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


house! I was on my downward way then, but the dreary, dreary road
I have traversed since! Weak indulgence has ruined me. Indulgence
in remembrance, and indulgence in forgetfulness. My natural grief
for my child's mother turned to disease; my natural love for my
child turned to disease. I have infected everything I touched. I
have brought misery on what I dearly love, I know -you know! I
thought it possible that I could truly love one creature in the
world, and not love the rest; I thought it possible that I could
truly mourn for one creature gone out of the world, and not have
some part in the grief of all who mourned. Thus the lessons of my
life have been perverted! I have preyed on my own morbid coward
heart, and it has preyed on me. Sordid in my grief, sordid in my
love, sordid in my miserable escape from the darker side of both,
oh see the ruin I am, and hate me, shun me!'

He dropped into a chair, and weakly sobbed. The excitement into
which he had been roused was leaving him. Uriah came out of his
corner.

'I don't know all I have done, in my fatuity,' said Mr. Wickfield,
putting out his hands, as if to deprecate my condemnation. 'He
knows best,' meaning Uriah Heep, 'for he has always been at my
elbow, whispering me. You see the millstone that he is about my
neck. You find him in my house, you find him in my business. You
heard him, but a little time ago. What need have I to say more!'

'You haven't need to say so much, nor half so much, nor anything at
all,' observed Uriah, half defiant, and half fawning. 'You
wouldn't have took it up so, if it hadn't been for the wine.

You'll think better of it tomorrow, sir. If I have said too much,
or more than I meant, what of it? I haven't stood by it!'

The door opened, and Agnes, gliding in, without a vestige of colour
in her face, put her arm round his neck, and steadily said, 'Papa,
you are not well. Come with me!'

He laid his head upon her shoulder, as if he were oppressed with
heavy shame, and went out with her. Her eyes met mine for but an
instant, yet I saw how much she knew of what had passed.

'I didn't expect he'd cut up so rough, Master Copperfield,' said
Uriah. 'But it's nothing. I'll be friends with him tomorrow.
It's for his good. I'm umbly anxious for his good.'

I gave him no answer, and went upstairs into the quiet room where
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