Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, is a man of consequence and ready to marry. He has his pick of eligible London beauties; if only he couldn’t find flaws in them, which he does. Hearing of a girl from his beloved mother, he goes to see her. He’s disappointed to find Phoebe Marlow has neither beauty nor conversation. She also wants nothing more in life than NOT to marry him. He learns this when she runs off to London in harsh winter weather so as to avoid what she believes is an imminent proposal from him.