a well-organized party opposition, headed by Sir William

time:2023-12-05 07:17:16 source:Tears down the net author:two

‘What does he mean by having doubts?’ she asked. ‘Surely, he does not mean that he thinks differently — that he knows better than the Church.’ Margaret shook her head, and the tears came into her eyes, as her mother touched the bare nerve of her own regret.

a well-organized party opposition, headed by Sir William

‘Can’t the bishop set him right?’ asked Mrs. Hale, half impatiently.

a well-organized party opposition, headed by Sir William

‘I’m afraid not,’ said Margaret. ‘But I did not ask. I could not bear to hear what he might answer. It is all settled at any rate. He is going to leave Helstone in a fortnight. I am not sure if he did not say he had sent in his deed of resignation.’

a well-organized party opposition, headed by Sir William

‘In a fortnight!’ exclaimed Mrs. Hale, ‘I do think this is very strange — not at all right. I call it very unfeeling,’ said she, beginning to take relief in tears. ‘He has doubts, you say, and gives up his living, and all without consulting me. I dare say, if he had told me his doubts at the first I could have nipped them in the bud.’

Mistaken as Margaret felt her father’s conduct to have been, she could not bear to hear it blamed by her mother. She knew that his very reserve had originated in a tenderness for her, which might be cowardly, but was not unfeeling.

‘I almost hoped you might have been glad to leave Helstone, mamma,’ said she, after a pause. ‘You have never been well in this air, you know.’

‘You can’t think the smoky air of a manufacturing town, all chimneys and dirt like Milton-Northern, would be better than this air, which is pure and sweet, if it is too soft and relaxing. Fancy living in the middle of factories, and factory people! Though, of course, if your father leaves the Church, we shall not be admitted into society anywhere. It will be such a disgrace to us! Poor dear Sir John! It is well he is not alive to see what your father has come to! Every day after dinner, when I was a girl, living with your aunt Shaw, at Beresford Court, Sir John used to give for the first toast —“Church and King, and down with the Rump.”’

Margaret was glad that her mother’s thoughts were turned away from the fact of her husband’s silence to her on the point which must have been so near his heart. Next to the serious vital anxiety as to the nature of her father’s doubts, this was the one circumstance of the case that gave Margaret the most pain.


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