MR. BROUNE'S PERILSby@anthonytrollope


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Lady Carbury had allowed herself two days for answering Mr. Broune's proposition. It was made on Tuesday night and she was bound by her promise to send a reply some time on Thursday. But early on the Wednesday morning she had made up her mind; and at noon on that day her letter was written. She had spoken to Hetta about the man, and she had seen that Hetta had disliked him. She was not disposed to be much guided by Hetta's opinion. In regard to her daughter she was always influenced by a vague idea that Hetta was an unnecessary trouble. There was an excellent match ready for her if she would only accept it. There was no reason why Hetta should continue to add herself to the family burden. She never said this even to herself,—but she felt it, and was not therefore inclined to consult Hetta's comfort on this occasion. But nevertheless, what her daughter said had its effect. She had encountered the troubles of one marriage, and they had been very bad. She did not look upon that marriage as a mistake,—having even up to this day a consciousness that it had been the business of her life, as a portionless girl, to obtain maintenance and position at the expense of suffering and servility. But that had been done. The maintenance was, indeed, again doubtful, because of her son's vices; but it might so probably be again secured,—by means of her son's beauty! Hetta had said that Mr. Broune liked his own way. Had not she herself found that all men liked their own way? And she liked her own way. She liked the comfort of a home to herself. Personally she did not want the companionship of a husband. And what scenes would there be between Felix and the man! And added to all this there was something within her, almost amounting to conscience, which told her that it was not right that she should burden any one with the responsibility and inevitable troubles of such a son as her son Felix. What would she do were her husband to command her to separate herself from her son? In such circumstances she would certainly separate herself from her husband. Having considered these things deeply, she wrote as follows to Mr. Broune:— 
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Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope was a novelist.

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