David Copperfield

By Charles Dickens

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PREFACE TO 1850 EDITION

faithful remembrance of the genial sun and showers that have fallen on these leaves of David Copperfield, and made me happy. London, October, 1850.

I

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

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

I

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

CHAPTER 1 I AM BORN

W

hether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously. In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the nurse, and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted, first, that I was destined to be unlucky in life; and secondly, that I was privileged to see ghosts and spirits; both these gifts inevitably attaching, as they believed, to all unlucky infants of either gender, born towards the small hours on a Friday night. I need say nothing here, on the first head, because nothing can show better than my history whether that prediction was verified or falsified by the result. On the second branch of the question, I will only remark, that unless I ran
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David Copperfield

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

den, that neither my mother nor Miss Betsey could forbear glancing that way. As the elms bent to one another, like giants who were whispering secrets, and after a few seconds of such repose, fell into a violent flurry, tossing their wild arms about, as if their late confidences were really too wicked for their peace of mind, some weatherbeaten ragged old rooks’-nests, burdening their higher branches, swung like wrecks upon a stormy sea. ‘Where are the birds?’ asked Miss Betsey. ‘The -? ‘ My mother had been thinking of something else. ‘The rooks - what has become of them?’ asked Miss Betsey. ‘There have not been any since we have lived here,’ said my mother. ‘We thought - Mr. Copperfield thought - it was quite a large rookery; but the nests were very old ones, and the birds have deserted them a long while.’ ‘David Copperfield all over!’ cried Miss Betsey. ‘David Copperfield from head to foot! Calls a house a rookery when there’s not a rook near it, and takes the birds on trust, because he sees the nests!’ ‘Mr. Copperfield,’ returned my mother, ‘is dead, and if you dare to speak unkindly of him to me -’ My poor dear mother, I suppose, had some momentary intention of committing an assault and battery upon my aunt, who could easily have settled her with one hand, even if my mother had been in far better training for such an encounter than she was that evening. But it passed with the action of rising from her chair; and she sat down again very
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meekly, and fainted. When she came to herself, or when Miss Betsey had restored her, whichever it was, she found the latter standing at the window. The twilight was by this time shading down into darkness; and dimly as they saw each other, they could not have done that without the aid of the fire. ‘Well?’ said Miss Betsey, coming back to her chair, as if she had only been taking a casual look at the prospect; ‘and when do you expect -’ ‘I am all in a tremble,’ faltered my mother. ‘I don’t know what’s the matter. I shall die, I am sure!’ ‘No, no, no,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Have some tea.’ ‘Oh dear me, dear me, do you think it will do me any good?’ cried my mother in a helpless manner. ‘Of course it will,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘It’s nothing but fancy. What do you call your girl?’ ‘I don’t know that it will be a girl, yet, ma’am,’ said my mother innocently. ‘Bless the Baby!’ exclaimed Miss Betsey, unconsciously quoting the second sentiment of the pincushion in the drawer upstairs, but applying it to my mother instead of me, ‘I don’t mean that. I mean your servant-girl.’ ‘Peggotty,’ said my mother. ‘Peggotty!’ repeated Miss Betsey, with some indignation. ‘Do you mean to say, child, that any human being has gone into a Christian church, and got herself named Peggotty?’ ‘It’s her surname,’ said my mother, faintly. ‘Mr. Copperfield called her by it, because her Christian name was the same as mine.’
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‘Here! Peggotty!’ cried Miss Betsey, opening the parlour door. ‘Tea. Your mistress is a little unwell. Don’t dawdle.’ Having issued this mandate with as much potentiality as if she had been a recognized authority in the house ever since it had been a house, and having looked out to confront the amazed Peggotty coming along the passage with a candle at the sound of a strange voice, Miss Betsey shut the door again, and sat down as before: with her feet on the fender, the skirt of her dress tucked up, and her hands folded on one knee. ‘You were speaking about its being a girl,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘I have no doubt it will be a girl. I have a presentiment that it must be a girl. Now child, from the moment of the birth of this girl -’ ‘Perhaps boy,’ my mother took the liberty of putting in. ‘I tell you I have a presentiment that it must be a girl,’ returned Miss Betsey. ‘Don’t contradict. From the moment of this girl’s birth, child, I intend to be her friend. I intend to be her godmother, and I beg you’ll call her Betsey Trotwood Copperfield. There must be no mistakes in life with THIS Betsey Trotwood. There must be no trifling with HER affections, poor dear. She must be well brought up, and well guarded from reposing any foolish confidences where they are not deserved. I must make that MY care.’ There was a twitch of Miss Betsey’s head, after each of these sentences, as if her own old wrongs were working within her, and she repressed any plainer reference to them by strong constraint. So my mother suspected, at least, as she observed her by the low glimmer of the fire: too much
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scared by Miss Betsey, too uneasy in herself, and too subdued and bewildered altogether, to observe anything very clearly, or to know what to say. ‘And was David good to you, child?’ asked Miss Betsey, when she had been silent for a little while, and these motions of her head had gradually ceased. ‘Were you comfortable together?’ ‘We were very happy,’ said my mother. ‘Mr. Copperfield was only too good to me.’ ‘What, he spoilt you, I suppose?’ returned Miss Betsey. ‘For being quite alone and dependent on myself in this rough world again, yes, I fear he did indeed,’ sobbed my mother. ‘Well! Don’t cry!’ said Miss Betsey. ‘You were not equally matched, child - if any two people can be equally matched - and so I asked the question. You were an orphan, weren’t you?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘And a governess?’ ‘I was nursery-governess in a family where Mr. Copperfield came to visit. Mr. Copperfield was very kind to me, and took a great deal of notice of me, and paid me a good deal of attention, and at last proposed to me. And I accepted him. And so we were married,’ said my mother simply. ‘Ha! Poor Baby!’ mused Miss Betsey, with her frown still bent upon the fire. ‘Do you know anything?’ ‘I beg your pardon, ma’am,’ faltered my mother. ‘About keeping house, for instance,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Not much, I fear,’ returned my mother. ‘Not so much as I could wish. But Mr. Copperfield was teaching me -’
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(’Much he knew about it himself!’) said Miss Betsey in a parenthesis. - ‘And I hope I should have improved, being very anxious to learn, and he very patient to teach me, if the great misfortune of his death’ - my mother broke down again here, and could get no farther. ‘Well, well!’ said Miss Betsey. -’I kept my housekeeping-book regularly, and balanced it with Mr. Copperfield every night,’ cried my mother in another burst of distress, and breaking down again. ‘Well, well!’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Don’t cry any more.’ - ‘And I am sure we never had a word of difference respecting it, except when Mr. Copperfield objected to my threes and fives being too much like each other, or to my putting curly tails to my sevens and nines,’ resumed my mother in another burst, and breaking down again. ‘You’ll make yourself ill,’ said Miss Betsey, ‘and you know that will not be good either for you or for my god-daughter. Come! You mustn’t do it!’ This argument had some share in quieting my mother, though her increasing indisposition had a larger one. There was an interval of silence, only broken by Miss Betsey’s occasionally ejaculating ‘Ha!’ as she sat with her feet upon the fender. ‘David had bought an annuity for himself with his money, I know,’ said she, by and by. ‘What did he do for you?’ ‘Mr. Copperfield,’ said my mother, answering with some difficulty, ‘was so considerate and good as to secure the reversion of a part of it to me.’
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‘How much?’ asked Miss Betsey. ‘A hundred and five pounds a year,’ said my mother. ‘He might have done worse,’ said my aunt. The word was appropriate to the moment. My mother was so much worse that Peggotty, coming in with the teaboard and candles, and seeing at a glance how ill she was, - as Miss Betsey might have done sooner if there had been light enough, - conveyed her upstairs to her own room with all speed; and immediately dispatched Ham Peggotty, her nephew, who had been for some days past secreted in the house, unknown to my mother, as a special messenger in case of emergency, to fetch the nurse and doctor. Those allied powers were considerably astonished, when they arrived within a few minutes of each other, to find an unknown lady of portentous appearance, sitting before the fire, with her bonnet tied over her left arm, stopping her ears with jewellers’ cotton. Peggotty knowing nothing about her, and my mother saying nothing about her, she was quite a mystery in the parlour; and the fact of her having a magazine of jewellers’ cotton in her pocket, and sticking the article in her ears in that way, did not detract from the solemnity of her presence. The doctor having been upstairs and come down again, and having satisfied himself, I suppose, that there was a probability of this unknown lady and himself having to sit there, face to face, for some hours, laid himself out to be polite and social. He was the meekest of his sex, the mildest of little men. He sidled in and out of a room, to take up the less space. He walked as softly as the Ghost in Hamlet, and
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more slowly. He carried his head on one side, partly in modest depreciation of himself, partly in modest propitiation of everybody else. It is nothing to say that he hadn’t a word to throw at a dog. He couldn’t have thrown a word at a mad dog. He might have offered him one gently, or half a one, or a fragment of one; for he spoke as slowly as he walked; but he wouldn’t have been rude to him, and he couldn’t have been quick with him, for any earthly consideration. Mr. Chillip, looking mildly at my aunt with his head on one side, and making her a little bow, said, in allusion to the jewellers’ cotton, as he softly touched his left ear: ‘Some local irritation, ma’am?’ ‘What!’ replied my aunt, pulling the cotton out of one ear like a cork. Mr. Chillip was so alarmed by her abruptness - as he told my mother afterwards - that it was a mercy he didn’t lose his presence of mind. But he repeated sweetly: ‘Some local irritation, ma’am?’ ‘Nonsense!’ replied my aunt, and corked herself again, at one blow. Mr. Chillip could do nothing after this, but sit and look at her feebly, as she sat and looked at the fire, until he was called upstairs again. After some quarter of an hour’s absence, he returned. ‘Well?’ said my aunt, taking the cotton out of the ear nearest to him. ‘Well, ma’am,’ returned Mr. Chillip, ‘we are- we are progressing slowly, ma’am.’ ‘Ba—a—ah!’ said my aunt, with a perfect shake on the 
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contemptuous interjection. And corked herself as before. Really - really - as Mr. Chillip told my mother, he was almost shocked; speaking in a professional point of view alone, he was almost shocked. But he sat and looked at her, notwithstanding, for nearly two hours, as she sat looking at the fire, until he was again called out. After another absence, he again returned. ‘Well?’ said my aunt, taking out the cotton on that side again. ‘Well, ma’am,’ returned Mr. Chillip, ‘we are - we are progressing slowly, ma’am.’ ‘Ya—a—ah!’ said my aunt. With such a snarl at him, that Mr. Chillip absolutely could not bear it. It was really calculated to break his spirit, he said afterwards. He preferred to go and sit upon the stairs, in the dark and a strong draught, until he was again sent for. Ham Peggotty, who went to the national school, and was a very dragon at his catechism, and who may therefore be regarded as a credible witness, reported next day, that happening to peep in at the parlour-door an hour after this, he was instantly descried by Miss Betsey, then walking to and fro in a state of agitation, and pounced upon before he could make his escape. That there were now occasional sounds of feet and voices overhead which he inferred the cotton did not exclude, from the circumstance of his evidently being clutched by the lady as a victim on whom to expend her superabundant agitation when the sounds were loudest. That, marching him constantly up and down by the
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collar (as if he had been taking too much laudanum), she, at those times, shook him, rumpled his hair, made light of his linen, stopped his ears as if she confounded them with her own, and otherwise tousled and maltreated him. This was in part confirmed by his aunt, who saw him at half past twelve o’clock, soon after his release, and affirmed that he was then as red as I was. The mild Mr. Chillip could not possibly bear malice at such a time, if at any time. He sidled into the parlour as soon as he was at liberty, and said to my aunt in his meekest manner: ‘Well, ma’am, I am happy to congratulate you.’ ‘What upon?’ said my aunt, sharply. Mr. Chillip was fluttered again, by the extreme severity of my aunt’s manner; so he made her a little bow and gave her a little smile, to mollify her. ‘Mercy on the man, what’s he doing!’ cried my aunt, impatiently. ‘Can’t he speak?’ ‘Be calm, my dear ma’am,’ said Mr. Chillip, in his softest accents. ‘There is no longer any occasion for uneasiness, ma’am. Be calm.’ It has since been considered almost a miracle that my aunt didn’t shake him, and shake what he had to say, out of him. She only shook her own head at him, but in a way that made him quail. ‘Well, ma’am,’ resumed Mr. Chillip, as soon as he had courage, ‘I am happy to congratulate you. All is now over, ma’am, and well over.’ 
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During the five minutes or so that Mr. Chillip devoted to the delivery of this oration, my aunt eyed him narrowly. ‘How is she?’ said my aunt, folding her arms with her bonnet still tied on one of them. ‘Well, ma’am, she will soon be quite comfortable, I hope,’ returned Mr. Chillip. ‘Quite as comfortable as we can expect a young mother to be, under these melancholy domestic circumstances. There cannot be any objection to your seeing her presently, ma’am. It may do her good.’ ‘And SHE. How is SHE?’ said my aunt, sharply. Mr. Chillip laid his head a little more on one side, and looked at my aunt like an amiable bird. ‘The baby,’ said my aunt. ‘How is she?’ ‘Ma’am,’ returned Mr. Chillip, ‘I apprehended you had known. It’s a boy.’ My aunt said never a word, but took her bonnet by the strings, in the manner of a sling, aimed a blow at Mr. Chillip’s head with it, put it on bent, walked out, and never came back. She vanished like a discontented fairy; or like one of those supernatural beings, whom it was popularly supposed I was entitled to see; and never came back any more. No. I lay in my basket, and my mother lay in her bed; but Betsey Trotwood Copperfield was for ever in the land of dreams and shadows, the tremendous region whence I had so lately travelled; and the light upon the window of our room shone out upon the earthly bourne of all such travellers, and the mound above the ashes and the dust that once was he, without whom I had never been.
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CHAPTER 2 I OBSERVE

T

he first objects that assume a distinct presence before me, as I look far back, into the blank of my infancy, are my mother with her pretty hair and youthful shape, and Peggotty with no shape at all, and eyes so dark that they seemed to darken their whole neighbourhood in her face, and cheeks and arms so hard and red that I wondered the birds didn’t peck her in preference to apples. I believe I can remember these two at a little distance apart, dwarfed to my sight by stooping down or kneeling on the floor, and I going unsteadily from the one to the other. I have an impression on my mind which I cannot distinguish from actual remembrance, of the touch of Peggotty’s forefinger as she used to hold it out to me, and of its being roughened by needlework, like a pocket nutmeg-grater. This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I believe the power of observation in numbers of very young children to be quite wonderful for its closeness and accuracy. Indeed, I think that most grown men who are remarkable in this respect, may with greater
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propriety be said not to have lost the faculty, than to have acquired it; the rather, as I generally observe such men to retain a certain freshness, and gentleness, and capacity of being pleased, which are also an inheritance they have preserved from their childhood. I might have a misgiving that I am ‘meandering’ in stopping to say this, but that it brings me to remark that I build these conclusions, in part upon my own experience of myself; and if it should appear from anything I may set down in this narrative that I was a child of close observation, or that as a man I have a strong memory of my childhood, I undoubtedly lay claim to both of these characteristics. Looking back, as I was saying, into the blank of my infancy, the first objects I can remember as standing out by themselves from a confusion of things, are my mother and Peggotty. What else do I remember? Let me see. There comes out of the cloud, our house - not new to me, but quite familiar, in its earliest remembrance. On the ground-floor is Peggotty’s kitchen, opening into a back yard; with a pigeon-house on a pole, in the centre, without any pigeons in it; a great dog- kennel in a corner, without any dog; and a quantity of fowls that look terribly tall to me, walking about, in a menacing and ferocious manner. There is one cock who gets upon a post to crow, and seems to take particular notice of me as I look at him through the kitchen window, who makes me shiver, he is so fierce. Of the geese outside the side-gate who come waddling after me with their long necks stretched out when I go that way, I dream at night: as a man environed by wild beasts might
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by Peggotty. I wonder. There is something of a doleful air about that room to me.half making up his mind to come into the church. and show me the quiet churchyard out of the bedroom window. I wonder whether they called in Mr. how he likes to be reminded of it once a week. and that is a place to be run past at night.leading from Peggotty’s kitchen to the front door. nothing half so quiet as its tombstones. but she pretends not to see me. pickles. I look at my mother. Chillip. letting a mouldy air come out of the door. when affliction sore. and try to think of Mr. with the dead all lying in their graves at rest. What a high-backed pew! With a window near it. as the grass of that churchyard. and think  David Copperfield within myself. but mutton . grandly.I know him without that white thing on. in which there is the smell of soap. all at one whiff. that I am to look at the clergyman. candles. Bodgers late of this parish. There is nothing half so green that I know anywhere. but not so comfortably. as I stand upon the seat. and if so.com  . and coffee. when I kneel up.for Peggotty is quite our companion. Then there are the two parlours: the parlour in which we sit of an evening. nothing half so shady as its trees. my mother and I and Peggotty . early in the morning.and what am I to do? It’s a dreadful thing to gape. that it can tell the time again?’ Here is our pew in the church.what an enormous perspective I make of it! . I look at a boy in the aisle. and perhaps stopping the service to inquire .dream of lions.and the best parlour where we sit on a Sunday. Bodgers bore. and the company having their black cloaks put on. and what a castle it would make. but apparently ages ago . and frowns to me. I might be tempted to say something out loud. how Lazarus was raised up from the dead. I look from Mr. when her work is done and we are alone . and he makes faces at me. and what would become of me then! I look up at the monumental tablets on the wall. I look at the sunlight coming in at the open door through the porch. for I don’t know what may be among those tubs and jars and old tea-chests. The sheep are feeding there. who likes to make herself as sure as she can that it’s not being robbed.about my father’s funeral. long time Mr. and I am afraid of his wondering why I stare so. A dark store-room opens out of it. But though Peggotty’s eye wanders. below the solemn moon. and I see the red light shining on the sun-dial. and what the feelings of Mrs. for Peggotty has told me . out of which our house can be seen. ‘Is the sun-dial glad. pepper. in my little bed in a closet within my mother’s room. Here is a long passage . Bodgers must have been. But I can’t always look at him . when there is nobody in there with a dimly-burning light. or is not in flames. she is much offended if mine does. and IS seen many times during the morning’s service. to the pulpit.I don’t know when. And I am so frightened that they are afterwards obliged to take me out of bed. I feel that if I looked at him any longer. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. One Sunday night my mother reads to Peggotty and me in there. and think what a good place it would be to play in.I don’t mean a sinner. and he was in vain. in his Sunday neckcloth. to look out at it. Chillip. but I must do something. and there I see a stray sheep . and physicians were in vain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

or somebody else’s. and was very soon in tears also. though he pretends he don’t. Mr. and asked me what I thought of THAT. and now he throws his eye sideways down our lane. who had no more right to be possessed of the great trust he held. as Mr.stumped out again. I am sure when I think of the fellow now. He had a delight in cutting at the boys. A lane of small boys beyond me. I think he knows it. lest I should seem to exaggerate. to be so mean and servile to a man of such parts and pretensions! Here I sit at the desk again. hey? Did it bite? At every question he gave me a fleshy cut with it that made me writhe. which made him restless in his mind. and who is trying to wipe the sting out with a pocket-handkerchief. or Commander-in-Chief in either of which capacities it is probable that he would have done infinitely less mischief. hey? Did it bite. we laugh. watching his eye . with our visages as white as ashes. before the day’s work began. a large majority of the boys (especially the smaller ones) were visited with similar instances of notice. that there was a fascination in such a subject.humbly watching his eye. Mr. for a tooth? Was it a sharp tooth. Not that I mean to say these were special marks of distinction. which only I received. with the same interest in his eye. too. Creakle made the round of the schoolroom. but because I am morbidly attracted to it. Creakle did. Half the establishment was writhing and crying. hey? Had it a deep prong. as he rules a ciphering-book for another victim whose hands have just been flattened by that identical ruler. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and whether it will be my turn to suffer. The culprit falters excuses. . watch it too. I should think there never can have been a man who enjoyed his profession more than Mr. On the contrary. how abject we were to him! What a launch in life I think it now. than to be Lord High Admiral. and how much of it had writhed and cried before the day’s work was over. my blood rises against him with the disinterested indignation I should feel if I could have known all about him without having ever been in his power. I am confident that he couldn’t resist a chubby boy. I was chubby myself. 1 David Copperfield because I know him to have been an incapable brute. and we all droop over our books and tremble. hey? Was it a double tooth. which was like the satisfaction of a craving appetite. An unhappy culprit. he was famous for biting. in a dread desire to know what he will do next. He then showed me the cane. and we laugh at it. Miserable little propitiators of a remorseless Idol. but it rises hotly. Creakle cuts a joke before he beats him. Creakle came to where I sat. and told me that if I were famous for biting. especially. I am really afraid to recollect.com 1 . found guilty of imperfect exercise. I have plenty to do. on looking back. A moment afterwards we are again eyeing him. approaches at his command. and ought to know. until he had scored and marked him for the day. I don’t watch his eye in idleness. and professes a determination to do better tomorrow. He makes dreadful mouths as he rules the ciphering-book. and our hearts sinking into our boots.miserable little dogs. so I was very soon made free of Salem House (as Steerforth said).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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CHAPTER 30 A LOSS

I

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, 
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- 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 yo