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David Copperfield. Charles Dickens

′You see, dear, I should have told you before now,′ said Peggotty, ′but I hadn′t an opportunity. I ought to have made it, perhaps, but I couldn′t azackly′ - that was always the substitute for exactly, in Peggotty′s militia of words - ′bring my mind to it.′

′Go on, Peggotty,′ said I, more frightened than before.

′Master Davy,′ said Peggotty, untying her bonnet with a shaking hand, and speaking in a breathless sort of way. ′What do you think? You have got a Pa!′

I trembled, and turned white. Something - I don′t know what, or how - connected with the grave in the churchyard, and the raising of the dead, seemed to strike me like an unwholesome wind.

′A new one,′ said Peggotty.

′A new one?′ I repeated.

Peggotty gave a gasp, as if she were swallowing something that was very hard, and, putting out her hand, said:

′Come and see him.′

′I don′t want to see him.′

- ′And your mama,′ said Peggotty.

I ceased to draw back, and we went straight to the best parlour, where she left me. On one side of the fire, sat my mother; on the other, Mr. Murdstone. My mother dropped her work, and arose hurriedly, but timidly I thought.

′Now, Clara my dear,′ said Mr. Murdstone. ′Recollect! control yourself, always control yourself! Davy boy, how do you do?′

I gave him my hand. After a moment of suspense, I went and kissed my mother: she kissed me, patted me gently on the shoulder, and sat down again to her work. I could not look at her, I could not look at him, I knew quite well that he was looking at us both; and I turned to the window and looked out there, at some shrubs that were drooping their heads in the cold.

As soon as I could creep away, I crept upstairs. My old dear bedroom was changed, and I was to lie a long way off. I rambled downstairs to find anything that was like itself, so altered it all seemed; and roamed into the yard. I very soon started back from there, for the empty dog-kennel was filled up with a great dog - deep mouthed and black-haired like Him - and he was very angry at the sight of me, and sprang out to get at me.

CHAPTER 4 I FALL INTO DISGRACE

If the room to which my bed was removed were a sentient thing that could give evidence, I might appeal to it at this day - who sleeps there now, I wonder! - to bear witness for me what a heavy heart I carried to it. I went up there, hearing the dog in the yard bark after me all the way while I climbed the stairs; and, looking as blank and strange upon the room as the room looked upon me, sat down with my small hands crossed, and thought.

I thought of the oddest things. Of the shape of the room, of the cracks in the ceiling, of the paper on the walls, of the flaws in the window-glass making ripples and dimples on the prospect, of the washing-stand being rickety on its three legs, and having a discontented something about it, which reminded me of Mrs. Gummidge under the influence of the old one. I was crying all the time, but, except that I was conscious of being cold and dejected, I am sure I never thought why I cried. At last in my desolation I began to consider that I was dreadfully in love with little Em′ly, and had been torn away from her to come here where no one seemed to want me, or to care about me, half as much as she did.

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