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It would have been better, as it turned out, to have led gently up
to this announcement, for Mrs. Micawber, being in a delicate state
of health, was overcome by it, and was taken so unwell, that Mr.
Micawber was obliged, in great trepidation, to run down to the
water-butt in the backyard, and draw a basinful to lave her brow
with. She presently revived, however, and was really pleased to
see me. We had half-an-hour's talk, all together; and I asked her
about the twins, who, she said, were 'grown great creatures'; and
after Master and Miss Micawber, whom she described as 'absolute
giants', but they were not produced on that occasion.

Mr. Micawber was very anxious that I should stay to dinner. I
should not have been averse to do so, but that I imagined I
detected trouble, and calculation relative to the extent of the
cold meat, in Mrs. Micawber's eye. I therefore pleaded another
engagement; and observing that Mrs. Micawber's spirits were
immediately lightened, I resisted all persuasion to forego it.

But I told Traddles, and Mr. and Mrs. Micawber, that before I could
think of leaving, they must appoint a day when they would come and
dine with me. The occupations to which Traddles stood pledged,
rendered it necessary to fix a somewhat distant one; but an
appointment was made for the purpose, that suited us all, and then
I took my leave.

Mr. Micawber, under pretence of showing me a nearer way than that
by which I had come, accompanied me to the corner of the street;
being anxious (he explained to me) to say a few words to an old
friend, in confidence.

'My dear Copperfield,' said Mr. Micawber, 'I need hardly tell you
that to have beneath our roof, under existing circumstances, a mind
like that which gleams - if I may be allowed the expression - which
gleams - in your friend Traddles, is an unspeakable comfort. With
a washerwoman, who exposes hard-bake for sale in her
parlour-window, dwelling next door, and a Bow-street officer
residing over the way, you may imagine that his society is a source
of consolation to myself and to Mrs. Micawber. I am at present, my
dear Copperfield, engaged in the sale of corn upon commission. It
is not an avocation of a remunerative description - in other words,
it does not pay - and some temporary embarrassments of a pecuniary
nature have been the consequence. I am, however, delighted to add
that I have now an immediate prospect of something turning up (I am
not at liberty to say in what direction), which I trust will enable
me to provide, permanently, both for myself and for your friend
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