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The Prime Minister

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

The Prime Minister is the fifth in Trollope’s series of six Palliser novels. With Phineas’ difficulties resolved, Trollope introduces new characters. A respectable young girl forsakes the man her family had always intended her to marry when she falls in love with a man of foreign extraction and an unknown family. He has a gentleman’s education and manners, but his family background and financial means are mysterious. Is he really a gentleman? Meanwhile, Plantagenet Palliser becomes Prime Minister of a shaky coalition government, and Glencora and Madame Goessler are busy with the ensuing social obligations.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I see it all," said the elder brother. "I think I know all about it. But running away is not the thing. One may be pretty nearly sure that one is right when one says that a man shouldn't run away from anything."

"The thing is to be happy if you can," said Arthur.

"No;—that is not the thing. I'm not much of a philosopher, but as far as I can see there are two philosophies in the world. The one is to make one's self happy, and the other is to make other people happy. The latter answers the best."

"I can't add to her happiness by hanging about London."

"That's a quibble. It isn't her happiness we are talking about,—nor yet your hanging about London. Gird yourself up and go on with what you've got to do. Put your work before your feelings. What does a poor man do, who goes out hedging and ditching with a dead child lying in his house? If you get a blow in the face, return it if it ought to be returned, but never complain of the. . . Read More