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- Doctor Thorne - 1/119 -
E-text prepared by KENNETH DAVID COOPER
by Anthony Trollope
I THE GRESHAMS OF GRESHAMSBURY II LONG, LONG AGO III DR THORNE IV LESSONS FROM COURCY CASTLE V FRANK GRESHAM'S FIRST SPEECH VI FRANK GRESHAM'S EARLY LOVES VII THE DOCTOR'S GARDEN VIII MATRIMONIAL PROSPECTS IX SIR ROGER SCATCHERD X SIR ROGER'S WILL XI THE DOCTOR DRINKS HIS TEA XII WHEN GREEK MEETS GREEK, THEN COMES THE TUG OF WAR XIII THE TWO UNCLES XIV SENTENCE OF EXILE XV COURCY XVII MISS DUNSTABLE XVIII THE RIVALS XIX THE DUKE OF OMNIUM XX THE PROPOSAL XXI MR MOFFAT FALLS INTO TROUBLE XXII SIR ROGER IS UNSEATED XXIII RETROSPECTIVE XXIV LOUIS SCATCHERD XXV SIR ROGER DIES XXVI WAR XXVII MISS THORNE GOES ON A VISIT XXVIII THE DOCTOR HEARS SOMETHING TO HIS ADVANTAGE XXIX THE DONKEY RIDE XXX POST PRANDIAL XXXI THE SMALL END OF THE WEDGE XXXII MR ORIEL XXXIII A MORNING VISIT XXXIV A BAROUCHE AND FOUR ARRIVES AT GRESHAMSBURY XXXV SIR LOUIS GOES OUT TO DINNER XXXVI WILL HE COME AGAIN? XXXVII SIR LOUIS LEAVES GRESHAMSBURY XXXVIII DE COURCY PRECEPTS AND DE COURCY PRACTICE XXXIX WHAT THE WORLD SAYS ABOUT BLOOD XL THE TWO DOCTORS CHANGE PATIENTS XLI DOCTOR THORNE WON'T INTERFERE XLII WHAT CAN YOU GIVE IN RETURN? XLIII THE RACE OF SCATCHERD BECOMES EXTINCT XLIV SATURDAY EVENING AND SUNDAY MORNING XLV LAW BUSINESS IN LONDON XLVI OUR PET FOX FINDS A TAIL XLVII HOW THE BRIDE WAS RECEIVED, AND WHO WERE ASKED TO THE WEDDING
THE GRESHAMS OF GRESHAMSBURY
Before the reader is introduced to the modest country medical practitioner who is to be the chief personage of the following tale, it will be well that he should be made acquainted with some particulars as to the locality in which, and the neighbours among whom, our doctor followed his profession.
There is a county in the west of England not so full of life, indeed, nor so widely spoken of as some of its manufacturing leviathan brethren in the north, but which is, nevertheless, very dear to those who know it well. Its green pastures, its waving wheat, its deep and shady and--let us add--dirty lanes, its paths and stiles, its tawny-coloured, well-built rural churches, its avenues of beeches, and frequent Tudor mansions, its constant county hunt, its social graces, and the general air of clanship which pervades it, has made it to its own inhabitants a favoured land of Goshen. It is purely agricultural; agricultural in its produce, agricultural in its poor, and agricultural in its pleasures. There are towns in it, of course; depots from whence are brought seeds and groceries, ribbons and fire-shovels; in which markets are held and county balls are carried on; which return members to Parliament, generally--in spite of Reform Bills, past, present, and coming--in accordance with the dictates of some neighbouring land magnate; from whence emanate the country postmen, and where is located the supply of post-horses necessary for county visitings. But these towns add nothing to the importance of the county; dull, all but death-like single streets. Each possesses two pumps, three hotels, ten shops, fifteen beer-houses, a beadle, and a market-place.
Indeed, the town population of the county reckons for nothing when the importance of the county is discussed, with the exception, as before said, of the assize town, which is also a cathedral city. Herein a clerical aristocracy, which is certainly not without its due weight. A resident bishop, a resident dean, an archdeacon, three or four resident prebendaries, and all their numerous chaplains, vicars, and ecclesiastical satellites, do make up a society sufficiently powerful to be counted as something by the county squirearchy. In other respects the greatness of Barsetshire depends wholly on the landed powers.
Barsetshire, however, is not now so essentially one whole as it was before the Reform Bill divided it. There is in these days an East Barsetshire, and there is a West Barsetshire; and people conversant with Barsetshire doings declare that they can already decipher some difference of feeling, some division of interests. The eastern moiety of the county is more purely Conservative than the western; there is, or was, a taint of Peelism in the latter; and then, too, the residence of two such great Whig magnates as the Duke of Omnium and the Earl De Courcy in that locality in some degree overshadows and renders less influential the gentlemen who live near them.
It is to East Barsetshire that we are called. When the division above spoken of was first contemplated, in those stormy days in which gallant men were still combatting reform ministers, if not with hope, still with spirit, the battle was fought by none more bravely than by John Newbold Gresham of Greshamsbury, the member for Barsetshire. Fate, however, and the Duke of Wellington were adverse, and in the following Parliament John Newbold Gresham was only member for East Barsetshire.
Whether or not it was true, as stated at the time, that the aspect of the men with whom he was called on to associate at St Stephen's broke his heart, it is not for us now to inquire. It is certainly true that he did not live to see the first year of the reformed Parliament brought to a close.
The then Mr Gresham was not an old man at the time of his death, and his eldest son, Francie Newbold Gresham, was a very young man; but, notwithstanding his youth, and notwithstanding other grounds of objection which stood in the way of such preferment, and which, it must be explained, he was chosen in his father's place. The father's services had been too recent, too well appreciated, too thoroughly in unison with the feelings of those around him to allow of any other choice; and in this way young Frank Gresham found himself member for East Barsetshire, although the very men who elected him knew that they had but slender ground for trusting him with their suffrages.
Frank Gresham, though then only twenty four years of age, was a married man, and a father. He had already chosen a wife, and by his choice had given much ground of distrust to the men of East Barsetshire. He had married no other than Lady Arabella De Courcy, the sister of the great Whig earl who lived at Courcy Castle in the west; that earl who not only had voted for the Reform Bill, but had been infamously active in bringing over other young peers so to vote, and whose name therefore stank in the nostrils of the staunch Tory squires of the county.
Not only had Frank Gresham so wedded, but having thus improperly and unpatriotically chosen a wife, he had added to his sins by becoming recklessly intimate with his wife's relations. It is true that he still called himself a Tory, belonged to the club of which his father had been one of the most honoured members, and in the days of the great battle got his head broken in a row, on the right side; but, nevertheless, it was felt by the good men, true and blue, of East Barsetshire, that a constant sojourner at Courcy Castle could not be regarded as a consistent Tory. When, however, his father died, that broken head served him in good stead: his sufferings in the cause were made the most of; these, in unison with his father's merits, turned the scale, and it was accordingly decided, at a meeting held at the George and Dragon, at Barchester, that Frank Gresham should fill his father's shoes.
But Frank Gresham could not fill his father's shoes; they were too big for him. He did become member for East Barsetshire, but he was such a member--so lukewarm, so indifferent, so prone to associate with the enemies of the good cause, so little willing to fight the good fight, that he soon disgusted those who most dearly loved the memory of the old squire.
De Courcy Castle in those days had great allurements for a young man, and all those allurements were made the most of to win over young Gresham. His wife, who was a year or two older than himself, was a fashionable woman, with thorough Whig tastes and aspirations, such as became the daughter of a great Whig earl; she cared for politics, or thought that she cared for them, more than her husband did; for a month or two previous to her engagement she had been attached to the Court, and had been made to believe that much of the policy of England's rulers depended on the political intrigues of England's women. She was one who would fain be doing something if she only knew how, and the first important attempt she made was to turn her respectable young Tory husband into a second-rate Whig bantling. As this lady's character will, it is hoped, show itself in the following pages, we need not now describe it more closely.
It is not a bad thing to be son-in-law to a potent earl, member of Parliament for a county, and a possessor of a fine old English seat, and a fine old English fortune. As a very young man, Frank Gresham
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