“Harry,” said Shuffles, in a low tone, as the master was about to return to the deck.
“Did you speak to me?” asked Harry, stepping up to the bars of the cage.
“I did. Will you oblige me by telling the chaplain that I would like to see him?” added the prisoner.
“I will;” and Harry knocked at the door of the professors’ cabin.
MAKING A CHAIN.
The chaplain was too glad of an opportunity to converse with the prisoner to refuse his request, and he hastened to the brig, hoping to find Shuffles in a better state of mind than when he had visited him before. Mr. Agneau entered the lock-up, and was securing the door behind him, when the prisoner spoke.
“You needn’t lock it, sir; I will not attempt to escape,” said he. “I sent for you to apologize for my rudeness.”
“Indeed! Then I am very glad to see you,” replied the delighted chaplain. “I have been sorely grieved at your misconduct, and I would fain have brought you to see the error of your ways.”
“I see it now, sir,” replied Shuffles, with apparent penitence. “I’m afraid I am a great deal worse than you think I am, sir.”
“It is of no consequence what I think, Shuffles, if you are conscious of the wrong you have done,” added the worthy chaplain. “You behaved exceedingly well last year, and it almost broke my heart to see you relapsing into your former evil habits.”
“I am grateful to you for the interest you have taken in me, and I assure you I have often been encouraged to do well by your kind words,” continued the penitent, with due humility. “I have done wrong, and I don’t deserve to be forgiven.”
“‘He that humbleth himself shall be exalted,’” said Mr. Agneau, gratified at the great change which had apparently been wrought in the prisoner. “If you are really sorry for your offence, Mr. Lowington, I doubt not, will pardon you, and restore you to favor again.”
“I don’t deserve it, sir. Since you left me, I have been thinking of my past life. I dare not tell you how bad I have been.”
“You need not tell me. It is not necessary that you should confess your errors to me. There is One who knows them, and if you are sincerely repentant He will pity and forgive you.”
“I think I should feel better if I told some one of my misdeeds.”
“Perhaps you would; that is for you to judge. I will speak to Mr. Lowington about you to-night. What shall I say to him?”
“I hardly know. I deserve to be punished. I have done wrong, and am willing to suffer for it.”
The tender-hearted chaplain thought that Shuffles was in a beautiful state of mind, and he desired to have him released at once, that he might converse with him on great themes under more favorable circumstances; but Shuffles still detained him.
“I’m afraid I have ruined myself on board this ship,” continued Shuffles, persisting in his self-humiliation.