You have pierced my heart, Miss Sparrow, and I fear that I cannot now - nor may ever be able to - remove you from that most vital organ without doing irreparable damage as a consequence. You are lodged there permanently, and it is my burden to carry you with me for all the remaining days.
You are blameless, Jane. Does one urge the sun to stop shining because one perspires? Does one command a stream to stop its course so as to retrieve a bauble that floats away? No, and neither should any man need you to acquit your smiles or shield your eyes. The fault, dear Jane, lies in my weakness and not in your strength. You must shine and I must bear it accordingly.
My fondness for you grows day upon day, and I have more than once put pen to paper in a foolhardy attempt to use the written word as my ally in lovemaking. And yet! The words I write are nonsense, as like a child trying on the suits he finds in his father's bureau when left alone. I feel as if I have climbed the beanstalk and know not how to act. Your opinion dwarfs all other opinions, your grace overshadows all else, and your face instills in me a sense of awe that strikes me dumb. Speak, Diana, and restore my words to me.
I find it impossible to imagine you as my wife, little Rose, and I find it impossible to imagine you as anything else. I did not come to Rook House looking for romance, and yet romance has found me. You are strange and ineffable and quite insufferable and have bound up my soul inexcusably in my short time here. Had I but heeded my prayers and avoided stopping here, I should have saved both of us a mountain of troubles and also doomed us both to an unhappy life. The truth of it is, Rose, that there is only one fact that we can seem to agree on, and it is that a marriage between us is inevitable, and I have never been one to stand in the way of inevitability.
I'm not dancing with her. She's a peasant and the color in her cheeks is no maiden's blush but more likely from the heat of a kitchen fire. Good God, man, don't be daft. I'm a Duke.