‘And after that?’
’He took down from the shelves a volume of some sermons which his father published many years ago, and presented to me. I have it now under my arm. It hath the old bishop’s manuscript notes, which I will study carefully.’ And thus the archdeacon had hit his bird on both wings.
It now only remains for me to gather together a few loose strings, and tie them together in a knot, so that my work may not become untwisted. Early in July, Henry Grantly and Grace Crawley were married in the parish church of Plumstead—a great impropriety, as to which neither Archdeacon Grantly nor Mr Crawley could be got to assent for a long time, but which was at last carried, not simply by a union of Mrs Grantly and Mrs Crawley, nor even by the assistance of Mrs Arabin, but by the strong intervention of Lady Lufton herself. ’Of course Miss Crawley ought to be married from St Ewold’s vicarage; but when the furniture has only been half got in, how is it possible?’ When Lady Lufton thus spoke, the archdeacon gave way, and Mr Crawley hadn’t a leg to stand on. Henry Grantly had not an opinion on the matter. He told his father that he expected that they would marry him among them, and that that had been enough for him. As for Grace, nobody even thought of asking her; and I doubt whether she would have heard anything about the contest, had not some tidings of it reached her from her lover. Married they were at Plumstead—and the breakfast was given with all that luxuriance of plenty which was so dear to the archdeacon’s mind. Mr Crawley was the officiating priest. With his hands dropping before him, folded humbly, he told the archdeacon—when that Plumstead question had been finally settled in opposition to his wishes—that he would fain himself perform the ceremony by which his dearest daughter would be bound to her marriage duties. ‘And who else should?’ said the archdeacon. Mr Crawley muttered that he had not known how far his reverend brother might have been willing to waive his rights. But the archdeacon, who was in high good-humour—having just bestowed a little pony carriage on his new daughter-in-law—only laughed at him; and, if the rumour which was handed about the families be true, the archdeacon, before the interview was over, had poked Mr Crawley in the ribs. Mr Crawley married them; but the archdeacon assisted—and the dean gave the bride away. The Rev Charles Grantly was there also; and as there was, as a matter of course, a cloud of curates floating in the distance, Henry Grantly was perhaps to be excused for declaring to his wife, when the pair had escaped, that surely no couple had ever been so tightly buckled since marriage had first become a Church ceremony.