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by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield Chapter 53 Summary
Another Retrospect David has to pause to recount the death of Dora. He sees Dora once again as though they were in their cottage once more. She has been sick for long enough that David doesn't really remember what she is like when she is well. Jip seems also, suddenly, very old. Dora never complains and is grateful for David and Miss Betsey's care. David sits with Dora and remembers times past, when they first fell in love with one another. He no longer carries Dora downstairs; she lies in bed all day now. Dora asks to see Agnes, and David promises to write to her immediately. David's wife asks if she misses him when he goes downstairs. And David promises that he misses her so much. Dora embraces David. She admits that she thinks she will never be well again. David doesn't want Dora to think like that. Agnes arrives and spends the whole day with Dora, David, and Miss Betsey. Finally, they are alone, and David sits holding Dora's hand. Dora wants to speak frankly to David, and she hopes he won't mind. She thinks she was too young when they were married – she thinks she was not fit to be a wife, because she was so inexperienced. Dora tells David that she has been very happy. At the same time, she is sure that David would have gotten tired of her as the years wore on. David feels that this is a reproach, but Dora promises it isn't, truly. Dora knows that David is very lonely. She sends David downstairs to fetch Agnes. She wants to speak to Agnes completely by herself, even without Miss Betsey. David goes downstairs and sends Agnes up. David weeps as he sits by the fire and remembers the arguments he and Dora had. Would it have been better if they never married, as Dora suggests? Jip whines to go upstairs, but David tells him not tonight. The dog lies down at David's feet and passes away. David looks up at Agnes. Dora has passed away as well, and David can't remember anything for a time.
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