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seems a reproach!'

'No, not a syllable!' she answers, kissing me. 'Oh, my dear, you
never deserved it, and I loved you far too well to say a
reproachful word to you, in earnest - it was all the merit I had,
except being pretty - or you thought me so. Is it lonely, down-
stairs, Doady?'

'Very! Very!'

'Don't cry! Is my chair there?'

'In its old place.'

'Oh, how my poor boy cries! Hush, hush! Now, make me one promise.
I want to speak to Agnes. When you go downstairs, tell Agnes so,
and send her up to me; and while I speak to her, let no one come -
not even aunt. I want to speak to Agnes by herself. I want to
speak to Agnes, quite alone.'

I promise that she shall, immediately; but I cannot leave her, for
my grief.

'I said that it was better as it is!' she whispers, as she holds me
in her arms. 'Oh, Doady, after more years, you never could have
loved your child-wife better than you do; and, after more years,
she would so have tried and disappointed you, that you might not
have been able to love her half so well! I know I was too young and
foolish. It is much better as it is!'

Agnes is downstairs, when I go into the parlour; and I give her the
message. She disappears, leaving me alone with Jip.

His Chinese house is by the fire; and he lies within it, on his bed
of flannel, querulously trying to sleep. The bright moon is high
and clear. As I look out on the night, my tears fall fast, and my
undisciplined heart is chastened heavily - heavily.

I sit down by the fire, thinking with a blind remorse of all those
secret feelings I have nourished since my marriage. I think of
every little trifle between me and Dora, and feel the truth, that
trifles make the sum of life. Ever rising from the sea of my
remembrance, is the image of the dear child as I knew her first,
graced by my young love, and by her own, with every fascination
wherein such love is rich. Would it, indeed, have been better if
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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