is read by five persons at the least. Two hundred thousand readers then would hear this accusation against him; two hundred thousand hearts would swell with indignation at the griping injustice, the bare- faced robbery of the warden of Barchester Hospital! And how was he to answer this? How was he to open his inmost heart to this multitude to these thousands, the educated, the polished, the picked men of his own country; how show them that he was no robber, no avaricious lazy priest scrambling for gold, but a retiring humble-spirited man, who had innocently taken what had innocently been offered to him?

“Write to the Jupiter,” suggested the bishop.

“Yes,” said the archdeacon, more worldly wise than his father, “yes, and be smothered with ridicule; tossed over and over again with scorn; shaken this way and that, as a rat in the mouth of a practised terrier. You will leave out some word or letter in your answer, and the ignorance of the cathedral clergy will be harped upon; you will make some small mistake, which will be a falsehood, or some admission, which will be self-condemnation; you will find yourself to have been vulgar, ill-tempered, irreverend, and illiterate, and the chances are ten to one, but that being a clergyman you will have been guilty of blasphemy! A man may have the best of causes, the best of talents, and the best of tempers; he may write as well as Addison, or as strongly as Junius; but even with all this he cannot successfully answer, when attacked by the Jupiter. In such matters it is omnipotent. What the Czar is in Russia, or the mob in America, that the Jupiter is in England. Answer such an article! No, warden; whatever you do, don’t do that. We were to look for this sort of thing, you know; but we need not draw down on our heads more of it than is necessary.”

The article in the Jupiter, while it so greatly harassed our poor warden, was an immense triumph to some of the opposite party. Sorry as Bold was to see Mr. Harding attacked so personally, it still gave him a feeling of elation to find his cause taken up by so powerful an advocate: and as to Finney, the attorney, he was beside himself. What! to be engaged in the same cause and on the same side with the Jupiter; to have the views he had recommended seconded, and furthered, and battled for by the Jupiter! Perhaps to have his own name mentioned as that of the learned gentleman whose efforts had been so successful on behalf of the poor of Barchester! He might be examined before committees of the House of Commons, with heaven knows how much a day for his personal expenses—he might be engaged for years on such a suit! There was no end to the glorious golden dreams which this leader in the Jupiter produced in the soaring mind of Finney.

And the old bedesmen, they also heard of this article, and had a glimmering, indistinct idea of the marvellous advocate which had now taken up their cause. Abel Handy limped hither and thither through the rooms, repeating all that he understood to have been printed, with some additions of his own which he thought should have been added. He told them how the Jupiter had declared that their warden was no better than a robber, and that what the Jupiter said was acknowledged by the world to be true. How the Jupiter had affirmed that each one of them—“each one of us, Jonathan Crumple, think of that,”—had a clear right to a hundred a year; and that if the Jupiter had said so, it was better than a decision of the Lord Chancellor; and then he carried about the paper, supplied by Mr. Finney, which, though none of them could read it, still afforded in its very touch and aspect positive corroboration of what was told them, and Jonathan Crumple pondered deeply over his returning wealth; and Job Skulpit saw how right he had been in signing the petition, and said so many scores of times; and Spriggs leered fearfully with his one eye; and Moody, as he more nearly approached the coming golden age, hated more deeply than ever those who still kept possession of what he so coveted. Even Billy Gazy and poor bed-ridden Bell became active and uneasy, and the great Bunce stood apart with lowering brow, with deep grief seated in his heart, for he perceived that evil days were coming.

It had been decided, the archdeacon advising, that no remonstrance, explanation, or defence should be addressed from the Barchester conclave to the Editor of the Jupiter, but hitherto that was the only decision to which they had come.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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