In due time, Mr. Micawber's petition was
ripe for hearing; and that gentleman was ordered to be discharged under the
Act, to my great joy. His creditors were not implacable; and Mrs. Micawber
informed me that even the revengeful boot-maker had declared in open court that
he bore him no malice, but that when money was owing to him he liked to be
paid. He said he thought it was human nature.
Mr Micawber returned to the King's Bench when his case was over, as some fees
were to be settled, and some formalities observed, before he could be actually
released. The club received him with transport, and held an harmonic meeting
that evening in his honour; while Mrs. Micawber and I had a lamb's fry in
private, surrounded by the sleeping family.
'On such an occasion I will give you, Master Copperfield,' said Mrs. Micawber,
'in a little more flip,' for we had been having some already, 'the memory of my
papa and mama.'
'Are they dead, ma'am?' I inquired, after drinking the toast in a wine-glass.
'My mama departed this life,' said Mrs. Micawber, 'before Mr. Micawber's
difficulties commenced, or at least before they became pressing. My papa lived
to bail Mr. Micawber several times, and then expired, regretted by a numerous
Mrs. Micawber shook her head, and dropped a pious tear upon the twin who
happened to be in hand.
As I could hardly hope for a more favourable opportunity of putting a question
in which I had a near interest, I said to Mrs. Micawber:
'May I ask, ma'am, what you and Mr. Micawber intend to do, now that Mr.
Micawber is out of his difficulties, and at liberty? Have you settled yet?'
'My family,' said Mrs. Micawber, who always said those two words with an air,
though I never could discover who came under the denomination, 'my family are
of opinion that Mr. Micawber should quit London, and exert his talents in the
country. Mr. Micawber is a man of great talent, Master Copperfield.'