Page images
[blocks in formation]

ninth chapter, and twenty-second verse; “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some: said the poor lady, readily and with solemnity; nor was it difficult to perceive that she was glad of the opportunity to show that she had read her Bible with care and attention. If men are flattered by being led into a quotation, why not women? Mr. Bainbridge resumed :

“Thus endeavouring to use all means in order to promote salvation among men-to render our holy eligion attractive in their eyes--sanctifying, so to speak, the weakness of nature in the service of the Lord, I have made myself not a few enemies, whom I forgive most heartily. For 't is excusable in the best of Christians to suspect evil in evil times.

“How well you express my sentiments in that last sentence, Mr. Bainbridge. What you said before respecting the sanctification of the weakness of our nature, and so forth, is perhaps going rather too far to meet the enemy on his own ground, and with his own weapons; but I admit the principlethe broad principle; and you have worded my sentiments most admirably. Why did you not express yourself thus candidly before ? ”

Surely, dear madam, you know the reason.”

Oh, yes! My irreverent brother would have scoffed at you, as he does at me May Heaven lead him to a right mind !”

“I am rejoiced to find that we are one in opinion, good madam. And now will you tell me the cause of your dislike to me-of your-."

“ Let it rest, Mr. Bainbridge. I see my error.

[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]

I was carried away by a rash judgment. I have wronged you. I am frank to own my faults. I was wrong." Enough, dear madam.

Whatever may have been your error in my regard, it is more than corrected by your present approbation. I cannot express the joy of my heart at the possession of that approval. The approval of the good and wise is the guarantee of supernal approbation: God speaks by the mouth of the good and wise ... You have done me good, dear madam. You have confirmed me in good. Let that conviction be a source of comfort to you: from the evil, suspicion, you have brought forth good, that is, confirmation in rectitude. Your nephew too, my esteemed pupil, will also derive benefit from this explanation : for the fact cannot be concealed that that—”

“Yes, I admit that my conduct was calculated to prejudice him against you, his tutor; and I am to blame. But I erred with a good motive, dear sir: the same motive will now make me your friend."

“ And I am right glad of it,” shouted Mr. Devigne, who had entered ere the lady finished her sentence. “Right glad of it, indeed. Well, I am rejoiced to find that you can listen to reason, sister.

But it is the medicine of truth in the honey of persuasion.”

“My mind is partly relieved) of 'its burthen, Mr. Bainbridge. Still I cling to the thought of Leonard's danger in the land of Popery: but you will defend him."



“Oh! he's safe enough, sister. Believe me, if you take care of yourself the imps of Popery can't harm you: 't is our weakness that makes them strong."

Perhaps it will be supposed that this triumph of Mr. Bainbridge has been too easy: but let the means be well considered; the strong appeals to the lady's ruling sentiment, to agree with which is the flattery the most effectual on the human heart. Persons of decided, headstrong opinions--such as Mrs. Malcolm - are rarely, if ever convinced; argument is powerless : but they are easily flattered into friendship when they find what seems to be a congenial sentiment;-for, how can they resist esteeming those who are wise enough to entertain the same sentiments with themselves ? Moreover, there is much more in the expression than in the mere words of a flatterer; his


the muscles of his face, his mouth, the tones of his voice, become, as it were, magnetic, and the result is fascination.

The reader may remember how Chesterfield gained a vote from a decided opponent, by humouring his hobby—which was the paramount efficacy of bloodletting in all diseases. The flatterer incidentally expatiated on the topic,—and ended with baring his arm. He lost a pound of blood--but gained the vote.

Mr. Bainbridge immediately left Ringwood-hall on a farewell visit to his relatives."





In the highest story, almost in the attic, of the venerable mansion which Providence has permitted to shelter the, sons of Ignatius, in England, was the Provincial's apartment.

The walls were bare; a table, covered with green baize, stood in the centre; two chairs there were,one for the questioner, the other for the questioned: the Provincial's room is not for conversation.

A portrait of Ignatius hung over the mantelpiece; one of the Virgin Mary was opposite. In a corner of the room was an oaken desk, surmounted by a crucifix; on the same side stood a four-post bed, of the commonest wood, hung with curtains of the coarsest material. The floor was not carpeted.

The chairs are filled; the lamp is burning ; you see two Jesuits ;-one is the Provincial of England, the other is Father Powel, otherwise, the Rev. James Bainbridge.

“ How fares the holy work ?" “ 'Tis perfected, Father.”

[ocr errors]



“ Per-fected! ..."

The Provincial raised his eyes from their custody, and, with a bland smile mantling his pale cheeks, he peered in the face of his companion, articulating the words

" Perfect-ed !”

“ The youth leaves England with me to-morrow evening."

“ Then you should have said, the work is begun : much yet is wanting to completion. But our prayers and efforts are so far blessed, God be praised! Benedicamus Domino! What a field of vision is opened to us from this Pisgah! When the father of the youth demanded a tutor for his son, we began to approach the mountain ; then we began to mount; now we have gained the top thereof-how splendid is the view! How the prospect enlarges—spreads in length and breadth-it has no bounds. Benedicamus Domino! Well, 't is well. Now to the state of matters. State all that you know of the family, just as if you had never touched on the topic to me on any previous occasion. I wish now, at this stage of the proceedings, to have a full, clear, substantial account, with ulterior views. I shall take notes. First, as to the youth."

“ The heir of Ringwood Hall will succeed to a fortune of five thousand a year.”*

* Mr. Bainbridge is here mistaken : Mr. Devigne's extravagance suggested his computation. His real income was not more than half that sum, even at his father's death. Still the reader will bear in mind the expectations of the Jesuits.


« PreviousContinue »