Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


To give Eleanor her due, any suspicion as to the slightest inclination on her part towards Mr Slope was a wrong to her. She had no more idea of marrying Mr Slope than she had of marrying the bishop; and the idea that Mr Slope would present himself as a suitor had never occurred to her. Indeed, to give her her due again, she had never thought about suitors since her husband's death. But nevertheless it was true that she had overcome all that repugnance to the man which was so strongly felt for him by the rest of the Grantly faction. She had forgiven him his sermon. She had forgiven him his low church tendencies, his Sabbath schools, and puritanical observances. She had forgiven his pharisaical arrogance, and even his greasy face and oily vulgar manners. Having agreed to overlook such offences as these, why should she not in time be taught to regard Mr Slope as a suitor?

And as to him, it must be affirmed that he was hitherto equally innocent of the crime imputed to him. How it had come to pass that a man whose eyes were generally widely open to everything had not perceived that this young widow was rich as well as beautiful, cannot probably now be explained. But such was the fact. Mr Slope had ingratiated himself with Mrs Bold, merely as he had done with other ladies, in order to strengthen his party in the city. He subsequently attended his error; but it was not till after the interview with him and Mr Harding.

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