Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


'Is anything the matter?' asked the doctor, who at once anticipated that the whole truth about Mr Slope had at last come out.

'Well, something is the matter. I wonder whether you will be much surprised?'

The archdeacon saw by his father-in-law's manner that after all he had nothing to tell him about Mr Slope. 'No,' said he, 'certainly not--nothing will ever surprise me again.' Very many men nowadays, besides the archdeacon, adopt or affect to adopt the nil admirari doctrine; but nevertheless, to judge from their appearance, they are just as subject to sudden emotions as their grandfathers and grandmothers were before them.

'What do you think Mr Arabin has done?'

'Mr Arabin! It's nothing about that daughter of Stanhope's, I hope?'

'No, not that woman,' said Mr Harding, enjoying his joke in his sleeve.

'Not that woman! Is he going to do anything about any woman? Why can't you speak out if yo have anything to say? There is nothing I hate so much as these sort of mysteries.'

'There shall be no mystery with you, archdeacon; though, of course, it must go no further at present.'


'Except Susan. You must promise me you'll tell no one else?'

'Nonsense!' exclaimed the archdeacon, who was becoming angry in his suspense. 'You can't have any secret about Mr Arabin.'

'Only this--that he and Eleanor are engaged.'

It was quite clear to see by the archdeacon's face, that he did not believe a word of it. 'Mr Arabin! It's impossible!'

'Eleanor, at any rate, has just told me so.'

'It's impossible,' repeated the archdeacon.

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