Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


'We have had a very pleasant month her,' said he; 'at least I have; and I am sorry it should be so soon over.'

'I have already been from home longer than I intended,' she said; 'and it is time that I should return.'

'Well, pleasant hours and pleasant days must come to an end. It is a pity that so few of them are pleasant; or perhaps rather--'

'It is a pity, certainly, that men and women do so much to destroy the pleasantness of their days,' said she, interrupting him. 'It is a pity that there should be so little charity abroad.'

'Charity should begin at home,' said he; and he was proceeding to explain that he as a clergyman could not be what she would call charitable at the expense of those principles which he considered it his duty to teach, when he remembered that it would be worse than vain to argue on such a matter with the future wife of Mr Slope. 'But you are just leaving us,' he continued, 'and I will not weary your last hour with another lecture. As it is, I fear I have given you too many.'

'You should practise as well as preach, Mr Arabin?'

'Undoubtedly I should. So should we all. All of us who presume to teach are bound to do our utmost towards fulfilling our own lessons. I thoroughly allow my deficiency in doing so; but I do not quite know now to what you allude. Have you any special reason for telling me now that I should practise as well as preach?'

Eleanor made no answer. She longed to let him know the cause of her anger, to upbraid him for speaking of her disrespectfully, and then at last forgive him, and so part friends. She felt that she would be unhappy to leave him in her present frame of mind; but yet she could hardly bring herself to speak to him of Mr Slope. And how could she allude to the innuendo thrown out by the archdeacon, and thrown out, as she believed, at the instigation of Mr Arabin? She wanted to make him know that he was wrong, to make him aware that he had ill-treated her, in order that the sweetness of her forgiveness might be enhanced. She felt that she liked him too well to be contented to part with him in displeasure; and yet she could not get over her deep displeasure without some explanation, some acknowledgement, on his part, some assurance that he would never again so sin against her.

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