have had such teaching constantly! She was very independent，
'Yes, I think we have,' said she, observing in his demeanour an earnestness very unusual with him.
'You were kind enough to say just now that you took an interest in me, and I was perhaps vain enough to believe you.'
'There is no vanity in that; I do so as your sister's brother,--and as my own friend also.'
'Well, I don't deserve that you should feel so kindly towards me,' said Bertie; 'but upon my word I am very grateful for it,' and he paused awhile, hardly knowing how to introduce the subject that he had in hand.
And it was no wonder that he found it difficult. He had to make known to his companion the scheme that had been prepared to rob her of her wealth; he had to tell her that he loved her without intending to marry her; and he had also to bespeak from her not only his own pardon, but also that of his sister, and induce Mrs Bold to protest in her future communication with Charlotte that an offer had been duly made to her and duly rejected.
Bertie Stanhope was not prone to be very diffident of his own conversational powers, but it did seem to him that he was about to tax them almost too far. He hardly knew where to begin, and he hardly knew where he should end.
'I wish to be guided by you,' said he; 'and, indeed, in this matter, there is no one else who can set me right.'
'Oh, that must be nonsense,' said she.
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