Framley Parsonage | Anthony Trollope | General Fiction | Audiobook full unabridged | English | 3/12



chapter nine of a family parsonage this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by simon Evers from the parsonage by Anthony Trollope chapter nine the Vickers returned the next morning mr. Roberts took leave of all his grand friends with a heavy heart he had lain awake half the night thinking of what he had done and trying to reconcile himself to his position he had not well left mr. Saab is room before he felt certain that at the end of three months he would again be troubled about that four hundred pounds as he went along the passage all the man's known antecedents crowded upon him much quicker than he could remember them when seated in that armchair with the bill stamped before him and the pen and ink rated to his hand he remembered what Lord Lufton had told him how he complained of having been left in the lurch he thought of all the stories current through the entire country as to the impossibility of getting money from Chorley coats he brought to mind the known carriage of the man and then he knew that he must prepare himself to make a good a portion at least of that heavy payment why had he come to this horrid place had he not everything at home at framily which the heart of man could desire no the heart of man can desire daenerys the heart that is of the man vicar and the heart of the man Dean can desire bishoprics and before the eyes of the man Bishop does there not loom the transcendental glory of Lambeth he had owned himself that he was ambitious but he had to earn to himself now also that he had hitherto taken but a Surrey path towards the object of his ambition on the next morning at breakfast time before his horse and gig arrived for him no-one was so bright as his friend sabe say you're off I Oh said he yes I shall go this morning say everything it's crime from me to Lufton I may possibly see him out hunting otherwise we shan't meet till the spring as to my going to family that's out of the question her ladyship would look for my tail and swear that she smelled brimstone bye-bye old fella the German student when he first made his bargain with the devil felt an indescribable attraction to his new friend and such was the case now with robots he shook sob his hand very warmly said that he hoped he should meet him soon somewhere and professed himself specially anxious to hear how that affair with the lady came off as he had made his bargain as he had undertaken to pay nearly half a year's income for his dear friend what he not to have as much value as possible for his money if the dear friendship of this flash member of parliament did not represent that value what else did he do so but then he felt or fancied that he felt the mr. sabe did not care for him so much this morning as he had done on the previous evening bye-bye said mr. sabe but he spoke no word as to such future meetings nor did he even promised to write mr. sabe probably had many things on his mind and it might be that it behaved him having finished one piece of business immediately to look to another the sum for which robots have made himself responsible which he said much fear that he would be called upon to pay was very nearly half a year's income and as yet he had not put by one shilling since he'd be married when he found himself settled in his passage he found also that all the world regarded him as a rich man he had taken the dictum of all the world as true and had set himself to work to live comfortably he had no absolute need of accurate but he could afford the seventy pounds as Lady Anne often had said rather in judiciously and by keeping Jones in the parish he could be acting charitably to a brother clergyman I would also place himself in a more independent position led he'll often have wished to see her pet clergyman well-to-do and comfortable but now as matters had turned out she much regretted this affair of the curate mr. Jones she said to herself more the months must be made to depart from family he'd give his wife a pony carriage and for himself he had a saddle horse and a second horse for his gig a man in his position well to do as he was required as much as that he had a football also and a gardener and a groom the two latter were absolutely necessary but about the former there had been a question his wife had been decidedly hostile to the footman but in all such matters as that to doubt is to be lost when the footman had been discussed for a week it became clear to the master that he also was unnecessary and he drove home that morning he pronounced to himself the doom of that footman and the doom also of that saddle horse they at any rate should go and then he would spend no more money in trips to Scotland and above all he would keep out of the bedrooms of impoverished members of parliament at the witching hour of midnight such resolves did he make to himself as he drove home and bethought himself wearily how that four hundred pounds might be made to be forthcoming as to any assistance in the matter from sabe of that he gave himself no promise but he almost felt himself happy again as his wife came out into the porch to meet him with a silk shawl over her head and pretending to shiver as she watched him descending from his gig My dear old man she said she led him into the warm drawing-room with all his rapping still about him you must be starved but mark during the whole Drive had been thinking too much of that transaction and miss Asahi's bedroom to remember that the air was cold now he had his arm round his own dear Fanny's waist but what was he to tell her of that transaction at any rate he would not do it now while his two boys were in his arms rubbing the moisture from his whiskers with no kisses after all what is their equal to that coming home and soul often is here I say Frank gently old boy Frank was his eldest son you'll have baby into the fender let me take baby it's impossible to hold the two of them they're so strong said the proud mother oh yes he came home early yesterday have you seen him he was here yesterday with her ladyship and I lunched there today the letter came you know in time to stop the Baroness they don't go till tomorrow say you will meet them after all so George is wild about it but lady loved him would have her way you never saw her in such a state as she is good spirits eh I should think so all Lord lufton's horses are coming and he's to be here till March till March so her ladyship whispered to me she could not conceal her Trump triumph at his coming he's going to give up Leicestershire this year altogether I wonder what has brought it all about Mark knew very well what aborted about he'd been made acquainted as the reader has also with the price which lady Lofton had purchased her son's visit but no one had told mrs. robots that the mother had made her son a present of five thousand pounds she's in a good humour about everything now continued Fanny say you need to say nothing at all about gatherin Castle but she was very angry when you first heard it was she not well mark to tell the truth she was and we had quite a scene of there up in her own room upstairs just in here and I she had heard something else that she did not like at the same time and then but you know her way she blazed up quite hot and said all manner of horrid things about me about the Duke she did you know she never did like the Duke and for the matter of that neither do i I tell you that fairly master Mark the Duke is not as bad as he's painted ah that's what you say about another great person however he won't come here to trouble us I suppose and then I left her not in the best temper in the world before I blazed up too you must know I'm sure you did said Mark pressing his arm round her waist and then we were going to have a dreadful war I thought and I came home and wrote such a doleful letter to you but what should happen when I just closed it but in came her ladyship all alone and but I can't tell you what she did or said and if she behaved beautifully just like herself – so full of love and truth and honesty there's nobody like her mark she's better than all the Dukes that ever wore whatever Dukes do wear horns and hoose that's their usual apparel according to you and lady Lofton said he remembering what mr. sabi had said of himself he must say what you like about him art but you shan't abuse lady Lofton and if horns and hoofs mean wickedness and dissipation I believe it's not far wrong but get off your big Coe to make yourself comfortable and that was all the scolding that mark robot's got from his wife on the occasion of his great iniquity I will certainly tell her about this bill transaction he searched himself but not today not till after I've seen Lofton that evening they dined at Family Court and there they met the young Lord they found also lady loft and still in high good-humour Lord Lofton himself was a fine bright looking young man not said tall as mark robots and with perhaps less intelligence mark on his face but his features were finer and the walls in his countenance a thorough appearance of good humor and sweet temper it was indeed a pleasant face to look upon and dearly late lead often loved to gaze at it well mark say you've been among the Philistines that was his Lordships first remark robots laughed as he took his friends hands and bethought himself how Trudy that was the case that he was in very truth already himself in bonds under Philistine e'en Ryoka alas alas it is very hard to break asunder the bonds of the latter-day Philistines when a Samson does now and then pull a temple down about their ears is he not sure to be engulfed in the ruin with them there's no horse leech that sticks so fast as your latter-day Philistine so you've caught Sir George after all since lady Lofton and that was nearly all she did say in allusion to his absence there was afterwards some conversation about the lecture and from her ladyship's remarks certainly was apparent that she did not like the people among whom the vicar had been lately staying but she said no word that was personal to him himself or that could be taken as a reproach the little episode of mrs. proud his address in the lecture-room had already reached family and was only to be expected that lady Lofton should enjoy the joke she would effect to believe that the body of the lecture had been given by the Bishop's wife and afterwards remark described her costume at that Sunday morning breakfast table lady Dufton would assume that such had been the dress in which he'd exercised her faculties in public I would have given a five-pound note to have heard it said Sir George sir would not I said they did often when one hears of such things described so graphically as mr. robot snout tells it one cannot help laughing but it would give me great pain to see the wife of one of our bishops place ourself in such a situation for years a bishop after all well upon my word my lady I agree with Meredith said Lord Lufton it must have been good fun as it did happen you know as the church was doomed to the disgrace I should like to have heard it I know you would have been shocked Ludovic oh I should have got over that in time mother it would have been like a bullfight I suppose horrible to see no doubt but extremely interesting and Harold Smith mark what did he do all the while it didn't take so very long you know said robots and the poor Bishop said lady Meredith how did he look I really do pity him well he was asleep I think what slept through it all said Sir George it awakened him and then he jumped up and said something what hurt out to only one word also what a disgraceful scene said they did often to those who remember the good old man who was in the diocese before him it is perfectly shocking he confirmed you Ludovic and he wanted to remember him it was over at Barchester and he went and lunched with him afterwards now I do remember and especially this that I never had such thoughts in my life before or since the old man particularly called my attention to them and seemed remarkably pleased that I concurred in his sentiments there are no such tarts as those going in the palace now I'll be bound the air mrs. Bradley will be very happy to do her best for you if you will go and try said Sir George I beg that he will do no such thing said lady Lufton and that was the only severe word she said about any of Marx visitings as Sir George Meredith was there robots could say nothing then to lord Lufton about mr. sabe and mr. Saur bees money affairs but he did make an appointment for at 8:00 at 8:00 on the next morning you must come down and see my nags mark they came today the Meredith's we offered twelve and then we can have an hour together mark said he would and then went home with his wife under his arm well now is she not she kind said fanny as soon as they were out on the gravel together she is kind kind of the night to continue just a present but did you ever know anything so bitter as she is to the poor Bishop and really the bishop is not so bad yes I know something much more bitter and that is what she thinks of the Bishop's wife and you know Mark it was so unladylike her getting up in that way what must the people have Bart just to think of her as far as I could see the people of bar just alighted nonsence mark they could not but never mind that now I want you to earn that she is good and then mrs. robots went on with another long eulogy on the Dodger since that affair of the pardon picking of the parsonage mrs. robots hardly knew how to think well enough of her friend and the evening had been so pleasant after the dreadful storm and threatenings of hurricanes husband been so well received after his lapse of judgment the wounds that had looked so sore been so thoroughly healed and everything was so pleasant how all of this would have changed had she'd known of that little bill at twelve the next morning the lord of the Vicar were walking through the Fram Lee stables together quite a commotion to be made there for the larger portion of those buildings had of late years seldom been used but now all was crowding and activity seven or eight very precious animals had followed Lord Lufton from Leicestershire and all of them required dimensions that were thought to be rather excessive by the Fram Lea old fashioned my lord harbour had a head man of his own who took the matter quite into his own hands mark priest as he walls was quite world enough to be fond of a good horse and for some little time aloud Lord Lufton to descant on the merit of this four-year-old filly and that magnificent rattle bones Colt heard of a mousetrap mare but he had other things that lay heavy on his mind and after bestowing half an hour on the stud he contrived to get his friend away to the shrubbery walks so you have settled with sabe robots began by saying settled with him yes but you know the price I believe that you have paid five thousand pounds yes and about three before and that's in a matter in which I did not really know one shiting whatever I do in future I'll keep out of sabias grip but you don't think he has been unfair to you mock to tell you the truth I have been it's the affair from my mind and did which take it up again my mother has paid the money to save the property and of course I must pay her back but I think I'm a promise that I will not have any more money dealings with sabe I will not say that he is dishonest but at any rate he is sharp well after him what would you say when I tell you that I have put my name to a bill for him for four hundred pounds say why I should say but you're joking a man in your position would never do such a thing but I have done it lord Lufton gave a long low whistle he asked me the last night that I was there making a great favor of it and declaring that no bill of his had ever yet been dishonored Lord loved him whistled again no bill of his tis hotted why the pocketbooks of the Jews are stuffed full of his disordered papers and you have really given him your name for four hundred pounds I have certainly at what date three months and have you thought where you are to get the money I know very well that I can't get it not at least by that time the bankers must renewed for me and I must pay by degrees that is if sabe Reddy does not take it up it is just as likely that he will take up the national debt robots then told him about the projected marriage with Miss danceable giving it as his opinion the lady would probably accept the gentleman not at all improbable said his lordship the sabe is an agreeable fellow and if it be so he will have all that he wants for life but his creditors will gain nothing the Duke who has his title deeds will doubtless get his money and the estate would in fact belong to his wife but the small fries such as you will not get a shilling poor mark he'd had an inkling of this before but it had hardly presented itself to him in such certain terms it was then a positive fact that in punishment for his weakness in having signed that bill he would have to pay not only four hundred pounds but four hundred pounds with interest and expenses of renewal and commission and bill stamps yes he had certainly got among the Philistines joined that visit of his to the Duke he began to appear to him pretty clearly that it would have been better for him to have real interest altogether the glories of chaordic Oats and gather and castle and now how was he to tell his wife end of chapter 9 recording by Simon Evers chapter 10 of family parsonage this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org family parsonage by Anthony Trollope chapter 10 Lucie Robarts and now how was he to tell his wife that was the consideration heavy on mark Robarts his mind when last we left him and he turned the matter often in his thoughts before he could bring himself to a resolution at last he did do so and one may say that it was not altogether a bad one if only he could carry it out he would ascertain in what bank that bill of his had been discounted he would ask Sowerby and if he could not learn from him he would go to the three banks in Barchester that it had been taken to one of them he felt tolerably certain he would explain to the manager his conviction that he would have to make good the amount his inability to do so at the end of the three months and the whole state of his income and then the banker would explain to him how the matter might be arranged he thought that he could pay fifty pounds every three months with interest as soon as this should have been concerted with the banker he would let his wife know all about it where he to tell her at the present moment while the matter was all unsettled the intelligence would frighten her into illness but on the next morning there came to him tidings by the hands of Robin postman which for a long while upset all his plans the letter was from Exeter his father had been taken ill and had very quickly been pronounced to be in danger that evening the evening on which his sister wrote the old man was much worse and it was desirable that mark should go off to Exeter as quickly as possible of course he went to Exeter again leaving the family souls at the mercy of the Welsh low churchmen family is only four miles from Silver Bridge and at Silver Bridge he was on the direct Road to the west he was therefore at Exeter before nightfall on that day but nevertheless he arrived there too late to see his father again alive the old man's illness had been sudden and rapid and he expired without again seeing his eldest son mark arrived at the house of mourning just as they were learning to realize the full change in their position the doctors career had been on the whole successful but nevertheless he did not leave behind him as much money as the world had given him credit for possessing whoever does dr. Robarts had educated a large family had always lived with every comfort and had never possessed a shilling but what he had earned himself a physicians fees come in no doubt with comfortable rapidity as soon as rich old gentlemen and middle-aged ladies begin to put their faith in him but fees run out almost with equal rapidity when a wife and seven children are treated to everything that the world considers most desirable mark we have seen had been educated at Harrow and Oxford and it may be said therefore that he had received his patrimony early in life for Gerald robots the second brother a commission had been bought in a crack regiment he also had been lucky having lived and become a captain in the Crimea and the purchase money was lodged for his majority and John Robarts the youngest was a clerk in the petty bag office and was already assistant private secretary to the Lord petty bagged himself a place of considerable trust if not hitherto of large emolument and on his education money had been spent freely for in these days a young man cannot get into the petty back office without knowing at least three modern languages and he must be well up in trigonometry too in bible theology or in one dead language at his option and the doctor had four daughters the two elder were married including that blanch with whom Lord Lefton was to have fallen in love at the vicars wedding a debenture Squire had done this in the Lord's place but on marrying her it was necessary that he should have a few thousand pounds two or three perhaps and the old doctor had managed that they should be forthcoming the elder also had not been sent away from the paternal mansion quite empty-handed there were therefore at the time of the doctor's death two children left at home of whom one only Lucy the younger will come much across us in the course of our story Marc stayed for ten days at Exeter he and the Devonshire's Squire having been named as executors in the will in this document it was explained that the doctor trusted that provision had been made for most of his children as for his dear son Marc he said he was aware that he need be under no uneasiness on hearing this Marc smiled sweetly and looked very gracious but nevertheless his heart did sink somewhat within him for there had been a hope that a small windfall coming now so opportunely might enable him to rid himself at once of that dreadful Sowerby Incubus and then the will went on to declare that Mary and Gerald and Blanche had also by God's providence been placed beyond want and here looking into the Squires face one might have thought that his heart fell a little also for he had not so full a command of his feelings as his brother-in-law who had been so much more before the world to John the assistant private secretary was left a legacy of a thousand pounds and to Jane and Lucy certain sums in certain four percents which were quite sufficient to add an efficient value to the hands of those young ladies in the eyes of most prudent young would be Benedict's over and beyond this there was nothing but the furniture which he desired might be sold and the proceeds divided among them all it might come to sixty or seventy pounds apiece and pay the expenses incidental on his death and then all the men and women there and there abouts said that old doctor Robarts had done well his life had been good and prosperous and his will was just and mark among others so declared and was so convinced in spite of his own little disappointment and on the third morning after the reading of the will squire crowd II of cream clotted Hall altogether got over his grief and said that it was all right and then it was decided that Jane should go home with him for there was a brother Squire who it was thought might have an eye for Jane and Lucy the younger should be taken to family parsonage in a fortnight from the receipt of that letter mark arrived at his own house with his sister Lucy under his wing all this interfered greatly with marks wives resolution as to the Sowerby bill Incubus in the first place he could not get to Barchester as soon as he had intended and then an idea came across him that possibly it might be well that he should borrow the money of his brother John explaining the circumstances of course and paying him due interest but he had not liked to broach the subject when they were there in Exeter standing as it were over their father's grave and so the matter was postponed there was still ample time for arrangement before the bill would come due and he would not tell Fanny until he had made up his mind what that arrangement should be it would kill her he said to himself over and over again were he to tell her of it without being able to tell her also that the means of liquidating the debt were to be forthcoming and now I must say a word about Lucy Robarts if one might only go on without these descriptions how pleasant it would all be but Lucy Robarts has to play a forward part in this little drama and those who care for such matters must be made to understand something of her form and likeness when last we mentioned her as appearing though not in any prominent position at her brother's wedding she was only 16 but now at the time of her father's death somewhat over two years having since elapsed she was nearly nineteen lay aside for the sake of clearness that indefinite term of girl for girls are girls from the age of three up to forty three if not previously married dropping that generic word we may say that then at that wedding of her brother she was a child and now at the death of her father she was a woman nothing perhaps adds so much to womanhood turns the child so quickly into a woman has such deathbed scenes as these hitherto but little had fallen to Lucy to do in the way of woman's duties of money transactions she had known nothing beyond a jocose attempt to make her annual allowance of 25 pounds cover all her personal wants an attempt which was made jocose by the loving bounty of her father her sister who was three years her elder for John came in between them had managed the house that is she had made the tea and talked to the housekeeper about the dinners but Lucy had sat at her father's elbow had read to him of evenings when he went to sleep had brought him his slippers and looked after the comforts of his easy-chair all this she had done as a child but when she stood at the coffin head and knelt at the coffin side then she was a woman she was smaller in stature than either of her three sisters two all of whom had been a seeded the praise of being fine women a eulogy which the people of Exeter looking back at the elder sisters and the general remembrance of them which pervaded the city were not willing to extend to Lucy dear-dear had been said of her poor Lucy is not like a Robarts at all is she now mrs. pol for as the daughters had become fine women so had the sons grown into stalwart men and then mrs. pol had answered not it is she now only think what Blanche was at her age but she has fine eyes for all that and they do say she is the cleverest of them all and that too is so true a description of her that I do not know that I can add much to it she was not like Blanche or Blanche had a bright complexion and a fine neck and a noble bust it wearer in case ooo pituitary goddess that is as far as the I went she had a grand idea moreover of an apple pie and had not rained 18 months at cream claudette hall before she knew all the mysteries of pigs and milk and most of those a pertaining to cider and green cheese Lucy had no neck at all worth speaking of no neck I mean that ever produced eloquence she was brown – and had addicted herself in nowise as she undoubtedly should have done to larger utility in regard to the neck and color poor girl she could not help herself but in that other respect she must be held as having wasted her opportunities but then what eyes she had mrs. pol was right there they flashed upon you not always softly indeed not often softly if you were stranger to her but whether softly or savagely with a brilliancy that dazzled you as you looked at them and who shall say what color they were green probably for most eyes are green green or grey if green be thought uncomely for an eye color but it was not their color but their fire which struck one with such surprise Lucy robots was thoroughly a brunette sometimes the dark tint of her cheek was exquisitely rich and lovely and the fringes of her eyes were long and soft and her small teeth which one so seldom saw were white as pearls and her hair though short was beautifully soft by no means black but yet of so dark a shade of brown Blanche – was noted for fine teeth they were white and regular and lofty as a new row of houses in a French city but then when she laughed she was all teeth as she was all neck when she sat at the piano but Lucy's teeth it was only now and again when in some sudden bursts of wonder she would sit for a moment with her lips apart that the fine finished lie and dainty pearl white color of that perfect set of ivory could be seen mrs. pol would have said a word of her teeth also but that to her they had never been made visible but they do say that she is the cleverest of them all mrs. pol had added very properly the people of Exeter had expressed such an opinion and had been quite just in doing so I do not know how it happens but it always does happen that everybody in every small town knows which is the brightest witted in every family in this respect mrs. pol had only expressed public opinion and public opinion was right Lucy Robarts was blessed with an intelligence keener than that of her brothers or sisters to tell the truth Marc I admire Lucy more than I do Blanche this had been said by mrs. robots within a few hours of her having assumed that name she is not a beauty I know but yet I do my dearest Fanny Mark had answered in a tone of surprise I do then of course people won't think so but I never seemed to care about regular beauties perhaps I envied them too much what Marc said next need not be repeated but everybody may be sure that it contained some gross flattery for his young bride he remembered this however and had always called Lucy his wife's pet neither of the sisters had since that Bennett family and though Fanny had spent a week at Exeter on the occasion of Blanche's marriage you could hardly be said that she was very intimate with them nevertheless when it became expedient that one of them should go to family the remembrance of what his wife had said immediately induced Marc to make the offer to Lucy and Jane who was of a kindred soul with Blanche was delighted to go to cream clotted halt the acres of heavy bed house down in that fat topped nez country adjoined those of cream clotted haul and heavy bed house still wanted a mistress Fanny was delighted when the news reached her it would of course be proper that one of his sister should live with mark under their present circumstances and she was happy to think that that quiet little bright-eyed creature was to come and Nestle with her under the same roof the children should love her only not quite so much as they loved mama and the snug little room that looks out over the porch in which the chimney never smokes should be made ready for her and she should be allowed her share of driving the pony which was a great sacrifice of self on the part of mrs. Robarts and lady left ins best goodwill should be bespoken in fact Lucy was not unfortunate in the destination that was laid out for her lady Lefton had of course heard of the doctor's death and had sent all manner of kind messages to mark advising him not to hurry home by any means until everything was settled at Exeter and then she was told of the newcomer that was expected to the parish when she heard that it was Lucy the younger she also was satisfied for Blanche's charms although indisputable had not been altogether to her taste if a second Blanche were to arrive there what danger might there not be for young Lord left him quite right said her ladyship just what he ought to do I think I remember the young lady rather small is she not and very retiring rather small and very retiring what a description said Lord Laughton never mind Ludovic some young ladies must be small and some at least ought to be retiring we shall be delighted to make her acquaintance I remember your other sister-in-law very well said Lord Laughton she was a beautiful woman I don't think you will consider Lucy a beauty said mrs. Robarts small retiring and so far lord Lefton had gone when mrs. robots finished by the word plain she had liked Lucy's face but she had thought that others probably did not do so upon my word said lady Lofton you don't deserve to have a sister-in-law I remember her very well and can say that she is not plain I was very much taken with her manner at your wedding my dear and thought more of her than I did of the beauty I can tell you I must confess I do not remember her at all said his lordship and so the conversation ended and then at the end of the fortnight Mark arrived with his sister they did not reach family till long after dark somewhere between six and seven and by this time it was December there was snow on the ground and frost in the air and no moon and cautious men when they went on the roads had their horses shoes cocked such being the state of the weather Mark's gig had been nearly filled with cloaks and shawls when it was sent over to silver bridge and a cart was sent for Lucy's luggage and all manner of preparations had been made three times had Fanny gone herself to see that the fire burned brightly in the little room over the porch and at the moment that the sound of the wheels was heard she was engaged in opening her son's mind as to the nature of an aunt hitherto Papa and Mama and Lady Lefton were all that he had known excepting of course the satellites of the nursery and then in three minutes Lucie was standing by the fire those three minutes had been taken up in embraces between the husband and the wife let who would be brought as a visitor to the house after a fortnight's absence she would kiss him before she welcomed anyone else but then she turned to Lucy and began to assist her with her cloaks oh thank you said Lucy I'm not cold not very at least don't trouble yourself I can do it but he or she made a false boast for her fingers had been so numbed that she could not do nor undo anything they were all in black of course but the somberness of Lucy's clothes struck Fanny much more than her own they seemed to have swallowed her up in their blackness and to have made her almost an M of death she did not look up but kept her face turned towards the fire and seemed almost afraid of her position she may see what she likes Fanny said mark but she is very cold and so am i cold enough you had better go up with her to her room we won't do much in the dressing way tonight a Lucy in the bedroom Lucy thought a little and Fanny as she kissed her said to herself that she had been wrong as to that word plain Lucy at any rate was not playing you will be used to us soon said Fanny and then I hope we shall make you comfortable and she took her sister-in-laws hand and pressed it Lucy looked up at her and her eyes then were tender enough I'm sure I shall be happy here she said with you but but dear Papa and then they got into each other's arms and had a great bout of kissing and crying plane said Fanny to herself as at last she got her guests hair smooth and the tears washed from her eyes plane she has the loveliest countenance that I ever looked at in my life your sister is quite beautiful she said tomorrow as they talked her over alone before they went to sleep that night no she is not beautiful but she's a very good girl and clever enough to in her sort of way I think her perfectly lovely I never saw such eyes in my life before I'll leave her in your hands then you shall get her a husband that maeín to be so easy I don't think she'd marry anyone well I hope not but she seems to me to be exactly cut out for an old maid to be Aunt Lucy forever and ever to your bairns and so she shall with all my heart but I don't think she will very long I have no doubt she will be hard to please but if I were a man I should fall in love with her at once did you ever observe her teeth mark I don't think I ever did you wouldn't know whether anyone had a tooth in their head I believe no one except you my dear and I know all yours by heart you are a goose and a very sleepy one so if you please I'll go to roost and thus there was nothing more said about Lucy's beauty on that occasion for the first two days mrs. Robarts did not make much of her sister-in-law Lucy indeed was not demonstrative and she was moreover one of those few persons for they are very few who are contented to go on with their existence without making themselves the center of any special outward circle a man's own dinner is to himself so important that he cannot bring himself to believe that it is a matter of early indifferent to everyone else a lady's collection of baby clothes in early years and of house linen and curtain fringes in later life is so very interesting to her own eyes that she cannot believe but what other people will rejoice to behold it I would not however be held as regarding this tendency as evil it leads to conversation of some sort among people and perhaps to a kind of sympathy mrs. Jones will look at mrs. White's linen chest hoping that mrs. white may be induced to look at hers one can only pour out of a jug that which is in it for the most of us if we do not talk of ourselves or at any rate of the individual circles of which we are the centres we can talk of nothing I cannot hold with those who wish to put down the insignificant chatter of the world as for myself I am always happy to look at mrs. Jones's linen and never omit an opportunity of giving her the details of my own dinners but Lucy Robarts had not this gift she had come there as a stranger into her sister-in-laws house and at first seemed as though she would be contented in simply having her corner in the drawing-room and her place at the parlor table she did not seem to need the comforts of condolence and open-hearted talking I do not mean to say that she was moody that she did not answer when she was spoken to or that she took no notice of the children but she did not at once throw herself and all her hopes and sorrows into Fanny's heart as Fanny would have had her do mrs. robots herself was what we called the monster ative when she was angry with lady left and she showed it and as since that time her love and admiration for lady Lefton had increased she showed that also when she was in any way displeased with her husband she could not hide it even though she tried to do so and fancied herself successful no more than she could hide her warm constant overflowing woman's love she could not walk through a room hanging on her husband's arm without seeming to proclaim to everyone there that she thought him the best man in it she was demonstrative and therefore she was the more disappointed in that Lucy did not rush at once with all her cares into her open heart she is so quiet Fanny said to her her husband that's her nature said mark she always was a quiet child while we were smashing everything she would never crack a teacup I wish she would break something now said fanny and then perhaps we should get to talk about it but she did not on this account to give over loving her sister-in-law she probably valued her the more unconsciously for not having those aptitudes with which she herself was endowed and then after two days lady left and called of course it may be supposed that Fanny had said a good deal to her new inmate about lady Lufton a neighbor of that kind in the country exercises so large an influence upon the whole tenor of one's life that to abstain from such talk is out of the question mrs. Robarts had been brought up almost under the dowager's wing and of course she regarded her as being worthy of much talking do you not let persons on this account suppose that mrs. Robarts was a tough hunter or a toad eater if they do not see the difference they have yet got to study the earliest principles of human nature lady left and called and Lucy was struck dumb Fanny was particularly anxious that her ladyship's first impression should be favourable and to effect this she especially endeavoured to throw the two together during that visit but in this she was unwise lady Lefton however had woman craft enough not to be led into any egregious error by Lucy's silence and what day will you come and dine with us said Lady Lufton turning expressly to her old friend Fanny oh do you name the day we never have many engagements you know will Thursday do Miss Robarts you will meet nobody you know only my son so you need not regard it as going out fanny here will tell you that stepping over to Family Court is no more going out than when you go from one room to another in the parsonage is it Fanny Fanny laughed and said that that stepping over to family courts certainly was done so often that perhaps they did not think so much about it as they ought to do we consider ourselves a sort of happy family here miss robots and are delighted to have the opportunity of including you in the menage Lucy gave her ladyship one of her sweetest smiles but what she said at that moment was inaudible it was plain however that she could not bring herself even to go as far as family court for her dinner just at present it was very kind of Lady Laughton she said to Fanny but it was so very soon and and if they would only go without her she would be so happy but as the object was to go with her expressly to take her there the dinner was adjourned for a short time cine da end of chapter 10 recording by Mimi wall chapter 11 of family parsonage this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org family parsonage by anthony trollope chapter 11 Griselda Grantley it was nearly a month after this that Lucy was first introduced to Lord Lefton and then it was brought about only by accident during that time lady Lefton had been often at the parsonage and had in a certain degree learned to know Lucy but the stranger in the parish had never yet plucked up courage to accept one of the numerous invitations that had reached her mr. Robarts and his wife had frequently been at family court but the dreaded day of Lucy's initiation had not yet arrived she had seen Lord Lufton in church but hardly so as to know him and beyond that she had not seen him at all one day however or rather one evening for it was already dusk he overtook her and mrs. Robarts on the road walking towards the vicarage he had his gun on his shoulder three-pointers were at his heels and a gamekeeper followed a little in the rear how are you mrs. Robarts he said almost before he had overtaken them I have been chasing you along the road for the last half mile I never knew ladies walk so fast we should be frozen if we were to dawdle about as you gentlemen do and then she stopped and shook hands with him she forgot at the moment that Lucy and he had not met and therefore she did not introduce them won't you make me known to your sister-in-law said he taking off his hat and bowing to Lucy I have never yet had the pleasure of meeting her though we have been neighbors for a month and more Fanny made her excuses and introduced them and then they went all until they came to family gay lord left and talking to them both and fanny answering for the two and there they stop for a moment I am surprised to see you alone mrs. Robarts had just said I thought that captain Culpepper was with you the captain has left me for this one day if you'll whisper I'll tell you where he has gone I dare not speak it out loud even to the woods to what terrible place can he have taken himself I'll have no whisperings about such horrors he has gone too – but you'll promise not to tell my mother not tell your mother well now you have excited my curiosity where can he be do you promise then oh yes I will promise because I'm sure Lady Lufton won't ask me as to captain culpeper's whereabouts we won't tell will we Lucy he has gone to gatherin castle for a day's pheasant shooting now mind you must not betray us her ladyship supposes that he is shut up in his room with a toothache we did not dare to mention the name to her and then it appeared that mrs. Robarts had some engagement which made it necessary that she should go up and see Lady Lefton whereas Lucy was intending to walk on to the parsonage alone and I have promised to go to your husband said Lord Laughton or rather to your husband's dog Ponto and I will do two other good things I will carry a brace of pheasants with me and protect miss robots from the evil spirits of the family roads and so mrs. robots turned in at the gate and Lucy and his lordship walked off together Lord left and though he had never before spoken to miss robots had already found out that she was by no means plain though he had hardly seen her except at church he had already made himself certain that the owner of that face must be worth knowing and was not sorry to have the present opportunity of speaking to her so you have an unknown damsel shut up in your castle he had once said to mrs. Roberts if she be kept prisoner much longer I shall find it my duty to come and release her by force of arms he had been there twice with the object of seeing her but on both occasions Lucy had managed to escape we may say she was fairly caught and lured Lefton taking a pair of pheasants from the gamekeeper and swinging them over his shoulder walked off with his prey you have been here a long time he said without our having had the pleasure of seeing you yes my lord said Lucy Lord's had not been frequent among her acquaintances hitherto I tell mrs. Robarts that she has been confining you illegally and that we shall release you by force or stratagem I I have had a great sorrow lately yes miss Robarts I know you have and I am only joking you know but I do hope that now you will be able to come amongst us my mother is so anxious that you should do so I am sure she is very kind and you also my lord I never knew my own father said Lord left him speaking gravely but I can well understand what a loss you have had and then after pausing a moment he continued I remember dr. Robarts well do you indeed said Lucy turning sharply towards him and speaking now with some animation in her voice nobody had yet spoken to her about her father since she had been at family it had been as though the subject were forbidden one and how frequently is this the case when those we love are dead our friends dread to mention them though to us who are bereaved no subject would be so pleasant as their names but we rarely understand how to treat our own sorrow or those of others there was once a people in some land and they may be still there for what I know who sought it sacrilege to stay the course of a raging fire if a house were being burned burn it must even though there were facilities for saving it for who would dare to interfere with the course of the God our idea of sorrow is much the same we think it wicked or at any rate heartless to put it out if a man's wife be dead he should go about lugubrious with long face for at least two years or perhaps with full length for 18 months decreasing gradually during the other six if he'd be a man who can quench his sorrow put out his fire as it were in less time than that let him at any rate not show his power yes I remember him continued Lord Lefton he came twice to family while I was a boy consulting with my mother about Mark and myself whether the Eton floggings were not more efficacious than those at Harrow he was very kind to me foreboding all manner of good things on my behalf he was very kind to everyone said Lucy I should think he would have been a kind good genial man just the man to be adored by his own family exactly and so he was I do not remember that I ever heard an unkind word from him there was not a harsh tone in his voice and he was generous as the de Lucy we have said was not generally demonstrative but now on this subject and with this absolute stranger she became almost eloquent I do not wonder that you should feel his loss miss Robarts oh I do feel it mark is the best of brothers and asked for Fanny she is too kind and too good to me but I have always been specially my father's friend for the last year or two we had lived so much together he was an old man when he died was he not just 70 my lord ah then he was old my mother is only 50 and we sometimes call her the old woman do you think she looks older than that we all say that she makes herself out to be so much more ancient than she need to lady Lefton does not dress young that is it she never has in my memory she always used to wear black when I first recollect her she has given that up now but she is still very somber is she not I do not like ladies to dress very young that is ladies of of ladies of 50 we will say well ladies of 50 if you like it then I am sure you will like my mother they had now turned up through the parsonage wicked a little gate that opened into the garden at a point on the road nearer than the chief entrance I suppose I shall find mark up at the house said he I dare say you will my lord well I'll go round this way for my business is partly in the stable you see I am quite at home here though you have never seen me before but miss Robarts now that the ice is broken I hope that we may be friends he then put out his hand and when she gave him hers he pressed it almost as an old friend might have done and indeed Lucy had talked to him almost as though he were an old friend for a minute or two she had forgotten that he was a lord and a stranger had forgotten also to be stiff and guarded as was her want lord Lefton had spoken to her as though he had really cared to know her and she unconsciously had been taken by the compliment lord Lufton indeed had not thought much about it accepting as thus that he liked the glance of a pair of bright eyes as most other young men do like it but on this occasion the evening had been so dark that he had hardly seen Lucy's eyes at all well Lucy I hope you liked your companion mrs. robot said as the three of them clustered round the drawing-room fire before dinner oh yes pretty well said Lucy that is not at all complimentary to his lordship I did not mean to be complimentary fanny Lucy is a great deal – matter of fact for compliments said mark what I meant was that I had no great opportunity for judging seeing that I was only with Lord Lefton for about ten minutes ah but there are girls here who would give their eyes for ten minutes of Lord left into themselves you do not know how he's valued he has the character of being always able to make himself agreeable to ladies at half a minute's warning perhaps he had not the half minutes warning in this case said Lucy hypocrite that she was poor Lucy said her brother he was coming up to see Ponto shoulder and I'm afraid he was thinking more about the dog than you very likely said Lucy and then they went into dinner Lucy had been a hypocrite for she had confessed to herself while dressing that Lord Lufton had been very pleasant but then it is allowed two young ladies to be hypocrites when the subject under discussion is the character of a young gentleman soon after that Lucy did dine at Family Court Captain Culpepper in spite of his enormity with reference to gather M castle was still staying there as was also a clergyman from the neighborhood of Barchester with his wife and daughter this was Archdeacon Grant Lee a gentleman whom we have mentioned before and who was as well known in the diocese as the bishop himself and more thought about by many clergymen than even that illustrious prelate miss grant Lee was a young lady not much older than Lucy Robarts and she also was quiet and not given too much talking in open company she was decidedly a beauty but somewhat statuesque in her loveliness her forehead was high in white and perhaps to like marble to gratify the taste of those who fond of flesh and blood her eyes were large and exquisitely formed but they seldom showed much emotion she indeed was impassive herself and betrayed but little of her feelings her nose was nearly Grecian not coming absolutely in a straight line from her forehead but doing so nearly enough to entitle it to be considered as classical her mouth too was very fine artists at least said so and connoisseurs in beauty but to me she always seemed as though she wanted fullness of lip but the exquisite symmetry of her cheek and chin and lower face no man could deny her hair with light and being always dressed with considerable care did not detract from her appearance but it lacked that richness which gives such luxuriance to feminine loveliness she was tall and slight and very graceful in her movements but there were those who thought that she wanted the ease and abandon of youth they said that she was too composed and stiff for her age and that she gave that little to society beyond the beauty of her form and face there can be no doubt however that she was considered by most men and women to be the beauty of bar sitter and that gentleman from neighboring counties would come many miles through dirty roads on the mere hope of being able to dance with her whatever attraction she may have lacked she had at any rate created for herself a great reputation she had spent two months of the last spring in London and even there she had made a sensation and people had said that Lord dumbbell oh lady härtel tops eldest son had been peculiarly struck with her it may be imagined that the Archdeacon was proud of her and so indeed was mrs. grant Lee more proud perhaps of her daughter's beauty than so excellent a woman should have allowed herself to be of such an attribute Grizelda that was her name was now an only daughter one sister she had had but that sister had died there were two brothers also left one in the church and the other in the army that was the extent of the archdeacon's family and as the Archdeacon was a very rich man he was the only child of his father who had been Bishop of Barchester for a great many years and in those years it had been worth a man's wild to be Bishop of Barchester it was supposed that miss grant Lee would have a large fortune mrs. grant Lee however had been heard to say that she was in no hurry to see her daughter established in the world ordinary young ladies are merely married but those of real importance are established and this if anything added to the value of the prize mothers sometimes depreciate their wares by an undue solicitude to dispose of them but to tell the truth openly and at once a virtue for which a novelist does not receive very much commendation Griselda grant Lee was to a certain extent already given away not that she agrees Elda knew anything about it or that the thrice happy gentleman had been made aware of his good fortune nor even that the Archdeacon had been told but mrs. grant Lee and Lady Lefton had been closeted together and more than once and terms had been signed and sealed between them not signed on parchment and sealed with wax as is the case with treaties made by kings and diplomats to be broken by the same but signed with little words and sealed with certain pressings of the hand a treaty which between two such contracting parties would be binding enough and by the terms of this treaty Griselda grant Lee was to become lady Lefton lady Lefton had hitherto been fortunate in her matrimonial speculations she had selected Sir George for her daughter and Sir George with the utmost good Nature had fallen in with her views she had selected Fanny mon-sol for dr. Robarts and Fanny monsell had not rebelled against her for a moment there was a prestige of success about her doings and she felt almost confident that her dear son Ludovic must fall in love with Griselda as to the lady herself nothing lady left in thought could be much better than such a match for her son lady left and I have said was a good church woman and the Archdeacon was the very of that branch of the church which she venerated the grant lease to were of a good family not noble indeed but in such matters lady Lefton did not want everything she was one of those persons who in placing their hopes at a moderate pitch may fairly trust to see them realized she would feign that her son's wife should be handsome this she wished for his sake that he might be proud of his wife and because men love to look on beauty but she was afraid of the vase view T of those soft sparkling feminine charms which are spread out as lures for all the world soft dimples laughing eyes luscious lips conscious smiles and easy whispers what if her son should bring home a rattling rapid spoken painted piece of Eve's flesh such as this would not the glory and joy of her life be over even though such child of their first mother should have come forth to the present day and no bowled by the blood of two dozen successive British peers and then to Griselda's money would not be useless lady left in with all her high-flown ideas was not an imprudent woman she knew that her son had been extravagant though she did not believe that he had been reckless and she was well content to think that some balsam from the old bishop's coffers should be made to cure the slight wounds which his early imprudence might have inflicted on the carcass of the family property and thus in this way and for these reasons Griselda Grantley had been chosen out from all the world to be the future lady Lefton Lord Lefton had met Griselda more than once already had met her before these high contracting parties had come to any terms whatsoever and had evidently admired her Lord dumb Bello had remained silent one whole evening in London with ineffable disgust because Lord Laughton had been rather particular in his attentions but then Lord dumb bellows mutinous was his most eloquent mode of expression both lady Hartl top and mrs. grant Lee when they saw him knew very well what he meant but that match would not exactly have suited mrs. grant Lee's views the Hartl top people not in her line they belonged altogether to another set being connected as we have heard before with the omnium interest those horrid gather impeach a deal often would say to her raising her hands and eyebrows and shaking her head lady left and probably thought that they ate babies in pies during their midnight orgies at gatherin castle and that widows were kept in cells and occasionally put on racks for the amusement of the Dukes guests when the robots s party entered the drawing-room the grantees were already there and the archdeacon's voice sounded loud and imposing in Lucy's ears as she heard him speaking while she was yet on the threshold of the door My dear lady Lufton I would believe anything on earth about her anything there is nothing too outrageous for her had she insisted on going there with the bishops apron on I should not have been surprised and then they all knew that the Archdeacon was talking about mrs. prowdy for mrs. proudiy was his bugbear lady left and after receiving her guests introduced Lucy to Griselda Grantley miss grant Lee smiled graciously bowed slightly and then remarked in the lowest voice possible that it was exceedingly cold a low voice we know is an excellent thing in woman Lucy who thought that she was bound to speak said that it was cold and that she did not mind it when she was walking and then Griselda smiled again somewhat less graciously than before and so the conversation ended miss grant Lee was the elder of the two and having seen most of the world should have been the best able to talk but perhaps she was not very anxious for a conversation with Miss robots so robots I hear that you have been preaching at child ducotes said the Archdeacon still rather loudly I saw Sowerby the other day and he told me that you gave them the end of mrs. prow DS lecture it was ill-natured of Sowerby to say the end said Robarts we divided the matter and Thirds Harold Smith took the first part I the last and the lady the intervening portion you have electrified the county between you but I am told that she had the best of it I am so sorry that Mister Robarts went there said lady Lefton as she walked into the dining room leaning on the archdeacon's arm I am inclined to think he could not very well have helped himself said the Archdeacon who was never willing to lean heavily on a brother parson unless on one who had utterly and irrevocably gone away from his side of the church do you not think so Archdeacon why no Sowerby is a friend of lufton's not particularly said poor lady Lefton in a deprecating tone well they have been intimate and Robarts when he was asked to preach at shall ducotes could not well refuse but then he went afterwards to gather him castle not that i am vexed with him at all now you understand but it is such a dangerous house you know so it is but the very fact of the Dukes wishing to have a clergyman there should always be taken as a sign of grace Lady Lufton the air was impure no doubt but it was less impure with robots there than it would have been without him but gracious heavens what blasphemy have I been saying about impure air why the bishop was there yes the bishop was there said lady Lefton and they both understood each other thoroughly Lord Lefton cook out mrs. grant Lee to dinner and matters were so managed that miss grant Lee sat on his other side there was no management apparent in this to anybody but there she was while Lucy was placed between her brother and Captain Culpepper captain Culpepper was a man with an enormous mustachio acta two-drawer slaughtering game but as he had no other strong characteristics it was not probable that he would make himself very agreeable to poor Lucy she had seen Lord Laughton once for two minutes since the day of that walk and then he had addressed her quite like an old friend it had been in the parsonage drawing-room and Fanny had been there Fanny now was so well accustomed to his lordship that she thought but little of this but to Lucy it had been very pleasant he was not forward or familiar but kind and gentle and pleasant and Lucy did feel that she liked him now on this evening he had hitherto hardly spoken to her but then she knew that there were other people in the company to whom he was bound to speak she was not exactly humble minded in the usual sense of the word but she did recognize the fact that her position was less important than that of other people there and that therefore it was probable that to a certain extent she would be overlooked but not the less would she have liked to occupy the seat to which miss grant Lee had found her way she did not want to flirt with Lord Lefton she was not such a fool as that but she would have liked to have heard the sound of his voice close to her ear instead of that of Captain culpeper's knife and fork this was the first occasion on which she had endeavored to dress herself with care since her father had died and now somber though she was in her deep mourning she did look very well there is an expression about her forehead that is full of poetry Fanny had said to her husband don't turn her head Fanny and make her believe that she is a beauty mark had answered I doubt it is not so easy to turn her head mark there is more in Lucy than you imagine and so you will find out before long it was thus that mrs. Robarts prophesied about her sister-in-law had she been asked she might perhaps have said that Lucy's presence would be dangerous to the Grantley interest at family court lord lufton's voice was audible enough as he went on talking to miss grant Lee his voice but not his words he talked in such a way that there was no appearance of whispering and yet the person to whom he spoke and she only could hear what he said mrs. grant Lee the while conversed constantly with Lucy's brother who sat at Lucy's left hand she never lacked for subjects on which to speak to a country clergyman of the right sort and thus Griselda was left quite uninterrupted but Lucy could not but observe that Griselda herself seemed to have very little to say or at any rate to say very little every now and then she did open her mouth and some word or brace of words would fall from it but for the most part she seemed to be content in the fact that Lord left and was paying her attention she showed no animation but sat there still and graceful composed and classical as she always was Lucy who could not keep her ears from listening or her eyes from looking thought that had she been there she would have endeavored to take a more prominent part in the conversation but then Griselda Grantley probably knew much better than Lucy did how to comport herself in such a situation perhaps it might be that young men such as Lord Lefton liked to hear the sound of their own voices moons do love game about her captain Culpepper said to her towards the end of the dinner it was the second attempt he had made on the former he had asked her whether she knew any of the fellows of the ninth is there said Lucy oh I saw Lord left in the other day with a great armful of pheasants an armful while we had seven cart loads the other day at gather him seven carts full of pheasants said Lucy amazed that's not so much we had eight guns you know eight guns will do a deal of work when the game has been well got together they managed all that capital e at gathering VIN at the Dukes eh Lucy had heard the family report as to gather him castle and said with a sort of shudder that she had never been at that place after this captain Culpepper troubled her no further when the ladies had taken themselves to the drawing-room Lucy found herself hardly better off than she had been at the dinner table lady Lefton and mrs. grant Lee got themselves on to a sofa together and they are chatted confidentially into each other's ears her ladyship had Lucianne miss Grantley and then she naturally thought that the young people might do very well together mrs. robots did attempt to bring about a joint conversation which should include the three and for ten minutes or so she worked hard at it but it did not thrive miss grant Lee was monosyllabic smiling however at every mono syllable and Lucy found that nothing would occurred to her at that moment worthy of being spoken there she sat still and motionless afraid to take up a book and thinking in her heart how much happier she would have been at home at the parsonage she was not made for society she felt sure of that and another time she would let mark and Fannie come to family court by themselves and then the gentleman came in and there was another stir in the room lady Lefton got up and vessel the bow she poked the fire and shifted the candles spoke a few words to dr. Grant Lee whispered something to her son patted Lucy on the cheek told Fannie who was a musician that they would have a little music and ended by putting her two hands on Grizelda shoulders and telling her that the fit of her frock was perfect for Lady Lefton though she did dress old herself as Lucy had said delighted to see those around her neat and pretty jaunty and graceful dear lady Lefton said Grizelda putting up her hand so as to pressed the end of her ladyship's fingers it was the first piece of animation she had shown and Lucy Robarts watched it all and then there was music Lucy neither played nor saying Fanny did both and for an amateur did both well Griselda did not sing but she played and did so in a manner that showed that neither her own labor nor her father's money had been spared in her instruction Lord Lufton sang also a little and captain Cole pepper a very little so that they got up a concert among them in the meantime the doctor and Mark stood talking together on the rug before the fire the two mothers sat contented watching the Billings and the cooing zuv their offspring and Lucy sat alone turning over the leaves of a book of pictures she made up her mind fully then and there that she was quite unfitted by disposition for such work as this she cared for no one and no one cared for her well she must go through with it now but another time she would know better with her own book and a fireside she never felt herself to be as miserable as she was now she had turned her back to the music for she was sick of seeing Lord left and watched the artistic motion of miss grant Lee's fingers and was sitting at a small table as far away from the piano as a long room would permit when she was suddenly roused from a reverie of self-reproach by a voice close behind her miss Robarts said the voice why have you cut us all and Lucy felt that though she heard the words plainly nobody else did lord Lefton was now speaking to her as he had before spoken to miss grant lee i don't play my lord said lucy nor yet sing that would have made your company so much more valuable to us for we are terribly badly off for listeners perhaps you don't like music I do like it sometimes very much and when are the sometimes but we shall find it all out in time we shall have unraveled all your mysteries and read all your riddles by when shall I say by the end of winter shall we not I do not know that I have got any mysteries oh but you have it is very mysterious in you to come and sit here with your back to us all Oh Lord Laughton if I have done wrong and poor Lucy almost started from her chair and a deep flush came across her dark cheek no no you have done no wrong I was only joking it is we who have done wrong in leaving you to yourself you who are the greatest stranger among us I have been very well thank you I don't care about being left alone I have always been used to it ah but we must break you up the habit we won't allow you to make a hermit of yourself but the truth is Miss Robarts you don't know us yet and therefore you are not quite happy oh yes I am you are all very good to me you must let us be good to you at any rate you must let me be so you know don't you that mark and I have been dear friends since we were 7 years old his wife has been my sister's dearest friend almost as long and now that you are with them you must be a dear friend – you won't refuse the offer will you oh no she said quite in a whisper and indeed she could hardly raise her voice above a whisper fearing that tears would fall from her tailed Hale eyes doctor and mrs. grant lee will have gone in a couple of days and then we must get you down here miss grant lee is to remain for christmas and you too must become the some friends lucy smiled and tried to look pleased but she felt that she and resulta Grantley could never be bosom friends could never have anything in common between them she felt sure that Griselda despised her little brown plain and unimportant as she was she herself could not despise Griselda in turn indeed she could not but admire miss grant Lee's great beauty and dignity of demeanour but she knew that she could never love her it is hardly possible that the proud hearted should love those who despise them and Lucy Robarts was very proud hearted don't you think she is very handsome said Lord Lefton oh very said Lucy nobody can doubt that ludovic said Lady Lufton not quite approving of her sons remaining so long at the back of Lucy's chair won't you give us another song mrs Robarts and miss grant lee are still at the piano I have sung away all that I knew mother there's Culpepper has not had a chance yet he has got to give us his dream how he dreamt that he dwelt in marble halls I sang that an hour ago said the captain not over pleased but you certainly have not told us how your little lovers came the captain however would not sing anymore and then the party was broken up and the robot cies went home to their parsonage end of chapter 11 recording by Mimi Wong parsonage this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by nicholas clifford framily parsonage by anthony trollope chapter 12 the little bill lucy during those last 15 minutes of her sojourn in the family court drawing-room somewhat modified the very strong opinion she had before formed as to her unfitness for such society it was very pleasant sitting there in that easy chair while lord Lufton stood at the back of it saying nice soft good natured words to her she was sure that in a little time she can feel a true friendship for him and that she could do so without any risk of falling in love with him but then she had a glimmering of an idea that such a friendship would be open to all manner of remarks and would hardly be compatible with the world's ordinary ways at any rate it would be pleasant to be at family court if he would come and occasionally notice her but she did not admit to herself that such a visit would be intolerable if his whole time were devoted to Griselda Grantley she neither admitted it nor thought it but nevertheless in a strange unconscious way such a feeling did find entrance in her bosom and then the Christmas holidays passed away how much of this enjoyment felled her her share and how much of this suffering she endured we will not attempt accurately to describe miss grant Lee remained at ramli court up to Twelfth Night and the Robarts is also spent most of the season at the house lady left and no doubt had hoped that everything might have been arranged on this occasion in accordance with her wishes but such had not been the case lord Lufton had evidently admired miss grant lee very much indeed he had said so to his mother half a dozen times but it may also be questioned whether the pleasure lady left and derived from this was not more than neutralized by an opinion he put forward that Griselda Grantley wanted some of the fire of Lucy Robarts surely Ludovic you would never compare the two girls said lady Lufton of course not they are the very Antipodes to each other miss grant Lee would probably be more to my taste but then I am wise enough to know that it is so because my taste is a bad taste I know no man with the more accurate or refined taste in such matters said Lady Lufton beyond this she did not dare to go she knew very well that her strategy would be vain should her son once learned that she had a strategy to tell the truth Lady Lufton was becoming somewhat indifferent to Lucy Robarts she had been very kind to the little girl but the little girl seemed hardly to appreciate the kindness as she should do and then Lord left and would talk to Lucy which was so unnecessary you know and Lucy had got into a way of talking quite freely with lord Lufton having completely dropped that short spasmodic ugly exclamation of my lord and so the Christmas festivities were at an end and January war itself away during the greater part of this month lord Lufton did not remain at Ramle but was nevertheless in the county hunting with the hounds of both divisions and staying at various houses two or three nights he spent at all tickets and one let it only be told in an under voice a gathering a soul of this he said nothing to lady loved him why make her unhappy as he said to mark but lady Lufton knew it though she said not a word to him knew it and was unhappy if he would only marry Griselda there would be an end of that danger she said to herself but now we must go back for a while to the vicar and his little bill it will be remembered that his first idea with reference to that trouble after the reading of his father's will was to borrow the money from his brother John John was down at Exeter at the time and wished to stay one night the parsonage on his way to London mark would broach the matter to him on the journey painful though it would be to him to tell the story of his own folly to her brother so much younger than himself and who had always looked up to him clergymen and full-blown vicar as he was with the deference greater than that which such difference in age required the story was told however but was told all in vain as Mark found out before he reached Ramle his brother John immediately declared that he would lend him the money of course 800 if his brother wanted it he John confessed that this regarded the remaining two he should like to feel the pleasure of immediate possession that's for interest he would not take any take interest from a brother of course not well if Mark made such a fuss about it he suppose he must take it but would rather not mark should have his own way and do just what he liked this was all very well and Mark and fully made up his mind that his brother should not be kept long out of his money but then arose the question how was that money to be reached he mark was executor or one of the executives under his father's will and therefore no doubt could put his hand upon it but his brother wanted five months of being of age and could not therefore as yet be put legally in possession of the legacy that's a bore said the assistant private secretary to the Lord petty bag thinking perhaps as much of his own immediate wish for ready cash as he did of his brother's necessities mark felt it was a bore but there was nothing more to be done in that direction he must now find out how far the bankers could assist him some week or two after his return to family he went over to Barchester and called there on a certain mr. Forrest the manager of one of the banks with whom he was acquainted and with many injunctions as to secrecy told this manager the whole of his story at first he concealed the name of his friend sour me but soon appeared that no such concealment was of any avail that sour me of course said mr. Forrest I know you were intimate with him and all his friends go through that sooner or later it seemed to mark as though mr. Forrest made very light of the whole transaction I cannot possibly pay the bill when it falls you said mark oh no of course not said mr. Forrest it's never very convenient to hand out 400 pounds at a blow nobody will expect you to pay it but I suppose I shall have to do it sooner or later well that's us maybe it will depend partly on how you manage with sour me and partly on the hands it gets into as the bill has your name on it they'll have patience as long as the interest is paid and the Commission's on renewal but no doubt it will have to be met someday by somebody mr. Forrest said that he was sure that the bill was not in Barchester mr. sour me would not he thought had brought it to a Barchester Bank the bill was probably in London but doubtless would be sent to bar Chester for collection if it comes in my way said mr. Forrest I will give you plenty of time so that you may manage about the renewal with sour me I suppose he'll pay the expense of doing that Mark's heart was somewhat lighter as he left the bank mr. Forrest had made so little of the whole transaction that he felt himself justified in making little of it all so it may be as well said he tore himself as he drove home not to tell Fanny anything about it till the three months have run round I must make some arrangement then I did this way his mind was easier during the last of those three months than it had been during the two former that feeling of overdue bills of bills coming Jew of accounts overdrawn of tradesman unpaid of general money cares is very dreadful at first but it is astonishing how soon men get used to it a load which would crush a man at first becomes by habit not only endurable but easy and comfortable to the bearer the habitual debtor goes along jaunty and with elastic step almost enjoying the excitement of his embarrassments there was mr. Sowerby himself who ever saw a cloud on his brow it made one almost in love with ruin to be in his company and even now already mark Robarts was thinking to himself quite comfortably about this bill how very pleasantly those bankers managed these things pay it no no one will be so unreasonable as to expect you to do that and then mr. sour me certainly was a pleasant fellow and gave a man something in return for his money it was still a question with mark where the lord Lufton had not been too hard on Sowerby had that gentleman fallen across his clerical friend at the present moment he might no doubt have gotten from him and acceptance for another four hundred pounds one is almost inclined to believe that there was something pleasurable in the excitement of such embarrassments as there is also in the excitement of drink but then at last the time does come when the excitement is over and were nothing but the misery is left if there be an existence of wretchedness on earth it must be that of the elderly worn-out roue who has run this race of debt and Bills of accommodation of acceptances of what if we were not in these days somewhat afraid of good broad English we might call lying and swindling falsehood and fraud and who having ruined all whom he should have loved having burnt up everyone who would trust him much and scorched all who would trust him a little is at last left to finish his life with such bread and water as these men get without one honest thought to strengthen his sinking heart or one honest friend to hold his shivering hand if a man could only think of that as he puts his name to the first little bill as to which he is so good naturedly assured that it can easily be renewed when the three months had nearly run out it so happened that Robarts met his friends our me mark had once or twice ridden with lord Lufton as far as the meat of the hounds and may perhaps have gone a field or two farther on some occasions the reader must not think that he had taken to hunting as some Parsons do and it is singular enough that whenever they do they always show a special aptitude for the pursuit as though hunting were an employment peculiarly congenial with a cure of souls in the country such a thought would do our vicar injustice but when Lord Lufton would ask him what on earth could be the harm of riding along the roads to look at the hounds he hardly knew what sensible answer to give his lordship it would be absurd to say that his time would be better employed at home in clerical matters for it was notorious that he had not clerical pursuits for the employment of half his time in this way therefore he had got into a habit of looking at the hounds and keeping up his acquaintances in the county meeting Lord dumbbell Oh mr. green Walker Harold Smith and other such like sinners and on one occasion as the three months were nearly closing he did meet mr. Sowerby look here Sowerby I want to speak to you for half a moment what are you doing about that bill bill bill what bill which bill the whole bill and nothing but the bill that seems to be the conversation nowadays of all men morning noon and night don't you know the bill I signed for you for four hundred pounds did you though was not that rather green of you this did seem strange to mark could it really be the fact that mr. Sowerby had so many bills flying about that he had absolutely forgotten that occurrence in the gathering Castle bedroom and that would be called green by the very man whom he had obliged perhaps I was said mark in a tone that showed that he was somewhat peaked but all the same I should be glad to know how it will be taken up Oh mark what a ruffian you are to spoil my day sport in this way any man but a parson would be too good a Christian for such intense cruelty but let me see four hundred pounds oh yes tozer has it and what will toe to do with it make money of it whatever way he may go to work he will do that but we'll toes who bring it to me on the 20th Oh Lord no upon my word mark you are deliciously green a cat would assume think of killing a mouse directly she got it into her claws but joking apart you need not trouble yourself maybe you will hear no more about it or perhaps which no doubt is more probable I may have to send it to you to be renewed but you need do nothing till you hear from me or somebody else only do not let anyone come down upon me for the money there's not the slightest fear of that Tallyho old fellow he's away Tallyho right over by Gossett's barn come along and never mind tozer sufficient for the day is the evil thereof and away they both went together parson and member of parliament and then again on that occasion mark went home with a sort of feeling that the bill did not matter Tosa would manage it somehow and it was quite clear that it would not do to tell his wife of it just at present on the 21st of that month of February however he did receive a reminder that the bill and all concerning it had not merely been a farce this was a letter for mr. sour me dated from chawl tickets though not bearing the Barchester postmark in which that gentleman suggested a renewal not exactly of the old bill but of a new one it seemed to mark that the letter had been posted in London if I give it entire I shall perhaps most quickly explain its purport chalta cuts 20th February 1850 blank My dear mark lead not thy name to the money dealers for the same is a destruction and a snare if that be not in the Proverbs it ought to be Tosa has given me certain signs of his being alive and strong this cold weather as we can neither of us take up that bill for four hundred pounds at the moment we must renew it and pay him his commission and interest with all the rest of his perquisites and pickings and stealing's from all which I can assure you Tosa does not keep his hands as he should do to cover this and some other little outstanding trifles I have filled in the you bill for 500 pounds making it you the 23rd of May next before that time a certain accident will I trust have occurred to your impoverished friend by the by I never told you how she went off from gatherin castle the morning after you left us with the Gresham's cart ropes would not hold her even though the Duke held him which he did with all the strength of his ducal hands she would go to meet some doctor of theirs and so I was put off for that time but I think the matter stands in a good train do not lose a post and sending back the bill accepted bestows have may annoy you nay undoubtedly will if the matter be not in his hand duly signed by us both the day after tomorrow he is an ungrateful brute he has lived on me for these eight years and would not let me off a single squeeze now to save my life but I am specially anxious to save you from the annoyance and cost of lawyers letters and if delayed it might get into the papers put it under cover to me at number seven Duke streets and James I shall be in town by that time goodbye old fellow that was a decent brush we had the other day from cobbles ashes I wish I could get that brown horse from you I would not mind going to a hundred and thirty yours ever and Sowerby when Mark had read it through he looked down on his table to see whether the old bill had fallen from the letter but no there was no enclosure and had been no enclosure but the new bill and then he read the latest who again and found that there was no word about the old bill not a syllable at least as to its whereabouts Sowerby did not even say that it would remain in his own hands mark did not in truth know much about such things it might be that the very fact of his signing this second document would render that first document null and void and from sour me silence on the subject it might be argued that this was so well known to be the case that he had not thought of explaining it but yet mark could not see how this should be so but what was he to do that threat of cost and lawyers and especially of the newspapers did have its effect on him as no doubt it was intended to do and then he was utterly dumbfounded by Sowerby's impudence in drawing on him for five hundred instead of four hundred pounds covering a Sowerby so good-humoured Lee said sundry little outstanding trifles but at last he did sign the bill and set it off as Sowerby had directed what else was he to do fool that he was a man always can do right even though he is not wrong before but that previous wrong adds so much difficulty to the path but difficulty which increases in tremendous ratio till a man at last is choked in his struggles and has drowned beneath the waters and then he put away Sowerby's letter carefully locking it up from his wife site it was a letter that no parish clergyman should have received so much he acknowledged to himself but nevertheless it was necessary that he should keep it and now again for a few hours this affair made him very miserable end of chapter 12

1 thought on “Framley Parsonage | Anthony Trollope | General Fiction | Audiobook full unabridged | English | 3/12

  1. Framley Parsonage | Anthony Trollope | General Fiction | Audiobook full unabridged | English | 3/12

    9: [00:00:00] – 09 – The Vicar's Return

    10: [00:19:26] – 10 – Lucy Robarts

    11: [00:48:08] – 11 – Griselda Grantly

    12: [01:22:56] – 12 – The Little Bill

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