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51. CHAPTER LI: MR SLOPE BIDS FAREWELL TO THE PALACE AND ITS INHABITANTS (continued)
'I think, Mr Slope, you had better now retire,' said the bishop. 'I will enclose to you a cheque for any balance that may be due to you; and, under the present circumstances, it will of course be better for all parties that you should leave the palace at the earliest possible moment.'
'If, however, you wish to remain in this neighbourhood,' said Mrs Proudie, 'and will solemnly pledge yourself never again to see that woman, and will promise also to be more circumspect in your conduct, the bishop will mention your name to Mr Quiverful, who now wants a curate at Puddingdale. The house is, I imagine, quite sufficient for your requirements: and there will moreover by a stipend of fifty pounds a year.'
'May God forgive you, madam, for the manner in which you have treated me,' said Mr Slope, looking at her with a very heavenly look; 'and remember this, madam, that you yourself may still have a fall;' and he looked at her with a very worldly look. 'As to the bishop, I pity him!' And so saying, Mr Slope left the room. Thus ended the intimacy of the Bishop of Barchester with his confidential chaplain.
Mrs Proudie was right in this; namely, that Mr Slope was not insane enough to publish to the world any of his doings in Barchester. He did not trouble his friend Mr Towers with any written statement of the iniquity of Mrs Proudie, or the imbecility of her husband. He was aware that it would be wise in him to drop for the future all allusions to his doings in the cathedral city. Soon after the interview just recorded, he left Barchester, shaking the dust off his feet as he entered the railway carriage; and he gave no longing lingering look after the cathedral towers, as the train hurried him quickly out of their sight.
It is well known that the family of the Slopes never starve; they always fall on their feet like cats, and let them fall where they will, they live on the fat of the land. Our Mr Slope did so. On his return to town he found that the sugar-refiner had died, and that the widow was inconsolable; or, in other words, in want of consolation. Mr Slope consoled her, and soon found himself settled with much comfort in the house in Baker Street. He possessed himself, also before long, of a church in the vicinity of the New Road, and become known to fame as one of the most eloquent preachers and pious clergymen in that part of the metropolis. There let us leave him.
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