Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


The party who were inclined to him--the enthusiastically religious young ladies, and the middle-aged spinsters desirous of a move--of course took up his defence the more warmly on account of this attack. If they could not hear Mr Slope in the cathedral, they would hear him elsewhere; they would leave the dull dean, the dull old prebendaries, and the scarcely less dull young minor canons, to preach to each other; they would work slippers and cushions, and hem bands for Mr Slope, make him a happy martyr, and stick him up in some new Sion (sic) or Bethesda, and put the cathedral quite out of fashion.

Dr and Mrs Proudie at once returned to London. They thought it expedient not to have to encounter any personal applications from the dean and chapter respecting the sermon till the violence of the storm had expended itself; but they left Mr Slope behind them nothing daunted, and he went about his work zealously, flattering such as would listen to his flattery, whispering religious twaddle into the ears of foolish women, ingratiating himself with the very few clergy who would receive him, visiting the houses of the poor, inquiring into all people, prying into everything, and searching with the minutest eye into all palatial dilapidation. He did not, however, make any immediate attempt to preach again in the cathedral.

And so all Barchester was by the ears.

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