Mr. Harding walked on, and shook his head impatiently. Poor Bunce little knew how he was tormenting his patron.

“If there was anything to cheer you, I should be so glad to know it,” said he, with a tone of affection which the warden in all his misery could not resist.

He stopped, and took both the old man’s hands in his. “My friend,” said he, “my dear old friend, there is nothing: there is no news to cheer me—God’s will be done:” and two small hot tears broke away from his eyes and stole down his furrowed cheeks.

“Then God’s will be done,” said the other solemnly, “but they told me that there was good news from London, and I came to wish your reverence joy; but God’s will be done;” and so the warden again walked on, and the bedesman looking wistfully after him, and receiving no encouragement to follow, returned sadly to his own abode.

For a couple of hours the warden remained thus in the garden, now walking, now standing motionless on the turf, and then, as his legs got weary, sitting unconsciously on the garden seats, and then walking again. And Eleanor, hidden behind the muslin curtains of the window, watched him through the trees as he now came in sight, and then again was concealed by the turnings of the walk; and thus the time passed away till five, when the warden crept back to the house and prepared for dinner.

It was but a sorry meal. The demure parlour-maid, as she handed the dishes and changed the plates, saw that all was not right, and was more demure than ever: neither father nor daughter could eat, and the hateful food was soon cleared away, and the bottle of port placed upon the table.

“Would you like Bunce to come in, papa?” said Eleanor, thinking that the company of the old man might lighten his sorrow.

“No, my dear, thank you, not to-day; but are not you going out, Eleanor, this lovely afternoon? don’t stay in for me, my dear.”

“I thought you seemed so sad, papa.”

“Sad,” said he, irritated; “well, people must all have their share of sadness here; I am not more exempt than another: but kiss me, dearest, and go now; I will, if possible, be more sociable when you return.”

And Eleanor was again banished from her father’s sorrow. Ah! her desire now was not to find him happy, but to be allowed to share his sorrows; not to force him to be sociable, but to persuade him to be trustful.

She put on her bonnet as desired, and went up to Mary Bold; this was now her daily haunt, for John Bold was up in London among lawyers and church reformers, diving deep into other questions than that of the wardenship of Barchester; supplying information to one member of parliament, and dining with another; subscribing to funds for the abolition of clerical incomes, and seconding at that great national meeting at the Crown and Anchor a resolution to the effect, that no clergyman of the Church of England, be he who he might, should have more than a thousand a year, and none less than two hundred and fifty. His speech on this occasion was short, for fifteen had to speak, and the room was hired for two hours only, at the expiration of which the Quakers and Mr. Cobden were to make use of it for an appeal to the public in aid of the Emperor of Russia; but it was sharp and effective: at least he was told so by a companion with whom he now lived much, and on whom he greatly depended—one Tom Towers, a very leading genius, and supposed to have high employment on the staff of the Jupiter.

So Eleanor, as was now her wont, went up to Mary Bold, and Mary listened kindly, while the daughter spoke much of her father, and, perhaps kinder still, found a listener in Eleanor, while she spoke about her brother. In the meantime the warden sat alone, leaning on the arm of his chair; he had poured out a glass of wine, but had done so merely from habit, for he left it untouched: there he sat gazing at the

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