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present pass, and they lived more comfortably in the prison than
they had lived for a long while out of it. I used to breakfast
with them now, in virtue of some arrangement, of which I have
forgotten the details. I forget, too, at what hour the gates were
opened in the morning, admitting of my going in; but I know that I
was often up at six o'clock, and that my favourite lounging-place
in the interval was old London Bridge, where I was wont to sit in
one of the stone recesses, watching the people going by, or to look
over the balustrades at the sun shining in the water, and lighting
up the golden flame on the top of the Monument. The Orfling met me
here sometimes, to be told some astonishing fictions respecting the
wharves and the Tower; of which I can say no more than that I hope
I believed them myself. In the evening I used to go back to the
prison, and walk up and down the parade with Mr. Micawber; or play
casino with Mrs. Micawber, and hear reminiscences of her papa and
mama. Whether Mr. Murdstone knew where I was, I am unable to say.
I never told them at Murdstone and Grinby's.

Mr. Micawber's affairs, although past their crisis, were very much
involved by reason of a certain 'Deed', of which I used to hear a
great deal, and which I suppose, now, to have been some former
composition with his creditors, though I was so far from being
clear about it then, that I am conscious of having confounded it
with those demoniacal parchments which are held to have, once upon
a time, obtained to a great extent in Germany. At last this
document appeared to be got out of the way, somehow; at all events
it ceased to be the rock-ahead it had been; and Mrs. Micawber
informed me that 'her family' had decided that Mr. Micawber should
apply for his release under the Insolvent Debtors Act, which would
set him free, she expected, in about six weeks.

'And then,' said Mr. Micawber, who was present, 'I have no doubt I
shall, please Heaven, begin to be beforehand with the world, and to
live in a perfectly new manner, if - in short, if anything turns

By way of going in for anything that might be on the cards, I call
to mind that Mr. Micawber, about this time, composed a petition to
the House of Commons, praying for an alteration in the law of
imprisonment for debt. I set down this remembrance here, because
it is an instance to myself of the manner in which I fitted my old
books to my altered life, and made stories for myself, out of the
streets, and out of men and women; and how some main points in the
character I shall unconsciously develop, I suppose, in writing my
life, were gradually forming all this while.
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