David Copperfield

By Charles Dickens

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PREFACE TO 1850 EDITION

I

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

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PREFACE TO THE CHARLES DICKENS EDITION

I

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

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THE PERSONAL HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE OF DAVID COPPERFIELD THE YOUNGER 

David Copperfield

CHAPTER 1 I AM BORN

W

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

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

T

he first objects that assume a distinct presence before me, as I look far back, into the blank of my infancy, are my mother with her pretty hair and youthful shape, and Peggotty with no shape at all, and eyes so dark that they seemed to darken their whole neighbourhood in her face, and cheeks and arms so hard and red that I wondered the birds didn’t peck her in preference to apples. I believe I can remember these two at a little distance apart, dwarfed to my sight by stooping down or kneeling on the floor, and I going unsteadily from the one to the other. I have an impression on my mind which I cannot distinguish from actual remembrance, of the touch of Peggotty’s forefinger as she used to hold it out to me, and of its being roughened by needlework, like a pocket nutmeg-grater. This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I believe the power of observation in numbers of very young children to be quite wonderful for its closeness and accuracy. Indeed, I think that most grown men who are remarkable in this respect, may with greater
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propriety be said not to have lost the faculty, than to have acquired it; the rather, as I generally observe such men to retain a certain freshness, and gentleness, and capacity of being pleased, which are also an inheritance they have preserved from their childhood. I might have a misgiving that I am ‘meandering’ in stopping to say this, but that it brings me to remark that I build these conclusions, in part upon my own experience of myself; and if it should appear from anything I may set down in this narrative that I was a child of close observation, or that as a man I have a strong memory of my childhood, I undoubtedly lay claim to both of these characteristics. Looking back, as I was saying, into the blank of my infancy, the first objects I can remember as standing out by themselves from a confusion of things, are my mother and Peggotty. What else do I remember? Let me see. There comes out of the cloud, our house - not new to me, but quite familiar, in its earliest remembrance. On the ground-floor is Peggotty’s kitchen, opening into a back yard; with a pigeon-house on a pole, in the centre, without any pigeons in it; a great dog- kennel in a corner, without any dog; and a quantity of fowls that look terribly tall to me, walking about, in a menacing and ferocious manner. There is one cock who gets upon a post to crow, and seems to take particular notice of me as I look at him through the kitchen window, who makes me shiver, he is so fierce. Of the geese outside the side-gate who come waddling after me with their long necks stretched out when I go that way, I dream at night: as a man environed by wild beasts might
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dream of lions. Here is a long passage - what an enormous perspective I make of it! - leading from Peggotty’s kitchen to the front door. A dark store-room opens out of it, and that is a place to be run past at night; for I don’t know what may be among those tubs and jars and old tea-chests, when there is nobody in there with a dimly-burning light, letting a mouldy air come out of the door, in which there is the smell of soap, pickles, pepper, candles, and coffee, all at one whiff. Then there are the two parlours: the parlour in which we sit of an evening, my mother and I and Peggotty - for Peggotty is quite our companion, when her work is done and we are alone - and the best parlour where we sit on a Sunday; grandly, but not so comfortably. There is something of a doleful air about that room to me, for Peggotty has told me - I don’t know when, but apparently ages ago - about my father’s funeral, and the company having their black cloaks put on. One Sunday night my mother reads to Peggotty and me in there, how Lazarus was raised up from the dead. And I am so frightened that they are afterwards obliged to take me out of bed, and show me the quiet churchyard out of the bedroom window, with the dead all lying in their graves at rest, below the solemn moon. There is nothing half so green that I know anywhere, as the grass of that churchyard; nothing half so shady as its trees; nothing half so quiet as its tombstones. The sheep are feeding there, when I kneel up, early in the morning, in my little bed in a closet within my mother’s room, to look out at it; and I see the red light shining on the sun-dial, and think 
David Copperfield

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but never read it that I saw. and her common sense. He would open it and look at it as if he were reading. A day or two before the burial . Her brother took a book sometimes. All the rest of that day. but I am conFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and being moved by nothing. and except that she came to me every night. in the whole motionless house. and her strength of mind.com 1 . I saw but little of Peggotty.I think it was a day or two before. and counting his footsteps. hour after hour. on such an occasion. never relaxing a muscle of her face. and then put it down and walk to and fro in the room. but would remain for a whole hour without turning the leaf. and her firmness. I used to sit with folded hands watching him. or appearing with an atom of her dress astray. or softening a tone of her voice. In these days before the funeral. and from morning to night afterwards. in passing up or down stairs. except the clocks.’ This was all the consolation that her firmness administered to me. scratching composedly with a hard pen. She was particularly proud of her turn for business. and the whole diabolical catalogue of her unamiable qualities. she sat at that desk. except that. ma’am. 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.‘em home?’ ‘Yes. speaking in the same imperturbable whisper to everybody. He very seldom spoke to her. and never to me. and sat by my bed’s head while I went to sleep. I always found her close to the room where my mother and her baby lay. I have brought home all my clothes. He seemed to be the only restless thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Copperfield

CHAPTER 21 LITTLE EM’LY

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

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

party was a lady, I think?’ ‘My mother,’ I rejoined. ‘To - be - sure,’ said Mr. Omer, touching my waistcoat with his forefinger, ‘and there was a little child too! There was two parties. The little party was laid along with the other party. Over at Blunderstone it was, of course. Dear me! And how have you been since?’ Very well, I thanked him, as I hoped he had been too. ‘Oh! nothing to grumble at, you know,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘I find my breath gets short, but it seldom gets longer as a man gets older. I take it as it comes, and make the most of it. That’s the best way, ain’t it?’ Mr. Omer coughed again, in consequence of laughing, and was assisted out of his fit by his daughter, who now stood close beside us, dancing her smallest child on the counter. ‘Dear me!’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Yes, to be sure. Two parties! Why, in that very ride, if you’ll believe me, the day was named for my Minnie to marry Joram. ‘Do name it, sir,’ says Joram. ‘Yes, do, father,’ says Minnie. And now he’s come into the business. And look here! The youngest!’ Minnie laughed, and stroked her banded hair upon her temples, as her father put one of his fat fingers into the hand of the child she was dancing on the counter. ‘Two parties, of course!’ said Mr. Omer, nodding his head retrospectively. ‘Ex-actly so! And Joram’s at work, at this minute, on a grey one with silver nails, not this measurement’ - the measurement of the dancing child upon the counter - ‘by a good two inches. - Will you take someFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 

thing?’ I thanked him, but declined. ‘Let me see,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Barkis’s the carrier’s wife - Peggotty’s the boatman’s sister - she had something to do with your family? She was in service there, sure?’ My answering in the affirmative gave him great satisfaction. ‘I believe my breath will get long next, my memory’s getting so much so,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Well, sir, we’ve got a young relation of hers here, under articles to us, that has as elegant a taste in the dress-making business - I assure you I don’t believe there’s a Duchess in England can touch her.’ ‘Not little Em’ly?’ said I, involuntarily. ‘Em’ly’s her name,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘and she’s little too. But if you’ll believe me, she has such a face of her own that half the women in this town are mad against her.’ ‘Nonsense, father!’ cried Minnie. ‘My dear,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘I don’t say it’s the case with you,’ winking at me, ‘but I say that half the women in Yarmouth - ah! and in five mile round - are mad against that girl.’ ‘Then she should have kept to her own station in life, father,’ said Minnie, ‘and not have given them any hold to talk about her, and then they couldn’t have done it.’ ‘Couldn’t have done it, my dear!’ retorted Mr. Omer. ‘Couldn’t have done it! Is that YOUR knowledge of life? What is there that any woman couldn’t do, that she shouldn’t do - especially on the subject of another woman’s good looks?’ I really thought it was all over with Mr. Omer, after he 
David Copperfield

had uttered this libellous pleasantry. He coughed to that extent, and his breath eluded all his attempts to recover it with that obstinacy, that I fully expected to see his head go down behind the counter, and his little black breeches, with the rusty little bunches of ribbons at the knees, come quivering up in a last ineffectual struggle. At length, however, he got better, though he still panted hard, and was so exhausted that he was obliged to sit on the stool of the shop-desk. ‘You see,’ he said, wiping his head, and breathing with difficulty, ‘she hasn’t taken much to any companions here; she hasn’t taken kindly to any particular acquaintances and friends, not to mention sweethearts. In consequence, an ill-natured story got about, that Em’ly wanted to be a lady. Now my opinion is, that it came into circulation principally on account of her sometimes saying, at the school, that if she was a lady she would like to do so-and-so for her uncle - don’t you see? - and buy him such-and-such fine things.’ ‘I assure you, Mr. Omer, she has said so to me,’ I returned eagerly, ‘when we were both children.’ Mr. Omer nodded his head and rubbed his chin. ‘Just so. Then out of a very little, she could dress herself, you see, better than most others could out of a deal, and that made things unpleasant. Moreover, she was rather what might be called wayward - I’ll go so far as to say what I should call wayward myself,’ said Mr. Omer; ‘- didn’t know her own mind quite - a little spoiled - and couldn’t, at first, exactly bind herself down. No more than that was ever said against her, Minnie?’ ‘No, father,’ said Mrs. Joram. ‘That’s the worst, I believe.’
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‘So when she got a situation,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘to keep a fractious old lady company, they didn’t very well agree, and she didn’t stop. At last she came here, apprenticed for three years. Nearly two of ‘em are over, and she has been as good a girl as ever was. Worth any six! Minnie, is she worth any six, now?’ ‘Yes, father,’ replied Minnie. ‘Never say I detracted from her!’ ‘Very good,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘That’s right. And so, young gentleman,’ he added, after a few moments’ further rubbing of his chin, ‘that you may not consider me long-winded as well as short-breathed, I believe that’s all about it.’ As they had spoken in a subdued tone, while speaking of Em’ly, I had no doubt that she was near. On my asking now, if that were not so, Mr. Omer nodded yes, and nodded towards the door of the parlour. My hurried inquiry if I might peep in, was answered with a free permission; and, looking through the glass, I saw her sitting at her work. I saw her, a most beautiful little creature, with the cloudless blue eyes, that had looked into my childish heart, turned laughingly upon another child of Minnie’s who was playing near her; with enough of wilfulness in her bright face to justify what I had heard; with much of the old capricious coyness lurking in it; but with nothing in her pretty looks, I am sure, but what was meant for goodness and for happiness, and what was on a good and happy course. The tune across the yard that seemed as if it never had left off - alas! it was the tune that never DOES leave off - was 
David Copperfield

beating, softly, all the while. ‘Wouldn’t you like to step in,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘and speak to her? Walk in and speak to her, sir! Make yourself at home!’ I was too bashful to do so then - I was afraid of confusing her, and I was no less afraid of confusing myself.- but I informed myself of the hour at which she left of an evening, in order that our visit might be timed accordingly; and taking leave of Mr. Omer, and his pretty daughter, and her little children, went away to my dear old Peggotty’s. Here she was, in the tiled kitchen, cooking dinner! The moment I knocked at the door she opened it, and asked me what I pleased to want. I looked at her with a smile, but she gave me no smile in return. I had never ceased to write to her, but it must have been seven years since we had met. ‘Is Mr. Barkis at home, ma’am?’ I said, feigning to speak roughly to her. ‘He’s at home, sir,’ returned Peggotty, ‘but he’s bad abed with the rheumatics.’ ‘Don’t he go over to Blunderstone now?’ I asked. ‘When he’s well he do,’ she answered. ‘Do YOU ever go there, Mrs. Barkis?’ She looked at me more attentively, and I noticed a quick movement of her hands towards each other. ‘Because I want to ask a question about a house there, that they call the - what is it? - the Rookery,’ said I. She took a step backward, and put out her hands in an undecided frightened way, as if to keep me off. ‘Peggotty!’ I cried to her.
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She cried, ‘My darling boy!’ and we both burst into tears, and were locked in one another’s arms. What extravagances she committed; what laughing and crying over me; what pride she showed, what joy, what sorrow that she whose pride and joy I might have been, could never hold me in a fond embrace; I have not the heart to tell. I was troubled with no misgiving that it was young in me to respond to her emotions. I had never laughed and cried in all my life, I dare say - not even to her - more freely than I did that morning. ‘Barkis will be so glad,’ said Peggotty, wiping her eyes with her apron, ‘that it’ll do him more good than pints of liniment. May I go and tell him you are here? Will you come up and see him, my dear?’ Of course I would. But Peggotty could not get out of the room as easily as she meant to, for as often as she got to the door and looked round at me, she came back again to have another laugh and another cry upon my shoulder. At last, to make the matter easier, I went upstairs with her; and having waited outside for a minute, while she said a word of preparation to Mr. Barkis, presented myself before that invalid. He received me with absolute enthusiasm. He was too rheumatic to be shaken hands with, but he begged me to shake the tassel on the top of his nightcap, which I did most cordially. When I sat down by the side of the bed, he said that it did him a world of good to feel as if he was driving me on the Blunderstone road again. As he lay in bed, face upward, and so covered, with that exception, that he seemed to be nothing but a face - like a conventional cheru0 David Copperfield

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

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

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

possibility of doing anything else, or doing anything better, which was so graceful, so natural, and agreeable, that it overcomes me, even now, in the remembrance. We made merry in the little parlour, where the Book of Martyrs, unthumbed since my time, was laid out upon the desk as of old, and where I now turned over its terrific pictures, remembering the old sensations they had awakened, but not feeling them. When Peggotty spoke of what she called my room, and of its being ready for me at night, and of her hoping I would occupy it, before I could so much as look at Steerforth, hesitating, he was possessed of the whole case. ‘Of course,’ he said. ‘You’ll sleep here, while we stay, and I shall sleep at the hotel.’ ‘But to bring you so far,’ I returned, ‘and to separate, seems bad companionship, Steerforth.’ ‘Why, in the name of Heaven, where do you naturally belong?’ he said. ‘What is ‘seems’, compared to that?’ It was settled at once. He maintained all his delightful qualities to the last, until we started forth, at eight o’clock, for Mr. Peggotty’s boat. Indeed, they were more and more brightly exhibited as the hours went on; for I thought even then, and I have no doubt now, that the consciousness of success in his determination to please, inspired him with a new delicacy of perception, and made it, subtle as it was, more easy to him. If anyone had told me, then, that all this was a brilliant game, played for the excitement of the moment, for the employment of high spirits, in the thoughtless love of superiority, in a mere 
David Copperfield

wasteful careless course of winning what was worthless to him, and next minute thrown away - I say, if anyone had told me such a lie that night, I wonder in what manner of receiving it my indignation would have found a vent! Probably only in an increase, had that been possible, of the romantic feelings of fidelity and friendship with which I walked beside him, over the dark wintry sands towards the old boat; the wind sighing around us even more mournfully, than it had sighed and moaned upon the night when I first darkened Mr. Peggotty’s door. ‘This is a wild kind of place, Steerforth, is it not?’ ‘Dismal enough in the dark,’ he said: ‘and the sea roars as if it were hungry for us. Is that the boat, where I see a light yonder?’ ‘That’s the boat,’ said I. ‘And it’s the same I saw this morning,’ he returned. ‘I came straight to it, by instinct, I suppose.’ We said no more as we approached the light, but made softly for the door. I laid my hand upon the latch; and whispering Steerforth to keep close to me, went in. A murmur of voices had been audible on the outside, and, at the moment of our entrance, a clapping of hands: which latter noise, I was surprised to see, proceeded from the generally disconsolate Mrs. Gummidge. But Mrs. Gummidge was not the only person there who was unusually excited. Mr. Peggotty, his face lighted up with uncommon satisfaction, and laughing with all his might, held his rough arms wide open, as if for little Em’ly to run into them; Ham, with a mixed expression in his face of admiration, exultation, and a lumbering sort of bashfulness that sat upon him very
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well, held little Em’ly by the hand, as if he were presenting her to Mr. Peggotty; little Em’ly herself, blushing and shy, but delighted with Mr. Peggotty’s delight, as her joyous eyes expressed, was stopped by our entrance (for she saw us first) in the very act of springing from Ham to nestle in Mr. Peggotty’s embrace. In the first glimpse we had of them all, and at the moment of our passing from the dark cold night into the warm light room, this was the way in which they were all employed: Mrs. Gummidge in the background, clapping her hands like a madwoman. The little picture was so instantaneously dissolved by our going in, that one might have doubted whether it had ever been. I was in the midst of the astonished family, face to face with Mr. Peggotty, and holding out my hand to him, when Ham shouted: ‘Mas’r Davy! It’s Mas’r Davy!’ In a moment we were all shaking hands with one another, and asking one another how we did, and telling one another how glad we were to meet, and all talking at once. Mr. Peggotty was so proud and overjoyed to see us, that he did not know what to say or do, but kept over and over again shaking hands with me, and then with Steerforth, and then with me, and then ruffling his shaggy hair all over his head, and laughing with such glee and triumph, that it was a treat to see him. ‘Why, that you two gent’lmen - gent’lmen growed should come to this here roof tonight, of all nights in my life,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘is such a thing as never happened afore, I do rightly believe! Em’ly, my darling, come here! 
David Copperfield

Come here, my little witch! There’s Mas’r Davy’s friend, my dear! There’s the gent’lman as you’ve heerd on, Em’ly. He comes to see you, along with Mas’r Davy, on the brightest night of your uncle’s life as ever was or will be, Gorm the t’other one, and horroar for it!’ After delivering this speech all in a breath, and with extraordinary animation and pleasure, Mr. Peggotty put one of his large hands rapturously on each side of his niece’s face, and kissing it a dozen times, laid it with a gentle pride and love upon his broad chest, and patted it as if his hand had been a lady’s. Then he let her go; and as she ran into the little chamber where I used to sleep, looked round upon us, quite hot and out of breath with his uncommon satisfaction. ‘If you two gent’lmen - gent’lmen growed now, and such gent’lmen -’ said Mr. Peggotty. ‘So th’ are, so th’ are!’ cried Ham. ‘Well said! So th’ are. Mas’r Davy bor’ - gent’lmen growed - so th’ are!’ ‘If you two gent’lmen, gent’lmen growed,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘don’t ex-cuse me for being in a state of mind, when you understand matters, I’ll arks your pardon. Em’ly, my dear! - She knows I’m a going to tell,’ here his delight broke out again, ‘and has made off. Would you be so good as look arter her, Mawther, for a minute?’ Mrs. Gummidge nodded and disappeared. ‘If this ain’t,’ said Mr. Peggotty, sitting down among us by the fire, ‘the brightest night o’ my life, I’m a shellfish biled too - and more I can’t say. This here little Em’ly, sir,’ in a low voice to Steerforth, ‘- her as you see a blushing here
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just now -’ Steerforth only nodded; but with such a pleased expression of interest, and of participation in Mr. Peggotty’s feelings, that the latter answered him as if he had spoken. ‘To be sure,’ said Mr. Peggotty. ‘That’s her, and so she is. Thankee, sir.’ Ham nodded to me several times, as if he would have said so too. ‘This here little Em’ly of ours,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘has been, in our house, what I suppose (I’m a ignorant man, but that’s my belief) no one but a little bright-eyed creetur can be in a house. She ain’t my child; I never had one; but I couldn’t love her more. You understand! I couldn’t do it!’ ‘I quite understand,’ said Steerforth. ‘I know you do, sir,’ returned Mr. Peggotty, ‘and thankee again. Mas’r Davy, he can remember what she was; you may judge for your own self what she is; but neither of you can’t fully know what she has been, is, and will be, to my loving art. I am rough, sir,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘I am as rough as a Sea Porkypine; but no one, unless, mayhap, it is a woman, can know, I think, what our little Em’ly is to me. And betwixt ourselves,’ sinking his voice lower yet, ‘that woman’s name ain’t Missis Gummidge neither, though she has a world of merits.’ Mr. Peggotty ruffled his hair again, with both hands, as a further preparation for what he was going to say, and went on, with a hand upon each of his knees: ‘There was a certain person as had know’d our Em’ly, from the time when her father was drownded; as had seen her constant; when a babby, when a young gal, when a wom David Copperfield

an. Not much of a person to look at, he warn’t,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘something o’ my own build - rough - a good deal o’ the sou’-wester in him - wery salt - but, on the whole, a honest sort of a chap, with his art in the right place.’ I thought I had never seen Ham grin to anything like the extent to which he sat grinning at us now. ‘What does this here blessed tarpaulin go and do,’ said Mr. Peggotty, with his face one high noon of enjoyment, ‘but he loses that there art of his to our little Em’ly. He follers her about, he makes hisself a sort o’ servant to her, he loses in a great measure his relish for his wittles, and in the long-run he makes it clear to me wot’s amiss. Now I could wish myself, you see, that our little Em’ly was in a fair way of being married. I could wish to see her, at all ewents, under articles to a honest man as had a right to defend her. I don’t know how long I may live, or how soon I may die; but I know that if I was capsized, any night, in a gale of wind in Yarmouth Roads here, and was to see the town-lights shining for the last time over the rollers as I couldn’t make no head against, I could go down quieter for thinking ‘There’s a man ashore there, iron-true to my little Em’ly, God bless her, and no wrong can touch my Em’ly while so be as that man lives.‘‘ Mr. Peggotty, in simple earnestness, waved his right arm, as if he were waving it at the town-lights for the last time, and then, exchanging a nod with Ham, whose eye he caught, proceeded as before. ‘Well! I counsels him to speak to Em’ly. He’s big enough, but he’s bashfuller than a little un, and he don’t like. So I speak. ‘What! Him!’ says Em’ly. ‘Him that I’ve know’d so
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intimate so many years, and like so much. Oh, Uncle! I never can have him. He’s such a good fellow!’ I gives her a kiss, and I says no more to her than, ‘My dear, you’re right to speak out, you’re to choose for yourself, you’re as free as a little bird.’ Then I aways to him, and I says, ‘I wish it could have been so, but it can’t. But you can both be as you was, and wot I say to you is, Be as you was with her, like a man.’ He says to me, a-shaking of my hand, ‘I will!’ he says. And he was - honourable and manful - for two year going on, and we was just the same at home here as afore.’ Mr. Peggotty’s face, which had varied in its expression with the various stages of his narrative, now resumed all its former triumphant delight, as he laid a hand upon my knee and a hand upon Steerforth’s (previously wetting them both, for the greater emphasis of the action), and divided the following speech between us: ‘All of a sudden, one evening - as it might be tonight comes little Em’ly from her work, and him with her! There ain’t so much in that, you’ll say. No, because he takes care on her, like a brother, arter dark, and indeed afore dark, and at all times. But this tarpaulin chap, he takes hold of her hand, and he cries out to me, joyful, ‘Look here! This is to be my little wife!’ And she says, half bold and half shy, and half a laughing and half a crying, ‘Yes, Uncle! If you please.’ - If I please!’ cried Mr. Peggotty, rolling his head in an ecstasy at the idea; ‘Lord, as if I should do anythink else! - ‘If you please, I am steadier now, and I have thought better of it, and I’ll be as good a little wife as I can to him, for he’s a dear, good fellow!’ Then Missis Gummidge, she claps her hands 
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I don’t know.I love her true. and here’s the man that’ll marry her.Mas’r Davy .like a play. Peggotty and by himself. with much faltering and great difficulty: ‘She warn’t no higher than you was. I .like a flower. I was affected by the story altogether.she’s all to me that ever I can want. as well he might. Peggotty . under the blow Mr.than . There ain’t a gent’lman in all the land . trembling in the strength of what he felt for the pretty little creature who had won his heart. Mas’r Davy .’ Ham staggered. and more than ever I . was. as a mark of confidence and friendship. How far my emotions were influenced by the recollections of my childhood.com 1 . I’d lay down my life for her . Peggotty dealt him in his unbounded joy. at first.when you first come .nor yet sailing upon all the sea . the minute she’s out of her time. affecting.‘You come in! It took place this here present hour.Oh! most content and cheerful! She’s more to me .what he meant.’ I thought it affecting to see such a sturdy fellow as Ham was now.when I thought what she’d grow up to be. he said.that can love his lady more than I love her. though there’s many a common man . with an indescribably sensitive Free eBooks at Planet eBook.than ever I could say.gent’lmen . Theer! the murder’s out!’ said Mr. Whether I had come there with any lingering fancy that I was still to love little Em’ly. I see her grown up . but. in itself. I don’t know.would say better . but feeling called upon to say something to us. I know that I was filled with pleasure by all this. and you come in.gent’lmen . I thought the simple confidence reposed in us by Mr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ty and the Yarmouth boatmen having put off in a gale of wind with an anchor and cable to the ‘Nelson’ Indiaman in distress; and you shall go there another day, and find them deep in the evidence, pro and con, respecting a clergyman who has misbehaved himself; and you shall find the judge in the nautical case, the advocate in the clergyman’s case, or contrariwise. They are like actors: now a man’s a judge, and now he is not a judge; now he’s one thing, now he’s another; now he’s something else, change and change about; but it’s always a very pleasant, profitable little affair of private theatricals, presented to an uncommonly select audience.’ ‘But advocates and proctors are not one and the same?’ said I, a little puzzled. ‘Are they?’ ‘No,’ returned Steerforth, ‘the advocates are civilians men who have taken a doctor’s degree at college - which is the first reason of my knowing anything about it. The proctors employ the advocates. Both get very comfortable fees, and altogether they make a mighty snug little party. On the whole, I would recommend you to take to Doctors’ Commons kindly, David. They plume them- selves on their gentility there, I can tell you, if that’s any satisfaction.’ I made allowance for Steerforth’s light way of treating the subject, and, considering it with reference to the staid air of gravity and antiquity which I associated with that ‘lazy old nook near St. Paul’s Churchyard’, did not feel indisposed towards my aunt’s suggestion; which she left to my free decision, making no scruple of telling me that it had occurred to her, on her lately visiting her own proctor in Doctors’ Commons for the purpose of settling her will in
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my favour. ‘That’s a laudable proceeding on the part of our aunt, at all events,’ said Steerforth, when I mentioned it; ‘and one deserving of all encouragement. Daisy, my advice is that you take kindly to Doctors’ Commons.’ I quite made up my mind to do so. I then told Steerforth that my aunt was in town awaiting me (as I found from her letter), and that she had taken lodgings for a week at a kind of private hotel at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where there was a stone staircase, and a convenient door in the roof; my aunt being firmly persuaded that every house in London was going to be burnt down every night. We achieved the rest of our journey pleasantly, sometimes recurring to Doctors’ Commons, and anticipating the distant days when I should be a proctor there, which Steerforth pictured in a variety of humorous and whimsical lights, that made us both merry. When we came to our journey’s end, he went home, engaging to call upon me next day but one; and I drove to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where I found my aunt up, and waiting supper. If I had been round the world since we parted, we could hardly have been better pleased to meet again. My aunt cried outright as she embraced me; and said, pretending to laugh, that if my poor mother had been alive, that silly little creature would have shed tears, she had no doubt. ‘So you have left Mr. Dick behind, aunt?’ said I. ‘I am sorry for that. Ah, Janet, how do you do?’ As Janet curtsied, hoping I was well, I observed my aunt’s visage lengthen very much. 
1 David Copperfield

‘I am sorry for it, too,’ said my aunt, rubbing her nose. ‘I have had no peace of mind, Trot, since I have been here.’ Before I could ask why, she told me. ‘I am convinced,’ said my aunt, laying her hand with melancholy firmness on the table, ‘that Dick’s character is not a character to keep the donkeys off. I am confident he wants strength of purpose. I ought to have left Janet at home, instead, and then my mind might perhaps have been at ease. If ever there was a donkey trespassing on my green,’ said my aunt, with emphasis, ‘there was one this afternoon at four o’clock. A cold feeling came over me from head to foot, and I know it was a donkey!’ I tried to comfort her on this point, but she rejected consolation. ‘It was a donkey,’ said my aunt; ‘and it was the one with the stumpy tail which that Murdering sister of a woman rode, when she came to my house.’ This had been, ever since, the only name my aunt knew for Miss Murdstone. ‘If there is any Donkey in Dover, whose audacity it is harder to me to bear than another’s, that,’ said my aunt, striking the table, ‘is the animal!’ Janet ventured to suggest that my aunt might be disturbing herself unnecessarily, and that she believed the donkey in question was then engaged in the sand-and-gravel line of business, and was not available for purposes of trespass. But my aunt wouldn’t hear of it. Supper was comfortably served and hot, though my aunt’s rooms were very high up - whether that she might have more stone stairs for her money, or might be nearer
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to the door in the roof, I don’t know - and consisted of a roast fowl, a steak, and some vegetables, to all of which I did ample justice, and which were all excellent. But my aunt had her own ideas concerning London provision, and ate but little. ‘I suppose this unfortunate fowl was born and brought up in a cellar,’ said my aunt, ‘and never took the air except on a hackney coach-stand. I hope the steak may be beef, but I don’t believe it. Nothing’s genuine in the place, in my opinion, but the dirt.’ ‘Don’t you think the fowl may have come out of the country, aunt?’ I hinted. ‘Certainly not,’ returned my aunt. ‘It would be no pleasure to a London tradesman to sell anything which was what he pretended it was.’ I did not venture to controvert this opinion, but I made a good supper, which it greatly satisfied her to see me do. When the table was cleared, Janet assisted her to arrange her hair, to put on her nightcap, which was of a smarter construction than usual (’in case of fire’, my aunt said), and to fold her gown back over her knees, these being her usual preparations for warming herself before going to bed. I then made her, according to certain established regulations from which no deviation, however slight, could ever be permitted, a glass of hot wine and water, and a slice of toast cut into long thin strips. With these accompaniments we were left alone to finish the evening, my aunt sitting opposite to me drinking her wine and water; soaking her strips of toast in it, one by one, before eating them; and looking benig1 David Copperfield

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

ing her hands upon her folded skirts, replied as follows: ‘Trot, my child, if I have any object in life, it is to provide for your being a good, a sensible, and a happy man. I am bent upon it - so is Dick. I should like some people that I know to hear Dick’s conversation on the subject. Its sagacity is wonderful. But no one knows the resources of that man’s intellect, except myself!’ She stopped for a moment to take my hand between hers, and went on: ‘It’s in vain, Trot, to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present. Perhaps I might have been better friends with your poor father. Perhaps I might have been better friends with that poor child your mother, even after your sister Betsey Trotwood disappointed me. When you came to me, a little runaway boy, all dusty and way-worn, perhaps I thought so. From that time until now, Trot, you have ever been a credit to me and a pride and a pleasure. I have no other claim upon my means; at least’ - here to my surprise she hesitated, and was confused - ‘no, I have no other claim upon my means - and you are my adopted child. Only be a loving child to me in my age, and bear with my whims and fancies; and you will do more for an old woman whose prime of life was not so happy or conciliating as it might have been, than ever that old woman did for you.’ It was the first time I had heard my aunt refer to her past history. There was a magnanimity in her quiet way of doing so, and of dismissing it, which would have exalted her in my respect and affection, if anything could. ‘All is agreed and understood between us, now, Trot,’ said 
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my aunt, ‘and we need talk of this no more. Give me a kiss, and we’ll go to the Commons after breakfast tomorrow.’ We had a long chat by the fire before we went to bed. I slept in a room on the same floor with my aunt’s, and was a little disturbed in the course of the night by her knocking at my door as often as she was agitated by a distant sound of hackney-coaches or market-carts, and inquiring, ‘if I heard the engines?’ But towards morning she slept better, and suffered me to do so too. At about mid-day, we set out for the office of Messrs Spenlow and Jorkins, in Doctors’ Commons. My aunt, who had this other general opinion in reference to London, that every man she saw was a pickpocket, gave me her purse to carry for her, which had ten guineas in it and some silver. We made a pause at the toy shop in Fleet Street, to see the giants of Saint Dunstan’s strike upon the bells - we had timed our going, so as to catch them at it, at twelve o’clock - and then went on towards Ludgate Hill, and St. Paul’s Churchyard. We were crossing to the former place, when I found that my aunt greatly accelerated her speed, and looked frightened. I observed, at the same time, that a lowering ill-dressed man who had stopped and stared at us in passing, a little before, was coming so close after us as to brush against her. ‘Trot! My dear Trot!’ cried my aunt, in a terrified whisper, and pressing my arm. ‘I don’t know what I am to do.’ ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ said I. ‘There’s nothing to be afraid of. Step into a shop, and I’ll soon get rid of this fellow.’ ‘No, no, child!’ she returned. ‘Don’t speak to him for the
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world. I entreat, I order you!’ ‘Good Heaven, aunt!’ said I. ‘He is nothing but a sturdy beggar.’ ‘You don’t know what he is!’ replied my aunt. ‘You don’t know who he is! You don’t know what you say!’ We had stopped in an empty door-way, while this was passing, and he had stopped too. ‘Don’t look at him!’ said my aunt, as I turned my head indignantly, ‘but get me a coach, my dear, and wait for me in St. Paul’s Churchyard.’ ‘Wait for you?’ I replied. ‘Yes,’ rejoined my aunt. ‘I must go alone. I must go with him.’ ‘With him, aunt? This man?’ ‘I am in my senses,’ she replied, ‘and I tell you I must. Get mea coach!’ However much astonished I might be, I was sensible that I had no right to refuse compliance with such a peremptory command. I hurried away a few paces, and called a hackneychariot which was passing empty. Almost before I could let down the steps, my aunt sprang in, I don’t know how, and the man followed. She waved her hand to me to go away, so earnestly, that, all confounded as I was, I turned from them at once. In doing so, I heard her say to the coachman, ‘Drive anywhere! Drive straight on!’ and presently the chariot passed me, going up the hill. What Mr. Dick had told me, and what I had supposed to be a delusion of his, now came into my mind. I could not doubt that this person was the person of whom he had 
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made such mysterious mention, though what the nature of his hold upon my aunt could possibly be, I was quite unable to imagine. After half an hour’s cooling in the churchyard, I saw the chariot coming back. The driver stopped beside me, and my aunt was sitting in it alone. She had not yet sufficiently recovered from her agitation to be quite prepared for the visit we had to make. She desired me to get into the chariot, and to tell the coachman to drive slowly up and down a little while. She said no more, except, ‘My dear child, never ask me what it was, and don’t refer to it,’ until she had perfectly regained her composure, when she told me she was quite herself now, and we might get out. On her giving me her purse to pay the driver, I found that all the guineas were gone, and only the loose silver remained. Doctors’ Commons was approached by a little low archway. Before we had taken many paces down the street beyond it, the noise of the city seemed to melt, as if by magic, into a softened distance. A few dull courts and narrow ways brought us to the sky-lighted offices of Spenlow and Jorkins; in the vestibule of which temple, accessible to pilgrims without the ceremony of knocking, three or four clerks were at work as copyists. One of these, a little dry man, sitting by himself, who wore a stiff brown wig that looked as if it were made of gingerbread, rose to receive my aunt, and show us into Mr. Spenlow’s room. ‘Mr. Spenlow’s in Court, ma’am,’ said the dry man; ‘it’s an Arches day; but it’s close by, and I’ll send for him directly.’
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As we were left to look about us while Mr. Spenlow was fetched, I availed myself of the opportunity. The furniture of the room was old-fashioned and dusty; and the green baize on the top of the writing-table had lost all its colour, and was as withered and pale as an old pauper. There were a great many bundles of papers on it, some endorsed as Allegations, and some (to my surprise) as Libels, and some as being in the Consistory Court, and some in the Arches Court, and some in the Prerogative Court, and some in the Admiralty Court, and some in the Delegates’ Court; giving me occasion to wonder much, how many Courts there might be in the gross, and how long it would take to understand them all. Besides these, there were sundry immense manuscript Books of Evidence taken on affidavit, strongly bound, and tied together in massive sets, a set to each cause, as if every cause were a history in ten or twenty volumes. All this looked tolerably expensive, I thought, and gave me an agreeable notion of a proctor’s business. I was casting my eyes with increasing complacency over these and many similar objects, when hasty footsteps were heard in the room outside, and Mr. Spenlow, in a black gown trimmed with white fur, came hurrying in, taking off his hat as he came. He was a little light-haired gentleman, with undeniable boots, and the stiffest of white cravats and shirt-collars. He was buttoned up, mighty trim and tight, and must have taken a great deal of pains with his whiskers, which were accurately curled. His gold watch-chain was so massive, that a fancy came across me, that he ought to have a sinewy 
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golden arm, to draw it out with, like those which are put up over the goldbeaters’ shops. He was got up with such care, and was so stiff, that he could hardly bend himself; being obliged, when he glanced at some papers on his desk, after sitting down in his chair, to move his whole body, from the bottom of his spine, like Punch. I had previously been presented by my aunt, and had been courteously received. He now said: ‘And so, Mr. Copperfield, you think of entering into our profession? I casually mentioned to Miss Trotwood, when I had the pleasure of an interview with her the other day,’ - with another inclination of his body - Punch again - ‘that there was a vacancy here. Miss Trotwood was good enough to mention that she had a nephew who was her peculiar care, and for whom she was seeking to provide genteelly in life. That nephew, I believe, I have now the pleasure of’ - Punch again. I bowed my acknowledgements, and said, my aunt had mentioned to me that there was that opening, and that I believed I should like it very much. That I was strongly inclined to like it, and had taken immediately to the proposal. That I could not absolutely pledge myself to like it, until I knew something more about it. That although it was little else than a matter of form, I presumed I should have an opportunity of trying how I liked it, before I bound myself to it irrevocably. ‘Oh surely! surely!’ said Mr. Spenlow. ‘We always, in this house, propose a month - an initiatory month. I should be happy, myself, to propose two months - three - an indefinite period, in fact - but I have a partner. Mr. Jorkins.’
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‘And the premium, sir,’ I returned, ‘is a thousand pounds?’ ‘And the premium, Stamp included, is a thousand pounds,’ said Mr. Spenlow. ‘As I have mentioned to Miss Trotwood, I am actuated by no mercenary considerations; few men are less so, I believe; but Mr. Jorkins has his opinions on these subjects, and I am bound to respect Mr. Jorkins’s opinions. Mr. Jorkins thinks a thousand pounds too little, in short.’ ‘I suppose, sir,’ said I, still desiring to spare my aunt, ‘that it is not the custom here, if an articled clerk were particularly useful, and made himself a perfect master of his profession’ - I could not help blushing, this looked so like praising myself - ‘I suppose it is not the custom, in the later years of his time, to allow him any -’ Mr. Spenlow, by a great effort, just lifted his head far enough out of his cravat to shake it, and answered, anticipating the word ‘salary’: ‘No. I will not say what consideration I might give to that point myself, Mr. Copperfield, if I were unfettered. Mr. Jorkins is immovable.’ I was quite dismayed by the idea of this terrible Jorkins. But I found out afterwards that he was a mild man of a heavy temperament, whose place in the business was to keep himself in the background, and be constantly exhibited by name as the most obdurate and ruthless of men. If a clerk wanted his salary raised, Mr. Jorkins wouldn’t listen to such a proposition. If a client were slow to settle his bill of costs, Mr. Jorkins was resolved to have it paid; and however painful these things might be (and always were) 
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to the feelings of Mr. Spenlow, Mr. Jorkins would have his bond. The heart and hand of the good angel Spenlow would have been always open, but for the restraining demon Jorkins. As I have grown older, I think I have had experience of some other houses doing business on the principle of Spenlow and Jorkins! It was settled that I should begin my month’s probation as soon as I pleased, and that my aunt need neither remain in town nor return at its expiration, as the articles of agreement, of which I was to be the subject, could easily be sent to her at home for her signature. When we had got so far, Mr. Spenlow offered to take me into Court then and there, and show me what sort of place it was. As I was willing enough to know, we went out with this object, leaving my aunt behind; who would trust herself, she said, in no such place, and who, I think, regarded all Courts of Law as a sort of powder-mills that might blow up at any time. Mr. Spenlow conducted me through a paved courtyard formed of grave brick houses, which I inferred, from the Doctors’ names upon the doors, to be the official abidingplaces of the learned advocates of whom Steerforth had told me; and into a large dull room, not unlike a chapel to my thinking, on the left hand. The upper part of this room was fenced off from the rest; and there, on the two sides of a raised platform of the horse-shoe form, sitting on easy oldfashioned dining-room chairs, were sundry gentlemen in red gowns and grey wigs, whom I found to be the Doctors aforesaid. Blinking over a little desk like a pulpit-desk, in the curve of the horse-shoe, was an old gentleman, whom,
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if I had seen him in an aviary, I should certainly have taken for an owl, but who, I learned, was the presiding judge. In the space within the horse-shoe, lower than these, that is to say, on about the level of the floor, were sundry other gentlemen, of Mr. Spenlow’s rank, and dressed like him in black gowns with white fur upon them, sitting at a long green table. Their cravats were in general stiff, I thought, and their looks haughty; but in this last respect I presently conceived I had done them an injustice, for when two or three of them had to rise and answer a question of the presiding dignitary, I never saw anything more sheepish. The public, represented by a boy with a comforter, and a shabby-genteel man secretly eating crumbs out of his coat pockets, was warming itself at a stove in the centre of the Court. The languid stillness of the place was only broken by the chirping of this fire and by the voice of one of the Doctors, who was wandering slowly through a perfect library of evidence, and stopping to put up, from time to time, at little roadside inns of argument on the journey. Altogether, I have never, on any occasion, made one at such a cosey, dosey, old-fashioned, time-forgotten, sleepy-headed little family-party in all my life; and I felt it would be quite a soothing opiate to belong to it in any character - except perhaps as a suitor. Very well satisfied with the dreamy nature of this retreat, I informed Mr. Spenlow that I had seen enough for that time, and we rejoined my aunt; in company with whom I presently departed from the Commons, feeling very young when I went out of Spenlow and Jorkins’s, on account of the clerks poking one another with their pens to point me out. 
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We arrived at Lincoln’s Inn Fields without any new adventures, except encountering an unlucky donkey in a costermonger’s cart, who suggested painful associations to my aunt. We had another long talk about my plans, when we were safely housed; and as I knew she was anxious to get home, and, between fire, food, and pickpockets, could never be considered at her ease for half-an-hour in London, I urged her not to be uncomfortable on my account, but to leave me to take care of myself. ‘I have not been here a week tomorrow, without considering that too, my dear,’ she returned. ‘There is a furnished little set of chambers to be let in the Adelphi, Trot, which ought to suit you to a marvel.’ With this brief introduction, she produced from her pocket an advertisement, carefully cut out of a newspaper, setting forth that in Buckingham Street in the Adelphi there was to be let furnished, with a view of the river, a singularly desirable, and compact set of chambers, forming a genteel residence for a young gentleman, a member of one of the Inns of Court, or otherwise, with immediate possession. Terms moderate, and could be taken for a month only, if required. ‘Why, this is the very thing, aunt!’ said I, flushed with the possible dignity of living in chambers. ‘Then come,’ replied my aunt, immediately resuming the bonnet she had a minute before laid aside. ‘We’ll go and look at ‘em.’ Away we went. The advertisement directed us to apply to Mrs. Crupp on the premises, and we rung the area bell,
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which we supposed to communicate with Mrs. Crupp. It was not until we had rung three or four times that we could prevail on Mrs. Crupp to communicate with us, but at last she appeared, being a stout lady with a flounce of flannel petticoat below a nankeen gown. ‘Let us see these chambers of yours, if you please, ma’am,’ said my aunt. ‘For this gentleman?’ said Mrs. Crupp, feeling in her pocket for her keys. ‘Yes, for my nephew,’ said my aunt. ‘And a sweet set they is for sich!’ said Mrs. Crupp. So we went upstairs. They were on the top of the house - a great point with my aunt, being near the fire-escape - and consisted of a little half-blind entry where you could see hardly anything, a little stone-blind pantry where you could see nothing at all, a sitting-room, and a bedroom. The furniture was rather faded, but quite good enough for me; and, sure enough, the river was outside the windows. As I was delighted with the place, my aunt and Mrs. Crupp withdrew into the pantry to discuss the terms, while I remained on the sitting-room sofa, hardly daring to think it possible that I could be destined to live in such a noble residence. After a single combat of some duration they returned, and I saw, to my joy, both in Mrs. Crupp’s countenance and in my aunt’s, that the deed was done. ‘Is it the last occupant’s furniture?’ inquired my aunt. ‘Yes, it is, ma’am,’ said Mrs. Crupp. ‘What’s become of him?’ asked my aunt. 
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Mrs. Crupp was taken with a troublesome cough, in the midst of which she articulated with much difficulty. ‘He was took ill here, ma’am, and - ugh! ugh! ugh! dear me! and he died!’ ‘Hey! What did he die of?’ asked my aunt. ‘Well, ma’am, he died of drink,’ said Mrs. Crupp, in confidence. ‘And smoke.’ ‘Smoke? You don’t mean chimneys?’ said my aunt. ‘No, ma’am,’ returned Mrs. Crupp. ‘Cigars and pipes.’ ‘That’s not catching, Trot, at any rate,’ remarked my aunt, turning to me. ‘No, indeed,’ said I. In short, my aunt, seeing how enraptured I was with the premises, took them for a month, with leave to remain for twelve months when that time was out. Mrs. Crupp was to find linen, and to cook; every other necessary was already provided; and Mrs. Crupp expressly intimated that she should always yearn towards me as a son. I was to take possession the day after tomorrow, and Mrs. Crupp said, thank Heaven she had now found summun she could care for! On our way back, my aunt informed me how she confidently trusted that the life I was now to lead would make me firm and self-reliant, which was all I wanted. She repeated this several times next day, in the intervals of our arranging for the transmission of my clothes and books from Mr. Wickfield’s; relative to which, and to all my late holiday, I wrote a long letter to Agnes, of which my aunt took charge, as she was to leave on the succeeding day. Not to lengthen these particulars, I need only add, that she made a handFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 

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

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David Copperfield

CHAPTER 24 MY FIRST DISSIPATION

I

t was a wonderfully fine thing to have that lofty castle to myself, and to feel, when I shut my outer door, like Robinson Crusoe, when he had got into his fortification, and pulled his ladder up after him. It was a wonderfully fine thing to walk about town with the key of my house in my pocket, and to know that I could ask any fellow to come home, and make quite sure of its being inconvenient to nobody, if it were not so to me. It was a wonderfully fine thing to let myself in and out, and to come and go without a word to anyone, and to ring Mrs. Crupp up, gasping, from the depths of the earth, when I wanted her - and when she was disposed to come. All this, I say, was wonderfully fine; but I must say, too, that there were times when it was very dreary. It was fine in the morning, particularly in the fine mornings. It looked a very fresh, free life, by daylight: still fresher, and more free, by sunlight. But as the day declined, the life seemed to go down too. I don’t know how it was; it seldom looked well by candle-light. I wanted somebody to talk to, then. I missed Agnes. I found a tremendous blank, in 
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the place of that smiling repository of my confidence. Mrs. Crupp appeared to be a long way off. I thought about my predecessor, who had died of drink and smoke; and I could have wished he had been so good as to live, and not bother me with his decease. After two days and nights, I felt as if I had lived there for a year, and yet I was not an hour older, but was quite as much tormented by my own youthfulness as ever. Steerforth not yet appearing, which induced me to apprehend that he must be ill, I left the Commons early on the third day, and walked out to Highgate. Mrs. Steerforth was very glad to see me, and said that he had gone away with one of his Oxford friends to see another who lived near St. Albans, but that she expected him to return tomorrow. I was so fond of him, that I felt quite jealous of his Oxford friends. As she pressed me to stay to dinner, I remained, and I believe we talked about nothing but him all day. I told her how much the people liked him at Yarmouth, and what a delightful companion he had been. Miss Dartle was full of hints and mysterious questions, but took a great interest in all our proceedings there, and said, ‘Was it really though?’ and so forth, so often, that she got everything out of me she wanted to know. Her appearance was exactly what I have described it, when I first saw her; but the society of the two ladies was so agreeable, and came so natural to me, that I felt myself falling a little in love with her. I could not help thinking, several times in the course of the evening, and particularly when I walked home at night, what delightful 
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company she would be in Buckingham Street. I was taking my coffee and roll in the morning, before going to the Commons - and I may observe in this place that it is surprising how much coffee Mrs. Crupp used, and how weak it was, considering - when Steerforth himself walked in, to my unbounded joy. ‘My dear Steerforth,’ cried I, ‘I began to think I should never see you again!’ ‘I was carried off, by force of arms,’ said Steerforth, ‘the very next morning after I got home. Why, Daisy, what a rare old bachelor you are here!’ I showed him over the establishment, not omitting the pantry, with no little pride, and he commended it highly. ‘I tell you what, old boy,’ he added, ‘I shall make quite a townhouse of this place, unless you give me notice to quit.’ This was a delightful hearing. I told him if he waited for that, he would have to wait till doomsday. ‘But you shall have some breakfast!’ said I, with my hand on the bell-rope, ‘and Mrs. Crupp shall make you some fresh coffee, and I’ll toast you some bacon in a bachelor’s Dutch-oven, that I have got here.’ ‘No, no!’ said Steerforth. ‘Don’t ring! I can’t! I am going to breakfast with one of these fellows who is at the Piazza Hotel, in Covent Garden.’ ‘But you’ll come back to dinner?’ said I. ‘I can’t, upon my life. There’s nothing I should like better, but I must remain with these two fellows. We are all three off together tomorrow morning.’ ‘Then bring them here to dinner,’ I returned. ‘Do you
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think they would come?’ ‘Oh! they would come fast enough,’ said Steerforth; ‘but we should inconvenience you. You had better come and dine with us somewhere.’ I would not by any means consent to this, for it occurred to me that I really ought to have a little house-warming, and that there never could be a better opportunity. I had a new pride in my rooms after his approval of them, and burned with a desire to develop their utmost resources. I therefore made him promise positively in the names of his two friends, and we appointed six o’clock as the dinner-hour. When he was gone, I rang for Mrs. Crupp, and acquainted her with my desperate design. Mrs. Crupp said, in the first place, of course it was well known she couldn’t be expected to wait, but she knew a handy young man, who she thought could be prevailed upon to do it, and whose terms would be five shillings, and what I pleased. I said, certainly we would have him. Next Mrs. Crupp said it was clear she couldn’t be in two places at once (which I felt to be reasonable), and that ‘a young gal’ stationed in the pantry with a bedroom candle, there never to desist from washing plates, would be indispensable. I said, what would be the expense of this young female? and Mrs. Crupp said she supposed eighteenpence would neither make me nor break me. I said I supposed not; and THAT was settled. Then Mrs. Crupp said, Now about the dinner. It was a remarkable instance of want of forethought on the part of the ironmonger who had made Mrs. Crupp’s kitchen fireplace, that it was capable of cooking nothing but 
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chops and mashed potatoes. As to a fish-kittle, Mrs. Crupp said, well! would I only come and look at the range? She couldn’t say fairer than that. Would I come and look at it? As I should not have been much the wiser if I HAD looked at it, I declined, and said, ‘Never mind fish.’ But Mrs. Crupp said, Don’t say that; oysters was in, why not them? So THAT was settled. Mrs. Crupp then said what she would recommend would be this. A pair of hot roast fowls - from the pastry-cook’s; a dish of stewed beef, with vegetables - from the pastry-cook’s; two little corner things, as a raised pie and a dish of kidneys - from the pastrycook’s; a tart, and (if I liked) a shape of jelly - from the pastrycook’s. This, Mrs. Crupp said, would leave her at full liberty to concentrate her mind on the potatoes, and to serve up the cheese and celery as she could wish to see it done. I acted on Mrs. Crupp’s opinion, and gave the order at the pastry-cook’s myself. Walking along the Strand, afterwards, and observing a hard mottled substance in the window of a ham and beef shop, which resembled marble, but was labelled ‘Mock Turtle’, I went in and bought a slab of it, which I have since seen reason to believe would have sufficed for fifteen people. This preparation, Mrs. Crupp, after some difficulty, consented to warm up; and it shrunk so much in a liquid state, that we found it what Steerforth called ‘rather a tight fit’ for four. These preparations happily completed, I bought a little dessert in Covent Garden Market, and gave a rather extensive order at a retail wine-merchant’s in that vicinity. When I came home in the afternoon, and saw the bottles drawn
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up in a square on the pantry floor, they looked so numerous (though there were two missing, which made Mrs. Crupp very uncomfortable), that I was absolutely frightened at them. One of Steerforth’s friends was named Grainger, and the other Markham. They were both very gay and lively fellows; Grainger, something older than Steerforth; Markham, youthful-looking, and I should say not more than twenty. I observed that the latter always spoke of himself indefinitely, as ‘a man’, and seldom or never in the first person singular. ‘A man might get on very well here, Mr. Copperfield,’ said Markham - meaning himself. ‘It’s not a bad situation,’ said I, ‘and the rooms are really commodious.’ ‘I hope you have both brought appetites with you?’ said Steerforth. ‘Upon my honour,’ returned Markham, ‘town seems to sharpen a man’s appetite. A man is hungry all day long. A man is perpetually eating.’ Being a little embarrassed at first, and feeling much too young to preside, I made Steerforth take the head of the table when dinner was announced, and seated myself opposite to him. Everything was very good; we did not spare the wine; and he exerted himself so brilliantly to make the thing pass off well, that there was no pause in our festivity. I was not quite such good company during dinner as I could have wished to be, for my chair was opposite the door, and my attention was distracted by observing that the handy young man went out of the room very often, and that his 
David Copperfield

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was past both Colleges. Their report was. you’d never forget it. whether he knew anything of Martha. ‘how she loves that child!’ Having so favourable an opportunity. that Mr. it occurred to me to ask Mr. if they were all called in together. Joram. and shut up one eye. and Apothecaries’ Hall. hearing his daughter’s footstep before I heard it. sir. and learning that Mr. couldn’t help him. the College of Surgeons. and looking very much dejected. ‘No good. Omer.but I never did.com  . touched me with his pipe. I bade good night to Mr. Mr. None of us ever did. Omer. pondering. Peggotty was there.was to see her with my daughter Minnie’s little girl. as a caution. I wouldn’t wish to mention it before my daughter Minnie . and to Mr. that the College of Physicians. She and her husband came in immediately afterwards. on going away just now. and directed my steps thither. ‘Ah!’ he rejoined. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Omer. shaking his head.’ Mr. I determined to