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


lived - and went and posted, myself, without losing a minute.

Wherever Agnes was, some agreeable token of her noiseless presence
seemed inseparable from the place. When I came back, I found my
aunt's birds hanging, just as they had hung so long in the parlour
window of the cottage; and my easy-chair imitating my aunt's much
easier chair in its position at the open window; and even the round
green fan, which my aunt had brought away with her, screwed on to
the window-sill. I knew who had done all this, by its seeming to
have quietly done itself; and I should have known in a moment who
had arranged my neglected books in the old order of my school days,
even if I had supposed Agnes to be miles away, instead of seeing
her busy with them, and smiling at the disorder into which they had
fallen.

My aunt was quite gracious on the subject of the Thames (it really
did look very well with the sun upon it, though not like the sea
before the cottage), but she could not relent towards the London
smoke, which, she said, 'peppered everything'. A complete
revolution, in which Peggotty bore a prominent part, was being
effected in every corner of my rooms, in regard of this pepper; and
I was looking on, thinking how little even Peggotty seemed to do
with a good deal of bustle, and how much Agnes did without any
bustle at all, when a knock came at the door.

'I think,' said Agnes, turning pale, 'it's papa. He promised me
that he would come.'

I opened the door, and admitted, not only Mr. Wickfield, but Uriah
Heep. I had not seen Mr. Wickfield for some time. I was prepared
for a great change in him, after what I had heard from Agnes, but
his appearance shocked me.

It was not that he looked many years older, though still dressed
with the old scrupulous cleanliness; or that there was an
unwholesome ruddiness upon his face; or that his eyes were full and
bloodshot; or that there was a nervous trembling in his hand, the
cause of which I knew, and had for some years seen at work. It was
not that he had lost his good looks, or his old bearing of a
gentleman - for that he had not - but the thing that struck me
most, was, that with the evidences of his native superiority still
upon him, he should submit himself to that crawling impersonation
of meanness, Uriah Heep. The reversal of the two natures, in their
relative positions, Uriah's of power and Mr. Wickfield's of
dependence, was a sight more painful to me than I can express. If
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