Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?: Vol. 2, Ch. 13

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"If I had, I shouldn't, perhaps, have been here to take care of you," she said, smiling.

"No; you'd have been like your brother, no doubt. Not that I think there could have been two so bad as he is."

"Oh, grandfather, if he has offended you, you should try to forgive him."

"Try to forgive him! How often have I forgiven him without any trying? Why did he come down here the other day, and insult me for the last time? Why didn't he keep away, as I had bidden him?"

"But you gave him leave to see you, sir."

"I didn't give him leave to treat me like that. Never mind; he will find that, old as I am, I can punish an insult."

"You haven't done anything, sir, to injure him?" said Kate.

"I have made another will, that's all. Do you suppose I had that man here all the way from Penrith for nothing?"

"But it isn't done yet?"

"I tell you it is done. If I left him the whole property it would be gone in two years' time. What's the use of doing it?"

"But for his life, sir! You had promised him that he should have it for his life."

"How dare you tell me that? I never promised him. As my heir, he would have had it all, if he would have behaved himself with common decency. Even though I disliked him, as I always have done, he should have had it."

"And you have taken it from him altogether?"

"I shall answer no questions about it, Kate." Then a fit of coughing came upon him, his four glasses of wine having been all taken, and there was no further talk about business. During the evening Kate read a chapter of the Bible out loud. But the Squire was very impatient under the reading, and positively refused permission for a second. "There isn't any good in so much of it, all at once," he said, using almost exactly the same words which Kate had used to him about the port wine. There may have been good produced by the small quantity to which he listened, as there is good from the physic which children take with wry faces, most unwillingly. Who can say?

For many weeks past Kate had begged her uncle to allow the clergyman of Vavasor to come to him; but he had positively declined. The vicar was a young man to whom the living had lately been given by the Chancellor, and he had commenced his career by giving instant offence to the Squire. This vicar's predecessor had been an old man, almost as old as the Squire himself, and had held the living for forty years. He had been a Westmoreland man, had read the prayers and preached his one Sunday sermon in a Westmoreland dialect, getting through the whole operation rather within an hour and a quarter. He had troubled none of his parishioners by much advice, and had been meek and obedient to the Squire. Knowing the country well, and being used to its habits, he had lived, and been charitable too, on the proceeds of his living, which had never reached two hundred a year. But the new comer was a close-fisted man, with higher ideas of personal comfort, who found it necessary to make every penny go as far as possible, who made up in preaching for what he could not give away in charity; who established an afternoon service, and who had rebuked the Squire for saying that the doing so was trash and nonsense. Since that the Squire had never been inside the church, except on the occasion of Christmas-day. For this, indeed, the state of his health gave ample excuse; but he had positively refused to see the vicar, though that gentleman had assiduously called, and had at last desired the servant to tell the clergyman not to come again unless he were sent for. Kate's task was, therefore, difficult, both as regarded the temporal and spiritual wants of her grandfather.