Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
'Everyone who knows me, spoils me, I believe,' she answered,
'No. it's because you are like no one else. You are so good, and
so sweet-tempered. You have such a gentle nature, and you are
'You talk,' said Agnes, breaking into a pleasant laugh, as she sat
at work, 'as if I were the late Miss Larkins.'
'Come! It's not fair to abuse my confidence,' I answered,
reddening at the recollection of my blue enslaver. 'But I shall
confide in you, just the same, Agnes. I can never grow out of
that. Whenever I fall into trouble, or fall in love, I shall
always tell you, if you'll let me - even when I come to fall in
love in earnest.'
'Why, you have always been in earnest!' said Agnes, laughing again.
'Oh! that was as a child, or a schoolboy,' said I, laughing in my
turn, not without being a little shame-faced. 'Times are altering
now, and I suppose I shall be in a terrible state of earnestness
one day or other. My wonder is, that you are not in earnest
yourself, by this time, Agnes.'
Agnes laughed again, and shook her head.
'Oh, I know you are not!' said I, 'because if you had been you
would have told me. Or at least' - for I saw a faint blush in her
face, 'you would have let me find it out for myself. But there is
no one that I know of, who deserves to love you, Agnes. Someone of
a nobler character, and more worthy altogether than anyone I have
ever seen here, must rise up, before I give my consent. In the
time to come, I shall have a wary eye on all admirers; and shall
exact a great deal from the successful one, I assure you.'
We had gone on, so far, in a mixture of confidential jest and
earnest, that had long grown naturally out of our familiar
relations, begun as mere children. But Agnes, now suddenly lifting
up her eyes to mine, and speaking in a different manner, said:
'Trotwood, there is something that I want to ask you, and that I
may not have another opportunity of asking for a long time, perhaps
- something I would ask, I think, of no one else. Have you
observed any gradual alteration in Papa?'