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4. CHAPTER IV: SAFE AGAINST LOVE-MAKING (continued)
Miss Amedroz was a handsome young woman, tall, well-made, active, and full of health. She carried herself as though she thought her limbs were made for use, and not simply for ease upon a sofa. Her head and neck stood well upon her shoulders, and her waist showed none of those waspish proportions of which ladies used to be more proud than I believe them to be now, in their more advanced state of knowledge and taste. There was much about her in which she was like her cousin, as though the blood they had in common between them had given to both the same proportions and the same comeliness. Her hair was of a dark brown colour, as was his. Her eyes were somewhat darker than his, and perhaps not so full of constant movement; but they were equally bright, and possessed that quick power of expressing tenderness which belonged to them. Her nose was more finely cut, as was also her chin, and the oval of her face; but she had the same large expressive mouth, and the same perfection of ivory-white teeth. As has been said before, Clara Amedroz, who was now nearly twenty-six years of age, was not a young-looking woman. To the eyes of many men that would have been her fault; but in the eyes of Belton it was no fault. He had not made himself fastidious as to women by much consort with them, and he was disposed to think that she who was to become his wife had better be something more than a girl not long since taken out of the nursery. He was well-to-do in the world, and could send his wife out in her carriage, with all becoming bravery of appurtenances. And he would do so, too, when he should have a wife. But still he would look to his wife to be a useful partner to him. She should be a woman not above agricultural solicitude, or too proud to have a care for her cows. Clara, he was sure, had no false pride; and yet as he was sure also she was at every point such a lady as would do honour to the carriage and the bravery when it should be forthcoming. And then such a marriage as this would put an end to all the trouble which he felt in reference to the entail on the estate. He knew that he was to be master of Belton, and of course had, in that knowledge, the satisfaction which men do feel from the consciousness of their future prosperity. And this with him was enhanced by a strong sympathy with old-fashioned prejudices as to family. He would be Belton of Belton; and there had been Beltons of Belton in old days, for a longer time backwards than he was able to count. But still the prospect had not been without its alloy, and he had felt real distress at the idea of turning his cousin out of her father's house. Such a marriage as that he now contemplated would put all these things right.
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