Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
Copperfield! We'll drink the daisies of the field, in compliment
to you; and the lilies of the valley that toil not, neither do they
spin, in compliment to me - the more shame for me!' A moody smile
that had overspread his features cleared off as he said this
merrily, and he was his own frank, winning self again.
I could not help glancing at the scar with a painful interest when
we went in to tea. It was not long before I observed that it was
the most susceptible part of her face, and that, when she turned
pale, that mark altered first, and became a dull, lead-coloured
streak, lengthening out to its full extent, like a mark in
invisible ink brought to the fire. There was a little altercation
between her and Steerforth about a cast of the dice at back gammon
- when I thought her, for one moment, in a storm of rage; and then
I saw it start forth like the old writing on the wall.
It was no matter of wonder to me to find Mrs. Steerforth devoted to
her son. She seemed to be able to speak or think about nothing
else. She showed me his picture as an infant, in a locket, with
some of his baby-hair in it; she showed me his picture as he had
been when I first knew him; and she wore at her breast his picture
as he was now. All the letters he had ever written to her, she
kept in a cabinet near her own chair by the fire; and she would
have read me some of them, and I should have been very glad to hear
them too, if he had not interposed, and coaxed her out of the
'It was at Mr. Creakle's, my son tells me, that you first became
acquainted,' said Mrs. Steerforth, as she and I were talking at one
table, while they played backgammon at another. 'Indeed, I
recollect his speaking, at that time, of a pupil younger than
himself who had taken his fancy there; but your name, as you may
suppose, has not lived in my memory.'
'He was very generous and noble to me in those days, I assure you,
ma'am,' said I, 'and I stood in need of such a friend. I should
have been quite crushed without him.'
'He is always generous and noble,' said Mrs. Steerforth, proudly.
I subscribed to this with all my heart, God knows. She knew I did;
for the stateliness of her manner already abated towards me, except
when she spoke in praise of him, and then her air was always lofty.
'It was not a fit school generally for my son,' said she; 'far from