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.

‘Oh, Dr Tempest,’ said Mary Walker, ’I am so sorry that you have joined the bishop.’

‘Are you, my dear?’ said he.  ’It is generally thought well that a parish clergyman should agree with his bishop.’

’But you know, Mr Tempest, that you don’t agree with your bishop generally.’

’Then it is the more fortunate that I shall be able to agree with him on this occasion.’

Major Grantly was present at the dinner, and ventured to ask the doctor in the course of the evening what he thought would be done.  ’I should not venture to ask such a question, Dr Tempest,’ he said, ’unless I had the strongest possible reason to justify my anxiety.’

‘I don’t know that I can tell you anything, Major Grantly,’ said the doctor.  ’We did not even see Mr Crawley today.  But the real truth is that he must stand or fall as the jury shall find him guilty or not guilty.  It would be the same in any profession.  Could a captain in the army hold up his head in his regiment after he had been tried and found guilty of stealing twenty pounds?’

‘I don’t think he could,’ said the major.

‘Neither can a clergyman,’ said the doctor.  ’The bishop can neither make him nor mar him.  It is the jury that must do it.’

CHAPTER LV

FRAMLEY PARSONAGE

At this time Grace Crawley was at Framley Parsonage.  Old Lady Lufton’s strategy had been quite intelligible, but some people said that in point of etiquette and judgment and moral conduct, it was indefensible.  Her vicar, Mr Robarts, had been selected to be one of the clergymen who was to sit in ecclesiastical judgment upon Mr Crawley, and while he was so sitting Mr Crawley’s daughter was staying in Mr Robarts’s house as visitor with his wife.  It might be that there was no harm in this.  Lady Lufton, when the apparent impropriety was pointed out to her by no less a person than Archdeacon Grantly, ridiculed the idea.  ’My dear archdeacon,’ Lady Lufton had said, ’we all know the bishop to be such a fool and the bishop’s wife to be such a knave, that we cannot allow ourselves to be governed in this matter by ordinary rules.  Do you not think that it is expedient to show how utterly we disregard his judgment and her malice?’ The archdeacon had hesitated much before he spoke to Lady Lufton, whether he should address himself to her or to Mr Robarts—­or indeed to Mrs Robarts.  But he had become aware that the proposition as to the visit had originated with Lady Lufton, and he had therefore decided on speaking to her.  He had not condescended to say a word as to his son, nor would he so condescend.  Nor could he go from Lady Lufton to Mr Robarts, having once failed with her ladyship.  Indeed, in giving him his due, we must acknowledge that his disapprobation of Lady Lufton’s strategy arose rather from his true conviction as to its impropriety, than from any fear lest this attention paid to Miss

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