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to our history was said until that was over. Then they returned to the study, and, as soon as he had closed the door, Mr. Fuller said,
“ But now, Worboise, it is time that I should talk to you a little more about yourself. There is only one that can absolve you
in the grand sense of the word. If God himself were to say to you, 'Let bygones be bygones, nothing more shall be said about them' if he only said that, it would be a poor thing to meet our human need. But he is infinitely kinder than that. He says, “I, even I am he that taketh away thine iniquities.' He alone can make us clean-put our hearts so right that nothing of the kind will happen again-make us simple God-loving, man-loving creatures, as much afraid of harbouring an unjust thought of our neighbour as of stealing that which is his; as much afraid of pride and self-confidence as of saying with the fool, 'There is no God ;' as far from distrusting God for the morrow, as from committing suicide. We cannot serve God and Mammon. Hence the constant struggle and discomfort in the minds of even good men. They would, without knowing what they are doing, combine a little Mammon-worship with the service of the God they love. But that cannot be. The Spirit of God will ever and always be at strife with Mammon, and in proportion as that Spirit is victorious, is peace growing in the
You must give yourself up to the obedience of his Son entirely and utterly, leaving your salvation to him, troubling yourself nothing about that, but ever seeking to see things as he sees them, and to do things as he would have them done. And for this purpose you must study your New Testament in particular, that you may see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; that receiving him as your master, your teacher, your Saviour, you may open your heart to the entrance of his Spirit, the mind that was in him, that so he may save you. Every word of his, if you will but try to obey it, you will find precious beyond what words can say. And he has promised without reserve the Holy Spirit of God to them that ask it. The only salvation is in being filled with the Spirit of God, the mind of Christ.”
I believe you, sir, though I cannot quite see into all you say. All I can say is, that I want to be good henceforth. Pray for me, sir, if you think there is any good in one man's praying for another."
“I do, indeed-just in proportion to the love that is in it. I cannot exactly tell how this should be ; but if we believe that the figure St. Paul uses about our all being members of one body has any true, deep meaning in it, we shall have just a glimmering of how it can be so. Come, then, we will kneel together, and I will pray with you."
Thomas felt more solemn by far than he had ever felt in his life when he rose from that prayer.
“Now," said Mr. Fuller, “ go and see your friends. When you
think of it, my boy,” he added, after a pause, during which he held Thomas's hand in a warm grasp, "you will see how God has been looking after you, giving you friend after friend of such diffe. rent sorts to make up for the want of a father, and so driving you home at last, home to himself. he had to drive you ; but he will lead you now. You will be home by half-past six or seven ?”
Thomas assented. He could not speak. He could only return the grasp of Mr. Fuller's hand. Then he took his cap and went.
It is needless to give any detailed account of Thomas's meeting with the Pottses. He did not see the captain, who had gone down to his brig. Mrs. Potts (and Bessie too, after a fashion) welcomed him heartily ; but Mr. Potts was a little aggrieved that he would drink nothing but a glass of bitter ale. He had the watch sase, and brought it out gladly when Thomas produced his cheque.
Jim Salter dropped in at the last moment. He had heard the night before that Thomas was restored to society, and was expected to call at “ The Mermaid ” some time that day. So he had been in or looking in a dozen times since the morning. When he saw Tom, who was just taking his leave, he came up to him, holding out his hand, but speaking
as with a sense of wrong. “ How de do, gov'nor? Who'd ha' thought to see you here ! 'Aint you got ne'er another sixpence to put a name upon it? You're fond o’ sixpences, you are, gov'nor."
"What do you mean, Jim?” asked Thomas in much bewilderment. “To think o' treatin' a man and a brother as you've treated me, after I'd been and dewoted my life, leastways a good part of it, to save you from the pellice! Four and sixpence!”
Still bewildered, Thomas appealed to Mr. Potts, whose face looked as like a caricature of the moon as ever, although he had just worked out a very neat little problem in diplomacy.
“It's my fault, Mr. Worboise," he responded in his usual voice, which seemed to come from a throat lined with the insides of dates. “I forgot to tell you, sir, that, that– Don't you see, Jim, you fool ?” he said, changing the object of his address abruptly“You wouldn't have liked to rob a gentleman like that by takin' of half a suvering for loafin' about for a day with him when he was hard up. But as he's come by his own again, why there's no use in keeping it from you any longer. So there's your five and sixpence. But it's a devil of a shame. Go out of my house."
“Whew !” whistled Jim Salter. “Two words to that, gov'nor o' the Marmaid. You've been and kep' me all this many a day out of my inheritance, as they say at the Britanuary. What do you say to that, sir ? What do you think of yerself, sir ? I wait a reply, as the butcher said to the pig."
While he spoke, Jim pocketed the money. Receiving no reply except a sniff of Mr. Potts's red nose, he broke out again more briefly,
" I tell 'e what, gov'nor of the Marmaid, I don't go out o' your house till I've put a name upon it.”
Quite defeated and rather dejected, Mr. Potts took down his best brandy, and poured out a bumper.
Jim tossed it off, and set down the glass. Then, and not til then, he turned to Thomas, who had been looking on, half vexed with Mr. Potts, and half amused with Jim.
“Well, I am glad, Mr. Wurbus, as you've turned out a honest man arter all. I assure you, sir, at one time, and that not much farther off than that 'ere glass o' rum”
Brandy, you loafing rascal! the more's the pity,” said Mr. Potts.
“ Than that 'ere glass o'rum,” repeated Jim,-“I had my doubts. I wasn't so sure of it, as the fox was o' the goose, when he had his neck atwixt his teeth.'
So saying, and without another word, Jim Salter turned and left the Mermaid. Jim was one of those who seem to have an especial organ for the sense of wrong, from which organ no amount or kind of explanation can ever remove an impression. They prefer to cherish it. Their very acknowledgments of error are uttered in a tone that proves they consider the necessity of making them only in the light of accumulated injury.
THOMAS AND LUCY.
WHEN Lucy came home the night before, she found her grandmother sitting by the fire, gazing reproachfully at the coals. The poor woman had not yet reconciled herself to her altered position. Widdles was in vain attempting to attract her attention ; but, not being gifted with speech like his grey brother in the cage next to his-whose morals, by the way, were considerably reformed, thanks to his master's judicious treatment of him--he had but few modes of bringing his wishes to bear at a distance. He could only rattle his beak on the bars of his cage, and give a rending shriek.
The immediate occasion of her present mood was Thomas's note, which was over her head on the mantelpiece. Notes had occasionally passed between him and Lucy, and she knew the handwriting. She regarded him with the same feelings with which she regarded his father, but she knew that Lucy did not share in these feelings. And forgetting that she was now under Lucy's protection, she was actually vowing with herself at the moment Lucy entered that if she had one word of other than repudiation to say to Thomas, she would turn her out of the house. She was not going
to encourage such lack of principle. She gave her no greeting, therefore, when she entered; but Lucy, whose quick eye caught sight of the note at once, did not miss it. She took the note with a trembling hand, and hurried from the room. Then Mrs. Boxall burst into a blaze.
“ Where are you off to now, you minx ?” she said.
“I am going to put my bonnet off, grannie," answered Lucy, understanding well enough, and waiting no further parley.
She could hardly open the note, which was fastened with a wafer, ber hands trembled so much. Before she had read it through she fell on her knees, and thus, like Hezekiah, “spread it before the Lord," and finished it so.
And now, indeed, was her captivity turned. She had nothing to say but “Thank God!"-she had nothing to do but weep. True, she was a little troubled that she could not reply; but when she made inquiry about the messenger, to see if she could learn anything of where Tom was to be found, Mr. Kitely, who, I have said, returned home immediately after Mr. Fuller dismissed him (though in his anxiety he went back and loitered about the church door), told her that young Worboise was at that moment with Mr. Fuller in his vestry. He did not tell her how he came to be there. Nothing, therefore, remained for her but to be patient, and wait for what would come next. And the next thing was a note from Mr. Fuller, telling her that Thomas was at his house, bidding her be of good cheer, and saying that she should hear from him again tomorrow. She did not sleep much that night.
But she had a good deal to bear from her grandmother before she reached the haven of bed. First of all, she insisted on knowing what the young villain had written to her about. How dared he ? and so on. Lucy tried to pacify her, and said she would tell her about it afterwards. Then she broke out upon herself, saying she knew it was nothing to Lucy what became of her. No doubt she would be glad enough to make her own terms, marry her grandmother's money, and turn her out of doors. But if she dared to say one word to the rascal after the way he had behaved to her, one house should not hold them both, and that she told her. But it is ungracious work recording the spiteful utterances of an ill-used woman. They did not go very deep into Lucy, for she knew her grandmother by this time. Also her hope for herself was large enough to include her grandmother.
As soon as Thomas left him in the morning, Mr. Fuller wrote again-only to say that he would call upon her in the evening. He did not think it necessary to ask her to be at home, nor did he tell her anything of Tom's story. He thought it best to leave that to himself. Lucy was strongly tempted to send excuses to her pupils that morning and remain at home, in case Thomas might come, But she concluded that she ought to do her work, and leave possi
bilities where alone they were determined. So she went and gave her lessons with as much care as usual, and more energy.
When she got home she found that Mr. Fuller had been there, but had left a message that he would call again. He was so delighted with the result of his efforts with Tom, that he could not wait till the evening. Still, he had no intention of taking the office of a mediator between them. That, he felt, would be to intrude for the sake of making himself of importance; and he had learned that one of the virtues of holy and true service, is to get out of the way as soon as possible.
About six o'clock he went again, and was shown into the bookseller's back parlour, where he found both Lucy and her grandmother.
Will you come out with me, Miss Burton, for an hour or so ? " he said.
"I wonder at you, Mr. Fuller," interposed Mrs. Boxall—"a clergyman, too !”
It is a great pity that people should so little restrain themselves when they are most capable of doing so, that when they are old, excitement should make them act like the fools that they are not.
Mr. Fuller was considerably astonished, but did not lose his selfpossession.
Surely you are not afraid to trust her with me, Mrs. Boxall ?” he said, half merrily.
“I don't know that, sir. I hear of very strange goings-on at your church. Service every day, the church always open, and all that ! As if folk had nothing to do but say their prayers.'
“ I don't think you would talk like that, Mrs. Boxall,” said Mr. Fuller, with no less point that he said it pleasantly, “if you had been saying your prayers lately."
“ You have nothing to do with my prayers, sir.”
“Nor you with my church, Mrs. Boxall. But come-don't let us quarrel. I don't wonder at your being put out sometimes, I'm sure; you've had so much to vex you. But it hasn't been Lucy's fault; and I'm sure I would gladly give you your rights if I could." “I don't doubt it, sir," said the old lady, mollified.
“ Don't be long, Lucy. And don't let that young limb of Satan talk you over. Mind what I say to you."
Not knowing how to answer, without offending her grandmother, Lucy only made haste to get her bonnet and cloak. Mr. Fuller took her straight to his own house. The grimy unlovely streets were, to Lucy's enlightened eyes, full of a strange beautiful mystery, as she walked along leaning on her friend's arm. She asked him no questions, content to be led towards what was awaiting her. It was a dark and cloudy night, but a cool west wind, that to her feeling was full of spring, came down Bagot Street, blowing away the winter and all its miseries. A new time of hope was at hand.