Anthony Trollope: The Belton Estate


'I suppose now, my dear, it may be considered that everything is settled about that young lady,' said Lady Aylmer to her son, on the same day that Miss Amedroz left Aylmer Park.

'Nothing is settled, ma'am,' said the captain.

'You don't mean to tell me that after what has passed you intend to follow her up any farther.'

'I shall certainly endeavour to see her again.'

'Then, Frederic, I must tell you that you are very wrong indeed almost worse than wrong. I would say wicked, only I feel sure that you will think better of it. You cannot mean to tell me that you would marry her after what has taken place?'

'The question is whether she would marry me.'

'That is nonsense, Frederic. I wonder that you, who are so generally so clear-sighted, cannot see more plainly than that. She is a scheming, artful young woman, who is playing a regular game to catch a husband.'

'If that were so, she would have been more humble to you, ma'am.'

'Not a bit, Fred. That's just it. That has been her cleverness. She tried that on at first, and found that she could not get round me. Don't allow yourself to be deceived by that, I pray. And then there is no knowing how she may be bound up with those horrid people, so that she cannot throw them over, even if she would.'

'I don't think you understand her, ma'am.'

'Oh very well. But I understand this, and you had better understand it too that she will never again enter a house of which I am the mistress; nor can I ever enter a house in which she is received. If you choose to make her your wife after that, I have done.' Lady Aylmer had not done, or nearly done; but we need hear no more of her threats or entreaties. Her son left Aylmer Park immediately after Easter Sunday, and as he went, the mother, nodding her head, declared to her daughter that that marriage would never come off, let Clara Amedroz be ever so sly, or ever so clever.

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