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slow agony of my youth, I wonder how much of the histories I
invented for such people hangs like a mist of fancy over
well-remembered facts! When I tread the old ground, I do not
wonder that I seem to see and pity, going on before me, an innocent
romantic boy, making his imaginative world out of such strange
experiences and sordid things!



In due time, Mr. Micawber's petition was ripe for hearing; and that
gentleman was ordered to be discharged under the Act, to my great
joy. His creditors were not implacable; and Mrs. Micawber informed
me that even the revengeful boot-maker had declared in open court
that he bore him no malice, but that when money was owing to him he
liked to be paid. He said he thought it was human nature.

M r Micawber returned to the King's Bench when his case was over,
as some fees were to be settled, and some formalities observed,
before he could be actually released. The club received him with
transport, and held an harmonic meeting that evening in his honour;
while Mrs. Micawber and I had a lamb's fry in private, surrounded
by the sleeping family.

'On such an occasion I will give you, Master Copperfield,' said
Mrs. Micawber, 'in a little more flip,' for we had been having some
already, 'the memory of my papa and mama.'

'Are they dead, ma'am?' I inquired, after drinking the toast in a

'My mama departed this life,' said Mrs. Micawber, 'before Mr.
Micawber's difficulties commenced, or at least before they became
pressing. My papa lived to bail Mr. Micawber several times, and
then expired, regretted by a numerous circle.'

Mrs. Micawber shook her head, and dropped a pious tear upon the
twin who happened to be in hand.

As I could hardly hope for a more favourable opportunity of putting
a question in which I had a near interest, I said to Mrs. Micawber:
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