initial 'T' decorated with Trollope protraithe Rev. Montague Blake was curate of Little Alresford, a parish, though hardly to be called a village, lying about three miles from the town. The vicar was a feeble old gentleman who had gone away to die in the Riviera, and Mr. Blake had the care of souls to himself. He was a man to whom his lines had fallen in pleasant places. There were about 250 men, women, and children, in his parish, and not a Dissenter among them. For looking after these folk he had £I20 per annum, and as pretty a little parsonage as could be found in England. There was a squire with whom he was growing in grace and friendship, who, being the patron of the living, might probably bestow it upon him. It was worth only £250, and was not, therefore, too valuable to be expected. He had a modest fortune of his own, £300 a-year perhaps, and, --for the best of his luck shall be mentioned last, --he was engaged to the daughter of one of the prebendaries of Winchester, a pretty bright little girl, with a further sum of £500 belonging to herself. He was thirty years of age, in the possession of perfect health, and not so strict in matters of religion as to make it necessary for him to abandon any of the innocent pleasures of this world. He could dine out, and play cricket, and read a novel. And should he chance, when riding his cob about the parish, or visiting some neighbouring parish, to come across the hounds, he would not scruple to see them over a field or two. So that the Rev. Montagu Blake was upon the whole a happy fellow. [94]


Trollope, Anthony. An Old Man's Love. [1884] London: Penguin, 1993.

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