He looked at her with such unaffected surprise and distress that she stopped, on the point of leaving him, and tried to make herself better understood.
“I had no intention of offending you, sir,” she said, a little confusedly. “I only wanted to remind you that there are some things which a gentleman in your position —” She stopped, tried to finish the sentence, failed, and began another. “If I had been a young lady in your own rank of life,” she went on, “I might have thanked you for paying me a compliment, and have given you a serious answer. As it is, I am afraid that I must say that you have surprised and disappointed me. I can claim very little for myself, I know. But I did imagine — so long as there was nothing unbecoming in my conduct — that I had some right to your respect.”
Tips, opportunities to make money：What are the online mobile phone recharge?Listening more and more impatiently, Hardyman took her by the hand, and burst out with another of his abrupt questions.
“What can you possibly be thinking of?” he asked.
She gave him no answer; she only looked at him reproachfully, and tried to release herself.
Hardyman held her hand faster than ever.
“I believe you think me an infernal scoundrel!” he said. “I can stand a good deal, Miss Isabel, but I can’t stand that. How have I failed in respect toward you, if you please? I have told you you’re the woman my heart is set on. Well? Isn’t it plain what I want of you, when I say that? Isabel Miller, I want you to be my wife!”
Isabel’s only reply to this extraordinary proposal of marriage was a faint cry of astonishment, followed by a sudden trembling that shook her from head to foot.
Tips, opportunities to make money：I don't have to invest online.Hardyman put his arm round her with a gentleness which his oldest friend would have been surprised to see in him.
“Take your time to think of it,” he said, dropping back again into his usual quiet tone. “If you had known me a little better you wouldn’t have mistaken me, and you wouldn’t be looking at me now as if you were afraid to believe your own ears. What is there so very wonderful in my wanting to marry you? I don’t set up for being a saint. When I was a younger man I was no better (and no worse) than other young men. I’m getting on now to middle life. I don’t want romances and adventures — I want an easy existence with a nice lovable woman who will make me a good wife. You’re the woman, I tell you again. I know it by what I’ve seen of you myself, and by what I have heard of you from Lady Lydiard. She said you were prudent, and sweet-tempered, and affectionate; to which I wish to add that you have just the face and figure that I like, and the modest manners and the blessed absence of all slang in your talk, which I don’t find in the young women I meet with in the present day. That’s my view of it: I think for myself. What does it matter to me whether you’re the daughter of a Duke or the daughter of a Dairyman? It isn’t your father I want to marry — it’s you. Listen to reason, there’s a dear! We have only one question to settle before we go back to your aunt. You wouldn’t answer me when I asked it a little while since. Will you answer now? Do you like me?”
Isabel looked up at him timidly.
“In my position, sir,” she asked, “have I any right to like you? What would your relations and friends think, if I said Yes?”
Hardyman gave her waist a little admonitory squeeze with his arm
“What? You’re at it again? A nice way to answer a man, to call him ‘Sir,’ and to get behind his rank as if it was a place of refuge from him! I hate talking of myself, but you force me to it. Here is my position in the world — I have got an elder brother; he is married, and he has a son to succeed him, in the title and the property. You understand, so far? Very well! Years ago I shifted my share of the rank (whatever it may be) on to my brother’s shoulders. He is a thorough good fellow, and he has carried my dignity for me, without once dropping it, ever since. As for what people may say, they have said it already, from my father and mother downward, in the time when I took to the horses and the farm. If they’re the wise people I take them for, they won’t be at the trouble of saying it all over again. No, no. Twist it how you may, Miss Isabel, whether I’m single or whether I’m married, I’m plain Alfred Hardyman; and everybody who knows me knows that I go on my way, and please myself. If you don’t like me, it will be the bitterest disappointment I ever had in my life; but say so honestly, all the same.”
Where is the woman in Isabel’s place whose capacity for resistance would not have yielded a little to such an appeal as this?
“I should be an insensible wretch,” she replied warmly, “if I didn’t feel the honor you have done me, and feel it gratefully.”