The Last Chronicle of Barset eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,014 pages of information about The Last Chronicle of Barset.

’The rural dean in such a case has probably been an old man, and not active,’ said the lawyer.

‘And Dr Tempest is a very old man,’ said Mrs Proudie, ’and in such a matter not at all trustworthy.  He was one of the magistrates who took bail.’

‘His lordship could hardly set him aside,’ said the lawyer.  ’At any rate I would not recommend him to try.  I think you might suggest a commission of five, and propose two of the number yourself.  I do not think that in such a case Dr Tempest would raise any question.’

At last it was settled in this way.  Mr Chadwick was to prepare a letter to Dr Tempest, for the bishop’s signature, in which the doctor should be requested, as the rural dean to whom Mr Crawley was subject, to hold a commission of five to inquire into Mr Crawley’s conduct.  The letter was to explain to Dr Tempest that the bishop, moved by his solicitude for the souls of the people of Hogglestock, had endeavoured, ’in a friendly way,’ to induce Mr Crawley to desist from his ministrations; but that having failed through Mr Crawley’s obstinacy, he had no alternative but to proceed in this way.  ’You had better say that his lordship, as bishop of the diocese, can take no heed of the coming trial,’ said Mrs Proudie.  ‘I think his lordship had better say nothing at all about the trial,’ said Mr Chadwick.  ‘I think it will be best,’ said the bishop.

‘But if they report against him,’ said Mr Chadwick, ’you can only then proceed in the ecclesiastical court—­at your own expense.’

‘He’ll hardly be so obstinate as that,’ said the bishop.

‘I’m afraid you don’t know him, my lord,’ said the lawyer.  The bishop, thinking of the scene which had taken place in that very room only yesterday, felt that he did know Mr Crawley, and felt also that the hope which he had just expressed was one in which he himself put no trust.  But something might turn up; and it was devoutly to be hoped that Dr Tempest would take a long time over his inquiry.  The assizes might come on as soon as it was terminated, or very shortly afterwards; and then everything might be well.  ‘You won’t find Dr Tempest very ready at it,’ said Mr Chadwick.  The bishop in his heart was comforted by the words.  ‘But he must be made to be ready to do his duty,’ said Mrs Proudie, imperiously.  Mr Chadwick shrugged his shoulders, then got up, spoke his farewell little speeches, and left the palace.

CHAPTER XXXV

LILY DALE WRITES TWO WORDS IN HER BOOK

John Eames saw nothing more of Lily Dale till he packed up his portmanteau, left his mother’s house, and went to stay for a few days with his old friend Lady Julia; and this did not happen till he had been above a week at Guestwick.  Mrs Dale repeatedly said that it was odd that Johnny Eames did not come to see them; and Grace, speaking of him to Lily, asked why he did not come.  Lily, in her funny way, declared

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The Last Chronicle of Barset from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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