“‘Able to pay fifty shillings in a pound,’ said I, not willing to encourage the outcry.
“‘I’m delighted to hear it,’ says generous little Solomon; ’but all I have to say is, that if it had been otherwise, or should it actually be otherwise, so far as a few hundred pounds go, you may draw upon a man—a sinner—a frail mortal and an unworthy—named Solomon M’Slime. This,’ he went on, ’is not mere worldly friendship, Mr. M’Loughlin, that promises much until the necessity arrives, and then do all such promises flee as it were into the wilderness. No, my friend,’ says the warm-hearted little saint, ’no my friend, these offers are founded not on my own strength, so to say, but upon those blessed precepts, Mr. M’Loughlin, which teach us to love our neighbors as ourselves—and to do unto others even as we wish they should do unto us.’ He squeezed my hand, and whispered in my ear—’As far as three hundred pounds go, should you require it, rely on me; but harkee,’ says he, ’and now,’—well, here’s his health—’and now,’ says he, ’and now,’—oh! I knew he was in earnest—’and now,’ says he, ’one word with you—I trust—I hope, I may say, that I am a Christian man, who would not speak aught against my neighbor; but this, out of a principle of Christian kindness, I will say;—beware of Valentine M’Clutchy. It is known there!’ said he, pointing his finger, and turning up his eyes to heaven—’it is known there from what motives I speak this. I am glad I saw thee—peace be with thee—farewell, and do not despise or overlook my services, or my poor sinful offers.’”
“Now,” said the simple-minded but upright and unsuspicious man, “I do say that was no every-day offer. I would be glad to hear M’Clutchy make such an offer to any man—for which reason here’s little Solomon’s health once more, and long life to him!”
CHAPTER X.—A Dutiful Grandson and a Respectable Grandmother
—Military Dialogue —Disobedience of Orders—Solomon’s Candor—A Confidential Communication—Solomon Dances the Swaggering jig—Honest Correspondence—Darby’s Motion of Spiritual Things—Two Religions Better than One—Darby’s Love of Truth.
We believe our readers may understand, that although we have ourselves taken the liberty of insinuating that little Solomon, as M’Loughlin called him, was not precisely—but we beg pardon, it is time enough to speak of that yet. All we have to say in the mean time is, that Solomon’s character, up to the period we speak of, was not merely spotless, but a burning and a shining light in the eyes of all the saints and sinners of the religious world, not only in Castle Cumber, but in the metropolis itself. Solomon was an Elder of his congregation, in which Sabbath after Sabbath he took his usual prominent part as collector—raised the psalms—sang loudest—and whenever the minister alluded to the mercy that was extended to sinners, Solomon’s groan of humility—of sympathy with the