It is scarcely necessary to say that either Mr. Lucre or Mr. M’Cabe were at all upon terms of intimacy. Mr. M’Cabe considered Mr. Lucre as a wealthy epicure, fat and heretical; whilst Mr. Lucre looked upon Father McCabe as vulgar and idolatrous. It was impossible, in fact, that with such an opinion of each other, they could for a moment agree in anything, or meet as men qualified by the virtues of their station to discharge on any one duty in common. On the day in question, Mr. Lucre was riding towards Castle Cumber, with the pious intention of getting Darby O’Drive’s appointment to the under jailorship confirmed. This was one motive, but there was another still stronger, which was, to have an interview with the leading men of the Grand Jury, for the purpose of getting a new road run past his Glebe House, in the first place, and, in the next, to secure a good job for himself, as a magistrate. At all events he was proceeding towards Castle Cumber, apparently engaged in the contemplation of some important subject, but whether it was the new road to his glebe, or the old one to heaven, is beyond our penetration to determine. Be this as it may, such was his abstraction, that he noticed not the Rev. Father M’Cabe, who had ridden for some time along with him, until that gentleman thought proper to break the ice of ceremony, and address him.
“Sir, your most obedient,” said the priest; “excuse my freedom—I am the Rev. Mr. M’Cabe, Catholic Curate of Castle Cumber; but as I reside in the parish it is very possible you don’t know me.”
Mr. Lucre felt much hurt at the insinuation thrown out against his long absence from the parish and replied:—
“I do not, sir, in the least regret our want of intimacy. The character of your ministry in the parish is such, that he who can congratulate himself on not being acquainted with you has something to boast of. Excuse me, sir, but I beg to assure you, that I am not at all solicitous of the honor of your company.”
“Touching my ministry,” said the priest, “which it pleases you to condemn, I’d have you to know, that I will teach my people how to resist oppression so long as I am able to teach them anything. I will not allow them to remain tame drudges under burthens that make you and such as you as fat and proud as Lucifer.”
“I request you will be good enough, sir, to take some other way,” said Mr. Lucre; “you are a rude and vulgar person whom I neither know nor wish to know. The pike and torch, sir, are congenial weapons to such a mind as yours; I do beg you will take some other way, and not continue to annoy me any longer.”