"Papa, you are not well. Come with me!" Thirty-ninth illustration by Fred Barnard for the 1872 Household Edition of David Copperfield (Chapter XXXIX, "Wickfield and Heep," but situated on p. 273 in Chapter XXXVIII). Half-page, 10.8 cm by 13.8 cm (4 ¼ by 5 ⅜ inches), framed. Headline: "In Vino Veritas" (287). [Click on the image to enlarge it. Mouse over text for links.]

Passage Illustrated: Agnes Tries to Calm Her Father

"You haven’t need to say so much, nor half so much, nor anything at all," observed Uriah, half defiant, and half fawning. "You wouldn’t have took it up so, if it hadn’t been for the wine. You’ll think better of it tomorrow, sir. If I have said too much, or more than I meant, what of it? I haven’t stood by it!"

The door opened, and Agnes, gliding in, without a vestige of colour in her face, put her arm round his neck, and steadily said, "Papa, you are not well. Come with me!"

He laid his head upon her shoulder, as if he were oppressed with heavy shame, and went out with her. Her eyes met mine for but an instant, yet I saw how much she knew of what had passed. [Chapter XXXIX, "Wickfield and Heep," 288}

Commentary: Heep has gained the upper hand by being underhanded

In contrast to the previous family scene, here the father breaks down under the emotional strain of the situation, and his dutiful, perceptive daughter comforts him. Clearly Uriah Heep has gained control of Mr. Wickfield's Canterbury legal practice, and is exercising his authority over his nominal employer. He even goes so far as to suggest a proprietary and matrimonial interest in Agnes. Despite David's romantic attachment to Dora Spenlow, Uriah continues to regard David as a possible rival for Agnes's hand.

Related Material

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.]


Dickens, Charles. The Personal History of David Copperfield, illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz"). The Centenary Edition. London & New York: Chapman & Hall, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911 [rpt. from 1850]. 2 vols.

_______. David Copperfield, with 61 illustrations by Fred Barnard. Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1872. Vol. 3.

_______. David Copperfield. Illustrated by W. H. C. Groome. London and Glasgow: Collins Clear-type Press, 1907. No. 1.

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.

Created 23 August 2016

Last modified 15 August 2022