Too Long; Didn't Read
Mr. Grey and wife were duly carried away from Matching Priory by post horses, and did their honeymoon, we may be quite sure, with much satisfaction. When Alice was first asked where she would go, she simply suggested that it should not be to Switzerland. They did, in truth, go by slow stages to Italy, to Venice, Florence, and on to Rome; but such had not been their intention when they first started on their journey. At that time Mr. Grey believed that he would be wanted again in England, down at Silverbridge in Barsetshire, very shortly. But before he had married a week he learned that all that was to be postponed. The cup of fruition had not yet reached Mr. Palliser's lips. "There will be no vacancy either in the county or in the borough till Parliament meets." That had been the message sent by Mr. Palliser to Mr. Grey. Lady Glencora's message to Alice had been rather more full, having occupied three pages of note paper, the last of which had been crossed, but I do not know that it was more explicit. She had abused Lord Brock, had abused Mr. Finespun, and had abused all public things and institutions, because the arrangements as now proposed would be very comfortable to Alice, but would not, as she was pleased to think, be very comfortable to herself. "You can go to Rome and see everything and enjoy yourself, which I was not allowed to do; and all this noise and bother, and crowd of electioneering, will take place down in Barsetshire just when I am in the middle of all my trouble." There were many very long letters came from Lady Glencora to Rome during the winter,—letters which Alice enjoyed thoroughly, but which she could not but regard as being very indiscreet. The Duke was at the Castle during the Christmas week, and the descriptions of the Duke and of his solicitude as to his heir were very comic. "He comes and bends over me on the sofa in the most stupendous way, as though a woman to be the mother of his heir must be a miracle in nature. He is quite awful when he says a word or two, and more awful in his silence. The devil prompted me the other day, and I said I hoped it would be a girl. There was a look came over his face which nearly frightened me. If it should be, I believe he will turn me out of the house; but how can I help it? I wish you were going to have a baby at the same time. Then, if yours was a boy and mine a girl, we'd make a change." This was very indiscreet. Lady Glencora would write indiscreet letters like this, which Alice could not show to her husband. It was a thousand pities.