While living in Concord, Louisa May Alcott’s governess Sophia Foord became infatuated with Henry David Thoreau. (Teenage Louisa was busy crushing on her neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson.)
When Sophia wrote to Thoreau proposing that they should be married, Thoreau turned her down with the following:
“As distinct a no as I have learned to pronounce.”
Sophia left Concord and the Alcotts immediately, and Thoreau remained a bachelor.
There was no bush with which to beat around.