Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. II, 1872.djvu/143

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
133
BOOK III.—WAITING FOR DEATH.

question she did not like being unable to say Yes. Her pride was hurt, but her habitual control of manner helped her.

"Pray excuse me, aunt. I would rather not speak on the subject."

"You would not give your heart to a man without a decided prospect, I trust, my dear. And think of the two excellent offers I know of that you have refused!—and one still within your reach, if you will not throw it away. I knew a very great beauty who married badly at last, by doing so. Mr Ned Plymdale is a nice young man—some might think good-looking; and an only son; and a large business of that kind is better than a profession. Not that marrying is everything I would have you seek first the kingdom of God. But a girl should keep her heart within her own power."

"I should never give it to Mr Ned Plymdale, if it were. I have already refused him. If I loved, I should love at once and without change," said Rosamond, with a great sense of being a romantic heroine, and playing the part prettily.

"I see how it is, my dear," said Mrs. Bulstrode, in a melancholy voice, rising to go. "You have allowed your affections to be engaged without return."