Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
able-bodied person in a white apron pounced out upon me from a
doorway, and whispering the word 'Marriage-licence' in my ear, was
with great difficulty prevented from taking me up in his arms and
lifting me into a proctor's. From this digression, let me proceed
I found everything in a satisfactory state at the cottage; and was
enabled to gratify my aunt exceedingly by reporting that the tenant
inherited her feud, and waged incessant war against donkeys.
Having settled the little business I had to transact there, and
slept there one night, I walked on to Canterbury early in the
morning. It was now winter again; and the fresh, cold windy day,
and the sweeping downland, brightened up my hopes a little.
Coming into Canterbury, I loitered through the old streets with a
sober pleasure that calmed my spirits, and eased my heart. There
were the old signs, the old names over the shops, the old people
serving in them. It appeared so long, since I had been a schoolboy
there, that I wondered the place was so little changed, until I
reflected how little I was changed myself. Strange to say, that
quiet influence which was inseparable in my mind from Agnes, seemed
to pervade even the city where she dwelt. The venerable cathedral
towers, and the old jackdaws and rooks whose airy voices made them
more retired than perfect silence would have done; the battered
gateways, one stuck full with statues, long thrown down, and
crumbled away, like the reverential pilgrims who had gazed upon
them; the still nooks, where the ivied growth of centuries crept
over gabled ends and ruined walls; the ancient houses, the pastoral
landscape of field, orchard, and garden; everywhere - on everything
- I felt the same serener air, the same calm, thoughtful, softening
Arrived at Mr. Wickfield's house, I found, in the little lower room
on the ground floor, where Uriah Heep had been of old accustomed to
sit, Mr. Micawber plying his pen with great assiduity. He was
dressed in a legal-looking suit of black, and loomed, burly and
large, in that small office.
Mr. Micawber was extremely glad to see me, but a little confused
too. He would have conducted me immediately into the presence of
Uriah, but I declined.
'I know the house of old, you recollect,' said I, 'and will find my
way upstairs. How do you like the law, Mr. Micawber?'