May Brooke eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 212 pages of information about May Brooke.
looking down from the cross, where the sins of the world had hung Him, was the image of His divine and woeful face.  In the flickering light, the drops of blood appeared to flow from those cruel wounds, and the thorn-crowned head seemed to droop towards her.  With a shuddering cry, she fell heavily to the floor.  But the paroxysm passed away—­she remembered her crime, and, fearful of detection—­for already had conscience begun to scourge her—­she flew to her trunk, and touching a spring in the side, a secret compartment slid back, revealing a narrow interstice between the body of the trunk and the exterior.  In this she dropped the will, and fastened it securely. What and who instigated her to evil?  Shall any dare say it was religion?  She was a Catholic by birthright—­but an alien from the practices of her holy faith by choice, and through human pride and worldliness—­did its spirit lead her into crime?  Judge of its effects by May’s humble and earnest life. She was true and practical in her character, and acted out the precepts of her faith.  Judge it, by the wonderful change it effected in the harsh and bitter nature of that hoary man, whom it excited to acts of perfect Christian virtue, and who, full of humble hope, had just breathed his last.

Who would measure the patriotism and purity of Washington, by the treason of Arnold?  Dare not then, be guilty of the manifest injustice of judging the Church by the conduct of those, who, although bearing her sign on their foreheads, become traitors to her holy precepts, and scandalize her in their lives.

CHAPTER XV.

THE DISCOVERY.

The old man was far down in the shadow of the mountain; the day was well-nigh spent, when, by the grace of God, he fled into the fold of Faith for safety; and now, when all was over, the Church, like a loving mother, more tender of the repentant prodigal, who had fallen at her feet, and died, than of those who had never sullied, or torn their robes, and squandered their substance in the world’s wild wilderness, poured out the riches of its solemnities around the altar, where the Divine Sacrifice was offered, with touching prayers, for his eternal repose.

Father Fabian officiated, and spoke eloquently of the nothingness of the world, the uncertainty of life, and the emptiness of riches.  The cathedral was crowded by persons whom the news of Mr. Stillinghast’s conversion had brought together, and who, regarding it as an extraordinary event, were desirous of witnessing the funeral ceremonies, and at the same time testify their respect for his memory.  The most influential and wealthy of the class to which he belonged were present, and habituated as they were to look at every thing in a commercial point of view, their general opinion was that their old companion in trade had made a good bargain.  “He was stern and harsh,” they said, “but honest and upright; and too shrewd altogether to make a bad speculation in the end, and doubtless he had sought only his best interests in the step he had taken.”

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May Brooke from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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