Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 15 Page 16

‘None, father. What does it matter!’

Mr. Gradgrind had drawn his chair a little nearer to her, and taken her hand. But, her repetition of these words seemed to strike with some little discord on his ear. He paused to look at her, and, still holding her hand, said:

‘Louisa, I have not considered it essential to ask you one question, because the possibility implied in it appeared to me to be too remote. But perhaps I ought to do so. You have never entertained in secret any other proposal?’

‘Father,’ she returned, almost scornfully, ‘what other proposal can have been made to me? Whom have I seen? Where have I been? What are my heart’s experiences?’