Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


How little flattering is woman's love.

And then he strove to recall his mind and to think of other affairs, his parish, his college, his creed--but his thoughts would revert to Mrs Bold and the Flemish chieftain:

When we think upon it
How little flattering is woman's love,
Given commonly to whosoe'er is nearest
And propped with most advantage.

It was not that Mrs Bold should marry any one but him; he had not put himself forward as a suitor; but that she should marry Mr Slope--and so he repeated over and over again:

Outward grace Nor inward light is needful--day by day Men wanting both are mated with the best And loftiest of God's feminine creation, Whose love takes no distinction but of gender And ridicules the very name of choice.

And so he went on troubled much in his mind.

He had but an uneasy ride of it that morning, and little good did he do at St Ewold's.

The necessary alterations in his house were being fast completed, and he walked through the rooms, and went up and down the stairs and rambled through the garden; but he could not wake himself to much interest about them. He stood still at every window to look out and think upon Mr Slope. At almost every window he had before stood and chatted with Eleanor. She and Mrs Grantly had been there continually, and while Mrs Grantly had been giving orders, and seeing that orders had been complied with, he and Eleanor had conversed on all things appertaining to a clergyman's profession. He thought how often he had laid down the law to her, and how sweetly she had borne with somewhat dictatorial decrees. He remembered her listening intelligence, her gentle but quick replies, her interest in all that concerned the church, in all that concerned him; and then he struck his riding whip against the window sill, and declared to himself that it was impossible that Eleanor Bold should marry Mr Slope.

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