The Book: North And South by Elizabeth Gaskell, Chpt. 27
The Setting: 1850s, London, England
The Scene: John Thornton and Margaret Hale reach an understanding.. at last!
"While she sought for this paper, her very heart-pulse was arrested by the tone in which Mr. Thornton spoke. His voice was hoarse, and trembling with tender passion, as he said:------------------------------------------
For an instant she looked up; and then sought to veil her luminous eyes by dropping her forehead on her hands. Again, stepping nearer, he besought her with another tremulous eager call upon her name,
Still lower went the head; more closely hidden was the face, almost resting on the table before her. He came close to her. He knelt by her side, to bring his face to a level with her ear; and whispered--panted out the words:--
'Take care.--If you do not speak--I shall claim you as my own in some strange presumptuous way.--Send me away at once, if I must go;--Margaret!--'
At that third call she turned her face, still covered with her small white hands, towards him, and laid it on his shoulder, hiding it even there; and it was too delicious to feel her soft cheek against his, for him to wish to see either deep blushes or loving eyes. He clasped her close. But they both kept silence. At length she murmured in a broken voice:
'Oh, Mr. Thornton, I am not good enough!'
'Not good enough! Don't mock my own deep feeling of unworthiness.'
After a minute or two, he gently disengaged her hands from her face, and laid her arms as they had once before been placed to protect him from the rioters..."
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