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There is a part in this excerpt that I don't understand though I know every single word.

To have shaken what remained of his Church of England faith would have gratified her much; but the idea of his abandoning his preferment in the church had never once presented itself to her mind. How could he indeed, when he had no income from any other source?

Can someone please paraphrase it for me in modern plain language? Also, in this line,

She had aided her father in his indifference to his professional duties, counseling him that his livings were as much his individual property as the estates of his elder brother were the property of that worthy peer.

what does "worthy peer" mean?

This is the link from Barron's NEW SAT, 28th edition, thanks.

  • Since the first part is already somehow explained (see Irfan Khan) I will refer to the second. The second part basically is about that a woman's father is having financial problems. She helped him out with that. But what her father bothers more is that he sees himself in competition with his older brother who got more money than the father does. But his daughter tries to support him mentally with saying that he is the smarter/wiser one (tho having no money). 'peer' is a member of the british nobility and in conjunction with worthy it just emphasizes his higher position in that community. – Tom-Oliver Heidel Feb 17 '17 at 10:10
  • can you explain the sentence structure a little bit – HUN Feb 18 '17 at 11:08
  • Of the first or second part? Well I could try but will prolly need some time for that. – Tom-Oliver Heidel Feb 18 '17 at 17:27
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    @Tom-OliverHeidel you're completely off on the meaning of the second passage. – Rob K Mar 24 '17 at 18:57
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To have shaken what remained of his Church of England faith would have gratified her much;

It would make her very happy to completely destroy his belief in the teachings of the Church of England.

but the idea of his abandoning his preferment in the church had never once presented itself to her mind.

A preferment in this case is a position of employment. She never once thought he would leave his employment as a clergyman in the church.

How could he indeed, when he had no income from any other source?

His job with the church was his only source of income. If he quit that job, he would have no money.

She had aided her father in his indifference to his professional duties, counseling him that his livings were as much his individual property as the estates of his elder brother were the property of that worthy peer.

She encouraged her father to neglect his duties in his job. She told her father that he had a right to the income from the job (his livings), as though it were something he owned, not something he earned by fulfilling the duties. "That worthy peer" refers back to "his elder brother" who owns estates and doesn't need to work a job to have an income.

The elder brother is part of the English aristocracy (e.g. a peer).

Saying "that worthy peer" is like saying "that good gentleman" or "that fine fellow".

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She had shaken her father's Church of England beliefs through expressing her freethinking spirit. As a result, he left the church position, which had never crossed her mind. It did not make sense to her because her father did not have any other source of income.

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    She did not take pleasure in her father's belief. And the brother is not called a "worthy peer" because of being worthy of his possessions. Worthy in this use is an older English idiom. – Rob K Mar 24 '17 at 19:17
  • To understand the context, I read the original article from the link given by Adam. I agree with your assessment. Edited my response accordingly. Thank you. – Irfan Khan Mar 3 at 4:50

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