Without such assurance I should certainly have left it alone, and bestowed my energy on some other endeavour.
Besides which, all that I could say of the Story, to any purpose, I have endeavoured to say in it.
I do my endeavours in my line of life, sir.’
Besides which, all that I could have said of the Story to any purpose, I had endeavoured to say in it.
Again, as my aunt looked quite convinced, I endeavoured to look quite convinced also.
I have a great many defects, I know, and it’s very good of you, Edward, with your strength of mind, to endeavour to correct them for me.
Both my sister and myself have endeavoured to correct his vices, but ineffectually.
You must endeavour, sir, to change it.
For a year or more I had endeavoured to find a satisfactory answer to her often-repeated question, ’What I would like to be?’
We must endeavour to change it for you.’
But when Jane Murdstone is kind enough to come to my assistance in this endeavour, and to assume, for my sake, a condition something like a housekeeper’s, and when she meets with a base return —’
If Mr. Jack Maldon comes home on account of ill health, he must not be allowed to go back, and we must endeavour to make some more suitable and fortunate provision for him in this country.’
I recall him bending his aching head, supported on his bony hand, over the book on his desk, and wretchedly endeavouring to get on with his tiresome work, amidst an uproar that might have made the Speaker of the House of Commons giddy.
In fact, I found out afterwards that Mr. Dick had been for upwards of ten years endeavouring to keep King Charles the First out of the Memorial; but he had been constantly getting into it, and was there now.
I had some shadowy idea of endeavouring to evade the question, by replying that I thought him a very nice gentleman; but my aunt was not to be so put off, for she laid her work down in her lap, and said, folding her hands upon it: ’Come!
’No, no,’ said I. Mrs. Joram tossed her head, endeavouring to be very stern and cross; but she could not command her softer self, and began to cry.
I then expounded to Miss Mills what I had endeavoured, so very unsuccessfully, to expound to Dora.
I have frequently endeavoured to find decisive corroboration of those suspicions, but without effect.
’Miss Spenlow endeavoured,’ said Miss Murdstone, ’to bribe me with kisses, work-boxes, and small articles of jewellery — that, of course, I pass over.
What I felt, in returning so auspiciously to the old familiar places, I shall not endeavour to describe.
At length I ventured to take his hand, and to entreat him, as well as I could, to endeavour to get some command of himself.
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 endeavour without any effect to prove to her.
After this, Mrs. Crupp confined herself to making pitfalls on the stairs, principally with pitchers, and endeavouring to delude Peggotty into breaking her legs.
The anxiety I underwent, in the interval which necessarily elapsed before a reply could be received to her letter to Mr. Murdstone, was extreme; but I made an endeavour to suppress it, and to be as agreeable as I could in a quiet way, both to my aunt and Mr. Dick.
’If you will sometimes think of that, and look about now and then at your papa’s housekeeping, and endeavour to acquire a little habit — of accounts, for instance —’
Sometimes, I remember, I resigned myself to thoughts of home and Peggotty; and to endeavouring, in a confused blind way, to recall how I had felt, and what sort of boy I used to be, before I bit Mr. Murdstone: which I couldn’t satisfy myself about by any means, I seemed to have bitten him in such a remote antiquity.
Whatever station in society I may attain, through the medium of the learned profession of which I am about to become an unworthy member, I shall endeavour not to disgrace, and Mrs. Micawber will be safe to adorn.
He broke down again, endeavouring to bless her!
I endeavoured to appear unconscious and not disquieted, but, I saw in his face, with poor success.
I had endeavoured to adapt Dora to myself, and found it impracticable.
Dare I ask Mr. T. to endeavour to step in between Mr. Micawber and his agonized family?
’We will endeavour to provide something that WILL do, and do for you finally, sir, very shortly,’ replied Mr. Micawber.
Though he anxiously endeavoured to dissuade me, I saw that he was of my mind; and this, if I had required to be confirmed in my intention, would have had the effect.
Even when dislodged, he still kept the letter in his mouth; and on my endeavouring to take it from him, at the imminent risk of being bitten, he kept it between his teeth so pertinaciously as to suffer himself to be held suspended in the air by means of the document.
’On the voyage, I shall endeavour,’ said Mr. Micawber, ’occasionally to spin them a yarn; and the melody of my son Wilkins will, I trust, be acceptable at the galley-fire.
However loud the general voice might be in giving me encouragement, and however fervent the emotions and endeavours to which it roused me, I heard her lightest word of praise as I heard nothing else.
I endeavoured to hit a happy medium between these two extremes; my aunt approved the result; and Mr. Dick threw one of his shoes after Traddles and me, for luck, as we went downstairs.
I endeavoured to convert what might have been between myself and Agnes, into a means of making me more self-denying, more resolved, more conscious of myself, and my defects and errors.
’Sir,’ returned Mr. Littimer, slightly lifting up his eyebrows, but not his eyes, ’there was a young woman who fell into dissolute courses, that I endeavoured to save, sir, but could not rescue.
As to Mrs. Gummidge, if I were to endeavour to describe how she ran down the street by the side of the coach, seeing nothing but Mr. Peggotty on the roof, through the tears she tried to repress, and dashing herself against the people who were coming in the opposite direction, I should enter on a task of some difficulty.
No matter how incidentally or naturally I endeavoured to form my little wife’s mind, I could not help seeing that she always had an instinctive perception of what I was about, and became a prey to the keenest apprehensions.
Far be it from us, in the present comparatively imperfect state of the resources of our establishment, to endeavour to follow our distinguished townsman through the smoothly-flowing periods of his polished and highly-ornate address!
We were at the height of our enjoyment, and were all busily engaged, in our several departments, endeavouring to bring the last batch of slices to a state of perfection that should crown the feast, when I was aware of a strange presence in the room, and my eyes encountered those of the staid Littimer, standing hat in hand before me.
More than once, when I went there early, I had audience of him in a turn-up bedstead, with a cut in his forehead or a black eye, bearing witness to his excesses over-night (I am afraid he was quarrelsome in his drink), and he, with a shaking hand, endeavouring to find the needful shillings in one or other of the pockets of his clothes, which lay upon the floor, while his wife, with a baby in her arms and her shoes down at heel, never left off rating him.
Or, if she were in a very sedate and serious state of mind, she would sit down with the tablets, and a little basket of bills and other documents, which looked more like curl-papers than anything else, and endeavour to get some result out of them.
To my surprise, I heard no more about it for some two or three weeks, though I was sufficiently interested in the result of his endeavours; descrying a strange gleam of good sense — I say nothing of good feeling, for that he always exhibited — in the conclusion to which he had come.
I further proposed to interest Mr. Micawber in Mr. Peggotty, by confiding so much of Mr. Peggotty’s story to him as I might feel justified in relating, or might think expedient; and to endeavour to bring each of them to bear upon the other, for the common advantage.
My aunt being supremely indifferent to Mrs. Crupp’s opinion and everybody else’s, and rather favouring than discouraging the idea, Mrs. Crupp, of late the bold, became within a few days so faint-hearted, that rather than encounter my aunt upon the staircase, she would endeavour to hide her portly form behind doors — leaving visible, however, a wide margin of flannel petticoat — or would shrink into dark corners.
…boots, remonstrated with by Mr. Spenlow on appearing before the clients in that airy attire; now I was hungrily picking up the crumbs that fell from old Tiffey’s daily biscuit, regularly eaten when St. Paul’s struck one; now I was hopelessly endeavouring to get a licence to marry Dora, having nothing but one of Uriah Heep’s gloves to offer in exchange, which the whole Commons rejected; and still, more or less conscious of my own room, I was always tossing about like a distressed ship…
Of Miss Lavinia, who acts as a semi-auxiliary bridesmaid, being the first to cry, and of her doing homage (as I take it) to the memory of Pidger, in sobs; of Miss Clarissa applying a smelling-bottle; of Agnes taking care of Dora; of my aunt endeavouring to represent herself as a model of sternness, with tears rolling down her face; of little Dora trembling very much, and making her responses in faint whispers.
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I endeavored to get both sides to agree to a compromise.