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from her, that he appeared even to himself, especially when he recollected his indiscriminate prejudices against all of her persuasion, to be the most intolerant of the two. Such, however, was his natural candour, that he confessed the pleasure he found in being disabused of his erroneous impressions, so far as the Shelton family were concerned, admitting that his unfavourable conclusions had been instilled into him, rather than derived from actual observation, and yet seeming to think that the inmates of Hales Court formed a marvellous exception to the rest of their Catholic brethren.
“ We admit and deplore the fanaticism of some of our brethren,” said Agatha ; “ but as you acknowledge yourself to have been widely mistaken in one instance, is it not possible that you may be equally wrong in one hundred or one thousand, especially as you have trusted to hearsay evidence, instead of employing your own senses ? Alas! this is the
that mutual errors and hatreds are perpetuated. Worshiping one common Deity, and professing together the
same religion, the very spirit of which is peace · and love, why should we persecute and abhor
one another because we may disagree in some unimportant construction of the letter? If it would be deemed absurd to hate all those who differ from us in outward lineaments, it must surely be equally preposterous to detest others for not agreeing with us in inward sentiments. Since there cannot be
creed so orthodox as a Christian life, why should we estimate men by their professions of faith instead of their actions ? Why, indeed, should we attach so much importance to belief of any sort, which by its very nature is an involuntary operation of the mind, as totally independent of the will as our stature and our complexion ? In the prayer that our Lord himself has composed for our express use, there is no mention of any particular belief, nor has he elsewhere insisted upon it; for when the Lawyer tempting him, inquired what he should do to inherit eternal life, our Saviour did not stipulate for conformity to any established creed, but directed him to love God with all his heart,
and his neighbour as himself. James, too, when he is giving a definition of pure religion and undefiled, does not make it consist in articles of faith, but in works of charity, and in purity of living. After such holy authorities, it may appear irreverent to allude to one of the late addresses presented to our monarch, and yet there was truth and reason in the remark, that the Declaration of Indulgence for all sects resembled Manna, which suited every man's palate ; and that men's different apprehensions about religion could no more be forced into conformity than their different gustos.”
“My own sentiments, my own sentiments exactly !” cried the stranger, with evident delight : “but never, never did I expect to hear them proclaimed at Hales Court, all the inmates of which seem to be equally generous and enlightened, and yet they all profess—pardon me, pardon me, thou incomparable woman! I was about to recur to that sweeping intolerance which henceforward I disclaim for ever.”
“ If there be any merit in my opinions,” said
Agatha, “ not to myself, but to my dear father be the praise ascribed, for he it is who has instilled them into me, even from my tenderest
“ And with such liberal views, surely, surely he cannot be favourable to the arbitrary, illegal, outrageous measures of the present government.”
“ He is an Englishman, Sir, like yourself; as such, he considers liberty to be his birthright ; as a free-born Briton, he has personally and solemnly warned the King against persistance - in his mad career; and he only retired from London because he could not prevent the crisis and convulsion which he has long anticipated.”
“O England, my country, my dear, dear country !” exclaimed the stranger, starting up from his recumbent posture, and passionately clasping his hands" who shall despair of thy fortunes, when even among those who have been falsely deemed the most recreant of thy sons are to be found the noblest champions of thy liberty ? Never, never! - thousands have already deeply sworn it, and millions shall parti
cipate the holy oath---never shalt thou become a land of slaves! May thy children perish utterly and for ever ere they suffer the accursed chains of religious or civil despotism to fetter their souls, and manacle their brave hands. Thou wert meant to be the queen and the example of the nations, and thou shalt not bow down thy beautiful and majestic head to be trampled into the dust, either by the heels of kings or priests. My heart is bursting at the audacious thought ; ay, and the last drop of its blood shall be spilt ere such an impious degradation be consummated. Hear me, O Heaven! I swear it! I swear it! I swear it!"
No Pythoness, in the moment of her divine afflatus, was ever lighted up by a more passionate fervour than that which possessed the enthusiastic youth as he uttered this adjuration. His eyes sparkled ; every feature spoke; a halo seemed to play about his countenance, and all his energies had been concentrated as he ejaculated the final oath, at the conclusion of which he sunk back upon his couch utterly exhausted.
The diffident Edith, seldom prone to speak,