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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
“ 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. 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!” 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-manceuvre 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 MoRonald, 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 :
“Oh! to have pray'd and toild—and lied—for this !”
“Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves,
“Sloth and folly Shiver and shrink at sight of toil and hazard, And make the impossibility they fear.”—ROWE.
“He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust."
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. Harris, who was never seen at all !”
Once, when Lady Edith entered Sir Allan's room, the nurse, with an apron thrown over head, was fast asleep after the fatigues of her nightwatch, and the next time on that day she was so occupied in mixing medicines and in preparing poultices, that she could not be spoken to.
That night Sir Allan had an alarming relapse into low feverishness. His pulse sunk away till it seemed almost imperceptible, and became so rapid that it could not be counted. Dr. Campbell was astonished and completely perplexed. He had ordered wine, brandy, meat twice a-day, rest, quietness, and several cordial restoratives, all which had been till this day most efficacious, but suddenly Sir Allan was in as sinking a state as if he had ceased to take the remedies at all, and as if he had met with some great mental shock. It was most unaccountable, and all hope must soon be extinct if the young Chief did not make a wonderful rally. Even Lady Edith’s courage sunk, and, unable any longer to control her grief, or to hold up her aged head under such a weight of sorrow, she allowed Beatrice to lead her away from the room, where night and day she had watched so long, that for a few hours, at least, she might try to rest her utterly exhausted frame.
Beatrice remained anxiously beside her benefactress, endeavouring to soothe her agitated spirits by every device of affectionate ingenuity, and Lady Edith had been for some time immoveable with her