Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 15 Page 6

Louisa, ‘do you think I love Mr. Bounderby?’

Mr. Gradgrind was extremely discomfited by this unexpected question. ‘Well, my child,’ he returned, ‘I — really — cannot take upon myself to say.’

‘Father,’ pursued Louisa in exactly the same voice as before, ‘do you ask me to love Mr. Bounderby?’

‘My dear Louisa, no. No. I ask nothing.’

‘Father,’ she still pursued, ‘does Mr. Bounderby ask me to love him?’

‘Really, my dear,’ said Mr. Gradgrind, ‘it is difficult to answer your question —