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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 199 pages of information about Old Creole Days.

Then, with a smile, turning to Jean Thompson, and back again to Pere Jerome: 

“But anny’ow you tell it in dad summon dad ‘e hyare fo’ dad creed.”

Pere Jerome sat up late that night, writing a letter.  The remarkable effects upon a certain mind, effects which we shall presently find him attributing solely to the influences of surrounding nature, may find for some a more sufficient explanation in the fact that this letter was but one of a series, and that in the rover of doubted identity and incredible eccentricity Pere Jerome had a regular correspondent.

CHAPTER V.

THE CAP FITS.

About two months after the conversation just given, and therefore somewhere about the Christmas holidays of the year 1821, Pere Jerome delighted the congregation of his little chapel with the announcement that he had appointed to preach a sermon in French on the following sabbath—­not there, but in the cathedral.

He was much beloved.  Notwithstanding that among the clergy there were two or three who shook their heads and raised their eyebrows, and said he would be at least as orthodox if he did not make quite so much of the Bible and quite so little of the dogmas, yet “the common people heard him gladly.”  When told, one day, of the unfavorable whispers, he smiled a little and answered his informant,—­whom he knew to be one of the whisperers himself,—­laying a hand kindly upon his shoulder: 

“Father Murphy,”—­or whatever the name was,—­“your words comfort me.”

“How is that?”

“Because—­’Voe quum benedixerint mihi homines!’” [1]

[Footnote 1:  “Woe unto me when all men speak well of me!”]

The appointed morning, when it came, was one of those exquisite days in which there is such a universal harmony, that worship rises from the heart like a spring.

“Truly,” said Pere Jerome to the companion who was to assist him in the mass, “this is a sabbath day which we do not have to make holy, but only to keep so.”

Maybe it was one of the secrets of Pere Jerome’s success as a preacher, that he took more thought as to how he should feel, than as to what he should say.

The cathedral of those days was called a very plain old pile, boasting neither beauty nor riches; but to Pere Jerome it was very lovely; and before its homely altar, not homely to him, in the performance of those solemn offices, symbols of heaven’s mightiest truths, in the hearing of the organ’s harmonies, and the yet more elegant interunion of human voices in the choir, in overlooking the worshipping throng which knelt under the soft, chromatic lights, and in breathing the sacrificial odors of the chancel, he found a deep and solemn joy; and yet I guess the finest thought of his the while was one that came thrice and again: 

“Be not deceived, Pere Jerome, because saintliness of feeling is easy here; you are the same priest who overslept this morning, and over-ate yesterday, and will, in some way, easily go wrong to-morrow and the day after.”

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