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pleasure of drinking your health, ma'am.' On which Mr. Micawber
delivered an eulogium on Mrs. Micawber's character, and said she
had ever been his guide, philosopher, and friend, and that he would
recommend me, when I came to a marrying time of life, to marry such
another woman, if such another woman could be found.

As the punch disappeared, Mr. Micawber became still more friendly
and convivial. Mrs. Micawber's spirits becoming elevated, too, we
sang 'Auld Lang Syne'. When we came to 'Here's a hand, my trusty
frere', we all joined hands round the table; and when we declared
we would 'take a right gude Willie Waught', and hadn't the least
idea what it meant, we were really affected.

In a word, I never saw anybody so thoroughly jovial as Mr. Micawber
was, down to the very last moment of the evening, when I took a
hearty farewell of himself and his amiable wife. Consequently, I
was not prepared, at seven o'clock next morning, to receive the
following communication, dated half past nine in the evening; a
quarter of an hour after I had left him: -


'The die is cast - all is over. Hiding the ravages of care with a
sickly mask of mirth, I have not informed you, this evening, that
there is no hope of the remittance! Under these circumstances,
alike humiliating to endure, humiliating to contemplate, and
humiliating to relate, I have discharged the pecuniary liability
contracted at this establishment, by giving a note of hand, made
payable fourteen days after date, at my residence, Pentonville,
London. When it becomes due, it will not be taken up. The result
is destruction. The bolt is impending, and the tree must fall.

'Let the wretched man who now addresses you, my dear Copperfield,
be a beacon to you through life. He writes with that intention,
and in that hope. If he could think himself of so much use, one
gleam of day might, by possibility, penetrate into the cheerless
dungeon of his remaining existence - though his longevity is, at
present (to say the least of it), extremely problematical.

'This is the last communication, my dear Copperfield, you will ever


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