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minutes by the clock, with every individual hair upon his head
standing on tiptoe, when I congratulate him in a corner on his

I have brought Agnes from the Canterbury coach, and her cheerful
and beautiful face is among us for the second time. Agnes has a
great liking for Traddles, and it is capital to see them meet, and
to observe the glory of Traddles as he commends the dearest girl in
the world to her acquaintance.

Still I don't believe it. We have a delightful evening, and are
supremely happy; but I don't believe it yet. I can't collect
myself. I can't check off my happiness as it takes place. I feel
in a misty and unsettled kind of state; as if I had got up very
early in the morning a week or two ago, and had never been to bed
since. I can't make out when yesterday was. I seem to have been
carrying the licence about, in my pocket, many months.

Next day, too, when we all go in a flock to see the house - our
house - Dora's and mine - I am quite unable to regard myself as its
master. I seem to be there, by permission of somebody else. I
half expect the real master to come home presently, and say he is
glad to see me. Such a beautiful little house as it is, with
everything so bright and new; with the flowers on the carpets
looking as if freshly gathered, and the green leaves on the paper
as if they had just come out; with the spotless muslin curtains,
and the blushing rose-coloured furniture, and Dora's garden hat
with the blue ribbon - do I remember, now, how I loved her in such
another hat when I first knew her! - already hanging on its little
peg; the guitar-case quite at home on its heels in a corner; and
everybody tumbling over Jip's pagoda, which is much too big for the
establishment. Another happy evening, quite as unreal as all the
rest of it, and I steal into the usual room before going away.

Dora is not there. I suppose they have not done trying on yet.
Miss Lavinia peeps in, and tells me mysteriously that she will not
be long. She is rather long, notwithstanding; but by and by I hear
a rustling at the door, and someone taps.

I say, 'Come in!' but someone taps again.

I go to the door, wondering who it is; there, I meet a pair of
bright eyes, and a blushing face; they are Dora's eyes and face,
and Miss Lavinia has dressed her in tomorrow's dress, bonnet and
all, for me to see. I take my little wife to my heart; and Miss
Lavinia gives a little scream because I tumble the bonnet, and Dora
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