Then he told his dream, to which Euphra listened with an interest uninjured by the grotesqueness of its fancy. Each interpreted the other’s with reverence.
They ceased talking; and sat silent for a while. Then Harry, putting his arms round Euphra’s neck, and his lips close to her ear, whispered:
“Perhaps God will say my darling to you some day, Euphra; just as your mother did in your dream.”
She was silent. Harry looked round into her face, and saw that the tears were flowing fast.
At that instant, a gentle knock came to the door. Euphra could not reply to it. It was repeated. After another moment’s delay, the door opened, and Margaret walked in.
A Sunday with Falconer.
How happy is he born and taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill.
This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall:
Lord of himself, though not of lands,
And, having nothing, yet hath all.
Sir Henry Wotton.
It was not often that Falconer went to church; but he seemed to have some design in going oftener than usual at present. The Sunday after the one last mentioned, he went as well, though not to the same church, and calling for Hugh took him with him. What they found there, and the conversation following thereupon, I will try to relate, because, although they do not immediately affect my outward story, they greatly influenced Hugh’s real history.
They heard the Morning Service and the Litany read in an ordinary manner, though somewhat more devoutly than usual. Then, from the communion-table, rose a voice vibrating with solemn emotion, like the voice of Abraham pleading for Sodom. It thrilled through Hugh’s heart. The sermon which followed affected him no less, although, when he came out, he confessed to Falconer that he had only caught flying glimpses of its meaning, scope, and drift.
“I seldom go to church,” said Falconer; “but when I do, I come here: and always feel that I am in the presence of one of the holy servants of God’s great temple not made with hands. I heartily trust that man. He is what he seems to be.”
“They say he is awfully heterodox.”
“How then can he remain in the church, if he is as honest as you say?”
“In this way, as I humbly venture to think,” Falconer answered. “He looks upon the formulae of the church as utterances of living truth — vital embodiments — to be regarded as one ought to regard human faces. In these human faces, others may see this or that inferior expression, may find out the mean and the small and the incomplete: he looks for and finds the ideal; the grand, sacred, God-meant meaning; and by that he holds as the meaning