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.

‘Mr Robarts, I thank you warmly for your friendship,’ said Mr Crawley.  And then they parted.  In about half an hour Mr Crawley returned to the house.  ‘Now for Pindar, Jane,’ he said, seating himself at his old desk.

CHAPTER LXIX

MR CRAWLEY’S LAST APPEARANCE IN HIS OWN PULPIT

No word or message from Mr Crawley reached Barchester throughout the week, and on the Sunday morning Mr Thumble was under a positive engagement to go out to Hogglestock, and to perform the services of the church.  Dr Tempest had been quite right in saying that Mr Thumble would be awed by the death of his patroness.  Such was altogether the case, and he was very anxious to escape from the task he had undertaken at her instance, if it were possible.  In the first place, he had never been a favourite with the bishop himself, and had now, therefore, nothing to expect in the diocese.  The crusts and bits of loaves and the morsels of broken fishes which had come his way had all come from the bounty of Mrs Proudie.  And then, as regarded this special Hogglestock job, how was he to get paid for it?  Whence, indeed, was he to seek repayment for the actual money which he would be out of pocket in finding his way to Hogglestock and back again?  But he could not get to speak to the bishop, nor could he induce anyone who had access to his lordship to touch upon the subject.  Mr Snapper avoided him as much as possible; and Mr Snapper, when he was caught and interrogated, declared that he regarded the matter as settled.  Nothing could be in worse taste, Mr Snapper thought, than to undo, immediately after the poor lady’s death, work in the diocese which had been arranged and done by her.  Mr Snapper expressed his opinion that Mr Thumble was bound to go to Hogglestock; and, when Mr Thumble declared petulantly the he would not stir a step out of Barchester, Mr Snapper protested that Mr Thumble would have to answer for it in this world and in the next if there was no services at Hogglestock on that Sunday.  On the Saturday evening Mr Thumble made a desperate attempt to see the bishop, but was told by Mrs Draper that the bishop had positively declined to see him.  The bishop himself probably felt unwilling to interfere with his wife’s doings so soon after her death!  So Mr Thumble, with a heavy heart, went across to the ’Dragon of Wantly’, and ordered a gig, resolving that the bill should be sent to the palace.  He was not going to trust himself again on the bishop’s cob!

Up to Saturday evening Mr Crawley did the work of the parish, and on the Saturday evening he made an address to his parishioners from his pulpit.  He had given notice among the brickmakers and labourers that he wished to say a few words to them in the schoolroom; but the farmers also heard of this and came with their wives and daughters, and all the brickmakers came and most of the labourers were there, so that there was no room for them in the schoolhouse.  The

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