Charles Dickens' "David Copperfield" Chapters 1-7

Vocabulary study list for Charles Dickens' "David Copperfield" (Chapters 1-7).
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definitions & notes only words
  1. sweetbriar
    Eurasian rose with prickly stems and fragrant leaves and bright pink flowers followed by scarlet hips
    So I was sent upstairs to Peggotty to be made spruce; and in the meantime Mr. Murdstone dismounted, and, with his horse's bridle drawn over his arm, walked slowly up and down on the outer side of the sweetbriar fence, while my mother walked slowly
  2. caul
    the inner membrane of embryos in higher vertebrates
    I was born with a caul, which was advertised for sale, in the newspapers, at the low price of fifteen guineas.
  3. rookery
    a breeding ground for gregarious birds (such as rooks)
    'In the name of Heaven,' said Miss Betsey, suddenly, 'why Rookery?'
  4. confuse
    mistake one thing for another
    I was present myself, and I remember to have felt quite uncomfortable and confused, at a part of myself being disposed of in that way.
  5. crawfish
    small freshwater decapod crustacean that resembles a lobster
    On my imparting this discovery in confidence to Peggotty, she informed me that her brother dealt in lobsters, crabs, and crawfish; and I afterwards found that a heap of these creatures, in a state of wonderful conglomeration with one another, and n
  6. schoolroom
    a room in a school where lessons take place
    I gazed upon the schoolroom into which he took me, as the most forlorn and desolate place I had ever seen.
  7. oblige
    force somebody to do something
    And I am so frightened that they are afterwards obliged to take me out of bed, and show me the quiet churchyard out of the bedroom window, with the dead all lying in their graves at rest, below the solemn moon.
  8. writhe
    move in a twisting or contorted motion
    At every question he gave me a fleshy cut with it that made me writhe; so I was very soon made free of Salem House (as Steerforth said), and was very soon in tears also.
  9. destroying angel
    extremely poisonous usually white fungus with a prominent cup-shaped base; differs from edible Agaricus only in its white gills
    Again, I wonder with a sudden fear whether it is likely that our good old clergyman can be wrong, and Mr. and Miss Murdstone right, and that all the angels in Heaven can be destroying angels.
  10. observe
    watch attentively
    So my mother suspected, at least, as she observed her by the low glimmer of the fire: too much scared by Miss Betsey, too uneasy in herself, and too subdued and bewildered altogether, to observe anything very clearly, or to know what to say.
  11. elm tree
    any of various trees of the genus Ulmus: important timber or shade trees
    The evening wind made such a disturbance just now, among some tall old elm-trees at the bottom of the garden, that neither my mother nor Miss Betsey could forbear glancing that way.
  12. poppet
    a mushroom-shaped valve that rises perpendicularly from its seat; commonly used in internal-combustion engines
    Just as well and more, my pretty poppet.
  13. disfigure
    mar or spoil the appearance of
    Would you wish me to shave my head and black my face, or disfigure myself with a burn, or a scald, or something of that sort?
  14. bluebottle
    an annual Eurasian plant cultivated in North America having showy heads of blue or purple or pink or white flowers
    A buzz and hum go up around me, as if the boys were so many bluebottles.
  15. interlace
    spin, wind, or twist together
    He was bald on the top of his head; and had some thin wet-looking hair that was just turning grey, brushed across each temple, so that the two sides interlaced on his forehead.
  16. falter
    move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
    'Well?' said Miss Betsey, coming back to her chair, as if she had only been taking a casual look at the prospect; 'and when do you expect -' 'I am all in a tremble,' faltered my mother.
  17. interpose
    introduce
    Not pretty,' interposed my mother, laying her fingers on my lips again.
  18. red-eye
    travel on an overnight flight
    There, I found my mother, very pale and with red eyes: into whose arms I ran, and begged her pardon from my suffering soul.
  19. doleful
    filled with or evoking sadness
    There is something of a doleful air about that room to me, for Peggotty has told me - I don't know when, but apparently ages ago - about my father's funeral, and the company having their black cloaks put on.
  20. parasol
    a handheld collapsible source of shade
    What else was it possible to infer from what you said, you unkind creature, when you know as well as I do, that on his account only last quarter I wouldn't buy myself a new parasol, though that old green one is frayed the whole way up, and the frin
  21. gaiter
    a cloth covering that covers the instep and ankles
    'No,' I said, 'I don't think -' 'In breeches and gaiters, broad-brimmed hat, grey coat, speckled choker,' said the waiter.
  22. peregrine
    a powerful falcon formerly used in falconry
    From that blessed little room, Roderick Random, Peregrine Pickle, Humphrey Clinker, Tom Jones, the Vicar of Wakefield, Don Quixote, Gil Blas, and Robinson Crusoe, came out, a glorious host, to keep me company.
  23. dismal
    causing dejection
    Again, I wonder whether any of the neighbours call to mind, as I do, how we used to walk home together, she and I; and I wonder stupidly about that, all the dreary dismal day.
  24. whisper
    speaking softly without vibration of the vocal cords
    As the elms bent to one another, like giants who were whispering secrets, and after a few seconds of such repose, fell into a violent flurry, tossing their wild arms about, as if their late confidences were really too wicked for their peace of mind
  25. phosphorus
    a multivalent nonmetallic element of the nitrogen family that occurs commonly in inorganic phosphate rocks and as organic phosphates in all living cells; is highly reactive and occurs in several allotropic forms
    How well I recollect our sitting there, talking in whispers; or their talking, and my respectfully listening, I ought rather to say; the moonlight falling a little way into the room, through the window, painting a pale window on the floor, and the greater
  26. contrary
    exact opposition
    My mother, contrary to her usual habit, instead of coming to the elbow-chair by the fire, remained at the other end of the room, and sat singing to herself.
  27. assault and battery
    an assault in which the assailant makes physical contact
    'Mr. Copperfield,' returned my mother, 'is dead, and if you dare to speak unkindly of him to me -' My poor dear mother, I suppose, had some momentary intention of committing an assault and battery upon my aunt, who could easily have settled her wit
  28. master
    a person who has authority over others
    'Lord, Master Davy,' replied Peggotty.
  29. rasher
    a commercially important fish of the Pacific coast of North America
    I sat down to my brown loaf, my egg, and my rasher of bacon, with a basin of milk besides, and made a most delicious meal.
  30. evening
    the latter part of the day
    The evening wind made such a disturbance just now, among some tall old elm-trees at the bottom of the garden, that neither my mother nor Miss Betsey could forbear glancing that way.
  31. cipher
    a secret method of writing
    Here I sit at the desk again, watching his eye - humbly watching his eye, as he rules a ciphering-book for another victim whose hands have just been flattened by that identical ruler, and who is trying to wipe the sting out with a pocket-handkerchi
  32. starfish
    echinoderms characterized by five arms extending from a central disk
    We strolled a long way, and loaded ourselves with things that we thought curious, and put some stranded starfish carefully back into the water - I hardly know enough of the race at this moment to be quite certain whether they had reason to feel obl
  33. overpower
    overcome by superior force
    And she had a disagreeable consciousness of not appearing to imply that it had been an overpowering pleasure.
  34. supposititious
    based primarily on surmise rather than adequate evidence
    I sat looking at Peggotty for some time, in a reverie on this supposititious case: whether, if she were employed to lose me like the boy in the fairy tale, I should be able to track my way home again by the buttons she would shed.
  35. repeat
    say or state again
    'Peggotty!' repeated Miss Betsey, with some indignation.
  36. rigger
    someone who rigs ships
    Ham carrying me on his back and a small box of ours under his arm, and Peggotty carrying another small box of ours, we turned down lanes bestrewn with bits of chips and little hillocks of sand, and went past gas-works, rope-walks, boat-builders' yards, sh
  37. brook
    a natural stream of water smaller than a river
    'Only Brooks of Sheffield,' said Mr. Murdstone.
  38. ruminate
    reflect deeply on a subject
    When we had done, he brought me a pudding, and having set it before me, seemed to ruminate, and to become absent in his mind for some moments.
  39. pincushion
    a small stiff cushion into which pins are stuck ready for use
    'Bless the Baby!' exclaimed Miss Betsey, unconsciously quoting the second sentiment of the pincushion in the drawer upstairs, but applying it to my mother instead of me, 'I don't mean that.
  40. miserable
    very unhappy
    Accordingly, when Mr. Peggotty came home about nine o'clock, this unfortunate Mrs. Gummidge was knitting in her corner, in a very wretched and miserable condition.
  41. whistle
    the sound made by something moving rapidly
    I say 'drove', but it struck me that the cart would have gone to Yarmouth quite as well without him, for the horse did all that; and as to conversation, he had no idea of it but whistling.
  42. glance
    take a brief look at
    MY mother had a sure foreboding at the second glance, that it was Miss Betsey.
  43. aggravate
    make worse
    'How can you be so aggravating,' said my mother, shedding more tears than before, 'as to talk in such an unjust manner!
  44. contaminate
    make impure
    As to any recreation with other children of my age, I had very little of that; for the gloomy theology of the Murdstones made all children out to be a swarm of little vipers (though there WAS a child once set in the midst of the Disciples), and held that
  45. roly-poly
    short and plump
    In a tight sky-blue suit that made his arms and legs like German sausages, or roly-poly puddings, he was the merriest and most miserable of all the boys.
  46. constrictor
    any of various large nonvenomous snakes that kill their prey by crushing it in its coils
    This did not save me from more jokes, either; for a husky-voiced gentleman with a rough face, who had been eating out of a sandwich-box nearly all the way, except when he had been drinking out of a bottle, said I was like a boa- constrictor who took
  47. meander
    move or cause to move in a sinuous or circular course
    She always returned, with greater emphasis and with an instinctive knowledge of the strength of her objection, 'Let us have no meandering.'
  48. impersonate
    pretend to be someone you are not
    It is curious to me how I could ever have consoled myself under my small troubles (which were great troubles to me), by impersonating my favourite characters in them - as I did - and by putting Mr. and Miss Murdstone into all the bad ones - which I
  49. conglomeration
    a sum total of many heterogeneous things taken together
    On my imparting this discovery in confidence to Peggotty, she informed me that her brother dealt in lobsters, crabs, and crawfish; and I afterwards found that a heap of these creatures, in a state of wonderful conglomeration with one another, and n
  50. dawdle
    hang or fall in movement, progress, development, etc.
    Don't dawdle.'
  51. insinuate
    suggest in an indirect or covert way; give to understand
    How dare you to insinuate that you don't know my character better than your words imply?'
  52. amaze
    affect with wonder
    Having issued this mandate with as much potentiality as if she had been a recognized authority in the house ever since it had been a house, and having looked out to confront the amazed Peggotty coming along the passage with a candle at the sound of
  53. resume
    take up or begin anew
    - 'And I am sure we never had a word of difference respecting it, except when Mr. Copperfield objected to my threes and fives being too much like each other, or to my putting curly tails to my sevens and nines,' resumed my mother in another burst,
  54. sob
    weep convulsively
    My mother was, no doubt, unusually youthful in appearance even for her years; she hung her head, as if it were her fault, poor thing, and said, sobbing, that indeed she was afraid she was but a childish widow, and would be but a childish mother if
  55. burst
    come open suddenly and violently
    -'I kept my housekeeping-book regularly, and balanced it with Mr. Copperfield every night,' cried my mother in another burst of distress, and breaking down again.
  56. mangy
    having many worn or threadbare spots in the nap
    What else was it possible to infer from what you said, you unkind creature, when you know as well as I do, that on his account only last quarter I wouldn't buy myself a new parasol, though that old green one is frayed the whole way up, and the fringe is p
  57. Colosseum
    a large amphitheater in Rome whose construction was begun by Vespasian about AD 75 or 80
    They had something of the sort of pleasure in us, I suppose, that they might have had in a pretty toy, or a pocket model of the Colosseum.
  58. doze
    a light fitful sleep
    When I half awoke from this uncomfortable doze, I found Peggotty and my mother both in tears, and both talking.
  59. snug
    enjoying comforting warmth and shelter in a small space
    After tea, when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights being cold and misty now), it seemed to me the most delicious retreat that the imagination of man could conceive.
  60. silkworm
    the commercially bred hairless white caterpillar of the domestic silkworm moth which spins a cocoon that can be processed to yield silk fiber; the principal source of commercial silk
    Some silkworms' houses, made of the same materials, are scattered over the desks.
  61. weathercock
    weathervane with a vane in the form of a rooster
    I picture myself coming downstairs in the morning, and looking through a long ghastly gash of a staircase window at the school-bell hanging on the top of an out-house with a weathercock above it; and dreading the time when it shall ring J. Steerfor
  62. protrude
    extend out or project in space
    She started from my side, and ran along a jagged timber which protruded from the place we stood upon, and overhung the deep water at some height, without the least defence.
  63. expostulate
    reason with for the purpose of dissuasion
    As we left her standing in the road, Mr. Murdstone came up to where she was, and seemed to expostulate with her for being so moved.
  64. dromedary
    one-humped camel of the hot deserts of northern Africa and southwestern Asia
    Mr. Creakle's part of the house was a good deal more comfortable than ours, and he had a snug bit of garden that looked pleasant after the dusty playground, which was such a desert in miniature, that I thought no one but a camel, or a dromedary, co
  65. misgiving
    uneasiness about the fitness of an action
    I might have a misgiving that I am 'meandering' in stopping to say this, but that it brings me to remark that I build these conclusions, in part upon my own experience of myself; and if it should appear from anything I may set down in this narrativ
  66. waddle
    walk unsteadily
    Of the geese outside the side-gate who come waddling after me with their long necks stretched out when I go that way, I dream at night: as a man environed by wild beasts might dream of lions.
  67. laudanum
    narcotic consisting of an alcohol solution of opium or any preparation in which opium is the main ingredient
    That, marching him constantly up and down by the collar (as if he had been taking too much laudanum), she, at those times, shook him, rumpled his hair, made light of his linen, stopped his ears as if she confounded them with her own, and otherwise
  68. rusty
    covered with or consisting of an oxide coating
    He was a gaunt, sallow young man, with hollow cheeks, and a chin almost as black as Mr. Murdstone's; but there the likeness ended, for his whiskers were shaved off, and his hair, instead of being glossy, was rusty and dry.
  69. mantelpiece
    a shelf that projects from a wall above a fireplace
    Once more the little room, with its open corner cupboard, and its square-backed chairs, and its angular little staircase leading to the room above, and its three peacock's feathers displayed over the mantelpiece - I remember wondering when I first
  70. grammar
    the branch of linguistics that deals with sentence structure
    'Then there's the sea; and the boats and ships; and the fishermen; and the beach; and Am to play with -' Peggotty meant her nephew Ham, mentioned in my first chapter; but she spoke of him as a morsel of English Grammar.
  71. consider
    think about carefully; weigh
    It has since been considered almost a miracle that my aunt didn't shake him, and shake what he had to say, out of him.
  72. catechism
    an elementary book summarizing the principles of a religion
    Ham Peggotty, who went to the national school, and was a very dragon at his catechism, and who may therefore be regarded as a credible witness, reported next day, that happening to peep in at the parlour-door an hour after this, he was instantly de
  73. dejected
    affected or marked by low spirits
    We went to bed greatly dejected.
  74. presentiment
    a feeling of evil to come
    I have a presentiment that it must be a girl.
  75. incompatibility
    being unable to exist or work in congenial combination
    These evidences of an incompatibility of temper induced Miss Betsey to pay him off, and effect a separation by mutual consent.
  76. stipulate
    make an express demand or provision in an agreement
    The caul was won, I recollect, by an old lady with a hand-basket, who, very reluctantly, produced from it the stipulated five shillings, all in halfpence, and twopence halfpenny short - as it took an immense time and a great waste of arithmetic, to
  77. flinch
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    'Not yet, sir,' I said, flinching with the pain.
  78. currant
    any of several tart red or black berries used primarily for jellies and jams
    'Perhaps you'd like to spend a couple of shillings or so, in a bottle of currant wine by and by, up in the bedroom?' said Steerforth.
  79. superannuated
    too old to be useful
    There was a black barge, or some other kind of superannuated boat, not far off, high and dry on the ground, with an iron funnel sticking out of it for a chimney and smoking very cosily; but nothing else in the way of a habitation that was visible t
  80. sentient
    endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
    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.
  81. aspersion
    a disparaging remark
    Peggotty seemed to take this aspersion very much to heart, I thought.
  82. solitary
    not growing or living in groups or colonies
    Whether sea-going people were short of money about that time, or were short of faith and preferred cork jackets, I don't know; all I know is, that there was but one solitary bidding, and that was from an attorney connected with the bill-broking bus
  83. fancy
    not plain; decorative or ornamented
    In a short pause which ensued, she had a fancy that she felt Miss Betsey touch her hair, and that with no ungentle hand; but, looking at her, in her timid hope, she found that lady sitting with the skirt of her dress tucked up, her hands folded on
  84. emphasis
    intensity or forcefulness of expression
    She always returned, with greater emphasis and with an instinctive knowledge of the strength of her objection, 'Let us have no meandering.'
  85. occasion
    an event that occurs at a critical time
    'There is no longer any occasion for uneasiness, ma'am.
  86. random
    lacking any definite plan or order or purpose
    From that blessed little room, Roderick Random, Peregrine Pickle, Humphrey Clinker, Tom Jones, the Vicar of Wakefield, Don Quixote, Gil Blas, and Robinson Crusoe, came out, a glorious host, to keep me company.
  87. mention
    make reference to
    Miss Trotwood, or Miss Betsey, as my poor mother always called her, when she sufficiently overcame her dread of this formidable personage to mention her at all (which was seldom), had been married to a husband younger than herself, who was very han
  88. encumbrance
    an onerous or difficult concern
    Bewitching Mrs. Copperfield's encumbrance?' cried the gentleman.
  89. knit
    make by needlework with interlacing yarn
    Mrs. Peggotty with the white apron, was knitting on the opposite side of the fire.
  90. dangle
    hang freely
    And now I see the outside of our house, with the latticed bedroom-windows standing open to let in the sweet-smelling air, and the ragged old rooks'-nests still dangling in the elm-trees at the bottom of the front garden.
  91. mildew
    a fungus that produces a superficial (usually white) growth on organic matter
    There is a strange unwholesome smell upon the room, like mildewed corduroys, sweet apples wanting air, and rotten books.
  92. moment
    an indefinitely short time
    My father had often hinted that she seldom conducted herself like any ordinary Christian; and now, instead of ringing the bell, she came and looked in at that identical window, pressing the end of her nose against the glass to that extent, that my poor de
  93. uneasy
    causing or fraught with or showing anxiety
    So my mother suspected, at least, as she observed her by the low glimmer of the fire: too much scared by Miss Betsey, too uneasy in herself, and too subdued and bewildered altogether, to observe anything very clearly, or to know what to say.
  94. infer
    conclude by reasoning
    That there were now occasional sounds of feet and voices overhead which he inferred the cotton did not exclude, from the circumstance of his evidently being clutched by the lady as a victim on whom to expend her superabundant agitation when the sou
  95. drowsy
    half asleep
    In time my eyes gradually shut up; and, from seeming to hear the clergyman singing a drowsy song in the heat, I hear nothing, until I fall off the seat with a crash, and am taken out, more dead than alive, by Peggotty.
  96. stroll
    a leisurely walk, usually in some public place
    I recollect Peggotty and I peeping out at them from my little window; I recollect how closely they seemed to be examining the sweetbriar between them, as they strolled along; and how, from being in a perfectly angelic temper, Peggotty turned cross
  97. relieve
    free from a burden, evil, or distress
    I was quite relieved to find that it was only Brooks of Sheffield; for, at first, I really thought it was I. There seemed to be something very comical in the reputation of Mr. Brooks of Sheffield, for both the gentlemen laughed heartily when he was
  98. apprehensive
    in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
    I felt apprehensive that I was personally interested in this dialogue, and sought Mr. Murdstone's eye as it lighted on mine.
  99. interjection
    an abrupt emphatic exclamation expressing emotion
    'Ba—a—ah!' said my aunt, with a perfect shake on the contemptuous interjection.
  100. affliction
    a cause of great suffering and distress
    I look up at the monumental tablets on the wall, and try to think of Mr. Bodgers late of this parish, and what the feelings of Mrs. Bodgers must have been, when affliction sore, long time Mr. Bodgers bore, and physicians were in vain.
  101. smuggle
    import or export without paying customs duties
    I can go out when I like, and I'll smuggle the prog in.'
  102. bent
    stooped (used of the back and knees)
    My mother bent her head, and begged her to walk in.
  103. bilious
    relating to a digestive juice secreted by the liver
    Accordingly we looked in at a baker's window, and after I had made a series of proposals to buy everything that was bilious in the shop, and he had rejected them one by one, we decided in favour of a nice little loaf of brown bread, which cost me t
  104. skylark
    brown-speckled European lark noted for singing while hovering at a great height
    I thought it was his name; and that as he lived on board ship and hadn't a street door to put his name on, he put it there instead; but when I called him Mr. Skylark, he said it meant the vessel.
  105. stormy
    affected or characterized by commotion
    As the elms bent to one another, like giants who were whispering secrets, and after a few seconds of such repose, fell into a violent flurry, tossing their wild arms about, as if their late confidences were really too wicked for their peace of mind, some
  106. corroborate
    give evidence for
    I heard that Mr. Sharp and Mr. Mell were both supposed to be wretchedly paid; and that when there was hot and cold meat for dinner at Mr. Creakle's table, Mr. Sharp was always expected to say he preferred cold; which was again corroborated by J. St
  107. smelt
    extract by heating, as a metal
    When we got into the street (which was strange enough to me) and smelt the fish, and pitch, and oakum, and tar, and saw the sailors walking about, and the carts jingling up and down over the stones, I felt that I had done so busy a place an injusti
  108. foreboding
    a feeling of evil to come
    MY mother had a sure foreboding at the second glance, that it was Miss Betsey.
  109. simper
    smile affectedly or derisively
    He was, now, a huge, strong fellow of six feet high, broad in proportion, and round-shouldered; but with a simpering boy's face and curly light hair that gave him quite a sheepish look.
  110. conceive
    have the idea for
    After tea, when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights being cold and misty now), it seemed to me the most delicious retreat that the imagination of man could conceive.
  111. assume
    take to be the case or to be true
    CHAPTER 2 I OBSERVE The first objects that assume a distinct presence before me, as I look far back, into the blank of my infancy, are my mother with her pretty hair and youthful shape, and Peggotty with no shape at all, and eyes so dark that they
  112. skeleton
    the structure providing a frame for the body of an animal
    After laying his head on the desk for a little while, he would cheer up, somehow, begin to laugh again, and draw skeletons all over his slate, before his eyes were dry.
  113. phlegmatic
    showing little emotion
    As this was a great deal for the carrier (whose name was Mr. Barkis) to say - he being, as I observed in a former chapter, of a phlegmatic temperament, and not at all conversational - I offered him a cake as a mark of attention, which he ate at one
  114. implore
    call upon in supplication
    'Don't, my love, say that!' implored my mother very piteously.
  115. amiss
    in an improper or mistaken or unfortunate manner
    'What's amiss?' said Mr. Peggotty, with a clap of his hands.
  116. unemployed
    not engaged in a gainful occupation
    When the latter was unemployed, he sometimes walked with us to show us the boats and ships, and once or twice he took us for a row.
  117. limber
    easily bent
    One morning when I went into the parlour with my books, I found my mother looking anxious, Miss Murdstone looking firm, and Mr. Murdstone binding something round the bottom of a cane - a lithe and limber cane, which he left off binding when I came
  118. peacock
    male peafowl
    Once more the little room, with its open corner cupboard, and its square-backed chairs, and its angular little staircase leading to the room above, and its three peacock's feathers displayed over the mantelpiece - I remember wondering when I first
  119. visage
    the human face
    Be this as it may, I well remember the tremendous visages with which we used to go to church, and the changed air of the place.
  120. identical
    being the exact same one
    My father had often hinted that she seldom conducted herself like any ordinary Christian; and now, instead of ringing the bell, she came and looked in at that identical window, pressing the end of her nose against the glass to that extent, that my
  121. retire
    withdraw from active participation
    I was very sorry for her; but there were moments when it would have been more agreeable, I thought, if Mrs. Gummidge had had a convenient apartment of her own to retire to, and had stopped there until her spirits revived.
  122. inhale
    draw deep into the lungs in by breathing
    Here, as I sat looking at the parcels, packages, and books, and inhaling the smell of stables (ever since associated with that morning), a procession of most tremendous considerations began to march through my mind.
  123. culprit
    someone or something responsible for harm or wrongdoing
    An unhappy culprit, found guilty of imperfect exercise, approaches at his command.
  124. situate
    determine or indicate the place or limits of
    But I reflected that Yarmouth might be situated at one of the poles; which would account for it.
  125. surprise
    come upon or take unawares
    Without being nearly so much surprised as I had expected, my mother entered into it readily; and it was all arranged that night, and my board and lodging during the visit were to be paid for.
  126. parenthesis
    a punctuation mark used to enclose textual material
    But Mr. Copperfield was teaching me -' ('Much he knew about it himself!') said Miss Betsey in a parenthesis.
  127. reversion
    returning to a former state
    'Mr. Copperfield,' said my mother, answering with some difficulty, 'was so considerate and good as to secure the reversion of a part of it to me.'
  128. alter
    cause to change; make different
    Can I say of her face - altered as I have reason to remember it, perished as I know it is - that it is gone, when here it comes before me at this instant, as distinct as any face that I may choose to look on in a crowded street?
  129. adage
    a condensed but memorable saying embodying an important fact
    Miss Trotwood, or Miss Betsey, as my poor mother always called her, when she sufficiently overcame her dread of this formidable personage to mention her at all (which was seldom), had been married to a husband younger than herself, who was very handsome,
  130. Arabian Nights
    a collection of folktales in Arabic dating from the 10th century
    They kept alive my fancy, and my hope of something beyond that place and time, - they, and the Arabian Nights, and the Tales of the Genii, - and did me no harm; for whatever harm was in some of them was not there for me; I knew nothing of it.
  131. frown
    a facial expression of dislike or displeasure
    Then she made a frown and a gesture to my mother, like one who was accustomed to be obeyed, to come and open the door.
  132. castor
    a pivoting roller attached to the bottom of furniture or trucks or portable machines to make them movable
    I felt it was taking a liberty to sit down, with my cap in my hand, on the corner of the chair nearest the door; and when the waiter laid a cloth on purpose for me, and put a set of castors on it, I think I must have turned red all over with modest
  133. pliant
    capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out
    I knew as well, when I saw my mother's head lean down upon his shoulder, and her arm touch his neck - I knew as well that he could mould her pliant nature into any form he chose, as I know, now, that he did it.
  134. fascinate
    attract; cause to be enamored
    Here I am in the playground, with my eye still fascinated by him, though I can't see him.
  135. naughty
    badly behaved
    Then, turning affectionately to me, with her cheek against mine, 'Am I a naughty mama to you, Davy?
  136. boa
    a chiefly tropical constrictor with vestigial hind limbs
    This did not save me from more jokes, either; for a husky-voiced gentleman with a rough face, who had been eating out of a sandwich-box nearly all the way, except when he had been drinking out of a bottle, said I was like a boa-constrictor who took
  137. gentility
    elegance by virtue of fineness of manner and expression
    I didn't think Miss Creakle equal to little Em'ly in point of beauty, and I didn't love her (I didn't dare); but I thought her a young lady of extraordinary attractions, and in point of gentility not to be surpassed.
  138. indignation
    a feeling of righteous anger
    I have understood that it was, to the last, her proudest boast, that she never had been on the water in her life, except upon a bridge; and that over her tea (to which she was extremely partial) she, to the last, expressed her indignation at the im
  139. receive
    get something; come into possession of
    The toast was received with great applause, and such hearty laughter that it made me laugh too; at which they laughed the more.
  140. opposite
    being directly across from each other
    My mother was sitting by the fire, but poorly in health, and very low in spirits, looking at it through her tears, and desponding heavily about herself and the fatherless little stranger, who was already welcomed by some grosses of prophetic pins, in a dr
  141. wince
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    'I make him wince, and smart.
  142. infuse
    fill, as with a certain quality
    Yes, I had a satisfaction in the thought of marrying an inexperienced and artless person, and forming her character, and infusing into it some amount of that firmness and decision of which it stood in need.
  143. meek
    humble in spirit or manner
    He was the meekest of his sex, the mildest of little men.
  144. remonstrate
    argue in protest or opposition
    'Oh, Davy!' remonstrated my mother.
  145. pounce
    move down on as if in an attack
    Ham Peggotty, who went to the national school, and was a very dragon at his catechism, and who may therefore be regarded as a credible witness, reported next day, that happening to peep in at the parlour-door an hour after this, he was instantly descried
  146. sneeze
    exhale spasmodically, as when an irritant entered one's nose
    I was not mistaken; for the mop came into the schoolroom before long, and turned out Mr. Mell and me, who lived where we could, and got on how we could, for some days, during which we were always in the way of two or three young women, who had rarely show
  147. button
    a round fastener sewn to shirts and coats
    I know it was a good squeeze, because, being very plump, whenever she made any little exertion after she was dressed, some of the buttons on the back of her gown flew off.
  148. allude
    make an indirect reference to
    For I thought he wanted something else to eat, and had pointedly alluded to that description of refreshment.
  149. entreat
    ask for or request earnestly
    She was very earnestly and humbly entreating Miss Murdstone's pardon, which that lady granted, and a perfect reconciliation took place.
  150. write off
    reduce the estimated value of something
    'If you please, sir,' I faltered, 'if I might be allowed (I am very sorry indeed, sir, for what I did) to take this writing off, before the boys come back -' Whether Mr. Creakle was in earnest, or whether he only did it to frighten me, I don't know
  151. precious
    of high worth or cost
    Is it to be hinted to me that I am wanting in affection for my precious treasure, the dearest little fellow that ever was!'
  152. pedlar
    someone who travels about selling his wares
    On the walls there were some common coloured pictures, framed and glazed, of scripture subjects; such as I have never seen since in the hands of pedlars, without seeing the whole interior of Peggotty's brother's house again, at one view.
  153. fell
    cause to go down by or as if by delivering a blow
    The setting sun was glowing on the strange lady, over the garden-fence, and she came walking up to the door with a fell rigidity of figure and composure of countenance that could have belonged to nobody else.
  154. creep
    move slowly
    To hear the wind getting up out at sea, to know that the fog was creeping over the desolate flat outside, and to look at the fire, and think that there was no house near but this one, and this one a boat, was like enchantment.
  155. baboon
    large terrestrial monkeys having doglike muzzles
    He went to India with his capital, and there, according to a wild legend in our family, he was once seen riding on an elephant, in company with a Baboon; but I think it must have been a Baboo - or a Begum.
  156. pore
    any tiny hole admitting passage of a liquid
    I pore over these cheeses without any result or enlightenment until dinner-time, when, having made a Mulatto of myself by getting the dirt of the slate into the pores of my skin, I have a slice of bread to help me out with the cheeses, and am consi
  157. gooseberry
    spiny Eurasian shrub having greenish purple-tinged flowers and ovoid yellow-green or red-purple berries
    Now I am in the garden at the back, beyond the yard where the empty pigeon-house and dog-kennel are - a very preserve of butterflies, as I remember it, with a high fence, and a gate and padlock; where the fruit clusters on the trees, riper and richer than
  158. ooze
    pass gradually or leak or as if through small openings
    When he had put up his things for the night he took out his flute, and blew at it, until I almost thought he would gradually blow his whole being into the large hole at the top, and ooze away at the keys.
  159. agitate
    move or cause to move back and forth
    If I didn't support a aged pairint, and a lovely sister,' - here the waiter was greatly agitated - 'I wouldn't take a farthing.
  160. ferocious
    marked by extreme and violent energy
    On the ground-floor is Peggotty's kitchen, opening into a back yard; with a pigeon-house on a pole, in the centre, without any pigeons in it; a great dog- kennel in a corner, without any dog; and a quantity of fowls that look terribly tall to me, walking
  161. primer
    an introductory textbook
    To this day, when I look upon the fat black letters in the primer, the puzzling novelty of their shapes, and the easy good-nature of O and Q and S, seem to present themselves again before me as they used to do.
  162. raise
    move upwards
    One Sunday night my mother reads to Peggotty and me in there, how Lazarus was raised up from the dead.
  163. gape
    look with amazement
    It's a dreadful thing to gape, but I must do something.
  164. congratulate
    say something to someone that expresses praise
    He sidled into the parlour as soon as he was at liberty, and said to my aunt in his meekest manner: 'Well, ma'am, I am happy to congratulate you.'
  165. accede
    yield to another's wish or opinion
    I begged him to do me the favour of presiding; and my request being seconded by the other boys who were in that room, he acceded to it, and sat upon my pillow, handing round the viands - with perfect fairness, I must say - and dispensing the curran
  166. awe
    an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration
    Several times when I glanced at him, I observed that appearance with a sort of awe, and wondered what he was thinking about so closely.
  167. rigidity
    the physical property of being stiff and resisting bending
    The setting sun was glowing on the strange lady, over the garden-fence, and she came walking up to the door with a fell rigidity of figure and composure of countenance that could have belonged to nobody else.
  168. mollify
    cause to be more favorably inclined
    Mr. Chillip was fluttered again, by the extreme severity of my aunt's manner; so he made her a little bow and gave her a little smile, to mollify her.
  169. grievous
    causing or marked by grief or anguish
    'I am sure,' my poor mother went on, at a grievous disadvantage, and with many tears, 'I don't want anybody to go.
  170. dull
    so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness
    It looked rather spongy and soppy, I thought, as I carried my eye over the great dull waste that lay across the river; and I could not help wondering, if the world were really as round as my geography book said, how any part of it came to be so fla
  171. etymology
    a history of a word
    It appeared, in answer to my inquiries, that nobody had the least idea of the etymology of this terrible verb passive to be gormed; but that they all regarded it as constituting a most solemn imprecation.
  172. posthumous
    occurring or coming into existence after a person's death
    I was a posthumous child.
  173. bend
    form a curve
    My mother bent her head, and begged her to walk in.
  174. supervise
    watch and direct
    Before, and after them, I walked about - supervised, as I have mentioned, by the man with the wooden leg.
  175. skylight
    a window in a roof to admit daylight
    I saw them quite hard at work, when I looked down through the open skylight.
  176. custody
    guardianship over
    Whether I should be taken into custody, and sent to prison?
  177. paraphrase
    express the same message in different words
    Poor Peggotty lifted up her hands and eyes, and only answered, in a sort of paraphrase of the grace I usually repeated after dinner, 'Lord forgive you, Mrs. Copperfield, and for what you have said this minute, may you never be truly sorry!'
  178. impiety
    unrighteousness by virtue of lacking respect for a god
    I have understood that it was, to the last, her proudest boast, that she never had been on the water in her life, except upon a bridge; and that over her tea (to which she was extremely partial) she, to the last, expressed her indignation at the impiet
  179. remind
    put in the mind of someone
    I wonder whether they called in Mr. Chillip, and he was in vain; and if so, how he likes to be reminded of it once a week.
  180. geranium
    any of numerous plants of the family Geraniaceae
    He came in, too, to look at a famous geranium we had, in the parlour-window.
  181. coincidence
    the property of two things happening at the same time
    Here was a coincidence!
  182. seaweed
    plant growing in the sea, especially marine algae
    It was the completest and most desirable bedroom ever seen - in the stern of the vessel; with a little window, where the rudder used to go through; a little looking-glass, just the right height for me, nailed against the wall, and framed with oyster-shell
  183. culinary
    of or relating to or used in cooking
    I fancied she was jealous even of the saucepan on it; and I have reason to know that she took its impressment into the service of boiling my egg and broiling my bacon, in dudgeon; for I saw her, with my own discomfited eyes, shake her fist at me once, whe
  184. solemnity
    a trait of dignified seriousness
    Peggotty knowing nothing about her, and my mother saying nothing about her, she was quite a mystery in the parlour; and the fact of her having a magazine of jewellers' cotton in her pocket, and sticking the article in her ears in that way, did not detract
  185. diffidence
    lack of self-assurance
    The blowing of the coach-horn in the yard was a seasonable diversion, which made me get up and hesitatingly inquire, in the mingled pride and diffidence of having a purse (which I took out of my pocket), if there were anything to pay.
  186. giggle
    laugh nervously
    I discovered this, from overhearing the lady in the bow-window say to the guard, 'Take care of that child, George, or he'll burst!' and from observing that the women-servants who were about the place came out to look and giggle at me as a young phe
  187. unwieldy
    difficult to use or handle because of size or weight
    However, we returned to those monsters, with fresh wakefulness on my part, and we left their eggs in the sand for the sun to hatch; and we ran away from them, and baffled them by constantly turning, which they were unable to do quickly, on account of thei
  188. feint
    any distracting or deceptive maneuver
    I recollect being very much surprised by the feint everybody made, then, of not having been to sleep at all, and by the uncommon indignation with which everyone repelled the charge.
  189. viand
    a choice or delicious dish
    I begged him to do me the favour of presiding; and my request being seconded by the other boys who were in that room, he acceded to it, and sat upon my pillow, handing round the viands - with perfect fairness, I must say - and dispensing the curran
  190. devotional
    a short religious service
    If I could have seen my mother alone, I should have gone down on my knees to her and besought her forgiveness; but I saw no one, Miss Murdstone excepted, during the whole time - except at evening prayers in the parlour; to which I was escorted by Miss Mur
  191. sun rose
    any plant of the genus Helianthemum
    At last the sun rose, and then my companions seemed to sleep easier.
  192. forlorn
    marked by or showing hopelessness
    Mrs. Gummidge had never made any other remark than a forlorn sigh, and had never raised her eyes since tea.
  193. detract
    take away a part from; diminish
    Peggotty knowing nothing about her, and my mother saying nothing about her, she was quite a mystery in the parlour; and the fact of her having a magazine of jewellers' cotton in her pocket, and sticking the article in her ears in that way, did not detr
  194. depreciation
    a decrease in price or value
    He carried his head on one side, partly in modest depreciation of himself, partly in modest propitiation of everybody else.
  195. baffle
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    However, we returned to those monsters, with fresh wakefulness on my part, and we left their eggs in the sand for the sun to hatch; and we ran away from them, and baffled them by constantly turning, which they were unable to do quickly, on account
  196. clergyman
    a member of the clergy and a spiritual leader of the Christian Church
    But though Peggotty's eye wanders, she is much offended if mine does, and frowns to me, as I stand upon the seat, that I am to look at the clergyman.
  197. delight
    a feeling of extreme pleasure or satisfaction
    I was flushed by her summary of delights, and replied that it would indeed be a treat, but what would my mother say?
  198. infancy
    the early stage of growth or development
    CHAPTER 2 I OBSERVE The first objects that assume a distinct presence before me, as I look far back, into the blank of my infancy, are my mother with her pretty hair and youthful shape, and Peggotty with no shape at all, and eyes so dark that they
  199. repudiate
    refuse to acknowledge, ratify, or recognize as valid
    As he repudiated this suggestion, however, with a jerk of his head, and once more confirmed his previous request by saying, with profound gravity, 'Barkis is willin'.
  200. imprecation
    the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil
    It appeared, in answer to my inquiries, that nobody had the least idea of the etymology of this terrible verb passive to be gormed; but that they all regarded it as constituting a most solemn imprecation.
  201. poke
    thrust abruptly
    Again, if I move a finger or relax a muscle of my face, Miss Murdstone pokes me with her prayer-book, and makes my side ache.
  202. dispatch
    the act of sending off something
    My mother was so much worse that Peggotty, coming in with the teaboard and candles, and seeing at a glance how ill she was, - as Miss Betsey might have done sooner if there had been light enough, - conveyed her upstairs to her own room with all speed; and
  203. lean
    incline or bend from a vertical position
    My sobs kept waking me, for a long time; and when one very strong sob quite hoisted me up in bed, I found my mother sitting on the coverlet, and leaning over me.
  204. fresh
    recently made, produced, or harvested
    However, we returned to those monsters, with fresh wakefulness on my part, and we left their eggs in the sand for the sun to hatch; and we ran away from them, and baffled them by constantly turning, which they were unable to do quickly, on account
  205. compunction
    a feeling of deep regret, usually for some misdeed
    I had little doubt then, and I have less doubt now, that he would have knocked me down without the least compunction, if I had hesitated.
  206. discomfit
    cause to lose one's composure
    I fancied she was jealous even of the saucepan on it; and I have reason to know that she took its impressment into the service of boiling my egg and broiling my bacon, in dudgeon; for I saw her, with my own discomfited eyes, shake her fist at me on
  207. jingle
    a metallic sound
    When we got into the street (which was strange enough to me) and smelt the fish, and pitch, and oakum, and tar, and saw the sailors walking about, and the carts jingling up and down over the stones, I felt that I had done so busy a place an injusti
  208. stern
    of a strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect
    I remarked that, once or twice when Mr. Quinion was talking, he looked at Mr. Murdstone sideways, as if to make sure of his not being displeased; and that once when Mr. Passnidge (the other gentleman) was in high spirits, he trod upon his foot, and gave h
  209. viper
    a venomous Old World snake
    As to any recreation with other children of my age, I had very little of that; for the gloomy theology of the Murdstones made all children out to be a swarm of little vipers (though there WAS a child once set in the midst of the Disciples), and hel
  210. bolt
    a screw that screws into a nut to form a fastener
    There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white grave-stone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable co
  211. arrears
    the state of being behind in payments
    There is a pile of these arrears very soon, and it swells like a rolling snowball.
  212. besides
    in addition
    'Oh, it'll soon leave off,' said Peggotty - I again mean our Peggotty - 'and besides, you know, it's not more disagreeable to you than to us.'
  213. reading
    written material intended to be read
    I had been reading to Peggotty about crocodiles.
  214. artless
    simple and natural; without cunning or deceit
    Yes, I had a satisfaction in the thought of marrying an inexperienced and artless person, and forming her character, and infusing into it some amount of that firmness and decision of which it stood in need.
  215. rickety
    inclined to shake as from weakness or defect
    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 somethin
  216. irreparable
    impossible to rectify or amend
    Mr. Mell having left me while he took his irreparable boots upstairs, I went softly to the upper end of the room, observing all this as I crept along.
  217. godmother
    any woman who serves as a sponsor for a child at baptism
    I intend to be her godmother, and I beg you'll call her Betsey Trotwood Copperfield.
  218. recall
    bring to mind
    Whether it was the following Sunday when I saw the gentleman again, or whether there was any greater lapse of time before he reappeared, I cannot recall.
  219. festoon
    a decorative representation of a string of flowers
    Between her agitation, and her natural awkwardness in getting out of the cart, Peggotty was making a most extraordinary festoon of herself, but I felt too blank and strange to tell her so.
  220. glare
    be sharply reflected
    These she put down upon the table without a word, glaring at me the while with exemplary firmness, and then retired, locking the door after her.
  221. bounce
    spring back; spring away from an impact
    He brought me some chops, and vegetables, and took the covers off in such a bouncing manner that I was afraid I must have given him some offence.
  222. acknowledge
    declare to be true or admit the existence or reality of
    I must acknowledge that I felt it difficult to picture him quite at his ease in the raiment proposed for him by his grateful little niece, and that I was particularly doubtful of the policy of the cocked hat; but I kept these sentiments to myself.
  223. puny
    of inferior size
    Then he was gone; and the door was locked outside; and I was lying, fevered and hot, and torn, and sore, and raging in my puny way, upon the floor.
  224. hypocritical
    professing feelings or virtues one does not have
    A word of encouragement and explanation, of pity for my childish ignorance, of welcome home, of reassurance to me that it was home, might have made me dutiful to him in my heart henceforth, instead of in my hypocritical outside, and might have made
  225. scholastic
    of or relating to educational institutions
    I heard that the man with the wooden leg, whose name was Tungay, was an obstinate barbarian who had formerly assisted in the hop business, but had come into the scholastic line with Mr. Creakle, in consequence, as was supposed among the boys, of hi
  226. relish
    vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment
    Again, I listen to Miss Murdstone mumbling the responses, and emphasizing all the dread words with a cruel relish.
  227. bane
    something causing misery or death
    They were presided over nominally by my mother, but really by Mr. Murdstone and his sister, who were always present, and found them a favourable occasion for giving my mother lessons in that miscalled firmness, which was the bane of both our lives.
  228. obstinate
    marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
    'David,' he said, making his lips thin, by pressing them together, 'if I have an obstinate horse or dog to deal with, what do you think I do?'
  229. contemplative
    deeply or seriously thoughtful
    If he looks out through the glass, the boldest boy (Steerforth excepted) stops in the middle of a shout or yell, and becomes contemplative.
  230. drudgery
    hard monotonous routine work
    But these solemn lessons which succeeded those, I remember as the death-blow of my peace, and a grievous daily drudgery and misery.
  231. confirmed
    having been established or made firm or received the rite of confirmation
    This was in part confirmed by his aunt, who saw him at half past twelve o'clock, soon after his release, and affirmed that he was then as red as I was.
  232. relapse
    deteriorate in health
    When I had taken this commission on myself prospectively, Mr. Barkis relapsed into perfect silence; and I, feeling quite worn out by all that had happened lately, lay down on a sack in the cart and fell asleep.
  233. screening
    the display of a motion picture
    The sun streamed in at the little window, but she sat with her own back and the back of the large chair towards it, screening the fire as if she were sedulously keeping IT warm, instead of it keeping her warm, and watching it in a most distrustful
  234. exercise
    the activity of exerting muscles to keep fit
    I come into the second-best parlour after breakfast, with my books, and an exercise-book, and a slate.
  235. survey
    consider in a comprehensive way
    Over a door in this wall was a board with SALEM HousE upon it; and through a grating in this door we were surveyed when we rang the bell by a surly face, which I found, on the door being opened, belonged to a stout man with a bull-neck, a wooden le
  236. astonish
    affect with wonder
    Those allied powers were considerably astonished, when they arrived within a few minutes of each other, to find an unknown lady of portentous appearance, sitting before the fire, with her bonnet tied over her left arm, stopping her ears with jewell
  237. annuity
    income from capital investment paid regularly
    'David had bought an annuity for himself with his money, I know,' said she, by and by.
  238. whiff
    a short light gust of air
    A dark store-room opens out of it, and that is a place to be run past at night; for I don't know what may be among those tubs and jars and old tea-chests, when there is nobody in there with a dimly-burning light, letting a mouldy air come out of the door,
  239. gash
    cut open
    I picture myself coming downstairs in the morning, and looking through a long ghastly gash of a staircase window at the school-bell hanging on the top of an out-house with a weathercock above it; and dreading the time when it shall ring J. Steerfor
  240. motion
    the act of changing location from one place to another
    'And was David good to you, child?' asked Miss Betsey, when she had been silent for a little while, and these motions of her head had gradually ceased.
  241. assuming
    excessively forward or presumptuous
    'Nothing's the matter, bless you, Master Davy dear!' she answered, assuming an air of sprightliness.
  242. stout
    having rugged physical strength
    'There was a gentleman here, yesterday,' he said - 'a stout gentleman, by the name of Topsawyer - perhaps you know him?'
  243. shading
    graded markings that indicate light or shaded areas in a drawing or painting
    The twilight was by this time shading down into darkness; and dimly as they saw each other, they could not have done that without the aid of the fire.
  244. jail
    a correctional institution used to detain persons who are in the lawful custody of the government (either accused persons awaiting trial or convicted persons serving a sentence)
    When she paid the coachman she took her money out of a hard steel purse, and she kept the purse in a very jail of a bag which hung upon her arm by a heavy chain, and shut up like a bite.
  245. touch
    make physical contact with, come in contact with
    In a short pause which ensued, she had a fancy that she felt Miss Betsey touch her hair, and that with no ungentle hand; but, looking at her, in her timid hope, she found that lady sitting with the skirt of her dress tucked up, her hands folded on
  246. proud
    feeling self-respect, self-esteem, or self-importance
    I have understood that it was, to the last, her proudest boast, that she never had been on the water in her life, except upon a bridge; and that over her tea (to which she was extremely partial) she, to the last, expressed her indignation at the im
  247. wallow
    roll around
    The case is so hopeless, and I feel that I am wallowing in such a bog of nonsense, that I give up all idea of getting out, and abandon myself to my fate.
  248. dusty
    covered with a layer of fine powdery material
    Still, nobody appeared, to claim the dusty youngster from Blunderstone, Suffolk.
  249. blocking
    the act of obstructing or deflecting someone's movements
    The night was not so pleasant as the evening, for it got chilly; and being put between two gentlemen (the rough-faced one and another) to prevent my tumbling off the coach, I was nearly smothered by their falling asleep, and completely blocking me
  250. deviation
    a variation from the standard or norm
    We made so many deviations up and down lanes, and were such a long time delivering a bedstead at a public-house, and calling at other places, that I was quite tired, and very glad, when we saw Yarmouth.
  251. wind
    air moving from high pressure to low pressure
    The evening wind made such a disturbance just now, among some tall old elm-trees at the bottom of the garden, that neither my mother nor Miss Betsey could forbear glancing that way.
  252. bristle
    a stiff hair
    A long room with three long rows of desks, and six of forms, and bristling all round with pegs for hats and slates.
  253. hillock
    a small natural hill
    Ham carrying me on his back and a small box of ours under his arm, and Peggotty carrying another small box of ours, we turned down lanes bestrewn with bits of chips and little hillocks of sand, and went past gas-works, rope-walks, boat-builders' ya
  254. pardon
    accept an excuse for
    'I beg your pardon, ma'am,' faltered my mother.
  255. magnanimous
    noble and generous in spirit
    And as this,' he added, after these magnanimous words, 'is not a fit scene for the boy - David, go to bed!'
  256. tombstone
    a stone that is used to mark a grave
    There is nothing half so green that I know anywhere, as the grass of that churchyard; nothing half so shady as its trees; nothing half so quiet as its tombstones.
  257. angular
    having the shape of intersecting lines or planes
    Once more the little room, with its open corner cupboard, and its square-backed chairs, and its angular little staircase leading to the room above, and its three peacock's feathers displayed over the mantelpiece - I remember wondering when I first
  258. character
    a property that defines the individual nature of something
    (I redeemed that promise afterwards, in characters larger than those in which apartments are usually announced in manuscript, as being to let.)
  259. singing
    the act of singing vocal music
    In time my eyes gradually shut up; and, from seeming to hear the clergyman singing a drowsy song in the heat, I hear nothing, until I fall off the seat with a crash, and am taken out, more dead than alive, by Peggotty.
  260. broach
    bring up a topic for discussion
    It seems to me, at this distance of time, as if it were the next day when Peggotty broached the striking and adventurous proposition I am about to mention; but it was probably about two months afterwards.
  261. tassel
    adornment consisting of a bunch of cords fastened at one end
    I look from Mr. Chillip, in his Sunday neckcloth, to the pulpit; and think what a good place it would be to play in, and what a castle it would make, with another boy coming up the stairs to attack it, and having the velvet cushion with the tassels
  262. severe
    unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment
    I thought you were pleased, once, with my being a little inexperienced and girlish, Edward - I am sure you said so - but you seem to hate me for it now, you are so severe.'
  263. stump
    the base part that remains after a tree has been felled
    CHAPTER 6 I ENLARGE MY CIRCLE OF ACQUAINTANCE I HAD led this life about a month, when the man with the wooden leg began to stump about with a mop and a bucket of water, from which I inferred that preparations were making to receive Mr. Creakle and
  264. jailer
    someone who guards prisoners
    If I could have seen my mother alone, I should have gone down on my knees to her and besought her forgiveness; but I saw no one, Miss Murdstone excepted, during the whole time - except at evening prayers in the parlour; to which I was escorted by Miss Mur
  265. graver
    a tool used by an engraver
    I observed all day that Mr. Murdstone was graver and steadier than the two gentlemen.
  266. bellows
    a mechanical device that blows a strong current of air
    On seeing the master enter, the old woman stopped with the bellows on her knee, and said something that I thought sounded like 'My Charley!' but on seeing me come in too, she got up, and rubbing her hands made a confused sort of half curtsey.
  267. grateful
    feeling or showing thankfulness
    I am glad to recollect that when the carrier's cart was at the gate, and my mother stood there kissing me, a grateful fondness for her and for the old place I had never turned my back upon before, made me cry.
  268. ascertain
    learn or discover with confidence
    I waited, in the utmost impatience, until my mother came home from Mrs. Grayper's (for it was that identical neighbour), to ascertain if we could get leave to carry out this great idea.
  269. exaggerate
    enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
    Half the establishment was writhing and crying, before the day's work began; and how much of it had writhed and cried before the day's work was over, I am really afraid to recollect, lest I should seem to exaggerate.
  270. releasing
    emotionally purging (of e.g. art)
    Releasing one of her arms, she put it down in her pocket to the elbow, and brought out some paper bags of cakes which she crammed into my pockets, and a purse which she put into my hand, but not one word did she say.
  271. magnate
    a very wealthy or powerful businessperson
    An aunt of my father's, and consequently a great-aunt of mine, of whom I shall have more to relate by and by, was the principal magnate of our family.
  272. dutiful
    willingly obedient out of a sense of respect
    A word of encouragement and explanation, of pity for my childish ignorance, of welcome home, of reassurance to me that it was home, might have made me dutiful to him in my heart henceforth, instead of in my hypocritical outside, and might have made
  273. propriety
    correct behavior
    Indeed, I think that most grown men who are remarkable in this respect, may with greater propriety be said not to have lost the faculty, than to have acquired it; the rather, as I generally observe such men to retain a certain freshness, and gentle
  274. inveterate
    habitual
    'In my honeymoon, too, when my most inveterate enemy might relent, one would think, and not envy me a little peace of mind and happiness.
  275. relent
    give in, as to influence or pressure
    'In my honeymoon, too, when my most inveterate enemy might relent, one would think, and not envy me a little peace of mind and happiness.
  276. sallow
    unhealthy looking
    He was a gaunt, sallow young man, with hollow cheeks, and a chin almost as black as Mr. Murdstone's; but there the likeness ended, for his whiskers were shaved off, and his hair, instead of being glossy, was rusty and dry.
  277. embellish
    make more attractive, as by adding ornament or color
    Having uttered which, with great distinctness, she begged the favour of being shown to her room, which became to me from that time forth a place of awe and dread, wherein the two black boxes were never seen open or known to be left unlocked, and where (fo
  278. inheritance
    hereditary succession to a title or an office or property
    On the second branch of the question, I will only remark, that unless I ran through that part of my inheritance while I was still a baby, I have not come into it yet.
  279. furtive
    secret and sly or sordid
    Now I am in the garden at the back, beyond the yard where the empty pigeon-house and dog-kennel are - a very preserve of butterflies, as I remember it, with a high fence, and a gate and padlock; where the fruit clusters on the trees, riper and richer than
  280. desolate
    providing no shelter or sustenance
    To hear the wind getting up out at sea, to know that the fog was creeping over the desolate flat outside, and to look at the fire, and think that there was no house near but this one, and this one a boat, was like enchantment.
  281. performance
    the act of doing something successfully
    I don't know what the tunes were - if there were such things in the performance at all, which I doubt - but the influence of the strain upon me was, first, to make me think of all my sorrows until I could hardly keep my tears back; then to take awa
  282. nutmeg
    East Indian tree widely cultivated in the tropics for its aromatic seed; source of two spices: nutmeg and mace
    I have an impression on my mind which I cannot distinguish from actual remembrance, of the touch of Peggotty's forefinger as she used to hold it out to me, and of its being roughened by needlework, like a pocket nutmeg-grater.
  283. severity
    excessive sternness
    Mr. Chillip was fluttered again, by the extreme severity of my aunt's manner; so he made her a little bow and gave her a little smile, to mollify her.
  284. human being
    any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae characterized by superior intelligence, articulate speech, and erect carriage
    'Do you mean to say, child, that any human being has gone into a Christian church, and got herself named Peggotty?'
  285. thrush
    songbirds characteristically having brownish upper plumage with a spotted breast
    I knew this meant, in our local dialect, like two young thrushes, and received it as a compliment.
  286. exemplary
    worthy of imitation
    These she put down upon the table without a word, glaring at me the while with exemplary firmness, and then retired, locking the door after her.
  287. descry
    catch sight of
    Ham Peggotty, who went to the national school, and was a very dragon at his catechism, and who may therefore be regarded as a credible witness, reported next day, that happening to peep in at the parlour-door an hour after this, he was instantly descri
  288. likeness
    similarity in appearance or nature between persons or things
    I forget whether it was the Blue Bull, or the Blue Boar; but I know it was the Blue Something, and that its likeness was painted up on the back of the coach.
  289. lithe
    moving and bending with ease
    One morning when I went into the parlour with my books, I found my mother looking anxious, Miss Murdstone looking firm, and Mr. Murdstone binding something round the bottom of a cane - a lithe and limber cane, which he left off binding when I came
  290. environ
    extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle
    Of the geese outside the side-gate who come waddling after me with their long necks stretched out when I go that way, I dream at night: as a man environed by wild beasts might dream of lions.
  291. compassion
    a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering
    There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white grave-stone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable
  292. profound
    situated at or extending to great depth
    When she was gone, Mr. Peggotty, who had not exhibited a trace of any feeling but the profoundest sympathy, looked round upon us, and nodding his head with a lively expression of that sentiment still animating his face, said in a whisper: 'She's be
  293. stupefy
    make dull or muddle with drunkenness or infatuation
    I believe I should have been almost stupefied but for one circumstance.
  294. temper
    a characteristic state of feeling
    These evidences of an incompatibility of temper induced Miss Betsey to pay him off, and effect a separation by mutual consent.
  295. submissive
    inclined or willing to give in to orders or wishes of others
    If he shows his face near it, mine assumes an imploring and submissive expression.
  296. reassure
    cause to feel confident
    It was quiet enough to reassure me, but I have no doubt if I had seen a moderately large wave come tumbling in, I should have taken to my heels, with an awful recollection of her drowned relations.
  297. monumental
    of outstanding significance
    I look up at the monumental tablets on the wall, and try to think of Mr. Bodgers late of this parish, and what the feelings of Mrs. Bodgers must have been, when affliction sore, long time Mr. Bodgers bore, and physicians were in vain.
  298. schooling
    the act of teaching at school
    That he knew nothing himself, but the art of slashing, being more ignorant (J. Steerforth said) than the lowest boy in the school; that he had been, a good many years ago, a small hop-dealer in the Borough, and had taken to the schooling business a
  299. abash
    cause to be embarrassed
    It seemed to me a bold thing even to take notice that the passage looked comfortable, as I went on my way, trembling, to Mr. Creakle's presence: which so abashed me, when I was ushered into it, that I hardly saw Mrs. Creakle or Miss Creakle (who we
  300. orphan
    a child who has lost both parents
    You were an orphan, weren't you?'
  301. sinner
    a person who sins (without repenting)
    I look at the sunlight coming in at the open door through the porch, and there I see a stray sheep - I don't mean a sinner, but mutton - half making up his mind to come into the church.
  302. jagged
    having a sharply uneven surface or outline
    She started from my side, and ran along a jagged timber which protruded from the place we stood upon, and overhung the deep water at some height, without the least defence.
  303. consequence
    a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
    I have thought, since, that its assuming that character was a necessary consequence of Mr. Murdstone's firmness, which wouldn't allow him to let anybody off from the utmost weight of the severest penalties he could find any excuse for.
  304. scald
    burn with a hot liquid or steam
    Would you wish me to shave my head and black my face, or disfigure myself with a burn, or a scald, or something of that sort?
  305. inflexible
    resistant to being bent
    How they affected my aunt, nobody knew; for immediately upon the separation, she took her maiden name again, bought a cottage in a hamlet on the sea-coast a long way off, established herself there as a single woman with one servant, and was understood to
  306. enlightenment
    education that results in the spread of knowledge
    I pore over these cheeses without any result or enlightenment until dinner-time, when, having made a Mulatto of myself by getting the dirt of the slate into the pores of my skin, I have a slice of bread to help me out with the cheeses, and am consi
  307. preserve
    keep in safety and protect from harm, loss, or destruction
    Indeed, I think that most grown men who are remarkable in this respect, may with greater propriety be said not to have lost the faculty, than to have acquired it; the rather, as I generally observe such men to retain a certain freshness, and gentleness, a
  308. rub
    move over something with pressure
    On seeing the master enter, the old woman stopped with the bellows on her knee, and said something that I thought sounded like 'My Charley!' but on seeing me come in too, she got up, and rubbing her hands made a confused sort of half curtsey.
  309. simile
    a figure of speech expressing a resemblance between things
    He was but a poor man himself, said Peggotty, but as good as gold and as true as steel - those were her similes.
  310. misfortune
    a state resulting from unfavorable outcomes
    - 'And I hope I should have improved, being very anxious to learn, and he very patient to teach me, if the great misfortune of his death' - my mother broke down again here, and could get no farther.
  311. sensation
    an unelaborated elementary awareness of stimulation
    The way in which I listened to all the incidents of the house that made themselves audible to me; the ringing of bells, the opening and shutting of doors, the murmuring of voices, the footsteps on the stairs; to any laughing, whistling, or singing, outsid
  312. surly
    unfriendly and inclined toward anger or irritation
    Over a door in this wall was a board with SALEM HousE upon it; and through a grating in this door we were surveyed when we rang the bell by a surly face, which I found, on the door being opened, belonged to a stout man with a bull-neck, a wooden le
  313. mite
    small arachnid infesting animals or plants or stored foods
    I am sure my fancy raised up something round that blue-eyed mite of a child, which etherealized, and made a very angel of her.
  314. melancholy
    a constitutional tendency to be gloomy and depressed
    'Quite as comfortable as we can expect a young mother to be, under these melancholy domestic circumstances.
  315. visitation
    officially seeing a place for inspection or supervision
    She was constantly complaining of the cold, and of its occasioning a visitation in her back which she called 'the creeps'.
  316. betray
    deliver to an enemy by treachery
    I was betrayed into it by another.
  317. ramble
    move about aimlessly or without any destination
    I rambled downstairs to find anything that was like itself, so altered it all seemed; and roamed into the yard.
  318. constraint
    the state of being physically limited
    There was a twitch of Miss Betsey's head, after each of these sentences, as if her own old wrongs were working within her, and she repressed any plainer reference to them by strong constraint.
  319. remark
    make or write a comment on
    It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.
  320. scholar
    a learned person
    Though I ain't no scholar.
  321. enhance
    increase
    I was very sensible of my entertainer's goodness, and listened to the women's going to bed in another little crib like mine at the opposite end of the boat, and to him and Ham hanging up two hammocks for themselves on the hooks I had noticed in the roof,
  322. gender
    the biological or cultural traits associated with one sex
    In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the nurse, and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted, first,
  323. arrive
    reach a destination
    Those allied powers were considerably astonished, when they arrived within a few minutes of each other, to find an unknown lady of portentous appearance, sitting before the fire, with her bonnet tied over her left arm, stopping her ears with jewell
  324. imposition
    the act of enforcing something
    I heard that the table beer was a robbery of parents, and the pudding an imposition.
  325. credible
    capable of being believed
    Ham Peggotty, who went to the national school, and was a very dragon at his catechism, and who may therefore be regarded as a credible witness, reported next day, that happening to peep in at the parlour-door an hour after this, he was instantly de
  326. complacency
    the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself
    When we got into the street (which was strange enough to me) and smelt the fish, and pitch, and oakum, and tar, and saw the sailors walking about, and the carts jingling up and down over the stones, I felt that I had done so busy a place an injustice; and
  327. prefer
    like better; value more highly
    Whether sea-going people were short of money about that time, or were short of faith and preferred cork jackets, I don't know; all I know is, that there was but one solitary bidding, and that was from an attorney connected with the bill-broking bus
  328. raiment
    especially fine or decorative clothing
    I must acknowledge that I felt it difficult to picture him quite at his ease in the raiment proposed for him by his grateful little niece, and that I was particularly doubtful of the policy of the cocked hat; but I kept these sentiments to myself.
  329. circumstances
    one's overall condition in life
    'Quite as comfortable as we can expect a young mother to be, under these melancholy domestic circumstances.
  330. wild
    in a natural state; not tamed or domesticated or cultivated
    He went to India with his capital, and there, according to a wild legend in our family, he was once seen riding on an elephant, in company with a Baboon; but I think it must have been a Baboo - or a Begum.
  331. weigh
    have a certain heft
    I never shall forget the waking, next morning; the being cheerful and fresh for the first moment, and then the being weighed down by the stale and dismal oppression of remembrance.
  332. arrange
    put into a proper or systematic order
    How can you go on as if it was all settled and arranged, Peggotty, when I tell you over and over again, you cruel thing, that beyond the commonest civilities nothing has passed!
  333. connect
    fasten or put together two or more pieces
    Whether sea-going people were short of money about that time, or were short of faith and preferred cork jackets, I don't know; all I know is, that there was but one solitary bidding, and that was from an attorney connected with the bill-broking bus
  334. animate
    make lively
    When she was gone, Mr. Peggotty, who had not exhibited a trace of any feeling but the profoundest sympathy, looked round upon us, and nodding his head with a lively expression of that sentiment still animating his face, said in a whisper: 'She's be
  335. funnel
    a conically shaped utensil with a narrow tube at one end
    There was a black barge, or some other kind of superannuated boat, not far off, high and dry on the ground, with an iron funnel sticking out of it for a chimney and smoking very cosily; but nothing else in the way of a habitation that was visible t
  336. boisterous
    full of rough and exuberant animal spirits
    Happily, too, the greater part of the boys came back low-spirited, and were not so boisterous at my expense as I had expected.
  337. steeple
    a tall tower that forms the superstructure of a building
    I have seen Tom Pipes go climbing up the church- steeple; I have watched Strap, with the knapsack on his back, stopping to rest himself upon the wicket-gate; and I know that Commodore Trunnion held that club with Mr. Pickle, in the parlour of our li
  338. servile
    submissive or fawning in attitude or behavior
    What a launch in life I think it now, on looking back, to be so mean and servile to a man of such parts and pretensions!
  339. occurrence
    an instance of something happening
    'I am a lone lorn creetur',' were Mrs. Gummidge's words, when that unpleasant occurrence took place, 'and everythink goes contrary with me.'
  340. affection
    a positive feeling of liking
    There must be no trifling with HER affections, poor dear.
  341. consideration
    the process of giving careful thought to something
    In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the nurse, and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted,
  342. Saracen
    (when used broadly) any Arab
    Miss Betsey, looking round the room, slowly and inquiringly, began on the other side, and carried her eyes on, like a Saracen's Head in a Dutch clock, until they reached my mother.
  343. pluck
    pull lightly but sharply
    She begged him to choose it for himself, but he refused to do that - I could not understand why - so she plucked it for him, and gave it into his hand.
  344. enhanced
    increased or intensified in value or beauty or quality
    I was very sensible of my entertainer's goodness, and listened to the women's going to bed in another little crib like mine at the opposite end of the boat, and to him and Ham hanging up two hammocks for themselves on the hooks I had noticed in the roof,
  345. confirm
    strengthen or make more firm
    This was in part confirmed by his aunt, who saw him at half past twelve o'clock, soon after his release, and affirmed that he was then as red as I was.
  346. consult
    seek information from
    One night when Miss Murdstone had been developing certain household plans to her brother, of which he signified his approbation, my mother suddenly began to cry, and said she thought she might have been consulted.
  347. alligator
    an amphibious reptile related to crocodiles
    We had exhausted the crocodiles, and begun with the alligators, when the garden-bell rang.
  348. switch
    device for making or breaking the connections in a circuit
    One morning when I went into the parlour with my books, I found my mother looking anxious, Miss Murdstone looking firm, and Mr. Murdstone binding something round the bottom of a cane - a lithe and limber cane, which he left off binding when I came in, and
  349. luxuriant
    produced or growing in extreme abundance
    Therefore she did as she was told, and did it with such nervous hands that her hair (which was luxuriant and beautiful) fell all about her face.
  350. chide
    censure severely or angrily
    She gently chid me for being rude; and, keeping me close to her shawl, turned to thank the gentleman for taking so much trouble as to bring her home.
  351. hearty
    showing warm and sincere friendliness
    The toast was received with great applause, and such hearty laughter that it made me laugh too; at which they laughed the more.
  352. confound
    be confusing or perplexing to
    That, marching him constantly up and down by the collar (as if he had been taking too much laudanum), she, at those times, shook him, rumpled his hair, made light of his linen, stopped his ears as if she confounded them with her own, and otherwise
  353. congregation
    the act of assembling
    Again, I see her dark eyes roll round the church when she says 'miserable sinners', as if she were calling all the congregation names.
  354. polite
    showing regard for others in manners, speech, behavior, etc.
    The doctor having been upstairs and come down again, and having satisfied himself, I suppose, that there was a probability of this unknown lady and himself having to sit there, face to face, for some hours, laid himself out to be polite and social.
  355. dogged
    stubbornly unyielding
    The natural result of this treatment, continued, I suppose, for some six months or more, was to make me sullen, dull, and dogged.
  356. curious
    eager to investigate and learn or learn more
    I looked up, quickly; being curious to know.
  357. pause
    cease an action temporarily
    In a short pause which ensued, she had a fancy that she felt Miss Betsey touch her hair, and that with no ungentle hand; but, looking at her, in her timid hope, she found that lady sitting with the skirt of her dress tucked up, her hands folded on
  358. ensue
    issue or terminate in a specified way
    In a short pause which ensued, she had a fancy that she felt Miss Betsey touch her hair, and that with no ungentle hand; but, looking at her, in her timid hope, she found that lady sitting with the skirt of her dress tucked up, her hands folded on
  359. intend
    have in mind as a purpose
    From the moment of this girl's birth, child, I intend to be her friend.
  360. interval
    the distance between things
    There was an interval of silence, only broken by Miss Betsey's occasionally ejaculating 'Ha!' as she sat with her feet upon the fender.
  361. resolve
    find a solution or answer
    MY mother drew my right hand forward, but I was resolved, for my former reason, not to give it him, and I did not.
  362. sumptuous
    rich and superior in quality
    By and by, when we had dined in a sumptuous manner off boiled dabs, melted butter, and potatoes, with a chop for me, a hairy man with a very good-natured face came home.
  363. flutter
    flap the wings rapidly or fly with flapping movements
    Mr. Chillip was fluttered again, by the extreme severity of my aunt's manner; so he made her a little bow and gave her a little smile, to mollify her.
  364. recompense
    make payment to
    For my part, I could have gone through a good deal (though I was much less brave than Traddles, and nothing like so old) to have won such a recompense.
  365. fairy tale
    a story about fairies; told to amuse children
    I sat looking at Peggotty for some time, in a reverie on this supposititious case: whether, if she were employed to lose me like the boy in the fairy tale, I should be able to track my way home again by the buttons she would shed.
  366. repute
    the state of being held in high esteem and honor
    Before this boy, who was reputed to be a great scholar, and was very good-looking, and at least half-a-dozen years my senior, I was carried as before a magistrate.
  367. anxious
    causing or fraught with or showing anxiety
    - 'And I hope I should have improved, being very anxious to learn, and he very patient to teach me, if the great misfortune of his death' - my mother broke down again here, and could get no farther.
  368. stare
    look at with fixed eyes
    But I can't always look at him - I know him without that white thing on, and I am afraid of his wondering why I stare so, and perhaps stopping the service to inquire - and what am I to do?
  369. cue
    a reminder for some action or speech
    But the greatest effect in these miserable lessons is when my mother (thinking nobody is observing her) tries to give me the cue by the motion of her lips.
  370. establishment
    the act of forming something
    Mrs. Gummidge's was rather a fretful disposition, and she whimpered more sometimes than was comfortable for other parties in so small an establishment.
  371. rousing
    capable of stirring enthusiasm or excitement
    'How's the pie?' he said, rousing himself.
  372. convey
    transmit or serve as the medium for transmission
    My mother was so much worse that Peggotty, coming in with the teaboard and candles, and seeing at a glance how ill she was, - as Miss Betsey might have done sooner if there had been light enough, - conveyed her upstairs to her own room with all spe
  373. unaccountable
    not to be explained
    I forgot to mention that he would talk to himself sometimes, and grin, and clench his fist, and grind his teeth, and pull his hair in an unaccountable manner.
  374. dexterity
    adroitness in using the hands
    I thanked him, and took my seat at the board; but found it extremely difficult to handle my knife and fork with anything like dexterity, or to avoid splashing myself with the gravy, while he was standing opposite, staring so hard, and making me blu
  375. loft
    a large unpartitioned space over a commercial space
    Ham carrying me on his back and a small box of ours under his arm, and Peggotty carrying another small box of ours, we turned down lanes bestrewn with bits of chips and little hillocks of sand, and went past gas-works, rope-walks, boat-builders' yards, sh
  376. swarm
    a group of many things in the air or on the ground
    As to any recreation with other children of my age, I had very little of that; for the gloomy theology of the Murdstones made all children out to be a swarm of little vipers (though there WAS a child once set in the midst of the Disciples), and hel
  377. ultimately
    as the end result of a succession or process
    I was thinking this, and wondering what would ultimately become of my box, which Mr. Barkis had put down on the yard-pavement by the pole (he having driven up the yard to turn his cart), and also what would ultimately become of me, when a lady look
  378. instant
    a very short time
    Can I say of her face - altered as I have reason to remember it, perished as I know it is - that it is gone, when here it comes before me at this instant, as distinct as any face that I may choose to look on in a crowded street?
  379. repose
    freedom from activity
    As the elms bent to one another, like giants who were whispering secrets, and after a few seconds of such repose, fell into a violent flurry, tossing their wild arms about, as if their late confidences were really too wicked for their peace of mind
  380. glaze
    a coating, as for ceramics or metal
    On the walls there were some common coloured pictures, framed and glazed, of scripture subjects; such as I have never seen since in the hands of pedlars, without seeing the whole interior of Peggotty's brother's house again, at one view.
  381. chimney
    vertical flue carrying smoke through the wall of a building
    There was a black barge, or some other kind of superannuated boat, not far off, high and dry on the ground, with an iron funnel sticking out of it for a chimney and smoking very cosily; but nothing else in the way of a habitation that was visible t
  382. relax
    make less taut
    Peggotty always went to sleep with her chin upon the handle of the basket, her hold of which never relaxed; and I could not have believed unless I had heard her do it, that one defenceless woman could have snored so much.
  383. havoc
    violent and needless disturbance
    She began to 'help' my mother next morning, and was in and out of the store-closet all day, putting things to rights, and making havoc in the old arrangements.
  384. glossy
    reflecting light
    He was a gaunt, sallow young man, with hollow cheeks, and a chin almost as black as Mr. Murdstone's; but there the likeness ended, for his whiskers were shaved off, and his hair, instead of being glossy, was rusty and dry.
  385. conveyance
    something that serves as a means of transportation
    Peggotty had a basket of refreshments on her knee, which would have lasted us out handsomely, if we had been going to London by the same conveyance.
  386. abject
    of the most contemptible kind
    Miserable little propitiators of a remorseless Idol, how abject we were to him!
  387. stupendous
    so great in size, force, or extent as to elicit awe
    He was in authority; and if he ever saw me leaning against a tree, or a wall, or the house, he roared out from his lodge door in a stupendous voice, 'Hallo, you sir!
  388. surveying
    the practice of measuring angles and distances on the ground so that they can be accurately plotted on a map
    A profound impression was made upon me, I remember, by the roar of voices in the schoolroom suddenly becoming hushed as death when Mr. Creakle entered after breakfast, and stood in the doorway looking round upon us like a giant in a story-book surveyin
  389. seldom
    not often
    Miss Trotwood, or Miss Betsey, as my poor mother always called her, when she sufficiently overcame her dread of this formidable personage to mention her at all (which was seldom), had been married to a husband younger than herself, who was very han
  390. treasure
    any possession that is highly valued by its owner
    Is it to be hinted to me that I am wanting in affection for my precious treasure, the dearest little fellow that ever was!'
  391. laboured
    requiring or showing effort
    The difficulties under which they had laboured all night, and which had found utterance in the most terrific gasps and snorts, are not to be conceived.
  392. chuckle
    a soft partly suppressed laugh
    I fancied, indeed, that he sometimes chuckled audibly over this reflection, but the carrier said he was only troubled with a cough.
  393. giddy
    lacking seriousness; given to frivolity
    These thoughts, and a hundred other such thoughts, turned me burning hot, and made me giddy with apprehension and dismay.
  394. bold
    fearless and daring
    The light, bold, fluttering little figure turned and came back safe to me, and I soon laughed at my fears, and at the cry I had uttered; fruitlessly in any case, for there was no one near.
  395. harsh
    disagreeable to the senses
    'Jane Murdstone,' said Mr. Murdstone to his sister, 'any harsh words between us are, I hope, uncommon.
  396. introduce
    bring something new to an environment
    As he called Peggotty 'Lass', and gave her a hearty smack on the cheek, I had no doubt, from the general propriety of her conduct, that he was her brother; and so he turned out - being presently introduced to me as Mr. Peggotty, the master of the h
  397. exertion
    use of physical or mental energy; hard work
    I know it was a good squeeze, because, being very plump, whenever she made any little exertion after she was dressed, some of the buttons on the back of her gown flew off.
  398. disinterested
    unaffected by concern for one's own welfare
    I am sure when I think of the fellow now, my blood rises against him with the disinterested indignation I should feel if I could have known all about him without having ever been in his power; but it rises hotly, because I know him to have been an
  399. barter
    exchange goods without involving money
    I heard that one boy, who was a coal-merchant's son, came as a set-off against the coal-bill, and was called, on that account, 'Exchange or Barter' - a name selected from the arithmetic book as expressing this arrangement.
  400. object
    a tangible and visible entity
    - 'And I am sure we never had a word of difference respecting it, except when Mr. Copperfield objected to my threes and fives being too much like each other, or to my putting curly tails to my sevens and nines,' resumed my mother in another burst,
  401. persuade
    cause somebody to adopt a certain position or belief
    They had persuaded her that I was a wicked fellow, and she was more sorry for that than for my going away.
  402. subdue
    put down by force or intimidation
    So my mother suspected, at least, as she observed her by the low glimmer of the fire: too much scared by Miss Betsey, too uneasy in herself, and too subdued and bewildered altogether, to observe anything very clearly, or to know what to say.
  403. communicating
    the activity of conveying information
    Then Peggotty fitted her mouth close to the keyhole, and delivered these words through it with as much feeling and earnestness as a keyhole has ever been the medium of communicating, I will venture to assert: shooting in each broken little sentence
  404. calculate
    make a mathematical computation
    It was really calculated to break his spirit, he said afterwards.
  405. latent
    potentially existing but not presently evident or realized
    I slept soundly until we got to Yarmouth; which was so entirely new and strange to me in the inn-yard to which we drove, that I at once abandoned a latent hope I had had of meeting with some of Mr. Peggotty's family there, perhaps even with little
  406. tributary
    a branch that flows into the main stream
    She might be firm, but only by relationship, and in an inferior and tributary degree.
  407. morsel
    a small amount of solid food; a mouthful
    'Then there's the sea; and the boats and ships; and the fishermen; and the beach; and Am to play with -' Peggotty meant her nephew Ham, mentioned in my first chapter; but she spoke of him as a morsel of English Grammar.
  408. transmission
    communication by means of sent signals
    That's the message,' I readily undertook its transmission.
  409. alphabet
    a character set of letters and is used to write a language
    I can faintly remember learning the alphabet at her knee.
  410. distress
    a state of adversity
    -'I kept my housekeeping-book regularly, and balanced it with Mr. Copperfield every night,' cried my mother in another burst of distress, and breaking down again.
  411. captive
    a person who is confined; especially a prisoner of war
    Again, the dreaded Sunday comes round, and I file into the old pew first, like a guarded captive brought to a condemned service.
  412. pall
    burial garment in which a corpse is wrapped
    Again, Miss Murdstone, in a black velvet gown, that looks as if it had been made out of a pall, follows close upon me; then my mother; then her husband.
  413. sight
    the ability to see; the visual faculty
    I believe I can remember these two at a little distance apart, dwarfed to my sight by stooping down or kneeling on the floor, and I going unsteadily from the one to the other.
  414. formidable
    extremely impressive in strength or excellence
    Miss Trotwood, or Miss Betsey, as my poor mother always called her, when she sufficiently overcame her dread of this formidable personage to mention her at all (which was seldom), had been married to a husband younger than herself, who was very han
  415. emphatic
    spoken with particular stress
    No!' - I thought Peggotty would have thrown the candlestick away, she was so emphatic with it.
  416. spruce
    any coniferous tree of the genus Picea
    So I was sent upstairs to Peggotty to be made spruce; and in the meantime Mr. Murdstone dismounted, and, with his horse's bridle drawn over his arm, walked slowly up and down on the outer side of the sweetbriar fence, while my mother walked slowly
  417. quail
    small gallinaceous game birds
    She only shook her own head at him, but in a way that made him quail.
  418. arrogant
    having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance
    However I might have expressed my comprehension of it at that time, if I had been called upon, I nevertheless did clearly comprehend in my own way, that it was another name for tyranny; and for a certain gloomy, arrogant, devil's humour, that was i
  419. assist
    give help; be of service
    I am very much obliged to anybody who assists me, and I only want to be consulted as a mere form, sometimes.
  420. influence
    a power to affect persons or events
    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
  421. bankrupt
    financially ruined
    That he knew nothing himself, but the art of slashing, being more ignorant (J. Steerforth said) than the lowest boy in the school; that he had been, a good many years ago, a small hop-dealer in the Borough, and had taken to the schooling business after be
  422. chilly
    appreciably or disagreeably cold
    The night was not so pleasant as the evening, for it got chilly; and being put between two gentlemen (the rough-faced one and another) to prevent my tumbling off the coach, I was nearly smothered by their falling asleep, and completely blocking me
  423. emphasize
    stress or single out as important
    Again, I listen to Miss Murdstone mumbling the responses, and emphasizing all the dread words with a cruel relish.
  424. escort
    accompany
    If I could have seen my mother alone, I should have gone down on my knees to her and besought her forgiveness; but I saw no one, Miss Murdstone excepted, during the whole time - except at evening prayers in the parlour; to which I was escorted by M
  425. warn
    notify of danger, potential harm, or risk
    At that instant, Miss Murdstone, who has been lying in wait for nothing else all along, says in a deep warning voice: 'Clara!'
  426. comprehend
    get the meaning of something
    There has been a time since when I have wondered whether, if the life before her could have been revealed to me at a glance, and so revealed as that a child could fully comprehend it, and if her preservation could have depended on a motion of my ha
  427. borough
    an English town
    That he knew nothing himself, but the art of slashing, being more ignorant (J. Steerforth said) than the lowest boy in the school; that he had been, a good many years ago, a small hop-dealer in the Borough, and had taken to the schooling business a
  428. prospect
    the possibility of future success
    'Well?' said Miss Betsey, coming back to her chair, as if she had only been taking a casual look at the prospect; 'and when do you expect -' 'I am all in a tremble,' faltered my mother.
  429. affront
    a deliberately offensive act
    My father had once been a favourite of hers, I believe; but she was mortally affronted by his marriage, on the ground that my mother was 'a wax doll'.
  430. badge
    an emblem that signifies your status
    Show that badge conspicuous, or I'll report you!'
  431. labour
    productive work (especially physical work done for wages)
    Even when I did get through the morning with tolerable credit, there was not much gained but dinner; for Miss Murdstone never could endure to see me untasked, and if I rashly made any show of being unemployed, called her brother's attention to me by sayin
  432. entail
    have as a logical consequence
    That would obviously be inconvenient and unpleasant to the customers, besides entailing on the Blue Whatever-it-was, the risk of funeral expenses.
  433. austere
    of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor
    The gloomy taint that was in the Murdstone blood, darkened the Murdstone religion, which was austere and wrathful.
  434. monotony
    constancy of tone or pitch or inflection
    In the monotony of my life, and in my constant apprehension of the re-opening of the school, it was such an insupportable affliction!
  435. devise
    arrange by systematic planning and united effort
    Supposing there was no mistake in the case, and Mr. Murdstone had devised this plan to get rid of me, what should I do?
  436. work of art
    art that is a product of one of the fine arts
    Over the little mantelshelf, was a picture of the 'Sarah Jane' lugger, built at Sunderland, with a real little wooden stern stuck on to it; a work of art, combining composition with carpentry, which I considered to be one of the most enviable posse
  437. misty
    filled or abounding with fog
    After tea, when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights being cold and misty now), it seemed to me the most delicious retreat that the imagination of man could conceive.
  438. signified
    the meaning of a word or expression
    One night when Miss Murdstone had been developing certain household plans to her brother, of which he signified his approbation, my mother suddenly began to cry, and said she thought she might have been consulted.
  439. premature
    too soon or too hasty
    This may be premature.
  440. acknowledged
    recognized or made known or admitted
    We all acknowledged that we felt this something of a disappointment; but Mrs. Gummidge said she felt it more than we did, and shed tears again, and made that former declaration with great bitterness.
  441. boar
    an uncastrated male hog
    I forget whether it was the Blue Bull, or the Blue Boar; but I know it was the Blue Something, and that its likeness was painted up on the back of the coach.
  442. mandate
    a document giving an official instruction or command
    Having issued this mandate with as much potentiality as if she had been a recognized authority in the house ever since it had been a house, and having looked out to confront the amazed Peggotty coming along the passage with a candle at the sound of
  443. ripple
    a small wave on the surface of a liquid
    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 somethin
  444. pierce
    penetrate or cut through with a sharp instrument
    I bore up against the separation from Mr. Peggotty and Mrs. Gummidge, but my agony of mind at leaving little Em'ly was piercing.
  445. evidence
    knowledge on which to base belief
    These evidences of an incompatibility of temper induced Miss Betsey to pay him off, and effect a separation by mutual consent.
  446. quench
    satisfy, as thirst
    The way in which I listened to all the incidents of the house that made themselves audible to me; the ringing of bells, the opening and shutting of doors, the murmuring of voices, the footsteps on the stairs; to any laughing, whistling, or singing, outsid
  447. prophetic
    foretelling events as if by supernatural intervention
    My mother was sitting by the fire, but poorly in health, and very low in spirits, looking at it through her tears, and desponding heavily about herself and the fatherless little stranger, who was already welcomed by some grosses of prophetic pins,
  448. timber
    the wood of trees prepared for use as building material
    However, we returned to those monsters, with fresh wakefulness on my part, and we left their eggs in the sand for the sun to hatch; and we ran away from them, and baffled them by constantly turning, which they were unable to do quickly, on account of thei
  449. taint
    place under suspicion or cast doubt upon
    The gloomy taint that was in the Murdstone blood, darkened the Murdstone religion, which was austere and wrathful.
  450. reverie
    an abstracted state of absorption
    I sat looking at Peggotty for some time, in a reverie on this supposititious case: whether, if she were employed to lose me like the boy in the fairy tale, I should be able to track my way home again by the buttons she would shed.
  451. modest
    marked by simplicity; having a humble opinion of yourself
    He carried his head on one side, partly in modest depreciation of himself, partly in modest propitiation of everybody else.
  452. disconcert
    cause to lose one's composure
    It was a little disconcerting to me, to find, when I was being helped up behind the coach, that I was supposed to have eaten all the dinner without any assistance.
  453. presumption
    a premise that is taken for granted
    I have understood that it was, to the last, her proudest boast, that she never had been on the water in her life, except upon a bridge; and that over her tea (to which she was extremely partial) she, to the last, expressed her indignation at the impiety o
  454. effect
    a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
    The caul was won, I recollect, by an old lady with a hand-basket, who, very reluctantly, produced from it the stipulated five shillings, all in halfpence, and twopence halfpenny short - as it took an immense time and a great waste of arithmetic, to endeav
  455. concur
    happen simultaneously
    Peggotty gave it as her opinion that she even slept with one eye open; but I could not concur in this idea; for I tried it myself after hearing the suggestion thrown out, and found it couldn't be done.
  456. memory
    the cognitive process whereby past experience is remembered
    This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I believe the power of observation in numbers of very young children to be quite wonderful for its closeness and accurac
  457. commodore
    a commissioned naval officer who ranks above a captain and below a rear admiral; the lowest grade of admiral
    I have seen Tom Pipes go climbing up the church-steeple; I have watched Strap, with the knapsack on his back, stopping to rest himself upon the wicket-gate; and I know that Commodore Trunnion held that club with Mr. Pickle, in the parlour of our li
  458. sting
    deliver a sudden pain to
    Here I sit at the desk again, watching his eye - humbly watching his eye, as he rules a ciphering-book for another victim whose hands have just been flattened by that identical ruler, and who is trying to wipe the sting out with a pocket-handkerchi
  459. stock
    a supply of something available for future use
    I really thought she was, she had been so short with me; but I was quite mistaken: for she laid aside her work (which was a stocking of her own), and opening her arms wide, took my curly head within them, and gave it a good squeeze.
  460. twinkling
    shining intermittently with a sparkling light
    He was a twinkling-eyed, pimple-faced man, with his hair standing upright all over his head; and as he stood with one arm a-kimbo, holding up the glass to the light with the other hand, he looked quite friendly.
  461. glaring
    shining intensely
    These she put down upon the table without a word, glaring at me the while with exemplary firmness, and then retired, locking the door after her.
  462. tread
    put down or press the foot, place the foot
    I remarked that, once or twice when Mr. Quinion was talking, he looked at Mr. Murdstone sideways, as if to make sure of his not being displeased; and that once when Mr. Passnidge (the other gentleman) was in high spirits, he trod upon his foot, and
  463. relieved
    made easier to bear
    I was quite relieved to find that it was only Brooks of Sheffield; for, at first, I really thought it was I. There seemed to be something very comical in the reputation of Mr. Brooks of Sheffield, for both the gentlemen laughed heartily when he was
  464. minute
    a unit of time equal to 60 seconds or 1/60th of an hour
    Those allied powers were considerably astonished, when they arrived within a few minutes of each other, to find an unknown lady of portentous appearance, sitting before the fire, with her bonnet tied over her left arm, stopping her ears with jewell
  465. parish
    a local church community
    I look up at the monumental tablets on the wall, and try to think of Mr. Bodgers late of this parish, and what the feelings of Mrs. Bodgers must have been, when affliction sore, long time Mr. Bodgers bore, and physicians were in vain.
  466. compliance
    the act of submitting, usually surrendering power to another
    MY mother was too much afraid of her to refuse compliance with this odd request, if she had any disposition to do so.
  467. lively
    full of life and energy
    In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the nurse, and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted,
  468. imply
    express or state indirectly
    And she had a disagreeable consciousness of not appearing to imply that it had been an overpowering pleasure.
  469. passage
    the act of moving from one state or place to the next
    They went into the parlour my mother had come from, the fire in the best room on the other side of the passage not being lighted - not having been lighted, indeed, since my father's funeral; and when they were both seated, and Miss Betsey said noth
  470. opportunity
    a possibility from a favorable combination of circumstances
    I took the opportunity of asking if she was at all acquainted with Mr. Brooks of Sheffield, but she answered No, only she supposed he must be a manufacturer in the knife and fork way.
  471. audible
    heard or perceptible by the ear
    The way in which I listened to all the incidents of the house that made themselves audible to me; the ringing of bells, the opening and shutting of doors, the murmuring of voices, the footsteps on the stairs; to any laughing, whistling, or singing,
  472. confess
    admit to a wrongdoing
    I told Em'ly I adored her, and that unless she confessed she adored me I should be reduced to the necessity of killing myself with a sword.
  473. release
    grant freedom to; free from confinement
    This was in part confirmed by his aunt, who saw him at half past twelve o'clock, soon after his release, and affirmed that he was then as red as I was.
  474. reliance
    the state of depending on something
    If I had any doubt of him, I suppose this half awakened it; but I am inclined to believe that with the simple confidence of a child, and the natural reliance of a child upon superior years (qualities I am very sorry any children should prematurely
  475. rude
    belonging to an early stage of technical development
    He might have offered him one gently, or half a one, or a fragment of one; for he spoke as slowly as he walked; but he wouldn't have been rude to him, and he couldn't have been quick with him, for any earthly consideration.
  476. examine
    observe, check out, and look over carefully or inspect
    I recollect Peggotty and I peeping out at them from my little window; I recollect how closely they seemed to be examining the sweetbriar between them, as they strolled along; and how, from being in a perfectly angelic temper, Peggotty turned cross
  477. malicious
    having the nature of threatening evil
    I heard that with the single exception of Mr. Creakle, Tungay considered the whole establishment, masters and boys, as his natural enemies, and that the only delight of his life was to be sour and malicious.
  478. incline
    lower or bend, as in a nod or bow
    If I had any doubt of him, I suppose this half awakened it; but I am inclined to believe that with the simple confidence of a child, and the natural reliance of a child upon superior years (qualities I am very sorry any children should prematurely
  479. present
    temporal sense
    But I do not at all complain of having been kept out of this property; and if anybody else should be in the present enjoyment of it, he is heartily welcome to keep it.
  480. hamlet
    a community of people smaller than a village
    How they affected my aunt, nobody knew; for immediately upon the separation, she took her maiden name again, bought a cottage in a hamlet on the sea-coast a long way off, established herself there as a single woman with one servant, and was underst
  481. shady
    sheltered from the sun's rays
    There is nothing half so green that I know anywhere, as the grass of that churchyard; nothing half so shady as its trees; nothing half so quiet as its tombstones.
  482. console
    give moral or emotional strength to
    It is curious to me how I could ever have consoled myself under my small troubles (which were great troubles to me), by impersonating my favourite characters in them - as I did - and by putting Mr. and Miss Murdstone into all the bad ones - which I
  483. denote
    have as a meaning
    Peggotty, who was also looking back on the other side, seemed anything but satisfied; as the face she brought back in the cart denoted.
  484. recreation
    an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates
    As to any recreation with other children of my age, I had very little of that; for the gloomy theology of the Murdstones made all children out to be a swarm of little vipers (though there WAS a child once set in the midst of the Disciples), and hel
  485. reconcile
    come to terms
    How can you reconcile it to your conscience, I wonder, to prejudice my own boy against me, or against anybody who is dear to me?
  486. comprehension
    an ability to understand the meaning of something
    However I might have expressed my comprehension of it at that time, if I had been called upon, I nevertheless did clearly comprehend in my own way, that it was another name for tyranny; and for a certain gloomy, arrogant, devil's humour, that was i
  487. gaunt
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    He was a gaunt, sallow young man, with hollow cheeks, and a chin almost as black as Mr. Murdstone's; but there the likeness ended, for his whiskers were shaved off, and his hair, instead of being glossy, was rusty and dry.
  488. anticipate
    regard something as probable or likely
    This was naturally confusing, among so many strangers, and cost me some tears, but on the whole it was much better than I had anticipated.

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