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doubtfully observes, when I present myself. 'Do you waltz? If
not, Captain Bailey -'

But I do waltz (pretty well, too, as it happens), and I take Miss
Larkins out. I take her sternly from the side of Captain Bailey.
He is wretched, I have no doubt; but he is nothing to me. I have
been wretched, too. I waltz with the eldest Miss Larkins! I don't
know where, among whom, or how long. I only know that I swim about
in space, with a blue angel, in a state of blissful delirium, until
I find myself alone with her in a little room, resting on a sofa.

She admires a flower (pink camellia japonica, price half-a-crown),
in my button-hole. I give it her, and say:

'I ask an inestimable price for it, Miss Larkins.'

'Indeed! What is that?' returns Miss Larkins.

'A flower of yours, that I may treasure it as a miser does gold.'

'You're a bold boy,' says Miss Larkins. 'There.'

She gives it me, not displeased; and I put it to my lips, and then
into my breast. Miss Larkins, laughing, draws her hand through my
arm, and says, 'Now take me back to Captain Bailey.'

I am lost in the recollection of this delicious interview, and the
waltz, when she comes to me again, with a plain elderly gentleman
who has been playing whist all night, upon her arm, and says:

'Oh! here is my bold friend! Mr. Chestle wants to know you, Mr.

I feel at once that he is a friend of the family, and am much

'I admire your taste, sir,' says Mr. Chestle. 'It does you credit.
I suppose you don't take much interest in hops; but I am a pretty
large grower myself; and if you ever like to come over to our
neighbourhood - neighbourhood of Ashford - and take a run about our
place, -we shall be glad for you to stop as long as you like.'

I thank Mr. Chestle warmly, and shake hands. I think I am in a
happy dream. I waltz with the eldest Miss Larkins once again. She
says I waltz so well! I go home in a state of unspeakable bliss,
and waltz in imagination, all night long, with my arm round the
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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