by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield Chapter 62 Summary
A Light Shines On My Way
- It's Christmas, and David has been home for two months.
- He rides over to Agnes's house at least once a week and sometimes more.
- David still respects her more than any other woman he knows.
- He has accepted that he loves Agnes, but he still feels too ashamed of his own blindness in marrying Dora to do anything about it.
- Miss Betsey is aware of David's feelings for Agnes, but they never talk about it together.
- David's aunt seems to understand why David hesitates to say anything to Agnes about his love.
- So, anyway, it's Christmas, and David is planning to ride over to Canterbury to see Agnes.
- David needs to get out of the house; he's been working hard at his writing, and he needs a break.
- As David heads out the door, he asks Miss Betsey if she has heard anything more of Agnes being engaged to someone.
- Miss Betsey stares closely at David's face and predicts that Agnes will be married soon.
- David's aunt blesses Agnes and "her husband" (62.27).
- David agrees, obviously not getting what Miss Betsey is hinting about David himself.
- He rides out into the winter weather.
- Agnes is home alone; all of her girl students have gone home for the holidays.
- She notices that David seems thoughtful.
- David tells Agnes that he wants to tell her something.
- He asks Agnes if she remembers, when David came home, all the gratitude he offered her for her kindness.
- Agnes remembers how grateful David has been.
- David asks Agnes to share her feelings with him.
- He asks her to trust him, and to tell him who she has fallen in love with.
- Agnes looks at David, jumps up, puts her hands over her face, and bursts into tears.
- David asks Agnes what is the matter.
- Agnes begs David to leave and come back another time.
- David promises Agnes that he will not be jealous or difficult; he just wants to know what Agnes is truly feeling.
- Agnes tells David that her secret is not a new one, but she can't tell David what it is.
- She tries to leave the room, and David grabs her arm.
- David suddenly feels filled with hope that he knows what this old secret of Agnes's might be.
- He confesses in a rush that what he feels for Agnes is *not* brotherly affection: he loves her, but he feels guilty saying it because she is so much better than he is as a person.
- Agnes still weeps, but it seems to be from joy.
- David tries to tell Agnes of all of his feeling for her: the way he leaned on her sympathy when he was married to Dora, the way he relied on Agnes when he lost Dora, the way he pined for Agnes when he went away.
- Agnes is so happy to hear David's feelings, and confesses to David that she has loved him her whole life.
- The two of them cry together from happiness.
- They go for a long walk that evening, filled with love.
- David and Agnes return to Miss Betsey's house, where she seems completely surprised to see Agnes.
- David tells Miss Betsey that he has been talking to Agnes about this "attachment" Miss Betsey supposed Agnes to have.
- Miss Betsey looks annoyed and embarrassed that David shared Miss Betsey's gossip with Agnes.
- So, David and Agnes clasp hands to show Miss Betsey what David is getting at.
- Miss Betsey goes into hysterics for the first time ever.
- Peggotty comes running at all the commotion, as does Mr. Dick.
- Miss Betsey is so excited that she hugs both Peggotty and Mr. Dick.
- David and Agnes are married two weeks later, in front of Traddles, Sophy, and Doctor and Mrs. Strong.
- On their first night as husband and wife, Agnes tells David what Dora asked Agnes the night that Dora died.
- Dora wanted no one but Agnes to become David's second wife.
- David and Agnes weep together thinking of Dora's final sacrifice.
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