Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


The bishop had no help for it. 'My chaplain, Dr Gwynne,' said he; 'my present chaplain, Mr Slope.' he certainly made the introduction as unsatisfactory to the chaplain as possible, and by the use of the word present, seemed to indicate that Mr Slope might probably not long enjoy the honour which he now held. But Mr Slope cared nothing for this. He understood the innuendo, and disregarded it. It might probably come to pass that he would be in a situation to resign his chaplaincy before the bishop was in a situation to dismiss him from it. What need the future dean of Barchester care for the bishop, or for the bishop's wife? Had not Mr Slope, just as he was entering Dr Stanhope's carriage, received an important note from Tom Towers of the Jupiter? Had he not that note this moment in his pocket?

So disregarding the bishop, he began to open out a conversation with the master of Lazarus.

But suddenly and interruption came, not altogether unwelcome to Mr Slope. One of the bishop's servants came up to his master's shoulder with a long, grave face, and whispered into the bishop's ear.

'What is it, John?' said the bishop.

'The dean, my lord; he is dead.'

Mr Slope had no further desire to converse with the master of Lazarus, and was very soon on his road back to Barchester.

Eleanor, as we have said, having declared her intention of never holding further communication with Mr Slope, ran hurriedly back towards the house. The thought, however, of what she had done grieved her greatly, and she could not abstain from bursting into tears. 'Twas thus she played the second act in that day's melodrama.

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