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


of beef and mutton: have a weal cutlet!'

I assented to this proposal, in default of being able to suggest
anything else.

'Do you care for taters?' said the waiter, with an insinuating
smile, and his head on one side. 'Young gentlemen generally has
been overdosed with taters.'

I commanded him, in my deepest voice, to order a veal cutlet and
potatoes, and all things fitting; and to inquire at the bar if
there were any letters for Trotwood Copperfield, Esquire - which I
knew there were not, and couldn't be, but thought it manly to
appear to expect.

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. While he was so engaged, he asked me what I would take with
it; and on my replying 'Half a pint of sherry,'thought it a
favourable opportunity, I am afraid, to extract that measure of
wine from the stale leavings at the bottoms of several small
decanters. I am of this opinion, because, while I was reading the
newspaper, I observed him behind a low wooden partition, which was
his private apartment, very busy pouring out of a number of those
vessels into one, like a chemist and druggist making up a
prescription. When the wine came, too, I thought it flat; and it
certainly had more English crumbs in it, than were to be expected
in a foreign wine in anything like a pure state, but I was bashful
enough to drink it, and say nothing.

Being then in a pleasant frame of mind (from which I infer that
poisoning is not always disagreeable in some stages of the
process), I resolved to go to the play. It was Covent Garden
Theatre that I chose; and there, from the back of a centre box, I
saw Julius Caesar and the new Pantomime. To have all those noble
Romans alive before me, and walking in and out for my
entertainment, instead of being the stern taskmasters they had been
at school, was a most novel and delightful effect. But the mingled
reality and mystery of the whole show, the influence upon me of the
poetry, the lights, the music, the company, the smooth stupendous
changes of glittering and brilliant scenery, were so dazzling, and
opened up such illimitable regions of delight, that when I came out
into the rainy street, at twelve o'clock at night, I felt as if I
had come from the clouds, where I had been leading a romantic life
for ages, to a bawling, splashing, link-lighted,
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