Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


'Mr Arabin!' he exclaimed; 'impossible!'

'Oh, papa, for heaven's sake don't say anything against him! If you do love me, don't say anything against him. Oh, papa, it's done, and mustn't be undone--oh, papa!'

Fickle Eleanor! Where was the promise that she would make no choice for herself without her father's approval? She had chosen, and now demanded his acquiescence. 'Oh, papa, isn't he good? isn't he noble? isn't he religious, high-minded, everything that a good man possibly can be?' and she clung to her father, beseeching him for his consent.

'My Nelly, my child, my own daughter! He is; he is noble and good and high-minded; he is all that a woman can love and admire. He shall be my son, my own son. He shall be as close to my heart as you are. My Nelly, my child, my happy, happy child!'

We need not pursue the interview any further. By degrees they returned to the subject of the new promotion. Eleanor tried to prove to him, as the Grantlys had done, that his age could be no bar to his being a very excellent dean; but those arguments had now even less weight than before. He said little or nothing, but sat meditative. Every now and then he would kiss his daughter, and say, 'yes,' or 'no,' or 'very true,' or 'well, my dear, I can't quite agree with you there,' but he could not be got to enter sharply into the question of 'to be or not to be' dean of Barchester. Of her and her happiness, of Mr Arabin and his virtues, he would talk as much as Eleanor desired; and, to tell the truth, that was not a little; but about the deanery he would now say nothing further. He had got a new idea into his head--Why should not Mr Arabin be the new dean?

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