Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
hand, that, though the freshness of the sea-wind was on his face,
and it was ruddy, there were traces in it, made since I last saw
it, as if he had applied himself to some habitual strain of the
fervent energy which, when roused, was so passionately roused
within him. I had it in my thoughts to remonstrate with him upon
his desperate way of pursuing any fancy that he took - such as this
buffeting of rough seas, and braving of hard weather, for example
- when my mind glanced off to the immediate subject of our
conversation again, and pursued that instead.
'I tell you what, Steerforth,' said I, 'if your high spirits will
listen to me -'
'They are potent spirits, and will do whatever you like,' he
answered, moving from the table to the fireside again.
'Then I tell you what, Steerforth. I think I will go down and see
my old nurse. It is not that I can do her any good, or render her
any real service; but she is so attached to me that my visit will
have as much effect on her, as if I could do both. She will take
it so kindly that it will be a comfort and support to her. It is
no great effort to make, I am sure, for such a friend as she has
been to me. Wouldn't you go a day's journey, if you were in my
His face was thoughtful, and he sat considering a little before he
answered, in a low voice, 'Well! Go. You can do no harm.'
'You have just come back,' said I, 'and it would be in vain to ask
you to go with me?'
'Quite,' he returned. 'I am for Highgate tonight. I have not seen
my mother this long time, and it lies upon my conscience, for it's
something to be loved as she loves her prodigal son. - Bah!
Nonsense! - You mean to go tomorrow, I suppose?' he said, holding
me out at arm's length, with a hand on each of my shoulders.
'Yes, I think so.'
'Well, then, don't go till next day. I wanted you to come and stay
a few days with us. Here I am, on purpose to bid you, and you fly
off to Yarmouth!'
'You are a nice fellow to talk of flying off, Steerforth, who are
always running wild on some unknown expedition or other!'