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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens


At last Mr. Micawber's difficulties came to a crisis, and he was
arrested early one morning, and carried over to the King's Bench
Prison in the Borough. He told me, as he went out of the house,
that the God of day had now gone down upon him - and I really
thought his heart was broken and mine too. But I heard,
afterwards, that he was seen to play a lively game at skittles,
before noon.

On the first Sunday after he was taken there, I was to go and see
him, and have dinner with him. I was to ask my way to such a
place, and just short of that place I should see such another
place, and just short of that I should see a yard, which I was to
cross, and keep straight on until I saw a turnkey. All this I did;
and when at last I did see a turnkey (poor little fellow that I
was!), and thought how, when Roderick Random was in a debtors'
prison, there was a man there with nothing on him but an old rug,
the turnkey swam before my dimmed eyes and my beating heart.

Mr. Micawber was waiting for me within the gate, and we went up to
his room (top story but one), and cried very much. He solemnly
conjured me, I remember, to take warning by his fate; and to
observe that if a man had twenty pounds a-year for his income, and
spent nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence, he would be
happy, but that if he spent twenty pounds one he would be
miserable. After which he borrowed a shilling of me for porter,
gave me a written order on Mrs. Micawber for the amount, and put
away his pocket-handkerchief, and cheered up.

We sat before a little fire, with two bricks put within the rusted
grate, one on each side, to prevent its burning too many coals;
until another debtor, who shared the room with Mr. Micawber, came
in from the bakehouse with the loin of mutton which was our
joint-stock repast. Then I was sent up to 'Captain Hopkins' in the
room overhead, with Mr. Micawber's compliments, and I was his young
friend, and would Captain Hopkins lend me a knife and fork.

Captain Hopkins lent me the knife and fork, with his compliments to
Mr. Micawber. There was a very dirty lady in his little room, and
two wan girls, his daughters, with shock heads of hair. I thought
it was better to borrow Captain Hopkins's knife and fork, than
Captain Hopkins's comb. The Captain himself was in the last
extremity of shabbiness, with large whiskers, and an old, old brown
great-coat with no other coat below it. I saw his bed rolled up in
a corner; and what plates and dishes and pots he had, on a shelf;
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens



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