a Voice from the Cloister

Gabriel Aparta

Senior Member
Español - Venezuela
Hi everyone, please, from David Copperfield by Dickens:

Miss Mills was more than usually pensive when Dora, going to find her, brought her back;—I apprehend, because there was a tendency in what had passed to awaken the slumbering echoes in the caverns of Memory. But she gave us her blessing, and the assurance of her lasting friendship, and spoke to us, generally, as became a Voice from the Cloister.

Dora and David are secretly engaged and they just told Miss Mills, a friend. What does that last part mean please?

  • Barque

    Senior Member
    "Became" in that context means "befitted". She spoke as a voice from the cloister should speak, or in a way suitable for a voice from the cloister.

    I think "cloister" here has been used to mean a place of religion, or a place for religious people. So "voice from the cloister" here means a person from a religious background. The word "voice" is used to refer to the person speaking, who's Miss Mills.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I agree.

    Like a nun, the unfortunate young woman had effectively renounced the pleasures of this world. Nuns were traditionally shut away in cloisters, but Miss Mills' "cloister" is in her own mind.

    Miss Mills having been unhappy in a misplaced affection, and being understood to have retired from the world on her awful stock of experience, but still to take a calm interest in the unblighted hopes and loves of youth.

    Voice from the Cloister
    There was a poem of the same name, by

    Martin Farquhar Tupper (July 17, 1810 - November 1889 / London) Perhaps Dickens was mocking it here.
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