My favorite thing I read today

Oh, David Copperfield is proving to be so good. I haven't made up my mind yet whether it is better than Bleak House, which is certainly more artfully and ornately constructed, but it is filled to the brim with cheerful oddity, and this only makes the injustices visited upon poor Davey more wrenching.

So, I give you a passage from relatively early in the novel (no real spoilers here, I think, although it is a major plot point, so you can choose not to read on, if you wish), when young David meets his ferocious Aunt Betsey (think Miss Havisham, if that disheveled lady had followed a slightly different path in life) for the first time since the day of his birth:

'Oh, Lord!’ said my aunt. And sat flat down in the garden–path.

‘I am David Copperfield, of Blunderstone, in Suffolk — where you came, on the night when I was born, and saw my dear mama. I have been very unhappy since she died. I have been slighted, and taught nothing, and thrown upon myself, and put to work not fit for me. It made me run away to you. I was robbed at first setting out, and have walked all the way, and have never slept in a bed since I began the journey.’ Here my self–support gave way all at once; and with a movement of my hands, intended to show her my ragged state, and call it to witness that I had suffered something, I broke into a passion of crying, which I suppose had been pent up within me all the week.

My aunt, with every sort of expression but wonder discharged from her countenance, sat on the gravel, staring at me, until I began to cry; when she got up in a great hurry, collared me, and took me into the parlour. Her first proceeding there was to unlock a tall press, bring out several bottles, and pour some of the contents of each into my mouth. I think they must have been taken out at random, for I am sure I tasted aniseed water, anchovy sauce, and salad dressing. When she had administered these restoratives, as I was still quite hysterical, and unable to control my sobs, she put me on the sofa, with a shawl under my head, and the handkerchief from her own head under my feet, lest I should sully the cover; and then, sitting herself down behind the green fan or screen I have already mentioned, so that I could not see her face, ejaculated at intervals, ‘Mercy on us!’ letting those exclamations off like minute guns.

Could the prose be any more delightful? After David's long and painful trek through poverty to reach Betsey, we are rewarded by the administration of anchovy sauce and the minute artillery explosions of "Mercy!" I am loving it.