PREFACE TO 1850 EDITION
I do not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from this Book,
in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with
the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. My
interest in it, is so recent and strong; and my mind is so divided
between pleasure and regret - pleasure in the achievement of a long
design, regret in the separation from many companions - that I am
in danger of wearying the reader whom I love, with personal
confidences, and private emotions.
Besides which, all that I could say of the Story, to any purpose,
I have endeavoured to say in it.
It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know, how
sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years'
imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing
some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the
creatures of his brain are going from him for ever. Yet, I have
nothing else to tell; unless, indeed, I were to confess (which
might be of less moment still) that no one can ever believe this
Narrative, in the reading, more than I have believed it in the
Instead of looking back, therefore, I will look forward. I cannot
close this Volume more agreeably to myself, than with a hopeful
glance towards the time when I shall again put forth my two green
leaves once a month, and with a faithful remembrance of the genial
sun and showers that have fallen on these leaves of David
Copperfield, and made me happy.
London, October, 1850.