Paul did not think it prudent to allow his sister to quit the house of her rich patrons so quickly, especially as Mr. Goldrich was from home, and till the public should be satisfied, and all doubts about her identity resolved. There was some opposition made by the parsons, one of whom, a Mr. Cashman, was long fishing for the fair hand of Aloysia; but this little dust raised by the “white necks” was soon hushed, when the record of the baptism of Miss O’Clery was produced, and when the book of heraldry was consulted to verify the armorial bearings of the O’Clerys, which were, as we said, carved on the clasp of her necklace; and, above all, when, on the left-hand ring finger of the young lady, the same impression of a ring appeared which several persons testified having seen on it when an infant.
During the denouement of the events recorded in the preceding chapter, and the discussion of them by the various religious newspapers,—each of which, like a well-trained spaniel, tried to bark so as to secure the approbation of those from whom it derived its food,—Father O’Clery continued in the discharge of his ordinary duties as if nothing strange had happened. He addressed one letter on the subject to the leading secular journals of the city, showing, by the most convincing chain of evidence, the identity of the lady passing so long for a daughter of Mr. Goldrich with his own younger and long-lost sister, and satisfying all but fanatics and bigots of his prudence, and the propriety of the steps taken by him for her recovery.
Mr. Goldrich, in the mean time, returned home, and though he could not but feel astonished at the developments which took place in his absence respecting his adopted daughter, he was too shrewd and too keen a man of business to make himself a tool in the hands of bigoted parsons, or to deny the validity of the evidence proving her to be no other than Aloysia O’Clery. This was enough. What now was become of all the talking, writing, swearing, and preaching of the dominies? To what purpose was this big talk, loud exclamations, puzzling interrogatories, and flaming articles of the Babylonian press? For a whole month nothing was published by the editors but “leaders,” “articles,” “paragraphs,” “communications,” “reports,” “speeches,” “lectures,” “sermons,” “mass meetings,” “resolutions,” “protests,” and “letters of correspondents,” regarding this “Popish plot,” “this Romanist aggression,” “this priestly insolence,” and a thousand other names, threats, and unflattering epithets against persons and institutions, whose only connection with the case of Miss O’Clery was, that they belonged to the Catholic church, or dared to speak the truth, or claim their rights. Now the hundred-headed Cerberus of the press is silenced, and skulks into its dark lair, beaten and silenced, but not ashamed of the filthy dribblings of its lying