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At last, after an agony of supplication and protestation, I got
Dora to look at me, with a horrified expression of face, which I
gradually soothed until it was only loving, and her soft, pretty
cheek was lying against mine. Then I told her, with my arms
clasped round her, how I loved her, so dearly, and so dearly; how
I felt it right to offer to release her from her engagement,
because now I was poor; how I never could bear it, or recover it,
if I lost her; how I had no fears of poverty, if she had none, my
arm being nerved and my heart inspired by her; how I was already
working with a courage such as none but lovers knew; how I had
begun to be practical, and look into the future; how a crust well
earned was sweeter far than a feast inherited; and much more to the
same purpose, which I delivered in a burst of passionate eloquence
quite surprising to myself, though I had been thinking about it,
day and night, ever since my aunt had astonished me.

'Is your heart mine still, dear Dora?' said I, rapturously, for I
knew by her clinging to me that it was.

'Oh, yes!' cried Dora. 'Oh, yes, it's all yours. Oh, don't be

I dreadful! To Dora!

'Don't talk about being poor, and working hard!' said Dora,
nestling closer to me. 'Oh, don't, don't!'

'My dearest love,' said I, 'the crust well-earned -'

'Oh, yes; but I don't want to hear any more about crusts!' said
Dora. 'And Jip must have a mutton-chop every day at twelve, or
he'll die.'

I was charmed with her childish, winning way. I fondly explained
to Dora that Jip should have his mutton-chop with his accustomed
regularity. I drew a picture of our frugal home, made independent
by my labour - sketching in the little house I had seen at
Highgate, and my aunt in her room upstairs.

'I am not dreadful now, Dora?' said I, tenderly.

'Oh, no, no!' cried Dora. 'But I hope your aunt will keep in her
own room a good deal. And I hope she's not a scolding old thing!'
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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