The Cross and the Shamrock eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 188 pages of information about The Cross and the Shamrock.

    “Ave Maria! hear the prayer
      Of thy poor helpless child! 
    Beneath thy sweet maternal care
      Preserve me undefiled.

    “Ave Maria! do I sigh
      In deep affliction’s hour. 
    Nor to a suppliant heart deny
      Thy mediative power.

    “Ave Maria! for to thee,
      Whom God was pleased to choose
    The mother of his Son to be,
      No prayer will he refuse.

    “Ave Maria! then implore
      One only grace for me—­
    This heart to give forevermore
      To God alone and thee.”

“To bed, children, with you all,” said the good lady, covering her face with her handkerchief, for the tears started from their source in her noble soul on hearing this delightful hymn sung by the poor orphans, whose countenances looked like those of angels’ while chanting it.  “God forgive those,” she said to herself, in a half-audible tone, “that would rob these poor children of that divine religion that teaches her children such heavenly hymns.”

This incident recalled to her mind vividly the days of her girlhood, when, in the “sunny south,” she heard Catholic hymns sung and Catholic devotion practised in the convent where she, though a Protestant, received her education.  And probably her conscience, too, reproached her for the neglect of the good resolutions she formed while there.

CHAPTER X.

A RAY OF HOPE.

Many times during what we shall call his captivity within the gates of the strangers Paul had contrived to write letters to Father O’Shane in the city of T——­, as well as to his uncle in Ireland; but from some cause or other, to his innocent mind inexplicable, the letters never reached their destination, nor were they ever after heard of.  The postmaster of S——­, not generally supposed to be a very exact man, particularly when remitting money in letters for farmers’ boys to their Irish friends in eastern or western parts, was ever ready to oblige, and with hearty good will entered into the views of, Parson Gulmore, when he called on him, according to the advice of Amanda, “to have Paul’s letters seen to.”  And never mind they were “seen to” and secured.

This disgraceful proceeding, so disreputable to all concerned, and so characteristic of the fidelity with which the business of “Uncle Sam” is managed, was not confined to the detention and destruction of the poor orphan’s letters, but to the piracy of their contents too.

There is no department of the public service in the United States so badly managed as the post-office department.  Not only do robber postmasters continue in office after their exposure and their plunder of money letters, but they can be bribed to convey the epistles of individuals to interested parties, who would come at their secrets; and thus the most sacred and secret concerns of life are liable to exposure,

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The Cross and the Shamrock from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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