Little Dorrit Manuscript: Chapters 5 to 8

The autograph manuscript of Little Dorrit is now bound in 8 volumes (V&A MSL/1876/Forster/165/1 to 8).

The first volume is currently included in this transcription project.


Vol.1 f.072 recto

Vol.1 f.072 recto


“Caught, eh?” said the voice. “You won’t [?get out tonight?] go home till morning. Oh! [?it's?] It’s you, is it, Mr Clennam?”

The voice was Tip’s; and they stood looking at one another in the [?????? ??????] [?????] prison-yard, as it began to rain.

“You’ve done it,” [?said?] observed Tip; “you must be sharper than that next time.”

“But you are locked in too,” said Arthur.

“I believe [you] I am!” [??????????? ??????? ??????] [?was the sarcastic reply?] said Tip, sarcastically. “About! But not in your way. I [?I am one of the ????????????] belong to the shop, only my sister [???????] has a theory that our governor [?????????] must never know [???] it. I don’t see it why, myself.” [He ????]

[????????????? ???????] [???? what had I better do?] “Can I get any shelter?” said asked Arthur. Can I get any shelter? “What had I better do?”

“We had better get hold of Amy first of all,” said Tip, referring any difficulty to [????] her as a matter of course.

“I would rather walk about all night—it’s not much [????] to do—than give that trouble her.”

[????] You needn’t [??? ???????] do that, if you don’t mind paying for a bed. If you don’t mind paying, they’ll make you up one on the Snuggery table, under the circumstances I dare say. If you’ll come along, I’ll introduce you there.”

As they passed down the [?prison?] yard, Arthur looked up at the window of the room of the room he had lately left, where the light was still shining burning. “Yes, sir,” said Tip, following his glance. “That’s the governor’s. She’ll sit with [??? ????????] him for another half hour [and ?????] reading yesterday’s paper to him, or something of that sort; and then she’ll come out like a little ghost, and [vanish ???????????? ????????] vanish away without a sound.

[????? ???????? ????] “I don’t understand you.”

“The governor sleeps up there in the room, and she is a lodger has a lodging at the turnkey’s. First house there,” said Tip, pointing out the doorway into which she had retired. “First house, sky parlour. She pays about twice as much for it [as she would ????? ????? she was ???? here as ??] as she would for one twice as good outside. But she stands by the governor, poor girl, day and night.”

This brought them to the tavern-establishment at the upper end of the [????] prison, where the [??????????] collegians had just vacated their social evening club. in the Snuggery were The apartment on the ground -floor in which [??????] [?that ???? ????] it was held, was the [?????????] Snuggery in question; and the [???????] presidential tribune of the chairman, [?the collegians and ?????] the pewter-pots, and glasses, pipes, and tobacco-ashes, and general flavour of the members, [??? ?????] were still as that convivial institution had left them on its [??????] adjournment. The Snuggery had two of the qualities [?about ??? ????] popularly held to be essential to grog for ladies, in respect that it was hot and strong; but [it ??????] in the third [????? ?????????????? ?? ???? ??????????] point of analogy, requiring plenty of it, [?????] [???????? ????] the Snuggery was defective; being but a [d????????] cooped-up apartment.

The unaccustomed visitor [??? stranger?] from outside, naturally assumed everybody here to be prisoners—landlord, [???????] waiter, barmaid, potboy, and all. Whether they were or not, did not appear; but they all [??????] had a [w???] weedy [???????] look. The keeper of a chandler’s shop in a front parlour, who took in gentlemen boarders, lent his assistance in making the bed. and It was evident from the general tone [?of the rest?] of the [??? ?????? ????? ??? ??? ????? ????????? but of ????? and all the rest of them?] whole party, that they had come to regard insolvency as the normal state of mankind, and the payment of debts as [a disease that ????? ???? ????? ?? ????? ??????] a disease that occasionally broke out.

In [???t] this strange [???????????] scene, and with these strange spectres [?????ing the air?] hovering about him, Arthur Clennam looked on at the preparations [?????? ??????] as if [?? ?????? ??] they were part [???? ??????] [??? ??????] of a dream. [?a ???? of ?????? ?????? ?????] Pending which, the long-initiated Tip, [???] with an awful [???????????] [????? ?? ??????? ?? ??????? ?????] enjoyment of the Snuggery’s resources, [??????? ????????? of ??? ???? ???? ??? ??????? ??? ?????? ???? ????? ???] pointed out the [??????] common kitchen fire maintained by subscription of collegians, the boiler for hot water supported in like manner

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Vol.1 f.073 recto

Vol.1 f.073 recto

and other [??? ???????? ?????? ?? ???? ???????? ??????? ??????] premises generally tending to the deduction that the way to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, was to come to the Marshalsea.

[????? ??? ????? ?????] The two tables put together in a corner, were, at length, [??????] converted [?turned?] into a very fair bed; and the stranger was left to the Windsor chairs, the presidential tribune, the beery atmosphere, the sawdust, pipe-lights, spittoons and repose. But the last item was long, [?long and?] long, [?and ling???] long, in linking itself to the rest. The novelty of the place, the coming upon it without any preparation, the sense of being locked up, the remembrance of that room up-stairs, yonder yonder of the two brothers, and above all of the [q?????? childish ??? form] [??????? ????????] retiring childish form, and the [d???????] face in which he now saw years of insufficient food, if not of [???????] [??????] want, kept him waking and unhappy.

Speculations, [?of the wild ????? which there was no controlling?] too, [?????? the ???????] [c??????ing?] bearing the strangest relations towards the prison, but always about the prison, ran like [??????] nightmares through his mind while he was [?????] awake. [W????] Whether [??????] coffins were kept ready for people who might die there, where they were kept, how they were kept, where people who died in the prison were buried, how they were taken out, what forms were observed, whether an implacable creditor could [????? ???????] arrest the dead? As to escaping, [?????] what chances there were of escape? [??????] Whether a prisoner could scale the walls with a cord and grapple, how he would descend upon the other side? [??? ?????? of ???? ??? ????????] whether he could alight [????? ??? ???? ????? ??? ???? ????? ?? ? ????????? ?????? ??????] on a housetop, [??? ???????] [??? ???????????] stealing down a staircase, let himself out at a door, and [get ??] get lost in the crowd? As to Fire in the prison, if [?????] if one were to break out [?there?] [?then?] while he lay there [??]?

And these involuntary [?????????????] starts of fancy distressing by being [????????????????] uncontrollable were, after all, but the setting of a picture in which three people [???? ??????] kept before him. His father, with the steadfast look [??? ??????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ????? ????? ?????? ??????] with which he had died,[???? ??????] prophetically [??????????] darkened forth in the portrait;[???? which ??? ?? ??? ????] his mother, with her arm up, [?as if she ???? ???? ?????? ???? ??????] warding off [?????] [???????????] [?? ??? ???] his [???? ???] suspicion; Little Dorrit, [in her ?????????? ??????? ???? ??????? ????] with her hand on the degraded arm, and her drooping head turned away.

What if [?????? ???????? ???????? ????? ??????????] his mother had an old reason she well [????] knew for softening somewhat to this poor girl! [?? ?????? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ????? ???????] if the [??????? ????????? ?????] [??????? ?????] prisoner now sleeping quietly—God [???? ?? ???????] grant [???????] [???????] it!— [?had been ????] [???????? ?????? ??] [????? ?????] by the light of the great Day of judgment should [????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ?????] [?????? ??? ?????? ????] trace [??] back his [??????] [???????] fall [?and ??????? ?????] to her. if [???????] any act [???? ??? ??????] of hers and of his father’s, should have even remotely [???? ????] [?brought those?] brought those two grey heads [?he had ?pitied?] so low! [?with that, a new thought came into his mind?]

A new swift thought shot into his mind. In that long imprisonment here, and in [???] her [?????] own long confinement to her room, [??? might ?? ???? ????? ???? ??????] did she find a balance to be struck? “I [???? ??? ??????? ???? ??? ????] [????? ?? ??? ?? ??????] admit that I was accessory to that man’s captivity. I have suffered for it in kind. He decayed in his prison: I in mine. [??????? ???? ????? ???????????] I have paid the penalty.”

When all the other thoughts had faded [?and ???? ??? ?of his chair?] [?????] out, this one held possession [of ???] of him. When he fell asleep, she came before him in her wheeled chair, warding him off with this justification. When he awoke, and sprang up [????????? ??? ???] causelessly terrified , the words were in his ears, [????] as [????????] [??????] if her voice had slowly spoken them at his pillow, to break his rest: “He withers away in his prison; I wither away in mine; inexorable justice is done; what do I owe on this score!”

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Vol.1 f.073 verso

Vol.1 f.073 verso

Little Dorrit Nobody's Fault No. II. [Double Underline]

Last edit over 2 years ago by Douglas Dodds
Displaying pages 31 - 33 of 33 in total