David Copperfield: Chapter 30 - Critical Summary

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Chapter 30: A Loss

      David reached Yarmouth and booked himself in an inn, since he was aware that Barkis's house must be full of visitors who must come to visit him on his illness. On the way, he stopped to see Mr. Omer. Omer was smoking a pipe in his parlor. He heartily welcomed David. When David asked Mr. Omer about Mr. Barkis' health, Mr. Omer cited the impropriety of doing so on account of his profession. David agreed that would indeed be proper and steered the conversation to Emily. According to Omer, Emily was as pretty and as hard working as she ever was. Yet he told David that she was unsettled on account of Mr. Barkis' illness which had postponed her wedding date. He told David that though Emily's attachment to her guardian Mr. Peggotty was heartwarming, she would be better off getting married to Ham and moving out of the boat house what with Ham being the most gentle and honorable fellow.

      David found Mr. Peggotty, Ham and Emily present at the house of Mr. Barkis, Emily clung to her uncle and refused to go home with Ham. Mr. Barkis was lying in a coma. Mr. Peggotty asked David to come up and meet him. Mr. Barkis had got his box placed on a chair at his bedside and half-rested on it. After sometime Mr. Barkis muttered: "C.P. Barkis. No better woman anywhere." Then giving a pleasant smile to David, he said "Barkis is willing." And since it was low water, he went out with the tide. Apparently, people living on the coast always got died when the tide went.

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