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THE FATHER, THE MOTHER, THE DAUGHTER. 299
to do honour to the cause of holy religion,-a worthy son of the Church !”
“We shall be most happy to see him again," said the mother.
“ We shall be delighted,” added the father. Helen sighed: she spoke not.
But the Jesuit did not say that Leonard was lost to her. No, he did not: still she sighed.
CONFIDENT AND PERFECTLY HAPPY,
FATHER FRASER TO THE PROVINCIAL OF ENGLAND.
VERY REVEREND FATHER,
In my last letter, I gave you a full account of matters so providentially evolving our cherished result.
All succeeds to our utmost expectations.
The novice received communion this morning; and is now, I feel confident, perfectly happy.
His retreat was a source of spiritual gratification to me.
All progressed calmly, sweetly, soberly.
His determination, as it were a fixed idea that looked into futurity, carried him on, undazzled by raptures; unterrified by desolation.
From this symptom, we have reason to hope, without a single misgiving.
Many a sudden conversion have I seen; it matters not how promoted, but all promised well at first. There were signs of an apostle--a Xavier
THE NATURAL JESUIT DISSECTED.
seemed to be forming. But the first days of exaltation were followed by depression; then came doubts and fears; and then the novice, surprised by the devil, was robbed of his vocation, which perished miserably.
Not so in the present case.
His energetic, calm will is centred in his fixed idea, which has now its spiritual, its holy impress : it is sanctified.
I have studied him.
I have examined and diligently weighed all the events of his life. What tenacity of purpose in everything that he has undertaken! These events fill but one year—but what events !
He became a disciple of that infernal Valremy. In a few months he equalled his master. He is allowed to have eclipsed him in company, excelled him in the delicacy of intrigue; and, but for our providential designs, he would have become as famous, or rather infamous, as his execrable master and corrupter.
He is eminently cool - headed : the love of woman is not his passion. His intrigues resulted from vanity, the love of display, not mere appetence. Such a man will talk of beauty, enhance it by description; but he expresses not what he feels, but only what he would have others feel, in order to enhance the idea of his fascinations, his power to win, his arms to conquer.
Cool-headedness enabled him to take his mea
ONE SLIGHT DIFFICULTY REMOVED.
sures ; keen observation suggested a copy to his features, his eyes, his voice, his manner; strong perception seized on the point for attack: he struck, and conquered.
These reflections have been suggested by his own lips detailing his past career, which he did with the greatest candour. I was filled with wonder.
So much effected in so short a time!
But—and this is the man's paramount characteristic-his secrecy was most astounding. The affair of Mlle. Duplessis is the only exception: but that was a providential interposition, and of blessed results. All his other adventures have been carried on with such wonderful tact, such surpassing discretion, that we may almost say that the Tempter alone is the only enemy who can accuse him.
We have indeed gained a great acquisition. His name, his wealth, will be of due importance : they aid the holy cause. He is now of age. I have announced to him the death of his father. He received the intelligence in the proper spirit; and writes to-day to his aunt, announcing his resolution.
There was, of course, one slight difficulty-his acquaintance with Miss Brenton. I anticipated the difficulty, by succinctly explaining to him the motives which led him to win the lady's affectionalluding to his conduct throughout the affair insisting on the absence of all compulsion, on both sides, and concluded by assuring him that the lady would exult to resign to God, a heart which she
THUS ARE WE FAIRLY IN PORT.
was incapable of filling, and give to religion a mind that would be rendered so efficient in the holy cause of salvation.
Not thinking it expedient to take the matter entirely in my own hands, I advised him to write to her, explaining his motives. He has done so. I shall be the bearer of the letter this evening; and will obviate, as much as possible, its effects in the lady.
I have already secured the acquiescence of the mother. She acquiesced most readily; and I suggested divine motives to sanctify the mere human feelings which seemed to prompt her very ready acquiescence. I need not assure you that her husband will cheerfully submit to the will of Heaven.
Thus are we fairly in port: our barque safely at anchor.
You will easily imagine all else that I would add, and that I remain, Very Reverend Father, Your most obedient very humble