But these solemn lessons which succeeded those, I remember as the death-blow of my peace, and a grievous daily drudgery and misery.
He was very honourable, Traddles was, and held it as a solemn duty in the boys to stand by one another.
They each took one of Peggotty’s trunks, and we were going away, when Mr. Barkis solemnly made a sign to me with his forefinger to come under an archway.
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.
I saw him wink, solemnly, at his sister, as he rose and said, taking up the cane: ’Why, Jane, we can hardly expect Clara to bear, with perfect firmness, the worry and torment that David has occasioned her today.
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.
So, when we reached home, I dropped out of the chaise behind, as quickly as possible, that I might not be in their company before those solemn windows, looking blindly on me like closed eyes once bright.
I was solemnly interdicted by her, on her recovery, from touching my brother any more on any pretence whatever; and my poor mother, who, I could see, wished otherwise, meekly confirmed the interdict, by saying: ’No doubt you are right, my dear Jane.’
’ He said this solemnly, bare-headed; then, putting on his hat, he went down the stairs, and away.
Those was solemn words, Mas’r Davy, fur to hear!’
That condition was, that he should make a solemn resolution to grant no more loans of his name, or anything else, to Mr. Micawber.
I remember how the solemn feeling with which at length I turned my eyes away, yielded to the sensation of gratitude and rest which the sight of the white-curtained bed — and how much more the lying softly down upon it, nestling in the snow-white sheets!
I bade good night to Mr. Omer, and to Mr. and Mrs. Joram; and directed my steps thither, with a solemn feeling, which made Mr. Barkis quite a new and different creature.
I am solemnly convinced that I never for one hour was reconciled to it, or was otherwise than miserably unhappy; but I bore it; and even to Peggotty, partly for the love of her and partly for shame, never in any letter (though many passed between us) revealed the truth.
Her childish way was the most delicious way in the world to me, but it was necessary to be explicit, and I solemnly repeated: ’Dora, my own life, I am your ruined David!’
He solemnly conjured me, I remember, to take warning by his fate; and to observe that if a man had twenty pounds a-year for his income, and spent nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence, he would be happy, but that if he spent twenty pounds one he would be miserable.
Now there is a solemn hush, which we have brought from home with what is resting in the mould; and while we stand bareheaded, I hear the voice of the clergyman, sounding remote in the open air, and yet distinct and plain, saying: ’I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Lord!’
I only recollect that underneath some white covering on the bed, with a beautiful cleanliness and freshness all around it, there seemed to me to lie embodied the solemn stillness that was in the house; and that when she would have turned the cover gently back, I cried: ’Oh no! oh no!’ and held her hand.
As many of the principal members of the club as could be got into the small room without filling it, supported Mr. Micawber in front of the petition, while my old friend Captain Hopkins (who had washed himself, to do honour to so solemn an occasion) stationed himself close to it, to read it to all who were unacquainted with its contents.
She lifted up her eyes, and solemnly declared that she would devote herself to this task, fervently and faithfully.
I solemnly accepted his commission, dear good fellow, and cannot discharge it too completely.
Surrounded by the rosy light, and standing high upon the deck, apart together, she clinging to him, and he holding her, they solemnly passed away.
’He ain’t no care, Mas’r Davy,’ said Mr. Peggotty in a solemn whisper — ’kinder no care no-how for his life.
So far as I know — and I believe his honest heart was transparent to me — he never wavered again, in his solemn certainty of finding her.
In truth, the wind, though it was low, had a solemn sound, and crept around the deserted house with a whispered wailing that was very mournful.
— That face, so full of pity, and of grief, that rain of tears, that awful mute appeal to me, that solemn hand upraised towards Heaven!
It had such a prescriptive, stiff-necked, long-established, solemn, elderly air.
I trust,’ said Mr. Micawber, solemnly, ’that my son Wilkins will ever bear in mind, that he had infinitely better put his fist in the fire, than use it to handle the serpents that have poisoned the life-blood of his unhappy parent!’
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 Murdstone after everybody else was placed; where I was stationed, a young outlaw, all alone by myself near the door; and whence I was solemnly conducted by my jailer, before any one arose from the devotional posture.
She filled my heart with such good resolutions, strengthened my weakness so, by her example, so directed — I know not how, she was too modest and gentle to advise me in many words — the wandering ardour and unsettled purpose within me, that all the little good I have done, and all the harm I have forborne, I solemnly believe I may refer to her.
I had leisure to think, before the kitchen fire, of pretty little Emily’s dread of death — which, added to what Mr. Omer had told me, I took to be the cause of her being so unlike herself — and I had leisure, before Peggotty came down, even to think more leniently of the weakness of it: as I sat counting the ticking of the clock, and deepening my sense of the solemn hush around me.
Discontented people might talk of corruption in the Commons, closeness in the Commons, and the necessity of reforming the Commons, said Mr. Spenlow solemnly, in conclusion; but when the price of wheat per bushel had been highest, the Commons had been busiest; and a man might lay his hand upon his heart, and say this to the whole world, — ’Touch the Commons, and down comes the country!’
I do not hope that any love and duty I may render in return, will ever make me worthy of your priceless confidence; but with all this knowledge fresh upon me, I can lift my eyes to this dear face, revered as a father’s, loved as a husband’s, sacred to me in my childhood as a friend’s, and solemnly declare that in my lightest thought I have never wronged you; never wavered in the love and the fidelity I owe you!’