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Donal Grant by George MacDonald

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Donal, in whom he had recognized the peasant-scholar: "this little
brother of mine reads all the dull old romances he can lay his hands

"Perhaps," suggested Donal, "they are the only fictions within his
reach! Could you not turn him loose upon sir Walter Scott?"

"A good suggestion!" he answered, casting a keen glance at Donal.

"Will you let me look at the passage?" said Donal to the boy,
holding out his hand.

The boy opened the book, and gave it him. On the top of the page
Donal read, "The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia." He had read of
the book, but had never seen it.

"That's a grand book!" he said.

"Horribly dreary," remarked the elder brother.

The younger reached up, and laid his finger on the page next him.

"There, sir!" he said; "that is the place: do tell me what it

"I will try," answered Donal; "I may not he able."

He began to read at the top of the page.

"That's not the place, sir!" said the boy. "It is there."

"I must know something of what goes before it first," returned

"Oh, yes, sir; I see!" he answered, and stood silent.

He was a fair-haired boy, with ruddy cheeks and a healthy
look--sweet-tempered evidently.

Donal presently saw both what the sentence meant and the cause of
his difficulty. He explained the thing to him.

"Thank you! thank you! Now I shall get on!" he cried, and ran up
the hill.

"You seem to understand boys!" said the brother.

"I have always had a sort of ambition to understand ignorance."

"Understand ignorance?"

"You know what queer shapes the shadows of the plainest things take:
I never seem to understand any thing till I understand its shadow."

The youth glanced keenly at Donal.

"I wish I had had a tutor like you!" he said.

"Why?" asked Donal.

"I should done better.--Where do you live?"

Donal told him he was lodging with Andrew Comin, the cobbler. A
silence followed.

"Good morning!" said the youth.

"Good morning, sir!" returned Donal, and went away.



On Wednesday evening Donal went to The Morven Arms to inquire for
the third time if his box was come. The landlord said, if a great
heavy tool-chest was the thing he expected, it had come.

"Donal Grant wad be the name upo' 't," said Donal.

"'Deed, I didna luik," said the landlord. "Its i' the back yard."

As Donal went through the house to the yard, he passed the door of a
room where some of the townsfolk sat, and heard the earl mentioned.

He had not asked Andrew anything about the young man he had spoken
with; for he understood that his host held himself not at liberty to
talk about the family in which his granddaughter was a servant. But
what was said in public he surely might hear! He requested the
landlord to let him have a bottle of ale, and went into the room and
sat down.

It was a decent parlour with a sanded floor. Those assembled were a
mixed company from town and country, having a tumbler of
whisky-toddy together after the market. One of them was a stranger
who had been receiving from the others various pieces of information
concerning the town and its neighbourhood.

"I min' the auld man weel," a wrinkled gray-haired man was saying as
Donal entered, "--a varra different man frae this present. He wud
sit doon as ready as no--that wud he--wi' ony puir body like mysel',
an' gie him his cracks, an' hear his news, an' drink his glaiss, an'
mak naething o' 't. But this man, haith! wha ever saw him cheenge
word wi' brither man?"

"I never h'ard hoo he came to the teetle: they say he was but some
far awa' cousin!" remarked a farmer-looking man, florid and stout.

"Hoots! he was ain brither to the last yerl, wi' richt to the
teetle, though nane to the property. That he's but takin' care o'
till his niece come o' age. He was a heap aboot the place afore his
brither dee'd, an' they war freen's as weel 's brithers. They say
'at the lady Arctoora--h'ard ye ever sic a hathenish name for a
lass!--is b'un' to merry the yoong lord. There 's a sicht o'
clapper-clash aboot the place, an' the fowk, an' their strange w'ys.
They tell me nane can be said to ken the yerl but his ain man. For
mysel' I never cam i' their coonsel--no' even to the buyin' or
sellin' o' a lamb."

"Weel," said a fair-haired, pale-faced man, "we ken frae scriptur
'at the sins o' the fathers is veesitit upo' the children to the
third an' fourth generation--an' wha can tell?"

"Wha can tell," rejoined another, who had a judicial look about him,
in spite of an unshaven beard, and a certain general disregard to
appearances, "wha can tell but the sins o' oor faithers may be lyin'
upo' some o' oorsel's at this varra moment?"

"In oor case, I canna see the thing wad be fair," said a fifth: "we
dinna even ken what they did!"

"We're no to interfere wi' the wull o' the Almichty," rejoined the
former. "It gangs its ain gait, an' mortal canna tell what that gait
is. His justice winna be contert."

Donal felt that to be silent now would be to decline witnessing. He
feared argument, lest he should fail and wrong the right, but he
must not therefore hang back. He drew his chair towards the table.

"Wad ye lat a stranger put in a word, freen's?" he said.

"Ow ay, an' welcome! We setna up for the men o' Gotham."

"Weel, I wad spier a question gien I may."

"Speir awa'. Answer I winna insure," said the man unshaven.

"Weel, wad ye please tell me what ye ca' the justice o' God?"

"Onybody could tell ye that: it consists i' the punishment o' sin.
He gies ilka sinner what his sin deserves."

"That seems to me an unco ae-sidit definition o' justice."

"Weel, what wad ye mak o' 't?"

"I wad say justice means fair play; an' the justice o' God lies i'
this, 'at he gies ilka man, beast, an' deevil, fair play."

"I'm doobtfu' aboot that!" said a drover-looking fellow. "We maun
gang by the word; an' the word says he veesits the ineequities o'
the fathers upo' the children to the third an' fourth generation: I
never could see the fair play o' that!"

"Dinna ye meddle wi' things, John, 'at ye dinna un'erstan'; ye may
wauk i' the wrang box!" said the old man.

"I want to un'erstan'," returned John. "I'm no sayin' he disna du
richt; I'm only sayin' I canna see the fair play o' 't."

"It may weel be richt an' you no see 't!"

"Ay' weel that! But what for sud I no say I dinna see 't? Isna the
blin' man to say he's blin'?"

This was unanswerable, and Donal again spoke.

"It seems to me," he said, "we need first to un'erstan' what's
conteened i' the veesitin' o' the sins o' the fathers upo' the
children, afore we daur ony jeedgment concernin' 't."

"Ay, that 's sense eneuch!" confessed a responsive murmur.

"I haena seen muckle o' this warl' yet, compared wi' you, sirs,"
Donal went on, "but I hae been a heap my lane wi' nowt an' sheep,
whan a heap o' things gaed throuw my heid; an' I hae seen something
as weel, though no that muckle. I hae seen a man, a' his life
'afore a douce honest man, come til a heap o' siller, an' gang to
the dogs!"

A second murmur seemed to indicate corroboration.

"He gaed a' to the dogs, as I say," continued Donal; "an' the bairns
he left 'ahint him whan he dee'd o' drink, cam upo' the perris, or
wad hae hungert but for some 'at kenned him whan he was yet in
honour an' poverty. Noo, wad ye no say this was a veesitin' o' the
sins o' the father upo' the children?"

"Ay, doobtless!"

"Weel, whan I h'ard last aboot them, they were a' like eneuch to
turn oot honest lads an' lasses."

"Ow, I daursay!"

"An' what micht ye think the probability gien they had come intil a
lot o' siller whan their father dee'd?"

"Maybe they micht hae gane the same gait he gaed!"

"Was there injustice than, or was there favour i' that veesitation
o' the sins o' their father upo' them?"

There was no answer. The toddy went down their throats and the
smoke came out of their mouths, but no one dared acknowledge it
might be a good thing to be born poor instead of rich. So entirely
was the subject dropped that Donal feared he had failed to make
himself understood. He did not know the general objection to
talking of things on eternal principles. We set up for judges of
right while our very selves are wrong! He saw that he had cast a
wet blanket over the company, and judged it better to take his

Borrowing a wheelbarrow, he trundled his chest home, and unpacking
it in the archway, carried his books and clothes to his room.



The next day, Donal put on his best coat, and went to call on the
minister. Shown into the study, he saw seated there the man he had
met on his first day's journey, the same who had parted from him in
such displeasure. He presented his letter.

Mr. Carmichael gave him a keen glance, but uttered no word until he
had read it.

"Well, young man," he said, looking up at him with concentrated
severity, "what would you have me do?"

"Tell me of any situation you may happen to know or hear of, sir,"
said Donal. "That is all I could expect."

"All!" repeated the clergyman, with something very like a sneer;
"--but what if I think that all a very great deal? What if I
imagine myself set in charge over young minds and hearts? What if I
know you better than the good man whose friendship for your parents
gives him a kind interest in you? You little thought how you were
undermining your prospects last Friday! My old friend would
scarcely have me welcome to my parish one he may be glad to see out
of his own! You can go to the kitchen and have your dinner--I have
no desire to render evil for evil--but I will not bid you God-speed.
And the sooner you take yourself out of this, young man, the

"Good morning, sir!" said Donal, and left the room.

On the doorstep he met a youth he had known by sight at the
university: it was the minister's son--the worst-behaved of all the
students. Was this a case of the sins of the father being visited
on the child? Does God never visit the virtues of the father on the

A little ruffled, and not a little disappointed, Donal walked away.
Almost unconsciously he took the road to the castle, and coming to
the gate, leaned on the top bar, and stood thinking.

Suddenly, down through the trees came Davie bounding, pushed his
hand through between the bars, and shook hands with him.

"I have been looking for you all day," he said.

"Why?" asked Donal.

"Forgue sent you a letter."

"I have had no letter."

"Eppy took it this morning."

"Ah, that explains! I have not been home since breakfast."

"It was to say my father would like to see you."

"I will go and get it: then I shall know what to do."

"Why do you live there? The cobbler is a dirty little man! Your
clothes will smell of leather!"

"He is not dirty," said Donal. "His hands do get dirty--very dirty
with his work--and his face too; and I daresay soap and water can't
get them quite clean. But he will have a nice earth-bath one day,
and that will take all the dirt off. And if you could see his
soul--that is as clean as clean can be--so clean it is quite

"Have you seen it?" said the boy, looking up at Donal, unsure
whether he was making game of him, or meaning something very

"I have had a glimpse or two of it. I never saw a cleaner.--You
know, my dear boy, there's a cleanness much deeper than the skin!"

"I know!" said Davie, but stared as if he wondered he would speak of
such things.

Donal returned his gaze. Out of the fullness of his heart his eyes
shone. Davie was reassured.

"Can you ride?" he asked.

"Yes, a little."

"Who taught you?"

"An old mare I was fond of."

"Ah, you are making game of me! I do not like to be made game of,"
said Davie, and turned away.

"No indeed," replied Donal. "I never make game of anybody.--But now
I will go and find the letter."

"I would go with you," said the boy, "but my father will not let me
beyond the grounds. I don't know why."

Donal hastened home, and found himself eagerly expected, for the
letter young Eppy had brought was from the earl. It informed Donal
that it would give his lordship pleasure to see him, if he would
favour him with a call.

In a few minutes he was again on the road to the castle.



He met no one on his way from the gate up through the wood. He
ascended the hill with its dark ascending firs, to its crown of
silvery birches, above which, as often as the slowly circling road
brought him to the other side, he saw rise like a helmet the gray
mass of the fortress. Turret and tower, pinnacle and battlement,
appeared and disappeared as he climbed. Not until at last he stood
almost on the top, and from an open space beheld nearly the whole
front, could he tell what it was like. It was a grand pile, but
looked a gloomy one to live in.

He stood on a broad grassy platform, from which rose a gravelled
terrace, and from the terrace the castle. He ran his eye along the
front seeking a door but saw none. Ascending the terrace by a broad
flight of steps, he approached a deep recess in the front, where two
portions of the house of differing date nearly met. Inside this
recess he found a rather small door, flush with the wall, thickly
studded and plated with iron, surmounted by the Morven horses carved
in gray stone, and surrounded with several mouldings. Looking for
some means of announcing his presence, he saw a handle at the end of
a rod of iron, and pulled, but heard nothing: the sound of the bell
was smothered in a wilderness of stone walls. By and by, however,
appeared an old servant, bowed and slow, with plentiful hair white
as wool, and a mingled look of childishness and caution in his
wrinkled countenance.

"The earl wants to see me," said Donal.

"What name?" said the man.

"Donal Grant; but his lordship will be nothing the wiser, I suspect;
I don't think he knows my name. Tell him--the young man he sent for
to Andrew Comin's."

The man left him, and Donal began to look about him. The place
where he stood was a mere entry, a cell in huge walls, with a
second, a low, round-headed door, like the entrance to a prison, by
which the butler had disappeared. There was nothing but bare stone
around him, with again the Morven arms cut deep into it on one side.
The ceiling was neither vaulted nor groined nor flat, but seemed
determined by the accidental concurrence of ends of stone stairs and
corners of floors on different levels. It was full ten minutes
before the man returned and requested him to follow him.

Immediately Donal found himself in a larger and less irregular
stone-case, adorned with heads and horns and skins of animals.
Crossing this, the man opened a door covered with red cloth, which
looked strange in the midst of the cold hard stone, and Donal
entered an octagonal space, its doors of dark shining oak, with
carved stone lintels and doorposts, and its walls adorned with arms
and armour almost to the domed ceiling. Into it, as if it descended
suddenly out of some far height, but dropping at last like a gently
alighting bird, came the end of a turnpike-stair, of slow sweep and
enormous diameter--such a stair as in wildest gothic tale he had
never imagined. Like the revolving centre of a huge shell, it went
up out of sight, with plain promise of endless convolutions beyond.
It was of ancient stone, but not worn as would have been a narrow
stair. A great rope of silk, a modern addition, ran up along the
wall for a hand-rail; and with slow-moving withered hand upon it, up
the glorious ascent climbed the serving man, suggesting to Donal's
eye the crawling of an insect, to his heart the redemption of the
sons of God.

With the stair yet ascending above them as if it would never stop,
the man paused upon a step no broader than the rest, and opening a
door in the round of the well, said, "Mr. Grant, my lord," and stood
aside for Donal to enter.

He found himself in the presence of a tall, bowed man, with a
large-featured white face, thin and worn, and a deep-sunken eye that
gleamed with an unhealthy life. His hair was thin, but covered his
head, and was only streaked with gray. His hands were long and thin
and white; his feet in large shoes, looking the larger that they
came out from narrow trousers, which were of shepherd-tartan. His
coat was of light-blue, with a high collar of velvet, and much too
wide for him. A black silk neckerchief tied carelessly about his
throat, and a waistcoat of pineapple shawl-stuff, completed his
dress. On one long little finger shone a stone which Donal took for
an emerald. He motioned his visitor to a seat, and went on writing,
with a rudeness more like that of a successful contractor than a
nobleman. But it gave Donal the advantage of becoming a little
accustomed to his surroundings. The room was not large, was
wainscoted, and had a good many things on the walls: Donal noted two
or three riding whips, a fishing rod, several pairs of spurs, a
sword with golden hilt, a strange looking dagger like a flame of
fire, one or two old engravings, and what seemed a plan of the
estate. At the one window, small, with a stone mullion, the summer
sun was streaming in. The earl sat in its flood, and in the heart
of it seemed cold and bloodless. He looked about sixty years of
age, and as if he rarely or never smiled. Donal tried to imagine
what a smile would do for his face, but failed. He was not in the
least awed by the presence of the great man. What is rank to the
man who honours everything human, has no desire to look what he is
not, has nothing to conceal and nothing to compass, is fearful of no
to-morrow, and does not respect riches! Toward such ends of being
the tide of Donal's life was at least setting. So he sat neither
fidgeting nor staring, but quietly taking things in.

The earl raised himself, pushed his writing from him, turned towards
him, and said with courtesy,

"Excuse me, Mr. Grant; I wished to talk to you with the ease of duty

More polite his address could not have been, but there was a
something between him and Donal that was not to be passed
a--nameless gulf of the negative.

"My time is at your lordship's service," replied Donal, with the
ease that comes of simplicity.

"You have probably guessed why I sent for you?"

"I have hoped, my lord."

There was something of old-world breeding about the lad that
commended him to the earl. Such breeding is not rare among
Celt-born peasants.

"My sons told me that they had met a young man in the grounds--"

"For which I beg your lordship's pardon," said Donal. "I did not
know the place was forbidden."

"I hope you will soon be familiar with it. I am glad of your
mistake. From what they said, I supposed you might be a student in
want of a situation, and I had been looking out for a young man to
take charge of the boy: it seemed possible you might serve my
purpose. I do not question you can show yourself fit for such an
office: I presume it would suit you. Do you believe yourself one to
be so trusted?"

Donal had not a glimmer of false modesty; he answered immediately,

"I do, my lord."

"Tell me something of your history: where were you born? what were
your parents?"

Donal told him all he thought it of any consequence he should know.

His lordship did not once interrupt him with question or remark.
When he had ended--

"Well," he said, "I like all you tell me. You have testimonials?"

"I have from the professors, my lord, and one from the minister of
the parish, who knew me before I went to college. I could get one
from Mr. Sclater too, whose church I attended while there."

"Show me what you have," said his lordship.

Donal took the papers from the pocket-book his mother had made him,
and handed them to him. The earl read them with some attention,
returning each to him without remark as he finished it, only saying
with the last,

"Quite satisfactory."

"But," said Donal, "there is one thing I should be more at ease if I
told your lordship: Mr. Carmichael, the minister of this parish,
would tell you I was an atheist, or something very like
it--therefore an altogether unsafe person. But he knows nothing of

"On what grounds then would he say so?" asked the earl--showing not
the least discomposure. "I thought you were a stranger to this

Donal told him how they had met, what had passed between them, and
how the minister had behaved in consequence. His lordship heard him
gravely, was silent for a moment, and then said,

"Should Mr. Carmichael address me on the subject, which I do not
think likely, he will find me already too much prejudiced in your
favour. But I can imagine his mistaking your freedom of speech: you
are scarcely prudent enough. Why say all you think?"

"I fear nothing, my lord."

The earl was silent; his gray face seemed to grow grayer, but it
might be that just then the sun went under a cloud, and he was
suddenly folded in shadow. After a moment he spoke again.

"I am quite satisfied with you so far, Mr. Grant; and as I should
not like to employ you in direct opposition to Mr. Carmichel--not
that I belong to his church--we will arrange matters before he can
hear of the affair. What salary do you want?"

Donal replied he would prefer leaving the salary to his lordship's
judgment upon trial.

"I am not a wealthy man," returned his lordship, "and would prefer
an understanding."

"Try me then for three months, my lord; give me my board and
lodging, the use of your library, and at the end of the quarter a
ten-pound-note: by that time you will be able to tell whether I suit

The earl nodded agreement, and Donal rose at once. With a heart
full of thankfulness and hope he walked back to his friends. He had
before him pleasant work; plenty of time and book-help; an abode
full of interest; and something for his labour!

"'Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee!'" said the cobbler,
rejoicing against the minister; "'the remainder of wrath shalt thou

In the afternoon Donal went into the town to get some trifles he
wanted before going to the castle. As he turned to the door of a
draper's shop, he saw at the counter the minister talking to him.
He would rather have gone elsewhere but for unwillingness to turn
his back on anything: he went in. Beside the minister stood a young
lady, who, having completed her purchases, was listening to their
conversation. The draper looked up as he entered. A glance passed
between him and the minister. He came to Donal, and having heard
what he wanted, left him, went back to the minister, and took no
more notice of him. Donal found it awkward, and left the shop.

"High an' michty!" said the draper, annoyed at losing the customer
to whose dispraise he had been listening.

"Far beyond dissent, John!" said the minister, pursuing a remark.

"Doobtless, sir, it is that!" answered the draper. "I'm thankfu' to
say I never harboured a doobt mysel', but aye took what I was tauld,
ohn argle-barglet. What hae we sic as yersel' set ower's for, gien
it binna to haud's i' the straicht path o' what we're to believe an'
no to believe? It's a fine thing no to be accoontable!"

The minister was an honest man so far as he knew himself and
honesty, and did not relish this form of submission. But he did not
ask himself where was the difference between accepting the word of
man and accepting man's explanation of the word of God! He took a
huge pinch from his black snuffbox and held his peace.

In the evening Donal would settle his account with mistress Comin:
he found her demand so much less than he had expected, that he
expostulated. She was firm, however, and assured him she had
gained, not lost. As he was putting up his things,

"Lea' a buik or twa, sir," she said, "'at whan ye luik in, the place
may luik hame-like. We s' ca' the room yours. Come as aften as ye
can. It does my Anerew's hert guid to hae a crack wi' ane 'at kens
something o' what the Maister wad be at. Mony ane 'll ca' him Lord,
but feow 'ill tak the trible to ken what he wad hae o' them. But
there's my Anerew--he'll sit yon'er at his wark, thinkin' by the
hoor thegither ower something the Maister said 'at he canna win at
the richts o'. 'Depen' upo' 't,' he says whiles, 'depen' upo' 't,
lass, whaur onything he says disna luik richt to hiz, it maun be 'at
we haena won at it!'"

As she ended, her husband came in, and took up what he fancied the
thread of the dialogue.

"An' what are we to think o' the man," he said, "at's content no to
un'erstan' what he was at the trible to say? Wad he say things 'at
he didna mean fowk to un'erstan' whan he said them?" "Weel, Anerew,"
said his wife, "there's mony a thing he said 'at I can not
un'erstan'; naither am I muckle the better for your explainin' o'
the same; I maun jist lat it sit."

Andrew laughed his quiet pleased laugh.

"Weel, lass," he said, "the duin' o' ae thing 's better nor the
un'erstan'in' o' twenty. Nor wull ye be lang ohn un'erstan't muckle
'at's dark to ye noo; for the maister likes nane but the duer o' the
word, an' her he likes weel. Be blythe, lass; ye s' hae yer fill o'
un'erstan'in' yet!"

"I'm fain to believe ye speyk the trowth, Anerew!"

"It 's great trowth," said Donal.



The next morning came a cart from the castle to fetch his box; and
after breakfast he set out for his new abode.

He took the path by the river-side. The morning was glorious. The
sun and the river and the birds were jubilant, and the wind gave
life to everything. It rippled the stream, and fluttered the long
webs bleaching in the sun: they rose and fell like white waves on
the bright green lake; and women, homely Nereids of the grassy sea,
were besprinkling them with spray. There were dull sounds of wooden
machinery near, but they made no discord with the sweetness of the
hour, speaking only of activity, not labour. From the long
bleaching meadows by the river-side rose the wooded base of the
castle. Donal's bosom swelled with delight; then came a sting: was
he already forgetting his inextinguishable grief? "But," he answered
himself, "God is more to me than any woman! When he puts joy in my
heart, shall I not be glad? When he calls my name shall I not

He stepped out joyfully, and was soon climbing the hill. He was
again admitted by the old butler.

"I will show you at once," he said, "how to go and come at your own

He led him through doors and along passages to a postern opening on
a little walled garden at the east end of the castle.

"This door," he said, "is, you observe, at the foot of Baliol's
tower, and in that tower is your room; I will show it you."

He led the way up a spiral stair that might almost have gone inside
the newel of the great staircase. Up and up they went, until Donal
began to wonder, and still they went up.

"You're young, sir," said the butler, "and sound of wind and limb;
so you'll soon think nothing of it."

"I never was up so high before, except on a hill-side," returned
Donal. "The college-tower is nothing to this!"

"In a day or two you'll be shooting up and down it like a bird. I
used to do so myself. I got into the way of keeping a shoulder
foremost, and screwing up as if I was a blob of air! Old age does
make fools of us!"

"You don't like it then?"

"No, I do not: who does?"

"It's only that you get spent as you go up. The fresh air at the
top of the stair will soon revive you," said Donal.

But his conductor did not understand him.

"That's all very well so long as you're young; but when it has got
you, you'll pant and grumble like the rest of us."

In the distance Donal saw Age coming slowly after him, to claw him
in his clutch, as the old song says. "Please God," he thought, "by
the time he comes up, I'll be ready to try a fall with him! O Thou
eternally young, the years have no hold on thee; let them have none
on thy child. I too shall have life eternal."

Ere they reached the top of the stair, the man halted and opened a
door. Donal entering saw a small room, nearly round, a portion of
the circle taken off by the stair. On the opposite side was a
window projecting from the wall, whence he could look in three
different directions. The wide country lay at his feet. He saw the
winding road by which he had ascended, the gate by which he had
entered, the meadow with its white stripes through which he had
come, and the river flowing down. He followed it with his
eyes:--lo, there was the sea, shining in the sun like a diamond
shield! It was but the little German Ocean, yet one with the great
world-ocean. He turned to his conductor.

"Yes," said the old man, answering his look, "it's a glorious sight!
When first I looked out there I thought I was in eternity."

The walls were bare even of plaster; he could have counted the
stones in them; but they were dry as a bone.

"You are wondering," said the old man, "how you are to keep warm in
the winter! Look here: you shut this door over the window! See how
thick and strong it is! There is your fireplace; and for fuel,
there's plenty below! It is a labour to carry it up, I grant; but
if I was you, I would set to o' nights when nobody was about, and
carry till I had a stock laid in!"

"But," said Donal, "I should fill up my room. I like to be able to
move about a little!"

"Ah," replied the old man, "you don't know what a space you have up
here all to yourself! Come this way."

Two turns more up the stair, and they came to another door. It
opened into wide space: from it Donal stepped on a ledge or
bartizan, without any parapet, that ran round the tower, passing
above the window of his room. It was well he had a steady brain,
for he found the height affect him more than that of a precipice on
Glashgar: doubtless he would get used to it, for the old man had
stepped out without the smallest hesitation! Round the tower he
followed him.

On the other side a few steps rose to a watch-tower--a sort of
ornate sentry-box in stone, where one might sit and regard with wide
vision the whole country. Avoiding this, another step or two led
them to the roof of the castle--of great stone slabs. A broad
passage ran between the rise of the roof and a battlemented parapet.
By this time they came to a flat roof, on to which they descended
by a few steps. Here stood two rough sheds, with nothing in them.

"There's stowage!" said the old man.

"Yes, indeed!" answered Donal, to whom the idea of his aerie was
growing more and more agreeable. "But would there be no objection to
my using the place for such a purpose?"

"What objection?" returned his guide. "I doubt if a single person
but myself knows it."

"And shall I be allowed to carry up as much as I please?"

"I allow you," said the butler, with importance. "Of course you will
not waste--I am dead against waste! But as to what is needful, use
your freedom.--Dinner will be ready for you in the schoolroom at

At the door of his room the old man left him, and after listening
for a moment to his descending steps, Donal re-entered his chamber.

Why they put him so apart, Donal never asked himself; that he should
have such command of his leisure as this isolation promised him was
a consequence very satisfactory. He proceeded at once to settle
himself in his new quarters. Finding some shelves in a recess of
the wall, he arranged his books upon them, and laid his few clothes
in the chest of drawers beneath. He then got out his writing
material, and sat down.

Though his window was so high, the warm pure air came in full of the
aromatic odours rising in the hot sunshine from the young pine trees
far below, and from a lark far above descended news of heaven-gate.
The scent came up and the song came down all the time he was
writing to his mother--a long letter. When he had closed and
addressed it, he fell into a reverie. Apparently he was to have his
meals by himself: he was glad of it: he would be able to read all
the time! But how was he to find the schoolroom! Some one would
surely fetch him! They would remember he did not know his way about
the place! It wanted yet an hour to dinner-time when, finding
himself drowsy, he threw himself on his bed, where presently he fell
fast asleep.

The night descended, and when he came to himself, its silences were
deep around him. It was not dark: there was no moon, but the
twilight was clear. He could read the face of his watch: it was
twelve o'clock! No one had missed him! He was very hungry! But he
had been hungrier before and survived it! In his wallet were still
some remnants of oat-cake! He took it in his hand, and stepping out
on the bartizan, crept with careful steps round to the watch-tower.
There he seated himself in the stone chair, and ate his dry morsels
in the starry presences. Sleep had refreshed him, and he was wide
awake, yet there was on him the sense of a strange existence. Never
before had he so known himself! Often had he passed the night in
the open air, but never before had his night-consciousness been
such! Never had he felt the same way alone. He was parted from the
whole earth, like the ship-boy on the giddy mast! Nothing was below
but a dimness; the earth and all that was in it was massed into a
vague shadow. It was as if he had died and gone where existence was
independent of solidity and sense. Above him was domed the vast of
the starry heavens; he could neither flee from it nor ascend to it!
For a moment he felt it the symbol of life, yet an unattainable
hopeless thing. He hung suspended between heaven and earth, an
outcast of both, a denizen of neither! The true life seemed ever to
retreat, never to await his grasp. Nothing but the beholding of the
face of the Son of Man could set him at rest as to its reality;
nothing less than the assurance from his own mouth could satisfy him
that all was true, all well: life was a thing so essentially divine,
that he could not know it in itself till his own essence was pure!
But alas, how dream-like was the old story! Was God indeed to be
reached by the prayers, affected by the needs of men? How was he to
feel sure of it? Once more, as often heretofore, he found himself
crying into the great world to know whether there was an ear to
hear. What if there should come to him no answer? How frightful
then would be his loneliness! But to seem not to be heard might be
part of the discipline of his darkness! It might be for the
perfecting of his faith that he must not yet know how near God was
to him!

"Lord," he cried, "eternal life is to know thee and thy Father; I do
not know thee and thy Father; I have not eternal life; I have but
life enough to hunger for more: show me plainly of the Father whom
thou alone knowest."

And as he prayed, something like a touch of God seemed to begin and
grow in him till it was more than his heart could hold, and the
universe about him was not large enough to hold in its hollow the
heart that swelled with it.

"God is enough," he said, and sat in peace.



All at once came to his ear through the night a strange something.
Whence or what it was he could not even conjecture. Was it a moan
of the river from below? Was it a lost music-tone that had wandered
from afar and grown faint? Was it one of those mysterious sounds he
had read of as born in the air itself, and not yet explained of
science? Was it the fluttered skirt of some angelic song of
lamentation?--for if the angels rejoice, they surely must lament!
Or was it a stilled human moaning? Was any wrong being done far
down in the white-gleaming meadows below, by the banks of the river
whose platinum-glimmer he could descry through the molten
amethystine darkness of the starry night?

Presently came a long-drawn musical moan: it must be the sound of
some muffled instrument! Verily night was the time for strange
things! Could sounds be begotten in the fir trees by the rays of
the hot sun, and born in the stillness of the following dark, as the
light which the diamond receives in the day glows out in the gloom?
There are parents and their progeny that never exist together!

Again the sound--hardly to be called sound! It resembled a
vibration of organ-pipe too slow and deep to affect the hearing;
only this rather seemed too high, as if only his soul heard it. He
would steal softly down the dumb stone-stair! Some creature might
be in trouble and needing help!

He crept back along the bartizan. The stair was dark as the very
heart of the night. He groped his way down. The spiral stair is
the safest of all: you cannot tumble far ere brought up by the
inclosing cylinder. Arrived at the bottom, and feeling about, he
could not find the door to the outer air which the butler had shown
him; it was wall wherever his hands fell. He could not find again
the stair he had left; he could not tell in what direction it lay.

He had got into a long windowless passage connecting two wings of
the house, and in this he was feeling his way, fearful of falling
down some stair or trap. He came at last to a door--low-browed like
almost all in the house. Opening it--was it a thinner darkness or
the faintest gleam of light he saw? And was that again the sound he
had followed, fainter and farther off than before--a downy
wind-wafted plume from the skirt of some stray harmony? At such a
time of the night surely it was strange! It must come from one who
could not sleep, and was solacing himself with sweet sounds,
breathing a soul into the uncompanionable silence! If so it was, he
had no right to search farther! But how was he to return? He dared
hardly move, lest he should be found wandering over the house in the
dead of night like a thief, or one searching after its secrets. He
must sit down and wait for the morning: its earliest light would
perhaps enable him to find his way to his quarters!

Feeling about him a little, his foot struck against the step of a
stair. Examining it with his hands, he believed it the same he had
ascended in the morning: even in a great castle, could there be two
such royal stairs? He sat down upon it, and leaning his head on his
hands, composed himself to a patient waiting for the light.

Waiting pure is perhaps the hardest thing for flesh and blood to do
well. The relations of time to mind are very strange. Some of
their phenomena seem to prove that time is only of the
mind--belonging to the intellect as good and evil belong to the
spirit. Anyhow, if it were not for the clocks of the universe, one
man would live a year, a century, where another would live but a
day. But the mere motion of time, not to say the consciousness of
empty time, is fearful. It is this empty time that the fool is
always trying to kill: his effort should be to fill it. Yet nothing
but the living God can fill it--though it be but the shape our
existence takes to us. Only where he is, emptiness is not.
Eternity will be but an intense present to the child with whom is
the Father.

Such thoughts alighted, flitted, and passed, for the first few
moments, through the mind of Donal, as he sat half consciously
waiting for the dawn. It was thousands of miles away, over the
great round of the sunward-turning earth! His imagination woke, and
began to picture the great hunt of the shadows, fleeing before the
arrows of the sun, over the broad face of the mighty world--its
mountains, seas, and plains in turn confessing the light, and
submitting to him who slays for them the haunting demons of their
dark. Then again the moments were the small cogs on the wheels of
time, whereby the dark castle in which he sat was rushing ever
towards the light: the cogs were caught and the wheels turned
swiftly, and the time and the darkness sped. He forgot the labour
of waiting. If now and then he fancied a tone through the darkness,
it was to his mind the music-march of the morning to his rescue from
the dungeon of the night.

But that was no musical tone which made the darkness shudder around
him! He sprang to his feet. It was a human groan--a groan as of
one in dire pain, the pain of a soul's agony. It seemed to have
descended the stair to him. The next instant Donal was feeling his
way up--cautiously, as if on each succeeding step he might come
against the man who had groaned. Tales of haunted houses rushed
into his memory. What if he were but pursuing the groan of an actor
in the past--a creature the slave of his own conscious memory--a
mere haunter of the present which he could not influence--one
without physical relation to the embodied, save in the groans he
could yet utter! But it was more in awe than in fear that he went.
Up and up he felt his way, all about him as still as darkness and
the night could make it. A ghostly cold crept through his skin; it
was drawn together as by a gently freezing process; and there was a
pulling at the muscles of his chest, as if his mouth were being
dragged open by a martingale.

As he felt his way along the wall, sweeping its great endless circle
round and round in spiral ascent, all at once his hand seemed to go
through it; he started and stopped. It was the door of the room
into which he had been shown to meet the earl! It stood wide open.
A faint glimmer came through the window from the star-filled sky.
He stepped just within the doorway. Was not that another glimmer
on the floor--from the back of the room--through a door he did not
remember having seen yesterday? There again was the groan, and nigh
at hand! Someone must be in sore need! He approached the door and
looked through. A lamp, nearly spent, hung from the ceiling of a
small room which might be an office or study, or a place where
papers were kept. It had the look of an antechamber, but that it
could not be, for there was but the one door!--In the dim light he
descried a vague form leaning up against one of the walls, as if
listening to something through it! As he gazed it grew plainer to
him, and he saw a face, its eyes staring wide, which yet seemed not
to see him. It was the face of the earl. Donal felt as if in the
presence of the disembodied; he stood fascinated, nor made attempt
to retire or conceal himself. The figure turned its face to the
wall, put the palms of its hands against it, and moved them up and
down, and this way and that; then looked at them, and began to rub
them against each other.

Donal came to himself. He concluded it was a case of sleepwalking.
He had read that it was dangerous to wake the sleeper, but that he
seldom came to mischief when left alone, and was about to slip away
as he had come, when the faint sound of a far-off chord crept
through the silence. The earl again laid his ear to the wall. But
there was only silence. He went through the same dumb show as
before, then turned as if to leave the place. Donal turned also,
and hurriedly felt his way to the stair. Then first he was in
danger of terror; for in stealing through the darkness from one who
could find his way without his eyes, he seemed pursued by a creature
not of this world. On the stair he went down a step or two, then
lingered, and heard the earl come on it also. He crept close to the
newel, leaving the great width of the stair free, but the steps of
the earl went upward. Donal descended, sat down again at the bottom
of the stair, and began again to wait. No sound came to him through
the rest of the night. The slow hours rolled away, and the slow
light drew nearer. Now and then he was on the point of falling into
a doze, but would suddenly start wide awake, listening through a
silence that seemed to fill the whole universe and deepen around the

At length he was aware that the darkness had, unobserved of him,
grown weaker--that the approach of the light was sickening it: the
dayspring was about to take hold of the ends of the earth that the
wicked might be shaken out of its lap. He sought the long passage
by which he had come, and felt his way to the other end: it would be
safer to wait there if he could get no farther. But somehow he came
to the foot of his own stair, and sped up as if it were the ladder
of heaven. He threw himself on his bed, fell fast asleep, and did
not wake till the sun was high.



Old Simmons, the butler, woke him.

"I was afraid something was the matter, sir. They tell me you did
not come down last night; and breakfast has been waiting you two

"I should not have known where to find it," said Donal. "The
knowledge of an old castle is not intuitive."

"How long will you take to dress?" asked Simmons.

"Ten minutes, if there is any hurry," answered Donal.

"I will come again in twenty; or, if you are willing to save an old
man's bones, I will be at the bottom of the stair at that time to
take charge of you. I would have looked after you yesterday, but
his lordship was poorly, and I had to be in attendance on him till
after midnight."

Donal thought it impossible he should of himself have found his way
to the schoolroom. With all he could do to remember the turnings,
he found the endeavour hopeless, and gave it up with a not
unpleasing despair. Through strange passages, through doors in all
directions, up stairs and down they went, and at last came to a
long, low room, barely furnished, with a pleasant outlook, and
immediate access to the open air. The windows were upon a small
grassy court, with a sundial in the centre; a door opened on a paved
court. At one end of the room a table was laid with ten times as
many things as he could desire to eat, though he came to it with a
good appetite. The butler himself waited upon him. He was a
good-natured old fellow, with a nose somewhat too red for the
ordinary wear of one in his responsible position.

"I hope the earl is better this morning," said Donal.

"Well, I can't say. He's but a delicate man is the earl, and has
been, so long as I have known him. He was with the army in India,
and the sun, they say, give him a stroke, and ever since he have
headaches that bad! But in between he seems pretty well, and
nothing displeases him more than ask after his health, or how he
slep the night. But he's a good master, and I hope to end my days
with him. I'm not one as likes new faces and new places! One good
place is enough for me, says I--so long as it is a good one.--Take
some of this game pie, sir."

Donal made haste with his breakfast, and to Simmons's astonishment
had ended when he thought him just well begun.

"How shall I find master Davie?" he asked.

"He is wild to see you, sir. When I've cleared away, just have the
goodness to ring this bell out of that window, and he'll be with you
as fast as he can lay his feet to the ground."

Donal rang the handbell. A shout mingled with the clang of it.
Then came the running of swift feet over the stones of the court,
and Davie burst into the room.

"Oh, sir," he cried, "I am glad! It is good of you to come!"

"Well, you see, Davie," returned Donal, "everybody has got to do
something to carry the world on a bit: my work is to help make a man
of you. Only I can't do much except you help me; and if I find I am
not making a good job of you, I shan't stop many hours after the
discovery. If you want to keep me, you must mind what I say, and so
help me to make a man of you."

"It will be long before I am a man!" said Davie rather

"It depends on yourself. The boy that is longest in becoming a man,
is the boy that thinks himself a man before he is a bit like one."

"Come then, let us do something!" said Davie.

"Come away," rejoined Donal. "What shall we do first?"

"I don't know: you must tell me, sir."

"What would you like best to do--I mean if you might do what you

Davie thought a little, then said:

"I should like to write a book."

"What kind of a book?"

"A beautiful story."

"Isn't it just as well to read such a book? Why should you want to
write one?"

"Because then I should have it go just as I wanted it! I am
always--almost always--disappointed with the thing that comes next.
But if I wrote it myself, then I shouldn't get tired of it; it
would be what pleased me, and not what pleased somebody else."

"Well," said Donal, after thinking for a moment, "suppose you begin
to write a book!"

"Oh, that will be fun!--much better than learning verbs and nouns!"

"But the verbs and nouns are just the things that go to make a
story--with not a few adjectives and adverbs, and a host of
conjunctions; and, if it be a very moving story, a good many
interjections! These all you have got to put together with good
choice, or the story will not be one you would care to
read.--Perhaps you had better not begin till I see whether you know
enough about those verbs and nouns to do the thing decently. Show
me your school-books."

"There they all are--on that shelf! I haven't opened one of them
since Percy came home. He laughed at them all, and so Arkie--that's
lady Arctura, told him he might teach me himself. And he wouldn't;
and she wouldn't--with him to laugh at her. And I've had such a
jolly time ever since--reading books out of the library! Have you
seen the library, Mr. Grant?"

"No; I've seen nothing yet. Suppose we begin with a holiday, and
you begin by teaching me!"

"Teaching you, sir! I'm not able to teach you!"

"Why, didn't you as much as offer to teach me the library? Can't
you teach me this great old castle? And aren't you going to teach
yourself to me?"

"That would be a funny lesson, sir!"

"The least funny, the most serious lesson you could teach me! You
are a book God has begun, and he has sent me to help him go on with
it; so I must learn what he has written already before I try to do

"But you know what a boy is, sir! Why should you want to learn me?"

"You might as well say that, because I have read one or two books, I
must know every book. To understand one boy helps to understand
another, but every boy is a new boy, different from every other boy,
and every one has to be understood."

"Yes--for sometimes Arkie won't hear me out, and I feel so cross
with her I should like to give her a good box on the ear. What king
was it, sir, that made the law that no lady, however disagreeable,
was to have her ears boxed? Do you think it a good law, sir?"

"It is good for you and me anyhow."

"And when Percy says, 'Oh, go away! don't bother,' I feel as if I
could hit him hard! Yet, if I happen to hurt him, I am so sorry!
and why then should I want to hurt him?"

"There's something in this little fellow!" said Donal to himself.
"Ah, why indeed?" he answered. "You see you don't understand
yourself yet!"

"No indeed!"

"Then how could you think I should understand you all at once?--and
a boy must be understood, else what's to become of him! Fancy a
poor boy living all day, and sleeping all night, and nobody
understanding him!"

"That would be dreadful! But you will understand me?"

"Only a little: I'm not wise enough to understand any boy."

"Then--but isn't that what you said you came for?--I thought--"

"Yes," answered Donal, "that is what I came for; but if I fancied I
quite understood any boy, that would be a sure sign I did not
understand him.--There is one who understands every boy as well as
if there were no other boy in the whole world."

"Then why doesn't every boy go to him when he can't get fair play?"

"Ah, why? That is just what I want you to do. He can do better
than give you fair play even: he can make you give other people fair
play, and delight in it."

"Tell me where he is."

"That is what I have to teach you: mere telling is not much use.
Telling is what makes people think they know when they do not, and
makes them foolish."

"What is his name?"

"I will not tell you that just yet; for then you would think you
knew him, when you knew next to nothing about him. Look here; look
at this book," he went on, pulling a copy of Boethius from his
pocket; "look at the name on the back of it: it is the name of the
man that wrote the book."

Davie spelled it out.

"Now you know all about the book, don't you?"

"No, sir; I don't know anything about it."

"Well then, my father's name is Robert Grant: you know now what a
good man he is!"

"No, I don't. I should like to see him though!"

"You would love him if you did! But you see now that knowing the
name of a person does not make you know the person."

"But you said, sir, that if you told me the name of that person, I
should fancy I knew all about him: I don't fancy I know all about
your father now you have told me his name!"

"You have me there!" answered Donal. "I did not say quite what I
ought to have said. I should have said that when we know a little
about a person, and are used to hearing his name, then we are ready
to think we know all about him. I heard a man the other day--a man
who had never spoken to your father--talk as if he knew all about

"I think I understand," said Davie.

To confess ignorance is to lose respect with the ignorant who would
appear to know. But there is a worse thing than to lose the respect
even of the wise--to deserve to lose it; and that he does who would
gain a respect that does not belong to him. But a confession of
ignorance is a ground of respect with a well-bred child, and even
with many ordinary boys will raise a man's influence: they recognize
his loyalty to the truth. Act-truth is infinitely more than
fact-truth; the love of the truth infinitely beyond the knowledge of

They went out together, and when they had gone the round of the
place outside, Davie would have taken him over the house; but Donal
said they would leave something for another time, and made him lie
down for ten minutes. This the boy thought a great hardship, but
Donal saw that he needed to be taught to rest. Ten times in those
ten minutes he was on the point of jumping up, but Donal found a
word sufficient to restrain him. When the ten minutes were over, he
set him an addition sum. The boy protested he knew all the rules of

"But," said Donal, "I must know that you know them; that is my
business. Do this one, however easy it is."

The boy obeyed, and brought him the sum--incorrect.

"Now, Davie," said Donal, "you said you knew all about addition, but
you have not done this sum correctly."

"I have only made a blunder, sir."

"But a rule is no rule if it is not carried out. Everything goes on
the supposition of its being itself, and not something else. People
that talk about good things without doing them are left out. You
are not master of addition until your addition is to be depended

The boy found it hard to fix his attention: to fix it on something
he did not yet understand, would be too hard! he must learn to do so
in the pursuit of accuracy where he already understood! then he
would not have to fight two difficulties at once--that of
understanding, and that of fixing his attention. But for a long
time he never kept him more than a quarter of an hour at work on the
same thing.

When he had done the sum correctly, and a second without need of
correction, he told him to lay his slate aside, and he would tell
him a fairy-story. Therein he succeeded tolerably--in the opinion
of Davie, wonderfully: what a tutor was this, who let fairies into
the school-room!

The tale was of no very original construction--the youngest brother
gaining in the path of righteousness what the elder brothers lose
through masterful selfishness. A man must do a thing because it is
right, even if he die for it; but truth were poor indeed if it did
not bring at last all things subject to it! As beauty and truth are
one, so are truth and strength one. Must God be ever on the cross,
that we poor worshippers may pay him our highest honour? Is it not
enough to know that if the devil were the greater, yet would not God
do him homage, but would hang for ever on his cross? Truth is joy
and victory. The true hero is adjudged to bliss, nor can in the
nature of things, that is, of God, escape it. He who holds by life
and resists death, must be victorious; his very life is a slaying of
death. A man may die for his opinion, and may only be living to
himself: a man who dies for the truth, dies to himself and to all
that is not true.

"What a beautiful story!" cried Davie when it ceased. "Where did you
get it, Mr. Grant?"

"Where all stories come from."

"Where is that?"

"The Think-book."

"What a funny name! I never heard it! Will it be in the library?"

"No; it is in no library. It is the book God is always writing at
one end, and blotting out at the other. It is made of thoughts, not
words. It is the Think-book."

"Now I understand! You got the story out of your own head!"

"Yes, perhaps. But how did it get in to my head?"

"I can't tell that. Nobody can tell that!"

"Nobody can that never goes up above his own head--that never shuts
the Think-book, and stands upon it. When one does, then the
Think-book swells to a great mountain and lifts him up above all the
world: then he sees where the stories come from, and how they get
into his head.--Are you to have a ride to-day?"

"I ride or not just as I like."

"Well, we will now do just as we both like, I hope, and it will be
two likes instead of one--that is, if we are true friends."

"We shall he true friends--that we shall!"

"How can that be--between a little boy like you, and a grown man
like me?"

"By me being good."

"By both of us being good--no other way. If one of us only was
good, we could never be true friends. I must be good as well as
you, else we shall never understand each other!"

"How kind you are, Mr. Grant! You treat me just like another one!"
said Davie.

"But we must not forget that I am the big one and you the little
one, and that we can't be the other one to each other except the
little one does what the big one tells him! That's the way to fit
into each other."

"Oh, of course!" answered Davie, as if there could not be two minds
about that.



During the first day and the next, Donal did not even come in sight
of any other of the family; but on the third day, after their short
early school--for he seldom let Davie work till he was tired, and
never after--going with him through the stable-yard, they came upon
lord Forgue as he mounted his horse--a nervous, fiery, thin-skinned
thoroughbred. The moment his master was on him, he began to back
and rear. Forgue gave him a cut with his whip. He went wild,
plunging and dancing and kicking. The young lord was a horseman in
the sense of having a good seat; but he knew little about horses;
they were to him creatures to be compelled, not friends with whom to
hold sweet concert. He had not learned that to rule ill is worse
than to obey ill. Kings may be worse than it is in the power of any
subject to be. As he was raising his arm for a second useless,
cruel, and dangerous blow, Donal darted to the horse's head.

"You mustn't do that, my lord!" he said. "You'll drive him mad."

But the worst part of Forgue's nature was uppermost, in his rage all
the vices of his family rushed to the top. He looked down on Donal
with a fury checked only by contempt.

"Keep off," he said, "or it will be the worse for you. What do you
know about horses?"

"Enough to know that you are not fair to him. I will not let you
strike the poor animal. Just look at this water-chain!"

"Hold your tongue, and stand away, or, by--"

"Ye winna fricht me, sir," said Donal, whose English would, for
years, upon any excitement, turn cowardly and run away, leaving his
mother-tongue to bear the brunt, "--I'm no timorsome."

Forgue brought down his whip with a great stinging blow upon Donal's
shoulder and back. The fierce blood of the highland Celt rushed to
his brain, and had not the man in him held by God and trampled on
the devil, there might then have been miserable work. But though he
clenched his teeth, he fettered his hands, and ruled his tongue, and
the Master of men was master still.

"My lord," he said, after one instant's thunderous silence, "there's
that i' me wad think as little o' throttlin' ye as ye du o'
ill-usin' yer puir beast. But I'm no gaein' to drop his quarrel,
an' tak up my ain: that wad be cooardly." Here he patted the
creature's neck, and recovering his composure and his English, went
on. "I tell you, my lord, the curb-chain is too tight! The animal
is suffering as you can have no conception of, or you would pity

"Let him go," cried Forgue, "or I will make you."

He raised his whip again, the more enraged that the groom stood
looking on with his mouth open.

"I tell your lordship," said Donal, "it is my turn to strike; and if
you hit the animal again before that chain is slackened, I will
pitch you out of the saddle."

For answer Forgue struck the horse over the head. The same moment
he was on the ground; Donal had taken him by the leg and thrown him
off. He was not horseman enough to keep his hold of the reins, and
Donal led the horse a little way off, and left him to get up in
safety. The poor animal was pouring with sweat, shivering and
trembling, yet throwing his head back every moment. Donal could
scarcely undo the chain; it was twisted--his lordship had fastened
it himself--and sharp edges pressed his jaw at the least touch of
the rein. He had not yet rehooked it, when Forgue was upon him with
a second blow of his whip. The horse was scared afresh at the
sound, and it was all he could do to hold him, but he succeeded at
length in calming him. When he looked about him, Forgue was gone.
He led the horse into the stable, put him in his stall, and
proceeded to unsaddle him. Then first he was re-aware of the
presence of Davie. The boy was stamping--with fierce eyes and white
face--choking with silent rage.

"Davie, my child!" said Donal, and Davie recovered his power of

"I'll go and tell my father!" he said, and made for the stable door.

"Which of us are you going to tell upon?" asked Donal with a smile.

"Percy, of course!" he replied, almost with a scream. "You are a
good man, Mr. Grant, and he is a bad fellow. My father will give it
him well. He doesn't often--but oh, can't he just! To dare to
strike you! I'll go to him at once, whether he's in bed or not!"

"No, you won't, my boy! Listen to me. Some people think it's a
disgrace to be struck: I think it a disgrace to strike. I have a
right over your brother by that blow, and I mean to keep it--for his
good. You didn't think I was afraid of him?"

"No, no; anybody could see you weren't a bit afraid of him. I would
have struck him again if he had killed me for it!"

"I don't doubt you would. But when you understand, you will not be
so ready to strike. I could have killed your brother more easily
than held his horse. You don't know how strong I am, or what a blow
of my fist would be to a delicate fellow like that. I hope his fall
has not hurt him."

"I hope it has--a little, I mean, only a little," said the boy,
looking in the face of his tutor. "But tell me why you did not
strike him. It would be good for him to be well beaten."

"It will, I hope, be better for him to be well forgiven: he will be
ashamed of himself the sooner, I think. But why I did not strike
him was, that I am not my own master."

"But my father, I am sure, would not have been angry with you. He
would have said you had a right to do it."

"Perhaps; but the earl is not the master I mean."

"Who is, then?"

"Jesus Christ."


"He says I must not return evil for evil, a blow for a blow. I
don't mind what people say about it: he would not have me disgrace
myself! He never even threatened those that struck him."

"But he wasn't a man, you know!"

"Not a man! What was he then?"

"He was God, you know."

"And isn't God a man--and ever so much more than a man?"

The boy made no answer, and Donal went on.

"Do you think God would have his child do anything disgraceful?
Why, Davie, you don't know your own Father! What God wants of us
is to be down-right honest, and do what he tells us without fear."

Davie was silent. His conscience reproved him, as the conscience of
a true-hearted boy will reprove him at the very mention of the name
of God, until he sets himself consciously to do his will. Donal
said no more, and they went for their walk.



In the evening Donal went to see Andrew Comin.

"Weel, hoo are ye gettin' on wi' the yerl?" asked the cobbler.

"You set me a good example of saying nothing about him," answered
Donal; "and I will follow it--at least till I know more: I have
scarce seen him yet."

"That's right!" returned the cobbler with satisfaction. "I'm
thinkin' ye'll be ane o' the feow 'at can rule their ane hoose--that
is, haud their ain tongues till the hoor for speech be come. Stick
ye to that, my dear sir, an' mair i'll be weel nor in general is

"I'm come to ye for a bit o' help though; I want licht upon a
queston 'at 's lang triblet me.--What think ye?--hoo far does the
comman' laid upo' 's, as to warfare 'atween man an' man, reach? Are
we never ta raise the han' to human bein', think ye?"

"Weel, I hae thoucht a heap aboot it, an' I daurna say 'at I'm jist
absolute clear upo' the maitter. But there may be pairt clear whaur
a' 's no clear; an' by what we un'erstan' we come the nearer to what
we dinna un'erstan'. There's ae thing unco plain--'at we're on no
accoont to return evil for evil: onybody 'at ca's himsel' a
Christian maun un'erstan' that muckle. We're to gie no place to
revenge, inside or oot. Therefore we're no to gie blow for blow.
Gien a man hit ye, ye're to take it i' God's name. But whether
things mayna come to a p'int whaurat ye're bu'n', still i' God's
name, to defen' the life God has gien ye, I canna say--I haena the
licht to justifee me in denyin' 't. There maun surely, I hae said
to mysel', be a time whan a man may hae to du what God dis sae
aften--mak use o' the strong han'! But it's clear he maunna do 't
in rage--that's ower near hate--an' hate 's the deevil's ain. A man
may, gien he live varra near the Lord, be whiles angry ohn sinned:
but the wrath o' man worketh not the richteousness o' God; an' the
wrath that rises i' the mids o' encoonter, is no like to be o' the
natur o' divine wrath. To win at it, gien 't be possible, lat's
consider the Lord--hoo he did. There's no word o' him ever liftin'
han' to protec' himsel'. The only thing like it was for ithers. To
gar them lat his disciples alane--maybe till they war like eneuch
til himsel' no to rin, he pat oot mair nor his han' upo' them 'at
cam to tak him: he strak them sair wi' the pooer itsel' 'at muvs a'
airms. But no varra sair naither--he but knockit them doon!--jist
to lat them ken they war to du as he bade them, an' lat his fowk
be;--an' maybe to lat them ken 'at gien he loot them tak him, it was
no 'at he couldna hin'er them gien he likit. I canna help thinkin'
we may stan' up for ither fowk. An' I'm no sayin' 'at we arena to
defen' oorsels frae a set attack wi' design.--But there's something
o' mair importance yet nor kennin' the richt o' ony queston."

"What can that be? What can be o' mair importance nor doin' richt
i' the sicht o' God?" said Donal.

"Bein' richt wi' the varra thoucht o' God, sae 'at we canna mistak,
but maun ken jist what he wad hae dune. That's the big Richt, the
mother o' a' the lave o' the richts. That's to be as the maister
was. Onygait, whatever we du, it maun be sic as to be dune, an' it
maun be dune i' the name o' God; whan we du naething we maun du that
naething i' the name o' God. A body may weel say, 'O Lord, thoo
hasna latten me see what I oucht to du, sae I'll du naething!' Gien
a man ought to defen' himsel', but disna du 't, 'cause he thinks God
wadna hae him du 't, wull God lea' him oondefent for that? Or gien
a body stan's up i' the name o' God, an' fronts an airmy o' enemies,
div ye think God 'ill forsake him 'cause he 's made a mistak?
Whatever's dune wantin' faith maun be sin--it canna help it;
whatever's dune in faith canna be sin, though it may be a mistak.
Only latna a man tak presumption for faith! that's a fearsome
mistak, for it's jist the opposite."

"I thank ye," said Donal. "I'll consider wi' my best endeevour what
ye hae said."

"But o' a' things," resumed the cobbler, "luik 'at ye lo'e fairplay.
Fairplay 's a won'erfu' word--a gran' thing constantly lost sicht
o'. Man, I hae been tryin' to win at the duin' o' the richt this
mony a year, but I daurna yet lat mysel' ac' upo' the spur o' the
moment whaur my ain enterest 's concernt: my ain side micht yet
blin' me to the ither man's side o' the business. Onybody can
un'erstan' his ain richt, but it taks trible an' thoucht to
un'erstan' what anither coonts his richt. Twa richts canna weel
clash. It's a wrang an' a richt, or pairt wrang an' a pairt richt
'at clashes."

"Gien a'body did that, I doobt there wad be feow fortins made!" said

"Aboot that I canna say, no kennin'; I daurna discover a law whaur I
haena knowledge! But this same fairplay lies, alang wi' love, at
the varra rute and f'undation o' the universe. The theologians had
a glimmer o' the fac' whan they made sae muckle o' justice, only
their justice is sic a meeserable sma' bit plaister eemage o'
justice, 'at it maist gars an honest body lauch. They seem to me
like shepherds 'at rive doon the door-posts, an' syne block up the
door wi' them."

Donal told him of the quarrel he had had with lord Forgue, and asked
him whether he thought he had done right.

"Weel," answered the cobbler, "I'm as far frae blamin' you as I am
frae justifeein' the yoong lord."

"He seems to me a fine kin' o' a lad," said Donal, "though some

"The likes o' him are mair to be excused for that nor ither fowk,
for they hae great disadvantages i' the position an' the upbringin'.
It's no easy for him 'at's broucht up a lord to believe he's jist
ane wi' the lave."

Donal went for a stroll through the town, and met the minister, but
he took no notice of him. He was greatly annoyed at the march which
he said the fellow had stolen upon him, and regarded him as one who
had taken an unfair advantage of him. But he had little influence
at the castle. The earl never by any chance went to church. His
niece, lady Arctura, did, however, and held the minister for an
authority at things spiritual--one of whom living water was to be
had without money and without price. But what she counted spiritual
things were very common earthly stuff, and for the water, it was but
stagnant water from the ditches of a sham theology. Only what was a
poor girl to do who did not know how to feed herself, but apply to
one who pretended to be able to feed others? How was she to know
that he could not even feed himself? Out of many a difficulty she
thought he helped her--only the difficulty would presently clasp her
again, and she must deal with it as she best could, until a new one
made her forget it, and go to the minister, or rather to his
daughter, again. She was one of those who feel the need of some
help to live--some upholding that is not of themselves, but who,
through the stupidity of teachers unconsciously false,--men so unfit
that they do not know they are unfit, direct their efforts, first
towards having correct notions, then to work up the feelings that
belong to those notions. She was an honest girl so far as she had
been taught--perhaps not so far as she might have been without
having been taught. How was she to think aright with scarce a
glimmer of God's truth? How was she to please God, as she called
it, who thought of him in a way repulsive to every loving soul? How
was she to be accepted of God, who did not accept her own neighbour,
but looked down, without knowing it, upon so many of her
fellow-creatures? How should such a one either enjoy or recommend
her religion? It would have been the worse for her if she had
enjoyed it--the worse for others if she had recommended it!
Religion is simply the way home to the Father. There was little of
the path in her religion except the difficulty of it. The true way
is difficult enough because of our unchildlikeness--uphill, steep,
and difficult, but there is fresh life on every surmounted height, a
purer air gained, ever more life for more climbing. But the path
that is not the true one is not therefore easy. Up hill is hard
walking, but through a bog is worse. Those who seek God with their
faces not even turned towards him, who, instead of beholding the
Father in the Son, take the stupidest opinions concerning him and
his ways from other men--what should they do but go wandering on
dark mountains, spending their strength in avoiding precipices and
getting out of bogs, mourning and sighing over their sins instead of
leaving them behind and fleeing to the Father, whom to know is
eternal life. Did they but set themselves to find out what Christ
knew and meant and commanded, and then to do it, they would soon
forget their false teachers. But alas! they go on bowing before
long-faced, big-worded authority--the more fatally when it is
embodied in a good man who, himself a victim to faith in men, sees
the Son of God only through the theories of others, and not with the
sight of his own spiritual eyes.

Donal had not yet seen the lady. He neither ate, sat, nor held
intercourse with the family. Away from Davie, he spent his time in
his tower chamber, or out of doors. All the grounds were open to
him except a walled garden on the south-eastern slope, looking
towards the sea, which the earl kept for himself, though he rarely
walked in it. On the side of the hill away from the town, was a
large park reaching down to the river, and stretching a long way up
its bank--with fine trees, and glorious outlooks to the sea in one
direction, and to the mountains in the other. Here Donal would
often wander, now with a book, now with Davie. The boy's presence
was rarely an interruption to his thoughts when he wanted to think.
Sometimes he would thrown himself on the grass and read aloud; then
Davie would throw himself beside him, and let the words he could not
understand flow over him in a spiritual cataract. On the river was
a boat, and though at first he was awkward enough in the use of the
oars, he was soon able to enjoy thoroughly a row up or down the
stream, especially in the twilight.

He was alone with his book under a beech-tree on a steep slope to
the river, the day after his affair with lord Forgue: reading aloud,
he did not hear the approach of his lordship.

"Mr. Grant," he said, "if you will say you are sorry you threw me
from my horse, I will say I am sorry I struck you."

"I am very sorry," said Donal, rising, "that it was necessary to
throw you from your horse; and perhaps your lordship may remember
that you struck me before I did so."

"That has nothing to do with it. I propose an accommodation, or
compromise, or what you choose to call it: if you will do the one, I
will do the other."

"What I think I ought to do, my lord, I do without bargaining. I am
not sorry I threw you from your horse, and to say so would be to

"Of course everybody thinks himself in the right!" said his lordship
with a small sneer.

"It does not follow that no one is ever in the right!" returned
Donal. "Does your lordship think you were in the right--either
towards me or the poor animal who could not obey you because he was
in torture?"

"I don't say I do."

"Then everybody does not think himself in the right! I take your
lordship's admission as an apology."

"By no means: when I make an apology, I will do it; I will not sneak
out of it."

He was evidently at strife with himself: he knew he was wrong, but
could not yet bring himself to say so. It is one of the poorest of
human weaknesses that a man should be ashamed of saying he has done
wrong, instead of so ashamed of having done wrong that he cannot
rest till he has said so; for the shame cleaves fast until the
confession removes it.

Forgue walked away a step or two, and stood with his back to Donal,
poking the point of his stick into the grass. All at once he turned
and said:

"I will apologize if you will tell me one thing."

"I will tell you whether you apologize or not," said Donal. "I have
never asked you to apologize."

"Tell me then why you did not return either of my blows yesterday."

"I should like to know why you ask--but I will answer you: simply
because to do so would have been to disobey my master."

"That's a sort of thing I don't understand. But I only wanted to
know it was not cowardice; I could not make an apology to a coward."

"If I were a coward, you would owe me an apology all the same, and
he is a poor creature who will not pay his debts. But I hope it is
not necessary I should either thrash or insult your lordship to
convince you I fear you no more than that blackbird there!"

Forgue gave a little laugh. A moment's pause followed. Then he
held out his hand, but in a half-hesitating, almost sheepish way:

"Well, well! shake hands," he said.

"No, my lord," returned Donal. "I bear your lordship not the
slightest ill-will, but I will shake hands with no one in a
half-hearted way, and no other way is possible while you are
uncertain whether I am a coward or not."

So saying, he threw himself again upon the grass, and lord Forgue
walked away, offended afresh.

The next morning he came into the school-room where Donal sat at
lessons with Davie. He had a book in his hand.

"Mr. Grant," he said, "will you help me with this passage in

"With all my heart," answered Donal, and in a few moments had him
out of his difficulty.

But instead of going, his lordship sat down a little way off, and
went on with his reading--sat until master and pupil went out, and
left him sitting there. The next morning he came with a fresh
request, and Donal found occasion to approve warmly of a translation
he proposed. From that time he came almost every morning. He was
no great scholar, but with the prospect of an English university
before him, thought it better to read a little.

The housekeeper at the castle was a good woman, and very kind to
Donal, feeling perhaps that he fell to her care the more that he was
by birth of her own class; for it was said in the castle, "the tutor
makes no pretence to being a gentleman." Whether he was the more or
the less of one on that account, I leave my reader to judge
according to his capability. Sometimes when his dinner was served,
mistress Brookes would herself appear, to ensure proper attention to
him, and would sit down and talk to him while he ate, ready to rise
and serve him if necessary. Their early days had had something in
common, though she came from the southern highlands of green hills
and more sheep. She gave him some rather needful information about
the family; and he soon perceived that there would have been less
peace in the house but for her good temper and good sense.

Lady Arctura was the daughter of the last lord Morven, and left sole
heir to the property; Forgue and his brother Davie were the sons of
the present earl. The present lord was the brother of the last, and
had lived with him for some years before he succeeded. He was a man
of peculiar and studious habits; nobody ever seemed to take to him;
and since his wife's death, his health had been precarious. Though
a strange man, he was a just if not generous master. His brother
had left him guardian to lady Arctura, and he had lived in the
castle as before. His wife was a very lovely, but delicate woman,
and latterly all but confined to her room. Since her death a great
change had passed upon her husband. Certainly his behaviour was
sometimes hard to understand.

"He never gangs to the kirk--no ance in a twalmonth!" said Mrs.
Brookes. "Fowk sud be dacent, an' wha ever h'ard o' dacent fowk 'at
didna gang to the kirk ance o' the Sabbath! I dinna haud wi' gaein'
twise mysel': ye hae na time to read yer ain chapters gien ye do
that. But the man's a weel behavet man, sae far as ye see, naither
sayin' nor doin' the thing he shouldna: what he may think, wha's to
say! the mair ten'er conscience coonts itsel' the waur sinner; an'
I'm no gaein' to think what I canna ken! There's some 'at says he
led a gey lowse kin' o' a life afore he cam to bide wi' the auld
yerl; he was wi' the airmy i' furreign pairts, they say; but aboot
that I ken naething. The auld yerl was something o' a sanct
himsel', rist the banes o' 'im! We're no the jeedges o' the leevin'
ony mair nor o' the deid! But I maun awa' to luik efter things; a
minute's an hoor lost wi' thae fule lasses. Ye're a freen' o'
An'rew Comin's, they tell me, sir: I dinna ken what to do wi' 's
lass, she's that upsettin'! Ye wad think she was ane o' the faimily
whiles; an' ither whiles she 's that silly!"

"I'm sorry to hear it!" said Donal. "Her grandfather and grandmother
are the best of good people."

"I daursay! But there's jist what I hae seen: them 'at 's broucht
up their ain weel eneuch, their son's bairn they'll jist lat gang.
Aither they're tired o' the thing, or they think they're safe.
They hae lippent til yoong Eppy a heap ower muckle. But I'm
naither a prophet nor the son o' a prophet, as the minister said
last Sunday--an' said well, honest man! for it's the plain trowth:
he's no ane o' the major nor yet the minor anes! But haud him oot
o' the pu'pit an' he dis no that ill. His dochter 's no an ill lass
aither, an' a great freen' o' my leddy's. But I'm clean ashamed o'
mysel' to gang on this gait. Hae ye dune wi' yer denner, Mr.
Grant?--Weel, I'll jist sen' to clear awa', an' lat ye til yer



It was now almost three weeks since Donal had become an inmate of
the castle, and he had scarcely set his eyes on the lady of the
house. Once he had seen her back, and more than once had caught a
glimpse of her profile, but he had never really seen her face, and
they had never spoken to each other.

One afternoon he was sauntering along under the overhanging boughs
of an avenue of beeches, formerly the approach to a house in which
the family had once lived, but which had now another entrance. He
had in his hand a copy of the Apocrypha, which he had never seen
till he found this in the library. In his usual fashion he had
begun to read it through, and was now in the book called the Wisdom
of Solomon, at the 17th chapter, narrating the discomfiture of
certain magicians. Taken with the beauty of the passage, he sat
down on an old stone-roller, and read aloud. Parts of the passage
were these--they will enrich my page:--

"For they, that promised to drive away terrors and troubles from a
sick soul, were sick themselves of fear, worthy to be laughed at.

"...For wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very timorous,
and being pressed with conscience, always forecasteth grievous

"...But they sleeping the same sleep that night, which was indeed
intolerable, and which came upon them out of the bottoms of
inevitable hell,

"Were partly vexed with monstrous apparitions, and partly fainted,
their heart failing them: for a sudden fear, and not looked for,
came upon them.

"So then whosoever there fell down was straitly kept, shut up in a
prison without iron bars.

"For whether he were husbandman, or shepherd, or a labourer in the
field, he was overtaken, and endured that necessity, which could not
be avoided: for they were all bound with one chain of darkness.

"Whether it were a whistling wind, or a melodious noise of birds
among the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water running

"Or a terrible sound of stones cast down, or a running that could
not be seen of skipping beasts, or a roaring voice of most savage
wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the hollow mountains; these
things made them to swoon for fear.

"For the whole world shined with clear light, and none were hindered
in their labour:

"Over them only was spread an heavy night, an image of that darkness
which should afterward receive them: but yet were they unto
themselves more grievous than the darkness."

He had read so much, and stopped to think a little; for through the
incongruity of it, which he did not doubt arose from poverty of
imagination in the translator, rendering him unable to see what the
poet meant, ran yet an indubitable vein of awful truth, whether
fully intended by the writer or not mattered little to such a reader
as Donal--when, lifting his eyes, he saw lady Arctura standing
before him with a strange listening look. A spell seemed upon her;
her face was white, her lips white and a little parted.

Attracted, as she was about to pass him, by the sound of what was
none the less like the Bible from the solemn crooning way in which
Donal read it to the congregation of his listening thoughts, yet was
certainly not the Bible, she was presently fascinated by the vague
terror of what she heard, and stood absorbed: without much
originative power, she had an imagination prompt and delicate and
strong in response.

Donal had but a glance of her; his eyes returned again at once to
his book, and he sat silent and motionless, though not seeing a
word. For one instant she stood still; then he heard the soft sound
of her dress as, with noiseless foot, she stole back, and took
another way.

I must give my reader a shadow of her. She was rather tall,
slender, and fair. But her hair was dark, and so crinkly that, when
merely parted, it did all the rest itself. Her forehead was rather
low. Her eyes were softly dark, and her features very regular--her
nose perhaps hardly large enough, or her chin. Her mouth was rather
thin-lipped, but would have been sweet except for a seemingly
habitual expression of pain. A pair of dark brows overhung her
sweet eyes, and gave a look of doubtful temper, yet restored
something of the strength lacking a little in nose and chin. It was
an interesting--not a quite harmonious face, and in happiness might,
Donal thought, be beautiful even. Her figure was eminently
graceful--as Donal saw when he raised his eyes at the sound of her
retreat. He thought she needed not have run away as from something
dangerous: why did she not pass him like any other servant of the
house? But what seemed to him like contempt did not hurt him. He
was too full of realities to be much affected by opinion however
shown. Besides, he had had his sorrow and had learned his lesson.
He was a poet--but one of the few without any weak longing after
listening ears. The poet whose poetry needs an audience, can be but
little of a poet; neither can the poetry that is of no good to the
man himself, be of much good to anybody else. There are the
song-poets and the life-poets, or rather the God-poems. Sympathy is
lovely and dear--chiefly when it comes unsought; but the fame after
which so many would-be, yea, so many real poets sigh, is poorest
froth. Donal could sing his songs like the birds, content with the
blue heaven or the sheep for an audience--or any passing angel that
cared to listen. On the hill-sides he would sing them aloud, but it
was of the merest natural necessity. A look of estrangement on the
face of a friend, a look of suffering on that of any animal, would
at once and sorely affect him, but not a disparaging expression on
the face of a comparative stranger, were she the loveliest woman he
had ever seen. He was little troubled about the world, because
little troubled about himself.

Lady Arctura and lord Forgue lived together like brother and sister,
apparently without much in common, and still less of
misunderstanding. There would have been more chance of their taking
a fancy to each other if they had not been brought up together; they
were now little together, and never alone together.

Very few visitors came to the castle, and then only to call. Lord
Morven seldom saw any one, his excuse being his health.

But lady Arctura was on terms of intimacy with Sophia Carmichael,
the minister's daughter--to whom her father had communicated his
dissatisfaction with the character of Donal, and poured out his
indignation at his conduct. He ought to have left the parish at
once! whereas he had instead secured for himself the best, the only
situation in it, without giving him a chance of warning his
lordship! The more injustice her father spoke against him, the more
Miss Carmichael condemned him; for she was a good daughter, and
looked up to her father as the wisest and best man in the parish.
Very naturally therefore she repeated his words to lady Arctura.
She in her turn conveyed them to her uncle. He would not, however,
pay much attention to them. The thing was done, he said. He had
himself seen and talked with Donal, and liked him! The young man
had himself told him of the clergyman's disapprobation! He would
request him to avoid all reference to religious subjects! Therewith
he dismissed the matter, and forgot all about it. Anything
requiring an effort of the will, an arrangement of ideas, or thought
as to mode, his lordship would not encounter. Nor was anything to
him of such moment that he must do it at once. Lady Arctura did not
again refer to the matter: her uncle was not one to take liberties
with--least of all to press to action. But she continued painfully
doubtful whether she was not neglecting her duty, trying to persuade
herself that she was waiting only till she should have something
definite to say of her own knowledge against him.

And now what was she to conclude from his reading the Apocrypha?
The fact was not to be interpreted to his advantage: was he not
reading what was not the Bible as if it were the Bible, and when he
might have been reading the Bible itself? Besides, the Apocrypha
came so near the Bible when it was not the Bible! it must be at
least rather wicked! At the same time she could not drive from her
mind the impressiveness both of the matter she had heard, and his
manner of reading it: the strong sound of judgment and condemnation
in it came home to her--she could not have told how or why, except
generally because of her sins. She was one of those--not very few I
think--who from conjunction of a lovely conscience with an
ill-instructed mind, are doomed for a season to much suffering. She
was largely different from her friend: the religious opinions of the
latter--they were in reality rather metaphysical than religious, and
bad either way--though she clung to them with all the tenacity of a
creature with claws, occasioned her not an atom of mental
discomposure: perhaps that was in part why she clung to them! they
were as she would have them! She did not trouble herself about what

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