Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
and all my projects; Dora held the pens; and we both felt that our
shares were adjusted as the case required. She was truly fond of
me, and proud of me; and when Agnes wrote a few earnest words in
her letters to Dora, of the pride and interest with which my old
friends heard of my growing reputation, and read my book as if they
heard me speaking its contents, Dora read them out to me with tears
of joy in her bright eyes, and said I was a dear old clever, famous
'The first mistaken impulse of an undisciplined heart.' Those
words of Mrs. Strong's were constantly recurring to me, at this
time; were almost always present to my mind. I awoke with them,
often, in the night; I remember to have even read them, in dreams,
inscribed upon the walls of houses. For I knew, now, that my own
heart was undisciplined when it first loved Dora; and that if it
had been disciplined, it never could have felt, when we were
married, what it had felt in its secret experience.
'There can be no disparity in marriage, like unsuitability of mind
and purpose.' Those words I remembered too. I had endeavoured to
adapt Dora to myself, and found it impracticable. It remained for
me to adapt myself to Dora; to share with her what I could, and be
happy; to bear on my own shoulders what I must, and be happy still.
This was the discipline to which I tried to bring my heart, when I
began to think. It made my second year much happier than my first;
and, what was better still, made Dora's life all sunshine.
But, as that year wore on, Dora was not strong. I had hoped that
lighter hands than mine would help to mould her character, and that
a baby-smile upon her breast might change my child-wife to a woman.
It was not to be. The spirit fluttered for a moment on the
threshold of its little prison, and, unconscious of captivity, took
'When I can run about again, as I used to do, aunt,' said Dora, 'I
shall make Jip race. He is getting quite slow and lazy.'
'I suspect, my dear,' said my aunt quietly working by her side, 'he
has a worse disorder than that. Age, Dora.'
'Do you think he is old?' said Dora, astonished. 'Oh, how strange
it seems that Jip should be old!'
'It's a complaint we are all liable to, Little One, as we get on in
life,' said my aunt, cheerfully; 'I don't feel more free from it