Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


'Translations are occasionally made,' said Dr Proudie; 'but not so frequently as in former days.

'They've cut them all down to pretty nearly the same figure, haven't they?' said Bertie.

To this the bishop could not bring himself to make any answer, but again tried to move the rector.

'But the work, I suppose, is different?' continued Bertie. 'Is there much to do here at Barchester?' This was said exactly in the tone that a young Admiralty clerk might use in asking the same question of a brother acolyte in the Treasury.

'The work of a bishop of the Church of England,' said Dr Proudie, with considerable dignity, 'is not easy. The responsibility which he has to bear is very great indeed.'

'Is it?' said Bertie, opening wide his wonderful blue eyes. 'Well; I never was afraid of responsibility. I once thought of being a bishop myself.'

'Had thought of being a bishop?' said Dr Proudie, much amazed.

'That is, a parson--a parson first, you know, and a bishop afterwards. If I had once begun, I'd have stuck to it. But, on the whole, I like the Church of Rome the best.'

The bishop could not discuss the point, so he remained silent.

'Now, there's my father,' continued Bertie; 'he hasn't stuck to it. I fancy he didn't like saying the same thing so often. By the bye, bishop, have you seen my father?'

The bishop was more amazed than ever. Had he seen his father? 'No,' he replied; he had not yet had the pleasure; he hoped he might; and, as he said so, he resolved to bear heavy on that fat, immoveable rector, if ever he had the power of doing so.

'He's in the room somewhere,' said Bertie, 'and he'll turn up soon. By the bye, do you know much about the Jews?'

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