Anthony Trollope: The Belton Estate


It had been settled for some time past that Miss Amedroz was to go to Perivale for a few days in November. Indeed it seemed to be a recognized fact in her life that she was to make the journey from Belton to Perivale and back very often, as there prevailed an idea that she owed a divided duty. This was in some degree hard upon her, as she had very little gratification in these visits to her aunt. Had there been any intention on the part of Mrs Winterfield to provide for her, the thing would have been intelligible according to the usual arrangements which are made in the world on such matters; but Mrs Winterfield had scarcely a right to call upon her niece for dutiful attendance after having settled it with her own conscience that her property was all to go to her nephew. But Clara entertained no thought of rebelling, and had agreed to make the accustomed journey in November, travelling then, as she did on all such journeys, at her aunt's expense.

Two things only occurred to disturb her tranquillity before she went, and they were not of much violence. Mr Wright, the clergyman, called at Belton Castle, and in the course of conversation with Mr Amedroz renewed one of those ill-natured rumours which had before been spread about Mrs Askerton. Clara did not see him, but she heard an account of it all from her father.

'Does it mean, papa,' she said, speaking almost with anger, 'that you want me to give up Mrs Askerton?'

'How can you be so unkind as to ask me such a question?' he replied. 'You know how I hate to be bothered. I tell you what I hear, and then you can decide for yourself.'

'But that isn't quite fair either, papa. That man comes here'

'That man, as you call him, is the rector of the parish, and I've known him for forty years.'

'And have never liked him, papa.'

'I don't know much about liking anybody, my dear. Nobody likes me, and so why should I trouble myself?'

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