She Speaks With Her Family
Her mother was by the guttering fire, knitting for her youngest child, when she found her. She
threw herself before the woman (somewhat to her startlement) and clasped her hand, imploring her,
"I know our circumstances should not permit it, but there is something I must beg of you. There
is a young gentleman whose favor I have won, and we... we have been courting. Or rather, that is
what I ask of you, that we may court, for our meetings have perforce been secretive. Please,
mother, is there some way it could be so?"
The matron was startled, and could not for a time find the words she sought in reply. At last, patting the woman's hand, she told her at once how proud of her she was and how impossible such a courtship would be - they had hardly the means to afford the modest dowry that even a suitor of the proper class would require, much less the phenomenal wealth that would surely be demanded by an aristocratic family (if they were to permit such a courtship at all).
After enough of such explanations, she left the room, dabbing at her eyes with her handkerchief. Clearly it was not to be, though the thought of severing with him sent stabs of remorse winding through her. She would have to tell him.