The new Dean takes possession of the Deanery and the new Warden of the Hospital

Mr Harding and the archdeacon together made their way to Oxford, and there, by dint of cunning argument, they induced the Master of Lazarus also to ask himself this momentous question: ‘Why should not Mr Arabin be Dean of Barchester?’ He of course, for a while tried his hand at persuading Mr Harding that he was foolish, over–scrupulous, self–willed, and weak–minded; but he tried in vain. If Mr Harding would not give way to Dr Grantly, it was not likely that he would give way to Dr Gwynne; more especially now that so admirable a scheme as that of inducting Mr Arabin into the deanery had been set on foot. When the master found that his eloquence was vain, and heard also that Mr Arabin was about to become Mr Harding’s son–in–law, he confessed that he also would, under such circumstances, be glad to see his old friend and protégé, the fellow of his college, placed in the comfortable position that was going a–begging.

‘It might be the means, you know, Master, of keeping Mr Slope out,’ said the archdeacon with grave caution.

‘He has no more chance of it,’ said the master, ‘that our college chaplain. I know about it than that.’

Mrs Grantly had been right in her surmise. It was the Master of Lazarus who had been instrumental in representing in high places the claims of Mr Harding had from the Government; and he now consented to use his best endeavours towards getting the offer transferred to Mr Arabin. The three of them went on to London together, and there they remained a week, to the great disgust of Mrs Grantly, and most probably also of Mrs Gwynne. The minister was out of town in one direction, and his private secretary in another. The clerks who remained could do nothing in such a matter as this, and all was difficulty and confusion. The two doctors seemed to have plenty to do; they bustled here and they bustled there, and complained at their club in the evenings that they had been driven off their legs; but Mr Harding had no occupation. Once or twice he suggested that he might perhaps return to Barchester. His request, however, was peremptorily refused, and had nothing for it but to while away his time in Westminster Abbey.

At length an answer from the great man came. The Master of Lazarus had made his proposition through the Bishop of Belgravia. Now the bishop, tough but newly gifted with his diocesan honours, was a man of much weight in the clerico–political world. He was, if not as pious, at any rate as wise as St Paul, and had been with so much effect all things to all men, that though he was great among the dons of Oxford, he had been selected for the most favourite seat on the bench by a Whig Prime Minister. To him Dr Gwynne had made known his wishes and his arguments, and the bishop had made them known to the Marquis of Kensington Gore. The marquis, who was Lord High Steward of the Pantry Board, and who by most men was supposed to hold the highest office out of the cabinet, trafficked much in affairs of this kind. He not only suggested the arrangement to the minister over a cup of coffee, standing on a drawing–room rug in Windsor Castle, but he also favourably mentioned Mr Arabin’s name in the ear of a distinguished person.

And so the matter was arranged. The answer of the great man came, and Mr Arabin was made Dean of Barchester. The three clergymen who had come up to town on this important mission dined together with great glee on the day on which the news reached them. In a silent manner, they toasted Mr Arabin with full bumpers of claret. The satisfaction of all of them was supreme. The Master of Lazarus had been successful in his attempt, and success is dear to us all. The archdeacon had trampled upon Mr Slope, and had lifted to high honours the young clergyman whom he had induced to quit the retirement and comfort of the university. So at least the archdeacon thought; though, to speak sooth, not he, but circumstances had trampled on Mr Slope. But the satisfaction of Mr Harding was, of all perhaps, the most complete. He laid aside his usual melancholy manner, and brought forth little quiet jokes from the utmost mirth of his heart; he poked fun at the archdeacon about Mr Slope’s marriage, and quizzed him for his improper love for Mrs Proudie. On the following day they all returned to Barchester.

It was arranged that Mr Arabin should know nothing of what had been done till he received the minister’s letter from the hands of his embryo father–in–law. In order that no time be lost, a message had been sent to him by the preceding night’s post, begging him to be at the deanery at the hour that the train from

  By PanEris using Melati.

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