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drinking everything twice; his consciousness of his own weakness,
the ineffectual effort that he made against it; the struggle
between his shame in Uriah's deportment, and his desire to
conciliate him; the manifest exultation with which Uriah twisted
and turned, and held him up before me. It made me sick at heart to
see, and my hand recoils from writing it.
'Come, fellow-partner!' said Uriah, at last, 'I'll give you another
one, and I umbly ask for bumpers, seeing I intend to make it the
divinest of her sex.'
Her father had his empty glass in his hand. I saw him set it down,
look at the picture she was so like, put his hand to his forehead,
and shrink back in his elbow-chair.
'I'm an umble individual to give you her elth,' proceeded Uriah,
'but I admire - adore her.'
No physical pain that her father's grey head could have borne, I
think, could have been more terrible to me, than the mental
endurance I saw compressed now within both his hands.
'Agnes,' said Uriah, either not regarding him, or not knowing what
the nature of his action was, 'Agnes Wickfield is, I am safe to
say, the divinest of her sex. May I speak out, among friends? To
be her father is a proud distinction, but to be her usband -'
Spare me from ever again hearing such a cry, as that with which her
father rose up from the table!
'What's the matter?' said Uriah, turning of a deadly colour. 'You
are not gone mad, after all, Mr. Wickfield, I hope? If I say I've
an ambition to make your Agnes my Agnes, I have as good a right to
it as another man. I have a better right to it than any other
I had my arms round Mr. Wickfield, imploring him by everything that
I could think of, oftenest of all by his love for Agnes, to calm
himself a little. He was mad for the moment; tearing out his hair,
beating his head, trying to force me from him, and to force himself
from me, not answering a word, not looking at or seeing anyone;
blindly striving for he knew not what, his face all staring and
distorted - a frightful spectacle.
I conjured him, incoherently, but in the most impassioned manner,
not to abandon himself to this wildness, but to hear me. I