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Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

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I Who will be the new Bishop?
II Hiram's Hospital, according to Act of Parliament
III Dr and Mrs Proudie
IV The Bishop's Chaplain
V A Morning Visit
VI War
VII The Dean and Chapter take Counsel
VIII The Ex-Warden rejoices at his probable Return to the Hospital
IX The Stanhope Family
X Mrs Proudie's Reception--Commenced
XI Mrs Proudie's Reception--Concluded
XII Slope versus Harding
XIII The Rubbish Cart
XIV The New Champion
XV The Widow's Suitors
XVI Baby Worship
XVII Who shall be Cock of the Walk?
XVIII The Widow's Persecution
XIX Barchester by Moonlight
XX Mr Arabin
XXI St Ewold's Parsonage
XXII The Thornes of Ullathorne
XXIII Mr Arabin reads himself in at St Ewold's
XXIV Mr Slope manages matters very well at Puddingdale
XXV Fourteen Arguments in favour of Mr Quiverful's Claims
XXVI Mrs Proudie wrestles and gets a Fall
XXVII A Love Scene
XXVIII Mrs Bold is entertained by Dr and Mrs Grantly at Plumstead
XXIX A serious Interview
XXX Another Love Scene
XXXI The Bishop's Library
XXXII A New Candidate for Ecclesiastical Honours
XXXIII Mrs Proudie Victrix
XXXIV Oxford--The Master and Tutor of Lazarus
XXXV Miss Thorne's Fete Champetre
XXXVI Ullathorne Sports--Act I
XXXVII The Signora Neroni, the Countess De Courcy, and
Mrs Proudie meet each other at Ullathorne
XXXVIII The Bishop sits down to Breakfast and the Dean dies
XXXIX The Lookalofts and the Greenacres
XL Ullathorne Sports--Act II
XLI Mrs Bold confides her Sorrow to her Friend Miss Stanhope
XLII Ullathorne Sports--Act III
XLIII Mrs and Mrs Quiverful are made happy.
Mr Slope is encouraged by the Press
XLIV Mrs Bold at Home
XLV The Stanhopes at Home
XLVI Mr Slope's parting Interview with the Signora

XLVII The Dean Elect
XLVIII Miss Thorne shows her Talent at Match-making
XLIX The Belzebub Colt
L The Archdeacon is satisfied with the State of Affairs
LI Mr Slope's Farewell to the Palace and its Inhabitants
LII The new Dean takes Possession of the Deanery,
and the New Warden of the Hospital
LIII Conclusion



In the latter days of July in the year 185-, a most important
question was for ten days hourly asked in the cathedral city of
Barchester, and answered every hour in various ways--Who was to be
the new Bishop?

The death of old Dr Grantly, who had for many years filled the
chair with meek authority, took place exactly as the ministry of
Lord - was going to give place to that Lord -. The illness of the
good old man was long and lingering, and it became at last a matter
of intense interest to those concerned whether the new appointment
should be made by a conservative or liberal government.

Bishop Grantly died as he had lived, peaceably, slowly, without
pain and without excitement. The breath ebbed from him almost
imperceptibly, and for a month before his death, it was a question
whether he was alive or dead.

A trying time was this for the archdeacon, for whom was designed
the reversion of his father's see by those who then had the giving
away of episcopal thrones. I would not be understood to say that
the prime minister had in so many words promised the bishopric to
Dr Grantly. He was too discreet a man for that. There is a proverb
with reference to the killing of cats, and those who know anything
either of high or low government places, will be well aware that a
promise may be made without positive words, and that an expectant
may be put into the highest state of encouragement, though the
great man on whose breath he hangs may have done no more than
whisper that 'Mr So-and-so is certainly a rising man.'

Such a whisper had been made, and was known by those who heard it
to signify that the cures of the diocese of Barchester should not
be taken out of the hands of the archdeacon. The then prime
minister was all in all at Oxford, and had lately passed a night at
the house of the master of Lazarus. Now the master of
Lazarus--which is, by the bye, in many respects the most
comfortable, as well as the richest college at Oxford,--was the
archdeacon's most intimate friend and most trusted counsellor. On
the occasion of the prime minister's visit, Dr Grantly was of
course present, and the meeting was very gracious. On the following
morning Dr Gwynne, the master, told the archdeacon that in his
opinion the matter was settled.

At this time the bishop was quite on his last legs; but the
ministry was also tottering. Dr Grantly returned from Oxford happy
and elated, to resume his place in the palace, and to continue to
perform for the father the last duties of a son; which, to give him
his due, he performed with more tender care than was to be expected
from his usual somewhat worldly manners.

A month since the physicians had named four weeks as the outside
period during which breath could be supported within the body of
the dying man. At the end of the month the physicians wondered, and
named another fortnight. The old man lived on wine alone, but at
the end of the fortnight he still lived; and the tidings of the
fall of the ministry became more frequent. Sir Lamda Mewnew and Sir
Omicron Pie, the two great London doctors, now came down for the
fifth time, and declared, shaking their learned heads, that another
week of life was impossible; and as they sat down to lunch in the
episcopal dining-room, whispered to the archdeacon their own
private knowledge that the ministry must fall within five days. The
son returned to his father's room, and after administering with his
own hands the sustaining modicum of madeira, sat down by the
bedside to calculate his chances.

The ministry were to be out within five days: his father was to be
dead within--No, he rejected that view of the subject. The ministry
were to be out, and the diocese might probably be vacant at the
same period. There was much doubt as to the names of the men who
were to succeed to power, and a week must elapse before a Cabinet
was formed. Would not vacancies be filled by the out-going men
during that week? Dr Grantly had a kind of idea that such would be
the case, but did not know; and then he wondered at his own
ignorance of such a question.

He tried to keep his mind away from the subject, but he could not.
The race was so very close, and the stakes were so very high. He
then looked at the dying man's impassive, placid face. There was no
sign there of death or disease; it was something thinner than of
yore, somewhat grayer, and the deep lines of age more marked; but,
as far as he could judge, life might yet hang there for weeks to
come. Sir Lamda Mewnew and Sir Omicron Pie had thrice been wrong,
and might yet be wrong thrice again. The old bishop slept during
twenty of the twenty-four hours, but during the short periods of
his waking moments, he knew both his son and his dear friend Mr
Harding, the archdeacon's father-in-law, and would thank them
tenderly for their care and love. Now he lay sleeping like a baby,
resting easily on his back, his mouth just open, and his few gray
hairs straggling from beneath his cap; his breath was perfectly
noiseless, and his thin, wan hand, which lay above the coverlid,
never moved. Nothing could be easier than the old man's passage
from this world to the next.

But by no means easy were the emotions of him who sat there
watching. He knew it must be now or never. He was already over
fifty, and there was little chance that his friends who were now
leaving office would soon return to it. No probable British prime
minister but he who was now in, he who was so soon to be out, would
think of making a bishop of Dr Grantly. Thus he thought long and
sadly, in deep silence, and then gazed at that still living face,
and then at last dared to ask himself whether he really longed for
his father's death.

The effort was a salutary one, and the question was answered in a
moment. The proud, wishful, worldly man, sank on his knees by the
bedside, and taking the bishop's hand within his own, prayed
eagerly that his sins might be forgiven him.

His face was still buried in the clothes when the door of the
bed-room opened noiselessly, and Mr Harding entered with a velvet
step. Mr Harding's attendance at that bedside had been nearly as
constant as that of the archdeacon, and his ingress and egress was
as much a matter of course as that of his son-in-law. He was
standing close beside the archdeacon before he was perceived, and
would have also knelt in prayer had he not feared that his doing so
might have caused some sudden start, and have disturbed the dying
man. Dr Grantly, however, instantly perceived him, and rose from
his knees. As he did so Mr Harding took both his hands, and pressed
them warmly. There was more fellowship between them at that moment
than there had ever been before, and it so happened that after
circumstances greatly preserved the feeling. As they stood there
pressing each other's hands, the tears rolled freely down their

'God bless you, my dears,'--said the bishop with feeble voice as he
woke--'God bless you--may God bless you both, my dear children:'
and so he died.

There was no loud rattle in the throat, no dreadful struggle, no
palpable sign of death; but the lower jaw fell a little from its
place, and the eyes, which had been so constantly closed in sleep,
now remained fixed and open. Neither Mr Harding nor Dr Grantly knew
that life was gone, though both suspected it.

'I believe it's all over,' said Mr Harding, still pressing the
other's hands. 'I think--nay, I hope it is.'

'I will ring the bell,' said the other, speaking all but in a
whisper. 'Mrs Phillips should be here.'

Mrs Phillips, the nurse, was soon in the room, and immediately,
with practised hand, closed those staring eyes.

'It's all over, Mrs Phillips?' asked Mr Harding.

'My lord's no more,' said Mrs Phillips, turning round and
curtseying with a solemn face; 'His lordship's gone more like a
sleeping baby than any that I ever saw.'

'It's a great relief, archdeacon,' said Mr Harding, 'A great
relief--dear good, excellent old man. Oh that our last moments may
be as innocent and peaceful as his!'

'Surely,' said Mrs Phillips. 'The Lord be praised for all his
mercies; but, for a meek, mild, gentle-spoken Christian, his
lordship was--' and Mrs Phillips, with unaffected but easy grief,
put up her white apron to her flowing eyes.

'You cannot but rejoice that it is over,' said Mr Harding, still
counselling his friend. The archdeacon's mind, however, had already
travelled from the death chamber to the closet of the prime
minister. He had brought himself to pray for his father's life, but
now that that life was done, to dally with the fact of the bishop's
death--useless to lose perhaps everything for the pretence of a
foolish sentiment.

But how was he to act while his father-in-law stood there holding
his hand? How, without appearing unfeeling, was he to forget his
father in the bishop--to overlook what he had lost, and think only
of what he might possibly gain?

'No; I suppose not,' said he, at last, in answer to Mr Harding. 'We
have all expected it for so long.'

Mr Harding took him by the arm and led him from the room. 'We will
see him again to-morrow morning,' said he; 'We had better leave the
room now to the woman.' And so they went downstairs.

It was already evening and nearly dark. It was most important that
the prime minister should know that night that the diocese was
vacant. Everything might depend on it; and so, in answer to Mr
Harding's further consolation, the archdeacon suggested that a
telegraph message should be immediately sent off to London. Mr
Harding who had really been somewhat surprised to find Dr Grantly,
as he thought, so much affected, was rather taken aback; but he
made no objection. He knew that the archdeacon had some hope of
succeeding to his father's place, though he by no means knew how
highly raised that hope had been.

'Yes,' said Dr Grantly, collecting himself and shaking off his
weakness, 'We must send a message at once; we don't know what might
be the consequences of delay. Will you do it?'

'I! Oh yes; certainly: I'll do it, only I don't know exactly what
it is you want.'

Dr Grantly sat down before a writing table, and taking pen and ink,
wrote on a slip of paper as follows:-

By Electric Telegraph,
For the Earl of -, Downing Street, or elsewhere.
'The Bishop of Barchester is dead.'
Message sent by the Rev. Septimus Harding.

'There,' said he. 'Just take that to the telegraph office at the
railway station, and give it as it is; they'll probably make you
copy it on to one of their own slips; that's all you'll have to do:
then you'll have to pay them half-a-crown.' And the archdeacon put
his hand in his pocket and pulled out the necessary sum.

Mr Harding felt very much like an errand-boy, and also felt that he
was called on to perform his duties as such at rather an unseemly
time; but he said nothing, and took the slip of paper and the
proffered coin.

'But you've put my name into it, archdeacon.'

'Yes,' said the other, 'There should be the name of some clergyman,
you know, and what name so proper as that of so old a friend as
yourself? The Earl won't look at the name you may be sure of that;
but my dear Mr Harding, pray don't lose any time.'

Mr Harding got as far as the library door on his way to the
station, when he suddenly remembered the news with which he was
fraught when he entered to poor bishop's bedroom. He had found the
moment so inopportune for any mundane tidings, that he had
repressed the words which were on his tongue, and immediately
afterwards all recollection of the circumstance was for the time
banished by the scene which had occurred.

'But, archdeacon,' said, he turning back, 'I forgot to tell
you--the ministry are out.'

'Out!' ejaculated the archdeacon, in a tone which too plainly
showed the anxiety of his dismay, although under the circumstances
of the moment he endeavoured to control himself: 'Out! Who told you

Mr Harding explained that news to this effect had come down by
electric telegraph, and that the tidings had been left at the
palace door by Mr Chadwick.

The archdeacon sat silent for awhile, meditating, and Mr Harding
stood looking at him. 'Never mind,' said the archdeacon at last;
'Send the message all the same. The news must be sent to some one,
and there is at present no one else in a position to receive it. Do
it at once, my dear friend; you know I would not trouble you, were
I in a state to do it myself. A few minutes' time is of the
greatest importance.'

Mr Harding went out and sent the message, and it may be as well
that we should follow it to its destination. Within thirty minutes
of its leaving Barchester it reached the Earl of - in his inner
library. What elaborate letters, what eloquent appeals, what
indignant remonstrances, he might there have to frame, at such a
moment, may be conceived, but not described! How he was preparing
his thunder for successful rivals, standing like a British peer
with his back to the sea-coal fire, and his hands in his breeches
pockets,--how his fine eye was lit up with anger, and his forehead
gleamed with patriotism,--how he stamped his foot as he thought of
his heavy associates,--how he all but swore as he remembered how
much too clever one of them had been,--my creative readers may
imagine. But was he so engaged? No; history and truth compel me to
deny it. He was sitting easily in a lounging chair, conning over a
Newmarket list, and by his elbow on the table was lying open an
uncut French novel on which he was engaged.

He opened the cover in which the message was enclosed, and having
read it, he took his pen and wrote on the back of it--

'For the Earl of -,
With the Earl of -'s compliments,'

and sent off again on its journey.

Thus terminated our unfortunate friend's chance of possessing the
glories of a bishopric.

The names of many divines were given in the papers as that of the
bishop elect. The British Grandmother declared that Dr Gwynne was
to be the man, in compliment to the late ministry.

This was a heavy blow to Dr Grantly, but he was not doomed to see
himself superseded by his friend. The Anglican Devotee put forward
confidently the claims of a great London preacher of austere
doctrines; and The Eastern Hemisphere, an evening paper supposed to
possess much official knowledge, declared in favour of an eminent
naturalist, a gentleman most completely versed in the knowledge of
rocks and minerals, but supposed by many to hold on religious
subjects no special doctrines whatever. The Jupiter, that daily
paper which, as we all know, is the only true source of infallibly
correct information on all subjects, for a while was silent, but at
last spoke out. The merits of all these candidates were discussed
and somewhat irreverently disposed of, and then The Jupiter
declared that Dr Proudie was to be the man.

Dr Proudie was the man. Just a month after the demise of the late
bishop, Dr Proudie kissed the Queen's hand as his successor elect.

We must beg to be allowed to draw a curtain over the sorrows of the
archdeacon as he sat, sombre and sad at heart, in the study of his
parsonage at Plumstead Episcopi. On the day subsequent to the
dispatch of the message he heard that the Earl of - had consented to
undertake the formation of a ministry, and from that moment he knew
that his chance was over. Many will think that he was wicked to
grieve for the loss of episcopal power, wicked to have coveted it,
nay, wicked even to have thought about it, in the way and at the
moment he had done so.

With such censures, I cannot profess that I completely agree. The
nolo episcopari, though still in use, is so directly at variance
with the tendency of all human aspirations of rising priests in the
Church of England. A lawyer does not sin in seeking to be a judge,
or in compassing his wishes by all honest means. A young diplomat
entertains a fair ambition when he looks forward to be the lord of
a first-rate embassy; and a poor novelist when he attempts to rival
Dickens or rise above Fitzjames, commits no fault, though he may be

Sydney Smith truly said that in these recreant days we cannot
expect to find the majesty of St. Paul beneath the cassock of a
curate. If we look to our clergymen to be more than men, we shall
probably teach ourselves to think that they are less, and can
hardly hope to raise the character of the pastor by denying to him
the right to entertain the aspirations of a man.

Our archdeacon was worldly--who among us is not so? He was
ambitious--who among us is ashamed to own that 'last infirmity of
noble minds!' He was avaricious, my readers will say. No--it was
not for love of lucre that he wished to be bishop of Barchester. He
was his father's only child, and his father had left him great
wealth. His preferment brought him in nearly three thousand a year.
The bishopric, as cut down by the Ecclesiastical Commission, was
only five. He would be a richer man as archdeacon, than he could be
as a bishop. But he certainly did desire to play first fiddle; he
did desire to sit in full lawn sleeves amongst the peers of the
realm; and he did desire, if the truth must be out, to be called
'My Lord' by the reverend brethren.

His hopes, however, were they innocent or sinful, were not fated to
be realised; and Dr Proudie was consecrated Bishop of Barchester.



It is hardly necessary that I should here give to the public any
lengthened biography of Mr Harding, up to the period of the
commencement of this tale. The public cannot have forgotten how ill
that sensitive gentleman bore the attack that was made upon him in
the columns of the Jupiter, with reference to the income which he
received as warden of Hiram's Hospital, in the city of Barchester.
Nor can it be forgotten that a law-suit was instituted against him
on the matter of that charity by Mr John Bold, who afterwards
married his, Mr Harding's, younger and then only unmarried
daughter. Under the pressure of these attacks, Mr Harding had
resigned his wardenship, though strongly recommended to abstain
from doing so, both by his friends and his lawyers. He did,
however, resign it, and betook himself manfully to the duties of
the small parish of St. Cuthbert's, in the city, of which he was
vicar, continuing also to perform those of precentor of the
cathedral, a situation of small emoluments which had hitherto been
supposed to be joined, as a matter of course, to the wardenship of
the hospital above spoken of.

When he left the hospital from which he had been so ruthlessly
driven, and settled himself down in his own modest manner in the
High Street of Barchester, he had not expected that others would
make more fuss about it than he was inclined to do himself; and the
extent of his hope was, that the movement might have been made in
time to prevent any further paragraphs in the Jupiter. His affairs,
however, were not allowed to subside thus quietly, and people were
quite as much inclined to talk about the disinterested sacrifice he
had made, as they had before been to upbraid him for his cupidity.

The most remarkable thing that occurred, was the receipt of an
autographed letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which the
primate very warmly praised his conduct, and begged to know what
his intentions were for the future. Mr Harding replied that he
intended to be rector of St. Cuthbert's in Barchester; and so that
matter dropped. Then the newspapers took up his case, the Jupiter
among the rest, and wafted his name in eulogistic strains through
every reading-room in the nation. It was discovered also, that he
was the author of that great musical work, Harding's Church
Music,--and a new edition was spoken of, though, I believe, never
printed. It is, however, certain that the work was introduced into
the Royal Chapel at St James's, and that a long criticism appeared
in the Musical Scrutator, declaring that in no previous work of its
kind had so much research been joined with such exalted musical
ability, and asserting that the name of Harding would henceforward
be known wherever the Arts were cultivated, or Religion valued.

This was high praise, and I will not deny that Mr Harding was
gratified by such flattery; for if Mr Harding was vain on any
subject, it was on that of music. But here the matter rested. The
second edition, if printed, was never purchased; the copies which
had been introduced into the Royal Chapel disappeared again, and
were laid by in peace, with a load of similar literature. Mr
Towers, of the Jupiter, and his brethren occupied themselves with
other names, and the underlying fame promised to our friend was
clearly intended to be posthumous.

Mr Harding had spent much of his time with his friend the bishop,
much with his daughter Mrs Bold, now, alas, a widow; and had almost
daily visited the wretched remnants of his former subjects, the few
surviving bedesmen now left at Hiram's Hospital. Six of them were
still living. The number, according to old Hiram's will, should
always have been twelve. But after the abdication of their warden,
the bishop had appointed no successor to him, and it appeared as
though the hospital at Barchester would fall into abeyance, unless
the powers that be should take some steps towards putting it once
more into working order.

During the past five years the powers that be had not overlooked
Barchester Hospital, and sundry political doctors had taken the
matter in hand. Shortly after Mr Harding's resignation, the Jupiter
had very clearly shown what ought to be done. In about half a
column it had distributed the income, rebuilt the building, put an
end to all bickerings, regenerated kindly feeling, provided for Mr
Harding, and placed the whole thing on a footing which could not
but be satisfactory to the city and Bishop of Barchester, and to
the nation at large. The wisdom of this scheme was testified by the
number of letters which "Common Sense", "Veritas", and "One that
loves fair play," sent to the Jupiter, all expressing admiration
and amplifying on the details given. It is singular enough that no
adverse letter appeared at all, and, therefore, none of course was

But Cassandra was not believed, and even the wisdom of the Jupiter
sometimes falls on deaf ears. Though other plans did not put
themselves forward in the columns of the Jupiter, reformers of
church charities were not slack to make known in various places
their different nostrums for setting Hiram's Hospital on its feet
again. A learned bishop took occasion, in the Upper House, to
allude to the matter, intimating that he had communicated on the
subject with his right reverend brother of Barchester. The radical
member for Staleybridge had suggested that the funds should be
alienated for the education of the agricultural poor of the
country, and he amused the House by some anecdotes touching the
superstition and habits of the agriculturists in question. A
political pamphleteer had produced a few dozen pages, which he
called 'Who are Hiram's heirs?' intending to give an infallible
rule for the governance of such establishments; and, at last, a
member of the government promised that in the next session a short
bill should be introduced for regulating the affairs of Barchester,
and other kindred concerns.

The next session came, and, contrary to custom, the bill came also.
Men's minds were then intent on other things. The first
threatenings of a huge war hung heavily over the nation, and the
question as to Hiram's heirs did not appear to interest very many
people either in or out of the House. The bill, however, was read
and reread, and in some undistinguished manner passed through its
eleven stages without appeal or dissent. What would John Hiram have
said in the matter, could he have predicted that some forty-five
gentlemen would take on themselves to make a law altering the whole
purport of the will, without in the least knowing at the moment of
their making it, what it was that they were doing? It is however to
be hoped that the under secretary for the Home Office knew, for to
him had the matter been confided.

The bill, however, did pass, and at the time at which this history
is supposed to commence, it had been ordained that there should be,
as heretofore, twelve old men in Barchester Hospital, each with
1s 4d a day; that there should also be twelve old women, each with
1s 2d a day; that there should be a matron with a house and L 70 a
year; a steward with L 150 a year, who should have the spiritual
guidance of that appertaining to the male sex. The bishop, dean,
and warden, were, as formerly, to appoint in turn the recipients of
the charity, and the bishop was to appoint the officers. There was
nothing said as to the wardenship being held by the precentor of
the cathedral, nor a word as to Mr Harding's right to the

It was not, however, till some months after the death of the old
bishop, and almost immediately consequent on the installation of
his successor, that notice was given that the reform was about to
be carried out. The new law and the new bishop were among the
earliest works of a new ministry, or rather of a ministry who,
having for a while given place to their opponents, had then
returned to power; and the death of Dr Grantly occurred, as we
have seen, exactly at the period of change.

Poor Eleanor Bold! How well does that widow's cap become her, and
the solemn gravity with which she devotes to her new duties. Poor

Poor Eleanor! I cannot say that with me John Bold was ever a
favourite. I never thought him worthy of the wife he had won. But
in her estimation he was most worthy. Hers was one of those
feminine hearts which cling to a husband, not with idolatry, for
worship can admit of no defect in its idol, but with the perfect
tenacity of ivy. As the parasite plant will follow even the defects
of the trunk which it embraces, so did Eleanor cling to and love
the very faults of her husband.

She had once declared that whatever her father did should in her
eyes be right. She then transferred her allegiance, and became ever
ready to defend the worst failings of her lord and master.

And John Bold was a man to be loved by a woman; he was himself
affectionate, he was confiding and manly; and that arrogance of
thought, unsustained by first-rate abilities, that attempt at being
better than his neighbours which jarred so painfully on the
feelings of his acquaintances, did not injure him in the estimation
of his wife.

Could she even have admitted that he had a fault, his early death
would have blotted out the memory of it. She wept as for the loss
of the most perfect treasure with which mortal woman had ever been
endowed; for weeks after he was gone the idea of future happiness
in this world was hateful to her; consolation, as it is called, was
insupportable, and tears and sleep were her only relief.

But God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb. She knew that she had
within her the living source of other cares. She knew that there
was to be created for her another subject of weal or woe, of
unutterable joy or despairing sorrow, as God in his mercy might
vouchsafe to her. At first this did not augment her grief! To be
the mother of a poor infant, orphaned before it was born, brought
forth to the sorrows of an ever desolate hearth, nurtured amidst
tears and wailing, and then turned adrift into the world without
the aid of a father's care! There was at first no joy in this.

By degrees, however, her heart became anxious for another object,
and, before its birth, the stranger was expected with all the
eagerness of a longing mother. Just eight months after the father's
death a second John Bold was born, and if the worship of one
creature can be innocent in another, let us hope that the adoration
offered over the cradle of the fatherless infant may not be imputed
as sin.

It will not be worth our while to define the character of the
child, or to point out in how far the faults of the father were
redeemed within that little breast by the virtues of the mother.
The baby, as a baby, was all that was delightful, and I cannot
foresee that it will be necessary for us to inquire into the facts
of his after life. Our present business at Barchester will not
occupy us above a year or two at the furthest, and I will leave it
to some other pen to produce, if necessary, the biography of John
Bold the Younger.

But, as a baby, this baby was all that could be desired. This fact
no one attempted to deny. 'Is he not delightful?' she would say to
her father, looking into his face from her knees, he lustrous eyes
overflowing with soft tears, her young face encircled by her close
widow's cap and her hands on each side of the cradle in which her
treasure was sleeping. The grandfather would gladly admit that the
treasure was delightful, and the uncle archdeacon himself would
agree, and Mrs Grantly, Eleanor's sister, would re-echo the word
with true sisterly energy; and Mary Bold--but Mary Bold was a
second worshipper at the same shrine.

The baby was really delightful; he took his food with a will,
struck out his toes merrily whenever his legs were uncovered, and
did not have fits. These are supposed to be the strongest points of
baby perfection, and in all these our baby excelled.

And in this the widow's deep grief was softened, and a sweet balm
was poured into the wound which she had thought nothing but death
could heal. How much kinder is God to us than we are willing to be
to ourselves! At the loss of every dear face, at the last going of
every well beloved one, we all doom ourselves to an eternity of
sorrow, and look to waste ourselves away in an ever-running
fountain of tears. How seldom does such grief endure! How blessed
is the goodness which forbids it to do so! 'Let me ever remember my
living friends, but forget them as soon as they are dead,' was the
prayer of a wise man who understood the mercy of God. Few perhaps
would have the courage to express such a wish, and yet to do so
would only be to ask for that release from sorrow, which a kind
Creator almost always extends to us.

I would not, however, have it imagined that Mrs Bold forgot her
husband. She really thought of him with all conjugal love, and
enshrined his memory in the innermost centre of her heart. But yet
she was happy in her baby. It was so sweet to press the living toy
to her breast, and feel that a human being existed who did owe, and
was to owe everything to her; whose daily food was drawn from
herself; whose little wants could all be satisfied by her; whose
infant tongue would make his first effort in calling her by the
sweetest name a woman can hear. And so Eleanor's bosom became
tranquil, and she set about her new duties eagerly and gratefully.

As regards the concerns of the world, John Bold had left his widow
in prosperous circumstances. He had bequeathed to her all that he
possessed, and that comprised an income much exceeding what she or
her friends thought necessary for her. It amounted to nearly a
thousand a year; and when she reflected on its extent, her dearest
hope was to hand it over, not only unimpaired, but increased, to
her husband's son, to her own darling, to the little man who now
lay sleeping on her knee, happily ignorant of the cares which were
to be accumulated in his behalf.

When John Bold died, she earnestly implored her father to come and
live with her, but this Mr Harding declined, though for some weeks
he remained with her as a visitor. He could not be prevailed upon
to forego the possession of some small house of his own, and so
remained in the lodgings he had first selected over a chemist's
shop in the High Street at Barchester.



This narrative is supposed to commence immediately after the
installation of Dr Proudie. I will not describe the ceremony, as I
do not precisely understand its nature. I am ignorant whether a
bishop be chaired like a member of parliament, or carried in a gilt
coach like a lord mayor, or sworn in like a justice of the peace,
or introduced like a peer to the upper house, or led between two
brethren like a knight of the garter; but I do know that every
thing was properly done, and that nothing fit or becoming to a
young bishop was omitted on the occasion.

Dr Proudie was not the man to allow anything to be omitted that
might be becoming to his new dignity. He understood well the value
of forms, and knew that the due observations of rank could not be
maintained unless the exterior trappings belonging to it were held
in proper esteem. He was a man born to move in high circles; at
least so he thought himself and circumstances had certainly
sustained him in this view. He was the nephew of a Irish baron by
his mother's side, and his wife was the niece of a Scottish earl.
He had for years held some clerical office appertaining to courtly
matters, which had enabled him to live in London, and to entrust
his parish to his curate. He had been a preacher to the royal
beefeaters, curator of theological manuscripts in the
Ecclesiastical Courts, chaplain of the Queen's Yeomanry Guard, and
almoner to his Royal Highness the Prince of Rappe-Blankenburg.

His residence in the metropolis, rendered necessary by the duties
entrusted to him, his high connections, and the peculiar talents
and nature of the man, recommended him to persons in power; and Dr
Proudie became known as a useful and rising clergyman.

Some few years since, even within the memory of many who are not
yet willing to call themselves old, a liberal clergyman was a
person not frequently to be met. Sydney Smith was such, and was
looked on as a little better than an infidel; a few others also
might be named, but they were 'rarae aves', and were regarded with
doubt and distrust by their brethren. No man was so surely a tory
as a country rector--nowhere were the powers that be so cherished
as at Oxford.

When, however, Dr Whately was made an archbishop, and Dr Hampden
some years afterwards regius professor, many wise divines saw that
a change was taking place in men's minds, and that more liberal
ideas would henceforward be suitable to the priests as well as to
the laity. Clergymen began to be heard of who had ceased to
anathematise papists on the one hand, or vilify dissenters on the
other. It appeared clear that high church principles, as they are
called, were no longer to be the surest claims to promotion with at
any rate one section of statesmen, and Dr Proudie was one among
those who early in life adapted himself to the views held by the
whigs on most theological and religious subjects. He bore with the
idolatry of Rome, tolerated even the infidelity of Socinianism, and
was hand and glove with the Presbyterian Synods of Scotland and

Such a man at such a time was found to be useful, and Dr Proudie's
name began to appear in the newspapers. He was made one of a
commission who went over to Ireland to arrange matters preparative
to the working of the national board; he became honorary secretary
to another commission nominated to inquire into the revenues of
cathedral chapters; and had had something to do with both the
regium donum and the Maynooth Grant.

It must not be on this account be taken as proved that Dr Proudie
was a man of great mental powers, or even of much capacity for
business, for such qualities had not been required in him. In the
arrangement of those church reforms with which he was connected,
the ideas and original conception of the work to be done were
generally furnished by the liberal statesmen of the day, and the
labour of the details was borne by officials of a lower rank. It
was, however, thought expedient that the name of some clergyman
should appear in such matters, and as Dr Proudie had become known
as a tolerating divine, great use of this sort was made of his
name. If he did not do much active good, he never did any harm; he
was amenable to those who were really in authority, and at the
sittings of the various boards to which he belonged maintained a
kind of dignity which had its value.

He was certainly possessed of sufficient tact to answer the purpose
for which he was required without making himself troublesome; but
it must not therefore be surmised that he doubted his own power, or
failed to believe that he could himself take a high part in high
affairs when his own turn came. His was biding his time, and
patiently looking forward to the days when he himself would sit
authoritative at some board, and talk and direct, and rule the
roost, while lesser stars sat round and obeyed, as he had so well
accustomed himself to do.

His reward and his time had now come. He was selected for the
vacant bishopric, and on the next vacancy which might occur in any
diocese would take his place in the House of Lords, prepared to
give not a silent vote in all matters concerning the weal of the
church establishment. Toleration was to be the basis on which he
was to fight his battles, and in the honest courage of his heart he
thought no evil would come to him in encountering even such foes as
his brethren of Exeter and Oxford.

Dr Proudie was an ambitious man, and before he was well consecrated
Bishop of Barchester, he had begun to look up to archepiscopal
splendour, and the glories of Lambeth, or at any rate of
Bishopsthorpe. He was comparatively young, and had, as he fondly
flattered himself, been selected as possessing such gifts, natural
and acquired, as must be sure to recommend him to a yet higher
notice, now that a higher sphere was opened to him. Dr Proudie was,
therefore, quite prepared to take a conspicuous part in all
theological affairs appertaining to these realms; and having such
views, by no means intended to bury himself at Barchester as his
predecessor had done. No: London should still be his ground: a
comfortable mansion in a provincial city might be well enough for
the dead months of the year. Indeed Dr Proudie had always felt it
necessary to his position to retire from London when other great
and fashionable people did so; but London should still be his fixed
residence, and it was in London that he resolved to exercise that
hospitality so peculiarly recommended to all bishops by St Paul.
How otherwise could he keep himself before the world? How else give
the government, in matters theological, the full benefit of his
weight and talents?

This resolution was no doubt a salutary one as regarded the world
at large, but was not likely to make him popular either with the
clergy or the people of Barchester. Dr Grantly had always lived
there; and in truth it was hard for a bishop to be popular after Dr
Grantly. His income had averaged L 9000 a year; his successor was
to be rigidly limited to L 5000. He had but one child on whom to
spend his money; Dr Proudie had seven or eight. He had been a man
of few personal expenses, and they had been confined to the tastes
of a moderate gentleman; but Dr Proudie had to maintain a position
in fashionable society, and had that to do with comparatively small
means. Dr Grantly had certainly kept his carriages, as became a
bishop; but his carriage, horses, and coachmen, though they did
very well for Barchester, would have been almost ridiculous at
Westminster. Mrs Proudie determined that her husband's equipage
should not shame her, and things on which Mrs Proudie resolved,
were generally accomplished.

From all this it was likely to result that Dr Proudie would not
spend much money at Barchester; whereas his predecessor had dealt
with the tradesmen of the city in a manner very much to their
satisfaction. The Grantlys, father and son, had spent their money
like gentlemen; but it soon became whispered in Barchester that Dr
Proudie was not unacquainted with those prudent devices by which
the utmost show of wealth is produced from limited means.

In person Dr Proudie is a good-looking man; spruce and dapper, and
very tidy. He is somewhat below middle height, being about five
feet four; but he makes up for the inches which he wants by the
dignity with which he carries those which he has. It is no fault
of his own if he has not a commanding eye, for he studies hard to
assume it. His features are well formed, though perhaps the
sharpness of his nose may give to his face in the eyes of some
people an air of insignificance. If so, it is greatly redeemed by
his mouth and chin, of which he is justly proud.

Dr Proudie may well be said to have been a fortunate man, for he
was not born to wealth, and he is now bishop of Barchester; but
nevertheless he has his cares. He has a large family, of whom the
three eldest are daughters, now all grown up and fit for
fashionable life; and he has a wife. It is not my intention to
breathe a word against the character of Mrs Proudie, but still I
cannot think that with all her virtues she adds much to her
husband's happiness. The truth is that in matters domestic she
rules supreme over her titular lord, and rules with a rod of iron.
Nor is this all. Things domestic Dr Proudie might have abandoned to
her, if not voluntarily, yet willingly. But Mrs Proudie is not
satisfied with such home dominion, and stretches her power over all
his movements, and will not even abstain from things spiritual. In
fact, the bishop is henpecked.

The archdeacon's wife, in her happy home at Plumstead, knows how to
assume the full privileges of her rank, and express her own mind in
becoming tone and place. But Mrs Grantly's sway, if sway she has,
is easy and beneficent. She never shames her husband; before the
world she is a pattern of obedience; her voice is never loud, nor
her looks sharp: doubtless she values power, and has not
unsuccessfully striven to acquire it; but she knows what should be
the limits of woman's rule.

Not so Mrs Proudie. This lady is habitually authoritative to all,
but to her poor husband she is despotic. Successful as has been his
career in the eyes of the world, it would seem that in the eyes of
his wife he is never right. All hope of defending himself has long
passed from him; indeed he rarely even attempts self-justification;
and is aware that submission produces the nearest approach to peace
which his own house can ever attain.

Mrs Proudie has not been able to sit at the boards and committees
to which her husband has been called by the state; nor, as he often
reflects, can she make her voice heard in the House of Lords. It
may be that she will refuse to him permission to attend to this
branch of a bishop's duties; it may be that she will insist on his
close attendance to his own closet. He has never whispered a word
on the subject to living ears, but he has already made his fixed
resolve. Should such an attempt be made he will rebel. Dogs have
turned against their masters, and even Neapolitans against their
rulers, when oppression has been too severe. And Dr Proudie feels
within himself that if the cord be drawn too tight, he also can
muster courage and resist.

The state of vassalage in which our bishop had been kept by his
wife has not tended to exalt his character in the eyes of his
daughters, who assume in addressing their father too much of that
authority which is not properly belonging, at any rate, to them.
They are, on the whole, fine engaging young ladies. They are tall
and robust like their mother, whose high cheek bones, and--we may
say auburn hair, they all inherit. They think somewhat too much of
their grand uncles, who have not hitherto returned the compliment
by thinking much of them. But now that their father is a bishop, it
is probable that family ties will be drawn closer. Considering
their connection with the church, they entertain but few prejudices
against the pleasures of the world; and have certainly not
distressed their parents, as too many English girls have lately
done, by any enthusiastic wish to devote themselves to the
seclusion of a protestant nunnery. Dr Proudie's sons are still at

One other marked peculiarity in the character of the bishop's wife
must be mentioned. Though not averse to the society and manners of
the world, she is in her own way a religious woman; and the form in
which this tendency shows itself in her is by a strict observance
of the Sabbatarian rule. Dissipation and low dresses during the
week are, under her control, atoned for by three services, an
evening sermon read by herself, and a perfect abstinence from any
cheering employment on Sunday. Unfortunately for those under her
roof to whom the dissipation and low dresses are not extended, her
servants namely and her husband, the compensating strictness of the
Sabbath includes all. Woe betide the recreant housemaid who is
found to have been listening to the honey of a sweetheart in the
Regent's Park, instead of the soul-stirring evening discourse of Mr
Slope. Not only is she sent adrift, but she is so sent with a
character which leaves her little hope of a decent place. Woe
betide the six-foot hero who escorts Mrs Proudie to her pew in red
plush breeches, if he slips away to the neighbouring beer-shop,
instead of falling into the back seat appropriated to his use. Mrs
Proudie has the eyes of Argus for such offenders. Occasional
drunkenness in the week may be overlooked, for six feet on low
wages are hardly to be procured if the morals are always kept at a
high pitch; but not even for the grandeur or economy will Mrs
Proudie forgive a desecration of the Sabbath.

In such matters, Mrs Proudie allows herself to be often guided by
that eloquent preacher, the Rev. Mr Slope, and as Dr Proudie is
guided by his wife, it necessarily follows that the eminent man we
have named has obtained a good deal of control over Dr Proudie in
matters concerning religion. Mr Slope's only preferment has
hitherto been that of reader and preacher in a London district
church; and on the consecration of his friend the new bishop, he
readily gave this up to undertake the onerous but congenial duties
of domestic chaplain to the bishop.

Mr Slope, however, on his first introduction must not be brought
before the public at the tail of a chapter.



Of the Rev. Mr Slope's parentage I am not able to say much. I have
heard it asserted that he is lineally descended from that eminent
physician who assisted at the birth of Mr T. Shandy, and that in
early years he added an 'e' to his name, for the sake of euphony,
as other great men have done before him. If this be so, I presumed
he was christened Obadiah, for that is his name, in commemoration
of the conflict in which his ancestor so distinguished himself. All
my researches on the subject have, however, failed in enabling me
to fix the date on which the family changed its religion.

He had been a sizar at Cambridge, and had there conducted himself
at any rate successfully, for in due process of time he was an MA,
having university pupils under his care. From thence he was
transferred to London, and became preacher at a new district church
built on the confines of Baker Street. He was in this position when
congenial ideas on religious subjects recommended him to Mrs
Proudie, and the intercourse had become close and confidential.

Having been thus familiarly thrown among the Misses Proudie, it was
more than natural that some softer feeling than friendship should
be engendered. There have been some passages of love between him
and the eldest hope, Olivia; but they have hitherto resulted in no
favourable arrangement. In truth, Mr Slope, having made a
declaration of affection, afterwards withdrew it on finding that
the doctor had no immediate worldly funds with which to endow his
child; and it may easily be conceived that Miss Proudie, after such
an announcement on his part, was not readily disposed to receive
any further show of affection. On the appointment of Dr Proudie to
the bishopric of Barchester, Mr Slope's views were, in truth,
somewhat altered. Bishops, even though they be poor, can provide
for clerical children, and Mr Slope began to regret that he had not
been more disinterested. He no sooner heard the tidings of the
doctor's elevation, than he recommenced his siege, not violently,
indeed, but respectfully, and at a distance. Olivia Proudie,
however, was a girl of spirit: she had the blood of two peers in
her veins, and, better still, she had another lover on her books;
so Mr Slope sighed in vain; and the pair soon found it convenient
to establish a mutual bond of inveterate hatred.

It may be thought singular that Mrs Proudie's friendship for the
young clergyman should remain firm after such an affair; but, to
tell the truth, she had known nothing of it. Though very fond of Mr
Slope herself, she had never conceived the idea that either of her
daughters would become so, and remembering that their high birth
and social advantages, expected for them matches of a different
sort. Neither the gentleman nor the lady found it necessary to
enlighten her. Olivia's two sisters had each known of the affair,
so had all the servants, so had all the people living in the
adjoining houses on either side; but Mrs Proudie had been kept in
the dark.

Mr Slope soon comforted himself with the reflection that, as he had
been selected as chaplain to the bishop, it would probably be in
his power to get the good things in the bishop's gift, without
troubling himself with the bishop's daughter; and he found himself
able to endure the pangs of rejected love. As he sat himself down
in the railway carriage, confronting the bishop and Mrs Proudie, as
they started on their first journey to Barchester, he began to form
in his own mind a plan of his future life. He knew well his
patron's strong points, but he knew the weak ones as well. He
understood correctly enough to what attempts the new bishop's high
spirit would soar, and he rightly guessed that public life would
better suit the great man's taste, than the small details of
diocesan duty.

He, therefore, he, Mr Slope, would in effect be bishop of
Barchester. Such was his resolve; and to give Mr Slope his due, he
had both courage and spirit to bear him out in his resolution. He
knew that he should have a hard battle to fight, for the power and
patronage of the see would be equally coveted by another great
mind--Mrs Proudie would also choose to be bishop of Barchester. Mr
Slope, however, flattered himself that he could outmanoeuvre the
lady. She must live much in London, while he would always be on the
spot. She would necessarily remain ignorant of much while he would
know everything belonging to the diocese. At first, doubtless, he
must flatter and cajole, perhaps yield in some things; but he did
not doubt of ultimate triumph. If all other means failed, he could
join the bishop against the wife, inspire courage into the unhappy
man, lay an axe to the rock of the woman's power, and emancipate
the husband.

Such were his thoughts as he sat looking at the sleeping pair in
the railway carriage, and Mr Slope is not the man to trouble
himself with such thoughts for nothing. He is possessed of more
than average abilities, and is of good courage. Though he can stoop
to fawn, and stoop low indeed, if need be, he has still within him
the power to assume the tyrant; and with the power he has certainly
the wish. His acquirements are not of the highest order, but such
as they are they are completely under control, and he knows the use
of them. He is gifted with a certain kind of pulpit eloquence, not
likely, indeed, to be persuasive with men, but powerful with the
softer sex. In his sermons he deals greatly in denunciations,
excites the minds of his weaker hearers with a not unpleasant
terror, and leaves an impression on their minds that all mankind
are in a perilous state, and all womankind too, except those who
attend regularly to the evening lectures in Baker Street. His looks
and tones are extremely severe, so much so that one cannot but
fancy that he regards the greater part of the world as being
infinitely too bad for his care. As he walks through the streets,
his very face denotes his horror of the world's wickedness; and
there is always an anathema lurking in the corner of his eye.

In doctrine, he, like his patron, is tolerant of dissent, if so
strict a mind can be called tolerant of anything. With
Wesleyan-Methodists he has something in common, but his soul
trembles in agony at the iniquities of the Puseyites. His aversion
is carried to things outward as well as inward. His gall rises at a
new church with a high pitched roof; a full-breasted black silk
waistcoat is with him a symbol of Satan; and a profane jest-book
would not, in his view, more foully desecrate the church seat of a
Christian, than a book of prayer printed with red letters, and
ornamented with a cross on the back. Most active clergymen have
their hobby, and Sunday observances are his. Sunday, however, is a
word which never pollutes his mouth--it is always 'the Sabbath'.
The 'desecration of the Sabbath' as he delights to call it, is to
him meat and drink:--he thrives upon that as policemen do on the
general evil habits of the community. It is the loved subject of
all his evening discourses, the source of all his eloquence, the
secret of his power over the female heart. To him, the revelation
of God appears in that one law given for Jewish observance. To him
the mercies of our Saviour speak in vain, to him in vain has been
preached that sermon that fell from the divine lips on the
mountain--'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the
earth'--'Blessed are the merciful, for the they shall obtain
mercy'. To him the New Testament is comparatively of little moment,
for from it can he draw no fresh authority for that dominion which
he loves to exercise over at least a seventh part of man's allotted
time here below.

Mr Slope is tall, and not ill made. His feet and hands are large,
as has ever been the case, with all his family, but he has a broad
chest and wide shoulders to carry off these excrescences, and on
the whole his figure is good. His countenance, however, is not
specially prepossessing. His hair is lank, and of a dull pale
reddish hue. It is always formed into three straight lumpy masses,
each brushed with admirable precision, and cemented with much
grease; two of them adhere closely to the sides of his face, and
the other lies at right angles above them. He wears no whiskers,
and is always punctiliously shaven. His face is nearly of the same
colour as his hair, though perhaps a little redder: it is not
unlike beef,--beef, however, one would say, of a bad quality. His
forehead is capacious and high, but square and heavy, and
unpleasantly shining. His mouth is large, though his lips are thin
and bloodless; and his big, prominent, pale brown eyes inspire
anything but confidence. His nose, however, is his redeeming
feature: it is pronounced straight and well-formed; though I myself
should have liked it better if it did not possess a somewhat
spongy, porous appearance, as though it had been cleverly formed
out of a red coloured cork.

I never could endure to shake hands with Mr Slope. A cold, clammy
perspiration always exudes from him, the small drops are ever to be
seen standing on his brow, and his friendly grasp is unpleasant.

Such is Mr Slope--such is the man who has suddenly fallen into the
midst of Barchester Close, and is destined there to assume the
station which has heretofore been filled by the son of the late
bishop. Think, oh, my meditative reader, what an associate we have
here for those comfortable prebendaries, those gentlemanlike
clerical doctors, those happy well-used, well-fed minor canons, who
have grown into existence at Barchester under the kindly wings of
Bishop Grantly!

But not as a mere associate for those does Mr Slope travel down to
Barchester with the bishop and his wife. He intends to be, if not
their master, at least the chief among them. He intends to lead,
and to have followers; he intends to hold the purse strings of the
diocese, and draw round him an obedient herd of his poor and hungry

And here we can hardly fail to draw a comparison between the
archdeacon and our new private chaplain; and despite the manifold
faults of the former, one can hardly fail to make it much to his

Both men are eager, much too eager, to support and increase the
power of their order. Both are anxious that the world should be
priest-governed, though they have probably never confessed as much,
even to themselves. Both begrudge any other kind of dominion held
by man over man. Dr Grantly, if he admits the Queen's supremacy in
things spiritual, only admits it as being due to the quasi
priesthood conveyed on the consecrating qualities of her
coronation; and he regards things temporal as being by their nature
subject to those which are spiritual. Mr Slope's ideas of
sacerdotal rule are of a quite different class. He cares nothing,
one way or the other, for the Queen's supremacy; these to his ears
are empty words, meaning nothing. Forms he regards but little, and
such titular expressions of supremacy, consecration, ordination,
and the like, convey of themselves no significance to him. Let him
be supreme who can. The temporal king, judge, or gaoler, can work
but on the body. The spiritual master, if he have the necessary
gifts, and can duly use them, has a wider field of empire. He works
upon the soul. If he can make himself be believed, he can be all
powerful over those who listen. If he is careful to meddle with
none who are too strong in intellect, or too weak in flesh, he may
indeed be supreme. And such was the ambition of Mr Slope.

Dr Grantly interfered very little with the worldly doings of those
who were in any way subject to him. I do not mean to say that he
omitted to notice misconduct among his clergy, immorality in his
parish, or omissions in his family; but he was not anxious to do so
where the necessity could be avoided. He was not troubled with a
propensity to be curious, and as long as those around him were
tainted with no heretical leaning towards dissent, as long as they
fully and freely admitted the efficacy of Mother Church, he was
willing that that mother should be merciful and affectionate, prone
to indulgence, and unwilling to chastise. He himself enjoyed the
good things of this world, and liked to let it be known that he did
so. He cordially despised any brother rector who thought harm of
dinner-parties, or dreaded the dangers of a moderate claret-jug;
consequently dinner-parties and claret-jugs were common in the
diocese. He liked to give laws and to be obeyed in them implicitly,
but he endeavoured that his ordinances should be within the compass
of the man, and not unpalatable to the gentleman. He had ruled
among his clerical neighbours now for sundry years, and as he had
maintained his power without becoming unpopular, it may be presumed
that he had exercised some wisdom.

Of Mr Slope's conduct much cannot be said, as his grand career is
yet to commence; but it may be presumed that his tastes will be
very different from those of the archdeacon. He conceives it to be
his duty to know all the private doings and desires of the flock
entrusted to his care. From the poorer classes he exacted and
unconditional obedience to set rules of conduct, and if disobeyed
he has recourse, like his great ancestor, to the fulminations of an
Ernulfus: 'Thou shalt be damned in thy going in and in thy coming
out--in thy eating and thy drinking,' &c &c &c. With the rich,
experience has already taught him a different line of action is
necessary. Men in the upper walks of life do not mind being cursed,
and the women, presuming that it be done in delicate phrase, rather
like it. But he has not, therefore, given up so important a portion
of believing Christians. With the men, indeed, he is generally at
variance; they are hardened sinners, on whom the voice of priestly
charmer often falls in vain; but with the ladies, old and young,
firm and frail, devout and dissipated, he is, as he conceives, all
powerful. He can reprove faults with so much flattery, and utter
censure in so caressing a manner, that the female heart, if it glow
with a spark of low church susceptibility, cannot withstand him. In
many houses he is thus an admired guest: the husbands, for their
wives' sake, are fain to admit him; and when once admitted it is
not easy to shake him off. He has, however, a pawing, greasy way
with him, which does not endear him to those who do not value him
for their souls' sake, and he is not a man to make himself at once
popular in a large circle such as is now likely to surround him at



It was known that Dr Proudie would immediately have to reappoint to
the wardenship of the hospital under the act of Parliament to which
allusion has been made; but no one imagined that any choice was
left to him--no one for a moment thought that he could appoint any
other than Mr Harding. Mr Harding himself, when he heard how the
matter had been settled, without troubling himself much on the
subject, considered it as certain that he would go back to his
pleasant house and garden. And though there would be much that was
melancholy, nay, almost heartrending, in such a return, he still
was glad that it was to be so. His daughter might probably be
persuaded to return there with him. She had, indeed, all but
promised to do so, though she still entertained an idea that the
greatest of mortals, that important atom of humanity, that little
god upon earth, Johnny Bold her baby, ought to have a house of his
own over his head.

Such being the state of Mr Harding's mind in the matter, he did not
feel any peculiar personal interest in the appointment of Dr
Proudie to the bishopric. He, as well as others at Barchester,
regretted that a man should be sent among them who, they were
aware, was not of their way of thinking; but Mr Harding himself was
not a bigoted man on points of church doctrine, and he was quite
prepared to welcome Dr Proudie to Barchester in a graceful and
becoming manner. He had nothing to seek and nothing to fear; he
felt that it behoved him to be on good terms with his bishop, and
he did not anticipate any obstacle that would prevent it.

In such a frame of mind he proceeded to pay his respects at the
palace the second day after the arrival of the bishop and his
chaplain. But he did not go alone. Dr Grantly proposed to accompany
him, and Mr Harding was not sorry to have a companion, who would
remove from his shoulders the burden of conversation in such an
interview. In the affair of the consecration of Dr Grantly had been
introduced to the bishop, and Mr Harding had also been there. He
had, however, kept himself in the background, and he was now to be
presented to the great man for the first time.

The archdeacon's feelings were of a much stronger nature. He was
not exactly the man to overlook his own slighted claims, or to
forgive the preference shown to another. Dr Proudie was playing
Venus to his Juno, and he was prepared to wage an internecine war
against the owner of the wished for apple, and all his satellites
private chaplains, and others.

Nevertheless, it behoved him also to conduct himself towards the
intruder as an old archdeacon should conduct himself to an incoming
bishop; and though he was well aware of all Dr Proudie's abominable
opinions as regarded dissenters, church reform, the hebdomadal
council, and such like; though he disliked the man, and hated the
doctrines, still he was prepared to show respect to the station of
the bishop. So he and Mr Harding called together at the palace.

His lordship was at home, and the two visitors were shown through
the accustomed hall into the well-known room, where the good old
bishop used to sit. The furniture had been bought at a valuation,
and every chair and table, every bookshelf against the wall, and
every square in the carpet, was as well known to each of them as
their own bedrooms. Nevertheless they at once felt that they were
strangers there. The furniture was for the most part the same, yet
the place had been metamorphosed. A new sofa had been introduced,
and horrid chintz affair, most unprelatical and almost irreligious;
such a sofa as never yet stood in the study of any decent high
church clergyman of the Church of England. The old curtains had
also given away. They had, to be sure, become dingy, and that which
had been originally a rich and goodly ruby had degenerated into a
reddish brown. Mr Harding, however, thought the old reddish brown
much preferable to the gaudy buff-coloured trumpery moreen which
Mrs Proudie had deemed good enough for her husband's own room in
the provincial city of Barchester.

Our friends found Dr Proudie sitting on the old bishop's chair,
looking very nice in his new apron; they found, too, Mr Slope
standing on the hearthrug, persuasive and eager, just as the
archdeacon used to stand; but on the sofa they also found Mrs
Proudie, an innovation for which a precedent might be in vain be
sought in all the annals of the Barchester bishopric!

There she was, however, and they could only make the best of her.
The introductions were gone through in much form. The archdeacon
shook hands with the bishop and named Mr Harding, who received such
an amount of greeting as was due from a bishop to a precentor. His
lordship then presented them to his lady wife; the archdeacon
first, with archidiaconal honours, and then the precentor with
diminished parade. After this Mr Slope presented himself. The
bishop, it is true, did mention his name, and so did Mrs Proudie
too, in a louder tone; but Mr Slope took it upon himself the chief
burden of his own introduction. He had great pleasure in making
himself acquainted with Dr Grantly; he had heard much of the
archdeacon's good works in that part of the diocese in which his
duties as archdeacon had been exercised (thus purposely ignoring
the archdeacon's hitherto unlimited dominion over the diocese at
large). He was aware that his lordship depended greatly on the
assistance which Dr Grantly would be able to give him in that
portion of the diocese. He then thrust out his hand, and grasping
that of his new foe, bedewed it unmercifully. Dr Grantly in return
bowed, looked stiff, contracted his eyebrows, and wiped his hand
with his pocket-handkerchief. Nothing abashed, Mr Slope then
noticed the precentor, and descended to the grade of the lower
clergy. He gave him a squeeze of the hand, damp indeed, but
affectionate, and was very glad to make the acquaintance of Mr -;
oh, yes, Mr Harding; he had not exactly caught the name--
'Precentor in the cathedral' surmised Mr Slope. Mr Harding
confessed that such was the humble sphere of his work. 'Some parish
duties as well,' suggested Mr Slope. Mr Harding acknowledged the
diminutive incumbency of St Cuthbert's. Mr Slope then left him
alone, having condescended sufficiently, and joined the
conversation among the higher powers.

There were four persons there, each of whom considered himself the
most important personage in the diocese; himself indeed, or
herself, as Mrs Proudie was one of them; and with such a difference
of opinion it was not probable that they would get on pleasantly
together. The bishop himself actually wore the visible apron, and
trusted mainly to that--to that and to his title, both being facts
which could not be overlooked. The archdeacon knew his subject, and
really understood the business of bishoping, which the others did
not; and this was his strong ground. Mrs Proudie had her sex to
back her, and her habit of command, and was nothing daunted by the
high tone of Dr Grantly's face and figure. Mr Slope had only
himself and his own courage and tact to depend on, but he
nevertheless was perfectly self-assured, and did not doubt but that
he should soon get the better of weak men who trusted so much to
externals, as both bishop and archdeacon appeared to do.

'Do you reside in Barchester, Dr Grantly?' asked the lady with the
sweetest smile.

Dr Grantly explained that he lived in his own parish of Plumstead
Episcopi, a few miles out of the city. Whereupon the lady hoped
that the distance was not too great for country visiting, as she
would be so glad to make the acquaintance of Mrs Grantly. She would
take the earliest opportunity, after the arrival of her horses at
Barchester; their horses were at present in London; their horses
were not immediately coming down, as the bishop would be obliged in
a few days, to return to town. Dr Grantly was no doubt aware that
the bishop was at present much called upon by the 'University
Improvement Committee': indeed, the Committee could not well
proceed without him, as their final report had now to be drawn up.
The bishop had also to prepare a scheme for the 'Manufacturing
Towns Morning and Evening Sunday School Society', of which he was a
patron, or president, or director, and therefore the horses would
not come down to Barchester at present; but whenever the horses did
come down, she would take the earliest opportunity of calling at
Plumstead Episcopi, providing the distance was not too great for
country visiting.

The archdeacon made his fifth bow: he had made one at each mention
of the horses; and promised that Mrs Grantly would do herself the
honour of calling at the palace on an early day. Mrs Proudie
declared that she would be delighted: she hadn't liked to ask, not
being quite sure whether Mrs Grantly had horses; besides, the
distance might have been &c, &c.

Dr Grantly again bowed, but said nothing. He could have bought
every single individual possession of the whole family of the
Proudies, and have restored them as a gift, without much feeling
the loss; and had kept a separate pair of horses for the exclusive
use of his wife since the day of their marriage; whereas Mrs
Proudie had been hitherto jobbed about the streets of London at so
much a month during the season; and at other times had managed to
walk, or hire a smart fly from the livery stables.

'Are the arrangements with reference to the Sabbath-day schools
generally pretty good in your archdeaconry?'

'Sabbath-day schools!' repeated the archdeacon with an affectation
of surprise. 'Upon my word, I can't tell; it depends mainly on the
parson's wife and daughters. There is none at Plumstead.'

This was almost a fib on the part of the Archdeacon, for Mrs
Grantly has a very nice school. To be sure it is not a Sunday
School exclusively, and is not so designated; but that exemplary
lady always attends there an hour before church, and hears the
children say their catechism, and sees that they are clean and tidy
for church, with their hands washed, and their shoes tied; and
Grisel and Florinda, her daughters, carry thither a basket of large
buns, baked on the Saturday afternoon, and distribute them to all
the children not especially under disgrace, which buns are carried
home after church with considerable content, and eaten hot at tea,
being then split and toasted. The children of Plumstead would
indeed open their eyes if they heard their venerated pastor declare
that there were no Sunday schools in the parish.

Mr Slope merely opened his eyes wider, and slightly shrugged his
shoulders. He was not, however, prepared to give up his darling

'I fear there is a great deal of Sabbath travelling here,' said he,
'on looking at the 'Bradshaw', I see that there are three trains in
and three trains out every Sabbath. Could nothing be done to induce
the company to withdraw them? Don't you think, Dr Grantly, that a
little energy might diminish the evil?'

'Not being a director, I really can't say. But if you can withdraw
the passengers, their company, I dare say, will withdraw the
trains,' said the doctor. 'It's merely a question of dividends.'

'But surely, Dr Grantly,' said the lady, 'surely we should look at
it differently. You and I, for instance, in our position: surely we
should do all that we can to control so grievous a sin. Don't you
think so, Mr Harding?' and she turned to the precentor, who was
sitting mute and unhappy.

Mr Harding thought that all porters and stokers, guards, breaksmen,
pointsmen ought to have an opportunity of going to church, and he
hoped that they all had.

'But surely, surely,' continued Mrs Proudie, 'surely that is not
enough. Surely that will not secure such an observance of the
Sabbath as we are taught to conceive is not only expedient by
indispensable; surely--'

Come what come might, Dr Grantly was not to be forced into a
dissertation on a point of doctrine with Mrs Proudie, nor yet with
Mr Slope; so without much ceremony he turned his back upon the
sofa, and began to hope that Dr Proudie had found the palace
repairs had been such as to meet his wishes.

'Yes, yes,' said his lordship; upon the whole he thought so--upon
the whole, he didn't know that there was much ground for complaint;
the architect, perhaps, might have--but his double, Mr Slope, who
had sidled over to the bishop's chair, would not allow his lordship
to finish his ambiguous speech.

'There is one point I would like to mention, Mr Archdeacon. His
lordship asked me to step through the premises, and I see that the
stalls in the second stable are not perfect.'

'Why--there's standing for a dozen horses,'said the archdeacon.

'Perhaps so,' said the other; 'indeed, I've no doubt of it; but
visitors, you know, often require so much accommodation. There are
many of the bishop's relatives who always bring their own horses.'

Dr Grantly promised that due provision for the relatives' horses
should be made, as far at least as the extent of the original
stable building would allow. He would himself communicate with the

'And the coach-house, Dr Grantly,' continued Mr Slope; 'there is
really hardly any room for a second carriage in the large
coach-house, and the smaller one, of course, holds only one.'

'And the gas,' chimed in the lady; 'there is no gas through the
house, none whatever, but in the kitchen and passages. Surely the
palace should have been fitted through with pipes for gas, and hot
water too. There is no hot water laid on anywhere above the ground
floor. Surely there should be the means of getting hot water in the
bed-rooms without having it brought in jugs from the kitchen.'

The bishop had a decided opinion that there should be pipes for hot
water. Hot water was very essential for the comfort of the palace.
It was, indeed, a requisite in any decent gentleman's house.

Mr Slope had remarked that the coping on the garden wall was in
many places imperfect.

Mrs Proudie had discovered a large hole, evidently the work of
rats, in the servants' hall.

The bishop expressed an utter detestation of rats. There was
nothing, he believed, in this world, that he so much hated as a

Mr Slope had, moreover, observed that the locks of the out-houses
were very imperfect: he might specify the coal-cellar, and the

Mrs Proudie had also seen that those on the doors of the servants'
bedrooms were in an equally bad condition; indeed the locks all
through the house were old-fashioned and unserviceable.

The bishop thought that a great deal depended on a good lock, and
quite as much on the key. He had observed that the fault very often
lay with the key, especially if the wards were in any way twisted.

Mr Slope was going on with his catalogue of grievances, when he was
somewhat loudly interrupted by the archdeacon who succeeded in
explaining that the diocesan architect, or rather his foreman, was
the person to be addressed on such subjects; and that he, Dr
Grantly, had inquired as to the comfort of the palace, merely as a
point of compliment. He was very sorry, however, that so many
things had been found amiss: and then he rose from his chair to

Mrs Proudie, though she had contrived to lend her assistance in
recapitulating the palatial dilapidations, had not on that account
given up her hold of Mr Harding, nor ceased from her
cross-examination as the iniquity of Sabbatical amusements. Over
and over again had she thrown out her 'surely, surely,' at Mr
Harding's devoted head, and ill had that gentleman been able to
parry the attack.

He had never before found himself subjected to such a nuisance.
Ladies hitherto, when they had consulted him on religious subjects,
had listened to what he might choose to say with some deference,
and had differed, it they differed, in silence. But Mrs Proudie
interrogated him, and then lectured. 'Neither thou, nor thy son,
nor thy daughter, nor thy man servant, nor thy maid servant,' said
she, impressively, and more than once, as though Mr Harding had
forgotten the words. She shook her finger at him as she quoted the
favourite law, as though menacing him with punishment; and then
called upon him categorically to state whether he did not think
that travelling on the Sabbath was an abomination and a

Mr Harding had never been so hard pressed in his life. He felt that
he ought to rebuke the lady for presuming so to talk to a gentleman
and a clergyman so may years her senior; but he recoiled from the
idea of scolding the bishop's wife, in the bishop's presence, on
his first visit to the palace; moreover, to tell the truth, he was
somewhat afraid of her. She, seeing him sit silent and absorbed, by
no means refrained from the attack.

'I hope, Mr Harding,' said she, shaking her head slowly and
solemnly, 'I hope you will not leave me to think that you approve
of Sabbath travelling,' and she looked a look of unutterable
meaning into his eyes.

There was no standing for this, for Mr Slope was now looking at
him, and so was the bishop, and so was the archdeacon, who had
completed his adieux on that side of the room. Mr Harding therefore
got up also, and putting out his hand to Mrs Proudie, said: 'If you
will come to St Cuthbert's some Sunday, I will preach you a sermon
on the subject.'

And so the archdeacon and the precentor took their departure,
bowing low to the lady, shaking hands with the lord, and escaping
from Mr Slope in the best manner each could. Mr Harding was again
maltreated; but Dr Grantly swore deeply in the bottom of his heart,
that no earthly consideration should ever again induce him to touch
the paw of that impure and filthy animal.

And now, had I the pen of a might poet, would I sing in epic verse
the noble wrath of the archdeacon. The palace steps descend to a
broad gravel sweep, from whence a small gate opens out into the
street, very near the covered gateway leading to the close. The
road from the palace door turns to the left, through the spacious
gardens, and terminates on the London-road, half a mile from the

Till they had passed this small gate and entered the close, neither
of them spoke a word; but the precentor clearly saw from his
companion's face that a tornado was to be expected, nor was he
himself inclined to stop it. Though, by nature far less irritable
than the archdeacon, even he was angry: he even--that mild and
courteous man--was inclined to express himself in anything but
courteous terms.



'Good heavens!' exclaimed the archdeacon, as he placed his foot on
the gravel walk of the close, and raising his hat with one hand,
passed the other somewhat violently over his now grizzled locks;
smoke issued from the uplifted beaver as it were a cloud of wrath,
and the safety-valve of his anger opened, and emitted a visible
steam, preventing positive explosion and probably apoplexy. 'Good
heavens!'--and the archdeacon looked up to the gray pinnacles of
the cathedral tower, making a mute appeal to that still living
witness which had looked down on the doings of so many bishops of

'I don't think I shall ever like that Mr Slope,' said Mr Harding.

'Like him!' roared the archdeacon, standing still for a moment to
give more force to his voice; 'like him!' All the ravens of the
close cawed their assent. The old bells of the tower, in chiming
the hour, echoed the words; and the swallows flying out from their
nests mutely expressed a similar opinion. Like Mr Slope! Why no, it
was not very probable that any Barchester-bred living thing should
like Mr Slope!

'Nor Mrs Proudie either,' said Mr Harding.

The archdeacon thereupon forgot himself. I will not follow his
example, nor shock my readers by transcribing the term in which he
expressed his feelings as to the lady who had been named. The
ravens and the last lingering notes of the clock bells were less
scrupulous, and repeated in corresponding echoes the very improper
exclamation. The archdeacon again raised his hat; and another
salutary escape of steam was effected.

There was a pause, during which the precentor tried to realise the
fact that the wife of the bishop of Barchester had been thus
designated, in the close of the cathedral, by the lips of its own
archdeacon: but he could not do it.

'The bishop seems a quiet man enough,' suggested Mr Harding, having
acknowledged to himself his own failure.

'Idiot!' exclaimed the doctor, who for the nonce was not capable of
more than spasmodic attempts at utterance.

'Well, he did not seem very bright,' said Mr Harding, 'and yet he
has always had the reputation of a clever man. I suppose he's
cautious and not inclined to express himself very freely.'

The new bishop of Barchester was already so contemptible a creature
in Dr Grantly's eyes, that he could not condescend to discuss his
character. He was a puppet to be played by others; a mere wax doll,
done up in an apron and a shovel hat, to be stuck on a throne or
elsewhere and pulled about by wires as others chose. Dr Grantly did
not choose to let himself down low enough to talk about Dr Proudie;
but he saw that he would have to talk about the other members of
his household, the coadjutor bishops, who had brought his lordship
down, as it were, in a box, and were about to handle the wires as
they willed. This in itself was a terrible vexation to the
archdeacon. Could he have ignored the chaplain, and have fought the
bishop, there would have been, at any rate, nothing degrading in
such a contest. Let the Queen make whom she would bishop of
Barchester; a man, or even an ape, when once a bishop, would be a
respectable adversary, if he would but fight, himself. But what was
such a person as Dr Grantly to do, when such another person as Mr
Slope was put forward as his antagonist?

If he, our archdeacon, refused to combat, Mr Slope would walk
triumphant over the field, and have the diocese of Barchester under
his heel.

If, on the other hand, the archdeacon accepted as his enemy the man
whom the new puppet bishop put before him as such, he would have to
talk about Mr Slope, and write about Mr Slope, and in all matters
treat with Mr Slope, as a being standing, in some degree, on ground
similar to his own. He would have to meet Mr Slope; to--Bah! The
idea was sickening. He could not bring himself to have to do with
Mr Slope.

'He is the most thoroughly bestial creature that ever I set my eyes
upon,' said the archdeacon.

'Who--the bishop?'

'Bishop! No--I'm not talking about the bishop. How on earth such a
creature got ordained!--they'll ordain anybody now, I know; but
he's been in the church these ten years; and they used to be a
little careful ten years ago.'

'Oh! You mean Mr Slope.'

'Did you ever see any animal less like a gentleman?'

'I can't say I felt myself much disposed to like him.'

'Like him!' again shouted the doctor, and the assenting ravens
again cawed an echo; 'of course you don't like him; it's not a
question of liking. But what are we to do with him?'

'Do with him?' asked Mr Harding.

'Yes--what are we to do with him? How are we to treat him? There he
is, and there he'll stay. He has put his foot in that palace, and
he will never take it out again till he's driven. How are we to get
rid of him?'

'I don't suppose he can do us much harm.'

'Not do harm!--Well I think you'll find yourself of a different
opinion before a month is gone. What would you say now, if he got
himself put into the hospital? Would that be harm?'

Mr Harding mused awhile, and then said he didn't think the new
bishop would put Mr Slope into the hospital.

'If he doesn't put him there, he'll put him somewhere else where
he'll be as bad. I tell you that that man, to all intents and
purposes, will be Bishop of Barchester;' and again, Dr Grantly
raised his hat, and rubbed his hand thoughtfully and sadly over his

'Impudent scoundrel!' he exclaimed after a while. 'To dare to
cross-examine me about Sunday schools in the diocese, and Sunday
travelling too: I never in my life met his equal for sheer
impudence. Why, he must have thought we were two candidates for

'I declare I thought Mrs Proudie the worst of the two,' said Mr

'When a woman is impertinent one must only put up with it, and keep
out of her way in future; but I am not inclined to put up with Mr
Slope. "Sabbath travelling!"' and the doctor attempted to imitate
the peculiar drawl of the man he so much disliked: '"Sabbath
travelling!" Those are the sort of men who will ruin the Church of
England, and make the profession of clergyman disreputable. It is
not the dissenters or the papists that we should fear, but the set
of canting, low-bred hypocrites who are wriggling their way in
among us; men who have no fixed principle, no standard ideas of
religion or doctrine, but who take up some popular cry, as this
fellow has done about "Sabbath travelling."'

Dr Grantly did not again repeat the question aloud, but he did so
constantly to himself, 'What were they to do with Mr Slope?' How
was he openly, before the world, to show that he utterly
disapproved of and abhorred such a man?

Hitherto Barchester had escaped the taint of any extreme rigour of
church doctrine. The clergymen of the city and the neighbourhood,
though very well inclined to promote high-church principles,
privileges, and prerogatives, had never committed themselves to
tendencies, which are somewhat too loosely called Puseyite
practices. They all preached in their black gowns, as their fathers
had done before them; they wore ordinary black cloth waistcoats;
they had not candles on their altars, either lighted or unlighted;
they made no private genuflexions, and were contented to confine
themselves to such ceremonial observances as had been in vogue for
the last hundred years. The services were decently and demurely
read in their parish churches, chanting was confined to the
cathedral, and the science of intoning was unknown. One young man
who had come direct from Oxford as a curate at Plumstead had, after
the lapse of two or three Sundays, made a faint attempt, much to
the bewilderment of the poorer part of the congregation. Dr Grantly
had not been present on the occasion; but Mrs Grantly, who had her
own opinion on the subject, immediately after the service expressed
a hope that the young gentleman had not been taken ill, and offered
to send him all kinds of condiments supposed to be good for a sore
throat. After that there had been no more intoning at Plumstead

But now the archdeacon began to meditate on some strong measures of
absolute opposition. Dr Proudie and his crew were of the lowest
possible order of Church of England clergymen, and therefore it
behoved him, Dr Grantly, to be of the very highest. Dr Proudie
would abolish all forms and ceremonies, and therefore Dr Grantly
felt the sudden necessity of multiplying them. Dr Proudie would
consent to deprive the church of all collective authority and rule,
and therefore Dr Grantly would stand up for the full power of
convocation, and the renewal of its ancient privileges.

It was true that he could not himself intone the service, but he
could pressure the co-operation of any number of gentlemanlike
curates well trained in the mystery of doing so. He would not
willingly alter his own fashion of dress, but he could people
Barchester with young clergymen dressed in the longest frocks, and
the highest breasted silk waistcoats. He certainly was not prepared
to cross himself, or to advocate the real presence; but, without
going this length, there were various observances, by adopting
which he could plainly show his antipathy to such men as Dr Proudie
and Mr Slope.

All these things passed through his mind as he paced up and down
the close with Mr Harding. War, war, internecine war was in his
heart. He felt that as regarded himself and Mr Slope, one of the
two must be annihilated as far as the city of Barchester was
concerned; and he did not intend to give way until there was not
left to him an inch of ground on which he could stand. He still
flattered himself that he could make Barchester too hot to hold Mr
Slope, and he had no weakness of spirit to prevent his bringing
about such consummation if it were in his power.

'I suppose Susan must call at the palace,' said Mr Harding.

'Yes, she shall call there; but it shall be once and once only. I
dare say "the horses" won't find it convenient to come to Plumstead
very soon, and when that once is done the matter may drop.'

'I don't suppose Eleanor need call. I don't think Eleanor would get
on at all well with Mrs Proudie.'

'Not the least necessity in life,' replied the archdeacon, not
without the reflection that a ceremony which was necessary for his
wife, might not be at all binding on the widow of John Bold. 'Not
the slightest reason on earth why she should do so, if she doesn't
like it. For myself, I don't think that any decent young woman
should be subjected to the nuisance of being in the same room with
that man.'

And so the two clergymen parted. Mr Harding going to his daughter's
house, and the archdeacon seeking the seclusion of his brougham.

The new inhabitants of the palace did not express any higher
opinion of their visitors than their visitors had expressed of
them. Though they did not use quite such strong language as Dr
Grantly had done, they felt as much personal aversion, and were
quite as well aware as he was that there would be a battle to be
fought, and that there was hardly room for Proudieism in Barchester
as long as Grantlyism was predominant.

Indeed, it may be doubted whether Mr Slope had not already within
his breast a better prepared system of strategy, a more
accurately-defined line of hostile conduct than the archdeacon. Dr
Grantly was going to fight because he found that he hated the man.
Mr Slope had predetermined to hate the man because he foresaw the
necessity of fighting him. When he had first reviewed the carte de
pays, previous to his entry into Barchester, the idea had occurred
to him of conciliating the archdeacon, of cajoling and flattering
him into submission, and of obtaining the upper hand by cunning
instead of courage. A little inquiry, however, sufficed to convince
him that all his cunning would fail to win over such a man as Dr
Grantly to such a mode of action as that to be adopted by Mr Slope;
and then he determined to fall back upon his courage. He at once
saw that open battle against Dr Grantly and all Dr Grantly's
adherents was a necessity of his position, and he deliberately
planned the most expedient method of giving offence.

Soon after his arrival the bishop had intimated to the dean that,
with the permission of the canon then in residence, his chaplain
would preach in the cathedral on the next Sunday. The canon in
residence happened to be the Honourable and Reverend Dr Vesey
Stanhope, who at this time was very busy on the shores of Lake
Como, adding to that unique collection of butterflies for which he
is so famous. Or, rather, he would have been in residence but for
the butterflies and other such summer-day considerations; and the
vicar-choral, who was to take his place in the pulpit, by no means
objected to having his word done for him by Mr Slope.

Mr Slope accordingly preached, and if a preacher can have
satisfaction in being listened to, Mr Slope ought to have been
gratified. I have reason to think that he was gratified, and that
he left the pulpit with the conviction that he had done what he
intended to do when he entered it.

On this occasion the new bishop took his seat for the first time in
the throne allotted to him. New scarlet cushions and drapery had
been prepared, with new gilt binding and new fringe. The old carved
oak-wood of the throne, ascending with its numerous grotesque
pinnacles, half-way up to the rood of the choir, had been washed,
and dusted, and rubbed, and it all looked very smart. Ah! How often
sitting there, in happy early days, on those lowly benches in front
of the altar, have I whiled away the tedium of a sermon considering
how best I might thread my way up amidst those wooden towers, and
climb safely to the topmost pinnacle!

All Barchester went to hear Mr Slope; either for that or to gaze at
the new bishop. All the best bonnets of the city were there, and
moreover all the best glossy clerical hats. Not a stall but had its
fitting occupant; for though some of the prebendaries might be away
in Italy or elsewhere, their places were filled by brethren, who
flocked into Barchester on the occasion. The dean was there, a
heavy old man, now too old, indeed, to attend frequently in his
place; and so was the archdeacon. So also were the chancellor, the
treasurer, the precentor, sundry canons and minor canons, and every
lay member of the choir, prepared to sing the new bishop in with
due melody and harmonious expression of sacred welcome.

The service was certainly well performed. Such was always the case
at Barchester, as the musical education of the choir had been good,
and the voices had been carefully selected. The psalms were
beautifully chanted; the Te Deum was magnificently sung; and the
litany was given in a manner, which is still to be found at
Barchester, but, if my taste be correct, is to be found nowhere
else. The litany of Barchester cathedral has long been the special
task to which Mr Harding's skill and voice have been devoted.
Crowded audiences generally make good performers, and though Mr
Harding was not aware of any extraordinary exertion on his part,
yet probably he rather exceeded his usual mark. Others were doing
their best, and it was natural that he should emulate his brethren.
So the service went on, and at last Mr Slope got into the pulpit.

He chose for his text a verse from the precept addressed by St Paul
to Timothy, as to the conduct necessary in a spiritual pastor and
guide, and it was immediately evident that the good clergy of
Barchester were to have a lesson.

'Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.' These were
the words of the text, and with such a subject in such a place, it
may be supposed that such a preacher would be listened to by such
an audience. He was listened to with breathless attention, and not
without considerable surprise. Whatever opinion of Mr Slope might
have been held in Barchester before he commenced, his discourse,
none of his hearers, when it was over, could mistake him for either
a fool or a coward.

It would not be becoming were I to travesty a sermon, or even
repeat the language of it in the pages of a novel. In endeavouring
to depict the characters of the persons of whom I write, I am to a
certain extent forced to speak of sacred things. I trust, however,
that I shall not be thought to scoff at the pulpit, though some may
imagine that I do not feel the reverence that is due to the cloth.
I may question the infallibility of the teachers, but I hope that I
shall not therefore be accused of doubt as to the thing to be

Mr Slope, in commencing his sermon, showed no slight tact in his
ambiguous manner of hinting that, humble as he was himself, he
stood there as the mouthpiece of the illustrious divine who sat
opposite to him; and having presumed so much, he gave forth a very
accurate definition of the conduct which that prelate would rejoice
to see in the clergymen now brought under his jurisdiction. It is
only necessary to say, that the peculiar points insisted on were
exactly those which were most distasteful to the clergy of the
diocese, and most averse to their practices and opinions; and that
all those peculiar habits and privileges which have always been
dear to high-church priests, to that party which is now
scandalously called the high-and-dry church, were ridiculed,
abused, and anathematised. Now, the clergymen of the diocese of
Barchester are all of the high-and-dry church.

Having thus, according to his own opinion, explained how a
clergyman should show himself approved unto God, as a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, he went on to explain how the word of
truth should be divided; and here he took a rather narrow view of
the question; and fetched arguments from afar. His object was to
express his abomination of all ceremonious modes of utterance, to
cry down any religious feeling which might be excited, not by the
sense, but by the sound of words, and in fact to insult the
cathedral practices. Had St Paul spoken of rightly pronouncing
instead of rightly dividing the word of truth, this part of his
sermon would have been more to the purpose; but the preacher's
immediate object was to preach Mr Slope's doctrine, and not St
Paul's, and he contrived to give the necessary twist to the text
with some skill.

He could not exactly say, preaching from a cathedral pulpit, that
chanting should be abandoned in cathedral services. By such an
assertion, he would have overshot his mark and rendered himself
absurd, to the delight of his hearers. He could, however, and did,
allude with heavy denunciations to the practice of intoning in
parish churches, although the practice was not but unknown in the
diocese; and from thence he came round to the undue preponderance,
which he asserted, music over meaning in the beautiful service
which they had just heard. He was aware, he said, that the
practices of our ancestors could not be abandoned at a moment's
notice; the feelings of the aged would be outraged, and the minds
of respectable men would be shocked. There were many, he was aware,
of not sufficient calibre of thought to perceive, of not sufficient
education to know, that a mode of service, which was effective when
outward ceremonies were of more moment than inward feelings, had
become all but barbarous at a time when inward conviction was
everything, when each word of the minister's lips should fall
intelligibly into the listener's heart. Formerly the religion of
the multitude had been an affair of the imagination: now, in these
latter days, it had become necessary that a Christian should have a
reason for his faith--should not only believe, but digest--not only
hear, but understand. The words of our morning service, how
beautiful, how apposite, how intelligible they were, when read with
simple and distinct decorum! But how much of the meaning of the
words was lost when they were produced with all the meretricious
charms of melody! &c &c.

Here was a sermon to be preached before Mr Archdeacon Grantly, Mr
Precentor Harding, and the rest of them! Before a whole dean and
chapter assembled in their own cathedral! Before men who had grown
old in the exercise of their peculiar services, with a full
conviction of their excellence for all intended purposes! This too
from such a man, a clerical parvenu, a man without a cure, a mere
chaplain, an intruder among them; a fellow raked up, so said Dr
Grantly, from the gutters of Marylebone! They had to sit through
it! None of them, not even Dr Grantly, could close his ears, nor
leave the house of God during the hours of service. They were under
an obligation of listening, and that too, without any immediate
power of reply.

There is, perhaps, no greater hardship at present inflicted on
mankind in civilised and free countries than the necessity of
listening to sermons. No one but a preaching clergyman has, in
these realms, the power of compelling audiences to sit silent, and
be tormented. No one but a preaching clergyman can revel in
platitudes, truisms, and untruisms, (sic) and yet receive, as his
undisputed privilege, the same respectful demeanour as though words
of impassioned eloquence, or persuasive logic, fell from his lips.
Let a professor of law or physic find his place in a lecture-room,
and there pour forth jejune words and useless empty phrases, and he
will pour them forth to empty benches. Let a barrister attempt to
talk without talking well, and he will talk but seldom. A judge's
charge need be listened to per force by none but the jury,
prisoner, and gaoler (sic). A member of parliament can be coughed
down or counted out. Town-councillors can be tabooed. But no one
can rid himself of the preaching clergyman. He is the bore of the
age, the old man whom we Sindbads cannot shake off, the nightmare
that disturbs our Sunday's rest, the incubus that overloads our
religion and makes God's service distasteful. We are not forced
into church! No: but we desire more than that. We desire not to be
forced to stay away. We desire, nay, we are resolute, to enjoy the
comfort of public worship; but we desire also that we may do so
without an amount of tedium which ordinary human nature cannot
endure with patience; that we may be able to leave the house of God
without that anxious longing for escape, which is the common
consequence of common sermons.

With what complacency will a young parson deduce false conclusions
from misunderstood texts, and then threaten us with all the
penalties of Hades if we neglect to comply with the injunctions he
has given us! Yes, my too self-confident juvenile friend, I do
believe in those mysteries, which are so common in your mouth; I do
believe in the unadulterated word which you hold there in your
hand; but you must pardon me if, in some things, I doubt your
interpretation. The bible is good, the prayer-book is good, nay,
you yourself would be acceptable, if you would read to me some
portion of those time-honoured discourses which our great divines
have elaborated in the full maturity of their powers. But you must
excuse me, my insufficient young lecturer, if I yawn over your
imperfect sentences, your repeated phrases, your false pathos, your
drawlings (sic) and denouncings (sic), your humming and hawing,
your oh-ing and ah-ing, your black gloves and your white
handkerchief. To me, it all means nothing; and hours are too
precious to be so wasted--if one could only avoid it.

And here I must make a protest against the pretence, so often put
forward by the working clergy, that they are overburdened by the
multitude of sermons to be preached. We are all too fond of our own
voices, and a preacher is encouraged in the vanity of making his
heard by the privilege of a compelled audience. His sermon is the
pleasant morsel of his life, his delicious moment of
self-exaltation. 'I have preached nine sermons this week, four the
week before. I have preached twenty-three sermons this month. It is
really too much.' 'Too much for the strength of any one.' 'Yes,' he
answered meekly, 'indeed it is; I am beginning to feel it
painfully.' 'Would,' said I, 'you could feel it--would that you
could be made to feel it.' But he never guessed that my heart was
wrung for the poor listeners.

There was, at any rate, no tedium felt in listening to Mr Slope on
the occasion in question. His subject came too home to his audience
to be dull; and, to tell the truth, Mr Slope had the gift of using
words forcibly. He was heard through his thirty minutes of

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