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17. CHAPTER XVII: AYLMER PARK (continued)
'Now, with reference to marrying'
'I don't know what you want with marrying at all, Fred. You ought to be very happy as you are. By heavens, I don't know any one who ought to be happier. If I were you, I know'
'But you see, sir, that's all settled.'
'If it's all settled, I suppose there's an end of it.'
'It's no good my mother nagging at one.'
'My dear boy, she's been nagging at me, as you call it, for forty years. That's her way. The best woman in the world, as we were saying but that's her way. And it's the way with most of them. They can do anything if they keep it up anything. The best thing is to bear it if you've got it to bear. But why on earth you should go and marry, seeing that you're not the eldest son, and that you've got everything on earth that you want as a bachelor, I can't understand. I can't indeed, Fred. By heaven, I can't!' Then Sir Anthony gave a long sigh, and sat musing awhile, thinking of the club in London to which he belonged, but which he never entered of the old days in which he had been master of a bedroom near St. James's Street of his old friends whom he never saw now, and of whom he never heard, except as one and another, year after year, shuffled away from their wives to that world in which there is no marrying or giving in marriage. Ah, well,' he said, 'I suppose we may as well go into the drawing-room. If it is settled, I suppose it is settled. But it really seems to me that your mother is trying to do the best she can for you. It really does.'
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