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fine him for being late. At last he came out; and then I saw my
own Dora hang up the bird-cage, and peep into the balcony to look
for me, and run in again when she saw I was there, while Jip
remained behind, to bark injuriously at an immense butcher's dog in
the street, who could have taken him like a pill.

Dora came to the drawing-room door to meet me; and Jip came
scrambling out, tumbling over his own growls, under the impression
that I was a Bandit; and we all three went in, as happy and loving
as could be. I soon carried desolation into the bosom of our joys
- not that I meant to do it, but that I was so full of the subject
- by asking Dora, without the smallest preparation, if she could
love a beggar?

My pretty, little, startled Dora! Her only association with the
word was a yellow face and a nightcap, or a pair of crutches, or a
wooden leg, or a dog with a decanter-stand in his mouth, or
something of that kind; and she stared at me with the most
delightful wonder.

'How can you ask me anything so foolish?' pouted Dora. 'Love a

'Dora, my own dearest!' said I. 'I am a beggar!'

'How can you be such a silly thing,' replied Dora, slapping my
hand, 'as to sit there, telling such stories? I'll make Jip bite

Her childish way was the most delicious way in the world to me, but
it was necessary to be explicit, and I solemnly repeated:

'Dora, my own life, I am your ruined David!'

'I declare I'll make Jip bite you!' said Dora, shaking her curls,
'if you are so ridiculous.'

But I looked so serious, that Dora left off shaking her curls, and
laid her trembling little hand upon my shoulder, and first looked
scared and anxious, then began to cry. That was dreadful. I fell
upon my knees before the sofa, caressing her, and imploring her not
to rend my heart; but, for some time, poor little Dora did nothing
but exclaim Oh dear! Oh dear! And oh, she was so frightened! And
where was Julia Mills! And oh, take her to Julia Mills, and go
away, please! until I was almost beside myself.
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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