Anthony Trollope.

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E-text prepared by Kenneth David Cooper
and revised by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D.



DOCTOR THORNE

by

Anthony Trollope

First published in 1858







CONTENTS

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
XVI. Miss Dunstable
XVII. The Election
XVIII. The Rivals
XIX. The Duke of Omnium
XX. The Proposal
XXI. Mr Moffat Falls into Trouble
XXII. Sir Roger Is Unseated
XXII. 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





CHAPTER I

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;
dépôts 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; they consist, with the exception of the assize town,
of 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 is 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, Francis 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 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 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
found the life to which he was thus introduced agreeable enough. He
consoled himself as best he might for the blue looks with which he
was greeted by his own party, and took his revenge by consorting more
thoroughly than ever with his political adversaries. Foolishly, like
a foolish moth, he flew to the bright light, and, like the moths,
of course he burnt his wings. Early in 1833 he had become a member
of Parliament, and in the autumn of 1834 the dissolution came.
Young members of three or four-and-twenty do not think much of
dissolutions, forget the fancies of their constituents, and are too
proud of the present to calculate much as to the future. So it was
with Mr Gresham. His father had been member for Barsetshire all his
life, and he looked forward to similar prosperity as though it were
part of his inheritance; but he failed to take any of the steps which
had secured his father's seat.

In the autumn of 1834 the dissolution came, and Frank Gresham, with
his honourable lady wife and all the de Courcys at his back, found
that he had mortally offended the county. To his great disgust
another candidate was brought forward as a fellow to his late
colleague, and though he manfully fought the battle, and spent ten
thousand pounds in the contest, he could not recover his position. A
high Tory, with a great Whig interest to back him, is never a popular
person in England. No one can trust him, though there may be those
who are willing to place him, untrusted, in high positions. Such
was the case with Mr Gresham. There were many who were willing, for
family considerations, to keep him in Parliament; but no one thought
that he was fit to be there. The consequences were, that a bitter
and expensive contest ensued. Frank Gresham, when twitted with being
a Whig, foreswore the de Courcy family; and then, when ridiculed as
having been thrown over by the Tories, foreswore his father's old
friends. So between the two stools he fell to the ground, and, as a
politician, he never again rose to his feet.

He never again rose to his feet; but twice again he made violent
efforts to do so. Elections in East Barsetshire, from various
causes, came quick upon each other in those days, and before he was
eight-and-twenty years of age Mr Gresham had three times contested
the county and been three times beaten. To speak the truth of him,
his own spirit would have been satisfied with the loss of the first
ten thousand pounds; but Lady Arabella was made of higher mettle. She
had married a man with a fine place and a fine fortune; but she had
nevertheless married a commoner and had in so far derogated from her
high birth. She felt that her husband should be by rights a member of
the House of Lords; but, if not, that it was at least essential that
he should have a seat in the lower chamber. She would by degrees sink
into nothing if she allowed herself to sit down, the mere wife of a
mere country squire.

Thus instigated, Mr Gresham repeated the useless contest three times,
and repeated it each time at a serious cost. He lost his money, Lady
Arabella lost her temper, and things at Greshamsbury went on by no
means as prosperously as they had done in the days of the old squire.

In the first twelve years of their marriage, children came fast into
the nursery at Greshamsbury. The first that was born was a boy; and
in those happy halcyon days, when the old squire was still alive,
great was the joy at the birth of an heir to Greshamsbury; bonfires
gleamed through the country-side, oxen were roasted whole, and
the customary paraphernalia of joy, usual to rich Britons on such
occasions were gone through with wondrous éclat. But when the tenth
baby, and the ninth little girl, was brought into the world, the
outward show of joy was not so great.

Then other troubles came on. Some of these little girls were sickly,
some very sickly. Lady Arabella had her faults, and they were such as
were extremely detrimental to her husband's happiness and her own;
but that of being an indifferent mother was not among them. She had
worried her husband daily for years because he was not in Parliament,
she had worried him because he would not furnish the house in Portman
Square, she had worried him because he objected to have more people
every winter at Greshamsbury Park than the house would hold; but now
she changed her tune and worried him because Selina coughed, because
Helena was hectic, because poor Sophy's spine was weak, and Matilda's
appetite was gone.

Worrying from such causes was pardonable it will be said. So it was;
but the manner was hardly pardonable. Selina's cough was certainly
not fairly attributable to the old-fashioned furniture in Portman
Square; nor would Sophy's spine have been materially benefited by
her father having a seat in Parliament; and yet, to have heard Lady
Arabella discussing those matters in family conclave, one would have
thought that she would have expected such results.

As it was, her poor weak darlings were carried about from London to
Brighton, from Brighton to some German baths, from the German baths
back to Torquay, and thence - as regarded the four we have named - to
that bourne from whence no further journey could be made under the
Lady Arabella's directions.

The one son and heir to Greshamsbury was named as his father, Francis
Newbold Gresham. He would have been the hero of our tale had not that
place been pre-occupied by the village doctor. As it is, those who
please may so regard him. It is he who is to be our favourite young
man, to do the love scenes, to have his trials and his difficulties,
and to win through them or not, as the case may be. I am too old now
to be a hard-hearted author, and so it is probable that he may not
die of a broken heart. Those who don't approve of a middle-aged
bachelor country doctor as a hero, may take the heir to Greshamsbury
in his stead, and call the book, if it so please them, "The Loves and
Adventures of Francis Newbold Gresham the Younger."

And Master Frank Gresham was not ill adapted for playing the part
of a hero of this sort. He did not share his sisters' ill-health,
and though the only boy of the family, he excelled all his sisters
in personal appearance. The Greshams from time immemorial had been
handsome. They were broad browed, blue eyed, fair haired, born with
dimples in their chins, and that pleasant, aristocratic dangerous
curl of the upper lip which can equally express good humour or scorn.
Young Frank was every inch a Gresham, and was the darling of his
father's heart.

The de Courcys had never been plain. There was too much hauteur, too
much pride, we may perhaps even fairly say, too much nobility in
their gait and manners, and even in their faces, to allow of their
being considered plain; but they were not a race nurtured by Venus
or Apollo. They were tall and thin, with high cheek-bones, high
foreheads, and large, dignified, cold eyes. The de Courcy girls had
all good hair; and, as they also possessed easy manners and powers
of talking, they managed to pass in the world for beauties till they
were absorbed in the matrimonial market, and the world at large cared
no longer whether they were beauties or not. The Misses Gresham were
made in the de Courcy mould, and were not on this account the less
dear to their mother.

The two eldest, Augusta and Beatrice, lived, and were apparently
likely to live. The four next faded and died one after another - all
in the same sad year - and were laid in the neat, new cemetery at
Torquay. Then came a pair, born at one birth, weak, delicate, frail
little flowers, with dark hair and dark eyes, and thin, long, pale
faces, with long, bony hands, and long bony feet, whom men looked on
as fated to follow their sisters with quick steps. Hitherto, however,
they had not followed them, nor had they suffered as their sisters
had suffered; and some people at Greshamsbury attributed this to the
fact that a change had been made in the family medical practitioner.

Then came the youngest of the flock, she whose birth we have said was
not heralded with loud joy; for when she came into the world, four
others, with pale temples, wan, worn cheeks, and skeleton, white
arms, were awaiting permission to leave it.

Such was the family when, in the year 1854, the eldest son came of
age. He had been educated at Harrow, and was now still at Cambridge;
but, of course, on such a day as this he was at home. That coming of
age must be a delightful time to a young man born to inherit broad
acres and wide wealth. Those full-mouthed congratulations; those
warm prayers with which his manhood is welcomed by the grey-haired
seniors of the county; the affectionate, all but motherly caresses of
neighbouring mothers who have seen him grow up from his cradle, of
mothers who have daughters, perhaps, fair enough, and good enough,
and sweet enough even for him; the soft-spoken, half-bashful, but
tender greetings of the girls, who now, perhaps for the first time,
call him by his stern family name, instructed by instinct rather than
precept that the time has come when the familiar Charles or familiar
John must by them be laid aside; the "lucky dogs," and hints of
silver spoons which are poured into his ears as each young compeer
slaps his back and bids him live a thousand years and then never die;
the shouting of the tenantry, the good wishes of the old farmers who
come up to wring his hand, the kisses which he gets from the farmers'
wives, and the kisses which he gives to the farmers' daughters; all
these things must make the twenty-first birthday pleasant enough to
a young heir. To a youth, however, who feels that he is now liable
to arrest, and that he inherits no other privilege, the pleasure may
very possibly not be quite so keen.

The case with young Frank Gresham may be supposed to much nearer the
former than the latter; but yet the ceremony of his coming of age
was by no means like that which fate had accorded to his father. Mr
Gresham was now an embarrassed man, and though the world did not know
it, or, at any rate, did not know that he was deeply embarrassed, he
had not the heart to throw open his mansion and receive the county
with a free hand as though all things were going well with him.

Nothing was going well with him. Lady Arabella would allow nothing
near him or around him to be well. Everything with him now turned to
vexation; he was no longer a joyous, happy man, and the people of
East Barsetshire did not look for gala doings on a grand scale when
young Gresham came of age.

Gala doings, to a certain extent, there were there. It was in July,
and tables were spread under the oaks for the tenants. Tables were
spread, and meat, and beer, and wine were there, and Frank, as he
walked round and shook his guests by the hand, expressed a hope that
their relations with each other might be long, close, and mutually
advantageous.

We must say a few words now about the place itself. Greshamsbury
Park was a fine old English gentleman's seat - was and is; but we can
assert it more easily in past tense, as we are speaking of it with
reference to a past time. We have spoken of Greshamsbury Park; there
was a park so called, but the mansion itself was generally known as
Greshamsbury House, and did not stand in the park. We may perhaps
best describe it by saying that the village of Greshamsbury consisted
of one long, straggling street, a mile in length, which in the centre
turned sharp round, so that one half of the street lay directly at
right angles to the other. In this angle stood Greshamsbury House,
and the gardens and grounds around it filled up the space so made.
There was an entrance with large gates at each end of the village,
and each gate was guarded by the effigies of two huge pagans with
clubs, such being the crest borne by the family; from each entrance a
broad road, quite straight, running through to a majestic avenue of
limes, led up to the house. This was built in the richest, perhaps we
should rather say in the purest, style of Tudor architecture; so much
so that, though Greshamsbury is less complete than Longleat, less
magnificent than Hatfield, it may in some sense be said to be the
finest specimen of Tudor architecture of which the country can boast.

It stands amid a multitude of trim gardens and stone-built terraces,
divided one from another: these to our eyes are not so attractive as
that broad expanse of lawn by which our country houses are generally
surrounded; but the gardens of Greshamsbury have been celebrated for
two centuries, and any Gresham who would have altered them would have
been considered to have destroyed one of the well-known landmarks of
the family.

Greshamsbury Park - properly so called - spread far away on the other
side of the village. Opposite to the two great gates leading up
to the mansion were two smaller gates, the one opening on to the
stables, kennels, and farm-yard, and the other to the deer park. This
latter was the principal entrance to the demesne, and a grand and
picturesque entrance it was. The avenue of limes which on one side
stretched up to the house, was on the other extended for a quarter of
a mile, and then appeared to be terminated only by an abrupt rise in
the ground. At the entrance there were four savages and four clubs,
two to each portal, and what with the massive iron gates, surmounted
by a stone wall, on which stood the family arms supported by two
other club-bearers, the stone-built lodges, the Doric, ivy-covered
columns which surrounded the circle, the four grim savages, and the
extent of the space itself through which the high road ran, and which
just abutted on the village, the spot was sufficiently significant of
old family greatness.

Those who examined it more closely might see that under the arms was
a scroll bearing the Gresham motto, and that the words were repeated
in smaller letters under each of the savages. "Gardez Gresham,"
had been chosen in the days of motto-choosing probably by some
herald-at-arms as an appropriate legend for signifying the peculiar
attributes of the family. Now, however, unfortunately, men were not
of one mind as to the exact idea signified. Some declared, with much
heraldic warmth, that it was an address to the savages, calling on
them to take care of their patron; while others, with whom I myself
am inclined to agree, averred with equal certainty that it was an
advice to the people at large, especially to those inclined to rebel
against the aristocracy of the county, that they should "beware the
Gresham." The latter signification would betoken strength - so said
the holders of this doctrine; the former weakness. Now the Greshams
were ever a strong people, and never addicted to a false humility.

We will not pretend to decide the question. Alas! either construction
was now equally unsuited to the family fortunes. Such changes had
taken place in England since the Greshams had founded themselves that
no savage could any longer in any way protect them; they must protect
themselves like common folk, or live unprotected. Nor now was it
necessary that any neighbour should shake in his shoes when the
Gresham frowned. It would have been to be wished that the present
Gresham himself could have been as indifferent to the frowns of some



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