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If it were possible for me to love Dora more than ever, I am sure
I did. But I felt she was a little impracticable. It damped my
new-born ardour, to find that ardour so difficult of communication
to her. I made another trial. When she was quite herself again,
and was curling Jip's ears, as he lay upon her lap, I became grave,
and said:

'My own! May I mention something?'

'Oh, please don't be practical!' said Dora, coaxingly. 'Because it
frightens me so!'

'Sweetheart!' I returned; 'there is nothing to alarm you in all
this. I want you to think of it quite differently. I want to make
it nerve you, and inspire you, Dora!'

'Oh, but that's so shocking!' cried Dora.

'My love, no. Perseverance and strength of character will enable
us to bear much worse things.'

'But I haven't got any strength at all,' said Dora, shaking her
curls. 'Have I, Jip? Oh, do kiss Jip, and be agreeable!'

It was impossible to resist kissing Jip, when she held him up to me
for that purpose, putting her own bright, rosy little mouth into
kissing form, as she directed the operation, which she insisted
should be performed symmetrically, on the centre of his nose. I
did as she bade me - rewarding myself afterwards for my obedience
- and she charmed me out of my graver character for I don't know
how long.

'But, Dora, my beloved!' said I, at last resuming it; 'I was going
to mention something.'

The judge of the Prerogative Court might have fallen in love with
her, to see her fold her little hands and hold them up, begging and
praying me not to be dreadful any more.

'Indeed I am not going to be, my darling!' I assured her. 'But,
Dora, my love, if you will sometimes think, - not despondingly, you
know; far from that! - but if you will sometimes think - just to
encourage yourself - that you are engaged to a poor man -'

'Don't, don't! Pray don't!' cried Dora. 'It's so very dreadful!'
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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