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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

When a Lady says No...

"I cannot doubt now, Sir Rowland, of what my mind will be a week hence, as to this matter.

... by Mercy I will not be thus answered!—Why, madam, would you have the conscience to break my poor boy's heart?—Come, be as gracious as you look to be—Give me your hand—[He snatched my hand. In respect to his years I withdrew it not] And give my boy your heart.—Sweet soul! Such sensible, such good-natured mantlings!—Why you can't be cruel, if you would!—Dear Lady! Say you will take a little time to consider of this matter. Don't repeat those cruel words, "It can never be."—What have you to object to my boy?

Mr. Fowler, both by character and appearance, Sir Rowland, is a worthy man. He is a modest man; and modesty—

Well, and so he is—Mercy! I was afraid that his modesty would be an objection—

It cannot, Sir Rowland, with a modest woman. I love, I revere, a modest man: But, indeed, I cannot give hope, where I mean not to encourage any.

Your objection, madam, to my nephew—You must have seen something in him you dislike.

I do not easily dis-like, Sir; but then I do not easily like. And I never will marry any man, to whom I cannot be more than indifferent.

Why, madam, he adores you—He—

That, Sir, is an objection, unless I could return his Love. My gratitude would be endangered.

Excellent notions!—With these notions, madam, you could not be ungrateful.

That, Sir, is a risque I will never run. How many bad wives are there, who would have been good ones, had they not married either to their dislike, or with indifference? Good beginnings, Sir Rowland, are necessary to good progresses, and to happy conclusions.

Why so they are. But beginnings that are not bad, with good people, will make no bad progresses, no bad conclusions.

No bad is not good, Sir Rowland; and in such a world as this, shall people lay themselves open to the danger of acting contrary to their duty? Shall they suffer themselves to be bribed, either by conveniencies, or superfluities, to give their hands, and leave their hearts doubtful or indifferent? It would not be honest to do so.

You told me, madam, the first time I had the honour to see you, that you were absolutely and bonâ fide disengaged.

I told you truth, Sir.

Then, madam, we will not take your denial. We will persevere. We will not be discouraged. What a deuce! Have I not heard it said, that faint heart never won fair lady?

--- The history of Sir Charles Grandison: In a series of letters published from the originals, by the editor of Pamela and Clarissa / Samuel Richardson
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