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by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield Chapter 43 Summary
Another Retrospect David takes a moment to stand back and observe his past life. He has turned 21, and he has started making a living as a journalist reporting on debates in Parliament. Traddles has also tried to work as a journalist, but he's not great at it. Instead, he's managed to get a job as a lawyer. David starts writing fiction pieces for magazines. He has moved out of Mrs. Crupp's boarding house to a cottage in Highgate. Miss Betsey has sold her cottage in Dover and plans to move to another little cottage nearby. She's moving out of David's house because he is getting married. Yet, at last, Miss Lavinia and Miss Clarissa have given permission for Dora to get married. Peggotty comes for the wedding, and helps Miss Lavinia, Miss Clarissa, and Miss Betsey set up the house for the newlyweds. David also sometimes sees the shadow of Mr. Peggotty in London, but he never stops Mr. Peggotty to speak to him: he knows what Mr. Peggotty is looking for, and it's not David. Traddles comes by one afternoon with David's marriage license. David is proud and pleased. He tells Traddles that the next time Traddles comes to the Archbishop of Canterbury to get a marriage blessed (as is required in the Anglican church), it should be his own. Traddles tells David that he's almost as excited by David's wedding as he would be by his own. In fact, Sophy (Traddles's fiancée) is one of Dora's bridesmaids, along with Agnes. So, David gets to meet Sophy at his wedding. David finds her friendly and delightful. Agnes really enjoys Traddles, and they all get along beautifully. David can't believe his good luck, and when they all go to visit his new house the next day, he still thinks that it must belong to someone else. Someone taps on the window: it is Dora, accompanied by her two aunts and Jip. Dora asks if David thinks the house is pretty – and if he is sure that he likes her. David confirms that he does, and is so, so happy. The next day is the day of the wedding. Miss Betsey looks amazing all dressed up, and Mr. Dick has had his hair curled. David's aunt gives him her blessing: David reminds Miss Betsey so much of his mother. Miss Betsey shakes Traddles's hand, who shakes Mr. Dick's hand, who shakes David's hand, who shakes Mr. Traddles's hand. The rest of the day seems like a dream, with Dora looking lovely and clutching Agnes's hand and trembling and weeping for her father. David and Dora sign the register, the marriage is witnessed by Peggotty, and they walk down the aisle together as man and wife. As Dora and David walk arm-in-arm to their carriage (with Jip in Dora's hand), Dora looks back and tells them, "If I have ever been cross or ungrateful to anybody, don't remember it!" (43.53). Dora looks back once more and says farewell to everyone, and especially Agnes. As they drive away, David begins to believe this is all real. Dora turns to David and asks if he is happy. And with that, David resumes his story.
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