The first of Trollope's ''Barsetshire'' series concerns Mr. Harding, elderly warden of Hiram's Hospital and Precentor of Barchester Cathedral. An engaging introduction to the life of the Victorian clergy and the behind-the-scenes politics that continue in Barchester Towers.
o back both his arguments and his conscience, it may be imagined that Mr Harding has never felt any compunction as to receiving his quarterly sum of two hundred pounds. Indeed, the subject has never presented itself to his mind in that shape. He has talked not unfrequently, and heard very much about the wills of old founders and the incomes arising from their estates, during the last year or two; he did even, at one moment, feel a doubt (since expelled by his son-in-law's logic) as to whether Lord Guildford was clearly entitled to receive so enormous an income as he does from the revenues of St Cross; but that he himself was overpaid with his modest eight hundred pounds,--he who, out of that, voluntarily gave up sixty-two pounds eleven shillings and fourpence a year to his twelve old neighbours,--he who, for the money, does his precentor's work as no precentor has done it before, since Barchester Cathedral was built,--such an idea has never sullied his quiet, or disturbed his conscience.