AGAIN AT MISTLETOE
THE reader will have been aware that Arabella Trefoil was not a favourite at Mistletoe. She was so much disliked by the duchess that there bad almost been words about her between her grace and the duke since her departure. The duchess always submitted, and it was the rule of her life to submit with so good a grace that her husband, never fearing rebellion, should never be driven to assume the tyrant. But on this occasion the duke had objected to the term 'thoroughly bad girl,' which had been applied by his wife to his niece. He had said that 'thoroughly bad girl' was strong language, and when the duchess defended the phrase he had expressed his opinion that Arabella was only a bad girl and not a thoroughly bad girl. The duchess had said that it was the same thing. 'Then,' said the duke, 'why use a redundant expletive against your own relative?' The duchess, when she was accused of strong language, had not minded it much; but her feelings were hurt when a redundant expletive was attributed to her. The effect of all this had been that the duke in a mild way had taken up Arabella's part, and that the duchess, following her husband at last, had been brought round to own that Arabella, though bad, had been badly treated. She had disbelieved, and then believed, and had again disbelieved Arabelia's own statement as to the offer of marriage. But the girl had certainly been in earnest when she had begged her aunt to ask her uncle to speak to Lord Rufford. Surely when she did she must have thought that an offer had been made to her. Such offer, if made, had no doubt been produced by very hard pressure;--but still an offer of marriage is an offer, and a girl, if she can obtain it, has a right to use such an offer as so much property. Then came Lord Mistletoe's report after his meeting with Arabella up in London. He had been unable to give his cousin any satisfaction, but he was clearly of opinion that she had been ill-used. He did not venture to suggest any steps, but did think
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Publication information: Book title: The American Senator. Contributors: Anthony Trollope - Author, John Halperin - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 413.
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