Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
our situation, and are certain (as you wouldn't wish to make
unpleasantness in the family) not to go against me!'
He took the hand which I dared not withhold, and having given it a
damp squeeze, referred to his pale-faced watch.
'Dear me!' he said, 'it's past one. The moments slip away so, in
the confidence of old times, Master Copperfield, that it's almost
half past one!'
I answered that I had thought it was later. Not that I had really
thought so, but because my conversational powers were effectually
'Dear me!' he said, considering. 'The ouse that I am stopping at
- a sort of a private hotel and boarding ouse, Master Copperfield,
near the New River ed - will have gone to bed these two hours.'
'I am sorry,' I returned, 'that there is only one bed here, and
that I -'
'Oh, don't think of mentioning beds, Master Copperfield!' he
rejoined ecstatically, drawing up one leg. 'But would you have any
objections to my laying down before the fire?'
'If it comes to that,' I said, 'pray take my bed, and I'll lie down
before the fire.'
His repudiation of this offer was almost shrill enough, in the
excess of its surprise and humility, to have penetrated to the ears
of Mrs. Crupp, then sleeping, I suppose, in a distant chamber,
situated at about the level of low-water mark, soothed in her
slumbers by the ticking of an incorrigible clock, to which she
always referred me when we had any little difference on the score
of punctuality, and which was never less than three-quarters of an
hour too slow, and had always been put right in the morning by the
best authorities. As no arguments I could urge, in my bewildered
condition, had the least effect upon his modesty in inducing him to
accept my bedroom, I was obliged to make the best arrangements I
could, for his repose before the fire. The mattress of the sofa
(which was a great deal too short for his lank figure), the sofa
pillows, a blanket, the table-cover, a clean breakfast-cloth, and
a great-coat, made him a bed and covering, for which he was more
than thankful. Having lent him a night-cap, which he put on at
once, and in which he made such an awful figure, that I have never