Sill lower went the head; more closely hidden was the face, almost resting on the table before her. He came close to her. He knelt by her side, to bring his face to a level with her ear; and whispered – panted out the words: –
“Take care. – If you do not speak – I shall claim you as my own in same strange presumptuous way. – Send me away at once, if I must go; – Margaret!”
At that third call she turned her face, still covered with her small white hands, towards him, and laid it on his shoulder, hiding it even there; and it was too delicious to feel her soft cheek against his, for him to wish to see either deep blushes or loving eyes. He clasped her close.
I know I’ve mentioned Gaskell’s NORTH & SOUTH several times when I first read it, but the novel is simply so good it deserves to be mentioned again and again and again and … well, you get the picture. 🙂
Though Gaskell complained that she had to hurry & shorten the ending so it would fit into the serial format of Dickens’s HOUSEHOLD WORDS, I still think the ending of N&S rather sweet and definitely worthy of a happy sigh or two.