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'How is Mrs. Micawber now, sir?' I said.

'Very low,' said Mr. Micawber, shaking his head; 'reaction. Ah,
this has been a dreadful day! We stand alone now - everything is
gone from us!'

Mr. Micawber pressed my hand, and groaned, and afterwards shed
tears. I was greatly touched, and disappointed too, for I had
expected that we should be quite gay on this happy and
long-looked-for occasion. But Mr. and Mrs. Micawber were so used
to their old difficulties, I think, that they felt quite
shipwrecked when they came to consider that they were released from
them. All their elasticity was departed, and I never saw them half
so wretched as on this night; insomuch that when the bell rang, and
Mr. Micawber walked with me to the lodge, and parted from me there
with a blessing, I felt quite afraid to leave him by himself, he
was so profoundly miserable.

But through all the confusion and lowness of spirits in which we
had been, so unexpectedly to me, involved, I plainly discerned that
Mr. and Mrs. Micawber and their family were going away from London,
and that a parting between us was near at hand. It was in my walk
home that night, and in the sleepless hours which followed when I
lay in bed, that the thought first occurred to me - though I don't
know how it came into my head - which afterwards shaped itself into
a settled resolution.

I had grown to be so accustomed to the Micawbers, and had been so
intimate with them in their distresses, and was so utterly
friendless without them, that the prospect of being thrown upon
some new shift for a lodging, and going once more among unknown
people, was like being that moment turned adrift into my present
life, with such a knowledge of it ready made as experience had
given me. All the sensitive feelings it wounded so cruelly, all
the shame and misery it kept alive within my breast, became more
poignant as I thought of this; and I determined that the life was

That there was no hope of escape from it, unless the escape was my
own act, I knew quite well. I rarely heard from Miss Murdstone,
and never from Mr. Murdstone: but two or three parcels of made or
mended clothes had come up for me, consigned to Mr. Quinion, and in
each there was a scrap of paper to the effect that J. M. trusted D.

C. was applying himself to business, and devoting himself wholly to
his duties - not the least hint of my ever being anything else than
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