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Montreal on purpose to have a secret interview with Mrs. Markham, and had taken with him an outline of the Pirate's defence.
“ He thought it likely that he might return this afternoon, in which case he was to come to my lodgings immediately,” observed Clinton. “ We have much to do together before you appear in court."
“ Nicholas, leave him to his task,” whispered the Pirate, earnestly. “ You have a wife now who demands your most delicate and watchful tenderness. Her
position with regard to her father is painful; the cloud which lowers over your fortunes must naturally tend to depress her; and the novelty of her change, together with the unexhilirating circumstances that have attended it, will require all your skill as a lover to deprive of their uncomfortable influences. Leave me now. For her sake, dissemble your own anxieties. Take your Hester to a more cheerful lodging than you say you have at present; and for a day or two at least trust my concerns wholly to him we have spoken of.”
Clinton did as his father advised. He took rooms in a villa situated in a beautiful spot a little without Quebec, and thither conducted his fair bride. Close by, the romantic recesses of a wood invited their steps, relieved by a profusion of lucid streams and sparkling waterfalls, leaping and dancing from rock to rock amopg green and yellow moss and banks which retained their verdure all the year. To this lovely and retired spot they often went, happy-supremely happy-in each others confidence, esteem, and passionate love. Clinton took such pains to buoy up his wife's hopes for his father's destiny, that he not only succeeded in raising
them to a pitch hardly warranted by the stubborn facts of the case as viewed by calm reason, but his own also. Both persuaded themselves that he would meet with a punishment more moderate than transportation. They entertained little doubt, too, that what imprisonment might be decreed him would be for a limited term, and that his estates would be allowed to remain in the possession of his family.
Jane was less deceived by imagination than her brother and sister-in-law. She was almost constantly with her father during the hours allowed for the visits of friends by the prison regulations, when from his manner, and from words he occasionally let fall, she could not but perceive that he was anticipating the worst. She did so likewise. Instructed and supported, however, by the sensible counsels of her husband, she rose superior to the indulgence of her own feelings, and by the elevated tone of her conversation, strove to inspire her parent with such holy thoughts as might illumine his soul in the darkest hours that could befall. With such a purpose it was no wonder that she grew eloquent, that her words fell with a subtle fire from her earnest lips, and that the extreme mildness which was wont to characterise her gestures yielded to a chastened enthusiasm such as the meekest angel need not have blushed to own.
Arthur listened to her with the approval of the Christian, and the fond admiration of the lover, occasionally seconding her by his own judicious and unanswerable arguments.
The third day after their bridal, they were with the Pirate when the priest entered the cell, and, rather in a surly way, warned the Pirate from holding too many
conferences with his heretical friends. He took no further notice of the two present than by a very uncourteous scowl, tempered with the slightest possible movement of the head. After questioning his penitent something abruptly concerning his performance of the acts of penance he had prescribed to him, which having been somewhat lengthy and rigorous had been but remissly performed, and telling him he should come to confess him again when he was alone, went out, scowling on the young Protestants as at his entrance.
“ I should be very glad if my grandfather had arrived,” said Jane ; “ I must think, father, you would better like his counsels than those of this priest.”
“ Not now,” said the Pirate, evasively. “ I have lived a Catholic, I believe I must die a Catholic.
“ Believe me, Marquis, I know the great power which long cherished opinions acquire over us,” said Mr. Lee; “ but permit me to say that it is the proper work of reason, relying upon that divine assistance which is lib. erally promised for her aid, to dispute their sway, when convinced that it is to the prejudice of the soul they retain it."
“ Of course," rejoined the Pirate, obstinately cling. ing to his prejudices in opposition to dawning convictions in favour of a simpler and less sensuous faith, and speaking testily," and were the ties which bind me to my faith those of reason only, I might be inclined to rend them away; but it is not so.
but it is not so. You must speak to me no more on this subject.”
This interdict sealed the lips of both. Their disappointment was great, but they strove to hide it; conversed about ancient Toby with the Pirate, dilated on several