Home / News
26. CHAPTER XXVI: MRS PROUDIE TAKES A FALL (continued)
'And it is equally clear that you have misunderstood Mr Quiverful,' said she, not at the top of her wrath. 'What business have you at all with these interviews? Who desired you to go to Mr Quiverful this morning? Who commissioned you to manage this affair? Will you answer me, sir?--who sent you to Mr Quiverful this morning?'
There was a dead pause in the room. Mr Slope had risen from his chair, and was standing with his hand on the back of it, looking at first very solemn and now very black. Mrs Proudie was standing as she had at first placed herself, at the end of the table, and as she interrogated her foe she struck her hand upon it with almost more than feminine vigour. The bishop was sitting in his easy chair twiddling his thumbs, turning his eyes now to his wife, and now to his chaplain, as each took up the cudgels. How comfortable it would be if they could fight it out between them without the necessity of any interference on his part; fight it out so that one should kill the other utterly, as far as the diocesan life was concerned, so that he, the bishop, might know clearly by whom it behoved him to be led. There would be the comfort of quiet in either case; but if the bishop had a wish as to which might prove the victor, that wish was certainly not antagonistic to Mr Slope.
'Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know', is an old saying, and perhaps a true one; but the bishop had not yet realised the truth of it.
'Will you answer me, sir?' she repeated. 'Who instructed you to call on Mr Quiverful this morning?' There was another pause. 'Do you intend to answer me, sir?'
'I think, Mrs Proudie, that under all the circumstances it will be better for me not to answer such a question,' said Mr Slope. Mr Slope had many tones in his voice, all duly under his command; among them was a sanctified low tone, and a sanctified loud tone; and he now used the former.
'Did anyone send you, sir?'
This is page 250 of 547. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of Barchester Towers at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.