I 0 AM BORN Whether
I 0 shall turn out to be
, or whether that station will be held by
the hero of
own life 53
anybody else 1 , these pages must show .
my 0 life with the beginning of
my 0 life ,
I 0 record that
I 0 was born ( as
I 0 have been informed and believe ) on a Friday , at twelve o’clock at night .
It was remarked that the clock began to strike , and
I 0 began to cry , simultaneously .
In consideration of the day and hour of
my 0 birth , it was declared by
the nurse 2 , and by
, first , that
some sage women in
the neighbourhood 4
who had taken a lively interest in
several months before there was any possibility of
becoming personally acquainted 3
I 0 was destined to be unlucky in life ; and secondly , that
I 0 was privileged to see ghosts and spirits ; both these gifts inevitably attaching , as
they 3 believed , to
all unlucky infants of either gender , born towards the small hours on a Friday night 6 .
I 0 need say nothing here , on the first head , because nothing can show better than
my 0 history whether that prediction was verified or falsified by the result .
On the second branch of the question ,
I 0 will only remark , that unless
I 0 ran through that part of
my 0 inheritance while
I 0 was still
a baby 54 ,
I 0 have not come into it yet .
I 0 do not at all complain of having been kept out of
this property 7 ; and if
anybody else 8 should be in the present enjoyment of
it 7 ,
he 8 is heartily welcome to keep
it 7 .
I 0 was born with a caul , which was advertised for sale , in the newspapers , at the low price of fifteen guineas .
sea-going people 9 were short of money about that time , or were short of faith and preferred cork jackets ,
I 0 do n’t know ; all
I 0 know is , that there was but one solitary bidding , and that was from
an attorney connected with the bill-broking business 10 , who offered two pounds in cash , and the balance in sherry , but declined to be guaranteed from drowning on any higher bargain .
Consequently the advertisement was withdrawn at a dead loss -- for as to sherry , ’s own sherry was in the market then -- and ten years afterwards , the caul was put up in a raffle down in
, to fifty members at half-a-crown a head ,
the country 14 12
the winner 15 to spend five shillings .
I 0 was present
myself 0 , and
I 0 remember to have felt quite uncomfortable and confused , at a part of
myself 0 being disposed of in that way .
The caul was won ,
I 0 recollect , by
an old lady with a hand-basket 16 , 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 endeavour without any effect to prove to
her 16 .
It is a fact which will be long remembered as remarkable down there , that
she 16 was never drowned , but died triumphantly in bed , at ninety-two .
I 0 have understood that it was , to the last ,
her 16 proudest boast , that
she 16 never had been on
the water 17 in
her 16 life , except upon
a bridge 18 ; and that over
her 16 tea ( to which
she 16 was extremely partial )
she 16 , to the last , expressed
her 16 indignation at the impiety of
mariners 19 and
others , who had the presumption to go ‘ meandering ’ about
the world 21 20
It was in vain to represent to
her 16 that some conveniences , tea perhaps included , resulted from this objectionable practice .
She 16 always returned , with greater emphasis and with an instinctive knowledge of the strength of
her 16 objection , ‘ Let
us 22 have no meandering . ’
Not to meander
myself 0 , at present ,
I 0 will go back to
my 0 birth .
I 0 was born at
Blunderstone 23 , in
Suffolk 24 , or ‘ there by ’ , as
they 25 say in
Scotland 26 .
I 0 was
a posthumous child 55 .
’s eyes had closed upon the light of
this world 21 six months , when mine opened on
it 21 .
There is something strange to
me 0 , even now , in the reflection that
he 27 never saw
me 0 ; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that
I 0 have of
my 0 first childish associations with
his 27 white grave-stone in
the churchyard 28 , and of the indefinable compassion
I 0 used to feel for it lying out alone there in the dark night , when was warm and bright with fire and candle , and the doors of were -- almost cruelly , it seemed to
me 0 sometimes -- bolted and locked against it .
, and consequently
a great-aunt of mine 32 , of whom
I 0 shall have more to relate by and by , was
the principal magnate of 59
Miss Trotwood 32 , or
Miss Betsey 32 , as always called
her 32 , when
she 35 sufficiently overcame
her 32 dread of
this formidable personage 32 to mention
her 32 at all ( which was seldom ) , had been married to
, who was very handsome , except in the sense of the homely adage , ‘ handsome is , that handsome does ’ -- for
a husband younger than
herself 32 36
he 36 was strongly suspected of having beaten
Miss Betsey 32 , and even of having once , on a disputed question of supplies , made some hasty but determined arrangements to throw
her 32 out of a two pair of
stairs 37 ’ window .
These evidences of an incompatibility of temper induced
Miss Betsey 32 to pay
him 36 off , and effect a separation by mutual consent .
He 36 went to
India 38 with
his 36 capital , and
there 38 , according to a wild legend in ,
he 36 was once seen riding on an elephant , in company with a Baboon ; but
I 0 think it must have been a Baboo -- or a Begum .
Anyhow , from
India 38 tidings of
his 36 death reached
home 39 , within ten years .
How they affected ,
nobody 40 knew ; for immediately upon the separation ,
she 32 took
her 32 maiden name again , bought
a cottage in
a hamlet on
the sea-coast a long way off 43 42
there 41 as
, and was understood to live secluded , ever afterwards , in an inflexible retirement .
a single woman with
one servant 44 56
had once been
a favourite of hers 57 ,
I 0 believe ; but
she 32 was mortally affronted by
his 27 marriage , on the ground that was
‘ a wax doll ’ 58 .
She 32 had never seen , but
she 32 knew
her 35 to be not yet twenty .
Miss Betsey 32 never met again .
He 27 was double ’s age when
he 27 married , and of but a delicate constitution .
He 27 died a year afterwards , and , as
I 0 have said , six months before
I 0 came into
the world 21 .
This was the state of matters , on the afternoon of , what
I 0 may be excused for calling , that eventful and important Friday .
I 0 can make no claim therefore to have known , at that time , how matters stood ; or to have any remembrance , founded on the evidence of
my 0 own senses , of what follows .
was sitting by the fire , but poorly in health , and very low in spirits , looking at it through
her 35 tears , and desponding heavily about
herself 35 and
the fatherless little stranger , who was already welcomed by some grosses of prophetic pins , in a drawer
, to a world not at all excited on the subject of
I 0 say , was sitting by the fire , that bright , windy March afternoon , very timid and sad , and very doubtful of ever coming alive out of the trial that was before
her 35 , when , lifting
her 35 eyes as
she 35 dried them , to the window opposite ,
she 35 saw
a strange lady coming up
the garden 46 32
had a sure foreboding at the second glance , that it was
Miss Betsey 32 .
The setting sun was glowing on
the strange lady 32 , over the garden-fence , and
she 32 came walking up to the door with a fell rigidity of figure and composure of countenance that could have belonged to
nobody 47 else .
she 32 reached
the house 31 ,
she 32 gave another proof of
her 32 identity .
had often hinted that
she 32 seldom conducted
herself 32 like
any ordinary Christian 48 ; and now , instead of ringing the bell ,
she 32 came and looked in at that identical window , pressing the end of
her 32 nose against the glass to that extent , that used to say it became perfectly flat and white in a moment .
She 32 gave such a turn , that
I 0 have always been convinced
I 0 am indebted to
Miss Betsey 32 for having been born on a Friday .
her 35 chair in
her 35 agitation , and gone behind it in the corner .
Miss Betsey 32 , looking round
the room 49 , slowly and inquiringly , began on the other side , and carried
her 32 eyes on , like a Saracen ’s Head in a Dutch clock , until they reached .
she 32 made a frown and a gesture to , like one who was accustomed to be obeyed , to come and open the door .
Mrs. David Copperfield 35 ,
I 32 think , ’ said
Miss Betsey 32 ; the emphasis referring , perhaps , to ’s mourning weeds , and
her 35 condition .
‘ Yes , ’ said , faintly .
Miss Trotwood 32 , ’ said
the visitor 32 .
You 35 have heard of
her 32 ,
I 32 dare say ? ’
she 35 had had that pleasure .
she 35 had a disagreeable consciousness of not appearing to imply that it had been an overpowering pleasure .
you 35 see
her 32 , ’ said
Miss Betsey 32 .
her 35 head , and begged
her 32 to walk in .
They 50 went into
, the fire in
had come from 29
not being lighted -- not having been lighted , indeed , since ’s funeral ; and when
the best room on the other side of
the passage 52 51
they 50 were both seated , and
Miss Betsey 32 said nothing , , after vainly trying to restrain
herself 35 , began to cry .
‘ Oh tut , tut , tut ! ’
Miss Betsey 32 , in a hurry .
‘ Do n’t do that !
Come , come ! ’
could n’t help it notwithstanding , so
she 35 cried until
she 35 had had
her 35 cry out .
‘ Take off
your 35 cap ,
child 35 , ’ said
Miss Betsey 32 , ‘ and let
me 32 see
you 35 . ’
was too much afraid of
her 32 to refuse compliance with this odd request , if
she 35 had any disposition to do so .
she 35 did as
she 35 was told , and did it with such nervous hands that
her 35 hair ( which was luxuriant and beautiful ) fell all about
her 35 face .