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The Warden Anthony Trollope

XIX. The Warden Resigns

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'I must leave this at two,' said the warden.

'Quite out of the question,' said the archdeacon, answering his wife, and still reading the shopkeepers' names; 'I don't suppose I shall be back till five.'

There was another long pause, during which Mr Harding continued to study his Bradshaw.

'I must go to Cox and Cummins,' said the archdeacon at last.

'Oh, to Cox and Cummins,' said the warden. It was quite a matter of indifference to him where his son-in-law went. The names of Cox and Cummins had now no interest in his ears. What had he to do with Cox and Cummins further, having already had his suit finally adjudicated upon in a court of conscience, a judgment without power of appeal fully registered, and the matter settled so that all the lawyers in London could not disturb it. The archdeacon could go to Cox and Cummins, could remain there all day in anxious discussion; but what might be said there was no longer matter of interest to him, who was so soon to lay aside the name of warden of Barchester Hospital.

The archdeacon took up his shining new clerical hat, and put on his black new clerical gloves, and looked heavy, respectable, decorous, and opulent, a decided clergyman of the Church of England, every inch of him. 'I suppose I shall see you at Barchester the day after tomorrow,' said he.

The warden supposed he would.

'I must once more beseech you to take no further steps till you see my father; if you owe me nothing,' and the archdeacon looked as though he thought a great deal were due to him, 'at least you owe so much to my father'; and, without waiting for a reply, Dr Grantly wended his way to Cox and Cummins.

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Mrs Grantly waited till the last fall of her husband's foot was heard, as he turned out of the court into St Paul's Churchyard, and then commenced her task of talking her father over.

'Papa,' she began, 'this is a most serious business.'

'Indeed it is,' said the warden, ringing the bell.

'I greatly feel the distress of mind you must have endured.'

'I am sure you do, my dear'; and he ordered the waiter to bring him pen, ink, and paper.

'Are you going to write, papa?'

'Yes, my dear--I am going to write my resignation to the bishop.'

'Pray, pray, papa, put it off till our return--pray put it off till you have seen the bishop--dear papa! for my sake, for Eleanor's!--'

'It is for your sake and Eleanor's that I do this. I hope, at least, that my children may never have to be ashamed of their father.'

'How can you talk about shame, papa?' and she stopped while the waiter creaked in with the paper, and then slowly creaked out again; 'how can you talk about shame? you know what all your friends think about this question.' The warden spread his paper on the table, placing it on the meagre blotting-book which the hotel afforded, and sat himself down to write.

'You won't refuse me one request, papa?' continued his daughter; 'you won't refuse to delay your letter for two short days? Two days can make no possible difference.'

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The Warden
Anthony Trollope

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