"You must write again very soon, and praise him a great deal more than you did in your last.... I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh."
"The mass had barely begun when Peregrino saw the Speaker enter at the back of the Cathedral. [The Speaker] paused a moment, then found Novinha and her family with his eyes. In only a few steps he had taken a place beside her."
" 'I have a dream,' [Gilbert] said slowly. 'I persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home with a hearth-fire in it, a cat and dog, the footsteps of friends--and you!' Anne wanted to speak but she could find no words. Happiness was breaking over her like a wave. It almost frightened her.... But she lifted her eyes, shining with all the love-rapture of countless generations, and looked into his for a moment. He wanted no other answer."
"Pa laid down his fiddle when Laura came in. He looked at her hand where the ring sparkled in the lamplight. 'I see it is settled', he said. 'Almanzo was talking to me yesterday and I guess it's all right.'
'If only you are sure, Laura,' Ma said gently. 'Sometimes I think it is the horses you care for, more than their master.'
'I couldn't have one without the other,' Laura answered shakily.
Then Ma smiled at her, Pa cleared his throat gruffly, and Laura knew they understood what she was too shy to say."
" 'Ah, Jane! But I want a wife.'
'Do you, sir?'
'Yes; is it news to you?'
'Of course; you said nothing about it before.'
'Is it unwelcome news?'
'That depends on circumstances, sir—on your choice.'
'Which you shall make for me, Jane. I will abide by your decision.'
'Choose then, sir—her who loves you best.'
'I will at least choose—her I love best. Jane, will you marry me?'
'Most truly, sir.'
'Oh my darling! God bless you and reward you!'
'Mr. Rochester, if ever I did a good deed in my life—if ever I thought a good thought—if ever I prayed a sincere and blameless prayer—if ever I wished a righteous wish, I am rewarded now. To be your wife is, for me, to be as happy as I can be on earth.' "
* * *
Being an insatiable reader and something of a daydreamer as well, I've thought surprisingly little about what it would be like to get asked the Question. I suppose that depends entirely on who does the asking.
Lou asked me to marry him down at Boulevard Park last Saturday, looking out over the steel-colored bay with a little stretch of the boardwalk all to ourselves.
I said yes as quickly as I could, though unfortunately not before managing to use the word "booger" in a sentence. That little faux pas did not change his mind, however, and as we put his great-grandmother's ring on my left hand, I felt myself very much the happiest creature in the world.
After waiting thirty years--not always patiently--for 'the right one', I have to say that what God had in mind went well beyond everything I ever dreamed of for myself. Of all the "godly young men" I've ever known—and I've known some—he's the best, the kindest, the most truly Christian. Forgive me for rhapsodizing, but to me he rolls Harry's pure heart, Mr. Darcy's sound judgment, Gilbert's intelligence, Ender's sharp, solid grace, and Almanzo's hardworking nature all into one.
He will probably laugh loudly and turn eight shades of red when he reads that, but this is my blog and I'm allowed to brag on him :-)
"An excellent wife, who can find?" says Solomon. "For her price is far above rubies." True as that must be, coming from the Bible, I think an excellent husband is worth just as much—and is at least as rare. I can only thank God, in His wisdom, for Lou. The gift of this love, from this man, could have come from no one less.