Framley Parsonage | Anthony Trollope | General Fiction | Sound Book | English | 9/12

chapter 35 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 simon Evers roundly passage by Anthony Trollope chapter 35 the story of King curvature Lucy as she drove herself home had much as to which it was necessary that she should arouse her thoughts that she would go back and nurse mrs. Crawley through her fever she was resolved she was a free agent enough to take so much on herself and to feel sure that she should carry it through but how is she to redeem her promise about the children twenty plans ran through her mind as to farm houses in which they might be placed or cottages which might be hard for them but all these entail the want of money and at the present moment were not all the inhabitants of the parsonage pledged to add our economy the use of the pony carriage would have been illicit under any circumstances less pressing than the present for it had been decided that the carriage and even poor puck himself should be sold she had higher given her promise about the children and there her own stock of money was very low that promise should be redeemed when she reached the parsonage she was of course full of her schemes but she found that another subject of interest to come up in her absence which prevented her from obtaining the undivided attention of her sister-in-law to her present plans lady Lofton had returned to that day and immediately on her return of sent up a note addressed to Miss Lucy robots which note was in Fanny's hands when Lucy stepped out of the Pony carriage the servant who brought it had asked for an answer and a verbal answer had been sent saying that Miss robots was away from home and would herself sent a reply when she returned it cannot be denied that that color came to lose his face and that her hand trembled when she took the note from Fanny in the drawing-room every in the world to her might depend on what that note contained and yet she did not open it at once but stood with it in her hand and when Fanny pressed her on the subjects still endeavoured to bring back the calm to the subject of mrs. Crawley but yet her mind was intent on the letter and she had already ordered ill from the handwriting and even from the words of the address had lady Lufton intended to be propitious she would have directed a letter to miss robots without the Christian name so at least argued Lucy quite unconsciously as one does argue in such matters palm forms half the conclusion of one's life without any distinct knowledge that the premises have ever passed through ones mind they were now learn together as Mark was out wouldn't you open her letter said mrs. robots yes immediately but Fanny I must speak to you about mrs. Crawley first I must get back there this evening and stay there I have promised to do so and shall certainly keep my promise I've promised also the children should be taken away and we must arrange about that it is dreadful the state cheese and there's no one to see her but mr. Crawley and the children are all together left to themselves do you mean that you're going back to stay yes certainly I've made a distinct promise that I would do so and about the children could not you manage for the children Fanny not perhaps in the house and he's not at first perhaps and yet during all the time that she was just speaking and pleading for the Crawleys she was endeavouring to imagine what might be the contents of that letter which she held between her fingers and is she so video ask mrs. robots I cannot say how ill she may be except this that she certainly has typhus fever they've had some doctor or doctors assistants from Silver Bridge but it seems to me that they are greatly and want of better advice but Lucy would you not read your letter it is astonishing to me that you should be so indifferent about it Lucy was anything but indifferent and now did proceed say the envelope the note was very short and ran in these words My dear miss robots I'm particularly anxious to see you and you feel much obliged to you if you can step over to me here at family court I must apologize for taking this Liberty with you but you will probably feel that an interview here would suit us both better than one at the parsonage truly yours em Lufton there I'm in for it now said Lucy and even know to ever to missus robots I shall have to be talked to as never poor girl was talked to before and when one thinks of what I've done it is hard yes and of what you have not done exactly and what I have not done but I suppose I must go and she proceeded to retire the strings of her bonnet which she had loosened do you mean the two going over at once yes immediately why not it will be better to have it over and then I can go to the Crawleys but Fanny the pity of it is that I know it all as well as though it had already been spoken and what good can there be and having to endure it can't you fancy the tone in which she will explain to me the conventional inconveniences which arose when King confetti would marry the biggest daughter how she would explain what Griselda went through not the archdeacon's daughter but the other Griselda but it all came right with her yes but then I am NOT screws elder and she will explain I would certainly all go wrong with me but what's the good when I know told beforehand have I not desired kingka Fletcher to take himself and scepter elsewhere and then she started having first said another word or two about the collagen and obtained the promise of puck and the penny carriage for the afternoon it was also almost agreed that puck on his return to family should bring back the four children with him but on this subject it was necessary that mark should be consulted the present scheme was to prepare for them a room outside the house once the dairy at present occupied by the groom and his wife and to bring them into the house as soon as it was manifest that there was no danger from the infection but all this was to be matter for deliberation Fanny wanted to send over a note in reply to lady lufton's as harbinger of her coming but Lucy marched off hardly answering this proposition what's the use of such a deal of ceremony she said I know she's at home and if she is not I should only lose ten minutes in going and so she went and on reaching the door of family courthouse of and that her ladyship was at home her heart almost came to her mouth as she was told so and then in two minutes time she found herself in the little room upstairs in that little room we found ourselves once before you and I oh my reader but Lucy had never before visited that hallowed precinct there was something in its air calculated to inspire awe in those who first saw lady Lofton sitting bolt upright in the came bottom armchair but she always occupied when at work at her books and papers and that she knew when she determined to receive Lucy in that apartment but there was another armchair and easy cozy chair which stood by the far side and for those who'd caught lady laughed and napping in the chair of an afternoon some of this all had perhaps been dissipated miss Roberts she said not rising from her chair but holding out her hand to her visitor much obliged to you for having come over to me here you no doubt are aware of the subject on which I wish to speak to you I would agree with me that it is better than we should meet here than over at the parsonage in answer to which Lucy merely bowed her head and took her seat on the chair which had been prepared for her my son continued her ladyship has spoken to me on the subject of I think I understand miss robots that there has been no engagement between you and him this she said very sharply more so undoubtedly than the circumstances required and with a brusqueness that was in judicious as well as uncourteous but at the moment she was thinking of her own position with the reference to lady Lofton not to Lord Lofton and of her feelings with reference to the lady not to the gentleman who said a deal often a little startled by the manner of the communication then I am to understand that there is nothing now going on between you and my son that the whole affair is over that depends entirely upon you or me does it I do not know what your son may have told you lady Lofton for myself I do not care to have any secret from you in this match and as he has spoken to you about it I suppose that such as his wish also am i right to pursue me that he has spoken to you on the subject yes he has and it is for that reason that I have taken the liberty of sending for you and may I ask what he has told you I mean of course as regards myself said Lucy lady loved him before she answered this question began to reflect that the young lady was taking too much the initiative is in this conversation and was in fact playing the game in her own fashion which was not at all in accordance with those motives which had induced lady Lofton to send for her he has told me that he made you an offer of marriage replied lady Lofton a matter which of course is very serious to be as his mother and I have thought therefore that I had better see you and appeal to your own good sense and judgment and high feeling of course you're aware now is coming the lecture to be illustrated by kinky fetcher and Griselda as Lucy suggested to mrs. robots but she succeeded in stopping him for a while and did Lord laughed and tell him up as my answer not in words but you yourself now say that you refused him and I must express my operation for your good wait half a moment lady Lofton your son did make me an offer he made it to me in person up at the parsonage and I then refused him foolishly as an I believe for I dearly loved him but I did say from a mixture of feelings which I need not perhaps explain that most prominent no doubt was the fear of your displeasure and then he came again not to me but to my brother and urged his suit to him nothing could have been kinder to me more noble more loving more generous than his conduct and first I thought when he was speaking to myself that he was led on thoughtlessly to say all that he did say I did not trust his love now I saw that he did trust it himself but I could not but trust it when he came again to my brother and made his proposal to him I don't know whether you will understand me lady Lofton but a girl placed as I am feels times more assurance in such a tender of affection as that than in one made to herself at the spur of the moment perhaps and then you must remember that I I myself I loved him from the first I was foolish enough to think that I could know him and not love him I saw all that was going on today deal often with a certain assumption of wisdom about her and took steps which I hoped would have put a stop to it in time everybody saw it it was a matter of course said Lucy destroying her ladyship's wisdom at a blow well I did learn to love him not meanie to do so and I do love him with all my heart it is no use my striving to think that I do not and I could stand with him at the altar tomorrow and give him my hand feeling that I was doing my duty by him as a woman should do now he has told you of his love and I believe in that as I do in my own and then for a moment she paused but my dear Miss robots began lady Lofton Lucy however had now worked herself up into a condition of power and would not allow her ladyship to interrupt her in her speech I beg your pardon lady Lofton I shall have done directly and then I will hear you and so my brother came to me not urging his suit expressing no wish for such a marriage but allow me to judge for myself and proposing that I should see your son again on the following morning had I done so I could not but have accepted him think of it lady London how could I have done other than accept him seeing that in my heart I had accepted his love already well said lady Lofton not wishing now to put in any speech of her own I did not see him I refused to do so because I was a coward I could not endure to come into this house as your son's wife and be coldly looked on by your son's mother much as I loved him much as I do love him dearly as I prized the generous offer which he came down here to repeat to me I could not live with him to be made the object of your scorn I sent him word therefore that I would have him when you would ask me and not before and then having thus pleaded her cause and pleaded as she believed the cause of her another also she ceased from speaking and prepared herself to listen to the story of King kaffarah but lady loved him felt considerable difficulty in commencing her speech in the first place she was by no means a hard-hearted or a selfish woman and we're it not that her own son was concerned and all the glory which was reflected upon her from her son her sympathies would have been given to Lucy robots as it was she did sympathise with her and at Maha and to a certain extent like her she began also to understand what it was that had brought about her son's love and to feel that before certain unfortunate concomitant circumstances the girl before her might have made a fitting lady Lufton Lucy had grown bigger in her eyes while sitting there and talking and had lost much of that mrs. want of importance that lack of social weight which lady Lofton in her opinion had always imputed to her a girl that could thus speak up and explain her own position now would be able to speak up and explain her own and perhaps some other positions at any future time but not for all or any of these reasons did lady Lofton think of giving away the power of making or marring this marriage was placed in her hands as was very fitting and that power it behaved her to use as best she might use it to her sons of Vantage much as she might have Malu she she could not sacrifice her son to that aberration the unfortunate concomitant circumstances still remained and were sufficient force as she thought to make such a marriage inexpedient Lucy was the sister of a gentleman who by his peculiar position as perished a German of family was unfitted to be the brother-in-law of the owner of family nobody liked clergymen better than lady Lofton or was born willing to live with him on terms of affectionate impotency but she could not get over the feeling the clergyman of her own parish or of her sons was a part of her own establishment of her own app image or of his and they could not be well that Lord Lufton should marry among his own dependents lady Lofton would not have used the word but she didn't think it and then to lose his education to be so deficient she had had no one about her in early life accustomed to the ways of what shall I say without making lady laughed and appear more worldly than she was lose his wants in this respect not to be defined in words have been exemplified by the very way when she just now stated her case she adjurned talent good temper and sound judgment but there had been no quiet no repose about her the species of power and young ladies which lady Lofton miss of marred was the this sinner she I belonging to beautiful and dignified reticence of this poor nurse he had none then too she had no fortune which thou a minor evil was an evil and she had no birth in the highlife sense of the world which was a greater evil and then there are eyes at sparkle when she confessed her love lady Lofton was not prepared to admit that she was possessed of positive beauty such were the unfortunate concomitant circumstances which still induced lady Lofton to resolve that the match must be marred but the performance of her part in this play was much more difficult than she had imagined and she found herself obliged to sit silent for a minute or two during which however miss robots made no attempt at further speech I'm greatly struck they did often sit at last by the excellent sense you have displayed in the whole of this affair and you must allow me to say miss robots that I now regard you with very different feelings from theirs which I entertained when I left London upon this Lucy bowed her head slightly but very stiffly acknowledging rather the former censor implied than present eulogium expressed but my feelings continued lady Lofton my strongest feelings in this matter must be those of a mother what might be my conduct if such a marriage did take place I need not not consider but I must confess that I should think such a marriage very very ill judged a better hearted young man that Lord Lofton does not exist nor one with better principles or a deeper regard for his word but he is exactly the man to be mistaken in any hurried outlook as to his future life were you and he to become man and wife such a marriage would tend to the happiness neither of him nor of you it was clear that the whole lecture was now coming and as news he had openly declared her own weakness and thrown all the power of decision into the hands of lady Lofton she did not see why she didn't do all this we need to argue about that lady Lofton she said I've told you the only circumstances under which I would marry your son and you at any rate are safe no I was not willing to argue and submitted often almost humbly but I was desirous of excusing myself to you since you did not think me cruel him withholding my consent I wish to make you believe that I was doing the best for my son I'm sure that you think you are and therefore no excuse is necessary no exactly of course it is a matter of opinion and I do think so I cannot believe that this marriage would make either of you happy and therefore I should be very wrong to express my consent then lady Lofton said Lucy rising from her chair I suppose we both know said what is necessary and I will therefore wish you good bye good bye miss robots I wish I could make you understand how very highly I regard your conduct in this matter it has been above all praise and so I shall not hesitate to say when speaking of it to your relatives this was disagreeable enough to Lucy who cared but little for any praise which lady after might express to her relatives in this matter and pray continued lady Lofton give my best love to mrs. robots and tell her that I shall hope to see her over here very soon and mr. robots also I would name a day for you all to dine but perhaps who better that I should have a little talk with Fannie first Lucy muttered something which was intended to signify that any such dinner party had better not be made up with the intention of including her and then took her leave she had decided I had the best of the interview and there was a consciousness of this in her heart as she allowed lady Lofton to shake hands with her she had stopped her antagonist short on each occasion on which an attempt to be made to produce the homily which had been prepared and during the interview had spoken probably three words for every one which her ladyship had been able to utter but nevertheless there was a bitter feeling of disappointment about her heart as she walked back home and a feeling also that she herself had caused her own unhappiness why should she have been Sara mentok and chivalrous and self-sacrificing seeing that her remnants and chivalry had all been to his detriment as well as to hers seeing that she sacrificed him as well as herself why should she have been so anxious to play to lady lufton's hands it but not because she thought it right as a general social rule that a lady should refuse a gentleman's hand unless the gentleman's mother were a consenting party to the marriage she would have held any such doctrine as absurd the lady she would have said would have had to look to her own family and no further it was not virtue but cowardice which had influenced her and she had none of that solace which may account to us in misfortune from a consciousness that our own conduct has been blameless they did often had inspired her with all and any such feeling on her part was mean ignoble and unbecoming the spirit with which she wished to think that she was endowed that was the accusation which he brought against herself and it forbade her to feel any triumph as the result of her interview when she reached the parsonage mark was there and they were of course expecting her well said she in her short haired manner is puck ready again I have no time to lose and I must go and pack up a few things have you settle about the children fanny yes I'll tell you directly but have you seen lady Lofton seen her of yes of course I've seen her did she not send for me and in that case it was not on the cards that I should disobey her and what did she say how green you are mark are not only green but impolite also to make me repeat the story of my own disgrace of course she told me that she did not intend that I should marry my lord her son and of course I said that under those circumstances I should not think of doing such a thing Lucy I cannot understand you said fanny very gravely I'm sometimes it climbed to doubt whether you have any deep feeling in the matter or not if you have how can you bring yourself to joke about it but it is singular and sometimes I doubt myself with I have how to be pail or tie knot and very thin and go mad by degrees I'm not the least intention of doing anything of the kind and therefore the matter is not worth any further notice but what she's civil to you Lucy asked mark civil in her manner you know how long common is so you would hardly believe in which she actually asked me to dine she always does that you know when she wants to share her good humor if you've broken her leg and she wished to commiserate you she'd asked you to dinner I suppose she meant to be kind said Fanny he was not disposed to give up her old friend that she was quite ready to fight lose his battle if there were any occasion for a battle to be fought Lucy is so perverse Satmar but that is impossible to learn from him what Reddy has taken place upon my word then you know it all as well as I can tell you she asked me if Lord Lufton a baby an offer I said yes she asked Ned next if I meant to accept it not without her approval I said and that she asked us all to dinner that is exactly what took place and I cannot see that I been perverse at all after that threw herself into a chair a mark and feta stood looking at each other ah she said after a while don't be unkind to me I made of little of it as I can for all our sakes it is better so funny than that that I should go about moaning like a sick cow and then they looked at her and saw that the tears were already brimming over from her eyes dearest dearest Lucy said Fanny immediately came down on her knees before her I won't be unkind to you again and then they had a great cry together end of chapter 35 recording by Simon Evers chapter 36 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 Simon Evers Bramley parsonage by Anthony Trollope chapter 36 kidnapping at home stock the great cry however did not take long and Lucie was soon in the pony carriage again on this occasion her brother volunteered to drive her and it was now understood to the team was to bring back with him all the cruelly children the whole thing had been arranged the groom and his wife were to be taken into the house and the big bedroom across the yard usually occupied by them was to be converted into a quarantine hospital until such time as it might be safe to pull down the yellow flag they were about halfway on their road to hoggle stock when they overtaken by a man on horseback whom when he came up beside them mr. robots recognised as dr. Arab in Dean of Barchester and head of the chapter to which he himself belonged it immediately appeared a thought the Dean also was going to hoggle stock having heard of the misfortune that had befallen his friends there he had he said started as soon as the news reached him in order that he might ascertain how best he might render assistance to affect this he had undertaken a ride of nearly forty miles and explained that he did not expect to reach home again much before midnight you my family said robots yes I do said the Dean then of course you will dine with us as you go home you and your horses also which will be quite as important this having been duly settled and the proper ceremony of introduction having taken place between the Dean and Lucy they proceeded to discuss the character of mr. Crowley I have known him all my life said the Dean having been at school and college with him and four years since that I was on terms of the closest intimacy with him but in spite of that I do not know how to help in him in his need a proud a hearted man I never met or one less willing to share his sorrows with his friends I've often heard him speak of you said mark one of the bitterest feelings I have is that a man so dear to me should live so near to me and that I should see so little of him but what can I do he will not come to my house and when I go to his he is angry with me because I were a shuffle hat and ride on horseback I should leave my hat of my horse at the borders of the last parish said Lucy timidly well yeaa certainly on ought not to give offence even in such matters as that but my coat and waistcoat would then be equally objectionable I have changed you know I would man as I mean and he is not that irritates him and unless I could be what I was in the old days he will not look at me with the same eyes and then he rode on in order as he said that the first pang of the interview might be over before robots and his sister came upon the scene mr. Crowley was standing before his door leaning over the little wooden railing when the Dean caught it up on his horse he had come out after hours of clothes watching to get a few mouthfuls of the sweet summer air and as he stood there he held the youngest of his children in his arms the poor little baby sat there quiet indeed but hardly happy this father though he loved his offspring with an affection as intense as that which human nature can supply was not gifted with a knack of making children fond of him for it is hardly more than a knack that attitude which some men have of in the good graces of the young such men are not always the best fathers or the safest guardians but they carry about with them a certain look at May which children recognize and which in three minutes upsets all the barriers between five and five and 40 but mrs. Crawley was a stern man thinking ever of the souls and minds of his bounds as a father should do and thinking also that every season was fitted for operating on those souls and minds as perhaps he should not have done either as a father or as a teacher and consequently his children avoided him when the choice was given them thereby adding fresh wounds to his torn heart but by no means quenching any of the great love with which he regarded them he was standing there thus with a placid little baby in his arms her baby placid enough but one that would not kiss him eagerly and strike his face with her soft little hands as he would have had her do when he saw the Dean coming towards him he was sharp sighted as a lynx out in the open air there now obliged to pour over his well think of books with spectacles on his nose and as he knew his friend from a long distance and had time to meet meditate the mode of his greeting he too doubtless had come Eve not with jelly and chicken than with money and advice with money and advice such as a thriving Dean might offer to a poor brother clergyman and mr. Crawley there no husband could possibly member more anxious for a wife's safety than he was immediately put his back up and began to be think himself how these tenders might be rejected how is she but the first words which the Dean spoke as he pulled up his horse close to the little gate and put out his hand to take that of his friend how are you Merriman said he it is very kind of you to come so far seeing how much there is to keep you at Barchester I cannot say that she's any better but I do know that she is not worse sometimes I fancy that she she is delirious though I hardly know at any rate her mind wanders and then after that she sleeps but is the fever less sometimes lessen sometimes more I imagine and children more things they are well as yet they must be taken from this Crawley as a matter of course mr. Crawley fancied that there was a tone of authority in the deans advice and immediately put himself into opposition I do not know how that may be I have not yet made up my mind but my dear Crawley Providence does not admit of such removers in all cases said he among the poorer classes the children must endure such perils in many cases it is so said the Dean by no means inclined to make an argument of it at the present moment but in this case they need not you must allow me to make arrangements for sending for them as of course your time is occupied here miss robots that she have mentioned her intention of staying with mrs. Crawley had said nothing of the pram family plan with reference to the children what you mean is that you intend to take the burden off my shoulders in fact to pay for them I cannot allow that Arab in they must take the lot of their father and their mother as it is proper that they should do again the Dean had no inclination for arguing and thought it might be well to let the question of the children drop for a little while and is there no nurse with her said he no no I am seemed to her myself at the present moment a woman will be here just now what woman well hon her name is mrs. Stubbs she lives in the parish she will put the young children to bed and and but is there used trouble you with all that there was a young lady talked of coming but no doubt she found it too inconvenient it'll be better as it is you mean miss robots she will be here directly I passed her as I came here and as not her era beam was yet speaking the noise of the carriage wheels was heard upon the road I will go in now said mr. Crawley and see if she still sleeps and then he entered the house leaving the Dean at the door still seated upon his horse he will be afraid of the infection and I will not ask him to come in said mr. Crawley to himself I shall seem to be prying into his poverty if I enter unasked said the Dean to himself and say you remained that till park now acquainted with the locality stop to the door have you not been in said robots now Corley has been to the door talking to me he will be here directly I suppose and then mark robots also prepared himself to wait till the master of the house should reappear but Lucy had no such peg punctilious misgivings she did not care now whether she offended mr. Crawley or no her idea was to place herself by the sick woman's bedside and to send to the four children away with her father's consent if it might be but certainly without it if that consent were withheld so she got down from the carriage and taking certain packages in her hand made her way directly into the house there's a big bundle under the seat mark she said I'll come and fetch it directly if you'll drag it out for some five minutes the two dignitaries of the church remained at the door one on his cob and the other in his low carriage saying a few words to each other and waiting till someone should again appear from the house it is all arranged indeed it is for the first words which reach their ears and these came from Lucy there will be no trouble at all and no expense and they shall all come back as soon as mrs. Crawley is able to get out of bed but miss robots I can assure that was mr. Crawley's voice heard from him as he followed miss robots to the door but one of the elder children had then called him into the sickroom and Lucy was left to do her worst are you going to take the children back with you said the Dean yes mrs. robots has prepared for them you can take greater liberties with my friend here than I can it is all my sister's doing said robots women are always bolder in such matters than men and then Lucy reappeared bringing Bobby with her and one of the younger children do not mind what he says said she but drive away when you've got them all tell fanny I have put into the basket what things I could find but they are very few she must borrow things for grace from mrs. Grange's little girl mrs. Granger was the wife of a friendly farmer and Mark turn pucks head round said she may be off in a moment i'll have grayson the other one here directly and then leaving her brother to Bobby and his little sister on the back part of the vehicle she returned to her business in the house she had just looked in at mrs. Crawley's bed and finding her awake had smiled at her and deposited in her bungle in token of her intended stay and then without speaking a word had gone on an errand about the children she had called de grâce to show her where she might find such things as were to be taken to family and having explained to the band's as well as she might the deaths name which immediately awaited them prepared them for their departure without saying a word to mr. Crawley on the subject Bobby and the elder of the two infants was stowed away safely in the back part of the carriage where they allowed themselves to be placed without saying a word they opened their eyes and stared at the Dean who sat by on his horse and assented to such orders as mr. robots gave them no doubt with much surprise but nevertheless in absolute silence now grace be quick there's a dear said Lucy returning with the infant in her arms and grace mind you're very careful about baby and bring the basket I'll give it to you when you're in grace and the other child were then packed on to the other seat in a basket with children's clothes put on the top of them after do mark goodbye tell Fanny to be sure and send the day after tomorrow and not to forget and then she whispered into her brother's ear an injunction about certain dairy comforts which might be spoken off in the hearing of mr. Crawley goodbye dears mind you good children usually hear about mama the day after tomorrow said Lucy and puck admonished by the sign from his master's voice began to move just as mr. Crawley app reappeared at the house door hello stop he said miss robots you really are better not come on Park said Lucy in a whisper which whether audible or not by mr. Crawley was heard very plainly by the Dean and Mark who had slightly arrested Park by the reins on the appearance of mr. Crawley now touched to the impatient little beast with his whip and the vehicle with its Freight darted off rapidly puck shaking his head and going away with a tremendously quick short trot which soon separated mr. Crawley from his family miss robots he began this step has been taken altogether without yes said she interrupting him my brother was obliged to return at once the children you know will remain all together at the parsonage that I think is what mrs. quarry will best like in a day or two there will be under mrs. robots his own charge but my dear miss robots I had no intention whatever of putting the burden of my family on the shoulders of another person they must return to their own home immediately that is as soon as they can be brought back I really think miss robots has managed very well said the Dean mrs. Crawley must be so much more comfortable to think that they are out of danger and they will be quite comfortable at the parsonage said Lucy I do not have told doubt that said mr. Crawley but too much of such comforts will unfit them for their own home and and I could have wished that I had been consulted more leisure before the proceeding had been taken it was arranged mr. Crawley when I was here before that the children had better go away he did Lucy I do not remember agreeing to such a measure miss robots however I suppose they cannot be had back tonight no not tonight said Lucy and now I will go into your wife and then she returned to the house leaving the two gentlemen at the door at this moment a labourers boy came sauntering by and the Dean obtained permission of his services for the custody of his horse was able to dismount and put himself on a more equal footing for conversation with his friend Crawley said he putting his hand affectionately on his friends shoulder as they both stood leaning on the little rail before the door that is a very good girl a very very good girl yes said he's Lilly she means well nay but she does well she does excellently what can be better than her conduct now while I was meditating how I might possibly assist your wife in this straight I want no assistance not at least from man said Crawley bitterly oh my friend think of what you are saying think of the wickedness which must accompany such a state of mind have you ever known any man able to walk alone without assistance from his brother men mr. Corley did not make an immediate answer but putting his arms behind his back and closing his hands as was his won't when he walked alone thinking of the general bitterness of his lot in life began to move slowly on the road in front of his house he did not invite the other to walk with him but neither was there anything in his manner which seemed to indicate that he'd intended to be left to himself it was a beautiful summer afternoon have that delicious period of the year when summer has just burst forth from the growth of spring when the summer is yet but three days old and all the various shades of green which nature can put forth are still in there unsold purity of freshness the apple blossoms were on the trees and the hedges were sweet with may the cuckoo at five o'clock was still sounding his soft summer call with unabated energy and even the common grasses of the hedgerows were sweet with the fragrance of their new growth the foliage of the Oaks was complete so that every bough and twig was clothed but the leaves did not yet hang heavy in masses and the bend of every bowel and the tapering curve of every twig were visible through their light green covering there is no time of the year equal in beauty to the first week in summer and no color which nature gives not even the glorious hues of autumn which can equal the Virgie produced by the form first sons of may hollow stock as has been explained has little to offer in the way of landscape beauty and the clergyman's house a toggle stock was not placed on a green sleepy bank of land retire from the road with its windows opening onto a lawn surrounded by shrubs with a view of the small church star seen through them it had none of that beauty which is so common to the cozy houses of our spiritual pastures in the agricultural parts of England hollow stock parsonage stood bleak beside a road with no pretty painting lined inside by Hollies and laburnum Portugal laurels and Rose trees but nevertheless even hollow stock was pretty now there were apple trees they're covered with blossom and the hedgerows were in full flower there were thrush is singing and here and there an oak tree stood in the roadside perfect in its solitary beauty let us walk on a little so the Dean miss robots is worth an hour and you will be better for leaving the room for a few minutes no said he I must go back I cannot leave that young lady to do my work stop Crowley and the Dean putting his hand upon him stayed him in the road she's doing her own work and if you were speaking of her with reference to any other household than your own you would say so is it not a comfort to you to know that your wife has a woman near such a time as this and a woman too who can speak to her as one lady does to another these are comforts which we have no right to expect I could not have done much for poor Mary but what a man could have done should not I be wanting I am sure of it I know it well what any man could do by himself you would do excepting one thing and the Dean as he spoke looked full into the others face and what is that I would not do said Crawley sacrifice your own pride my pride yes your own pride I've had but little pride this many a day Herriman you do not know what my life has been how is a man to be proud too and then he stopped himself not wishing to go through the catalogue of those grievances which as he thought had killed the very germs of pride within him or to insist by spoken words on his poverty is once and the injustice of his position no I wish I could be proud but the world has been too heavy to me and I've forgotten all that how long have I known you Crawley how long and here a lifetime nearly now and we were like brothers once yes we were equal as brothers then in our fortunes our tastes and our modes of life and yet you will be grudged with the pleasure of putting my hand in my pocket and relieving the inconveniences which have been thrown on you and those who love you better than yourself by the chances of your fate in life I will live on no man's charity said cruelly with an abruptness which amounted almost an expression of anger and is not that pride no yeah yes it is a species of pride but not that pride of which you spoke a man cannot be honest if he have not some pride you yourself would you not rather starve and become a beggar I would rather Baker than see my wife starve said Arab in poorly when he heard these words turned sharply round and stood with his back to the Dean with his hand still behind him and with his eyes fixed upon the ground but in this case there is no question of begging continued the Dean IATA there superfluities which is has pleased God to put at my disposal and anxious to assist the needs of those whom I love she is not starving said Crawley in a voice very bitter but still intended to be exculpatory of himself there my dear friend I know she is not and do not you be angry with me because I have endeavoured to put the matter to you in the strongest language I could use you look at his Dara beam from one side only I can only look at it from the other it is very sweet to give I do not doubt to that but the taking of what is given is very bitter gift bread chokes in a man's throat and poisons his blood and sits like led upon the heart you have never tried it but that is the very fault for which I blame you that is the pride which I say you ought to sacrifice and why should I be called on to do so is not the labourer worthy of his heart am I not able to work and willing have I not always had my shoulder for the collar and did it right that I should now be contented with the scraps from a rich man's kitchen Arbonne you and I were equal once and we were then friends understanding each other's thoughts and sympathizing with each other's sorrows but it cannot be so now if there be such inability it is all with you it is all with me because in our connection the pain will be all on my side it will not hurt you to see me at your table with warmed shoes and a ragged shirt I do not think so meanly of you is that you would give me your feast to eat though I were not clad at tithe as well as the menial behind your chair but it would hurt me to know that there were those looking at me who thought be unfit to sit in your rooms that is the pride of which I speak false pride call it so if you will but Arab in no preaching of yours can alter it it is all that is left to me of my mandamus the poor broken Reid who is lying there sick who who has sacrificed all the world to enough for me who is the mother of my children the part of my sorrows and the wife of my bosom even she cannot change me in this though she pleads with the eloquence of all her wants not even for her can I hold up my hand for a doll they had now come back to the door of the house and mr. Crawley hardly conscious of what he was doing was preparing to enter will mrs. Crawley be able to see me if I come in said the Dean oh stop no you better not do so said mr. Crawley you know nights might be subject to infection and then mrs. Alabam would be frightened I do not care about it in the least said the Dean but it is of no use you had better not her room my fear is quite unfit for you to see and the whole house you know may be infected dr. Garrigan by this time was in the sitting-room but seeing that his friend was really anxious that she should not go farther he did not persist it would be a comfort to us at any rate to know that miss robots is with her the young lady is very good very good indeed symp Crawley but I trust human return to her home tomorrow it is impossible that she should remain in so poor a house as mine there will be nothing here of all the things that she will want the Dean thought that Lucy robots wants during her present occupation of Nursing would not be so numerous as to make her continued surgeon in mrs. Crawley's sick room impossible and therefore took his leave with a satisfied conviction that the poor lady would not be left wholly to the somewhat unskillful nursing of her husband end of chapter 36 recording by Saba rivers chapter 37 of fram leap arsenic 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 thirty-seven mr. sour me without company and now there would be wondrous doings in West bar suture and men's minds were much disturbed the Fiat had gone forth from the high places and the Queen had dissolved her faithful Commons the Giants finding that they could affect little or nothing with the old house had resolved to try what a new venture would do for them and the hubbub of a general election was to pervade the country this produced no inconsiderable irritation and annoyance for the house was not as yet quite three years old and members of parliament though they naturally feel a constitutional pleasure in meeting their friends than in pressing the hands of their constituents are nevertheless so far akin to the lower order of humanity that they appreciate the danger of losing their seats and the certainty of a considerable outlay in their endeavors to retain them is not agreeable to the legislative mind never did the old family fury between the gods and the Giants rage higher than at the present moment the Giants declared that every turn which they attempted to take in their country service had been thwarted by faction in spite of those benign promises of assistance made to them only a few weeks since by their opponents and the gods answered by asserting that they were driven to this opposition by the bowi Chien fatuity of the Giants they had no doubt promised their Aid and were ready to give it to measures that were decently prudent but not to a bill enabling government as its will to pension age at bishops no there must be some limit to their tolerance and when such attempts as these were made that limit had been clearly passed all this had taken place openly only a day or two after that casual whisper dropped by Tom towers at Miss done stables party by Tom tower is that most pleasant of all pleasant fellows and how should he have known it he who flutters from one sweetest flower of the garden to another adding sugar to the pink and honey to the Rose so loved for what he gives but taking nothing as he goes but the whisper had grown into a rumor and the rumor into a fact and the political world was in a ferment the Giants furious about their bishops pension bill threatened the house most injudiciously and then it was beautiful to see how indignant members got up glowing with honesty and declared that it was based to conceive that any gentleman in that house could be actuated in his vote by any hopes or fears with reference to his seat and so matters grew from bad to worse and these contending parties never hitted each other with such envenom Drath as they did now having entered the ring together so lately with such manifold promises of goodwill respect and forbearance but going from the general to the particular we may say that nowhere was a deeper consternation spread than in the electoral division of West Varsity no sooner had the tidings of the dissolution reached the county than it was known that the Duke intended to change his nominee mr. Sowerby had now sat for the division since the reform bill he had become one of the county institutions and by the dint of custom and long establishment had been born with and even liked by the county gentlemen in spite of his well-known pecuniary irregularities now all this was to be changed no reason had been yet publicly given but it was understood that lord dumb bellow was to be returned although he did not own an acre of land in the county it is true that rumor went on to say that Lord dumb bellow was about to form close connections with bar searcher he was on the eve of marrying a young lady from the other division indeed and was now engaged so it was said in completing arrangements with the government for the purchase of that noble crown property usually known as the chase of chalta Coates it was also stated this statement however had hitherto been only announced in confidential whispers the chalta Coates house itself would soon become the residence of the Marquess the Duke was claiming it as his own would very shortly have completed his claims and taken possession and then by some arrangement between them it was to be made over to Lord damn Bello but very contrary rumors to these also got abroad men said such as dared to oppose the Duke and some few also who did not dare to oppose him when the day of battle came that it was beyond his Grace's power to turn Lord dumb Bello into a bar searcher magnate the crown property such men said was to fall into the hands of young mr. Gresham of Vauxhall Hill in the other division and that the terms of purchase had already been settled and as to mr. Sowerby's property and the house of troll two coats these opponents of the omnium interest went on to explain it was by no means as yet so certain that the duke would be able to enter it and take possession the place was not to be given to him quietly a great fight would be made and it was beginning to be believed that the enormous mortgages would be paid off by a lady of immense wealth and then a dash of romance was not wanting to make these stories palatable this lady of immense wealth had been courted by mr. Sowerby had acknowledged her love but had refused to marry him on account of his character in testimony of her love however she was about to pay all his debts it was soon put beyond a rumor and became manifest enough that mr. Sowerby did not intend to retire from the county and obedience to the Dukes behests a placard was posted through the whole division in which no allusion was made by name to the Duke but in which miss to Sowerby warned his friends not to be led away by any report that he intended to retire from the representation of West bar searcher he had sat the placard said for the same County during the full period of a quarter of a century and he would not likely give up an honor that had been extended to him so often and which he prized so dearly there were but few men now in the house whose connection with the same body of constituents had remained unbroken so long as had that which bound him to West's bar suture and he confidently hoped that that connection might be continued through another period of coming years till he might find himself in the glorious position of being the father of the County members of the House of Commons the placard said much more than this and hinted at sundry and various questions all of great interest to the county but it did not say one word of the Duke of omnium though everyone knew what the Duke was supposed to be doing in the matter he was as it were a great Lama shut up and a holy of Holy's inscrutable invisible inexorable not to be seen by men's eyes or heard by their ears hardly to be mentioned by ordinary men at such periods as these without an inward quaking but nevertheless that was he who was supposed to rule them euphemism required that his name should be mentioned at no public meetings in connection with the coming election but nevertheless most men in the county believed that he could send his dog up to the House of Commons as a member for West bar searcher if it so pleased him it was supposed therefore that our friend sour me would have no chance but he was lucky in finding assistance in a quarter from which he certainly had not deserved it he had been a staunch friend of the gods during the whole of his political life as indeed was to be expected seeing that he had been the Dukes nominee but nevertheless on the present occasion all the Giants connected with the county came forward to his rescue they did not do this with the acknowledged purpose of opposing the new they declared that they were actuated by a generous disinclination to see an old county member put from his seat but the world knew that the battle was to be waged against the great Lama it was to be a contest between the powers of aristocracy and the powers of oligarchy as those powers existed in West barsaat sure and it may be added that democracy would have very little to say to it on one side or the other the lower order of voters the small farmers and tradesmen would no doubt range themselves on the side of the Duke and would endeavor to flatter themselves that they were thereby furthering the views of the liberal side but they would in fact be led to the pole by an old-fashioned time-honored adherence to the will of their great Lama and by an apprehension of evil if that Lama should arise and shake himself in his wrath what might not come to the county if the Lama were to walk himself off he with his satellites and armies and quarters there he was a great Lama and though he came among them but seldom and was scarcely seen when he did come nevertheless and not the less but rather the more was obedience to him considered as salutary an opposition regarded as dangerous a great rural Lama there still sufficiently mighty in rural England but the priest of the temple mr. Fothergill was frequent enough in men's eyes and it was beautiful to hear with how varied a voice he eluded to the things around him and to the changes which were coming to the small farmers not only on the gathering property but on others also he spoke of the Duke is a beneficent influence shedding prosperity on all around him keeping up prices by his presence and forbidding the poor rates to rise above one informants in the pound by the general employment which he occasioned men must be mad he thought who would willingly fly in the Dukes face to the Squires from a distance he declared that no one had a right to charge the Duke with any interference as far at least as he knew The Dukes mind people would talk of things of which they understood nothing could anyone say that he had traced a single request for a vote home to the Duke Ollis did not alter the settled conviction on men's minds but it had its effect and tended to increase the mystery in which the Dukes doing were enveloped but to his own familiars to the gentry immediately around him mr. Fothergill merely winked his eye they knew what was what and so did he that you could never been bit yet in such matters and mr. Fothergill did not think that he would now submit himself to any such operation I never heard in what manner and at what rate mr. Fothergill received remuneration for the various services performed by him with reference to the Dukes property in bar sitter but I am very sure that whatever might be the amount he earned it thoroughly never was there a more faithful partisan or one who and his partisanship was more discreet in this matter of the coming election he declared that he himself personally on his own hook did not intend to bestir himself actively on behalf of Lord dumbbell Oh mr. sour me was an old friend of his and a very good fellow that was true but all the world must admit that Sowerby was not in the position which a county member ought to occupy he was a ruined man and it would not be for his own advantage that he should be maintained in a position which was fit only for a man of property he knew he Fothergill that mr. Sowerby must abandon all right and claimed a child a coats and if so what would be more observed than to acknowledge that he had a right and a claim to the seat in parliament as to Lord dumb bellow it was probable that he would soon become one of the largest landowners in the county and as such who could be more fit for the representation beyond this mr. Fothergill was not ashamed to confess so he said that he hoped to hold lord dumb bellows agency it would be compatible with his other duties and as a matter of course he intended to support Lord dumbbell oh he himself that is as to the Dukes mind in the matter but I have already explained how mr. Fothergill disposed of that in these days mr. Sowerby came down to his own house for ostensively it was still his own house but he came very quietly and his arrival was hardly known in his own village so his placard was stuck up so widely he himself took no electioneering steps none at least as yet the protection against arrest which he derived from Parliament would soon be over and those who were most bitter against the Duke the word that steps would be taken to arrest him should he give sufficient opportunity to the murmur nuns of the law that he would in such case be arrested with very likely but it was not likely that this would be done in any way at the Dukes instance mr. Fothergill declared indignantly that this insinuation made him very angry but he was too prudent a man to be very angry at anything and he knew how to make capital on his own side of charges such as these which overshot their own mark mr. Sowerby came down very quietly for all two coats and there he remained for a couple of days quite alone the place for a very different aspect now to that which we noticed when Mark Robarts drove up to it in the early pages of this little narrative there were no lights in the windows now and no voices from the stables no dogs barked and old was dead and silent as the grave during the greater portion of those two days he sat alone within the house almost unoccupied he did not even open his letters which lay piled on a crowded table in the small breakfast parlour in which he sat for the letters of such men come in piles and there were few of them which are pleasant in the reading there he sat troubled with thoughts which were sad enough now and then moving to and fro the house but for the most part occupied in thinking over the position to which he had brought himself what would he be in the world's eye if he ceased to be the owner of chalta coats and ceased also to be the member for his County he had lived ever before the world and though always harassed by encumbrances had been sustained and comforted by the excitement of a prominent position his deaths and difficulties in his a–to been bearable and he had borne the with ease so long that he had almost taught himself to think they would never be unendurable but now the order for foreclosing had gone forth and the harpies of the law by their present speed and sticking their flaws into the carcass of his property were atoning to themselves for the delay with which they inhibitive been compelled to approach their prey and the order as to a seat had gone forth also that placard had been drawn up by the combined efforts of his sister miss Dunstable and a certain well-known electioneering agent named closest till presumed to be in the interest of the Giants but poor Sowerby had but little confidence in the placard no one knew better than he how great was the Dukes power he was hopeless therefore as he walked about through those empty rooms thinking of his past life and of that life which was to come would it not be well for him that he would dead now that he was dying to all that had made the world pleasant we see and hear of such men as mr. Sowerby and are apt to think that they enjoy all that the world can give and that they enjoy that all without payment either in care or labour but I doubt that with even the most callous of them their periods of wretchedness must be frequent and that wretchedness very intense salmon and lamb and February and green peas and new potatoes in March can hardly make a man happy even though nobody pays for them and the feeling that one is an antecedent 'im celestial after whom are sure though lame nemesis is hobbling must sometimes disturb one slumbers on the present occasion Celeste dose felt that his nemesis had overtaken him leymah she had been and swift as he had run she had mouthed him at last and there was nothing left for him but to listen to the hoop set up at the sight of his own death throes it was a melancholy dreary place now that big house of childhood coats and though the woods were all green with their early leaves and the gardens thick with flowers they also were melancholy and dreary the lawns were untrimmed and weeds were going through the gravel and here and there a crack Dryad tumbled from her pedestal and sprawling in the grass gave a look of disorder to the whole place the wooden trellis work was shattered here and bending there the standard rose trees were stooping to the ground and the leaves of the winter still encumbered the boarders late on the evening of the second day mr. Sowerby strolled out and went through the gardens into the wood of all the inanimate things of the world this wood of childhood coats was the dearest to him he was not a man to whom his companions gave much credit for feelings akin to poetry but here out of the chaise his mind would be almost poetical while wandering among the forest trees he became susceptible of the tenderness of human nature he would listen to the birds singing and pick here and there a wild flower on his path he would watch the decay of the old trees and the progress of the young and make pictures in his eyes of every turn in the wood he would mark the color of a bit of road as it dipped into Adele and then passing through a watercourse Rose Brown rough irregular and beautiful against the bank on the other side and then he would sit and think of his old family how they had roamed their time out of mind in those tall two coats woods father and son and grandson in regular succession each giving them over without blemish and decreased to its successor so he would sit and so he did sit even now and thinking of these things wished that he had never been born it was dark night when he returned to the house and as he did so he resolved that he would quit the place altogether and give up the battle as lost the Duke should take it and do as he pleased with it and as for the seed in Parliament Lord damn bellow or any other equally gifted young patrician might hold it for him he would vanish from the scene and betake himself to some land from whence he would be neither heard nor seen and there starve such were now his future outlooks into the world and yet as regards health in all physical capacities he knew that he was still in the prime of his life yes in the prime of his life but what could he do with what remained to him of such a prime how could he turn either his mind or his strength to such account as might now be serviceable how could he in his sore need earned for himself even the barest bread would it not be better for him that he should die let not any one covet the lot of a spendthrift even though the days of his early pees and champagne seemed to be unnumbered for that lame nemesis will surely be up before the game has been all played out when mr. sour we reached his house he found that a message by telegraph had arrived for him in his absence it was from his sister and it informed him that she would be with him that night she was coming down by the mail train a telegraph to Barchester for post horses and would be a child of coats about two hours after midnight it was therefore manifest enough that her business was of importance exactly at to the Barchester post chaise did arrive and mrs. Harold Smith before she retired to her bed was closeted for about an hour with her brother well she said the following morning as they sat together at the breakfast table what do you say to it now if you accept her offer you should be with her lawyer this afternoon I suppose I must accepted said he certainly I think so no doubt it will take the property out of your hands as completely as though the Duke had it but it will leave you the house at any rate for your life what good will the house be when I can't keep it up but I am not so sure of that she will not want more than her fair interest and as it will be thoroughly well managed I should think that there would be something over something enough to keep up the house and then you know we must have some place in the country I tell you fairly Harriet that I will have nothing further to do with Harold in the way of money ah that was because you would go to him why did you not come to me and then Nathaniel it is the only way in which you can have a chance of keeping the seat she is the queerest woman I ever met but she seems resolved on beating the Duke I do not understand it but I have not the slightest objection she thinks that he is interfering with young Gresham about the crown property I had no idea that she had so much business at her fingers ends when I first proposed the matter she took it up quite as a lawyer might and seemed to have forgotten altogether what occurred about that other matter I wish I could forget it also said Mr Sowerberry think that she does when I was obliged to make some allusion to it at least I felt myself obliged and was very sorry afterwards that I did she merely laughed a great loud laugh as she always does and then went on about the business however she was clear about this that all the expenses of the election should be added to the sum to be advanced by her and that the house should be left to you without any rent if you choose to take the land around the house she must pay for it by the acre as the tenants do she was as clear about it all as though she had passed her life in a lawyer's office my readers will now pretty well understand what last step that excellent sister mrs. Harold Smith had taken on her brother's behalf nor will they be surprised to learn that in the course of the day mr. Sauer be hurried back to town and put himself into communication with Miss done stables lawyer end of chapter 37 chapter 38 of family parsonage 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 family parsonage by anthony trollope chapter 38 is there cause or just impediment I now purposed to visit another country house and bar secured but on this occasion our sojourn shall be in the eastern division in which is in every other County in England electioneering matters a paramount at the present moment it has been mentioned that mr. Gresham junior young Frank Gresham as he was always called lived at a place called box Hall Hill this property had come to his wife by will and he was now settled there seeing that his father still held the family seat of the Gresham's at Gresham spree at the present moment amidst unstable was staying at Vauxhall Hill with mrs. Frank Gresham they had left London as indeed all the world had done to the terrible dismay of the London tradesmen this dissolution of Parliament was ruining everybody except the country publicans and had of course destroyed the London season among other things mrs. Harold Smith had only just managed to catch miss Dunstable before she left London but she did do so and the great air has had at once seen her lawyers and instructed them how to act with reference to the mortgages on the child AQAP's property miss Dunstable was in the habit of speaking of herself and her pecuniary concerns as though she herself were rarely allowed to meddle in their management but this was one of those small jokes which he ordinarily perpetrated for in truth few ladies and perhaps not many gentlemen have a more thorough knowledge of their own concerns who are a more potent voice in their own affairs than was possessed by Miss Dunstable circumstances had lately brought her much into bar searcher and she had their contracted very intimate friendships she was now disposed to become if possible a bar searcher proprietor and with this view had lately agreed with young mr. Gresham that she would become the purchaser of the crown property as however the purchase had been commenced in his name it was so to be continued but now as we are aware it was rumoured that after all the duke or if not the duke then the Marquess of dum bellow was to be the future owner of the chaise miss Dunstable however was not a person to give up her object if she could attain it nor under the circumstances where she had all displeased at finding herself endowed with the power of rescuing the Sowerby portion of the childr coats property from the duke's clutches why had the Duke meddled with her over their friend as to the other property therefore it was arranged that the full amount due to the Duke on the mortgage should be ready for immediate payment but it was arranged also that the security as held by Miss Dunstable should be very valid missed unstable at Boxhall hill or at Gresham spree with a very different person from Miss Dunstable in London and it was this difference with so much vexed mrs. Gresham not that her friend omitted to bring with her into the country her London wit an aptitude for fun but that she did not take with her up to town the genuine goodness and love of honesty which made her loveable in the country she was as it were two persons and mrs. Gresham could not understand that any lady should permit herself to be more worldly at one time of year than at another or in one place than in any other well My dear I'm heartily glad we've done with that miss Dunstable said to her who she sat herself down to her desk in the drawing-room on the first morning after her arrival in box Hall Hill what does that mean said mrs. Gresham why London and smoke in late hours and standing Wednes legs before hours of the stretch on the top of one's own staircase to be bowed at by anyone who chooses to come that's all done for one year at any rate you know you like it no Mary that's just what I don't know I don't know whether I like it or not sometimes when the spirit of that dearest of all women mrs. Harold Smith is upon me I think that I do like it but then again when other spirits are on me I think that I don't and who were the owners of the other spirits oh you are one of course but you are a weak little thing by no means able to contend with such a Samson as mrs. Harold and then you are a little given to wickedness yourself you know you've learned to like London well enough since you sat down to the table of debase your uncle he's the real impracticable unapproachable Lazarus who declares that he can't come down because of the big Gulf I wonder how he'd behave if someone left him ten thousand a year uncommon Lee well I am sure oh yes he is a Lazarus now so of course we are bound to speak well of him but I should like to see him tried I don't doubt but what he'd have a house in Belgrave square and become noted for his little dinners before the first year of his trial was over well and why not you would not wish him to be an anchorite I am told that he is going to try his luck not with ten thousand a year but with one or two what do you mean jane tells me they all say it Gresham's Bree that he is going to marry Lady scatcherd now lady scatcherd was a widow living in those parts an excellent woman but not one formed by nature to Grace Society of the highest order what exclaimed Oh mrs. Gresham rising up from her chair while her eyes flashed with anger at such a rumor well my dear don't eat me I don't say that it is so I only say that Jane said so then you ought to send Jane out of the house you may be sure of this my dear Jane would not have told me if somebody had not her and you believed I have said nothing about that but you look as though you had believed it do I let us see what sort of a look it is this look of faith Andrus Dunstable got up and went to the glass over the fireplace but Mary my dear ain't you old enough to know that you should not credit people's looks you should believe nothing nowadays and I did not believe the story about poor lady scatcherd I know the doctor well enough to be sure that he is not a marrying man what a nasty hackneyed false phrase that is that of a marrying man it sounds as though some men were in the habit of getting married three or four times a month it means a great deal all the same one can tell very soon whether a man is likely to marry or no and can one tell the same of a woman the thing is so different all unmarried women are necessarily in the market but if they behave themselves properly they make no signs now there was Griselda Grantley of course she intended to get herself a husband and a very grand one she is God but she always looked as though butter would not melt in her mouth it would have been very wrong to call her a marrying girl oh of course she was says mrs. Gresham with that sort of acrimony which one pretty young woman so frequently expresses with reference to another but if one could always tell of a woman as you say you can of a man I should be able to tell of you now I wonder whether you are a marrying woman I have never been able to make up my mind yet miss Dunstable remained silent for a few moments as though she were at first minded to take the question as being in some sort one made in earnest but then she attempted to laugh at all well I wonder at that said she as it was only the other day I told you how many offers I had refused yes but you did not tell me whether any had been made that you meant to accept none such was ever made to me talking of that I shall never forget your cousin the Honorable George he is not my cousin well your husband's that would not be fair to show a man's letters but I should like to show you his you are determined then to remain single I didn't say that but why do you cross question me so because I think so much about you I am afraid you will become so afraid of men's motives mr. doubt that anyone can be honest and yet sometimes I think you would be a happier woman and a better woman if you were married to such a one as the Honorable George for instance no not that such a one as him you were probably picked out the worst or to mr. sour me well no not to mr. sour be either I would not have you marry any man that looked to you for your money principally and how is it possible that I should expect anyone to look on me principally for anything else you don't see my difficulty my dear if I had only five hundred a year I might come across some decent middle-aged person it's like myself who would like me myself pretty well and would like my little income pretty well also he would not tell me any violet lie and perhaps no lie at all I should take two women the same sort of way and we might do very well but as it is how is it possible that any disinterested person should learn to like me how could such a man set about it if a sheep have two heads is not the fact of the two heads the first and indeed the only thing which the world regards and that sheep must not be so is a matter of course I am a sheep with two heads all this money which my father put together and which has been growing since like grass under may showers has turned me into an abortion I am NOT the giantess eight feet high or the dwarf that stands in the man's hand or the two-headed sheep but I am the unmarried woman with half a dozen millions of money as I believe some people think under such circumstances have I a fair chance of getting my own sweet bit of grass to nibble like any ordinary animal with one head I never was very beautiful and I have not more so now than I was 15 years ago I am quite sure it is not that which hinders it you would not call yourself plain and even plain women are married every day and her love too as well as pretty women are they well we won't say any more about that but I don't expect too great many lovers on account of my beauty if ever you hear of such a one mind you tell me it was almost on mrs. Gresham's tongue to say that she did know of one such meaning her uncle but in truth she did not know any such thing nor could she boasts to herself that she had good grounds for feeling that it was so certainly none sufficient to justify her and speaking of it her uncle had said no word to her on the matter and had been confused and embarrassed when the idea of such a marriage was hinted to him but nevertheless mrs. Gresham did think that each of these two was well inclined to love the other and that they would be happier together than they would be single so difficulty however was very great for the doctor would be terribly afraid of being thought covetous in regard to miss dun stables money and it would hardly be expected that she should be induced to make the first overtures of the doctor my uncle would be the only man that I can think of that would be at all fit for you said mrs. Gresham boldly what and robbed poor lady scatcherd said miss Dunstable oh very well if you choose to make a joke of his name in that way I have done why God bless the girl what does she want me to say and as for joking surely that is innocent enough nearest tender about the doctors that we were a girl of seventeen it's not about him but it's such a shame to laugh at poor dear lady scatcherd if she were to hear it she lose all the comfort in having my uncle near her and I'm to marry him so that she may be safe with her friend very well I have done and mrs. Gresham who had already got up from her seat employed herself very sedulous ly in arranging flowers which had been brought in for the draw room tables thus they remained silent for a minute or two during which she began to reflect that after all it might probably be thought that she was also endeavoring to catch the great heiress for her uncle and now you are angry with me said Miss Dunstable no I am NOT oh but you are do you think I'm such a fool that's not to see when a person's vexed you wouldn't have twitched that geraniums head off have you been in a proper frame of mind I don't like that joke about lady scatcherd that is that all marry now do try and be true if you can you remember the bishop Magna is very toss the fact is that you've got into such a way of being sharp and saying sharp things among your friends up in London that you can hardly answer a person without it can't hi dear dear what a mentor you are Mary no poor lad that ever ran up from Oxford for a spree in town got so lectured for his dissipation and iniquities as I do well I beg dr. thorns pardon and lady scatcherd's and I won't be sharp anymore and I will let me see what was it I was to do marry him myself I believe was not that it no you're not half good enough for him I know that I'm quite sure of that so I am so sharp I'm very humble you can't accuse me of putting any great value on myself perhaps not as much as you ought to do on yourself now what do you mean Mary I won't be bullied and teased and have innuendos thrown out of me because you've got something on your mind and don't quite care to speak it out if you have got anything to say say it but mrs. Gresham did not choose to say it at that moment she held her peace and went on arranging her flowers now were the more satisfied air and without destruction to the geraniums and when she had grouped her bunches properly she carried the jar from one part of the room to another backwards and forwards trying the effect of the colours as though her mind was quite intent upon her hours and was for the moment wholly unoccupied with any other subject but miss Dunstable was not the woman to put up with this she sat silent in her place while her friend made one or two turns about the room and then she got up from her seat also Mary she said give over about those wretched bits of green branches and leave the jars where they are you're trying to fidget me into a passion Am I said mrs. Gresham standing opposite to a big bowl and putting her head a little on one side as though she could better look at a handiwork in that position you know you are and it's all because you lack courage to speak out you didn't begin at me in this way for nothing I do lack courage that's just it said mrs. Gresham still giving a twist here and a set there to some of the small sprigs which constituted the background of her bouquet I do lack courage to have ill motives imputed to me I was thinking of saying something and I am afraid and therefore I will not say it and now if you like I will be ready to take you out in ten minutes but miss Dunstable was not going to be put off in this way and to tell the truth I must admit that her friend mrs. Gresham was not using her altogether well she should either have held her peace on the matter altogether which would probably have been her wiser course or she should have declared her own ideas boldly feeling secure in her own conscience as to her own motives I shall not stir from this room said Miss Dunstable till I've had this matter out with you and as for imputations my imputing bad motives to you I don't know how far you may be joking and saying what you call sharp things to me but you have no right to think that I should think evil of you if you really do think so it is treason to the love I have for you if I thought that you thought so I could not remain in the house with you what you are not able to know the difference which one makes between one's real friends and one's mark friends I don't believe it of you and I know you were only having to bully me and miss Dunstable now talk her turn of walking up and down the room well she shan't be bullied said mrs. Gresham leaving her flowers and putting her arm around her friend's waist at least not here in this house although she is sometimes such a bully herself Mary you have gone too far about this to go back tell me what it was that was on your mind and as far as it concerns me I will answer you honestly mrs. Gresham now began to repent that she had made her little attempt that uttering of hints and a half joking way was all very well and might possibly bring about the desired results without the necessity of any formal suggestion on her part but now she was so brought to book that she must say something formal she must commit herself to the expression of her own wishes and to an expression also of an opinion as to what had been the wishes of her friend and this she must do without being able to say anything as to the wishes of that third person well she said I suppose you know what I meant I suppose I did said Miss Dunstable but it is not at all the less necessary that you should say it out I am NOT to commit myself by my interpretation of your thoughts while you remain perfectly secure and having only hinted at your own I hate hints as I do the mischief I go in for the Bishop's doctrine Magna asked very toss well I don't know said mrs. Gresham ah but I do said Miss Dunstable and therefore go on or forever hold your peace that's just it said mrs. Gresham what's just it said Miss Dunstable it's a quotation out of the prayer book which you finished just now if any of you know cause or just impediment why these two persons should not be joined together in holy matrimony ye are to declare it this is the first time of asking do you know any cause miss Dunstable do you know any mrs. Gresham none on my honor said the younger lady putting her hand upon her breast ah but do you not a Miss Dunstable caught hold of her arm and spoke almost abruptly in her energy no certainly not what embedment if I did I should not have Roche the subject I declare I think you would be both very happy together of course there is one impediment we all know that that must be your lookout what do you mean what impediment your own money Shaw did you find that an impediment in marrying Frank Gresham ah the matter was so different there he had much more to give than I had when all was counted and I had no money when we when we were first engaged and the tears came into her eyes as she thought of the circumstances of her early love all of which have been narrated in the county chronicles of our suture and may now be read by men and women interested therein yes yours was a love match I declare marry I often think that you are the happiest woman of whom I ever heard to have it all to give when you were so sure that you were loved while you had yet nothing yes I was sure and she wiped the sweet tears for her eyes as she remembered a certain day when a certain youth had come to her claiming all kinds of privileges in a very determined manner she had been no heiress then yes I was sure but now with you dear you can't make yourself poor again if you can trust no one I can I can trust him as regards that I do trust him altogether but how can I tell that he would care for me do you not know that he likes you ah yes and so he does Lady scatcherd as Dunstable and why not lady scatcherd as well as me we are of the same kind come from the same class not quite that I think yes from the same class only I have managed to poke myself up among Dukes and duchesses whereas she has been content to remain where God placed her where I beat her in art she beats me in nature you know you were talking nonsense I think that we are both doing that absolute nonsense such as school girls of 18 talked to each other but there is a relief in it is there not it would be a terrible curse to have to talk sense always well that's done and now let us go out missus Gresham was sure after this that Miss Dunstable would be a consenting party to the little arrangement which she contemplated but of that she had felt but little doubt for some considerable time past the difficulty lay on the other side and all that she had as yet done was to convince herself that she would be safe in assuring her uncle of success if he could be induced to take the enterprise in hand he was to come to Boxhall Hill that evening and to remain there for a day or two if anything could be done in the matter now would be the time for the knowing it so at least thought mrs. Gresham the doctor did come and did remain for the allotted time at Vauxhall Hill but when he left mrs. Gresham had not been successful indeed he did not seem to enjoy his visit as was usual with him and there was very little of that pleasant friendly intercourse which was sometime past had been customary between him and Miss Dunstable there were no passages of arms between them no abuse from the doctor against the ladies London gaiety no raillery from the lady as to the doctors country habits they were very courteous to each other and as mrs. Gresham thought to civil by half nor as far as she could see that they ever remain alone in each other's company for five minutes at a time during the whole period of the doctor's visit what thought mrs. Gresham to herself what if she had set these two friends at variance with each other instead of binding them together in the closest and most durable friendship but still she had an idea that as she had begun to play this game she must play it out she felt conscious that what she had done do evil unless she could so carry it on us to make it result in good indeed unless she could so manage she would have done a manifest injury to miss Dunstable and forcing her to declare her thoughts and feelings she had already spoken to her uncle in London and though he had said nothing to show that he approved of her plan neither had he said anything to show that he disapproved it therefore she had hoped to the whole of those three days that he would make some sign at any rate to her that he would in some way declare what were his own thoughts on this matter but the morning of his departure came and he had declared nothing uncle she said in the last five minutes of his sojourn there after he had already taken leave of mist on stable and shaken hands with mrs. Gresham have you ever thought of what I said to you up in London yes Mary of course I have thought about it such an idea as that when put into a man's head will make itself thought about well and what next do talk to me about it do not be so hard and unlike yourself I have very little to say about it I can tell you this for certain you may if you like Mary Mary I would not say so if I were not sure that I should not lead you into trouble you were foolish in wishing this my dear foolish in trying to tempt an old man into a folly not foolish if I know that it will make you both happier he made her no further reply but stooping down that she might kiss him as was his wand went his way leaving her almost miserable in the thought that she had troubled all these waters to no purpose what would Miss Dunstable think of her but on that afternoon Miss Dunstable seemed to be as happy and even-tempered as ever end of chapter 38

1 thought on “Framley Parsonage | Anthony Trollope | General Fiction | Sound Book | English | 9/12

  1. Framley Parsonage | Anthony Trollope | General Fiction | Sound Book | English | 9/12

    35: [00:00:00] – 35 – The Story of King Cophetua

    36: [00:25:11] – 36 – Kidnapping at Hogglestock

    37: [00:48:56] – 37 – Mr. Sowerby without Company

    38: [01:13:38] – 38 – Is There Cause or Just Impediment?

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