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as to require such support as mine. When that is made plain to me, no man will more willingly discharge the duty of a faithful liegeman to the law as well as the King. But the laws of England are under the guardianship of upright and learned judges, and of a gracious monarch.”
“ And of a House of Commons,” interrupted Bridgenorth, “no longer doating upon restored monarchy, but awakened, as with a peal of thunder, to the perilous state of our religion, and of our freedom. I appeal to your own conscience, Julian Pe. veril, whether this awakening hath not been in time, since you yourself know, and none better than you, the secret but rapid strides which Rome has made to erect her Dagon of idolatry within our Protestant land.”
Here Julian seeing, or thinking he saw, the drift of Bridgenorth's suspicions, hastened to exculpate himself from the suspicion of favouring the Roman Catholic religion. “ It is true,” he said, “I have been educated in a family where that faith is professed by one honoured individual, and that I have since travelled in Popish countries; but even for these very reasons I have seen Popery too closely to be friendly to its tenets. The bigotry of the laymen—the persevering art of the priesthoodthe perpetual intrigue for the extension of the forms without the spirit of religion--the usurpation of that Church over the consciences of men- -and her impious pretensions to infallibility, are as inconsistent in my mind as they can seem in yours, with common sense, rational liberty, freedom of conscience, and pure religion.”
“ Spoken like the son of your excellent mother," said Bridgenorth, grasping his hand; “ for whose sake I have endured to suffer so much from your house unrequited, even when the means of requital were in my own hand.”
6. It was indeed from the instructions of that excellent parent,” said Peveril, " that I was enabled, in my early youth, to resist and repel the insidious attacks made upon my religious faith by the Catholic priests into whose company I was necessarily thrown. Like her, I trust to live and die in the faith of the reformed Church of England.”
“The Church of England?” said Bridgenorth, dropping his young friend's hand, but presently resuming it-" Alas! that church, as now constituted, usurps scarcely less than Rome herself upon men's consciences and liberties; yet out of the weakness of this half-reformed church may God be pleased to work out deliverance to England, and praise to himself. I must not forget, that one whose services have been in the cause incalculable, wears the garb of an English priest, and hath had Episcopal ordination. It is not for us to challenge the instrument, so that our escape is achieved from the net of the fowler. Enough, that I find thee not as yet enlightened with the purer doctrine, but prepared to profit by it when the spark shall reach thee. Enough, in especial, that I find thee willing to uplift thy testimony, to cry aloud and spare not against the errors and arts of the Church of Rome. But remember, what thou hast now said thou wilt soon be called
upon to justify, in a manner the most solemn the most awful.'
56 What I have said,” replied Julian Peveril, being the unbiassed sentiments of my heart, shall, upon no proper occasion, want the
my open avowal; and I think it strange you should doubt me so far.”
“ I doubt thee not, my young friend,” said Bridgenorth; 66 and I trust to see thy name rank high amongst those by whom the prey shall be rent from the mighty. At present, thy prejudices occupy thy mind like the strong keeper of the house
mentioned in the Scripture. But there shall come a stronger than he, and make forcible entry, displaying on the battlements that sign of faith in which alone there is found salvation.-Watch, hope, and pray, that the hour may come.'
There was a pause in the conversation, which was first broken by Peveril. “ You have spoken to me in riddles, Major Bridgenorth; and I have asked you for no explanation. Listen to a caution on my part, given with the most sincere good will. Hear a hint of mine, and believe it, though it is darkly expressed. You are here--at least are believed to be here-on an errand dangerous to the Lord of the Island. That danger will be retorted on yourself, if you make Man long your place of residence. Be warned, and depart in time."
66 And leave my daughter to the guardianship of Julian Peveril? Runs not your counsel so, young man?” answered Bridgenorth. “ Trust my safety, Julian, to my own prudence. , I have been accustomed to guide myself through worse dangers than now environ me. But I thank you for your caution, which I am willing to believe was at least partly disinterested.”
“We do not, then, part in anger?” said Peveril.
“ Not in anger, my son,” said Bridgenorth, “but in love and strong affection. For my daughter, thou must forbear every thought of seeing her, save through me. I accept not thy suit, neither do I reject it; only this I intimate to you, that he who would be my son, must first show himself the true and loving child of his oppressed and deluded country. Farewell; do not answer me now, thou art yet in the gall of bitterness, and it may be that strife (which I desire not) should fall between us. Thou shalt hear of me sooner than thou thinkest for.”
He shook Peveril heartily by the hand, and again
bid him farewell, leaving him under the confused and mingled impression of pleasure, doubt, and wonder. Not a little surprised to find himself so far in the good graces of Alice's father, that his suit was even favoured with a sort of negative encouragement, he could not help suspecting, as well from the language of the daughter, as of the father, that Bridgenorth was desirous, as the price of his favour, he should adopt some line of conduct inconsistent with the principles in which he had been educated.
“ You need not fear, Alice,” he said in his heart; 'not even your hand would I purchase by aught which resembled unworthy or truckling compliance with tenets which my heart disowns; and well I know, were I mean enough to do so, even the authority of thy father were insufficient to compel thee to the ratification of so mean a bargain. But let me hope better things. Bridgenorth, though strong-minded and sagacious, is haunted by the fears of Popery, which are the bugbears of his sect. My residence in the family of the Countess of Derby is more than enough to inspire him with suspicions of my faith, from which, thank Heaven, I can vindicate myself with truth and good conscience.”
So thinking, he again adjusted the girths of his' palfrey, replaced the bit which he had slipped out of its mouth, that it might feed at liberty, and mounting, pursued his way back to the Castle of Holm-Peel, where he could not help fearing that something extraordinary might have happened in his absence.
But the old pile soon rose before him, serene, and sternly still, amid the sleeping ocean. The banner, which indicated that the Lord of Man held residence within its ruinous precincts, hung motionless by the ensign-staff. The sentinels walked