'Well! But my dearest life!' said I, 'you might be very happy, and yet be treated rationally.'
Dora gave me a reproachful look - the prettiest look! - and then began to sob, saying, if I didn't like her, why had I ever wanted so much to be engaged to her? And why didn't I go away, now, if I couldn't bear her?
What could I do, but kiss away her tears, and tell her how I doted on her, after that!
'I am sure I am very affectionate,' said Dora; 'you oughtn't to be cruel to me, Doady!'
'Cruel, my precious love! As if I would - or could - be cruel to you, for the world!'
'Then don't find fault with me,' said Dora, making a rosebud of her mouth; 'and I'll be good.'
I was charmed by her presently asking me, of her own accord, to give her that cookery-book I had once spoken of, and to show her how to keep accounts as I had once promised I would. I brought the volume with me on my next visit (I got it prettily bound, first, to make it look less dry and more inviting); and as we strolled about the Common, I showed her an old housekeeping-book of my aunt's, and gave her a set of tablets, and a pretty little pencil-case and box of leads, to practise housekeeping with.
But the cookery-book made Dora's head ache, and the figures made her cry. They wouldn't add up, she said. So she rubbed them out, and drew little nosegays and likenesses of me and Jip, all over the tablets.