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


its gentle head towards me once again; and I can still declare that
this one little speech was constantly in my memory. I may not have
used it to the best account; I was young and inexperienced; but I
never turned a deaf ear to its artless pleading.

Dora told me, shortly afterwards, that she was going to be a
wonderful housekeeper. Accordingly, she polished the tablets,
pointed the pencil, bought an immense account-book, carefully
stitched up with a needle and thread all the leaves of the Cookery
Book which Jip had torn, and made quite a desperate little attempt
'to be good', as she called it. But the figures had the old
obstinate propensity - they WOULD NOT add up. When she had entered
two or three laborious items in the account-book, Jip would walk
over the page, wagging his tail, and smear them all out. Her own
little right-hand middle finger got steeped to the very bone in
ink; and I think that was the only decided result obtained.

Sometimes, of an evening, when I was at home and at work - for I
wrote a good deal now, and was beginning in a small way to be known
as a writer - I would lay down my pen, and watch my child-wife
trying to be good. First of all, she would bring out the immense
account-book, and lay it down upon the table, with a deep sigh.

Then she would open it at the place where Jip had made it illegible
last night, and call Jip up, to look at his misdeeds. This would
occasion a diversion in Jip's favour, and some inking of his nose,
perhaps, as a penalty. Then she would tell Jip to lie down on the
table instantly, 'like a lion' - which was one of his tricks,
though I cannot say the likeness was striking - and, if he were in
an obedient humour, he would obey. Then she would take up a pen,
and begin to write, and find a hair in it. Then she would take up
another pen, and begin to write, and find that it spluttered. Then
she would take up another pen, and begin to write, and say in a low
voice, 'Oh, it's a talking pen, and will disturb Doady!' And then
she would give it up as a bad job, and put the account-book away,
after pretending to crush the lion with it.

Or, if she were in a very sedate and serious state of mind, she
would sit down with the tablets, and a little basket of bills and
other documents, which looked more like curl-papers than anything
else, and endeavour to get some result out of them. After severely
comparing one with another, and making entries on the tablets, and
blotting them out, and counting all the fingers of her left hand
over and over again, backwards and forwards, she would be so vexed
and discouraged, and would look so unhappy, that it gave me pain to
see her bright face clouded - and for me! - and I would go softly
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens



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