Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
politeness, I am sure,' said Miss Murdstone; with an irony which no
more affected my aunt, than it discomposed the cannon I had slept
by at Chatham.
'And what does the boy say?' said my aunt. 'Are you ready to go,
I answered no, and entreated her not to let me go. I said that
neither Mr. nor Miss Murdstone had ever liked me, or had ever been
kind to me. That they had made my mama, who always loved me
dearly, unhappy about me, and that I knew it well, and that
Peggotty knew it. I said that I had been more miserable than I
thought anybody could believe, who only knew how young I was. And
I begged and prayed my aunt - I forget in what terms now, but I
remember that they affected me very much then - to befriend and
protect me, for my father's sake.
'Mr. Dick,' said my aunt, 'what shall I do with this child?'
Mr. Dick considered, hesitated, brightened, and rejoined, 'Have him
measured for a suit of clothes directly.'
'Mr. Dick,' said my aunt triumphantly, 'give me your hand, for your
common sense is invaluable.' Having shaken it with great
cordiality, she pulled me towards her and said to Mr. Murdstone:
'You can go when you like; I'll take my chance with the boy. If
he's all you say he is, at least I can do as much for him then, as
you have done. But I don't believe a word of it.'
'Miss Trotwood,' rejoined Mr. Murdstone, shrugging his shoulders,
as he rose, 'if you were a gentleman -'
'Bah! Stuff and nonsense!' said my aunt. 'Don't talk to me!'
'How exquisitely polite!' exclaimed Miss Murdstone, rising.
'Do you think I don't know,' said my aunt, turning a deaf ear to
the sister, and continuing to address the brother, and to shake her
head at him with infinite expression, 'what kind of life you must
have led that poor, unhappy, 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 - smirking and making great eyes at
her, I'll be bound, as if you couldn't say boh! to a goose!'