“Sharpe, my good boy, I’ll trouble you to take that Bible out of his hands. I am not in the slightest degree offended, Darby—you will yet, I trust, live to know better, may He grant it! I overlook the misprision of blasphemy on your part, for you didn’t know what you said? but you will, you will.
“This is a short reply to Mr. M’Clutchy’s note. I shall see him on my way to the sessions to-morrow, but I have told him so in it. And now, my friend, be assured I overlook the ungodly and carnal tenor of your conversation—we are all frail and prone to error; I, at least, am so—still we must part as Christians ought, Darby. You have asked me for a breakfast, but I overlook that also—I ought to overlook it as a Christian; for is not your immortal soul of infinitely greater value than your perishable body? Undoubtedly—and as a proof that I value it more, receive this—this, my brother sinner—oh! that I could say my brother Christian also—receive it, Darby, and in the proper spirit too; it is a tract written by the Rev. Vesuvius M’Slug, entitled ’Spiritual Food for Babes of Grace;’ I have myself found it graciously consolatory and refreshing, and I hope that you also may, my friend.”
“Begad, sir,” said Darby, “it may be very good in its way, and I’ve no doubt but it’s a very generous and Christian act in you to give it—espishilly since it cost you nothing—but for all that, upon my sowl, I’m strongly of opinion that to a hungry man it’s a bad substitute for a breakfast.”
“Ah! by the way, Darby,” lending a deaf ear to this observation, “have you heard, within the last day or two, anything of Mr. M’Clutchy’s father, Mr. Deaker—how he is?”
“Why, sir,” replied Darby, “I’m tould he’s breaking down fast, but the divil a one of him will give up the lady. Parsons, and ministers, and even priests, have all been at him; but it is useless: he curses and damns them right and left, and won’t be attended by any one but her—hadn’t you betther try him, Mr. M’Slime? May be you might succeed. Who knows but a little of the ‘Spiritual Food for Babes of Grace’ might sarve him as well as others. There’s a case for you. Sure he acknowledges himself to be a member of the hell-fire club!”
“He’s a reprobate, my friend—impenitent, hopeless. I have myself tried him, spoke with him, reasoned with him, but never was my humility, my patience, so strongly tried. His language I will not repeat—but canting knave, hypocrite, rascal attor—no, it is useless and unedifying to repeat it. Now go, my friend, and do not forget that precious tract which you have thrust so disrespectfully into your pocket.”
Darby, after a shrewd wink at one of the apprentices, which was returned, passed out, and left Mr. M’Slime to the pursuit of his salvation.
In the mean time, as we authors have peculiar “privileges,” as Mr. M’Slime would say, we think if only due to our readers to let them have a peep at M’Slime’s note to our friend Valentine M’Clutchy.