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5. CHAPTER V: A MORNING VISIT (continued)
The archdeacon's feelings were of a much stronger nature. He was not exactly the man to overlook his own slighted claims, or to forgive the preference shown to another. Dr Proudie was playing Venus to his Juno, and he was prepared to wage an internecine war against the owner of the wished for apple, and all his satellites private chaplains, and others.
Nevertheless, it behoved him also to conduct himself towards the intruder as an old archdeacon should conduct himself to an incoming bishop; and though he was well aware of all Dr Proudie's abominable opinions as regarded dissenters, church reform, the hebdomadal council, and such like; though he disliked the man, and hated the doctrines, still he was prepared to show respect to the station of the bishop. So he and Mr Harding called together at the palace.
His lordship was at home, and the two visitors were shown through the accustomed hall into the well-known room, where the good old bishop used to sit. The furniture had been bought at a valuation, and every chair and table, every bookshelf against the wall, and every square in the carpet, was as well known to each of them as their own bedrooms. Nevertheless they at once felt that they were strangers there. The furniture was for the most part the same, yet the place had been metamorphosed. A new sofa had been introduced, and horrid chintz affair, most unprelatical and almost irreligious; such a sofa as never yet stood in the study of any decent high church clergyman of the Church of England. The old curtains had also given away. They had, to be sure, become dingy, and that which had been originally a rich and goodly ruby had degenerated into a reddish brown. Mr Harding, however, thought the old reddish brown much preferable to the gaudy buff-coloured trumpery moreen which Mrs Proudie had deemed good enough for her husband's own room in the provincial city of Barchester.
Our friends found Dr Proudie sitting on the old bishop's chair, looking very nice in his new apron; they found, too, Mr Slope standing on the hearthrug, persuasive and eager, just as the archdeacon used to stand; but on the sofa they also found Mrs Proudie, an innovation for which a precedent might be in vain be sought in all the annals of the Barchester bishopric!
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