A tone of authorityby@anthonytrollope

A tone of authority

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Gerard Maule, as he sat upstairs half undressed in his bedroom that night didn't like it. He hardly knew what it was that he did not like,—but he felt that there was something wrong. He thought that Lord Chiltern had not been warranted in speaking to him with a tone of authority, and in talking of a brother's position,—and the rest of it. He had lacked the presence of mind for saying anything at the moment; but he must say something sooner or later. He wasn't going to be driven by Lord Chiltern. When he looked back at his own conduct he thought that it had been more than noble,—almost romantic. He had fallen in love with Miss Palliser, and spoken his love out freely, without any reference to money. He didn't know what more any fellow could have done. As to his marrying out of hand, the day after his engagement, as a man of fortune can do, everybody must have known that that was out of the question. Adelaide of course had known it. It had been suggested to him that he should consult his father as to living at Maule Abbey. Now if there was one thing he hated more than another, it was consulting his father; and yet he had done it. He had asked for a loan of the old house in perfect faith, and it was not his fault that it had been refused. He could not make a house to live in, nor could he coin a fortune. He had £800 a-year of his own, but of course he owed a little money. Men with such incomes always do owe a little money. It was almost impossible that he should marry quite at once. It was not his fault that Adelaide had no fortune of her own. When he fell in love with her he had been a great deal too generous to think of fortune, and that ought to be remembered now to his credit. Such was the sum of his thoughts, and his anger spread itself from Lord Chiltern even on to Adelaide herself. Chiltern would hardly have spoken in that way unless she had complained. She, no doubt, had been speaking to Lady Chiltern, and Lady Chiltern had passed it on to her husband. He would have it out with Adelaide on the next morning,—quite decidedly. And he would make Lord Chiltern understand that he would not endure interference. He was quite ready to leave Harrington Hall at a moment's notice if he were ill-treated. This was the humour in which Gerard Maule put himself to bed that night. On the following morning he was very late at breakfast,—so late that Lord Chiltern had gone over to the kennels. As he was dressing he had resolved that it would be fitting that he should speak again to his host before he said anything to Adelaide that might appear to impute blame to her. He would ask Chiltern whether anything was meant by what had been said over-night. But, as it happened, Adelaide had been left alone to pour out his tea for him, and,—as the reader will understand to have been certain on such an occasion,—they were left together for an hour in the breakfast parlour. It was impossible that such an hour should be passed without some reference to the grievance which was lying heavy on his heart. "Late; I should think you are," said Adelaide laughing. "It is nearly eleven. Lord Chiltern has been out an hour. I suppose you never get up early except for hunting."
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@anthonytrollope

Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope was a novelist.


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