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the romance of our engagement put away upon a shelf, to rust - no
one to please but one another - one another to please, for life.
When there was a debate, and I was kept out very late, it seemed so
strange to me, as I was walking home, to think that Dora was at
home! It was such a wonderful thing, at first, to have her coming
softly down to talk to me as I ate my supper. It was such a
stupendous thing to know for certain that she put her hair in
papers. It was altogether such an astonishing event to see her do
I doubt whether two young birds could have known less about keeping
house, than I and my pretty Dora did. We had a servant, of course.
She kept house for us. I have still a latent belief that she must
have been Mrs. Crupp's daughter in disguise, we had such an awful
time of it with Mary Anne.
Her name was Paragon. Her nature was represented to us, when we
engaged her, as being feebly expressed in her name. She had a
written character, as large as a proclamation; and, according to
this document, could do everything of a domestic nature that ever
I heard of, and a great many things that I never did hear of. She
was a woman in the prime of life; of a severe countenance; and
subject (particularly in the arms) to a sort of perpetual measles
or fiery rash. She had a cousin in the Life-Guards, with such long
legs that he looked like the afternoon shadow of somebody else.
His shell-jacket was as much too little for him as he was too big
for the premises. He made the cottage smaller than it need have
been, by being so very much out of proportion to it. Besides
which, the walls were not thick, and, whenever he passed the
evening at our house, we always knew of it by hearing one continual
growl in the kitchen.
Our treasure was warranted sober and honest. I am therefore
willing to believe that she was in a fit when we found her under
the boiler; and that the deficient tea-spoons were attributable to
But she preyed upon our minds dreadfully. We felt our
inexperience, and were unable to help ourselves. We should have
been at her mercy, if she had had any; but she was a remorseless
woman, and had none. She was the cause of our first little
'My dearest life,' I said one day to Dora, 'do you think Mary Anne