David Copperfield: Chapter 8 - Critical Summary

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Chapter 8: My Holidays. Especially One Happy Afternoon

      The next morning Mr. Barkis, the carrier, came with his stage coach to the Dolphin Inn for David Copperfield. On the way to Blunderstone Barkis requested David to tell Peggotty that he was still waiting for an answer to his message to her.

      On reaching home he found no one about. He entered the house timidly and quietly. His mother was nursing a baby in the old parlor. She kissed David and put his brother's tiny hand to his lips. In the meantime, Peggotty came in running. She was mad with joy to see them together. She had not expected David to be back so soon. Mr. and Miss Murdstone had gone out. They were not expected to return before evening.

      All three of them sat by the fireside and dined together. David passed on Mr. Barkis's message to Peggotty. She laughed heartily, throwing her apron over her face. David nursed the baby for a while. He was happy and he embraced his mother. Then round ten in the night David kissed his mother and went upstairs before Mr. and Miss Murdstone returned home.

      The next morning when David came downstairs, he went up to the Murdstones and begged forgiveness for his earlier misbehavior.

      Miss Murdstone was not happy at David's return and kept a count of his holidays. As far as possible, David kept out of the way of the two Murdstones. He wanted to save his mother's anxiety. She was ever afraid of annoying either one of them. Mr. Murdstone rebuked David for mixing with the servants. He forced the poor child to spend his time in the parlor. So David was very happy when the holidays came to an end and Mr. Barkis came to fetch him. David kissed his mother and the baby and left in the cart. When he looked out of the cart, he saw, his mother at the gate holding the baby in her arms for David to see. This scene lingered in his memory for the rest of his life.

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