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47. CHAPTER XLVII: THE DEAN ELECT (continued)
They were sitting talking over their sorrows, in the drawing-room before dinner on that day after Mr Slope's departure for London; and on this occasion Mrs Grantly spoke her mind freely. She had opinions of her own about parish clergymen, and now thought it right to give vent to them.
'It you would have been led by me, archdeacon, you would never have put a bachelor into St Ewold's.'
'But, my dear, you don't mean to say that all bachelor clergymen misbehave themselves.'
'I don't know that clergymen are so much better than other men,' said Mrs Grantly. 'It's all very well with a curate whom you have under your own eye, and whom you can get rid of if he persists in improprieties.'
'But Mr Arabin was a fellow, and couldn't have had a wife.'
'Then I would have found some one who could.'
'But, my dear, are fellows never to get livings?'
'Yes, to be sure they are, when they got engaged. I never would put a young man into a living unless he were married, or engaged to be married. Now here is Mr Arabin. The whole responsibility lies upon you.'
'There is not at this moment a clergyman in all Oxford more respected for morals and conduct than Arabin.'
'Oh, Oxford!' said the lady, with a sneer. 'What men choose to do at Oxford, nobody ever hears of. A man may do very well at Oxford who would bring disgrace on a parish; and, to tell you the truth, it seems to me that Mr Arabin is just such a man.'
The archdeacon groaned deeply, but he had no further answer to make.
'You really must speak to him, archdeacon. Only think what the Thornes will say if they hear that their parish clergyman spends his whole time philandering with this woman.'
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