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A Lady of Quality Frances Hodgson Burnett

"Yes--I have marked him"

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When my Lord Dunstanwolde brought his bride to town, and she soared at once to splendid triumph and renown, inflaming every heart, and setting every tongue at work, clamouring her praises, Sir John Oxon saw her from afar in all the scenes of brilliant fashion she frequented and reigned queen of. 'Twas from afar, it might be said, he saw her only, though he was often near her, because she bore herself as if she did not observe him, or as though he were a thing which did not exist. The first time that she deigned to address him was upon an occasion when she found herself standing so near him at an assembly that in the crowd she brushed him with her robe. His blue eyes were fixed burningly upon her, and as she brushed him he drew in a hard breath, which she hearing, turned slowly and let her own eyes fall upon his face.

"You did not marry," she said.

"No, I did not marry," he answered, in a low, bitter voice. "'Twas your ladyship who did that."

She faintly, slowly smiled.

"I should not have been like to do otherwise," she said; "'tis an honourable condition. I would advise you to enter it."

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A Lady of Quality
Frances Hodgson Burnett

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