Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
head; but his keeping that immovable, and sitting rolling his eyes
like a piece of machinery, did not mend the matter at all. I saw
him look at the loaf at supper (which happened to be a small one),
as if nothing else stood between us and famine; and when my aunt
insisted on his making his customary repast, I detected him in the
act of pocketing fragments of his bread and cheese; I have no doubt
for the purpose of reviving us with those savings, when we should
have reached an advanced stage of attenuation.
My aunt, on the other hand, was in a composed frame of mind, which
was a lesson to all of us - to me, I am sure. She was extremely
gracious to Peggotty, except when I inadvertently called her by
that name; and, strange as I knew she felt in London, appeared
quite at home. She was to have my bed, and I was to lie in the
sitting-room, to keep guard over her. She made a great point of
being so near the river, in case of a conflagration; and I suppose
really did find some satisfaction in that circumstance.
'Trot, my dear,' said my aunt, when she saw me making preparations
for compounding her usual night-draught, 'No!'
'Not wine, my dear. Ale.'
'But there is wine here, aunt. And you always have it made of
'Keep that, in case of sickness,' said my aunt. 'We mustn't use it
carelessly, Trot. Ale for me. Half a pint.'
I thought Mr. Dick would have fallen, insensible. My aunt being
resolute, I went out and got the ale myself. As it was growing
late, Peggotty and Mr. Dick took that opportunity of repairing to
the chandler's shop together. I parted from him, poor fellow, at
the corner of the street, with his great kite at his back, a very
monument of human misery.
My aunt was walking up and down the room when I returned, crimping
the borders of her nightcap with her fingers. I warmed the ale and
made the toast on the usual infallible principles. When it was
ready for her, she was ready for it, with her nightcap on, and the
skirt of her gown turned back on her knees.
'My dear,' said my aunt, after taking a spoonful of it; 'it's a