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Miss Mills was more than usually pensive when Dora, going to find
her, brought her back; - I apprehend, because there was a tendency
in what had passed to awaken the slumbering echoes in the caverns
of Memory. But she gave us her blessing, and the assurance of her
lasting friendship, and spoke to us, generally, as became a Voice
from the Cloister.

What an idle time it was! What an insubstantial, happy, foolish
time it was!

When I measured Dora's finger for a ring that was to be made of
Forget-me-nots, and when the jeweller, to whom I took the measure,
found me out, and laughed over his order-book, and charged me
anything he liked for the pretty little toy, with its blue stones
- so associated in my remembrance with Dora's hand, that yesterday,
when I saw such another, by chance, on the finger of my own
daughter, there was a momentary stirring in my heart, like pain!

When I walked about, exalted with my secret, and full of my own
interest, and felt the dignity of loving Dora, and of being
beloved, so much, that if I had walked the air, I could not have
been more above the people not so situated, who were creeping on
the earth!

When we had those meetings in the garden of the square, and sat
within the dingy summer-house, so happy, that I love the London
sparrows to this hour, for nothing else, and see the plumage of the
tropics in their smoky feathers!

When we had our first great quarrel (within a week of our
betrothal), and when Dora sent me back the ring, enclosed in a
despairing cocked-hat note, wherein she used the terrible
expression that 'our love had begun in folly, and ended in
madness!' which dreadful words occasioned me to tear my hair, and
cry that all was over!

When, under cover of the night, I flew to Miss Mills, whom I saw by
stealth in a back kitchen where there was a mangle, and implored
Miss Mills to interpose between us and avert insanity. When Miss
Mills undertook the office and returned with Dora, exhorting us,
from the pulpit of her own bitter youth, to mutual concession, and
the avoidance of the Desert of Sahara!

When we cried, and made it up, and were so blest again, that the
back kitchen, mangle and all, changed to Love's own temple, where
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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