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'My dear Copperfield,' cried Traddles, punctually appearing at my
door, in spite of all these obstacles, 'how do you do?'

'My dear Traddles,' said I, 'I am delighted to see you at last, and
very sorry I have not been at home before. But I have been so much
engaged -'

'Yes, yes, I know,' said Traddles, 'of course. Yours lives in
London, I think.'

'What did you say?'

'She - excuse me - Miss D., you know,' said Traddles, colouring in
his great delicacy, 'lives in London, I believe?'

'Oh yes. Near London.'

'Mine, perhaps you recollect,' said Traddles, with a serious look,
'lives down in Devonshire - one of ten. Consequently, I am not so
much engaged as you - in that sense.'

'I wonder you can bear,' I returned, 'to see her so seldom.'

'Hah!' said Traddles, thoughtfully. 'It does seem a wonder. I
suppose it is, Copperfield, because there is no help for it?'

'I suppose so,' I replied with a smile, and not without a blush.
'And because you have so much constancy and patience, Traddles.'

'Dear me!' said Traddles, considering about it, 'do I strike you in
that way, Copperfield? Really I didn't know that I had. But she
is such an extraordinarily dear girl herself, that it's possible
she may have imparted something of those virtues to me. Now you
mention it, Copperfield, I shouldn't wonder at all. I assure you
she is always forgetting herself, and taking care of the other

'Is she the eldest?' I inquired.

'Oh dear, no,' said Traddles. 'The eldest is a Beauty.'

He saw, I suppose, that I could not help smiling at the simplicity
of this reply; and added, with a smile upon his own ingenuous face:
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