Darby was very well known to Mr. Lucre, for whom he had frequently acted in the capacity of a bailiff; he accordingly entered with something like an appearance of business, but so admirably balanced was his conduct on this occasion, between his usual sneaking and servile manner, and his privileges as a Christian, that it would be difficult to witness anything so inimitably well managed as his deportment. One circumstance was certainly strongly in his favor; Father M’Cabe had taken care to imprint with his whip a prima facie testimony of sincerity upon his countenance, which was black, and swollen into large welts by the exposition of doctrinal truth which he had received at that gentleman’s hands. Lucre, on seeing him, very naturally imagined he was coming to lodge informations for some outrage committed on him either in the discharge of his duty as bailiff, or, for having become a convert, a fact with which he had become acquainted from the True Blue.
“Well, O’Drive,” said he, “what is the matter now? you are sadly abused—how came this to pass?”
Darby first looked upwards, very like a man who was conscientiously soliciting some especial grace or gift from above; his lips moved as if in prayer, but he was otherwise motionless—at length he ceased—drew a lone breath, and assumed the serenity of one whose prayer had been granted. The only word he uttered that could possibly be at all understood, was amen; which he pronounced lowly, but still distinctly, and in as unpopish a manner as he could.
“I beg your pardon, sir,” he replied, “but now my heart’s aisier—I hope I have overcome that feeling that was an me—I can now forgive him for the sake of the spread o’ the gospel, and I do.”
“What has happened your face?—you are sadly abused!”
“A small taste o’ parsecution, sir, which the Lord put into Father M’Cabe’s horsewhip—heart I mane—to give me, bekaise I renounced his hathenism, and came into the light o’ thruth—may He be praised for it!” Here followed an upturning of the eyes after the manner of M’Slime.
“Do you mean to tell me, O’Drive, that this outrage has been committed on you by that savage priest, M’Cabe?”
“It was he left me as you see, sir—but it’s good to suffer in this world, especially for the thruth. Indeed I am proud of this face,” he continued, blinking with a visage so comically disastrous at Mr. Lucre, that had that gentleman had the slightest possible perception of the ludicrous in his composition, not all the gifts and graces that ever were poured down upon the whole staff of the Reformation Society together, would have prevented him from laughing outright. “Of course you are come,” pursued Lucre, “to swear information against this man?”