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53. CHAPTER LIII: CONCLUSION (continued)
The two sisters do not quite agree on matters of church doctrine, though their differences are of the most amicable description. Mr Arabin's church is two degrees higher than that of Mrs Grantly. This may seem strange to those who will remember that Eleanor was once accused of partiality to Mr Slope; but it is no less the fact. She likes her husband's silken vest, she likes his adherence to the rubric, she specially likes the eloquent philosophy of his sermons, and she likes the red letters in her own prayer-book. It must not be presumed that she has a taste for candles, or that she is at all astray about the real presence; but she has an inkling that way. She sent a handsome subscription towards certain very heavy legal expenses which have lately been incurred in Bath, her name of course not appearing; she assumes a smile of gentle ridicule when the Archbishop of Canterbury is named, and she has put up a memorial window in the cathedral.
Mrs Grantly, who belongs to the high and dry church, the high church as it was some fifty years since, before tracts were written and young clergymen took upon themselves the highly meritorious duty of cleaning churches, rather laughs at her sister. She shrugs her shoulders, and tells Miss Thorne that she supposes Eleanor will have an oratory in the deanery before she has done. But she is not on that account a whit displeased. A few high church vagaries do not, she thinks, sit amiss on the shoulders of a young dean's wife. It shows at any rate that her heart is in the subject; and it shows moreover that she is removed, wide as the poles asunder, from the cesspool of abomination in which it was once suspected that she would wallow and grovel. Anathema maranatha! Let anything be held as blessed, so that that be well cursed. Welcome kneelings and bowings, welcome matins and complines, welcome bell, book, and candle, so that Mr Slope's dirty surplices and ceremonial Sabbaths be held in due execration!
If it be essentially and absolutely necessary to choose between the two, we are inclined to agree with Mrs Grantly that the bell, book, and candle are the lesser evil of the two. Let it however be understood that no such necessity is admitted in these pages.
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