A mysterious voice from the end of the passage replied Yes. Upon which the youthful servant replied Yes.
Is he at home? said I.
Again the mysterious voice replied in the affirmative, and again the servant echoed it. Upon this, I walked in, and in pursuance of the servants directions walked up-stairs; conscious, as I passed the back-parlour door, that I was surveyed by a mysterious eye, probably belonging to the mysterious voice.
When I got to the top of the stairsthe house was only a story high above the ground floorTraddles was on the landing to meet me. He was delighted to see me, and gave me welcome, with great heartiness, to his little room. It was in the front of the house, and extremely neat, though sparely furnished. It was his only room, I saw; for there was a sofa-bedstead in it, and his blacking-brushes and blacking were among his bookson the top shelf, behind a dictionary. His table was covered with papers, and he was hard at work in an old coat. I looked at nothing, that I know of, but I saw everything, even to the prospect of a church upon his china inkstand, as I sat downand this, too, was a faculty confirmed in me in the old Micawber times. Various ingenious arrangements he had made, for the disguise of his chest of drawers, and the accommodation of his boots, his shaving-glass, and so forth, particularly impressed themselves upon me, as evidences of the same Traddles who used to make models of elephants dens in writing-paper to put flies in; and to comfort himself, under ill usage, with the memorable works of art I have so often mentioned.
In a corner of the room was something neatly covered up with a large white cloth. I could not make out what that was.
Traddles, said I, shaking hands with him again, after I had sat down, I am delighted to see you.
I am delighted to see you, Copperfield, he returned. I am very glad indeed to see you. It was because I was thoroughly glad to see you when we met in Ely Place, and was sure you were thoroughly glad to see me, that I gave you this address instead of my address at chambers.
Oh! You have chambers? said I.
Why, I have the fourth of a room and a passage, and the fourth of a clerk, returned Traddles. Three others and myself unite to have a set of chambersto look business-likeand we quarter the clerk too. Half-a-crown a week he costs me.
His old simple character and good temper, and something of his old unlucky fortune also, I thought, smiled at me in the smile with which he made this explanation.
Its not because I have the least pride, Copperfield, you understand, said Traddles, that I dont usually give my address here. Its only on account of those who come to me, who might not like to come here. For myself, I am fighting my way on in the world against difficulties, and it would be ridiculous if I made a pretence of doing anything else.
You are reading for the bar, Mr. Waterbrook informed me? said I.
Why, yes, said Traddles, rubbing his hands, slowly over one another, I am reading for the bar. The fact is, I have just begun to keep my terms, after rather a long delay. Its some time since I was articled, but the payment of that hundred pounds was a great pull. A great pull! said Traddles, with a wince, as if he had had a tooth out.
Do you know what I cant help thinking of, Traddles, as I sit here looking at you? I asked him.
No, said he.
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