Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


'I know I cannot make you understand my feeling,' he said, 'for we have been cast in different moulds. I may wish that I had your spirit and energy and power of combatting; but I have not. Every day that is added to my life increases my wish for peace and rest.'

'And where on earth can a man have peace and rest if not in a deanery?' said the archdeacon.

'People will say I am too old for it.'

'Good heavens! What people? What need you care for any people?'

'But I think myself I am too old for any new place.'

'Dear papa,' said Mrs Grantly, 'men ten years older than you have been appointed to new situations day after day.'

'My dear,' said he, 'it is impossible that I should make you understand my feelings, nor do I pretend to any great virtue in the matter. The truth is, I want the force of character which might enable me to stand against the spirit of the times. The call on all sides now is for young men, and I have not the nerve to put myself in opposition to the demand. Were the Jupiter, when it hears of my appointment, to write article after article, setting forth my incompetency, I am sure it would cost me my reason. I ought to be able to bear with such things, you will say. Well, my dear, I own that I ought. But I feel my weakness and I know that I can't. And, to tell you the truth, I know no more than a child what the dean has to do.'

'Pshaw!' exclaimed the archdeacon.

'Don't be angry with me, archdeacon; don't let us quarrel about it, Susan. If you knew how keenly I feel the necessity of having to disoblige you in this matter, you would not be angry with me.'

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