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4. CHAPTER IV: THE BISHOP'S CHAPLAIN (continued)
It may be thought singular that Mrs Proudie's friendship for the young clergyman should remain firm after such an affair; but, to tell the truth, she had known nothing of it. Though very fond of Mr Slope herself, she had never conceived the idea that either of her daughters would become so, and remembering that their high birth and social advantages, expected for them matches of a different sort. Neither the gentleman nor the lady found it necessary to enlighten her. Olivia's two sisters had each known of the affair, so had all the servants, so had all the people living in the adjoining houses on either side; but Mrs Proudie had been kept in the dark.
Mr Slope soon comforted himself with the reflection that, as he had been selected as chaplain to the bishop, it would probably be in his power to get the good things in the bishop's gift, without troubling himself with the bishop's daughter; and he found himself able to endure the pangs of rejected love. As he sat himself down in the railway carriage, confronting the bishop and Mrs Proudie, as they started on their first journey to Barchester, he began to form in his own mind a plan of his future life. He knew well his patron's strong points, but he knew the weak ones as well. He understood correctly enough to what attempts the new bishop's high spirit would soar, and he rightly guessed that public life would better suit the great man's taste, than the small details of diocesan duty.
He, therefore, he, Mr Slope, would in effect be bishop of Barchester. Such was his resolve; and to give Mr Slope his due, he had both courage and spirit to bear him out in his resolution. He knew that he should have a hard battle to fight, for the power and patronage of the see would be equally coveted by another great mind--Mrs Proudie would also choose to be bishop of Barchester. Mr Slope, however, flattered himself that he could outmanoeuvre the lady. She must live much in London, while he would always be on the spot. She would necessarily remain ignorant of much while he would know everything belonging to the diocese. At first, doubtless, he must flatter and cajole, perhaps yield in some things; but he did not doubt of ultimate triumph. If all other means failed, he could join the bishop against the wife, inspire courage into the unhappy man, lay an axe to the rock of the woman's power, and emancipate the husband.
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