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ticism, idolatry, guilt, and superstition,” replied Beatrice, earnestly. “With its ever-growing creed and old Pagan ceremonials, those who become once shrouded in the delusions of Rome are merely to obey, but not to understand, any more than the child who holds a shell to his ear and fancies he knows what it says. The object of a Popish, as of a heathen priest, is to conceal mysteries, not to explain them, and to disunite religion from morals. Romish principles are as out of place in an English drawing-room, as an Italian organ-boy would be in a palace.”
“ Sir Allan pointed out to me yesterday what an eminent author says, and what I am sure our own recent observation may confirm, that Popery is 'a monstrous compound of secret fraud and force—of hypocrisies and villanies of all sorts and degrees-of monks, friars, cardinals, kings, and popes-of hypocrites of every class, and villains of every grade, all banded together to defy God and ruin man,'” said Lord Iona solemnly. “How deeply thankful M°Alpine feels, and ought to feel, for being delivered from that strange delusion which had really rendered him as intellectually tipsy with mental excitement as opium makes its victims."
“ It was a wonderful escape from the fangs of an uncle, who, being Sir Allan's confessor, knew him better than he knows himself !” said Beatrice. “ A priest such as Father Ambrose, who understands every secret weakness or folly, may even cringe before his victim, but must secretly despise him, for relinquishing all that makes man
a man in dignity and worth, but these delusions strike root in imaginative minds, and are not to be reached by reason or argument."
Now," replied Beatrice, cheerfully, yet with a shy agitated blush, “the horizon of life, lately all gloom to so many in this house, is enlivened by a very bright rainbow of hope. Sir Allan and Lady Anne have a perfect wealth of felicity themselves, with a long vista before them of future happiness, all snatched back from the gulf of Romanism, into which their best feelings were about to be frozen; and we ourselves, who were in some little danger, shall not now be very miserable.”
“Not very, unless a state of unimaginable happiness, and of super-felicity can make me so. To me the future seems almost as vividly present as the past, and nothing in life could appear even a trial to me, if we double all our joys and share all our sorrows together. I shall live all my life as if there were not another being on the earth to be loved but yourself. Death itself cannot separate
Few make the most of their materials for enjoyment, but ours, Beatrice--my own Beatrice now—shall be the very quintessence of domestic felicity, distilled over a fire of sound principle and energetic usefulness. The only drawback in the biography of our hearts now united into one will be, that our time shall pass too swiftly. I have a vision like Alnaschar of unearthly felicity, to be realized with you as my much-loved com
panion, when days shall seem like moments, and moments acquire the value of ages.”
More than an hour elapsed,-if the truth must be told, more than two-during which Beatrice and Lord Eaglescairn continued a conversation which varied like a tesselated pavement from grave to gay, while in the exercise of intellect, thought, and conscience they felt how great is the bounty of God to man, in gifting him with so many sources of blameless enjoyment. “I have waited, suffered, hoped and feared for a perfect age,” said Lord Eaglescairn, “while desiring to secure your companionship along the road of life, my Beatrice, now to be hedged in with every domestic blessing, under the sanction of our own Creator and of His holy word, to be our daily study hereafter together."
“ Social in essence is the Christian God;
Social in life the scene our Saviour trod;
“ Our life is all chequer'd with pleasures and woes,
That chase one another like waves of the deep.”—MOORE.
POOR Bessie M Ronald, broken in heart as in health, might often now be seen under the old oak-tree, where formerly she had read so many of Mrs. Lorraine's bewildering books, but now one only volume was the subject of her heartfelt and most reverential study-need it be said that this volume was the Holy Word of God. All day she worked diligently in her widowed step-mother's nursery and dairy, as well as among the bees, the flowers, and the poultry, but the dawn of every morning and the twilight of evening saw her quietly seated in profound attention over the revered lesson, often with tears blistering the pages before her, but always, with a serious earnest countenance, attending to the great revelation of God to each created mortal. Every day at a distance, had Bessie only looked up, a flitting form might have been observed hovering among the trees, and anxiously, with melancholy but unalterable interest, gazing towards the spot where she sat. Robert Carre and Bessie by tacit mutual consent never met, but obviously avoided each other, yet their thoughts were always together.
Though dressed in the deepest mourning for his father, and with mourning yet deeper in his handsome countenance, he seemed unable to tear himself away from that corner of the hay-field whence he could see his once-loved Bessie, though painfully uncertain how far her restoration to right principles might be permanently depended on; and many an hour, when she felt alone in the world, desolate and forlorn, one eye watched over her with ceaseless interest, and one heart beat with yet ardent attachment for her, and for her only.
The young girl had remained out unusually late one night, and being obliged on her way home to pass by the Popish chapel, beside which many exciting placards were put up, she observed that to the list always fastened on that door of those denounced by Father Eustace, among whom Lady Edith had long figured as one, the name of Robert Carre had been lately added in peculiarly conspicuous characters of red ink. Bessie was about to hurry on, anxiously escaping every recollection connected with the confessor and his machinations, when the sound of a voice reached her-a voice only too familiar to her ears—and in stopping to ascertain whence it proceeded, she heard the slow pompous tone of Father Eustace address ing a numerous party of nearly an hundred ragged Donnybrook-Fair-looking Irishmen, who had come to Clanmarina professedly as reapers, and they were joined by a moderate sprinkling of one or two Clanmarina Papists of the lowest rank.
“Do not strike, but if heretios are struck it is