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. finery and weapons. A company of young stout limb just above the eaves. The long girls followed, hung about with garlands. line then entered the chapel, the people folThen came the bell

. This was borne bylowing until the interior space overflowed ; a troop of stout youths, upon a pole heavily a larger congregation were gathered in wreathed with flowers. Its unrusted sur- front than within, who, through door and face had caught no stain from its journey windows thrown open wide, could see in over the snow or its burial in the earth. the distance the high altar. The celebraThe cross upon it glowed brightly forth, tion of the mass straightway began. The and plain about the crown ran the motto, chapel itself was a light and simple struct“ Ad majorem Dei gloriam.” Its other ure. The permanence of the settlements legend was also clear, “O Maria, tuis of New France in those days was a matter precibus protege nos.” It was covered by of uncertainty and, except in the close a canopy of crimson velvet, supported by vicinity of Montreal and Quebec, fear of six of the leading habitants, among whom the Iroquois and their English allies disThankful beheld Antoine, now promoted posed the settlers to expend little time or to an office of responsibility in the pro- means on buildings which might so easily vincial militia. Father Mériel came next, fall a prey to such incendiaries. in priestly attire of great richness, bearing The richness of the appointments of the in his hands a handsome missal. Immedi- chapel, however, far in the wilderness as it ately before the canopy, two strong men was, had already struck Thankful with bore a heavy burden of flowers, which surprise, and on this day there seemed to were strewn continually upon the path by her untutored eyes to be a real splendor acolytes in surplices. Four other acolytes, about the adornments and utensils, she in children, with thuribles of silver, wafted her seclusion, certainly, had never seen an incense toward the bell, and behind, a approach to it. group of singers, from time to time in the “ The Father has given all his wealth to pauses of the instruments, chanted an the Faith,” said Annette. anthem in its honor, of which Thankful Vestments and vessels were of exceedcaught these words :

ing beauty. Candles made from the wax

of the wild laurel burned on the altar in “ Laudate Dominum in cymbalis sonantibus; Laudate eum in cymbalis jubilationis.”

chased candlesticks. The wine pressed

from wild grapes was held in a chalice Following the Father, walked, two and of gold. In a niche above the crucifix the two, a company of Ursuline nuns, stationed painting of a hovering dove, surrounded in Belleau, partly for the education of the by a halo, was hung against the roof of children of the habitants, but more espe- bark: this symbolized the Holy Ghost, cially to train the families of the half-con- and was associated by the Indians with verted savages who abounded in the neigh- the thunder-bird of their own superstiborhood in the mysteries of the Faith. tions, and so regarded by them with a As they moved on in their sable robes, quite extraordinary awe. High upon the with capes and caps of spotless white wall was fixed a painting of St. Francis linen, their faces meanwhile wearing looks Xavier, his attenuated palms crossed upon of good-will, they gave great solemnity to his breast, his face upturned in adoration, the train, without imparting gloom. While -a face wan but boautiful, with aspiration the line was moving, the people fell upon and self-sacrifice written in the eyes and their knees on every side, and those within upon the features. Presently the Jesuit the houses could be seen kneeling at the entered with his acolytes. As he stood windows. When the bell had passed, all before the altar in sweeping alb and chasfell into line in the rear, and marched uble his mien was more imposing than toward the chapel.

His movements were, as always, When the little elevation was reached full of dignity ; but his heightened color upon which the chapel stood, the proces- and a tremor of the voice indicated this sion paused. A lithe Indian youth climbed day unusual emotion. Now he turned quickly into a tall oak-tree, the branches toward the assembly with folded hands, of which overhung the chancel, and by now raised his arm to make the sign of means of thongs, which were speedily the cross, now bent with his face toward the adjusted, the bell was soon hoisted to a altar while he murmured the Latin ascrip

ever.

tions. In the chants the voices of the he had striven hard to suppress; whether Indian women were low and sweet; deep because he did not wish to betray a secret and resonant the tones of the men; and of his soul to the multitude, or because the music rolled with solemn effect, in the he felt it to be in ill-accord with the rite intervals of the service, from the little he was celebrating, Thankful could not temple into the space beyond.

determine. Meantime the Indians on their bare While she was fancying to herself that knees, the impressible women, the gaunt she alone of the great throng stood with voyageurs in their fringes and sashes, rev- head unbowed, she suddenly became aware, erently knelt. The tall figure of the priest and it was with a shock, that she was not, bent in the frequent genuflexions, the in- after all, solitary. Her eye fell upon the cense rose, and Thankful, Puritan though figure of the Sieur in his armor, who had she was, felt her soul subdued before the knelt indeed, but who held his body stubsonorous rhythm and all-conquering har- bornly erect. It was plain that he believed mony of Miserere and Gloria. At length, himself to be unobserved, while the conas the priest, extending his hands on high, gregation were absorbed in devotion. His lifted up the host, — just then, when the position was to one side, partly concealed awe was deepest, the mufflings fell from by a pillar that supported the roof, half the bell. Thankful had heard its tones screened by which, his gaze was fixed upon last when it had rung its mysterious sum- the form of the priest. The Sieur's face, mons to Father Mériel, listening alone upon too, indicated intense emotion, and lo! it the snow, upon the eve of the attack at had the expression which Thankful had Meadowboro. Once, twice, thrice, now seen but once before, and which, though it sounded. Thankful says it had its old stamped marvellously in her memory, she melody, its old pathetic melancholy; but had come to feel she might have merely at the same time there was a sympathetic fancied and not really seen.

The countremor that in some indescribable way tenance bent on Father Mériel was dark struck her as indicating content and rest. with what could only be hatred, the eyes The sound went deep into the dark forest, lurid with malignant fury. among the homes of the village, over the After the mass the day was given over sweeping stream, where it mingled with to feasting and mirth. The houses were the low roar of the distant rapids, until thrown open in the delicious midsummer the air, thrilled with its pulsations, seemed air, garlands abounded, and from several consecrated.

places came the sound of violins and Autes, One sees plainly, on many a page of the and the beat of dancing feet. Thankful, narrative, that Thankful's spirit was very now feeling much at home, not only at the reverent, — its sensibility to beauty most hearth of Antoine, but with the villagers acute. One understands it all when she in general, looked in smilingly upon more declares she was almost overborne at this than one company. There was always a time through sympathy with the company certain deference in the manner of the around her. A tide of feeling swelled people toward her, as became peasants within her until her soul seemed well-nigh before one whom they believed to be a bursting, and it was with an effort that high-born lady, but to-day several brownshe held back from prostrating herself with faced foresters were bold enough to extend the villagers and making the sign of the invitation to her to trip it with them to the cross. By an exertion of will she kept sound of the fiddle. She was not far past herself up, her head being the only one, the period of youth, and now that she felt as she supposed, which was not bent to some ease of mind, much of the beauty the earth in the solemnity of the moment. that had made her a few years before the She saw the shoulders of Father Mériel, pride of Meadowboro, we may be sure whose face was towards the altar, heave was coming back to her face. She had powerfully, as if he were almost convulsed not quite come to the point when she with excess of feeling. When he faced could be so un-Puritan as to take part in again the assembly, his countenance bore the dancing, though she admits that all the traces of a struggle which had not yet sub- careless gayety was a pleasant sight to her, sided. One would have said there had and that her ear was quite charmed by the been great joy and triumph there which lively music which some really good per

a

formers among the habitants shook out elsewhere, reeled in at the door, which was from their bows, nodding and swaying to standing open. In a few minutes he came the rhythm of the air.

stumbling out again, singing incoherently, As the long day waned the abandon of and holding in his hand nothing less than the festival increased. The eyes of the the golden chalice, which he had evidently French girls snapped and sparkled with taken in his drunken lawlessness from the merry excitement, and the blood glowed altar itself. Father Mériel now turned his warm in their brown cheeks, as they fol- head, as his attention was for the first time lowed with their tripping feet each note of attracted by the noise ; then he calmly the quickest and most intricate caprices rose and went toward the savage. The of the fiddlers. The fringes of the buck- latter, however, as the Father approached, skin-clad voyageurs fluttered and flew as obeying a wayward impulse, dashed the they leaped to the tune, clapping their cup violently to the ground. Father hands, and bursting into ecstacies of volu- Mériel, quietly stooping, picked up the ble chattering. The green plat in the vil- vessel, then, with a mild rebuke to the lage centre was alive with nimble couples; drunkard, went into the chapel to replace — now opposing ranks of antic dancers it. The Indian stumbled forward a few swayed and flourished to one another in steps, then returned toward the chapel. answering capers ; now a tripping line, His mind apparently was not so far maid and man alternate, threaded its clouded but that he remembered in some sinuous

way beneath arches made of hands dim way the object which that day had clasped and held on high. The old men concentrated attention upon itself. In his and women meanwhile, scarcely less ac- drunken whim, at any rate, he staggered tive, kept time with foot-beats, and a quick toward the tree containing the bell, made clapping of palms upon their knees. So ready to swing himself into the branches, in electric reciprocation that seemed to and drew his knife, with a design appargrow more responsive and intimate as the ently of cutting the thongs which held the day advanced, musicians and dancers bell in its place. mutually gave and took enthusiasm until As Thankful relates, just at this moment the festival became a jovial frenzy.

Father Mériel appeared again from the Thankful, with her own pulses on a chapel and became aware of what was quiver, contrasted in her mind the frank going forward. An utter change at once rejoicing with the over-gloomy life which took place in his conduct. His face sudshe had heretofore known, not to the ad- denly grew white; with a rapid bound or vantage of the latter. The gayety seemed two he fell upon the savage, with whom he to her quite innocent; there was no excess grappled with a certain desperate vehenor aught unseemly, and as the slow-com

The position was a dangerous ing darkness fell at last, the mirth grew The Indian was powerful, and the quieter. There was, however, one excep- usual respect for the person of the priest for tion. From the direction of the camp of the time being quite overcome by liquor. the soldiers, close at the riverside, at some He turned with his keen knife upon Father distance from the cabins, sounds of a Mériel, who unhesitatingly closed with him, wilder revelry were heard, which became and a close grapple began. From the more plain as a hush fell upon the village nearest dwellings men ran with all speed in general. Indians had mingled with the to the rescue. The wretch was at length soldiers, and brandy was passing freely laid prostrate and bound, but not until the about among them.

black robe of the Jesuit had been heavily As Thankful came out of a cabin in the slashed, and in one place a stain of blood twilight, she was not far from the chapel, indicated that his flesh had been reached and saw Father Mériel, partly screened by by the sharp blade. the thick foliage, sitting at the door of the It was soon ascertained that no serious lodge close at hand in which he dwelt. wound had been inflicted.

The priest A huge Indian came staggering from the stood beneath the tree, still pale and tremdirection of the soldiers' camp, quite over- bling in his excitement, and as the people come by drink. He paused on the grass were dispersing, with what seemed like in front of the church, then presently, over-anxiety he appeared desirous to exwhile the eyes of the priest were turned plain his outburst. The bell was a sacred

mence.
one.

utensil, he said : it would have been sacri- and the fine heroes that wrote the Relege had it been rudely hurled to the lations des Jésuites, in the beatific state ground: there was no way but for him to in which I hope the noble fellows are now interfere. The whole scene had passed living after the tortures they underwent under the sharp observation of Thankful, upon earth, feel an added touch of pleaswho also heard his words at the close. ure because Thankful has, so to speak, The contrast between the Jesuit's manner come to life to testify to their truthfulwhen he rescued the chalice and when he

ness?" rescued the bell, seemed to her singular. Indeed, I believe I may claim to have In the former case it was done quietly, done my generation, if not the blessed without a trace of emotion : when the bell dead, some service in editing Thankful's was threatened, however, he suddenly be- narration, and yet my path in the matter came the subject of uncontrollable passion. has not been unvexed by thorns. The What should make the bell more sacred Gradgrind who edits the county paper, for than the cup from the altar, that he should instance, has repeatedly sought to belittle defend it with especial eagerness? What my discoveries. “A possessed bell, forlay back of the confused explanation with sooth! as if it were possible such a thing which he now seemed to seek to parry the could have a life of its own, changing its curiosity that had been aroused in lookers- tone according to circumstances and shinon?

ing with a light from within itself! Is the As she turned in the heavy dusk which schoolmaster an impostor, or has he himwas now settling down upon the scene, to self been imposed upon? Granting that go to Antoine's cottage, the Sieur rushed he has really found the ancient manuscript, past her with a hasty stride. It was not too as he pretends, what is it but a record of dark for her to see that his face, also, wore hallucination, and what value can we atan expression of excitement. He had evi- tach to any statement from a creature dently just heard of the event. He sought weak-minded enough to be so deceived ?” with eagerness Father Mériel's side, whose I may throw myself confidingly, I am hand he clasped, apparently with great sure, into the arms of a sympathetic public. warmth, and the two disappeared in inti- What though nowadays bells are never mate converse within the Jesuit's lodge. strange! We have to do here with the

“What is the relation of Father Mériel bells of one hundred and eighty years ago. and the Sieur?” said Thankful to Annette, I shall at any rate discharge my duty. as she told the story of the priest's escape, Here is Thankful's narration, shortened on her return.

and systematized as our busy world will “Why, of course, they are the closest demand that it should be, but no change friends," said Annette, wide-eyed at the is made in her statement. She was the question.

victim of morbid fancies, says the end of "What causes them to feel such an in- the 19th century; the poor woman was terest in the bell?” pursued Thankful. bewitched, says the beginning of the 18th.

Annette shook her head with a little I, fortunately, have not to judge, but only shrug. It was a utensil that must not be faithfully to present the details. profaned; she knew nothing more.

MONTH after month Thankful watched

the movements of the priest. Her feeling CHAPTER VIII.

was far enough from entire approval of his

life. It was rumored in the village that he How gratified Mr. Parkman, the fa- wore next his skin a girdle studded with mous historian, will be," said Miranda, spikes; and she herself, returning from the “when he finds his portrayal of the cir- river-bank one night when he was holding cumstances of the old French life and a vigil

, heard the sound of a scourge from activity, way back there in the picturesque his lodge. Far more than this asceticism, days, so confirmed as it is by what you a certain artfulness of which Father Mériel have discovered and given to the world in seemed capable, offended the frank nature this story of Thankful !”

of Thankful, a specimen of which she had “Yes indeed," said I, “and is it alto- seen in his baptism of the dying child gether absurd to fancy that old Charlevoix, during the retreat. From the first the

answer.

Father had treated her with friendliness, far more complete and impressive than that and in one of their conversations she can- of the rugged and sturdy English divine, didly expressed to him her scruples. The respected though he was. When Father Jesuit without hesitation admitted all that Mériel's dark-robed figure appeared in the Thankful charged, declaring that to save a street, his shadow falling upon a group of soul in peril a deception might be allowed. children at play would at once bring them What was it, after all, but a choice between to pause. He would give them his beneevils ? and of the two evils, the slight de- diction, his face lighting up with spiritual ception and the eternal suffering of a soul, beauty. Men and women turned to him could any one doubt that the former was in doubt and sorrow with a confidence that the smaller? When multitudes were on was touching ; nor, on the other hand, did the path to perdition, it was no time for any festival pass without his presence, his paltering. To practise a certain art, even features taking on condescension and grathough one did not come short of actual cious affability as he moved among singers untruth, was but to show the wisdom of and dancers. His words fell like consolthe serpent, which was not at all inconsis- ing balm upon the afflicted, peace through tent with the innocence and harmlessness him was established in families that were of the dove ; and the Jesuit with a benevo- at variance, the blameworthy were corlent smile quoted from Escobar and San- rected with reprimands softened by the chez, casuists of the order, in support of spirit of charity. Was the sadness which his claim. Nor could Thankful find in his face habitually wore the effect of some her heart that the Jesuit's motive was the sorrow in that mysterious past from which highest. He was ready to encounter any he had come, or did it follow naturally from hardship, torture, or any form of death his faith and discipline? This was a questo advance the Faith ; but, so far as she tion which Thankful was long unable to could find out, it was in expectation that after death he would be admitted straight- As Thankful, one summer morning, was way to the fellowship of angels and an passing the building in which the school of enjoyment of the bliss of heaven. What the Ursuline nuns was held, doors and winwas the motive, after all, but selfishness dows were thrown open and she looked in. at bottom somewhat more long-headed The French and Indian children were than that of men in general, but still selfish- seated side by side, as Annette had exness-a postponement of enjoyment, which plained, that the little barbarians might the was the great good, until the world to come, more rapidly learn to kneel and make the in the thought that a little waiting would sign of the cross. Upon the platform at bring it in greater amount.

the end of the room, together with two of Thankful says that when she coolly the nuns, stood the priest, the tonsure plain thought, all these considerations were pres- upon his uncovered head, his features full ent to her mind, yet they tended constantly of their usual benignity. At a sign the to retire into the background. In spite of children knelt with him, crossing themthem, she could not do otherwise than be- selves, while into the outer air came the hold with admiration the amiable grace pleasant murmur of reverent young voices, with which Father Mériel mingled in the repeating the Pater Noster in concert. life of the village, the meek patience with When this had been done in French, Latin, which he stooped to the youngest and poor- and Indian, a familiar morning-hymn from est, and to the repulsive savages from the the breviary was sung, which now Thankful woods. Genuine as was the respect with had often heard, and which she well underwhich the Meadowboro people had re- stood. garded Mr. Wooderoffe, it was plain to

“ Jam lucis orto sidere, Thankful that his influence had been quite

Deum precemus supplices,

Ut in diurnis actibus, different from that which Father Mériel

Nos servet a nocentibus.” 1 exercised over the habitants. It was in part due, no doubt, to the fact that the 1 The proper presentation of Thankful's narrahabitants themselves were of a more tracta- tive will require now and then the introduction of ble nature than the Puritans. Making this Latin passages. For the benefit of such as have abatement, however, the ascendency of the

not enjoyed the advantages of a seminary of high

rank, I shall append translations of the breviary priest as he walked among his flock was hymns by Miss Prosodia lambs, of the A class.

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