The Warden HTML version
Our tale is now done, and it only remains to us to collect the scattered threads of our little
story, and to tie them into a seemly knot. This will not be a work of labour, either to the
author or to his readers; we have not to deal with many personages, or with stirring
events, and were it not for the custom of the thing, we might leave it to the imagination of
all concerned to conceive how affairs at Barchester arranged themselves.
On the morning after the day last alluded to, Mr Harding, at an early hour, walked out of
the hospital, with his daughter under his arm, and sat down quietly to breakfast at his
lodgings over the chemist's shop. There was no parade about his departure; no one, not
even Bunce, was there to witness it; had he walked to the apothecary's thus early to get a
piece of court plaster, or a box of lozenges, he could not have done it with less
appearance of an important movement. There was a tear in Eleanor's eye as she passed
through the big gateway and over the bridge; but Mr Harding walked with an elastic step,
and entered his new abode with a pleasant face.
'Now, my dear,' said he, 'you have everything ready, and you can make tea here just as
nicely as in the parlour at the hospital.' So Eleanor took off her bonnet and made the tea.
After this manner did the late Warden of Barchester Hospital accomplish his flitting, and
change his residence.
It was not long before the archdeacon brought his father to discuss the subject of a new
warden. Of course he looked upon the nomination as his own, and he had in his eye three
or four fitting candidates, seeing that Mr Cummins's plan as to the living of Puddingdale
could not be brought to bear. How can I describe the astonishment which confounded
him, when his father declared that he would appoint no successor to Mr Harding? 'If we
can get the matter set to rights, Mr Harding will return,' said the bishop; 'and if we
cannot, it will be wrong to put any other gentleman into so cruel a position.'
It was in vain that the archdeacon argued and lectured, and even threatened; in vain he
my-lorded his poor father in his sternest manner; in vain his 'good heavens!' were
ejaculated in a tone that might have moved a whole synod, let alone one weak and aged
bishop. Nothing could induce his father to fill up the vacancy caused by Mr Harding's
Even John Bold would have pitied the feelings with which the archdeacon returned to
Plumstead: the church was falling, nay, already in ruins; its dignitaries were yielding
without a struggle before the blows of its antagonists; and one of its most respected
bishops, his own father--the man considered by all the world as being in such matters
under his, Dr Grantly's, control--had positively resolved to capitulate, and own himself
And how fared the hospital under this resolve of its visitor? Badly indeed. It is now some
years since Mr Harding left it, and the warden's house is still tenantless. Old Bell has