Framley Parsonage | Anthony Trollope | General Fiction | Audio Book | English | 8/12

chapter 30 of fram leap arsenic this is the librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit recording by nicholas clifford fram lee parsonage by anthony trollope chapter 30 the grant lee triumph it has been mentioned cursorily the reader no doubt will have forgotten it that mrs. grant lee was not specially invited by her husband to go up to town with a view of being present that Miss done stables party mrs. grant lee said nothing on the subject but she was somewhat chagrined not on account of the loss she sustained with reference to that celebrated assembly but because she felt that her daughter's affairs required the supervision of a mother's eye she also doubted the final ratification of the Luft and grant lee treaty and doubting it she did not feel quite satisfied that her daughter should be left in lady lufton's hands she had said a word or two to the Archdeacon before he went up but only a word or two for she hesitated to trust him in so delicate a matter she was therefore not a little surprised at receiving on the second morning after her husband's departure a letter from him desiring her immediate presence in London she was surprised but her heart was filled rather with hope than dismay for she had full confidence in her daughter's discretion on the morning after the party lady Lufton and grizelda had breakfasted together as usual but each felt that the manner of the other was altered lady Lufton thought that her young friend was somewhat less attentive and perhaps less meek and her demeanor than usual and grizelda felt that lady Lufton was less affectionate very little however was said between them and lady Lufton expressed no surprise when Griselda begged to be left alone at home instead of accompanying her ladyship when the carriage came to the door nobody called in Bruton Street that afternoon no one at least was let in except the Archdeacon he came there late in the day and remained with his daughter – lady Lufton returned then he took his leave with more abruptness than was usual with him and without saying anything special to account for the duration of his visit neither did Griselda say anything special and so the evening wore away each feeling in some unconscious manner that she was on less intimate terms with the other than had previously been the case on the next day also Griselda would not go out but at 4 o'clock his servant brought a letter to her from Mount Street her mother had arrived in London and wished to see her at once mrs. grant Lee sent her love to Lady Lufton and would call it half-past five or at any later hour at which it might be convenient for Lady Lufton to see her Griselda was to stay and dine and mount Street so said the letter lady Lufton declared that she would be very happy to see mrs. grant Lee at the hour name and then armed with this message Griselda started for her mother's lodgings I'll send the carriage for you said Lady Lufton I suppose about ten will do thank you said Griselda that will do very nicely and then she went exactly of half past five mrs. grant Lee was shown into Lady lufton's drawing-room her daughter did not come with her and Lady Lufton could see by the expression of her friend's face that business was to be discussed indeed it was necessary that she herself should discuss business for mrs. grant Lee must now be told that the family treaty could not be ratified the gentleman declined the alliance and poor lady Lufton was uneasy in her mind that the nature of the task before her your coming up has been rather unexpected said lady Lufton as soon as her friend was seated on the sofa yes indeed I got a letter from the Archdeacon only this morning which made it absolutely necessary that I should come no bad news I hope said lady Lufton no I can't call it bad news but dear lady Lufton things won't always turn out in this one would have them no indeed said her ladyship remembering that it was incumbent on her to explain to mrs. grant Lee now at this present interview the tidings with which her mind was fraught she would however let mrs. grant Lee first tell her own story feeling perhaps that the one might possibly bear upon the other poor dear Griselda said mrs. grant Lee almost with a sigh I need not tell you lady Luft and what my hopes were regarding her as she told you anything anything that she would have spoken to you at once and it was due to you that she should have done so but she was timid and not unnaturally so and then it was right that she should see her father and me before she quite made up her own mind but I may say that it is settled now what is settled ask they deal often of course it is impossible for anyone to tell beforehand how these things will turn out continued mrs. grant Lee beating about the bush rather more than was necessary the dearest wish of my heart was to see her married to Lord Lufton I should so much have wish to have her in the same County with me and such a match as that would have fully satisfied my ambition well I should rather think it might lady Lufton did not say this out loud but she thought if mrs. grant lee was absolutely speaking of a match between her daughter and lord Lufton as though she would have displayed some amount of Christian moderation and putting up with it Grizelda grant lee might be a very nice girl but even she so thought lady Lufton at the moment might possibly be priced too high Lee dear mrs. grant Lee she said I have foreseen for the last few days that our mutual hopes in this respect would not be gratified lord Luft and i think but perhaps it's not necessary to explain had you've not come up to town I should have written to you probably today whatever may be dear Griselda's fate in life I sincerely hope that she may be happy I think she will said mrs. grant Lee in a tone that expressed much satisfied action has has anything Lord Novello proposed to Griselda the other night at Miss Dunstable Sparty said mrs. grant Lee with her eyes fixed upon the floor and assuming on the sudden much meekness in her manner and his lordship was with the Archdeacon yesterday and again this morning I fancy he is in Mount Street at the present moment Oh indeed said Lady Lufton she would have given world's to a possessed at that moment sufficient self-command to have enabled her to express in her tone and manner unqualified satisfaction at the tidings but she had not such self command and was painfully aware of her own deficiency yes said mrs. grant Lee and as it is also far settled and as I know you are so kindly anxious about dear Griselda I thought it right to let you know at once nothing can be more upright honourable and generous than Lord dumb bellows conduct but on the whole the match is one with which I and the Archdeacon cannot but be contented it is certainly a great match said Lady Lufton have you seen Lady Hartl top yet now Lady Hartl top could not be regarded as an agreeable connection but this was the only word which escaped from Lady Lufton that could be considered in any way disparaging but on the whole I think that she behaved well Lord damn Bella was so completely his own master that that has not been necessary said mrs. grant Lee the Marquess has been told and the Archdeacon will see him either tomorrow or the day after there was nothing left for Lady Lufton but to congratulate her friend and this she did in words perhaps not very sincere but which on the whole were not badly chosen I am sure I hope she will be very happy said lady Lufton but I trust that the alliance the word was very agreeable to mrs. grant Lee's ear will give unalloyed gratification to you and her father the position which he is called to fill is a very splendid one but I do not think that it is above her merit this was very generous and so mrs. grant Lee felt it she had expected that her news would be received with the coldest shade of civility and she was quite prepared to do battle if they were occasion but she had no wish for war and was almost grateful to Lady Lufton for her cordiality dear lady Luft and she said it is so kind of you to say so I have told no one else and of course would tell no one till you knew it no one has known her and understood her so well as you have done but I can assure you of this that there is no one to whose friendship she looks forward in her new sphere of life with half so much pleasure as she does to yours lady Lufton did not say much further she could not declare that she expected much gratification from an intimacy with the future March endless of heart on top the heart on tops and the lufton's must at any rate for her generation live in a world apart and she had now said all that her old friendship with mrs. grant Lee required mrs. grant Lee understood all this quite as well as did Lady Lufton but then mrs. grant Lee was much the better woman of the world it was arranged that Griselda should come back to Bruton Street for the night and that her visit should then be brought to a close the Archdeacon thinks that for the present I had better remain up in town said mrs. grant Lee and under the very peculiar circumstances Griselda will be perhaps more comfortable with me to this lady Lufton entirely agreed and so they parted excellent friends embracing each other in a most affectionate manner that evening Griselda did return to Bruton Street and Lady Lufton had to go through the further task of congratulating her this was the more disagreeable of the two especially so as it had been thought over beforehand but the young lady's excellent good sense and sterling qualities made the tasks comparatively an easy one she neither cried nor was impassioned nor went into hysterics nor showed any emotion she did not even talk of her noble dumb Bella her generous dumbbell oh she took lady lufton's kisses almost in silence thanked her gently for her kindness and made no allusion to her own future grandeur I think I should like to go to bed early she said as I must see to my packing up Richards will do all that for you my dear oh yes thank you nothing can be kinder than Richards but I'll just see to my own dresses and so she went to bed early lady Lufton did not see her son for the next two days but when she did of course she said a word or two about Griselda you have heard the news Ludovic she asked oh yes it's at all the clubs I have been overwhelmed with presence of willow branches you at any rate have got nothing to regret she said nor you either mother I am sure that you do not think you have say that you do not regret it dearest mother say so for my sake do you not know in your heart of hearts that she was not suited to be happy as my wife or to make me happy perhaps not said lady Lufton sighing and then she kissed her son and declared to herself that no girl in England could be good enough for him end of chapter xxx chapter 31 of family parsonage this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit recording by nicholas clifford family parsonage by anthony trollope chapter 31 salmon fishing in norway lured dumb bellows engagement with Griselda Grantley was the talk of the town for the next 10 days it formed at least one of the two subjects which monopolized attention the other being that dreadful rumor first put in motion by Tom towers at Miss dumb stables party as to a threatened dissolution of Parliament perhaps after all it will be the best thing for us so mr. green Walker who felt himself to be tolerably safe at Crewe Junction I regard it as the most wicked attempt said Harold Smith who was not equally secure in his own borough and to whom the expense of an election was disagreeable it is done in order that they may get time to tide over the autumn they won't gain 10 votes by a dissolution and less than 40 would hardly give them a majority but they have no sense of public duty none whatever indeed I don't know who has know by Jove that's just it that's just what my aunt lady Hartl table says there is no sense of Duty left in the world by the by what an uncommon food on Bello is making himself and then the conversation went off to that other topic Lord lufton's joke against himself about the willow branches was all very well and nobody dreamed that his heart was sore in that matter the world was laughing at lord dam bellow for what had chose to call a foolish match and Lord lufton's friends talked to him about it as though they had never suspected that he could have made an ass of himself in the same direction but nevertheless he was not altogether contented he by no means wish to marry Griselda he had declared to himself a dozen times since he had first suspected his mother's manoeuvres that no consideration on earth should induce him to do so he had pronounced her to be cold insipid and unattractive in spite of her beauty and yet he felt almost angry that Lord dumb bellow should have been successful and this too was the more inexcusable seeing that he had never forgotten Lucy Robarts had never ceased to love her and that in holding those various conversations within his own bosom he was as loud and Lucy's favor as he was in disgrace of Griselda your hero then I hear some well-balanced critics say it's not worth very much in the first place lord Lufton is not my hero and in the next place a man may be very imperfect and yet worth a great deal a man may be as imperfect as lord Lufton and yet worthy of a good mother and a good wife if not how many of us are unworthy of the mothers and wives we have it is my belief that few young men settled themselves down to the work of the world to the beginning of children and carving and paying and struggling and fretting for the same without having first been in love with four or five possible mothers for them and probably with two or three at the same time and yet these men are as a rule worthy of the excellent wives that ultimately fall to their lot in this way lord Lufton had to a certain extent been in love with Griselda there had been one moment in his life in which he would have offered her his hand had not her discretion been so excellent and though that moment never returned still he suffered from some feeling akin to disappointment when he learned that Griselda had been won and was to be warned he was then a dog in the manger you will say well and are we not all dogs in the manger more or less actively is not that manger doggish 'no son of the most common faces of the human heart but not the less was lord Lufton truly in love with lucy Robarts but he fancied that any dumb bella was carrying on a siege before that fortress his vexation would have manifested itself in a very different matter he could joke about Griselda Grantley with a frank face and a happy tone of voice but had he heard of any tidings of a similar import with reference to Lucy he would have been past all joking and I much doubt whether it would not even have affected his appetite mother he said to Lord Lufton a day or two after the Declaration of Griselda's engagement I am going to Norway to fish to Norway to fish yes we've got rather a nice party Clontarf is going in Culpeper what that horrid man he's an excellent hand at fishing and Haddington Peebles and and there'll be six of us all together and we start this day week that's rather sudden Ludovic yes it is sudden but we're sick of London I should not care to go so soon myself but Clontarf and Culpepper say that the season is early this year I must go down to framily before I start about my horses and therefore I came to tell you that I shall be there tomorrow at framily tomorrow if you could put it off for three days I should be going myself but lord Lufton could not put it off for three days it may be that on this occasion he did not wish with his mother's presence of traveling while he was there that he conceived that he should be more at his ease and giving orders about his stable if he were alone while so employed at any rate he declined her company and on the following morning he did go down to family by himself mark said mrs. Robarts hurrying into her husband's book room about the middle of the day lord lufton's at home have you heard it what hear it friendly he's over at Ramli Court so the servants say Carson saw him in the paddock with some of the horses won't you go and see him of course I will said mark shutting up his papers lady Lufton can't be here and if he is alone he will probably come and dine I don't know about that said mrs. Robarts thinking of poor Lucy he is not in the least particular what does for us will do for him I shall ask him at any rate and without further parley the clergyman took up his hat and went off in search of his friend Lucy Robarts had been present when the gardener had brought in tidings of Lord lufton's arrival at Framm Lee and was aware that Fanny had gone to tell her husband he won't come here Willy she said as soon as mrs. Robards returned I can't say said fanny I hope not he ought not to do so and I don't think he will but mark says that he will ask him to dinner then Fanny I must be taken ill there was nothing else for it I don't think he will come I don't think he can be so cruel indeed I feel sure that he won't but I thought it right to tell you Lucy also conceived that it was improbable to door buffman should come to the parsonage under the present circumstances and she declared herself that it would not be possible that she should appear a table if he did so but nevertheless the idea of his being at family was perhaps not altogether painful to her she did not recognize any pleasure as coming to her from his arrival but still there was something in his presence which was unconsciously to herself soothing to her feelings but that terrible question remained how was she to act if it should turn out that he was coming to dinner if he does come fanny she said solemnly after a pause I must keep to my own room and leave mark to think what he pleases it will be better for me to make a fool of myself there than in his presence in the drawing-room Marc Robarts took his hat and stick and went over at once to the home paddock in which he knew that lord Lufton was engaged with the horses and grooms he also was a know supremely happy frame of mind for his correspondence with mr. Tosa was on the increase he had received notice from that indefatigable gentleman the certain overdue bills were now lying at the bank in Barchester and were very desirous of his mr. Robarts notice a concatenation of certain peculiarly unfortunate circumstances made it indispensably necessary that mr. Tosa should be repaid without further loss of time the various sums of money which he had advanced on the credit but mr. Robarts name etc etc etc no absolute threat was put forth and singular to say no actual amount was named mr. Robarts however could not but observe with the most painfully accurate attention that mentioned was made not of an overdue bill but of overdue bills what if mr. toza were to devayne from him the instant repayment of nine hundred pounds hitherto he had merely written to mr. Sowerby and he might have had an answer from that gentleman this morning but no such answer had as yet reached him consequently he was not at the present moment and of very happy frame of mine he soon found himself with Lord Lufton and the horses four or five of them were being walked slowly about the paddock in the care of his many men and boys and the sheets were being taken off them off one after another so that their master might look at them with the more accuracy and satisfaction but though Lord Lufton was thus doing his duty and going through his work he was not doing it with his whole heart as the head groom perceived very well he was fretful about the nags and seemed anxious to get them out of his sight as soon as he had made a decent pretext of looking at them how are you Lufton said Robarts coming forward they told me you were down and so I came across at once yes I only got here this morning and should have been over with you directly I am going to Norway for six weeks or so and it seems that the fish is so early this year that we must start at once I have a matter on which I want to speak to you before I leave and indeed it was that which brought me down here more than anything else there was something hurried and not altogether easy about his manner as he spoke which struck Robarts and made him think that this promised mattered to be spoken of would not be agreeable in discussion he did not know whether lord Lufton might not again be mixed up with tozer and the bells you will dine with us today he said if as I suppose you were all alone yes I am all alone then you'll come well I don't quite know no I don't think I can go over the dinner don't look so disgusted I'll explain it all to you just now what could there be in the wind and how is it possible the toesies bill should make it inexpedient for lord Lufton to dine at the barson egde Robarts however said nothing further about it at the moment but turned off to look at the horses they are an uncommon ly nice set of animals he said well yes I don't know when a man has four or five horses to look at somehow or other he never has one to go that chestnut mayor is a picture now that nobody wants her but she wasn't able to carry me well to hounds a single day last winter take them in pounce that'll do won't your lordship run your eye over the old black hoss said pounce the head groom in a melancholy tone he's as fine sir as fine as a stag to tell you the truth I think they're too fine but that'll do take them in and now mark if you're at leisure we'll take a turn around the place mark of course was at leisure and so they started on their walk you're too difficult to please about your stable Robarts began never mind the stable now said Lord Lufton the truth is I am NOT thinking about it mark he then said very abruptly I want you to be frank with me as your sister ever spoken to you about me my sister Lucy yes your sister Lucy no never at least nothing is special nothing that I can remember at this moment nor your wife spoken about you fanny of course she has in an ordinary way it would be impossible that she should not but what do you mean have either of them told you that I made an offer to your sister that you made an offer to Lucy yes that I made an offer to Lucy no nobody has told me so I have never dreamed of such a thing nor as far as I believe have they if anybody has spread such a report or said that either of them have hinted at such a thing it is a base lie good heavens Lufton for what do you take them but I did said his lordship did what said the parson I did make your sister an offer you made Lucy an offer of marriage yes I did in his plain language as the gentleman could use to a lady and what answer did she make she refused me and now mark I have come down here with the express purpose of making that offer again nothing could be more this than your sisters answer it struck me as being almost uncourteous li decided but still it is possible that circumstances may have weighed with her which ought knocked away with her if her love be not given to anyone else I may still have a chance of it it's the old story of faint heart you know at any rate I mean to try my luck again and thinking it over with deliberate purpose I have come to the conclusion that I ought to tell you before I see her lord Lufton in love with Lucy as these words repeated themselves over and over again within Mark Robarts mind his mind added to the notes of surprise without end how had it possibly come about and why in his estimation his sister Lucy was a very simple girl not slain indeed but by no means beautiful certainly not stupid but by no means brilliant and then he would have said that of all the men who mean you Lord Lufton would have been the last to fall in love with such a girl as his sister and now what was he to say or do what views was he bound to hold in what direction should he act there was lady Lufton on the one side to whom he owed everything how would life be possible to him in that parsonage within a few yards of her elbow if he consented to receive Lord Lufton as the acknowledged suitor of his sister it would be a great match for Lucy doubtless but indeed he could not bring himself to believe that Lucy couldn't Ruth become the absolute reigning queen of family court do you think that Fanny knows anything of all this he said after a moment or two I cannot possibly tell if she does it is not with my knowledge I should have thought that you could best answer that I cannot answer it at all said mark I at least have had not the remotest idea of such a thing your ideas of it now need not be at all remote said Lord Lufton with a faint smile and you may know it as a fact I did make her an offer of marriage I was refused I am going to repeat it and I am now taking you into my confidence in order that as her brother and as my friend you may give me such assistance as you can they then walked on in silence for some yards afterwards Lord Lufton added and now I'll dine with you today if you wish it mister Robarts did not know what to say he could not think himself when answered duty required of him he had no right to interfere between his sister in such a marriage if she herself should wish it but still there was something terrible into thought of it he had a vague conception that it must come to evil that the project was a dangerous one and that it could not finally result happily for any of them what would lady Luft and say that undoubtedly was the chief source of his dismay have you spoken to your mother about this he said my mother know why speak to her until I know my fate a man does not like to speak much of such matters if there be a probability of his being rejected I tell you because I do not like to make my way into your house under a false pretence but what would lady Lufton say I think it probable that she would be displeased on the first hearing it that in four-and-twenty hours she would be reconciled and that after a week or so Lucy would be her dearest favorite and the prime minister of all her machinations you don't know my mother as well as I do she would give her head off her shoulders to do me a pleasure and for that reason said mark Robarts you ought if possible to do her pleasure I cannot absolutely marry a wife of her choosing if you mean that said Lord Lufton they went on walking about the garden for an hour but they hardly got any farther than the point to which we have now brought them mark Robarts could not make up his mind on the spur of the moment nor as he said more than once the Lord Lufton could he be at all sure that Lucy would in any way be guided by him it was therefore at last settled between them that Lord Lufton should come to the parsonage immediately after breakfast on the following morning it was agreed also that the dinner had better not come off and Robarts promised that he would if possible have determined by the morning as to what advice he would give his sister he went direct home to the parsonage from family court feeling that he was all together in the dark till he should have consulted his wife how would he feel if Lucy would have become lady Lufton and how would he look lady Lufton in the face and telling her that such was to be his sister's destiny on returning home he immediately found his wife and had not been closeted with her five minutes before he knew at any rate all that she knew and you mean to say that she does love him said Marc indeed she does and is it not natural that she should when I saw them so much together I feared that she would but I never thought that he would care for her even Fanny did not has yet give Lucy credit for half her attractiveness after an hour's talking the interview between the husband and the wife ended in a message to Lucy begging her to join them both in the book room and Lucy sent a chubby little darling who was taken up into his aunt's arms as he spoke Papa and Mama ought you and the tuddy and I mustn't go with zoo Lucy as she kissed the boy and pressed his face against her own felt that her blood was running quick to her heart mustn't you go with me my own one she said but she put her playfellow down but she played with the child only because she did not wish to betray even to him that she was hardly mistress of herself she knew that Lord Lufton was a tram Lee she knew that her brother had been to him she knew that a proposal had been made that he should come there that date and dinner must have not therefore be the case that this called who a meeting in the study had arisen out of Lord lufton's arrival at framily and yet how could it have done so had fanny betrayed her in order to prevent the dinner invitation it could not be possible that Lord Lufton himself should have spoken on the subject then she again stooped to kiss the child rubbed her hands across her forward to smooth her hair and a race if that might be possible the look of care which she wore and then descended slowly to her brother's sitting-room her hand paused for a second on the door ere she opened it but she had resolved that come what might she would be brave she pushed it open and walked in with a bold front with eyes wide open and a slow step frank says he want me she said mister Robarts and Fanny were both standing by the fireplace and each weight of a second for the other to speak when Lucy entered the room and then Fanny began Lord Lufton is here Lucy here we're at the parsonage no not at the parsonage but over at family court said mark and he promises to call here after breakfast tomorrow said fanny and then again there was a pause mrs. Robarts hardly dared to look Lucy in the face she had not betrayed her trust seeing that the secret had been told to mark not by her but by Lord Lufton but she could not but feel that Lucy would think that she had betrayed it very well said Lucy trying to smile I have no objection in life but Lucy dear and now mrs. Robarts put her arm around her sister-in-laws waist he is coming here especially to see you oh that makes a difference I am afraid that I shall be engaged he has told everything to Marx and mrs. Robarts Lucy now felt that her bravery was almost deserting her she hardly knew which way to look or how to stand had fanny told everything also there was so much that Fanny knew that Lord Lufton could not have known but in truth Fanny had told all the whole story of Lucy's loved and had described the reasons which had induced her to reject her suitor and had done so in words which had lured Luft and heard them would have made him twice as passionate in his love and then it certainly did occur to Lucy to think why Lord Lufton should have come to family and told all this history to her brother she attempted for a moment to make herself leave that she was angry with him for doing so but she was not angry she had not time to argue much about it but there came upon her gratified sensation of having been remembered and thought of and loved must have not be so could it be possible that he himself would have told this tale to her brother if he did not still love her fifty times she had said to herself that his offer had been an affair of the moment and fifty times she had been unhappy and so saying but this new coming of his could not be an affair of the moment she had been the dupe she thought of an absurd passion on her own part but now how was it now she did not bring herself to think that she should ever be lady Lufton she had still in some perversely obstinate manner made up her mind against that result but yet nevertheless it did in some uncomfortable manner satisfy her to feel that lord Lufton had himself come down to fram lee and himself told this story he has told everything to Marx and mrs. Roberts and then again there was a pause for a moment during which these thoughts passed through Lucy's mind yes said mark he has told me all and he is coming here tomorrow morning that he may receive an answer from yourself what answer said Lucy trembling nay dearest who can say that but yourself and her sister-in-law as she spoke pressed close against her you must say that yourself mrs. Robarts in her long conversation with her husband had pleaded strongly on Lucy's behalf taking as it were a part against Lady Lufton she had said that if Lord Lufton persevered in a suit they at the parsonage could not be justified in robbing Lucy of all that she had won for herself in order to do Lady lufton's pleasure but she will think said mark that we have plotted an intrigue for this she will call us ungrateful and we'll make Lucy's life wretched to which the wife had answered that all that must be left in God's hands they had not plotted or intrigued Lucy's are loving the man in heart of hearts but already once refused him because she would not be thought to have snatched at so great a prize but if Lord left and loved her so warmly that he had come down there in this manner on purpose as he himself had put it that he might learn his fate then so argued mrs. Robarts they to let their loyalty to lady Luft and be ever so strong could not justify it to their conscience 'as to stand between Lucy and her lover Marc had still somewhat demurred to this suggesting how terrible would be their plight if they should now encourage Lord Lufton and if he after such encouragement when they should have quarreled with Lady Lufton should allow himself to be led away from his engagement by his mother to which Fanny had answered that justice was justice and that right was right everything must be told to Lucy and she must judge for herself but I do not know what Lord Laughton wants said Lucy with her eyes fixed upon the ground and now trembling more than ever he did come to me and I did give him an answer and is that answer to be final said Marc somewhat cruelly for Lucy had not yet been told that her lover had made any repetition of his proposal Fanny however determined that no injustice should be done and therefore she at last continued the story we know that you did give him an answer dearest but gentleman will sometimes not put up with one answer on such a subject lord lufton's is declared to mark that he means to ask again he has come down here on purpose to do so and lady Lufton said Lucy speaking hardly above a whisper and still hiding her face as she leaned against her sister's shoulder Lord lufton's has not spoken to his mother about it said Marc and it immediately became clear to Lucy from the tone of her brother's voice that he at least would not be pleased should she accept her lover's mouth you must decide out of your own heart dears and Fanny generously mark and I know how well you were behaved for I have told him everything Lucy shuddered and leaned close against her sisters this was said to her I had no alternative dearest but to tell him it was best so was it not but nothing has been told to Lord Lufton mark would not let him come here today because it would have flurried you and he wished to give you time to think but you can see him tomorrow morning can you not and then answer him Lucy now stood perfectly silent feeling that she dearly loved her sister-in-law for her sisterly kindness for that sister Lee wished to promote his sister's love but still there was in her mind a strong resolve not to allow Lord Lufton to come there under the idea that he would be received as a favored lover her love was powerful but so also was her pride and she could not bring herself to bear the scorn which would lay and lady lufton's eyes his mother will despise me and then he will despise me too she sent to herself and with a strong gulp of disappointed love and ambition she determined to persist shall we leave you now dear and speak of it again tomorrow morning before he comes said fanny that will be the best said mark turn it in your mind every way tonight think of it when you have said your prayers and Lucy now come here to me and then taking her in his arms he kissed her with a tenderness that was not customary with him towards her it is fair said he that I should tell you this that I have perfect confidence in your judgment and feeling and that I will stand by you as your brother in whatever decision you may come to Fanny and I both think that you behaved excellently and we are both of us sure that you will do what is best whatever you do I will stick to you and so will Fanny dearest dearest mark and now we will say nothing more about it till tomorrow morning's and Fanny but Lucy felt that this saying nothing more about it till tomorrow morning would be tantamount to an acceptance on her part of Lord lufton's offer mrs. Robarts new and mr. Robarts also now knew the secret of her heart and if such being case she allowed Lord Lufton to come there with the acknowledged purpose of pleading his own suit it would be impossible for her not to yield if she were resolved that she would not yield now was the time for her to stand her ground and make her fight do not go fanny at least not quite yet she said well dear I want you to stay while I tell mark he must not let lord Lufton come here tomorrow not let him said mrs. Robarts mr. Robards said nothing but he felt that his sister was rising in his esteem from minute to minute no mark must bid him not come he will not wish to pain me when it can do no good look here mark and she walked over to her brother and put both her hands upon his arm I do love Lord Lufton I had no such meeting or thought when I first knew him but I do love him I love him dearly almost as well as Fanny loves you I suppose you might tell him so if you think proper now you must tell him so or he will not understand me but tell him this is coming from me that I will never marry him unless his mother asks me she will not do that I fear said mark sorrowfully no I suppose not said Lucy now regaining all her courage if I thought it probable that she should wish me to be her daughter-in-law it would not be necessary that I should make such a stipulation it is because she will not wish it because she would regard me as unfit to to mate with her son she would hate me and scorn me and then he would begin to scorn me and perhaps would cease to love me I could not bear her eye upon me if she thought that I had injured her son Mark he will go to him now will you not and explain this to him as much of it as as necessary tell him that if his mother asks me I will consent but that as I know she never will he is to look upon all that he has said as forgotten with me it shall be the same as though it were forgotten such was her verdict and so confident were they both of her firm of her obstinacy mark would have called it on any other occasion that they neither of them sought to make her alter it you will go to him now this afternoon were you not she said and Mark promised that he would he could not but feel that he himself was greatly relieved lady Lufton might probably hear that her son had been fool enough to fall in love with the Parsons sister but under existing circumstances she could not consider herself aggrieved either by the parson or by his sister Lucy was behaving well and Mark was proud of her Lucy was behaving with fierce spirit and Fanny was grieving for her I'd rather be by myself till dinnertime said Lucy this mrs. Robarts prepared to go with her out of the room dear fanny don't look unhappy there's nothing to make us unhappy I told you I should want goat's milk and that will be all Robarts after sitting for an hour with his wife did return again to Family Court and after a considerable search found lord Lufton returning home to a late dinner unless my mother asks her said he when the story had been told to him that is nonsense surely you told her that such is not the way of the world Robarts endeavoured to explain to him that Lucy could not endure to think that her husband's mother should look on her with disfavor does she think that my mother dislikes her her especially asked Lord Lufton no Robarts could not suppose that that was the case but lady Lufton might probably think that a marriage was a clergyman sister would be a Meza leo's that is out of the question said Lord Lufton but she especially wanted me to marry a clergyman's daughter for some time past but mark it is absurd talking about my mother a man in these days is not to marry as his mother bids him mark could only assure him in answer to all this that Lucy was very firm and what she was doing but she had quite made up her mind and that she altogether absolved Lord Lufton from any necessity to speak to his mother if he did not think well in doing so but all this was to very little purpose she does love me then said Lord Lufton well said mark I will not say whether she does or does not I can only repeat her own message she could not accept you unless she does so that your mother's request and having said that again he took his leave and went back to the parsonage poor Lucy having finished her interview with so much dignity having fully satisfied her brother and declined any immediate consolation from her sister-in-law but took herself to her own bedroom she had to think over what she had said and done and it was necessary that she should be alone to do so it might be that when she came to reconsider the matter she would not be quite so well satisfied as was her brother her grandeur of demeanor and slow propriety of carriage lasted her till she was well into her own room there are animals who when they are ailing in any way contrived to hide themselves ashamed as it were that the weakness of their suffering should be witnessed indeed I am not sure whether all dumb animals do not so more or less and in this respect Lucy was like a dumb animal even in her confidences with Fanny she made a joke of her own misfortunes and spoke of her heart ailments with self ridicule but now having walked up the staircase with no hurried step and having deliberately locked the door she turned herself round to suffer in silence and solitude as do the beasts and birds she sat herself down on a low chair which stood at the foot of her bed and throwing back her head held her handkerchief across her eyes and forward holding it tight in both hands and then she began to think she began to think and also to cry for the tears came running down from beneath the handkerchief and low sobs were to be heard only that the animal had taken itself off to suffer in solitude had she not thrown from her all her chances of happiness was it possible that he should come to her yet again a third time no it was not possible the very mode and pride of this her second rejection of him made it impossible in coming to her determination and making her a vowel she had been actuated by the knowledge that lady Lufton would regard such a marriage with abhorrence lady Lufton would not and could not ask her to condescend to be her son's bride her chance of happiness of glory of ambition of love was all gone she had sacrificed everything not to virtue but to pride and she had sacrificed not only herself but him when first he came there when she had meditated over his first visit she had hardly given him credit for deep love but now there could be no doubt that he loved her now after his season in London his days and nights passed with all that was beautiful he had returned there to that little country parsonage but he might again throw himself at her feet and she she had refused to see him though she loved him with all her heart she had refused to see him because she was so vile a coward that she could not bear the sour looks of an old woman I will come down directly she said when Fanny had last knocked at the door begging to be admitted I won't open it love but I will be with you in ten minutes I will indeed and so she was not perhaps without traces of tears discernible by the experienced high of mrs. Robarts but yet with a smooth brow and a voice under her own command I wonder whether she really loves him mark said to his wife that night love him his wife had answered indeed she does and Mark do not be led away by the stern quiet of her demeanor to my thinking she is a girl who might almost die for love on the next day Lord left and left ramli and started according to his arrangements for the Norway salmon fishing end of chapter 31 chapter xxxii a family parsonage this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit recording by Nicholas Clifford family parsonage by Anthony Trollope chapter 32 the goat encompasses Harold Smith's had been made unhappy by that rumor of a dissolution but the misfortune to him would be as nothing compared to the severity with which it would fall on mr. sour be Harold Smith might or might not lose his burrow but mr. sour be would undoubtedly lose his County but in losing that he would lose everything he felt very certain now that the Duke would not support him again let who would be master of troll two coats and as he reflected on these things he found it very hard to keep up his spirits Tom towers it seems had known all about it as he always does it's a little remark which had dropped from him at miss dun stables made no doubt after mature deliberation and with profound political motives was the forerunner only by 12 hours of a very general report that the Giants were going to the country it was manifest that the Giants had not a majority in parliament generous has have been the promises of support this interestedly made to them by the gods this indeed was manifest and therefore they were going to the country although they had been deliberately warned by a very prominent scientist that if they did so that this interested support must be withdrawn this threat did not seem to weigh much and by two o'clock on the day following miss Dunstable Sparty the fiat was presumed to have gone forth the rumor had begun with Tom towers but by that time it had reached buggins at the petty bag office it won't make no difference to us sir will it mr. Robarts said buggins as he leaned respectfully against the wall near the door in the room of the private secretary at that establishment a good deal of conversation miscellaneous special and political on between young Robarts and buggins in the course of the day as was natural seeing that they were thrown in these evil times very much upon each other the Lord Petty bag of the bressant ministry was not such a one as Harold Smith he was a giant indifferent to his private notes and careless as to the duties even of patronage he rarely visited the office and as there were no other clerks and the establishment owing to a roof and branch reform carried out in the short reign of Harold Smith to whom could young Robarts talk if not the buggins no I suppose not Sandro Bart's was he completed on his blotting paper an elaborate picture of a Turk seated on his divan because you see we're in the upper house now as I always thinks we ought to be I don't think it ain't constitutional for the petty bag to be in the Commons mister Robarts anyways they'd never use and they're changing all those sort of things nowadays buggins said Robarts giving the final touch to the turks smoke well i'll tell you what it is mr. Robarts i think i'll go i can't stand all these changes i'm turned of sixty now and i don't want any stiff lick 'it's I think I'll take my pension and walk the office ain't the same place at all since it come down among the Commons and then buggins retired sighing to console himself with a pot of Porter behind a large open office ledger set up on end on a small table in the little Lobby outside the private secretaries room bug inside again as he saw that the date made visible in the open book was almost as old as his own appointment for such a book as this lasted long into the petty bag office a peer of high degree had been Lord petty bag in those days one whom a messengers heart could respect with infinite veneration as he made his unaccustomed visits to the office with much solemnity perhaps four times during the session the Lord petty bag was highly regarded by his staff and his coming among them was talked about for some hours previously and for some days I – its but Harold Smith had muscled in and out like the managing Clark in a manchester house the service is going to the dogs and begins to himself as he put down the porter part and looked up over the book and a gentleman who presented himself at the door mister Robarts in his room said muggins repeating the gentleman's words yes mr. sour may you'll find him there first door to the left and then remembering that the visitor was a county member a position which buggins regarded as next to that of a peer he got up and opening the private Secretary's door assured in the visitor young mr. Robarts and mr. sour me had of course become acquainted in the days of Harold Smith's reign during that short time the member for East bar said had on most days dropped in at the petty bag office for a minute or two finding out what the energetic cabinet minister was doing chatting on semi-official subjects and teaching the private secretary to laugh at his master there was nothing there for in his present visit which need appear to be singular or it's required any immediate special explanation he sat himself down in his ordinary way and began to speak of the subject of the day we're all to go since our me so I here said the private secretary it will give me no trouble for as the respectable buggin says we're in the upper house now what a delightful time those lucky dogs of lords do have since our be no constituents no turning out no fighting no necessity for political opinions and as a rule no such opinions at all I suppose you're tolerably safe in East bar Sucher said Robarts the Duke has it pretty much his own way there yes the Duke does have it pretty much his own way by the by where is your brother at homes and Robarts at least I presume so at Ramle or at Barchester I believe he was in residence at bar Chester not long since he said family now I know I got a letter only yesterday from his wife with the Commission he was there and Lord Lufton had left yes Lufton was down he started for Norway this morning I want to see your brother you have not heard from him yourself have you no not lately mark is a bad correspondent he would not do it all for a private secretary at any rate not to Harold Smith but you were sure I should not catch him but Barchester send down by telegraph and he would meet you I don't want to do that a telegraph message makes such a fuss in the country frightening people's wives and setting all the horses about the place galloping what is it about nothing of any great consequence I didn't know whether he might have told you I'll write down by tonight's post and then he can meet me at Barchester tomorrow or do you write there's nothing I hate so much as letter writing just tell him that I called and that I shall be much obliged if he can meet me at the dragon of Wantley say a2 tomorrow I will go down by the Express Mark Robarts and talking over this coming money trouble with Sowerby but once mentioned that if it were necessary to take up the bill for a short time he might be able to borrow the money from his brother so much of the father's legacy still remained in the hands of the private secretary this would enable him to produce the amount of the latter bill and there could be no doubt that he would lend it if asked mr. Sowerby's visit to the petty bag office had been caused by a desire to learn whether any such request had been made and also by a half-formed resolution to make the request himself if he should find that the clergyman had not done so it seemed to him to be a pity that such a sum should be lying about as it were within reach and that he should not stoop to put his hands upon it such abstinence would be so contrary to all the practise of his life that it was as difficult to him as it is for a sportsman to let pass a pheasant but yet something like remorse touched his heart as he sat there balancing himself on his chair in the private secretaries room and looking at the young man's open face yes all right to him said John Robarts but he hasn't said anything to me about anything particular hasn't he it doesn't much signify I only mentioned it because I thought I understood him to say that he would and then mr. Sowerby went on swinging himself how was it that he felt so averse to mention that little sum of 500 pounds to a young man like John Robarts the fellow without wife or children or calls upon him of any sort who would not even be injured by the loss of the money seeing that he had an ample salary on which to live he wondered at his own weakness the want of the money was urgent on him in the extreme he had reasons for supposing that mark would find it very difficult to renew the bills but he sour me could stop their presentation if he can get this money at once into his own hands can I do anything for you said the innocent lamb offering his throat to the butcher but some unwanted feeling numbed the butcher's fingers and blunted his knife he sat still for half a minute after the question and then jumping from his seat declined the offer no no nothing thank you only right to mark and say that I shall be there tomorrow and then taking his hat he hurried out of the office what an ass I am he said to himself as he went as if it were of any use now to me particular he then got into a cab and had himself driven halfway up Portman Street towards the new road and walking from thence a few hundred yards down a cross street he came to a public house it was called the goat encompasses a very meaningless name one would say but the house boasted of being a place of public entertainment very long-established on that site having been a tavern out in the country in the days of Cromwell at that time the pious landlord putting up a pious legend for the benefit of his pious customers had declared that God encompasses us the goat encompasses in these days does quite as well and considering the present character of the house who is perhaps less unsuitable than the old legend is mr. Austin here asked mr. Sowerby of the man at the bar which on him not mr. John he ain't here mr. Tomasson the little room on the left-hand side the man who mr. Sowerberry would have preferred to see was the elder brother John but as he was not to be found he did go into the little room in that room he found mr. Austin jr. according to one arrangement of nomenclature and mr. Tom Tozer according to another two gentlemen of the legal profession he generally chose to introduce himself as belonging to the respectable family of the Austin's but among his intimates he had always been Tozer mr. Sauer me though he was intimate with the family did not love the tow sirs but he especially hated Tom tow Sir Tom Tosa was a bull-necked beetle-browed fellow the expression of whose face was eloquent with acknowledged roguery I am a rogue it seemed to say I know it all the world knows it but you're another all the world don't know that but I do men are all rogues pretty nigh summer soft groves summer acute rogues I am a cute one so mind your eye it was with such words that Tom toes his face spoke out and though a thorough liar in his heart he was not a liar in his face well no sir said Mr Sowerberry shaking hands with a dirty miscreant I wanted to see your brother John ain't here and ain't like but it's at all as one yes yes I suppose it is I know you too hunting couples I don't know what you mean about hunting mr. Sowerby you gen says all the hunting and we poor folk as all the work I hope you're going to make up this trifle of money we're out of so long it's about that that I've called I don't know what you call long Dozier but the last bill was only dated in February it's overdue ain't it oh yes it's overdue this no doubt about that well when a bit of paper has come round the next thing is to take it up them's my ideas and to tell you the truth mr. Sowerby we don't think as our you've been tree is just on the square lately in that matter of Lord loved him she was down on us uncommon you know I couldn't help myself well and we can't help ourselves now that's where it is mr. Sowerby lord love you we know what's what we do and so the fact is were uncommon low as to the ready just at present and we must have them few hundred pounds we must have them at once we must sell up that clerical gent I'm dashed of it ain't as hard to get money from a parson as it is to take a bone from a dog he's add as a count no doubt and why don't he pay mr. Sowerby had called with the intention of explaining that he was about to proceed to bar Chester on the following day with the express view of making arrangements about this bill and had he seen John Doe Sir John would have been compelled to a court to him some little extension of time both Tom and John knew this and therefore John the soft-hearted one kept out of the way there was no danger that Tom would be weak and after some half-hour of parley he was again left by mr. sour me without having a Vince to any symptom of weakness it's the dibs as we want mr. sour me that's all were the last words which he spoke as the Member of Parliament left the room mr. Sowerby then got into another cab and had himself driven to his sister's house it is a remarkable thing with reference to men who were distressed for money distressed as was now the case with mr. sour me that they never seemed at a loss for small sums or deny themselves those luxuries which small sums purchase cabs dinners wine theatres a new glove sir always at the command of men who had drowned and pecuniary embarrassments where was those who don't owe her shilling are so frequently obliged to go without them it would seem that there is no gratification so costly as that of keeping out of debt but then it is only fair if a man has a hobby he should pay for it anyone else would have saved his shilling as mrs. Harold Smith's house it was only just across Oxford Street in the neighbor of Hanover Square but mr. Sowerby never thought of this he had never saved a shilling in his life and it did not occur to him to begin now he had sent word to her to remain at home for him and now he found her waiting Harriet said he throwing himself back into an easy chair the game is pretty well up at last nonsense said she the game is not up at all if you have the spirit to carry it on I can only say that I got a formal notice this morning from the Dukes lawyer saying that he meant to foreclose at once not from Fothergill but from those people in South Audley Street you expected that said his sister I don't see how that makes it any better besides I am not quite sure that I did expect it at any rate I did not feel certain there is no doubt now it is better that there should be no doubt it is much better that you should know on what ground you have to stand I shall soon have no ground to stand on none at least of my own not an acre said the unhappy man with great bitterness in his tone you can't in reality be poorer now than you were last year you have not spent anything to speak of there can be no doubt that shoulder coats will be ample to pay all you owe the Duke it's as much as it will and what am I to do then I almost think more of the seat than I do of Charlie Coates you know what I advise said mrs. Smith ask Miss Dunstable to advance the money on the same security which the Duke holds she will be as safe then as he is now and if you can arrange that stand for the county against him perhaps you may be beaten I shouldn't have a chance but it would show spirit that you were not a creature in the Dukes hands that's my advice and Mrs Smith with much spirit and if you wish it I'll broach it to miss Dunstable and ask her to get her lawyer to look into it if I had done this before I had run my head into that other absurdity don't fret yourself about that she will lose nothing by such an investment and therefore you are not asking any favor of her besides did she not make the offer and she is just the woman to do this for you now because she refused to do that other thing for you yesterday you understand most things Nathaniel but I'm not sure that you understand women not at any rate such a woman as her it went against the grain with mr. Sauer me the seeking of pecuniary assistance from the very woman whose hand he had attempted the gain about a fortnight since but he allowed his sister to prevail what could any man do in such straits that would not go against the grain at the present moment he felt in his mind an infinite hatred against the Duke mr. Fothergill gumption and gaze me and all the tribes of gatherin castle and South Audley Street they wanted to rob him of that which had belonged to the sour beasts before the name of omnium had been heard of in the county or in england the great leviathan of the deep was anxious to swallow him up as a prey he was to be swallowed up and made away with and put out of sight without a pang of remorse any measure which could now present itself is the means of staving off so evil a day would be acceptable and therefore he gave his sister the commission of making the second proposal to miss Dunstable in cursing the duke for he did curse the duke lustily it hardly occurred to him to think that after all the duke only asked for his own as for mrs. Harold Smith whatever may be the view taken of her general character as a wife and a member of society it must be admitted that as the sister she had virtues end of chapter 32 chapter 33 of family parsonage this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit recording by nicholas clifford family parsonage by anthony trollope chapter 33 consolation on the next day at two o'clock punctually mark Robarts was at the dragon of Wantley walking up and down the very room in which the party had breakfasted after Harold Smith's lecture and waiting for the arrival of mr. Sowerby he had been very well able to divine what was the business on which his friend wished to see him and he had been rather glad than otherwise to receive the summons judging of his friends character by what he had hitherto seen he thought that mr. Sowerby would have kept out of the way unless he had it in his power to make some provision for these terrible bills so he walked up and down the dingy room impatient for the expected arrival and thought himself wickedly ill-used in that mr. Sowerby was not there when the clock struck a quarter to three but when the clock struck three mr. Sowerby was there and Mark Robarts hopes were nearly at an end do you mean to say that they will demand nine hundred pounds said Robarts standing up and glaring angrily at the Member of Parliament I fear that they will said Sowerby I think it is best to tell you the worst in order that we may see what can be done I can do nothing and will do nothing said Robarts they may do what they choose what the law allows them and then he thought of Fanny and his nursery and Lucy refusing in her pride Lord lufton's offer and he turned away his face that the hard man of the world before him might not see the tear gathering in his eye but mark my dear fellow said Sowerby trying to have recourse to the power of his cajoling voice Robarts however would not listen mr. Sowerby he said within a ten – calmness which betrayed itself in every syllable it seems to me that you have robbed me that I have been a fool and worse than a fool I know well but but but I thought that your position in the world would guarantee me from such treatment as this mr. Sowerby was by no means without feeling but the words which he now heard cut him very deeply the more so because it was impossible that he should answer them with an attempt at indignation he had robbed his friend and with all his wit knew no words at the present moment sufficiently witty to make it seem that he had not done so Robart said he you may say would you like to me now I shall not resent it who would care for your resentment said the clergyman turning on him with ferocity the resentment of a gentleman is terrible to a gentleman and the resentment of one just man is terrible to another your resentment and then he walked twice the length of the room leaving Sowerby dumb in his seat I wonder whether you ever thought of my wife and children when you were plotting this ruin for me and then again he walked the room I suppose you will be calm enough presently to speak of this with some attempt to make a settlement no I will make no such attempt these friends of yours you tell me have a claim on me for nine hundred pounds of which they demand immediate payment you shall be asked in a court of law how much of that money I have handled you know I have never touched have never wanted to touch one shilling I will make no attempt at any settlement my person is here and here is my house let them do their worst but mark call me by my name sir and drop that affectation of regard what an ass I have been to have been so cousin to by a sharper Sowerby had by no means expected this he had always known that Robarts possessed what he Sowerby would have called the spirit of a gentleman he had regarded him as a bold open generous fellow able to take his own part when called on to do so and by no means disinclined to speak his own mind but he had not expected from him such a torrent of indignation who thought that he was capable of such a depth of anger if you use such language as that Robarts I can only leave you you are welcome go you tell me that you were the messenger of these men who intend to work 900 pounds out of me you have done your part in the plot and have now brought their message it seems to me that you had better go back to them as for me I want my time to prepare my wife for the destiny before her Robarts you will be sorry someday for the cruelty of your words I wonder whether you will ever be sorry for the cruelty of your doings or whether these things are really a joke on you I am at this moment a ruined man said Sowerby everything is going from me my place in the world the estate of my family my father's house my seat in parliament the power of living among my countrymen or indeed of living anywhere but all this does not oppress me now so much as the misery which I have brought upon you and then Sowerby also turned away his face and wiped from his eyes tears which were not heart official Robarts was still walking up and down the room but it was not possible for him to continue his reproaches after this this is always the case let a man endure to heap consume Leon his own head and he will silence the consumer of others for the moment Sowerby without meditating on the matter that had some inkling of this and immediately saw that the wizard last and opening for conversation you are unjust to me said he in supposing that I have now no wish to save you it is solely in the hope of doing so that I've come here and what is your hope that I should accept another brace of bills I suppose not a brace but one renewed bill for look here mr. sour be on no earthly consideration that can be put before me well I again signed my name to any bill in the of an acceptance I have been very weak and have ashamed of my weakness but somewhat strength is that I hope is left to me I have been very wicked and I'm ashamed of my wickedness but so much right principle as that I hope remains I will put my name to no other bill not for you not even for myself but Robarts under your present circumstances that will be madness then I will be mad have you seen Forrest if you will speak to him I think you will find that everything can be accommodated I already owe mr. Forrest a hundred and fifty pounds which I obtained from him when you pressed me for the price of that horse and I will not increase the net what a fool I was again there perhaps you do not remember that when I agreed to buy the horse the price was to be my contribution to the liquidation of these males I do remember it but I will tell you how that was it does not signify it is all been of a piece but listen to me I think you would feel for me if you knew all that I have gone through I pledge you my solemn word that I had no intention of asking you for the money when you took the horse indeed I had not but you remember that affair of lufton's when he came to you at your hotel in London and was so angry about an outstanding bill I know that he was very unreasonable as far as I was concerned he was so but that makes no difference he was resolved in his rage to expose the whole affair and I saw that if he did so it would be most injurious to you seeing that you had just accepted your stall at Barchester here the poor provender he winced terribly I moved heaven and earth to get up that bill those vultures stuck to their prey when they found the value which I attach to it and I was forced to raise above a hundred pounds at the moment to obtain possession of it although every shilling on it had long since been paid never in my life that I wish to get money as I did to raise that hundred and twenty pounds and as I hope for mercy in my last moments I did that for your sake Lufton could not have injured me in that matter but you told him that you've got it for 25 pounds yes I told him so I was obliged to tell him that or I should have apparently condemned myself by showing how anxious I was to get it and you know I could not have explained all this before him and you you would have thrown up the stall and disgust would that he had that was Mark's wish now his futile wish in what a slough of despond had he come to wallow in consequence of his folly on that night at gathering castle he had then done a silly thing and was he now to rue it by almost total ruin he was sick and also with all these lies his very soul was dismayed by the dirt through which he was forced to wade he had become unconsciously connected with the lowest dregs of mankind and would have to see his name mingled with airs in the daily newspapers and for what had he done this why had he thus filed his mind and made himself a disgrace to his cloth in order that he might befriend such a one as mr. sour me well continued Sowerby I did get the money but you would hardly believe the rigor of the pledge which was exacted from me for a payment I got it from Harold Smith and never in my worst straits will I again look to him for assistance I borrowed it only for a fortnight and in order that I might repay it I was obliged to ask you for the price of the horse mark it was on your behalf that I did all this indeed it was and now I am to repay you for your kindness by the loss of all that I have in the world if you will put the affair into the hands of mr. Forrest nothing need be touched not a hair of a horse's back no not though you should be obliged to pay the whole amount yourself gradually out of your income you must execute a series of bills falling you quarterly and then I will execute no bill I will put my name to no in the matter as to that my mind is fully made up they may come and do their worst mr. sour be persevered for a long time but he was quite unable to move the parson from this position he would do nothing towards making what mr. sour be called an arrangement but persisted that he would remain at home with family and that anyone who had a claim upon him might take legal steps I shall do nothing myself he said but if proceedings against me be taken I shall prove that I have never had a shilling of the money and in this resolution he quitted the dragon of Wantley mr. sour be at one time said a word as to the expediency of borrowing that sum of money from John Robarts but as to this mark would say nothing mr. sour me was not the friend with whom he now intended to hold consultation in such matters I am not at present prepared he said to declare what I may do I must first see what steps of this take and then he took his hat and went off and mounting his horse in the yard of the dragon of Wantley that horse which he now had so many reasons to dislike he slowly rode back home many thoughts passed through his mind during that ride but only one resolution obtained for itself a fixture there he must now tell his wife everything he would not be so cruel as to let it remain untold until a bailiff were at the door ready to walk him off to the county jail or until the bed on which they slept was to be sold from under them yes he would tell her everything immediately before his resolution could again have faded away he got off his horse in the yard and seeing his wife's maid at the kitchen door desired her to beg her mistress to come to him in the book room he would not allow one half-hour to pass towards the waning of his purpose if it be ordained that a man shall drown had he not better drown and have done with it mrs. Roberts came to him in his room reaching him in time to touch his arm as he entered it Mary says you want me I and gardening and she caught me just as I came in yes fanny I do want you sit down for a moment and walking across the room he placed his whip in its proper place Oh mark is there anything the matter yes dearest yes sit down fanny I can talk to you better if you will sit but she poor lady did not wish to sit she had hinted at some misfortune and therefore she felt a longing to stand by him and cling to him well there I will if I must but Marc do not frighten me why is your face so very wretched fanny I have done very wrong he said I have been very foolish I fear that I have brought upon you great sorrow and trouble and then he leaned his head upon his hand and turned his face away from her Oh Marc dearest Marc my own Marc what is it and then she was quickly up from her chair and went down on her knees before him do not turn for me tell me Marc tell me that we may share it yes Fanny I must tell you now but I hardly know what you will think of me when you have heard it I will think that you are my own husband Marc I will think that that chiefly whatever it may be and then she caressed his knees and looked up into his face and getting hold of one of his hands pressed it between her own even if you have been foolish who should forgive you if I cannot and then he told her at all beginning from that evening when mr. Sowerby had got him into his bedroom and going on gradually now about the bills and now about the horses till his poor wife was utterly lost in the complexity of the accounts she could by no means follow him in the details of his story nor could she quite sympathise with him in his indignation against mrs. Sowerby seeing that she did not comprehend at all the nature of the renewing of a bill the only part to her of importance in the matter was the amount of money which her husband would be called upon to pay that and her strong hope which was already a conviction that he would never again incur such debts and how much is it dearest all together these men claim 900 pounds of me oh dear that is a terrible sum and then there is the hundred and fifty which I have borrowed from the bank the price of the horse you know and there are some other debts not a great deal I think but people will now look for every shilling that is due to them if I have to pay at all it will be twelve or thirteen hundred pounds that will be as much as a year's income mark even with the stall this was the only word of reproach he said if that could be called a reproach yes he said and it is claimed by men who will have no pity and exacting it at any sacrifice if they have the power and to think that I should have been incurred all this debt without having received anything for it Oh Fanny what will you think of me but she swore to him that she would think nothing of it that she would never bear it in her mind against him that it could have no effect in lessening her trust in him was he not her husband she was so glad she knew it that she might comfort him and she did comfort him making the weight seem lighter and lighter on his shoulders as he talked of it and such weights do thus become lighter a burden that will crush a single pair of shoulders will when equally divided when shared by two each of whom is willing to take the heavier part become light as a feather is not that shearing of the minds burdens one of the chief purposes for which a man wants a wife for there is no folly so great as keeping one sorrows hidden and this wife cheerfully gladly thankfully took her share to inure with her lord all her Lords troubles was easy to her it was the work to which she had pledged herself but to her thought that her Lord had troubles not communicated to her that would have been to her the one thing not to be borne and then they discussed their plans what mode of escape they might have out of this terrible money difficulty like a true woman mrs. Robarts proposed at once to abandon all superfluities they would sell all their horses they would not sell their cows but would sell the butter that came from them they would sell the pony carriage and get rid of the groom that the footman must go was so much a matter of course that it was hardly mentioned but then as to that house at Barchester the dignified for Mendel mansion and the clothes might they not be allowed to leave it unoccupied for one year longer perhaps to let it the world of course must know of their misfortune but if that misfortune was faced bravely the world would be less bitter in its condemnation and then above all things everything must be told to lady Lufton you may at any rate believe this Fanny said he that for no consideration which can be offered to me will I ever put my name to another bill the kiss with which she thanked him for this was as warm and generous as though he had brought to her that day news of the brightest and when he sat as he did that evening discussing it all not only with his wife but with Lucy he wondered how it was that his troubles were now so light whether or no a man should have his own private pleasures I will not now say but it can never be worth his while to keep his sorrows private end of chapter 33 chapter 34 of framily parsonage this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit recording by nicholas clifford family parsonage by anthony trollope chapter 34 lady Lufton is taken by surprise lord Lufton as he returned to town found some difficulty in resolving what step he would next take sometimes for a minute or two he was inclined to think or rather to say to himself that Lucy was perhaps not worth the trouble which he threw in his way he loved her very dearly and would willingly make her his wife he thought her said at such moments but such moments however were only moments a man in love seldom loves less because his love becomes difficult and thus when those moments were over he would determine to tell his mother at once an urge or to signify her consent to miss Robarts that she would not be quite pleased he knew but if he were firm enough to show that he had a will of his own in this matter she probably would not gainsay him he would not ask this humbly as a favour but requests her ladyship to go through the ceremony as though it were one of those motherly duties which she as a good mother could not hesitate to perform on behalf of her son such was the final resolve with which he reached his chambers in the Albany on the next day he did not see his mother it would be well he thought to have his interview with her immediately before he started for Norway so there might be no repetition of it and it was on the day before he did start that he made his communication having invited himself to breakfast in Brook Street on the occasion mother he said quite abruptly throwing himself into one of the dining room armchairs I have a thing to tell you his mother at once knew that the thing was important and with her own peculiar motherly instinct imagined that the question to be discussed had reference to matrimony at her son desire to speak to her about money his tone and look would have been different as would also have been the case in a different way and he entertained any thought of a pilgrimage to peek in or a prolong and fishing excursion to the Hudson Bay territories a thing Ludovic well I am quite at liberty I want to know what you think of Lucy Robarts lady Lufton became pale and frightened and the blood ran cold in her heart she had feared more than rejoiced in conceiving that her son was about to talk of love but she had feared nothing so bad as this what do I think of Lucy Robarts she said repeating her son's words and the tone of evident dismay yes mother you have said once or twice lately that you thought I ought to marry and I am beginning to think so too you selected one clergyman's daughter for me but that lady is going to do much better with herself indeed she is not said lady Lufton sharply and therefore I rather think I shall select for myself another clergyman sister you don't dislike miss Robarts I hope Oh Ludovic it was all that lady Lufton could say at the spur of the moment is there any harm in her have you any objection to her is there anything about her that makes her unfit to be my wife for a moment or two lady Lufton sat silent collecting her thoughts she thought that there was very great objection to Lucy Robarts regarding her as the possible future lady Lufton she could hardly have stated all her reasons but they were very cogent Lucy Robarts had in her eyes neither Beauty nor style nor manner nor even the education which was desirable lady Lufton was not herself a worldly woman she was almost as far removed from being so as a woman could be in her position but nevertheless there were certain worldly attributes which he regarded as essential to the character of any young lady who might be considered fit to take the place which she herself had so long filled it was her desire and looking for a wife for her son to combine these with certain moral excellences which he regarded as equally essential Lucy Robarts might have the moral excellences or she might not but as to the other attributes lady Luft and regarded her as altogether deficient she could never look like a lady Lufton or carry herself in the county as a lady Lufton should do she had not that quiet personal demeanour that dignity repose which lady loved and loved to look upon in a young mare woman of rank Lucy she would have said could be nobody in a room except by dint of her tongue whereas Griselda Grantley would have held her piece for a whole evening and yet would have impressed everybody by the majesty of her presence then again Lucy had no money and again Lucy was only the sister of her own parish clergy people are rarely profits in their own country and Lucy was no prophet of tram Lee she was none at least in the eyes of Lady Lufton once before as may be remembered she had had fears on this subject fears not so much for her son whom she could hardly bring herself to suspect of such a folly but for Lucy who might be foolish enough to fancy that the Lord was in love with her alas alas her son's question fell upon the poor woman at the present moment with the weight of a terrible blow is there anything about her which makes her unfit to be my wife those were her son's last words dearest ludovic dearest ludovic and she got up and came over to him I do think so I do indeed think what said he in a tone that was almost angry I do think that she is unfit to be your wife she is not of that class from which I would wish to see you choose she is of the same class as Griselda Grant Lee no dearest I think you are an error there the grantees have moved in a different sphere of life I think you must feel that they are upon my word mother I don't one man is rector of plumsted and the other is Vicar of family but is no good arguing that I want you to take to Lucy Robarts I have come to you on purpose to ask it of you as a favour do you mean as your wife Ludovic yes as my wife am I to understand that you are are engaged to her well I cannot say that I am not actually engaged to her but you may take this for granted that as far as it lies in my power I intend to so my mind is made up but I certainly shall not alter it and the young lady knows all this certainly horrible slide testable underhand girl lady Lufton said to herself not being by any means brave enough to speak out such language before her son what hope could there be if lord Lufton had already committed himself by a positive offer and her brother and mrs Robarts are they aware of it yes both of them and both approve it well I cannot say that I have not seen mrs. Robarts and do not know what may be her opinion to speak my mind honestly about mark I do not think he does cordially approve he is afraid of you and would be desirous of knowing what you think I am glad at any rate to hear that said lady Lufton gravely had he done anything to encourage this it would have been very base and then there was another short period of silence Lord Lufton had determined not to explain to his mother the whole state of the case he would not tell it that everything depended on her word that lucy was ready to marry him only on condition that she lady Lufton would desire her to do so he would not let her know that everything depended on her according to Lucy's present verdict he had a strong distinct Lynnae Shinto asked his mother's permission to get married and he would have to ask where he did tell her the whole truth his object was to make her think well of Lucy and to induce her to be kind and generous and affectionate down at family then things would all turn out comfortably when he again visited that place as he intended to do one is returned from Norway so much he thought it possible he might affect relying on his mother's probable calculation that it would be useless for her to oppose a measure which he had no power of stopping by Authority but were he to tell her that she was to be the final judge that everything was to depend on her will then so thought Lord often that permission would in all probability be refused well mother what answer do you intend to give me he said my mind is positively made up I should not have come to you had not that been the case you will now be going down home and I would wish you to treat Lucy as you yourself would wish to treat any girl to whom you knew that I was engaged but you say that you were not engaged no I am NOT but I have made my offer to her and I have not been rejected she has confessed that she loves me not to myself but to her brother under these circumstances may I count upon your obliging me there was something in his manner which almost frightened his mother and made her think that there was more behind than was being told who were generally speaking his manner was open gentle and unguarded but now he spoke as though he had prepared his words and was resolved on being harsh as well as obstinate I am so much taken by surprise Ludovic that I can hardly give you an answer if you ask me whether I approve of such a marriage I must say that I do not I think that you would be throwing yourself away and marrying Miss Robarts that is because you do not know her may it be possible that I know her better than you do dear Ludovic you have been flirting with her I hate that word it always sounds to me to be vulgar I will say making love to her if you like it better and gentleman under these circumstances will sometimes become infatuated you would not have a man marry a girl without making love to her the fact is mother that your tastes and mine are not exactly the same you like silent beauty whereas I like talking beauty and then do you call miss Robarts beautiful yes I do very beautiful she has the beauty that I admire goodbye now mother I shall not see you again before I start it will be no use writing as I shall be away so short a time and I don't quite know where we shall be I shall come down to family immediately I returned and shall learn from you how the land lies I have told you my wishes and you will consider how far you think it right to fall in with them he then kissed her and without waiting for her reply he took his leave poor lady Lufton when she was left to herself felt that her head was going round and round and round with this to be the end of all her ambition of all her love for her son and was this to be the result of all her kindness to the Robarts 'as she almost hated mark Robarts as she reflected that she had been the means of bringing him and his sister to family she thought over all his sins his absences from the parish his visit to gather him castle his dealings with reference to that farm which was to have been sold his hunting and then his acceptance of that stall given as she had been told through the omnium interest how could she love him at such a moment as this and then she thought of his wife could it be possible that Fanny Robarts her own friend Fanny would be so untrue to her as to lend any assistance to such a marriage as this as not to use all her power in preventing it she had spoken to Fanny on this very subject not fearing for her son but with the general idea of the impropriety of intimacy's between girls as Lucy and such men as Lord Lufton and then Fanny had agreed with her could it be possible that even she must be regarded as an enemy and then by degrees lady Lufton began to reflect what step she had better take in the first place should she given at once and consent to the marriage the only thing quite certain to her was this that life would not be worth having if she were forced into a permanent quarrel with her son such an event would probably kill her when she read of quarrels and other noble families and the accounts of such quarrels will sometimes unfortunately force themselves upon the attention of unwilling readers she would hug herself with the spirit that almost pharisaical reflecting that her destiny was not like that of others such quarrels and hatreds between fathers and daughters and mothers and sons were in her eyes disreputable to all the persons concerned she had lived happily with her husband comfortably with her neighbors respectably with the world and above all things affectionately with her children she spoke everywhere of Lord Lufton as though he were nearly perfect and in so speaking she had not bolide her convictions under these circumstances would not any marriage be better than a quarrel but then again how much of the pride of her daily life would be destroyed by such a match as that and might it not be within her power to prevent it without any quarrel that her son would be sick of such a jet as Lucy before he had been married to her six months of that lady Lufton entertained no doubt and therefore her conscience would not be disquieted in disturbing the consummation of an arrangement so pernicious it was evident that the matter was not considered as settled even by her son and also evident that he regarded the matter is being in some way dependent on his mother's consent on the whole might it not be better for her better for them all that she should think wholly of her duty and not of the disagreeable results to which that Duty might possibly lead it could not be her duty to accede to such an alliance and therefore she would do her best to prevent it such at least should be her attempt in the first instance having so decided she next resolved not her course of action immediately on her arrival at Ramle she would send for Lucy Robarts and use all her eloquence and perhaps also a little of that Stern dignity for which she was so remarkable and explaining to that young lady how very wicked it was on her part to think of forcing herself into such a family as that of the lufton's she would explain to Lucy that no happiness could come of it that people placed by misfortune above their sphere are always miserable and in short make use of all those excellent moral lessons which is so customary on such occasions the morality might perhaps be thrown away but lady Lufton depended much on her dignified sternness and then having so resolved she prepared for her journey home very little had been set at family parsonage about lord lufton's offer after the departure of that gentleman very little at least in Lucy's presence that the parson that his wife should talk about it between themselves was the matter of course but very few words were spoken on the matter either by or to Lucy she was left to her own thoughts and possibly to her own hopes and then other matters came up at framily which turned the current of interest into other tracks in the first place there was a visit made by mr. sour me to the dragon of Wantley and the consequent revelation made by mark Robarts to his wife and while the latter subject was yet knew before Fanny and Lucy had as yet made up their minds as to all the little economies which might be practiced in the household without serious detriment to the Masters comfort news reached them that mrs. Crawley of hoggle stock had been stricken with fever nothing of the kind could well be more dreadful than this to those who knew the family it seemed impossible that their most ordinary wants could be supplied if that courageous head were even for a day late low and then the poverty of poor mr. Crawley was such that the sadness essid ease of a sickbed could hardly be supplied without assistance I will go over at once said fanny my dear said her husband it is typhus and you must first think of the children I will go what on earth could you do Mark said his wife men on such occasions are almost worse than useless and then they are so much more liable to infection I have no children nor am i a man said Lucy smiling for both of which exemptions I am oh I will go and when I come back I will keep clear of the Bairns so it was settled and Lucy started in the pony carriage carrying withers such things from the parsonage storehouse that were thought to be suitable to the wants of the sick lady at hoggle stock when she arrived there she made her way into the house finding the door open and not being able to obtain the assistance of the servant girl and ushering her in in the parlour she found grace Crowley the eldest child sitting to be early on her mother's chair nursing an infant she grace herself was still a young child but not the less on this occasion of well-understood sorrow did she go through her tasks not only with zeal but almost with solemnity her brother a boy of six years old was with her and he had the care of another baby there they sat in a cluster quiet grave and silent attending on themselves because that had been willed by fate that no one else should attend on them how was your mama dear grace said Lucy walking up to her and holding out her hand poor mama is very ill indeed said grace and Papa is very unhappy said Bobbie the boy I can't get up because of baby said grace but Bobbie can go and call Papa out I will knock at the door said Lucy and so saying she walked up to the bedroom door and tapped against it lightly she repeated this with the third time before she was summoned in by a low hoarse voice and then on entering she saw mr. Crawley standing by the bedside with a book in his hand he looked at her uncomfortably in a manner which seemed to show that he was annoyed by this intrusion and Lucy was aware that she had disturbed and while at prayers by the bedside of his wife he came across the room however and shook hands with her and answered her inquiries in his ordinary grave and solemn voice mrs. Crawley is very ill he said very ill God has stricken us heavily but his will be done but you would better not go to her miss Robarts it is typhus the caution however was too late for Lucy was already by the bedside and had taken the hand of the sick woman which had been extended on the cover lid to greet her dear Miss Robarts said a weak voice this is very good of you but it makes me unhappy to see you here Lucy lost no time in taking sundry matters into her own hands and ascertaining what was most wanted in that wretched household for it was wretched enough their only servant a girl of sixteen had been taken away by her mother as soon as it became known that mrs. Crawley was ill with fever the poor mother to give her her new had promised to come down morning and evening herself to do such work as might be done in an hour or so but she could not she said leave her child to catch the fever and now at the period of Lucy's visit no step had been taken to procure a nurse mr. Crawley having resolved to take upon himself the duties of that position and his absolute ignorance of all sanitary measures he had thrown himself on his knees to pray and if prayers true prayers might succor his poor wife of such succor she might be confident Lucy however thought that other aid also was wanting to her if you can do anything Forrest and mrs. Crawley let it be for the poor children I will have them all moved from this till you are better said Lucy boldly moved said mr. Crawley who even now even in his presence Strait felt a repugnance to the idea that anyone should relieve him of any portion of his burden yes said Lucy I am sure it will be better that you should lose them for a week or two till mrs. Crawley may be able to leave her room but where are they to go said he very gloomily as to this Lucy was not as yet able to say anything indeed when she left family parsonage there Ben no time for discussion she would go back and talk it all over with Fanny and find out in what way the children might best be put out of danger why should they not all be harbored at the parsonage but soon as assurance could be felt that they were not tainted with the poison of the fever an English lady of the right sort will do all things but one for a sick neighbour but for no neighbor will she wittingly admit contagious sickness within the precincts of her own nursery Lucy unloaded her jellies and her Feb refuges mr. Crawley frowning at her bitterly the while it had come to this with him that food had been brought into his house as an act of charity in his very presence and in his heart of hearts he disliked Lucy Robarts in that she had brought it he could not cause the jars and the pots to be replaced in the pony carriage as he would have done had the position of his wife been different in her state it would have been barbarous to refuse them and barbarous also created the frakerz of a refusal but each parcel that was introduced was an additional weight laid on the sore withers of his pride till the total burden became almost intolerable all this his wife saw and recognized even in her illness and did make some slight ineffectual efforts to give him ease but Lucy in her new power was ruthless and the chicken to make the chicken broth was taken out of the mask and under his very nose but Lucy did not remain long she had made up her mind what had been do herself and she was soon ready to return to pram Lee I shall be back mr. Crawley she said probably this evening and I shall stay with her till she is better nurses don't want room she went on to say when mr. Crawley muttered something as to there being no bed chamber I shall make up some sort of a litter near her you'll see that I shall be very snug and then she got into the pony Shaye's and drove herself home end of chapter 34

1 thought on “Framley Parsonage | Anthony Trollope | General Fiction | Audio Book | English | 8/12

  1. Framley Parsonage | Anthony Trollope | General Fiction | Audio Book | English | 8/12

    30: [00:00:00] – 30 – The Grantly Triumph

    31: [00:12:33] – 31 – Salmon Fishing in Norway

    32: [00:51:10] – 32 – The Goat and Compasses

    33: [01:10:50] – 33 – Consolation

    34: [01:30:18] – 34 – Lady Lufton Is Taken by Surprise

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