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ingly have seen the misleader of Bessie dead at his feet, but discipline was strong within him, and he merely looked like a figure in cast-iron, modelled to represent passive determination. “Let me see Sir Allan for a moment,” said Father Eustace, trying to advance. “My good Inan 22 “I am not a good man,—at least not as you mean, sir,” interrupted Mo Ronald, firmly placing himself in his old sentinel's attitude; “there is no pass-word here.” “In the name of the Church, allow me to enter,” said Father Eustace in a tone that would have overawed a whole congregation of Papists, but it fell on the ear of M" Ronald, who was, when necessary, gloriously obstinate, like foam on a precipice. “Old man, if you oppose my will, which is the will of the Church, and therefore the will of One greater than the Church, may no sun ever shine on your grave. I must see Sir Allan instantly, and I shall.” M“Ronald merely made a military salute, and muttered to himself in an under-tone the old proverb, “Threatened men live long.” “You are refusing the privileges of the Church to one of her most devoted proselytes, and braving all the frightful consequences of doing so,” said Father Eustace in a tone of suppressed fury. “It would be Sir Allan's first wish, if he dies, to secure his own salvation by dying in the habit of our order.” “And while doing so,” said Lady Edith drily, yet almost smiling at the priest's self-satisfied audacity, “to leave your order all his property, present or to come. Really, sir, I most heartily wish, for the sake of peace at Clanmarina, that the Pope would abdicate in your favour. There would be at Rome a wider scope afforded to your genius for priestly domination.” “Infernal heretic l’ muttered Father Eustace malignantly. “The term which you apply to me of ‘a heretic,” means a wilful choice of error, knowing it to be error, therefore I have no intention ever to deserve that nick-name of reproach,” said Lady Edith calmly. “In what terms the misleader of Sir Allan deserves to be spoken of, there can be but one opinion amongst honest men, a fraternity to which you are, I fear, a stranger.” “Madam,” said the infuriated Father Eustace, “I am a priest. For your own sake remember that to affront a priest is one of those sins for which there is in our Church no absolution. We term it a reserved case.” “Those who made these laws are the priests who benefit by them,” said Lady Edith, turning away with a conviction that she spoke to one very far below contempt. “If the means used by you and your associates to entice converts, were used to bring Mahometans round to Christianity, who could ask the blessing of God upon them? Have you then really convinced yourself that such a guerilla warfare is justifiable?” Father Eustace, seeing how impossible it would be to out-talk or to out-manoeuvre Lady Edith into the smallest concession, where duty, principle, and affection bid her be firm, unwillingly turned away, while Lady Edith quietly enjoined the wellpleased M*Ronald, during the next month, never to open the entrance-door without keeping the chain upon it. Well might the baffled monk have then exclaimed in angry bitterness of spite:—
M“Ronald did not certainly reply to Lady Edith's repeated injunctions against admitting any visitor to her drawing-room, in the words of Goldsmith's Good-natured Man, “Show him up? With all my heart | Up or down, all's one to me.” The old veteran's thoughts as he paced before the door like a sentinel, might have been somewhat in accordance with the words of Milton, though not so eloquently expressed:—
“Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves,
“Sloth and folly
“He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust.” Macbeth.
For many days and nights there had been in Sir Allan's room a silence and darkness like the tomb itself, while the sun rose and sunk and rose again, unobserved by those who anxiously watched by the sick-bed on which he lay tossing and delirious with fever. The tall, portly, rather bustling sick-nurse sent by Dr. Campbell from Inverness, seemed one Friday to have become unusually quiet, and sat cowering the whole afternoon close to Sir Allan's pillow, but making signs for every one who entered the room to remain very quiet, and to keep at a distance. She complained of a severe toothache, which seemed of a most obstinate nature, as it never became either better or worse, and she sat rolled up in an enormous shawl, with her cap so drawn over the face that Beatrice whispered to Lady Edith, “She was a perfect Mrs. Gamp in attending our patient till now, being visible
occasionally, but to-day we appear to have got Mrs.