Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/113

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CHAPTER VII

ST. MARTIN'S-IN-THE-FIELDS AND ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, WESTMINSTER, WHERE DAVID COPPERFIELD FOUND PEGGOTTY, AND WHERE THE TWO MET MARTHA IN THEIR SEARCH FOR LITTLE EM'LY


The story of Little Em'ly, Peggotty, and Ham is one of the Magdalen stories that the world will never tire of hearing.

Dickens was never more moving than when he wrote of Little Em'ly 's trust, patience, and repentance; of Peggotty's loyal devotion; of Ham's almost reverential tenderness for his erring sweetheart, and of Martha's struggle to keep her pledge. Few of his readers have ever been able to keep back the tears over these special pages of "David Copperfield." I myself have long since given it up as a hopeless task. And when one finishes the book it would be just as well to open that other and find the words of the Master, "Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more," for these two gospels have done as much to expose the hypocrisy, cruelty, and stupidity of the "Holier than Thous" as anything written since the early days of the Christian era.

In following the golden threads woven into the warp and

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