Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?: Vol. 2, Ch. 39

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"I'd sooner be bridesmaid to Charlie Fairstairs. I would indeed. My place in the world is not among Cabinet Ministers and old countesses."

"Nor mine."

"Yes; it seems that yours is to be there. They are your cousins, and you have made at any rate one great friend among them,—one who is to be the biggest of them all."

"And you are going to throw me over, Kate?"

"To tell the truth, Alice, I sometimes think you had better throw me over. I know it would be sad,—sad for both, but perhaps it would be better. I have done you much harm and no good; and now where I am going I shall disgrace you." She talked even of getting out at some station and returning, and would have done so had not Alice made it impossible. As it was, the evening found her and Alice together entering the park-gate at Matching, in Lady Glencora's carriage. Lady Glencora had sent a note to the station. "She could not come herself," she said, "because Mr Palliser was a little fussy. You'll understand, dear, but don't say a word." Alice didn't say a word, having been very anxious not to lower Mr Palliser in her cousin's respect.

None of the Lady Janes and Lady Marys were at Matching when they arrived. Indeed, there was no guest there but Mr Grey, for which Kate felt herself to be extremely grateful. Mr Grey came into the hall, standing behind Mr Palliser, who stood behind his wife. Alice passed by them both, and was at once in her lover's arms. "Then I must introduce myself," said Lady Glencora to Kate, "and my husband also." This she did, and no woman in England could have excelled her in the manner of doing it. "I have heard so much about you," said she, still keeping Kate's hand, "and I know how good you've been;—and how wicked you have been," she added in a whisper. Then Mr Grey was brought up to her, and they were introduced. It was not till some days had passed over them that she felt herself at all at her ease with Mr Grey, and I doubt whether she ever reached that point with Mr Palliser; but Lady Glencora she knew, and liked, and almost loved, from the first moment of their meeting.

"Have you heard the news?" said Lady Glencora to Alice, the first minute that they were alone. Alice, of course, had not heard the news. "Mr Bott is going to marry Mrs Marsham. There is such a row about it. Plantagenet is nearly mad. I never knew him so disgusted in my life. Of course I don't dare to tell him so, but I am so heartily rejoiced. You know how I love them both, and I could not possibly wish any better reward for either." Alice, who had personally known more of Mr Bott than of Mrs Marsham, said that she couldn't but be sorry for the lady. "She's old enough to be his mother," said Lady Glencora, "otherwise I really don't know any people better suited to each other. The best is, that Mr Bott is doing it to regain his footing with Mr Palliser! I am sure of that;—and Plantagenet will never speak to him again. But, Alice, there is other news."

"What other news?"

"It is hardly news yet, and of course I am very wicked to tell you. But I feel sure Mr Grey knows all about it, and if I didn't tell, he would."

"He hasn't told me anything yet."

"He hasn't had time; and when he does, you mustn't pretend to know. I believe Mr Palliser will certainly be Chancellor of the Exchequer before next month, and, if so, he'll never come in for Silverbridge again."

"But he'll be in Parliament; will he not?"

"Oh, yes; he'll be in Parliament. I don't understand all about it. There is a man going out for the county,—for Barsetshire,—some man whom the Duke used to favour, and he wants Plantagenet to come in for that. I can't understand what difference it makes."