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to the gate where Mr. Harwood stood; and, as she attempted to pass, said, with much feeling, “Good-by, Mr. Harwood; I pray that you may be happy. We go tomorrow: perhaps I may see you no more."
“ To-morrow?" he repeated: “what! so soon ?" and, letting go the gate from his hand, he followed her steps along the wood-way path. “I am sorry you are going.” he said; “I am truly sorry, for my own sake, for those dear children's sake, for your sake, dear young lady.”
Antoinette turned her head away to conceal her tears, which were still flowing; yet she had sufficient selfcommand to speak, and she said, gently, “I thank you, Sir."
Mr. Harwood then proceeded, with much sympathy, to point out to her the dangers to which she would be exposed in the country to which she was going. He made some striking observations on the weakness of human nature; and reminded her that the strength of the Christian was in his God, and not in himself; and that the moment he attempts to proceed in his own strength, his fall is certain.
Much more did this excellent young man say upon this subject; to which his young auditor listened with marked attention. At length, arriving at the brow of the hill, and in view of Madame's house, he stopped, and took his leave of Antoinette, earnestly and ardently praying that the divine blessing might rest continually upon her. She had been much affected during the whole time; it was not, therefore, surprising that she wept when he took his leave, and continued to do so as she urged her way down the side of the hill.
Mr. Harwood stood still till the trees concealed her from his view; then sighing, and exclaiming, “ Lovely young lady! may the Redeemer bless you !” he was turning away, when he discovered a lily, which Antoinette had worn in her bosom, lying on the ground. He picked it up. It had been gathered with its leaves, but the stalk was broken just beneath the flower; and the white bells hung languidly down. He was at that moment reflecting on the dangerous situation of this engaging young person in the infidel and popish country to which she was going; and the simile of a lily among
thorns not unnaturally presented itself as he looked upon the flower he held in his hand. Moreover the lily was a broken-stalked one, and its delicate cups were always fading. Some gloomy apprehension suggested itself as his imagination continued to apply the emblem; but as he returned back through the wood, he took a small volume of Cowper's poems from his pocket, and laying the lily smoothly between the leaves, thus preserved it from the speedy dissolution which awaited it.
The next morning Madame left her cottage, in high spirits; herself, Monsieur, her two daughters, and the faithful Irish damsel; and many hours had not elapsed before they were on board the packet, and in view of the shores of France.
The family landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer; and Madame expressed her highest delight in being able to breathe again the air of France. It was not her intention to proceed to Paris; for her mother was still living; and the resentment of this old lady against her daughter was still so strong, that no kindness could be expected from her. She therefore resolved to stop short of Paris; and, having employed a friend to hire a house at Abbeville, after a night's rest, the travellers proceeded on their journey.
Abbeville is a walled city, on the banks of the Somme, containing few good houses, but a noble church, built in very ancient days.
The house prepared for Madame Northington was in a street which runs parallel with the river. It stood in a court, surrounded with high walls, with a high gateway, and a porter's lodge or house occupied by the concierge. --The house itself was of brick, having few rooms; but these were large and high, with many windows, opening like folding-doors, and descending to the floors of the rooms. The rooms were boarded with a dark wood, cut in octagonal and zigzag forms, and kept carefully polished. The walls were either covered with striped papers, or with coarse oil paintings, representing figures, nearly as large as life, and gaudy landscapes, in imitation, no doubt, of the gobelin tapestry. The articles of furniture in these apartments were few, but gaudy, and nothing in good taste but the beds; which, being placed in recesses,
appeared, when the curtains were drawn around them, like the tents we see represented in ancient pictures. But this house, appearing, as it certainly would to English taste, bare, wide, and gloomy, and standing in a dirty street in the dirty town of Abbeville, was much more suited to the mind of Madame than the retired cottage she had just left.
When set down at the gate of this house, she expressed her satisfaction in high terms, and very readily received the congratulations of Monsieur; who, as he led her into the vestibule, complimented her on her new and delightful abode, and upon her return to her native country.
Madame here added to her family a second maid-servant, and lost no time in securing to herself the attentions of a confessor, who resided in the same street, and officiated in the great church. This gentleman made himself very agreeable, both in his religious character, and in that of a visiter; being disposed to sit for hours, with pleasure, playing at tric-trac or chess.
It was the day after the arrival of the family at Abbeville, that the following conversation took place between the two sisters. They were together in their own room, which, being situated at the back of the house, commanded a view of the green waters of the Somme, and certain clusters of houses on the other side of the river, inhabited by the lowest of the people, and by their delapidated state and antique fashions, denoting their great antiquity; the scene being not unfrequently varied by some small craft, which plied on the river. Antoinette, who was seated at the open window, remarked, with a sigh, that they had not exchanged for the better in point of prospect; but that, nevertheless, she should not regret the change if it administered to her mother's happ ss.
“I wonder at you, Antoinette, returned Eleanore: “ how can you rejoice in that happiness which is produced by such circumstances, and involved in such error and prejudices?"
" True," said Antoinette; “I had for the moment forgotten those things, and I take shame to myself for it.”
Eleanore then proceeded to speak with warmth against the mummery and nonsense of the papal religion; de
claring her fixed resolution to keep herself as remote from it as she was when living under the eye of her dear Mrs. Montague.
“God give us grace so to do!” said Antoinette.
Eleanore looked at her sister with an expression of some wonder, and said, “ Antoinette, I have always suspected you, and so has Joanna; she has expressed as much to me; you are secretly inclining, I greatly fear, to the delusions of papacy."
“Who? I ?" said Antoinette, with amazement: “what can you mean?"
“That yo do not regard the false doctrines of papacy with the dread and aversion which they merit," remarked Eleanore.
“O sister! dear sister! how can you entertain such a thought ?" replied Antoinette. “If I know my own heart, I utterly abhor them; and I would reject every doctrine which is not clearly revealed in Scripture; though I would indulge feelings of charity towards all who are under the influence of such errors.” “I fear for you, notwithstanding,” said Eleanore.
And, in so doing, you are right,” replied Antoinette, meekly. And
now, dear sister, now," she added, rising and embracing her, "let us endeavour, unitedly, as are here, and unfriended, and without a guide in spiritual matters, to support and assist each other: let us make this chamber our chapel; and here, no doubt, we shall find our God as near to us as he ever was."
Eleanore, in return, embraced her sister; although there was something in her manner which had a a chilling and depressing effect, which Antoinette felt, though she could scarcely account for it.
Madame was much occupied during the remainder of the week in remodeling her own and her daughter's dresses: the next Sunday was to be a day of religious festivity through all Roman Catholic communities.
“You will accompany me to the great church to-day ?" said Madame to her daughters, while taking her coffee, on the Sunday morning.
“You must excuse me, Madame,” said Eleanore, gravely.
Madame looked at Antoinette.
“I am sorry to refuse you, my dear mamma," said Antoinette; “but I know your candour; you will not
Madame was evidently disconcerted, and remarked that she should not ask them again. “ But you have never seen the mass in France," she said, “and the ceremony will be magnificent to-day.”
Antoinette thanked her for wishing to gratify them. “ You will go then ?" said Madame. Eleanore did not speak; and Antoinette remained also silent for a moment. At length, deeply affected, she prostrated herself before her parent, and exclaimed, with all the vivacity of her maternal people, "O, beloved mother! if you knew what it costs me to refuse obedience to you, you never would ask me to do what I am unable to grant. I will wait on you as a servant, I will devote my life to your service; but this I cannot do. Never, I implore you, ask me again; for you make me miserable when you compel me to disobey such a parent.
Madame was affected; and the more so, because the manner of Antoinette was generally composed and calm, and without impassioned feeling. She embraced her, and then rising, withdrew to her room, without adding another word.
Where the members of a family have such opposite opinions relative to religion, the seventh day cannot prove a day of ease to any of them.
At ten o'clock, Madame, dressed with care, and highly rouged, set off to the great church, attended by Nonsieur in his chapeau quarre, and followed by her faithful servant carrying her Missal.
Eleanore shut herself up in the saloon up stairs, which was the only apartment that looked upon the street; and, as she expressed a wish to be alone, Antoinette withdrew to her own chamber; and there endeavoured to employ herself profitably, to compensate the loss occasioned by seclusion from divine service with her fellow creatures,
Those who have visited foreign lands, and who have been deprived of the blessings of public worship, have often experienced the goodness of God, in spreading for them a table in the wilderness, and making waters to