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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens


Wickfield's first.'

'Does he keep a school?' I asked.

'No, Trot,' said my aunt. 'He keeps an office.'

I asked for no more information about Mr. Wickfield, as she offered
none, and we conversed on other subjects until we came to
Canterbury, where, as it was market-day, my aunt had a great
opportunity of insinuating the grey pony among carts, baskets,
vegetables, and huckster's goods. The hair-breadth turns and
twists we made, drew down upon us a variety of speeches from the
people standing about, which were not always complimentary; but my
aunt drove on with perfect indifference, and I dare say would have
taken her own way with as much coolness through an enemy's country.

At length we stopped before a very old house bulging out over the
road; a house with long low lattice-windows bulging out still
farther, and beams with carved heads on the ends bulging out too,
so that I fancied the whole house was leaning forward, trying to
see who was passing on the narrow pavement below. It was quite
spotless in its cleanliness. The old-fashioned brass knocker on
the low arched door, ornamented with carved garlands of fruit and
flowers, twinkled like a star; the two stone steps descending to
the door were as white as if they had been covered with fair linen;
and all the angles and corners, and carvings and mouldings, and
quaint little panes of glass, and quainter little windows, though
as old as the hills, were as pure as any snow that ever fell upon
the hills.

When the pony-chaise stopped at the door, and my eyes were intent
upon the house, I saw a cadaverous face appear at a small window on
the ground floor (in a little round tower that formed one side of
the house), and quickly disappear. The low arched door then
opened, and the face came out. It was quite as cadaverous as it
had looked in the window, 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. It belonged to a red-haired person - a youth of
fifteen, as I take it now, but looking much older - whose hair was
cropped as close as the closest stubble; who had hardly any
eyebrows, and no eyelashes, and eyes of a red-brown, so unsheltered
and unshaded, that I remember wondering how he went to sleep. He
was high-shouldered and bony; dressed in decent black, with a white
wisp of a neckcloth; buttoned up to the throat; and had a long,
lank, skeleton hand, which particularly attracted my attention, as
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens



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