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Thus it was that I took upon myself the toils and cares of our
life, and had no partner in them. We lived much as before, in
reference to our scrambling household arrangements; but I had got
used to those, and Dora I was pleased to see was seldom vexed now.
She was bright and cheerful in the old childish way, loved me
dearly, and was happy with her old trifles.

When the debates were heavy - I mean as to length, not quality, for
in the last respect they were not often otherwise - and I went home
late, Dora would never rest when she heard my footsteps, but would
always come downstairs to meet me. When my evenings were
unoccupied by the pursuit for which I had qualified myself with so
much pains, and I was engaged in writing at home, she would sit
quietly near me, however late the hour, and be so mute, that I
would often think she had dropped asleep. But generally, when I
raised my head, I saw her blue eyes looking at me with the quiet
attention of which I have already spoken.

'Oh, what a weary boy!' said Dora one night, when I met her eyes as
I was shutting up my desk.

'What a weary girl!' said I. 'That's more to the purpose. You
must go to bed another time, my love. It's far too late for you.'

'No, don't send me to bed!' pleaded Dora, coming to my side.
'Pray, don't do that!'

'Dora!' To my amazement she was sobbing on my neck. 'Not well, my
dear! not happy!'

'Yes! quite well, and very happy!' said Dora. 'But say you'll let
me stop, and see you write.'

'Why, what a sight for such bright eyes at midnight!' I replied.

'Are they bright, though?' returned Dora, laughing. 'I'm so glad
they're bright.'

'Little Vanity!' said I.

But it was not vanity; it was only harmless delight in my
admiration. I knew that very well, before she told me so.

'If you think them pretty, say I may always stop, and see you
write!' said Dora. 'Do you think them pretty?'
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