I was a little disappointed, I must confess, but thoroughly charmed by his good-nature too. I told him how I esteemed his good-nature; and said that his hair must have taken all the obstinacy out of his character, for he had none.
Oh! returned Traddles, laughing, I assure you, its quite an old story, my unfortunate hair. My uncles wife couldnt bear it. She said it exasperated her. It stood very much in my way, too, when I first fell in love with Sophy. Very much!
Did she object to it?
She didnt, rejoined Traddles; but her eldest sisterthe one thats the Beautyquite made game of it, I understand. In fact, all the sisters laugh at it.
Agreeable! said I.
Yes, returned Traddles, with perfect innocence, its a joke for us. They pretend that Sophy has a lock of it in her desk, and is obliged to shut it in a clasped book, to keep it down. We laugh about it.
By the by, my dear Traddles, said I, your experience may suggest something to me. When you became engaged to the young lady whom you have just mentioned, did you make a regular proposal to her family? Was there anything likewhat we are going through to-day, for instance? I added, nervously.
Why, replied Traddles, on whose attentive face a thoughtful shade had stolen, it was rather a painful transaction, Copperfield, in my case. You see, Sophy being of so much use in the family, none of them could endure the thought of her ever being married. Indeed, they had quite settled among themselves that she never was to be married, and they called her the old maid. Accordingly, when I mentioned it, with the greatest precaution, to Mrs. Crewler
The mama? said I.
The mama, said TraddlesReverend Horace Crewlerwhen I mentioned it with every possible precaution to Mrs. Crewler, the effect upon her was such that she gave a scream and became insensible. I couldnt approach the subject again, for months.
You did at last? said I.
Well, the Reverend Horace did, said Traddles. He is an excellent man, most exemplary in every way; and he pointed out to her that she ought, as a Christian, to reconcile herself to the sacrifice (especially as it was so uncertain), and to bear no uncharitable feeling towards me. As to myself, Copperfield, I give you my word, I felt a perfect bird of prey towards the family.
The sisters took your part, I hope, Traddles?
Why, I cant say they did, he returned. When we had comparatively reconciled Mrs. Crewler to it, we had to break it to Sarah. You recollect my mentioning Sarah, as the one that has something the matter with her spine?
She clenched both her hands, said Traddles, looking at me in dismay; shut her eyes, turned lead-colour; became perfectly stiff; and took nothing for two days but toast-and-water, administered with a teaspoon.
What a very unpleasant girl, Traddles! I remarked.
Oh, I beg your pardon, Copperfield! said Traddles. She is a very charming girl, but she has a great deal of feeling. In fact, they all have. Sophy told me afterwards, that the self-reproach she underwent
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