Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

pulling every thing about, breaking and destroying them with a terrible noise and clatter, till at length he that had made himself their leader called them off in another direction, and then I was reminded of what Theophilus had said, viz. that he had some fears lest a part of the tide of the popular fury might be directed against the doctor. I then did what I should have done before, and made my way to the chaplain's apartments, leaving the main mass of the rioters behind me. These, as I afterward learned, when they had for a while exercised their blind rage on the father, were conducted by the man who had made himself their leader through several dark passages, till he got them fairly without the castle gates, when he caused a door to be closed upon them, and so they were left without to congratulate each other on their mighty exploits, viz. the destruction of dried owls and ravens; for although some of them had laid hands on certain of the more valuable possessions of the father, it seems that they had not contrived to bring any of these away with them, although the person thus despoiled, viz. the Father Peter himself, never again got hold of any of the articles. But there was still a part of the rabble within the house; and when I reached the doctor's apartment, I found several young men who were attached to the chaplain, with Theophilus at the head of them, defending the door against a dozen or more of the rioters, which last were alleging with much clamour, that they would have a touch at the doctor, because he was akin to Father Peter; a charge which, by-the-by, the chaplain had brought upon himself, by a foolish assertion, which he was over fond of making, viz. that he was of the same lineage with Father Peter, and that in fact he drew his principal privileges as chaplain of the family from him. Now mine was but a single arm ;* however, I began to lay about me, and that so determinedly on the backs of the rabble, that every blow I gave told to the full ; and so what with fore. strokes and backstrokes, the enemy lost heart, and took to their heels, escaping by windows and chimneys, so that in a short time only two or three of the number

*“O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up? For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges." Deut. xxxii. 29-31.

remained, these being too drunk to run; and then, when thus all was in a manner quiet, up comes Mr. Fitz-Adam, dressed as usual, and as if he had just been roused from a quiet seat by his own fireside, calling order and crying shame, expressing his hopes that the doctor, who now appeared at his door, with some others who had taken refuge in his room, was not hurt; ordering, that lint and bandages might be applied to the broken heads of Theophilus and the other young men, and finishing off by commanding that the two or three poor fellows who had been caught should be put in the stocks all night, and soundly flogged in the morning. Thus terminated this uproar, every one returning to his place, and all being as hushed and quiet when we rose the next morning, as if nothing had happened more than common during the night ; though no doubt there were many of us far from easy in our minds, among whom were the doctor; Father Peter, whose apartment had been one of the chief seats of the uproar; the poor creatures in the stocks, who were as the scapegraces of the rabble ; and myself, who, though I had seen so plainly all the manoeuvres of Mr. Fitz-Adam the last night, could not bring my mind to give up those pleasures which I hoped to enjoy through keeping in favour with him and the housekeeper. Now this day happened to be a day always much to be observed in the household, being set apart to do honour to Mr. Fitz-Adam; and in the morning, soon after I had breakfasted, the chaplain came to express his gratitude to me and to Theophilus for our gallant defence of him the night past, though as I told him, I could take but little credit for what had been done by myself. We then, as was natural, fell into discourse on the state of affairs in the family; and the doctor asked my opinion of all I had seen and heard, and of the strange spirit evinced by the people on the late occasion.

“Why,” replied I, “ that there are many ill-conditioned people on the estate, and indeed in the castle itself, is but too apparent.”

The doctor agreed with me, but remarked that he thought that Mr. Fitz-Adam had acted in a very proper manner, in making an example of the poor fellows who had been caught, adding, “and, I trust that all these misguided persons will be the better for the warning, and that henceforth we shall not be subjected to such invasions of

our peace as we experienced last night: and yet, Mr. Nicodemus," he remarked, “there is some comfort to be derived even from these present trials; inasmuch as our Master tells us in his letters, that these things are to be the forerunners of that blessed period so much to be desired by all those who pray for the coming of that better order of things, and to which we trust the labours of the faithful servants of the Lord are rapidly tending; and when these evils are past, my young friends," continued the chaplain, “ we may trust that the seed which we have sowed will spring up a hundredfold. I am by no means disheartened by these signs of the times, and I think that these little interruptions should not turn us from our purpose ; which is the advancement of our Master's kingdom, through the instrumentality of his servants. We ought always to remember, that we should keep alive feelings of charity for our fellow-men, even for those who are not of our way of thinking; and therefore, in pursuance of our plan, I am of opinion that what happened last night should not induce us to break our engagement with Madame le Monde this evening." I saw Theophilus look up as the doctor said these last words, but he did not speak.

“I wish,” said I to the doctor, “ that you would state your opinions at large on these subjects to my companion, that he may be enabled to approve of what I shall do this evening."

6 You are not accountable to me, Mr. Nicodemus," remarked Theophilus, " for what you think right to do: -if you are persuaded in your own mind that it is right and proper to associate with those who are avowed enemies of your Master, surely you cannot require the approbation of your servant to confirm you in your opinion."

" You are severe, Theophilus," I replied.

“I beg pardon if I am so," returned the young man, “ but I know but too well, from painful experience, how impossible it is to mix in the assemblies of the housekeeper, and to wait on the person of Mr. Fitz-Adam, either as a servant or as a guest, without falling into that which is offensive in the eyes of the best of Masters, to be able to hide my opinions from those whom I love and honour.”

: “But for peace sake, my noble Theophilus," said the ductor, “I call you noble indeed, as it regards your

conduct towards me last night; but for peace sake ought we not to risk something? What does our Master say in his letters? “If ye love them that love you, what reward have ye?' and again, 'Do good, seek peace, and pursue it:' and in another passage, "Blessed are the peace-makers :-"

6 But,” returned Theophilus,“ does he not also say, the wisdom which is from above is first pure and then peaceable.' He does not say, first peaceable and then pure :-and again do we not find this passage in his letters, Come out from among them, and be ye sepa

rate.!"

“But you know the object which I have in view, Theophilus," returned the doctor; “ which is, that I hope and trust, with the assistance of some others of the faithful servants of the Master, to establish a new order of things, and one which I trust will be altogether agreeable in the eyes of our blessed Lord.” In reply to this, Theophilus took up the argument almost in the way which I thought my uncle would have done had he been present, showing how it was stated in the Lord's letters that his people would be as wandering and scattered sheep till his return;* and that he, when he came, would search them out,t and establish his dominion over them and be their prince, and be unto them a source of

*" And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill : yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them." Ezekiel Xxxiv. 5, 6.

+ “As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel xxxiv. 12-14.

1“ I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle

[ocr errors]

unnumbered b'essings, and a sure protection from every evil:* adding, that he will then break his enemies to pieces with a rod of iron; with many other promises of the same description,t all of which tend to show that the deliverance of the people is not to be effected by any other hand than his own. Neither the doctor-nor I was at that time prepared to admit what Theophilus said; we were therefore more disposed to be irritated than influenced by his reasonings; and I verily believe, that had not the chaplain felt himself in some degree under obligations to him for his admirable conduct during the riot, he would have told him in so many words, that he thought it very arrogant in such a young man as he was, to be arguing with a person of his experience and dignity in the family on subjects of this kind. However, he restrained himself, although evidently disconcerted, and soon afterward took his leave, having appointed to meet me at the hour fixed in the note, in the apartment of Madame le Monde, finishing his address in these words ; "and there, my dear Mr. Nicodemus, I trust that we shall have strength given us to stand up for the honour of our Lord, in the presence of his enemies." When the doctor had shut the door, “Shall I tell you, Mr. Nicodemus," said Theophilus, “where the error of the doctor lies ?"

“I think you have hitherto been forward enough,” I replied, somewhat peevishly, “ in endeavouring to make both me and the chaplain acquainted with our mistakes, and your own superior knowledge and wisdom ; but you may say what you please, only be brief, for I have much to do before evening.”

“ Well then,” replied Theophilus, calmly, “his error

and cattle, between the rams and the he-goats." Ezekiel xxxiv. 16, 17.

*« And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beasts of the land devour them ; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.” Ezekiel xxxiv. 27-29.

t“ Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” Psalm ii. 9.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »