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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 594 pages of information about Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent.

“Ah! well!—­I see, I see—­that is an unchristian allusion to my recent intercourse with the Rev. Phineas Lucre, the respected and highly connected rector of Castle Cumber, and his nephew, the Rev. Boanerges Frothwell, both of whom take a deep interest in the New Reformation movement which is now so graciously advancing.  However, I shall pray for that man this night.”

“Sir, I feel much relieved; I’m a changed man widin these few minutes, I may say—­but what, afther all, is aquil to a good example?  I feel, sir, as if a strong hatred of idolaphry was comin’ an me.”

“Idolatry, you mean, Darby?”

“Yes, sir, that’s what I mean.”

“Where is that letter of Mr. M’Clutchy’s—­oh, I have it.  Well, Darby,” said M’Slime, quietly changing it for another, “here it is; now, do you see how I commit that letter to the flames?” placing M’Clutchy’s under the side of a brief; “and even as the flames die away before your eyes, so dies away—­not my resentment, Darby, for none do I entertain against him—­but the memory of his offensive expressions.”

“Sir,” said Darby, “this is wonderful!  I often heard of religion and forgiveness of injuries, but antil this day I never saw them in their thrue colors.  The day after to-morrow I’m to call, sir?”

“The day after to-morrow.”

“Well, sir, may the Holy Virgin this day—­och, indeed I do not know what I’m sayin’ sir—­Religion! well if that’s not religion what is or can be?  Good mornin’ sir.”

“Good morning, Darby, and remember my advice—­pray, sing, wrestle—­peace be with you!”

CHAPTER XI.—­Darby and Solomon at Prayer

—­An Instance of Pure Charity—–­Candidates for Conversion—­An Appropriate Confidence—­The Rev. Phineas Lucre and his Curate, Mr. Clement—­Rev. Father Roche and his Curate, Father M’Cabe.

Darby was opening the hall-door, when, as if struck by a new train of thought, he again tapped at the office door, and begged pardon for entering.

“I’m in a sweet state, sir,” said he; “and would you forgive me, now that my heart is, full, by lookin’ at such an example, if I tuck the liberty of axin’ you to kneel down and offer a Father an’ Ave an’—­hem—­och, what am I sayin’—­an’ offer up a wurd in saison for that unfortunate blaggard, M’Clutchy—­any how, it’ll improve myself, and I feel as if there was new strength put into me.  Oh, the netarnal scoundrel!  To spake the way he did of sich a man—­sich a scantlin of grace—­of—­oh, then, do, sir; let us offer up one prayer for him, the vagabond!”

The reader will perceive, however, by and by, that Darby’s sudden and enthusiastic principle of charity towards M’Clutchy, wanted that very simple requisite, sincerity—­a commodity, by the way, in which the worthy bailiff never much dealt.  Indeed we may say here, that the object of his return was connected with anything but religion.

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