Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


'To be sure,' said he; 'Mr Harding's daughter is very rich, and why should he trouble himself with the hospital?'

'You mean Mrs Grantly,' said Slope.

'I meant the widowed daughter,' said the other. 'Mrs Bold has twelve hundred a year of her own, and I suppose Mr Harding means to live with her.'

'Twelve hundred a year of her own!' said Slope, and very shortly afterwards took his leave, avoiding, as far as it was possible for him to do, any further allusion to the hospital. Twelve hundred a year, said he to himself, as he rode slowly home. If it were the fact that Mrs Bold had twelve hundred a year of her own, what a fool would he be to oppose her father's return to his old place. The train of Mr Slope's ideas will probably be plain to all my readers. Why should he not make the twelve hundred a year his own? And if he did so, would it not be well for him to have a father-in-law comfortably provided with the good things of this world? Would it not, moreover, be much more easy for him to gain his daughter, if he did all in his power to forward his father's views?

These questions presented themselves to him in a very forcible way, and yet there were many points of doubt. If he resolved to restore to Mr Harding his former place, he must take the necessary steps for doing so at once; he must immediately talk over the bishop, quarrel on the matter with Mrs Proudie whom he knew he could not talk over, and let Mr Quiverful know that he had been a little too precipitate as to Mr Harding's positive refusal. That he could effect all this, he did not doubt; but he did not wish to effect it for nothing. He did not wish to give way to Mr Harding, and then be rejected by the daughter. He did not wish to lose one influential friend before he had gained another.

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