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The Warden

Dr Grantly Visits the Hospital
Though doubt and hesitation disturbed the rest of our poor warden, no such weakness
perplexed the nobler breast of his son-in-law. As the indomitable cock preparing for the
combat sharpens his spurs, shakes his feathers, and erects his comb, so did the
archdeacon arrange his weapons for the coming war, without misgiving and without fear.
That he was fully confident of the justice of his cause let no one doubt. Many a man can
fight his battle with good courage, but with a doubting conscience. Such was not the case
with Dr Grantly. He did not believe in the Gospel with more assurance than he did in the
sacred justice of all ecclesiastical revenues. When he put his shoulder to the wheel to
defend the income of the present and future precentors of Barchester, he was animated by
as strong a sense of a holy cause, as that which gives courage to a missionary in Africa,
or enables a sister of mercy to give up the pleasures of the world for the wards of a
hospital. He was about to defend the holy of holies from the touch of the profane; to
guard the citadel of his church from the most rampant of its enemies; to put on his good
armour in the best of fights; and secure, if possible, the comforts of his creed for coming
generations of ecclesiastical dignitaries. Such a work required no ordinary vigour; and the
archdeacon was, therefore, extraordinarily vigorous. It demanded a buoyant courage, and
a heart happy in its toil; and the archdeacon's heart was happy, and his courage was
buoyant.
He knew that he would not be able to animate his father-in-law with feelings like his
own, but this did not much disturb him. He preferred to bear the brunt of the battle alone,
and did not doubt that the warden would resign himself into his hands with passive
submission.
'Well, Mr Chadwick,' he said, walking into the steward's office a day or two after the
signing of the petition as commemorated in the last chapter: 'anything from Cox and
Cummins this morning?' Mr Chadwick handed him a letter; which he read, stroking the
tight-gaitered calf of his right leg as he did so. Messrs Cox and Cummins merely said that
they had as yet received no notice from their adversaries; that they could recommend no
preliminary steps; but that should any proceeding really be taken by the bedesmen, it
would be expedient to consult that very eminent Queen's Counsel, Sir Abraham
Haphazard.
'I quite agree with them,' said Dr Grantly, refolding the letter. 'I perfectly agree with
them. Haphazard is no doubt the best man; a thorough churchman, a sound conservative,
and in every respect the best man we could get--he's in the House, too, which is a great
thing.'
Mr Chadwick quite agreed.
'You remember how completely he put down that scoundrel Horseman about the Bishop
of Beverley's income; how completely he set them all adrift in the earl's case.' Since the
question of St Cross had been mooted by the public, one noble lord had become 'the earl,'
 
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