Of course all this would never have kept up but for the Yollands. The Hydriots are wife, children, everything to him who is now called Vicar of St. Christopher’s, Mycening. He has refused better preferment, for he has grown noted now, since the work that Harold had begun is still the task he feels his charge.
And whatever is good is led by the manager of the works, whose influence over the workmen’s minds has never failed. Even when he talked to me on that day, I thought there was a change in his tone. He had never sneered (at least in my hearing) nor questioned other men’s faith, but when he told me of Harold his manner had something of awe, as well as of sorrow and admiration, and I could not but think that a sense had dawned out that the spiritual was a reality, and an absolute power over the material.
The great simple nature that had gradually and truly undergone that influence had been watched and studied by him, and had had its effect. The supernatural had made itself felt, and thenceforth he made it his study, in a quiet, unobtrusive manner, scarcely known even to his brother, but gradually resulting in heart-whole acceptance of faith, and therewith in full devotion of heart and soul.
Did Harold rejoice in that victory, which to him would have been one of the dearest of all?
CHAPTER XVI. CONCLUSION.
I must finish my story, though it seems hardly worth telling, since my nephew, my tower of strength and trust, had suddenly sunk away from me in the prime of his manhood.
The light seemed gone out of the whole world, and my heart felt dull and dead, as if I could never heed or care for anything again. Even Dermot’s illness did not seem capable of stirring me to active anxiety in this crushed, stupid state, with no one to speak to of what lay heavy on my heart, no one even to write to; for who would venture to read my letters? nay, I had not energy even to write to poor Miss Woolmer. We got into a way of going on day after day with Dora’s little meals, the backgammon, and the Mayne Reid, till sometimes it felt as if it had always been thus with us from all time, and always would be; and at others it would seem as if it were a dream, and that if I could but wake, I should be making tea for Harold in our cheerful little drawing-room at Mount Eaton. At last I had almost a morbid dread of breaking up this monotonous life, and having to think what to do or where to go. The Randall Horsmans must long for our departure, and my own house was in a state of purification, and uninhabitable.