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- OF THE PRIME MINISTER - 1/159 -


THE PRIME MINISTER

by Anthony Trollope

TABLE OF CONTENTS

VOLUME I

1 Ferdinand Lopez 2 Everett Wharton 3 Mr Abel Wharton QC 4 Mrs Roby 5 'No one knows anything about him.' 6 An Old Friend Goes to Windsor 7 Another Old Friend 8 The Beginning of a New Career 9 Mrs Dicks' Dinner Party - No 1 10 Mrs Dicks' Dinner Party - No 2 11 Carlton Terrace 12 The Gathering of Clouds 13 Mr Wharton Complains 14 A Lover's Perseverance 15 Arthur Fletcher 16 Never Run Away! 17 Good-bye 18 The Duke of Omnium Thinks of Himself 19 Vulgarity 20 Sir Orlando's Policy

VOLUME II

21 The Duchess's New Swan 22 St James's Park 23 Surrender 24 The Marriage 25 The Beginning of the Honeymoon 26 The End of the Honeymoon 27 The Duke's Misery 28 The Duchess is Much Troubled 29 The Two Candidates for Silverbridge 30 'Yes;--a lie!' 31 'Yes;--with a horsewhip in my hand' 32 'What business is it of yours?' 33 Showing that a Man Should not Howl 34 The Silverbridge Election 35 Lopez Back in London 36 The Jolly Blackbird 37 The Horns 38 Sir Orlando Retires 39 'Get round him' 40 'Come and try it'

VOLUME III

41 The Value of a Thick Skin 42 Retribution 43 Kauri Gum 44 Mr Wharton Thinks of a New Will 45 Mrs Sexty Parker 46 'He wants to get rich too quick' 47 As for Love! 48 'Has he ill-treated you?' 49 Where is Guatemala? 50 Mr Slide's Revenge 51 Coddling the Prime Minister 52 'I can sleep here tonight, I suppose?' 53 Mr Hartlepool 54 Lizzie 55 Mrs Parker's Sorrows 56 What the Duchess Thought of Her Husband 57 The Explanation 58 'Quite settled' 59 The First and the Last 60 The Tenway Junction

VOLUME III

61 The Widow and her Friends 62 Phineas Finn Has a Book to Read 63 The Duchess and her Friend 64 The New K.G. 65 There Must Be Time 66 The End of the Session 67 Mrs Lopez Prepares to Move 68 The Prime Minister's Political Creed 69 Mrs Parker's Fate 70 At Wharton 71 The Ladies at Longbarns Doubt 72 'He thinks that our days are numbered' 73 Only the Duke of Omnium 74 'I am disgraced and shamed' 75 The Great Wharton Alliance 76 Who Will it Be? 77 The Duchess in Manchester Square 78 The New Ministry 79 The Wharton Wedding 80 The Last Meeting at Matching

The Prime Minister

VOLUME I

CHAPTER 1

FERDINAND LOPEZ.

It is a certainty of service to a man to know who were his grandfathers and who were his grandmothers if he entertain an ambition to move in the upper circles of society, and also of service to be able to speak of them as of persons who were themselves somebodies in their time. No doubt we all entertain great respect for those who by their own energies have raised themselves in the world; and when we hear that the son of a washerwoman has become Lord Chancellor or Archbishop of Canterbury we do, theoretically and abstractedly, feel a higher reverence for such self-made magnate than for one who has been as it were born into forensic or ecclesiastical purple. But not the less must the offspring of the washerwoman have had very much trouble on the subject of his birth, unless he has been, when young as well as when old, a very great man indeed. After the goal has been absolutely reached, and the honour and the titles and the wealth actually won, a man may talk with some humour, even with some affection, of the maternal tub;--but while the struggle is going on, with the conviction strong upon the struggler that he cannot be altogether successful unless he be esteemed a gentleman, not to be ashamed, not to conceal the old family circumstances, not at any rate to be silent, is difficult. And the difficulty is certainly not less if fortunate circumstances rather than hard work and intrinsic merit have raised above his natural place an aspirant to high social position. Can it be expected that such a one when dining with a duchess shall speak of his father's small shop, or bring into the light of day his grandfather's cobbler's awl? And yet it is so difficult to be altogether silent! It may not be necessary for any of us to be always talking of our own parentage. We may be generally reticent as to our uncles and aunts, and may drop even our brothers and sisters in our ordinary conversation. But if a man never mentions his belongings among those with whom he lives, he becomes mysterious, and almost open to suspicion. It begins to be known that nobody knows anything of such a man, and even friends become afraid. It is certainly convenient to be able to allude, if it be but once in a year, to some blood relation.

Ferdinand Lopez, who in other respects had much in his circumstances on which to congratulate himself, suffered trouble in his mind respecting his ancestors such as I have endeavoured to describe. He did not know very much himself, but what little he did know he kept altogether to himself. He had no father or mother, no uncle, aunt, brother or sister, no cousin even whom he could mention in a cursory way to his dearest friend. He suffered no doubt;--but with Spartan consistency he so hid his trouble from the world that no one knew that he suffered. Those with whom he lived, and who speculated often and wondered much as to who he was never dreamed that the silent man's reticence was a burden to himself. At no special conjuncture of his life, at no period which could be marked with the finger of the observer, did he glaringly abstain from any statement which at the moment might be natural. He never hesitated, blushed, or palpably laboured at concealment; but the fact remained that though a great many men and not a few women knew Ferdinand Lopez very well, none of them knew whence he had come, or what was his family.

He was a man, however, naturally reticent, who never alluded to his own affairs unless in pursuit of some object the way to which was clear before his eyes. Silence therefore on a matter which is common in the mouths of most men was less difficult to him than to another, and the result less embarrassing. Dear old Jones, who tells his friends at the club of every pound that he loses or wins at the races, who boasts of Mary's favours and mourns over Lucy's coldness almost in public, who issues bulletins on the state of his purse, his stomach, his stable, and his debts, could not with any amount of care keep from us the fact that his father was an attorney's clerk, and made his first money by discounting small bills. Everybody knows it, and Jones, who like popularity, grieves at the unfortunate publicity. But Jones is relieved from a burden which would have broken his poor shoulders, and which even Ferdinand Lopez, who is a strong man, often finds it hard to bear without wincing.

It was admitted on all sides that Ferdinand Lopez was a 'gentleman'. Johnson says that any other derivation of this difficult word than that which causes it to signify 'a man of ancestry' is whimsical. There are many who, in defining the term for their own use, still adhere to Johnson's dictum;--but they adhere to it with certain unexpressed allowances for possible


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