My dear Traddles, said I, I am delighted to see you at last, and very sorry I have not been at home before. But I have been so much engaged
Yes, yes, I know, said Traddles, of course. Yours lives in London, I think.
What did you say?
Sheexcuse meMiss D., you know, said Traddles, colouring, in his great delicacy, lives in London, I believe?
Oh yes. Near London.
Mine, perhaps you recollect, said Traddles, with a serious look, lives down in Devonshireone of ten. Consequently, I am not so much engaged as youin that sense.
I wonder you can bear, I returned, to see her so seldom.
Hah! said Traddles, thoughtfully. It does seem a wonder. I suppose it is, Copperfield, because theres no help for it?
I suppose so, I replied, with a smile, and not without a blush. And because you have so much constancy and patience, Traddles.
Dear me! said Traddles, considering about it, do I strike you in that way, Copperfield? Really I didnt know that I had. But she is such an extraordinarily dear girl herself, that its possible she may have imparted something of those virtues to me. Now you mention it, Copperfield, I shouldnt wonder at all. I assure you she is always forgetting herself, and taking care of the other nine.
Is she the eldest? I inquired.
Oh dear, no, said Traddles. The eldest is a Beauty.
He saw, I suppose, that I could not help smiling at the simplicity of this reply; and added, with a smile upon his own ingenuous face
Not, of course, but that my Sophypretty name, Copperfield, I always think?
Very pretty! said I.
Not, of course, but that Sophy is beautiful too, in my eyes, and would be one of the dearest girls that ever was, in anybodys eyes (I should think). But when I say the eldest is a Beauty, I mean she really is a he seemed to be describing clouds about himself, with both hands: Splendid, you know, said Traddles, energetically.
Indeed! said I.
Oh, I assure you, said Traddles, something very uncommon, indeed! Then, you know, being formed for society and admiration, and not being able to enjoy much of it, in consequence of their limited means, she naturally gets a little irritable and exacting, sometimes. Sophy puts her in good humour!
Is Sophy the youngest? I hazarded.
Oh dear, no! said Traddles, stroking his chin. The two youngest are only nine and ten. Sophy educates em.
The second daughter, perhaps? I hazarded.
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