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Micawber rushed out of the house; leaving us in a state of
excitement, hope, and wonder, that reduced us to a condition little
better than his own. But even then his passion for writing letters
was too strong to be resisted; for while we were yet in the height
of our excitement, hope, and wonder, the following pastoral note
was brought to me from a neighbouring tavern, at which he had
called to write it: -

'Most secret and confidential.

'I beg to be allowed to convey, through you, my apologies to your
excellent aunt for my late excitement. An explosion of a
smouldering volcano long suppressed, was the result of an internal
contest more easily conceived than described.

'I trust I rendered tolerably intelligible my appointment for the
morning of this day week, at the house of public entertainment at
Canterbury, where Mrs. Micawber and myself had once the honour of
uniting our voices to yours, in the well-known strain of the
Immortal exciseman nurtured beyond the Tweed.

'The duty done, and act of reparation performed, which can alone
enable me to contemplate my fellow mortal, I shall be known no
more. I shall simply require to be deposited in that place of
universal resort, where

Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep,

'- With the plain Inscription,



By this time, some months had passed since our interview on the
bank of the river with Martha. I had never seen her since, but she
had communicated with Mr. Peggotty on several occasions. Nothing
had come of her zealous intervention; nor could I infer, from what
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