Part 12 out of 18
working; this is not sitting.'
'Mr Dalrymple had been explaining to me the precarious nature of an
artist's profession,' said Clara.
'It is not precarious with him,' said Mrs Dobbs Broughton,
'Not in a general way, perhaps; but to prove the truth of his words he
was going to treat Jael worse than Jael treats Sisera.'
'I was going to slit the picture from the top to the bottom.'
'And why?' said Mrs Broughton, putting her hands to heaven in tragic
'Just to show Miss Van Siever how little I care about it.'
'And how little you care about her, too,' said Mrs Broughton.
'She might take that as she like.' After this there was another genuine
sitting, and the real work went on as though there had been no episode.
Jael fixed her face, and held her hammer as though her mind and heart
were solely bent on seeming to be slaying Sisera. Dalrymple turned his
eyes from the canvas to the model, and from the model to the canvas,
working with his hand all the while, as though that last pathetic
'Clara' had never been uttered; and Mrs Dobbs Broughton reclined on a
sofa, looking at them and thinking of her own singularly romantic
position, till her mind was filled with a poetic frenzy. In one moment
she resolved that she would hate Clara as a woman was never hated by
woman; and then there were daggers, and poison-cups, and strangling
cords in her eye. In the next she was as firmly determined that she
would love Mrs Conway Dalrymple as woman was never loved by woman; and
then she saw herself kneeling by a cradle, and tenderly nursing a baby,
of which Conway was to be the father and Clara the mother. And so she
went to sleep.
For some time Dalrymple did not observe this; but at last there was a
little sound--even the ill-nature of Miss Demolines could hardly have
called it a snore--and he became aware that for practical purposes he
and Miss Van Siever were again alone together. 'Clara,' he said in a
whisper. Mrs Broughton instantly aroused herself from her slumbers, and
rubbed her eyes. 'Dear, dear, dear,' she said, 'I declare it's past one.
I'm afraid I must turn you both out. One more sitting, I suppose, will
finish it, Conway?'
'Yes, one more,' said he. It was always understood that he and Clara
should not leave the house together, and therefore he remained painting
when she left the room. 'And now, Conway,' said Mrs Broughton, 'I
suppose that all is over?'
'I don't know what you mean by being all over.'
'No--of course not. You look at it in another light, no doubt.
Everything is beginning for you. But you must pardon me, for my heart is
distracted--distracted--distracted!' Then she sat down upon the floor,
and burst into tears. What was he to do? He thought that the woman
should either give him up altogether, or not give him up. All this fuss
about it was irrational! He would not have made love to Clara Van Siever
in her room if she had not told him to do so!
'Maria,' he said, in a very grave voice, 'any sacrifice that is required
on my part on your behalf I am ready to make.'
'No sir; the sacrifices shall all be made by me. It is the part of a
woman to be ever sacrificial!' Poor Mrs Dobbs Broughton! 'You shall give
up nothing. The world is at your feet, and you shall have
everything--youth, beauty, wealth, station, love--love; friendship
also, if you will accept it from one so poor, so broken, so secluded as
I shall be.' At each of the last words there had been a desperate sob;
and as she was still crouching in the middle of the room, looking up
into Dalrymple's face while he stood over her, the scene was one which
had much in it that transcended the doings of everyday life, much that
would be ever memorable, and much, I have no doubt, that was thoroughly
enjoyed by the principal actor. As for Conway Dalrymple, he was so
second-rate a personage in the whole thing, that it mattered little
whether he enjoyed it or not. I don't think he did enjoy it. 'And now,
Conway,' she said, 'I will give you some advice. And when in after-days
you shall remember this interview, and reflect how that advice was given
you--with what solemnity.'--here she clasped both her hands
together--'I think that you will follow it. Clara Van Siever will now
become your wife.'
'I do not know that at all,' said Dalrymple.
'Clara Van Siever will now become your wife,' repeated Mrs Broughton in
a louder voice, impatient of opposition. 'Love her. Cleave to her. Make
her flesh of your flesh and bone of your bone. But rule her! Yes, rule
her! Let her be your second self, but not your first self. Rule her!
Love her. Cleave to her. Do not leave her alone, to feed on her own
thoughts as I have done--as I have been forced to do. Now go. No,
Conway, not a word; I will not hear a word. You must go, or I must.'
Then she rose quickly from her lowly attitude, and prepared herself for
a dart to the door. It was better by far that he should go, and so he
An American when he has spent a pleasant day will tell you that he has
had a 'good time'. I think that Mrs Dobbs Broughton, if she had ever
spoken the truth of that day's employment would have acknowledged that
she had had a 'good time'. I think that she enjoyed her morning's work.
But as for Conway Dalrymple, I doubt whether he did enjoy his morning's
work. 'A man may have too much of this sort of thing, and then he
becomes very sick of his cake.' Such was the nature of his thoughts as
he returned to his own abode.
WHY DON'T YOU HAVE AN 'IT' FOR YOURSELF?
Of course it came to pass that Lily Dale and Emily Dunstable were soon
very intimate, and that they saw each other every day. Indeed, before
long they would have been living together in the same house had it not
been that the squire had felt reluctant to abandon the independence of
his own lodgings. When Mrs Thorne had pressed her invitation for the
second, and then for the third time, asking them both to come to her
large house, he had begged his niece to go and leave him alone. 'You
need not regard me,' he had said, speaking not with the whining voice of
complaint, but with that thin tinge of melancholy which was usual to
him. 'I am so much alone down in Allington, that you need not mind
leaving me.' but Lily would not go on those terms, and therefore they
still lived together in the lodgings. Nevertheless Lily was every day at
Mrs Thorne's house, and thus a great intimacy grew up between the girls.
Emily Dunstable had neither brother nor sister, and Lily's nearest male
relative in her own degree was now Miss Dunstable's betrothed husband.
It was natural therefore that they should at any rate try to like each
other. It afterwards came to pass that Lily did go to Mrs Thorne's
house, and she stayed there for a while; but when that occurred the
squire had gone back to Allington.
Among other generous kindnesses Mrs Thorne insisted that Bernard should
hire a horse for his cousin Lily. Emily Dunstable rode daily, and of
course Captain Dale rode with her;--and now Lily joined the party.
Almost before she knew what was being done she found herself provided
with hat and habit and horse and whip. It was a way with Mrs Thorne that
they who came within the influence of her immediate sphere should be
made to feel that the comforts and luxuries arising from her wealth
belonged to a common stock, and were the joint property of them all.
Things were not offered and taken and talked about, but they made their
appearance, and were used as a matter of course. If you go to stay at a
gentleman's house you understand that, as a matter of course, you will
be provided with meat and drink. Some hosts furnish you also with
cigars. A small number give you stabling and forage for you horse; and a
very select few mount you on hunting days, and send you out with a groom
and a second horse. Mrs Thorne went beyond all others in this
open-handed hospitality. She had enormous wealth at her command, and had
but few of those all-absorbing drains upon her wealth which in this
country make so many rich men poor. She had no family property--no place
to keep up in which she did not live. She had no retainers to be
maintained because they were retainers. She had neither sons nor
daughters. Consequently she was able to be lavish in her generosity; and
as her heart was very lavish, she would have given her friends gold to
eat had gold been good for eating. Indeed there was no measure in her
giving--unless when the idea came upon her that the recipient of her
favours was trading on them. Then she could hold her hand very stoutly.
Lily Dale had not liked the idea of being fitted out thus expensively.
A box at the opera was all very well, as it was not procured especially
for her. And tickets for other theatres did not seem to come unnaturally
for a night or two. But her spirit had militated against the hat and the
habit and the horse. The whip was a little present from Emily Dunstable,
and that of course was accepted with a good grace. Then there came the
horse--as though from the heavens; there seemed to be ten horses,
twenty horses, if anybody needed them. All these things seemed to flow
naturally into Mrs Thorne's establishment, like air through the windows.
It was very pleasant, but Lily hesitated when she was told that a habit
was to be given to her. 'My dear old aunt insists,' said Emily
Dunstable. 'Nobody ever thinks of refusing anything from her. If you
only knew what some people will take, and some people will even ask, who
have nothing to do with her at all!' 'But I have nothing to do with
her--in that way I mean,' said Lily. 'Oh, yes, you have,' said Emily.
'You and Bernard are as good as brother and sister, and Bernard and I
are as good as man and wife, and my aunt and I are as good as mother and
daughter. So you see, in a sort of way you are a child of the house.' So
Lily accepted the habit; but made a stand at the hat, and paid for that
out of her own pocket. When the squire had seen Lily on horseback he
asked her questions about it. 'It was a hired horse, I suppose?' he
said. 'I think it came direct from heaven,' said Lily. 'What do you
mean, Lily?' said the squire angrily. 'I mean that when people are so
rich and good-natured as Mrs Thorne it is not good inquiring where
things come from. All that I know is that the horses come out of Potts'
livery-stable. They talk of Potts as if he were a good-natured man who
provides horses for the world without troubling anybody.' Then the
squire spoke to Bernard about it, saying that he would insist on
defraying his niece's expenses. But Bernard swore that he should give
his uncle no assistance. 'I would not speak to her about such a thing
for all the world,' said Bernard. 'Then I shall,' said the squire.
In those days Lily thought much of Johnny Eames--gave to him perhaps
more of that thought which leads to love than she had ever given him
before. She still heard the Crawley question discussed every day. Mrs
Thorne, as we all know, was at this time a Barsetshire personage, and
was of course interested in Barsetshire subjects; and she was specially
anxious in the matter, having strong hopes with reference to the
marriage of Major Grantly and Grace, and strong hopes also that Grace's
father might escape the fangs of justice. The Crawley case was
constantly in Lily's ears, and as constantly she heard high praise
awarded to Johnny for his kindness in going after the Arabins. 'He must
be a fine young fellow,' said Mrs Thorne, 'and we'll have him down at
Chaldicotes some day. Old Lord De Guest found him out and made a friend
of him, and old Lord De Guest was no fool.' Lilly was not altogether
free from a suspicion that Mrs Thorne knew the story of Johnny's love
and was trying to serve Johnny--as other people had tried to do, very
ineffectually. When this suspicion came upon her she would shut her
heart against her lover's praises, and swear that she would stand by
those two letters which she had written in her book at home. But the
suspicion would not always be there, and there did come upon her a
conviction that her lover was more esteemed among men and women than she
had been accustomed to believe. Her cousin, Bernard Dale, who certainly
was regarded in the world as somebody, spoke of him as an equal; where
in former days Bernard had always regarded Johnny Eames as standing low
in the world's regards. Then Lily, when alone, would remember a certain
comparison which she once made between Adolphus Crosbie and John Eames,
when neither of the men had as yet pleaded their cause to her, and which
had been very much in favour of the former. She had then declared that
Johnny was a 'mere clerk'. She had a higher opinion of him now--a much
higher opinion, even though he could never be more to her than a friend.
In these days Lily's new ally, Emily Dunstable, seemed to Lily to be so
happy! There was in Emily a complete realisation of that idea of
ante-nuptial blessedness, of which Lily had often thought so much.
Whatever Emily did she did for Bernard; and, to give Captain Dale his
due, he received all the sweets which were showered upon him with
becoming signs of gratitude. I suppose it is always the case at such
times that the girl has the best of it, and on this occasion Emily
Dunstable certainly made the most of her happiness. 'I do envy you,'
Lily said one day. The acknowledgement seemed to have been extorted from
her involuntarily. She did not laugh as she spoke, or follow up what she
had said with other words intended to take away the joke of what she had
uttered--had it been a joke; but she sat silent, looking at the girl who
was rearranging flowers which Bernard had brought to her.
'I can't give him up to you, you know,' said Emily.
'I don't envy you him, but "it",' said Lily.
'Then go and get an "it" for yourself. Why don't you have an "it" for
yourself? You can have an "it" tomorrow, if you like--or two or three,
if all that I hear is true.'
'No I can't,' said Lily. 'Things have gone wrong with me. Don't ask me
anything more about it. Pray don't. I shan't speak of it if you do.'
'Of course I will not if you tell me I must not.'
'I do tell you so. I have been a fool to say anything about it.
However, I have got over my envy now, and am ready to go out with your
aunt. Here she is.'
'Things have gone wrong with me.' She repeated the same words to
herself over and over again. With all the efforts which she had made she
could not quite reconcile herself to the two letters which she had
written in the book. This coming up to London, and riding in the Park,
and going to the theatres, seemed to unsettle her. At home she had
schooled herself down into quiescence, and made herself think that she
believed that she was satisfied with the prospects of her life. But now
she was all astray again, doubting about herself, hankering after
something over and beyond that which seemed to be allotted to her--but,
nevertheless, assuring herself that she never would accept of anything
I must not, if I can help it, let the reader suppose that she was
softening her heart to John Eames because John Eames was spoken well of
in the world. But with all of us, in the opinion which we form of those
around us, we take unconsciously the opinion of others. A woman is
handsome because the world says so. Music is charming to us because it
charms others. We drink our wines with other men's palates, and look at
our pictures with other men's eyes. When Lily heard John Eames praised
by all around her, it could not be but that she should praise him
too--not out loud, as others did, but in the silence of her heart. And
then his constancy to her had been so perfect! If that other one had
never come! If it could be that she might begin again, and that she
might be spared that episode in her life which had brought him and her
'When is Mr Eames going to be back?' Mrs Thorne said at dinner one day.
On this occasion the squire was dining at Mrs Thorne's house; and there
were three or four others there--among them a Mr Harold Smith, who was
in Parliament, and his wife, and John Eames's especial friend, Sir
Raffle Buffle. The question was addressed to the squire, but the squire
was slow to answer, and it was taken up by Sir Raffle Buffle.
'He'll be back on the 15th,' said the knight, 'unless he means to play
truant. I hope he won't do that, as his absence has been a terrible
inconvenience to me.' Then Sir Raffle explained that John Eames was his
private secretary, and that Johnny's journey to the Continent had been
made with, and could not have been made without, his sanction. 'When I
came to hear of the story, of course I told him that he must go.
"Eames," I said, "take the advice of a man who knows the world.
Circumstanced as you are, your are bound to go." And he went.'
'Upon my word that was very good-natured of you,' said Mrs Thorne.
'I never keep a fellow to his desk who has really go important business
elsewhere,' said Sir Raffle. 'The country, I say, can afford to do as
much as that for her servants. But then I like to know that the business
is business. One doesn't choose to be humbugged.'
'I daresay you are humbugged, as you call it, very often,' said Harold
'Perhaps so; perhaps I am; perhaps that is the opinion which they have
of me at the Treasury. But you were hardly long enough there, Smith, to
have learned much about it, I should say.'
'I don't suppose I should have known much about it, as you call it, if I
had stayed till Doomsday.'
'I daresay not; I daresay not. Men who begin as late as you did never
know what official life really means. Now I've been at it all my life,
and I think I do understand it.'
'It's not a profession I should like unless where it's joined with
politics,' said Harold Smith.
'But then it's apt to be so short,' said Sir Raffle Buffle. Now it had
once happened in the life of Mr Harold Smith that he had been in a
Ministry, but, unfortunately, that Ministry had gone out almost within a
week of the time of Mr Smith's adhesion. Sir Raffle and Mr Smith had
known each other for many years, and were accustomed to make civil
little speeches to each other in society.
'I'd sooner be a horse in a mill than have to go to an office every
day,' said Mrs Smith, coming to her husband's assistance. 'You, Sir
Raffle, have kept yourself fresh and pleasant through it all; but who
besides you ever did?'
'I hope I am fresh,' said Sir Raffle; 'and as for pleasantness, I will
leave that for you to determine.'
'There can be but one opinion,' said Mrs Thorne.
The conversation had strayed away from John Eames, and Lily was
disappointed. It was a pleasure to her when people talked of him in her
hearing, and as a question or two had been asked about him, making him
the hero of the moment, it seemed to her that he was being robbed of his
due when the little amenities between Mr and Mrs Harold Smith and Sir
Raffle Buffle banished his name from the circle. Nothing more, however,
was said of him at dinner, and I fear that he would have been altogether
forgotten throughout the evening, had not Lily Dale referred--not to
him, which she could not possibly have been induced to do--but to the
subject of his journey. 'I wonder whether poor Mr Crawley will be found
guilty?' She said to Sir Raffle upon in the drawing-room.
'I am afraid he will; I am afraid he will,' said Sir Raffle; 'and I
fear, my dear Miss Dale, that I must go further than that. I fear I must
express an opinion that he is guilty.'
'Nothing will ever make me think so,' said Lily.
'Ladies are always tender-hearted,' said Sir Raffle, 'and especially
young ladies--and pretty young ladies. I do not wonder that such should
be your opinion. But you see, Miss Dale, a man of business has to look
at these things in a business light. What I want to know is, where did
he get that cheque? He is bound to be explicit in answering that before
anybody can acquit him.'
'That is just what Mr Eames has gone abroad to learn.'
'It is very well for Eames to go abroad--though, upon my word, I don't
know whether I should not have given him different advice if I had known
how much I was to be tormented by his absence. The thing couldn't have
happened at a more unfortunate time;--the Ministry going out and
everything. But, as I was saying, it is all very well for him to do what
he can. He is related to them, and is bound to save the honour of his
relations if it be possible. I like him for going. I always liked him.
As I said to my friend De Guest, "That young man will make his way." And
I rather fancy that the chance word which I spoke then to my valued old
friend was not thrown away in Eames's favour. But, my dear Miss Dale,
where did Mr Crawley get that cheque? That's what I want to know. If you
can tell me that, then I can tell you whether or no he will be
Lily did not feel a strong prepossession in favour of Sir Raffle, in
spite of his praise of John Eames. The harsh voice of the man annoyed
her, and his egotism offended her. When, much later in the evening, his
character came on for discussion between herself and Mrs Thorne and
Emily Dunstable, she had not a word to say in his favour. But still she
had been pleased to meet him, because he was the man with whom Johnny's
life was most specially concerned. I think that a portion of her dislike
to him arose from the fact that in continuing the conversation he did
not revert to his private secretary, but preferred to regale her with
stories of his own doings in wonderful cases which had partaken of
interest similar to that which now attached itself to Mr Crawley's case.
He had known a man who had stolen a hundred pounds, and had never been
found out; and another man who had been arrested for stealing
two-and-sixpence which was found afterwards sticking to a bit of butter
at the bottom of a plate. Mrs Thorne had heard all this, and had
answered him, 'Dear me, Sir Raffle,' she had said, 'what a great many
thieves you have had amongst your acquaintance!' This had rather
disconcerted him, and then there had been no more talking about Mr
It had been arranged on this morning that Mr Dale should return to
Allington and leave Lily with Mrs Thorne. Some special need of his
presence at home, real or assumed, had arisen, and he had declared that
he must shorten his stay in London by about half the intended period.
The need would not have been so pressing, probably, had he not felt that
Lily would be more comfortable with Mrs Thorne than in his lodgings in
Sackville Street. Lily had at first declared that she would return with
him, but everybody had protested against this. Emily Dunstable had
protested against it very stoutly; Mrs Dale herself had protested
against it by letter; and Mrs Thorne's protest had been quite imperious
in its nature. 'Indeed,' my dear, you'll do nothing of the kind. I'm
sure your mother wouldn't wish it. I look upon it as quite essential
that you and Emily should learn to know each other.' 'But we do know
each other; don't we, Emily?' said Lily. 'Not quite well yet,' said
Emily. Then Lily had laughed, and so the matter was settled. And now, on
this present occasion, Mr Dale was at Mrs Thorne's house for the last
time. His conscience had been perplexed about Lily's horse, and if
anything was to be said it must be said now. The subject was very
disagreeable to him, and he was angry with Bernard because Bernard had
declined to manage it for him after his own fashion. But he had told
himself so often that anything was better than a pecuniary obligation,
that he was determined to speak his mind to Mrs Thorne, and to beg her
to allow him to have his way. So he waited till the Harold Smiths were
gone, and Sir Raffle Buffle, and then, when Lily was apart with
Emily--for Bernard Dale had left them--he found himself at last alone
with Mrs Thorne.
'I can't be too much obliged to you,' he said, 'for your kindness to my
'Oh, laws, that's nothing,' said Mrs Thorne. 'We look on her as one of
'I'm sure she is grateful--very grateful; and so am I. She and Bernard
have been brought up so much together that it is very desirable that she
should not be unknown to Bernard's wife.'
'Exactly--that's just what I mean. Blood's thicker than water; isn't
it? Emily's child, if she has one, will be Lily's cousin.'
'Her first-cousin once removed,' said the squire, who was accurate in
these matters. Then he drew himself up in his seat and compressed his
lips together, and prepared himself for his task. It was very
disagreeable. Nothing, he thought, could be more disagreeable. 'I have a
little thing to speak about,' he said at last, 'which I hope will not
'Yes; about Lily.'
'I'm not very easily offended, and I don't know how I could possibly be
offended about her.'
'I'm an old-fashioned man, Mrs Thorne, and don't know much about the
ways of the world. I have always been down in the country, and maybe I
have prejudices. You won't refuse to humour one of them, I hope?'
'You're beginning to frighten me, Mr Dale; what is it?'
'About Lily's horse.'
'Lily's horse! What about her horse? I hope he's not vicious?'
'She is riding every day with your niece,' said the squire, thinking it
best to stick to his own point.
'It will do her all the good in the world,' said Mrs Thorne.
'Very likely. I don't doubt it. I do not in the least disapprove her
'But what, Mr Dale?'
'I should be much obliged if I might be allowed to pay the livery-stable
'Oh, laws a'mercy.'
'I daresay it may sound odd, but as I have a fancy about it, I'm sure
you'll gratify me.'
'Of course I will. I'll remember it. I'll make it all right with
Bernard. Bernard and I have no end of accounts--or shall have before
long--and we'll make an item of it. Then you can arrange with Bernard
Mr Dale as he got up to go away felt that he was beaten, but he did not
know how to carry the battle any further on that occasion. He could not
take out his purse and put down the cost of the horse on the table. 'I
will then speak to my nephew about it,' he said, very gravely, as he
went away. And he did speak to his nephew about it, and even wrote to
him more than once. But it was all to no purpose. Mr Potts could not be
induced to give a separate bill, and--so said Bernard--swore at last
that he would furnish no account to anybody for horses that went to Mrs
Thorne's door except to Mrs Thorne herself.
That night Lily took leave of her uncle and remained at Mrs Thorne's
house. As things were now arranged she would, no doubt, be in London
when John Eames returned. If he should find her in town--and she told
herself that is she was in town he certainly would find her--he would,
doubtless, repeat to her the offer he had so often made before. She
never ventured to tell herself that she doubted as to the answer to be
made to him. The two letters were written in the book, and must remain
there. But she felt that she would have had more courage for persistency
down at Allington than she would be able to summon to her assistance up
in London. She knew she would be weak, should she be found by him alone
in Mrs Thorne's drawing-room. It would be better for her to make some
excuse and go home. She was resolved that she would not become his wife.
She could not extricate herself from the dominion of a feeling which she
believed to be love for another man. She had given a solemn promise both
to her mother and to John Eames that she would not marry that other man;
but in doing so she had made a solemn promise to herself that she would
not marry John Eames. She had sworn it and would keep her oath. And yet
she regretted it! In writing home to her mother the next day, she told
Mrs Dale that all the world was speaking well of John Eames--that John
had won for himself a reputation of his own, and was known far and wide
to be a noble fellow. She could not keep herself from praising John
Eames, though she knew that such praise might, and would, be used
against her at some future time. 'Though I cannot love him I will give
him his due,' she said to herself.
'I wish you would make up your mind to have an "it" for yourself,' Emily
Dunstable said to her again that night; 'a nice "it", so that I could
make a friend, perhaps a brother, of him.'
'I shall never have an "it" if I live to be a hundred,' said Lily Dale.
Lily had heard nothing as to the difficulty about her horse, and could
therefore enjoy her exercise without the drawback of feeling that her
uncle was subject to an annoyance. She was in the habit of going out
every day with Bernard and Emily Dunstable, and their party was
generally joined by others who would meet them at Mrs Thorne's house.
For Mrs Thorne was a very hospitable woman, and there were many who
liked well enough to go to her house. Late in the afternoon there would
be a great congregation of horses before the door--sometimes as many as
a dozen; and then the cavalcade would go off into the Park, and there it
would become scattered. As neither Bernard nor Miss Dunstable were
unconscionable lovers, Lily in these scatterings did not often find her
self neglected or lost. Her cousin would generally remain with her, and
as in those days she had no 'it' of her own she was well pleased that he
should do so.
But it so happened that on a certain afternoon she found herself riding
in Rotten Row alone with a certain stout gentleman whom she constantly
met at Mrs Thorne's house. His name was Onesiphorus Dunn, and he was
actually called Siph by his intimate friends. It had seemed to Lily that
everybody was an intimate friend of Mr Dunn's, and she was in daily fear
lest she should make a mistake and call him Siph herself. Had she done
so it would not have mattered in the least. Mr Dunn, had he observed it
at all, would neither have been flattered or angry. A great many young
ladies about London did call him Siph, and to him it was quite natural
that they should do so. He was an Irishman, living on the best of
everything in the world, with apparently no fortune of his own, and
certainly never earning anything. Everybody liked him, and it was
admitted on all sides that there was no safer friend in the world,
either for young ladies or young men, than Mr Onesiphorus Dunn. He did
not borrow money, and he did not encroach. He did like being asked out
to dinner, and he did think that they to whom he gave the light of his
countenance in town owed him the return of a week's run in the country.
He neither shot, nor hunted, nor fished, nor read, and yet he was never
in the way in any house. He did play billiards, and whist, and
croquet--very badly. He was a good judge of wine, and would occasionally
condescend to look after the bottling of it on behalf of some very
intimate friend. He was a great friend of Mrs Thorne's, with whom he
always spent ten days in the autumn at Chaldicotes.
Bernard and Emily were not insatiable lovers, but, nevertheless, Mrs
Thorne had thought it proper to provide a fourth in the riding-parties,
and had put Mr Dunn on this duty. 'Don't bother yourself about it,
Siph,' she had said; 'only if those lovers should go off philandering
out of sight, our little country lassie might find herself to be nowhere
in the Park.' Siph had promised to make himself useful, and had done so.
There had generally been so large a number in their party that the work
imposed on Mr Dunn had been very light. Lily had never found out that he
had been especially consigned to her as her own cavalier, but had seen
quite enough of him to be aware that he was a pleasant companion. To
her, thinking, as she ever was thinking, about Johnny Eames, Siph was
much more agreeable than might have been a younger man who would have
endeavoured to make her think about himself.
Thus when she found herself riding alone in Rotten Row with Siph Dunn,
she was neither disconcerted nor displeased. He had been talking to her
about Lord De Guest, whom he had known--for Siph knew everybody--and
Lily had begun to wonder whether he knew John Eames. She was making up
her mind that she would say something about the Crawley matter--not
intending of course to mention John Eames's name--when suddenly her
tongue was paralysed and she could not speak. At that moment they were
standing near a corner, where a turning path made an angle in the iron
rails, Mr Dunn having proposed that they should wait there for a few
minutes before they returned home, as it was probable that Bernard and
Miss Dunstable might come up. They had been there for some five or ten
minutes, and Lily had asked her first question about the
Crawleys--inquiring of Mr Dunn whether he had heard of a terrible
accusation which had been made against a clergyman in Barsetshire--when
on a sudden her tongue was paralysed. As they were standing, Lily's
horse was turned towards the diverging path, whereas Mr Dun was looking
the other way, towards Achilles and Apsley house. Mr Dunn was nearer the
railings, but though they were thus looking different ways they were so
placed that each could see the face of the other. Then, on a sudden,
coming slowly towards her along the diverging path and leaning on the
arm of another man, she saw--Adolphus Crosbie.
She had never seen him since a day on which she had parted from him with
many kisses--with warm, pressing, eager kisses--of which she had been
nowhat ashamed. He had then been to her almost as her husband. She had
trusted him entirely, and had thrown herself into his arms with full
reliance. There is often much of reticence on the part of a woman
towards a man to whom she is engaged, something also of shamefacedness
occasionally. There exists a shadow of doubt, at least of that
hesitation which shows that in spite of vows the woman knows that a
change may come, and that provision for such possible steps backward
should always be within her reach. But Lily had cast all such caution to
the winds. She had given herself to the man entirely, and had determined
that she would sink or swim, stand or fall, live or die, by him and by
his truth. He had been as false as hell. She had been in his arms,
clinging to him, kissing him, swearing that her only pleasure in the
world was to be with him--with him, her treasure, her promised husband;
and within a month, a week, he had been false to her. There had come
upon her crushing tidings, and she had for days wondered at herself that
they had not killed her. But she had lived, and had forgiven him, which
had been answered as the reader knows. But she had never seen him since
the day on which she had parted from him at Allington, without a doubt
as to his faith. Now he was before her, walking on the footpath, almost
within reach of her whip.
He did not recognise her, but as he passed on he did recognise Mr
Onesiphorus Dunn, and stopped to speak to him. Or it might have been
that Crosbie's friend Fowler Pratt stopped with this special object--for
Siph Dunn was an intimate friend of Fowler Pratt's. Crosbie and Siph
were also acquainted, but in those days Crosbie did not care much for
stopping his friends in the Park or elsewhere. He had become moody and
discontented, and was generally seen going about the world alone. On
this special occasion he was having a little special conversation about
money with his very old friend Fowler Pratt.
'What, Siph, is this you? You're always on horseback now,' said Fowler
'Well, yes; I have gone in a good deal for cavalry work this last month.
I've been lucky enough to have a young lady to ride with me.' This he
said in a whisper, which the distance of Lily justified. 'How d'ye do,
Crosbie? One doesn't often see you on horseback or on foot either.'
'I've something to do besides going to look or to be looked at,' said
Crosbie. Then he raised his eyes and saw Lily's side-face, and
recognised her. Had he seen her before he had been stopped on his way I
think he would have passed on, endeavouring to escape observation. But
as it was, his feet had been arrested before he knew of her close
vicinity, and now it would seen that he was afraid of her, and was
flying from her, were he at once to walk off, leaving his friend behind
him. And he knew that she had seen him, and had recognised him, and was
now suffering from his presence. He could not but perceive that it was
so from the fixedness of her face, and from the constrained manner in
which she gazed before her. His friend Fowler Pratt had never seen Miss
Dale, though he knew very much of her history. Siph Dunn knew nothing of
the history of Crosbie and his love, and was unaware that he and Lily
had ever seen each other. There was thus no help near her to extricate
her from her difficulty.
'When a man has any work to do in the world,' said Siph, 'he always
boasts of it to his acquaintance, and curses his luck to himself. I have
nothing to do and can go about to see and be seen;--and I must own that
I like it.'
Crosbie was still looking at Lily. He could not help himself. He could
not take his eyes from off her. He could see that she was as pretty as
ever, that she was but very little altered. She was, in truth, somewhat
stouter than in the old days, but of that he took no special notice.
Should he speak to her? Should he try to catch her eye, and then raise
his hat? Should he go up to her horse's head boldly, and ask her to let
bygones be bygones? He had an idea that of all courses which he could
pursue that was the one which she would approve the best--which would be
most efficacious for him, if with her anything from him might have any
efficacy. But he could not do it. He did not know what words he might
best use. Would it become him humbly to sue to her for pardon? Or should
he strive to express his unaltered love by some tone of his voice? Or
should he simply ask her after her health? He made one step towards her,
and he saw that the face became more rigid and more fixed than before,
and then he desisted. He told himself that he was simply hateful to her.
He thought that he could perceive that there was no tenderness mixed
with her unabated anger.
At this moment Bernard Dale and Emily came close upon him, and Bernard
saw him at once. It was through Bernard that Lily and Crosbie had come
to know each other. He and Bernard Dale had been fast friends in old
times, and had, of course, been bitter enemies since the day of
Crosbie's treachery. They had never spoken since, though they had often
seen each other, and Dale was not at all disposed to speak to him now.
The moment that he recognised Crosbie he looked across to his cousin.
For an instant, an idea flashed across him that he was there by her
permission--with her assent; but it required no second glance to show
him that this was not the case. 'Dunn,' he said, 'I think we will ride
on,' and he put his horse into a trot. Siph, whose ear was very
accurate, and who knew that something was wrong, trotted on with him,
and Lily, of course, was not left behind. 'Is there anything the
matter?' said Emily to her lover.
'Nothing specially the matter,' he replied; 'but you were standing in
company with the greatest blackguard that every lived, and I thought we
had better change our ground.'
'Bernard!' said Lily, flashing on him with all the fire which her eyes
could command. Then she remembered that she could not reprimand him for
the offence of such abuse in such a company; so she reined in her horse
and fell a-weeping.
Siph Dunn, with his wicked cleverness, knew the whole story at once,
remembering that he had once heard something of Crosbie having behaved
very ill to someone before he married Lady Alexandra De Courcy. He
stopped his horse also, falling a little behind Lily, so that he might
not be supposed to have seen her tears, and began to hum a tune. Emily
also, though not wickedly clever, understood something of it. 'If
Bernard says anything to make you angry, I will scold him,' she said.
Then the two girls rode on together in front, while Bernard fell back
with Siph Dunn.
'Pratt,' said Crosbie, putting his hand on his friend's shoulder as soon
as the party had ridden out of hearing, 'do you see that girl there in
the dark blue habit?'
'What, the one nearest to the path?'
'Yes; the one nearest to the path. That is Lily Dale.'
'Lily Dale!' said Fowler Pratt.
'Yes, that is Lily Dale.'
'Did you speak to her?' Pratt asked.
'No; she gave me no chance. She was there but a moment. But it was
herself. It seems so odd to me that I should have been thus so near her
again.' If there was any man to whom Crosbie could have spoken freely
about Lily Dale it was this man, Fowler Pratt. Pratt was the oldest
friend he had in the world, and it had happened that when he first woke
to the misery that he had prepared for himself in throwing over Lily and
betrothing himself to his late wife, Pratt had been the first person to
whom he had communicated his sorrow. Not that he had ever been really
open in his communications. It was not given to such men as Crosbie to
speak openly of themselves to their friends. Nor, indeed, was Fowler
Pratt one who was fond of listening to such tales. He had no such tales
to tell of himself, and he thought that men and women should go through
the world quietly, not subjecting themselves or their acquaintances to
anxieties and emotions from peculiar conduct. But he was conscientious,
and courageous also as well as prudent, and he had dared to tell Crosbie
that he was behaving very badly. He had spoken his mind plainly, and had
then given all the assistance in his power.
He paused a moment before he replied, weighing, like a prudent man, the
force of the words he was about to utter. 'It is much better as it is,'
he said. 'It is much better that you should be strangers for the
'I do not see that at all,' said Crosbie. They were both leaning on the
rails, and so they remained for the next twenty minutes. 'I do not see
that at all.'
'I feel sure of it. What could come of any renewed intercourse--even
if she would allow it?'
'I might make her my wife.'
'And do you think that you would be happy with her, or she with you,
after what has passed?'
'I do think so.'
'I do not. It might be possible that she could bring herself to marry
you. Women delight to forgive injuries. They like the excitement of
generosity. But she could never forget that you had a former wife, or
the circumstances under which you were married. And as for yourself, you
would regret it after the first month. How could you ever speak to her
of your love without speaking also of your shame? If a man does marry he
should at least be able to hold up his head before his wife.'
This was very severe, but Crosbie showed no anger. 'I think I should do
so,' he said--'after a while.'
'And then, about money? Of course you would have to tell her
'It is like enough that she might not regard that--except that she would
feel that if you could not afford to marry her when you were
unembarrassed, you can hardly afford to do so when you are over your
head and ears in debt.'
'She has money now.'
'After all that has come and gone you would hardly seek Lily Dale
because you want to marry a fortune.'
'You are too hard on me, Pratt. You know that my only reason for
seeking her is that I love her.'
'I do not mean to be hard. But I have a very strong opinion that the
quarrels of lovers, when they are of so very serious a nature, are a bad
basis for the renewal of love. Come, let us go and dress for dinner. I
am going to dine with Mrs Thorne, the millionaire, who married a country
doctor, and who used to be called Miss Dunstable.'
'I never dine out anywhere now,' said Crosbie. And then they walked out
of the Park together. Neither of them, of course, knew that Lily Dale
was staying at the house at which Fowler was going to dine.
Lily, as she rode home, did not speak a word. She would have given
worlds to be able to talk, but she could not even make a beginning. She
heard Bernard and Siph Dunn chatting behind her, had hoped they would
continue to do so till she was safe within the house. They all used her
well, for no one tried to draw her into conversation. Once Emily said to
her, 'Shall we trot a little, Lily?' And then they moved on quickly, and
the misery was soon over. As soon as she was upstairs in the house she
got Emily by herself, and explained all the mystery in a word or two. 'I
fear I have made a fool of myself. That was the man to whom I was once
engaged.' 'What, Mr Crosbie?' said Emily, who had heard the whole story
from Bernard. 'Yes, Mr Crosbie; pray do not say a word of it to
anybody--not even to your aunt. I am better now, but I was such a fool.
No, dear; I won't go into the drawing-room. I'll go upstairs, and come
down ready for dinner.'
When she was alone she sat down in her habit and declared to herself
that she certainly would never become the wife of Mr Crosbie. I do not
know why she should make such a declaration. She had promised her mother
and John Eames that she would not do so, and that promise would
certainly have bound her without any further resolutions on her part.
But, to tell the truth, the vision of the man had disenchanted her. When
last she had seen him he had been as it were a god to her; and though,
since that day, his conduct to her had been as ungodlike as it well
might be, still the memory of the outward signs of his divinity had
remained with her. It is difficult to explain how it had come to pass
that the glimpse which she had had of him should have altered so much
within her mind;--why she should so suddenly have come to regard him in
an altered light. It was not simply that he looked to be older, and
because his face was careworn. It was not only that he had lost that
look of an Apollo which Lily had once in her mirth attributed to him. I
think it was chiefly that she herself was older, and could no longer see
a god in such a man. She had never regarded John Eames as being gifted
with divinity, and had therefore always been making comparisons to his
discredit. Any such comparison now would tend quite the other way.
Nevertheless she would adhere to the two letters in her book. Since she
had seen Mr Crosbie she was altogether out of love with the prospect of
She was in the room when Mr Pratt was announced, and she at once
recognised him as the man who had been with Crosbie. And when, some
minutes afterwards, Siph Dunn came into the room, she could see that in
their greeting allusion was made to the scene in the Park. But still it
was probable that this man would not recognise her, and, if he did so,
what would it matter? There were twenty people to sit down to dinner,
and the chances were that she would not be called upon to exchange a
word with Mr Pratt. She had now recovered herself, and could speak
freely to her friend Siph, and when Siph came and stood near her she
thanked him graciously for his escort in the Park. 'If it wasn't for
you, Mr Dunn, I really think I should not get any riding at all. Bernard
and Miss Dunstable have only one thing to think about, and certainly I
am not the one thing.' She thought it probable that if she could keep
Siph close to her, Mrs Thorne, who always managed things herself, might
apportion her out to be led to dinner by her good-natured friend. But
the fates were averse. The time had now come, and Lily was waiting her
turn. 'Mr Fowler Pratt, let me introduce to Miss Lily Dale,' said Mrs
Thorne. Lily could perceive that Mr Pratt was startled. The sign he gave
was the least possible sign in the world; but still it sufficed for Lily
to perceive it. She put her hand upon his arm, and walked down with him
to the dining-room without giving him the slightest cause to suppose
that she knew who he was.
'I think I saw you in the park riding?' he said.
'Yes, I was there; we go nearly every day.'
'I never ride; I was walking.'
'It seems to me that the people who don't go there to walk, but to stand
still,' said Lily. 'I cannot understand how so many people can bear to
loiter about in that way--leaning on the rails and doing nothing.'
'It is about as good as riding, and costs less money. That is all that
can be said for it. Do you live chiefly in town?'
'Oh, dear no; I live altogether in the country. I'm only up here
because a cousin is going to be married.'
'Captain Dale, you mean--to Miss Dunstable?' said Fowler Pratt.
'When they have been joined together in holy matrimony, I shall go down
to the country, and never, I suppose, come up to London again.'
'You do not like London?'
'Not as a residence, I think,' said Lily. 'But of course one's likings
and dislikings on such a matter depend on circumstances. I live with my
mother, and all my relatives live near us. Of course I like the country
best, because they are there.'
'Young ladies so often have a different way of looking at this subject.
I shouldn't wonder if Miss Dunstable's views about it were altogether of
another sort. Young ladies generally expect to be taken away from their
father and mothers, and uncles and aunts.'
'But you see I expect to be left with mine,' said Lily. After that she
turned as much away from Mr Fowler Pratt as she could, having taken an
aversion to him. What business had he to talk to her about being taken
away from uncles and aunts? She had seen him with Mr Crosbie, and it
might be possible that they were intimate friends. It might be that Mr
Pratt was asking questions in Mr Crosbie's interests. Let that be as it
might, she would answer no more questions from him further than ordinary
good breeding should require of her.
'She is a nice girl, certainly,' said Fowler Pratt to himself, as he
walked home, 'and I have no doubt would make a good, ordinary, everyday
wife. But she is not such a paragon that a man should condescend to
grovel in the dirt for her.'
That night Lily told Emily Dunstable the whole of Mr Crosbie's history
as far as she knew it, and also explained her new aversion to Mr Fowler
Pratt. 'They are very great friends,' said Emily. 'Bernard has told me
so; and you may be sure that Mr Pratt knew the whole history before he
came here. I am so sorry that my aunt asked him.'
'It does not signify in the least,' said Lily. 'Even if I were to meet
Mr Crosbie I don't think I should make such a fool of myself again. As
it is, I can only hope that he did not see it.'
'I am sure he did not.'
Then there was a pause, during which Lily sat with her face resting on
both her hands. 'It is wonderful how much he has altered,' she said at
'Think how much he has suffered.'
'I suppose I am altered as much, only I do not see it myself.'
'I don't know what you were, but I don't think you can have changed
much. You no doubt have suffered too, but not as he has done.'
'Oh, as for that, I have done very well. I think I'll go to bed now.
The riding makes me so sleepy.'
THE CLERICAL COMMISSION
It was at last arranged that the five clergymen selected should meet at
Dr Tempest's house at Silverbridge to make inquiry and report to the
bishop whether the circumstances connected with the cheque for twenty
pounds were of such a nature as to make it incumbent on him to institute
proceedings against Mr Crawley in the Court of Arches. Dr Tempest had
acted upon the letter which he had received from the bishop, exactly as
though there had been no meeting at the palace, no quarrel to the death
between him and Mrs Proudie. He was a prudent man, gifted with the great
power of holding his tongue, and had not spoken a word, even to his
wife, of what had occurred. After such a victory our old friend the
archdeacon would have blown his own trumpet loudly among his friends.
Plumstead would have heard of it instantly, and the paean would have
been sung out in the neighbouring parishes of Eiderdown, Stogpingum, and
St Ewolds. The High Street of Barchester would have known of it, and the
very bedesmen in Hiram's Hospital would have told among themselves the
terrible discomfiture of the bishop and his lady. But Dr Tempest spoke
no word of it to anybody. He wrote letters to the two clergymen named by
the bishop, and himself selected two others out of his own rural
deanery, and suggested to them all a day at which a preliminary meeting
should be held at his own house. The two who were invited by him were Mr
Oriel, the rector of Greshamsbury, and Mr Robarts, the vicar of Framley.
They all assented to the proposition, and on the day named assembled
themselves at Silverbridge.
It was now April, and the judges were to come into Barchester before the
end of the month. What then could be the use of this ecclesiastical
inquiry exactly at the same time? Men and women declared that it was a
double prosecution, and that a double prosecution for the same offence
was a course of action opposed to the feelings and the traditions of the
country. Miss Anne Prettyman went so far as to say that it was
unconstitutional, and Mary Walker declared that no human being except
Mrs Proudie would ever have been guilty of such cruelty. 'Don't tell me
about the bishop, John,' she said, 'the bishop is a cypher.' 'You may be
sure Dr Tempest would not have a hand in it if it were not right,' said
John Walker. 'My dear Mr John,' said Miss Anne Prettyman, 'Dr Tempest is
as hard as a bar of iron, and always was. But I am surprised that Mr
Robarts should take a part in it.'
In the meantime, at the palace, Mrs Proudie had been reduced to learn
what was going on from Mr Thumble. The bishop had never spoke a word to
her respecting Mr Crawley since that terrible day on which Dr Tempest
had witnessed his imbecility--having absolutely declined to answer when
his wife had mentioned the subject. 'You won't speak to me about it, my
dear?' she had said to him, when he had thus declined, remonstrating
more in sorrow than in anger. 'No; I won't,' the bishop had replied;
'there has been a great deal too much talking about it. It has broken my
heart already, I know.' These were very bad days in the palace. Mrs
Proudie affected to be satisfied with what was being done. She talked to
Mr Thumble about Mr Crawley and the cheque, as though everything were
arranged quite to her satisfaction--as though everything, indeed, had
been arranged by herself. But everybody about the house could see that
the manner of the woman was altogether altered. She was milder than
usual with the servants and was almost too gentle in her usage of her
husband. It seemed as though something had happened to frighten her and
break her spirit, and it was whispered about through the palace that she
was afraid that the bishop was dying. As for him, he hardly left his own
sitting-room in these days, except when he joined the family at
breakfast and at dinner. And in his study he did little or nothing. He
would smile when his chaplain went to him, and give some trifling verbal
directions; but for days he scarcely ever took a pen in his hands, and
though he took up many books he read hardly a page. How often he told
his wife in those days that he was broken-hearted, no one but his wife
'What has happened that you should speak like that?' she said to him
once. 'What has broken your heart?'
'You,' he replied. 'You; you have done it.'
'Oh, Tom,' she said, going back into the memory of very far distant days
in her nomenclature, 'how can you speak to me so cruelly as that! That
it should come to that between you and me after all!'
'Why did you not go away and leave me that day when I told you?'
'Did you ever know a woman who liked to be turned out of a room in her
own house?' said Mrs Proudie. When Mrs Proudie had condescended so far
as this, it must be admitted that in those days there was a great deal
of trouble in the palace.
Mr Thumble, on the day before he went to Silverbridge, asked for an
audience with the bishop in order that he might receive instructions. He
had been strictly desired to do this by Mrs Proudie, and had not dared
to disobey her injunctions--thinking, however, himself, that his doing
so was inexpedient. 'I have got nothing to say to you about it; not a
word,' said the bishop crossly. 'I thought that perhaps you might like
to see me before I started,' pleaded Mr Thumble very humbly. 'I don't
want to see you at all,' said the bishop; 'you are going there to
exercise your own judgment--if you have got any; and you ought not to
come to me.' After that Mr Thumble began to think that Mrs Proudie was
right, and that the bishop was near dissolution.
Mr Thumble and Mr Quiverful went over to Silverbridge together in a gig,
hired from the Dragon of Wantly--as to the cost of which there arose
among them a not unnatural apprehension which amounted to dismay. 'I
don't mind it so much for once,' said Mr Quiverful, 'but if many such
meetings are necessary, I for one can't afford it, and I won't do it. A
man with my family can't allow himself to be money out of pocket in that
way.' 'It is hard,' said Mr Thumble. 'She ought to pay it herself, out
of her own pocket,' said Mr Quiverful. He had had many concerns with the
palace when Mrs Proudie was in the full swing of her dominion, and had
not as yet begun to suspect that there might possibly be change.
Mr Oriel and Mr Robarts were already sitting with Dr Tempest when the
other two clergymen were shown into the room. When the first greetings
were over luncheon was announced, and while they were eating not a word
was said about Mr Crawley. The ladies of the family were not present,
and the five clergymen sat round the table alone. It would have been
difficult to have got together five gentlemen less likely to act with
one mind and spirit;--and perhaps it was all the better for Mr Crawley
that it should be so. Dr Tempest himself was a man peculiarly capable of
exercising the function of a judge in the matter, had he sat alone as a
judge; but he was one who would be almost sure to differ from others who
sat as equal assessors with him. Mr Oriel was a gentleman at all points;
but he was very shy, very reticent, and altogether uninstructed in the
ordinary daily intercourse of man with man. Anyone knowing him might
have predicted of him that he would be sure on such an occasion as this
to be found floundering in a sea of doubts. Mr Quiverful was the father
of a large family, whose life had been devoted to fighting a cruel world
on behalf of his wife and children. That fight he had fought bravely;
but it had left him no energy for any other business. Mr Thumble was a
poor creature--so poor a creature that, in spite of a small restless
ambition to be doing something, he was almost cowed by the hard lines of
Dr Tempest's brow. The Rev. Mr Robarts was a man of the world, and a
clever fellow, and did not stand in awe of anybody--unless it might be,
in a very moderate degree, of his patrons the Luftons, whom he was bound
to respect; but his cleverness was not of the cleverness needed by a
judge. He was essentially a partisan, and would be sure to vote against
the bishop in such a matter as this now before him. There was a palace
faction in the diocese, and an anti-palace faction. Mr Thumble and Mr
Quiverful belonged to one, and Mr Oriel and Mr Robarts to the other. Mr
Thumble was too weak to stick to his faction against the strength of
such a man as Dr Tempest. Mr Quiverful would be too indifferent to do
so--unless his interest was concerned. Mr Oriel would be too
conscientious to regard his own side on such an occasion as this. But
Mark Robarts would be sure to support his friends and oppose his
enemies, let the case be what it might. 'Now, gentlemen, if you please,
we will go into the other room,' said Dr Tempest. They went into the
other room, and there they found five chairs arranged for them round the
table. Not a word had as yet been said about Mr Crawley, and no one of
the four strangers knew whether Mr Crawley was to appear before them on
that day or not.
'Gentlemen,' said Dr Tempest, seating himself at once in an armchair
placed at the middle of the table, 'I think it will be well to explain
to you at first what, as I regard the matter, is the extent of the work
which we are called upon to perform. It is of its nature very
disagreeable. It cannot but be so, be it ever so limited. Here is a
brother clergyman and a gentleman, living among us, and doing his duty,
as we are told, in a most exemplary manner; and suddenly we hear that he
is accused of theft. The matter is brought before the magistrates, of
whom I myself was one, and he was committed for trial. There is
therefore prima facie evidence of his guilt. But I do not think that we
need to go into the question of his guilt at all.' When he said this,
the other four all looked up at him in astonishment. 'I thought that we
had been summoned here for that purpose,' said Mr Robarts. 'Not at all,
as I take it,' said the doctor. 'Were we to commence any such inquiry,
the jury would have given their verdict before we could come to any
conclusion; and it would be impossible for us to oppose that verdict
whether it declares this unfortunate gentleman to be innocent or to be
guilty. If the jury shall say that he is innocent, there is an end of
the matter altogether. He would go back to his parish amidst the
sympathy and congratulations of his friends. That is what we all should
'Of course it is,' said Mr Robarts. They all declared that was their
desire, as a matter of course; and Mr Thumble said it louder than anyone
'But if he is found guilty, then will come that difficulty to the
bishop, in which we are bound to give him any assistance within our
'Of course we are,' said Mr Thumble, who, having heard his own voice
once, and having liked the sound, thought that he might creep into a
little importance by using it on any occasion that opened itself for
'If you will allow me, sir, I will venture to state my views shortly as
I can,' said Dr Tempest. 'That may perhaps be the most expedient course
for us all in the end.'
'Oh, certainly,' said Mr Thumble. 'I didn't mean to interrupt.'
'In the case of his being found guilty,' continued the doctor, 'there
will arise the question whether the punishment awarded to him by the
judge should suffice for ecclesiastical purposes. Suppose, for instance,
that he should be imprisoned for two months, should he be allowed to
return to his living at the expiration of that term?'
'I think he ought,' said Mr Robarts:--'considering all things.'
'I don't see why he shouldn't,' said Mr Quiverful.
Mr Oriel sat listening patiently, and Mr Thumble looked up to the
doctor, expecting to hear some opinion expressed by him with which he
'There certainly are reasons why he should not,' said Dr Tempest;
'though I by no means say that those reasons are conclusive in the
present case. In the first place, a man who has stolen money can hardly
be a fitting person to teach others not to steal.'
'You must look to the circumstances,' said Robarts.
'Yes, that is true; but just bear with me for a moment. It cannot, at
any rate, be thought that a clergyman should come out of prison and go
to his living without any notice from his bishop, simply because he has
already been punished by the common law. If this were so, a clergyman
might be fined ten days running for being drunk in the street--five
shillings each time--and at the end of that time might set his bishop
at defiance. When a clergyman has shown himself to be utterly unfit for
clerical duties, he must not be held to be protected from ecclesiastical
censure or from deprivation by the action of the common law.'
'But Mr Crawley has not shown himself to be unfit,' said Robarts.
'That is begging the question, Robarts,' said the doctor.
'Just so,' said Mr Thumble. Then Mr Robarts gave a look at Mr Thumble,
and Mr Thumble retired into his shoes.
'That is the question as to which we are called upon to advise the
bishop,' continued Dr Tempest. 'And I must say that I think the bishop
is right. If he were to allow the matter to pass by without notice--that
is to say, in the event of Mr Crawley being pronounced guilty by a
jury--he would, I think, neglect in his duty. Now I have been informed
that the bishop has recommended Mr Crawley to desist from his duties
till the trial be over, and that Mr Crawley has declined to take the
'That is true,' said Mr Thumble. 'He altogether disregarded the
'I think he was quite right,' said Mr Robarts.
'A bishop in almost all cases is entitled to the obedience of his
clergy,' said Mr Oriel.
'I must say I agree with you, sir,' said Mr Thumble.
'Be that as it may,' continued the doctor, 'the bishop feels that it may
be his duty to oppose the return of Mr Crawley to his pulpit, and that
he can oppose it in no other way than by proceeding against Mr Crawley
under the Clerical Offences Act. I propose, therefore, that we should
invite Mr Crawley to attend here--'
'Mr Crawley is not coming here today, then?' said Mr Robarts.
'I thought it useless to ask for his attendance until we had settled on
our own course of action,' said Dr Tempest. 'If we are all agreed, I
will beg him to come here on this day week, when we will meet again. And
we will then ask him whether he will submit himself to the bishop's
decision, in the event of the jury finding him guilty. If he should
decline to do so, we can only then form our opinion as to what will be
the bishop's duty by reference to the facts as they are elicited at the
trial. If Mr Crawley should choose to make to us any statement as to his
own case, of course we shall be willing to receive it. That is my idea
of what had better be done; and now, if any gentleman has any other
proposition to make, of course we shall be pleased to hear him.' Dr
Tempest, as he said this, looked round upon his companions, as though
his pleasure, under the circumstances suggested by himself, would be
'I don't suppose we can do anything better,' said Mr Robarts. 'I think
it a pity, however, that any steps should have been taken by the bishop
before the trial.'
'The bishop has been placed in a very delicate position,' said Mr
Thumble, pleading for his patron.
'I don't know the meaning of the word "delicate",' said Robarts. 'I
think his duty was very clear, to avoid interference whilst the matter
is, so to say, before the judge.'
'Nobody has anything else to propose?' said Dr Tempest. 'Then I will
write to Mr Crawley and you, gentlemen, will perhaps do me the honour of
meeting me here at one o'clock this day week.' Then the meeting was
over, and the four clergymen having shaken hands with Dr Tempest in the
hall, all promised that they would return on that day week. So far, Dr
Tempest had carried his point exactly as he might have done had the four
gentlemen been represented by the chairs on which they sat.
'I shan't come again all the same, unless I know where I'm to get my
expenses,' said Mr Quiverful, as he got into the gig.
'I shall come,' said Mr Thumble, 'because I think it a duty. Of course
it is a hardship.' Mr Thumble liked the idea of being joined with such
men as Dr Tempest, and Mr Oriel, and Mr Robarts, and would any day have
paid the expense of a gig from Barchester to Silverbridge out of his own
pocket, for the sake of sitting with such benchfellows on any clerical
'One's first duty is to one's own wife and family,' said Mr Quiverful.
'Well, yes; in a way, of course, that is quite true, Mr Quiverful; and
when we know how very inadequate are the incomes of the working clergy,
we cannot but feel ourselves to be, if I may so say, put upon, when we
have to defray the expenses incidental to special duties out of our own
pockets. I think, you know--I don't mind saying this to you--that the
palace should have provided us with a chaise and pair.' This was
ungrateful on the part of Mr Thumble, who had been permitted to ride
miles upon miles to various outlying clerical duties upon the bishop's
worn-out cob. 'You see,' continued Mr Thumble, 'you and I go specially
to represent the palace, and the palace ought to remember that. I think
there ought to have been a chaise and pair; I do indeed.'
'I don't care much what the conveyance is,' said Mr Quiverful; 'but I
certainly shall pay nothing more out of my own pocket;--certainly I
'The result will be that the palace will be thrown over if they don't
take care,' said Mr Thumble. 'Tempest, however, seems to be pretty
steady. Tempest, I think, is steady. You see he is getting tired of
parish work, and would like to go into the close. That's what he is
looking out for. Did you ever see such a fellow as that Robarts--just
look at him;--quite indecent, wasn't he? He thinks he can have his own
way in everything just because his sister is married to a lord. I do
hate to see all that meanness.'
Mark Robarts and Caleb Oriel left Silverbridge in another gig by the
same road, and soon passed their brethren, as Mr Robarts was in the
habit of driving a large, quick-stepping horse. The last remarks were
being made as the dust from the vicar of Framley's wheels saluted the
faces of the two slower clergymen. Mr Oriel had promised to dine and
sleep at Framley, and therefore returned in Mr Robarts's gig.
'Quite unnecessary, all this fuss; don't you think so?' said Mr Robarts.
'I am not quite sure,' said Mr Oriel. 'I can understand that the bishop
may have found a difficulty.'
'The bishop indeed! The bishop doesn't care two straws about it. It's
Mrs Proudie! She has put her finger on the poor man's neck because he
has not put his neck beneath her feet; and now she thinks she can crush
him--as she would crush you or me, if it were in her power. That's about
the long and the short of the bishop's solicitude.'
'You are very hard on him,' said Mr Oriel.
'I know him;--and am not all hard on him. She is hard upon him if you
like. Tempest is fair. He is very fair, and as long as no one meddles
with him he won't do amiss. I can't hold my tongue always, but I often
know that it is better that I should.'
Dr Tempest said not a word to anyone on the subject, not even in his own
defence. And yet he was sorely tempted. On the very day of the meeting
he dined at Mr Walker's in Silverbridge, and there submitted to be
talked to by all the ladies and most of the gentlemen present, without
saying a word in his own defence. And yet a word or two would have been
so easy and so conclusive.
'Oh, Dr Tempest,' said Mary Walker, 'I am so sorry that you have joined
'Are you, my dear?' said he. 'It is generally thought well that a
parish clergyman should agree with his bishop.'
'But you know, Mr Tempest, that you don't agree with your bishop
'Then it is the more fortunate that I shall be able to agree with him on
Major Grantly was present at the dinner, and ventured to ask the doctor
in the course of the evening what he thought would be done. 'I should
not venture to ask such a question, Dr Tempest,' he said, 'unless I had
the strongest possible reason to justify my anxiety.'
'I don't know that I can tell you anything, Major Grantly,' said the
doctor. 'We did not even see Mr Crawley today. But the real truth is
that he must stand or fall as the jury shall find him guilty or not
guilty. It would be the same in any profession. Could a captain in the
army hold up his head in his regiment after he had been tried and found
guilty of stealing twenty pounds?'
'I don't think he could,' said the major.
'Neither can a clergyman,' said the doctor. 'The bishop can neither
make him nor mar him. It is the jury that must do it.'
At this time Grace Crawley was at Framley Parsonage. Old Lady Lufton's
strategy had been quite intelligible, but some people said that in point
of etiquette and judgment and moral conduct, it was indefensible. Her
vicar, Mr Robarts, had been selected to be one of the clergymen who was
to sit in ecclesiastical judgment upon Mr Crawley, and while he was so
sitting Mr Crawley's daughter was staying in Mr Robarts's house as
visitor with his wife. It might be that there was no harm in this. Lady
Lufton, when the apparent impropriety was pointed out to her by no less
a person than Archdeacon Grantly, ridiculed the idea. 'My dear
archdeacon,' Lady Lufton had said, 'we all know the bishop to be such a
fool and the bishop's wife to be such a knave, that we cannot allow
ourselves to be governed in this matter by ordinary rules. Do you not
think that it is expedient to show how utterly we disregard his judgment
and her malice?' The archdeacon had hesitated much before he spoke to
Lady Lufton, whether he should address himself to her or to Mr
Robarts--or indeed to Mrs Robarts. But he had become aware that the
proposition as to the visit had originated with Lady Lufton, and he had
therefore decided on speaking to her. He had not condescended to say a
word as to his son, nor would he so condescend. Nor could he go from
Lady Lufton to Mr Robarts, having once failed with her ladyship. Indeed,
in giving him his due, we must acknowledge that his disapprobation of
Lady Lufton's strategy arose rather from his true conviction as to its
impropriety, than from any fear lest this attention paid to Miss Crawley
should tend to bring about her marriage with his son. By this time he
hated the very name of Crawley. He hated it the more because in hating
it he had to put himself for the time on the same side with Mrs Proudie.
But for all that he would not condescend to any unworthy mode of
fighting. He thought it wrong that the young lady should be invited to
Framley Parsonage at this moment, and he said so to the person who had,
as he thought, in truth, given the invitation; but he would not allow
his own personal motives to induce him to carry on the argument with
Lady Lufton. 'The bishop is a fool,' he said, 'and the bishop's wife is
a knave. Nevertheless I would not have had the young lady over to
Framley at this moment. If, however, you think it right and Robarts
thinks it right, there is an end of it.'
'Upon my word we do,' said Lady Lufton.
I am induced to think that Mr Robarts was not quite confident of the
expediency of what he was doing by the way in which he mentioned to Mr
Oriel the fact of Miss Crawley's presence at the parsonage as he drove
that gentleman home in his gig. They had been talking about Mr Crawley
when he suddenly turned himself round, so that he could look at his
companion, and said, 'Miss Crawley is staying with us at the parsonage
at the present moment.'
'What! Mr Crawley's daughter?' said Mr Oriel, showing plainly by his
voice that the tidings had much surprised him.
'Yes; Mr Crawley's daughter.'
'Oh, indeed. I did not know that you were on those terms with the
'We have known them for the last seven or eight years,' said Mark; 'and
though I should be giving a false notion if I were to say that I myself
have known them intimately--for Crawley is a man whom it is quite
impossible to know intimately--yet the womankind at Framley have known
them. My sister stayed with them over at Hogglestock for some time.'
'What; Lady Lufton?'
'Yes; my sister Lucy. It was just before her marriage. There was a lot
of trouble, and the Crawleys were all ill, and she went to nurse them.
And then the old lady took them up, and altogether there came to be a
sort of feeling that they were to be regarded as friends. They are
always in trouble, and now in this special trouble the women between
them have thought it best to have the girl over at Framley. Of course I
had a kind of feeling about this commission; but as I knew that it would
make no difference with me I did not think it necessary to put my veto
upon the visit.' Mr Oriel said nothing further, but Mark Robarts was
aware that Mr Oriel did not quite approve of the visit.
That morning old Lady Lufton herself had come across to the parsonage
with the express view of bidding all the party to come across to the
hall to dine. 'You can tell Mr Oriel, Fanny, with Lucy's compliments,
how delighted she will be to see him.' Old Lady Lufton always spoke of
her daughter-in-law as the mistress of the house. 'If you think he is
particular, you know, we will send a note across.' Mrs Robarts said that
she supposed Mr Oriel would not be particular, but, looking at Grace,
made some faint excuse. 'You must come, my dear,' said Lady Lufton.
'Lucy wishes it particularly.' Mrs Robarts did not know how to say that
she would not come; and so the matter stood--when Mrs Robarts was called
upon to leave the room for a moment, and Lady Lufton and Grace were left
'Dear Lady Lufton,' said Grace, getting up suddenly from her chair;
'will you do me a favour--a great favour?' She spoke with an energy
which quite surprised the old lady, and caused her almost to start from
'I don't like making promises,' said Lady Lufton; 'but anything I can do
with propriety, I will.'
'You can do this. Pray let me stay here today. You don't understand
how I feel about going out while papa is in this way. I know how kind
and how good you all are; and when dear Mrs Robarts asked me here, and
mamma said that I had better come, I could not refuse. But indeed,
indeed I had rather not go out to a dinner-party.'
'It is not a party, my dear girl,' said Lady Lufton, with the kindest
voice which she knew how to assume. 'And you must remember that my
daughter-in-law regards you as so very old a friend! You remember, of
course, when she was staying at Hogglestock?'
'Indeed I do. I remember it well.'
'And therefore you should not regard it as going out. There will be
nobody there but ourselves and the people from this house.'
'But it will be going out, Lady Lufton; and I do hope you will let me
stay here. You cannot think how I feel it. Of course I cannot go without
something like dressing--and--and--. In poor papa's state I feel that I
ought not to do anything that looks like gaiety. I ought never to forget
it;--not for a moment.'
There was a tear in Lady Lufton's eye as she said--'My dear, you shan't
come. You and Fanny shall stop and dine here by yourselves. The
gentlemen shall come.'
'Do let Mrs Robarts go, please,' said Grace.
'I won't do anything of the kind,' said Lady Lufton. Then, when Mrs
Robarts returned to the room, her ladyship explained it all in two
words. 'Whilst you have been away, my dear, Grace has begged off, and
therefore we have decided that Mr Oriel and Mr Robarts shall come
'I am so sorry, Mrs Robarts,' said Grace.
'Pooh, pooh,' said Lady Lufton. 'Fanny and I have known each other
quite long enough not to stand on any compliments--haven't we, my dear?
I must get home now, as all the morning has gone by. Fanny, my dear, I
want to speak to you.' Then she expressed her opinion of Grace Crawley
as she walked across the parsonage garden with Mrs Robarts. 'She is a
very nice girl, and a very good girl I am sure; and she shows excellent
feeling. Whatever happens we must take care of her. And, Fanny, have you
observed how handsome she is?'
'We think her very pretty.'
'She is more than pretty when she has a little fire in her eyes. She is
downright handsome--or will be when she fills out a little. I tell you
what, my dear; she'll make havoc with somebody yet; you see if she
doesn't. Bye-bye. Tell the two gentlemen to be up by seven punctually.'
And then Lady Lufton went home.
Grace so contrived that Mr Oriel came and went without seeing her. There
was a separate nursery breakfast at the parsonage, and by special
permission Grace was allowed to have her tea and bread-and--butter on
the next morning with the children. 'I thought you told me Miss Crawley
was here,' said Mr Oriel, as the two clergymen stood waiting for the gig
that was to take the visitor away to Barchester.
'So she is,' said Robarts; 'but she likes to hide herself, because of
her father's trouble. You can't blame her.'
'No, indeed,' said Mr Oriel.
'Poor girl. If you knew her you would not only pity her, but like her.'
'Is she--what you call--?'
'You mean, is she a lady?'
'Of course she is by birth, and all that,' said Mr Oriel, apologising
for his inquiry.
'I don't think there is another girl in the county so well educated,'
said Mr Robarts.
'Indeed! I had no idea of that.'
'And we think her a great beauty. As for manners, I never saw a girl
with a prettier way of her own.'
'Dear me,' said Mr Oriel. 'I wish she had come down to breakfast.'
It will have been perceived that old Lady Lufton had heard nothing of
Major Grantly's offence; that she had no knowledge that Grace had
already made havoc, as she had called it--had, in truth, made very sad
havoc, at Plumstead. She did not, therefore, think much about it when
her own son told her upon her return home from the parsonage on that
afternoon that Major Grantly had come over from Cosby Lodge, and that he
was going to dine and sleep at Framley Court. Some slight idea of
thankfulness came across her mind that she had not betrayed Grace
Crawley into a meeting with a stranger. 'I asked him to come some day
before we went to town,' said his lordship; 'and I am glad he has come
today, as two clergymen to one's self are, at any rate, one too many.'
So Major Grantly dined and slept at the Court.
But Mrs Robarts was in a great flurry when she was told of this by her
husband on his return from the dinner. Mrs Crawley had found an
opportunity of telling the story of Major Grantly's love to Mrs Robarts
before she had sent her daughter to Framley, knowing that the families
were intimate, and thinking it right that there should be some
'I wonder whether he will come up here,' Mrs Robarts had said.
'Probably not,' said the vicar. 'He said he was going home early.'
'I hope he will not come--for Grace's sake,' said Mrs Robarts. She
hesitated whether she should tell her husband. She always did tell him
everything. But on this occasion she thought she had no right to do so,
and she kept the secret. 'Don't do anything to bring him up, dear.'
'You needn't be afraid. He won't come,' said the vicar. On the
following morning, as soon as Mr Oriel was gone, Mr Robarts went
out--about his parish he would probably have called it; but in
half-an-hour he might have been seen strolling about the Court
stable-yard with Lord Lufton. 'Where is Grantly?' asked the vicar. 'I
don't know where he is,' said his lordship. 'He has sloped off
somewhere.' The major had sloped off to the parsonage, well knowing in
what nest his dove was lying hid; and he and the vicar had passed each
other. The major had gone out the front gate, and the vicar had gone in
at the stable entrance.
The two clergymen had hardly taken their departure when Major Grantly
knocked at the parsonage door. He had come so early that Mrs Robarts had
taken no precautions--even had there been any precautions which she
would have thought it right to take. Grace was in the act of coming down
the stairs, not having heard the knock at the door, and thus she found
her lover in the hall. He had asked, of course, for Mrs Robarts, and
thus they two entered the drawing-room together. They had not had time
to speak when the servant opened the drawing-room door to announce the
visitor. There had been no word spoken between Mrs Robarts and Grace
about Major Grantly, but the mother had told the daughter of what she
had said to Mrs Robarts.
'Grace,' said the major, 'I am so glad I found you!' Then he turned to
Mrs Robarts with his open hand. 'You won't take it uncivil of me if I
say that my visit is not entirely to yourself? I think I may take upon
myself to say that I and Miss Crawley are old friends. May I not?'
Grace could not answer a word. 'Mrs Crawley told me that you had known
her at Silverbridge,' said Mrs Robarts, driven to say something, but
feeling that she was blundering.
'I came over to Framley yesterday because I heard that she was here. Am
I wrong to come up here to see her?'
'I think that she must answer that for herself, Major Grantly.'
'Am I wrong, Grace?' Grace thought that he was the finest gentleman and
the noblest lover that had ever shown his devotion to a woman, and was
stirred by a mighty resolve that if it ever should be in her power to
reward him after any fashion, she would pour out the reward with a very
full hand indeed. But what was she to say on the present moment? 'Am I
wrong, Grace?' he said, repeating his question with so much emphasis,
that she was positively driven to answer it.
'I do not think you are wrong at all. How can I say you are wrong when
you are so good? If I could be your servant I would serve you. But I can
be nothing to you, because of papa's disgrace. Dear Mrs Robarts, I
cannot stay. You must answer him for me.' And having thus made her
speech she escaped from the room.
It may suffice to say further now that the major did not see Grace again
during his visit to Framley.
THE ARCHDEACON GOES TO FRAMLEY
By some of these unseen telegraphic wires which carry news about the
country and make no charge for the conveyance, Archdeacon Grantly heard
that his son the major was at Framley. Now in that itself there would
have been nothing singular. There had been for years much intimacy
between the Lufton family and the Grantly family--so much that an
alliance between the two houses had once been planned, the elders having
considered it expedient that the young lord should marry that Griselda
who had since mounted higher in the world even than the elders had then
projected for her. There had come no such alliance; but the intimacy had
not ceased, and there was nothing in itself surprising in the fact that
Major Grantly should be staying at Framley Court. But the archdeacon,
when he heard the news, bethought him at once of Grace Crawley. Could it
be possible that his old friend Lady Lufton--Lady Lufton whom he had
known and trusted all his life, whom he had ever regarded as a pillar of
the Church in Barsetshire--should be now untrue to him in a matter so
closely affecting his interests? Men when they are worried by fears and
teased by adverse circumstances become suspicious of those on whom
suspicion should never rest. It was hardly possible, the archdeacon
thought, that Lady Lufton should treat him so unworthily--but the
circumstances were strong against his friend. Lady Lufton had induced
Miss Crawley to go to Framley, much against his advice, at a time when
such a visit seemed to him to be very improper; and it now appeared that
his son was to be there at the same time--a fact of which Lady Lufton
had made no mention to him whatever. Why had not Lady Lufton told him
that Henry Grantly was coming to Framley Court? The reader, whose
interest in the matter will be less keen than was the archdeacon's, will
know very well why Lady Lufton had said nothing about the major's visit.
The reader will remember that Lady Lufton, when she saw the archdeacon,
was as ignorant as to the intended visit as was the archdeacon himself.
But the archdeacon was uneasy, troubled, and suspicious;--and he
suspected his old friend unworthily.
He spoke to his wife about it within a very few hours of the arrival of
the tidings by those invisible wires. He had already told her that Miss
Crawley was to go to Framley parsonage, and that he thought that Mrs
Robarts was wrong to receive her at such a time. 'It is only intended
for good-nature,' Mrs Grantly had said. 'It is misplaced good-nature at
the present moment,' the archdeacon had replied. Mrs Grantly had not
thought it worth her while to undertake at the moment any strong defence
of the Framley people. She knew well how odious was the name of Crawley
in her husband's ears, and she felt that the less that was said at the
present about the Crawleys the better for the peace of the rectory at
Plumstead. She had therefore allowed the expression of his disapproval
to pass unchallenged. But now he came upon her with a more bitter
grievance and she was obliged to argue the matter with him.
'What do you think?' said he: 'Henry is at Framley.'
'He can hardly be staying there,' said Mrs Grantly, 'because I know that
he is so very busy at home.' The business at home of which the major's
mother was speaking was his projected moving from Cosby Lodge, a subject
which was also very odious to the archdeacon. He did not wish his son to
move from Cosby Lodge. He could not endure the idea that his son should
be known throughout the county to be giving up a residence because he
could not afford to keep it. The archdeacon could have afforded to keep
up two Cosby Lodges for his son, and would have been well pleased to do
so, if only his son would not misbehave against him so shamefully! He
could not bear that his son should be punished openly, before the eyes
of all Barsetshire. Indeed he did not wish that his son should be
punished at all. He simply desired that his son should recognise his
father's power to inflict punishment. It would be henbane to Archdeacon
Grantly to have a poor son--a son living at Pau--among
Frenchmen!--because he could not afford to live in England. Why had the
archdeacon been careful of his money, adding house to house and field to
field? He himself was contented--so he told himself--to die as he had
lived in a country parsonage, working with the collar round his neck up
to the day of his death, if God would allow him to do so. He was
ambitious of no grandeur for himself. So he would tell himself--being
partly oblivious of certain episodes in his own life. All his wealth had
been got together for his children. He desired that his sons should be
fitting brothers for their august sister. And now the son who was
nearest to him, whom he was bent upon making a squire in his own county,
wanted to marry the daughter of a man who had stolen twenty pounds, and
when objection was made to so discreditable a connexion, replied by
packing up all his things and saying that he would go and live--at Pau!
The archdeacon therefore did not like to hear of his son being very busy
'I don't know whether he is busy or not,' said the archdeacon, 'but I
tell you he is staying at Framley.'
'From whom have you heard it?'
'What matter does that make if it is so? I heard it from Flurry.'
'Flurry may have been mistaken,' said Mrs Grantly.
'It is not at all likely. Those people always know about such things.
He heard it from the Framley people. I don't doubt but it's true, and I
think that it's a great shame.'
'A great shame that Henry should be at Framley! He has been there two
or three times every year since he has lived in the county.'
'It is a great shame that he should be had over there just at the time
when that girl is there also. It is impossible to believe that such a
thing is an accident.'
'But, archdeacon, you do not mean to say that you think that Lady Lufton
has arranged it?'
'I don't know who arranged it. Somebody has arranged it. If it is
Robarts, that is almost worse. One could forgive a woman in such a
matter better than one could a man.'
'Psha!' Mrs Grantly's temper was never bitter, but at this moment it
was not sweetened by her husband's very uncivil reference to her sex.
'The whole idea is nonsense, and you should get it out of your head.'
'Am I to get it out of my head that Henry wants to make this girl his
wife, and that the two are at this moment at Framley together?' In this
the archdeacon was wrong as to his facts. Major Grantly had left Framley
on the previous day, having stayed there only one night. 'It is coming
to that that one can trust no one--no one--literally no one.' Mrs
Grantly perfectly understood that the archdeacon, in the agony of the
moment, intended to exclude even herself from his confidence by that 'no
one'; but to this she was indifferent, understanding accurately when his
words should be accepted as expressing his thoughts, and when they
should be supposed to express only his anger.
'The probability is that no one at Lufton knew anything about Henry's
partiality for Miss Crawley,' said Mrs Grantly.
'I tell you I think they are both at Framley together.'
'And I tell you that if they are, which I doubt, they are there simply
by accident. Besides, what does it matter? If they choose to marry each
other, you and I cannot prevent them. They don't want any assistance
from Lady Lufton, or anybody else. They have simply got to make up their
own minds, and then no one can hinder them.'
'And, therefore, you would wish to see them brought together?'
'I say nothing about it, archdeacon; but I do say that we must take
these things as they come. What can we do? Henry may go and stay with
Lady Lufton if he pleases. You and I cannot prevent him.'
After this the archdeacon walked away, and would not argue the matter
any further with his wife at the moment. He knew very well that he could
not get the better of her, and was apt at such moments to think that she
took an unfair advantage of him by keeping her temper. But he could not
get out of his head the idea that perhaps on this very day things were
being arranged between his son and Grace Crawley at Framley; and he
resolved that he himself would go over and see what might be done. He
would, at any rate, tell all his trouble to Lady Lufton, and beg his old
friend to assist him. He could not think that such a one as he had
always known Lady Lufton to be would approve of a marriage between Henry
Grantly and Grace Crawley. At any rate, he would learn the truth. He had
once been told that Grace Crawley had herself refused to marry his son,
feeling that she would do wrong to inflict so great an injury upon any
gentleman. He had not believed in so great a virtue. He could not
believe it now--now, when he heard that Miss Crawley and his son were
staying together in the same parish. Somebody must be doing him an
injury. It could hardly be chance. But his presence at Framley might
even yet have a good effect, and he would at least learn the truth. So
he had himself driven to Barchester, and from Barchester he took
post-horses to Framley.
As he came near to the village, he grew to be somewhat ashamed of
himself, or, at least, nervous as to the mode in which he would proceed.
The driver, turning round to him, had suggested that he supposed he was
to drive to 'My Lady's'. This injustice to Lord Lufton, to whom the
house belonged, and with whom his mother lived as a guest, was very
common in the county; for old Lady Lufton had lived at Framley Court
through her son's long minority, and had kept the house there till his
marriage; and even since his marriage she had been recognised as its
presiding genius. It certainly was not the fault of old Lady Lufton, as
she always spoke of everything as belonging either to her son or
daughter-in-law. The archdeacon had been in doubt whether he would go to
the Court or the parsonage. Could he have done exactly as he wished, he
would have left the chaise and walked to the parsonage, so as to reach
it without the noise and fuss incidental to a postillion's arrival. But
that was impossible. He could not drop into Framley as though he had
come from the clouds, and, therefore, he told the man to do as he had
suggested. 'To my lady's?' said the postillion. The archdeacon assented,
and the man, with loud cracks of his whip, and with a spasmodic gallop
along the short avenue, took the archdeacon up to the door of Lord
Lufton's house. He asked for Lord Lufton first, putting on his
pleasantest smile, so that the servant should not suspect the purpose,
of which he was somewhat ashamed. Was Lord Lufton at home? Lord Lufton
was not at home. Lord Lufton had gone up to London that morning,
intending to return the day after tomorrow; but both my ladies were at
home. So the archdeacon was shown into the room where both my ladies
were sitting--and with them he found Mrs Robarts. Anyone who had become
acquainted with the habits of the Framley ladies would have known that
this might very probably be the case. The archdeacon himself was as well
aware as anyone of the modes of life at Framley. The lord's wife was the
parson's sister, and the parson's wife had from her infancy been the
petted friend of the old lady. Of course they all lived very much
together. Of course Mrs Robarts was as much at home in the drawing-room
of Framley Court as she was in her own drawing-room at the parsonage.
Nevertheless, the archdeacon thought himself to be hardly used when he
found Mrs Robarts was at the house.
'My dear archdeacon, who ever expected to see you?' said old Lady
Lufton. Then the two younger women greeted him. And they all smiled on
him pleasantly, and seemed overjoyed to see him. He was, in truth, a
great favourite at Framley, and each of the three was glad to welcome
him. They believed in the archdeacon at Framley, and felt for him that
sort of love which ladies in the country do feel for their elderly male
friends. There was not one of the three who would not have taken much
trouble to get anything for the archdeacon which they had thought the
archdeacon would like. Even old Lady Lufton remembered what was his
favourite soup, and always took care that he should have it when he
dined at the Court. Young Lady Lufton would bring his tea to him as he
sat in his chair. He was petted in the house, was allowed to poke the
fire if he pleased, and called the servants by their names as though he
were at home. He was compelled, therefore, to smile and to seem pleased;
and it was not till after he had eaten his lunch, and had declared that
he must return home to dinner, that the dowager gave him an opportunity
of having the private conversation which he desired.
'Can I have a few minutes' talk with you?' he said to her, whispering
into her ear as they left the drawing-room together. So she led the way
into her own sitting-room, telling him, as she asked him to be seated,
that she supposed that something special must have brought him over to
Framley. 'I should have asked you to come up here, even if you had not
'Then perhaps you know what has brought me over?' said the archdeacon.
'Not in the least,' said Lady Lufton. 'I have not an idea. But I did
not flatter myself that you would come so far on a morning call to see
us three ladies. I hope you did not want to see Ludovic, because he will
not be back till tomorrow.'
'I wanted to see you, Lady Lufton.'
'That is lucky, as here I am. You may be pretty sure to find me here
any day in the year.'
After this there was a little pause. The archdeacon hardly knew how to
begin his story. In the first place he was in doubt whether Lady Lufton
had ever heard of the preposterous match which his son had proposed to
himself to make. In his anger at Plumstead he had felt sure that she
knew all about it, and that she was assisting his son. But this belief
had dwindled as his anger had dwindled; and as the chaise had entered
the parish of Framley he had told himself that it was quite impossible
that she should know anything about it. Her manner had certainly been
altogether in her favour since he had been in her house. There had been
nothing of the consciousness of guilt in her demeanour. But,
nevertheless, there was the coincidence! How had it come to pass that
Grace Crawley and his son should be at Framley together? It might,
indeed, be just possible that Flurry might have been wrong, and that his
son had not been there at all.
'I suppose Miss Crawley is at the parsonage?' he said at last.
'Oh, yes; she is still there, and will remain there I should think for
the next ten days.'
'Oh; I did not know,' said the archdeacon very coldly.
It seemed to Lady Lufton, who was as innocent as an unborn babe in the
matter of the projected marriage, that her old friend was in a mind to
persecute the Crawleys. He had on a former occasion taken upon himself
to advise that Grace Crawley should not be entertained at Framley, and
now it seemed that he had come all the way from Plumstead to say
something further in the same strain. Lady Lufton, if had anything
further to say of that kind, would listen to him as a matter of course.
She would listen to him and reply to him without temper. But she did not
approve of it. She told herself silently that she did not approve of
persecution or of interference. She therefore drew herself up, and
pursed her mouth, and put on something of that look of severity which
she could assume very visibly, if it so pleased her.
'Yes; she is still there, and I think her visit will do her a great deal
of good,' said Lady Lufton.
'When we talk of doing good to people,' said the archdeacon, 'we often
make terrible mistakes. It so often happens that we don't know when we
are doing good and when we are doing harm.'
'That is true, of course, Dr Grantly, and must be so necessarily, as our
wisdom here below is so very limited. But I should think--as far as I
can see, that is,--that the kindness which my friend Mrs Robarts is
showing to this young lady must be beneficial. You know, archdeacon, I
explained to you before that I could not quite agree with you in what
you said as to leaving these people alone till after the trial. I
thought that help was necessary to them at once.'
The archdeacon sighed deeply. He ought to have been somewhat renovated
in spirit by the tone in which Lady Lufton spoke to him, as it conveyed
to him almost an absolute conviction that his first suspicion was
incorrect. But any comfort which might have come to him from this source
was marred by the feeling that he must announce his own disgrace. At any
rate, he must do so, unless he were contented to go back to Plumstead
without having learned anything by his journey. He changed the tone of
his voice, however, and asked a question--as it might be altogether on a
different subject. 'I heard yesterday,' he said, 'that Henry was over
'He was here yesterday. He came the evening before, and dined and slept
here, and went home yesterday morning.'
'Was Miss Crawley with you that evening?'
'Miss Crawley? No; she would not come. She thinks it best not to go
out while her father is in his present unfortunate position; and she is
'She is quite right in that,' said the archdeacon; and then he paused
again. He thought that it would be best for him to make a clean breast
of it, and to trust Lady Lufton's sympathy. 'Did Henry go up to the
parsonage?' he asked.
But still Lady Lufton did not suspect the truth. 'I think he did,' she
replied, with an air of surprise. 'I think I heard that he went up there
to call on Mrs Robarts after breakfast.'
'No, Lady Lufton, he did not go up there to call on Mrs Robarts. He went
up there because he is making a fool of himself about that Miss Crawley.
That is the truth. Now you understand it all. I hope that Mrs Robarts
does not know it. I do hope for her own sake that Mrs Robarts does not
The archdeacon certainly had no longer any doubt as to Lady Lufton's
innocence when he looked at her face as she heard these tidings. She had
predicted that Grace Crawley would 'make havoc', and could not,
therefore, be altogether surprised at the idea that some gentleman
should have fallen in love with her; but she had never suspected that
the havoc might be made so early in her days, or on so great a quarry.
'You don't mean to tell me that Henry Grantly is in love with Grace
Crawley?' she replied.
'I mean to say that he says he is.'
'Dear, dear, dear! I'm sure, archdeacon, that you will believe me when
I say that I knew nothing about it.'
'I am quite sure of that,' said the archdeacon dolefully.
'Or I certainly should not have been glad to see him here. But the
house, you know, is not mine, Dr Grantly. I could have done nothing if I
had known of it. But only to think--; well, to be sure. She has lost no
time, at any rate.'
Now this was not at all the light in which the archdeacon wished that
the matter should be regarded. He had been desirous that Lady Lufton
should be horror-stricken by the tidings, but it seemed to him that she
regarded the iniquity as a good joke. What did it matter how young or
how old the girl might be? She came of poor people--of people who had no
friends--of disgraced people; and Lady Lufton ought to feel that such a
marriage would be a terrible crime. 'I need hardly tell you, Lady
Lufton,' said the archdeacon, 'that I shall set my face against it as
far as it is in my power to do so.'
'If they both be resolved I suppose you can hardly prevent it.'
'Of course I cannot prevent it. Of course I cannot prevent it. If he
will break my heart and his mother's--and his sister's--of course I
cannot prevent it. If he will ruin himself he must have his own way.'
'Ruin himself, Dr Grantly!'
'They will have enough to live upon--somewhere in Spain or France.' The
scorn expressed in the archdeacon's voice as he spoke of Pau as being
somewhere in Spain or France' should have been heard to be understood.
'No doubt they will have enough to live upon.'
'Do you mean to say that it will make a difference as to your own
property, Dr Grantly?'
'Certainly it will, Lady Lufton. I told Henry when I first heard of the
thing--before he had definitely made any offer to the girl--that I
should withdraw from him altogether the allowance that I now make him,
if he married her. And I told him also that if he persisted in his folly
I should think it my duty to alter my will.'
'I am sorry for that, Dr Grantly.'
'Sorry! And am I not sorry? Sorrow is no sufficient word. I am
broken-hearted. Lady Lufton, it is killing me. It is indeed. I love him;
I love him;--I love him as you have loved your son. But what is the use?
What can he be to me when he shall have married the daughter of such a
man as that?'
Lady Lufton sat for a while silent, thinking of a certain episode in her
own life. There had been a time when her son was desirous of making a
marriage which she had thought would break her heart. She had for a time
moved heaven and earth--as far as she knew how to move them--to prevent
the marriage. But at last she had yielded--not from lack of power, for
the circumstances had been such that at the moment of yielding she had
still the power in her hand of staying the marriage--but she had yielded
because she had perceived that her son was in earnest. She had yielded,
and had kissed the dust; but from the moment in which her lips had so
touched the ground, they had taken great joy in the daughter in whom her
son had brought into the house. Since that she had learned to think that
young people might perhaps be right, and that old people might perhaps
be wrong. This trouble of her friend the archdeacon's was very like her
own trouble. 'And he is engaged to her now?' she said, when those
thoughts had passed through her mind.
'Yes;--that is, no. I am not sure. I do not know how to make myself
'I am sure Major Grantly will tell you all the truth as it exists.'
'Yes; he'll tell me the truth--as far as he knows it. I do not see that