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The Warden Anthony Trollope

X. Tribulation

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And did she find these details tedious? Oh, no; she encouraged him to dilate on every feeling he expressed, till he laid bare the inmost corners of his heart to her. They spoke together of the archdeacon, as two children might of a stern, unpopular, but still respected schoolmaster, and of the bishop as a parent kind as kind could be, but powerless against an omnipotent pedagogue.

And then when they had discussed all this, when the father had told all to the child, she could not be less confiding than he had been; and as John Bold's name was mentioned between them, she owned how well she had learned to love him--'had loved him once,' she said, 'but she would not, could not do so now--no, even had her troth been plighted to him, she would have taken it back again--had she sworn to love him as his wife, she would have discarded him, and not felt herself forsworn, when he proved himself the enemy of her father.'

But the warden declared that Bold was no enemy of his, and encouraged her love; and gently rebuked, as he kissed her, the stern resolve she had made to cast him off; and then he spoke to her of happier days when their trials would all be over; and declared that her young heart should not be torn asunder to please either priest or prelate, dean or archdeacon. No, not if all Oxford were to convocate together, and agree as to the necessity of the sacrifice.

And so they greatly comforted each other--and in what sorrow will not such mutual confidence give consolation!-- and with a last expression of tender love they parted, and went comparatively happy to their rooms.

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The Warden
Anthony Trollope

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