Anne Bronte: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall


October 1st. - All is settled now. My father has given his consent, and the time is fixed for Christmas, by a sort of compromise between the respective advocates for hurry and delay. Milicent Hargrave is to be one bridesmaid and Annabella Wilmot the other - not that I am particularly fond of the latter, but she is an intimate of the family, and I have not another friend.

When I told Milicent of my engagement, she rather provoked me by her manner of talking it. After staring a moment in mute surprise, she said, - 'Well, Helen, I suppose I ought to congratulate you - and I am glad to see you so happy; but I did not think you would take him; and I can't help feeling surprised that you should like him so much.'

'Why so?'

'Because you are so superior to him in every way, and there's something so bold and reckless about him - so, I don't know how - but I always feel a wish to get out of his way when I see him approach.'

'You are timid, Milicent; but that's no fault of his.'

'And then his look,' continued she. 'People say he's handsome, and of course he is; but I don't like that kind of beauty, and I wonder that you should.'

'Why so, pray?'

'Well, you know, I think there's nothing noble or lofty in his appearance.'

'In fact, you wonder that I can like any one so unlike the stilted heroes of romance. Well, give me my flesh and blood lover, and I'll leave all the Sir Herberts and Valentines to you - if you can find them.'

'I don't want them,' said she. 'I'll be satisfied with flesh and blood too - only the spirit must shine through and predominate. But don't you think Mr. Huntingdon's face is too red?'

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