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51. CHAPTER LI: MR SLOPE BIDS FAREWELL TO THE PALACE AND ITS INHABITANTS (continued)
'My lord,' said Mr Slope, appealing to the bishop, and so turning his back completely on the lady, 'will you permit me to ask that I may have from your own lips and decision that you may have come to on this matter?'
'Certainly, Mr Slope, certainly,' said the bishop; 'that is but reasonable. Well, my decision is that you had better look for some other preferment. For the situation which you have lately held I do not think you are well suited.'
'And what, my lord, has been my fault?'
'That Signora Neroni is one fault,' said Mrs Proudie; 'and a very abominable fault she is; very abominable, and very disgraceful. Fie, Mr Slope, fie! You an evangelical clergyman indeed!'
'My lord, I desire to know for what fault I am turned out of your lordship's house.'
'You hear what Mrs Proudie says,' said the bishop.
'When I publish the history of this transaction, my lord, as I decidedly shall do in my own vindication, I presume you will not wish me to state that you have discarded me at your wife's bidding --because she has objected to my being acquainted with another lady, the daughter of one of the prebendaries of the chapter?'
'You may publish as you please, sir,' said Mrs Proudie. 'But you will not be insane enough to publish any of your doings in Barchester. Do you think I have not heard of your kneelings at that creature's feet--that is if she has any feet--and of your constant slobbering over her hand? I advise you to beware, Mr Slope, of what you do and say. Clergymen have been unfrocked for less than what you have been guilty of.'
'My lord, if this goes on I shall be obliged to indict this woman-- Mrs Proudie I mean--for defamation of character.'
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