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pose, to soothe the miserable, to deter the wicked ; in a word, for the common solace and instruction of mankind ? It would be during the glorious day, not mid darkness and gloom, when terror assails the weak, and the ill-instructed forget God's precious care!
My teachers presented the usual alternations of pedantry, egotism, and sterling worth. Owing to insufficient prior instruction, much time was unavoidably lost in the weary iteration of elementary culture ; and the not to be sufficiently valued hours were squandered without appeal. What was really learned for the most part should have been learned before; then would there have been leisure to expatiate in the great fields of knowledge, human and divine : there would have been created accurate thinkers, accomplished scholars ; able and willing workers in the regeneration and amelioration of mankind.
Among the rest was Father Moonan. Heedless of the stirring, striving world about him, he lived but in visions of the dim and distant past: yet no one was more earnest in the duties of his post. He would repeat, were it for the hundredth time, the most commonplace passage of the most commonplace author. Dulness must rouse in spite of herself, indolence cast off her leaden wings. He never upbraided in word or deed; it was only “ Well, my dear, you seem unacquainted with this passage, let us try it again;" and they did try, and again try, till doubts and difficulties were equally dispelled. Youths, alike indifferent to praise or blame, yielded to Father Moonan's irresistible sway. If they could have elicited the faintest impatience, the slightest reproof — but his dignified gentleness withstood every shock. Did I say there was no swagger, no invective; far from it, every one was treated with sweetest courtesy, For it was a maxim with him that all could learn— wished, in fact, to learn, and would learn too if the right way were taken ; and this, it was plain to see, he held to consist in unwearying patience, firmness, and love.
But his daily duties once performed, he was seen no more. Me, indeed, he was pleased to notice, and occasionally invited to the privacy of his chamber. Here, far on in the night, a meagre, ascetic, yet cheerful man, might be seen poring over a volume of the fathers, or some Arabic manuscript brought by him from Spain. He would read awhile, then dashing an arm aloft, exclaim —“ Beautiful exceedingly, perfect, just and true: Ruler of heaven and earth, I thank thee for this so clear perception, vouchsafed to the humblest of thy servants.” Sometimes morning surprised him midst these reveries,
which contrasted strangely with the even tenor of his daily life.
The ignorant and sensual, and such are every where, neither understood the man nor his harmless though unusual ways. Father Moonan, they said, must have that on his mind which keeps him stirring at dead of night! He watched, indeed, but it was in accordance with spiritual wants which had little scope during the day; while they, forgetful or unwitting that this existence is but the portal to a higher, dozed away the hours in emulous obliviousness.
Father Moonan was a Pythagorean, in so far that he lived on the fruits and roots of the earth. His mild grey eyes would beam when pacing the floor or sitting by his frugal table, he averred that princes fared less sumptuously. “I consume," said he, “ the blameless produce of the soil : no creature expires in agony that I may feast. The recorded thoughts and aspirations of the noblest, wisest, best, are ready at my call. Supported without excess, a mind ever clear, what were daintiest cates that inflame ere they nourish, in comparison ?”
“ Thou, Ireland,” he would exclaim, while he looked through his casement on the tame though fertile fields of Kildare, “shalt one day shine. Thy plains shall glow with yellow corn; thy sons and daughters shall cast off the fetters of poverty, and the worse fetters of superstition and ignorance. Stand forth, then, once more before the nations— happy, glorious, free. Precious consummation, come quickly, come soon!”
He expatiated on our Hibernia, its unequalled harbours and matchless position, linking the Old World with the New; the genial mildness of the climate, burnt up by no summer's drought, chilled by no winter's cold; together with the quick and versatile genius of its teeming inhabitants. What prevented the just and natural