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25. CHAPTER XXV: FOURTEEN ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF MR QUIVERFUL'S CLAIMS (continued)
'Oh, Mrs Proudie,' she began, 'I fear we are not to move to Barchester at all.'
'Why not?' said the lady sharply, dropping at a moment's notice her smiles and condescension, and turning with her sharp quick way to business which she saw at a glance was important.
And then Mrs Quiverful told her tale. As she progressed in the history of her wrongs she perceived that the heavier she leant upon Mr Slope the blacker became Mrs Proudie's brow, but that such blackness was not injurious to her own cause. When Mr Slope was at Puddingdale vicarage that morning she had regarded him as the creature of the lady-bishop; now she perceived that they were enemies. She admitted her mistake to herself without any pain or humiliation. She had but one feeling, and that was confined to her family. She cared little how she twisted and turned among these new-comers at the bishop's palace as long as she could twist her husband into the warden's house. She cared not which was her friend or which was her enemy, if only she could get this preference which she so sorely wanted.
She told her tale, and Mrs Proudie listened to it almost in silence. She told how Mr Slope had cozened her husband into resigning his claim, and had declared that it was the bishop's will that none but Mr Harding should be warden. Mrs Proudie's brow became blacker and blacker. At last she started from her chair, and begging Mrs Quiverful to sit and wait for her return, marched out of the room.
'Oh, Mrs Proudie, it's for fourteen children--for fourteen children.' Such was the burden that fell on her ear as she closed the door behind her.
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