When he was gone, she said, 'O, Fanny, Fanny!' and turned to her sister in the bright window, and fell upon her bosom and cried there. Fanny laughed at first; but soon laid her face against her sister's and cried too -- a little. It was the last time Fanny ever showed that there was any hidden, suppressed, or conquered feeling in her on the matter. From that hour, the way she had chosen lay before her, and she trod it with her own imperious self-willed step.


CHAPTER XV
NO JUST CAUSE OR IMPEDIMENT WHY THESE TWO PERSONS SHOULD NOT BE JOINED TOGETHER

MR. DORRIT, on being informed by his elder daughter that she had accepted matrimonial overtures from Mr. Sparkler, to whom she had plighted her troth, received the communication at once with great dignity and with a large display of parental pride; his dignity dilating with the widened prospect of advantageous ground from which to make acquaintances, and his parental pride being developed by Miss Fanny's ready sympathy with that great object of his existence. He gave her to understand that her noble ambition found harmonious echoes in his heart; and bestowed his blessing on her, as a child brimful of duty and good principle, self-devoted to the aggrandisement of the family name.

To Mr. Sparkler, when Miss Fanny permitted him to appear, Mr. Dorrit said, he would not disguise that the alliance Mr. Sparkler did him the honour to propose was highly congenial to his feelings; both as being the unison with the spontaneous affections of his daughter Fanny, and as opening a family connexion of a gratifying nature with Mr. Merdle, the master spirit of the age. Mrs. Merdle also, as a leading lady rich in distinction, elegance, grace, and beauty, he mentioned in very laudatory terms. He felt it his duty to remark (he was sure a gentleman of Mr. Sparkler's fine sense would interpret him with all delicacy), that he could not consider this proposal definitely determined on, until he should have had the privilege of holding some correspondence with Mr. Merdle; and of ascertaining it to be so far accordant with the views of that eminent gentleman as that his (Mr. Dorrit's) daughter would be received on that footing, which her station in life and her dowry and expectations warranted him in

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