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“ Now that the star of light appears,
stationed. Thankful had been at once Let us as suppliants pray to God,
attracted by the sweetness and dignity of That in our acts to-day, he may
her Save us from those who injure us."
countenance, and the nun came
toward her with frankness and cordiality. The captive felt moved by the sound from the interview arose an acquaintance, of the young voices rising high and clear which, before the Mother Superior went in the music. The little French boys in forward on her journey, became rather their old-fashioned raiment, and the young intimate. Indians, their straight black hair falling It was just after tierce on the day of the about their swarthy faces, their tunics of Nativity of St. John the Baptist, writes skin or blanket girt with a worsted sash, Thankful, when Mother Cécile, closing her sang with all their hearts. The catechism breviary, after ending the prayers, began followed, and then in French the priest to talk with her in a somewhat confidential and children prayed for grace to hold way. Drawn out by a question or two what had been taught them, for light to which Thankful addressed to her, she believe, strength to obey, and protection spoke with considerable freedom of what against the malice of the Devil.
her life had been, and how she had come The session of the school being now to take the veil. In her ordinary manner finished, Thankful fell into good-natured Mother Cécile had been toward Thankful chat, as she often had done before, with genial, even sometimes playful. Now, the sisters, who, since her first coming, had however, her white features became grave; seemed well-disposed toward her. At first
At first her voice grew low and earnest as she she had shrunk from them almost as if spoke of her past career, which had been they had been ghosts. The black tunic touched at many points by the supersweeping to the earth, the hood and cape natural, as she believed : it was plain that of spotless white about face and shoulders, no doubt had entered her heart, as to the with the black mantle above, the features heavenly origin of her call, her visions, and pale with austerities, the folded hands with the incitements which had awakened her rosary and crucifix depending, — all this aspiration. made the Ursulines seem at first to Thank- She was born, she said, at Alençon, of ful like beings of another world : a gulf at a family of noble rank, and married, while least as wide and deep as death ought to young, a soldier who was killed in battle, separate them, she felt, from human beings. leaving her a widow at twenty-two. From A nearer acquaintance, however, had the first her soul had been piously inclined, brought to pass quite new impressions. and she now resolved to devote her means The sisters were punctilious in their and herself to the Faith. She said a hunprayers at the canonical hours, and implied dred times a day: “Do with me, my God, in all they said and did that they had as you please. All is yours, my heart, my renounced the world ; but they were not means, my life.” Mother Cécile declared at all averse to lively conversation, even that heaven had vouchsafed to indicate to now and then to merry badinage, with the her by a miracle, the course which she women of the village. As Thankful came
With a reverent crossing of to understand them, and gradually gained her palms, and in a low tone which emothe power of bearing her part in talk, she tion made uncertain, she continued : had found them cheerful friends.
“ It was a little after I had made my Of the two nuns who had stood with religious profession. I had withdrawn after Father Mériel upon the platform of the matins, into my cell, when I had a vision. school, one was a stranger and, as Thank- I seemed to take by the hand my best ful had noticed, a person of distinguished friend, the Chanoinesse Marie de Méribearing and of considerable beauty. She court, and walking with her, came at last learned from the sisters that this was no to some place of embarkation, where we other than the Superior of the Ursulines in took ship. We seemed to come finally in New France, Mother Cécile de St. Croix, our voyage to a great country, where, havwho had arrived overnight from Quebec, ing landed, we went up the shore by a pason a mission of inspection to the two or sage like a great entrance. At the side three more distant points of the province appeared to me a man clothed as the where members of the sisterhood were apostles are painted, who looked benig
As I ap
nantly upon me and my companion, and de St. Athanase and Mother Agnes de signed to us that we were upon the right l'Incarnation are here in New France topath. He spoke no word, but pointed day. Poor Marie de Méricourt, alas, is me to a road leading down into this great not here." country, which presently I seemed to see As the nun thus artlessly, but with a voice throughout its whole extent. It was cov- so full of conviction, told the story of her ered with a heavy forest, but in the midst renunciation of her old life, Thankful lisof it I saw a church buried in the shadows. tened quite absorbed. She got. here a I made my way to this through very glimpse into a new world, to her Protestant gloomy thickets, and in the midst of it í eyes most singular and unfamiliar. In her found the Holy Virgin seated, bearing in scheme of the universe, the miraculous her bosom the child Jesus.”
played a far larger part than it does to us. Here Mother Cécile made the sign of the She says that as she listened, it seemed to cross and for a moment cast up her eyes in her more likely than not that Mother Céadoration ; then continued :
cile had in her visions been under no delu“ Mother and child seemed carved from sion ; but she was Puritan' enough to susmarble and of mien most noble.
pect that not heaven, but the Devil, had proached, I saw they were not marble but put them before her. The nun's emotion, Aesh, and that the Holy Virgin threw pity- however, touched her profoundly, and she ing looks over the desolate country, and felt greatly troubled that she was touched. bowing her head, talked about it with her What pitfalls might she not fall into, if she child. She seemed also to speak of me, did not walk warily ! which inflamed my heart more and more. Through the open door there now Here the vision ended."
appeared in the distance Father Mériel, As Mother Cécile paused reflecting upon going toward his lodge. Mother Cécile the memory, Thankful, more impressed, as rose and went to the threshold, earnestly she believes, than she was at the time following him with her eyes. “The aware, interposed a question as to the Chanoinesse Marie," she said musingly, appearance of the Virgin.
" how the sight of the Father brings back “She was of exceeding beauty,” said to me that beautiful soul! She longed to Mother Cécile, “and seemed a maid of not be of our company, and he would not more than fifteen or sixteen. I can yet have been here but for her." feel the emotion of that hour.
Thankful says she, too, had now risen seized with an overwhelming desire for the and stood upon the threshold at the nun's conversion of that country.”
side. At this point in her story the voice of the “ The Chanoinesse Marie !” she exnun took on a new solemnity, as if she claimed, “What is the story? What has were approaching an especially sacred ex- it to do with the Father's forsaking the perience.
world and undertaking the religious life?” “One day as I was kneeling before the “It is not my secret to tell,” said Holy Sacrament, I suddenly beheld once Mother Cécile. She remained silent, and more the same vision, and now I was ad- Thankful pressed no farther. dressed from the high altar by the Divine Majesty. “It is Canada which I have shown you ' these were the words;
CHAPTER IX. “there you must make a house for Jesus and Mary.” In those days I had never GRADUALLY Thankful grew intimate with heard Canada spoken of, except when to the people of Belleau and was received frighten children, they were threatened everywhere with confidence and friendwith being sent there. I made known my ship. It seemed to be almost forgotten vision. The nuns went in procession to that she was a captive. As she responded the choir, singing the Veni Creator, and by various forms of well-doing to the the Te Deum Laudamus. The sisters felt good-will shown her, her own peace of that I was divinely called ; all wept with mind became greatly promoted. At the joy and desired to go with me, but out of service, the face of the saint above the altar the sisterhood I chose only four. Mother lifted her in aspiration ; but more than anyAnne de Sainte Claire, Mother Marguerite thing her heart was affected by the move
ment of the chants in which the congregation him with reproaches. Had the Sieur reverently joined, and at length, as words purpose in his advances ? and music became familiar to her, the occurred to her that she might in no unpeople in the chapel often heard her voice fair way set craft against craft, using him with the rest, lending volume to the song. to serve her ends, as he seemed disposed It was at such a time once, when aglow to use her for his. The desire to penethrough the music, with her face bent in trate the mystery of the bell had become deeper interest than she knew, as she very strong with her. No doubt the Sieur afterward believed, upon Father Mériel could help her, if he chose. Thus it came engaged at the Mass, that she suddenly about that instead of repelling him, as at caught sight of the Sieur, who was atten- first, she suffered him to come near her, tively regarding her. Their communica- until the villagers noticed that the action since her capture had been very quaintance was becoming somewhat close. slight, but she relates that from this time I declare, I know not how to render forward his manner toward her changed. the suffering expressed henceforth in poor She encountered him now not seldom, Thankful's words. I would give the story and in ways which could not, she felt, be in her own language, were it not that it is simply casual, and he frequently was dis- fragmentary and ill-ordered; yet I fear posed to engage her in talk. As has been that, transferred into different form, the mentioned, he was habitually haughty and account must lose much of its simple silent among the habitants. He enter- pathos. One less dutiful would have felt tained intimacy with Father Mériel alone; in the circumstances less pain. Thankful as they sometimes stood together in deep underwent the pangs of a veritable martyr. friendly converse, Thankful began to be An entangling net began now to spread almost persuaded that her eyes had itself before her feet, — if, indeed, we of deceived her when she had seemed to this age refuse to believe, as she believed see a deep shadow of ill-will toward Mériel herself, that she began to feel the influence resting upon the Sieur's face.
of some infernal spell. She confesses that The Sieur's approaches to her, Thank- the devotion of Father Mériel, the dignity ful says, were respectful and unobtrusive. of his figure and features, the powers of He seemed desirous to recover her good which he was manifestly possessed, all exeropinion, attempting soon, indeed, a vindi- cised a great charm upon her, in spite of cation of his conduct as regarded the the Protestant scruples to which she still burning of Meadowboro. Madame must clung. The mystery which hung over his remember the nation to which he be- past history excited her imagination. The longed and the faith he professed. He habitants knew nothing definite, but gave had indeed played the spy and brought wide range to their fancies in conjecturing destruction upon her home, but he had what the priest had once been. Mother done nothing unlawful in war. Taking Cécile had revealed something, but it his life in his hand he had gone among served only to stimulate, not to gratify, the English villages to prepare the blow curiosity. From the first, in her renewed by which the standards of the great Louis acquaintance with the Sieur, he seemed to might be advanced. As a soldier it was take pleasure in partially drawing the veil, his duty to do his best for his king and hinting at courtly splendors and heroic creed.
deeds, which increased the fascination Thankful, however, was far from being the Jesuit exercised upon her. Gradually won over, though the Sieur's pleas were there was less reserve in their talks. She plausible, and made with a certain high- gives scene after scene in which the white bred grace of manner, that stood in cottages, the sounding river, the forests, marked contrast with the good-natured the two more conspicuous figures, and the bonhomie he had known how to assume bell, appear and reappear. Through it at Meadowboro, as it was also in contrast all one can trace a gradual concentration with his cold reticence among the villagers of the fervor of her spirit upon the enthuof Belleau. Her instinct warned her to siastic, self-exiled noble; a mysterious be cautious of this man who could appear process within her, which she protests was in so many shapes. She received his irresistible and was due to diabolical influapologies in silence, or even turned upon
So far as she was conscious it,
she strove against it, but utterly in vain ; name, the manor house was like the other yet her sense of guilt continually deepened. cabins, of one story and whitewashed, the
One evening, as Thankful, returning roof covered with hemlock bark which was from a walk toward the lower rapid, bound down with strips of bark of the linreached the outskirts of the village, she den. A garden surrounded it, kept in came near the manor-house of the Sieur, order by two servants, one of them an which stood detached, close to the edge English soldier, one of Thankful's fellowof the forest, with the mill near at hand, captives. He had abjured his creed, and to which, according to the feudal privilege, turned his back upon his home, casting his the tenantry must bring their grain forlot henceforth, very contentedly, with his grinding. Although it had a dignified captors.
[To be continued.]
By H. Bernard Carpenter.
I KNEW a strong man,
With their ceaseless tide ;
So he sickened and died.
I knew a weak bird,
For her lost forest wide;
So she languished and died.
O Land of the Soul !
For that first hillside,
So they sorrowed and died.
By W. Henry Winslow.
TTENTION has been lately called The first step is to call a sort of townto an architectural competition meeting where opposing interests, whims,
which is to decide who shall plan opinions, and suggestions "strive for masand order the construction of an immense tery and to battle bring their embryon church or cathedral proposed to be built atoms." Adjournments and readjournat a cost of millions of dollars in the city ments follow, until a large building-comof New York; and more than the usual mittee is somehow evolved from chaos, hope, fear, and rivalry have been excited chosen more or less with regard to the on the part of the contestants and their pecuniary and personal weight of its memfriends for the profitable and important post bers, and too large, because no person of of architect. In the light of this and simi- consequence must be left out. Its duties lar competitions, becoming more frequent eventually devolve upon a small working as the field of art becomes more assiduously minority, the majority enjoying its veto cultivated, it is pertinent to consider the power in emergencies. A site having question of competition among architects, been secured, without too much reference and incidentally as affecting art and artists to the best appearance of the proposed generally.
building and its surroundings, and possibly We think it will be generally agreed that not large enough for it to stand upon with public buildings, as well as other buildings, dignity or comfort, the next step is to should combine the utmost of beauty and choose the best of the plans presented. usefulness with the greatest economy of And here it may be noted that a commaterial and of money, and that the ar- mittee is not entitled to the best ideas chitect should be treated with fairness and of all the competitors, because they are justice, it being remembered that it is not remunerated for actual cost of drawings. one building-committee or a single archi- As there are too many committee-men, so tect who is concerned with any given edi- there are too many plans. The universal fice, but the whole community, and espe- impression seems to be, the more plans cially the whole body of artists, to whom the better; whereas it would be nearer it must carry its livelong warning or exam- the fact to say, the fewer plans the ple and be an eyesore or an inspiration better, — provided they conform to conand delight. If no man lives unto him- ditions and are thoughtful. Many plans self, assuredly neither does any man build confuse and disconcert the average comunto himself. Let us consider some types mittee. A good deal of valuable time is of public competitions, as they are man- sure to be lost by our committee in disaged, with a view to showing in what degree cussing the various plans and the new they tend to secure beauty, convenience ideas which these suggest, and which presand economy, the writer having three actual ently make necessary a new series of modicompetitions in mind, though for obvious fied drawings. At this stage more or less reasons names and places are suppressed. of the competitors must be dismissed, a
We will, in the first place, take a com- choice evidently lying between a very few petition of the best character, where fair- of them; and perhaps the question may ness and business sagacity may be con- be asked, and not easily answered, why sidered to be the principal factors, and they were invited, unless it be as a conwhere compensation for drawings is given cession to local public opinion or to perto a limited number of invited competitors sonal friendship. - the compensation being fixed, however, And now two sets of plans are so close by the committee inviting competition, and to each other in idea and execution that therefore being too small, partly from the there is some difficulty to decide between inability of most non-experts to appre- them, and chaos threatens to come again. ciate the time and thought which go into But building cannot be long postponed plans.
without causing nearly a year's delay.