"Deuce take the man!" said my aunt, sternly, "What's he about? Don't be galvanic, Sir!" — Thirty-sixth illustration by Fred Barnard for the 1872 Household Edition of David Copperfield (Chapter XXXV, "Depression," p. 249). 9.6 x 13.8 mm (3 ¾ by 5 ⅜ inches) framed. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Passage Illustrated: Aunt Betsey Admonishes Heep for Involuntary Jerking

Kyd's Cigarette Card No. 38 Uriah Heep (1889).

"You’re a partner yourself, you know," returned my aunt, "and that’s about enough for you, I expect. How do you find yourself, sir?"

In acknowledgement of this question, addressed to him with extraordinary curtness, Mr. Heep, uncomfortably clutching the blue bag he carried, replied that he was pretty well, he thanked my aunt, and hoped she was the same.

"And you, Master — I should say, Mister Copperfield," pursued Uriah. "I hope I see you well! I am rejoiced to see you, Mister Copperfield, even under present circumstances." I believed that; for he seemed to relish them very much. "Present circumstances is not what your friends would wish for you, Mister Copperfield, but it isn’t money makes the man: it’s — I am really unequal with my umble powers to express what it is," said Uriah, with a fawning jerk, "but it isn’t money!"

Here he shook hands with me: not in the common way, but standing at a good distance from me, and lifting my hand up and down like a pump handle, that he was a little afraid of.

"And how do you think we are looking, Master Copperfield, — I should say, Mister?" fawned Uriah. "Don’t you find Mr. Wickfield blooming, sir? Years don’t tell much in our firm, Master Copperfield, except in raising up the umble, namely, mother and self — and in developing," he added, as an afterthought, "the beautiful, namely, Miss Agnes."

He jerked himself about, after this compliment, in such an intolerable manner, that my aunt, who had sat looking straight at him, lost all patience.

"Deuce take the man!" said my aunt, sternly, "what’s he about? Don’t be galvanic, sir!"

"I ask your pardon, Miss Trotwood," returned Uriah; "I’m aware you’re nervous." [Chapter XXXV, "Depression," pp. 256-257]

Miss Trotwood and Mr. Wickfield with Heep at David's from Other Editions (1872 & 1910)

Left: Harry Furniss's Charles Dickens Library Edition satirical study of Uriah Heep: David's Aunt loses patience with Uriah (1872). Right: Phiz's original serial illustration for April 1850 does not show Aunt Betsey's upbraiding the "galvanic" Heep but merekly studying him and Wickfield: Mr. Wickfield and his Partner wait upon my Aunt.

Relevant Illustrated Editions of this Novel (1863 through 1910)

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

The copy of the Household Edition from which this picture was scanned was the gift of George Gorniak, Editor of The Dickens Magazine, whose subject for the fifth series, beginning in January 2010, is this novel.


Bentley, Nicolas, Michael Slater, and Nina Burgis. The Dickens Index. Oxford and New York: Oxford U. P., 1988.

Dickens, Charles. David Copperfield. Illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz"). The Centenary Edition. 2 vols. London and New York: Chapman & Hall, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911.

_______. The Personal History of David Copperfield. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. 14 vols. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867. Vol. V.

_______. David Copperfield, with 61 illustrations by Fred Barnard. Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1872. Vol. III.

_______. The Personal History and Experiences of David Copperfield. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book Company, 1910. Vol. X.

Created 22 August 2016

Last modified 14 March 2022