David Copperfield: Chapter 28 - Critical Summary

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Chapter 28: Mr. Micawber's Gauntlet

      The dinner at David's place was not a total success. The failure of the meal was relieved only by the good humor of Mr. Micawber. They cooked some of the food themselves and were somewhat at the height of their enjoyment when Littimer made his appearance. He had come to find out if Steerforth was with them.

      After Littimer's departure, Mr. Micawber prepared punch. After having drunk the punch, Mrs. Micawber started discussing her husband's problems. She wished him to throw down the gauntlet to society. She felt that he should advertise his qualities and qualifications in different papers. After having discussed Mr. Micawber's problems for some time they first drank a toast in honor of Traddle's beloved, Sophy. Then David blushingly proposed a toast to 'D'. Mr. Micawber was delighted at this news and rushed off to the other room to inform Mrs. Micawber that David had a sweet-heart. When the Micawbers left at around ten or eleven David advised Traddles not to lend anything to Mr. Micawber. Traddles replied that he had already put his name to a bill of Mr. Micawbers'.

      Immediately they had left, Steerforth made his appearance. He said that he had just returned from Yarmouth and that it was foolish of Littimer to come looking for him. He had brought a letter for David from Peggotty. The letter stated Barkis's hopeless state of illness. David decided to go and meet them. Steerforth invited him to Highgate before he left for Yarmouth.

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