Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
ungrateful object. What I had to do, was, to turn the painful
discipline of my younger days to account, by going to work with a
resolute and steady heart. What I had to do, was, to take my
woodman's axe in my hand, and clear my own way through the forest
of difficulty, by cutting down the trees until I came to Dora. And
I went on at a mighty rate, as if it could be done by walking.
When I found myself on the familiar Highgate road, pursuing such a
different errand from that old one of pleasure, with which it was
associated, it seemed as if a complete change had come on my whole
life. But that did not discourage me. With the new life, came new
purpose, new intention. Great was the labour; priceless the
reward. Dora was the reward, and Dora must be won.
I got into such a transport, that I felt quite sorry my coat was
not a little shabby already. I wanted to be cutting at those trees
in the forest of difficulty, under circumstances that should prove
my strength. I had a good mind to ask an old man, in wire
spectacles, who was breaking stones upon the road, to lend me his
hammer for a little while, and let me begin to beat a path to Dora
out of granite. I stimulated myself into such a heat, and got so
out of breath, that I felt as if I had been earning I don't know
In this state, I went into a cottage that I saw was to let, and
examined it narrowly, - for I felt it necessary to be practical.
It would do for me and Dora admirably: with a little front garden
for Jip to run about in, and bark at the tradespeople through the
railings, and a capital room upstairs for my aunt. I came out
again, hotter and faster than ever, and dashed up to Highgate, at
such a rate that I was there an hour too early; and, though I had
not been, should have been obliged to stroll about to cool myself,
before I was at all presentable.
My first care, after putting myself under this necessary course of
preparation, was to find the Doctor's house. It was not in that
part of Highgate where Mrs. Steerforth lived, but quite on the
opposite side of the little town. When I had made this discovery,
I went back, in an attraction I could not resist, to a lane by Mrs.
Steerforth's, and looked over the corner of the garden wall. His
room was shut up close. The conservatory doors were standing open,
and Rosa Dartle was walking, bareheaded, with a quick, impetuous
step, up and down a gravel walk on one side of the lawn. She gave
me the idea of some fierce thing, that was dragging the length of
its chain to and fro upon a beaten track, and wearing its heart