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


Yarmouth when the seamen said it blew great guns, but I had never
known the like of this, or anything approaching to it. We came to
Ipswich - very late, having had to fight every inch of ground since
we were ten miles out of London; and found a cluster of people in
the market-place, who had risen from their beds in the night,
fearful of falling chimneys. Some of these, congregating about the
inn-yard while we changed horses, told us of great sheets of lead
having been ripped off a high church-tower, and flung into a
by-street, which they then blocked up. Others had to tell of
country people, coming in from neighbouring villages, who had seen
great trees lying torn out of the earth, and whole ricks scattered
about the roads and fields. Still, there was no abatement in the
storm, but it blew harder.

As we struggled on, nearer and nearer to the sea, from which this
mighty wind was blowing dead on shore, its force became more and
more terrific. Long before we saw the sea, its spray was on our
lips, and showered salt rain upon us. The water was out, over
miles and miles of the flat country adjacent to Yarmouth; and every
sheet and puddle lashed its banks, and had its stress of little
breakers setting heavily towards us. When we came within sight of
the sea, the waves on the horizon, caught at intervals above the
rolling abyss, were like glimpses of another shore with towers and
buildings. When at last we got into the town, the people came out
to their doors, all aslant, and with streaming hair, making a
wonder of the mail that had come through such a night.

I put up at the old inn, and went down to look at the sea;
staggering along the street, which was strewn with sand and
seaweed, and with flying blotches of sea-foam; afraid of falling
slates and tiles; and holding by people I met, at angry corners.
Coming near the beach, I saw, not only the boatmen, but half the
people of the town, lurking behind buildings; some, now and then
braving the fury of the storm to look away to sea, and blown sheer
out of their course in trying to get zigzag back.

joining these groups, I found bewailing women whose husbands were
away in herring or oyster boats, which there was too much reason to
think might have foundered before they could run in anywhere for
safety. Grizzled old sailors were among the people, shaking their
heads, as they looked from water to sky, and muttering to one
another; ship-owners, excited and uneasy; children, huddling
together, and peering into older faces; even stout mariners,
disturbed and anxious, levelling their glasses at the sea from
behind places of shelter, as if they were surveying an enemy.
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens



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