‘At such a time such reasons should stand for nothing,’ said the dean.
’And why not now as they always do, and always must till the power of tailors shall have waned, and the daughters of Eve shall toil and spin no more? Like to like is true, and should be held to be true, of all societies and of all compacts for co-operation and mutual living. Here, where, if I may venture to say so, you and I are like to like;—for the new gloss of your coat;—the dean, as it happened, had on at the moment a very old coat, his oldest coat, selected perhaps with some view to this special visit—’does not obtrude itself in my household, as would be the threadbare texture of mine in yours;—I can open my mouth to you and converse with you at my ease; you are now to me that Frank Arabin who has so comforted me and so often confuted me; whom I may perhaps on occasion have confuted—and perhaps have comforted. But were I sitting with you in your library in Barchester, my threadbare coat would be too much for me. I should be silent, if not sullen. I should feel the weight of all my poverty, and the greater weight of all your wealth. For my children let them go. I have come to know that they will be better from me.’
‘Papa!’ said Jane.
‘Papa does not mean it,’ said Grace, coming up to him and standing close to him.
There was silence amongst them for a few moments, and then the master of the house shook himself—literally shook himself, till he had shaken off the cloud. He had taken Grace by the hand, and thrusting out the other arm had got it round Jane’s waist. ‘When a man has girls, Arabin,’ he said, ’as you have, but not big girls yet like Grace here, of course he knows that they will fly away.’
‘I shall not fly away,’ said Jane.
‘I don’t know what papa means,’ said Grace.
Upon the whole the dean thought it the pleasantest visit he had ever made to Hogglestock, and when he got home he told his wife that he believed that the accusation made against Mr Crawley had done him good. ‘I could not say a word in private to her,’ he said, ’but I did promise that you would go over and see her. On the very next day, Mrs Arabin went over, and I think that the visit was a comfort to Mrs Crawley.
MISS DEMOLINES DESIRES TO BE A FINGER-POST
John Eames had passed Mrs Thorne in the hall of her own house almost without noticing her as he took his departure from Lily Dale. She had told him as plainly as words could speak that she could not bring herself to be his wife—and he had believed her. He had sworn to himself that if he did not succeed he would never ask again. ’It would be foolish and unmanly to do so,’ he said to himself as he rushed along the street towards his club. No! That romance was over. At last there had come an end to it! ‘It has taken a good bit out of me,’ he said, arresting