Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?: Vol. 1, Ch. 37

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"I can hardly think so; but I have no knowledge about it. I can only say that he has not asked me yet, and that I should wish to oblige him whenever he may do so."

"To what extent, Alice?"

"I don't know what I have. I get about four hundred a year, but I do not know what it is worth, or how far it can all be turned into money. I should wish to keep a hundred a year and let him have the rest."

"What; eight thousand pounds!" said the father who in spite of his wish not to oppose her, could not but express his dismay.

"I do not imagine that he will want so much; but if he should, I wish that he should have it."

"Heaven and earth!" said John Vavasor. "Of course we should have to give up the house." He could not suppress his trouble, or refrain from bursting out in agony at the prospect of such a loss.

"But he has asked me for nothing yet, papa."

"No, exactly; and perhaps he may not; but I wish to know what to do when the demand is made. I am not going to oppose you now; your money is your own, and you have a right to do with it as you please;—but would you gratify me in one thing?"

"What is it, papa?"

"When he does apply, let the amount be raised through me?"

"How through you?"

"Come to me; I mean, so that I may see the lawyer, and have the arrangements made." Then he explained to her that in dealing with large sums of money, it could not be right that she should do so without his knowledge, even though the property was her own. "I will promise you that I will not oppose your wishes," he said. Then Alice undertook that when such case should arise the money should be raised through his means.

The day but one following this she received a letter from Lady Glencora, who was still at Matching Priory. It was a light-spirited, chatty, amusing letter, intended to be happy in its tone,—intended to have a flavour of happiness, but just failing through the too apparent meaning of a word here and there. "You will see that I am at Matching," the letter said, "whereas you will remember that I was to have been at Monkshade. I escaped at last by a violent effort, and am now passing my time innocently,—I fear not so profitably as she would induce me to do,—with Iphy Palliser. You remember Iphy. She is a good creature, and would fain turn even me to profit, if it were possible. I own that I am thinking of them all at Monkshade, and am in truth delighted that I am not there. My absence is entirely laid upon your shoulders. That wicked evening amidst the ruins! Poor ruins. I go there alone sometimes and fancy that I hear such voices from the walls, and see such faces through the broken windows! All the old Pallisers come and frown at me, and tell me that I am not good enough to belong to them. There is a particular window to which Sir Guy comes and makes faces at me. I told Iphy the other day, and she answered me very gravely, that I might, if I chose, make myself good enough for the Pallisers. Even for the Pallisers! Isn't that beautiful?"

Then Lady Glencora went on to say, that her husband intended to come up to London early in the session, and that she would accompany him. "That is," added Lady Glencora, "if I am still good enough for the Pallisers at that time."