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has any idea of time?'
'Why, Doady?' inquired Dora, looking up, innocently, from her
'My love, because it's five, and we were to have dined at four.'
Dora glanced wistfully at the clock, and hinted that she thought it
was too fast.
'On the contrary, my love,' said I, referring to my watch, 'it's a
few minutes too slow.'
My little wife came and sat upon my knee, to coax me to be quiet,
and drew a line with her pencil down the middle of my nose; but I
couldn't dine off that, though it was very agreeable.
'Don't you think, my dear,' said I, 'it would be better for you to
remonstrate with Mary Anne?'
'Oh no, please! I couldn't, Doady!' said Dora.
'Why not, my love?' I gently asked.
'Oh, because I am such a little goose,' said Dora, 'and she knows
I thought this sentiment so incompatible with the establishment of
any system of check on Mary Anne, that I frowned a little.
'Oh, what ugly wrinkles in my bad boy's forehead!' said Dora, and
still being on my knee, she traced them with her pencil; putting it
to her rosy lips to make it mark blacker, and working at my
forehead with a quaint little mockery of being industrious, that
quite delighted me in spite of myself.
'There's a good child,' said Dora, 'it makes its face so much
prettier to laugh.'
'But, my love,' said I.
'No, no! please!' cried Dora, with a kiss, 'don't be a naughty Blue
Beard! Don't be serious!'
'my precious wife,' said I, 'we must be serious sometimes. Come!
Sit down on this chair, close beside me! Give me the pencil!