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Plumstead Episcopi
The reader must now be requested to visit the rectory of Plumstead Episcopi; and as it is
as yet still early morning, to ascend again with us into the bedroom of the archdeacon.
The mistress of the mansion was at her toilet; on which we will not dwell with profane
eyes, but proceed into a small inner room, where the doctor dressed and kept his boots
and sermons; and here we will take our stand, premising that the door of the room was so
open as to admit of a conversation between our reverend Adam and his valued Eve.
'It's all your own fault, archdeacon,' said the latter. 'I told you from the beginning how it
would end, and papa has no one to thank but you.'
'Good gracious, my dear,' said the doctor, appearing at the door of his dressing-room,
with his face and head enveloped in the rough towel which he was violently using; 'how
can you say so? I am doing my very best.'
'I wish you had never done so much,' said the lady, interrupting him. 'If you'd just have let
John Bold come and go there, as he and papa liked, he and Eleanor would have been
married by this time, and we should not have heard one word about all this affair.'
'But, my dear--'
'Oh, it's all very well, archdeacon; and of course you're right; I don't for a moment think
you'll ever admit that you could be wrong; but the fact is. you've brought this young man
down upon papa by buffing him as you have done.'
'But, my love--'
'And all because you didn't like John Bold for a brother- in-law. How is she ever to do
better? Papa hasn't got a shilling; and though Eleanor is well enough, she has not at all a
taking style of beauty. I'm sure I don't know how she's to do better than marry John Bold;
or as well indeed,' added the anxious sister, giving the last twist to her last shoe-string.
Dr Grantly felt keenly the injustice of this attack; but what could he say? He certainly had
buffed John Bold; he certainly had objected to him as a brother-in-law, and a very few
months ago the very idea had excited his wrath: but now matters were changed; John
Bold had shown his power, and, though he was as odious as ever to the archdeacon,
power is always respected, and the reverend dignitary began to think that such an alliance
might not have been imprudent. Nevertheless, his motto was still 'no surrender'; he would
still fight it out; he believed confidently in Oxford, in the bench of bishops, in Sir
Abraham Haphazard, and in himself; and it was only when alone with his wife that
doubts of defeat ever beset him. He once more tried to communicate this confidence to
Mrs Grantly, and for the twentieth time began to tell her of Sir Abraham.