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'Davy, dear. If I ain't been azackly as intimate with you.
Lately, as I used to be. It ain't because I don't love you. just
as well and more, my pretty poppet. It's because I thought it
better for you. And for someone else besides. Davy, my darling,
are you listening? Can you hear?'

'Ye-ye-ye-yes, Peggotty!' I sobbed.

'My own!' said Peggotty, with infinite compassion. 'What I want to
say, is. That you must never forget me. For I'll never forget
you. And I'll take as much care of your mama, Davy. As ever I
took of you. And I won't leave her. The day may come when she'll
be glad to lay her poor head. On her stupid, cross old Peggotty's
arm again. And I'll write to you, my dear. Though I ain't no
scholar. And I'll - I'll -' Peggotty fell to kissing the keyhole,
as she couldn't kiss me.

'Thank you, dear Peggotty!' said I. 'Oh, thank you! Thank you!
Will you promise me one thing, Peggotty? Will you write and tell
Mr. Peggotty and little Em'ly, and Mrs. Gummidge and Ham, that I am
not so bad as they might suppose, and that I sent 'em all my love
- especially to little Em'ly? Will you, if you please, Peggotty?'

The kind soul promised, and we both of us kissed the keyhole with
the greatest affection - I patted it with my hand, I recollect, as
if it had been her honest face - and parted. From that night there
grew up in my breast a feeling for Peggotty which I cannot very
well define. She did not replace my mother; no one could do that;
but she came into a vacancy in my heart, which closed upon her, and
I felt towards her something I have never felt for any other human
being. It was a sort of comical affection, too; and yet if she had
died, I cannot think what I should have done, or how I should have
acted out the tragedy it would have been to me.

In the morning Miss Murdstone appeared as usual, and told me I was
going to school; which was not altogether such news to me as she
supposed. She also informed me that when I was dressed, I was to
come downstairs into the parlour, and have my breakfast. There, I
found my mother, very pale and with red eyes: into whose arms I
ran, and begged her pardon from my suffering soul.

'Oh, Davy!' she said. 'That you could hurt anyone I love! Try to
be better, pray to be better! I forgive you; but I am so grieved,
Davy, that you should have such bad passions in your heart.'
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