The severity of Father Francis originated, as we have before remarked, neither in weak intellect nor selfish superstition. Towards himself indeed he never relented either in severity or discipline; towards others benevolence and humanity very often gained ascendency; and something very like a tear glistened in his eye as Isabella forcibly portrayed the state in which Marie still remained. And when she concluded, by frankly imparting her intention, if health were indeed restored, to leave no means untried—even to pursue some degree of severity if nothing else would do—to wean her from her mistaken faith, he not only abandoned his previous intentions, but commended and blessed the nobler purpose of his Sovereign. To his request that Marie might be restrained from all intercourse with the younger members of Isabella’s female court—in fact, associate with none but strict and uncompromising Catholics—the Queen readily acceded; and moreover, granted him full permission to examine the mansion of Don Ferdinand Morales, that any books or articles of dangerous or heretical import might be discovered and destroyed.
With these concessions Father Francis left his Sovereign, affected at her goodness and astonished at her influence on himself. He had entered her presence believing nothing could change the severity of his intentions or the harshness of his feelings; he left her with the one entirely renounced, and the other utterly subdued.