#36. David Copperfield

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"So you have left Mr. Dick behind, aunt?" said I. "I am sorry for that. Ah, Janet, how do you do?"

As Janet curtsied, hoping I was well, I observed my aunt's visage lengthen very much.

"I am sorry for it, too," said my aunt, rubbing her nose. "I have had no peace of mind, Trot, since I have been here."

Before I could ask why, she told me.

"I am convinced," said my aunt, laying her hand with melancholy firmness on the table, "that Dick's character is not a character to keep the donkeys off. I am confident he wants strength of purpose. I ought to have left Janet at home, instead, and then my mind might perhaps have been at ease. If ever there was a donkey trespassing on my green," said my aunt, with emphasis, "there was one this afternoon at four o'clock. A cold feeling came over me from head to foot, and I know it was a donkey!"

Author: Charles Dickens

Synopsis: David narrates his life story from his early suffering at the hands of a severe stepfather through going off to school, taking refuge with his aunt, learning his trade, making many friends, and falling twice in love.

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This is another book that I've read only once cover-to-cover; yet it has remained my second-favorite of Dickens' work. When I picked it up the other day to go quote-hunting, I found myself reading long stretches that I had forgotten or vaguely remembered, and hunting for others that I remembered loving the first time. It would take another trip through to reacquaint myself with some of the characters and side stories, but as time goes on I am sure I will pick it up for another full read.

Maybe I like the story because David is such a slow-moving, introspective character, more inclined to daydreaming and thinking through past events than to raw achievement. He's a lot like me. God made us cloud-headed snail-wits for one distinctive purpose, as far as I can tell: turning our extensive thought-processing into polished words. Hopefully those words prove useful for the encouragement or assistance or at least entertainment of others.

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