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17. CHAPTER XVII: WHO SHALL BE COCK OF THE WALK? (continued)
'What is it about, bishop?' asked the lady.
'Well--it was about those Quiverfuls--but I see you are engaged. Another time will do just as well for me.'
'What about the Quiverfuls? It is quite understood I believe, that they are to come to the hospital. There is to be no doubt about that, is there?' And as she spoke she kept her pencil sternly and vigorously fixed on the column of figures before her.
'Why, my dear, there is a difficulty,' said the bishop.
'A difficulty!' said Mrs Proudie, 'What difficulty? The place has been promised to Mr Quiverful, and of course he must have it. He has made all his arrangements. He has written for a curate for Puddingdale, he has spoken to the auctioneer about selling his farm, horses, and cows, and in all respects considers the place as his own. Of course he must have it.'
Now, bishop, look well to thyself, and call up all the manhood that is in thee. Think how much is at stake. If now thou art not true to thy guns, no Slope can hereafter aid thee. How can he who deserts his own colours at the final smell of gunpowder expect faith in any ally. Thou thyself hast sought the battlefield; fight out the battle manfully now thou art there. Courage, bishop, courage! Frowns cannot kill, nor can sharp words break any bones. After all the apron is thine own. She can appoint no wardens, give away no benefices, nominate no chaplains, an' thou art but true to thyself. Up, man, and at her with a constant heart.
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