Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
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 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 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
'Mrs. David Copperfield, I think,' said Miss Betsey; the emphasis