he was full two hours <getting by easy stages to a shilling.>

park sang joon

Senior Member
The narrator recalls his childhood.
He was forced to work for his own living for Mr. Murdstone's friend Mr. Quinion at London by his stepfather Mr. Murdstone.
When the protagonist started to run away to his grand aunt Miss Betsey, he was robbed his money and box by a porter and then he abandoned pursuing him after a long distance pursuit.
Afterwords, he sold his waist-coat for his travelling expenses.
Now, he is trying to sell his jacket at an drunk eccentric dealer's, but the dealer wants to barter, so he is just waiting for his change of heart outside.

He mad many attempts to induce me to consent to an exchange, at one time coming out with a fishing-rod, at another with a fiddle, at another with a cocked hat, at another with a flute. But I resisted all these overtures, and sat there in desperation, each time asking him, with tears in my eyes, for my money or my jacket. At last he began to pay me in halfpence at a time, and was full two hours getting by easy stages to a shilling.
"Oh, my eyes and limbs!" he then cried, peeping hideously out of the shop, after a long pause, "will you go for twopence more?"
[David Copperfield by Charles Dickens]
I'd like to know what "getting by easy stages to a shilling." means
Thank you in advance for your help.
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    'By easy stages' or 'in easy stages' means slowly.

    See our dictionaries:
    by easy stages, gradually; without hurry.
    You will know old British money by now. If the man brought out halfpence (½d) at a time, young David would need for 24 halfpences for a shilling (1s = 12d).
    < Previous | Next >