The young boy is being groomed to earldom, which includes understanding what being an earl actually means. Here he is accompanied by the lawyer who has brought him from America to live with his grandfather, whose vast estate he will inherit. The boy is used to modest proportions, and is only just starting to get a handle on the distance between ordinary people and the aristocrats, as he observes here the distance from the estate’s gate to the front door of the house.
‘How far is it,’ he said at length, ‘from the gate to the front door?’
‘It is between three and four miles,’ answered the lawyer.
‘That’s a long way for a person to live from his gate,’ remarked his lordship.
Source: Frances Hodgson Burnett, Little Lord Fauntleroy (London: Collins Classics, 2012), p. 56
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