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47. CHAPTER XLVII: THE DEAN ELECT (continued)
The archdeacon groaned again. He was a courageous man, and knew well enough how to rebuke the younger clergymen of the diocese when necessary. But there was that about Mr Arabin which made the doctor feel that it would be very difficult to rebuke him with good effect.
'You can advise him to find a wife for himself, and he will understand well enough what that means,' said Mrs Grantly.
The archdeacon had nothing for it but groaning. There was Mr Slope; he was going to be made dean; he was going to take a wife; he was bout to achieve respectability and wealth; and excellent family mansion, and a family carriage; he would soon be among the comfortable elite of the ecclesiastical world of Barchester; whereas his own protege, the true scion of the true church, by whom he had sworn, would still be a poor vicar, and that with a very indifferent character for moral conduct! It might be all very well recommending Mr Arabin to marry, but how would Mr Arabin when married support a wife?
Things were ordering themselves thus at Plumstead drawing-room when Dr and Mrs Grantly were disturbed in their sweet discourse by the quick rattle of a carriage and a pair of horses on the gravel sweep. The sound was not that of visitors, whose private carriages are generally brought up to country-house doors with demure propriety, but belonged rather to some person or persons who were in a hurry to reach the house, and had not intention of immediately leaving it. Guests invited to stay a week, and who were conscious of arriving after the first dinner bell, would probably approach in such a manner. So might arrive an attorney with the news of a granduncle's death, or a son from college with all the fresh honours of a double first. No one would have had himself driven to the door of a country house in such a manner who had the slightest doubt of his own right to force an entry.
'Who is it?' said Mrs Grantly, looking at her husband.
'Who on earth can it be?' said the archdeacon to his wife. He then quietly got up and stood with the drawing-room door open in his hand. 'Why, it is your father!'
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