone. ‘What! Bewitching Mrs.’ said Mr. stand up and say. we quite enjoyed ourselves. This he did. We walked about on the cliff after that. ‘The pretty little widow?’ ‘Quinion. After some laughing. he made me have a little.com  . Murdstone. quickly. I don’t know that Brooks understands much about it at present. I really thought it was I. ‘take care. ‘Only Brooks of Sheffield.’ said Mr. Brooks of Sheffield. and Mr.’ There was more laughter at this. and Mr. I was quite relieved to find that it was only Brooks of Sheffield. being curious to know. at which they laughed the more. laughing. before I drank it. ‘Confusion to Brooks of Sheffield!’ The toast was received with great applause. and. Murdstone. in reference to the projected business?’ ‘Why.

when I looked down through the open skylight.grass. where they all three descended into the cabin. ever since the coats had first come home from the tailor’s. he said it meant the vessel. he put it there instead. with ‘Skylark’ in capital letters across the chest. and gave him a secret caution with his eyes. during this time. with a very nice man with a very large head of red hair and a very small shiny hat upon it. I thought. once or twice when Mr. They left me. who had got a cross-barred shirt or waistcoat on. but seldom with him.which. Skylark.I could make out nothing myself when it was put to my eye. Murdstone sideways. It appeared to me that he was more clever and cold than they were. I remarked that. I thought it was his name. as if to make sure of his not being displeased. Passnidge (the other gentleman) was in high spirits. Murdstone. They were very gay and careless. who was 0 David Copperfield . All the time we were out. Murdstone was graver and steadier than the two gentlemen. he trod upon his foot. and looked at things through a telescope . They joked freely with one another.and then we came back to the hotel to an early dinner. but I pretended I could . and that as he lived on board ship and hadn’t a street door to put his name on. and were busy with some papers. if I might judge from the smell of their rough coats. and that they regarded him with something of my own feeling. and that once when Mr. I observed all day that Mr. I saw them quite hard at work. to observe Mr. but when I called him Mr. I must not forget that we went on board the yacht. he looked at Mr. the two gentlemen smoked incessantly . they must have been doing. Quinion was talking.

but she answered No. Nor do I recollect that Mr. when my remembrance brings her back to life. only she supposed he must be a manufacturer in the knife and fork way. was his own. perished as I know it is . as distinct as any face that I may choose to look on in a crowded street? Can I say of her innocent and girlish beauty. and laughing.that it is gone. and she laughed. when its breath falls on my cheek now. as it fell that night? Can I say she ever changed. When he was gone.but I knew it pleased her. still holds fast what it cherished then? I write of her just as she was when I had gone to bed after this talk. when here it comes before me at this instant. by the by. I knew it quite as well as I know it now.sitting stern and silent. She kneeled down playfully by the side of the bed. We went home early in the evening.and that. Can I say of her face . while I was sent in to get my tea. It was a very fine evening. and what they had said and done. Murdstone laughed at all that day. my mother asked me all about the day I had had. and laying her chin upon her hands. truer to its loving youth than I have been. and was no more.com 1 . Brooks of Sheffield. and my mother and he had another stroll by the sweetbriar. I can’t beFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and. that it faded. except at the Sheffield joke . said: ‘What was it they said. or man ever is. Davy? Tell me again. I mentioned what they had said about her. and she came to bid me good night. and told me they were impudent fellows who talked nonsense . I took the opportunity of asking if she was at all acquainted with Mr.altered as I have reason to remember it. thus only.

’ I repeated stoutly. Not pretty. she might be angry with them. after looking at me several times. ‘pretty. ‘And. in company with the stocking and the yard-measure. Ma. of course.‘‘ ‘No. and the box with St.’ I promised. ‘Bewitching Mrs. and we kissed one another over and over again.’ interposed my mother.’ ‘’Bewitching -‘‘ I began. when Peggotty. It seems to me. laying her fingers on my lips again. it was never pretty. but I would rather Peggotty didn’t know. Davy.lieve it. as if it were the next day when Peggotty broached the striking and adventurous proposition I am about to mention. it was.‘‘ ‘What foolish. and opening her mouth as if she were going to speak. laughing and covering her face. Copperfield’. I am dreadfully angry with them myself. laughing. one evening (when my mother was out as before). and I soon fell fast asleep. ‘What ridiculous men! An’t they? Davy dear -’ ‘Well. ‘It never could have been bewitching.which I thought  David Copperfield . We were sitting as before. impudent creatures!’ cried my mother. and the bit of wax.’ ‘Don’t tell Peggotty. Now I know it wasn’t!’ ‘Yes. and the crocodile book. ‘Yes it was. at this distance of time. ‘It was never bewitching.’ she said. without doing it . but it was probably about two months afterwards. no. ‘Pretty little widow. Paul’s on the lid. My mother put her hands upon my lips to stop me.

intent upon my face. it must have been a very little one indeed. if you like. how should you like to go along with me and spend a fortnight at my brother’s at Yarmouth? Wouldn’t that be a treat?’ ‘Is your brother an agreeable man.com  . holding up her hands. or I should have been rather alarmed said coaxingly: ‘Master Davy. ‘Then there’s the sea. but what would my mother say? ‘Why then I’ll as good as bet a guinea. ‘Oh. and replied that it would indeed be a treat. and the beach. in the heel of that stocking. Peggotty?’ I inquired. ‘I say! Peggotty! She can’t live by herself. ‘Don’t you know? She’s going to stay for a fortnight with Mrs.’ said Peggotty. provisionally. but she spoke of him as a morsel of English Grammar. you know. and Am to play with -’ Peggotty meant her nephew Ham. looking at me again at last.’ ‘Oh.’ If Peggotty were looking for a hole. all of a sudden.was merely gaping. and not worth darning. I was flushed by her summary of delights. putting my small elbows on the table to argue the point. what an agreeable man he is!’ cried Peggotty. I’ll ask her. mentioned in my first chapter. bless you!’ said Peggotty. as soon as ever she comes home. and the fishermen. and the boats and ships. ‘that she’ll let us go. ‘She can’t live by herself. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. There now!’ ‘But what’s she to do while we’re away?’ said I.

although I tell it lightly. Mrs.Grayper. I would have given any money to have been allowed to wrap myself up over-night. and my board and lodging during the visit were to be paid for. until my mother came home from Mrs. which departed in the morning after breakfast. who was in a fever of expectation. I am glad to recollect that when the carrier began to move. I waited. might interpose to stop the expedition. a grateful fondness for her and for the old place I had never turned my back upon before. and my mother stood there kissing me. to think how little I suspected what I did leave for ever. I am glad to know that my mother cried too. I am glad to recollect that when the carrier’s cart was at the gate. in the utmost impatience. that she might kiss me once more. and that I felt her heart beat against mine. to recollect how eager I was to leave my happy home. my mother ran out at the gate. and called to him to stop. I am glad to dwell  David Copperfield . It was such an early day that it came soon. I was quite ready to go. Grayper’s going to have a lot of company. Without being nearly so much surprised as I had expected. made me cry. Grayper’s (for it was that identical neighbour). and half afraid that an earthquake or a fiery mountain. It touches me nearly now. and it was all arranged that night. my mother entered into it readily. or some other great convulsion of nature.’ Oh! If that was it. even to me. We were to go in a carrier’s cart. The day soon came for our going. to ascertain if we could get leave to carry out this great idea. and sleep in my hat and boots.

I sat looking at Peggotty for some time. As we left her standing in the road. as the face she brought back in the cart denoted. in a reverie on this supposititious case: whether. seemed anything but satisfied. Mr.com  .upon the earnestness and love with which she lifted up her face to mine. and wondered what business it was of his. and seemed to expostulate with her for being so moved. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I was looking back round the awning of the cart. Murdstone came up to where she was. Peggotty. if she were employed to lose me like the boy in the fairy tale. and did so. who was also looking back on the other side. I should be able to track my way home again by the buttons she would shed.

and slept a good deal. like his horse. with one of his arms on each of his knees. her hold of which never relaxed. with his head down. and I could not have believed unless I had heard her do it. The carrier had a way of keeping his head down. We ate a good deal. but it struck me that the cart would have gone to Yarmouth quite as well without him. I say ‘drove’. and as to conversation.CHAPTER 3 I HAVE A CHANGE T he carrier’s horse was the laziest horse in the world. but the carrier said he was only troubled with a cough. that one defenceless woman could have snored so much. indeed. and shuffled along. I fancied. which would have lasted us out handsomely. I should hope. Peggotty always went to sleep with her chin upon the handle of the basket. and of drooping sleepily forward as he drove. for the horse did all that. if we had been going to London by the same conveyance. David Copperfield  . he had no idea of it but whistling. that he sometimes chuckled audibly over this reflection. Peggotty had a basket of refreshments on her knee. as if he liked to keep people waiting to whom the packages were directed.

and told me it was well known (I suppose to those who had the good fortune to be born Bloaters) that Yarmouth was. like toast and water. and that. if the world were really as round as my geography book said. I hinted to Peggotty that a mound or so might have improved it. and tar. and oakum. for her part. the finest place in the universe. when we saw Yarmouth. ‘growed out of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and calling at other places. with greater emphasis than usual. who heard my expressions of delight with great complacency. It looked rather spongy and soppy. that I was quite tired. and saw the sailors walking about. and said as much to Peggotty.com  . she was proud to call herself a Yarmouth Bloater. I thought. as I carried my eye over the great dull waste that lay across the river. When we got into the street (which was strange enough to me) and smelt the fish. and the carts jingling up and down over the stones. and pitch. how any part of it came to be so flat. and very glad. that we must take things as we found them. and were such a long time delivering a bedstead at a publichouse. upon the whole. and I could not help wondering. and also that if the land had been a little more separated from the sea. But Peggotty said. which would account for it. and the town and the tide had not been quite so much mixed up. it would have been nicer. But I reflected that Yarmouth might be situated at one of the poles. I felt that I had done so busy a place an injustice. ‘Here’s my Am!’ screamed Peggotty.We made so many deviations up and down lanes. As we drew a little nearer. and saw the whole adjacent prospect lying a straight low line under the sky.

like an old acquaintance. He was dressed in a canvas jacket. But our intimacy was much advanced by his taking me on his back to carry me home. when Ham said. riggers’ lofts. There was a black barge. in fact. ‘Yon’s our house. and away at the river. and went past gas-works. high and dry  David Copperfield . and round-shouldered.knowledge!’ He was waiting for us. rope-walks. at the public-house. caulkers’ yards. Mas’r Davy!’ I looked in all directions. until we came out upon the dull waste I had already seen at a distance. And you couldn’t so properly have said he wore a hat. as that he was covered in a-top. we turned down lanes bestrewn with bits of chips and little hillocks of sand. and a great litter of such places. but no house could I make out. as far as I could stare over the wilderness. ship-breakers’ yards. and asked me how I found myself. and away at the sea. with something pitchy. and a pair of such very stiff trousers that they would have stood quite as well alone. Ham carrying me on his back and a small box of ours under his arm. He was. smiths’ forges. like an old building. without any legs in them. broad in proportion. a huge. and naturally he had the advantage of me. not far off. I did not feel. strong fellow of six feet high. or some other kind of superannuated boat. and Peggotty carrying another small box of ours. that I knew him as well as he knew me. but with a simpering boy’s face and curly light hair that gave him quite a sheepish look. now. shipwrights’ yards. at first. because he had never come to our house since the night I was born. boat-builders’ yards.

or inconvenient. if it had tumbled down. and a Dutch clock. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. There was a delightful door cut in the side. ‘That’s not it?’ said I. of scripture subjects. I might have thought it small.on the ground. and on the chest of drawers there was a tea-tray with a painting on it of a lady with a parasol. would have smashed a quantity of cups and saucers and a teapot that were grouped around the book. or lonely. but nothing else in the way of a habitation that was visible to me. it became a perfect abode. and as tidy as possible. It was beautifully clean inside. I suppose I could not have been more charmed with the romantic idea of living in it. taking a walk with a military-looking child who was trundling a hoop. Mas’r Davy. The tray was kept from tumbling down. On the walls there were some common coloured pictures. with an iron funnel sticking out of it for a chimney and smoking very cosily. roc’s egg and all.com  . on dry land. ‘That ship-looking thing?’ ‘That’s it. framed and glazed. and there were little windows in it. such as I have never seen since in the hands of pedlars. and a chest of drawers. If it had been Aladdin’s palace. without seeing the whole interior of Peggotty’s brother’s house again. and which had never been intended to be lived in. If it had ever been meant to be lived in. Abraham in red going to sacrifice Isaac in blue. that it was a real boat which had no doubt been upon the water hundreds of times. at one view. That was the captivation of it to me. but the wonderful charm of it was. There was a table. and the tray. by a bible. but never having been designed for any such use. and it was roofed in.’ returned Ham.

that when I took out my pocket-handkerchief to wipe my nose.and then Peggotty opened a little door and showed me my bedroom. and some lockers and boxes and conveniences of that sort. Over the little mantelshelf. combining composition with carpentry.child-like. There were some hooks in the beams of the ceiling. in a state of wonderful conglomeration with one 0 David Copperfield . she informed me that her brother dealt in lobsters. nailed against the wall. and framed with oyster-shells. just the right height for me. which I considered to be one of the most enviable possessions that the world could afford. a little bed.and Daniel in yellow cast into a den of green lions. according to my theory . and the patchwork counterpane made my eyes quite ache with its brightness. built at Sunderland. was a picture of the ‘Sarah Jane’ lugger. and I afterwards found that a heap of these creatures. the use of which I did not divine then. where the rudder used to go through. with a real little wooden stern stuck on to it. which served for seats and eked out the chairs. One thing I particularly noticed in this delightful house.in the stern of the vessel. crabs. I found it smelt exactly as if it had wrapped up a lobster. and a nosegay of seaweed in a blue mug on the table. was the smell of fish. a work of art. All this I saw in the first glance after I crossed the threshold . and crawfish. which was so searching. On my imparting this discovery in confidence to Peggotty. a little looking-glass. were the most prominent of these. It was the completest and most desirable bedroom ever seen . The walls were whitewashed as white as milk. with a little window. which there was just room enough to get into.

we shall be proud of your company. I’m sure. melted butter. We were welcomed by a very civil woman in a white apron. ‘and Ham. Peggotty.com 1 . ‘How’s your Ma. fur a fortnut.’ said Mr. were usually to be found in a little wooden outhouse where the pots and kettles were kept. Peggotty to understand that she was as jolly as I could wish. ‘Glad to see you.’ said Mr. about a quarter of a mile off. ‘Well. from the general propriety of her conduct. but you’ll find us ready. Peggotty. that he was her brother. if you can make out here. ‘I’m much obleeged to her. By and by. and never leaving off pinching whatever they laid hold of. and so he turned out . ‘long wi’ her. the master of the house. whom I had seen curtseying at the door when I was on Ham’s back. sir. with a chop for me. and replied that I was sure I should be happy in such a delightful place.being presently introduced to me as Mr. ‘You’ll find us rough.which was a polite fiction on my part. a hairy man with a very good-natured face came home. Likewise by a most beautiful little girl (or I thought her so) with a necklace of blue beads on. and gave her a hearty smack on the cheek. ‘Did you leave her pretty jolly?’ I gave Mr.another. As he called Peggotty ‘Lass’.’ I thanked him. and potatoes. who wouldn’t let me kiss her when I offered to. sir. but ran away and hid herself.’ nodding at his sister. when we had dined in a sumptuous manner off boiled dabs. and little Em’ly. sir. I had no doubt. and that she desired her compliments .’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. sir?’ said Mr. Peggotty. Peggotty.

that I couldn’t help thinking his face had this in common with the lobsters. Peggotty at her needlework was as much at home with St. it seemed to me the most delicious retreat that the imagination of man could conceive. when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights being cold and misty now). to know that the fog was creeping over the desolate flat outside. and was sitting by my side upon the lowest and least of the lockers. as if they had never known any other roof. He soon returned. After tea. Peggotty with the white apron.Having done the honours of his house in this hospitable manner. . was knitting on the opposite side of the fire. Peggotty was smoking his pipe. Mrs. and was printing off fishy impressions of his thumb on all the cards he turned. ‘Mr. To hear the wind getting up out at sea. and to look at the fire.  David Copperfield . ‘Sir. Peggotty went out to wash himself in a kettleful of hot water. Paul’s and the bit of wax-candle. crabs. I felt it was a time for conversation and confidence. Mr. and this one a boat. was trying to recollect a scheme of telling fortunes with the dirty cards. and think that there was no house near but this one. Ham. Little Em’ly had overcome her shyness. greatly improved in appearance.’ says he. remarking that ‘cold would never get his muck off’. and just fitted into the chimney corner. and crawfish. and came out very red. who had been giving me my first lesson in all-fours.that it went into the hot water very black. was like enchantment. but so rubicund. Mr. Peggotty!’ says I. which was just large enough for us two.

Mr. ‘. I felt the difficulty of resuming the subject. Peggotty seemed to think it a deep idea. I never giv him no name. and began to wonder whether I was mistaken about his relationship to anybody else there. Peggotty. because you lived in a sort of ark?’ Mr. So I said: ‘Haven’t you ANY children.Dead. Peggotty. was her father.’ said Mr. sir.‘Did you give your son the name of Ham. Mr. after a respectful pause.’ said Mr. ‘Drowndead. Peggotty. ‘I’m a bacheldore. isn’t she.’ I said.’ he answered with a short laugh. Peggotty was not Ham’s father. after another respectful silence. then?’ said I.’ I couldn’t help it. and must get to the bottom somehow. I was very much surprised that Mr.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Peggotty. My brother-in-law. sir. Mr. putting question number two of the catechism to Mr. Peggotty?’ I hinted. ‘Drowndead. sir. ‘Little Em’ly.com  . that I made up my mind to have it out with Mr. ‘Why. ‘Dead. Peggotty.’ said Mr.’ ‘Who gave him that name. his father giv it him. Tom. ‘I thought you were his father!’ ‘My brother Joe was his father. but had not got to the bottom of it yet.’ said Mr. Peggotty. Peggotty?’ ‘No. master. Mr. I was so curious to know. Peggotty?’ ‘No. Peggotty?’ I hinted. ‘She is your daughter. glancing at her. but answered: ‘No.

who’s that. Mr. and if it were ever referred to. Peggotty?’ pointing to the person in the apron who was knitting. who had died very poor. that I could only sit and look at all the silent company. she informed me. until it was time to go to bed. Mr.those were her similes. on which he ever showed a violent temper or swore an oath. in the privacy of my own little cabin. It appeared.‘A bachelor!’ I said. but as good as gold and as true as steel . He was but a poor man himself. she informed me that Ham and Em’ly were an orphan nephew and niece. ‘Why. Then. said Peggotty. but that they all regarded it as constituting a most solemn imprecation. he struck the table a heavy blow with his right hand (had split it on one such occasion). Peggotty. and swore a dreadful oath that he would be ‘Gormed’ if he didn’t cut and run for good. ‘Gummidge. if it was ever mentioned again. whom my host had at different times adopted in their childhood. Gummidge was the widow of his partner in a boat. I was very sensible of my entertainer’s goodness. and listened to the women’s going to bed in another little crib like mine at the opposite end of the boat.made such impressive motions to me not to ask any more questions. Peggotty?’ But at this point Peggotty . by any one of them. and to him and Ham  David Copperfield . when they were left destitute: and that Mrs. that nobody had the least idea of the etymology of this terrible verb passive to be gormed. ‘That’s Missis Gummidge. astonished. in answer to my inquiries.’ said Mr.I mean my own peculiar Peggotty . was this generosity of his. The only subject.

shaking her head.’ ‘Afraid!’ I said. at the moment. ‘I’m afraid of the sea. and a shining sail close to us made such a pretty little image of itself. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. worse than morning.’ said Em’ly.hanging up two hammocks for themselves on the hooks I had noticed in the roof. in her bright eye. and out with little Em’ly. As slumber gradually stole upon me. I heard the wind howling out at sea and coming on across the flat so fiercely. with a becoming air of boldness. ‘I an’t!’ ‘Ah! but it’s cruel. Nothing happened.’ ‘Nor him?’ I asked her. I never see that boat. I suppose?’ I said to Em’ly. after all. ‘No. and that a man like Mr. that it came into my head to say this. But I bethought myself that I was in a boat.’ replied Em’ly. all to pieces. but I felt it an act of gallantry to say something. and looking very big at the mighty ocean. ‘I have seen it very cruel to some of our men. ‘You’re quite a sailor. picking up stones upon the beach. ‘No.’ ‘I hope it wasn’t the boat that -’ ‘That father was drownded in?’ said Em’ly. that I had a lazy apprehension of the great deep rising in the night. Not that one. Almost as soon as it shone upon the oyster-shell frame of my mirror I was out of bed. enhanced by my being sleepy. I have seen it tear a boat as big as our house. Peggotty was not a bad person to have on board if anything did happen.com  . in a very luxurious state of mind. I don’t know that I supposed anything of the kind. however.

and that I was particularly  David Copperfield .’ answered Em’ly. ‘your father was a gentleman and your mother is a lady. beneath the boughs of which I had walked and heard the birds sing many a pleasant morning. I should think?’ ‘Good?’ said Em’ly. a silver pipe. and lived so then. and how my father’s grave was in the churchyard near our house. Peggotty well deserved these treasures. ‘Yes. a red velvet waistcoat. ‘Not to remember!’ Here was a coincidence! I immediately went into an explanation how I had never seen my own father. and my father was a fisherman and my mother was a fisherman’s daughter.Little Em’ly shook her head. and my uncle Dan is a fisherman. I’d give him a sky-blue coat with diamond buttons. except that it was somewhere in the depths of the sea. I mean him. nankeen trousers. is he?’ said I. and where her father’s grave was no one knew. ‘Uncle Dan . She had lost her mother before her father. Peggotty. nodding at the boat-house.’ said Em’ly. and shaded by a tree. and how my mother and I had always lived by ourselves in the happiest state imaginable. and a box of money. as she looked about for shells and pebbles. He must be very good.’ I said I had no doubt that Mr. I must acknowledge that I felt it difficult to picture him quite at his ease in the raiment proposed for him by his grateful little niece. ‘If I was ever to be a lady. But there were some differences between Em’ly’s orphanhood and mine. a cocked hat. it appeared.’ ‘Dan is Mr. ‘Besides. and always meant to live so.yonder. a large gold watch.

and Mrs.for she was walking much too near the brink of a sort of old jetty or wooden causeway we had strolled upon. and tremble to think of Uncle Dan and Ham and believe I hear ‘em crying out for help. Gummidge.com  . I should have taken to my heels.’ and I added. That’s why I should like so much to be a lady. ‘I should like it very much. I mean. We would for the poor fishermen’s. as if they were a glorious vision. though you say you are. and I was afraid of her falling over. We wouldn’t mind then.doubtful of the policy of the cocked hat. picking up shells and pebbles. But I’m not afraid in this Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ This seemed to me to be a very satisfactory and therefore not at all improbable picture. then.’ said little Em’ly. ‘Don’t you think you are afraid of the sea. I said ‘No. We went on again. but I have no doubt if I had seen a moderately large wave come tumbling in. with an awful recollection of her drowned relations. We would all be gentlefolks together. and uncle. Emily looked at me.Not for our own sakes. ‘You don’t seem to be either. Me. and Ham. now?’ It was quiet enough to reassure me. However. to be sure. shyly. and little Em’ly was emboldened to say. ‘I’m not afraid in this way. I expressed my pleasure in the contemplation of it. but I kept these sentiments to myself.’ . and we’d help ‘em with money when they come to any hurt. . ‘You would like to be a lady?’ I said. ‘But I wake when it blows. Little Em’ly had stopped and looked up at the sky in her enumeration of these articles. when there comes stormy weather. and laughed and nodded ‘yes’.

would it have been better for little Em’ly to have had the waters close above her head that morning in my sight. without the least defence. that her life might have a chance of ending that day? There has been a time since when I have wondered whether. bold. The incident is so impressed on my remembrance. and little Em’ly springing forward to her destruction (as it appeared to me). but it has been . and if her preservation could have depended on a motion of my hand. and I soon laughed at my fears. Is it possible. directed far out to sea. when I have thought. for there was no one near.when I have asked myself the question. I ought to have held it up to save her. Not a bit. The light. if the life before her could have been revealed to me at a glance. fruitlessly in any case. any tempting her towards him permitted on the part of her dead father. There has been a time since . in my manhood. But there have been times since.way. and at the cry I had uttered. there was any merciful attraction of her into danger.I do not say it lasted long. with a look that I have never forgotten. I dare say. that in the sudden rashness of the child and her wild look so far off. among the possibilities of hidden things. fluttering little figure turned and came back safe to me. that if I were a draughtsman I could draw its form here. and ran along a jagged timber which protruded from the place we stood upon. Look here!’ She started from my side. many times there have been. and so revealed as that a child could fully comprehend it. and when I have  David Copperfield . and overhung the deep water at some height. accurately as it was that day.

quite as tenderly. with greater purity and more disinterestedness. Of course I was in love with little Em’ly. But let it stand. The days sported by us. and always at play. and loaded ourselves with things that we thought curious. and that unless Free eBooks at Planet eBook. This may be premature. Peggotty’s dwelling.com  . and put some stranded starfish carefully back into the water . and received it as a compliment. We used to walk about that dim old flat at Yarmouth in a loving manner. high and ennobling as it is. as if Time had not grown up himself yet.’ Mr. and went in to breakfast glowing with health and pleasure. in our local dialect. any sunny forenoon. I am sure I loved that baby quite as truly. ‘Like two young mavishes. I have set it down too soon. or the reverse . it would have been.I hardly know enough of the race at this moment to be quite certain whether they had reason to feel obliged to us for doing so. I am sure my fancy raised up something round that blue-eyed mite of a child. but were a child too. If. hours and hours. which etherealized. We stopped under the lee of the lobster-outhouse to exchange an innocent kiss.answered Yes. like two young thrushes.and then made our way home to Mr. she had spread a little pair of wings and flown away before my eyes. and made a very angel of her. than can enter into the best love of a later time of life. I told Em’ly I adored her. I knew this meant. Peggotty said. We strolled a long way. I don’t think I should have regarded it as much more than I had had reason to expect. perhaps.

I soon found out that Mrs. We made no more provision for growing older. lovingly. and by Mrs. and saying he was there. Peggotty went occasionally to a public-house called The Willing Mind. and that. what was more. or youthfulness. between eight and nine. Peggotty. by his being out on the second or third evening of our visit. They had something of the sort of pleasure in us. that they might have had in a pretty toy. than we did for growing younger. because we had no future.she confessed she adored me I should be reduced to the necessity of killing myself with a sword. she 0 David Copperfield . who used to whisper of an evening when we sat. Peggotty smiled at us from behind his pipe. but there were moments when it would have been more agreeable. Gummidge had had a convenient apartment of her own to retire to. and I have no doubt she did. We were the admiration of Mrs. and she whimpered more sometimes than was comfortable for other parties in so small an establishment. if Mrs. or other difficulty in our way. little Em’ly and I had no such trouble. Mrs. ‘Lor! wasn’t it beautiful!’ Mr. on our little locker side by side. I was very sorry for her. Mr. Gummidge did not always make herself so agreeable as she might have been expected to do. Gummidge’s looking up at the Dutch clock. Gummidge and Peggotty. and had stopped there until her spirits revived. I thought. under the circumstances of her residence with Mr. and Ham grinned all the evening and did nothing else. She said she did. I suppose. I discovered this. As to any sense of inequality. Gummidge’s was rather a fretful disposition. or a pocket model of the Colosseum.

with cutting blasts of wind.I again mean our Peggotty . Gummidge.’ ‘Oh.’ said Peggotty . ‘It is certainly very cold. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘I am a lone lorn creetur’.com 1 . Gummidge said she felt it more than we did. Gummidge had been in a low state all day.’ were Mrs. when the fire smoked.’ said Mrs. and had burst into tears in the forenoon. and the potatoes were a little burnt.’ said Peggotty. as her chair was certainly the easiest. Mrs. and said again that she was ‘a lone lorn creetur’ and everythink went contrary with her’. We all acknowledged that we felt this something of a disappointment.’ ‘I feel it more than other people. but Mrs. you know. and shed tears again. Gummidge’s peculiar corner of the fireside seemed to me to be the warmest and snuggest in the place. when Mrs. Mrs. Gummidge was always helped immediately after me. when that unpleasant occurrence took place. to whom the preference was given as a visitor of distinction. it’ll soon leave off. The fish were small and bony. It was a very cold day.‘and besides. Gummidge.’ ‘I feel it more.’ said Mrs. She was constantly complaining of the cold. and made that former declaration with great bitterness. ‘Everybody must feel it so. ‘and everythink goes contrary with me. and of its occasioning a visitation in her back which she called ‘the creeps’. it’s not more disagreeable to you than to us. Gummidge’s words.had known in the morning he would go there. but it didn’t suit her that day at all. So at dinner. At last she shed tears on that subject.

Peggotty.’ said Mr. except Mrs.) Mrs. Gummidge was knitting in her corner. and  David Copperfield . Gummidge. or looked something. ‘Nothing. ‘and how are you?’ We all said something. Gummidge. Peggotty meant old girl. with a clap of his hands. Mates. dame?’ said Mr.’ said Mrs. ‘Cheer up. Dan’l?’ ‘Why yes. old Mawther!’ (Mr. Gummidge. Gummidge. but instead of putting it in her pocket. Ham had been patching up a great pair of waterboots. Gummidge did not appear to be able to cheer up.’ said Mrs. taking his seat. Gummidge had never made any other remark than a forlorn sigh. in a very wretched and miserable condition.’ returned Mrs. Peggotty came home about nine o’clock. ‘What’s amiss?’ said Mr. who only shook her head over her knitting. Peggotty. ‘Drive! I don’t want no driving. with little Em’ly by my side. She took out an old black silk handkerchief and wiped her eyes. ‘You’ve come from The Willing Mind. and had never raised her eyes since tea. Peggotty with an honest laugh. had been reading to them. ready for use. Peggotty had been working cheerfully. ‘I’m sorry I should drive you there. ‘I only go too ready. Peggotty. and still kept it out. kept it out.’ ‘Very ready.Accordingly. to welcome him. I’ve took a short spell at The Willing Mind tonight.’ returned Mr. ‘What’s amiss. ‘Well.’ said Mr. Mrs. this unfortunate Mrs. and I. Peggotty. shaking her head. and wiped them again. when Mr.

com  . and die and be Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I feel my troubles. Mrs. ‘It an’t a fit return. I am sorry it should be along of me that you’re so ready. I make the house uncomfortable. I am a lone lorn creetur’. and Master Davy. I’ve made your sister so all day. Gummidge. I know that I am a lone lorn creetur’. and they make me contrary. yes. Gummidge. ‘Yes.wiping her eyes. I wish I didn’t feel ‘em.’ said Mrs. Peggotty. I had better go into the house and die. But Mr. yes. and roared out. and I must go contrary myself. Gummidge to cheer up. I don’t wonder at it.’ in great mental distress. ‘Don’t ye believe a bit on it. Dan’l. but that I go contrary with everybody.’ said Mrs.’ ‘Yes. If thinks must go contrary with me. Yes. I’d better go into the house.’ Here I was suddenly melted. ‘I know what I am.’ ‘Along o’ you! It an’t along o’ you!’ said Mr. ‘No. ‘I an’t what I could wish myself to be. as I sat taking in all this. Gummidge. that the misfortune extended to some other members of that family besides Mrs. Gummidge. but I do. but I an’t. you haven’t. and not only that everythink goes contrary with me. only answering with another entreaty to Mrs. yes. Peggotty made no such retort. Gummidge. and I show it more.’ cried Mrs. let me go contrary in my parish. very ready.’ I really couldn’t help thinking. My troubles has made me contrary. ‘I am far from it. ‘It’s far from right that I should do it. it is. I know what I am. It’s my misfortun’. I wish I could be hardened to ‘em. and had much better not make myself contrary here. I feel more than other people do.

Peggotty’s times of going out and coming in. varied by nothing but the variation of the tide. said in a whisper: ‘She’s been thinking of the old ‘un!’ I did not quite understand what old one Mrs. Some time after he was in his hammock that night. and that her brother always took that for a received truth on such occasions. he sometimes walked with us to show us the boats and ships. though I believe this obtains with most people. looked round upon us. Gummidge was supposed to have fixed her mind upon. until Peggotty. When she was gone. and once or twice he took us for a row. and altered Ham’s engagements also.a riddance!’ Mrs. I heard him myself repeat to Ham. on seeing me to bed. When the latter was unemployed. and always with the tenderest commiseration. Mr. he always said the same thing in extenuation of the circumstance. which altered Mr. in reference especially to the associations of their  David Copperfield . explained that it was the late Mr. and betook herself to bed. Peggotty. Gummidge retired with these words. ‘Poor thing! She’s been thinking of the old ‘un!’ And whenever Mrs. who had not exhibited a trace of any feeling but the profoundest sympathy. and that it always had a moving effect upon him. So the fortnight slipped away. Gummidge was overcome in a similar manner during the remainder of our stay (which happened some few times). Gummidge. and nodding his head with a lively expression of that sentiment still animating his face. I don’t know why one slight set of impressions should be more particularly associated with a place than another.

instead of sharing in those transports. like their own shadows. and I felt.childhood. all the time I had been on my visit. I bore up against the separation from Mr. and had thought little or nothing about it. and showing us the ships. in my life. I had been ungrateful to my home again. the more excited I was to get there. of Yarmouth. as being to let. Peggotty and Mrs. but I am reminded of a certain Sunday morning on the beach. and looked confused and out of sorts. just breaking through the heavy mist. and I promised. Now.) We were greatly overcome at parting. all the more for the sinking of my spirits. This gained upon me as we went along. But I was no sooner turned towards it. We went arm-in-arm to the public-house where the carrier put up. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in characters larger than those in which apartments are usually announced in manuscript. that it was my nest. than my reproachful young conscience seemed to point that way with a ready finger.com  . away at sea. the bells ringing for church. the more familiar the objects became that we passed. and that my mother was my comforter and friend. But Peggotty. I had one made that day. Ham lazily dropping stones into the water. little Em’ly leaning on my shoulder. At last the day came for going home. I have had a void made in my heart. or read the name. Gummidge. and if ever. and to run into her arms. on the road. (I redeemed that promise afterwards. and the sun. so that the nearer we drew. I never hear the name. to write to her. but my agony of mind at leaving little Em’ly was piercing. tried to check them (though very kindly).

and I looked. How well I recollect it. however. but I felt too blank and strange to tell her so. ‘Something’s the matter. I’m sure. and what have we come in here for? Oh. ruefully.  David Copperfield . ‘Yes. my pet!’ ‘Not dead. Master Davy. Master Davy dear!’ she answered. assuming an air of sprightliness. and began to pant. Where’s mama?’ ‘Where’s mama. and I’ll . into the kitchen. ‘What’s the matter?’ ‘Nothing’s the matter. and shut the door. wondering. Wait a bit. Master Davy?’ repeated Peggotty. for my mother. she’s not dead.’ Between her agitation.and did. when the carrier’s horse pleased . and then sat down. ‘What is it? Speak. half laughing and half crying in my pleasant agitation. and her natural awkwardness in getting out of the cart. she took me by the hand. Peggotty!’ I said. When she had got down. with a dull sky. in spite of her. ‘Peggotty!’ said I. ‘Bless the precious boy!’ cried Peggotty. ‘isn’t she come home?’ ‘Yes.’ said Peggotty. It was not she. Why hasn’t she come out to the gate. ‘Why. yes. Peggotty was making a most extraordinary festoon of herself. threatening rain! The door opened. Master Davy.I’ll tell you something. but a strange servant. and said I had given her a turn. ‘She’s come home. Peggotty?’ Peggotty cried out No! with an astonishing volume of voice. and I felt as if I were going to tumble down.Blunderstone Rookery would come. taking hold of me. led me. quite frightened. on a cold grey afternoon. too! Oh. Peggotty!’ My eyes were full. bless you.

’ . but I couldn’t azackly’ . Mr.’ ‘Go on. or how . and arose hurriedly. ‘Master Davy. and the raising of the dead. always control yourself! Davy boy. ‘You see. and.’ said Peggotty.’ said Mr. more frightened than before.’ said I. or to give her another turn in the right direction. but timidly I thought. Peggotty. Murdstone.I don’t know what. in Peggotty’s militia of words . untying her bonnet with a shaking hand.connected with the grave in the churchyard. and then stood before her. where she left me. Peggotty gave a gasp. ‘but I hadn’t an opportunity.I gave her a hug to take away the turn. Something .‘bring my mind to it. and turned white.com  .’ said Peggotty.that was always the substitute for exactly. how do Free eBooks at Planet eBook. on the other. said: ‘Come and see him.’ said Peggotty.‘And your mama. and we went straight to the best parlour. ‘Now. Murdstone.’ ‘I don’t want to see him. ‘What do you think? You have got a Pa!’ I trembled. sat my mother. dear. I should have told you before now. and speaking in a breathless sort of way. seemed to strike me like an unwholesome wind. I ought to have made it. ‘A new one?’ I repeated. looking at her in anxious inquiry. as if she were swallowing something that was very hard. perhaps.’ said Peggotty. ‘Recollect! control yourself. On one side of the fire. I ceased to draw back. Clara my dear. ‘A new one. putting out her hand. My mother dropped her work.

and sat down again to her work. I knew quite well that he was looking at us both. and roamed into the yard. so altered it all seemed. I went and kissed my mother: she kissed me. I very soon started back from there. I could not look at him. and I was to lie a long way off.deep mouthed and black-haired like Him .and he was very angry at the sight of me. I crept upstairs. for the empty dog-kennel was filled up with a great dog . patted me gently on the shoulder. After a moment of suspense. I rambled downstairs to find anything that was like itself. My old dear bedroom was changed. I could not look at her. and sprang out to get at me. and I turned to the window and looked out there.  David Copperfield .you do?’ I gave him my hand. at some shrubs that were drooping their heads in the cold. As soon as I could creep away.

half as much as Free eBooks at Planet eBook. looking as blank and strange upon the room as the room looked upon me.CHAPTER 4 I FALL INTO DISGRACE I f the room to which my bed was removed were a sentient thing that could give evidence. hearing the dog in the yard bark after me all the way while I climbed the stairs. but. except that I was conscious of being cold and dejected. I went up there. and thought. I might appeal to it at this day . Gummidge under the influence of the old one.to bear witness for me what a heavy heart I carried to it. Of the shape of the room. I am sure I never thought why I cried. and having a discontented something about it. of the cracks in the ceiling. or to care about me. of the flaws in the window-glass making ripples and dimples on the prospect. and had been torn away from her to come here where no one seemed to want me. which reminded me of Mrs. I was crying all the time. At last in my desolation I began to consider that I was dreadfully in love with little Em’ly. of the washing-stand being rickety on its three legs.com  . sat down with my small hands crossed. I wonder! . and. of the paper on the walls. I thought of the oddest things.who sleeps there now.

and pressed her from me with my hand. to prejudice my own boy against me. or against anybody who is dear to me? What do you mean by it. ‘Davy. ‘Davy. ‘In my honeymoon. to hide my trembling lip. How can you reconcile it to your conscience. ‘This is your doing. I hid my tears in the bedclothes. Peggotty?’ Poor Peggotty lifted up her hands and eyes. This made such a very miserable piece of business of it.’ said my mother. and only answered. you naughty boy! Peggotty. ‘Lord forgive you.’ I turned over on my face. as her calling me her child. and answered. and not envy me a little peace of mind and happiness. ‘Davy. I wonder. may you never be truly sorry!’ ‘It’s enough to distract me. my child!’ I dare say no words she could have uttered would have affected me so much. too. and for what you have said this minute. one would think. in a sort of paraphrase of the grace I usually repeated after dinner. ‘What’s the matter?’ I thought it was very strange that she should ask me. Davy. and cried myself to sleep. Copperfield. which answered her with greater truth.’ said my mother. you sav0 David Copperfield . Peggotty. I was awoke by somebody saying ‘Here he is!’ and uncovering my hot head. then. ‘Nothing. when my most inveterate enemy might relent. when she would have raised me up. My mother and Peggotty had come to look for me. that I rolled myself up in a corner of the counterpane. ‘I have no doubt at all about it.’ cried my mother. Mrs. and it was one of them who had done it.she did. you cruel thing!’ said my mother. I recollect.

as I know. you know.’ ‘I say it’s very hard I should be made so now.Firmness. whispered in her ear. ‘do you know your mistress’s name?’ ‘She has been my mistress a long time. It was Mr. and slipped to my feet at the bed-side.’ said Mr. when I saw my mother’s head lean down upon his shoulder. when one has the most right to expect it to be as agreeable as possible!’ I felt the touch of a hand that I knew was neither hers nor Peggotty’s.’ he answered.very hard . Edward. address her by a name that is not hers. ‘Go you below. ‘what a troublesome world this is. Clara. ‘David and I will come down. my love. She has taken mine. pouting. Murdstone’s hand. ‘and it is . ‘But I thought I heard you.’ returned my mother. ‘That’s a bad hearing. ‘I meant to be very good.’ said my mother. sir.’ turning a darkening face on Peggotty.I knew as well that he could mould her pliant nature into any form he chose. my dear!’ ‘I am very sorry. my love. Murdstone.’ answered Peggotty.age creature! Oh. and her arm touch his neck .’ ‘Indeed!’ he answered.isn’t it?’ He drew her to him. ‘I ought to know it. together. as I came upstairs.com 1 . that he did it. turning from one of us to the other. when he had watched my mother out. and kissed her. in her pettish wilful manner. My friend. so soon. have you forgotten? . Will Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I knew as well.’ ‘That’s true. dear me!’ cried my mother. but I am so uncomfortable. and dismissed her with a nod and a smile. and he kept it on my arm as he said: ‘What’s this? Clara. now.

in my silence. ‘You have a good deal of intelligence for a little fellow. ‘I’ll conquer that fellow”. no less steadily. As I recall our being opposed thus. curtseyed herself out of the room without replying.you remember that?’ Peggotty. that my breath was shorter now. I seem again to hear my heart beat fast and high. I see. I believe my baby heart would have burst before I would have told him so. making his lips thin. When we two were left alone.’ I said.’ he said. Wash that face. What is that upon your face?’ ‘Dirt. ‘David. I felt my own attracted. with some uneasy glances at me. he shut the door. with a grave smile that belonged to him. and if it were to cost him all the blood he had. what do you think I do?’ ‘I don’t know. I should do it. to his. and holding me standing before him.’ I had answered in a kind of breathless whisper. I say to myself. and smart. ‘if I have an obstinate horse or dog to deal with. But if he had asked the question twenty times. sir. and sitting on a chair. each time with twenty blows. that she was expected to go.’ he said. face to face. ‘and you understood me very well. but I felt. I suppose. and come down with me.’ ‘I beat him. and had no excuse for remaining. seeing. which I had made out  David Copperfield .’ He pointed to the washing-stand. ‘I make him wince. by pressing them together. He knew it was the mark of tears as well as I. looked steadily into my eyes.

of welcome home. with his hand still on my arm. without being actively concerned in any business. and might have made me respect instead of hate him.but the word was not spoken. and I have less doubt now.com  . and he walked me into the parlour. when I had done his bidding. We dined alone. I had little doubt then. ‘you will not be made uncomfortable any more. of pity for my childish ignorance. if I had hesitated. He seemed to be very fond of my mother . and that she was expected that evening. that he would have knocked me down without the least compunction. perhaps. I gathered from what they said.to be like Mrs. presently. of reassurance to me that it was home. I am not certain whether I found out then. ‘Clara.and she was very fond of him. I thought my mother was sorry to see me standing in the room so scared and strange. A word of encouragement and explanation. or afterwards.missing.’ God help me. she followed me with her eyes more sorrowfully still . I might have been improved for my whole life. Gummidge. when I stole to a chair. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. my dear. and the time for it was gone.’ he said. some freedom in my childish tread . for life. might have made me dutiful to him in my heart henceforth.I am afraid I liked him none the better for that . or some annual charge upon the profits of. We shall soon improve our youthful humours. that. we three together. and that. I hope. instead of in my hypocritical outside. and motioned me with his head to obey him directly. he had some share in. I might have been made another creature perhaps. by a kind word at that season. that an elder sister of his was coming to stay with them.

whispered me to love my new father and be obedient to him. and drew hers through his arm. and shut up like a bite. as if it were wrong. like her brother. in the dusk. but I may mention it in this place. and with very heavy eyebrows. held mine in it. whether or no. and taking me in her embrace as she had been used to do. I had never. a coach drove up to the garden-gate and he went out to receive the visitor. being disabled by the wrongs of her sex from wearing whiskers. and. After dinner. lest it should offend the master of the house. as if. whom she greatly resembled in face and voice. and a gloomylooking lady she was. dark. but tenderly. and I was meditating an escape to Peggotty without having the hardihood to slip away. nearly meeting over her large nose. It was Miss Murdstone who was arrived. she had carried them to that account. with which his family had been connected from his great-grandfather’s time. I was timidly following her. When she paid the coachman she took her money out of a hard steel purse. until we came near to where he was standing in the garden.a wine-merchant’s house in London. and in which his sister had a similar interest. at that time. when we were sitting by the fire. and she kept the purse in a very jail of a bag which hung upon her arm by a heavy chain. putting out her hand behind her. where she let mine go. She did this hurriedly and secretly. with her initials on the lids in hard brass nails. She brought with her two uncompromising hard black boxes. when she turned round at the parlour door. seen such a metallic lady altogether as Miss Murd David Copperfield . My mother followed him.

putting things to rights. with such an indifferent grace. generally hung upon the looking-glass in formidable array. with which Miss Murdstone embellished herself when she was dressed. with great distinctness. she had come for good. that Miss Murdstone disposed of me in two words: ‘Wants manner!’ Having uttered which. sister-in-law?’ My mother acknowledged me. ‘Generally speaking. Then she looked at me. her being constantly haunted by a suspicion that the servants had a man secreted somewhere Free eBooks at Planet eBook. she begged the favour of being shown to her room. As well as I could make out. and had no intention of ever going again. How d’ye do. and that I hoped she was the same. I replied that I was very well. Almost the first remarkable thing I observed in Miss Murdstone was. and where (for I peeped in once or twice when she was out) numerous little steel fetters and rivets. She began to ‘help’ my mother next morning. and was in and out of the store-closet all day. and said: ‘Is that your boy. and making havoc in the old arrangements.com  . She was brought into the parlour with many tokens of welcome. boy?’ Under these encouraging circumstances.stone was. and there formally recognized my mother as a new and near relation. ‘I don’t like boys. which became to me from that time forth a place of awe and dread.’ said Miss Murdstone. wherein the two black boxes were never seen open or known to be left unlocked.

and said: ‘Now.my mother blushed but laughed. and under her pillow all night. but I could not concur in this idea. for I tried it myself after hearing the suggestion thrown out. Miss Murdstone kept the keys in her own little jail all day. and scarcely ever opened the door of a dark cupboard without clapping it to again. she dived into the coal-cellar at the most untimely hours. looking for that man) before anybody in the house was stirring. she was a perfect Lark in point of getting up. She was up (and. to relieve you of all the trouble I can.on the premises. On the very first morning after her arrival she was up and ringing her bell at cock-crow. My mother did not suffer her authority to pass from her without a shadow of protest.’ From that time. You’re much too pretty and thoughtless’ . When my mother came down to breakfast and was going to make the tea. If you’ll be so good as give me your keys. I’ll attend to all this sort of thing in future. and my mother had no more to do with them than I had. you know. as I believe to this hour. my dear. One night when Miss Murd David Copperfield . Miss Murdstone gave her a kind of peck on the cheek. I am come here. in the belief that she had got him. and seemed not to dislike this character . Peggotty gave it as her opinion that she even slept with one eye open. which was her nearest approach to a kiss. Under the influence of this delusion. Clara.‘to have any duties imposed upon you that can be undertaken by me. my dear. and found it couldn’t be done. Though there was nothing very airy about Miss Murdstone.

that was in them both. and firmly believing there was no other firmness upon earth. She might be firm. My mother was another exception. Murdstone. and must be. and for a certain gloomy. However I might have expressed my comprehension of it at that time. ‘It’s very hard. Murdstone sternly. I mean.stone had been developing certain household plans to her brother. that it was another name for tyranny. but you wouldn’t like it yourself. evidently frightened . but only in bearing their firmness. it’s very well to say you wonder.‘I hope you must know what I mean. but only by relationship. and Miss Murdstone took their stand. I may observe. ‘that in my own house -’ ‘My own house?’ repeated Mr.’ ‘Oh. my mother suddenly began to cry.it’s very hard that in YOUR own house I may not have a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Miss Murdstone was an exception. Edward!’ cried my mother. for everybody was to be bent to his firmness. was the grand quality on which both Mr. nobody in his world was to be so firm as Mr. and in an inferior and tributary degree.’ faltered my mother. ‘Clara! I wonder at you. if I had been called upon. as I should state it now. She might be firm. devil’s humour. was this. I nevertheless did clearly comprehend in my own way. arrogant. Edward .com  . and said she thought she might have been consulted. nobody else in his world was to be firm at all. of which he signified his approbation. Murdstone was firm. ‘and it’s very well for you to talk about firmness. ‘Clara!’ ‘OUR own house.’ said my mother. Mr. Murdstone. The creed. ‘Clara!’ said Mr.’ Firmness.

I thought you were pleased.’ my poor mother went on. I don’t ask much. I am sure I managed very well before we were married. looking at my mother. sobbing. I am not unreasonable.but you seem to hate me for it now. I should be very miserable and unhappy if anybody was to go.’ ‘Edward.I am sure you said so .word to say about domestic matters. There’s evidence. once. ‘I don’t want anybody to go. with my being a little inexperienced and girlish.’ ‘Jane Murdstone.’ said my mother. again.’ thundered Mr. at a grievous disadvantage.’ said Miss Murdstone. ‘Clara. sometimes. you are so severe. and forming her character. I had a satisfaction in the thought of marrying an inexperienced and artless person. and with many tears. Edward . and infusing into it some  David Copperfield . I only want to be consulted sometimes. ‘let there be an end of this. ‘let there be an end of this. ‘ask Peggotty if I didn’t do very well when I wasn’t interfered with!’ ‘Edward.’ said Miss Murdstone. and held it before her eyes. ‘you surprise me! You astound me! Yes.’ he continued.’ ‘Jane Murdstone. I go tomorrow. and I only want to be consulted as a mere form. I am very much obliged to anybody who assists me. ‘Will you be silent? How dare you?’ Miss Murdstone made a jail-delivery of her pocket-handkerchief. ‘be silent! How dare you to insinuate that you don’t know my character better than your words imply?’ ‘I am sure. I go tomorrow.’ said her brother. Murdstone.

that feeling of mine is chilled and altered. for my sake. Murdstone to his sister. Whatever I am. ‘any harsh words between us are. ‘Oh. I hope.’ he went on. Edward! I can’t bear to hear it. No one ever said I was before. Clara. a condition something like a housekeeper’s. Ask Peggotty.’ said Mr. I know. and to assume. ‘don’t accuse me of being ungrateful. my love. Oh. I am sure I am not ungrateful.’ ‘There is no extent of mere weakness. ‘with a base return.’ ‘Pray let us be friends. I have many faults. if I wasn’t sure that I am. and when she meets with a base return -’ ‘Oh.’ said my mother. I don’t object to anything. I am so sorry. I should be quite broken-hearted if you thought of leaving -’ My mother was too much overcome to go on.com  . It is not my Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘I couldn’t live under coldness or unkindness. I know I am affectionate. ‘that can have the least weight with me.’ ‘Don’t. Edward. Murdstone in reply. I am affectionate. after waiting until my mother was silent. ‘Jane Murdstone. my dear!’ ‘When Jane Murdstone meets. I am sure she’ll tell you I’m affectionate.’ cried my mother. say that!’ implored my mother very piteously.’ said Mr. to endeavour to correct them for me. and it’s very good of you. Edward. But when Jane Murdstone is kind enough to come to my assistance in this endeavour. uncommon.amount of that firmness and decision of which it stood in need. with your strength of mind. You lose breath. but not that. I say. Jane. don’t. pray. don’t. I wouldn’t say it. pray. I have a great many defects.

I never knew my mother afterwards to give an opinion on any matter. The gloomy taint that was in the Murdstone blood. since. on hearing my mother’s voice.David. what Miss Murdstone’s opinion was. ‘is not a fit scene for the boy . I paused outside the parlour door. When her coming up to look for me. darkened the Murdstone religion.’ he added. she said that my mother had gone to bed poorly. Nor is it your fault. awoke me. I was betrayed into it by another. go to bed!’ I could hardly find the door. Let us both try to forget it. when out of temper (she was infirm that way). and that Mr. without first appealing to Miss Murdstone. which was austere and wrathful. and groped my way up to my room in the dark. which that lady granted. or without having first ascertained by some sure means. without even having the heart to say good night to Peggotty.fault that so unusual an occurrence has taken place tonight. through the tears that stood in my eyes. and a perfect reconciliation took place. I have thought. without seeing that my mother was in a terrible fright. or to get a candle from her. Going down next morning rather earlier than usual. but I groped my way out. an hour or so afterwards. You were betrayed into it by another. that its assuming that char0 David Copperfield . after these magnanimous words. I was so sorry for my mother’s distress. and I never saw Miss Murdstone. And as this. She was very earnestly and humbly entreating Miss Murdstone’s pardon. move her hand towards her bag as if she were going to take out the keys and offer to resign them to my mother. and Miss Murdstone were sitting alone.

com 1 . then her husband. and that all the angels in Heaven can be destroying angels. Again. I see her dark eyes roll round the church when she says ‘miserable sinners’. the dreaded Sunday comes round. I note some neighbours looking at my mother and at me. follows close upon me. Again. I follow some of those looks. Again. and wonder if my mother’s step be really not so light as I have seen it. with one of them muttering at each ear like low thunder. that looks as if it had been made out of a pall. I well remember the tremendous visages with which we used to go to church. if I move a finger or relax a muscle of my face. Again. I listen to Miss Murdstone mumbling the responses. and emphasizing all the dread words with a cruel relish. and the changed air of the place. and Mr. then my mother. in a black velvet gown. which wouldn’t allow him to let anybody off from the utmost weight of the severest penalties he could find any excuse for. as the three go on arm-in-arm. Miss Murdstone pokes me with her prayer-book. Yes. I catch rare glimpses of my mother. Again. and I linger behind alone. and again. moving her lips timidly between the two. as we walk home. There is no Peggotty now. as in the old time. Again. and whispering. as if she were calling all the congregation names. and Miss Murdstone right. and I file into the old pew first. Be this as it may. Again.acter was a necessary consequence of Mr. I wonder with a sudden fear whether it is likely that our good old clergyman can be wrong. Again. Murdstone’s firmness. Miss Murdstone. and if the gaiety of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and makes my side ache. like a guarded captive brought to a condemned service.

They were very long. To this day. I had been apt enough to learn. and the easy good-nature of O and Q and S. I wonder whether any of the neighbours call to mind. I seem to have walked along a path of flowers as far as the crocodile-book.perfectly unintelligible. when I look upon the fat black letters in the primer. Mr. very numerous. the puzzling novelty of their shapes.school. and Miss Murdstone had originated it. and I wonder stupidly about that. some of them. and to have been cheered by the gentleness of my mother’s voice and manner all the way. all the dreary dismal day. who were always present. I remember as the death-blow of my peace. very hard . But these solemn lessons which succeeded those. how we used to walk home together. was concluded on the subject yet. In the meantime. There had been some talk on occasions of my going to boarding. Shall I ever forget those lessons! They were presided over nominally by my mother. But they recall no feeling of disgust or reluctance. to me . I can faintly remember learning the alphabet at her knee. she and I. Again. I learnt lessons at home. as I do. which was the bane of both our lives. and found them a favourable occasion for giving my mother lessons in that miscalled firmness. Nothing. seem to present themselves again before me as they used to do.her beauty be really almost worried away. Murdstone and his sister. when my mother and I had lived alone together. however. and a grievous daily drudgery and misery. and willing enough. On the contrary.and I was generally as much bewil David Copperfield . I believe I was kept at home for that purpose. and my mother had of course agreed with them. but really by Mr.

and bring one morning back again. I come into the second-best parlour after breakfast. sitting near my mother stringing steel beads. and stop. Davy!’ That’s childish. perhaps a history. but not half so ready as Mr. and a slate. with my books. Don’t say.com  . or as Miss Murdstone. and start off aloud at a racing pace while I have got it fresh. Murdstone in his easy-chair by the window (though he pretends to be reading a book). Davy.’ ‘He does NOT know it. Murdstone. I think my mother would show me the book if she dared. Murdstone looks up. The very sight of these two has such an influence over me.dered by them as I believe my poor mother was herself. I trip over a word. tumble over half-a-dozen words. or geography. Clara. ‘I am really afraid he does not. that I begin to feel the words I have been at infinite pains to get into my head. all sliding away. I trip over another word.’ says Mr. Miss Murdstone looks up. Perhaps it is a grammar. and she says softly: ‘Oh. Mr. I redden. My mother is ready for me at her writing-desk. I wonder where they do go. by the by? I hand the first book to my mother. Let me remember how it used to be. ‘Oh.’ Miss Murdstone interposes awfully. Davy. and going I don’t know where. ‘be firm with the boy. I take a last drowning look at the page as I give it into her hand. and an exercise-book. Davy!’ ‘Now. or he does not know it. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ says my mother. He knows his lesson. but she does not dare.

At that instant. and stop to think. The despairing way in which my mother and I look at each other. as I blunder on. or of the price of Mr. and it swells like a rolling snowball. My mother glances submissively at them. is truly melancholy. or any such ridiculous problem that I have no business with. Davy. I tumble down before I get to the old place. and make him know it. you see. Miss Murdstone does the same. certainly. There is a pile of these arrears very soon. The case is so hopeless. the more stupid I get. But I can’t think about the lesson. try once more.’ I obey the first clause of the injunction by trying once more. who has been lying in wait  David Copperfield . but am not so successful with the second. my dear Jane. and don’t want to have anything at all to do with. and abandon myself to my fate. and lays it by as an arrear to be worked out when my other tasks are done.’ returns Miss Murdstone. Miss Murdstone. and don’t be stupid. ‘that is what I intend to do.’ says my mother. Mr. that I give up all idea of getting out.’ ‘Yes. shuts the book. I think of the number of yards of net in Miss Murdstone’s cap. for I am very stupid.‘Then. But the greatest effect in these miserable lessons is when my mother (thinking nobody is observing her) tries to give me the cue by the motion of her lips. Murdstone makes a movement of impatience which I have been expecting for a long time. Clara. Murdstone’s dressing-gown. The bigger it gets. ‘you should just give him the book back. at a point where I was all right before. and I feel that I am wallowing in such a bog of nonsense. Now.

Mr. and buy five thousand double-Gloucester cheeses at fourpence-halfpenny each. and begins. Even when I did get through the morning with tolerable credit. and delivered to me orally by Mr. there was not much gained but dinner. takes the book. as if my unfortunate studies generally took this course. Even when the lessons are done. when. in the shape of an appalling sum. I pore over these cheeses without any result or enlightenment until dinner-time.give your boy an exercise’. Murdstone. but the influence of the Murdstones upon me was like the fascination of two snakes on a wretched young bird. It seems to me. ‘Clara. I could have done very well if I had been without the Murdstones. and if I rashly made any show of being unemployed. ‘If I go into a cheesemonger’s shop. which caused me to be clapped Free eBooks at Planet eBook. having made a Mulatto of myself by getting the dirt of the slate into the pores of my skin. I have a slice of bread to help me out with the cheeses. for Miss Murdstone never could endure to see me untasked.at which I see Miss Murdstone secretly overjoyed. This is invented for me. and turns me out of the room by the shoulders. Murdstone comes out of his chair. colours. says in a deep warning voice: ‘Clara!’ My mother starts. and smiles faintly. called her brother’s attention to me by saying. the worst is yet to happen. my dear. present payment’ .for nothing else all along. there’s nothing like work . at this distance of time. throws it at me or boxes my ears with it.com  . and am considered in disgrace for the rest of the evening.

From that blessed little room. in the midst of my porings and blunderings over heavier themes.they. came out. continued. to read those books as I did.as I did . Humphrey Clinker. and my hope of something beyond that place and time. for some six months or more. They kept alive my fancy. Don Quixote. to keep me company. The natural result of this treatment. Roderick Random. and Miss  David Copperfield . Gil Blas.and did me no harm. for the gloomy theology of the Murdstones made all children out to be a swarm of little vipers (though there WAS a child once set in the midst of the Disciples). dull. It is curious to me how I could ever have consoled myself under my small troubles (which were great troubles to me). . Tom Jones. I suppose. and the Tales of the Genii. and Robinson Crusoe. I believe I should have been almost stupefied but for one circumstance. the Vicar of Wakefield. . by impersonating my favourite characters in them . a glorious host. how I found time. and the Arabian Nights. was to make me sullen. My father had left a small collection of books in a little room upstairs. and held that they contaminated one another.down to some new labour. I had very little of that. I was not made the less so by my sense of being daily more and more shut out and alienated from my mother. It is astonishing to me now. As to any recreation with other children of my age. there and then. Peregrine Pickle.and by putting Mr. to which I had access (for it adjoined my own) and which nobody else in our house ever troubled. for whatever harm was in some of them was not there for me. and dogged. It was this. I knew nothing of it.

reading as if for life. what I was when I came to that point of my youthful history to which I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. of a summer evening. The reader now understands. in danger of being beset by savages.com  . armed with the centre-piece out of an old set of boot-trees . I have been Tom Jones (a child’s Tom Jones. with the knapsack on his back. dead or alive. in my mind. I verily believe. every stone in the church.that were on those shelves. from having his ears boxed with the Latin Grammar. Every barn in the neighbourhood. connected with these books. of the Royal British Navy. in despite of all the grammars of all the languages in the world. I did. and I know that Commodore Trunnion held that club with Mr. I have sustained my own idea of Roderick Random for a month at a stretch. as well as I do. and resolved to sell his life at a great price. the boys at play in the churchyard. I have seen Tom Pipes go climbing up the churchsteeple. in the parlour of our little village alehouse. a harmless creature) for a week together. had some association of its own. the picture always rises in my mind.the perfect realization of Captain Somebody. This was my only and my constant comfort. The Captain never lost dignity.Murdstone into all the bad ones . and for days and days I can remember to have gone about my region of our house. I have watched Strap. and stood for some locality made famous in them. Pickle. and I sitting on my bed. and every foot of the churchyard.I forget what. I had a greedy relish for a few volumes of Voyages and Travels . stopping to rest himself upon the wicket-gate. but the Captain was a Captain and a hero.which I did too. When I think of it. now .

of course. To this my mother returned. and another switch. and poised and switched in the air. not one by one. ‘Certainly. meekly. I felt apprehensive that I was personally interested in this dialogue.’ said Mr. gravely. laid it down beside him. ‘But . I found my mother looking anxious. and sought Mr. and Mr. with an impressive look. Murdstone. Murdstone’s eye as it lighted on mine. I tried to lay hold of them. Murdstone. ‘That’s the point.and I saw that cast again as he said it . ‘I have been often flogged myself.’ and said no more.a lithe and limber cane. which he left off binding when I came in. and having finished his preparation of it. Murdstone binding something round the bottom of a cane . ‘I tell you. ‘Certainly.’ said his sister. This was a good freshener to my presence of mind.‘you must be far more careful today than usual. and took up his book. I felt the words of my lessons slipping off. David.but do you think it did Edward good?’ ‘Do you think it did Edward harm.am now coming again. One morning when I went into the parlour with my books.’ faltered my mother. but they seemed.’ He gave the cane another poise. my dear Jane.’ said Miss Murdstone. but by the entire page. as a beginning. Clara?’ asked Mr. Clara. Miss Murdstone looking firm. or line by line. my dear Jane. ‘Now.’ he said .’ ‘To be sure. if I may so express  David Copperfield .

you and I will go upstairs. ‘Clara!’ said Miss Murdstone. but we can hardly expect so much from her. solemnly. in her warning voice. ‘I am not quite well. I think. and to skim away from me with a smoothness there was no checking. David. Jane. Book after book was added to the heap of failures.com  . ‘Mr. conceiving that I was very well prepared. with perfect firmness. suddenly twisted my head under his arm. We began badly. I saw my mother stop her ears then.I am certain he had a delight in that formal parade of executing justice . He walked me up to my room slowly and gravely . and went on worse.it. Clara is greatly strengthened and improved.’ As he took me out at the door. ‘Don’t! Pray don’t beat me! I have tried to learn. at his sister. Miss Murdstone said. my mother ran towards us. we can hardly expect Clara to bear. sir. taking up the cane: ‘Why. I saw him wink. my mother burst out crying. but I can’t learn while you Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I heard her crying. boy.and when we got there. That would be stoical. Miss Murdstone being firmly watchful of us all the time. I had come in with an idea of distinguishing myself rather.’ said my mother. And when we came at last to the five thousand cheeses (canes he made it that day. my dear Jane. the worry and torment that David has occasioned her today. but it turned out to be quite a mistake. Murdstone! Sir!’ I cried to him. as he rose and said. I remember). ‘Clara! are you a perfect fool?’ and interfered. to have put skates on.

Then he was gone. Above all the noise we made. but they were nothing to the guilt I felt. and looking listlessly out). My stripes were sore and stiff. and stopped him for a moment. I dare say. as if he would have beaten me to death. red. 0 David Copperfield . How well I recollect. I can’t indeed!’ ‘Can’t you. but I twined round him somehow. how wicked I began to feel! I sat listening for a long while. for he cut me heavily an instant afterwards. It was only a moment that I stopped him. by turns crying. He beat me then.’ He had my head as in a vice. and in the same instant I caught the hand with which he held me in my mouth. It lay heavier on my breast than if I had been a most atrocious criminal. David?’ he said. and raging in my puny way. I heard them running up the stairs. and torn.and Peggotty. indeed. and ugly that it almost frightened me. between my teeth. upon the floor.I heard my mother crying out . but there was not a sound. entreating him not to beat me. ‘We’ll try that. and made me cry afresh. and bit it through. with my head upon the sill. for the most part. and crying out . and I was lying. when I moved. and I had shut the window (I had been lying. It had begun to grow dark. and sore. fevered and hot. and the door was locked outside. when my smart and passion began to cool.and Miss Murdstone are by. what an unnatural stillness seemed to reign through the whole house! How well I remember. when I became quiet. so swollen. and saw my face in the glass. It sets my teeth on edge to think of it. dozing. I crawled up from the floor.

and. all alone by myself near the door. to which I was escorted by Miss Murdstone after everybody else was placed. and milk. I did so. which lasted five days. that I was free to walk in the garden for half an hour and no longer. and Miss Murdstone came in with some bread and meat. Long after it was dark I sat there. where I was stationed. I undressed. next morning. These she put down upon the table without a word. the being cheerful and fresh for the first moment. and whence I was solemnly conducted by my jailer. and then retired. told me. and sent to prison? Whether I was at all in danger of being hanged? I never shall forget the waking. and retired. but I saw no one. before any one arose from Free eBooks at Planet eBook.except at evening prayers in the parlour. locking the door after her. I began to wonder fearfully what would be done to me. When this appeared improbable for that night. and then the being weighed down by the stale and dismal oppression of remembrance. in so many words. Whether it was a criminal act that I had committed? Whether I should be taken into custody. Miss Murdstone reappeared before I was out of bed. If I could have seen my mother alone. glaring at me the while with exemplary firmness. I should have gone down on my knees to her and besought her forgiveness. a young outlaw. and did so every morning of my imprisonment. during the whole time . Miss Murdstone excepted. there. and went to bed. wondering whether anybody else would come.com 1 . leaving the door open.when the key was turned. that I might avail myself of that permission.

the footsteps on the stairs. and that Mr. or singing. with a fresh smell. which came with eating and drinking. until it and gathering night seemed to quench me in gloom. especially at night.the setting in of rain one evening. the opening and shutting of doors. The way in which I listened to all the incidents of the house that made themselves audible to me. when I would wake thinking it was morning.all this appears to have gone round and round for years instead of days. The length of those five days I can convey no idea of to any one. afternoon.the devotional posture. They occupy the place of years in my remembrance. noon. and kept her face another way so that I never saw it.the fleeting intervals of something like cheerfulness. and its coming down faster and faster between me and the church.the strange sensation of never hearing myself speak . I only observed that my mother was as far off from me as she could be. which seemed more dismal than anything else to me in my solitude and disgrace . and went away with it .the return of day. On the last night of my restraint. when the boys played in the churchyard.the uncertain pace of the hours. and that all the length of night had yet to come . Murdstone’s hand was bound up in a large linen wrapper. and fear. outside. being ashamed to show myself at the window lest they should know I was a prisoner . evening. the murmuring of voices. and remorse .the depressed dreams and nightmares I had . the ringing of bells. it is so vividly and strongly stamped on my remembrance. to any laughing. and I watched them from a distance within the room. whistling. I  David Copperfield . and find that the family were not yet gone to bed.

com  . that I think I should have gone into a fit. her room being close by. and was sensible of the urgency of the case.’ ‘What is going to be done with me. I didn’t hear them. ‘Be as soft as a mouse. as I was doing on mine.was awakened by hearing my own name spoken in a whisper. Peggotty?’ ‘Tomorrow. my own precious Davy. whispered: ‘Is that you. or the Cat’ll hear us. ‘No.’ I understood this to mean Miss Murdstone. Not very. dear Peggotty? Is she very angry with me?’ I could hear Peggotty crying softly on her side of the keyhole. in consequence of my having forgotten to take my mouth away from the keyhole and put my ear there. Peggotty dear?’ ‘Yes. Peggotty?’ There was no immediate answer.’ was Peggotty’s answer. and putting out my arms in the dark. ‘How’s mama. Peggotty dear? Do you know?’ ‘School.’ she replied. before she answered. in a tone so very mysterious and awful. for she spoke it the first time quite down my throat.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I groped my way to the door. ‘When. and putting my own lips to the keyhole. said: ‘Is that you. I was obliged to get her to repeat it. if it had not occurred to me that it must have come through the keyhole. but presently I heard my name again. Near London. and though her words tickled me a good deal. I started up in bed.

Peggotty? Will you write and tell Mr. my darling. ‘My own!’ said Peggotty. dear.’ Then Peggotty fitted her mouth close to the keyhole. Davy. Though I ain’t no scholar. are you listening? Can you hear?’ ‘Ye-ye-ye-yes. that I am not so bad as they might suppose. The day may come when she’ll be glad to lay her poor head.  David Copperfield .I’ll -’ Peggotty fell to kissing the keyhole. and delivered these words through it with as much feeling and earnestness as a keyhole has ever been the medium of communicating. Lately. On her stupid. And for someone else besides. And I’ll write to you. with infinite compassion. though I have forgotten to mention it. It’s because I thought it better for you.‘Is that the reason why Miss Murdstone took the clothes out of my drawers?’ which she had done.’ said Peggotty. For I’ll never forget you. It ain’t because I don’t love you. is. As ever I took of you. Davy. If I ain’t been azackly as intimate with you. and Mrs. Peggotty!’ I sobbed. just as well and more. Gummidge and Ham. That you must never forget me. thank you! Thank you! Will you promise me one thing. And I’ll take as much care of your mama. ‘Morning. ‘What I want to say. Peggotty and little Em’ly. And I’ll . ‘Oh. dear Peggotty!’ said I.’ said Peggotty. my pretty poppet. as she couldn’t kiss me. ‘Yes. my dear. ‘Box. And I won’t leave her. I will venture to assert: shooting in each broken little sentence in a convulsive little burst of its own. cross old Peggotty’s arm again. ‘Thank you. ‘Davy. as I used to be.’ ‘Shan’t I see mama?’ ‘Yes.

too.’ They had persuaded her that I was a wicked fellow. and she was more sorry for that than for my going away. and have my breakfast. I tried to eat my parting breakfast. pray to be better! I forgive you. and begged her pardon from my suffering soul. There. but my tears dropped upon my bread. ‘That you could hurt anyone I love! Try to be better. It was a sort of comical affection. and yet if she had died. I was to come downstairs into the parlour. From that night there grew up in my breast a feeling for Peggotty which I cannot very well define. and I felt towards her something I have never felt for any other human being. as if it had been her honest face . I felt it sorely. Peggotty?’ The kind soul promised. She did not replace my mother. In the morning Miss Murdstone appeared as usual. She also informed me that when I was dressed.and that I sent ‘em all my love .and-butter. which closed upon her. Davy.and parted.especially to little Em’ly? Will you. but I am so grieved. ‘Oh. or how I should have acted out the tragedy it would have been to me. I recollect. and told me I was going to school. but she came into a vacancy in my heart. and trickled into my Free eBooks at Planet eBook. if you please. which was not altogether such news to me as she supposed. and we both of us kissed the keyhole with the greatest affection . that you should have such bad passions in your heart. very pale and with red eyes: into whose arms I ran.I patted it with my hand. no one could do that. Davy!’ she said. I cannot think what I should have done.com  . I found my mother.

’ replied my mother. I looked for Peggotty. was at the door. and the lazy horse walked off with it. the box was taken out to his cart.’ ‘Clara!’ Miss Murdstone repeated. ‘Master Copperfield’s box there!’ said Miss Murdstone. the carrier. and than look down. ‘I forgive you. Good-bye. before I came to a bad end.  David Copperfield . Miss Murdstone was good enough to take me out to the cart. neither she nor Mr.’ returned my mother. ‘Good-bye. my dear boy. and lifted in. My former acquaintance. Davy. You will come home in the holidays. and be a better boy. and then glance at the watchful Miss Murdstone. my dear Jane. who was holding me. my dear Jane. I saw my mother look at me sometimes. God bless you!’ ‘Clara!’ Miss Murdstone repeated. You are going for your own good. and then I got into the cart.tea. Murdstone appeared. in her warning note. ‘Ready. ‘Clara!’ said Miss Murdstone. and to say on the way that she hoped I would repent. or look away. my child. ‘Certainly. when wheels were heard at the gate. but it was not she.

and my pockethandkerchief was quite wet through. and squeezed me to her stays until the pressure on my nose was extremely painful. Releasing one of her arms. and brought out some paper bags of cakes which she crammed into my pockets. she got down from the cart and ran away. Looking out to ascertain for what. She took me in both her arms. and has always been. I saw. Not a single word did Peggotty speak. and a purse which she put into my hand. when the carrier stopped short. without a solitary button on her gown. she put it down in her pocket to the elbow. but not one word did she say. of several that were rolling about. though I never thought of that till afterwards when I found it very tender.com  . and treasured it as a keepsake for a long time. The carrier looked at me. to MY amazement. as if to inquire if she were comFree eBooks at Planet eBook. Peggotty burst from a hedge and climb into the cart. my belief is. After another and a final squeeze with both arms.CHAPTER 5 I AM SENT AWAY FROM HOME W e might have gone about half a mile. and. I picked up one.

who came up accordingly. for my greater delight. too. in trying situations. With my love. I had now leisure to examine the purse. I began to think it was of no use crying any more. After we had jogged on for some little time. ‘There.  David Copperfield . in my mother’s hand. especially as neither Roderick Random. had ever cried. Having by this time cried as much as I possibly could. with a snap. nor that Captain in the Royal British Navy. ‘All the way where?’ inquired the carrier. ‘For Davy. so I wiped my eyes on my sleeve and stopped myself.handkerchief should be spread upon the horse’s back to dry. For good. and I thought I really had. I was still occasionally seized with a stormy sob. and assented. that I could remember. and particularly small it looked. on which was written. But its most precious contents were two half-crowns folded together in a bit of paper.’ I said. in consequence of my previous emotions. but he said he thought I had better do without it. that I asked the carrier to be so good as to reach me my pocket-handkerchief again. I thanked him. ‘Then come up. proposed that my pocket.’ said the carrier to the lazy horse. I shook my head. I asked the carrier if he was going all the way. It was a stiff leather purse. under those circumstances. seeing me in this resolution.’ I was so overcome by this. and had three bright shillings in it. The carrier. which Peggotty had evidently polished up with whitening. and said I thought not. though.ing back.

and the stage-cutch that’ll take you to . sir?’ ‘Ah!’ said Mr. now?’ said Mr. ‘Why that horse. as I observed in a former chapter. Barkis) to say . He made up his mouth as if to whistle. which he ate at one gulp. as if he saw something new there.’ said the carrier. She makes all our pastry. of a phlegmatic temperament.’ I said. He sat looking at the horse’s ears. Barkis. ‘would be deader than pork afore he got over half the ground.’ said the carrier.he being. and sat so.‘Where’s there?’ inquired the carrier. in his slouching way. exactly like an elephant. ‘Peggotty. ‘Did SHE make ‘em. and had pointedly alluded to Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Do she though?’ said Mr. ‘Her. Barkis.wherever it is. Mr.I offered him a cake as a mark of attention. and which made no more impression on his big face than it would have done on an elephant’s. always leaning forward. but he didn’t whistle. for a considerable time. on the footboard of the cart with an arm on each knee. ‘Near London. and not at all conversational . and does all our cooking.’ As this was a great deal for the carrier (whose name was Mr.’ ‘Are you only going to Yarmouth then?’ I asked. he said: ‘No sweethearts. jerking the rein to point him out. ‘And there I shall take you to the stage-cutch. do you mean. I b’lieve?’ ‘Sweetmeats did you say. Barkis?’ For I thought he wanted something else to eat.’ ‘Yes. Barkis. By and by.com  . ‘That’s about it.

p’raps you’d recollect to say that Barkis was willin’. though!’ said Mr.’ said Mr. Barkis is willin’. no person walks with her!’ ‘With Peggotty?’ ‘Ah!’ he said. however. That’s the 100 David Copperfield . with a jerk of his head. considering.’ said Mr.’ As he repudiated this suggestion. ‘Ye-es. slowly turning his eyes towards me. with profound gravity. and once more confirmed his previous request by saying. innocently. ‘Well! If you was writin’ to her.’ ‘Didn’t she.’ said Mr. ‘Sweet hearts.’ I rejoined. She never had a sweetheart. I’ll tell you what. ‘Is that all the message?’ ‘Ye-es. and could give your own message so much better.’ ‘But you will be at Blunderstone again tomorrow. faltering a little at the idea of my being far away from it then. ‘all the apple parsties. ‘Well. do she?’ I replied that such was the fact.’ I repeated. Mr. Barkis.’ ‘Oh. would you?’ ‘That Barkis is willing. and again he didn’t whistle. after a long interval of reflection. ‘Barkis is willin’. Barkis. ‘Her. ‘Hearts. Barkis. and doos all the cooking.’ he said. ‘So she makes.’ I said. Barkis. Again he made up his mouth to whistle. but sat looking at the horse’s ears. ‘P’raps you might be writin’ to her?’ ‘I shall certainly write to her. ‘Ah!’ he said.that description of refreshment. Barkis. no.

‘Nobody’s dinner is Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Copperfield. and also what would ultimately become of me. feeling quite worn out by all that had happened lately.BARKIS IS WILLING.’ returned the lady. Mr. which Mr. Barkis had put down on the yard-pavement by the pole (he having driven up the yard to turn his cart). that I at once abandoned a latent hope I had had of meeting with some of Mr. which ran thus: ‘My dear Peggotty. Yours affectionately.’ I readily undertook its transmission. I slept soundly until we got to Yarmouth. and I. but without any horses to it as yet. I procured a sheet of paper and an inkstand.’ I said. He says he particularly wants you to know .com 101 . P. perhaps even with little Em’ly herself. My love to mama.’ When I had taken this commission on myself prospectively. when a lady looked out of a bow-window where some fowls and joints of meat were hanging up. The coach was in the yard. I have come here safe.S. lay down on a sack in the cart and fell asleep. ‘What name?’ inquired the lady. and it looked in that state as if nothing was more unlikely than its ever going to London.’ I said. and wondering what would ultimately become of my box. I was thinking this. ‘That won’t do. and said: ‘Is that the little gentleman from Blunderstone?’ ‘Yes. which was so entirely new and strange to me in the inn-yard to which we drove.message. shining very much all over. and wrote a note to Peggotty. Barkis relapsed into perfect silence. ma’am. Peggotty’s family there. ma’am. While I was waiting for the coach in the hotel at Yarmouth that very afternoon. Barkis is willing.

‘William! show the coffee-room!’ upon which a waiter came running out of a kitchen on the opposite side of the yard to show it. I felt it was taking a liberty to sit down. staring so hard. He brought me some chops. while he was standing opposite. and making me blush in the most dreadful manner every time I caught his eye. and I cast away in the middle of them. I think I must have turned red all over with modesty. very affably. and when the waiter laid a cloth on purpose for me. But he greatly relieved my mind by putting a chair for me at the table. ‘why do you go and give another name. ‘If you’re Master Murdstone. who than rang a bell. and vegetables. I doubt if I could have felt much stranger if the maps had been real foreign countries. It was a large long room with some large maps in it. but found it extremely difficult to handle my knife and fork with anything like dexterity. he said: 10 David Copperfield . first?’ I explained to the lady how it was. in that name. and called out. After watching me into the second chop. and took the covers off in such a bouncing manner that I was afraid I must have given him some offence. with my cap in my hand.’ ‘Is it Murdstone. and seemed a good deal surprised when he was only to show it to me. on the corner of the chair nearest the door. and put a set of castors on it. and saying. six-foot! come on!’ I thanked him. ‘Now.paid for here.’ said the lady. and took my seat at the board. ma’am?’ I said. or to avoid splashing myself with the gravy.

and fell dead. and as he stood with one arm akimbo. and made it look beautiful. ‘our people don’t like things being ordered and left. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and held it up against the light.’ I said bashfully.’ I was very much shocked to hear of this melancholy accident.perhaps you know him?’ ‘No. ‘No. by the name of Topsawyer .’ said the waiter. It oughtn’t to be drawn. I don’t think it’ll hurt me. grey coat. with one of his eyes shut up. ‘ordered a glass of this ale . He was a twinkling-eyed. holding up the glass to the light with the other hand.WOULD order it . still looking at the light through the tumbler. looking at the light through the tumbler. to find him so pleasant.’ I said.com 10 . that’s the fact. ‘I don’t think -’ ‘In breeches and gaiters. and use is everything. ‘Why you see.’ he said . speckled choker. Will you have it now?’ I thanked him and said.I told him not . with his hair standing upright all over his head.‘a stout gentleman. yesterday. he looked quite friendly. don’t it?’ ‘It does seem a good deal. For it was quite delightful to me.’ said the waiter.’ I answered with a smile. I’m used to it.drank it. and said I thought I had better have some water. ‘I haven’t the pleasure -’ ‘He came in here. ‘My eye!’ he said.’ Upon which he poured it out of a jug into a large tumbler. It was too old for him. It offends ‘em.’ said the waiter. ‘There was a gentleman here. ‘It seems a good deal. But I’ll drink it. if you like. if I throw my head back. pimple-faced man. ‘Yes. broad-brimmed hat.‘There’s half a pint of ale for you.

’ I said. if he thought he could do it safely. ‘It’s a pudding. but by no means otherwise. and fall lifeless on the carpet. bless me. and to become absent in his mind for some moments. I confess. When he did throw his head back. little 10 David Copperfield . He afterwards took another chop. taking up a table-spoon. ‘Lord bless my soul!’ he exclaimed.’ I made answer. ‘I didn’t know they were chops. it is indeed. and a potato in the other. so it is! What!’ looking at it nearer. of seeing him meet the fate of the lamented Mr. he brought me a pudding. to my extreme satisfaction. rousing himself. Topsawyer. Why. and another potato. When we had done. and after that.and take it off quick. and having set it before me. But it didn’t hurt him. I thought he seemed the fresher for it.’ he said. another chop and another potato. ‘What have we got here?’ he said. I had a horrible fear. a chop’s the very thing to take off the bad effects of that beer! Ain’t it lucky?’ So he took a chop by the bone in one hand. On the contrary. ‘How’s the pie?’ he said. seemed to ruminate. putting a fork into my dish. ‘Why. ‘is my favourite pudding! Ain’t that lucky? Come on. and take it off quick. ‘Not chops?’ ‘Chops. ‘Pudding!’ he exclaimed. and ate away with a very good appetite. ‘You don’t mean to say it’s a batter-pudding!’ ‘Yes. a batter-pudding.’ ‘Why. Shall I?’ I replied that he would much oblige me by drinking it.

and let’s see who’ll get most.’ he said.’ The waiter certainly got most. ‘Near London. his dispatch to my dispatch.let me see . I think. but what with his table-spoon to my tea-spoon. Finding him so very friendly and companionable. ‘that’s the school where they broke the boy’s ribs .com 10 .’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. When I had finished it. and his appetite to my appetite.‘un. and did for him. looking very low-spirited. but was good enough to look over me while I wrote the letter. He not only brought it immediately. and inquired how it was done. ‘He was eight years and six months old when they broke his first rib. Lord!’ he said. ‘That’s just his age. His answer was not cheering to my spirits.’ I could not disguise from myself. and had no chance with him. as if his enjoyment of it lasted still. I said. it was then that I asked for the pen and ink and paper. ‘I am sorry for that. when it was all gone. I never saw anyone enjoy a pudding so much.a little boy he was.how old are you. about?’ I told him between eight and nine.’ ‘Why?’ I asked him. He entreated me more than once to come in and win.’ which was all I knew. I should say he was . or from the waiter. that this was an uncomfortable coincidence. and he laughed. eight years and eight months old when they broke his second. ‘Oh. ‘With whopping.two ribs . I was left far behind at the first mouthful. he asked me where I was going to school. for it consisted of two dismal words. ‘Oh! my eye!’ he said. shaking his head. to write to Peggotty.

If I didn’t support a aged pairint. If I had a good place. ‘If I hadn’t a family. I lose by that. if you please?’ I stammered. and a lovely sister. I should beg acceptance of a trifle.‘I wouldn’t take a farthing. and spun up with his thumb. That’s the way we’re taxed in this country.’ he returned. It was a little disconcerting to me. ‘There’s a sheet of letter-paper. if there were anything to pay. directly afterwards. instead of taking of it.here the waiter burst into tears. and that family hadn’t the cowpock. to try the goodness of. ‘on account of the duty.’ said the waiter. which he received with much humility and veneration. in the mingled pride and diffidence of having a purse (which I took out of my pocket). and was treated well here. blushing.here the waiter was greatly agitated .what should I . and felt that any recognition short of ninepence would be mere brutality and hardness of heart. ‘Did you ever buy a sheet of letter-paper?’ I could not remember that I ever had. There’s nothing else. to find. when I was being helped up behind the coach. But I live on broken wittles and I sleep on the coals’ .’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t take a sixpence.what would it be right to pay the waiter. which made me get up and hesitatingly inquire. except the waiter.’ . Never mind the ink. Threepence.’ ‘What should you . I was very much concerned for his misfortunes.how much ought I to .The blowing of the coach-horn in the yard was a seasonable diversion. that I was supposed to 10 David Copperfield . ‘It’s dear. Therefore I gave him one of my three bright shillings.

I must own.com 10 . with other pleasant questions. I had no serious mistrust of him on the whole.have eaten all the dinner without any assistance. I felt it rather hard. at the hotel. at school. and the natural reliance of a child upon superior years (qualities I am very sorry any children should prematurely change for worldly wisdom). that I knew I should be ashamed to eat anything. or he’ll burst!’ and from observing that the women-servants who were about the place came out to look and giggle at me as a young phenomenon. in my hurry. who had quite recovered his spirits. and whether I was contracted for. when an opportunity offered. and as to the greater expediency of my travelling by waggon. from overhearing the lady in the bow-window say to the guard. after a rather light dinner.for I had left my cakes behind. If I had any doubt of him. the subject of jokes between the coachman and guard as to the coach drawing heavy behind. I should remain hungry all night . ‘Take care of that child. did not appear to be disturbed by this. I discovered this. as two brothers or three. or went upon the regular terms. and that. to be made. but joined in the general admiration without being at all confused. But the worst of it was. My unfortunate friend the waiter. The story of my supposed appetite getting wind among the outside passengers. on account of my sitting there. and asked me whether I was going to be paid for. George. without deserving it. I suppose this half awakened it. When we stopped for supper I couldn’t muster courage to take Free eBooks at Planet eBook. they were merry upon it likewise. My apprehensions were realized. even then. but I am inclined to believe that with the simple confidence of a child.

therefore. and the evening was very pleasant. besides my mind running continually on the kind of place I was going to . Sometimes. I pictured to myself what the insides of the houses were like. We had started from Yarmouth at three o’clock in the afternoon. and what the inhabitants were about. I had plenty to think of. but sat by the fire and said I didn’t want anything. I remember. in a confused blind way. after which. I seemed to have bitten him in such a remote antiquity. and to endeavouring. I was nearly smothered by their falling asleep. and we were due in London about eight next morning. for a husky-voiced gentleman with a rough face. Murdstone: which I couldn’t satisfy myself about by any means. I wondered whether their fathers were alive. This did not save me from more jokes. and whether they Were happy at home. and being put between two gentlemen (the roughfaced one and another) to prevent my tumbling off the coach. except when he had been drinking out of a bottle. and 10 David Copperfield . either. and what sort of boy I used to be. for it got chilly. The night was not so pleasant as the evening.which was an awful speculation. before I bit Mr. When we passed through a village. It was Mid-summer weather. I resigned myself to thoughts of home and Peggotty. and when boys came running after us. and got up behind and swung there for a little way. though I should have liked it very much. to recall how I had felt. he actually brought a rash out upon himself with boiled beef. said I was like a boa-constrictor who took enough at one meal to last him a long time.any. who had been eating out of a sandwich-box nearly all the way.

of not having been to sleep at all. until she found that on account of my legs being short. the one to which our common nature is the least disposed to confess (I cannot imagine why) is the weakness of having gone to sleep in a coach. are not to be conceived. she was wrapped up to such a degree. that I could not help crying out. I recollect being very much surprised by the feint everybody made. who looked in the dark more like a haystack than a lady. and by the uncommon indignation with which everyone repelled the charge. The difficulties under which they had laboured all night. and she hadn’t known what to do with it. and which had found utterance in the most terrific gasps and snorts. I labour under the same kind of astonishment to this day. and then my companions seemed to sleep easier. This lady had a basket with her. I’m sure!’ At last the sun rose. and so they gradually one by one awoke. their sleep became lighter. ‘Oh! If you please!’ . then. Opposite me was an elderly lady in a great fur cloak. because it woke them. that it made me perfectly miserable. but if I moved in the least.which they didn’t like at all. They squeezed me so hard sometimes. and how I believed all the adventures of all Free eBooks at Planet eBook.completely blocking me up. and made a glass that was in the basket rattle against something else (as it was sure to do). and said. What an amazing place London was to me when I saw it in the distance. having invariably observed that of all human weaknesses. It cramped and hurt me so. As the sun got higher.com 10 . YOUR bones are young enough. it could go underneath me. don’t YOU fidget. for a long time. ‘Come. she gave me the cruellest poke with her foot.

I looked anxiously around. and got. and how I vaguely made it out in my own mind to be fuller of wonders and wickedness than all the cities of the earth. There was nobody. who was like a haystack: not daring to stir. ‘Is there anybody here for a yoongster. but I know it was the Blue Something. but owning to the name of Copperfield. in due time. I need not stop here to relate. to the inn in the Whitechapel district. to be left till called for?’ said the guard. and that its likeness was painted up on the back of the coach. but the inquiry made no impression on any of the bystanders. booked in the name of Murdstone. A ladder was brought. if you please. sir. and tie me up in the stable.my favourite heroes to be constantly enacting and re-enacting there. and I got down after the lady. looking helplessly down. ‘Come! IS there anybody?’ No. or the Blue Boar. who suggested that they had better put a brass collar round my neck. We approached it by degrees. Sooffolk. if I except a man in gaiters. for which we were bound. and he said at the booking-office door: ‘Is there anybody here for a yoongster booked in the name of Murdstone. The coach was clear of passengers by that time. I forget whether it was the Blue Bull. from Bloonderstone. ‘Try Copperfield.’ said I. 110 David Copperfield . until her basket was removed. with one eye. to be left till called for?’ Nobody answered. Sooffolk. from Bloonderstone. The guard’s eye lighted on me as he was getting down.

how long would they consent to keep me there? Would they keep me long enough to spend seven shillings? Should I sleep at night in one of those wooden bins. as I sat looking at the parcels. when the office opened next day? Supposing there was no mistake in the case. Here.com 111 . That would obviously be inconvenient and unpleasant to the customers. and Mr. and sat down on the scale at which they weighed the luggage. Suffolk. and expected to come again to be left till called for.the luggage was very soon cleared out. I went into the booking-office. besides entailing on the Blue Whatever-it-was. Murdstone had devised this plan to get rid of me. how could I ever find my way. and inhaling the smell of stables (ever since associated with that morning). Supposing nobody should ever fetch me. packages. by invitation of the clerk on duty. If I started off at once. or should I be turned out every night. with the other luggage. out of the way. how could I ever Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and tried to walk back home. and. who had nobody to look at him and see that he was solitary. the risk of funeral expenses. I couldn’t hope to remain there when I began to starve. and now the coach itself was wheeled and backed off by some hostlers. passed behind the counter. the horses had been taken out before the luggage. a procession of most tremendous considerations began to march through my mind. More solitary than Robinson Crusoe. what should I do? If they allowed me to remain there until my seven shillings were spent. nobody appeared. to claim the dusty youngster from Blunderstone. and wash myself at the pump in the yard in the morning. and books. Still.

‘You’re the new boy?’ he said. He was dressed in a suit of black clothes which were rather rusty and dry too. for his whiskers were shaved off. was rusty and dry. that we had gone some little distance from the yard before I had the hardihood to mention it. I made him a bow and felt very much overawed. He was a gaunt. delivered. I did not. bought. who presently slanted me off the scale. as if I were weighed.’ he said.’ I said. with hollow cheeks. on my humbly insinuating that 11 David Copperfield . and he had a white neckkerchief on. As I went out of the office. to a scholar and a master at Salem House. and offered myself to go for a soldier. We turned back. I was in the height of my fever when a man entered and whispered to the clerk. I didn’t know. ‘I’m one of the masters at Salem House. and rather short in the sleeves and legs. ‘Yes. I supposed I was. sallow young man. and do not. and paid for. sir. hand in hand with this new acquaintance. suppose that this neck-kerchief was all the linen he wore. These thoughts. I stole a look at him. how could I make sure of anyone but Peggotty. turned me burning hot. instead of being glossy. and a chin almost as black as Mr. I was so ashamed to allude to a commonplace thing like my box.hope to walk so far. that was not over-clean. Murdstone’s. or a sailor. but it was all he showed or gave any hint of. I was such a little fellow that it was most likely they wouldn’t take me in. and a hundred other such thoughts. and pushed me over to him. and his hair. even if I got back? If I found out the nearest proper authorities. but there the likeness ended. and made me giddy with apprehension and dismay.

out of the second of the bright shillings. and made me consider London a very cheap place. and make my breakfast at her house. was Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Is that far. sir. ‘is it far?’ ‘It’s down by Blackheath. ‘It’s a good step. no doubt.’ he said. sir?’ I diffidently asked.’ I was so faint and tired.com 11 . that the idea of holding out for six miles more. Accordingly we looked in at a baker’s window. when we had accomplished about the same distance as before. ‘If you please. and over a bridge which. which still left what I thought a good deal of change. said he wanted to call on an old person who lived not far off. we went on through a great noise and uproar that confused my weary head beyond description. and that if he would allow me to buy something to eat. where we could get some milk. we decided in favour of a nice little loaf of brown bread. and that the best way would be for me to buy some bread. and he told the clerk that the carrier had instructions to call for it at noon. I should be very much obliged to him.’ I said. and he had rejected them one by one.and after considering for a few moments. I took heart to tell him that I had had nothing all night. These provisions laid in.it might be useful to me hereafter.I see him stop and look at me now . and after I had made a series of proposals to buy everything that was bilious in the shop. It’s about six miles. at a grocer’s shop. Then. we bought an egg and a slice of streaky bacon. which cost me threepence. or whatever I liked best that was wholesome.’ he said. was too much for me. ‘We shall go by the stage-coach. He appeared surprised at this .

If the fire was to go out. if you please?’ said the Master at Salem House.paned window above.London Bridge (indeed I think he told me so. I verily believe she’d go out too. and never come to life again. ‘Ah. but I was half asleep). which was a part of some alms-houses. the old woman stopped with the bellows on her knee. she got up. as I knew by their look. ‘Yes can I. and said something that I thought sounded like ‘My Charley!’ but on seeing me come in too. who was blowing a fire to make a little saucepan boil. On seeing the master enter. 11 David Copperfield . I looked at her also.’ As they looked at her. until we came to the poor person’s house. looking at another old woman in a large chair by the fire.’ said the first old woman. ‘Can you cook this young gentleman’s breakfast for him. who was such a bundle of clothes that I feel grateful to this hour for not having sat upon her by mistake. The Master at Salem House lifted the latch of one of a number of little black doors that were all alike. Although it was a warm day. and had each a little diamond-paned window on one side. sure!’ ‘How’s Mrs. Fibbitson today?’ said the Master. she’s poorly. and by an inscription on a stone over the gate which said they were established for twenty-five poor women. and rubbing her hands made a confused sort of half curtsey. she seemed to think of nothing but the fire. ‘It’s one of her bad days. and another little diamond. ‘Can I?’ said the old woman. through any accident. and we went into the little house of one of these poor old women.

and no one else was looking. and I have reason to know that she took its impressment into the service of boiling my egg and broiling my bacon. I sat down to my brown loaf. ‘Do!’ The Master. coaxingly. I don’t know what the tunes were .I fancied she was jealous even of the saucepan on it. instead of it keeping her warm. and watching it in a most distrustful manner. which I doubt . but she sat with her own back and the back of the large chair towards it. when those culinary operations were going on. The completion of the preparations for my breakfast. the old woman of the house said to the Master: ‘Have you got your flute with you?’ ‘Yes. While I was yet in the full enjoyment of it. and made a most delicious meal. my egg. with my own discomfited eyes.if there were such things in the performance at all.’ said the old woman. The sun streamed in at the little window. gave her such extreme joy that she laughed aloud . that there never can have been anybody in the world who played worse. by relieving the fire. natural or artificial. shake her fist at me once. screening the fire as if she were sedulously keeping IT warm. He made the most dismal sounds I have ever heard produced by any means. My impression is. with a basin of milk besides.and a very unmelodious laugh she had. for I saw her. which he screwed together.com 11 . upon this.but the influence Free eBooks at Planet eBook. after many years of consideration. put his hand underneath the skirts of his coat. I must say. ‘Have a blow at it.’ he returned. and my rasher of bacon. and brought out his flute in three pieces. and began immediately to play. in dudgeon.

The coach jolts. and the Master at Salem House is sitting with his legs crossed. first. who had gone nearer and nearer to him in her ecstatic admiration. that once while he was blowing into this dismal flute. The flute becomes inaudible. no Salem House. I thought. what that peacock would have thought if he had known what his finery was doomed to come to . and there is no flute. while the old woman of the house looks on delighted.I saw and heard the same old woman ask Mrs. and lastly.of the strain upon me was. and I nod. to make me think of all my sorrows until I could hardly keep my tears back. then to take away my appetite. which stopped his playing for a moment. the wheels of the coach are heard instead. playing it dolefully. as the recollection rises fresh upon me. and all fades. and its three peacock’s feathers displayed over the mantelpiece . Fibbitson if it 11 David Copperfield . She fades in her turn. Once more the little room. and its square-backed chairs. no Master. the old woman of the house. no anything but heavy sleep. with its open corner cupboard. for. and the flute has come back again. and I am on my journey. and sleep.fades from before me. I wake with a start. as he resumed . and its angular little staircase leading to the room above. They begin to close again. I dreamed. and he fades. either then or immediately afterwards.I remember wondering when I first went in. and I begin to nod. leaned over the back of his chair and gave him an affectionate squeeze round the neck. no David Copperfield. to make me so sleepy that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I was in the middle state between sleeping and waking.it was a real fact that he had stopped playing .

she gave the credit of the whole performance. and took me away. until I found the coach going at a footpace up a steep hill among green leaves. ‘The new boy. and took out the key. and where I slept profoundly. where he lived. and through a grating in this door we were surveyed when we rang the bell by a surly face. and he was standing at the door of a little lodge. which I found. and looked very dull. I am persuaded. overhanging temples. ‘Hallo!’ We looked back.com 11 . Over a door in this wall was a board with SALEM HousE upon it.it didn’t take long. when he called after my conductor. The man with the wooden leg eyed me all over . ay! yes!’ and nodded at the fire: to which. among some dark heavy trees. put them up as before.wasn’t delicious (meaning the flute).’ said the Master. We were going up to the house. that when we stopped on the road to take up somebody else. belonged to a stout man with a bull-neck. to which Mrs. and his hair cut close all round his head. and had come to its destination. it stopped. Presently. for there was not much of me . which was enclosed with a high brick wall.to Salem House. When I seemed to have been dozing a long while.and locked the gate behind us. Fibbitson replied. with a pair of boots in his hand.I mean the Master and me . ‘Ay. a wooden leg. the Master at Salem House unscrewed his flute into the three pieces. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. on the door being opened. they put me inside where there were no passengers. but I was so dead sleepy. A short walk brought us . We found the coach very near at hand. and got upon the roof.

I was afraid). are scattered over the desks. I see it now. and that his stocking was just breaking out in one place. and that I was sent in holiday-time as a punishment for my misdoing. Mell I supposed the boys were out. and he wonders you expect it. made of the same materials. That all the boys were at their several homes. Some silkworms’ houses. Salem House was a square brick building with wings. for the first time. Mr. and six of forms. as we went on together. and Miss Creakle. in a 11 David Copperfield . and bristling all round with pegs for hats and slates. A long room with three long rows of desks. and looked at them (very disconsolately. Mell. the proprietor. all of which he explained to me as we went along. was down by the sea-side with Mrs. A bird. Creakle. ‘since you’ve been out. as the most forlorn and desolate place I had ever seen.’ With these words he threw the boots towards Mr. who went back a few paces to pick them up. I gazed upon the schoolroom into which he took me. are running up and down in a fusty castle made of pasteboard and wire. He says there ain’t a bit of the original boot left. that the boots he had on were a good deal the worse for wear. I observed then. and he says he can’t mend ‘em any more. All about it was so very quiet.‘Here! The cobbler’s been.’ he said. like a bud. Two miserable little white mice. Scraps of old copy-books and exercises litter the dirty floor. looking in all the corners with their red eyes for anything to eat. of a bare and unfurnished appearance. That Mr. Mell. left behind by their owner. that I said to Mr. but he seemed surprised at my not knowing that it was holiday-time.

to put this placard on your back. sir?’ ‘Isn’t what a dog?’ ‘That’s to be taken care of. that bites. Mell came back. I’m looking for the dog. There is a strange unwholesome smell upon the room. I am sorry to make such a beginning with Free eBooks at Planet eBook.cage very little bigger than himself. which was lying on the desk. sir. sir. Mell having left me while he took his irreparable boots upstairs.’ ‘No. sweet apples wanting air. There could not well be more ink splashed about it. snowed. two inches high. and blown ink through the varying seasons of the year.’ I got upon the desk immediately. Copperfield. observing all this as I crept along. Suddenly I came upon a pasteboard placard. hailed. ‘What dog?’ ‘Isn’t it a dog. if it had been roofless from its first construction. and the skies had rained.’ ‘Dog?’ he says.’ says I. I went softly to the upper end of the room. My instructions are. and asked me what I did up there? ‘I beg your pardon. apprehensive of at least a great dog underneath.’ says he. but neither sings nor chirps. and bore these words: ‘TAKE CARE OF HIM. Copperfield.com 11 . or dropping from it. though I looked all round with anxious eyes. HE BITES. gravely. I was still engaged in peering about. ‘if you please. ‘that’s not a dog. Mr. when Mr. like mildewed corduroys. and rotten books. makes a mournful rattle now and then in hopping on his perch. That’s a boy. But. beautifully written. I could see nothing of him.

or I’ll report you!’ The playground was a bare gravelled yard. Whether it was possible for people to see me or not. I had the consolation of carrying it. and if he ever saw me leaning against a tree. and the baker read it. there I imagined somebody always to be. ‘Take care of him. but I must do it.’ With that he took me down. That cruel man with the wooden leg aggravated my sufferings. who came backwards and forwards to the house. and the butcher read it. for wherever my back was. he roared out from his lodge door in a stupendous voice.’ There was one boy . read that I was to be taken care of. that everybody. It was no relief to turn round and find nobody. in a word. and tied the placard. which was neatly constructed for the purpose. He bites. I always fancied that somebody was reading it. or the house. Steerforth . I recollect that I positively began to have a dread of myself.a certain J.who cut his name very 10 David Copperfield . It was completely covered with such inscriptions. afterwards. without inquiring in what tone and with what emphasis HE would read. as a kind of wild boy who did bite. There was an old door in this playground.you. open to all the back of the house and the offices. for I bit. you sir! You Copperfield! Show that badge conspicuous. He was in authority. on which the boys had a custom of carving their names. In my dread of the end of the vacation and their coming back. I could not read a boy’s name. or a wall. nobody can imagine. What I suffered from that placard. and wherever I went. ‘Hallo. and I knew that the servants read it. of a morning when I was ordered to walk there. on my shoulders like a knapsack.

would read it in a rather strong voice. at that door. and after them. In the monotony of my life. until the owners of all the names . Peggotty’s. and the disFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 11 . I have looked.seemed to send me to Coventry by general acclamation. each in his own way. it was such an insupportable affliction! I had long tasks every day to do with Mr. the green cracked flagstones in the court. as I have mentioned. and when I was in.supervised. there being no Mr. an old leaky water-butt. There was a third.there were five-and-forty of them in the school then. I conceived. Mell said . who. and that placard. He bites!’ It was the same with the places at the desks and forms.deep and very often. How vividly I call to mind the damp about the house. or of dining again with my unfortunate friend the waiter. by the unhappy disclosure that I had nothing on but my little night-shirt. and pretend to be dreadfully frightened of me. who I fancied would sing it. by the man with the wooden leg. but I did them. Mell. or of going to a party at Mr. and in all these circumstances making people scream and stare. and in my constant apprehension of the re-opening of the school. It was the same with the groves of deserted bedsteads I peeped at. my own bed. ‘Take care of him. a little shrinking creature. who I dreaded would make game of it. and afterwards pull my hair. I remember dreaming night after night. one Tommy Traddles. of being with my mother as she used to be. There was another boy. Mr. on my way to. or of travelling outside the stage-coach. George Demple. and got through them without disgrace. and Miss Murdstone here. Before. I walked about . and to cry out.

and dreading the time when it shall ring J. I picture myself with my books shut up. and smelling of fat. full of deal tables. at his own detached desk in the schoolroom. I picture myself coming downstairs in the morning. and blew at it. ruler. Steerforth and the rest to work: which is only second. and to have blown less in the sun! At one we dined. Mr. Mell. Then. and sitting on my bed-side crying for a comfortable word from Peggotty. to the time 1 David Copperfield . and until seven or eight in the evening. and conning tomorrow’s lessons.coloured trunks of some of the grim trees. still listening to the doleful performance of Mr. ink. Mell and I. and listening through it to what used to be at home. at the upper end of a long bare dining-room. I picture myself going up to bed. Mell. which seemed to have dripped more in the rain than other trees. making out the bills (as I found) for last half-year. I picture my small self in the dimly-lighted rooms. Mell. Mr. listening to the doleful performance of Mr. and I out of a tin pot. Mell drank out of a blue teacup. sitting with my head upon my hand. and writing. and feeling very sad and solitary. All day long. and looking through a long ghastly gash of a staircase window at the school-bell hanging on the top of an outhouse with a weathercock above it. among the unused rooms. and ooze away at the keys. in my foreboding apprehensions.paper. worked hard with pen. When he had put up his things for the night he took out his flute. books. we had more tasks until tea. and to the blowing of the wind on Yarmouth flats. which Mr. until I almost thought he would gradually blow his whole being into the large hole at the top.

and grin. Creakle. but in all of them I carried the same warning on my back. and grind his teeth. Mell never said much to me. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I cannot think I was a very dangerous character in any of these aspects. though I soon got used to them. But he had these peculiarities: and at first they frightened me.when the man with the wooden leg shall unlock the rusty gate to give admission to the awful Mr. but he was never harsh to me. I forgot to mention that he would talk to himself sometimes. and pull his hair in an unaccountable manner. I suppose we were company to each other. without talking. Mr.com 1 . and clench his fist.

I was fetched by the man with the wooden leg to appear before him. Mell that Mr. I was not mistaken. who had rarely shown themselves before. after tea. I heard that he was come. One day I was informed by Mr. Mell and me. when the man with the wooden leg began to stump about with a mop and a bucket of water. which was such David Copperfield 1 . Before bedtime. and turned out Mr. Mr. during which we were always in the way of two or three young women. Creakle would be home that evening. for the mop came into the schoolroom before long. who lived where we could. for some days. and were so continually in the midst of dust that I sneezed almost as much as if Salem House had been a great snuff-box. Creakle and the boys. from which I inferred that preparations were making to receive Mr. and he had a snug bit of garden that looked pleasant after the dusty playground. Creakle’s part of the house was a good deal more comfortable than ours.CHAPTER 6 I ENLARGE MY CIRCLE OF ACQUAINTANCE I HAD led this life about a month. In the evening. and got on how we could.

a little nose. and having afforded time for a full survey of it. It seemed to me a bold thing even to take notice that the passage looked comfortable. at this peculiarity striking me as his chief one. Creakle. on looking back.’ returned the man with Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and had some thin wet-looking hair that was just turning grey. The exertion this cost him. in the parlour). and deep in his head. turned me about again. when he spoke. that I thought no one but a camel. made his angry face so much more angry. Creakle or Miss Creakle (who were both there. that I am not surprised. Creakle’s face was fiery. or a dromedary. ‘What’s the report of this boy?’ ‘There’s nothing against him yet. But the circumstance about him which impressed me most. but spoke in a whisper. Mr. he had thick veins in his forehead. or anything but Mr. ‘Now. with a tumbler and bottle beside him. to Mr. was. that I hardly saw Mrs. brushed across each temple. that he had no voice. He was bald on the top of his head. a stout gentleman with a bunch of watch-chain and seals. and his eyes were small. Creakle’s side. ‘So!’ said Mr. Creakle.com 1 . Creakle.’ said Mr. Creakle. so that the two sides interlaced on his forehead. and his thick veins so much thicker. with my face to Mr. Creakle’s presence: which so abashed me.’ The wooden-legged man turned me about so as to exhibit the placard. and a large chin. as I went on my way. could have felt at home in it. ‘This is the young gentleman whose teeth are to be filed! Turn him round. or the consciousness of talking in that feeble way. and posted himself at Mr.a desert in miniature. trembling. when I was ushered into it. in an arm-chair.

as if my ear were blazing. I hoped so. sir!’ said Mr.’ ‘. I will have it done. Creakle was disappointed. 1 David Copperfield . sir. ‘Come here!’ said the man with the wooden leg. ‘I have the happiness of knowing your father-in-law. ‘But you will soon. Creakle. he pinched it so hard. ‘Not yet. I afterwards found that he generally acted. ‘When I say I’ll do a thing. ‘and when I say I will have a thing done. beckoning to me. ‘and a worthy man he is. ‘Not yet? Hey?’ repeated Mr.’ said the man with the wooden leg. Creakle. I do it. ‘There has been no opportunity. Creakle. letting it go at last. and who were. pinching my ear with ferocious playfulness.’ whispered Mr.’ said Mr. and Miss Creakle (at whom I now glanced for the first time. flinching with the pain.Will have a thing done. Hey?’ repeated the man with the wooden leg. and a man of a strong character. Do YOU know me? Hey?’ said Mr. Hey?’ ‘You will soon. I will have it done. all this while. He knows me.’ whispered Mr. both. and said.the wooden leg. thin and quiet) were not disappointed. Creakle. ‘Come here. I felt. repeating the gesture. Creakle. I was very much frightened. I thought Mrs. Creakle’s interpreter to the boys. with his strong voice. if he pleased. ‘I’m a Tartar. taking me by the ear.’ I thought Mr. ‘I’ll tell you what I am.’ I said. as Mr. Creakle. and I know him.’ repeated the man with the wooden leg. with a screw at parting that brought the water into my eyes.’ ‘A Tartar.

though I wondered at my own courage: ‘If you please. ‘if I might be allowed (I am very sorry indeed. My flesh and blood’ . That’s what I do.’ I was very glad to be ordered away.he looked at Mrs. ‘for he knows me. Has that fellow’ . my young friend. as if he would have burnt me up with them.’ was the answer.’ said Mr. Creakle. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and Miss Creakle were both wiping their eyes. I went to bed. ‘Hah! What’s this?’ and bent his eyes upon me. He knows me. I don’t know. Creakle was in earnest. without waiting for the escort Of the man with the wooden leg. where. and never once stopped until I reached my own bedroom. ‘He knows better.to the man with the wooden leg -’been here again?’ ‘No. Creakle. ‘No. finding I was not pursued. sir. I say let him keep away. striking his hand upon the table. as it was time. that I couldn’t help saying. Creakle as he said this . for what I did) to take this writing off. and I felt as uncomfortable for them as I did for myself. Creakle whispered. before which I precipitately retreated. ‘That’s what I am. Now you have begun to know me too. Let him keep away. for Mrs. Creakle. and looking at Mrs. is not my flesh and blood.‘when it rises against me.’ said Mr. sir -’ Mr. and you may go. Creakle.com 1 . But I had a petition on my mind which concerned me so nearly. before the boys come back -’ Whether Mr.‘I am a determined character. I do my duty. I discard it. ‘If you please.’ said Mr. Take him away.’ I faltered. sir. but he made a burst out of his chair. or whether he only did it to frighten me.

great or small. immediately on his arrival. He enjoyed my placard so much. too. that he saved me from the embarrassment of either disclosure or concealment. Sharp came back. I thought. Next morning Mr. He introduced himself by informing me that I should find his name on the right. for a couple of hours. Mr. over the topbolt. Mell. Sharp was the first master. and were not so boisterous at my expense as I had expected. with a good deal of nose. as if it were a little too heavy for him. ‘Look here! Here’s a game!’ Happily. Mr. Sharp dined and supped at Mr. the greater part of the boys came back low-spirited. but I was informed by the very first boy who came back that it was a wig (a second-hand one HE said).hand corner of the gate. ‘Traddles?’ to which he replied. and patting and soothing me. Sharp went out every Saturday afternoon to get it curled. Creakle’s table. upon that I said. Mell took his meals with the boys. He was a limp. lest I 1 David Copperfield . His hair was very smooth and wavy. in this form of introduction. and that Mr.lay quaking. Some of them certainly did dance about me like wild Indians. but Mr. It was no other than Tommy Traddles who gave me this piece of intelligence. ‘The same.’ and then he asked me for a full account of myself and family. and the greater part could not resist the temptation of pretending that I was a dog. It was a happy circumstance for me that Traddles came back first. and a way of carrying his head on one side. He was the first boy who returned. and superior to Mr. by presenting me to every other boy who came back. delicate-looking gentleman.

and opening Peggotty’s purse. sir. ‘What money have you got. among so many strangers. sir!’ and calling me Towzer.’ I hastened to comply with his friendly suggestion. ‘You can. walking aside with me when he had disposed of my affair in these terms. I told him seven shillings. until J.’ I repeated. but on the whole it was much better than I had anticipated. however. if you like. ‘At least. Steerforth arrived. ‘You had better give it to me to take care of. I find. into the particulars of my punishment. Copperfield?’ he said.’ ‘No. up in the bedroom?’ said Steerforth. ‘Say the word. you can if you like. and at least half-a-dozen years my senior. and was pleased to express his opinion that it was ‘a jolly shame’. Yes. Before this boy. but I said. for which I became bound to him ever afterwards. I was not considered as being formally received into the school. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. under a shed in the playground. who was reputed to be a great scholar. I was carried as before a magistrate. and cost me some tears. ‘No thank you.’ It certainly had not occurred to me before. ‘Do you want to spend anything now?’ he asked me. and saying.com 1 . turned it upside down into his hand. ‘You belong to my bedroom. You needn’t if you don’t like.’ I replied. This was naturally confusing. and was very goodlooking. ‘Perhaps you’d like to spend a couple of shillings or so.should bite. you know.’ he said. ‘Lie down. He inquired. in a bottle of currant wine by and by. thank you.’ said Steerforth.

’ I couldn’t think of doing the honours of the feast. ‘Very good. and sat upon my pillow. I’ll do the best in my power for you.with perfect fairness. and another in fruit. I must say 10 David Copperfield . he would take care it should be all right.I should like that. Yes. he acceded to it. if that were all right which I had a secret misgiving was nearly all wrong . ‘I say.’ said Steerforth. too. and kindly told me not to make myself uneasy.’ With these words he put the money in his pocket. you’re going it!’ I smiled because he smiled. When we went upstairs to bed. ‘We must make it stretch as far as we can. he produced the whole seven shillings’worth. but I was a little troubled in my mind. and laid it out on my bed in the moonlight. He was as good as his word. in almond cakes. saying: ‘There you are. too. I can go out when I like. I begged him to do me the favour of presiding. eh?’ said Steerforth. and a royal spread you’ve got. at my time of life. while he was by. young Copperfield. ‘Well!’ said Steerforth. I should like that. that’s all. young Copperfield. and my request being seconded by the other boys who were in that room. handing round the viands . and I’ll smuggle the prog in.for I feared it was a waste of my mother’s two half-crowns though I had preserved the piece of paper they were wrapped in: which was a precious saving. ‘You’ll be glad to spend another shilling or so. ‘And another shilling or so in biscuits. I dare say?’ I said. my hand shook at the very thought of it.

but the art of slashing. and my respectfully listening. I heard all kinds of things about the school and all belonging to it. every day of his life.com 11 . and shed a blue glare over us that was gone directly! A certain mysterious feeling.and dispensing the currant wine in a little glass without a foot. consequent on the darkness. and the greater part of us in shadow. or their talking. that he had been. when he wanted to look for anything on the board. unmercifully. through the window. the moonlight falling a little way into the room. As to me. the secrecy of the revel.. charging in among the boys like a trooper. painting a pale window on the floor. which makes me glad that they are all so near. and slashing away. Steerforth said) than the lowest boy in the school. steals over me again. I ought rather to say. That he knew nothing himself. being more ignorant (J. and frightens me (though I feign to laugh) when Traddles pretends to see a ghost in the corner. a good many years ago. a small hop-dealer in the Borough. Creakle had not preferred his claim to being a Tartar without reason. that he was the sternest and most severe of masters. on the nearest beds and on the floor. that he laid about him. and I listen to all they tell me with a vague feeling of solemnity and awe. I sat on his left hand. which was his own property. and making away Free eBooks at Planet eBook. except when Steerforth dipped a match into a phosphorus-box. right and left. How well I recollect our sitting there. and the rest were grouped about us. I heard that Mr. and had taken to the schooling business after being bankrupt in hops. talking in whispers. and the whisper in which everything was said.

in consequence. Creakle. Creakle’s money. Steerforth himself confirmed this when it was stated. he dipped a match into his phosphorus-box on purpose to shed a glare over his reply. Creakle. as was supposed among the boys. who had not been Tungay’s friend. But the greatest wonder that I heard of Mr. whose name was Tungay. was an obstinate barbarian who had formerly assisted in the hop business. and that Mrs. Creakle had turned him out of doors. and that the only delight of his life was to be sour and malicious. and Miss Creakle had been in a sad way. as his natural enemies. ever since. Creakle had a son. Creakle was. masters and boys. and said he would commence by knocking him down with 1 David Copperfield . I heard that with the single exception of Mr. Steerforth. had once held some remonstrance with his father on an occasion when its discipline was very cruelly exercised. and knowing his secrets. and having done a deal of dishonest work for him. I heard that Mr. assisting in the school. With a good deal more of that sort. to have protested against his father’s usage of his mother. On being asked by a mild boy (not me) how he would proceed if he did begin to see him do it. there being one boy in the school on whom he never ventured to lay a hand. I heard that Mr. and was supposed. Creakle’s service. in consequence. but had come into the scholastic line with Mr. I heard that the man with the wooden leg. and that boy being J. of his having broken his leg in Mr. which I wondered how they knew. and who. besides. and said that he should like to begin to see him do it.with Mrs. Tungay considered the whole establishment.

his mother. and that when there was hot and cold meat for dinner at Mr.a name selected from the arithmetic book as expressing this arrangement. Steerforth. because his own red hair was very plainly to be seen behind. the only parlour-boarder. Mell. Mell was not a bad sort of fellow. I am glad to remember. I heard that Mr. I heard that Mr. I thought of my breakfast then. and was called. came as a set-off against the coal-bill. which was again corroborated by J. The greater part of the guests had gone to bed as soon as the eating and drinking were over. Mell were both supposed to be wretchedly paid. and I am sure. as mute as a mouse about it. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I heard that one boy. I thought it very likely. as I sat in the dark. and the pudding an imposition.somebody else said ‘bumptious’ . and his curling hair. I heard that Mr.about it. and that there was no doubt that old Mrs. thinking of his nice voice.com 1 . and what had sounded like ‘My Charley!’ but I was. outlasted the banquet some time. Sharp was always expected to say he preferred cold. Sharp’s wig didn’t fit him. but hadn’t a sixpence to bless himself with. ‘Exchange or Barter’ . on that account. and that he needn’t be so ‘bounceable’ . Sharp and Mr. who was a coal-merchant’s son. We sat in the dark for some time. Creakle’s table. I heard that Miss Creakle was regarded by the school in general as being in love with Steerforth.a blow on the forehead from the seven-and-sixpenny inkbottle that was always on the mantelpiece. and his easy manner. and his fine face. Mr. was as poor as job. and a good deal more. breathless. I heard that the table beer was a robbery of parents. The hearing of all this.

’ I answered. the reason of my mind running on him.’ said Steerforth. No veiled future dimly glanced upon him in the moonbeams. I recollect.’ I replied. too. I should think she would have been a pretty.’ said Steerforth. yawning. ‘I’ll take care of you.’ ‘You haven’t got a sister.and we. ‘No.’ I gratefully returned. to look at him where he lay in the moonlight. of course. ‘I am very much obliged to you. I should have liked to know her. have you?’ said Steerforth. young Copperfield. sir. timid. and his head reclining easily on his arm. with his handsome face turned up. 1 David Copperfield .’ ‘Good night. in the garden that I dreamed of walking in all night. I thought of him very much after I went to bed. ‘Good night. bright-eyed sort of girl. who had remained whispering and listening halfundressed. ‘That’s a pity. He was a person of great power in my eyes.’ ‘You’re very kind. ‘If you had had one. There was no shadowy picture of his footsteps. young Copperfield. little. Good night. at last betook ourselves to bed. that was. and raised myself.

this is a new half. for the boys were all struck speechless and motionless. every boy!’ When this dreadful exordium was over. Creakle was seen to speak. I won’t flinch. I advise you. to cry out ‘Silence!’ so ferociously.com 1 S . Tungay stood at Mr. by the roar of voices in the schoolroom suddenly becoming hushed as death when Mr. Creakle entered after breakfast. ‘Now. for I come fresh up to the punishment. It will be of no use your rubbing yourselves. Mr. Take care what you’re about. boys. He had no occasion. and Tungay was heard. Come fresh up to the lessons. Now get to work.CHAPTER 7 MY ‘FIRST HALF’ AT SALEM HOUSE chool began in earnest next day. A profound impression was made upon me. I thought. and stood in the doorway looking round upon us like a giant in a story-book surveying his captives. to this effect. you won’t rub the marks out that I shall give you. I remember. in this new half. and Tungay had Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Creakle’s elbow.

I am really afraid to recollect. so I was very soon made free of Salem House (as Steerforth said). but it rises hotly. Creakle made the round of the schoolroom.stumped out again. I am confident that he couldn’t resist a chubby boy. which only I received. He then showed me the cane. hey? Did it bite? At every question he gave me a fleshy cut with it that made me writhe. Not that I mean to say these were special marks of distinction. my blood rises against him with the disinterested indignation I should feel if I could have known all about him without having ever been in his power. hey? Was it a double tooth. I was chubby myself. Half the establishment was writhing and crying. before the day’s work began. and how much of it had writhed and cried before the day’s work was over. hey? Did it bite. I should think there never can have been a man who enjoyed his profession more than Mr. as Mr. which was like the satisfaction of a craving appetite. On the contrary. 1 David Copperfield . for a tooth? Was it a sharp tooth. Mr. lest I should seem to exaggerate. a large majority of the boys (especially the smaller ones) were visited with similar instances of notice. and was very soon in tears also. hey? Had it a deep prong. Creakle came to where I sat. and told me that if I were famous for biting. until he had scored and marked him for the day. and ought to know. Creakle did. I am sure when I think of the fellow now. He had a delight in cutting at the boys. that there was a fascination in such a subject. especially. and asked me what I thought of THAT. which made him restless in his mind. too. he was famous for biting.

than to be Lord High Admiral. we laugh. He makes dreadful mouths as he rules the ciphering-book. and we laugh at it.humbly watching his eye. and we all droop over our books and tremble.because I know him to have been an incapable brute. approaches at his command. I have plenty to do. as he rules a ciphering-book for another victim whose hands have just been flattened by that identical ruler. and professes a determination to do better tomorrow.com 1 . Miserable little propitiators of a remorseless Idol. who had no more right to be possessed of the great trust he held. with the same interest in his eye. how abject we were to him! What a launch in life I think it now. A moment afterwards we are again eyeing him. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and our hearts sinking into our boots. An unhappy culprit. but because I am morbidly attracted to it. The culprit falters excuses. .miserable little dogs. and now he throws his eye sideways down our lane. to be so mean and servile to a man of such parts and pretensions! Here I sit at the desk again. I think he knows it. or somebody else’s. Mr. Creakle cuts a joke before he beats him. A lane of small boys beyond me. in a dread desire to know what he will do next. and who is trying to wipe the sting out with a pocket-handkerchief. found guilty of imperfect exercise. and whether it will be my turn to suffer. though he pretends he don’t. or Commander-in-Chief in either of which capacities it is probable that he would have done infinitely less mischief. on looking back. watch it too. watching his eye . with our visages as white as ashes. I don’t watch his eye in idleness.

I would give the world to go to sleep. with a red ridge across my back. mine assumes an imploring and submissive expression. and becomes contemplative. A cloggy sensation of the lukewarm fat of meat is upon me (we dined an hour or two ago). ruling those ciphering-books.Here I sit at the desk again.I think he was caned every day that half-year. with my eye still fascinated by him. and I eye that instead. and feeling that the ball has bounded on to Mr. on a drowsy summer afternoon. as if the boys were so many bluebottles. I sit with my eye on Mr. until he softly comes behind me and wakes me to plainer perception of him. when sleep overpowers me for a minute. though I can’t see him. Here I am in the playground. Creakle’s sacred head. One day. He was always being caned .and was always going to write to his 1 David Copperfield . except one holiday Monday when he was only ruler’d on both hands . Creakle. The window at a little distance from which I know he is having his dinner. If he looks out through the glass. Poor Traddles! In a tight sky-blue suit that made his arms and legs like German sausages. and my head is as heavy as so much lead. the boldest boy (Steerforth excepted) stops in the middle of a shout or yell. A buzz and hum go up around me. he still looms through my slumber. Traddles (the most unfortunate boy in the world) breaks that window accidentally. he was the merriest and most miserable of all the boys. blinking at him like a young owl. I shudder at this moment with the tremendous sensation of seeing it done. with a ball. or roly-poly puddings. If he shows his face near it. stands for him.

and in point Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but I thought her a young lady of extraordinary attractions. He never said who was the real offender. who reminded himself by those symbols of mortality that caning couldn’t last for ever. He was very honourable. and never did. and we all felt that to be the highest praise. and was imprisoned so many hours that he came forth with a whole churchyard-full of skeletons swarming all over his Latin Dictionary. I could have gone through a good deal (though I was much less brave than Traddles. and for some time looked upon him as a sort of hermit. He suffered for this on several occasions. After laying his head on the desk for a little while. somehow. and draw skeletons all over his slate. Steerforth said there was nothing of the sneak in Traddles. begin to laugh again. though he smarted for it next day. despised by the congregation. he would cheer up. I see him now. and didn’t want any features. and nothing like so old) to have won such a recompense. and held it as a solemn duty in the boys to stand by one another. I used at first to wonder what comfort Traddles found in drawing skeletons. Traddles was. I didn’t think Miss Creakle equal to little Em’ly in point of beauty. and I didn’t love her (I didn’t dare).com 1 . For my part. before his eyes were dry. arm-in-arm with Miss Creakle.uncle about it. But I believe he only did it because they were easy. was one of the great sights of my life. and took him out. when Steerforth laughed in church. and the Beadle thought it was Traddles. To see Steerforth walk to church before us. going away in custody. and particularly once. But he had his reward.

of gentility not to be surpassed. and considered to be very kind of him. who was very severe with me. though it sometimes led to inconvenience. and only one that I know of. but Steerforth was to them what the sun was to two stars. since nobody dared to annoy one whom he honoured with his countenance. An accidental circumstance cemented the intimacy between Steerforth and me. in white trousers. He found my placard in his way when he came up or down behind the form on which I sat. in a manner that inspired me with great pride and satisfaction. and I saw it no more. and believed that she could not choose but adore him with all her heart. Steerforth continued his protection of me. Creakle’s severity. He said nothing at the time. asked me if I had got that book? I told him no. and explained how it was that I had read it. and proved a very useful friend. in Mr. Mell were both notable personages in my eyes. Sharp and Mr. 10 David Copperfield . It happened on one occasion. when he was doing me the honour of talking to me in the playground. but whenever I had been treated worse than usual.I forget what now . and wanted to make a cut at me in passing. and that he wouldn’t have stood it himself. for this reason it was soon taken off. When Steerforth. Mr. he always told me that I wanted a little of his pluck. which I felt he intended for encouragement.or at all events he didn’t . carried her parasol for her. Creakle. I felt proud to know him. There was one advantage.was like something or somebody in Peregrine Pickle.defend me from Mr. He couldn’t . but when I was going to bed at night. that I hazarded the observation that something or somebody .

In the morning. when I felt weary. but I had a profound faith in them. however. and we commenced carrying it into execution that very evening. Let me do myself justice. and it must be done. I am not in a condition to say. young Copperfield. it was a tiresome thing to be roused. in return. ‘And do you recollect them?’ Steerforth said. and I generally wake rather early in the morning. I had a good memory. I was moved by no interested Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 11 .’ said Steerforth. that I was often sleepy at night. We’ll go over ‘em one after another. my sums and exercises. or out of spirits and indisposed to resume the story. ‘Then I tell you what. and as he explained to me. What ravages I committed on my favourite authors in the course of my interpretation of them. I was no loser by the transaction. I can’t get to sleep very early at night. The drawback was. and forced into a long story before the getting-up bell rang. and I had.’ I replied. and then it was rather hard work.and all those other books of which I have made mention. for to disappoint or to displease Steerforth was of course out of the question. ‘Oh yes. but Steerforth was resolute. too. and anything in my tasks that was too hard for me. ‘you shall tell ‘em to me. like the Sultana Scheherazade. We’ll make some regular Arabian Nights of it. and should have enjoyed another hour’s repose very much.’ I felt extremely flattered by this arrangement. and should be very unwilling to know. earnest manner of narrating what I did narrate. and I believed I recollected them very well. and these qualities went a long way. a simple. to the best of my belief.

he was so kind as to squeeze orange juice into it. and although I cannot assert that the flavour was improved by these experiments. every drop. or to stir it up with ginger. and two bottles of cowslip wine. It was so precious to me that I look back on these trifles. This treasure. young Copperfield.and it should be. nor was I moved by fear of him. I laid at the feet of Steerforth.arrived before ‘the half’ was many weeks old.a little roopy was his exact expression . and his approval was return enough. or that it was exactly the compound one would have chosen for a stomachic. now. with an aching heart. in an unflinching manner that was a little tantalizing. I admired and loved him. the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning. as in duty bound. devoted to the purpose he had mentioned. and administered to me through a piece of quill in the cork. I drank it 1 David Copperfield . not to think of it. and with it a cake in a perfect nest of oranges. or dissolve a peppermint drop in it. to make it a more sovereign specific. Steerforth was considerate. I’ll tell you what. and showed his consideration. when I was supposed to be in want of a restorative. Accordingly.’ said he: ‘the wine shall be kept to wet your whistle when you are storytelling. Sometimes. it was locked up in his box. in one particular instance. and begged him to dispense. to poor Traddles and the rest. But he said he had observed I was sometimes hoarse . and drawn off by himself in a phial. Peggotty’s promised letter .what a comfortable letter it was! . too.or selfish motive. I suspect. ‘Now.’ I blushed at the idea. and begged him. in my modesty.

But the being cherished as a kind of plaything in my room. It was a great jest of his. We seem. Creakle. that he was overheard by Mr. and attracted a good deal of notice to me though I was the youngest there. In a school carried on by sheer cruelty.was a sort of chorus. whenever mention was made of an Alguazill in connexion with the adventures of Gil Blas.I never think of that boy but with a strange disposition to laugh. I recollect. and to be overcome with fear when there was any passage of an alarming character in the narrative.com 1 . and I remember that when Gil Blas met the captain of the robbers in Madrid. there is not likely to be much learnt. Whatever I had within me that was romantic and dreamy. to me. I am certain. stimulated me to exertion. very often. as ignorant a set as any Free eBooks at Planet eBook. generally. and in that respect the pursuit may not have been very profitable to me. and the wine lasted out almost as well as the matter. who was prowling about the passage. and with tears in my eyes .gratefully and was very sensible of his attention. and months more over the other stories. The institution never flagged for want of a story. was encouraged by so much story-telling in the dark. whether it is presided over by a dunce or not. This rather put me out. I believe our boys were. and the consciousness that this accomplishment of mine was bruited about among the boys. and handsomely flogged for disorderly conduct in the bedroom. this unlucky joker counterfeited such an ague of terror. Poor Traddles . to pretend that he couldn’t keep his teeth from chattering. to have been months over Peregrine. and affected to be convulsed with mirth at the comic parts. in general.

urged me on somehow. We little thought. for the time I was there. But the visit had its unforeseen consequences. than any one can do anything to advantage in a life of constant misfortune. an exception to the general body. made me. It always gave me pain to observe that Steerforth treated him with systematic disparagement. insomuch that I did steadily pick up some crumbs of knowledge. I dare say.schoolboys in existence. in the way of punishment. too. who had a liking for me that I am grateful to remember. than I could keep a cake or any other tangible possession. and Steerforth’s help. when I ate my breakfast that first morning. if anything. Mell had taken me to see. in their way. and I was always afraid that Steerforth would let it out. But my little vanity. because I had soon told Steerforth. One day when Mr. which naturally diffused a lively joy through the school. and twit him with it. In this I was much assisted by Mr. about the two old women Mr. and of a serious sort. they could no more do that to advantage. what consequences would come of the introduction into those alms-houses of my insignificant person. there was a good deal of noise in the course of the 1 David Copperfield . Creakle kept the house from indisposition. and worry. and went to sleep under the shadow of the peacock’s feathers to the sound of the flute. any one of us. Mell. or inducing others to do so. from whom I could no more keep such a secret. and seldom lost an occasion of wounding his feelings. and without saving me from much. they were too much troubled and knocked about to learn. This troubled me the more for a long time. torment.

mimicking his poverty. Mell. I recall him bending his aching head. there were laughing boys. It was the day of the week on which Mr. Sharp went out to get his wig curled. The great relief and satisfaction experienced by the boys made them difficult to manage. singing boys. But as the noise in the playground would have disturbed Mr. boys whirled about him. making faces. and thought it wise. his boots. baited by a thousand dogs. whatever it was. mimicking him behind his back and before his eyes. in connexion with that afternoon when the uproar was at its height. do what they would. who always did the drudgery. and took notes of the principal offenders’ names. I should think of him. his coat. no doubt. being Saturday. Boys started in and out of their places. as of one of those animals. as they were pretty sure of getting into trouble tomorrow. Creakle. talking boys. and though the dreaded Tungay brought his wooden leg in twice or thrice.com 1 . so Mr. It was. properly. we were ordered into school in the afternoon. kept school by himself. If I could associate the idea of a bull or a bear with anyone so mild as Mr. amidst an uproar that might have made the Speaker of the House of Commons giddy. and set some lighter tasks than usual. supported on his bony hand. which were made for the occasion. everything beFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and wretchedly endeavouring to get on with his tiresome work. and the weather was not favourable for going out walking. to enjoy themselves today.morning’s work. over the book on his desk. Mell. grinning. a half-holiday. playing at puss in the corner with other boys. dancing boys. boys shuffled with their feet. no great impression was made by it. his mother. howling boys.

Mell. ‘Silence. Mell with his mouth shut up as if he were whistling. and striking his desk with the book. boys?’ It was my book that he struck his desk with. He was lounging with his back against the wall. and pretended to want a pen mended. ‘Silence!’ cried Mr. Mell. ‘What does this mean! It’s impossible to bear it. and some applause. when Mr. who had darted out behind him to imitate his mother again.he laid his hand. and his hands in his pockets. some half afraid. upon my head . but Mr. I saw the boys all stop. following his eye as it glanced round the room.‘or that I have not observed you.’ said Mr. some suddenly surprised. ‘and mind your business. It’s maddening. and one boy. Mr. Mell. Mell looked at him. ‘Whom are you talking to?’ ‘Sit down.’ There was a titter. changed his mind. ‘Silence yourself.’ said Steerforth. Mell was so white. ‘that I am not acquainted with the power you can establish over any mind here’ . at the opposite end of the long room.longing to him that they should have had consideration for. without considering what he did (as I supposed). Steerforth. turning red. that silence immediately succeeded. and some sorry perhaps. How can you do it to me.’ said Mr. and as I stood beside him. and looked at Mr. Mell. urging your juniors on to every 1 David Copperfield . ‘If you think. Steerforth!’ said Mr. Steerforth’s place was at the bottom of the school. ‘Sit down yourself.’ said Steerforth. suddenly rising up. within a few minutes.

When you take the liberty of calling me mean or base. or there was any such intention on either side. Creakle in the midst of us. Here somebody cried out.’ ‘Young Copperfield.sort of outrage against me. and found Mr. You can sit down or stand up as you please. sir. ‘to insult a gentleman -’ ‘A what? . Mell was going to strike him.’ said Mr. go on.’ pursued Mr. sir.’ said Steerforth. with Tungay at his side. Copperfield. You are always a beggar.’ said Steerforth. Mell. . once for all.’ ‘I don’t give myself the trouble of thinking at all about you. you know. and Mrs.’ I am not clear whether he was going to strike Mr. ‘you commit a mean and base action. coolly. and the many reasons for not insulting whom you are old enough and wise enough to understand.‘To insult one who is not fortunate in life. or Mr. you are mistaken. and Miss Creakle looking in at the door as if they were Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mell instantly discomfited by bidding him hold his tongue. Mell. Steerforth! Too bad!’ It was Traddles. Mr. Mell. Mell.where is he?’ said Steerforth.’ ‘And when you make use of your position of favouritism here. I saw a rigidity come upon the whole school as if they had been turned into stone. ‘Shame. you are an impudent beggar. but when you do that. sir. or anything of that sort. J. as it happens.com 1 . with his lips trembling more and more. ‘so I’m not mistaken. you are an impudent beggar. whom Mr. coming forward up the room. ‘stop a bit. and who never gave you the least offence. with his lip trembling very much. I tell you what.

Creakle.frightened. sir. what is this?’ Steerforth evaded the question for a little while. Mell. with the veins in his forehead swelling quickly. I . I hope?’ ‘No.’ said Mr. looking in scorn and anger on his opponent. sir. ‘What did he mean by talking about favourites.no. sir. Creakle turned to Steerforth. Mell looked opposed to him. showing his face. Mr. and rubbing his hands in great agitation. for some moments. Mr. sat. Creakle.I have remembered myself. I have not forgotten myself.I .’ returned the Master. I remember.it . and remained in the same state of agitation. Creakle. It would have saved me something. more just. shaking him by the arm. After still looking hard at Mr. sir. sir. no. and said: ‘Now. and rubbed his hands. I have remembered myself. and got his feet upon the form close by.’ Mr. with his elbows on his desk and his face in his hands. ‘you have not forgotten yourself. ‘No. sir. ‘Favourites?’ repeated Mr. what a noble fellow he was in appearance. Mell. I . and shaking his head. I . No. ‘Mr. put his hand on Tungay’s shoulder. as he don’t condescend to tell me. that Tungay felt it unnecessary to repeat his words. Creakle. then?’ said Steerforth at length. Mell from his throne. and remaining silent. It .would have been more kind. ‘Who talked about favourites?’ 1 David Copperfield . quite still.could wish you had remembered me a little sooner. Mr. and how homely and plain Mr. looking hard at Mr. I could not help thinking even in that interval. Mell. and sat upon the desk. and his whisper was so audible now. as he shook his head. Mr. Creakle. sir.

and here Mr. you showed proper respect to me? To me. Creakle. upon his chest. and then I called him a beggar. ‘as I said. What’s-your-name’. Creakle. that you should atFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and I am ready to take the consequences of it. Creakle. ‘does you honour. if I had been cool. ‘I meant. though no one spoke a word. when you talk about favourites.’ he returned in a low voice. and made such a knot of his brows that his little eyes were hardly visible below them. Steerforth .’ said Mr. ‘I should not have done so. sir.’ said Mr.’ ‘It was not judicious.’ said Steerforth.although your candour does you honour. Mr. perhaps I shouldn’t have called him a beggar. certainly . Creakle. ‘My stars! But give me leave to ask you. and then he said I was base. sir. But I did. Mell. Steerforth. and your employer. I am willing to admit.‘He did. what did you mean by that. If I had been cool. ‘Then he said I was mean. darting his head at him suddenly. Creakle. cane and all. I felt quite in a glow at this gallant speech. sir?’ demanded Mr. Mr. perhaps. Creakle folded his arms. It made an impression on the boys too. ‘And pray. whether there were any consequences to be taken. turning angrily on his assistant. that no pupil had a right to avail himself of his position of favouritism to degrade me. ‘whether. I must say. for there was a low stir among them. ‘I am surprised.I am surprised.’ Here Steerforth struck in.’ ‘To degrade YOU?’ said Mr.’ Without considering. and drawing it back again.’ said Mr. ‘the principal of this establishment.com 1 .

’ Steerforth gave a short laugh. Creakle.what I have to say is. in a whisper. Mell’s hand gently patted me upon the shoulder. sir. Creakle looked. sir. Mell looked homely. ‘Why.tach such an epithet to any person employed and paid in Salem House. that his mother lives on charity in an alms-house. if you please. to set him right before the assembled school. ‘That’s not an answer. if I heard right: ‘Yes. in my eyes.’ said Steerforth. where does he go a-begging?’ ‘If he is not a beggar himself.’ said Steerforth. and said to himself. Have the goodness. I looked up with a flush upon my face and remorse in my heart. I expect more than that from you. before the handsome boy. Mell’s eyes were fixed on Steerforth. and still patted me kindly on the shoulder. it would be quite impossible to say how homely Mr. Mr. . Steerforth?’ cried Mr. but he looked at him. Mell still looked at him. Steerforth. with a severe frown and laboured politeness: ‘Now. but Mr. Mell. ‘Let him deny it. you hear what this gentleman says. ‘Since you expect me. I thought so. Creakle. Creakle turned to his assistant. and Mr.’ said Steerforth. ‘and to say what I mean. sir. to justify myself. without correction.’ returned Mr. 10 David Copperfield .’ said Mr.’ He glanced at me.’ If Mr. He continued to pat me kindly on the shoulder. ‘to my remark. ‘Deny that he is a beggar. his near relation’s one.’ Mr. Mell. Creakle. Mr.’ Mr.’ ‘He is right. ‘It’s all the same.

‘I take my leave of you. rising. Creakle.’ he returned. Mr.com 11 .’ ‘Be so good then as declare publicly. and then taking his flute and a few books from his desk.’ said Mr. and again patting me gently on the shoulders. here. Mr. and always has been.’ answered Mr.in the midst of a dead silence. ‘what he has said is true. At present I would prefer to see you anything rather than a friend. Creakle. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ Once more he laid his hand upon my shoulder. Creakle.’ replied the assistant. Mell. Mell. you know not. the best wish I can leave you is that you may come to be ashamed of what you have done today. ‘that you’ve been in a wrong position altogether. Creakle. man?’ ‘I apprehend you never supposed my worldly circumstances to be very good. he went out of the school. ‘Don’t you. Mell. ‘like the present. to you!’ said Mr. ‘James Steerforth. glancing round the room.’ said Mr. and all of you.’ ‘I apprehend. and mistook this for a charity school. ‘You know what my position is. to me. if you come to that.’ ‘Sir. The sooner the better.’ ‘There is no time. or to anyone in whom I feel an interest.’ said Mr. with his veins swelling again bigger than ever. will you. we’ll part. and leaving the key in it for his successor. if you please. and rolling his eyes round the school. ‘whether it ever came to my knowledge until this moment?’ ‘I believe not directly. putting his head on one side. ‘Why. Creakle.’ said Mr.

who had passed the stage of lying with his head upon the desk. I felt so much self-reproach and contrition for my part in what had happened. I should rather say. who often looked at me.I did not quite know what for. Mr.if I showed the emotion which distressed me. ‘Hurt his feel1 David Copperfield . or wherever he had come from. on one another. and the feeling with which I regarded him. Mell was ill-used. through Tungay. but I supposed for Steerforth. He was very angry with Traddles. and so joined in them ardently. while we gave three cheers . that nothing would have enabled me to keep back my tears but the fear that Steerforth. you have. and which he wound up by shaking hands with Steerforth. Mell’s departure. I saw.or. in which he thanked Steerforth for asserting (though perhaps too warmly) the independence and respectability of Salem House. and went back to his sofa. though I felt miserable. ‘Who has ill-used him. instead of cheers. ‘Why. ‘What have you done?’ retorted Traddles.’ returned Traddles. ‘What have I done?’ said Steerforth. Poor Traddles. considering our relative ages. Mr. on account of Mr. We were left to ourselves now. might think it unfriendly . or his bed. said he didn’t care. and said he was glad he had caught it. For myself.with his property under his arm. Creakle then caned Tommy Traddles for being discovered in tears. you girl?’ said Steerforth. and was relieving himself as usual with a burst of skeletons. Creakle then made a speech. I recollect. Mr. and looked very blank. undutiful .

and had no Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and for our cause. as he condescended to do. Miss Traddles. and before he entered on his duties. and would do almost anything. I’ll be bound. and that when at last Steerforth was tired. But I must say that when I was going on with a story in the dark that night. I soon forgot him in the contemplation of Steerforth. who. As to his situation . We were all extremely glad to see Traddles so put down. Without exactly understanding what learned distinction was meant by this. and I lay down in my bed. and that he had conferred a great boon upon us by unselfishly doing it. and without any book (he seemed to me to know everything by heart). that what he had done had been done expressly for us. whose mother was a widow. His feelings are not like yours. Steerforth approved of him highly.which was a precious one.ings. I fancied it playing so sorrowfully somewhere. The new master came from a grammar school. I respected him greatly for it. ‘His feelings will soon get the better of it. took some of his classes until a new master was found. in an easy amateur way. dined in the parlour one day. and exalted Steerforth to the skies: especially when he told us. wasn’t it? .com 1 .do you suppose I am not going to write home.’ ‘His feelings?’ repeated Steerforth disdainfully. and take care that he gets some money? Polly?’ We thought this intention very noble in Steerforth. and told us he was a Brick. and lost him his situation. to be introduced to Steerforth. that I was quite wretched. and rich. Mr. Mell’s old flute seemed more than once to sound mournfully in my ears. it was said. that he asked her.

and the thought came into my head that it might be my mother . Tungay came in. It survives for many reasons. Creakle. I could not help laughing. Mell had taken. and felt quite faint with astonishment. Peggotty and Ham. were Mr. and what room they were to be shown into.I had only thought of Mr. was told to go by the back stairs and get a clean frill on.doubt whatever of his superior knowledge: though he never took the pains with me . who had. and I laughed and laughed. stood up on the announcement being made. and called out in his usual strong way: ‘Visitors for Copperfield!’ A few words were interchanged between him and Mr. and Mr.that Mr. out of the daily school-life. according to custom. and squeezing one another against the wall.not that I was anybody . in such a flutter and hurry of my young spirits as I had never known before. We shook hands in a very cordial way. who the visitors were. that made an impression upon me which still survives. but feeling a pressure against the door. and there. as. Creakle was laying about him dreadfully. I looked round it. than at the appearance they made. At first I saw nobody. There was only one other event in this half-year. and when I got to the parlour door. These orders I obeyed. before I repaired to the diningroom. One afternoon. to my amazement. and then I. and stopped to have a sob before I went in. ducking at me with their hats. until I 1 David Copperfield . but it was much more in the pleasure of seeing them. when we were all harassed into a state of dire confusion.I drew back my hand from the lock. or Miss Murdstone until then .

Peggotty. I do assure Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘And little Em’ly. ‘Mrs.common.’ said Mr. ‘knowing as you was partial to a little relish with your wittles when you was along with us. Gummidge?’ ‘On .’ said Mr. Mr. slowly. Yes. ‘Do you know how mama is. and then we all three laughed until I was in danger of crying again. and a large canvas bag of shrimps. we took the liberty. Peggotty. drying my eyes. Gummidge. Peggotty. Mrs. old Peggotty is?’ ‘Oncommon. to see old friends. she did. during the visit) showed great concern when he saw me do this. Peggotty (who never shut his mouth once. They made me laugh again by laughing at each other. and Mrs. There was a silence.pulled out my pocket-handkerchief and wiped my eyes. ‘Why. to relieve it. but somehow it made me cry. and nudged Ham to say something. Peggotty. Mr. and an enormous crab. Gummidge biled ‘em.’ said Mr.com 1 . Mas’r Davy bor’? Ain’t he growed!’ said Ham. who I thought appeared to stick to the subject on account of having no other subject ready.’ said Mr. in his simpering way. Peggotty?’ I said. Mas’r Davy bor’!’ said Ham. and piled them up in Ham’s arms. Peggotty. ‘Cheer up. ‘You see. I was not crying at anything in particular that I know of. The old Mawther biled ‘em. ‘Ain’t he growed!’ said Mr. out of his pockets. I remember. Mr. ‘And how my dear. how you have growed!’ ‘Am I grown?’ I said. took two prodigious lobsters. dear. ‘Growed. Peggotty.

with his own shining like a light. the wind and tide making in our favour. said: ‘We come. after looking at Ham. Peggotty meant by this figure. humbly wishing him well and reporting of the fam’ly as they was oncommon toe-be-sure. I then thanked him heartily. in one of our Yarmouth lugs to Gravesen’.you. you see. Peggotty. without making any attempt to help him. Peggotty. I was to come over and inquire for Mas’r Davy and give her dooty. she biled ‘em. she’ll write to my sister when I go back. and said. you might see it anywheres. ‘Why it’s as black as jet! And so large it is.’ He meant Ham. and wrote to me as if ever I chanced to come to Gravesen’. as I see you and as you was similarly oncommon. ‘Her pretty face!’ said Mr. you see. ‘Ask HIM. Little Em’ly.’ I was obliged to consider a little before I understood what Mr. expressive of a complete circle of intelligence. that I supposed little Em’ly was altered too. ‘Her writing!’ said Mr.’ said Mr. who beamed with delight and assent over the bag of shrimps. ‘Her learning!’ said Ham. and so we make it quite a merry.’ I expressed my thanks. that’s wot she’s getting to be. and Mr. with a consciousness of reddening.’ It was perfectly delightful to behold with what enthusi1 David Copperfield . My sister she wrote to me the name of this here place. Peggotty. who stood smiling sheepishly over the shellfish. Peggotty.gorounder. since we used to pick up shells and pebbles on the beach? ‘She’s getting to be a woman.

I dare say they would have said much more about her. His broad chest heaves with pleasure. and he emphasizes what he says with a right arm that shows.asm Mr. Steerforth. Ham was quite as earnest as he. good people . in his earnestness. in my pigmy view. how it all comes back to me this long time afterwards! ‘Don’t go. ‘I am glad to see them. His honest eyes fire up. returning. but not swaggering . But I said. who. like a sledge-hammer. and sparkle. and have come from Gravesend to see me. if you please. stopped in a song he was singing. that I called to him as he was going away. his bluff hairy face irradiating with a joyful love and pride.which I still believe to have Free eBooks at Planet eBook.a gay and light manner it was. These are two Yarmouth boatmen . or in the desire to explain to him how I came to have such a friend as Mr. as if their depths were stirred by something bright. Peggotty. seeing me in a corner speaking with two strangers.who are relations of my nurse. and said: ‘I didn’t know you were here. How are you both?’ There was an ease in his manner . modestly Good Heaven. I am not sure whether it was in the pride of having such a friend as Steerforth. He stands before me again.very kind. if they had not been abashed by the unexpected coming in of Steerforth. His strong loose hands clench themselves.com 1 .’ ‘Aye. Peggotty became inspired when he thought of his little favourite. young Copperfield!’ (for it was not the usual visiting room) and crossed by us on his way out. for which I can find no description. aye?’ said Steerforth.

young gen’l’m’n! Mas’r Davy bor’. that Mr. too!’ Mr. bowing and chuckling. ‘Well. You never saw such a good house. is it?’ said Steerforth. Peggotty. his animal spirits. ‘when that letter is sent. if you please. ‘You must let them know at home. Peggotty was no less pleased than his nephew. Steerforth is very kind to me.borne a kind of enchantment with it. Mr. I still believe him. sir.’ ‘And if Mr. in virtue of this carriage. and tucking 1 David Copperfield . laughing. though his modesty forbade him to claim a personal compliment so vociferously. and how they seemed to open their hearts to him in a moment. gen’l’m’n’s right.’ he said.’ said Ham. It’s made out of a boat!’ ‘Made out of a boat. of some inborn power of attraction besides (which I think a few people possess). ‘It’s the right sort of a house for such a thorough-built boatman. sir. ‘while I am there. grinning. his handsome face and figure. I could not but see how pleased they were with him. so ‘tis.’ I said.built boatman! Hor. to have carried a spell with him to which it was a natural weakness to yield. for aught I know. his delightful voice.’ ‘Nonsense!’ said Steerforth. hor! That’s what he is.’ ‘So ‘tis. Steerforth ever comes into Norfolk or Suffolk. ‘You’re right. if he will let me.’ I said. Peggotty. sir. Steerforth. and that I don’t know what I should ever do here without him. and which not many persons could withstand. and. ‘You mustn’t tell them anything of the sort. A thorough. you may depend upon it I shall bring him to Yarmouth. Mr. to see your house.

We transported the shellfish.com 1 . for your welcoming manner of me. sir. I was almost tempted that evening to tell Steerforth about pretty little Em’ly.’ said Mr. sir. for he had attempted to go after every sentence. but it’s hearty at your service if ever you should come along with Mas’r Davy to see it. and too much afraid of his laughing at me.least ways. sir. ‘and wot you do well . sir. I’m obleeged to you. But Traddles couldn’t get happily out of it. and this was in allusion to his being slow to go.right well! I thankee. I hope I’m ready. or the ‘relish’ as Mr. and I wish you happy!’ Ham echoed this sentiment. He was taken ill in the Free eBooks at Planet eBook.in the ends of his neckerchief at his breast: ‘I thankee. I’m rough. about Mr. sir. shaking his head. I thankee! I do my endeavours in my line of life. you unnerstand.’ said Mr. but I was too timid of mentioning her name. My house ain’t much for to see. He was too unfortunate even to come through a supper like anybody else. and in an uneasy sort of way. and made a great supper that evening. sir. Peggotty.’ ‘The best of men can do no more. Peggotty had modestly called it. Mr.’ said Steerforth. ‘but I wish you both well. it’s wot you do yourself. up into our room unobserved. and we parted with them in the heartiest manner. by which he meant snail. I am. and had somehow or other come back again. Peggotty. Peggotty having said that she was getting on to be a woman. I’m a reg’lar Dodman. but I’m ready . Peggotty. ‘I’ll pound it. but I decided that was nonsense. He had got his name already. I remember that I thought a good deal. sir.

of clods of bread-and-butter. hair-cuttings. surrounding all. tear-blotted copy-books. and a dirty atmosphere of ink. we came to weeks. this week. How from counting months. received a caning and six chapters of Greek Testament for refusing to confess. of the evening schoolroom dimly lighted and indifferently warmed.night . cold smell of the dark nights when we were rung into bed again. and the cold. and the morning schoolroom which was nothing but a great shivering-machine. of the waning summer and the changing season. how the distant idea of the holidays. of the frosty mornings when we were rung out of bed. 10 David Copperfield . and to grow and grow. the day after tomorrow. cracked slates. tomorrow. canings. suet-puddings. had dim forebodings that I might break my leg first. rainy Sundays.in consequence of Crab. and boiled mutton with roast mutton. began to come towards us. The rest of the half-year is a jumble in my recollection of the daily strife and struggle of our lives. and after being drugged with black draughts and blue pills. from the week after next to next week. and was certainly to go home. after seeming for an immense time to be a stationary speck. I well remember though. How the breaking-up day changed its place fast. and how I then began to be afraid that I should not be sent for and when I learnt from Steerforth that I had been sent for. rulerings. at last. dog’s-eared lesson-books. of the alternation of boiled beef with roast beef. to an extent which Demple (whose father was a doctor) said was enough to undermine a horse’s constitution.quite prostrate he was . and then to days.

tonight . and going home. I had many a broken sleep inside the Yarmouth mail. but the sound of the coachman touching up the horses. Creakle giving it to Traddles.com 11 . and the sound in my ears was not the sound of Mr. and many an incoherent dream of all these things. the ground outside the window was not the playground of Salem House. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.when I was inside the Yarmouth mail. But when I awoke at intervals.today.

and was ready for him before the appointed time. pull the Dolphin’s blankets round my head. Very cold I was. and I had only been into the hotel to get change for sixpence. I was shown up to a nice little bedroom. the lazy horse walked away with us all at his accustomed pace. I know. with DOLPHIN painted on the door. and the carrier seated. or something of that sort. As soon as I and my box were in the cart. He received me exactly as if not five minutes had elapsed since we were last together. notwithstanding the hot tea they had given me before a large fire downstairs. Mr. a little giddy from the shortness of my night’s rest. ESPECIALLY ONE HAPPY AFTERNOON W hen we arrived before day at the inn where the mail stopped.CHAPTER 8 MY HOLIDAYS. which was not the inn where my friend the waiter lived. and very glad I was to turn into the Dolphin’s bed. and go to sleep. David Copperfield 1 . I got up at eight. Barkis the carrier was to call for me in the morning at nine o’clock.

Mr. ‘Why. Barkis rubbed his cheek with his cuff. but made no other acknowledgement of the compliment. ‘I gave your message. Barkis. perhaps. ‘Wasn’t it right. Mr. thinking he would like to know it.’ Not understanding what he meant. and then looked at his cuff as if he expected to find some of the bloom upon it. ‘but it come to an end there. Barkis.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that man’s a-waitin’ for a answer. opening my eyes. ‘When a man says he’s willin’. Mr.’ I said. ‘it’s as much as to say. Barkis?’ said I. Barkis?’ I asked. Barkis?’ ‘Nothing come of it.’ said Mr.’ ‘There was an answer expected. Mr. I repeated inquisitively: ‘Came to an end. Mr.’ ‘Well. looking at me sideways. ‘No answer. Barkis.’ said Mr. ‘that man’s been a-waitin’ for a answer ever since. Barkis. Barkis. was there. Barkis. ‘Not the message?’ ‘The message was right enough. turning his glance slowly on me again.’ I said: ‘I wrote to Peggotty. Mr. Barkis?’ ‘Well. and answered drily. no.com 1 .’ he explained.’ said Mr. Barkis. carrying his eyes back to his horse’s ears. For this was a new light to me. after a little hesitation.’ ‘Ah!’ said Mr. Mr. Barkis seemed gruff.’ said Mr.‘You look very well. Mr.

‘Says you. and sat pondering and inwardly whistling for some time. half an hour afterwards.’ says you. Barkis. with another slow look at me. Barkis accompanied with a nudge of his elbow that gave me quite a stitch in my side. ‘Well!’ he resumed at length. Barkis?’ ‘No .’ ‘Would you like me to do it. ‘that Barkis was a-waitin’ for a answer.apparently as a private memorandum. reflecting about it. ‘Clara Peggotty’ .’ ‘Is it though?’ said Mr. ‘You might tell her.’ This extremely artful suggestion Mr. taking a piece of chalk from his pocket.what name is it?’ ‘Her name?’ ‘Ah!’ said Mr. Barkis. Mr. he slouched over his horse in his usual manner. He seemed to find an immense fund of reflection in this circumstance. doubtfully. with a nod of his head. ‘Answer to what?’ Says you. Barkis.’ Says she. 1 David Copperfield . perhaps. I ain’t a-goin’ to tell her so. ‘I ain’t got no call to go and tell her so. Barkis. ‘Oh. Barkis?’ said I. I never said six words to her myself.’ ‘What is that?’ says she. and made no other reference to the subject except. ‘Peggotty. Barkis. ‘To what I told you. if you would.no. ‘Barkis is willin’. Her Christian name is Clara. inside the tilt of the cart.’ said Mr.’ ‘Chrisen name? Or nat’ral name?’ said Mr. ‘Peggotty! Barkis is waitin’ for a answer.‘Have you told her so. Says you . After that. Mr. it’s not her Christian name.’ growled Mr. and writing up.

Murdstone or Miss Murdstone lowering out of one of them. when I set foot in the hall. God knows how infantine the memory may have been. and heard her singing so to me when I was but a baby. timid step. reminded me of the happy old home. without knocking. I believed. before dark. which was like a dream I could never dream again! The days when my mother and I and Peggotty were all in all to one another. from the solitary and thoughtful way in which my mother murmured her song. and shreds of the old rooks’-nests drifted away upon the wind. and being come to the house. where the bare old elm-trees wrung their many hands in the bleak wintry air. But there I was. and to find that every object I looked at. and left me. that was awakened within me by the sound of my mother’s voice in the old parlour. like a friend come back from a long absence. and fearing at every step to see Mr. rose up before me so sorrowfully on the road. and soon I was at our house. The strain was new to me. and forgotten it in Steerforth’s company. however. and yet it was so old that it filled my heart brim-full. and there was no one to come between us. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.not sure but that I would rather have remained away. The carrier put my box down at the garden-gate. I went in with a quiet. that she was alone. what a strange feeling it was to be going home when it was not home. that I am not sure I was glad to be there . No face appeared. I think I must have lain in her arms.Ah.com 1 . She was singing in a low tone. glancing at the windows. and knowing how to open the door. I walked along the path towards the house.

and clasped me round the neck. I spoke to her. ‘Davy. with that feeling in my heart! I should have been more fit for Heaven than I ever have been since. whose tiny hand she held against her neck.’ said my mother. and cried out. Her eyes were looking down upon its face. I wish I had died then. We dined together by the fireside. She was sitting by the fire. her own boy! and coming half across the room to meet me. I was so far right. and laid my head down on her bosom near the little creature that was nestling there. too. suckling an infant. and I felt. fondling me. But seeing me. once more. but my mother wouldn’t let her do 1 David Copperfield . and she started. and she sat singing to it. and bounced down on the ground beside us. and Miss Murdstone had gone out upon a visit in the neighbourhood. I had never thought it possible that we three could be together undisturbed. It seemed. the carrier being much before his usual time. my pretty boy! My poor child!’ Then she kissed me more and more. and put its hand to my lips. as if the old days were come back. and went mad about us both for a quarter of an hour. that she had no other companion. she called me her dear Davy. Peggotty was in attendance to wait upon us.And I went softly into the room. I had never hoped for this. I wish I had died. for the time. and would not return before night. It seemed that I had not been expected so soon. ‘He is your brother. that Mr. This she was doing when Peggotty came running in. kneeled down upon the ground and kissed me.

laughing. and made her dine with us. ‘Tell him so.com 1 . wouldn’t it?’ said my mother. ‘He has never said a word to me about it. which Peggotty had hoarded somewhere all the time I had been away. began to laugh. I had my own old mug with David on it. While we were at table. before I had finished what I had to tell her. you stupid creature?’ said my mother.’ ‘Then. ‘Peggotty. ‘What are you doing.’ said my mother. you ridiculous thing?’ said my mother. who. ‘Oh. He knows better. and would not have had broken. I should slap his face. ‘Oh! I don’t know. ‘What’s the matter?’ Peggotty only laughed the more. with a brown view of a man-of-war in full sail upon it. If he was to make so bold as say a word to me. why don’t you tell him so. ‘Don’t ask me. Barkis.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and held her apron tight over her face when my mother tried to pull it away. and my own old little knife and fork that wouldn’t cut. drat the man!’ cried Peggotty. I thought it a favourable occasion to tell Peggotty about Mr. she said. and throw her apron over her face. I had my own old plate. and sat as if her head were in a bag. I wouldn’t have him if he was made of gold.’ said Peggotty. for a hundred pounds. looking out of her apron. Nor I wouldn’t have anybody. ‘He wants to marry me.it.’ retorted Peggotty.’ ‘It would be a very good match for you.

‘Me leave you? I think I see myself.For Peggotty had been used of old to talk to my mother sometimes like a child. It will not be for long. and said: ‘Don’t leave me. and her hand was so thin and white that it seemed to me to be almost transparent. but she only covered it again. staring. went on with her dinner. or any other face. became more serious and thoughtful. and laying it affectionately on the hand of her old servant. Why. What should I ever do without you!’ ‘Me leave you. my precious!’ cried Peggotty. but it looked careworn. though she smiled when Peggotty looked at her. I had seen at first that she was changed. for a few moments at a time. no!’ ‘Not just yet?’ said my mother. tenderly. I remarked that my mother. putting out her hand. which became anxious and fluttered. perhaps. you are not going to be married?’ ‘Me. At last she said. and Peggotty went running on in her own fashion. what’s put that in your silly little head?’ . I think. My mother took her hand. Her face was very pretty still. Stay with me. ma’am?’ returned Peggotty. and after two or three of those attacks. dear.Her own was as red as ever I saw it. But my mother made no answer. Peggotty go away 1 David Copperfield . ‘Peggotty. and too delicate. except to thank her. ‘Lord bless you. when she was taken with a violent fit of laughter. ‘Not for all the world and his wife. But the change to which I now refer was superadded to this: it was in her manner. ‘Never!’ cried Peggotty. Peggotty.

‘I know you will!’ And she kissed me beforehand. When it was asleep again. I crept close to my mother’s side according to my old custom. We sat round the fire. shaking her head. even to be found fault with. Peggotty. After that. and sat with my arms embracing her waist. and ask him to take me in. ‘I shall be glad to see you. my dear. no. and nursed it. in grateful acknowledgement of my hospitality. ‘not she. and too blind. no. And when I’m too deaf. and my little red cheek on her Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and folding her arms. and talked delightfully. After that. I took the little baby in my arms when it was awake. and too lame.from you? I should like to catch her at it! No. Creakle was.’ says I. I told them what a fine fellow Steerforth was. and her work-box. and nursed it lovingly.’ said Peggotty. all just the same as ever. she took the baby out of its little cradle. but they sha’n’t be pleased. It isn’t that there ain’t some Cats that would be well enough pleased if she did. and the bit of wax-candle.’ ‘And. than I shall go to my Davy. They shall be aggravated. broken now a long time.’ ‘Bless your dear heart!’ cried Peggotty. and they pitied me very much. she covered her head up with her apron again and had another laugh about Mr. and I’ll make you as welcome as a queen. she cleared the dinner table. After that. I’ll stay with you till I am a cross cranky old woman. I told them what a hard master Mr. and what a patron of mine. and Peggotty said she would walk a score of miles to see him. and the yard-measure.com 1 . came in with another cap on. to be of any use at all. after that. and too mumbly for want of teeth. Barkis.

ma’am. I recollect . and seeing pictures in the red-hot coals. ‘Is there nobody else in the world to come there?’ ‘I don’t know how it is. rousing herself from a reverie. From my earliest infancy she seems to have been always employed in that class of needlework. and I. and would vanish when the fire got low. or where such an unfailing supply of stockings in want of darning can have come from.shoulder. but my head never can pick and 10 David Copperfield . ‘what nonsense you talk!’ ‘Well. ‘unless it’s on account of being stupid. Peggotty darned away at a stocking as long as she could see. but I really do wonder. and her needle in her right. and then sat with it drawn on her left hand like a glove.’ said Peggotty. While I sat thus. ‘What can have put such a person in your head?’ inquired my mother. I almost believed that I had never been away. who was sometimes seized with a fit of wondering on some most unexpected topic. I cannot conceive whose stockings they can have been that Peggotty was always darning.like an angel’s wing as I used to think. Peggotty. save my mother. and that there was nothing real in all that I remembered. Peggotty!’ observed my mother.’ said Peggotty.and was very happy indeed. ‘what’s become of Davy’s great-aunt?’ ‘Lor. ‘I wonder. and once more felt her beautiful hair drooping over me . that Mr.’ said Peggotty. and never by any chance in any other. and Miss Murdstone were such pictures. looking at the fire. ready to take another stitch whenever there was a blaze.

‘Now that he’s got a brother.’ ‘No!’ mused Peggotty. the carrier. ‘No. Barkis.com 11 .’ ‘I suppose she wouldn’t be inclined to forgive him now. ‘What a bad disposition you have. and will remain there. Peggotty!’ returned my mother.’ said my mother. Peggotty. you jealous thing!’ said she. At all events. don’t talk about such uncomfortable things. that ain’t likely at all.’ said Peggotty.’ returned my mother. Peggotty!’ returned Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘As if this poor little innocent in its cradle had ever done any harm to you or anybody else. ‘what a nonsensical woman you are! when you know that she took offence at the poor dear boy’s ever being born at all. They come and they go. Why don’t you?’ ‘I should make Miss Murdstone happy. she is not likely ever to trouble us again. there’s a good soul. rather sharply. ‘Well then.’ said Peggotty. MY mother immediately began to cry.’ hinted Peggotty. no doubt. . ‘Why should she be inclined to forgive him now?’ said my mother. and they don’t come and they don’t go. ‘Miss Betsey is shut up in her cottage by the sea.choose its people.I wonder. ‘You had much better go and marry Mr. ‘One would suppose you wanted a second visit from her. and wondered how Peggotty dared to say such a thing. I mean. I wonder what’s become of her?’ ‘How absurd you are.’ ‘Lord forbid!’ cried Peggotty. whether she’d leave Davy anything?’ ‘Good gracious me. if she was to die. just as they like. if I was to.

‘No. I should hope not. you cross thing. Haven’t you heard her say. ‘You are as jealous of Miss Murdstone as it is possible for a ridiculous creature to be. ‘Well. indeed!’ returned my mother. over and over again.’ suggested Peggotty. and you sha’n’t escape from it. half laughing. ‘and if she is so silly as to say so. and I wonder you don’t colour up like fire.’ said my mother. I suppose? I shouldn’t be surprised if you did.’ said Peggotty. which she thinks I am not suited for. that can’t be very agreeable . You want to keep the keys yourself.’ Peggotty muttered something to the effect of ‘Bother the best intentions!’ and something else to the effect that there was a little too much of the best intentions going on. and grope into all sorts of places. ‘I know what you mean.and do you mean to insinuate that there is not a sort of devotion in that?’ 1 David Copperfield . You know I do. ‘I understand you. Miss Murdstone is the point now.a -’ ‘Pretty.my mother. over and over again. ‘Haven’t you heard her say. Peggotty. and which I really don’t know myself that I AM suited for. that she thinks I am too thoughtless and too . perfectly. that on this account she wished to spare me a great deal of trouble. and going to and fro continually . Peggotty.you know it well. and isn’t she up early and late. But one point at a time. coal-holes and pantries and I don’t know where.’ returned my mother.and doesn’t she do all sorts of things. can I be blamed for it?’ ‘No one says you can.a . and give out all the things. When you know that she only does it out of kindness and the best intentions! You know she does. Peggotty .

Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ returned my mother. and acts solely for a certain person’s good. serious man. And when you talk of Mr. and when I am not. on my account. and how they actuate him in everything. You are always insinuating. I said. And he takes. with the tears which were engendered in her affectionate nature. ‘but you insinuated. You WILL insinuate. except your work. and pretend to slight them (for I don’t believe you really do. that I am not alluding to anybody present . That’s the worst of you.you understand. and don’t know what to do. Murdstone’s good intentions -’ ‘I never talked of ‘em. grave. that I understood you. girlish creature. and feel doubtful of my own heart. ‘You do.’ Peggotty sat with her chin on the foot of the stocking. He is better able to judge of it than I am. ‘No. at the moment. I worry and condemn myself. Peggotty. Murdstone’s good intentions.it is solely because he is satisfied that it is for a certain person’s benefit. light. You revel in it. you must be as well convinced as I am how good they are.’ returned my mother.’ said Peggotty. When you talk of Mr. and very submissive to him even in my thoughts.’ said my mother. ‘You never do anything else. Peggotty.com 1 . That’s what I told you just now. He naturally loves a certain person.‘I don’t insinuate at all. and you see I did. Peggotty). If he seems to have been at all stern with a certain person. and I ought to be very thankful to him. Peggotty. and so I am sure does Davy. for I very well know that I am a weak.’ said Peggotty. and that he is a firm. stealing down her face. Peggotty . ‘he takes great pains with me. in your heart.

and always have been. which brought me round again to Steerforth. or a vexatious thing. if I have any in the world.looking silently at the fire.’ said my mother. and destined evermore to close that volume of my life. and the candles snuffed. will never pass out of my memory. changing her tone. ‘There. I think I had some glimpses of the real character of this conversation at the time. and my mother said hurriedly 1 David Copperfield . for I remember that my mother seemed more at ease during the rest of the evening. and the ashes were thrown up. now. I read Peggotty a chapter out of the Crocodile Book. Copperfield first brought me home here. We all got up then. who was my great subject. or anything of that sort. merely that my mother might comfort herself with the little contradictory summary in which she had indulged. ever since the night when Mr. We were very happy. Peggotty. When I call you a ridiculous creature. for I couldn’t bear it. and that evening. but I am sure.’ Peggotty was not slow to respond. You are my true friend. and took her part in it. as the last of its race. Peggotty. and that Peggotty observed her less. ‘don’t let us fall out with one another. I only mean that you are my true friend. in remembrance of old times . and ratify the treaty of friendship by giving me one of her best hugs. I know.and then we talked about Salem House.she took it out of her pocket: I don’t know whether she had kept it there ever since . and you came out to the gate to meet me. It was almost ten o’clock before we heard the sound of wheels. The design was efficacious. When we had had our tea. that the good creature originated it.

as I had never set eyes on Mr. ‘How do you do. but it was not so red as I turned. ma’am?’ I said to Miss Murdstone. ‘Ah. I kissed her. I went up to him. and Miss Murdstone approved of early hours for young people. and presented myself in the parlour. David. and I hope you will forgive me. I could not restrain my eye from resting for an instant on a red spot upon it. while Miss Murdstone made the tea.com 1 . and went upstairs with my candle directly. giving me the tea-caddy scoop instead of her fingers. I felt uncomfortable about going down to breakfast in the morning. ‘How long are the holidays?’ ‘A month. I went down. after two or three false starts half-way. I am very sorry for what I did. as I ascended to the bedroom where I had been imprisoned. before they came in. Murdstone since the day when I committed my memorable offence. as it must be done. perhaps I had better go to bed. when I met that sinister expression in his face. and as many runs back on tiptoe to my own room.that. sir.’ he replied. as it was so late. dear me!’ sighed Miss Murdstone.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. However. He was standing before the fire with his back to it.’ ‘I am glad to hear you are sorry. ma’am. It appeared to my childish fancy. and said: ‘I beg your pardon. that they brought a cold blast of air into the house which blew away the old familiar feeling like a feather. The hand he gave me was the hand I had bitten. and Mr. He looked at me steadily as I entered. after a moment of confusion. but made no sign of recognition whatever.

’ 1 David Copperfield . and my poor mother. ‘The boy has got the baby!’ She was limp with horror. It was on this very first day that I had the misfortune to throw her. I took it very carefully in my arms. who. but when she got into two figures she became more hopeful.’ She kept a calendar of the holidays in this way. She did it gloomily until she came to ten. ‘See what. my dear Jane?’ said my mother. as the time advanced. ma’am. wished otherwise. and the baby (who was only a few weeks old) being on my mother’s lap. on her recovery. by saying: ‘No doubt you are right. she turned faint. even jocular. and take it out of my arms. ‘Then here’s one day off. and every morning checked a day off in exactly the same manner. do you see?’ exclaimed Miss Murdstone.‘Counting from when?’ ‘From today. but stiffened herself to make a dart at me. meekly confirmed the interdict. ‘Good heavens. though she was not subject to such weakness in general. my dear Jane. from touching my brother any more on any pretence whatever. and was so very ill that they were obliged to give her cherry brandy. into a state of violent consternation. ‘where?’ ‘He’s got it!’ cried Miss Murdstone. ‘My dear Jane!’ cried my mother. and. I was solemnly interdicted by her.’ ‘Oh!’ said Miss Murdstone. I came into the room where she and my mother were sitting. I could see. Clara. Suddenly Miss Murdstone gave such a scream that I all but dropped it. Then.

this same dear baby . and hear such comparisons made.com 1 . not even with myself. showed it so plainly that I had a sensitive consciousness of always appearing constrained. I saw Miss Murdstone lay her beads down. I suppose they are mine. ‘Who else could compare my brother’s baby with your boy? They are not at all alike. rising angrily.’ faltered my mother. I was not a favourite there with anybody. My mother.was the innocent occasion of Miss Murdstone’s going into a passion. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘My dear Jane. They are utterly dissimilar in all respects.’ said my mother. said: ‘Davy! come here!’ and looked at mine.’ ‘My dear Jane.’ ‘What are you talking about. ‘they are exactly alike. and those who did not.it was truly dear to me. I hope they will ever remain so. They are exactly unlike. I was not a favourite with Miss Murdstone. In short. and made the door bang after her.’ said Miss Murdstone. for those who did like me could not show it. a little abashed by the harsh tone of this inquiry. Clara?’ said Miss Murdstone.’ remonstrated my mother. who had been looking at its eyes as it lay upon her lap. ‘I declare.’ With that she stalked out. I will not sit here. gently. ‘I find that the baby’s eyes and Davy’s are exactly alike.On another occasion. when we three were together. ‘A positive fool. But they are wonderfully alike. In short. for our mother’s sake . I think they are the colour of mine. ‘you are a positive fool sometimes.’ ‘Clara!’ said Miss Murdstone.

and many a wintry hour did I hear the church clock strike. could not be suffered to absent myself. that she was afraid to speak to me or to be kind to me. when I was sitting in my cheerless bedroom. 1 David Copperfield . that she was not only ceaselessly afraid of her own offending. but of my offending. and dull. I was still held to be necessary to my poor mother’s training. wrapped in my little great-coat. Murdstone were in his best humour. an anxious cloud would steal over her face from the moment of my entrance. and they were talking together and my mother seemed cheerful.’ ‘As sulky as a bear!’ said Miss Murdstone. There I was comfortable. ‘David. In the evening. I checked him.’ said Mr. sometimes. If Mr. But neither of these resources was approved of in the parlour. The tormenting humour which was dominant there stopped them both. If Miss Murdstone were in her worst. ‘I am sorry to observe that you are of a sullen disposition. I felt that I made them as uncomfortable as they made me. one day after dinner when I was going to leave the room as usual. and. I went and sat with Peggotty in the kitchen. as one of her trials. and uneasily watched their looks if I only moved. Therefore I resolved to keep myself as much out of their way as I could.boorish. Murdstone. and not afraid of being myself. poring over a book. I had perception enough to know that my mother was the victim always. If I came into the room where they were. and receive a lecture afterwards. lest she should give them some offence by her manner of doing so. I intensified it.

’ returned Miss Murdstone.interrupted him. ‘your understanding is very vigorous -’ ‘Oh dear. And I believe my brother was speaking on the subject when we .’ remarked his sister. if you please. angrily. ‘but are you quite sure . David. ‘and everybody knows it is. arranging the little fetters on her wrists. Clara. ‘a sullen obdurate disposition is.’ ‘No doubt.’ said my mother.’ ‘We’ll say I don’t understand the boy. my dear Jane. Clara. no! Pray don’t say that. and therefore I speak with great diffidence. my dear Jane.that no one can be more convinced of it than myself. of all such dispositions that ever I have seen. but I do lay claim to common sense. I profit so much by it myself.com 1 . ‘if I could not understand the boy.’ returned my mother.that you understand Davy?’ ‘I should be somewhat ashamed of myself. Clara. ‘the most confirmed and stubborn.I stood still.’ said Mr. of all tempers. I don’t profess to be profound. ‘But I am sure it is.’ returned Miss Murdstone. in many ways . Murdstone. and hung my head. ‘We’ll agree.’ interposed Miss Murdstone. my dear Clara. the worst. He is much too deep for me. or any boy.’ resumed my mother. But perhaps my brother’s penetration may enable him to have some insight into his character. I assure you.’ ‘And the boy’s is.not very decently .at least I ought to . ‘Now. my dear Jane . that I don’t understand him at all. even you must observe it?’ ‘I beg your pardon. my dear Jane.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I think.I am certain you’ll excuse me.

’ Miss Murdstone gave a hoarse chuckle. Both you and Jane are. ‘You have withdrawn yourself in your sullenness to your own room. ‘Try not to do it again. ‘I was sorry. once for all. sir!’ he returned so fiercely. This is not a character that I can suffer to develop itself beneath my eyes without an effort at improvement. that I saw my mother involuntarily put out her trembling hand as if to interpose between us. and ready bearing to10 David Copperfield . I remarked.’ replied my mother. in a low grave voice. You have kept your own room when you ought to have been here. Murdstone. as if she answered ‘Yes.’ he replied. prompt. timidly.’ but she said nothing aloud.’ ‘Don’t take refuge in a lie. to change it. Further. We must endeavour to change it for you.’ I faltered. and keep a watch upon yourself. Murdstone. David.’ ‘I beg your pardon. and not there. ‘I will have a respectful. that I require you to bring obedience here.’ ‘Edward. ‘you are a far better judge of all questions than I pretend to be. my dear Clara. You know me.’ said Mr. that I require you to be here. You must endeavour.’ said Mr. sir. ‘I have never meant to be sullen since I came back. ‘that there may be better and more dispassionate judges of such a question than you. You know now. Clara.‘I think.’ MY mother’s lips moved. turning his head and his eyes stiffly towards me. ‘to observe that you are of a sullen disposition. I only said -’ ‘You only said something weak and inconsiderate. I will have it done. sir. David. my dear Edward.

better perhaps than he thought. I say nothing . and afraid to move an eye lest she should light on some look of dislike or scrutiny Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ he said. and that it is to be abandoned. but sat wearily in the parlour day after day. addressing me. sitting in the same attitude hours upon hours. ‘from old associations and long-established fancies. and towards your mother. at the pleasure of a child. Of the woman who abets you. ‘I only say. Clara.’ he continued. Now. and you know what will be the consequence if you fail to obey me to the letter. and bedtime. I retreated to my own room no more. David. afraid to move an arm or a leg lest Miss Murdstone should complain (as she did on the least pretence) of my restlessness. I took refuge with Peggotty no more.’ addressing my mother in a lower voice. You are not to associate with servants. have a weakness respecting her which is not yet overcome.since you.’ he resumed. as far as my poor mother was concerned . ‘One thing more. Sit down. The kitchen will not improve you. ‘that I disapprove of your preferring such company as Mistress Peggotty. What irksome constraint I underwent. you understand me. ‘and towards Jane Murdstone. in the many respects in which you need improvement. ‘I observe that you have an attachment to low and common company. I will not have this room shunned as if it were infected.’ I knew well . and I obeyed like a dog.’ ‘A most unaccountable delusion it is!’ cried Miss Murdstone. looking forward to night.wards myself.and I obeyed him to the letter.’ He ordered me like a dog.com 11 .

a weight that brooded on my wits. and that I! What evenings. and that mine. and Mr.that would find new cause for complaint in mine! What intolerable dulness to sit listening to the ticking of the clock. and Miss Murdstone in it. always feeling that there were a knife and fork too many. and those mine. what starts I came out of concealed sleeps with. as ‘Rule Britannia’. a daymare that there was no possibility of breaking in. down muddy lanes. carrying that parlour. and blunted them! What meals I had in silence and embarrassment. and that mine. when the tables of weights and measures set themselves to tunes. in at one ear and out at the other! What yawns and dozes I lapsed into. or ‘Away with Melancholy’. an appetite too many. and watching Miss Murdstone’s little shiny steel beads as she strung them. not daring to read an entertaining book. when they wouldn’t stand still to be learnt. what answers I 1 David Copperfield . everywhere: a monstrous load that I was obliged to bear. among the curls and corkscrews in the paper on the wall! What walks I took alone. but. harder-hearted treatise on arithmetic. to the ceiling. and wandering away. a somebody too many. but would go threading my grandmother’s needle through my unfortunate head. a plate and chair too many. and counting the divisions in the moulding of the chimney-piece. in spite of all my care. with my eyes. in the bad winter weather. and if so. pored over some hard-headed. to what sort of unhappy man. and wondering whether she would ever be married. and I was expected to employ myself. when the candles came.

holding up her child. to bid me farewell. and again Miss Murdstone in her warning voice. to little observations that I rarely made. And it is not so much the embrace she gave me. and not a hair of her head. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. said: ‘Clara!’ when my mother bent over me. was stirred. and yet was in everybody’s way. but not sorry to go away. as what followed the embrace. but I was recovering a little and looking forward to Steerforth. Again Mr. every day. Barkis appeared at the gate. nor a fold of her dress. and order me to bed! Thus the holidays lagged away. I had lapsed into a stupid state. It was cold still weather. that lives in my mind. albeit Mr. what a blank space I seemed. So I saw her afterwards. I was in the carrier’s cart when I heard her calling to me. and my baby brother. for the gulf between us was there. which everybody overlooked. I looked out.looking at me with the same intent face . in my sleep at school . and she stood at the garden-gate alone.a silent presence near my bed . holding her baby up in her arms for me to see. I was not sorry to go. I kissed her.com 1 .holding up her baby in her arms. and the parting was there. Creakle loomed behind him.never got. though it was as fervent as could be. as she looked intently at me. what a heavy relief it was to hear Miss Murdstone hail the first stroke of nine at night. So I lost her. and was very sorry then. until the morning came when Miss Murdstone said: ‘Here’s the last day off!’ and gave me the closing cup of tea of the vacation.

The great remembrance by which that time is marked in my mind. and to exist alone. Except that Steerforth was more to be admired than ever. seems to have swallowed up all lesser recollections. if not sooner. I can only understand that the fact was so. I feel my rimy hair fall clammy on my cheek. It is even difficult for me to believe that there was a gap of full two months between my return to Salem House and the arrival of that birthday. David Copperfield 1 .CHAPTER 9 I HAVE A MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY I PASS over all that happened at school. through it. because I know it must have been so. and therefore more engaging than before. I see the hoar frost. until the anniversary of my birthday came round in March. How well I recollect the kind of day it was! I smell the fog that hung about the place. ghostly. and that the one occasion trod upon the other’s heels. I remember nothing. and was more spirited and independent than before in my eyes. He was going away at the end of the half-year. otherwise I should feel convinced that there was no interval. but beyond this I remember nothing.

I have something to tell you. Sharp. Some of the boys about me put in their claim not to be forgotten in the distribution of the good things. But no hamper. at whom of course I looked. ‘and how the people in it pass away. and we had been summoned in from the playground. David. and there I found Mr. ‘There’s time enough. shook his head without looking at me. ‘David Copperfield. and Mrs. Creakle. Creakle with an opened letter in her hand. Creakle. and stopped up a sigh with a very large piece of buttered toast. my boy. my child. but I gave it none until afterwards. some of us when we are Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Don’t hurry.’ I might have been surprised by the feeling tone in which he spoke. But we all have to learn it.’ said Mrs.I look along the dim perspective of the schoolroom. if I had given it a thought. leading me to a sofa. when Mr. sitting at his breakfast with the cane and a newspaper before him.’ said Mr. Creakle. don’t hurry.com 1 . ‘I want to speak to you very particularly. It was after breakfast. and the breath of the boys wreathing and smoking in the raw cold as they blow upon their fingers. and sitting down beside me. with a sputtering candle here and there to light up the foggy morning.’ said Mrs. as I got out of my seat with great alacrity. David.’ I expected a hamper from Peggotty. and tap their feet upon the floor. ‘You are too young to know how the world changes every day. I hurried away to the parlour.’ Mr. and brightened at the order. Creakle. Sharp entered and said: ‘David Copperfield is to go into the parlour.

and wore myself to sleep. and then the oppression on my breast was heaviest. I thought of the little baby.’ I looked at her earnestly. When I could cry no more. some of us at all times of our lives.’ There was no need to tell me so. Creakle said. She was very kind to me. She kept me there all day. ‘When you came away from home at the end of the vacation. ‘She is dead.young.’ A mist rose between Mrs. And yet my thoughts were idle. would die too. I thought 1 David Copperfield . and her figure seemed to move in it for an instant. and it was steady again. they believed. Creakle. Mrs. not intent on the calamity that weighed upon my heart. and my grief a dull pain that there was no ease for. and who. some of us when we are old. and still looked at her earnestly.’ said she. and felt an orphan in the wide world. Then I felt the burning tears run down my face.’ said Mrs. and left me alone sometimes. ‘I grieve to tell you that I hear this morning your mama is very ill. I had already broken out into a desolate cry. I began to think.’ she added. Creakle and me. ‘were they all well?’ After another pause. after a pause. ‘Was your mama well?’ I trembled without distinctly knowing why. I knew all now. and I cried. ‘Because. making no attempt to answer. and awoke and cried again. had been pining away for some time. I thought of our house shut up and hushed. who. ‘She is very dangerously ill. but idly loitering near it.

as before. what. I felt distinguished.for I was going home to the funeral. I stood upon a chair when I was left alone. I was to go home next night. it would affect me most to think of when I drew near home . We had no story-telling that evening. I felt it rather good in myself not to be proud to any of them.com 1 . When school was over. and that I was important in my affliction. as they went up to their classes. and to take exactly the same notice of them all. but by the heavy night-coach. for I had one of my own: but it was all he had to lend. if my tears were really hard to flow now. I considered. and was principally used by country-people travelling short intermediate distances upon the road. except a sheet of letter-paper full of skeletons. when I walked in the playground that afternoon while the boys were in school. poor fellow. If ever child were stricken with sincere grief. I was. as they seemed to be. But I remember that this importance was a kind of satisfaction to me. I don’t know what good he thought it would do me. I am sensible of having felt that a dignity attached to me among the rest of the boys. and of my mother lying there beneath the tree I knew so well. not by the mail. in connexion with my loss. and that he Free eBooks at Planet eBook. When I saw them glancing at me out of the windows. and they came out and spoke to me. which was called the Farmer. and looked more melancholy. and walked slower. and how sorrowful my face. after some hours were gone. and looked into the glass to see how red my eyes were. by our house.of my father’s grave in the churchyard. and Traddles insisted on lending me his pillow.

and little bits and cuttings of which were littered all over the floor. but I know now. young sir. We travelled very slowly all night. little old man in black. wondering who he was. I little thought then that I left it. where we found three young women at work on a quantity of black materials. full of all sorts of clothing. and a breathless smell of warm black crape . but he was not there. and we walked away to a shop in a narrow street. never to return.’ he said. and did not get into Yarmouth before nine or ten o’clock in the morning. It was a close and stifling little shop. merry-looking. We went into a little back-parlour behind the shop. HABERDASHER. came puffing up to the coach window.’ I put my hand in his. DRAPER. which were heaped upon the table. black stockings.I did not know what the smell was then.gave me at parting. TAILOR. short-winded. if you please. made and unmade. 1 David Copperfield . and instead of him a fat. Barkis. and said: ‘Master Copperfield?’ ‘Yes. I left Salem House upon the morrow afternoon. with rusty little bunches of ribbons at the knees of his breeches. including one window full of beaver-hats and bonnets. ‘and I shall have the pleasure of taking you home. opening the door. as a soother of my sorrows and a contribution to my peace of mind. &c. sir. I looked out for Mr. and a broad-brimmed hat.’ ‘Will you come with me. FUNERAL FURNISHER. There was a good fire in the room. on which was written OMER.

‘Well.’ ‘No use taking ‘em otherwise. He was so fat that he was obliged to pant some time before he could say: ‘That’s right. a regular sound of hammering that kept a kind of tune: RAT . ‘Don’t you be afraid. thank Heaven! Ain’t we. stitch.’ returned his daughter. playfully.’ he replied. who appeared to be very industrious and comfortable. father?’ ‘I hope so. and then went on with their work.’ Mr. Omer. ‘What a porpoise you do grow!’ ‘Well. ‘We are all pretty gay here. my dear.tat-tat. At the same time there came from a workshop across a little yard outside the window.com 1 .’ said Mr. Omer.’ ‘You are such a comfortable man.’ she replied gaily. Would you walk into the shop. and after showing me a roll of cloth which he said was extra Free eBooks at Planet eBook. RAT . Master Copperfield?’ I preceded Mr. considering about it. you see.’ said Minnie. Omer took off his broad-brimmed hat.’ said Mr. and sat down and panted. my dear. ‘No. father. indeed. ‘As I have got my breath now.’ ‘Father!’ said Minnie. RAT .tat-tat. ‘You take things so easy. my dear. I think I’ll measure this young scholar. stitch. I don’t know how it is. Stitch. raised their heads to look at me. without looking up.tat-tat. without any variation. ‘I am rather so. in compliance with his request. Omer.’ said my conductor to one of the three young women. Minnie?’ ‘We shall be ready by the trying-on time. ‘How do you get on.The three young women.

and listening to the stitching in the room and the tune that was being hammered across the yard. for the black things destroyed my appetite. They come in. in my opinion. ‘I may say before it. Omer took me back into the parlour.super. breathing with some difficulty on the way.’ said Mr. Omer.’ said Mr. ‘I have been acquainted with you. appeared on a tray. during which I sat looking about me and thinking. and turned out to be for me. after some time. and to certain fashions which he said had ‘just come up’. which would possibly have been beyond me under any circumstances.’ ‘Have you. nobody knows when. Omer. after watching me for some minutes. or how. my young friend.’ I was too sorrowful to discuss the question. or how. Everything is like life. Omer. sir?’ ‘All your life. and they go out. if you look at it in that point of view. and put them down in a book.’ said Mr. and Mr. and too good mourning for anything short of parents. why. ‘And by that sort of thing we very often lose a little mint of money. why. during which I had not made much impression on the breakfast. While he was recording them he called my attention to his stock in trade. and to certain other fashions which he said had ‘just gone out’. I knew 10 David Copperfield . he took my various dimensions. nobody knows when. ‘But fashions are like human beings. He then called down a little break-neck range of steps behind a door: ‘Bring up that tea and bread-and-butter!’ which. ‘I have been acquainted with you a long time.

‘How do you get on?’ ‘All right. and put my hair away from my eyes with a soft.tat-tat. Omer shook his head. The baby’s dead.tat-tat.your father before you. Joram!’ said Mr. He had a hammer in his hand. RAT .’ ‘Do you know how my little brother is. ‘RAT .’ ‘RAT .tat-tat. kind touch.com 11 . poor little fellow! Is he dead?’ ‘Don’t mind it more than you can help. pleasantly. good-natured girl.tat-tat. in a corner of the little room. sir?’ I inquired. which Minnie hastily cleared. ‘He lays in five and twen-ty foot of ground. and a good-looking young fellow came across the yard into the room. Omer. which he was obliged to take out before he could speak. and his mouth was full of little nails. Omer.’ ‘He is in his mother’s arms. Omer.’ said Joram. I left the scarcely-tasted breakfast. but she was very cheerful at having nearly finished her work and being in good time. ‘Well.tat-tat. and was so different from me! Presently the tune left off. She was a pretty.’ said Mr. if he lays in a fraction. lest I should spot the mourning that was lying there with my tears.’ said he. ‘Done. ‘It was either his request or her direction.’ My wounds broke out afresh at this intelligence. sir. I forget which. ‘Yes.tat-tat. and he lays in five-and-twen-ty foot of ground.’ across the yard.’ Minnie coloured a little. and went and rested my head on another table. Mr.’ said Mr. He was five foot nine and a half. ‘Oh. RAT . RAT . RAT . and the other two girls smiled Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

at one another.’ said Joram. Omer. when I was at the club. rising.’ resumed the young man.’ said Mr. This she did upon her knees.’ I can’t say how I knew it was my dear. whose names I had not heard. Omer. the two girls. humming a lively little tune the while. ‘I thought it might be agreeable. ‘why I turned to with a will. Jo1 David Copperfield .but it came into my mind what the noise was. then? Were you?’ said Mr. my dear. Omer. ‘But perhaps you’re right.’ said Mr. I am sure I knew what he had been doing. laughing till he coughed. ‘What! you were at it by candle-light last night. brushed the shreds and threads from their dresses. and when the young man entered.and you. ‘My dear’.’ Minnie interposed. if it was done. shutting up one eye.As you was so good as to say that. Minnie and me . The work being now finished. Minnie stayed behind to fold up what they had made. ‘Yes. Will you give me your opinion of it?’ ‘I will. dear mother’s coffin that they went to look at.. Omer. and wait for customers.’ said Mr. and go over together. and went into the shop to put that to rights. I had never heard one making. and pack it in two baskets. while it was going on. father. and he stopped and turned to me: ‘would you like to see your -’ ‘No. ‘As you said we could make a little trip of it.’ ‘Oh! I thought you were going to leave me out altogether. I had never seen one that I know of. you see. ‘.

who I had no doubt was her lover. as if I were cast away among creatures with whom I had no community of nature.com 1 . All this I observed. There was plenty of room for us all. and he must make haste and get himself ready. The old man sat in front to drive. and made a great deal of him.ram. at a little glass behind the door. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I was more afraid of them. and said her father was gone for the chaise. and moped in my corner. at all). and drawn by a black horse with a long tail. I was put in next. and then she put her thimble and scissors in her pocket. scared by their love-making and hilarity. and those three followed. half pianoforte-van. but I held back. I was not angry with them. and stuck a needle threaded with black thread neatly in the bosom of her gown. and my thoughts running on very different things. sitting at the table in the corner with my head leaning on my hand. I remember it as a kind of half chaise-cart. They were very cheerful. They would have talked to me too. in which I saw the reflection of her pleased face. The chaise soon came round to the front of the shop. the one on one side of his chubby face and the other on the other. and seeing them enjoy the ride. Then he went out again. came in and stole a kiss from her while she was busy (he didn’t appear to mind me. and put on her outer clothing smartly. and whenever he spoke to them leaned forward. perhaps) as that of being with them. I do not think I have ever experienced so strange a feeling in my life (I am wiser now. and the baskets being put in first. painted of a sombre colour. remembering how they had been employed. and the two young people sat behind him.

if I had been measured for my mourning. and spoke in whispers. So. Murdstone took no heed of me when I went into the parlour where he was. As long as her poor dear pretty was above the ground. She sat up at night still. I dropped out of the chaise behind. that I might not be in their company before those solemn windows. how little need I had had to think what would move me to tears when I came back . and asked me. So. she would never desert her. ‘have you brought 1 David Copperfield . and next it that which.though it was far from boisterous. for a long time. as quickly as possible. but kept my fast unbroken. which was covered with letters and papers. gave me her cold finger-nails. weeping silently. Miss Murdstone. She had not been in bed. I said: ‘Yes. and almost wondering that no judgement came upon them for their hardness of heart. and she took me into the house.’ said Miss Murdstone. but sat by the fireside. when they stopped to bait the horse. and pondering in his elbow-chair. And oh. who was busy at her writing-desk. in the better time. when we reached home. I found.’ ‘And your shirts. Her grief burst out when she first saw me. was mine! I was in Peggotty’s arms before I got to the door. in an iron whisper. I could touch nothing that they touched. as if the dead could be disturbed. and watched. looking blindly on me like closed eyes once bright.seeing the window of my mother’s room. but she controlled it soon. and walked softly. Mr. she said. and ate and drank and enjoyed themselves.

but would remain for a whole hour without turning the leaf. and then put it down and walk to and fro in the room. on such an occasion.com 1 . and from morning to night afterwards. I do not doubt that she had a choice pleasure in exhibiting what she called her self-command. She was particularly proud of her turn for business. I always found her close to the room where my mother and her baby lay. and being moved by nothing. never relaxing a muscle of her face. and counting his footsteps. hour after hour. and she showed it now in reducing everything to pen and ink. except that. He would open it and look at it as if he were reading. I have brought home all my clothes. speaking in the same imperturbable whisper to everybody. and her firmness. and except that she came to me every night. but never read it that I saw. and sat by my bed’s head while I went to sleep. and the whole diabolical catalogue of her unamiable qualities. He seemed to be the only restless thing. she sat at that desk. He very seldom spoke to her. In these days before the funeral. and never to me. All the rest of that day. scratching composedly with a hard pen. and her strength of mind. Her brother took a book sometimes.‘em home?’ ‘Yes. I saw but little of Peggotty.I think it was a day or two before. except the clocks. or appearing with an atom of her dress astray. in the whole motionless house. but I am conFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and her common sense. or softening a tone of her voice. in passing up or down stairs. ma’am. A day or two before the burial .’ This was all the consolation that her firmness administered to me. I used to sit with folded hands watching him.

kindly. with a beautiful cleanliness and freshness all around it. Chillip. who makes no reply. with nothing to mark its progress .she took me into the room. and our black clothes. the patterns of the glasses and plates. If the funeral had been yesterday. and comes to speak to me. I only recollect that underneath some white covering on the bed. which he holds in his.scious of confusion in my mind about that heavy time. and that when she would have turned the cover gently back. goes into a corner. ‘There is a great improvement here. I cannot tell him very well. I give him my hand. not because I care about myself. I remark this. The very air of the best parlour. the faint sweet smell of cake. Chillip. ‘And how is Master David?’ he says. the bright condition of the fire. or have done since I came 1 David Copperfield . there seemed to me to lie embodied the solemn stillness that was in the house. the shining of the wine in the decanters. meekly smiling. Chillip. Miss Murdstone merely answers with a frown and a formal bend: Mr. I cried: ‘Oh no! oh no!’ and held her hand. Chillip is in the room. ‘Dear me!’ says Mr. They grow out of our knowledge. Mr. when I went in at the door. because I remark everything that happens. ‘Our little friends grow up around us. with something shining in his eye. discomfited. ma’am?’ says Mr. I could not recollect it better. the odour of Miss Murdstone’s dress. keeping me with him. ma’am?’ This is to Miss Murdstone. and opens his mouth no more.

the Bearers and their load are in the garden. Chillip. Now there is a solemn hush. and I. We stand around the grave.and yet I see and know them all. faces that I knew in church. saying: ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. long ago. saith the Lord!’ Then I hear sobs.com 1 . where I have so often heard the birds sing on a summer morning. When we go out to the door. The day seems different to me from every other day. and they move before us down the path. There are Mr. see Minnie looking on. and even in the background. I hear the voice of the clergyman. far away. and past the elms. As Peggotty was wont to tell me. and Mr. and her eye glancing on her sweetheart. I see that good and faithful servant. and into the churchyard. and through the gate. the followers of my father to the same grave were made ready in the same room. Mr. who is near Free eBooks at Planet eBook. when she came to the village in her youthful bloom. I do not mind them . among the little crowd. and while we stand bareheaded. and yet distinct and plain. our neighbour Mr. which we have brought from home with what is resting in the mould. and the light not of the same colour .’ There are many faces that I know. Grayper. standing apart among the lookers-on. and unto whom my childish heart is certain that the Lord will one day say: ‘Well done. Omer and another come to make us ready. faces that first saw my mother. And now the bell begins to sound. Murdstone.of a sadder colour.I mind nothing but my grief . whom of all the people upon earth I love the best.home. sounding remote in the open air. when mine was always wondering there. and.

I say. Chillip talks to me. and we turn to come away.’ said Peggotty.so soft. so pretty and unchanged. She used to like to sit alone before her baby came. but she was more delicate. and the earth is filled in. The Sabbath stillness of the time (the day was so like Sunday! I have forgotten that) was suited to us both. Before us stands our house. and Mr. when I heard her. and more frightened1 David Copperfield . But they take me on. ‘I think she got to be more timid. but afterwards she used to sing to it . but this stands like a high rock in the ocean. It is over. Events of later date have floated from me to the shore where all forgotten things will reappear. She was uncertain in her mind. ‘She was never well. so linked in my mind with the young idea of what is gone. and sometimes smoothing it with hers. and sunk a little every day. and then she cried. When her baby was born. it was like a voice up in the air. and when we get home. that all my sorrow has been nothing to the sorrow it calls forth. that was rising away. She sat down by my side upon my little bed. All this. told me.me. dismisses me with the gentleness of a woman. and sometimes putting it to her lips. ‘for a long time. and not happy. and when I ask his leave to go up to my room. and holding my hand. puts some water to my lips. I thought at first she would get better. all that she had to tell concerning what had happened. is yesterday’s event. I knew that Peggotty would come to me in my room. as she might have comforted my little brother. in her way. that I once thought.

and many a time. Peggotty. poor fellow. God bless both my children! God protect and keep my fatherless boy!’ ‘I never left her afterwards. ‘I never shall see my pretty darling again. my dear. when they told her she was thoughtless and light-hearted. that tells the truth.she was afraid of saying it to anybody else .com 1 . she always turned to me. She never told her husband what she had told me . she said to me. ‘He will believe it more and more. If this is sleep. ‘She often talked to them two downstairs .like. I am very tired. in the evening.but when they went away from her bed-side. The day you went away. ‘On the last night. and that a hard word was like a blow to her.for she loved them. and then it will be past. She never changed to her foolish Peggotty. she kissed me. didn’t my sweet girl. sit by me while I sleep: don’t leave me. Something tells me so. she couldn’t bear not to love anyone who was about her .’ ‘She tried to hold up after that. when I laid her in her bed that night. as if there was rest where Peggotty was.’ said Peggotty. made believe to be so. when she said to him: ‘My dear. and softly beat upon my hand a little while.’ ‘’It’s off my mind now. of late. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. was the night when you came home. But she was always the same to me. a little more than a week before it happened. every day for a few days to come.’ Here Peggotty stopped. I know. and never fell asleep in any other way.’ she told me.till one night. ‘The last time that I saw her like her own old self. I think I am dying. but it was all a bygone then.

for your face is going far off.’ said Peggotty.’ she said. gave me such a patient smile. how kind and considerate Mr. and bury us together. only as the young mother of my earliest impressions. who had been used to wind her bright curls 00 David Copperfield . and I want it to be near. that a loving heart was better and stronger than wisdom.’ (It was done. from that instant. and told her. and the sun was rising. the dear! . ‘when she asked me for some drink. when she said to me. and another gentle beating on my hand.’ she said. blessed him not once. I remembered her. and oh Davy! the time had come when my first parting words to you were true .’ for she was very weak. and that he was a happy man in hers. ‘and tell him that his mother. my dear.and she died like a child that had gone to sleep!’ Thus ended Peggotty’s narration. ‘and turn me to you.said: ‘If my baby should die too. ‘put me nearer to you. ‘Peggotty. Copperfield had always been to her. the idea of her as she had been of late had vanished from me.when she was glad to lay her poor head on her stupid cross old Peggotty’s arm . but a thousand times. please let them lay him in my arms. From the moment of my knowing of the death of my mother. when she doubted herself. ‘It was pretty far in the night. ‘Lay your good arm underneath my neck.‘‘ Another silence followed this. and when she had taken it.) ‘Let my dearest boy go with us to our resting-place. when she lay here. and how he had borne with her. Peggotty.so beautiful! ‘Daybreak had come.’ she said then. for the poor lamb lived but a day beyond her.’ I put it as she asked.

com 01 . What Peggotty had told me now. was myself. hushed for ever on her bosom. that it rooted the earlier image in my mind.round and round her finger. The mother who lay in the grave. was the mother of my infancy. In her death she winged her way back to her calm untroubled youth. and cancelled all the rest. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. the little creature in her arms. as I had once been. and to dance with me at twilight in the parlour. but it is true. It may be curious. was so far from bringing me back to the later period.

and light was freely admitted into the house. to ask Miss Murdstone when I was going back to school. and so was Peggotty. I was told nothing more. and we condoled with one another. while it reDavid Copperfield 0 . if they could have dismissed me at a month’s warning too. As to me or my future. or a step taken. and she answered dryly. but neither she nor I could pick up any information on the subject. in preference to the best upon earth. she believed I was not going back at all. which. Happy they would have been. AND AM PROVIDED FOR T he first act of business Miss Murdstone performed when the day of the solemnity was over. I dare say. for my sake.CHAPTER 10 I BECOME NEGLECTED. and told me why. Much as Peggotty would have disliked such a service. She told me we must part. not a word was said. There was one change in my condition. I believe she would have retained it. I mustered courage once. I was very anxious to know what was going to be done with me. was to give Peggotty a month’s warning. in all sincerity.

at odd times. It was this. I can recollect. provided I was not in Mr. as they melted away. to seek my fortune: but these were transient visions. and which. At first I was in daily dread of his taking my education in hand again. that. daydreams I sat looking at sometimes. or cared for any more. like the hero in a story. I was so far from being warned off from Peggotty’s society. and growing up to be a shabby. to have speculated. that on several occasions. He never liked me Free eBooks at Planet eBook. lounging an idle life away. Miss Murdstone frowned to me to go away. I was never sought out or inquired for. I do not conceive that this discovery gave me much pain then. when I took my seat there. or of Miss Murdstone’s devoting herself to it. one evening. yet more uncomfortable about the future. The constraint that had been put upon me. when I was warming my hands at the kitchen fire. Murdstone likes me less than he used to. and in a kind of stunned state as to all tributary things. if I had been capable of considering it closely. left the wall blank again. on the possibility of my not being taught any more. but I soon began to think that such fears were groundless. was quite abandoned.lieved me of a great deal of present uneasiness. might have made me. ‘Peggotty.com 0 . as if they were faintly painted or written on the wall of my room. I was so far from being required to keep my dull post in the parlour. moody man. Murdstone’s. I was still giddy with the shock of my mother’s death. ‘Mr. indeed. as well as on the feasibility of my getting rid of this picture by going away somewhere. and that all I had to anticipate was neglect. about the village.’ I said in a thoughtful whisper.

’ she said at length. But it’s not that. sitting by the fireside with Miss Murdstone. and it makes me feel kinder. he wouldn’t look at me as he does. Peggotty. ‘Oh. but if I was to go in.’ ‘You might have gone farther off. he would be something besides. and I warmed my hands.to get a suitable service here.’ ‘What would he be?’ said Peggotty. after a silence. wistfully.’ I said.’ ‘Perhaps it’s his sorrow. I am sorry too. brightening a little. ‘Angry. but there’s no such a thing. if he can help it. ‘and been as bad as lost. If I believed it was his sorrow. oh. I shall see you sometimes. my love.’ Peggotty said nothing for a little while. in Blunderstone.’ ‘And what do you mean to do.all the ways there are. in short . but he would rather not even see me now. Peggotty?’ ‘I have tried. ‘and live there. no. ‘If he was only sorry. Peggotty. ‘Do you mean to go and seek your fortune?’ ‘I expect I shall be forced to go to Yarmouth.’ said Peggotty.’ ‘How do you know it’s not that?’ said Peggotty. and all the ways there ain’t.’ I answered. his sorrow is another and quite a different thing. ‘Davy. Peggotty. ‘Yes.’ says I. I am only sorry. I should not think of it at all. all ways I could think of . He is sorry at this moment. Peggotty.’ replied Peggotty. as silent as she. ‘I am sure. stroking my hair. my dear. my 0 David Copperfield . it’s not that.much. with an involuntary imitation of his dark frown.

Peggotty excepted. could have given me a sense of pleasure at that time. for Peggotty went on to say: ‘I’m a-going. The idea of being again surrounded by those honest faces. it would have been this project of all others. please God!’ cried Peggotty. Now. but even that was set at rest soon.com 0 . you might be let to go along with me. there. when the bells were ringing. It was ruffled next moment. my pet. I have been thinking that perhaps. you see. shining welcome on me. I shall come over every week of my life to see you. You won’t be quite at the other end of the world. with great animation. by a doubt of Miss Murdstone’s giving her consent.’ If anything. broached the topic on the spot. Davy. of renewing the peacefulness of the sweet Sunday morning. telling her my troubles. with a boldness that amazed me. first. for she came out to take an evening grope in the store-closet while we were yet in conversation. of roaming up and down with little Em’ly. short of being in a different relation to every one about me. ‘As long as you are here. to be sure. to my brother’s.just till I have had time to look about me. made a calm in my heart. will you?’ ‘Contrary ways. and Peggotty. and the shadowy ships breaking through the mist. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. for another fortnight’s visit . One day. every week of my life!’ I felt a great weight taken off my mind by this promise: but even this was not all. and get to be something like myself again.dear old Peggotty. and finding charms against them in the shells and pebbles on the beach. as they don’t want you here at present. the stones dropping in the water.

to be sure. Mr. and she got into the cart. with as great an access of sourness as if her black eyes had absorbed its contents. but on this occasion he came into the house. and sat in it with her hand0 David Copperfield .had been formed. Barkis’s visage. I could see. too. looking into a pickle-jar.it is of paramount importance .for my mother and myself . She had been walking in the churchyard. still keeping her eye on the pickles.’ Peggotty had an angry answer ready.’ said Miss Murdstone. since she looked at me out of the pickle-jar. and remained silent. the permission was given. I had never known him to pass the garden-gate before. and was never retracted. for when the month was out. Peggotty was naturally in low spirits at leaving what had been her home so many years. very early. But. I suppose I had better say yes. Peggotty and I were ready to depart. ‘and idleness is the root of all evil. ‘it is of more importance than anything else . However. he would be idle here .or anywhere. which I thought had meaning in it. lest it should induce her to withdraw her assent. ‘Humph!’ said Miss Murdstone.that my brother should not be disturbed or made uncomfortable. in my opinion. Nor could I help thinking this a prudent course. Barkis came into the house for Peggotty’s boxes.’ I thanked her.‘The boy will be idle there. and where the two strong attachments of her life . but she swallowed it for my sake. if meaning could ever be said to find its way into Mr. without making any demonstration of joy. And he gave me a look as he shouldered the largest box and went out.

Mr. ‘It’s a beautiful day. and answered in the affirmative.’ said Mr.kerchief at her eyes. Barkis gave me a little more room at once.com 0 . Are you?’ growled Mr. or what he meant by it. ‘Is she. But I could not help observing that he seemed to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Peggotty calling his attention to my sufferings. But when she began to look about her. Barkis. Mr. so that at last we were all crowded together in the left-hand corner of the cart. though?’ said Mr. who generally qualified his speech. Barkis!’ I said. ‘Are you? Really and truly pretty comfortable? Are you? Eh?’ At each of these inquiries Mr. and got away by degrees. Barkis. Barkis gave no sign of life whatever. he nodded his head and grinned several times. and gave her another nudge. you know. He sat in his usual place and attitude like a great stuffed figure. Barkis. I have not the least notion at whom. ‘But really and truly. Barkis shuffled nearer to her. Mr. So long as she remained in this condition. and nudging her with his elbow. ‘It ain’t bad. sliding nearer to her on the seat. and I was so squeezed that I could hardly bear it. Mr. with a sagacious air. Barkis eyed her. Barkis. and to speak to me. and rarely committed himself. Mr.’ I remarked. for his satisfaction. as an act of politeness. After reflecting about it. and said: ‘ARE you pretty comfortable?’ Peggotty laughed. ‘Peggotty is quite comfortable now.

He was so polite as to stop at a public-house. to have any leisure for anything else. I apprehend. Mr. pretended to look at the prospect. By and by he made another descent upon us with the same inquiry. and a shame-faced leer upon his countenance. who. after which I did very well. He manifestly chuckled over it for some time. agreeable. ‘I say. ‘Are you pretty comfortable though?’ bore down upon us as before. with his hat on the very back of his head. we were all too much shaken and jolted. he had more to do and less time for gallantry. Peggotty and Ham waited for us at the old place.think he had hit upon a wonderful expedient for expressing himself in a neat. I got up whenever I saw him coming. and shook hands with Mr. ‘it was all right. and pointed manner. until the breath was nearly edged out of my body. and the same result. Barkis solemnly made a sign to me with his forefinger to come under an archway. and we were going away.’ growled Mr. Even when Peggotty was in the act of drinking. and when we got on Yarmouth pavement. when Mr. and entertain us with broiled mutton and beer. Barkis. presented but a vacant appearance. and almost choked her. By and by he turned to Peggotty again. Barkis.’ 0 David Copperfield . he was seized with one of those approaches. and pervading his very legs. I thought. and standing on the foot-board. expressly on our account. At length. They each took one of Peggotty’s trunks. without the inconvenience of inventing conversation. and repeating. They received me and Peggotty in an affectionate manner. But as we drew nearer to the end of our journey.

Barkis. and Barkis only. ‘It was Barkis.’ said Peggotty. ‘Like his impudence.com 0 . Peggotty. when this was over. Barkis. It’s all right. shaking hands. the good soul was obliged to stop and embrace me on the spot. that I might have stood looking in his face for an hour. As we were going along. darling?’ she asked again.’ I nodded assent. nodding confidentially. Barkis. and we were walking on.I suppose you would like me as much then. ‘If you were thinking of being married . ‘I’m a friend of your’n. but for Peggotty’s calling me away. Mr.’ Again I answered. what should you think if I was to think of being married?’ ‘Why .to Mr. You made it all right.’ said my friend.I looked up into his face. ‘but I don’t mind that! Davy dear. she asked me what he had said. ‘Tell me what should you say. ‘It was all right. after a little consideration.’ said Mr. and most assuredly should have got as much information out of it as out of the face of a clock that had stopped. as well as of her relations going on before.’ In his attempts to be particularly lucid. Barkis was so extremely mysterious.’ said Mr. first. with many protestations of her unalterable love. Greatly to the astonishment of the passengers in the street. ‘Oh!’ ‘You know who was willin’. ‘It’s all right. with an attempt to be very profound: ‘Oh!’ ‘It didn’t come to a end there. and answered. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I told her he had said it was all right. as you do now?’ I returned.

not if I had been asked in church thirty times three times over. ‘and be able to see it when I like. but I’ll think of it again.Peggotty?’ ‘Yes.’ said Peggotty. every way I can. giving me a squeeze. ‘and see if I am not really glad. For then you know. ‘But I wouldn’t so much as give it another thought. ‘and if I tried to do my duty by him. Peggotty. and don’t truly wish it!’ As indeed I did.’ said Peggotty. cheerily ‘if my Davy was anyways against it . I may be laid not far off from my darling girl!’ We neither of us said anything for a little while. let alone my working with a better heart in my own house.’ ‘The sense of the dear!’ cried Peggotty. I don’t know what I might be fit for. my precious. ‘I have thought of it night and day. musing.’ said Peggotty. now. And I shall be always near my pretty’s resting-place. you would always have the horse and cart to bring you over to see me. and could come for nothing. you and me. ‘What I have been thinking of. Barkis is a good plain creature. and I think I should be more independent altogether. ‘Well. and I hope the right way. than I could in anybody else’s now. and in the meantime we’ll keep it to ourselves. as a servant to a stranger. and when I lie down to rest. and be sure of coming.’ I replied. and was wearing out the ring in my pocket. you see. my life. this month back! Yes. I think it would 10 David Copperfield . and speak to my brother about it.’ said Peggotty. Davy.’ ‘Look at me. with all my heart. Peggotty.’ said Peggotty. ‘I should think it would be a very good thing.

whimpering and shaking her head. Peggotty. ‘She’s at school. and she used to be a’most the only thing that didn’t go contrary with me. perhaps. ‘she’ll be home. down to the seaweed in the blue mug in my bedroom. said in a low voice. Barkis was so appropriate. except that it may. and tickled us both so much. and were quite in a pleasant humour when we came within view of Mr.’ said Peggotty.’ Mrs. so I asked Mr. and crawfish possessed by the same desire to pinch the world in general.’ looking at the Dutch clock. It looked just the same. Gummidge. ‘I feel it more than anybody else.com 11 . that we laughed again and again. appeared to be in the same state of conglomeration in the same old corner. sir. This quotation from Mr. and the very same lobsters.’ said Mrs. ‘I’m a lone lorn creetur’.if I wasn’t pretty comfortable.’ said Mr. Peggotty where she was. bless ye!’ Mrs. ‘Cheer up. Mawther!’ cried Mr. Gummidge. wiping the heat consequent on the porterage of Peggotty’s box from his forehead. laughing heartily. We all on us feel the loss of her. and Mrs. Peggotty. Gummidge was waiting at the door as if she had stood there ever since. applied herself to blowing the fire. ‘in from twenty minutes to half-an-hour’s time. But there was no little Em’ly to be seen. I went into the out-house to look about me. have shrunk a little in my eyes. Peggotty. looking round upon us while she was so engaged. crabs. All within was the same.be my fault if I wasn’t . Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mr. Peggotty’s cottage. Gummidge moaned.

and I soon knew it to be Em’ly. a curious feeling came over me that made me pretend not to know her. and yet it did not impress me in the same way. or it should have been. But when she drew nearer. and ran away. I knew the way by which she would come. I was going to kiss her. who was a little creature still in stature. you knew who it was. and her whole self prettier and gayer. Now. the whole place was. and said she wasn’t a baby now. ‘Oh. it’s you. She saw me well enough. A figure appeared in the distance before long. ‘Why. but she covered her cherry lips with her hands. which was a change 1 David Copperfield . or I am mistaken. I have done such a thing since in later life. into the house. and I saw her blue eyes looking bluer. Little Em’ly didn’t care a bit. is it?’ said little Em’ly. ‘And didn’t YOU know who it was?’ said Em’ly. Em’ly. laughing more than ever. I felt rather disappointed with it. This obliged me to run after her. quite as delightful a place as ever. She seemed to delight in teasing me. Perhaps it was because little Em’ly was not at home.which he shaded with his hand: ‘The old ‘un!’ From this I rightly conjectured that no improvement had taken place since my last visit in the state of Mrs. ran away laughing. and pass by as if I were looking at something a long way off. though she was grown.’ said I. but instead of turning round and calling after me. and she ran so fast that we were very near the cottage before I caught her. and her dimpled face looking brighter. and presently found myself strolling along the path to meet her. Gummidge’s spirits.

taking up her curls. And here. and she looked at me so kindly across the table. Gummidge: and on Mr. and had such a pleasant manner of being both sly and shy at once. in fact. Peggotty’s inquiring why. Little Em’ly was spoiled by them all. She was tender-hearted. but instead of coming to sit by me. that made his face a burning red. you see. and I held Mr. sir.’ said Mr. rumpled her hair all over her face to hide it. for when. and could do nothing but laugh. Peggotty to be thoroughly in the right. when I saw her do it. giving Ham a backhanded knock in the chest. But she was so affectionate and sweet-natured. though he Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that she captivated me more than ever. Peggotty. an allusion was made by Mr. ‘So sh’ is! so sh’ is!’ cried Ham. and by no one more than Mr. Peggotty. Peggotty himself. ‘A little puss. That was my opinion.in her I wondered at very much. she went and bestowed her company upon that grumbling Mrs. ‘Mas’r Davy bor’. ‘here’s another orphan. that I felt quite thankful to her. by only going and laying her cheek against his rough whisker. ‘Ah!’ said Mr. Peggotty over his pipe to the loss I had sustained.com 1 . patting her with his great hand. in a state of mingled admiration and delight. Peggotty. and our little locker was put out in its old place. the tears stood in her eyes. as we sat round the fire after tea. ‘is another of ‘em. The tea table was ready. too. and running them over his hand like water. so sh’ is!’ and he sat and chuckled at her for some time. at least. whom she could have coaxed into anything. it is!’ said Mr.

‘I don’t think I should FEEL much like it.’ said I. if it ain’t a treat to look at him!’ ‘He is very handsome. ‘Steerforth?’ said I. Peggotty.why I don’t know what he don’t stand up to you like. Mas’r Davy bor’!’ cried Ham. shaking my head.don’t look much like it. Peggotty. Mr. Peggotty to me.’ 1 David Copperfield . Lord love my heart alive. Peggotty. How is he. in an ecstasy. ‘He’s as brave as a lion. Peggotty’s back-hander. turning to Ham. ‘There’s a friend. and you can’t think how frank he is. if you talk of friends! Why.’ ‘Well said. Peggotty.’ observed Ham. Peggotty.like a . ‘Hoorah! Well said! Nor more you wouldn’t! Hor! Hor!’ Here he returned Mr. He’s so bold!’ ‘Yes! That’s just his character.’ ‘There’s a friend!’ said Mr.’ ‘You said it was Rudderford. sir?’ ‘He was very well indeed when I came away. ‘Well!’ retorted Mr. ‘I knowed it was something in our way.’ said Mr. Peggotty.’ said I. now. Mr.’ ‘If I had you for my guardian. Mr. is he not?’ said I. ‘And how’s your friend. sir?’ said Mr. ‘He stands up to you like . Peggotty. ‘And ye steer with a rudder. ‘that in the way of booklarning he’d take the wind out of a’most anything. and little Em’ly got up and kissed Mr. Peggotty. ‘Handsome!’ cried Mr. looking at me through the smoke of his pipe. don’t ye? It ain’t fur off. ‘That’s the name!’ cried Mr. laughing.’ ‘And I do suppose. my heart warming with this praise. Peggotty. stretching out his pipe.

and they all observed her at the same time.‘Yes. Peggotty gave his head another toss. with a grave toss of his head.’ said I. Peggotty. She looked so extraordinarily earnest and pretty. when my eyes rested on little Em’ly’s face. He is the best cricketer you ever saw.’ Mr. noble fellow.’ said I. Mr. her breath held.’ I was running on. as much as to say: ‘Of course he will. delighted. listening with the deepest attention. Peggotty.’ said I. ‘He knows a task if he only looks at it.’ ‘He is such a speaker.’ Mr. he’s such a generous.’ I pursued. He is astonishingly clever. very fast indeed. ‘Nothing seems to cost him any trouble. which was bent forward over the table. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘that he can win anybody over. as much as to say: ‘I have no doubt of it. they laughed and looked at her. Peggotty gave his head another toss. so much younger and lower in the school than himself. fine. ‘he knows everything. I am sure I can never feel thankful enough for the generosity with which he has protected me. that I stopped in a sort of wonder.’ ‘Then. for as I stopped.com 1 . and the colour mantling in her cheeks. He will give you almost as many men as you like at draughts. and beat you easily. quite carried away by my favourite theme. and I don’t know what you’d say if you were to hear him sing.’ ‘There’s a friend!’ murmured Mr. her blue eyes sparkling like jewels. ‘that it’s hardly possible to give him as much praise as he deserves.

I lay down in the old little bed in the stern of the boat. in little more than a year. stole home another way. she was more of a little woman than I had supposed. and when I went to meet her. and hung down her head. and instead of thinking that the sea might rise in the night and float the boat away.’ said Peggotty. now. putting a short clause into my prayers.’ Em’ly was confused by our all observing her. and was laughing 1 David Copperfield . and needle-work to do. She seemed to have got a great distance away from me. ‘and would like to see him. and seeing that we were all looking at her still (I am sure I. petitioning that I might grow up to marry little Em’ly. and kept away till it was nearly bedtime.it was a great exception. But I felt that we should not have had those old wanderings. But I could not help fancying. and tormented me. except . and was absent during a great part of each day. for one. that it moaned of those who were gone. but she laughed at me. She had tasks to learn. I thought of the sea that had risen. Glancing up presently through her stray curls. and the wind came moaning on across the flat as it had done before.‘Em’ly is like me. since I last heard those sounds. Wild and full of childish whims as Em’ly was. and drowned my happy home. she ran away. I recollect. as the wind and water began to sound fainter in my ears. and her face was covered with blushes. She liked me. even if it had been otherwise. and so dropping lovingly asleep. could have looked at her for hours). The days passed pretty much as they had passed before.that little Em’ly and I seldom wandered on the beach now.

reading to her. Barkis’s wooing. until Ham. disappointed. came back with the information that it was intended for Peggotty. and always with a little bundle. was altogether of a peculiar kind. to which he never alluded. One night. On the very first evening after our arrival. inspired by love. a canary bird and cage. and a leg of pickled pork. half a bushel or so of apples. he made a dart at the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as I suppose. a pair of jet earrings. such water. a box of dominoes. After that occasion he appeared every evening at exactly the same hour. As he made no allusion of any kind to this property. Among them I remember a double set of pigs’ trotters. as I remember it. a huge pin-cushion. such glorified ships sailing away into golden air. Barkis appeared in an exceedingly vacant and awkward condition. Mr. at this hour. some Spanish onions. he was supposed to have left it behind him by accident when he went away. and stare heavily at Peggotty. These offerings of affection were of a most various and eccentric description. that I have never seen such sunlight as on those bright April afternoons. It seems to me. sitting in the doorway of the old boat. but would sit by the fire in much the same attitude as he sat in his cart. and which he regularly put behind the door and left there. running after him to restore it. being. and I sat on the wooden step at her feet. that I have never beheld such sky. He very seldom said anything. that I have never seen such a sunny little figure as I used to see. who was opposite. The best times were when she sat quietly at work in the doorway. Mr.com 1 . and with a bundle of oranges tied up in a handkerchief.at the door when I came back.

driving a chaise-cart towards the object of his affections. while the collar was so high that it pushed his 1 David Copperfield .bit of wax-candle she kept for her thread. it was given out that Peggotty and Mr. He seemed to enjoy himself very much. Barkis were going to make a day’s holiday together. Barkis appeared in the distance. Indeed. contenting himself with now and then asking her if she was pretty comfortable. after he was gone. and put it in his waistcoat-pocket and carried it off. she was so continually reminded by these transactions of the old one. Gummidge. At length. I believe. and that little Em’ly and I were to accompany them. that the cuffs would have rendered gloves unnecessary in the coldest weather. when the term of my visit was nearly expired. except that miserable Mrs. and I remember that sometimes. Peggotty would throw her apron over her face. in a partially melted state. sticking to the lining of his pocket. whose courtship would appear to have been of an exactly parallel nature. Barkis bloomed in a new blue coat. and while we were yet at breakfast. I had but a broken sleep the night before. we were all more or less amused. Mr. and pocket it again when it was done with. of which the tailor had given him such good measure. and laugh for half-anhour. and not to feel at all called upon to talk. After that. in anticipation of the pleasure of a whole day with Em’ly. his great delight was to produce it when it was wanted. Even when he took Peggotty out for a walk on the flats. he had no uneasiness on that head. Peggotty was dressed as usual. We were all astir betimes in the morning. in her neat and quiet mourning. but Mr.

’ returned Mrs. I am sorry to relate. ‘No. that Ham might have acted on. however. called out from the cart. that Mrs. ‘Take and heave it. whimpering and shaking her head. by immediately bursting into tears. and everythink that reminds me of creetur’s that ain’t lone and lorn. Peggotty was prepared with an old shoe. Barkis a phenomenon of respectability. kissing everybody. Peggotty. Away we went. in which we all were by this time (Em’ly and I on two little chairs. goes contrary with me. too. and had better be carried to the House at once. His bright buttons. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1 . Gummidge must do it. Dan’l. cast a damp upon the festive character of our departure. and which he offered to Mrs. were of the largest size. Rendered complete by drab pantaloons and a buff waistcoat. nor you with them. who had been going about from one to another in a hurried way. ‘If I felt less. You don’t feel like me. So Mrs.’ ‘Come. Which I really thought was a sensible idea. which was to be thrown after us for luck. with the declaration that she knowed she was a burden.’ ‘No. I thought Mr. old gal!’ cried Mr. side by side). Dan’l. and. Dan’l.hair up on end on the top of his head. Gummidge.’ said Mrs. you had better do it yourself. I found that Mr. Gummidge. and sinking subdued into the arms of Ham.’ But here Peggotty. on our holiday excursion. When we were all in a bustle outside the door. Gummidge did it. Gummidge for that purpose. thinks don’t go contrary with you. I could do more. ‘I’m a lone lorn creetur’ myself. It had better be done by somebody else.

and then we drove away into the country. informing her. Mr. all day. that I never could love another. and that I was prepared to shed the blood of anybody who should aspire to her affections. Barkis and Peggotty were a good while in the church. and allowing me to kiss her. Barkis turned to me. ‘Clara Peggotty BARKIS!’ he returned. and very happy. and had gone into the 0 David Copperfield . that he could wink: ‘What name was it as I wrote up in the cart?’ ‘Clara Peggotty. I took that occasion to put my arm round Em’ly’s waist. How merry little Em’ly made herself about it! With what a demure assumption of being immensely older and wiser than I. in the pleasure of looking at her. ‘What name would it be as I should write up now. and then laughed so charmingly that I forgot the pain of being called by that disparaging name. they were married. and propose that as I was going away so very soon now. with a wink.’ I answered.by the by. again?’ I suggested. the fairy little woman said I was ‘a silly boy’.the first thing we did was to stop at a church. before. . Little Em’ly consenting. I recollect. Mr. Barkis tied the horse to some rails. and burst into a roar of laughter that shook the chaise. and went in with Peggotty. In a word. I should hardly have thought. but came out at last. if there was a tilt here?’ ‘Clara Peggotty. leaving little Em’ly and me alone in the chaise. we should determine to be very affectionate to one another. and said. I became desperate. where Mr. As we were going along.

outof-the-way kind of wedding it must have been! We got into the chaise again soon after dark. We drove to a little inn in a by-road. I told him all I knew. I was their chief exponent. and talking about them. and there had been no witnesses of the ceremony. and drove cosily back. she could hardly have been more at her ease about it. and had finished off with a fowl or two. Barkis’s mind to an amazing extent. but he would have believed anything I might have taken it into my head to impart to him. I have often thought. and the clerk had given her away. with the contemplation of his happiness.com 1 . and where we had a very comfortable dinner. but she soon became herself again. I suppose. and disposed of a large quantity without any emotion. where we were expected. Barkis philosophically smoked his pipe. and enjoyed himself. and went out for a stroll with little Em’ly and me before tea. while Mr. looking up at the stars. it made no sort of difference in her: she was just the same as ever. If so. and opened Mr. although he had eaten a good deal of pork and greens at dinner. Barkis made this abrupt announcement of their union. for he had a profound veneration for my abilities. and could not hug me enough in token of her unimpaired affection. She was a little confused when Mr. it sharpened his appetite. what an odd. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. If Peggotty had been married every day for the last ten years.church for no other purpose. he was obliged to have cold boiled bacon for tea. and said she was very glad it was over. and passed the day with great satisfaction. for I distinctly call to mind that. innocent. since. Peggotty was resolved that it should be quietly done.

I felt then. Little Em’ly came and sat  David Copperfield . laying down our heads on moss at night. bright with the light of our innocence. or rather when I had exhausted the mental faculties of Mr. we came to the old boat again in good time at night. and Mrs. and were ready with some supper and their hospitable faces to drive it away. When we had exhausted the subject of the stars. and buried by the birds when we were dead! Some such picture. for the first time. was in my mind all the way.informed his wife in my hearing. with no real world in it. and drove away snugly to their own home. that I was ‘a young Roeshus’ . and there Mr. Well. Mr. I should have gone to bed with a sore heart indeed under any other roof but that which sheltered little Em’ly’s head. Barkis. Peggotty and Ham knew what was in my thoughts as well as I did. I am glad to think the Loves and Graces took such airy forms in its homely procession. that I had lost Peggotty.by which I think he meant prodigy. how I loved her! What happiness (I thought) if we were married. Barkis bade us good-bye. and vague as the stars afar off. on that very occasion. in a sweet sleep of purity and peace. children ever. little Em’ly and I made a cloak of an old wrapper. never growing older. and were going away anywhere to live among the trees and in the fields. rambling hand in hand through sunshine and among flowery meadows. never growing wiser. I am glad to think there were two such guileless hearts at Peggotty’s marriage as little Em’ly’s and mine. Ah. and sat under it for the rest of the journey.

But as nothing of the sort happened to be walking about on Yarmouth flats that night. within which was a large quarto edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. and soon after we went to bed. but I kneeled on a chair. and became a desk. or any ill-disposed monster. by the pictures. I immediately discovered and immediately applied myself to. who called to me. I am afraid. let down.beside me on the locker for the only time in all that visit. opened the casket where this gem was enshrined. Peggotty and Ham went out to fish. Gummidge. spread my arms over the desk. but the Martyrs and Peggotty’s house have been inseparable in my mind ever since. would make an attack upon us. After breakfast she took me to her own home. and are now. Barkis the carrier had been from first to last a dream too. Of all the moveables in it. and cover myself with glory. I felt very brave at being left alone in the solitary house. I was chiefly edified. and represented all kinds of dismal horrors. It was a night tide. and I never visited the house afterwards. This precious volume. as usual. With morning came Peggotty. Mr. which were numerous. that I might destroy him.com  . under my window as if Mr. I provided the best substitute I could by dreaming of dragons until morning. I must have been impressed by a certain old bureau of some dark wood in the parlour (the tile-floored kitchen was the general sitting-room). with a retreating top which opened. of which I do not recollect one word. and fell to devouring the book afresh. and a beautiful little home it was. the protector of Em’ly and Mrs. and it was altogether a wonderful close to a wonderful day. and only wished that a lion or a serpent. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

Peggotty said. as I used to keep your old little room. my darling. and passed the night at Peggotty’s. and Ham. They left me at the gate. with herself and Mr.’ said Peggotty. in a little room in the roof (with the Crocodile Book on a shelf by the bed’s head) which was to be always mine. Barkis in the cart. and should always be kept for me in exactly the same state. you might think of it as being kept just the same. What would I have given. that day.which seems to cast its gloom upon this paper as I write. I shall keep it every day. which I cannot look back upon without compassion. . and leaving me under the old elm-trees looking at the house. not easily or lightly. in which there was no face to look on mine with love or liking any more.’ I felt the truth and constancy of my dear old nurse.I took leave of Mr. and Mrs. And now I fell into a state of neglect.apart from all friendly notice. That was not very well. all the time you were away. apart from the society of all other boys of my own age. with her arms round my neck. Davy dear. Peggotty. with all my heart. apart from all companionship but my own spiritless thoughts. to have been sent to the hardest  David Copperfield . and I was going home in the morning. and if you was to go to China. ‘Young or old. taking Peggotty away. . ‘you shall find it as if I expected you here directly minute. and little Em’ly. in the morning. and thanked her as well as I could. as long as I am alive and have this house over my head. I fell at once into a solitary condition. Gummidge. for she spoke to me thus. and I went home in the morning. and it was a strange sight to me to see the cart go on.

or whether anybody would have helped me out. or starved. what they would have done if I had been taken with an illness. and they sullenly.and succeeded. anywhere! No such hope dawned upon me.to have been taught something. reading some book that was new Free eBooks at Planet eBook. week after week. and Miss Murdstone were at home. lost a little small light-haired wife. Chillip often asked me to go and see him (he was a widower. When Mr. that if I did. overlooked me. whom I can just remember connecting in my own thoughts with a pale tortoise-shell cat). I was not beaten. and languished through it in my usual solitary way. I was not actively ill-used. sternly. steadily. At all times I lounged about the house and neighbourhood quite disregarded. but it is little to the purpose. in their absence. as I believe. but the wrong that was done to me had no intervals of relenting. I wonder sometimes. to put away the notion that I had any claim upon him . when I think of it. anyhow. They disliked me. I think Mr. I took my meals with them. month after month. and in putting me from him he tried. I was coldly neglected. though Mr. passionless manner. whether I should have lain down in my lonely room.com  . Murdstone’s means were straitened at about this time. it was but seldom that I enjoyed the happiness of passing an afternoon in his closet of a surgery. and was done in a systematic. He could not bear me. I ate and drank by myself. some years before that. except that they were jealous of my making any friends: thinking. having. perhaps. For this reason. Day after day. I might complain to someone.school that ever was kept! .

They were my only comfort. however. for every Saturday’s expenses. she either came to see me. that I should have been perfectly miserable. but for the old books. and kept a heap of money in a box under his bed. in being refused permission to pay a visit to her at her house. but many and bitter were the disappointments I had. I was seldom allowed to visit Peggotty. with the smell of the whole Pharmacopoeia coming up my nose. I was allowed to go there. which he pretended was only full of coats and trousers. For the same reason. or met me somewhere near. added no doubt to the old dislike of her. or as Peggotty dutifully expressed it. I have no doubt. In this coffer. so that Peggotty had to prepare a long and elaborate scheme. and of my being utterly neglected. Some few times. and then I found out that Mr. Barkis was something of a miser. at long intervals. All this time I was so conscious of the waste of any promise I had given. a very Gunpowder Plot. that the smallest instalments could only be tempted out by artifice. or pounding something in a mortar under his mild directions.to me. was ‘a little near’. I now approach a period of my life. come before me like a ghost. and haunted happier times. without my invocation. once every week. his riches hid themselves with such a tenacious modesty. and never empty-handed. Faithful to her promise. and I was as true to them as they were to me. which I can never lose the remembrance of.  David Copperfield . while I remember anything: and the recollection of which has often. and read them over and over I don’t know how many times more.

in its aversion. That’s your name. when Free eBooks at Planet eBook. looking at us both.’ At these words.I had been out. and was going by them. His laugh coming to my remembrance too. one day. David Copperfield.’ said the latter. I observed the gentleman more attentively. Quinion.’ I said.I need not recall when. Quinion. and go away. before .’ said the gentleman. when. He is a difficult subject. ‘And how do you get on. and glanced dubiously at Mr. and turned me about. to walk with them. double look was on me for a moment. whom I had gone over to Lowestoft with Mr. Quinion. in the listless. Brooks?’ said Mr. You are Brooks. I thought. Murdstone. Murdstone walking with a gentleman. ‘You are Brooks of Sheffield. I don’t know what to do with him. I did not know what to reply. I was confused.com  . and I was considering how I could best disengage my shoulder from his hand. He had put his hand upon my shoulder. ‘Don’t tell me. as it turned. when the gentleman cried: ‘What! Brooks!’ ‘No. I knew him to be Mr. meditative manner that my way of life engendered.it is no matter . I came upon Mr. and where are you being educated. ‘Fine weather!’ Silence ensued. ‘He is at home at present. Murdstone to see. loitering somewhere. turning the corner of a lane near our house. elsewhere. ‘Humph!’ said Mr.’ That old. ‘He is not being educated anywhere. sir. and then his eyes darkened with a frown.

Mr.he said: ‘I suppose you are a pretty sharp fellow still? Eh. and I made the best of my way home. and I stood looking at them all. and I felt that they were speaking of me. Quinion released me. He then gravely repaired to another table. Murdstone.’ . where his sister sat herself at her desk.’ said Mr. I say. He will not thank you for troubling him.’ said Mr. It is especially so for a young boy of your disposition. and not for moping and droning in.’  David Copperfield . if you please. when Mr. Murdstone. Quinion talking to him. After breakfast. ‘David. which requires a great deal of correcting. the next morning. Mr. to the young this is a world for action. They were both looking after me. Quinion.’ On this hint. and to bend it and break it. Brooks?’ ‘Aye! He is sharp enough. Murdstone called me back.’ added his sister. David. impatiently. ‘Jane Murdstone. Murdstone leaning against the wicket of the churchyard. I had put my chair away. and Mr. stood looking out of window. and was going out of the room. with his hands in his pockets. leave it to me. ‘to the young this is a world for action. Quinion lay at our house that night.‘As you do. ‘You had better let him go. not for moping and droning in. Looking back as I turned into the front garden. and to which no greater service can be done than to force it to conform to the ways of the working world. Mr. I saw Mr.

for he went on hastily: ‘You have heard the ‘counting-house’ mentioned. David. remembering what I vaguely knew of his and his sister’s resources. ‘But I don’t know when.’ he replied. Quinion manages that business. half in approval. that I am not rich. I am of opinion that it would not be at all advantageous to you to be kept at school. half in remonstrance. in my poor way: but it occurs to me now.’ ‘I think I have heard the business mentioned. whether or no. You have received some considerable education already. And crushed it must be.’ said his sister ‘What it wants is.‘For stubbornness won’t do here. the better. or the wharf. and even if it were not. you know it now.’ I said. What is before you. too!’ He gave her a look. and went on: ‘I suppose you know. or something about it.’ I glanced at the latter deferentially as he stood looking out of window. to be crushed. At any rate. and I could afford it. Murdstone.com  . and the sooner you begin it. ‘The counting-house. I suppose I looked uncertain. sir?’ I repeated. sir. ‘Mr. in the wine trade. ‘You have heard the ‘counting-house’ mentioned sometimes. or the business. is a fight with the world.’ I think it occurred to me that I had already begun it. Education is costly. Shall be.’ said Mr. or the cellars. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Of Murdstone and Grinby.’ he returned.’ ‘It does not matter when.

in a much-worn little white hat.’ said his sister. that I was in a state of confusion about it. give employment to you.’ ‘In short. stiff corduroy trousers . My impression is.Which will be kept down to my estimate.’ ‘He having. on the morrow. and. Murdstone. I have no distinct remembrance whether it pleased or frightened me. So you are now going to London. Quinion was to go upon the morrow. yet awhile. ‘as you will not be able. Nor had I much time for the clearing of my thoughts. ‘Your clothes will be looked after for you. ‘no other prospect. David. ‘and will please to do your duty. oscillating between the two points. and that he sees no reason why it shouldn’t. with an impatient.’ Mr. a black jacket. Quinion observed in a low voice. you are provided for.which Miss 0 David Copperfield . without noticing what he had said: ‘Those terms are. to begin the world on your own account. that you will earn enough for yourself to provide for your eating and drinking. Behold me.’ said Mr. and half turning round. Murdstone. even an angry gesture. touched neither.’ Though I quite understood that the purpose of this announcement was to get rid of me. Quinion. Murdstone. and a pair of hard. So will your washing -’ ‘. and pocket-money. Your lodging (which I have arranged for) will be paid by me.’ Mr. too.’ observed his sister. resumed. to get them for yourself. as Mr. with Mr. Quinion suggests that it gives employment to some other boys.‘Mr. with a black crape round it for my mother. on the same terms.

in the post-chaise that was carrying Mr. and with my little worldly all before me in a small trunk. how our house and church are lessening in the distance. and the sky is empty! Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Quinion to the London coach at Yarmouth! See. Gummidge might have said). how the grave beneath the tree is blotted out by intervening objects.com 1 . sitting. behold me so attired.Murdstone considered the best armour for the legs in that fight with the world which was now to come off. a lone lorn child (as Mrs. how the spire points upwards from my old playground no more.

delicate. at ten years old. It was a crazy old house with a wharf of its own. but it was the last house at the bottom of a narrow street. that I can have been so easily thrown away at such an age. where people took boat. and with strong powers of observation. but it is matter of some surprise to me. eager. to have almost lost the capacity of being much surprised by anything. even now. and I became. curving down hill to the river. A child of excellent abilities. abutting on the water when David Copperfield  . quick. with some stairs at the end. it seems wonderful to me that nobody should have made any sign in my behalf.CHAPTER 11 I BEGIN LIFE ON MY OWN ACCOUNT. and soon hurt bodily or mentally. a little labouring hind in the service of Murdstone and Grinby. AND DON’T LIKE IT I know enough of the world now. But none was made. It was down in Blackfriars. Modern improvements have altered the place. Murdstone and Grinby’s warehouse was at the waterside.

Quinion could see me.the tide was in. When the empty bottles ran short. in my mind. are things. or finished bottles to be packed in casks. Quinion’s. and literally overrun with rats. Its panelled rooms. All this work was my work. the squeaking and scuffling of the old grey rats down in the cellars. discoloured with the dirt and smoke of a hundred years. I forget now where they chiefly went. counting me. and the dirt and rottenness of the place. and that certain men and boys were employed to examine them against the light. and to rinse and wash them. but I think there were some among them that made voyages both to the East and West Indies. There were three or four of us.com  . on the first morning of my so auspiciously beginning life on my own Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with my trembling hand in Mr. just as they were in the evil hour when I went among them for the first time. not of many years ago. Hither. where Mr. and on the mud when the tide was out. but an important branch of it was the supply of wines and spirits to certain packet ships. there were labels to be pasted on full ones. and look at me through a window above the desk. its decaying floors and staircase. My working place was established in a corner of the warehouse. Murdstone and Grinby’s trade was among a good many kinds of people. They are all before me. when he chose to stand up on the bottom rail of his stool in the counting-house. or corks to be fitted to them. or seals to be put upon the corks. and of the boys employed upon it I was one. but of the present instant. and reject those that were flawed. I know that a great many empty bottles were one of the consequences of this traffic. I dare say.

As often as Mick Walker went away in the course of that forenoon. The deep remembrance of the sense I had. Mealy’s father was a waterman. and he wore a ragged apron and a paper cap. in a black velvet head-dress. crushed in my bosom. and was engaged as such at one of the large theatres. who had the additional distinction of being a fireman. of being utterly without hope now. of the shame I felt in my position. Traddles. of the misery it was to my young heart to believe that day by day what I had learned. but that it had been bestowed upon him in the warehouse. I mingled my tears with the water in which I was  David Copperfield . and raised my fancy and my emulation up by. which was pale or mealy.extraordinary name of Mealy Potatoes. and delighted in. would pass away from me.did Imps in the Pantomimes. and the rest of those boys.I think his little sister . compared these henceforth everyday associates with those of my happier childhood not to say with Steerforth. however. cannot be written.to me . I discovered. and felt my hopes of growing up to be a learned and distinguished man. that this youth had not been christened by that name. never to be brought back any more. little by little. No words can express the secret agony of my soul as I sunk into this companionship. and walked. in the Lord Mayor’s Show. He informed me that his father was a bargeman. and thought. He also informed me that our principal associate would be another boy whom he introduced by the . the oldest of the regular boys was summoned to show me my business. where some young relation of Mealy’s .account. on account of his complexion. His name was Mick Walker.

‘thank Heaven. in which he mentions that he would desire me to receive into an apartment in the rear of my house.washing the bottles. His clothes were shabby.’ said Mr. ‘is Master Copperfield. I hope I see you well. and a certain indescribable air of doing something genteel. with a certain condescending roll in his voice. which is at present unoccupied .’ said the stranger. in short.’ said the stranger. as he very seldom looked through it. with no more hair upon his head (which was a large one. which impressed me very much. and it were in danger of bursting. ‘This. He carried a jaunty sort of a stick. in allusion to myself. sir?’ I said I was very well. Heaven knows. but he had an imposing shirt-collar on. I have received a letter from Mr. I afterwards found.for ornament. Murdstone. . and found there a stoutish. so I said I was very well. and with a very extensive face. I went in. which he turned full upon me. and hoped he was. ‘I am.’ ‘This. and couldn’t see anything when he did. and sobbed as if there were a flaw in my own breast. when Mr. in a brown surtout and black tights and shoes. I was sufficiently ill at ease.’ said the stranger.and is. and hoped he was. Quinion. Quinion tapped at the counting-house window.in short. with a large pair of rusty tassels to it. middle-aged person. and there was general preparation for going to dinner. and a quizzing-glass hung outside his coat. to be let as a . quite well. ‘is he. but it was not in my nature to complain much at that time of my life. with a smile Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The counting-house clock was at half past twelve.com  . and beckoned to me to go in. and very shining) than there is upon an egg.

with the same genteel air. for it was friendly in him to offer to take that trouble.’ said Mr. Micawber. Murdstone. ‘At about eight. He has been written to by Mr.‘I live there.’ said Mr.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. ‘as a bedroom .the young beginner whom I have now the pleasure to -’ and the stranger waved his hand. ‘shall I -’ ‘At about eight.’ said Mr. Quinion. Micawber. Micawber. Micawber. Murdstone.’ I thanked him with all my heart.’ said Mr. Quinion.’ said Mr. ‘At what hour. City Road. when he can get any.’ ‘My address.’  David Copperfield . ‘that is my name. ‘Under the impression. and he will receive you as a lodger.in short.’ said Mr. ‘is known to Mr.and in a burst of confidence. Micawber. He takes orders for us on commission. Quinion to me. . Micawber. Micawber.’ said Mr. ‘I beg to wish you good day. and install you in the knowledge of the nearest way. Micawber. on the subject of your lodgings. I will intrude no longer. and that you might have some difficulty in penetrating the arcana of the Modern Babylon in the direction of the City Road. Mr. ‘Ahem!’ said the stranger.in short. ‘that your peregrinations in this metropolis have not as yet been extensive. ‘This is Mr. in another burst of confidence. I . ‘that you might lose yourself . Quinion.’ I made him a bow.’ ‘Mr. and in another burst of confidence . ‘is Windsor Terrace. and settled his chin in his shirt-collar.I shall be happy to call this evening.

together. and I may Free eBooks at Planet eBook.So he put on his hat. which was a meat pie and a turn at a neighbouring pump. from my uncertainty on this head. Arrived at this house in Windsor Terrace (which I noticed was shabby like himself. Micawber reappeared. He paid me a week down (from his own pocket. small as it was. not at all young. in walking about the streets. he presented me to Mrs. Mr. I believe). Micawber impressing the name of streets. and we walked to our house.com  . Micawber. and I gave Mealy sixpence out of it to get my trunk carried to Windsor Terrace that night: it being too heavy for my strength. at a salary. and the shapes of corner houses upon me. I think. as we went along. Mr. I am inclined to believe. that it was six at first and seven afterwards. in the morning. who was sitting in the parlour (the first floor was altogether unfurnished. easily. made all the show it could). as I suppose I must now call it. that I might find my way back. and passed the hour which was allowed for that meal. Mr. Quinion then formally engaged me to be as useful as I could in the warehouse of Murdstone and Grinby. and humming a tune when he was clear of the counting-house. and the blinds were kept down to delude the neighbours). I washed my hands and face. with a baby at her breast. but also. I paid sixpence more for my dinner. to do the greater honour to his gentility. and went out with his cane under his arm: very upright. At the appointed time in the evening. This baby was one of twins. like himself. a thin and faded lady. I am not clear whether it was six or seven. of six shillings a week.

to show me the apartment. Micawber’s difficulties are almost overwhelming just at present. and a dark-complexioned young woman. These. in the neighbourhood. Micawber being in difficulties. in all my experience of the family. aged about three. ma’am. stencilled all over with an ornament which my young imagination represented as a blue muffin. Micawber. ‘and whether it is possible to bring him through them. but experientia does it. I really should have hardly understood what the word meant.’ I said: ‘Yes. Micawber at the same time.’ ‘Mr. .’ said Mrs. twin and all. at the back: a close chamber. saw both the twins detached from Mrs.’ said Mrs. When I lived at home with papa and mama. that I should ever find it necessary to take a lodger.remark here that I hardly ever. aged about four. that she was ‘a Orfling’. ‘I never thought. completed the establishment. Luke’s workhouse. when I lived with papa and mama. and came from St. Micawber had been an officer in the Marines. all considerations of private feeling must give way. I don’t know. and very scantily furnished.as papa used to say. who was servant to the family. and Miss Micawber. ‘before I was married. or whether I  David Copperfield . before half an hour had expired. and sat down to take breath. and informed me. when she came up. Micawber. in the sense in which I now employ it. But Mr. My room was at the top of the house. with a habit of snorting. Master Micawber. One of them was always taking refreshment.’ I cannot satisfy myself whether she told me that Mr. There were two other children.

and some of them were quite ferocious. I am afraid. Poor Mrs. I think he was a boot-maker. used Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Micawber.com  . but made little or nothing of it. I only know that I believe to this hour that he WAS in the Marines once upon a time. I have no doubt. or that any young lady ever came. Micawber in reference to my age. One dirty-faced man. she had. without knowing why. were creditors. Blood cannot be obtained from a stone. and so. Micawber’s creditors will not give him time. but this was the strain in which she began. on which was engraved ‘Mrs. He was a sort of town traveller for a number of miscellaneous houses. Micawber’s Boarding Establishment for Young Ladies’: but I never found that any young lady had ever been to school there.have imagined it. ‘they must take the consequences. or that the least preparation was ever made to receive any young lady. neither can anything on account be obtained at present (not to mention law expenses) from Mr. or whether she was so full of the subject that she would have talked about it to the very twins if there had been nobody else to communicate with. Micawber! She said she had tried to exert herself.’ said Mrs.’ I never can quite understand whether my precocious self-dependence confused Mrs. now. and she went on accordingly all the time I knew her. The centre of the street door was perfectly covered with a great brass-plate. and the sooner they bring it to an issue the better. or heard of. The only visitors I ever saw. THEY used to come at all hours. or proposed to come. ‘If Mr. Micawber.

and to eat lamb chops. and these being ineffectual too. but within half-an-hour afterwards. I wouldn’t be mean if I was you. you know. At these times. over a veal cutlet before the kitchen fire. Mr. Micawber would be transported with grief and mortification. that’s mean. Pay us. I have known her to be thrown into fainting fits by the king’s taxes at three o’clock. he would mount in his wrath to the words ‘swindlers’ and ‘robbers’. and with this family. when an execution had just been put in. where he knew Mr. and go out. Micawber was. and the company they used to keep. he would polish up his shoes with extraordinary pains. Micawber was quite as elastic. will you? Don’t hide. and roaring up at the windows of the second floor. Micawber ‘Come! You ain’t out yet. Mrs. will you? You just pay us. and call up the stairs to Mr.to edge himself into the passage as early as seven o’clock in the morning. On one occasion. that very same night. d’ye hear? Come!’ Receiving no answer to these taunts. In this house. breaded. humming a tune with a greater air of gentility than ever. coming home through some chance as early as six o’clock. and drink warm ale (paid for with two tea-spoons that had gone to the pawnbroker’s) at four. telling me stories about her papa and mama. with her hair all torn about her face. Pay us. I saw her lying (of course with a twin) under the grate in a swoon. I passed my leisure 0 David Copperfield . but I never knew her more cheerful than she was. even to the length (as I was once made aware by a scream from his wife) of making motions at himself with a razor. would sometimes go to the extremity of crossing the street. you know.

From Monday morning until Saturday night. The pudding at that shop was made of currants. I provided myself. in going to Murdstone and Grinby’s. that often. I went without my dinner.to undertake the whole charge of my own existence. Martin’s Church .somewhere in that part which has been rebuilt since. but was dear. on a particular shelf of a particular cupboard. . and was rather a special pudding. heavy and flabby. as I hope to go to heaven! I was so young and childish. of any kind.at the back of the church. I kept another small loaf. This made a hole in the six or seven shillings. or bought a roll or a slice of pudding. from anyone. and a modicum of cheese. and had to support myself on that money all the week. no support. It was a stout pale pudding. according to my finances. I could not resist the stale pastry put out for sale at half-price at the pastrycooks’ doors. no assistance. A good shop for the latter was in the Strand .com 1 . It came up hot at about my time every day.how could I be otherwise? .time. stuck in whole at wide distances apart. I had no advice. One was in a court close to St. of a morning. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that I can call to mind. Then. no encouragement. twopennyworth not being larger than a pennyworth of more ordinary pudding.which is now removed altogether. between which I was divided. no consolation. and with great flat raisins in it. and spent in that the money I should have kept for my dinner. and so little qualified . no counsel. I know well. and I was out at the warehouse all day. My own exclusive breakfast of a penny loaf and a pennyworth of milk. I remember two pudding shops. to make my supper on when I came back at night.

with those dark arches. I remember carrying my own bread (which I had brought from home in the morning) under my arm. What the waiter thought of such a strange little apparition coming in all alone. We had half-an-hour. from a miserable old public-house opposite our place of business. as far as Covent Garden Market. staring at me as I ate my dinner. I don’t know. I was fond of wandering about the Adelphi. like a book. I gave him a halfpenny for himself. Once. wrapped in a piece of paper. I wonder what they thought of me! I was such a child. and bringing up the other waiter to look. that frequently when I went into the bar of a strange public-house for a glass of ale  David Copperfield . at such a time. or a fourpenny plate of red beef from a cook’s shop. When I dined regularly and handsomely. When I had none. I used to look at a venison shop in Fleet Street. I used to get half-a-pint of ready-made coffee and a slice of bread and butter.and many a day did I dine off it. and I wish he hadn’t taken it. and stared at the pineapples. on a little public-house close to the river. to look at whom I sat down upon a bench. or the Lion and something else that I have forgotten. I had a saveloy and a penny loaf. where some coal-heavers were dancing. and ordering a ‘small plate’ of that delicacy to eat with it. or a plate of bread and cheese and a glass of beer. I see myself emerging one evening from some of these arches. and so little. I think. but I can see him now. for tea. because it was a mysterious place. called the Lion. When I had money enough. and going to a famous alamode beef-house near Drury Lane. or I have strolled. with an open space before it.

opening the little half-door of the bar. producing the money.’ says the landlord. I know I do not exaggerate. that I might commit nobody. if you please. unconsciously and unintenFree eBooks at Planet eBook. appropriate answers. from head to foot. looked round the screen and said something to his wife. and joined him in surveying me. all three.’ ‘Then. looking up at them from outside the partition. how I was employed. I invented. I remember one hot evening I went into the bar of a public-house. in some confusion.com  . and how I came there. It may have been my birthday.ale a glass?’ For it was a special occasion. I don’t know what.’ The landlord looked at me in return over the bar. as. they were afraid to give it me. To all of which. though I suspect it was not the Genuine Stunning. ‘is the price of the Genuine Stunning ale. gave me my money back. Here we stand. with her work in her hand. what my name was. his wife looking over the little half-door. and instead of drawing the beer. She came out from behind it. They served me with the ale. how old I was. and said to the landlord: ‘What is your best . and gave me a kiss that was half admiring and half compassionate. before me now. ‘just draw me a glass of the Genuine Stunning. I am afraid. and the landlord’s wife. and I. where I lived. to moisten what I had had for dinner.’ says I. but all womanly and good. I am sure. and bending down.or porter. with a good head to it. The landlord in his shirtsleeves. They asked me a good many questions. ‘Twopence-halfpenny.your very best . leaning against the bar window-frame. with a strange smile on his face.

I spent it in a dinner or a tea. But I kept my own counsel. and another named Tipp. and when I  David Copperfield . and wore a red jacket. or gave the least indication of being sorry that I was there. a shabby child. that. I knew from the first. insufficiently and unsatisfactorily fed. for any care that was taken of me. who was the carman. I soon became at least as expeditious and as skilful as either of the other boys. Yet I held some station at Murdstone and Grinby’s too. How much I suffered. but for the mercy of God. could. I might easily have been. with common men and boys. Quinion did what a careless man so occupied. Besides that Mr. Though perfectly familiar with them.’ A certain man named Gregory. and that I suffered exquisitely. I know that I lounged about the streets. I could not hold myself above slight and contempt. from morning until night. a little robber or a little vagabond. Quinion at any time. used to address me sometimes as ‘David’: but I think it was mostly when we were very confidential. or ‘the young Suffolker. They and the men generally spoke of me as ‘the little gent’. it is. my conduct and manner were different enough from theirs to place a space between us. to man or boy. utterly beyond my power to tell. as I have said already. and dealing with a thing so anomalous. who was foreman of the packers. That I suffered in secret. I know that. how it was that I came to be there. no one ever knew but I. I know that I worked. to treat me as one upon a different footing from the rest. I know that if a shilling were given me by Mr. if I could not do my work as well as any of the rest.tionally. I never said. the scantiness of my resources or the difficulties of my life. and I did my work.

Micawber’s debts. as such. partly for the love of her and partly for shame. Micawber to sob violently at the beginning of one of these Saturday night conversations. never in any letter (though many passed between us) revealed the truth. or was otherwise than miserably unhappy. Micawber would make the most heart-rending confidences to me. I have known him come home to supper with a flood of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. which were fast perishing out of my remembrance. and partly because I went home early. and sat late at my breakfast. which was my grand treat. In my forlorn state I became quite attached to the family.com  . I am solemnly convinced that I never for one hour was reconciled to it. My rescue from this kind of existence I considered quite hopeless. and sing about jack’s delight being his lovely Nan. and rebelled against my being so distinguished. looking into the shops and thinking what such a sum would buy. and heavy with the weight of Mr. when I mixed the portion of tea or coffee I had bought over-night.Mrs. Micawber’s calculations of ways and means. On a Saturday night. Mr. altogether. busy with Mrs. . It was nothing at all unusual for Mr. .partly because it was a great thing to walk home with six or seven shillings in my pocket. with some results of the old readings. also on a Sunday morning. in a little shaving-pot. Micawber’s difficulties were an addition to the distressed state of my mind. but Mick Walker settled him in no time. but I bore it. and abandoned. towards the end of it.had made some efforts to entertain them. over our work. and used to walk about. Mealy Potatoes uprose once. and even to Peggotty.

said Mrs. originating.tears. And Mrs. and go to bed making a calculation of the expense of putting bow-windows to the house. Micawber was just the same. sprung up between me and these people. Micawber’s red eyes with the utmost sympathy. A curious equality of friendship. which was his favourite expression.’ said Mrs. until Mrs. ‘I make no stranger of you. and therefore do not hesitate to say that Mr.from which I presume that it must have been on  David Copperfield . in our respective circumstances. in great concern. But I never allowed myself to be prevailed upon to accept any invitation to eat and drink with them out of their stock (knowing that they got on badly with the butcher and baker. and I looked at Mrs. I had two or three shillings of my week’s money in my pocket . ‘in case anything turned up’.’ It made me very miserable to hear it. and I use the word almost unconsciously. and a declaration that nothing was now left but a jail. notwithstanding the ludicrous disparity in our years.’ ‘Dear me!’ I said. and had often not too much for themselves). I suppose. What I mean to express is. Micawber. ‘With the exception of the heel of a Dutch cheese . Micawber took me into her entire confidence. Micawber’s difficulties are coming to a crisis. Micawber. ‘there is really not a scrap of anything in the larder.which is not adapted to the wants of a young family’ . This she did one evening as follows: ‘Master Copperfield. I was accustomed to speak of the larder when I lived with papa and mama. that there is nothing to eat in the house.

and a pair of sugars. Micawber’s feelings would never allow him to dispose of them. two salt. if I might ask you -’ I understood Mrs. and begged her to make use of me to any extent. if you will. I carried them. There are still a few trifles that we could part with. of papa and mama.this was the girl from the workhouse . and with heartfelt emotion begged Mrs. Mr. ‘I have parted with the plate myself. and Clickett’ .and I hastily produced them.’ said Mrs. with my own hands. But the twins are a great tie. Micawber. and went out on a similar expedition almost every morning. Micawber now. one after another. Micawber to name it. ‘far be it from my thoughts! But you have a discretion beyond your years. I began to dispose of the more portable articles of property that very evening.a Wednesday night when we held this conversation . to a bookstall in the City Road Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and to me. would take painful liberties if so much confidence was reposed in her. and making me put them back in my pocket. which he called the library. and a service I will thankfully accept of. ‘Six tea. and can render me another kind of service. and those went first. Micawber to accept of them as a loan. my dear Master Copperfield. Mr. But that lady. replied that she couldn’t think of it. Master Copperfield.’ said she. in secret. I have at different times borrowed money on. before I went to Murdstone and Grinby’s. with my recollections.‘being of a vulgar mind. Micawber had a few books on a little chiffonier. these transactions are very painful.com  . kissing me.’ I begged Mrs. ‘No.

and to be violently scolded by his wife every morning.and secretly completed the bargain on the stairs. After all these occasions Mrs. used to get tipsy every night. and there was a peculiar relish in these meals which I well remember. He told me. while his wife. I began to be very well known. which was generally a supper. but his wife had always got some .. I dare say. The keeper of this bookstall. never left off rating him. with a baby in her arms and her shoes down at heel. and carried over to the King’s Bench Prison in the Borough.one part of which.had taken his. More than once. was almost all bookstalls and bird shops then . while he was drunk . and then he would ask me to call again. The principal gentleman who officiated behind the counter. and often got me. Micawber made a little treat. as we went down together. as he went out of the house.and sold them for whatever they would bring. and he. while he transacted my business. and he was arrested early one morning. took a good deal of notice of me. who lived in a little house behind it. near our house. At the pawnbroker’s shop. At last Mr. in his ear. or to conjugate a Latin verb. bearing witness to his excesses over-night (I am afraid he was quarrelsome in his drink). Micawber’s difficulties came to a crisis. I had audience of him in a turn-up bedstead. with a shaking hand. with a cut in his forehead or a black eye. that the God of day had now gone down  David Copperfield . Sometimes he had lost his money. when I went there early. which lay upon the floor. I recollect. too. to decline a Latin noun or adjective. endeavouring to find the needful shillings in one or other of the pockets of his clothes.

Micawber for the amount. But I heard. Micawber was waiting for me within the gate. I was to go and see him. All this I did. one on each side. that he was seen to play a lively game at skittles. he would be happy. with Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and spent nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence. gave me a written order on Mrs. and we went up to his room (top story but one). there was a man there with nothing on him but an old rug. and put away his pocket-handkerchief. and cried very much. On the first Sunday after he was taken there. the turnkey swam before my dimmed eyes and my beating heart. I was to ask my way to such a place. but that if he spent twenty pounds one he would be miserable. and cheered up. and have dinner with him. Micawber. After which he borrowed a shilling of me for porter. afterwards. who shared the room with Mr.com  . He solemnly conjured me. until another debtor. before noon. and keep straight on until I saw a turnkey. and when at last I did see a turnkey (poor little fellow that I was!). to prevent its burning too many coals. came in from the bakehouse with the loin of mutton which was our joint-stock repast. and just short of that place I should see such another place.upon him . We sat before a little fire. which I was to cross. I remember. Mr. when Roderick Random was in a debtors’ prison. Then I was sent up to ‘Captain Hopkins’ in the room overhead. and thought how.and I really thought his heart was broken and mine too. and to observe that if a man had twenty pounds a-year for his income. with two bricks put within the rusted grate. to take warning by his fate. and just short of that I should see a yard.

old brown great-coat with no other coat below it. with shock heads of hair. except the bed. Micawber with an account of my visit. in the two parlours 0 David Copperfield . with large whiskers. and I divined (God knows how) that though the two girls with the shock heads of hair were Captain Hopkins’s children. With these possessions we encamped. and the kitchen table. as surely as the knife and fork were in my hand. but I came down again with all this in my knowledge. I thought it was better to borrow Captain Hopkins’s knife and fork. and would Captain Hopkins lend me a knife and fork. My timid station on his threshold was not occupied more than a couple of minutes at most. and I was his young friend. and an old. Sold it was. than Captain Hopkins’s comb. and made a little jug of egg-hot afterwards to console us while we talked it over. and went home to comfort Mrs. There was a very dirty lady in his little room. with his compliments to Mr. as it were. I saw his bed rolled up in a corner. I took back Captain Hopkins’s knife and fork early in the afternoon. I don’t know how the household furniture came to be sold for the family benefit.Mr. on a shelf. and two wan girls. and what plates and dishes and pots he had. his daughters. She fainted when she saw me return. however. Captain Hopkins lent me the knife and fork. The Captain himself was in the last extremity of shabbiness. Micawber’s compliments. except that I did not. a few chairs. or who sold it. and carried away in a van. There was something gipsy-like and agreeable in the dinner. Micawber. the dirty lady was not married to Captain Hopkins. after all.

Micawber had now secured a room to himself. very much to my satisfaction. who was very glad to get it. the Orfling. So I took the key of the house to the landlord. and myself. where Mr. in our troubles. Micawber’s Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and in prowling about the streets at meal-times. and when I took possession of it. made a single acquaintance. I led the same secretly unhappy life. the children. and secondly. except mine. with the reflection that Mr. Mrs. The only changes I am conscious of are. Micawber’s troubles had come to a crisis at last. and the beds were sent over to the King’s Bench. and with the same common companions. commanding a pleasant prospect of a timberyard. Micawber. though it seems to me for a long time. All this time I was working at Murdstone and Grinby’s in the same common way.com 1 . The Orfling was likewise accommodated with an inexpensive lodging in the same neighbourhood. or spoke to any of the many boys whom I saw daily in going to the warehouse. to part. and Mrs. At last Mrs. that I had grown more shabby. for which a little room was hired outside the walls in the neighbourhood of that Institution. I thought it quite a paradise. and lived in those rooms night and day. and with the same sense of unmerited degradation as at first. firstly. since the Micawbers and I had become too used to one another. happily for me no doubt. But I never. self-reliant manner. I have no idea for how long. Micawber resolved to move into the prison. that I was now relieved of much of the weight of Mr.of the emptied house in Windsor Terrace. in coming from it. Mine was a quiet back-garret with a sloping roof. but I led it in the same lonely.

admitting of my going in. though I was so far from being clear about it then. of which I used to hear a great deal. I never told them at Murdstone and Grinby’s. Micawber. of which I have forgotten the details. I used to breakfast with them now. or to look over the balustrades at the sun shining in the water. once upon a time. now. too. where I was wont to sit in one of the stone recesses. although past their crisis. and which I suppose. that I am conscious of having confounded it with those demoniacal parchments which are held to have. At last this document  David Copperfield . I am unable to say. to be told some astonishing fictions respecting the wharves and the Tower. and that my favourite lounging-place in the interval was old London Bridge.cares. at what hour the gates were opened in the morning. and they lived more comfortably in the prison than they had lived for a long while out of it. and hear reminiscences of her papa and mama. Mr. The Orfling met me here sometimes. I forget. Murdstone knew where I was. were very much involved by reason of a certain ‘Deed’. but I know that I was often up at six o’clock. in virtue of some arrangement. and walk up and down the parade with Mr. Micawber. and lighting up the golden flame on the top of the Monument. Whether Mr. In the evening I used to go back to the prison. to have been some former composition with his creditors. watching the people going by. of which I can say no more than that I hope I believed them myself. or play casino with Mrs. Micawber’s affairs. obtained to a great extent in Germany. for some relatives or friends had engaged to help them at their present pass.

I call to mind that Mr. Micawber (who was a thoroughly good-natured man. was a great authority. and out of men and women. ‘I have no doubt I shall. in about six weeks. at all events it ceased to be the rock-ahead it had been. out of the streets. please Heaven. if anything turns up. There was a club in the prison. engrossed it on an immense sheet of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Micawber. and Mrs. were gradually forming all this while. because it is an instance to myself of the manner in which I fitted my old books to my altered life. Wherefore Mr. I suppose. composed a petition to the House of Commons. Micawber informed me that ‘her family’ had decided that Mr. and made stories for myself.com  . if . begin to be beforehand with the world. and never so happy as when he was busy about something that could never be of any profit to him) set to work at the petition. who was present. and to live in a perfectly new manner. in which Mr. ‘And then.in short. Micawber had stated his idea of this petition to the club. as a gentleman. and as active a creature about everything but his own affairs as ever existed. Mr.’ said Mr. I set down this remembrance here. invented it.appeared to be got out of the way. and how some main points in the character I shall unconsciously develop. and the club had strongly approved of the same. about this time. praying for an alteration in the law of imprisonment for debt. Micawber. somehow. in writing my life. Micawber should apply for his release under the Insolvent Debtors Act. which would set him free.’ By way of going in for anything that might be on the cards. Micawber. she expected.

The door was then thrown open. affixed his signature.’ ‘Your petitioners therefore humbly approach your honourable house. I remember a certain luscious roll he gave to such phrases as ‘The people’s representatives in Parliament assembled. and all within the walls if they chose. to read it to all who were unacquainted with its contents.’ ‘His gracious Majesty’s unfortunate subjects.’ . and the general population began to come in. though I knew the greater part of them already. and established myself in a corner for that purpose. while my old friend Captain Hopkins (who had washed himself.paper. in a long file: several waiting outside. When I heard of this approaching ceremony.‘Would you like to hear it read?’ If he weakly showed the least disposition to hear it. Micawber in front of the petition. that I got an hour’s leave of absence from Murdstone and Grinby’s. spread it out on a table. and appointed a time for all the club. and they me. Captain Hopkins. one after another. and went out. listening with a little of an au David Copperfield . Captain Hopkins said: ‘Have you read it?’ . Micawber. supported Mr.‘No. and delicious to taste. while one entered. To everybody in succession. I was so anxious to see them all come in.’ as if the words were something real in his mouth. one by one. meanwhile. The Captain would have read it twenty thousand times. gave him every word of it. to come up to his room and sign it. Mr. to do honour to so solemn an occasion) stationed himself close to it. in a loud sonorous voice. As many of the principal members of the club as could be got into the small room without filling it. if twenty thousand people would have heard him.

I wonder how much of the histories I invented for such people hangs like a mist of fancy over well-remembered facts! When I tread the old ground.com  . I do not wonder that I seem to see and pity. the stones of which may.thor’s vanity. and contemplating (not severely) the spikes on the opposite wall. As I walked to and fro daily between Southwark and Blackfriars. an innocent romantic boy. making his imaginative world out of such strange experiences and sordid things! Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to the echo of Captain Hopkins’s voice! When my thoughts go back. now. to that slow agony of my youth. I wonder how many of these people were wanting in the crowd that used to come filing before me in review again. be worn at this moment by my childish feet. going on before me. and lounged about at meal-times in obscure streets. for anything I know.

before he could be actually released. Micawber’s petition was ripe for hearing. and that gentleman was ordered to be discharged under the Act. He said he thought it was human nature. I FORM A GREAT RESOLUTION I n due time. while Mrs.  David Copperfield . surrounded by the sleeping family. Micawber and I had a lamb’s fry in private. and held an harmonic meeting that evening in his honour. M r Micawber returned to the King’s Bench when his case was over. and some formalities observed. and Mrs. Mr. as some fees were to be settled. to my great joy.CHAPTER 12 LIKING LIFE ON MY OWN ACCOUNT NO BETTER. The club received him with transport. Micawber informed me that even the revengeful boot-maker had declared in open court that he bore him no malice. His creditors were not implacable. but that when money was owing to him he liked to be paid.

Micawber intend to do. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. what you and Mr. ma’am. ‘My family are of opinion. My papa lived to bail Mr. Master Copperfield. after drinking the toast in a wine-glass.’ I said I was sure of that. Micawber. ‘in a little more flip. Micawber. ma’am?’ I inquired. and then expired. now that Mr. Micawber is out of his difficulties. and exert his talents in the country. Micawber. and dropped a pious tear upon the twin who happened to be in hand. I said to Mrs. Master Copperfield. ‘My mama departed this life.com  .’ Mrs. ‘before Mr. Micawber should quit London. with a little interest. Micawber’s difficulties commenced. Micawber. though I never could discover who came under the denomination. regretted by a numerous circle. Mr. Micawber: ‘May I ask. As I could hardly hope for a more favourable opportunity of putting a question in which I had a near interest. something might be done for a man of his ability in the Custom House.’ said Mrs. ‘my family are of opinion that Mr. that.’ said Mrs. it is their wish that Mr.’ said Mrs. who always said those two words with an air.’ repeated Mrs.’ ‘Are they dead. Micawber is a man of great talent. Micawber several times. Micawber shook her head.‘On such an occasion I will give you.’ for we had been having some already. The influence of my family being local. or at least before they became pressing. ‘Of great talent. ‘the memory of my papa and mama. and at liberty? Have you settled yet?’ ‘My family.

in combination with the twins. But I never will desert Mr. and the set of coral. ‘I never will do it! It’s of no use asking me!’ I felt quite uncomfortable . They think it indispensable that he should be upon the spot. had made Mrs. Mr. and she shed tears as she replied: ‘I never will desert Mr.Micawber should go down to Plymouth.’ ‘And do you go too. Micawber. Micawber in the act of presiding at a  David Copperfield .’ returned Mrs. I was so frightened that I ran off to the club-room. Micawber having now raised her voice into a perfect scream. Micawber hysterical.’ she went on. ma’am?’ The events of the day. more affected than before. ‘Exactly. ‘but I never will desert Mr. but his sanguine temper may have led him to expect that he would overcome them. Micawber. Micawber has his faults.as if Mrs. ‘That he may be ready .and sat looking at her in alarm. I do not deny that he has kept me in the dark as to his resources and his liabilities both. Micawber. has been actually thrown away for nothing. Micawber supposed I had asked her to do anything of the sort! . looking at the wall. ‘Mr. The pearl necklace and bracelets which I inherited from mama. and disturbed Mr. Micawber!’ Mrs. which was the wedding gift of my papa. Micawber. Micawber may have concealed his difficulties from me in the first instance.’ ‘That he may be ready?’ I suggested.in case of anything turning up. I do not deny that he is improvident. if not with the flip. No!’ cried Mrs. have been disposed of for less than half their value.

and to be calm.o! with the tidings that Mrs. Micawber. Dobbin.ver . Micawber. taking her in his arms.’ ‘He is the parent of my children! He is the father of my twins! He is the husband of my affections.long table.o . Gee up. Gee ho. ‘My life!’ said Mr. Dobbin. that he mingled his tears with hers and mine. ‘and I ne . my angel!’ cried Mr. Micawber!’ she exclaimed. Micawber to look up.desert Mr. Micawber!’ Mr. Gee up. ‘what is the matter?’ ‘I never will desert you. the more she fixed her eyes on nothing. upon which he immediately burst into tears. of which he had been partaking. imploring her to look up. Micawber was soon so overcome. ‘Emma. that he hung over her in a passionate manner. Micawber was so deeply affected by this proof of her devotion (as to me. Micawber was in an alarming state.com  . Micawber. Dobbin. until he begged me to do him the favour of taking a chair on the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and gee ho . struggling. I was dissolved in tears). ‘I am perfectly aware of it. Consequently Mr. the more she wouldn’t.will .’ cried Mrs. and came away with me with his waistcoat full of the heads and tails of shrimps. But the more he asked Mrs. running into the room. and leading the chorus of Gee up. and the more he asked her to compose herself.

that the thought first occurred to me . Micawber now.though I don’t know how it came into my head . shaking his head. while he got her into bed. and in the sleepless hours which followed when I lay in bed. but he would not hear of my doing that until the strangers’ bell should ring. and Mr. and I never saw them half so wretched as on this night. But Mr. I felt quite afraid to leave him by himself. and disappointed too. Micawber pressed my hand. Micawber. for I had expected that we should be quite gay on this happy and long-looked-for occasion. and that a parting between us was near at hand. Ah. But through all the confusion and lowness of spirits in which we had been. All their elasticity was departed. he was so profoundly miserable. So I sat at the staircase window.which afterwards shaped 0 David Copperfield . so unexpectedly to me. ‘reaction. Micawber and their family were going away from London. I think. It was in my walk home that night. I would have taken my leave for the night. until he came out with another chair and joined me.’ said Mr. and Mrs. ‘Very low. this has been a dreadful day! We stand alone now . sir?’ I said. insomuch that when the bell rang. Micawber were so used to their old difficulties. Micawber walked with me to the lodge. ‘How is Mrs. and Mrs. I was greatly touched. that they felt quite shipwrecked when they came to consider that they were released from them.everything is gone from us!’ Mr. I plainly discerned that Mr. and parted from me there with a blessing. and afterwards shed tears.staircase. and groaned. involved.

became more poignant as I thought of this. while my mind was in the first agitation of what it had conceived. to tell Mr. I had grown to be so accustomed to the Micawbers. Murdstone: but two or three parcels of made or mended clothes had come up for me. at the expiration of which time they were to start for Plymouth. unless the escape was my own act. all the shame and misery it kept alive within my breast. Quinion that he must relinFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and in each there was a scrap of paper to the effect that J. That there was no hope of escape from it. with such a knowledge of it ready made as experience had given me. I rarely heard from Miss Murdstone. and I determined that the life was unendurable. consigned to Mr. The very next day showed me. Micawber had not spoken of their going away without warrant. I knew quite well. C. Micawber himself came down to the counting-house. trusted D. They took a lodging in the house where I lived. in the afternoon. was like being that moment turned adrift into my present life. and was so utterly friendless without them. for a week. that Mrs. Quinion. Mr.com 1 . All the sensitive feelings it wounded so cruelly. and devoting himself wholly to his duties . that the prospect of being thrown upon some new shift for a lodging. M. and never from Mr. was applying himself to business. and had been so intimate with them in their distresses. and going once more among unknown people.not the least hint of my ever being anything else than the common drudge into which I was fast settling down.itself into a settled resolution.

and said I  David Copperfield .that was the boy . calling in Tipp the carman. and I think we became fonder of one another as the time went on. You have never been a lodger. Micawber. though my resolution was now taken. You have been a friend. during the remaining term of our residence under the same roof. Your conduct has always been of the most delicate and obliging description. I had bought a spotted wooden horse over-night as a parting gift to little Wilkins Micawber . and a head to plan.’ said Mr. ‘Copperfield. Micawber was in difficulties. I had also bestowed a shilling on the Orfling. though we were all in a tender state about our approaching separation. ‘revert to the period when Mr. Quinion.quish me on the day of his departure. We had a very pleasant day. and a hand to .in short. Micawber. they invited me to dinner. and to give me a high character. Micawber. of late. who was a married man.’ for so he had been accustomed to call me. and a pudding. a general ability to dispose of such available property as could be made away with. without thinking of you. which I am sure I deserved.’ ‘My dear. And Mr. ‘I shall never.and a doll for little Emma. and Mrs.’ said Mrs. On the last Sunday. Master Copperfield. ‘has a heart to feel for the distresses of his fellow-creatures when they are behind a cloud. and we had a loin of pork and apple sauce.’ I expressed my sense of this commendation. who was about to be disbanded. quartered me prospectively on him . I passed my evenings with Mr. as he had every reason to think. and had a room to let. for I said nothing.by our mutual consent.

up to the present moment. my dear. make the acquaintance.’ ‘My dear Micawber!’ urged his wife. I may say. ‘My dear. and able to read the same description of print. and until something turns up (which I am. in consequence. and . and smiling again. Micawber looked aside at Mrs. in short. I have nothing to bestow but advice. that I have never taken it myself.’ said Mr.was very sorry we were going to lose one another. Collar him!’ ‘My poor papa’s maxim. never do tomorrow what you can do today. Micawber.and of some experience.com  . But he applied that maxim to our marriage.in short. and added: ‘Not that I am sorry for it. ‘I say. Procrastination is the thief of time. my love. Micawber. and that was so far prematurely entered into. that I never recovered the expense.in short. generally speaking. he was grave for a minute or so. Quite the contrary. hourly expecting). ‘the miserable wretch you behold.’ Mr. of anybody else possessing. Micawber. ‘your papa was very well in his way. who had been beaming and smiling. at his time of life. the same legs for gaiters. ‘My dear young friend.’ Mrs. a man of some experience in life. probably.’ returned Mr.’ After which.here Mr. Micawber. Micawber observed. My advice is. Still my advice is so far worth taking. in difficulties. that . Micawber. At present. we ne’er shall . quite forgetting himself. checked himself and frowned . and am the’ .’ said Mr. Take him for all in all. all over his head and face. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and Heaven forbid that I should disparage him. ‘I am older than you. without spectacles.‘the miserable wretch you behold.

The blossom is blighted. I shall be extremely happy if it should be in my power to improve your prospects. Micawber. with the children. Micawber drank a glass of punch with an air of great enjoyment and satisfaction. and . as Mrs. In case of anything turning up (of which I am rather confident).’ said Mr. and I stood in the road looking wistfully  David Copperfield .’ said Mrs. ‘God bless you! I never can forget all that. As I am!’ To make his example the more impressive. and I never would if I could. Next morning I met the whole family at the coach office.’ ‘Copperfield.’ said Mr. Annual income twenty pounds. you know.and in short you are for ever floored. with a desolate heart. though indeed I had no need to do so. ‘you know. at the back. in the progress of revolving years. Mr. Micawber. at the time. and saw them. ‘Master Copperfield. result misery. take their places outside. I did not fail to assure him that I would store these precepts in my mind. annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six. Annual income twenty pounds. Micawber sat at the back of the coach. result happiness. Copperfield.‘My other piece of advice. Micawber. they affected me visibly. annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six. the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene. I could persuade myself that my blighted destiny had been a warning to you.’ I think. I should feel that I had not occupied another man’s place in existence altogether in vain. for. the leaf is withered. ‘farewell! Every happiness and prosperity! If. and whistled the College Hornpipe.

which it had been one of my great delights in the old time to hear her tell. But with no intention of passing many more weary days there. and she saw what a little creature I really was. I think so. and which I knew by heart. I have already observed that I don’t know how this desperate idea came into my brain. and walked out of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Again. I suppose. and tell my story to my aunt. and I could hardly see the family for the handkerchiefs they waved. and hardened into a purpose than which I have never entertained a more determined purpose in my life. with quite a new and motherly expression in her face. to St. and then shook hands and said good-bye. I am far from sure that I believed there was anything hopeful in it. and gave me just such a kiss as she might have given to her own boy. it remained there. and a hundred times again. and again. down into the country. as I went to begin my weary day at Murdstone and Grinby’s. and put her arm round my neck.at them.To go. I had barely time to get down again before the coach started. by some means or other. My aunt walked into that story. Miss Betsey. but my mind was thoroughly made up that it must be carried into execution. It was gone in a minute. . But. a mist cleared from her eyes. The Orfling and I stood looking vacantly at each other in the middle of the road. she going back. I had resolved to run away. I had gone over that old story of my poor mother’s about my birth. to the only relation I had in the world. because she beckoned to me to climb up.com  . once there. Luke’s workhouse. No. since the night when the thought had first occurred to me and banished sleep.

that they were all close together. Barkis’s box). I made a little picture. as usual.  David Copperfield . I wrote a long letter to Peggotty. Sandgate. It is very possible that it had been in my mind a long time. and might have had no foundation whatever in fact. if she remembered. but there was one little trait in her behaviour which I liked to dwell on. incidentally. at Hythe. Peggotty’s answer soon arrived. I told Peggotty that I had a particular occasion for half a guinea. I deemed this enough for my object. and though it might have been altogether my mother’s fancy. and was. or Folkestone. I should be very much obliged to her. a dread and awful personage. however. she could not say. pretending that I had heard of such a lady living at a certain place I named at random. As I did not even know where Miss Betsey lived. and had gradually engendered my determination. out of it. and told me that Miss Betsey lived near Dover. full of affectionate devotion. and had a curiosity to know if it were the same. which softened the whole narrative. but whether at Dover itself. She enclosed the half guinea (I was afraid she must have had a world of trouble to get it out of Mr. and asked her. of my terrible aunt relenting towards the girlish beauty that I recollected so well and loved so much. In the course of that letter. and which gave me some faint shadow of encouragement. and would tell her afterwards what I had wanted it for.it. and that if she could lend me that sum until I could repay it. I could not forget how my mother had thought that she felt her touch her pretty hair with no ungentle hand. One of our men. informing me on my asking him about these places.

and Tipp the carman. in the Blackfriars Road. Being a very honest little creature. when it came to his turn to be paid. standing near the Obelisk. Dover. Accordingly. and who. after I should have got it out of the house.and resolved to set out at the end of that week. addressing me as ‘Sixpenn’orth of bad ha’pence. whose eye I caught as I was going by. not to present myself in the counting-house at the usual hour.in allusion.’ hoped ‘I should know him agin to swear to’ . I considered myself bound to remain until Saturday night. to be left till called for. and I had written a direction for it on the back of one of our address cards that we nailed on the casks: ‘Master David. and unwilling to disgrace the memory I was going to leave behind me at Murdstone and Grinby’s. and. asked him. that I might not be without a fund for my travelling-expenses. over the water. when the Saturday night came. Quinion that I had gone to move my box to Tipp’s. as I had been paid a week’s wages in advance when I first came there. bidding a last good night to Mealy Potatoes. went in first to draw his money. and. to receive my stipend. My box was at my old lodging. at the Coach Office. I have no Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ran away.com  . For this express reason. There was a long-legged young man with a very little empty donkey-cart. who always took precedence. I had borrowed the half-guinea.’ This I had in my pocket ready to put on the box. to say to Mr. and we were all waiting in the warehouse to be paid. and as I went towards my lodging. I looked about me for someone who would help me to carry it to the booking-office. I shook Mick Walker by the hand.

‘To move a box. lest any of my landlord’s family should fathom what I was doing. and detain me. however. Being much flushed and excited. ‘Wot job?’ said the long-legged young man. and put it on his cart. and directly got upon his cart. when he came to the dead-wall of the King’s Bench prison. and which I wanted him to take to the Dover coach office for sixpence. that I did not much like. but uncertain whether he might or might not like a job. were all equally mad. to my staring at him. Now. and we brought the box down. when I caught him at the place appointed. I tumbled my half David Copperfield . that it was as much as I could do to keep pace with the donkey. and rattled away at such a rate. than he rattled away as if he. and particularly about the way in which he chewed straw as he spoke to me. I told him mine. I stopped to assure him that I had not done so in bad manners. and I was quite out of breath with running and calling after him. the cart. so I said to the young man that I would be glad if he would stop for a minute. as the bargain was made.’ I answered. and the donkey.doubt. which was down that street there. ‘Wot box?’ said the long-legged young man. I was unwilling to put the direction-card on there. ‘Done with you for a tanner!’ said the long-legged young man. I took him upstairs to the room I was leaving. which was nothing but a large wooden tray on wheels. The words were no sooner out of my mouth. There was a defiant manner about this young man. my box.

’ ‘Give me my box and money. is it? You’re a-going to bolt. had just tied the card on very much to my satisfaction. jumped into the cart. you young warmin. At length. in half a mile. now shouted at. The young man still replied: ‘Come to the pollis!’ and was dragging me against the donkey in a violent manner. are you? Come to the pollis. and should not have dared to call out. ‘You shall prove it yourn to the pollis. rattled away harder than ever. now down in the mud. I ran after him as fast as I could. I narrowly escaped being run over. with a frightful grin. seizing me by my jacket collar. Now I lost him. sat upon my box. now up again. very much frightened. as if there were any affinity between that animal and a magistrate. and. twenty times at least.’ I cried. now I was cut at with a whip. now running headlong at a post. and though my hands trembled a good deal. ‘and leave me alone. if you please. now I saw him.’ said I.’ ‘Come to the pollis!’ said the young man.guinea out of my pocket in pulling the card out. ‘Wot!’ said the young man. if I had. will you. I put it in my mouth for safety. when I felt myself violently chucked under the chin by the long-legged young man. bursting into tears. ‘This is a pollis case. when he changed his mind. but I had no breath to call out with. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. come to the pollis!’ ‘You give me my money back. exclaiming that he would drive to the pollis straight. now running into somebody’s arms. now I lost him. and saw my half-guinea fly out of my mouth into his hand. now.com  .

and doubting whether half London might not by this time be turning out for my apprehension. I left the young man to go where he would with my box and money. on the night when my arrival gave her so much umbrage. and. than I had brought into it.confused by fright and heat. towards the retreat of my aunt. but never stopping. which I had understood was on the Dover Road: taking very little more out of the world. Miss Betsey. faced about for Greenwich. panting and crying. 0 David Copperfield .

My scattered senses were soon collected as to that point. at a terrace with a piece of water before it. if I had. When I had recovered my breath. But it was a summer night.com 1 . fortunately. as I sat resting. and had got rid of a stifling sensation in my throat. quite spent and exhausted with the efforts I had already made. though there had been a Swiss snow-drift in the Kent Road. Here I sat down on a doorstep. for I came to a stop in the Kent Road. I had no notion of going back. I rose up and went on. blowing a dry shell. In the midst of my distress. and fine weather. I heard the clocks strike ten. when I gave up the pursuit of the young man with the donkey-cart.CHAPTER 13 THE SEQUEL OF MY RESOLUTION F or anything I know. It was by this time dark. I doubt if I should have had any. But my standing possessed of only three-halfpence in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I may have had some wild idea of running all the way to Dover. and a great foolish image in the middle. and started for Greenwich. and with hardly breath enough to cry for the loss of my box and half-guinea.

and as there were a great many coats and pairs of trousers dangling from the low ceiling. and looked at it there. Dolloby . under some hedge. now. my being found dead in a day or two. spread the waistcoat on the counter. My late experiences with Mr. rolled it neatly under my arm. though as fast as I could. and only two feeble candles burning inside to show what they were. stood his pipe on its head. as a scrap of newspaper intelligence. against the door-post.’ I said. and Mrs. and ultimately said: ‘What do you call a price. at least . bones. I began to picture to myself. smoking. The master of this shop was sitting at the door in his shirt-sleeves. who had hung all his enemies. Micawber suggested to me that here might be a means of keeping off the wolf for a little while. I went up the next by-street. ‘If you please. snuffed the two candles with his fingers. took off my waistcoat. and looked at it there. for this here little weskit?’  David Copperfield . went into the shop. until I happened to pass a little shop. where it was written up that ladies’ and gentlemen’s wardrobes were bought. followed by me. and kitchen-stuff. and I trudged on miserably. held it up against the light. and came back to the shop door.’ Mr. ‘I am to sell this for a fair price. and was enjoying himself. sir. and that the best price was given for rags.Dolloby was the name over the shop door.took the waistcoat.the world (and I am sure I wonder how they came to be left in my pocket on a Saturday night!) troubled me none the less because I went on. I fancied that he looked like a man of a revengeful disposition.

I think I had no very urgent sense of my difficulties when I once again set off with my ninepence in my pocket. A plan had occurred to me for passing the night. that was not much.’ This was a disagreeable way of putting the business.‘Oh! you know best. and might deem myself lucky if I got there even in that trim. Dolloby to rob his family on my account. I said I would take ninepence for it. Dolloby. My circumstances being so very pressing. a perfect stranger. in a corner where Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and that I should have to make the best of my way to Dover in a shirt and a pair of trousers. Mr.I hinted. ‘I can’t be buyer and seller too. to lie behind the wall at the back of my old school. But my mind did not run so much on this as might be supposed. not without some grumbling. Mr. however.’ he said. the unpleasantness of asking Mr. and walked out of the shop the richer by that sum. gave ninepence. Beyond a general impression of the distance before me. This was. because it imposed upon me. I foresaw pretty clearly that my jacket would go next. which I was going to carry into execution. Indeed. But when I buttoned my jacket. sir. Dolloby. and the poorer by a waistcoat.com  . ‘if I was to offer ninepence for it. and of the young man with the donkey-cart having used me cruelly. Dolloby rolled it up again. after some hesitation. ‘Put a price on this here little weskit. if he pleased.’ ‘Would eighteenpence be?’.’ I returned modestly. I wished him good night.’ said Mr. and gave it me back. ‘I should rob my family.

and I found a haystack in the corner. and the pale light in the sky where the day was coming. I lay down again and slept . afraid of I don’t know what. and seen that all was dark and silent within. and walk about. that night . I imagined it would be a kind of company to have the boys.though with a knowledge in my sleep that it was cold . so near me: although the boys would know nothing of my being there.until the warm beams of the sun.and I dreamed of lying on my old school-bed. If I could have hoped that Steerforth was there. and I lay down by it. at last. awoke me. looking wildly at the stars that were glistening and glimmering above me. reassured me: and my eyes being very heavy. and was pretty well jaded when I came climbing out. I would have lurked about until he came out alone. without a roof above my head! Sleep came upon me as it came on many other outcasts. and the ringing of the getting-up bell at Salem House. upon the level of Blackheath. and looked up at the windows. with Steerforth’s name upon my lips. It cost me some trouble to find out Salem House. Never shall I forget the lonely sensation of first lying down. against whom house-doors were locked. and found myself sitting upright.there used to be a haystack. But the fainter glimmering of the stars. I had had a hard day’s work. having first walked round the wall. a feeling stole upon me that made me get up. When I remembered where I was at that untimely hour.  David Copperfield . and the bedroom would yield me no shelter. and the bedroom where I used to tell the stories. but I found it. and house-dogs barked. talking to the boys in my room.

weeping by the fire. with his hand to his forehead. as I plodded on. Traddles still remained. and I passed a church or two where the congregation were inside. and when I little expected that any eyes would ever see me the wayfarer I was now. for I was new to that kind of toil. Creakle’s boys were getting up. that Sunday. or stood beneath the yew-tree. however strong my reliance was on his good nature. with my tangled hair. One or two little houses. and eating bread that I had bought for supper. But for the quiet picture I had conjured up. and I followed. and my aunt relenting to her. But it always went before me.but I knew he must have left long since. I felt quite wicked in my dirt and dust. as evening closes in. I see myself. footsore and tired. upon it. and struck into the long dusty track which I had first known to be the Dover Road when I was one of them. What a different Sunday morning from the old Sunday morning at Yarmouth! In due time I heard the church-bells ringing. So I crept away from the wall as Mr. and I had not sufficient confidence in his discretion or good luck. and the sound of singing came out into the sunshine. while the beadle sat and cooled himself in the shade of the porch. though not very easily. but it was very doubtful. perhaps. of my mother in her youth and beauty. except me. I got. glowering at me going by. through three-and-twenty miles on the straight road. coming over the bridge at Rochester.com  . Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to wish to trust him with my situation. I hardly think I should have had the courage to go on until next day. That was the difference. and I met people who were going to church. But the peace and rest of the old Sunday morning were on everything.

an officer’s coat or two. therefore. happy in the society of the sentry’s footsteps. near a cannon. ‘Lodgings for Travellers’. for the dealers in second-hand clothes were numerous.with the notice. It was a likely place to sell a jacket in. upon a sort of grass-grown battery overhanging a lane. and mastless ships in a muddy river. though he knew no more of my being above him than the boys at Salem House had known of my lying by the wall. I sought no shelter. and toiling into Chatham. epaulettes and all. in that night’s aspect. Accordingly. . But as most of them had. Here I lay down.which. I took the jacket off. at last. I was rendered timid by the costly nature of their dealings.crept. Very stiff and sore of foot I was in the morning. that I might learn to do without it. and was even more afraid of the vicious looks of the trampers I had met or overtaken. and quite dazed by the beating of drums and marching of troops. . if I were to reserve any strength for getting to my journey’s end. began a tour of inspection of the various slop-shops. and were. had tempted me. hanging up among their stock. and carrying it under my arm. but the sky. slept soundly until morning. on the look-out for customers at their shop doors. generally speaking. and walked about for  David Copperfield . Feeling that I could go but a very little way that day. and. hanging out. which seemed to hem me in on every side when I went down towards the long narrow street. roofed like Noah’s arks. and drawbridges. I resolved to make the sale of my jacket its principal business. is a mere dream of chalk. but I was afraid of spending the few pence I had. where a sentry was walking to and fro.

I went with a palpitating heart. monotonous whine. and certain trays full of so many old rusty keys of so many sizes that they seemed various enough to open all the doors in the world. Into this shop.com  . He was a dreadful old man to look at. in a fierce. that seemed to have overflowed the shop. where another little window showed a prospect of more stinging-nettles. at the corner of a dirty lane. which was not relieved when an ugly old man. and was descended into by some steps. This modesty of mine directed my attention to the marinestore shops. rushed out of a dirty den behind it. were fluttering among some cots. and particularly by the repetition of the last unknown one. what do you want? Oh. and such shops as Mr. and seized me by the hair of my head. His bedstead. ending in an enclosure full of stinging-nettles. goroo. and which was darkened rather than lighted by a little window. overhung with clothes. what do you want? Oh. with the lower part of his face all covered with a stubbly grey beard. was in the den he had come from. At last I found one that I thought looked promising. what do you want?’ grinned this old man. covered with a tumbled and ragged piece of patchwork. in preference to the regular dealers. and oilskin hats. my eyes and limbs. ‘Oh. which was low and small. goroo!’ I was so much dismayed by these words. in a filthy flannel waistcoat. and rusty guns. and a lame donkey. ‘Oh. and smelling terribly of rum. which was a kind Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Dolloby’s. against the palings of which some second-hand sailors’ clothes.a long time without offering my merchandise to anyone. my lungs and liver.

repeated: ‘Oh.how much for the jacket?’ ‘Half-a-crown. ‘no! Oh.’ I said. ‘Well. always exactly the same.’ said I. get out of the shop! Oh. my lungs. what do you want? Oh. throwing the jacket on a shelf. my eyes and limbs. which begins low. ‘Oh. and more like a gust of wind. and every sentence he spoke. ‘I’ll take eighteenpence.of rattle in his throat. and falls again.don’t ask for money. and put on a pair of spectacles.’ ‘Oh. ‘I wanted to know. mounts up high. goroo!’ . what do you want? Oh. which were like the claws of a great bird.’ ‘Oh.goroo! . trembling. still holding me by the hair. hereupon the old man. out of my hair. my lungs and liver. Goroo!’ Every time he uttered this ejaculation. his eyes seemed to be in danger of starting out. ‘Oh. ‘Oh .’ cried the old man. how much for the jacket?’ cried the old man. that I could make no answer. let’s see the jacket!’ cried the old man. my limbs. no! Oh. recovering myself.  David Copperfield . bring the jacket out!’ With that he took his trembling hands. ‘Oh. my eyes. my liver!’ cried the old man. my lungs and liver. he delivered in a sort of tune. than any other comparison I can find for it. ‘if you would buy a jacket. my eyes and limbs .’ I answered. what do you want? Oh.which he screwed out of himself. after examining it. my eyes and limbs. my heart on fire. no! Eighteenpence. show the jacket to us! Oh.goroo! . not at all ornamental to his inflamed eyes. glad to have closed the bargain. ‘Get out of the shop! Oh. with an energy that made his eyes start in his head.

the ‘Death of Nelson’. and still I sat there waiting for the money. yelling in a frantic way. Come! It’s in the lining of the mattress. So I went outside. with an Oh! before every line. Sometimes in his rage he would take me for one of them. as I thought from the sound of his voice. I hope. and flights on the part of the boys. the boys. who continually came skirmishing about the shop. shouting that legend. and the sunlight became shade again. exasperated him to such a degree. and calling to him to bring out his gold.make it an exchange. and innumerable Goroos interspersed. I soon understood from the visits he received from the boys. that the shade became sunlight. Charley. connecting me with the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Bring out some of the gold you sold yourself to the devil for. outside.’ I never was so frightened in my life. and lie upon his bed. Charley. you know. and that nothing else was of any use to me. before or since. There never was such another drunken madman in that line of business. As if this were not bad enough for me. but that I would wait for it. ‘You ain’t poor.com  . And I sat there so many hours. mouthing as if he were going to tear me in pieces. and had no wish to hurry him. and enjoyed the reputation of having sold himself to the devil. Rip it open and let’s have some!’ This. and come at me. as you pretend. as he desired. that the whole day was a succession of rushes on his part. That he was well known in the neighbourhood. Bring out your gold. would dive into the shop. but I told him humbly that I wanted money. just in time. then. and sat down in the shade in a corner. remembering me. to his own windy tune. and many offers to lend him a knife for the purpose.

on account of the patience and perseverance with which I sat outside. ‘I shall be starved. as he peeped round the door-post at me. ‘Oh. But at an expense of threepence I soon refreshed myself completely.’ ‘Oh. and taking the money out of his claw. after a long pause. at another with a flute. each time asking him. ‘will you go for twopence more?’ ‘I can’t. at another with a fiddle. But I resisted all these overtures. not without trembling. where I 0 David Copperfield . being in better spirits then. At last he began to pay me in halfpence at a time. ‘but I want the money badly. went away more hungry and thirsty than I had ever been. ‘will you go for fourpence?’ I was so faint and weary that I closed with this offer. go-roo!’ (it is really impossible to express how he twisted this ejaculation out of himself. limped seven miles upon my road. a little before sunset. my eyes and limbs!’ he then cried. with tears in my eyes. He made many attempts to induce me to consent to an exchange. and was full two hours getting by easy stages to a shilling. and. peeping hideously out of the shop. and sat there in desperation. My bed at night was under another haystack. showing nothing but his crafty old head).establishment.’ I said. pelted me. if I could. half-dressed. my lungs and liver. at another with a cocked hat.’ I said. and used me very ill all day. will you go for threepence?’ ‘I would go for nothing. at one time coming out with a fishing-rod. for my money or my jacket.’ ‘Oh.

who had a woman with him. I suppose. after having washed my blistered feet in a stream.’ I said. I recollect one young fellow .’ I thought it best to go back. and made up my mind to sleep among the hops that night: imagining some cheerful companionship in the long perspectives of poles. with the graceful leaves twining round them. I thought it all extremely beautiful. It was sufficiently late in the year for the orchards to be ruddy with ripe apples. and who faced about and stared at me thus. who stared at me as I went by. trying to propitiate the tinker by my looks.rested comfortably. that I halted and looked round.’ said the tinker. from his wallet and brazier . and stopped. and inspired me with a dread that is yet quite fresh in my mind. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I found that it lay through a succession of hop-grounds and orchards. ‘or I’ll rip your young body open. stoned me. when you’re called. ‘Come here.a tinker. and in a few places the hop-pickers were already at work. The trampers were worse than ever that day.com 1 . and then roared to me in such a tremendous voice to come back. I observed that the woman had a black eye. and when I took to my heels. As I drew nearer to them. with some cool leaves. and dressed them as well as I was able. gripping the bosom of my shirt with his blackened hand. ‘Where are you going?’ said the tinker. When I took the road again next morning. perhaps. and called after me to come back and speak to them. ‘I am going to Dover. Some of them were most ferocious-looking ruffians.

‘and have got no money. ‘I am very poor. by G—? If you make a brag of your honesty to me. ‘What do you mean. however. ‘Have you got the price of a pint of beer about you?’ said the tinker. afore I take it away!’ I should certainly have produced it. the tinker seized the handkerchief out of my hand with a roughness that threw me away like a  David Copperfield .’ I said. but that I met the woman’s look. and then looked at me from head to foot. and made the word ‘Go!’ with her lips.’ With his disengaged hand he made a menace of striking me. ‘I’ll knock your brains out. ‘If you have. out with it. ‘Ain’t you. as if she thought this a joke. giving his hand another turn in my shirt.’ said the tinker. to hold me more securely. ‘by wearing my brother’s silk handkerchief! Give it over here!’ And he had mine off my neck in a moment. ‘I come from London. and tossed it back to me.’ I said.’ I said. and tossed it to the woman. and form ‘No!’ with her lips.’ said the tinker. looking so sternly at me. that I almost feared he saw the money in my pocket. what do you mean?’ said the tinker. attempting to smile. The woman burst into a fit of laughter.‘Where do you come from?’ asked the tinker. ‘What lay are you upon?’ asked the tinker. ‘Sir!’ I stammered. ‘Are you a prig?’ ‘N-no. as slightly as before. Before I could obey.’ ‘Why. and saw her very slightly shake her head. nodded once.

and my dusty. ever since. when I lay down to sleep. with the rooks sailing round the towers. among the hops. wiping the blood from her face with a corner of her shawl. and not until I reached that first great aim of my journey. It always kept me company. and the stately. when I saw any of these people coming.com  . at last. and knocked her down. when I looked back from a distance. that I was very seriously delayed. afterwards. It was there. which happened so often. and putting it loosely round his own neck. as under all the other difficulties of my journey. But under this difficulty. I have associated it. nor. with the sunny street of Canterbury. it went before me all day. it was with me on my waking in the morning. it seemed to vanish like a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. grey Cathedral. and with the sight of its old houses and gateways. I never shall forget seeing her fall backward on the hard road. wide downs near Dover. seeing her sitting on the pathway. in the place so long desired. did it desert me. sunburnt. it relieved the solitary aspect of the scene with hope. while he went on ahead. turned upon the woman with an oath. But then. and her hair all whitened in the dust. I turned back until I could find a hiding-place. strange to say. half-clothed figure. that. and lie there with her bonnet tumbled off. upon the bare. on the sixth day of my flight. When I came. dozing as it were in the hot light. This adventure frightened me so.feather. before I came into the world. where I remained until they had gone out of sight. I seemed to be sustained and led on by my fanciful picture of my mother in her youth. when I stood with my ragged shoes. and actually set foot in the town itself. which was a bank by the roadside.

and I was sitting on the step of an empty shop at a street corner. a third. and had singed her whiskers by doing so. were equally jocose and equally disrespectful. The fly-drivers. Old lady?’ ‘Yes. and to leave me helpless and dispirited. another. I know the name.’  David Copperfield . as I handed it up. One said she lived in the South Foreland Light. though I had asked the question so often. and received various answers. too. near the market-place. and make direct for Calais. without hearing what I had to say. that she was locked up in Maidstone jail for child-stealing. ‘rather. The morning had worn away in these inquiries.’ said he. that it almost died upon my lips. I had nothing left to dispose of. generally replied. I was hungry. not liking my appearance. dropped a horsecloth. that she was made fast to the great buoy outside the harbour. I felt more miserable and destitute than I had done at any period of my running away. and seemed as distant from my end as if I had remained in London. when a flydriver. that she was seen to mount a broom in the last high wind. ‘Let me see. among whom I inquired next. and worn out. thirsty. ‘Trotwood.’ I said. My money was all gone.dream. I inquired about my aunt among the boatmen first. and the shopkeepers. coming by with his carriage. encouraged me to ask him if he could tell me where Miss Trotwood lived. a fourth. and could only be visited at half-tide. Something good-natured in the man’s face. deliberating upon wandering towards those other places which had been mentioned. that they had got nothing for me.

’ I accepted the gift thankfully.’ pointing with his whip towards the heights.’ I said. ‘No.’ ‘Carries a bag?’ said he . ‘and keep right on till you come to some houses facing the sea.‘Pretty stiff in the back?’ said he. and comes down upon you. I held my peace in conFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and approaching them. and bought a loaf with it. so here’s a penny for you. turned round quickly. ‘to speak to her. at home). I think you’ll hear of her. I went in the direction my friend had indicated. ‘Why then.’ ‘To beg of her. taking the inquiry to herself. and inquired if they could have the goodness to tell me where Miss Trotwood lived. Dispatching this refreshment by the way.’ But suddenly remembering that in truth I came for no other purpose. My opinion is she won’t stand anything. ‘What do you want with her.‘bag with a good deal of room in it . sharp?’ My heart sank within me as I acknowledged the undoubted accuracy of this description. ‘If you go up there.’ said he. and walked on a good distance without coming to the houses he had mentioned. ‘indeed. went into a little shop (it was what we used to call a general shop. making himself upright.is gruffish.’ retorted the damsel. boy?’ ‘I want. who was weighing some rice for a young woman. ‘Yes. but the latter. if you please. At length I saw some before me. you mean. I addressed myself to a man behind the counter. ‘My mistress?’ she said.com  .’ I said.’ I replied. I tell you what. ‘I should think it very likely.

The soles had shed themselves bit by bit. grass. and smelling deliciously.’ With which words she hurried into the house. a large round green screen or fan fastened on to the windowsill. stained with heat.fusion. My shirt and trousers. ‘This is Miss Trotwood’s. MY aunt’s handmaid. though I was by this time in such a state of consternation and agitation. that no old battered handleless saucepan on a dunghill need have been ashamed to vie with it. if I wanted to know where Miss Trotwood lived. My hat (which had served me for a night-cap. a small square gravelled court or garden full of flowers. as if to shake off the responsibility of my appearance. and the Kentish soil on which I had  David Copperfield . dew. put her rice in a little basket and walked out of the shop. and the upper leathers had broken and burst until the very shape and form of shoes had departed from them. and we soon came to a very neat little cottage with cheerful bow-windows: in front of it. My shoes were by this time in a woeful condition. ‘Now you know. and that’s all I have got to say. too) was so crushed and bent. and felt my face burn. I followed the young woman. looking disconsolately over the top of it towards the parlour window. telling me that I could follow her. and a great chair. that my legs shook under me. and left me standing at the garden-gate. where a muslin curtain partly undrawn in the middle. suggested to me that my aunt might be at that moment seated in awful state. carefully tended.’ said the young woman. I needed no second permission. as I supposed she was from what she had said. a small table.

My face.and torn besides . and went away. but I was so much the more discomposed by this unexpected behaviour. that she was not there. as I stood at the gate. and with a strong consciousness of it. after a while. and hands. my formidable aunt. and make my first impression on. wearing a gardening pocket like a toll-man’s apron.might have frightened the birds from my aunt’s garden. as she marched Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with my heart at my lips.com  . shook it at me as often. ‘Go away!’ said Miss Betsey. to think how I had best proceed.slept . with a grey head. were burnt to a berry-brown. nodded his head at me several times. From head to foot I was powdered almost as white with chalk and dust. from unaccustomed exposure to the air and sun. where I saw a florid. and making a distant chop in the air with her knife. who shut up one eye in a grotesque manner. as if I had come out of a lime-kiln. laughed. I lifted up my eyes to the window above it. shaking her head. The unbroken stillness of the parlour window leading me to infer. pleasant-looking gentleman. that I was on the point of slinking off. and a pair of gardening gloves on her hands. My hair had known no comb or brush since I left London. I knew her immediately to be Miss Betsey. ‘Go along! No boys here!’ I watched her. neck. when there came out of the house a lady with her handkerchief tied over her cap. for she came stalking out of the house exactly as my poor mother had so often described her stalking up our garden at Blunderstone Rookery. In this plight. I had been discomposed enough before. and carrying a great knife. I waited to introduce myself to.

until I began to cry.’ Here my self-support gave way all at once. when she got up in a great hurry. touching her with my finger. in Suffolk where you came. and call it to witness that I had suffered something. and thrown upon myself.to a corner of her garden. collared me. of Blunderstone. I have been slighted. ‘If you please. staring at me. I was robbed at first setting out. Her first proceeding there was to unlock a tall press. and saw my dear mama. sat on the gravel. and took me into the parlour. and taught nothing. ‘I am David Copperfield. I am your nephew. and put to work not fit for me. with every sort of expression but wonder discharged from her countenance. And sat flat down in the garden-path. which I suppose had been pent up within me all the week. I went softly in and stood beside her. intended to show her my ragged state. ‘If you please. and have never slept in a bed since I began the journey. but with a great deal of desperation. on the night when I was born. I have been very unhappy since she died. She started and looked up. It made me run away to you. and have walked all the way. ‘If you please. aunt. and stooped to dig up some little root there. ma’am.’ ‘Oh. Lord!’ said my aunt. My aunt.’ I began. without a scrap of courage. aunt. Then. in a tone of amazement I have never heard approached. bring out sev David Copperfield . I broke into a passion of crying.’ ‘EH?’ exclaimed Miss Betsey. and with a movement of my hands.

and then. My aunt. and unable to control my sobs. We all know that.’ The gentleman was serious immediately.’ said my aunt. and pour some of the contents of each into my mouth. when her servant came in. and say I wish to speak to him.’ said my aunt. So don’t be a fool. ‘Mr. with her hands behind her. ‘Mr. lest I should sully the cover. and the handkerchief from her own head under my feet. ‘Go upstairs. I thought. ‘you have heard me mention David Copperfield? Now don’t pretend not to have a memory. give my compliments to Mr. but went on her errand.’ Janet looked a little surprised to see me lying stiffly on the sofa (I was afraid to move lest it should be displeasing to my aunt).’ said my aunt. Dick. ‘don’t be a fool. because you and I know better. because nobody can be more discreet than you can. as I was still quite hysterical. ejaculated at intervals. for I am sure I tasted aniseed water. with a shawl under my head.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. so that I could not see her face. Dick.eral bottles. and salad dressing. I think they must have been taken out at random. walked up and down the room. ‘Mercy on us!’ letting those exclamations off like minute guns. When she had administered these restoratives. After a time she rang the bell. until the gentleman who had squinted at me from the upper window came in laughing. as if he would entreat me to say nothing about the window. Dick. anchovy sauce. ‘Janet. whatever you are. she put me on the sofa. sitting herself down behind the green fan or screen I have already mentioned. when you choose.com  . and looked at me.

’ ‘Well. ‘Oh! you think she wouldn’t have run away?’ said Mr. ‘Oh! do with him?’ ‘Yes. Betsey Trotwood. in the name of wonder. ‘David Copperfield? Oh yes. if he was not so like his mother. ‘Come! I want some very sound advice. and the question I put to you is. or to?’ ‘Nowhere. confident in the character and behaviour of the girl who never was born. ‘and he has done a pretty piece of business. have run from.’ returned my aunt. scratching his head. He would be as like his father as it’s possible to be.‘David Copperfield?’ said Mr. what shall I do with him?’ ‘What shall you do with him?’ said Mr. Dick.’ My aunt shook her head firmly. when you are as sharp as a surgeon’s lancet? Now.’ 0 David Copperfield . feebly. ‘Well then. ‘David’s son? Indeed!’ ‘Yes. with a grave look. should his sister. certainly. David. Where. Dick. Dick. sharply. to be sure. never would have run away.’ exclaimed my aunt. He has run away.’ said Mr.’ said my aunt. softened by the reply. Dick. and her forefinger held up. Ah! His sister. ‘how can you pretend to be wool-gathering. ‘this is his boy . and we should have been devoted to one another. Betsey Trotwood. Dick. ‘Bless and save the man.’ said my aunt.’ pursued my aunt. here you see young David Copperfield. too.’ ‘His son?’ said Mr. ‘how he talks! Don’t I know she wouldn’t? She would have lived with her god-mother. Dick.his son. who did not appear to me to remember much about it.

though unbending and austere. amply sufficient to account for the effect she had made upon a gentle creature like my mother. which I did not then understand. ‘I should wash him!’ ‘Janet. and perfectly neat. in her voice. with an appropriate chain and seals. and he added. I remember that I thought it.com 1 . which was grey. but by no means ill-looking. if I might judge from its size and make. I could not help observing my aunt. There was an inflexibility in her face. with side-pieces fastening under the chin.’ said Mr. as if she desired to be as little encumbered as possible. under what I believe would be called a mob-cap. was arranged in two plain divisions. Heat the bath!’ Although I was deeply interested in this dialogue. Dick. MY aunt was a tall. but scantily made. ‘Mr. She wore at her side a gentleman’s gold watch. and looking vacantly at me. Her hair. I particularly noticed that she had a very quick. Her dress was of a lavender colour. than anything else. while it was in progress. bright eye. much more common then than now. and things at her wrists like little Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I mean a cap. if I was you. and completing a survey I had already been engaged in making of the room. but her features were rather handsome than otherwise. she had some linen at her throat not unlike a shirt-collar. more like a riding-habit with the superfluous skirt cut off. ‘I should -’ The contemplation of me seemed to inspire him with a sudden idea.‘Why. and Janet. briskly. in form. turning round with a quiet triumph.’ said my aunt. in her gait and carriage. Dick sets us all right. Dick. hard-featured lady. considering. Mr.

namely. Dick. and I saw the old-fashioned furniture brightly rubbed and polished.shirt-wristbands. with a strange kind of watery brightness in them that made me. the drugget-covered  David Copperfield . and who had generally completed their abjuration by marrying the baker. his submission to my aunt. Though I made no further observation of her at the moment. had not his head been curiously bowed . and a perfect picture of neatness. was grey-headed. and his childish delight when she praised him.and his grey eyes prominent and large. the air from the sea came blowing in again. to think of it. As I laid down my pen. The room was as neat as Janet or my aunt. and florid: I should have said all about him. that she was one of a series of protegees whom my aunt had taken into her service expressly to educate in a renouncement of mankind. and his money in his pockets: which he rattled as if he were very proud of it. in saying so. it reminded me of one of Mr. if he were mad. mixed with the perfume of the flowers. and had his watch in his fob. He was dressed like any other ordinary gentleman. Creakle’s boys’ heads after a beating . and white trousers. I may mention here what I did not discover until afterwards. Mr. as I have already said.not by age. my aunt’s inviolable chair and table by the round green fan in the bow-window. though. in a loose grey morning coat and waistcoat. of about nineteen or twenty. a moment since. in combination with his vacant manner. Janet was a pretty blooming girl. suspect him of being a little mad. how he came to be there puzzled me extremely.

and. the old china. rushing out of the house. to my great alarm. and boxed the ears of the unlucky urchin in attendance who had dared to profane that hallowed ground. and had hardly voice to cry out. sticks were laid in ambush behind the door. and she was upon him straight. led him forth from those sacred precincts. were kept in secret places ready to be discharged on the offending boys. while my aunt. however interesting to her the conversation in which she was taking part. darted out on a little piece of green in front. taking note of everything. the two canaries. that had presumed to set hoof upon it. but she had settled it in her own mind that she had. sallies were made at all hours. In whatever occupation she was engaged.com  . turned him. the punchbowl full of dried rose-leaves. a donkey turned the current of her ideas in a moment. Janet had gone away to get the bath ready. demanding to be constantly avenged. wonderfully out of keeping with the rest. the cat. was the passage of a donkey over that immaculate spot. and warned off two saddle-donkeys. the kettle-holder. Jugs of water.carpet. lady-ridden. and watering-pots. when my aunt. my dusty self upon the sofa. the tall press guarding all sorts of bottles and pots. The one great outrage of her life. and incessant war Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Janet! Donkeys!’ Upon which. seized the bridle of a third animal laden with a bestriding child. Janet came running up the stairs as if the house were in flames. became in one moment rigid with indignation. and it was all the same to her. To this hour I don’t know whether my aunt had any lawful right of way over that patch of green.

because she was giving me broth out of a table-spoon at the time (having firmly persuaded herself that I was actually starving. understanding how the case stood. Perhaps this was an agreeable excitement to the donkey-boys. These interruptions were of the more ridiculous to me. I saw my aunt engage. and had put my hair away from my face. but I felt a very hot one.prevailed. When I had bathed. For I began to be sensible of acute pains in my limbs from lying out in the fields. and laid my head more  David Copperfield . I don’t know. The bath was a great comfort. and was now so tired and low that I could hardly keep myself awake for five minutes together. they (I mean my aunt and Janet) enrobed me in a shirt and a pair of trousers belonging to Mr. and must receive nourishment at first in very small quantities). I only know that there were three alarms before the bath was ready. before he seemed to comprehend what was the matter. cry ‘Janet! Donkeys!’ and go out to the assault. with a sandy-headed lad of fifteen. she would put it back into the basin. Feeling also very faint and drowsy. Dick. or perhaps the more sagacious of the donkeys. and tied me up in two or three great shawls. and that on the occasion of the last and most desperate of all. What sort of bundle I looked like. and. delighted with constitutional obstinacy in coming that way. single-handed. while my mouth was yet open to receive the spoon. originating in the fancy which had occupied my mind so long. I soon lay down on the sofa again and fell asleep. It might have been a dream. but I awoke with the impression that my aunt had come and bent over me. and bump his sandy head against her own gate.

But as my aunt had swathed me up. The words. and some sherry put upon the table (of which I had a glass). I sitting at table. ‘Whatever possessed that poor unfortunate Baby. and looked as wise as he could when she requested him to attend to my story. she kept her eyes on Mr. During my recital. ‘Mercy upon us!’ which did not by any means relieve my anxiety. The cloth being drawn. but certainly there was nothing else. We dined soon after I awoke. whensoever he lapsed into a smile.’ ‘Perhaps she fell in love with her second husband. I made no complaint of being inconvenienced. Dick. which was mounted on a kind of swivel. off a roast fowl and a pudding. who joined us. when I had finished. who sat in the bow-window gazing at the sea from behind the green fan. too. and moving my arms with considerable difficulty. when I awoke. except when she occasionally fixed her eyes on me sitting opposite. that she must go and be married again. and had then stood looking at me. and turned any way. Dick again. but she took her dinner in profound silence.’ seemed to be in my ears. ‘Pretty fellow. Dick suggested. and said. to lead me to believe that they had been uttered by my aunt.com  . All this time I was deeply anxious to know what she was going to do with me. by a course of questions. gradually. which she elicited from me.’ Mr.’ or ‘Poor fellow. ‘I can’t conceive. not unlike a trussed bird myself. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. who I thought would have gone to sleep but for that. my aunt sent up for Mr. was checked by a frown from my aunt.’ said my aunt. and who.comfortably.

like a robin redbreast . as if this was not enough.‘Fell in love!’ repeated my aunt. Dick simpered. there were a pair of babies when she gave birth to this child sitting here. was to say to me. What did she propose to herself.and what more did she want?’ Mr. and she had not stood sufficiently in the light of this child’s sister. Don’t tell me!’ Mr.’ said my aunt. I should like to know! She had had one husband.’ ‘Pleasure. that Friday night! . and me. the imbecility of the whole set of ‘em!’ The heartiness of the ejaculation startled Mr.‘It’s a boy. She had got a baby . Dick secretly shook his head at me. ‘Where was this child’s sister. certain to ill-use her in some way or other. ‘Jellips. who was always running after wax dolls from his cradle. with his head on one side. what was he about? All he could do. as if he thought there was no getting over this.as he is .goes  David Copperfield . Betsey Trotwood. Dick seemed quite frightened. if I am to tell the truth. Betsey Trotwood? Not forthcoming. too.oh. She had seen David Copperfield out of the world. after thinking a little. ‘she marries a second time .’ said my aunt.’ Mr. ‘She couldn’t even have a baby like anybody else. ‘And then. indeed!’ replied my aunt. Dick exceedingly. or whatever his name was. ‘What do you mean? What business had she to do it?’ ‘Perhaps. ‘she did it for pleasure.’ A boy! Yah. ‘A mighty pleasure for the poor Baby to fix her simple faith upon any dog of a fellow. ‘That little man of a doctor.’ said my aunt.

as the child relates. and that I would have gone to her for shelter. as he can be. and most self-denying friend and servant in the world. choking me. the most faithful. who had held my mother’s dying head upon her arm. as anybody but a baby might have foreseen.and marries a Murderer . Dick looked hard at me. and will beat her well with one. shaking her head. she goes and gets married next. she goes and gets married next. ‘the child is right to stand by Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as I was trying to say so. And my remembrance of them both. Because she has not seen enough of the evil attending such things. who had ever loved my mother dearly.I broke down.’ I could not bear to hear my old nurse so decried. ‘Well.’ said my aunt. ‘that her husband is one of those Poker husbands who abound in the newspapers.or a man with a name like it . who had ever loved me dearly. I say. ‘that Peggotty. and made the subject of such a wish. that he prowls and wanders.’ Mr. well!’ said my aunt. most devoted. That Peggotty was the best. but for her humble station. the truest. on whose face my mother had imprinted her last grateful kiss.’ said my aunt.and stands in THIS child’s light! And the natural consequence is. He’s as like Cain before he was grown up. ‘And then there’s that woman with the Pagan name. and laid my face in my hands upon the table.com  . which made me fear that I might bring some trouble on her . as if to identify me in this character. I broke down as I was trying to say that her home was my home. I told my aunt that indeed she was mistaken. and that all she had was mine. I only hope.

But the interruption. Dick sets us all right. and the impulse was upon me.’ ‘Janet!’ cried my aunt. After tea. and to bring actions for trespass against the whole donkey proprietorship of Dover. we sat at the window . on the table. Do with . to embrace her and beseech her protection. thus emboldened. ‘Yes. with her grave look. when Janet set candles. Dick about her determination to appeal for redress to the laws of her country.’ ‘Oh!’ said Mr. from my aunt’s sharp expression of face. as I imagined.’ replied my aunt. now?’ ‘Do with David’s son?’ said Mr.I should put him to bed. If the  David Copperfield . for my aunt had laid her hand on my shoulder. and kept my aunt indignantly declaiming to Mr. ‘Exactly so. ‘I am going to ask you another question. with an attentive.those who have stood by him . with the same complacent triumph that I had remarked before. put an end to all softer ideas for the present. ‘with David’s son.’ ‘David’s son?’ said Mr.’ said my aunt. Dick. puzzled face.’ returned my aunt. and her forefinger up as before. Dick. until tea-time. Dick.until dusk. ‘Now. for more invaders . and pulled down the blinds. Look at this child. ‘Mr. and the disorder she was thrown into by the struggle outside. and a backgammon-board. ‘Ay.on the look-out. Mr.Janet! Donkeys!’ I thoroughly believe that but for those unfortunate donkeys. we should have come to a good understanding. ‘What would you do with him. Dick.

to have me in safe keeping. But there were no other clothes in my room than the odd heap of things I wore. and took precautions. might suspect I had a habit of running away. Turning these things over in my mind I deemed it possible that my aunt. overlooking the sea. but in some sort like a prisoner. on which the moon was shining brilliantly. to look upon me as she had looked when I last saw her sweet face. The room was a pleasant one. I remember how the solemn feeling with which at length I turned my eyes away. The only circumstance which gave me any new hope.and how much more the lying softly down upon it. along that shining path. at the top of the house. we’ll take him up to it. After I had said my prayers. kindly. I remember how I thought of all the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. yielded to the sensation of gratitude and rest which the sight of the white-curtained bed . I heard them lock my door on the outside. and the candle had burnt out. I was taken up to it. as if I could hope to read my fortune in it. of my old shirt.bed is ready. as in a bright book. coming from Heaven. and janet’s replying that she had been making tinder down in the kitchen.com  . or to see my mother with her child. was my aunt’s stopping on the stairs to inquire about a smell of fire that was prevalent there. nestling in the snowwhite sheets! . and when I was left there. I remember how I still sat looking at the moonlight on the water. with a little taper which my aunt forewarned me would burn exactly five minutes. my aunt going in front and Janet bringing up the rear.inspired.’ Janet reporting it to be quite ready. who could know nothing of me. on that account.

and never might forget the houseless. then. down the melancholy glory of that track upon the sea. away into the world of dreams. I remember how I seemed to float.solitary places under the night sky where I had slept. and how I prayed that I never might be houseless any more. 00 David Copperfield .

with her elbow on the tray.CHAPTER 14 MY AUNT MAKES UP HER MIND ABOUT ME n going down in the morning.in an odd thoughtful manner. were attracted towards my aunt very often during breakfast.com 01 O . that the contents of the urn had overflowed the teapot and were laying the whole table-cloth under water. not being so much under control as my tongue. and contemplated me at her leisure. folded her arms. and was more than ever anxious to know her intentions towards me. however. with such a fixedness of atFree eBooks at Planet eBook. When she had finished her breakfast. I found my aunt musing so profoundly over the breakfast table. Yet I dared not express my anxiety. lest it should give her offence. as if I were an immense way off. My eyes. knitted her brows. when my entrance put her meditations to flight. I never could look at her for a few moments together but I found her looking at me . my aunt very deliberately leaned back in her chair. instead of being on the other side of the small round table. I felt sure that I had been the subject of her reflections.

I looked up. ‘I can’t say. ‘To -?’ ‘To your father-in-law. ‘if I have to go back to Mr. Murdstone!’ ‘I don’t know anything about it. after a long time. My aunt. until I gave in altogether. my fork tripped up my knife. ‘I have written to him. which she took out of the press. or he and I will fall out.’ said my aunt. shaking her head. ‘We shall see.’ ‘Oh! I can’t think what I shall do. I attempted to hide my confusion by proceeding with it. ‘Hallo!’ said my aunt. We shall see. and met her sharp bright glance respectfully. ‘I have sent him a letter that I’ll trouble him to attend to.’ said my aunt. washed up the teacups with 0 David Copperfield . ‘I have told him.’ I exclaimed.’ said my aunt. I can tell him!’ ‘Does he know where I am. I chipped bits of bacon a surprising height into the air instead of cutting them for my own eating.’ My spirits sank under these words.’ said my aunt. ‘I don’t know.’ said my aunt.given up to him?’ I faltered. and I became very downcast and heavy of heart. put on a coarse apron with a bib. and choked myself with my tea. with a nod. without appearing to take much heed of me. ‘Shall I . but my knife tumbled over my fork. Not having as yet finished my own breakfast.be . alarmed. which persisted in going the wrong way instead of the right one.tention that I was quite overpowered by embarrassment. and sat blushing under my aunt’s close scrutiny. I am sure. aunt?’ I inquired.

com 0 .’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. When all these tasks were performed to her satisfaction.’ said my aunt. ‘I wish you’d go upstairs. when my aunt Free eBooks at Planet eBook. which was dusted and arranged to a hair’sbreadth already.’ I confessed. when everything was washed and set in the tray again. and sat down. Richard Babley . and I’ll be glad to know how he gets on with his Memorial. rang for Janet to remove it. put them in the particular corner of the press from which they had been taken. with the green fan between her and the light. as she threaded her needle. ‘You are not to suppose that he hasn’t got a longer name.that’s the gentleman’s true name. Dick a short name. eh?’ ‘I thought it was rather a short name. if he chose to use it. with a modest sense of my youth and the familiarity I had been already guilty of.Mr. to acquit myself of this commission. she took off the gloves and apron. ‘Babley . She next swept up the crumbs with a little broom (putting on a pair of gloves first). yesterday.’ I was going to suggest. that I had better give him the full benefit of that name. until there did not appear to be one microscopic speck left on the carpet. ‘and give my compliments to Mr. next dusted and arranged the room. Dick.’ I rose with all alacrity. ‘you think Mr. ‘I suppose. brought out her work-box to her own table in the open window. folded them up. with a loftier air. and. to work. eyeing me as narrowly as she had eyed the needle in threading it. and the cloth folded and put on the top of the whole.her own hands.

when I came down. ‘I shouldn’t wish it to be mentioned. boy!’ said Mr. child. I found him still driving at it with a long pen. for he has been ill-used enough. He was so intent upon it. Dick. Dick. that if Mr. Though I don’t know that it’s much of a peculiarity. by some that bear it. he was probably getting on very well indeed. ‘Ha! Phoebus!’ said Mr. in a lower tone. the quantity of ink (which he seemed to have in. ‘How does the world go? I’ll tell you what. whatever you do. So take care. ‘Well. which he don’t. that I had ample leisure to observe the large paper kite in a corner. I delivered my message. now .if he ever went anywhere else. and put his lips close to my ear . That’s a peculiarity of his.‘it’s a mad world. Dick. you don’t call him anything BUT Mr. and laughing heartily. and went upstairs with my message.’ I promised to obey. to have a mortal antipathy for it. but it’s a -’ here he beckoned to me. laying down his pen. Dick had been working at his Memorial long.went on to say: ‘But don’t you call him by it. Mr. 0 David Copperfield . either. the number of pens. and his head almost laid upon the paper. He can’t bear his name. Dick is his name here. the confusion of bundles of manuscript.’ said Mr. at the same rate as I had seen him working at it. and everywhere else. taking snuff from a round box on the table. through the open door. ‘my compliments to her.’ he added. as I went. above all. in answer. Mad as Bedlam. Dick. Without presuming to give my opinion on this question. thinking. in half-gallon jars by the dozen). Heaven knows. and. before he observed my being present.

We’ll go and fly it. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and rousing himself.’ ‘Do you recollect the date. when he directed my attention to the kite. Dick. but I don’t see how that can be.com 0 . ‘What do you think of that for a kite?’ he said.I believe I have made a start.and I . ‘when King Charles the First had his head cut off?’ I said I believed it happened in the year sixteen hundred and forty-nine. and looking dubiously at me. ‘for a short time. I am getting on very well indeed. ‘It’s very strange. scratching his ear with his pen. into mine?’ I was very much surprised by the inquiry. Because. ‘So the books say. no matter!’ he said cheerfully. and with his hand among his hair again.’ said Mr. Dick. I should think it must have been as much as seven feet high.’ said Mr. But no matter. ‘You have been to school?’ ‘Yes.’ I was going away. I think I have made a start. and casting anything but a confident look at his manuscript. I never can make that perfectly clear. Dick.’ I answered. sir. how could the people about him have made that mistake of putting some of the trouble out of his head. passing his hand among his grey hair. I answered that it was a beautiful one. after it was taken off. but could give no information on this point. Dick. ‘Well.’ returned Mr. with a despondent look upon his papers. looking earnestly at me. and taking up his pen to note it down. ‘there’s time enough! My compliments to Miss Trotwood.’ said Mr. ‘I made it. you and I.’ said Mr. if it was so long ago. Dick. ‘that I never can get that quite right.

Be as like your sister as you can. and was getting on very well indeed. I don’t know where they may come down. it takes the facts a long way. that I was not sure but that he was having a good-humoured jest with me. and he laughed. but my aunt was not to be so put off. and the wind. very closely and laboriously written. that as I looked along the lines. by replying that I thought him a very nice gentleman. ‘and when it flies high. folding her hands upon it: ‘Come! Your sister Betsey Trotwood would have told me what she thought of anyone. Dick. though it was hale and hearty. ‘What do you think of him?’ said my aunt. but so plainly. this morning?’ I informed her that he sent his compliments. ‘There’s plenty of string. then?’ I stammered.‘Do you see this?’ He showed me that it was covered with manuscript. and we parted the best friends possible. ‘And what of Mr.’ said Mr. I thought I saw some allusion to King Charles the First’s head again.is he at all out of his mind. when I went downstairs. but I take my chance of that. It’s according to circumstances. and had something so reverend in it. So I laughed. and so forth. ‘Well. Dick . and speak out!’ ‘Is he .I ask because I don’t know. for I felt I was 0 David Copperfield . for she laid her work down in her lap. Dick. and said. That’s my manner of diffusing ‘em. directly. in one or two places.’ His face was so very mild and pleasant. child. aunt . I had some shadowy idea of endeavouring to evade the question.’ said my aunt.is Mr.

who had the audacity to call him mad. ever since your sister. I needn’t enter into that.’ I had nothing better to offer.’ pursued my aunt. ‘A proud fool!’ said my aunt. ‘And nice people they were. That’s all. disappointed me. his own brother would have shut him up for life. ‘Not a morsel.’ ‘So long as that?’ I said.com 0 . it’s that.’ I am afraid it was hypocritical in me.it doesn’t matter how.in fact. than another timid. ‘that Mr. And a wise man he must have been to think so! Mad himself. indeed!’ I observed faintly. and sent him away to some private asylum-place: though he had been left to his particular care by their deceased father.though he is not half so eccentric as a good many people . but seeing that my aunt felt strongly on the subject.on dangerous ground. indeed!’ ‘He has been CALLED mad. ‘Oh. ‘If there is anything in the world. Dick is not.’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. who thought him almost a natural. Dick is a sort of distant connexion of mine . Betsey Trotwood.he didn’t like to have him visible about his house. ‘Because his brother was a little eccentric . or I should not have had the benefit of his society and advice for these last ten years and upwards . I tried to look as if I felt strongly too. with great decision and force of manner. ‘Oh. no Free eBooks at Planet eBook. If it hadn’t been for me. ‘I have a selfish pleasure in saying he has been called mad. ‘Mr.

combined with his fear of his brother. except myself. I am ready to take care of him. and come and live with me. as if she smoothed defiance of the whole world out of the one. rubbing her nose as if she were a little vexed.’ Again. ‘and made him an offer. and shook it out of the other.made her wretched. but the recollection of it is oppressive to him even now. or ever will be. and he has been here ever since.But nobody knows what that man’s mind is. child?’ ‘Yes.’ My aunt smoothed her dress and shook her head. He is the most friendly and amenable creature in existence. and very kind to him. I am not afraid of him. Let him have his little income. I hope!) that. ‘Your brother’s sane . And HE did what they all do .a great deal more sane than you are. and shall not ill-treat him as some people (besides the asylum-folks) have done. ‘That’s his allegorical way of expressing it.’ ‘Ah!’ said my aunt. I said. I endeavoured to look quite convinced also. ‘I got him.’ said my aunt. and as for advice! . That was before he came to me. and his sense of his unkindness. Did he say anything to you about King Charles the First.doubt.took a husband. I am not proud. it is to be hoped.’ After a good deal of squabbling. aunt.’ said my aunt. as my aunt looked quite convinced.’ said my aunt. ‘a good creature. ‘So I stepped in. He 0 David Copperfield . ‘He had a favourite sister. it threw him into a fever. Dick (that’s not madness. It had such an effect upon the mind of Mr. But she did what they all do .

without introducing that mode of expressing himself. or the Lord Somebody or other .com 0 . or something of that sort. and that’s the reason why I insist upon it.’ said my aunt. child. and he’s the most amenable and friendly creature in existence. ‘nobody knows what that man’s mind is except myself. naturally. that there shan’t be a word about it in his Memorial.one of those people. but it don’t signify.’ ‘It’s not a business-like way of speaking. or the simile. who are paid to be memorialized . If he likes to fly a kite sometimes. I suppose it will go in. ‘nor a worldly way. and was there now.about his affairs. but he had been constantly getting into it. rubbing her nose again. And a Quaker flying a kite is a much more ridiculous object than anybody else. or whatever it’s called. which he chooses to use.’ ‘Is it a Memorial about his own history that he is writing. if I am not mistaken. ‘He is memorializing the Lord Chancellor. it keeps him employed. I am aware of that. what of that! Franklin used to fly a kite. He hasn’t been able to draw it up yet. Dick had been for upwards of ten years endeavouring to keep King Charles the First out of the Memorial. aunt?’ ‘Yes. ‘I say again. at all events. and that’s the figure.’ In fact. He was a Quaker.connects his illness with great disturbance and agitation.’ said my aunt.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. And why shouldn’t he. one of these days.’ said my aunt. I found out afterwards that Mr. if he thinks proper!’ I said: ‘Certainly. aunt.

to be honoured and trusted in. I must say that the generosity of her championship of poor harmless Mr. and as a piece of confidence in me. Though she was just as sharp that day as on the day before. At the same time. if not less of my fear. ogled Janet at a window (which was one of the gravest misdemeanours that could be committed against my aunt’s dignity). when a young man. but that I had still no other 10 David Copperfield . and with very little reference to me. not only inspired my young breast with some selfish hope for myself. in the interval which necessarily elapsed before a reply could be received to her letter to Mr. Dick. Murdstone. both to my aunt and Mr. she seemed to me to command more of my respect. and was thrown into a tremendous state of indignation. Dick. though she had addressed herself to me in the absence of anybody else. I should have felt very much distinguished. but I made an endeavour to suppress it. chiefly because the question was raised in her own mind. The latter and I would have gone out to fly the great kite. and to be as agreeable as I could in a quiet way. I believe that I began to know that there was something about my aunt. but warmed it unselfishly towards her. and should have augured favourably from such a mark of her good opinion. going by. The anxiety I underwent. notwithstanding her many eccentricities and odd humours.If I could have supposed that my aunt had recounted these particulars for my especial behoof. But I could hardly help observing that she had launched into them. was extreme. and was in and out about the donkeys just as often.

whose non-arrival startled me every minute. MY aunt was a little more imperious and stern than usual. that he was coming to speak to her herself on the next day. when she gave a sudden alarm of donkeys. to my infinite terror. At length the reply from Mr. for my health’s sake. I beheld Miss Murdstone. before going to bed. that my aunt had ordered it to be got ready.clothes than the anything but ornamental garments with which I had been decorated on the first day. ride deliberately over the sacred piece of green. still bundled up in my curious habiliments. when my aunt. on a side-saddle. ‘Go along with you!’ cried my aunt. and which confined me to the house. I sat counting the time. flushed and heated by the conflict of sinking hopes and rising fears within me. Murdstone’s visit. but it was growing so late.com 11 . and my aunt informed me. Our dinner had been indefinitely postponed. and to my consternation and amazement. shaking her head and her fist at the window. paraded me up and down on the cliff outside. that I really believe she Free eBooks at Planet eBook. except for an hour after dark. and waiting to be startled by the sight of the gloomy face. ‘You have no business there. but I observed no other token of her preparing herself to receive the visitor so much dreaded by me. and I sat by. On the next day. How dare you trespass? Go along! Oh! you bold-faced thing!’ MY aunt was so exasperated by the coolness with which Miss Murdstone looked about her. looking about her. with my thoughts running astray on all possible and impossible results of Mr. and stop in front of the house. Murdstone came. until pretty late in the afternoon. She sat at work in the window.

who had come to see the engagement. calling upon Janet to fetch the constables and justices. turn him round. being expert at a variety of feints and dodges. and his heels grinding the ground. Lead him off!’ and I saw. 1 David Copperfield . captured him. with his jacket over his head. and that the gentleman now coming near the offender (for the way up was very steep. ‘I won’t be trespassed upon. still shaking her head and gesticulating anything but welcome from the bowwindow. though hardly in his teens. leaving some deep impressions of his nailed boots in the flower-beds. ‘I don’t care who it is!’ cried my aunt. soon went whooping away. dragged him. Murdstone himself. rushed out to the scene of action. and he had dropped behind). and executed on the spot.was motionless. did not last long. was Mr. of which my aunt had no conception. I won’t allow it. in which the donkey stood resisting everybody. suddenly descrying among them the young malefactor who was the donkey’s guardian. Go away! Janet. and who was one of the most inveterate offenders against her. This part of the business. I seized the opportunity to inform her who it was. while Janet tried to pull him round by the bridle. a sort of hurried battle-piece. that he might be taken. with all his four legs planted different ways. and unable for the moment to dart out according to custom. and. held him at bay there. Mr. But my aunt. pounced upon him. into the garden. shouted vigorously. for the young rascal. tried. and taking his donkey in triumph with him. from behind my aunt. Murdstone tried to lead him on. Miss Murdstone struck at Janet with a parasol. and several boys. however.

My aunt. Mr. and from it I now saw Mr. Murdstone. aunt?’ I asked. ‘that I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘You are the Mr. ‘No. ‘You’ll excuse my saying.Miss Murdstone.com 1 .’ observed my aunt with a keen look. sir. as if it were a prison or a bar of justice. ‘Certainly not!’ With which she pushed me into a corner near her. and Miss Murdstone enter the room. ‘I was not aware at first to whom I had the pleasure of objecting. Murdstone who married the widow of my late nephew. David Copperfield. with great dignity.Though why Rookery. ‘Oh!’ said my aunt.’ ‘Your regulation is rather awkward to strangers.’ said Miss Murdstone.’ said my aunt. and took no notice of their presence. until my aunt should be at leisure to receive them. trembling. a little ruffled by the combat. marched past them into the house. and fenced Me in with a chair. ‘Is it!’ said my aunt. during the latter portion of the contest. sir. and was now waiting with her brother at the bottom of the steps. I make no exceptions.’ said Mr. of Blunderstone Rookery! . and interposing began: ‘Miss Trotwood!’ ‘I beg your pardon. This position I continued to occupy during the whole interview. I don’t allow anybody to do it.’ returned my aunt. had dismounted. ‘Shall I go away. until they were announced by Janet. But I don’t allow anybody to ride over that turf. Murdstone seemed afraid of a renewal of hostilities. I don’t know!’ ‘I am.

I thought.’ Until he came. and stood among the group. that nobody can say the same of us. a better and happier thing for my brother if he had never entered into such a marriage. with emphasis. though. who went 1 David Copperfield . ‘I rely. and beg him to come down.’ ‘I so far agree with what Miss Trotwood has remarked. On whose judgement.’ ‘No doubt!’ returned Miss Murdstone. ‘Mr. When he came.’ ‘It is a comfort to you and me.’ said my aunt. bridling. my aunt performed the ceremony of introduction.’ said my aunt.’ Mr. ma’am. a mere child. not with a very ready or gracious assent. as you say. as an admonition to Mr. Murdstone.’ ‘I have no doubt you have. Dick. and are not likely to be made unhappy by our personal attractions.’ observed Miss Murdstone. in all essential respects. Dick.think it would have been a much better and happier thing if you had left that poor child alone. ‘And it certainly might have been. my aunt sat perfectly upright and stiff. ‘Janet. who was biting his forefinger and looking rather foolish. ‘that I consider our lamented Clara to have been. on this hint. frowning at the wall. My aunt inclined her head to Mr. Dick took his finger out of his mouth. I have always been of that opinion. An old and intimate friend. ‘who are getting on in life.’ said my aunt.’ ringing the bell. Dick. ‘my compliments to Mr. with a grave and attentive expression of face.

And I have felt .that it is right you should receive this grave and dispassionate assurance from our lips. ‘rather than by letter. and an untoward. I may say.on: ‘Miss Trotwood: on the receipt of your letter.’ ‘Jane Murdstone. Both my sister and myself have endeavoured to correct his vices. I believe this is the worst boy. has been the occasion of much domestic trouble and uneasiness. directing general attention to me in my indefinable costume. however inconvenient the journey. rebellious spirit. of all the boys in the world.’ ‘To answer it in person. that.’ ‘Strong!’ said my aunt.we both have felt.’ said Miss Murdstone.’ returned Miss Free eBooks at Planet eBook. still eyeing him keenly. ‘But not at all too strong for the facts.com 1 . ‘but I beg to observe. but ineffectually. intractable disposition. I considered it an act of greater justice to myself. Miss Trotwood. He has a sullen. This unhappy boy who has run away from his friends and his occupation -’ ‘And whose appearance.’ interposed his sister. ‘have the goodness not to interrupt me. Murdstone.’ said my aunt. shortly. ‘is perfectly scandalous and disgraceful. and since. ‘You needn’t mind me.’ said her brother. and perhaps of more respect to you-’ ‘Thank you.’ ‘It can hardly be necessary for me to confirm anything stated by my brother. a violent temper. my sister being fully in my confidence .’ pursued Mr. This unhappy boy. both during the lifetime of my late dear wife.

’ returned Miss Murdstone. ‘his character. I suppose?’ ‘If he had been my brother’s own boy. I am responsible for them to myself. striking in. in part.’ said my aunt. ‘If he had been your own boy. and I say no more about them. ‘I believe. It is enough that I place this boy under the eye of a friend of my own. sir?’ ‘I have my own opinions. the exact consequences . honourably.’ resumed Mr. and in part on my knowledge of my own means and resources.’ ‘But about the respectable business first. had been alive. ‘as to the best mode of bringing him up. in rags. makes himself a common vagabond about the country. Miss Trotwood.’ 1 David Copperfield . and comes here.so far as they are within my knowledge . would have been altogether different. Murdstone. I wish to set before you.’ said Mr. they are founded. with an inclination of his head. to appeal to you. ‘Ha!’ said my aunt. on my knowledge of him. I act upon them. I trust. ‘that Clara would have disputed nothing which myself and my sister Jane Murdstone were agreed was for the best.’ ‘Or if the poor child. he would still have gone into the respectable business. would he?’ said my aunt.Murdstone. which they did very narrowly. ‘Well. in a respectable business. Murdstone.of your abetting him in this appeal. that it does not please him. you would have put him to it. whose face darkened more and more. just the same. his mother. that he runs away from it. the more he and my aunt observed each other.

before saying: ‘The poor child’s annuity died with her?’ ‘Died with her. Dick. ‘Good Lord.’ said my aunt. Miss Trotwood.com 1 .’ said Mr. Murdstone. there’s no occasion to say that. Murdstone began. ‘Humph!’ said my aunt. ‘and trusted implicitly in him.’ he returned. And now. Left to her unconditionally! I think I see David Copperfield looking forward to any condition of any sort or kind. Murdstone.’ returned my aunt.upon her boy?’ ‘It had been left to her. what have you got to say next?’ ‘Merely this. by her first husband. when my aunt caught him up with the greatest irascibility and impatience. though it stared him point-blank in the face! Of course it was left to her unconditionally.when she took that most disastrous step of marrying you. man. ‘I am here to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. who had been rattling his money all this time. But when she married again . ‘Unfortunate baby!’ Mr. that my aunt felt it necessary to check him with a look.’ ‘Your late wife.’ Mr.Miss Murdstone confirmed this with an audible murmur. sir. was rattling it so loudly now. most unhappy.the house and garden . was a most unworldly. in short.’ replied Mr.the what’s-its-name Rookery without any rooks in it . ‘That’s what she was. ‘And there was no settlement of the little property .did no one put in a word for the boy at that time?’ ‘My late wife loved her second husband. ‘to be plain . ma’am. shaking her head at him. most unfortunate baby. unconditionally.

Is he ready to go? If he is not . with an irony which no more affected my aunt. if you step in between him and me. When he had finished. Miss Trotwood. ‘And what does the boy say?’ said my aunt. than it discomposed the cannon I had slept by at Chatham.’ said Miss Murdstone. and in his complaints to you. induces me to think it possible. for the first and last time. and yours. to dispose of him as I think proper. on any pretence. I am here. now. ‘all that I could say has been so well said by my brother. you must step in. are open to him. or give any pledge to anybody. Miss Trotwood. for ever. For your very great politeness. or be trifled with. to take him away. and looking grimly on the speaker. You may possibly have some idea. my aunt had listened with the closest attention.’ said Miss Murdstone. Now I must caution you that if you abet him once. and all that I know to be the fact has been so plainly stated by him.take David back . I take it for granted. I am not here to make any promise. she turned her eyes so as to command Miss Murdstone. with her hands folded on one knee. of abetting him in his running away. it is indifferent to me what my doors are shut against him henceforth. I cannot trifle. sitting perfectly upright. you abet him for good and all. I am sure. which I must say does not seem intended to propitiate. and said: ‘Well. ‘Are you ready 1 David Copperfield . and to deal with him as I think right.and you tell me he is not.’ To this address. ma’am. have YOU got anything to remark?’ ‘Indeed. Miss Trotwood. without otherwise disturbing her attitude. Your manner.to take him back unconditionally. that I have nothing to add except my thanks for your politeness.

brightened.’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. Murdstone.com 1 . but I remember that they affected me very much then . ‘what shall I do with this child?’ Mr.’ Having shaken it with great cordiality. Dick considered. ‘Mr. ‘Overpowering. ‘give me your hand. But I don’t believe a word of it. Dick. ‘if you were a gentleman -’ ‘Bah! Stuff and nonsense!’ said my aunt. and that Peggotty knew it. at least I can do as much for him then. who always loved me dearly. for your common sense is invaluable. as he rose. nor Miss Murdstone had ever liked me. Murdstone: ‘You can go when you like.’ ‘Mr. hesitated.to go. Dick.I forget in what terms now. And I begged and prayed my aunt . and entreated her not to let me go. ‘Have him measured for a suit of clothes directly. for my father’s sake.’ ‘Miss Trotwood. really!’ ‘Do you think I don’t know. I said that I had been more miserable than I thought anybody could believe. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I said that neither Mr. she pulled me towards her and said to Mr. I’ll take my chance with the boy. turning a deaf ear to the sister. ‘Don’t talk to me!’ ‘How exquisitely polite!’ exclaimed Miss Murdstone. David?’ I answered no. and continuing to address the brother.’ said my aunt triumphantly. unhappy about me.’ rejoined Mr. or had ever been kind to me.to befriend and protect me. as you have done. and that I knew it well. That they had made my mama. shrugging his shoulders. and rejoined. who only knew how young I was. rising. If he’s all you say he is.

and she gone where YOU won’t go in a hurry .because you had not done wrong enough to her and hers.’ said Miss Murdstone. you must begin to train her. in a perfect agony at not being able to turn the current 0 David Copperfield . weren’t they? Ugh! Get along with you. He was made of sweetness. like a poor caged bird.’ said my aunt . I tell you candidly. as if you couldn’t say boh! to a goose!’ ‘I never heard anything so elegant!’ said Miss Murdstone.tenderly doted on him! He was to be another father to him. ‘now that I DO see and hear you . and they were all to live together in a garden of roses. I’ll be bound. He worshipped her. ‘Do you think I can’t understand you as well as if I had seen you. and wear her deluded life away. misdirected baby? Do you think I don’t know what a woeful day it was for the soft little creature when you first came in her way . bless us! who so smooth and silky as Mr. ‘And when you had made sure of the poor little fool.smirking and making great eyes at her.’ pursued my aunt. ‘what kind of life you must have led that poor. benighted innocent had never seen such a man. in teaching her to sing YOUR notes?’ ‘This is either insanity or intoxication.which.‘God forgive me that I should call her so.to shake her head at him with infinite expression. is anything but a pleasure to me? Oh yes. Murdstone at first! The poor. do!’ said my aunt. must you? begin to break her. He doted on her boy . unhappy. ‘I never heard anything like this person in my life!’ exclaimed Miss Murdstone.

but I did hope it wouldn’t have been as bad as it has turned out. aye! you needn’t wince!’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. There is the truth for your comfort. And you and your instruments may make the most of it. ‘to the poor child you sometimes tormented her through afterwards. years before you ever saw her .’ Miss Betsey. without taking the least notice of the interruption.’ He had stood by the door. however you like it.’ interposed Miss Murdstone.com 1 . ‘I know it’s true without that.’ ‘Allow me to inquire. ‘and my suspicion is that it’s intoxication. my brother’s instruments?’ ‘It was clear enough. as I have told you. in the mysterious dispensations of Providence. in a choice of words in which I am not experienced. Murdstone.and why. Murdstone as if there had been no such thing. She was a loving baby .I know that. is more than humanity can comprehend . ‘you were a tyrant to the simple baby. continued to address herself to Mr. which is a disagreeable remembrance and makes the sight of him odious now. when she gave birth to her boy here. Murdstone. you ever did see her.and through the best part of her weakness you gave her the wounds she died of.it was clear enough that the poor soft little thing would marry somebody. Miss Trotwood. shaking her finger at him. Aye. years before YOU ever saw her .’ she said. all this while. I knew it. at some time or other. That was the time. observant of her Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mr. ‘whom you are pleased to call. ‘Mr. and you broke her heart.of my aunt’s address towards herself.

of this child. no less than the matter. turning suddenly upon his sister.’ said Mr. No attempt at defiance being made. But the manner of the speech. ‘and good-bye! Good day to you. Dick. that. though the smile was on his face still. was so fiery. to depict my aunt’s face as she delivered herself of this very unexpected sentiment.with a smile upon his face. too. though his black eyebrows were heavily contracted. Dick. her face gradually relaxed.’ said my aunt. and became so pleasant. ‘to be the guardian  David Copperfield . to carry her threat into instant execution. my aunt remaining in the window looking after them. his colour had gone in a moment. Mr. and with both my arms clasped round her neck. and Miss Murdstone’s face as she heard it. however. I have no doubt. and tread upon it!’ It would require a painter. and walked haughtily out of the cottage. sir.’ said my aunt. in case of the donkey’s reappearance. I then shook hands with Mr.’ said my aunt. ‘Good day. I’ll knock your bonnet off. ‘I shall be delighted. discreetly put her arm through her brother’s. without a word in answer. and no common painter too. which I did with great heartiness. that Miss Murdstone. ‘You’ll consider yourself guardian. that I was emboldened to kiss and thank her. and as sure as you have a head upon your shoulders. Dick. I remarked now. prepared. ma’am. ‘Let me see you ride a donkey over my green again. and hailed this happy close of the proceedings with repeated bursts of laughter. jointly with me. who shook hands with me a great many times. and he seemed to breathe as if he had been running.

even in this narrative. Dick. I felt. The two things clearest in my mind were. and dropped it gladly. that I might call him Trotwood?’ ‘Certainly.’ ‘Trotwood Copperfield. and with everything new about me. with so much menFree eBooks at Planet eBook. Call him Trotwood. Dick. that some readymade clothes.’ said Mr. distinctly.’ ‘Very good. and in indelible marking-ink. in a new name.of David’s son. Mr. which were purchased for me that afternoon. No one has ever raised that curtain since. ‘that’s settled. certainly. certainly. Trotwood Copperfield. were marked ‘Trotwood Copperfield’. The remembrance of that life is fraught with so much pain to me. with a reluctant hand. before I put them on.com  . that a remoteness had come upon the old Blunderstone life . you mean. ‘Yes. Now that the state of doubt was over.’ said Mr. a little abashed. I have been thinking. in my aunt and Mr.’ returned my aunt. to be sure. Yes. and that a curtain had for ever fallen on my life at Murdstone and Grinby’s. I never thought of anything about myself. in her own handwriting. for many days. I have lifted it for a moment. I never thought that I had a curious couple of guardians. Dick. do you know. and it was settled that all the other clothes which were ordered to be made for me (a complete outfit was bespoke that afternoon) should be marked in the same way. Thus I began my new life. Dick. like one in a dream. ‘David’s son’s Trotwood. My aunt took so kindly to the notion.which seemed to lie in the haze of an immeasurable distance.’ returned my aunt.

I do not know.tal suffering and want of hope.  David Copperfield . and that I have written. that I have never had the courage even to examine how long I was doomed to lead it. and there I leave it. or more. I only know that it was. or less. Whether it lasted for a year. and ceased to be.

made a deep impression on me. however hard he laboured. for if anything were certain under the sun. which never made the least progress. and the certainty with which he came in. for King Charles the First always strayed into it. I believe. What Mr. if it were completed.com  . Dick and I soon became the best of friends. and another one begun. The patience and hope with which he bore these perpetual disappointments. it was certain that the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. sooner or later. and tumbled the Memorial out of all shape. where he thought it was to go. Nor was it at all necessary that he should trouble himself with such questions. the feeble efforts he made to keep him out. went out together to fly the great kite. and then it was thrown aside. Every day of his life he had a long sitting at the Memorial.CHAPTER 15 I MAKE ANOTHER BEGINNING M r. when his day’s work was done. he knew no more than anybody else. Dick supposed would come of the Memorial. and very often. or what he thought it was to do. the mild perception he had that there was something wrong about King Charles the First.

I might take equal rank in her affections with my sister Betsey Trotwood. looking up at the kite in the sky. and even encouraged me to hope. might have been a fancy with him sometimes. ‘Trot.’ said my aunt one evening. I used to fancy. my aunt. I did not go backward in the favour of his staunch friend. in the course of a few weeks. as I sat by him of an evening. and look about him in a lost way. ‘we must not forget your education. and bore it (such was my boyish thought) into the skies. and I felt quite de David Copperfield . She took so kindly to me. as if they had both come down together.Memorial never would be finished. in his room. and saw him watch the kite high in the quiet air. until it fluttered to the ground. I used to think. she shortened my adopted name of Trotwood into Trot.’ This was my only subject of anxiety. and feeling it pull and tug at his hand. about his belief in its disseminating the statements pasted on it. he seemed to wake gradually out of a dream. that it lifted his mind out of its confusion. that. What he had told me. that if I went on as I had begun. but not when he was out. Dick. It was quite an affecting sight. As he wound the string in and it came lower and lower down out of the beautiful light. when the backgammon-board was placed as usual for herself and Mr. so that I pitied him with all my heart. and lay there like a dead thing. Dick. which were nothing but old leaves of abortive Memorials. to see him with the kite when it was up a great height in the air. on a green slope. He never looked so serene as he did then. and I remember to have seen him take it up. While I advanced in friendship and intimacy with Mr.

as it was so near her. We parted at the gardengate in a most affectionate manner. at his earnest petition. after giving him several admonitory raps on the knuckles with her dice-box. if my aunt had not interposed. ‘Should you like to go to school at Canterbury?’ said my aunt. who was so low-spirited at the prospect of our separation. I was not surprised by the suddenness of the proposal. ‘Good. Dick did not Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com  . hire the grey pony and chaise tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. but my heart smote me for my selfishness.’ ‘Good. and played so ill in consequence. and pack up Master Trotwood’s clothes tonight. were afterwards increased to ten. and vowed to make another kite for those occasions. which. and declined to play with him any more.’ I was greatly elated by these orders. I replied that I should like it very much. and limited the gift to five shillings. on hearing from my aunt that I should sometimes come over on a Saturday. that my aunt. gold and silver too. when I witnessed their effect on Mr. and that he could sometimes come and see me on a Wednesday. and would have sustained himself by giving me all the money he had in his possession. of proportions greatly surpassing the present one. shut up the board. But. he revived. and said: ‘Yes. ‘Should you like to go tomorrow?’ Being already no stranger to the general rapidity of my aunt’s evolutions. In the morning he was downhearted again.’ said my aunt again.’ said my aunt. and Mr. ‘Janet.lighted by her referring to it. Dick.

and I dare say would have taken her own way with as much coolness through an enemy’s country. and huckster’s goods. ‘Why.’ I said. which were not always complimentary. aunt?’ I asked. Wickfield. and making a point of not letting him have his own way in any respect. and both her hands being occupied.’ I asked for no more information about Mr. Wickfield’s first. ‘He keeps an office. The hair-breadth turns and twists we made. as it was market-day. drew down upon us a variety of speeches from the people standing about. When we came into the country road. vegetables. drove the grey pony through Dover in a masterly manner. thank you. asked me whether I was happy? ‘Very happy indeed. and we conversed on other subjects until we came to Canterbury. but my aunt drove on with perfect indifference.go into the house until my aunt had driven me out of sight of it. keeping a steady eye upon him wherever he went. Trot. and looking at me down in a valley of cushion by her side. ‘No. patted me on the head with her whip. aunt. She was much gratified. where. ‘We are going to Mr. sitting high and stiff like a state coachman.  David Copperfield . I don’t know. my aunt had a great opportunity of insinuating the grey pony among carts. My aunt. she permitted him to relax a little. however.’ ‘Does he keep a school?’ I asked. who was perfectly indifferent to public opinion. ‘Is it a large school.’ said my aunt. baskets.’ said my aunt. as she offered none.

The low arched door then opened. and no eyelashes. a house with long low lattice-windows bulging out still farther. and quainter little windows. When the pony-chaise stopped at the door. that I remember wondering how he went to sleep.At length we stopped before a very old house bulging out over the road. the two stone steps descending to the door were as white as if they had been covered with fair linen. and eyes of a red-brown. and carvings and mouldings. and the face came out.a youth of fifteen.com  . with a white wisp of a neckcloth. twinkled like a star. It was quite spotless in its cleanliness. trying to see who was passing on the narrow pavement below. The old-fashioned brass knocker on the low arched door. dressed in decent black. It belonged to a red-haired person . and quickly disappear. were as pure as any snow that ever fell upon the hills. and all the angles and corners. I saw a cadaverous face appear at a small window on the ground floor (in a little round tower that formed one side of the house). buttoned Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as I take it now.whose hair was cropped as close as the closest stubble. ornamented with carved garlands of fruit and flowers. though as old as the hills. so unsheltered and unshaded. though in the grain of it there was that tinge of red which is sometimes to be observed in the skins of red-haired people. so that I fancied the whole house was leaning forward. and beams with carved heads on the ends bulging out too. He was high-shouldered and bony. but looking much older . It was quite as cadaverous as it had looked in the window. who had hardly any eyebrows. and my eyes were intent upon the house. and quaint little panes of glass.

‘Mr. Wickfield at home. who was looking over some papers tied together with red tape. of Uriah Heep breathing into the pony’s nostrils.’ said Uriah Heep. You know my motive. when. ‘Miss Betsey Trotwood. and had a long. ‘Is Mr. who was looking at me. and looking up at us in the chaise. and immediately covering them with his hand. a door at the farther end of the room opening. at sight of whom I turned to the firstmentioned portrait again. from the window of which I caught a glimpse. as if he were putting some spell upon him. I have but one in life. Opposite to the tall old chimney-piece were two portraits: one of a gentleman with grey hair (though not by any means an old man) and black eyebrows. a gentleman entered. But it was stationary. I believe I was turning about in search of Uriah’s picture. as I went in. and leaving him to hold the pony.up to the throat. to make quite sure that it had not come out of its frame. went into a long low parlour looking towards the street. ma’am. ‘if you’ll please to walk in there’ . Uriah Heep?’ said my aunt. Wickfield’s at home. as he stood at the pony’s head. I was engaged for a moment.’ 0 David Copperfield . rubbing his chin with it. the other.pointing with his long hand to the room he meant. We got out. which particularly attracted my attention. of a lady. and as the gentleman advanced into the light. ‘pray walk in. skeleton hand. lank. but you’ll excuse my being busy. I saw that he was some years older than when he had had his picture painted.’ said the gentleman. with a very placid and sweet expression of face.

‘This is my nephew. as I sat down. There was a certain richness in his complexion. I thought. Wickfield. ‘You had better come for anything else. ‘Wasn’t aware you had a grand-nephew. Wickfield.Miss Betsey thanked him.com 1 . He had a very agreeable face. and that he was a lawyer. Wickfield.’ replied my aunt.’ said Mr. ‘Well. Wickfield.’ said Mr.’ ‘That’s right. and had an iron safe let into the wall.’ said my aunt.’ observed my aunt. tin boxes. to connect with port wine. though his eyebrows were still black.’ His hair was quite white now. ‘what wind blows you here? Not an ill wind. Miss Trotwood. ‘Wasn’t aware you had one.’ said Mr. reminding my strolling fancy (I call to mind) of the plumage on the breast of a swan. ‘I have not come for any law. striped waistcoat. with books. and steward of the estates of a rich gentleman of the county. and so forth. ‘My grand-nephew. and nankeen trousers. how the sweeps got round it when they swept the chimney. was handsome. and his fine frilled shirt and cambric neckcloth looked unusually soft and white. under Peggotty’s tuition. which I had been long accustomed. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It looked into a garden. ma’am. which was furnished as an office. and I fancied it was in his voice too. I hope?’ ‘No. so immediately over the mantelshelf. Miss Trotwood. and. I give you my word.’ said Mr. papers. and we went into his room. and referred his growing corpulency to the same cause. that is to say. He was very cleanly dressed. in a blue coat. for I soon found that it was he. that I wondered.

The best school? Whatever the motive. importing that his knowledge and his ignorance were all one to her. ‘You claim to have one plain motive in all you do yourself. After a little discussion. ‘Always fishing for motives. and what it is.’ said my aunt.’ ‘Before I can advise you properly. ‘Other people have dozens. Mr. ‘your nephew couldn’t board just now. scores. and well treated. you want the best?’ My aunt nodded assent.’ ‘But he could board somewhere else. you know. I have only one. considering.’ said Mr. Wickfield thought I could. to make the child happy and useful. Wickfield. with a wave of her hand. I think.’ ‘It must be a mixed motive. that you are the only plain dealer in the world?’ ‘Ay. ‘A mixed fiddlestick. There’s the difference. I hope. smiling. hundreds. and all about it. shaking his head and smiling incredulously. when they’re on the surface! Why.’ returned my aunt. You don’t suppose. ‘At the best we have. Now tell me where that school is. What’s your motive in this?’ ‘Deuce take the man!’ exclaimed my aunt.’ said Mr. ‘and I have brought him here. but I have only one motive in life. that she might  David Copperfield . to put to a school where he may be thoroughly well taught.’ said Mr. he proposed to take my aunt to the school. Miss Trotwood. that’s beside the question.‘I have adopted him. However.’ he rejoined. Wickfield. I suppose?’ suggested my aunt. Wickfield ‘the old question.

was at work at a desk in this room. as cleverly as ever. Though his face was towards me. Uriah. Wickfield’s office. to two or three houses where he thought I could be boarded. and stealthily stare at me for I dare say a whole minute at a time. My aunt embracing the proposal. every now and then. and returned into Mr.but they always Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to await their return.such as standing on a chair to look at a map on the other side of the room. if they pleased. where I sat down again. we were all three going out together. but looking that way more attentively. his sleepless eyes would come below the writing. like two red suns.com  . and on which the writing he was making a copy of was then hanging. but to facilitate matters I said I would gladly remain behind. during which his pen went. which had a brass frame on the top to hang paper upon. for objecting to the arrangements. which ended in the little circular room where I had seen Uriah Heep’s pale face looking out of the window. the writing being between us. perhaps. It so happened that this chair was opposite a narrow passage. that he could not see me. I think we had better leave him behind?’ My aunt seemed disposed to contest the point. or pretended to go.see it and judge for herself. for some time. I made several attempts to get out of their way . when he stopped and said: ‘Our little friend here might have some motive. in the chair I had first occupied. it made me uncomfortable to observe that. also. with the same object. to take her. having taken the pony to a neighbouring stable. and poring over the columns of a Kentish newspaper . I thought.

There will be time to find some better place for him in the meanwhile. I see.attracted me back again. for the present.’ said Mr. ‘Leave your nephew here. They were not so successful as I could have wished. though she was delicate of accepting it. It’s a capital house for study. my aunt had not approved of any of the boarding-houses proposed for me.’ cried Mr.’ My aunt evidently liked the offer. Miss Trotwood. he can easily go to the right-about. Wickfield. but -’ ‘Come! I know what you mean. or don’t quite accord with our mutual convenience.’ said my aunt. much to my relief. my aunt and Mr. Trot. Leave him here.’ ‘What’s that?’ inquired my aunt. If it don’t act well. It’s only a temporary arrangement. ‘This is the way out of the difficulty. ‘You shall not be oppressed by the receipt of favours. Wickfield came back. after a pretty long absence. ‘Come. ‘and so is he. for though the advantages of the school were undeniable. and whenever I looked towards those two red suns. He won’t disturb me at all. Miss Trot David Copperfield . You had better determine to leave him here for the present!’ ‘I am very much obliged to you. Miss Trotwood. ‘It’s very unfortunate.’ said my aunt. Wickfield. As quiet as a monastery.’ ‘It does happen unfortunately.’ said Mr. I was sure to find them. Wickfield. either just rising or just setting. and almost as roomy. He’s a quiet fellow. At length. So did I. ‘But I’ll tell you what you can do. ‘I don’t know what to do. you know.

or seat. It was a prettily furnished room. We won’t be hard about terms. or bookcase. On her face. lighted by some three or four of the quaint windows I had looked up at from the street: which had old oak seats in them. You may pay for him. if you like. with a piano and some lively furniture in red and green. or something or other. We accordingly went up a wonderful old staircase. Wickfield tapped at a door in a corner of the panelled wall.’ said my aunt.’ ‘Then come and see my little housekeeper. It seemed to be all old nooks and corners. I shall be very glad to leave him. Wickfield. Mr. or cupboard. almost as easily.’ said Mr. until I looked at the next one. if not better. there Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that seemed to have come of the same trees as the shining oak floor. Although her face was quite bright and happy. and the great beams in the ceiling.wood. with a balustrade so broad that we might have gone up that. I saw immediately the placid and sweet expression of the lady whose picture had looked at me downstairs. It seemed to my imagination as if the portrait had grown womanly. and a girl of about my own age came quickly out and kissed him.’ ‘On that understanding. On everything there was the same air of retirement and cleanliness that marked the house outside. and some flowers. and into a shady old drawing-room. but you shall pay if you will. that made me think there was not such another good corner in the room.com  . and the original remained a child. and found it equal to it. and in every nook and corner there was some queer little table. ‘though it doesn’t lessen the real obligation.

and the broad balustrade going all the way up to it. and Mr. Wickfield said. Wickfield to his office. and about her .that I never have forgotten. and Agnes went back to her governess. Wickfield knew her too well to argue any point with her. with a pleasant face. Nor do I recollect its subject. and we went down to the drawing-room again. well pleased and gratified. and as I apprehend Mr. she before us: and a glorious old room it was. that I shall never forget. We all went together. lest she should by any chance fail to arrive at home with the grey pony before dark. When I heard how he said it.a quiet. with more oak beams. proposed to my aunt that we should go upstairs and see my room. and she looked as staid and as discreet a housekeeper as the old house could have. in my childhood. and I associated something of its tranquil brightness with Agnes Wickfield ever afterwards. I had seen a stained glass window in a church. So we  David Copperfield . his daughter Agnes.was a tranquillity about it. She listened to her father as he told her about me. I guessed what the one motive of his life was. She had a little basket-trifle hanging at her side. I cannot call to mind where or when. and when he had concluded. in the grave light of the old staircase. As she would not hear of staying to dinner. This was his little housekeeper. with keys in it. good. calm spirit . above. and saw how he held her hand. some lunch was provided for her there. I thought of that window. and diamond panes. But I know that when I saw her turn round. and wait for us. in the arrangement made for me. My aunt was as happy as I was. Mr.

Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and gave me the kindest words and the best advice.’ I promised. that I would not abuse her kindness or forget her admonition. ‘be mean in anything. never be false. I had mustered up my spirits again. ‘Never. again and again. and was ready for my knife and fork.’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt in conclusion. She told me that everything would be arranged for me by Mr. and Heaven be with you!’ I was greatly overcome. I doubted whether he could have dined without her. At first I was startled by so abrupt a departure. and drove away without looking up. but when I looked into the street. went down with her father.’ said my aunt. and send my love to Mr. Wickfield’s dinner-hour. and I can always be hopeful of you. but Agnes was waiting in the drawing-room before dinner. and could only thank her.’ With these words she embraced me hastily.were left to take leave of one another without any restraint. We did not stay there. Avoid those three vices. and that I should want for nothing. Wickfield. ‘and I am off! Stay here. and sat opposite to him at table. ‘Trot. shutting the door after her. ‘The pony’s at the door. Dick. The cloth was only laid for us two. By five o’clock. I understood her better and did not do her that injustice. and saw how dejectedly she got into the chaise. as well as I could. to me. and Mr. and almost feared I had displeased her. ‘be a credit to yourself. Dick. but came upstairs into the drawing-room again: in one snug corner of which. and went out of the room. never be cruel. Trot. which was Mr. after dinner.com  .

and taking a good deal of it. I saw Uriah Heep shutting up the office. As I came back. AND TO RUB HIS OFF. that. and the grey Cathedral. that I might have another peep at the old houses. worked. but sometimes his eyes rested on her. and a decanter of port wine. when her father took her in his arms and kissed her. Then he came out of his meditation. There he sat. and the time passed away after it. gave him my hand. while Agnes played on the piano. and presided over it. when I went to my room. and talked to him and me. Agnes made the tea. what a clammy hand his was! as ghostly to the touch as to the sight! I rubbed mine afterwards. and he fell into a brooding state. until she went to bed. I thought. gay and cheerful with us. for the most part. I thought he would have missed its usual flavour. It was such an uncomfortable hand. and feeling friendly towards everybody. and drank more wine. ordered candles in his office. to warm it. Lean David Copperfield . She always observed this quickly. But in the course of the evening I had rambled down to the door. and a little way along the street. without knowing it.Agnes set glasses for her father. and. and might think of my coming through that old city on my journey. and of my passing the very house I lived in. and at parting. went in and spoke to him. and always roused him with a question or caress. if it had been put there for him by any other hands. as after dinner. she being gone. But oh. and was silent. Then I went to bed too. for two hours. it was still cold and wet upon my memory. He was. taking his wine.

ing out of the window. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I fancied it was Uriah Heep got up there somehow. and shut him out in a hurry. and seeing one of the faces on the beam-ends looking at me sideways.com  .

to my thinking. to the scene of my future studies . I went. Turning upon me a lustreless eye. on the top of the red-brick wall. accompanied by Mr. and were set up. at regular distances all round the court.CHAPTER 16 I AM A NEW BOY IN MORE SENSES THAN ONE ext morning. Doctor Strong looked almost as rusty.and was introduced to my new master. with a learned air about it that seemed very well suited to the stray rooks and jackdaws who came down from the Cathedral towers to walk with a clerkly bearing on the grass-plot . and his shoes yawning like two caverns on the hearth-rug. and almost as stiff and heavy as the great stone urns that flanked them. for Time to play at.a grave building in a courtyard. as the tall iron rails and gates outside the house. that reminded me of a long-forgotten 0 David Copperfield N . like sublimated skittles. with his clothes not particularly well brushed. after breakfast. Wickfield. his long black gaiters unbuttoned. I entered on school life again. his knee-smalls unbraced. and his hair not particularly well combed. He was in his library (I mean Doctor Strong was). Doctor Strong.

Wickfield. ‘Satan finds some mischief still.blind old horse who once used to crop the grass.’ he said.who got me out of my difficulty by kneeling down to put Doctor Strong’s shoes on.’ he added. and button his gaiters. when Doctor Strong himself unconsciously enlightened me. and we were going out to the schoolroom. and I was wondering could she be Doctor Strong’s son’s wife. When she had finished. which I didn’t know what to do with. Doctor Strong. Wickfield. and of those two bad things. Not yet. Wickfield.’ said Mr.’ returned Mr.’ said Doctor Strong. ‘you have not found any suitable provision for my wife’s cousin yet?’ ‘No. he might have written. ‘“Satan finds some mischief still. he said he was glad to see me: and then he gave me his hand. But. address her as ‘Mrs.’ ‘I could wish it done as soon as it can be done. ‘if Doctor Watts knew mankind. looking at me. Wickfield. I was much surprised to hear Mr. and idle. ‘for Jack Maldon is needy. or could she be Mrs. not far from Doctor Strong. in bidding her good morning. with as much truth. stopping in a passage with his hand on my shoulder. Strong’. sitting at work.’ The Free eBooks at Planet eBook. for busy hands to do.‘‘ ‘Egad. Doctor. ‘By the by.whom he called Annie. ‘No. worse things sometimes come. and who was his daughter. for idle hands to do. which she did with great cheerfulness and quickness. and moving his head to the time of his quotation. was a very pretty young lady . and tumble over the graves. What does Doctor Watts say. I supposed . as it did nothing for itself. Wickfield.com 1 . in Blunderstone churchyard.

‘Not the least. ‘Surely. ‘At home or abroad.’ the Doctor answered.’ returned the Doctor. apparently wondering why he emphasized those words so much.’ returned Doctor Strong. you know.’ he said this with some hesitation. Wickfield. and it makes the thing more difficult. and not at home?’ ‘No. ‘I penetrate your motive. ‘Perhaps not. ‘No?’ with astonishment. of Annie’s. ‘is to make some suitable provision for a cousin. ‘I am bound to believe you.’ ‘One or other? Have you no choice?’ asked Mr.’ ‘My motive. and an old playfellow. you may rely upon it. ‘No.’ said Mr. and of course I do believe  David Copperfield .’ ‘Your own expression. rubbing his chin thoughtfully. I have not been able to dispose of Mr. What have the people been about.’ ‘Surely. Wickfield. One or other. Jack Maldon yet.’ ‘Aye!’ replied the Doctor. ‘and you bring me back to the question.’ returned the Doctor. ‘at home or abroad.’ said Doctor Strong.’ said Mr. Wickfield. ‘Or abroad. Wickfield. with an apology for digressing.’ said Mr. I know.’ ‘No motive. and in getting power.’ ‘Yes. I believe.busy people achieve their full share of mischief in the world. ‘for meaning abroad.’ said Mr. who have been the busiest in getting money. Wickfield. No. this century or two? No mischief?’ ‘Jack Maldon will never be very busy in getting either. I expect.

com  . and other short assurances to the same purport. been symbolical to me of silence and retirement. and commanding a peep of an old secluded garden belonging to the Doctor. if I had known it before. Doctor Strong jogged on before us. About five-andtwenty boys were studiously engaged at their books when we went in. young gentlemen. and shaking his head to himself. in tubs.’ said Mr. uneven pace. and there was a simplicity in it. But I confess I entertained another impression.you. The schoolroom was a pretty large hall. where the peaches were ripening on the sunny south wall. ‘TrotFree eBooks at Planet eBook. without knowing that I saw him. on the quietest side of the house. ‘It might have simplified my office very much. Wickfield. and indeed in his whole manner. looking grave. and remained standing when they saw Mr. the broad hard leaves of which plant (looking as if they were made of painted tin) have ever since. confronted by the stately stare of some half-dozen of the great urns. which almost immediately subsided into a smile that gave me great encouragement. and we followed: Mr. Repeating ‘no’. I observed. by association. pondering frost upon it was got through.’ Doctor Strong regarded him with a puzzled and doubting look. ‘A new boy. when the studious. There were two great aloes. and ‘not the least’. very attractive and hopeful to a young scholar like me. for it was full of amiability and sweetness. on the turf outside the windows. Wickfield. but they rose to give the Doctor good morning. Wickfield and me.’ said the Doctor. at a queer.

and of booklearning too. It seemed to me so long. appearance. I had become.wood Copperfield. however. and he showed me my place. He looked like a young clergyman. But. but he was very affable and good-humoured. in his white cravat. when I was examined about what I knew. that I knew I was awkward and inexperienced in the commonest things belonging to them. by my want of boyish skill. troubled as I was. in a gentlemanly way that would have put me at my ease. I was so conscious of having passed through scenes of which they could have no knowledge. then stepped out of his place and welcomed me. except Mick Walker and Mealy Potatoes. I knew nothing. and was put into the lowest form of the school. that I felt as strange as ever I have done in my life.’ One Adams. in what I did know. had so slipped away from me in the sordid cares of my life from day to night. and presented me to the masters. I was much farther removed from my companions than in what I did not. that I half believed it was an imposture to come there as an ordinary little schoolboy. or among any companions of my own age. who was the head-boy. that. and of having acquired experiences foreign to my age. however short or long it may have been. and condition as one of them. Whatever I had learnt. so unused to the sports and games of boys. My mind ran upon what they would think. that now. in the Murdstone and Grinby time. if they knew of my familiar acquaintance with the King’s Bench Prison?  David Copperfield . since I had been among such boys. if anything could. I was made infinitely more uncomfortable by the consideration.

the grave shadow of the staircase seemed to fall upon my doubts and fears. or my slices of pudding? How would it affect them. who were so innocent of London life.in spite of myself? Suppose some of the boys had seen me coming through Canterbury. shrunk within myself whensoever I was approached by one of my new schoolfellows. waiting for her father. with my new school-books under my arm. who made so light of money. and hurried off the minute school was over. on that first day at Doctor Strong’s.com  .Was there anything about me which would reveal my proceedings in connexion with the Micawber family . if they could know how I had scraped my halfpence together. and should find me out? What would they say. sturdily conning my books. afraid of committing myself in my response to any friendly notice or advance. and suppers . and London streets. that I felt distrustful of my slightest look and gesture. and to make the past more indistinct. and asked me how I liked the school. for the purchase of my daily saveloy and beer. that when I knocked at it.all those pawnings. I began to feel my uneasiness softening away. Wickfield’s old house. wayworn and ragged. She met me with her pleasant smile. But there was such an influence in Mr. who was detained by someone in his office. As I went up to my airy old room. Agnes was in the drawing-room. and sellings. and went down. to discover how knowing I was (and was ashamed to be) in some of the meanest phases of both? All this ran in my head so much. hopeful of becoming a passable sort of boy yet. I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I sat there. until dinner-time (we were out of school for good at three).

‘His housekeeper must be in his house. because it was so like herself. Did you think whose it was?’ I told her yes.’ He spoke. I hoped. perhaps . ‘Hark! That’s papa now!’ Her bright calm face lighted up with pleasure as she went to meet him.’ I said.’ I said. smiling and shaking her head. who was one of the gentlest of men. and told me I should certainly be happy under Doctor Strong. she came back again. He is the least suspicious of mankind. in her quiet way.’ said Mr. but you mean here. ‘You have never been to school. or dissatisfied  David Copperfield . ‘Mama has been dead ever since I was born. pleased.who abuse his kindness. downstairs. He greeted me cordially. as if he were weary. or whether it’s a blemish. that she might meet him on the stairs. and whether that’s a merit. Wickfield. it deserves consideration in all dealings with the Doctor. ‘There may be some.’ she said.told her I should like it very much. too. I saw you looking at it yesterday. ‘Papa says so. but I was a little strange to it at first. at your own home?’ ‘Papa couldn’t spare me to go anywhere else. ‘Never be one of those. hand in hand.’ said Agnes. Trotwood. But.’ and went to the door to listen for his coming up.’ ‘Ah. as he was not there.I don’t know that there are . ‘I only know her picture. in anything.’ she answered. and as they came in. great or small. you know. She nodded ‘Yes. I am sure. ‘have you?’ ‘Oh yes! Every day.’ ‘He is very fond of you. I thought.

that she liked to have her friends within reach rather than to have them banished. Maldon begs the favour of a word. was that?’ Mr. and the old Doctor -’ ‘Doctor Strong. as Uriah’s head was pushed away. ‘I beg your pardon. Wickfield. and looked at every object in the room. gravely.’ As he held the door open with his hand. Uriah looked at me. Wickfield interposed. you know. and we went down and took the same seats as before. when Uriah Heep put in his red head and his lank hand at the door.’ said the other . when we talked of it.com  .yet seemed to look at nothing. and he begs the favour of a word. Doctor Strong. ‘Well.’ ‘I am but this moment quit of Mr. ‘Yes. We had scarcely done so. for dinner was just then announced. on reflection. sir. but I did not pursue the question in my mind. ‘but Mr. of course. Maldon.’ ‘I don’t know. I thought.’ returned Uriah.‘pray excuse me for this intrusion . It’s only to say. and looked at Agnes.with something. ‘Doctor Strong. and the speaker’s substituted .’ observed a voice behind Uriah. and looked at the dishes.’ returned Mr.that as it seems I have no choice in the matter.’ said his master. the sooner I go abroad the better. Maldon has come back. sir. and looked at the plates. he made such an appearance all the while of keeping his red eyes dutifully on his master. it’s all the same.‘Doctor Strong Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘I call him the old Doctor. My cousin Annie did say.’ returned the other. and said: ‘Here’s Mr. .

I mean . But as it appears from the course you take with me he has changed his mind. Mr. When a plunge is to be made into the water.’ ‘There shall be as little lingering as possible. Therefore.’ said Mr. it’s of no use lingering on the bank. and it would be so and so. my cousin Annie could easily arrange it in her own way.do I follow you?’ said Mr.was of the same mind. Wickfield gravely. Wickfield. ‘No offence to anybody. laughing. ‘To the lady. Jack Maldon. I only mean that I suppose some compensation is fair and reasonable in that sort of marriage. Strong would only have to say to her husband . ‘Much obliged. I don’t want to look a gift-horse in the mouth. that the sooner I am off the better. I thought I’d come back and say.’ returned the other.’ said the other. sir. I suppose Annie would only have to say to the old Doctor -’ ‘Meaning that Mrs.  David Copperfield . the better. as a matter of course. Wickfield. which is not a gracious thing to do. because Annie’s a charming young girl. Maldon. ‘.’ Mr. Jack Maldon answered.’ said Mr. Wickfield. ‘Quite so. why there’s no more to be said. and the old Doctor .would only have to say. ‘Thank’ee. that she wanted such and such a thing to be so and so. Wickfield. in your case. I believed. sir?’ asked Mr.’ ‘And why as a matter of course. Mr.is not quite a charming young boy. I dare say. Maldon?’ asked Mr. sedately eating his dinner.Doctor Strong. Mr. otherwise. laughing. except that the sooner I am off. you may depend upon it.’ ‘Compensation to the lady. ‘Why.

and not to be referred to. Agnes set the glasses and decanters in the same corner. and drank a good deal. and. When we had dined. immovable manner. when I heard the Doctor speak of him that morning. and showed me what she knew of them (which was no slight matter. and played some games at dominoes with me. Of course I shall observe your directions. sat by him. with another apology for this intrusion. Jack Maldon. Good-bye!’ Mr. bold air. I see her. where everything went on exactly as on the previous day. we went upstairs again. up at the Doctor’s. I thought. and worked and talked. Maldon. and what was the best way to learn and understand them. he added: ‘However. ‘with my cousin Annie. in considering the matter as one to be arranged between you and me solely. without rising. whom I had not expected to see so soon. and I hear Free eBooks at Planet eBook. looked after him thoughtfully as he went out.’ said Mr. He was rather a shallow sort of young gentleman. looked into them.But appearing to remark that Mr. and afterwards. And this was the first I ever saw of Mr. with a motion of his hand towards the table. and a confident. In good time she made tea. Wickfield. Wickfield went on with his dinner in the same sedate. when I brought down my books. Wickfield. I may take myself off. though she said it was). placid manner.’ ‘Have you dined?’ asked Mr. a rapid utterance. and Mr. Agnes played the piano to him. I have said what I came to say. and that there was no hope of making him relax a muscle of his face. I am going to dine. with a handsome face. with her modest. Wickfield sat down to drink. orderly. ‘Thank’ee.com  .

which she came to exercise over me at a later time. I love little Em’ly. falls on her always. ‘You are sure?’ ‘If you please. Not that I could see them now. and I don’t love Agnes . and that the soft light of the coloured window in the church.her beautiful calm voice. I am afraid.’ I answered. Trotwood. Not dull at all!’ ‘Than Agnes.’ He was musing. The time having come for her withdrawal for the night.’ he repeated.no. I gave Mr. Wickfield my hand. But he checked me and said: ‘Should you like to stay with us. not at all in that way . and shaded by his hand. boy. ‘whether my Agnes tires of me.’ he said. and on everything around. ‘Than Agnes!’ He had drank wine that evening (or I fancied it). sir. seen long ago. If I may!’ ‘Why. wherever Agnes is. ‘Now I wonder. When should I ever tire of her! But that’s different. quickly. as I write these words. and on me when I am near her. so I remained qui0 David Copperfield . preparatory to going away myself. ‘Not more dull for me than Agnes.’ he muttered. and leaning against it. begins already to descend upon my breast. and she having left us. but I had noticed them a little while before. The influence for all good. for they were cast down. not speaking to me. peace. it’s but a dull life that we lead here. or to go elsewhere?’ ‘To stay. walking slowly to the great chimney-piece. that’s quite different. until his eyes were bloodshot. and truth.but I feel that there are goodness.

’ I said. If the thought that I may die and leave my darling. or that my darling may die and leave me. and mechanically going through the action of pouring wine from the empty decanter. or when I wished to read for my own pleasure. ‘Stay with us. until he should come out of his reverie. Wickfield. and she away? No. you shall stay here. eh?’ he said in his usual manner.’ ‘I am sure it is for me. ‘If it is miserable to bear. when she is here. and as if he were answering something I had just said. or to remain quietly where I was. to distress my happiest hours.’ He leaned against the chimney-piece. Trotwood. and looked about the room until his eyes encountered mine.‘A dull old house.’ he said. but I must have her near me. ‘what would it be.’ He shook hands with me upon it. You are company to us both. brooding so long that I could not decide whether to run the risk of disturbing him by going. sir. but pacing slowly to the place where he had sat. comes like a spectre. and told me that when I had anything to do at night after Agnes had left us. Wholesome for me. ‘As long as you are glad to be here. At length he aroused himself. I cannot try that. It is wholesome to have you here.com 1 et. wholesome perhaps for all of us. no. I must keep her near me. wholesome for Agnes. and clapped me on the back. ‘I am glad of it. no. . and is only to be drowned in -’ He did not supply the word. ‘I am so glad to be here.’ he said. ‘and a monotonous life. I was free Free eBooks at Planet eBook. set it down and paced back again.’ ‘That’s a fine fellow!’ said Mr.

to stand for one. and. ‘You are working late tonight. I went in there instead. to avail myself. and to sit with him. But. ‘I am going through Tidd’s Practice. and I was not tired. then?’ I asked.’ says Uriah. and that he could only widen his mouth and make two hard creases down his cheeks. I thanked him for his consideration. As I was getting on the stool opposite. with such demonstrative attention. which were thin and pointed. as he went down soon afterwards. Uriah. if he were there and if I desired it for company’s sake. and made clammy tracks along the page (or so I fully believed) like a snail. went down too. Tidd is. seeing a light in the little round office. Master Copperfield. one on each side. after this rapturous exclamation. that as I watched him reading on again. ‘Yes. with sharp dints  David Copperfield . what a writer Mr. of his permission.’ said Uriah. who had a sort of fascination for me.’ says I. I found Uriah reading a great fat book. I observed that his nostrils. and immediately feeling myself attracted towards Uriah Heep.’ said Uriah. Oh. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield!’ My stool was such a tower of observation. ‘What work. Master Copperfield. with a book in my hand. to talk to him more conveniently. ‘I am not doing office-work. that his lank forefinger followed up every line as he read. for half-an-hour. and following up the lines with his forefinger. ‘I am improving my legal knowledge. I observed that he had not such a thing as a smile about him.to come down to his room.

Master Copperfield. How much have I to be thankful for.in them. shutting up his book. on his pocket-handkerchief. after looking at him for some time. had a singular and most uncomfortable way of expanding and contracting themselves . no! I’m a very umble person.’ ‘What is he now?’ I asked. Wickfield long? ‘I have been with him. Wickfield!’ I asked Uriah if he had been with Mr. My father’s former calling was umble. for he frequently ground the palms against each other as if to squeeze them dry and warm. ‘I suppose you are quite a great lawyer?’ I said. ‘Me. ‘let the other be where he may. in a stealthy way. I observed.’ It was no fancy of mine about his hands. Master Copperfield. which hardly ever twinkled at all. He was a sexton. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield?’ said Uriah. How much have I to be thankful for in living with Mr.com  . ‘But we have much to be thankful for. We live in a numble abode. besides often wiping them.that they seemed to twinkle instead of his eyes.’ said Uriah Heep. in Mr.’ said Uriah Heep. which would otherFree eBooks at Planet eBook. but have much to be thankful for. after carefully marking the place where he had left off. My mother is likewise a very umble person. modestly.’ said Uriah. ‘I am well aware that I am the umblest person going. ‘Since a year after my father’s death. Wickfield’s kind intention to give me my articles. going on four year. ‘He is a partaker of glory at present. in that! How much have I to be thankful for. ‘Oh.

you’ll be a regular lawyer. ‘A sweet lady. Master Copperfield.’ said Uriah. I believe?’  David Copperfield . ‘Oh. or Heep late Wickfield. eyeing me sideways. to make myself agreeable. in his humility. Master Copperfield. I am sure. as he sat. Master Copperfield!’ He had a way of writhing when he wanted to express enthusiasm.’ returned Uriah. to the snaky twistings of his throat and body. one of these days.wise not lay within the umble means of mother and self!’ ‘Then. but that I had not known him long myself. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield. with his mouth widened.’ said Uriah. ‘Perhaps you’ll be a partner in Mr. though he was a friend of my aunt’s. Master Copperfield!’ said Uriah Heep. indeed. Master Copperfield. ‘Your aunt is a sweet lady. Wickfield’s business. ‘Mr.’ returned Uriah. which was very ugly. ‘With the blessing of Providence.’ ‘Oh no. much better than I can inform you. when your articled time is over. shaking his head.’ I replied that I was certain he was. ‘She has a great admiration for Miss Agnes. ‘If you have known him long. Wickfield is a most excellent man. ‘and it will be Wickfield and Heep. ‘I am much too umble for that!’ He certainly did look uncommonly like the carved face on the beam outside my window. you know it. and which diverted my attention from the compliment he had paid my relation. I suppose?’ said I.’ I said. and the creases in his cheeks.

I should think you would. any afternoon. ‘Oh. indeed!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Master Copperfield?’ I said I was going to be brought up there. mother would be as proud of your company as I should be. inexpressive-faced watch in his pocket. yes.’ I returned. as long as I remained at school. Heaven forgive me! ‘I hope you have. we are much attached to one another. ‘Oh. not that I knew anything about it. Master Copperfield!’ He writhed himself quite off his stool in the excitement of his feelings. Master Copperfield.’ I said I should be glad to come. thank you. Master Copperfield. being off. Master Copperfield. indeed!’ exclaimed Uriah. ‘Thank you. Master Copperfield!’ I protested that I had no views of that sort.’ ‘Everybody must have. began to make arrangements for going home. putting his book away upon the shelf . I know it is so true! Oh. thank you. referring to a pale.’ said Uriah. for though we are very umble. and. some time.’ boldly. ‘Oh. and take a cup of tea at our lowly dwelling. Master Copperfield. ‘for that remark! It is so true! Umble as I am.’ said Uriah Heep.’ returned Uriah. ‘and getting uneasy. and that no such scheme was entertained in my behalf by anybody. ‘But I am sure you must have. ‘Yes. but Uriah insisted on blandly replying to all my assurances.com  . If you would come and see us. I believed.‘I suppose you stop here.I said. too. Master Copperfield.’ he said. ‘I should think YOU would come into the business at last. ‘Mother will be expecting me.

I was awkward enough in their games. indeed. ready to leave the office for the night. Peggotty’s house on a piratical expedition. while my present life grew so familiar. and so shook it off by degrees. in the dark . I went to work very hard. that I seemed to have been leading it a long time. Master Copperfield. and shut it. among other things. of my dreaming about him. as different  David Copperfield . that he had launched Mr. ‘Oh. and crept out. This was the proximate cause. and hard work in the second. at last. and happy. in a very little while. and backward enough in their studies. certainly!’ over and over again. he asked me if it would suit my convenience to have the light put out. with a black flag at the masthead. I hoped. under which diabolical ensign he was carrying me and little Em’ly to the Spanish Main. that in less than a fortnight I was quite at home. Accordingly. Being. bearing the inscription ‘Tidd’s Practice’. but custom would improve me in the first respect. After shaking hands with me . I should think you would. the Murdstone and Grinby life became so strange to me that I hardly believed in it. Doctor Strong’s was an excellent school. to be drowned. and gained great commendation. and dreaming.he opened the door into the street a very little. I got a little the better of my uneasiness when I went to school next day. among my new companions. for what appeared to me to be half the night. leaving me to grope my way back into the house: which cost me some trouble and a fall over his stool.his hand felt like a fish.’ instantly extinguished it. both in play and in earnest. And.and. and a good deal the better next day. I suppose. and on my answering ‘Yes.

which. We all felt that we had a part in the management of the place. and plenty of liberty. Also. by our appearance or manner. how the Doctor’s cogitating manner was attributable to his being always engaged in looking out for Greek roots. in all my time. and I never knew. but even then. and had a world of poor relations (so our fellows said) ready to swarm the Doctor out of house and home.I am sure I did for one. for she had not a sixpence. at second hand. with an appeal. especially as he always looked at the ground when he walked about. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as I remember. desiring to do it credit. Hence. in my innocence and ignorance.com  . of any other boy being otherwise . and through them I learned. I supposed to be a botanical furor on the Doctor’s part. It was very gravely and decorously ordered. Creakle’s as good is from evil. in everything.as. We had noble games out of hours. and on a sound system. whom he had married for love. Some of the higher scholars boarded in the Doctor’s house. Adams. which worked wonders. and rarely did any disgrace. to the reputation of Doctor Strong and Doctor Strong’s boys. and in sustaining its character and dignity. until I understood that they were roots of words.from Mr. how he had not yet been married twelve months to the beautiful young lady I had seen in the study. we were well spoken of in the town. and an avowed intention to rely on their possession of those qualities unless they proved themselves unworthy of it. with a view to a new Dictionary which he had in contemplation.and learnt with a good will. we soon became warmly attached to it . some particulars of the Doctor’s history . to the honour and good faith of the boys.

for he was the kindest of men. without his knowing anything of the matter. before they could make the Doctor aware of their presence. It was so notorious in the house. He considered that it might be done in one thousand six hundred and forty-nine years. with a simple faith in him that might have touched the stone hearts of the very urns upon the wall.our head-boy. on what authority. as he jogged to and fro. Outside his own domain. there was a story current among us (I have no idea. he was a very sheep for the shearers. As he walked up and down that part of the courtyard which was at the side of the house. that the masters and head-boys took pains to cut these marauders off at angles. and unprotected. if any sort of vagabond could only get near enough to his creaking shoes to attract his attention to one sentence of a tale of distress. which was sometimes happily effected within a few yards of him. or sixty-second. But the Doctor himself was the idol of the whole school: and it must have been a badly composed school if he had been anything else. and at the Doctor’s rate of going. of the time this Dictionary would take in completing. to give away. who had a turn for mathematics. counting from the Doctor’s last. had made a calculation. as if they knew how much more knowing they were in worldly affairs than he. but I have believed it for so many years that I feel quite  David Copperfield . birthday. with the stray rooks and jackdaws looking after him with their heads cocked slyly. and never had. He would have taken his gaiters off his legs. and turn them out of the courtyard. that vagabond was made for the next two days. and to get out of windows. I was informed. In fact. on the Doctor’s plan.

being as well known in the vicinity as the Cathedral. who occasioned some scandal in the neighbourhood by exhibiting a fine infant from door to door. that on a frosty day.com  . and generally seemed to be expounding to her as they walked about. and in the lining of his hat. benignant way of showing his fondness for her. and I sometimes had a nearer observation of them in the study or the parlour. which were universally recognized. The legend added that the only person who did not identify them was the Doctor himself. when they were shortly afterwards displayed at the door of a little second-hand shop of no very good repute. Strong.certain it is true). and interested in me. It was very pleasant to see the Doctor with his pretty young wife. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. which seemed in itself to express a good man. She appeared to me to take great care of the Doctor. who. I saw a good deal of Mrs. I often saw them walking in the garden where the peaches were. though I never thought her vitally interested in the Dictionary: some cumbrous fragments of which work the Doctor always carried in his pockets. and because she was very fond of Agnes. He had a fatherly. and to like him very much. and was always afterwards kind to me. and considering them an improvement on his own. where such things were taken in exchange for gin. was more than once observed to handle them approvingly. as if admiring some curious novelty in the pattern. both because she had taken a liking for me on the morning of my introduction to the Doctor. wrapped in those garments. he actually did bestow his gaiters on a beggar-woman. one winter-time.

Markleham made HER appearance. And sometimes. I thought (of whom she seemed to be afraid).not to adopt the name disrespectfully . when she was dressed. When she came there of an evening.to pretty good advantage. 0 David Copperfield . wheresoever Mrs. and the skill with which she marshalled great forces of relations against the Doctor. Jack Maldon. that the butterflies had the gift of trembling constantly. who was always surprised to see us. we would meet Mr. that never wore off. one unchangeable cap. Strong’s mama was a lady I took great delight in. on account of her generalship. that it always made its appearance of an evening. and that they improved the shining hours at Doctor Strong’s expense. on a night which is made memorable to me by something else I shall relate. Wickfield.and was often backwards and forwards at our house. I observed the Old Soldier . There was a curious constraint between her and Mr. expecting to meet nobody. who used to wear. Markleham. as we were running gaily across the Cathedral yard together. There was a superstition among us that this cap had come from France. ornamented with some artificial flowers. and two artificial butterflies supposed to be hovering above the flowers. and ran away with me instead. she always shrunk from accepting his escort home. Mrs. She was a little. is. like busy bees. Her name was Mrs. that it was carried about to friendly meetings in a Hindoo basket. and could only originate in the workmanship of that ingenious nation: but all I certainly know about it. but our boys used to call her the Old Soldier. sharp-eyed woman.

Mr. ‘to pay you the compliments of the day though they are. before us. but she looked very pretty. or something of that kind: Mr. when she turned round. Jack Maldon was there. dressed in white. was playing the piano. Wonderfully pretty. Agnes. when you were a little creature. And now. as you may suppose. with cherry-coloured ribbons. I thought. The clear red and white of her complexion was not so blooming and flower-like as usual. Mr.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It seems but yesterday to me. Wickfield.’ ‘I thank you. many. Allow me to wish you many happy returns. We had had a holiday. ‘Many. It happened to be the Doctor’s birthday. when we were seated. which was given on the occasion of Mr. a head shorter than Master Copperfield. had made presents to him in the morning.’ said the Old Soldier.com 1 . Wickfield having at length arranged the business. many. and I. Strong. Jack Maldon’s departure for India.’ said Mrs. ma’am. ‘Not only for your own sake. ‘I have forgotten. and had cheered him until we were hoarse. making baby love to Annie behind the gooseberry bushes in the back-garden. John. Strong’s mama. but for Annie’s. went to have tea with him in his private capacity. happy returns. too. and John Maldon’s. in the evening. and he was leaning over her to turn the leaves. whither he was going as a cadet. very far from being mere compliments in my case. and many other people’s. Doctor. and until he had shed tears. when we went in.’ replied the Doctor.It was the night of a little party at the Doctor’s. had made a speech to him through the head-boy. Mrs.

I venture to predict. or who has ever heard me say.for when did you ever hear me say. waved his hand as if to make light of it. that your cousin is the wife of the Doctor.  David Copperfield . You were one yourself. I beg your pardon. ‘Virtually. You really are a Boon. ‘No. Although not old by years . what I have described her.’ ‘Annie. it is such a subject of mine. nonsense. really. and. as such. that a girl of twenty was old by years! .’ returned the Soldier. You are a blessing to us. you know. But Mrs.’ retorted the Old Soldier.your cousin is the wife of the Doctor. John.’ said Mrs.‘My dear mama. no. if you deserve it. and save Mr. an old married woman. Markleham changed her chair for one next the Doctor’s. frankly. because I feel so very strongly. I never hesitate to admit. and putting her fan on his coatsleeve. ‘If you are to blush to hear of such things now you are an old married woman. Jack Maldon from any further reminder. my dear Doctor. in the goodness of his heart. when are you not to blush to hear of them?’ ‘Old?’ exclaimed Mr.’ said the Doctor.’ The Doctor. Jack Maldon. before your cousin’s influence raised up one for you. I have no false pride. ‘never mind that now. who will be kinder yet. said: ‘No. you must excuse me if I appear to dwell on this rather. John. that there are some members of our family who want a friend.’ returned her mother. You have found in him an influential and kind friend. don’t be absurd. ‘Annie? Come!’ ‘Yes. I call it quite my monomania. Strong. It is well for you.’ ‘Nonsense.

laying her fan upon his lips. here’s Doctor Strong has positively been and made you the subject of a handsome declaration and an offer. I hadn’t thought of you in such a light at all.’ she said crying.it would be ridiculous to say that! . I recall these things that I may be contradicted if I am wrong. is your heart free?’ ‘Mama. and I told her what had happened. tell me the truth this moment. ‘My dear. I am perfectly honest and outspoken. you having known her poor father. ‘Now. you know. good-humouredly. and having known her from a baby six months old. Wickfield. and must be answered. it’s free.’ ‘But I DO mind. is what I said when you first overpowered me with surprise .’ Did I press it in the least? No. my dear.which was perfectly true . and scold you.you remember how surprised I was? . Not that there was anything so very much out of the way.’ ‘Aye. ‘Never mind.com  . ‘you may rely upon it. aye.‘and I hardly know if I have a heart at all. I said. .’ said Annie. but our dear and confidential friend Mr. I shall begin to assert the privileges of a mother-in-law. if you go on like that. ‘I mind very much. ‘would he be unhappy without me? Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Doctor Strong is in an agitated state of mind. I cannot consent to be put down. Annie. He cannot be kept in his present state of suspense.but because.’ said the Old Soldier. What I am saying. I said. or indeed as a marrying man in any way.’ said I. Well! Then I spoke to Annie.’ ‘Then.’ returned the Doctor. still crying.‘With nobody present. ‘I am extremely young’ .by proposing for Annie. my love. in the mere fact of the proposal .simply that.’ ‘Mama.’ I said. At all events.

and that. I complain that you really are a little unnatural towards your own family. but he will represent your late father: he will represent the head of our family. as you were too generous. my dear Doctor. towards her. ‘Annie. ‘When I happened to say to that naughty thing. I mean to complain to your husband. of our family. she drooped her head more.’ So it was settled.indeed. as it is of no use complaining to you. ‘I have not quite finished. Since you ask me. Doctor Strong will not only be your husband.’ pursued her mother. in a trembling voice: ‘Mama.If he would. and looking on the ground too. She now said very softly. and not till then. with its smile of simplicity and gentleness. a Boon to it. ‘that there was a family circumstance she might mention to you . do look at that silly wife of yours. that to mention it was to ask a favour. with her eyes fixed on the ground. I noticed that Mr. and as for her to ask was al David Copperfield . If I have any merit it is consistency. and will be. my love. Now. and I have used it again. Wickfield looked at her steadily. I reply that I have not. he will represent the wisdom and station. was bound to mention . my dear Annie. in short.’ I used the word at the time. I honour and respect him so much. today. shaking her head and her fan at her. that I think I will have him. playfully. I hope you have finished?’ ‘No.’ The daughter had sat quite silent and still during this speech.she said. I think. I said to Annie. the other day. and. And then.’ As the Doctor turned his kind face. and I may say the means. her cousin standing near her.’ returned the Old Soldier.

ways to have. and was to be gone . and a little heat in the warm part of the day. and the country he was going to. the talk became general. and his voyage. after supper. Jack Maldon. and had nothing objectionable in it. or for his health . sitting under canopies. then. smoking curly golden pipes .’ said the Doctor. and returned triumphantly to her former station. I will!’ said the Old Soldier. I suppose. if they could be Free eBooks at Planet eBook. where the ship. for Gravesend. in a postchaise. in which he was to make the voyage. I have a great mind. she tapped the Doctor’s hand several times with her fan (which she kissed first). I looked on Mr.’ And having. and his various plans and prospects. she wouldn’t. Jack Maldon as a modern Sindbad. ‘That was wrong. It robbed me of a pleasure. and won’t.’ ‘Almost the very words I said to her!’ exclaimed her mother.com  . ‘Shall I?’ ‘Certainly. ‘Now really. another time.unless he came home on leave. carried her point.’ ‘Annie. when I know what she would tell you but for this reason.I don’t know how many years. Some more company coming in. ‘That’s a bargain. For my own part. to tell you myself. He was to leave that night. lay. and it naturally turned on Mr.’ ‘Well. my dear. my dear Doctor.a mile long. I recollect it was settled by general consent that India was quite a misrepresented country. and pictured him the bosom friend of all the Rajahs in the East.’ ‘I shall be glad if you will. but a tiger or two.’ returned the Doctor. among whom were the two masters and Adams.

on the ground of not feeling very well. and to their great aggravation. When he had done it. But. but could not so much as begin. We had a merry game. Everyone appeared to  David Copperfield . and left her quite distressed. as she bent over him. and instructed him. Mrs. if it were so. on the sofa. The good Doctor said she was nervous. and they sat together. of which he committed an innumerable quantity.straightened out. however. and her cousin Maldon had excused himself because he had some packing to do. and took no notice of this. and told him what to play. or was out of voice that evening. and afterwards. once. She was very pale. talking. whether she was afraid of singing before people. as the first preliminary of initiation. to relieve her. we were hardly so gay. he returned. with her head hanging down over the keys. and. Strong had declined to play. her voice died away on a sudden. of which he knew as much as of the art of playing the trombone. for her partner. but the Doctor was quite happy in her attention. She tried a duet. At supper. with her cousin Maldon. From time to time she came and looked over the Doctor’s hand. proposed a round game at cards. in spite of the watchfulness of the butterflies. to give her all the silver he had in his pocket. when she tried to sing by herself. and I thought her finger trembled as she pointed out the cards. although she began sweetly. Mrs. it was certain that she couldn’t sing at all. But I remarked that the Old Soldier took him into custody directly. Strong was a very pretty singer: as I knew. who often heard her singing by herself. not made the less merry by the Doctor’s mistakes.

And they were not improved.’ said Mrs.com  . ‘it is past your cousin jack’s time.feel that a parting of that sort was an awkward thing. it’s affecting. Markleham . and made matters worse. who felt. that he was making everybody happy. in the natural course of things. was well pleased.wait for no man. and many men will have both.’ said he. and brought thousands upon thousands happily back.’ ‘Time will go fast with you. looking at his watch. as it appeared to me. however.both concerned in this case . before you. The Doctor. Mr. Mr. to see a fine young man one has known from an infant. and we must not detain him. I am sure. The winds you are going to tempt. Jack Maldon tried to be very talkative. the more awkward it was. to greet Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but was not at his ease. to the end of time.’ ‘It’s an affecting thing. you have a long voyage.’ pursued the Doctor. and a strange country. ‘and fast with all of us.’ looking at the Doctor. Jack Maldon. ‘who makes such sacrifices. ‘Annie. Jack Maldon’s youth. leaving all he knows behind. my dear. and filling his glass.‘however it’s viewed. perhaps. Some of us can hardly expect. and that the nearer it approached. by the Old Soldier: who continually recalled passages of Mr. and had no suspicion but that we were all at the utmost height of enjoyment. Jack Maldon. but many men have had both. since time and tide . going away to the other end of the world. have wafted thousands upon thousands to fortune. and not knowing what’s before him. Mr. A young man really well deserves constant support and patronage.

The next best thing is to hope to do it. we found her lying on the hall floor. and all the rest of it. where I found the guests all standing in a group about the Doctor. I was very near the chaise when it rolled away. Mrs. who had assembled on the lawn for the purpose. Jack Maldon had gone away. ‘A prosperous voyage out. standing up. Jack. where he was received. and another for the Doctor’s wife. and something cherry-coloured in his hand. and how he had felt it. But all pressing out of the room. and a happy return home!’ We all drank the toast. on which we all stood up. Running in among them to swell the ranks.’ said the Doctor. and that’s my case. You have long had a good model before you. to see what was the matter. as he got into the chaise. in a crowd. discussing how Mr. and when they called to her. a thriving career abroad. Markleham fanned herself. Jack Maldon. of having seen Mr. with a tremendous broadside of cheers discharged by our boys. and how he had borne it. and shook her head. Mr. after which he hastily took leave of the ladies who were there.  David Copperfield . and hurried to the door. Imitate her virtues as nearly as you can. I shall not weary you with good advice.you on your return.’ Mrs. and I had a lively impression made upon me. In the midst of these remarks. After another broadside for the Doctor. Jack Maldon rattle past with an agitated face. ‘Farewell. in your cousin Annie. the boys dispersed. and I went back into the house. Markleham cried: ‘Where’s Annie?’ No Annie was there. in the midst of the noise and dust. no Annie replied. and all shook hands with Mr.

and saw where she was. as she did so. ‘Do you recollect where you had it last.There was great alarm at first. and said. and sat her on a sofa. and that we were all standing about her. a little while ago. a cherry-coloured ribbon?’ It was the one she had worn at her bosom.or to hide it. to leave her with the Doctor and her mother. when she answered that she had had it safe. put her curls aside with his hand. so they brought her in. We went into the drawing-room. she arose with assistance: turning her head. until it was found that she was in a swoon.her favourite cousin . Will anybody be so good as find a ribbon. to lay it on the Doctor’s shoulder . Ah! It’s a pity! I am very sorry!’ When she opened her eyes. and that she would rather be brought among us. but it was not worth looking for. We all looked for it.’ said her mother. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Annie?’ said her mother. ‘Annie. it seemed. I don’t know which. looking very white and weak. my dear. when the Doctor.but nobody could find it. I thought.com  . and that the swoon was yielding to the usual means of recovery. I wondered how I could have thought she looked white. I am certain . she thought. who had lifted her head upon his knee. or anything but burning red. looking around: ‘Poor Annie! She’s so faithful and tender-hearted! It’s the parting from her old playfellow and friend .that has done this. doing something to her dress. I myself looked everywhere. that she was better than she had been since morning. ‘See here! You have lost a bow. but she said.

it was so ashy pale. I passed on there. but it was still sought for. When we. to say what I wanted. Penitence. and on her white dress. I ran back to fetch it. disordered by the want of the lost ribbon. rising again before my older judgement. at last. Delighted to be of any service to her. and his young wife was on a stool at his feet. But a door of communication between that and the Doctor’s study. Distinctly as I recollect her look. I went into the supper-room where it had been left. it was looked for again. Agnes. in a desultory way. it was so full of a wild. and her brown hair fell in two rich clusters on her shoulders. I cannot even say of what it is expressive to me now. Mr. with a complacent smile. until she was quite well. was reading aloud some manuscript explanation or statement of a theory out of that interminable Dictionary. which was deserted and dark. and the company took their departure. I cannot say of what it was expressive. It was so beautiful in its form. Agnes discovered that she had left her little reticule behind. She entreated that there might be no more searching. and Mr. The eyes were wide open.Nevertheless. humiliation. reached our own door. But with such a face as I never saw. The Doctor. Wickfield scarcely raising his eyes from the ground. and I . being open. The Doctor was sitting in his easy-chair by the fireside. and still not found. where there was a light. Wickfield. it was so fixed in its abstraction. sleep-walking. 0 David Copperfield . and to get a candle. We walked very slowly home. and she was looking up at him. dreamy horror of I don’t know what.Agnes and I admiring the moonlight.

and saying he was a merciless drone to let her tempt him into reading on.shame.I see them all. urgent manner. and I remembered it a long time afterwards. My entrance. roused her. as I shall have occasion to narrate when the time comes. pride. and my saying what I wanted. and in them all. and look up at him with the same face. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. for when I went back to replace the candle I had taken from the table. I saw her cross her hands upon his knee. and trustfulness . in a rapid. in his fatherly way. as she turned again towards him. as he resumed his reading. he was patting her head. to let her stay . And.com 1 . something quieted. after glancing at me as I left the room and went out at the door. It disturbed the Doctor too.to let her feel assured (I heard her murmur some broken words to this effect) that she was in his confidence that night. It made a great impression on me. I see that horror of I don’t know what. love. But she asked him. and he would have her go to bed.

as a merchant’s clerk. containing all particulars fully related. I mentioned about the young man with the donkey-cart. were inadequate to afford her any relief. Four sides of incoherent and interjectional beginnings of sentences. To these communications Peggotty replied as promptly. except blots. per post. to discharge the sum I had borrowed of her: in which epistle. Her utmost powers of expression (which were certainly not great in ink) were exhausted in the attempt to write what she felt on the subject of my journey. But the blots were more expressive to me than the best composition. enclosed in this last letter. and a longer letter. and another. that had no end. On my being settled at Doctor Strong’s I wrote to her again. detailing my happy condition and prospects. Dick had given me. not before. I never could have derived anything like the pleasure from spending the money Mr.CHAPTER 17 SOMEBODY TURNS UP I t has not occurred to me to mention Peggotty since I ran away. when my aunt took me formally under her protection. that I felt in sending a gold half-guinea to Peggotty. if not as concisely. I wrote her a letter almost as soon as I was housed at Dover. but. for David Copperfield  . of course.

and entertained the probability of my running away again soon: if I might judge from the repeated hints she threw out. I imagined how the winds of winter would howl round it.they showed me that Peggotty had been crying all over the paper. She was evidently still afraid of Miss Betsey. but to think that Miss Betsey should seem to be so different from what she had been thought to be. We never knew a person. how the cold rain would beat upon the window-glass. The notice was too short after so long a prepossession the other way. how the moon would make ghosts on the walls of the empty rooms. and that Mr. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. without much difficulty. She gave me one piece of intelligence which affected me very much. namely. God knows I had no part in it while they remained there. she wrote. that she could not take quite kindly to my aunt yet. was a Moral! . now. watching their solitude all night. and she was evidently afraid of me. but it pained me to think of the dear old place as altogether abandoned. and Miss Murdstone were gone away. underneath the tree: and it seemed as if the house were dead too. that there had been a sale of the furniture at our old home. and what could I have desired more? I made out. of the weeds growing tall in the garden. and all connected with my father and mother were faded away.that was her word. for she sent her grateful duty to her but timidly. and the house was shut up. to be let or sold. and the fallen leaves lying thick and wet upon the paths.com  . that the coach-fare to Yarmouth was always to be had of her for the asking. I thought afresh of the grave in the churchyard. too.

if she liked. containing a supply of stationery and the Memorial. I saw her on a Saturday. and my little bedroom was always ready for me. Mr. when he arrived by stage-coach at noon. to whom I instinctively felt that she would not very tenderly incline. she soon discontinued these visits. Dick every alternate Wednesday. when I went over to Dover for a treat. only reserving to myself the mention of little Em’ly. in relation to which document he had a notion that time was beginning to press now. and that it really must be got out of hand. and Ham was well. though still a little near. Mr. and always at unseasonable hours: with the view. and she had plenty (though I am sure I don’t know what they were). and he sent his duty. But. On these occasions Mr. Peggotty was well. Dick was very partial to gingerbread. Barkis was an excellent husband. To render his visits the more agreeable. Dick never travelled without a leathern writing-desk. but we all had our faults. and hearing on all hands that I rose fast in the school. my aunt had instructed me to open a credit for him at a cake shop. Mr. to stay until next morning. of taking me by surprise. I suppose.. and Mrs. she said. finding me well employed. she made several excursions over to Canterbury to see me. which was ham David Copperfield . All this intelligence I dutifully imparted to my aunt. and I saw Mr. and little Em’ly wouldn’t send her love. While I was yet new at Doctor Strong’s.There was no other news in Peggotty’s letters. but said that Peggotty might send it. and bearing a good character. Gummidge was but poorly. every third or fourth week.

‘who’s the man that hides near our house and frightens her?’ ‘Frightens my aunt. before they were paid. ‘Trotwood. and not to spend it. to observe the effect which this description of her made upon me. Dick nodded. Mr. as well as on all other possible points. as he repeatedly told me with infinite secrecy.sixteen hundred and forty-nine was the date of King Charles’s execution.the wisest and most wonderful of women. Dick. I think you said sixteen hundred and forty-nine?’ ‘Yes. ‘The first time he came. sir?’ Mr.pered with the stipulation that he should not be served with more than one shilling’s-worth in the course of any one day.com  . sir. sorely puzzled Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Dick. to my aunt. This. Dick. I found on further investigation that this was so. and always in a whisper. he drew back.’ he said. with an air of mystery. ‘for she’s -’ here he whispered softly. he was thus made chary of launching into expense.let me see. after imparting this confidence to me.’ said Mr. Dick was convinced that my aunt was the wisest and most wonderful of women. and always desired to please her. ‘don’t mention it .’ Having said which. or at least there was an agreement between him and my aunt that he should account to her for all his disbursements. ‘was. and the reference of all his little bills at the county inn where he slept.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. As he had no idea of deceiving her. one Wednesday. On this point. ‘I thought nothing would have frightened her.’ ‘I don’t know how it can be. induced me to suspect that he was only allowed to rattle his money.

Dick. ‘until he came up behind her. it was very soon after the mistake was made of putting some of the trouble out of King Charles’s head into my head. no. what he WAS doing. ‘I don’t see how it can have been in that year. shaking his head. he was not walking about. he wasn’t there at all. that the man first came. no. However.’ ‘I suppose history never lies. till last night! We were walking  David Copperfield . really’ said Mr. and he walked away. and whispered. somewhere. nodding his head gravely. with a gleam of hope. ‘Walking about?’ repeated Mr. Dick.’ said Mr.’ retorted Mr. I must recollect a bit. ‘To be sure he has. and I thought so.’ ‘Was it in that year that the man appeared. as the shortest way to get at it. and there he was. N-no. ‘I don’t think I am as old as that.and shaking his head. I was walking out with Miss Trotwood after tea. ‘Why. Then she turned round and fainted. is the most extraordinary thing!’ ‘HAS he been hiding ever since?’ I asked.’ ‘Walking about?’ I inquired. sir!’ I replied. ‘Let me see. sir. ‘I can’t make it out. Trotwood. I was ingenuous and young. and I stood still and looked at him. but that he should have been hiding ever since (in the ground or somewhere). just at dark. does it?’ said Mr. Dick.’ said Mr. Did you get that date out of history?’ ‘Yes. ‘Well. ‘Never came out. Dick. Dick. most decisively.’ I asked. ‘Oh dear. ‘There’s something wrong. Dick. close to our house. sir?’ I asked.

might have been induced to pay a price for his peace and quiet.into the ground again. who then slunk away . but after some reflection I began to entertain the question whether an attempt. come here. that the unknown was anything but a delusion of Mr. As I was already much attached to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. But. Dick. counterfeiting that affection and making his teeth chatter. and late at night. which preyed on Mr. and I knew him again. Trotwood.’ said Mr. Dick’s.last night. and with great confidence. and had. or threat of an attempt. and whether my aunt. I had not the least belief. that he might whisper very softly.’ getting me close to him. Dick shook his head. and he came up behind her again. the strength of whose kind feeling towards him I knew from herself. as he thought probable . no beggar. no beggar. as utterly renouncing the suggestion. Dick’s mind.’ ‘And did he frighten my aunt again?’ ‘All of a shiver.com  . in the outset of this story.’ Mr. and one of the line of that ill-fated Prince who occasioned him so much difficulty. that from his window he had afterwards. sir!’ went on to say. seen my aunt give this person money outside the garden rails in the moonlight. Dick himself from under my aunt’s protection. and having replied a great many times. been quite different from her usual self. Cried. in the moonlight?’ ‘He was a beggar. ‘why did she give him money. perhaps. might have been twice made to take poor Mr. even that morning. ‘Held by the palings. boy.and was seen no more: while my aunt came hurriedly and secretly back into the house. ‘No beggar.

however. without my entertaining a misgiving that he would not be on the coach-box as usual. and though he never took an active part in any game but kite-flying. and happy. have I seen him mounted on a little knoll. Dick’s life. and his ingenuity in little things was transcendent. He could turn cramp-bones into chessmen. looking at the boys going down the long slide. my fears favoured this supposition. looking on with a face of unutterable interest. and clapping his worsted gloves in rapture! He was an universal favourite. in the snow and east wind. laughing. grey-headed. These Wednesdays were the happiest days of Mr.Mr. cheering the whole field on to action. from a skewer upwards. oblivious of King Charles the Martyr’s head. He could cut oranges into such devices as none of us had an idea of. Dick. fashion Roman chariots from  David Copperfield . and very solicitous for his welfare. and hardly breathing at the critical times! How often. He soon became known to every boy in the school. they were far from being the least happy of mine. and for a long time his Wednesday hardly ever came round. standing blue-nosed. and all belonging to it! How many a summer hour have I known to be but blissful minutes to him in the cricket-field! How many winter days have I seen him. and waving his hat above his grey head. and he never had anything more to tell of the man who could frighten my aunt. was as deeply interested in all our sports as anyone among us. How often have I seen him. He could make a boat out of anything. intent upon a match at marbles or pegtop. There he always appeared. at hare and hounds.

and so became more and more familiar by degrees. it soon passed into a custom for Mr. make spoked wheels out of cotton reels.old court cards. at last. waiting for me. and rest himself until our morning’s work was over. and even when he and the Doctor Free eBooks at Planet eBook. This veneration Mr. After a few Wednesdays. attentively listening to whatever might be going on. until. with a profound veneration for the learning he had never been able to acquire. on a particular stool. Here he made the acquaintance of the Doctor’s beautiful young wife (paler than formerly. It was long before Mr. all this time. as often happened on a Wednesday. in the articles of string and straw. if we were a little late. Mr. Dick ever spoke to him otherwise than bareheaded. to be presented to him. This ceremony I performed. But he was greatest of all. with his grey head bent forward. on the occasion of his next visit. whensoever he should not find me at the coach office. Dick extended to the Doctor. and. whom he thought the most subtle and accomplished philosopher of any age. with which we were all persuaded he could do anything that could be done by hands. and not so gay. more rarely seen by me or anyone. he would come into the school and wait.com  . to walk about the courtyard. Dick’s renown was not long confined to us. He always sat in a particular corner. but not less beautiful). to come on there. which interested the Doctor so much that he requested. and the Doctor begging Mr. Dick. after him. Dick to come on as a matter of course. and bird-cages of old wire. and I told him all my aunt had told me. Doctor Strong himself made some inquiries of me about him. perhaps. which was called ‘Dick’. I think. here he would sit.

while Mr. I feel as if they might go walking to and fro for ever.had struck up quite a friendship. I never knew. perhaps he felt it all the same. or grave motion of his head. in these walks. and the world might somehow be the better for it . However. Agnes was one of Mr. and it was maintained on this odd footing: that. and Mr. enchained by interest. were not one half so good for it. Dick’s friends.as if a thousand things it makes a noise about. listening with a face shining with pride and pleasure. very soon. in his heart of hearts believed the Dictionary to be the most delightful book in the world. with his poor wits calmly wandering God knows where. in a quiet way. an occasional flourish of the manuscript. he always consulted me in any little matter of doubt that arose. at first. Dick. or me. and Mr. Dick came professedly to look after me as my guardian. on that side of the courtyard which was known among us as The Doctor’s Walk. not only 0 David Copperfield . Dick would pull off his hat at intervals to show his respect for wisdom and knowledge. How it ever came about that the Doctor began to read out scraps of the famous Dictionary. and would walk together by the hour. and invariably guided himself by my advice. as reading to himself. As I think of them going up and down before those schoolroom windows . Mr. it passed into a custom too.the Doctor reading with his complacent smile. upon the wings of hard words . Dick listening. and in often coming to the house. that I have ever seen. The friendship between himself and me increased continually. he made acquaintance with Uriah.I think of it as one of the pleasantest things.

So. at six o’clock that evening. ‘Or she would be proud.having a high respect for my native sagacity.’ I said I would mention it to Mr. ‘and it really isn’t our umbleness that prevents you. Master Copperfield. with a writhe.’ I really had not yet been able to make up my mind whether I liked Uriah or detested him.’ ‘Yet you didn’t mind supposing I was proud this morning. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Uriah. One Thursday morning. and I was very doubtful about it still. as we walked away together. Master Copperfield. I would come with pleasure. I met Uriah in the street. Dick from the hotel to the coach office before going back to school (for we had an hour’s school before breakfast). for we are well aware of our condition. when I was about to walk with Mr. I hope you won’t mind owning to it.com 1 . which was one of the early office evenings. if it wasn’t sinful. Master Copperfield. indeed. as I had no doubt he would. we’re so very umble. but considering that I inherited a good deal from my aunt. who reminded me of the promise I had made to take tea with himself and his mother: adding.’ I returned. to Uriah. But I felt it quite an affront to be supposed proud. and said I only wanted to be asked.’ he said. will you come this evening? But if it is our umbleness. as I stood looking him in the face in the street. ‘Mother will be proud. ‘ Oh. Wickfield. I announced myself as ready. Master Copperfield. ‘But I didn’t expect you to keep it. and if he approved. if that’s all.

Tidd. that are trying to a reader of my umble attainments. no! Such a thought never came into my head! I shouldn’t have deemed it at all proud if you had thought US too umble for you. ‘Oh.’ After beating a little tune on his chin as he walked on.’ ‘Have you been studying much law lately?’ I asked.’ ‘Would you like to be taught Latin?’ I said briskly. I suppose?’ said I. sometimes.’ ‘Oh. I assure you. but I am far too umble. you see. shaking his head. he added: ‘There are expressions. Learning ain’t for  David Copperfield . without my doing outrage to their feelings by possessing learning. Tidd.’ ‘What nonsense.’ ‘Rather hard. There are people enough to tread upon me in my lowly state. ‘I am sure it’s very kind of you to make the offer. indeed you must excuse me. but I am much too umble to accept it. ‘my reading is hardly to be called study. ‘But I don’t know what he might be to a gifted person. ‘Oh. with the two forefingers of his skeleton right hand.’ he said. ‘I will teach it you with pleasure. believe me. Uriah!’ ‘Oh. as I learn it. thank you. Master Copperfield.‘Oh dear.’ returned Uriah. with Mr.’ he answered. Master Copperfield! I am greatly obliged. Master Copperfield. no. and I should like it of all things. ‘He is hard to me sometimes. Master Copperfield . Because we are so very umble.in Mr. to change the subject. with an air of self-denial.Latin words and terms . Master Copperfield!’ returned Uriah. I have passed an hour or two in the evening.

Here is my umble dwelling. but not at all a snug room. Tidd. and the kettle was boiling on the hob. spare look.’ I said. walked straight into from the street. as when he delivered himself of these sentiments: shaking his head all the time. ‘not in the least. But not being umble yourself. It was a perfectly decent room. for them that are. you don’t judge well. perhaps. thank you. I won’t provoke my betters with knowledge.’ he answered. half parlour and half kitchen.me. Master Copperfield. for Uriah to read or write at of an evening. or the creases in his cheeks so deep.com  . A person like myself had better not aspire.’ ‘Oh. but I do remember that the whole Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘I dare say there are several things that I could teach you. which they hoped would give no offence to anyone. lowly as they were. and apologized to me for giving her son a kiss. and writhing modestly. The tea-things were set upon the table. There was a chest of drawers with an escritoire top. ‘I think you are wrong. who was the dead image of Uriah. If he is to get on in life. Master Copperfield!’ I never saw his mouth so wide. only short. I’m much too umble. Heep. there was Uriah’s blue bag lying down and vomiting papers. Master Copperfield!’ We entered a low. if you would like to learn them. there was a company of Uriah’s books commanded by Mr. I don’t doubt that. Uriah. and found there Mrs. observing that. there was a corner cupboard: and there were the usual articles of furniture. old-fashioned room. they had their natural affections. pinched. She received me with the utmost humility. I don’t remember that any individual object had a bare. he must get on umbly.

but I took the will for the deed. making the tea. ma’am. but I was sensible. ‘it would have been. ‘My Uriah. a long while. Heep. ‘We know our station and are thankful in it. that she still wore weeds. I think there was some compromise in the cap.’ said Mrs. Heep.’ said Mrs. and that Uriah gradually got opposite to me. Heep. Umble we are. ‘unless you like. He had his fears that our umbleness stood in the way.’ said Uriah. Heep’s humility. It was perhaps a part of Mrs. and felt that they were  David Copperfield .’ ‘I said you’d think so. ‘has looked forward to this.’ I felt embarrassed by these compliments. I am sure. but otherwise she was as weedy as in the early days of her mourning.’ retorted Mrs. to be sure. There was nothing particularly choice there. ‘This is a day to be remembered. and that they respectfully plied me with the choicest of the eatables on the table.’ I found that Mrs. sir. that he might have known his company this afternoon.’ said Mrs. and I thought Mrs. umble we have been. mother. Notwithstanding the lapse of time that had occurred since Mr. ‘when Master Copperfield pays us a visit. Heep. Heep an agreeable woman. she still wore weeds.’ I said. Heep’s decease. and I joined in them myself. Heep gradually got nearer to me. ‘If I could have wished father to remain among us for any reason.’ said Mrs.place had. sir. of being entertained as an honoured guest. ‘I am sure you have no occasion to be so. umble we shall ever be. my Uriah. Heep.’ ‘Thank you. too.

Heep began to talk about fathers-in-law. but the skill with which the one followed up whatever the other said. and wormed things out of me that I had no desire to tell.com  . Wickfield and Agnes. Heep caught it and threw it back to Uriah. or a little shuttlecock against two battledores. as in my juvenile frankness.but stopped. and then I told them about mine. with a certainty I blush to think of. Heep. I take it. Wickfield. Presently they began to talk about aunts. and then I told them about mine. When there was nothing more to be got out of me about myself (for on the Murdstone and Grinby life. I took some credit to myself for being so confidential and felt that I was quite the patron of my two respectful entertainers. Mrs. Wickfield. and so they went on tossing it about until I had no idea who had got it. was a touch of art which I was still less proof against. and on my journey. then sent it back to Mrs. I was dumb). the more especially. They were very fond of one another: that was certain. and was quite bewildered. than I had against Uriah and Mrs. now the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. because my aunt had advised me to observe a silence on that subject. Uriah threw the ball to Mrs. and then Mrs. now Agnes. they began about Mr. and about fathers and mothers. The ball itself was always changing too. Heep. now the excellence of Mr. now my admiration of Agnes. Now it was Mr.very attentive. A tender young cork. or a tender young tooth against a pair of dentists. Heep. however. and then I began to tell her about mine . They did just what they liked with me. would have had no more chance against a pair of corkscrews. that had its effect upon me. Uriah kept it up a little while. as a touch of nature.

I had begun to be a little uncomfortable.in short.extent of Mr. Micawber! It was Mr.it stood open to air the room. the weather being close for the time of year . and his walking-stick. and his genteel air. for fear they should be overcome by their humility and the honour of my company. now. and his shirt-collar. and the condescending roll in his voice. when a figure coming down the street passed the door . ‘Copperfield! Is it possible?’ It was Mr. exclaiming loudly. now one thing. I find a young but valued friend turn up. and walked in. without appearing to speak very often. and the pity that it was he took so much. Wickfield’s business and resources. now another. with his eyeglass. who is connected with the most eventful period of my  David Copperfield . Micawber. Wickfield took. or to do anything but sometimes encourage them a little.’ said Mr. and to wish myself well out of the visit. it is a most extraordinary meeting. putting out his hand. reflecting upon the probability of something turning up (of which I am at present rather sanguine). now our domestic life after dinner. Micawber. the wine that Mr. which was warm. I found myself perpetually letting out something or other that I had no business to let out and seeing the effect of it in the twinkling of Uriah’s dinted nostrils. Walking along the street. and all the time. then everything at once. all complete! ‘My dear Copperfield.came back again. looked in. ‘this is indeed a meeting which is calculated to impress the mind with a sense of the instability and uncertainty of all human . the reason why he took it.

‘She is tolerably convalescent.’ said Mr.I really cannot say . She will be rejoiced. heartily.’ said Mr. I may say. ‘not in solitude. Micawber. Mr. and without addressing himself particularly to anyone. with the turning-point of my existence.life. which I accordingly did. in one of his bursts of confidence. my travelling companion.com  . Micawber then smiled. ‘her son.’ said Mr. how do you do?’ I cannot say . Micawber.that I was glad to see Mr. The twins no longer derive their sustenance from Nature’s founts . waving his hand as of old. than make Mr. and looked about him.and Mrs.in short. Micawber. As they abased themselves before Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ I said I should be delighted to see her. my dear fellow. but partaking of a social meal in company with a widow lady. Copperfield. under these circumstances.’ I could do no less. I shall esteem it an honour to be presented. Micawber is. ‘You are very good. and one who is apparently her offspring . and settling his chin in his shirt-collar. to renew her acquaintance with one who has proved himself in all respects a worthy minister at the sacred altar of friendship. Micawber genteelly. at present. ‘they are weaned .in short. inquiring how Mrs. and shook hands with him. in another of his bursts of confidence. ‘I have discovered my friend Copperfield. but I was glad to see him too. Micawber there.’ said Mr. Micawber known to Uriah Heep and his mother. settled his chin again. Micawber was. ‘Thank you. Micawber. Copperfield.’ said Mr.

and waved his hand in his most courtly manner. to express his concurrence in this estimation of me. Copperfield. sir?’ I said. Micawber took a seat. sir. in another burst of confidence. I have no doubt.’ replied Mr. still it is a rich soil teeming with latent vegetation . rising. ‘Any friend of my friend Copperfield’s.’ said Mr. Micawber. Micawber away.’ said Mr. made a ghastly writhe from the waist upwards. smiling.’ ‘Ma’am.to Uriah and Mrs. Micawber.in short. He has been so good as take his tea with us. Heep . in the pres David Copperfield . with his long hands slowly twining over one another. sir. Heep. that I was a pupil at Doctor Strong’s.’ ‘We are too umble. Copperfield? Still in the wine trade?’ I was excessively anxious to get Mr. to be the friends of Master Copperfield. Mr.‘does not require that cultivation which. with a bow. also to you. for your notice. Although a mind like my friend Copperfield’s’ . Micawber.him. with my hat in my hand. ‘I am extremely happy to hear it.’ Uriah. ‘you are very obliging: and what are you doing. to get Mr. Micawber. Micawber. ‘my son and me. and we are thankful to him for his company. raising his eyebrows. ‘A pupil?’ said Mr. Micawber away. ‘If you will do her that favour. and replied. Micawber. ‘it is an intellect capable of getting up the classics to any extent.’ returned Mr. ‘has a personal claim upon myself. and a very red face. it would require. without his knowledge of men and things. ‘I have no scruple in saying. ‘Shall we go and see Mrs.’ said Mrs.

in the words of Cato. Micawber put up. have floored me.’ I knew he was certain to say something of this kind. there have been times when they have been too many for me.com  . and said to Mrs. for some years. and there was a flabby perspiration on the walls.’ Mr. I think it was over the kitchen. he always would be so boastful about his difficulties. contended against the pressure of pecuniary difficulties. Mrs.in short. ‘Plato. underneath a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I have given in. chiefly arising out of warrants of attorney and promissory notes at two and four months.’ and then walking out with me in his most fashionable manner. There have been times when I have administered a succession of facers to them. that I am a man who has. because a warm greasy smell appeared to come up through the chinks in the floor. Sometimes my difficulties have . on account of the smell of spirits and jingling of glasses. It’s all up now. ‘Sometimes I have risen superior to my difficulties. partitioned off from the commercial room.’ But at no time of my life. and he occupied a little room in it. and strongly flavoured with tobacco-smoke.ence of our friends here. Here.’ said Mr. ‘have I enjoyed a higher degree of satisfaction than in pouring my griefs (if I may describe difficulties. Micawber. thou reasonest well. I can show fight no more. and humming a tune as we went. making a good deal of noise on the pavement with his shoes. I know it was near the bar. recumbent on a small sofa. It was a little inn where Mr. Micawber. Heep! Your servant. ‘Mr. Heep! Good evening. Micawber closed this handsome tribute by saying. by that word) into the bosom of my friend Copperfield.

allow me to introduce to you a pupil of Doctor Strong’s. Micawber. that I was a pupil of Doctor Strong’s. talent is not wanted in the Custom House. he always remembered. the truth is. and. He would only show the deficiency of the others.’ she replied. ‘if you will mention to Copperfield what our present position is.’ said Mrs. ‘I will 0 David Copperfield . Micawber’s abilities. ‘My dear. with her head close to the fire. by the by. was Mrs.’ said Mr. ‘Just so. and see whether anything turns up among the advertisements. ‘we went to Plymouth.’ ‘To be on the spot. I was very glad to see her too. Micawber was amazed. ma’am. and her feet pushing the mustard off the dumb-waiter at the other end of the room. But. Micawber’s abilities.picture of a race-horse. ‘To be on the spot. after an affectionate greeting on both sides. for a man of Mr. Micawber entered first.’ I hinted.’ said Mrs. Apart from which.’ ‘I thought you were at Plymouth. ‘My dear. I will go and look at the paper the while.’ I noticed. Micawber. saying. sat down on the small sofa near her. They would rather NOT have a man of Mr. The local influence of my family was quite unavailing to obtain any employment in that department. but very glad to see me. as he went out. that although Mr. Micawber. to whom Mr. Micawber. which I have no doubt he will like to know. Mrs. Micawber was just as much confused as ever about my age and standing. ‘My dear Master Copperfield. as a genteel thing.’ I said to Mrs. Micawber.

’ continued Mrs. Micawber’s spirit do? But one obvious course was left. not including a domestic. that they ought to be ashamed of themselves. became aware that Mr. they did not receive him with that ardour which he might have expected. argumentatively.com 1 . so it was. of that branch of my family. ‘Under such circumstances. Micawber. cannot live Free eBooks at Planet eBook. In fact.’ said Mrs.’ said Mrs. cool. There is no doubt about it. To borrow. I have consulted other branches of my family on the course which it is most expedient for Mr. but our reception was. that branch of my family which is settled in Plymouth became quite personal to Mr. .’ said Mrs. ma’am?’ I said. Micawber. ‘It is truly painful to contemplate mankind in such an aspect.’ I said. ‘We all came back again. Master Copperfield. before we had been there a week. Micawber. being so newly released from captivity.for I maintain that he must take some course. decidedly.not disguise from you. my dear Master Copperfield. Micawber. ‘Still. Master Copperfield. Micawber. lowering her voice.our reception was cool. In fact. Micawber. ‘Yes.’ replied Mrs. Micawber to take .‘this is between ourselves . and by little Wilkins and his sister. and by the twins. that when that branch of my family which is settled in Plymouth.’ ‘Then you all came back again.’ ‘Dear me!’ I said. ‘It is clear that a family of six. Micawber was accompanied by myself. and to return at any sacrifice. the money to return to London. what could a man of Mr. ‘Since then. and thought.

I think. capital. ‘is. Micawber.’ pursued Mrs. that there might be an opening for a man of his talent in the Medway Coal Trade. Mr. We have been here.’ ‘To what. on account of its being so well worth seeing. ‘We came. ma’am?’ ‘To coals.upon air. ma’am. Micawber. the first step to be taken clearly was. on inquiry.’ repeated Mrs. and secondly. ‘three days. Micawber. Mr. that it may require talent. Mr. as yet. that Mr. Mr.’ said Mrs. ‘The opinion of those other branches of my family. and our never having seen it. to know that we are at present waiting for  David Copperfield . my dear Master Copperfield. ‘To the coal trade. but that it certainly requires capital. ‘I never will desert Mr. the greater part of the Medway. so much as it would a stranger. Micawber has not.’ said I. I say ‘we’. My opinion of the coal trade on that river is. and it may not surprise you. Talent. Micawber should immediately turn his attention to coals. Micawber very properly said. Micawber. Micawber with emotion. Which we came and saw. Nothing has. Micawber has.’ said Mrs. Micawber was induced to think.’ ‘Certainly. and see the Cathedral. Being so near here. Then. We saw. Firstly. for I never will. ‘and saw the Medway. turned up. and that is my individual conclusion. Master Copperfield. on account of the great probability of something turning up in a cathedral town. Micawber. as Mr.’ I murmured my admiration and approbation. Micawber was of opinion that it would be rash not to come on. to come and see the Medway.’ said Mrs.

‘I am cut off from my home (I allude to lodgings in Pentonville). but when the worst comes to the worst. that I could not refuse. from my boy and girl. and propose the day after.’ said Mrs. Micawber.com  .’ At this dreadful hint Mrs. Micawber’s answer expressed the disturbance of his mind. Micawber arranged that he would call at Doctor Strong’s in the course of the morning (having a presentiment that the remittance would arrive by that post). and found Mr. shaking hands with me.a remittance from London. but so far recovered. almost immediately. as I knew I could not come next day. Micawber threw her arms round Mr. who had called to say that the dinner would take place as proposed. and said as much to Mr. ‘Copperfield. He wept. when I should have a good deal to prepare in the evening. who now returned: adding that I only wished I had money enough. Until the arrival of that remittance. Micawber’s neck and entreated him to be calm. When I asked him if the remittance had Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to lend them the amount they needed. But. you are a true friend. Mr. He said. Micawber with much feeling. and from my twins. Accordingly I was called out of school next forenoon. Micawber in this anxious extremity. and bespeak a hot kidney pudding and a plate of shrimps for breakfast in the morning. they both pressed me so much to come and dine before they went away. Mr. to discharge our pecuniary obligations at this hotel. Micawber in the parlour. When I took my leave of them. if it would suit me better. as to ring the bell for the waiter.’ I felt the utmost sympathy for Mr. and Mrs. no man is without a friend who is possessed of shaving materials.

or. at the period when my difficulties came to a crisis. it surprised me. Quite an elegant dish of fish. Mrs. As I was looking out of window that same evening. There was wine. Neither did I like to say. Micawber said. seeing that Mr. But I was still more surprised.come. all I can say is. Micawber. which was four o’clock. fried sausagemeat. and had drunk brandy-and-water at Mrs. to find. my dear Copperfield. and after dinner Mrs. Micawber’s feelings. at all events. that he had gone home with Uriah. the kidney-end of a loin of veal. or to inquire if they had talked much about me. We had a beautiful little dinner. too. from what Mr. Heep’s. and a pudding. arm in arm: Uriah humbly sensible of the honour that was done him.’ said Mr. Micawber made us a  David Copperfield . when I went to the little hotel next day at the appointed dinner-hour. Micawber taking a bland delight in extending his patronage to Uriah. but I was uncomfortable about it. Micawber’s. to see Mr. a partridge. that I hoped he had not been too communicative to Uriah. Micawber and Uriah Heep walk past. I was afraid of hurting Mr. but I did not like to ask. he pressed my hand and departed. Micawber had paid them nothing at all as it was. ‘And I’ll tell you what. and there was strong ale. roasted.’ I hardly understood how this could have been. and often thought about it afterwards. If I had known that young man. she being very sensitive. and Mr. that I believe my creditors would have been a great deal better managed than they were. and made me rather uneasy. ‘your friend Heep is a young fellow who might be attorney-general.

and proposed success to it. Micawber and himself had been made extremely snug and comfortable there and that he never should forget the agreeable hours they had passed in Canterbury. ‘If you’ll allow me. When we came to ‘Here’s a hand. modestly. we all joined hands round the table. and friend. Micawber: or. and said she had ever been his guide. said. philosopher. we were really affected.’ On which Mr. He got cheerfully sentimental about the town. I never saw him such good company. at least. and I. Micawber. I never saw anybody so thoroughly jovial as Mr. Mrs. Mr. He made his face shine with the punch. when I came to a marrying time of life. Micawber’s spirits becoming elevated. and hadn’t the least idea what it meant. observing that Mrs. if such another woman could be found. down to the very last moment of the evening. my trusty frere’. He proposed me afterwards. Micawber’s character. and that he would recommend me. we sang ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Mr. Micawber became still more friendly and convivial.com  . I shall now have the pleasure of drinking your health. Then I proposed Mrs. and he. took a review of our past acquaintance. Micawber delivered an eulogium on Mrs. so that it looked as if it had been varnished all over. when I took a hearty farewell of himself and his Free eBooks at Planet eBook.bowl of hot punch with her own hands. too. ma’am. and when we declared we would ‘take a right gude Willie Waught’. Mrs. and Mrs. In a word. Micawber was. to marry such another woman. As the punch disappeared. in the course of which we sold the property all over again. Micawber. Micawber was uncommonly convivial.

my dear Copperfield. by possibility. penetrate into the cheerless dungeon of his remaining existence . The bolt is impending. ‘This is the last communication. made payable fourteen days after date. dated half past nine in the evening. a quarter of an hour after I had left him: ‘My DEAR YOUNG FRIEND. one gleam of day might. He writes with that intention. by giving a note of hand. to receive the following communication. If he could think himself of so much use.’  David Copperfield . ‘The die is cast . I have not informed you. and humiliating to relate. Consequently. at my residence. at seven o’clock next morning. you will ever receive ‘From ‘The ‘Beggared Outcast.all is over. ‘WILKINS MICAWBER. Pentonville. The result is destruction. ‘Let the wretched man who now addresses you. I have discharged the pecuniary liability contracted at this establishment. I was not prepared. and the tree must fall.amiable wife.though his longevity is. that there is no hope of the remittance! Under these circumstances. it will not be taken up. this evening. at present (to say the least of it). alike humiliating to endure. When it becomes due. my dear Copperfield. London. be a beacon to you through life. extremely problematical. humiliating to contemplate. Hiding the ravages of care with a sickly mask of mirth. and in that hope.

with a bottle sticking out of his breast pocket. I turned into a by-street that was the nearest way to school. with a great weight taken off my mind. Micawber up behind. half-way there.I was so shocked by the contents of this heart-rending letter. I thought it best. though I still liked them very much. the very picture of tranquil enjoyment. relieved that they were gone. all things considered. that I ran off directly towards the little hotel with the intention of taking it on my way to Doctor Strong’s. Micawber with a word of comfort. eating walnuts out of a paper bag.com  . I met the London coach with Mr. As they did not see me. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and Mrs. upon the whole. smiling at Mrs. and trying to soothe Mr. Mr. Micawber’s conversation. not to see them. and felt. Micawber. But. nevertheless. So.

’ and tell her that she little thinks what stores of knowledge have been mastered by the wonderful Being.the unseen. whose giddy height is unattainable. Agnes says ‘No. assembling first at school for that purpose. and hold me hovering above those days. are wings that take me back.CHAPTER 18 A RETROSPECT M y school-days! The silent gliding on of my existence . the sunless air. the sensation of the world being shut out.’ but I say ‘Yes. But the first boy seems to me a mighty creature. unfelt progress of my life . every Sunday morning. where we all went together. now a dry channel overgrown with leaves. by which I can remember how it ran.from childhood up to youth! Let me think. The earthy smell. dwelling afar off. I am not the last boy in the school. and I occupy my place in the Cathedral. the resounding of the organ through the black and white arched galleries and aisles. in a half-sleeping and halfwaking dream. over several heads. at whose place she thinks David Copperfield  . A moment. I have risen in a few months. as I look back upon that flowing water. whether there are any marks along its course.

Miss Shepherd!’ in a transport of love. I am sometimes moved to cry out. in a spencer. He is not my private friend and public patron. Fate being propitious. Why do I secretly give Miss Shepherd twelve Brazil nuts for a present. I adore Miss Shepherd. and they are oily when cracked. ‘Oh. weak aspirant. I wonder? They are not expressive of affection. Miss Shepherd and myself live but to be united. I hear Miss Shepherd. Miss Shepherd is a boarder at the Misses Nettingalls’ establishment. but I hold him in a reverential respect. I touch Miss Shepherd’s glove. In the service I mentally insert Miss Shepherd’s name . and what mankind will do to maintain any place against him. I cannot look upon my book.com  . for I must look upon Miss Shepherd. but. and feel a thrill go up the right arm of my jacket. The Misses Nettingalls’ young ladies come to the Cathedral too. with a round face and curly flaxen hair. I am doubtful of Miss Shepherd’s feelings. and come out at my hair. when he leaves Doctor Strong’s. they are hard to crack. but we understand each other. She is a little girl. But who is this that breaks upon me? This is Miss Shepherd. For some time. yet I feel that they are appropriate Free eBooks at Planet eBook. When the choristers chaunt. they are difficult to pack into a parcel of any regular shape. At home. even I. I have Miss Shepherd for my partner. even in room doors. as Steerforth was. I say nothing to Miss Shepherd. whom I love.I. we meet at the dancing-school.I put her in among the Royal Family. may arrive in time. at length. I chiefly wonder what he’ll be. in my own room.

it is all the same . to the Misses Nettingalls’ young ladies. Soft. Once. seedy biscuits. one day. 00 David Copperfield . how do I ever come to break with her? I can’t conceive. now. The devotion of a life .to Miss Shepherd. and shouldn’t dote on any of them. and wonder why the girls can’t dance by themselves and leave us alone. Miss Shepherd comes out of the morning service. Ecstasy! What are my agony and indignation next day. At last. and my aunt remits me a guinea by the next post.it seems a life. and no one breaks my peace. I am higher in the school. and neglect the laces of my boots.for Jones! a boy of no merit whatever! The gulf between me and Miss Shepherd widens. I kiss Miss Shepherd in the cloak-room. and laughs to her companion. And yet a coolness grows between Miss Shepherd and myself. Dick is wild with joy. I meet the Misses Nettingalls’ establishment out walking. and the Royal Family know her no more. also.is at an end. I bestow upon Miss Shepherd. and having avowed a preference for Master Jones . if they were twice as many and twenty times as beautiful. Whispers reach me of Miss Shepherd having said she wished I wouldn’t stare so. Doctor Strong refers to me in public as a promising young scholar. and oranges innumerable. Mr. Miss Shepherd makes a face as she goes by. I am not at all polite. when I hear a flying rumour that the Misses Nettingall have stood Miss Shepherd in the stocks for turning in her toes! Miss Shepherd being the one pervading theme and vision of my life. I think the dancing-school a tiresome affair. I am growing great in Latin verses. All is over.

In a moment the butcher lights ten thousand candles out of my left eyebrow. bloody but confident. sometimes I see nothing. The preliminaries are adjusted. without appearing to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and a sweep. and calls challenges after me in the open streets. with rough red cheeks. and sit gasping on my second’s knee. He says. and the butcher and myself stand face to face. and cut my knuckles open against his face. is. He is a broad-faced. He names individuals among them (myself included). knocking about upon the trodden grass. a young publican. He waylays the smaller boys to punch their unprotected heads. whom he could undertake to settle with one hand. For these sufficient reasons I resolve to fight the butcher. like the apparition of an armed head in Macbeth. at the corner of a wall. It is a summer evening. His main use of this tongue. the butcher. publicly. an ill-conditioned mind. or where I am. In another moment. I am attended by a select body of our boys. I meet the butcher by appointment. that if they want anything he’ll give it ‘em. or where anybody is.com 01 . and an injurious tongue.The shade of a young butcher rises. bull-necked. Who is this young butcher? He is the terror of the youth of Canterbury. that the beef suet with which he anoints his hair gives him unnatural strength. sometimes I go in at the butcher madly. I hardly know which is myself and which the butcher. we are always in such a tangle and tussle. down in a green hollow. I don’t know where the wall is. Sometimes I see the butcher. young butcher. There is a vague belief abroad. and that he is a match for a man. and the other tied behind him. to disparage Doctor Strong’s young gentlemen. by two other butchers.

through which the warriors of poetry and histo0 David Copperfield . while she shrinks and trembles at my having fought him. Agnes has my confidence completely. and I should be very dull. and I have beef-steaks put to my eyes. I am surprised to find him a meeker man than I had thought. with a green shade over my eyes. very queer about the head. He has not staggered the world yet. and to wear a wig. and the wrongs he has heaped upon me. either.discompose him at all. nor has he been this many and many a day. I tell her all about the butcher. For three or four days I remain at home. from which I augur. a very ill-looking subject. At last I awake. and reads to me. A blank. I am taken home in a sad plight. and is to be an advocate. there are not many there. as from a giddy sleep. and find a great puffy place bursting out on my upper lip. on a visit to Doctor Strong. Time has stolen on unobserved. Adams is going to be called to the bar almost directly. that the victory is his. and less imposing in appearance. she thinks I couldn’t have done otherwise than fight the butcher. justly. Adams has left the school so long. but that Agnes is a sister to me. and putting on his coat as he goes. congratulated by the two other butchers and the sweep and publican. and am rubbed with vinegar and brandy. who know him. that when he comes back. besides myself. and makes the time light and happy. for it goes on (as well as I can make out) pretty much the same as if he had never joined it. always. and see the butcher walking off. for Adams is not the head-boy in the days that are come now. which swells immoderately. and condoles with me.

a ring upon my little finger. the perfect likeness of the picture. and a long-tailed coat. a child likeness no more. and I use a great deal of bear’s grease .and almost think of him as of someone else. as I call her in my thoughts.which. and the eldest must be three or four years older. Wickfield’s. Perhaps the eldest Miss Larkins may be about thirty. taken in conjunction with the ring. for the youngest Miss Larkins is not that.com 0 . the better angel of the lives of all who come within her calm. with a condescending interest in such of them as bring to my mind the boy I was myself. Am I in love again? I am. My passion for her is beyond all bounds. The eldest Miss Larkins knows officers. black-eyed. and Agnes . fine figure of a woman. I remember him as something left behind upon the road of life . And the little girl I saw on that first day at Mr. What other changes have come upon me.and what comes next! I am the head-boy. The eldest Miss Larkins is not a chicken. now! I look down on the line of boys below me. She is a tall.ry march on in stately hosts that seem to have no end . moves about the house. my counsellor and friend. self-denying influence . In her stead. besides the changes in my growth and looks. The eldest Miss Larkins is not a little girl. good. when I first came there. It is an awful Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and in the knowledge I have garnered all this while? I wear a gold watch and chain.is quite a woman. rather than have actually been . I worship the eldest Miss Larkins. looks bad. That little fellow seems to be no part of me.as something I have passed.my sweet sister. where is she? Gone also. dark.

Larkins? Are the young ladies and all the family quite well?’ seems so pointed. Everything that belongs to her. I deserve a bow now and then. I go where I am likely to meet him. that I blush. I have no relief but in putting on my best clothes. then. and seems to like it. I regularly take walks outside Mr. Say I am seventeen. Mr. when her bonnet (she has a bright taste in bonnets) is seen coming down the pavement. and say that seventeen is young for the eldest Miss Larkins. I am happier. Larkins’s house in the evening. My passion takes away my appetite. The raging agonies I suffer on the night of the Race Ball. Larkins (a gruff old gentleman with a double chin. accompanied by her sister’s bonnet. ought to have some compensation. To say ‘How do you do. if there be even-handed justice in the world. where I know the eldest Miss Larkins will be dancing with the military. and makes me wear my newest silk neckerchief continually. and having my boots cleaned over and over again. to be worthier of the eldest Miss Larkins. I spend a good deal of my own spare time in walking up and down to meet her. I think continually about my age. Mr. Larkins). and one of his eyes immovable in his head) is fraught with interest to me. knowing Mr. I see them speaking to her in the street. If I can bow to her once in the day (I know her to bow to.thing to bear. though it cuts me to the heart to see the of0 David Copperfield . I see them cross the way to meet her. I seem. or is connected with her. is precious to me. When I can’t meet his daughter. what of that? Besides. She laughs and talks. I shall be one-and-twenty in no time almost.

Sometimes brighter visions rise before me. Larkins’s instead). round and round the house after the family are gone to bed. I am a sensible fellow.and modest I am sure. chattering. and Mr. on looking back. wondering which is the eldest Miss Larkins’s chamber (and pitching. I picture myself taking courage to make a declaration to Miss Larkins. I even walk. that I. and the eldest Miss Larkins. but all this goes on notwithstanding. For I am generally disinterested in my love. in a sickly. Copperfield. for a great ball given at the Larkins’s (the anticipation of three weeks). wishing that a fire would burst out. Larkins waiting on me next morning. I picture Miss Larkins sinking her head upon my shoulder. I repair to the enchanted house. and perish in the flames. spoony manner.I believe. and saying. save her in my arms. and blessing us. and expire. might rear it against her window. can I believe my ears!’ I picture Mr. Generally. go back for something she had left behind. I indulge my fancy with pleasing images. and think I could be content to make a figure before Miss Larkins. where there are lights. Dick and Doctor Strong being present at the marriage ceremony. dashing through them with a ladder. I dare say now. officers (I am sorry to see). or to hear them up in the drawing-room. that the assembled crowd would stand appalled. but not always. a blaze of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘My dear Copperfield. Youth is no objection. on Mr. my daughter has told me all. where the eldest Miss Larkins plays the harp. I mean .com 0 . I believe . and saying. flowers. Here are twenty thousand pounds. Mr. ‘Oh. on two or three occasions. Be happy!’ I picture my aunt relenting. music. When I dress (the occupation of two hours).ficers go in.

resting on a sofa. in a state of blissful delirium. too. as it happens). and I am a little uncomfortable. in my button-hole. ‘I should have no pleasure in dancing with anyone else. price half-a-crown). ‘With you. I 0 David Copperfield . among whom.’ ‘With no one else?’ inquires Miss Larkins. He is wretched. who asks me how my schoolfellows are. ‘It is a waltz.’ The time arrives. I take her sternly from the side of Captain Bailey. Miss Larkins. I have been wretched. as I have not come there to be insulted. Larkins. But after I have stood in the doorway for some time. I shall be very glad.forget-me-nots .as if SHE had any need to wear forget-menots. ‘Next time but one. I have no doubt. with a blue angel. if I dance? I stammer. for I appear not to belong to anybody. She is dressed in blue. with blue flowers in her hair . and feasted my eyes upon the goddess of my heart. She admires a flower (pink camellia japonica. It is the first really grown-up party that I have ever been invited to. I waltz with the eldest Miss Larkins! I don’t know where. I only know that I swim about in space. I think. which he needn’t do. but he is nothing to me. Captain Bailey -’ But I do waltz (pretty well. with a bow. or how long.’ Miss Larkins laughs and blushes (or I think she blushes).she.beauty. when I present myself. too. ‘Do you waltz? If not. and says. the eldest Miss Larkins! . and I take Miss Larkins out. except Mr. until I find myself alone with her in a little room. she approaches me . and nobody appears to have anything to say to me.and asks me pleasantly.’ Miss Larkins doubtfully observes.

’ says Miss Larkins. Copperfield. with my arm round the blue waist of my dear divinity. and am much gratified.’ ‘You’re a bold boy. that I may treasure it as a miser does gold. Miss Larkins. Miss Larkins. draws her hand through my arm. and says: ‘Oh! here is my bold friend! Mr.’ I thank Mr. ‘I admire your taste. sir. when she comes to me again. and says. For Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but I am a pretty large grower myself. ‘There. I waltz with the eldest Miss Larkins once again. and the waltz. Mr. ‘It does you credit.neighbourhood of Ashford . and then into my breast. laughing. and if you ever like to come over to our neighbourhood . not displeased. ‘Now take me back to Captain Bailey. I suppose you don’t take much interest in hops. She says I waltz so well! I go home in a state of unspeakable bliss.’ She gives it me.give it her. ‘A flower of yours. -we shall be glad for you to stop as long as you like. Chestle wants to know you.’ I feel at once that he is a friend of the family. and waltz in imagination. Chestle. and I put it to my lips.’ ‘Indeed! What is that?’ returns Miss Larkins.’ says Mr.’ I am lost in the recollection of this delicious interview. I think I am in a happy dream. and shake hands.and take a run about our place. Chestle warmly. and say: ‘I ask an inestimable price for it. with a plain elderly gentleman who has been playing whist all night. all night long.com 0 . upon her arm.

0 David Copperfield . go out with the butcher. I throw the flower away. ‘Do you hear him. Chestle. now. Agnes?’ ‘Not me!’ raising her cheerful face from the music she is copying. I am lost in rapturous reflections.some days afterwards. in my progress to seventeen.to Captain Bailey?’ I have just enough power to ask.’ says Agnes. ‘Who do you think is going to be married tomorrow? Someone you admire. To Mr. ‘Trotwood.’ I am terribly dejected for about a week or two. and gloriously defeat him. by that time. Being. one day after dinner. as well as of the bear’s grease in moderation. and the resumption of my ring. I wear my worst clothes.The eldest Miss Larkins. rather tired of this kind of life. I am imperfectly consoled for this disappointment by the sacred pledge. I use no bear’s grease.’ ‘Not you.’ ‘To . I take off my ring. are the last marks I can discern. This. ‘No. but I neither see her in the street. and having received new provocation from the butcher. the perished flower. to no Captain. Papa? . and I frequently lament over the late Miss Larkins’s faded flower. I suppose. nor when I call. a hop-grower.

For these reasons I was sorry to go. and the time came for my leaving Doctor Strong’s. I try in vain to recall how I felt about it.com 0 . to have left school without natural regret. and what its circumstances were. of the wonderful things to be seen and done by that magnificent animal. that I seem. I know that my juvenile Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Misty ideas of being a young man at my own disposal. of the importance attaching to a young man at his own disposal. I had been very happy there. but it is not momentous in my recollection. that other separations have. lured me away. but for other reasons. I was glad. unsubstantial enough. when my school-days drew to an end.CHAPTER 19 I LOOK ABOUT ME. So powerful were these visionary considerations in my boyish mind. I suppose the opening prospect confused me. AND MAKE A DISCOVERY I am doubtful whether I was at heart glad or sorry. and the wonderful effects he could not fail to make upon society. according to my present way of thinking. and I was eminent and distinguished in that little world. The separation has not made the impression on me. I had a great attachment for the Doctor.

and rattling his money. and gone round the world on a triumphant voyage of discovery. for anything. he suddenly proposed that I should be ‘a Brazier’. my dear. than anything else. you must try to 10 David Copperfield . and as we must not make a mistake in our decision if we can help it. In the meanwhile. ‘Trot. and on that occasion (I don’t know what put it in his head).experiences went for little or nothing then. MY aunt and I had held many grave deliberations on the calling to which I should be devoted. whatever it might be. For a year or more I had endeavoured to find a satisfactory answer to her oftenrepeated question. I tell you what. taken the command of a fast-sailing expedition. and that life was more like a great fairy story. ‘What I would like to be?’ But I had no particular liking. with a meditative and sage demeanour.’ said my aunt. I think I might have considered myself completely suited. which I was just about to begin to read. in the absence of any such miraculous provision. My aunt received this proposal so very ungraciously. Dick had regularly assisted at our councils. But. my desire was to apply myself to some pursuit that would not lie too heavily upon her purse. that he never ventured on a second. Mr. that I could discover. but ever afterwards confined himself to looking watchfully at her for her suggestions. I think we had better take a little breathing-time. If I could have been inspired with a knowledge of the science of navigation. He never made a suggestion but once. one morning in the Christmas season when I left school: ‘as this knotty point is still unsettled. and to do my duty in it.

for she could never thoroughly forgive Peggotty for being so called.’ said my aunt. ‘that a little change.com 11 .’ (My aunt always excused any weakness of her own in my behalf. if there was anything of it left to turn. and form a cooler judgement. I should like it best!’ ‘Well. for I should like it too. that her soft little head would have been completely turned.look at it from a new point of view. aunt. how you do remind me of her!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Suppose you were to go down into the old part of the country again. will always be natural and rational. ‘Of all things in the world.that out-ofthe-way woman with the savagest of names. Trot. Trotwood. and see that . aunt. That will be enough for me.’ ‘It’s a mercy that poor dear baby of a mother of yours didn’t live. for instance. ‘would have been as natural and rational a girl as ever breathed. You’ll be worthy of her.’ said my aunt. and not as a schoolboy. And I am very well persuaded that whatever you do. But it’s natural and rational that you should like it.’ pursued my aunt.’ ‘I will. ‘that’s lucky.’ ‘It has occurred to me. looking at me approvingly. ‘or she’d have been so vain of her boy by this time. aunt. may be useful in helping you to know your own mind. won’t you?’ ‘I hope I shall be worthy of YOU. aunt.’ ‘I hope so. rubbing her nose. by transferring it in this way to my poor mother.) ‘Bless me. and a glimpse of life out of doors. Betsey Trotwood.’ said my aunt.’ ‘Your sister.’ said my aunt.

Trot . he’s as like her. too. With resolution. alone. ‘With determination. ‘He is very like David!’ said Mr. and to act for yourself. I did think. on second thoughts. ‘Besides. or by anything. and clenching her hand. to have a reliance upon yourself. Dick. ‘And he’s like David. I shall keep him to take care of me. ‘I shall send you upon your trip. looked a little disappointed. restored the sunshine to his face. and been the better for it. Dick’s going with you. ‘he’s as like her. ‘there’s the Memorial -’ 1 David Copperfield . Heaven knows. in a small way. by anybody. of Mr. Trot.’ resumed my aunt. as she was that afternoon before she began to fret .I don’t mean physically. ‘But what I want you to be. a firm fellow. once. emphatically. shaking her cap at me.’ said my aunt.bless my heart. ‘He’s as like her.’ said my aunt. aunt?’ said I. but morally. ‘. Dick.’ said my aunt. until the honour and dignity of having to take care of the most wonderful woman in the world.’ said my aunt. I hope.‘Pleasantly.’ I intimated that I hoped I should be what she described.’ Mr. Dick. you are very well physically .with strength of character that is not to be influenced. as he can look at me out of his two eyes!’ ‘Is he indeed?’ said Mr. Dick. A fine firm fellow. decisively. but. That’s what your father and mother might both have been.’ said my aunt.is. With character. with a will of your own. for a moment. ‘That you may begin. except on good reason. That’s what I want you to be.

I was shortly afterwards fitted out with a handsome purse of money. in a hurry. she would recommend me to stay a few days in London. for three weeks or a month. At parting. consults with you. Dick.’ said I. I believe. if I liked it. and is guided by you.‘Oh. In a word. and no other conditions were imposed upon my freedom than the before-mentioned thinking and looking about me. Agnes was very glad to see me. ‘I seem to want my right hand. to get that done immediately . I went to Canterbury first. spoils me. and a good many kisses. ‘there’ll be a pretty kettle of fish!’ In pursuance of my aunt’s kind scheme. you know . Trotwood. or in coming back. Agnes. and a portmanteau. ‘I am sure I am not like myself when I am away. my aunt gave me some good advice. Dick. and told me that the house had not been like itself since I had left it. for there’s no head in my right hand. and also of the good Doctor.’ said Mr. that I might take leave of Agnes and Mr. and pausing a long time. either on my way down into Suffolk.com 1 . Wickfield (my old room in whose house I had not yet relinquished). and said that as her object was that I should look about me.and then -’ said Mr. and should think a little.it really must be done immediately! And then it will go in. after checking himself. and tenderly dismissed upon my expedition. and no heart. Everyone who knows you. Though that’s not saying much. I was at liberty to do what I would. ‘I intend.’ ‘Everyone who knows me. and a pledge to write three times a week and faithfully report myself. when I miss you. certainly.’ she anFree eBooks at Planet eBook.

for I saw a faint blush in her face. I know you are not!’ said I. You have such a gentle nature. and you are always right. You are so good. ‘Times are altering now. breaking into a pleasant laugh. or a schoolboy. that you are not in earnest yourself. and shall exact a great deal from the successful one. smiling. not without being a little shame-faced. ‘as if I were the late Miss Larkins.’ ‘Come! It’s not fair to abuse my confidence. Agnes. ‘you would have let me find it out for myself. I assure you. Whenever I fall into trouble. I shall have a wary eye on all admirers. and so sweet-tempered. Or at least’ .’ 1 David Copperfield . and I suppose I shall be in a terrible state of earnestness one day or other. ‘No.’ said I. Someone of a nobler character. and shook her head. But there is no one that I know of.’ said Agnes. as she sat at work. ‘because if you had been you would have told me. I shall always tell you. ‘But I shall confide in you. Agnes. laughing again. ‘Oh. laughing in my turn. In the time to come. you have always been in earnest!’ said Agnes.’ ‘You talk. or fall in love.swered. by this time. who deserves to love you. Agnes. reddening at the recollection of my blue enslaver. it’s because you are like no one else.’ Agnes laughed again. before I give my consent. must rise up. just the same. and more worthy altogether than anyone I have ever seen here. ‘Oh! that was as a child.’ I answered.’ ‘Why. My wonder is. I can never grow out of that.even when I come to fall in love in earnest. if you’ll let me .

for her eyes were in a moment cast down.’ said Agnes. But Agnes. I have remarked that at those times.’ ‘It is not fancy. and that I may not have another opportunity of asking for a long time. and had often wondered whether she had too. Have you observed any gradual alteration in Papa?’ I had observed it. perhaps . He is often very nervous . Agnes. and the sense of being unfit for it. and speaking in a different manner. in a low voice.We had gone on. now. in a mixture of confidential jest and earnest. that had long grown naturally out of our familiar relations. of no one else. ‘Tell me what it is.’ she said.’ ‘By Uriah. said: ‘Trotwood. and his eyes look wild. or of not having understood it. that next day he is Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Agnes. I must have shown as much. ‘Yes. ‘His hand trembles. and I saw tears in them. shaking her head. he is most certain to be wanted on some business.com 1 . his speech is not plain.’ she said. and when he is least like himself.or I fancy so. now suddenly lifting up her eyes to mine. there is something that I want to ask you. or of having shown his condition in spite of himself. seems to make him so uneasy. begun as mere children. ‘I think .something I would ask. ‘I think he does himself no good by the habit that has increased upon him since I first came here. liking him so much?’ ‘Yes. in my face.shall I be quite plain. I think. so far.

and was hanging on his shoulder. Agnes. and so reliant upon me to be so. or moved me more. only the other evening. and called for a log of wood to be thrown on the fire. We were to drink tea at the Doctor’s.’ said the Doctor. There was such deep fondness for him. and so he becomes jaded and haggard. too. as they both looked towards me. 1 David Copperfield . and next day worse. and gratitude to him for all his love and care. that nothing she could have said would have expressed more to me.’ ‘You have said so. and shed tears like a child. The expression of her face. ‘I shall not see many more new faces in Trotwood’s stead. and her mother. she was. and round the study fireside found the Doctor. in her beautiful look. yet so compassionate and sorry. Do not be alarmed by what I say. that he might see the face of his old pupil reddening in the blaze.worse. but in this state I saw him. ‘I am getting lazy. who made as much of my going away as if I were going to China. We went there at the usual hour. so proud of him and devoted to him. I shall relinquish all my young people in another six months. at once. Wickfield. and want ease. lay down his head upon his desk.’ Mr. even in my inmost thoughts. warming his hands. and to let no harsh construction find any place against him. received me as an honoured guest. and there was such a fervent appeal to me to deal tenderly by him. and his young wife. Doctor. The Doctor. any time these ten years.’ Her hand passed softly before my lips while I was yet speaking. and lead a quieter life. and in a moment she had met her father at the door of the room. I felt to be very touching.

on a sand-heap.’ returned the Doctor. but he wasn’t. ‘But now I mean to do it.com 1 .’ As Mr. like a couple of knaves. ‘but my Dictionary. My dear Doctor. with a smile. Markleham. they tell me. shaking her head. eh? As you certainly would be. ‘That trying climate! . Markleham. you know. with emphasis.so you’ll soon have to arrange our contracts. my dear. and this other contractbargain .’ said Mrs. underneath a burning-glass! He looked strong. in my calling. she seemed to me to avoid his look with such unwonted hesitation and timidity. as if something were suggested to his thoughts. that he ventured on so boldly. ‘that you’re not imposed on. Jack Maldon!’ said the Doctor. Wickfield glanced towards her.’ ‘I shall have nothing to think of then. I am sure you must perfectly recollect that your cousin never was strong .not what can be called ROBUST. ‘By the by! and letters from Mr. ‘There is a post come in from India. sitting at the tea table by Agnes.’ said the Doctor.’ he said. and looking round Free eBooks at Planet eBook. not his constitution. and to bind us firmly to them. in any contract you should make for yourself. Well! I am ready. There are worse tasks than that.Annie.I am in earnest at last . after a short silence.’ ‘And to take care. it was his spirit.’ said Mr.like living. that his attention became fixed upon her.Wickfield answered. ‘Indeed!’ ‘Poor dear Jack!’ said Mrs. Annie. Wickfield. I observe. ‘My first master will succeed me .

my dear. Wickfield. Wickfield. and jungle fevers and agues. of course.’ ‘Wickfield’s plans. the livelong day.’ said the Doctor. that Mr. ‘He has had dreadful strokes of the sun. ma’am. rather than say anything calculated to overturn the Doctor’s plans. shaking her head and her fan. unless it is to confirm what I say.’ returned Mrs. ‘Do I gather from what you say. You might drag him at the heels of four wild horses first.’ ‘Except well?’ said Mr. ‘Except well. indeed!’ said the Old Soldier. ‘you little know my poor Jack Maldon when you ask that question. two-andthirty. when he first went out!’ ‘Does he say all this?’ asked Mr. he gave up altogether. Maldon is ill?’ asked Mr. no doubt.eight. stroking his face. ‘that. and walking about. sixteen. and every kind of thing you can mention. As to his liver. Wickfield.why should I confine myself to four! I WON’T confine myself to four .’ said the Old Soldier resignedly. arm-inarm. made no reply. he’s all sorts of things. Strong. ‘. thus addressed. Markleham. ‘Say? My dear sir.from the time when my daughter and himself were children together. I must really beg that you will not interfere with me. ‘My dear sir. and 1 David Copperfield . ‘once for all.’ Annie. ‘Ill!’ replied the Old Soldier. You know as well as I do that your cousin Maldon would be dragged at the heels of any number of wild horses .’ ‘Mama!’ said Mrs. ‘Annie.’ returned her mother.upon us generally. Say? Not he.

Wickfield gravely. he can’t live there.’ Mrs. Jack Maldon comes home on account of ill health.that she could only tell the Doctor it was like himself.com 1 . After which she gently chid her daughter Annie. he must not be allowed to go back. ‘abroad. my dear Mr. I need not say. I know him. fanning herself. and go several times through that operation of kissing the sticks of her fan. our joint plans for him. ‘That is to say. sooner than he’ll overturn the Doctor’s plans. If Mr. Markleham was so overcome by this generous speech . I can substitute some other plans. sooner than he’ll overturn the Doctor’s plans. Wickfield.’ said the Old Soldier. ma’am. and entertained us with some particulars concerning other deserving members of her family. ‘Everything was done for the best. on her old playfellow. But if the dear fellow can’t live there.which. everything was done for the kindest and best. I said myself. whom it was desirable to set on their deserving legs. he’ll die there. we know. abroad or at home. for her sake. It’s my responsibility. in a sort of calm prophetic agony. and then tapping his hand with it.’ ‘Well. for not being more demonstrative when such kindnesses were showered. and we must endeavour to make some more suitable and fortunate provision for him in this country.looking penitently at his adviser. she had not at all expected or led up to . I was the means of sending him abroad. ‘and I know he’ll die there.’ ‘And I said’ added Mr.’ ‘Oh! Responsibility!’ said the Old Soldier. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. And if he can’t live there. and I can overturn them myself.’ said the Doctor cheerfully. ‘I am not bigoted to my plans. well.

and upon his own thoughts in connexion with her.’ said Mrs. as to be quite absorbed.’ returned her mother. Markleham. He now asked what Mr. Annie. or lifted up her eyes. Markleham. but was so intent upon her. taking a letter from the chimney-piece above the Doctor’s head. and to whom he had written? ‘Why. and as I handed it to the old lady. ‘Now let us see.’ The letter was reluctantly produced. It appeared to me that he never thought of being observed by anyone. mama.’ said Mrs. I saw how the unwilling hand from which I took it.All this time. my love. on some subjects. one of the most ridiculous persons in the world. All this time. her daughter Annie never once spoke. towards Doctor Strong? I am surprised.where is it? Oh! . show me that letter again. Jack Maldon had actually written in reference to himself.’ she pleaded in a low tone. We never should have heard of the letter at all.’ That’s pretty plain. here. you absolutely are. ‘the dear fellow says to the Doctor himself . poor fellow! His only hope of restoration! But Annie’s letter is plainer still. ‘where the passage is. Do you call that confidence. You ought to know better. ‘The remembrance of old 0 David Copperfield . I believe. Mr.’ ‘Not now. putting her glass to her eye. unless I had asked for it myself. trembled.‘I am sorry to inform you that my health is suffering severely. ‘and perhaps the most unnatural to the claims of your own family. as the only hope of restoration. and that I fear I may be reduced to the necessity of returning home for a time. ‘My dear. Wickfield had his glance upon her as she sat by his own daughter’s side.

‘it would be insupportable to me to think of.‘that I have undergone so much in this distant place.com 1 . Free eBooks at Planet eBook.times. Agnes sang with great sweetness and expression. upon the Doctor. he remained so. on sick leave. and how stupid I am! ‘Doctor. telegraphing the Doctor as before. how illegibly your cousin Maldon writes. Ah! amiable indeed!’ Here she left off. They sang together. if that is not to be obtained. that though Annie soon recovered her composure. or his wife. on total resignation. But I remarked two things: first. and other topics occupied us. ‘Now I have found it. ‘The amiable old Proctor’ .’ . or both. if I can. there was a blank between her and Mr. and was quite herself. though the old lady looked to him as if for his commentary on this intelligence. knowing that he never was really strong. Wickfield said not one word. secondly. and do endure here. What I have endured.it’s not there. Strong. Long after the subject was dismissed. my dearest Annie’ . seldom raising his eyes. to kiss her fan again. Annie. and refolding the letter. Wickfield which separated them wholly from each other. Annie.who’s he? Dear me. what did I say just now? .’ said Mrs. who was looking at us in a state of placid satisfaction.no. Markleham. with his eyes fixed on the ground. The Doctor was very fond of music. that Mr.’ of course. to be sure. as to have decided to leave it at all hazards. and played duets together. with a thoughtful frown.’ Mr. and shake it at the Doctor.and so forth . and we had quite a little concert. but sat severely silent. unless to rest them for a moment.’ And but for the promptitude of that best of creatures. and so did Mrs. ‘You may not be surprised to hear. is insupportable.

She was so happy in it herself. Maldon went away. when I thought of her afterwards. and to watch it with uneasiness. as though all the intervening time had been cancelled. Then I saw. and remember her face in its innocent loveliness again. or how impossible I found it. that they made the evening fly away as if it were but an hour. and to trouble me. was mingled with commiseration for his faith in those who were treacherous to him. and when I looked at Agnes by her side. and drew Agnes quickly away. and the other was so happy too. Wickfield stepped between them. and I were still standing in the doorway on the night of the departure.Wickfield seemed to dislike the intimacy between her and Agnes. And now. however. first began to return upon me with a meaning it had never had. The reverence that I had for his grey head. They were taking leave of each other. as it confronted his. The innocent beauty of her face was not as innocent to me as it had been. The impending shadow of a great afflic David Copperfield . I seemed to have left the Doctor’s roof with a dark cloud lowering on it. when Mr. It closed in an incident which I well remember. to separate her from this look. and Agnes was going to embrace her and kiss her. the expression of that night in the face of Mrs. I mistrusted the natural grace and charm of her manner. Strong. and thought how good and true Agnes was. It haunted me when I got home. as if by accident. I cannot say what an impression this made upon me. the recollection of what I had seen on that night when Mr. suspicions arose within me that it was an ill-assorted friendship. I must confess. and with resentment against those who injured him.

which Agnes had filled with her influence. and of the trim smooth grass-plot. and a great disgrace that had no distinct form in it yet. It was as if the tranquil sanctuary of my boyhood had been sacked before my face. going through the town. who was so officious to help me. any more. which remained shut up in themselves a hundred years together. and the old time was past. of the grave old broad-leaved aloetrees.in my old room. I was so softened and forgiving. that I had half a mind to nod to my old enemy the butcher. I was heavier at heart when I packed up such of my books and clothes as still remained there to be sent to Dover. and that occupied my mind sufficiently. I might sleep again . and throw him five shillings to drink. and the congenial sound of the Cathedral bell hovering above them all. and moreover. and the Doctor’s walk. I had no pleasure in thinking. I got away from Agnes and her father. fell like a stain upon the quiet place where I had worked and played as a boy. But he looked such a very obdurate butcher as he stood scraping the great block in the shop. that I uncharitably thought him mighty glad that I was going.perhaps often . no doubt. than I cared to show to Uriah Heep. and its peace and honour given to the winds.tion. and took my seat upon the box of the London coach. and did it a cruel wrong. But morning brought with it my parting from the old house. I should be there again soon. his appearance was so little improved by the loss of a front tooth which I had knocked out. but the days of my inhabiting there were gone.com  . with an indifferent show of being very manly. and the stone urns. that I thought it best Free eBooks at Planet eBook. somehow.

so I shook my head. when he’s a good un. ‘Yes.to make no advances.’ ‘Shooting. at that time of year. ‘Is Suffolk your county. sir?’ asked William.’ I said. ‘Suffolk’s my county. ‘There’s cattle! A Suffolk Punch. but I felt it necessary to uphold the institutions of my county.’ ‘I’m told the dumplings is uncommon fine down there. and to evince a familiarity with them. when we got fairly on the road. ‘So I understand. I was going down there whaling.’ said William. ‘You are going through.’ ‘Birds is got wery shy. sir?’ said the coachman. condescendingly (I knew him). and to speak extremely gruff. ‘I am going to London. because I felt it was a grown-up sort of thing. pretending to be undecided. ‘I believe you!’ ‘And the Punches. too. as much as to say.’ said William. ‘whether I shall take a shot or not.’ I said. He knew as well as I did that it was just as likely. I shall go down into Suffolk afterwards. The main object on my mind. I remember. was to appear as old as possible to the coachman. I was not aware of it myself. but I felt complimented.  David Copperfield . is worth his weight in gold. ‘Yes. with some importance. The latter point I achieved at great personal inconvenience. sir?’ said the coachman.’ I said. ‘I don’t know. William.’ said William. I’m told.’ said I. but I stuck to it.

so I blushingly offered to resign it.’ said William. and as I looked at him. Orses and dorgs is some men’s fancy.Did you ever breed any Suffolk Punches yourself. and a prominent chin. His chin was cocked over the coachman’s shoulder. I construed this remark into an indication of a wish that he should have my place.’ said the gentleman. that his breath quite tickled the back of my head. ‘Ain’t I what?’ said the gentleman behind.’ ‘That ain’t a sort of man to see sitting behind a coachbox. and children .lodging. ‘There ain’t no sort of orse that I ain’t bred. ‘I think it would be more correct. who had a tall white hat on with a narrow flat brim.’ The gentleman spoken of was a gentleman with a very unpromising squint.reading. tobacker. sir?’ ‘N-no. writing. wife. so near to me. ‘Bred them Suffolk Punches by wholesale?’ ‘I should think so. as he handled the reins.’ ‘Here’s a gen’lm’n behind me. in a very knowing manner. ‘Ain’t you?’ asked William. I’ll pound it. and no sort of dorg. he leered at the leaders with the eye with which he didn’t squint. They’re wittles and drink to me .snuff. and sleep.’ said William. ‘as has bred ‘em by wholesale. and Arithmetic .com  . sir. if you don’t mind.’ I have always considered this as the first fall I had in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘not exactly. ‘Well. is it though?’ said William in my ear.’ I said. and whose close-fitting drab trousers seemed to button all the way up outside his legs from his boots to his hips.

I felt as if the tinker’s blackened hand were in the bosom of my shirt again. expressly to do honour to that distinguished eminence. and had given the bookkeeper half-a-crown. well dressed. When I looked down at the trampers whom we passed. and had felt that I was a credit to the coach. of the lane where the old monster lived who had bought my jacket. It was in vain to take refuge in gruffness of speech. and to look out for the places where I had slept on my weary journey. who had no other merit than smelling like a livery-stables. in the very first stage. and I caught a glimpse. and being able to walk across me. I stretched my neck eagerly to  David Copperfield .life. in every conspicuous landmark on the road. which has often beset me in life on small occasions. nevertheless. I was got up in a special great-coat and shawl. to be sitting up there behind four horses: well educated. when it would have been better away. I had abundant occupation for my thoughts. It was curious and interesting. When I booked my place at the coach office I had had ‘Box Seat’ written against the entry. I was supplanted by a shabby man with a squint. in passing. And here. I spoke from the pit of my stomach for the rest of the journey. more like a fly than a human being. but I felt completely extinguished. while the horses were at a canter! A distrust of myself. When we clattered through the narrow street of Chatham. was assuredly not stopped in its growth by this little incident outside the Canterbury coach. had glorified myself upon it a good deal. and saw that well-remembered style of face turned up. and with plenty of money in my pocket. and dreadfully young.

in default of being able to suggest anything else. within a stage of London. to order a veal Free eBooks at Planet eBook. waiting for my money. and let all the boys out like so many caged sparrows. and a chambermaid introduced me to my small bedchamber. as majestically as I could. ‘Young gentlemen generally has been overdosed with taters. in a tone of confidence. and the waiter being familiar with me.look for the place where I had sat. in the sun and in the shade. ‘Well now. which smelt like a hackney-coach. for lawful permission to get down and thrash him.com  . I was still painfully conscious of my youth. that I wasn’t in the humour for a fowl. and his head on one side. ‘what would you like for dinner? Young gentlemen likes poultry in general: have a fowl!’ I told him. and passed the veritable Salem House where Mr.’ said the waiter. at last. ‘Do you care for taters?’ said the waiter. We went to the Golden Cross at Charing Cross. I would have given all I had. then a mouldy sort of establishment in a close neighbourhood. with an insinuating smile. When we came. and was shut up like a family vault. ‘Ain’t you?’ said the waiter. Creakle had laid about him with a heavy hand. A waiter showed me into the coffee-room. for nobody stood in any awe of me at all: the chambermaid being utterly indifferent to my opinions on any subject. in my deepest voice. and offering advice to my inexperience.’ I commanded him. ‘Young gentlemen is generally tired of beef and mutton: have a weal cutlet!’ I assented to this proposal.

and to inquire at the bar if there were any letters for Trotwood Copperfield. and walking in and out for my entertainment. Esquire . and all things fitting. But the mingled reality and mystery of the whole show. I resolved to go to the play.’thought it a favourable opportunity. but thought it manly to appear to expect. and it certainly had more English crumbs in it. I saw Julius Caesar and the new Pantomime. It was Covent Garden Theatre that I chose. While he was so engaged. and couldn’t be. I observed him behind a low wooden partition. while I was reading the newspaper. and say nothing. because. very busy pouring out of a number of those vessels into one. but I was bashful enough to drink it. When the wine came.cutlet and potatoes. which was his private apartment. to extract that measure of wine from the stale leavings at the bottoms of several small decanters. I am of this opinion. he asked me what I would take with it. and on my replying ‘Half a pint of sherry. the influence upon me of the poetry. than were to be expected in a foreign wine in anything like a pure state. from the back of a centre box.which I knew there were not. Being then in a pleasant frame of mind (from which I infer that poisoning is not always disagreeable in some stages of the process). I am afraid. too. To have all those noble Romans alive before me. was a most novel and delightful effect. and there. instead of being the stern taskmasters they had been at school. He soon came back to say that there were none (at which I was much surprised) and began to lay the cloth for my dinner in a box by the fire. the lights.  David Copperfield . I thought it flat. like a chemist and druggist making up a prescription.

over the coffee-room fire. muddy. But I recollect being conscious of his company without having noticed his coming in . through which I saw my earlier life moving along . at twelve o’clock at night. and hitting them. with my eyes on the coffee-room fire. where I had been leading a romantic life for ages. after some porter and oysters. soon recalled me to myself. hackney-coach-jostling. became a real presence to me. revolving the glorious vision all the way. link-lighted. splashing. in a manner. I felt as if I had come from the clouds. the company. the smooth stupendous changes of glittering and brilliant scenery. and opened up such illimitable regions of delight. patten-clinking. as if I really were a stranger upon earth: but the unceremonious pushing and hustling that I received. and was twisting them. miserable world. At last I rose to go to bed. I had emerged by another door. and put me in the road back to the hotel. and stood in the street for a little while.and my still sitting.for it was. were so dazzling. who had got the fidgets in his legs. and where. much to the relief of the sleepy waiter. and putting them through all kinds of contortions in his small pantry. I was so filled with the play. like a shining transparency. umbrella-struggling. at past one o’clock. whither I went. and with the past . I sat revolving it still. to a bawling. that when I came out into the rainy street. In going towards Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com  .that I don’t know when the figure of a handsome well-formed young man dressed with a tasteful easy negligence which I have reason to remember very well. musing.the music.

side by side. and might have lost him. ‘It’s little Copperfield!’ I grasped him by both hands. and looked again. where the play was still running high. clap0 David Copperfield . and saw him plainly. sometimes -but I saw no recognition in his face. too!’ he said. in the then condition of my mind. never.just as he used to look. and we sat down together. I could have held him round the neck and cried. his former protection of me appeared so deserving of my gratitude. I am so overjoyed to see you!’ ‘And I am rejoiced to see you. I brushed away the tears that my utmost resolution had not been able to keep back. never was so glad! My dear Steerforth. to see how the delight I had in meeting him affected me. but I knew him in a moment. ‘My God!’ he suddenly exclaimed. At another time I might have wanted the confidence or the decision to speak to him. But. and said: ‘Steerforth! won’t you speak to me?’ He looked at me . and might have put it off until next day. came back. too. I thought. But for very shame. with a fast-beating heart. I passed the person who had come in. don’t be overpowered!’ And yet he was glad. and I made a clumsy laugh of it. how do you come to be here?’ said Steerforth. I turned directly. shaking my hands heartily. and my old love for him overflowed my breast so freshly and spontaneously. and could not let them go. Copperfield. ‘Why. old boy. that I went up to him at once.’ said I. ‘I never.the door. ‘You don’t remember me. and the fear that it might displease him. He did not know me. ‘Why. I am afraid.

What a delightful and magnificent entertainment.com 1 . clapping me on the shoulder again. ‘that is to say. ‘you are a very Daisy.’ I said.’ he said. and have just finished my education there.ping me on the shoulder.’ he returned. Steerforth?’ ‘Well. I have not been in town half-adozen hours. Steerforth!’ Steerforth laughed heartily. today. at sunrise. and those I have been dozing and grumbling away at the play. you sir!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. is not fresher than you are.’ He laughed as he ran his hand through the clustering curls of his hair. My mother lives a little way out of town. and the roads being in a beastly condition.’ ‘I have been at the play. too. ‘At Covent Garden. I get bored to death down there. ‘My dear young Davy. and there never was a more miserable business. I have been adopted by an aunt down in that part of the country. just what you used to be. Copperfield. periodically . I am what they call an Oxford man. ‘I came here by the Canterbury coach. How do YOU come to be here.and I am on my way now to my mother’s. I remained here tonight instead of going on. I am on an expedition of duty. I have been at Covent Garden. now I look at you! Not altered in the least!’ ‘I knew you immediately. and our house tedious enough. Holloa. and said gaily: ‘Yes.’ said I. ‘but you are more easily remembered. The daisy of the field. You’re a devilish amiable-looking fellow. too.

among pillows enough for six. you see we wasn’t aware. sir?’ ‘Where does he sleep? What’s his number? You know what I mean. and having an immense four-post bedstead in it.’ said Steerforth.’ said the waiter. ‘Beg your pardon. who had been very attentive to our recognition. It being now pretty late.’ ‘And what the devil do you mean. I soon fell asleep in a blissful condition. Copperfield into a little loft over a stable?’ ‘Why. ‘Well.’ returned the waiter. still apologetically. We can give Mr. Steerforth. if it would be preferred. at a distance. sir. laughed again.’ The waiter immediately withdrew to make the exchange. ‘by putting Mr. and now came forward deferentially. sir. Copperfield seventy-two. Next you. Copperfield?’ said Steerforth. Here. sir. ‘Mr. ‘Where have you put my friend.an invitation I was only too proud and happy to accept.’ said Steerforth. sir. ‘And do it at once.’ retorted Steerforth. it not being at all musty. Copperfield was anyways particular.’ ‘Of course it would be preferred. and where I found my new room a great improvement on my old one. Mr. where we parted with friendly heartiness at his door. with an apologetic air. we took our candles and went upstairs. ‘as Mr. Copperfield is at present in forty-four. sir. very much amused at my having been put into forty-four.This was addressed to the waiter. and clapped me on the shoulder again. and dreamed  David Copperfield . and invited me to breakfast with him next morning at ten o’clock . which was quite a little landed estate.

and friendship. made me dream of thunder and the gods. until the early morning coaches. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com  . Steerforth.of ancient Rome. rumbling out of the archway underneath.

until I was admonished by the waiter that the gentleman was waiting for me. I was conscious. red-curtained and Turkey-carpeted. a sneaking and guilty air when I passed her on the staircase. but. It was not in the coffee-room that I found Steerforth expecting me. where the fire burnt bright. that for some time I could not make up my mind to pass her at all. hearing her there with a broom. I was so sensitively aware. of being younger than I could have wished. and blushed in my bed.CHAPTER 20 STEERFORTH’S HOME W hen the chambermaid tapped at my door at eight o’clock. as I was going down to breakfast. and a fine hot breakfast was set forth on a table covered with a David Copperfield  . and informed me that my shaving-water was outside. under the ignoble circumstances of the case. when she said it. indeed. I felt severely the having no occasion for it. and looking anything but regal in a drizzling rain and a darkbrown fog. surrounded by a maze of hackney-coaches. stood peeping out of window at King Charles on horseback. but in a snug private apartment. The suspicion that she laughed too. and gave me. preyed upon my mind all the time I was dressing.

as I may say. ‘everyone who likes me. has a claim on her that is sure to be acknowledged. I told him how my aunt had proposed the little expedition that I had before me. then. when we were alone. ‘I should like to hear what you are doing. Steerforth being so self-possessed. ‘come home with me to Highgate. Copperfield. We will go Free eBooks at Planet eBook. smiling. and all about you. and stay a day or two. ‘Now. or compare the dull forlorn state I had held yesterday. and a cheerful miniature of the room.she is a little vain and prosy about me. ‘Oh!’ said Steerforth. and superior to me in all respects (age included). and elegant.’ said Steerforth. ‘As you are in no hurry.com  .’ Glowing with pleasure to find that he had still this interest in me. in sackcloth and ashes. the breakfast.’ ‘I should like to be as sure of that. You will be pleased with my mother . ‘Good!’ said Steerforth. but that you can forgive her . but his easy patronage soon put that to rights. He attended on us. the fire. and whither it tended. and all. I feel as if you were my property. it was quenched as if it had never been.’ said I.’ I answered. and made me quite at home. was shining in the little round mirror over the sideboard.clean cloth. as you are kind enough to say you are.’ ‘Then I think I shall be a favourite. I was rather bashful at first.’ said Steerforth. Steerforth. with this morning’s comfort and this morning’s entertainment. As to the waiter’s familiarity. and where you are going. I could not enough admire the change he had wrought in the Golden Cross. ‘Come and prove it.and she will be pleased with you.

I have done quite sufficient for my purpose. and he’s wel David Copperfield . ‘You’ll take a high degree at college. that a parcel of heavyheaded fellows may gape and hold up their hands? Let them do it at some other man. and that I should wake presently in number forty-four. laughing. Copperfield . There’s fame for him. ‘That’s a good fellow! My dear Daisy. and my acceptance of his invitation. Steerforth.and see the lions for an hour or two . and of how little account he seemed to make his knowledge. laughing still more heartily: ‘why should I trouble myself. and took a walk through the Museum. ‘I have not the least desire or intention to distinguish myself in that way.’ said I. on an infinite variety of subjects. ‘You romantic Daisy!’ said Steerforth. ‘Not I! my dear Daisy .’ ‘But the fame -’ I was beginning.’ said Steerforth. to the solitary box in the coffee-room and the familiar waiter again.and then we’ll journey out to Highgate by the coach. where I could not help observing how much Steerforth knew. and saw a Panorama and some other sights. we went out in a hackney-chariot. After I had written to my aunt and told her of my fortunate meeting with my admired old schoolfellow. and they will have good reason to be proud of you.will you mind my calling you Daisy?’ ‘Not at all!’ said I.’ I could hardly believe but that I was in a dream.’ ‘I take a degree!’ cried Steerforth. ‘if you have not done so already.it’s something to have a fresh fellow like you to show them to. I find that I am heavy company enough for myself as I am.

coming and going on the walls. and the short winter day wore away so fast. of a slight short figure. when I was called to dinner. very quiet and orderly. the framed pieces of work (done. with a proud carriage and a handsome face. It was a genteel old-fashioned house. by Steerforth’s mother when she was a girl). I had only time. An elderly lady. and she gave me a stately welcome.’ folded him in her arms. and not agreeable to look at. for Steerforth could always pass from one subject to another with a carelessness and lightness that were his own. dark. To this lady he presented me as his mother. There was a second lady in the dining-room.’ I was abashed at having made so great a mistake. with here and there some lights twinkling through it. perhaps Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but with some appearance of good looks too. as the newly-kindled fire crackled and sputtered. though not very far advanced in years. and was glad to change the subject. Fortunately it was not difficult to do. was in the doorway as we alighted.come to it. From the windows of my room I saw all London lying in the distance like a great vapour. that it was dusk when the stagecoach stopped with us at an old brick house at Highgate on the summit of the hill. and greeting Steerforth as ‘My dearest James. in dressing. Lunch succeeded to our sight-seeing.com  . and some pictures in crayons of ladies with powdered hair and bodices. to glance at the solid furniture. I supposed. who attracted my attention: perhaps because I had not expected to see her.

isn’t  David Copperfield . Miss Dartle put in thus: ‘Oh. and that I only ask for information. but isn’t it always so? I thought that kind of life was on all hands understood to be . if I am wrong .like a house . an appearance of good looks. Her thinness seemed to be the effect of some wasting fire within her. It was an old scar . outright.’ Mrs. She was a little dilapidated . the shape of which it had altered. For example. that she feared her son led but a wild life at college. and had healed years ago . Rosa. Steerforth answered with some coldness. but was now barely visible across the table. It appeared to me that she never said anything she wanted to say. which found a vent in her gaunt eyes. and had a scar upon her lip.I should rather call it seam. if you mean that.eh?’ ‘It is education for a very grave profession.which had once cut through her mouth. more in jest than earnest. yet had.with having been so long to let. and had been for a long time Mrs. and was thin.because I found myself sitting opposite to her. Steerforth’s companion. perhaps because of something really remarkable in her. She had black hair and eager black eyes. really? You know how ignorant I am. She was introduced as Miss Dartle. I found that she lived there. except above and on her upper lip. I concluded in my own mind that she was about thirty years of age. and that she wished to be married. though? . for it was not discoloured.I want to be put right. Steerforth observed. but hinted it. downward towards the chin. ‘But isn’t it. and made a great deal more of it by this practice. as I have said. ‘Oh! Yes! That’s very true. and both Steerforth and his mother called her Rosa.’ returned Miss Dartle. when Mrs.

to know for certain that he’s really conscientious!’ Her own views of every question. I said at hazard how glad I should be.com  . if he’s really conscientious. and Mr. though in contradiction even of Steerforth. ‘My son’s tutor is a conscientious gentleman. I could not conceal from myself. I shall never allow people to talk before me about wastefulness and profligacy.but of course he can’t be. I am convinced of it. Well. An instance happened before dinner was done.it. Steerforth. I’m very glad to hear it! Now. Miss Dartle insinuated in the same way: sometimes. I shall be quite happy in my opinion of him. if Steerforth would only go there with me. Steerforth. with great power. and explaining to him that I was going to see my old nurse. really?’ ‘Really what?’ said Mrs. any more.’ ‘Should you?’ said Miss Dartle. You can’t think how it elevates him in my opinion. and if I had not implicit reliance on my son. Mrs. and her correction of everything that was said to which she was opposed. from this time. ‘What a comfort! Really conscientious? Then he’s not .’ said Mrs. ‘Dear me! Conscientious. Steerforth.’ said Mrs. and so forth. Peggotty’s family. ‘How very nice!’ exclaimed Miss Dartle. in connexion with that life. ‘Well. I know what to do! That’s the advantage of asking. I should have reliance on him. is he? Really conscientious. ‘Oh! You mean it’s not!’ returned Miss Dartle.’ ‘And you will be right. Steerforth speaking to me about my intention of going down into Suffolk. now?’ ‘Yes. I reminded him of the boatman Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

‘He had a son with him. whom he adopted as a daughter. I dare say . ‘Oh. He has a very pretty little niece too.is full of people who are objects of his generosity and kindness. and they may be thankful that. for he lives in one.’ 0 David Copperfield . with indifference. whose sparkling eyes had been watchful of us.’ I replied.’ said Steerforth. ‘Well.Are they really animals and clods. and I am sure I don’t want to contradict them . and to make one of ‘em. or hurt easily. they are not easily wounded. to see that sort of people together. ‘They are not to be expected to be as sensitive as we are. But it was in reference to the tone in which he had spoken of ‘that sort of people’. on dry land . ‘whom he adopted. his house .’ My heart leaped with a new hope of pleasure. Their delicacy is not to be shocked. that Miss Dartle.’ ‘Should I?’ said Steerforth. ‘Are they what? And are who what?’ said Steerforth.’ ‘Why. . I think I should. hadn’t he?’ ‘No. I must see what can be done. though. at least. and beings of another order? I want to know SO much. You would be delighted to see that household. They are wonderfully virtuous. now broke in again.whom he had seen at school. It would be worth a journey (not to mention the pleasure of a journey with you. That was his nephew. In short. Are they. really? Do tell me. though?’ she said. but. Daisy).but they have not very fine natures. like their coarse rough skins. as a son.or rather his boat.some people contend for that. there’s a pretty wide separation between them and us. ‘That sort of people. ‘Oh! That bluff fellow!’ said Steerforth.

‘Clever! She brings everything to a grindstone. and I threw a hammer at her. and we two were sitting before the fire. as you see. or to draw Miss Dartle out. I don’t know. But he merely asked me what I thought of her.’ he returned. ‘Why. is she not?’ I asked. when they suffer. but now I shall just dismiss the idea of them. as she has sharpened her own face and figure these years past. ‘I did that. I had my doubts. in jest. She is all edge. ‘and she’ll bear it to her grave.com 1 . when I have been better pleased than to hear that. She was the motherless child of a sort of cousin of my faFree eBooks at Planet eBook. She has worn herself away by constant sharpening. Steerforth’s face fell.don’t it?’ I believed that Steerforth had said what he had. I confess. Live and learn. A promising young angel I must have been!’ I was deeply sorry to have touched on such a painful theme.‘Really!’ said Miss Dartle.’ said Steerforth. and I expected him to say as much when she was gone. and that shows the advantage of asking . ‘She has borne the mark ever since. and he paused a moment. the fact is.’ ‘By an unfortunate accident!’ ‘No. I didn’t know. now. but now they’re cleared up. ‘Well. It’s so consoling! It’s such a delight to know that. altogether.’ ‘What a remarkable scar that is upon her lip!’ I said. they don’t feel! Sometimes I have been quite uneasy for that sort of people.though I can hardly believe she will ever rest anywhere. ‘She is very clever. and sharpens it. and now I do know. but that was useless now. and she exasperated me.’ said Steerforth. if she ever rests in one . I was a young boy.

It was not long before I observed that it was the most susceptible part of her face. brought her here to be company to her. lead-coloured streak. I could not help glancing at the scar with a painful interest when we went in to tea. for one moment. and that.when I thought her. and some love . Steerforth devoted to her son. There was a little altercation between her and Steerforth about a cast of the dice at back gammon . when she turned pale.the more shame for me!’ A moody smile that had overspread his features cleared off as he said this merrily. and then I saw it start forth like the old writing on the wall. with some of his baby-hair in it. ‘Some brothers are not loved over much. who was then a widow. He died one day. in a locket. and became a dull. There’s the history of Miss Rosa Dartle for you. in compliment to me . like a mark in invisible ink brought to the fire. She has a couple of thousand pounds of her own. that mark altered first. lengthening out to its full extent. She showed me his picture as an infant. looking at the fire. and saves the interest of it every year. and he was his own frank. in a storm of rage. to add to the principal. My mother. winning self again. It was no matter of wonder to me to find Mrs.’ ‘And I have no doubt she loves you like a brother?’ said I.but help yourself. She seemed to be able to speak or think about nothing else. Copperfield! We’ll drink the daisies of the field. and the lilies of the valley that toil not. she showed me his picture as he had been when I first knew him.ther’s. and she  David Copperfield . ‘Humph!’ retorted Steerforth. neither do they spin. in compliment to you.

‘and I stood in need of such a friend.’ ‘He is always generous and noble. ma’am. if he had not interposed.’ said I.com  . She knew I did. as she and I were talking at one table. All the letters he had ever written to her. as you may suppose. My son’s high spirit made it desirable that he should be placed with some man who felt its superiority. I recollect his speaking. but your name. for the stateliness of her manner already abated towards me.’ said she. and I should have been very glad to hear them too.’ said Mrs. ‘It was not a fit school generally for my son. that you first became acquainted. ‘It was at Mr. my son tells me. I subscribed to this with all my heart. she kept in a cabinet near her own chair by the fire. Steerforth. while they played backgammon at another. And yet I did not deFree eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Indeed.’ ‘He was very generous and noble to me in those days.wore at her breast his picture as he was now. and then her air was always lofty. Creakle’s. proudly. Steerforth. God knows. and would be content to bow himself before it.’ I knew that. of more importance even than that selection. except when she spoke in praise of him. and we found such a man there.’ said Mrs. but there were particular circumstances to be considered at the time. knowing the fellow. and she would have read me some of them. ‘far from it. and coaxed her out of the design. has not lived in my memory. at that time. I should have been quite crushed without him. I assure you. of a pupil younger than himself who had taken his fancy there.

’ I echoed.’ the fond lady went on to say. It was like himself. but I cannot be indifferent to anyone who is so sensible of his merit. I should have fancied that her figure had got thin.’ she pursued. of his own will. ‘So my son took. there. I should be an affected woman if I made any pretence of being surprised by my son’s inspiring such emotions.’ Miss Dartle played backgammon as eagerly as she did everything else. or lost a look of mine as I received it with the utmost pleasure. but thought it a redeeming quality in him if he could be allowed any grace for not resisting one so irresistible as Steerforth. and that when you met yesterday you made yourself known to him with tears of joy. first. outstrip every competitor. by a feeling of voluntary emulation and conscious pride.spise him the more for it. and on no compulsion. but he found himself the monarch of the place. and can assure you that he feels an unusual friendship for you. ‘My son informs me. But I am very much mistaken if she missed a word of this. Copperfield. felt older than I  David Copperfield . and that you may rely on his protection. with all my heart and soul. and I am very glad to see you here. over that pursuit. If I had seen her. and he haughtily determined to be worthy of his station. at the board. and honoured by Mrs. Mr. that you were quite devoted to him. Steerforth’s confidence. that it was like himself. and her eyes had got large. ‘My son’s great capacity was tempted on. ‘He would have risen against all constraint. and no other in the world. when it is his pleasure. to the course in which he can always.

had done since I left Canterbury. When the evening was pretty far spent, and a tray of glasses and decanters came in, Steerforth promised, over the fire, that he would seriously think of going down into the country with me. There was no hurry, he said; a week hence would do; and his mother hospitably said the same. While we were talking, he more than once called me Daisy; which brought Miss Dartle out again. ‘But really, Mr. Copperfield,’ she asked, ‘is it a nickname? And why does he give it you? Is it - eh? - because he thinks you young and innocent? I am so stupid in these things.’ I coloured in replying that I believed it was. ‘Oh!’ said Miss Dartle. ‘Now I am glad to know that! I ask for information, and I am glad to know it. He thinks you young and innocent; and so you are his friend. Well, that’s quite delightful!’ She went to bed soon after this, and Mrs. Steerforth retired too. Steerforth and I, after lingering for half-an-hour over the fire, talking about Traddles and all the rest of them at old Salem House, went upstairs together. Steerforth’s room was next to mine, and I went in to look at it. It was a picture of comfort, full of easy-chairs, cushions and footstools, worked by his mother’s hand, and with no sort of thing omitted that could help to render it complete. Finally, her handsome features looked down on her darling from a portrait on the wall, as if it were even something to her that her likeness should watch him while he slept. I found the fire burning clear enough in my room by this time, and the curtains drawn before the windows and
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round the bed, giving it a very snug appearance. I sat down in a great chair upon the hearth to meditate on my happiness; and had enjoyed the contemplation of it for some time, when I found a likeness of Miss Dartle looking eagerly at me from above the chimney-piece. It was a startling likeness, and necessarily had a startling look. The painter hadn’t made the scar, but I made it; and there it was, coming and going; now confined to the upper lip as I had seen it at dinner, and now showing the whole extent of the wound inflicted by the hammer, as I had seen it when she was passionate. I wondered peevishly why they couldn’t put her anywhere else instead of quartering her on me. To get rid of her, I undressed quickly, extinguished my light, and went to bed. But, as I fell asleep, I could not forget that she was still there looking, ‘Is it really, though? I want to know’; and when I awoke in the night, I found that I was uneasily asking all sorts of people in my dreams whether it really was or not - without knowing what I meant. 

David Copperfield



here was a servant in that house, a man who, I understood, was usually with Steerforth, and had come into his service at the University, who was in appearance a pattern of respectability. I believe there never existed in his station a more respectable-looking man. He was taciturn, soft-footed, very quiet in his manner, deferential, observant, always at hand when wanted, and never near when not wanted; but his great claim to consideration was his respectability. He had not a pliant face, he had rather a stiff neck, rather a tight smooth head with short hair clinging to it at the sides, a soft way of speaking, with a peculiar habit of whispering the letter S so distinctly, that he seemed to use it oftener than any other man; but every peculiarity that he had he made respectable. If his nose had been upside-down, he would have made that respectable. He surrounded himself with an atmosphere of respectability, and walked secure in it. It would have been next to impossible to suspect him of anything wrong, he was so thoroughly respectable. Nobody could have thought of putting him in a livery, he was so highly respectable. To have imposed
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any derogatory work upon him, would have been to inflict a wanton insult on the feelings of a most respectable man. And of this, I noticed- the women-servants in the household were so intuitively conscious, that they always did such work themselves, and generally while he read the paper by the pantry fire. Such a self-contained man I never saw. But in that quality, as in every other he possessed, he only seemed to be the more respectable. Even the fact that no one knew his Christian name, seemed to form a part of his respectability. Nothing could be objected against his surname, Littimer, by which he was known. Peter might have been hanged, or Tom transported; but Littimer was perfectly respectable. It was occasioned, I suppose, by the reverend nature of respectability in the abstract, but I felt particularly young in this man’s presence. How old he was himself, I could not guess - and that again went to his credit on the same score; for in the calmness of respectability he might have numbered fifty years as well as thirty. Littimer was in my room in the morning before I was up, to bring me that reproachful shaving-water, and to put out my clothes. When I undrew the curtains and looked out of bed, I saw him, in an equable temperature of respectability, unaffected by the east wind of January, and not even breathing frostily, standing my boots right and left in the first dancing position, and blowing specks of dust off my coat as he laid it down like a baby. I gave him good morning, and asked him what o’clock it was. He took out of his pocket the most respectable hunting David Copperfield

watch I ever saw, and preventing the spring with his thumb from opening far, looked in at the face as if he were consulting an oracular oyster, shut it up again, and said, if I pleased, it was half past eight. ‘Mr. Steerforth will be glad to hear how you have rested, sir.’ ‘Thank you,’ said I, ‘very well indeed. Is Mr. Steerforth quite well?’ ‘Thank you, sir, Mr. Steerforth is tolerably well.’ Another of his characteristics - no use of superlatives. A cool calm medium always. ‘Is there anything more I can have the honour of doing for you, sir? The warning-bell will ring at nine; the family take breakfast at half past nine.’ ‘Nothing, I thank you.’ ‘I thank YOU, sir, if you please’; and with that, and with a little inclination of his head when he passed the bed-side, as an apology for correcting me, he went out, shutting the door as delicately as if I had just fallen into a sweet sleep on which my life depended. Every morning we held exactly this conversation: never any more, and never any less: and yet, invariably, however far I might have been lifted out of myself over-night, and advanced towards maturer years, by Steerforth’s companionship, or Mrs. Steerforth’s confidence, or Miss Dartle’s conversation, in the presence of this most respectable man I became, as our smaller poets sing, ‘a boy again’. He got horses for us; and Steerforth, who knew everything, gave me lessons in riding. He provided foils for us,
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and Steerforth gave me lessons in fencing - gloves, and I began, of the same master, to improve in boxing. It gave me no manner of concern that Steerforth should find me a novice in these sciences, but I never could bear to show my want of skill before the respectable Littimer. I had no reason to believe that Littimer understood such arts himself; he never led me to suppose anything of the kind, by so much as the vibration of one of his respectable eyelashes; yet whenever he was by, while we were practising, I felt myself the greenest and most inexperienced of mortals. I am particular about this man, because he made a particular effect on me at that time, and because of what took place thereafter. The week passed away in a most delightful manner. It passed rapidly, as may be supposed, to one entranced as I was; and yet it gave me so many occasions for knowing Steerforth better, and admiring him more in a thousand respects, that at its close I seemed to have been with him for a much longer time. A dashing way he had of treating me like a plaything, was more agreeable to me than any behaviour he could have adopted. It reminded me of our old acquaintance; it seemed the natural sequel of it; it showed me that he was unchanged; it relieved me of any uneasiness I might have felt, in comparing my merits with his, and measuring my claims upon his friendship by any equal standard; above all, it was a familiar, unrestrained, affectionate demeanour that he used towards no one else. As he had treated me at school differently from all the rest, I joyfully believed that he treated me in life unlike any other friend he 
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had. I believed that I was nearer to his heart than any other friend, and my own heart warmed with attachment to him. He made up his mind to go with me into the country, and the day arrived for our departure. He had been doubtful at first whether to take Littimer or not, but decided to leave him at home. The respectable creature, satisfied with his lot whatever it was, arranged our portmanteaux on the little carriage that was to take us into London, as if they were intended to defy the shocks of ages, and received my modestly proffered donation with perfect tranquillity. We bade adieu to Mrs. Steerforth and Miss Dartle, with many thanks on my part, and much kindness on the devoted mother’s. The last thing I saw was Littimer’s unruffled eye; fraught, as I fancied, with the silent conviction that I was very young indeed. What I felt, in returning so auspiciously to the old familiar places, I shall not endeavour to describe. We went down by the Mail. I was so concerned, I recollect, even for the honour of Yarmouth, that when Steerforth said, as we drove through its dark streets to the inn, that, as well as he could make out, it was a good, queer, out-of-the-way kind of hole, I was highly pleased. We went to bed on our arrival (I observed a pair of dirty shoes and gaiters in connexion with my old friend the Dolphin as we passed that door), and breakfasted late in the morning. Steerforth, who was in great spirits, had been strolling about the beach before I was up, and had made acquaintance, he said, with half the boatmen in the place. Moreover, he had seen, in the distance, what he was sure must be the identical house of Mr.
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Peggotty, with smoke coming out of the chimney; and had had a great mind, he told me, to walk in and swear he was myself grown out of knowledge. ‘When do you propose to introduce me there, Daisy?’ he said. ‘I am at your disposal. Make your own arrangements.’ ‘Why, I was thinking that this evening would be a good time, Steerforth, when they are all sitting round the fire. I should like you to see it when it’s snug, it’s such a curious place.’ ‘So be it!’ returned Steerforth. ‘This evening.’ ‘I shall not give them any notice that we are here, you know,’ said I, delighted. ‘We must take them by surprise.’ ‘Oh, of course! It’s no fun,’ said Steerforth, ‘unless we take them by surprise. Let us see the natives in their aboriginal condition.’ ‘Though they ARE that sort of people that you mentioned,’ I returned. ‘Aha! What! you recollect my skirmishes with Rosa, do you?’ he exclaimed with a quick look. ‘Confound the girl, I am half afraid of her. She’s like a goblin to me. But never mind her. Now what are you going to do? You are going to see your nurse, I suppose?’ ‘Why, yes,’ I said, ‘I must see Peggotty first of all.’ ‘Well,’ replied Steerforth, looking at his watch. ‘Suppose I deliver you up to be cried over for a couple of hours. Is that long enough?’ I answered, laughing, that I thought we might get through it in that time, but that he must come also; for he would find that his renown had preceded him, and that he 
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was almost as great a personage as I was. ‘I’ll come anywhere you like,’ said Steerforth, ‘or do anything you like. Tell me where to come to; and in two hours I’ll produce myself in any state you please, sentimental or comical.’ I gave him minute directions for finding the residence of Mr. Barkis, carrier to Blunderstone and elsewhere; and, on this understanding, went out alone. There was a sharp bracing air; the ground was dry; the sea was crisp and clear; the sun was diffusing abundance of light, if not much warmth; and everything was fresh and lively. I was so fresh and lively myself, in the pleasure of being there, that I could have stopped the people in the streets and shaken hands with them. The streets looked small, of course. The streets that we have only seen as children always do, I believe, when we go back to them. But I had forgotten nothing in them, and found nothing changed, until I came to Mr. Omer’s shop. OMER AND Joram was now written up, where OMER used to be; but the inscription, DRAPER, TAILOR, HABERDASHER, FUNERAL FURNISHER, &c., remained as it was. My footsteps seemed to tend so naturally to the shop door, after I had read these words from over the way, that I went across the road and looked in. There was a pretty woman at the back of the shop, dancing a little child in her arms, while another little fellow clung to her apron. I had no difficulty in recognizing either Minnie or Minnie’s children. The glass door of the parlour was not open; but in the
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workshop across the yard I could faintly hear the old tune playing, as if it had never left off. ‘Is Mr. Omer at home?’ said I, entering. ‘I should like to see him, for a moment, if he is.’ ‘Oh yes, sir, he is at home,’ said Minnie; ‘the weather don’t suit his asthma out of doors. Joe, call your grandfather!’ The little fellow, who was holding her apron, gave such a lusty shout, that the sound of it made him bashful, and he buried his face in her skirts, to her great admiration. I heard a heavy puffing and blowing coming towards us, and soon Mr. Omer, shorter-winded than of yore, but not much olderlooking, stood before me. ‘Servant, sir,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘What can I do for you, sir?’ ‘You can shake hands with me, Mr. Omer, if you please,’ said I, putting out my own. ‘You were very good-natured to me once, when I am afraid I didn’t show that I thought so.’ ‘Was I though?’ returned the old man. ‘I’m glad to hear it, but I don’t remember when. Are you sure it was me?’ ‘Quite.’ ‘I think my memory has got as short as my breath,’ said Mr. Omer, looking at me and shaking his head; ‘for I don’t remember you.’ ‘Don’t you remember your coming to the coach to meet me, and my having breakfast here, and our riding out to Blunderstone together: you, and I, and Mrs. Joram, and Mr. Joram too - who wasn’t her husband then?’ ‘Why, Lord bless my soul!’ exclaimed Mr. Omer, after being thrown by his surprise into a fit of coughing, ‘you don’t say so! Minnie, my dear, you recollect? Dear me, yes; the 
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party was a lady, I think?’ ‘My mother,’ I rejoined. ‘To - be - sure,’ said Mr. Omer, touching my waistcoat with his forefinger, ‘and there was a little child too! There was two parties. The little party was laid along with the other party. Over at Blunderstone it was, of course. Dear me! And how have you been since?’ Very well, I thanked him, as I hoped he had been too. ‘Oh! nothing to grumble at, you know,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘I find my breath gets short, but it seldom gets longer as a man gets older. I take it as it comes, and make the most of it. That’s the best way, ain’t it?’ Mr. Omer coughed again, in consequence of laughing, and was assisted out of his fit by his daughter, who now stood close beside us, dancing her smallest child on the counter. ‘Dear me!’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Yes, to be sure. Two parties! Why, in that very ride, if you’ll believe me, the day was named for my Minnie to marry Joram. ‘Do name it, sir,’ says Joram. ‘Yes, do, father,’ says Minnie. And now he’s come into the business. And look here! The youngest!’ Minnie laughed, and stroked her banded hair upon her temples, as her father put one of his fat fingers into the hand of the child she was dancing on the counter. ‘Two parties, of course!’ said Mr. Omer, nodding his head retrospectively. ‘Ex-actly so! And Joram’s at work, at this minute, on a grey one with silver nails, not this measurement’ - the measurement of the dancing child upon the counter - ‘by a good two inches. - Will you take someFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 

thing?’ I thanked him, but declined. ‘Let me see,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Barkis’s the carrier’s wife - Peggotty’s the boatman’s sister - she had something to do with your family? She was in service there, sure?’ My answering in the affirmative gave him great satisfaction. ‘I believe my breath will get long next, my memory’s getting so much so,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Well, sir, we’ve got a young relation of hers here, under articles to us, that has as elegant a taste in the dress-making business - I assure you I don’t believe there’s a Duchess in England can touch her.’ ‘Not little Em’ly?’ said I, involuntarily. ‘Em’ly’s her name,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘and she’s little too. But if you’ll believe me, she has such a face of her own that half the women in this town are mad against her.’ ‘Nonsense, father!’ cried Minnie. ‘My dear,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘I don’t say it’s the case with you,’ winking at me, ‘but I say that half the women in Yarmouth - ah! and in five mile round - are mad against that girl.’ ‘Then she should have kept to her own station in life, father,’ said Minnie, ‘and not have given them any hold to talk about her, and then they couldn’t have done it.’ ‘Couldn’t have done it, my dear!’ retorted Mr. Omer. ‘Couldn’t have done it! Is that YOUR knowledge of life? What is there that any woman couldn’t do, that she shouldn’t do - especially on the subject of another woman’s good looks?’ I really thought it was all over with Mr. Omer, after he 
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had uttered this libellous pleasantry. He coughed to that extent, and his breath eluded all his attempts to recover it with that obstinacy, that I fully expected to see his head go down behind the counter, and his little black breeches, with the rusty little bunches of ribbons at the knees, come quivering up in a last ineffectual struggle. At length, however, he got better, though he still panted hard, and was so exhausted that he was obliged to sit on the stool of the shop-desk. ‘You see,’ he said, wiping his head, and breathing with difficulty, ‘she hasn’t taken much to any companions here; she hasn’t taken kindly to any particular acquaintances and friends, not to mention sweethearts. In consequence, an ill-natured story got about, that Em’ly wanted to be a lady. Now my opinion is, that it came into circulation principally on account of her sometimes saying, at the school, that if she was a lady she would like to do so-and-so for her uncle - don’t you see? - and buy him such-and-such fine things.’ ‘I assure you, Mr. Omer, she has said so to me,’ I returned eagerly, ‘when we were both children.’ Mr. Omer nodded his head and rubbed his chin. ‘Just so. Then out of a very little, she could dress herself, you see, better than most others could out of a deal, and that made things unpleasant. Moreover, she was rather what might be called wayward - I’ll go so far as to say what I should call wayward myself,’ said Mr. Omer; ‘- didn’t know her own mind quite - a little spoiled - and couldn’t, at first, exactly bind herself down. No more than that was ever said against her, Minnie?’ ‘No, father,’ said Mrs. Joram. ‘That’s the worst, I believe.’
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‘So when she got a situation,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘to keep a fractious old lady company, they didn’t very well agree, and she didn’t stop. At last she came here, apprenticed for three years. Nearly two of ‘em are over, and she has been as good a girl as ever was. Worth any six! Minnie, is she worth any six, now?’ ‘Yes, father,’ replied Minnie. ‘Never say I detracted from her!’ ‘Very good,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘That’s right. And so, young gentleman,’ he added, after a few moments’ further rubbing of his chin, ‘that you may not consider me long-winded as well as short-breathed, I believe that’s all about it.’ As they had spoken in a subdued tone, while speaking of Em’ly, I had no doubt that she was near. On my asking now, if that were not so, Mr. Omer nodded yes, and nodded towards the door of the parlour. My hurried inquiry if I might peep in, was answered with a free permission; and, looking through the glass, I saw her sitting at her work. I saw her, a most beautiful little creature, with the cloudless blue eyes, that had looked into my childish heart, turned laughingly upon another child of Minnie’s who was playing near her; with enough of wilfulness in her bright face to justify what I had heard; with much of the old capricious coyness lurking in it; but with nothing in her pretty looks, I am sure, but what was meant for goodness and for happiness, and what was on a good and happy course. The tune across the yard that seemed as if it never had left off - alas! it was the tune that never DOES leave off - was 
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beating, softly, all the while. ‘Wouldn’t you like to step in,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘and speak to her? Walk in and speak to her, sir! Make yourself at home!’ I was too bashful to do so then - I was afraid of confusing her, and I was no less afraid of confusing myself.- but I informed myself of the hour at which she left of an evening, in order that our visit might be timed accordingly; and taking leave of Mr. Omer, and his pretty daughter, and her little children, went away to my dear old Peggotty’s. Here she was, in the tiled kitchen, cooking dinner! The moment I knocked at the door she opened it, and asked me what I pleased to want. I looked at her with a smile, but she gave me no smile in return. I had never ceased to write to her, but it must have been seven years since we had met. ‘Is Mr. Barkis at home, ma’am?’ I said, feigning to speak roughly to her. ‘He’s at home, sir,’ returned Peggotty, ‘but he’s bad abed with the rheumatics.’ ‘Don’t he go over to Blunderstone now?’ I asked. ‘When he’s well he do,’ she answered. ‘Do YOU ever go there, Mrs. Barkis?’ She looked at me more attentively, and I noticed a quick movement of her hands towards each other. ‘Because I want to ask a question about a house there, that they call the - what is it? - the Rookery,’ said I. She took a step backward, and put out her hands in an undecided frightened way, as if to keep me off. ‘Peggotty!’ I cried to her.
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She cried, ‘My darling boy!’ and we both burst into tears, and were locked in one another’s arms. What extravagances she committed; what laughing and crying over me; what pride she showed, what joy, what sorrow that she whose pride and joy I might have been, could never hold me in a fond embrace; I have not the heart to tell. I was troubled with no misgiving that it was young in me to respond to her emotions. I had never laughed and cried in all my life, I dare say - not even to her - more freely than I did that morning. ‘Barkis will be so glad,’ said Peggotty, wiping her eyes with her apron, ‘that it’ll do him more good than pints of liniment. May I go and tell him you are here? Will you come up and see him, my dear?’ Of course I would. But Peggotty could not get out of the room as easily as she meant to, for as often as she got to the door and looked round at me, she came back again to have another laugh and another cry upon my shoulder. At last, to make the matter easier, I went upstairs with her; and having waited outside for a minute, while she said a word of preparation to Mr. Barkis, presented myself before that invalid. He received me with absolute enthusiasm. He was too rheumatic to be shaken hands with, but he begged me to shake the tassel on the top of his nightcap, which I did most cordially. When I sat down by the side of the bed, he said that it did him a world of good to feel as if he was driving me on the Blunderstone road again. As he lay in bed, face upward, and so covered, with that exception, that he seemed to be nothing but a face - like a conventional cheru0 David Copperfield

bim - he looked the queerest object I ever beheld. ‘What name was it, as I wrote up in the cart, sir?’ said Mr. Barkis, with a slow rheumatic smile. ‘Ah! Mr. Barkis, we had some grave talks about that matter, hadn’t we?’ ‘I was willin’ a long time, sir?’ said Mr. Barkis. ‘A long time,’ said I. ‘And I don’t regret it,’ said Mr. Barkis. ‘Do you remember what you told me once, about her making all the apple parsties and doing all the cooking?’ ‘Yes, very well,’ I returned. ‘It was as true,’ said Mr. Barkis, ‘as turnips is. It was as true,’ said Mr. Barkis, nodding his nightcap, which was his only means of emphasis, ‘as taxes is. And nothing’s truer than them.’ Mr. Barkis turned his eyes upon me, as if for my assent to this result of his reflections in bed; and I gave it. ‘Nothing’s truer than them,’ repeated Mr. Barkis; ‘a man as poor as I am, finds that out in his mind when he’s laid up. I’m a very poor man, sir!’ ‘I am sorry to hear it, Mr. Barkis.’ ‘A very poor man, indeed I am,’ said Mr. Barkis. Here his right hand came slowly and feebly from under the bedclothes, and with a purposeless uncertain grasp took hold of a stick which was loosely tied to the side of the bed. After some poking about with this instrument, in the course of which his face assumed a variety of distracted expressions, Mr. Barkis poked it against a box, an end of which had been visible to me all the time. Then his face beFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1

came composed. ‘Old clothes,’ said Mr. Barkis. ‘Oh!’ said I. ‘I wish it was Money, sir,’ said Mr. Barkis. ‘I wish it was, indeed,’ said I. ‘But it AIN’T,’ said Mr. Barkis, opening both his eyes as wide as he possibly could. I expressed myself quite sure of that, and Mr. Barkis, turning his eyes more gently to his wife, said: ‘She’s the usefullest and best of women, C. P. Barkis. All the praise that anyone can give to C. P. Barkis, she deserves, and more! My dear, you’ll get a dinner today, for company; something good to eat and drink, will you?’ I should have protested against this unnecessary demonstration in my honour, but that I saw Peggotty, on the opposite side of the bed, extremely anxious I should not. So I held my peace. ‘I have got a trifle of money somewhere about me, my dear,’ said Mr. Barkis, ‘but I’m a little tired. If you and Mr. David will leave me for a short nap, I’ll try and find it when I wake.’ We left the room, in compliance with this request. When we got outside the door, Peggotty informed me that Mr. Barkis, being now ‘a little nearer’ than he used to be, always resorted to this same device before producing a single coin from his store; and that he endured unheard-of agonies in crawling out of bed alone, and taking it from that unlucky box. In effect, we presently heard him uttering suppressed groans of the most dismal nature, as this magpie proceed David Copperfield

ing racked him in every joint; but while Peggotty’s eyes were full of compassion for him, she said his generous impulse would do him good, and it was better not to check it. So he groaned on, until he had got into bed again, suffering, I have no doubt, a martyrdom; and then called us in, pretending to have just woke up from a refreshing sleep, and to produce a guinea from under his pillow. His satisfaction in which happy imposition on us, and in having preserved the impenetrable secret of the box, appeared to be a sufficient compensation to him for all his tortures. I prepared Peggotty for Steerforth’s arrival and it was not long before he came. I am persuaded she knew no difference between his having been a personal benefactor of hers, and a kind friend to me, and that she would have received him with the utmost gratitude and devotion in any case. But his easy, spirited good humour; his genial manner, his handsome looks, his natural gift of adapting himself to whomsoever he pleased, and making direct, when he cared to do it, to the main point of interest in anybody’s heart; bound her to him wholly in five minutes. His manner to me, alone, would have won her. But, through all these causes combined, I sincerely believe she had a kind of adoration for him before he left the house that night. He stayed there with me to dinner - if I were to say willingly, I should not half express how readily and gaily. He went into Mr. Barkis’s room like light and air, brightening and refreshing it as if he were healthy weather. There was no noise, no effort, no consciousness, in anything he did; but in everything an indescribable lightness, a seeming imFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 

possibility of doing anything else, or doing anything better, which was so graceful, so natural, and agreeable, that it overcomes me, even now, in the remembrance. We made merry in the little parlour, where the Book of Martyrs, unthumbed since my time, was laid out upon the desk as of old, and where I now turned over its terrific pictures, remembering the old sensations they had awakened, but not feeling them. When Peggotty spoke of what she called my room, and of its being ready for me at night, and of her hoping I would occupy it, before I could so much as look at Steerforth, hesitating, he was possessed of the whole case. ‘Of course,’ he said. ‘You’ll sleep here, while we stay, and I shall sleep at the hotel.’ ‘But to bring you so far,’ I returned, ‘and to separate, seems bad companionship, Steerforth.’ ‘Why, in the name of Heaven, where do you naturally belong?’ he said. ‘What is ‘seems’, compared to that?’ It was settled at once. He maintained all his delightful qualities to the last, until we started forth, at eight o’clock, for Mr. Peggotty’s boat. Indeed, they were more and more brightly exhibited as the hours went on; for I thought even then, and I have no doubt now, that the consciousness of success in his determination to please, inspired him with a new delicacy of perception, and made it, subtle as it was, more easy to him. If anyone had told me, then, that all this was a brilliant game, played for the excitement of the moment, for the employment of high spirits, in the thoughtless love of superiority, in a mere 
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wasteful careless course of winning what was worthless to him, and next minute thrown away - I say, if anyone had told me such a lie that night, I wonder in what manner of receiving it my indignation would have found a vent! Probably only in an increase, had that been possible, of the romantic feelings of fidelity and friendship with which I walked beside him, over the dark wintry sands towards the old boat; the wind sighing around us even more mournfully, than it had sighed and moaned upon the night when I first darkened Mr. Peggotty’s door. ‘This is a wild kind of place, Steerforth, is it not?’ ‘Dismal enough in the dark,’ he said: ‘and the sea roars as if it were hungry for us. Is that the boat, where I see a light yonder?’ ‘That’s the boat,’ said I. ‘And it’s the same I saw this morning,’ he returned. ‘I came straight to it, by instinct, I suppose.’ We said no more as we approached the light, but made softly for the door. I laid my hand upon the latch; and whispering Steerforth to keep close to me, went in. A murmur of voices had been audible on the outside, and, at the moment of our entrance, a clapping of hands: which latter noise, I was surprised to see, proceeded from the generally disconsolate Mrs. Gummidge. But Mrs. Gummidge was not the only person there who was unusually excited. Mr. Peggotty, his face lighted up with uncommon satisfaction, and laughing with all his might, held his rough arms wide open, as if for little Em’ly to run into them; Ham, with a mixed expression in his face of admiration, exultation, and a lumbering sort of bashfulness that sat upon him very
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well, held little Em’ly by the hand, as if he were presenting her to Mr. Peggotty; little Em’ly herself, blushing and shy, but delighted with Mr. Peggotty’s delight, as her joyous eyes expressed, was stopped by our entrance (for she saw us first) in the very act of springing from Ham to nestle in Mr. Peggotty’s embrace. In the first glimpse we had of them all, and at the moment of our passing from the dark cold night into the warm light room, this was the way in which they were all employed: Mrs. Gummidge in the background, clapping her hands like a madwoman. The little picture was so instantaneously dissolved by our going in, that one might have doubted whether it had ever been. I was in the midst of the astonished family, face to face with Mr. Peggotty, and holding out my hand to him, when Ham shouted: ‘Mas’r Davy! It’s Mas’r Davy!’ In a moment we were all shaking hands with one another, and asking one another how we did, and telling one another how glad we were to meet, and all talking at once. Mr. Peggotty was so proud and overjoyed to see us, that he did not know what to say or do, but kept over and over again shaking hands with me, and then with Steerforth, and then with me, and then ruffling his shaggy hair all over his head, and laughing with such glee and triumph, that it was a treat to see him. ‘Why, that you two gent’lmen - gent’lmen growed should come to this here roof tonight, of all nights in my life,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘is such a thing as never happened afore, I do rightly believe! Em’ly, my darling, come here! 
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Come here, my little witch! There’s Mas’r Davy’s friend, my dear! There’s the gent’lman as you’ve heerd on, Em’ly. He comes to see you, along with Mas’r Davy, on the brightest night of your uncle’s life as ever was or will be, Gorm the t’other one, and horroar for it!’ After delivering this speech all in a breath, and with extraordinary animation and pleasure, Mr. Peggotty put one of his large hands rapturously on each side of his niece’s face, and kissing it a dozen times, laid it with a gentle pride and love upon his broad chest, and patted it as if his hand had been a lady’s. Then he let her go; and as she ran into the little chamber where I used to sleep, looked round upon us, quite hot and out of breath with his uncommon satisfaction. ‘If you two gent’lmen - gent’lmen growed now, and such gent’lmen -’ said Mr. Peggotty. ‘So th’ are, so th’ are!’ cried Ham. ‘Well said! So th’ are. Mas’r Davy bor’ - gent’lmen growed - so th’ are!’ ‘If you two gent’lmen, gent’lmen growed,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘don’t ex-cuse me for being in a state of mind, when you understand matters, I’ll arks your pardon. Em’ly, my dear! - She knows I’m a going to tell,’ here his delight broke out again, ‘and has made off. Would you be so good as look arter her, Mawther, for a minute?’ Mrs. Gummidge nodded and disappeared. ‘If this ain’t,’ said Mr. Peggotty, sitting down among us by the fire, ‘the brightest night o’ my life, I’m a shellfish biled too - and more I can’t say. This here little Em’ly, sir,’ in a low voice to Steerforth, ‘- her as you see a blushing here
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just now -’ Steerforth only nodded; but with such a pleased expression of interest, and of participation in Mr. Peggotty’s feelings, that the latter answered him as if he had spoken. ‘To be sure,’ said Mr. Peggotty. ‘That’s her, and so she is. Thankee, sir.’ Ham nodded to me several times, as if he would have said so too. ‘This here little Em’ly of ours,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘has been, in our house, what I suppose (I’m a ignorant man, but that’s my belief) no one but a little bright-eyed creetur can be in a house. She ain’t my child; I never had one; but I couldn’t love her more. You understand! I couldn’t do it!’ ‘I quite understand,’ said Steerforth. ‘I know you do, sir,’ returned Mr. Peggotty, ‘and thankee again. Mas’r Davy, he can remember what she was; you may judge for your own self what she is; but neither of you can’t fully know what she has been, is, and will be, to my loving art. I am rough, sir,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘I am as rough as a Sea Porkypine; but no one, unless, mayhap, it is a woman, can know, I think, what our little Em’ly is to me. And betwixt ourselves,’ sinking his voice lower yet, ‘that woman’s name ain’t Missis Gummidge neither, though she has a world of merits.’ Mr. Peggotty ruffled his hair again, with both hands, as a further preparation for what he was going to say, and went on, with a hand upon each of his knees: ‘There was a certain person as had know’d our Em’ly, from the time when her father was drownded; as had seen her constant; when a babby, when a young gal, when a wom David Copperfield

an. Not much of a person to look at, he warn’t,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘something o’ my own build - rough - a good deal o’ the sou’-wester in him - wery salt - but, on the whole, a honest sort of a chap, with his art in the right place.’ I thought I had never seen Ham grin to anything like the extent to which he sat grinning at us now. ‘What does this here blessed tarpaulin go and do,’ said Mr. Peggotty, with his face one high noon of enjoyment, ‘but he loses that there art of his to our little Em’ly. He follers her about, he makes hisself a sort o’ servant to her, he loses in a great measure his relish for his wittles, and in the long-run he makes it clear to me wot’s amiss. Now I could wish myself, you see, that our little Em’ly was in a fair way of being married. I could wish to see her, at all ewents, under articles to a honest man as had a right to defend her. I don’t know how long I may live, or how soon I may die; but I know that if I was capsized, any night, in a gale of wind in Yarmouth Roads here, and was to see the town-lights shining for the last time over the rollers as I couldn’t make no head against, I could go down quieter for thinking ‘There’s a man ashore there, iron-true to my little Em’ly, God bless her, and no wrong can touch my Em’ly while so be as that man lives.‘‘ Mr. Peggotty, in simple earnestness, waved his right arm, as if he were waving it at the town-lights for the last time, and then, exchanging a nod with Ham, whose eye he caught, proceeded as before. ‘Well! I counsels him to speak to Em’ly. He’s big enough, but he’s bashfuller than a little un, and he don’t like. So I speak. ‘What! Him!’ says Em’ly. ‘Him that I’ve know’d so
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intimate so many years, and like so much. Oh, Uncle! I never can have him. He’s such a good fellow!’ I gives her a kiss, and I says no more to her than, ‘My dear, you’re right to speak out, you’re to choose for yourself, you’re as free as a little bird.’ Then I aways to him, and I says, ‘I wish it could have been so, but it can’t. But you can both be as you was, and wot I say to you is, Be as you was with her, like a man.’ He says to me, a-shaking of my hand, ‘I will!’ he says. And he was - honourable and manful - for two year going on, and we was just the same at home here as afore.’ Mr. Peggotty’s face, which had varied in its expression with the various stages of his narrative, now resumed all its former triumphant delight, as he laid a hand upon my knee and a hand upon Steerforth’s (previously wetting them both, for the greater emphasis of the action), and divided the following speech between us: ‘All of a sudden, one evening - as it might be tonight comes little Em’ly from her work, and him with her! There ain’t so much in that, you’ll say. No, because he takes care on her, like a brother, arter dark, and indeed afore dark, and at all times. But this tarpaulin chap, he takes hold of her hand, and he cries out to me, joyful, ‘Look here! This is to be my little wife!’ And she says, half bold and half shy, and half a laughing and half a crying, ‘Yes, Uncle! If you please.’ - If I please!’ cried Mr. Peggotty, rolling his head in an ecstasy at the idea; ‘Lord, as if I should do anythink else! - ‘If you please, I am steadier now, and I have thought better of it, and I’ll be as good a little wife as I can to him, for he’s a dear, good fellow!’ Then Missis Gummidge, she claps her hands 
0 David Copperfield

she’s all to me that ever I can want. How far my emotions were influenced by the recollections of my childhood.gent’lmen .than . I’d lay down my life for her .I love her true. Peggotty . he said. as well he might.like a play.when I thought what she’d grow up to be. but.com 1 . Whether I had come there with any lingering fancy that I was still to love little Em’ly.what he meant.’ Ham staggered. and here’s the man that’ll marry her. I . I know that I was filled with pleasure by all this. was. at first.gent’lmen . I don’t know. trembling in the strength of what he felt for the pretty little creature who had won his heart. though there’s many a common man . the minute she’s out of her time.than ever I could say. Peggotty dealt him in his unbounded joy. I was affected by the story altogether. I don’t know. and you come in. Mas’r Davy .nor yet sailing upon all the sea . under the blow Mr. but feeling called upon to say something to us. I see her grown up .when you first come . I thought the simple confidence reposed in us by Mr. with much faltering and great difficulty: ‘She warn’t no higher than you was. as a mark of confidence and friendship. Theer! the murder’s out!’ said Mr.like a flower.would say better . and more than ever I . affecting. Peggotty and by himself.that can love his lady more than I love her.Mas’r Davy .Oh! most content and cheerful! She’s more to me .‘You come in! It took place this here present hour. with an indescribably sensitive Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in itself. There ain’t a gent’lman in all the land .’ I thought it affecting to see such a sturdy fellow as Ham was now.

and very shy. Therefore. but she looked.such a gap least of all . and tides. how he referred to me about the time when he had seen Mr. indeed.I wouldn’t make. until he brought us. by degrees. how lightly and easily he carried on. My hand upon it! Ham. Presently they brought her to the fireside. stir the fire. Peggotty. Peggotty. and deserve to be as happy as you are tonight. I shall go. very much confused. how he talked to Mr. and fish. I should have made a poor hand of it. unless you can induce your gentle niece to come back (for whom I vacate this seat in the corner).pleasure. ‘Mr. said little all the evening. my boy. But it depended upon Steerforth. how skilfully he avoided anything that would embarrass her. and he did it with such address. how delighted he was with the boat and all belonging to it. for the wealth of the Indies!’ So Mr.but she soon became more assured when she found how gently and respectfully Steerforth spoke to her. and then Ham went. Peggotty at Salem House. At first little Em’ly didn’t like to come. and we were all talking away without any reserve. and ships. that a very little would have changed to pain. and her face got animated. and make it a brisk one! and Mr. Peggotty went into my old room to fetch little Em’ly. Em’ly. into a charmed circle.’ he said. that in a few minutes we were all as easy and as happy as it was possible to be. and she was charm David Copperfield . Peggotty of boats. if it had depended upon me to touch the prevailing chord among them with any skill. ‘you are a thoroughly good fellow. . and listened. I give you joy. My hand upon that. Any gap at your fireside on such a night . too! Daisy.

as if he saw it all before him . Peggotty). he was silent and attentive. as a relief to that. so unreal to look at now. and he sang a sailor’s song himself. with as much gaiety as if the narrative were as fresh to him as it was to us . and talked (but still bashfully) across the fire to me. Peggotty informed me). He got Mr. and when I asked her if she recollected how I used to be devoted to her. and observed us thoughtfully. since the decease of the old one. or rather to roar. But he set up no monopoly of the general attention. He told us a merry adventure of his own.com  . of our old wanderings upon the beach. so pathetically and beautifully. and we all laughed (Steerforth too). in irresistible sympathy with what was so pleasant and light-hearted. that she said next day she thought she must have been bewitched. She sat. at this time.and little Em’ly laughed until the boat rang with the musical sounds. and all the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. he roused that victim of despondency with a success never attained by anyone else (so Mr. or the conversation. When little Em’ly grew more courageous. that I could have almost fancied that the real wind creeping sorrowfully round the house. ‘When the stormy winds do blow. do blow’. As to Mrs. as if she saw it too. was there to listen. and when we both laughed and reddened.ing. to pick up shells and pebbles. Peggotty to sing. do blow. Gummidge. casting these looks back on the pleasant old times.and little Em’ly’s eyes were fastened on him all the time. Steerforth told a story of a dismal shipwreck (which arose out of his talk with Mr. He left her so little leisure for being miserable. and murmuring low through our unbroken silence.

too. Steerforth! It’s well for you to joke about the poor!  David Copperfield . ‘to have arrived to witness their happiness in that intended marriage! I never saw people so happy. on the old locker in her old little corner by the fire . I could not satisfy myself whether it was in her own little tormenting way. How delightful to see it. I answered. and seeing a laugh in his eyes.’ ‘How fortunate we are. and Steerforth had produced from his pocket a full flask of Hollands. isn’t he?’ said Steerforth. or in a maidenly reserve before us. that I felt a shock in this unexpected and cold reply. and heard her soft voice calling to us to be careful how we went. that she kept quite close to the wall. and with them all. ‘A most engaging little Beauty!’ said Steerforth. taking my arm. and to be made the sharers in their honest joy. We parted merrily. and away from him. He had been so hearty with him.evening. As I remember. We had had some biscuit and dried fish for supper.’ I returned.Ham beside her. and as they all stood crowded round the door to light us as far as they could upon our road. now. But turning quickly upon him. ‘Well! It’s a quaint place. I saw the sweet blue eyes of little Em’ly peeping after us. much relieved: ‘Ah. where I used to sit. from behind Ham. all the evening. and it’s quite a new sensation to mix with them. but I observed that she did so. which we men (I may say we men. without a blush) had emptied. and they are quaint company. it was almost midnight when we took our leave. as we have been!’ ‘That’s rather a chuckle-headed fellow for the girl.

or try to hide your sympathies in jest from me. but I know better. I believe you are in earnest. said. looking in my face. Peggotty’s song. I wish we all were!’ Next moment he was gaily singing Mr. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and.You may skirmish with Miss Dartle. ‘Daisy. And I admire and love you for it. I know that there is not a joy or sorrow. or humour a love like my old nurse’s. not an emotion. Steerforth. twenty times the more!’ He stopped. that can be indifferent to you.com  . When I see how perfectly you understand them. how exquisitely you can enter into happiness like this plain fisherman’s. of such people. as we walked at a round pace back to Yarmouth. and are good.

wrapped in fishermen’s clothes. Barkis all day. I knew that his restless nature and bold spirits delighted to find a vent in rough toil and hard weather. We were very much together. whole moonlight nights. I need not say. He was a good sailor.CHAPTER 22 SOME OLD SCENES. and I was but an indifferent one. I generally remained ashore. AND SOME NEW PEOPLE teerforth and I stayed for more than a fortnight in that part of the country. ‘The Willing Mind’. and when he went out boating with Mr. after I was in bed. whereas Steerforth. I did not like to remain out late at night. and coming back when the morning tide was at flood. My occupation of Peggotty’s spare-room put a constraint upon me. which was a favourite amusement of his. that I heard of his making little treats for the fishermen at Mr. By this time. and of his being afloat. Peggotty’s house of call. however. Peggotty. as in  David Copperfield S . had nothing to consult but his own humour. but occasionally we were asunder for some hours at a time. from which he was free: for. Thus it came about. knowing how assiduously she attended on Mr. lying at the Inn.

It lay a little off the churchyard path. and met again at a late dinner. and revisiting the old familiar scenes of my childhood. I had no idea how he employed his time in the interval. and by which I had stood. for it was like a departed voice to me. on three or four days that I can at once recall. My Free eBooks at Planet eBook. had naturally no great interest in going there again. was. For my own part. so none of his proceedings surprised me. when it was my father’s only.on which I had looked out. so desolate. not so far removed but I could read the names upon the stone as I walked to and fro. and to haunt the old spots. I haunted them. in a quiet corner. of which I never tired. my occupation in my solitary pilgrimages was to recall every yard of the old road as I went along it.com  . beyond a general knowledge that he was very popular in the place. when it was opened to receive my pretty mother and her baby . startled by the sound of the church-bell when it struck the hour. by the hour. The grave beneath the tree. where both my parents lay . while Steerforth. after being there once. we went our several ways after an early breakfast. Another cause of our being sometimes apart. that I had naturally an interest in going over to Blunderstone. and lingered among them as my younger thoughts had lingered when I was far away. and had twenty means of actively diverting himself where another man might not have found one. Hence. and made a garden of. I walked near. with such curious feelings of compassion.any other means of excitement that presented itself freshly to him.the grave which Peggotty’s own faithful care had ever since kept neat. as my memory had often done.

Mr. and they had a weazen little baby. but only by a poor lunatic gentleman. There were great changes in my old home. but were as constant to that as if I had come home to build my castles in the air at a living mother’s side. My echoing footsteps went to no other tune. Chillip was married again to a tall. The ragged nests. and two weak staring eyes. But. looking out into the churchyard. and the distinguished things I was to do. with a heavy head that it couldn’t hold up. It was with a singular jumble of sadness and pleasure that I used to linger about my native place. high-nosed wife.reflections at these times were always associated with the figure I was to make in life. and Mrs. He was always sitting at my little window. raw-boned. and the people who took care of him. were gone to South America. and I wondered whether his rambling thoughts ever went upon any of the fancies that used to occupy mine. Grayper. when the place was left behind. on the rosy mornings when I peeped out of that same little window in my night-clothes. Our old neighbours. It was occupied. and half the windows of the house were shut up. with which it seemed to be always wondering why it had ever been born. and saw the sheep quietly feeding in the light of the rising sun. were gone. and the rain had made its way through the roof of their empty house. so long deserted by the rooks. Mr. and the trees were lopped and topped out of their remembered shapes. The garden had run wild. and stained the outer walls. until the reddening winter sun admonished me that it was time to start on my returning walk.  David Copperfield .

Peggotty’s house. and still. Steerforth was pretty sure to be there expecting me. and such a substitute for what I had lost as my excellent and generous aunt. it was delicious to think of having been there. looking at him. when I was later than usual . that day. It landed me on the flat between the town and the sea. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.and especially when Steerforth and I were happily seated over our dinner by a blazing fire. though in a softened degree.for I had. I always looked in as I went by. as we were now about to return home .I found him alone in Mr. and not a hundred yards out of my track. He was so intent upon his own reflections that he was quite unconscious of my approach. indeed. with a heavy brow. he might easily have been if he had been less absorbed. So it was.com  . turning over the leaves of the crocodile-book (which was always there. This. he was lost in his meditations. was by a ferry. for footsteps fell noiselessly on the sandy ground outside. I was standing close to him. upon a little table). sitting thoughtfully before the fire. been making my parting visit to Blunderstone. and we went on together through the frosty air and gathering fog towards the twinkling lights of the town. which I could make straight across. MY nearest way to Yarmouth. Mr. and. when I went to my neat room at night. Peggotty’s house being on that waste-place. such a friend as Peggotty. in coming back from these long walks. One dark evening. and so save myself a considerable circuit by the high road. but even my entrance failed to rouse him. remembered with a grateful heart how blest I was in having such a friend as Steerforth.

‘I wish with all my soul I could guide myself better!’ There was a passionate dejection in his manner that quite 0 David Copperfield . ‘But you are spoiling them for me. I wish to God I had had a judicious father these last twenty years!’ ‘My dear Steerforth.’ said I. that he made me start too. ‘You come upon me. then?’ said I. as he stirred it quickly with a piece of burning wood.’ he said. ‘No. ‘You would not have seen them. ‘thinking that all the people we found so glad on the night of our coming down. taking my seat near him. glancing round the room. neither day nor night.’ ‘Up from anywhere.’ he answered. How late you are! Where have you been?’ ‘I have been taking leave of my usual walk.’ said I. ‘I was looking at the pictures in the fire.to judge from the present wasted air of the place .’ said Steerforth. ‘I detest this mongrel time. striking out of it a train of red-hot sparks that went careering up the little chimney. and roaring out into the air.be dispersed. somehow. ‘Have I called you down from the stars?’ ‘No.’ he returned. ‘like a reproachful ghost!’ ‘I was obliged to announce myself.’ I replied.’ he returned. what is the matter?’ ‘I wish with all my soul I had been better guided!’ he exclaimed.He gave such a start when I put my hand upon his shoulder. or dead. David. might . or come to I don’t know what harm. ‘And I have been sitting here. almost angrily.

What old women call the horrors. have been creeping over me from head to foot. I believe I have been confounding myself with the bad boy who ‘didn’t care’. At odd dull times. ‘Well! So it goes by! I am not about to be Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Before I had well concluded. I have been a nightmare to myself.fretfully at first. twenty times richer and twenty times wiser.amazed me.a grander kind of going to the dogs. I think. and yet may have enough to be afraid of too. if I could not hope to advise him. or his lout of a nephew. He was more unlike himself than I could have supposed possible. ‘I told you at the inn in London. and to let me sympathize with him. and looking gloomily down at the fire.’ he said. that at first I could only observe him in silence. I think. ‘Perhaps not.’ said I.com 1 . unrecognized for what they are. sometimes. ‘It would be better to be this poor Peggotty. as he stood leaning his head upon his hand. nursery tales come up into the memory. he began to laugh . with his face towards the fire. it’s nothing. in this Devil’s bark of a boat.’ ‘You are afraid of nothing else. I have been afraid of myself.’ he answered. and be the torment to myself that I have been. but soon with returning gaiety. within the last half-hour!’ I was so confounded by the alteration in him. ‘than to be myself. and became food for lions . At length I begged him. just now . Daisy! nothing!’ he replied. with all the earnestness I felt. I am heavy company for myself. getting up and leaning moodily against the chimney-piece. ‘Tut.must have had one. to tell me what had occurred to cross him so unusually. I suppose.

no less than Mrs. my good fellow.’ he said. David. Peggotty’s return with the tide. ‘we abandon this buccaneer life tomorrow. for they were again at their usual flow. with whom it was an early night. I wonder!’ said I. with his hand. and he was full of vivacious conversation as we went along.’ like Macbeth. with his glance bent on the fire. but I never saw it express such a dark kind of earnestness as when he said these words.’ ‘But where are they all.’ said Steerforth. I strolled in here and found the place deserted. She had hurried out to buy something that was needed. ‘‘Why. He had improved his own spirits. Gummidge’s. making as if he tossed something light into the air. That set me thinking. ‘And so. took my arm. I am a man again. do we?’  David Copperfield . and hurried me away. Gummidge with a basket. ‘After strolling to the ferry looking for you. and you found me thinking. once more. against Mr. ‘So much for that!’ he said. Gummidge’s spirits by a cheerful salutation and a jocose embrace. And now for dinner! If I have not (Macbeth-like) broken up the feast with most admired disorder. and had left the door open in the meanwhile. after very much improving Mrs. lest Ham and little Em’ly. should come home while she was gone. gaily. Steerforth.’ The advent of Mrs. that it would have been well for me (and for more than me) if I had had a steadfast and judicious father!’ His face was always full of expression. Daisy. but I tell you.hipped again. being gone. ‘God knows. explained how the house had happened to be empty.

Steerforth. and now don’t care about it. I missed it somehow in a bad apprenticeship. I know how ardent you are in any pursuit you follow. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Mr. ‘I am never contented. and how easily you can master it. ‘A nautical phenomenon. ‘Indeed he does. except with your freshness.’ I returned. I could pass a reasonably good examination already. David. ‘I have almost forgotten that there is anything to do in the world but to go out tossing on the sea here.’ said I. but while the iron is hot. I can strike it vigorously too. Well! I dare say I am a capricious fellow.that you should be contented with such fitful uses of your powers. I suppose.You know I have bought a boat down here?’ ‘What an extraordinary fellow you are. stopping .com  .’ ‘As long as the novelty should last.’ I returned. And that amazes me most in you. . Peggotty says you are a wonder. Steerforth!’ I exclaimed. my gentle Daisy. ‘Like enough. I think. ‘though there’s a sarcastic meaning in that observation for an amiable piece of innocence like my young friend. laughing. I have never learnt the art of binding myself to any of the wheels on which the Ixions of these days are turning round and round. you know. eh?’ laughed Steerforth. I wish there was not.‘So we agreed.’ ‘Contented?’ he answered. and you know how truly. as a pilot in these waters. As to fitfulness. I know I am.’ said Steerforth. merrily.’ ‘Ay! there’s no help for it.for this was the first I had heard of it.’ he returned. ‘And our places by the coach are taken.

though he looked very steadily at me. or sorrow. with a letter from my mother.’ ‘Now I understand you.’ said Steerforth. ‘You pretend to have bought it for yourself. but you have really done so to confer a benefit on him. ‘you told me all that.‘When you may never care to come near the place again!’ ‘I don’t know that.’ he returned. aye.’ ‘Oh yes! came down this morning. There let it rest. that I may know she is quite complete.’ walking me briskly on. Peggotty says. or any emotion of such honest hearts that was indifferent to you?’ ‘Aye. I only pursued it in my thoughts as we went on at even a quicker pace than before. Peggotty will be master of her in my absence. ‘didn’t I say that there was not a joy. I might have known as much at first. I feared that  David Copperfield . At all events. ‘The less said. ‘and I shall leave Littimer behind to see it done.’ ‘Didn’t I know?’ cried I. Mr. turning red. Did I tell you Littimer had come down?’ ‘ No. My dear kind Steerforth. exultingly.a clipper. the better. ‘I have taken a fancy to the place.and Mr.’ he answered. I observed that he was pale even to his lips. ‘I have bought a boat that was for sale . and so she is .’ As our looks met. We have said enough!’ Afraid of offending him by pursuing the subject when he made so light of it. Steerforth!’ said I. how can I tell you what I think of your generosity?’ ‘Tush!’ he answered. knowing you. ‘She must be newly rigged.

but manly withal. ‘The same as ever.’ ‘By what name?’ I asked. and he resumed his usual smile.’ As he had continued to look steadily at me. the best of good looks. an honesty. he’s a true knight. He never leaves her!’ Ham was a boat-builder in these days.’ he said. but I said little. and looked rugged enough. ‘But see here. He is come down. ‘where the original little Em’ly comes! And that fellow with her. having improved a natural ingenuity in that handicraft. there was a frankness in his face. as they came towards Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Nothing of the sort! Yes. and giving a slight laugh. Peggotty care for Stormy Petrels! I’ll have her christened again. eh? Upon my soul. until he had become a skilled workman. What does Mr. Indeed. I took it as a reminder that he objected to being extolled for his consideration.’ said Steerforth. looking before us. I thought. and seemed relieved. He was in his working-dress. ‘The ‘Little Em’ly”. and an undisguised show of his pride in her.’ ‘The same as ever?’ said I. that man of mine. ‘Distant and quiet as the North Pole. and his love for her.com  . to me. and a very fit protector for the blooming little creature at his side. which were. I hinted so. ‘Oh no!’ he said. She’s the ‘Stormy Petrel’ now.some difference between him and his mother might have led to his being in the frame of mind in which I had found him at the solitary fireside. shaking his head. He shall see to the boat being fresh named. I could not help showing in my face how much it pleased me.

left but itself visible between us and the sea and clouds. Suddenly there passed us . When they passed on.’ said Steerforth.a young woman whose approach we had not observed. and to have nothing in her mind but going after them. after we had exchanged a few words. ‘what does it mean?’ He spoke in a low voice that sounded almost strange to Me.’ ‘Why?’ I asked. and blushed as she gave it to Steerforth and to me. and poor. absorbing their figures into itself.’ said I. ‘That is a black shadow to be following the girl. still no nearer to them than before. to have given all that to the wind which was blowing. walked by herself. looked bold. ‘A beggar would be no novelty. ‘She must have it in her mind to beg of them. her figure disappeared in like manner. but seemed. for the time. still appearing timid and constrained. but. that they were well matched even in that particular.evidently following them . She was lightly dressed. I thought all this very pretty and engaging. but whose face I saw as she went by. as we looked after them fading away in the light of a young moon. ‘but it is a strange thing that the beggar should take that shape tonight. and flaunting.  David Copperfield . and haggard. and Steerforth seemed to think so too. she did not like to replace that hand. She withdrew her hand timidly from his arm as we stopped to speak to them. and thought I had a faint remembrance of. standing still.’ said Steerforth. I think.us. As the dark distant level.

sir. that they were tolerably well. and had sent their compliments. Now for our dinner!’ But he looked again over his shoulder towards the sealine glimmering afar off. She informs me that she makes one of her professional visits here. as I felt. much astonished. when taking a step or two towards the table. seated warm and merry. Miss Mowcher is down here.’ ‘Why. after a pause. sir. than because I was thinking. he thanked me. truly. looking over his shoulder. I wonder!’ ‘From the shadow of this wall.‘For no better reason. ‘Miss Mowcher. and yet he seemed to me to say as plainly as a man could say: ‘You are very young. ‘of something like it. in some broken expressions. sir. he said to his master: ‘I beg your pardon. Littimer was there.com  . ‘It appears to be her native part of the country. When I said to him that I hoped Mrs. when it came by. and only seemed to forget it when the light of fire and candle shone upon us. or rather upon me. ‘And all ill go with it. he answered respectfully (and of course respectably). sir. what on earth does she do here?’ said Steerforth. And he wondered about it. from the corner where he kept watch upon us. at table.’ We had almost finished dinner. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘It’s gone!’ he returned. Steerforth and Miss Dartle were well. I think. in the short remainder of our walk. you are exceedingly young. several times. This was all.’ said I. Where the Devil did it come from. and had his usual effect upon me. as we emerged upon a road on which a wall abutted. and yet again.’ ‘Who?’ cried Steerforth.’ he said.

announced: ‘Miss Mowcher!’ I looked at the doorway and saw nothing. Daisy?’ inquired Steerforth. thinking that Miss Mowcher was a long while making her appearance. ‘Then you shall know her. and she wished to know if she might have the honour of waiting on you after dinner. there came waddling round a sofa which stood between me and it. when the door opened.’ ‘Do you know the Giantess in question. I was still looking at the doorway. and such extremely little arms. I met her in the street this afternoon. ‘for she is one of the seven wonders of the world. a pursy dwarf.that Miss Mowcher and I were wholly unacquainted.every year. I remained. even of being at this disadvantage before Littimer . with a very large head and face.I felt ashamed. show her in. sir.’ said Steerforth. of about forty or fortyfive. with his habitual serenity quite undisturbed. and positively refused to answer any question of which I made her the subject. when. I was obliged to confess . as she ogled  David Copperfield . When Miss Mowcher comes. especially as Steerforth burst into a fit of laughing when I referred to her.’ I felt some curiosity and excitement about this lady. to my infinite astonishment. a pair of roguish grey eyes. therefore. and we were sitting over our decanter of wine before the fire. and Littimer. sir. that. in a state of considerable expectation until the cloth had been removed some half an hour. to enable herself to lay a finger archly against her snub nose.

I’m everywhere. waist she had none. are you! Oh. bringing her nose and her forefinger together. man alive. ‘You’re there. for though she was more than full-sized down to where her waist would have been. bow and all. what do you do so far away from home? Up to mischief. worth mentioning. This lady . standing with her head necessarily on one side. and. at this passage of her Free eBooks at Planet eBook. she was obliged to meet the finger half-way. I’m here and there. ha! You’d have betted a hundred pound to five. in a pair of feet. ha. you’re a downy fellow. if she had had any. she was so short that she stood at a common-sized chair as at a table. that you wouldn’t have seen me here. Oh. with the difficulty I have described. ain’t you. now. you naughty boy. shaking her large head at him. Talking of handkerchers . so you are. legs she had none. was so fat that it entirely swallowed up the strings of her bonnet. ain’t I? Ha.and talking of ladies . broke into a torrent of words. and though she terminated. with one of her sharp eyes shut up. like the conjurer’s half-crown in the lady’s handkercher.com  . as human beings generally do. Steerforth.what a comfort you are to your blessed mother.after ogling Steerforth for a few moments. ‘What! My flower!’ she pleasantly began. over one of my shoulders. and I’m another. wouldn’t you? Bless you. and I don’t say which!’ Miss Mowcher untied her bonnet. and where not.dressed in an off-hand.Steerforth. Her chin. easy style. which was what is called a double chin. my dear boy. resting a bag she carried on the seat. and lay her nose against it. Throat she had none. making an uncommonly knowing face . fie for shame. I’ll be bound.

tapping her nose again. screwing up her face. wherever I saw you. ‘Oh my stars and what’s-their-names!’ she went on. but he wants principle. ‘Go along.’ she retorted. and twinkling her eyes like an imp of supernatural intelligence.and he went on at that rate in the complimentary line.making a kind of arbour of the dining table. you’d think I was a fine woman. my blessed infant. ‘I’m of too full a habit. making a whisk at him with the handkerchief with which she was wiping her face. that’s the fact. Ha! ha! ha! He’s a pleasant wretch. for he’s had it these ten years . you dog. clapping a hand on each of her little knees. ‘Never YOU 0 David Copperfield . it gives me as much trouble to draw every breath I want. wouldn’t you?’ ‘I should think that. ‘and don’t be impudent! But I give you my word and honour I was at Lady Mithers’s last week THERE’S a woman! How SHE wears! . threw back the strings. Steerforth. as if it was a bucket of water. panting. and glancing shrewdly at me. ‘That’s tellings. After a flight of stairs. that I began to think I should be obliged to ring the bell. and sat down.and Mithers himself came into the room where I was waiting for her . on a footstool in front of the fire . do!’ cried the little creature.THERE’S a man! How HE wears! and his wig too.’ replied Steerforth. which spread its mahogany shelter above her head.’ ‘What were you doing for Lady Mithers?’ asked Steerforth. If you saw me looking out of an upper window.discourse.

‘he wants to know you. From this employment she suddenly desisted.com 1 . wouldn’t you? And so you shall. brushes. of pausing with her head cunningly on one side. and other instruments. my sweet pet. which she tumbled in a heap upon the chair. or dye it. Copperfield. quite oblivious. or improve her eyebrows. combs. when listening to what was said to her.’ ‘Well. ‘and he came of a long line of Walkers. my darling . or when waiting for an answer to what she had said herself. and was busily engaged in producing from the bag (plunging in her short arm to the shoulder. ‘It was Walker. Altogether I was lost in amazement.’ said Steerforth. at every dive) a number of small bottles.when I tell you! Do you know what my great grandfather’s name was?’ ‘No. I am afraid. little pairs of curling-irons.’ I never beheld anything approaching to Miss Mowcher’s wink except Miss Mowcher’s self-possession. She had by this time drawn the chair to her side. or touch up her complexion.’ said Steerforth. bits of flannel. She had a wonderful way too. that I inherit all the Hookey estates from.’ replied Miss Mowcher. and one eye turned up like a magpie’s. and sat staring at her.mind! You’d like to know whether I stop her hair from falling off. and said to Steerforth. he shall! I thought he looked as if he did!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. then. much to my confusion: ‘Who’s your friend?’ ‘Mr. of the laws of politeness. sponges.

’ ‘He pays well. ‘Oh. in the bag again. as he speaks. ‘Face like a peach!’ standing on tiptoe to pinch my cheek as I sat. Twice a week! Fingers and toes. my pet. and that the happiness was mutual. though.returned Miss Mowcher. ‘I keep his nails in order for him. higgledy-piggledy. ‘Quite tempting! I’m very fond of peaches.’ replied Miss Mowcher. to be sure. my sweet child?’ replied that morsel of a woman. bag in hand. ‘Look here!’ taking something out. ‘I believe you. how polite we are!’ exclaimed Miss Mowcher. ain’t it!’ This was addressed confidentially to both of us. Happy to make your acquaintance. Prince Alphabet turned topsy-turvy. I call him.’ I said that I congratulated myself on having the honour to make hers. is he?’ said Steerforth.’ replied Miss Mowcher. making a preposterous attempt to cover her large face with her morsel of a hand. ain’t we. as the morsel of a hand came away from the face. ‘Ha! ha! ha! What a refreshing set of humbugs we are. and laughing on me as she came. Copperfield. ‘Pays. my goodness.’ ‘The Russian Prince is a client of yours. ‘None of your close shavers the Prince  David Copperfield . Miss Mowcher?’ said Steerforth. ‘Scraps of the Russian Prince’s nails. arm and all. and buried itself. my dear child . I hope?’ said Steerforth.through the nose. Mr. ‘What a world of gammon and spinnage it is. ‘What do you mean. feeling in the bag with her head on one side and her eye in the air. waddling up to me. for his name’s got all the letters in it. I’m sure.

If Miss Mowcher cuts the Prince’s nails. ‘Oh. I give ‘em away to the young ladies. just now?’ inquired Steerforth. They put ‘em in albums. Miss Mowcher continuing all the time to shake her head (which was very much on one side). of course. The climate affected his dye. what a set of humbugs we were in general. and rising. ‘I said. ‘the whole social system’ (as the men call it when they make speeches in Parliament) is a system of Prince’s nails!’ said this least of women. and to wink with the other. Miss Mowcher winked assent. ‘Well.’ said Steerforth. ‘this is not business. and to look into the air with one eye. trying to fold her short arms. The Prince’s nails do more for me in private families of the genteel sort. You never saw such a rusty Prince in all your born days as he was. ain’t you?’ returned Miss Mowcher. shaking her head violently. and have it over.ain’t. if you saw his moustachios. I always carry ‘em about. Come. she must be all right. I believe. Like old iron!’ ‘Is that why you called him a humbug. well!’ she said. They’re the best introduction. black by art. Ha! ha! ha! Upon my life. Steerforth.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. it did very well in Russia. ‘Forced to send for me. Steerforth laughed heartily.’ ‘By your art. and nodding her large head. than all my talents put together. You’d say so. Couldn’t help it. but it was no go here. and I laughed too. let’s explore the polar regions. smiting her small knees. Red by nature.com  . you’re a broth of a boy. and I showed you the scraps of the Prince’s nails to prove it.

she tilted some of the contents of the little bottle on to one of the little bits of flannel. which she took out of her pocket. evidently for no other purpose than our entertainment. and asked (to my surprise) if the table would bear. to the top. my young friend. come to Mrs. ‘say so. ducky.’ said I. after a brief inspection. ‘If either of you saw my ankles. pretty nimbly. again imparting some of the virtues of that preparation to one of the  David Copperfield . and submitted his head to her inspection. was a most amazing spectacle. when she was safely elevated. ducky. and. she pushed a chair against it. just half a minute. ‘Well then. and begging the assistance of my hand. and a little bottle. mounted up.’ This was an invocation to Steerforth to place himself under her hands.She then selected two or three of the little instruments.’ said Steerforth. ‘You’d be as bald as a friar on the top of your head in twelve months. ‘You’re a pretty fellow!’ said Miss Mowcher. To see Miss Mowcher standing over him. with his back to the table.’ she said. sat himself down. ‘I did not.’ I’ll consent to live. On Steerforth’s replying in the affirmative. but for me. and we’ll give you a polishing that shall keep your curls on for the next ten years!’ With this.’ cried Miss Mowcher. Bond and be killed. and his laughing face towards me. ducky. who. and I’ll go home and destroy myself!’ ‘I did not. Now. looking at his rich profusion of brown hair through a large round magnifying glass. as if it were a stage. accordingly.

you know.not . is it?’ ‘Rouge. ‘To drink?’ returned Miss Mowcher. sir.not ROUGE.quite a Griffin .in the Life-Guards.’ Now that.’ said Steerforth. too?’ ‘Mad!’ said Steerforth. I thought it might be. but. However. ‘You know Charley?’ peeping round into his face.’ said the Griffin. ‘There’s Charley Pyegrave. ‘What the unmentionable to ears polite. lo and behold you. stopping to slap his cheek. and wants to buy a bottle of the Madagascar Liquid. But they haven’t got any of the Madagascar Liquid. ‘What does he do.’ continued Miss Mowcher. the duke’s son. ‘Begging pardon. talking all the time. sir. they’d defy competition. my child. began rubbing and scraping away with both on the crown of Steerforth’s head in the busiest manner I ever witnessed. ‘we have it asked for by so many names.’ ‘What is it? Something to drink?’ asked Steerforth. ‘What a man HE is! THERE’S a whisker! As to Charley’s legs.’ she said. do you think I want with rouge?’ ‘No offence. he tried.little brushes. ‘Charley does. ‘It looks like it.’ said Charley to the Griffin. ‘A little. ‘it’s not . he goes into a perfumer’s shop.’ returned Miss Mowcher.com  .elderly female . There was a woman in the shop . Would you believe he tried to do without me .’ said the Griffin to Charley. if they were only a pair (which they ain’t). mad or sane.’ ‘Charley does?’ said Steerforth. rubbing all the time as Free eBooks at Planet eBook.who had never even heard of it by name. ‘To doctor his own moustachios with.

intensely enjoying this refreshment. And when I wait upon ‘em. SHE calls it tucker-edging.’ replied Miss Mowcher. to one another. ‘Such things are not much in demand hereabouts.WITH IT ON . That sets me off again! I haven’t seen a pretty woman since I’ve been here. ‘Ah!’ she said. SHE calls it lip-salve. ‘Put this and that together. I do something in that way myself . and the product will give you the desired result. I think?’ said  David Copperfield . Another. One Dowager.perhaps a good deal .never mind!’ ‘In what way do you mean? In the rouge way?’ said Steerforth. SHE calls it a fan. and make believe with such a face. SHE calls it gloves. but we keep up the trick so.busily as ever.thick. before a whole drawing-room. Another. and winking at me over it. ‘We could show her the substance of one. jemmy. that they’d as soon think of laying it on. I call it whatever THEY call it. ‘work it by the rule of Secrets in all trades. as before me. my young friend!’ I never did in my days behold anything like Mowcher as she stood upon the dining table. my tender pupil. touching her nose.’ ‘No?’ said Steerforth. rubbing busily at Steerforth’s head.perhaps a little . Mowcher? Am I pale?’ Ha! ha! ha! ha! Isn’t THAT refreshing. I say I do a little in that way myself. I supply it for ‘em. my dear boy .’ returned the wary Mowcher. and no mistake . ‘Not the ghost of one. they’ll say to me sometimes .sharp’s the word. ‘is another instance of the refreshing humbug I was speaking of. Another.‘How am I looking.

Mr.Is her name Polly?’ The Elfin suddenness with which she pounced upon me with this question. So I said.to have a great admiration for her. addressing his eyes to mine. indeed. ‘Umph?’ The first exclamation sounded like a question put to both of us.com  . for shame! Did he sip every flower. She seemed to have found no answer to either. ‘A sister of yours. and the second like a question put to Steerforth only. with her head on one side and her eye turned up. after a pause.’ said Steerforth. She is engaged to be married to a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Aha?’ cried the little creature. and change every hour.’ said I. aye?’ ‘No. glancing sharply at my face. ‘Umph? What a rattle I am! Mr. ‘Nothing of the sort. and still keeping the same look-out. hasn’t he now?’ returned Miss Mowcher. ‘Eh. Copperfield?’ she cried.Steerforth.’ ‘Aha?’ she cried exactly as before. Copperfield.or I am much mistaken . quite disconcerted me for a moment. until Polly his passion requited? . and then peeping round at Steerforth’s. Copperfield used . On the contrary. Miss Mowcher. and a searching look. as if she were looking for an answer in the air and were confident of its appearing presently. but continued to rub. Mr. ‘No.’ I replied. ‘Her name is Emily.’ ‘Why. before I could reply. ‘Aye. ‘Is he fickle? Oh. Daisy?’ ‘Yes. in a graver manner than any of us had yet assumed: ‘She is as virtuous as she is pretty. ain’t I volatile?’ Her tone and look implied something that was not agreeable to me in connexion with the subject.

Ought to end ‘and they lived  David Copperfield . that went glancing round his head in all directions. Do you observe? Omer and Joram. and so forth. The promise of which my friend has spoken. Peggotty.’ Miss Mowcher listened to these words. Peggotty. that I am sure she might do better. ‘Oh! And that’s all about it. unknown. occupation. also of this town. and that I swear she was born to be a lady. that to me she seems to be throwing herself away. surname. Ham. which I know my friend would not like. which were very slowly and distinctly spoken. She is at present apprenticed. ‘Very well: very well! Quite a long story. boat-builder.’ ‘Well said!’ cried Steerforth. with her head on one side. as much as I admire her for her good looks. in this town. I admire her . I would add. If it were not that I might appear to disparage her Intended. and rattled away with surprising volubility. or articled. and her eye in the air as if she were still looking for that answer. hear. trimming his whiskers with a little restless pair of scissors.most worthy and deserving man in her own station of life.exceedingly. surname.as my friend does . Haberdashers. or whatever it may be. She lives with a relative. is it?’ she exclaimed. my dear Daisy. occupation. to Omer and Joram. She is the prettiest and most engaging little fairy in the world. Christian name. hear! Now I’ll quench the curiosity of this little Fatima. also of this town. is made and entered into with her cousin. Milliners. seafaring. Christian name. When he ceased she became brisk again in an instant. Miss Mowcher. ‘Hear. I esteem her for her good sense. by leaving her nothing to guess at.

’ ‘No. her name’s Emily. now. Miss Mowcher.’ peeping down into his face. laughing. and she lives in the east? Ha! ha! ha! Mr. I took her to the sign of the exquisite. she continued. and not waiting for any reply. ‘No? Let’s get the scaffolding up. jemmy (as we say at Court). If I understand any noddle in the world. looking at me with the aspect of a connoisseur. without drawing breath: ‘There! If ever any scapegrace was trimmed and touched up to perfection. Copperfield will take the chair I’ll operate on him.com  . ‘Now you may mizzle. because she’s engaged. you are. Do you hear me when I tell you that. oughtn’t it? Ah! What’s that game at forfeits? I love my love with an E. because she’s enticing.’ said Miss Mowcher. But Miss Mowcher. I thank you. ain’t I volatile?’ Merely looking at me with extravagant slyness. Daisy?’ inquired Steerforth. Steerforth. then.’ she urged. ‘some other time.happy ever afterwards”.’ ‘Go in for a tip. ‘We can do it in a fortnight. Not at present. and treated her with an elopement. ‘Will you be improved?’ ‘Thank you.’ ‘What do you say. I hate her with an E. Copperfield. my darling? I understand yours. not this evening. finding that I Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Have it carried half a quarter of an inch towards the temple. Come!’ I could not help blushing as I declined. for I felt we were on my weak point. and if Mr. I understand yours.’ returned the little woman. and resigning his seat. for a pair of whiskers. ‘a little bit more eyebrow?’ ‘Thank you.’ I returned.’ ‘Don’t say no.

and replacing in the bag a miscellaneous collection of little objects she had emptied out of it. for the time being. my chicken. Ain’t I volatile. dropped them in her pocket.’ my ducks!’ 00 David Copperfield . jockey of Norfolk! How I have been rattling on! It’s all the fault of you two wretches. and thought it so like English. ‘The fee. Ha! ha! ha! A wicked rascal. ‘Have I got all my traps? It seems so. I forgive you! ‘Bob swore!’ . but I am forced to leave you. she skipped down with much agility. proof against the blandishments of the small bottle which she held up before one eye to enforce her persuasions. Ned. when they took him to church ‘to marry him to somebody’. standing at the chair again. Copperfield?’ I replied politely: ‘Not at all. and try to bear it. caught them. Mr. and gave it a loud slap.’ replied Miss Mowcher. and began to tie her double chin into her bonnet. Copperfield! Take care of yourself. when he first learnt French.as the Englishman said for ‘Good night’. ‘and dirt cheap. as he says. and requested the aid of my hand to descend from her elevated station. You must call up all your fortitude. when she tossed up his two half-crowns like a goblin pieman. ‘Bob swore. I know I’m going to break your hearts. but droll! Now. ‘is -’ ‘Five bob. Thus assisted. Mr.’ But I thought she was rather so. Good-bye. and that I was. ‘That’s the Till!’ observed Miss Mowcher. It won’t do to be like long Ned Beadwood. and left the bride behind.was not at present disposed for any decoration within the range of her art. said we would make a beginning on an early day.’ said Steerforth.

that it was impossible for me to help laughing too. Some people trifled with her as a mere oddity. though I am not sure I should have done so. He told me that what she had said of being here. with much rapidity. which was after some time. ‘Ain’t I volatile?’ she added. a good deal about her skill. for she made little darts into the provinces. and as long-headed as she was short-armed. He told me instead. and there. if I should ever have occasion for her service in that capacity. not succeeding in attracting his attention to these questions after two or three attempts. I forbore or forgot to repeat them. ‘Bob swore!’ as I went Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I asked him what her disposition was: whether it was at all mischievous. and seemed to pick up customers everywhere. but for this inducement.com 01 . but she was as shrewdly and sharply observant as anyone he knew. departed. where she stopped to inquire if she should leave us a lock of her hair. and rattling as she waddled away. and to know everybody. he told me that Miss Mowcher had quite an extensive connexion. She was the principal theme of our conversation during the evening: and when we parted for the night Steerforth called after me over the banisters. Steerforth laughed to that degree. as a commentary on this offer. and if her sympathies were generally on the right side of things: but. he said. was true enough. When we had had our laugh quite out. and made herself useful to a variety of people in a variety of ways. and everywhere. with her finger on her nose. she waddled to the door. and about her being a scientific cupper. and.With the bag slung over her arm. and her profits.

’ ‘Did I see her tonight. she was theer. that Em’ly knowed once.’ said Ham.’ said I. to find Ham walking up and down in front of it. ‘It’s like you did. Ham. Mas’r Davy. sir .’ ‘Well. Mas’r Davy. Mas’r Davy.’ ‘I should have thought. for Christ’s sake. ‘It’s a young woman. and speaking very gravely. some hours ago. a light began to fall upon the figure I had seen following them. Mas’r Davy. Mas’r Davy. when I came to Mr. I was surprised. ‘that that was a reason for your being in here too. ‘It’s a poor wurem. Barkis’s house. when she see the light come. but along of her creeping soon arterwards under Em’ly’s little winder. Up street and down street. I naturally inquired why he was not there too. The mowld o’ the churchyard don’t hold any that the folk shrink away from. you see.downstairs. in a general way. fur to 0 David Copperfield . more. and still more surprised to learn from him that little Em’ly was inside. instead of pacing the streets by himself? ‘Why. smiling. sir.’ he returned. Em’ly. I was once like you!’ Those was solemn words. ‘as is trod under foot by all the town. ‘but look’ee here. in a hesitating manner. ‘Em’ly.’ lowering his voice.’ When I heard these words. so ‘t would be. Mas’r Davy. have a woman’s heart towards me.a young woman. after we met you?’ ‘Keeping us in sight?’ said Ham.’ he rejoined. and doen’t ought to know no more. on the sand. Ham. Not that I know’d then. she’s talking to some ‘un in here. and whispering ‘Em’ly.

‘So Em’ly writes in pencil on a bit of paper. ‘I recollect her quite well!’ ‘Martha Endell.’ ‘For the matter o’ that. but was at the school with her. I was once like you!’ She wanted to speak to Em’ly. ‘I didn’t mean to interrupt you.’ ‘I never heard her name.’ she says.’ ‘I recollect her now!’ cried I. Mas’r Davy. ‘all’s told a’most in them words. Em’ly. on the instant. ‘Martha. Em’ly couldn’t speak to her theer. ‘Show that.’ he pursued. see them two together. and she’ll set you down by her fire. Barkis.for they had sat at work together.no. and asks me to bring her. and he wouldn’t . ‘Two or three year older than Em’ly. ‘Em’ly. side by side. at Mr. I knew it. Martha. Mrs.hear!’ ‘They were indeed. can it be you?’ . for the love of me. Mas’r Davy. kind-natur’d. What can I do? She doen’t ought to know any such. but I can’t deny her. ‘he couldn’t. for her loving uncle was come home. Omer’s.’ replied Ham. ‘and gives it to her out o’ winder to bring here.com 0 . quite as well as Ham.’ said I.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mas’r Davy. recalling one of the two girls I had seen when I first went there. when the tears is on her face. have a woman’s heart towards me. for Christ’s sake. tender-hearted as he is.’ I felt how true this was. with great earnestness. till uncle is gone out.’ By and by she tells me what I tell you. many a day. for all the treasures that’s wrecked in the sea. is it you? Oh.’ said Ham. and I can come. Ham.’ said Ham. ‘to my aunt. What did Em’ly do?’ ‘Says Em’ly.

The door opening immediately into it. beckoning to Ham to come in. ‘With such a little money in it. So had little Em’ly. Not a word was spoken when we first went in.He put his hand into the breast of his shaggy jacket. Even then. from the disposition of her figure. I would have avoided the room where they all were. that Em’ly had but newly risen from the chair.’ said Ham. ‘And if I could deny her when the tears was on her face. Em’ly my dear.was near the fire.and we walked up and down. The door opened then. and Peggotty appeared. I saw but little of the girl’s face.knowing what she brought it for? Such a toy as it is!’ said Ham. in silence. but for its being the neat-tiled kitchen I have mentioned more than once. tenderly adjusting it on the rough palm of his hand. and the Dutch clock by the dresser seemed. but she came after me. ‘how could I deny her when she give me this to carry for her . I would have kept away. for a minute or two.the same I had seen upon the sands .for that was more satisfactory to me than saying anything . and of a fair complexion. and took out with great care a pretty little purse. but I saw that she was young. as if she had been disordering it with her own hands.’ I shook him warmly by the hand when he had put it away again . Peggotty had been crying. with her head and one arm lying on a chair. entreating me to come in too. in the silence. and that the forlorn head might perhaps have been lying on her lap. I fancied. The girl . I found myself among them before I considered whither I was going. over which her hair fell loose and scattered. to tick 0 David Copperfield . Mas’r Davy. She was sitting on the ground. thoughtfully looking on it.

I never can do worse than I have done here. where the whole town knows me from a child!’ As Em’ly held out her hand to Ham. I saw him put in it a little canvas bag. Em’ly spoke first. or in an agony of pain from a shot. ‘take me out of these streets. They both spoke as if she were ill. though she did not move. and curved her right arm about her neck. Does he .com 0 .’ she said to Ham.’ said Martha.’ said a third voice aloud . and looked darkly round at him for a moment. ‘Better there than here. in a soft. ‘No one knows me there. which I have always remembered distinctly. She took it. I may do better. ‘Martha wants.’ ‘Why to London?’ returned Ham. Everybody knows me here.’ said little Em’ly. looking on the prostrate girl with a mixture of compassion for her. might twist herself.Martha’s. but finding her mistake. and of jealousy of her holding any companionship with her whom he loved so well. and showed it to him. ‘You don’t know what she has said to us. She lifted up her head. then laid it down again.aunt?’ Peggotty shook her head compassionately.twice as loud as usual. as if she thought it were her purse. came back to where he had retired near me. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘She will try to do well. ‘if you’ll help me away. Oh!’ with a dreadful shiver. as a woman in a fever. ‘I’ll try. ‘to go to London.do they . although it hardly rose above a whisper. He stood between them.’ ‘What will she do there?’ inquired Ham. and made a step or two forward. suppressed tone that was plainly heard.

‘Doen’t. and fell to sobbing.‘It’s all yourn. She stopped a moment before going out. ‘Doen’t. sobbing. ‘I’m 0 David Copperfield . dreary. I’m sure. pretty!’ ‘Oh. I ought to have!’ ‘Yes. Em’ly. still weeping pitifully. Em’ly!’ said Ham. as she asked was that enough? ‘More than enough. ‘I haven’t nowt in all the wureld that ain’t yourn. and putting money in her bosom. sometimes. tapping her gently on the shoulder. except for you!’ The tears rose freshly in her eyes. I know I do!’ she sobbed. and gathering her shawl about her.’ said Ham. and took her hand and kissed it. and weeping aloud. She whispered something. Making the same low.’ I could hear him say. covering her face with it. ‘I try your love too much. Ham!’ she exclaimed. went slowly to the door. What she gave her. Then Martha arose. ‘I am not as good a girl as I ought to be. my dear! You doen’t ought to cry so. as if she would have uttered something or turned back. and shaking her head. ‘I am not so good a girl as I ought to be! I know I have not the thankful heart. as if her heart would break. I don’t know. she went away. Not near! not near!’ And still she cried. but she turned away and went to Martha. yes.’ the other said. you have. my dear. I saw her stooping over her. wretched moaning in her shawl. It ain’t of no delight to me. but no word passed her lips. ‘No! no! no!’ cried little Em’ly. little Em’ly looked at us three in a hurried manner and then hid her face in her hands. As the door closed.

’ said Ham. and never vain and changeable like me!’ ‘Poor little tender-heart.com 0 . try to help me! I want to be a better girl than I am. do. I am very miserable tonight. try to help me! Mr. try to help me! Ham. altogether. in a low voice. I am not. I want to feel more. ‘my dear! I am happy in the sight of you. what a blessed thing it is to be the wife of a good man. not because I am! Oh. aunt. and to make you happy!’ ‘You always make me so. I want to feel a hundred times more thankful than I do.often cross to you. I am not as good a girl as I ought to be. aunt! Oh. looking up most earnestly into her face. and to lead a peaceful life. when I should think of nothing but how to be grateful. who was all bound up in you. I am happy.’ sobbed Em’ly. it might have been a better fortune for you. oh me! Oh my heart.’ said Ham.’ ‘Ah! that’s not enough!’ she cried.of someone steadier and much worthier than me. Oh me. You are never so to me. ‘come here. and changeable with you. and let me lay my head upon you. kneeled by her. when I ought to be far different. my dear. ‘Oh. ceasFree eBooks at Planet eBook. please. I know!’ Peggotty had hastened to the chair before the fire. pray. with her arms around her neck. ‘That is because you are good. my heart!’ She dropped her face on my old nurse’s breast. and. in the thoughts of you.’ ‘Please. aunt. for the sake of old times. if you had been fond of someone else . ‘Martha has overset her. David. Oh. Em’ly. dear. all day long. Why am I ever so to you.

and now jesting a little with her. and then to laugh. and I looked after them. comparing their departure in my mind with Martha’s. that night. 0 David Copperfield . lest her uncle should wonder. until she was able to smile. now talking encouragingly. as all her manner was (being. and then to sit up. half a child’s. in that. while my old nurse hushed her like an infant. in the waning moonlight. and then we soothed her. which in its agony and grief was half a woman’s. wept silently. when she got home. why his darling had been crying. until she began to raise her head and speak to us. I saw her do. half ashamed. and made her neat again. more natural. dried her eyes. and still kept close to him.ing this supplication. and creep close to his bluff form as if it were her best support. She got calmer by degrees. and better suited to her beauty. I saw that she held his arm with both her hands. while Peggotty recalled her stray ringlets. than any other manner could have been). as I thought. I saw her innocently kiss her chosen husband on the cheek. So we got on. When they went away together. what I had never seen her do before.

and there it gave her image a new grace. and whom I have always been persuaded. and shall always be persuaded. to keep it in my own breast. The repetition to any ears . after Martha had left. therefore. I had no gentler feeling towards anyone than towards the pretty creature who had been my playmate. I felt as if I had come into the knowledge of those domestic weaknesses and tendernesses in a sacred confidence. unworthy of the light of our pure childhood. I then devotedly loved. to my dying day. I felt would be a rough deed. would be wrong. unworthy of myself. which I always saw encircling her head. I made a resolution.even to Steerforth’s . and her emotion last night.of what she had been unable to repress when her heart lay open to me by an accident.com 0 . even to Steerforth. AND CHOOSE A PROFESSION W hen I awoke in the morning I thought very much of little Em’ly.CHAPTER 23 I CORROBORATE Mr. DICK. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and that to disclose them.

and left a great many people very sorry behind US. and we left him standing on the pavement. I resolved to make it a subject of discussion on our journey home. The whole house of Omer and Joram turned out to bid us good-bye. as he stood waiting to see the coach start. we should hardly have wanted porters to carry it. For the present we had enough to do. if it would have kept us eight-and-forty hours in Yarmouth. a letter was delivered to me from my aunt. Littimer?’ said I. Do you stay long here. in taking leave of all our friends. just now. and on which I knew I should be delighted to consult him.’ observed Steerforth. as respectable a mystery as any pyramid in Egypt. In a word. wishing us a good journey. ‘He knows what he has to do. ‘No. and there were so many seafaring volunteers in attendance on Steerforth. Littimer touched his hat in acknowledgement of my good opinion. He touched it once more. and sacrificed another guinea. and I believe would even have opened the box again. sir. when our portmanteaux went to the coach. in his regret at our departure.’ he replied. we departed to the regret and admiration of all concerned. that if we had had the baggage of a regiment with us.’ ‘That I am sure he will. sir. As it contained matter on which I thought Steerforth could advise me as well as anyone.’ ‘He can hardly say. Peggotty and all her family were full of grief at our going. Barkis was far from being the last among them. 10 David Copperfield .While we were at breakfast.’ said I. carelessly. and I felt about eight years old. ‘probably not very long. and he’ll do it. Mr.

For some little time we held no conversation, Steerforth being unusually silent, and I being sufficiently engaged in wondering, within myself, when I should see the old places again, and what new changes might happen to me or them in the meanwhile. At length Steerforth, becoming gay and talkative in a moment, as he could become anything he liked at any moment, pulled me by the arm: ‘Find a voice, David. What about that letter you were speaking of at breakfast?’ ‘Oh!’ said I, taking it out of my pocket. ‘It’s from my aunt.’ ‘And what does she say, requiring consideration?’ ‘Why, she reminds me, Steerforth,’ said I, ‘that I came out on this expedition to look about me, and to think a little.’ ‘Which, of course, you have done?’ ‘Indeed I can’t say I have, particularly. To tell you the truth, I am afraid I have forgotten it.’ ‘Well! look about you now, and make up for your negligence,’ said Steerforth. ‘Look to the right, and you’ll see a flat country, with a good deal of marsh in it; look to the left, and you’ll see the same. Look to the front, and you’ll find no difference; look to the rear, and there it is still.’ I laughed, and replied that I saw no suitable profession in the whole prospect; which was perhaps to be attributed to its flatness. ‘What says our aunt on the subject?’ inquired Steerforth, glancing at the letter in my hand. ‘Does she suggest anything?’ ‘Why, yes,’ said I. ‘She asks me, here, if I think I should like to be a proctor? What do you think of it?’
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‘Well, I don’t know,’ replied Steerforth, coolly. ‘You may as well do that as anything else, I suppose?’ I could not help laughing again, at his balancing all callings and professions so equally; and I told him so. ‘What is a proctor, Steerforth?’ said I. ‘Why, he is a sort of monkish attorney,’ replied Steerforth. ‘He is, to some faded courts held in Doctors’ Commons, - a lazy old nook near St. Paul’s Churchyard - what solicitors are to the courts of law and equity. He is a functionary whose existence, in the natural course of things, would have terminated about two hundred years ago. I can tell you best what he is, by telling you what Doctors’ Commons is. It’s a little out-of-the-way place, where they administer what is called ecclesiastical law, and play all kinds of tricks with obsolete old monsters of acts of Parliament, which three-fourths of the world know nothing about, and the other fourth supposes to have been dug up, in a fossil state, in the days of the Edwards. It’s a place that has an ancient monopoly in suits about people’s wills and people’s marriages, and disputes among ships and boats.’ ‘Nonsense, Steerforth!’ I exclaimed. ‘You don’t mean to say that there is any affinity between nautical matters and ecclesiastical matters?’ ‘I don’t, indeed, my dear boy,’ he returned; ‘but I mean to say that they are managed and decided by the same set of people, down in that same Doctors’ Commons. You shall go there one day, and find them blundering through half the nautical terms in Young’s Dictionary, apropos of the ‘Nancy’ having run down the ‘Sarah Jane’, or Mr. Peggot1 David Copperfield

ty and the Yarmouth boatmen having put off in a gale of wind with an anchor and cable to the ‘Nelson’ Indiaman in distress; and you shall go there another day, and find them deep in the evidence, pro and con, respecting a clergyman who has misbehaved himself; and you shall find the judge in the nautical case, the advocate in the clergyman’s case, or contrariwise. They are like actors: now a man’s a judge, and now he is not a judge; now he’s one thing, now he’s another; now he’s something else, change and change about; but it’s always a very pleasant, profitable little affair of private theatricals, presented to an uncommonly select audience.’ ‘But advocates and proctors are not one and the same?’ said I, a little puzzled. ‘Are they?’ ‘No,’ returned Steerforth, ‘the advocates are civilians men who have taken a doctor’s degree at college - which is the first reason of my knowing anything about it. The proctors employ the advocates. Both get very comfortable fees, and altogether they make a mighty snug little party. On the whole, I would recommend you to take to Doctors’ Commons kindly, David. They plume them- selves on their gentility there, I can tell you, if that’s any satisfaction.’ I made allowance for Steerforth’s light way of treating the subject, and, considering it with reference to the staid air of gravity and antiquity which I associated with that ‘lazy old nook near St. Paul’s Churchyard’, did not feel indisposed towards my aunt’s suggestion; which she left to my free decision, making no scruple of telling me that it had occurred to her, on her lately visiting her own proctor in Doctors’ Commons for the purpose of settling her will in
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my favour. ‘That’s a laudable proceeding on the part of our aunt, at all events,’ said Steerforth, when I mentioned it; ‘and one deserving of all encouragement. Daisy, my advice is that you take kindly to Doctors’ Commons.’ I quite made up my mind to do so. I then told Steerforth that my aunt was in town awaiting me (as I found from her letter), and that she had taken lodgings for a week at a kind of private hotel at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where there was a stone staircase, and a convenient door in the roof; my aunt being firmly persuaded that every house in London was going to be burnt down every night. We achieved the rest of our journey pleasantly, sometimes recurring to Doctors’ Commons, and anticipating the distant days when I should be a proctor there, which Steerforth pictured in a variety of humorous and whimsical lights, that made us both merry. When we came to our journey’s end, he went home, engaging to call upon me next day but one; and I drove to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where I found my aunt up, and waiting supper. If I had been round the world since we parted, we could hardly have been better pleased to meet again. My aunt cried outright as she embraced me; and said, pretending to laugh, that if my poor mother had been alive, that silly little creature would have shed tears, she had no doubt. ‘So you have left Mr. Dick behind, aunt?’ said I. ‘I am sorry for that. Ah, Janet, how do you do?’ As Janet curtsied, hoping I was well, I observed my aunt’s visage lengthen very much. 
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‘I am sorry for it, too,’ said my aunt, rubbing her nose. ‘I have had no peace of mind, Trot, since I have been here.’ Before I could ask why, she told me. ‘I am convinced,’ said my aunt, laying her hand with melancholy firmness on the table, ‘that Dick’s character is not a character to keep the donkeys off. I am confident he wants strength of purpose. I ought to have left Janet at home, instead, and then my mind might perhaps have been at ease. If ever there was a donkey trespassing on my green,’ said my aunt, with emphasis, ‘there was one this afternoon at four o’clock. A cold feeling came over me from head to foot, and I know it was a donkey!’ I tried to comfort her on this point, but she rejected consolation. ‘It was a donkey,’ said my aunt; ‘and it was the one with the stumpy tail which that Murdering sister of a woman rode, when she came to my house.’ This had been, ever since, the only name my aunt knew for Miss Murdstone. ‘If there is any Donkey in Dover, whose audacity it is harder to me to bear than another’s, that,’ said my aunt, striking the table, ‘is the animal!’ Janet ventured to suggest that my aunt might be disturbing herself unnecessarily, and that she believed the donkey in question was then engaged in the sand-and-gravel line of business, and was not available for purposes of trespass. But my aunt wouldn’t hear of it. Supper was comfortably served and hot, though my aunt’s rooms were very high up - whether that she might have more stone stairs for her money, or might be nearer
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to the door in the roof, I don’t know - and consisted of a roast fowl, a steak, and some vegetables, to all of which I did ample justice, and which were all excellent. But my aunt had her own ideas concerning London provision, and ate but little. ‘I suppose this unfortunate fowl was born and brought up in a cellar,’ said my aunt, ‘and never took the air except on a hackney coach-stand. I hope the steak may be beef, but I don’t believe it. Nothing’s genuine in the place, in my opinion, but the dirt.’ ‘Don’t you think the fowl may have come out of the country, aunt?’ I hinted. ‘Certainly not,’ returned my aunt. ‘It would be no pleasure to a London tradesman to sell anything which was what he pretended it was.’ I did not venture to controvert this opinion, but I made a good supper, which it greatly satisfied her to see me do. When the table was cleared, Janet assisted her to arrange her hair, to put on her nightcap, which was of a smarter construction than usual (’in case of fire’, my aunt said), and to fold her gown back over her knees, these being her usual preparations for warming herself before going to bed. I then made her, according to certain established regulations from which no deviation, however slight, could ever be permitted, a glass of hot wine and water, and a slice of toast cut into long thin strips. With these accompaniments we were left alone to finish the evening, my aunt sitting opposite to me drinking her wine and water; soaking her strips of toast in it, one by one, before eating them; and looking benig1 David Copperfield

nantly on me, from among the borders of her nightcap. ‘Well, Trot,’ she began, ‘what do you think of the proctor plan? Or have you not begun to think about it yet?’ ‘I have thought a good deal about it, my dear aunt, and I have talked a good deal about it with Steerforth. I like it very much indeed. I like it exceedingly.’ ‘Come!’ said my aunt. ‘That’s cheering!’ ‘I have only one difficulty, aunt.’ ‘Say what it is, Trot,’ she returned. ‘Why, I want to ask, aunt, as this seems, from what I understand, to be a limited profession, whether my entrance into it would not be very expensive?’ ‘It will cost,’ returned my aunt, ‘to article you, just a thousand pounds.’ ‘Now, my dear aunt,’ said I, drawing my chair nearer, ‘I am uneasy in my mind about that. It’s a large sum of money. You have expended a great deal on my education, and have always been as liberal to me in all things as it was possible to be. You have been the soul of generosity. Surely there are some ways in which I might begin life with hardly any outlay, and yet begin with a good hope of getting on by resolution and exertion. Are you sure that it would not be better to try that course? Are you certain that you can afford to part with so much money, and that it is right that it should be so expended? I only ask you, my second mother, to consider. Are you certain?’ My aunt finished eating the piece of toast on which she was then engaged, looking me full in the face all the while; and then setting her glass on the chimney-piece, and foldFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1

ing her hands upon her folded skirts, replied as follows: ‘Trot, my child, if I have any object in life, it is to provide for your being a good, a sensible, and a happy man. I am bent upon it - so is Dick. I should like some people that I know to hear Dick’s conversation on the subject. Its sagacity is wonderful. But no one knows the resources of that man’s intellect, except myself!’ She stopped for a moment to take my hand between hers, and went on: ‘It’s in vain, Trot, to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present. Perhaps I might have been better friends with your poor father. Perhaps I might have been better friends with that poor child your mother, even after your sister Betsey Trotwood disappointed me. When you came to me, a little runaway boy, all dusty and way-worn, perhaps I thought so. From that time until now, Trot, you have ever been a credit to me and a pride and a pleasure. I have no other claim upon my means; at least’ - here to my surprise she hesitated, and was confused - ‘no, I have no other claim upon my means - and you are my adopted child. Only be a loving child to me in my age, and bear with my whims and fancies; and you will do more for an old woman whose prime of life was not so happy or conciliating as it might have been, than ever that old woman did for you.’ It was the first time I had heard my aunt refer to her past history. There was a magnanimity in her quiet way of doing so, and of dismissing it, which would have exalted her in my respect and affection, if anything could. ‘All is agreed and understood between us, now, Trot,’ said 
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my aunt, ‘and we need talk of this no more. Give me a kiss, and we’ll go to the Commons after breakfast tomorrow.’ We had a long chat by the fire before we went to bed. I slept in a room on the same floor with my aunt’s, and was a little disturbed in the course of the night by her knocking at my door as often as she was agitated by a distant sound of hackney-coaches or market-carts, and inquiring, ‘if I heard the engines?’ But towards morning she slept better, and suffered me to do so too. At about mid-day, we set out for the office of Messrs Spenlow and Jorkins, in Doctors’ Commons. My aunt, who had this other general opinion in reference to London, that every man she saw was a pickpocket, gave me her purse to carry for her, which had ten guineas in it and some silver. We made a pause at the toy shop in Fleet Street, to see the giants of Saint Dunstan’s strike upon the bells - we had timed our going, so as to catch them at it, at twelve o’clock - and then went on towards Ludgate Hill, and St. Paul’s Churchyard. We were crossing to the former place, when I found that my aunt greatly accelerated her speed, and looked frightened. I observed, at the same time, that a lowering ill-dressed man who had stopped and stared at us in passing, a little before, was coming so close after us as to brush against her. ‘Trot! My dear Trot!’ cried my aunt, in a terrified whisper, and pressing my arm. ‘I don’t know what I am to do.’ ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ said I. ‘There’s nothing to be afraid of. Step into a shop, and I’ll soon get rid of this fellow.’ ‘No, no, child!’ she returned. ‘Don’t speak to him for the
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world. I entreat, I order you!’ ‘Good Heaven, aunt!’ said I. ‘He is nothing but a sturdy beggar.’ ‘You don’t know what he is!’ replied my aunt. ‘You don’t know who he is! You don’t know what you say!’ We had stopped in an empty door-way, while this was passing, and he had stopped too. ‘Don’t look at him!’ said my aunt, as I turned my head indignantly, ‘but get me a coach, my dear, and wait for me in St. Paul’s Churchyard.’ ‘Wait for you?’ I replied. ‘Yes,’ rejoined my aunt. ‘I must go alone. I must go with him.’ ‘With him, aunt? This man?’ ‘I am in my senses,’ she replied, ‘and I tell you I must. Get mea coach!’ However much astonished I might be, I was sensible that I had no right to refuse compliance with such a peremptory command. I hurried away a few paces, and called a hackneychariot which was passing empty. Almost before I could let down the steps, my aunt sprang in, I don’t know how, and the man followed. She waved her hand to me to go away, so earnestly, that, all confounded as I was, I turned from them at once. In doing so, I heard her say to the coachman, ‘Drive anywhere! Drive straight on!’ and presently the chariot passed me, going up the hill. What Mr. Dick had told me, and what I had supposed to be a delusion of his, now came into my mind. I could not doubt that this person was the person of whom he had 
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made such mysterious mention, though what the nature of his hold upon my aunt could possibly be, I was quite unable to imagine. After half an hour’s cooling in the churchyard, I saw the chariot coming back. The driver stopped beside me, and my aunt was sitting in it alone. She had not yet sufficiently recovered from her agitation to be quite prepared for the visit we had to make. She desired me to get into the chariot, and to tell the coachman to drive slowly up and down a little while. She said no more, except, ‘My dear child, never ask me what it was, and don’t refer to it,’ until she had perfectly regained her composure, when she told me she was quite herself now, and we might get out. On her giving me her purse to pay the driver, I found that all the guineas were gone, and only the loose silver remained. Doctors’ Commons was approached by a little low archway. Before we had taken many paces down the street beyond it, the noise of the city seemed to melt, as if by magic, into a softened distance. A few dull courts and narrow ways brought us to the sky-lighted offices of Spenlow and Jorkins; in the vestibule of which temple, accessible to pilgrims without the ceremony of knocking, three or four clerks were at work as copyists. One of these, a little dry man, sitting by himself, who wore a stiff brown wig that looked as if it were made of gingerbread, rose to receive my aunt, and show us into Mr. Spenlow’s room. ‘Mr. Spenlow’s in Court, ma’am,’ said the dry man; ‘it’s an Arches day; but it’s close by, and I’ll send for him directly.’
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As we were left to look about us while Mr. Spenlow was fetched, I availed myself of the opportunity. The furniture of the room was old-fashioned and dusty; and the green baize on the top of the writing-table had lost all its colour, and was as withered and pale as an old pauper. There were a great many bundles of papers on it, some endorsed as Allegations, and some (to my surprise) as Libels, and some as being in the Consistory Court, and some in the Arches Court, and some in the Prerogative Court, and some in the Admiralty Court, and some in the Delegates’ Court; giving me occasion to wonder much, how many Courts there might be in the gross, and how long it would take to understand them all. Besides these, there were sundry immense manuscript Books of Evidence taken on affidavit, strongly bound, and tied together in massive sets, a set to each cause, as if every cause were a history in ten or twenty volumes. All this looked tolerably expensive, I thought, and gave me an agreeable notion of a proctor’s business. I was casting my eyes with increasing complacency over these and many similar objects, when hasty footsteps were heard in the room outside, and Mr. Spenlow, in a black gown trimmed with white fur, came hurrying in, taking off his hat as he came. He was a little light-haired gentleman, with undeniable boots, and the stiffest of white cravats and shirt-collars. He was buttoned up, mighty trim and tight, and must have taken a great deal of pains with his whiskers, which were accurately curled. His gold watch-chain was so massive, that a fancy came across me, that he ought to have a sinewy 
David Copperfield

golden arm, to draw it out with, like those which are put up over the goldbeaters’ shops. He was got up with such care, and was so stiff, that he could hardly bend himself; being obliged, when he glanced at some papers on his desk, after sitting down in his chair, to move his whole body, from the bottom of his spine, like Punch. I had previously been presented by my aunt, and had been courteously received. He now said: ‘And so, Mr. Copperfield, you think of entering into our profession? I casually mentioned to Miss Trotwood, when I had the pleasure of an interview with her the other day,’ - with another inclination of his body - Punch again - ‘that there was a vacancy here. Miss Trotwood was good enough to mention that she had a nephew who was her peculiar care, and for whom she was seeking to provide genteelly in life. That nephew, I believe, I have now the pleasure of’ - Punch again. I bowed my acknowledgements, and said, my aunt had mentioned to me that there was that opening, and that I believed I should like it very much. That I was strongly inclined to like it, and had taken immediately to the proposal. That I could not absolutely pledge myself to like it, until I knew something more about it. That although it was little else than a matter of form, I presumed I should have an opportunity of trying how I liked it, before I bound myself to it irrevocably. ‘Oh surely! surely!’ said Mr. Spenlow. ‘We always, in this house, propose a month - an initiatory month. I should be happy, myself, to propose two months - three - an indefinite period, in fact - but I have a partner. Mr. Jorkins.’
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‘And the premium, sir,’ I returned, ‘is a thousand pounds?’ ‘And the premium, Stamp included, is a thousand pounds,’ said Mr. Spenlow. ‘As I have mentioned to Miss Trotwood, I am actuated by no mercenary considerations; few men are less so, I believe; but Mr. Jorkins has his opinions on these subjects, and I am bound to respect Mr. Jorkins’s opinions. Mr. Jorkins thinks a thousand pounds too little, in short.’ ‘I suppose, sir,’ said I, still desiring to spare my aunt, ‘that it is not the custom here, if an articled clerk were particularly useful, and made himself a perfect master of his profession’ - I could not help blushing, this looked so like praising myself - ‘I suppose it is not the custom, in the later years of his time, to allow him any -’ Mr. Spenlow, by a great effort, just lifted his head far enough out of his cravat to shake it, and answered, anticipating the word ‘salary’: ‘No. I will not say what consideration I might give to that point myself, Mr. Copperfield, if I were unfettered. Mr. Jorkins is immovable.’ I was quite dismayed by the idea of this terrible Jorkins. But I found out afterwards that he was a mild man of a heavy temperament, whose place in the business was to keep himself in the background, and be constantly exhibited by name as the most obdurate and ruthless of men. If a clerk wanted his salary raised, Mr. Jorkins wouldn’t listen to such a proposition. If a client were slow to settle his bill of costs, Mr. Jorkins was resolved to have it paid; and however painful these things might be (and always were) 
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to the feelings of Mr. Spenlow, Mr. Jorkins would have his bond. The heart and hand of the good angel Spenlow would have been always open, but for the restraining demon Jorkins. As I have grown older, I think I have had experience of some other houses doing business on the principle of Spenlow and Jorkins! It was settled that I should begin my month’s probation as soon as I pleased, and that my aunt need neither remain in town nor return at its expiration, as the articles of agreement, of which I was to be the subject, could easily be sent to her at home for her signature. When we had got so far, Mr. Spenlow offered to take me into Court then and there, and show me what sort of place it was. As I was willing enough to know, we went out with this object, leaving my aunt behind; who would trust herself, she said, in no such place, and who, I think, regarded all Courts of Law as a sort of powder-mills that might blow up at any time. Mr. Spenlow conducted me through a paved courtyard formed of grave brick houses, which I inferred, from the Doctors’ names upon the doors, to be the official abidingplaces of the learned advocates of whom Steerforth had told me; and into a large dull room, not unlike a chapel to my thinking, on the left hand. The upper part of this room was fenced off from the rest; and there, on the two sides of a raised platform of the horse-shoe form, sitting on easy oldfashioned dining-room chairs, were sundry gentlemen in red gowns and grey wigs, whom I found to be the Doctors aforesaid. Blinking over a little desk like a pulpit-desk, in the curve of the horse-shoe, was an old gentleman, whom,
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if I had seen him in an aviary, I should certainly have taken for an owl, but who, I learned, was the presiding judge. In the space within the horse-shoe, lower than these, that is to say, on about the level of the floor, were sundry other gentlemen, of Mr. Spenlow’s rank, and dressed like him in black gowns with white fur upon them, sitting at a long green table. Their cravats were in general stiff, I thought, and their looks haughty; but in this last respect I presently conceived I had done them an injustice, for when two or three of them had to rise and answer a question of the presiding dignitary, I never saw anything more sheepish. The public, represented by a boy with a comforter, and a shabby-genteel man secretly eating crumbs out of his coat pockets, was warming itself at a stove in the centre of the Court. The languid stillness of the place was only broken by the chirping of this fire and by the voice of one of the Doctors, who was wandering slowly through a perfect library of evidence, and stopping to put up, from time to time, at little roadside inns of argument on the journey. Altogether, I have never, on any occasion, made one at such a cosey, dosey, old-fashioned, time-forgotten, sleepy-headed little family-party in all my life; and I felt it would be quite a soothing opiate to belong to it in any character - except perhaps as a suitor. Very well satisfied with the dreamy nature of this retreat, I informed Mr. Spenlow that I had seen enough for that time, and we rejoined my aunt; in company with whom I presently departed from the Commons, feeling very young when I went out of Spenlow and Jorkins’s, on account of the clerks poking one another with their pens to point me out. 
David Copperfield

We arrived at Lincoln’s Inn Fields without any new adventures, except encountering an unlucky donkey in a costermonger’s cart, who suggested painful associations to my aunt. We had another long talk about my plans, when we were safely housed; and as I knew she was anxious to get home, and, between fire, food, and pickpockets, could never be considered at her ease for half-an-hour in London, I urged her not to be uncomfortable on my account, but to leave me to take care of myself. ‘I have not been here a week tomorrow, without considering that too, my dear,’ she returned. ‘There is a furnished little set of chambers to be let in the Adelphi, Trot, which ought to suit you to a marvel.’ With this brief introduction, she produced from her pocket an advertisement, carefully cut out of a newspaper, setting forth that in Buckingham Street in the Adelphi there was to be let furnished, with a view of the river, a singularly desirable, and compact set of chambers, forming a genteel residence for a young gentleman, a member of one of the Inns of Court, or otherwise, with immediate possession. Terms moderate, and could be taken for a month only, if required. ‘Why, this is the very thing, aunt!’ said I, flushed with the possible dignity of living in chambers. ‘Then come,’ replied my aunt, immediately resuming the bonnet she had a minute before laid aside. ‘We’ll go and look at ‘em.’ Away we went. The advertisement directed us to apply to Mrs. Crupp on the premises, and we rung the area bell,
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which we supposed to communicate with Mrs. Crupp. It was not until we had rung three or four times that we could prevail on Mrs. Crupp to communicate with us, but at last she appeared, being a stout lady with a flounce of flannel petticoat below a nankeen gown. ‘Let us see these chambers of yours, if you please, ma’am,’ said my aunt. ‘For this gentleman?’ said Mrs. Crupp, feeling in her pocket for her keys. ‘Yes, for my nephew,’ said my aunt. ‘And a sweet set they is for sich!’ said Mrs. Crupp. So we went upstairs. They were on the top of the house - a great point with my aunt, being near the fire-escape - and consisted of a little half-blind entry where you could see hardly anything, a little stone-blind pantry where you could see nothing at all, a sitting-room, and a bedroom. The furniture was rather faded, but quite good enough for me; and, sure enough, the river was outside the windows. As I was delighted with the place, my aunt and Mrs. Crupp withdrew into the pantry to discuss the terms, while I remained on the sitting-room sofa, hardly daring to think it possible that I could be destined to live in such a noble residence. After a single combat of some duration they returned, and I saw, to my joy, both in Mrs. Crupp’s countenance and in my aunt’s, that the deed was done. ‘Is it the last occupant’s furniture?’ inquired my aunt. ‘Yes, it is, ma’am,’ said Mrs. Crupp. ‘What’s become of him?’ asked my aunt. 
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Mrs. Crupp was taken with a troublesome cough, in the midst of which she articulated with much difficulty. ‘He was took ill here, ma’am, and - ugh! ugh! ugh! dear me! and he died!’ ‘Hey! What did he die of?’ asked my aunt. ‘Well, ma’am, he died of drink,’ said Mrs. Crupp, in confidence. ‘And smoke.’ ‘Smoke? You don’t mean chimneys?’ said my aunt. ‘No, ma’am,’ returned Mrs. Crupp. ‘Cigars and pipes.’ ‘That’s not catching, Trot, at any rate,’ remarked my aunt, turning to me. ‘No, indeed,’ said I. In short, my aunt, seeing how enraptured I was with the premises, took them for a month, with leave to remain for twelve months when that time was out. Mrs. Crupp was to find linen, and to cook; every other necessary was already provided; and Mrs. Crupp expressly intimated that she should always yearn towards me as a son. I was to take possession the day after tomorrow, and Mrs. Crupp said, thank Heaven she had now found summun she could care for! On our way back, my aunt informed me how she confidently trusted that the life I was now to lead would make me firm and self-reliant, which was all I wanted. She repeated this several times next day, in the intervals of our arranging for the transmission of my clothes and books from Mr. Wickfield’s; relative to which, and to all my late holiday, I wrote a long letter to Agnes, of which my aunt took charge, as she was to leave on the succeeding day. Not to lengthen these particulars, I need only add, that she made a handFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 

some provision for all my possible wants during my month of trial; that Steerforth, to my great disappointment and hers too, did not make his appearance before she went away; that I saw her safely seated in the Dover coach, exulting in the coming discomfiture of the vagrant donkeys, with Janet at her side; and that when the coach was gone, I turned my face to the Adelphi, pondering on the old days when I used to roam about its subterranean arches, and on the happy changes which had brought me to the surface. 


David Copperfield



t was a wonderfully fine thing to have that lofty castle to myself, and to feel, when I shut my outer door, like Robinson Crusoe, when he had got into his fortification, and pulled his ladder up after him. It was a wonderfully fine thing to walk about town with the key of my house in my pocket, and to know that I could ask any fellow to come home, and make quite sure of its being inconvenient to nobody, if it were not so to me. It was a wonderfully fine thing to let myself in and out, and to come and go without a word to anyone, and to ring Mrs. Crupp up, gasping, from the depths of the earth, when I wanted her - and when she was disposed to come. All this, I say, was wonderfully fine; but I must say, too, that there were times when it was very dreary. It was fine in the morning, particularly in the fine mornings. It looked a very fresh, free life, by daylight: still fresher, and more free, by sunlight. But as the day declined, the life seemed to go down too. I don’t know how it was; it seldom looked well by candle-light. I wanted somebody to talk to, then. I missed Agnes. I found a tremendous blank, in 

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the place of that smiling repository of my confidence. Mrs. Crupp appeared to be a long way off. I thought about my predecessor, who had died of drink and smoke; and I could have wished he had been so good as to live, and not bother me with his decease. After two days and nights, I felt as if I had lived there for a year, and yet I was not an hour older, but was quite as much tormented by my own youthfulness as ever. Steerforth not yet appearing, which induced me to apprehend that he must be ill, I left the Commons early on the third day, and walked out to Highgate. Mrs. Steerforth was very glad to see me, and said that he had gone away with one of his Oxford friends to see another who lived near St. Albans, but that she expected him to return tomorrow. I was so fond of him, that I felt quite jealous of his Oxford friends. As she pressed me to stay to dinner, I remained, and I believe we talked about nothing but him all day. I told her how much the people liked him at Yarmouth, and what a delightful companion he had been. Miss Dartle was full of hints and mysterious questions, but took a great interest in all our proceedings there, and said, ‘Was it really though?’ and so forth, so often, that she got everything out of me she wanted to know. Her appearance was exactly what I have described it, when I first saw her; but the society of the two ladies was so agreeable, and came so natural to me, that I felt myself falling a little in love with her. I could not help thinking, several times in the course of the evening, and particularly when I walked home at night, what delightful 
David Copperfield

company she would be in Buckingham Street. I was taking my coffee and roll in the morning, before going to the Commons - and I may observe in this place that it is surprising how much coffee Mrs. Crupp used, and how weak it was, considering - when Steerforth himself walked in, to my unbounded joy. ‘My dear Steerforth,’ cried I, ‘I began to think I should never see you again!’ ‘I was carried off, by force of arms,’ said Steerforth, ‘the very next morning after I got home. Why, Daisy, what a rare old bachelor you are here!’ I showed him over the establishment, not omitting the pantry, with no little pride, and he commended it highly. ‘I tell you what, old boy,’ he added, ‘I shall make quite a townhouse of this place, unless you give me notice to quit.’ This was a delightful hearing. I told him if he waited for that, he would have to wait till doomsday. ‘But you shall have some breakfast!’ said I, with my hand on the bell-rope, ‘and Mrs. Crupp shall make you some fresh coffee, and I’ll toast you some bacon in a bachelor’s Dutch-oven, that I have got here.’ ‘No, no!’ said Steerforth. ‘Don’t ring! I can’t! I am going to breakfast with one of these fellows who is at the Piazza Hotel, in Covent Garden.’ ‘But you’ll come back to dinner?’ said I. ‘I can’t, upon my life. There’s nothing I should like better, but I must remain with these two fellows. We are all three off together tomorrow morning.’ ‘Then bring them here to dinner,’ I returned. ‘Do you
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think they would come?’ ‘Oh! they would come fast enough,’ said Steerforth; ‘but we should inconvenience you. You had better come and dine with us somewhere.’ I would not by any means consent to this, for it occurred to me that I really ought to have a little house-warming, and that there never could be a better opportunity. I had a new pride in my rooms after his approval of them, and burned with a desire to develop their utmost resources. I therefore made him promise positively in the names of his two friends, and we appointed six o’clock as the dinner-hour. When he was gone, I rang for Mrs. Crupp, and acquainted her with my desperate design. Mrs. Crupp said, in the first place, of course it was well known she couldn’t be expected to wait, but she knew a handy young man, who she thought could be prevailed upon to do it, and whose terms would be five shillings, and what I pleased. I said, certainly we would have him. Next Mrs. Crupp said it was clear she couldn’t be in two places at once (which I felt to be reasonable), and that ‘a young gal’ stationed in the pantry with a bedroom candle, there never to desist from washing plates, would be indispensable. I said, what would be the expense of this young female? and Mrs. Crupp said she supposed eighteenpence would neither make me nor break me. I said I supposed not; and THAT was settled. Then Mrs. Crupp said, Now about the dinner. It was a remarkable instance of want of forethought on the part of the ironmonger who had made Mrs. Crupp’s kitchen fireplace, that it was capable of cooking nothing but 
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chops and mashed potatoes. As to a fish-kittle, Mrs. Crupp said, well! would I only come and look at the range? She couldn’t say fairer than that. Would I come and look at it? As I should not have been much the wiser if I HAD looked at it, I declined, and said, ‘Never mind fish.’ But Mrs. Crupp said, Don’t say that; oysters was in, why not them? So THAT was settled. Mrs. Crupp then said what she would recommend would be this. A pair of hot roast fowls - from the pastry-cook’s; a dish of stewed beef, with vegetables - from the pastry-cook’s; two little corner things, as a raised pie and a dish of kidneys - from the pastrycook’s; a tart, and (if I liked) a shape of jelly - from the pastrycook’s. This, Mrs. Crupp said, would leave her at full liberty to concentrate her mind on the potatoes, and to serve up the cheese and celery as she could wish to see it done. I acted on Mrs. Crupp’s opinion, and gave the order at the pastry-cook’s myself. Walking along the Strand, afterwards, and observing a hard mottled substance in the window of a ham and beef shop, which resembled marble, but was labelled ‘Mock Turtle’, I went in and bought a slab of it, which I have since seen reason to believe would have sufficed for fifteen people. This preparation, Mrs. Crupp, after some difficulty, consented to warm up; and it shrunk so much in a liquid state, that we found it what Steerforth called ‘rather a tight fit’ for four. These preparations happily completed, I bought a little dessert in Covent Garden Market, and gave a rather extensive order at a retail wine-merchant’s in that vicinity. When I came home in the afternoon, and saw the bottles drawn
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up in a square on the pantry floor, they looked so numerous (though there were two missing, which made Mrs. Crupp very uncomfortable), that I was absolutely frightened at them. One of Steerforth’s friends was named Grainger, and the other Markham. They were both very gay and lively fellows; Grainger, something older than Steerforth; Markham, youthful-looking, and I should say not more than twenty. I observed that the latter always spoke of himself indefinitely, as ‘a man’, and seldom or never in the first person singular. ‘A man might get on very well here, Mr. Copperfield,’ said Markham - meaning himself. ‘It’s not a bad situation,’ said I, ‘and the rooms are really commodious.’ ‘I hope you have both brought appetites with you?’ said Steerforth. ‘Upon my honour,’ returned Markham, ‘town seems to sharpen a man’s appetite. A man is hungry all day long. A man is perpetually eating.’ Being a little embarrassed at first, and feeling much too young to preside, I made Steerforth take the head of the table when dinner was announced, and seated myself opposite to him. Everything was very good; we did not spare the wine; and he exerted himself so brilliantly to make the thing pass off well, that there was no pause in our festivity. I was not quite such good company during dinner as I could have wished to be, for my chair was opposite the door, and my attention was distracted by observing that the handy young man went out of the room very often, and that his 
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all sorts of half-forgotten things to talk about. and did a great deal of destruction. she was constantly peering in at us. Giving him private directions to seek the society of Mrs. called Steerforth to order for not passing the wine. I began. The ‘young gal’ likewise occasioned me some uneasiness: not so much by neglecting to wash the plates. made several engagements to go to Oxford.shadow always presented itself. These. were small drawbacks. and made me hold forth in a most unwonted manner. once a week. by passing the wine faster and faster yet. by being singularly cheerful and light-hearted. she several times retired upon the plates (with which she had carefully paved the floor). at which period of the entertainment the handy young man was discovered to be speechless. with a bottle at its mouth.com  . and the dessert put on the table. I abandoned myself to enjoyment. as by breaking them. For being of an inquisitive disposition. in which belief. and have a private fit of sneezing ten minutes long. and unable to confine herself (as her positive instructions were) to the pantry. and constantly imagining herself detected. and madly took so much snuff out of Grainger’s box. and to remove the ‘young gal’ to the basement also. that I was obliged to go into the pantry. I laughed heartily at my own jokes. I went on. immediately afterwards. and continually starting up with a corkscrew to open more Free eBooks at Planet eBook. announced that I meant to have a dinner-party exactly like that. however. came rushing into my mind. on the wall of the entry. and easily forgotten when the cloth was cleared. until further notice. Crupp. and everybody else’s.

the protector of my boyhood. mainly I think because I saw Steerforth and Grainger laughing at me . when he had sung it. and I couldn’t allow it. Markham was the singer.’ I went on. and he sang ‘When the heart of a man is depressed with care’. I said I owed him more obligations than I could ever repay. I instantly proposed his health. and a good one to finish with. by finding suddenly that somebody was in the middle of a song. and trying to suppress a rising tendency to shud David Copperfield . He said.never under my roof. he would give us ‘Woman!’ I took objection to that. I said he was right there .you’ retheguidingstarofmyexistence. I was smoking. and another. I finished by saying. and I said (in two words) ‘Steerforth . I said a man was.or at him . long before any was needed. and I would never permit that toast to be drunk in my house otherwise than as ‘The Ladies!’ I was very high with him. and the companion of my prime. I said I was delighted to propose his health. He said it was no derogation from a man’s dignity to confess that I was a devilish good fellow. Somebody was smoking. We were all smoking. and held him in a higher admiration than I could ever express. He said a man was not to be insulted. I said it was not a respectful way of proposing the toast. I proposed Steerforth’s health.or at both of us. ‘I’ll give you Steerforth! God bless him! Hurrah!’ We gave him three times three.wine. then. where the Lares were sacred. I broke my glass in going round the table to shake hands with him. I said he was my dearest friend. He said a man was not to be dictated to. and the laws of hospitality paramount.

the lamp. We went downstairs.looked drunk.all sitting in a mist. I returned thanks. That was I too. and feeling the air upon his face. in the course of which I had been affected almost to tears. Steerforth had made a speech about me. took me by the arm and led me out. I would give them my aunt. ‘Why did you try to smoke? You might have known you couldn’t do it. Owing to some confusion in the dark. I was very pale in the looking-glass. and Steerforth opposite . that we might enjoy the pleasures of conversation and society through a long evening. Miss Betsey Trotwood. and turned the lamp off . and the day after . The theatre? To be sure.in case of fire. the best of her sex! Somebody was leaning out of my bedroom window. laughing.only my hair. I felt called upon to propose an individual. Markham on my left. The very thing. and saying. Near the bottom. refreshing his forehead against the cool stone of the parapet. somebody was unsteadily contemplating his features in the looking-glass. and my hair . Copperfield!’ There was no bedroom before me.each day at five o’clock. ‘Let us go to the theatre. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. my eyes had a vacant appearance. but again the jingling table covered with glasses. and a long way off. nothing else .der. I was addressing myself as ‘Copperfield’. the door was gone. It was myself. Grainger on my right hand. Come along! But they must excuse me if I saw everybody out first. Somebody said to me. one behind another.’ Now. when Steerforth. and hoped the present company would dine with me tomorrow. I was feeling for it in the window-curtains.com  .

I began to think there might be some foundation for it. that seemed to me to smoke.somebody fell. On somebody’s motion. we were very high up in a very hot theatre. There was an abundance of bright lights. looking very clean and smooth after the streets. I was angry at that false report. and there were people upon it. looking down into a large pit. The whole building looked to me as if it were learning to swim. with great rings round the lamps in the streets! There was an indistinct talk of its being wet. sitting in a pigeon-hole-place. the people with whom it was crammed were so indistinct. until. I considered it frosty. Copperfield. Shortly afterwards. and put my hat into shape. and appearing rather doubtful (as I remember in the glimpse I had of him) whether to take the money for me or not. There was a great stage. when I tried to steady it. finding myself on my back in the passage. for I hadn’t had it on before. which somebody produced from somewhere in a most extraordinary manner. and there was music. talking about something or other. but not at all intelligibly. too. and took money from somebody. it conducted itself in such an unaccountable manner. inquiring if I was one of the gentlemen paid for. and rolled down.’ A man. and I don’t know what more. ‘You are all right. are you not?’ and I told him. A very foggy night. ‘Neverberrer. we resolved to go downstairs to 0 David Copperfield . Steerforth then said. looked out of the fog. Steerforth dusted me under a lamppost. Somebody else said it was Copperfield. and there were ladies down in the boxes.

Agnes. and ladies casting indignant glances at me. I could not conceive why. I looked at her again by and by. she appeared to understand. and put her gloved hand to her forehead. with an opera-glass in his hand. full dressed. Trotwood. and saw her shrink into her corner. to hand her downstairs. ‘I’mafraidyou’renorwell. A gentleman lounging. somehow.the dress-boxes. I suppose I expressed it. Then I was being ushered into one of these boxes. sitting on the seat before me. with its indelible look of regret and wonder turned upon me.com 1 . ‘Lorblessmer! Agnes!’ ‘Hush! Pray!’ she answered. to fix it. for after she had looked at me attentively for a little while. and .’ she returned. whom I didn’t know. on a sofa.’ ‘Yes. and found myself saying something as I sat down. Do not mind me.’ I had a stupid intention of replying that I was going to wait. and people about me crying ‘Silence!’ to somebody. yes. and replied in a low tone: ‘I know you will do as I ask you. thickly. ‘Agnes!’ I said. I see her face now. and also my own figure at full length in a glass. if I tell you I am very Free eBooks at Planet eBook.what! yes! . but quite in vain. ‘Listen! Are you going away soon?’ ‘Amigoarawaysoo?’ I repeated. in the same box. and to hear something of what was going on there. ‘Agnes!’ I said. Look at the stage!’ I tried. passed before my view. ‘You disturb the company. on her injunction. with a lady and gentleman beside her. where the ladies were. I dare say. ‘Yes. better than I did then.

How somebody. and where I was by turns telling him that Agnes was my sister. Beast that I was. hot plates of metal which no ice could cool! But the agony of mind. as that somebody slowly settled down into myself. or where she stayed my disgust of the very sight of the room where the revel had been held . helping me to undress. the palms of my hands. and with a short ‘Goori!’ (which I intended for ‘Good night!’) got up and went away. that I might open another bottle of wine. furred with long service.earnest in it.the bed a rocking sea that was never still! How. and burning up over a slow fire. and adjuring him to bring the corkscrew. lay saying and doing all this over again. did I begin to parch. I felt ashamed.the smell of smoke. for the time. in a feverish dream all night . at cross purposes. and ask your friends to take you home.the torturing impossibility of communicating with her. the impossibility of going out. where only Steerforth was with me.my racking head .my recollection of that indelible look which Agnes had given me . They followed. Trotwood. my tongue the bottom of an empty kettle. how she came to be in London. for my sake. and which nothing could ever expiate .’ She had so far improved me. lying in my bed. and shame I felt when I became conscious next day! My horror of having committed a thousand offences I had forgotten. or even getting up!  David Copperfield . the remorse. Go away now. and I stepped at once out of the box-door into my bedroom. and feel as if my outer covering of skin were a hard board. not knowing. the sight of glasses. that though I was angry with her.

and had half a mind to rush express to Dover and reveal all! What an evening.Oh. Crupp. Mrs. Mrs. when Mrs. and I was really inclined to fall upon her nankeen breast and say. and thought I was going the way of my predecessor. even at that pass. what an evening. if Mrs. Crupp. never mind the broken meats! I am very miserable!’ . when I sat down by my fire to a basin of mutton broth. dimpled all over with fat. what a day it was! Oh.only that I doubted. Crupp were quite the sort of woman to confide in! Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com  . produced one kidney on a cheese-plate as the entire remains of yesterday’s feast. Crupp. in heartfelt penitence. coming in to take away the broth-basin. ‘Oh. and should succeed to his dismal story as well as to his chambers.

when I saw a ticket-porter coming upstairs. ‘T. I could scarcely lay claim to the name: I was so disturbed by the conviction that the letter came from Agnes. I told him I was T. with an odd confusion in my mind relative to the date of my dinner-party. I shut him out on the landing to wait for the answer. which he said required an answer. but when he saw me on the top of the staircase. with a letter in his hand. Esquire. in such a nervous state that I was fain to lay the letter down on my breakfast table.’ said the ticket-porter.CHAPTER 25 GOOD AND BAD ANGELS I was going out at my door on the morning after that deplorable day of headache. as if a body of Titans had taken an enormous lever and pushed the day before yesterday some months back. He was taking his time about his errand. and gave me the letter. and familiarize myself with the outside of it a little. Copperfield. However. then. touching his hat with his little cane. Copperfield. before I could David Copperfield  . and came up panting as if he had run himself into a state of exhaustion. and went into my chambers again. and repentance. and he believed it. Esquire. sickness. looking at him over the banisters. he swung into a trot.

All it said was. Holborn. that it was a very kind note. I wrote. ‘Oh. and what could I say of it that would be higher praise than that? I will come at four o’clock. how strange it is that a man should put an enemy into his mouth’ . and became an absurdity. containing no reference to my condition at the theatre. unless he thought I was learning to write.there I didn’t like it. and it got no farther. Mr. I even tried poetry. I began one note.but that associated itself with the fifth of November. ‘ It took me such a long time to write an answer at all to my satisfaction. T. I sincerely believe he made some expiation for his share in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to efface from your remembrance the disgusting impression’ . After many attempts. AGNES. ‘My dear Agnes.resolve to break the seal. in a six-syllable line. at any time you like to appoint? Ever yours affectionately. ‘My dear Trotwood. I must have written half-a-dozen answers at least. ‘How can I ever hope. Will you come and see me today.’ With this missive (which I was in twenty minds at once about recalling. do not remember’ . and then I tore it up. my dear Agnes. as soon as it was out of my hands).com  . I began one. I began another. ‘Shakespeare has observed. in Ely Place. my dear Agnes.C. that I don’t know what the ticket-porter can have thought. I am staying at the house of papa’s agent. I found. Your letter is like you. Affectionately and sorrowfully.that reminded me of Markham. If the day were half as tremendous to any other professional gentleman in Doctors’ Commons as it was to me. the ticket-porter at last departed. Waterbrook. when I did open it.

‘Don’t be unhappy. made a fool of myself. Agnes. smoky. Holborn. the appointed time was exceeded by a full quarter of an hour. ‘Sit down. that.that rotten old ecclesiastical cheese. ‘I should not have minded it half so much.’ said Agnes. I cannot deny that I shed tears. and there sat Agnes.’ said I.in short. nobody being by. and I felt so befriended and comforted. and the genteel business (of which there was a good deal) in the upper part of the building. But that it should have been you who saw me! I almost wish I had been dead. that I could not help moving it to my lips. stupid wretch I had been the other night. I was shown into a pretty but rather close drawing-room. To this hour I am undecided whether it was upon the whole the wisest thing I could have done. and reminded me so strongly of my airy fresh school days at Canterbury. and . ‘If it had been anyone but you. according to the clock of St.its touch was like no other hand upon my arm for a moment. She looked so quiet and good. and was prowling about the place of appointment within a few minutes afterwards. first. Although I left the office at half past three.’ She put her hand . turning away my head. before I could muster up sufficient desperation to pull the private bell-handle let into the left-hand door-post of Mr. The professional business of Mr.  David Copperfield . and the sodden. and gratefully kissing it. netting a purse. Andrew’s. cheerfully. I yielded to my self-reproach and shame. Waterbrook’s establishment was done on the ground-floor. Waterbrook’s house. or the most ridiculous.

’ she returned. ‘You are my good Angel!’ She smiled rather sadly. ‘Yes. but they do not seem to me to be so. but when it was very earnest. my good Angel! Always my good Angel!’ ‘If I were.com  . ‘against your bad Angel.Trotwood. Agnes. ‘On warning you. and shook her head. ‘Then. ‘there is one thing that I should set my heart on very much. to judge him from what you saw of me the other night?’ ‘I do not judge him from what I saw of you the other night. you wrong him very much. Trotwood. whom will you trust?’ ‘Ah.’ she quietly replied. I thought. He my bad Angel. It was always earnest.’ I began. is it not unjust. Agnes!’ I returned. answering to that sound alone. I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. partly from your account of him. If you cannot confidently trust me.’ she returned. I judge him. and the influence he has over you.’ said Agnes.’ ‘My dear Agnes. indeed. Trotwood. Agnes. with a steady glance. anything but a guide. I sat looking at her as she cast her eyes down on her work. ‘From what. Trotwood. ‘if you mean Steerforth -’ ‘I do.trifles in themselves.’ There was always something in her modest voice that seemed to touch a chord within me. there was a thrill in it that quite subdued me. or anyone’s! He.’ I looked at her inquiringly. and unlike you. a support. and your character. but already with a foreknowledge of her meaning. and a friend to me! My dear Agnes! Now. when they are put together. as it was now. then?’ ‘From many things .

though it was still fixed in my heart. but she returned my smile. darkened in that tone. to give you my advice so confidently. I feel as if it were someone else speaking to you. I saw a passing shadow on her face when I made this mention of him. Trotwood. It is that which makes me bold. darkened. You ought not hastily to do that. and she knew why. looking up again. and in how true an interest in all relating to you.to think of what I have said. if you ever think of me . and we were  David Copperfield . when I caution you that you have made a dangerous friend. I am certain that what I say is right. ‘It is very bold in me.I mean. ‘when you come to do Steerforth justice. ‘who have lived in such seclusion.sat seeming still to listen to her. at once.’ with a quiet smile. in spite of all my attachment to him. and to like him as well as I do. ‘that you will. again I listened to her after she was silent.’ ‘Not until then?’ said Agnes. least of all a sentiment that is rooted in your trusting disposition. I am quite sure it is. Trotwood.’ I replied.’ said Agnes. and Steerforth. But I know in what it is engendered. and again his image. Agnes. Do you forgive me for all this?’ ‘I will forgive you.’ Again I looked at her. for I was going to interrupt her. and not I. change any sentiment that has become a conviction to you. after a little while. I only ask you. ‘as often as you think of me . resuming her usual tone.’ said Agnes. . or that you can. or even to have this strong opinion. and can know so little of the world. ‘I am not so unreasonable as to expect.in how true a remembrance of our having grown up together.

’ said Agnes. Trotwood?’ ‘No one. who is very clever.’ said Agnes.’ Agnes laughed again at her own penetration. and insisted on telling her how it happened that I had disgraced myself. and whom I like to talk to . laughing. ‘Uriah Heep?’ said I. ‘that you are always to tell me. but when you fall in love. Is he in London?’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Someone. and what chain of accidental circumstances had had the theatre for its final link. She would have dismissed the subject so. and told me that if I were faithful to her in my confidence she thought she should keep a little register of my violent attachments. Steerforth’s house. ‘will you forgive me the other night?’ ‘When I recall it. ‘And when. like the table of the reigns of the kings and queens. ‘You must not forget. Agnes. in the History of England. but I was too full of it to allow that. calmly changing the conversation as soon as I had concluded. ‘No. ‘No. and to enlarge on the obligation that I owed to Steerforth for his care of me when I was unable to take care of myself. and termination of each. It was a great relief to me to do this. at Mrs.again as unreserved in our mutual confidence as of old. Agnes. duration. upon my word! There is a lady.Miss Dartle . certainly. with the date. Then she asked me if I had seen Uriah. Trotwood. Who has succeeded to Miss Larkins. Agnes.but I don’t adore her.’ said Agnes. and holding up her finger.’ said I. not only when you fall into trouble.com  .

’ ‘What? Uriah? That mean. I see. ‘has made himself indispensable to papa.’ said I.’ ‘Forced upon him. after a moment’s hesitation. worm himself into such promotion!’ I cried.’ ‘On some business that makes you uneasy. and looking pensively at me out of those beautiful soft eyes of hers: ‘I believe he is going to enter into partnership with papa. and replied. He has mastered papa’s weaknesses. with a faint smile at my warmth: and then replied: ‘You remember our last conversation about papa? It was not long after that .’ Still looking at me. and taken advantage of them.’ returned Agnes. Agnes. Agnes shook her head while I was speaking. ‘He was in London a week before me. It was sad to see him struggling between his desire to represent it to me as a matter of choice on his part. fostered them. Agnes. folding her hands upon one another. I felt very sorry. I am afraid on disagreeable business.‘He comes to the office downstairs. ‘What can that be?’ Agnes laid aside her work. ‘Have you made no remonstrance about it. while there’s time. until .to say all that I mean in a 0 David Copperfield . every day. fawning fellow. Agnes! Who forces it upon him?’ ‘Uriah. You must not allow your father to take such a mad step. He is subtle and watchful.’ she replied. indignantly.not more than two or three days . Agnes? Consider what a connexion it is likely to be. Trotwood. You must speak out. and his inability to conceal that it was forced upon him. You must prevent it.when he gave me the first intimation of what I tell you.

’ she replied. on the least reflection.but his position is really one of power. I clearly saw. I said it would lighten the load of his life . He professes humility and gratitude . Oh.I hope it will! . I was sensible: yes. that it had been going on to this for a long time. Feeling sure that it was necessary for papa’s peace that the sacrifice should be made.with truth. perhaps: I hope so . Trotwood. which. for I knew that she withheld it from me. I could not but feel. ‘At the time I speak of. Trotwood.com 1 . I remained silent. at the moment. Agnes?’ ‘I did.’ There was more that she might have said. more that she knew.’ said Agnes. was a great satisfaction to me.word. and unwilling to leave.until papa is afraid of him.’ I said he was a hound. I entreated him to make it. Papa was very much depressed then. but that he had better prospects. and I fear he makes a hard use of his power. though at the same time he seemed hurt by it and ashamed of it. and more bowed down by care than ever you or I have seen him. I could not give her pain by asking what it was. to spare her father.’ ‘And how did you receive it. . but he seemed relieved by this expedient of the partnership. It had long been going on to this.’ pursued Agnes. ‘is very great. ‘he had told papa that he was going away.and that it would give me increased opportunities of being his companion. ‘what I hope was right. putting her hands Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that he was very sorry. as the time when papa spoke to me. or that she suspected. Trotwood!’ cried Agnes. ‘His ascendancy over papa.

It made me so sorry that I could only say. and I had seen her turn her gentle head aside when we took leave of one another. by turning them always upon one idea. instead of his loving child. I know what a multitude of things he has shut out for my sake. and weakened his strength and energy. I had seen tears in her eyes when I had brought new honours home from school. don’t! Don’t. my dear sister!’ But Agnes was too superior to me in character and purpose. in a foolish.’ said Agnes. ‘and while I have an opportunity. in his devotion to me. as I know well now. For I know how he has altered. and how his anxious thoughts of me have shadowed his life. let me earnestly entreat you. and I had seen them there when we last spoke about her father. came back again. Trotwood. to be long in need of my entreaties. whatever I might know or not know then. Agnes. ‘I almost feel as if I had been papa’s enemy. Don’t repel him. as if a cloud had passed from a serene sky. If I could ever set this right! If I could ever work out his restoration.before her face. to be friendly to Uriah. Don’t resent (as I think you have a general disposition  David Copperfield . helpless manner. I know how he has narrowed the circle of his sympathies and duties. but I had never seen her grieve like this. ‘Pray. as her tears started on it. calm manner. ‘We are not likely to remain alone much longer. The beautiful. in the concentration of his whole mind upon me. as I have so innocently been the cause of his decline!’ I had never before seen Agnes cry. which makes her so different in my remembrance from everybody else.

Mrs. and waiting at the foot of the stairs to carry up my name. if I went much into the parks. however. but well did I know him. and (I hope) that I was a modest young gentleman. and still to suspect me of being in a state of intoxication. On my replying to both these questions in the negative. I had a dim recollection of having seen her at the theatre. and took my leave.or who wore a large dress: I don’t exactly know which. if I went much into society. He looked. think first of papa and me!’ Agnes had no time to say more. plunged into a vapour-bath of haunch of mutton. to the best of his ability. as if I had seen her in a pale magic lantern.to do) what may be uncongenial to you in him. who was a large lady . and Mrs. firstly. for we know no certain ill of him. Finding by degrees. and on the street door being opened. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and secondly. for I immediately identified the ticket-porter in disguise. Waterbrook. as if he had never seen me before. When I went to dinner next day. that I was sober. I divined that I was not the only guest. but she concealed the fact gracefully. He may not deserve it.came sailing in. and invited me to dinner next day. making a call on Uriah in the office as I went out. for the room door opened. assisting the family servant. for I don’t know which was dress and which was lady . I accepted the invitation. and inquired. it occurred to me that I fell again in her good opinion. In any case. but she appeared to remember me perfectly. and well did he know me. and leaving a card for him in his absence. when he asked me for it confidentially.com  . Waterbrook softened towards me considerably.

was sure. and a good deal of shirt-collar. that he was proud to be noticed by me. on account of my hearing  David Copperfield . Mrs. like the wine. male and female. Henry Spiker being solicitor to something Or to Somebody. I forget what or which. which Agnes told me was on account of Mr. to be looking gauntly down upon us from behind. Henry Spiker was this lady’s name. instead of being grey. Waterbrook to be a middle-aged gentleman. Waterbrook. But there was one who attracted my attention before he came in. as it struck me.Conscience made cowards of us both. and when I had paid my homage to Mrs. I found Uriah Heep among the company. who only wanted a black nose to be the portrait of a pug-dog. Immense deference was shown to the Henry Spikers. in a suit of black. I could have wished he had been less obliged to me. that his head. with much ceremony. There were other guests . to a very awful lady in a black velvet dress. He told me. whom I remember as looking like a near relation of Hamlet’s . He told me he was happy to have the honour of making my acquaintance. with his shadowless eyes and cadaverous face. for he hovered about me in his gratitude all the rest of the evening. remotely connected with the Treasury. I found Mr. when I shook hands with him. and her husband was there too: so cold a man. seemed to be sprinkled with hoar-frost. and whenever I said a word to Agnes. presented me. with a short throat. and that he really felt obliged to me for my condescension.say his aunt. and in deep humility.all iced for the occasion. and a great black velvet hat.

‘It is really.’ ‘If it’s really the same person. ‘quite a coincidence. ‘Traddles is quite a good fellow. aye! Indeed!’ said my host. steady-looking young man of retiring manners.’ ‘Oh yes. I made my way to Mr.’ returned my host nodding his head with an air of toleration. ‘You are too young to have been at school with Mr. and eyes that were rather wide open. Waterbrook. and either my vision deceived me. or it was the old unfortunate Tommy. when the place at table. Traddles with unusual interest. Waterbrook. surprised. Traddles! My mind flew back to Salem House. and said. At length I had a good view of him.’ ‘It’s a curious coincidence. ‘I mean the gentleman named Traddles. ‘Possibly. I thought. glancing towards him. and he was an excellent fellow. and he got into an obscure corner so soon. with much diminished interest. Henry Spiker?’ ‘Oh.com  . intended to be ocFree eBooks at Planet eBook. that I believed I had the pleasure of seeing an old schoolfellow there. He was a sober. with a comic head of hair.him announced as Mr. that I had some difficulty in making him out. Traddles is a good fellow. I don’t mean him!’ I returned.’ ‘Oh! Aye.’ said I.’ said I. that Traddles should be here at all: as Traddles was only invited this morning. who used to draw the skeletons! I looked for Mr.’ returned my host. ‘it was at a place called Salem House where we were together. ‘Indeed!’ said Mr. and could it be Tommy.

Yes.for him . and stating a case in writing. which was full of feeling. ‘Traddles. Henry Spiker’s brother.’ returned Mr. something .’ returned Mr. and had gone on mounting all the heights of life one after another. every now and then. until now he looked. but with a scaling-ladder. Traddles was by profession.cupied by Mrs. Waterbrook. plainly. Yes.’ I murmured an assent. be worth five hundred pound. Waterbrook delivered himself of this little word ‘Yes’. not to say with a silver spoon. Yes. became vacant. and playing with his watch-chain. with the eye of a philosopher and a patron.nobody’s enemy but his own.’ I was much impressed by the extremely comfortable and satisfied manner in which Mr. ‘Well. sorry to hear this. on the people down in the trenches. Mrs. A very gentlemanly man. prosperous sort of way. and I inquired what Mr. Henry Spiker’s brother. I am able to throw something in Traddles’s way. ‘I should say he was one of those men who stand in their own light. in a comfortable. I should say he would never. Waterbrook. He is quite a good fellow . for example. in the course of the year. pursing up his mouth. Copperfield. Oh yes. He has a kind of talent for drawing briefs.  David Copperfield . Yes. Traddles was recommended to me by a professional friend. from the top of the fortifications. Mr. ‘is a young man reading for the bar.’ ‘Is he his own enemy?’ said I. There was wonderful expression in it. considering that I knew nothing at all about him. in consequence of his indisposition. It completely conveyed the idea of a man who had been born.considerable. Oh yes.

whom I should have liked to take myself. that our scope was very limited.com  . Traddles and I were separated at table. if we had not been quite so genteel.and Blood. These were few enough. Waterbrook went down with Hamlet’s aunt. she had as wide a field for abstract speculation Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I. and the conversation was about the Aristocracy . Henry Spiker took Mrs. who had something to do at second-hand (at least. went down last. To mend the matter. Waterbrook. we were as exclusive as the Court Circular. being billeted in two remote corners: he in the glare of a red velvet lady. and what with the Treasury. It occurred to me several times that we should have got on better. that I could gladly have pitched him over the banisters. A Mr. Mr. Hamlet’s aunt had the family failing of indulging in soliloquy. I. We were so exceedingly genteel. Gulpidge had) with the law business of the Bank. Waterbrook repeatedly told us. Gulpidge were of the party. on every topic that was introduced. to be sure. was given to a simpering fellow with weak legs. as the junior part of the company. since it gave me an opportunity of making myself known to Traddles on the stairs. and Mrs. Uriah. Mr. in the gloom of Hamlet’s aunt. by herself. and held forth in a desultory manner. how we could. and what with the Bank. but as we always fell back upon Blood. while Uriah writhed with such obtrusive satisfaction and self-abasement. Traddles. Mrs. who greeted me with great fervour. it was Blood.My reflections on this theme were still in progress when dinner was announced. I was not so vexed at losing Agnes as I might have been. Mr. that if she had a weakness. The dinner was very long. Agnes.

you know. ‘so satisfactory to one! There is nothing that is so much one’s beau-ideal of .’ said this gentleman. perhaps. in point of education and behaviour. Some young fellows. We might have been a party of Ogres. ‘we can’t forego Blood. you know. Waterbrook.as her nephew himself. We see Blood in a nose. you know. deuce take it. ‘There it is! That’s Blood!’ It is an actual matter of fact. intellect. ‘Other things are all very well in their way. We meet with it in a chin. We point it out. and we know it. It admits of no doubt. I am happy to believe.and all that .’ The simpering fellow with the weak legs. There are some low minds (not many. and so on. I thought. ‘I confess I am of Mrs. speaking generally. but there are some) that would prefer to do what I should call bow down before idols. may be a little behind their station. We must have Blood. ‘Oh. but give me Blood!’ ‘Oh! There is nothing. the conversation assumed such a sanguine complexion. stated the question more decisively yet. it’s delightful to reflect that they’ve got Blood in ‘em! Myself. looking round the board with an imbecile smile. and may go a little wrong. with his wine-glass at his eye. and get themselves and other people into a variety of fixes . I’d rather at any time be knocked down by a man who  David Copperfield . Waterbrook’s opinion. and we say.of all that sort of thing.but deuce take it.’ said Mr. Positively Idols! Before service. But these are intangible points. who had taken Agnes down. you know.’ observed Hamlet’s aunt. Blood is not so. you know.

Spiker. Gulpidge darkly nodded . with an ominous look. then positively refused to sign. ‘‘Money. ‘Money. entered into a defensive alliance against us.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Spiker. ‘That affair of the first bond for four thousand five hundred pounds has not taken the course that was expected.. checking himself ‘I understand.’s?’ said Mr. Spiker. or no release. I observed that Mr.you understand me?’ ‘K. as compressing the general question into a nutshell. After that. gave the utmost satisfaction. than I’d be picked up by a man who hadn’t!’ This sentiment. of B.’ Mr. or no release.’ said Mr. Mr. and he point-blank refused to do it. Gulpidge. Gulpidge.’ said Mr.‘‘ ‘Lord bless my soul!’ cried Mr. Gulpidge and Mr. his answer was. and exchanged a mysterious dialogue across the table for our defeat and overthrow. and brought the gentleman into great notice until the ladies retired.’s!’ said Mr. ‘Do you mean the D. and looked much concerned. Spiker raised his eyebrows. Gulpidge. Spiker. firmly. ‘The next in reversion . of A.had got Blood in him. Henry Spiker. ‘The C. He was attended at Newmarket for that purpose. who had hitherto been very distant.’ said Mr.I needn’t name him.com  . ‘N.‘was referred to him. Spiker. ‘.‘‘ repeated Mr.K. the common enemy. Gulpidge. ‘When the question was referred to Lord .’ said Mr.

and to talk with her in a corner. throwing himself back in his chair. and to introduce Traddles to her. and our host regarded us with pride. as it appeared to me. Gulpidge. and such names. turn and turn about. on account of going away next morning for a month. and that by another in which the surprise came round to Mr. Spiker’s turn again. across his table.’ Mr. to have such interests. I was very glad indeed to get upstairs to Agnes. and highly approved of the discretion that had been observed. who was shy. as the victims of a salutary awe and astonishment. in which it was Mr. that he became quite stony. but we exchanged addresses. on account of the magnitude of the interests involved. He assumed an expression of gloomy intelligence (though I am persuaded he knew no more about the discussion than I did).’ said Mr. and the same good-natured creature still. Waterbrook was only too happy. naturally desired to favour his friend with a confidence of his own. I had not nearly so much conversation with him as I could have wished. All this time we. but agreeable. He was greatly interested to hear that I knew Steerforth. As he was obliged to leave early. the outsiders. Mr. even hinted at. Spiker. and promised ourselves the pleasure of another meeting when he should come back to town. ‘So the matter rests at this hour. Spiker was so interested. remained oppressed by the tremendous interests involved in the conversation. and so on. after the receipt of such a confidence.Mr. Gulpidge’s turn to be surprised. ‘Our friend Waterbrook will excuse me if I forbear to explain myself generally. therefore the foregoing dialogue was succeeded by another. and spoke of 0 David Copperfield .

was such a delightful reminder to me of my happy life in the grave old house she had made so beautiful. He was close behind me when I went downstairs. when I walked away from the house. I have said that the company were all gone.com 1 . whom I don’t include in that denomination. and if I thought of her sweet face and placid smile. He was close beside me. that I asked him if he would come home to my rooms. having no excuse for staying any longer. This caused me to remain until all the company were gone.him with such warmth that I made him tell Agnes what he thought of him. Waterbrook’s society were all snuffed out. and very slightly shook her head when only I observed her. and hearing her sing. but in remembrance of the entreaty Agnes had made to me. though I was sorry at the prospect of parting from her again so soon. and have some coffee. but I ought to have excepted Uriah. and who had never ceased to hover near us. I felt then. but. As she was not among people with whom I believed she could be very much at home. But Agnes only looked at me the while. I took my leave very much against my inclination. that I could have remained there half the night. more than ever. when the lights of Mr. slowly fitting his long skeleton fingers into the still longer fingers of a great Guy Fawkes pair of gloves. It was in no disposition for Uriah’s company. like an Angel. I hope I thought no harm. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that she was my better Angel. as though they had shone on me from some removed being. I was almost glad to hear that she was going away within a few days. Conversing with her.

being a shaving-pot. and I conducted him to my fireside. but the other comes so natural. that I could joyfully have scalded him. that I was tempted to drop it and run away.’ said I. ‘Well.’ replied Uriah. and seemed to have made no advance in that labour.I mean Mister Cop David Copperfield . then. Mister Copperfield. without conversing much upon the road. and he was so humble in respect of those scarecrow gloves. but he appeared not to mind it. and because there was a patent invention of great price mouldering away in the pantry). because it was not intended for the purpose. to prevent his knocking his head against anything. ‘Oh. and really his damp cold hand felt so like a frog in mine. however. really. I could not help being rather short with him. he professed so much emotion. I led him up the dark stairs. Master Copperfield. Agnes and hospitality prevailed. We went the nearest way. very much.‘I beg your pardon. and when I heated the coffee in an unassuming block-tin vessel in which Mrs. When I lighted my candles. when we got to my place. . with a writhe. ‘Will you come?’ ‘I should like to. come along!’ said I. really. I believe.‘Oh. he fell into meek transports with the room that was revealed to him. I don’t like that you should put a constraint upon yourself to ask a numble person like me to your ouse.’ ‘There is no constraint in the case. Crupp delighted to prepare it (chiefly. that he was still putting them on.’ he rejoined . Master Copperfield.

Free eBooks at Planet eBook. one way and another.I should say. and unused to disguise what I so strongly felt. for having entrapped me into the disclosure of anything concerning Agnes. thank you.’ ‘Ah! I thought Miss Agnes would know of it!’ he quietly returned. ‘Yes. I des-say.Mister Copperfield!’ I could have thrown my bootjack at him (it lay ready on the rug). Master . of a change in my expectations. ‘You have heard something.I should say. with his long knees drawn up under his coffee-cup. Master Copperfield.perfield. . Master Copperfield. turned towards me without looking at me. It made me very uncomfortable to have him for a guest. I des-say. that it seems to rain blessings on my ed. But I only drank my coffee. for I was young then. the disagreeable dints I have formerly described in his nostrils coming and going with his breath.com  .’ said Uriah. Mister Copperfield?’ As he sat on my sofa.’ said I. You have heard something. I decided in my own mind that I disliked him intensely. . however immaterial. his hat and gloves upon the ground close to him. of a change in my expectations. ‘to see you waiting upon me is what I never could have expected! But. his spoon going softly round and round. I am sure. which looked as if they had scorched their lashes off. Oh. and a snaky undulation pervading his frame from his chin to his boots. Mister Copperfield?’ observed Uriah. in my umble station. his shadowless red eyes. ‘I’m glad to find Miss Agnes knows of it. so many things happen to me which I never could have expected. ‘something.

I could not help adding.’ ‘Oh! who would have thought it likely. ‘Dear me. Wickfield. I recollect saying with my own lips that I was much too umble. ‘I am sure I didn’t myself. with that carved grin on his face. Master Copperfield. and that I may be more so. but how imprudent he has been!’ ‘I am sorry to hear it. rather pointedly.  David Copperfield . So I considered myself really and truly. and how I thanked you for it! You have forgot that. ‘On all accounts. Wickfield’s business. and perhaps it might be Wickfield and Heep? You may not recollect it.’ He sat. Mister Copperfield!’ returned Uriah. Mister Copperfield.’ said I. Master Copperfield. I have no doubt. Miss Agnes’s above all! You don’t remember your own eloquent expressions. Mister Copperfield!’ pursued Uriah. but when a person is umble. a person treasures such things up!’ ‘I recollect talking about it. as I looked at him.’ replied Uriah. what a prophet you have proved yourself to be! Don’t you remember saying to me once. drily. I am glad to think I have been the instrument of good to Mr.’ said I. Mister Copperfield. but I remember how you said one day that everybody must admire her. ‘on all accounts. that perhaps I should be a partner in Mr.’ he presently resumed.’ said I. Master Copperfield?’ ‘No. enthusiastically. Oh what a worthy man he is. looking at the fire. Master Copperfield.’ ‘Decidedly so. ‘But the umblest persons. ‘though I certainly did not think it very likely then.‘What a prophet you have shown yourself. ‘may be the instruments of good.

he sipped it. Heep?’ ‘Oh. Mr. at last.Would you excuse me asking for a cup more coffee?’ Something in the emphasis he laid upon the kindling of those sparks. Mr.or me’. I could not have helped dividing that part of the sentence with an awkward jerk. if you please. a sudden sense of being no match for him.’ returned Uriah. Wickfield. ‘has been imprudent.’ ‘Well! Uriah. I did the honours of the shaving-pot. and that you’ve not forgot it! Oh! . ‘Thank you. very much so! But I wish you’d call me Uriah. has he. Master Copperfield! It’s like the blowing of old breezes or the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. bolting it out with some difficulty. he writhed and undulated about. and something in the glance he directed at me as he said it.’ said I. but he left the renewal of the conversation to me. which I felt could not escape his observation. he looked at the fire. Master Copperfield. but I did them with an unsteadiness of hand. I think. ‘Oh. he gasped rather than smiled at me. he felt his chin softly with his grisly hand. he stirred and sipped again. he looked about the room. and a perplexed suspicious anxiety as to what he might be going to say next. very imprudent indeed. sighing modestly. in his deferential servility. ‘So. had made me start as if I had seen him illuminated by a blaze of light. with fervour. ‘who is worth five hundred of you .com  . He said nothing at all.’ said I. ‘Thank you. ‘To think that you should be the first to kindle the sparks of ambition in my umble breast. He stirred his coffee round and round. It’s like old times.‘Oh how glad I am you have not!’ exclaimed Uriah. Recalled by his request. for my life. preferred in quite another tone of voice.’ he returned.

Master Copperfield. very slowly. to any soul but you. If I had been obliged to look at him with him splay foot on Mr.’ said Uriah. he took his crooked thumb off the spot where he had planted it. and he puts me on an eminence I hardly could have hoped to reach. It’s a topic that I wouldn’t touch upon. as he stretched out his cruel-looking hand above my table. too!) under his thumb. as he finished. I think I could scarcely have hated him more. disgrace. ‘Ah! Great imprudence.’ he proceeded. Wickfield knows it. what a worthy man he is.ringing of old bellses to hear YOU say Uriah. ‘there’s no doubt of it. Un—der—his thumb. in a soft voice. How thankful should I be!’ With his face turned towards me. Master Copperfield. dear. and slowly and thoughtfully scraped his lank jaw with it. most remarkably contrasting with the action of his thumb. and no more. as I saw  David Copperfield .’ said Uriah. Wickfield (oh. and shook the room. There would have been loss. Master Copperfield. I beg your pardon. yes. Wickfield. I am the umble instrument of umbly serving him. If anyone else had been in my place during the last few years. ‘Oh. I recollect well how indignantly my heart beat. which did not diminish its hard pressure in the least degree. Was I making any observation?’ ‘About Mr. Mr. ‘Oh! Yes. but without looking at me. and pressed his own thumb upon it. I don’t know what at all. Even to you I can only touch upon it. Wickfield’s head. until it shook. truly. as if he were shaving himself.’ I suggested. by this time he would have had Mr.

and looked at them and at the fire by turns. Master Copperfield? Will you?’ ‘Oh no. ‘Oh. thank you very much for that!’ ‘Not at all. the confidence that I am going to take the liberty of reposing. like a convulsive fish. preparing for something else. ‘Master Copperfield.’ I returned. if I make a little confidence to you. it is true. ‘There is no reason why you should thank me. I hope I never shall be otherwise than umble. Umble as I am. Uriah?’ ‘Oh. Master Copperfield! I have risen from my umble station since first you used to address me.’ ‘Thank you. and began wiping the palms of his hands. ‘You thought her looking very beautiful tonight. in all respects.’ said I. and gave himself a jerk.’ said Uriah. but I am umble still. ‘Oh. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. loftily. ‘umble as my mother is. ‘Thank you!’ He took out his pocket-handkerchief. I generally go to bed late. ‘is.‘but am I keeping you up?’ ‘You are not keeping me up. with the appropriately red light of the fire upon it. Master Copperfield.’ he wiped his hands harder. in fact.’ he began .’ I said.his crafty face. how pleasant to be called Uriah.com  . thank you! It’s so true!’ he cried. spontaneously!’ he cried. Master Copperfield -’ ‘Well. You will not think the worse of my umbleness. Master Copperfield?’ ‘I thought her looking as she always does: superior. with an effort.’ ‘Why that. ‘Miss Agnes. to everyone around her.

I asked him. and running him through with it. took possession of me. at some indefinite time. did more to bring back to my remembrance the entreaty of Agnes. than any effort I could have made. whether he had made his feelings known to Agnes. ‘Oh no. sitting all awry as if his mean soul griped his body. It went from me with a shock. Oh. and the strange feeling (to which. and made me giddy. Master Copperfield. and that I knew what he was going to say next. outraged by so much as a thought of this red-headed animal’s. the image of Miss Agnes (I don’t mind trusting you with my secret. for I have always overflowed towards you since the first moment I had the pleasure of beholding you in a pony-shay) has been in my breast for years. no! Not to anyone but you. perhaps. remained in my mind when I looked at him. Master Copperfield. ‘oh dear. with a better appearance of composure than I could have thought possible a minute before. no one is quite a stranger) that all this had occurred before. in its full force. I rest a good deal of hope on her observing how useful I am to her father (for I trust to be  David Copperfield . A timely observation of the sense of power that there was in his face. with what a pure affection do I love the ground my Agnes walks on!’ I believe I had a delirious idea of seizing the red-hot poker out of the fire. the room seemed full of the echoes of his voice. You see I am only just emerging from my lowly station. like a ball fired from a rifle: but the image of Agnes. He seemed to swell and grow before my eyes. Master Copperfield!’ he returned.lowly as our poor but honest roof has ever been.

was it possible that she was reserved to be the wife of such a wretch as this! ‘There’s no hurry at present. to be kind to me. I shall take it as a particular favour. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield. that I think she may come. ‘If you’ll have the goodness to keep my secret. I know what a friendly heart you’ve got. ‘and not.com  .’ he pursued. you see.’ Dear Agnes! So much too loving and too good for anyone that I could think of. to go against me. ‘My Agnes is very young still. what a lovely thing it is in a daughter!). to call her mine!’ I hope to do it. you know. in general.’ Uriah proceeded. as opportunities offer. Master Copperfield. You wouldn’t wish to make unpleasantness. and how I smooth the way for him. She’s so much attached to her father. and make a good many new arrangements.very useful to him indeed. on his account. Master Copperfield). ‘I’d crowns resign. you can’t think. it’s such a relief. you might. and understood why he laid it bare. as I sat gazing at him. but having only known me on my umble footing (on my umblest I should say. So I shall have time gradually to make her familiar with my hopes. and mother and me will have to work our way upwards. and keep him straight. with my Agnes. unbeknown.’ I fathomed the depth of the rascal’s whole scheme. Master Copperfield (oh. with this thought in my mind. go against me rather. for I am very umble still). one of these days. in his slimy way. Oh. before it would be quite convenient. I call her mine. to know that you understand Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I’m so much obliged to you for this confidence! Oh. There’s a song that says.

Not that I had really thought so. Master Copperfield. in a distant chamber. near the New River ed . ‘Dear me!’ he said. and I’ll lie down before the fire. then sleeping.’ His repudiation of this offer was almost shrill enough.a sort of a private hotel and boarding ouse. drawing up one leg. ‘it’s past one. that it’s almost half past one!’ I answered that I had thought it was later. referred to his pale-faced watch. ‘The ouse that I am stopping at . Crupp. I suppose. and which was never less than three-quarters of an hour too slow.’ I said. ‘Dear me!’ he said. and that I -’ ‘Oh. to have penetrated to the ears of Mrs. in the excess of its surprise and humility. and are certain (as you wouldn’t wish to make unpleasantness in the family) not to go against me!’ He took the hand which I dared not withhold.’ ‘I am sorry. in the confidence of old times. and having given it a damp squeeze. ‘But would you have any objections to my laying down before the fire?’ ‘If it comes to that. Master Copperfield!’ he rejoined ecstatically. The moments slip away so. situated at about the level of low-water mark. don’t think of mentioning beds. ‘pray take my bed. Master Copperfield. and 0 David Copperfield .will have gone to bed these two hours. ‘that there is only one bed here. soothed in her slumbers by the ticking of an incorrigible clock. but because my conversational powers were effectually scattered.our situation. to which she always referred me when we had any little difference on the score of punctuality. considering.’ I returned.

sat heavy on me like a waking nightmare.had always been put right in the morning by the best authorities. how I could come to no other conclusion than that the best course for her peace was to do nothing. as I had so often seen him look. and oppressed me with a leaden dread. made him a bed and covering. the recollection that Uriah was lying in the next room. I thought. and a great-coat. how I wearied myself with thinking about Agnes and this creature.com 1 . I never shall forget that night. for his repose before the fire. had the least effect upon his modesty in inducing him to accept my bedroom. The mattress of the sofa (which was a great deal too short for his lank figure). the sofa pillows. and wouldn’t come out. The poker got into my dozing thoughts besides. When I awoke. and of her father looking fondly on her. in my bewildered condition. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. arose before me with appealing faces. I left him to his rest. and what ought I to do. I never shall forget how I turned and tumbled. which he put on at once. for which he was more than thankful. I was obliged to make the best arrangements I could. the table-cover. Having lent him a night-cap. between sleeping and waking. that it was still red hot. as if I had had some meaner quality of devil for a lodger. If I went to sleep for a few moments. and I had snatched it out of the fire. a blanket. that I have never worn one since. a clean breakfast-cloth. As no arguments I could urge. how I considered what could I do. and in which he made such an awful figure. the image of Agnes with her tender eyes. and to keep to myself what I had heard. and filled me with vague terrors.

 David Copperfield .and run him through the body. that my sitting-room might be aired. thank Heaven! he would not stay to breakfast). There I saw him. He was so much worse in reality than in my distempered fancy. and his mouth open like a post-office. I charged Mrs. the long. and purged of his presence. When I saw him going downstairs early in the morning (for. though I knew there was nothing in it. Crupp with particular directions to leave the windows open. and could not help wandering in and out every half-hour or so. that I stole into the next room to look at him. with his legs extending to I don’t know where. Still. long night seemed heavy and hopeless as ever. When I went out to the Commons. it appeared to me as if the night was going away in his person. gurglings taking place in his throat. and no promise of day was in the murky sky. I was so haunted at last by the idea. stoppages in his nose. and taking another look at him. lying on his back. that afterwards I was attracted to him in very repulsion.

short-waisted. I was at the coach office to take leave of her and see her go. I had thought very much of the words Agnes had used in reference to the partnership. It was some small satisfaction to me to observe his spare. mulberry-coloured great-coat perched up. Feeling sure that it was necessary for papa’s peace that the sacrifice should be made. In the state of trouble into which his disclosure by my fire had thrown me. high-shouldered. inside.com  . on the edge of the back seat on the roof. I entreated him to make it. while Agnes looked on. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. until the day when Agnes left town. perhaps deserved that little recompense. but what I underwent in my efforts to be friendly with him. like a great vulture: gorging himself on every syllable that I said to Agnes.’ A miserable foreboding that she would yield to. while Agnes was. or Agnes said to me. returning to Canterbury by the same conveyance. ‘I did what I hope was right. and there was he. At the coach window. in company with an umbrella like a small tent. of course. he hovered about us without a moment’s intermission.CHAPTER 26 I FALL INTO CAPTIVITY I saw no more of Uriah Heep. as at the dinner-party.

considered well. the same feeling in reference to any sacrifice for his sake. had oppressed me ever since. the greatest danger lay. I was as miserable as when I saw her going away. and had. When Agnes wrote to tell me of her safe arrival. I knew what the devotion of her nature was.  David Copperfield . must destroy the happiness of Agnes. of its being unseen by her then. I knew how she loved him. that I could as soon have injured her. he knew thoroughly. as given her any warning of what impended. Yet I was so certain that the prospect of such a sacrifice afar off. It became a part of my life. from her manner. doubtless. and I was so sure. Whenever I fell into a thoughtful state. as if he had her in his clutches and triumphed. I had no consolation in seeing how different she was from this detestable Rufus with the mulberry-coloured great-coat. in the self-denial of her pure soul and the sordid baseness of his. and having cast no shadow on her yet. I knew from her own lips that she regarded herself as the innocent cause of his errors. and all my uneasiness was sure to be redoubled. I could not get over this farewell glimpse of them for a long time. and as owing him a great debt she ardently desired to pay. in his cunning. All this. and as inseparable from my life as my own head. for I felt that in the very difference between them. Thus it was that we parted without explanation: she waving her hand and smiling farewell from the coach window. her evil genius writhing on the roof. this subject was sure to present itself.and sustain herself by. Hardly a night passed without my dreaming of it.

At about this time. that I was alone in the world. I was articled to Spenlow and Jorkins. thirdly. I was very much alone. and much given to record that circumstance in fragments of English versification. and that it was the more powerful with me. and resign myself to coffee. no festivity took place. I made three discoveries: first. I believe I had at this time some lurking distrust of Steerforth. beyond my having sandwiches and sherry into the office for Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but I think I was glad. days and weeks slipped away. I suspect the truth to be. In the meantime. and the evenings long. that Mrs. which was generally accompanied with inflammation of the nose. and required to be constantly treated with peppermint. Crupp was a martyr to a curious disorder called ‘the spazzums’. made the brandy-bottles burst. undisturbed by the sight of him. too. that he could not come to London just then. to have taken by the gallon at about this period of my existence. and when I was not at the Commons. that the influence of Agnes was upon me. upon the whole. that something peculiar in the temperature of my pantry. which I seem. on looking back. On the day when I was articled. as he wrote to me. I wrote to him most affectionately in reply to his. I had ninety pounds a year (exclusive of my house-rent and sundry collateral matters) from my aunt. because she had so large a share in my thoughts and interest. My rooms were engaged for twelve months certain: and though I still found them dreary of an evening.I had ample leisure to refine upon my uneasiness: for Steerforth was at Oxford.com  . secondly. I could settle down into a state of equable low spirits.

to whom the house at Norwood was a sacred mystery. he intimated that when she came home he should hope to have the pleasure of entertaining me. and expressed my acknowledgements. that if I would do him the favour to come down next Saturday. my very carpet-bag was an object of veneration to the stipendiary clerks. but for his domestic arrangements being in some disorder. he referred to this engagement. he would be extremely happy. The old clerk with the wig. on account of the expected return of his daughter from finishing her education at Paris. When the day arrived. that I hardly knew myself in my own glass when I got home. I knew that he was a widower with one daughter. He described it as an apartment of the most  David Copperfield . when we concluded our business. Mr. and stay till Monday. Of course I said I would do him the favour. Spenlow ate entirely off plate and china. that he should have been happy to have seen me at his house at Norwood to celebrate our becoming connected. and another hinted at champagne being constantly on draught. on this occasion. after the usual custom of table-beer. In a week or two. and had on each occasion penetrated to the breakfast-parlour. One of them informed me that he had heard that Mr. Mr. whose name was Mr. as a Doctors’ Commons sort of play. I went to see The Stranger. Spenlow was as good as his word. and he was to drive me down in his phaeton. Spenlow remarked. Tiffey. and to bring me back. and going alone to the theatre at night. had been down on business several times in the course of his career. and said. and was so dreadfully cut up.the clerks. But.

according to a calculation I made. going down. and always shall consider.about excommunicating a baker who had been objecting in a vestry to a paving-rate . less mechanical. We were very pleasant. We had an adjourned cause in the Consistory that day . went out of town together. The phaeton was a very handsome affair. he observed. and then the baker’s proctor. though I always have considered. that in my time the great article of competition there was starch: which I think was worn among the proctors to as great an extent as it is in the nature of man to bear. and must on no account be confounded with the profession of a solicitor: being quite another sort of thing. and Mr. We took things much more easily in the Commons than they could be taken anywhere else. and said that he had drunk brown East India sherry there.and as the evidence was just twice the length of Robinson Crusoe. and that set us.sumptuous nature. and it turned out some very choice equipages then. and the judge. and Mr. and the advocates on both sides (who were all nearly related). of a quality so precious as to make a man wink. There was a good deal of competition in the Commons on all points of display. However. and sentenced in no end of costs. it was rather late in the day before we finished. and more profitable. Spenlow gave me some hints in reference to my profession. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. we got him excommunicated for six weeks. the horses arched their necks and lifted up their legs as if they knew they belonged to Doctors’ Commons. infinitely more exclusive.com  . Spenlow and I drove away in the phaeton. as a privileged class. He said it was the genteelest profession in the world.

and expense was no consideration. and mountains upon mountains of evidence on interrogatory and counter-interrogatory (to say nothing of an appeal lying. was its compactness. It was the most conveniently organized place in the world. he said. both sides went at it in a lively and spirited manner. Suppose you were not satisfied with the Consistory. or a restitution case. You tried it in the Consistory. What was to be particularly admired (he said) in the Commons. in the same room. and you played it out at leisure. but another judge. in the way of arguments at every stage of the proceedings. and the same practitioners. universally looked down upon by all proctors of any pretensions. but. I asked Mr. the best of all. You made a quiet little round game of it. but he gave me to understand that they were an inferior race of men. Then. not only were there very pretty pickings. among a family group. the costs being pretty sure to come out of the estate at last. and then to the Lords). In such a case. It lay in a nutshell. first to the Delegates.apart. what did you do then? Why. perhaps. where there was a neat little estate of thirty or forty thousand pounds. with the same bar. It was the complete idea of snugness. you went into the Arches. that we were chiefly employed by solicitors. Very good. What was the Arches? The same court. For example: You brought a divorce case. for there the Consis David Copperfield . he launched into a general eulogium on the Commons. Spenlow what he considered the best sort of professional business? He replied. that a good case of a disputed will. was. into the Consistory. He said it was impossible to conceal the disagreeable fact.

and cut. to this hour. in conclusion. I don’t know now. I respectfully deferred to his opinion. what it has to do with me. I had my doubts whether the country was quite as much obliged to the Commons as Mr. to settle the matter to the satisfaction of everybody! Discontented people might talk of corruption in the Commons. said Mr. I modestly felt was too much for my strength. Well.com  . as judges. It has reappeared to annihilate me. and quite settled the question. and had seen the cards shuffled. in connexion with all kinds of subjects. all through my life. What did you do then? Why. .‘Touch the Commons. got the better of that bushel of wheat. the Commons had been busiest. who had looked on at the round game when it was playing in both courts. closeness in the Commons. the Ecclesiastical Delegates were the advocates without any business. or what right it has to crush me. you went to the Delegates. I must say. and down comes the country!’ I listened to all this with attention. and the necessity of reforming the Commons. on an infinite variety of occasions. Spenlow solemnly. and a man might lay his hand upon his heart. I have never. exactly. you played your round game out again. Spenlow made out. and had talked to all the players about it.tory judge could plead any court-day as an advocate. but whenever I see my old friend the bushel brought in by the head and shoulders (as Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and though. That about the price of wheat per bushel. Very good. Still you were not satisfied. and say this to the whole world. but when the price of wheat per bushel had been highest. and now came fresh. and played. Who were the Delegates? Why.

gloves. it was so beautifully kept. Spenlow’s house. She was a Fairy. by my silence. I submissively expressed. I was a captive and a slave. but I didn’t know it. I loved Dora Spenlow to distraction! She was more than human to me. and walking-sticks. on which shrubs and flowers grew in the growing season. and though that was not the best time of the year for seeing a garden. that I was quite enchanted. greatcoats. made memorable by the brown East Indian sherry). ‘Dora!’ I thought. no doubt. There was a lovely garden to Mr. ‘Here Miss Spenlow walks by herself. and bring down the country. whips. Spenlow to the servant.he always is. ‘Mr. a 0 David Copperfield . There was a charming lawn. which was cheerfully lighted up. All was over in a moment. arched over with trellis-work. ‘Dear me!’ We went into the house. I had fulfilled my destiny. and we talked about The Stranger and the Drama. and I heard a voice say. Spenlow’s voice. caps. ‘What a beautiful name!’ We turned into a room near at hand (I think it was the identical breakfast-room. I was not the man to touch the Commons. plaids. ‘Where is Miss Dora?’ said Mr. I give up a subject for lost. my daughter Dora. and the pairs of horses. Mr.’ I thought. and my daughter Dora’s confidential friend!’ It was. until we came to Mr. and I didn’t care whose it was. my acquiescence in all I had heard from my superior in years and knowledge. and into a hall where there were all sorts of hats. I observe). This is a digression. there were clusters of trees. and there were perspective walks that I could just distinguish in the dark. Copperfield. Spenlow’s gate.

‘How is Mr. to be astonished about. ‘have seen Mr.’ observed a well-remembered voice. ‘Copperfield. ‘How do you do.’ ‘Mr. headlong. ‘I am glad to find. I was gone. ‘Very well. There was no pausing on the brink.’ She answered.Sylph. Copperfield and myself. ‘to accept the office . Spenlow. Copperfield before. We were once slightly acquainted. Murdstone?’ She replied.’ said Mr. I don’t know what she was . and everything that everybody ever wanted.’ said Miss Murdstone. before I had sense to say a word to her. but Dora Spenlow. Miss Murdstone? I hope you are well. There was nothing worth mentioning in the material world. Miss Murdstone! I don’t think I was much astonished. ‘My brother is robust.of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. anywhere. I suppose.com 1 . Which was true enough. I was swallowed up in an abyss of love in an instant. It was in his childish days. that you and Miss Murdstone are already acquainted. then put in his word.’ The speaker was not Dora. I am obliged to you.anything that no one ever saw. when I had bowed and murmured something. ‘are connexions. no looking down.’ Mr. Circumstances have separated us since. I should not have known him. who.’ I replied that I should have known her. with severe composure.’ he said. To the best of my judgement.’ I said. No. no capacity of astonishment was left in me. or looking back. ‘Miss Murdstone has had the goodness. the confidential friend. ‘I.if I may so describe it . Spenlow to me. I said. had been surprised to see us recognize each other.

what a face she had. Grey as he was . Dora was talking to an old gentleman with a grey head. My daughter Dora having. I glanced at her. which Mr. and so carried me off to dress. was a little too ridiculous.’ A passing thought occurred to me that Miss Murdstone. biting the key of my carpet-bag. no mother. that she was not very much inclined to be particularly confidential to her companion and protector. and was thinking that I saw. I couldn’t bear the idea of anybody knowing Mr. It was torturing to me to hear them talk  David Copperfield .I was madly jealous of him. was not so much designed for purposes of protection as of assault. What a form she had. enchanting manner! The bell rang again so soon that I made a mere scramble of my dressing. and think of the captivating. The idea of dressing one’s self. or doing anything in the way of action. variable.and a greatgrandfather into the bargain. for he said so . what a graceful. when a bell rang. I could only sit down before my fire. girlish. and went downstairs. There was some company.my daughter Dora’s confidential friend. brighteyed lovely Dora. Spenlow better than I did. like the pocket instrument called a life-preserver. directly afterwards. in that state of love. unhappily. But as I had none but passing thoughts for any subject save Dora. instead of the careful operation I could have wished under the circumstances. Spenlow said was the first dinner-bell. Miss Murdstone is obliging enough to become her companion and protector. in her prettily pettish manner. What a state of mind I was in! I was jealous of everybody.

which I think was about gardening. I fell into a reverie. the gayest little laugh. She was rather diminutive altogether.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that I dined off Dora. ‘David Copperfield. I think I heard him say. My apprehensions of being disparaged to the object of my engrossing affection were revived when we went into the drawing-room. asked me across the dinner table. So much the more precious. When a most amiable person. I don’t remember who was there. several times. with Dora. My impression is. if that were the first occasion of my seeing the grounds. ‘A word. by the grim and distant aspect of Miss Murdstone. I could have done anything to him that was savage and revengeful. I sat next to her.’ said Miss Murdstone.com  . the pleasantest and most fascinating little ways. I thought. but I was wandering in a garden of Eden all the while. I have not the least idea what we had for dinner. beckoning me aside into a window. I seemed to pay the deepest attention to him. and sent away half-a-dozen plates untouched. only disturbed by the cruel apprehension that Miss Murdstone would disparage me to her. entirely. except Dora. besides Dora. The amiable creature with the polished head told me a long story. with a highly polished bald head. But I was relieved of them in an unexpected manner. I talked to her.of occurrences in which I had had no share. that ever led a lost youth into hopeless slavery. She had the most delightful little voice. ‘my gardener’. When she went out of the room with Miss Murdstone (no other ladies were of the party).

I could not hear her disrespectfully mentioned. As the chances of life have brought us together again. that I formed an unfavourable opinion of you in your childhood. ‘Far from it. I have received outrages from a person . It may have been a mistaken one. without expressing my opinion in a decided tone. Under existing circumstances. Miss Murdstone shut her eyes. slowly opening her eyes. ‘But it is not necessary. then. and disdainfully inclined her head. it is as well on all accounts that they should not. and therefore I would rather not mention her. I belong to a family remarkable. You may have your opinion of me.I confronted Miss Murdstone alone. I added. They are not a tempting subject. ‘David Copperfield.’ assented Miss Murdstone. not to mention her.  David Copperfield .who is not to be mentioned without scorn and disgust. for the credit of my sex . and I am not the creature of circumstance or change.’ said Miss Murdstone. but I said it would certainly be better.’ ‘Far from it. if Miss Murdstone pleased. resumed: ‘David Copperfield. ‘that these opinions should come into collision here. ma’am. I shall not attempt to disguise the fact.’ said Miss Murdstone. for some firmness. in my turn. ‘I do not wish to revive the memory of past differences. or you may have ceased to justify it.’ I returned. ‘I need not enlarge upon family circumstances. I may have my opinion of you. or of past outrages.’ I inclined my head.’ I felt very fiery on my aunt’s account.a female I am sorry to say. I believe. That is not in question between us now.

These reminded me. let us meet here as distant acquaintances. looking perfectly imbeFree eBooks at Planet eBook. we ought always to dance. Ta ra la! accompanying herself on a glorified instrument. That I refused refreshment.’ I returned. she walked away. and treated my mother with great unkindness. arranging the little fetters on her wrists and round her neck. and it is quite unnecessary that either of us should make the other the subject of remark.and may bring us together on other occasions. suggesting on the outside. as when I had seen her last. Murdstone used me very cruelly. generally to the effect that. That my soul recoiled from punch particularly. in exactly the same state. to all beholders. That when Miss Murdstone took her into custody and led her away. That I caught a view of myself in a mirror.’ Miss Murdstone shut her eyes again. All I know of the rest of the evening is. Ta ra la. what was to be expected within. which seemed to be the same set. But I quite agree in what you propose. Family circumstances are a sufficient reason for our only meeting on that footing. resembling a guitar. I shall always think so. I would say. just touching the back of my hand with the tips of her cold. and bent her head.com  . whatever was the matter. that I heard the empress of my heart sing enchanted ballads in the French language. Do you approve of this?’ ‘Miss Murdstone. ‘I think you and Mr. she smiled and gave me her delicious hand. That I was lost in blissful delirium. of the fetters over a jail door. stiff fingers. in reference to Miss Murdstone’s nature. as long as I live. Then.

‘and Miss Murdstone is so absurd! She talks such nonsense about its being neces David Copperfield . and wouldn’t hear of the least familiarity. and my pen shakes in my hand. got under a chair expressly to snarl. and I thought I would go and take a stroll down one of those wire-arched walks. to write to her. but there was a purity of heart in all this.I am sure it was the summit of mine. for I loved even him. and met her. Miss Spenlow. that prevents my having quite a contemptuous recollection of it. seemed to me the summit of human ambition . I had not been walking long. The garden was cool and solitary. and indulge my passion by dwelling on her image. when I turned a corner. It was a fine morning.are . but he showed his whole set of teeth.out early.’ said I.cile and idiotic. if I could ever become engaged to this dear wonder. As to marriage. wondering what my feelings of happiness would be. ‘It’s so stupid at home. I walked about. I approached him tenderly. To be allowed to call her ‘Dora’. as when I loved little Em’ly. ‘You .short for Gipsy. That I retired to bed in a most maudlin state of mind. I encountered her little dog. I believe I was almost as innocently undesigning then. to dote upon and worship her. and got up in a crisis of feeble infatuation. let me laugh as I may. There is no doubt whatever that I was a lackadaisical young spooney. On my way through the hall. and early. and fortune. who was called Jip . I tingle again from head to foot as my recollection turns that corner. and all that.’ she replied. to have reason to think that when she was with other people she was yet mindful of me.

I depreciated France. in replying that I meant no compliment. ‘Have you ever been there?’ ‘No.sary for the day to be aired. that she should think it possible I could go. It was in the state of my own feelings. it’s the brightest time of the whole day.how could I. ‘or that the weather has really changed?’ I stammered worse than before. when I don’t practise. what a priceless possession it would have been! ‘You have just come home from Paris. I never saw such curls . I depreciated Paris.’ ‘Oh! I hope you’ll go soon! You would like it so much!’ Traces of deep-seated anguish appeared in my countenance. Besides. for there never were such curls! . ‘Yes.’ said she.as those she shook out to hide her blushes.) ‘On a Sunday morning. So I told papa last night I must come out. That she should hope I would go. and said (not without stammering) that it was very bright to me then. before I come out. I said I wouldn’t leave Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Don’t you think so?’ I hazarded a bold flight. though I was not aware of any change having taken place in the weather. in the most melodious manner. As to the straw hat and blue ribbons which was on the top of the curls. if I could only have hung it up in my room in Buckingham Street. ‘Do you mean a compliment?’ said Dora.com  . though it had been very dark to me a minute before. here. I must do something. but the plain truth. Aired!’ (She laughed. I added bashfully: to clench the explanation. was insupportable.’ said I.

and then she beat him. pouting. At length he was quiet . dear?’ He only winked lazily. .’ said Dora. if they had only been to me!) ‘No. ‘Not at all so.can’t you. It increased my sufferings greatly to see the pats she gave him for punishment on the bridge of his blunt nose. for any earthly consideration. ‘I can’t think what papa can have been about. but he persisted upon barking still. but I am sure she is no such thing .’ (The two last words were to the dog. Nothing should induce me. and persisted in barking at me. -’My pet. Who wants a protector? I am sure I don’t want a protector.’ ‘She is a tiresome creature. are you?’ said Dora. when he chose such a vexatious thing to be my companion. Jip. when she kissed his ball of a head.’ I replied. and still growled within himself like a little double-bass. In short. she was shaking the curls again. Jip can protect me a great deal better than Miss Murdstone. She took him up in her arms . while he winked his eyes.is she. He wouldn’t let me touch him. under existing circumstances. ‘You are not very intimate with Miss Murdstone.oh my goodness! . ‘Papa calls her my confidential friend.and we walked away to look at a greenhouse. He was mortally jealous of me. and licked her hand.well he might be with her dimpled chin upon his head! .and caressed him. when I tried. Oh.England. Jip? We are not going to confide  David Copperfield . when the little dog came running along the walk to our relief.

and we’ll make ourselves as happy as we can in spite of her. in two slender arms. because we have not a kind Mama. every word was a new heap of fetters. and a quantity of curls. certainly I was. in answer. I think I must have gone down on my knees on the gravel. laughing. It contained quite a show of beautiful geraniums. that we are to have. ‘It is very hard. and a little black dog being held up. and of being presently ejected from the premises besides. The scent of a geranium leaf. We loitered along in front of them. and these words brought us to it. a sulky. Jip and I. always following us about . and if we were not all three in Fairyland. Jip?’ jip made a comfortable noise. But. and then I see a straw hat and blue ribbons. a little like a teakettle when it sings. and Dora. held the dog up childishly.don’t we. and not please her . As for me. instead of having them found out for us . We mean to bestow our confidence where we like. strikes me with a half comical half serious wonder as to what change has come over me in a moment. Jip? Never mind. Jip?’ If it had lasted any longer. instead. riveted above the last.isn’t it. to smell the flowers.com  . and I stopped to admire the same one.in any such cross people. at this day. with the probability before me of grazing them. and to find out our own friends. She found us Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and Dora often stopped to admire this one or that one. against a bank of blossoms and bright leaves. Jip. by good fortune the greenhouse was not far off. We won’t be confidential. Miss Murdstone had been looking for us.won’t we. and we’ll tease her. gloomy old thing like Miss Murdstone.

to Dora to be kissed. when I took leave of him at night. in which (as we couldn’t be expected to know much about those matters in the Commons) the judge had entreated two old Trinity Masters. Then she took Dora’s arm in hers. I perfectly remember that I sat swilling tea until my whole nervous system. Miss Murdstone with a homily before her. We had a quiet day. and presented her uncongenial cheek. and that I was invoking blessings on his head! We departed early in the morning.here.and I am afraid that is all I know of the service. By and by we went to church. but I heard her sing. and the congregation vanished. How many cups of tea I drank. if I had had any in those days. A sermon was delivered . a family dinner of four. requiring a rather accurate knowledge of the whole science of navigation. Spenlow imagine. in my fancy. I don’t know. But. No company. of course . for charity’s sake. to come and help him out. as his son-in-law! Little did he think. must have gone by the board. Ah! little did Mr. a walk. the little wrinkles in it filled with hair powder.about Dora. how fervently I was embracing him. and an evening of looking over books and pictures. that he had just given his full consent to my being engaged to Dora. Miss Murdstone was between Dora and me in the pew. and marched us into breakfast as if it were a soldier’s funeral. when he sat opposite to me after dinner that day. with his pocket-handkerchief over his head. keeping guard vigilantly. Dora was at the breakfast-table to make the 0 David Copperfield . for we had a Salvage case coming on in the Admiralty Court. and her eye upon us. because Dora made it.

as I listened to it. Spenlow went home without me (I had had an insane hope that he might take me back again). as if I were a mariner myself. if the money in question had been left to me. Within the first week of my passion. and laid the foundations of all the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as the emblem of that high jurisdiction. and the ship to which I belonged had sailed away and left me on a desert island. to consider. as they dragged their slow length before me. as she stood on the door-step with Jip in her arms. what nonsense I made of our case in my mind. in the Prerogative cases. and. I went there. from week to week. What the Admiralty was to me that day. but to think about Dora. not to attend to what was going on. it would reveal my truth.not for myself.com 1 . but day after day. for Dora . I bought four sumptuous waistcoats . it was only to wonder.tea again. I shall make no fruitless effort to describe. in the matrimonial cases (remembering Dora). I had no pride in them. If ever I bestowed a thought upon the cases. however. I don’t mean the dreams that I dreamed on that day alone. If that sleepy old court could rouse itself.and took to wearing straw-coloured kid gloves in the streets. how it was that married people could ever be otherwise than happy. and term to term. what were the foremost steps I should immediately have taken in regard to Dora. how I saw ‘DORA’ engraved upon the blade of the silver oar which they lay upon the table. and I had the melancholy pleasure of taking off my hat to her in the phaeton. and present in any visible form the daydreams I have had in it about Dora. and how I felt when Mr.

I fagged through the Park again and again. Not only was I soon as well known on the Norwood Road as the postmen on that beat. Spenlow’s house. Crupp must have been a woman of penetration. walked with her and Miss Murdstone a little way. to think that I had said nothing to the purpose. even in that early stage. I was always being disappointed. ‘whose family. when I was very low. at long intervals and on rare occasions. than that I had been to Mr. ‘consists of one daughter’. I walked miles upon miles daily in the hope of seeing her.’ I added. and I had not had the courage to write more explicitly even to Agnes. She came up to me one evening. or that she cared nothing about me. I was always looking out. they would show what the state of my heart was. she found it out. or that she had no idea of the extent of my devotion. long after I was quite knocked up. for when this attachment was but a few weeks old. I haunted the Bazaar like an unquiet spirit. Mrs. In the latter case I was always very miserable afterwards. perhaps I met her. for I got none. to ask (she being then afflicted with  David Copperfield . wretched cripple as I made myself by this act of homage to Dora. Perhaps I saw her glove waved in a carriage window. I saw her. and spoke to her. for. in a most affecting manner. Spenlow’s house. but I pervaded London likewise. Crupp must have been a woman of penetration. If the boots I wore at that period could only be produced and compared with the natural size of my feet. And yet. Sometimes.corns I have ever had. as may be supposed. for another invitation to Mr.I say Mrs. I walked about the streets where the best shops for ladies were. .

There’s a lady in the case. which was the next best. sir! If She don’t smile upon you. in some indistinct association with a washing-day. Crupp. Crupp?’ I returned. Crupp. as benignly as was in my power. with a little brandy. ‘Come. and flavoured with seven drops of the essence of cloves. ‘What makes you suppose there is any young lady in the Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ I did not quite perceive the application of this fact to myself. sir. I am inclined to think.’ said Mrs. . sir!’ said Mrs. sir. but I smiled on Mrs. Copperfull. You are a young gentleman to be smiled on.’ Mrs. and secondly. reddening. ‘Cheer up. sir: I’m a mother myself.’ said Mrs. but it was the next best. ‘Oh.the disorder I have mentioned) if I could oblige her with a little tincture of cardamums mixed with rhubarb. Crupp. and always had the second in the closet. ‘I can’t abear to see you so. Crupp a glass of the second. and you must learn your walue.com  . I gave Mrs. so palatable to her. which (that I might have no suspicion of its being devoted to any improper use) she began to take in my presence. she remarked. there’s a many as will. no doubt. ‘Never say die. Crupp. As I had never even heard of the first remedy. because it was not my name. It was not. Copperfull: firstly.or. sir. which was the best remedy for her complaint. if I had not such a thing by me. bless you! Keep a good heart. I know what it is. ‘Excuse me. nodding encouragement. Crupp always called me Mr. Mr. sir.’ ‘Mrs.

in a tone approaching to severity. Crupp. Crupp. Mr. though much swelled by drinking.’ said Mrs.’ ‘Mrs. ‘I have now found summun I can care for!’ . nor yet drink. or much too small. A young gentleman may be over-careful of himself. and fortify herself against returning pain with sips of her medicine. Crupp could only lay her hand upon her nankeen bosom. Crupp. ‘that fell in love . sir. ‘Sir.’ For some time Mrs. that I had not an inch of vantage-ground left.’ said Mrs. ‘When the present set were took for you by your dear aunt. ‘I’m a mother myself. ‘Thank Ev’in!’ were the expression.You don’t eat enough. He may wear his boots much too large for him. Copperfull.with a barmaid . Mrs. He may brush his hair too regular. or too un-regular. Crupp. there’s a young lady in both of ‘em. Copperfull. or he may be under-careful of himself. That is according as the young gentleman has his original character formed. sir. At length she spoke again.’ said I. ‘my remark were. ‘Mr. Mrs.’ said Mrs.and had his waistcoats took in directly. I had now found summun I could care for. ‘I must beg you not to connect the  David Copperfield . ‘I’ve laundressed other young gentlemen besides yourself.’ Mrs.case. But let him go to which extreme he may. Crupp shook her head in such a determined manner. Crupp.’ said Mrs. with a great deal of feeling. Crupp?’ said I.’ ‘Is that what you found your supposition on. Crupp?’ said I. ‘It was but the gentleman which died here before yourself.

or anything of that sort. at the same time.’ said Mrs. Crupp. Mrs. But you are a young gentleman. As her figure disappeared into the gloom of the entry. I should never wish to intrude where I were not welcome. If you was to take to something.young lady in my case with a barmaid. sir. which is healthy. to cheer up. Crupp’s part. now. and do you good. this counsel certainly presented itself to my mind in the light of a slight liberty on Mrs. if I intrude.’ With these words. ‘if you was to take to skittles. sir. to keep a good heart. if you please. in another point of view. ‘I’m a mother myself. sir.which was all gone . but. and retired. I was content to receive it. affecting to be very careful of the brandy . Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mr.thanked me with a majestic curtsey. I ask your pardon. you might find it divert your mind. Crupp.’ returned Mrs. as a word to the wise. and not likely.com  . and to know your own walue.’ ‘Mr. Copperfull. Copperfull. Crupp. and my adwice to you is. and a warning in future to keep my secret better.

for the sake of Traddles. to go and look after Traddles. as one of our clerks who lived in that direction informed me. but untidy too. the same afternoon. a black  David Copperfield . and made experiments on those quadrupeds in their private apartments. a doubled-up saucepan.CHAPTER 27 TOMMY TRADDLES I t may have been in consequence of Mrs. and. who bought live donkeys. for I myself saw a shoe. by gentlemen students. perhaps. The time he had mentioned was more than out. Having obtained from this clerk a direction to the academic grove in question. Crupp’s advice. to visit my old schoolfellow. into the road: which not only made it rank and sloppy. The inhabitants appeared to have a propensity to throw any little trifles they were not in want of. I set out. which was principally tenanted. and he lived in a little street near the Veterinary College at Camden Town. on account of the cabbage-leaves. next day. The refuse was not wholly vegetable either. for no better reason than because there was a certain similarity in the sound of the word skittles and Traddles. that it came into my head. I found that the street was not as desirable a one as I could have wished it to be.

going on as if he had received no answer. still throwing his voice into the house. rather for the edification of somebody within the house. His deportment would Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in various stages of decomposition. and had not yet got out of his cramped brick-and-mortar pothooks . ‘Now.though they were all built on one monotonous pattern. I’m not a going to stand it. and made it unlike all the other houses in the street . as I judged from his tone. by the by. than of the youthful servant . An indescribable character of faded gentility that attached to the house I sought. ‘Has that there little bill of mine been heerd on?’ ‘Oh. Micawber. and speaking.com  .bonnet. The general air of the place reminded me forcibly of the days when I lived with Mr. and Mrs. and glaring down the passage. ‘Because. Micawber. Now. I was reminded of Mr.’ was the reply. As to his dealing in the mild article of milk. you know!’ said the milkman.’ said the milkman to a very youthful servant girl.reminded me still more of Mr. there never was a greater anomaly.an impression which was strengthened by his manner of glaring down the passage ‘because that there little bill has been running so long. Happening to arrive at the door as it was opened to the afternoon milkman. and Mrs. as I was looking out for the number I wanted. and never won’t be heerd of. master says he’ll attend to it immediate. and looked like the early copies of a blundering boy who was learning to make houses.’ said the milkman. that I begin to believe it’s run away altogether. and Mrs. Micawber more forcibly yet. and an umbrella.

from the action of her lips. ‘Does Mr.’ she replied.’ said the milkman. D’ye hear? Not a fragment of milk you won’t have tomorrow. muttering. and deposited the usual quantity in the family jug. ‘I tell you what. and with anything rather than good-will opened his can. ‘Good.’ I thought she seemed. When I got to the top of the stairs . again to murmur that it would be attended to immediate.the house was only a story high above the ground floor .have been fierce in a butcher or a brandy-merchant. The voice of the youthful servant became faint. I likes it. probably belonging to the mysterious voice. that I was surveyed by a mysterious eye. but she seemed to me. ‘are you fond of milk?’ ‘Yes. I walked in.’ said the milkman. This done. upon the whole. Traddles live here?’ I then inquired. after shaking his head at her darkly. and uttered the cry of his trade next door. ‘Then you won’t have none tomorrow. and again the servant echoed it. and in pursuance of the servant’s directions walked upstairs. in a vindictive shriek. Again the mysterious voice replied in the affirmative. as I passed the back parlour-door. A mysterious voice from the end of the passage replied ‘Yes. he went away. The milkman. Upon this.’ Upon which the youthful servant replied ‘Yes. relieved by the prospect of having any today. released her chin.’ ‘Is he at home?’ said I. conscious. and taking her by the chin.Traddles was on the  David Copperfield . looking hard at her for the first time.

His table was covered with papers. He was delighted to see me. that I know of.’ said I. after I had sat down. that I gave you this address instead of my address at chambers.landing to meet me. ‘I am very glad indeed to see you. and so forth. too. and to comfort himself under ill usage. particularly impressed themselves upon me.’ he returned. It was his only room.and this. ‘Traddles. to his little room. and gave me welcome. ‘I am delighted to see you. as I sat down . Various ingenious arrangements he had made. and his blacking-brushes and blacking were among his books . for the disguise of his chest of drawers. I could not make out what that was. shaking hands with him again. I looked at nothing. and extremely neat. and the accommodation of his boots. I saw. It was in the front of the house. but I saw everything. for there was a sofabedstead in it. It was because I was thoroughly glad to see you when we met in Ely Place. though sparely furnished.on the top shelf. even to the prospect of a church upon his china inkstand. Copperfield.’ ‘Oh! You have chambers?’ said I.com  . was a faculty confirmed in me in the old Micawber times. and was sure you were thoroughly glad to see me. as evidences of the same Traddles who used to make models of elephants’ dens in writing-paper to put flies in. with great heartiness. behind a dictionary. and he was hard at work in an old coat.’ ‘I am delighted to see YOU. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. In a corner of the room was something neatly covered up with a large white cloth. with the memorable works of art I have so often mentioned. his shavingglass.

’ ‘Lord. ‘I am reading for the bar. you understand. Mr.’ His old simple character and good temper. smiled at me in the smile with which he made this explanation. Half-a-crown a week he costs me. Copperfield. rubbing his hands slowly over one another. It’s some time since I was articled.’ ‘You are reading for the bar. to be sure!’ cried Traddles. you know? Dear me! Well! Those were happy times.’ returned Traddles. ‘Three others and myself unite to have a set of chambers . ‘It’s not because I have the least pride. The fact is. ‘That sky-blue suit you used to wear. laughing. and the fourth of a clerk.’ said Traddles. as I sit here looking at you?’ I asked him. I have the fourth of a room and a passage. ‘Tight in the arms and legs. after rather a long delay. yes. I am fighting my way on in the world against difficulties. weren’t they?’ 00 David Copperfield . as if he had had a tooth out.to look business-like . ‘that I don’t usually give my address here. A great pull!’ said Traddles. and it would be ridiculous if I made a pretence of doing anything else. For myself.and we quarter the clerk too. who might not like to come here. with a wince. It’s only on account of those who come to me. and something of his old unlucky fortune also. ‘Why. ‘No.’ said Traddles. Traddles. Waterbrook informed me?’ said I. I have just begun to keep my terms. but the payment of that hundred pounds was a great pull. ‘Do you know what I can’t help thinking of.‘Why. I thought.’ said he.

’ ‘Indeed!’ ‘Yes. ha. ‘But dear me. He said I wasn’t at all what he expected. He died soon after I left school. for his good humour made me feel as if I had seen him beaten but yesterday.’ ‘And what did you do?’ I asked. and so he married his housekeeper. that I fancied he must have some other meaning. He was a retired . then?’ said I. yes. ‘Really? Perhaps he was rather. Copperfield! I mean it. Do you remember the nights in the bedroom? When we used to have the suppers? And when you used to tell the stories? Ha. Traddles. there was a good deal of fun going on. ha! And do you remember when I got caned for crying about Mr. But it’s all over. ha. ‘Do you think so?’ returned Traddles. indignantly. ‘Of course I was!’ said Traddles. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 01 . ‘Oh dear. But he didn’t like me when I grew up.’ said Traddles.’ I returned.what do you call it! . without doing any harm to any of us. a long while.’ ‘Do you really mean that?’ said I. ha! Yes. ‘The one I was always going to write to. ‘It was an unfortunate thing. Mell? Old Creakle! I should like to see him again.’ said I. And always didn’t. too!’ ‘He was a brute to you. He was so composed. ‘Perhaps he might.and had made me his heir.draper cloth-merchant . I acknowledge.‘I think our schoolmaster might have made them happier. eh! Ha. Old Creakle!’ ‘You were brought up by an uncle. but he didn’t like me at all.’ replied Traddles. I had an uncle then.

‘I am at work for him at this minute. I had never been brought up to any profession.and I got a good many jobs. and then I began to state cases for them. and. waiting to be put out in the world. Waterbrook’s for one . too. Traddles. and at first I was at a loss what to do for myself. all the noses were straight in my day. preserving the same air of cheerful confidence in all he said.and so he died. Yawler recommended me to one or two other offices. Well! That put it in my head to enter myself as a law student. Copperfield. with his nose on one side. and that ran away with all that was left of the fifty pounds. and that sort of work.’ said Traddles. and he set me to work. However. and had learnt the way of doing such things pithily. ‘I got fifty pounds. with the assistance of the son of a professional man. to become acquainted with a person in the publishing way. He had not been there with me. ‘It don’t matter.’ said Traddles. I 0 David Copperfield . Copperfield. who had been to Salem House . indeed’ (glancing at his table). ‘I lived with them.Mr. I began. and so she married a young man. Do you recollect him?’ No. by means of his assistance. yes!’ said Traddles. to copy law writings. ‘I began. and make abstracts. I am not a bad compiler. not a particle. who was getting up an Encyclopaedia. ‘but I have no invention at all. I was fortunate enough.’ said Traddles. That didn’t answer very well. and so I wasn’t provided for.’ ‘Did you get nothing. after all?’ ‘Oh dear. until his gout unfortunately flew to his stomach .Yawler. For I am a plodding kind of fellow.‘I didn’t do anything in particular. however .

facing.’ As Traddles seemed to expect that I should assent to this as a matter of course. ‘one of ten. involuntarily. ‘That’s the church! You come round here to the left. you understand. you are so exactly what you used to be. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that I sha’n’t conceal anything. and not living high. at the prospect on the inkstand. Now. down in Devonshire. towards the church. I am living by the sort of work I have mentioned. Spenlow’s house and garden at the same moment. there stands the house . ‘and exactly where I hold this pen. and I hope.as before. ‘a pull. with the same sprightly patience . ‘So.I can find no better expression .’ The delight with which he entered into these particulars. to get connected with some newspaper: which would almost be the making of my fortune.’ said Traddles. wincing again as if he had had another tooth out.’ said Traddles. and it’s so pleasant to see you.though it was .’ Engaged! Oh. I nodded.’ tracing his finger along the inkstand. for my selfish thoughts were making a ground-plan of Mr. I managed to scrape up the hundred pounds at last. Yes!’ For he saw me glance.suppose there never was a young man with less originality than I have. and he went on.com 0 . did not fully present itself to me until afterwards. still. one of these days. Dora! ‘She is a curate’s daughter. with that agreeable face.’ said Traddles. Therefore you must know that I am engaged. ‘and thank Heaven that’s paid . Copperfield. out of this gate. by little and little.though it certainly was.

and and there you are again!’ said Traddles. We must get on by degrees. ‘Wait and hope. and I walked back. ‘a little older than me. ‘but it’s something. but our motto is ‘Wait and hope!’ We always say that. I bought. ‘it’s not that we haven’t made a beginning towards housekeeping. ‘It’s an admirable piece of workmanship . and Traddles replaced the covering as carefully as he had removed it. but we have begun. and I had the most delightful time! I dare say ours is likely to be a rather long engagement. you know. put his hand upon the white cloth I had observed. Here.any age you can mention . ‘with a plant in it. she bought herself. we have begun. falling a little back from it to survey it with the greater admiration. and pillow-cases.for me!’ Traddles rose from his chair.’ he said.firm as a rock!’ I praised them both. or somebody comes to see you or your wife.’ said Traddles.’ said Traddles. ‘It’s not a great deal towards the furnishing. highly.and there you are! This little round table with the marble top (it’s two feet ten in circumference). with a triumphant smile. You want to lay a book down. are what discourage me most. ‘are two pieces of furniture to commence with. till she was sixty . but the dearest girl! I told you I was going out of town? I have been down there. 0 David Copperfield . and . You put that in a parlour window. and wants a place to stand a cup of tea upon. The table-cloths.’ drawing the cloth off with great pride and care.‘She is such a dear girl!’ said Traddles. ‘However. I walked there. Copperfield. and articles of that kind. and. no. And she would wait. This flower-pot and stand.’ we always say. No.

Traddles. Micawber. ‘What are you talking about?’ Traddles looked at me. Traddles accordingly did so. as if he wondered what I was talking about.’ said Mr. ‘Why. and Mr. Micawber could ever have knocked at that door. I board with the people downstairs. and Mrs.because those things tell. and Mrs.candle-boxes. I don’t make much. Micawber!’ I repeated. and which nobody but Mr. who are very agreeable people indeed.’ ‘My dear Traddles!’ I quickly exclaimed. as he checked himself in humming a soft tune. So does the ironmongery .Copperfield. I begged Traddles to ask his landlord to walk up. with the old roll in his voice. but I don’t spend much. over the banister. ‘and this is the end of my prosing about myself. Both Mr. and are excellent company. which I knew well from old experience in Windsor Terrace. ‘I beg your pardon. his shirtcollar. Micawber have seen a good deal of life. I am intimately acquainted with them!’ An opportune double knock at the door. his stick.’ said I. resolved any doubt in my mind as to their being my old friends. and his eye-glass. ‘wait and hope!’ And I assure you she’s the dearest girl!’ ‘I am quite certain of it. coming back to his chair. and that sort of necessaries . I get on as well as I can. ‘In the meantime.com 0 .his tights.came into the room with a genteel and youthful air. ‘Mr. and gridirons. and mount up. Mr. ‘I was not aware that there was any Free eBooks at Planet eBook. not a bit changed . Micawber. all the same as ever .’ said Traddles. In general. However.

Micawber. cried. Mr. Micawber. But now. Micawber immediately reappeared. Micawber slightly bowed to me. Traddles’s apartment. Micawber. ‘she is also. ‘Here is a gentleman in Mr. fell back. alien to this tenement. ‘I rejoice to reply that they are.’ ‘And Mrs. Traddles!’ said Mr.’ said Mr. Micawber?’ ‘Sir. Micawber. ‘Sir. ‘you are exceedingly obliging. in the enjoyment of salubrity. Micawber?’ said I. seeing me smile.’ Mr. thank God. and pulled up his shirt-collar. Micawber. Mr. Micawber. in statu quo. ‘And how is our good friend the Doctor. I am in statu quo.’ ‘And the children. though he had stood face to face with me. ‘to think that I should find you acquainted with the friend of my youth. my love!’ Mr.’ All this time.’ said Mr. whom he wishes to have the pleasure of presenting to you. ‘Good Heaven. Mr. ‘How do you do.’ said Mr. Copperfield?’ said Mr. the companion of earlier days! My dear!’ calling over the banisters to Mrs. and shook hands with me again. ‘Sir. likewise. ‘Is it possible! Have I the pleasure of again beholding Copperfield!’ and shook me by both hands with the utmost fervour. ‘and all the circle at Canterbury?’ 0 David Copperfield .individual. in your sanctum. Mr. Micawber had not known me in the least. while Traddles looked (with reason) not a little amazed at this description of me. Micawber?’ I pursued. he examined my features with more attention.

but. Micawber came in. Copperfield. I thought. and hurriedly opening and shutting drawers that were uneasy in their action. to my unaccustomed eyes. Within the shadow. by some marks of concern in his countenance. as of Mrs.’ said I. ‘I am most delighted to hear it. The present is one of those momentous stages in the life of man. but not. when it has been necessary that I should fall back.’ I was expressing my satisfaction. Micawber. and conquered obstacles. which was anciently the resort of Pilgrims from the remotest corners of . that he was sensible of sounds in the next room. You find me. Micawber washing her hands. Micawber. in the course of my career.a spring. FOR a spring.’ I replied that it was. or so she seemed now.’ said Mr. ‘at present established. with one eye on Traddles. ‘It was at Canterbury where we last met.in short. ‘in the immediate neighbourhood of the Cathedral. that there have been periods of my life. Mr.com 0 . Micawber continued talking as volubly as he could. ‘You find us. fallen back. on what may be designated as a small and unassuming scale. when Mrs.’ said Mr. until certain expected events should turn up.‘I have none but good accounts of them. when it has been requisite that I should pause. before making what I trust I shall not be accused of presumption in terming . and I have every reason to believe that a vigorous leap will shortly be the result. a little more slatternly than she used to be. without showing. I may figuratively say. Micawber. surmounted difficulties. You are no stranger to the fact.’ said Mr. but still with Free eBooks at Planet eBook. of that religious edifice immortalized by Chaucer. you are aware that I have.

was overcome by it. rendered it necessary to fix a somewhat distant one. who. that Mr. Mr. leading her towards me. and was taken so unwell. that before I could think of leaving. But I told Traddles. Micawber was obliged. who wishes to renew his acquaintance with you. being in a delicate state of health.some preparation of herself for company. they must appoint a day when they would come and dine with me. in great trepidation. I should not have been averse to do so. She presently revived. and draw a basinful to lave her brow with. that suited us all. but that I imagined I detected trouble. in Mrs. but they were not produced on that occasion. The occupations to which Traddles stood pledged. and was really pleased to see me. 0 David Copperfield . Micawber. and observing that Mrs. I resisted all persuasion to forego it. We had half-an-hour’s talk. and after Master and Miss Micawber. ‘here is a gentleman of the name of Copperfield. as it turned out. to have led gently up to this announcement. to run down to the water-butt in the backyard. for Mrs. Micawber. Micawber was very anxious that I should stay to dinner. and calculation relative to the extent of the cold meat. I therefore pleaded another engagement. ‘My dear. but an appointment was made for the purpose.’ It would have been better. and I asked her about the twins. and with a pair of brown gloves on. and Mr.’ said Mr. Micawber’s eye. and Mrs. she said. Micawber. however. whom she described as ‘absolute giants’. Micawber’s spirits were immediately lightened. all together. were ‘grown great creatures’. and then I took my leave.

who exposes hard-bake for sale in her parlour-window. I am at present.in other words.’ said Mr. permanently. under existing circumstances. be prepared to hear that Mrs. a mind like that which gleams . in confidence. I am. ‘I need hardly tell you that to have beneath our roof.in your friend Traddles. accompanied me to the corner of the street. Micawber. perhaps. It is not an avocation of a remunerative description .in short. to the infantine group. Micawber. which I trust will enable me to provide. however. that I am not aware that it is any business of theirs.and some temporary embarrassments of a pecuniary nature have been the consequence. it does not pay .if I may be allowed the expression .com 0 . dwelling next door. both for myself and for your friend Traddles. is an unspeakable comfort.which gleams . Micawber is in a state of health which renders it not wholly improbable that an addition may be ultimately made to those pledges of affection which .Mr. Mrs. ‘My dear Copperfield. you may imagine that his society is a source of consolation to myself and to Mrs. You may. delighted to add that I have now an immediate prospect of something turning up (I am not at liberty to say in what direction). under pretence of showing me a nearer way than that by which I had come. engaged in the sale of corn upon commission. With a washerwoman. Micawber’s family have been so good as to express their dissatisfaction at this state of things. and a Bow-street officer residing over the way. Micawber. being anxious (he explained to me) to say a few words to an old friend. and that Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in whom I have an unaffected interest. I have merely to observe. my dear Copperfield.

and with defiance!’ Mr.I repel that exhibition of feeling with scorn. Micawber then shook hands with me again. 10 David Copperfield . and left me.

CHAPTER 28 Mr. Crupp broke out into rebellion on my first bashful hint in 11 Free eBooks at Planet eBook. my appetite languished.com . The quantity of walking exercise I took. and a pigeon-pie. MICAWBER’S GAUNTLET U ntil the day arrived on which I was to entertain my newly-found old friends. I merely provided a pair of soles. In my love-lorn condition. I lived principally on Dora and coffee. too. whether a sound enjoyment of animal food can develop itself freely in any human subject who is always in torment from tight boots. and I was glad of it. for I felt as though it would have been an act of perfidy towards Dora to have a natural relish for my dinner. was not in this respect attended with its usual consequence. founded on the acute experience acquired at this period of my life. On the occasion of this domestic little party. I did not repeat my former extensive preparations. Mrs. as the disappointment counteracted the fresh air. a small leg of mutton. I have my doubts. I think the extremities require to be at peace before the stomach will conduct itself with vigour.

to get rid of her. a compromise was effected. If I hesitated. sink breathless on a chair near the door. that I was glad. in the end. to prey upon her vitals.one motion of her hand towards the same nankeen region of wounded sensibility was enough to make me falter an apology. for you are better acquainted with me than to suppose me capable of doing what I cannot do with ampial satisfaction to my own feelings!’ But. at the shortest notice. Crupp consented to achieve this feat. and said. And here I may remark.which was not by any means to be relied upon . and she was the terror of my life. and become so ill. that what I underwent from Mrs. ready. Crupp offence. sir! You will not ask me sich a thing. We made a compromise of everything. lay her hand upon her nankeen bosom. I never was so much afraid of anyone. If I objected to having my bed made at five o’clock in the afternoon . and Mrs. after halfa-dozen unavailing modest pulls. I bought a second-hand dumb-waiter for this dinner1 David Copperfield . with a dignified sense of injury. was dreadful. If I rang the bell impatiently. Crupp. in consequence of the tyranny she established over me. I would have done anything in an honourable way rather than give Mrs. and she appeared at last . at any sacrifice of brandy or anything else. In short.reference to the cooking of the fish and joint. ‘No! No.she would appear with a reproachful aspect. she was taken with that wonderful disorder which was always lying in ambush in her system. on condition that I dined from home for a fortnight afterwards.which I do still think an uncomfortable arrangement .

When I conducted Mrs. and a new ribbon to his eye-glass. a paper of mixed pins. Mr. having also caused the fire in my bedroom to be lighted for Mrs. Micawber on his arm. and where her retiring on the plates would be a physical impossibility. Micawber.party. Micawber. one Sunday morning. and a pincushion. to assist Mrs. Micawber’s convenience. and having laid the cloth with my own hands. where a habit of sniffing she had contracted would be lost upon the guests. Micawber to come in and look. Traddles carrying the parcel. Mrs. Micawber to my dressing-table. but on the stipulation that she should only bring in the dishes. she was in such raptures. At the appointed time. Micawber with more shirt-collar than usual. against whom I had conceived a prejudice. and supporting Mrs. that she called Mr. and she saw the scale on which it was prepared for her. Having laid in the materials for a bowl of punch. The ‘young gal’ was reengaged. which had been missing since the former occasion.’ said Mr. two wax-candles. This is a way of life which reminds me of the period Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in consequence of meeting him in the Strand. ‘this is luxurious. and then withdraw to the landing-place. to be compounded by Mr. They were all delighted with my residence. my three visitors arrived together. ‘My dear Copperfield. in preference to re-engaging the handy young man. Micawber with her cap in a whitey-brown paper parcel. Micawber in her toilette at my dressing-table. having provided a bottle of lavender-water. I awaited the result with composure.com 1 . in a waistcoat remarkably like one of mine. beyond the outer door.

in other words. ‘He cannot answer for others. in consequence of default in the payment of the company’s rates. and our old and tried friend Copperfield will. ‘I have no desire to answer for others. in the inscrutable decrees of Fate. not condemn. and pressed my hand. Micawber!’ ‘My love. Micawber that I relied upon him for a bowl 1 David Copperfield .’ ‘My dear.and will pity. who never have deserted you. destined. Copperfield.’ said Mr. my love. solicited by him. its excesses. I am sure. ‘you will forgive. it is possible you may have been reserved for one. made sensitive by a recent collision with the Minion of Power . in tears. archly. I regret it. who never WILL desert you. much affected. Mr. and Mrs.’ Mr. Micawber.’ ‘Micawber!’ exclaimed Mrs. I understand your allusion. with a ribald Turncock attached to the water-works . Micawber with sudden seriousness. To divert his thoughts from this melancholy subject. Micawber then embraced Mrs.’ ‘He means. forgive. Micawber had not yet been solicited to plight her faith at the Hymeneal altar. I informed Mr. Micawber. you were reserved for me.’ said Mrs. ‘Have I deserved this! I. Micawber. after a protracted struggle. but I can bear it.’ returned Mr. Micawber. leaving me to infer from this broken allusion that his domestic supply of water had been cut off that afternoon. I am too well aware that when. at length to fall a victim to pecuniary involvements of a complicated nature.when I was myself in a state of celibacy. the momentary laceration of a wounded spirit.

and led him to the lemons. but she came out of my room. not to say despair. The pigeonpie was not bad. I never saw a man so thoroughly enjoy himself amid the fragrance of lemon-peel and sugar. for I was alFree eBooks at Planet eBook.I never ventured to inquire. and mixed. Micawber. And the lark was never gayer than that excellent woman. But we were not in condition to judge of this fact from the appearance of the gravy. the odour of burning rum.about the failure. comparatively speaking. lovely. instead of punch. but I suppose . Crupp. forasmuch as the ‘young gal’ had dropped it all upon the stairs . The leg of mutton came up very red within. was taken ill. or the lavender-water. I suppose .that Mrs. was gone in a moment. or the wax-candles. I don’t know whether it was the effect of the cap. the banquet was such a failure that I should have been quite unhappy .where it remained. and tasted. by the by. and looked as if he were making. after frying the soles. I mean. and the steam of boiling water. a fortune for his family down to the latest posterity. In short. As to Mrs. It was wonderful to see his face shining at us out of a thin cloud of these delicate fumes. but it was a delusive pie: the crust being like a disappointing head. as if if had had a fall into the ashes of that remarkable kitchen fireplace. Because we broke down at that point.com 1 . Micawber did that afternoon. as he stirred.of punch. until it was worn out. and very pale without: besides having a foreign substance of a gritty nature sprinkled over it. as Mr. in a long train. with nothing particular underneath. or the fire. phrenologically speaking: full of lumps and bumps. or the pins. His recent despondency.

and in families not regulated by that pervading influence which sanctifies while it enhances the . turned them with a fork.a . Micawber (who could do anything of this sort to perfection) covered them with pepper. we could accomplish a good one if the young person in attendance could produce a gridiron. that this little misfortune may be easily repaired. and by a bright suggestion from Mr. in a twinkling. and that I believe. in the lofty character of Wife. and immediately applied ourselves to carrying Mr. Micawber. ‘accidents will occur in the best-regulated families. and Mrs. with a little division of labour. in their way. by the influence of Woman. If you will allow me to take the liberty of remarking that there are few comestibles better. under Mr. they may be expected with confidence. ‘My dear friend Copperfield. The division of labour to which he had referred was this: .’ There was a gridiron in the pantry.’ said Mr. in short. and our attention divided between the mutton on our 1 David Copperfield . Micawber.Traddles cut the mutton into slices. I would put it to you. I put them on the gridiron. and took them off.if I had not been relieved by the great good humour of my company. and cayenne. Mr. more slices sputtering and blazing on the fire. salt. When we had slices enough done to begin upon. and must be borne with philosophy. and continually stirred. some mushroom ketchup in a little saucepan. Micawber’s direction. on which my morning rasher of bacon was cooked. than a Devil. mustard. with our sleeves still tucked up at the wrist. Micawber heated. We had it in.I would say. we fell-to.ways unhappy about Dora . Micawber’s idea into effect.

I am ashamed to record it. but I really believe I forgot Dora for a little while. don’t you come from him?’ ‘Not immediately so. the bustle of it. we reduced the leg of mutton to the bone. Micawber could not have enjoyed the feast more. Is my master not here. sir?’ ‘No. as he ate and worked. My own appetite came back miraculously. the excellence of it. I am satisfied that Mr. and were all busily engaged. standing hat in hand before me. What with the novelty of this cookery. and my eyes encountered those of the staid Littimer. Traddles laughed as heartily. so amused. the frequent sitting down to dispose of it as the crisp slices came off the gridiron hot and hot. sir. and in the midst of such a tempting noise and savour. the frequent starting up to look after it. so flushed with the fire. ‘I beg your pardon. endeavouring to bring the last batch of slices to a state of perfection that should crown the feast.com 1 . and I dare say there was never a greater success. all at once.plates. But I should think he might be here Free eBooks at Planet eBook. when I was aware of a strange presence in the room. sir. We were at the height of our enjoyment. the being so busy. if they had sold a bed to provide it. sir.’ ‘Have you not seen him.’ ‘Did he tell you you would find him here?’ ‘Not exactly so. Indeed we all did. and Mrs. sir?’ ‘No. and the mutton then preparing. ‘What’s the matter?’ I involuntarily asked. I was directed to come in. almost the whole time. in our several departments.

as if he had stabbed himself. to show that he was quite at ease. All this was done in a perfect manner. cleared the table. and hardly ventured to glance at the respectable phenomenon. but our appreciation of it was gone. As for me. and. humming a tune. and he never raised his 1 David Copperfield . when it was done with.’ ‘Is he coming up from Oxford?’ ‘I beg. wheeled the dumb-waiter into the pantry. Traddles ran his greasy hands through his hair. of his own accord. and allow me to do this. I dare say. he noiselessly removed them. and set on the cheese. and we merely made a show of eating it. sir. and stood it bolt upright. too. but we became in a moment the meekest of the meek before his respectable serving-man. Micawber put on her brown gloves.tomorrow. Mr. by the appearance of Steerforth himself.’ he returned respectfully. as he has not been here today. who had come from Heaven knows where. ‘that you will be seated. with the handle of a hastily concealed fork sticking out of the bosom of his coat. as if his whole attention were concentrated on it. and gravely handed it round. subsided into his chair. piled everything on the dumb-waiter. He took that off. and assumed a genteel languor. to put my establishment to rights. and stared in confusion on the table-cloth. Meanwhile he took the mutton off the gridiron. We should not have been much discomposed. gave us our wine-glasses.’ With which he took the fork from my unresisting hand. I was a mere infant at the head of my own table. and bent over the gridiron. Mrs. Micawber. As we severally pushed away our plates. We all took some.

with a glance at the latter. that time?’ ‘Not particularly so. ‘pray say that I am sorry he was not here today. when. no doubt. Steerforth coming from Oxford?’ ‘I should imagine that he might be here tomorrow. sir. sir!’ and he divided a bow between me and Traddles. I am obliged to you. He was moving softly to the door. I don’t think I shall see him first. I rather thought he might have been here today. when he had his back towards me. sir. Yet his very elbows. I remained behind on purpose to see the boat Free eBooks at Planet eBook. No. sir. seemed to teem with the expression of his fixed opinion that I was extremely young.eyes from what he was about.’ ‘In case you do.I said: ‘Oh! Littimer!’ ‘Sir!’ ‘Did you remain long at Yarmouth.which I never could. sir. in a forlorn hope of saying something naturally . ‘If you’ll excuse me. as an old schoolfellow of his was here.’ ‘If you should see him first -’ said I.’ said I. sir?’ ‘Is Mr. sir?’ I thanked him and said. to this man .’ ‘You saw the boat completed?’ ‘Yes. sir.’ ‘Is Mr. ‘Can I do anything more.’ ‘Indeed. sir. The mistake is mine. but would he take no dinner himself? ‘None.com 1 . Steerforth coming from Oxford?’ ‘I beg your pardon. sir.

‘if my friend Cop0 David Copperfield . I wish you good night. My visitors seemed to breathe more freely when he was gone. that I always DID feel as if this man were finding me out? Mr. Micawber. tasting it.completed. sir. Micawber pronounced it excellent. I suppose?’ ‘I really can’t say. ‘But punch. my dear Copperfield. had taken his full share of the general bow. I may remark.’ said Mr. for besides the constraint. which was blended with a certain remorseful apprehension of seeing Steerforth himself. having so little in reality to conceal. Micawber roused me from this reflection. and had received it with infinite condescension. Micawber. ‘Mr. I think .’ said Mr. by bestowing many encomiums on the absent Littimer as a most respectable fellow. will you give me your opinion?’ Mrs. How was it. waits for no man. ‘like time and tide. Ah! it is at the present moment in high flavour. my conscience had embarrassed me with whispers that I had mistrusted his master. sir.but I really can’t say.’ ‘I know!’ He raised his eyes to mine respectfully. Mr. and I could not repress a vague uneasy dread that he might find it out. arising from that extraordinary sense of being at a disadvantage which I always had in this man’s presence. but my own relief was very great. Steerforth has not seen it yet. and disappeared. and a thoroughly admirable servant. sir. ‘Then I will drink. My love.’ He comprehended everybody present. Micawber. in the respectful bow with which he followed these words.

perfield will permit me to take that social liberty. at the then present moment. Micawber. Micawber. another glass?’ Mrs. ‘Ahem!’ said Mr. ‘Mr.on several occasions. clearing his throat. and the old indescribable air of saying something genteel.’ Mr. So we all did: Traddles evidently lost in wondering at what distant time Mr. if it had been feasible. ‘My dear.’ said Mrs. Micawber said it must be very little. Micawber. I may say.’ said Mr. Traddles being a part of our domesticity. but I have no doubt that Copperfield and myself would frequently have taken a pull at them. of myself and Copperfield. that We twa hae run about the braes And pu’d the gowans’ fine . Commission to the extent of two and ninepence in a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to the days when my friend Copperfield and myself were younger. with the old roll in his voice.in a figurative point of view . I am not exactly aware. but it is not remunerative. ‘what gowans may be. and fought our way in the world side by side.’ said Mrs. sipping her punch. in words we have sung together before now. ‘as I have repeatedly said to Mr. Mr.com 1 . Micawber argumentatively. may be gentlemanly. Micawber’s prospects. took a pull at his punch. Micawber. I should much like to have your opinion on Mr. ‘As we are quite confidential here. so it was a glassful. and warming with the punch and with the fire. Micawber. Micawber and I could have been comrades in the battle of the world. For corn. Copperfield. but we couldn’t allow that.

and keeping Mr. ‘then I ask myself this question. eyed us aside. and we find it fallacious. Copperfield. I know  David Copperfield . ‘I will not conceal from you. ‘being equally out of the question. ‘What is there in which a person of Mr. Micawber. a certainty. ‘Then.’ Traddles and I both expressed. as much as to say that the case was very clearly put. and nodded his head. ‘that I have long felt the Brewing business to be particularly adapted to Mr. We have turned our attention to that experiment. Micawber. Micawber straight by her woman’s wisdom. when he might otherwise go a little crooked. who prided herself on taking a clear view of things. If corn is not to be relied upon.’ said Mrs. my dear Mr. and that it did him much credit.fortnight cannot. what is? Are coals to be relied upon? Not at all. Copperfield. and Buxton! It is on that extensive footing that Mr.’ Mr. on the suggestion of my family.’ said Mrs. Mr. that this great discovery was no doubt true of Mr. still more argumentatively. Hanbury. Micawber. by a feeling murmur. Micawber’s peculiar temperament is. I naturally look round the world. ‘The articles of corn and coals.’ We were all agreed upon that. Micawber.’ said Mrs. Micawber. and say. be considered remunerative. I am convinced. Micawber’s talent is likely to succeed?’ And I exclude the doing anything on commission. leaning back in his chair with his hands in his pockets. Look at Barclay and Perkins! Look at Truman. Micawber. however limited our ideas. What is best suited to a person of Mr. Micawber. because commission is not a certainty.

I may argue within myself.’ ‘What do I deduce from this?’ Mrs. But if the various banking-houses refuse to avail themselves of Mr. would inspire confidence. Micawber’s manners peculiarly qualify him for the Banking business. my dear Mr. ‘I may have a conviction.what is the use of that? Again I contend that we are no farther advanced than we were before. I may know that there are members of my family who. is calculated to shine. But if they do NOT choose to place their money in Mr. ‘What is the conclusion. Micawber. Micawber cannot get into those firms . Micawber’s manners -’ ‘Hem! Really. Micawber’s abilities.’ interposed Mr. Micawber went on to say. as representing that banking-house. and said. if they chose to place their money in Mr.from my own knowledge of him. ‘Not a bit. that if I had a deposit at a banking-house. be silent.com  . ‘Not a bit. I am told. Micawber’s hands . to which I am Free eBooks at Planet eBook. might found an establishment of that description. when he offers his services even in an inferior capacity .’ I shook my head. what is the use of dwelling upon THAT idea? None. Mr. my dear. the manners of Mr. Micawber.which decline to answer his letters. ‘My love.what is the use of dwelling upon that idea? None.’ said Mrs. and the profits.’ Traddles also shook his head. Micawber’s hands. and must extend the connexion. and said.which they don’t . I may have a conviction that Mr. or receive the offer of them with contumely. still with the same air of putting a case lucidly. Micawber. that Mr. are e-NOR-MOUS! But if Mr. Copperfield. Copperfield. As to originating a banking-business. laying her brown glove on his hand.

Copperfield. Micawber. Micawber. We must. my love.’ returned Mrs.’ said Mr.’ Both Traddles and I applauded it highly. my dear. with great talent . it is clear that we must live?’ I answered ‘Not at all!’ and Traddles answered ‘Not at all!’ and I found myself afterwards sagely adding. Then I would make a fact so disgraceful known. in a measure. that things cannot be expected to turn up of themselves.’ said Mrs. and this I have pointed out to Mr. Micawber. forcibly. is to throw down the  David Copperfield . that a person must either live or die. alone. I may be wrong. that we can not live without something widely different from existing circumstances shortly turning up. myself. Here is Mr. Now I am convinced. but I have formed that opinion.with great talent -’ ‘Really. with genius.I should say. with a variety of qualifications. my dear Mr. Micawber has to do. Micawber with a variety of qualifications .’ ‘And here is Mr. allow me to conclude. Micawber several times of late. Micawber. ‘Pray. ‘Then what do I recommend? Here is Mr. Micawber without any suitable position or employment. ‘that what Mr. but that may be the partiality of a wife -’ Traddles and I both murmured ‘No. assist to turn them up. Where does that responsibility rest? Clearly on society. ‘Very well. ‘It is precisely that. and boldly challenge society to set it right. ‘Just so.irresistibly brought? Am I wrong in saying. my dear Mr.’ said Mrs. Micawber. Copperfield. It appears to me. And the fact is.

It appears to me. who was looking at the fire. ‘Quite true. that what Mr. in justice to himself. ‘is Free eBooks at Planet eBook.. Micawber’s. in justice to his family. Copperfield! I have made the identical observation to Mr.’ I remarked. to describe himself plainly as so-and-so. Micawber how this was to be done.’ said Mrs. but I thought him observant of Traddles. Micawber.‘in all the papers. M. that I think Mr. ‘By advertising. my dear Copperfield. and address.com  .’ said Mrs. by which he has been hitherto overlooked. on remunerative terms. Micawber . Post Office. ‘If no member of my family. Micawber ought (as I have already said. to W. It is for that reason especially.‘‘ ‘This idea of Mrs. and in justice to society) to raise a certain sum of money . ‘Exactly so!’ said Mrs.’ Mr. in justice to himself. with such and such qualifications and to put it thus: ‘Now employ me.gauntlet to society. leaning back in his chair. preserving the same logical air. Camden Town. the Leap to which I alluded.’ said Mr. my dear Mr. and I will even go so far as to say in justice to society. and say.‘‘ I ventured to ask Mrs. making his shirt-collar meet in front of his chin. ‘Show me who will take that up. Micawber has to do. in justice to his family. Let the party immediately step forward. in effect.’ ‘Advertising is rather expensive. and glancing at me sideways. post-paid.on a bill. Micawber. in fact. dubiously. Micawber. ‘is. when I last had the pleasure of seeing you. too. Micawber. Micawber. trifled with his eye-glass and cast his eyes up at the ceiling. is to advertise in all the papers.

I feel that the time is arrived when Mr. and I uttered a murmur to that effect. and in the presence of Mr.’ I felt. I view it. suggested ‘Discount. is quite one of ourselves. that this was selfdenying and devoted in Mrs. Micawber to sustain a great sacrifice. and should dispose of it for what he can get. with his eyes still cast up at the ceiling. who. Traddles.I will add .’ said Mrs. that Mr. preparatory to her withdrawal to my bedroom: ‘I will not protract these remarks on the subject of Mr. Micawber should go into the City. my dear Mr. still looking at the fire. Micawber should exert himself and . but I am sure I don’t know why. Micawber to take.possessed of sufficient natural feeling to negotiate that bill . Micawber. my dear Mr. steadily. finishing her punch. should take that bill into the Money Market. ‘I will not. Copperfield.’ said Mrs. though not so old a friend. Micawber. and it appears  David Copperfield . to regard it as an investment which is sure of return. I could not refrain from making you acquainted with the course I advise Mr. who took his tone from me. did likewise. to do the same. If the individuals in the Money Market oblige Mr. and to make up his mind to any sacrifice. Traddles. Micawber. as an investment. I recommend Mr.assert himself. Micawber.’ ‘To discount that bill. and gathering her scarf about her shoulders. that is between themselves and their consciences. Micawber. Copperfield. Micawber’s pecuniary affairs. ‘then my opinion is. At your fireside.I believe there is a better business-term to express what I mean -’ Mr.

In the fervour of this impression. under the pressure of pecuniary difficulties. I am aware that I am merely a female. ‘Emma’s form is fragile.to me that these are the means. which I think had more snuff upon it than he was aware of. in the highest state of exhilaration. and reassured her. but that he had dispelled them. and that. but that he was an observer of character in some degree. but her grasp of a subject is inferior to none. and done all manner of heroic things. and then covered his face with his pocket-handkerchief. He said that Mrs. As to her family. Micawber had latterly had her doubts on this point. And really I felt that she was a noble woman . He then returned to the punch. when I lived at home with my papa and mama. Micawber retired to my bedroom. and their sentiments were utterly indifferFree eBooks at Planet eBook. So did Traddles. still I must not forget that. and that a masculine judgement is usually considered more competent to the discussion of such questions. Micawber on the treasure he possessed. they were totally unworthy of her. I congratulated Mr. He gave us to understand that in our children we lived again.com  .’ With these words. Mrs. my papa was in the habit of saying. in times of public trouble. Micawber extended his hand to each of us in succession.the sort of woman who might have been a Roman matron. He was full of eloquence. my duty and my reason equally forbid me to doubt. any accession to their number was doubly welcome. Mr. I well know. and resisting our entreaties that she would grace the remaining circulation of the punch with her presence.’ That my papa was too partial.

having my glass in my hand. he observed.. I am delighted. Mr. whom Traddles had honoured with his affection.ent to him. in order that Mrs. who drank it with enthusiasm. that he ran with a glass of punch into my bedroom. in a shrill voice. at the state of MY affections. he could admire. Micawber took an early opportunity. Micawber) could lay no claim. Traddles thanked us both. ‘Hear. And I do assure you. Hear!’ and tapping at the wall. took a more worldly turn. Micawber then delivered a warm eulogy on Traddles. stammering. Copperfield. Our conversation. ‘I am very much obliged to you indeed. he thanked Heaven. I said. Micawber. and after a good deal of blushing. crying from within. afterwards. He said Traddles’s was a character.go to the Devil. and denying. she’s the dearest girl! -’ Mr. to the steady virtues of which he (Mr. Micawber might drink D. with a simplicity and honesty I had sense enough to be quite charmed with. So did I. Mr. could deprive him of the impression that his friend Copperfield loved and was beloved. unknown. by way of applause. Mr. of hinting. and they might . Micawber pledged her. by saying. but which. ‘Well! I would give them D. After feeling very hot and uncomfortable for some time.!’ which so excited and gratified Mr.I quote his own expression . with the utmost delicacy and ceremony. hear! My dear Mr. after that. and who had reciprocated that affection by honouring and blessing Traddles with her affection. Nothing but the serious assurance of his friend Copperfield to the contrary. Micawber telling us that he found Camden Town in David Copperfield . He feelingly alluded to the young lady.

fronting Hyde Park. She made tea for us in a most agreeable manner. we discussed a variety of topics before the fire. Mrs. he expressly said. . and where. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and to excuse it as natural in one who was making entirely new arrangements in life. or carrying up the roof another story. when the advertisement should have been the cause of something satisfactory turning up. they might live.there would always be a room for Traddles. and he begged us to forgive his having launched into these practical and business-like details. in handing about the tea-cups and bread-and-butter. and a knife and fork for me. whether D. was fair. There would probably be an interval. Whatever was reserved for him. After tea. but which he did not expect to attain immediately.com  . We acknowledged his kindness. which I think I liked. in a whisper. or dark. or wherever his abode might be. as it would require a large establishment. Micawber. and.convenient. or making some little alteration of that sort. or whether she was short. we might rely on this . he explained. on which he had always had his eye. or tall: or something of that kind. whenever I went near her. He mentioned a terrace at the western end of Oxford Street. comfortably and reputably. in which he should content himself with the upper part of a house. broke up this particular phase of our friendly conversation. tapping at the wall again to know if tea were ready. asked me. over some respectable place of business say in Piccadilly.which would be a cheerful situation for Mrs. was to move. by throwing out a bow-window. and that the first thing he contemplated doing. Micawber. for a few years.

Micawber. I wouldn’t lend him anything. when Mr. the very table-beer of acoustics) the favourite ballads of ‘The Dashing White Sergeant’. ‘I haven’t got anything to lend. Mr. ‘Traddles. leading Mrs. flat voice. when I first knew her. on the first occasion of his seeing her beneath the parental roof. you know. ‘Mr. I also took the opportunity of my holding a candle over the banisters to light them down. Micawber told us. if I were you.’ said I. Micawber rose to replace her cap in the whitey-brown paper parcel. Micawber was going first. and Traddles was following with the cap.’ said I. that when he heard her sing the first one. Micawber had been famous when she lived at home with her papa and mama. to slip a letter into my hand.’ ‘You have got a name. and ‘Little Tafflin’. to detain Traddles for a moment on the top of the stairs. which I remembered to have considered. Micawber was good enough to sing us (in a small. Micawber took the opportunity of Traddles putting on his great-coat. with a thoughtful look. For both of these songs Mrs.’ ‘My dear Copperfield. poor fellow: but. he had resolved to win that woman or perish in the attempt.’ returned Traddles. she had attracted his attention in an extraordinary degree. and to put on her bonnet. Micawber don’t mean any harm. Mr. with a whispered request that I would read it at my leisure. ‘Oh! You call THAT something to lend?’ returned Traddles. It was between ten and eleven o’clock when Mrs. thin. 0 David Copperfield .Mrs. but that when it came to Little Tafflin. smiling.

I thought it was Traddles coming back for something Mrs.’ said Traddles. Micawber had left behind. and descended. and she never left that Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Micawber’s expression. But I was much afraid.’ ‘I hope there will be nothing wrong about it. ‘I should think not. ‘I hope not. Copperfield.I am afraid I have lent him that already. that he would be carried into the Money Market neck and heels. Mine’s another. and gave Mrs. for it was Steerforth’s.’ ‘Oh!’ said Traddles. Micawber looking up at this juncture to where we were standing. but as the step approached. that it was provided for. when I observed the good-natured manner in which he went down with the cap in his hand. Micawber his arm. but . though.’ said Traddles. ‘Provided for. because he told me. This is the first I have heard of that one. Micawber and the old relations between us. Traddles thanked me.‘Certainly. only the other day. ‘No.com 1 . on the character of Mr. ‘Not for that one. I was never unmindful of Agnes. and the blood rush to my face. I returned to my fireside. on the way home. and felt my heart beat high. I knew it.’ said I. I have been thinking that he will most likely propose that one.‘‘ Mr. At first. That was Mr. to be sure! I am very much obliged to you. half gravely and half laughing.’ ‘For the bill that is to be a certain investment?’ I inquired. and was musing. ‘Yes. I had only time to repeat my caution. when I heard a quick step ascending the stairs.

the sight of me is good for sore eyes. I loved her none the less. ‘Have I detected you in another feast.’ said I. my Bacchanal?’ ‘I am very well. in full bloom. ‘and so is the sight of you. Steerforth.sanctuary in my thoughts .’ replied Steerforth. and how to make it. old boy. I reproached myself. Micawber had recently vacated. I believe.’ said I. and beat us sober Oxford people all to nothing!’ His bright glance went merrily round the room.’ ‘Well. How are you. and I would have made him any atonement if I had known what to make.’ ‘All of whom I met in the street. ‘Who’s our friend in the tights?’ I gave him the best idea I could. shaking my hand heartily. the darkness that had fallen on him changed to light. Daisy. and throwing it gaily away. But when he entered. gentle angel in my life. of Mr.if I may call it so . giving him welcome with all the cordiality I felt. in a few words. dumb-foundered!’ laughed Steerforth. ‘I was so surprised at first. talking loud in your praise. and I felt confounded and ashamed of having doubted one I loved so heartily. and stood before me with his hand out. ‘Why. you Sybarite! These Doctors’ Commons fellows are the gayest men in town.where I had placed her from the first. not her. as the Scotch say. ‘and not at all Bacchanalian tonight. and stirred the fire into a blaze.’ returned Steerforth. which Mrs. though I confess to another party of three. Daisy. ‘that I had hardly breath to greet you with. with having done him an injury. I thought of her as the same benignant.  David Copperfield . as he took the seat on the sofa opposite to me.

beating a lump of coal on the top of the fire.Micawber.better emFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and said he was a man to know. for I felt that Steerforth rather slighted him. ‘But who do you suppose our other friend is?’ said I.’ ‘I thought you came from Oxford?’ I returned. ‘Heaven knows. with the poker. and taking his seat at the table. Steerforth. ‘I have been seafaring . starting out of his silence with a burst. ‘Is he as soft as ever? And where the deuce did you pick him up?’ I extolled Traddles in reply. ‘Who’s he?’ asked Steerforth. and a smile. and he must know him. ‘Not I. ‘Why. Daisy. here’s a supper for a king!’ he exclaimed. for he had always been an odd fish. and the remark that he would be glad to see the old fellow too. I hope? I thought he looked a little like one. dismissing the subject with a light nod. he had sat idly beating on the lump of coal with the poker.’ said Steerforth. ‘Not a bore. He laughed heartily at my feeble portrait of that gentleman.’ said Steerforth. for I have come from Yarmouth. in his careless way. when he had not been speaking in a wild vivacious manner. in my turn. ‘Don’t you remember Traddles? Traddles in our room at Salem House?’ ‘Oh! That fellow!’ said Steerforth. and so forth. I observed that he did the same thing while I was getting out the remains of the pigeon-pie. triumphantly. ‘I shall do it justice. as highly as I could.com  . inquired if I could give him anything to eat? During most of this short dialogue.’ ‘Traddles!’ I replied.

to inquire for you. ‘As to understanding him. ‘‘J. you are a cleverer fellow than most of us. Daisy. do you mean?’ ‘Yes!’ still feeling in his pockets. though. and it’s about that.’ ‘From whom?’ ‘Why. Old what’s-his-name’s in a bad way. Going to be. I am afraid. taking some papers out of his breast pocket. he certainly did not say so. indeed. Steerforth!’ interested to know all about it. and drinking to me. or something or other.in so many weeks. that’s not it. ‘I have a letter for you.ployed. ‘and I understood him that you were at Oxford.’ he returned.’ ‘Littimer was here today. if you can do that. ‘Have you been there long?’ ‘No. debtor. to have been inquiring for me at all. little Emily is not married yet?’ ‘Not yet. I have not seen much of ‘em. and looking over their contents: ‘it’s all over with poor Barkis. Patience. I saw  David Copperfield .’ ‘That’s true. he laid down his knife and fork. now I think of it. ‘An escapade of a week or so.’ said Steerforth.’ said I. and began feeling in his pockets.’ he returned. or months. I believe . I believe. By the by’.’ ‘Barkis. ‘So you have been at Yarmouth. and we’ll find it presently. to The Willing Mind”. from your old nurse.’ ‘Littimer is a greater fool than I thought him.’ I remarked. which he had been using with great diligence. Steerforth.’ ‘And how are they all? Of course. moving my chair to the table. jovially pouring out a glass of wine. Esquire.

and people die every minute. No! Ride on! Rough-shod if need be. unaffected. and win the race!’ ‘And win what race?’ said I. ‘but the sun sets every day. . and consequently more difficult to manage for his own comfort. when I had done.a little apothecary there . and we mustn’t be scared by the common lot. It said nothing of her weariness and watching. and hinted at his being ‘a little nearer’ than heretofore. It was written with a plain.Put your hand into the breast pocket of my great-coat on the chair yonder. smooth-shod if that will do. If we failed to hold our own.meaning myself. ‘That’s right!’ It was from Peggotty. and I think you’ll find the letter. homely piety that I knew to be genuine. ‘It’s a bad job.’ said he. but the upshot of his opinion was. and brief. and ended with ‘my duty to my ever darling’ .com  . ‘Ride on!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and praised him highly. It informed me of her husband’s hopeless state. because that equal foot at all men’s doors was heard knocking somewhere. to me.surgeon. He was mighty learned about the case. Steerforth continued to eat and drink. or whatever he is . Is it there?’ ‘Here it is!’ said I. every object in this world would slip from us. but ride on! Ride on over all obstacles. ‘The race that one has started in. While I deciphered it.’ he said.who brought your worship into the world. something less legible than usual. that the carrier was making his last journey rather fast.

‘Then I tell you what.I noticed. and braving of hard weather.’ he answered. in a low voice. It is no great effort to make. Wouldn’t you go a day’s journey. and his glass raised in his hand. and he sat considering a little before he answered. but she is so attached to me that my visit will have as much effect on her. was so passionately roused within him. that. Steerforth. made since I last saw it.such as this buffeting of rough seas.’ said I. moving from the table to the fireside again. I am sure. as he paused. there were traces in it. I think I will go down and see my old nurse. It is not that I can do her any good. I had it in my thoughts to remonstrate with him upon his desperate way of pursuing any fancy that he took . ‘and it would be in vain to ask you to go with me?’  David Copperfield . as if he had applied himself to some habitual strain of the fervent energy which. as if I could do both. when roused. for such a friend as she has been to me. I remember. and it was ruddy. if you were in my place?’ His face was thoughtful. and will do whatever you like. looking at me with his handsome head a little thrown back. and pursued that instead. ‘Well! Go. or render her any real service.’ said I. ‘if your high spirits will listen to me -’ ‘They are potent spirits. You can do no harm.’ ‘You have just come back. though the freshness of the sea-wind was on his face. Steerforth. ‘I tell you what.when my mind glanced off to the immediate subject of our conversation again. She will take it so kindly that it will be a comfort and support to her. for example .

’ ‘Would you love each other too much.’ he returned. and you fly off to Yarmouth!’ ‘You are a nice fellow to talk of flying off. then. and he put on his great-coat and lighted his cigar. with a hand on each of my shoulders.’ laughed Steerforth. for it’s something to be loved as she loves her prodigal son. ‘no matter which. Steerforth. without me?’ ‘Yes. still holding me as before. ‘I am for Highgate tonight. ‘Yes. He was in great spirits all the way. on purpose to bid you. or hate. who are always running wild on some unknown expedition or other!’ He looked at me for a moment without speaking. I have not seen my mother this long time. else? Come! Say the next day! I want you to stand between Rosa Dartle and me.You mean to go tomorrow.‘Quite. at night. and set off to walk home. I suppose?’ he said. and giving me a shake: ‘Come! Say the next day. Finding him in this intention. and it lies upon my conscience. I put on my own great-coat (but did not light my own cigar. don’t go till next day.com  . I think so. then. and when we Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and pass as much of tomorrow as you can with us! Who knows when we may meet again. I wanted you to come and stay a few days with us.’ ‘Well. .Bah! Nonsense! . Here I am. and keep us asunder. Come! Say the next day!’ I said the next day. having had enough of that for one while) and walked with him as far as the open road: a dull road. holding me out at arm’s length. and then rejoined.

and win the race!’ and wished. which is now ‘commended’ (in the language of an immortal Writer) to the lips of the undersigned. That individual is in legal possession of the premises. It was dated an hour and a half before dinner. ‘If any drop of gloom were wanting in the overflowing cup. I was undressing in my own room. Thomas Traddles. as yearly tenant of this habitation. he used a sort of legal phraseology.parted. in a state closely bordering on intoxication. I thought of his saying. you may observe in him this day. I am not sure whether I have mentioned that. Micawber’s letter tumbled on the floor. but hope has sunk beneath the horizon. but also those appertaining to Mr. for the first time. when Mr.for I dare not say my dear Copperfield. not only the chattels and effects of every description belonging to the undersigned. that he had some worthy race to run. employed by a broker. Thus reminded of it. His inventory includes. Micawber was at any particularly desperate crisis. ‘The present communication is penned within the personal range (I cannot call it the society) of an individual. ‘SIR . it would be  David Copperfield . under a distress for rent. ‘It is expedient that I should inform you that the undersigned is Crushed. lodger. I broke the seal and read as follows. ‘Ride on over all obstacles. a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. and the undersigned is Crushed. and I looked after him going so gallantly and airily homeward. when Mr. Some flickering efforts to spare you the premature knowledge of his calamitous position. which he seemed to think equivalent to winding up his affairs.

at the expiration of a period not exceeding six lunar months from the present date.com  .’ Poor Traddles! I knew enough of Mr.found in the fact. to foresee that he might be expected to recover the blow. that a friendly acceptance granted to the undersigned. who was one of ten. be increased by the sum of one more helpless victim. for the sum Of 23l 4s 9 1/2d is over due. ‘After premising thus much. Micawber by this time. in the fact that the living responsibilities clinging to the undersigned will. by the before-mentioned Mr. that dust and ashes are for ever scattered ‘On ‘The ‘Head ‘Of ‘WILKINS MICAWBER. whose miserable appearance may be looked for . in the course of nature. Thomas Traddles. but my night’s rest was sorely distressed by thoughts of Traddles.in round numbers . down in Devonshire. and of the curate’s daughter. and who was such a dear girl. or any age that could be mentioned. and who would wait for Traddles (ominous praise!) until she was sixty. Also. and is NOT provided for. it would be a work of supererogation to add. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

with no more emotion than if he had been speaking of an ordinary human being. Spenlow replied. AGAIN I mentioned to Mr. As I did not care. and as we had another little excommunication case in court that morning. as germs of the patrician order of proctors. Spenlow David Copperfield 0 . with my voice sticking in my throat. however. to get to Highgate before one or two o’clock in the day.CHAPTER 29 I VISIT STEERFORTH AT HIS HOME. were treated with so much consideration. We articled clerks. there was no difficulty about it. to which Mr. and as I was not in the receipt of any salary. and consequently was not obnoxious to the implacable Jorkins. that he was much obliged to me. to express my hope that Miss Spenlow was quite well. that I wanted leave of absence for a short time. which was called The office of the judge promoted by Tipkins against Bullock for his soul’s correction. and my sight failing as I uttered the words. Spenlow in the morning. I passed an hour or two in attendance on it with Mr. that I was almost my own master at all times. I took that opportunity. and she was very well.

In this lynx-like scrutiny she was so far from faltering when she saw I observed it. one of whom was alleged to have pushed the other against a pump. did I see that eager visage. It arose out of a scuffle between two churchwardens. which school-house was under a gable of the church-roof. It was an amusing case. before I had been half-an-hour in the house. Mrs. Spenlow had said about touching the Commons and bringing down the country. thinking about the Commons. and what Mr. to catch by accident. or passing suddenly from mine to Steerforth’s. Steerforth was pleased to see me. and much less disconcerting. and to lie in wait for something to come out between the two. I was agreeably surprised to find that Littimer was not there. with blue ribbons in her cap. and knew that I was. So surely as I looked towards her. and sent me up to Highgate.com 1 . the handle of which pump projecting into a school-house. and the lurking manner in which she seemed to compare my face with Steerforth’s. quite Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that at such a time she only fixed her piercing look upon me with a more intent expression still. on the box of the stage-coach. intent on mine. was the close and attentive watch Miss Dartle kept upon me. Blameless as I was. in reference to any wrong she could possibly suspect me of. than the eye of that respectable man. and so was Rosa Dartle. with its gaunt black eyes and searching brow. I shrunk before her strange eyes.very agreeably. made the push an ecclesiastical offence. whose eye it was much more pleasant. and that we were attended by a modest little parlour-maid. and Steerforth’s with mine. or comprehending both of us at once. But what I particularly observed.

’ ‘Oh! and that’s a reason why you want relief and change .I don’t say that it does. ‘Ah! very true! But isn’t it a little . When we all four went out walking in the afternoon. but beyond that. And I looked so. If I talked to Steerforth in his room. while Steerforth and his mother went on out of hearing: and then spoke to me. with his mother leaning on his arm. All day. Is your profession really so engaging and interesting as to absorb your whole attention? I ask because I always want to be informed. and watched us. When he and I engaged in some of our old exercises on the lawn behind the house.’ I replied. though?’ I replied that I liked it well enough.excitement and all that?’ said she.’ she said. until it fixed itself in one. ‘without coming here. ‘You have been a long time.Eh? .unable to endure their hungry lustre.’ said Rosa Dartle. perhaps. I don’t mean you?’ A quick glance of her eye towards the spot where Steerforth was walking. she seemed to pervade the whole house. ‘Don’t it . showed me whom she meant. mind I want to know . when I am ignorant. I heard her dress rustle in the little gallery outside. because I always like to be put right when I am wrong. I saw her face pass from window to window. ‘perhaps it was a little dry.for him. to keep me back. I was quite lost. ‘Oh! I am glad to know that. but that I certainly could not claim so much for it. like a wandering light. I have no doubt. ‘You mean it is a little dry.  David Copperfield . Is it really. perhaps?’ ‘Well.don’t it rather engross him? Don’t it make him. she closed her thin hand on my arm like a spring.

I only ask a question.com  .’ said I. ‘that I am accountable for Steerforth’s having been away from home longer than usual . looking fixedly at me: ‘What is he doing?’ I repeated the words.a little more remiss than usual in his visits to his blindly-doting . Then. ‘In what is that man assisting him. and deep into the nether lip. I don’t state any opinion. more to myself than her. don’t suppose that I think anything! I am not suspicious. and slanted down the face. being so amazed. I have not seen him this long while. it’s not so? Well! I am very glad to know it.if he has been: which I really don’t know at this moment.’ ‘No?’ ‘Indeed. ‘Oh dear me. There was something positively awful to me in this. as she said. ‘Miss Dartle. who never looks at me without an inscrutable falsehood in his eyes? If you are honourable and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. unless I understand it from you. and the marks of the old wound lengthen out until it cut through the disfigured lip.eh?’ With another quick glance at them. with an eagerness that seemed enough to consume her like a fire. I want to found an opinion on what you tell me. and such a glance at me as seemed to look into my innermost thoughts. no!’ As she looked full at me. ‘pray do not think -’ ‘I don’t!’ she said.’ I returned. perplexed. and in the brightness of her eyes.’ ‘It certainly is not the fact. Miss Dartle. ‘What is he doing?’ she said. I saw her face grow sharper and paler. until last night.

to a gracious dignity. came into that cruel mark. ‘how shall I tell you. particularly attentive and respectful to her. that it was well no serious cause of division had ever come between them. is it love. Mrs. but because of the strong personal resemblance between them.faithful. I had compared it in my thoughts to fine porcelain . is it some wild fancy. I ask you only to tell me. and the manner in which what was haughty or impetuous in him was softened by age and sex. Steerforth was particularly happy in her son’s society. that I know of nothing in Steerforth different from what there was when I first came here? I can think of nothing. It was very interesting to me to see them together. more than once. in her. from which I could not dissociate the idea of pain. I don’t ask you to betray your friend. and lifted up the corner of her lip as if with scorn. what is it. ‘I swear you to secrecy about this!’ said not a word more. two such shades of the same nature .’ As she still stood looking fixedly at me. is it restlessness.and saying. on this occasion. I firmly believe there is nothing. that is leading him?’ ‘Miss Dartle.a hand so thin and delicate. is it pride. I hardly understand even what you mean. is it hatred. is it anger. and Steerforth was. that when I had seen her hold it up before the fire to shade her face. or with a pity that despised its object.I ought rather to express it. passionate way. I thought. She put her hand upon it hurriedly . a twitching or throbbing. in a quick. or two such natures .might have been harder to  David Copperfield . so that you will believe me. not only on account of their mutual affection.’ I returned. fierce.

‘Pray. Steerforth quickly . you know!’ she answered. have changed.when your manner was different. The idea did not originate in my own discernment. I think. We never know ourselves. Rosa?’ returned Mrs.’ ‘I am sure you are right.from James.for there was always some effect of sarcasm in what Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Rosa.let me see . I wonder! Well. though. I am bound to confess. but in a speech of Rosa Dartle’s. but do tell me. ‘to speak plainly. in your own natural manner?’ ‘Oh! then this is not my natural manner?’ she rejoined. Steerforth.’ said Mrs. pray. ‘Oh! really? Do you consider me so?’ ‘Do I constantly entreat you. without any displeasure.’ ‘You cannot learn frankness. .and so must you. somebody. ‘Now you must really bear with me.’ she returned.’ ‘You want to know what. . ‘but I remember. that’s very odd! I must study to regain my former self. and was more trustful.com  . Steerforth. She said at dinner: ‘Oh.’ ‘Mysterious!’ she cried. when it was not so guarded. with a smile.’ said Mrs. because I ask for information.’ ‘I wish you would.’ ‘It has become a second nature. imperceptibly.’ said Mrs. ‘I will learn frankness from . Steerforth. ‘and so it is that bad habits grow upon one! Really? Less guarded and more trustful? How can I. and I want to know. Steerforth. Rosa. Rosa.’ said Mrs.reconcile than the two extremest opposites in creation. because I have been thinking about it all day. do not be mysterious. ‘Oh! I really will.

’ she answered. I pray Heaven!’ ‘Oh!’ said Miss Dartle. of course. That would prevent it? Why. laughing good-naturedly. though it was said. of course it would. I am glad I have been so foolish as to put the  David Copperfield . ‘To be sure. Steerforth.’ said Steerforth. ‘Oh! It was only whether people. you know.’ ‘My dear Rosa.‘in a better school.’ said Steerforth. I am sure of that. supposing any serious cause of variance to arise between them. as this was. are in greater danger than people not so circumstanced.’ ‘That I am sure of.’ Mrs. of being divided angrily and deeply?’ ‘I should say yes. nodding her head thoughtfully.is that the phrase?’ ‘It’s as good a phrase as another. Steerforth appeared to me to regret having been a little nettled. who are like each other in their moral constitution. Exactly. Now.that you and your mother were to have a serious quarrel.any unlikely thing will do for a supposition .Rosa Dartle said. ‘Dear me! Supposing then. with uncommon fervour. in a kind tone: ‘Well. ‘Should you?’ she retorted. my dear Rosa. for she presently said. for instance . ‘Thank you: . we have not heard what it is that you want to be satisfied about?’ ‘That I want to be satisfied about?’ she replied. with provoking coldness. ‘suggest some other supposition! James and I know our duty to each other better.’ interposed Mrs. who are like each other in their moral constitution . ‘If I am sure of anything. in the most unconscious manner in the world .whether people.

at the drawing-room door. I saw her try. and that was with his utmost ease. ‘and nobody but my mother has heard her do that. was no matter of surprise to me. and I ceased to be afraid of her as I had really been all day. ‘She is playing her harp. I saw her look at him with growing admiration. for I had reason to remember it thereafter. more and more faintly. to charm this singular creature into a pleasant and pleased companion. but we did not remain in the dining-room more than five minutes after her departure. but always angrily. or because Steerforth was resolved not to lose the advantage he had gained.case. That he should succeed. to resist the captivating power that he possessed. and her smile become quite gentle. and we all sat about the fire. During the whole of this day. talking and laughing together. but especially from this period of it. That she should struggle against the fascinating influence of his delightful art .’ He said it with a curiFree eBooks at Planet eBook. when all the irremediable past was rendered plain. Steerforth exerted himself with his utmost skill. Whether it was because we had sat there so long. and finally.delightful nature I thought it then . I do not know. for it is so very good to know that your duty to each other would prevent it! Thank you very much.’ said Steerforth. with as little reserve as if we had been children.did not surprise me either.’ One other little circumstance connected with Miss Dartle I must not omit. I believe. I saw her sharp glance soften. for I knew that she was sometimes jaundiced and perverse. softly. as if she condemned a weakness in herself. these three years. I saw her features and her manner slowly change.com  .

loves music from his soul. I don’t know what it was. and had put his arm laughingly about her. and this had roused me from my trance: .’ He did not touch her. or can imagine.’ ‘What do you care for an Irish song?’ she returned. but sat himself near the harp. She stood beside it for some little while. don’t! Be kind for once. too. or the chair from which she had risen. ‘Much more than for any other. going through the motion of playing it with her right hand. and crouched again when all was still. for the future we will love each other very much!’ And she had struck him. ‘Come. and had said. or set to music. It was as if it had never been written. and gone to her. playing it. ‘Don’t get up. and sing us an Irish song. There was something fearful in the reality of it. but sprung out of passion within her. and drew it to her with one sudden action. and we went into the room and found her alone. Rosa. which found imperfect utterance in the low sounds of her voice. but not sounding it. At length she sat down. A minute more. and had thrown him off with the fury of a wild  David Copperfield . ‘Much!’ said Steerforth. but not sounding it. in a curious way. with her right hand. Rosa! and let me sit and listen as I used to do. Sing us an Irish song. that made that song the most unearthly I have ever heard in my life.ous smile. in her touch or voice. which was gone directly.’ said Steerforth (which she had already done)’ my dear Rosa. and played and sang.Steerforth had left his seat. Here is Daisy. I was dumb when she leaned beside the harp again.

Good night!’ He was unwilling to let me go. Then he laughed about her. and sharpened it. and requires great care in dealing with. and stood. with a smile . to a grindstone.com  . ‘Daisy.’ returned Steerforth. Steerforth. and has run into the opposite extreme. ‘my dear Steerforth! I shall be gone before you wake in the morning. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and no other mention was made of her.’ ‘You should be careful not to irritate her. James. and had burst out of the room. coming in. holding me out. ‘Oh. mother. ‘for a little while.or nothing! I told you she took everything. ‘What is the matter with Rosa?’ said Mrs. Heaven knows. I wish.’ he said. Her temper has been soured. She is always dangerous.cat. until I went with Steerforth into his room to say Good night. and ought not to be tried. with a hand on each of my shoulders. She is an edge-tool. and asked if he could guess what it was that she had taken so much amiss.‘for though that’s not the name your godfathers and godmothers gave you. remember. since. so suddenly.’ said Steerforth. herself included. and asked me if I had ever seen such a fierce little piece of incomprehensibility. by way of compensation. ‘She has been an angel. ‘Anything you like .and I wish. I wish.’ Rosa did not come back. Good night!’ ‘Good night!’ said I. as he had done in my own room. it’s the name I like best to call you by . I expressed as much of my astonishment as was then capable of expression.

old boy.’ So much compunction for having ever wronged him. . and we shook hands. with his head upon his arm. ‘Daisy. but for my uncertainty how to approach the subject with no risk of doing so. Steerforth! to touch that passive hand in love and friendship. lying. and cherished in my heart. having dressed as quietly as I could. and that was very soon. I was up with the dull dawn. But he slept .’ said I. and good night!’ In my doubt. ‘and no worst. that the confession of having done so was rising to my lips. did I feel within me.as I had often seen him sleep at school. You are always equally loved. Come! Let us make that bargain.you could give it to me!’ ‘Why so I can. you must think of me at my best. if circumstances should ever part us!’ ‘You have no best to me. it did NOT reach them. even by a shapeless thought. if anything should ever separate us. I left him. ‘God bless you. looked into his room. oh God forgive you. as I looked at him.let me think of him so again . But for the reluctance I had to betray the confidence of Agnes. when I almost wondered that nothing troubled his repose. and. never more! 0 David Copperfield . The time came in its season. Steerforth. if I choose. as I had often seen him lie at school. Think of me at my best. and we parted. easily. He was fast asleep. Never. in this silent hour.Never more. and thus. it would have reached them before he said. Daisy.’ said I.

for the asthma. It was ten o’clock when I went out. I knew that Peggotty’s spare room . Omer returned. bless my life and soul!’ said Mr. but the shop door standing open.my room . I smoke. laughing.’ said I. smoking his pipe by the parlour door. were not already in the house.Smoke not disagreeable. Bad habit for a young man.com 1 . ‘Why. . When I came to Omer and Joram’s. and dined there. Omer. He Free eBooks at Planet eBook. sir. Take a seat. ‘how do you find yourself? Take a seat. and placed a chair. and asked him how he was. and went to the inn. ‘All the better. if that great Visitor. I entered. Omer had made room for me. myself. and engaged my bed. and the town was dull. As I could obtain a perspective view of Mr. ‘I like it . not in your own.’ Mr. I found the shutters up. Omer inside. I hope?’ ‘By no means. before whose presence all the living must give place. so I betook myself to the inn.in somebody else’s pipe.’ ‘What.CHAPTER 30 A LOSS I got down to Yarmouth in the evening. Many of the shops were shut. eh?’ Mr.was likely to have occupation enough in a little while.

gasping at his pipe as if it contained a supply of that necessary. Omer and I nodded at each other. it would be a shock that the generality of parties mightn’t recover. Barkis.’ Mr.’ The difficulty had not occurred to me. But I can’t go and say. ‘Yes. On its being mentioned. Omer recruited his wind by the aid of his pipe. It’s one of the drawbacks of our line of business. Omer.now sat down again very much out of breath. than another man. ‘Take myself. yes.’ said Mr. I recognized it. though I had had my apprehensions too. Mr. If I have known Barkis a year. ‘but on account of delicacy. we can’t ask how the party is. you understand. when I went in. I hope. to move to as he went by. ‘I’m not more self-interested.’ said I. nodding his head.as it may be. with a steady countenance. and Mr.or this afternoon . Omer. ‘how is he?‘‘ I felt it was rather hard on Mr. ‘It’s one of the things that cut the trade off from attentions they could often wish to show. ‘Do you know how he is tonight?’ I asked.’  David Copperfield . and said as much. Bless you. Omer. I have known him forty years. of hearing the old tune. and how do you find yourself this morning?’ . sir. Omer. to say ‘Omer and Joram’s compliments. ‘We dursn’t do it. ‘I am sorry to have heard bad news of Mr.’ returned Mr. and shook his head. ‘The very question I should have put to you.’ said Mr. and I told him so. however. When a party’s ill. without which he must perish. Omer looked at me.

’ said Mr. Omer. ‘because it’s considered softening to the passages. Omer. now? I smoke on srub and water. when it DOES go. as if a pair of bellows was cut open.’ said Mr. taking up his glass. Omer.com  . by which this troublesome breath of mine gets into action. in fact (she’s there. She knows what our real objects are.’ ‘It ain’t that I complain of my line of business. myself. Omer. took several puffs in silence. Minnie and Joram have just stepped down to the house. and that man a grandfather. ‘and I’ll find passages. Omer. I say it ain’t likely. I said.’ Mr. resuming his first point: ‘Accordingly we’re obleeged.’ said Mr. that parties was brought up stronger-minded. in a man who knows his wind will go. and if you was to please to wait till they come back. my dear. What I wish is. huskily. to all callings. Lord bless you. after hours. ‘Look at me! My wind may fail me at any moment. than if we was so many lambs. ‘It ain’t that. Will you take something? A glass of srub and water.’ said I to my daughter Minnie. in ascertaining how Barkis goes on. to my own knowledge. with a very complacent and amiable face. I’d be self-interested under such circumstances. But. helping her aunt a bit). and it ain’t likely that. no doubt.said Mr.‘‘ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Omer.’ said Mr. to ask her how he is tonight. and then said. to limit ourselves to Em’ly. ‘Not at all. and she don’t have any more alarms or suspicions about us. Some good and some bad goes. ‘it ain’t the passages that’s out of order! ‘Give me breath enough. they’d give you full partic’lers.

after business. and it was very alarming to see him laugh. you see. until his daughter and his son-in-law came back.’ said Mr. removing his pipe.I do assure you.in a general way . and a pull altogether. It ain’t that she don’t work as well as ever. hurrah!’ I should say to you. and her sweetheart and myself. and he went on: ‘Now I consider this is principally on account of her being in an unsettled state. ‘A long pull. ‘Well. since he was so good as to invite me. that he might rub his chin: ‘I tell you truly. and a strong pull. that that was . as divining his meaning. Omer. and. her uncle and myself. which I declined. But somehow she wants heart. I inquired how little Emily was? ‘Well. that I could conscientiously nod my head. as I had just had dinner. When he was again in a condition to be talked to. Omer. for she’s prettier . We have talked it over a good deal.’ said Mr. She WAS worth any six. ‘what I mean in a general way by the expression. observing that I would wait. If you understand. Omer’s face and manner went for so much. ‘It ain’t that she’s not as pretty as ever. Omer. and she IS worth any six. I shall be glad when her marriage has taken place.’ said Mr. for she does. my hearties.what I miss in Em’ly. My quickness of apprehension seemed to please him. and smoking a little. sir.He really had no breath to spare. You must al David Copperfield . I thanked him for the proffered refreshment.’ ‘Why so?’ I inquired. and I consider it is principally on account of her being unsettled. she’s unsettled at present. after rubbing his chin again.’ Mr. she is prettier.

anyhow.com  . I am certain.’ For . you know. I rather think you may. afterwards. and a grandfather too. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The proverb says. and closer and closer. in the way of doing any little thing for us at home. Omer. that stone and marble couldn’t beat. Now. easy-going tone. touching me with his pipe. tighter and tighter. every day. I said.ways recollect of Em’ly. ‘to see the way she holds on to him. in a comfortable.’ said Mr. would go and strain points with a little bit of a blue-eyed blossom. and she’s free when you wish. shaking his head gently. Omer. if you begin early in life. with all my heart. ‘To see the clinging of that pretty little thing to her uncle. ‘that she’s a most extraordinary affectionate little thing. ‘Therefore. very well still. very well. ‘it ain’t likely that a man so short of breath as myself. is to see a sight. Make it your own time. her learning has been quicker than was supposed. and acquiesced. in what he said.don’t you see. Omer.’ ‘I am sure she has!’ said I. Why should it be made a longer one than is needful?’ I listened attentively to the good old fellow. ‘this. Omer.’ said Mr. I don’t know about that. She has made a home out of that old boat. sir. Her services have been more valuable than was supposed.’ said Mr. I mentioned to them. Omer and Joram can run their pen through what remains. don’t consider Em’ly nailed down in point of time. ‘You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.’ said I. at all. If she don’t.’ Well. ‘Now. there’s a struggle going on when that’s the case.’ said Mr. like her?’ ‘Not at all. If she likes to make any little arrangement. We’re no losers.

‘can’t naturally be expected. ‘I know him well.’ ‘I see. sir! Her cousin being. Omer. ‘Has she become more settled?’ ‘Why that. Barkis’s death needn’t put it off much. The prospect of the change and separation. ‘Well. ‘Consequently.‘Not at all! You’re right!’ said Mr. upon the whole. she’s more so than she was. Every day she seems to get fonder and fonder of her uncle. Mr. Omer?’ I inquired. as it appears. I must say. and well to do. That little house is now furnished right through. As it is. perhaps.’ ‘Of course you do.I dare say. there’s a postponement. and if you  David Copperfield .’ said Mr. and all that.’ pursued Mr.you know it’s a cousin she’s going to be married to?’ ‘Oh yes.’ he returned. you see. her cousin . and went and took as comfortable a little house as you or I could wish to clap eyes on. ‘Em’ly’s still a little down. both at once. poor fellow. A kind word from me brings the tears into her eyes. in good work. by this time. rubbing his double chin again. Omer.’ ‘And Emily. and a little fluttered. sir.’ said I. and more loth to part from all of us. Anyway. is. but his lingering might. they would have been man and wife . close to her and far away from her. Omer. you know. in a way that gives me a high opinion of him). it’s an uncertain state of matters. and but for Barkis’s illness having taken this bad turn. as one may say. as neat and complete as a doll’s parlour.’ I replied. thanked me in a very manly sort of manner for this (conducting himself altogether. ‘Well.

as a caution. She and her husband came in immediately afterwards. I never thought there was harm in the girl. and looking very much dejected. Chillip had mournfully said in the kitchen. however you come to know it. ‘how she loves that child!’ Having so favourable an opportunity. touched me with his pipe. Mr. Omer. Hearing this. Joram. and to Mr. and Mrs.for she’d take me up directly . Bless my heart alive!’ said Mr. and learning that Mr. you’d never forget it. sir. with a solemn feeling. Omer. He was past both Colleges. pondering. Barkis was ‘as bad as bad could be’.’ Mr. it occurred to me to ask Mr. that the College of Physicians. the College of Surgeons. A sad story. Chillip said. ‘No good. before our conversation should be interrupted by the return of his daughter and her husband.com  . I bade good night to Mr. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I wouldn’t wish to mention it before my daughter Minnie . and directed my steps thither. I determined to go to the house at once. and Apothecaries’ Hall. hearing his daughter’s footstep before I heard it. Barkis quite a new and different creature. None of us ever did.but I never did. Omer. shaking his head.was to see her with my daughter Minnie’s little girl. and that Mr. if they were all called in together. and the Hall co