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The Warden Anthony Trollope

XIII. The Warden's Decision

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'Oh, papa, I am so glad!'

'My darling child! It did cost me a pang at first, Nelly, to think that you should lose your pretty drawing-room, and your ponies, and your garden: the garden will be the worst of all-- but there is a garden at Crabtree, a very pretty garden.'

Crabtree Parva was the name of the small living which Mr Harding had held as a minor canon, and which still belonged to him. It was only worth some eighty pounds a year, and a small house and glebe, all of which were now handed over to Mr Harding's curate; but it was to Crabtree glebe that Mr Harding thought of retiring. This parish must not be mistaken for that other living, Crabtree Canonicorum, as it is called. Crabtree Canonicorum is a very nice thing; there are only two hundred parishioners; there are four hundred acres of glebe; and the great and small tithes, which both go to the rector, are worth four hundred pounds a year more. Crabtree Canonicorum is in the gift of the dean and chapter, and is at this time possessed by the Honourable and Reverend Dr Vesey Stanhope, who also fills the prebendal stall of Goosegorge in Barchester Chapter, and holds the united rectory of Eiderdown and Stogpingum, or Stoke Pinquium, as it should be written. This is the same Dr Vesey Stanhope whose hospitable villa on the Lake of Como is so well known to the elite of English travellers, and whose collection of Lombard butterflies is supposed to be unique.

'Yes,' said the warden, musing, 'there is a very pretty garden at Crabtree; but I shall be sorry to disturb poor Smith.' Smith was the curate of Crabtree, a gentleman who was maintaining a wife and half a dozen children on the income arising from his profession.

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Eleanor assured her father that, as far as she was concerned, she could leave her house and her ponies without a single regret. She was only so happy that he was going--going where he would escape all this dreadful turmoil.

'But we will take the music, my dear.'

And so they went on planning their future happiness, and plotting how they would arrange it all without the interposition of the archdeacon, and at last they again became confidential, and then the warden did thank her for what she had done, and Eleanor, lying on her father's shoulder, did find an opportunity to tell her secret: and the father gave his blessing to his child, and said that the man whom she loved was honest, good, and kind-hearted, and right-thinking in the main--one who wanted only a good wife to put him quite upright--'a man, my love,' he ended by saying, 'to whom I firmly believe that I can trust my treasure with safety.'

'But what will Dr Grantly say?'

'Well, my dear, it can't be helped--we shall be out at Crabtree then.'

And Eleanor ran upstairs to prepare her father's clothes for his journey; and the warden returned to his garden to make his last adieux to every tree, and shrub, and shady nook that he knew so well.

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The Warden
Anthony Trollope

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