Last Updated on May 17, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 182
Context: Immediately after his widowed mother's remarriage, young Copperfield is sent away to Yarmouth for a time with Peggotty, the family maid, to stay with her brother and the other members of his household. Mr. Peggotty lives in a converted boat by the coast, a unique dwelling which the boy finds very pleasant; he likes all the people who live there, especially the girl, Little Em'ly, but he finds Mrs. Gummidge a trial at times. She is Em'ly's foster mother, and suffers from a recurring melancholia which reduces her to a sniveling heap of self-commiseration. At these times she complains of everything, explaining that she is more sensitive to discomfort than other people. Soon after Copperfield arrives, Mrs. Gummidge succumbs to her malady, releases a flood of tears, and moans that she is a creature cursed by fate.
Mrs. Gummidge had been in a low state all day, and had burst into tears in the forenoon, when the fire smoked. "I am a lone lorn creetur'," were Mrs. Gummidge's words, when that unpleasant occurrence took place, "and everythink goes contrairy with me."