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a leisure time; and that these were always directed in a
business-like manner by Mr. Micawber, who now assumed a round legal
hand. I was glad to infer, from these slight premises, that Mr.
Micawber was doing well; and consequently was much surprised to
receive, about this time, the following letter from his amiable

'CANTERBURY, Monday Evening.

'You will doubtless be surprised, my dear Mr. Copperfield, to
receive this communication. Still more so, by its contents. Still
more so, by the stipulation of implicit confidence which I beg to
impose. But my feelings as a wife and mother require relief; and
as I do not wish to consult my family (already obnoxious to the
feelings of Mr. Micawber), I know no one of whom I can better ask
advice than my friend and former lodger.

'You may be aware, my dear Mr. Copperfield, that between myself and
Mr. Micawber (whom I will never desert), there has always been
preserved a spirit of mutual confidence. Mr. Micawber may have
occasionally given a bill without consulting me, or he may have
misled me as to the period when that obligation would become due.
This has actually happened. But, in general, Mr. Micawber has had
no secrets from the bosom of affection - I allude to his wife - and
has invariably, on our retirement to rest, recalled the events of
the day.

'You will picture to yourself, my dear Mr. Copperfield, what the
poignancy of my feelings must be, when I inform you that Mr.
Micawber is entirely changed. He is reserved. He is secret. His
life is a mystery to the partner of his joys and sorrows - I again
allude to his wife - and if I should assure you that beyond knowing
that it is passed from morning to night at the office, I now know
less of it than I do of the man in the south, connected with whose
mouth the thoughtless children repeat an idle tale respecting cold
plum porridge, I should adopt a popular fallacy to express an
actual fact.

'But this is not all. Mr. Micawber is morose. He is severe. He
is estranged from our eldest son and daughter, he has no pride in
his twins, he looks with an eye of coldness even on the unoffending
stranger who last became a member of our circle. The pecuniary
means of meeting our expenses, kept down to the utmost farthing,
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