“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.”
“Does that mean you will have me for a husband?” asked downright Hardyman.
Tips, opportunities to make money：daily driven exotics moneyShe was fairly driven into a corner; but (being a woman) she tried to slip through his fingers at the last moment.
Tips, opportunities to make money：1979 dollar coin“Will you forgive me,” she said, “if I ask you for a little more time? I am so bewildered, I hardly know what to say or do for the best. You see, Mr. Hardyman, it would be a dreadful thing for me to be the cause of giving offense to your family. I am obliged to think of that. It would be so distressing for you (I will say nothing of myself) if your friends closed their doors on me. They might say I was a designing girl, who had taken advantage of your good opinion to raise herself in the world. Lady Lydiard warned me long since not to be ambitious about myself and not to forget my station in life, because she treated me like her adopted daughter. Indeed — indeed, I can’t tell you how I feel your goodness, and the compliment — the very great compliment, you pay me! My heart is free, and if I followed my own inclinations —” She checked herself, conscious that she was on the brink of saying too much. “Will you give me a few days,” she pleaded, “to try if I can think composedly of all this? I am only a girl, and I feel quite dazzled by the prospect that you set before me.”
Hardyman seized on those words as offering all the encouragement that he desired to his suit.
“Have your own way in this thing and in everything!” he said, with an unaccustomed fervor of language and manner. “I am so glad to hear that your heart is open to me, and that all your inclinations take my part.”
Isabel instantly protested against this misrepresentation of what she had really said, “Oh, Mr. Hardyman, you quite mistake me!”
Tips, opportunities to make money：games you can get money fromHe answered her very much as he had answered Lady Lydiard, when she had tried to make him understand his proper relations towards Isabel.
“No, no; I don’t mistake you. I agree to every word you say. How can I expect you to marry me, as you very properly remark, unless I give you a day or two to make up your mind? It’s quite enough for me that you like the prospect. If Lady Lydiard treated you as her daughter, why shouldn’t you be my wife? It stands to reason that you’re quite right to marry a man who can raise you in the world. I like you to be ambitious — though Heaven knows it isn’t much I can do for you, except to love you with all my heart. Still, it’s a great encouragement to hear that her Ladyship’s views agree with mine —”
“They don’t agree, Mr. Hardyman!” protested poor Isabel. “You are entirely misrepresenting —”
Hardyman cordially concurred in this view of the matter. “Yes! yes! I can’t pretend to represent her Ladyship’s language, or yours either; I am obliged to take my words as they come to me. Don’t disturb yourself: it’s all right — I understand. You have made me the happiest man living. I shall ride over to-morrow to your aunt’s house, and hear what you have to say to me. Mind you’re at home! Not a day must pass now without my seeing you. I do love you, Isabel — I do, indeed!” He stooped, and kissed her heartily. “Only to reward me,” he explained, “for giving you time to think.”