x s min bc ng¨¤y 13 th¨¢ng 05
"And if she comesâ€”and of course she willâ€”I'll lose no time in bringing her over to you. Nelly must see her of course." As they were leaving the room Mr. Harding called the archdeacon back, and taking him by the hand, spoke one word to him in a whisper. "I don't like to interfere," he said; "but might not Mr. Crawley have St Ewold's?" The archdeacon took up the old man's hand and kissed it. Then he followed his wife out of the room, without making any answer to Mr. Harding's question. Three days after this Mrs. Arabin reached the deanery, and the joy at her return was very great. "My dear, I have been sick for you," said Mr. Harding. "Oh, papa, I ought not to have gone." "Nay, my dear; do not say that. Would it make me happy that you should be a prisoner here for ever? It was only when I seemed to get so weak that I thought about it. I felt that it must be near when they bade me not to go to the cathedral any more." "If I had been here, I could have gone with you, papa." "It is better as it is. I know now that I was not fit for it. When your sister came to me, I never thought of remonstrating. I knew then that I had seen it for the last time." "We need not say that yet, papa." "I did think that when you came home we might crawl there together some warm morning. I did think of that for a time. But it will never be so, dear. I shall never see anything now that I do not see from here,â€”and not that for long. Do not cry, Nelly. I have nothing to regret, nothing to make me unhappy. I know how poor and weak has been my life; but I know how rich and strong is that other life. Do not cry, Nelly,â€”not till I am gone; and then not beyond measure. Why should any one weep for those who go away full of years,â€”and full of hope?" On the day but one following the dean also reached his home. The final arrangements of his tour, as well as those of his wife, had been made to depend on Mr. Crawley's trial; for he also had been hurried back by John Eames's visit to Florence. "I should have come at once," he said to his wife, "when they wrote to ask me whether Crawley had taken the cheque from me, had anybody then told me that he was in actual trouble; but I had no idea then that they were charging him with theft." "As far as I can learn, they never really suspected him until after your answer had come. They had been quite sure that your answer would be in the affirmative." "What he must have endured it is impossible to conceive. I shall go out to him to-morrow." "Would he not come to us?" said Mrs. Arabin. "I doubt it. I will ask him, of course. I will ask them all here. This about Henry and the girl may make a difference. He has resigned the living, and some of the palace people are doing the duty." "But he can have it again?" "Oh, yes; he can have it again. For the matter of that, I need simply give him back his letter. Only he is so odd,â€”so unlike other people! And he has tried to live there, and has failed; and is now in debt. I wonder whether Grantly would give him St. Ewold's?" "I wish he would. But you must ask him. I should not dare." As to the matter of the cheque, the dean acknowledged to his wife at last that he had some recollection of her having told him that she had made the sum of money up to seventy pounds. "I don't feel certain of it now; but I think you may have done so." "I am quite sure I could not have done it without telling you," she replied. "At any rate you said nothing of the cheque," pleaded the dean. "I don't suppose I did," said Mrs. Arabin. "I thought that cheques were like any other money; but I shall know better for the future." On the following morning the dean rode over to Hogglestock, and as he drew near to the house of his old friend, his spirits flagged,â€”for to tell the truth, he dreaded the meeting. Since the day on which he had brought Mr. Crawley from a curacy in Cornwall into the diocese of Barchester, his friend had been a trouble to him rather than a joy. The trouble had been a trouble of spirit altogether,â€”not at all of pocket. He would willingly have picked the Crawleys out from the pecuniary mud into which they were ever falling, time after time, had it been possible. For, though the dean was hardly to be called a rich man, his lines had fallen to him not only in pleasant places, but in easy circumstances;â€”and Mr. Crawley's embarrassments, though overwhelming to him, were not so great as to have been heavy to the dean. But in striving to do this he had always failed, had always suffered, and had generally been rebuked. Crawley would attempt to argue with him as to the improper allotment of Church endowments,â€”declaring that he did not do so with any reference to his own circumstances, but simply because the subject was one naturally interesting to clergymen. And this he would do, as he was waving off with his hand offers of immediate assistance which were indispensable. Then there had been scenes between the dean and Mrs. Crawley,â€”terribly painful,â€”and which had taken place in direct disobedience to the husband's positive injunctions. "Sir," he had once said to the dean, "I request that nothing may pass from your hands to the hands of my wife." "Tush, tush," the dean had answered. "I will have no tushing or pshawing on such a matter. A man's wife is his very own, the breath of his nostril, the blood of his heart, the rib from his body. It is for me to rule my wife, and I tell you that I will not have it." After that the gifts had come from the hands of Mrs. Arabin;â€”and then again, after that, in the direst hour of his need, Crawley had himself come and taken money from the dean's hands! The interview had been so painful that Arabin would hardly have been able to count the money or to know of what it had consisted, had he taken the notes and cheque out of the envelope in which his wife had put them. Since that day the two had not met each other, and since that day these new troubles had come. Arabin as yet knew but little of the manner in which they had been borne, except that Crawley had felt himself compelled to resign the living of Hogglestock. He knew nothing of Mrs. Proudie's persecution, except what he gathered from the fact of the clerical commission of which he had been informed; but he could imagine that Mrs. Proudie would not lie easy on her bed while a clergyman was doing duty almost under her nose, who was guilty of the double offence of being accused of a theft, and of having been put into his living by the dean. The dean, therefore, as he rode on, pictured to himself his old friend in a terrible condition. And it might be that even now that condition would hardly have been improved. He was no longer suspected of being a thief; but he could have no money in his pocket; and it might well be that his sufferings would have made him almost mad. The dean also got down and left his horse at a farm-yard,â€”as Grantly had done with his carriage; and walked on first to the school. He heard voices inside, but could not distinguish from them whether Mr. Crawley was there or not. Slowly he opened the door, and looking round saw that Jane Crawley was in the ascendant. Jane did not know him at once, but told him when he had introduced himself that her father had gone down to Hoggle End. He had started two hours ago, but it was impossible to say when he might be back. "He sometimes stays all day long with the brickmakers," said Jane. Her mother was at home, and she would take the dean into the house. As she said this she told him that her father was sometimes better and sometimes worse. "But he has never been so very, very bad, since Henry Grantly and mamma's cousin came and told us about the cheque." That word Henry Grantly made the dean understand that there might yet be a ray of sunshine among the Crawleys. "There is papa," said Jane, as they got to the gate. Then they waited for a few minutes till Mr. Crawley came up, very hot, wiping the sweat from his forehead. "Crawley," said the dean, "I cannot tell you how glad I am to see you, and how rejoiced I am that this accusation has fallen off from you." "Verily the news came in time, Arabin," said the other; "but it was a narrow pinchâ€”a narrow pinch. Will you not enter, and see my wife?" CHAPTER LXXIX. MR. CRAWLEY SPEAKS OF HIS COAT. Illustration t this time Grace had returned home from Framley. As long as the terrible tragedy of the forthcoming trial was dragging itself on she had been content to stay away, at her mother's bidding. It has not been possible in these pages to tell of all the advice that had been given to the ladies of the Crawley family in their great difficulty, and of all the assistance that had been offered. The elder Lady Lufton and the younger, and Mrs. Robarts had continually been in consultation on the subject; Mrs. Grantly's opinion had been asked and given; and even the Miss Prettymans and Mrs. Walker had found means of expressing themselves. The communications to Mrs. Crawley had been very frequent,â€”though they had not of course been allowed to reach the ears of Mr. Crawley. What was to be done when the living should be gone and Mr. Crawley should be in prison? Some said that he might be there for six weeks, and some for two years. Old Lady Lufton made anxious inquiries about Judge Medlicote, before whom it was said that the trial would be taken. Judge Medlicote was a Dissenter, and old Lady Lufton was in despair. When she was assured by some liberally-disposed friend that this would certainly make no difference, she shook her head woefully. "I don't know why we are to have Dissenters at all," she said, "to try people who belong to the Established Church." When she heard that Judge Medlicote would certainly be the judge, she made up her mind that two years would be the least of it. She would not have minded it, she said, if he had been a Roman Catholic. And whether the punishment might be for six weeks or for two years, what should be done with the family? Where should they be housed? how should they be fed? What should be done with the poor man when he came out of prison? It was a case in which the generous, soft-hearted old Lady Lufton was almost beside herself. "As for Grace," said young Lady Lufton, "it will be a great deal better that we should keep her amongst us. Of course she will become Mrs. Grantly, and it will be nicer for her that it should be so." In those days the posters had been seen, and the flitting to Pau had been talked of, and the Framley opinion was that Grace had better remain at Framley till she should be carried off to Pau. There were schemes, too, about Jane. But what was to be done for the wife? And what was to be done for Mr. Crawley? Then came the news from Mrs. Arabin, and all interest in Judge Medlicote was at an end. But even now, after this great escape, what was to be done? As to Grace, she had felt the absolute necessity of being obedient to her friends,â€”with the consent of course of her mother,â€”during the great tribulation of her family. Things were so bad that she had not the heart to make them worse by giving any unnecessary trouble as to herself. Having resolved,â€”and having made her mother so understand,â€”that on one point she would guide herself by her own feelings, she was contented to go hither and thither as she was told, and to do as she was bid. Her hope was that Miss Prettyman would allow her to go back to her teaching, but it had come to be understood among them all that nothing was to be said on that subject till the trial should be over. Till that time she would be passive. But then, as I have said, had come the news from Mrs. Arabin, and Grace, with all the others, understood that there would be no trial. When this was known and acknowledged, she declared her purpose of going back to Hogglestock. She would go back at once. When asked both by Lady Lufton and by Mrs. Robarts why she was in so great a haste, she merely said that it must be so. She was, as it were, absolved from her passive obedience to Framley authorities by the diminution of the family misfortunes.