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


in the chair, with an imploring effort to clasp the skirt of her
dress.

Rosa Dartle sat looking down upon her, as inflexible as a figure of
brass. Her lips were tightly compressed, as if she knew that she
must keep a strong constraint upon herself - I write what I
sincerely believe - or she would be tempted to strike the beautiful
form with her foot. I saw her, distinctly, and the whole power of
her face and character seemed forced into that expression. - Would
he never come?

'The miserable vanity of these earth-worms!' she said, when she had
so far controlled the angry heavings of her breast, that she could
trust herself to speak. 'YOUR home! Do you imagine that I bestow
a thought on it, or suppose you could do any harm to that low
place, which money would not pay for, and handsomely? YOUR home!
You were a part of the trade of your home, and were bought and sold
like any other vendible thing your people dealt in.'

'Oh, not that!' cried Emily. 'Say anything of me; but don't visit
my disgrace and shame, more than I have done, on folks who are as
honourable as you! Have some respect for them, as you are a lady,
if you have no mercy for me.'

'I speak,' she said, not deigning to take any heed of this appeal,
and drawing away her dress from the contamination of Emily's touch,
'I speak of HIS home - where I live. Here,' she said, stretching
out her hand with her contemptuous laugh, and looking down upon the
prostrate girl, 'is a worthy cause of division between lady-mother
and gentleman-son; of grief in a house where she wouldn't have been
admitted as a kitchen-girl; of anger, and repining, and reproach.

This piece of pollution, picked up from the water-side, to be made
much of for an hour, and then tossed back to her original place!'

'No! no!' cried Emily, clasping her hands together. 'When he first
came into my way - that the day had never dawned upon me, and he
had met me being carried to my grave! - I had been brought up as
virtuous as you or any lady, and was going to be the wife of as
good a man as you or any lady in the world can ever marry. If you
live in his home and know him, you know, perhaps, what his power
with a weak, vain girl might be. I don't defend myself, but I know
well, and he knows well, or he will know when he comes to die, and
his mind is troubled with it, that he used all his power to deceive
me, and that I believed him, trusted him, and loved him!'
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