The Actress in High Life eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 372 pages of information about The Actress in High Life.

“Yet they found the Celto-Iberian here before them—­who after that built Evora, according to Portuguese historians, some eight or ten centuries before Christ.  The Greeks, too, stretched their commerce and their colonies to this land.  The Carthaginians made themselves masters of this country.  The Romans turned them out, to give place in time to the Vandals; who were driven over into Africa by the Goths—­whose dominion was, at the end of two centuries, overthrown by the Arabs; who, after a war of seven centuries, were expelled in turn by the descendants of their Gothic rivals.  The land still shows many traces of these revolutions.  In the neighborhood of this city the rude altar of the Druid still commemorates the early Celt.  The majesty of the Roman temple here forms a singular contrast with the delicacy of the Arabian monuments, and the Gothic architecture with the simplicity of the modern edifices.”

“A truly Ciceronian introduction to your duties as cicerone,” said Lady Mabel.  “But I have yet to see much that you describe so eloquently.  To my eye the most striking feature of Evora at this day is its ecclesiastical aspect.  It is full of churches, chapels, and monkish barracks, and seems to be held by a strong garrison of these soldiers of the Pope.”

“Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men,” said old Moodie, in loud soliloquy behind.

“I have often heard the Pope called Antichrist, but never knew him dubbed Baal before,” said Lady Mabel.  “Although not one of his flock, I cannot but feel a deep interest in the head of the Latin Church, now that the venerable old man is so shamefully treated; carried off and kept a prisoner in France, to be bullied, threatened, and cajoled, with a view to appropriate the papal influence to the furtherance of this Corsican’s ambition.”

“You had better leave all those feelings to his own flock, my lady.”

“Is it possible, Moodie,” Lady Mabel retorted, “that you do not know that we are on the Pope’s side in this quarrel?  We are bound to sympathize with him, not only in politics but in religion, against his unbelieving enemies.  We must forget all minor differences, and think only of the faith we hold in common.  Even you must admit that it is better to see the Almighty dimly through mists and clouds, or even though our view be obstructed by a crowd of doubtful saints, than to turn our backs on the Christian Godhead, and deny his existence like these godless French.  I assure you I have become a strong friend to the Pope.”

“The more is the pity,” groaned Moodie.  “But what is written is written.”

“I know, Moodie, that you believe that we who have deserted the Kirk of Scotland, and crossed the border in search of a church, have already traveled a long way toward Rome.”

“About half-way, my lady.  The church of England is no abiding place, but merely an inn on that road.”

“Why,” exclaimed Mrs. Shortridge, “is Moodie so much dissatisfied with our church?  For my part it does not seem natural to me for genteel people to go any where else.”

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The Actress in High Life from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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