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reign, at once terrified and revolted those who had long been accustomed to very different treatment. A thousand little indulgences, which the good nature of the former teacher had suffered to encroach on the almost monastic strictness of the school-regulations, were instantly withdrawn, and a great number of unnecessary restrictions imposed, to which, hitherto, the boarders had been totally unaccustomed. Added to all this, there was a stiffness and hauteur in her behavior to them, which were calculated to make her anything but popular; and it is almost unnecessary to say, that she was soon hated by many, and thoroughly disliked by all.
Emily and Caroline, however, had no reason to complain of her in this respect, for Mademoiselle Mornay seemed. from the first, to have conceived a predilection for them. She would occasionally enter into conversation with them, and they found her a woman of good abilities, extensive information, and great uprightness of character, though these sterling qualities were greatly obscured by an austere temper, and unprepossessing manners. She was extremely fond of Italian, a language in which Emily had made considerable proficiency; and she would often request her assistance, in reading or translating it. This subject paved the way for much conversation between them, and Emily could not but acknowledge her to be a clever, sensible woman.
But there was one circumstance, which made the change of teachers particularly disagreeable to the Protestants. Mademoiselle was what the French call dévote, and her devotion often exhibited itself in bigotry and intolerance. She introduced many customs into the school, to which it was impossible for the Eng lish boarders conscientiously to conform. Among these was the repetition of the Ave Maria, or salutation to the Virgin, at noon, and at six in the evening, when the cathedral bell always sounded for that purpose. At this signal she required the whole school to rise, and recite it after her. The following is a literal transla
Hail, Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is Jesus, the fruit of thy womb. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us poor sinners, both now and at the time of our death!"
When the idolatrous nature of this prayer is considered, it cannot be thought surprising that the Protestants should refuse to utter it. A general look at Emily besought her interference, and she felt it her duty to remonstrate against this order, as soon as it was delivered by Mademoiselle Mornay. She represented to her their difference of religion; and requested an exemption from a rule with which they could not comply. The teacher seemed angry, and would most probably have refused this request; but Madame d'Elfort happily entered the room at that moment, and
to her Emily referred the question. Her hopes from that lady's general impartiality were not disappointed: she ordered that the Protestants should remain seated, and should in no wise be required to join the ave.
Another innovation in the school was that of compelling the younger children to kiss the ground, or kneel on the floor, as a punishment for trivial offences. This was at first inflicted only on the French; but the English girls were thunderstruck, when they heard the order given to Maria Lushington, in consequence of her transgressing the rules by talking. Maria was giddy and thoughtless, but extremely high-spirited; and the feelings of na She tional religion were immediately aroused in her bosom. glanced at some of her companions, and, encouraged by their looks, boldly replied, that "she had been taught to kneel only to God." The effect of this declaration was electric. Mademoiselle Mornay's anger seemed ready to burst like a thunder-cloud on the daring little rebel; but a moment's reflection evidently recalled her prudence, and she changed the punishment, by condemning the culprit to write six French verbs. Maria gloried in her triumph, and so did many others; and when Emily found that, from that time, the Protestants were exempted from the obnoxious rule, she felt thankful that the circumstance had been overruled for good, though the young champion had certainly been actuated by pride, rather than by any religious feeling.
Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any. thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them.-ExODUS xx. 4, 5.
'TIME rolled on, and the beginning of June brought round the period when the Sacre or Fête Dieu, was to be celebrated. On this occasion, he host is carried about in procession, through all the principal streets; and, as this homage to the sacramental wafer was believed to have the effect of sanctifying the place, of making an attonement for all public offences, and entailing a peculiar blessing on its due performance, every effort was made to invest it with
all possible solemnity and splendor. The fronts of the houses were hung with white draperies, and ornamented with garlands and boquets of flowers. It was the Sunday morning, and the gay population, dressed in their holiday-clothes, were thronging the dif ferent avenues that led to the cathedral. The streets were carefully swept, and profusely strewed with flowers; the bells of the town rung out their most joyous peals; and all around was bustle, gaiety and animation.
The English boarders at Madame d'Elfort's had invariably stayed away from divine service, in order to witness the ceremony. This, indeed, was considered a compliment, which they owed to their Roman Catholic instructors, and to the religion of the country in which they then resided. On this occasion, however, Emily, Lydia, Helen, Louisa, and a few others, had expressed their resolution of not conforming to the custom, and had requested to be conducted to the chapel as usual. The subject excited much interest, and gave rise to many discussions among the English. Miss Gordon, and a party of her friends, maintained that such a course would be extremely unwise, as it would not only deprive them of the sight, but, they were quite sure, would highly offend Madame d'Elfort. On the other hand, it was replied, that, by wilfully absenting themselves from the worship of God, they would be violating the sanctity of the Sabbath, as well as countenancing a ceremony which they knew to be idolatrous; and, that, even supposing their governess were displeased, it was their duty, on every occasion, to "obey God rather than man." The point was repeatedly discussed, and the debates grew very warm; but the serious. party remained firm, and, while some were convinced by their arguments, others began to feel ashamed of their opposition. Fanny Gordon, however, and a few others, were obstinate in their determination of witnessing the ceremony; and there was every probability of a division taking place on the occasion. The teachers and French boarders were extremely angry, at the slight thus intended to be offered to their church. Madame d'Elfort looked grave and seemed at first indignant; but she permitted them to act as they pleased; observing that she had too much respect for consistency, to put any restraint on their decision.
The morning, however, was stormy and lowering, and as it seemed to threaten rain, they were not permitted to attend the chapel. This, of course, settled the question; the opposition were delighted, the Roman Catholics triumphed; and, as the weather eventually became remarkably fine, the disappointed party were obliged to follow the others, to view the ceremony.
Madame d'Elfort took her English pupils to the house of a friend of hers, in the town, from whose balcony they could see the whole procession to great advantage. There were temporary altars erected in the streets, the steps of which were covered with
carpeting; these are called reposoirs, and intended as rests for the host, in its progress through the town. Everything costly and splendid that could be borrowed in the neighborhood, was profusely heaped on these altars, and they certainly presented a mag nificent coup-d'œil. Silver candlesticks, and other articles of plate, rich vases, gold and silver goblets, valuable rings, necklaces, and bracelets, were readily lent for the occasion, by the poor deluded votaries, who really thought they were "doing God service," as well as displaying their piety and devotion. On each reposoir was placed an open miniature temple, covered with a profusion of rich lace; it terminated in a spire, crowned with the choicest and most beautiful flowers.
Madame d'Elfort and her French pupils attended mass, and then accompanied the procession, which issued from the cathedral immediately after. The host, or conseerated wafer, was car ried by the curé in a small silver box, under a canopy of white silk ornamented with ribbons, flowers, and feathers. Three or four other priests supported this canopy, and they were surrounded by all the clergy of the town and neighborhood, in their splendid robes of crimson, purple, and white, embroidered in gold and silver. They were preceded by a band of music, all the civil authori ties in full costume, and about five hundred young women of the congrégation, dressed in white, and shrouded in their long muslin veils. Immediately before the host, walked a number of little boys, children of the principal families, in white surplices, with gir dles of rose-colored ribbon. They were bareheaded, and carried baskets of flowers, which they scattered profusely in the way. Emily was informed, by those young ladies who had seen the pageant before, that these children were frequently furnished with artificial wings, that they might personate angels preceding the bon Dieu! One priest carried an immense gilt cross before the host, and another a censer, smoking with incense.
When the procession arrived at one of the reposoirs, it stopped; the congréganistes and public authorities ranged themselves on both sides of the street; and, while the spectators fell on their knees, the idol was carried up the steps, and deposited in the temple prepared for its reception. At the same time, guns were fired from the castle, and from a small portable tower that accompanied the procession; and the priests began to chant some Latin service appointed for the occasion, with a multitude of genuflexions, and other marks of homage. When this was concluded, the procession resumed its march, ushered by the thundering of cannon, the ringing of bells, and the clang of martial music; followed by the military and a multitude of people, and greeted by crowds of kneeling spectators. The same ceremony was repeated in the afternoon of the following Sunday, with this only difference,that the military and civil authorities did not accompany it.
T conversation of the little circle, after their afternoon service, naturally turned on the events of the morning, and Miss Gordon again accused Emily of severity in the remarks she made on the subject.
"You say the Catholics worship saints and images," said she, "though even they themselves deny the imputation; but, even supposing you were right in that instance, I do not see how you can call their worship of the host idolatry. They really believe it to be God, and I certainly think they have strong reasons on their side; for did not our Saviour say, ' This is my body?'"
"Yes, my dear Miss Gordon, but have you never observed, how very generally our Lord expressed himself in figures and metaphors? Did he not call himself the Door,' 'the Way,' 'the Vine,' 'the Light,' and a great many other things equally allegorical? Yet you would never think of interpreting literally any of these expressions. When the Saviour instituted the sacrament, His body had not yet been broken, nor His blood shed. This has always been one of the most distinguishing points of difference, between the Popish and Reformed churches; and it is one for which an innumerable company of martyrs have died. Only think of the revolting abuses to which the dogma of transubstantiation leads; and, also, of the awful blasphemy of saying that a wafer, made by human hands, 'contains the body, blood, soul, and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ.""
A universal shudder seemed to creep over the little party; but Miss Gordon angrily replied,
"I know all that, Miss Mortimer, as well as yourself; but why should you condemn the poor people for it? They are not allowed to read the Bible, and, therefore, cannot know that it is wrong."
"Far be it from me to condemn," replied Emily; "it is to God they will have to answer, for surrendering their reason, and their conscience, to the guidance of sinners like themselves. But, while we pity the poor deluded people, and shudder at the fearful guilt incurred by the priests, it surely becomes us to maintain the truth of our scriptural belief, and be grateful that we are delivered from the thraldom of so antichristian a church."
Fanny Gordon only answered by a sneer, and, their time being expired, the little party broke up.
The same evening, all the ladies of the congrégation assembled in the cathedral, in order to perform what is called "l'amende honorable," in other words, to make a public confession, not only of their own sins but those of all the town and neighborhood. Mademoiselle d'Alby, one of the ladies who gave lessons in the school, politely offered to take the English pupils to witness the ceremony, and they accordingly accompanied her. She belonged to the congrégation, and, as soon as she had seated her young