Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


And now Tom Staple proffered such wisdom as he had for the assistance of Dr Gwynne and Mr Arabin.

'Quite out of the question,' said he, arguing that Mr Slope could not possibly be made the new Dean of Barchester.

'So I think,' said the master. 'He has no standing, and, if all I hear be true, very little character.'

'As to character,' said Tom Staple, 'I don't think much of that. They rather like loose parsons for deans; a little fast living, or a dash of infidelity, is no bad recommendation to a cathedral close. But they couldn't make Mr Slope; the last two deans have been Cambridge men; you'll not show me an instance of their making three men running from the same University. We don't get out share, and never shall, I suppose; but we must at least have one out of the three.'

'These sort of rules are all gone out by now,' said Mr Arabin.

'Everything has gone by, I believe,' said Tom Staple. 'The cigar has been smoked out, and we are the ashes.'

'Speak for yourself, Staple,' said the master.

'I speak for all,' said the tutor stoutly. 'It is coming to that, that there will be no life left anywhere in the country. No one is any longer fit to rule himself, or those belonging to him. The Government is to find us all in everything, and the press is to find the Government. Nevertheless, Mr Slope won't be Dean of Barchester.'

'And who will be the warden of the hospital?' said Mr Arabin.

'I hear that Mr Quiverful is already appointed,' said Tom Staple.

'I think not,' said the master. 'And I think, moreover, that Dr Proudie will not be so short-sighted as to run against such a rock; Mr Slope should himself have sense enough to prevent it.'

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