« VorigeDoorgaan »
intellect, but its highest elevation; not the crushing down of earthly affections, but the embellishing of them all with cheerful, hopeful, trusting piety."
“ True, M°Alpine, and long may you think so,' added Lord Iona, warmly; " instead of looking for magical miracles, such as seeing people, like Mahomet's coffin, suspended in the air during their often-repeated Ave Marias, let us rather look for the miracle of an elevated understanding, raised above all that is seen and temporal, to appreciate the chief glory of our own nature as about to become connected with what is unseen and eternal. I more and more observe the immeasurable superiority of a spiritual over a material worship. Above all things on earth, M°Alpine, beware of letting your mind collapse finally into Jesuitism, for then you will be surrounded with keepers who feed your delirium incessantly, and be put in some asylum where there is no wish to cure you, but only such hard treatment, starving, scourging, and solitude, as is exploded now even in prisons and mad-houses."
“ If we are preserved from such a fate," said Beatrice, gratefully, laying her hand on the arm of Lady Edith with a look of thrilling emotion, see the benefactress to whose instructions my own present safety is owing. Never did you expect, Aunt Edith, that I should need as I do now all the warnings you gave us, but you fortified the garrison before it was attacked. affection could return an hundredth part of the good you have done me!"
“ How much more than repaid I am, my own
Oh that my
Beatrice, for whatever a kind Providence privileged me to do for you! It has long been the greatest happiness of my life, never for one instant to doubt your affection, or to find it wanting.”
“ It would break my heart if you ever did! No, Aunt Edith, years and experience only prove more and more what I owe you."
“ And, Beatrice, my beloved girl! do I owe nothing to you? If to feel a deep unalterable affection for one who richly deserves it, be the happiest of all earthly pleasures, do I not owe such a blessing to yourself? My own dear Beatrice, you must be loved everywhere, but nowhere can you be loved and prayed for as you are here. I feel from the bottom of my heart the steady, wellprincipled affection that brings you home according to our agreement almost every day, and I long ardently for that appointed day which restores you almost to me entirely. Give me
“« Something to love, to lean upon, to clasp
Affection's tendrils round.'”
“ Affections trampled on and hopes destroy'd,
L. E. L.
The long-looked-for day came at last, on which Beatrice was to be restored to her old, quiet, wellbeloved home; and though there was in the depths of her heart an unacknowledged feeling of regret at losing the too agreeable society of Lord Iona, she felt in her still mysterious unclaimed state, it were best not to remain in the way of becoming more intimate with him, nor more exposed to the influence of those who were leaving no means untried to subvert her faith and principles. Hints were multiplied more and more now, of what she lost by remaining obstinately deaf, as well as blind to her own interest, and Father Eustace, by using the sacred name of her silent mother, obliged Beatrice to hear, with some attention, what was supposed to come from a parent.
Why should there be any stranger priest as a medium of communication between us?” asked Beatrice, indignantly. “Have we not both been endowed with eyes and ears? If I have a mother,
let her speak to me.
You have the power to grant this."
“ Never, while you remain an obstinate heretic! Never!” replied the priest, in a stern undertone.
“ Then truly I think, that for malice and vengeance a Cherokee Indian might take lessons from you,” answered Beatrice; indignantly. " What animal is there that does not communicate with its own progeny? and shall a rational mother alone be deprived of the happiness which belongs to the very lowest animals ? "
“Some of our most eminent saints on earth, Miss Farinelli, being resolved to humble that pride of human intellect which is too apt to arise in the natural mind, have spent months in imitating such animals as you speak of. There were those once, who condemned themselves as a penance to purr like a cat, to go on all-fours, and even to catch mice
“ Well! I could not do that, as I am a dreadful coward for mice," interrupted Beatrice, unable to suppress a smile ; " and often when I have tremblingly watched one darting along the floor, or springing on my bed, I have thought, if the least of God's creatures can inspire me with such fear, what amount of awe should I not feel for that Creator who formed the smallest as well as the greatest of living things, but who gave me a nature superior to them all! It can never become an acceptable sacrifice that we should abjure this privilege, and level ourselves down into mere unthinking irrational brutes. I value highly the
honour of man, in being formed after the image of God, and it seems to my Protestant mind, that those best obey His intentions who aim at a perfect resemblance to Him, as manifested in the human nature of our Divine Saviour."
When Beatrice wished after luncheon, though the morning now became one ceaseless cascade of rain, to depart, and had all her baggage ready, it seemed as if all Lady Eaglescairn's numeroụs carriages, either had broken springs or sprained ankles, or were in some way disabled from use, and Beatrice, in a fit of determined independence, had made up her mind that she would reduce her demand to a wheelbarrow for her trunk, and an umbrella for herself, that she might walk to Heatherbrae in pedestrian style, rather than disappoint Lady Edith. Lady Anne now suddenly came forward with a most winning smile, and a proposal that Miss Farinelli and all her belongings should be conveyed home in her carriage. This offer was most gladly accepted; but while Beatrice expressed her gratitude and pleasure at so timely a proposal, she was surprised to observe in the eye of her new friend, Lady Anne, a laughing, and what might almost be called a larking expression of fun, frolic and mischief, for which she felt totally at a loss to account.
Lady Anne was going that day to Inverness, much against the judgment and wishes of Lady Stratharden; but any check-string that a mother could apply would have been weaker than a spider's web, as she went in obedience to an injunction