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on the universe who withdraws and separates himself from

source:androidtime:2023-12-07 13:50:07

He had not to ask himself if it was possible that Mr. Linton might have a word or two to say to him, respecting the word or two which he, George Holland, had just said about Mrs. Linton; for George knew very well that, though during the previous week or two he had heard some persons speaking lightly of Mrs. Linton, coupling her name with the name of Herbert Courtland, yet he had never had occasion to couple their names together except during the previous half hour, so that it could not be Mr. Linton's intention to take him to task, so to speak, for his indiscretion--his slander, Phyllis might be disposed to term it.

on the universe who withdraws and separates himself from

Upon that point he was entirely satisfied. But he was not certain that Mr. Linton did not want to consult him on some matter having more or less direct bearing upon the coupling together of the names of Mrs. Linton and Mr. Courtland. People even in town are fond of consulting clergymen upon curious personal matters--matters upon which a lawyer or a doctor should rather be consulted. He himself had never encouraged such confidences. What did he keep curates for? His curates had saved him many a long hour of talk with inconsequent men and illogical women who had come to him with their stories. What were to him the stories of men whose wives were giving them trouble? What were to him the stories of wives who had difficulties with their housemaids or who could not keep their boys from reading pirate literature? His curates managed the domestic department of his church for him. They could give any earnest inquirer at a moment's notice the addresses of several civil-spoken women (elderly) who went out as mother's helps by the day. They were very useful young men and professed to like this work. He would not do them the injustice to believe that they spoke the truth in that particular way.

on the universe who withdraws and separates himself from

He could not fancy for what purpose Mr. Linton wished to see him. But he made up his mind that, if Mr. Linton was anxious that his wife should be remonstrated with, he, George Holland, would decline to accept the duty of remonstrating with her. He was wise enough to know that he did not know very much about womankind; but he knew too much to suppose that there is any more thankless employment than remonstrating with an extremely pretty woman on any subject, but particularly on the subject of a very distinguished man to whom she considers herself bound by ties of the truest friendship.

on the universe who withdraws and separates himself from

But then there came upon him with the force of a great shock the recollection of what Phyllis had said to him on this very point:

"/If Ella Linton were wicked, you should be held responsible for it in the sight of God/."

Those were her words, and those words cut asunder the last strand of whatever tie there had been between him and Phyllis.

His duty as a clergyman intrusted with the care of the souls of the people, he had neglected that, she declared with startling vehemence. He had been actuated by vanity in publishing his book--his article in the /Zeit Geist Review/--she had said so; but there she had been wrong. He felt that she had done him a great injustice in that particular statement, and he tried to make his sense of this injustice take the place of the uneasy feeling of which he was conscious, when he thought over her other words. He knew that he was not actuated by vanity in adopting the bold course that was represented by his writings. He honestly believed that his efforts were calculated to work a great reform in the Church. If not in the Church, outside it.

But his duty in regard to the souls of the people---- Oh! it was the merest sophistry to assume that such responsibility on the part of a clergyman is susceptible of being particularized. It should, he felt, be touched upon, if at all, in a very general way. Did that young woman expect that he should preach a sermon to suit the special case of every individual soul intrusted (according to her absurd theory) to his keeping?