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her error by imitating those devoted saints who passed their time in self-denial and seclusion.
Surprised at this unexpected address, Mrs. Cleves gently remonstrated, but was overpowered by a burst of eloquent indignation, and an earnest appeal from Frances to Father Adrian to support her in the good resolutions she had formed, and in the midst of the persecutions she expected..
“ I shall not persecute you," said her mother, whose eyes filled with tears, “all I request is, you will refrain from exhibiting a spirit which appears to me to savour more of pride than of religion.”
Father Adrian, turning to Frances, with extreme gentleness observed, “I admire your motives, my daughter, but would fain see your zeal tempered with more love and respect for those relatives who are so much entitled to affectionate consideration."
“Oh, Father,” said Clarice, with her accustomed playfulness, which not even his presence could restrain, “ do not blame my sister, she belongs to a superior order of beings, and we are not worthy of her consideration. It is indeed a pity dear Frances is not destined to be a nun; how happy, họw holy she would be behind the massy walls and grated windows."
“Would to Heaven such might be my happy lot! never would vows have been more cheerfully made,” said Frances, with deepest seriousness, and glancing an imploring look at Father Adrian, who meeting at the same time the astonished eye of Mrs. Cleves, and the suspicious gaze of Clarice, recollected a pressing engagement, and abruptly left the room. An awkward silence of a few moments followed, when Mrs. Cleves, to whose mind a painful though undefined idea had occurred, inquired in a voice of forced cheerfulness, “ Are you earnest, Frances, in your newly expressed wish ?if so, allow me to communicate your singular desire to one who may at least be interested in the intelligence,"
An angry flush had mantled the cheek of Frances, who was about to return a haughty reply, when Clarice hastily interposed- .
“ Believe me, dear mamma, my sister at present has no more intention of becoming a nun than she has of again transgressing your commands by reading heretical books; and if, which Heaven forbid, she should ever be prevailed on, Father Adrian will be the cause, since he is constantly speaking in such exalted terms of those useless and unhappy creatures who bury in the walls of nunneries and convents talents and affections given them to promote the happiness of others, so do for once be guided by the superior wisdom of your youngest daughter: Send away Father Adrian--warn cousin Hubert of the threatened danger, and let him plead his own cause more successfully than it has been pleaded for him.” The entrance of visitors at this moment proved a welcome relief to Frances, who took the earliest opportunity of retiring to her own apartment, absorbed in feelings far from pleasing.
As we before remarked, Frances was an heiress, entitled to a large fortune left her by an uncle, who had also expressed a wish that a union might be formed between his niece and the hero of our tale. This was also a cherished scheme of Mrs. Cleves and Sir Hubert, the latter seeing it was the only way of bestowing on his son that affluence he had not to give. Father Joachim had also warmly entered into this scheme, thinking he might possess that influence over his pupil and his fortune, which might promote his own as well as the interests of the Catholic faith. But this scheme met not with so cordial an' approval on the part of Frances, who felt an unconquerable and perhaps an unreasonable dislike-a dislike which she took no pains to conceal from her mother and friends. Mrs. Cleves had hitherto yielded to her daughter's earnest entreaties at least to delay the visit of her cousin from time to time, knowing there was a determination of character in Frances which it were hopeless to drive to submission. It will readily be believed by those who know anything of the influence exercised by the Romish priests over the private affairs of their people, that Father Adrian was apprized of this scheme. Mrs. Cleves entreated him to use his influence over Frances, and to persuade her of the duty of submission on her part to the wish of her superiors. He listened attentively and respectfully to every word, promising to give the subject his serious attention, and burying in the secret chambers of his heart his determination not to second her views, as he had conceived very different views for Frances and her large fortune. Reports had reached him, for he had long been interested in the family movements, of the warm friendship between Hubert and the Protestant, Willoughby. Father Joachim had also informed him of the suspicious fact, that a New Testament had been received by Clara from the son of the heretics, Annette and Philippe. These circumstances were sufficient to alarm a watchful mind, and to justify him in believing the interests of the Church would be more effectually promoted by his persuading the heiress of Cleves to endow a nunnery, and become Lady Abbess of the same. He well knew the character he had to deal with in Frances, whose mind was naturally ardent and enthusiastic; her talents were by no means contemptible, and ambition was a ruling feature in her disposition. He would not even to her, hint' at his views, but he took every opportunity of extolling a life of seclusion spent in heavenly contemplation, far from a world of strife, turmoil, and temptation. He often spoke in exalted strains of glowing ardour of one crown more radiant, more rich than others. This crown was reserved for martyrs and those who voluntarily resigned the world, and in the days of their youth and beauty dedicated themselves alone to their God. It mattered little to Father Adrian how many bitter tears were shed in secret by the young and the simple-hearted, induced under the influence of overwrought feelings of excited enthusiasm to pronounce vows that severed them for ever from the natural friends of their youth, and the innocent enjoyment of social and domestic affection. It mattered little how many parents' hearts bled with anguish as they parted from the child they had reared from infancy, and fondly hoped to have kept as the solace of declining age. Oh no!-these young people, these parents, were private individuals ; their feelings were private feelings—the public cause of the Church was thus promoted more power given into the hands of the priests; and why to obtain this desirable end should not family hopes be blighted, and the widow
taught to smother her anguish, and rejoice that her child, self-devoted to the Church on earth, would thus merit a glorious crown in Heaven?
“Where is your mistress ?” said Clarice to the servant, in a lively though hurried tone of voice, as she hastily sprang from her horse on returning from her accustomed ride, “I wish to see her particularly.”
“I am sorry for it," said the old man, smiling goodnaturedly, “for she gave me strict orders not to interrupt her : she has been for some time in the library with his reverence.”
Clarice looked grave suddenly, unusually grave. The old man noticed the change. “I hope, dear lady, your business is not so important that the delay will distress you?”
" Oh no,” said she again, smiling, “my business was pleasure, folly, dissipation, a new and sudden plan for this evening's amusement; it matters not now. But John,” added she, addressing the servant who held her horse, “have you taken any letters to the post to-day ?”
He replied that he had taken several for Father Adrian. · Was it artifice that led Clarice suddenly to recollect that the child of the mistress of the post-office was sick ?was it artifice that led her at the hour when she knew the good woman was busily engaged in sorting the letters, to arrive at her house laden with fruits and delicacies for the sick child, and while the mother hastened to carry them to her dear invalid, was it artifice in Clarice to read the direction of the letters, and then to leave the cottage with thanks for the kindness that had brought her thither. It might be so ; but Clarice would find justification for far worse degrees of deceit in the Romish doctrine, the end justifies the means ; still in this instance she would have saved herself many an hour passed in the land of perplexity had she not striven to fathom the unfathomable. One of these letters was addressed to Sir Hubert, another to Father Joachim, a third to the Superior of the Jesuits at Rome, and a fourth to the Abbess of the convent in the next town. Clarice hoped to learn from her mother something respecting the morning interview ; she, however, hoped in vain. Mrs. Cleves seemed to have imbibed an air of mystery from the atmosphere she had breathed, and baffled every attempt made by her daughter to discover the nature of their conversation, though she appeared more than usually cheerful and attentive to both her daughters. Clarice, however, noticed from that day Father Adrian ceased to expatiate on the happiness of a life of seclusion.
Two months more had passed since the conversation last related, when a carriage covered with dust rolled up the long avenue of trees that led to the hall, and starting from a train of painful recollections to the consciousness the journey was now accomplished, Hubert, the hero of our tale, handed his sister from the carriage, and prepared to meet relatives they had not seen since the days of childhood. The cordial welcome and warm-hearted kindness of her aunt and Clarice soon chased the shade of sadness from Clara's brow ; not so with Hubert, the settled melancholy of whose countenance told more forcibly than words, that the last three months had been months of sorrow. Father Adrian was not a stranger to Hubert, having occasionally seen him in Paris ; the latter was much pleased to meet with one held in great repute for talents and piety, indeed Hubert had frequently expressed his surprise that he should consent to immure those talents in the obscure village of Ardennes. It was left to time, that great revealer, to remove that surprise, and explain the reason.
The reserve which attended the first meeting was passed away, and various topics, both grave and cheerful, had been discussed, when the conversation turning on the places of public amusement in the neighbouring town, Clara, to the evident pleasure of her aunt and Clarice, expressed a wish to accompany them, observing, “these amusements had been recommended her by one who had studied her character from childhood, to counteract her fondness for solitary reflection and serious reading." There was a tone of sarcastic bitterness mingled with the gaiety with which she uttered these words, which was not unnoticed by the Father, who mildly remarked, “It was a dangerous experiment, by whomsoever proposed, to stifle serious reflection in gaiety and dissipation.” The burning tear stood in Clara's eye, as she replied, “I believe it, Father, I believe it, but an old proverb says, “Of two evils choose the least ;' some sins are venial, some are mortal, I must choose the venial one, operas, theatres, balls, dissipation, amusement of all sorts, and abandon the more fatal one of setting my judgment against my superiors.” Mrs. Cleves smiled as she observed, “I do not quite understand you, my dear niece, but I wish Frances would make a similar choice, and be guilty of the venial sin, yielding to my wishes and accompanying us." Frances gave a firm though respectful denial, after which the conversation changed ; Clara only remarked to her brother at the close of the evening, “Father Adrian may be a Jesuit, but he is a holier man than Father Joachim.” The next three days were spent in searching for pleasure amidst bustle and amusement, and Clara returned from each fresh scene, declaring she had been fully gratified, Hubert accompanied them. Frances and Father Adrian remained at home,
(To be continued.)
MY DREAM!-AN ALLEGORY.
(Concluded from p. 80.)
KEY TO THE ALLEGORY, A SOLUTION of the allegory may possibly not be unacceptable to my young readers, so I will here subjoin it. I have endeavoured to represent the world, and the figure is thrice repeated, because of its presenting the three following phases, if I may be allowed the term. The first figure represents it as being a state of probation, the second contains a general description and classification of its inhabitants ; the third demonstrates that grand, most important, as also ultimate division, of the whole mass of mankind into only two parts or classes, First then, the vast and populous city I speak of, represents the world ; myself a traveller to another country, "a better and a heavenly;" the invitation so repeatedly sent, and so long disregarded, is that message of mercy to lost man, the Gospel" Incline your ear and come unto me, hear and your soul shall live;" but alas! the carnal heart, being "enmity against God," abhors even the contemplation of a religious life, and like him to whom it was said, “ Son, go work to-day in my vineyard," our hearts have also replied to our heavenly Father, “I will not,” but perhaps we too “afterwards repented, and went,” The peep of day is the first dawn of spiritual life in the soul, being then detached from sublunary things, and incited to "run the race that is set before us," like the lark ascending up to heaven's portals, our souls begin to hold communion “ with the Father of Spirits ;” and while, with our lips, we shew forth His praise, “who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light,” our hearts yearn towards our fellow-sinners, we pray, that they may also “awake from the sleep of death, to newness of life :" may be “partakers of our joy." The breath of Spring scattering perfume is the name of Jesus, “which is ointment poured forth ;" “ healeth all manner of sickness and disease” of the soul, “ His mouth is most sweet, yea He is altogether lovely.” The dew drops glittering in the sunbeams are the tears of the newly-awakened sinner, of that “ broken and contrite heart which God will not despise.” The bright blue sky is that calm and serenity diffused over the soul, by “the peace which passeth all understanding ;” the light fleecy clouds descending in gentle refreshing showers, are the influences of the Holy Spirit, which though sometimes resisted “by the law of sin which is in our members, warring against the law of our mind ;" yet “ to him that trembleth at My word,” thus said the Lord, “ Į will cause the shower to come down in his season, there shall be showers of blessings :” “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.” The butterflies, flowers, &c., are the perishing delusive objects that cheat our sight and evade our grasp ; if we will loiter on our Christian course, or too dearly cherish the things of time and sense, we shall find that they “make themselves wings ;" that “the flower fadeth," or that it contains a thorn to goad us !
The intricate, perplexing paths are such decrees and dispensations of Providence, as are inscrutable to human ken, save the knowledge, that their design is to wean us from earth, and to train us for heaven ; “What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter :" the thorns obstructing my path, are also, the various trials every mortal must look for, and expect to encounter in this vale of tears! The way indicated is, “the narrow way that leadeth unto everlasting life,” the wild beasts to which by forsaking it I might fall a prey are, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.” The wild fruits and berries are the necessary provi. sion for the body; which being plucked from the midst of briars shew, that labour is requisite to provide it, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” The crystal spring at which I slaked my thirst is, “ the living water," flowing out of “the rock, Christ." The lassitude, blistered feet, &c., signify the various discouragements and difficulties a Christian must expect to meet with, in his heavenward course, “In the world ye shall have tribulation ;” the sun being in the meridian represents the difficulty of maintaining a Christian walk, when the sun of prosperity shines upon our heads; as it is too apt to make us “weary in well doing,” and “faint in our minds ;" the cave in the same rock whence issued the spring iss the refuge all