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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 664 pages of information about Magnum Bonum.

“To tell the truth, I doubt whether you have enough high spirits or geniality.”

“That’s the very thing!  I can’t get into the boys, or prevent their thinking me a Don.  I had hoped there was improvement, but the revelations of the half-year have convinced me that I knew just nothing at all about it.”

“Have you thought what you will do?”

“As soon as I get home, I shall send in my notice of resignation at Midsummer.  That will see out her last boy, if he stays even so long.”

“And then?”

“I shall go for a year to a theological college, and test my fitness to offer myself for Holy Orders.”

A look of satisfaction on his sister’s part made him add, “Perhaps you were disappointed that I was not ordained on my fellowship seven years ago.”

“Certainly I was; but I was in Russia, and I thought you knew best, so I said nothing.”

“You were right.  You would only have heard what would have made you anxious.  Not that there was much to alarm you, but it is not good for any one to be left so entirely without home influences as I was all the time you spent abroad.  I fell among a set of daring talkers, who thought themselves daring thinkers; and though the foundations were never disturbed with me, I was not disposed to bind myself more closely to what might not bear investigation, and I did not like the aspect of clerical squabbles on minutiae.  There was a tide against the life that carried me along with it, half from sound, half from unsound, motives, and I shrank from the restraint, outward and inward.”

“Very likely it was wise, and the best thing in the end.  But what has brought you to it?”

“I hope not as the resource of a shelved schoolmaster.”

“Oh, no; you are not shelved.  See how you have improved the school.  Look at the numbers.”

“That is no test of my real influence over the boys.  I teach them, I keep them in external order, but I do not get into them.  The religious life is at a low ebb.”

“No wonder, with that vicar; but you have done your best.”

“Even if my attempts are a layman’s best, they always get quenched by the cold water of the Rigby element.  It is hard for boys to feel the reality of what is treated with such business-like indifference, and set forth so feebly, not to say absurdly.”

“I know.  It is a terrible disadvantage.”

“Listening to Rigby, has, I must say, done a good deal to bring about my present intention.”

“By force of contradiction.”

“If that means of longing to be in his place and put the thing as it ought to be put.”

“It is a contradiction in which I most sincerely rejoice, David,” she said; “one of the wishes of my heart fulfilled when I had given it up.”

“You do not know that it will be fulfilled.”

“I think it will, though you are right to take time, in case the decision should be partly due to disappointment.”

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