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lieved, that a black man would carry them away if they were naughty. How undoubtingly they credited that pious fraud l and nurse Barton's lie was quite a rehearsal of the popish system—a bad action for a good end.” “Their father has fallen at once into the snare of Father Eustace and Mrs. Lorraine; therefore what hope can I have that my boys shall be preserved from it?” said Mrs. Clinton, with hopeless despondency; “their young minds will be ruined by my own husband, whom I have always, of course, taught them to reverence and believe. When he misdirects them, what hope can there be!” Mrs. Clinton started up and paced hurriedly about the room for some time, then sinking exhausted on the sofa, she grasped Lady Edith's hand, saying, “You are right, my best friend, as well as kind. If I am to survive this blow,-if my faculties are still to exist, it must be by leaving every fond association of home, every object to remind me of the loved and lost. I am now a childless widow. Let me go, then, with the dearest friend that remains to one so heart-broken. My obedience to God must now be shown, by living —oh, how disconsolately! on—if such be His will, and by living on to His glory, if that be possible.” The hospitable cottage of Heatherbrae was like Prince Ahmed's fairy tent, which could be folded into a nutshell or expanded to hold an army, or like a round dinner-table, which, whatever numbers may assemble, could always hold one more guest.
Lady Edith and Beatrice made every arrangement for the removal of Mrs. Clinton, who seemed stunned, without even the power of thought, and her usual energy was totally extinct, so that she appeared unable to fix her afflicted mind upon anything. They anticipated every wish that she could have formed, and considered every feeling, until at length all was ready ; and the poor sufferer, scarcely sensible of what passed, found herself in a small, but most comfortable bed-room at Heatherbrae. There the quiet and fresh air, the cheerful sunshine, the birds and flowers, and above all, the soothing sympathy of Lady Edith, might have revived any spirit but that of so cruellybereaved a wife and mother. Mrs. Clinton's very heart seemed burned to the socket, while day after day she sat beside the open casement, endeavouring to read or to work; but the bright sunny landscape appeared as if it scorned such misery as hers; while now and then, with parched lips, feverish cheeks and distended eyes, she gazed for a moment towards her old home, sighed heavily over the memories of all her past life, and prayerfully tried to submit implicitly, in heart and soul, to the divinelyappointed trials of her now gloomy existence.
“Nature hath assign'd
Strength to the weak, and to the wounded balm;
Some days after her arrival at Heatherbrae, Mrs. Clinton, looking like a living spectre, though
the first impetuosity of her anguish was subsided, had been seated some time beside Lady Edith, listening to her conversation, which was like balm poured into an aching wound, when the door was suddenly thrown wide open, there was an outcry of outrageous joy in the passage, and before she had time for so much as an exclamation of surprise, the two boys had rushed into their mother's
“ Mamma!” exclaimed the eldest, in accents trembling with delight, " we have found our own way back! Old John was driving the mail-cart from Inverness, when we saw him from the windows of that horrid place. I asked him to take us with him, so he waited—and here we are. Why did Father Eustace and Mrs. Lorraine carry us away ? Ned and I hated that school. We were to be punished for not kneeling to one of those dolls dressed in gold; but I knew the second commandment better than to agree. Now, mamma, pray keep us at home. We were sure you would wish us to leave such naughty people—so foolish, too, and very cruel to Ned and me.”
Mrs. Clinton, her lips the hue of ashes, her cheek white as death, folded the two boys in her arms, and burst into an hysterical agony of tears. It appeared as if her very soul would part from her body in this extremity of trial; for the rolling waves of her misery seemed to come faster and heavier on her the longer she clasped to her heart these children, who would soon, she knew, be torn from her again by their perverted father.
“ Mamma, are you not glad to see us ?” exclaimed Alfred, the eldest, with a look of injured feeling. “Did I do wrong in coming? We can both go back if you
I thought you would be so happy to see me again, mamma!”
The boy's lip quivered with wounded sensibility, and he burst into tears.' Mrs. Clinton still embracing him, attempted, in a low suffocating tone, to answer, but her voice was extinct, and her whole countenance assumed the hue and the fixedness of marble. The very life-blood was frozen within her; for every word spoken by the child planted a dagger in her heart; while he, clinging fondly to her side, looked wonderingly up at her face, in which was an unmistakeable expression of livid grief, and said, “ I will do anything that you bid me, mamma! Are we really, really to go back and do all that those curious people desire ? Are we to kiss those nasty old bones, and to kneel before that doll with the gold muslin frock? I like my own old religion best, mamma, without any dolls or beads. I am not accustomed to lick the floor with my tongue; but if you say that it is right, we must try. You know, mamma, you always told us yourself—and so did papa
“ God help me!” said Mrs. Clinton, in a tone of piercing anguish. “Oh, that the earth would cover me! My boys--my darling boys! Look at your heart-broken mother, and remember this hour for ever and ever. All the grief you see is because you must soon be taken from me again ; because you are to be taught this new religion,
which gives you magical tales instead of the Bible, and which teaches you to obey the will of Father Eustace instead of God's will.” “Nothing can ever make me do that,” said the boy, his young face assuming a look of seriousness. “We shall stay with our own mamma, and learn from you to be good, as we used to do. You always said that God had given us to you, on purpose that you might teach us right, and now we shall try to obey only you and papa. Nothing shall take us away, unless you say we are to go." Mrs. Clinton sunk back on the sofa, her eyes distended, and her knees trembling with agony, while with a bewildered look she glanced around, as if seeking for assistance, but unable to find any. Lady Edith gazed with deep emotion at the look of honest sturdy resolution lighting up the young boy's handsome countenance, and her usually brave heart sunk with sorrowful apprehension, knowing how little even the strongest natures are fitted to cope with priestcraft, and especially with Jesuit-craft. In consequence of much that Lady Edith had heard from her heart-broken guest, a strong conviction gradually settled on her mind how impossible it would be to discover any remains of good sense or right feeling in Mr. Clinton, who was now apparently in the highest pitch of fanaticism. Like all new converts, he was perfectly simmering with frantic zeal, and certainly no red-hot papist who ever fired a faggot at Smithfield could be compared to him.