David Copperfield

By Charles Dickens

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PREFACE TO 1850 EDITION

I

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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PREFACE TO THE CHARLES DICKENS EDITION

I

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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THE PERSONAL HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE OF DAVID COPPERFIELD THE YOUNGER 

David Copperfield

CHAPTER 1 I AM BORN

W

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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CHAPTER 2 I OBSERVE

T

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and her arm touch his neck . that he did it.very hard . ‘I ought to know it. and kissed her. ‘But I thought I heard you. ‘That’s a bad hearing.’ returned my mother. have you forgotten? . turning from one of us to the other. together. my love. my dear!’ ‘I am very sorry. and slipped to my feet at the bed-side. ‘do you know your mistress’s name?’ ‘She has been my mistress a long time. whispered in her ear. I knew as well. when I saw my mother’s head lean down upon his shoulder. ‘I meant to be very good. Clara. Murdstone’s hand. 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. It was Mr. my love. now. but I am so uncomfortable.’ ‘I say it’s very hard I should be made so now. Murdstone. My friend. in her pettish wilful manner. as I know. dear me!’ cried my mother.com 1 .age creature! Oh. ‘and it is . ‘what a troublesome world this is.Firmness. sir. so soon. pouting. as I came upstairs. and he kept it on my arm as he said: ‘What’s this? Clara.’ said Mr. ‘Go you below.’ turning a darkening face on Peggotty.’ ‘Indeed!’ he answered.’ he answered. address her by a name that is not hers.’ answered Peggotty. Will Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said my mother. ‘David and I will come down. and dismissed her with a nod and a smile. She has taken mine. Edward. you know. when he had watched my mother out.’ ‘That’s true.I knew as well that he could mould her pliant nature into any form he chose.isn’t it?’ He drew her to him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At that instant. Murdstone’s dressing-gown. The bigger it gets. that I give up all idea of getting out. There is a pile of these arrears very soon. and stop to think. for I am very stupid. my dear Jane. Miss Murdstone does the same. try once more. ‘that is what I intend to do. I think of the number of yards of net in Miss Murdstone’s cap. and lays it by as an arrear to be worked out when my other tasks are done. Now.’ I obey the first clause of the injunction by trying once more. as I blunder on. and it swells like a rolling snowball.’ ‘Yes. at a point where I was all right before.‘Then. and abandon myself to my fate. but am not so successful with the second.’ says my mother. you see. shuts the book. and I feel that I am wallowing in such a bog of nonsense. I tumble down before I get to the old place. But I can’t think about the lesson. My mother glances submissively at them. Mr. the more stupid I get. and don’t want to have anything at all to do with. ‘you should just give him the book back. and don’t be stupid. Davy. or any such ridiculous problem that I have no business with. and make him know it.’ returns Miss Murdstone. The despairing way in which my mother and I look at each other. is truly melancholy. Clara. The case is so hopeless. or of the price of Mr. certainly. who has been lying in wait  David Copperfield . 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. Miss Murdstone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creakle made the round of the schoolroom. Mr. I am confident that he couldn’t resist a chubby boy. he was famous for biting. hey? Had it a deep prong. a large majority of the boys (especially the smaller ones) were visited with similar instances of notice. before the day’s work began. so I was very soon made free of Salem House (as Steerforth said). lest I should seem to exaggerate. and ought to know. 1 David Copperfield . Creakle came to where I sat. I am really afraid to recollect. Half the establishment was writhing and crying.stumped out again. Creakle did. He had a delight in cutting at the boys. which only I received. I was chubby myself. and was very soon in tears also. and how much of it had writhed and cried before the day’s work was over. 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. and asked me what I thought of THAT. that there was a fascination in such a subject. as Mr. Not that I mean to say these were special marks of distinction. I am sure when I think of the fellow now. I should think there never can have been a man who enjoyed his profession more than Mr. and told me that if I were famous for biting. On the contrary. for a tooth? Was it a sharp tooth. until he had scored and marked him for the day. but it rises hotly. which made him restless in his mind. too. especially. hey? Was it a double tooth. 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. which was like the satisfaction of a craving appetite. hey? Did it bite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

quite prostrate he was . at last. tomorrow. of the alternation of boiled beef with roast beef. suet-puddings. The rest of the half-year is a jumble in my recollection of the daily strife and struggle of our lives. from the week after next to next week. canings. How the breaking-up day changed its place fast.night . and to grow and grow. 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. 10 David Copperfield . of clods of bread-and-butter. to an extent which Demple (whose father was a doctor) said was enough to undermine a horse’s constitution. How from counting months. cracked slates. rulerings. this week. began to come towards us. cold smell of the dark nights when we were rung into bed again. and the cold. tear-blotted copy-books. the day after tomorrow. received a caning and six chapters of Greek Testament for refusing to confess. rainy Sundays. dog’s-eared lesson-books. had dim forebodings that I might break my leg first. hair-cuttings. how the distant idea of the holidays. of the frosty mornings when we were rung out of bed.in consequence of Crab. after seeming for an immense time to be a stationary speck. we came to weeks. of the evening schoolroom dimly lighted and indifferently warmed. and the morning schoolroom which was nothing but a great shivering-machine. and a dirty atmosphere of ink. and then to days. I well remember though. surrounding all. of the waning summer and the changing season. and after being drugged with black draughts and blue pills. and was certainly to go home. and boiled mutton with roast mutton.

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

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

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

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

that she was alone. I walked along the path towards the house. and to find that every object I looked at.Ah. glancing at the windows. that I am not sure I was glad to be there . and yet it was so old that it filled my heart brim-full. and heard her singing so to me when I was but a baby. 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. like a friend come back from a long absence. I think I must have lain in her arms. and fearing at every step to see Mr. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. when I set foot in the hall. rose up before me so sorrowfully on the road. and forgotten it in Steerforth’s company. however. what a strange feeling it was to be going home when it was not home. timid step. Murdstone or Miss Murdstone lowering out of one of them. where the bare old elm-trees wrung their many hands in the bleak wintry air. reminded me of the happy old home. The carrier put my box down at the garden-gate.com 1 . that was awakened within me by the sound of my mother’s voice in the old parlour. and there was no one to come between us. and soon I was at our house. I believed. before dark. without knocking. and knowing how to open the door. No face appeared. and shreds of the old rooks’-nests drifted away upon the wind. I went in with a quiet. She was singing in a low tone. God knows how infantine the memory may have been. and left me.not sure but that I would rather have remained away. and being come to the house. But there I was. from the solitary and thoughtful way in which my mother murmured her song. The strain was new to me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

have shrunk a little in my eyes.be my fault if I wasn’t . All within was the same. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Gummidge.’ said Mrs.’ looking at the Dutch clock. except that it may. ‘she’ll be home. Peggotty’s cottage.’ Mrs. and crawfish possessed by the same desire to pinch the world in general. and were quite in a pleasant humour when we came within view of Mr. Peggotty. bless ye!’ Mrs. and the very same lobsters. Gummidge moaned. whimpering and shaking her head. This quotation from Mr. wiping the heat consequent on the porterage of Peggotty’s box from his forehead. ‘She’s at school. ‘I’m a lone lorn creetur’. Peggotty.com 11 . that we laughed again and again. so I asked Mr. Mr. and tickled us both so much. perhaps. Mawther!’ cried Mr. appeared to be in the same state of conglomeration in the same old corner. said in a low voice. ‘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. and she used to be a’most the only thing that didn’t go contrary with me. It looked just the same. sir. down to the seaweed in the blue mug in my bedroom.’ said Mr. Barkis was so appropriate. Gummidge was waiting at the door as if she had stood there ever since.if I wasn’t pretty comfortable.’ said Peggotty. Peggotty where she was. looking round upon us while she was so engaged. Gummidge. crabs. laughing heartily. Peggotty. and Mrs. applied herself to blowing the fire. We all on us feel the loss of her. ‘I feel it more than anybody else. ‘Cheer up.

Em’ly. laughing more than ever. and presently found myself strolling along the path to meet her. the whole place was. ‘Oh. Gummidge’s spirits. and pass by as if I were looking at something a long way off. is it?’ said little Em’ly. and yet it did not impress me in the same way. ‘And didn’t YOU know who it was?’ said Em’ly. I knew the way by which she would come. quite as delightful a place as ever. or it should have been. I was going to kiss her. I have done such a thing since in later life. who was a little creature still in stature. ‘Why. But when she drew nearer.’ said I. or I am mistaken. and she ran so fast that we were very near the cottage before I caught her. into the house. and ran away. you knew who it was.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. and said she wasn’t a baby now. She saw me well enough. Now. Little Em’ly didn’t care a bit. I felt rather disappointed with it. This obliged me to run after her. but instead of turning round and calling after me. and I saw her blue eyes looking bluer. Perhaps it was because little Em’ly was not at home. it’s you. and I soon knew it to be Em’ly. but she covered her cherry lips with her hands. which was a change 1 David Copperfield . a curious feeling came over me that made me pretend not to know her. ran away laughing. A figure appeared in the distance before long. and her whole self prettier and gayer. She seemed to delight in teasing me. and her dimpled face looking brighter. though she was grown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I only know that I believe to this hour that he WAS in the Marines once upon a time. and so. or that any young lady ever came. Micawber’s Boarding Establishment for Young Ladies’: but I never found that any young lady had ever been to school there. The only visitors I ever saw. 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.have imagined it. He was a sort of town traveller for a number of miscellaneous houses.’ said Mrs. were creditors. I am afraid. but this was the strain in which she began. she had. I think he was a boot-maker. now. or heard of. or proposed to come. Micawber. and she went on accordingly all the time I knew her. neither can anything on account be obtained at present (not to mention law expenses) from Mr. Poor Mrs. on which was engraved ‘Mrs. I have no doubt. ‘If Mr.’ I never can quite understand whether my precocious self-dependence confused Mrs. THEY used to come at all hours. Micawber’s creditors will not give him time. and the sooner they bring it to an issue the better. Micawber. without knowing why.com  . and some of them were quite ferocious. Micawber in reference to my age. ‘they must take the consequences. used Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Blood cannot be obtained from a stone. The centre of the street door was perfectly covered with a great brass-plate. One dirty-faced man. but made little or nothing of it. Micawber! She said she had tried to exert herself. or that the least preparation was ever made to receive any young lady.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and a declaration that nothing was now left but a jail. Micawber’s red eyes with the utmost sympathy. This she did one evening as follows: ‘Master Copperfield. Micawber was just the same. ‘I make no stranger of you. Micawber’s difficulties are coming to a crisis. I had two or three shillings of my week’s money in my pocket . and therefore do not hesitate to say that Mr. And Mrs. sprung up between me and these people. which was his favourite expression.’ said Mrs. notwithstanding the ludicrous disparity in our years.said Mrs.which is not adapted to the wants of a young family’ . I suppose. Micawber.’ ‘Dear me!’ I said. ‘With the exception of the heel of a Dutch cheese .tears. ‘there is really not a scrap of anything in the larder. ‘in case anything turned up’. 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.’ It made me very miserable to hear it. and go to bed making a calculation of the expense of putting bow-windows to the house. Micawber took me into her entire confidence. Micawber. that there is nothing to eat in the house. and had often not too much for themselves). in our respective circumstances. in great concern. What I mean to express is. until Mrs. and I looked at Mrs. A curious equality of friendship. originating.from which I presume that it must have been on  David Copperfield . and I use the word almost unconsciously. I was accustomed to speak of the larder when I lived with papa and mama.

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

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

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

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

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

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

’ said Mr. engrossed it on an immense sheet of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. invented it. Mr. which would set him free. begin to be beforehand with the world. and as active a creature about everything but his own affairs as ever existed. Micawber. about this time. Micawber had stated his idea of this petition to the club. Wherefore Mr. I suppose. composed a petition to the House of Commons. I set down this remembrance here. Micawber (who was a thoroughly good-natured man. were gradually forming all this while. who was present. and out of men and women. somehow. and made stories for myself. in which Mr. Micawber. ‘And then. please Heaven. and how some main points in the character I shall unconsciously develop. and the club had strongly approved of the same. I call to mind that Mr. praying for an alteration in the law of imprisonment for debt. if anything turns up. and Mrs. out of the streets. in about six weeks.com  . because it is an instance to myself of the manner in which I fitted my old books to my altered life. and to live in a perfectly new manner. as a gentleman.appeared to be got out of the way. Micawber informed me that ‘her family’ had decided that Mr. at all events it ceased to be the rock-ahead it had been. Micawber should apply for his release under the Insolvent Debtors Act.in short. ‘I have no doubt I shall.’ By way of going in for anything that might be on the cards. 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. in writing my life. she expected. was a great authority. There was a club in the prison. if . Micawber.

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

the stones of which may.com  . and lounged about at meal-times in obscure streets. to the echo of Captain Hopkins’s voice! When my thoughts go back. for anything I know. now. I do not wonder that I seem to see and pity. As I walked to and fro daily between Southwark and Blackfriars. be worn at this moment by my childish feet. an innocent romantic boy. going on before me. 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. 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. making his imaginative world out of such strange experiences and sordid things! Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and contemplating (not severely) the spikes on the opposite wall.thor’s vanity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

under some hedge. Dolloby .Dolloby was the name over the shop door.took the waistcoat. held it up against the light. stood his pipe on its head. as a scrap of newspaper intelligence. and was enjoying himself. bones. sir. took off my waistcoat. Micawber suggested to me that here might be a means of keeping off the wolf for a little while. and kitchen-stuff. who had hung all his enemies. and Mrs. I fancied that he looked like a man of a revengeful disposition. at least . and ultimately said: ‘What do you call a price. and looked at it there. ‘I am to sell this for a fair price. until I happened to pass a little shop. and that the best price was given for rags. The master of this shop was sitting at the door in his shirt-sleeves. and as there were a great many coats and pairs of trousers dangling from the low ceiling. my being found dead in a day or two. ‘If you please. against the door-post. smoking. and came back to the shop door. now. spread the waistcoat on the counter. followed by me. for this here little weskit?’  David Copperfield . went into the shop. though as fast as I could. and only two feeble candles burning inside to show what they were.’ I said.’ Mr. snuffed the two candles with his fingers. rolled it neatly under my arm. and I trudged on miserably.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. where it was written up that ladies’ and gentlemen’s wardrobes were bought. My late experiences with Mr. I began to picture to myself. I went up the next by-street. and looked at it there.

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

so near me: although the boys would know nothing of my being there. and I lay down by it. 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. I had had a hard day’s work. and the ringing of the getting-up bell at Salem House. against whom house-doors were locked. and the bedroom would yield me no shelter. and seen that all was dark and silent within. and house-dogs barked.though with a knowledge in my sleep that it was cold . talking to the boys in my room. If I could have hoped that Steerforth was there. It cost me some trouble to find out Salem House. at last. But the fainter glimmering of the stars. afraid of I don’t know what. upon the level of Blackheath. I imagined it would be a kind of company to have the boys. with Steerforth’s name upon my lips. a feeling stole upon me that made me get up. and the pale light in the sky where the day was coming. and walk about. Never shall I forget the lonely sensation of first lying down. reassured me: and my eyes being very heavy.there used to be a haystack. and looked up at the windows. having first walked round the wall.until the warm beams of the sun. and the bedroom where I used to tell the stories.  David Copperfield . awoke me. and I found a haystack in the corner.and I dreamed of lying on my old school-bed. When I remembered where I was at that untimely hour. but I found it. I lay down again and slept . looking wildly at the stars that were glistening and glimmering above me. and found myself sitting upright. that night .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I only know that it was. I do not know. and ceased to be. 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.  David Copperfield .tal suffering and want of hope. or more. or less. Whether it lasted for a year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

with his clothes not particularly well brushed. and his hair not particularly well combed. Doctor Strong. his knee-smalls unbraced. I entered on school life again. on the top of the red-brick wall.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 . for Time to play at. He was in his library (I mean Doctor Strong was). and were set up. 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 . after breakfast. at regular distances all round the court. his long black gaiters unbuttoned. Turning upon me a lustreless eye. accompanied by Mr. Wickfield.and was introduced to my new master. to the scene of my future studies . and his shoes yawning like two caverns on the hearth-rug. Doctor Strong looked almost as rusty. and almost as stiff and heavy as the great stone urns that flanked them. to my thinking. like sublimated skittles.CHAPTER 16 I AM A NEW BOY IN MORE SENSES THAN ONE ext morning. I went.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and happy. standing blue-nosed. How often have I seen him. Dick. cheering the whole field on to action. and he never had anything more to tell of the man who could frighten my aunt. in the snow and east wind. and hardly breathing at the critical times! How often. was as deeply interested in all our sports as anyone among us. grey-headed. looking on with a face of unutterable interest. and for a long time his Wednesday hardly ever came round. He could cut oranges into such devices as none of us had an idea of. laughing. He could turn cramp-bones into chessmen.Mr. at hare and hounds. and very solicitous for his welfare. they were far from being the least happy of mine. These Wednesdays were the happiest days of Mr. and waving his hat above his grey head. my fears favoured this supposition. however. have I seen him mounted on a little knoll. oblivious of King Charles the Martyr’s head. and his ingenuity in little things was transcendent. He could make a boat out of anything. intent upon a match at marbles or pegtop. and clapping his worsted gloves in rapture! He was an universal favourite. from a skewer upwards. looking at the boys going down the long slide. Dick’s life. 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. He soon became known to every boy in the school. fashion Roman chariots from  David Copperfield . There he always appeared. 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.

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

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

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

’ he answered. Uriah!’ ‘Oh. I assure you.’ he said. indeed you must excuse me.Latin words and terms . There are people enough to tread upon me in my lowly state. ‘my reading is hardly to be called study. you see. I suppose?’ said I. he added: ‘There are expressions. with an air of self-denial. shaking his head.’ returned Uriah. Master Copperfield! I am greatly obliged. as I learn it.in Mr. I have passed an hour or two in the evening.’ ‘Have you been studying much law lately?’ I asked. Learning ain’t for  David Copperfield . ‘I will teach it you with pleasure. ‘Oh. no. to change the subject. Tidd. but I am much too umble to accept it. Because we are so very umble. but I am far too umble. Master Copperfield.’ ‘Oh. believe me. thank you.’ ‘What nonsense. ‘I am sure it’s very kind of you to make the offer. that are trying to a reader of my umble attainments. ‘Oh. and I should like it of all things.’ ‘Rather hard.‘Oh dear. with the two forefingers of his skeleton right hand. sometimes. Master Copperfield!’ returned Uriah. with Mr. 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. Master Copperfield . ‘He is hard to me sometimes. ‘But I don’t know what he might be to a gifted person. without my doing outrage to their feelings by possessing learning. Master Copperfield. Tidd.’ ‘Would you like to be taught Latin?’ I said briskly.’ After beating a little tune on his chin as he walked on.

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

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

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

now. and the pity that it was he took so much. Micawber. who is connected with the most eventful period of my  David Copperfield . Wickfield’s business and resources.came back again.it stood open to air the room. for fear they should be overcome by their humility and the honour of my company. or to do anything but sometimes encourage them a little. without appearing to speak very often. ‘this is indeed a meeting which is calculated to impress the mind with a sense of the instability and uncertainty of all human . I had begun to be a little uncomfortable. and his shirt-collar. looked in. and his walking-stick. the reason why he took it. and to wish myself well out of the visit. the wine that Mr. Micawber. putting out his hand. now another. ‘Copperfield! Is it possible?’ It was Mr. I find a young but valued friend turn up. Walking along the street. the weather being close for the time of year . all complete! ‘My dear Copperfield. which was warm. with his eyeglass. and his genteel air. now our domestic life after dinner. exclaiming loudly. and the condescending roll in his voice.extent of Mr. and all the time. Micawber! It was Mr. it is a most extraordinary meeting. 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.in short. then everything at once. and walked in. now one thing. when a figure coming down the street passed the door . Wickfield took. reflecting upon the probability of something turning up (of which I am at present rather sanguine).’ said Mr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To have all those noble Romans alive before me. and to inquire at the bar if there were any letters for Trotwood Copperfield. But the mingled reality and mystery of the whole show. from the back of a centre box.  David Copperfield . which was his private apartment. very busy pouring out of a number of those vessels into one. he asked me what I would take with it. and couldn’t be. the lights. 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. than were to be expected in a foreign wine in anything like a pure state. Esquire .cutlet and potatoes. and it certainly had more English crumbs in it. and there. and walking in and out for my entertainment. It was Covent Garden Theatre that I chose. the influence upon me of the poetry. 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. too. was a most novel and delightful effect. instead of being the stern taskmasters they had been at school. While he was so engaged. I resolved to go to the play. but I was bashful enough to drink it. I am of this opinion. and all things fitting. and say nothing. to extract that measure of wine from the stale leavings at the bottoms of several small decanters. while I was reading the newspaper. I thought it flat. I saw Julius Caesar and the new Pantomime.which I knew there were not. and on my replying ‘Half a pint of sherry. like a chemist and druggist making up a prescription. because. but thought it manly to appear to expect. When the wine came. I observed him behind a low wooden partition.’thought it a favourable opportunity.

I was so filled with the play. who had got the fidgets in his legs. where I had been leading a romantic life for ages. muddy. I felt as if I had come from the clouds. At last I rose to go to bed.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.for it was. But I recollect being conscious of his company without having noticed his coming in . and where. as if I really were a stranger upon earth: but the unceremonious pushing and hustling that I received. over the coffee-room fire. at twelve o’clock at night. after some porter and oysters. hackney-coach-jostling. like a shining transparency. I sat revolving it still. splashing. I had emerged by another door. patten-clinking. soon recalled me to myself. and putting them through all kinds of contortions in his small pantry.com  . that when I came out into the rainy street. whither I went. at past one o’clock. musing. in a manner. miserable world.and my still sitting. much to the relief of the sleepy waiter. and put me in the road back to the hotel. with my eyes on the coffee-room fire. and opened up such illimitable regions of delight. the company. link-lighted. umbrella-struggling. the smooth stupendous changes of glittering and brilliant scenery. and hitting them. through which I saw my earlier life moving along . were so dazzling. became a real presence to me. and with the past . In going towards Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to a bawling. revolving the glorious vision all the way.the music. and stood in the street for a little while. and was twisting them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER 21 LITTLE EM’LY

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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 
David Copperfield

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 
David Copperfield

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 
David Copperfield

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 
David Copperfield

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! 
David Copperfield

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 
1 David Copperfield

‘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 
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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. 
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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. 

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David Copperfield

CHAPTER 24 MY FIRST DISSIPATION

I

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 
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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 
David Copperfield

and to remove the ‘young gal’ to the basement also. and easily forgotten when the cloth was cleared. For being of an inquisitive disposition. made several engagements to go to Oxford. I abandoned myself to enjoyment. all sorts of half-forgotten things to talk about. were small drawbacks. The ‘young gal’ likewise occasioned me some uneasiness: not so much by neglecting to wash the plates. announced that I meant to have a dinner-party exactly like that. and everybody else’s. by passing the wine faster and faster yet. she was constantly peering in at us. 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. by being singularly cheerful and light-hearted. that I was obliged to go into the pantry. and made me hold forth in a most unwonted manner. once a week. on the wall of the entry. and did a great deal of destruction. in which belief. with a bottle at its mouth. called Steerforth to order for not passing the wine. came rushing into my mind. and constantly imagining herself detected. and have a private fit of sneezing ten minutes long. immediately afterwards. I went on. I laughed heartily at my own jokes. and continually starting up with a corkscrew to open more Free eBooks at Planet eBook. until further notice.com  . I began.shadow always presented itself. Crupp. and madly took so much snuff out of Grainger’s box. as by breaking them. Giving him private directions to seek the society of Mrs. however. and unable to confine herself (as her positive instructions were) to the pantry. and the dessert put on the table. These.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I shall be glad when her marriage has taken place. Omer. her uncle and myself. ‘A long pull. she’s unsettled at present. observing that I would wait. ‘Well. Omer’s face and manner went for so much.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. Omer. that that was .what I miss in Em’ly. and he went on: ‘Now I consider this is principally on account of her being in an unsettled state. my hearties.I do assure you. until his daughter and his son-in-law came back. and a pull altogether. hurrah!’ I should say to you. she is prettier. and I consider it is principally on account of her being unsettled. and a strong pull. If you understand. you see. sir. that I could conscientiously nod my head.’ Mr. after business.’ said Mr. and. We have talked it over a good deal. after rubbing his chin again. as divining his meaning. She WAS worth any six. I thanked him for the proffered refreshment.