March 2, 2009

A dollop from Trollope

“I know a man — an excellent fellow, who, being himself a strong politician, constantly expresses a belief that all politicians opposed to him are thieves, child-murderers, parricides, lovers of incest, demons upon the earth. He is a strong partisan, but not, I think, so strong as Mrs Proudie. He says that he believes all evil of his opponents; but she really believed the evil. The archdeacon had called Mrs Proudie a she-Beelzebub; but that was a simple ebullition of mortal hatred. He believed her to be simply a vulgar, interfering, brazen-faced virago. Mrs Proudie in truth believed that the archdeacon was an actual emanation from Satan, sent to those parts to devour souls — as she would call it — and that she herself was an emanation of another sort, sent from another source expressly to Barchester, to prevent such devouring, as far as it might possibly be prevented by a mortal agency.”

The Last Chronicle of Barset, chapter 11, “The Bishop Sends his Inhibition”

comments

  1. Sheila Ryan on March 2nd, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    “An actual emanation from Satan, sent to those parts to devour souls” will trump “a vulgar, interfering, brazen-faced virago” every time.

    Or maybe it’s the other way round.