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32. CHAPTER XXXII: A NEW CANDIDATE FOR ECCLESIASTICAL HONOURS (continued)
'My dear Sir,--We were all a good deal shocked here this morning by hearing that poor old Dean Trefoil had been stricken with apoplexy. The fit took him about 9am. I am writing now to save the post, and he is still alive, but past all hope, or possibility, I believe, of living. Sir Omicron Pie is here, or will be very shortly; but all that even Sir Omicron can do, is to ratify the sentence of his less distinguished brethren that nothing can be done. Poor Dr Trefoil's race on this side of the grave is run. I do not know whether you knew him. He was a good, quiet, charitable man, of the old school of course, as any clergyman over seventy years of age must necessarily be.
'But I do not write merely with the object of sending you such news as this: doubtless some one of your Mercuries will have seen and heard and reported so much; I write, as you usually do yourself, rather with a view to the future than to the past.
'Rumour is already rife her as to Dr Trefoil's successor, and among those named as possible future deans your humble servant is, I believe, not the least frequently spoken of; in short, I am looking for the preferment. You may probably know that since Bishop Proudie came to this diocese, I have exerted myself a good deal; and I may certainly say not without some success. He and I are nearly always of the same opinion on points of doctrine as well as church discipline, and therefore I have had, as his confidential chaplain, very much in my own hands; but I confess to you that I have a higher ambition than to remain the chaplain of any bishop.
'There are no positions in which more energy is now needed than in those of our deans. The whole of our enormous cathedral establishments have been allowed to go to sleep,--nay, they are all but dead and ready for the sepulchre! And yet of what prodigious moment they might be made, if, as we intend, they were so managed as to lead the way and show an example for all our parochial clergy!
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