David Copperfield: Chapter 17 - Critical Summary

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Chapter 17: Somebody Turns Up

      As soon as David got his aunt's shelter, he wrote to Peggotty and returned the half-guinea he had borrowed from her. She was prompt in her reply and informed him that his old home at Blunderstone had been closed down and was to be let out or sold.

      Miss Betsey came to Canterbury a number of times to meet David and Mr. Dick visited him every alternate Wednesday. He brought his memorial with him on these visits. He told David about the mysterious man he had seen around their house and who seemed to have a frightful effect on Miss Betsey. He had seen his aunt giving him money After a few visits Dr. Dick had become known to every boy in the school. Dr. Strong and Agnes also were fond of him.

      One day David was invited by Uriah Heep for tea. David found Uriah's mother to be the reflection of his image. The two of them together got out things from him which he had no desire to tell. At this moment Mr. Micawber happened to pass by the house. David was not sure if he was glad to see him there or not. David came to know from Mr. Micawber that he had failed to get a job in Plymouth and had gone to Medway to see if he could possibly join the coal trade. But he soon discovered that it required a lot of capital. All this time David was afraid that Micawber might reveal something about him. In order to escape this ordeal, he asked Mr. Micawber to take him to see Mrs. Micawber.

      Mrs. Micawber was very glad to see him. She told David that they had not been welcomed by her family at Plymouth. So they had to borrow money to return to London. Right now they were waiting for a remittance to pay the hotel bill. However, Mr. and Mrs. Micawber invited David to dine with them.

      The next evening David was quite surprised to see Mr. Micawber and Uriah Heep walking arm in arm. When he went to dine with them at the hotel, Mr. Micawber praised Uriah Heep and shared his feeling that one day the young fellow might become an Attorney General.

      The next morning Mr. Micawber informed him through a note that he was unable to pay the hotel bill and had therefore given a promissory note, which again, he would not be able to pay when the time came. David was shocked by this note but he felt lighter when he saw Mr. and Mrs. Micawber sitting in the London coach, looking the very picture of tranquility and joy.

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