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The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope
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by Anthony Trollope


Mrs Amedroz, the wife of Bernard Amedroz, Esq, of Belton Castle, and
mother of Charles and Clara Amedroz, died when those children were only
eight and six years old, thereby subjecting them to the greatest
misfortune which children born in that sphere of life can be made to
suffer. And, in the case of this boy and girl, the misfortune was
aggravated greatly by the peculiarities of the father's character. Mr
Amedroz was not a bad man as men are held to be bad in the world's
esteem. He was not vicious was not a gambler or a drunkard was not
self-indulgent to a degree that brought upon him any reproach; nor was
he regardless of his children. But he was an idle, thriftless man, who,
at the age of sixty-seven, when the reader will first make his
acquaintance, had as yet done no good in the world whatever. Indeed he
had done terrible evil; for his son Charles was now dead had perished
by his own hand and the state of things which had brought about this
woeful event had been chiefly due to the father's neglect.

Belton Castle is a pretty country seat, standing in a small but
beautifully wooded park, close under the Quantock hills in
Somersetshire; and the little town of Belton clusters round the park
gates. Few Englishmen know the scenery of England well, and the
prettinesses of Somersetshire are among those which are the least
known. But the Quantock hills are very lovely, with their rich valleys
lying close among them, and their outlying moorlands running off
towards Dulverton and the borders of Devonshire moorlands which are not
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