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lies in this, as I have often heard your uncle say, that he believes that he is to do something towards building up his Master's authority in the estate; whereas, the Master has said repeatedly in his letters, that things will remain as they are, until he himself comes to set all right, and that until then, his people will be as sheep, wandering on the dark hills of this earth, among wolves and wild beasts: and again, that we are to be as the beautiful stones of a temple scattered in the dust, till he shall come to put us together. Nevertheless, the good doctor is persuaded that he, and others of his own way of thinking, are to be chief shepherds and masterbuilders."*
“Well, Theophilus,” I replied, “I am not altogether assured, after all
, that the chaplain may not be quite as right as those who say that the Lord is to come himself to settle his own affairs. In the first place, as my uncle tells me, and as I find in my Lord's letters, the present state of the Master, that is, his present situation being in the royal court, of which they say he occupies the principal seat,t it would be indulging low thoughts of him, to suppose that he should condescend to come into such a place as this, and to dwell with such as we; although I can well understand how, after a time, he should so far bethink himself of his own, as to give them power and authority to rule in his name, to redress all grievances, and to set all things in the right order. All this I can understand, and see the reason of, but I cannot at all comprehend wherefore you should expect a consummation so far above all experience, or all rational hope, as that of the return of the Lord to live with us."
Merely,” replied Theophilus, “because the Lord has said it.” The young man then turned to a portion of the letters which he had before him for the purpose of copying them, and showed me various passages, which, because I think they might be somewhat long
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrow; for so he giveth his beloved sleep." Psalm cxxvii. 1, 2.
7"Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” Eph. i. 21, 22.
to bring forward in this place, I shall introduce at full length in a note.* Well, it seemed that the more Theophilus and I discussed, the farther we were apart; in consequence of which, we both, as if by agreement, relapsed into silence until it was time for me to get ready to fulfil my engagement, which being done, without say. ing another word to Theophilus, I left the room, and went to seek the doctor, whom I found in his best wig and spruce as might be, though his raised colour and somewhat agitated manner did not imply that peaceful state of mind which those enjoy who are assured that they are in the way of duty. However, I took no notice of these symptoms, though I thoroughly comprehended them ; but taking his arm, we made the best of our way to the housekeeper's room, where coming in as we did from obscure passages, we were dazzled with the blaze of many lights ; for Madame le Monde has a great notion, when she gives an entertainment, of doing every thing in the handsomest way. The supper table was laid ali through the middle of the room, spread with the finest drapery,t with silver, and glass, and fine china, and other elegancies for the table, of which she has store under lock and key; and round the fireplace, where was a glowing fire I promise you, sat all the company, the
+" In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar? Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel : And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest
all thine enemies, also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” 2 Samuel vii. 7–13.
Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail ; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee.” Ezekiel xxvii. 7.
+ « Wo unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them.” Isaiah v. 11.
names of whom I need not repeat, being such as I have mentioned many times before. The principal persons were Mr. Fitz-Adam himself, bravely accoutred, the librarian, and poor Father Peter, though this last looked somewhat down in the mouth, by reason, no doubt, of the damage done the night before to his curiosities, which, as he took occasion to say, would take him years to set right again. There were also the three young ladies, daughters of the housekeeper, and some others, so that the company was very large; but I saw not Miss Grace, for she is no favourite in the housekeeper's room, and probably would not have come if she had been invited. The reception which was given to my companion by the elder lady, and to me by the younger ones, was very encouraging, and we were handed to two of the best seats in the room. Mr. Fitz-Adam speaking jocularly with the doctor because we were late, hinted in a way which I thought not over genteel, that he wondered one who had so rare a relish for the good things of the housekeeper's room, should have kept the supper waiting at least a quarter of an hour. This jest being lightly passed over by the doctor, who was for enduring all things for the sake of peace, the librarian took it up, and carried it as far as it would go, lugging the poor father into the scrape, and saying that the chaplains of the household had always been remarkable for their relish for good dishes ; but the servants coming in with the supper, the subject was dropped, and we all took our places.
Now the cook, it seems, had done her very best, and every thing was set out in the nicest order. I am not indeed particularly addicted to the pleasures of the table, yet I felt my mouth water as I looked at the dainties, and I observed that the doctor had some sympathy with them also, though he was careful to say nothing even in a complimentary way to the housekeeper, on the occasion of the sumptuous treat which she had provided, fearing, perhaps, a renewal of the jest ; so, as I said, we were all seated, Mr. Fitz-Adam with his napkin tucked into a button-hole in his waistcoat, and Madame le Monde being set fairly to, to give her guests the morsels they liked best; and every one was as it were giving himself
up to enjoyment, when the steward addressing the librarian in a sort of jocular tone, said: “Well Mr. Librarian, what do you think ?”
“ I have many thoughts,” replied the librarian, “ but I cannot say which of my thoughts might just now be most acceptable to the present company."
“Well,” replied the steward, “then I have a droll circumstance to relate; I was in the village this morning to talk with some of the leaders of the riots last night, being anxious to learn in an amicable way what it was they had to complain of; for you know, doctor,” he added turning to the person addressed, " that if a thing of this kind can be terminated in a friendly manner, it is always best."
“ And always most pleasing to our Lord,” replied the doctor, boldly
“True," said Mr. Fitz-Adam;“true, doctor, and acting upon this principle, I met the parties pretending to be aggrieved, as I tell you this morning, and we settled every thing very pleasantly on my granting them a whimsical concession, on which, however, they insisted as on a matter of life and death."
“And what might that be ?” asked the doctor.
“I suppose," returned the steward, “that it is not necessary to inform you, or any person here present, that all the public documents of the estate, viz. bonds, leases, re-leases, settlements, &c. &c. are required to be signed by me,"—"and this was once required to be done by me also,” remarked the father ;- and that," continued the steward, without paying any attention to Father Peter's observation, “they always run to this effect, viz. Adam Fitz-Adam, by the favour of the Lord,* steward of this estate."
“I know it,” replied the doctor.
*“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.
For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise for the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For, for this cause pay you tribute also; for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due ; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Rom. xiü. 1-7
“ Well," returned Mr. Fitz-Adam, “ what think you these foolish fellows have insisted upon.”
“I can make no conjecture," replied the doctor.
6 Why," resumed the steward, “neither more nor less than this; that in all our future documents we should omit these words, by the favour of the Lord, and introduce these, by the favour of the people.*
“Impossible !" exclaimed the doctor, dropping his knife and fork.
“Impossible !" cried Father Peter.
“ Very possible, and very certain,” rejoined Mr. FitzAdam; "and more than this, I have been obliged to yield to the torrent of popular opinion, and to give way."
“ Then I say," said the doctor,--but he was interrupted by the librarian, who called for a toast to be generally drunk to the health of Adam Fitz-Adam, “ By the favour of the people-steward of the household." The young ladies filled my cup, and Madame le Monde that of the chaplain, while I, gathering consternation from the deadly pallor of the doctor's countenance, felt that I dared not lift the glass to my lips. Nevertheless, the toast went round with loud and repeated cheers, for the very ladies seemed to be so carried away by their enthusiasm (which was all against the rightful Lord) that they laid aside the manners fit for females (which manners, no doubt, were never otherwise than assumed by them), and were nearly as vehement in their expressions of applause and approbation as the men themselves; and moreover, when the toast had gone round with three-times-three, then they would have the harper in, for we have a harper in the castle-a blind one too—and certain other musicians on the strength of the household, and they were directed to play and sing, and we had several airs and songs while we were finishing our supper, all of them bearing some sort of allusion to the great Fitz-Adam, as they chose to call the steward, the friend and beloved of the people.
*“And upon a set day, Herod arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost." Acts xii. 21-23.
+ “And the harp and the viol, the tabret and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts : but they regard not the work of the Lord; neither consider the operation of his hands." Isaiah v, 12.