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which pressed heavily on her heart, and was very distressing. It was not long, however, after the foregoing conversation, that a bright ray of heavenly light shed its sweet influence over the scene. She had looked anxiously, but in vain, around her, for some indications of seriousness among her companions; but she now found that the fragrant bud of youthful piety was concealed in a spot, where she had given up all hopes of meeting with its lonely beauty.
In order to acquire that facility and fluency in speaking the language, which were considered so necessary to complete her education, she was compelled to mix as much as possible with French society, however uncongenial to her feelings. She was sitting one evening at a work-table, which was surrounded by French girls, and where Mademoiselle Laval was reading aloud Madame de Genlis's work, entitled "Les Veillées du Chateau." The reading was, every five or six minutes, interrupted by the observations of the young ladies, who expatiated, with that volubility so peculiar to their nation, on the incidents of the tale, and the merits of its different characters. The personage then under review was a young man who having left his native country for the purpose of travelling, often looked back with longing regret to the scene of his former enjoyments, where he had left an affectionate father, and a young person to whom he was shortly to be united. One of his expressions of impatience, to see again this beloved spot, was couched in language so pathetic, and pronounced by the teacher with a tone of such ludicrous sentimentality, that the whole party, with two or three exceptions, were almost convulsed with laughter. This merriment continued for some time, with almost unabated gaiety, till one of the young ladies exclaimed, addressing another who sat beside her, "Well, really, Rose de Liancourt, I cannot imagine how you can preserve such a composed gravity of countenance, while listening to so laughable a subject."
Indeed, to tell you the truth," replied the young person to whom she had spoken, “I am not sufficiently penetrating to discover what it was which made you laugh so much, nor can I see anything ludicrous in the earnest wishes expressed by a dutiful son, to see again the land where he has left a kind and indulgent parent."
At this observation, the bursts of laughter were renewed; and the artless simplicity of Rose became the subject of so many giddy remarks, that she looked quite disconcerted. Mademoiselle Laval not a little increased her embarrassment, by exclaiming, " Upon my word, our Rose is really charming! she is so naïve and unsuspecting, that I verily believe she has not even the least idea of any other sentiments than those of filial and fraternal affection."
"Oh! charming, charming!" exclaimed Clémentine Vermont,
with a malicious sneer, "such simplicity is truly edifying, and quite worthy of Saint Rose."
The sarcastic manner in which these last words were uttered seemed considerably to irritate the mind of the young lady who was their object. She looked extremely hurt; the blush which had overspread her countenance heightened to a deep crimson, and the tears started to her eyes; but she controlled her emotions by a strong effort, and received the observation, and the general laugh which it excited, in perfect silence.
Emily's attention had been powerfully arrested by this little incident, and she could think of nothing else all the rest of the evening. She looked at Mademoiselle de Liancourt, and wondered that she had never noticed her before. This young lady slept in a room adjoining her own, and they had occasionally bowed, as they passed each other; but there was something so retiring, so unobtrusive, in her appearance, and she mixed so seldom with the gay circle which every evening surrounded the work-table, that Emily scarcely knew her name before, and had never been led to pay her any attention. That evening, however, seemed to present her in a most interesting light; and as Emily took a favorable opportunity of observing her countenance, she thought she had seldom met with a more pleasing one. It bore a striking expression of mild seriousness, candor, and humility; her soft dark eyes spoke of modesty and gentleness, and her fine chestnut hair, neatly braided on her forehead, added to the elegant simplicity of her appearance.
There was some hidden meaning attached to the mention of Saint Rose, which Emily felt extremely curious to know; and she discovered the next day that this was a term of reproach, bestowed on this young lady on account of her peculiar seriousness, and conscientious attention to all those precepts which she was taught to regard as the rule of a Christian's faith and practice.
This information, it will naturally be supposed, not a little in creased the interest which her appearance had excited in the mind of Emily. Delighted at the idea that there was one serious Catholic in the house, she seized the first opportunity of forming an acquaintance with the unassuming Rose. This she found no difficulty in doing, for, though of a timid and retiring disposition, Mademoiselle de Liancourt possessed, in an eminent degree, that refined politeness of manners, and unaffected kindness of heart, which ought ever to distinguish the character of a Christian, especially of a well-educated one. A number of little friendly services were interchanged between them, and they soon contracted a pleasing intimacy, which a greater knowledge of each other only contributed to heighten and endear. There was a remarkable congeniality of tastes, feelings, and pursuits, between these two young persons; and there was but one point on which
they could not sympathize; but one subject on which they could not converse with mutual and unreserved confidence.
That one subject, alas! was precisely that which was most interesting to the hearts of both; the only one, indeed, which they felt to be of any real importance. They were both sincerely devoted to religion, yet they durst scarcely mention the word to each other; for the rules of the establishment strictly forbade any discussion, and it was difficult to enter on so delicate a subject, without trespassing the bounds which policy had prescribed. A general observation, en passant, or a guarded expression now and then, was therefore all they could venture upon; and this circumstance threw a great deal of constraint over their otherwise delightful intercourse.
Emily and Caroline had as yet seen but little of Popish ceremonies; they had found much scope for observation, but knew nothing of that seductive influence which so peculiarly accompanies the ordinances of the Romish church. A circumstance, however, soon occurred, which strikingly recalled to the mind of Emily the warnings of her anxious friends at the Parsonage.
They were taking a lesson of vocal music one afternoon, with several French pupils, when one of the teachers suddenly entered the room, and, in a low voice, requested the master to suspend the singing, as the "bon Dieu" was every moment expected to enter the house. The cousins looked at each other in silence; they knew that "the good God" was the term usually chosen to designate the Almighty; and, as they were totally inexperienced in Roman Catholic customs, felt utterly at a loss to account for so extraordinary an intimation. Before they could form any conjecture on the subject, the same teacher re-entered, and whispered something to the master; the door was immediately thrown open, and the whole party advanced towards it. Emily and Caroline imagined they were called upon to leave the room; but what was their astonishment, when they saw all the young ladies fall on their knees. Unable to guess the reason, and confused by the suddenness of the action, they almost involuntarily followed their example; but a moment's reflection recalling to Emily's mind the imprudence such an action, she hastily started up, and Caroline also rose. At that instant a sudden glare of light burst upon their sight, an unaccountable terror took possession of their minds,-a cloud of incense rose from the stairs, and overcome by the agitation of the moment, they lost all selfpossession, and again sank on their knees. Two men now appeared, each bearing a lighted taper; another followed them with a censer, and a small bell, and then came a priest, carrying a little silver box, in which was enclosed a sacramental wafer, the object of all this display. They were going to administer the last rites of their church to one of Madame d'Elfort's servants, who, having
languished for some time under an alarming disorder, was that evening to submit to a painful and dangerous operation.
When the pageant had passed, and the cousins recovered their recollection, they felt excessively ashamed at having thus allowed themselves to be surprised into what they could not but con. sider as at least the appearance of idolatry.
Emily was particularly vexed at this occurrence, as she observed that the French girls considered it a triumph; but Caroline was so overpowered by its effect, that her agitation was extreme during the rest of the day. "My dear girl," said her cousin, "let this be a warning to us; let it teach us to be more on our guard against the power of our senses. Do you not remember dear Mr. Morton's admonitions, on the influence of Popish ceremonies ? Let us watch and pray more against it, or we may again be betrayed into actions which we must deeply regret and repent of"
On their return to the school-room, they found Madame d'Elfort looking much affected. She had been mentioning to her pupils the case of the poor servant above, and every cheek had turned pale with compassion and terror. "My dear children," continued she, "let us all unite in saying a paternoster for the poor creature and implore for her the help and support of God and the blessed Virgin." They all knelt accordingly; and while the hearts of the cousins were lifted up, with the most intense earnestness, to the "Father of Mercies and the God of all comfort," that he would grant the agonized sufferer strength and grace equal to her need, Madame d'Elfort repeated aloud the Lord's Prayer and the Salutation to the Virgin, in which she was joined by the French pupils. "Alas!" thought Emily, "what a miserable refuge for a dying sinner! The God of Israel is he who giveth strength and power to his people;' is it not, then, grossly insulting him, to ask from a glorified creature that support which he alone can bestow ?"
The young ladies had been so much shocked by the idea of the surgical operation which the poor woman was then undergoing, that not one had ventured a question as to its probable result. Before retiring to rest, however, as Mademoiselle Laval entered Miss Mortimer's room, Caroline tremblingly inquired how she had gone through the trial? "Compose yourself," replied the teacher, with much feeling, "the poor sufferer suffers no more." "She is dead, then!" exclaimed Caroline, clasping her hands in breathless emotion. Mademoiselle Laval replied that she had just expired.
"Dead!" repeated Emily, mournfully, as the teacher closed the door, "gone to receive her final sentence, and how? Perhaps her mind was so fatally blinded, as to place an implicit reliance on superstitious ceremonies for her salvation, and neglect the only
scriptural refuge for a guilty creature, that Almighty Saviour, who alone can enable the sinner to stand with confidence before his Judge! O! did she know that Saviour?" inquired her anxious mind; but to that solemn, that awful question, she could receive no answer. She tried to leave the case in the hands of Him who is the judge of the quick and the dead; yet still her fancy dwelt on the poor woman's excruciating sufferings; and when she thought of the fearful uncertainty that rested on her fate, her heart seemed to die within her. Caroline laid her head on her pillow, and wept in silent emotion.
The English girls were very much amused when they heard of the effect which the sight of the host had produced on the minds of the new comers. The frequency of these exhibitions had rendered them familiar to their eyes; and whenever the French boarders knelt, they quietly kept their seats. They informed Emily and Caroline, that kneeling was considered so indispensable, as a mark of respect to the host, that whenever the bell, which always preceded it, announced its approach, no Catholic could be exempted from the obligation, should he even be compelled to kneel in a muddy street.
"Is it possible you do not see," said Emily to Miss Lushington, "that all these ceremonies, however superstitious they may be, have a very strong hold on the senses and the imagination?"
I certainly did find them very striking at first; but now they only excite a feeling of ridicule."
I think, dear Anna, they should rather excite sorrow and pity; but I am persuaded that a residence here cannot but be highly dangerous."
"Not to me, however," replied Anna, smiling with much selfcomplacency, "for I know those things are very foolish; and some of the last words papa said to me, when I left him, were, 'Remember, Anna, that you must not listen to anything the Roman Catholics may tell you in favor of their religion.'”
"Poor girl!" thought Emily, "what an insufficient safeguard! she must not listen! but she cannot avoid hearing; and yet this is all the protection that is thought necessary, by an English parent, for a young girl totally ignorant on the subject, and reckless of the hidden snare!"
The English teacher resident in the house was a striking ex ample of the dangers incident to the place. She had been brought up a Protestant, but had mixed a great deal in French society, and at length adopted all its opinions and customs. Madame d'Elfort had had no share in producing this change; but Miss Parker had gradually forsaken the Protestant cause, without, however, decidedly adopting the religion of the country. She had renounced all fellowship with the English, constantly attended the Roman Catholic church, and was generally looked upon a