“I am afraid, Murt,” she said, “you will convert me to your notions.” This was said with a tenderness that could not be mistaken.
“I fear not, miss; you are too old for that,” said he, meaningly.
“I am not so very old as you suppose. I am not so old as uncle Jacob, yet,” she said, perceiving that her meaning was understood by Murty; “and he became a Papist before he died.”
“God gave him the grace, and I pray that you may receive a like grace; but I suppose you allude to a different sort of conversion?” said he.
The truth was, Amanda, having failed to secure the permanent regard of any of her numerous admirers, was foolish enough, as most old maids are, to suppose that some green, young, inexperienced lover would be most likely to be caught in her net. Hence she had her mind fixed on Murty, whom she regarded, as he really was, a young man of talent, and whose dependent and menial condition she considered as calculated to balance the disparity in their age, and as likely to insure her success. This was why she felt so mortified at being detected by him in her late attempt on the faith and resolution of Bridget, having, since her designs on Murty, promised to let the orphans have their own way, after having attempted to convince him that she was quite indifferent on the subject of religion, and “that she would be very glad to know more from him about the Catholic church.”
The detection of her insincerity in this instance, and of the falsity of her professions, put an end to all her further hopes regarding the gallant young Irishman, who could not tolerate a falsehood in any body, but especially in a lady, and who ever after avoided her society as much as possible. His presence, however, in the house was a sure guaranty to Bridget of full religious toleration, Amanda’s fiery zeal for religion being succeeded by a flame of a somewhat different nature.
“TRUTH STRANGER THAN FICTION.”
We devote this chapter of our narrative to the record of a very strange succession of circumstances, no less so, however, than true. They may serve as an illustration of the wonderful and mysterious workings of Religion on the soul, and, at the same time, afford an instance of the absolute insufficiency of speculative belief or theoretic religion, without the every-day practice of her sublime and simple lessons.
One morning, in the town of Sheffield, England, one John Cunningham, after confession and communion, called on the Catholic pastor of that town, for the purpose of procuring a line of commendation, or testimonial of character, that might be of use to him, as he thought, to get him employment in some part of the new world, to which he was preparing to emigrate. The poor fellow then little dreamed that a priest’s recommendatory paper, instead of a dollar bill, was the worst possible substitute in certain parts of America; and, if of