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Mr. Micawber, who had been helping us all, out of the
wash-hand-stand jug, replied:

'To Canterbury. In fact, my dear Copperfield, I have entered into
arrangements, by virtue of which I stand pledged and contracted to
our friend Heep, to assist and serve him in the capacity of - and
to be - his confidential clerk.'

I stared at Mr. Micawber, who greatly enjoyed my surprise.

'I am bound to state to you,' he said, with an official air, 'that
the business habits, and the prudent suggestions, of Mrs. Micawber,
have in a great measure conduced to this result. The gauntlet, to
which Mrs. Micawber referred upon a former occasion, being thrown
down in the form of an advertisement, was taken up by my friend
Heep, and led to a mutual recognition. Of my friend Heep,' said
Mr. Micawber, 'who is a man of remarkable shrewdness, I desire to
speak with all possible respect. My friend Heep has not fixed the
positive remuneration at too high a figure, but he has made a great
deal, in the way of extrication from the pressure of pecuniary
difficulties, contingent on the value of my services; and on the
value of those services I pin my faith. Such address and
intelligence as I chance to possess,' said Mr. Micawber, boastfully
disparaging himself, with the old genteel air, 'will be devoted to
my friend Heep's service. I have already some acquaintance with
the law - as a defendant on civil process - and I shall immediately
apply myself to the Commentaries of one of the most eminent and
remarkable of our English jurists. I believe it is unnecessary to
add that I allude to Mr. justice Blackstone.'

These observations, and indeed the greater part of the observations
made that evening, were interrupted by Mrs. Micawber's discovering
that Master Micawber was sitting on his boots, or holding his head
on with both arms as if he felt it loose, or accidentally kicking
Traddles under the table, or shuffling his feet over one another,
or producing them at distances from himself apparently outrageous
to nature, or lying sideways with his hair among the wine-glasses,
or developing his restlessness of limb in some other form
incompatible with the general interests of society; and by Master
Micawber's receiving those discoveries in a resentful spirit. I
sat all the while, amazed by Mr. Micawber's disclosure, and
wondering what it meant; until Mrs. Micawber resumed the thread of
the discourse, and claimed my attention.

'What I particularly request Mr. Micawber to be careful of, is,'
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