David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Mr. Dick Character Analysis

Mr. Dick is a "distant connexion" of Miss Betsey who now lives with her. Technically, he is one of David's guardians, but in practice he functions more as a friend than as a parent. Mr. Dick is friendly and good-natured, but he has an unspecified mental illness or disability, which among other things causes him to believe that he has assumed some of the "troubles" of King Charles I after the latter's execution in 1649. This preoccupation with Charles I is a source of distress to Mr. Dick, in part because it continuously intrudes into the "Memorial"—or memoir—that he is trying to write. As a result of his eccentricities, Mr. Dick has suffered at the hands of his family—particularly his brother, who attempted to place him in an asylum for life. Miss Betsey strongly implies that the trauma of this experience is at least partially responsible for Mr. Dick's current condition, though she also staunchly defends his underlying wisdom. Her trust in Mr. Dick is not misplaced, since he eventually repays the favor, working to help support Miss Betsey when her finances suffer and mending the rift between Doctor Strong and his wife, Annie.

Mr. Dick Quotes in David Copperfield

The David Copperfield quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Dick or refer to Mr. Dick. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Puffin edition of David Copperfield published in 2013.
Chapter 45 Quotes

"There is nothing," said Annie, "that we have in common. I have long found that there is nothing. If I were thankful to my husband for no more, instead of for so much, I should be thankful to him for having saved me from the first mistaken impulse of my undisciplined heart."

Page Number: 552
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 54 Quotes

"When I lost the rest, I thought it wise to say nothing about that sum, but to keep it secretly for a rainy day. I wanted to see how you would come out of the trial, Trot; and you came out nobly—persevering, self-reliant, self-denying! So did Dick."

Page Number: 647
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. Dick Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Dick appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13: The Sequel of My Resolution
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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...several disgusting "restoratives," and seats him on a couch, before telling the maid to summon Mr. Dick . This turns out to be the man David saw in the upstairs window, and... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
While Miss Betsey and Mr. Dick are talking, David observes his surroundings. His aunt is "austere" but good-looking and wears plain,... (full context)
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After David's bath, Miss Betsey wraps David up in Mr. Dick 's old clothes and sets him down on the couch to rest. He dozes off,... (full context)
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When David wakes up, he has dinner with Miss Betsey, who then calls Mr. Dick down to join them. She asks David more about himself and his history, before getting... (full context)
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Later that day, David, Miss Betsey, and Mr. Dick have tea, and Miss Betsey again asks what she should do with David. Mr. Dick... (full context)
Chapter 14: My Aunt Makes Up Her Mind About Me
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...depresses David, and when Miss Betsey suggests that he go and give her "compliments" to Mr. Dick , he jumps at the chance to please her. Before he can leave, however, his... (full context)
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David goes upstairs to Mr. Dick , whom he finds at work on what Miss Betsey has called "his Memorial." When... (full context)
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Returning downstairs, David relays Mr. Dick 's compliments to Miss Betsey, who asks David what he thinks of him and—when David... (full context)
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Miss Betsey then begins to discuss Mr. Dick 's Memorial, which she says Charles I must be kept out of in case people... (full context)
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Miss Betsey sends for Mr. Dick , whom she introduces to the Murdstones. Mr. Murdstone then begins to describe the many... (full context)
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...to people who had treated both him and Clara so badly. Finally, Miss Betsey asks Mr. Dick what she ought to do with David, and Mr. Dick suggests having him measured for... (full context)
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The Murdstones leave, and David embraces Miss Betsey, thanking her profusely. Miss Betsey announces to Mr. Dick that they will both act as guardians to David, whom she intends to call "Trotwood"... (full context)
Chapter 15: I Make Another Beginning
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David and Mr. Dick begin flying a kite together every evening, after the latter finishes working on the Memorial... (full context)
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...day. David eagerly accepts, although he feels guilty that going to school will require leaving Mr. Dick , who is distressed to see him go. Miss Betsey promises, however, that David will... (full context)
Chapter 17: Somebody Turns Up
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Meanwhile, Mr. Dick pays frequent visits to David at school, always speaking glowingly of Miss Betsey when he... (full context)
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Mr. Dick quickly becomes a favorite with David's classmates. The visits benefit Mr. Dick as well, since... (full context)
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One day, David is walking Mr. Dick back to the coach office when he stumbles across Uriah Heep. Uriah reminds David that... (full context)
Chapter 19: I Look About Me, and Make a Discovery
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...to do with his life, despite many talks on the subject with his aunt and Mr. Dick . Eventually, Miss Betsey suggests that he take some time to mull over the matter... (full context)
Chapter 23: I Corroborate Mr. Dick, and Choose a Profession
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...Miss Betsey had told him she would be staying, and they greet one another happily. Mr. Dick has not come with Miss Betsey to London, and she admits that she is worried... (full context)
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...to the man. David is shocked, but does as she asks, thinking back to what Mr. Dick had told him of the man who sometimes hangs around Miss Betsey's cottage. (full context)
Chapter 34: My Aunt Astonishes Me
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...they find the door open and hear voices inside. Entering, they find Miss Betsey and Mr. Dick surrounded by luggage. David greets them, reintroducing his aunt to Peggotty, whom she insists on... (full context)
Chapter 35: Depression
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David proposes that Mr. Dick stay in the same room Mr. Peggotty had rented, and takes him to see it.... (full context)
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Returning to David's apartment, David and Mr. Dick find Miss Betsey looking calm. David gives her his bed to sleep in, but she... (full context)
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Miss Betsey explains that while David was away with Mr. Dick , she and Peggotty talked about little Em'ly; Miss Betsey feels little sympathy for her,... (full context)
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...Agnes: she expects to earn about 70 pounds a year from renting the cottage, and Mr. Dick has his own income that she will not touch. Before Agnes can offer any advice,... (full context)
Chapter 36: Enthusiasm
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David takes Mr. Dick with him when he visits Traddles, because Mr. Dick has been fretting about doing nothing... (full context)
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Mr. Dick wishes aloud that he could "exert himself," and Traddles asks whether he could copy legal... (full context)
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After Mr. Dick 's problem is sorted out, Traddles tells David that he has a letter for him... (full context)
Chapter 37: A Little Cold Water
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...he is scheduled to have tea with her and Miss Mills the coming Saturday. Meanwhile, Mr. Dick has settled in well to his new job, and Miss Betsey has frightened Mrs. Crupp... (full context)
Chapter 38: A Dissolution of Partnership
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...to practice transcribing speeches that Traddles gives for his benefit. Together with Miss Betsey and Mr. Dick , they hold mock parliamentary sessions in David's apartment. David slowly begins to find it... (full context)
Chapter 42: Mischief
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The one thing that appears to cheer up both Doctor Strong and Annie Strong is Mr. Dick 's presence. Although David is not sure how much of the situation Mr. Dick himself... (full context)
Chapter 43: Another Retrospect
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...up (still in a state of disbelief) and goes to collect Miss Betsey. Peggotty and Mr. Dick are also attending the wedding; in fact, Mr. Dick is giving Dora away. David also... (full context)
Chapter 45: Mr. Dick Fulfills My Aunt's Prediction
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...worse, but Miss Betsey doesn't know how to fix it. She is confident, however, that Mr. Dick has a plan that will work out. Mr. Dick himself has not given any indication... (full context)
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One night when Dora is out with Miss Betsey, Mr. Dick stops by David's house and asks to speak to him. Mr. Dick announces that Miss... (full context)
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Mr. Dick moves on to the main subject of his visit and describes how grateful he is... (full context)
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David thinks there is something to be said for Mr. Dick 's plan, but he doesn't hear anything about it for a few weeks and begins... (full context)
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...Miss Betsey and David to join her. Mrs. Strong comes along as well, leaning on Mr. Dick 's arm. (full context)
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Once inside the study, Annie Strong immediately kneels before Doctor Strong. Mr. Dick asks what's wrong as the Doctor tries to raise his wife to her feet, but... (full context)
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...between him, Uriah Heep, Mr. Wickfield, and Doctor Strong. When he finishes, Annie finally allows Mr. Dick to help her stand, saying she wants to "lay bare" all her thoughts and feelings... (full context)
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Miss Betsey goes to Mr. Dick and hugs him, saying he is a "remarkable man." Miss Betsey, Mr. Dick, and David... (full context)
Chapter 48: Domestic
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...begins to carry her downstairs each day, which amuses Dora—particularly because Jip, Miss Betsey, and Mr. Dick often form part of the "procession." However, David can't help but notice, with increasing dread,... (full context)
Chapter 49: I Am Involved in Mystery
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...together with Traddles, they take a coach to Highgate. When they arrive at Miss Betsey's, Mr. Dick is also there, and shakes Mr. Micawber's hand several times in an attempt to cheer... (full context)
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Mr. Micawber continues to praise Mr. Dick , but David senses that there is something he wants to disclose. Appearing to sense... (full context)
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...Micawber then races out of the cottage, but sends a letter while David, Miss Betsey, Mr. Dick , and Traddles are still trying to make sense of his visit. In the note,... (full context)
Chapter 52: I Assist at an Explosion
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...is very weak, and Miss Betsey feels she ought to stay with her and send Mr. Dick in her place. Dora, however, says that she won't forgive them if Miss Betsey stays... (full context)
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The next day, David, Miss Betsey, Mr. Dick , and Traddles set off together for Canterbury, and arrive that evening at the hotel... (full context)
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David returns to the inn and waits anxiously with Miss Betsey, Traddles, and Mr. Dick . When Mr. Micawber arrives, he refuses to eat anything and warns everyone that they... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
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...Micawber had told him to do. Mr. Micawber then shows David, Traddles, Miss Betsey, and Mr. Dick inside, and announces their presence to Uriah. Uriah is momentarily surprised, but then greets them... (full context)
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...to do as Traddles says, and he reluctantly tells her to go fetch the contract. Mr. Dick goes with her, and she returns with the contract and all the accounts. (full context)
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...house. Agnes remains behind to comfort Mr. Wickfield, and Traddles stays to guard Uriah, but Mr. Dick , Miss Betsey, and David go with Mr. Micawber, grateful for all he has done.... (full context)
Chapter 54: Mr. Micawber's Transactions
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...past few weeks to uncover and set right all of Uriah's treachery. Furthermore, Traddles says, Mr. Dick has been very helpful, both by cheering Mr. Wickfield up and by copying important documents.... (full context)
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...David could learn to be self-reliant and industrious. Proudly, she says that both he and Mr. Dick have proven themselves.  (full context)
Chapter 59: Return
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...next day traveling to Dover, where he is greeted not only by his aunt and Mr. Dick but also by Peggotty, who is now their housekeeper. David recounts his conversation with Mr.... (full context)
Chapter 60: Agnes
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...Australia, and Mr. Micawber has actually managed to send back some payments towards his debts. Mr. Dick , meanwhile, continues to copy whatever he can to keep "King Charles the First at... (full context)
Chapter 62: A Light Shines on My Way
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...Betsey into "hysterics," and Peggotty needs to revive her. Miss Betsey then hugs Peggotty and Mr. Dick , telling them the good news. She refuses to tell David, however, whether she deliberately... (full context)
Chapter 64: A Last Retrospect
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...David's children (two of whom she is godmother to), reminding David of his own childhood. Mr. Dick also spends time with David's children, flying his kite with the boys and saying that... (full context)