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The Warden Anthony Trollope

XIX. The Warden Resigns

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Over and over again did Mr Cox attempt to enforce on the archdeacon the propriety of urging on Mr Warden the madness of the deed he was about to do.

'Eight hundred a year!' said Mr Cox.

'And nothing whatever to do!' said Mr Cummins, who had joined the conference.

'No private fortune, I believe,' said Mr Cox.

'Not a shilling,' said Mr Cummins, in a very low voice, shaking his head.

'I never heard of such a case in all my experience,' said Mr Cox.

'Eight hundred a year, and as nice a house as any gentleman could wish to hang up his hat in,' said Mr Cummins.

'And an unmarried daughter, I believe,' said Mr Cox, with much moral seriousness in his tone. The archdeacon only sighed as each separate wail was uttered, and shook his head, signifying that the fatuity of some people was past belief.

'I'll tell you what he might do,' said Mr Cummins, brightening up. 'I'll tell you how you might save it--let him exchange.'

'Exchange where?' said the archdeacon.

'Exchange for a living. There's Quiverful, of Puddingdale --he has twelve children, and would be delighted to get the hospital. To be sure Puddingdale is only four hundred, but that would be saving something out of the fire: Mr Harding would have a curate, and still keep three hundred or three hundred and fifty.'

The archdeacon opened his ears and listened; he really thought the scheme might do.

'The newspapers,' continued Mr Cummins, 'might hammer away at Quiverful every day for the next six months without his minding them.'

The archdeacon took up his hat, and returned to his hotel, thinking the matter over deeply. At any rate he would sound Quiverful. A man with twelve children would do much to double his income.

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The Warden
Anthony Trollope

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