Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


Eleanor was taken a little by surprise, but the matter ended in her promising to go to Ullathorne, for at any rate a week or two; and on the day previous to that on which her father drove out to Plumstead, she had had herself driven out to Ullathorne.

Miss Thorne would not perplex her with her embryo lord on that same evening, thinking that she would allow her a few hours to make herself at home; but on the following morning Mr Arabin arrived. 'And now,' said Miss Thorne to herself,' I must contrive to throw them in each other's way.' That same day, after dinner, Eleanor, with an assumed air of dignity which she could no maintain, with tears that she could not suppress, with a flutter which she could not conquer, and a joy which she could not hide, told Miss Thorne that she was engaged to marry Mr Arabin, and that it behoved her to get back home to Barchester as quick as she could.

To say simply that Miss Thorne was rejoiced at the success of the schemed, would give a very faint idea of her feelings on the occasion. My readers may probably have dreamt before now that they have had before them some terrible long walk to accomplish, some journey of twenty or thirty miles, an amount of labour frightful to anticipate, and that immediately on starting they have ingeniously found some accommodating short cut which have brought them without fatigue to their work's end in five minutes. Miss Thorne's waking feelings were somewhat of the same nature. My readers may perhaps have had to do with children, and may on some occasion have promised to their young charges some great gratification intended to come off, perhaps at the end of the winter, or at the beginning of summer. The impatient juveniles, however, will not wait, and clamorously demand their treat before they go to bed. Miss Thorne had a sort of feeling that an inexperienced gunner, who has ill calculated the length of the train that he has laid. The gunpowder exploded much too soon and poor Miss Thorne felt that she was blown up by the strength of her own petard.

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