Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
'My dear Copperfield,' said Mr. Micawber, 'this is luxurious. This
is a way of life which reminds me of the period when I was myself
in a state of celibacy, and Mrs. Micawber had not yet been
solicited to plight her faith at the Hymeneal altar.'
'He means, solicited by him, Mr. Copperfield,' said Mrs. Micawber,
archly. 'He cannot answer for others.'
'My dear,' returned Mr. Micawber with sudden seriousness, 'I have
no desire to answer for others. I am too well aware that when, in
the inscrutable decrees of Fate, you were reserved for me, it is
possible you may have been reserved for one, destined, after a
protracted struggle, at length to fall a victim to pecuniary
involvements of a complicated nature. I understand your allusion,
my love. I regret it, but I can bear it.'
'Micawber!' exclaimed Mrs. Micawber, in tears. 'Have I deserved
this! I, who never have deserted you; who never WILL desert you,
'My love,' said Mr. Micawber, much affected, 'you will forgive, and
our old and tried friend Copperfield will, I am sure, forgive, the
momentary laceration of a wounded spirit, made sensitive by a
recent collision with the Minion of Power - in other words, with a
ribald Turncock attached to the water-works - and will pity, not
condemn, its excesses.'
Mr. Micawber then embraced Mrs. Micawber, and pressed my hand;
leaving me to infer from this broken allusion that his domestic
supply of water had been cut off that afternoon, in consequence of
default in the payment of the company's rates.
To divert his thoughts from this melancholy subject, I informed Mr.
Micawber that I relied upon him for a bowl of punch, and led him to
the lemons. His recent despondency, not to say despair, was gone
in a moment. I never saw a man so thoroughly enjoy himself amid
the fragrance of lemon-peel and sugar, the odour of burning rum,
and the steam of boiling water, as Mr. Micawber did that afternoon.
It was wonderful to see his face shining at us out of a thin cloud
of these delicate fumes, as he stirred, and mixed, and tasted, and
looked as if he were making, instead of punch, a fortune for his
family down to the latest posterity. As to Mrs. Micawber, I don't
know whether it was the effect of the cap, or the lavender-water,
or the pins, or the fire, or the wax-candles, but she came out of
my room, comparatively speaking, lovely. And the lark was never