Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
We are playing in the winter twilight, dancing about the parlour.
When my mother is out of breath and rests herself in an
elbow-chair, I watch her winding her bright curls round her
fingers, and straitening her waist, and nobody knows better than I
do that she likes to look so well, and is proud of being so pretty.
That is among my very earliest impressions. That, and a sense that
we were both a little afraid of Peggotty, and submitted ourselves
in most things to her direction, were among the first opinions - if
they may be so called - that I ever derived from what I saw.
Peggotty and I were sitting one night by the parlour fire, alone.
I had been reading to Peggotty about crocodiles. I must have read
very perspicuously, or the poor soul must have been deeply
interested, for I remember she had a cloudy impression, after I had
done, that they were a sort of vegetable. I was tired of reading,
and dead sleepy; but having leave, as a high treat, to sit up until
my mother came home from spending the evening at a neighbour's, I
would rather have died upon my post (of course) than have gone to
bed. I had reached that stage of sleepiness when Peggotty seemed
to swell and grow immensely large. I propped my eyelids open with
my two forefingers, and looked perseveringly at her as she sat at
work; at the little bit of wax-candle she kept for her thread - how
old it looked, being so wrinkled in all directions! - at the little
house with a thatched roof, where the yard-measure lived; at her
work-box with a sliding lid, with a view of St. Paul's Cathedral
(with a pink dome) painted on the top; at the brass thimble on her
finger; at herself, whom I thought lovely. I felt so sleepy, that
I knew if I lost sight of anything for a moment, I was gone.
'Peggotty,' says I, suddenly, 'were you ever married?'
'Lord, Master Davy,' replied Peggotty. 'What's put marriage in
She answered with such a start, that it quite awoke me. And then
she stopped in her work, and looked at me, with her needle drawn
out to its thread's length.
'But WERE you ever married, Peggotty?' says I. 'You are a very
handsome woman, an't you?'
I thought her in a different style from my mother, certainly; but
of another school of beauty, I considered her a perfect example.
There was a red velvet footstool in the best parlour, on which my