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Mr. Dick was at home. He was by nature so exceedingly
compassionate of anyone who seemed to be ill at ease, and was so
quick to find any such person out, that he shook hands with Mr.
Micawber, at least half-a-dozen times in five minutes. To Mr.
Micawber, in his trouble, this warmth, on the part of a stranger,
was so extremely touching, that he could only say, on the occasion
of each successive shake, 'My dear sir, you overpower me!' Which
gratified Mr. Dick so much, that he went at it again with greater
vigour than before.

'The friendliness of this gentleman,' said Mr. Micawber to my aunt,
'if you will allow me, ma'am, to cull a figure of speech from the
vocabulary of our coarser national sports - floors me. To a man
who is struggling with a complicated burden of perplexity and
disquiet, such a reception is trying, I assure you.'

'My friend Mr. Dick,' replied my aunt proudly, 'is not a common

'That I am convinced of,' said Mr. Micawber. 'My dear sir!' for
Mr. Dick was shaking hands with him again; 'I am deeply sensible of
your cordiality!'

'How do you find yourself?' said Mr. Dick, with an anxious look.

'Indifferent, my dear sir,' returned Mr. Micawber, sighing.

'You must keep up your spirits,' said Mr. Dick, 'and make yourself
as comfortable as possible.'

Mr. Micawber was quite overcome by these friendly words, and by
finding Mr. Dick's hand again within his own. 'It has been my
lot,' he observed, 'to meet, in the diversified panorama of human
existence, with an occasional oasis, but never with one so green,
so gushing, as the present!'

At another time I should have been amused by this; but I felt that
we were all constrained and uneasy, and I watched Mr. Micawber so
anxiously, in his vacillations between an evident disposition to
reveal something, and a counter-disposition to reveal nothing, that
I was in a perfect fever. Traddles, sitting on the edge of his
chair, with his eyes wide open, and his hair more emphatically
erect than ever, stared by turns at the ground and at Mr. Micawber,
without so much as attempting to put in a word. My aunt, though I
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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