Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/267

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Oliver Twist.

"he would be a mere selfish brute, unworthy alike of the name of man and of the woman you describe, who acted thus."

"You think so now, Harry," replied his mother.

"And ever will," said the young man. "The mental agony I have suffered during the last two days wrings from me the undisguised avowal to you of a passion which, as you well know, is not one of yesterday, nor one I have lightly formed. On Rose, sweet, gentle girl! my heart is set as firmly as ever heart of man was set on woman. I have no thought, or view, or hope in life beyond her; and if you oppose me in this great stake, you take my peace and happiness in your hands, and cast them to the wind. Mother, think better of this, and of me, and do not disregard the warm feelings of which you seem to think so little."

"Harry," said Mrs. Maylie, "it is because I think so much of warm and sensitive hearts that I would spare them from being wounded. But we have said enough, and more than enough, on this matter just now."