Chapters 11-20

Chapter 11: Mrs. Proudie's reception - concluded.

Bertie Stanhope rips Mrs. Proudie's dress by rolling his sister's sofa over it. Mrs. Proudie is enraged. Bertie worries the clergy present with his religious history and praise of German professors. The bishop offers Harding the wardenship and asks him to discuss the changes with him and Slope. Slope has fallen under the spell of the beautiful and manipulative Signora Neroni, who is last to leave, and Mrs. Proudie is left "by no means contented with the result of her first grand party at Barchester."

Chapter 12: Slope versus Harding.

Harding meets with Slope, who tries to annoy him by criticising the former running of the hospital. Harding asks what would happen if he accepts the appointment but will not take on the extra duties such as supervising a Sunday school for the children of the poor of Barchester. Slope tries to procure an acceptance or refusal of the appointment and denies Harding's request to see the bishop on the matter. Harding says he will not accept the post if it is conditional on him performing the new duties, which Slope chooses to take as a refusal and reports as such to the bishop, who is disappointed. Mrs. Proudie, however, is pleased and puts forward Quiverful as a possible candidate for the post. Proudie agrees that Slope should see him.

Chapter 13: The rubbish cart.

On the way to see the archdeacon and his daughter, Susan, the archdeacon's wife, at Plumstead, Harding drops in on Eleanor, who reveals that Slope saw her the day before about the wardenship and was quite the opposite of hostile when talking of her father's candidacy... he even managed to get her to volunteer her help with the Sunday schools. Harding, despite her protestations to the contrary, fears that his daughter may have sided with Slope. He goes on to speak to Susan, who suggests that Slope could be looking to marry Eleanor for her money and that he might succeed in doing so, which makes Harding increasingly anxious. The narrator informs us, however, that Slope has no knowledge of Eleanor's wealth and that she has no desire to remarry.

Chapter 14: The new champion.

The archdeacon returns triumphant from dinner at Oxford, having with the help of the master of Lazarus College, Dr. Gwynne, persuaded the extremely high church Reverend Francis Arabin, a fellow of the college, to become vicar of St. Ewold's outside Barchester in order to help him in his fight against the Slopeists. The archdeacon, on hearing from Harding of his conversation with Slope, resolves to call on the bishop himself, but on hearing that night from his wife of her fears regarding Eleanor and Slope he immediately becomes less cordial towards him.

Chapter 15: The widow's suitors.

Slope offers the wardenship to Quiverful, who has a wife and fourteen children to support. He accepts with some misgivings about offending Harding, but reassures himself by mentioning Eleanor's large income, at which Slope's interest increases. But Slope is not sure how to switch his allegiance back to Harding and also does not want to stop visiting Madeline and will not cease opposing the archdeacon just to raise his prospects for success. Charlotte Stanhope also gets a reluctant Bertie to accept that marrying Eleanor would solve his problems. Madeline is cynical with regard to the institution of marriage and expresses a low opinion of Eleanor. The narrator tells us that neither Slope nor Bertie will eventually marry Eleanor.

Chapter 16: Baby worship.

Slope has spoken to the bishop in favour of Harding and visits Eleanor and Mary while they are playing with the former's baby. The bishop is reluctant to support Harding against his wife, who has already spoken to Mrs. Quiverful, and Slope tries to encourage rebellion in him. The bishop is glad that Slope and his wife are divided and believes Harding should have the wardenship but does not know what course to take. Slope claims to Eleanor that he thought her father did not want the post and she tells him that he did, but that she thinks the post cannot now be denied to Quiverful and refuses to see the bishop herself. She is uncertain of Slope's motives and pessimistic for her father's chances.

Chapter 17: Who shall be cock of the walk?

The archdeacon makes an appointment with the bishop, which he assumes to be about the wardenship. Realising he will have to give an answer and thinking he now has Slope's support, he decides to confront

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