Lady Dumbello’s discretion
For relaxation during these turbulent days, I’ve been reading Trollope’s Framley Parsonage. Toward the end, the novelist recounts the great success of Lord Dumbello, a peer of uncertain morals, who finds the perfect wife. She is beautiful, her bearing is stately, and best of all, while she is attentive to the needs of the household, she does not pry into her husband’s outside pursuits. As a contented mother-in-law says, “She sees all that she ought to see, and nothing that she ought not.”
As I read, I wondered whether Lady Dumbello had acquired her charms through the same sort of training that produced many of our American bishops: the ones who never saw the complaints and warning letters, and never heard the rumors about the beach house in Sea Girt.
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