David Copperfield

By Charles Dickens

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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.


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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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


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 Consequently the advertisement was withdrawn at a dead loss - for as to sherry, my poor dear mother’s own sherry was in the market then - and ten years afterwards, the caul was put up in a raffle down in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

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

That is among my very earliest impressions. cerFree eBooks at Planet eBook.  David Copperfield Peggotty and I were sitting one night by the parlour fire. and the ragged old rooks’-nests still dangling in the elm-trees at the bottom of the front garden. until I fall off the seat with a crash.that I ever derived from what I saw. I propped my eyelids open with my two forefingers. and is proud of being so pretty. with a high fence. And now I see the outside of our house. ‘Peggotty. riper and richer than fruit has ever been since. bolting furtive gooseberries. and having the velvet cushion with the tassels thrown down on his head. that I knew if I lost sight of anything for a moment. In time my eyes gradually shut up. were among the first opinions . and submitted ourselves in most things to her direction. I must have read very perspicuously. from seeming to hear the clergyman singing a drowsy song in the heat. and where my mother gathers some in a basket.at the little house with a thatched roof. after I had done. to sit up until my mother came home from spending the evening at a neighbour’s. suddenly. Now I am in the garden at the back. and a gate and padlock. I hear nothing. I was tired of reading. at the little bit of wax-candle she kept for her thread . Master Davy. more dead than alive. ‘But WERE you ever married. I had been reading to Peggotty about crocodiles. and a sense that we were both a little afraid of Peggotty. And then she stopped in her work. by Peggotty. and am taken out. as a high treat. When my mother is out of breath and rests herself in an elbow-chair.a very preserve of butterflies. where the fruit clusters on the trees. with the latticed bedroom-windows standing open to let in the sweet-smelling air. I would rather have died upon my post (of course) than have gone to bed. We are playing in the winter twilight. That. and dead sleepy. while I stand by. at her work-box with a sliding lid. where the yard-measure lived. I watch her winding her bright curls round her fingers. at herself. A great wind rises. as I remember it.if they may be so called . I was gone. ‘What’s put marriage in your head?’ She answered with such a start. and trying to look unmoved.’ replied Peggotty. being so wrinkled in all directions! . and looked perseveringly at her as she sat at work. or the poor soul must have been deeply interested. but having leave. ‘were you ever married?’ ‘Lord. at the brass thimble on her finger. and looked at me. with a view of St. for I remember she had a cloudy impression. whom I thought lovely. I felt so sleepy. alone.’ says I. dancing about the parlour. and nobody knows better than I do that she likes to look so well. beyond the yard where the empty pigeon-house and dog-kennel are .how old it looked. with her needle drawn out to its thread’s length. an’t you?’ I thought her in a different style from my mother. that it quite awoke me. and. Peggotty?’ says I.com  . I had reached that stage of sleepiness when Peggotty seemed to swell and grow immensely large. that they were a sort of vegetable. ‘You are a very handsome woman. and straitening her waist. in any other garden. Paul’s Cathedral (with a pink dome) painted on the top. and the summer is gone in a moment.with another boy coming up the stairs to attack it.

who had walked home with us from church last Sunday. who was thoughtfully sticking her needle into various parts of her face and arms. and opening her arms wide.’ says Peggotty. and looked curiously at her. at least. and that I don’t expect to be. We had exhausted the crocodiles. after a little indecision and going on with her work. I did. all the time. I know it was a good squeeze. We went out to the door.’ says Peggotty.’ ‘You an’t cross. ‘Lawk. and with her a gentleman with beautiful black hair and whiskers. as natives. and we ran away from them. ‘My opinion is. Master Davy. who was not quite right in the name yet. because. with fresh wakefulness on my part. with the promptest decision.’ said Peggotty. whenever she made any little exertion after she was dressed. because she looked so curiously at me. I asked her. Peggotty?’ said I. may you. being very plump. mayn’t you. and baffled them by constantly turning. while she was hugging me. when the garden-bell rang. but that made no difference. Peggotty?’ ‘Certainly not. That’s a matter of opinion. on account of their unwieldy make. and the person dies. on which my mother had painted a nosegay. Davy!’ said Peggotty. are you?’ said I. and we went into the water after them.tainly.You mustn’t marry more than one person at a time. which they were unable to do quickly. The ground-work of that stool. I really thought she was. we returned to those monsters. but I was quite mistaken: for she laid aside her work (which was a stocking of her own).com 1 .’ ‘But what is your opinion. and in short we ran the whole crocodile gauntlet. As my mother stooped down on the threshold to take me in her arms and kiss me. looking unusually pretty. and there was my mother. after sitting quiet for a minute. why then you may marry another person. The stool was smooth. Peggotty?’ ‘YOU MAY. my dear. taking her eyes from me. and Peggotty’s complexion appeared to me to be one and the same thing. There was a red velvet footstool in the best parlour. she had been so short with me. ‘that I never was married myself. and put sharp pieces of timber down their throats. 0 David Copperfield took my curly head within them. However. ‘But if you marry a person. the gentleman said I was a more Free eBooks at Planet eBook. my dear! But what put marriage in your head?’ ‘I don’t know! . or why she was so ready to go back to the crocodiles. ‘for I an’t heard half enough. and we left their eggs in the sand for the sun to hatch. That’s all I know about the subject. I considered her a perfect example. I thought. and begun with the alligators. but of another school of beauty. no.’ I couldn’t quite understand why Peggotty looked so queer. some of the buttons on the back of her gown flew off. ‘Me handsome. And I recollect two bursting to the opposite side of the parlour. and gave it a good squeeze. I suppose. Peggotty. but I had my doubts of Peggotty.’ said Peggotty. and Peggotty was rough. ‘Now let me hear some more about the Crorkindills. ‘if you choose.

‘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. ‘A very agreeable change. and went away. Davy!’ laughed the gentleman. remained at the other end of the room. laughing. ‘Dear boy!’ said the gentleman. to my aid here. ‘What does that mean?’ I asked him. she glanced. with a candlestick in her hand. in a cheerful voice. ‘That I say. ‘Why. I fell asleep. my fine boy. I found Peggotty and my mother both in tears. ‘Oh.‘Hope you have had a pleasant evening. as well as I could. When I half awoke from this uncomfortable doze. and that I swear!’ ‘Good Heavens!’ cried my mother. I didn’t like him or his deep voice. who had not said a word or moved a finger. before the door was shut. Peggotty continuing to stand motionless in the middle of the room. ‘I have had a VERY pleasant evening.com  . . over her shoulder.’ returned my mother.’ said Peggotty. I am sensible. My mother.over my mother’s little glove. She put out her hand to him as she spoke.or something like that. not to give it him. ‘Good night!’ said I. indeed. contrary to her usual habit. I thought. as he met it with his own. keeping me close to her shawl. At this minute I see him turn round in the garden. and sat singing to herself. when he had bent his head . but somehow. standing as stiff as a barrel in the centre of the room.’ ‘A stranger or so makes an agreeable change. without hearing what they said. ‘Shake hands!’ My right hand was in my mother’s left. and he shook it heartily. for my later understanding comes. so I gave him the other. and both talking. ‘I cannot wonder at his devotion!’ I never saw such a beautiful colour on my mother’s face before. Mr.I saw him! .’ returned my mother. for my former reason. and we all went into the parlour. ‘Much obliged to you. and give us a last look with his ill-omened black eyes. I put it away. but I was resolved.’ suggested Peggotty. at me. and. and. and said I was a brave fellow. that’s the Wrong hand. ‘Come! Let us be the best friends in the world!’ said the gentleman. He patted me on the head.highly privileged little fellow than a monarch . though I was not so sound asleep but that I could hear voices. Copperfield wouldn’t have liked. and I was jealous that his hand should touch my mother’s in touching me . and I did  David Copperfield not. and my mother resuming her singing. instead of coming to the elbow-chair by the fire. MY mother drew my right hand forward. Peggotty. ma’am. Peggotty.’ said Peggotty. She gently chid me for being rude. ‘Let us say ‘good night’. I gave him the other. turned to thank the gentleman for taking so much trouble as to bring her home.which it did. Davy!’ remonstrated my mother. ‘Not such a one as this. secured the fastenings instantly.’ said the gentleman.

com  . ma’am. Peggotty. bad mama? Say I am. Peggotty. she kneeled down by the elbow-chair.’ returned Peggotty.’ Peggotty seemed to take this aspersion very much to heart. What else was it possible to infer from what you said. when I tell you over and over again. turning affectionately to me. No! No price could make it do. ‘And my dear boy. ‘You did.to make me so uncomfortable and say such bitter things to me. No!’ . Peggotty. or a scald. and leaning over me.’ said  David Copperfield Peggotty. and must have become quite buttonless on the occasion. Davy. a single friend to turn to?’ ‘The more’s the reason. My sobs kept waking me. and am afraid that in the first transports of wounded tenderness I called Peggotty a ‘Beast’. or whether there was any greater lapse of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. how can you dare. we all fell a-crying together. I fell asleep in her arms. I ask you? Would you wish me to shave my head and black my face. she was so emphatic with it. ‘for saying that it won’t do.‘you know I don’t mean how can you dare. and Peggotty’s love is a great deal better than mine. I dare say you’d quite enjoy it.Have I never been married. when you are well aware that I haven’t. What am I to do? If people are so silly as to indulge the sentiment. selfish. and when one very strong sob quite hoisted me up in bed. that beyond the commonest civilities nothing has passed! You talk of admiration.’ returned Peggotty. ‘Am I a naughty mama to you. That honest creature was in deep affliction. my child. We went to bed greatly dejected. dear boy. is it my fault? What am I to do. Peggotty. shedding more tears than before. but how can you have the heart . Davy? Am I a nasty. that on his account only last quarter I wouldn’t buy myself a new parasol. or disfigure myself with a burn. do I?’ At this. or something of that sort? I dare say you would. after that. I found my mother sitting on the coverlet. ‘my own little Davy! Is it to be hinted to me that I am wanting in affection for my precious treasure.’ said my mother. ‘Then. though that old green one is frayed the whole way up. Peggotty!’ returned my mother. ‘How can you be so aggravating. and slept soundly. you unkind creature. Peggotty?’ ‘God knows you have.’ said my mother . Whether it was the following Sunday when I saw the gentleman again. and made it up with me.’ Then.I thought Peggotty would have thrown the candlestick away. for a little volley of those explosives went off. say ‘yes’. I was quite heart-broken myself. but I am sure we were all sincere about it. and Peggotty will love you. the dearest little fellow that ever was!’ ‘Nobody never went and hinted no such a thing. I thought. and the fringe is perfectly mangy? You know it is. coming to the elbowchair in which I was. when you know as well as I do. ‘as to talk in such an unjust manner! How can you go on as if it was all settled and arranged. with her cheek against mine. No! That it won’t do. when. and caressing me. I don’t love you at all. cruel. you cruel thing. I remember. out of this place. ‘You know you did. after having made it up with my mother. I think I was the loudest of the party.’ cried my mother. for a long time. You can’t deny it.

She begged him to choose it for himself. with his horse’s bridle drawn over his arm. walked slowly up and down on the outer side of the sweetbriar fence. and catching anybody in it.I could not understand why . Murdstone .and we were all three excellent friends.I knew him by that name now .com  . I could observe. and trotting along on the green turf by the side of the road. Peggotty turned cross in a moment. than she had always been. Sometimes I fancied that Peggotty perhaps objected to my mother’s wearing all the pretty dresses she had in her drawers. and in the meantime Mr. it occurred to me . and were not so comfortable among ourselves. It did not appear to me that he took much notice of it. I recollect how closely they seemed to be examining the sweetbriar between them. still we were different from what we used to be.I want a better Free eBooks at Planet eBook. No such thing came into my mind. but he refused to do that . and I thought he must be quite a fool not to know that it would fall to pieces in a day or two. on horseback. Mr. but as  David Copperfield to making a net of a number of these pieces. to my satisfaction. it certainly was not THE reason that I might have found if I had been older. and how. One autumn morning I was with my mother in the front garden. as it were. in little pieces. and looking up in his face. Peggotty began to be less with us. but I couldn’t. and a general idea that Peggotty and I could make much of my mother without any help. I liked him no better than at first. but before he went he asked my mother to give him a bit of the blossom. beyond me. and merrily proposed to take me on the saddle before him if I would like the ride. when Mr. Murdstone and I were soon off. that was. and. or near it. to look at a famous geranium we had. and the horse seemed to like the idea of the ride so much himself. The air was so clear and pleasant. I don’t profess to be clear about dates. and brushed my hair the wrong way. He came in.came by. but if I had any reason for it beyond a child’s instinctive dislike. He held me quite easily with one arm. But there he was. as they strolled along. make out how it was. So I was sent upstairs to Peggotty to be made spruce. I recollect Peggotty and I peeping out at them from my little window. excessively hard. I became used to seeing the gentleman with the black whiskers. or to her going so often to visit at that neighbour’s. too. and said he was going to Lowestoft to see some friends who were there with a yacht. I cannot recall. and I don’t think I was restless usually. in the parlour-window. as he stood snorting and pawing at the garden-gate.time before he reappeared. Murdstone dismounted.so she plucked it for him. while my mother walked slowly up and down on the inner to keep him company. He reined up his horse to salute my mother. He had that kind of shallow black eye . Gradually. and had the same uneasy jealousy of him. and he walked home with us afterwards. from being in a perfectly angelic temper. and gave it into his hand. in church.more than usual. My mother deferred to her very much . never part with it any more. He said he would never. but I could not make up my mind to sit in front of him without turning my head sometimes. of an evening. that I had a great desire to go. as yet.

’ returned Mr.com  .which.’ ‘Who is?’ asked the gentleman. laughing. ‘That’s Davy. Brooks of Sheffield. and sat on the Free eBooks at Planet eBook.made me think him. stand up and say. Murdstone was a good deal amused also. Murdstone. and brown. looked at so near. They both rolled on to their feet in an untidy sort of manner. and. Murdstone! We thought you were dead!’ ‘Not yet. A squareness about the lower part of his face.confound his complexion. ‘Halloa. and his memory! . Murdstone. ‘Jones?’  David Copperfield ‘Copperfield. ‘And who’s this shaver?’ said one of the gentlemen. if you please. than even I had given them credit for being. at which they laughed the more. Several times when I glanced at him.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. all bundled up together. ‘What! Bewitching Mrs. In a corner was a heap of coats and boat-cloaks. a very handsome man. and had a large rough jacket on. for both the gentlemen laughed heartily when he was mentioned. and the rich white. at first. in spite of my misgivings. Murdstone.’ There was more laughter at this.word to express an eye that has no depth in it to be looked into . for. and said. his regular eyebrows. I observed that appearance with a sort of awe. with a biscuit. of his complexion . Murdstone.’ said Mr. I have no doubt that my poor dear mother thought him so too. and the dotted indication of the strong black beard he shaved close every day. His hair and whiskers were blacker and thicker. and black. and when the wine came. and Mr. where two gentlemen were smoking cigars in a room by themselves. I was quite relieved to find that it was only Brooks of Sheffield. ‘Only Brooks of Sheffield. taking hold of me. ‘take care. reminded me of the wax-work that had travelled into our neighbourhood some half-a-year before. by a cast. I really thought it was I. said: ‘And what is the opinion of Brooks of Sheffield. Quinion said he would ring the bell for some sherry in which to drink to Brooks. Murdstone. seems from some peculiarity of light to be disfigured. ‘but he is not generally favourable. We went to an hotel by the sea.’ replied Mr. when we came in. ‘Davy who?’ said the gentleman. quickly. the gentleman whom he had called Quinion. when it is abstracted. Murdstone. I looked up. being curious to know. in reference to the projected business?’ ‘Why. After some laughing. There seemed to be something very comical in the reputation of Mr. and Mr. and such hearty laughter that it made me laugh too. for a moment at a time. ‘Confusion to Brooks of Sheffield!’ The toast was received with great applause. before I drank it. ‘The pretty little widow?’ ‘Quinion. In short. we quite enjoyed ourselves. I don’t know that Brooks understands much about it at present. This he did. he made me have a little. and wondered what he was thinking about so closely. I believe. Copperfield’s encumbrance?’ cried the gentleman. This. Somebody’s sharp.’ said Mr. and a flag. We walked about on the cliff after that. Each of them was lying on at least four chairs.

I remarked that. while I was sent in to get my tea. I saw them quite hard at work. I can’t beFree eBooks at Planet eBook. We went home early in the evening. perished as I know it is . truer to its loving youth than I have been. and what they had said and done. who had got a cross-barred shirt or waistcoat on. he said it meant the vessel. Quinion was talking. Murdstone. I must not forget that we went on board the yacht. or man ever is.com 1 . ever since the coats had first come home from the tailor’s. They joked freely with one another. Can I say of her face .I could make out nothing myself when it was put to my eye. he trod upon his foot. with a very nice man with a very large head of red hair and a very small shiny hat upon it. She kneeled down playfully by the side of the bed. and laughing. and my mother and he had another stroll by the sweetbriar. Murdstone laughed at all that day. I knew it quite as well as I know it now. if I might judge from the smell of their rough coats. when here it comes before me at this instant. still holds fast what it cherished then? I write of her just as she was when I had gone to bed after this talk. When he was gone. to observe Mr. and was no more. Skylark. once or twice when Mr. when my remembrance brings her back to life. I thought it was his name. where they all three descended into the cabin. All the time we were out. they must have been doing. with ‘Skylark’ in capital letters across the chest. and she came to bid me good night.that it is gone. but she answered No. said: ‘What was it they said. as if to make sure of his not being displeased. I took the opportunity of asking if she was at all acquainted with Mr. but I pretended I could . was his own. and that they regarded him with something of my own feeling. Brooks of Sheffield. as it fell that night? Can I say she ever changed. and that as he lived on board ship and hadn’t a street door to put his name on. my mother asked me all about the day I had had. and that once when Mr. the two gentlemen smoked incessantly . only she supposed he must be a manufacturer in the knife and fork way. I observed all day that Mr.and that. when its breath falls on my cheek now. It was a very fine evening. by the by. but when I called him Mr. he put it there instead. during this time. and were busy with some papers. Murdstone sideways. They were very gay and careless. and looked at things through a telescope . that it faded. I thought. and told me they were impudent fellows who talked nonsense .and then we came back to the hotel to an early dinner. thus only. and.altered as I have reason to remember it. Davy? Tell me again. Murdstone was graver and steadier than the two gentlemen. and gave him a secret caution with his eyes. It appeared to me that he was more clever and cold than they were.but I knew it pleased her. he looked at Mr. Nor do I recollect that Mr. I mentioned what they had said about her. and laying her chin upon her hands. but seldom with him. 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. Passnidge (the other gentleman) was in high spirits. and she laughed. They left me. when I looked down through the open skylight. except at the Sheffield joke . who was 0 David Copperfield sitting stern and silent.which.grass.

all of a sudden. ‘It never could have been bewitching. putting my small elbows on the table to argue the point. My mother put her hands upon my lips to stop me. or I should have been rather alarmed said coaxingly: ‘Master Davy. ‘And. Not pretty. ‘I say! Peggotty! She can’t live by herself. it must have been a very little one indeed. in the heel of that stocking. at this distance of time. and not worth darning.’ ‘’Bewitching -‘‘ I began. ‘What ridiculous men! An’t they? Davy dear -’ ‘Well.lieve it. she might be angry with them. and the crocodile book. if you like. Now I know it wasn’t!’ ‘Yes. it was never pretty. you know.com  .’ If Peggotty were looking for a hole. but I would rather Peggotty didn’t know. holding up her hands. ‘She can’t live by herself. one evening (when my mother was out as before). bless you!’ said Peggotty. Copperfield’. and the bit of wax. in company with the stocking and the yard-measure. intent upon my face. as soon as ever she comes home.’ I repeated stoutly. laying her fingers on my lips again. and we kissed one another over and over again. ‘It was never bewitching.’ she said. There now!’ ‘But what’s she to do while we’re away?’ said I. ‘Pretty little widow. and the box with St. Ma. without doing it .’ interposed my mother. and I soon fell fast asleep. Davy. what an agreeable man he is!’ cried Peggotty. it was. mentioned in my first chapter. laughing. We were sitting as before.’ ‘Oh. and replied that it would indeed be a treat. and Am to play with -’ Peggotty meant her nephew Ham. impudent creatures!’ cried my mother. ‘Then there’s the sea. provisionally.’ ‘Don’t tell Peggotty. I was flushed by her summary of delights. It seems to me. when Peggotty. ‘Don’t you know? She’s going to stay for a fortnight with Mrs.‘‘ ‘What foolish. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Peggotty?’ I inquired.‘‘ ‘No.which I thought  David Copperfield was merely gaping. but what would my mother say? ‘Why then I’ll as good as bet a guinea. and the beach. Paul’s on the lid. of course.’ I promised. but she spoke of him as a morsel of English Grammar. laughing and covering her face. after looking at me several times. looking at me again at last. ‘Yes it was. I’ll ask her. but it was probably about two months afterwards. ‘that she’ll let us go. as if it were the next day when Peggotty broached the striking and adventurous proposition I am about to mention. 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. and the boats and ships. and opening her mouth as if she were going to speak. ‘Oh. no. ‘Bewitching Mrs. I am dreadfully angry with them myself. and the fishermen.’ said Peggotty. ‘pretty.

made me cry. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and it was all arranged that night. to recollect how eager I was to leave my happy home. as the face she brought back in the cart denoted. I am glad to know that my mother cried too.’ Oh! If that was it. in a reverie on this supposititious case: whether. We were to go in a carrier’s cart.Grayper. who was in a fever of expectation. and called to him to stop. I waited.com  . my mother ran out at the gate. Mrs. Without being nearly so much surprised as I had expected. to ascertain if we could get leave to carry out this great idea. Grayper’s (for it was that identical neighbour). seemed anything but satisfied. a grateful fondness for her and for the old place I had never turned my back upon before. and did so. and my mother stood there kissing me. although I tell it lightly. I would have given any money to have been allowed to wrap myself up over-night. As we left her standing in the road. until my mother came home from Mrs. I am glad to recollect that when the carrier began to move. and half afraid that an earthquake or a fiery mountain. to think how little I suspected what I did leave for ever. and sleep in my hat and boots. Peggotty. The day soon came for our going. and wondered what business it was of his. who was also looking back on the other side. I should be able to track my way home again by the buttons she would shed. my mother entered into it readily. Grayper’s going to have a lot of company. might interpose to stop the expedition. if she were employed to lose me like the boy in the fairy tale. in the utmost impatience. It was such an early day that it came soon. Murdstone came up to where she was. even to me. or some other great convulsion of nature. Mr. which departed in the morning after breakfast. and that I felt her heart beat against mine. It touches me nearly now. I was looking back round the awning of the cart. I was quite ready to go. I am glad to recollect that when the carrier’s cart was at the gate. that she might kiss me once more. I am glad to dwell  David Copperfield upon the earnestness and love with which she lifted up her face to mine. and seemed to expostulate with her for being so moved. I sat looking at Peggotty for some time. and my board and lodging during the visit were to be paid for.

like his horse. with one of his arms on each of his knees. for her part. and saw the sailors walking about. and of drooping sleepily forward as he drove. and oakum. I fancied. she was proud to call herself a Yarmouth Bloater. Peggotty had a basket of refreshments on her knee. when we saw Yarmouth. with greater emphasis than usual. David Copperfield We made so many deviations up and down lanes. like toast and water. and very glad. which would account for it. if we had been going to London by the same conveyance. We ate a good deal. upon the whole. and were such a long time delivering a bedstead at a publichouse. but it struck me that the cart would have gone to Yarmouth quite as well without him. I say ‘drove’. and tar. who heard my expressions of delight with great complacency.com   . if the world were really as round as my geography book said. how any part of it came to be so flat. It looked rather spongy and soppy. But Peggotty said. and the carts jingling up and down over the stones. and as to conversation. I thought. and I could not have believed unless I had heard her do it. When we got into the street (which was strange enough to me) and smelt the fish. ‘Here’s my Am!’ screamed Peggotty. that he sometimes chuckled audibly over this reflection. it would have been nicer. I should hope. the finest place in the universe. indeed. and saw the whole adjacent prospect lying a straight low line under the sky. that one defenceless woman could have snored so much. The carrier had a way of keeping his head down. and the town and the tide had not been quite so much mixed up. as I carried my eye over the great dull waste that lay across the river. that we must take things as we found them. that I was quite tired. I hinted to Peggotty that a mound or so might have improved it. with his head down. As we drew a little nearer. and also that if the land had been a little more separated from the sea. for the horse did all that. Peggotty always went to sleep with her chin upon the handle of the basket. and told me it was well known (I suppose to those who had the good fortune to be born Bloaters) that Yarmouth was. and calling at other places. and shuffled along. her hold of which never relaxed. and said as much to Peggotty.CHAPTER 3 I HAVE A CHANGE T he carrier’s horse was the laziest horse in the world. he had no idea of it but whistling. ‘growed out of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and that. and I could not help wondering. and pitch. I felt that I had done so busy a place an injustice. as if he liked to keep people waiting to whom the packages were directed. but the carrier said he was only troubled with a cough. which would have lasted us out handsomely. But I reflected that Yarmouth might be situated at one of the poles. and slept a good deal.

and there were little windows in it. There was a black barge. like an old acquaintance. and on the chest of drawers there was a tea-tray with a painting on it of a lady with a parasol. rope-walks. framed and glazed. I did not feel. or some other kind of superannuated boat. and round-shouldered. such as I have never seen since in the hands of pedlars. But our intimacy was much advanced by his taking me on his back to carry me home.com  . I might have thought it small. but the wonderful charm of it was. and a great litter of such places. And you couldn’t so properly have said he wore a hat. at first. by a bible. roc’s egg and all. riggers’ lofts. shipwrights’ yards. as that he was covered in a-top. on dry land. with something pitchy. boat-builders’ yards. as far as I could stare over the wilderness. and the tray. There was a table. He was. and as tidy as possible. taking a walk with a military-looking child who was trundling a hoop. It was beautifully clean inside. and it was roofed in. He was dressed in a canvas jacket. The tray was kept from tumbling down. and asked me how I found myself. ship-breakers’ yards. if it had tumbled down. If it had ever been meant to be lived in. a huge. and Peggotty carrying another small box of ours. but with a simpering boy’s face and curly light hair that gave him quite a sheepish look. If it had been Aladdin’s palace. and went past gas-works. but no house could I make out. without any legs in them. caulkers’ yards. Mas’r Davy. That was the captivation of it to me. ‘Yon’s our house. or lonely. of scripture subjects. it became a perfect abode. and a Dutch clock. with an iron funnel sticking out of it for a chimney and smoking very cosily. and away at the sea.’ returned Ham. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and which had never been intended to be lived in. when Ham said. not far off. that I knew him as well as he knew me. or inconvenient. until we came out upon the dull waste I had already seen at a distance. and a pair of such very stiff trousers that they would have stood quite as well alone. high and dry  David Copperfield on the ground. ‘That ship-looking thing?’ ‘That’s it. we turned down lanes bestrewn with bits of chips and little hillocks of sand. On the walls there were some common coloured pictures. in fact. strong fellow of six feet high. like an old building. Ham carrying me on his back and a small box of ours under his arm. at the public-house. without seeing the whole interior of Peggotty’s brother’s house again.knowledge!’ He was waiting for us. broad in proportion. and away at the river. because he had never come to our house since the night I was born. and naturally he had the advantage of me. Mas’r Davy!’ I looked in all directions. There was a delightful door cut in the side. smiths’ forges. I suppose I could not have been more charmed with the romantic idea of living in it. now. Abraham in red going to sacrifice Isaac in blue. at one view. ‘That’s not it?’ said I. and a chest of drawers. but never having been designed for any such use. would have smashed a quantity of cups and saucers and a teapot that were grouped around the book. that it was a real boat which had no doubt been upon the water hundreds of times. but nothing else in the way of a habitation that was visible to me.

‘Well. where the rudder used to go through. if you can make out here. By and by. which served for seats and eked out the chairs. ‘and Ham. and never leaving off pinching whatever they laid hold of. and I afterwards found that a heap of these creatures. crabs. whom I had seen curtseying at the door when I was on Ham’s back. and crawfish. Peggotty.’ said Mr.being presently introduced to me as Mr. which I considered to be one of the most enviable possessions that the world could afford. sir. melted butter. and the patchwork counterpane made my eyes quite ache with its brightness. ‘Glad to see you. a work of art. All this I saw in the first glance after I crossed the threshold . with a chop for me. she informed me that her brother dealt in lobsters.which was a polite fiction on my part. and little Em’ly. when we had dined in a sumptuous manner off boiled dabs. according to my theory . but you’ll find us ready. and potatoes. I’m sure. It was the completest and most desirable bedroom ever seen . built at Sunderland. Peggotty. the use of which I did not divine then. the master of the house.and Daniel in yellow cast into a den of green lions. were usually to be found in a little wooden outhouse where the pots and kettles were kept. Over the little mantelshelf. One thing I particularly noticed in this delightful house. fur a fortnut. ‘How’s your Ma.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.child-like. but ran away and hid herself.and then Peggotty opened a little door and showed me my bedroom.’ nodding at his sister. was the smell of fish. There were some hooks in the beams of the ceiling. we shall be proud of your company. a little looking-glass.in the stern of the vessel. with a real little wooden stern stuck on to it. sir?’ said Mr. and that she desired her compliments . I found it smelt exactly as if it had wrapped up a lobster. and replied that I was sure I should be happy in such a delightful place. combining composition with carpentry. nailed against the wall. and framed with oyster-shells. As he called Peggotty ‘Lass’.com 1 . Peggotty. sir. and gave her a hearty smack on the cheek. The walls were whitewashed as white as milk. On my imparting this discovery in confidence to Peggotty. ‘You’ll find us rough. ‘long wi’ her.’ I thanked him. just the right height for me. a hairy man with a very good-natured face came home. I had no doubt. a little bed. We were welcomed by a very civil woman in a white apron. in a state of wonderful conglomeration with one 0 David Copperfield another. and a nosegay of seaweed in a blue mug on the table. which there was just room enough to get into. that when I took out my pocket-handkerchief to wipe my nose. ‘Did you leave her pretty jolly?’ I gave Mr.’ said Mr. from the general propriety of her conduct. Likewise by a most beautiful little girl (or I thought her so) with a necklace of blue beads on. who wouldn’t let me kiss her when I offered to. which was so searching. with a little window. Peggotty to understand that she was as jolly as I could wish. sir. was a picture of the ‘Sarah Jane’ lugger. Peggotty. about a quarter of a mile off. ‘I’m much obleeged to her. were the most prominent of these. and so he turned out . and some lockers and boxes and conveniences of that sort. that he was her brother.

’ said Mr. glancing at her. sir. Peggotty?’ I hinted. Peggotty. master. it seemed to me the most delicious retreat that the imagination of man could conceive. who had been giving me my first lesson in all-fours. I felt the difficulty of resuming the subject. which was just large enough for us two. but answered: ‘No. and came out very red. ‘Dead. but so rubicund.’ said Mr. Mr. was her father. I never giv him no name. as if they had never known any other roof. then?’ said I. after another respectful silence. and was printing off fishy impressions of his thumb on all the cards he turned. I was very much surprised that Mr. Peggotty was smoking his pipe. and began to wonder whether I was mistaken about his relationship to anybody else there. to know that the fog was creeping over the desolate flat outside.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. his father giv it him. that I couldn’t help thinking his face had this in common with the lobsters.’ says he. To hear the wind getting up out at sea. I felt it was a time for conversation and confidence. Tom. I was so curious to know. because you lived in a sort of ark?’ Mr. Paul’s and the bit of wax-candle. ‘. ‘Little Em’ly.’ said Mr. After tea. My brother-in-law. but had not got to the bottom of it yet. after a respectful pause. when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights being cold and misty now). Peggotty with the white apron. ‘She is your daughter. Mr. .Having done the honours of his house in this hospitable manner. putting question number two of the catechism to Mr.’ I said. and crawfish. Mr. Peggotty?’ ‘No. Mr. Peggotty. So I said: ‘Haven’t you ANY children. Peggotty went out to wash himself in a kettleful of hot water. and just fitted into the chimney corner. and think that there was no house near but this one. ‘Drowndead. and this one a boat. Mrs.’ ‘Who gave him that name.’ said Mr. Peggotty!’ says I. Ham. ‘I’m a bacheldore. and must get to the bottom somehow. and to look at the fire. Peggotty at her needlework was as much at home with St. Peggotty?’ I hinted.that it went into the hot water very black. Peggotty. ‘I thought you were his father!’ ‘My brother Joe was his father. Peggotty?’ ‘No. Peggotty was not Ham’s father. greatly improved in appearance. Peggotty. ‘Sir.’ he answered with a short laugh. sir. ‘Mr.Dead.’ I couldn’t help it. He soon returned. and was sitting by my side upon the lowest and least of the lockers.  David Copperfield ‘Did you give your son the name of Ham. that I made up my mind to have it out with Mr. ‘Drowndead. Peggotty. Peggotty. ‘Why. Mr. was knitting on the opposite side of the fire. sir. isn’t she. was trying to recollect a scheme of telling fortunes with the dirty cards. remarking that ‘cold would never get his muck off’. Mr.com  . Little Em’ly had overcome her shyness. was like enchantment. crabs. Peggotty seemed to think it a deep idea.

Peggotty?’ But at this point Peggotty . she informed me. shaking her head.’ ‘I hope it wasn’t the boat that -’ ‘That father was drownded in?’ said Em’ly. after all. ‘I have seen it very cruel to some of our men. I was very sensible of my entertainer’s goodness. The only subject. ‘I’m afraid of the sea. Then. in the privacy of my own little cabin. Peggotty?’ pointing to the person in the apron who was knitting. Mr. was this generosity of his. and listened to the women’s going to bed in another little crib like mine at the opposite end of the boat. but that they all regarded it as constituting a most solemn imprecation. I never see that boat. and that a man like Mr. at the moment.those were her similes. I heard the wind howling out at sea and coming on across the flat so fiercely. by any one of them. Peggotty. ‘Gummidge. astonished.’ said Em’ly. with a becoming air of boldness. ‘You’re quite a sailor. I don’t know that I supposed anything of the kind. and swore a dreadful oath that he would be ‘Gormed’ if he didn’t cut and run for good. ‘No.’ replied Em’ly. He was but a poor man himself. in her bright eye.made such impressive motions to me not to ask any more questions. ‘I an’t!’ ‘Ah! but it’s cruel. but as good as gold and as true as steel . in a very luxurious state of mind. that nobody had the least idea of the etymology of this terrible verb passive to be gormed. But I bethought myself that I was in a boat. she informed me that Ham and Em’ly were an orphan nephew and niece. I have seen it tear a boat as big as our house. whom my host had at different times adopted in their childhood. I suppose?’ I said to Em’ly. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that it came into my head to say this. until it was time to go to bed. Nothing happened. and to him and Ham  David Copperfield hanging up two hammocks for themselves on the hooks I had noticed in the roof. who had died very poor. he struck the table a heavy blow with his right hand (had split it on one such occasion). Not that one. It appeared.’ ‘Afraid!’ I said. worse than morning. ‘No. but I felt it an act of gallantry to say something. that I could only sit and look at all the silent company. and out with little Em’ly.’ said Mr. enhanced by my being sleepy. all to pieces. ‘That’s Missis Gummidge. if it was ever mentioned again. who’s that.com  . Mr. ‘Why. on which he ever showed a violent temper or swore an oath. Gummidge was the widow of his partner in a boat. As slumber gradually stole upon me. that I had a lazy apprehension of the great deep rising in the night. and a shining sail close to us made such a pretty little image of itself.‘A bachelor!’ I said. Peggotty was not a bad person to have on board if anything did happen. when they were left destitute: and that Mrs. however. in answer to my inquiries.I mean my own peculiar Peggotty . said Peggotty. and looking very big at the mighty ocean.’ ‘Nor him?’ I asked her. picking up stones upon the beach. and if it were ever referred to. Almost as soon as it shone upon the oyster-shell frame of my mirror I was out of bed.

a silver pipe. That’s why I should like so much to be a lady. nodding at the boat-house. However.’ . I mean. Peggotty.’ and I added. as if they were a glorious vision.’ answered Em’ly. ‘If I was ever to be a lady. But I’m not afraid in this Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I expressed my pleasure in the contemplation of it. except that it was somewhere in the depths of the sea.Not for our own sakes. and laughed and nodded ‘yes’. Emily looked at me.’ said Em’ly. and how my mother and I had always lived by ourselves in the happiest state imaginable. a large gold watch. 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. with an awful recollection of her drowned relations. but I kept these sentiments to myself. and that I was particularly  David Copperfield doubtful of the policy of the cocked hat. but I have no doubt if I had seen a moderately large wave come tumbling in. a cocked hat. We wouldn’t mind then. and always meant to live so. I’d give him a sky-blue coat with diamond buttons.’ I said I had no doubt that Mr. ‘You don’t seem to be either. and I was afraid of her falling over. and lived so then. He must be very good. But there were some differences between Em’ly’s orphanhood and mine.’ said little Em’ly. Peggotty well deserved these treasures. and how my father’s grave was in the churchyard near our house. We went on again. ‘your father was a gentleman and your mother is a lady. and my uncle Dan is a fisherman.com  . We would all be gentlefolks together. I mean him.for she was walking much too near the brink of a sort of old jetty or wooden causeway we had strolled upon. picking up shells and pebbles. a red velvet waistcoat. it appeared. ‘Yes. ‘Not to remember!’ Here was a coincidence! I immediately went into an explanation how I had never seen my own father.’ This seemed to me to be a very satisfactory and therefore not at all improbable picture. and tremble to think of Uncle Dan and Ham and believe I hear ‘em crying out for help. and Mrs. nankeen trousers. and where her father’s grave was no one knew. now?’ It was quiet enough to reassure me. and shaded by a tree. then. I said ‘No. is he?’ said I. I should have taken to my heels. and we’d help ‘em with money when they come to any hurt. and a box of money. She had lost her mother before her father. I should think?’ ‘Good?’ said Em’ly. when there comes stormy weather. shyly. and Ham.Little Em’ly shook her head. Me. beneath the boughs of which I had walked and heard the birds sing many a pleasant morning.’ ‘Dan is Mr. ‘Uncle Dan . ‘Besides. to be sure. ‘I’m not afraid in this way. We would for the poor fishermen’s. Little Em’ly had stopped and looked up at the sky in her enumeration of these articles. ‘But I wake when it blows. Gummidge. and uncle. and my father was a fisherman and my mother was a fisherman’s daughter. and little Em’ly was emboldened to say. ‘I should like it very much. though you say you are. ‘Don’t you think you are afraid of the sea. ‘You would like to be a lady?’ I said.yonder. as she looked about for shells and pebbles. .

many times there have been. I told Em’ly I adored her. I am sure I loved that baby quite as truly. The incident is so impressed on my remembrance. There has been a time since . and I soon laughed at my fears. hours and hours. but it has been . and that unless Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Of course I was in love with little Em’ly. that if I were a draughtsman I could draw its form here. in my manhood. We stopped under the lee of the lobster-outhouse to exchange an innocent kiss. and overhung the deep water at some height. and went in to breakfast glowing with health and pleasure. there was any merciful attraction of her into danger. fruitlessly in any case. any sunny forenoon. and loaded ourselves with things that we thought curious. as if Time had not grown up himself yet.’ Mr. I dare say. I have set it down too soon. But let it stand. that her life might have a chance of ending that day? There has been a time since when I have wondered whether. directed far out to sea. among the possibilities of hidden things. and so revealed as that a child could fully comprehend it. any tempting her towards him permitted on the part of her dead father. with greater purity and more disinterestedness. and at the cry I had uttered. I don’t think I should have regarded it as much more than I had had reason to expect. Is it possible. that in the sudden rashness of the child and her wild look so far off. Peggotty said.com  . The light. she had spread a little pair of wings and flown away before my eyes. We strolled a long way. quite as tenderly.I do not say it lasted long.and then made our way home to Mr. If. I knew this meant. like two young thrushes. for there was no one near. I am sure my fancy raised up something round that blue-eyed mite of a child. and always at play. in our local dialect. This may be premature. without the least defence. But there have been times since. and if her preservation could have depended on a motion of my hand. We used to walk about that dim old flat at Yarmouth in a loving manner. which etherealized. accurately as it was that day. fluttering little figure turned and came back safe to me. The days sported by us.when I have asked myself the question. or the reverse . perhaps. when I have thought. ‘Like two young mavishes. but were a child too. would it have been better for little Em’ly to have had the waters close above her head that morning in my sight. and when I have  David Copperfield answered Yes. and received it as a compliment. Not a bit. and put some stranded starfish carefully back into the water . with a look that I have never forgotten. and ran along a jagged timber which protruded from the place we stood upon. I ought to have held it up to save her.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. and made a very angel of her. and little Em’ly springing forward to her destruction (as it appeared to me). Look here!’ She started from my side. than can enter into the best love of a later time of life. it would have been. if the life before her could have been revealed to me at a glance. Peggotty’s dwelling. high and ennobling as it is.way. bold.

Peggotty. and said again that she was ‘a lone lorn creetur’ and everythink went contrary with her’. to whom the preference was given as a visitor of distinction. I thought. when the fire smoked. and the potatoes were a little burnt. and of its occasioning a visitation in her back which she called ‘the creeps’. Mr. The fish were small and bony. Gummidge. ‘It is certainly very cold. Gummidge’s peculiar corner of the fireside seemed to me to be the warmest and snuggest in the place.’ ‘I feel it more than other people. when Mrs. and by Mrs. She said she did. between eight and nine. it’ll soon leave off. Gummidge’s was rather a fretful disposition. as her chair was certainly the easiest. but there were moments when it would have been more agreeable. Gummidge and Peggotty. that they might have had in a pretty toy. on our little locker side by side.’ ‘I feel it more. Peggotty went occasionally to a public-house called The Willing Mind. and she whimpered more sometimes than was comfortable for other parties in so small an establishment. I suppose. ‘Everybody must feel it so. and I have no doubt she did. I was very sorry for her. little Em’ly and I had no such trouble. but it didn’t suit her that day at all.she confessed she adored me I should be reduced to the necessity of killing myself with a sword. because we had no future. I soon found out that Mrs. Gummidge did not always make herself so agreeable as she might have been expected to do.’ ‘Oh. ‘and everythink goes contrary with me. but Mrs. Mrs. if Mrs.’ said Peggotty. She was constantly complaining of the cold. what was more. Peggotty smiled at us from behind his pipe. We all acknowledged that we felt this something of a disappointment. We were the admiration of Mrs. As to any sense of inequality. Gummidge had been in a low state all day.‘and besides. than we did for growing younger. Gummidge said she felt it more than we did. So at dinner. Gummidge. and saying he was there. It was a very cold day. Mrs. and shed tears again. and had stopped there until her spirits revived. and had burst into tears in the forenoon. Gummidge was always helped immediately after me. ‘Lor! wasn’t it beautiful!’ Mr. At last she shed tears on that subject. under the circumstances of her residence with Mr. when that unpleasant occurrence took place.’ said Mrs. she 0 David Copperfield had known in the morning he would go there. Gummidge’s words. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.I again mean our Peggotty . or other difficulty in our way. Mrs. and made that former declaration with great bitterness. with cutting blasts of wind. or youthfulness. who used to whisper of an evening when we sat.’ said Peggotty . and that. Gummidge’s looking up at the Dutch clock. ‘I am a lone lorn creetur’. by his being out on the second or third evening of our visit.’ said Mrs. lovingly. you know. They had something of the sort of pleasure in us.’ were Mrs. or a pocket model of the Colosseum. I discovered this. and Ham grinned all the evening and did nothing else. Gummidge had had a convenient apartment of her own to retire to.com 1 . We made no more provision for growing older. it’s not more disagreeable to you than to us.

this unfortunate Mrs. Gummidge. and roared out. Mrs.’ returned Mr. ‘Yes.’ ‘Yes. ‘It an’t a fit return. only answering with another entreaty to Mrs. I feel my troubles. and Master Davy. Mrs. ‘Well. and I. Mates. I had better go into the house and die. I am sorry it should be along of me that you’re so ready.) Mrs. very ready. Gummidge.’ said Mrs. Gummidge had never made any other remark than a forlorn sigh. but instead of putting it in her pocket. had been reading to them. and still kept it out. I know that I am a lone lorn creetur’. Gummidge. but I an’t. Yes. I am a lone lorn creetur’. Peggotty meant old girl. and wiped them again. Peggotty with an honest laugh. with a clap of his hands. Peggotty. and not only that everythink goes contrary with me. Peggotty. except Mrs. ‘and how are you?’ We all said something. and had much better not make myself contrary here. ‘Don’t ye believe a bit on it. I’d better go into the house. as I sat taking in all this.’ said Mr. I’ve took a short spell at The Willing Mind tonight. to welcome him. who only shook her head over her knitting.’ ‘Very ready.’ cried Mrs.’ said Mrs. ‘What’s amiss?’ said Mr. with little Em’ly by my side. Dan’l?’ ‘Why yes. I wish I didn’t feel ‘em. that the misfortune extended to some other members of that family besides Mrs.’ returned Mrs. and die and be Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘It’s far from right that I should do it. ‘I know what I am. Peggotty had been working cheerfully. Gummidge did not appear to be able to cheer up. Peggotty.’ ‘Along o’ you! It an’t along o’ you!’ said Mr. you haven’t. Peggotty. My troubles has made me contrary.’ said Mr. I don’t wonder at it. I know what I am. Peggotty. yes. ‘Cheer up. Gummidge. kept it out. I feel more than other people do. ‘I am far from it.’ said Mrs. She took out an old black silk handkerchief and wiped her eyes. I make the house uncomfortable. If thinks must go contrary with me. in a very wretched and miserable condition. let me go contrary in my parish. yes. Gummidge. ‘What’s amiss.Accordingly. ‘Drive! I don’t want no driving. ‘No. ‘I’m sorry I should drive you there. ‘You’ve come from The Willing Mind. yes. and I show it more. Gummidge. Gummidge to cheer up.com  . ‘I an’t what I could wish myself to be. taking his seat. Gummidge. and  David Copperfield wiping her eyes. ‘Nothing. Peggotty came home about nine o’clock.’ in great mental distress. I’ve made your sister so all day. But Mr. It’s my misfortun’. but that I go contrary with everybody.’ Here I was suddenly melted. ‘I only go too ready. but I do. when Mr. shaking her head. Ham had been patching up a great pair of waterboots. and had never raised her eyes since tea. or looked something. dame?’ said Mr. Dan’l. and I must go contrary myself. it is. ready for use. I wish I could be hardened to ‘em. Gummidge.’ said Mrs. old Mawther!’ (Mr. Gummidge. Peggotty made no such retort. Gummidge was knitting in her corner.’ I really couldn’t help thinking. and they make me contrary.

and once or twice he took us for a row. At last the day came for going home. that it was my nest. and if ever. on the road. and betook herself to bed. but I am reminded of a certain Sunday morning on the beach. looked round upon us. and that it always had a moving effect upon him. Peggotty. who had not exhibited a trace of any feeling but the profoundest sympathy. like their own shadows.com  . and I promised. little Em’ly leaning on my shoulder.a riddance!’ Mrs. in characters larger than those in which apartments are usually announced in manuscript. explained that it was the late Mr. and that her brother always took that for a received truth on such occasions. which altered Mr. Some time after he was in his hammock that night. Ham lazily dropping stones into the water. than my reproachful young conscience seemed to point that way with a ready finger. so that the nearer we drew. he sometimes walked with us to show us the boats and ships. Gummidge was overcome in a similar manner during the remainder of our stay (which happened some few times). I have had a void made in my heart. I don’t know why one slight set of impressions should be more particularly associated with a place than another. of Yarmouth. and showing us the ships. I bore up against the separation from Mr. and I felt. as being to let. Gummidge was supposed to have fixed her mind upon. But Peggotty. and altered Ham’s engagements also.) We were greatly overcome at parting. Mr. he always said the same thing in extenuation of the circumstance. When she was gone. and looked confused and out of sorts. When the latter was unemployed. I had one made that day. the more familiar the objects became that we passed. all the time I had been on my visit. Peggotty’s times of going out and coming in. all the more for the sinking of my spirits. and had thought little or nothing about it. and always with the tenderest commiseration. away at sea. So the fortnight slipped away. though I believe this obtains with most people. to write to her. but my agony of mind at leaving little Em’ly was piercing. I had been ungrateful to my home again. varied by nothing but the variation of the tide. I never hear the name. ‘Poor thing! She’s been thinking of the old ‘un!’ And whenever Mrs. Peggotty and Mrs. and nodding his head with a lively expression of that sentiment still animating his face. just breaking through the heavy mist. on seeing me to bed. I heard him myself repeat to Ham. But I was no sooner turned towards it. Gummidge. said in a whisper: ‘She’s been thinking of the old ‘un!’ I did not quite understand what old one Mrs. the more excited I was to get there. We went arm-in-arm to the public-house where the carrier put up. Gummidge. tried to check them (though very kindly). Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and that my mother was my comforter and friend. or read the name. the bells ringing for church. (I redeemed that promise afterwards. instead of sharing in those transports. and the sun. Now. This gained upon me as we went along. until Peggotty. in my life. in reference especially to the associations of their  David Copperfield childhood. and to run into her arms. Gummidge retired with these words.

into the kitchen. but I felt too blank and strange to tell her so. Something . Where’s mama?’ ‘Where’s mama.com  . Peggotty!’ My eyes were full.that was always the substitute for exactly. I ceased to draw back.Blunderstone Rookery would come. and I felt as if I were going to tumble down. How well I recollect it. ‘isn’t she come home?’ ‘Yes. she took me by the hand. but a strange servant. ‘Bless the precious boy!’ cried Peggotty. perhaps. On one side of the fire. however. and we went straight to the best parlour. Clara my dear.’ ‘Go on. ‘What is it? Speak. It was not she.’ said Mr. on a cold grey afternoon. threatening rain! The door opened. bless you. sat my mother. seemed to strike me like an unwholesome wind. I should have told you before now. ‘A new one. ‘Now. too! Oh. Master Davy?’ repeated Peggotty. and I’ll . and I looked. she’s not dead. or to give her another turn in the right direction. ‘You see. and her natural awkwardness in getting out of the cart. how do Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and arose hurriedly.’ Between her agitation. Peggotty.’ ‘I don’t want to see him. Peggotty?’ Peggotty cried out No! with an astonishing volume of voice.’ said Peggotty. ‘Master Davy. When she had got down. ‘Yes. Master Davy. said: ‘Come and see him. quite frightened. Mr.‘And your mama.’ . half laughing and half crying in my pleasant agitation. ‘She’s come home. and then stood before her. yes. my pet!’ ‘Not dead. Master Davy dear!’ she answered. ‘Why.  David Copperfield I gave her a hug to take away the turn. Wait a bit. Murdstone. and the raising of the dead. where she left me. Murdstone. as if she were swallowing something that was very hard. ‘Recollect! control yourself. ‘What do you think? You have got a Pa!’ I trembled. assuming an air of sprightliness. always control yourself! Davy boy. ‘Peggotty!’ said I.I don’t know what. or how . dear.and did. on the other. taking hold of me. Peggotty!’ I said. and. led me. ‘but I hadn’t an opportunity.’ said Peggotty. My mother dropped her work. but I couldn’t azackly’ . but timidly I thought. wondering. and speaking in a breathless sort of way. with a dull sky. in Peggotty’s militia of words . Why hasn’t she come out to the gate.connected with the grave in the churchyard. putting out her hand. more frightened than before.’ said Peggotty. and said I had given her a turn. Master Davy.‘bring my mind to it.’ said Peggotty. ‘Something’s the matter. and shut the door. I’m sure.I’ll tell you something. looking at her in anxious inquiry.’ said Peggotty.’ said I. I ought to have made it. ‘What’s the matter?’ ‘Nothing’s the matter. Peggotty was making a most extraordinary festoon of herself. in spite of her. for my mother. and turned white. and began to pant. ruefully. ‘A new one?’ I repeated. Peggotty gave a gasp. and then sat down. untying her bonnet with a shaking hand. when the carrier’s horse pleased . and what have we come in here for? Oh.

so altered it all seemed. at some shrubs that were drooping their heads in the cold. and roamed into the yard. of the cracks in the ceiling. I went and kissed my mother: she kissed me. I crept upstairs. and had been torn away from her to come here where no one seemed to want me. I could not look at her. of the paper on the walls. and thought. except that I was conscious of being cold and dejected. I thought of the oddest things. I very soon started back from there. I rambled downstairs to find anything that was like itself. or to care about me. Gummidge under the influence of the old one. At last in my desolation I began to consider that I was dreadfully in love with little Em’ly.you do?’ I gave him my hand. hearing the dog in the yard bark after me all the way while I climbed the stairs. My old dear bedroom was changed. and sprang out to get at me. of the flaws in the window-glass making ripples and dimples on the prospect. looking as blank and strange upon the room as the room looked upon me. for the empty dog-kennel was filled up with a great dog . and. of the washing-stand being rickety on its three legs. half as much as Free eBooks at Planet eBook.and he was very angry at the sight of me. and sat down again to her work. Of the shape of the room. and I was to lie a long way off. I knew quite well that he was looking at us both. and I turned to the window and looked out there.deep mouthed and black-haired like Him . and having a discontented something about it. patted me gently on the shoulder. I was crying all the time. I might appeal to it at this day . sat down with my small hands crossed. I am sure I never thought why I cried. I could not look at him.to bear witness for me what a heavy heart I carried to it. CHAPTER 4 I FALL INTO DISGRACE I f the room to which my bed was removed were a sentient thing that could give evidence. but. After a moment of suspense. I went up there.who sleeps there now. which reminded me of Mrs. I wonder! . As soon as I could creep away.com   David Copperfield .

as I know. one would think. and her arm touch his neck . My mother and Peggotty had come to look for me. ‘What’s the matter?’ I thought it was very strange that she should ask me. Mrs.’ said my mother. my dear!’ ‘I am very sorry.’ answered Peggotty. sir. pouting. may you never be truly sorry!’ ‘It’s enough to distract me. and for what you have said this minute. Murdstone’s hand. ‘This is your doing. my love. ‘what a troublesome world this is.’ said Mr. Edward. and slipped to my feet at the bed-side. when I saw my mother’s head lean down upon his shoulder. ‘Nothing.com 1 . ‘I ought to know it.’ ‘I say it’s very hard I should be made so now. and only answered. Peggotty. ‘That’s a bad hearing. ‘I meant to be very good. now. ‘In my honeymoon. 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. and answered. and it was one of them who had done it.’ cried my mother. ‘Lord forgive you.Firmness. and dismissed her with a nod and a smile. Clara. and kissed her.she did. ‘Davy. whispered in her ear. It was Mr. which answered her with greater truth. but I am so uncomfortable. my child!’ I dare say no words she could have uttered would have affected me so much. ‘and it is .’ returned my mother. I hid my tears in the bedclothes. Copperfield. that I rolled myself up in a corner of the counterpane. I was awoke by somebody saying ‘Here he is!’ and uncovering my hot head. and he kept it on my arm as he said: ‘What’s this? Clara. Davy. when he had watched my mother out. ‘Go you below. and not envy me a little peace of mind and happiness. ‘David and I will come down. that he did it. in a sort of paraphrase of the grace I usually repeated after dinner.isn’t it?’ He drew her to him.’ said my mother. How can you reconcile it to your conscience. My friend. as her calling me her child. then. or against anybody who is dear to me? What do you mean by it. when my most inveterate enemy might relent. ‘Davy. as I came upstairs. when she would have raised me up.’ ‘Indeed!’ he answered. you sav0 David Copperfield age creature! Oh. have you forgotten? . ‘But I thought I heard you. to prejudice my own boy against me.’ ‘That’s true. ‘do you know your mistress’s name?’ ‘She has been my mistress a long time. too. address her by a name that is not hers. dear me!’ cried my mother. to hide my trembling lip. She has taken mine. This made such a very miserable piece of business of it. ‘Davy. ‘I have no doubt at all about it. Peggotty?’ Poor Peggotty lifted up her hands and eyes. so soon. Will Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I recollect. Murdstone. you cruel thing!’ said my mother. you naughty boy! Peggotty.’ said my mother.’ I turned over on my face.very hard . and pressed her from me with my hand.I knew as well that he could mould her pliant nature into any form he chose. I knew as well. and cried myself to sleep. you know. together.’ turning a darkening face on Peggotty. I wonder.’ he answered. in her pettish wilful manner. my love. turning from one of us to the other.

When we two were left alone. for life. and motioned me with his head to obey him directly. I see. and might have made me respect instead of hate him. I say to myself.’ ‘I beat him.’ I had answered in a kind of breathless whisper. Gummidge. no less steadily. He knew it was the mark of tears as well as I. and that she was expected that evening. and holding me standing before him. or afterwards. which I had made out  David Copperfield to be like Mrs. perhaps.’ he said. of welcome home. that she was expected to go. she followed me with her eyes more sorrowfully still . presently. making his lips thin. each time with twenty blows. that an elder sister of his was coming to stay with them.com  . ‘I make him wince. instead of in my hypocritical outside. We shall soon improve our youthful humours. we three together. curtseyed herself out of the room without replying.and she was very fond of him. and sitting on a chair. I hope. to his. with his hand still on my arm. with some uneasy glances at me. my dear.’ I said. and the time for it was gone.but the word was not spoken. A word of encouragement and explanation. and I have less doubt now. in my silence. I gathered from what they said.’ God help me. without being actively concerned in any business. ‘You have a good deal of intelligence for a little fellow. and had no excuse for remaining.’ he said. I should do it. what do you think I do?’ ‘I don’t know. by pressing them together. and if it were to cost him all the blood he had. I am not certain whether I found out then. or some annual charge upon the profits of. looked steadily into my eyes. I might have been improved for my whole life. and smart. he shut the door. I thought my mother was sorry to see me standing in the room so scared and strange. he had some share in. that. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but I felt. if I had hesitated.missing. seeing. face to face. when I stole to a chair. that he would have knocked me down without the least compunction. As I recall our being opposed thus. might have made me dutiful to him in my heart henceforth. ‘I’ll conquer that fellow”. of reassurance to me that it was home. What is that upon your face?’ ‘Dirt. and that. ‘and you understood me very well.I am afraid I liked him none the better for that .’ He pointed to the washing-stand. that my breath was shorter now.’ he said. ‘you will not be made uncomfortable any more. some freedom in my childish tread . with a grave smile that belonged to him. I suppose.you remember that?’ Peggotty. ‘David. I had little doubt then. and come down with me. by a kind word at that season. ‘Clara. and he walked me into the parlour. He seemed to be very fond of my mother . We dined alone. I seem again to hear my heart beat fast and high. I might have been made another creature perhaps. sir. of pity for my childish ignorance. when I had done his bidding. I believe my baby heart would have burst before I would have told him so. Wash that face. I felt my own attracted. ‘if I have an obstinate horse or dog to deal with. But if he had asked the question twenty times.

her being constantly haunted by a suspicion that the servants had a man secreted somewhere Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I was meditating an escape to Peggotty without having the hardihood to slip away. with great distinctness. and in which his sister had a similar interest. with such an indifferent grace. sister-in-law?’ My mother acknowledged me. like her brother. and shut up like a bite. putting out her hand behind her. as if it were wrong. with her initials on the lids in hard brass nails. and there formally recognized my mother as a new and near relation.’ said Miss Murdstone. she had come for good. and a gloomylooking lady she was.a wine-merchant’s house in London. I replied that I was very well. until we came near to where he was standing in the garden. whether or no. held mine in it. As well as I could make out. How d’ye do. and that I hoped she was the same. nearly meeting over her large nose. but I may mention it in this place. and had no intention of ever going again. I was timidly following her. and. which became to me from that time forth a place of awe and dread. she had carried them to that account. and taking me in her embrace as she had been used to do. where she let mine go. and she kept the purse in a very jail of a bag which hung upon her arm by a heavy chain. She brought with her two uncompromising hard black boxes. she begged the favour of being shown to her room. and said: ‘Is that your boy. After dinner. and with very heavy eyebrows. with which his family had been connected from his great-grandfather’s time. She was brought into the parlour with many tokens of welcome. generally hung upon the looking-glass in formidable array. at that time. ‘Generally speaking. My mother followed him. whom she greatly resembled in face and voice. a coach drove up to the garden-gate and he went out to receive the visitor. with which Miss Murdstone embellished herself when she was dressed. when we were sitting by the fire. When she paid the coachman she took her money out of a hard steel purse. It was Miss Murdstone who was arrived. when she turned round at the parlour door. and where (for I peeped in once or twice when she was out) numerous little steel fetters and rivets. being disabled by the wrongs of her sex from wearing whiskers. seen such a metallic lady altogether as Miss Murd David Copperfield stone was. wherein the two black boxes were never seen open or known to be left unlocked. putting things to rights. and was in and out of the store-closet all day. dark. ‘I don’t like boys. Then she looked at me. and drew hers through his arm. boy?’ Under these encouraging circumstances. in the dusk. She began to ‘help’ my mother next morning.com  . Almost the first remarkable thing I observed in Miss Murdstone was. I had never. that Miss Murdstone disposed of me in two words: ‘Wants manner!’ Having uttered which. whispered me to love my new father and be obedient to him. and making havoc in the old arrangements. She did this hurriedly and secretly. lest it should offend the master of the house. but tenderly. as if.

One night when Miss Murd David Copperfield stone had been developing certain household plans to her brother. evidently frightened .’ ‘Oh. devil’s humour. I may observe. Murdstone. ‘Clara!’ said Mr. Under the influence of this delusion. Mr. She was up (and. she was a perfect Lark in point of getting up. and said: ‘Now. which was her nearest approach to a kiss. Miss Murdstone gave her a kind of peck on the cheek. nobody else in his world was to be firm at all. you know. but only by relationship. She might be firm. as I believe to this hour. Clara. nobody in his world was to be so firm as Mr. I am come here. but I could not concur in this idea. my dear. and must be. my mother suddenly began to cry. and said she thought she might have been consulted. However I might have expressed my comprehension of it at that time. Though there was nothing very airy about Miss Murdstone. Peggotty gave it as her opinion that she even slept with one eye open. and my mother had no more to do with them than I had. but only in bearing their firmness. Murdstone was firm. that was in them both. and for a certain gloomy. if I had been called upon. and Miss Murdstone took their stand. but you wouldn’t like it yourself.’ Firmness. My mother did not suffer her authority to pass from her without a shadow of protest. she dived into the coal-cellar at the most untimely hours. Edward!’ cried my mother. ‘Clara!’ ‘OUR own house. I mean. as I should state it now. my dear. The creed.’ said my mother.‘I hope you must know what I mean. for everybody was to be bent to his firmness. If you’ll be so good as give me your keys. Murdstone sternly. Miss Murdstone was an exception. looking for that man) before anybody in the house was stirring. that it was another name for tyranny. ‘Clara! I wonder at you.com  . and under her pillow all night. ‘It’s very hard. Murdstone. When my mother came down to breakfast and was going to make the tea. arrogant. and in an inferior and tributary degree. and firmly believing there was no other firmness upon earth. ‘and it’s very well for you to talk about firmness. to relieve you of all the trouble I can. I nevertheless did clearly comprehend in my own way. and scarcely ever opened the door of a dark cupboard without clapping it to again. was the grand quality on which both Mr.my mother blushed but laughed. Miss Murdstone kept the keys in her own little jail all day. of which he signified his approbation. it’s very well to say you wonder. She might be firm. for I tried it myself after hearing the suggestion thrown out. I’ll attend to all this sort of thing in future. My mother was another exception. You’re much too pretty and thoughtless’ .’ From that time. in the belief that she had got him.on the premises. On the very first morning after her arrival she was up and ringing her bell at cock-crow.‘to have any duties imposed upon you that can be undertaken by me. and found it couldn’t be done. and seemed not to dislike this character .’ faltered my mother. Edward . ‘that in my own house -’ ‘My own house?’ repeated Mr. was this.it’s very hard that in YOUR own house I may not have a Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

’ said my mother. ‘Jane Murdstone. my dear!’ ‘When Jane Murdstone meets. with your strength of mind.word to say about domestic matters. I hope. looking at my mother. ‘let there be an end of this. I am so sorry. after waiting until my mother was silent. ‘I don’t want anybody to go. and it’s very good of you. ‘any harsh words between us are. pray.com  . you are so severe. Murdstone. Murdstone to his sister.’ ‘Don’t. at a grievous disadvantage.I am sure you said so . Edward. I thought you were pleased. Ask Peggotty. ‘Clara. Oh. ‘Oh. a condition something like a housekeeper’s. I had a satisfaction in the thought of marrying an inexperienced and artless person. and I only want to be consulted as a mere form. ‘let there be an end of this. ‘Will you be silent? How dare you?’ Miss Murdstone made a jail-delivery of her pocket-handkerchief. Murdstone in reply.’ ‘Pray let us be friends. Clara. You lose breath. There’s evidence. and when she meets with a base return -’ ‘Oh.’ thundered Mr. my love. It is not my Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I know. say that!’ implored my mother very piteously. ‘ask Peggotty if I didn’t do very well when I wasn’t interfered with!’ ‘Edward. I should be quite broken-hearted if you thought of leaving -’ My mother was too much overcome to go on. I should be very miserable and unhappy if anybody was to go. uncommon. ‘I couldn’t live under coldness or unkindness. I know I am affectionate.’ he continued. and infusing into it some  David Copperfield amount of that firmness and decision of which it stood in need. I go tomorrow. Edward . ‘you surprise me! You astound me! Yes. and forming her character.’ said Mr. I have many faults. I wouldn’t say it. and held it before her eyes. don’t. Whatever I am. once. I am sure I managed very well before we were married. I am affectionate. but not that. No one ever said I was before. I am very much obliged to anybody who assists me. again. sometimes. that feeling of mine is chilled and altered. sobbing. Jane. and with many tears. ‘with a base return.’ said Miss Murdstone.’ ‘Jane Murdstone. I say.’ said my mother.’ ‘Jane Murdstone. pray.’ said Mr.but you seem to hate me for it now. I don’t ask much. with my being a little inexperienced and girlish. I am sure she’ll tell you I’m affectionate. don’t. to endeavour to correct them for me. I am sure I am not ungrateful.’ cried my mother. I am not unreasonable. ‘don’t accuse me of being ungrateful.’ he went on.’ ‘There is no extent of mere weakness.’ ‘Edward.’ said her brother. for my sake. and to assume. I don’t object to anything. Edward.’ my poor mother went on. ‘that can have the least weight with me. I go tomorrow. Edward! I can’t bear to hear it. I only want to be consulted sometimes. But when Jane Murdstone is kind enough to come to my assistance in this endeavour.’ said Miss Murdstone. if I wasn’t sure that I am. ‘be silent! How dare you to insinuate that you don’t know my character better than your words imply?’ ‘I am sure. I have a great many defects.

I never knew my mother afterwards to give an opinion on any matter. which was austere and wrathful. There is no Peggotty now. go to bed!’ I could hardly find the door. move her hand towards her bag as if she were going to take out the keys and offer to resign them to my mother. I follow some of those looks. and I file into the old pew first. I wonder with a sudden fear whether it is likely that our good old clergyman can be wrong. that looks as if it had been made out of a pall. I well remember the tremendous visages with which we used to go to church. I have thought. after these magnanimous words. and that all the angels in Heaven can be destroying angels. if I move a finger or relax a muscle of my face. and that Mr. and whispering. without seeing that my mother was in a terrible fright. since. like a guarded captive brought to a condemned service. moving her lips timidly between the two. which wouldn’t allow him to let anybody off from the utmost weight of the severest penalties he could find any excuse for. and Miss Murdstone were sitting alone. as the three go on arm-in-arm. and again. Again. When her coming up to look for me. which that lady granted. Going down next morning rather earlier than usual. with one of them muttering at each ear like low thunder.David. on hearing my mother’s voice. I paused outside the parlour door. Again. I note some neighbours looking at my mother and at me. follows close upon me. Again. and I linger behind alone. I see her dark eyes roll round the church when she says ‘miserable sinners’. Miss Murdstone. awoke me. Again. She was very earnestly and humbly entreating Miss Murdstone’s pardon. and I never saw Miss Murdstone. then my mother. Let us both try to forget it. and Miss Murdstone right. as if she were calling all the congregation names. then her husband. without even having the heart to say good night to Peggotty. ‘is not a fit scene for the boy . darkened the Murdstone religion. And as this. Murdstone’s firmness. and the changed air of the place. or without having first ascertained by some sure means. I catch rare glimpses of my mother. and wonder if my mother’s step be really not so light as I have seen it. Again. without first appealing to Miss Murdstone.’ he added. Again. I was betrayed into it by another. Yes. The gloomy taint that was in the Murdstone blood. as we walk home. Be this as it may. an hour or so afterwards. what Miss Murdstone’s opinion was. Again. and emphasizing all the dread words with a cruel relish. I was so sorry for my mother’s distress. Nor is it your fault. through the tears that stood in my eyes. or to get a candle from her. and a perfect reconciliation took place.fault that so unusual an occurrence has taken place tonight. You were betrayed into it by another. as in the old time.com 1 . and if the gaiety of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Miss Murdstone pokes me with her prayer-book. and groped my way up to my room in the dark. that its assuming that char0 David Copperfield acter was a necessary consequence of Mr. and Mr. the dreaded Sunday comes round. and makes my side ache. she said that my mother had gone to bed poorly. I listen to Miss Murdstone mumbling the responses. in a black velvet gown. Again. when out of temper (she was infirm that way). but I groped my way out.

or geography. I redden. I take a last drowning look at the page as I give it into her hand.’ says Mr. and found them a favourable occasion for giving my mother lessons in that miscalled firmness.com  .her beauty be really almost worried away. Miss Murdstone looks up. and a slate. I had been apt enough to learn. and my mother had of course agreed with them. To this day. My mother is ready for me at her writing-desk. I trip over a word. Murdstone and his sister. she and I. I come into the second-best parlour after breakfast. I believe I was kept at home for that purpose.’ ‘He does NOT know it. and bring one morning back again. Murdstone in his easy-chair by the window (though he pretends to be reading a book). and going I don’t know where. was concluded on the subject yet. Don’t say. I think my mother would show me the book if she dared. I trip over another word. Davy. Perhaps it is a grammar. and an exercise-book. as I do. Davy!’ That’s childish. to me . He knows his lesson. however. all sliding away. but not half so ready as Mr. I can faintly remember learning the alphabet at her knee. Murdstone looks up. Again. I seem to have walked along a path of flowers as far as the crocodile-book. Mr. who were always present.and I was generally as much bewil David Copperfield dered by them as I believe my poor mother was herself. by the by? I hand the first book to my mother. and a grievous daily drudgery and misery. some of them. I wonder whether any of the neighbours call to mind. and start off aloud at a racing pace while I have got it fresh. but she does not dare. But these solemn lessons which succeeded those. Davy. very hard . but really by Mr. The very sight of these two has such an influence over me. There had been some talk on occasions of my going to boarding.school. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Oh.perfectly unintelligible. when my mother and I had lived alone together. tumble over half-a-dozen words. perhaps a history. and she says softly: ‘Oh. Murdstone. with my books. ‘be firm with the boy. I wonder where they do go. the puzzling novelty of their shapes. or he does not know it. Let me remember how it used to be. and willing enough.’ says my mother. and the easy good-nature of O and Q and S. all the dreary dismal day. and to have been cheered by the gentleness of my mother’s voice and manner all the way. I remember as the death-blow of my peace. seem to present themselves again before me as they used to do. and stop. or as Miss Murdstone. Shall I ever forget those lessons! They were presided over nominally by my mother. Nothing.’ Miss Murdstone interposes awfully. very numerous. I learnt lessons at home. Davy!’ ‘Now. which was the bane of both our lives. ‘I am really afraid he does not. sitting near my mother stringing steel beads. when I look upon the fat black letters in the primer. that I begin to feel the words I have been at infinite pains to get into my head. Mr. and I wonder stupidly about that. But they recall no feeling of disgust or reluctance. On the contrary. They were very long. and Miss Murdstone had originated it. how we used to walk home together. Clara. In the meantime.

the more stupid I get. and lays it by as an arrear to be worked out when my other tasks are done. there’s nothing like work . you see. or of the price of Mr. when. ‘Clara. in the shape of an appalling sum. and am considered in disgrace for the rest of the evening. and delivered to me orally by Mr. Miss Murdstone. 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. and if I rashly made any show of being unemployed. and don’t want to have anything at all to do with.‘Then. ‘you should just give him the book back. who has been lying in wait  David Copperfield for nothing else all along. throws it at me or boxes my ears with it. I think of the number of yards of net in Miss Murdstone’s cap.’ I obey the first clause of the injunction by trying once more. I pore over these cheeses without any result or enlightenment until dinner-time.’ ‘Yes. It seems to me. ‘If I go into a cheesemonger’s shop. at this distance of time. Now. Murdstone comes out of his chair. and make him know it. or any such ridiculous problem that I have no business with. The despairing way in which my mother and I look at each other. Murdstone.’ returns Miss Murdstone. and smiles faintly.’ says my mother. ‘that is what I intend to do. This is invented for me. The case is so hopeless. Murdstone’s dressing-gown. Even when I did get through the morning with tolerable credit. I have a slice of bread to help me out with the cheeses. and don’t be stupid. My mother glances submissively at them. and buy five thousand double-Gloucester cheeses at fourpence-halfpenny each. as I blunder on. but the influence of the Murdstones upon me was like the fascination of two snakes on a wretched young bird. But I can’t think about the lesson. takes the book. try once more. and begins. and stop to think. having made a Mulatto of myself by getting the dirt of the slate into the pores of my skin. Mr. present payment’ . Miss Murdstone does the same. and it swells like a rolling snowball. for Miss Murdstone never could endure to see me untasked. and turns me out of the room by the shoulders. I tumble down before I get to the old place. certainly. the worst is yet to happen. is truly melancholy. that I give up all idea of getting out. says in a deep warning voice: ‘Clara!’ My mother starts. Mr. I could have done very well if I had been without the Murdstones. there was not much gained but dinner. colours. my dear. Davy. shuts the book. for I am very stupid. called her brother’s attention to me by saying.com  . my dear Jane. as if my unfortunate studies generally took this course. Clara.give your boy an exercise’. and abandon myself to my fate. There is a pile of these arrears very soon. and I feel that I am wallowing in such a bog of nonsense. At that instant. Murdstone makes a movement of impatience which I have been expecting for a long time. but am not so successful with the second.at which I see Miss Murdstone secretly overjoyed. Even when the lessons are done. The bigger it gets. at a point where I was all right before. which caused me to be clapped Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

to read those books as I did. as well as I do. in my mind. . I had very little of that. Humphrey Clinker. It was this. Tom Jones. in danger of being beset by savages.com  .which I did too. As to any recreation with other children of my age. to which I had access (for it adjoined my own) and which nobody else in our house ever troubled. I have seen Tom Pipes go climbing up the churchsteeple. Peregrine Pickle. every stone in the church. for whatever harm was in some of them was not there for me. and the Tales of the Genii. the Vicar of Wakefield. I was not made the less so by my sense of being daily more and more shut out and alienated from my mother.that were on those shelves. The Captain never lost dignity. armed with the centre-piece out of an old set of boot-trees .I forget what. stopping to rest himself upon the wicket-gate. Every barn in the neighbourhood. and Miss  David Copperfield Murdstone into all the bad ones . When I think of it. dull. a harmless creature) for a week together.and by putting Mr. I have watched Strap. and resolved to sell his life at a great price. how I found time. but the Captain was a Captain and a hero. It is astonishing to me now. came out. I believe I should have been almost stupefied but for one circumstance. and I know that Commodore Trunnion held that club with Mr. reading as if for life. They kept alive my fancy. of the Royal British Navy. The reader now understands. Gil Blas. of a summer evening. This was my only and my constant comfort. I had a greedy relish for a few volumes of Voyages and Travels . and Robinson Crusoe. I have sustained my own idea of Roderick Random for a month at a stretch. now . a glorious host. in despite of all the grammars of all the languages in the world.the perfect realization of Captain Somebody. and I sitting on my bed. I have been Tom Jones (a child’s Tom Jones. there and then. I knew nothing of it. It is curious to me how I could ever have consoled myself under my small troubles (which were great troubles to me). had some association of its own. dead or alive. with the knapsack on his back. I did. by impersonating my favourite characters in them . the boys at play in the churchyard. Roderick Random.down to some new labour. the picture always rises in my mind. and for days and days I can remember to have gone about my region of our house. and every foot of the churchyard. connected with these books. The natural result of this treatment. for some six months or more. From that blessed little room. and the Arabian Nights. and my hope of something beyond that place and time. Don Quixote. continued.as I did . and held that they contaminated one another. in the parlour of our little village alehouse. 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). Pickle.they. . I suppose. was to make me sullen. and dogged. from having his ears boxed with the Latin Grammar.and did me no harm. I verily believe. what I was when I came to that point of my youthful history to which I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to keep me company. in the midst of my porings and blunderings over heavier themes. My father had left a small collection of books in a little room upstairs. and stood for some locality made famous in them.

or line by line.’ and said no more. at his sister. ‘But . ‘Mr. boy. Clara. ‘Certainly. and having finished his preparation of it. but they seemed. ‘I tell you. Book after book was added to the heap of failures. Miss Murdstone said. ‘I am not quite well. and sought Mr. not one by one. taking up the cane: ‘Why. I tried to lay hold of them. and to skim away from me with a smoothness there was no checking. and went on worse. and I heard her crying. I found my mother looking anxious.com  . Clara?’ asked Mr. my dear Jane.’ said Miss Murdstone. I felt the words of my lessons slipping off. solemnly. Murdstone.but do you think it did Edward good?’ ‘Do you think it did Edward harm. David. And when we came at last to the five thousand cheeses (canes he made it that day. as he rose and said. Murdstone binding something round the bottom of a cane . if I may so express  David Copperfield it. with perfect firmness.and I saw that cast again as he said it . but I can’t learn while you Free eBooks at Planet eBook. sir. my dear Jane. ‘That’s the point. I had come in with an idea of distinguishing myself rather. One morning when I went into the parlour with my books. Murdstone. I saw my mother stop her ears then. To this my mother returned. and Mr. gravely. I saw him wink.’ faltered my mother. my mother burst out crying.’ said my mother.am now coming again. and another switch. conceiving that I was very well prepared. This was a good freshener to my presence of mind.I am certain he had a delight in that formal parade of executing justice . meekly. Miss Murdstone being firmly watchful of us all the time. ‘Clara!’ said Miss Murdstone. Clara is greatly strengthened and improved. I think. we can hardly expect Clara to bear. as a beginning. Murdstone! Sir!’ I cried to him. Jane. We began badly. in her warning voice. to have put skates on. suddenly twisted my head under his arm. Miss Murdstone looking firm. ‘Clara! are you a perfect fool?’ and interfered. He walked me up to my room slowly and gravely . David.’ said Mr. ‘Certainly. of course.’ he said . my mother ran towards us. I remember).‘you must be far more careful today than usual. but it turned out to be quite a mistake. but we can hardly expect so much from her. and poised and switched in the air. I felt apprehensive that I was personally interested in this dialogue. but by the entire page. That would be stoical.’ As he took me out at the door. Murdstone’s eye as it lighted on mine. ‘Now.and when we got there. which he left off binding when I came in.’ ‘To be sure. laid it down beside him. with an impressive look.’ He gave the cane another poise.a lithe and limber cane. and took up his book. my dear Jane. ‘I have been often flogged myself. you and I will go upstairs.’ said his sister. the worry and torment that David has occasioned her today. ‘Don’t! Pray don’t beat me! I have tried to learn.

’ He had my head as in a vice. and I was lying.com 1 . when my smart and passion began to cool. David?’ he said. that I might avail myself of that permission. and I had shut the window (I had been lying. and saw my face in the glass. for the most part. I did so. He beat me then. between my teeth. that I was free to walk in the garden for half an hour and no longer. when I became quiet. and sore. there. for he cut me heavily an instant afterwards.and Peggotty. and sent to prison? Whether I was at all in danger of being hanged? I never shall forget the waking. ‘We’ll try that. red. before any one arose from Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with my head upon the sill. told me. all alone by myself near the door. When this appeared improbable for that night. glaring at me the while with exemplary firmness. upon the floor. It had begun to grow dark. dozing. and ugly that it almost frightened me. It was only a moment that I stopped him. Then he was gone.and Miss Murdstone are by. where I was stationed. entreating him not to beat me. I should have gone down on my knees to her and besought her forgiveness. as if he would have beaten me to death. I dare say. and raging in my puny way. locking the door after her. 0 David Copperfield when the key was turned. but I saw no one. These she put down upon the table without a word. Whether it was a criminal act that I had committed? Whether I should be taken into custody. indeed. and whence I was solemnly conducted by my jailer. in so many words. but they were nothing to the guilt I felt. when I moved. If I could have seen my mother alone. and Miss Murdstone came in with some bread and meat. and in the same instant I caught the hand with which he held me in my mouth. and. leaving the door open. How well I recollect. I crawled up from the floor.I heard my mother crying out . and did so every morning of my imprisonment. but there was not a sound. during the whole time . and made me cry afresh. and then the being weighed down by the stale and dismal oppression of remembrance. but I twined round him somehow. and milk. Long after it was dark I sat there. Above all the noise we made. and torn. how wicked I began to feel! I sat listening for a long while. I can’t indeed!’ ‘Can’t you. My stripes were sore and stiff. and crying out . which lasted five days. the being cheerful and fresh for the first moment. fevered and hot. to which I was escorted by Miss Murdstone after everybody else was placed. what an unnatural stillness seemed to reign through the whole house! How well I remember. Miss Murdstone reappeared before I was out of bed. and then retired. next morning.except at evening prayers in the parlour. and bit it through. and went to bed. and looking listlessly out). I undressed. I heard them running up the stairs. and stopped him for a moment. so swollen. by turns crying. It sets my teeth on edge to think of it. I began to wonder fearfully what would be done to me. and retired. Miss Murdstone excepted. a young outlaw. wondering whether anybody else would come. and the door was locked outside. It lay heavier on my breast than if I had been a most atrocious criminal.

evening. and putting out my arms in the dark. with a fresh smell. and kept her face another way so that I never saw it. to any laughing. which came with eating and drinking. and fear. Peggotty?’ There was no immediate answer. afternoon. the ringing of bells. it is so vividly and strongly stamped on my remembrance. in a tone so very mysterious and awful.all this appears to have gone round and round for years instead of days. or singing. the footsteps on the stairs. Peggotty dear?’ ‘Yes. I  David Copperfield was awakened by hearing my own name spoken in a whisper. whistling. and putting my own lips to the keyhole. the opening and shutting of doors.the devotional posture. and that Mr. especially at night. being ashamed to show myself at the window lest they should know I was a prisoner . dear Peggotty? Is she very angry with me?’ I could hear Peggotty crying softly on her side of the keyhole. and remorse . said: ‘Is that you. and its coming down faster and faster between me and the church.the setting in of rain one evening. and went away with it .com  .the uncertain pace of the hours. the murmuring of voices. until it and gathering night seemed to quench me in gloom. and find that the family were not yet gone to bed. as I was doing on mine. if it had not occurred to me that it must have come through the keyhole. I groped my way to the door. my own precious Davy. ‘Be as soft as a mouse. that I think I should have gone into a fit. They occupy the place of years in my remembrance.the depressed dreams and nightmares I had . but presently I heard my name again. before she answered. and that all the length of night had yet to come . for she spoke it the first time quite down my throat. Not very. On the last night of my restraint. The length of those five days I can convey no idea of to any one. her room being close by.’ she replied. ‘When. noon. and was sensible of the urgency of the case. outside. Peggotty?’ ‘Tomorrow. Murdstone’s hand was bound up in a large linen wrapper. I was obliged to get her to repeat it.the return of day.’ was Peggotty’s answer. or the Cat’ll hear us.the fleeting intervals of something like cheerfulness. ‘No. ‘How’s mama. whispered: ‘Is that you.the strange sensation of never hearing myself speak . I only observed that my mother was as far off from me as she could be. I didn’t hear them. The way in which I listened to all the incidents of the house that made themselves audible to me. when the boys played in the churchyard. and I watched them from a distance within the room. Peggotty dear? Do you know?’ ‘School. and though her words tickled me a good deal. when I would wake thinking it was morning. in consequence of my having forgotten to take my mouth away from the keyhole and put my ear there.’ ‘What is going to be done with me.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. which seemed more dismal than anything else to me in my solitude and disgrace .’ I understood this to mean Miss Murdstone. I started up in bed. Near London.

As ever I took of you. And I’ll write to you. Though I ain’t no scholar. ‘Yes. Peggotty? Will you write and tell Mr. From that night there grew up in my breast a feeling for Peggotty which I cannot very well define. And I won’t leave her. that I am not so bad as they might suppose. too.‘Is that the reason why Miss Murdstone took the clothes out of my drawers?’ which she had done. which closed upon her. Peggotty and little Em’ly. thank you! Thank you! Will you promise me one thing. I felt it sorely. Davy. ‘That you could hurt anyone I love! Try to be better. or how I should have acted out the tragedy it would have been to me. I found my mother. It was a sort of comical affection. and begged her pardon from my suffering soul. Peggotty?’ The kind soul promised. and we both of us kissed the keyhole with the greatest affection . as I used to be. I recollect. my darling. is. Lately. and told me I was going to school. just as well and more.and-butter. and trickled into my Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I felt towards her something I have never felt for any other human being. though I have forgotten to mention it. as she couldn’t kiss me. no one could do that. but she came into a vacancy in my heart.’ They had persuaded her that I was a wicked fellow. And I’ll .I patted it with my hand. ‘Davy. pray to be better! I forgive you. ‘Oh. which was not altogether such news to me as she supposed. that you should have such bad passions in your heart. That you must never forget me. And I’ll take as much care of your mama. and delivered these words through it with as much feeling and earnestness as a keyhole has ever been the medium of communicating. It’s because I thought it better for you. On her stupid. The day may come when she’ll be glad to lay her poor head. dear Peggotty!’ said I. I will venture to assert: shooting in each broken little sentence in a convulsive little burst of its own. are you listening? Can you hear?’ ‘Ye-ye-ye-yes. Gummidge and Ham. I tried to eat my parting breakfast. and yet if she had died. and she was more sorry for that than for my going away.’ said Peggotty. She also informed me that when I was dressed. There. It ain’t because I don’t love you. Peggotty!’ I sobbed. my dear. if you please. Davy.’ ‘Shan’t I see mama?’ ‘Yes. She did not replace my mother. dear. ‘Morning. ‘What I want to say. Davy!’ she said. my pretty poppet. If I ain’t been azackly as intimate with you. but my tears dropped upon my bread. Davy. For I’ll never forget you.  David Copperfield and that I sent ‘em all my love .’ said Peggotty. as if it had been her honest face . And for someone else besides. and Mrs. and have my breakfast. I cannot think what I should have done. but I am so grieved.com  . very pale and with red eyes: into whose arms I ran. with infinite compassion.and parted. cross old Peggotty’s arm again.’ Then Peggotty fitted her mouth close to the keyhole. ‘Thank you.I’ll -’ Peggotty fell to kissing the keyhole. I was to come downstairs into the parlour. ‘My own!’ said Peggotty. ‘Box. ‘Oh. In the morning Miss Murdstone appeared as usual.especially to little Em’ly? Will you.

when wheels were heard at the gate. and lifted in. ‘Good-bye. CHAPTER 5 I AM SENT AWAY FROM HOME W e might have gone about half a mile. she got down from the cart and ran away. before I came to a bad end. my dear Jane. my dear boy. in her warning note.’ returned my mother. You will come home in the holidays. Good-bye. Davy. and has always been. the carrier. I saw my mother look at me sometimes. though I never thought of that till afterwards when I found it very tender. ‘Certainly. God bless you!’ ‘Clara!’ Miss Murdstone repeated. After another and a final squeeze with both arms. of several that were rolling about.’ ‘Clara!’ Miss Murdstone repeated. but it was not she. and than look down. ‘Master Copperfield’s box there!’ said Miss Murdstone. but not one word did she say. she put it down in her pocket to the elbow.’ replied my mother. I picked up one. and then glance at the watchful Miss Murdstone. neither she nor Mr. ‘Ready. and the lazy horse walked off with it. The carrier looked at me. my belief is. and squeezed me to her stays until the pressure on my nose was extremely painful. to MY amazement. was at the door. Miss Murdstone was good enough to take me out to the cart. ‘I forgive you. the box was taken out to his cart. and. as if to inquire if she were comFree eBooks at Planet eBook. She took me in both her arms. and brought out some paper bags of cakes which she crammed into my pockets. Not a single word did Peggotty speak.tea. and be a better boy. or look away. My former acquaintance. and then I got into the cart. ‘Clara!’ said Miss Murdstone. Murdstone appeared. Peggotty burst from a hedge and climb into the cart. and treasured it as a keepsake for a long time. I looked for Peggotty. and a purse which she put into my hand. without a solitary button on her gown. I saw. my child. my dear Jane.com   David Copperfield . and my pockethandkerchief was quite wet through. when the carrier stopped short. You are going for your own good. Releasing one of her arms. Looking out to ascertain for what. who was holding me. and to say on the way that she hoped I would repent.

but he said he thought I had better do without it.com  . of a phlegmatic temperament. exactly like an elephant. and particularly small it looked. with a snap. though. Barkis. and assented.’ said the carrier. seeing me in this resolution. Barkis) to say . on the footboard of the cart with an arm on each knee. but he didn’t whistle. and I thought I really had. ‘For Davy. and not at all conversational . and said I thought not. in consequence of my previous emotions. I shook my head. For good.I offered him a cake as a mark of attention. He sat looking at the horse’s ears. which Peggotty had evidently polished up with whitening.’ I said.wherever it is. But its most precious contents were two half-crowns folded together in a bit of paper. ‘Did SHE make ‘em. jerking the rein to point him out. Mr. always leaning forward.’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Are you only going to Yarmouth then?’ I asked. for my greater delight. and does all our cooking. he said: ‘No sweethearts. ‘Her. By and by. and which made no more impression on his big face than it would have done on an elephant’s. in my mother’s hand. who came up accordingly.’ I was so overcome by this. and the stage-cutch that’ll take you to . ‘That’s about it. I was still occasionally seized with a stormy sob. under those circumstances. on which was written. as if he saw something new there.  David Copperfield ‘Where’s there?’ inquired the carrier. and sat so.ing back. After we had jogged on for some little time.’ ‘Do she though?’ said Mr. ‘All the way where?’ inquired the carrier. had ever cried. With my love. Barkis. He made up his mouth as if to whistle.handkerchief should be spread upon the horse’s back to dry. I thanked him. ‘would be deader than pork afore he got over half the ground. Barkis?’ For I thought he wanted something else to eat. do you mean. as I observed in a former chapter. and had pointedly alluded to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Having by this time cried as much as I possibly could. that I asked the carrier to be so good as to reach me my pocket-handkerchief again. I asked the carrier if he was going all the way. in trying situations. nor that Captain in the Royal British Navy. I had now leisure to examine the purse. so I wiped my eyes on my sleeve and stopped myself. ‘Near London. that I could remember.’ said the carrier to the lazy horse. proposed that my pocket. ‘Why that horse. It was a stiff leather purse. for a considerable time.he being. too. ‘There. ‘Then come up. Barkis. ‘Peggotty. and had three bright shillings in it.’ As this was a great deal for the carrier (whose name was Mr. She makes all our pastry. sir?’ ‘Ah!’ said Mr. ‘And there I shall take you to the stage-cutch. now?’ said Mr. I b’lieve?’ ‘Sweetmeats did you say. which he ate at one gulp. especially as neither Roderick Random. The carrier. in his slouching way. I began to think it was of no use crying any more.’ said the carrier.’ I said.

’ I repeated. That’s the 100 David Copperfield message. ‘Ye-es. lay down on a sack in the cart and fell asleep. would you?’ ‘That Barkis is willing. which ran thus: ‘My dear Peggotty. after a long interval of reflection. I have come here safe.’ said Mr. but without any horses to it as yet.’ I readily undertook its transmission. ‘That won’t do. and wondering what would ultimately become of my box. Barkis. Mr. which was so entirely new and strange to me in the inn-yard to which we drove. but sat looking at the horse’s ears. and it looked in that state as if nothing was more unlikely than its ever going to London. faltering a little at the idea of my being far away from it then. I slept soundly until we got to Yarmouth. shining very much all over. Barkis. Peggotty’s family there.’ I rejoined.’ I said. and I. and wrote a note to Peggotty.com 101 .’ As he repudiated this suggestion. ‘Well. The coach was in the yard. which Mr. ‘So she makes.S. and could give your own message so much better.’ returned the lady. Again he made up his mouth to whistle. ‘all the apple parsties. with a jerk of his head. Barkis relapsed into perfect silence. considering. ‘Ah!’ he said. ‘Is that all the message?’ ‘Ye-es. though!’ said Mr.that description of refreshment. Barkis is willin’. She never had a sweetheart. when a lady looked out of a bow-window where some fowls and joints of meat were hanging up. P. ‘Nobody’s dinner is Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Copperfield.’ ‘Didn’t she. that I at once abandoned a latent hope I had had of meeting with some of Mr.’ I said. p’raps you’d recollect to say that Barkis was willin’. I procured a sheet of paper and an inkstand. no. ‘Well! If you was writin’ to her. no person walks with her!’ ‘With Peggotty?’ ‘Ah!’ he said. While I was waiting for the coach in the hotel at Yarmouth that very afternoon. Barkis. Mr. I’ll tell you what. He says he particularly wants you to know .’ When I had taken this commission on myself prospectively.’ he said.’ I said.’ said Mr. with profound gravity. ‘Hearts. ‘Sweet hearts. I was thinking this. and doos all the cooking. and also what would ultimately become of me. Barkis had put down on the yard-pavement by the pole (he having driven up the yard to turn his cart). ma’am. and said: ‘Is that the little gentleman from Blunderstone?’ ‘Yes. perhaps even with little Em’ly herself. and once more confirmed his previous request by saying. Yours affectionately. ma’am. My love to mama. innocently. Barkis. Barkis is willing. Barkis. do she?’ I replied that such was the fact. ‘Barkis is willin’.’ said Mr.’ ‘Oh. however.’ ‘But you will be at Blunderstone again tomorrow. slowly turning his eyes towards me. ‘What name?’ inquired the lady.BARKIS IS WILLING. feeling quite worn out by all that had happened lately. ‘Her. ‘P’raps you might be writin’ to her?’ ‘I shall certainly write to her. and again he didn’t whistle.

on the corner of the chair nearest the door. ‘Why you see.perhaps you know him?’ ‘No.’ said the waiter. Will you have it now?’ I thanked him and said.com 10 . ‘why do you go and give another name. in that name. After watching me into the second chop. first?’ I explained to the lady how it was. ‘There was a gentleman here. he said: 10 David Copperfield ‘There’s half a pint of ale for you. and when the waiter laid a cloth on purpose for me. ‘our people don’t like things being ordered and left. or to avoid splashing myself with the gravy. ‘I haven’t the pleasure -’ ‘He came in here. who than rang a bell. and took my seat at the board. still looking at the light through the tumbler. if you like.drank it.’ I answered with a smile. and saying. yesterday. and as he stood with one arm akimbo. It was a large long room with some large maps in it. with my cap in my hand. while he was standing opposite. ‘Yes. with his hair standing upright all over his head. ma’am?’ I said. I don’t think it’ll hurt me. that’s the fact. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and made it look beautiful. and called out. by the name of Topsawyer . But he greatly relieved my mind by putting a chair for me at the table.’ said the waiter.’ I said. It offends ‘em.’ I was very much shocked to hear of this melancholy accident. but found it extremely difficult to handle my knife and fork with anything like dexterity. But I’ll drink it. It was too old for him. ‘If you’re Master Murdstone. and fell dead.paid for here. and I cast away in the middle of them. and making me blush in the most dreadful manner every time I caught his eye. I think I must have turned red all over with modesty. and vegetables. with one of his eyes shut up. ‘ordered a glass of this ale . and use is everything. ‘My eye!’ he said. and took the covers off in such a bouncing manner that I was afraid I must have given him some offence.’ said the lady. if I throw my head back.I told him not . He brought me some chops. and put a set of castors on it. six-foot! come on!’ I thanked him.’ I said bashfully. speckled choker. It oughtn’t to be drawn. holding up the glass to the light with the other hand. I doubt if I could have felt much stranger if the maps had been real foreign countries. don’t it?’ ‘It does seem a good deal. he looked quite friendly. ‘Now.’ Upon which he poured it out of a jug into a large tumbler. staring so hard. and held it up against the light. broad-brimmed hat.’ said the waiter. looking at the light through the tumbler. grey coat. I’m used to it. ‘No. and said I thought I had better have some water. pimple-faced man. ‘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. to find him so pleasant. ‘It seems a good deal. ‘I don’t think -’ ‘In breeches and gaiters. For it was quite delightful to me.’ ‘Is it Murdstone. and seemed a good deal surprised when he was only to show it to me. I felt it was taking a liberty to sit down. very affably.‘a stout gentleman.’ he said . He was a twinkling-eyed.WOULD order it .

‘You don’t mean to say it’s a batter-pudding!’ ‘Yes.and take it off quick. and did for him. when it was all gone.’ ‘Why. ‘He was eight years and six months old when they broke his first rib. I never saw anyone enjoy a pudding so much. another chop and another potato. and he laughed. or from the waiter. ‘is my favourite pudding! Ain’t that lucky? Come on. Shall I?’ I replied that he would much oblige me by drinking it.how old are you. ‘Pudding!’ he exclaimed. rousing himself. Why. ‘Near London. but what with his table-spoon to my tea-spoon. and to become absent in his mind for some moments. and his appetite to my appetite. and another potato. When I had finished it.a little boy he was.’ I said. little 10 David Copperfield ‘un. He afterwards took another chop. ‘That’s just his age. ‘that’s the school where they broke the boy’s ribs .’ he said. ‘How’s the pie?’ he said. I was left far behind at the first mouthful. to my extreme satisfaction.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 10 . I confess. ‘Lord bless my soul!’ he exclaimed. his dispatch to my dispatch. ‘With whopping. ‘I am sorry for that. a batter-pudding.’ ‘Why?’ I asked him. eight years and eight months old when they broke his second.’ The waiter certainly got most. and let’s see who’ll get most. shaking his head. ‘Oh. that this was an uncomfortable coincidence. putting a fork into my dish. taking up a table-spoon. I had a horrible fear. it is indeed. he brought me a pudding. When he did throw his head back. 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. His answer was not cheering to my spirits. I thought he seemed the fresher for it. ‘Oh! my eye!’ he said.’ I could not disguise from myself. to write to Peggotty. But it didn’t hurt him. seemed to ruminate. I should say he was . Topsawyer. He entreated me more than once to come in and win. On the contrary.let me see . bless me.two ribs . and take it off quick. ‘I didn’t know they were chops. so it is! What!’ looking at it nearer. but was good enough to look over me while I wrote the letter. about?’ I told him between eight and nine. it was then that I asked for the pen and ink and paper. but by no means otherwise. Lord!’ he said.’ I made answer. ‘What have we got here?’ he said. of seeing him meet the fate of the lamented Mr. and had no chance with him. for it consisted of two dismal words. and after that. and ate away with a very good appetite. Finding him so very friendly and companionable. looking very low-spirited. When we had done.’ which was all I knew.’ he said. I said. He not only brought it immediately. ‘Not chops?’ ‘Chops. he asked me where I was going to school. I think. and a potato in the other. if he thought he could do it safely. ‘Why. ‘It’s a pudding. and having set it before me. as if his enjoyment of it lasted still. and inquired how it was done. and fall lifeless on the carpet.

the subject of jokes between the coachman and guard as to the coach drawing heavy behind. My apprehensions were realized. It was a little disconcerting to me. ‘I wouldn’t take a sixpence. after a rather light dinner. and was treated well here. to try the goodness of. and whether I was contracted for. if there were anything to pay. George. instead of taking of it. at school. which he received with much humility and veneration. I suppose this half awakened it. If I didn’t support a aged pairint. or went upon the regular terms. and felt that any recognition short of ninepence would be mere brutality and hardness of heart. ‘It’s dear. The story of my supposed appetite getting wind among the outside passengers. blushing. ‘There’s a sheet of letter-paper. but joined in the general admiration without being at all confused. ‘Take care of that child. that I knew I should be ashamed to eat anything. If I had a good place. as two brothers or three. Therefore I gave him one of my three bright shillings. to be made. Threepence.how much ought I to .what would it be right to pay the waiter. and as to the greater expediency of my travelling by waggon. who had quite recovered his spirits.‘I wouldn’t take a farthing.what should I . on account of my sitting there. My unfortunate friend the waiter.for I had left my cakes behind. I should beg acceptance of a trifle. and asked me whether I was going to be paid for. and spun up with his thumb. But the worst of it was. ‘If I hadn’t a family. and the natural reliance of a child upon superior years (qualities I am very sorry any children should prematurely change for worldly wisdom). to find. That’s the way we’re taxed in this country. and a lovely sister. they were merry upon it likewise.’ he returned.’ said the waiter.com 10 . 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. except the waiter. If I had any doubt of him. without deserving it. at the hotel. But I live on broken wittles and I sleep on the coals’ . in the mingled pride and diffidence of having a purse (which I took out of my pocket). ‘on account of the duty. I lose by that. but I am inclined to believe that with the simple confidence of a child. from overhearing the lady in the bow-window say to the guard. which made me get up and hesitatingly inquire. I must own. I was very much concerned for his misfortunes.’ .here the waiter was greatly agitated . in my hurry. did not appear to be disturbed by this. when I was being helped up behind the coach.’ ‘What should you . that I was supposed to 10 David Copperfield have eaten all the dinner without any assistance. When we stopped for supper I couldn’t muster courage to take Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I should remain hungry all night . even then. I had no serious mistrust of him on the whole. Never mind the ink. when an opportunity offered. There’s nothing else.’ he said. if you please?’ I stammered. ‘Did you ever buy a sheet of letter-paper?’ I could not remember that I ever had. I felt it rather hard.The blowing of the coach-horn in the yard was a seasonable diversion. and that.here the waiter burst into tears. I discovered this. with other pleasant questions. directly afterwards. and that family hadn’t the cowpock.

and 10 David Copperfield completely blocking me up. 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. and being put between two gentlemen (the roughfaced one and another) to prevent my tumbling off the coach. and so they gradually one by one awoke. and we were due in London about eight next morning. This lady had a basket with her. It was Mid-summer weather. in a confused blind way. after which. I recollect being very much surprised by the feint everybody made. for a long time. before I bit Mr. The night was not so pleasant as the evening. because it woke them. As the sun got higher. I wondered whether their fathers were alive. Opposite me was an elderly lady in a great fur cloak. then. and got up behind and swung there for a little way. and which had found utterance in the most terrific gasps and snorts. of not having been to sleep at all. though I should have liked it very much. it could go underneath me. ‘Come. It cramped and hurt me so. she was wrapped up to such a degree. and she hadn’t known what to do with it. I had plenty to think of. either. but if I moved in the least.any. she gave me the cruellest poke with her foot. I labour under the same kind of astonishment to this day. that it made me perfectly miserable. that I could not help crying out. but sat by the fire and said I didn’t want anything. I pictured to myself what the insides of the houses were like.com 10 . said I was like a boa-constrictor who took enough at one meal to last him a long time. and by the uncommon indignation with which everyone repelled the charge. and whether they Were happy at home. and then my companions seemed to sleep easier. are not to be conceived. This did not save me from more jokes. I’m sure!’ At last the sun rose. who had been eating out of a sandwich-box nearly all the way. don’t YOU fidget. 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. The difficulties under which they had laboured all night. ‘Oh! If you please!’ . YOUR bones are young enough. When we passed through a village. therefore. and how I believed all the adventures of all Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and said. I was nearly smothered by their falling asleep. for it got chilly. We had started from Yarmouth at three o’clock in the afternoon. They squeezed me so hard sometimes. their sleep became lighter. I resigned myself to thoughts of home and Peggotty. having invariably observed that of all human weaknesses. and to endeavouring. except when he had been drinking out of a bottle. Murdstone: which I couldn’t satisfy myself about by any means. I seemed to have bitten him in such a remote antiquity. Sometimes. who looked in the dark more like a haystack than a lady. until she found that on account of my legs being short. he actually brought a rash out upon himself with boiled beef. besides my mind running continually on the kind of place I was going to . and what the inhabitants were about. for a husky-voiced gentleman with a rough face. I remember. and the evening was very pleasant.which they didn’t like at all.which was an awful speculation. and when boys came running after us. to recall how I had felt. and what sort of boy I used to be.

and inhaling the smell of stables (ever since associated with that morning). I couldn’t hope to remain there when I began to starve. Still. what should I do? If they allowed me to remain there until my seven shillings were spent. and wash myself at the pump in the yard in the morning. if I except a man in gaiters. with one eye. Murdstone had devised this plan to get rid of me. but owning to the name of Copperfield. The coach was clear of passengers by that time. the risk of funeral expenses. with the other luggage. when the office opened next day? Supposing there was no mistake in the case. for which we were bound. but the inquiry made no impression on any of the bystanders. to be left till called for?’ Nobody answered.my favourite heroes to be constantly enacting and re-enacting there. and that its likeness was painted up on the back of the coach. I need not stop here to relate. and I got down after the lady. packages. how could I ever Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in due time. Supposing nobody should ever fetch me. and now the coach itself was wheeled and backed off by some hostlers. out of the way. We approached it by degrees. Here. besides entailing on the Blue Whatever-it-was. and books. I forget whether it was the Blue Bull. That would obviously be inconvenient and unpleasant to the customers. A ladder was brought. 110 David Copperfield the luggage was very soon cleared out. 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. if you please. More solitary than Robinson Crusoe. to be left till called for?’ said the guard. There was nobody. from Bloonderstone. until her basket was removed. passed behind the counter. nobody appeared. and expected to come again to be left till called for. as I sat looking at the parcels. and tie me up in the stable. The guard’s eye lighted on me as he was getting down.’ said I. a procession of most tremendous considerations began to march through my mind. but I know it was the Blue Something. If I started off at once. and tried to walk back home. to claim the dusty youngster from Blunderstone. and Mr. Suffolk. and sat down on the scale at which they weighed the luggage. the horses had been taken out before the luggage. who had nobody to look at him and see that he was solitary. to the inn in the Whitechapel district. by invitation of the clerk on duty. sir. who was like a haystack: not daring to stir. ‘Try Copperfield. I looked anxiously around. ‘Is there anybody here for a yoongster. Sooffolk. and got. and he said at the booking-office door: ‘Is there anybody here for a yoongster booked in the name of Murdstone. or should I be turned out every night. how could I ever find my way. 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. or the Blue Boar. Sooffolk. from Bloonderstone. I went into the booking-office. ‘Come! IS there anybody?’ No.com 111 . booked in the name of Murdstone. and. who suggested that they had better put a brass collar round my neck. looking helplessly down.

I stole a look at him. ‘You’re the new boy?’ he said. and a hundred other such thoughts. I was such a little fellow that it was most likely they wouldn’t take me in. even if I got back? If I found out the nearest proper authorities. sir. was rusty and dry. delivered. I was in the height of my fever when a man entered and whispered to the clerk.’ he said. that was not over-clean.and after considering for a few moments. said he wanted to call on an old person who lived not far off. and made me giddy with apprehension and dismay. and that if he would allow me to buy something to eat. to a scholar and a master at Salem House.’ I said. we went on through a great noise and uproar that confused my weary head beyond description.com 11 . and he had a white neckkerchief on. ‘I’m one of the masters at Salem House. but there the likeness ended. was too much for me. on my humbly insinuating that 11 David Copperfield it might be useful to me hereafter. or whatever I liked best that was wholesome. ‘It’s a good step.’ he said. and he had rejected them one by one. that the idea of holding out for six miles more. Murdstone’s. and he told the clerk that the carrier had instructions to call for it at noon. and paid for. and over a bridge which. instead of being glossy. where we could get some milk. It’s about six miles. I didn’t know. for his whiskers were shaved off. and do not.I see him stop and look at me now . no doubt. we bought an egg and a slice of streaky bacon. As I went out of the office. Accordingly we looked in at a baker’s window. sir. but it was all he showed or gave any hint of. or a sailor. how could I make sure of anyone but Peggotty. I took heart to tell him that I had had nothing all night. that we had gone some little distance from the yard before I had the hardihood to mention it. He was a gaunt. out of the second of the bright shillings. sir?’ I diffidently asked. ‘If you please. and after I had made a series of proposals to buy everything that was bilious in the shop. and made me consider London a very cheap place. who presently slanted me off the scale. I made him a bow and felt very much overawed. at a grocer’s shop.’ I was so faint and tired. and that the best way would be for me to buy some bread.’ I said. as if I were weighed. and a chin almost as black as Mr. ‘is it far?’ ‘It’s down by Blackheath. and make my breakfast at her house. turned me burning hot. I should be very much obliged to him. was Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘We shall go by the stage-coach. and rather short in the sleeves and legs. bought. I did not. when we had accomplished about the same distance as before. We turned back. which cost me threepence. ‘Yes. with hollow cheeks. I was so ashamed to allude to a commonplace thing like my box.’ he said. suppose that this neck-kerchief was all the linen he wore.hope to walk so far. sallow young man. These thoughts. we decided in favour of a nice little loaf of brown bread. hand in hand with this new acquaintance. and pushed me over to him. He appeared surprised at this . ‘Is that far. and offered myself to go for a soldier. Then. He was dressed in a suit of black clothes which were rather rusty and dry too. I supposed I was. These provisions laid in. and his hair. which still left what I thought a good deal of change.

if there were such things in the performance at all. who was blowing a fire to make a little saucepan boil. when those culinary operations were going on. but I was half asleep). instead of it keeping her warm. natural or artificial.com 11 . shake her fist at me once. gave her such extreme joy that she laughed aloud . I verily believe she’d go out too. screening the fire as if she were sedulously keeping IT warm.’ he returned. 11 David Copperfield I fancied she was jealous even of the saucepan on it. ‘Ah. My impression is. looking at another old woman in a large chair by the fire. put his hand underneath the skirts of his coat. and another little diamond. ‘Yes can I. and watching it in a most distrustful manner. and no one else was looking. ‘It’s one of her bad days. after many years of consideration. and I have reason to know that she took its impressment into the service of boiling my egg and broiling my bacon. While I was yet in the full enjoyment of it. which I doubt . and began immediately to play. sure!’ ‘How’s Mrs. upon this. and brought out his flute in three pieces. that there never can have been anybody in the world who played worse. which he screwed together. ‘Have a blow at it. I sat down to my brown loaf. and never come to life again. ‘Can I?’ said the old woman. He made the most dismal sounds I have ever heard produced by any means. through any accident.and a very unmelodious laugh she had. I looked at her also.London Bridge (indeed I think he told me so. and had each a little diamond-paned window on one side. If the fire was to go out. if you please?’ said the Master at Salem House. the old woman of the house said to the Master: ‘Have you got your flute with you?’ ‘Yes.but the influence Free eBooks at Planet eBook. she’s poorly. The sun streamed in at the little window. and said something that I thought sounded like ‘My Charley!’ but on seeing me come in too.’ As they looked at her. coaxingly. and we went into the little house of one of these poor old women. the old woman stopped with the bellows on her knee. with a basin of milk besides. On seeing the master enter. ‘Do!’ The Master. in dudgeon. with my own discomfited eyes. she got up.paned window above. Although it was a warm day. ‘Can you cook this young gentleman’s breakfast for him. and rubbing her hands made a confused sort of half curtsey. by relieving the fire.’ said the old woman. she seemed to think of nothing but the fire. who was such a bundle of clothes that I feel grateful to this hour for not having sat upon her by mistake. as I knew by their look. I must say. which was a part of some alms-houses. but she sat with her own back and the back of the large chair towards it. my egg. The completion of the preparations for my breakfast. I don’t know what the tunes were . until we came to the poor person’s house. and by an inscription on a stone over the gate which said they were established for twenty-five poor women. The Master at Salem House lifted the latch of one of a number of little black doors that were all alike.’ said the first old woman. and my rasher of bacon. and made a most delicious meal. for I saw her. Fibbitson today?’ said the Master.

leaned over the back of his chair and gave him an affectionate squeeze round the neck. Once more the little room. they put me inside where there were no passengers.of the strain upon me was. overhanging temples. ‘The new boy. no Master.com 11 . and where I slept profoundly. as he resumed . but I was so dead sleepy.I remember wondering when I first went in. and got upon the roof. The flute becomes inaudible. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. first. Presently. no anything but heavy sleep. ay! yes!’ and nodded at the fire: to which. and lastly. and had come to its destination. the Master at Salem House unscrewed his flute into the three pieces. for there was not much of me . I dreamed. the old woman of the house. where he lived. to which Mrs. no David Copperfield. and sleep. for. ‘Hallo!’ We looked back. and its angular little staircase leading to the room above. to make me think of all my sorrows until I could hardly keep my tears back. among some dark heavy trees. I am persuaded.I saw and heard the same old woman ask Mrs. that once while he was blowing into this dismal flute.to Salem House. to make me so sleepy that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. on the door being opened. They begin to close again. A short walk brought us . and I am on my journey. ‘Ay.it didn’t take long. She fades in her turn. the wheels of the coach are heard instead. which was enclosed with a high brick wall. We were going up to the house. Over a door in this wall was a board with SALEM HousE upon it. and all fades. and I nod.I mean the Master and me . and his hair cut close all round his head. I wake with a start.’ said the Master. put them up as before.fades from before me. I thought. either then or immediately afterwards. We found the coach very near at hand.it was a real fact that he had stopped playing . she gave the credit of the whole performance. and I begin to nod. The man with the wooden leg eyed me all over . and took me away. what that peacock would have thought if he had known what his finery was doomed to come to . and took out the key. until I found the coach going at a footpace up a steep hill among green leaves. while the old woman of the house looks on delighted. as the recollection rises fresh upon me. when he called after my conductor. then to take away my appetite. it stopped. and there is no flute. which I found. and he was standing at the door of a little lodge. who had gone nearer and nearer to him in her ecstatic admiration. When I seemed to have been dozing a long while. and its three peacock’s feathers displayed over the mantelpiece .and locked the gate behind us. The coach jolts. and through a grating in this door we were surveyed when we rang the bell by a surly face. and he fades. with its open corner cupboard. playing it dolefully. and its square-backed chairs. a wooden leg. no Salem House. with a pair of boots in his hand. I was in the middle state between sleeping and waking. belonged to a stout man with a bull-neck. Fibbitson if it 11 David Copperfield wasn’t delicious (meaning the flute). and looked very dull. Fibbitson replied. and the Master at Salem House is sitting with his legs crossed. that when we stopped on the road to take up somebody else. and the flute has come back again. which stopped his playing for a moment.

makes a mournful rattle now and then in hopping on his perch. as the most forlorn and desolate place I had ever seen. gravely. HE BITES. That Mr. and asked me what I did up there? ‘I beg your pardon.’ says I. if it had been roofless from its first construction. Two miserable little white mice. My instructions are.’ ‘Dog?’ he says. and looked at them (very disconsolately. that bites. which was lying on the desk.’ I got upon the desk immediately. Mr. the proprietor. Mell I supposed the boys were out. A long room with three long rows of desks. I see it now.’ says he. ‘since you’ve been out. Some silkworms’ houses. That all the boys were at their several homes. beautifully written. ‘if you please. observing all this as I crept along.’ ‘No. and the skies had rained. I observed then.‘Here! The cobbler’s been. I could see nothing of him. I gazed upon the schoolroom into which he took me. Copperfield. Mr. sir?’ ‘Isn’t what a dog?’ ‘That’s to be taken care of. are scattered over the desks. He says there ain’t a bit of the original boot left. though I looked all round with anxious eyes. that the boots he had on were a good deal the worse for wear. ‘that’s not a dog. I’m looking for the dog. for the first time. but neither sings nor chirps. There is a strange unwholesome smell upon the room. when Mr. and blown ink through the varying seasons of the year. I was still engaged in peering about. all of which he explained to me as we went along. Mell came back. are running up and down in a fusty castle made of pasteboard and wire. like mildewed corduroys. and he wonders you expect it. Creakle.’ With these words he threw the boots towards Mr. and he says he can’t mend ‘em any more. or dropping from it. and that I was sent in holiday-time as a punishment for my misdoing. ‘What dog?’ ‘Isn’t it a dog. was down by the sea-side with Mrs. Mell. Suddenly I came upon a pasteboard placard. Copperfield. of a bare and unfurnished appearance. All about it was so very quiet. sweet apples wanting air.com 11 . A bird. apprehensive of at least a great dog underneath. in a 11 David Copperfield cage very little bigger than himself. and bristling all round with pegs for hats and slates. and Miss Creakle. left behind by their owner. Mell. and that his stocking was just breaking out in one place. to put this placard on your back. made of the same materials. like a bud. that I said to Mr. I am sorry to make such a beginning with Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ he said. sir. and six of forms. There could not well be more ink splashed about it. looking in all the corners with their red eyes for anything to eat. I was afraid). and bore these words: ‘TAKE CARE OF HIM. who went back a few paces to pick them up. sir. but he seemed surprised at my not knowing that it was holiday-time. Scraps of old copy-books and exercises litter the dirty floor. two inches high. hailed. and rotten books. That’s a boy. I went softly to the upper end of the room. But. Salem House was a square brick building with wings. snowed. as we went on together. Mell having left me while he took his irreparable boots upstairs.

or of going to a party at Mr. It was the same with the groves of deserted bedsteads I peeped at. for I bit. nobody can imagine. he roared out from his lodge door in a stupendous voice. but I must do it. Mell. He bites. I have looked. There was an old door in this playground. and to cry out. Mr.seemed to send me to Coventry by general acclamation.a certain J. there being no Mr. as I have mentioned. and afterwards pull my hair. and I knew that the servants read it. and Miss Murdstone here. the green cracked flagstones in the court.you. who. I recollect that I positively began to have a dread of myself. There was a third. there I imagined somebody always to be. I always fancied that somebody was reading it. and got through them without disgrace. and in my constant apprehension of the re-opening of the school. of being with my mother as she used to be.who cut his name very 10 David Copperfield deep and very often.supervised. and after them. at that door. and the butcher read it. Whether it was possible for people to see me or not. until the owners of all the names . In my dread of the end of the vacation and their coming back. ‘Take care of him. without inquiring in what tone and with what emphasis HE would read. read that I was to be taken care of. of a morning when I was ordered to walk there. He was in authority. by the unhappy disclosure that I had nothing on but my little night-shirt.’ With that he took me down. in a word. It was no relief to turn round and find nobody. ‘Take care of him. There was another boy. as a kind of wild boy who did bite. George Demple. open to all the back of the house and the offices. afterwards. a little shrinking creature. my own bed. and wherever I went. but I did them.there were five-and-forty of them in the school then. I could not read a boy’s name. and in all these circumstances making people scream and stare. would read it in a rather strong voice. That cruel man with the wooden leg aggravated my sufferings. or of dining again with my unfortunate friend the waiter.’ There was one boy . He bites!’ It was the same with the places at the desks and forms. an old leaky water-butt. and when I was in. one Tommy Traddles. It was completely covered with such inscriptions. and that placard. and tied the placard. on my way to. In the monotony of my life. Peggotty’s. that everybody. Before. I remember dreaming night after night. on which the boys had a custom of carving their names. I walked about . and the disFree eBooks at Planet eBook. by the man with the wooden leg. and pretend to be dreadfully frightened of me. each in his own way. who I fancied would sing it. Steerforth . and if he ever saw me leaning against a tree.com 11 . you sir! You Copperfield! Show that badge conspicuous. How vividly I call to mind the damp about the house. who came backwards and forwards to the house. or a wall. which was neatly constructed for the purpose. or the house. ‘Hallo. I conceived. who I dreaded would make game of it. and the baker read it. or of travelling outside the stage-coach. Mell said . I had the consolation of carrying it. on my shoulders like a knapsack. for wherever my back was. What I suffered from that placard. it was such an insupportable affliction! I had long tasks every day to do with Mr. or I’ll report you!’ The playground was a bare gravelled yard.

but he was never harsh to me. I picture myself with my books shut up. Mell. and to the blowing of the wind on Yarmouth flats. I cannot think I was a very dangerous character in any of these aspects. and I out of a tin pot. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1 . and clench his fist. I picture myself going up to bed. though I soon got used to them. among the unused rooms. I forgot to mention that he would talk to himself sometimes. and listening through it to what used to be at home. Mr. and dreading the time when it shall ring J. Mr. and sitting on my bed-side crying for a comfortable word from Peggotty. and grind his teeth. which seemed to have dripped more in the rain than other trees.paper. but in all of them I carried the same warning on my back. and until seven or eight in the evening. Mell drank out of a blue teacup. When he had put up his things for the night he took out his flute. But he had these peculiarities: and at first they frightened me. and feeling very sad and solitary. 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. until I almost thought he would gradually blow his whole being into the large hole at the top. All day long. books. in my foreboding apprehensions. Mell. and to have blown less in the sun! At one we dined. Mr. ink. making out the bills (as I found) for last half-year. Steerforth and the rest to work: which is only second. sitting with my head upon my hand. and conning tomorrow’s lessons. and grin. still listening to the doleful performance of Mr. Mell never said much to me. at the upper end of a long bare dining-room. and blew at it. which Mr. ruler. and pull his hair in an unaccountable manner. and writing. Mell and I. Mell. Creakle. worked hard with pen. and smelling of fat. listening to the doleful performance of Mr. full of deal tables.coloured trunks of some of the grim trees. without talking. I suppose we were company to each other. Then. and ooze away at the keys. at his own detached desk in the schoolroom. I picture my small self in the dimly-lighted rooms. we had more tasks until tea. to the time 1 David Copperfield when the man with the wooden leg shall unlock the rusty gate to give admission to the awful Mr. I picture myself coming downstairs in the morning.

when the man with the wooden leg began to stump about with a mop and a bucket of water. ‘Now. 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. Before bedtime. Mell that Mr. In the evening. when I was ushered into it. which was such David Copperfield a desert in miniature. turned me about again. with my face to Mr. Creakle would be home that evening. in an arm-chair. Mr. a stout gentleman with a bunch of watch-chain and seals. a little nose. trembling. he had thick veins in his forehead. that I thought no one but a camel. Creakle’s presence: which so abashed me. after tea. in the parlour). ‘This is the young gentleman whose teeth are to be filed! Turn him round. made his angry face so much more angry.CHAPTER 6 I ENLARGE MY CIRCLE OF ACQUAINTANCE I HAD led this life about a month. with a tumbler and bottle beside him.’ The wooden-legged man turned me about so as to exhibit the placard. I heard that he was come. or the consciousness of talking in that feeble way. and having afforded time for a full survey of it.’ said Mr. for the mop came into the schoolroom before long. from which I inferred that preparations were making to receive Mr. and his eyes were small. when he spoke. but spoke in a whisper. Creakle. Creakle. ‘So!’ said Mr. who lived where we could. that he had no voice. Creakle’s part of the house was a good deal more comfortable than ours. and a large chin. It seemed to me a bold thing even to take notice that the passage looked comfortable. ‘What’s the report of this boy?’ ‘There’s nothing against him yet. at this peculiarity striking me as his chief one. or anything but Mr.’ returned the man with Free eBooks at Planet eBook. But the circumstance about him which impressed me most. One day I was informed by Mr. Mr. for some days. on looking back. Creakle. and deep in his head. to Mr. during which we were always in the way of two or three young women. Creakle and the boys. Creakle or Miss Creakle (who were both there. Creakle’s face was fiery. Creakle’s side. that I hardly saw Mrs. Mell and me. brushed across each temple. that I am not surprised. who had rarely shown themselves before. Creakle. so that the two sides interlaced on his forehead. and turned out Mr. I was not mistaken. or a dromedary. and had some thin wet-looking hair that was just turning grey. I was fetched by the man with the wooden leg to appear before him. The exertion this cost him. and got on how we could. was. and posted himself at Mr. and he had a snug bit of garden that looked pleasant after the dusty playground. as I went on my way. and his thick veins so much thicker.com 1 1 . could have felt at home in it. He was bald on the top of his head.

or whether he only did it to frighten me. ‘Come here!’ said the man with the wooden leg. and who were.’ whispered Mr. I will have it done. as it was time.’ said the man with the wooden leg. if he pleased. Creakle. I was very much frightened. ‘and a worthy man he is.’ whispered Mr. Creakle. ‘He knows better. Hey?’ ‘You will soon. Creakle was disappointed.com 1 . I felt. Creakle whispered. ‘No. ‘Not yet.he looked at Mrs. beckoning to me. Creakle. and Miss Creakle were both wiping their eyes. where.’ ‘. Creakle. thin and quiet) were not disappointed. repeating the gesture. I hoped so. he pinched it so hard. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘I have the happiness of knowing your father-in-law. Creakle. Creakle.’ said Mr. taking me by the ear. all this while. sir!’ said Mr. is not my flesh and blood. Creakle. as Mr. He knows me. though I wondered at my own courage: ‘If you please. ‘When I say I’ll do a thing. but he made a burst out of his chair.’ said Mr. That’s what I do. Creakle. ‘Not yet? Hey?’ repeated Mr. and said. Take him away. But I had a petition on my mind which concerned me so nearly. letting it go at last. with a screw at parting that brought the water into my eyes. ‘for he knows me. I do it. striking his hand upon the table. and a man of a strong character. Creakle was in earnest.’ ‘A Tartar.Will have a thing done. ‘If you please. ‘There has been no opportunity. for Mrs. Now you have begun to know me too. and you may go. Creakle. He knows me. Hey?’ repeated the man with the wooden leg.’ was the answer. before the boys come back -’ Whether Mr. Has that fellow’ .’ I thought Mr. I afterwards found that he generally acted. Let him keep away.’ I faltered. ‘if I might be allowed (I am very sorry indeed. Creakle’s interpreter to the boys. ‘I’ll tell you what I am. I thought Mrs. and Miss Creakle (at whom I now glanced for the first time. as if he would have burnt me up with them. sir. before which I precipitately retreated. 1 David Copperfield ‘I am a determined character.’ I said. ‘and when I say I will have a thing done.’ said Mr. and I know him.’ said Mr. and looking at Mrs. with his strong voice.’ repeated the man with the wooden leg. I say let him keep away. My flesh and blood’ . ‘I’m a Tartar. pinching my ear with ferocious playfulness. I went to bed. without waiting for the escort Of the man with the wooden leg. that I couldn’t help saying. as if my ear were blazing. Do YOU know me? Hey?’ said Mr. I don’t know. ‘Come here. ‘That’s what I am. I do my duty. sir. my young friend. ‘Hah! What’s this?’ and bent his eyes upon me.the wooden leg. Creakle as he said this . ‘But you will soon. for what I did) to take this writing off.to the man with the wooden leg -’been here again?’ ‘No.’ I was very glad to be ordered away. both. I discard it. flinching with the pain.‘when it rises against me. I will have it done. finding I was not pursued. Creakle. sir. sir -’ Mr. and I felt as uncomfortable for them as I did for myself. and never once stopped until I reached my own bedroom.

hand corner of the gate. as if it were a little too heavy for him. You needn’t if you don’t like. Yes. over the topbolt. sir!’ and calling me Towzer. that he saved me from the embarrassment of either disclosure or concealment. thank you. and were not so boisterous at my expense as I had expected. ‘The same. you know. delicate-looking gentleman. you can if you like. Sharp went out every Saturday afternoon to get it curled. but I said.’ I repeated.lay quaking. in a bottle of currant wine by and by. He was a limp. Steerforth arrived. and was very goodlooking. but I was informed by the very first boy who came back that it was a wig (a second-hand one HE said). and patting and soothing me. until J. upon that I said.’ I replied. He introduced himself by informing me that I should find his name on the right. and the greater part could not resist the temptation of pretending that I was a dog. ‘Do you want to spend anything now?’ he asked me. up in the bedroom?’ said Steerforth. ‘You belong to my bedroom. He was the first boy who returned. and cost me some tears. under a shed in the playground. Some of them certainly did dance about me like wild Indians. and opening Peggotty’s purse. walking aside with me when he had disposed of my affair in these terms. Before this boy. ‘Look here! Here’s a game!’ Happily. and that Mr. ‘Lie down. I was not considered as being formally received into the school. too. among so many strangers. I thought. It was a happy circumstance for me that Traddles came back first. It was no other than Tommy Traddles who gave me this piece of intelligence. Copperfield?’ he said. but Mr. into the particulars of my punishment.com 1 . immediately on his arrival. the greater part of the boys came back low-spirited. He enjoyed my placard so much. with a good deal of nose. Next morning Mr. He inquired. Sharp was the first master. His hair was very smooth and wavy. for which I became bound to him ever afterwards. sir. great or small. and at least half-a-dozen years my senior. by presenting me to every other boy who came back. I told him seven shillings.’ ‘No.’ and then he asked me for a full account of myself and family. ‘What money have you got. if you like. turned it upside down into his hand. ‘No thank you. ‘Say the word. but on the whole it was much better than I had anticipated. ‘You can. ‘At least.’ I hastened to comply with his friendly suggestion. in this form of introduction. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘You had better give it to me to take care of. and saying. however. Mell. and a way of carrying his head on one side. for a couple of hours. Mr. Mell took his meals with the boys.’ said Steerforth. lest I 1 David Copperfield should bite. ‘Traddles?’ to which he replied. Creakle’s table. Sharp dined and supped at Mr. and superior to Mr. Sharp came back. I find. who was reputed to be a great scholar. Mr. ‘Perhaps you’d like to spend a couple of shillings or so.’ he said. This was naturally confusing.’ It certainly had not occurred to me before. I was carried as before a magistrate. and was pleased to express his opinion that it was ‘a jolly shame’.

but the art of slashing. I sat on his left hand.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. I ought rather to say. that he had been. ‘I say. he produced the whole seven shillings’worth. saying: ‘There you are. I dare say?’ I said. at my time of life. I should like that. and frightens me (though I feign to laugh) when Traddles pretends to see a ghost in the corner. ‘Well!’ said Steerforth. Creakle had not preferred his claim to being a Tartar without reason. ‘And another shilling or so in biscuits. while he was by.’ With these words he put the money in his pocket.’ said Steerforth. ‘Very good. unmercifully. he would take care it should be all right. Steerforth said) than the lowest boy in the school. I begged him to do me the favour of presiding. and my respectfully listening. in almond cakes. I’ll do the best in my power for you. that’s all. I must say 10 David Copperfield .’ I couldn’t think of doing the honours of the feast. and a royal spread you’ve got. and laid it out on my bed in the moonlight. and I listen to all they tell me with a vague feeling of solemnity and awe. and I’ll smuggle the prog in. ‘You’ll be glad to spend another shilling or so. a small hop-dealer in the Borough. young Copperfield. I heard all kinds of things about the school and all belonging to it. and the rest were grouped about us. I can go out when I like. that he laid about him. Yes. When we went upstairs to bed. on the nearest beds and on the floor. the secrecy of the revel. a good many years ago. and kindly told me not to make myself uneasy. He was as good as his word. How well I recollect our sitting there. and my request being seconded by the other boys who were in that room. and had taken to the schooling business after being bankrupt in hops. which makes me glad that they are all so near. young Copperfield. handing round the viands . eh?’ said Steerforth. too. my hand shook at the very thought of it. but I was a little troubled in my mind.I should like that. being more ignorant (J. which was his own property.and dispensing the currant wine in a little glass without a foot.with perfect fairness. steals over me again. and the greater part of us in shadow. too. charging in among the boys like a trooper. and another in fruit. you’re going it!’ I smiled because he smiled. talking in whispers. and shed a blue glare over us that was gone directly! A certain mysterious feeling. that he was the sternest and most severe of masters. or their talking. the moonlight falling a little way into the room. except when Steerforth dipped a match into a phosphorus-box. consequent on the darkness. if that were all right which I had a secret misgiving was nearly all wrong . right and left. and sat upon my pillow. That he knew nothing himself. I heard that Mr. and making away Free eBooks at Planet eBook. every day of his life. through the window. painting a pale window on the floor. and slashing away. when he wanted to look for anything on the board. he acceded to it. As to me.com 11 . ‘We must make it stretch as far as we can. and the whisper in which everything was said.

‘Exchange or Barter’ . The hearing of all this. Mell. Creakle’s table. We sat in the dark for some time. I heard that the man with the wooden leg. and who. masters and boys. Sharp’s wig didn’t fit him. Sharp and Mr. who had not been Tungay’s friend. On being asked by a mild boy (not me) how he would proceed if he did begin to see him do it. and that he needn’t be so ‘bounceable’ . his mother. Creakle was. I thought of my breakfast then. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and what had sounded like ‘My Charley!’ but I was. and said he would commence by knocking him down with 1 David Copperfield a blow on the forehead from the seven-and-sixpenny inkbottle that was always on the mantelpiece. Steerforth. which was again corroborated by J. there being one boy in the school on whom he never ventured to lay a hand. The greater part of the guests had gone to bed as soon as the eating and drinking were over. and a good deal more. and that when there was hot and cold meat for dinner at Mr. and I am sure. I heard that Mr. Creakle had a son. Creakle. and that there was no doubt that old Mrs. which I wondered how they knew. I thought it very likely. Sharp was always expected to say he preferred cold.com 1 . and that the only delight of his life was to be sour and malicious. Creakle had turned him out of doors. was an obstinate barbarian who had formerly assisted in the hop business. Creakle’s money. who was a coal-merchant’s son. Steerforth himself confirmed this when it was stated. to have protested against his father’s usage of his mother. I heard that Mr. Tungay considered the whole establishment. in consequence. whose name was Tungay. and the pudding an imposition. the only parlour-boarder. I heard that Miss Creakle was regarded by the school in general as being in love with Steerforth. Mr. besides. Steerforth. but hadn’t a sixpence to bless himself with. as his natural enemies. ever since. as I sat in the dark. I heard that with the single exception of Mr. outlasted the banquet some time. and his fine face. came as a set-off against the coal-bill.a name selected from the arithmetic book as expressing this arrangement. I heard that Mr. I heard that Mr. Creakle. and said that he should like to begin to see him do it. breathless. and was supposed. and having done a deal of dishonest work for him. and his curling hair. Mell was not a bad sort of fellow. and knowing his secrets. because his own red hair was very plainly to be seen behind. as was supposed among the boys. but had come into the scholastic line with Mr. I heard that the table beer was a robbery of parents. assisting in the school. and Miss Creakle had been in a sad way. I heard that one boy. of his having broken his leg in Mr.with Mrs.somebody else said ‘bumptious’ .about it. With a good deal more of that sort. had once held some remonstrance with his father on an occasion when its discipline was very cruelly exercised. and that Mrs. as mute as a mouse about it. and was called. was as poor as job. I am glad to remember. and that boy being J. in consequence. But the greatest wonder that I heard of Mr. Mell were both supposed to be wretchedly paid. and his easy manner. he dipped a match into his phosphorus-box on purpose to shed a glare over his reply. Creakle’s service. on that account. I heard that Mr. thinking of his nice voice.

in this new half.’ ‘Good night. ‘No. every boy!’ When this dreadful exordium was over. and raised myself. of course. Now get to work. and stood in the doorway looking round upon us like a giant in a story-book surveying his captives. Tungay stood at Mr. this is a new half. I won’t flinch. No veiled future dimly glanced upon him in the moonbeams. He had no occasion. I recollect. Good night. sir. for I come fresh up to the punishment. Creakle’s elbow. that was. ‘I am very much obliged to you. ‘I’ll take care of you.’ ‘You haven’t got a sister. who had remained whispering and listening halfundressed. ‘Good night. I thought of him very much after I went to bed. boys. Take care what you’re about. Mr. I thought. Creakle was seen to speak. I advise you. A profound impression was made upon me. have you?’ said Steerforth. at last betook ourselves to bed. I should think she would have been a pretty. There was no shadowy picture of his footsteps. with his handsome face turned up. to look at him where he lay in the moonlight. in the garden that I dreamed of walking in all night.com 1 S 1 David Copperfield . and Tungay was heard. Creakle entered after breakfast. young Copperfield. ‘If you had had one. little. too.’ ‘You’re very kind. yawning. young Copperfield. the reason of my mind running on him.’ I gratefully returned.’ I replied. for the boys were all struck speechless and motionless. timid. ‘That’s a pity. to cry out ‘Silence!’ so ferociously. you won’t rub the marks out that I shall give you. ‘Now. Come fresh up to the lessons. He was a person of great power in my eyes.’ I answered. bright-eyed sort of girl. CHAPTER 7 MY ‘FIRST HALF’ AT SALEM HOUSE chool began in earnest next day. I should have liked to know her. to this effect. by the roar of voices in the schoolroom suddenly becoming hushed as death when Mr.’ said Steerforth. and Tungay had Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Steerforth.and we. It will be of no use your rubbing yourselves. I remember. and his head reclining easily on his arm.

Creakle cuts a joke before he beats him. which made him restless in his mind. watch it too. with the same interest in his eye. and ought to know. which was like the satisfaction of a craving appetite. too. found guilty of imperfect exercise. I am confident that he couldn’t resist a chubby boy. as he rules a ciphering-book for another victim whose hands have just been flattened by that identical ruler. with our visages as white as ashes. Creakle came to where I sat. A lane of small boys beyond me. Half the establishment was writhing and crying. and now he throws his eye sideways down our lane. approaches at his command.miserable little dogs. and professes a determination to do better tomorrow. to be so mean and servile to a man of such parts and pretensions! Here I sit at the desk again. I have plenty to do. and who is trying to wipe the sting out with a pocket-handkerchief. than to be Lord High Admiral. or Commander-in-Chief in either of which capacities it is probable that he would have done infinitely less mischief. before the day’s work began. in a dread desire to know what he will do next. how abject we were to him! What a launch in life I think it now. 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. but because I am morbidly attracted to it. I think he knows it. especially. and we laugh at it. Not that I mean to say these were special marks of distinction. hey? Was it a double tooth. hey? Did it bite. but it rises hotly. On the contrary. A moment afterwards we are again eyeing him. Mr.humbly watching his eye. Mr. and how much of it had writhed and cried before the day’s work was over. I am really afraid to recollect. Miserable little propitiators of a remorseless Idol. and told me that if I were famous for biting. we laugh.com 1 . who had no more right to be possessed of the great trust he held. and we all droop over our books and tremble. and our hearts sinking into our boots. . Creakle made the round of the schoolroom. that there was a fascination in such a subject. for a tooth? Was it a sharp tooth. he was famous for biting. until he had scored and marked him for the day. on looking back. I was chubby myself. as Mr. and was very soon in tears also. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Creakle did.stumped out again. a large majority of the boys (especially the smaller ones) were visited with similar instances of notice. which only I received. though he pretends he don’t. hey? Did it bite? At every question he gave me a fleshy cut with it that made me writhe. so I was very soon made free of Salem House (as Steerforth said). He makes dreadful mouths as he rules the ciphering-book. lest I should seem to exaggerate. He had a delight in cutting at the boys. 1 David Copperfield because I know him to have been an incapable brute. I am sure when I think of the fellow now. I don’t watch his eye in idleness. I should think there never can have been a man who enjoyed his profession more than Mr. The culprit falters excuses. or somebody else’s. hey? Had it a deep prong. and asked me what I thought of THAT. An unhappy culprit. He then showed me the cane. and whether it will be my turn to suffer. watching his eye .

and held it as a solemn duty in the boys to stand by one another. For my part.com 1 . who reminded himself by those symbols of mortality that caning couldn’t last for ever. The window at a little distance from which I know he is having his dinner. But I believe he only did it because they were easy. One day. somehow. Poor Traddles! In a tight sky-blue suit that made his arms and legs like German sausages. I would give the world to go to sleep. I used at first to wonder what comfort Traddles found in drawing skeletons. as if the boys were so many bluebottles. Creakle. he was the merriest and most miserable of all the boys. I could have gone through a good deal (though I was much less brave than Traddles. mine assumes an imploring and submissive expression. and the Beadle thought it was Traddles. and feeling that the ball has bounded on to Mr. and I didn’t love her (I didn’t dare). Here I am in the playground. on a drowsy summer afternoon. was one of the great sights of my life. blinking at him like a young owl. He was always being caned . with my eye still fascinated by him. If he shows his face near it. Traddles (the most unfortunate boy in the world) breaks that window accidentally. when sleep overpowers me for a minute. and particularly once. After laying his head on the desk for a little while. But he had his reward. and nothing like so old) to have won such a recompense. though he smarted for it next day. and for some time looked upon him as a sort of hermit. To see Steerforth walk to church before us. and becomes contemplative. going away in custody. and my head is as heavy as so much lead. A cloggy sensation of the lukewarm fat of meat is upon me (we dined an hour or two ago). despised by the congregation. begin to laugh again. He suffered for this on several occasions. I see him now. and in point Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I sit with my eye on Mr. or roly-poly puddings. I didn’t think Miss Creakle equal to little Em’ly in point of beauty. he would cheer up. and didn’t want any features. Creakle’s sacred head. He was very honourable. except one holiday Monday when he was only ruler’d on both hands . but I thought her a young lady of extraordinary attractions. and we all felt that to be the highest praise. with a red ridge across my back. He never said who was the real offender. I shudder at this moment with the tremendous sensation of seeing it done. and took him out. 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 eye that instead.and was always going to write to his 1 David Copperfield uncle about it.I think he was caned every day that half-year. and draw skeletons all over his slate. before his eyes were dry. though I can’t see him. and never did. with a ball. arm-in-arm with Miss Creakle. when Steerforth laughed in church. until he softly comes behind me and wakes me to plainer perception of him. Steerforth said there was nothing of the sneak in Traddles. the boldest boy (Steerforth excepted) stops in the middle of a shout or yell. If he looks out through the glass.Here I sit at the desk again. he still looms through my slumber. stands for him. ruling those ciphering-books. Traddles was. A buzz and hum go up around me.

Creakle’s severity. and these qualities went a long way. and believed that she could not choose but adore him with all her heart. and I generally wake rather early in the morning. a simple. and anything in my tasks that was too hard for me. What ravages I committed on my favourite authors in the course of my interpretation of them. for this reason it was soon taken off. in Mr. There was one advantage. he always told me that I wanted a little of his pluck. my sums and exercises. 10 David Copperfield and all those other books of which I have made mention. It happened on one occasion. to the best of my belief. I was moved by no interested Free eBooks at Planet eBook. We’ll go over ‘em one after another. or out of spirits and indisposed to resume the story. and forced into a long story before the getting-up bell rang. but whenever I had been treated worse than usual. when I felt weary. like the Sultana Scheherazade. asked me if I had got that book? I told him no.’ I felt extremely flattered by this arrangement. He couldn’t . Creakle. but I had a profound faith in them. since nobody dared to annoy one whom he honoured with his countenance. and that he wouldn’t have stood it himself. He found my placard in his way when he came up or down behind the form on which I sat. I was no loser by the transaction. that I was often sleepy at night. but Steerforth was resolute.defend me from Mr. and I saw it no more. and should be very unwilling to know. I felt proud to know him. but when I was going to bed at night. Mell were both notable personages in my eyes. ‘you shall tell ‘em to me. too. and considered to be very kind of him. and we commenced carrying it into execution that very evening. We’ll make some regular Arabian Nights of it. and should have enjoyed another hour’s repose very much.was like something or somebody in Peregrine Pickle. Mr. in a manner that inspired me with great pride and satisfaction. The drawback was. and proved a very useful friend. for to disappoint or to displease Steerforth was of course out of the question.’ said Steerforth. though it sometimes led to inconvenience. earnest manner of narrating what I did narrate. however. who was very severe with me. I had a good memory.’ I replied. and I had. I can’t get to sleep very early at night. An accidental circumstance cemented the intimacy between Steerforth and me. ‘Oh yes. He said nothing at the time. in return. and wanted to make a cut at me in passing. and as he explained to me. and explained how it was that I had read it. that I hazarded the observation that something or somebody . young Copperfield. When Steerforth.I forget what now . when he was doing me the honour of talking to me in the playground. ‘And do you recollect them?’ Steerforth said. ‘Then I tell you what. In the morning. it was a tiresome thing to be roused.or at all events he didn’t .com 11 . and it must be done. and then it was rather hard work. Sharp and Mr. I am not in a condition to say. Let me do myself justice. which I felt he intended for encouragement. Steerforth continued his protection of me. carried her parasol for her. in white trousers. and I believed I recollected them very well.of gentility not to be surpassed. but Steerforth was to them what the sun was to two stars. and only one that I know of.

young Copperfield. Accordingly. and administered to me through a piece of quill in the cork.arrived before ‘the half’ was many weeks old. this unlucky joker counterfeited such an ague of terror. Creakle. to me. whether it is presided over by a dunce or not. or to stir it up with ginger. to poor Traddles and the rest. and with it a cake in a perfect nest of oranges. ‘Now. and with tears in my eyes . Sometimes. Peggotty’s promised letter . who was prowling about the passage. that he was overheard by Mr. and his approval was return enough. Whatever I had within me that was romantic and dreamy. and attracted a good deal of notice to me though I was the youngest there. not to think of it. was encouraged by so much story-telling in the dark. in an unflinching manner that was a little tantalizing.’ said he: ‘the wine shall be kept to wet your whistle when you are storytelling.or selfish motive. I believe our boys were.was a sort of chorus. But he said he had observed I was sometimes hoarse . I suspect. I recollect. very often. I admired and loved him. there is not likely to be much learnt. whenever mention was made of an Alguazill in connexion with the adventures of Gil Blas. and the consciousness that this accomplishment of mine was bruited about among the boys. We seem. and affected to be convulsed with mirth at the comic parts. now. he was so kind as to squeeze orange juice into it. and the wine lasted out almost as well as the matter. and drawn off by himself in a phial. or dissolve a peppermint drop in it. nor was I moved by fear of him. it was locked up in his box. with an aching heart. and two bottles of cowslip wine. and begged him to dispense. devoted to the purpose he had mentioned. and I remember that when Gil Blas met the captain of the robbers in Madrid. I laid at the feet of Steerforth. and showed his consideration. in general.what a comfortable letter it was! .’ I blushed at the idea. to have been months over Peregrine. This rather put me out. In a school carried on by sheer cruelty. I am certain. Poor Traddles . I’ll tell you what. the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning. It was a great jest of his. I drank it 1 David Copperfield gratefully and was very sensible of his attention.I never think of that boy but with a strange disposition to laugh. and months more over the other stories. or that it was exactly the compound one would have chosen for a stomachic. to make it a more sovereign specific. stimulated me to exertion. as ignorant a set as any Free eBooks at Planet eBook. when I was supposed to be in want of a restorative. and to be overcome with fear when there was any passage of an alarming character in the narrative. The institution never flagged for want of a story.com 1 . Steerforth was considerate. too. This treasure. to pretend that he couldn’t keep his teeth from chattering.and it should be. generally. and although I cannot assert that the flavour was improved by these experiments.a little roopy was his exact expression . But the being cherished as a kind of plaything in my room. in one particular instance. as in duty bound. and handsomely flogged for disorderly conduct in the bedroom. It was so precious to me that I look back on these trifles. and begged him. every drop. and in that respect the pursuit may not have been very profitable to me. in my modesty.

Creakle. I recall him bending his aching head. an exception to the general body. baited by a thousand dogs. dancing boys. his mother. as they were pretty sure of getting into trouble tomorrow. who had a liking for me that I am grateful to remember. boys shuffled with their feet.com 1 . and Steerforth’s help. But my little vanity. singing boys. torment. when I ate my breakfast that first morning. so Mr. than I could keep a cake or any other tangible possession. I should think of him. and wretchedly endeavouring to get on with his tiresome work. as of one of those animals. insomuch that I did steadily pick up some crumbs of knowledge.schoolboys in existence. It was. kept school by himself. Sharp went out to get his wig curled. supported on his bony hand. Creakle kept the house from indisposition. This troubled me the more for a long time. whatever it was. everything beFree eBooks at Planet eBook. The great relief and satisfaction experienced by the boys made them difficult to manage. It was the day of the week on which Mr. and thought it wise. they were too much troubled and knocked about to learn. making faces. because I had soon told Steerforth. there was a good deal of noise in the course of the 1 David Copperfield morning’s work. If I could associate the idea of a bull or a bear with anyone so mild as Mr. to enjoy themselves today. grinning. Mell. playing at puss in the corner with other boys. made me. in their way. and I was always afraid that Steerforth would let it out. no doubt. mimicking him behind his back and before his eyes. do what they would. or inducing others to do so. It always gave me pain to observe that Steerforth treated him with systematic disparagement. any one of us. too. who always did the drudgery. no great impression was made by it. being Saturday. what consequences would come of the introduction into those alms-houses of my insignificant person. which naturally diffused a lively joy through the school. urged me on somehow. and set some lighter tasks than usual. But as the noise in the playground would have disturbed Mr. In this I was much assisted by Mr. howling boys. We little thought. they could no more do that to advantage. for the time I was there. But the visit had its unforeseen consequences. over the book on his desk. amidst an uproar that might have made the Speaker of the House of Commons giddy. and of a serious sort. from whom I could no more keep such a secret. Mell had taken me to see. mimicking his poverty. talking boys. about the two old women Mr. and twit him with it. and went to sleep under the shadow of the peacock’s feathers to the sound of the flute. and took notes of the principal offenders’ names. in connexion with that afternoon when the uproar was at its height. properly. and though the dreaded Tungay brought his wooden leg in twice or thrice. if anything. a half-holiday. we were ordered into school in the afternoon. I dare say. and without saving me from much. and the weather was not favourable for going out walking. in the way of punishment. Boys started in and out of their places. and worry. and seldom lost an occasion of wounding his feelings. Mell. boys whirled about him. Mell. than any one can do anything to advantage in a life of constant misfortune. One day when Mr. there were laughing boys. which were made for the occasion. his boots. his coat.

’ said Steerforth. urging your juniors on to every 1 David Copperfield sort of outrage against me. ‘that I am not acquainted with the power you can establish over any mind here’ . who had darted out behind him to imitate his mother again. coming forward up the room. sir. at the opposite end of the long room. Steerforth! Too bad!’ It was Traddles. ‘and mind your business. you are an impudent beggar. When you take the liberty of calling me mean or base. Steerforth. with his lips trembling more and more. when Mr. you are an impudent beggar. sir. and as I stood beside him. Creakle in the midst of us. ‘Silence. You are always a beggar. but when you do that. as it happens. but Mr.’ ‘Young Copperfield. and who never gave you the least offence. ‘What does this mean! It’s impossible to bear it. and looked at Mr. once for all. or Mr. you are mistaken.’ pursued Mr.‘or that I have not observed you. and striking his desk with the book. Mr. go on. and pretended to want a pen mended. Mell. turning red.’ ‘I don’t give myself the trouble of thinking at all about you.he laid his hand.’ I am not clear whether he was going to strike Mr. Mell. He was lounging with his back against the wall.’ ‘And when you make use of your position of favouritism here. that silence immediately succeeded. I saw a rigidity come upon the whole school as if they had been turned into stone.‘To insult one who is not fortunate in life. Mell. Mell was so white.’ said Mr. Copperfield. and his hands in his pockets.’ said Mr.’ said Steerforth. some suddenly surprised. Mell with his mouth shut up as if he were whistling. Steerforth!’ said Mr. ‘Silence!’ cried Mr.’ said Steerforth.’ There was a titter. coolly. ‘If you think. I saw the boys all stop. Mell. ‘to insult a gentleman -’ ‘A what? . Mell was going to strike him. boys?’ It was my book that he struck his desk with. How can you do it to me. whom Mr. I tell you what. and some sorry perhaps. Mell. changed his mind. and one boy. ‘stop a bit. ‘Sit down yourself. ‘Whom are you talking to?’ ‘Sit down. ‘so I’m not mistaken. within a few minutes. suddenly rising up. or there was any such intention on either side. Here somebody cried out. Mell instantly discomfited by bidding him hold his tongue. and found Mr. and the many reasons for not insulting whom you are old enough and wise enough to understand.where is he?’ said Steerforth. or anything of that sort. Mell. Steerforth’s place was at the bottom of the school. ‘Shame. some half afraid.’ said Mr. ‘Silence yourself. upon my head . with his lip trembling very much. and some applause. Mell looked at him.com 1 . ‘you commit a mean and base action. It’s maddening. . without considering what he did (as I supposed). and Miss Creakle looking in at the door as if they were Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mr. Mell. Mell. and Mrs. you know. with Tungay at his side. sir. following his eye as it glanced round the room.longing to him that they should have had consideration for. You can sit down or stand up as you please.’ said Steerforth. J.

Creakle.frightened. certainly . sir. I hope?’ ‘No. Creakle folded his arms.’ said Mr. and made such a knot of his brows that his little eyes were hardly visible below them. Mr. and I am ready to take the consequences of it. But I did. ‘as I said. ‘Who talked about favourites?’ 1 David Copperfield ‘He did. Mr. then?’ said Steerforth at length. What’s-your-name’. and how homely and plain Mr. Mr.no. It made an impression on the boys too. and remaining silent. Creakle. and here Mr. and got his feet upon the form close by. Mell looked opposed to him.I .com 1 . upon his chest. I have remembered myself. sir.’ Mr. Mr. sir. cane and all. Mell. I remember. If I had been cool. showing his face. what is this?’ Steerforth evaded the question for a little while. shaking him by the arm. you showed proper respect to me? To me. sir. with his elbows on his desk and his face in his hands. No. and rubbed his hands. Mell from his throne. whether there were any consequences to be taken.would have been more kind. ‘Mr. Creakle. if I had been cool. and rubbing his hands in great agitation. and said: ‘Now. that you should atFree eBooks at Planet eBook. no. more just.it . and your employer.I have remembered myself. I must say. I felt quite in a glow at this gallant speech. Creakle.although your candour does you honour. Mell. though no one spoke a word. ‘Favourites?’ repeated Mr.’ returned the Master. what did you mean by that. ‘the principal of this establishment. ‘No. Mell. that Tungay felt it unnecessary to repeat his words. sir. ‘And pray.’ ‘To degrade YOU?’ said Mr. I . and drawing it back again. Creakle turned to Steerforth. sir. It would have saved me something.’ Without considering. ‘What did he mean by talking about favourites. Steerforth. Mr. turning angrily on his assistant. ‘Then he said I was mean. and remained in the same state of agitation. sir. Creakle. looking in scorn and anger on his opponent. for some moments. sir.’ ‘It was not judicious. After still looking hard at Mr. and his whisper was so audible now. sir. It .’ said Steerforth. what a noble fellow he was in appearance. that no pupil had a right to avail himself of his position of favouritism to degrade me. ‘does you honour. quite still.’ said Mr. and then I called him a beggar. and then he said I was base. Creakle.’ said Mr. Mell. Creakle. and sat upon the desk. I am willing to admit. darting his head at him suddenly. sat. when you talk about favourites. Creakle. I have not forgotten myself. ‘I meant. I .’ Here Steerforth struck in. I . ‘I am surprised. Creakle. and shaking his head. perhaps. sir?’ demanded Mr. Mr.’ he returned in a low voice. perhaps I shouldn’t have called him a beggar. Creakle. as he don’t condescend to tell me.could wish you had remembered me a little sooner. Steerforth . ‘I should not have done so.’ said Mr. for there was a low stir among them. looking hard at Mr.I am surprised. ‘you have not forgotten yourself. with the veins in his forehead swelling quickly. ‘My stars! But give me leave to ask you. put his hand on Tungay’s shoulder. ‘whether. as he shook his head. I could not help thinking even in that interval.

’ returned Mr. before the handsome boy. He continued to pat me kindly on the shoulder. sir. if you please. ‘whether it ever came to my knowledge until this moment?’ ‘I believe not directly. ‘Why. you hear what this gentleman says. in a whisper. where does he go a-begging?’ ‘If he is not a beggar himself. Mell. Creakle. if you come to that. I expect more than that from you.’ said Steerforth. Mr. will you.’ said Mr. . Creakle. with his veins swelling again bigger than ever. Mr. Steerforth.’ said Steerforth. ‘to my remark. Mell.’ ‘There is no time. without correction. sir.’ ‘He is right. he went out of the school. and leaving the key in it for his successor.’ Steerforth gave a short laugh. with a severe frown and laboured politeness: ‘Now.’ He glanced at me. Mell’s hand gently patted me upon the shoulder. glancing round the room. Creakle. but he looked at him.’ Mr. and then taking his flute and a few books from his desk.’ ‘Sir.’ said Mr. Creakle. ‘Let him deny it.’ he returned. Creakle. Have the goodness. Mr. Creakle. Mell looked homely.’ answered Mr. ‘and to say what I mean. Creakle. Mell still looked at him.com 11 . Mell.’ Mr. but Mr. Mr. if I heard right: ‘Yes. and always has been. rising. it would be quite impossible to say how homely Mr. 10 David Copperfield in the midst of a dead silence. in my eyes.’ said Mr. and mistook this for a charity school. ‘Deny that he is a beggar. Creakle. Creakle turned to his assistant. I thought so. ‘Why. to you!’ said Mr. if you please. ‘that you’ve been in a wrong position altogether. man?’ ‘I apprehend you never supposed my worldly circumstances to be very good. here. that his mother lives on charity in an alms-house. the best wish I can leave you is that you may come to be ashamed of what you have done today. to me. ‘It’s all the same.tach such an epithet to any person employed and paid in Salem House. ‘Since you expect me.’ Once more he laid his hand upon my shoulder. Mell. his near relation’s one. I looked up with a flush upon my face and remorse in my heart.’ said Steerforth. and rolling his eyes round the school. to set him right before the assembled school.’ ‘Be so good then as declare publicly. you know not. and said to himself. sir. putting his head on one side.’ said Mr. Creakle looked.’ said Mr. ‘like the present. and all of you. to justify myself. we’ll part. The sooner the better. and Mr. and again patting me gently on the shoulders. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mell. ‘You know what my position is. Mell’s eyes were fixed on Steerforth. ‘Don’t you. and still patted me kindly on the shoulder. Steerforth?’ cried Mr.’ If Mr.what I have to say is. ‘what he has said is true. ‘That’s not an answer.’ ‘I apprehend. or to anyone in whom I feel an interest. ‘I take my leave of you. ‘James Steerforth. At present I would prefer to see you anything rather than a friend.’ replied the assistant.

and rich. ‘His feelings will soon get the better of it. Mell’s departure. Mell was ill-used. considering our relative ages. Mr. Mell’s old flute seemed more than once to sound mournfully in my ears. wasn’t it? . ‘Who has ill-used him. and which he wound up by shaking hands with Steerforth. or his bed. and had no Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and the feeling with which I regarded him. The new master came from a grammar school. and was relieving himself as usual with a burst of skeletons. you girl?’ said Steerforth. and I lay down in my bed. on one another. but I supposed for Steerforth. We were left to ourselves now.I did not quite know what for. on account of Mr. I respected him greatly for it. you have. whose mother was a widow. who often looked at me. ‘Hurt his feel1 David Copperfield ings. and that when at last Steerforth was tired. Miss Traddles. instead of cheers. to be introduced to Steerforth.do you suppose I am not going to write home. ‘What have I done?’ said Steerforth. while we gave three cheers . dined in the parlour one day. that he asked her. But I must say that when I was going on with a story in the dark that night. took some of his classes until a new master was found. Poor Traddles. His feelings are not like yours. who had passed the stage of lying with his head upon the desk. I saw. who. Mr. and for our cause. I recollect. might think it unfriendly . I’ll be bound. and went back to his sofa. as he condescended to do. and would do almost anything. and exalted Steerforth to the skies: especially when he told us. Mr. and that he had conferred a great boon upon us by unselfishly doing it. I should rather say.’ returned Traddles. I soon forgot him in the contemplation of Steerforth.or. We were all extremely glad to see Traddles so put down. For myself. said he didn’t care. through Tungay.com 1 . Creakle then caned Tommy Traddles for being discovered in tears. ‘What have you done?’ retorted Traddles. Mr. and without any book (he seemed to me to know everything by heart). and before he entered on his duties. that what he had done had been done expressly for us. and told us he was a Brick. undutiful . ‘Why. or wherever he had come from. and so joined in them ardently. and said he was glad he had caught it. that I was quite wretched. Creakle then made a speech. it was said.’ ‘His feelings?’ repeated Steerforth disdainfully.with his property under his arm. and take care that he gets some money? Polly?’ We thought this intention very noble in Steerforth. in which he thanked Steerforth for asserting (though perhaps too warmly) the independence and respectability of Salem House. I felt so much self-reproach and contrition for my part in what had happened. and looked very blank. that nothing would have enabled me to keep back my tears but the fear that Steerforth. I fancied it playing so sorrowfully somewhere. Without exactly understanding what learned distinction was meant by this.which was a precious one. though I felt miserable. Steerforth approved of him highly. He was very angry with Traddles. in an easy amateur way. As to his situation .if I showed the emotion which distressed me. and lost him his situation.

who had. ‘You see. Creakle. Mr. Mr. Mr. One afternoon. I remember. who I thought appeared to stick to the subject on account of having no other subject ready. and when I got to the parlour door. was told to go by the back stairs and get a clean frill on. as.com 1 . out of the daily school-life. At first I saw nobody. Yes. Peggotty?’ I said. ‘Ain’t he growed!’ said Mr. They made me laugh again by laughing at each other. Peggotty. and Mr. Mas’r Davy bor’!’ said Ham. Tungay came in. Gummidge. ducking at me with their hats. I was not crying at anything in particular that I know of. and piled them up in Ham’s arms. Gummidge?’ ‘On . and felt quite faint with astonishment. ‘Cheer up. and what room they were to be shown into. Gummidge biled ‘em. than at the appearance they made.’ said Mr. when we were all harassed into a state of dire confusion. to my amazement. and an enormous crab. and stopped to have a sob before I went in. but feeling a pressure against the door. and then we all three laughed until I was in danger of crying again. Peggotty (who never shut his mouth once. according to custom. and called out in his usual strong way: ‘Visitors for Copperfield!’ A few words were interchanged between him and Mr. in such a flutter and hurry of my young spirits as I had never known before. I could not help laughing.I drew back my hand from the lock. to see old friends. Mell had taken. were Mr. until I 1 David Copperfield pulled out my pocket-handkerchief and wiped my eyes. I do assure Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to relieve it. ‘Do you know how mama is.that Mr. ‘Growed. and I laughed and laughed.I had only thought of Mr.’ said Mr.not that I was anybody . before I repaired to the diningroom. ‘knowing as you was partial to a little relish with your wittles when you was along with us. ‘Why. There was only one other event in this half-year. who the visitors were. but it was much more in the pleasure of seeing them. Peggotty. I looked round it. we took the liberty. in his simpering way. took two prodigious lobsters. how you have growed!’ ‘Am I grown?’ I said. Peggotty. old Peggotty is?’ ‘Oncommon. Peggotty. stood up on the announcement being made. and the thought came into my head that it might be my mother . out of his pockets. ‘Mrs. and there. drying my eyes. or Miss Murdstone until then . Mrs. ‘And little Em’ly. dear. Peggotty.’ said Mr.common. It survives for many reasons. Mas’r Davy bor’? Ain’t he growed!’ said Ham. The old Mawther biled ‘em. and squeezing one another against the wall. We shook hands in a very cordial way. and Mrs. she did. and a large canvas bag of shrimps. slowly. ‘And how my dear. during the visit) showed great concern when he saw me do this. that made an impression upon me which still survives. Peggotty. and nudged Ham to say something.doubt whatever of his superior knowledge: though he never took the pains with me . Creakle was laying about him dreadfully. Peggotty and Ham. There was a silence. but somehow it made me cry. and then I. These orders I obeyed.’ said Mr.

as if their depths were stirred by something bright. as I see you and as you was similarly oncommon. but not swaggering . and said: ‘I didn’t know you were here. His broad chest heaves with pleasure. and have come from Gravesend to see me.which I still believe to have Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ It was perfectly delightful to behold with what enthusi1 David Copperfield asm Mr. Peggotty. who. ‘Her pretty face!’ said Mr.com 1 . Peggotty. she biled ‘em. good people .very kind. returning. in my pigmy view. His strong loose hands clench themselves. after looking at Ham. Ham was quite as earnest as he.you. without making any attempt to help him. ‘Her writing!’ said Mr. Peggotty. and sparkle. aye?’ said Steerforth. ‘Ask HIM.’ said Mr. who beamed with delight and assent over the bag of shrimps. you see. These are two Yarmouth boatmen . How are you both?’ There was an ease in his manner . if you please.a gay and light manner it was. since we used to pick up shells and pebbles on the beach? ‘She’s getting to be a woman. how it all comes back to me this long time afterwards! ‘Don’t go. that I supposed little Em’ly was altered too. His honest eyes fire up. But I said. the wind and tide making in our favour. or in the desire to explain to him how I came to have such a friend as Mr. My sister she wrote to me the name of this here place. with his own shining like a light. I am not sure whether it was in the pride of having such a friend as Steerforth. I was to come over and inquire for Mas’r Davy and give her dooty. that I called to him as he was going away. you might see it anywheres. ‘Why it’s as black as jet! And so large it is.’ I was obliged to consider a little before I understood what Mr. and so we make it quite a merry. I then thanked him heartily. like a sledge-hammer. in one of our Yarmouth lugs to Gravesen’. and said. his bluff hairy face irradiating with a joyful love and pride. ‘I am glad to see them. and he emphasizes what he says with a right arm that shows.’ ‘Aye. Little Em’ly.’ I expressed my thanks. and Mr. Peggotty. Peggotty became inspired when he thought of his little favourite. and wrote to me as if ever I chanced to come to Gravesen’. she’ll write to my sister when I go back. with a consciousness of reddening. who stood smiling sheepishly over the shellfish.’ He meant Ham. Peggotty. you see. expressive of a complete circle of intelligence.who are relations of my nurse. Steerforth. ‘Her learning!’ said Ham. humbly wishing him well and reporting of the fam’ly as they was oncommon toe-be-sure. stopped in a song he was singing. in his earnestness.gorounder. modestly Good Heaven. that’s wot she’s getting to be. young Copperfield!’ (for it was not the usual visiting room) and crossed by us on his way out. if they had not been abashed by the unexpected coming in of Steerforth. I dare say they would have said much more about her. He stands before me again. Peggotty meant by this figure. seeing me in a corner speaking with two strangers. for which I can find no description. said: ‘We come.

He was taken ill in the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. about Mr. He was too unfortunate even to come through a supper like anybody else. I remember that I thought a good deal. You never saw such a good house. sir. but I decided that was nonsense. sir. and too much afraid of his laughing at me. ‘You mustn’t tell them anything of the sort. but I was too timid of mentioning her name.’ ‘Nonsense!’ said Steerforth. It’s made out of a boat!’ ‘Made out of a boat. ‘but I wish you both well.com 1 . and in an uneasy sort of way. I am. for aught I know. of some inborn power of attraction besides (which I think a few people possess). I’m a reg’lar Dodman. sir. I still believe him. Steerforth.’ he said.’ I said. sir. sir. by which he meant snail. in virtue of this carriage. if you please. and made a great supper that evening. My house ain’t much for to see. but it’s hearty at your service if ever you should come along with Mas’r Davy to see it. ‘and wot you do well .’ ‘So ‘tis. Mr. ‘Well. shaking his head. But Traddles couldn’t get happily out of it. bowing and chuckling. I’m obleeged to you. I hope I’m ready. for your welcoming manner of me. Peggotty having said that she was getting on to be a woman. his delightful voice. gen’l’m’n’s right. A thorough. and this was in allusion to his being slow to go. sir. grinning.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. Peggotty. Peggotty was no less pleased than his nephew. and which not many persons could withstand. and. sir.least ways. it’s wot you do yourself. his handsome face and figure.’ ‘The best of men can do no more.borne a kind of enchantment with it. and had somehow or other come back again. but I’m ready . is it?’ said Steerforth. and how they seemed to open their hearts to him in a moment. Peggotty. Peggotty had modestly called it. ‘I’ll pound it. laughing. that Mr. ‘when that letter is sent.’ said Ham. so ‘tis. for he had attempted to go after every sentence. ‘You must let them know at home. to see your house. Mr. Peggotty. too!’ Mr. to have carried a spell with him to which it was a natural weakness to yield. and I wish you happy!’ Ham echoed this sentiment.’ ‘And if Mr. and tucking 1 David Copperfield in the ends of his neckerchief at his breast: ‘I thankee. and that I don’t know what I should ever do here without him. you unnerstand. you may depend upon it I shall bring him to Yarmouth. Peggotty. Steerforth ever comes into Norfolk or Suffolk. sir. Peggotty. and we parted with them in the heartiest manner. or the ‘relish’ as Mr. if he will let me.right well! I thankee. We transported the shellfish. Steerforth is very kind to me.’ I said. I’m rough. I could not but see how pleased they were with him. hor! That’s what he is. I thankee! I do my endeavours in my line of life. Mr. up into our room unobserved. ‘You’re right. his animal spirits. sir.’ said Steerforth. He had got his name already. though his modesty forbade him to claim a personal compliment so vociferously. I was almost tempted that evening to tell Steerforth about pretty little Em’ly. ‘while I am there. young gen’l’m’n! Mas’r Davy bor’. ‘It’s the right sort of a house for such a thorough-built boatman. sir.built boatman! Hor.

surrounding all. How from counting months. the ground outside the window was not the playground of Salem House.when I was inside the Yarmouth mail. tear-blotted copy-books. and going home. how the distant idea of the holidays. and to grow and grow. we came to weeks. and the cold. I well remember though. and after being drugged with black draughts and blue pills. and was certainly to go home.in consequence of Crab. of clods of bread-and-butter. and the morning schoolroom which was nothing but a great shivering-machine. began to come towards us. and the sound in my ears was not the sound of Mr. of the evening schoolroom dimly lighted and indifferently warmed. had dim forebodings that I might break my leg first. the day after tomorrow. suet-puddings. rainy Sundays. of the frosty mornings when we were rung out of bed. and then to days. of the alternation of boiled beef with roast beef. rulerings. canings. 10 David Copperfield today. cracked slates. How the breaking-up day changed its place fast. of the waning summer and the changing season. The rest of the half-year is a jumble in my recollection of the daily strife and struggle of our lives. tomorrow. from the week after next to next week. cold smell of the dark nights when we were rung into bed again. and many an incoherent dream of all these things. Creakle giving it to Traddles. this week. at last. and boiled mutton with roast mutton. after seeming for an immense time to be a stationary speck. to an extent which Demple (whose father was a doctor) said was enough to undermine a horse’s constitution. I had many a broken sleep inside the Yarmouth mail. dog’s-eared lesson-books. hair-cuttings.night . 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. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. tonight . and a dirty atmosphere of ink.quite prostrate he was . But when I awoke at intervals. received a caning and six chapters of Greek Testament for refusing to confess.com 11 . but the sound of the coachman touching up the horses.

pull the Dolphin’s blankets round my head. ‘that man’s been a-waitin’ for a answer ever since. turning his glance slowly on me again. Barkis?’ said I. Barkis. Mr. ‘I gave your message.’ ‘Well.com 1 1 . Mr. and then looked at his cuff as if he expected to find some of the bloom upon it. Mr. after a little hesitation. I was shown up to a nice little bedroom. carrying his eyes back to his horse’s ears.’ ‘There was an answer expected. and answered drily. but made no other acknowledgement of the compliment. Mr. and I had only been into the hotel to get change for sixpence.’ I said: ‘I wrote to Peggotty. no.’ said Mr. As soon as I and my box were in the cart. and go to sleep. I know. looking at me sideways. Mr. Mr. Mr. that man’s a-waitin’ for a answer. ‘Wasn’t it right. Barkis. the lazy horse walked away with us all at his accustomed pace. David Copperfield ‘You look very well. opening my eyes. and the carrier seated.’ Not understanding what he meant. Barkis?’ ‘Well. a little giddy from the shortness of my night’s rest. Barkis.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. or something of that sort. Barkis?’ I asked. and very glad I was to turn into the Dolphin’s bed. ‘Not the message?’ ‘The message was right enough. thinking he would like to know it.’ said Mr. ‘Why. Barkis. Barkis rubbed his cheek with his cuff. ‘but it come to an end there. was there. Barkis the carrier was to call for me in the morning at nine o’clock. Barkis?’ ‘Nothing come of it. He received me exactly as if not five minutes had elapsed since we were last together. Barkis. ‘it’s as much as to say.’ I said.’ said Mr. and was ready for him before the appointed time.’ ‘Ah!’ said Mr. I got up at eight. Mr. which was not the inn where my friend the waiter lived. I repeated inquisitively: ‘Came to an end. notwithstanding the hot tea they had given me before a large fire downstairs. perhaps. Barkis. ‘When a man says he’s willin’.CHAPTER 8 MY HOLIDAYS. For this was a new light to me. Mr. ‘No answer. Very cold I was. Barkis seemed gruff.’ he explained. Barkis.’ said Mr. with DOLPHIN painted on the door. ESPECIALLY ONE HAPPY AFTERNOON W hen we arrived before day at the inn where the mail stopped.

Barkis accompanied with a nudge of his elbow that gave me quite a stitch in my side. ‘Oh. and to find that every object I looked at. Barkis. and heard her singing so to me when I was but a baby. Her Christian name is Clara. ‘Says you. from the solitary and thoughtful way in which my mother murmured her song. ‘You might tell her. Barkis. I ain’t a-goin’ to tell her so. taking a piece of chalk from his pocket. Barkis. Murdstone or Miss Murdstone lowering out of one of them.‘Have you told her so. Barkis. Barkis?’ said I. Barkis. and sat pondering and inwardly whistling for some time. reflecting about it. and being come to the house. I never said six words to her myself. like a friend come back from a long absence. and knowing how to open the door. But there I was. without knocking.’ said Mr. 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. She was singing in a low tone. ‘To what I told you. that was awakened within me by the sound of my mother’s voice in the old parlour. and soon I was at our house. ‘Barkis is willin’. The strain was new to me.’ Says she.what name is it?’ ‘Her name?’ ‘Ah!’ said Mr. rose up before me so sorrowfully on the road. No face appeared. I walked along the path towards the house. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Answer to what?’ Says you. that she was alone. ‘that Barkis was a-waitin’ for a answer. and shreds of the old rooks’-nests drifted away upon the wind. what a strange feeling it was to be going home when it was not home. when I set foot in the hall.’ ‘What is that?’ says she. and left me. that I am not sure I was glad to be there .’ ‘Chrisen name? Or nat’ral name?’ said Mr. ‘Peggotty! Barkis is waitin’ for a answer. ‘Well!’ he resumed at length. I think I must have lain in her arms. and writing up. and fearing at every step to see Mr. 1 David Copperfield Ah. where the bare old elm-trees wrung their many hands in the bleak wintry air. reminded me of the happy old home.’ This extremely artful suggestion Mr. God knows how infantine the memory may have been. however.apparently as a private memorandum.com 1 . ‘Clara Peggotty’ .’ growled Mr. Barkis?’ ‘No . I went in with a quiet. half an hour afterwards. it’s not her Christian name. and forgotten it in Steerforth’s company. He seemed to find an immense fund of reflection in this circumstance. with another slow look at me. doubtfully. and there was no one to come between us. if you would.not sure but that I would rather have remained away. ‘I ain’t got no call to go and tell her so. before dark. and yet it was so old that it filled my heart brim-full. I believed. glancing at the windows. timid step.’ ‘Is it though?’ said Mr. with a nod of his head. The carrier put my box down at the garden-gate.’ says you. Mr.’ ‘Would you like me to do it. Says you . inside the tilt of the cart. Mr. After that. ‘Peggotty. he slouched over his horse in his usual manner.no. perhaps. and made no other reference to the subject except.

‘He has never said a word to me about it. why don’t you tell him so. as if the old days were come back. with a brown view of a man-of-war in full sail upon it. you ridiculous thing?’ said my mother. I had never thought it possible that we three could be together undisturbed. Her eyes were looking down upon its face. It seemed. and put its hand to my lips. for the time.’ said my mother. Nor I wouldn’t have anybody. I wish I had died. He knows better. too. ‘Peggotty. But seeing me. and went mad about us both for a quarter of an hour. and she started. and laid my head down on her bosom near the little creature that was nestling there. kneeled down upon the ground and kissed me. If he was to make so bold as say a word to me. with that feeling in my heart! I should have been more fit for Heaven than I ever have been since. I had never hoped for this. looking out of her apron.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I thought it a favourable occasion to tell Peggotty about Mr.’ said my mother. and I felt. she said. her own boy! and coming half across the room to meet me. I was so far right. and would not return before night. that Mr.com 1 . but my mother wouldn’t let her do 1 David Copperfield it. I had my own old mug with David on it.’ ‘Then. and Miss Murdstone had gone out upon a visit in the neighbourhood. who. for a hundred pounds. before I had finished what I had to tell her. once more. I wouldn’t have him if he was made of gold. ‘What are you doing. and would not have had broken. began to laugh. the carrier being much before his usual time. laughing. whose tiny hand she held against her neck. I should slap his face. and made her dine with us. and clasped me round the neck. ‘Tell him so. ‘Oh! I don’t know.’ said Peggotty.And I went softly into the room. and she sat singing to it. She was sitting by the fire. Peggotty was in attendance to wait upon us. ‘Oh. I spoke to her. that she had no other companion. I wish I had died then. drat the man!’ cried Peggotty.’ retorted Peggotty.’ ‘It would be a very good match for you. Barkis. which Peggotty had hoarded somewhere all the time I had been away. and bounced down on the ground beside us. This she was doing when Peggotty came running in. and held her apron tight over her face when my mother tried to pull it away. ‘He wants to marry me. ‘Don’t ask me. ‘Davy. and cried out. wouldn’t it?’ said my mother. While we were at table. I had my own old plate. suckling an infant. my pretty boy! My poor child!’ Then she kissed me more and more. It seemed that I had not been expected so soon. fondling me. she called me her dear Davy. ‘What’s the matter?’ Peggotty only laughed the more. ‘He is your brother. We dined together by the fireside. and sat as if her head were in a bag. and my own old little knife and fork that wouldn’t cut. and throw her apron over her face. you stupid creature?’ said my mother.

I told them what a fine fellow Steerforth was. and folding her arms. It isn’t that there ain’t some Cats that would be well enough pleased if she did. I remarked that my mother. became more serious and thoughtful. she cleared the dinner table. my dear. for a few moments at a time. I think. We sat round the fire. staring. and nursed it. which became anxious and fluttered. no. than I shall go to my Davy. she took the baby out of its little cradle. Creakle was. Peggotty. and talked delightfully. no!’ ‘Not just yet?’ said my mother. tenderly. and Peggotty went running on in her own fashion. and laying it affectionately on the hand of her old servant. and I’ll make you as welcome as a queen. came in with another cap on. no. even to be found fault with. but it looked careworn. ‘Lord bless you. Peggotty. ‘not she. I had seen at first that she was changed. It will not be for long. broken now a long time. but they sha’n’t be pleased. she covered her head up with her apron again and had another laugh about Mr. I’ll stay with you till I am a cross cranky old woman. ‘I know you will!’ And she kissed me beforehand. After that. I told them what a hard master Mr. and said: ‘Don’t leave me. my precious!’ cried Peggotty. in grateful acknowledgement of my hospitality. Her face was very pretty still.’ ‘And. and too blind. and too mumbly for want of teeth. what’s put that in your silly little head?’ . ‘Peggotty.com 1 . ‘Never!’ cried Peggotty. to be of any use at all. and nursed it lovingly. They shall be aggravated. At last she said. went on with her dinner. shaking her head. ‘Me leave you? I think I see myself. When it was asleep again. And when I’m too deaf. and they pitied me very much.For Peggotty had been used of old to talk to my mother sometimes like a child. ma’am?’ returned Peggotty. I crept close to my mother’s side according to my old custom. when she was taken with a violent fit of laughter. What should I ever do without you!’ ‘Me leave you. Why. and what a patron of mine. and Peggotty said she would walk a score of miles to see him. and her hand was so thin and white that it seemed to me to be almost transparent. though she smiled when Peggotty looked at her. and the bit of wax-candle. My mother took her hand. or any other face. you are not going to be married?’ ‘Me. But the change to which I now refer was superadded to this: it was in her manner. perhaps. After that. and after two or three of those attacks. putting out her hand. Barkis. But my mother made no answer. except to thank her. Peggotty go away 1 David Copperfield from you? I should like to catch her at it! No. After that. and sat with my arms embracing her waist. and ask him to take me in.Her own was as red as ever I saw it. dear.’ said Peggotty. Stay with me. but she only covered it again. after that. all just the same as ever. and my little red cheek on her Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and too delicate.’ says I. I took the little baby in my arms when it was awake. and too lame. ‘I shall be glad to see you. and the yard-measure. ‘Not for all the world and his wife. and her work-box.’ ‘Bless your dear heart!’ cried Peggotty.

Peggotty. ‘What can have put such a person in your head?’ inquired my mother. if I was to. but my head never can pick and 10 David Copperfield choose its people. ‘unless it’s on account of being stupid.and was very happy indeed. who was sometimes seized with a fit of wondering on some most unexpected topic. that Mr. I wonder what’s become of her?’ ‘How absurd you are. and wondered how Peggotty dared to say such a thing. that ain’t likely at all.’ said my mother. I cannot conceive whose stockings they can have been that Peggotty was always darning. Peggotty!’ observed my mother. ‘One would suppose you wanted a second visit from her. ‘what’s become of Davy’s great-aunt?’ ‘Lor. ‘As if this poor little innocent in its cradle had ever done any harm to you or anybody else. They come and they go. MY mother immediately began to cry. and that there was nothing real in all that I remembered.’ said Peggotty.’ ‘Lord forbid!’ cried Peggotty. I recollect . don’t talk about such uncomfortable things. ‘what nonsense you talk!’ ‘Well. and then sat with it drawn on her left hand like a glove. At all events. and Miss Murdstone were such pictures. rather sharply. and once more felt her beautiful hair drooping over me . she is not likely ever to trouble us again.’ returned my mother. and I. ready to take another stitch whenever there was a blaze.’ ‘I suppose she wouldn’t be inclined to forgive him now.I wonder. ‘What a bad disposition you have. Peggotty darned away at a stocking as long as she could see. looking at the fire.like an angel’s wing as I used to think. Peggotty. and they don’t come and they don’t go. ‘Well then. rousing herself from a reverie. ‘Miss Betsey is shut up in her cottage by the sea. ‘Is there nobody else in the world to come there?’ ‘I don’t know how it is.’ said Peggotty.’ hinted Peggotty. and will remain there. and never by any chance in any other. I mean. Barkis.’ said Peggotty. ‘Why should she be inclined to forgive him now?’ said my mother. the carrier.’ ‘No!’ mused Peggotty. Peggotty!’ returned Free eBooks at Planet eBook. save my mother. you jealous thing!’ said she. From my earliest infancy she seems to have been always employed in that class of needlework.’ said Peggotty. Why don’t you?’ ‘I should make Miss Murdstone happy. just as they like. if she was to die. Peggotty!’ returned my mother. ‘what a nonsensical woman you are! when you know that she took offence at the poor dear boy’s ever being born at all. or where such an unfailing supply of stockings in want of darning can have come from.shoulder. and seeing pictures in the red-hot coals. I almost believed that I had never been away. While I sat thus. and her needle in her right. ma’am. no doubt. ‘Now that he’s got a brother. and would vanish when the fire got low. ‘You had much better go and marry Mr. ‘I wonder.’ said Peggotty. but I really do wonder. there’s a good soul.com 11 . ‘No. . whether she’d leave Davy anything?’ ‘Good gracious me.

Peggotty. and don’t know what to do. When you know that she only does it out of kindness and the best intentions! You know she does. I should hope not.’ returned my mother. ‘No. that on this account she wished to spare me a great deal of trouble. and you see I did. You WILL insinuate.’ suggested Peggotty. ‘I understand you. and feel doubtful of my own heart. You know I do. and how they actuate him in everything. coal-holes and pantries and I don’t know where. He naturally loves a certain person. serious man.’ returned my mother. Peggotty. you cross thing.’ said my mother. He is better able to judge of it than I am. You are always insinuating.’ said Peggotty. half laughing.my mother. I said. ‘You never do anything else. except your work. with the tears which were engendered in her affectionate nature.’ said Peggotty. and pretend to slight them (for I don’t believe you really do. that she thinks I am too thoughtless and too . When you talk of Mr. That’s the worst of you.and do you mean to insinuate that there is not a sort of devotion in that?’ 1 David Copperfield ‘I don’t insinuate at all. And he takes. and which I really don’t know myself that I AM suited for. on my account. Haven’t you heard her say.and doesn’t she do all sorts of things. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘You are as jealous of Miss Murdstone as it is possible for a ridiculous creature to be. and that he is a firm. you must be as well convinced as I am how good they are. and so I am sure does Davy. and isn’t she up early and late.’ returned my mother. light. and acts solely for a certain person’s good. Murdstone’s good intentions -’ ‘I never talked of ‘em. and I wonder you don’t colour up like fire. and you sha’n’t escape from it. grave. ‘but you insinuated. and very submissive to him even in my thoughts. And when you talk of Mr. can I be blamed for it?’ ‘No one says you can. and grope into all sorts of places. that can’t be very agreeable .com 1 .it is solely because he is satisfied that it is for a certain person’s benefit.’ said Peggotty. ‘he takes great pains with me.’ Peggotty sat with her chin on the foot of the stocking. Miss Murdstone is the point now.you understand. which she thinks I am not suited for. perfectly. ‘and if she is so silly as to say so. indeed!’ returned my mother. and going to and fro continually . Peggotty.’ 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. in your heart. stealing down her face. and when I am not.you know it well. at the moment. Peggotty). If he seems to have been at all stern with a certain person. for I very well know that I am a weak. But one point at a time. I suppose? I shouldn’t be surprised if you did. That’s what I told you just now. ‘No. I worry and condemn myself. ‘I know what you mean.a . You want to keep the keys yourself. that I am not alluding to anybody present .’ said my mother. and give out all the things. over and over again. Peggotty. ‘Haven’t you heard her say. Peggotty . You revel in it.a -’ ‘Pretty. over and over again. Murdstone’s good intentions. Peggotty. Peggotty . ‘You do. ‘Well. that I understood you. and I ought to be very thankful to him. girlish creature.

’ Peggotty was not slow to respond. and destined evermore to close that volume of my life. who was my great subject. You are my true friend. and went upstairs with my candle directly. We were very happy. after two or three false starts half-way. and the candles snuffed. David. but it was not so red as I turned. The hand he gave me was the hand I had bitten. for I remember that my mother seemed more at ease during the rest of the evening. while Miss Murdstone made the tea. When we had had our tea. as the last of its race. and that evening. as it must be done. that they brought a cold blast of air into the house which blew away the old familiar feeling like a feather. before they came in.and then we talked about Salem House. ever since the night when Mr. merely that my mother might comfort herself with the little contradictory summary in which she had indulged. I felt uncomfortable about going down to breakfast in the morning.she took it out of her pocket: I don’t know whether she had kept it there ever since . when I met that sinister expression in his face. as I ascended to the bedroom where I had been imprisoned. and as many runs back on tiptoe to my own room. and ratify the treaty of friendship by giving me one of her best hugs. that the good creature originated it. Peggotty. for I couldn’t bear it. sir. as I had never set eyes on Mr. I am very sorry for what I did. and I hope you will forgive me. but I am sure. but made no sign of recognition whatever. He looked at me steadily as I entered. and you came out to the gate to meet me. will never pass out of my memory.com 1 . and that Peggotty observed her less. and Mr.’ said my mother. as it was so late. He was standing before the fire with his back to it. after a moment of confusion. We all got up then. It was almost ten o’clock before we heard the sound of wheels.’ ‘I am glad to hear you are sorry. ma’am. and Miss Murdstone approved of early hours for young people. I know. and my mother said hurriedly 1 David Copperfield that. When I call you a ridiculous creature. Peggotty. However. now.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in remembrance of old times . ma’am?’ I said to Miss Murdstone. I kissed her. and said: ‘I beg your pardon. I could not restrain my eye from resting for an instant on a red spot upon it. or a vexatious thing. Murdstone since the day when I committed my memorable offence. perhaps I had better go to bed. ‘How do you do. dear me!’ sighed Miss Murdstone. ‘There. ‘How long are the holidays?’ ‘A month. I went down. giving me the tea-caddy scoop instead of her fingers. if I have any in the world. ‘Ah. and the ashes were thrown up. and presented myself in the parlour. which brought me round again to Steerforth. ‘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. It appeared to my childish fancy. The design was efficacious.’ he replied. I only mean that you are my true friend.looking silently at the fire. Copperfield first brought me home here. or anything of that sort. and took her part in it. changing her tone. and always have been. I read Peggotty a chapter out of the Crocodile Book. I went up to him.

‘My dear Jane.com 1 . wished otherwise. and take it out of my arms. this same dear baby . when we three were together. gently.’ ‘My dear Jane. but when she got into two figures she became more hopeful. ma’am. ‘I find that the baby’s eyes and Davy’s are exactly alike. a little abashed by the harsh tone of this inquiry. ‘I declare. I saw Miss Murdstone lay her beads down.’ faltered my mother.’ said Miss Murdstone. Then. not even with myself. I took it very carefully in my arms. But they are wonderfully alike. ‘they are exactly alike.’ said my mother. Suddenly Miss Murdstone gave such a scream that I all but dropped it.was the innocent occasion of Miss Murdstone’s going into a passion. My mother. my dear Jane. who. Clara?’ said Miss Murdstone. She did it gloomily until she came to ten. Clara. for our mother’s sake . I suppose they are mine. for those who did like me could not show it.’ With that she stalked out. ‘See what. I came into the room where she and my mother were sitting. do you see?’ exclaimed Miss Murdstone. I think they are the colour of mine.’ ‘Oh!’ said Miss Murdstone. from touching my brother any more on any pretence whatever. In short. I could see. In short. ‘Then here’s one day off.‘Counting from when?’ ‘From today. They are exactly unlike. meekly confirmed the interdict. and the baby (who was only a few weeks old) being on my mother’s lap. but stiffened herself to make a dart at me. showed it so plainly that I had a sensitive consciousness of always appearing constrained.’ remonstrated my mother. said: ‘Davy! come here!’ and looked at mine. I hope they will ever remain so. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘A positive fool. and. even jocular. rising angrily. and every morning checked a day off in exactly the same manner. I will not sit here. I was not a favourite there with anybody. she turned faint. and hear such comparisons made.’ ‘What are you talking about. by saying: ‘No doubt you are right. as the time advanced.’ She kept a calendar of the holidays in this way. ‘The boy has got the baby!’ She was limp with horror. It was on this very first day that I had the misfortune to throw her. I was not a favourite with Miss Murdstone. my dear Jane?’ said my mother. and those who did not.it was truly dear to me. ‘Who else could compare my brother’s baby with your boy? They are not at all alike. ‘My dear Jane!’ cried my mother. and was so very ill that they were obliged to give her cherry brandy. who had been looking at its eyes as it lay upon her lap. though she was not subject to such weakness in general. ‘you are a positive fool sometimes. ‘where?’ ‘He’s got it!’ cried Miss Murdstone. into a state of violent consternation. I was solemnly interdicted by her. on her recovery. and my poor mother.’ ‘Clara!’ said Miss Murdstone.’ 1 David Copperfield On another occasion. They are utterly dissimilar in all respects. ‘Good heavens. and made the door bang after her.

but of my offending. I checked him. I went and sat with Peggotty in the kitchen. or any boy. Clara. Murdstone.’ ‘We’ll say I don’t understand the boy. an anxious cloud would steal over her face from the moment of my entrance. I intensified it. even you must observe it?’ ‘I beg your pardon. in many ways . if you please. He is much too deep for me.’ said Mr.’ remarked his sister. one day after dinner when I was going to leave the room as usual. angrily. sometimes. but I do lay claim to common sense. poring over a book. ‘the most confirmed and stubborn.com 1 .’ returned my mother. the worst. I don’t profess to be profound. But perhaps my brother’s penetration may enable him to have some insight into his character. no! Pray don’t say that.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘if I could not understand the boy. ‘We’ll agree.not very decently . I think. and dull. There I was comfortable. and not afraid of being myself. ‘I am sorry to observe that you are of a sullen disposition. If I came into the room where they were. Murdstone. my dear Jane.I am certain you’ll excuse me. of all such dispositions that ever I have seen. my dear Clara.boorish.’ resumed my mother.’ interposed Miss Murdstone. The tormenting humour which was dominant there stopped them both. and. and therefore I speak with great diffidence. And I believe my brother was speaking on the subject when we . ‘But I am sure it is. I profit so much by it myself. Murdstone were in his best humour. Clara. I felt that I made them as uncomfortable as they made me. But neither of these resources was approved of in the parlour. and uneasily watched their looks if I only moved. ‘and everybody knows it is. Therefore I resolved to keep myself as much out of their way as I could. that she was afraid to speak to me or to be kind to me. ‘Now. In the evening. and many a wintry hour did I hear the church clock strike. 1 David Copperfield I stood still. and they were talking together and my mother seemed cheerful.’ returned Miss Murdstone. ‘David.’ ‘And the boy’s is. my dear Jane. ‘your understanding is very vigorous -’ ‘Oh dear. arranging the little fetters on her wrists. I had perception enough to know that my mother was the victim always.’ said Mr. David. that I don’t understand him at all. could not be suffered to absent myself. I assure you. Clara.’ said my mother. lest she should give them some offence by her manner of doing so.that no one can be more convinced of it than myself. ‘but are you quite sure .’ ‘No doubt. of all tempers.that you understand Davy?’ ‘I should be somewhat ashamed of myself. I was still held to be necessary to my poor mother’s training. and hung my head.at least I ought to .’ ‘As sulky as a bear!’ said Miss Murdstone. and receive a lecture afterwards. If Miss Murdstone were in her worst.’ returned Miss Murdstone. as one of her trials. when I was sitting in my cheerless bedroom. that she was not only ceaselessly afraid of her own offending. ‘a sullen obdurate disposition is. my dear Jane .interrupted him. my dear Jane. wrapped in my little great-coat. If Mr.

sir!’ he returned so fiercely. turning his head and his eyes stiffly towards me. as if she answered ‘Yes.’ he replied.’ he resumed. Sit down. and keep a watch upon yourself. David. ‘I observe that you have an attachment to low and common company.’ He ordered me like a dog. once for all.’ but she said nothing aloud. Further. Murdstone. and I obeyed like a dog.’ ‘Don’t take refuge in a lie. and afraid to move an eye lest she should light on some look of dislike or scrutiny Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘I only say.since you. I took refuge with Peggotty no more. ‘You have withdrawn yourself in your sullenness to your own room. my dear Clara. ‘I have never meant to be sullen since I came back. in a low grave voice. ‘One thing more.’ ‘I beg your pardon. that I require you to be here. Clara. ‘I will have a respectful. and not there. You know now.’ replied my mother. prompt. that I saw my mother involuntarily put out her trembling hand as if to interpose between us. ‘and towards Jane Murdstone. to change it.’ addressing my mother in a lower voice. Both you and Jane are.’ I knew well . sir. The kitchen will not improve you. ‘that there may be better and more dispassionate judges of such a question than you. and that it is to be abandoned. in the many respects in which you need improvement.‘I think. and ready bearing to10 David Copperfield wards myself. addressing me. Of the woman who abets you. but sat wearily in the parlour day after day. You know me. I say nothing .and I obeyed him to the letter. I will have it done. I remarked. Murdstone.’ Miss Murdstone gave a hoarse chuckle. that I require you to bring obedience here. ‘you are a far better judge of all questions than I pretend to be. at the pleasure of a child. This is not a character that I can suffer to develop itself beneath my eyes without an effort at improvement. ‘to observe that you are of a sullen disposition. and you know what will be the consequence if you fail to obey me to the letter. ‘Try not to do it again. I retreated to my own room no more. David.’ said Mr. ‘that I disapprove of your preferring such company as Mistress Peggotty. You are not to associate with servants. sitting in the same attitude hours upon hours. and towards your mother. Now.’ MY mother’s lips moved.’ he continued. and bedtime. afraid to move an arm or a leg lest Miss Murdstone should complain (as she did on the least pretence) of my restlessness. I only said -’ ‘You only said something weak and inconsiderate. ‘from old associations and long-established fancies.’ ‘A most unaccountable delusion it is!’ cried Miss Murdstone. my dear Edward. You must endeavour. Clara. sir. We must endeavour to change it for you. timidly.’ ‘Edward. I will not have this room shunned as if it were infected. have a weakness respecting her which is not yet overcome. looking forward to night. ‘I was sorry. You have kept your own room when you ought to have been here.com 11 . David. What irksome constraint I underwent.’ he said.’ said Mr.better perhaps than he thought.’ I faltered. you understand me. as far as my poor mother was concerned .

down muddy lanes. and that mine. and she stood at the garden-gate alone. Creakle loomed behind him. and blunted them! What meals I had in silence and embarrassment. harder-hearted treatise on arithmetic. but I was recovering a little and looking forward to Steerforth. or ‘Away with Melancholy’. what a heavy relief it was to hear Miss Murdstone hail the first stroke of nine at night. and watching Miss Murdstone’s little shiny steel beads as she strung them.com 1 . a plate and chair too many. and not a hair of her head. Again Mr. I was not sorry to go. which everybody overlooked. what a blank space I seemed. and that I! What evenings. and counting the divisions in the moulding of the chimney-piece. what starts I came out of concealed sleeps with. when they wouldn’t stand still to be learnt.holding up her baby in her arms.a silent presence near my bed . everywhere: a monstrous load that I was obliged to bear. for the gulf between us was there. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that lives in my mind. and the parting was there. in the bad winter weather. and those mine. but. and Mr. as what followed the embrace. nor a fold of her dress. in my sleep at school . to the ceiling. and my baby brother. with my eyes. was stirred. to little observations that I rarely made. and that mine. when the tables of weights and measures set themselves to tunes. an appetite too many. a weight that brooded on my wits. always feeling that there were a knife and fork too many. I kissed her. Barkis appeared at the gate. and Miss Murdstone in it. every day. among the curls and corkscrews in the paper on the wall! What walks I took alone.that would find new cause for complaint in mine! What intolerable dulness to sit listening to the ticking of the clock. I looked out. holding her baby up in her arms for me to see. a somebody too many. and yet was in everybody’s way.looking at me with the same intent face . and if so. holding up her child. I was in the carrier’s cart when I heard her calling to me. and was very sorry then. a daymare that there was no possibility of breaking in. to bid me farewell. carrying that parlour. though it was as fervent as could be. and wondering whether she would ever be married. It was cold still weather. I had lapsed into a stupid state. So I lost her. what answers I 1 David Copperfield never got. not daring to read an entertaining book. So I saw her afterwards. as she looked intently at me. said: ‘Clara!’ when my mother bent over me. in at one ear and out at the other! What yawns and dozes I lapsed into. And it is not so much the embrace she gave me. and order me to bed! Thus the holidays lagged away. 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. when the candles came. pored over some hard-headed. and again Miss Murdstone in her warning voice. but would go threading my grandmother’s needle through my unfortunate head. to what sort of unhappy man. as ‘Rule Britannia’. and wandering away. in spite of all my care. but not sorry to go away. and I was expected to employ myself. albeit Mr.

But no hamper.’ I might have been surprised by the feeling tone in which he spoke. and tap their feet upon the floor. and the breath of the boys wreathing and smoking in the raw cold as they blow upon their fingers. David. I feel my rimy hair fall clammy on my cheek. It is even difficult for me to believe that there was a gap of full two months between my return to Salem House and the arrival of that birthday. my boy.CHAPTER 9 I HAVE A MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY I PASS over all that happened at school. I see the hoar frost.’ I expected a hamper from Peggotty.com 1 1 . David Copperfield I look along the dim perspective of the schoolroom.’ Mr. when Mr. seems to have swallowed up all lesser recollections. and we had been summoned in from the playground. I hurried away to the parlour. and brightened at the order. How well I recollect the kind of day it was! I smell the fog that hung about the place. at whom of course I looked. Creakle. but I gave it none until afterwards. Except that Steerforth was more to be admired than ever. ghostly. some of us when we are Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and sitting down beside me.’ said Mrs. and there I found Mr. Creakle. Some of the boys about me put in their claim not to be forgotten in the distribution of the good things. and Mrs. if I had given it a thought. I have something to tell you. sitting at his breakfast with the cane and a newspaper before him. and to exist alone. I remember nothing.’ said Mr. ‘You are too young to know how the world changes every day. with a sputtering candle here and there to light up the foggy morning. ‘and how the people in it pass away. Sharp. and was more spirited and independent than before in my eyes. But we all have to learn it. but beyond this I remember nothing. through it. ‘Don’t hurry. if not sooner. and therefore more engaging than before. David. my child. ‘I want to speak to you very particularly. leading me to a sofa.’ said Mrs. and stopped up a sigh with a very large piece of buttered toast. don’t hurry. ‘David Copperfield. He was going away at the end of the half-year. I can only understand that the fact was so. as I got out of my seat with great alacrity. shook his head without looking at me. It was after breakfast. until the anniversary of my birthday came round in March. Creakle with an opened letter in her hand. otherwise I should feel convinced that there was no interval. and that the one occasion trod upon the other’s heels. Sharp entered and said: ‘David Copperfield is to go into the parlour. Creakle. The great remembrance by which that time is marked in my mind. Creakle. ‘There’s time enough. because I know it must have been so.

and her figure seemed to move in it for an instant. when I walked in the playground that afternoon while the boys were in school. But I remember that this importance was a kind of satisfaction to me. and left me alone sometimes. and Traddles insisted on lending me his pillow.’ I looked at her earnestly. and was principally used by country-people travelling short intermediate distances upon the road. I considered.’ said she. but by the heavy night-coach. I felt it rather good in myself not to be proud to any of them. poor fellow. after a pause. I don’t know what good he thought it would do me. and looked into the glass to see how red my eyes were. I thought of our house shut up and hushed. I thought 1 David Copperfield of my father’s grave in the churchyard.for I was going home to the funeral. ‘Because. making no attempt to answer.’ There was no need to tell me so. Mrs. ‘She is dead. We had no story-telling that evening. ‘She is very dangerously ill. She was very kind to me. I was to go home next night.’ she added. ‘Was your mama well?’ I trembled without distinctly knowing why. except a sheet of letter-paper full of skeletons. as before. and awoke and cried again. not by the mail. and I cried. and they came out and spoke to me. I felt distinguished. and that he Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I was. I began to think. as they seemed to be. but idly loitering near it. which was called the Farmer. not intent on the calamity that weighed upon my heart. and looked more melancholy. If ever child were stricken with sincere grief. some of us when we are old. Then I felt the burning tears run down my face. after some hours were gone. and who. and my grief a dull pain that there was no ease for.com 1 . and felt an orphan in the wide world. and walked slower. ‘were they all well?’ After another pause. When I saw them glancing at me out of the windows. I knew all now. I had already broken out into a desolate cry. I thought of the little baby. what. Creakle. would die too. and of my mother lying there beneath the tree I knew so well. who. by our house. When I could cry no more. and it was steady again. and to take exactly the same notice of them all. And yet my thoughts were idle. I am sensible of having felt that a dignity attached to me among the rest of the boys. for I had one of my own: but it was all he had to lend. they believed. and how sorrowful my face. as they went up to their classes.’ A mist rose between Mrs. it would affect me most to think of when I drew near home . some of us at all times of our lives. ‘When you came away from home at the end of the vacation. in connexion with my loss. ‘I grieve to tell you that I hear this morning your mama is very ill. had been pining away for some time. and that I was important in my affliction. I stood upon a chair when I was left alone. and wore myself to sleep. and then the oppression on my breast was heaviest.’ said Mrs. and still looked at her earnestly. Creakle said.young. She kept me there all day. if my tears were really hard to flow now. Creakle and me. When school was over.

He was so fat that he was obliged to pant some time before he could say: ‘That’s right. without any variation. ‘No. It was a close and stifling little shop. ‘You take things so easy. black stockings. and we walked away to a shop in a narrow street. little old man in black.tat-tat. Omer. TAILOR. ‘Well. There was a good fire in the room.’ ‘Will you come with me.tat-tat. which were heaped upon the table. We travelled very slowly all night. I think I’ll measure this young scholar. ‘What a porpoise you do grow!’ ‘Well. thank Heaven! Ain’t we. ‘How do you get on.’ said Minnie.’ he replied. playfully. and then went on with their work.I did not know what the smell was then. At the same time there came from a workshop across a little yard outside the window.tat-tat. wondering who he was. a regular sound of hammering that kept a kind of tune: RAT . Stitch. ‘We are all pretty gay here. made and unmade. I don’t know how it is. ‘Don’t you be afraid. and said: ‘Master Copperfield?’ ‘Yes. Minnie?’ ‘We shall be ready by the trying-on time. if you please.’ said Mr. Barkis. including one window full of beaver-hats and bonnets. my dear.’ said my conductor to one of the three young women. young sir. and a broad-brimmed hat. indeed. HABERDASHER. father?’ ‘I hope so. DRAPER. and instead of him a fat. Omer took off his broad-brimmed hat. We went into a little back-parlour behind the shop. as a soother of my sorrows and a contribution to my peace of mind. I little thought then that I left it. RAT . you see.’ returned his daughter.’ ‘Father!’ said Minnie. ‘and I shall have the pleasure of taking you home. came puffing up to the coach window. but he was not there. I left Salem House upon the morrow afternoon. short-winded.com 1 . and a breathless smell of warm black crape . Would you walk into the shop. stitch. merry-looking.’ ‘You are such a comfortable man. father. raised their heads to look at me. on which was written OMER. where we found three young women at work on a quantity of black materials. Omer. in compliance with his request. stitch. with rusty little bunches of ribbons at the knees of his breeches. but I know now. who appeared to be very industrious and comfortable.’ he said. &c. my dear.gave me at parting. Master Copperfield?’ I preceded Mr. 1 David Copperfield The three young women. Omer. and did not get into Yarmouth before nine or ten o’clock in the morning. ‘As I have got my breath now. and little bits and cuttings of which were littered all over the floor. full of all sorts of clothing. I looked out for Mr. without looking up.’ said Mr.’ Mr. considering about it. opening the door.’ ‘No use taking ‘em otherwise.’ she replied gaily. sir. RAT . never to return. and after showing me a roll of cloth which he said was extra Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ I put my hand in his. FUNERAL FURNISHER. and sat down and panted. ‘I am rather so. my dear.

nobody knows when.’ Minnie coloured a little. pleasantly. breathing with some difficulty on the way. which he was obliged to take out before he could speak. ‘Oh. if he lays in a fraction. RAT . ‘Done. sir?’ I inquired.’ said Mr. which would possibly have been beyond me under any circumstances. ‘RAT . Mr. sir?’ ‘All your life.’ ‘He is in his mother’s arms. ‘It was either his request or her direction. and they go out.’ said Mr. RAT . but she was very cheerful at having nearly finished her work and being in good time. They come in. ‘I may say before it. and put my hair away from my eyes with a soft.tat-tat. He was five foot nine and a half. ‘Yes. She was a pretty. poor little fellow! Is he dead?’ ‘Don’t mind it more than you can help.’ I was too sorrowful to discuss the question.tat-tat.’ said Joram. and to certain other fashions which he said had ‘just gone out’. my young friend. The baby’s dead.’ said Mr. why. during which I sat looking about me and thinking. for the black things destroyed my appetite. and the other two girls smiled Free eBooks at Planet eBook. if you look at it in that point of view.’ ‘Do you know how my little brother is.super. during which I had not made much impression on the breakfast. I forget which.tat-tat. Omer. lest I should spot the mourning that was lying there with my tears. He had a hammer in his hand. or how. and listening to the stitching in the room and the tune that was being hammered across the yard. and too good mourning for anything short of parents.’ said Mr. why. and went and rested my head on another table. ‘But fashions are like human beings. Omer. RAT . appeared on a tray. and his mouth was full of little nails. and was so different from me! Presently the tune left off. He then called down a little break-neck range of steps behind a door: ‘Bring up that tea and bread-and-butter!’ which. Omer. ‘And by that sort of thing we very often lose a little mint of money. and he lays in five-and-twen-ty foot of ground. Omer.’ said he. ‘How do you get on?’ ‘All right.tat-tat.’ My wounds broke out afresh at this intelligence. and turned out to be for me.tat-tat. While he was recording them he called my attention to his stock in trade. which Minnie hastily cleared. I left the scarcely-tasted breakfast. and Mr.com 11 . in a corner of the little room.’ across the yard. after some time. Omer. after watching me for some minutes. ‘Well. Joram!’ said Mr. Everything is like life. I knew 10 David Copperfield your father before you. and a good-looking young fellow came across the yard into the room. Omer. and put them down in a book. RAT . Omer took me back into the parlour. ‘He lays in five and twen-ty foot of ground.’ ‘RAT .tat-tat.’ said Mr. nobody knows when. in my opinion. good-natured girl. or how. he took my various dimensions. and to certain fashions which he said had ‘just come up’. Omer shook his head. ‘I have been acquainted with you.’ ‘Have you. sir. kind touch. ‘I have been acquainted with you a long time.

humming a lively little tune the while. rising. 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. sitting at the table in the corner with my head leaning on my hand. at a little glass behind the door. shutting up one eye. ‘What! you were at it by candle-light last night.’ Minnie interposed. remembering how they had been employed. They were very cheerful. I was put in next.’ said Mr.’ said Mr.and you. All this I observed. perhaps) as that of being with them. dear mother’s coffin that they went to look at. and made a great deal of him. Omer. and those three followed. Jo1 David Copperfield ram. ‘My dear’. ‘why I turned to with a will. ‘. I was more afraid of them. and when the young man entered. and go over together. then? Were you?’ said Mr. and went into the shop to put that to rights. Omer. Minnie and me .at one another. laughing till he coughed. and moped in my corner. whose names I had not heard. the two girls. There was plenty of room for us all. half pianoforte-van.’ ‘Oh! I thought you were going to leave me out altogether.’ said Joram. and then she put her thimble and scissors in her pocket. Omer. while it was going on. at all). and seeing them enjoy the ride. and the two young people sat behind him. and stuck a needle threaded with black thread neatly in the bosom of her gown. Then he went out again. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and wait for customers.but it came into my mind what the noise was. and the baskets being put in first. Omer. ‘But perhaps you’re right. I had never heard one making. They would have talked to me too. you see.As you was so good as to say that. I was not angry with them. who I had no doubt was her lover. when I was at the club. and pack it in two baskets. but I held back.’ resumed the young man. if it was done. Minnie stayed behind to fold up what they had made. ‘I thought it might be agreeable. the one on one side of his chubby face and the other on the other. and drawn by a black horse with a long tail. and said her father was gone for the chaise. scared by their love-making and hilarity. and put on her outer clothing smartly. and whenever he spoke to them leaned forward. and he stopped and turned to me: ‘would you like to see your -’ ‘No. The old man sat in front to drive. in which I saw the reflection of her pleased face.’ I can’t say how I knew it was my dear. The work being now finished. and my thoughts running on very different things. came in and stole a kiss from her while she was busy (he didn’t appear to mind me. painted of a sombre colour. This she did upon her knees. Will you give me your opinion of it?’ ‘I will. I am sure I knew what he had been doing.’ said Mr. I remember it as a kind of half chaise-cart. father. and he must make haste and get himself ready. my dear. brushed the shreds and threads from their dresses. I had never seen one that I know of. ‘Yes. ‘As you said we could make a little trip of it.com 1 . The chaise soon came round to the front of the shop..

and never to me. if I had been measured for my mourning. I said: ‘Yes. who was busy at her writing-desk. in passing up or down stairs. I saw but little of Peggotty. As long as her poor dear pretty was above the ground. and almost wondering that no judgement came upon them for their hardness of heart. and asked me. and spoke in whispers. she said. I dropped out of the chaise behind. And oh. as quickly as possible. scratching composedly with a hard pen. in the better time. she would never desert her. Miss Murdstone. So. I have brought home all my clothes. and her strength of mind. as if the dead could be disturbed. on such an occasion.seeing the window of my mother’s room. except the clocks. and then put it down and walk to and fro in the room. weeping silently. for a long time.though it was far from boisterous. and her firmness. and ate and drank and enjoyed themselves. and being moved by nothing. hour after hour. Mr. that I might not be in their company before those solemn windows. when we reached home. ‘have you brought 1 David Copperfield ‘em home?’ ‘Yes. I could touch nothing that they touched. but she controlled it soon.’ ‘And your shirts. She had not been in bed. All the rest of that day. Her brother took a book sometimes. and watched. except that. was mine! I was in Peggotty’s arms before I got to the door. Murdstone took no heed of me when I went into the parlour where he was. I used to sit with folded hands watching him.’ said Miss Murdstone. She was particularly proud of her turn for business. but I am conFree eBooks at Planet eBook. but sat by the fireside. and counting his footsteps. ma’am. and except that she came to me every night. In these days before the funeral. and she took me into the house. I found. but would remain for a whole hour without turning the leaf. and sat by my bed’s head while I went to sleep. which was covered with letters and papers. and her common sense. in the whole motionless house.’ This was all the consolation that her firmness administered to me.com 1 . when they stopped to bait the horse. looking blindly on me like closed eyes once bright. and from morning to night afterwards. gave me her cold finger-nails. in an iron whisper. So. but kept my fast unbroken. Her grief burst out when she first saw me. He would open it and look at it as if he were reading. she sat at that desk. how little need I had had to think what would move me to tears when I came back . speaking in the same imperturbable whisper to everybody. I always found her close to the room where my mother and her baby lay. and the whole diabolical catalogue of her unamiable qualities. He very seldom spoke to her. A day or two before the burial . but never read it that I saw. and pondering in his elbow-chair.I think it was a day or two before. or softening a tone of her voice. and next it that which. and walked softly. never relaxing a muscle of her face. She sat up at night still. and she showed it now in reducing everything to pen and ink. I do not doubt that she had a choice pleasure in exhibiting what she called her self-command. He seemed to be the only restless thing. or appearing with an atom of her dress astray.

the bright condition of the fire. Chillip. ‘And how is Master David?’ he says. and even in the background. when mine was always wondering there.of a sadder colour. ma’am?’ This is to Miss Murdstone.and yet I see and know them all.com 1 . Miss Murdstone merely answers with a frown and a formal bend: Mr. and our black clothes. I only recollect that underneath some white covering on the bed. and they move before us down the path. among the little crowd. Now there is a solemn hush. Grayper. see Minnie looking on. meekly smiling. sounding remote in the open air. I cannot tell him very well. the odour of Miss Murdstone’s dress. Chillip. and past the elms. whom of all the people upon earth I love the best. and. long ago. Omer and another come to make us ready. We stand around the grave. and yet distinct and plain. As Peggotty was wont to tell me. Murdstone. and into the churchyard. Mr. I remark this. If the funeral had been yesterday. or have done since I came 1 David Copperfield home. Mr. There are Mr. with something shining in his eye. The very air of the best parlour. faces that I knew in church. the followers of my father to the same grave were made ready in the same room. when I went in at the door. kindly. which he holds in his. Chillip is in the room.I mind nothing but my grief . and Mr. They grow out of our knowledge. the Bearers and their load are in the garden. I hear the voice of the clergyman. Chillip. and the light not of the same colour . and her eye glancing on her sweetheart. I do not mind them .scious of confusion in my mind about that heavy time. and while we stand bareheaded. I give him my hand. ma’am?’ says Mr. And now the bell begins to sound. When we go out to the door. saying: ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. Chillip. I could not recollect it better. which we have brought from home with what is resting in the mould.she took me into the room. standing apart among the lookers-on. where I have so often heard the birds sing on a summer morning. the patterns of the glasses and plates. and that when she would have turned the cover gently back. because I remark everything that happens. ‘Our little friends grow up around us. discomfited. when she came to the village in her youthful bloom. and through the gate. with nothing to mark its progress . the shining of the wine in the decanters. I cried: ‘Oh no! oh no!’ and held her hand. not because I care about myself. who makes no reply. faces that first saw my mother. and comes to speak to me. goes into a corner. and unto whom my childish heart is certain that the Lord will one day say: ‘Well done. saith the Lord!’ Then I hear sobs. and opens his mouth no more. The day seems different to me from every other day.’ There are many faces that I know. ‘There is a great improvement here. the faint sweet smell of cake. keeping me with him. our neighbour Mr. and I. with a beautiful cleanliness and freshness all around it. I see that good and faithful servant. ‘Dear me!’ says Mr. who is near Free eBooks at Planet eBook. far away. there seemed to me to lie embodied the solemn stillness that was in the house.

It is over. All this. poor fellow. and when we get home.’ ‘’It’s off my mind now.so soft.’ Here Peggotty stopped. ‘The last time that I saw her like her own old self.’ ‘She tried to hold up after that. ‘I think she got to be more timid. of late.’ said Peggotty. I think I am dying. If this is sleep. when she said to him: ‘My dear. ‘I never shall see my pretty darling again. Something tells me so. and holding my hand. that tells the truth. and never fell asleep in any other way.’ said Peggotty. Chillip talks to me. but this stands like a high rock in the ocean. She sat down by my side upon my little bed. I thought at first she would get better.me. I say.for she loved them. was the night when you came home. every day for a few days to come. ‘On the last night. I know. and when I ask his leave to go up to my room. The day you went away. in the evening.she was afraid of saying it to anybody else . ‘for a long time.com 1 . dismisses me with the gentleness of a woman. so linked in my mind with the young idea of what is gone. sit by me while I sleep: don’t leave me. and that a hard word was like a blow to her. and not happy. But she was always the same to me. and the earth is filled in. but afterwards she used to sing to it . and Mr. she kissed me. ‘He will believe it more and more.’ she told me. a little more than a week before it happened. The Sabbath stillness of the time (the day was so like Sunday! I have forgotten that) was suited to us both. she always turned to me. and sometimes putting it to her lips. didn’t my sweet girl. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Before us stands our house. so pretty and unchanged. she couldn’t bear not to love anyone who was about her . when I heard her. God bless both my children! God protect and keep my fatherless boy!’ ‘I never left her afterwards. and more frightened1 David Copperfield like. but it was all a bygone then. ‘She was never well. But they take me on. that I once thought. that all my sorrow has been nothing to the sorrow it calls forth. but she was more delicate.but when they went away from her bed-side. in her way. as she might have comforted my little brother. it was like a voice up in the air. She was uncertain in her mind. She never changed to her foolish Peggotty. when they told her she was thoughtless and light-hearted. I knew that Peggotty would come to me in my room. when I laid her in her bed that night. ‘She often talked to them two downstairs . and sunk a little every day. and softly beat upon my hand a little while. that was rising away. and many a time. and we turn to come away. Peggotty. I am very tired. made believe to be so. is yesterday’s event. She used to like to sit alone before her baby came. my dear. and then it will be past. She never told her husband what she had told me . and sometimes smoothing it with hers. told me. all that she had to tell concerning what had happened. as if there was rest where Peggotty was. and then she cried. Events of later date have floated from me to the shore where all forgotten things will reappear. puts some water to my lips. When her baby was born.till one night. she said to me.

‘Lay your good arm underneath my neck. and another gentle beating on my hand. From the moment of my knowing of the death of my mother. hushed for ever on her bosom. Peggotty. please let them lay him in my arms.so beautiful! ‘Daybreak had come.’ she said.com 01 . when she lay here. What Peggotty had told me now. how kind and considerate Mr.’ she said then. for the poor lamb lived but a day beyond her. Copperfield had always been to her. In her death she winged her way back to her calm untroubled youth. and the sun was rising. only as the young mother of my earliest impressions.’ she said.when she was glad to lay her poor head on her stupid cross old Peggotty’s arm . ‘It was pretty far in the night. and I want it to be near. and told her. for your face is going far off. that a loving heart was better and stronger than wisdom. was the mother of my infancy. from that instant. and to dance with me at twilight in the parlour. the little creature in her arms. ‘and tell him that his mother.’ (It was done.and she died like a child that had gone to sleep!’ Thus ended Peggotty’s narration. when she said to me. ‘Peggotty.’ for she was very weak. that it rooted the earlier image in my mind.) ‘Let my dearest boy go with us to our resting-place. and when she had taken it. but a thousand times. and bury us together. the idea of her as she had been of late had vanished from me.said: ‘If my baby should die too.’ said Peggotty. the dear! . blessed him not once. was so far from bringing me back to the later period.‘‘ Another silence followed this. It may be curious. ‘when she asked me for some drink. and cancelled all the rest. and that he was a happy man in hers. was myself. who had been used to wind her bright curls 00 David Copperfield round and round her finger. ‘put me nearer to you. when she doubted herself. and oh Davy! the time had come when my first parting words to you were true . I remembered her. ‘and turn me to you. but it is true. gave me such a patient smile. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as I had once been.’ I put it as she asked. and how he had borne with her. my dear. The mother who lay in the grave.

not a word was said. to ask Miss Murdstone when I was going back to school.CHAPTER 10 I BECOME NEGLECTED. as well as on the feasibility of my getting rid of this picture by going away somewhere. I was still giddy with the shock of my mother’s death. Murdstone’s. but I soon began to think that such fears were groundless. I mustered courage once. and so was Peggotty. The constraint that had been put upon me. I can recollect. I was so far from being required to keep my dull post in the parlour. indeed. was to give Peggotty a month’s warning. or cared for any more. and we condoled with one another. when I was warming my hands at the kitchen fire. Murdstone likes me less than he used to. It was this. and which. I was very anxious to know what was going to be done with me. provided I was not in Mr. She told me we must part. at odd times. I dare say. one evening. or a step taken. was quite abandoned. Happy they would have been. I believe she would have retained it. At first I was in daily dread of his taking my education in hand again. ‘Mr. AND AM PROVIDED FOR T he first act of business Miss Murdstone performed when the day of the solemnity was over. or of Miss Murdstone’s devoting herself to it. and light was freely admitted into the house.’ I said in a thoughtful whisper. ‘Peggotty. yet more uncomfortable about the future. and told me why. left the wall blank again. I was told nothing more. He never liked me Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in all sincerity. Miss Murdstone frowned to me to go away. as they melted away. to seek my fortune: but these were transient visions. might have made me. moody man. which. and that all I had to anticipate was neglect. daydreams I sat looking at sometimes. but neither she nor I could pick up any information on the subject. about the village. she believed I was not going back at all. that on several occasions. if they could have dismissed me at a month’s warning too. when I took my seat there. while it reDavid Copperfield lieved me of a great deal of present uneasiness. as if they were faintly painted or written on the wall of my room. that. I was never sought out or inquired for.com 0 0 . in preference to the best upon earth. for my sake. and growing up to be a shabby. I do not conceive that this discovery gave me much pain then. and she answered dryly. There was one change in my condition. if I had been capable of considering it closely. I was so far from being warned off from Peggotty’s society. Much as Peggotty would have disliked such a service. like the hero in a story. on the possibility of my not being taught any more. and in a kind of stunned state as to all tributary things. As to me or my future. to have speculated. lounging an idle life away.

there. ‘Yes. ‘As long as you are here. but he would rather not even see me now. Peggotty excepted. by a doubt of Miss Murdstone’s giving her consent. and Peggotty. Peggotty. my pet. and finding charms against them in the shells and pebbles on the beach.’ replied Peggotty. first. and get to be something like myself again. ‘Angry. all ways I could think of . ‘and been as bad as lost. But it’s not that. Now. for Peggotty went on to say: ‘I’m a-going. You won’t be quite at the other end of the world.much. of roaming up and down with little Em’ly.’ ‘You might have gone farther off. as silent as she. telling her my troubles. no. my 0 David Copperfield dear old Peggotty. every week of my life!’ I felt a great weight taken off my mind by this promise: but even this was not all.all the ways there are. but if I was to go in. you might be let to go along with me.just till I have had time to look about me. the stones dropping in the water. of renewing the peacefulness of the sweet Sunday morning. after a silence. The idea of being again surrounded by those honest faces. I am sorry too. oh.’ I answered. If I believed it was his sorrow. ‘If he was only sorry. to be sure. could have given me a sense of pleasure at that time.’ ‘How do you know it’s not that?’ said Peggotty. when the bells were ringing. as they don’t want you here at present. ‘and live there. stroking my hair.’ said Peggotty. I should not think of it at all. Peggotty?’ ‘I have tried. Davy.’ says I. in Blunderstone. in short . ‘Oh. I shall come over every week of my life to see you. for another fortnight’s visit . I am only sorry. and the shadowy ships breaking through the mist. with great animation. he would be something besides. and it makes me feel kinder. ‘I am sure. it would have been this project of all others. sitting by the fireside with Miss Murdstone. I have been thinking that perhaps. and all the ways there ain’t. I shall see you sometimes.’ ‘What would he be?’ said Peggotty. One day.’ I said. and I warmed my hands. Peggotty. ‘Do you mean to go and seek your fortune?’ ‘I expect I shall be forced to go to Yarmouth.’ ‘And what do you mean to do.com 0 . wistfully. his sorrow is another and quite a different thing. for she came out to take an evening grope in the store-closet while we were yet in conversation. he wouldn’t look at me as he does. if he can help it. to my brother’s.to get a suitable service here. broached the topic on the spot. will you?’ ‘Contrary ways. brightening a little. Peggotty. Peggotty. short of being in a different relation to every one about me. shining welcome on me. please God!’ cried Peggotty. ‘Davy. with an involuntary imitation of his dark frown. It was ruffled next moment. He is sorry at this moment.’ Peggotty said nothing for a little while. my love. you see. but there’s no such a thing. with a boldness that amazed me.’ ‘Perhaps it’s his sorrow. it’s not that. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ she said at length. my dear. but even that was set at rest soon.’ If anything. made a calm in my heart.

‘Are you? Really and truly pretty comfortable? Are you? Eh?’ At each of these inquiries Mr. Barkis. for when the month was out. as an act of politeness. She had been walking in the churchyard. looking into a pickle-jar.had been formed. he would be idle here . Mr.’ I remarked. Mr. and nudging her with his elbow. or what he meant by it. so that at last we were all crowded together in the left-hand corner of the cart. without making any demonstration of joy. the permission was given. and got away by degrees. I could see. if meaning could ever be said to find its way into Mr.’ I thanked her. and answered in the affirmative. So long as she remained in this condition. you know.‘The boy will be idle there. though?’ said Mr. who generally qualified his speech. and sat in it with her hand0 David Copperfield kerchief at her eyes.’ Peggotty had an angry answer ready. ‘Peggotty is quite comfortable now. Barkis eyed her. and she got into the cart. ‘it is of more importance than anything else . And he gave me a look as he shouldered the largest box and went out. very early. But. too. and I was so squeezed that I could hardly bear it. Barkis. with a sagacious air. ‘It ain’t bad. Mr. for his satisfaction. Mr.for my mother and myself . Barkis.com 0 . Barkis came into the house for Peggotty’s boxes. in my opinion. After reflecting about it. and to speak to me. ‘Is she. I have not the least notion at whom. Barkis gave me a little more room at once. and gave her another nudge. Peggotty and I were ready to depart. Peggotty calling his attention to my sufferings. Mr. Barkis!’ I said. but on this occasion he came into the house. ‘It’s a beautiful day. to be sure. with as great an access of sourness as if her black eyes had absorbed its contents.it is of paramount importance .or anywhere. Peggotty was naturally in low spirits at leaving what had been her home so many years. He sat in his usual place and attitude like a great stuffed figure. Barkis gave no sign of life whatever. Are you?’ growled Mr. I suppose I had better say yes. Nor could I help thinking this a prudent course. ‘Humph!’ said Miss Murdstone. he nodded his head and grinned several times.’ said Mr. which I thought had meaning in it. sliding nearer to her on the seat. but she swallowed it for my sake. and rarely committed himself. However. and where the two strong attachments of her life . and remained silent. and was never retracted. lest it should induce her to withdraw her assent. Mr. I had never known him to pass the garden-gate before. Barkis.that my brother should not be disturbed or made uncomfortable. But I could not help observing that he seemed to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. since she looked at me out of the pickle-jar.’ said Miss Murdstone. But when she began to look about her. ‘But really and truly. ‘and idleness is the root of all evil. Barkis’s visage. still keeping her eye on the pickles. and said: ‘ARE you pretty comfortable?’ Peggotty laughed. Barkis shuffled nearer to her.

‘Like his impudence. when Mr. ‘It’s all right. presented but a vacant appearance. I apprehend. expressly on our account. darling?’ she asked again.’ said Mr. we were all too much shaken and jolted.I suppose you would like me as much then. Barkis solemnly made a sign to me with his forefinger to come under an archway. Mr. as you do now?’ I returned. and shook hands with Mr. nodding confidentially. Barkis. and we were going away. first. By and by he made another descent upon us with the same inquiry. Barkis.com 0 . she asked me what he had said. They each took one of Peggotty’s trunks. and most assuredly should have got as much information out of it as out of the face of a clock that had stopped. Even when Peggotty was in the act of drinking. and almost choked her. pretended to look at the prospect. and a shame-faced leer upon his countenance. but for Peggotty’s calling me away. As we were going along. Barkis. and repeating. shaking hands. ‘Are you pretty comfortable though?’ bore down upon us as before. ‘It was Barkis. and standing on the foot-board. Peggotty. agreeable. Barkis. At length. he had more to do and less time for gallantry.’ I nodded assent. I thought. I got up whenever I saw him coming. ‘If you were thinking of being married . without the inconvenience of inventing conversation. It’s all right.’ growled Mr. to have any leisure for anything else. after a little consideration. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. By and by he turned to Peggotty again. with an attempt to be very profound: ‘Oh!’ ‘It didn’t come to a end there. after which I did very well. and Barkis only. ‘but I don’t mind that! Davy dear. He manifestly chuckled over it for some time. when this was over. as well as of her relations going on before. the good soul was obliged to stop and embrace me on the spot. what should you think if I was to think of being married?’ ‘Why . Greatly to the astonishment of the passengers in the street.to Mr. ‘I’m a friend of your’n. and when we got on Yarmouth pavement.’ In his attempts to be particularly lucid.’ Again I answered. Peggotty and Ham waited for us at the old place. who. and pervading his very legs. ‘Tell me what should you say.’ 0 David Copperfield I looked up into his face. Barkis was so extremely mysterious. But as we drew nearer to the end of our journey. ‘Oh!’ ‘You know who was willin’. and the same result.’ said Mr.think he had hit upon a wonderful expedient for expressing himself in a neat. he was seized with one of those approaches. ‘I say.’ said Peggotty. until the breath was nearly edged out of my body. that I might have stood looking in his face for an hour. and we were walking on. and I told her he had said it was all right. Mr.’ said my friend. ‘it was all right. and entertain us with broiled mutton and beer. with many protestations of her unalterable love. Barkis. and answered. He was so polite as to stop at a public-house. You made it all right. and pointed manner. ‘It was all right. with his hat on the very back of his head. They received me and Peggotty in an affectionate manner.

‘in from twenty minutes to half-an-hour’s time. ‘and if I tried to do my duty by him. with all my heart. let alone my working with a better heart in my own house. Mawther!’ cried Mr.if I wasn’t pretty comfortable. ‘I feel it more than anybody else. I may be laid not far off from my darling girl!’ We neither of us said anything for a little while.’ I replied. Davy. applied herself to blowing the fire. But there was no little Em’ly to be seen. crabs.’ said Peggotty. appeared to be in the same state of conglomeration in the same old corner. and the very same lobsters. and could come for nothing. Gummidge was waiting at the door as if she had stood there ever since. And I shall be always near my pretty’s resting-place. This quotation from Mr. so I asked Mr. musing. and in the meantime we’ll keep it to ourselves. and don’t truly wish it!’ As indeed I did. whimpering and shaking her head.Peggotty?’ ‘Yes.’ said Peggotty. Peggotty where she was. bless ye!’ Mrs.’ ‘The sense of the dear!’ cried Peggotty. that we laughed again and again. Gummidge. ‘What I have been thinking of.’ said Mrs.’ said Peggotty. Mr.’ ‘Look at me. Barkis is a good plain creature. I think it would 10 David Copperfield be my fault if I wasn’t . and speak to my brother about it.’ Mrs. my precious. giving me a squeeze.’ said Mr. ‘Cheer up. and be sure of coming. Peggotty. Gummidge. We all on us feel the loss of her. Peggotty. Peggotty. except that it may. and were quite in a pleasant humour when we came within view of Mr. and was wearing out the ring in my pocket. but I’ll think of it again. wiping the heat consequent on the porterage of Peggotty’s box from his forehead. ‘I should think it would be a very good thing. and tickled us both so much. Gummidge moaned. and I hope the right way. For then you know.’ said Peggotty. every way I can. Peggotty. Barkis was so appropriate. ‘But I wouldn’t so much as give it another thought. you and me.com 11 . down to the seaweed in the blue mug in my bedroom. and Mrs. perhaps. ‘and see if I am not really glad. ‘Well. It looked just the same.’ said Peggotty.not if I had been asked in church thirty times three times over. I went into the out-house to look about me.’ looking at the Dutch clock. and when I lie down to rest. laughing heartily. ‘I’m a lone lorn creetur’. and I think I should be more independent altogether. than I could in anybody else’s now. Peggotty. cheerily ‘if my Davy was anyways against it . as a servant to a stranger. you see. and crawfish possessed by the same desire to pinch the world in general. sir. this month back! Yes. now. looking round upon us while she was so engaged. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. have shrunk a little in my eyes. All within was the same. ‘She’s at school. ‘she’ll be home. Peggotty’s cottage. I don’t know what I might be fit for. you would always have the horse and cart to bring you over to see me. ‘and be able to see it when I like. my life.’ said Peggotty. and she used to be a’most the only thing that didn’t go contrary with me. said in a low voice. ‘I have thought of it night and day.

or I am mistaken. quite as delightful a place as ever. you see. Peggotty. Little Em’ly didn’t care a bit. it’s you. as we sat round the fire after tea. and presently found myself strolling along the path to meet her.’ said Mr. ran away laughing. ‘is another of ‘em. taking up her curls. but instead of turning round and calling after me. and I soon knew it to be Em’ly. and running them over his hand like water. at least. I have done such a thing since in later life. A figure appeared in the distance before long. Em’ly. who was a little creature still in stature.com 1 . ‘Ah!’ said Mr. that made his face a burning red. But when she drew nearer. when I saw her do it. ‘Why. Peggotty himself. That was my opinion. and said she wasn’t a baby now. whom she could have coaxed into anything. Now.’ said I. ‘here’s another orphan. Peggotty over his pipe to the loss I had sustained. that I felt quite thankful to her. but instead of coming to sit by me. Peggotty. an allusion was made by Mr. a curious feeling came over me that made me pretend not to know her. and I held Mr. in fact. Perhaps it was because little Em’ly was not at home. and her whole self prettier and gayer. ‘Mas’r Davy bor’. I felt rather disappointed with it. it is!’ said Mr. Peggotty. patting her with his great hand. though he Free eBooks at Planet eBook. She saw me well enough. that she captivated me more than ever. I was going to kiss her. giving Ham a backhanded knock in the chest. you knew who it was. rumpled her hair all over her face to hide it. ‘A little puss. though she was grown. the whole place was. Peggotty’s inquiring why. and yet it did not impress me in the same way. Gummidge: and on Mr. And here. and her dimpled face looking brighter. which was a change 1 David Copperfield in her I wondered at very much. and had such a pleasant manner of being both sly and shy at once. for when. and I saw her blue eyes looking bluer. ‘So sh’ is! so sh’ is!’ cried Ham. She was tender-hearted. ‘And didn’t YOU know who it was?’ said Em’ly.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. is it?’ said little Em’ly. and she looked at me so kindly across the table. Gummidge’s spirits. and she ran so fast that we were very near the cottage before I caught her. ‘Oh. in a state of mingled admiration and delight. and pass by as if I were looking at something a long way off. sir. I knew the way by which she would come. so sh’ is!’ and he sat and chuckled at her for some time. The tea table was ready. laughing more than ever. by only going and laying her cheek against his rough whisker. She seemed to delight in teasing me. the tears stood in her eyes. or it should have been. But she was so affectionate and sweet-natured. she went and bestowed her company upon that grumbling Mrs. and by no one more than Mr. but she covered her cherry lips with her hands. too. This obliged me to run after her. Peggotty to be thoroughly in the right. and could do nothing but laugh. and our little locker was put out in its old place. into the house. and ran away. Little Em’ly was spoiled by them all.

Peggotty.like a . I am sure I can never feel thankful enough for the generosity with which he has protected me. ‘Hoorah! Well said! Nor more you wouldn’t! Hor! Hor!’ Here he returned Mr. stretching out his pipe. fine. ‘He knows a task if he only looks at it. if it ain’t a treat to look at him!’ ‘He is very handsome.’ ‘Then.’ ‘There’s a friend!’ said Mr. her blue eyes sparkling like jewels. and they all observed her at the same time. ‘And ye steer with a rudder. don’t ye? It ain’t fur off. Peggotty.’ said I. Mr. he’s such a generous. Peggotty to me. now. when my eyes rested on little Em’ly’s face.’ said I. which was bent forward over the table. Peggotty gave his head another toss.don’t look much like it. if you talk of friends! Why. sir?’ ‘He was very well indeed when I came away. ‘that it’s hardly possible to give him as much praise as he deserves. is he not?’ said I. and I don’t know what you’d say if you were to hear him sing. listening with the deepest attention.’ ‘He is such a speaker. Peggotty. ‘I knowed it was something in our way. they laughed and looked at her. ‘Handsome!’ cried Mr. Mr. and the colour mantling in her cheeks. in an ecstasy. He is the best cricketer you ever saw.’ I pursued.’ ‘You said it was Rudderford. Peggotty. ‘There’s a friend.’ said I. so much younger and lower in the school than himself. quite carried away by my favourite theme. ‘Well!’ retorted Mr.’ Mr. ‘Nothing seems to cost him any trouble.’ ‘And I do suppose. and beat you easily. very fast indeed. ‘that he can win anybody over. and little Em’ly got up and kissed Mr. He will give you almost as many men as you like at draughts. that I stopped in a sort of wonder. Mr. as much as to say: ‘Of course he will. He is astonishingly clever. looking at me through the smoke of his pipe. ‘He’s as brave as a lion. Peggotty. ‘He stands up to you like .’ said Mr. delighted.com 1 . ‘That’s the name!’ cried Mr. my heart warming with this praise. ‘Steerforth?’ said I. shaking my head. How is he. for as I stopped. Peggotty.’ I was running on.’ said I. Mr. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as much as to say: ‘I have no doubt of it. noble fellow. Peggotty’s back-hander. Lord love my heart alive. Peggotty.’ said I.’ ‘There’s a friend!’ murmured Mr. Peggotty gave his head another toss. Peggotty.’ 1 David Copperfield ‘Yes. with a grave toss of his head. her breath held. sir?’ said Mr. She looked so extraordinarily earnest and pretty. Mas’r Davy bor’!’ cried Ham. and you can’t think how frank he is. ‘And how’s your friend. ‘he knows everything. Peggotty. turning to Ham.’ observed Ham. Peggotty. laughing. ‘I don’t think I should FEEL much like it. ‘that in the way of booklarning he’d take the wind out of a’most anything.’ ‘If I had you for my guardian.’ Mr.why I don’t know what he don’t stand up to you like. He’s so bold!’ ‘Yes! That’s just his character.’ ‘Well said. Peggotty.

One night. Mr. She liked me. until Ham. and was laughing 1 David Copperfield at the door when I came back. As he made no allusion of any kind to this property. as I suppose. I thought of the sea that had risen. as the wind and water began to sound fainter in my ears. The best times were when she sat quietly at work in the doorway.that little Em’ly and I seldom wandered on the beach now. that I have never seen such sunlight as on those bright April afternoons. Mr. She had tasks to learn. running after him to restore it. Among them I remember a double set of pigs’ trotters. petitioning that I might grow up to marry little Em’ly. a box of dominoes. but she laughed at me. and drowned my happy home. but would sit by the fire in much the same attitude as he sat in his cart. at this hour.it was a great exception. inspired by love. On the very first evening after our arrival. Barkis’s wooing. now. as I remember it. ‘and would like to see him. and her face was covered with blushes. I lay down in the old little bed in the stern of the boat. and needle-work to do. was altogether of a peculiar kind. he made a dart at the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. such water. being. disappointed. and stare heavily at Peggotty. and the wind came moaning on across the flat as it had done before.‘Em’ly is like me. that I have never seen such a sunny little figure as I used to see. except . that I have never beheld such sky. But I could not help fancying. After that occasion he appeared every evening at exactly the same hour. she ran away. and when I went to meet her. half a bushel or so of apples. a canary bird and cage. she was more of a little woman than I had supposed. The days passed pretty much as they had passed before. such glorified ships sailing away into golden air. But I felt that we should not have had those old wanderings. in little more than a year. and always with a little bundle. He very seldom said anything. and tormented me. putting a short clause into my prayers. Wild and full of childish whims as Em’ly was. and hung down her head. I recollect. and I sat on the wooden step at her feet.’ said Peggotty. Glancing up presently through her stray curls. It seems to me. for one. and kept away till it was nearly bedtime. a huge pin-cushion. even if it had been otherwise. could have looked at her for hours). came back with the information that it was intended for Peggotty. Barkis appeared in an exceedingly vacant and awkward condition. and was absent during a great part of each day. to which he never alluded. who was opposite.com 1 . and with a bundle of oranges tied up in a handkerchief. since I last heard those sounds. a pair of jet earrings. These offerings of affection were of a most various and eccentric description.’ Em’ly was confused by our all observing her. some Spanish onions. stole home another way. and instead of thinking that the sea might rise in the night and float the boat away. and a leg of pickled pork. that it moaned of those who were gone. reading to her. and which he regularly put behind the door and left there. sitting in the doorway of the old boat. he was supposed to have left it behind him by accident when he went away. and seeing that we were all looking at her still (I am sure I. She seemed to have got a great distance away from me. and so dropping lovingly asleep.

and sinking subdued into the arms of Ham. Dan’l. Gummidge. and not to feel at all called upon to talk. and put it in his waistcoat-pocket and carried it off. were of the largest size. contenting himself with now and then asking her if she was pretty comfortable. his great delight was to produce it when it was wanted. Barkis were going to make a day’s holiday together. by immediately bursting into tears. Even when he took Peggotty out for a walk on the flats. and everythink that reminds me of creetur’s that ain’t lone and lorn. Dan’l. thinks don’t go contrary with you. in anticipation of the pleasure of a whole day with Em’ly. I believe. He seemed to enjoy himself very much. in her neat and quiet mourning. Gummidge. Barkis a phenomenon of respectability. Peggotty. and laugh for half-anhour. ‘No.’ returned Mrs. whimpering and shaking her head. Mr. and. that the cuffs would have rendered gloves unnecessary in the coldest weather. whose courtship would appear to have been of an exactly parallel nature. and had better be carried to the House at once. Rendered complete by drab pantaloons and a buff waistcoat. His bright buttons.’ said Mrs. we were all more or less amused. after he was gone. which was to be thrown after us for luck. and while we were yet at breakfast. Peggotty was prepared with an old shoe. I am sorry to relate. When we were all in a bustle outside the door. Barkis bloomed in a new blue coat. Which I really thought was a sensible idea. however. Gummidge must do it. too. and that little Em’ly and I were to accompany them. I had but a broken sleep the night before. when the term of my visit was nearly expired. you had better do it yourself. ‘Take and heave it. side by side). and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. she was so continually reminded by these transactions of the old one. Away we went. old gal!’ cried Mr. goes contrary with me. So Mrs. it was given out that Peggotty and Mr. but Mr. who had been going about from one to another in a hurried way. he had no uneasiness on that head.bit of wax-candle she kept for her thread. driving a chaise-cart towards the object of his affections. I thought Mr. After that. and I remember that sometimes. in which we all were by this time (Em’ly and I on two little chairs. Peggotty was dressed as usual. Dan’l. We were all astir betimes in the morning. I could do more. in a partially melted state. Gummidge. with the declaration that she knowed she was a burden. that Ham might have acted on. of which the tailor had given him such good measure. It had better be done by somebody else. called out from the cart. and which he offered to Mrs. Indeed. nor you with them. ‘I’m a lone lorn creetur’ myself. on our holiday excursion.com 1 . kissing everybody.’ ‘No. that Mrs. Barkis appeared in the distance. Gummidge for that purpose. and pocket it again when it was done with. Peggotty would throw her apron over her face. You don’t feel like me. sticking to the lining of his pocket. except that miserable Mrs. cast a damp upon the festive character of our departure. ‘If I felt less. Gummidge did it. At length. I found that Mr. while the collar was so high that it pushed his 1 David Copperfield hair up on end on the top of his head.’ But here Peggotty.’ ‘Come.

We drove to a little inn in a by-road. I took that occasion to put my arm round Em’ly’s waist. I told him all I knew. I recollect. she could hardly have been more at her ease about it. and had gone into the 0 David Copperfield church for no other purpose. and talking about them. Barkis tied the horse to some rails. If Peggotty had been married every day for the last ten years. leaving little Em’ly and me alone in the chaise. and could not hug me enough in token of her unimpaired affection. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. where Mr. outof-the-way kind of wedding it must have been! We got into the chaise again soon after dark. and burst into a roar of laughter that shook the chaise. and the clerk had given her away. what an odd. Barkis and Peggotty were a good while in the church. I have often thought. we should determine to be very affectionate to one another. and propose that as I was going away so very soon now. and then laughed so charmingly that I forgot the pain of being called by that disparaging name. Barkis made this abrupt announcement of their union. but she soon became herself again. ‘What name would it be as I should write up now. Barkis turned to me. for I distinctly call to mind that. innocent. I was their chief exponent. that I never could love another. if there was a tilt here?’ ‘Clara Peggotty. again?’ I suggested. and then we drove away into the country. and there had been no witnesses of the ceremony. Barkis’s mind to an amazing extent. and disposed of a large quantity without any emotion. In a word. informing her. and passed the day with great satisfaction. the fairy little woman said I was ‘a silly boy’. and very happy. before. all day. and where we had a very comfortable dinner. it made no sort of difference in her: she was just the same as ever. Little Em’ly consenting. How merry little Em’ly made herself about it! With what a demure assumption of being immensely older and wiser than I. it sharpened his appetite. As we were going along. he was obliged to have cold boiled bacon for tea. I became desperate. but he would have believed anything I might have taken it into my head to impart to him. and opened Mr. and drove cosily back. ‘Clara Peggotty BARKIS!’ he returned. and had finished off with a fowl or two. but came out at last. and enjoyed himself. I should hardly have thought. with the contemplation of his happiness. Peggotty was resolved that it should be quietly done. with a wink. and went out for a stroll with little Em’ly and me before tea. in the pleasure of looking at her. Mr. and went in with Peggotty. She was a little confused when Mr. since. while Mr.’ I answered. that he could wink: ‘What name was it as I wrote up in the cart?’ ‘Clara Peggotty. looking up at the stars. Mr. Barkis philosophically smoked his pipe. and said she was very glad it was over.by the by. and allowing me to kiss her. where we were expected. I suppose. If so. and that I was prepared to shed the blood of anybody who should aspire to her affections. for he had a profound veneration for my abilities. they were married.the first thing we did was to stop at a church. and said.com 1 . . although he had eaten a good deal of pork and greens at dinner.

Well. Little Em’ly came and sat  David Copperfield beside me on the locker for the only time in all that visit. With morning came Peggotty. never growing wiser. and vague as the stars afar off. Mr. I immediately discovered and immediately applied myself to. Of all the moveables in it. Mr. but I kneeled on a chair. how I loved her! What happiness (I thought) if we were married. I provided the best substitute I could by dreaming of dragons until morning. bright with the light of our innocence. Barkis the carrier had been from first to last a dream too. and cover myself with glory. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but the Martyrs and Peggotty’s house have been inseparable in my mind ever since. would make an attack upon us. and a beautiful little home it was. and became a desk. and Mrs. we came to the old boat again in good time at night. Barkis. never growing older. I felt then. and were ready with some supper and their hospitable faces to drive it away. under my window as if Mr. on that very occasion. and it was altogether a wonderful close to a wonderful day. I felt very brave at being left alone in the solitary house. laying down our heads on moss at night. I was chiefly edified. and drove away snugly to their own home. children ever. with no real world in it. with a retreating top which opened. as usual.by which I think he meant prodigy. Ah. opened the casket where this gem was enshrined. This precious volume. for the first time.com  . was in my mind all the way. and fell to devouring the book afresh. But as nothing of the sort happened to be walking about on Yarmouth flats that night. who called to me. that I had lost Peggotty. and sat under it for the rest of the journey. that I might destroy him. After breakfast she took me to her own home. Peggotty and Ham knew what was in my thoughts as well as I did. and were going away anywhere to live among the trees and in the fields. spread my arms over the desk. 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). let down. rambling hand in hand through sunshine and among flowery meadows. and represented all kinds of dismal horrors. Peggotty and Ham went out to fish. or any ill-disposed monster. I am afraid.informed his wife in my hearing. and only wished that a lion or a serpent. the protector of Em’ly and Mrs. I am glad to think the Loves and Graces took such airy forms in its homely procession. and there Mr. and are now. and soon after we went to bed. and buried by the birds when we were dead! Some such picture. within which was a large quarto edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Barkis bade us good-bye. in a sweet sleep of purity and peace. and I never visited the house afterwards. Gummidge. that I was ‘a young Roeshus’ . I am glad to think there were two such guileless hearts at Peggotty’s marriage as little Em’ly’s and mine. by the pictures. When we had exhausted the subject of the stars. of which I do not recollect one word. I should have gone to bed with a sore heart indeed under any other roof but that which sheltered little Em’ly’s head. little Em’ly and I made a cloak of an old wrapper. which were numerous. or rather when I had exhausted the mental faculties of Mr. It was a night tide.

to put away the notion that I had any claim upon him . I might complain to someone. and thanked her as well as I could. Murdstone’s means were straitened at about this time. I ate and drank by myself. all the time you were away. . and little Em’ly. not easily or lightly. When Mr. in which there was no face to look on mine with love or liking any more. it was but seldom that I enjoyed the happiness of passing an afternoon in his closet of a surgery. I shall keep it every day. my darling. anyhow. sternly. that day. and languished through it in my usual solitary way. apart from all companionship but my own spiritless thoughts.which seems to cast its gloom upon this paper as I write. Peggotty. taking Peggotty away. For this reason. as I used to keep your old little room. with herself and Mr. what they would have done if I had been taken with an illness. in the morning. I took my meals with them. but it is little to the purpose.’ said Peggotty. as long as I am alive and have this house over my head. ‘Young or old. and I was going home in the morning. you might think of it as being kept just the same. in their absence. and leaving me under the old elm-trees looking at the house. I think Mr. some years before that. though Mr. and I went home in the morning. 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. having. ‘you shall find it as if I expected you here directly minute. and was done in a systematic. perhaps. to have been sent to the hardest  David Copperfield school that ever was kept! . and they sullenly. and it was a strange sight to me to see the cart go on. which I cannot look back upon without compassion. or whether anybody would have helped me out. that if I did. passionless manner. Peggotty said. as I believe. except that they were jealous of my making any friends: thinking. but the wrong that was done to me had no intervals of relenting. And now I fell into a state of neglect.and succeeded. and Mrs. steadily. Barkis in the cart. apart from the society of all other boys of my own age. anywhere! No such hope dawned upon me. week after week. whether I should have lain down in my lonely room. I was not beaten. I wonder sometimes. That was not very well.to have been taught something. Gummidge. I was not actively ill-used.’ I felt the truth and constancy of my dear old nurse. He could not bear me. . with all my heart.I took leave of Mr. Davy dear. They left me at the gate. I was coldly neglected.com  . and if you was to go to China. whom I can just remember connecting in my own thoughts with a pale tortoise-shell cat). reading some book that was new Free eBooks at Planet eBook. What would I have given. with her arms round my neck. and Ham. At all times I lounged about the house and neighbourhood quite disregarded. lost a little small light-haired wife. and should always be kept for me in exactly the same state. I fell at once into a solitary condition. and in putting me from him he tried. and passed the night at Peggotty’s. Chillip often asked me to go and see him (he was a widower. or starved. and Miss Murdstone were at home. They disliked me. when I think of it. overlooked me. month after month. for she spoke to me thus. Day after day.apart from all friendly notice.

sir. In this coffer. David Copperfield. Some few times. meditative manner that my way of life engendered. in being refused permission to pay a visit to her at her house. and turned me about.’ said the gentleman. before .’ said the latter. looking at us both. she either came to see me. and never empty-handed. He had put his hand upon my shoulder. that I should have been perfectly miserable. His laugh coming to my remembrance too. Quinion. and I was as true to them as they were to me. come before me like a ghost. double look was on me for a moment. Murdstone walking with a gentleman.  David Copperfield I had been out. and then I found out that Mr. but many and bitter were the disappointments I had. and of my being utterly neglected. I don’t know what to do with him. to walk with them. in the listless. I knew him to be Mr. I have no doubt. or pounding something in a mortar under his mild directions. loitering somewhere. That’s your name.’ That old. They were my only comfort. in its aversion. You are Brooks. for every Saturday’s expenses.to me. Brooks?’ said Mr. when Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com  . and where are you being educated. I was allowed to go there. ‘And how do you get on. and I was considering how I could best disengage my shoulder from his hand. Faithful to her promise.’ I said. when the gentleman cried: ‘What! Brooks!’ ‘No. and glanced dubiously at Mr. He is a difficult subject. without my invocation. which I can never lose the remembrance of. Murdstone. I was confused. elsewhere. when. at long intervals. I came upon Mr. ‘Don’t tell me. and was going by them. so that Peggotty had to prepare a long and elaborate scheme. I did not know what to reply. turning the corner of a lane near our house. and then his eyes darkened with a frown. which he pretended was only full of coats and trousers. ‘Fine weather!’ Silence ensued. as it turned. whom I had gone over to Lowestoft with Mr. ‘He is at home at present. I thought. Quinion. once every week. and go away. I was seldom allowed to visit Peggotty. or as Peggotty dutifully expressed it. with the smell of the whole Pharmacopoeia coming up my nose. one day. I now approach a period of my life.’ At these words. his riches hid themselves with such a tenacious modesty. ‘Humph!’ said Mr. Barkis was something of a miser. For the same reason. Murdstone to see. a very Gunpowder Plot. however. or met me somewhere near. but for the old books. ‘He is not being educated anywhere. I observed the gentleman more attentively. that the smallest instalments could only be tempted out by artifice. and kept a heap of money in a box under his bed. while I remember anything: and the recollection of which has often.I need not recall when. added no doubt to the old dislike of her. Quinion. and read them over and over I don’t know how many times more. ‘You are Brooks of Sheffield. All this time I was so conscious of the waste of any promise I had given. and haunted happier times.it is no matter . was ‘a little near’.

Brooks?’ ‘Aye! He is sharp enough. He will not thank you for troubling him. I suppose I looked uncertain. or something about it. you know it now. ‘But I don’t know when. too!’ He gave her a look. and I made the best of my way home. and Mr. ‘The counting-house. David. to be crushed. He then gravely repaired to another table. Looking back as I turned into the front garden. or the wharf. ‘David. Shall be. David.’ .com  . and I felt that they were speaking of me. ‘You had better let him go. or the cellars. when Mr. Murdstone. It is especially so for a young boy of your disposition. impatiently.’ ‘It does not matter when.’ I said. and I stood looking at them all. Quinion.’  David Copperfield ‘For stubbornness won’t do here.’ he replied. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Mr.’ said Mr. whether or no. Education is costly. if you please. Murdstone. Murdstone called me back.’ I glanced at the latter deferentially as he stood looking out of window. which requires a great deal of correcting.’ said Mr. half in remonstrance. and the sooner you begin it.’ he returned.‘As you do.’ said his sister ‘What it wants is. ‘Jane Murdstone. and not for moping and droning in. ‘You have heard the ‘counting-house’ mentioned sometimes. After breakfast. I am of opinion that it would not be at all advantageous to you to be kept at school. Mr. Murdstone leaning against the wicket of the churchyard. What is before you.he said: ‘I suppose you are a pretty sharp fellow still? Eh.’ added his sister.’ said Mr. Quinion talking to him.’ I think it occurred to me that I had already begun it.’ ‘I think I have heard the business mentioned. Mr. ‘to the young this is a world for action. and even if it were not. not for moping and droning in. that I am not rich. and to bend it and break it. is a fight with the world. Quinion lay at our house that night. and was going out of the room. for he went on hastily: ‘You have heard the ‘counting-house’ mentioned. Quinion manages that business. and I could afford it. And crushed it must be. Quinion released me. and went on: ‘I suppose you know. remembering what I vaguely knew of his and his sister’s resources.’ On this hint. to the young this is a world for action. ‘Of Murdstone and Grinby. You have received some considerable education already. At any rate. sir?’ I repeated. in my poor way: but it occurs to me now. sir. stood looking out of window. They were both looking after me. half in approval. Murdstone. the better. leave it to me. where his sister sat herself at her desk. Mr. or the business. I had put my chair away. I say. in the wine trade. and to which no greater service can be done than to force it to conform to the ways of the working world. with his hands in his pockets. I saw Mr. the next morning.

’ Mr. David. So you are now going to London.’ said his sister. to get them for yourself. sitting.’ ‘He having. ‘and will please to do your duty. Gummidge might have said). Quinion was to go upon the morrow. and half turning round. with Mr. a lone lorn child (as Mrs. Murdstone. Quinion to the London coach at Yarmouth! See. too.‘Mr. Nor had I much time for the clearing of my thoughts. oscillating between the two points.which Miss 0 David Copperfield Murdstone considered the best armour for the legs in that fight with the world which was now to come off. Murdstone. I have no distinct remembrance whether it pleased or frightened me. touched neither. resumed. and with my little worldly all before me in a small trunk. and.’ said Mr. with an impatient. Murdstone. in the post-chaise that was carrying Mr. and that he sees no reason why it shouldn’t. Behold me. stiff corduroy trousers . how the spire points upwards from my old playground no more. So will your washing -’ ‘. as Mr. to begin the world on your own account. and the sky is empty! Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Your lodging (which I have arranged for) will be paid by me. you are provided for. in a much-worn little white hat. how the grave beneath the tree is blotted out by intervening objects.’ Mr.’ Though I quite understood that the purpose of this announcement was to get rid of me.com 1 . Quinion observed in a low voice. with a black crape round it for my mother. yet awhile.’ observed his sister. and a pair of hard. ‘no other prospect. on the morrow. even an angry gesture. My impression is. behold me so attired. that I was in a state of confusion about it. give employment to you. ‘Your clothes will be looked after for you. on the same terms. and pocket-money. Quinion suggests that it gives employment to some other boys. a black jacket. without noticing what he had said: ‘Those terms are. how our house and church are lessening in the distance. that you will earn enough for yourself to provide for your eating and drinking. Quinion.’ ‘In short. ‘as you will not be able.Which will be kept down to my estimate.

or seals to be put upon the corks.com   . Quinion could see me. delicate. or corks to be fitted to them. a little labouring hind in the service of Murdstone and Grinby. even now. All this work was my work. but it was the last house at the bottom of a narrow street. the squeaking and scuffling of the old grey rats down in the cellars. Modern improvements have altered the place. with some stairs at the end. but it is matter of some surprise to me. and literally overrun with rats.CHAPTER 11 I BEGIN LIFE ON MY OWN ACCOUNT. at ten years old. But none was made. counting me. just as they were in the evil hour when I went among them for the first time. abutting on the water when David Copperfield the tide was in. and to rinse and wash them. are things. but I think there were some among them that made voyages both to the East and West Indies. but of the present instant. but an important branch of it was the supply of wines and spirits to certain packet ships. and I became. Its panelled rooms. it seems wonderful to me that nobody should have made any sign in my behalf. eager. where Mr. quick. its decaying floors and staircase. It was a crazy old house with a wharf of its own. there were labels to be pasted on full ones. in my mind. I know that a great many empty bottles were one of the consequences of this traffic. My working place was established in a corner of the warehouse. There were three or four of us. and reject those that were flawed. When the empty bottles ran short. discoloured with the dirt and smoke of a hundred years. and soon hurt bodily or mentally. Hither. They are all before me. and of the boys employed upon it I was one. A child of excellent abilities. where people took boat. AND DON’T LIKE IT I know enough of the world now. It was down in Blackfriars. with my trembling hand in Mr. curving down hill to the river. Quinion’s. and look at me through a window above the desk. not of many years ago. or finished bottles to be packed in casks. and on the mud when the tide was out. to have almost lost the capacity of being much surprised by anything. and the dirt and rottenness of the place. on the first morning of my so auspiciously beginning life on my own Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I dare say. that I can have been so easily thrown away at such an age. Murdstone and Grinby’s warehouse was at the waterside. when he chose to stand up on the bottom rail of his stool in the counting-house. 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. I forget now where they chiefly went. and with strong powers of observation.

and walked. and there was general preparation for going to dinner.I think his little sister .’ said the stranger. I went in. of the shame I felt in my position. in a black velvet head-dress. little by little. which is at present unoccupied . and thought. with a large pair of rusty tassels to it. in which he mentions that he would desire me to receive into an apartment in the rear of my house. and he wore a ragged apron and a paper cap. and it were in danger of bursting.and is. in the Lord Mayor’s Show. No words can express the secret agony of my soul as I sunk into this companionship. As often as Mick Walker went away in the course of that forenoon. He also informed me that our principal associate would be another boy whom he introduced by the .’ said Mr. that this youth had not been christened by that name. ‘I am. Heaven knows.did Imps in the Pantomimes. would pass away from me. in a brown surtout and black tights and shoes. where some young relation of Mealy’s . ‘thank Heaven. with a smile Free eBooks at Planet eBook. of being utterly without hope now.to me . however. and very shining) than there is upon an egg. and with a very extensive face. and a quizzing-glass hung outside his coat. which was pale or mealy. of the misery it was to my young heart to believe that day by day what I had learned. Traddles. with no more hair upon his head (which was a large one. I afterwards found. and raised my fancy and my emulation up by. I discovered. so I said I was very well. middle-aged person. and found there a stoutish. and hoped he was.com  . quite well. The deep remembrance of the sense I had. He informed me that his father was a bargeman.’ said the stranger. ‘This. I have received a letter from Mr. The counting-house clock was at half past twelve. and was engaged as such at one of the large theatres. as he very seldom looked through it. I was sufficiently ill at ease. with a certain condescending roll in his voice. in short. who had the additional distinction of being a fireman. which impressed me very much. compared these henceforth everyday associates with those of my happier childhood not to say with Steerforth. and beckoned to me to go in. Murdstone. the oldest of the regular boys was summoned to show me my business. and a certain indescribable air of doing something genteel.account. which he turned full upon me. when Mr. never to be brought back any more. and couldn’t see anything when he did.’ said the stranger. Quinion. ‘is Master Copperfield. I mingled my tears with the water in which I was  David Copperfield washing the bottles. Mealy’s father was a waterman. His clothes were shabby. but he had an imposing shirt-collar on. I hope I see you well. and sobbed as if there were a flaw in my own breast.’ ‘This. ‘is he. in allusion to myself.in short. He carried a jaunty sort of a stick. crushed in my bosom.for ornament. . and felt my hopes of growing up to be a learned and distinguished man. cannot be written. on account of his complexion. sir?’ I said I was very well. but it was not in my nature to complain much at that time of my life. to be let as a . and hoped he was.extraordinary name of Mealy Potatoes. but that it had been bestowed upon him in the warehouse. Quinion tapped at the counting-house window. and delighted in. His name was Mick Walker. and the rest of those boys.

I am not clear whether it was six or seven. Micawber. ‘Under the impression. He paid me a week down (from his own pocket.’ said Mr. Mr. I think. ‘At about eight. to do the greater honour to his gentility. I believe). in another burst of confidence.in short. at a salary. ‘At what hour.’ said Mr.’ ‘Mr. . Micawber reappeared. not at all young. Quinion.’ ‘My address. ‘is known to Mr. He takes orders for us on commission. with the same genteel air. and settled his chin in his shirt-collar.‘I live there. on the subject of your lodgings. as I suppose I must now call it. who was sitting in the parlour (the first floor was altogether unfurnished. He has been written to by Mr. small as it was.the young beginner whom I have now the pleasure to -’ and the stranger waved his hand. Micawber. ‘I beg to wish you good day. Micawber. in walking about the streets. I am inclined to believe. ‘that your peregrinations in this metropolis have not as yet been extensive. Murdstone. I washed my hands and face. Arrived at this house in Windsor Terrace (which I noticed was shabby like himself. Micawber.’ said Mr. Mr. like himself. ‘shall I -’ ‘At about eight.’ said Mr.’ I thanked him with all my heart.com  . Mr. that it was six at first and seven afterwards. I paid sixpence more for my dinner. Quinion.in short. ‘as a bedroom . a thin and faded lady. with a baby at her breast. Micawber. Mr. made all the show it could). and humming a tune when he was clear of the counting-house.’ said Mr. ‘is Windsor Terrace. 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 is my name. that I might find my way back. Quinion to me. from my uncertainty on this head. and passed the hour which was allowed for that meal. as we went along. and we walked to our house. City Road. ‘Ahem!’ said the stranger. of six shillings a week. in the morning. and the shapes of corner houses upon me. but also. Quinion. and the blinds were kept down to delude the neighbours).and in a burst of confidence. I .’ said Mr.I shall be happy to call this evening.’  David Copperfield So he put on his hat. and in another burst of confidence . I will intrude no longer. and he will receive you as a lodger. ‘This is Mr. This baby was one of twins.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. Micawber. Micawber impressing the name of streets. and install you in the knowledge of the nearest way. ‘that you might lose yourself . when he can get any. and that you might have some difficulty in penetrating the arcana of the Modern Babylon in the direction of the City Road. Micawber.’ said Mr. for it was friendly in him to offer to take that trouble. and I may Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and went out with his cane under his arm: very upright. At the appointed time in the evening.’ I made him a bow. easily. together. he presented me to Mrs. Quinion then formally engaged me to be as useful as I could in the warehouse of Murdstone and Grinby. Murdstone. Micawber. Micawber. which was a meat pie and a turn at a neighbouring pump.

’ I cannot satisfy myself whether she told me that Mr. ‘If Mr. He was a sort of town traveller for a number of miscellaneous houses. or whether I  David Copperfield have imagined it. saw both the twins detached from Mrs. I only know that I believe to this hour that he WAS in the Marines once upon a time. stencilled all over with an ornament which my young imagination represented as a blue muffin. used Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but experientia does it.remark here that I hardly ever. and so. Micawber’s creditors will not give him time. I don’t know. and she went on accordingly all the time I knew her. Micawber! She said she had tried to exert herself. ma’am. ‘I never thought. completed the establishment. My room was at the top of the house. with a habit of snorting. and very scantily furnished. One dirty-faced man. Poor Mrs. But Mr. when she came up. ‘they must take the consequences. Micawber at the same time. before half an hour had expired.’ said Mrs. when I lived with papa and mama. Blood cannot be obtained from a stone. Micawber.’ ‘Mr. I think he was a boot-maker. and sat down to take breath. in the neighbourhood. Micawber’s difficulties are almost overwhelming just at present. When I lived at home with papa and mama. in the sense in which I now employ it.’ said Mrs. were creditors.’ said Mrs. Luke’s workhouse. that she was ‘a Orfling’. Micawber. and a dark-complexioned young woman. ‘and whether it is possible to bring him through them. Micawber. all considerations of private feeling must give way. at the back: a close chamber. and Miss Micawber. she had. now. Micawber had been an officer in the Marines. I have no doubt. I am afraid. that I should ever find it necessary to take a lodger.as papa used to say. and some of them were quite ferocious.com  . and informed me. One of them was always taking refreshment. or heard of. Micawber being in difficulties. . The only visitors I ever saw. There were two other children. and came from St. on which was engraved ‘Mrs. neither can anything on account be obtained at present (not to mention law expenses) from Mr. and the sooner they bring it to an issue the better. I really should have hardly understood what the word meant. to show me the apartment. in all my experience of the family. ‘before I was married. The centre of the street door was perfectly covered with a great brass-plate. but this was the strain in which she began. or that any young lady ever came. Micawber. or proposed to come. Micawber in reference to my age.’ I never can quite understand whether my precocious self-dependence confused Mrs. who was servant to the family. aged about three. or that the least preparation was ever made to receive any young lady. 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. twin and all. Micawber’s Boarding Establishment for Young Ladies’: but I never found that any young lady had ever been to school there. aged about four. without knowing why. THEY used to come at all hours. but made little or nothing of it.’ I said: ‘Yes. These. Master Micawber.

In this house. Micawber was. humming a tune with a greater air of gentility than ever.to undertake the whole charge of my own existence. between which I was divided. no counsel. and drink warm ale (paid for with two tea-spoons that had gone to the pawnbroker’s) at four. will you? Don’t hide. or bought a roll or a slice of pudding. Pay us. with her hair all torn about her face. he would polish up his shoes with extraordinary pains. Martin’s Church . A good shop for the latter was in the Strand . according to my finances. I wouldn’t be mean if I was you.how could I be otherwise? . heavy and flabby. and spent in that the money I should have kept for my dinner. and had to support myself on that money all the week. and the company they used to keep. and with great flat raisins in it. and these being ineffectual too. no consolation. where he knew Mr. coming home through some chance as early as six o’clock. in going to Murdstone and Grinby’s. Then. Micawber was quite as elastic. but was dear. At these times. I provided myself. from anyone.com 1 . d’ye hear? Come!’ Receiving no answer to these taunts. that I can call to mind. telling me stories about her papa and mama. twopennyworth not being larger than a pennyworth of more ordinary pudding.which is now removed altogether. I had no advice. and was rather a special pudding. no support. no encouragement. even to the length (as I was once made aware by a scream from his wife) of making motions at himself with a razor. of a morning. My own exclusive breakfast of a penny loaf and a pennyworth of milk. I saw her lying (of course with a twin) under the grate in a swoon. Mr. Micawber ‘Come! You ain’t out yet. I kept another small loaf. Pay us. he would mount in his wrath to the words ‘swindlers’ and ‘robbers’. and a modicum of cheese. Micawber would be transported with grief and mortification. I passed my leisure 0 David Copperfield time. I went without my dinner. to make my supper on when I came back at night. as I hope to go to heaven! I was so young and childish. From Monday morning until Saturday night. and so little qualified . and go out. and roaring up at the windows of the second floor. One was in a court close to St. breaded. and I was out at the warehouse all day. but I never knew her more cheerful than she was. on a particular shelf of a particular cupboard. The pudding at that shop was made of currants. that very same night. Mrs. that’s mean.somewhere in that part which has been rebuilt since. but within half-an-hour afterwards.at the back of the church. On one occasion. no assistance. It was a stout pale pudding. of any kind. I have known her to be thrown into fainting fits by the king’s taxes at three o’clock. over a veal cutlet before the kitchen fire.to edge himself into the passage as early as seven o’clock in the morning. It came up hot at about my time every day. will you? You just pay us. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I remember two pudding shops. would sometimes go to the extremity of crossing the street. stuck in whole at wide distances apart. This made a hole in the six or seven shillings. and call up the stairs to Mr. . when an execution had just been put in. I could not resist the stale pastry put out for sale at half-price at the pastrycooks’ doors. you know. you know. and to eat lamb chops. and with this family. that often. I know well.

and I wish he hadn’t taken it. I am sure. and said to the landlord: ‘What is your best . but I can see him now. I don’t know. When I dined regularly and handsomely. but all womanly and good. She came out from behind it.’ The landlord looked at me in return over the bar. The landlord in his shirtsleeves. To all of which. in some confusion. I used to look at a venison shop in Fleet Street. that frequently when I went into the bar of a strange public-house for a glass of ale  David Copperfield or porter. I am afraid. and so little. with her work in her hand. or a fourpenny plate of red beef from a cook’s shop. leaning against the bar window-frame. and going to a famous alamode beef-house near Drury Lane. Once. They served me with the ale. how old I was. They asked me a good many questions. because it was a mysterious place. what my name was. called the Lion. from a miserable old public-house opposite our place of business. or a plate of bread and cheese and a glass of beer. What the waiter thought of such a strange little apparition coming in all alone.com  . and the landlord’s wife. gave me my money back. looked round the screen and said something to his wife. and stared at the pineapples. with an open space before it. to look at whom I sat down upon a bench. ‘is the price of the Genuine Stunning ale. and bending down.and many a day did I dine off it. I wonder what they thought of me! I was such a child. with a strange smile on his face.your very best . I don’t know what. or I have strolled. I remember carrying my own bread (which I had brought from home in the morning) under my arm. as. where I lived. and bringing up the other waiter to look. or the Lion and something else that I have forgotten. appropriate answers. producing the money. that I might commit nobody. looking up at them from outside the partition. with those dark arches. and ordering a ‘small plate’ of that delicacy to eat with it. ‘Twopence-halfpenny. It may have been my birthday. with a good head to it. where some coal-heavers were dancing. When I had money enough. as far as Covent Garden Market. and instead of drawing the beer.’ says the landlord. and I. from head to foot. I remember one hot evening I went into the bar of a public-house. at such a time. and how I came there. opening the little half-door of the bar.’ ‘Then. I gave him a halfpenny for himself. all three. and gave me a kiss that was half admiring and half compassionate.’ says I. I see myself emerging one evening from some of these arches. though I suspect it was not the Genuine Stunning. wrapped in a piece of paper. I used to get half-a-pint of ready-made coffee and a slice of bread and butter. they were afraid to give it me. I was fond of wandering about the Adelphi. if you please. ‘just draw me a glass of the Genuine Stunning. to moisten what I had had for dinner. like a book.ale a glass?’ For it was a special occasion. I invented. I think. I had a saveloy and a penny loaf. staring at me as I ate my dinner. for tea. unconsciously and unintenFree eBooks at Planet eBook. his wife looking over the little half-door. Here we stand. and joined him in surveying me. before me now. When I had none. I know I do not exaggerate. We had half-an-hour. how I was employed. on a little public-house close to the river.

the scantiness of my resources or the difficulties of my life.Mrs. I am solemnly convinced that I never for one hour was reconciled to it. and abandoned. to man or boy. it is. also on a Sunday morning. I know that if a shilling were given me by Mr. I have known him come home to supper with a flood of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I did my work. which were fast perishing out of my remembrance. but I bore it.partly because it was a great thing to walk home with six or seven shillings in my pocket. I knew from the first. to treat me as one upon a different footing from the rest. . and dealing with a thing so anomalous. It was nothing at all unusual for Mr. Besides that Mr. partly for the love of her and partly for shame. but for the mercy of God. insufficiently and unsatisfactorily fed. I soon became at least as expeditious and as skilful as either of the other boys. Though perfectly familiar with them. with some results of the old readings. busy with Mrs. and rebelled against my being so distinguished. Micawber’s calculations of ways and means. as such. a shabby child. My rescue from this kind of existence I considered quite hopeless. How much I suffered. Yet I held some station at Murdstone and Grinby’s too. I could not hold myself above slight and contempt. They and the men generally spoke of me as ‘the little gent’. Micawber’s debts. I know that I worked. and that I suffered exquisitely. and even to Peggotty. over our work.tionally. could. Micawber’s difficulties were an addition to the distressed state of my mind. altogether. or ‘the young Suffolker. in a little shaving-pot. Quinion at any time. Mr. used to address me sometimes as ‘David’: but I think it was mostly when we were very confidential. and used to walk about. looking into the shops and thinking what such a sum would buy. and when I  David Copperfield had made some efforts to entertain them. and sat late at my breakfast. But I kept my own counsel. but Mick Walker settled him in no time. if I could not do my work as well as any of the rest. Micawber would make the most heart-rending confidences to me. and heavy with the weight of Mr. who was the carman. and partly because I went home early.com  . that. for any care that was taken of me. as I have said already. or gave the least indication of being sorry that I was there. my conduct and manner were different enough from theirs to place a space between us. I spent it in a dinner or a tea. who was foreman of the packers. I know that. Mealy Potatoes uprose once.’ A certain man named Gregory. In my forlorn state I became quite attached to the family. no one ever knew but I. how it was that I came to be there. I know that I lounged about the streets. That I suffered in secret. from morning until night. never in any letter (though many passed between us) revealed the truth. with common men and boys. or was otherwise than miserably unhappy. and sing about jack’s delight being his lovely Nan. Micawber to sob violently at the beginning of one of these Saturday night conversations. . On a Saturday night. utterly beyond my power to tell. I never said. I might easily have been. a little robber or a little vagabond. Quinion did what a careless man so occupied. which was my grand treat. towards the end of it. and another named Tipp. and wore a red jacket. when I mixed the portion of tea or coffee I had bought over-night.

with my own hands. before I went to Murdstone and Grinby’s.and I hastily produced them. and had often not too much for themselves). Micawber. ‘there is really not a scrap of anything in the larder.from which I presume that it must have been on  David Copperfield a Wednesday night when we held this conversation . Mr. Micawber. I began to dispose of the more portable articles of property that very evening. ‘I have parted with the plate myself. and I use the word almost unconsciously. to a bookstall in the City Road Free eBooks at Planet eBook.which is not adapted to the wants of a young family’ . if I might ask you -’ I understood Mrs. until Mrs. Master Copperfield. which he called the library. would take painful liberties if so much confidence was reposed in her. and go to bed making a calculation of the expense of putting bow-windows to the house. Micawber’s difficulties are coming to a crisis. There are still a few trifles that we could part with. in great concern.com  . with my recollections.‘being of a vulgar mind. two salt. I have at different times borrowed money on. Micawber was just the same. A curious equality of friendship. Micawber to name it. and making me put them back in my pocket. notwithstanding the ludicrous disparity in our years.tears. ‘I make no stranger of you.said Mrs. these transactions are very painful. But that lady. And Mrs. in secret. ‘With the exception of the heel of a Dutch cheese . But I never allowed myself to be prevailed upon to accept any invitation to eat and drink with them out of their stock (knowing that they got on badly with the butcher and baker. and with heartfelt emotion begged Mrs. But the twins are a great tie. if you will. and can render me another kind of service. originating.this was the girl from the workhouse .’ said Mrs.’ I begged Mrs. in our respective circumstances. one after another. Micawber took me into her entire confidence. kissing me. of papa and mama. replied that she couldn’t think of it. ‘far be it from my thoughts! But you have a discretion beyond your years. I was accustomed to speak of the larder when I lived with papa and mama. I had two or three shillings of my week’s money in my pocket .’ It made me very miserable to hear it. I suppose. Mr. Micawber. and those went first. ‘in case anything turned up’.’ ‘Dear me!’ I said.’ said Mrs. and a declaration that nothing was now left but a jail. I carried them. that there is nothing to eat in the house. and went out on a similar expedition almost every morning. which was his favourite expression.’ said she. and a pair of sugars. ‘Six tea. Micawber had a few books on a little chiffonier. This she did one evening as follows: ‘Master Copperfield. Micawber’s red eyes with the utmost sympathy. and therefore do not hesitate to say that Mr. and I looked at Mrs. ‘No. Micawber now. and a service I will thankfully accept of. Micawber to accept of them as a loan. my dear Master Copperfield. Micawber’s feelings would never allow him to dispose of them. and Clickett’ . and begged her to make use of me to any extent. and to me. What I mean to express is. sprung up between me and these people.

which I was to cross.and secretly completed the bargain on the stairs. and he was arrested early one morning. which lay upon the floor. as he went out of the house. while his wife. I was to ask my way to such a place. and often got me. and he. afterwards.. near our house. All this I did. to prevent its burning too many coals. he would be happy. and keep straight on until I saw a turnkey. took a good deal of notice of me. I remember. and spent nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence. and when at last I did see a turnkey (poor little fellow that I was!). with a cut in his forehead or a black eye. The keeper of this bookstall. there was a man there with nothing on him but an old rug. who lived in a little house behind it. I began to be very well known. too.one part of which. After all these occasions Mrs. The principal gentleman who officiated behind the counter. to decline a Latin noun or adjective. used to get tipsy every night. and thought how. but that if he spent twenty pounds one he would be miserable. one on each side. Micawber. came in from the bakehouse with the loin of mutton which was our joint-stock repast. with a shaking hand. endeavouring to find the needful shillings in one or other of the pockets of his clothes. I had audience of him in a turn-up bedstead. until another debtor. with Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and to be violently scolded by his wife every morning.and sold them for whatever they would bring. and we went up to his room (top story but one). He told me. who shared the room with Mr. the turnkey swam before my dimmed eyes and my beating heart. I recollect. After which he borrowed a shilling of me for porter. or to conjugate a Latin verb. Mr. We sat before a little fire. More than once. gave me a written order on Mrs. On the first Sunday after he was taken there. Micawber made a little treat. but his wife had always got some . I dare say. to take warning by his fate.had taken his. But I heard. that the God of day had now gone down  David Copperfield upon him . with a baby in her arms and her shoes down at heel. Micawber’s difficulties came to a crisis. before noon. in his ear. and cheered up. never left off rating him.and I really thought his heart was broken and mine too. bearing witness to his excesses over-night (I am afraid he was quarrelsome in his drink).com  . Then I was sent up to ‘Captain Hopkins’ in the room overhead. Micawber was waiting for me within the gate. with two bricks put within the rusted grate. and have dinner with him. Sometimes he had lost his money. when I went there early. and to observe that if a man had twenty pounds a-year for his income. and just short of that I should see a yard. when Roderick Random was in a debtors’ prison. Micawber for the amount. as we went down together. At the pawnbroker’s shop. He solemnly conjured me. was almost all bookstalls and bird shops then . and just short of that place I should see such another place. while he was drunk . that he was seen to play a lively game at skittles. and put away his pocket-handkerchief. At last Mr. which was generally a supper. and then he would ask me to call again. while he transacted my business. and cried very much. and there was a peculiar relish in these meals which I well remember. and carried over to the King’s Bench Prison in the Borough. I was to go and see him.

and with the same sense of unmerited degradation as at first. the children. and I divined (God knows how) that though the two girls with the shock heads of hair were Captain Hopkins’s children. My timid station on his threshold was not occupied more than a couple of minutes at most. except that I did not. and went home to comfort Mrs. and two wan girls. very much to my satisfaction. and would Captain Hopkins lend me a knife and fork. Captain Hopkins lent me the knife and fork. Sold it was. The Captain himself was in the last extremity of shabbiness. with shock heads of hair. and I was his young friend. though it seems to me for a long time. his daughters. for which a little room was hired outside the walls in the neighbourhood of that Institution. The only changes I am conscious of are. a few chairs. Mrs. So I took the key of the house to the landlord. All this time I was working at Murdstone and Grinby’s in the same common way. I saw his bed rolled up in a corner. to part. commanding a pleasant prospect of a timberyard. Micawber had now secured a room to himself. except mine. in our troubles. but I led it in the same lonely. The Orfling was likewise accommodated with an inexpensive lodging in the same neighbourhood. Micawber. with his compliments to Mr. and carried away in a van. than Captain Hopkins’s comb. Mine was a quiet back-garret with a sloping roof. Micawber with an account of my visit. I thought it was better to borrow Captain Hopkins’s knife and fork. and myself. with large whiskers. the Orfling.Mr. who was very glad to get it. and secondly. Micawber resolved to move into the prison. firstly. that I was now relieved of much of the weight of Mr. and in prowling about the streets at meal-times. and what plates and dishes and pots he had. happily for me no doubt. except the bed. At last Mrs. as it were. the dirty lady was not married to Captain Hopkins. and the kitchen table. but I came down again with all this in my knowledge. I have no idea for how long.com 1 . and when I took possession of it. in the two parlours 0 David Copperfield of the emptied house in Windsor Terrace. after all. or spoke to any of the many boys whom I saw daily in going to the warehouse. self-reliant manner. But I never. or who sold it. I don’t know how the household furniture came to be sold for the family benefit. Micawber’s compliments. as surely as the knife and fork were in my hand. Micawber’s troubles had come to a crisis at last. in coming from it. and made a little jug of egg-hot afterwards to console us while we talked it over. Micawber’s Free eBooks at Planet eBook. With these possessions we encamped. and Mrs. I thought it quite a paradise. with the reflection that Mr. since the Micawbers and I had become too used to one another. made a single acquaintance. where Mr. There was something gipsy-like and agreeable in the dinner. and the beds were sent over to the King’s Bench. and an old. I took back Captain Hopkins’s knife and fork early in the afternoon. She fainted when she saw me return. old brown great-coat with no other coat below it. however. I led the same secretly unhappy life. There was a very dirty lady in his little room. Micawber. that I had grown more shabby. on a shelf. and with the same common companions. and lived in those rooms night and day.

and which I suppose. I call to mind that Mr. at what hour the gates were opened in the morning. Mr. to have been some former composition with his creditors. Murdstone knew where I was. at all events it ceased to be the rock-ahead it had been. and that my favourite lounging-place in the interval was old London Bridge. though I was so far from being clear about it then. that I am conscious of having confounded it with those demoniacal parchments which are held to have. who was present. I suppose. I am unable to say. Micawber. Micawber should apply for his release under the Insolvent Debtors Act. begin to be beforehand with the world. invented it. In the evening I used to go back to the prison. and walk up and down the parade with Mr. if . or to look over the balustrades at the sun shining in the water. and the club had strongly approved of the same. for some relatives or friends had engaged to help them at their present pass. about this time.cares. out of the streets. in which Mr. ‘And then. Whether Mr. were gradually forming all this while. in virtue of some arrangement. Micawber had stated his idea of this petition to the club. where I was wont to sit in one of the stone recesses. was a great authority.com  . praying for an alteration in the law of imprisonment for debt. I used to breakfast with them now. Micawber. Micawber (who was a thoroughly good-natured man. I never told them at Murdstone and Grinby’s. she expected. and out of men and women.in short. Micawber.’ By way of going in for anything that might be on the cards. too. I set down this remembrance here. watching the people going by. admitting of my going in. somehow. and to live in a perfectly new manner. if anything turns up. of which I used to hear a great deal. Micawber. and how some main points in the character I shall unconsciously develop. and they lived more comfortably in the prison than they had lived for a long while out of it. Micawber’s affairs. please Heaven. were very much involved by reason of a certain ‘Deed’. and lighting up the golden flame on the top of the Monument. and Mrs. as a gentleman. of which I can say no more than that I hope I believed them myself. or play casino with Mrs. which would set him free. There was a club in the prison. Micawber. in writing my life. now. of which I have forgotten the details. and made stories for myself. ‘I have no doubt I shall. Micawber informed me that ‘her family’ had decided that Mr. 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. to be told some astonishing fictions respecting the wharves and the Tower. composed a petition to the House of Commons. and hear reminiscences of her papa and mama.’ said Mr. Wherefore Mr. I forget. because it is an instance to myself of the manner in which I fitted my old books to my altered life. engrossed it on an immense sheet of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. although past their crisis. and as active a creature about everything but his own affairs as ever existed. Mr. once upon a time. The Orfling met me here sometimes. but I know that I was often up at six o’clock. in about six weeks. At last this document  David Copperfield appeared to be got out of the way. obtained to a great extent in Germany.

affixed his signature. As I walked to and fro daily between Southwark and Blackfriars. meanwhile. I wonder how many of these people were wanting in the crowd that used to come filing before me in review again. Captain Hopkins. To everybody in succession. to do honour to so solemn an occasion) stationed himself close to it. to that slow agony of my youth. 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. supported Mr. while my old friend Captain Hopkins (who had washed himself. and all within the walls if they chose. while one entered.com  . Mr.‘No. for anything I know. the stones of which may.‘Would you like to hear it read?’ If he weakly showed the least disposition to hear it. and contemplating (not severely) the spikes on the opposite wall. spread it out on a table. to read it to all who were unacquainted with its contents. be worn at this moment by my childish feet. one by one. I do not wonder that I seem to see and pity. listening with a little of an au David Copperfield thor’s vanity. if twenty thousand people would have heard him. Micawber in front of the petition. going on before me. and they me. one after another. now. When I heard of this approaching ceremony. and lounged about at meal-times in obscure streets. to the echo of Captain Hopkins’s voice! When my thoughts go back.’ ‘Your petitioners therefore humbly approach your honourable house. and established myself in a corner for that purpose. Micawber. gave him every word of it. As many of the principal members of the club as could be got into the small room without filling it. The Captain would have read it twenty thousand times. though I knew the greater part of them already. an innocent romantic boy. Captain Hopkins said: ‘Have you read it?’ .’ as if the words were something real in his mouth. and appointed a time for all the club. 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.paper. and delicious to taste. in a long file: several waiting outside. and the general population began to come in. The door was then thrown open.’ ‘His gracious Majesty’s unfortunate subjects. I was so anxious to see them all come in. in a loud sonorous voice. and went out.’ . making his imaginative world out of such strange experiences and sordid things! Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that I got an hour’s leave of absence from Murdstone and Grinby’s.

ma’am. and some formalities observed. what you and Mr.’ said Mrs.’ ‘Are they dead. M r Micawber returned to the King’s Bench when his case was over. ‘the memory of my papa and mama. before he could be actually released. and that gentleman was ordered to be discharged under the Act. His creditors were not implacable. and exert his talents in the country. but that when money was owing to him he liked to be paid.’ said Mrs. and Mrs. regretted by a numerous circle. He said he thought it was human nature. Micawber. and dropped a pious tear upon the twin who happened to be in hand. Master Copperfield. Micawber shook her head. ma’am?’ I inquired.’ I said I was sure of that. that. My papa lived to bail Mr. Micawber is out of his difficulties.  David Copperfield ‘On such an occasion I will give you. with a little interest.CHAPTER 12 LIKING LIFE ON MY OWN ACCOUNT NO BETTER. Micawber: ‘May I ask. after drinking the toast in a wine-glass. Micawber intend to do. I FORM A GREAT RESOLUTION I n due time.com  . The influence of my family being local. I said to Mrs. Mr. Micawber. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. surrounded by the sleeping family. The club received him with transport. to my great joy.’ Mrs. now that Mr. though I never could discover who came under the denomination.’ said Mrs. ‘My mama departed this life. ‘My family are of opinion. Micawber’s difficulties commenced. or at least before they became pressing. Micawber’s petition was ripe for hearing. As I could hardly hope for a more favourable opportunity of putting a question in which I had a near interest. Micawber is a man of great talent. while Mrs. Micawber several times. and at liberty? Have you settled yet?’ ‘My family. Micawber informed me that even the revengeful boot-maker had declared in open court that he bore him no malice. and then expired. Micawber. ‘before Mr.’ repeated Mrs. and held an harmonic meeting that evening in his honour. Micawber should quit London. ‘in a little more flip. Micawber. ‘Of great talent. something might be done for a man of his ability in the Custom House. Mr.’ for we had been having some already. as some fees were to be settled. Master Copperfield. Micawber and I had a lamb’s fry in private. who always said those two words with an air. ‘my family are of opinion that Mr. it is their wish that Mr.

and the set of coral. Gee up. Micawber. ma’am?’ The events of the day. Micawber has his faults.o . until he begged me to do him the favour of taking a chair on the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. They think it indispensable that he should be upon the spot. Micawber!’ she exclaimed. in combination with the twins.and sat looking at her in alarm. ‘what is the matter?’ ‘I never will desert you. that he hung over her in a passionate manner. Dobbin. Gee up.Micawber should go down to Plymouth. my angel!’ cried Mr. The pearl necklace and bracelets which I inherited from mama. Gee ho.’ returned Mrs. Micawber.’ cried Mrs. Micawber. Dobbin. ‘Emma.’ ‘He is the parent of my children! He is the father of my twins! He is the husband of my affections. but his sanguine temper may have led him to expect that he would overcome them. and disturbed Mr. Micawber was soon so overcome. struggling. ‘My life!’ said Mr. ‘Mr. ‘and I ne . Micawber was so deeply affected by this proof of her devotion (as to me. No!’ cried Mrs. imploring her to look up. I do not deny that he has kept me in the dark as to his resources and his liabilities both. Micawber!’ Mrs. But I never will desert Mr. more affected than before. Micawber was in an alarming state. and leading the chorus of Gee up. looking at the wall. running into the room. ‘I never will do it! It’s of no use asking me!’ I felt quite uncomfortable . Micawber. ‘That he may be ready . I was so frightened that I ran off to the club-room.’ ‘That he may be ready?’ I suggested. upon which he immediately burst into tears. has been actually thrown away for nothing. and gee ho . Dobbin. of which he had been partaking. Micawber. and she shed tears as she replied: ‘I never will desert Mr. which was the wedding gift of my papa. I do not deny that he is improvident. Micawber having now raised her voice into a perfect scream. Micawber supposed I had asked her to do anything of the sort! . Micawber to look up.com  .ver . Mr. Consequently Mr.desert Mr. ‘Exactly. Micawber. taking her in his arms. that he mingled his tears with hers and mine. ‘but I never will desert Mr. have been disposed of for less than half their value. the more she fixed her eyes on nothing.in case of anything turning up. Micawber in the act of presiding at a  David Copperfield long table.will . But the more he asked Mrs. Micawber!’ Mr. and to be calm. and came away with me with his waistcoat full of the heads and tails of shrimps. Micawber. ‘I am perfectly aware of it. had made Mrs. the more she wouldn’t.o! with the tidings that Mrs. and the more he asked her to compose herself.as if Mrs. Micawber may have concealed his difficulties from me in the first instance.’ she went on.’ ‘And do you go too. I was dissolved in tears). if not with the flip. Micawber hysterical.

so unexpectedly to me. with such a knowledge of it ready made as experience had given me. and Mrs. C. that Mrs. insomuch that when the bell rang. Micawber and their family were going away from London. all the shame and misery it kept alive within my breast. I knew quite well. All their elasticity was departed. Quinion that he must relinFree eBooks at Planet eBook. Mr. in the afternoon. while my mind was in the first agitation of what it had conceived.which afterwards shaped 0 David Copperfield itself into a settled resolution. while he got her into bed. Micawber were so used to their old difficulties. at the expiration of which time they were to start for Plymouth. and was so utterly friendless without them.’ said Mr. that the prospect of being thrown upon some new shift for a lodging. ‘How is Mrs. to tell Mr. that they felt quite shipwrecked when they came to consider that they were released from them. was applying himself to business. I would have taken my leave for the night.not the least hint of my ever being anything else than the common drudge into which I was fast settling down. was like being that moment turned adrift into my present life. trusted D. But Mr. and disappointed too.everything is gone from us!’ Mr. I felt quite afraid to leave him by himself. The very next day showed me. I rarely heard from Miss Murdstone. for I had expected that we should be quite gay on this happy and long-looked-for occasion. and never from Mr. shaking his head. he was so profoundly miserable. and devoting himself wholly to his duties . ‘Very low. But through all the confusion and lowness of spirits in which we had been. Micawber. and in each there was a scrap of paper to the effect that J. and Mr. sir?’ I said. and parted from me there with a blessing. and going once more among unknown people. Micawber walked with me to the lodge. for a week. So I sat at the staircase window. I think. and I determined that the life was unendurable. and in the sleepless hours which followed when I lay in bed. They took a lodging in the house where I lived. I had grown to be so accustomed to the Micawbers. It was in my walk home that night. I was greatly touched.though I don’t know how it came into my head . consigned to Mr. this has been a dreadful day! We stand alone now .com 1 . but he would not hear of my doing that until the strangers’ bell should ring. Quinion. unless the escape was my own act. That there was no hope of escape from it. Micawber himself came down to the counting-house. and afterwards shed tears. M. and that a parting between us was near at hand. and I never saw them half so wretched as on this night. Micawber had not spoken of their going away without warrant. Micawber pressed my hand. and Mrs. I plainly discerned that Mr.staircase. became more poignant as I thought of this. until he came out with another chair and joined me. and had been so intimate with them in their distresses. involved. Murdstone: but two or three parcels of made or mended clothes had come up for me. Ah. and groaned. ‘reaction. that the thought first occurred to me . All the sensitive feelings it wounded so cruelly. Micawber now.

‘I am older than you. and said I  David Copperfield was very sorry we were going to lose one another. never do tomorrow what you can do today. Quite the contrary. Micawber. as he had every reason to think. and until something turns up (which I am. and added: ‘Not that I am sorry for it.’ Mr.quish me on the day of his departure. Micawber looked aside at Mrs. that . Micawber observed. Micawber. And Mr.in short.com  . calling in Tipp the carman. and smiling again. during the remaining term of our residence under the same roof. who was a married man. Master Copperfield.’ said Mrs. and had a room to let. and I think we became fonder of one another as the time went on. without thinking of you. though my resolution was now taken.’ returned Mr. Procrastination is the thief of time.’ said Mr. Quinion. I had bought a spotted wooden horse over-night as a parting gift to little Wilkins Micawber . and . Micawber.’ said Mr. and that was so far prematurely entered into. I may say. hourly expecting). ‘My dear young friend.’ After which. I have nothing to bestow but advice. Micawber. ‘I say.in short. they invited me to dinner. Still my advice is so far worth taking. ‘My dear. though we were all in a tender state about our approaching separation. probably. checked himself and frowned . in difficulties. in short. which I am sure I deserved. ‘has a heart to feel for the distresses of his fellow-creatures when they are behind a cloud. and able to read the same description of print. of late. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. a general ability to dispose of such available property as could be made away with. and a hand to . Your conduct has always been of the most delicate and obliging description. generally speaking. I had also bestowed a shilling on the Orfling. quite forgetting himself. ‘I shall never.’ ‘My dear. ‘the miserable wretch you behold.and of some experience. in consequence. ‘your papa was very well in his way. Micawber was in difficulties.by our mutual consent.that was the boy . On the last Sunday. we ne’er shall . and a head to plan. Micawber. that I never recovered the expense.’ Mrs. make the acquaintance. he was grave for a minute or so. and to give me a high character.’ said Mr. Micawber.‘the miserable wretch you behold. who had been beaming and smiling. You have never been a lodger. But he applied that maxim to our marriage. all over his head and face. quartered me prospectively on him . and am the’ .and a doll for little Emma. of anybody else possessing. You have been a friend.’ I expressed my sense of this commendation. Take him for all in all. that I have never taken it myself. ‘Copperfield. who was about to be disbanded. Micawber. I passed my evenings with Mr. and a pudding. the same legs for gaiters. my dear. At present. Collar him!’ ‘My poor papa’s maxim. We had a very pleasant day. and Mrs. up to the present moment. Micawber. and Heaven forbid that I should disparage him.’ ‘My dear Micawber!’ urged his wife. at his time of life. ‘revert to the period when Mr. My advice is.in short. without spectacles. for I said nothing. a man of some experience in life.here Mr.’ for so he had been accustomed to call me. my love. and we had a loin of pork and apple sauce.

com  . annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six. Copperfield. in the progress of revolving years. at the time.’ I think. Luke’s workhouse. ‘God bless you! I never can forget all that. In case of anything turning up (of which I am rather confident). to the only relation I had in the world. I suppose. My aunt walked into that story. and tell my story to my aunt. by some means or other. result happiness. and gave me just such a kiss as she might have given to her own boy. ‘Master Copperfield. Micawber drank a glass of punch with an air of great enjoyment and satisfaction. once there. which it had been one of my great delights in the old time to hear her tell. and I could hardly see the family for the handkerchiefs they waved. I had resolved to run away. Mr. It was gone in a minute. I think so. The blossom is blighted. the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene. and .and in short you are for ever floored.To go. Annual income twenty pounds. Micawber. and walked out of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and whistled the College Hornpipe. I am far from sure that I believed there was anything hopeful in it. down into the country. since the night when the thought had first occurred to me and banished sleep. I had gone over that old story of my poor mother’s about my birth. and put her arm round my neck. though indeed I had no need to do so. I did not fail to assure him that I would store these precepts in my mind. Micawber.’ said Mr. with a desolate heart. she going back. Annual income twenty pounds. But with no intention of passing many more weary days there. but my mind was thoroughly made up that it must be carried into execution. with quite a new and motherly expression in her face. Micawber sat at the back of the coach. and hardened into a purpose than which I have never entertained a more determined purpose in my life. I had barely time to get down again before the coach started. and again. result misery. Next morning I met the whole family at the coach office. and I stood in the road looking wistfully  David Copperfield at them. take their places outside. Again. ‘you know. to St.’ ‘Copperfield. I have already observed that I don’t know how this desperate idea came into my brain. and I never would if I could. Micawber. . it remained there. the leaf is withered. annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six. No. and then shook hands and said good-bye. But. I could persuade myself that my blighted destiny had been a warning to you. with the children. as I went to begin my weary day at Murdstone and Grinby’s. they affected me visibly. and she saw what a little creature I really was.’ said Mrs. because she beckoned to me to climb up. The Orfling and I stood looking vacantly at each other in the middle of the road. you know.‘My other piece of advice. I shall be extremely happy if it should be in my power to improve your prospects. and a hundred times again. and which I knew by heart. and saw them. Miss Betsey. at the back. As I am!’ To make his example the more impressive. as Mrs. ‘farewell! Every happiness and prosperity! If.’ said Mr. for. a mist cleared from her eyes. I should feel that I had not occupied another man’s place in existence altogether in vain.

however. As I did not even know where Miss Betsey lived. and who. who always took precedence. at the Coach Office. and we were all waiting in the warehouse to be paid. in the Blackfriars Road. standing near the Obelisk. to be left till called for. to say to Mr. but there was one little trait in her behaviour which I liked to dwell on. over the water. and had a curiosity to know if it were the same. and had gradually engendered my determination. and though it might have been altogether my mother’s fancy. Barkis’s box). as I had been paid a week’s wages in advance when I first came there. asked him. which softened the whole narrative. I told Peggotty that I had a particular occasion for half a guinea. One of our men. addressing me as ‘Sixpenn’orth of bad ha’pence. at Hythe. not to present myself in the counting-house at the usual hour. and was. but whether at Dover itself. and would tell her afterwards what I had wanted it for. she could not say. I considered myself bound to remain until Saturday night. pretending that I had heard of such a lady living at a certain place I named at random. Being a very honest little creature. to receive my stipend. that they were all close together. There was a long-legged young man with a very little empty donkey-cart. I should be very much obliged to her. My box was at my old lodging.’ This I had in my pocket ready to put on the box.’ hoped ‘I should know him agin to swear to’ . went in first to draw his money. incidentally. and that if she could lend me that sum until I could repay it. and might have had no foundation whatever in fact. I looked about me for someone who would help me to carry it to the booking-office. Sandgate. In the course of that letter.com  . I deemed this enough for my object. and told me that Miss Betsey lived near Dover. whose eye I caught as I was going by.in allusion. Accordingly. when the Saturday night came. of my terrible aunt relenting towards the girlish beauty that I recollected so well and loved so much. I shook Mick Walker by the hand. I had borrowed the half-guinea. and. It is very possible that it had been in my mind a long time. Peggotty’s answer soon arrived. and Tipp the carman. and asked her. For this express reason. and as I went towards my lodging. Quinion that I had gone to move my box to Tipp’s. when it came to his turn to be paid. after I should have got it out of the house. I could not forget how my mother had thought that she felt her touch her pretty hair with no ungentle hand. I wrote a long letter to Peggotty. full of affectionate devotion. ran away. and unwilling to disgrace the memory I was going to leave behind me at Murdstone and Grinby’s. as usual. that I might not be without a fund for my travelling-expenses. I have no Free eBooks at Planet eBook. out of it.it. and which gave me some faint shadow of encouragement. informing me on my asking him about these places. or Folkestone. 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. I made a little picture.  David Copperfield and resolved to set out at the end of that week. and. She enclosed the half guinea (I was afraid she must have had a world of trouble to get it out of Mr. Dover. bidding a last good night to Mealy Potatoes. a dread and awful personage. if she remembered.

I stopped to assure him that I had not done so in bad manners. and the donkey. and which I wanted him to take to the Dover coach office for sixpence. now. when he came to the dead-wall of the King’s Bench prison. Now I lost him. jumped into the cart.’ said I. ‘This is a pollis case. At length. and rattled away at such a rate. seizing me by my jacket collar. I put it in my mouth for safety. now up again. very much frightened. when I caught him at the place appointed. twenty times at least.’ ‘Give me my box and money. ‘Done with you for a tanner!’ said the long-legged young man. now running into somebody’s arms. The young man still replied: ‘Come to the pollis!’ and was dragging me against the donkey in a violent manner. now shouted at. if I had.doubt. I was unwilling to put the direction-card on there. and detain me. are you? Come to the pollis. so I said to the young man that I would be glad if he would stop for a minute. and put it on his cart. rattled away harder than ever. I narrowly escaped being run over. that I did not much like. lest any of my landlord’s family should fathom what I was doing. than he rattled away as if he. you young warmin. and we brought the box down. ‘You shall prove it yourn to the pollis. when I felt myself violently chucked under the chin by the long-legged young man. that it was as much as I could do to keep pace with the donkey. come to the pollis!’ ‘You give me my money back. if you please. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and particularly about the way in which he chewed straw as he spoke to me. which was nothing but a large wooden tray on wheels. in half a mile. exclaiming that he would drive to the pollis straight. The words were no sooner out of my mouth.com  . and directly got upon his cart. ‘Wot!’ said the young man. I ran after him as fast as I could. however. the cart.’ I answered. I told him mine. and saw my half-guinea fly out of my mouth into his hand. as the bargain was made. Being much flushed and excited. which was down that street there. now down in the mud. but uncertain whether he might or might not like a job. will you. as if there were any affinity between that animal and a magistrate. now I was cut at with a whip. to my staring at him. I took him upstairs to the room I was leaving. my box. I tumbled my half David Copperfield guinea out of my pocket in pulling the card out. There was a defiant manner about this young man. Now. with a frightful grin. but I had no breath to call out with. ‘Wot job?’ said the long-legged young man. ‘To move a box. when he changed his mind. and should not have dared to call out. and I was quite out of breath with running and calling after him. and though my hands trembled a good deal. now I saw him. sat upon my box. is it? You’re a-going to bolt. were all equally mad. now I lost him.’ ‘Come to the pollis!’ said the young man. ‘and leave me alone. had just tied the card on very much to my satisfaction. and.’ I cried. ‘Wot box?’ said the long-legged young man. now running headlong at a post. bursting into tears.

which I had understood was on the Dover Road: taking very little more out of the world. than I had brought into it. Miss Betsey. faced about for Greenwich. When I had recovered my breath. My scattered senses were soon collected as to that point. It was by this time dark. and had got rid of a stifling sensation in my throat. fortunately. But it was a summer night. on the night when my arrival gave her so much umbrage. I doubt if I should have had any. But my standing possessed of only three-halfpence in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. for I came to a stop in the Kent Road. and started for Greenwich. panting and crying. and with hardly breath enough to cry for the loss of my box and half-guinea. when I gave up the pursuit of the young man with the donkey-cart. at a terrace with a piece of water before it. as I sat resting. and doubting whether half London might not by this time be turning out for my apprehension. towards the retreat of my aunt. Here I sat down on a doorstep. and a great foolish image in the middle. quite spent and exhausted with the efforts I had already made. if I had. CHAPTER 13 THE SEQUEL OF MY RESOLUTION F or anything I know. In the midst of my distress. I heard the clocks strike ten.confused by fright and heat. I rose up and went on. and fine weather. and.com 1 0 David Copperfield . but never stopping. I left the young man to go where he would with my box and money. blowing a dry shell. though there had been a Swiss snow-drift in the Kent Road. I had no notion of going back. I may have had some wild idea of running all the way to Dover.

I said I would take ninepence for it. and that I should have to make the best of my way to Dover in a shirt and a pair of trousers. gave ninepence. because it imposed upon me. and looked at it there. I began to picture to myself.’ ‘Would eighteenpence be?’. a perfect stranger. and of the young man with the donkey-cart having used me cruelly. and gave it me back. Dolloby rolled it up again. after some hesitation. for this here little weskit?’  David Copperfield ‘Oh! you know best. I wished him good night. my being found dead in a day or two. sir. I went up the next by-street. and ultimately said: ‘What do you call a price. bones. ‘If you please.’ said Mr. spread the waistcoat on the counter.com  .’ Mr. now. But my mind did not run so much on this as might be supposed.’ I said. followed by me. The master of this shop was sitting at the door in his shirt-sleeves. ‘I am to sell this for a fair price. snuffed the two candles with his fingers. ‘I should rob my family. and Mrs.’ This was a disagreeable way of putting the business. at least . and might deem myself lucky if I got there even in that trim. This was. rolled it neatly under my arm. But when I buttoned my jacket. took off my waistcoat. I foresaw pretty clearly that my jacket would go next. however. Mr. ‘I can’t be buyer and seller too. where it was written up that ladies’ and gentlemen’s wardrobes were bought. who had hung all his enemies. if he pleased. which I was going to carry into execution. Beyond a general impression of the distance before me. ‘Put a price on this here little weskit. until I happened to pass a little shop. not without some grumbling.’ he said. under some hedge. sir.I hinted. smoking. and walked out of the shop the richer by that sum. Micawber suggested to me that here might be a means of keeping off the wolf for a little while. Dolloby. ‘if I was to offer ninepence for it. and the poorer by a waistcoat. Mr. that was not much. and only two feeble candles burning inside to show what they were. Dolloby. and I trudged on miserably. and looked at it there. I think I had no very urgent sense of my difficulties when I once again set off with my ninepence in my pocket. A plan had occurred to me for passing the night. My late experiences with Mr. and that the best price was given for rags. in a corner where Free eBooks at Planet eBook. though as fast as I could. and came back to the shop door. and was enjoying himself. stood his pipe on its head. against the door-post. and kitchen-stuff. held it up against the light. to lie behind the wall at the back of my old school. My circumstances being so very pressing. went into the shop. the unpleasantness of asking Mr.took the waistcoat.’ I returned modestly.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. Dolloby to rob his family on my account. Indeed. and as there were a great many coats and pairs of trousers dangling from the low ceiling.Dolloby was the name over the shop door. as a scrap of newspaper intelligence. Dolloby . I fancied that he looked like a man of a revengeful disposition.

and the bedroom would yield me no shelter. When I remembered where I was at that untimely hour.though with a knowledge in my sleep that it was cold . and I found a haystack in the corner. and I lay down by it. and looked up at the windows. and the sound of singing came out into the sunshine. upon it. glowering at me going by. I felt quite wicked in my dirt and dust.there used to be a haystack. One or two little houses. of my mother in her youth and beauty. with his hand to his forehead. and I followed. with my tangled hair. against whom house-doors were locked. reassured me: and my eyes being very heavy. Traddles still remained. or stood beneath the yew-tree.and I dreamed of lying on my old school-bed. If I could have hoped that Steerforth was there. It cost me some trouble to find out Salem House. I see myself. and found myself sitting upright. and was pretty well jaded when I came climbing out. awoke me. Creakle’s boys were getting up. upon the level of Blackheath. that night . and seen that all was dark and silent within. and I had not sufficient confidence in his discretion or good luck. but it was very doubtful. and eating bread that I had bought for supper. and walk about. without a roof above my head! Sleep came upon me as it came on many other outcasts. as evening closes in. through three-and-twenty miles on the straight road. and my aunt relenting to her. to wish to trust him with my situation. and I met people who were going to church. perhaps. and the ringing of the getting-up bell at Salem House. weeping by the fire. and the bedroom where I used to tell the stories. footsore and tired. I had had a hard day’s work. Never shall I forget the lonely sensation of first lying down. But the peace and rest of the old Sunday morning were on everything. That was the difference. I would have lurked about until he came out alone. I got. and when I little expected that any eyes would ever see me the wayfarer I was now. and the pale light in the sky where the day was coming. I lay down again and slept . though not very easily. looking wildly at the stars that were glistening and glimmering above me. What a different Sunday morning from the old Sunday morning at Yarmouth! In due time I heard the church-bells ringing. that Sunday. and struck into the long dusty track which I had first known to be the Dover Road when I was one of them.com  . coming over the bridge at Rochester.  David Copperfield but I knew he must have left long since. and house-dogs barked. I imagined it would be a kind of company to have the boys. except me. for I was new to that kind of toil. as I plodded on. so near me: although the boys would know nothing of my being there. at last. But it always went before me. I hardly think I should have had the courage to go on until next day. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I passed a church or two where the congregation were inside. So I crept away from the wall as Mr. a feeling stole upon me that made me get up. however strong my reliance was on his good nature. talking to the boys in my room. But for the quiet picture I had conjured up. while the beadle sat and cooled himself in the shade of the porch. But the fainter glimmering of the stars.until the warm beams of the sun. but I found it. afraid of I don’t know what. with Steerforth’s name upon my lips. having first walked round the wall.

I was rendered timid by the costly nature of their dealings. that seemed to have overflowed the shop. ‘Oh. happy in the society of the sentry’s footsteps. were fluttering among some cots. that I might learn to do without it. I resolved to make the sale of my jacket its principal business. ‘Lodgings for Travellers’. in that night’s aspect. goroo!’ I was so much dismayed by these words. near a cannon. which was low and small. . had tempted me. my eyes and limbs. rushed out of a dirty den behind it. which was not relieved when an ugly old man. what do you want?’ grinned this old man. and rusty guns. and. at last. an officer’s coat or two. roofed like Noah’s arks. His bedstead. Very stiff and sore of foot I was in the morning. and carrying it under my arm. I took the jacket off. generally speaking. and such shops as Mr. upon a sort of grass-grown battery overhanging a lane. I sought no shelter. in a filthy flannel waistcoat. which seemed to hem me in on every side when I went down towards the long narrow street. Accordingly. I went with a palpitating heart. if I were to reserve any strength for getting to my journey’s end. and drawbridges. slept soundly until morning. in preference to the regular dealers. and walked about for  David Copperfield a long time without offering my merchandise to anyone. ending in an enclosure full of stinging-nettles. began a tour of inspection of the various slop-shops. though he knew no more of my being above him than the boys at Salem House had known of my lying by the wall.with the notice. and was descended into by some steps. and quite dazed by the beating of drums and marching of troops. but the sky. which was a kind Free eBooks at Planet eBook. therefore. . and oilskin hats. But as most of them had. ‘Oh. Into this shop. and smelling terribly of rum.which. but I was afraid of spending the few pence I had. Feeling that I could go but a very little way that day.com  . against the palings of which some second-hand sailors’ clothes. was in the den he had come from. where another little window showed a prospect of more stinging-nettles. Dolloby’s. monotonous whine. where a sentry was walking to and fro. and were. covered with a tumbled and ragged piece of patchwork. at the corner of a dirty lane. hanging out. what do you want? Oh. for the dealers in second-hand clothes were numerous. He was a dreadful old man to look at. what do you want? Oh. At last I found one that I thought looked promising. and toiling into Chatham. and seized me by the hair of my head. It was a likely place to sell a jacket in. 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. my lungs and liver. with the lower part of his face all covered with a stubbly grey beard. in a fierce. overhung with clothes. and a lame donkey. hanging up among their stock. and which was darkened rather than lighted by a little window. Here I lay down. and was even more afraid of the vicious looks of the trampers I had met or overtaken. epaulettes and all. This modesty of mine directed my attention to the marinestore shops. on the look-out for customers at their shop doors. and particularly by the repetition of the last unknown one. goroo. is a mere dream of chalk.crept. and mastless ships in a muddy river.

don’t ask for money. my liver!’ cried the old man. hereupon the old man. exasperated him to such a degree. who continually came skirmishing about the shop. I hope.which he screwed out of himself. glad to have closed the bargain. remembering me. that the whole day was a succession of rushes on his part. Goroo!’ Every time he uttered this ejaculation. mounts up high. than any other comparison I can find for it. and flights on the part of the boys. my lungs and liver. mouthing as if he were going to tear me in pieces. yelling in a frantic way. with an Oh! before every line. and still I sat there waiting for the money.’ said I. and come at me. but I told him humbly that I wanted money.com  . and lie upon his bed. ‘You ain’t poor. Charley. and more like a gust of wind. As if this were not bad enough for me. my lungs and liver. ‘Get out of the shop! Oh. as you pretend. my eyes and limbs. show the jacket to us! Oh. There never was such another drunken madman in that line of business. bring the jacket out!’ With that he took his trembling hands. my limbs. out of my hair.’ cried the old man. before or since.’ I never was so frightened in my life. and put on a pair of spectacles. So I went outside.goroo! . and enjoyed the reputation of having sold himself to the devil. which begins low. Bring out some of the gold you sold yourself to the devil for. and sat down in the shade in a corner. and every sentence he spoke. not at all ornamental to his inflamed eyes. still holding me by the hair. ‘Oh. no! Oh. then.how much for the jacket?’ ‘Half-a-crown. Charley. Bring out your gold. after examining it. how much for the jacket?’ cried the old man. Rip it open and let’s have some!’ This.goroo! . which were like the claws of a great bird. ‘Oh . repeated: ‘Oh. but that I would wait for it. I soon understood from the visits he received from the boys. let’s see the jacket!’ cried the old man. my lungs.’ I answered. and had no wish to hurry him. and calling to him to bring out his gold. shouting that legend. you know. that the shade became sunlight. connecting me with the Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Oh. my eyes. goroo!’ . would dive into the shop. the boys. ‘Well. outside. his eyes seemed to be in danger of starting out. no! Eighteenpence. my eyes and limbs. what do you want? Oh. always exactly the same. and innumerable Goroos interspersed. to his own windy tune. ‘I wanted to know. Sometimes in his rage he would take me for one of them. ‘Oh. my heart on fire. and that nothing else was of any use to me. That he was well known in the neighbourhood. what do you want? Oh. get out of the shop! Oh. And I sat there so many hours. with an energy that made his eyes start in his head.’ ‘Oh. throwing the jacket on a shelf. as I thought from the sound of his voice. and many offers to lend him a knife for the purpose. he delivered in a sort of tune. ‘no! Oh. my eyes and limbs . trembling. what do you want? Oh.’ I said. ‘I’ll take eighteenpence. recovering myself. ‘Oh. Come! It’s in the lining of the mattress.of rattle in his throat. and falls again. as he desired. that I could make no answer. ‘if you would buy a jacket. the ‘Death of Nelson’. and the sunlight became shade again. just in time.  David Copperfield make it an exchange.

go-roo!’ (it is really impossible to express how he twisted this ejaculation out of himself. and taking the money out of his claw. It was sufficiently late in the year for the orchards to be ruddy with ripe apples. at one time coming out with a fishing-rod. at another with a fiddle. after a long pause. with the graceful leaves twining round them. But at an expense of threepence I soon refreshed myself completely. if I could. and sat there in desperation. at another with a cocked hat. stoned me. and made up my mind to sleep among the hops that night: imagining some cheerful companionship in the long perspectives of poles.’ ‘Oh. I found that it lay through a succession of hop-grounds and orchards. He made many attempts to induce me to consent to an exchange. at another with a flute. I observed that the woman had a black eye. ‘but I want the money badly. perhaps. and then roared to me in such a tremendous voice to come back.com 1 . and was full two hours getting by easy stages to a shilling. and dressed them as well as I was able. ‘or I’ll rip your young body open. and used me very ill all day. trying to propitiate the tinker by my looks.’ I said. My bed at night was under another haystack. At last he began to pay me in halfpence at a time. on account of the patience and perseverance with which I sat outside. Some of them were most ferocious-looking ruffians. from his wallet and brazier . a little before sunset. will you go for threepence?’ ‘I would go for nothing. with some cool leaves. and when I took to my heels.a tinker. after having washed my blistered feet in a stream. and stopped. being in better spirits then. When I took the road again next morning. and in a few places the hop-pickers were already at work. ‘I shall be starved. ‘will you go for twopence more?’ ‘I can’t. my lungs and liver. showing nothing but his crafty old head).’ I said. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The trampers were worse than ever that day. where I 0 David Copperfield rested comfortably. I suppose.who had a woman with him. with tears in my eyes. half-dressed. not without trembling. and. for my money or my jacket. ‘I am going to Dover. who stared at me as I went by. But I resisted all these overtures. limped seven miles upon my road. ‘Where are you going?’ said the tinker. as he peeped round the door-post at me. when you’re called. each time asking him. that I halted and looked round. and called after me to come back and speak to them.’ I said. pelted me. ‘Come here.establishment. I recollect one young fellow . As I drew nearer to them. my eyes and limbs!’ he then cried. and inspired me with a dread that is yet quite fresh in my mind.’ I thought it best to go back. went away more hungry and thirsty than I had ever been. and who faced about and stared at me thus. gripping the bosom of my shirt with his blackened hand. peeping hideously out of the shop.’ ‘Oh. ‘will you go for fourpence?’ I was so faint and weary that I closed with this offer. ‘Oh.’ said the tinker. I thought it all extremely beautiful.

’ I said. it relieved the solitary aspect of the scene with hope. looking so sternly at me. ‘by wearing my brother’s silk handkerchief! Give it over here!’ And he had mine off my neck in a moment. as if she thought this a joke.‘Where do you come from?’ asked the tinker.com  . and knocked her down. to hold me more securely. half-clothed figure. afterwards. and made the word ‘Go!’ with her lips. before I came into the world. ‘What do you mean.’ I said. I seemed to be sustained and led on by my fanciful picture of my mother in her youth. attempting to smile. and tossed it to the woman. and actually set foot in the town itself. and then looked at me from head to foot. among the hops. I have associated it. where I remained until they had gone out of sight. and with the sight of its old houses and gateways. It always kept me company. the tinker seized the handkerchief out of my hand with a roughness that threw me away like a  David Copperfield feather. when I saw any of these people coming. and the stately. strange to say.’ said the tinker.’ I said. turned upon the woman with an oath. it went before me all day. ‘I am very poor. as under all the other difficulties of my journey. When I came. which happened so often. in the place so long desired. it seemed to vanish like a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with the sunny street of Canterbury.’ ‘Why. ‘Sir!’ I stammered. and putting it loosely round his own neck. wide downs near Dover. and my dusty. and form ‘No!’ with her lips. ‘and have got no money. while he went on ahead. and saw her very slightly shake her head. and not until I reached that first great aim of my journey. and her hair all whitened in the dust. but that I met the woman’s look. that I was very seriously delayed. afore I take it away!’ I should certainly have produced it.’ With his disengaged hand he made a menace of striking me. ‘If you have. upon the bare. ‘I come from London. nor. seeing her sitting on the pathway.’ said the tinker. as slightly as before. grey Cathedral. giving his hand another turn in my shirt. This adventure frightened me so. which was a bank by the roadside. when I lay down to sleep. It was there. by G—? If you make a brag of your honesty to me. that I almost feared he saw the money in my pocket. when I stood with my ragged shoes. The woman burst into a fit of laughter. But under this difficulty. ‘I’ll knock your brains out. ever since. ‘Have you got the price of a pint of beer about you?’ said the tinker. and tossed it back to me. ‘What lay are you upon?’ asked the tinker. with the rooks sailing round the towers. I turned back until I could find a hiding-place. I never shall forget seeing her fall backward on the hard road. when I looked back from a distance. what do you mean?’ said the tinker. ‘Are you a prig?’ ‘N-no. out with it. wiping the blood from her face with a corner of her shawl. it was with me on my waking in the morning. But then. Before I could obey. nodded once. however. on the sixth day of my flight. ‘Ain’t you. sunburnt. and lie there with her bonnet tumbled off. dozing as it were in the hot light. at last. did it desert me. that.

so here’s a penny for you.’  David Copperfield ‘Pretty stiff in the back?’ said he. coming by with his carriage. that she was seen to mount a broom in the last high wind. making himself upright. taking the inquiry to herself. One said she lived in the South Foreland Light. and approaching them. ‘What do you want with her. The morning had worn away in these inquiries. dropped a horsecloth. The fly-drivers.’ I said. ‘indeed. a third. and make direct for Calais. you mean. among whom I inquired next. and received various answers.’ said he. I tell you what. ‘My mistress?’ she said.’ ‘To beg of her.is gruffish. near the market-place. that she was made fast to the great buoy outside the harbour. My opinion is she won’t stand anything. and the shopkeepers. turned round quickly. I felt more miserable and destitute than I had done at any period of my running away. and had singed her whiskers by doing so. I addressed myself to a man behind the counter. and to leave me helpless and dispirited. when a flydriver. encouraged me to ask him if he could tell me where Miss Trotwood lived. boy?’ ‘I want. and walked on a good distance without coming to the houses he had mentioned. though I had asked the question so often. I inquired about my aunt among the boatmen first. not liking my appearance. At length I saw some before me.‘bag with a good deal of room in it . I was hungry.’ But suddenly remembering that in truth I came for no other purpose. ‘rather. and seemed as distant from my end as if I had remained in London. ‘Why then. Something good-natured in the man’s face. My money was all gone. I know the name. ‘Let me see. too. ‘Yes. that she was locked up in Maidstone jail for child-stealing. as I handed it up. and could only be visited at half-tide. and comes down upon you. ‘to speak to her. deliberating upon wandering towards those other places which had been mentioned. Dispatching this refreshment by the way.dream.’ I said. I had nothing left to dispose of.’ I said. who was weighing some rice for a young woman. I think you’ll hear of her. went into a little shop (it was what we used to call a general shop. ‘Trotwood. Old lady?’ ‘Yes. I held my peace in conFree eBooks at Planet eBook. another. at home). and worn out. a fourth.’ said he. ‘and keep right on till you come to some houses facing the sea. and inquired if they could have the goodness to tell me where Miss Trotwood lived. sharp?’ My heart sank within me as I acknowledged the undoubted accuracy of this description.’ pointing with his whip towards the heights. that it almost died upon my lips. without hearing what I had to say.’ I accepted the gift thankfully. and bought a loaf with it.com  . but the latter. ‘No. I went in the direction my friend had indicated. that they had got nothing for me. if you please. generally replied. ‘If you go up there.’ ‘Carries a bag?’ said he . thirsty. and I was sitting on the step of an empty shop at a street corner. were equally jocose and equally disrespectful.’ retorted the damsel.’ I replied. ‘I should think it very likely.

grass. and went away. to think how I had best proceed. The soles had shed themselves bit by bit. and felt my face burn.’ With which words she hurried into the house. and the upper leathers had broken and burst until the very shape and form of shoes had departed from them. ‘This is Miss Trotwood’s. neck. My hat (which had served me for a night-cap. shook it at me as often. who shut up one eye in a grotesque manner. and a pair of gardening gloves on her hands. My shirt and trousers. if I wanted to know where Miss Trotwood lived. I lifted up my eyes to the window above it. with a grey head.might have frightened the birds from my aunt’s garden. and with a strong consciousness of it. and carrying a great knife.’ said the young woman. were burnt to a berry-brown. with my heart at my lips. as she marched Free eBooks at Planet eBook. from unaccustomed exposure to the air and sun. as if to shake off the responsibility of my appearance. 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 smelling deliciously. and a great chair. suggested to me that my aunt might be at that moment seated in awful state. and making a distant chop in the air with her knife. but I was so much the more discomposed by this unexpected behaviour.and torn besides . I knew her immediately to be Miss Betsey. a small table. that she was not there. pleasant-looking gentleman. and left me standing at the garden-gate. put her rice in a little basket and walked out of the shop. where a muslin curtain partly undrawn in the middle. and that’s all I have got to say.com  . My hair had known no comb or brush since I left London. as I stood at the gate. My face. carefully tended. laughed. where I saw a florid. I needed no second permission. my formidable aunt. after a while. ‘Go away!’ said Miss Betsey. a small square gravelled court or garden full of flowers. when there came out of the house a lady with her handkerchief tied over her cap. I waited to introduce myself to. ‘Now you know. and hands.fusion. stained with heat. shaking her head. too) was so crushed and bent. In this plight. I followed the young woman. though I was by this time in such a state of consternation and agitation. as I supposed she was from what she had said. MY aunt’s handmaid. a large round green screen or fan fastened on to the windowsill. looking disconsolately over the top of it towards the parlour window. as if I had come out of a lime-kiln. nodded his head at me several times. The unbroken stillness of the parlour window leading me to infer. and we soon came to a very neat little cottage with cheerful bow-windows: in front of it. that no old battered handleless saucepan on a dunghill need have been ashamed to vie with it. and the Kentish soil on which I had  David Copperfield slept . telling me that I could follow her. dew. My shoes were by this time in a woeful condition. wearing a gardening pocket like a toll-man’s apron. From head to foot I was powdered almost as white with chalk and dust. ‘Go along! No boys here!’ I watched her. I had been discomposed enough before. that I was on the point of slinking off. that my legs shook under me. and make my first impression on.

aunt.’ The gentleman was serious immediately. and thrown upon myself. ‘If you please. and saw my dear mama. until the gentleman who had squinted at me from the upper window came in laughing. and have never slept in a bed since I began the journey. and then. in Suffolk where you came. with a shawl under my head. ‘If you please. whatever you are. aunt. I went softly in and stood beside her. and unable to control my sobs. touching her with my finger. ‘you have heard me mention David Copperfield? Now don’t pretend not to have a memory. and stooped to dig up some little root there. Lord!’ said my aunt. I am your nephew. she put me on the sofa. After a time she rang the bell. and salad dressing. and have walked all the way. anchovy sauce. and took me into the parlour. because nobody can be more discreet than you can. and the handkerchief from her own head under my feet. Then.’ ‘Oh.’ I began. lest I should sully the cover. and call it to witness that I had suffered something. sat on the gravel. but with a great deal of desperation. She started and looked up. And sat flat down in the garden-path. when her servant came in. sitting herself down behind the green fan or screen I have already mentioned.’ Here my self-support gave way all at once. I was robbed at first setting out. ‘Mr. My aunt. Her first proceeding there was to unlock a tall press. When she had administered these restoratives. when you choose. in a tone of amazement I have never heard approached. I broke into a passion of crying.’ said my aunt. Dick. without a scrap of courage. ‘Janet. ejaculated at intervals. It made me run away to you. walked up and down the room. We all know that. ‘Go upstairs. ma’am. ‘I am David Copperfield. of Blunderstone. I have been slighted.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said my aunt. when she got up in a great hurry. until I began to cry. as I was still quite hysterical. so that I could not see her face. I thought.’ 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). with her hands behind her. Dick. So don’t be a fool. My aunt. collared me. Dick.com  . bring out sev David Copperfield eral bottles. ‘Mr. which I suppose had been pent up within me all the week. ‘Mercy on us!’ letting those exclamations off like minute guns. and pour some of the contents of each into my mouth. I think they must have been taken out at random. on the night when I was born. ‘If you please. intended to show her my ragged state. with every sort of expression but wonder discharged from her countenance. but went on her errand. for I am sure I tasted aniseed water. and say I wish to speak to him. and put to work not fit for me. as if he would entreat me to say nothing about the window.to a corner of her garden. ‘don’t be a fool. I have been very unhappy since she died. and with a movement of my hands. and taught nothing. and looked at me. give my compliments to Mr.’ said my aunt. staring at me. because you and I know better.’ ‘EH?’ exclaimed Miss Betsey.

and things at her wrists like little Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Mr. David. and Janet. under what I believe would be called a mob-cap. with an appropriate chain and seals. if I might judge from its size and make. though unbending and austere. in the name of wonder. in her gait and carriage.’ ‘Well.’ ‘His son?’ said Mr. ‘David’s son? Indeed!’ ‘Yes. and the question I put to you is. Her dress was of a lavender colour. much more common then than now.’ said my aunt. and completing a survey I had already been engaged in making of the room. confident in the character and behaviour of the girl who never was born. turning round with a quiet triumph. Heat the bath!’ Although I was deeply interested in this dialogue. with a grave look. with side-pieces fastening under the chin. Dick. Dick.com 1 . ‘how he talks! Don’t I know she wouldn’t? She would have lived with her god-mother. Mr.’ said Mr. ‘Well then. feebly. There was an inflexibility in her face. than anything else. or to?’ ‘Nowhere. which was grey. ‘Bless and save the man. He has run away.‘David Copperfield?’ said Mr. Betsey Trotwood. ‘I should wash him!’ ‘Janet. should his sister. ‘Come! I want some very sound advice.’ returned my aunt. Dick. ‘I should -’ The contemplation of me seemed to inspire him with a sudden idea. I mean a cap. in form. and her forefinger held up. bright eye. considering. was arranged in two plain divisions. and looking vacantly at me. she had some linen at her throat not unlike a shirt-collar. Her hair.’ said my aunt. and perfectly neat. too. Dick. Dick. but by no means ill-looking. I remember that I thought it. when you are as sharp as a surgeon’s lancet? Now. softened by the reply. in her voice. but her features were rather handsome than otherwise. ‘this is his boy . Ah! His sister. have run from. Dick. to be sure. She wore at her side a gentleman’s gold watch. Dick. hard-featured lady. here you see young David Copperfield. who did not appear to me to remember much about it. ‘and he has done a pretty piece of business. Where. ‘Oh! do with him?’ ‘Yes. I particularly noticed that she had a very quick. more like a riding-habit with the superfluous skirt cut off. MY aunt was a tall. ‘how can you pretend to be wool-gathering. and we should have been devoted to one another. Dick. and he added. scratching his head. briskly. as if she desired to be as little encumbered as possible. if he was not so like his mother. Dick sets us all right.’ pursued my aunt. He would be as like his father as it’s possible to be. ‘David Copperfield? Oh yes. if I was you.’ 0 David Copperfield ‘Why. amply sufficient to account for the effect she had made upon a gentle creature like my mother.’ exclaimed my aunt.his son. sharply. Betsey Trotwood. while it was in progress. which I did not then understand. but scantily made. never would have run away.’ said my aunt.’ My aunt shook her head firmly. ‘Mr. I could not help observing my aunt. ‘Oh! you think she wouldn’t have run away?’ said Mr. certainly. what shall I do with him?’ ‘What shall you do with him?’ said Mr.

Janet had gone away to get the bath ready. in a loose grey morning coat and waistcoat. the old china. in saying so. wonderfully out of keeping with the rest. He was dressed like any other ordinary gentleman. I may mention here what I did not discover until afterwards. ‘Janet! Donkeys!’ Upon which. 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. it reminded me of one of Mr. as I have already said. had not his head been curiously bowed . the cat. the kettle-holder. and watering-pots. taking note of everything. and his money in his pockets: which he rattled as if he were very proud of it. to my great alarm. were kept in secret places ready to be discharged on the offending boys. and warned off two saddle-donkeys. sticks were laid in ambush behind the door. was grey-headed. and who had generally completed their abjuration by marrying the baker. in combination with his vacant manner. that had presumed to set hoof upon it. a donkey turned the current of her ideas in a moment. As I laid down my pen. mixed with the perfume of the flowers.not by age. Mr. darted out on a little piece of green in front. and florid: I should have said all about him. of about nineteen or twenty.and his grey eyes prominent and large. seized the bridle of a third animal laden with a bestriding child.shirt-wristbands. and incessant war Free eBooks at Planet eBook. In whatever occupation she was engaged. became in one moment rigid with indignation. suspect him of being a little mad. turned him. but she had settled it in her own mind that she had. and a perfect picture of neatness. though. and white trousers. to think of it. led him forth from those sacred precincts. and had his watch in his fob. and I saw the old-fashioned furniture brightly rubbed and polished. and she was upon him straight. the two canaries. a moment since. with a strange kind of watery brightness in them that made me. and had hardly voice to cry out. how he came to be there puzzled me extremely. the tall press guarding all sorts of bottles and pots. if he were mad. and his childish delight when she praised him. Creakle’s boys’ heads after a beating . the air from the sea came blowing in again.com  . while my aunt. my dusty self upon the sofa. lady-ridden. To this hour I don’t know whether my aunt had any lawful right of way over that patch of green. The one great outrage of her life. Dick. Jugs of water. The room was as neat as Janet or my aunt. however interesting to her the conversation in which she was taking part. his submission to my aunt. my aunt’s inviolable chair and table by the round green fan in the bow-window. the punchbowl full of dried rose-leaves. Janet was a pretty blooming girl. Janet came running up the stairs as if the house were in flames. sallies were made at all hours. rushing out of the house. and. and boxed the ears of the unlucky urchin in attendance who had dared to profane that hallowed ground. when my aunt. namely. and it was all the same to her. the drugget-covered  David Copperfield carpet. demanding to be constantly avenged. Though I made no further observation of her at the moment. was the passage of a donkey over that immaculate spot.

The words. and. before he seemed to comprehend what was the matter. while my mouth was yet open to receive the spoon. to lead me to believe that they had been uttered by my aunt. she would put it back into the basin. understanding how the case stood. Dick again. Dick. who sat in the bow-window gazing at the sea from behind the green fan.’ seemed to be in my ears. and turned any way. Perhaps this was an agreeable excitement to the donkey-boys. I saw my aunt engage. What sort of bundle I looked like. It might have been a dream. which was mounted on a kind of swivel. but I awoke with the impression that my aunt had come and bent over me. I only know that there were three alarms before the bath was ready. which she elicited from me. The cloth being drawn. was checked by a frown from my aunt. I sitting at table. who I thought would have gone to sleep but for that. too. not unlike a trussed bird myself. For I began to be sensible of acute pains in my limbs from lying out in the fields.’ ‘Perhaps she fell in love with her second husband. gradually. We dined soon after I awoke. but I felt a very hot one. I made no complaint of being inconvenienced. and that on the occasion of the last and most desperate of all. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The bath was a great comfort. and must receive nourishment at first in very small quantities). I soon lay down on the sofa again and fell asleep. or perhaps the more sagacious of the donkeys. that she must go and be married again. ‘Pretty fellow. single-handed. and was now so tired and low that I could hardly keep myself awake for five minutes together. my aunt sent up for Mr. except when she occasionally fixed her eyes on me sitting opposite. ‘Mercy upon us!’ which did not by any means relieve my anxiety. During my recital. and said. When I had bathed. But as my aunt had swathed me up.com  . All this time I was deeply anxious to know what she was going to do with me. I don’t know. and some sherry put upon the table (of which I had a glass). and had put my hair away from my face. and had then stood looking at me. who joined us. by a course of questions. Feeling also very faint and drowsy. with a sandy-headed lad of fifteen. These interruptions were of the more ridiculous to me. and bump his sandy head against her own gate. ‘I can’t conceive.’ or ‘Poor fellow. and looked as wise as he could when she requested him to attend to my story. whensoever he lapsed into a smile. ‘Whatever possessed that poor unfortunate Baby. off a roast fowl and a pudding.’ Mr. originating in the fancy which had occupied my mind so long. because she was giving me broth out of a table-spoon at the time (having firmly persuaded herself that I was actually starving. Dick suggested. she kept her eyes on Mr. they (I mean my aunt and Janet) enrobed me in a shirt and a pair of trousers belonging to Mr. Dick. and laid my head more  David Copperfield comfortably. and who. but certainly there was nothing else. when I awoke. and tied me up in two or three great shawls.prevailed. and moving my arms with considerable difficulty. when I had finished. delighted with constitutional obstinacy in coming that way.’ said my aunt. but she took her dinner in profound silence. cry ‘Janet! Donkeys!’ and go out to the assault.

‘A mighty pleasure for the poor Baby to fix her simple faith upon any dog of a fellow.’ Mr. ‘She couldn’t even have a baby like anybody else. Dick secretly shook his head at me. as if he thought there was no getting over this. was to say to me. I only hope. Dick seemed quite frightened.oh. ‘the child is right to stand by Free eBooks at Planet eBook. or whatever his name was. I should like to know! She had had one husband. Betsey Trotwood? Not forthcoming.as he is . and most self-denying friend and servant in the world.’ said my aunt.goes  David Copperfield and marries a Murderer .’ ‘Pleasure. she goes and gets married next. as I was trying to say so. the truest. She had seen David Copperfield out of the world.’ A boy! Yah. I told my aunt that indeed she was mistaken. after thinking a little. ‘What do you mean? What business had she to do it?’ ‘Perhaps. what was he about? All he could do. certain to ill-use her in some way or other. as he can be. who had ever loved my mother dearly.‘It’s a boy. who was always running after wax dolls from his cradle. and laid my face in my hands upon the table. and me. there were a pair of babies when she gave birth to this child sitting here. Dick simpered. Betsey Trotwood. shaking her head.’ said my aunt. like a robin redbreast . ‘Well. too. and that all she had was mine. Dick looked hard at me. ‘that Peggotty.’ I could not bear to hear my old nurse so decried. she goes and gets married next. What did she propose to herself. but for her humble station. well!’ said my aunt.and stands in THIS child’s light! And the natural consequence is. Because she has not seen enough of the evil attending such things.‘Fell in love!’ repeated my aunt. Don’t tell me!’ Mr. and made the subject of such a wish.’ Mr.com  . the most faithful. ‘And then there’s that woman with the Pagan name.’ said my aunt. with his head on one side. ‘Where was this child’s sister. ‘Jellips. if I am to tell the truth. who had held my mother’s dying head upon her arm. most devoted. ‘And then.I broke down. which made me fear that I might bring some trouble on her . ‘she marries a second time . And my remembrance of them both. the imbecility of the whole set of ‘em!’ The heartiness of the ejaculation startled Mr. ‘that her husband is one of those Poker husbands who abound in the newspapers. She had got a baby . That Peggotty was the best. that he prowls and wanders.or a man with a name like it . He’s as like Cain before he was grown up.’ said my aunt. that Friday night! . on whose face my mother had imprinted her last grateful kiss. ‘she did it for pleasure. and will beat her well with one. I say. as if this was not enough. I broke down as I was trying to say that her home was my home. ‘That little man of a doctor. choking me.and what more did she want?’ Mr. as anybody but a baby might have foreseen. who had ever loved me dearly. indeed!’ replied my aunt. Dick exceedingly. as if to identify me in this character. and that I would have gone to her for shelter. and she had not stood sufficiently in the light of this child’s sister. as the child relates.’ said my aunt.

and janet’s replying that she had been making tinder down in the kitchen. on which the moon was shining brilliantly. for more invaders . with her grave look. or to see my mother with her child. ‘with David’s son. to have me in safe keeping. when Janet set candles. to look upon me as she had looked when I last saw her sweet face. ‘I am going to ask you another question. yielded to the sensation of gratitude and rest which the sight of the white-curtained bed . put an end to all softer ideas for the present. was my aunt’s stopping on the stairs to inquire about a smell of fire that was prevalent there. ‘Now.until dusk. as in a bright book. and to bring actions for trespass against the whole donkey proprietorship of Dover. After I had said my prayers. we should have come to a good understanding.I should put him to bed. Dick. but in some sort like a prisoner. nestling in the snowwhite sheets! . from my aunt’s sharp expression of face.’ ‘Oh!’ said Mr. Look at this child.’ said my aunt. we sat at the window . The room was a pleasant one.’ ‘David’s son?’ said Mr. ‘Mr. and her forefinger up as before. Dick.inspired. and when I was left there. of my old shirt. ‘Yes. Do with . ‘Exactly so. now?’ ‘Do with David’s son?’ said Mr. for my aunt had laid her hand on my shoulder. puzzled face. until tea-time. and took precautions. who could know nothing of me. thus emboldened. ‘Ay. overlooking the sea. and the candle had burnt out. we’ll take him up to it.and how much more the lying softly down upon it. and a backgammon-board. with the same complacent triumph that I had remarked before. and the impulse was upon me.’ replied my aunt. my aunt going in front and Janet bringing up the rear. I remember how the solemn feeling with which at length I turned my eyes away. as I imagined.’ ‘Janet!’ cried my aunt. If the  David Copperfield bed is ready. I remember how I thought of all the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and the disorder she was thrown into by the struggle outside. I heard them lock my door on the outside. kindly. as if I could hope to read my fortune in it. After tea. Mr. and kept my aunt indignantly declaiming to Mr. The only circumstance which gave me any new hope.’ Janet reporting it to be quite ready. on that account. on the table. to embrace her and beseech her protection.Janet! Donkeys!’ I thoroughly believe that but for those unfortunate donkeys.com  .’ returned my aunt. But there were no other clothes in my room than the odd heap of things I wore. But the interruption. I was taken up to it. Dick. might suspect I had a habit of running away. along that shining path. ‘What would you do with him. Dick.those who have stood by him . Dick sets us all right. I remember how I still sat looking at the moonlight on the water. with a little taper which my aunt forewarned me would burn exactly five minutes. coming from Heaven. Dick about her determination to appeal for redress to the laws of her country. at the top of the house.on the look-out. and pulled down the blinds. with an attentive. Turning these things over in my mind I deemed it possible that my aunt.

I found my aunt musing so profoundly over the breakfast table. away into the world of dreams. were attracted towards my aunt very often during breakfast.com 01 . My eyes.in an odd thoughtful manner. I never could look at her for a few moments together but I found her looking at me . lest it should give her offence. and how I prayed that I never might be houseless any more. I felt sure that I had been the subject of her reflections.solitary places under the night sky where I had slept. and never might forget the houseless. CHAPTER 14 MY AUNT MAKES UP HER MIND ABOUT ME n going down in the morning. Yet I dared not express my anxiety. folded her arms. and contemplated me at her leisure. I remember how I seemed to float. as if I were an immense way off. that the contents of the urn had overflowed the teapot and were laying the whole table-cloth under water. not being so much under control as my tongue. and was more than ever anxious to know her intentions towards me. When she had finished her breakfast. then. instead of being on the other side of the small round table. when my entrance put her meditations to flight. my aunt very deliberately leaned back in her chair. knitted her brows. down the melancholy glory of that track upon the sea. with her elbow on the tray. with such a fixedness of at- O 00 David Copperfield Free eBooks at Planet eBook. however.

and. I chipped bits of bacon a surprising height into the air instead of cutting them for my own eating.’ said my aunt. Dick. shaking her head. Murdstone!’ ‘I don’t know anything about it. ‘I wish you’d go upstairs.’ said my aunt. ‘Hallo!’ said my aunt. when everything was washed and set in the tray again. until there did not appear to be one microscopic speck left on the carpet. my fork tripped up my knife.’ said my aunt. next dusted and arranged the room. to acquit myself of this commission. Dick a short name. ‘I have told him.be . She next swept up the crumbs with a little broom (putting on a pair of gloves first). and sat blushing under my aunt’s close scrutiny. and I became very downcast and heavy of heart. ‘I suppose. with a nod.tention that I was quite overpowered by embarrassment. alarmed. and I’ll be glad to know how he gets on with his Memorial. eh?’ ‘I thought it was rather a short name. which was dusted and arranged to a hair’sbreadth already. ‘I don’t know. but my knife tumbled over my fork. if he chose to use it.that’s the gentleman’s true name. I can tell him!’ ‘Does he know where I am.given up to him?’ I faltered.’ said my aunt. ‘I have written to him. to work. washed up the teacups with 0 David Copperfield her own hands. with the green fan between her and the light. brought out her work-box to her own table in the open window. rang for Janet to remove it. aunt?’ I inquired. yesterday. We shall see.Mr. ‘and give my compliments to Mr. and sat down. she took off the gloves and apron. and met her sharp bright glance respectfully.’ I exclaimed. Richard Babley . ‘We shall see. with a modest sense of my youth and the familiarity I had been already guilty of.’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. that I had better give him the full benefit of that name. without appearing to take much heed of me. folded them up. ‘if I have to go back to Mr. or he and I will fall out. ‘You are not to suppose that he hasn’t got a longer name. with a loftier air. which persisted in going the wrong way instead of the right one. I looked up. until I gave in altogether. as she threaded her needle. I attempted to hide my confusion by proceeding with it. ‘Shall I . after a long time.’ I confessed. I am sure.’ said my aunt.com 0 .’ My spirits sank under these words.’ ‘Oh! I can’t think what I shall do. ‘you think Mr. and choked myself with my tea.’ I was going to suggest.’ I rose with all alacrity. put them in the particular corner of the press from which they had been taken. which she took out of the press. eyeing me as narrowly as she had eyed the needle in threading it. Not having as yet finished my own breakfast. when my aunt Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said my aunt. My aunt. When all these tasks were performed to her satisfaction. ‘Babley . and the cloth folded and put on the top of the whole. ‘I have sent him a letter that I’ll trouble him to attend to. put on a coarse apron with a bib. ‘To -?’ ‘To your father-in-law. ‘I can’t say.

I delivered my message. Dick is his name here. before he observed my being present. no matter!’ he said cheerfully. by some that bear it. in a lower tone. and went upstairs with my message. Dick. Dick. with a despondent look upon his papers. the number of pens. He was so intent upon it.’ I answered. when I came down. I am getting on very well indeed. ‘when King Charles the First had his head cut off?’ I said I believed it happened in the year sixteen hundred and forty-nine. ‘So the books say. as I went. ‘You have been to school?’ ‘Yes. I answered that it was a beautiful one. and with his hand among his hair again. and rousing himself. child. ‘Ha! Phoebus!’ said Mr. whatever you do. laying down his pen. scratching his ear with his pen. Because. Dick had been working at his Memorial long.’ said Mr. and put his lips close to my ear . ‘I made it.’ said Mr. which he don’t. ‘What do you think of that for a kite?’ he said. ‘my compliments to her. ‘I shouldn’t wish it to be mentioned. Heaven knows. he was probably getting on very well indeed. I should think it must have been as much as seven feet high. That’s a peculiarity of his. the confusion of bundles of manuscript. He can’t bear his name. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in half-gallon jars by the dozen). to have a mortal antipathy for it. how could the people about him have made that mistake of putting some of the trouble out of his head. but it’s a -’ here he beckoned to me.I believe I have made a start. but I don’t see how that can be. passing his hand among his grey hair. ‘How does the world go? I’ll tell you what. ‘Well. and everywhere else. So take care. the quantity of ink (which he seemed to have in. Dick. I found him still driving at it with a long pen. either. Dick.if he ever went anywhere else. you and I. Though I don’t know that it’s much of a peculiarity. and casting anything but a confident look at his manuscript. We’ll go and fly it.’ said Mr.‘it’s a mad world. Dick. ‘for a short time.’ said Mr. taking snuff from a round box on the table. ‘that I never can get that quite right. ‘there’s time enough! My compliments to Miss Trotwood.’ I promised to obey. now . into mine?’ I was very much surprised by the inquiry. Dick. Dick. through the open door. Dick. you don’t call him anything BUT Mr. and his head almost laid upon the paper.’ ‘Do you recollect the date. for he has been ill-used enough. 0 David Copperfield and I . Dick. and. but could give no information on this point. if it was so long ago. and looking dubiously at me. Without presuming to give my opinion on this question. at the same rate as I had seen him working at it.’ said Mr. sir. But no matter. in answer. and laughing heartily. Mr. I think I have made a start. ‘It’s very strange.went on to say: ‘But don’t you call him by it.’ he added. after it was taken off. looking earnestly at me. above all. boy!’ said Mr.’ returned Mr. and taking up his pen to note it down. I never can make that perfectly clear. ‘Well. Mad as Bedlam.com 0 . thinking. that if Mr. when he directed my attention to the kite.’ I was going away. that I had ample leisure to observe the large paper kite in a corner.

it’s that. I had some shadowy idea of endeavouring to evade the question. or I should not have had the benefit of his society and advice for these last ten years and upwards .is Mr. I thought I saw some allusion to King Charles the First’s head again.’ said my aunt. very closely and laboriously written. Dick is not.’ His face was so very mild and pleasant.’ said Mr.’ said my aunt. I don’t know where they may come down. ‘and when it flies high. this morning?’ I informed her that he sent his compliments. though it was hale and hearty. and sent him away to some private asylum-place: though he had been left to his particular care by their deceased father. ‘What do you think of him?’ said my aunt. ‘If there is anything in the world. It’s according to circumstances. Dick. who had the audacity to call him mad. who thought him almost a natural. ‘A proud fool!’ said my aunt. and we parted the best friends possible. And a wise man he must have been to think so! Mad himself. That’s my manner of diffusing ‘em. Dick .though he is not half so eccentric as a good many people . indeed!’ ‘He has been CALLED mad.’ pursued my aunt. ‘Because his brother was a little eccentric . than another timid. So I laughed. ‘Oh. ‘Oh. but so plainly. ever since your sister. when I went downstairs. disappointed me.is he at all out of his mind. and the wind.it doesn’t matter how. and said.’ said my aunt. ‘Well. ‘I have a selfish pleasure in saying he has been called mad. That’s all. for I felt I was 0 David Copperfield on dangerous ground.com 0 .‘Do you see this?’ He showed me that it was covered with manuscript.’ I had nothing better to offer. ‘Not a morsel. in one or two places. it takes the facts a long way. child. and was getting on very well indeed. aunt . Dick. folding her hands upon it: ‘Come! Your sister Betsey Trotwood would have told me what she thought of anyone. that as I looked along the lines. I tried to look as if I felt strongly too. that I was not sure but that he was having a good-humoured jest with me. but seeing that my aunt felt strongly on the subject. I needn’t enter into that.he didn’t like to have him visible about his house. no Free eBooks at Planet eBook.in fact.’ I am afraid it was hypocritical in me. with great decision and force of manner. Be as like your sister as you can. but my aunt was not to be so put off. and had something so reverend in it.’ said my aunt.’ ‘So long as that?’ I said. ‘And nice people they were. ‘that Mr. and speak out!’ ‘Is he . and so forth. for she laid her work down in her lap. and he laughed. If it hadn’t been for me. ‘And what of Mr. his own brother would have shut him up for life. then?’ I stammered. by replying that I thought him a very nice gentleman. Dick is a sort of distant connexion of mine . but I take my chance of that.I ask because I don’t know. indeed!’ I observed faintly. Betsey Trotwood. directly. ‘There’s plenty of string. ‘Mr.

took a husband. Did he say anything to you about King Charles the First. I found out afterwards that Mr. I am ready to take care of him. I am aware of that.’ said my aunt. but the recollection of it is oppressive to him even now. but he had been constantly getting into it. or whatever it’s called. it is to be hoped. ‘a good creature. Let him have his little income. it threw him into a fever. as my aunt looked quite convinced. at all events.about his affairs. I said. combined with his fear of his brother. and shall not ill-treat him as some people (besides the asylum-folks) have done. He was a Quaker. or ever will be. ‘That’s his allegorical way of expressing it. if I am not mistaken. But she did what they all do . Dick had been for upwards of ten years endeavouring to keep King Charles the First out of the Memorial. I am not afraid of him. He is the most friendly and amenable creature in existence.made her wretched. And a Quaker flying a kite is a much more ridiculous object than anybody else. ‘He had a favourite sister. And HE did what they all do .’ said my aunt. or the Lord Somebody or other . as if she smoothed defiance of the whole world out of the one.’ After a good deal of squabbling.’ said my aunt. what of that! Franklin used to fly a kite. I suppose it will go in. and come and live with me. And why shouldn’t he. and as for advice! . child. aunt. That was before he came to me. except myself. if he thinks proper!’ I said: ‘Certainly. ‘I got him. or something of that sort. aunt?’ ‘Yes. and he has been here ever since.a great deal more sane than you are. ‘Your brother’s sane .’ My aunt smoothed her dress and shook her head. If he likes to fly a kite sometimes. I am not proud. and shook it out of the other.one of those people. He 0 David Copperfield connects his illness with great disturbance and agitation. rubbing her nose as if she were a little vexed. which he chooses to use. ‘and made him an offer. but it don’t signify.’ said my aunt. ‘I say again.’ ‘Is it a Memorial about his own history that he is writing. I endeavoured to look quite convinced also. I hope!) that.’ said my aunt.’ In fact. aunt.’ ‘Ah!’ said my aunt. and that’s the reason why I insist upon it. He hasn’t been able to draw it up yet. ‘nobody knows what that man’s mind is except myself.’ said my aunt. one of these days. ‘So I stepped in. and his sense of his unkindness. and very kind to him. and was there now.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. child?’ ‘Yes.’ Again. and that’s the figure. ‘nor a worldly way. that there shan’t be a word about it in his Memorial. or the simile. without introducing that mode of expressing himself.com 0 .doubt. who are paid to be memorialized . naturally. it keeps him employed. and he’s the most amenable and friendly creature in existence. It had such an effect upon the mind of Mr. rubbing her nose again.’ ‘It’s not a business-like way of speaking. Dick (that’s not madness. ‘He is memorializing the Lord Chancellor.But nobody knows what that man’s mind is.

Though she was just as sharp that day as on the day before. and my aunt informed me. I should have felt very much distinguished. though she had addressed herself to me in the absence of anybody else. to my infinite terror. when she gave a sudden alarm of donkeys. to be honoured and trusted in. for my health’s sake. if not less of my fear. I sat counting the time. that I really believe she Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but that I had still no other 10 David Copperfield clothes than the anything but ornamental garments with which I had been decorated on the first day. and to my consternation and amazement. Dick. Murdstone. and was in and out about the donkeys just as often. Our dinner had been indefinitely postponed. but warmed it unselfishly towards her. and stop in front of the house. was extreme. The latter and I would have gone out to fly the great kite. 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. when a young man.com 11 . Murdstone came. paraded me up and down on the cliff outside. MY aunt was a little more imperious and stern than usual. At the same time. ogled Janet at a window (which was one of the gravest misdemeanours that could be committed against my aunt’s dignity). with my thoughts running astray on all possible and impossible results of Mr. and I sat by. I believe that I began to know that there was something about my aunt. At length the reply from Mr. but I observed no other token of her preparing herself to receive the visitor so much dreaded by me. But I could hardly help observing that she had launched into them. I must say that the generosity of her championship of poor harmless Mr. I beheld Miss Murdstone. notwithstanding her many eccentricities and odd humours. before going to bed. not only inspired my young breast with some selfish hope for myself. Dick. Murdstone’s visit. shaking her head and her fist at the window. and waiting to be startled by the sight of the gloomy face. but it was growing so late. ‘You have no business there. and to be as agreeable as I could in a quiet way.If I could have supposed that my aunt had recounted these particulars for my especial behoof. flushed and heated by the conflict of sinking hopes and rising fears within me. and as a piece of confidence in me. except for an hour after dark. in the interval which necessarily elapsed before a reply could be received to her letter to Mr. but I made an endeavour to suppress it. and which confined me to the house. still bundled up in my curious habiliments. whose non-arrival startled me every minute. ‘Go along with you!’ cried my aunt. both to my aunt and Mr. and was thrown into a tremendous state of indignation. and with very little reference to me. and should have augured favourably from such a mark of her good opinion. on a side-saddle. when my aunt. chiefly because the question was raised in her own mind. The anxiety I underwent. going by. On the next day. until pretty late in the afternoon. ride deliberately over the sacred piece of green. that he was coming to speak to her herself on the next day. looking about her. She sat at work in the window. she seemed to me to command more of my respect. that my aunt had ordered it to be got ready.

Murdstone tried to lead him on. ‘I won’t be trespassed upon. who had come to see the engagement. captured him. rushed out to the scene of action. trembling. suddenly descrying among them the young malefactor who was the donkey’s guardian.’ returned my aunt. until my aunt should be at leisure to receive them. and his heels grinding the ground. with all his four legs planted different ways. marched past them into the house. ‘I was not aware at first to whom I had the pleasure of objecting. ‘No. Lead him off!’ and I saw. and unable for the moment to dart out according to custom. ‘Shall I go away. and he had dropped behind). soon went whooping away. though hardly in his teens.com 1 . shouted vigorously. Murdstone himself. and who was one of the most inveterate offenders against her. with his jacket over his head.’ observed my aunt with a keen look. pounced upon him. Mr. aunt?’ I asked. But my aunt. 1 David Copperfield Miss Murdstone. of which my aunt had no conception. from behind my aunt. in which the donkey stood resisting everybody. Murdstone seemed afraid of a renewal of hostilities. a little ruffled by the combat. during the latter portion of the contest. was Mr. ‘Is it!’ said my aunt. calling upon Janet to fetch the constables and justices. and several boys. into the garden. while Janet tried to pull him round by the bridle. and fenced Me in with a chair.Though why Rookery. and. I make no exceptions. did not last long. had dismounted. Murdstone.was motionless. and that the gentleman now coming near the offender (for the way up was very steep. Miss Murdstone struck at Janet with a parasol. I don’t allow anybody to do it. for the young rascal. and was now waiting with her brother at the bottom of the steps. and interposing began: ‘Miss Trotwood!’ ‘I beg your pardon. a sort of hurried battle-piece. until they were announced by Janet. tried. ‘Certainly not!’ With which she pushed me into a corner near her.’ said my aunt. My aunt. ‘Oh!’ said my aunt. as if it were a prison or a bar of justice. dragged him. I don’t know!’ ‘I am. of Blunderstone Rookery! . and executed on the spot.’ said Mr. ‘that I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. sir.’ said Miss Murdstone. I won’t allow it. with great dignity. I seized the opportunity to inform her who it was. and taking his donkey in triumph with him. Murdstone who married the widow of my late nephew. ‘You are the Mr. sir. held him at bay there. turn him round. David Copperfield. This part of the business. This position I continued to occupy during the whole interview. and from it I now saw Mr. and Miss Murdstone enter the room.’ ‘Your regulation is rather awkward to strangers. Go away! Janet. being expert at a variety of feints and dodges. leaving some deep impressions of his nailed boots in the flower-beds. But I don’t allow anybody to ride over that turf. Mr. that he might be taken. and took no notice of their presence. still shaking her head and gesticulating anything but welcome from the bowwindow. ‘You’ll excuse my saying. ‘I don’t care who it is!’ cried my aunt. however.

frowning at the wall. in all essential respects. both during the lifetime of my late dear wife. This unhappy boy who has run away from his friends and his occupation -’ ‘And whose appearance. Dick. a better and happier thing for my brother if he had never entered into such a marriage. On whose judgement. who went 1 David Copperfield on: ‘Miss Trotwood: on the receipt of your letter. but ineffectually. as an admonition to Mr. my sister being fully in my confidence . with a grave and attentive expression of face. not with a very ready or gracious assent. ‘have the goodness not to interrupt me. on this hint. ‘is perfectly scandalous and disgraceful. ‘Janet.’ ‘It can hardly be necessary for me to confirm anything stated by my brother. that. My aunt inclined her head to Mr.’ ‘Jane Murdstone. When he came. intractable disposition. ‘But not at all too strong for the facts. He has a sullen. and beg him to come down. directing general attention to me in my indefinable costume. that nobody can say the same of us.we both have felt.’ ‘It is a comfort to you and me. ‘I rely.’ ‘I so far agree with what Miss Trotwood has remarked. I believe this is the worst boy. of all the boys in the world.’ said her brother.’ Until he came. still eyeing him keenly. I have always been of that opinion. ma’am. a mere child.’ said my aunt. I considered it an act of greater justice to myself. has been the occasion of much domestic trouble and uneasiness. I may say. with emphasis.think it would have been a much better and happier thing if you had left that poor child alone. my aunt performed the ceremony of introduction. ‘but I beg to observe. ‘Mr.’ ‘To answer it in person. Dick took his finger out of his mouth.’ ‘No doubt!’ returned Miss Murdstone. and since.’ said my aunt. Dick. Both my sister and myself have endeavoured to correct his vices.’ Mr. Miss Trotwood. however inconvenient the journey.’ ‘Strong!’ said my aunt. who was biting his forefinger and looking rather foolish. And I have felt . ‘that I consider our lamented Clara to have been.’ pursued Mr. and are not likely to be made unhappy by our personal attractions.’ ringing the bell.’ said Miss Murdstone. bridling. Dick. and an untoward. This unhappy boy. though.’ said my aunt. ‘You needn’t mind me. rebellious spirit. I thought.’ observed Miss Murdstone. ‘And it certainly might have been. and stood among the group.’ said my aunt. and perhaps of more respect to you-’ ‘Thank you. Murdstone.com 1 .’ ‘I have no doubt you have. as you say. ‘who are getting on in life. An old and intimate friend. my aunt sat perfectly upright and stiff. shortly.that it is right you should receive this grave and dispassionate assurance from our lips.’ interposed his sister. ‘rather than by letter.’ returned Miss Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Murdstone. a violent temper. ‘my compliments to Mr.

did no one put in a word for the boy at that time?’ ‘My late wife loved her second husband. And now. shaking her head at him. was rattling it so loudly now. would have been altogether different. ‘his character. most unfortunate baby. in part.’ ‘Your late wife.’ returned my aunt. But when she married again . ‘And there was no settlement of the little property . and comes here. Murdstone. he would still have gone into the respectable business. would he?’ said my aunt.’ 1 David Copperfield 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. Murdstone began. Murdstone. the exact consequences . the more he and my aunt observed each other. ‘That’s what she was. and I say no more about them. ‘I believe. Left to her unconditionally! I think I see David Copperfield looking forward to any condition of any sort or kind. on my knowledge of him.’ said my aunt. which they did very narrowly. It is enough that I place this boy under the eye of a friend of my own.’ he returned. ‘that Clara would have disputed nothing which myself and my sister Jane Murdstone were agreed was for the best. honourably. I trust. most unhappy.’ resumed Mr.’ replied Mr.’ said Mr. before saying: ‘The poor child’s annuity died with her?’ ‘Died with her. his mother.the what’s-its-name Rookery without any rooks in it . unconditionally.’ ‘Or if the poor child. ‘If he had been your own boy. they are founded. Murdstone. just the same. in a respectable business. in short. you would have put him to it.’ said my aunt. ‘Well.’ ‘But about the respectable business first.so far as they are within my knowledge . that he runs away from it. ‘Humph!’ said my aunt. sir?’ ‘I have my own opinions. Murdstone. I am responsible for them to myself.upon her boy?’ ‘It had been left to her.’ returned Miss Murdstone. when my aunt caught him up with the greatest irascibility and impatience. man. was a most unworldly. that it does not please him. had been alive. there’s no occasion to say that. to appeal to you. I wish to set before you. whose face darkened more and more. and in part on my knowledge of my own means and resources.com 1 .’ said Mr. by her first husband. who had been rattling his money all this time. ‘as to the best mode of bringing him up.the house and garden . Miss Trotwood. Miss Trotwood. makes himself a common vagabond about the country. ‘Unfortunate baby!’ Mr. ‘Good Lord. ‘to be plain . ‘and trusted implicitly in him. I suppose?’ ‘If he had been my brother’s own boy. ‘I am here to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that my aunt felt it necessary to check him with a look. I act upon them. what have you got to say next?’ ‘Merely this.’ Mr. striking in.when she took that most disastrous step of marrying you.Murdstone.of your abetting him in this appeal. ma’am. ‘Ha!’ said my aunt. in rags. with an inclination of his head. sir. Dick.

of abetting him in his running away. than it discomposed the cannon I had slept by at Chatham. When he had finished. For your very great politeness. That they had made my mama. I’ll take my chance with the boy. and rejoined. brightened. on any pretence. without otherwise disturbing her attitude. that I have nothing to add except my thanks for your politeness. ‘Are you ready 1 David Copperfield to go. I said that neither Mr. and looking grimly on the speaker. I am sure.take David back . sitting perfectly upright. unhappy about me. my aunt had listened with the closest attention.’ To this address. I said that I had been more miserable than I thought anybody could believe. But I don’t believe a word of it. for ever.’ said my aunt. ma’am. and said: ‘Well. for the first and last time. ‘give me your hand. or be trifled with. Dick. as he rose. and in his complaints to you. Murdstone. Dick considered.’ rejoined Mr. have YOU got anything to remark?’ ‘Indeed. as you have done. if you step in between him and me. ‘what shall I do with this child?’ Mr. If he’s all you say he is. ‘if you were a gentleman -’ ‘Bah! Stuff and nonsense!’ said my aunt. or had ever been kind to me. Your manner. with an irony which no more affected my aunt. and continuing to address the brother.’ said Miss Murdstone. Now I must caution you that if you abet him once.’ said Miss Murdstone. at least I can do as much for him then. ‘Mr. for your common sense is invaluable. turning a deaf ear to the sister. really!’ ‘Do you think I don’t know. Is he ready to go? If he is not . but I remember that they affected me very much then . You may possibly have some idea. ‘And what does the boy say?’ said my aunt. shrugging his shoulders.’ ‘Miss Trotwood. Dick. are open to him. you abet him for good and all. to take him away. to dispose of him as I think proper. which I must say does not seem intended to propitiate. ‘Have him measured for a suit of clothes directly.to take him back unconditionally.’ Having shaken it with great cordiality. And I begged and prayed my aunt . ‘all that I could say has been so well said by my brother.’ said my aunt. and yours. hesitated.’ ‘Mr. Miss Trotwood. I am here. and to deal with him as I think right. ‘Overpowering. you must step in. she turned her eyes so as to command Miss Murdstone.I forget in what terms now. she pulled me towards her and said to Mr. I cannot trifle. and that I knew it well. and entreated her not to let me go.’ said my aunt triumphantly.and you tell me he is not. and that Peggotty knew it. Murdstone: ‘You can go when you like. who only knew how young I was. David?’ I answered no. ‘Don’t talk to me!’ ‘How exquisitely polite!’ exclaimed Miss Murdstone. with her hands folded on one knee. it is indifferent to me what my doors are shut against him henceforth. for my father’s sake. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. or give any pledge to anybody. rising. who always loved me dearly. nor Miss Murdstone had ever liked me. now. Miss Trotwood. induces me to think it possible.to befriend and protect me.com 1 . Miss Trotwood. I am not here to make any promise. and all that I know to be the fact has been so plainly stated by him. I take it for granted.

Murdstone at first! The poor. in a perfect agony at not being able to turn the current 0 David Copperfield of my aunt’s address towards herself.’ ‘Allow me to inquire. in a choice of words in which I am not experienced. years before YOU ever saw her . 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 . ‘what kind of life you must have led that poor. Mr. I tell you candidly. do!’ said my aunt. weren’t they? Ugh! Get along with you. you must begin to train her. He doted on her boy . ‘to the poor child you sometimes tormented her through afterwards.I know that. unhappy. and wear her deluded life away. bless us! who so smooth and silky as Mr. aye! you needn’t wince!’ said my aunt. and they were all to live together in a garden of roses. I knew it. which is a disagreeable remembrance and makes the sight of him odious now. I’ll be bound.which. as I have told you. must you? begin to break her. but I did hope it wouldn’t have been as bad as it has turned out. in the mysterious dispensations of Providence. my brother’s instruments?’ ‘It was clear enough.’ He had stood by the door. benighted innocent had never seen such a man. without taking the least notice of the interruption. ‘now that I DO see and hear you . is more than humanity can comprehend .it was clear enough that the poor soft little thing would marry somebody.com 1 .’ pursued my aunt. That was the time. She was a loving baby . Murdstone.because you had not done wrong enough to her and hers. and you broke her heart. Aye.and through the best part of her weakness you gave her the wounds she died of. continued to address herself to Mr. and she gone where YOU won’t go in a hurry . ‘And when you had made sure of the poor little fool. all this while. ‘Mr. in teaching her to sing YOUR notes?’ ‘This is either insanity or intoxication. He was made of sweetness. ‘I know it’s true without that. is anything but a pleasure to me? Oh yes. ‘Do you think I can’t understand you as well as if I had seen you.’ said my aunt . however you like it. Murdstone.’ said Miss Murdstone. years before you ever saw her . you ever did see her.’ she said.and why. like a poor caged bird. observant of her Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘whom you are pleased to call.’ said my aunt.’ interposed Miss Murdstone. ‘you were a tyrant to the simple baby.to shake her head at him with infinite expression.‘God forgive me that I should call her so. Murdstone as if there had been no such thing. shaking her finger at him. ‘I never heard anything like this person in my life!’ exclaimed Miss Murdstone. as if you couldn’t say boh! to a goose!’ ‘I never heard anything so elegant!’ said Miss Murdstone. There is the truth for your comfort.tenderly doted on him! He was to be another father to him.smirking and making great eyes at her. He worshipped her. when she gave birth to her boy here. And you and your instruments may make the most of it.’ Miss Betsey. ‘and my suspicion is that it’s intoxication. at some time or other. Miss Trotwood.

’ said my aunt. prepared. and hailed this happy close of the proceedings with repeated bursts of laughter. Dick. and tread upon it!’ It would require a painter. I never thought that I had a curious couple of guardians. like one in a dream. Mr. which were purchased for me that afternoon. Now that the state of doubt was over. that Miss Murdstone. My aunt took so kindly to the notion. certainly. I felt. and that a curtain had for ever fallen on my life at Murdstone and Grinby’s. with so much menFree eBooks at Planet eBook. do you know. I never thought of anything about myself.’ ‘Trotwood Copperfield. Mr. Dick. even in this narrative. I have been thinking.’ said Mr. of this child.’ returned my aunt. though his black eyebrows were heavily contracted. jointly with me. No attempt at defiance being made. that I was emboldened to kiss and thank her. sir. and Miss Murdstone’s face as she heard it. ma’am. that a remoteness had come upon the old Blunderstone life .’ said my aunt. distinctly. Yes. Dick. and he seemed to breathe as if he had been running. that some readymade clothes. ‘David’s son’s Trotwood.with a smile upon his face. though the smile was on his face still. and as sure as you have a head upon your shoulders. Dick. and with both my arms clasped round her neck. who shook hands with me a great many times. Thus I began my new life.’ said my aunt.’ ‘Very good. Call him Trotwood. which I did with great heartiness. was so fiery. But the manner of the speech. ‘I shall be delighted. to carry her threat into instant execution. in my aunt and Mr. ‘to be the guardian  David Copperfield of David’s son.com  . ‘Yes. her face gradually relaxed. The remembrance of that life is fraught with so much pain to me. and no common painter too. and in indelible marking-ink. The two things clearest in my mind were. and became so pleasant. his colour had gone in a moment. too. I have no doubt. 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. without a word in answer. discreetly put her arm through her brother’s. and dropped it gladly. I have lifted it for a moment. that I might call him Trotwood?’ ‘Certainly. I remarked now. Dick. were marked ‘Trotwood Copperfield’. turning suddenly upon his sister. ‘Good day. that. ‘and good-bye! Good day to you. Dick. to be sure. I’ll knock your bonnet off. for many days. Dick. in case of the donkey’s reappearance. and with everything new about me. no less than the matter. before I put them on. No one has ever raised that curtain since.’ said Mr. in her own handwriting. Trotwood Copperfield. I then shook hands with Mr. with a reluctant hand. in a new name.’ returned my aunt. you mean. certainly. to depict my aunt’s face as she delivered herself of this very unexpected sentiment. and walked haughtily out of the cottage.’ said Mr. ‘Let me see you ride a donkey over my green again. ‘You’ll consider yourself guardian.which seemed to lie in the haze of an immeasurable distance. ‘that’s settled. my aunt remaining in the window looking after them. a little abashed. however.

which never made the least progress. or less. when his day’s work was done. where he thought it was to go. Whether it lasted for a year. however hard he laboured. CHAPTER 15 I MAKE ANOTHER BEGINNING M r. Dick supposed would come of the Memorial. What Mr. Every day of his life he had a long sitting at the Memorial.tal suffering and want of hope. I believe. that I have never had the courage even to examine how long I was doomed to lead it. or what he thought it was to do. and then it was thrown aside. for King Charles the First always strayed into it. Nor was it at all necessary that he should trouble himself with such questions. and another one begun. or more. the feeble efforts he made to keep him out. and that I have written. made a deep impression on me. and very often. for if anything were certain under the sun. sooner or later. I only know that it was. the mild perception he had that there was something wrong about King Charles the First. and tumbled the Memorial out of all shape. if it were completed. I do not know. Dick and I soon became the best of friends. he knew no more than anybody else. went out together to fly the great kite. and the certainty with which he came in. it was certain that the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and ceased to be.com   David Copperfield . The patience and hope with which he bore these perpetual disappointments. and there I leave it.

’ said my aunt. I did not go backward in the favour of his staunch friend. ‘we must not forget your education. which were nothing but old leaves of abortive Memorials. and played so ill in consequence. As he wound the string in and it came lower and lower down out of the beautiful light. and vowed to make another kite for those occasions. he revived. he seemed to wake gradually out of a dream. until it fluttered to the ground. were afterwards increased to ten. in the course of a few weeks. that my aunt. after giving him several admonitory raps on the knuckles with her dice-box. and bore it (such was my boyish thought) into the skies. in his room.’ ‘Good. which. But. She took so kindly to me. ‘Good. ‘Should you like to go tomorrow?’ Being already no stranger to the general rapidity of my aunt’s evolutions. who was so low-spirited at the prospect of our separation. and would have sustained himself by giving me all the money he had in his possession. We parted at the gardengate in a most affectionate manner. and look about him in a lost way. to see him with the kite when it was up a great height in the air. when I witnessed their effect on Mr. He never looked so serene as he did then.Memorial never would be finished. as it was so near her. and feeling it pull and tug at his hand. shut up the board. as I sat by him of an evening.’ said my aunt one evening. I was not surprised by the suddenness of the proposal. ‘Trot. and even encouraged me to hope. and limited the gift to five shillings. and I remember to have seen him take it up. Dick. that if I went on as I had begun. In the morning he was downhearted again. looking up at the kite in the sky. Dick. she shortened my adopted name of Trotwood into Trot. but my heart smote me for my selfishness. gold and silver too. and pack up Master Trotwood’s clothes tonight. that. when the backgammon-board was placed as usual for herself and Mr. hire the grey pony and chaise tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. on hearing from my aunt that I should sometimes come over on a Saturday. so that I pitied him with all my heart.’ said my aunt again. I used to think. ‘Should you like to go to school at Canterbury?’ said my aunt. and Mr. and saw him watch the kite high in the quiet air. at his earnest petition.’ This was my only subject of anxiety. I used to fancy. I replied that I should like it very much. What he had told me. I might take equal rank in her affections with my sister Betsey Trotwood. my aunt. and said: ‘Yes. and declined to play with him any more. and lay there like a dead thing.’ I was greatly elated by these orders. It was quite an affecting sight. on a green slope. if my aunt had not interposed. and I felt quite de David Copperfield lighted by her referring to it. and that he could sometimes come and see me on a Wednesday. of proportions greatly surpassing the present one. While I advanced in friendship and intimacy with Mr.com  . that it lifted his mind out of its confusion. Dick did not Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as if they had both come down together. but not when he was out. about his belief in its disseminating the statements pasted on it. ‘Janet. might have been a fancy with him sometimes. Dick.

however. my aunt had a great opportunity of insinuating the grey pony among carts. and we conversed on other subjects until we came to Canterbury. aunt. and looking at me down in a valley of cushion by her side.whose hair was cropped as close as the closest stubble.’ said my aunt. She was much gratified. I don’t know. ‘We are going to Mr. vegetables. dressed in decent black. and quainter little windows. keeping a steady eye upon him wherever he went. and both her hands being occupied. with a white wisp of a neckcloth. and quaint little panes of glass. thank you. The low arched door then opened. and quickly disappear. though as old as the hills. asked me whether I was happy? ‘Very happy indeed. and huckster’s goods.’ ‘Does he keep a school?’ I asked. He was high-shouldered and bony. Trot. who had hardly any eyebrows. 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 my eyes were intent upon the house. and I dare say would have taken her own way with as much coolness through an enemy’s country. and all the angles and corners. The hair-breadth turns and twists we made. sitting high and stiff like a state coachman. ‘No. where. she permitted him to relax a little. My aunt. and beams with carved heads on the ends bulging out too.’ I asked for no more information about Mr. The old-fashioned brass knocker on the low arched door. the two stone steps descending to the door were as white as if they had been covered with fair linen. but my aunt drove on with perfect indifference. buttoned Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It belonged to a red-haired person . When we came into the country road. patted me on the head with her whip.’ I said. which were not always complimentary. ‘Is it a large school. as she offered none. 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). baskets. It was quite spotless in its cleanliness. aunt?’ I asked. drove the grey pony through Dover in a masterly manner. ‘Why. so unsheltered and unshaded. as I take it now. but looking much older . ‘He keeps an office. a house with long low lattice-windows bulging out still farther. and no eyelashes. twinkled like a star. and eyes of a red-brown. and the face came out. ornamented with carved garlands of fruit and flowers.  David Copperfield At length we stopped before a very old house bulging out over the road. Wickfield’s first. When the pony-chaise stopped at the door. and carvings and mouldings. and making a point of not letting him have his own way in any respect.go into the house until my aunt had driven me out of sight of it.com  .a youth of fifteen. drew down upon us a variety of speeches from the people standing about. were as pure as any snow that ever fell upon the hills. that I remember wondering how he went to sleep.’ said my aunt. Wickfield. who was perfectly indifferent to public opinion. trying to see who was passing on the narrow pavement below. so that I fancied the whole house was leaning forward. It was quite as cadaverous as it had looked in the window. as it was market-day.

as he stood at the pony’s head. I was engaged for a moment. when. I saw that he was some years older than when he had had his picture painted. which I had been long accustomed. rubbing his chin with it. We got out.’ ‘That’s right. I have but one in life. from the window of which I caught a glimpse.’ said Mr. went into a long low parlour looking towards the street. with books. lank.’ said my aunt. ‘My grand-nephew. ‘what wind blows you here? Not an ill wind. tin boxes. and had a long. in a blue coat. Uriah Heep?’ said my aunt. Miss Trotwood. He had a very agreeable face. ma’am. 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. who was looking over some papers tied together with red tape.’ 0 David Copperfield Miss Betsey thanked him. as I sat down. at sight of whom I turned to the firstmentioned portrait again. was handsome. and looking up at us in the chaise.’ replied my aunt. who was looking at me. ‘Is Mr. that is to say.’ His hair was quite white now. You know my motive. a gentleman entered. ‘You had better come for anything else.’ said Uriah Heep. reminding my strolling fancy (I call to mind) of the plumage on the breast of a swan. and as the gentleman advanced into the light. and immediately covering them with his hand. and. and leaving him to hold the pony. how the sweeps got round it when they swept the chimney. which was furnished as an office. Wickfield. Wickfield. ‘pray walk in. and so forth.com 1 . Wickfield. of a lady. the other. Wickfield at home. of Uriah Heep breathing into the pony’s nostrils. as I went in. ‘if you’ll please to walk in there’ .’ said Mr. I thought. as if he were putting some spell upon him. I believe I was turning about in search of Uriah’s picture. There was a certain richness in his complexion.’ said Mr. that I wondered. It looked into a garden. though his eyebrows were still black. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and nankeen trousers. and steward of the estates of a rich gentleman of the county. ‘Mr. to connect with port wine. and referred his growing corpulency to the same cause. I hope?’ ‘No. But it was stationary. under Peggotty’s tuition. to make quite sure that it had not come out of its frame. Miss Trotwood. but you’ll excuse my being busy. ‘Wasn’t aware you had a grand-nephew.’ said the gentleman. papers. for I soon found that it was he. which particularly attracted my attention. so immediately over the mantelshelf.pointing with his long hand to the room he meant. and had an iron safe let into the wall. He was very cleanly dressed. striped waistcoat. with a very placid and sweet expression of face. ‘Miss Betsey Trotwood. Wickfield. I give you my word. and his fine frilled shirt and cambric neckcloth looked unusually soft and white. skeleton hand. and that he was a lawyer. ‘Wasn’t aware you had one. and I fancied it was in his voice too. a door at the farther end of the room opening. ‘I have not come for any law. Wickfield’s at home. and we went into his room. ‘Well.’ observed my aunt. ‘This is my nephew.up to the throat.’ said Mr.

’ said my aunt. for some time. ‘and I have brought him here. which ended in the little circular room where I had seen Uriah Heep’s pale face looking out of the window. ‘Always fishing for motives. considering. when he stopped and said: ‘Our little friend here might have some motive. ‘Other people have dozens. There’s the difference. we were all three going out together. ‘A mixed fiddlestick. Now tell me where that school is. My aunt embracing the proposal.but they always Free eBooks at Planet eBook. his sleepless eyes would come below the writing. Wickfield’s office. to put to a school where he may be thoroughly well taught. ‘At the best we have. that you are the only plain dealer in the world?’ ‘Ay. Mr. like two red suns. as cleverly as ever. hundreds. perhaps. you want the best?’ My aunt nodded assent. shaking his head and smiling incredulously. It so happened that this chair was opposite a narrow passage. Wickfield. and poring over the columns of a Kentish newspaper .’ returned my aunt. You don’t suppose. and what it is.com  .’ he rejoined. smiling. having taken the pony to a neighbouring stable. Wickfield ‘the old question. to take her. I made several attempts to get out of their way . Miss Trotwood. Wickfield thought I could. in the chair I had first occupied. was at work at a desk in this room. during which his pen went. with the same object.’ ‘It must be a mixed motive. I think we had better leave him behind?’ My aunt seemed disposed to contest the point. and on which the writing he was making a copy of was then hanging. or pretended to go. However. every now and then. also. I suppose?’ suggested my aunt. and well treated. I hope. I thought. Uriah. and all about it. What’s your motive in this?’ ‘Deuce take the man!’ exclaimed my aunt.’ said Mr. Wickfield. I have only one. to await their return. and stealthily stare at me for I dare say a whole minute at a time. After a little discussion. to make the child happy and useful. where I sat down again. The best school? Whatever the motive. the writing being between us. you know.‘I have adopted him. it made me uncomfortable to observe that. which had a brass frame on the top to hang paper upon. Though his face was towards me.’ ‘But he could board somewhere else. but to facilitate matters I said I would gladly remain behind. that she might  David Copperfield see it and judge for herself. and returned into Mr. when they’re on the surface! Why.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. I think. to two or three houses where he thought I could be boarded. with a wave of her hand. ‘your nephew couldn’t board just now. for objecting to the arrangements. if they pleased. but I have only one motive in life. that he could not see me. but looking that way more attentively.’ ‘Before I can advise you properly. he proposed to take my aunt to the school. that’s beside the question.such as standing on a chair to look at a map on the other side of the room. scores. importing that his knowledge and his ignorance were all one to her. ‘You claim to have one plain motive in all you do yourself.

Miss Trot David Copperfield wood. or something or other. ‘It’s very unfortunate. and found it equal to it. We won’t be hard about terms.’ ‘Then come and see my little housekeeper. If it don’t act well. there Free eBooks at Planet eBook. or seat. Miss Trotwood. much to my relief. or cupboard. It’s only a temporary arrangement. Wickfield tapped at a door in a corner of the panelled wall. ‘and so is he. but -’ ‘Come! I know what you mean.com  . with a balustrade so broad that we might have gone up that. I see.’ said Mr. So did I.’ ‘It does happen unfortunately. and almost as roomy. Mr. You had better determine to leave him here for the present!’ ‘I am very much obliged to you. ‘I don’t know what to do. or don’t quite accord with our mutual convenience. Wickfield. You may pay for him. They were not so successful as I could have wished. until I looked at the next one. my aunt and Mr. It seemed to be all old nooks and corners. and the original remained a child. for the present. I saw immediately the placid and sweet expression of the lady whose picture had looked at me downstairs. Wickfield. and a girl of about my own age came quickly out and kissed him. Trot.’ ‘What’s that?’ inquired my aunt.’ said my aunt. On everything there was the same air of retirement and cleanliness that marked the house outside. but you shall pay if you will. It was a prettily furnished room. almost as easily. Wickfield. if not better. he can easily go to the right-about. He won’t disturb me at all. and into a shady old drawing-room. and the great beams in the ceiling.’ said my aunt. you know. 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. either just rising or just setting. and in every nook and corner there was some queer little table. Miss Trotwood. though she was delicate of accepting it. ‘But I’ll tell you what you can do. Wickfield came back. It seemed to my imagination as if the portrait had grown womanly. Wickfield.’ ‘On that understanding. ‘though it doesn’t lessen the real obligation. He’s a quiet fellow.attracted me back again. ‘Come. At length. ‘You shall not be oppressed by the receipt of favours. Leave him here. I was sure to find them.’ said Mr. with a piano and some lively furniture in red and green. I shall be very glad to leave him.’ My aunt evidently liked the offer.’ said my aunt. and whenever I looked towards those two red suns. that made me think there was not such another good corner in the room. after a pretty long absence. As quiet as a monastery. for though the advantages of the school were undeniable. On her face. and some flowers. my aunt had not approved of any of the boarding-houses proposed for me. or bookcase. ‘This is the way out of the difficulty. if you like. ‘Leave your nephew here. There will be time to find some better place for him in the meanwhile. It’s a capital house for study. Although her face was quite bright and happy. We accordingly went up a wonderful old staircase. that seemed to have come of the same trees as the shining oak floor.’ said Mr.’ cried Mr.

Wickfield knew her too well to argue any point with her. well pleased and gratified. Avoid those three vices. but came upstairs into the drawing-room again: in one snug corner of which. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and almost feared I had displeased her. and Agnes went back to her governess. but Agnes was waiting in the drawing-room before dinner. she before us: and a glorious old room it was. and was ready for my knife and fork. with a pleasant face. again and again. and when he had concluded. and that I should want for nothing. and she looked as staid and as discreet a housekeeper as the old house could have. above.’ said my aunt.’ With these words she embraced me hastily. and gave me the kindest words and the best advice. I had mustered up my spirits again.a quiet. went down with her father. I doubted whether he could have dined without her. that I would not abuse her kindness or forget her admonition. as well as I could. The cloth was only laid for us two. Wickfield to his office. ‘be a credit to yourself. As she would not hear of staying to dinner. This was his little housekeeper. When I heard how he said it. and Mr. ‘Never. in my childhood. and as I apprehend Mr.was a tranquillity about it.’ said my aunt in conclusion. ‘and I am off! Stay here. shutting the door after her. My aunt was as happy as I was. Dick. Trot. Wickfield. We did not stay there. and I can always be hopeful of you. I understood her better and did not do her that injustice. and sat opposite to him at table. proposed to my aunt that we should go upstairs and see my room. She listened to her father as he told her about me. ‘be mean in anything. Wickfield said. and saw how dejectedly she got into the chaise. So we  David Copperfield were left to take leave of one another without any restraint. and we went down to the drawing-room again. ‘The pony’s at the door. She had a little basket-trifle hanging at her side. some lunch was provided for her there. ‘Trot. to me. But I know that when I saw her turn round. and could only thank her. Mr. his daughter Agnes.that I never have forgotten. and Heaven be with you!’ I was greatly overcome. lest she should by any chance fail to arrive at home with the grey pony before dark. I guessed what the one motive of his life was. Dick.’ said my aunt. with keys in it. I cannot call to mind where or when. and drove away without looking up. never be false. with more oak beams. We all went together. Wickfield’s dinner-hour.’ I promised. and wait for us. At first I was startled by so abrupt a departure. but when I looked into the street. good. Nor do I recollect its subject. which was Mr. in the grave light of the old staircase. calm spirit . and I associated something of its tranquil brightness with Agnes Wickfield ever afterwards. that I shall never forget.com  . and about her . and saw how he held her hand. and went out of the room. and Mr. and diamond panes. I had seen a stained glass window in a church. in the arrangement made for me. By five o’clock. and send my love to Mr. and the broad balustrade going all the way up to it. after dinner. never be cruel. I thought of that window. She told me that everything would be arranged for me by Mr.

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

and almost as stiff and heavy as the great stone urns that flanked them. and button his gaiters. accompanied by Mr. at regular distances all round the court. with his clothes not particularly well brushed.’ said Doctor Strong. ‘By the by.CHAPTER 16 I AM A NEW BOY IN MORE SENSES THAN ONE ext morning. and of those two bad things.’ he said. ‘No. and were set up. for busy hands to do. and who was his daughter. 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 .’ The Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I entered on school life again. as it did nothing for itself. and tumble over the graves. ‘if Doctor Watts knew mankind. on the top of the red-brick wall. ‘you have not found any suitable provision for my wife’s cousin yet?’ ‘No. Doctor Strong. to the scene of my future studies . Turning upon me a lustreless eye.whom he called Annie. for idle hands to do. and his hair not particularly well combed. his knee-smalls unbraced. ‘for Jack Maldon is needy. and I was wondering could she be Doctor Strong’s son’s wife. not far from Doctor Strong. or could she be Mrs. his long black gaiters unbuttoned. Doctor Strong.and was introduced to my new master. when Doctor Strong himself unconsciously enlightened me. and his shoes yawning like two caverns on the hearth-rug. I supposed . Strong’. like sublimated skittles. Wickfield. to my thinking. sitting at work. as the tall iron rails and gates outside the house. Wickfield. But. was a very pretty young lady .’ he added. that reminded me of a long-forgotten 0 David Copperfield N blind old horse who once used to crop the grass.’ ‘I could wish it done as soon as it can be done.com 1 . He was in his library (I mean Doctor Strong was). Wickfield. Doctor. Wickfield. with as much truth. in bidding her good morning. Wickfield. in Blunderstone churchyard. for Time to play at. looking at me. ‘Satan finds some mischief still. Wickfield. after breakfast. When she had finished.’ returned Mr. address her as ‘Mrs. What does Doctor Watts say. and moving his head to the time of his quotation. ‘“Satan finds some mischief still. I went.who got me out of my difficulty by kneeling down to put Doctor Strong’s shoes on. stopping in a passage with his hand on my shoulder. and idle.’ said Mr.‘‘ ‘Egad. Not yet. he said he was glad to see me: and then he gave me his hand. he might have written. worse things sometimes come. Doctor Strong looked almost as rusty.a grave building in a courtyard. which she did with great cheerfulness and quickness. and we were going out to the schoolroom. I was much surprised to hear Mr. which I didn’t know what to do with.

What have the people been about. ‘It might have simplified my office very much. Wickfield. and it makes the thing more difficult. ‘A new boy. ‘At home or abroad. Wickfield. where the peaches were ripening on the sunny south wall. young gentlemen. Wickfield. without knowing that I saw him. and remained standing when they saw Mr.’ said Mr. ‘TrotFree eBooks at Planet eBook. on the quietest side of the house. and in getting power. I believe.’ he said this with some hesitation. I know.busy people achieve their full share of mischief in the world. But I confess I entertained another impression. No. rubbing his chin thoughtfully. One or other. the broad hard leaves of which plant (looking as if they were made of painted tin) have ever since. who have been the busiest in getting money. ‘Surely. but they rose to give the Doctor good morning. and other short assurances to the same purport. and not at home?’ ‘No. ‘is to make some suitable provision for a cousin. ‘I am bound to believe you. if I had known it before. and commanding a peep of an old secluded garden belonging to the Doctor. ‘and you bring me back to the question. ‘No?’ with astonishment.’ said Mr. you may rely upon it. you know. when the studious.’ ‘Surely. ‘for meaning abroad.’ ‘Aye!’ replied the Doctor. ‘Perhaps not. Wickfield. on the turf outside the windows.’ the Doctor answered. Wickfield and me.’ said Mr. Wickfield. About five-andtwenty boys were studiously engaged at their books when we went in. uneven pace. Wickfield.’ ‘Your own expression.’ ‘Yes.com  . I expect.’ said the Doctor. and ‘not the least’. apparently wondering why he emphasized those words so much. and shaking his head to himself. which almost immediately subsided into a smile that gave me great encouragement. and of course I do believe  David Copperfield you. The schoolroom was a pretty large hall. Doctor Strong jogged on before us.’ said Doctor Strong. been symbolical to me of silence and retirement. this century or two? No mischief?’ ‘Jack Maldon will never be very busy in getting either. and an old playfellow. looking grave. by association. confronted by the stately stare of some half-dozen of the great urns.’ returned the Doctor.’ returned the Doctor. ‘Or abroad. in tubs. ‘Not the least. pondering frost upon it was got through. and we followed: Mr. I have not been able to dispose of Mr. with an apology for digressing.’ said Mr. and there was a simplicity in it. ‘at home or abroad. There were two great aloes. ‘No. for it was full of amiability and sweetness. Jack Maldon yet. of Annie’s.’ Doctor Strong regarded him with a puzzled and doubting look. at a queer. I observed. ‘I penetrate your motive.’ ‘My motive.’ returned Doctor Strong. and indeed in his whole manner.’ said Mr. Wickfield. Repeating ‘no’.’ ‘One or other? Have you no choice?’ asked Mr. very attractive and hopeful to a young scholar like me.’ ‘No motive.

however short or long it may have been. when I was examined about what I knew. shrunk within myself whensoever I was approached by one of my new schoolfellows. As I went up to my airy old room.in spite of myself? Suppose some of the boys had seen me coming through Canterbury. and sellings. in what I did know. troubled as I was. by my want of boyish skill. that I half believed it was an imposture to come there as an ordinary little schoolboy. the grave shadow of the staircase seemed to fall upon my doubts and fears. if they could know how I had scraped my halfpence together. I had become. wayworn and ragged. in his white cravat. It seemed to me so long. and condition as one of them. and should find me out? What would they say. with my new school-books under my arm. that when I knocked at it. I began to feel my uneasiness softening away. had so slipped away from me in the sordid cares of my life from day to night. But there was such an influence in Mr. waiting for her father. and hurried off the minute school was over. appearance. and of having acquired experiences foreign to my age. But. 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. or my slices of pudding? How would it affect them. and was put into the lowest form of the school. and of booklearning too. and went down. I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. or among any companions of my own age. and presented me to the masters. Wickfield’s old house. however. and asked me how I liked the school. who was the head-boy. and he showed me my place. then stepped out of his place and welcomed me.’ One Adams. that I felt distrustful of my slightest look and gesture. and suppers . for the purchase of my daily saveloy and beer. that I felt as strange as ever I have done in my life. I was made infinitely more uncomfortable by the consideration. that now. in a gentlemanly way that would have put me at my ease. and London streets. I was so conscious of having passed through scenes of which they could have no knowledge. She met me with her pleasant smile. who was detained by someone in his office. if they knew of my familiar acquaintance with the King’s Bench Prison?  David Copperfield Was there anything about me which would reveal my proceedings in connexion with the Micawber family . I was much farther removed from my companions than in what I did not. until dinner-time (we were out of school for good at three). I sat there. and to make the past more indistinct. sturdily conning my books. on that first day at Doctor Strong’s. that I knew I was awkward and inexperienced in the commonest things belonging to them.wood Copperfield. Whatever I had learnt. if anything could. so unused to the sports and games of boys. afraid of committing myself in my response to any friendly notice or advance.all those pawnings. hopeful of becoming a passable sort of boy yet. He looked like a young clergyman. who were so innocent of London life. who made so light of money. Agnes was in the drawing-room. in the Murdstone and Grinby time. I knew nothing. except Mick Walker and Mealy Potatoes. that. but he was very affable and good-humoured. since I had been among such boys. My mind ran upon what they would think.com  .

My cousin Annie did say.’ As he held the door open with his hand. ‘I call him the old Doctor. ‘Doctor Strong. hand in hand.com  . and looked at Agnes. or dissatisfied  David Copperfield with something. Wickfield. and whether that’s a merit. Maldon. and the old Doctor -’ ‘Doctor Strong. perhaps . as Uriah’s head was pushed away. ‘His housekeeper must be in his house.’ ‘He is very fond of you.’ returned Uriah. ‘have you?’ ‘Oh yes! Every day. in anything. sir. He greeted me cordially. for dinner was just then announced. Wickfield interposed. but I was a little strange to it at first. he made such an appearance all the while of keeping his red eyes dutifully on his master.’ she answered.’ said the other .who abuse his kindness. I am sure. ‘Never be one of those. Maldon has come back. It’s only to say.’ I said.’ and went to the door to listen for his coming up. Did you think whose it was?’ I told her yes.I don’t know that there are . because it was so like herself. too. But. the sooner I go abroad the better. smiling and shaking her head. and we went down and took the same seats as before. and looked at the plates. she came back again. you know. ‘I only know her picture.’ I said. Trotwood.’ said his master.that as it seems I have no choice in the matter. ‘Hark! That’s papa now!’ Her bright calm face lighted up with pleasure as she went to meet him. and as they came in. and looked at the dishes. downstairs. ‘Yes. was that?’ Mr. ‘Papa says so.‘pray excuse me for this intrusion . sir. and told me I should certainly be happy under Doctor Strong.’ ‘I don’t know. as he was not there. that she might meet him on the stairs. and said: ‘Here’s Mr.’ returned the other. I hoped. Doctor Strong. at your own home?’ ‘Papa couldn’t spare me to go anywhere else. gravely.‘Doctor Strong Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘but Mr. great or small. Maldon begs the favour of a word.yet seemed to look at nothing. I thought. Uriah looked at me. . ‘Well. who was one of the gentlest of men. ‘There may be some.’ ‘Ah. and the speaker’s substituted . it’s all the same. ‘You have never been to school. I thought.told her I should like it very much. He is the least suspicious of mankind.’ He spoke. or whether it’s a blemish.’ observed a voice behind Uriah. We had scarcely done so. ‘Mama has been dead ever since I was born.’ said Agnes. it deserves consideration in all dealings with the Doctor. on reflection. but you mean here. when we talked of it. in her quiet way. and looked at every object in the room. as if he were weary. ‘I beg your pardon.’ she said. pleased. of course.’ returned Mr.’ ‘I am but this moment quit of Mr. when Uriah Heep put in his red head and his lank hand at the door.’ said Mr. but I did not pursue the question in my mind. She nodded ‘Yes. and he begs the favour of a word. Wickfield. I saw you looking at it yesterday. you know. that she liked to have her friends within reach rather than to have them banished.

we went upstairs again. I only mean that I suppose some compensation is fair and reasonable in that sort of marriage.com  .was of the same mind. I dare say. and afterwards. looked into them. in considering the matter as one to be arranged between you and me solely. Agnes set the glasses and decanters in the same corner. and I hear Free eBooks at Planet eBook. though she said it was). laughing. Of course I shall observe your directions. Maldon. and that there was no hope of making him relax a muscle of his face. Maldon?’ asked Mr. and worked and talked. with a motion of his hand towards the table. ‘Quite so.Doctor Strong. Mr. sedately eating his dinner. up at the Doctor’s. it’s of no use lingering on the bank.’ said Mr. Jack Maldon. in your case. and. laughing.is not quite a charming young boy. Good-bye!’ Mr. with her modest. as a matter of course. a rapid utterance. I may take myself off.’ Mr. Agnes played the piano to him. with a handsome face. ‘with my cousin Annie. why there’s no more to be said. Jack Maldon answered. that she wanted such and such a thing to be so and so. he added: ‘However. and drank a good deal. and a confident. I believed. ‘Thank’ee. sir. and played some games at dominoes with me. ‘. and showed me what she knew of them (which was no slight matter. where everything went on exactly as on the previous day. Wickfield went on with his dinner in the same sedate. with another apology for this intrusion. ‘Much obliged. except that the sooner I am off. Jack Maldon. In good time she made tea. looked after him thoughtfully as he went out. the better. whom I had not expected to see so soon. ‘Thank’ee. I thought. Strong would only have to say to her husband . ‘Why. you may depend upon it.’ ‘There shall be as little lingering as possible.’ ‘Have you dined?’ asked Mr. sir?’ asked Mr. orderly. But as it appears from the course you take with me he has changed his mind. bold air.do I follow you?’ said Mr. ‘No offence to anybody. I am going to dine. otherwise. I thought I’d come back and say. He was rather a shallow sort of young gentleman.  David Copperfield But appearing to remark that Mr. placid manner. I don’t want to look a gift-horse in the mouth. that the sooner I am off the better. when I heard the Doctor speak of him that morning. and Mr. when I brought down my books.’ ‘Compensation to the lady.would only have to say. I mean . Wickfield.’ returned the other. When a plunge is to be made into the water. and what was the best way to learn and understand them. And this was the first I ever saw of Mr. which is not a gracious thing to do. and not to be referred to. ‘To the lady. Therefore. because Annie’s a charming young girl. When we had dined. sat by him. Mr. Wickfield. and it would be so and so. Wickfield. I see her.’ ‘And why as a matter of course. Mr.’ said the other. Wickfield. Wickfield gravely. I suppose Annie would only have to say to the old Doctor -’ ‘Meaning that Mrs. Wickfield sat down to drink. I have said what I came to say. immovable manner. Wickfield. without rising. Maldon. and the old Doctor . Wickfield.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. my cousin Annie could easily arrange it in her own way.

no. and she away? No. and shaded by his hand.’ he said.’ I said. and is only to be drowned in -’ He did not supply the word. and I don’t love Agnes . you shall stay here. no. walking slowly to the great chimney-piece. and she having left us. ‘Now I wonder. sir. and mechanically going through the action of pouring wine from the empty decanter. not at all in that way . quickly. If the thought that I may die and leave my darling. when she is here. no.’ he said. It is wholesome to have you here. to distress my happiest hours. ‘If it is miserable to bear. not speaking to me. but pacing slowly to the place where he had sat. ‘I am glad of it. seen long ago. until he should come out of his reverie. and leaning against it.’ He was musing. If I may!’ ‘Why. and looked about the room until his eyes encountered mine. I love little Em’ly. When should I ever tire of her! But that’s different. Not that I could see them now. or to remain quietly where I was. ‘Not more dull for me than Agnes. and truth. or that my darling may die and leave me. which she came to exercise over me at a later time. comes like a spectre. but I had noticed them a little while before. I was free Free eBooks at Planet eBook. You are company to us both. as I write these words. wholesome for Agnes. peace. Wickfield my hand. ‘As long as you are glad to be here. ‘what would it be. ‘I am so glad to be here. and told me that when I had anything to do at night after Agnes had left us.’ he said. ‘Than Agnes!’ He had drank wine that evening (or I fancied it).’ I answered. so I remained qui0 David Copperfield ‘A dull old house. eh?’ he said in his usual manner. but I must have her near me. Trotwood. for they were cast down.com 1 et. falls on her always.but I feel that there are goodness. I must keep her near me. or to go elsewhere?’ ‘To stay. Not dull at all!’ ‘Than Agnes. set it down and paced back again.’ he muttered. wholesome perhaps for all of us.’ He shook hands with me upon it. that’s quite different. preparatory to going away myself. ‘Stay with us. it’s but a dull life that we lead here.’ ‘That’s a fine fellow!’ said Mr. begins already to descend upon my breast. I gave Mr. Wholesome for me.’ ‘I am sure it is for me. and as if he were answering something I had just said.’ he repeated. ‘You are sure?’ ‘If you please. I am afraid. and clapped me on the back. Wickfield. sir. boy. wherever Agnes is.’ He leaned against the chimney-piece. The influence for all good. . But he checked me and said: ‘Should you like to stay with us. Trotwood. I cannot try that. ‘and a monotonous life. The time having come for her withdrawal for the night.her beautiful calm voice. and on me when I am near her. and on everything around. ‘whether my Agnes tires of me. or when I wished to read for my own pleasure. until his eyes were bloodshot. and that the soft light of the coloured window in the church. At length he aroused himself. brooding so long that I could not decide whether to run the risk of disturbing him by going.

As I was getting on the stool opposite.’ said Uriah. if he were there and if I desired it for company’s sake. Master Copperfield. that as I watched him reading on again. with a book in my hand. in Mr. of his permission. ‘Yes. going on four year. ‘Oh.’ says Uriah. I observed that his nostrils.’ It was no fancy of mine about his hands. to talk to him more conveniently. I found Uriah reading a great fat book.that they seemed to twinkle instead of his eyes. How much have I to be thankful for. and following up the lines with his forefinger. ‘I am not doing office-work. seeing a light in the little round office. in a stealthy way. I observed that he had not such a thing as a smile about him. Master Copperfield. ‘He is a partaker of glory at present. ‘You are working late tonight. I thanked him for his consideration. We live in a numble abode. who had a sort of fascination for me. Tidd is. and immediately feeling myself attracted towards Uriah Heep. which were thin and pointed. Master Copperfield. ‘I am going through Tidd’s Practice. I went in there instead. went down too. as he went down soon afterwards. had a singular and most uncomfortable way of expanding and contracting themselves . with sharp dints  David Copperfield in them. Master Copperfield.com  . and to sit with him.’ said Uriah. besides often wiping them.to come down to his room. but have much to be thankful for. that his lank forefinger followed up every line as he read. Master Copperfield. modestly. ‘Since a year after my father’s death. ‘But we have much to be thankful for. He was a sexton. and that he could only widen his mouth and make two hard creases down his cheeks. with such demonstrative attention. to stand for one. then?’ I asked. Master Copperfield?’ said Uriah. Wickfield’s kind intention to give me my articles. Wickfield!’ I asked Uriah if he had been with Mr.’ said Uriah. Wickfield long? ‘I have been with him. Master Copperfield.’ ‘What is he now?’ I asked. to avail myself. I observed. after carefully marking the place where he had left off. in that! How much have I to be thankful for. Uriah. shutting up his book. ‘What work.’ said Uriah Heep. after looking at him for some time. Oh. My father’s former calling was umble. which would otherFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and I was not tired. after this rapturous exclamation. ‘I am well aware that I am the umblest person going. and made clammy tracks along the page (or so I fully believed) like a snail. which hardly ever twinkled at all. and. ‘Me. what a writer Mr. ‘let the other be where he may. ‘I suppose you are quite a great lawyer?’ I said. on his pocket-handkerchief. no! I’m a very umble person. ‘I am improving my legal knowledge. Master Copperfield!’ My stool was such a tower of observation. My mother is likewise a very umble person. one on each side.’ says I. How much have I to be thankful for in living with Mr. for he frequently ground the palms against each other as if to squeeze them dry and warm.’ said Uriah Heep. But. for half-an-hour.

began to make arrangements for going home.wise not lay within the umble means of mother and self!’ ‘Then. I suppose?’ said I. ‘A sweet lady. Wickfield is a most excellent man. I know it is so true! Oh.’ I returned.’ said Uriah Heep.’ returned Uriah. ‘for that remark! It is so true! Umble as I am.’ I said I should be glad to come. Master Copperfield. as he sat. mother would be as proud of your company as I should be. and. for though we are very umble. ‘She has a great admiration for Miss Agnes. and take a cup of tea at our lowly dwelling. with his mouth widened. you know it.’ boldly. ‘Your aunt is a sweet lady.’ I said. indeed!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Oh. indeed!’ exclaimed Uriah. ‘Oh. Master Copperfield!’ said Uriah Heep. ‘Mr. some time. as long as I remained at school. being off. or Heep late Wickfield. to the snaky twistings of his throat and body.’ returned Uriah. thank you. Master Copperfield.’ returned Uriah. much better than I can inform you. too. one of these days. ‘Mother will be expecting me. I should think you would. in his humility. shaking his head. Master Copperfield!’ He had a way of writhing when he wanted to express enthusiasm. Master Copperfield. to make myself agreeable.’ he said. and the creases in his cheeks. but Uriah insisted on blandly replying to all my assurances. Master Copperfield. Heaven forgive me! ‘I hope you have. indeed. Master Copperfield?’ I said I was going to be brought up there. Master Copperfield.’ ‘Everybody must have. ‘Oh. I am sure. we are much attached to one another. not that I knew anything about it. ‘and getting uneasy. you’ll be a regular lawyer. Master Copperfield!’ He writhed himself quite off his stool in the excitement of his feelings.’ said Uriah. when your articled time is over. ‘I am much too umble for that!’ He certainly did look uncommonly like the carved face on the beam outside my window. ‘and it will be Wickfield and Heep.’ I replied that I was certain he was. Master Copperfield!’ I protested that I had no views of that sort. ‘Yes. ‘With the blessing of Providence. I believed.’ said Uriah. Master Copperfield. ‘Oh. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield.’ ‘Oh no. Wickfield’s business. which was very ugly. I believe?’  David Copperfield I said. eyeing me sideways. If you would come and see us. ‘Thank you. and that no such scheme was entertained in my behalf by anybody. inexpressive-faced watch in his pocket.‘I suppose you stop here. referring to a pale. yes. ‘If you have known him long. ‘I should think YOU would come into the business at last. thank you. ‘But I am sure you must have. ‘Perhaps you’ll be a partner in Mr.’ said Uriah.com  . though he was a friend of my aunt’s. but that I had not known him long myself. putting his book away upon the shelf . Master Copperfield. and which diverted my attention from the compliment he had paid my relation. any afternoon. Master Copperfield.

certainly!’ over and over again. whom he had married for love.and. and on my answering ‘Yes. in a very little while. in my innocence and ignorance. We had noble games out of hours. I hoped. we soon became warmly attached to it . to the reputation of Doctor Strong and Doctor Strong’s boys. that he had launched Mr. while my present life grew so familiar. how he had not yet been married twelve months to the beautiful young lady I had seen in the study. to be drowned. I went to work very hard. some particulars of the Doctor’s history . and I never knew. among my new companions. by our appearance or manner. to the honour and good faith of the boys. among other things. of any other boy being otherwise . in everything.he opened the door into the street a very little. and on a sound system. with a black flag at the masthead. for what appeared to me to be half the night. which. and through them I learned. but custom would improve me in the first respect. Adams. desiring to do it credit. and gained great commendation. but even then. I should think you would. with a view to a new Dictionary which he had in contemplation. both in play and in earnest. and plenty of liberty.as. We all felt that we had a part in the management of the place. in the dark . Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I supposed to be a botanical furor on the Doctor’s part. Being. and dreaming. and crept out. for she had not a sixpence.I am sure I did for one. and shut it. indeed. After shaking hands with me . and a good deal the better next day. I got a little the better of my uneasiness when I went to school next day.his hand felt like a fish. which worked wonders. and hard work in the second. bearing the inscription ‘Tidd’s Practice’. I suppose.and learnt with a good will. Hence. Some of the higher scholars boarded in the Doctor’s house. as I remember. that I seemed to have been leading it a long time. in all my time. and happy. with an appeal. and rarely did any disgrace. and had a world of poor relations (so our fellows said) ready to swarm the Doctor out of house and home. especially as he always looked at the ground when he walked about. And. I was awkward enough in their games. he asked me if it would suit my convenience to have the light put out. how the Doctor’s cogitating manner was attributable to his being always engaged in looking out for Greek roots. as different  David Copperfield from Mr. we were well spoken of in the town. ‘Oh. at last. the Murdstone and Grinby life became so strange to me that I hardly believed in it. and an avowed intention to rely on their possession of those qualities unless they proved themselves unworthy of it.’ instantly extinguished it. of my dreaming about him. It was very gravely and decorously ordered. and so shook it off by degrees. ready to leave the office for the night. at second hand.com  . Also. under which diabolical ensign he was carrying me and little Em’ly to the Spanish Main. Peggotty’s house on a piratical expedition. Creakle’s as good is from evil. and in sustaining its character and dignity. until I understood that they were roots of words. that in less than a fortnight I was quite at home. and backward enough in their studies. Master Copperfield. leaving me to grope my way back into the house: which cost me some trouble and a fall over his stool. Accordingly. Doctor Strong’s was an excellent school. This was the proximate cause.

to give away. there was a story current among us (I have no idea. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. he was a very sheep for the shearers. It was very pleasant to see the Doctor with his pretty young wife. 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. who occasioned some scandal in the neighbourhood by exhibiting a fine infant from door to door. which was sometimes happily effected within a few yards of him. as he jogged to and fro. of the time this Dictionary would take in completing. and turn them out of the courtyard. I was informed. with the stray rooks and jackdaws looking after him with their heads cocked slyly. and interested in me. one winter-time. 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. with a simple faith in him that might have touched the stone hearts of the very urns upon the wall. and I sometimes had a nearer observation of them in the study or the parlour. as if admiring some curious novelty in the pattern. It was so notorious in the house. He would have taken his gaiters off his legs. benignant way of showing his fondness for her. and never had. when they were shortly afterwards displayed at the door of a little second-hand shop of no very good repute. who. as if they knew how much more knowing they were in worldly affairs than he. As he walked up and down that part of the courtyard which was at the side of the house. and considering them an improvement on his own. and to like him very much. had made a calculation. but I have believed it for so many years that I feel quite  David Copperfield certain it is true). both because she had taken a liking for me on the morning of my introduction to the Doctor. She appeared to me to take great care of the Doctor. for he was the kindest of men. which were universally recognized. and generally seemed to be expounding to her as they walked about. birthday. which seemed in itself to express a good man. though I never thought her vitally interested in the Dictionary: some cumbrous fragments of which work the Doctor always carried in his pockets. he actually did bestow his gaiters on a beggar-woman. Strong. on the Doctor’s plan. without his knowing anything of the matter. and at the Doctor’s rate of going. wrapped in those garments.com  . that on a frosty day. where such things were taken in exchange for gin. The legend added that the only person who did not identify them was the Doctor himself. 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. and to get out of windows. I often saw them walking in the garden where the peaches were. on what authority. He had a fatherly. I saw a good deal of Mrs. that vagabond was made for the next two days.our head-boy. Outside his own domain. and was always afterwards kind to me. and because she was very fond of Agnes. being as well known in the vicinity as the Cathedral. In fact. was more than once observed to handle them approvingly. who had a turn for mathematics. and in the lining of his hat. and unprotected. or sixty-second. He considered that it might be done in one thousand six hundred and forty-nine years. counting from the Doctor’s last.

as we were running gaily across the Cathedral yard together. we would meet Mr. expecting to meet nobody. very far from being mere compliments in my case. There was a superstition among us that this cap had come from France. and many other people’s. Jack Maldon. Allow me to wish you many happy returns. went to have tea with him in his private capacity.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. too.not to adopt the name disrespectfully . Mr. The clear red and white of her complexion was not so blooming and flower-like as usual. And sometimes. but she looked very pretty. whither he was going as a cadet. had made a speech to him through the head-boy. happy returns. I observed the Old Soldier . 0 David Copperfield It was the night of a little party at the Doctor’s. Wonderfully pretty. There was a curious constraint between her and Mr. on a night which is made memorable to me by something else I shall relate.’ ‘I thank you. many. who used to wear. but for Annie’s. that never wore off. sharp-eyed woman. which was given on the occasion of Mr. and the skill with which she marshalled great forces of relations against the Doctor. dressed in white. Markleham made HER appearance.and was often backwards and forwards at our house. and until he had shed tears. as you may suppose. It happened to be the Doctor’s birthday.to pretty good advantage.com 1 . Strong’s mama was a lady I took great delight in. that it always made its appearance of an evening. many. I thought (of whom she seemed to be afraid). and that they improved the shining hours at Doctor Strong’s expense. is. that the butterflies had the gift of trembling constantly. who was always surprised to see us.’ said Mrs. Mrs. ma’am. with cherry-coloured ribbons. when we were seated. but our boys used to call her the Old Soldier. when we went in. Mr. was playing the piano. Strong. on account of her generalship. had made presents to him in the morning. We had had a holiday. and ran away with me instead. ‘Not only for your own sake. Her name was Mrs. that it was carried about to friendly meetings in a Hindoo basket. Jack Maldon was there. and John Maldon’s. She was a little. Jack Maldon’s departure for India. Strong’s mama. making baby love to Annie behind the gooseberry bushes in the back-garden. Wickfield.’ replied the Doctor. John. Agnes. she always shrunk from accepting his escort home. before us. and had cheered him until we were hoarse. ‘to pay you the compliments of the day though they are. wheresoever Mrs. in the evening. when you were a little creature. like busy bees. Wickfield. Doctor. a head shorter than Master Copperfield. I thought. and I. Mrs. and two artificial butterflies supposed to be hovering above the flowers. ornamented with some artificial flowers. when she turned round. ‘I have forgotten. one unchangeable cap. when she was dressed. Markleham. and could only originate in the workmanship of that ingenious nation: but all I certainly know about it. When she came there of an evening. ‘Many. and he was leaning over her to turn the leaves.’ said the Old Soldier. It seems but yesterday to me. Wickfield having at length arranged the business. And now. or something of that kind: Mr.

You are a blessing to us.simply that. what I have described her. you must excuse me if I appear to dwell on this rather.’ ‘Annie. I have no false pride. is your heart free?’ ‘Mama. ‘I mind very much. Wickfield. .’ said Mrs.’ said I. ‘I am extremely young’ . but our dear and confidential friend Mr. I call it quite my monomania.it would be ridiculous to say that! . and having known her from a baby six months old. What I am saying.’ ‘Nonsense. But Mrs. and must be answered. and save Mr. You have found in him an influential and kind friend. and putting her fan on his coatsleeve. nonsense.but because. waved his hand as if to make light of it. Although not old by years . Jack Maldon from any further reminder. it’s free. I shall begin to assert the privileges of a mother-in-law. ‘Virtually.’ she said crying.’ Did I press it in the least? No. here’s Doctor Strong has positively been and made you the subject of a handsome declaration and an offer. don’t be absurd. Jack Maldon.your cousin is the wife of the Doctor. you having known her poor father.for when did you ever hear me say. is what I said when you first overpowered me with surprise . you know. my dear Doctor. that a girl of twenty was old by years! . you know. an old married woman. and scold you. when are you not to blush to hear of them?’ ‘Old?’ exclaimed Mr.‘and I hardly know if I have a heart at all. ‘Never mind. John. or indeed as a marrying man in any way. ‘Doctor Strong is in an agitated state of mind. John. before your cousin’s influence raised up one for you. my dear. ‘Annie? Come!’ ‘Yes. in the goodness of his heart. ‘Now. because I feel so very strongly.’ ‘Aye. I am perfectly honest and outspoken. ‘My dear. tell me the truth this moment. ‘No. really. I said.’ retorted the Old Soldier. ‘never mind that now.com  .’ I said. who will be kinder yet.’ returned the Doctor. I said. It is well for you.  David Copperfield ‘With nobody present. You were one yourself. I cannot consent to be put down.’ said the Doctor. laying her fan upon his lips. ‘would he be unhappy without me? Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in the mere fact of the proposal . said: ‘No. if you go on like that. Markleham changed her chair for one next the Doctor’s. it is such a subject of mine. He cannot be kept in his present state of suspense. I hadn’t thought of you in such a light at all. Not that there was anything so very much out of the way. ‘you may rely upon it.’ ‘But I DO mind.’ ‘Mama. Well! Then I spoke to Annie.which was perfectly true . You really are a Boon. I venture to predict.’ ‘Then. frankly. Annie.’ said Annie. that there are some members of our family who want a friend.’ The Doctor. and. and I told her what had happened.you remember how surprised I was? . if you deserve it. no. my love. or who has ever heard me say. At all events. ‘If you are to blush to hear of such things now you are an old married woman.’ said the Old Soldier. I recall these things that I may be contradicted if I am wrong. Strong. as such.by proposing for Annie. I beg your pardon. good-humouredly.’ returned her mother. still crying.’ returned the Soldier. I never hesitate to admit.‘My dear mama. aye. that your cousin is the wife of the Doctor.

It robbed me of a pleasure. my dear Annie. in a trembling voice: ‘Mama. the talk became general.a mile long. ‘that there was a family circumstance she might mention to you .’ ‘Almost the very words I said to her!’ exclaimed her mother. ‘That’s a bargain. my dear. I think. I looked on Mr. but a tiger or two.’ ‘Annie. and pictured him the bosom friend of all the Rajahs in the East. ‘Shall I?’ ‘Certainly. when I know what she would tell you but for this reason. Doctor Strong will not only be your husband. She now said very softly.’ ‘Well.’ said the Doctor.’ returned the Doctor. and. towards her. Some more company coming in. as you were too generous. but he will represent your late father: he will represent the head of our family. For my own part.com  . I complain that you really are a little unnatural towards your own family. where the ship. was bound to mention . I honour and respect him so much. I said to Annie. Jack Maldon as a modern Sindbad. for Gravesend. If I have any merit it is consistency. or for his health . carried her point.I don’t know how many years. and his voyage. I will!’ said the Old Soldier. I have a great mind. then. the other day. playfully. and will be. in short. and that. my dear Doctor.’ As the Doctor turned his kind face. in which he was to make the voyage. and a little heat in the warm part of the day. and it naturally turned on Mr. among whom were the two masters and Adams. do look at that silly wife of yours. lay. ‘When I happened to say to that naughty thing.’ I used the word at the time.’ ‘I shall be glad if you will. he will represent the wisdom and station.unless he came home on leave.’ returned the Old Soldier.’ The daughter had sat quite silent and still during this speech.If he would.’ pursued her mother. my dear Doctor. a Boon to it. with its smile of simplicity and gentleness. shaking her head and her fan at her. and his various plans and prospects. ‘Annie. and as for her to ask was al David Copperfield ways to have. as it is of no use complaining to you. Now. with her eyes fixed on the ground. after supper. and returned triumphantly to her former station. she drooped her head more. and looking on the ground too. I mean to complain to your husband. I suppose. smoking curly golden pipes . Wickfield looked at her steadily. ‘I have not quite finished. and was to be gone . she tapped the Doctor’s hand several times with her fan (which she kissed first). I hope you have finished?’ ‘No. my love. I reply that I have not. and not till then. I recollect it was settled by general consent that India was quite a misrepresented country.’ And having. He was to leave that night. today. in a postchaise. to tell you myself. ‘That was wrong.indeed. I noticed that Mr. if they could be Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ So it was settled. of our family. and had nothing objectionable in it. ‘Now really. Jack Maldon. and won’t. sitting under canopies. And then. her cousin standing near her. that to mention it was to ask a favour. and I have used it again. Since you ask me. that I think I will have him. and the country he was going to. she wouldn’t. another time. and I may say the means.she said.

although she began sweetly. ‘who makes such sacrifices. and her cousin Maldon had excused himself because he had some packing to do. going away to the other end of the world.’ pursued the Doctor. Jack Maldon. and instructed him. and filling his glass. he returned. Mr. and told him what to play. to greet Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Jack Maldon’s youth. From time to time she came and looked over the Doctor’s hand. and they sat together. And they were not improved. ‘Annie.com  . Mr. Mrs. to give her all the silver he had in his pocket. with her head hanging down over the keys.’ ‘Time will go fast with you. and I thought her finger trembled as she pointed out the cards. was well pleased. Strong had declined to play. have wafted thousands upon thousands to fortune. But. She tried a duet. ‘and fast with all of us. for her partner. to relieve her. and. in the natural course of things.’ looking at the Doctor. but could not so much as begin. by the Old Soldier: who continually recalled passages of Mr. of which he committed an innumerable quantity. in spite of the watchfulness of the butterflies. as it appeared to me. At supper.straightened out. to the end of time. But I remarked that the Old Soldier took him into custody directly. not made the less merry by the Doctor’s mistakes. before you. I am sure. leaving all he knows behind. as the first preliminary of initiation. we were hardly so gay.‘however it’s viewed. and brought thousands upon thousands happily back. A young man really well deserves constant support and patronage. my dear. however. you have a long voyage. it’s affecting. since time and tide .both concerned in this case . to see a fine young man one has known from an infant. and we must not detain him. proposed a round game at cards. on the sofa. When he had done it. on the ground of not feeling very well. and to their great aggravation. who often heard her singing by herself. that he was making everybody happy. Jack Maldon. The good Doctor said she was nervous. or was out of voice that evening. however.’ ‘It’s an affecting thing. and had no suspicion but that we were all at the utmost height of enjoyment. Markleham . and many men will have both. with her cousin Maldon. and that the nearer it approached. and a strange country. The Doctor. and afterwards. when she tried to sing by herself. Strong was a very pretty singer: as I knew.’ said he. her voice died away on a sudden. whether she was afraid of singing before people. who felt. and not knowing what’s before him. but many men have had both. talking. Some of us can hardly expect. Everyone appeared to  David Copperfield feel that a parting of that sort was an awkward thing. looking at his watch. but the Doctor was quite happy in her attention. but was not at his ease. ‘it is past your cousin jack’s time. and made matters worse.’ said Mrs. the more awkward it was. We had a merry game. Jack Maldon tried to be very talkative. Mrs. perhaps. The winds you are going to tempt. of which he knew as much as of the art of playing the trombone. if it were so. She was very pale. and took no notice of this. once. as she bent over him. it was certain that she couldn’t sing at all. and left her quite distressed.wait for no man. Mr.

‘See here! You have lost a bow. she arose with assistance: turning her head. and that the swoon was yielding to the usual means of recovery. and all shook hands with Mr. Jack Maldon had gone away. and I went back into the house. and how he had felt it. ‘Do you recollect where you had it last. and I had a lively impression made upon me. when she answered that she had had it safe. a thriving career abroad. ‘A prosperous voyage out. but she said. Jack.’ Mrs. Annie?’ said her mother. and that’s my case. who had lifted her head upon his knee. on which we all stood up. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The next best thing is to hope to do it.you on your return. I thought. Jack Maldon. You have long had a good model before you. the boys dispersed. Mr. and said. and sat her on a sofa. standing up. I am certain . looking very white and weak. and another for the Doctor’s wife. I wondered how I could have thought she looked white. as she did so. and something cherry-coloured in his hand.or to hide it. and hurried to the door. after which he hastily took leave of the ladies who were there. who had assembled on the lawn for the purpose. ‘Annie. and saw where she was. and how he had borne it. and that she would rather be brought among us. We went into the drawing-room. I shall not weary you with good advice. she thought. Jack Maldon rattle past with an agitated face. Markleham cried: ‘Where’s Annie?’ No Annie was there. and a happy return home!’ We all drank the toast. looking around: ‘Poor Annie! She’s so faithful and tender-hearted! It’s the parting from her old playfellow and friend . ‘Farewell. or anything but burning red. a little while ago. in your cousin Annie. doing something to her dress. In the midst of these remarks. discussing how Mr.com  . After another broadside for the Doctor.’ said her mother. in a crowd. as he got into the chaise.her favourite cousin . I was very near the chaise when it rolled away. I don’t know which. and all the rest of it. in the midst of the noise and dust. a cherry-coloured ribbon?’ It was the one she had worn at her bosom. Mrs. put her curls aside with his hand. to see what was the matter.that has done this. Markleham fanned herself. Ah! It’s a pity! I am very sorry!’ When she opened her eyes. where I found the guests all standing in a group about the Doctor.  David Copperfield There was great alarm at first.’ said the Doctor. and that we were all standing about her. of having seen Mr. that she was better than she had been since morning. it seemed. and shook her head. when the Doctor. where he was received. my dear. but it was not worth looking for. Running in among them to swell the ranks. We all looked for it. no Annie replied. to leave her with the Doctor and her mother. we found her lying on the hall floor. and when they called to her. Imitate her virtues as nearly as you can. with a tremendous broadside of cheers discharged by our boys. until it was found that she was in a swoon. Will anybody be so good as find a ribbon. I myself looked everywhere.but nobody could find it. to lay it on the Doctor’s shoulder . But all pressing out of the room. so they brought her in.

where there was a light. and trustfulness . being open. Wickfield.I see them all. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I . as she turned again towards him. I ran back to fetch it. and in them all. for when I went back to replace the candle I had taken from the table. love. and she was looking up at him. in a desultory way. with a complacent smile. and his young wife was on a stool at his feet. and the company took their departure. was reading aloud some manuscript explanation or statement of a theory out of that interminable Dictionary. disordered by the want of the lost ribbon. something quieted.com 1 . and Mr. The Doctor. It made a great impression on me. it was so full of a wild. as I shall have occasion to narrate when the time comes. It disturbed the Doctor too. But a door of communication between that and the Doctor’s study. rising again before my older judgement. after glancing at me as I left the room and went out at the door. and still not found. and he would have her go to bed. And. until she was quite well. I saw her cross her hands upon his knee. urgent manner. Agnes. but it was still sought for. humiliation. roused her. But with such a face as I never saw. and saying he was a merciless drone to let her tempt him into reading on. 0 David Copperfield shame. and to get a candle.Agnes and I admiring the moonlight. in his fatherly way. I cannot even say of what it is expressive to me now. We walked very slowly home.to let her feel assured (I heard her murmur some broken words to this effect) that she was in his confidence that night. She entreated that there might be no more searching. When we.Nevertheless. reached our own door. Delighted to be of any service to her. Mr. I cannot say of what it was expressive. he was patting her head. and my saying what I wanted. I went into the supper-room where it had been left. which was deserted and dark. and look up at him with the same face. pride. as he resumed his reading. The Doctor was sitting in his easy-chair by the fireside. and on her white dress. Agnes discovered that she had left her little reticule behind. sleep-walking. it was so ashy pale. Wickfield scarcely raising his eyes from the ground. I see that horror of I don’t know what. in a rapid. Distinctly as I recollect her look. dreamy horror of I don’t know what. it was so fixed in its abstraction. to let her stay . it was looked for again. I passed on there. and I remembered it a long time afterwards. and her brown hair fell in two rich clusters on her shoulders. But she asked him. at last. The eyes were wide open. Penitence. to say what I wanted. It was so beautiful in its form. My entrance.

that had no end. but. I imagined how the winds of winter would howl round it. enclosed in this last letter. and all connected with my father and mother were faded away. but to think that Miss Betsey should seem to be so different from what she had been thought to be. that the coach-fare to Yarmouth was always to be had of her for the asking. To these communications Peggotty replied as promptly. were inadequate to afford her any relief. how the cold rain would beat upon the window-glass. to discharge the sum I had borrowed of her: in which epistle. but it pained me to think of the dear old place as altogether abandoned. per post. and what could I have desired more? I made out. Four sides of incoherent and interjectional beginnings of sentences. Dick had given me. God knows I had no part in it while they remained there. that there had been a sale of the furniture at our old home. and another. I never could have derived anything like the pleasure from spending the money Mr. The notice was too short after so long a prepossession the other way. But the blots were more expressive to me than the best composition. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. 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. that she could not take quite kindly to my aunt yet. I thought afresh of the grave in the churchyard. how the moon would make ghosts on the walls of the empty rooms. namely. for she sent her grateful duty to her but timidly. of course. she wrote. for David Copperfield they showed me that Peggotty had been crying all over the paper. We never knew a person. as a merchant’s clerk. to be let or sold.com   . containing all particulars fully related. too. and entertained the probability of my running away again soon: if I might judge from the repeated hints she threw out. and she was evidently afraid of me. now. underneath the tree: and it seemed as if the house were dead too. and the house was shut up.CHAPTER 17 SOMEBODY TURNS UP I t has not occurred to me to mention Peggotty since I ran away. not before. and Miss Murdstone were gone away. that I felt in sending a gold half-guinea to Peggotty. I mentioned about the young man with the donkey-cart. watching their solitude all night. detailing my happy condition and prospects. without much difficulty. On my being settled at Doctor Strong’s I wrote to her again. She was evidently still afraid of Miss Betsey. I wrote her a letter almost as soon as I was housed at Dover. except blots. when my aunt took me formally under her protection. was a Moral! . and the fallen leaves lying thick and wet upon the paths. if not as concisely. She gave me one piece of intelligence which affected me very much. and that Mr. of the weeds growing tall in the garden. and a longer letter.that was her word.

and Ham was well. every third or fourth week. But. and not to spend it. As he had no idea of deceiving her. and I saw Mr. before they were paid. as he repeatedly told me with infinite secrecy. ‘I thought nothing would have frightened her.let me see. and the reference of all his little bills at the county inn where he slept. I think you said sixteen hundred and forty-nine?’ ‘Yes. I saw her on a Saturday. While I was yet new at Doctor Strong’s. to whom I instinctively felt that she would not very tenderly incline. Mr. and always desired to please her. sorely puzzled Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and Mrs. Dick. Dick never travelled without a leathern writing-desk. of taking me by surprise. in relation to which document he had a notion that time was beginning to press now. finding me well employed. after imparting this confidence to me.’ said Mr. and my little bedroom was always ready for me. my aunt had instructed me to open a credit for him at a cake shop. with an air of mystery. she said. sir. to my aunt. ‘was. ‘Trotwood. Mr. she soon discontinued these visits. but said that Peggotty might send it.’ ‘I don’t know how it can be. containing a supply of stationery and the Memorial. ‘for she’s -’ here he whispered softly. Dick. sir?’ Mr.the wisest and most wonderful of women. On this point.sixteen hundred and forty-nine was the date of King Charles’s execution. and he sent his duty. Dick was convinced that my aunt was the wisest and most wonderful of women. ‘who’s the man that hides near our house and frightens her?’ ‘Frightens my aunt. and always in a whisper. and bearing a good character.. Dick every alternate Wednesday. only reserving to myself the mention of little Em’ly. which was ham David Copperfield pered with the stipulation that he should not be served with more than one shilling’s-worth in the course of any one day.’ Having said which. and that it really must be got out of hand. ‘don’t mention it . if she liked. Gummidge was but poorly.’ he said.com  . All this intelligence I dutifully imparted to my aunt. he drew back. I suppose. he was thus made chary of launching into expense. to stay until next morning. and hearing on all hands that I rose fast in the school. Dick. induced me to suspect that he was only allowed to rattle his money. Dick nodded. and little Em’ly wouldn’t send her love. This.’ said Mr. or at least there was an agreement between him and my aunt that he should account to her for all his disbursements.’ said Mr. though still a little near. Mr.There was no other news in Peggotty’s letters. as well as on all other possible points. On these occasions Mr. when he arrived by stage-coach at noon. Peggotty was well. when I went over to Dover for a treat. Barkis was an excellent husband. and always at unseasonable hours: with the view. but we all had our faults. I found on further investigation that this was so. and she had plenty (though I am sure I don’t know what they were). one Wednesday. Dick was very partial to gingerbread. to observe the effect which this description of her made upon me. she made several excursions over to Canterbury to see me. ‘The first time he came. Mr. To render his visits the more agreeable.

’ ‘And did he frighten my aunt again?’ ‘All of a shiver. or threat of an attempt. I was walking out with Miss Trotwood after tea.’ ‘I suppose history never lies. As I was already much attached to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Well. and whether my aunt. it was very soon after the mistake was made of putting some of the trouble out of King Charles’s head into my head. Dick. Dick. ‘Never came out.and was seen no more: while my aunt came hurriedly and secretly back into the house. Then she turned round and fainted. does it?’ said Mr. sir?’ I asked. I had not the least belief.’ Mr. might have been twice made to take poor Mr. Cried. most decisively. and late at night. seen my aunt give this person money outside the garden rails in the moonlight. that the unknown was anything but a delusion of Mr. who then slunk away . ‘Why. Trotwood. no beggar. he wasn’t there at all. Trotwood. ‘Walking about?’ repeated Mr. and having replied a great many times. sir!’ went on to say. I must recollect a bit. Dick shook his head. ‘I don’t think I am as old as that. ‘I don’t see how it can have been in that year. in the moonlight?’ ‘He was a beggar. no beggar. N-no. with a gleam of hope. sir. perhaps. no. and I thought so.’ said Mr. But. till last night! We were walking  David Copperfield last night. counterfeiting that affection and making his teeth chatter. but after some reflection I began to entertain the question whether an attempt. is the most extraordinary thing!’ ‘HAS he been hiding ever since?’ I asked.’ getting me close to him. the strength of whose kind feeling towards him I knew from herself. as utterly renouncing the suggestion. and I knew him again.’ said Mr. However. ‘Held by the palings. and had. and whispered. and with great confidence.into the ground again. somewhere.’ ‘Was it in that year that the man appeared. as he thought probable . ‘Let me see. ‘To be sure he has. and I stood still and looked at him. Dick. nodding his head gravely. no. ‘There’s something wrong. and he came up behind her again. what he WAS doing. Dick. that he might whisper very softly. even that morning. that the man first came. sir!’ I replied. I was ingenuous and young.’ I asked. might have been induced to pay a price for his peace and quiet. ‘I can’t make it out. Dick’s mind. ‘Oh dear. ‘No beggar. Dick himself from under my aunt’s protection. ‘until he came up behind her. been quite different from her usual self. ‘why did she give him money. Dick. Dick.’ said Mr. and there he was. in the outset of this story. that from his window he had afterwards. and he walked away. as the shortest way to get at it. really’ said Mr. but that he should have been hiding ever since (in the ground or somewhere).and shaking his head. Did you get that date out of history?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Walking about?’ I inquired. and one of the line of that ill-fated Prince who occasioned him so much difficulty. Dick’s. come here.com  . shaking his head. just at dark. close to our house.’ retorted Mr. Dick. which preyed on Mr. boy. he was not walking about.

whom he thought the most subtle and accomplished philosopher of any age. at last. waiting for me. Dick’s life. my fears favoured this supposition. There he always appeared.com  . and not so gay. from a skewer upwards. here he would sit. which was called ‘Dick’. in the snow and east wind. He always sat in a particular corner. and so became more and more familiar by degrees. Dick. and. after him. He could cut oranges into such devices as none of us had an idea of. standing blue-nosed. Here he made the acquaintance of the Doctor’s beautiful young wife (paler than formerly. and though he never took an active part in any game but kite-flying. on the occasion of his next visit. grey-headed. After a few Wednesdays. He could make a boat out of anything. I think. with which we were all persuaded he could do anything that could be done by hands. but not less beautiful). attentively listening to whatever might be going on. at hare and hounds. on a particular stool. and his ingenuity in little things was transcendent. and happy. This veneration Mr. and even when he and the Doctor Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to walk about the courtyard. with a profound veneration for the learning he had never been able to acquire. fashion Roman chariots from  David Copperfield old court cards. But he was greatest of all. 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. laughing. This ceremony I performed. and waving his hat above his grey head. he would come into the school and wait. they were far from being the least happy of mine.Mr. perhaps. and bird-cages of old wire. until. How often have I seen him. more rarely seen by me or anyone. as often happened on a Wednesday. and for a long time his Wednesday hardly ever came round. and rest himself until our morning’s work was over. was as deeply interested in all our sports as anyone among us. to come on there. and the Doctor begging Mr. Dick to come on as a matter of course. make spoked wheels out of cotton reels. It was long before Mr. which interested the Doctor so much that he requested. if we were a little late. all this time. looking at the boys going down the long slide. however. Dick’s renown was not long confined to us. and he never had anything more to tell of the man who could frighten my aunt. These Wednesdays were the happiest days of Mr. to be presented to him. and hardly breathing at the critical times! How often. have I seen him mounted on a little knoll. and clapping his worsted gloves in rapture! He was an universal favourite. without my entertaining a misgiving that he would not be on the coach-box as usual. Mr. oblivious of King Charles the Martyr’s head. intent upon a match at marbles or pegtop. He soon became known to every boy in the school. He could turn cramp-bones into chessmen. it soon passed into a custom for Mr. in the articles of string and straw. whensoever he should not find me at the coach office. looking on with a face of unutterable interest. and I told him all my aunt had told me. and very solicitous for his welfare. Dick ever spoke to him otherwise than bareheaded. cheering the whole field on to action. Dick. with his grey head bent forward. Doctor Strong himself made some inquiries of me about him. Dick extended to the Doctor.

as reading to himself. as I had no doubt he would. for we are well aware of our condition. will you come this evening? But if it is our umbleness. Dick listening. Dick’s friends. ‘But I didn’t expect you to keep it. and would walk together by the hour. Agnes was one of Mr. when I was about to walk with Mr. and in often coming to the house. One Thursday morning. in a quiet way. in these walks.’ I returned. if it wasn’t sinful. Dick from the hotel to the coach office before going back to school (for we had an hour’s school before breakfast). and the world might somehow be the better for it . and I was very doubtful about it still. on that side of the courtyard which was known among us as The Doctor’s Walk.as if a thousand things it makes a noise about.’ he said.’ I said I would mention it to Mr. Wickfield. in his heart of hearts believed the Dictionary to be the most delightful book in the world. The friendship between himself and me increased continually. as I stood looking him in the face in the street. upon the wings of hard words . very soon. listening with a face shining with pride and pleasure. I feel as if they might go walking to and fro for ever. while Mr. So. and it was maintained on this odd footing: that.’ ‘Yet you didn’t mind supposing I was proud this morning. Mr. it passed into a custom too. an occasional flourish of the manuscript. if that’s all. ‘Or she would be proud.com 1 . who reminded me of the promise I had made to take tea with himself and his mother: adding. ‘Mother will be proud. Master Copperfield. But I felt it quite an affront to be supposed proud. ‘and it really isn’t our umbleness that prevents you. but considering that I inherited a good deal from my aunt. I would come with pleasure. or me.’ I really had not yet been able to make up my mind whether I liked Uriah or detested him. indeed. that I have ever seen. How it ever came about that the Doctor began to read out scraps of the famous Dictionary. As I think of them going up and down before those schoolroom windows . as we walked away together. I never knew.the Doctor reading with his complacent smile. I announced myself as ready. we’re so very umble. at six o’clock that evening. and if he approved. ‘ Oh. However. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield. to Uriah. were not one half so good for it. and said I only wanted to be asked. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and Mr.had struck up quite a friendship. Dick came professedly to look after me as my guardian. Master Copperfield. perhaps he felt it all the same.I think of it as one of the pleasantest things. and Mr. not only 0 David Copperfield having a high respect for my native sagacity. or grave motion of his head. Dick would pull off his hat at intervals to show his respect for wisdom and knowledge. which was one of the early office evenings. and invariably guided himself by my advice. he always consulted me in any little matter of doubt that arose. Dick.’ said Uriah. with his poor wits calmly wandering God knows where. I hope you won’t mind owning to it. I met Uriah in the street. with a writhe. at first. enchained by interest. he made acquaintance with Uriah.

who was the dead image of Uriah. as when he delivered himself of these sentiments: shaking his head all the time. and the kettle was boiling on the hob.’ ‘Oh. Learning ain’t for  David Copperfield me. I’m much too umble. that are trying to a reader of my umble attainments. as I learn it. which they hoped would give no offence to anyone. you don’t judge well. Master Copperfield!’ We entered a low.in Mr. to change the subject. ‘He is hard to me sometimes. Here is my umble dwelling. and writhing modestly.Latin words and terms . I have passed an hour or two in the evening. lowly as they were. ‘Oh. but I am much too umble to accept it. ‘Oh. with an air of self-denial. I won’t provoke my betters with knowledge. 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. I suppose?’ said I. ‘But I don’t know what he might be to a gifted person. Master Copperfield!’ I never saw his mouth so wide. for them that are. Heep. there was a company of Uriah’s books commanded by Mr. no. but I am far too umble. I don’t remember that any individual object had a bare. believe me. Master Copperfield. There was a chest of drawers with an escritoire top. with Mr.‘Oh dear. and apologized to me for giving her son a kiss. there was a corner cupboard: and there were the usual articles of furniture. Uriah!’ ‘Oh. indeed you must excuse me.’ After beating a little tune on his chin as he walked on. thank you. A person like myself had better not aspire. half parlour and half kitchen. ‘I think you are wrong. ‘I am sure it’s very kind of you to make the offer. There are people enough to tread upon me in my lowly state.’ ‘Would you like to be taught Latin?’ I said briskly. Master Copperfield.’ he answered.’ ‘Have you been studying much law lately?’ I asked. I don’t doubt that. without my doing outrage to their feelings by possessing learning. Master Copperfield. if you would like to learn them. Master Copperfield! I am greatly obliged.’ ‘What nonsense.’ returned Uriah.com  . Tidd. Master Copperfield!’ returned Uriah. and I should like it of all things.’ ‘Rather hard. Uriah. only short. they had their natural affections. ‘I will teach it you with pleasure. Tidd. Because we are so very umble. for Uriah to read or write at of an evening. you see. but not at all a snug room. pinched. but I do remember that the whole Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with the two forefingers of his skeleton right hand. sometimes. But not being umble yourself. there was Uriah’s blue bag lying down and vomiting papers. ‘not in the least. and found there Mrs.’ I said. or the creases in his cheeks so deep. If he is to get on in life. thank you. old-fashioned room. I assure you.’ ‘Oh. The tea-things were set upon the table. shaking his head. ‘my reading is hardly to be called study. walked straight into from the street. perhaps. observing that. he added: ‘There are expressions. ‘I dare say there are several things that I could teach you.’ he said. Master Copperfield . Tidd. spare look. She received me with the utmost humility.’ he answered. It was a perfectly decent room. he must get on umbly.

Heep. mother.com  . or a tender young tooth against a pair of dentists. I am sure. ma’am. They were very fond of one another: that was certain. Heep caught it and threw it back to Uriah. Heep. There was nothing particularly choice there. ‘has looked forward to this. I take it. and so they went on tossing it about until I had no idea who had got it.’ said Mrs. ‘when Master Copperfield pays us a visit. and felt that they were  David Copperfield very attentive. that had its effect upon me. was a touch of art which I was still less proof against. A tender young cork. with a certainty I blush to think of. Heep. now the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and that Uriah gradually got opposite to me. Heep.’ said Mrs.’ said Mrs. Heep gradually got nearer to me. Uriah threw the ball to Mrs. and was quite bewildered. ‘If I could have wished father to remain among us for any reason. making the tea. as a touch of nature. that she still wore weeds. Wickfield. but I took the will for the deed. Wickfield and Agnes. and then I told them about mine. sir. and then I told them about mine. but I was sensible. Umble we are.’ retorted Mrs. and then Mrs. Heep began to talk about fathers-in-law. He had his fears that our umbleness stood in the way. I think there was some compromise in the cap. and wormed things out of me that I had no desire to tell. to be sure. Notwithstanding the lapse of time that had occurred since Mr.’ said Mrs. Heep. they began about Mr. and I thought Mrs. Uriah kept it up a little while.’ said Uriah. and that they respectfully plied me with the choicest of the eatables on the table. now my admiration of Agnes. Mrs. now the excellence of Mr. and then I began to tell her about mine . Heep. ‘We know our station and are thankful in it. of being entertained as an honoured guest. however. but the skill with which the one followed up whatever the other said. or a little shuttlecock against two battledores. my Uriah. because my aunt had advised me to observe a silence on that subject. When there was nothing more to be got out of me about myself (for on the Murdstone and Grinby life. It was perhaps a part of Mrs.but stopped. They did just what they liked with me. Heep’s decease. and I joined in them myself. Heep’s humility. ‘This is a day to be remembered. too. now Agnes. but otherwise she was as weedy as in the early days of her mourning. umble we have been. ‘it would have been.’ ‘I said you’d think so. Heep. Heep an agreeable woman. I took some credit to myself for being so confidential and felt that I was quite the patron of my two respectful entertainers. a long while. ‘My Uriah. The ball itself was always changing too.’ I said. ‘unless you like. and on my journey. Now it was Mr. Presently they began to talk about aunts. I was dumb). ‘I am sure you have no occasion to be so. and about fathers and mothers. umble we shall ever be.place had. Heep. as in my juvenile frankness. would have had no more chance against a pair of corkscrews. sir.’ ‘Thank you. then sent it back to Mrs.’ I felt embarrassed by these compliments. Wickfield. she still wore weeds. the more especially. than I had against Uriah and Mrs.’ I found that Mrs. that he might have known his company this afternoon.

Wickfield took. and walked in. or to do anything but sometimes encourage them a little. Mr.’ said Mr.it stood open to air the room. ‘her son. Micawber. the wine that Mr. in another of his bursts of confidence. Micawber known to Uriah Heep and his mother. Micawber. ‘they are weaned . then everything at once. putting out his hand. Copperfield.’ I could do no less. As they abased themselves before Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Mr. and settling his chin in his shirt-collar. ‘Thank you. now. and his shirt-collar. and looked about him. I find a young but valued friend turn up. which I accordingly did.in short. Walking along the street. waving his hand as of old. Micawber. settled his chin again. Micawber there. which was warm.in short. heartily. ‘You are very good. ‘She is tolerably convalescent. ‘I have discovered my friend Copperfield. Micawber. exclaiming loudly. with his eyeglass. when a figure coming down the street passed the door . She will be rejoiced.’ said Mr. inquiring how Mrs. who is connected with the most eventful period of my  David Copperfield life. but partaking of a social meal in company with a widow lady. now our domestic life after dinner. and without addressing himself particularly to anyone. and one who is apparently her offspring . and the pity that it was he took so much. with the turning-point of my existence. I may say. ‘not in solitude. the weather being close for the time of year . Micawber! It was Mr. Micawber then smiled. and shook hands with him. looked in. Wickfield’s business and resources.’ said Mr. now one thing.’ I said I should be delighted to see her.in short. at present. than make Mr.that I was glad to see Mr. but I was glad to see him too.I really cannot say .extent of Mr. ‘Copperfield! Is it possible?’ It was Mr. ‘this is indeed a meeting which is calculated to impress the mind with a sense of the instability and uncertainty of all human . the reason why he took it. 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. and to wish myself well out of the visit.and Mrs. now another. under these circumstances. I had begun to be a little uncomfortable. and his walking-stick. it is a most extraordinary meeting. and all the time. Micawber was. I shall esteem it an honour to be presented. The twins no longer derive their sustenance from Nature’s founts . Micawber is. how do you do?’ I cannot say . reflecting upon the probability of something turning up (of which I am at present rather sanguine). for fear they should be overcome by their humility and the honour of my company. without appearing to speak very often. Micawber. and his genteel air. in one of his bursts of confidence. all complete! ‘My dear Copperfield. to renew her acquaintance with one who has proved himself in all respects a worthy minister at the sacred altar of friendship. and the condescending roll in his voice.’ said Mr. Copperfield.com  . Micawber.came back again.’ said Mr. my dear fellow. my travelling companion. Micawber genteelly.

and said to Mrs.’ I knew he was certain to say something of this kind.’ said Mrs.’ Uriah. ‘A pupil?’ said Mr. Micawber took a seat. for your notice. and we are thankful to him for his company. ‘Sometimes I have risen superior to my difficulties. ‘Shall we go and see Mrs. he always would be so boastful about his difficulties. He has been so good as take his tea with us. by that word) into the bosom of my friend Copperfield. because a warm greasy smell appeared to come up through the chinks in the floor. ‘I am extremely happy to hear it. in the pres David Copperfield ence of our friends here. have floored me. It was a little inn where Mr. ‘it is an intellect capable of getting up the classics to any extent. Micawber away. I think it was over the kitchen. ‘Any friend of my friend Copperfield’s. made a ghastly writhe from the waist upwards. to express his concurrence in this estimation of me. raising his eyebrows. Although a mind like my friend Copperfield’s’ . ‘have I enjoyed a higher degree of satisfaction than in pouring my griefs (if I may describe difficulties. in another burst of confidence. sir. It’s all up now. ‘my son and me. Mrs.com  . and humming a tune as we went. recumbent on a small sofa. Copperfield? Still in the wine trade?’ I was excessively anxious to get Mr. and I have given in. sir. and a very red face.’ ‘We are too umble. ‘I have no scruple in saying. I can show fight no more. Copperfield. to get Mr. Heep! Your servant. with his long hands slowly twining over one another. smiling. Micawber away. chiefly arising out of warrants of attorney and promissory notes at two and four months.’ and then walking out with me in his most fashionable manner. Micawber. and strongly flavoured with tobacco-smoke. Micawber.’ said Mr. and there was a flabby perspiration on the walls. ‘has a personal claim upon myself. Micawber. also to you.’ But at no time of my life. for some years.’ said Mr. and replied.’ Mr. without his knowledge of men and things. with my hat in my hand. sir?’ I said.’ replied Mr. Heep. Here. Micawber. underneath a Free eBooks at Planet eBook.him. that I was a pupil at Doctor Strong’s. and he occupied a little room in it. ‘Mr. it would require.‘does not require that cultivation which. still it is a rich soil teeming with latent vegetation . ‘If you will do her that favour. Micawber.in short. with a bow. Micawber closed this handsome tribute by saying. thou reasonest well.’ ‘Ma’am. Micawber. to be the friends of Master Copperfield. ‘Plato. Heep . I have no doubt. rising. I know it was near the bar. in the words of Cato. that I am a man who has.’ said Mr. making a good deal of noise on the pavement with his shoes. Heep! Good evening. Sometimes my difficulties have . on account of the smell of spirits and jingling of glasses.to Uriah and Mrs. Mr. Micawber. there have been times when they have been too many for me. contended against the pressure of pecuniary difficulties.in short. Micawber. There have been times when I have administered a succession of facers to them. Micawber put up.’ returned Mr. and waved his hand in his most courtly manner. partitioned off from the commercial room. ‘you are very obliging: and what are you doing.

decidedly. to whom Mr. In fact. and. was Mrs.’ I said to Mrs. The local influence of my family was quite unavailing to obtain any employment in that department. Micawber. ‘We all came back again.’ she replied. Micawber was accompanied by myself. I will go and look at the paper the while. I was very glad to see her too.’ continued Mrs. Micawber to take . ‘we went to Plymouth.’ said Mr.’ ‘Then you all came back again. cool. so it was. Micawber. and her feet pushing the mustard off the dumb-waiter at the other end of the room. and by little Wilkins and his sister.‘this is between ourselves . I have consulted other branches of my family on the course which it is most expedient for Mr. Master Copperfield. ‘My dear. ‘if you will mention to Copperfield what our present position is. saying. ‘To be on the spot.’ said Mrs. sat down on the small sofa near her. Micawber’s abilities.’ said Mrs. before we had been there a week.’ said Mrs.’ replied Mrs. ma’am?’ I said. Micawber. he always remembered. and by the twins. Micawber. argumentatively.’ I hinted. They would rather NOT have a man of Mr. Micawber. Micawber. that branch of my family which is settled in Plymouth became quite personal to Mr. Micawber. In fact. which I have no doubt he will like to know.’ I noticed.picture of a race-horse. But. Micawber was just as much confused as ever about my age and standing. Micawber entered first. that when that branch of my family which is settled in Plymouth. they did not receive him with that ardour which he might have expected. Mrs. as he went out.com 1 . There is no doubt about it. Micawber.for I maintain that he must take some course. Micawber’s abilities. ‘Still. not including a domestic. by the by. for a man of Mr. being so newly released from captivity. that I was a pupil of Doctor Strong’s. Micawber was amazed. ‘Under such circumstances. lowering her voice. ‘Yes. Micawber. after an affectionate greeting on both sides. what could a man of Mr.’ said Mrs.’ ‘To be on the spot. . and thought. that although Mr.’ I said. the truth is. talent is not wanted in the Custom House. ‘My dear Master Copperfield. Micawber. became aware that Mr. but our reception was. ‘It is clear that a family of six. that they ought to be ashamed of themselves.’ ‘Dear me!’ I said. the money to return to London. of that branch of my family. and to return at any sacrifice. ‘It is truly painful to contemplate mankind in such an aspect. He would only show the deficiency of the others. as a genteel thing. Master Copperfield. ‘My dear. Micawber’s spirit do? But one obvious course was left. Apart from which. ‘Since then.’ said Mrs. ma’am. cannot live Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but very glad to see me. allow me to introduce to you a pupil of Doctor Strong’s. and see whether anything turns up among the advertisements.’ ‘I thought you were at Plymouth. ‘Just so. Micawber. ‘I will 0 David Copperfield not disguise from you. with her head close to the fire. To borrow. my dear Master Copperfield.our reception was cool.

Master Copperfield.’ said Mrs. Mr. from my boy and girl. ‘I never will desert Mr. on inquiry. Micawber. on account of the great probability of something turning up in a cathedral town. Micawber. Micawber threw her arms round Mr. you are a true friend. and that is my individual conclusion. Micawber. my dear Master Copperfield.’ I felt the utmost sympathy for Mr. as yet. but when the worst comes to the worst. When I asked him if the remittance had Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and propose the day after. Micawber has not. ‘is. When I took my leave of them. and bespeak a hot kidney pudding and a plate of shrimps for breakfast in the morning. Talent. ‘Copperfield.upon air. they both pressed me so much to come and dine before they went away. as I knew I could not come next day.’ repeated Mrs. Mr. ma’am?’ ‘To coals.’ said I. Micawber should immediately turn his attention to coals. to discharge our pecuniary obligations at this hotel. Micawber very properly said.’ said Mrs. to know that we are at present waiting for  David Copperfield a remittance from London. Accordingly I was called out of school next forenoon. but that it certainly requires capital. Micawber has. ‘I am cut off from my home (I allude to lodgings in Pentonville).’ At this dreadful hint Mrs. and said as much to Mr. Mr. who had called to say that the dinner would take place as proposed.’ I murmured my admiration and approbation. to come and see the Medway. Mr. no man is without a friend who is possessed of shaving materials. Being so near here. Then. that Mr. on account of its being so well worth seeing. ‘three days. as to ring the bell for the waiter. ‘and saw the Medway. He wept. We saw.’ pursued Mrs. 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). ‘The opinion of those other branches of my family. and see the Cathedral. that it may require talent. Micawber.’ said Mrs. My opinion of the coal trade on that river is. Which we came and saw. Micawber’s neck and entreated him to be calm. Mr. ma’am. if it would suit me better. that there might be an opening for a man of his talent in the Medway Coal Trade. the first step to be taken clearly was. Micawber was of opinion that it would be rash not to come on. when I should have a good deal to prepare in the evening. the greater part of the Medway. Micawber in this anxious extremity.com  . so much as it would a stranger. I say ‘we’. and it may not surprise you.’ ‘To what. shaking hands with me. ‘To the coal trade. Micawber’s answer expressed the disturbance of his mind. Micawber. Until the arrival of that remittance. turned up. He said. as Mr. I think. Firstly. Micawber with emotion. capital. who now returned: adding that I only wished I had money enough. to lend them the amount they needed. and Mrs. But.’ said Mrs. Micawber was induced to think. and from my twins. Micawber in the parlour. and secondly. Nothing has. that I could not refuse. Mr. Micawber with much feeling. We have been here. almost immediately.’ ‘Certainly. but so far recovered. for I never will. and found Mr. and our never having seen it. ‘We came. Micawber.

observing that Mrs.’ On which Mr. when I went to the little hotel next day at the appointed dinner-hour. we all joined hands round the table. so that it looked as if it had been varnished all over. that I hoped he had not been too communicative to Uriah. and a pudding. but I was uncomfortable about it. I was afraid of hurting Mr. But I was still more surprised. fried sausagemeat. when I took a hearty farewell of himself and his Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and that he would recommend me. Heep’s. to see Mr. In a word. all I can say is. and said she had ever been his guide. took a review of our past acquaintance. Micawber had paid them nothing at all as it was. and proposed success to it. Mr. and after dinner Mrs. Micawber and Uriah Heep walk past.com  .’ I hardly understood how this could have been.’ said Mr. down to the very last moment of the evening. He made his face shine with the punch. and hadn’t the least idea what it meant. and I. ‘If you’ll allow me. but I did not like to ask. Mrs. philosopher. my trusty frere’. Then I proposed Mrs. in the course of which we sold the property all over again. we sang ‘Auld Lang Syne’. too. ‘your friend Heep is a young fellow who might be attorney-general. Micawber made us a  David Copperfield bowl of hot punch with her own hands. seeing that Mr. Micawber was uncommonly convivial. Mrs. We had a beautiful little dinner. Micawber was. He proposed me afterwards. and he. at the period when my difficulties came to a crisis. ‘And I’ll tell you what. arm in arm: Uriah humbly sensible of the honour that was done him. she being very sensitive. Micawber. at least. which was four o’clock. said. Quite an elegant dish of fish. ma’am. to marry such another woman. and friend. As the punch disappeared. There was wine. If I had known that young man. too. a partridge. the kidney-end of a loin of veal. we were really affected.come. that I believe my creditors would have been a great deal better managed than they were. As I was looking out of window that same evening. I shall now have the pleasure of drinking your health. at all events. Neither did I like to say. or to inquire if they had talked much about me. Micawber taking a bland delight in extending his patronage to Uriah. if such another woman could be found. it surprised me. and often thought about it afterwards. Micawber. he pressed my hand and departed. Micawber: or. Micawber became still more friendly and convivial. and Mrs. Micawber delivered an eulogium on Mrs. modestly. to find. or. and had drunk brandy-and-water at Mrs. and made me rather uneasy. 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. roasted. and when we declared we would ‘take a right gude Willie Waught’. Micawber’s. and there was strong ale. Mr. Micawber’s feelings. I never saw him such good company. and Mr. that he had gone home with Uriah. Micawber’s character. Mrs. my dear Copperfield. He got cheerfully sentimental about the town. Micawber said. Micawber. Micawber’s spirits becoming elevated. when I came to a marrying time of life. I never saw anybody so thoroughly jovial as Mr. When we came to ‘Here’s a hand. from what Mr.

Micawber with a word of comfort. half-way there. this evening. and trying to soothe Mr.though his longevity is. When it becomes due. smiling at Mrs. I have discharged the pecuniary liability contracted at this establishment. So. my dear Copperfield. alike humiliating to endure. made payable fourteen days after date.amiable wife. If he could think himself of so much use. you will ever receive ‘From ‘The ‘Beggared Outcast. As they did not see me. He writes with that intention. nevertheless. I thought it best. relieved that they were gone. extremely problematical. at my residence. eating walnuts out of a paper bag. and felt. to receive the following communication. humiliating to contemplate. ‘WILKINS MICAWBER. ‘The die is cast . But. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. it will not be taken up.’  David Copperfield I was so shocked by the contents of this heart-rending letter. at seven o’clock next morning. London.all is over. I met the London coach with Mr. dated half past nine in the evening. upon the whole. ‘Let the wretched man who now addresses you. the very picture of tranquil enjoyment. I turned into a by-street that was the nearest way to school. with a bottle sticking out of his breast pocket. Hiding the ravages of care with a sickly mask of mirth. that I ran off directly towards the little hotel with the intention of taking it on my way to Doctor Strong’s. Mr. Micawber. I have not informed you. The bolt is impending. Pentonville. all things considered. that there is no hope of the remittance! Under these circumstances. Consequently. Micawber up behind. by giving a note of hand. not to see them. at present (to say the least of it). The result is destruction. one gleam of day might. penetrate into the cheerless dungeon of his remaining existence . with a great weight taken off my mind. I was not prepared. and the tree must fall. my dear Copperfield. a quarter of an hour after I had left him: ‘My DEAR YOUNG FRIEND. by possibility. Micawber’s conversation. ‘This is the last communication.com  . and Mrs. though I still liked them very much. and in that hope. and humiliating to relate. be a beacon to you through life.

I adore Miss Shepherd. Miss Shepherd!’ in a transport of love.’ but I say ‘Yes. whom I love. in a spencer. I wonder? They are not expressive of affection. in a half-sleeping and halfwaking dream. Miss Shepherd is a boarder at the Misses Nettingalls’ establishment. and they are oily when cracked. they are hard to crack. She is a little girl. I am doubtful of Miss Shepherd’s feelings.from childhood up to youth! Let me think. where we all went together. in my own room. I chiefly wonder what he’ll be. the resounding of the organ through the black and white arched galleries and aisles. A moment. unfelt progress of my life . Miss Shepherd and myself live but to be united. The Misses Nettingalls’ young ladies come to the Cathedral too. yet I feel that they are appropriate Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and come out at my hair. every Sunday morning. I hear Miss Shepherd. He is not my private friend and public patron. as I look back upon that flowing water. weak aspirant. dwelling afar off. whether there are any marks along its course. I touch Miss Shepherd’s glove. The earthy smell. the sunless air. but. even in room doors. I am sometimes moved to cry out. the sensation of the world being shut out. as Steerforth was. but I hold him in a reverential respect. at length. we meet at the dancing-school. Fate being propitious. for I must look upon Miss Shepherd. I have Miss Shepherd for my partner. are wings that take me back. and hold me hovering above those days. I am not the last boy in the school. Agnes says ‘No.’ and tell her that she little thinks what stores of knowledge have been mastered by the wonderful Being. and I occupy my place in the Cathedral. but we understand each other.I put her in among the Royal Family. may arrive in time.the unseen. Why do I secretly give Miss Shepherd twelve Brazil nuts for a present. At home. I say nothing to Miss Shepherd. when he leaves Doctor Strong’s. and what mankind will do to maintain any place against him. by which I can remember how it ran. whose giddy height is unattainable.CHAPTER 18 A RETROSPECT M y school-days! The silent gliding on of my existence . I cannot look upon my book. over several heads. and feel a thrill go up the right arm of my jacket. In the service I mentally insert Miss Shepherd’s name .com   . ‘Oh. When the choristers chaunt. even I. at whose place she thinks David Copperfield I. I have risen in a few months. But the first boy seems to me a mighty creature. But who is this that breaks upon me? This is Miss Shepherd. with a round face and curly flaxen hair. For some time. assembling first at school for that purpose. now a dry channel overgrown with leaves. they are difficult to pack into a parcel of any regular shape.

I am higher in the school. and the butcher and myself stand face to face. young butcher. and oranges innumerable. now. I meet the Misses Nettingalls’ establishment out walking. and having avowed a preference for Master Jones . it is all the same . He names individuals among them (myself included). or where I am. And yet a coolness grows between Miss Shepherd and myself. sometimes I go in at the butcher madly. publicly. or where anybody is. It is a summer evening. knocking about upon the trodden grass. Miss Shepherd comes out of the morning service. Miss Shepherd makes a face as she goes by. I am not at all polite. and shouldn’t dote on any of them. a young publican. and the Royal Family know her no more. I hardly know which is myself and which the butcher. Whispers reach me of Miss Shepherd having said she wished I wouldn’t stare so. The devotion of a life . by two other butchers. He waylays the smaller boys to punch their unprotected heads. to the Misses Nettingalls’ young ladies. without appearing to Free eBooks at Planet eBook.for Jones! a boy of no merit whatever! The gulf between me and Miss Shepherd widens. down in a green hollow.com 01 . bloody but confident. I bestow upon Miss Shepherd. and a sweep. In a moment the butcher lights ten thousand candles out of my left eyebrow. at the corner of a wall. The preliminaries are adjusted. I don’t know where the wall is. the butcher. Ecstasy! What are my agony and indignation next day. In another moment. He is a broad-faced. and the other tied behind him. also. sometimes I see nothing. All is over. bull-necked. I think the dancing-school a tiresome affair. whom he could undertake to settle with one hand. how do I ever come to break with her? I can’t conceive. and calls challenges after me in the open streets. that if they want anything he’ll give it ‘em. Who is this young butcher? He is the terror of the youth of Canterbury. we are always in such a tangle and tussle. that the beef suet with which he anoints his hair gives him unnatural strength. an ill-conditioned mind. if they were twice as many and twenty times as beautiful. seedy biscuits. and laughs to her companion.it seems a life. with rough red cheeks. Dick is wild with joy.to Miss Shepherd. and sit gasping on my second’s knee. one day. and an injurious tongue. I am growing great in Latin verses. and no one breaks my peace. and wonder why the girls can’t dance by themselves and leave us alone. I meet the butcher by appointment. I kiss Miss Shepherd in the cloak-room. Sometimes I see the butcher. and neglect the laces of my boots. Once. and my aunt remits me a guinea by the next post. His main use of this tongue. Mr. There is a vague belief abroad. to disparage Doctor Strong’s young gentlemen. He says.is at an end. like the apparition of an armed head in Macbeth. 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. is. and that he is a match for a man. Doctor Strong refers to me in public as a promising young scholar. For these sufficient reasons I resolve to fight the butcher. Soft. At last. and cut my knuckles open against his face. 00 David Copperfield The shade of a young butcher rises. I am attended by a select body of our boys.

and what comes next! I am the head-boy. I tell her all about the butcher. my counsellor and friend. while she shrinks and trembles at my having fought him. the better angel of the lives of all who come within her calm. and a long-tailed coat. and condoles with me. That little fellow seems to be no part of me. Adams is going to be called to the bar almost directly. with a green shade over my eyes.discompose him at all. dark. which swells immoderately. a ring upon my little finger. My passion for her is beyond all bounds. and in the knowledge I have garnered all this while? I wear a gold watch and chain. with a condescending interest in such of them as bring to my mind the boy I was myself. moves about the house. rather than have actually been . black-eyed. and Agnes . on a visit to Doctor Strong. looks bad. and am rubbed with vinegar and brandy. Agnes has my confidence completely. It is an awful Free eBooks at Planet eBook. a very ill-looking subject. for the youngest Miss Larkins is not that. either. and reads to me. there are not many there. and I have beef-steaks put to my eyes. At last I awake. Wickfield’s. justly. The eldest Miss Larkins is not a chicken. The eldest Miss Larkins knows officers. self-denying influence . For three or four days I remain at home. and the eldest must be three or four years older. the perfect likeness of the picture. through which the warriors of poetry and histo0 David Copperfield ry march on in stately hosts that seem to have no end . a child likeness no more. What other changes have come upon me.which. for it goes on (as well as I can make out) pretty much the same as if he had never joined it. and the wrongs he has heaped upon me. very queer about the head. besides myself. now! I look down on the line of boys below me. nor has he been this many and many a day. good. I am taken home in a sad plight. and I should be very dull. I am surprised to find him a meeker man than I had thought. fine figure of a woman. In her stead. Time has stolen on unobserved. and I use a great deal of bear’s grease . where is she? Gone also. The eldest Miss Larkins is not a little girl. Adams has left the school so long. besides the changes in my growth and looks. as I call her in my thoughts.is quite a woman. when I first came there. who know him. and is to be an advocate.and almost think of him as of someone else. and see the butcher walking off. I remember him as something left behind upon the road of life . A blank. always. She is a tall. as from a giddy sleep. I worship the eldest Miss Larkins. He has not staggered the world yet. and makes the time light and happy. that when he comes back. Am I in love again? I am. from which I augur.as something I have passed.com 0 . but that Agnes is a sister to me. and less imposing in appearance. that the victory is his. and find a great puffy place bursting out on my upper lip. congratulated by the two other butchers and the sweep and publican. and to wear a wig.my sweet sister. taken in conjunction with the ring. she thinks I couldn’t have done otherwise than fight the butcher. for Adams is not the head-boy in the days that are come now. Perhaps the eldest Miss Larkins may be about thirty. And the little girl I saw on that first day at Mr. and putting on his coat as he goes.

wondering which is the eldest Miss Larkins’s chamber (and pitching. can I believe my ears!’ I picture Mr. Mr. for a great ball given at the Larkins’s (the anticipation of three weeks). I go where I am likely to meet him. in a sickly. knowing Mr. on Mr. Larkins’s house in the evening. I see them speaking to her in the street. but not always. and having my boots cleaned over and over again. I repair to the enchanted house. on two or three occasions. is precious to me. my daughter has told me all. then. ‘Oh. officers (I am sorry to see). I regularly take walks outside Mr. and makes me wear my newest silk neckerchief continually. that the assembled crowd would stand appalled. When I dress (the occupation of two hours). and one of his eyes immovable in his head) is fraught with interest to me. and think I could be content to make a figure before Miss Larkins. I picture Miss Larkins sinking her head upon my shoulder. might rear it against her window.com 0 . ‘My dear Copperfield. and perish in the flames. I seem. Larkins (a gruff old gentleman with a double chin. Larkins waiting on me next morning. music. and saying. or is connected with her. I have no relief but in putting on my best clothes. My passion takes away my appetite. I deserve a bow now and then. and blessing us. on looking back. and expire. accompanied by her sister’s bonnet. wishing that a fire would burst out. and Mr. Larkins? Are the young ladies and all the family quite well?’ seems so pointed. Everything that belongs to her. ought to have some compensation. Be happy!’ I picture my aunt relenting. that I blush. I even walk. I shall be one-and-twenty in no time almost. though it cuts me to the heart to see the of0 David Copperfield ficers go in. when her bonnet (she has a bright taste in bonnets) is seen coming down the pavement. I believe . To say ‘How do you do. to be worthier of the eldest Miss Larkins. flowers. Mr. chattering. Youth is no objection. I am happier. and seems to like it. Sometimes brighter visions rise before me. I am a sensible fellow. and saying.thing to bear. where there are lights. Here are twenty thousand pounds. save her in my arms. Say I am seventeen. or to hear them up in the drawing-room. where I know the eldest Miss Larkins will be dancing with the military. dashing through them with a ladder.and modest I am sure. I think continually about my age. Copperfield.I believe. where the eldest Miss Larkins plays the harp. When I can’t meet his daughter. Dick and Doctor Strong being present at the marriage ceremony. and say that seventeen is young for the eldest Miss Larkins. Generally. if there be even-handed justice in the world. For I am generally disinterested in my love. and the eldest Miss Larkins. spoony manner. I mean . I spend a good deal of my own spare time in walking up and down to meet her. that I. go back for something she had left behind. I indulge my fancy with pleasing images. The raging agonies I suffer on the night of the Race Ball. Larkins). I dare say now. round and round the house after the family are gone to bed. Mr. but all this goes on notwithstanding. She laughs and talks. I picture myself taking courage to make a declaration to Miss Larkins. If I can bow to her once in the day (I know her to bow to. I see them cross the way to meet her. Larkins’s instead). a blaze of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. what of that? Besides.

when she comes to me again. Captain Bailey -’ But I do waltz (pretty well. she approaches me . ‘Do you waltz? If not. I waltz with the eldest Miss Larkins! I don’t know where. among whom. when I present myself.beauty.’ The time arrives. until I find myself alone with her in a little room. and if you ever like to come over to our neighbourhood . ‘A flower of yours.’ ‘You’re a bold boy. I 0 David Copperfield give it her. I have been wretched. and says. the eldest Miss Larkins! . Mr. I take her sternly from the side of Captain Bailey. Chestle warmly. and then into my breast. and the waltz. and feasted my eyes upon the goddess of my heart. as it happens). but he is nothing to me. resting on a sofa.and take a run about our place. but I am a pretty large grower myself. and I put it to my lips. I think I am in a happy dream. not displeased. and waltz in imagination. ‘I should have no pleasure in dancing with anyone else.’ I feel at once that he is a friend of the family.’ Miss Larkins doubtfully observes. sir. and I take Miss Larkins out. with blue flowers in her hair . laughing. in my button-hole. It is the first really grown-up party that I have ever been invited to. and shake hands. with a bow.’ I am lost in the recollection of this delicious interview. Miss Larkins. For Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Copperfield. ‘Now take me back to Captain Bailey. and am much gratified. Chestle wants to know you. as I have not come there to be insulted.’ ‘With no one else?’ inquires Miss Larkins. ‘I admire your taste. and say: ‘I ask an inestimable price for it. draws her hand through my arm. upon her arm. -we shall be glad for you to stop as long as you like. with a plain elderly gentleman who has been playing whist all night. I only know that I swim about in space. I waltz with the eldest Miss Larkins once again. except Mr. too. ‘Next time but one.forget-me-nots .as if SHE had any need to wear forget-menots. for I appear not to belong to anybody. I have no doubt.’ says Mr. and I am a little uncomfortable. I think. that I may treasure it as a miser does gold. or how long. and says.she.’ She gives it me.’ I thank Mr. Chestle.’ ‘Indeed! What is that?’ returns Miss Larkins. which he needn’t do. ‘With you.neighbourhood of Ashford . all night long. She admires a flower (pink camellia japonica. He is wretched. in a state of blissful delirium. and says: ‘Oh! here is my bold friend! Mr. too. Miss Larkins. price half-a-crown). who asks me how my schoolfellows are.com 0 . with a blue angel. and nobody appears to have anything to say to me. with my arm round the blue waist of my dear divinity. She is dressed in blue. But after I have stood in the doorway for some time. ‘There. I shall be very glad.and asks me pleasantly. She says I waltz so well! I go home in a state of unspeakable bliss. ‘It is a waltz. if I dance? I stammer. Larkins.’ Miss Larkins laughs and blushes (or I think she blushes). I suppose you don’t take much interest in hops. Miss Larkins. ‘It does you credit.’ says Miss Larkins.

I was glad. ‘No. ‘Trotwood. go out with the butcher. when my school-days drew to an end.’ ‘To .some days afterwards. a hop-grower. and the wonderful effects he could not fail to make upon society. nor when I call. CHAPTER 19 I LOOK ABOUT ME. to no Captain. I try in vain to recall how I felt about it. AND MAKE A DISCOVERY I am doubtful whether I was at heart glad or sorry. This.com 0 0 David Copperfield . and the time came for my leaving Doctor Strong’s. one day after dinner. Chestle. For these reasons I was sorry to go. but it is not momentous in my recollection. and having received new provocation from the butcher. Papa? . that other separations have. lured me away. the perished flower. and what its circumstances were. rather tired of this kind of life. I take off my ring. I suppose the opening prospect confused me. I had a great attachment for the Doctor. now.’ says Agnes. I had been very happy there. of the wonderful things to be seen and done by that magnificent animal. ‘Do you hear him. that I seem. Agnes?’ ‘Not me!’ raising her cheerful face from the music she is copying. in my progress to seventeen. are the last marks I can discern. I throw the flower away. Being.’ ‘Not you. and the resumption of my ring. by that time. according to my present way of thinking. I know that my juvenile Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and gloriously defeat him. The separation has not made the impression on me. I am imperfectly consoled for this disappointment by the sacred pledge. to have left school without natural regret.The eldest Miss Larkins. unsubstantial enough.’ I am terribly dejected for about a week or two. ‘Who do you think is going to be married tomorrow? Someone you admire. I wear my worst clothes. Misty ideas of being a young man at my own disposal. To Mr. but I neither see her in the street.to Captain Bailey?’ I have just enough power to ask. I am lost in rapturous reflections. So powerful were these visionary considerations in my boyish mind. and I frequently lament over the late Miss Larkins’s faded flower. as well as of the bear’s grease in moderation. but for other reasons. and I was eminent and distinguished in that little world. I use no bear’s grease. I suppose. of the importance attaching to a young man at his own disposal.

’ ‘It’s a mercy that poor dear baby of a mother of yours didn’t live. and see that . and as we must not make a mistake in our decision if we can help it. ‘would have been as natural and rational a girl as ever breathed. whatever it might be. and a glimpse of life out of doors. aunt.’ ‘I hope so. aunt. he suddenly proposed that I should be ‘a Brazier’. taken the command of a fast-sailing expedition. if there was anything of it left to turn. for she could never thoroughly forgive Peggotty for being so called. you must try to 10 David Copperfield look at it from a new point of view. In the meanwhile. and on that occasion (I don’t know what put it in his head). ‘Trot. that I could discover.’ said my aunt.’ (My aunt always excused any weakness of her own in my behalf. and form a cooler judgement. which I was just about to begin to read. than anything else. looking at me approvingly.’ ‘I will. for anything. ‘that’s lucky. but ever afterwards confined himself to looking watchfully at her for her suggestions. I think we had better take a little breathing-time. my desire was to apply myself to some pursuit that would not lie too heavily upon her purse. Betsey Trotwood. may be useful in helping you to know your own mind. and that life was more like a great fairy story. that he never ventured on a second.’ said my aunt. aunt. will always be natural and rational. for instance. and to do my duty in it.com 11 . by transferring it in this way to my poor mother. I think I might have considered myself completely suited. He never made a suggestion but once. in the absence of any such miraculous provision. For a year or more I had endeavoured to find a satisfactory answer to her oftenrepeated question.experiences went for little or nothing then. That will be enough for me. that her soft little head would have been completely turned.’ said my aunt. my dear. for I should like it too. And I am very well persuaded that whatever you do. and gone round the world on a triumphant voyage of discovery. Suppose you were to go down into the old part of the country again.) ‘Bless me.’ ‘Your sister. rubbing her nose.’ said my aunt. But it’s natural and rational that you should like it. I tell you what. Dick had regularly assisted at our councils. Trotwood.’ ‘It has occurred to me. how you do remind me of her!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I should like it best!’ ‘Well. with a meditative and sage demeanour. and rattling his money. Mr. My aunt received this proposal so very ungraciously. Trot.that out-ofthe-way woman with the savagest of names. won’t you?’ ‘I hope I shall be worthy of YOU. ‘or she’d have been so vain of her boy by this time. You’ll be worthy of her. ‘What I would like to be?’ But I had no particular liking. ‘that a little change. ‘Of all things in the world. aunt. But.’ said my aunt.’ pursued my aunt. and not as a schoolboy. MY aunt and I had held many grave deliberations on the calling to which I should be devoted. one morning in the Christmas season when I left school: ‘as this knotty point is still unsettled. If I could have been inspired with a knowledge of the science of navigation.

restored the sunshine to his face.’ said I. and clenching her hand. With character.’ said my aunt.it really must be done immediately! And then it will go in. with a will of your own.’ said my aunt. and tenderly dismissed upon my expedition. Dick.’ she anFree eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said my aunt.com 1 . she would recommend me to stay a few days in London. ‘. spoils me. alone. A fine firm fellow. or by anything. Dick. but. Dick.I don’t mean physically. for there’s no head in my right hand. as she was that afternoon before she began to fret . Trotwood.’ ‘Everyone who knows me. after checking himself.’ resumed my aunt. but morally.and then -’ said Mr. looked a little disappointed. At parting. and pausing a long time. ‘He’s as like her. Trot. and no other conditions were imposed upon my freedom than the before-mentioned thinking and looking about me. ‘He is very like David!’ said Mr. too. and no heart. Trot . in a hurry. for three weeks or a month. Though that’s not saying much. ‘I intend.with strength of character that is not to be influenced. and said that as her object was that I should look about me. Wickfield (my old room in whose house I had not yet relinquished). aunt?’ said I. you are very well physically . consults with you. to get that done immediately . and a pledge to write three times a week and faithfully report myself. In a word. when I miss you. ‘But what I want you to be. if I liked it. Agnes was very glad to see me. ‘I shall send you upon your trip.’ said my aunt. ‘With determination.’ said my aunt. ‘I am sure I am not like myself when I am away.is. once.bless my heart. Dick. Dick. With resolution. That’s what your father and mother might both have been. except on good reason. ‘there’ll be a pretty kettle of fish!’ In pursuance of my aunt’s kind scheme. and a portmanteau. and also of the good Doctor. Everyone who knows you. to have a reliance upon yourself. on second thoughts. and should think a little. and to act for yourself. and been the better for it. by anybody. in a small way. shaking her cap at me. my aunt gave me some good advice. until the honour and dignity of having to take care of the most wonderful woman in the world. either on my way down into Suffolk.’ I intimated that I hoped I should be what she described. or in coming back. I shall keep him to take care of me. of Mr. I hope. Heaven knows. I was at liberty to do what I would. decisively. Dick. as he can look at me out of his two eyes!’ ‘Is he indeed?’ said Mr. ‘Besides. ‘I seem to want my right hand. Agnes. you know . I believe. and is guided by you. and a good many kisses. Dick’s going with you. I was shortly afterwards fitted out with a handsome purse of money. ‘he’s as like her. a firm fellow. That’s what I want you to be. for a moment. that I might take leave of Agnes and Mr.’ Mr. ‘there’s the Memorial -’ 1 David Copperfield ‘Oh. emphatically. I went to Canterbury first. ‘And he’s like David. certainly.’ said Mr.‘Pleasantly. I did think. ‘That you may begin. and told me that the house had not been like itself since I had left it. he’s as like her.

I must have shown as much. in a low voice. I think.’ ‘You talk. begun as mere children.’ said Agnes. ‘Times are altering now. In the time to come. ‘I think . Have you observed any gradual alteration in Papa?’ I had observed it.or I fancy so. must rise up. for her eyes were in a moment cast down. that next day he is Free eBooks at Planet eBook. smiling. seems to make him so uneasy. not without being a little shame-faced.’ 1 David Copperfield We had gone on. said: ‘Trotwood. now suddenly lifting up her eyes to mine. ‘you would have let me find it out for myself. I assure you.’ ‘It is not fancy.’ said Agnes. or of having shown his condition in spite of himself. and more worthy altogether than anyone I have ever seen here.’ Agnes laughed again. that you are not in earnest yourself. ‘Tell me what it is. breaking into a pleasant laugh. But Agnes. laughing in my turn. if you’ll let me . I have remarked that at those times. as she sat at work. and that I may not have another opportunity of asking for a long time.’ I answered. before I give my consent. ‘No.something I would ask. it’s because you are like no one else. Someone of a nobler character. and the sense of being unfit for it.’ ‘Come! It’s not fair to abuse my confidence. ‘Oh! that was as a child. ‘I think he does himself no good by the habit that has increased upon him since I first came here.even when I come to fall in love in earnest. and I saw tears in them. you have always been in earnest!’ said Agnes.swered.com 1 . in a mixture of confidential jest and earnest. and speaking in a different manner.’ she said. of no one else.for I saw a faint blush in her face. he is most certain to be wanted on some business. just the same. and shall exact a great deal from the successful one. now. shaking her head. I shall always tell you. He is often very nervous . and I suppose I shall be in a terrible state of earnestness one day or other. Or at least’ .’ said Agnes. Whenever I fall into trouble. and so sweet-tempered. or of not having understood it. and shook her head. or a schoolboy. I know you are not!’ said I. You are so good. and his eyes look wild. ‘as if I were the late Miss Larkins. there is something that I want to ask you. by this time. that had long grown naturally out of our familiar relations. Agnes. liking him so much?’ ‘Yes. reddening at the recollection of my blue enslaver.’ said I. and when he is least like himself. and you are always right.’ ‘By Uriah. and had often wondered whether she had too. ‘Oh.shall I be quite plain. who deserves to love you. perhaps .’ ‘Why. in my face. I shall have a wary eye on all admirers.’ she said. so far. his speech is not plain. You have such a gentle nature. laughing again. ‘Yes. ‘But I shall confide in you. But there is no one that I know of. Agnes. I can never grow out of that. ‘His hand trembles. ‘because if you had been you would have told me. Agnes. or fall in love. Agnes. My wonder is.

I shall relinquish all my young people in another six months.’ said the Doctor.I am in earnest at last . they tell me. Jack Maldon!’ said the Doctor. lay down his head upon his desk. as if something were suggested to his thoughts.not what can be called ROBUST. and his young wife. ‘I am getting lazy. on a sand-heap. you know. she seemed to me to avoid his look with such unwonted hesitation and timidity. ‘There is a post come in from India. and round the study fireside found the Doctor.so you’ll soon have to arrange our contracts. ‘I shall not see many more new faces in Trotwood’s stead. in any contract you should make for yourself. after a short silence. shaking her head.’ returned the Doctor. that he ventured on so boldly. Agnes. underneath a burning-glass! He looked strong. and there was such a fervent appeal to me to deal tenderly by him. I observe. in my calling. Annie. My dear Doctor. like a couple of knaves. There are worse tasks than that. in her beautiful look. and to bind us firmly to them. Wickfield glanced towards her.com 1 . yet so compassionate and sorry. she was. I am sure you must perfectly recollect that your cousin never was strong .’ ‘And to take care. and called for a log of wood to be thrown on the fire. Wickfield. The Doctor. only the other evening. ‘That trying climate! .’ said Mr. 1 David Copperfield Wickfield answered. We went there at the usual hour. with a smile. and gratitude to him for all his love and care.like living. but in this state I saw him. with emphasis. ‘But now I mean to do it. Markleham. not his constitution. Wickfield. that his attention became fixed upon her.’ he said. ‘By the by! and letters from Mr. and to let no harsh construction find any place against him. ‘that you’re not imposed on. any time these ten years.’ said the Doctor. I felt to be very touching. sitting at the tea table by Agnes.’ ‘You have said so.’ ‘I shall have nothing to think of then. and shed tears like a child. or moved me more. so proud of him and devoted to him. and so he becomes jaded and haggard. Markleham. and was hanging on his shoulder. that he might see the face of his old pupil reddening in the blaze. but he wasn’t. and looking round Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and this other contractbargain . ‘My first master will succeed me . Well! I am ready. at once. and her mother.’ Mr. my dear. warming his hands. it was his spirit. as they both looked towards me. Doctor.’ said Mrs. and in a moment she had met her father at the door of the room. eh? As you certainly would be.’ As Mr.Annie. and next day worse. The expression of her face. too. Do not be alarmed by what I say.worse. ‘but my Dictionary. We were to drink tea at the Doctor’s. who made as much of my going away as if I were going to China. There was such deep fondness for him. and so reliant upon me to be so. and lead a quieter life. and want ease. that nothing she could have said would have expressed more to me. received me as an honoured guest. even in my inmost thoughts. ‘Indeed!’ ‘Poor dear Jack!’ said Mrs.’ Her hand passed softly before my lips while I was yet speaking.

‘and I know he’ll die there. And if he can’t live there. sooner than he’ll overturn the Doctor’s plans. two-andthirty. he gave up altogether.’ said the Doctor. ma’am. thus addressed. stroking his face. on her old playfellow. fanning herself.’ Annie. and every kind of thing you can mention. ‘He has had dreadful strokes of the sun. and I can overturn them myself. he must not be allowed to go back. ‘that.’ said the Old Soldier resignedly. Markleham. ‘Ill!’ replied the Old Soldier. After which she gently chid her daughter Annie. sixteen. ‘My dear sir. ‘Say? My dear sir. ‘you little know my poor Jack Maldon when you ask that question. ‘I am not bigoted to my plans. he’s all sorts of things. ‘That is to say. I know him. ‘Except well. I need not say.’ returned Mrs. and 1 David Copperfield looking penitently at his adviser. whom it was desirable to set on their deserving legs. for her sake. Maldon is ill?’ asked Mr.’ returned her mother.why should I confine myself to four! I WON’T confine myself to four . everything was done for the kindest and best. I was the means of sending him abroad.’ ‘Oh! Responsibility!’ said the Old Soldier. our joint plans for him. You might drag him at the heels of four wild horses first. he can’t live there. my dear. Jack Maldon comes home on account of ill health.from the time when my daughter and himself were children together. no doubt. well. Markleham was so overcome by this generous speech .’ said the Doctor cheerfully. abroad or at home. ‘abroad. ‘Do I gather from what you say. my dear Mr. in a sort of calm prophetic agony. I must really beg that you will not interfere with me. ‘once for all.com 1 . and walking about. for not being more demonstrative when such kindnesses were showered. made no reply.’ ‘Well. ‘Annie. Wickfield gravely. I said myself. sooner than he’ll overturn the Doctor’s plans. indeed!’ said the Old Soldier.’ ‘Except well?’ said Mr. As to his liver. Wickfield. rather than say anything calculated to overturn the Doctor’s plans. the livelong day. shaking her head and her fan. You know as well as I do that your cousin Maldon would be dragged at the heels of any number of wild horses . ma’am. But if the dear fellow can’t live there. Wickfield.which. ‘Everything was done for the best. that Mr. he’ll die there.eight.’ ‘And I said’ added Mr. we know. and then tapping his hand with it. when he first went out!’ ‘Does he say all this?’ asked Mr. and go several times through that operation of kissing the sticks of her fan.that she could only tell the Doctor it was like himself. Wickfield. Wickfield. ‘. and we must endeavour to make some more suitable and fortunate provision for him in this country. unless it is to confirm what I say. she had not at all expected or led up to . Free eBooks at Planet eBook. If Mr. arm-inarm.upon us generally. Say? Not he.’ Mrs. of course.’ ‘Wickfield’s plans. and jungle fevers and agues. It’s my responsibility.’ ‘Mama!’ said Mrs. Strong.’ said the Old Soldier. I can substitute some other plans. and entertained us with some particulars concerning other deserving members of her family.

her daughter Annie never once spoke. ‘You may not be surprised to hear. ‘Now I have found it. The Doctor was very fond of music. and refolding the letter.All this time. and played duets together. and so did Mrs. as to have decided to leave it at all hazards.’ That’s pretty plain. that Mr. ‘The remembrance of old 0 David Copperfield times. ‘Now let us see. show me that letter again. trembled. but sat severely silent. as to be quite absorbed.‘I am sorry to inform you that my health is suffering severely. with a thoughtful frown. It appeared to me that he never thought of being observed by anyone. but was so intent upon her.‘that I have undergone so much in this distant place. We never should have heard of the letter at all. ‘My dear.’ Mr.no. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Long after the subject was dismissed.’ said Mrs.com 1 . and as I handed it to the old lady. who was looking at us in a state of placid satisfaction. or both. secondly. on total resignation.who’s he? Dear me. ‘the dear fellow says to the Doctor himself .’ she pleaded in a low tone. that though Annie soon recovered her composure. Annie. seldom raising his eyes.’ And but for the promptitude of that best of creatures. and do endure here. is insupportable. here. Mr. Strong. Annie. on some subjects. mama. and that I fear I may be reduced to the necessity of returning home for a time. poor fellow! His only hope of restoration! But Annie’s letter is plainer still. Do you call that confidence.it’s not there.’ of course.’ returned her mother. Wickfield had his glance upon her as she sat by his own daughter’s side. Markleham. what did I say just now? . Markleham. What I have endured. to be sure. and how stupid I am! ‘Doctor. Wickfield which separated them wholly from each other. upon the Doctor.where is it? Oh! . if that is not to be obtained. But I remarked two things: first. Jack Maldon had actually written in reference to himself. You ought to know better. I saw how the unwilling hand from which I took it. ‘and perhaps the most unnatural to the claims of your own family. Ah! amiable indeed!’ Here she left off. He now asked what Mr. with his eyes fixed on the ground. one of the most ridiculous persons in the world. Annie. my dearest Annie’ . you absolutely are. there was a blank between her and Mr.and so forth .’ The letter was reluctantly produced. and other topics occupied us. how illegibly your cousin Maldon writes. I believe. and upon his own thoughts in connexion with her. knowing that he never was really strong. Agnes sang with great sweetness and expression. and to whom he had written? ‘Why. ‘where the passage is. taking a letter from the chimney-piece above the Doctor’s head. unless I had asked for it myself.’ said Mrs. on sick leave. if I can. to kiss her fan again. Markleham. and we had quite a little concert.’ ‘Not now. ‘The amiable old Proctor’ . as the only hope of restoration. and was quite herself. unless to rest them for a moment. putting her glass to her eye. Wickfield said not one word. telegraphing the Doctor as before. he remained so. They sang together. towards Doctor Strong? I am surprised. and shake it at the Doctor. ‘it would be insupportable to me to think of. my love. though the old lady looked to him as if for his commentary on this intelligence. All this time.’ said Mrs.’ . or lifted up her eyes. or his wife.

any more.Wickfield seemed to dislike the intimacy between her and Agnes. which remained shut up in themselves a hundred years together. and of the trim smooth grass-plot. his appearance was so little improved by the loss of a front tooth which I had knocked out. The reverence that I had for his grey head. I had no pleasure in thinking. and with resentment against those who injured him. It was as if the tranquil sanctuary of my boyhood had been sacked before my face. and the congenial sound of the Cathedral bell hovering above them all. and to trouble me. I mistrusted the natural grace and charm of her manner. It closed in an incident which I well remember. suspicions arose within me that it was an ill-assorted friendship. and the stone urns. and that occupied my mind sufficiently. and thought how good and true Agnes was. going through the town. and moreover. was mingled with commiseration for his faith in those who were treacherous to him. They were taking leave of each other. with an indifferent show of being very manly. however. The innocent beauty of her face was not as innocent to me as it had been. I should be there again soon. I cannot say what an impression this made upon me. But he looked such a very obdurate butcher as he stood scraping the great block in the shop. and throw him five shillings to drink.in my old room. and did it a cruel wrong. and its peace and honour given to the winds. and I were still standing in the doorway on the night of the departure. and a great disgrace that had no distinct form in it yet. or how impossible I found it. as though all the intervening time had been cancelled. and the Doctor’s walk. and took my seat upon the box of the London coach. but the days of my inhabiting there were gone. as if by accident. I seemed to have left the Doctor’s roof with a dark cloud lowering on it. that I thought it best Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Then I saw. It haunted me when I got home. and drew Agnes quickly away. She was so happy in it herself. Wickfield stepped between them. and remember her face in its innocent loveliness again. when I thought of her afterwards. which Agnes had filled with her influence. I must confess. than I cared to show to Uriah Heep. the recollection of what I had seen on that night when Mr. And now. and Agnes was going to embrace her and kiss her. the expression of that night in the face of Mrs. and the other was so happy too. The impending shadow of a great afflic David Copperfield tion. as it confronted his. that they made the evening fly away as if it were but an hour. to separate her from this look. I was heavier at heart when I packed up such of my books and clothes as still remained there to be sent to Dover.perhaps often .com  . who was so officious to help me. somehow. that I uncharitably thought him mighty glad that I was going. and the old time was past. that I had half a mind to nod to my old enemy the butcher. fell like a stain upon the quiet place where I had worked and played as a boy. and when I looked at Agnes by her side. first began to return upon me with a meaning it had never had. when Mr. I got away from Agnes and her father. and to watch it with uneasiness. I might sleep again . no doubt. Strong. of the grave old broad-leaved aloetrees. But morning brought with it my parting from the old house. I was so softened and forgiving. Maldon went away.

is worth his weight in gold.’ said William. I’ll pound it. ‘whether I shall take a shot or not. and a prominent chin.’ ‘I’m told the dumplings is uncommon fine down there. ‘There’s cattle! A Suffolk Punch. but I felt complimented. He knew as well as I did that it was just as likely.’ ‘Here’s a gen’lm’n behind me. I remember. he leered at the leaders with the eye with which he didn’t squint. and to speak extremely gruff.’ ‘Birds is got wery shy. and to evince a familiarity with them.’ said William.to make no advances. and whose close-fitting drab trousers seemed to button all the way up outside his legs from his boots to his hips. condescendingly (I knew him). They’re wittles and drink to me .’ I said. sir?’ ‘N-no.com  . Orses and dorgs is some men’s fancy. ‘Well. ‘You are going through.snuff. ‘Ain’t you?’ asked William. wife. I was not aware of it myself.  David Copperfield Did you ever breed any Suffolk Punches yourself.’ said I. ‘I think it would be more correct. and as I looked at him. so near to me. ‘So I understand. ‘Is Suffolk your county. sir?’ said the coachman. and sleep. in a very knowing manner. is it though?’ said William in my ear. that his breath quite tickled the back of my head.reading. sir?’ said the coachman. ‘There ain’t no sort of orse that I ain’t bred.’ ‘That ain’t a sort of man to see sitting behind a coachbox. too. The main object on my mind. The latter point I achieved at great personal inconvenience.’ said William. because I felt it was a grown-up sort of thing. writing.’ I said. with some importance. sir. William. if you don’t mind.’ I have always considered this as the first fall I had in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘not exactly. but I stuck to it. but I felt it necessary to uphold the institutions of my county. I was going down there whaling. pretending to be undecided. His chin was cocked over the coachman’s shoulder. I construed this remark into an indication of a wish that he should have my place.’ The gentleman spoken of was a gentleman with a very unpromising squint. I’m told. and children . when we got fairly on the road. sir?’ asked William. was to appear as old as possible to the coachman.’ I said. as much as to say. ‘I don’t know. ‘Yes. tobacker.’ ‘Shooting.’ said the gentleman. ‘Yes. ‘Bred them Suffolk Punches by wholesale?’ ‘I should think so. who had a tall white hat on with a narrow flat brim. when he’s a good un. and Arithmetic . so I blushingly offered to resign it. at that time of year.’ said William. ‘Suffolk’s my county. I shall go down into Suffolk afterwards. ‘Ain’t I what?’ said the gentleman behind. ‘I am going to London. as he handled the reins.lodging.’ I said. so I shook my head. ‘as has bred ‘em by wholesale. and no sort of dorg.’ said William. ‘I believe you!’ ‘And the Punches.

‘what would you like for dinner? Young gentlemen likes poultry in general: have a fowl!’ I told him. nevertheless. I had abundant occupation for my thoughts. which has often beset me in life on small occasions. and saw that well-remembered style of face turned up. for lawful permission to get down and thrash him. in passing. ‘Young gentlemen generally has been overdosed with taters. It was in vain to take refuge in gruffness of speech. in the very first stage. well dressed. ‘Well now. but I felt completely extinguished. It was curious and interesting. A waiter showed me into the coffee-room. to be sitting up there behind four horses: well educated. as majestically as I could. ‘Young gentlemen is generally tired of beef and mutton: have a weal cutlet!’ I assented to this proposal. in a tone of confidence. of the lane where the old monster lived who had bought my jacket. that I wasn’t in the humour for a fowl. for nobody stood in any awe of me at all: the chambermaid being utterly indifferent to my opinions on any subject. which smelt like a hackney-coach. I was still painfully conscious of my youth. in default of being able to suggest anything else.’ I commanded him. and his head on one side. when it would have been better away. I was got up in a special great-coat and shawl. with an insinuating smile. in the sun and in the shade. I was supplanted by a shabby man with a squint. ‘Do you care for taters?’ said the waiter. When I booked my place at the coach office I had had ‘Box Seat’ written against the entry. and dreadfully young. and being able to walk across me. I would have given all I had. who had no other merit than smelling like a livery-stables. And here. was assuredly not stopped in its growth by this little incident outside the Canterbury coach. more like a fly than a human being. and a chambermaid introduced me to my small bedchamber. in my deepest voice. and the waiter being familiar with me. and let all the boys out like so many caged sparrows. and with plenty of money in my pocket. When we clattered through the narrow street of Chatham. and passed the veritable Salem House where Mr. I felt as if the tinker’s blackened hand were in the bosom of my shirt again. I spoke from the pit of my stomach for the rest of the journey. We went to the Golden Cross at Charing Cross.life. expressly to do honour to that distinguished eminence. then a mouldy sort of establishment in a close neighbourhood. and offering advice to my inexperience. in every conspicuous landmark on the road. to order a veal Free eBooks at Planet eBook. had glorified myself upon it a good deal. and had felt that I was a credit to the coach. When we came. and to look out for the places where I had slept on my weary journey. within a stage of London. I stretched my neck eagerly to  David Copperfield look for the place where I had sat. and I caught a glimpse. waiting for my money. and had given the bookkeeper half-a-crown.com  . ‘Ain’t you?’ said the waiter.’ said the waiter. while the horses were at a canter! A distrust of myself. Creakle had laid about him with a heavy hand. and was shut up like a family vault. When I looked down at the trampers whom we passed. at last.

was a most novel and delightful effect.and my still sitting. muddy. while I was reading the newspaper.’thought it a favourable opportunity.for it was. than were to be expected in a foreign wine in anything like a pure state.com  . like a shining transparency. I saw Julius Caesar and the new Pantomime. I thought it flat. I sat revolving it still. miserable world. In going towards Free eBooks at Planet eBook. While he was so engaged. But the mingled reality and mystery of the whole show. 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 observed him behind a low wooden partition. and on my replying ‘Half a pint of sherry. splashing. I resolved to go to the play. umbrella-struggling. too. he asked me what I would take with it. because. and it certainly had more English crumbs in it. and to inquire at the bar if there were any letters for Trotwood Copperfield. the company. and putting them through all kinds of contortions in his small pantry. and stood in the street for a little while. with my eyes on the coffee-room fire. It was Covent Garden Theatre that I chose. at past one o’clock. and couldn’t be. over the coffee-room fire. I am of this opinion. link-lighted. instead of being the stern taskmasters they had been at school. who had got the fidgets in his legs. to a bawling. and hitting them. that when I came out into the rainy street. the lights. At last I rose to go to bed. the smooth stupendous changes of glittering and brilliant scenery. Esquire . But I recollect being conscious of his company without having noticed his coming in . and there. hackney-coach-jostling. 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. after some porter and oysters. I felt as if I had come from the clouds.  David Copperfield the music. at twelve o’clock at night. I had emerged by another door. and say nothing. like a chemist and druggist making up a prescription. I am afraid. which was his private apartment. musing. and where. To have all those noble Romans alive before me. the influence upon me of the poetry. and opened up such illimitable regions of delight. much to the relief of the sleepy waiter. patten-clinking. where I had been leading a romantic life for ages. but thought it manly to appear to expect. revolving the glorious vision all the way. and walking in and out for my entertainment.cutlet and potatoes.which I knew there were not. became a real presence to me. in a manner. were so dazzling. and put me in the road back to the hotel. When the wine came.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. to extract that measure of wine from the stale leavings at the bottoms of several small decanters. but I was bashful enough to drink it. and with the past . as if I really were a stranger upon earth: but the unceremonious pushing and hustling that I received. and was twisting them. very busy pouring out of a number of those vessels into one. soon recalled me to myself. I was so filled with the play. from the back of a centre box. and all things fitting. through which I saw my earlier life moving along . whither I went.

I could have held him round the neck and cried.’ I said. ‘My dear young Davy. I passed the person who had come in. just what you used to be. ‘that is to say. He did not know me. came back. Holloa. shaking my hands heartily. and might have lost him. you sir!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said I. too!’ he said. and the roads being in a beastly condition. don’t be overpowered!’ And yet he was glad. ‘Why. too.just as he used to look. and our house tedious enough. and could not let them go. at sunrise. too. How do YOU come to be here. ‘You don’t remember me. and have just finished my education there. and might have put it off until next day. I have been adopted by an aunt down in that part of the country. ‘Why. What a delightful and magnificent entertainment. Copperfield. I turned directly. old boy. and saw him plainly. and there never was a more miserable business. side by side. ‘you are a very Daisy. ‘My God!’ he suddenly exclaimed. ‘I came here by the Canterbury coach. that I went up to him at once. with a fast-beating heart. Steerforth!’ Steerforth laughed heartily.com 1 . ‘but you are more easily remembered. in the then condition of my mind. clapping me on the shoulder again. is not fresher than you are.and I am on my way now to my mother’s. I am what they call an Oxford man.’ he said. Steerforth?’ ‘Well. My mother lives a little way out of town. Copperfield. I am afraid. The daisy of the field. now I look at you! Not altered in the least!’ ‘I knew you immediately. I have not been in town half-adozen hours. But. and my old love for him overflowed my breast so freshly and spontaneously.’ ‘I have been at the play. ‘It’s little Copperfield!’ I grasped him by both hands. too. clap0 David Copperfield ping me on the shoulder. periodically . I am on an expedition of duty. where the play was still running high. and we sat down together. ‘I never. to see how the delight I had in meeting him affected me.’ said I.’ he returned. today. how do you come to be here?’ said Steerforth. I brushed away the tears that my utmost resolution had not been able to keep back. and said gaily: ‘Yes. I have been at Covent Garden. I remained here tonight instead of going on.the door. I thought. ‘At Covent Garden. and looked again. I get bored to death down there. You’re a devilish amiable-looking fellow. never was so glad! My dear Steerforth. and those I have been dozing and grumbling away at the play. I am so overjoyed to see you!’ ‘And I am rejoiced to see you. sometimes -but I saw no recognition in his face. but I knew him in a moment. At another time I might have wanted the confidence or the decision to speak to him. his former protection of me appeared so deserving of my gratitude. But for very shame.’ He laughed as he ran his hand through the clustering curls of his hair. and said: ‘Steerforth! won’t you speak to me?’ He looked at me . never. and the fear that it might displease him. and I made a clumsy laugh of it.

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

and stay a day or two. ‘I should like to hear what you are doing. as I may say. has a claim on her that is sure to be acknowledged. smiling.’ said I. red-curtained and Turkey-carpeted. We will go Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in sackcloth and ashes. the breakfast. and whither it tended. It was not in the coffee-room that I found Steerforth expecting me. of being younger than I could have wished. and gave me. ‘come home with me to Highgate. but. stood peeping out of window at King Charles on horseback.com   . The suspicion that she laughed too.’ ‘Then I think I shall be a favourite. I was conscious. when we were alone. ‘Oh!’ said Steerforth. the fire. and a cheerful miniature of the room. Copperfield. under the ignoble circumstances of the case.’ said Steerforth. I felt severely the having no occasion for it. and a fine hot breakfast was set forth on a table covered with a David Copperfield clean cloth. and all about you. and made me quite at home. I was so sensitively aware. and informed me that my shaving-water was outside. but his easy patronage soon put that to rights. and blushed in my bed. ‘Good!’ said Steerforth. where the fire burnt bright. As to the waiter’s familiarity. hearing her there with a broom. as you are kind enough to say you are. He attended on us. that for some time I could not make up my mind to pass her at all. Steerforth being so self-possessed. indeed. then.’ ‘I should like to be as sure of that. but in a snug private apartment. ‘everyone who likes me.’ Glowing with pleasure to find that he had still this interest in me. was shining in the little round mirror over the sideboard.and she will be pleased with you.’ I answered. and elegant. and looking anything but regal in a drizzling rain and a darkbrown fog. with this morning’s comfort and this morning’s entertainment.’ said Steerforth.CHAPTER 20 STEERFORTH’S HOME W hen the chambermaid tapped at my door at eight o’clock. preyed upon my mind all the time I was dressing. I was rather bashful at first. I told him how my aunt had proposed the little expedition that I had before me. surrounded by a maze of hackney-coaches. You will be pleased with my mother . and where you are going. a sneaking and guilty air when I passed her on the staircase. Steerforth. but that you can forgive her .she is a little vain and prosy about me. until I was admonished by the waiter that the gentleman was waiting for me. or compare the dull forlorn state I had held yesterday. ‘As you are in no hurry. I could not enough admire the change he had wrought in the Golden Cross. I feel as if you were my property. and superior to me in all respects (age included). it was quenched as if it had never been. as I was going down to breakfast. and all. ‘Now. ‘Come and prove it. when she said it.

that a parcel of heavyheaded fellows may gape and hold up their hands? Let them do it at some other man. and not agreeable to look at. laughing. of a slight short figure. From the windows of my room I saw all London lying in the distance like a great vapour. though not very far advanced in years.’ I could hardly believe but that I was in a dream. on an infinite variety of subjects.com  . very quiet and orderly. perhaps Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and they will have good reason to be proud of you. we went out in a hackney-chariot. when I was called to dinner. To this lady he presented me as his mother.and then we’ll journey out to Highgate by the coach. laughing still more heartily: ‘why should I trouble myself. was in the doorway as we alighted. and some pictures in crayons of ladies with powdered hair and bodices. I find that I am heavy company enough for myself as I am. It was a genteel old-fashioned house. to glance at the solid furniture. for Steerforth could always pass from one subject to another with a carelessness and lightness that were his own. Fortunately it was not difficult to do. by Steerforth’s mother when she was a girl). Steerforth. with a proud carriage and a handsome face. and took a walk through the Museum. ‘I have not the least desire or intention to distinguish myself in that way. ‘That’s a good fellow! My dear Daisy. and of how little account he seemed to make his knowledge. and she gave me a stately welcome. dark. who attracted my attention: perhaps because I had not expected to see her. and the short winter day wore away so fast.’ said Steerforth. ‘if you have not done so already.and see the lions for an hour or two .’ ‘I take a degree!’ cried Steerforth. An elderly lady. and my acceptance of his invitation. to the solitary box in the coffee-room and the familiar waiter again. and that I should wake presently in number forty-four.’ said I. as the newly-kindled fire crackled and sputtered. ‘You romantic Daisy!’ said Steerforth.will you mind my calling you Daisy?’ ‘Not at all!’ said I. with here and there some lights twinkling through it.’ folded him in her arms. Lunch succeeded to our sight-seeing. where I could not help observing how much Steerforth knew. and was glad to change the subject. ‘You’ll take a high degree at college. that it was dusk when the stagecoach stopped with us at an old brick house at Highgate on the summit of the hill. I supposed. There’s fame for him.it’s something to have a fresh fellow like you to show them to. and he’s wel David Copperfield come to it. I had only time. I have done quite sufficient for my purpose. Copperfield . and greeting Steerforth as ‘My dearest James. There was a second lady in the dining-room. ‘Not I! my dear Daisy .’ ‘But the fame -’ I was beginning.’ I was abashed at having made so great a mistake. the framed pieces of work (done. After I had written to my aunt and told her of my fortunate meeting with my admired old schoolfellow. in dressing. but with some appearance of good looks too. coming and going on the walls. and saw a Panorama and some other sights.

really?’ ‘Really what?’ said Mrs. Miss Dartle insinuated in the same way: sometimes. Steerforth. and Mr. if you mean that. It was an old scar . and her correction of everything that was said to which she was opposed. ‘Oh! You mean it’s not!’ returned Miss Dartle. and both Steerforth and his mother called her Rosa. I shall be quite happy in my opinion of him. She was a little dilapidated . Steerforth observed. I could not conceal from myself. You can’t think how it elevates him in my opinion.isn’t  David Copperfield it. really? You know how ignorant I am. yet had.which had once cut through her mouth. ‘Dear me! Conscientious. She had black hair and eager black eyes.’ Mrs.eh?’ ‘It is education for a very grave profession. Steerforth speaking to me about my intention of going down into Suffolk. if he’s really conscientious. and that she wished to be married. I reminded him of the boatman Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mrs. but isn’t it always so? I thought that kind of life was on all hands understood to be .’ said Mrs. Rosa. Steerforth. more in jest than earnest. but was now barely visible across the table. from this time. I should have reliance on him. I know what to do! That’s the advantage of asking. as I have said. downward towards the chin. to know for certain that he’s really conscientious!’ Her own views of every question. if I am wrong . which found a vent in her gaunt eyes. in connexion with that life.I should rather call it seam. For example. ‘My son’s tutor is a conscientious gentleman.I want to be put right. Her thinness seemed to be the effect of some wasting fire within her. and that I only ask for information. ‘What a comfort! Really conscientious? Then he’s not . ‘But isn’t it. and so forth.because I found myself sitting opposite to her.with having been so long to let. an appearance of good looks. ‘How very nice!’ exclaimed Miss Dartle.’ ‘Should you?’ said Miss Dartle. Well. when Mrs. She was introduced as Miss Dartle. Peggotty’s family. though? .’ said Mrs. but hinted it. I shall never allow people to talk before me about wastefulness and profligacy. It appeared to me that she never said anything she wanted to say. I am convinced of it. I concluded in my own mind that she was about thirty years of age. and had healed years ago . and if I had not implicit reliance on my son. Steerforth answered with some coldness. though in contradiction even of Steerforth. I found that she lived there. I said at hazard how glad I should be.like a house . I’m very glad to hear it! Now. if Steerforth would only go there with me.’ ‘And you will be right. any more. Steerforth. and made a great deal more of it by this practice.’ returned Miss Dartle. is he? Really conscientious. and explaining to him that I was going to see my old nurse. ‘Oh! Yes! That’s very true. for it was not discoloured. An instance happened before dinner was done. and had a scar upon her lip.com  . that she feared her son led but a wild life at college. the shape of which it had altered. ‘Well. Miss Dartle put in thus: ‘Oh. outright.but of course he can’t be. perhaps because of something really remarkable in her. with great power. and had been for a long time Mrs. now?’ ‘Yes. and was thin. Steerforth’s companion. except above and on her upper lip.

like their coarse rough skins. and now I do know.whom he had seen at school. but now they’re cleared up.or rather his boat. She is all edge. ‘and she’ll bear it to her grave. I don’t know. there’s a pretty wide separation between them and us. ‘Well. You would be delighted to see that household.don’t it?’ I believed that Steerforth had said what he had. That was his nephew.’ My heart leaped with a new hope of pleasure.’ he returned. ‘Well. to see that sort of people together. They are wonderfully virtuous. now broke in again. ‘They are not to be expected to be as sensitive as we are. though. if she ever rests in one . whose sparkling eyes had been watchful of us. ‘Why. Their delicacy is not to be shocked. but now I shall just dismiss the idea of them. ‘He had a son with him. I think I should. Steerforth’s face fell.’ said Steerforth. I must see what can be done. they are not easily wounded. ‘Clever! She brings everything to a grindstone. It would be worth a journey (not to mention the pleasure of a journey with you. and she exasperated me. or hurt easily.’ I replied. But he merely asked me what I thought of her.Are they really animals and clods.’ ‘What a remarkable scar that is upon her lip!’ I said. whom he adopted as a daughter. and he paused a moment. I confess.’ ‘Why.com 1 . ‘Oh.though I can hardly believe she will ever rest anywhere. the fact is. Are they. and they may be thankful that. ‘whom he adopted. Live and learn. ‘She has borne the mark ever since. He has a very pretty little niece too. altogether. as a son. on dry land . A promising young angel I must have been!’ I was deeply sorry to have touched on such a painful theme. as you see. really? Do tell me. and I expected him to say as much when she was gone. in jest. . and that shows the advantage of asking . I didn’t know.’ 0 David Copperfield ‘Really!’ said Miss Dartle.’ said Steerforth.’ said Steerforth. for he lives in one. and I am sure I don’t want to contradict them . In short. when they suffer.is full of people who are objects of his generosity and kindness. ‘Oh! That bluff fellow!’ said Steerforth.’ ‘By an unfortunate accident!’ ‘No. his house . though?’ she said. or to draw Miss Dartle out. Daisy). I was a young boy. now. and I threw a hammer at her.some people contend for that. and we two were sitting before the fire. I dare say . and beings of another order? I want to know SO much. It’s so consoling! It’s such a delight to know that. is she not?’ I asked. but that was useless now. ‘She is very clever. She was the motherless child of a sort of cousin of my faFree eBooks at Planet eBook. at least. ‘Are they what? And are who what?’ said Steerforth. ‘That sort of people. as she has sharpened her own face and figure these years past. when I have been better pleased than to hear that. but. But it was in reference to the tone in which he had spoken of ‘that sort of people’. hadn’t he?’ ‘No. ‘I did that. that Miss Dartle. I had my doubts. She has worn herself away by constant sharpening.’ ‘Should I?’ said Steerforth. and to make one of ‘em. with indifference.but they have not very fine natures. they don’t feel! Sometimes I have been quite uneasy for that sort of people. and sharpens it.

And yet I did not deFree eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Indeed. she kept in a cabinet near her own chair by the fire. I could not help glancing at the scar with a painful interest when we went in to tea. and I should have been very glad to hear them too. She seemed to be able to speak or think about nothing else. and that. who was then a widow.’ ‘He is always generous and noble. Steerforth. lead-coloured streak. Steerforth devoted to her son. proudly. if he had not interposed. He died one day. ‘and I stood in need of such a friend. in compliment to you. It was not long before I observed that it was the most susceptible part of her face. knowing the fellow. My son’s high spirit made it desirable that he should be placed with some man who felt its superiority. and then I saw it start forth like the old writing on the wall. and we found such a man there. that mark altered first. of a pupil younger than himself who had taken his fancy there. in a locket. All the letters he had ever written to her.’ ‘He was very generous and noble to me in those days. I recollect his speaking. as you may suppose. but there were particular circumstances to be considered at the time. and some love . She showed me his picture as an infant. and saves the interest of it every year.com  . It was no matter of wonder to me to find Mrs. I subscribed to this with all my heart. There was a little altercation between her and Steerforth about a cast of the dice at back gammon .but help yourself. ‘It was at Mr. but your name.’ I knew that.’ said she. There’s the history of Miss Rosa Dartle for you. and would be content to bow himself before it. looking at the fire. ‘Some brothers are not loved over much.when I thought her. to add to the principal. She has a couple of thousand pounds of her own.ther’s. Copperfield! We’ll drink the daisies of the field. ‘It was not a fit school generally for my son. ma’am.’ said I. that you first became acquainted. neither do they spin. brought her here to be company to her. with some of his baby-hair in it.’ ‘And I have no doubt she loves you like a brother?’ said I. she showed me his picture as he had been when I first knew him. has not lived in my memory. and she  David Copperfield wore at her breast his picture as he was now. and then her air was always lofty. Steerforth. as she and I were talking at one table.’ said Mrs.the more shame for me!’ A moody smile that had overspread his features cleared off as he said this merrily. and she would have read me some of them. God knows. ‘far from it. and the lilies of the valley that toil not. in compliment to me . while they played backgammon at another. like a mark in invisible ink brought to the fire. Creakle’s. of more importance even than that selection. My mother. except when she spoke in praise of him.’ said Mrs. lengthening out to its full extent. ‘Humph!’ retorted Steerforth. winning self again. I should have been quite crushed without him. for one moment. and became a dull. when she turned pale. and coaxed her out of the design. and he was his own frank. I assure you. in a storm of rage. my son tells me. at that time. for the stateliness of her manner already abated towards me. She knew I did.

Copperfield. and Mrs. and his mother hospitably said the same. cushions and footstools. and I am very glad to see you here. Well. with all my heart and soul. and he haughtily determined to be worthy of his station. over that pursuit. While we were talking. and that you may rely on his protection. went upstairs together. ‘is it a nickname? And why does he give it you? Is it .spise him the more for it. Steerforth’s confidence. I should be an affected woman if I made any pretence of being surprised by my son’s inspiring such emotions. It was like himself. Steerforth and I. But I am very much mistaken if she missed a word of this. he said. ‘He would have risen against all constraint. outstrip every competitor. Mr. a week hence would do. as if it were even something to her that her likeness should watch him while he slept. full of easy-chairs. I found the fire burning clear enough in my room by this time. that you were quite devoted to him. but he found himself the monarch of the place. Steerforth promised. and I went in to look at it. ‘But really. He thinks you young and innocent.’ she pursued. ‘So my son took.because he thinks you young and innocent? I am so stupid in these things. after lingering for half-an-hour over the fire. Steerforth’s room was next to mine.’ I coloured in replying that I believed it was. or lost a look of mine as I received it with the utmost pleasure. and honoured by Mrs. ‘Oh!’ said Miss Dartle. of his own will. and with no sort of thing omitted that could help to render it complete. and no other in the world. If I had seen her. her handsome features looked down on her darling from a portrait on the wall. by a feeling of voluntary emulation and conscious pride. and on no compulsion. over the fire. worked by his mother’s hand. there. he more than once called me Daisy.com  . and her eyes had got large. and so you are his friend. and can assure you that he feels an unusual friendship for you. When the evening was pretty far spent. at the board. ‘Now I am glad to know that! I ask for information. and that when you met yesterday you made yourself known to him with tears of joy. Finally. talking about Traddles and all the rest of them at old Salem House. that’s quite delightful!’ She went to bed soon after this. Mr. and a tray of glasses and decanters came in. but thought it a redeeming quality in him if he could be allowed any grace for not resisting one so irresistible as Steerforth. but I cannot be indifferent to anyone who is so sensible of his merit. Copperfield.eh? . and I am glad to know it. It was a picture of comfort.’ she asked. that it was like himself. to the course in which he can always. ‘My son’s great capacity was tempted on.’ the fond lady went on to say. that he would seriously think of going down into the country with me. There was no hurry. Steerforth retired too. felt older than I  David Copperfield had done since I left Canterbury. when it is his pleasure. which brought Miss Dartle out again. first.’ Miss Dartle played backgammon as eagerly as she did everything else. ‘My son informs me. I should have fancied that her figure had got thin.’ I echoed. and the curtains drawn before the windows and Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

I sat down in a great chair upon the hearth to meditate on my happiness. with a peculiar habit of whispering the letter S so distinctly. ‘Is it really. though? I want to know’.round the bed. he had rather a stiff neck. I undressed quickly. I found that I was uneasily asking all sorts of people in my dreams whether it really was or not . It was a startling likeness. and necessarily had a startling look. deferential.without knowing what I meant. a man who. extinguished my light. when I found a likeness of Miss Dartle looking eagerly at me from above the chimney-piece. that he seemed to use it oftener than any other man. I wondered peevishly why they couldn’t put her anywhere else instead of quartering her on me. soft-footed. he was so thoroughly respectable. and went to bed. and when I awoke in the night. he would have made that respectable. he was so highly respectable. as I had seen it when she was passionate. but his great claim to consideration was his respectability. but I made it.com   David Copperfield . but every peculiarity that he had he made respectable. as I fell asleep. To have imposed Free eBooks at Planet eBook. He surrounded himself with an atmosphere of respectability. and had enjoyed the contemplation of it for some time. But. Nobody could have thought of putting him in a livery. giving it a very snug appearance. CHAPTER 21 LITTLE EM’LY T here was a servant in that house. and walked secure in it. He was taciturn. and never near when not wanted. If his nose had been upside-down. I believe there never existed in his station a more respectable-looking man. I could not forget that she was still there looking. a soft way of speaking. who was in appearance a pattern of respectability. observant. He had not a pliant face. It would have been next to impossible to suspect him of anything wrong. now confined to the upper lip as I had seen it at dinner. always at hand when wanted. The painter hadn’t made the scar. and had come into his service at the University. rather a tight smooth head with short hair clinging to it at the sides. and now showing the whole extent of the wound inflicted by the hammer. very quiet in his manner. was usually with Steerforth. I understood. To get rid of her. and there it was. coming and going.

’ Another of his characteristics . by Steerforth’s companionship. Every morning we held exactly this conversation: never any more. by the reverend nature of respectability in the abstract. sir. I suppose. He got horses for us. ‘very well indeed. however far I might have been lifted out of myself over-night.’ ‘Nothing. and said.’ ‘Thank you. sir. Nothing could be objected against his surname. How old he was himself. Mr. Littimer. I thank you. he only seemed to be the more respectable. or Tom transported. as our smaller poets sing. and preventing the spring with his thumb from opening far. Is Mr.’ ‘I thank YOU. shutting the door as delicately as if I had just fallen into a sweet sleep on which my life depended. standing my boots right and left in the first dancing position. sir. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.any derogatory work upon him. who knew everything. Steerforth will be glad to hear how you have rested. would have been to inflict a wanton insult on the feelings of a most respectable man. Steerforth’s confidence. And of this. by which he was known. and with a little inclination of his head when he passed the bed-side.and that again went to his credit on the same score. looked in at the face as if he were consulting an oracular oyster. and blowing specks of dust off my coat as he laid it down like a baby. in the presence of this most respectable man I became. Steerforth quite well?’ ‘Thank you. It was occasioned.no use of superlatives. Peter might have been hanged. ‘a boy again’. shut it up again. seemed to form a part of his respectability. I noticed. unaffected by the east wind of January. But in that quality. the family take breakfast at half past nine. and advanced towards maturer years. He provided foils for us. and asked him what o’clock it was. in an equable temperature of respectability. gave me lessons in riding.com  . Even the fact that no one knew his Christian name. if you please’. but Littimer was perfectly respectable. if I pleased. I could not guess . and generally while he read the paper by the pantry fire. for in the calmness of respectability he might have numbered fifty years as well as thirty. He took out of his pocket the most respectable hunting David Copperfield watch I ever saw. that they always did such work themselves. Such a self-contained man I never saw. or Mrs. it was half past eight.the women-servants in the household were so intuitively conscious. Littimer was in my room in the morning before I was up. A cool calm medium always. I gave him good morning. and never any less: and yet.’ said I. as in every other he possessed. as an apology for correcting me. and not even breathing frostily. he went out. ‘Mr. invariably. and Steerforth. ‘Is there anything more I can have the honour of doing for you. but I felt particularly young in this man’s presence. Steerforth is tolerably well. When I undrew the curtains and looked out of bed. and to put out my clothes. and with that. or Miss Dartle’s conversation. I saw him. to bring me that reproachful shaving-water. sir? The warning-bell will ring at nine.

because he made a particular effect on me at that time. to improve in boxing. and breakfasted late in the morning. but decided to leave him at home. Steerforth and Miss Dartle. by so much as the vibration of one of his respectable eyelashes. and yet it gave me so many occasions for knowing Steerforth better. it showed me that he was unchanged. We went down by the Mail. that when Steerforth said. 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). with many thanks on my part. he never led me to suppose anything of the kind. as I fancied.gloves. and much kindness on the devoted mother’s. in the distance. I believed that I was nearer to his heart than any other friend. I was so concerned. that at its close I seemed to have been with him for a much longer time. I shall not endeavour to describe. The respectable creature. unrestrained. and had made acquaintance. it was a good. he said. and the day arrived for our departure. I felt myself the greenest and most inexperienced of mortals. The week passed away in a most delightful manner.and Steerforth gave me lessons in fencing . in comparing my merits with his. what he was sure must be the identical house of Mr. We bade adieu to Mrs. I recollect. affectionate demeanour that he used towards no one else. out-of-the-way kind of hole. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and because of what took place thereafter. while we were practising. and measuring my claims upon his friendship by any equal standard. as may be supposed. with the silent conviction that I was very young indeed. as if they were intended to defy the shocks of ages. it was a familiar. It reminded me of our old acquaintance. of the same master. to one entranced as I was. satisfied with his lot whatever it was. He made up his mind to go with me into the country. above all. queer. and admiring him more in a thousand respects. who was in great spirits. and I began. and received my modestly proffered donation with perfect tranquillity. I am particular about this man. with half the boatmen in the place. he had seen. It gave me no manner of concern that Steerforth should find me a novice in these sciences. fraught. it relieved me of any uneasiness I might have felt. in returning so auspiciously to the old familiar places. that. had been strolling about the beach before I was up. I was highly pleased. I joyfully believed that he treated me in life unlike any other friend he 0 David Copperfield had. I had no reason to believe that Littimer understood such arts himself. arranged our portmanteaux on the little carriage that was to take us into London. As he had treated me at school differently from all the rest. but I never could bear to show my want of skill before the respectable Littimer.com 1 . Moreover. even for the honour of Yarmouth. yet whenever he was by. What I felt. He had been doubtful at first whether to take Littimer or not. A dashing way he had of treating me like a plaything. was more agreeable to me than any behaviour he could have adopted. Steerforth. as we drove through its dark streets to the inn. It passed rapidly. and my own heart warmed with attachment to him. it seemed the natural sequel of it. as well as he could make out. The last thing I saw was Littimer’s unruffled eye.

but in the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. But never mind her.’ said I. ‘This evening. There was a sharp bracing air.com  . TAILOR. if not much warmth. looking at his watch. FUNERAL FURNISHER. until I came to Mr. ‘We must take them by surprise. and in two hours I’ll produce myself in any state you please.’ said Steerforth. and everything was fresh and lively. when they are all sitting round the fire. of course! It’s no fun. laughing. delighted. that I thought we might get through it in that time.. She’s like a goblin to me. but the inscription. and that he  David Copperfield was almost as great a personage as I was. The glass door of the parlour was not open. of course. ‘Aha! What! you recollect my skirmishes with Rosa. with smoke coming out of the chimney. But I had forgotten nothing in them. Make your own arrangements. that I could have stopped the people in the streets and shaken hands with them. and. the sea was crisp and clear. OMER AND Joram was now written up. Now what are you going to do? You are going to see your nurse. when we go back to them. ‘I’ll come anywhere you like. I suppose?’ ‘Why. I am half afraid of her. while another little fellow clung to her apron. but that he must come also. DRAPER. the sun was diffusing abundance of light. ‘unless we take them by surprise. My footsteps seemed to tend so naturally to the shop door. ‘or do anything you like.’ said Steerforth. went out alone.’ ‘Though they ARE that sort of people that you mentioned. The streets that we have only seen as children always do.’ ‘Oh. remained as it was. Tell me where to come to. Is that long enough?’ I answered. to walk in and swear he was myself grown out of knowledge. where OMER used to be.’ ‘I shall not give them any notice that we are here. and had had a great mind. Steerforth. ‘Confound the girl. he told me. after I had read these words from over the way. I believe. carrier to Blunderstone and elsewhere. the ground was dry. for he would find that his renown had preceded him. ‘When do you propose to introduce me there.’ ‘Well. I had no difficulty in recognizing either Minnie or Minnie’s children. yes.’ replied Steerforth. HABERDASHER. &c. do you?’ he exclaimed with a quick look. it’s such a curious place. you know.’ ‘So be it!’ returned Steerforth. There was a pretty woman at the back of the shop. on this understanding.’ ‘Why. Omer’s shop. Let us see the natives in their aboriginal condition. I should like you to see it when it’s snug. The streets looked small. I was so fresh and lively myself. in the pleasure of being there.’ I said.Peggotty. Daisy?’ he said. and found nothing changed. ‘I must see Peggotty first of all. dancing a little child in her arms. I was thinking that this evening would be a good time. sentimental or comical.’ I gave him minute directions for finding the residence of Mr. that I went across the road and looked in. ‘Suppose I deliver you up to be cried over for a couple of hours. Barkis.’ I returned. ‘I am at your disposal.

the  David Copperfield party was a lady. I thanked him.the measurement of the dancing child upon the counter . I heard a heavy puffing and blowing coming towards us. at this minute. Lord bless my soul!’ exclaimed Mr. ‘You were very good-natured to me once. Omer. to her great admiration. you know. ‘you don’t say so! Minnie. sir.’ said Minnie.‘by a good two inches. Omer. ‘Is Mr. sir?’ ‘You can shake hands with me.sure. entering. ‘Yes. ‘I’m glad to hear it. for a moment. sir. Are you sure it was me?’ ‘Quite.be . ‘To . Omer.’ said Mr. ‘Yes. ‘Ex-actly so! And Joram’s at work. the day was named for my Minnie to marry Joram. on a grey one with silver nails.’ says Minnie. Joe. if he is. and was assisted out of his fit by his daughter. and soon Mr. and Mrs. And look here! The youngest!’ Minnie laughed. in that very ride. ‘I should like to see him. as I hoped he had been too. ‘I find my breath gets short. and our riding out to Blunderstone together: you.’ ‘Was I though?’ returned the old man.Will you take someFree eBooks at Planet eBook. yes.’ ‘I think my memory has got as short as my breath. in consequence of laughing. Omer. dancing her smallest child on the counter. Omer. and stroked her banded hair upon her temples. who now stood close beside us. That’s the best way. if you please. Omer at home?’ said I. to be sure. not this measurement’ . Mr. gave such a lusty shout. if you’ll believe me. stood before me. Omer. and Mr. of course!’ said Mr. Over at Blunderstone it was. looking at me and shaking his head.com  . ‘Do name it. that the sound of it made him bashful. shorter-winded than of yore.who wasn’t her husband then?’ ‘Why. but not much olderlooking. I think?’ ‘My mother.’ I rejoined. when I am afraid I didn’t show that I thought so. but I don’t remember when. putting out my own. do. and I. touching my waistcoat with his forefinger. after being thrown by his surprise into a fit of coughing. but it seldom gets longer as a man gets older. as her father put one of his fat fingers into the hand of the child she was dancing on the counter. The little party was laid along with the other party.’ said Mr. ain’t it?’ Mr. Joram.’ said Mr. my dear. Two parties! Why.’ says Joram.’ said I. Joram too . ‘Two parties. who was holding her apron. as if it had never left off. father. and my having breakfast here. ‘for I don’t remember you.’ ‘Oh yes. And now he’s come into the business. Dear me! And how have you been since?’ Very well. I take it as it comes. of course. ‘the weather don’t suit his asthma out of doors. ‘and there was a little child too! There was two parties. you recollect? Dear me. Omer coughed again. Omer. he is at home. Omer. and make the most of it. ‘What can I do for you. ‘Servant. and he buried his face in her skirts. Omer. . sir.’ said Mr. call your grandfather!’ The little fellow. nodding his head retrospectively.workshop across the yard I could faintly hear the old tune playing. ‘Oh! nothing to grumble at.’ ‘Don’t you remember your coming to the coach to meet me. ‘Dear me!’ said Mr.

’ ‘Then she should have kept to her own station in life. ‘Just so. and breathing with difficulty. after he  David Copperfield had uttered this libellous pleasantry. we’ve got a young relation of hers here. she could dress herself.’ said Mrs. ‘she hasn’t taken much to any companions here.she had something to do with your family? She was in service there. father.’ he said. ‘I don’t say it’s the case with you.’ ‘Not little Em’ly?’ said I. that she shouldn’t do .’ said Minnie. Omer. ‘Couldn’t have done it! Is that YOUR knowledge of life? What is there that any woman couldn’t do. Omer. that Em’ly wanted to be a lady. she has said so to me. better than most others could out of a deal. Omer. however. In consequence.’ said Mr.com  . ‘and she’s little too. that it came into circulation principally on account of her sometimes saying. ‘when we were both children. Mr. and was so exhausted that he was obliged to sit on the stool of the shop-desk.I assure you I don’t believe there’s a Duchess in England can touch her. and his breath eluded all his attempts to recover it with that obstinacy.and buy him such-and-such fine things. my memory’s getting so much so. ‘Well.a little spoiled . Minnie?’ ‘No. I believe.’ I returned eagerly. an ill-natured story got about. he got better. At length. that I fully expected to see his head go down behind the counter.are mad against that girl. father!’ cried Minnie.thing?’ I thanked him.’ Mr. come quivering up in a last ineffectual struggle.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. But if you’ll believe me. she was rather what might be called wayward . you see. ‘That’s the worst. ‘but I say that half the women in Yarmouth . No more than that was ever said against her. Omer.’ said Mr. ‘My dear.didn’t know her own mind quite . under articles to us.’ said Mr. not to mention sweethearts. father.’ said Mr. Omer. but declined. exactly bind herself down.’ ‘Couldn’t have done it. ‘. that has as elegant a taste in the dress-making business . with the rusty little bunches of ribbons at the knees. and his little black breeches. and that made things unpleasant. she hasn’t taken kindly to any particular acquaintances and friends.’ said Mr.and couldn’t. ‘Let me see.I’ll go so far as to say what I should call wayward myself.’ ‘Nonsense. at the school.’ winking at me. sir. ‘and not have given them any hold to talk about her. wiping his head.’ ‘I assure you. Moreover. Omer. Now my opinion is.especially on the subject of another woman’s good looks?’ I really thought it was all over with Mr. ‘Em’ly’s her name. ‘I believe my breath will get long next. ‘Barkis’s the carrier’s wife .ah! and in five mile round . Joram. my dear!’ retorted Mr. at first. sure?’ My answering in the affirmative gave him great satisfaction. He coughed to that extent. though he still panted hard. Omer.don’t you see? . ‘You see.Peggotty’s the boatman’s sister . Then out of a very little. involuntarily. and then they couldn’t have done it. Omer nodded his head and rubbed his chin. she has such a face of her own that half the women in this town are mad against her. that if she was a lady she would like to do so-and-so for her uncle . Omer.

‘Is Mr. Nearly two of ‘em are over. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and his pretty daughter. now?’ ‘Yes. young gentleman. they didn’t very well agree.alas! it was the tune that never DOES leave off . but what was meant for goodness and for happiness. Barkis at home. looking through the glass. apprenticed for three years. went away to my dear old Peggotty’s. I had no doubt that she was near.’ returned Peggotty. At last she came here. Mr. and she has been as good a girl as ever was. ‘and speak to her? Walk in and speak to her. after a few moments’ further rubbing of his chin. I saw her sitting at her work. and what was on a good and happy course. I believe that’s all about it. ‘to keep a fractious old lady company. sir. ‘Because I want to ask a question about a house there.com  . turned laughingly upon another child of Minnie’s who was playing near her. Omer.what is it? . is she worth any six.’ said Mr. ‘When he’s well he do. Mrs. Here she was. if that were not so. and nodded towards the door of the parlour. and her little children.’ said Mr. while speaking of Em’ly. ‘That’s right. I saw her.’ said I. On my asking now. ‘Wouldn’t you like to step in. with much of the old capricious coyness lurking in it. My hurried inquiry if I might peep in.’ replied Minnie. was answered with a free permission. ‘He’s at home. ‘Never say I detracted from her!’ ‘Very good. Omer.’ ‘Don’t he go over to Blunderstone now?’ I asked. as if to keep me off.’ he added. Barkis?’ She looked at me more attentively. ‘that you may not consider me long-winded as well as short-breathed. but with nothing in her pretty looks.‘So when she got a situation. a most beautiful little creature. and I was no less afraid of confusing myself. She took a step backward. sir! Make yourself at home!’ I was too bashful to do so then . and she didn’t stop. ‘Do YOU ever go there.’ she answered. The tune across the yard that seemed as if it never had left off .I was afraid of confusing her. all the while. and. that had looked into my childish heart. Omer. but it must have been seven years since we had met. that they call the . in order that our visit might be timed accordingly. and put out her hands in an undecided frightened way.but I informed myself of the hour at which she left of an evening. Omer. with the cloudless blue eyes. ‘but he’s bad abed with the rheumatics. cooking dinner! The moment I knocked at the door she opened it.was  David Copperfield beating. father. softly.. and taking leave of Mr. with enough of wilfulness in her bright face to justify what I had heard. I had never ceased to write to her. in the tiled kitchen. I looked at her with a smile. I am sure. ma’am?’ I said.’ As they had spoken in a subdued tone. and I noticed a quick movement of her hands towards each other. but she gave me no smile in return. ‘Peggotty!’ I cried to her. Worth any six! Minnie. and asked me what I pleased to want.’ said Mr. Omer nodded yes. feigning to speak roughly to her. And so.the Rookery.

he said that it did him a world of good to feel as if he was driving me on the Blunderstone road again.’ repeated Mr. as if for my assent to this result of his reflections in bed. ‘as taxes is. ‘as turnips is. and having waited outside for a minute. and so covered. Barkis. Barkis turned his eyes upon me. presented myself before that invalid. for as often as she got to the door and looked round at me.’ said Mr. what pride she showed. ‘And I don’t regret it.’ I returned. finds that out in his mind when he’s laid up.’ said I. Barkis poked it against a box. what sorrow that she whose pride and joy I might have been. sir?’ said Mr. with a slow rheumatic smile. which I did most cordially.She cried. Barkis. Barkis. ‘a man as poor as I am. very well. we had some grave talks about that matter. what joy. hadn’t we?’ ‘I was willin’ a long time.’ ‘A very poor man. ‘that it’ll do him more good than pints of liniment. and were locked in one another’s arms. Barkis. Barkis. When I sat down by the side of the bed. an end of which had been visible to me all the time. What extravagances she committed. ‘Nothing’s truer than them. I was troubled with no misgiving that it was young in me to respond to her emotions.’ Mr. ‘It was as true. As he lay in bed. ‘Ah! Mr. It was as true. Barkis.’ said Peggotty. ‘My darling boy!’ and we both burst into tears. Barkis. and with a purposeless uncertain grasp took hold of a stick which was loosely tied to the side of the bed. I had never laughed and cried in all my life. indeed I am. May I go and tell him you are here? Will you come up and see him. face upward. Barkis.he looked the queerest object I ever beheld. which was his only means of emphasis. Barkis. could never hold me in a fond embrace.more freely than I did that morning. But Peggotty could not get out of the room as easily as she meant to. she came back again to have another laugh and another cry upon my shoulder. and I gave it. sir?’ said Mr. Barkis. Here his right hand came slowly and feebly from under the bedclothes. ‘What name was it. sir!’ ‘I am sorry to hear it. with that exception. ‘Do you remember what you told me once.’ said Mr. After some poking about with this instrument. Mr.not even to her . Mr. in the course of which his face assumed a variety of distracted expressions. but he begged me to shake the tassel on the top of his nightcap. about her making all the apple parsties and doing all the cooking?’ ‘Yes. I dare say . At last. And nothing’s truer than them.’ said Mr. I went upstairs with her. nodding his nightcap.like a conventional cheru0 David Copperfield bim . He was too rheumatic to be shaken hands with.’ said Mr. while she said a word of preparation to Mr. what laughing and crying over me. to make the matter easier. that he seemed to be nothing but a face . I’m a very poor man. as I wrote up in the cart. ‘Barkis will be so glad. ‘A long time. He received me with absolute enthusiasm. Then his face beFree eBooks at Planet eBook. wiping her eyes with her apron. my dear?’ Of course I would.com 1 . I have not the heart to tell.

I have no doubt. Barkis. but while Peggotty’s eyes were full of compassion for him. for company. He went into Mr. but that I saw Peggotty. sir. appeared to be a sufficient compensation to him for all his tortures. ‘but I’m a little tired.’ said Mr. and that she would have received him with the utmost gratitude and devotion in any case. His satisfaction in which happy imposition on us. his natural gift of adapting himself to whomsoever he pleased. But his easy. ‘But it AIN’T. being now ‘a little nearer’ than he used to be. I’ll try and find it when I wake. I am persuaded she knew no difference between his having been a personal benefactor of hers. and it was better not to check it. when he cared to do it. and in having preserved the impenetrable secret of the box. we presently heard him uttering suppressed groans of the most dismal nature. Barkis. and taking it from that unlucky box. and making direct. and Mr. alone. P. All the praise that anyone can give to C. suffering. to the main point of interest in anybody’s heart. There was no noise. Barkis. But. ‘Oh!’ said I. Barkis.’ said I. you’ll get a dinner today. His manner to me. no effort. would have won her. turning his eyes more gently to his wife. his genial manner. Barkis’s room like light and air. my dear. something good to eat and drink. I prepared Peggotty for Steerforth’s arrival and it was not long before he came. bound her to him wholly in five minutes. When we got outside the door. Barkis.came composed. ‘I wish it was Money. and more! My dear.if I were to say willingly. but in everything an indescribable lightness. on the opposite side of the bed. C. in anything he did. David will leave me for a short nap. So I held my peace. in compliance with this request. extremely anxious I should not. brightening and refreshing it as if he were healthy weather. Peggotty informed me that Mr.’ said Mr.’ We left the room. ‘I wish it was. and that he endured unheard-of agonies in crawling out of bed alone. If you and Mr. indeed. always resorted to this same device before producing a single coin from his store. and to produce a guinea from under his pillow. I sincerely believe she had a kind of adoration for him before he left the house that night. opening both his eyes as wide as he possibly could.’ said Mr. Barkis. until he had got into bed again. no consciousness. and then called us in. through all these causes combined. a martyrdom. a seeming imFree eBooks at Planet eBook. will you?’ I should have protested against this unnecessary demonstration in my honour.com  . In effect. Barkis. she said his generous impulse would do him good.’ said Mr. He stayed there with me to dinner . So he groaned on. ‘I have got a trifle of money somewhere about me. I should not half express how readily and gaily. P. and a kind friend to me. I expressed myself quite sure of that. as this magpie proceed David Copperfield ing racked him in every joint. pretending to have just woke up from a refreshing sleep. said: ‘She’s the usefullest and best of women. spirited good humour. his handsome looks. Barkis. she deserves. ‘Old clothes.

the wind sighing around us even more mournfully. which was so graceful. as if for little Em’ly to run into them. and laughing with all his might. they were more and more brightly exhibited as the hours went on. ‘And it’s the same I saw this morning. if anyone had told me such a lie that night. at eight o’clock. and of its being ready for me at night. that it overcomes me.’ ‘But to bring you so far. more easy to him.’ he returned. before I could so much as look at Steerforth. Gummidge. seems bad companionship.’ he said. and a lumbering sort of bashfulness that sat upon him very Free eBooks at Planet eBook. compared to that?’ It was settled at once. ‘I came straight to it. Is that the boat. proceeded from the generally disconsolate Mrs. for Mr. in the remembrance. over the dark wintry sands towards the old boat. and agreeable. of the romantic feelings of fidelity and friendship with which I walked beside him. by instinct. But Mrs.’ ‘Why. Mr. is it not?’ ‘Dismal enough in the dark. If anyone had told me. Steerforth. I was surprised to see. and I shall sleep at the hotel. that the consciousness of success in his determination to please. exultation. until we started forth.com  . but made softly for the door. and whispering Steerforth to keep close to me. held his rough arms wide open. in the name of Heaven. When Peggotty spoke of what she called my room. he was possessed of the whole case. I wonder in what manner of receiving it my indignation would have found a vent! Probably only in an increase. and. and I have no doubt now. hesitating. a clapping of hands: which latter noise. remembering the old sensations they had awakened.’ he said: ‘and the sea roars as if it were hungry for us. Ham. had that been possible. I laid my hand upon the latch. inspired him with a new delicacy of perception. but not feeling them. and of her hoping I would occupy it.’ We said no more as we approached the light. even now. and where I now turned over its terrific pictures. so natural. ‘Of course. where do you naturally belong?’ he said. We made merry in the little parlour.possibility of doing anything else. I suppose. unthumbed since my time. subtle as it was. ‘What is ‘seems’.’ I returned. with a mixed expression in his face of admiration. Peggotty’s boat. where the Book of Martyrs. then. where I see a light yonder?’ ‘That’s the boat. or doing anything better. ‘You’ll sleep here. and made it.I say. for the employment of high spirits. in a mere  David Copperfield wasteful careless course of winning what was worthless to him. in the thoughtless love of superiority. A murmur of voices had been audible on the outside. Gummidge was not the only person there who was unusually excited. Indeed. at the moment of our entrance. and next minute thrown away . played for the excitement of the moment. ‘This is a wild kind of place. Steerforth. Peggotty’s door. while we stay. went in. was laid out upon the desk as of old.’ said I. than it had sighed and moaned upon the night when I first darkened Mr. his face lighted up with uncommon satisfaction. Peggotty. for I thought even then. ‘and to separate. that all this was a brilliant game. He maintained all his delightful qualities to the last.

and all talking at once.’ said Mr. quite hot and out of breath with his uncommon satisfaction. ‘the brightest night o’ my life.gent’lmen growed now.com  . my little witch! There’s Mas’r Davy’s friend. held little Em’ly by the hand. and with extraordinary animation and pleasure.well. and patted it as if his hand had been a lady’s. and at the moment of our passing from the dark cold night into the warm light room. Peggotty. my dear! . I was in the midst of the astonished family. that one might have doubted whether it had ever been. ‘So th’ are. Gummidge in the background. I do rightly believe! Em’ly. and laughing with such glee and triumph. Peggotty’s delight.gent’lmen growed should come to this here roof tonight. In the first glimpse we had of them all. I’m a shellfish biled too . laid it with a gentle pride and love upon his broad chest. Mr. as her joyous eyes expressed. ‘If this ain’t. and holding out my hand to him. Then he let her go. Peggotty. The little picture was so instantaneously dissolved by our going in. ‘is such a thing as never happened afore. and asking one another how we did. ‘Well said! So th’ are. Would you be so good as look arter her.’ here his delight broke out again. and kissing it a dozen times. ‘Why. blushing and shy. Gorm the t’other one. Em’ly. my dear! There’s the gent’lman as you’ve heerd on. This here little Em’ly.so th’ are!’ ‘If you two gent’lmen. gent’lmen growed. and then with Steerforth.She knows I’m a going to tell. so th’ are!’ cried Ham. Peggotty.and more I can’t say. and then with me. for a minute?’ Mrs.her as you see a blushing here Free eBooks at Planet eBook. along with Mas’r Davy. He comes to see you. looked round upon us. and horroar for it!’ After delivering this speech all in a breath. and as she ran into the little chamber where I used to sleep. I’ll arks your pardon. but delighted with Mr. Mr. but kept over and over again shaking hands with me. face to face with Mr. that he did not know what to say or do. Peggotty. that you two gent’lmen . this was the way in which they were all employed: Mrs. ‘.gent’lmen growed . Peggotty’s embrace. Peggotty was so proud and overjoyed to see us. as if he were presenting her to Mr. sir. clapping her hands like a madwoman. was stopped by our entrance (for she saw us first) in the very act of springing from Ham to nestle in Mr. Gummidge nodded and disappeared. when you understand matters. Mas’r Davy bor’ . Mawther. and then ruffling his shaggy hair all over his head. sitting down among us by the fire. of all nights in my life. ‘and has made off. Peggotty put one of his large hands rapturously on each side of his niece’s face. come here!  David Copperfield Come here. little Em’ly herself. Em’ly.’ in a low voice to Steerforth. Peggotty. Peggotty. when Ham shouted: ‘Mas’r Davy! It’s Mas’r Davy!’ In a moment we were all shaking hands with one another. that it was a treat to see him. and such gent’lmen -’ said Mr. on the brightest night of your uncle’s life as ever was or will be. my darling. ‘don’t ex-cuse me for being in a state of mind. ‘If you two gent’lmen .’ said Mr. and telling one another how glad we were to meet.’ said Mr.

with his art in the right place. ‘I know you do. ‘Him that I’ve know’d so Free eBooks at Planet eBook.rough . but he’s bashfuller than a little un. and then. and went on. in our house. or how soon I may die. he makes hisself a sort o’ servant to her. though she has a world of merits. that our little Em’ly was in a fair way of being married. as if he were waving it at the town-lights for the last time. And betwixt ourselves. ‘That’s her. is. Peggotty’s feelings. proceeded as before. Not much of a person to look at. ‘I am as rough as a Sea Porkypine. I never had one. he loses in a great measure his relish for his wittles. Peggotty ruffled his hair again. Peggotty. So I speak. and he don’t like. unless. ‘Well! I counsels him to speak to Em’ly. ‘This here little Em’ly of ours. what I suppose (I’m a ignorant man. I think.com  .’ said Mr. I could wish to see her.’ said Steerforth. ‘What! Him!’ says Em’ly.’ Ham nodded to me several times. under articles to a honest man as had a right to defend her. in a gale of wind in Yarmouth Roads here.’ said Mr. exchanging a nod with Ham. God bless her. Thankee.’ said Mr.just now -’ Steerforth only nodded.’ I thought I had never seen Ham grin to anything like the extent to which he sat grinning at us now.‘‘ Mr. I don’t know how long I may live. mayhap. at all ewents. from the time when her father was drownded. to my loving art. you may judge for your own self what she is. sir. any night. but I couldn’t love her more. he warn’t. but I know that if I was capsized. ‘but he loses that there art of his to our little Em’ly. and in the long-run he makes it clear to me wot’s amiss. waved his right arm. when a babby. ‘What does this here blessed tarpaulin go and do. as a further preparation for what he was going to say.’ Mr. Peggotty. I could go down quieter for thinking ‘There’s a man ashore there. but with such a pleased expression of interest. He follers her about. you see. when a young gal. with both hands. sir.a good deal o’ the sou’-wester in him . He’s big enough. can know. ‘and thankee again. and will be. a honest sort of a chap. Now I could wish myself.’ said Mr. with a hand upon each of his knees: ‘There was a certain person as had know’d our Em’ly. in simple earnestness. it is a woman. and so she is. ‘something o’ my own build . but no one. but neither of you can’t fully know what she has been. I am rough.’ returned Mr. Peggotty. but that’s my belief) no one but a little bright-eyed creetur can be in a house. that the latter answered him as if he had spoken.wery salt . on the whole. and of participation in Mr. as had seen her constant. ‘To be sure. sir. and was to see the town-lights shining for the last time over the rollers as I couldn’t make no head against. Peggotty. ‘has been.’ said Mr. he can remember what she was. You understand! I couldn’t do it!’ ‘I quite understand. iron-true to my little Em’ly. ‘that woman’s name ain’t Missis Gummidge neither. She ain’t my child.’ sinking his voice lower yet. and no wrong can touch my Em’ly while so be as that man lives. when a wom David Copperfield an. whose eye he caught.but. Peggotty. Peggotty. what our little Em’ly is to me. Mas’r Davy. with his face one high noon of enjoyment. Peggotty. as if he would have said so too.

And he was . the minute she’s out of her time.than ever I could say. as he laid a hand upon my knee and a hand upon Steerforth’s (previously wetting them both. How far my emotions were influenced by the recollections of my childhood. He’s such a good fellow!’ I gives her a kiss. good fellow!’ Then Missis Gummidge.’ Ham staggered. and at all times. I was affected by the story altogether. you’re to choose for yourself. under the blow Mr. for he’s a dear.like a flower.intimate so many years. one evening . and I have thought better of it. ‘I wish it could have been so. and I says. I know that I was filled with pleasure by all this. she claps her hands 0 David Copperfield like a play. and half a laughing and half a crying. and divided the following speech between us: ‘All of a sudden. Whether I had come there with any lingering fancy that I was still to love little Em’ly. as well he might. But this tarpaulin chap. with much faltering and great difficulty: ‘She warn’t no higher than you was.would say better . you’re as free as a little bird. a-shaking of my hand. ‘Lord. I see her grown up . Be as you was with her.’ Mr. like a brother.Oh! most content and cheerful! She’s more to me .’ He says to me. and I’ll be as good a little wife as I can to him. Peggotty’s face. ‘I will!’ he says.that can love his lady more than I love her. you’re right to speak out. he said.’ .she’s all to me that ever I can want. arter dark. affecting.for two year going on.when you first come .than .nor yet sailing upon all the sea . because he takes care on her. ‘Look here! This is to be my little wife!’ And she says. Uncle! I never can have him. Oh.If I please!’ cried Mr. which had varied in its expression with the various stages of his narrative. but.honourable and manful . half bold and half shy.when I thought what she’d grow up to be. Peggotty and by himself.‘You come in! It took place this here present hour.gent’lmen .Mas’r Davy . at first. for the greater emphasis of the action). Uncle! If you please.gent’lmen . I’d lay down my life for her . I . Peggotty . Peggotty dealt him in his unbounded joy. trembling in the strength of what he felt for the pretty little creature who had won his heart. you’ll say. like a man. and wot I say to you is. There ain’t a gent’lman in all the land . joyful. and he cries out to me. and you come in. ‘My dear. though there’s many a common man . I don’t know. and I says no more to her than. and here’s the man that’ll marry her.as it might be tonight comes little Em’ly from her work. with an indescribably sensitive Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and him with her! There ain’t so much in that. and indeed afore dark. he takes hold of her hand.‘If you please. but feeling called upon to say something to us. and more than ever I . ‘Yes.what he meant.’ Then I aways to him. Mas’r Davy . Peggotty. and like so much. as a mark of confidence and friendship. But you can both be as you was. now resumed all its former triumphant delight. in itself. Theer! the murder’s out!’ said Mr.’ I thought it affecting to see such a sturdy fellow as Ham was now.I love her true. was.com 1 . rolling his head in an ecstasy at the idea. but it can’t. No. and we was just the same at home here as afore. as if I should do anythink else! . I don’t know. I thought the simple confidence reposed in us by Mr. I am steadier now.

how he talked to Mr. Gummidge. Peggotty. and her face got animated. and all the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Peggotty of boats.and little Em’ly’s eyes were fastened on him all the time. as if she saw it too. and fish. ‘Mr. Therefore. I shall go.such a gap least of all . for the wealth of the Indies!’ So Mr. that she said next day she thought she must have been bewitched. and deserve to be as happy as you are tonight. at this time. When little Em’ly grew more courageous. Peggotty went into my old room to fetch little Em’ly. ‘you are a thoroughly good fellow. I should have made a poor hand of it. and we all laughed (Steerforth too). how he referred to me about the time when he had seen Mr. He told us a merry adventure of his own. ‘When the stormy winds do blow. He got Mr. until he brought us. or rather to roar. My hand upon it! Ham. Peggotty. how lightly and easily he carried on. and make it a brisk one! and Mr. do blow. . so unreal to look at now. as if he saw it all before him . indeed. Peggotty at Salem House. Any gap at your fireside on such a night . He left her so little leisure for being miserable. my boy. how delighted he was with the boat and all belonging to it. by degrees.I wouldn’t make. and she was charm David Copperfield ing. into a charmed circle. stir the fire. As to Mrs. Steerforth told a story of a dismal shipwreck (which arose out of his talk with Mr.’ he said. he roused that victim of despondency with a success never attained by anyone else (so Mr. in irresistible sympathy with what was so pleasant and light-hearted. But he set up no monopoly of the general attention. that a very little would have changed to pain. Em’ly. he was silent and attentive. if it had depended upon me to touch the prevailing chord among them with any skill. and he sang a sailor’s song himself. that I could have almost fancied that the real wind creeping sorrowfully round the house.but she soon became more assured when she found how gently and respectfully Steerforth spoke to her. since the decease of the old one. as a relief to that. casting these looks back on the pleasant old times. and talked (but still bashfully) across the fire to me. very much confused. At first little Em’ly didn’t like to come. and he did it with such address. and murmuring low through our unbroken silence. was there to listen. and tides. and then Ham went. Presently they brought her to the fireside. to pick up shells and pebbles. and when I asked her if she recollected how I used to be devoted to her. But it depended upon Steerforth. and ships. and when we both laughed and reddened. with as much gaiety as if the narrative were as fresh to him as it was to us .com  .pleasure. Peggotty). how skilfully he avoided anything that would embarrass her. unless you can induce your gentle niece to come back (for whom I vacate this seat in the corner). My hand upon that. and observed us thoughtfully. of our old wanderings upon the beach. Peggotty informed me). do blow’. and we were all talking away without any reserve. too! Daisy. and listened. but she looked. said little all the evening. so pathetically and beautifully. I give you joy. or the conversation. that in a few minutes we were all as easy and as happy as it was possible to be.and little Em’ly laughed until the boat rang with the musical sounds. Peggotty to sing. She sat. and very shy.

it was almost midnight when we took our leave. Peggotty’s song. and they are quaint company. or in a maidenly reserve before us. as we walked at a round pace back to Yarmouth. and away from him. I wish we all were!’ Next moment he was gaily singing Mr. said. As I remember. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as we have been!’ ‘That’s rather a chuckle-headed fellow for the girl. When I see how perfectly you understand them. and Steerforth had produced from his pocket a full flask of Hollands.com  . much relieved: ‘Ah. ‘Daisy. and with them all. ‘Well! It’s a quaint place. ‘A most engaging little Beauty!’ said Steerforth. but I observed that she did so. taking my arm. and. Steerforth! It’s well for you to joke about the poor!  David Copperfield You may skirmish with Miss Dartle. that she kept quite close to the wall. But turning quickly upon him.Ham beside her. We parted merrily. and it’s quite a new sensation to mix with them. I believe you are in earnest. Steerforth. twenty times the more!’ He stopped. which we men (I may say we men. or try to hide your sympathies in jest from me. and are good. and to be made the sharers in their honest joy. too.evening. ‘to have arrived to witness their happiness in that intended marriage! I never saw people so happy. How delightful to see it. that can be indifferent to you. where I used to sit. looking in my face. not an emotion. I saw the sweet blue eyes of little Em’ly peeping after us. on the old locker in her old little corner by the fire . and as they all stood crowded round the door to light us as far as they could upon our road. now. And I admire and love you for it. I answered. but I know better.’ ‘How fortunate we are. from behind Ham. and seeing a laugh in his eyes. I know that there is not a joy or sorrow. of such people. and heard her soft voice calling to us to be careful how we went. He had been so hearty with him. all the evening.’ I returned. how exquisitely you can enter into happiness like this plain fisherman’s. We had had some biscuit and dried fish for supper. that I felt a shock in this unexpected and cold reply. without a blush) had emptied. or humour a love like my old nurse’s. I could not satisfy myself whether it was in her own little tormenting way. isn’t he?’ said Steerforth.

had naturally no great interest in going there again. and I was but an indifferent one. Hence.CHAPTER 22 SOME OLD SCENES. beyond a general knowledge that he was very popular in the place. that I had naturally an interest in going over to Blunderstone. my occupation in my solitary pilgrimages was to recall every yard of the old road as I went along it. of which I never tired. Peggotty. after being there once. Another cause of our being sometimes apart. and met again at a late dinner. knowing how assiduously she attended on Mr. as my memory had often done. with such curious feelings of compassion. when it was opened to receive my pretty mother and her baby .com  . By this time. 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. I did not like to remain out late at night. whole moonlight nights. We were very much together. It lay a little off the churchyard path. startled by the sound of the church-bell when it struck the hour. My Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and when he went out boating with Mr. Thus it came about. so none of his proceedings surprised me. I haunted them. I knew that his restless nature and bold spirits delighted to find a vent in rough toil and hard weather. from which he was free: for. lying at the Inn. For my own part. and coming back when the morning tide was at flood. and by which I had stood. when it was my father’s only. in a quiet corner. had nothing to consult but his own humour. AND SOME NEW PEOPLE teerforth and I stayed for more than a fortnight in that part of the country. and had twenty means of actively diverting himself where another man might not have found one. for it was like a departed voice to me. on three or four days that I can at once recall. and made a garden of. Barkis all day. after I was in bed. where both my parents lay . He was a good sailor. I walked near. wrapped in fishermen’s clothes. however. not so far removed but I could read the names upon the stone as I walked to and fro. which was a favourite amusement of his. but occasionally we were asunder for some hours at a time. and of his being afloat. that I heard of his making little treats for the fishermen at Mr. by the hour. The grave beneath the tree.on which I had looked out. I had no idea how he employed his time in the interval. whereas Steerforth. My occupation of Peggotty’s spare-room put a constraint upon me. and to haunt the old spots. as in  David Copperfield S any other means of excitement that presented itself freshly to him. we went our several ways after an early breakfast. I generally remained ashore. was. I need not say. Peggotty’s house of call. ‘The Willing Mind’. while Steerforth. so desolate. and revisiting the old familiar scenes of my childhood.

high-nosed wife. that day. Steerforth was pretty sure to be there expecting me. Mr. He was so intent upon his own reflections that he was quite unconscious of my approach. There were great changes in my old home. and stained the outer walls. was by a ferry.  David Copperfield and especially when Steerforth and I were happily seated over our dinner by a blazing fire. on the rosy mornings when I peeped out of that same little window in my night-clothes. Chillip was married again to a tall. So it was. turning over the leaves of the crocodile-book (which was always there. One dark evening. and not a hundred yards out of my track.reflections at these times were always associated with the figure I was to make in life. with a heavy head that it couldn’t hold up. sitting thoughtfully before the fire. The ragged nests. were gone. but even my entrance failed to rouse him. and. which I could make straight across. 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.I found him alone in Mr. and the rain had made its way through the roof of their empty house.for I had. as we were now about to return home . were gone to South America. with which it seemed to be always wondering why it had ever been born. when I was later than usual . so long deserted by the rooks. and we went on together through the frosty air and gathering fog towards the twinkling lights of the town. It was occupied. and two weak staring eyes. and they had a weazen little baby. he was lost in his meditations. MY nearest way to Yarmouth. and still. indeed. Mr. I was standing close to him. Peggotty’s house. Mr. The garden had run wild. looking out into the churchyard. and I wondered whether his rambling thoughts ever went upon any of the fancies that used to occupy mine. This. but only by a poor lunatic gentleman. upon a little table). He was always sitting at my little window. It landed me on the flat between the town and the sea. it was delicious to think of having been there. though in a softened degree. and so save myself a considerable circuit by the high road. for footsteps fell noiselessly on the sandy ground outside. when the place was left behind. Our old neighbours. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. remembered with a grateful heart how blest I was in having such a friend as Steerforth. and half the windows of the house were shut up. in coming back from these long walks. with a heavy brow. and the trees were lopped and topped out of their remembered shapes. My echoing footsteps went to no other tune. looking at him. when I went to my neat room at night. such a friend as Peggotty.com  . and the people who took care of him. But. and saw the sheep quietly feeding in the light of the rising sun. been making my parting visit to Blunderstone. until the reddening winter sun admonished me that it was time to start on my returning walk. Grayper. he might easily have been if he had been less absorbed. Peggotty’s house being on that waste-place. raw-boned. and the distinguished things I was to do. I always looked in as I went by. and Mrs. and such a substitute for what I had lost as my excellent and generous aunt. It was with a singular jumble of sadness and pleasure that I used to linger about my native place.

I am heavy company for myself.be dispersed.’ he returned.’ he answered. I believe I have been confounding myself with the bad boy who ‘didn’t care’.He gave such a start when I put my hand upon his shoulder. I think. ‘But you are spoiling them for me. glancing round the room. might . ‘I told you at the inn in London. somehow. ‘Well! So it goes by! I am not about to be Free eBooks at Planet eBook. getting up and leaning moodily against the chimney-piece. nursery tales come up into the memory. I have been a nightmare to myself.’ ‘Up from anywhere. what is the matter?’ ‘I wish with all my soul I had been better guided!’ he exclaimed. ‘Tut.’ said I. then?’ said I. ‘Perhaps not. to tell me what had occurred to cross him so unusually. striking out of it a train of red-hot sparks that went careering up the little chimney. I think. ‘I detest this mongrel time. with his face towards the fire. Daisy! nothing!’ he replied. unrecognized for what they are. ‘It would be better to be this poor Peggotty. ‘thinking that all the people we found so glad on the night of our coming down. and be the torment to myself that I have been. if I could not hope to advise him. have been creeping over me from head to foot. or his lout of a nephew. but soon with returning gaiety.’ he answered. Before I had well concluded. twenty times richer and twenty times wiser. just now . ‘than to be myself. and to let me sympathize with him. I have been afraid of myself. ‘You come upon me. ‘And I have been sitting here. I suppose. ‘like a reproachful ghost!’ ‘I was obliged to announce myself. as he stirred it quickly with a piece of burning wood. At length I begged him.must have had one. ‘I wish with all my soul I could guide myself better!’ There was a passionate dejection in his manner that quite 0 David Copperfield amazed me. almost angrily. What old women call the horrors.’ he said. in this Devil’s bark of a boat. and yet may have enough to be afraid of too. I wish to God I had had a judicious father these last twenty years!’ ‘My dear Steerforth. ‘You would not have seen them.’ he returned.’ said Steerforth. or dead. ‘I was looking at the pictures in the fire. as he stood leaning his head upon his hand. he began to laugh . with all the earnestness I felt. ‘Have I called you down from the stars?’ ‘No. within the last half-hour!’ I was so confounded by the alteration in him. it’s nothing. or come to I don’t know what harm. that at first I could only observe him in silence. He was more unlike himself than I could have supposed possible.’ he said. How late you are! Where have you been?’ ‘I have been taking leave of my usual walk. and became food for lions . sometimes.to judge from the present wasted air of the place . David.fretfully at first.’ I replied.com 1 . taking my seat near him.a grander kind of going to the dogs. and roaring out into the air.’ ‘You are afraid of nothing else. that he made me start too. and looking gloomily down at the fire.’ said I. ‘No. At odd dull times.’ said I. neither day nor night.

David. I could pass a reasonably good examination already. Peggotty says you are a wonder. I wonder!’ said I. As to fitfulness. and had left the door open in the meanwhile. David.’ said Steerforth. as a pilot in these waters.com  . after very much improving Mrs. but while the iron is hot. And that amazes me most in you.for this was the first I had heard of it. and you know how truly. Gummidge with a basket. ‘After strolling to the ferry looking for you. took my arm. explained how the house had happened to be empty. and you found me thinking. you know. and now don’t care about it.’ ‘As long as the novelty should last. ‘I have almost forgotten that there is anything to do in the world but to go out tossing on the sea here. laughing. with his hand.’ The advent of Mrs. my good fellow.’ said Steerforth. I suppose. Gummidge’s spirits by a cheerful salutation and a jocose embrace. my gentle Daisy. I missed it somehow in a bad apprenticeship. do we?’  David Copperfield ‘So we agreed. and how easily you can master it. Steerforth!’ I exclaimed. against Mr. I strolled in here and found the place deserted. 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. .’ I returned. He had improved his own spirits. ‘‘Why. I am a man again. ‘So much for that!’ he said.that you should be contented with such fitful uses of your powers. I know I am. ‘God knows. but I never saw it express such a dark kind of earnestness as when he said these words. and he was full of vivacious conversation as we went along. Well! I dare say I am a capricious fellow. gaily.’ said I.hipped again. I know how ardent you are in any pursuit you follow. and hurried me away. Steerforth. ‘Indeed he does. being gone. making as if he tossed something light into the air. I wish there was not.’ I returned. ‘And so. ‘though there’s a sarcastic meaning in that observation for an amiable piece of innocence like my young friend. ‘And our places by the coach are taken.’ he said. 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. should come home while she was gone. That set me thinking. Peggotty’s return with the tide.’ like Macbeth. ‘Like enough.You know I have bought a boat down here?’ ‘What an extraordinary fellow you are. Daisy. stopping .’ ‘But where are they all. eh?’ laughed Steerforth. once more. And now for dinner! If I have not (Macbeth-like) broken up the feast with most admired disorder.’ ‘Ay! there’s no help for it. no less than Mrs. with whom it was an early night.’ ‘Mr.’ ‘Contented?’ he answered.’ he returned. Steerforth. but I tell you. except with your freshness. ‘we abandon this buccaneer life tomorrow. She had hurried out to buy something that was needed. ‘I am never contented. I can strike it vigorously too. merrily. for they were again at their usual flow. lest Ham and little Em’ly. Gummidge’s. I think. ‘A nautical phenomenon. with his glance bent on the fire. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

how can I tell you what I think of your generosity?’ ‘Tush!’ he answered. I observed that he was pale even to his lips. turning red. Steerforth!’ said I. and giving a slight laugh. ‘where the original little Em’ly comes! And that fellow with her. the better. but you have really done so to confer a benefit on him. ‘and I shall leave Littimer behind to see it done. He is come down. the best of good looks. that I may know she is quite complete. exultingly. Did I tell you Littimer had come down?’ ‘ No. with a letter from my mother. ‘you told me all that. but manly withal. He was in his working-dress.’ As our looks met. ‘The same as ever. She’s the ‘Stormy Petrel’ now. or any emotion of such honest hearts that was indifferent to you?’ ‘Aye.’ said Steerforth. At all events.a clipper. that man of mine.’ ‘Now I understand you. ‘Nothing of the sort! Yes. ‘I have taken a fancy to the place. having improved a natural ingenuity in that handicraft. I only pursued it in my thoughts as we went on at even a quicker pace than before.’ walking me briskly on. and he resumed his usual smile.’ he answered. I feared that  David Copperfield 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. ‘The ‘Little Em’ly”. or sorrow. ‘didn’t I say that there was not a joy. though he looked very steadily at me. ‘But see here. ‘Distant and quiet as the North Pole. and so she is .’ he returned. We have said enough!’ Afraid of offending him by pursuing the subject when he made so light of it.’ As he had continued to look steadily at me.’ he said. ‘Oh no!’ he said.’ said Steerforth.com  . shaking his head.’ ‘Didn’t I know?’ cried I. Peggotty will be master of her in my absence. aye. I could not help showing in my face how much it pleased me. I thought.’ ‘The same as ever?’ said I. I might have known as much at first. Peggotty says. and an undisguised show of his pride in her. and seemed relieved. There let it rest. there was a frankness in his face. He shall see to the boat being fresh named. Indeed. to me.‘When you may never care to come near the place again!’ ‘I don’t know that. I hinted so. which were. ‘The less said. an honesty. ‘I have bought a boat that was for sale .’ ‘By what name?’ I asked. and looked rugged enough. as they came towards Free eBooks at Planet eBook. he’s a true knight. What does Mr. ‘She must be newly rigged.’ ‘Oh yes! came down this morning. I took it as a reminder that he objected to being extolled for his consideration. My dear kind Steerforth. looking before us. Mr.and Mr. Peggotty care for Stormy Petrels! I’ll have her christened again. knowing you. but I said little. and a very fit protector for the blooming little creature at his side. eh? Upon my soul. ‘You pretend to have bought it for yourself. and his love for her. until he had become a skilled workman. He never leaves her!’ Ham was a boat-builder in these days.

and had his usual effect upon me. sir. As the dark distant level. when it came by. and poor. and had sent their compliments. ‘A beggar would be no novelty. and blushed as she gave it to Steerforth and to me.’ ‘Who?’ cried Steerforth. Littimer was there. Miss Mowcher is down here. and Steerforth seemed to think so too. absorbing their figures into itself. This was all. And he wondered about it. after we had exchanged a few words. sir. several times. ‘what does it mean?’ He spoke in a low voice that sounded almost strange to Me.a young woman whose approach we had not observed. from the corner where he kept watch upon us. when taking a step or two towards the table. ‘of something like it. Steerforth and Miss Dartle were well. as I felt.’ he said.’ We had almost finished dinner. she did not like to replace that hand. what on earth does she do here?’ said Steerforth. She was lightly dressed. standing still.evidently following them . ‘but it is a strange thing that the beggar should take that shape tonight. sir. her figure disappeared in like manner. looked bold.com  . ‘She must have it in her mind to beg of them. much astonished. truly. to have given all that to the wind which was blowing. as we emerged upon a road on which a wall abutted. and yet he seemed to me to say as plainly as a man could say: ‘You are very young. he answered respectfully (and of course respectably). sir. and thought I had a faint remembrance of. as we looked after them fading away in the light of a young moon.  David Copperfield ‘For no better reason.us. ‘And all ill go with it. that they were well matched even in that particular. When I said to him that I hoped Mrs. in the short remainder of our walk. ‘Miss Mowcher. ‘It’s gone!’ he returned. he said to his master: ‘I beg your pardon. walked by herself. but seemed.’ ‘Why. still no nearer to them than before. seated warm and merry.’ said I. you are exceedingly young. and only seemed to forget it when the light of fire and candle shone upon us. he thanked me. I think. still appearing timid and constrained. that they were tolerably well. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I thought all this very pretty and engaging. and to have nothing in her mind but going after them.’ said Steerforth. left but itself visible between us and the sea and clouds. Now for our dinner!’ But he looked again over his shoulder towards the sealine glimmering afar off. at table. When they passed on.’ ‘Why?’ I asked. for the time.’ said Steerforth. She withdrew her hand timidly from his arm as we stopped to speak to them. She informs me that she makes one of her professional visits here. Where the Devil did it come from. looking over his shoulder. in some broken expressions. I think.’ said I. but whose face I saw as she went by. and yet again. and haggard. ‘That is a black shadow to be following the girl. I wonder!’ ‘From the shadow of this wall. ‘It appears to be her native part of the country. or rather upon me. and flaunting. than because I was thinking. Suddenly there passed us . but. after a pause.

and where not. standing with her head necessarily on one side. to enable herself to lay a finger archly against her snub nose.after ogling Steerforth for a few moments. was so fat that it entirely swallowed up the strings of her bonnet. fie for shame. like the conjurer’s half-crown in the lady’s handkercher.’ ‘Do you know the Giantess in question. when the door opened. for though she was more than full-sized down to where her waist would have been. there came waddling round a sofa which stood between me and it. my dear boy. ha. Oh. a pursy dwarf. worth mentioning. I’ll be bound. Talking of handkerchers . ha! You’d have betted a hundred pound to five. that you wouldn’t have seen me here. which was what is called a double chin. and though she terminated. This lady . that. and positively refused to answer any question of which I made her the subject. I’m everywhere. in a state of considerable expectation until the cloth had been removed some half an hour. easy style. and I don’t say which!’ Miss Mowcher untied her bonnet.that Miss Mowcher and I were wholly unacquainted. and Littimer. as human beings generally do. with his habitual serenity quite undisturbed.I felt ashamed. over one of my shoulders.com  . and lay her nose against it. especially as Steerforth burst into a fit of laughing when I referred to her. therefore. now. resting a bag she carried on the seat. broke into a torrent of words. ‘You’re there. sir. Steerforth. a pair of roguish grey eyes.what a comfort you are to your blessed mother.’ I felt some curiosity and excitement about this lady. and such extremely little arms. waist she had none. what do you do so far away from home? Up to mischief. ‘for she is one of the seven wonders of the world. and she wished to know if she might have the honour of waiting on you after dinner. Her chin. are you! Oh. man alive. and. ‘Then you shall know her. at this passage of her Free eBooks at Planet eBook. thinking that Miss Mowcher was a long while making her appearance. Daisy?’ inquired Steerforth. I was obliged to confess . as she ogled  David Copperfield Steerforth. sir. Throat she had none. I met her in the street this afternoon. to my infinite astonishment.’ said Steerforth. making an uncommonly knowing face . announced: ‘Miss Mowcher!’ I looked at the doorway and saw nothing. with a very large head and face. shaking her large head at him.every year. show her in. I was still looking at the doorway. and I’m another.and talking of ladies . I remained. even of being at this disadvantage before Littimer . and we were sitting over our decanter of wine before the fire. if she had had any. with the difficulty I have described.dressed in an off-hand. she was so short that she stood at a common-sized chair as at a table. ain’t you. she was obliged to meet the finger half-way. when. wouldn’t you? Bless you. of about forty or fortyfive. ain’t I? Ha. so you are. you naughty boy. in a pair of feet. I’m here and there. you’re a downy fellow. with one of her sharp eyes shut up. ‘What! My flower!’ she pleasantly began. legs she had none. bow and all. When Miss Mowcher comes. bringing her nose and her forefinger together.

’ she retorted.’ replied Steerforth. or dye it. wouldn’t you? And so you shall. much to my confusion: ‘Who’s your friend?’ ‘Mr. making a whisk at him with the handkerchief with which she was wiping her face. which she tumbled in a heap upon the chair. If you saw me looking out of an upper window. ‘and he came of a long line of Walkers. tapping her nose again. little pairs of curling-irons. Ha! ha! ha! He’s a pleasant wretch. at every dive) a number of small bottles. ‘Never YOU 0 David Copperfield mind! You’d like to know whether I stop her hair from falling off. which spread its mahogany shelter above her head.and he went on at that rate in the complimentary line. threw back the strings.com 1 . brushes. wherever I saw you. for he’s had it these ten years . quite oblivious. or touch up her complexion. that I began to think I should be obliged to ring the bell. She had by this time drawn the chair to her side. of the laws of politeness. Altogether I was lost in amazement. I am afraid. and twinkling her eyes like an imp of supernatural intelligence. sponges. that’s the fact. do!’ cried the little creature. my darling . ‘Oh my stars and what’s-their-names!’ she went on. and said to Steerforth. Copperfield. 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! . as if it was a bucket of water. of pausing with her head cunningly on one side. ‘It was Walker. ‘Go along. From this employment she suddenly desisted. bits of flannel. and one eye turned up like a magpie’s. combs. ‘I’m of too full a habit. After a flight of stairs. it gives me as much trouble to draw every breath I want. and sat staring at her. and sat down.’ I never beheld anything approaching to Miss Mowcher’s wink except Miss Mowcher’s self-possession. my sweet pet.’ ‘What were you doing for Lady Mithers?’ asked Steerforth. my blessed infant. you dog. clapping a hand on each of her little knees. ‘That’s tellings. Steerforth.making a kind of arbour of the dining table.discourse. on a footstool in front of the fire . panting. you’d think I was a fine woman. that I inherit all the Hookey estates from.’ said Steerforth. She had a wonderful way too.’ replied Miss Mowcher. wouldn’t you?’ ‘I should think that.and Mithers himself came into the room where I was waiting for her . ‘he wants to know you. he shall! I thought he looked as if he did!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Well. and was busily engaged in producing from the bag (plunging in her short arm to the shoulder. or improve her eyebrows. and other instruments. then. when listening to what was said to her.’ said Steerforth.THERE’S a man! How HE wears! and his wig too.when I tell you! Do you know what my great grandfather’s name was?’ ‘No. and glancing shrewdly at me. or when waiting for an answer to what she had said herself. screwing up her face.

Twice a week! Fingers and toes. Miss Mowcher winked assent. I believe. my goodness. my dear child .’ replied Miss Mowcher. ‘Quite tempting! I’m very fond of peaches. my pet.’ I said that I congratulated myself on having the honour to make hers. feeling in the bag with her head on one side and her eye in the air. as the morsel of a hand came away from the face. and I showed you the scraps of the Prince’s nails to prove it. Prince Alphabet turned topsy-turvy. and buried itself. ‘Well. Couldn’t help it. ‘Ha! ha! ha! What a refreshing set of humbugs we are. and have it over. ‘Pays. my sweet child?’ replied that morsel of a woman.through the nose. You never saw such a rusty Prince in all your born days as he was. shaking her head violently. ‘I believe you. trying to fold her short arms.’ ‘He pays well. ‘Forced to send for me.returned Miss Mowcher. higgledy-piggledy. she must be all right. black by art. ‘None of your close shavers the Prince  David Copperfield ain’t. ‘What do you mean. is he?’ said Steerforth. though. ‘Oh. Come. it did very well in Russia. making a preposterous attempt to cover her large face with her morsel of a hand.’ said Steerforth. arm and all. ‘I said. Steerforth. ain’t it!’ This was addressed confidentially to both of us. and I laughed too. ‘I keep his nails in order for him. ‘What a world of gammon and spinnage it is. I hope?’ said Steerforth. ‘Scraps of the Russian Prince’s nails. and to look into the air with one eye. you’re a broth of a boy. They put ‘em in albums. The climate affected his dye. than all my talents put together. If Miss Mowcher cuts the Prince’s nails. just now?’ inquired Steerforth. ‘this is not business.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I’m sure. what a set of humbugs we were in general. as he speaks. ain’t we. and nodding her large head.’ replied Miss Mowcher. They’re the best introduction. ‘Oh. of course. to be sure. smiting her small knees. The Prince’s nails do more for me in private families of the genteel sort. Copperfield. Like old iron!’ ‘Is that why you called him a humbug. well!’ she said. and to wink with the other. Miss Mowcher?’ said Steerforth. in the bag again. and laughing on me as she came. ‘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. let’s explore the polar regions. ‘Look here!’ taking something out. Ha! ha! ha! Upon my life. ain’t you?’ returned Miss Mowcher. bag in hand. how polite we are!’ exclaimed Miss Mowcher. waddling up to me. You’d say so.’ ‘By your art. Happy to make your acquaintance. and that the happiness was mutual. Mr. if you saw his moustachios. Steerforth laughed heartily. Miss Mowcher continuing all the time to shake her head (which was very much on one side). I always carry ‘em about. for his name’s got all the letters in it.’ ‘The Russian Prince is a client of yours. I give ‘em away to the young ladies. and rising. I call him. but it was no go here. ‘Face like a peach!’ standing on tiptoe to pinch my cheek as I sat. Red by nature.com  .

’ said Steerforth. my young friend. On Steerforth’s replying in the affirmative. stopping to slap his cheek. ‘If either of you saw my ankles. ‘To doctor his own moustachios with. ducky. after a brief inspection. was a most amazing spectacle. ‘say so. and begging the assistance of my hand. began rubbing and scraping away with both on the crown of Steerforth’s head in the busiest manner I ever witnessed.’ said Charley to the Griffin. ‘It looks like it.’ said the Griffin. sir.’ continued Miss Mowcher.’ said Steerforth.’ cried Miss Mowcher. she tilted some of the contents of the little bottle on to one of the little bits of flannel. ‘You’re a pretty fellow!’ said Miss Mowcher.’ she said.who had never even heard of it by name. is it?’ ‘Rouge. she pushed a chair against it. ‘What the unmentionable to ears polite. the duke’s son. ‘What does he do. and we’ll give you a polishing that shall keep your curls on for the next ten years!’ With this. ‘A little. just half a minute. I thought it might be. rubbing all the time as Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘I did not. with his back to the table. and. ‘Charley does. accordingly. he tried.quite a Griffin . lo and behold you. sat himself down.She then selected two or three of the little instruments. There was a woman in the shop . ‘it’s not . and his laughing face towards me. To see Miss Mowcher standing over him. but for me. you know. ‘we have it asked for by so many names. looking at his rich profusion of brown hair through a large round magnifying glass.in the Life-Guards. mad or sane. and submitted his head to her inspection.’ she said. mounted up.’ I’ll consent to live. talking all the time. do you think I want with rouge?’ ‘No offence. ‘Begging pardon. pretty nimbly. they’d defy competition. as if it were a stage. ‘You’d be as bald as a friar on the top of your head in twelve months.’ said the Griffin to Charley.not . ducky. ‘You know Charley?’ peeping round into his face. and a little bottle. evidently for no other purpose than our entertainment. and wants to buy a bottle of the Madagascar Liquid.’ Now that.’ said I. to the top.com  . when she was safely elevated. ‘There’s Charley Pyegrave.’ ‘What is it? Something to drink?’ asked Steerforth.’ This was an invocation to Steerforth to place himself under her hands. Bond and be killed.’ ‘Charley does?’ said Steerforth. who.not ROUGE. he goes into a perfumer’s shop. too?’ ‘Mad!’ said Steerforth. come to Mrs. ‘To drink?’ returned Miss Mowcher. and asked (to my surprise) if the table would bear. ducky. but. and I’ll go home and destroy myself!’ ‘I did not. ‘Well then.elderly female .’ returned Miss Mowcher. ‘What a man HE is! THERE’S a whisker! As to Charley’s legs. However. Would you believe he tried to do without me . sir. my child. again imparting some of the virtues of that preparation to one of the  David Copperfield little brushes. if they were only a pair (which they ain’t). Now. But they haven’t got any of the Madagascar Liquid. which she took out of her pocket.

‘Aye. ain’t I volatile?’ Her tone and look implied something that was not agreeable to me in connexion with the subject. ‘Nothing of the sort. in a graver manner than any of us had yet assumed: ‘She is as virtuous as she is pretty. One Dowager. ‘Such things are not much in demand hereabouts.WITH IT ON . ‘Her name is Emily. Mr. before a whole drawing-room.‘How am I looking. ‘Aha?’ cried the little creature.’ said Steerforth. ‘Not the ghost of one. I do something in that way myself . and winking at me over it. and make believe with such a face. I supply it for ‘em.Is her name Polly?’ The Elfin suddenness with which she pounced upon me with this question. Another.sharp’s the word. ‘Umph? What a rattle I am! Mr. hasn’t he now?’ returned Miss Mowcher. She seemed to have found no answer to either.busily as ever. jemmy. and still keeping the same look-out. So I said. and a searching look. before I could reply. I say I do a little in that way myself. ‘is another instance of the refreshing humbug I was speaking of. Copperfield. that they’d as soon think of laying it on. That sets me off again! I haven’t seen a pretty woman since I’ve been here.’ I replied. ‘work it by the rule of Secrets in all trades. I think?’ said  David Copperfield Steerforth. and the second like a question put to Steerforth only. ‘Ah!’ she said. She is engaged to be married to a Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘No?’ said Steerforth.to have a great admiration for her. ‘Umph?’ The first exclamation sounded like a question put to both of us. Miss Mowcher.thick.perhaps a little . indeed. with her head on one side and her eye turned up. intensely enjoying this refreshment. they’ll say to me sometimes . And when I wait upon ‘em. ‘Eh. my tender pupil.’ ‘Aha?’ she cried exactly as before. Another. as if she were looking for an answer in the air and were confident of its appearing presently. but we keep up the trick so. I call it whatever THEY call it. aye?’ ‘No.’ returned the wary Mowcher. my dear boy . Copperfield?’ she cried. Mowcher? Am I pale?’ Ha! ha! ha! ha! Isn’t THAT refreshing. SHE calls it gloves. but continued to rub. SHE calls it a fan.’ said I. ‘A sister of yours. after a pause. ‘Put this and that together.never mind!’ ‘In what way do you mean? In the rouge way?’ said Steerforth. glancing sharply at my face. to one another. SHE calls it lip-salve. for shame! Did he sip every flower. On the contrary.’ ‘Why. Copperfield used . Daisy?’ ‘Yes. and change every hour.’ replied Miss Mowcher. my young friend!’ I never did in my days behold anything like Mowcher as she stood upon the dining table. until Polly his passion requited? . addressing his eyes to mine. quite disconcerted me for a moment. Another.com  . touching her nose. and no mistake . ‘Is he fickle? Oh.or I am much mistaken . as before me. and the product will give you the desired result. Mr. rubbing busily at Steerforth’s head. and then peeping round at Steerforth’s.perhaps a good deal . SHE calls it tucker-edging. ‘No. ‘We could show her the substance of one.

and that I swear she was born to be a lady. that to me she seems to be throwing herself away. is it?’ she exclaimed. for I felt we were on my weak point.’ ‘No. also of this town. occupation. and her eye in the air as if she were still looking for that answer. or articled.’ ‘What do you say. Daisy?’ inquired Steerforth. If I understand any noddle in the world. boat-builder. which I know my friend would not like. because she’s engaged. and rattled away with surprising volubility. Not at present. that went glancing round his head in all directions. and if Mr. and treated her with an elopement.’ returned the little woman. Milliners.’ she urged. I took her to the sign of the exquisite. I thank you. her name’s Emily. finding that I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I esteem her for her good sense. Haberdashers. Come!’ I could not help blushing as I declined. laughing. and so forth. I admire her . Peggotty.’ ‘Have it carried half a quarter of an inch towards the temple. ‘Oh! And that’s all about it. not this evening. because she’s enticing. without drawing breath: ‘There! If ever any scapegrace was trimmed and touched up to perfection. ‘Will you be improved?’ ‘Thank you. and resigning his seat. Christian name. ‘a little bit more eyebrow?’ ‘Thank you. trimming his whiskers with a little restless pair of scissors. ‘Very well: very well! Quite a long story. or whatever it may be. then. also of this town. unknown. But Miss Mowcher. Do you observe? Omer and Joram. Do you hear me when I tell you that. hear. ain’t I volatile?’ Merely looking at me with extravagant slyness. Ought to end ‘and they lived  David Copperfield happy ever afterwards”. When he ceased she became brisk again in an instant. Miss Mowcher. ‘Now you may mizzle.’ ‘Don’t say no.’ I returned. Christian name. to Omer and Joram. occupation. by leaving her nothing to guess at. and not waiting for any reply. If it were not that I might appear to disparage her Intended. Copperfield will take the chair I’ll operate on him. seafaring. oughtn’t it? Ah! What’s that game at forfeits? I love my love with an E. She lives with a relative. for a pair of whiskers. is made and entered into with her cousin. Peggotty. Steerforth. surname. as much as I admire her for her good looks. which were very slowly and distinctly spoken. Copperfield. ‘some other time. in this town.’ Miss Mowcher listened to these words. that I am sure she might do better. I would add.exceedingly. Ham. The promise of which my friend has spoken. looking at me with the aspect of a connoisseur.’ ‘Go in for a tip. with her head on one side. I hate her with an E. my dear Daisy. jemmy (as we say at Court). and she lives in the east? Ha! ha! ha! Mr. She is the prettiest and most engaging little fairy in the world.most worthy and deserving man in her own station of life. ‘No? Let’s get the scaffolding up. surname. ‘Hear. she continued.’ peeping down into his face.’ said Miss Mowcher. now. my darling? I understand yours.com  .as my friend does . you are.’ ‘Well said!’ cried Steerforth. Miss Mowcher. I understand yours. ‘We can do it in a fortnight. She is at present apprenticed. hear! Now I’ll quench the curiosity of this little Fatima.

com 01 . for the time being. he said. ‘Bob swore. she waddled to the door. caught them. and thought it so like English. that it was impossible for me to help laughing too. Good-bye. when he first learnt French. and gave it a loud slap. and try to bear it. ‘Bob swore!’ as I went Free eBooks at Planet eBook. departed. which was after some time. 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. Mr. a good deal about her skill. ‘Ain’t I volatile?’ she added. with much rapidity. standing at the chair again.’ replied Miss Mowcher. as he says. ‘That’s the Till!’ observed Miss Mowcher. and. He told me that what she had said of being here. You must call up all your fortitude. I know I’m going to break your hearts. When we had had our laugh quite out.’ But I thought she was rather so. and there. Copperfield?’ I replied politely: ‘Not at all. Mr. ‘is -’ ‘Five bob. but for this inducement. proof against the blandishments of the small bottle which she held up before one eye to enforce her persuasions. not succeeding in attracting his attention to these questions after two or three attempts. when she tossed up his two half-crowns like a goblin pieman. Some people trifled with her as a mere oddity. I asked him what her disposition was: whether it was at all mischievous. he told me that Miss Mowcher had quite an extensive connexion. It won’t do to be like long Ned Beadwood. ‘and dirt cheap.as the Englishman said for ‘Good night’. but droll! Now. if I should ever have occasion for her service in that capacity. and rattling as she waddled away.was not at present disposed for any decoration within the range of her art. Steerforth laughed to that degree. He told me instead. and about her being a scientific cupper. and made herself useful to a variety of people in a variety of ways. I forgive you! ‘Bob swore!’ . where she stopped to inquire if she should leave us a lock of her hair. Copperfield! Take care of yourself. I forbore or forgot to repeat them. but I am forced to leave you. dropped them in her pocket. she skipped down with much agility. said we would make a beginning on an early day. and everywhere. jockey of Norfolk! How I have been rattling on! It’s all the fault of you two wretches.’ said Steerforth. and that I was. my chicken. with her finger on her nose. Ain’t I volatile. though I am not sure I should have done so. Ned. and began to tie her double chin into her bonnet. and as long-headed as she was short-armed. and her profits. and requested the aid of my hand to descend from her elevated station. and if her sympathies were generally on the right side of things: but. ‘The fee. ‘Have I got all my traps? It seems so. when they took him to church ‘to marry him to somebody’. and replacing in the bag a miscellaneous collection of little objects she had emptied out of it. was true enough. and seemed to pick up customers everywhere. Ha! ha! ha! A wicked rascal. and left the bride behind. but she was as shrewdly and sharply observant as anyone he knew. Thus assisted.’ my ducks!’ 00 David Copperfield With the bag slung over her arm. as a commentary on this offer. and to know everybody. for she made little darts into the provinces.

Barkis’s house. sir. Ham. and he wouldn’t . can it be you?’ . Mas’r Davy. ‘I recollect her quite well!’ ‘Martha Endell. Mas’r Davy. with great earnestness. ‘but look’ee here.’ he rejoined. Mas’r Davy. instead of pacing the streets by himself? ‘Why. ‘I didn’t mean to interrupt you.’ ‘I should have thought. Barkis.’ she says. ‘all’s told a’most in them words. Em’ly couldn’t speak to her theer. Em’ly. Mas’r Davy. when the tears is on her face. Ham. and still more surprised to learn from him that little Em’ly was inside.’ By and by she tells me what I tell you. kind-natur’d. sir . Martha. ‘that that was a reason for your being in here too. when she see the light come. I was once like you!’ She wanted to speak to Em’ly.’ ‘I never heard her name. side by side. Mas’r Davy. ‘Show that. and she’ll set you down by her fire. The mowld o’ the churchyard don’t hold any that the folk shrink away from. have a woman’s heart towards me. ‘It’s a young woman. till uncle is gone out. quite as well as Ham. in a hesitating manner. but along of her creeping soon arterwards under Em’ly’s little winder. ‘Two or three year older than Em’ly. so ‘t would be. ‘Em’ly.’ said I. ‘to my aunt.no. to find Ham walking up and down in front of it. Ham.downstairs. ‘Em’ly. and asks me to bring her.com 0 . What can I do? She doen’t ought to know any such. but was at the school with her. I naturally inquired why he was not there too. many a day. Em’ly. and I can come.’ said Ham. Omer’s. smiling.’ ‘For the matter o’ that. for Christ’s sake. ‘he couldn’t. Mas’r Davy. and whispering ‘Em’ly. but I can’t deny her. after we met you?’ ‘Keeping us in sight?’ said Ham.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Ham. ‘and gives it to her out o’ winder to bring here. you see. recalling one of the two girls I had seen when I first went there. I was surprised.’ ‘Did I see her tonight. tender-hearted as he is. in a general way. ‘It’s like you did. and speaking very gravely. when I came to Mr. for all the treasures that’s wrecked in the sea.’ said I. Up street and down street.a young woman. ‘So Em’ly writes in pencil on a bit of paper. for her loving uncle was come home.’ ‘Well. that Em’ly knowed once.’ he returned.’ I felt how true this was. and doen’t ought to know no more. Mas’r Davy. some hours ago. What did Em’ly do?’ ‘Says Em’ly. Mas’r Davy.’ said Ham. she was theer. a light began to fall upon the figure I had seen following them.for they had sat at work together. I was once like you!’ Those was solemn words. have a woman’s heart towards me. Mas’r Davy.’ lowering his voice.’ replied Ham. ‘It’s a poor wurem. at Mr. ‘as is trod under foot by all the town. for the love of me. is it you? Oh. ‘Martha. see them two together. on the sand.’ he pursued. more.’ ‘I recollect her now!’ cried I. I knew it. on the instant. for Christ’s sake. Mrs. she’s talking to some ‘un in here. fur to 0 David Copperfield hear!’ ‘They were indeed. Not that I know’d then.’ When I heard these words.

Martha’s. He stood between them. came back to where he had retired near me. as if she had been disordering it with her own hands. Does he .was near the fire. They both spoke as if she were ill. Even then. So had little Em’ly. for a minute or two. and the Dutch clock by the dresser seemed. and took out with great care a pretty little purse. ‘She will try to do well. where the whole town knows me from a child!’ As Em’ly held out her hand to Ham. ‘I’ll try. but for its being the neat-tiled kitchen I have mentioned more than once. but finding her mistake.and we walked up and down.’ said a third voice aloud .do they . Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Martha. I saw him put in it a little canvas bag. and Peggotty appeared. ‘You don’t know what she has said to us. ‘Better there than here. Everybody knows me here. She took it. as a woman in a fever. Not a word was spoken when we first went in. beckoning to Ham to come in. ‘to go to London. and curved her right arm about her neck. and of a fair complexion.’ said little Em’ly. I fancied. in silence. over which her hair fell loose and scattered. I would have avoided the room where they all were. I may do better. The door opening immediately into it. Em’ly spoke first. Em’ly my dear. though she did not move. in a soft. looking on the prostrate girl with a mixture of compassion for her.’ she said to Ham.for that was more satisfactory to me than saying anything . ‘Martha wants.the same I had seen upon the sands . ‘if you’ll help me away. thoughtfully looking on it. tenderly adjusting it on the rough palm of his hand. The door opened then.aunt?’ Peggotty shook her head compassionately. and of jealousy of her holding any companionship with her whom he loved so well. with her head and one arm lying on a chair. Peggotty had been crying. I never can do worse than I have done here. ‘And if I could deny her when the tears was on her face. but she came after me. then laid it down again. Mas’r Davy. and looked darkly round at him for a moment.com 0 . I found myself among them before I considered whither I was going. as if she thought it were her purse. ‘how could I deny her when she give me this to carry for her . I saw but little of the girl’s face.’ ‘Why to London?’ returned Ham. I would have kept away. suppressed tone that was plainly heard. ‘No one knows me there.’ said Ham. although it hardly rose above a whisper. which I have always remembered distinctly. and showed it to him.He put his hand into the breast of his shaggy jacket.knowing what she brought it for? Such a toy as it is!’ said Ham. The girl . She was sitting on the ground. that Em’ly had but newly risen from the chair. in the silence. from the disposition of her figure. She lifted up her head. and made a step or two forward. ‘With such a little money in it. ‘take me out of these streets. Oh!’ with a dreadful shiver. but I saw that she was young.’ I shook him warmly by the hand when he had put it away again . might twist herself. to tick 0 David Copperfield twice as loud as usual. or in an agony of pain from a shot.’ ‘What will she do there?’ inquired Ham. and that the forlorn head might perhaps have been lying on her lap. entreating me to come in too.

I want to feel a hundred times more thankful than I do. Not near! not near!’ And still she cried. went slowly to the door.’ ‘Ah! that’s not enough!’ she cried. ‘No! no! no!’ cried little Em’ly. and let me lay my head upon you. She whispered something. still weeping pitifully. I know!’ Peggotty had hastened to the chair before the fire. ‘my dear! I am happy in the sight of you. wretched moaning in her shawl. aunt. Em’ly!’ said Ham. She stopped a moment before going out. when I ought to be far different. and to lead a peaceful life. who was all bound up in you. all day long. I am very miserable tonight. dear. my heart!’ She dropped her face on my old nurse’s breast. and putting money in her bosom. aunt! Oh. ‘Doen’t. I’m sure. ‘Doen’t. ‘come here. What she gave her. ‘I’m 0 David Copperfield often cross to you. David. Making the same low. tapping her gently on the shoulder. my dear! You doen’t ought to cry so. for the sake of old times. You are never so to me. ‘That is because you are good. I don’t know. I know I do!’ she sobbed. try to help me! Mr. ‘I am not as good a girl as I ought to be. as if she would have uttered something or turned back. with her arms around her neck. ceasFree eBooks at Planet eBook. Em’ly. and gathering her shawl about her. as if her heart would break. she went away. and changeable with you. it might have been a better fortune for you. pray.com 0 . As the door closed. as she asked was that enough? ‘More than enough. and took her hand and kissed it.’ sobbed Em’ly. what a blessed thing it is to be the wife of a good man. looking up most earnestly into her face. Then Martha arose. in a low voice. and weeping aloud. I am not. my dear. and never vain and changeable like me!’ ‘Poor little tender-heart. but no word passed her lips. Oh. I want to feel more.’ ‘Please. little Em’ly looked at us three in a hurried manner and then hid her face in her hands. dreary.’ said Ham. in the thoughts of you. ‘I try your love too much. sometimes.’ said Ham. pretty!’ ‘Oh. when I should think of nothing but how to be grateful. Why am I ever so to you. and shaking her head. please. It ain’t of no delight to me. not because I am! Oh. Em’ly. Oh me. my dear. and to make you happy!’ ‘You always make me so. try to help me! I want to be a better girl than I am. I am not as good a girl as I ought to be. covering her face with it. kneeled by her. ‘I haven’t nowt in all the wureld that ain’t yourn. try to help me! Ham. I saw her stooping over her. and fell to sobbing. altogether. but she turned away and went to Martha. ‘I am not so good a girl as I ought to be! I know I have not the thankful heart. you have. and. I am happy. aunt.’ said Ham. I ought to have!’ ‘Yes. Ham!’ she exclaimed. sobbing.‘It’s all yourn.’ the other said. except for you!’ The tears rose freshly in her eyes. oh me! Oh my heart. ‘Oh. do.’ I could hear him say. if you had been fond of someone else . ‘Martha has overset her. yes.of someone steadier and much worthier than me.

and better suited to her beauty.ing this supplication.of what she had been unable to repress when her heart lay open to me by an accident. The repetition to any ears .com 0 0 David Copperfield . lest her uncle should wonder. even to Steerforth. I saw her innocently kiss her chosen husband on the cheek.even to Steerforth’s . When they went away together. and whom I have always been persuaded. and I looked after them. half ashamed. now talking encouragingly. as all her manner was (being. and there it gave her image a new grace. and her emotion last night. and shall always be persuaded. unworthy of the light of our pure childhood. I made a resolution. which in its agony and grief was half a woman’s. and then to laugh. which I always saw encircling her head. DICK. and that to disclose them. I saw her do. I felt as if I had come into the knowledge of those domestic weaknesses and tendernesses in a sacred confidence. while my old nurse hushed her like an infant. I saw that she held his arm with both her hands. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and then we soothed her. until she was able to smile. So we got on. to my dying day. and made her neat again. AND CHOOSE A PROFESSION W hen I awoke in the morning I thought very much of little Em’ly. She got calmer by degrees. that night. and then to sit up. dried her eyes. until she began to raise her head and speak to us. I then devotedly loved. comparing their departure in my mind with Martha’s. more natural. in the waning moonlight. than any other manner could have been). I felt would be a rough deed. would be wrong. and creep close to his bluff form as if it were her best support. therefore. when she got home. wept silently. and now jesting a little with her. unworthy of myself. I had no gentler feeling towards anyone than towards the pretty creature who had been my playmate. as I thought. while Peggotty recalled her stray ringlets. what I had never seen her do before. half a child’s. in that. CHAPTER 23 I CORROBORATE Mr. why his darling had been crying. after Martha had left. and still kept close to him. to keep it in my own breast.

and I believe would even have opened the box again. ‘He knows what he has to do. For the present we had enough to do. taking it out of my pocket. and there were so many seafaring volunteers in attendance on Steerforth. ‘No. and he’ll do it. ‘probably not very long. At length Steerforth. I am afraid I have forgotten it.’ ‘That I am sure he will. you have done?’ ‘Indeed I can’t say I have. becoming gay and talkative in a moment. with a good deal of marsh in it. ‘Does she suggest anything?’ ‘Why. as he stood waiting to see the coach start. if I think I should like to be a proctor? What do you think of it?’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. sir. Littimer touched his hat in acknowledgement of my good opinion. Littimer?’ said I. carelessly. if it would have kept us eight-and-forty hours in Yarmouth. particularly. ‘Look to the right.’ ‘Which. yes. as respectable a mystery as any pyramid in Egypt. To tell you the truth. just now. here. and left a great many people very sorry behind US. when our portmanteaux went to the coach. Barkis was far from being the last among them. she reminds me. What about that letter you were speaking of at breakfast?’ ‘Oh!’ said I.’ said I. and what new changes might happen to me or them in the meanwhile. and you’ll find no difference. Do you stay long here. look to the rear. that if we had had the baggage of a regiment with us.’ I laughed. The whole house of Omer and Joram turned out to bid us good-bye. and to think a little.’ said I. in his regret at our departure. In a word. wishing us a good journey. and on which I knew I should be delighted to consult him. a letter was delivered to me from my aunt. look to the left. and you’ll see the same. requiring consideration?’ ‘Why. pulled me by the arm: ‘Find a voice. we should hardly have wanted porters to carry it.com 11 .’ said Steerforth. ‘She asks me.’ ‘Well! look about you now. and I being sufficiently engaged in wondering. Steerforth. and we left him standing on the pavement. 10 David Copperfield For some little time we held no conversation. we departed to the regret and admiration of all concerned. Mr. and replied that I saw no suitable profession in the whole prospect. I resolved to make it a subject of discussion on our journey home. within myself. and I felt about eight years old. of course. He touched it once more. David. As it contained matter on which I thought Steerforth could advise me as well as anyone.While we were at breakfast. in taking leave of all our friends. and sacrificed another guinea.’ observed Steerforth. Peggotty and all her family were full of grief at our going. ‘that I came out on this expedition to look about me. Steerforth being unusually silent. glancing at the letter in my hand.’ said I.’ ‘And what does she say. and you’ll see a flat country. and make up for your negligence. and there it is still. Look to the front. when I should see the old places again. which was perhaps to be attributed to its flatness.’ ‘He can hardly say. ‘It’s from my aunt. sir. ‘What says our aunt on the subject?’ inquired Steerforth. as he could become anything he liked at any moment.’ he replied.

Paul’s Churchyard . ‘You don’t mean to say that there is any affinity between nautical matters and ecclesiastical matters?’ ‘I don’t.’ replied Steerforth. if that’s any satisfaction. presented to an uncommonly select audience. and disputes among ships and boats. which three-fourths of the world know nothing about.’ returned Steerforth. now he’s another. would have terminated about two hundred years ago. and now he is not a judge. It’s a little out-of-the-way place. he is a sort of monkish attorney.what solicitors are to the courts of law and equity. and find them blundering through half the nautical terms in Young’s Dictionary. Steerforth!’ I exclaimed. in the days of the Edwards. coolly. 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.’ ‘But advocates and proctors are not one and the same?’ said I. I don’t know. ‘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. indeed. On the whole.’ ‘Nonsense. David. ‘He is. ‘Why. They plume them. and. I suppose?’ I could not help laughing again. change and change about. and find them deep in the evidence. the advocate in the clergyman’s case. Paul’s Churchyard’. It’s a place that has an ancient monopoly in suits about people’s wills and people’s marriages. The proctors employ the advocates. but it’s always a very pleasant. to some faded courts held in Doctors’ Commons. in a fossil state. ‘You may as well do that as anything else.’ replied Steerforth. apropos of the ‘Nancy’ having run down the ‘Sarah Jane’.com 1 . which she left to my free decision. I would recommend you to take to Doctors’ Commons kindly. making no scruple of telling me that it had occurred to her.’ he returned. respecting a clergyman who has misbehaved himself. and I told him so.selves on their gentility there. my dear boy. ‘Are they?’ ‘No. I can tell you. did not feel indisposed towards my aunt’s suggestion.a lazy old nook near St. He is a functionary whose existence. pro and con. I can tell you best what he is. considering it with reference to the staid air of gravity and antiquity which I associated with that ‘lazy old nook near St. now he’s one thing. on her lately visiting her own proctor in Doctors’ Commons for the purpose of settling her will in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and the other fourth supposes to have been dug up. profitable little affair of private theatricals. or contrariwise. a little puzzled. by telling you what Doctors’ Commons is. and you shall go there another day. at his balancing all callings and professions so equally. ‘but I mean to say that they are managed and decided by the same set of people. ‘What is a proctor. Both get very comfortable fees. and altogether they make a mighty snug little party. down in that same Doctors’ Commons. . They are like actors: now a man’s a judge. You shall go there one day.‘Well. or Mr. and play all kinds of tricks with obsolete old monsters of acts of Parliament. Steerforth?’ said I. where they administer what is called ecclesiastical law. and you shall find the judge in the nautical case. now he’s something else.’ I made allowance for Steerforth’s light way of treating the subject. in the natural course of things.

Supper was comfortably served and hot. when she came to my house.’ said my aunt. my advice is that you take kindly to Doctors’ Commons.whether that she might have more stone stairs for her money. I ought to have left Janet at home. ‘So you have left Mr. ‘That’s a laudable proceeding on the part of our aunt. striking the table. pretending to laugh. Daisy. and was not available for purposes of trespass. my aunt being firmly persuaded that every house in London was going to be burnt down every night. ‘I have had no peace of mind. and I know it was a donkey!’ I tried to comfort her on this point. ever since. whose audacity it is harder to me to bear than another’s. ‘that Dick’s character is not a character to keep the donkeys off. But my aunt wouldn’t hear of it. ‘It was a donkey. rubbing her nose. ‘and it was the one with the stumpy tail which that Murdering sister of a woman rode. If ever there was a donkey trespassing on my green. that made us both merry.’ Before I could ask why. I am confident he wants strength of purpose. We achieved the rest of our journey pleasantly. how do you do?’ As Janet curtsied. aunt?’ said I. and a convenient door in the roof. Dick behind. since I have been here. ‘there was one this afternoon at four o’clock. engaging to call upon me next day but one. Trot. My aunt cried outright as she embraced me. we could hardly have been better pleased to meet again.’ This had been.’ said my aunt. too. that silly little creature would have shed tears. and that she believed the donkey in question was then engaged in the sand-and-gravel line of business. at all events. and said.’ I quite made up my mind to do so. If I had been round the world since we parted. I observed my aunt’s visage lengthen very much. hoping I was well. sometimes recurring to Doctors’ Commons. and that she had taken lodgings for a week at a kind of private hotel at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. and I drove to Lincoln’s Inn Fields. that. which Steerforth pictured in a variety of humorous and whimsical lights. When we came to our journey’s end. A cold feeling came over me from head to foot.my favour. 1 David Copperfield ‘I am sorry for it. the only name my aunt knew for Miss Murdstone. though my aunt’s rooms were very high up .com 1 . ‘If there is any Donkey in Dover.’ said Steerforth.’ said my aunt. I then told Steerforth that my aunt was in town awaiting me (as I found from her letter).’ said my aunt. and then my mind might perhaps have been at ease. she told me. that if my poor mother had been alive. where I found my aunt up. laying her hand with melancholy firmness on the table. where there was a stone staircase. Janet. instead. and waiting supper. ‘I am convinced. but she rejected consolation. with emphasis. Ah. she had no doubt. and anticipating the distant days when I should be a proctor there. ‘and one deserving of all encouragement. ‘is the animal!’ Janet ventured to suggest that my aunt might be disturbing herself unnecessarily. ‘I am sorry for that. he went home. when I mentioned it. or might be nearer Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said my aunt.

just a thousand pounds. I hope the steak may be beef. ‘Well. and ate but little. my aunt sitting opposite to me drinking her wine and water. and which were all excellent. and some vegetables. from what I understand. and to fold her gown back over her knees. ‘Certainly not. but the dirt. soaking her strips of toast in it. my dear aunt.’ I did not venture to controvert this opinion. as this seems. You have expended a great deal on my education. When the table was cleared. ‘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. to consider. and that it is right that it should be so expended? I only ask you. a glass of hot wine and water.’ said my aunt.com 1 . but I don’t believe it. I don’t know . I then made her. to be a limited profession. Are you certain?’ My aunt finished eating the piece of toast on which she was then engaged. my aunt said). which was of a smarter construction than usual (’in case of fire’.to the door in the roof.’ said I. and a slice of toast cut into long thin strips. in my opinion. ‘It would be no pleasure to a London tradesman to sell anything which was what he pretended it was. and foldFree eBooks at Planet eBook. Trot. to all of which I did ample justice. I like it exceedingly. ‘Why. Janet assisted her to arrange her hair. my dear aunt. and then setting her glass on the chimney-piece. and looking benig1 David Copperfield nantly on me. You have been the soul of generosity. could ever be permitted.’ ‘Say what it is. I like it very much indeed. looking me full in the face all the while. to put on her nightcap. and yet begin with a good hope of getting on by resolution and exertion.’ she returned. Nothing’s genuine in the place. a steak. but I made a good supper. With these accompaniments we were left alone to finish the evening. however slight. I want to ask. ‘I am uneasy in my mind about that. Trot. ‘and never took the air except on a hackney coach-stand. It’s a large sum of money.and consisted of a roast fowl. Surely there are some ways in which I might begin life with hardly any outlay. But my aunt had her own ideas concerning London provision. whether my entrance into it would not be very expensive?’ ‘It will cost. from among the borders of her nightcap. one by one. and I have talked a good deal about it with Steerforth.’ ‘Now. aunt. and have always been as liberal to me in all things as it was possible to be. these being her usual preparations for warming herself before going to bed.’ ‘Come!’ said my aunt.’ ‘Don’t you think the fowl may have come out of the country. drawing my chair nearer. ‘I suppose this unfortunate fowl was born and brought up in a cellar. aunt. my second mother. according to certain established regulations from which no deviation.’ returned my aunt. 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. ‘That’s cheering!’ ‘I have only one difficulty.’ returned my aunt.’ she began. ‘to article you. before eating them. aunt?’ I hinted. which it greatly satisfied her to see me do.

I should like some people that I know to hear Dick’s conversation on the subject. Perhaps I might have been better friends with your poor father. When you came to me. and went on: ‘It’s in vain.here to my surprise she hesitated.’ said I.ing her hands upon her folded skirts. I have no other claim upon my means. if I have any object in life. and was confused . if anything could. now. Give me a kiss. ‘I don’t know what I am to do. at twelve o’clock . and suffered me to do so too. Trot. Step into a shop. ‘if I heard the engines?’ But towards morning she slept better. a sensible.’ We had a long chat by the fire before we went to bed. in Doctors’ Commons. at least’ . who had this other general opinion in reference to London. I observed. when I found that my aunt greatly accelerated her speed.’ ‘No. ‘All is agreed and understood between us. I have no other claim upon my means . Perhaps I might have been better friends with that poor child your mother. unless it works some influence upon the present. to recall the past.and you are my adopted child. that a lowering ill-dressed man who had stopped and stared at us in passing. you have ever been a credit to me and a pride and a pleasure. a little runaway boy. and of dismissing it. my child. in a terrified whisper.we had timed our going. ‘Don’t speak to him for the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. a little before. and inquiring. was coming so close after us as to brush against her. ‘and we need talk of this no more. gave me her purse to carry for her. to see the giants of Saint Dunstan’s strike upon the bells . Trot. perhaps I thought so. There was a magnanimity in her quiet way of doing so. so as to catch them at it. no. At about mid-day. at the same time. From that time until now. I slept in a room on the same floor with my aunt’s. replied as follows: ‘Trot. and pressing my arm. and we’ll go to the Commons after breakfast tomorrow. Only be a loving child to me in my age. except myself!’ She stopped for a moment to take my hand between hers. 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 you will do more for an old woman whose prime of life was not so happy or conciliating as it might have been. and I’ll soon get rid of this fellow. Paul’s Churchyard. child!’ she returned. which would have exalted her in my respect and affection. We were crossing to the former place.‘no. and a happy man. We made a pause at the toy shop in Fleet Street. it is to provide for your being a good. Its sagacity is wonderful. that every man she saw was a pickpocket. I am bent upon it . which had ten guineas in it and some silver.so is Dick. My aunt. and looked frightened. ‘Trot! My dear Trot!’ cried my aunt. all dusty and way-worn.’ said 1 David Copperfield my aunt.and then went on towards Ludgate Hill.’ It was the first time I had heard my aunt refer to her past history. and St. even after your sister Betsey Trotwood disappointed me. and bear with my whims and fancies.com 1 . ‘There’s nothing to be afraid of. than ever that old woman did for you. Trot.’ ‘Don’t be alarmed. But no one knows the resources of that man’s intellect. we set out for the office of Messrs Spenlow and Jorkins.

I order you!’ ‘Good Heaven. She had not yet sufficiently recovered from her agitation to be quite prepared for the visit we had to make. Almost before I could let down the steps. I must go with him. though what the nature of his hold upon my aunt could possibly be. After half an hour’s cooling in the churchyard. ma’am. and the man followed. as I turned my head indignantly. and wait for me in St. the noise of the city seemed to melt. Doctors’ Commons was approached by a little low archway. Spenlow’s in Court. A few dull courts and narrow ways brought us to the sky-lighted offices of Spenlow and Jorkins. sitting by himself. ‘Mr. when she told me she was quite herself now. into a softened distance. so earnestly. Spenlow’s room. rose to receive my aunt. In doing so. aunt? This man?’ ‘I am in my senses. ‘You don’t know who he is! You don’t know what you say!’ We had stopped in an empty door-way. I could not doubt that this person was the person of whom he had 0 David Copperfield made such mysterious mention. and to tell the coachman to drive slowly up and down a little while. a little dry man. never ask me what it was.’ ‘Wait for you?’ I replied. in the vestibule of which temple. and what I had supposed to be a delusion of his. but it’s close by. and my aunt was sitting in it alone. except.world. I found that all the guineas were gone. going up the hill. She desired me to get into the chariot. I hurried away a few paces. as if by magic.’ rejoined my aunt. and don’t refer to it. I don’t know how. She waved her hand to me to go away.’ ‘With him. Get mea coach!’ However much astonished I might be. Dick had told me. ‘Don’t look at him!’ said my aunt.’ said the dry man. Paul’s Churchyard. ‘My dear child. all confounded as I was. accessible to pilgrims without the ceremony of knocking. while this was passing. and I’ll send for him directly. I saw the chariot coming back. who wore a stiff brown wig that looked as if it were made of gingerbread. I turned from them at once. Before we had taken many paces down the street beyond it. three or four clerks were at work as copyists. ‘I must go alone. aunt!’ said I. and show us into Mr.’ until she had perfectly regained her composure.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. my aunt sprang in. What Mr.’ ‘You don’t know what he is!’ replied my aunt. She said no more. I heard her say to the coachman. and we might get out. ‘He is nothing but a sturdy beggar. that. ‘Drive anywhere! Drive straight on!’ and presently the chariot passed me. now came into my mind.’ she replied. ‘it’s an Arches day.com 1 . I was quite unable to imagine. One of these. ‘and I tell you I must. ‘Yes. ‘but get me a coach. my dear. The driver stopped beside me. and called a hackneychariot which was passing empty. I was sensible that I had no right to refuse compliance with such a peremptory command. and only the loose silver remained. On her giving me her purse to pay the driver. I entreat. and he had stopped too.

with another inclination of his body . before I bound myself to it irrevocably. mighty trim and tight. I should be happy. Spenlow was fetched. His gold watch-chain was so massive. and some in the Arches Court. ‘We always. and how long it would take to understand them all. All this looked tolerably expensive. in a black gown trimmed with white fur. that he ought to have a sinewy  David Copperfield golden arm. He was a little light-haired gentleman. that he could hardly bend himself. some endorsed as Allegations. Miss Trotwood was good enough to mention that she had a nephew who was her peculiar care. that a fancy came across me.Punch again.‘that there was a vacancy here. Copperfield. to move his whole body. and gave me an agreeable notion of a proctor’s business. and some in the Admiralty Court. and that I believed I should like it very much. as if every cause were a history in ten or twenty volumes.Punch again . giving me occasion to wonder much. and some in the Prerogative Court. I was casting my eyes with increasing complacency over these and many similar objects. That I could not absolutely pledge myself to like it. Mr. and for whom she was seeking to provide genteelly in life.but I have a partner. ‘Oh surely! surely!’ said Mr. and some in the Delegates’ Court. myself. and some as being in the Consistory Court. and the stiffest of white cravats and shirt-collars. and the green baize on the top of the writing-table had lost all its colour.’ . when hasty footsteps were heard in the room outside. I bowed my acknowledgements. from the bottom of his spine. He was buttoned up.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. That although it was little else than a matter of form. like those which are put up over the goldbeaters’ shops. when I had the pleasure of an interview with her the other day. to propose two months . Jorkins. like Punch. and said. Spenlow. with undeniable boots. and was so stiff. and tied together in massive sets. how many Courts there might be in the gross. I believe. when he glanced at some papers on his desk. I availed myself of the opportunity. there were sundry immense manuscript Books of Evidence taken on affidavit. and was as withered and pale as an old pauper. taking off his hat as he came. a set to each cause.an initiatory month.an indefinite period. to draw it out with. you think of entering into our profession? I casually mentioned to Miss Trotwood. The furniture of the room was old-fashioned and dusty.three . and some (to my surprise) as Libels.As we were left to look about us while Mr. propose a month . my aunt had mentioned to me that there was that opening. and Mr. He now said: ‘And so. after sitting down in his chair. in this house. I had previously been presented by my aunt. That I was strongly inclined to like it.com  . being obliged. I have now the pleasure of’ . and had taken immediately to the proposal. which were accurately curled. He was got up with such care. came hurrying in. I presumed I should have an opportunity of trying how I liked it. and must have taken a great deal of pains with his whiskers. Mr. and had been courteously received. strongly bound. in fact . There were a great many bundles of papers on it. Besides these. I thought. Spenlow. until I knew something more about it. That nephew.

could easily be sent to her at home for her signature. If a client were slow to settle his bill of costs. to be the official abidingplaces of the learned advocates of whom Steerforth had told me. and I am bound to respect Mr. and made himself a perfect master of his profession’ . As I have grown older. still desiring to spare my aunt. ‘that it is not the custom here. which I inferred. few men are less so. Spenlow.’ said Mr. sitting on easy oldfashioned dining-room chairs. in short. If a clerk wanted his salary raised. Jorkins was resolved to have it paid. and there. Mr. Stamp included. and be constantly exhibited by name as the most obdurate and ruthless of men. but Mr. but for the restraining demon Jorkins. from the Doctors’ names upon the doors. is a thousand pounds. I think. whose place in the business was to keep himself in the background. ‘As I have mentioned to Miss Trotwood. ‘is a thousand pounds?’ ‘And the premium. Jorkins thinks a thousand pounds too little.com  . we went out with this object. Spenlow conducted me through a paved courtyard formed of grave brick houses. as the articles of agreement. As I was willing enough to know. sir. Jorkins wouldn’t listen to such a proposition. sir. Mr. I believe.’ I returned. I will not say what consideration I might give to that point myself.’ said I.‘I suppose it is not the custom. and show me what sort of place it was. Mr. on the left hand. in no such place. and answered. 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. anticipating the word ‘salary’: ‘No. whom. Spenlow. and into a large dull room. Spenlow offered to take me into Court then and there. were sundry gentlemen in red gowns and grey wigs. and that my aunt need neither remain in town nor return at its expiration. leaving my aunt behind. whom I found to be the Doctors aforesaid. was an old gentleman. Mr.’ I was quite dismayed by the idea of this terrible Jorkins. Mr. this looked so like praising myself . Jorkins would have his bond.I could not help blushing. on the two sides of a raised platform of the horse-shoe form. by a great effort. Spenlow. who would trust herself. Copperfield. Blinking over a little desk like a pulpit-desk.‘And the premium. I am actuated by no mercenary considerations. Jorkins’s opinions. if an articled clerk were particularly useful. if I were unfettered. just lifted his head far enough out of his cravat to shake it.’ ‘I suppose. in the curve of the horse-shoe. Jorkins is immovable. of which I was to be the subject. Mr. regarded all Courts of Law as a sort of powder-mills that might blow up at any time. Mr. and who. Jorkins has his opinions on these subjects. in the later years of his time. she said. Mr. When we had got so far. But I found out afterwards that he was a mild man of a heavy temperament. to allow him any -’ Mr. not unlike a chapel to my thinking. and however painful these things might be (and always were)  David Copperfield to the feelings of Mr. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The heart and hand of the good angel Spenlow would have been always open. The upper part of this room was fenced off from the rest.

were sundry other gentlemen.’ With this brief introduction. lower than these.except perhaps as a suitor. who was wandering slowly through a perfect library of evidence. on account of the clerks poking one another with their pens to point me out. feeling very young when I went out of Spenlow and Jorkins’s. on about the level of the floor. represented by a boy with a comforter. ‘Then come.com  . I should certainly have taken for an owl. who suggested painful associations to my aunt. but in this last respect I presently conceived I had done them an injustice. she produced from her pocket an advertisement. food. I urged her not to be uncomfortable on my account. if required. I thought. without considering that too. Their cravats were in general stiff. was warming itself at a stove in the centre of the Court. with a view of the river. at little roadside inns of argument on the journey. and compact set of chambers. and their looks haughty. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. for when two or three of them had to rise and answer a question of the presiding dignitary. forming a genteel residence for a young gentleman. ‘Why. Very well satisfied with the dreamy nature of this retreat. Spenlow’s rank. ‘I have not been here a week tomorrow. Trot. between fire. but to leave me to take care of myself. time-forgotten. from time to time.’ she returned. immediately resuming the bonnet she had a minute before laid aside. and as I knew she was anxious to get home. I informed Mr. except encountering an unlucky donkey in a costermonger’s cart. my dear. and I felt it would be quite a soothing opiate to belong to it in any character . and stopping to put up. dosey.’ Away we went. with immediate possession. that is to say. I learned. ‘We’ll go and look at ‘em. and a shabby-genteel man secretly eating crumbs out of his coat pockets. in company with whom I presently departed from the Commons. In the space within the horse-shoe. I have never. ‘There is a furnished little set of chambers to be let in the Adelphi. made one at such a cosey. and we rung the area bell. flushed with the possible dignity of living in chambers. a member of one of the Inns of Court. could never be considered at her ease for half-an-hour in London. and dressed like him in black gowns with white fur upon them. Spenlow that I had seen enough for that time. a singularly desirable. The languid stillness of the place was only broken by the chirping of this fire and by the voice of one of the Doctors. aunt!’ said I. on any occasion. Terms moderate. carefully cut out of a newspaper.  David Copperfield We arrived at Lincoln’s Inn Fields without any new adventures. I never saw anything more sheepish. of Mr. The public. and. and pickpockets. old-fashioned.if I had seen him in an aviary. was the presiding judge. sitting at a long green table. Altogether. Crupp on the premises. The advertisement directed us to apply to Mrs. or otherwise. which ought to suit you to a marvel. setting forth that in Buckingham Street in the Adelphi there was to be let furnished. but who. and could be taken for a month only. We had another long talk about my plans. this is the very thing. when we were safely housed.’ replied my aunt. sleepy-headed little family-party in all my life. and we rejoined my aunt.

at any rate. if you please. my aunt. ‘Yes. Crupp expressly intimated that she should always yearn towards me as a son. it is. being a stout lady with a flounce of flannel petticoat below a nankeen gown.com  . It was not until we had rung three or four times that we could prevail on Mrs. Crupp to communicate with us.’ said my aunt. as she was to leave on the succeeding day. ‘And a sweet set they is for sich!’ said Mrs. and. and Mrs. ‘For this gentleman?’ said Mrs. in the intervals of our arranging for the transmission of my clothes and books from Mr. As I was delighted with the place. to my joy. thank Heaven she had now found summun she could care for! On our way back. Crupp. my aunt informed me how she confidently trusted that the life I was now to lead would make me firm and self-reliant. ‘No. ‘Yes. but quite good enough for me. So we went upstairs. Crupp. Crupp’s countenance and in my aunt’s. hardly daring to think it possible that I could be destined to live in such a noble residence. which was all I wanted. ‘Well. of which my aunt took charge. ‘Let us see these chambers of yours. a little stone-blind pantry where you could see nothing at all. ‘Cigars and pipes. in the midst of which she articulated with much difficulty. relative to which. ma’am. I wrote a long letter to Agnes. After a single combat of some duration they returned. turning to me. They were on the top of the house . seeing how enraptured I was with the premises. and Mrs. feeling in her pocket for her keys. Crupp. and a bedroom. for my nephew.’ returned Mrs. being near the fire-escape .’ ‘Smoke? You don’t mean chimneys?’ said my aunt. ‘No. Not to lengthen these particulars.’ said Mrs.a great point with my aunt. Wickfield’s. and . both in Mrs. ‘Is it the last occupant’s furniture?’ inquired my aunt. Crupp said. ‘And smoke. Crupp. the river was outside the windows.’ said Mrs. She repeated this several times next day. I need only add. Crupp was to find linen. every other necessary was already provided. ma’am. I was to take possession the day after tomorrow.’ remarked my aunt. ma’am.’ said I.ugh! ugh! ugh! dear me! and he died!’ ‘Hey! What did he die of?’ asked my aunt. but at last she appeared. ‘What’s become of him?’ asked my aunt. took them for a month. a sitting-room. while I remained on the sitting-room sofa. and I saw. sure enough.and consisted of a little half-blind entry where you could see hardly anything. that she made a handFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and to all my late holiday. indeed. he died of drink.’ said my aunt. ‘He was took ill here.  David Copperfield Mrs. Mrs. Crupp was taken with a troublesome cough. Trot. Crupp. ma’am. Crupp withdrew into the pantry to discuss the terms. ma’am. The furniture was rather faded. Crupp. in confidence.which we supposed to communicate with Mrs. with leave to remain for twelve months when that time was out. and to cook.’ ‘That’s not catching. that the deed was done. my aunt and Mrs. In short.

I wanted somebody to talk to. in 1 0 David Copperfield Free eBooks at Planet eBook. exulting in the coming discomfiture of the vagrant donkeys. I turned my face to the Adelphi. did not make his appearance before she went away.and when she was disposed to come. and to feel. and to know that I could ask any fellow to come home. I say. I don’t know how it was. But as the day declined. by sunlight. It looked a very fresh. I found a tremendous blank. but I must say. and more free. gasping. particularly in the fine mornings. was wonderfully fine. It was a wonderfully fine thing to let myself in and out.some provision for all my possible wants during my month of trial. All this. and make quite sure of its being inconvenient to nobody. too. like Robinson Crusoe. when I wanted her . It was a wonderfully fine thing to walk about town with the key of my house in my pocket. and pulled his ladder up after him. CHAPTER 24 MY FIRST DISSIPATION I t was a wonderfully fine thing to have that lofty castle to myself. from the depths of the earth. it seldom looked well by candle-light. and to ring Mrs. if it were not so to me. and on the happy changes which had brought me to the surface. It was fine in the morning. with Janet at her side.com . then. and that when the coach was gone. and to come and go without a word to anyone. when he had got into his fortification. that Steerforth. by daylight: still fresher. free life. Crupp up. that I saw her safely seated in the Dover coach. that there were times when it was very dreary. pondering on the old days when I used to roam about its subterranean arches. I missed Agnes. to my great disappointment and hers too. when I shut my outer door. the life seemed to go down too.

what delightful  David Copperfield company she would be in Buckingham Street. old boy. ‘Don’t ring! I can’t! I am going to breakfast with one of these fellows who is at the Piazza Hotel. and came so natural to me. that I felt myself falling a little in love with her.’ ‘But you’ll come back to dinner?’ said I. I was so fond of him. and said that he had gone away with one of his Oxford friends to see another who lived near St.’ said Steerforth. I thought about my predecessor. and I could have wished he had been so good as to live. and I’ll toast you some bacon in a bachelor’s Dutch-oven. ‘My dear Steerforth. but was quite as much tormented by my own youthfulness as ever. ‘I tell you what. ‘and Mrs. Daisy.and I may observe in this place that it is surprising how much coffee Mrs. Mrs. that I felt quite jealous of his Oxford friends. I left the Commons early on the third day. I told him if he waited for that. not omitting the pantry. I felt as if I had lived there for a year. but took a great interest in all our proceedings there. ‘the very next morning after I got home. in Covent Garden. so often.when Steerforth himself walked in. but that she expected him to return tomorrow. I could not help thinking. We are all three off together tomorrow morning. As she pressed me to stay to dinner. Steerforth not yet appearing. There’s nothing I should like better. that I have got here. I remained. and how weak it was. Steerforth was very glad to see me. Her appearance was exactly what I have described it. with my hand on the bell-rope. and he commended it highly. before going to the Commons .the place of that smiling repository of my confidence. upon my life. and particularly when I walked home at night. ‘Do you Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Crupp used. I was taking my coffee and roll in the morning. with no little pride. and what a delightful companion he had been.’ I returned. ‘But you shall have some breakfast!’ said I. ‘Was it really though?’ and so forth. that she got everything out of me she wanted to know. Mrs. Why.’ he added. when I first saw her.’ ‘No. and not bother me with his decease. ‘I can’t. unless you give me notice to quit. and walked out to Highgate. and said. several times in the course of the evening.com  . and I believe we talked about nothing but him all day. I told her how much the people liked him at Yarmouth. but the society of the two ladies was so agreeable. who had died of drink and smoke. but I must remain with these two fellows. to my unbounded joy. and yet I was not an hour older. Miss Dartle was full of hints and mysterious questions. no!’ said Steerforth. Crupp shall make you some fresh coffee. ‘I shall make quite a townhouse of this place. which induced me to apprehend that he must be ill. ‘I began to think I should never see you again!’ ‘I was carried off. After two days and nights.’ cried I.’ This was a delightful hearing. what a rare old bachelor you are here!’ I showed him over the establishment. he would have to wait till doomsday. Crupp appeared to be a long way off. Albans.’ ‘Then bring them here to dinner. by force of arms. considering .

Mrs. and that ‘a young gal’ stationed in the pantry with a bedroom candle. I said.from the pastry-cook’s. and we appointed six o’clock as the dinner-hour. I had a new pride in my rooms after his approval of them. of course it was well known she couldn’t be expected to wait. who she thought could be prevailed upon to do it. for it occurred to me that I really ought to have a little house-warming.from the pastrycook’s. I said. well! would I only come and look at the range? She couldn’t say fairer than that. These preparations happily completed. Don’t say that. why not them? So THAT was settled. would be indispensable. I bought a little dessert in Covent Garden Market. Crupp said. and it shrunk so much in a liquid state. after some difficulty. with vegetables . oysters was in. Mrs. which I have since seen reason to believe would have sufficed for fifteen people. Now about the dinner. Crupp’s kitchen fireplace. Crupp said. I said I supposed not. Crupp said she supposed eighteenpence would neither make me nor break me. I went in and bought a slab of it. two little corner things. that we found it what Steerforth called ‘rather a tight fit’ for four. I rang for Mrs. afterwards.’ But Mrs. As to a fish-kittle. in the first place. I acted on Mrs. Crupp said it was clear she couldn’t be in two places at once (which I felt to be reasonable). and acquainted her with my desperate design. I declined. Then Mrs. Crupp then said what she would recommend would be this. Crupp said. consented to warm up. a dish of stewed beef. and THAT was settled.think they would come?’ ‘Oh! they would come fast enough. and that there never could be a better opportunity. but she knew a handy young man. Crupp. and to serve up the cheese and celery as she could wish to see it done. as a raised pie and a dish of kidneys . Mrs.com  . It was a remarkable instance of want of forethought on the part of the ironmonger who had made Mrs.’ said Steerforth. I therefore made him promise positively in the names of his two friends. a tart. what would be the expense of this young female? and Mrs. You had better come and dine with us somewhere. and what I pleased. ‘Never mind fish. Mrs. and gave the order at the pastry-cook’s myself. Next Mrs. and (if I liked) a shape of jelly . that it was capable of cooking nothing but  David Copperfield chops and mashed potatoes. Walking along the Strand. When I came home in the afternoon. Would I come and look at it? As I should not have been much the wiser if I HAD looked at it. which resembled marble.from the pastry-cook’s.’ I would not by any means consent to this. certainly we would have him. ‘but we should inconvenience you.from the pastrycook’s. there never to desist from washing plates. Crupp’s opinion. When he was gone. This. and burned with a desire to develop their utmost resources. A pair of hot roast fowls . and gave a rather extensive order at a retail wine-merchant’s in that vicinity. Crupp said. and saw the bottles drawn Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but was labelled ‘Mock Turtle’. Mrs. and said. This preparation. and observing a hard mottled substance in the window of a ham and beef shop. would leave her at full liberty to concentrate her mind on the potatoes. Crupp said. Crupp. and whose terms would be five shillings.

and the other Markham.’ said Markham . and seldom or never in the first person singular. and seated myself opposite to him. ‘It’s not a bad situation. at which period of the entertainment the handy young man was discovered to be speechless. announced that I meant to have a dinner-party exactly like that. they looked so numerous (though there were two missing. something older than Steerforth. For being of an inquisitive disposition. which made Mrs. Crupp. Markham. I made Steerforth take the head of the table when dinner was announced. and have a private fit of sneezing ten minutes long. I abandoned myself to enjoyment.’ ‘I hope you have both brought appetites with you?’ said Steerforth. immediately afterwards. were small drawbacks. and feeling much too young to preside. and I should say not more than twenty. ‘Upon my honour. came rushing into my mind. Everything was very good. and easily forgotten when the cloth was cleared. ‘town seems to sharpen a man’s appetite. and made me hold forth in a most unwonted manner.’ Being a little embarrassed at first. called Steerforth to order for not passing the wine. One of Steerforth’s friends was named Grainger. and unable to confine herself (as her positive instructions were) to the pantry. They were both very gay and lively fellows. as ‘a man’. I began. that I was obliged to go into the pantry. and madly took so much snuff out of Grainger’s box. Copperfield. on the wall of the entry. she was constantly peering in at us. and that his  David Copperfield shadow always presented itself. and he exerted himself so brilliantly to make the thing pass off well. once a week. made several engagements to go to Oxford. A man is perpetually eating. I was not quite such good company during dinner as I could have wished to be. and the dessert put on the table.meaning himself. that there was no pause in our festivity. for my chair was opposite the door. The ‘young gal’ likewise occasioned me some uneasiness: not so much by neglecting to wash the plates. Giving him private directions to seek the society of Mrs. I laughed heartily at my own jokes. and continually starting up with a corkscrew to open more Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I observed that the latter always spoke of himself indefinitely. as by breaking them. These. and my attention was distracted by observing that the handy young man went out of the room very often. ‘A man might get on very well here. I went on. A man is hungry all day long. by being singularly cheerful and light-hearted. and to remove the ‘young gal’ to the basement also.’ returned Markham. and constantly imagining herself detected. by passing the wine faster and faster yet. Crupp very uncomfortable). we did not spare the wine. and everybody else’s. ‘and the rooms are really commodious. all sorts of half-forgotten things to talk about.’ said I. until further notice. youthful-looking.com  . with a bottle at its mouth. she several times retired upon the plates (with which she had carefully paved the floor). Grainger. in which belief. Mr. however. that I was absolutely frightened at them.up in a square on the pantry floor. and did a great deal of destruction.

He said it was no derogation from a man’s dignity to confess that I was a devilish good fellow. took me by the arm and led me out.never under my roof. Markham on my left.each day at five o’clock. ‘Let us go to the theatre. and the laws of hospitality paramount. and my hair . I proposed Steerforth’s health. the lamp. Somebody was smoking. Near the bottom. and a good one to finish with. I said he was my dearest friend. Somebody said to me. long before any was needed. the protector of my boyhood. ‘I’ll give you Steerforth! God bless him! Hurrah!’ We gave him three times three. in the course of which I had been affected almost to tears. It was myself. and the companion of my prime. I returned thanks.you’ retheguidingstarofmyexistence. Steerforth had made a speech about me. the door was gone.in case of fire. and feeling the air upon his face.looked drunk. and I would never permit that toast to be drunk in my house otherwise than as ‘The Ladies!’ I was very high with him.com  . and a long way off. Markham was the singer. laughing. and he sang ‘When the heart of a man is depressed with care’. We were all smoking.or at him . I instantly proposed his health. refreshing his forehead against the cool stone of the parapet. Owing to some confusion in the dark. when Steerforth. Grainger on my right hand. and turned the lamp off . my eyes had a vacant appearance. I said I owed him more obligations than I could ever repay. and another. then. I said it was not a respectful way of proposing the toast.wine.all sitting in a mist. nothing else . The very thing. The theatre? To be sure.or at both of us. I felt called upon to propose an individual. He said a man was not to be insulted.’ Now.only my hair. We went downstairs. where the Lares were sacred. I said I was delighted to propose his health. and hoped the present company would dine with me tomorrow. and saying. and trying to suppress a rising tendency to shud David Copperfield der. and held him in a higher admiration than I could ever express. by finding suddenly that somebody was in the middle of a song. I was very pale in the looking-glass. Come along! But they must excuse me if I saw everybody out first. He said a man was not to be dictated to. I said he was right there . and Steerforth opposite . but again the jingling table covered with glasses. somebody was unsteadily contemplating his features in the looking-glass. I broke my glass in going round the table to shake hands with him. one behind another. I was feeling for it in the window-curtains. I was addressing myself as ‘Copperfield’. and the day after . I would give them my aunt. and I said (in two words) ‘Steerforth . and I couldn’t allow it. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. when he had sung it. I finished by saying. that we might enjoy the pleasures of conversation and society through a long evening. That was I too.’ I went on. ‘Why did you try to smoke? You might have known you couldn’t do it. I said a man was. mainly I think because I saw Steerforth and Grainger laughing at me . he would give us ‘Woman!’ I took objection to that. Copperfield!’ There was no bedroom before me. Miss Betsey Trotwood. the best of her sex! Somebody was leaning out of my bedroom window. I was smoking. He said.

are you not?’ and I told him.’ she returned. with an opera-glass in his hand. and there were ladies down in the boxes. sitting on the seat before me. The whole building looked to me as if it were learning to swim. and found myself saying something as I sat down.com 1 . the people with whom it was crammed were so indistinct. for after she had looked at me attentively for a little while. Trotwood. and took money from somebody. better than I did then. with a lady and gentleman beside her. ‘I’mafraidyou’renorwell. ‘Yes. and put her gloved hand to her forehead. but quite in vain. Steerforth then said. looking very clean and smooth after the streets. looked out of the fog. inquiring if I was one of the gentlemen paid for. A gentleman lounging. and . and also my own figure at full length in a glass. for I hadn’t had it on before. ‘Lorblessmer! Agnes!’ ‘Hush! Pray!’ she answered. we were very high up in a very hot theatre. yes. with great rings round the lamps in the streets! There was an indistinct talk of its being wet. I suppose I expressed it. and I don’t know what more.what! yes! . I looked at her again by and by. and there were people upon it. finding myself on my back in the passage. if I tell you I am very Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and there was music.’ ‘Yes. looking down into a large pit. I began to think there might be some foundation for it. and ladies casting indignant glances at me. I could not conceive why. and to hear something of what was going on there. On somebody’s motion. it conducted itself in such an unaccountable manner. on a sofa. ‘You disturb the company. ‘You are all right. full dressed. I considered it frosty. whom I didn’t know. Then I was being ushered into one of these boxes.somebody fell. ‘Neverberrer. in the same box. There was a great stage. we resolved to go downstairs to 0 David Copperfield the dress-boxes. A very foggy night. Shortly afterwards. when I tried to steady it. and rolled down. with its indelible look of regret and wonder turned upon me. on her injunction. and saw her shrink into her corner. that seemed to me to smoke. too. she appeared to understand. I see her face now. which somebody produced from somewhere in a most extraordinary manner. to fix it. sitting in a pigeon-hole-place. talking about something or other. but not at all intelligibly. ‘Agnes!’ I said. Do not mind me. Look at the stage!’ I tried. thickly. to hand her downstairs. and appearing rather doubtful (as I remember in the glimpse I had of him) whether to take the money for me or not. and people about me crying ‘Silence!’ to somebody. and put my hat into shape. and replied in a low tone: ‘I know you will do as I ask you. until.’ A man. There was an abundance of bright lights. I dare say. passed before my view. Steerforth dusted me under a lamppost. somehow. ‘Agnes!’ I said. ‘Listen! Are you going away soon?’ ‘Amigoarawaysoo?’ I repeated. Copperfield. where the ladies were.’ I had a stupid intention of replying that I was going to wait.Agnes. I was angry at that false report. Somebody else said it was Copperfield.

the smell of smoke.the torturing impossibility of communicating with her. at cross purposes. in a feverish dream all night . ‘Oh. Beast that I was. what an evening. and had half a mind to rush express to Dover and reveal all! What an evening. and ask your friends to take you home. the impossibility of going out. lying in my bed. for my sake. and with a short ‘Goori!’ (which I intended for ‘Good night!’) got up and went away. or where she stayed my disgust of the very sight of the room where the revel had been held . and feel as if my outer covering of skin were a hard board. and thought I was going the way of my predecessor. or even getting up!  David Copperfield Oh. and shame I felt when I became conscious next day! My horror of having committed a thousand offences I had forgotten. Mrs. never mind the broken meats! I am very miserable!’ . how she came to be in London. the remorse. hot plates of metal which no ice could cool! But the agony of mind. did I begin to parch. furred with long service. Trotwood. I felt ashamed. lay saying and doing all this over again. where only Steerforth was with me. when Mrs. produced one kidney on a cheese-plate as the entire remains of yesterday’s feast. They followed.my recollection of that indelible look which Agnes had given me . Crupp. and should succeed to his dismal story as well as to his chambers. How somebody.the bed a rocking sea that was never still! How.only that I doubted. and burning up over a slow fire. and I stepped at once out of the box-door into my bedroom. what a day it was! Oh. not knowing. for the time. in heartfelt penitence. Crupp. and adjuring him to bring the corkscrew. and which nothing could ever expiate .’ She had so far improved me.earnest in it. Crupp. as that somebody slowly settled down into myself. coming in to take away the broth-basin. my tongue the bottom of an empty kettle. and I was really inclined to fall upon her nankeen breast and say. that though I was angry with her. if Mrs. the sight of glasses. even at that pass. Crupp were quite the sort of woman to confide in! Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mrs. when I sat down by my fire to a basin of mutton broth. helping me to undress. and where I was by turns telling him that Agnes was my sister. the palms of my hands. Go away now. dimpled all over with fat.com  .my racking head . that I might open another bottle of wine.

I sincerely believe he made some expiation for his share in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that I don’t know what the ticket-porter can have thought. with an odd confusion in my mind relative to the date of my dinner-party. I began one note. the ticket-porter at last departed. he swung into a trot. in such a nervous state that I was fain to lay the letter down on my breakfast table.that reminded me of Markham. at any time you like to appoint? Ever yours affectionately. However. which he said required an answer.CHAPTER 25 GOOD AND BAD ANGELS I was going out at my door on the morning after that deplorable day of headache. and it got no farther. how strange it is that a man should put an enemy into his mouth’ . in a six-syllable line. Will you come and see me today. T.’ said the ticket-porter.but that associated itself with the fifth of November. and went into my chambers again. touching his hat with his little cane. containing no reference to my condition at the theatre. to efface from your remembrance the disgusting impression’ . with a letter in his hand. and familiarize myself with the outside of it a little. that it was a very kind note. I shut him out on the landing to wait for the answer. unless he thought I was learning to write. I must have written half-a-dozen answers at least. sickness. my dear Agnes. when I did open it. I wrote. Esquire.’ With this missive (which I was in twenty minds at once about recalling. Affectionately and sorrowfully. ‘My dear Agnes. ‘How can I ever hope. ‘Shakespeare has observed. Waterbrook. I am staying at the house of papa’s agent. and repentance. in Ely Place. but when he saw me on the top of the staircase. and became an absurdity. He was taking his time about his errand. I began another. as if a body of Titans had taken an enormous lever and pushed the day before yesterday some months back. looking at him over the banisters. and came up panting as if he had run himself into a state of exhaustion.C. do not remember’ . and gave me the letter. Esquire. when I saw a ticket-porter coming upstairs. All it said was. I told him I was T.com   . Your letter is like you. as soon as it was out of my hands). and what could I say of it that would be higher praise than that? I will come at four o’clock. then. I found. my dear Agnes. ‘T. ‘Oh. ‘My dear Trotwood. Copperfield. and then I tore it up.there I didn’t like it. Copperfield. If the day were half as tremendous to any other professional gentleman in Doctors’ Commons as it was to me. and he believed it. I could scarcely lay claim to the name: I was so disturbed by the conviction that the letter came from Agnes. I even tried poetry. After many attempts. I began one. ‘ It took me such a long time to write an answer at all to my satisfaction. Holborn. before I could David Copperfield resolve to break the seal. AGNES. Mr.

and reminded me so strongly of my airy fresh school days at Canterbury. and unlike you. is it not unjust. Trotwood. ‘against your bad Angel. If you cannot confidently trust me.’ she returned. Agnes. and the influence he has over you. and gratefully kissing it. anything but a guide.’ said Agnes.com  . ‘Don’t be unhappy. Waterbrook’s establishment was done on the ground-floor. I yielded to my self-reproach and shame. ‘if you mean Steerforth -’ ‘I do. and the genteel business (of which there was a good deal) in the upper part of the building.’ said I. indeed. there was a thrill in it that quite subdued me. ‘You are my good Angel!’ She smiled rather sadly.’ said Agnes. Trotwood. first. and a friend to me! My dear Agnes! Now. the appointed time was exceeded by a full quarter of an hour. and . a support. you wrong him very much. ‘If it had been anyone but you. and your character. or the most ridiculous.’ She put her hand . 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. turning away my head. then?’ ‘From many things . Trotwood. nobody being by. or anyone’s! He. answering to that sound alone. I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. netting a purse. She looked so quiet and good. Andrew’s. I judge him.’ There was always something in her modest voice that seemed to touch a chord within me.’ ‘My dear Agnes. ‘From what. ‘Sit down. cheerfully. ‘I should not have minded it half so much.’ I looked at her inquiringly. Agnes!’ I returned.in short.’ she returned. as it was now. but they do not seem to me to be so.trifles in themselves. and was prowling about the place of appointment within a few minutes afterwards. partly from your account of him. ‘Then. and the sodden. smoky. Agnes.’ she quietly replied. made a fool of myself. I thought.that rotten old ecclesiastical cheese. I cannot deny that I shed tears. but when it was very earnest. that. whom will you trust?’ ‘Ah. But that it should have been you who saw me! I almost wish I had been dead. Agnes. He my bad Angel. To this hour I am undecided whether it was upon the whole the wisest thing I could have done. I was shown into a pretty but rather close drawing-room. Holborn. I sat looking at her as she cast her eyes down on her work. and there sat Agnes. Although I left the office at half past three. with a steady glance. ‘there is one thing that I should set my heart on very much. when they are put together. The professional business of Mr. before I could muster up sufficient desperation to pull the private bell-handle let into the left-hand door-post of Mr. and shook her head. ‘Yes. and I felt so befriended and comforted. my good Angel! Always my good Angel!’ ‘If I were. ‘On warning you. stupid wretch I had been the other night. Waterbrook’s house. according to the clock of St. that I could not help moving it to my lips. but already with a foreknowledge of her meaning.  David Copperfield Trotwood.’ I began. It was always earnest.its touch was like no other hand upon my arm for a moment.

’ ‘Someone. least of all a sentiment that is rooted in your trusting disposition. and again his image. again I listened to her after she was silent. looking up again. ‘that you will. for I was going to interrupt her. I am quite sure it is. if you ever think of me . Do you forgive me for all this?’ ‘I will forgive you.Miss Dartle .’ said Agnes. and can know so little of the world.in how true a remembrance of our having grown up together. resuming her usual tone.’ I replied. Trotwood.but I don’t adore her. Agnes. ‘when you come to do Steerforth justice.’ said Agnes. and we were  David Copperfield again as unreserved in our mutual confidence as of old. 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. like the table of the reigns of the kings and queens. at Mrs. when I caution you that you have made a dangerous friend. upon my word! There is a lady. But I know in what it is engendered. and in how true an interest in all relating to you. but when you fall in love. and insisted on telling her how it happened that I had disgraced myself.’ said I.’ said Agnes. Is he in London?’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Not until then?’ said Agnes. and not I. ‘It is very bold in me. ‘will you forgive me the other night?’ ‘When I recall it. but she returned my smile. in the History of England. and she knew why. duration. and whom I like to talk to . calmly changing the conversation as soon as I had concluded. It is that which makes me bold. It was a great relief to me to do this. though it was still fixed in my heart. change any sentiment that has become a conviction to you. ‘I am not so unreasonable as to expect. ‘You must not forget. Agnes. I am certain that what I say is right. You ought not hastily to do that. and holding up her finger. and Steerforth. ‘No. darkened. I feel as if it were someone else speaking to you. certainly. or even to have this strong opinion. in spite of all my attachment to him. to give you my advice so confidently. ‘that you are always to tell me. Trotwood.sat seeming still to listen to her. She would have dismissed the subject so.to think of what I have said. after a little while. Agnes. ‘who have lived in such seclusion.’ Agnes laughed again at her own penetration. I only ask you. who is very clever. Who has succeeded to Miss Larkins. darkened in that tone. and what chain of accidental circumstances had had the theatre for its final link.com  . Agnes.’ Again I looked at her. ‘Uriah Heep?’ said I. Trotwood. Then she asked me if I had seen Uriah. 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.’ said Agnes. not only when you fall into trouble. or that you can. with the date. at once. but I was too full of it to allow that. laughing. I saw a passing shadow on her face when I made this mention of him. and termination of each.’ said Agnes. . Steerforth’s house.I mean. ‘No. Trotwood?’ ‘No one. and to like him as well as I do. ‘as often as you think of me .’ with a quiet smile. ‘And when.

I entreated him to make it. though at the same time he seemed hurt by it and ashamed of it. with a faint smile at my warmth: and then replied: ‘You remember our last conversation about papa? It was not long after that .but his position is really one of power. for I knew that she withheld it from me.’ she replied. Feeling sure that it was necessary for papa’s peace that the sacrifice should be made. and looking pensively at me out of those beautiful soft eyes of hers: ‘I believe he is going to enter into partnership with papa. until . I could not give her pain by asking what it was.’ I said he was a hound. Trotwood. as the time when papa spoke to me.’ returned Agnes. I said it would lighten the load of his life . ‘he had told papa that he was going away. ‘He was in London a week before me. fawning fellow. Agnes shook her head while I was speaking. that he was very sorry. perhaps: I hope so . fostered them. on the least reflection.’ Still looking at me.not more than two or three days . ‘His ascendancy over papa. I could not but feel. . worm himself into such promotion!’ I cried.’ ‘Forced upon him. but he seemed relieved by this expedient of the partnership. at the moment. Agnes? Consider what a connexion it is likely to be. ‘what I hope was right. folding her hands upon one another. It had long been going on to this.’ There was more that she might have said. You must prevent it. I was sensible: yes. Trotwood!’ cried Agnes. It was sad to see him struggling between his desire to represent it to me as a matter of choice on his part. I clearly saw. You must speak out. I see. Trotwood.’ said Agnes. but that he had better prospects.’ ‘What? Uriah? That mean. I remained silent. ‘is very great. ‘Have you made no remonstrance about it. which.com 1 . I felt very sorry. and replied. putting her hands Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and unwilling to leave.’ pursued Agnes. after a moment’s hesitation. He has mastered papa’s weaknesses.’ ‘And how did you receive it. Agnes! Who forces it upon him?’ ‘Uriah.and that it would give me increased opportunities of being his companion. I am afraid on disagreeable business.with truth.’ ‘On some business that makes you uneasy. Oh. and I fear he makes a hard use of his power. to spare her father. Agnes.to say all that I mean in a 0 David Copperfield word. He is subtle and watchful. more that she knew. Agnes?’ ‘I did. every day. and his inability to conceal that it was forced upon him. Agnes. ‘At the time I speak of. or that she suspected.‘He comes to the office downstairs. and more bowed down by care than ever you or I have seen him.until papa is afraid of him.’ she replied. Papa was very much depressed then. You must not allow your father to take such a mad step. ‘has made himself indispensable to papa.’ said I. while there’s time. that it had been going on to this for a long time.when he gave me the first intimation of what I tell you. and taken advantage of them. was a great satisfaction to me. He professes humility and gratitude . indignantly. ‘What can that be?’ Agnes laid aside her work. Trotwood.I hope it will! .

helpless manner. ‘I almost feel as if I had been papa’s enemy. as if a cloud had passed from a serene sky. but she concealed the fact gracefully.com  . If I could ever set this right! If I could ever work out his restoration. Trotwood. when he asked me for it confidentially. as if I had seen her in a pale magic lantern. if I went much into society. as if he had never seen me before. For I know how he has altered. I know how he has narrowed the circle of his sympathies and duties. and on the street door being opened. ‘We are not likely to remain alone much longer. don’t! Don’t. Waterbrook softened towards me considerably. it occurred to me that I fell again in her good opinion.before her face. that I was sober. ‘Pray. for the room door opened. and invited me to dinner next day.came sailing in. in a foolish. for we know no certain ill of him. He looked. and still to suspect me of being in a state of intoxication. I had a dim recollection of having seen her at the theatre. to be friendly to Uriah. came back again. ‘and while I have an opportunity. assisting the family servant. When I went to dinner next day. and secondly. instead of his loving child. and I had seen them there when we last spoke about her father.or who wore a large dress: I don’t exactly know which. and took my leave. who was a large lady . and weakened his strength and energy. Don’t repel him. in the concentration of his whole mind upon me. which makes her so different in my remembrance from everybody else. Waterbrook. I accepted the invitation. however. and how his anxious thoughts of me have shadowed his life. Agnes. Don’t resent (as I think you have a general disposition  David Copperfield to do) what may be uncongenial to you in him. He may not deserve it. and inquired. but I had never seen her grieve like this. as I know well now. and well did he know me. let me earnestly entreat you. I know what a multitude of things he has shut out for my sake. plunged into a vapour-bath of haunch of mutton. I had seen tears in her eyes when I had brought new honours home from school. calm manner. and Mrs. to the best of his ability. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Agnes. making a call on Uriah in the office as I went out. my dear sister!’ But Agnes was too superior to me in character and purpose. by turning them always upon one idea. firstly. for I immediately identified the ticket-porter in disguise. Mrs. in his devotion to me. if I went much into the parks. In any case. It made me so sorry that I could only say. think first of papa and me!’ Agnes had no time to say more. to be long in need of my entreaties. On my replying to both these questions in the negative. as her tears started on it. and leaving a card for him in his absence. and (I hope) that I was a modest young gentleman. The beautiful. Finding by degrees. but she appeared to remember me perfectly. as I have so innocently been the cause of his decline!’ I had never before seen Agnes cry. and waiting at the foot of the stairs to carry up my name. but well did I know him. whatever I might know or not know then. I divined that I was not the only guest. and I had seen her turn her gentle head aside when we took leave of one another. for I don’t know which was dress and which was lady .

for he hovered about me in his gratitude all the rest of the evening. Waterbrook. with his shadowless eyes and cadaverous face. Mrs. that I believed I had the pleasure of seeing an old schoolfellow there. I thought. when the place at table. and when I had paid my homage to Mrs. whom I remember as looking like a near relation of Hamlet’s . remotely connected with the Treasury. presented me. There were other guests . seemed to be sprinkled with hoar-frost. and whenever I said a word to Agnes. ‘Possibly. Waterbrook. steady-looking young man of retiring manners. and in deep humility. as it struck me.say his aunt.’ ‘Oh! Aye. with a comic head of hair. which Agnes told me was on account of Mr. when I shook hands with him. and that he really felt obliged to me for my condescension.’ returned my host. Henry Spiker was this lady’s name. with a short throat. At length I had a good view of him. male and female. But there was one who attracted my attention before he came in.’ returned my host nodding his head with an air of toleration. and said. Traddles is a good fellow. Henry Spiker?’ ‘Oh. I found Uriah Heep among the company. ‘quite a coincidence. to a very awful lady in a black velvet dress. and could it be Tommy. was sure. Henry Spiker being solicitor to something Or to Somebody.’ ‘Oh yes. Waterbrook to be a middle-aged gentleman. and he was an excellent fellow. with much ceremony. intended to be ocFree eBooks at Planet eBook. who used to draw the skeletons! I looked for Mr. ‘Indeed!’ said Mr. that Traddles should be here at all: as Traddles was only invited this morning. and a great black velvet hat. with much diminished interest. I don’t mean him!’ I returned.com  . and a good deal of shirt-collar.’ said I.all iced for the occasion. Immense deference was shown to the Henry Spikers.’ ‘It’s a curious coincidence. that his head. ‘Traddles is quite a good fellow. ‘it was at a place called Salem House where we were together. aye! Indeed!’ said my host. that I had some difficulty in making him out. He was a sober.’ said I. I found Mr. ‘I mean the gentleman named Traddles. ‘It is really. Waterbrook. and he got into an obscure corner so soon. I could have wished he had been less obliged to me. He told me. and either my vision deceived me. in a suit of black. ‘You are too young to have been at school with Mr. that he was proud to be noticed by me. He told me he was happy to have the honour of making my acquaintance. to be looking gauntly down upon us from behind. and eyes that were rather wide open. and her husband was there too: so cold a man. surprised. or it was the old unfortunate Tommy. on account of my hearing  David Copperfield him announced as Mr.Conscience made cowards of us both. who only wanted a black nose to be the portrait of a pug-dog. I made my way to Mr.’ ‘If it’s really the same person. like the wine. instead of being grey. I forget what or which. Traddles with unusual interest. glancing towards him. Traddles! My mind flew back to Salem House.

Henry Spiker took Mrs. in a comfortable. I was not so vexed at losing Agnes as I might have been. Mr. but as we always fell back upon Blood. who had something to do at second-hand (at least. I am able to throw something in Traddles’s way. which was full of feeling. while Uriah writhed with such obtrusive satisfaction and self-abasement. in the course of the year. Waterbrook went down with Hamlet’s aunt. Mr. how we could. Waterbrook repeatedly told us. since it gave me an opportunity of making myself known to Traddles on the stairs. being billeted in two remote corners: he in the glare of a red velvet lady. we were as exclusive as the Court Circular. and what with the Bank. and had gone on mounting all the heights of life one after another. Traddles was recommended to me by a professional friend. It occurred to me several times that we should have got on better. Copperfield. These were few enough. Henry Spiker’s brother. Uriah. A very gentlemanly man. He has a kind of talent for drawing briefs. she had as wide a field for abstract speculation Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that if she had a weakness. and stating a case in writing. To mend the matter.cupied by Mrs. We were so exceedingly genteel. and I inquired what Mr. that I could gladly have pitched him over the banisters. that our scope was very limited. There was wonderful expression in it. from the top of the fortifications. Yes. was given to a simpering fellow with weak legs. and the conversation was about the Aristocracy . Waterbrook delivered himself of this little word ‘Yes’. in the gloom of Hamlet’s aunt. sorry to hear this.for him . Mr. plainly. Henry Spiker’s brother. for example. Yes.and Blood. Waterbrook. went down last. Yes. if we had not been quite so genteel. and Mrs. be worth five hundred pound. I. A Mr. Gulpidge were of the party. Oh yes. who greeted me with great fervour. considering that I knew nothing at all about him. and I.’ I was much impressed by the extremely comfortable and satisfied manner in which Mr. something . Mrs. Waterbrook. It completely conveyed the idea of a man who had been born. Waterbrook. Gulpidge had) with the law business of the Bank. every now and then. it was Blood.considerable. with the eye of a philosopher and a patron. until now he looked. Oh yes. Mr. Mrs. ‘is a young man reading for the bar. Hamlet’s aunt had the family failing of indulging in soliloquy. whom I should have liked to take myself. ‘Well.’ I murmured an assent. on the people down in the trenches. as the junior part of the company. to be sure. but with a scaling-ladder. on every topic that was introduced.nobody’s enemy but his own. ‘I should say he was one of those men who stand in their own light. Yes. by herself. I should say he would never. ‘Traddles. He is quite a good fellow .com  . Traddles and I were separated at table. pursing up his mouth. not to say with a silver spoon. and what with the Treasury. in consequence of his indisposition. Traddles was by profession.’ ‘Is he his own enemy?’ said I. prosperous sort of way.  David Copperfield My reflections on this theme were still in progress when dinner was announced. and playing with his watch-chain. Agnes.’ returned Mr. became vacant. and held forth in a desultory manner. The dinner was very long.’ returned Mr. Traddles.

‘was referred to him. you know. ‘I confess I am of Mrs.I needn’t name him. We meet with it in a chin. entered into a defensive alliance against us.’ said Mr. ‘There it is! That’s Blood!’ It is an actual matter of fact. as compressing the general question into a nutshell. or no release.K. but give me Blood!’ ‘Oh! There is nothing. with his wine-glass at his eye.as her nephew himself.’s?’ said Mr. ‘N. Mr. I am happy to believe. Spiker raised his eyebrows. Gulpidge.’ said Mr. and exchanged a mysterious dialogue across the table for our defeat and overthrow. Gulpidge. Waterbrook’s opinion. deuce take it.’ The simpering fellow with the weak legs.’s!’ said Mr. you know.but deuce take it. you know.’ said Mr.of all that sort of thing. then positively refused to sign. looking round the board with an imbecile smile. Blood is not so. you know. and looked much concerned. of B. We point it out. Spiker. Henry Spiker. and we know it. who had hitherto been very distant. I observed that Mr. ‘The C. who had taken Agnes down. ‘Other things are all very well in their way.and all that . After that. We must have Blood. ‘we can’t forego Blood. Spiker.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Positively Idols! Before service. in point of education and behaviour. Spiker. ‘That affair of the first bond for four thousand five hundred pounds has not taken the course that was expected.‘‘ ‘Lord bless my soul!’ cried Mr. ‘The next in reversion . checking himself ‘I understand. Spiker.’ observed Hamlet’s aunt. Gulpidge darkly nodded . ‘‘Money. ‘so satisfactory to one! There is nothing that is so much one’s beau-ideal of . with an ominous look. and get themselves and other people into a variety of fixes . and we say. and may go a little wrong.com  . Some young fellows. intellect.’ Mr.. It admits of no doubt. the conversation assumed such a sanguine complexion. But these are intangible points. ‘Do you mean the D. ‘Money. perhaps. stated the question more decisively yet. Waterbrook. Gulpidge.’ said this gentleman. I thought. his answer was. gave the utmost satisfaction. or no release. than I’d be picked up by a man who hadn’t!’ This sentiment. speaking generally. We might have been a party of Ogres. There are some low minds (not many. of A. I’d rather at any time be knocked down by a man who  David Copperfield had got Blood in him. it’s delightful to reflect that they’ve got Blood in ‘em! Myself. Spiker.’ said Mr. and he point-blank refused to do it. and brought the gentleman into great notice until the ladies retired. ‘Oh. ‘. ‘When the question was referred to Lord . Gulpidge. the common enemy. firmly. We see Blood in a nose. Gulpidge and Mr. and so on. you know.‘‘ repeated Mr.you understand me?’ ‘K. He was attended at Newmarket for that purpose. but there are some) that would prefer to do what I should call bow down before idols.’ said Mr. may be a little behind their station.

though I was sorry at the prospect of parting from her again so soon. and so on. Conversing with her. as the victims of a salutary awe and astonishment. and hearing her sing. but. in which it was Mr. Spiker was so interested. whom I don’t include in that denomination. turn and turn about. when the lights of Mr. that I could have remained there half the night. when I walked away from the house. and that by another in which the surprise came round to Mr. as though they had shone on me from some removed being. having no excuse for staying any longer. He was close behind me when I went downstairs. and very slightly shook her head when only I observed her. and promised ourselves the pleasure of another meeting when he should come back to town. the outsiders. and if I thought of her sweet face and placid smile. Gulpidge.’ Mr. but we exchanged addresses. He was close beside me. ‘So the matter rests at this hour. and the same good-natured creature still. and to talk with her in a corner. and highly approved of the discretion that had been observed. and such names. that she was my better Angel. Waterbrook was only too happy. but I ought to have excepted Uriah. was such a delightful reminder to me of my happy life in the grave old house she had made so beautiful. As he was obliged to leave early. Gulpidge’s turn to be surprised. naturally desired to favour his friend with a confidence of his own. I was very glad indeed to get upstairs to Agnes. remained oppressed by the tremendous interests involved in the conversation. Waterbrook’s society were all snuffed out. I hope I thought no harm. after the receipt of such a confidence.’ said Mr. But Agnes only looked at me the while. I was almost glad to hear that she was going away within a few days. Spiker. slowly fitting his long skeleton fingers into the still longer fingers of a great Guy Fawkes pair of gloves. that I asked him if he would come home to my rooms. on account of going away next morning for a month. across his table. I had not nearly so much conversation with him as I could have wished. I have said that the company were all gone. He assumed an expression of gloomy intelligence (though I am persuaded he knew no more about the discussion than I did). to have such interests. He was greatly interested to hear that I knew Steerforth. on account of the magnitude of the interests involved. even hinted at. that he became quite stony. more than ever. As she was not among people with whom I believed she could be very much at home. but agreeable. I took my leave very much against my inclination. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It was in no disposition for Uriah’s company. This caused me to remain until all the company were gone. therefore the foregoing dialogue was succeeded by another. as it appeared to me. and spoke of 0 David Copperfield him with such warmth that I made him tell Agnes what he thought of him. like an Angel. and who had never ceased to hover near us. All this time we. and to introduce Traddles to her. and have some coffee. and our host regarded us with pride. ‘Our friend Waterbrook will excuse me if I forbear to explain myself generally. Mr. throwing himself back in his chair.com 1 . I felt then. who was shy. but in remembrance of the entreaty Agnes had made to me.Mr. Spiker’s turn again.

and he was so humble in respect of those scarecrow gloves. of a change in my expectations. Crupp delighted to prepare it (chiefly. I des-say. and really his damp cold hand felt so like a frog in mine. ‘Oh. but the other comes so natural.I should say. I des-say.’ he rejoined . I am sure. ‘Will you come?’ ‘I should like to. and unused to disguise what I so strongly felt. that I could joyfully have scalded him. however. with a writhe.’ ‘There is no constraint in the case. one way and another. so many things happen to me which I never could have expected.Mister Copperfield!’ I could have thrown my bootjack at him (it lay ready on the rug). It made me very uncomfortable to have him for a guest.‘I beg your pardon. Mister Copperfield?’ observed Uriah.’ said I. to prevent his knocking his head against anything. ‘Yes. I could not help being rather short with him.’ said Uriah. and when I heated the coffee in an unassuming block-tin vessel in which Mrs. and I conducted him to my fireside. really. ‘I’m glad to find Miss Agnes knows of it.com  . I decided in my own mind that I disliked him intensely. Agnes and hospitality prevailed.’ ‘Ah! I thought Miss Agnes would know of it!’ he quietly returned. being a shaving-pot. his spoon going softly round and round.’ said I. very much. Master Copperfield. Oh. without conversing much upon the road. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ replied Uriah. for I was young then. Master . ‘something. Master Copperfield. which looked as if they had scorched their lashes off. however immaterial. for having entrapped me into the disclosure of anything concerning Agnes. ‘You have heard something. . and a snaky undulation pervading his frame from his chin to his boots. Mister Copperfield?’ As he sat on my sofa. Mister Copperfield. and seemed to have made no advance in that labour. and because there was a patent invention of great price mouldering away in the pantry). When I lighted my candles. thank you. really. ‘Well. . I led him up the dark stairs. that I was tempted to drop it and run away. of a change in my expectations. he professed so much emotion. when we got to my place.I should say. but he appeared not to mind it. Master Copperfield. You have heard something. his shadowless red eyes. I believe. come along!’ said I. because it was not intended for the purpose. that he was still putting them on. with his long knees drawn up under his coffee-cup. But I only drank my coffee. his hat and gloves upon the ground close to him. the disagreeable dints I have formerly described in his nostrils coming and going with his breath. We went the nearest way.I mean Mister Cop David Copperfield perfield. ‘to see you waiting upon me is what I never could have expected! But. turned towards me without looking at me. in my umble station. he fell into meek transports with the room that was revealed to him. I don’t like that you should put a constraint upon yourself to ask a numble person like me to your ouse. then. . that it seems to rain blessings on my ed. Master Copperfield.‘Oh.

but when a person is umble. enthusiastically. So I considered myself really and truly. ‘So. but I did them with an unsteadiness of hand. I did the honours of the shaving-pot. with that carved grin on his face. he looked at the fire. very much so! But I wish you’d call me Uriah. Mister Copperfield!’ returned Uriah. he gasped rather than smiled at me. I could not have helped dividing that part of the sentence with an awkward jerk. has he. and that I may be more so. and perhaps it might be Wickfield and Heep? You may not recollect it. Mister Copperfield. rather pointedly. ‘Oh. had made me start as if I had seen him illuminated by a blaze of light. that perhaps I should be a partner in Mr. He stirred his coffee round and round. very imprudent indeed. Miss Agnes’s above all! You don’t remember your own eloquent expressions. which I felt could not escape his observation. ‘I am sure I didn’t myself.‘What a prophet you have shown yourself. Mr. a person treasures such things up!’ ‘I recollect talking about it.com  . Recalled by his request. I think. in his deferential servility. at last. but he left the renewal of the conversation to me. ‘though I certainly did not think it very likely then. I could not help adding. but how imprudent he has been!’ ‘I am sorry to hear it. ‘who is worth five hundred of you .’ ‘Well! Uriah. Wickfield. but I remember how you said one day that everybody must admire her. Master Copperfield. and how I thanked you for it! You have forgot that. what a prophet you have proved yourself to be! Don’t you remember saying to me once. bolting it out with some difficulty.’ ‘Decidedly so. and a perplexed suspicious anxiety as to what he might be going to say next.’ said I.’ said I. Wickfield. ‘may be the instruments of good. Master Copperfield.’ he presently resumed.’ He sat. Mr. Oh what a worthy man he is. with fervour. Master Copperfield?’ ‘No. a sudden sense of being no match for him. Heep?’ ‘Oh. I have no doubt. Wickfield’s business. Mister Copperfield!’ pursued Uriah.or me’. looking at the fire. he looked about the room. Master Copperfield! It’s like the blowing of old breezes or the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘To think that you should be the first to kindle the sparks of ambition in my umble breast.’ returned Uriah. ‘Thank you. as I looked at him.’ replied Uriah. preferred in quite another tone of voice. ‘On all accounts.’ he returned. ‘has been imprudent.’ said I. Mister Copperfield. he writhed and undulated about. for my life. sighing modestly. I am glad to think I have been the instrument of good to Mr.’ said I. if you please. and that you’ve not forgot it! Oh! . He said nothing at all. ‘on all accounts. drily. ‘But the umblest persons. he sipped it.’ said I. he stirred and sipped again. I recollect saying with my own lips that I was much too umble. It’s like old times. ‘Thank you.  David Copperfield ‘Oh how glad I am you have not!’ exclaimed Uriah.Would you excuse me asking for a cup more coffee?’ Something in the emphasis he laid upon the kindling of those sparks. he felt his chin softly with his grisly hand. Master Copperfield.’ ‘Oh! who would have thought it likely. ‘Dear me. and something in the glance he directed at me as he said it. Master Copperfield.

and began wiping the palms of his hands. and no more. but I am umble still. Was I making any observation?’ ‘About Mr. I hope I never shall be otherwise than umble. like a convulsive fish. as I saw  David Copperfield his crafty face. Master Copperfield.‘but am I keeping you up?’ ‘You are not keeping me up.’ said I.com  . I recollect well how indignantly my heart beat. and gave himself a jerk. how pleasant to be called Uriah. dear.’ he began . which did not diminish its hard pressure in the least degree. the confidence that I am going to take the liberty of reposing. I don’t know what at all. It’s a topic that I wouldn’t touch upon.’ ‘Thank you. Mr.’ he proceeded.’ said Uriah. with an effort. I generally go to bed late. You will not think the worse of my umbleness. Uriah?’ ‘Oh. if I make a little confidence to you. I am the umble instrument of umbly serving him.’ I said. in fact. ‘There is no reason why you should thank me. How thankful should I be!’ With his face turned towards me. I think I could scarcely have hated him more. ‘You thought her looking very beautiful tonight. and looked at them and at the fire by turns. ‘is. Umble as I am. as he finished. as he stretched out his cruel-looking hand above my table. most remarkably contrasting with the action of his thumb. and slowly and thoughtfully scraped his lank jaw with it. loftily. by this time he would have had Mr. it is true. to any soul but you. Un—der—his thumb. ‘Oh. Wickfield knows it. Wickfield (oh. too!) under his thumb.’ he wiped his hands harder. but without looking at me. ‘Thank you!’ He took out his pocket-handkerchief. I beg your pardon. If I had been obliged to look at him with him splay foot on Mr. truly. to everyone around her. thank you! It’s so true!’ he cried. with the appropriately red light of the fire upon it.’ I returned. If anyone else had been in my place during the last few years. disgrace. Even to you I can only touch upon it. yes. and shook the room. Master Copperfield -’ ‘Well. thank you very much for that!’ ‘Not at all.’ said Uriah. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield! I have risen from my umble station since first you used to address me. ‘umble as my mother is. and he puts me on an eminence I hardly could have hoped to reach. in all respects. Master Copperfield. and pressed his own thumb upon it.’ I suggested. Wickfield. ‘Oh! Yes. preparing for something else. what a worthy man he is. ‘Oh. very slowly. in a soft voice. Master Copperfield?’ ‘I thought her looking as she always does: superior. ‘Ah! Great imprudence. ‘Miss Agnes.’ said Uriah. Master Copperfield.’ ‘Why that. ‘Master Copperfield. ‘Oh.ringing of old bellses to hear YOU say Uriah. Wickfield’s head. spontaneously!’ he cried. he took his crooked thumb off the spot where he had planted it. ‘there’s no doubt of it. Master Copperfield? Will you?’ ‘Oh no. until it shook. as if he were shaving himself. There would have been loss. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

to call her mine!’ I hope to do it. remained in my mind when I looked at him. in his slimy way. you can’t think. no one is quite a stranger) that all this had occurred before.’ Dear Agnes! So much too loving and too good for anyone that I could think of. There’s a song that says. ‘Oh no. at some indefinite time. Master Copperfield. and make a good many new arrangements. with my Agnes. 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 very useful to him indeed. Oh. the image of Miss Agnes (I don’t mind trusting you with my secret. You wouldn’t wish to make unpleasantness. was it possible that she was reserved to be the wife of such a wretch as this! ‘There’s no hurry at present. Master Copperfield. with this thought in my mind. Oh. ‘My Agnes is very young still.’ I fathomed the depth of the rascal’s whole scheme. that I think she may come. took possession of me. and the strange feeling (to which. Master Copperfield (oh. before it would be quite convenient. and running him through with it. on his account. you see. one of these days. with a better appearance of composure than I could have thought possible a minute before. I know what a friendly heart you’ve got. and understood why he laid it bare. He seemed to swell and grow before my eyes. 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. Master Copperfield. what a lovely thing it is in a daughter!). to go against me. ‘oh dear. and keep him straight.lowly as our poor but honest roof has ever been. in its full force. the room seemed full of the echoes of his voice. and made me giddy. perhaps. as I sat gazing at him. outraged by so much as a thought of this red-headed animal’s. You see I am only just emerging from my lowly station.’ he pursued. unbeknown. So I shall have time gradually to make her familiar with my hopes. it’s such a relief. ‘If you’ll have the goodness to keep my secret. It went from me with a shock. but having only known me on my umble footing (on my umblest I should say. sitting all awry as if his mean soul griped his body. Master Copperfield). go against me rather. A timely observation of the sense of power that there was in his face.com  . I call her mine. ‘I’d crowns resign. I shall take it as a particular favour. and how I smooth the way for him. Master Copperfield!’ he returned. ‘and not. did more to bring back to my remembrance the entreaty of Agnes.’ Uriah proceeded. whether he had made his feelings known to Agnes. 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. to know that you understand Free eBooks at Planet eBook. than any effort I could have made. and mother and me will have to work our way upwards. She’s so much attached to her father. in general. to be kind to me. you know. I’m so much obliged to you for this confidence! Oh. I asked him. for I am very umble still). and that I knew what he was going to say next. Master Copperfield. as opportunities offer. you might. Master Copperfield. no! Not to anyone but you.

the sofa pillows. As no arguments I could urge. The poker got into my dozing thoughts besides. considering. and that I -’ ‘Oh. ‘Dear me!’ he said. in the excess of its surprise and humility. a clean breakfast-cloth. between sleeping and waking. Not that I had really thought so. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to have penetrated to the ears of Mrs. a blanket. had the least effect upon his modesty in inducing him to accept my bedroom. how I wearied myself with thinking about Agnes and this creature. I never shall forget how I turned and tumbled.a sort of a private hotel and boarding ouse. ‘The ouse that I am stopping at . and oppressed me with a leaden dread. and which was never less than three-quarters of an hour too slow. in my bewildered condition. drawing up one leg.com 1 . and I’ll lie down before the fire. ‘pray take my bed.’ I said. that it was still red hot. I thought. I left him to his rest. in a distant chamber. for his repose before the fire. sat heavy on me like a waking nightmare. situated at about the level of low-water mark. ‘But would you have any objections to my laying down before the fire?’ ‘If it comes to that. 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. soothed in her slumbers by the ticking of an incorrigible clock. referred to his pale-faced watch. and having given it a damp squeeze. Master Copperfield. and a great-coat. as I had so often seen him look. the image of Agnes with her tender eyes. for which he was more than thankful. near the New River ed . which he put on at once. how I considered what could I do. that it’s almost half past one!’ I answered that I had thought it was later. ‘it’s past one. and filled me with vague terrors. I suppose. and what ought I to do. the table-cover.our situation. the recollection that Uriah was lying in the next room. Having lent him a night-cap. as if I had had some meaner quality of devil for a lodger. made him a bed and covering. and in which he made such an awful figure. but because my conversational powers were effectually scattered. I was obliged to make the best arrangements I could. I never shall forget that night. ‘that there is only one bed here. to which she always referred me when we had any little difference on the score of punctuality.’ His repudiation of this offer was almost shrill enough.’ I returned. then sleeping. how I could come to no other conclusion than that the best course for her peace was to do nothing. The moments slip away so. arose before me with appealing faces.will have gone to bed these two hours. that I have never worn one since. in the confidence of old times. and 0 David Copperfield had always been put right in the morning by the best authorities. and to keep to myself what I had heard. The mattress of the sofa (which was a great deal too short for his lank figure). and of her father looking fondly on her. If I went to sleep for a few moments. don’t think of mentioning beds. When I awoke.’ ‘I am sorry. Master Copperfield!’ he rejoined ecstatically. and I had snatched it out of the fire. Master Copperfield. and wouldn’t come out. ‘Dear me!’ he said. Crupp.

that my sitting-room might be aired. but what I underwent in my efforts to be friendly with him. that I stole into the next room to look at him. he hovered about us without a moment’s intermission. ‘I did what I hope was right. There I saw him. gurglings taking place in his throat. with his legs extending to I don’t know where. while Agnes looked on. on the edge of the back seat on the roof. the long. When I saw him going downstairs early in the morning (for. Feeling sure that it was necessary for papa’s peace that the sacrifice should be made. mulberry-coloured great-coat perched up. and no promise of day was in the murky sky. inside. or Agnes said to me. long night seemed heavy and hopeless as ever. Still. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. CHAPTER 26 I FALL INTO CAPTIVITY I saw no more of Uriah Heep. of course. When I went out to the Commons. in company with an umbrella like a small tent.com   David Copperfield . I was so haunted at last by the idea. In the state of trouble into which his disclosure by my fire had thrown me. At the coach window. I had thought very much of the words Agnes had used in reference to the partnership. thank Heaven! he would not stay to breakfast). as at the dinner-party. I was at the coach office to take leave of her and see her go. I charged Mrs. though I knew there was nothing in it. until the day when Agnes left town. He was so much worse in reality than in my distempered fancy. and could not help wandering in and out every half-hour or so. like a great vulture: gorging himself on every syllable that I said to Agnes. and his mouth open like a post-office.and run him through the body. that afterwards I was attracted to him in very repulsion. while Agnes was. perhaps deserved that little recompense. short-waisted. lying on his back. high-shouldered. stoppages in his nose. returning to Canterbury by the same conveyance.’ A miserable foreboding that she would yield to. I entreated him to make it. and purged of his presence. Crupp with particular directions to leave the windows open. it appeared to me as if the night was going away in his person. and taking another look at him. It was some small satisfaction to me to observe his spare. and there was he.

from her manner. In the meantime. which was generally accompanied with inflammation of the nose. as if he had her in his clutches and triumphed. and all my uneasiness was sure to be redoubled. I was articled to Spenlow and Jorkins. as given her any warning of what impended. that I could as soon have injured her. I was very much alone.com  . I suspect the truth to be. Thus it was that we parted without explanation: she waving her hand and smiling farewell from the coach window. I made three discoveries: first. I could settle down into a state of equable low spirits. to have taken by the gallon at about this period of my existence. I wrote to him most affectionately in reply to his. considered well. her evil genius writhing on the roof. of its being unseen by her then. I knew what the devotion of her nature was. made the brandy-bottles burst. that something peculiar in the temperature of my pantry. I knew from her own lips that she regarded herself as the innocent cause of his errors. must destroy the happiness of Agnes. because she had so large a share in my thoughts and interest. that he could not come to London just then. days and weeks slipped away. beyond my having sandwiches and sherry into the office for Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and had. no festivity took place. and much given to record that circumstance in fragments of English versification. On the day when I was articled. I could not get over this farewell glimpse of them for a long time. doubtless. but I think I was glad. Crupp was a martyr to a curious disorder called ‘the spazzums’. thirdly. and as inseparable from my life as my own head. in the self-denial of her pure soul and the sordid baseness of his.  David Copperfield I had ample leisure to refine upon my uneasiness: for Steerforth was at Oxford. I believe I had at this time some lurking distrust of Steerforth. he knew thoroughly. too. My rooms were engaged for twelve months certain: and though I still found them dreary of an evening. had oppressed me ever since. upon the whole. I had no consolation in seeing how different she was from this detestable Rufus with the mulberry-coloured great-coat. and required to be constantly treated with peppermint. Hardly a night passed without my dreaming of it. I knew how she loved him.and sustain herself by. that Mrs. on looking back. When Agnes wrote to tell me of her safe arrival. the same feeling in reference to any sacrifice for his sake. and when I was not at the Commons. and that it was the more powerful with me. I was as miserable as when I saw her going away. in his cunning. and as owing him a great debt she ardently desired to pay. and having cast no shadow on her yet. At about this time. as he wrote to me. and resign myself to coffee. that I was alone in the world. which I seem. the greatest danger lay. secondly. All this. undisturbed by the sight of him. Whenever I fell into a thoughtful state. for I felt that in the very difference between them. It became a part of my life. and the evenings long. I had ninety pounds a year (exclusive of my house-rent and sundry collateral matters) from my aunt. this subject was sure to present itself. and I was so sure. Yet I was so certain that the prospect of such a sacrifice afar off. that the influence of Agnes was upon me.

and the judge. had been down on business several times in the course of his career. and must on no account be confounded with the profession of a solicitor: being quite another sort of thing. Spenlow was as good as his word. and the advocates on both sides (who were all nearly related). went out of town together. Spenlow and I drove away in the phaeton. Mr. whose name was Mr.about excommunicating a baker who had been objecting in a vestry to a paving-rate . less mechanical. The phaeton was a very handsome affair. my very carpet-bag was an object of veneration to the stipendiary clerks. that if I would do him the favour to come down next Saturday. as a privileged class. he observed. and going alone to the theatre at night. and said that he had drunk brown East India sherry there. There was a good deal of competition in the Commons on all points of display. We took things much more easily in the Commons than they could be taken anywhere else. the horses arched their necks and lifted up their legs as if they knew they belonged to Doctors’ Commons. and another hinted at champagne being constantly on draught. One of them informed me that he had heard that Mr.and as the evidence was just twice the length of Robinson Crusoe. He said it was the genteelest profession in the world. and it turned out some very choice equipages then. Tiffey.the clerks. and expressed my acknowledgements. and Mr. I went to see The Stranger. But. The old clerk with the wig. he referred to this engagement. and that set us. 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. We were very pleasant. on this occasion. Spenlow gave me some hints in reference to my profession. and Mr. Of course I said I would do him the favour. that I hardly knew myself in my own glass when I got home. of a quality so precious as to make a man wink. he intimated that when she came home he should hope to have the pleasure of entertaining me. and sentenced in no end of costs. Spenlow remarked. according to a calculation I made. but for his domestic arrangements being in some disorder. and was so dreadfully cut up. In a week or two.com  . he would be extremely happy. though I always have considered. infinitely more exclusive. when we concluded our business. we got him excommunicated for six weeks. as a Doctors’ Commons sort of play. after the usual custom of table-beer. to whom the house at Norwood was a sacred mystery. I knew that he was a widower with one daughter. He described it as an apartment of the most  David Copperfield sumptuous nature. and stay till Monday. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and always shall consider. going down. Mr. on account of the expected return of his daughter from finishing her education at Paris. When the day arrived. However. We had an adjourned cause in the Consistory that day . and said. it was rather late in the day before we finished. that he should have been happy to have seen me at his house at Norwood to celebrate our becoming connected. and had on each occasion penetrated to the breakfast-parlour. and he was to drive me down in his phaeton. Spenlow ate entirely off plate and china. and to bring me back. and more profitable. and then the baker’s proctor.

I don’t know now. Spenlow what he considered the best sort of professional business? He replied. exactly. on an infinite variety of occasions. For example: You brought a divorce case. the costs being pretty sure to come out of the estate at last. and had seen the cards shuffled. Then.apart. It was the most conveniently organized place in the world. In such a case.‘Touch the Commons. as judges. Still you were not satisfied. and mountains upon mountains of evidence on interrogatory and counter-interrogatory (to say nothing of an appeal lying. first to the Delegates. universally looked down upon by all proctors of any pretensions. where there was a neat little estate of thirty or forty thousand pounds. and had talked to all the players about it. and expense was no consideration. you went into the Arches. Very good. and played. but when the price of wheat per bushel had been highest. all through my life. into the Consistory. That about the price of wheat per bushel. and a man might lay his hand upon his heart. and you played it out at leisure. who had looked on at the round game when it was playing in both courts. you went to the Delegates. or a restitution case. both sides went at it in a lively and spirited manner. and down comes the country!’ I listened to all this with attention. that we were chiefly employed by solicitors. in conclusion. but whenever I see my old friend the bushel brought in by the head and shoulders (as Free eBooks at Planet eBook. closeness in the Commons. You made a quiet little round game of it. I must say. the best of all. and quite settled the question. he launched into a general eulogium on the Commons. he said. the Commons had been busiest. got the better of that bushel of wheat. with the same bar. Well. What was to be particularly admired (he said) in the Commons. for there the Consis David Copperfield tory judge could plead any court-day as an advocate. but. that a good case of a disputed will.com  . or what right it has to crush me. and the same practitioners. among a family group. to settle the matter to the satisfaction of everybody! Discontented people might talk of corruption in the Commons. but another judge. . What did you do then? Why. It lay in a nutshell. I had my doubts whether the country was quite as much obliged to the Commons as Mr. to this hour. Who were the Delegates? Why. in the same room. perhaps. Suppose you were not satisfied with the Consistory. said Mr. Very good. and then to the Lords). I have never. the Ecclesiastical Delegates were the advocates without any business. in the way of arguments at every stage of the proceedings. He said it was impossible to conceal the disagreeable fact. you played your round game out again. What was the Arches? The same court. and say this to the whole world. and though. It has reappeared to annihilate me. in connexion with all kinds of subjects. was. It was the complete idea of snugness. Spenlow made out. I modestly felt was too much for my strength. not only were there very pretty pickings. but he gave me to understand that they were an inferior race of men. and now came fresh. what it has to do with me. I asked Mr. and cut. I respectfully deferred to his opinion. You tried it in the Consistory. Spenlow solemnly. and the necessity of reforming the Commons. was its compactness. what did you do then? Why.

‘Dora!’ I thought. I observe). Murdstone?’ She replied. There was a lovely garden to Mr. I don’t know what she was . There was no pausing on the brink. I was a captive and a slave. Miss Murdstone? I hope you are well. and everything that everybody ever wanted. Which was true enough. my acquiescence in all I had heard from my superior in years and knowledge. I said. gloves. then put in his word. and I didn’t care whose it was. plaids. when I had bowed and murmured something. ‘Where is Miss Dora?’ said Mr. ‘I am glad to find. ‘Here Miss Spenlow walks by herself.of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘are connexions. Copperfield. it was so beautifully kept. and the pairs of horses. No.’ he said. with severe composure. ‘Dear me!’ We went into the house. caps. Miss Murdstone! I don’t think I was much astonished. ‘Mr. arched over with trellis-work. I give up a subject for lost. I am obliged to you.’ Mr. but Dora Spenlow. and I heard a voice say. there were clusters of trees. before I had sense to say a word to her. I was gone. ‘How do you do. which was cheerfully lighted up. my daughter Dora. that I was quite enchanted. ‘I. ‘have seen Mr. and my daughter Dora’s confidential friend!’ It was.’ I replied that I should have known her. and there were perspective walks that I could just distinguish in the dark. ‘What a beautiful name!’ We turned into a room near at hand (I think it was the identical breakfast-room. ‘Miss Murdstone has had the goodness. Spenlow. or looking back.’ observed a well-remembered voice.’ ‘Mr. but I didn’t know it. and bring down the country. All was over in a moment.’ I thought. anywhere. to be astonished about. To the best of my judgement. Circumstances have separated us since. I was not the man to touch the Commons. and into a hall where there were all sorts of hats.’ said Miss Murdstone. who. Spenlow’s voice. She was a Fairy. until we came to Mr. There was nothing worth mentioning in the material world. Copperfield before. greatcoats. ‘How is Mr. I suppose.’ I said.anything that no one ever saw. by my silence. whips. and we talked about The Stranger and the Drama. the confidential friend. had been surprised to see us recognize each other. ‘to accept the office . Spenlow to me. Copperfield and myself. and though that was not the best time of the year for seeing a garden. I should not have known him. Spenlow to the servant. ‘My brother is robust.if I may so describe it . on which shrubs and flowers grew in the growing season. This is a digression.’ said Mr. no capacity of astonishment was left in me. that you and Miss Murdstone are already acquainted. and walking-sticks. made memorable by the brown East Indian sherry). Mr. a 0 David Copperfield Sylph. ‘Copperfield. headlong. It was in his childish days.he always is. I had fulfilled my destiny.com 1 .’ She answered. I submissively expressed. no looking down. We were once slightly acquainted. no doubt. ‘Very well. There was a charming lawn. Spenlow’s gate. Spenlow’s house.’ The speaker was not Dora. I was swallowed up in an abyss of love in an instant. I loved Dora Spenlow to distraction! She was more than human to me.

instead of the careful operation I could have wished under the circumstances. I could only sit down before my fire. that I dined off Dora. I glanced at her. directly afterwards. unhappily. It was torturing to me to hear them talk  David Copperfield of occurrences in which I had had no share. So much the more precious. There was some company. in that state of love.’ A passing thought occurred to me that Miss Murdstone. if that were the first occasion of my seeing the grounds. which Mr. what a graceful. Spenlow better than I did. that she was not very much inclined to be particularly confidential to her companion and protector. and sent away half-a-dozen plates untouched. The idea of dressing one’s self. and so carried me off to dress. She was rather diminutive altogether. I could have done anything to him that was savage and revengeful. But as I had none but passing thoughts for any subject save Dora. the pleasantest and most fascinating little ways. several times. Spenlow said was the first dinner-bell. I talked to her. I couldn’t bear the idea of anybody knowing Mr. I have not the least idea what we had for dinner. When a most amiable person.’ said Miss Murdstone. girlish.I was madly jealous of him. in her prettily pettish manner. enchanting manner! The bell rang again so soon that I made a mere scramble of my dressing. My daughter Dora having. I seemed to pay the deepest attention to him. but I was wandering in a garden of Eden all the while. that ever led a lost youth into hopeless slavery. no mother. I fell into a reverie. when a bell rang. But I was relieved of them in an unexpected manner. for he said so . brighteyed lovely Dora.and a greatgrandfather into the bargain. only disturbed by the cruel apprehension that Miss Murdstone would disparage me to her. entirely. Grey as he was . asked me across the dinner table.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. When she went out of the room with Miss Murdstone (no other ladies were of the party). or doing anything in the way of action. with Dora. ‘David Copperfield. I sat next to her. My impression is. beckoning me aside into a window. like the pocket instrument called a life-preserver. besides Dora. and was thinking that I saw. except Dora. I thought.my daughter Dora’s confidential friend. Miss Murdstone is obliging enough to become her companion and protector. what a face she had. by the grim and distant aspect of Miss Murdstone. Dora was talking to an old gentleman with a grey head. ‘my gardener’. the gayest little laugh. What a state of mind I was in! I was jealous of everybody. ‘A word. I think I heard him say. I don’t remember who was there. was a little too ridiculous. with a highly polished bald head. biting the key of my carpet-bag. She had the most delightful little voice. variable. which I think was about gardening.com  . The amiable creature with the polished head told me a long story. and went downstairs. was not so much designed for purposes of protection as of assault. My apprehensions of being disparaged to the object of my engrossing affection were revived when we went into the drawing-room. and think of the captivating. What a form she had.

‘that these opinions should come into collision here. That I caught a view of myself in a mirror.com  .’ Miss Murdstone shut her eyes again. arranging the little fetters on her wrists and round her neck. That when Miss Murdstone took her into custody and led her away. looking perfectly imbeFree eBooks at Planet eBook. That I was lost in blissful delirium. not to mention her. That my soul recoiled from punch particularly. in my turn. ‘I need not enlarge upon family circumstances.I confronted Miss Murdstone alone. and disdainfully inclined her head. whatever was the matter. Then. ‘David Copperfield. and bent her head. ‘But it is not necessary. and treated my mother with great unkindness. I could not hear her disrespectfully mentioned. it is as well on all accounts that they should not.’ said Miss Murdstone. resembling a guitar.’ I inclined my head. Ta ra la! accompanying herself on a glorified instrument. without expressing my opinion in a decided tone. Murdstone used me very cruelly. we ought always to dance. generally to the effect that. ‘Far from it. Ta ra la. Do you approve of this?’ ‘Miss Murdstone. But I quite agree in what you propose. then. You may have your opinion of me. what was to be expected within. to all beholders.a female I am sorry to say. that I heard the empress of my heart sing enchanted ballads in the French language. ‘I do not wish to revive the memory of past differences. and it is quite unnecessary that either of us should make the other the subject of remark. Family circumstances are a sufficient reason for our only meeting on that footing. I belong to a family remarkable. but I said it would certainly be better.’ I felt very fiery on my aunt’s account. that I formed an unfavourable opinion of you in your childhood. stiff fingers. They are not a tempting subject. and I am not the creature of circumstance or change. I believe. for the credit of my sex . let us meet here as distant acquaintances. Miss Murdstone shut her eyes.  David Copperfield and may bring us together on other occasions. and therefore I would rather not mention her. slowly opening her eyes. That I refused refreshment. if Miss Murdstone pleased. in exactly the same state. ma’am.who is not to be mentioned without scorn and disgust.’ I returned. as long as I live. she smiled and gave me her delicious hand. as when I had seen her last. I shall not attempt to disguise the fact. These reminded me. It may have been a mistaken one. resumed: ‘David Copperfield. I may have my opinion of you. All I know of the rest of the evening is. or of past outrages.’ assented Miss Murdstone. Under existing circumstances. in reference to Miss Murdstone’s nature. for some firmness. I have received outrages from a person . I added. I shall always think so. suggesting on the outside. As the chances of life have brought us together again. ‘I think you and Mr. of the fetters over a jail door. or you may have ceased to justify it. I would say. just touching the back of my hand with the tips of her cold.’ said Miss Murdstone.’ I returned. which seemed to be the same set. she walked away. That is not in question between us now.’ ‘Far from it.

That I retired to bed in a most maudlin state of mind. that she should think it possible I could go. here. though it had been very dark to me a minute before. ‘Have you ever been there?’ ‘No.) ‘On a Sunday morning.com  . to have reason to think that when she was with other people she was yet mindful of me. To be allowed to call her ‘Dora’. got under a chair expressly to snarl.cile and idiotic. and got up in a crisis of feeble infatuation. There is no doubt whatever that I was a lackadaisical young spooney. for I loved even him.out early.’ she replied. The garden was cool and solitary. As to the straw hat and blue ribbons which was on the top of the curls. ‘or that the weather has really changed?’ I stammered worse than before. As to marriage.short for Gipsy. I depreciated Paris. was insupportable. ‘Yes. in replying that I meant no compliment. who was called Jip . ‘Do you mean a compliment?’ said Dora.’ said I. Miss Spenlow. That she should hope I would go.’ said I. and early. It was a fine morning.are . but he showed his whole set of teeth. Aired!’ (She laughed. I never saw such curls . and indulge my passion by dwelling on her image. Besides. let me laugh as I may. and my pen shakes in my hand.how could I. it’s the brightest time of the whole day. and said (not without stammering) that it was very bright to me then. and met her. but the plain truth. when I don’t practise.I am sure it was the summit of mine. in the most melodious manner. though I was not aware of any change having taken place in the weather. to write to her. ‘It’s so stupid at home. ‘and Miss Murdstone is so absurd! She talks such nonsense about its being neces David Copperfield sary for the day to be aired. wondering what my feelings of happiness would be. I tingle again from head to foot as my recollection turns that corner. as when I loved little Em’ly. when I turned a corner. if I could ever become engaged to this dear wonder. but there was a purity of heart in all this. for there never were such curls! . and wouldn’t hear of the least familiarity. and fortune. I encountered her little dog. I believe I was almost as innocently undesigning then. On my way through the hall. So I told papa last night I must come out. before I come out. I walked about. and all that.’ said she. that prevents my having quite a contemptuous recollection of it. ‘You . It was in the state of my own feelings. I depreciated France. I said I wouldn’t leave Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to dote upon and worship her. Don’t you think so?’ I hazarded a bold flight. what a priceless possession it would have been! ‘You have just come home from Paris. I approached him tenderly.’ ‘Oh! I hope you’ll go soon! You would like it so much!’ Traces of deep-seated anguish appeared in my countenance. I added bashfully: to clench the explanation. I had not been walking long. and I thought I would go and take a stroll down one of those wire-arched walks.as those she shook out to hide her blushes. seemed to me the summit of human ambition . if I could only have hung it up in my room in Buckingham Street. I must do something.

but I am sure she is no such thing . with the probability before me of grazing them. held the dog up childishly. pouting. by good fortune the greenhouse was not far off. and we’ll tease her. Oh. when I tried. and then she beat him. for any earthly consideration.isn’t it. and we’ll make ourselves as happy as we can in spite of her. We mean to bestow our confidence where we like. But.can’t you. The scent of a geranium leaf. It contained quite a show of beautiful geraniums. She took him up in her arms . In short. and a little black dog being held up. Jip can protect me a great deal better than Miss Murdstone.well he might be with her dimpled chin upon his head! . if they had only been to me!) ‘No. ‘Not at all so.’ ‘She is a tiresome creature. are you?’ said Dora. every word was a new heap of fetters. We won’t be confidential. but he persisted upon barking still. a little like a teakettle when it sings. Jip. She found us Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘You are not very intimate with Miss Murdstone. Jip?’ If it had lasted any longer. and Dora. to smell the flowers. ‘Papa calls her my confidential friend. gloomy old thing like Miss Murdstone. Jip? Never mind. certainly I was. We loitered along in front of them. ‘I can’t think what papa can have been about. and not please her .don’t we. Jip and I.is she. against a bank of blossoms and bright leaves. At length he was quiet . ‘It is very hard. and persisted in barking at me. because we have not a kind Mama. and still growled within himself like a little double-bass. and to find out our own friends.’ said Dora.England. As for me. Miss Murdstone had been looking for us. instead. and these words brought us to it. laughing. .’ (The two last words were to the dog. and I stopped to admire the same one. riveted above the last. It increased my sufferings greatly to see the pats she gave him for punishment on the bridge of his blunt nose. while he winked his eyes. instead of having them found out for us . that we are to have. Nothing should induce me.com  .’ I replied. in two slender arms. at this day. a sulky. when the little dog came running along the walk to our relief. and then I see a straw hat and blue ribbons. Jip? We are not going to confide  David Copperfield in any such cross people. and a quantity of curls. and if we were not all three in Fairyland.and caressed him. Jip. strikes me with a half comical half serious wonder as to what change has come over me in a moment. He was mortally jealous of me.won’t we. and Dora often stopped to admire this one or that one. when he chose such a vexatious thing to be my companion. in answer. and licked her hand. Who wants a protector? I am sure I don’t want a protector. she was shaking the curls again. always following us about . -’My pet. He wouldn’t let me touch him. under existing circumstances.oh my goodness! . and of being presently ejected from the premises besides.and we walked away to look at a greenhouse. dear?’ He only winked lazily. Jip?’ jip made a comfortable noise. when she kissed his ball of a head. I think I must have gone down on my knees on the gravel.

in the Prerogative cases. I don’t mean the dreams that I dreamed on that day alone. for charity’s sake. as I listened to it. We had a quiet day. to come and help him out. however. and an evening of looking over books and pictures. Then she took Dora’s arm in hers. No company. must have gone by the board. as they dragged their slow length before me. and marched us into breakfast as if it were a soldier’s funeral. because Dora made it. how I saw ‘DORA’ engraved upon the blade of the silver oar which they lay upon the table. when I took leave of him at night. Miss Murdstone with a homily before her. as the emblem of that high jurisdiction. to Dora to be kissed. and I had the melancholy pleasure of taking off my hat to her in the phaeton. that he had just given his full consent to my being engaged to Dora. if the money in question had been left to me. Ah! little did Mr. Spenlow went home without me (I had had an insane hope that he might take me back again). If ever I bestowed a thought upon the cases. By and by we went to church. Dora was at the breakfast-table to make the 0 David Copperfield tea again. and. it was only to wonder. But. Within the first week of my passion. from week to week. as she stood on the door-step with Jip in her arms. and that I was invoking blessings on his head! We departed early in the morning. in the matrimonial cases (remembering Dora). and the ship to which I belonged had sailed away and left me on a desert island. I don’t know. but to think about Dora. when he sat opposite to me after dinner that day. How many cups of tea I drank. of course . not to attend to what was going on. how fervently I was embracing him. I bought four sumptuous waistcoats . and how I felt when Mr.about Dora. for Dora . If that sleepy old court could rouse itself. I went there. What the Admiralty was to me that day. with his pocket-handkerchief over his head. it would reveal my truth. requiring a rather accurate knowledge of the whole science of navigation. to consider. A sermon was delivered . and her eye upon us.not for myself. and present in any visible form the daydreams I have had in it about Dora. and the congregation vanished. I had no pride in them. how it was that married people could ever be otherwise than happy. I perfectly remember that I sat swilling tea until my whole nervous system. as his son-in-law! Little did he think. a walk. as if I were a mariner myself. in my fancy. but day after day. 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. for we had a Salvage case coming on in the Admiralty Court.and I am afraid that is all I know of the service. keeping guard vigilantly. and presented her uncongenial cheek. Miss Murdstone was between Dora and me in the pew. if I had had any in those days. a family dinner of four. and term to term. what were the foremost steps I should immediately have taken in regard to Dora. Spenlow imagine.com 1 . but I heard her sing. what nonsense I made of our case in my mind.here. I shall make no fruitless effort to describe. the little wrinkles in it filled with hair powder.and took to wearing straw-coloured kid gloves in the streets. and laid the foundations of all the Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

sir: I’m a mother myself. Crupp. . I know what it is. and secondly. for. Mrs. Crupp. In the latter case I was always very miserable afterwards. bless you! Keep a good heart. when I was very low. Crupp a glass of the second. ‘consists of one daughter’.’ ‘Mrs. ‘Excuse me.I say Mrs. with a little brandy. And yet.’ said Mrs. as benignly as was in my power.’ said Mrs. . Crupp?’ I returned. ‘Never say die. If the boots I wore at that period could only be produced and compared with the natural size of my feet. there’s a many as will. because it was not my name. or that she cared nothing about me. Crupp always called me Mr. but I smiled on Mrs. if I had not such a thing by me. but it was the next best. so palatable to her. ‘Oh. sir. You are a young gentleman to be smiled on. sir! If She don’t smile upon you.’ Mrs. ‘whose family. Crupp. than that I had been to Mr. but I pervaded London likewise. nodding encouragement.corns I have ever had. There’s a lady in the case. in a most affecting manner. which was the next best. which was the best remedy for her complaint. no doubt.or. and I had not had the courage to write more explicitly even to Agnes. at long intervals and on rare occasions. It was not. Copperfull: firstly.com  . Crupp must have been a woman of penetration. Not only was I soon as well known on the Norwood Road as the postmen on that beat. sir. As I had never even heard of the first remedy. for when this attachment was but a few weeks old. to ask (she being then afflicted with  David Copperfield the disorder I have mentioned) if I could oblige her with a little tincture of cardamums mixed with rhubarb. I was always looking out. I was always being disappointed. sir. Sometimes. they would show what the state of my heart was. wretched cripple as I made myself by this act of homage to Dora. I fagged through the Park again and again.’ I did not quite perceive the application of this fact to myself.’ I added. sir. and always had the second in the closet. She came up to me one evening. reddening. or that she had no idea of the extent of my devotion. long after I was quite knocked up. Spenlow’s house. and you must learn your walue. and spoke to her. I walked about the streets where the best shops for ladies were. and flavoured with seven drops of the essence of cloves. she found it out. I saw her. I haunted the Bazaar like an unquiet spirit. Crupp must have been a woman of penetration. Spenlow’s house. I walked miles upon miles daily in the hope of seeing her. ‘I can’t abear to see you so. even in that early stage. ‘What makes you suppose there is any young lady in the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I gave Mrs. ‘Come. sir!’ said Mrs. walked with her and Miss Murdstone a little way. which (that I might have no suspicion of its being devoted to any improper use) she began to take in my presence. I am inclined to think. Copperfull. Mr. as may be supposed. ‘Cheer up. for another invitation to Mr. Perhaps I saw her glove waved in a carriage window. she remarked. perhaps I met her. in some indistinct association with a washing-day. to think that I had said nothing to the purpose. Crupp. for I got none.

and my adwice to you is. I ask your pardon.which was all gone . Mrs.’ said I. ‘if you was to take to skittles. ‘my remark were. Crupp. Crupp. nor yet drink.’ ‘Mr.You don’t eat enough. A young gentleman may be over-careful of himself. Crupp shook her head in such a determined manner. you might find it divert your mind. Crupp could only lay her hand upon her nankeen bosom. that I had not an inch of vantage-ground left. and to know your own walue. Crupp. But let him go to which extreme he may. ‘When the present set were took for you by your dear aunt. or much too small. in a tone approaching to severity. ‘It was but the gentleman which died here before yourself.’ said Mrs.’ said Mrs. there’s a young lady in both of ‘em. Copperfull.com  . though much swelled by drinking.’ said Mrs. now. Crupp. sir. Mr.’ With these words.’ said Mrs. That is according as the young gentleman has his original character formed. and do you good. affecting to be very careful of the brandy .’ ‘Is that what you found your supposition on. to keep a good heart. Crupp’s part. I had now found summun I could care for. this counsel certainly presented itself to my mind in the light of a slight liberty on Mrs. but. Crupp.’ Mrs. sir. As her figure disappeared into the gloom of the entry. or too un-regular. Crupp. as a word to the wise. Crupp?’ said I. sir. at the same time.’ For some time Mrs.with a barmaid . ‘I’m a mother myself. Crupp?’ said I. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Crupp. ‘that fell in love . Copperfull. and not likely. ‘I’ve laundressed other young gentlemen besides yourself.and had his waistcoats took in directly. He may brush his hair too regular. I was content to receive it. At length she spoke again. But you are a young gentleman. Mr. if I intrude.’ returned Mrs. Crupp.thanked me with a majestic curtsey.case. Mrs. or he may be under-careful of himself. I should never wish to intrude where I were not welcome. ‘Thank Ev’in!’ were the expression. Copperfull. with a great deal of feeling. if you please. in another point of view. He may wear his boots much too large for him.’ ‘Mrs. or anything of that sort. ‘I’m a mother myself. ‘Mr. and fortify herself against returning pain with sips of her medicine. ‘I have now found summun I can care for!’ . ‘I must beg you not to connect the  David Copperfield young lady in my case with a barmaid. Copperfull. Mrs. sir.’ said Mrs. If you was to take to something. to cheer up. ‘Sir. sir. and retired. and a warning in future to keep my secret better. which is healthy.

to go and look after Traddles. ‘Has that there little bill of mine been heerd on?’ ‘Oh. there never was a greater anomaly. a doubled-up saucepan. Happening to arrive at the door as it was opened to the afternoon milkman. the same afternoon. Crupp’s advice. and never won’t be heerd of. Having obtained from this clerk a direction to the academic grove in question. into the road: which not only made it rank and sloppy. and glaring down the passage. Now. that it came into my head. in various stages of decomposition. perhaps.com  . and Mrs. as I was looking out for the number I wanted. than of the youthful servant . still throwing his voice into the house. as I judged from his tone.though they were all built on one monotonous pattern. The inhabitants appeared to have a propensity to throw any little trifles they were not in want of. and made experiments on those quadrupeds in their private apartments.CHAPTER 27 TOMMY TRADDLES I t may have been in consequence of Mrs. and he lived in a little street near the Veterinary College at Camden Town. a black  David Copperfield bonnet. and an umbrella. His deportment would Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and speaking. I was reminded of Mr. Micawber. The time he had mentioned was more than out. An indescribable character of faded gentility that attached to the house I sought. next day. rather for the edification of somebody within the house.reminded me still more of Mr. ‘Because. I set out. for the sake of Traddles. I found that the street was not as desirable a one as I could have wished it to be. The refuse was not wholly vegetable either. by gentlemen students. ‘Now. and made it unlike all the other houses in the street . for I myself saw a shoe. and Mrs. to visit my old schoolfellow. and. going on as if he had received no answer. by the by. and looked like the early copies of a blundering boy who was learning to make houses.’ was the reply. you know!’ said the milkman. which was principally tenanted.’ said the milkman. but untidy too. and had not yet got out of his cramped brick-and-mortar pothooks . I’m not a going to stand it.an impression which was strengthened by his manner of glaring down the passage ‘because that there little bill has been running so long. as one of our clerks who lived in that direction informed me. who bought live donkeys. and Mrs. Micawber more forcibly yet.’ said the milkman to a very youthful servant girl. on account of the cabbage-leaves. that I begin to believe it’s run away altogether. The general air of the place reminded me forcibly of the days when I lived with Mr. for no better reason than because there was a certain similarity in the sound of the word skittles and Traddles. master says he’ll attend to it immediate. As to his dealing in the mild article of milk. Micawber.

It was because I was thoroughly glad to see you when we met in Ely Place.’ ‘I am delighted to see YOU. and extremely neat. to his little room. A mysterious voice from the end of the passage replied ‘Yes. and gave me welcome. Various ingenious arrangements he had made. was a faculty confirmed in me in the old Micawber times.Traddles was on the  David Copperfield landing to meet me. Upon this. ‘Then you won’t have none tomorrow. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and his blacking-brushes and blacking were among his books .the house was only a story high above the ground floor . for the disguise of his chest of drawers. conscious. and deposited the usual quantity in the family jug. again to murmur that it would be attended to immediate. ‘I tell you what. D’ye hear? Not a fragment of milk you won’t have tomorrow. I likes it.’ she replied. shaking hands with him again. I saw. This done. ‘I am delighted to see you. ‘Does Mr. released her chin. as I sat down . and in pursuance of the servant’s directions walked upstairs. and so forth. for there was a sofabedstead in it. but she seemed to me. It was his only room. The milkman. and was sure you were thoroughly glad to see me. behind a dictionary. probably belonging to the mysterious voice.and this. after shaking his head at her darkly. relieved by the prospect of having any today. he went away. muttering. looking hard at her for the first time.’ ‘Is he at home?’ said I.’ said the milkman. that I was surveyed by a mysterious eye. with great heartiness. his shavingglass. from the action of her lips. though sparely furnished. I walked in. Copperfield.’ said the milkman. and with anything rather than good-will opened his can. ‘Traddles. ‘Good. upon the whole. When I got to the top of the stairs . The voice of the youthful servant became faint. ‘I am very glad indeed to see you. as I passed the back parlour-door. He was delighted to see me. and to comfort himself under ill usage. with the memorable works of art I have so often mentioned.on the top shelf. that I gave you this address instead of my address at chambers.’ Upon which the youthful servant replied ‘Yes. even to the prospect of a church upon his china inkstand. Again the mysterious voice replied in the affirmative. Traddles live here?’ I then inquired. His table was covered with papers. and uttered the cry of his trade next door. and he was hard at work in an old coat. and the accommodation of his boots.’ ‘Oh! You have chambers?’ said I. It was in the front of the house.’ said I. and taking her by the chin. but I saw everything. I looked at nothing. that I know of. I could not make out what that was. as evidences of the same Traddles who used to make models of elephants’ dens in writing-paper to put flies in. particularly impressed themselves upon me. in a vindictive shriek. too. after I had sat down. In a corner of the room was something neatly covered up with a large white cloth.’ I thought she seemed.have been fierce in a butcher or a brandy-merchant.’ he returned. ‘are you fond of milk?’ ‘Yes.com  . and again the servant echoed it.

you know? Dear me! Well! Those were happy times. I have just begun to keep my terms. but he didn’t like me at all. I acknowledge. I thought.’ His old simple character and good temper. weren’t they?’ 00 David Copperfield ‘I think our schoolmaster might have made them happier. He died soon after I left school.draper cloth-merchant .’ returned Traddles. He said I wasn’t at all what he expected. there was a good deal of fun going on. ‘Do you think so?’ returned Traddles.and we quarter the clerk too. ha! And do you remember when I got caned for crying about Mr. But it’s all over. ‘Tight in the arms and legs. ‘Three others and myself unite to have a set of chambers . ‘Perhaps he might. Mell? Old Creakle! I should like to see him again. to be sure!’ cried Traddles. rubbing his hands slowly over one another. you understand.’ said Traddles. then?’ said I. ‘Of course I was!’ said Traddles. For myself. The fact is. Half-a-crown a week he costs me. I am fighting my way on in the world against difficulties. yes. ‘Really? Perhaps he was rather. who might not like to come here.’ said he. He was so composed. and something of his old unlucky fortune also. as if he had had a tooth out. yes. Waterbrook informed me?’ said I. a long while. ha! Yes. after rather a long delay. too!’ ‘He was a brute to you.’ said I.com 01 . ‘that I don’t usually give my address here. smiled at me in the smile with which he made this explanation. Mr.and had made me his heir. Copperfield! I mean it. that I fancied he must have some other meaning. ‘It was an unfortunate thing.what do you call it! . ha. But he didn’t like me when I grew up. He was a retired .’ ‘Indeed!’ ‘Yes. ‘That sky-blue suit you used to wear.to look business-like . without doing any harm to any of us.‘Why. A great pull!’ said Traddles. and so he married his housekeeper. I had an uncle then. and it would be ridiculous if I made a pretence of doing anything else. ‘I am reading for the bar. with a wince. but the payment of that hundred pounds was a great pull.’ I returned.’ ‘Do you really mean that?’ said I.’ ‘Lord. Old Creakle!’ ‘You were brought up by an uncle. It’s some time since I was articled. for his good humour made me feel as if I had seen him beaten but yesterday.’ said Traddles. ha.’ said Traddles.’ replied Traddles.’ ‘You are reading for the bar. and the fourth of a clerk. Copperfield. Traddles. laughing. And always didn’t. eh! Ha. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Why. as I sit here looking at you?’ I asked him. ‘Oh dear. ‘The one I was always going to write to. ‘Do you know what I can’t help thinking of. ‘But dear me. I have the fourth of a room and a passage.’ ‘And what did you do?’ I asked. Do you remember the nights in the bedroom? When we used to have the suppers? And when you used to tell the stories? Ha. ‘It’s not because I have the least pride. indignantly. It’s only on account of those who come to me. ‘No. Traddles.

However.’ tracing his finger along the inkstand. and it’s so pleasant to see you.’ said Traddles. ‘a pull. and had learnt the way of doing such things pithily. after all?’ ‘Oh dear. ‘I got fifty pounds. ‘So. Dora! ‘She is a curate’s daughter. Do you recollect him?’ No. with the same sprightly patience . you are so exactly what you used to be. and at first I was at a loss what to do for myself. He had not been there with me. until his gout unfortunately flew to his stomach . to become acquainted with a person in the publishing way. I had never been brought up to any profession. ‘It don’t matter.’ said Traddles.and I got a good many jobs. Therefore you must know that I am engaged. I was fortunate enough. who had been to Salem House .’ said Traddles. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. waiting to be put out in the world. preserving the same air of cheerful confidence in all he said. That didn’t answer very well. and that sort of work. however . and that ran away with all that was left of the fifty pounds. For I am a plodding kind of fellow. ‘and exactly where I hold this pen.‘I didn’t do anything in particular. and he set me to work. to copy law writings. Spenlow’s house and garden at the same moment.facing.com 0 .’ Engaged! Oh.and so he died. did not fully present itself to me until afterwards. Copperfield.’ said Traddles. towards the church. you understand. involuntarily. yes!’ said Traddles. out of this gate. Well! That put it in my head to enter myself as a law student. I began. with the assistance of the son of a professional man. by means of his assistance. I nodded. ‘I began. and. indeed’ (glancing at his table). not a particle. by little and little. with his nose on one side. one of these days. to get connected with some newspaper: which would almost be the making of my fortune. ‘I lived with them. and not living high. I am living by the sort of work I have mentioned. there stands the house . and he went on. ‘but I have no invention at all. for my selfish thoughts were making a ground-plan of Mr. too. ‘and thank Heaven that’s paid .’ ‘Did you get nothing.though it certainly was. wincing again as if he had had another tooth out.Yawler. I 0 David Copperfield suppose there never was a young man with less originality than I have. ‘That’s the church! You come round here to the left. with that agreeable face.’ said Traddles. all the noses were straight in my day. and make abstracts.’ said Traddles.as before. down in Devonshire. Yawler recommended me to one or two other offices.’ The delight with which he entered into these particulars. and then I began to state cases for them. and I hope. I managed to scrape up the hundred pounds at last. still. who was getting up an Encyclopaedia. I am not a bad compiler.Mr. that I sha’n’t conceal anything. Waterbrook’s for one .I can find no better expression .though it was . at the prospect on the inkstand. Traddles. ‘one of ten. ‘I am at work for him at this minute. Yes!’ For he saw me glance. and so she married a young man. Copperfield. Copperfield. and so I wasn’t provided for.’ As Traddles seemed to expect that I should assent to this as a matter of course. Now.

with a triumphant smile.for me!’ Traddles rose from his chair. and Mrs.’ said Traddles. And she would wait. as he checked himself in humming a soft tune. ‘In the meantime. However. I am intimately acquainted with them!’ An opportune double knock at the door.’ said Traddles.’ ‘My dear Traddles!’ I quickly exclaimed.’ drawing the cloth off with great pride and care. In general. she bought herself. I begged Traddles to ask his landlord to walk up. no. ‘a little older than me. Mr. ‘It’s an admirable piece of workmanship . you know. No. So does the ironmongery . we have begun. Micawber could ever have knocked at that door. who are very agreeable people indeed.candle-boxes. I board with the people downstairs. but our motto is ‘Wait and hope!’ We always say that. Micawber!’ I repeated.firm as a rock!’ I praised them both. ‘I was not aware that there was any Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I walked there. not a bit changed . Micawber. ‘It’s not a great deal towards the furnishing. ‘What are you talking about?’ Traddles looked at me. and are excellent company.com 0 . 0 David Copperfield Copperfield. ‘are two pieces of furniture to commence with. and that sort of necessaries . I get on as well as I can. and his eye-glass. are what discourage me most. The table-cloths. Both Mr.and there you are! This little round table with the marble top (it’s two feet ten in circumference). Copperfield.’ we always say. but the dearest girl! I told you I was going out of town? I have been down there. and pillow-cases. ‘with a plant in it. falling a little back from it to survey it with the greater admiration. ‘Why. highly. Traddles. ‘but it’s something. his shirtcollar. and gridirons. ‘and this is the end of my prosing about myself. and which nobody but Mr. and Traddles replaced the covering as carefully as he had removed it. I don’t make much. and . Here. and Mrs. Micawber. and I had the most delightful time! I dare say ours is likely to be a rather long engagement. or somebody comes to see you or your wife. resolved any doubt in my mind as to their being my old friends. all the same as ever . and wants a place to stand a cup of tea upon. till she was sixty . his stick.any age you can mention .’ said Mr. and articles of that kind. This flower-pot and stand. ‘I beg your pardon. Traddles accordingly did so. We must get on by degrees.‘She is such a dear girl!’ said Traddles.’ said I. as if he wondered what I was talking about. ‘wait and hope!’ And I assure you she’s the dearest girl!’ ‘I am quite certain of it. and Mr. ‘However. and and there you are again!’ said Traddles. ‘Wait and hope. but I don’t spend much. I bought.’ he said. ‘Mr. You want to lay a book down. You put that in a parlour window. put his hand upon the white cloth I had observed. over the banister.because those things tell. and mount up. ‘it’s not that we haven’t made a beginning towards housekeeping.’ said Traddles. with the old roll in his voice. which I knew well from old experience in Windsor Terrace.came into the room with a genteel and youthful air.his tights. and I walked back. but we have begun. and. coming back to his chair. Micawber have seen a good deal of life.

The present is one of those momentous stages in the life of man. that he was sensible of sounds in the next room.’ Mr. alien to this tenement. ‘Good Heaven. and hurriedly opening and shutting drawers that were uneasy in their action. Copperfield. ‘to think that I should find you acquainted with the friend of my youth.a spring. which was anciently the resort of Pilgrims from the remotest corners of . Micawber. Micawber had not known me in the least. but not. a little more slatternly than she used to be. ‘I rejoice to reply that they are.’ said I.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. until certain expected events should turn up. though he had stood face to face with me. and I have every reason to believe that a vigorous leap will shortly be the result. ‘and all the circle at Canterbury?’ 0 David Copperfield ‘I have none but good accounts of them. I may figuratively say. You find me. with one eye on Traddles. in the enjoyment of salubrity. and shook hands with me again. on what may be designated as a small and unassuming scale.com 0 . Mr. Mr. Mr. Traddles!’ said Mr. when it has been necessary that I should fall back. thank God. in statu quo.’ ‘And Mrs. ‘And how is our good friend the Doctor.’ said Mr. Mr. Micawber. fallen back. but.individual. in your sanctum. FOR a spring. ‘Is it possible! Have I the pleasure of again beholding Copperfield!’ and shook me by both hands with the utmost fervour. and pulled up his shirt-collar. ‘Here is a gentleman in Mr. Micawber?’ I pursued. ‘Sir. But now. Within the shadow. Micawber immediately reappeared. ‘in the immediate neighbourhood of the Cathedral.in short. that there have been periods of my life. the companion of earlier days! My dear!’ calling over the banisters to Mrs. Micawber. ‘It was at Canterbury where we last met. my love!’ Mr. Micawber came in. Copperfield?’ said Mr. Micawber. ‘I am most delighted to hear it. you are aware that I have. Micawber slightly bowed to me. likewise. as of Mrs. but still with Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘And the children. I am in statu quo. or so she seemed now. Micawber continued talking as volubly as he could. ‘she is also. by some marks of concern in his countenance. Mr. Micawber?’ ‘Sir. You are no stranger to the fact. in the course of my career. Micawber. Micawber?’ said I. ‘at present established. ‘Sir. Micawber.’ said Mr. of that religious edifice immortalized by Chaucer. I thought.’ said Mr. ‘You find us. surmounted difficulties.’ said Mr. seeing me smile. while Traddles looked (with reason) not a little amazed at this description of me. Traddles’s apartment.’ I replied that it was. Micawber. fell back. and conquered obstacles. to my unaccustomed eyes. Micawber washing her hands. when it has been requisite that I should pause. Micawber. when Mrs. before making what I trust I shall not be accused of presumption in terming .’ I was expressing my satisfaction. whom he wishes to have the pleasure of presenting to you. without showing. he examined my features with more attention. cried. ‘How do you do.’ All this time. Micawber. ‘you are exceedingly obliging.

I have merely to observe. Mrs. to have led gently up to this announcement. in whom I have an unaffected interest. It is not an avocation of a remunerative description . Micawber was obliged. dwelling next door. who exposes hard-bake for sale in her parlour-window. however. to the infantine group.and some temporary embarrassments of a pecuniary nature have been the consequence. I am. Micawber was very anxious that I should stay to dinner. and after Master and Miss Micawber. Micawber. I am at present. were ‘grown great creatures’. delighted to add that I have now an immediate prospect of something turning up (I am not at liberty to say in what direction).com 0 .’ said Mr. that before I could think of leaving.’ said Mr. that Mr. which I trust will enable me to provide. Mr.if I may be allowed the expression . Micawber. perhaps. under existing circumstances. She presently revived.in short. With a washerwoman. 0 David Copperfield Mr. you may imagine that his society is a source of consolation to myself and to Mrs. Micawber. Micawber. I resisted all persuasion to forego it. and I asked her about the twins. was overcome by it. ‘here is a gentleman of the name of Copperfield.some preparation of herself for company. being in a delicate state of health. and Mr. she said. but an appointment was made for the purpose. and that Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and then I took my leave. I should not have been averse to do so. Micawber’s spirits were immediately lightened. is an unspeakable comfort. for Mrs. a mind like that which gleams . however. as it turned out. and was really pleased to see me. both for myself and for your friend Traddles. and with a pair of brown gloves on. engaged in the sale of corn upon commission. and Mrs. in confidence. rendered it necessary to fix a somewhat distant one. it does not pay . and observing that Mrs. ‘My dear. 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 . ‘My dear Copperfield. and was taken so unwell. my dear Copperfield. but that I imagined I detected trouble. that suited us all. that I am not aware that it is any business of theirs. The occupations to which Traddles stood pledged. in Mrs. to run down to the water-butt in the backyard. under pretence of showing me a nearer way than that by which I had come. whom she described as ‘absolute giants’. accompanied me to the corner of the street. all together. permanently. who. ‘I need hardly tell you that to have beneath our roof. they must appoint a day when they would come and dine with me.in other words. But I told Traddles. and a Bow-street officer residing over the way.in your friend Traddles. and draw a basinful to lave her brow with.’ It would have been better. We had half-an-hour’s talk. Micawber’s family have been so good as to express their dissatisfaction at this state of things. You may. be prepared to hear that Mrs. who wishes to renew his acquaintance with you. Micawber.which gleams . Micawber’s eye. and calculation relative to the extent of the cold meat. in great trepidation. I therefore pleaded another engagement. but they were not produced on that occasion. leading her towards me. being anxious (he explained to me) to say a few words to an old friend. Micawber.

too. In my love-lorn condition. Mrs. I did not repeat my former extensive preparations. founded on the acute experience acquired at this period of my life. and left me. On the occasion of this domestic little party. was not in this respect attended with its usual consequence. whether a sound enjoyment of animal food can develop itself freely in any human subject who is always in torment from tight boots. my appetite languished. MICAWBER’S GAUNTLET U ntil the day arrived on which I was to entertain my newly-found old friends. I have my doubts. CHAPTER 28 Mr. and I was glad of it. I lived principally on Dora and coffee. as the disappointment counteracted the fresh air. Crupp broke out into rebellion on my first bashful hint in 11 10 David Copperfield Free eBooks at Planet eBook. for I felt as though it would have been an act of perfidy towards Dora to have a natural relish for my dinner.I repel that exhibition of feeling with scorn. The quantity of walking exercise I took. I think the extremities require to be at peace before the stomach will conduct itself with vigour. a small leg of mutton. I merely provided a pair of soles. and a pigeon-pie.com . and with defiance!’ Mr. Micawber then shook hands with me again.

Crupp. At the appointed time. Having laid in the materials for a bowl of punch. Mrs.com 1 . that what I underwent from Mrs. two wax-candles. sink breathless on a chair near the door. Micawber’s convenience. When I conducted Mrs. to assist Mrs. and having laid the cloth with my own hands.’ said Mr.one motion of her hand towards the same nankeen region of wounded sensibility was enough to make me falter an apology. and where her retiring on the plates would be a physical impossibility. Micawber to come in and look. to be compounded by Mr. Mr. ‘My dear Copperfield. against whom I had conceived a prejudice. on condition that I dined from home for a fortnight afterwards. having also caused the fire in my bedroom to be lighted for Mrs.which was not by any means to be relied upon . If I hesitated. in consequence of the tyranny she established over me. beyond the outer door. after halfa-dozen unavailing modest pulls. and she saw the scale on which it was prepared for her. and become so ill. to get rid of her.she would appear with a reproachful aspect. and she was the terror of my life. Micawber in her toilette at my dressing-table. a paper of mixed pins. ready. ‘this is luxurious. ‘No! No. If I rang the bell impatiently. which had been missing since the former occasion. and she appeared at last . that I was glad.which I do still think an uncomfortable arrangement . If I objected to having my bed made at five o’clock in the afternoon . 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. in preference to re-engaging the handy young man. And here I may remark. was dreadful. to prey upon her vitals. I would have done anything in an honourable way rather than give Mrs. Micawber on his arm. and said. at any sacrifice of brandy or anything else. I never was so much afraid of anyone. I bought a second-hand dumb-waiter for this dinner1 David Copperfield party. in a waistcoat remarkably like one of mine. and Mrs. Micawber with more shirt-collar than usual. Micawber. at the shortest notice. They were all delighted with my residence. In short. sir! You will not ask me sich a thing. Micawber with her cap in a whitey-brown paper parcel. and a new ribbon to his eye-glass. Crupp offence. with a dignified sense of injury. Micawber. a compromise was effected. that she called Mr. having provided a bottle of lavender-water. The ‘young gal’ was reengaged. Traddles carrying the parcel. my three visitors arrived together. lay her hand upon her nankeen bosom. in the end. one Sunday morning. but on the stipulation that she should only bring in the dishes. she was taken with that wonderful disorder which was always lying in ambush in her system.reference to the cooking of the fish and joint. This is a way of life which reminds me of the period Free eBooks at Planet eBook. she was in such raptures. I awaited the result with composure. where a habit of sniffing she had contracted would be lost upon the guests. We made a compromise of everything. Crupp consented to achieve this feat. Micawber to my dressing-table. and a pincushion. and supporting Mrs. in consequence of meeting him in the Strand. and then withdraw to the landing-place.

at length to fall a victim to pecuniary involvements of a complicated nature. the banquet was such a failure that I should have been quite unhappy . I never saw a man so thoroughly enjoy himself amid the fragrance of lemon-peel and sugar. was gone in a moment. instead of punch. and mixed. phrenologically speaking: full of lumps and bumps. I informed Mr. the momentary laceration of a wounded spirit.about the failure. Micawber with sudden seriousness. after frying the soles. And the lark was never gayer than that excellent woman. in the inscrutable decrees of Fate. The pigeonpie was not bad.’ ‘Micawber!’ exclaimed Mrs. but she came out of my room. Micawber. was taken ill. but it was a delusive pie: the crust being like a disappointing head. Micawber. Because we broke down at that point. His recent despondency. with a ribald Turncock attached to the water-works .I never ventured to inquire. my love. forgive. Micawber. Micawber!’ ‘My love.’ ‘He means. archly. ‘Have I deserved this! I.’ said Mr. after a protracted struggle. In short. as Mr. in consequence of default in the payment of the company’s rates. It was wonderful to see his face shining at us out of a thin cloud of these delicate fumes. but I suppose . with nothing particular underneath. leaving me to infer from this broken allusion that his domestic supply of water had been cut off that afternoon.that Mrs. and very pale without: besides having a foreign substance of a gritty nature sprinkled over it. you were reserved for me. a fortune for his family down to the latest posterity. or the lavender-water.when I was myself in a state of celibacy. and looked as if he were making. the odour of burning rum. solicited by him. by the by. as if if had had a fall into the ashes of that remarkable kitchen fireplace. much affected. I mean. I suppose . but I can bear it. until it was worn out. Copperfield.where it remained.and will pity. and pressed my hand. who never have deserted you. or the wax-candles.in other words. not condemn. and led him to the lemons. not to say despair. Micawber had not yet been solicited to plight her faith at the Hymeneal altar. To divert his thoughts from this melancholy subject. and the steam of boiling water. in a long train.’ Mr. and Mrs. Micawber did that afternoon. who never WILL desert you. I am too well aware that when.’ returned Mr. made sensitive by a recent collision with the Minion of Power . and tasted. Micawber then embraced Mrs. ‘He cannot answer for others. or the pins. its excesses. But we were not in condition to judge of this fact from the appearance of the gravy. The leg of mutton came up very red within. forasmuch as the ‘young gal’ had dropped it all upon the stairs . destined. or the fire.com 1 .’ said Mrs. and our old and tried friend Copperfield will. Mr. Micawber.’ ‘My dear. as he stirred. I understand your allusion. it is possible you may have been reserved for one. Micawber. I am sure. ‘I have no desire to answer for others. As to Mrs. lovely. ‘you will forgive. Micawber that I relied upon him for a bowl 1 David Copperfield of punch. in tears. I don’t know whether it was the effect of the cap. I regret it. Crupp. comparatively speaking. for I was alFree eBooks at Planet eBook.

When we had slices enough done to begin upon. and by a bright suggestion from Mr. and I dare say there was never a greater success. Micawber (who could do anything of this sort to perfection) covered them with pepper. so amused. ‘accidents will occur in the best-regulated families. Micawber’s direction. almost the whole time. the bustle of it. the frequent sitting down to dispose of it as the crisp slices came off the gridiron hot and hot. The division of labour to which he had referred was this: .’ ‘Have you not seen him. Traddles laughed as heartily.ways unhappy about Dora . in our several departments. I was directed to come in. and our attention divided between the mutton on our 1 David Copperfield plates. and in the midst of such a tempting noise and savour.com 1 . and continually stirred.’ There was a gridiron in the pantry. Mr. sir. the being so busy. and immediately applied ourselves to carrying Mr. and Mrs. on which my morning rasher of bacon was cooked. in a twinkling.I would say. ‘I beg your pardon. Micawber’s idea into effect. so flushed with the fire. we fell-to. and must be borne with philosophy. Micawber could not have enjoyed the feast more. and took them off. sir. and cayenne. with our sleeves still tucked up at the wrist. more slices sputtering and blazing on the fire. turned them with a fork. and were all busily engaged. they may be expected with confidence.if I had not been relieved by the great good humour of my company. don’t you come from him?’ ‘Not immediately so. sir?’ ‘No. We had it in.’ said Mr. I put them on the gridiron. and Mrs. If you will allow me to take the liberty of remarking that there are few comestibles better. standing hat in hand before me. But I should think he might be here Free eBooks at Planet eBook. We were at the height of our enjoyment. I am satisfied that Mr. if they had sold a bed to provide it. ‘My dear friend Copperfield. that this little misfortune may be easily repaired. What with the novelty of this cookery. we reduced the leg of mutton to the bone. sir. Is my master not here. I am ashamed to record it. Micawber. Micawber heated. sir?’ ‘No. Micawber. endeavouring to bring the last batch of slices to a state of perfection that should crown the feast. and that I believe. with a little division of labour. and in families not regulated by that pervading influence which sanctifies while it enhances the . than a Devil. I would put it to you. under Mr. and the mutton then preparing. when I was aware of a strange presence in the room.Traddles cut the mutton into slices. some mushroom ketchup in a little saucepan. mustard. by the influence of Woman. and my eyes encountered those of the staid Littimer. as he ate and worked. Indeed we all did. in short. salt. but I really believe I forgot Dora for a little while. in the lofty character of Wife. we could accomplish a good one if the young person in attendance could produce a gridiron. the frequent starting up to look after it. the excellence of it. in their way.’ ‘Did he tell you you would find him here?’ ‘Not exactly so. ‘What’s the matter?’ I involuntarily asked. all at once. My own appetite came back miraculously.a .

’ he returned respectfully. to put my establishment to rights. sir. As for me.’ ‘Is Mr. Steerforth coming from Oxford?’ ‘I beg your pardon. and assumed a genteel languor. when it was done with.’ ‘In case you do.’ ‘You saw the boat completed?’ ‘Yes. Mr. no doubt. ‘that you will be seated. who had come from Heaven knows where. seemed to teem with the expression of his fixed opinion that I was extremely young. gave us our wine-glasses. and he never raised his 1 David Copperfield eyes from what he was about. humming a tune. to show that he was quite at ease. The mistake is mine. He took that off. as if his whole attention were concentrated on it. as he has not been here today. too. Traddles ran his greasy hands through his hair. sir?’ I thanked him and said. He was moving softly to the door.’ With which he took the fork from my unresisting hand. I remained behind on purpose to see the boat Free eBooks at Planet eBook. wheeled the dumb-waiter into the pantry.I said: ‘Oh! Littimer!’ ‘Sir!’ ‘Did you remain long at Yarmouth. ‘Can I do anything more. when he had his back towards me. and gravely handed it round. when. that time?’ ‘Not particularly so.’ ‘Is he coming up from Oxford?’ ‘I beg. Meanwhile he took the mutton off the gridiron. sir?’ ‘Is Mr. sir.’ said I. As we severally pushed away our plates. I dare say. I rather thought he might have been here today. sir.tomorrow.which I never could. Micawber. Yet his very elbows. ‘If you’ll excuse me. I don’t think I shall see him first. but we became in a moment the meekest of the meek before his respectable serving-man. as if he had stabbed himself. piled everything on the dumb-waiter. We should not have been much discomposed. with the handle of a hastily concealed fork sticking out of the bosom of his coat. and we merely made a show of eating it. and stood it bolt upright. to this man . sir. No. in a forlorn hope of saying something naturally . but would he take no dinner himself? ‘None. I am obliged to you. cleared the table. All this was done in a perfect manner. Steerforth coming from Oxford?’ ‘I should imagine that he might be here tomorrow.’ ‘Indeed. with a glance at the latter. and bent over the gridiron. Mrs. sir. sir!’ and he divided a bow between me and Traddles. as an old schoolfellow of his was here. and set on the cheese. by the appearance of Steerforth himself. of his own accord. We all took some. and stared in confusion on the table-cloth. sir.com 1 . and allow me to do this. and. but our appreciation of it was gone. Micawber put on her brown gloves. and hardly ventured to glance at the respectable phenomenon. ‘pray say that I am sorry he was not here today. subsided into his chair. he noiselessly removed them. I was a mere infant at the head of my own table. sir.’ ‘If you should see him first -’ said I. sir.

and warming with the punch and with the fire. Micawber. waits for no man. I think . ‘as I have repeatedly said to Mr. my dear Copperfield.com 1 . I wish you good night.but I really can’t say. Copperfield. took a pull at his punch. Traddles being a part of our domesticity. Micawber. Micawber’s prospects.’ ‘I know!’ He raised his eyes to mine respectfully. ‘Ahem!’ said Mr. ‘if my friend Cop0 David Copperfield perfield will permit me to take that social liberty. by bestowing many encomiums on the absent Littimer as a most respectable fellow. of myself and Copperfield. ‘But punch. that I always DID feel as if this man were finding me out? Mr. and the old indescribable air of saying something genteel. but my own relief was very great. and I could not repress a vague uneasy dread that he might find it out.in a figurative point of view . So we all did: Traddles evidently lost in wondering at what distant time Mr. My love. Commission to the extent of two and ninepence in a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Then I will drink. so it was a glassful. Micawber. Micawber. For corn. sir. Micawber. and a thoroughly admirable servant. to the days when my friend Copperfield and myself were younger. I may remark. Micawber. and disappeared.’ He comprehended everybody present. my conscience had embarrassed me with whispers that I had mistrusted his master. I may say. Mr. Micawber. with the old roll in his voice. ‘As we are quite confidential here.’ said Mr. How was it. and fought our way in the world side by side. sipping her punch. tasting it.’ said Mr. at the then present moment.completed.’ said Mrs. and had received it with infinite condescension. My visitors seemed to breathe more freely when he was gone. may be gentlemanly. will you give me your opinion?’ Mrs.’ said Mrs. Micawber argumentatively.’ Mr. but I have no doubt that Copperfield and myself would frequently have taken a pull at them. ‘like time and tide. that We twa hae run about the braes And pu’d the gowans’ fine .on several occasions. Mr. another glass?’ Mrs. sir. which was blended with a certain remorseful apprehension of seeing Steerforth himself. I am not exactly aware. if it had been feasible. had taken his full share of the general bow. in words we have sung together before now. having so little in reality to conceal. I suppose?’ ‘I really can’t say. ‘My dear. Ah! it is at the present moment in high flavour. arising from that extraordinary sense of being at a disadvantage which I always had in this man’s presence. but we couldn’t allow that. Micawber. Micawber pronounced it excellent.’ said Mr. Micawber and I could have been comrades in the battle of the world. Micawber said it must be very little. ‘Mr. for besides the constraint. ‘what gowans may be. clearing his throat. Steerforth has not seen it yet. Micawber roused me from this reflection. ‘Mr. sir. I should much like to have your opinion on Mr. in the respectful bow with which he followed these words. but it is not remunerative.

Micawber’s abilities.what is the use of that? Again I contend that we are no farther advanced than we were before. Micawber. the manners of Mr. Micawber’s manners -’ ‘Hem! Really. laying her brown glove on his hand. when he offers his services even in an inferior capacity . Copperfield. Micawber. that if I had a deposit at a banking-house. Look at Barclay and Perkins! Look at Truman.’ Traddles and I both expressed.’ said Mrs. Mr. ‘then I ask myself this question. I may have a conviction that Mr. and Buxton! It is on that extensive footing that Mr. that Mr. What is best suited to a person of Mr. as much as to say that the case was very clearly put. ‘I will not conceal from you. ‘What is there in which a person of Mr.’ I shook my head.’ Traddles also shook his head. when he might otherwise go a little crooked. I may argue within myself. as representing that banking-house. But if they do NOT choose to place their money in Mr. be silent. what is the use of dwelling upon THAT idea? None. or receive the offer of them with contumely. ‘Then. But if the various banking-houses refuse to avail themselves of Mr. Micawber. I naturally look round the world. ‘My love. If corn is not to be relied upon. might found an establishment of that description. I am told. a certainty. Micawber. Micawber’s peculiar temperament is. Micawber cannot get into those firms . Hanbury.com  . ‘being equally out of the question. Micawber straight by her woman’s wisdom. Micawber. ‘Not a bit. and said. my dear Mr. however limited our ideas. Copperfield. and the profits. because commission is not a certainty. I may know that there are members of my family who.’ ‘What do I deduce from this?’ Mrs. Mr. Copperfield. As to originating a banking-business. Micawber’s hands .’ interposed Mr. leaning back in his chair with his hands in his pockets.fortnight cannot.’ said Mrs. are e-NOR-MOUS! But if Mr. Micawber went on to say. ‘What is the conclusion. Micawber. Micawber. my dear Mr. on the suggestion of my family. We have turned our attention to that experiment. eyed us aside. ‘Not a bit. and keeping Mr.what is the use of dwelling upon that idea? None.’ Mr. Micawber. that this great discovery was no doubt true of Mr. Micawber’s manners peculiarly qualify him for the Banking business.’ We were all agreed upon that. and said. Copperfield.which decline to answer his letters. who prided herself on taking a clear view of things. I am convinced.which they don’t . Micawber’s talent is likely to succeed?’ And I exclude the doing anything on commission. and nodded his head.’ said Mrs. Micawber. ‘The articles of corn and coals. ‘I may have a conviction. Micawber’s hands. is calculated to shine. I know  David Copperfield from my own knowledge of him. ‘that I have long felt the Brewing business to be particularly adapted to Mr. and must extend the connexion. my dear. to which I am Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and that it did him much credit. still with the same air of putting a case lucidly. and say. still more argumentatively. Micawber. by a feeling murmur. if they chose to place their money in Mr. and we find it fallacious.’ said Mrs. would inspire confidence. be considered remunerative. what is? Are coals to be relied upon? Not at all.

And the fact is.’ ‘Advertising is rather expensive. when I last had the pleasure of seeing you. Micawber.’ said Mrs. ‘If no member of my family. with great talent . Micawber. who was looking at the fire. Micawber.irresistibly brought? Am I wrong in saying. It appears to me.‘‘ ‘This idea of Mrs. Micawber with a variety of qualifications . to W. Then I would make a fact so disgraceful known. that I think Mr. Copperfield. in justice to himself. ‘By advertising.’ said Mr. Where does that responsibility rest? Clearly on society. by which he has been hitherto overlooked. assist to turn them up. post-paid. my dear Mr. that a person must either live or die. Micawber. ‘Just so. too.’ Mr. ‘is. that things cannot be expected to turn up of themselves. Copperfield! I have made the identical observation to Mr. and address. I may be wrong.‘‘ I ventured to ask Mrs. my love. forcibly. ‘Then what do I recommend? Here is Mr. alone. preserving the same logical air. Micawber several times of late. in justice to himself. and in justice to society) to raise a certain sum of money . in justice to his family. Micawber.with great talent -’ ‘Really.. Micawber ought (as I have already said. ‘Show me who will take that up. We must. Copperfield. and glancing at me sideways. 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. but I have formed that opinion. in fact. Now I am convinced. Micawber has to do. to describe himself plainly as so-and-so. ‘Very well. Camden Town. with a variety of qualifications.’ said Mr.’ returned Mrs. my dear.‘in all the papers. M. and say. but I thought him observant of Traddles. Post Office. ‘Exactly so!’ said Mrs. in effect. and this I have pointed out to Mr. with such and such qualifications and to put it thus: ‘Now employ me.’ said Mrs. the Leap to which I alluded. ‘is Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I will even go so far as to say in justice to society. Micawber. making his shirt-collar meet in front of his chin. my dear Mr. Micawber how this was to be done. in a measure. Micawber. Micawber’s.’ Both Traddles and I applauded it highly. ‘Quite true.’ said Mrs. myself. Micawber has to do. on remunerative terms. ‘Pray. Micawber. Micawber without any suitable position or employment. that we can not live without something widely different from existing circumstances shortly turning up. but that may be the partiality of a wife -’ Traddles and I both murmured ‘No. It is for that reason especially. Micawber.’ ‘And here is Mr. is to throw down the  David Copperfield gauntlet to society. Micawber .’ I remarked. and boldly challenge society to set it right.com  . my dear Mr. leaning back in his chair. in justice to his family. trifled with his eye-glass and cast his eyes up at the ceiling. dubiously.on a bill. Let the party immediately step forward. is to advertise in all the papers. Here is Mr. allow me to conclude.’ said Mrs. my dear Copperfield. ‘that what Mr. Micawber. with genius. It appears to me.I should say. that what Mr. ‘It is precisely that.

I could not refrain from making you acquainted with the course I advise Mr.’ said Mrs.assert himself. Copperfield. I congratulated Mr. He said that Mrs. and gathering her scarf about her shoulders. ‘I will not. and that.possessed of sufficient natural feeling to negotiate that bill . my dear Mr. in the highest state of exhilaration. who took his tone from me. but that he had dispelled them. At your fireside. Micawber should exert himself and . Micawber extended his hand to each of us in succession. when I lived at home with my papa and mama. that this was selfdenying and devoted in Mrs. He then returned to the punch. Micawber should go into the City. Micawber. In the fervour of this impression. but her grasp of a subject is inferior to none. and reassured her. as an investment. He was full of eloquence. but I am sure I don’t know why. Copperfield. but that he was an observer of character in some degree. He gave us to understand that in our children we lived again. So did Traddles. Micawber retired to my bedroom. preparatory to her withdrawal to my bedroom: ‘I will not protract these remarks on the subject of Mr. and resisting our entreaties that she would grace the remaining circulation of the punch with her presence. which I think had more snuff upon it than he was aware of. I am aware that I am merely a female.’ With these words. and then covered his face with his pocket-handkerchief. I well know. Micawber. I view it. Traddles. steadily. and should dispose of it for what he can get. and that a masculine judgement is usually considered more competent to the discussion of such questions. If the individuals in the Money Market oblige Mr.com  . is quite one of ourselves. and I uttered a murmur to that effect. Micawber to sustain a great sacrifice. ‘then my opinion is. still looking at the fire.’ That my papa was too partial.I will add . should take that bill into the Money Market.’ ‘To discount that bill. to regard it as an investment which is sure of return. to do the same. suggested ‘Discount. finishing her punch. my duty and my reason equally forbid me to doubt. Traddles. As to her family. Micawber’s pecuniary affairs. in times of public trouble. And really I felt that she was a noble woman . who.’ I felt. I feel that the time is arrived when Mr. and to make up his mind to any sacrifice. Micawber. Micawber to take. did likewise. still I must not forget that. any accession to their number was doubly welcome.I believe there is a better business-term to express what I mean -’ Mr. Micawber. under the pressure of pecuniary difficulties. Mrs. my papa was in the habit of saying. my dear Mr. ‘Emma’s form is fragile.the sort of woman who might have been a Roman matron. and it appears  David Copperfield to me that these are the means. Micawber had latterly had her doubts on this point. that Mr. I recommend Mr. though not so old a friend. and done all manner of heroic things. Mr. Micawber.’ said Mrs. and in the presence of Mr. with his eyes still cast up at the ceiling. that is between themselves and their consciences. Micawber on the treasure he possessed. and their sentiments were utterly indifferFree eBooks at Planet eBook. they were totally unworthy of her.

or tall: or something of that kind. he expressly said. and denying. on which he had always had his eye. Hear!’ and tapping at the wall. after that. to the steady virtues of which he (Mr. in a shrill voice. or making some little alteration of that sort. and that the first thing he contemplated doing. we discussed a variety of topics before the fire. Micawber. he observed. but which he did not expect to attain immediately. by saying. . we might rely on this . took a more worldly turn. or carrying up the roof another story. Micawber) could lay no claim. they might live. We acknowledged his kindness. Our conversation. He said Traddles’s was a character. Micawber. in order that Mrs. There would probably be an interval. After feeling very hot and uncomfortable for some time. ‘Hear. by throwing out a bow-window. for a few years. She made tea for us in a most agreeable manner.!’ which so excited and gratified Mr. whether D. Mrs. ‘I am very much obliged to you indeed.com  . in handing about the tea-cups and bread-and-butter. and a knife and fork for me. So did I.ent to him. or wherever his abode might be. hear! My dear Mr. or whether she was short. and he begged us to forgive his having launched into these practical and business-like details. over some respectable place of business say in Piccadilly. Micawber pledged her. and after a good deal of blushing. Micawber. whom Traddles had honoured with his affection. broke up this particular phase of our friendly conversation. Mr.go to the Devil. Copperfield. he thanked Heaven. Micawber then delivered a warm eulogy on Traddles. having my glass in my hand.which would be a cheerful situation for Mrs. was fair. And I do assure you. He feelingly alluded to the young lady. that he ran with a glass of punch into my bedroom. and they might . in which he should content himself with the upper part of a house. by way of applause. and. but which. was to move. asked me. and where. and who had reciprocated that affection by honouring and blessing Traddles with her affection. comfortably and reputably. who drank it with enthusiasm. Whatever was reserved for him. stammering.I quote his own expression .there would always be a room for Traddles. she’s the dearest girl! -’ Mr. and to excuse it as natural in one who was making entirely new arrangements in life. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with the utmost delicacy and ceremony. Traddles thanked us both. Mr. with a simplicity and honesty I had sense enough to be quite charmed with. could deprive him of the impression that his friend Copperfield loved and was beloved. at the state of MY affections. ‘Well! I would give them D. afterwards. unknown. of hinting. which I think I liked. I said. fronting Hyde Park. Nothing but the serious assurance of his friend Copperfield to the contrary. Micawber might drink D. he could admire. he explained. or dark. Mr. He mentioned a terrace at the western end of Oxford Street. I am delighted. as it would require a large establishment. tapping at the wall again to know if tea were ready. in a whisper. After tea.. when the advertisement should have been the cause of something satisfactory turning up. crying from within. whenever I went near her. Micawber telling us that he found Camden Town in David Copperfield convenient. Micawber took an early opportunity.

‘Yes. the very table-beer of acoustics) the favourite ballads of ‘The Dashing White Sergeant’.’ said Traddles. I had only time to repeat my caution. Micawber told us. and ‘Little Tafflin’. leading Mrs. but that when it came to Little Tafflin. Micawber’s expression. Mine’s another. I have been thinking that he will most likely propose that one. Traddles thanked me. and she never left that Free eBooks at Planet eBook. 0 David Copperfield ‘Certainly. It was between ten and eleven o’clock when Mrs. I wouldn’t lend him anything. Mr.’ said I.’ said I.’ ‘For the bill that is to be a certain investment?’ I inquired. ‘Not for that one. because he told me. Micawber took the opportunity of Traddles putting on his great-coat.’ ‘My dear Copperfield.I am afraid I have lent him that already. Mr. Micawber and the old relations between us. for it was Steerforth’s. and the blood rush to my face. ‘Traddles. only the other day. and was musing. For both of these songs Mrs. and to put on her bonnet. if I were you.com 1 . At first. But I was much afraid. that he would be carried into the Money Market neck and heels. though.’ said I. on the way home. Micawber looking up at this juncture to where we were standing. when I observed the good-natured manner in which he went down with the cap in his hand. ‘I haven’t got anything to lend. ‘No. Micawber rose to replace her cap in the whitey-brown paper parcel. to be sure! I am very much obliged to you. which I remembered to have considered. Micawber his arm. you know. but as the step approached.‘‘ Mr. Micawber don’t mean any harm.’ said Traddles. with a whispered request that I would read it at my leisure. half gravely and half laughing. I thought it was Traddles coming back for something Mrs. when Mr. ‘Oh! You call THAT something to lend?’ returned Traddles. that it was provided for. that when he heard her sing the first one. Micawber had left behind.’ ‘I hope there will be nothing wrong about it. when I heard a quick step ascending the stairs. poor fellow: but.’ returned Traddles. I also took the opportunity of my holding a candle over the banisters to light them down. she had attracted his attention in an extraordinary degree. Micawber was good enough to sing us (in a small. and felt my heart beat high.Mrs. and gave Mrs. ‘I should think not. and descended.’ ‘You have got a name. Micawber was going first. ‘Provided for. I knew it. on the character of Mr. Micawber. thin. Copperfield. I was never unmindful of Agnes. This is the first I have heard of that one. ‘Mr. I returned to my fireside. smiling. ‘I hope not. to detain Traddles for a moment on the top of the stairs. and Traddles was following with the cap. That was Mr.’ ‘Oh!’ said Traddles. when I first knew her. Micawber had been famous when she lived at home with her papa and mama. to slip a letter into my hand. with a thoughtful look. he had resolved to win that woman or perish in the attempt. but . on the first occasion of his seeing her beneath the parental roof. flat voice.

and taking his seat at the table.’ ‘I thought you came from Oxford?’ I returned. shaking my hand heartily. as he took the seat on the sofa opposite to me. with the poker. in his careless way. ‘Not I. for he had always been an odd fish.’ said Steerforth. ‘Not a bore.better emFree eBooks at Planet eBook. He laughed heartily at my feeble portrait of that gentleman. you Sybarite! These Doctors’ Commons fellows are the gayest men in town. and stood before me with his hand out. here’s a supper for a king!’ he exclaimed. Micawber had recently vacated. the darkness that had fallen on him changed to light. inquired if I could give him anything to eat? During most of this short dialogue. ‘Have I detected you in another feast. I thought of her as the same benignant. though I confess to another party of three. and I felt confounded and ashamed of having doubted one I loved so heartily. I believe.’ ‘Well. for I felt that Steerforth rather slighted him. Daisy. and a smile. I hope? I thought he looked a little like one. I reproached myself. ‘and not at all Bacchanalian tonight. in a few words. triumphantly.if I may call it so . Steerforth. ‘that I had hardly breath to greet you with. and I would have made him any atonement if I had known what to make. ‘I was so surprised at first.’ returned Steerforth. ‘Why. ‘But who do you suppose our other friend is?’ said I. ‘I have been seafaring . the sight of me is good for sore eyes. gentle angel in my life. Steerforth. ‘Is he as soft as ever? And where the deuce did you pick him up?’ I extolled Traddles in reply. and said he was a man to know. as the Scotch say. old boy. talking loud in your praise. in full bloom. giving him welcome with all the cordiality I felt. and throwing it gaily away.’ ‘All of whom I met in the street. when he had not been speaking in a wild vivacious manner. ‘Who’s he?’ asked Steerforth.’ said I. and he must know him.  David Copperfield Micawber. as highly as I could. ‘and so is the sight of you. and how to make it. Daisy. ‘Don’t you remember Traddles? Traddles in our room at Salem House?’ ‘Oh! That fellow!’ said Steerforth. ‘Who’s our friend in the tights?’ I gave him the best idea I could. Daisy. with having done him an injury.’ ‘Traddles!’ I replied. How are you. I observed that he did the same thing while I was getting out the remains of the pigeon-pie. ‘I shall do it justice.com  . in my turn. for I have come from Yarmouth. beating a lump of coal on the top of the fire. ‘Heaven knows. But when he entered. of Mr. and so forth. he had sat idly beating on the lump of coal with the poker. not her. dismissing the subject with a light nod. my Bacchanal?’ ‘I am very well.where I had placed her from the first. and the remark that he would be glad to see the old fellow too. dumb-foundered!’ laughed Steerforth.’ said I. which Mrs.sanctuary in my thoughts . and stirred the fire into a blaze. ‘Why.’ said Steerforth. I loved her none the less.’ replied Steerforth. starting out of his silence with a burst. and beat us sober Oxford people all to nothing!’ His bright glance went merrily round the room.

’ said he. ‘but the sun sets every day. If we failed to hold our own.in so many weeks. ‘‘J. smooth-shod if that will do. I believe. that the carrier was making his last journey rather fast. to The Willing Mind”.surgeon. or months.’ ‘And how are they all? Of course. moving my chair to the table. ‘So you have been at Yarmouth. and began feeling in his pockets. debtor. that’s not it. It said nothing of her weariness and watching. ‘Have you been there long?’ ‘No. he certainly did not say so. ‘It’s a bad job.com  .’ ‘Barkis. but ride on! Ride on over all obstacles. to me.’ ‘Littimer was here today. Patience. ‘and I understood him that you were at Oxford. It informed me of her husband’s hopeless state. ‘As to understanding him.’ he returned. Going to be.ployed. or something or other. or whatever he is . ‘I have a letter for you. and we mustn’t be scared by the common lot. and I think you’ll find the letter. ‘An escapade of a week or so.meaning myself. ‘Ride on!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Steerforth!’ interested to know all about it. little Emily is not married yet?’ ‘Not yet. now I think of it. because that equal foot at all men’s doors was heard knocking somewhere. Steerforth continued to eat and drink. ‘The race that one has started in. He was mighty learned about the case. from your old nurse. ‘That’s right!’ It was from Peggotty. and brief. though. when I had done. It was written with a plain. . and looking over their contents: ‘it’s all over with poor Barkis. While I deciphered it. something less legible than usual. and consequently more difficult to manage for his own comfort.Put your hand into the breast pocket of my great-coat on the chair yonder. Steerforth. Esquire. if you can do that. and we’ll find it presently. taking some papers out of his breast pocket. every object in this world would slip from us. homely piety that I knew to be genuine. which he had been using with great diligence. I am afraid. you are a cleverer fellow than most of us. By the by’. and drinking to me. No! Ride on! Rough-shod if need be. but the upshot of his opinion was.’ said I. do you mean?’ ‘Yes!’ still feeling in his pockets.’ he returned. and ended with ‘my duty to my ever darling’ . to have been inquiring for me at all.who brought your worship into the world. jovially pouring out a glass of wine. to inquire for you. I have not seen much of ‘em.’ ‘From whom?’ ‘Why. unaffected. I believe . and it’s about that. indeed. Daisy. I saw  David Copperfield a little apothecary there . and people die every minute. and praised him highly.’ said Steerforth.’ he said. and win the race!’ ‘And win what race?’ said I. and hinted at his being ‘a little nearer’ than heretofore. Is it there?’ ‘Here it is!’ said I.’ ‘Littimer is a greater fool than I thought him.’ I remarked. he laid down his knife and fork. Old what’s-his-name’s in a bad way.’ ‘That’s true.

as if he had applied himself to some habitual strain of the fervent energy which. ‘if your high spirits will listen to me -’ ‘They are potent spirits. on purpose to bid you. don’t go till next day. and you fly off to Yarmouth!’ ‘You are a nice fellow to talk of flying off. I suppose?’ he said.’ he answered. for it’s something to be loved as she loves her prodigal son.Bah! Nonsense! .’ ‘You have just come back. or hate.’ ‘Would you love each other too much. there were traces in it. that. else? Come! Say the next day! I want you to stand between Rosa Dartle and me. I have not seen my mother this long time. when roused. He was in great spirits all the way. and set off to walk home. and will do whatever you like. who are always running wild on some unknown expedition or other!’ He looked at me for a moment without speaking.’ laughed Steerforth. I remember. for such a friend as she has been to me. ‘I am for Highgate tonight. ‘Well! Go.’ he returned. if you were in my place?’ His face was thoughtful. ‘and it would be in vain to ask you to go with me?’  David Copperfield ‘Quite. for example .when my mind glanced off to the immediate subject of our conversation again. Steerforth. holding me out at arm’s length. You can do no harm. and braving of hard weather. She will take it so kindly that it will be a comfort and support to her. with a hand on each of my shoulders. then. Come! Say the next day!’ I said the next day. at night. I think I will go down and see my old nurse. still holding me as before. moving from the table to the fireside again. I wanted you to come and stay a few days with us.’ ‘Well. made since I last saw it. I put on my own great-coat (but did not light my own cigar. and his glass raised in his hand. and giving me a shake: ‘Come! Say the next day. I had it in my thoughts to remonstrate with him upon his desperate way of pursuing any fancy that he took . It is not that I can do her any good. ‘I tell you what. looking at me with his handsome head a little thrown back. ‘Then I tell you what. ‘Yes. though the freshness of the sea-wind was on his face. as he paused. Steerforth. and pursued that instead. and then rejoined. Wouldn’t you go a day’s journey. and it lies upon my conscience. without me?’ ‘Yes. having had enough of that for one while) and walked with him as far as the open road: a dull road.com  .’ said I.You mean to go tomorrow. and when we Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as if I could do both. and he sat considering a little before he answered.such as this buffeting of rough seas. and he put on his great-coat and lighted his cigar. Steerforth. but she is so attached to me that my visit will have as much effect on her. then.I noticed. Here I am. I think so. was so passionately roused within him. and keep us asunder. or render her any real service.’ said I. It is no great effort to make. ‘no matter which. I am sure. . Finding him in this intention. and it was ruddy. in a low voice. and pass as much of tomorrow as you can with us! Who knows when we may meet again.

for I dare not say my dear Copperfield. ‘The present communication is penned within the personal range (I cannot call it the society) of an individual. ‘It is expedient that I should inform you that the undersigned is Crushed. That individual is in legal possession of the premises. It was dated an hour and a half before dinner. and I looked after him going so gallantly and airily homeward. ‘If any drop of gloom were wanting in the overflowing cup. he used a sort of legal phraseology. be increased by the sum of one more helpless victim. that he had some worthy race to run. and is NOT provided for. in the fact that the living responsibilities clinging to the undersigned will. and who was such a dear girl. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and of the curate’s daughter. I was undressing in my own room. in the course of nature. and win the race!’ and wished. lodger.at the expiration of a period not exceeding six lunar months from the present date. and the undersigned is Crushed.’ Poor Traddles! I knew enough of Mr. and who would wait for Traddles (ominous praise!) until she was sixty. by the before-mentioned Mr. Thomas Traddles. or any age that could be mentioned. that dust and ashes are for ever scattered ‘On ‘The ‘Head ‘Of ‘WILKINS MICAWBER. but my night’s rest was sorely distressed by thoughts of Traddles. but also those appertaining to Mr. ‘After premising thus much. Thus reminded of it. under a distress for rent. when Mr.com  . Also. which is now ‘commended’ (in the language of an immortal Writer) to the lips of the undersigned. in a state closely bordering on intoxication. as yearly tenant of this habitation. a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. His inventory includes. I am not sure whether I have mentioned that. Micawber by this time. for the sum Of 23l 4s 9 1/2d is over due. that a friendly acceptance granted to the undersigned. Micawber was at any particularly desperate crisis. for the first time. Some flickering efforts to spare you the premature knowledge of his calamitous position.parted. whose miserable appearance may be looked for . ‘SIR . Thomas Traddles. I broke the seal and read as follows. not only the chattels and effects of every description belonging to the undersigned. who was one of ten.in round numbers . it would be a work of supererogation to add. employed by a broker. it would be  David Copperfield found in the fact. I thought of his saying. ‘Ride on over all obstacles. you may observe in him this day. but hope has sunk beneath the horizon. down in Devonshire. to foresee that he might be expected to recover the blow. which he seemed to think equivalent to winding up his affairs. when Mr. Micawber’s letter tumbled on the floor.

that I was almost my own master at all times. made the push an ecclesiastical offence. was the close and attentive watch Miss Dartle kept upon me. on the box of the stage-coach. I took that opportunity. were treated with so much consideration. with blue ribbons in her cap. before I had been half-an-hour in the house. Spenlow had said about touching the Commons and bringing down the country. however. and what Mr. to catch by accident. with no more emotion than if he had been speaking of an ordinary human being. I was agreeably surprised to find that Littimer was not there. and so was Rosa Dartle. and the lurking manner in which she seemed to compare my face with Steerforth’s. to express my hope that Miss Spenlow was quite well. As I did not care. and knew that I was. and that we were attended by a modest little parlour-maid. that at such a time she only fixed her piercing look upon me with a more intent expression still. and my sight failing as I uttered the words. whose eye it was much more pleasant. Steerforth was pleased to see me. as germs of the patrician order of proctors. Spenlow David Copperfield very agreeably. the handle of which pump projecting into a school-house. did I see that eager visage. AGAIN I mentioned to Mr. which school-house was under a gable of the church-roof. or comprehending both of us at once. In this lynx-like scrutiny she was so far from faltering when she saw I observed it. and she was very well. I shrunk before her strange eyes. there was no difficulty about it. But what I particularly observed. with my voice sticking in my throat. intent on mine. and as I was not in the receipt of any salary. or passing suddenly from mine to Steerforth’s. and to lie in wait for something to come out between the two. I passed an hour or two in attendance on it with Mr. quite Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It arose out of a scuffle between two churchwardens. that he was much obliged to me. and as we had another little excommunication case in court that morning.com 1 0 . Spenlow replied. than the eye of that respectable man. and much less disconcerting. and consequently was not obnoxious to the implacable Jorkins. It was an amusing case. and Steerforth’s with mine. Blameless as I was. Spenlow in the morning. which was called The office of the judge promoted by Tipkins against Bullock for his soul’s correction. and sent me up to Highgate. with its gaunt black eyes and searching brow.CHAPTER 29 I VISIT STEERFORTH AT HIS HOME. So surely as I looked towards her. We articled clerks. Mrs. in reference to any wrong she could possibly suspect me of. one of whom was alleged to have pushed the other against a pump. to which Mr. to get to Highgate before one or two o’clock in the day. thinking about the Commons. that I wanted leave of absence for a short time.

until it fixed itself in one. and the marks of the old wound lengthen out until it cut through the disfigured lip. she seemed to pervade the whole house. but that I certainly could not claim so much for it. I have not seen him this long while. When we all four went out walking in the afternoon.’ ‘Oh! and that’s a reason why you want relief and change . ‘that I am accountable for Steerforth’s having been away from home longer than usual . ‘Miss Dartle.’ ‘No?’ ‘Indeed. ‘Ah! very true! But isn’t it a little . I heard her dress rustle in the little gallery outside.’ she said.’ said I. it’s not so? Well! I am very glad to know it. perplexed. I don’t mean you?’ A quick glance of her eye towards the spot where Steerforth was walking. when I am ignorant. Then. as she said.I don’t say that it does. she closed her thin hand on my arm like a spring. There was something positively awful to me in this. being so amazed. I have no doubt. unless I understand it from you. more to myself than her. I only ask a question. Miss Dartle. ‘Oh dear me.  David Copperfield a little more remiss than usual in his visits to his blindly-doting . ‘perhaps it was a little dry. Is it really.com  .excitement and all that?’ said she.if he has been: which I really don’t know at this moment. until last night. ‘In what is that man assisting him.don’t it rather engross him? Don’t it make him. All day.’ I replied. If I talked to Steerforth in his room. with an eagerness that seemed enough to consume her like a fire. I was quite lost.Eh? . and slanted down the face. but beyond that. don’t suppose that I think anything! I am not suspicious. ‘Don’t it .’ ‘It certainly is not the fact. with his mother leaning on his arm. like a wandering light. ‘Oh! I am glad to know that. though?’ I replied that I liked it well enough.unable to endure their hungry lustre. mind I want to know . ‘What is he doing?’ she said. and deep into the nether lip. and in the brightness of her eyes.eh?’ With another quick glance at them. who never looks at me without an inscrutable falsehood in his eyes? If you are honourable and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. because I always like to be put right when I am wrong. while Steerforth and his mother went on out of hearing: and then spoke to me. and watched us. perhaps?’ ‘Well. Is your profession really so engaging and interesting as to absorb your whole attention? I ask because I always want to be informed. ‘You mean it is a little dry. And I looked so. to keep me back. I saw her face pass from window to window. When he and I engaged in some of our old exercises on the lawn behind the house. showed me whom she meant. I want to found an opinion on what you tell me. and such a glance at me as seemed to look into my innermost thoughts. ‘without coming here. I saw her face grow sharper and paler. ‘pray do not think -’ ‘I don’t!’ she said. I don’t state any opinion. perhaps.for him.’ I returned. no!’ As she looked full at me. looking fixedly at me: ‘What is he doing?’ I repeated the words. ‘You have been a long time.’ said Rosa Dartle.

faithful, I don’t ask you to betray your friend. I ask you only to tell me, is it anger, is it hatred, is it pride, is it restlessness, is it some wild fancy, is it love, what is it, that is leading him?’ ‘Miss Dartle,’ I returned, ‘how shall I tell you, so that you will believe me, that I know of nothing in Steerforth different from what there was when I first came here? I can think of nothing. I firmly believe there is nothing. I hardly understand even what you mean.’ As she still stood looking fixedly at me, a twitching or throbbing, from which I could not dissociate the idea of pain, came into that cruel mark; and lifted up the corner of her lip as if with scorn, or with a pity that despised its object. She put her hand upon it hurriedly - a hand so thin and delicate, that when I had seen her hold it up before the fire to shade her face, I had compared it in my thoughts to fine porcelain - and saying, in a quick, fierce, passionate way, ‘I swear you to secrecy about this!’ said not a word more. Mrs. Steerforth was particularly happy in her son’s society, and Steerforth was, on this occasion, particularly attentive and respectful to her. It was very interesting to me to see them together, not only on account of their mutual affection, but because of the strong personal resemblance between them, and the manner in which what was haughty or impetuous in him was softened by age and sex, in her, to a gracious dignity. I thought, more than once, that it was well no serious cause of division had ever come between them; or two such natures - I ought rather to express it, two such shades of the same nature - might have been harder to 
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reconcile than the two extremest opposites in creation. The idea did not originate in my own discernment, I am bound to confess, but in a speech of Rosa Dartle’s. She said at dinner: ‘Oh, but do tell me, though, somebody, because I have been thinking about it all day, and I want to know.’ ‘You want to know what, Rosa?’ returned Mrs. Steerforth. ‘Pray, pray, Rosa, do not be mysterious.’ ‘Mysterious!’ she cried. ‘Oh! really? Do you consider me so?’ ‘Do I constantly entreat you,’ said Mrs. Steerforth, ‘to speak plainly, in your own natural manner?’ ‘Oh! then this is not my natural manner?’ she rejoined. ‘Now you must really bear with me, because I ask for information. We never know ourselves.’ ‘It has become a second nature,’ said Mrs. Steerforth, without any displeasure; ‘but I remember, - and so must you, I think, - when your manner was different, Rosa; when it was not so guarded, and was more trustful.’ ‘I am sure you are right,’ she returned; ‘and so it is that bad habits grow upon one! Really? Less guarded and more trustful? How can I, imperceptibly, have changed, I wonder! Well, that’s very odd! I must study to regain my former self.’ ‘I wish you would,’ said Mrs. Steerforth, with a smile. ‘Oh! I really will, you know!’ she answered. ‘I will learn frankness from - let me see - from James.’ ‘You cannot learn frankness, Rosa,’ said Mrs. Steerforth quickly - for there was always some effect of sarcasm in what
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Rosa Dartle said, though it was said, as this was, in the most unconscious manner in the world - ‘in a better school.’ ‘That I am sure of,’ she answered, with uncommon fervour. ‘If I am sure of anything, of course, you know, I am sure of that.’ Mrs. Steerforth appeared to me to regret having been a little nettled; for she presently said, in a kind tone: ‘Well, 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, with provoking coldness. ‘Oh! It was only whether people, who are like each other in their moral constitution - is that the phrase?’ ‘It’s as good a phrase as another,’ said Steerforth. ‘Thank you: - whether people, who are like each other in their moral constitution, are in greater danger than people not so circumstanced, supposing any serious cause of variance to arise between them, of being divided angrily and deeply?’ ‘I should say yes,’ said Steerforth. ‘Should you?’ she retorted. ‘Dear me! Supposing then, for instance - any unlikely thing will do for a supposition - that you and your mother were to have a serious quarrel.’ ‘My dear Rosa,’ interposed Mrs. Steerforth, laughing good-naturedly, ‘suggest some other supposition! James and I know our duty to each other better, I pray Heaven!’ ‘Oh!’ said Miss Dartle, nodding her head thoughtfully. ‘To be sure. That would prevent it? Why, of course it would. Exactly. Now, I am glad I have been so foolish as to put the 
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case, for it is so very good to know that your duty to each other would prevent it! Thank you very much.’ One other little circumstance connected with Miss Dartle I must not omit; for I had reason to remember it thereafter, when all the irremediable past was rendered plain. During the whole of this day, but especially from this period of it, Steerforth exerted himself with his utmost skill, and that was with his utmost ease, to charm this singular creature into a pleasant and pleased companion. That he should succeed, was no matter of surprise to me. That she should struggle against the fascinating influence of his delightful art - delightful nature I thought it then - did not surprise me either; for I knew that she was sometimes jaundiced and perverse. I saw her features and her manner slowly change; I saw her look at him with growing admiration; I saw her try, more and more faintly, but always angrily, as if she condemned a weakness in herself, to resist the captivating power that he possessed; and finally, I saw her sharp glance soften, and her smile become quite gentle, and I ceased to be afraid of her as I had really been all day, and we all sat about the fire, talking and laughing together, with as little reserve as if we had been children. Whether it was because we had sat there so long, or because Steerforth was resolved not to lose the advantage he had gained, I do not know; but we did not remain in the dining-room more than five minutes after her departure. ‘She is playing her harp,’ said Steerforth, softly, at the drawing-room door, ‘and nobody but my mother has heard her do that, I believe, these three years.’ He said it with a curiFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 

ous smile, which was gone directly; and we went into the room and found her alone. ‘Don’t get up,’ said Steerforth (which she had already done)’ my dear Rosa, don’t! Be kind for once, and sing us an Irish song.’ ‘What do you care for an Irish song?’ she returned. ‘Much!’ said Steerforth. ‘Much more than for any other. Here is Daisy, too, loves music from his soul. Sing us an Irish song, Rosa! and let me sit and listen as I used to do.’ He did not touch her, or the chair from which she had risen, but sat himself near the harp. She stood beside it for some little while, in a curious way, going through the motion of playing it with her right hand, but not sounding it. At length she sat down, and drew it to her with one sudden action, and played and sang. I don’t know what it was, in her touch or voice, that made that song the most unearthly I have ever heard in my life, or can imagine. There was something fearful in the reality of it. It was as if it had never been written, or set to music, but sprung out of passion within her; which found imperfect utterance in the low sounds of her voice, and crouched again when all was still. I was dumb when she leaned beside the harp again, playing it, but not sounding it, with her right hand. A minute more, and this had roused me from my trance: - Steerforth had left his seat, and gone to her, and had put his arm laughingly about her, and had said, ‘Come, 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 
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cat, and had burst out of the room. ‘What is the matter with Rosa?’ said Mrs. Steerforth, coming in. ‘She has been an angel, mother,’ returned Steerforth, ‘for a little while; and has run into the opposite extreme, since, by way of compensation.’ ‘You should be careful not to irritate her, James. Her temper has been soured, remember, and ought not to be tried.’ Rosa did not come back; and no other mention was made of her, until I went with Steerforth into his room to say Good night. Then he laughed about her, and asked me if I had ever seen such a fierce little piece of incomprehensibility. I expressed as much of my astonishment as was then capable of expression, and asked if he could guess what it was that she had taken so much amiss, so suddenly. ‘Oh, Heaven knows,’ said Steerforth. ‘Anything you like - or nothing! I told you she took everything, herself included, to a grindstone, and sharpened it. She is an edge-tool, and requires great care in dealing with. She is always dangerous. Good night!’ ‘Good night!’ said I, ‘my dear Steerforth! I shall be gone before you wake in the morning. Good night!’ He was unwilling to let me go; and stood, holding me out, with a hand on each of my shoulders, as he had done in my own room. ‘Daisy,’ he said, with a smile - ‘for though that’s not the name your godfathers and godmothers gave you, it’s the name I like best to call you by - and I wish, I wish, I wish,
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you could give it to me!’ ‘Why so I can, if I choose,’ said I. ‘Daisy, if anything should ever separate us, you must think of me at my best, old boy. Come! Let us make that bargain. Think of me at my best, if circumstances should ever part us!’ ‘You have no best to me, Steerforth,’ said I, ‘and no worst. You are always equally loved, and cherished in my heart.’ So much compunction for having ever wronged him, even by a shapeless thought, did I feel within me, that the confession of having done so was rising to my lips. But for the reluctance I had to betray the confidence of Agnes, but for my uncertainty how to approach the subject with no risk of doing so, it would have reached them before he said, ‘God bless you, Daisy, and good night!’ In my doubt, it did NOT reach them; and we shook hands, and we parted. I was up with the dull dawn, and, having dressed as quietly as I could, looked into his room. He was fast asleep; lying, easily, with his head upon his arm, as I had often seen him lie at school. The time came in its season, and that was very soon, when I almost wondered that nothing troubled his repose, as I looked at him. But he slept - let me think of him so again - as I had often seen him sleep at school; and thus, in this silent hour, I left him. - Never more, oh God forgive you, Steerforth! to touch that passive hand in love and friendship. Never, never more! 
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got down to Yarmouth in the evening, and went to the inn. I knew that Peggotty’s spare room - my room - was likely to have occupation enough in a little while, if that great Visitor, before whose presence all the living must give place, were not already in the house; so I betook myself to the inn, and dined there, and engaged my bed. It was ten o’clock when I went out. Many of the shops were shut, and the town was dull. When I came to Omer and Joram’s, I found the shutters up, but the shop door standing open. As I could obtain a perspective view of Mr. Omer inside, smoking his pipe by the parlour door, I entered, and asked him how he was. ‘Why, bless my life and soul!’ said Mr. Omer, ‘how do you find yourself? Take a seat. - Smoke not disagreeable, I hope?’ ‘By no means,’ said I. ‘I like it - in somebody else’s pipe.’ ‘What, not in your own, eh?’ Mr. Omer returned, laughing. ‘All the better, sir. Bad habit for a young man. Take a seat. I smoke, myself, for the asthma.’ Mr. Omer had made room for me, and placed a chair. He
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now sat down again very much out of breath, gasping at his pipe as if it contained a supply of that necessary, without which he must perish. ‘I am sorry to have heard bad news of Mr. Barkis,’ said I. Mr. Omer looked at me, with a steady countenance, and shook his head. ‘Do you know how he is tonight?’ I asked. ‘The very question I should have put to you, sir,’ returned Mr. Omer, ‘but on account of delicacy. It’s one of the drawbacks of our line of business. When a party’s ill, we can’t ask how the party is.’ The difficulty had not occurred to me; though I had had my apprehensions too, when I went in, of hearing the old tune. On its being mentioned, I recognized it, however, and said as much. ‘Yes, yes, you understand,’ said Mr. Omer, nodding his head. ‘We dursn’t do it. Bless you, it would be a shock that the generality of parties mightn’t recover, to say ‘Omer and Joram’s compliments, and how do you find yourself this morning?’ - or this afternoon - as it may be.’ Mr. Omer and I nodded at each other, and Mr. Omer recruited his wind by the aid of his pipe. ‘It’s one of the things that cut the trade off from attentions they could often wish to show,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Take myself. If I have known Barkis a year, to move to as he went by, I have known him forty years. But I can’t go and say, ‘how is he?‘‘ I felt it was rather hard on Mr. Omer, and I told him so. ‘I’m not more self-interested, I hope, than another man,’ 
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said Mr. Omer. ‘Look at me! My wind may fail me at any moment, and it ain’t likely that, to my own knowledge, I’d be self-interested under such circumstances. I say it ain’t likely, in a man who knows his wind will go, when it DOES go, as if a pair of bellows was cut open; and that man a grandfather,’ said Mr. Omer. I said, ‘Not at all.’ ‘It ain’t that I complain of my line of business,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘It ain’t that. Some good and some bad goes, no doubt, to all callings. What I wish is, that parties was brought up stronger-minded.’ Mr. Omer, with a very complacent and amiable face, took several puffs in silence; and then said, resuming his first point: ‘Accordingly we’re obleeged, in ascertaining how Barkis goes on, to limit ourselves to Em’ly. She knows what our real objects are, and she don’t have any more alarms or suspicions about us, than if we was so many lambs. Minnie and Joram have just stepped down to the house, in fact (she’s there, after hours, helping her aunt a bit), to ask her how he is tonight; and if you was to please to wait till they come back, they’d give you full partic’lers. Will you take something? A glass of srub and water, now? I smoke on srub and water, myself,’ said Mr. Omer, taking up his glass, ‘because it’s considered softening to the passages, by which this troublesome breath of mine gets into action. But, Lord bless you,’ said Mr. Omer, huskily, ‘it ain’t the passages that’s out of order! ‘Give me breath enough,’ said I to my daughter Minnie, ‘and I’ll find passages, my dear.‘‘
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He really had no breath to spare, and it was very alarming to see him laugh. When he was again in a condition to be talked to, I thanked him for the proffered refreshment, which I declined, as I had just had dinner; and, observing that I would wait, since he was so good as to invite me, until his daughter and his son-in-law came back, I inquired how little Emily was? ‘Well, sir,’ said Mr. Omer, removing his pipe, that he might rub his chin: ‘I tell you truly, I shall be glad when her marriage has taken place.’ ‘Why so?’ I inquired. ‘Well, she’s unsettled at present,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘It ain’t that she’s not as pretty as ever, for she’s prettier - I do assure you, she is prettier. It ain’t that she don’t work as well as ever, for she does. She WAS worth any six, and she IS worth any six. But somehow she wants heart. If you understand,’ said Mr. Omer, after rubbing his chin again, and smoking a little, ‘what I mean in a general way by the expression, ‘A long pull, and a strong pull, and a pull altogether, my hearties, hurrah!’ I should say to you, that that was - in a general way - what I miss in Em’ly.’ Mr. Omer’s face and manner went for so much, that I could conscientiously nod my head, as divining his meaning. My quickness of apprehension seemed to please him, and he went on: ‘Now I consider this is principally on account of her being in an unsettled state, you see. We have talked it over a good deal, her uncle and myself, and her sweetheart and myself, after business; and I consider it is principally on account of her being unsettled. You must al David Copperfield

ways recollect of Em’ly,’ said Mr. Omer, shaking his head gently, ‘that she’s a most extraordinary affectionate little thing. The proverb says, ‘You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.’ Well, I don’t know about that. I rather think you may, if you begin early in life. She has made a home out of that old boat, sir, that stone and marble couldn’t beat.’ ‘I am sure she has!’ said I. ‘To see the clinging of that pretty little thing to her uncle,’ said Mr. Omer; ‘to see the way she holds on to him, tighter and tighter, and closer and closer, every day, is to see a sight. Now, you know, there’s a struggle going on when that’s the case. Why should it be made a longer one than is needful?’ I listened attentively to the good old fellow, and acquiesced, with all my heart, in what he said. ‘Therefore, I mentioned to them,’ said Mr. Omer, in a comfortable, easy-going tone, ‘this. I said, ‘Now, don’t consider Em’ly nailed down in point of time, at all. Make it your own time. Her services have been more valuable than was supposed; her learning has been quicker than was supposed; Omer and Joram can run their pen through what remains; and she’s free when you wish. If she likes to make any little arrangement, afterwards, in the way of doing any little thing for us at home, very well. If she don’t, very well still. We’re no losers, anyhow.’ For - don’t you see,’ said Mr. Omer, touching me with his pipe, ‘it ain’t likely that a man so short of breath as myself, and a grandfather too, would go and strain points with a little bit of a blue-eyed blossom, like her?’ ‘Not at all, I am certain,’ said I.
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‘Not at all! You’re right!’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Well, sir, her cousin - you know it’s a cousin she’s going to be married to?’ ‘Oh yes,’ I replied. ‘I know him well.’ ‘Of course you do,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Well, sir! Her cousin being, as it appears, in good work, and well to do, thanked me in a very manly sort of manner for this (conducting himself altogether, I must say, in a way that gives me a high opinion of him), and went and took as comfortable a little house as you or I could wish to clap eyes on. That little house is now furnished right through, as neat and complete as a doll’s parlour; and but for Barkis’s illness having taken this bad turn, poor fellow, they would have been man and wife - I dare say, by this time. As it is, there’s a postponement.’ ‘And Emily, Mr. Omer?’ I inquired. ‘Has she become more settled?’ ‘Why that, you know,’ he returned, rubbing his double chin again, ‘can’t naturally be expected. The prospect of the change and separation, and all that, is, as one may say, close to her and far away from her, both at once. Barkis’s death needn’t put it off much, but his lingering might. Anyway, it’s an uncertain state of matters, you see.’ ‘I see,’ said I. ‘Consequently,’ pursued Mr. Omer, ‘Em’ly’s still a little down, and a little fluttered; perhaps, upon the whole, she’s more so than she was. Every day she seems to get fonder and fonder of her uncle, and more loth to part from all of us. A kind word from me brings the tears into her eyes; and if you 
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was to see her with my daughter Minnie’s little girl, you’d never forget it. Bless my heart alive!’ said Mr. Omer, pondering, ‘how she loves that child!’ Having so favourable an opportunity, it occurred to me to ask Mr. Omer, before our conversation should be interrupted by the return of his daughter and her husband, whether he knew anything of Martha. ‘Ah!’ he rejoined, shaking his head, and looking very much dejected. ‘No good. A sad story, sir, however you come to know it. I never thought there was harm in the girl. I wouldn’t wish to mention it before my daughter Minnie - for she’d take me up directly - but I never did. None of us ever did.’ Mr. Omer, hearing his daughter’s footstep before I heard it, touched me with his pipe, and shut up one eye, as a caution. She and her husband came in immediately afterwards. Their report was, that Mr. Barkis was ‘as bad as bad could be’; that he was quite unconscious; and that Mr. Chillip had mournfully said in the kitchen, on going away just now, that the College of Physicians, the College of Surgeons, and Apothecaries’ Hall, if they were all called in together, couldn’t help him. He was past both Colleges, Mr. Chillip said, and the Hall could only poison him. Hearing this, and learning that Mr. Peggotty was there, I determined to go to the house at once. I bade good night to Mr. Omer, and to Mr. and Mrs. Joram; and directed my steps thither, with a solemn feeling, which made Mr. Barkis quite a new and different creature.
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My low tap at the door was answered by Mr. Peggotty. He was not so much surprised to see me as I had expected. I remarked this in Peggotty, too, when she came down; and I have seen it since; and I think, in the expectation of that dread surprise, all other changes and surprises dwindle into nothing. I shook hands with Mr. Peggotty, and passed into the kitchen, while he softly closed the door. Little Emily was sitting by the fire, with her hands before her face. Ham was standing near her. We spoke in whispers; listening, between whiles, for any sound in the room above. I had not thought of it on the occasion of my last visit, but how strange it was to me, now, to miss Mr. Barkis out of the kitchen! ‘This is very kind of you, Mas’r Davy,’ said Mr. Peggotty. ‘It’s oncommon kind,’ said Ham. ‘Em’ly, my dear,’ cried Mr. Peggotty. ‘See here! Here’s Mas’r Davy come! What, cheer up, pretty! Not a wured to Mas’r Davy?’ There was a trembling upon her, that I can see now. The coldness of her hand when I touched it, I can feel yet. Its only sign of animation was to shrink from mine; and then she glided from the chair, and creeping to the other side of her uncle, bowed herself, silently and trembling still, upon his breast. ‘It’s such a loving art,’ said Mr. Peggotty, smoothing her rich hair with his great hard hand, ‘that it can’t abear the sorrer of this. It’s nat’ral in young folk, Mas’r Davy, when they’re new to these here trials, and timid, like my little bird, 
David Copperfield

- it’s nat’ral.’ She clung the closer to him, but neither lifted up her face, nor spoke a word. ‘It’s getting late, my dear,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘and here’s Ham come fur to take you home. Theer! Go along with t’other loving art! What’ Em’ly? Eh, my pretty?’ The sound of her voice had not reached me, but he bent his head as if he listened to her, and then said: ‘Let you stay with your uncle? Why, you doen’t mean to ask me that! Stay with your uncle, Moppet? When your husband that’ll be so soon, is here fur to take you home? Now a person wouldn’t think it, fur to see this little thing alongside a rough-weather chap like me,’ said Mr. Peggotty, looking round at both of us, with infinite pride; ‘but the sea ain’t more salt in it than she has fondness in her for her uncle - a foolish little Em’ly!’ ‘Em’ly’s in the right in that, Mas’r Davy!’ said Ham. ‘Lookee here! As Em’ly wishes of it, and as she’s hurried and frightened, like, besides, I’ll leave her till morning. Let me stay too!’ ‘No, no,’ said Mr. Peggotty. ‘You doen’t ought - a married man like you - or what’s as good - to take and hull away a day’s work. And you doen’t ought to watch and work both. That won’t do. You go home and turn in. You ain’t afeerd of Em’ly not being took good car