It was in vain for me to say that no consideration was necessary. They persisted in withdrawing for the specified time. Accordingly, these little birds hopped out with great dignity; leaving me to receive the congratulations of Traddles, and to feel as if I were translated to regions of exquisite happiness. Exactly at the expiration of the quarter of an hour, they reappeared with no less dignity than they had disappeared. They had gone rustling away as if their little dresses were made of autumn-leaves: and they came rustling back, in like manner.
I then bound myself once more to the prescribed conditions.
'Sister Clarissa,' said Miss Lavinia, 'the rest is with you.'
Miss Clarissa, unfolding her arms for the first time, took the notes and glanced at them.
'We shall be happy,' said Miss Clarissa, 'to see Mr. Copperfield to dinner, every Sunday, if it should suit his convenience. Our hour is three.'
'In the course of the week,' said Miss Clarissa, 'we shall be happy to see Mr. Copperfield to tea. Our hour is half-past six.'
'Twice in the week,' said Miss Clarissa, 'but, as a rule, not oftener.'
'Miss Trotwood,' said Miss Clarissa, 'mentioned in Mr. Copperfield's letter, will perhaps call upon us. When visiting is better for the happiness of all parties, we are glad to receive visits, and return them. When it is better for the happiness of all parties that no visiting should take place, (as in the case of our brother Francis, and his establishment) that is quite different.'