’You an’t cross, I suppose, Peggotty, are you?’ said I, after sitting quiet for a minute.
At this minute I see him turn round in the garden, and give us a last look with his ill-omened black eyes, before the door was shut.
During the five minutes or so that Mr. Chillip devoted to the delivery of this oration, my aunt eyed him narrowly.
After which, he was grave for a minute or so.
How many a summer hour have I known to be but blissful minutes to him in the cricket-field!
’Young or old, Davy dear, as long as I am alive and have this house over my head,’ said Peggotty, ’you shall find it as if I expected you here directly minute.
He received me exactly as if not five minutes had elapsed since we were last together, and I had only been into the hotel to get change for sixpence, or something of that sort.
For I began to be sensible of acute pains in my limbs from lying out in the fields, and was now so tired and low that I could hardly keep myself awake for five minutes together.
My timid station on his threshold was not occupied more than a couple of minutes at most; but I came down again with all this in my knowledge, as surely as the knife and fork were in my hand.
’She’s at school, sir,’ said Mr. Peggotty, wiping the heat consequent on the porterage of Peggotty’s box from his forehead; ’she’ll be home,’ looking at the Dutch clock, ’in from twenty minutes to half-an-hour’s time.
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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!’
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 jewellers’ cotton.
But there were no other clothes in my room than the odd heap of things I wore; and when I was left there, with a little taper which my aunt forewarned me would burn exactly five minutes, I heard them lock my door on the outside.
Would you be so good as look arter her, Mawther, for a minute?’
It took place this here present hour; and here’s the man that’ll marry her, the minute she’s out of her time.’
Just half a minute, my young friend, and we’ll give you a polishing that shall keep your curls on for the next ten years!’
’Then come,’ replied my aunt, immediately resuming the bonnet she had a minute before laid aside.
I hazarded a bold flight, and said (not without stammering) that it was very bright to me then, though it had been very dark to me a minute before.
’It’s a bad job,’ he said, when I had done; ’but the sun sets every day, and people die every minute, and we mustn’t be scared by the common lot.
I had loved her every minute, day and night, since I first saw her.
I loved her at that minute to distraction.
I should always love her, every minute, to distraction.
How different I felt in one short minute, having Agnes at my side!
This I addressed to Highgate — for in that place, so memorable to me, he lived — and went and posted, myself, without losing a minute.
’And, my dear!’ whispered Peggotty, ’tell the pretty little angel that I should so have liked to see her, only for a minute!
I am afraid I was in a tremulous state for a minute or so, though I did my best to disguise it.
But it depended upon Steerforth; and he did it with such address, that in a few minutes we were all as easy and as happy as it was possible to be.
He walked a little in front of us, and kept before us for some minutes.
Miss Mills was conversational for a few minutes, and then, laying down her pen upon ’Affection’s Dirge’, got up, and left the room.
I had not an opportunity of speaking to Agnes, for ten minutes.
I asked him, with a better appearance of composure than I could have thought possible a minute before, whether he had made his feelings known to Agnes.
I gave him minute directions for finding the residence of Mr. Barkis, carrier to Blunderstone and elsewhere; and, on this understanding, went out alone.
’I have been acquainted with you,’ said Mr. Omer, after watching me for some minutes, during which I had not made much impression on the breakfast, for the black things destroyed my appetite, ’I have been acquainted with you a long time, my young friend.’
I sit with my eye on Mr. Creakle, blinking at him like a young owl; when sleep overpowers me for a minute, he still looms through my slumber, ruling those ciphering-books, until he softly comes behind me and wakes me to plainer perception of him, with a red ridge across my back.
On the next day, still bundled up in my curious habiliments, I sat counting the time, flushed and heated by the conflict of sinking hopes and rising fears within me; and waiting to be startled by the sight of the gloomy face, whose non-arrival startled me every minute.
And Joram’s at work, at this minute, on a grey one with silver nails, not this measurement’ — the measurement of the dancing child upon the counter — ’by a good two inches.
Now, I was unwilling to put the direction-card on there, lest any of my landlord’s family should fathom what I was doing, and detain me; so I said to the young man that I would be glad if he would stop for a minute, when he came to the dead-wall of the King’s Bench prison.
I shook him warmly by the hand when he had put it away again — for that was more satisfactory to me than saying anything — and we walked up and down, for a minute or two, in silence.
At last, to make the matter easier, I went upstairs with her; and having waited outside for a minute, while she said a word of preparation to Mr. Barkis, presented myself before that invalid.
’If you think, Steerforth,’ said Mr. Mell, ’that I am not acquainted with the power you can establish over any mind here’ — he laid his hand, without considering what he did (as I supposed), upon my head — ’or that I have not observed you, within a few minutes, urging your juniors on to every sort of outrage against me, you are mistaken.’
I was fortunate enough, too, to become acquainted with a person in the publishing way, who was getting up an Encyclopaedia, and he set me to work; and, indeed’ (glancing at his table), ’I am at work for him at this minute.
A minute more, and this had roused me from my trance: — Steerforth had left his seat, and gone to her, and had put his arm laughingly about her, and had said, ’Come, Rosa, for the future we will love each other very much!’
Whether it was because we had sat there so long, or because Steerforth was resolved not to lose the advantage he had gained, I do not know; but we did not remain in the dining-room more than five minutes after her departure.
I ought to observe, however, in explanation of that lady’s state of mind, that she was much offended by Peggotty’s tucking up her widow’s gown before she had been ten minutes in the place, and setting to work to dust my bedroom.
All this ran in my head so much, on that first day at Doctor Strong’s, that I felt distrustful of my slightest look and gesture; shrunk within myself whensoever I was approached by one of my new schoolfellows; and hurried off the minute school was over, afraid of committing myself in my response to any friendly notice or advance.
Mr. Peggotty took the light from the window, trimmed it, put it on the table, and was busily stirring the fire, when Ham, who had not moved, said: ’Mas’r Davy, will you come out a minute, and see what Em’ly and me has got to show you?’
Miss Lavinia then arose, and begging Mr. Traddles to excuse us for a minute, requested me to follow her.
So Dora stands in a delightful state of confusion for a minute or two, to be admired; and then takes off her bonnet — looking so natural without it!
I didn’t have it in my mind a minute ago, to say a word about myself; but it come up so nat’ral, that I yielded to it afore I was aweer.’
’Half a minute, sir,’ said Mr. Omer.
It was dark and raining, and I saw more fog and mud in a minute than I had seen in a year.
I have never know’d her to be lone and lorn, for a single minute, not even when the colony was all afore us, and we was new to it.
At first she wouldn’t come at all; and then she pleaded for five minutes by my watch.
They all came back together within five minutes afterwards, and Dora’s unusual thoughtfulness was quite gone then.
’On the contrary, my love,’ said I, referring to my watch, ’it’s a few minutes too slow.’
’Child,’ returned my aunt, taking my arm, ’come in, and don’t speak to me for ten minutes.’
We both kept silence for some minutes.
I had found a packet of letters awaiting me but a few minutes before, and had strolled out of the village to read them while my supper was making ready.
But, his joy received a sudden check; for within five minutes, he returned in the custody of a sheriff ’s officer, informing us, in a flood of tears, that all was lost.
But his easy, spirited good humour; his genial manner, his handsome looks, his natural gift of adapting himself to whomsoever he pleased, and making direct, when he cared to do it, to the main point of interest in anybody’s heart; bound her to him wholly in five minutes.
We can’t be happy together for five minutes in the evening, but some intrusive female knocks at the door, and says, ’Oh, if you please, Miss Dora, would you step upstairs!’
’Has there ever been a single minute, waking or sleeping, when it hasn’t been before me, just as it used to be in the lost days when I turned my back upon it for ever and for ever!
During the last few minutes, Mrs. Heep had been clamouring to her son to be ’umble’; and had been going down on her knees to all of us in succession, and making the wildest promises.
I would beg to be allowed a start of five minutes by the clock; and then to receive the present company, inquiring for Miss Wickfield, at the office of Wickfield and Heep, whose Stipendiary I am.’
Traddles presents her to us with great pride; and rubs his hands for ten minutes by the clock, with every individual hair upon his head standing on tiptoe, when I congratulate him in a corner on his choice.
Traddles only smiled, and shook his head (with his hair standing upright on the top of it), when I looked to him for an explanation; so I took out my watch, and, as a last resource, counted off the five minutes.
He was by nature so exceedingly compassionate of anyone who seemed to be ill at ease, and was so quick to find any such person out, that he shook hands with Mr. Micawber, at least half-a-dozen times in five minutes.
Though his face was towards me, I thought, for some time, the writing being between us, that he could not see me; but looking that way more attentively, it made me uncomfortable to observe that, every now and then, his sleepless eyes would come below the writing, like two red suns, and stealthily stare at me for I dare say a whole minute at a time, during which his pen went, or pretended to go, as cleverly as ever.
He would sometimes think he had got the better of his objection, and be amiable for a few minutes; and then would put up his snub nose, and howl to that extent, that there was nothing for it but to blind him and put him in the plate-warmer.
Had I left the room a minute, when his man told me that "Young Innocence" (so he called you, and you may call him "Old Guilt" all the days of your life) had set his heart upon her, and she was giddy and liked him, but his master was resolved that no harm should come of it — more for your sake than for hers — and that that was their business here?
When she had administered these restoratives, as I was still quite hysterical, and unable to control my sobs, she put me on the sofa, with a shawl under my head, and the handkerchief from her own head under my feet, lest I should sully the cover; and then, sitting herself down behind the green fan or screen I have already mentioned, so that I could not see her face, ejaculated at intervals, ’Mercy on us!’ letting those exclamations off like minute guns.
We had not sat here many minutes, when Mrs. Markleham, who usually contrived to be in a fuss about something, came bustling in, with her newspaper in her hand, and said, out of breath, ’My goodness gracious, Annie, why didn’t you tell me there was someone in the Study!’
Although I left the office at half past three, and was prowling about the place of appointment within a few minutes afterwards, the appointed time was exceeded by a full quarter of an hour, according to the clock of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, before I could muster up sufficient desperation to pull the private bell-handle let into the left-hand door-post of Mr. Waterbrook’s house.
Then I would commence a practical demonstration, to which Dora would pay profound attention, perhaps for five minutes; when she would begin to be dreadfully tired, and would lighten the subject by curling my hair, or trying the effect of my face with my shirt-collar turned down.
I laughed heartily at my own jokes, and everybody else’s; called Steerforth to order for not passing the wine; made several engagements to go to Oxford; announced that I meant to have a dinner-party exactly like that, once a week, until further notice; and madly took so much snuff out of Grainger’s box, that I was obliged to go into the pantry, and have a private fit of sneezing ten minutes long.
I had not sat five minutes by the coffee-room fire, when the waiter, coming to stir it, as an excuse for talking, told me that two colliers had gone down, with all hands, a few miles away; and that some other ships had been seen labouring hard in the Roads, and trying, in great distress, to keep off shore.
If anyone had told me, then, that all this was a brilliant game, played for the excitement of the moment, for the employment of high spirits, in the thoughtless love of superiority, in a mere wasteful careless course of winning what was worthless to him, and next minute thrown away — I say, if anyone had told me such a lie that night, I wonder in what manner of receiving it my indignation would have found a vent!
We, being quite prepared for this event, which was of course a proceeding of Uriah Heep’s, soon paid the money; and in five minutes more Mr. Micawber was seated at the table, filling up the stamps with an expression of perfect joy, which only that congenial employment, or the making of punch, could impart in full completeness to his shining face.
Why, at the present minute, when I see the candle sparkle up, I says to myself, "She’s a looking at it!
…hay) there was discovered an old gold watch, with chain and seals, which Mr. Barkis had worn on his wedding-day, and which had never been seen before or since; a silver tobacco-stopper, in the form of a leg; an imitation lemon, full of minute cups and saucers, which I have some idea Mr. Barkis must have purchased to present to me when I was a child, and afterwards found himself unable to part with; eighty-seven guineas and a half, in guineas and half-guineas; two hundred and ten…
There are no more uses of "minuteness" in the book.