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48. CHAPTER XLVIII: MISS THORNE SHOWS HER TALENT FOR MATCH-MAKING
On Mr Harding's return to Barchester from Plumstead, which was effected by him in due course in company with the archdeacon, some tidings of a surprising nature met him. He was, during the journey, subjected to such a weight of unanswerable argument, all of which went to prove that it was his bounden duty not to interfere with the paternal government that was so anxious to make him a dean, that when he arrived at the chemist's door in High Street, he barely knew which way to turn himself in the matter. But, perplexed as he was, he was doomed to further perplexity. He found a note there from his daughter, begging him to most urgently to come to her immediately. But we must again go back a little in our story.
Miss Thorne had not been slow to hear the rumours respecting Mr Arabin, which had so much disturbed the happiness of Mrs Grantly. And she, also, was unhappy to think that her parish clergyman should be accused of worshipping a strange goddess. She, also, was of opinion, that rectors and vicars should all be married, and with that good-natured energy which was characteristic of her, she put her wits to work to find a fitting match for Mr Arabin. Mrs Grantly, in this difficulty, could think of no better remedy than a lecture from the archdeacon. Miss Thorne thought that a young lady, marriageable, and with a dowry, might be of more efficacy. In looking through the catalogue of her unmarried friends, who might possibly be in want of a husband, and might also be fit for such a promotion as a country parsonage affords, she could think of no one more eligible than Mrs Bold; and, consequently, losing no time, she went into Barchester on the day of Mr Slope's discomfiture, the same day that her brother, had had his interesting interview with the last of the Neros, and invited Mrs Bold to bring her nurse and baby to Ullathorne and make a protracted visit.
Miss Thorne suggested a month or two, intending to use her influence afterwards in prolonging it so as to last out the winter, in order that Mr Arabin might have an opportunity of becoming fairly intimate with his intended bride. 'We'll have Mr Arabin too,' said Miss Thorne to herself; 'and before the spring they'll know each other; and in twelve or eighteen months' time, if all goes well, Mrs Bold will be domiciled at St Ewold's'; and then the kind-hearted lady gave herself some not undeserved praise for her matching genius.
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