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The Personal History And Experience Of David Copperfield The Younger

CHAPTER 61 :  I AM SHOWN TWO INTERESTING PENITENTS

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I wondered, at first, why I so often found Sophy writing in a copy-book; and why she always shut it up when I appeared, and hurried it into the table-drawer. But the secret soon came out. One day, Traddles (who had just come home through the drizzling sleet from Court) took a paper out of his desk, and asked me what I thought of that handwriting?

'Oh, DON'T, Tom!' cried Sophy, who was warming his slippers before the fire.

'My dear,' returned Tom, in a delighted state, 'why not? What do you say to that writing, Copperfield?'

'It's extraordinarily legal and formal,' said I. 'I don't think I ever saw such a stiff hand.'

'Not like a lady's hand, is it?' said Traddles.

'A lady's!' I repeated. 'Bricks and mortar are more like a lady's hand!'

Traddles broke into a rapturous laugh, and informed me that it was Sophy's writing; that Sophy had vowed and declared he would need a copying-clerk soon, and she would be that clerk; that she had acquired this hand from a pattern; and that she could throw off - I forget how many folios an hour. Sophy was very much confused by my being told all this, and said that when 'Tom' was made a judge he wouldn't be so ready to proclaim it. Which 'Tom' denied; averring that he should always be equally proud of it, under all circumstances.

'What a thoroughly good and charming wife she is, my dear Traddles!' said I, when she had gone away, laughing.

'My dear Copperfield,' returned Traddles, 'she is, without any exception, the dearest girl! The way she manages this place; her punctuality, domestic knowledge, economy, and order; her cheerfulness, Copperfield!'

'Indeed, you have reason to commend her!' I returned. 'You are a happy fellow. I believe you make yourselves, and each other, two of the happiest people in the world.'

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