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


something turns up (which I am, I may say, hourly expecting), I
have nothing to bestow but advice. Still my advice is so far worth
taking, that - in short, that I have never taken it myself, and am
the' - here Mr. Micawber, who had been beaming and smiling, all
over his head and face, up to the present moment, checked himself
and frowned - 'the miserable wretch you behold.'

'My dear Micawber!' urged his wife.

'I say,' returned Mr. Micawber, quite forgetting himself, and
smiling again, 'the miserable wretch you behold. My advice is,
never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the
thief of time. Collar him!'

'My poor papa's maxim,' Mrs. Micawber observed.

'My dear,' said Mr. Micawber, 'your papa was very well in his way,
and Heaven forbid that I should disparage him. Take him for all in
all, we ne'er shall - in short, make the acquaintance, probably, of
anybody else possessing, at his time of life, the same legs for
gaiters, and able to read the same description of print, without
spectacles. But he applied that maxim to our marriage, my dear;
and that was so far prematurely entered into, in consequence, that
I never recovered the expense.' Mr. Micawber looked aside at Mrs.
Micawber, and added: 'Not that I am sorry for it. Quite the
contrary, my love.' After which, he was grave for a minute or so.

'My other piece of advice, Copperfield,' said Mr. Micawber, 'you
know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen
nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds,
annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The
blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down
upon the dreary scene, and - and in short you are for ever floored.
As I am!'

To make his example the more impressive, Mr. Micawber drank a glass
of punch with an air of great enjoyment and satisfaction, and
whistled the College Hornpipe.

I did not fail to assure him that I would store these precepts in
my mind, though indeed I had no need to do so, for, at the time,
they affected me visibly. Next morning I met the whole family at
the coach office, and saw them, with a desolate heart, take their
places outside, at the back.
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