Live to be useful, or, The Story of Annie Lee and her Irish nurse

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Title:
Live to be useful, or, The Story of Annie Lee and her Irish nurse
Alternate Title:
The Story of Annie Lee and her Irish nurse
Physical Description:
64 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher:
T. Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication:
London
Edinburgh
New York
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children with disabilities -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Nurses -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Temper -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Protestant converts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1872
Genre:
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York

Notes

Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002233268
notis - ALH3676
oclc - 58433485
System ID:
UF00026240:00001

Full Text
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LIVE TO BE USEFUL;OR,THE STORY OF ANNIE LEE ANDHER IRISH NURSE.LONDON:T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.1872.


This page contains no text.


LIVE TO BE USEFUL.CHAPTER I.ANNIE'S PLAN.NNIE LEE was a cripple. Until hereighth summer she had been strongand well, like most other children;but then disease began to appear,and although she had skilful doctorsand kind nurses, it was soon tooplain that she was never to be well again.Five years of pain and weakness had been herportion at the time our story commences. Soaccustomed had she become to her sad situation,that it seemed like a delusive dream when sheremembered the sportive hours of her earlierchildhood. Like other sick children, she wasfar more thoughtful than was quite natural at


6 ANNIE'S PLAN.her age, and very seldom in her easiest momentslaughed aloud. But she was not an unhappychild.As soon as she was old enough to understandthat she had a sinful heart and needed salvation,she had earnestly sought the Saviour of sinners,and had been graciously received by him, andmade a lamb of his flock. In the school of Christshe learned to bear pain without murmuring, andto submit with cheerfulness to her lot in life.Instead of requiring comfort from her parents,who seemed to realize her misfortune more fullythan she did herself, she became their consoler,and rarely failed in her efforts to lighten theirsorrow on her account."It might have been so much worse, mamma,"she said one day, when Mrs. Lee was lamentingher condition. " Only think of poor lame Phelim,Biddy Dillon's little boy.""What is the matter with him?" asked hermother." Have you not seen him ? He is often in theback-yard when Biddy comes to wash in thekitchen. I've watched him often. I think itwas before he came to this country-but I'm notsure-that a large stone, falling from a wall, somangled his poor limbs that one of them had tobe cut off. I never see him limping about on


ANNIE'S PLAN. 7his crutches while Biddy is washing withoutthanking God for my happier fate."" Why, Annie, it is not probable that he suffersone-half as much as you do."" As much pain, do you mean, mamma ?"" Yes."" I wasn't thinking of that. They are verypoor; and if he lives to be a man, how can heearn the comforts of life? I need have no careon that account."" I daresay he has none. There are severaltrades that he might learn which require a sittingposture ; he might be a shoemaker, for instance.Do not fret on his account, Annie."" It seems to me, mamma," replied Annie,with a thoughtful air, " that his only prospectfor the future is to be pushed about here andthere in the crowd, until at last he finds a refugein the grave."" What foolish fancies !" said Mrs. Lee, rising,as a noise in the yard below attracted her to thewindow. " We know nothing about the future,and it is not quite right to make ourselves sadabout it. It is hardly like your usual trust inGod, to be thus imagining trouble. There's alittle lame boy in the yard, who, I suppose, isPhelim; he seems happy enough. Hark don'tyou hear him sing? He is sitting on the bench


8 ANNIE'S PLAN.behind the clothes-frame, and his mother ishanging out the clothes to dry. Don't you hearher laugh at what he is singing?"" What is it, mamma ? Can you hear thewords?" asked Annie, brightening up, and rais-ing herself on her elbow as she lay on her lowcouch." I hear them very well; but his Irish gibber-ish is as Greek to me. All that I can make outis what seems to be the chorus:"'0 Ireland, green Ireland,Swate gem o' the sae !'"" Mamma," said Annie, after listening withsmiling interest a while, "it troubles me veryoften because Phelim knows nothing about ourSaviour. He has a sister, two years older thanI am, who cannot read. She never went toschool; and none of the family can read a word."" How did you learn this?"" From Phelim. I speak to him sometimeswhen he plays under the window."" Well, I don't know how we can help them.If we should offer to teach them, they would notbe willing to learn."" Are you sure of it, mamma?"" Not quite so sure, perhaps, as if I had triedto instruct them; but I know that they regard abook as a sort of Protestant trap, made on pur-


ANNIE'S PLAN. 9pose to catch them, soul and body. It is an evilthat we cannot remedy.-Have you more painthan usual, my dear?" said Mrs. Lee, appearinga little startled, and bending anxiously overAnnie's couch as she observed an unusual flushon her pale cheek." No, mamma; but I was thinking of a planthat I have had for some weeks, and hoping thatyou would not object to it."" Object! You shall have whatever you like,if it can be procured. What is it, Annie?"" Oh, dear mamma," said Annie, " I do so longto do some good! I cannot bear to live such auseless life. Every day, when I feel the good-ness of God and his great love to me, I long todo something for him. And I think, mamma,that I have planned a way to do good withoutgetting off my sofa."" You are always doing good, Annie. Do yousuppose that your patience under suffering isnot a lesson to us in our smaller trials? Thereare many ways in which you are a blessingto us all; so do not weary yourself with newschemes. If God had required active servicefrom you, he would have given you health andstrength.""But I can do something, mamma. Pleaseto hear my plan. I want to tell you something


10 ANNIE'S PLAN.more about Phelim's sister. She has been Mrs.Green's servant, and her business was to assistin the nursery. She would have done nicely,Phelim says, but for her violent temper. Lastweek one of the children was cross and provok-ing, and the girl got angry and pushed him down-stairs. He was much bruised; and, of course,she was dismissed at once."" I should hope so. But your plan, Annie ?"" The poor girl has no place, mamma, and,with such a dreadful temper, is not likely to getone soon. And they are very poor. I knowthat since Jessie left us, you are too closely con-fined here with me; and my plan is to have thispoor girl to wait on me, and-""Why, Annie, what a wild project!" inter-rupted her mother. " You must not think of it.She would be throwing you out of the window,or beating you to a jelly, in her first fit of ill-temper."" Oh no, she won't, mamma," urged Annie." She will not be so easily vexed here, and noone is ever angry with me. Please to try her."" Are you really in earnest, Annie ?"" Yes; and very anxious to be indulged in mystrange plan.""Have you thought how awkward she will be C-in assisting you ? "


ANNIE'S PLAN. 11" I have thought of it all, over and over," re-plied Annie, " and I think she will make a goodnurse for me."Mrs. Lee hesitated a long time. She could"not bear to deny Annie, and could not over-come her dislike to the proposed arrangement.But Annie's pleading look at length decidedher."You wish very much to try this wild-gooseplan !" she said, resuming the conversation." Very much, mamma," replied Annie." Well, you shall have your own way about it.It will last but a few days, I am sure; and thechange will interest you at anyrate, poor thing !"Then going to the window, she looked down intothe yard, and said, " Mrs. Dillon, come up toMiss Annie's room, will you ?"In a minute the woman made her appearanceat the door, with the suds still lingering in foamyflakes upon her arms and along the folds of herapron." You have a daughter, I believe ? " saidMrs. Lee."Two of them, an' ye plaze, ma'am," repliedBiddy, wiping her arms as she spoke." Are they both at home ?"" It's Bessie that is in service; and it's onlyAnnorah that's at home, shure."


12 ANNIE'S PLAN." What is Annorah doing?" inquired Mrs. Lee." Doing ? " repeated Biddy wonderingly." I mean, how does she get her living?"" At service too, ma'am, when it is to be had.But, shure, it's a bad timper she has, and willsthrike and scold whin her blood is up. An' shehas lost the fine, comfortable place she had withMrs. Green, jist for a thrifle of spaach."" That is unfortunate."" Oh, thin, ye may well say that. Anithermouth in a family like me own is far from con-venient whin the cost of the mate and the flouris beyond raach intirely."" Well, Biddy, Miss Annie wants some one towait on her in the place of Jessie, who has gone.She has taken a fancy to try your girl. Whencan she come? "" Coom! Why, this very hour, an' ye like.A blessin' on yer swate, pale face !" said Biddy,looking pityingly towards Annie." She must be gentler here," said Mrs. Lee ;"she must govern her temper. Miss Annie mustnot be excited and made worse by your girl's fitsof ill-humour."" Leave her to me, mamma," said Annie. " Ithink, Mrs. Dillon, that there will be no trouble.What did you say is her name?""Annorah, an' ye plaze, miss."il


ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCE, ETC. 13" Annorah ? Very well. When shall shecome, mamma?"" Not until Monday, I think," replied Mrs. Lee.Then turning to Mrs. Dillon, she added, " Youmay send her on Monday."" An' she gets a mad streak along o' that prittycrathur," said Mrs. Biddy, as she went down-stairs, " she desarves the warm bating she'll getfrom her own mother at home."CHAPTER II.ANNORAII'S FIRST APPEARANCE IN TIE SICK-ROOMI.MONDAY came, and Annorah came too. It waswith a doubting heart and a troubled look thatMrs. Lee introduced her into her daughter'schamber. It would be difficult to find a plainer-looking or a more awkward girl.Mrs. Lee looked at the monstrous foot in itsheavy shoe, and at the thick, freckled hands,that seemed incapable of the gentle services thatAnnie's helplessness required, and wondered ather own folly in indulging the singular caprice ofher daughter. But a single look at Annie assuredher that she, at least, felt no misgivings. Still,she did not like to leave them by themselvesuntil she had tested the new attendant's ability.


14 ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCE" Annorah," she said, " what sort of work canyou do? I'm afraid you are not used to suchservices as Miss Annie will require."" I can do most anything, ma'am," answeredthe girl resolutely." Indeed! Well, let me see how you wouldmanage to place Annie on the bed when she istired of the sofa."The words were scarcely out of her mouthbefore Annorah had lifted the frail form of theinvalid in her arms and deposited her in themiddle of the bed. Annie burst into such alaugh as she had not indulged in for a year." I think you may be satisfied, mamma," shesaid; " I never was moved easier."Mrs. Lee began to think better of Annie'splan, and joined quite cordially in her daughter'smirth." And if she were too tired to rest in any"position, what would you do?"" Carry her to the windows, or out in the air,for a change.-Will ye plaze to thry it, MissAnnie?""Not now, Annorah." Then looking towardsher mother, she said, " Mamma, you may beeasy; Annorah and I shall get on famously to-gether."Thus assured, Mrs. Lee left them, and went


IN THE SICK-ROOM. 15down-stairs with a better opinion of the roughIrish girl than she had thought it possible toentertain an hour previous.Left by themselves, the two girls began toform an acquaintance with each other. Twopersons more unlike could not have been broughttogether. Annorah was evidently much inter-ested in her young charge, and felt the mostunbounded sympathy in her sufferings. Anniespoke first." Please draw my couch nearer the window,Annorah. That will do. Now, sit down on thislow stool, and tell me how long it is since youleft Ireland."" It's two years, miss, coom April."" So lately? Then you remember all aboutthe old country?"" Remember An' it's me that'll niver forgetthat same. The beautiful counthree it is !""Pleasanter than this, do you think?"" A thousand times. There is no place in theworld like it; the dear ould counthree !"" Why, then, did you leave it, Annorah ?""Bad luck we had, miss; and a worse luckintirely here, the mane town that this is."" Tell me all about it."" What for? That ye, too, may laugh likethe rest, and call us the mane, dirty set of Irish


16 ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCEvagabonds?" asked the girl, her small eyes kind-ling with a sense of imaginary insult." No, no, Annorah. You don't think I wouldsay such things, do you? But you need not tellme a word if you had rather not. I only thoughtit would make me forget my pain for a littletime; and, besides, I love dearly to hear aboutIreland, or any place where I have never been,"said Annie, with a tone of voice so calm andearnest that the girl could not doubt her sin-cerity." Do you, in truth ? Why, thin, it's methat'll talk till I hoarse meself dumb for yergood. It was the famine, miss, that came first,and stole the bit o' food that was saved. Thepraties were rotten in the field ; and the poorpigs starved that should have helped us out wi'the rint. Och, but it was a sore time o' griefwhin sorra a mouthful were left for the bitchilder and the ould people who were weakbefore wi' ould age! In the worst time o' all,whin the need was the sorest, our Bessie got intodisgrace, and came home from service wi' niver apenny to help herself or us. There was noughtto do and nought to eat at all. The neighbourswere faint wi' the hoonger; and so, before theworst came, we left all that was dear and camehere."


IN THE SICK-ROOM. 17" How many of you came, Annorah ?"" Nine, miss, if we consider our uncles andcousins. We did not come altogether; brotherJohn, who is dead, and uncle Mike, came first.And a fine chance to work they got directly,miss; and then they sent money to pay the oldfolk's passage. Our hearts gathered coorage andstrength at once, miss, and we thought, shure,the great throubles were over. But the nextvessel brought the bad news for us, and weforgot the glimmer of hope we had; for itwas our own father dear who was dead o' thecholera.""Poor Annorah !" exclaimed Annie pityingly."Poor indade! But soon came the money forthe rest; and much as we feared the deep wathers,the hoonger still pressed on us, and the sicknesswas every day striking down the stoutest, and sowe all left Ireland but Bessie."" Did you like the passage across from Ire-land ?"" No, indade."" Were you sea-sick ?"" No, miss. But we came in the steerage;and a crowded, dirthy place it was. The dirtwas not so bad, for in the ould counthree it oft-times gets the betther o' us; but the men wereeither drunk or ill-nathured, and the women2


18 ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCEquarrelled, and the young ones were aye cross orsick; and a bad time they made of it all."" Did you come directly here?""No; we stayed where we landed for sevenweeks, till we got word to our cousin."" And since you have been here, Annorah,what have you been doing? Have you been toschool ?""No; the praste forbade."" Poor thing! Then you cannot read?"" How should I know reading, I'd like toknow? Who would teach me that same?"" Many good people would like to do it, if youwould like to learn."" I'm ower knowin' for that, miss," repliedAnnorah, with a glance which betrayed that shewas rather suspicious of Annie's good intentions." It's a mighty pity that readin' was contrived atall, for it's the books that makes the black here-tics o' us. Let alone the books and the read-in',' said Father M'Clane to me last evening,' and confess to me faithfully all that ye hear inthe grand Protestant family, an' all will go wellwi' ye, Annorah,' says he, 'now and for ever-more.' "Annie laughed pleasantly. " And so you areto play the spy and the tattler; and howeverkindly we may treat you, you are to report all


IN THE SICK-ROOM. 19our sayings and doings to the priest ? I don'tbelieve, Annorah, that you can be mean enoughfor that, if you try. I thought the Irish peoplewere too generous to act so low a part."" An' so we are, shure. Sorra a bit will thepraste get from me about you here."" If he were a good man, a noble, honourableman," said Annie, " do you think he would askyou-"" He's the praste !" interrupted Annorah, hereyes flashing; " the praste, is Father M'Clane.An' ye mind to spake well o' him, it's noughtI've to say; an' the tongue is a heretic's thatwould spake ill o' him, and he laving the ouldcounthree to stay for our good in this haythenland. An' the books an' the readin' were for thelike o' us, would he not be the first to bid uswelcome to the same ? Och, it's a good man anda holy is Father M'Clane, say what ye will, miss."" I have not called him otherwise," said Annie,much amused by the Irish girl's warmth. " Ionly asked you, or tried to ask you, if he wouldbe likely to require you to tattle and to be a tell-tale, if he were so good as you describe him ?"" It were jist putting before me eyes themaneness of the man. Is that nothing at all,and he a praste?"" Well, well, Annorah, we will say no more


20 ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCE, ETC.about him now. I am tired, and must rest.You won't mind being still a while?""Poor little thing !" said Annorah; " ye'repale as a lily. Is there a dhrap o' anything yewould like, and then slape a bit?"" I will try to sleep.""But ye cannot kape still. The pain isshure too great. Let me carry you about alittle.""No, no; it would tire you," said Annie,who in her spasm of pain really longed for sonovel a method of changing her position." At least, let me thry it for once," urged thegirl, whose Irish sympathies were powerfullyawakened by her young mistress's evident suffer-ing; " jist for once, darlin'."Annie offered no further resistance, and, asAnnorah bore her light form carefully up anddown the room, experienced a feeling of reliefthat inspired her with warm gratitude towardher uncouth attendant."Ye're light as down, honey," said Annorah,as she met Annie's anxious, inquiring look.Satisfied at last that she was really no heavyburden, the weary invalid soon dropped asleep,with her head on the Irish girl's shoulder. Mrs.Lee opened the door and looked in."Whist !" said Annorah, in a low, impatient


ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. 21whisper. " Kape quiet, will ye, and let the poorlamb slape !"Mrs. Lee hardly knew whether to be amusedor provoked as she, the mistress of the house,obeyed Annorah's imperative gesture, and with-drew softly from the apartment.CHAPTER III.ANNORAI LEARNS TO READ.IN a very few days Annie was intrusted to thesole care of her young Irish nurse, who servedher with the most affectionate attention. Mrs.Lee often came to sit with her suffering child,but Annorah alone performed the tender officesof the sick-room. Rough and uncouth as shewas, she readily adapted herself to the servicesrequired; and no power on earth could have per-suaded her that Annie could be so well takencare of by any one else." It naded a dale o' contrivance, to beshure," she said to her mother one afternoon,when, Annie being asleep, she ran hometo ask after the family, "or I would be wellbothered with all her pretty talk o' books, andtaching me to read and write; but she, poordarlin', shall say whatever she plazes to me."


22 ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ." An' if she spake ill o' the praste and theholy Church, how then, Annorah?" asked Mrs.Dillon, eying: her daughter rather curiously."Blessed little good can we say o' FatherM'Clane, whin we spake truth, as ye know,mother dear; and it's not to be expected o' herto tell lies for his sake.""Does she spake o' the Catholic Church,Norah ?" asked her mother." Never at all, mother; so make yer heartaisy. She spakes to me o' meself, and the wicked-ness in me heart; and when she leans so lovinglyon me shoulder, and raises her clear eyes to theblue sky, or watches the bright sunset, and spakesso softly to me o' the beauty o' a holy life, I feelall the betther and patienter meself for hearingthe good words. She says, mother dear, as howit is depravity that makes me so often angeredand wrong; and how that Jesus Christ, the Sono' God himself, died to save us and cure us o'our sin. It would do yer own heart good, couldye hear her; and there's nought wrong in it atall, ye see."Annie's influence grew stronger and stronger,and not a day passed without some precious truthfrom her lips finding a place in the heart of herattendant. It was many weeks before Annorahyielded to her persuasions, and commenced learn-


ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. 23ing to read. The pleasant summer days hadcome, and they were often abroad in the freshair together, Annie in her low carriage, whichwas easily drawn by her young nurse.Down in the valley behind Mr. Lee's housethere was an old mill, long since deserted andunused.This was a favourite resort of Annie's, and itwas here that she taught Annorah to read, duringthe long summer afternoons.At first Annorah was listless, indifferent, andoften suspicious that all this attention to hereducation boded no good to her old religiousprejudices. But she could deny Annie nothing ;and after a time, as her confidence in the pietyof her gentle teacher increased, she began to feela deep interest in the truths taught.In her anxiety to please her invalid charge,she made rapid progress in reading, and beforethe end of the summer could write a few plainsentences. She began to love knowledge for itsown sake; and many a pleasant hour did shespend, when Annie was asleep or weary, in read-ing the easy lessons selected for her. But shewas careful that neither her mother nor the priestshould suspect her progress in learning, and asshe still went regularly to " confession," it waseasy to keep her secret from them. Annie was


24 ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ.often not a little puzzled to know how shemanaged to elude the vigilance of the priest.It was a beautiful autumn afternoon, when theair was just cool enough to be refreshing, that,with Mrs. Lee's permission, Annie and her nursesought their favourite seat by the mill-stream.Annie had been thinking more than usual aboutAnnorah's progress in religious knowledge, andwondering how, with the light and wisdom shehad received, she could still cling to her oldsuperstitions. A great change had taken placein her temper, which was now usually controlled;her manners had gradually become more gentle;but the radical change of heart that Annie solonged to witness, did not yet show itself." Tell me, Annorah," she said, after the usualtime had been spent in reading, " does FatherM'Clane know that you can read yet?""Not he, indade.""Does he not question you?""Not exactly. He says I spake better English,and that shure it is because I live where it is wellspoken."" What did you say to that ?""I said, 'True, your riverence.' ""I'm afraid that is hardly the truth, Annorah.If anything has improved your language, it isyour reading."


ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. 25" To be shure. But is it not because I amwith those who spake English well, that I'mlearning to read? So it was the truth, after all.""Not the whole truth, Annorah."Just then Annorah turned, and saw the shadowof a man on the sloping rock at the left hand.Her first impulse was to cry out, but the fear ofalarming Annie, and her own natural courage,prevented her; and she soon thought she coulddetect in the shadowy outline a resemblance toFather M'Clane. " Och, then, the murder's out,"she thought; " the mane creature has been listen-ing, and faith now he shall have a pill that willsettle his stomach intirely.-What were yousaying, Miss Annie? " she asked aloud, turningtowards Annie's carriage."I said that you did not tell him the wholetruth."" Small matter for that. It was all he askedfor, and it's better plazed he is than if it weremore. He's a lying -ould thing himself, anyway! ""Why, Annorah ?""Ye may well open yer eyes. Did he nottell me last Sunday that you, miss, with yoursweet voice and comforting ways, were jist atemptation placed in me way, by the ould inimyhimself?"


26 ANSORAH LEARNS TO READ." I, Annorah ? What does he know of me ?""Nothing at all, savin' that ye are a saint,and he an ould-"" Stop, stop, Annorah. We must not speakevil of any one. I hope that you were civil inyour reply."" Civil! indade I' was. I said, 'Ye shouldteach your flock better than to tempt honestpeople.' It's gettin' impudent ye are,' says he;'ye'll be turnin' heretic next. You must beseen to and taken care of,' says he. 'Bad luckto ye says I; when ye sees me two eyes lightme to confession again, ye may take care o' meand welcome.' "" And shall you not go again I ""Never again." Annorah saw the shadowraise its hand threateningly. " No, indade.Where's the use o' telling all ye know to an ouldcreature like him? Doesn't the blessed Booksay that no man can come to the Father but onlythrough Jesus Christ? An' shure, the greatFather in heaven is angered to see me kneel downbefore that biggest o' scamps, when I should bepraying to himself. I'll do it no more."" I am glad to hear you say so, Annorah; Ido so hope," said Annie, as the affectionate tearsstole down her thin cheek, "that you are begin-ning to learn in the school of Christ. But, my


ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. 27poor girl, you will meet much opposition. I amafraid that your family will join with the priestin opposing you.""Let them. I'll fight them all with pleasure-more especially the praste.""But fighting is not the way to make themthink well of the religion of Jesus. He wasmild and gentle, patient under abuse and per-secution; and he must be your pattern, if youdesire to please God. You must pray to him,Annorah, for a new heart, so that none of theseangry feelings will trouble you.""Is it the new heart, miss, that makes you sosweet and patient ?"" If I have any goodness, Annorah, it is be-cause God has changed my old heart, and madeit better. It is his grace that enables me tosuffer without complaining; and it is his love,which I feel in my heart, that makes me calmand happy in my greatest pain.""Then I am sure," said the girl earnestly,forgetting for a moment that she was overheard,"I will never rest a day at all, till I get thatsame done for me. But mayhap he will not beso willing to look upon me.""In his holy Book we read that he is norespecter of persons, and that whosoever comethunto him he will in no wise cast out."


28 ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ." Why, then, I can coom as soon as the grandest.How shall I coom ?""I will tell you how I came to him. I studiedhis holy Word to learn his will, and I prayedoften that he would give me his Spirit to teachme the way to him.""An' did he?"" Yes. In a little time I began to know moreabout myself, and to see how much I needed aSaviour; and then I saw how willing Jesus mustbe to save me, having died for me as well as forothers; and so, in a way that I can't explain, Iwas led to give myself to hig and I soon foundpeace in believing. He will ieach you, Annorah,and lead you right, if you earnestly seek him.Look at the sunset clouds. Did you ever seesuch gold, and crimson, and purple before? Butthe sunset is not half so bright and beautiful asthe true Christian's prospects."Looking at the sunset reminded Annorah thatit was late for her charge to be out. A veryslight rustle in the bushes behind her, recalledwhat she had strangely forgotten, in her interestin the conversation. She took up a large stoneand threw it among the bushes."What is there, Annorah ?" asked Annie, inalarm."Only a sarpint, miss."


THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAH. 29"Well, let us hasten home. Mamma will beanxious."After they left, the dark form of a man rosefrom behind the green knoll where they had beensitting, and moved slowly along the bank of thestream, down the valley. It was Father M'Clane.CHAPTER IV.TIE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAII AT HER MOTHER'SCOTTAGE.BIDDY DILLON had just finished a large ironingfor one of the families in the village, and havingplaced the clothes-frame where the dust fromthe open fire-place could not fall on the finestarched linens and muslins, she began to sether table for tea, at the same time counting overthe gains of the week. Not a trifle in hercalculations were the wages of Annorah, whocame regularly every Saturday evening to addher contribution to the family fund."It's a good child she is gettin' to be, and apleasant-tempered one, too," said Mrs. Dillon toherself; "it's made over intirely, she is, ourLady be praised "She began to sing the burden of an Irish ditty,but the broken-nosed tea-kettle over the fire


30 THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAHbeginning to sing too, she commenced talkingagain."Heaven send it mayn't be thrue, but it doeslook like the heretic's doings. She were like abrimstone match, or like gunpowder itself, athome, and tender-hearted as a young baby be-sides. Shure, it's a mighty power, any way,that has so changed her. I can't jist feel aisyabout it, for it's Father M'Clane will find outthe harm of her good spaches and doings."The words were hardly out of her mouth whenthe priest entered. The storm on his brow wasnot unnoted by Biddy, but she respectfully set achair for him in the cleanest part of the room.She was not quite so easily terrified by priestlywrath and authority as she had been in her owncountry; for she had the sense to know that theghostly father's malediction did not, as in Ire-land, entail a long course of temporal misfor-tunes upon the poor victims of his displeasure.But she had not yet acknowledged to herself thedoubts that really existed in her mind in regardto the truth of the Romish faith; she still clungto the errors in which she had been brought up,and feared the effect on her eternal happiness ofFather M'Clane's displeasure. So it was with abeating heart that she awaited his time to ad-dress her.


AT HER MOTHER'S COTTAGE. 31"Do you know that your daughter is a here-tic? " was his first question." Indade, no, yer riverence," replied Biddy." An' what sort o' a mother are you, BiddyDillon, to stand still and look on while the wolfstales the best o' yer flock ? You might haveknown that heretic family would lave not a stoneunturned to catch her at last. And so she canread-""Read!" interrupted the astonished woman."Yes, read! And it's the heretics' Bibleshe has read, too,-and all through your fault.Mighty proud ye have been o' all the fine house-keeping ways she has learned, and very thankful,no doubt, for the bits o' could victuals from thebig house; but where's the good now ? Ye maythank yourself that she will lose her sowl forever."Mrs. Dillon started and turned pale as thedoor softly opened, and Annorah herself, un-observed by the priest, came in. He went on:"Do you call her better, the pestilent crather,when, from her first going to the grand place onthe hill, never a word about them has been gotfrom her at confession? The obstinate crather! "" I came to your riverence for spiritual good,"said Annorah, now coming forward and layinga fat chicken and sundry paper parcels beside


32 THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAHher week's wages on the little table by hermother's side. " I came for spiritual good, andye thried to teach me to tattle. It's a manetrade intirely, lettin' alone the maneness of sichas teach it."" Annorah " exclaimed her mother, " do youdare to spake in that way o' the praste himself?"" I mean no harm, mother.""No harm " repeated Father M'Clane, turn-ing fiercely toward her. " You won't cheat mewith words like these."Annorah tossed her head scornfully and satdown opposite the priest, who on his part seemedfar less desirous to carry on the war since herarrival. The cottage that he occupied belongedto Mr. Lee, and judging that gentleman by hisown heart, he feared that an unfavourable repre-sentation of the case to him might either increasehis rent or turn him out altogether. Besides,he was not unlike blusterers, and could denouncethe erring with greater ease when they stoodin awe of him. That Annorah felt neither fearnor reverence for him, it was easy to see. So,smothering his wrath, he began, to the great sur-prise of Mrs. Dillon, to address the girl in hismost coaxing tones." Come, come, Annorah," he said, " let us befriends. It's me that's ould enough, and will-


AT HER MOTHER'S COTTAGE. 33ing too, to be to you in place o' yer own father,Heaven rest his sowl; but he's gone to a bettercounthree than this sinful world. An' yer owngood, child, is what I think on in spaking toyou of Miss Annie and the heretics generally.It's not for meself, shure, that me prayers go upat the could midnight hour whin ye're all sleep-ing in quiet. It's not me own throubles thatmake me dream o' Heaven's wrath, but it's mecare for yer sowl, Annorah, and for the sake o'yer gettin' saved at last."" Hear that, Norah, child," said her mother."Who else ever fretted themselves for yer good ?What would become o' ye, an' Father M'Clanegave ye up entirely ?"Your riverence must stay till I draw the taeand fry a bit o' the chicken," added Biddy, asthe priest rose to take his leave." No, thank you," he replied; "I must not sitdown at ease. Small rest is there for me whenthe wolf is in the fold, and the flock is in dan-ger."He took leave quite cordially, but when hewas gone, Biddy turned, with a shadow on herround face, to speak to her daughter." An' what's this ye've been doing, child ?Is it me own ears that have heard o' yer Bible-reading and railing at the praste? What's coom3


34 THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAHto ye now ? Didn't I warn ye against theirheretic ways ? An' ye've been and fallen intothe dape pit as aisy as a blind sheep. Och! forshame, Annorah Dillon! Why do ye not spake?What can ye say for yourself?""Mother," said Annorah, "how often you'vesaid, when Larry O'Neale's good luck has beentould of, that it was the larnin', shure, that didit all! An' when we were over the great water,you said, How nice and comfortable would itbe an' we had one in the family like Larry him-self, to send back the news to ould friends, whenwe got safe here.' Do ye not mind, mother dear,how often you've said that same since? Well,now, I've been and learned what ye wanted somuch; and first cooms the praste and makes abig fuss, and then you, mother, spake as if I hadthried to anger in the room o' plasing ye. I'msure I've thried to plase you all I could.""So ye have, mavourneeri; so ye have," saidBiddy, her voice softening as she turned to lookat the chicken and other things that Annorahhad brought. " It's not yer mother, honey, thathas a word to say against you; but when FatherM'Clane talks o' yer being a heretic, it angersme. This Bible that he frets about, what is it,Norah?"" It's God's truth, mother, that he has given


AT HER MOTHER'S COTTAGE. 35to teach us all; and a brave book it is. FatherM'Clane has one himself; and what frets him is,.that the heretics, as he calls them, can read itfor themselves and find out God's will; for onlythe praste has it with us.""Well, then, an' the praste tells us the same,it saves us a world o' bother, shure.""But if the praste is not a good man, he cantell us whatever he likes; and how do we knowwhat is God's Word? Now, mother, in all God's"Word there is never a bit about confessing to apraste, but a great deal about praying and con-fessing to God himself. But, you see, if all ourpeople knew that same, sorra a bit o' moneywould go to the praste's pocket in comparison towhat he gets now. It's that, mother dear, thatmakes him so afraid we shall learn. He can'tget the money from those who can read God'sWord for themselves.""Are you sure it's all thrue ?" asked Biddy,her eyes wide open with astonishment." It is the truth of God. An' it's this samelearning that's got out of the holy Book thatmakes the difference between Protestants andCatholics. They go to the Word itself, an' we takeon hearsay whatever the praste tells us. An'there is no word in all the Book, mother, aboutpraying to Mary, the mother of Jesus, or to any


36 THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAH.of the saints. Everybody is invited to praystraight up to God himself."The girl's downright heresy, and her contemptfor the mummeries of the Romish communion,troubled her mother. But what could she do?The change for the better in the child's temperhad prepared her to look favourably upon thechange in her religion. She listened to An-norah's continued account of what she had learnedfrom the Bible with the greatest interest, feelingevery moment more and more disposed to acceptits teaching, and less and less disposed to blindlysubmit to the priest. Annorah stayed till a latehour with her mother, repeating over and overagain the truths so interesting to herself, andobtaining permission at last to bring the Bibleitself on her next visit. She was strictly cau-tioned, however, to bring it privately, lest FatherM'Clane should hear of it, and, in Biddy's lan-guage, " kick up a scrimmage."There were more ideas in the old woman'shead than had ever found room there before,when, after Annorah had gone, she sat down byherself before the fire. She was both ambitionsand imaginative, and long vistas of future great-ness opened before her, all commencing with thewonderful fact that her child could read and write."An' it's not all a queer drame," she said;


PHELIM BRINGS BAD TIDINGS. 37" I'll hear her for meself coom next Saturday.Och! what a row it will make an' FatherM'Clane, and Teddy Muggins, and Mike Murphyget wind o' a heretic Bible being brought to theplace! But I'll hear and judge for meself, thatI will; an' if the praste be right, small harm isthere to be shure; and if he be wrong, thebetter for me poor sowl, and a saving o' money."CHAPTER V.PHELIM BRINGS BAD TIDINGS TO ANNORAH.ANNORAH'S troubles were not ended by the unex-pected encouragement received from her mother.Her brothers and sister, and Irish acquaintancegenerally, soon heard that she no longer went tomass or to confession; and great was the uproaramong them. The unsparing rebukes of FatherM'Clane, whenever he met with any one sup-"posed to have any influence over her, soon fannedinto life not only a vehement hatred of the Pro-testants, but a bitter feeling of enmity towardthe poor girl herself. Those who had been mostcordial now either passed her in sullen silence, oropenly taunted her upon her defection; and thevery children in the lane hooted after her, whenshe made her usual weekly visit to her mother.


38 PHELIM BRINGS BAD TIDINGSAnnorah often found these things very hardto bear. Her quick Irish blood was up with thefirst insulting word; but she sought for strengthfrom above to control it, and no outbreak of pas-sion was suffered to mar the sweet lesson thather patience and kindness toward all was insen-sibly teaching.She was getting ready for her usual Saturdayevening's visit to her mother's cottage, when herattention was attracted by the low whistling ofa familiar Irish air in the yard below. Lookingout, she observed her lame brother, Phelim,making signs for her to come out. A littlealarmed lest some evil had befallen her mother,she hurried out to meet him."What is it, Phelim ? What is the matther,dear?"" Matther, do you ask ? Well, the mattheris, that ye're not to coom home till ye're sentfor. Are ye not ashamed to make such arow?"" I don't know what you mean. Sit down,Phelim dear; you're over weak to keep standin'so. Does the new liniment no help ye at all?And ye must carry home the money to mother,and the tea, and the sugar, and some nice warmwoollen stockings that Mrs. Lee showed me howto knit for yerself, darlin'; and Heaven grant


TO ANNORAH. 39that it's no a bad turn o' pain ye will get in yerbones by cooming to tell me. There's a cran-berry-pie that Mrs. Lee was to send for yourown self, Phelim dear; it will relish better thanour mother's plain cooking."The thought of eating the dainty so thought-fully provided, produced a choking sensation inthe boy's throat, as if it had there come into acollision with his wrath against heretics. Buthe said nothing, and Annorah went on:-" I've been making some caps for mother; butye're no able to carry so many things at once,poor fellow."Still Phelim did not speak, but he gazed ear-nestly into her face. The moon was up, and hecould plainly see the traces of tears on her cheek,and the sad but loving expression of her eyes asshe returned his gaze." An' it's the Protestant religion that makesyou so good and kind, Norah," he said at length;" our Lady help me, and I could just be a here-tic wi' ye!"" It's little I know yet o' the truth, but, 0Phelim, it's a lovely way to heaven; and theswate, blessed feeling that fills up the heartwhen I pray straight up to the Lord JesusChrist himself, is better than to have all thediamonds in a queen's crown. It makes me so


40 PHELIM BRINGS BAD TIDINGS.light and happy; so contented intirely. It quietsthe bad temper into perfect peace; and I love,as I never dreamed of doing before, all my friendsand enemies too. It's little I know yet, Phelim,but all the gould in the world, and all the world'shate too, shall not hinder me from learning moreo' God's wonderful way to save sinners. Buthurry home now, Phelim, mavourneen; the rawnight air is no good for ye.""They may say what they will, Norah," saidthe boy, " but I'm sure I will love ye for ever.An' ye'll tache me to get those heavenly feelings,I'll jist follow the road ye have taken. I'veplenty o' time, as ye know."" Do ye mean, will I teach you to read?"" Yes."" I'll speak to Miss Annie about it. Hurryhome as fast as you can. Good-night, and Godbless you."With an affectionate kiss they parted; andAnnorah went slowly back to her young mis-tress's room." How is this, Annorah? " asked Mrs. Lee, asshe entered. " How happened you to return sosoon?""I have not been home, an' ye please, ma'am.""Are you not going to-night? " asked Annie,raising her head from her pillow, and noticing,


TO ANNORAH. 41with a little anxiety, the unusual expression ofher attendant's face." It's Phelim, my brother, miss, has been here,and it's a house full o' company there is at home."" And they want you to spend the holy Sab-bath to-morrow in visiting them, I suppose."" No, Miss Annie.""What then ?" asked Mrs. Lee, after a mo-ment's silence." Nothing to speak of, ma'am. Leastways,nothing to trouble ye about.""But I can see that it is something thattroubles you, Norah," said Annie, taking therough hand of Annorah in hers, and drawingher nearer. " Is it something that you wouldrather I should not know?"" Indeed no. But it's loath I am to add mybit troubles to yours, when ye suffer yer own sopatiently. It's only that all my relatives, andthe praste, and the Catholic neighbours, arewaiting for me to come home, to bring me backto the ould Church by force. An' Phelim, poorboy, came to tell me to keep away. It's worsehe'll be for the damp air; and it's angry they'llbe for my staying away."" Ah! Annorah, my dear nurse, I was afraidthat rougher times awaited you. I was afraidthey would persecute you."


42 THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC." But they haven't yet, Miss Annie."" Perhaps it is not what you would call per-secution, but it is sad to have those we love turnagainst us. You must trust in God, my poorgirl. He will give you grace to bear it all."CHAPTER VI.THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC.GREAT was the uproar in Biddy Dillon's cottagewhen it was found that Annorah was not comingto make her usual Saturday evening visit to hermother.Preparations had been made by Father M'Clanefor holding a regular confessional; and an hourbefore sunset, he had taken his seat in the littledarkened chamber, behind a table on which fourtallow-candles were burning, with an uncertain,flickering light.It had been decided in the council of relativesand friends that Annorah's only chance of salva-tion lay in speedy confession, and it was veryreasonably supposed, that could she be broughtback to that Popish duty, a great point wouldbe gained in the way to her perfect restoration.It was, therefore, no affectionate, loving circlethat had now assembled to " bear a hand" in


THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. 43Annorah's restoration to the faith. One afteranother went reverently on their knees up theshort, steep stairway, and came down lighter inpurse, and, as the priest wickedly taught them,absolved of all offences, but swelling with wrathagainst the poor girl whose coming was so longdelayed. And when, at last, it became apparentthat she would not come, a storm of abuse waspoured upon Biddy, who, it was evident to all,did not cordially join in their violent measures.Now, Biddy Dillon had too much of the na-tional character to sit down quietly and receivetheir abuse, and soon a regular quarrel ensued,which would have speedily become a fight, butfor the descent of Father M'Clane into theirmidst, and his imperative command that each oneshould sit down quietly and " hould his tongue.""Whisht! whisht! Of what are ye thinking,ye silly gossoons? Will ye bring down the peaceofficers upon ye, and take out the bit o' the nightin the prison, instead o' drinking me health, asye may, and me helping to do that same?Arrah! Why should ye glower and snarl ateach other, like a kennel o' mad puppies, whenit's the brave frolic ye may have together? It'sthe soft looks and the fine words ye must use, an'ye would win the young heretic back; ye mayfight over her till the great day o' all, and it


44 THE CONFESSIONAL--AN IRISH FROLIC.will be but a sorrowful waste o' the powther,barrin' the swate chance ye are losing now o' acomfortable frolic. Arrah, now, Dennis darlin',a sup o' the whisky for me, a thrifle sthrong, an'ye plaze. It's a could night to be out wi' anempty stoomach."" Stay till the morning, father," said Biddy,coming up to him with an anxious face; " wecannot kape peace an' ye do not bide wi' us; thefrolic will be all the better an' ye stay to theorderin' o' it,-and the best bed is waitin' yerriverence's convanience. There's Sandy andMike will fight an' ye lave, and Katy there isready to tear out the eyes o' big Nelly Murphy.It's quarrelling they've been the whole blessedday. Bide with us, lest the dear childer who isthe cause o' it all should be kilt and murderedintirely, an' she sthrays home to-night."She spoke in a low voice, and he replied inthe same tone, drawing her back from the crowd,who were all talking together." Look here, Biddy Dillon," he said; " thegirl must lave that grand house and come hometo live here with you.""Lave Miss Annie, do ye mane, sir ?"" Small hope for her sowl an' she do not."" And few are the pennies I can bring to yerriverence when the child has no wages to bring


TIE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. 45home o' a Saturday. Sorra a hap'orth to sparewill I find; it's no me two hands alone can findbread for the mouths o' all, and-"" Stuff and nonsense !" interrupted the priest;"there's many another place can be had for asthrong, likely lass like her. Good servants arenot over plenty, and she can be better placed.""But where, I would like ye to tell ? It's ina Protestant family she must be, an' she goes outto service at all.""Yes; but they'll let her alone in somehouses. Sorra a bit do the most o' them carewhat becomes o' the sowl, an' the work be doneto their liking. Our Lady be praised I it's tothe far counthrees that the Protestant mis-sionaries are sent, and the silver is given; forone-half o' the pains taken wi' the poor crathurswho work in their kitchens would have ruinedus all.""Yer riverence spakes thrue, to be shure,"said Biddy; "but for all that, it will never be abit o' use to thry to make a good Catholic o'Norah, now that she can read the big books andtalk so bravely herself. An' it were to be thesavin' o' her life, she would never confess to apraste again, or take the holy wafer from hishands. But if ye would take it aisy and lave itto me, and persuade these meddlesome boobies


46 THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC.to mind theirownparticularbusiness, and throubleus no more, it's nieself would be sure to bring thehandsome sum to yer riverence when I come toconfession. Contrariwise, you see, and you kapefussing, and they kape fussing, it's all loss it isto ye, and no gain."The priest's countenance brightened percep-tibly. He seemed much impressed with Biddy'sview of the case, and was not slow to perceive itsworldly wisdom. So, after addressing the wait-ing company to some purpose, he left them.But Biddy sat thoughtfully in a corner, withher lame boy. She had, in her conversation withthe priest, cunningly hit on an expedient to pro-pitiate him for a time, but she was ill at ease.She could not at once throw off the chains ofteaching that had bound her'all her life; and sodim was the light that she had received, that shedared not yet follow it." Oh, then, it's a jewel she is, core o' me heart,Norah dear! "The last two words were whispered so loudthat Phelim heard them, and he said, " I've seenher to-night, mother."" Who ? Spake aisy, mavourneen."" Our Norah."" When ? " questioned his mother, with an an-xious glance at the unheeding revellers.


THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. 47"Afther dusk. I thought ye would like herto kape away to-night."" Now blessings on ye for a handy callant as yeare," said Biddy, patting his shoulder approvingly." An' how is she?""Well as ever, mother, and kind-tempered andgood too. A power of good things she has sent,and they're safe hid in the cellar. The money isin me coat pocket, mother. Shall I give it ye ?""Not now. Kape it till all be gone. Wasshe sorry or mad, Phelim ? ""Mad? Notatall. Sorry? I don't know atall. Her voice was all courage and kindness;but I saw big tears on her cheek, for all that."The mother and son sat silently looking intothe fire for a few moments. At last Phelim spoke."Mother," said the boy, "ye'll not have themabuse her and torment her, just for changing intosuch a dear crathur ?"" She's a heretic, lad.""What o' that? She's good, any way," saidPhelim stoutly. "I would I were a big man.We'd see who would throuble her then. It's athrashin' they'd get, an' it's manners they'd learn,and no charges made for the teaching."" Whisht, lad! it's careful and sly we must be.An' do ye not bother yer poor head wi' yersister's new notions. It's a nation o' throuble I'd


48 THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC.have with a pair o' ye at once; and ye're noearning money, Phelim, boy, to buy off thepraste. Kape a still tongue, lad, an' ye bite itin two; an' don't go for to meddle wi' mattersconcerning yer sowl. The praste an' yer poormother will kape a sharp look-out; an' it will gohard, shure, if between us ye are not saved at last.""But, mother, where is the harm if I look formeself a bit? Who can see Norah, so gentleand loving, so careful o' you and me, so pleasantto every one, and not want to know more o' theway she has taken ?""Yes, yes, lad; but have ye no sense at all?What if ye have been tould a secret, can ye notkape it the same? Now mind, once for all;ye're not to know it at all, if Norah brings homethe Word o' the Lord to read to her ould ignorantmother (it's a swate voice she has), and ye shallhear the big Book as well; only mind, Phelim.acushla, ye're to know nothing at all, let who willspake to ye o' the same.""Yes; but, mother, what if I myself learnto-"" Hush 1-Is it o' me ye are spaking ? " askedBiddy, turning to a cluster of people who haddrawn near them. " It's no hearty I feel to-night, and poor lame Phelim is kaping me com-pany. Is it room for the dance ye are wanting ?


BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A "HERETIC." 49The other is the roomiest, and the floor is theplainest."Hurrying out with ready good-will to assistin the needful preparations, Biddy soon removedany suspicions that might have been entertainedin the minds of any of her neighbours of anyleaning on her part toward heresy.CHAPTER VII.BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A " HERETIC."SEVERAL months passed quietly by. It waswinter, and the heaviest snow that had fallenwithin the memory of that personage so uni-versally known and respected-namely, the oldestinhabitant-now lay upon the ground; and all intown and country who were partial to the exer-cise of skating could enjoy it freely. But thesevere cold confined the delicate invalids to theirheated rooms, and fair Annie Lee again foundherself shut up to the tiresome routine of sick-room pleasures, only varied by intervals of suf-fering. The pleasure, however, predominated.She seemed almost to forget her pain and in-creasing languor in her unceasing efforts toinstruct her young nurse.Annorah, on her part, thirsted for knowledge,4


50 BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A " HERETIC."especially for the wisdom that cometh from above.She improved, too, rapidly enough to satisfy aless partial teacher. In the varied arts of house-wifery, and in the more intricate use of the needle,she had also become quite expert, and, to useMrs Lee's own words, " was quite a treasure inevery part of the house."Little lame Phelim came for an hour eachafternoon to Miss Annie's room to be made a" schollard, shure; " and every Saturday eveningfound Annorah, with her Bible, seated by hermother's fireside, reading, and in her own earnestbut uncouth manner expounding the truths sheread.One Sabbath evening in March, Father M'Claneset out for a walk to Mrs. Dillon's cottage. Hisprospects and reflections had been of a grave andsad character throughout the day, and his thread-bare coat and lean purse had been more thanusually suggestive of the great truth, that allearthly comforts are fleeting and transitory.For the first time Biddy had that day absentedherself from the Catholic chapel. Annorah hadlately added to her Scripture reading, " Kirwan'sLetters to Archbishop Hughes." She read itto her mother whenever a spare hour enabled herto run home. Biddy had been greatly interestedin the appeals and arguments of her talented


BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A " HERETIC." 51countryman, and deeply impressed by his life-likedelineation of the follies and superstitions of theRomish ritual."It's rasonable he is intirely," she said, "anda bright son o' the ould counthree, blessin's onit! It's him who spakes well o' the poor ruinedcrathers, and praises us all for the natural gene-rous-sowled people we are. He knows us intirely,Norah dear. Shure he's a wonderful man and abould, let alone the thrue son o' ould Ireland,for doing the beautiful thing. Read us one moreletther, mavourneen, before ye are off, and lavethe book here. Mayhap Phelim will spell out amorsel or so when the .Sabbath even is coom.""You will not go to confession to-morrow,dear mother ?" said Annorah."Not I," replied Biddy firmly."It goes to my heart, mother, that the moneywe earn so hardly, and which should be kept tocomfort your old age, should go for nothing, orworse.""I will do it no more. Make yer heart aisy,honey. Never a penny o' mine will the prastehould in his hand again."" He will visit you, mother.""An' what o' that? Let him coom. He iswelcome an' he minds his own business, and onlydhraps in for a bit o' gossip ; but an' he interferes


52 BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A " HERETIC."in me private consarns, it's soon he'll find him-self relayed o' all throuble on account o' us."Annorah saw that there was no reason now tofear that her mother would be overawed by thepriest; but she still lingered anxiously. Hermother saw the shade on her face, and asked,-"What is it, Norah? Are you in throuble ?""Do not quarrel with him, mother," repliedthe daughter."Let him be dacent, and it's ceevil treatmenthe'll get; but no man shall browbeat me on meown floor," said Biddy, in a tone which declaredthe firmness of her purpose.It was on the night succeeding this conversa-tion, that Father M'Clane visited the cottage.As he approached the house he paused at theunusual sound of a voice reading. It was Phelimimperfectly spelling out to his mother and a fewof the neighbours one of the letters of Kirwan.The priest, who was not remarkably well versedin the books of the day, did not know the work,but supposed that it was the Bible to which theywere so profoundly listening. His face grew asdark as the night shades around him."I've caught ye at last!" he exclaimed, as,without ceremony, he burst into the room." This tells the story. It's not that ye are ill inbed, or hindered by the rain, or the could; it's


BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A "HERETIC." 53because ye are heretics all, that ye shun the con-fession and the holy mass. Do ye know whatthe Church has power to do wi' the like o' ye?Arrah! it was the heavenly and not the mortalwisdom that made the hot fires o' purgatory forsuch. Small help will ye get from me when theflames are scorching ye. Never a mass shall besaid for a sowl o' ye, unless ye repent at once."" And what call have ye to spake the like o'that," said Biddy, " and me sitting peaceably byme own fire wi' the neighbours ?" She spokein a low, uncertain tone, for his sudden appearancehad startled her. A hush had fallen on thelittle assembly, and signs of terror flitted acrossthe faces of the most timid, as the familiar voiceof the priest recalled their old Popish fears. Hewas not slow to perceive this, or to take advantageof it." And who taught yer lame boy to read at all ?Who brought the heretic Bible into yer house?And who gathered the poor neighbours togetherto hear the false words that lead to perdition?Answer me that, Misthress Dillon," said thepriest in a tone of anger.Biddy did not reply, though she had quite re-gained her usual courage."I'll ask ye a plain question, Biddy Dillon,and I want a straight answer. Will ye, or will


54 BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A "HERETIC."ye not, give up these heretic doings, and stay inthe communion o' the holy Church?""An' it plaze yer riverence," replied Biddy,no ways disconcerted, "yer blessed saints arenothing to me; an' I shall do as I plaze.""Hear the woman Do you hear the bouldblasphemer ?" he exclaimed."An' what if they do hear? It were a sorepity they should be sthruck deaf to plaze ye,"replied Biddy, her eyes flashing with excitement."I would ye were in ould Ireland, or, for thematther o' that, in purgatory itself.""We would-" said the priest."No doubt o' it. But it's here I am, at ycrservice," interrupted Biddy."Yes, and it's here ye've been bought for awee pinch o' tae and a few poor, lean chickens.Sowl and body ye've been bought, and a mightypoor bargain have the blind purchasers madeo' it.""Plazing yer riverence, ye know nought o'what ye are saying, and small throuble ye'll makewi' yer idle words. It's not a turkey, duck, orhen could buy Biddy Dillon. Ye've tried ityerself, father, and so ye know.""It's a black heart ye have," said the priest,whose courage was hardly equal to his anger,and whose valour speedily cooled before resolute


BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A '* HERETIC." 55opposition. " It's blacker than ink ye are, BiddyDillon, with the wicked heresy."Like most Irish women, Biddy was wellskilled in the art of scolding, and among herneighbours was considered rather more expert inthe business than themselves. When angry,abusive epithets seemed to fall as naturally fromher tongue as expressions of endearment whenshe was pleased." A black heart, did ye say ? " she cried, risingand facing the priest, who involuntarily retired astep from her; "the same to yerself! An' yewere bathed in Lough Ennel, and rinsed in theSharron at Athlone, it would not half clane outthe vile tricks ye are so perfect in. A blackheart has Biddy Dillon? An' ye were duckedand soaked over night in the Liffey mud at Dub-lin, ye were claner than now? A black heart ?An' yerself an ould penshioner, idle and mane,stirrin' up a scrimmage in an honest woman'shouse, and repeating yer haythenish nonsense,an' ye able and sthrong to take hould o' theheaviest end o' the work Are ye not ashamed ?What are ye good for?"" The saints preserve us what a tongue thewoman has! " exclaimed Father M'Clane, mak-ing a futile effort to smile, as he turned his face,now pale as death, toward the company. " But


56 BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A "HERETIC."I have no time to stay longer. I warn ye all,my friends, to kape away from this accursedhouse, and to turn a deaf ear to all that is saidto ye here. Your souls are in peril. Ye arealmost caught in the snare. Ye should run foryer lives before ye perish entirely. I shall re-member you, Biddy Dillon."" In course ye will. An' ye show yerself hereagain, barrin' as a peaceable frind or ouldacquaintance, ye'll find yerself remimbered too,honey."There was a silence of some minutes after thepriest left the house. It was broken by themost timid of the party."Afther all, Biddy, my heart misgives me.Of what use are all the prayers on the beads, theHail Marys, and the penance, the fasting frommeat on Fridays, or even the blessed salt o' ourbaptism, if we anger the praste, and he refuse togive us the holy oil at the last? What will be-come o' us then? "" What can a wicked ould praste do to helpus? It's God alone can strengthen us then. Iwouldn't give a penny for the oil. It's a bettherway, darlin', that God has provided for us.It's a brave story that Phelim is waiting toread to us. There's thruth and sense in it, too,ye will find.-It's a fine counthree is this, Masther


BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A " HERETIC." 57Barry, and a free," added Biddy, turning to astout man, who, with scarcely a whole article inhis apparel, was lounging in the shade of acorner." Thrue for ye," he replied,-" though it'slittle I get out of it, barrin' the sup o' whiskywi' my supper.""But ye might-the more shame it is. Yeare weel-conditioned and hearty. It's no thecounthree is to blame, neighbour, nor Katyindade. She works night and day for ye an' thechilder. Ye are better here than over the sae."" Oh, then, I don't know. When I came tothis counthree, I had never a rag to me back,an' now, faith, I'm nothing but rags. A fine,illigant counthree!"" Lave the liquor alone, Peter Barry, and yemay have the best of the land for yerself. An'ye would give up the dhrinking, a better ladcould not be found, nor a handsomer.""It's too sthrong for me. It's many a dayhave I given it up for ever, and been drunk as abeast in an hour. But to-night, says Katy to me,' It's the heretic Bible as is read at Mrs. Dillon'shas a cure in it for weak sinners like you, Peterdear.' So I came to hear a bit o' the Bible, an'ye plaze."So Kirwan's Letters were laid aside, and a New


58 ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAiHS PROSPECTS.Testament brought out. Phelim read verypoorly, and was often obliged to spell over thelong words, and did not always succeed in givingthe correct pronunciation; but no fault was foundby his eager listeners. He read how Christ healedthe leper, and poor Peter Barry found in thestory a word of encouragement for him. Heread of the Saviour's gracious compassion for thehungering multitude; and his ignorant auditorspraised the divine Being who so sympathized withmortal infirmities. Phelim was often interruptedby remarks or approving comments, but these inno way diminished the interest of the sacredstory.CHAPTER VIII.ANNIE'S DEATII-ANNORAH S PROSPECTS.ON every pleasant evening Biddy Dillon's cottagewas thronged by those who came to listen to theWord of God. It was in vain that Father M'Claneopposed these meetings. His threats and argu-ments, once so potent, seemed now but to lessenhis power. He even secured the services of zneighbouring priest, and with him visited eachIrish family in succession, coaxing and flatter-ing where his authority was not acknowledged.


ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS. 59But, alas for him and his prospects! he could donothing with the people.The Protestant clergyman of the village, whenhe heard of the interest felt in lame Phelim'sreading, readily came to their assistance, and joy-fully read and explained the divine lessons. Astheir knowledge of the right way increased, theirimpressions of its importance to them personallywere deepened, and Annorah soon had the happi-ness of seeing not only her mother and brotherbowing at the foot of the cross of Christ, butmany others earnestly seeking the salvation oftheir souls.The little Irish neighbourhood had been namedNew Dublin. It stood quite by itself, a thickbelt of wood and the narrow mill-stream isolat-ing it from the large village, where Mr. Lee's-residence stood. Nothing but the smoke, whichin summer as well as in winter is ever pouringfrom Irish chimneys, revealed to a visitor theexistence of their pleasant hamlet. Still it wasnot so far retired but that, when a wake was heldfor the dead, the noise of the revelry seriouslydisturbed their quieter neighbours ; and when arow ensued, as was often the case, the distant up-roar alarmed as well as annoyed the timid womenand children. But no one thought of interfering.The wealthy owners of the iron-works and factories


60 ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS.in the vicinity were glad to secure their labour,because of its cheapness, and never troubled them-selves about an occasional noise, if the generalinterests of their business were not neglected.There were not wanting those who pitied theirlow estate, and who would have sincerely rejoicedin their elevation; but until poor invalid AnnieLee began to instruct Annorah, no one haddreamed of winning them, by self-sacrifice andkindness, to a knowledge of the truth. Annieherself, while patiently explaining over and overagain what seemed to her as simple and plain aspossible, little imagined the glorious results thatwere indirectly to grow out of her feeble efforts.But God watches the least attempt to do good,and fosters the tiniest seed sown; and Annie,without knowing it, was sowing seed for a plen-teous harvest.But while the good work prospered, she her-self was rapidly ripening for heaven. She knewthat she was hastening to a better land, even aheavenly; and she strove to improve every mo-ment of the time that remained, in efforts to givestability to Annorah's religious feelings. Manywere the conversations that they had together onthe condition of the poor Irish people, and count-less almost were the directions that Annorah re-ceived in regard to the best methods of winning


ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS. 61their love and confidence. Young as she was,Annie had learned that all efforts to benefit theunfortunate or ignorant are vain so long as thecold shoulder is turned towards them. She hadproved in Annorah's case the magic effect of lov-ing words and sympathy.As the spring advanced, Annie grew weaker.The mild air seemed to enervate rather than tobrace her system, and she grew daily moreemaciated. Her paroxysms of pain were lessfrequent, and she suffered most from languor anddrowsiness. It was apparent to all but her fondparents that her days were numbered. Theywatched over her with the tenderest affection,hoping when there was no hope, and persuadingthemselves and each other that she would rallyagain when the ripe summer brought its gentlebreezes and beautiful blossoms."She is so fond of flowers and of the openair," said Mrs. Lee to Annorah, when, after anunusually restless and painful day, Annie hadfallen asleep at last, and both left the room tobreathe the fresh evening air. "When the weathergets settled so that she can let you draw her littlecarriage down by the mill-stream again, she willbrighten up and get stronger. It is enough tomake a well person ill, to be shut up so long."" Ye know best, shure," said Annorah, in her


62 ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS.grief resuming her national accent and brogue-" Ye know best, but it's thinner and weaker she'sgetting, and is a baby for weight in me arms.Och! the dark day it will be for poor Norahwhen she looks her last on that swate angel face!"And the poor girl burst into tears, and coveredher face with her apron. After a few momentsshe went on to say,-" It'll go hard wi' ye all,Mrs. Lee: ye'll miss her dear ways an' herheavenly smiles; she is yer own blood, were shenot an angel intirely. But oh, ma'am, she's beento me what no words can tell; and the short lifeo' me will seem without end till I go to wait onher above. Oh, what'll I do without her, whenthe whole world is dark as night? "Mrs. Lee could not reply, for she, too, wasweeping. There was something in Annorah'sdesolate tone that went to her heart, and inspireda pitying affection for the plain-looking girl byher side, which she would once have thought im-possible. She began to comprehend the mysteryof Annie's caressing manner to her young nurse."Annorah, my poor girl," she faltered atlength." Ah, ma'am, in all me troubles, and when I waswickedest, was it not her voice that was full andsweet with the pleasant encouragement? Oh,coreo' me heart, acushla, what'll I do? what'll I do?"


ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS. 63"We must trust in God, Annorah. If he takesher from us, it will be for the best, and we mustlearn to say, His will be done.' She will leaveus her lovely example to guide us, and we shallnot forget how she strove to do good. We shallbe lonely; but is it not selfish in us to wish herto stay here and suffer? God knows what is bestfor us all."It was but a little time that they were per-mitted to hope. Fair Annie Lee's appointedwork was done, her mission of love was accom-plished, and she was ready to depart. Shut upby her protracted illness from all the ordinarypaths of usefulness, she had found out a way towork in her Saviour's service. Long will it beere her gentle acts of kindness will be forgotten,or her precious influence cease to be felt by thosewho knew her.She died suddenly, perhaps unconsciously atlast. Annorah had placed her couch so that shecould see the beautiful changes in the rich Junesunset; and when she returned after a moment'sabsence to her side, she found that, with a sweetsmile of joyous triumph on her lips, she had fallenasleep in Jesus.Annorah, although greatly refined by readingand association with educated people, and especi-


64 ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS.ally improved by the happy influence of truereligion, yet retains enough of the characteristicsof her nation to make her an acceptable visitorin the humblest cottage in New Dublin. It waslong after the death of her young mistress beforeshe regained her usual cheerfulness. But time,the great healer of sorrow, has gradually softenedher grief, and made her cherished memories ofMiss Annie, like beautiful pictures, very pleasantto look upon.4111I


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IN THE SICK-ROOM. 19 our sayings and doings to the priest ? I don't believe, Annorah, that you can be mean enough for that, if you try. I thought the Irish people were too generous to act so low a part." An' so we are, shure. Sorra a bit will the praste get from me about you here." If he were a good man, a noble, honourable man," said Annie, do you think he would ask you-" He's the praste !" interrupted Annorah, her eyes flashing; the praste, is Father M'Clane. An' ye mind to spake well o' him, it's nought I've to say; an' the tongue is a heretic's that would spake ill o' him, and he laving the ould counthree to stay for our good in this haythen land. An' the books an' the readin' were for the like o' us, would he not be the first to bid us welcome to the same ? Och, it's a good man and a holy is Father M'Clane, say what ye will, miss." I have not called him otherwise," said Annie, much amused by the Irish girl's warmth. I only asked you, or tried to ask you, if he would be likely to require you to tattle and to be a telltale, if he were so good as you describe him ?" It were jist putting before me eyes the maneness of the man. Is that nothing at all, and he a praste?" Well, well, Annorah, we will say no more



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20 ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCE, ETC. about him now. I am tired, and must rest. You won't mind being still a while?" "Poor little thing !" said Annorah; ye're pale as a lily. Is there a dhrap o' anything ye would like, and then slape a bit?" I will try to sleep." "But ye cannot kape still. The pain is shure too great. Let me carry you about a little." "No, no; it would tire you," said Annie, who in her spasm of pain really longed for so novel a method of changing her position. At least, let me thry it for once," urged the girl, whose Irish sympathies were powerfully awakened by her young mistress's evident suffering; jist for once, darlin'." Annie offered no further resistance, and, as Annorah bore her light form carefully up and down the room, experienced a feeling of relief that inspired her with warm gratitude toward her uncouth attendant. "Ye're light as down, honey," said Annorah, as she met Annie's anxious, inquiring look. Satisfied at last that she was really no heavy burden, the weary invalid soon dropped asleep, with her head on the Irish girl's shoulder. Mrs. Lee opened the door and looked in. "Whist !" said Annorah, in a low, impatient



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ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS. 63 "We must trust in God, Annorah. If he takes her from us, it will be for the best, and we must learn to say, His will be done.' She will leave us her lovely example to guide us, and we shall not forget how she strove to do good. We shall be lonely; but is it not selfish in us to wish her to stay here and suffer? God knows what is best for us all." It was but a little time that they were permitted to hope. Fair Annie Lee's appointed work was done, her mission of love was accomplished, and she was ready to depart. Shut up by her protracted illness from all the ordinary paths of usefulness, she had found out a way to work in her Saviour's service. Long will it be ere her gentle acts of kindness will be forgotten, or her precious influence cease to be felt by those who knew her. She died suddenly, perhaps unconsciously at last. Annorah had placed her couch so that she could see the beautiful changes in the rich June sunset; and when she returned after a moment's absence to her side, she found that, with a sweet smile of joyous triumph on her lips, she had fallen asleep in Jesus. Annorah, although greatly refined by reading and association with educated people, and especi-



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IN THE SICK-ROOM. 17 How many of you came, Annorah ?" Nine, miss, if we consider our uncles and cousins. We did not come altogether; brother John, who is dead, and uncle Mike, came first. And a fine chance to work they got directly, miss; and then they sent money to pay the old folk's passage. Our hearts gathered coorage and strength at once, miss, and we thought, shure, the great throubles were over. But the next vessel brought the bad news for us, and we forgot the glimmer of hope we had; for it was our own father dear who was dead o' the cholera." "Poor Annorah !" exclaimed Annie pityingly. "Poor indade! But soon came the money for the rest; and much as we feared the deep wathers, the hoonger still pressed on us, and the sickness was every day striking down the stoutest, and so we all left Ireland but Bessie." Did you like the passage across from Ireland ?" No, indade." Were you sea-sick ?" No, miss. But we came in the steerage; and a crowded, dirthy place it was. The dirt was not so bad, for in the ould counthree it ofttimes gets the betther o' us; but the men were either drunk or ill-nathured, and the women 2



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22 ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. An' if she spake ill o' the praste and the holy Church, how then, Annorah?" asked Mrs. Dillon, eying: her daughter rather curiously. "Blessed little good can we say o' Father M'Clane, whin we spake truth, as ye know, mother dear; and it's not to be expected o' her to tell lies for his sake." "Does she spake o' the Catholic Church, Norah ?" asked her mother. Never at all, mother; so make yer heart aisy. She spakes to me o' meself, and the wickedness in me heart; and when she leans so lovingly on me shoulder, and raises her clear eyes to the blue sky, or watches the bright sunset, and spakes so softly to me o' the beauty o' a holy life, I feel all the betther and patienter meself for hearing the good words. She says, mother dear, as how it is depravity that makes me so often angered and wrong; and how that Jesus Christ, the Son o' God himself, died to save us and cure us o' our sin. It would do yer own heart good, could ye hear her; and there's nought wrong in it at all, ye see." Annie's influence grew stronger and stronger, and not a day passed without some precious truth from her lips finding a place in the heart of her attendant. It was many weeks before Annorah yielded to her persuasions, and commenced learn-



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BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A HERETIC." 51 countryman, and deeply impressed by his life-like delineation of the follies and superstitions of the Romish ritual. "It's rasonable he is intirely," she said, "and a bright son o' the ould counthree, blessin's on it! It's him who spakes well o' the poor ruined crathers, and praises us all for the natural generous-sowled people we are. He knows us intirely, Norah dear. Shure he's a wonderful man and a bould, let alone the thrue son o' ould Ireland, for doing the beautiful thing. Read us one more letther, mavourneen, before ye are off, and lave the book here. Mayhap Phelim will spell out a morsel or so when the .Sabbath even is coom." "You will not go to confession to-morrow, dear mother ?" said Annorah. "Not I," replied Biddy firmly. "It goes to my heart, mother, that the money we earn so hardly, and which should be kept to comfort your old age, should go for nothing, or worse." "I will do it no more. Make yer heart aisy, honey. Never a penny o' mine will the praste hould in his hand again." He will visit you, mother." "An' what o' that? Let him coom. He is welcome an' he minds his own business, and only dhraps in for a bit o' gossip ; but an' he interferes



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10 ANNIE'S PLAN. more about Phelim's sister. She has been Mrs. Green's servant, and her business was to assist in the nursery. She would have done nicely, Phelim says, but for her violent temper. Last week one of the children was cross and provoking, and the girl got angry and pushed him downstairs. He was much bruised; and, of course, she was dismissed at once." I should hope so. But your plan, Annie ?" The poor girl has no place, mamma, and, with such a dreadful temper, is not likely to get one soon. And they are very poor. I know that since Jessie left us, you are too closely confined here with me; and my plan is to have this poor girl to wait on me, and-" "Why, Annie, what a wild project!" interrupted her mother. You must not think of it. She would be throwing you out of the window, or beating you to a jelly, in her first fit of illtemper." Oh no, she won't, mamma," urged Annie. She will not be so easily vexed here, and no one is ever angry with me. Please to try her." Are you really in earnest, Annie ?" Yes; and very anxious to be indulged in my strange plan." "Have you thought how awkward she will be Cin assisting you ?



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6 ANNIE'S PLAN. her age, and very seldom in her easiest moments laughed aloud. But she was not an unhappy child. As soon as she was old enough to understand that she had a sinful heart and needed salvation, she had earnestly sought the Saviour of sinners, and had been graciously received by him, and made a lamb of his flock. In the school of Christ she learned to bear pain without murmuring, and to submit with cheerfulness to her lot in life. Instead of requiring comfort from her parents, who seemed to realize her misfortune more fully than she did herself, she became their consoler, and rarely failed in her efforts to lighten their sorrow on her account. "It might have been so much worse, mamma," she said one day, when Mrs. Lee was lamenting her condition. Only think of poor lame Phelim, Biddy Dillon's little boy." "What is the matter with him?" asked her mother. Have you not seen him ? He is often in the back-yard when Biddy comes to wash in the kitchen. I've watched him often. I think it was before he came to this country-but I'm not sure-that a large stone, falling from a wall, so mangled his poor limbs that one of them had to be cut off. I never see him limping about on



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16 ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCE vagabonds?" asked the girl, her small eyes kindling with a sense of imaginary insult. No, no, Annorah. You don't think I would say such things, do you? But you need not tell me a word if you had rather not. I only thought it would make me forget my pain for a little time; and, besides, I love dearly to hear about Ireland, or any place where I have never been," said Annie, with a tone of voice so calm and earnest that the girl could not doubt her sincerity. Do you, in truth ? Why, thin, it's me that'll talk till I hoarse meself dumb for yer good. It was the famine, miss, that came first, and stole the bit o' food that was saved. The praties were rotten in the field ; and the poor pigs starved that should have helped us out wi' the rint. Och, but it was a sore time o' grief whin sorra a mouthful were left for the bit childer and the ould people who were weak before wi' ould age! In the worst time o' all, whin the need was the sorest, our Bessie got into disgrace, and came home from service wi' niver a penny to help herself or us. There was nought to do and nought to eat at all. The neighbours were faint wi' the hoonger; and so, before the worst came, we left all that was dear and came here."



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AT HER MOTHER'S COTTAGE. 31 "Do you know that your daughter is a heretic? was his first question. Indade, no, yer riverence," replied Biddy. An' what sort o' a mother are you, Biddy Dillon, to stand still and look on while the wolf stales the best o' yer flock ? You might have known that heretic family would lave not a stone unturned to catch her at last. And so she can read-" "Read!" interrupted the astonished woman. "Yes, read! And it's the heretics' Bible she has read, too,-and all through your fault. Mighty proud ye have been o' all the fine housekeeping ways she has learned, and very thankful, no doubt, for the bits o' could victuals from the big house; but where's the good now ? Ye may thank yourself that she will lose her sowl for ever." Mrs. Dillon started and turned pale as the door softly opened, and Annorah herself, unobserved by the priest, came in. He went on: "Do you call her better, the pestilent crather, when, from her first going to the grand place on the hill, never a word about them has been got from her at confession? The obstinate crather! " I came to your riverence for spiritual good," said Annorah, now coming forward and laying a fat chicken and sundry paper parcels beside



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ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. 23 ing to read. The pleasant summer days had come, and they were often abroad in the fresh air together, Annie in her low carriage, which was easily drawn by her young nurse. Down in the valley behind Mr. Lee's house there was an old mill, long since deserted and unused. This was a favourite resort of Annie's, and it was here that she taught Annorah to read, during the long summer afternoons. At first Annorah was listless, indifferent, and often suspicious that all this attention to her education boded no good to her old religious prejudices. But she could deny Annie nothing ; and after a time, as her confidence in the piety of her gentle teacher increased, she began to feel a deep interest in the truths taught. In her anxiety to please her invalid charge, she made rapid progress in reading, and before the end of the summer could write a few plain sentences. She began to love knowledge for its own sake; and many a pleasant hour did she spend, when Annie was asleep or weary, in reading the easy lessons selected for her. But she was careful that neither her mother nor the priest should suspect her progress in learning, and as she still went regularly to confession," it was easy to keep her secret from them. Annie was



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46 THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. to mind theirownparticularbusiness, and throuble us no more, it's nieself would be sure to bring the handsome sum to yer riverence when I come to confession. Contrariwise, you see, and you kape fussing, and they kape fussing, it's all loss it is to ye, and no gain." The priest's countenance brightened perceptibly. He seemed much impressed with Biddy's view of the case, and was not slow to perceive its worldly wisdom. So, after addressing the waiting company to some purpose, he left them. But Biddy sat thoughtfully in a corner, with her lame boy. She had, in her conversation with the priest, cunningly hit on an expedient to propitiate him for a time, but she was ill at ease. She could not at once throw off the chains of teaching that had bound her'all her life; and so dim was the light that she had received, that she dared not yet follow it. Oh, then, it's a jewel she is, core o' me heart, Norah dear! The last two words were whispered so loud that Phelim heard them, and he said, I've seen her to-night, mother." Who ? Spake aisy, mavourneen." Our Norah." When ? questioned his mother, with an anxious glance at the unheeding revellers.



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12 ANNIE'S PLAN. What is Annorah doing?" inquired Mrs. Lee. Doing ? repeated Biddy wonderingly. I mean, how does she get her living?" At service too, ma'am, when it is to be had. But, shure, it's a bad timper she has, and will sthrike and scold whin her blood is up. An' she has lost the fine, comfortable place she had with Mrs. Green, jist for a thrifle of spaach." That is unfortunate." Oh, thin, ye may well say that. Anither mouth in a family like me own is far from convenient whin the cost of the mate and the flour is beyond raach intirely." Well, Biddy, Miss Annie wants some one to wait on her in the place of Jessie, who has gone. She has taken a fancy to try your girl. When can she come? " Coom! Why, this very hour, an' ye like. A blessin' on yer swate, pale face !" said Biddy, looking pityingly towards Annie. She must be gentler here," said Mrs. Lee ; "she must govern her temper. Miss Annie must not be excited and made worse by your girl's fits of ill-humour." Leave her to me, mamma," said Annie. I think, Mrs. Dillon, that there will be no trouble. What did you say is her name?" "Annorah, an' ye plaze, miss." il



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LIVE TO BE USEFUL. CHAPTER I. ANNIE'S PLAN. NNIE LEE was a cripple. Until her eighth summer she had been strong and well, like most other children; but then disease began to appear, and although she had skilful doctors and kind nurses, it was soon too plain that she was never to be well again. Five years of pain and weakness had been her portion at the time our story commences. So accustomed had she become to her sad situation, that it seemed like a delusive dream when she remembered the sportive hours of her earlier childhood. Like other sick children, she was far more thoughtful than was quite natural at



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34 THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAH to ye now ? Didn't I warn ye against their heretic ways ? An' ye've been and fallen into the dape pit as aisy as a blind sheep. Och! for shame, Annorah Dillon! Why do ye not spake? What can ye say for yourself?" "Mother," said Annorah, "how often you've said, when Larry O'Neale's good luck has been tould of, that it was the larnin', shure, that did it all! An' when we were over the great water, you said, How nice and comfortable would it be an' we had one in the family like Larry himself, to send back the news to ould friends, when we got safe here.' Do ye not mind, mother dear, how often you've said that same since? Well, now, I've been and learned what ye wanted so much; and first cooms the praste and makes a big fuss, and then you, mother, spake as if I had thried to anger in the room o' plasing ye. I'm sure I've thried to plase you all I could." "So ye have, mavourneeri; so ye have," said Biddy, her voice softening as she turned to look at the chicken and other things that Annorah had brought. It's not yer mother, honey, that has a word to say against you; but when Father M'Clane talks o' yer being a heretic, it angers me. This Bible that he frets about, what is it, Norah?" It's God's truth, mother, that he has given



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ANNIE'S PLAN. 7 his crutches while Biddy is washing without thanking God for my happier fate." Why, Annie, it is not probable that he suffers one-half as much as you do." As much pain, do you mean, mamma ?" Yes." I wasn't thinking of that. They are very poor; and if he lives to be a man, how can he earn the comforts of life? I need have no care on that account." I daresay he has none. There are several trades that he might learn which require a sitting posture ; he might be a shoemaker, for instance. Do not fret on his account, Annie." It seems to me, mamma," replied Annie, with a thoughtful air, that his only prospect for the future is to be pushed about here and there in the crowd, until at last he finds a refuge in the grave." What foolish fancies !" said Mrs. Lee, rising, as a noise in the yard below attracted her to the window. We know nothing about the future, and it is not quite right to make ourselves sad about it. It is hardly like your usual trust in God, to be thus imagining trouble. There's a little lame boy in the yard, who, I suppose, is Phelim; he seems happy enough. Hark don't you hear him sing? He is sitting on the bench



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8 ANNIE'S PLAN. behind the clothes-frame, and his mother is hanging out the clothes to dry. Don't you hear her laugh at what he is singing?" What is it, mamma ? Can you hear the words?" asked Annie, brightening up, and raising herself on her elbow as she lay on her low couch. I hear them very well; but his Irish gibberish is as Greek to me. All that I can make out is what seems to be the chorus: "'0 Ireland, green Ireland, Swate gem o' the sae !'" Mamma," said Annie, after listening with smiling interest a while, "it troubles me very often because Phelim knows nothing about our Saviour. He has a sister, two years older than I am, who cannot read. She never went to school; and none of the family can read a word." How did you learn this?" From Phelim. I speak to him sometimes when he plays under the window." Well, I don't know how we can help them. If we should offer to teach them, they would not be willing to learn." Are you sure of it, mamma?" Not quite so sure, perhaps, as if I had tried to instruct them; but I know that they regard a book as a sort of Protestant trap, made on pur-



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AT HER MOTHER'S COTTAGE. 35 to teach us all; and a brave book it is. Father M'Clane has one himself; and what frets him is, .that the heretics, as he calls them, can read it for themselves and find out God's will; for only the praste has it with us." "Well, then, an' the praste tells us the same, it saves us a world o' bother, shure." "But if the praste is not a good man, he can tell us whatever he likes; and how do we know what is God's Word? Now, mother, in all God's "Word there is never a bit about confessing to a praste, but a great deal about praying and confessing to God himself. But, you see, if all our people knew that same, sorra a bit o' money would go to the praste's pocket in comparison to what he gets now. It's that, mother dear, that makes him so afraid we shall learn. He can't get the money from those who can read God's Word for themselves." "Are you sure it's all thrue ?" asked Biddy, her eyes wide open with astonishment. It is the truth of God. An' it's this same learning that's got out of the holy Book that makes the difference between Protestants and Catholics. They go to the Word itself, an' we take on hearsay whatever the praste tells us. An' there is no word in all the Book, mother, about praying to Mary, the mother of Jesus, or to any





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THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. 43 Annorah's restoration to the faith. One after another went reverently on their knees up the short, steep stairway, and came down lighter in purse, and, as the priest wickedly taught them, absolved of all offences, but swelling with wrath against the poor girl whose coming was so long delayed. And when, at last, it became apparent that she would not come, a storm of abuse was poured upon Biddy, who, it was evident to all, did not cordially join in their violent measures. Now, Biddy Dillon had too much of the national character to sit down quietly and receive their abuse, and soon a regular quarrel ensued, which would have speedily become a fight, but for the descent of Father M'Clane into their midst, and his imperative command that each one should sit down quietly and hould his tongue." "Whisht! whisht! Of what are ye thinking, ye silly gossoons? Will ye bring down the peace officers upon ye, and take out the bit o' the night in the prison, instead o' drinking me health, as ye may, and me helping to do that same? Arrah! Why should ye glower and snarl at each other, like a kennel o' mad puppies, when it's the brave frolic ye may have together? It's the soft looks and the fine words ye must use, an' ye would win the young heretic back; ye may fight over her till the great day o' all, and it



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r -,< i u



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TIE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. 45 home o' a Saturday. Sorra a hap'orth to spare will I find; it's no me two hands alone can find bread for the mouths o' all, and-" Stuff and nonsense !" interrupted the priest; "there's many another place can be had for a sthrong, likely lass like her. Good servants are not over plenty, and she can be better placed." "But where, I would like ye to tell ? It's in a Protestant family she must be, an' she goes out to service at all." "Yes; but they'll let her alone in some houses. Sorra a bit do the most o' them care what becomes o' the sowl, an' the work be done to their liking. Our Lady be praised I it's to the far counthrees that the Protestant missionaries are sent, and the silver is given; for one-half o' the pains taken wi' the poor crathurs who work in their kitchens would have ruined us all." "Yer riverence spakes thrue, to be shure," said Biddy; "but for all that, it will never be a bit o' use to thry to make a good Catholic o' Norah, now that she can read the big books and talk so bravely herself. An' it were to be the savin' o' her life, she would never confess to a praste again, or take the holy wafer from his hands. But if ye would take it aisy and lave it to me, and persuade these meddlesome boobies



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24 ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. often not a little puzzled to know how she managed to elude the vigilance of the priest. It was a beautiful autumn afternoon, when the air was just cool enough to be refreshing, that, with Mrs. Lee's permission, Annie and her nurse sought their favourite seat by the mill-stream. Annie had been thinking more than usual about Annorah's progress in religious knowledge, and wondering how, with the light and wisdom she had received, she could still cling to her old superstitions. A great change had taken place in her temper, which was now usually controlled; her manners had gradually become more gentle; but the radical change of heart that Annie so longed to witness, did not yet show itself. Tell me, Annorah," she said, after the usual time had been spent in reading, does Father M'Clane know that you can read yet?" "Not he, indade." "Does he not question you?" "Not exactly. He says I spake better English, and that shure it is because I live where it is well spoken." What did you say to that ?" "I said, 'True, your riverence.' "I'm afraid that is hardly the truth, Annorah. If anything has improved your language, it is your reading."



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56 BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A "HERETIC." I have no time to stay longer. I warn ye all, my friends, to kape away from this accursed house, and to turn a deaf ear to all that is said to ye here. Your souls are in peril. Ye are almost caught in the snare. Ye should run for yer lives before ye perish entirely. I shall remember you, Biddy Dillon." In course ye will. An' ye show yerself here again, barrin' as a peaceable frind or ould acquaintance, ye'll find yerself remimbered too, honey." There was a silence of some minutes after the priest left the house. It was broken by the most timid of the party. "Afther all, Biddy, my heart misgives me. Of what use are all the prayers on the beads, the Hail Marys, and the penance, the fasting from meat on Fridays, or even the blessed salt o' our baptism, if we anger the praste, and he refuse to give us the holy oil at the last? What will become o' us then? " What can a wicked ould praste do to help us? It's God alone can strengthen us then. I wouldn't give a penny for the oil. It's a betther way, darlin', that God has provided for us. It's a brave story that Phelim is waiting to read to us. There's thruth and sense in it, too, ye will find.-It's a fine counthree is this, Masther



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60 ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS. in the vicinity were glad to secure their labour, because of its cheapness, and never troubled themselves about an occasional noise, if the general interests of their business were not neglected. There were not wanting those who pitied their low estate, and who would have sincerely rejoiced in their elevation; but until poor invalid Annie Lee began to instruct Annorah, no one had dreamed of winning them, by self-sacrifice and kindness, to a knowledge of the truth. Annie herself, while patiently explaining over and over again what seemed to her as simple and plain as possible, little imagined the glorious results that were indirectly to grow out of her feeble efforts. But God watches the least attempt to do good, and fosters the tiniest seed sown; and Annie, without knowing it, was sowing seed for a plenteous harvest. But while the good work prospered, she herself was rapidly ripening for heaven. She knew that she was hastening to a better land, even a heavenly; and she strove to improve every moment of the time that remained, in efforts to give stability to Annorah's religious feelings. Many were the conversations that they had together on the condition of the poor Irish people, and countless almost were the directions that Annorah received in regard to the best methods of winning



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TO ANNORAH. 41 with a little anxiety, the unusual expression of her attendant's face. It's Phelim, my brother, miss, has been here, and it's a house full o' company there is at home." And they want you to spend the holy Sabbath to-morrow in visiting them, I suppose." No, Miss Annie." "What then ?" asked Mrs. Lee, after a moment's silence. Nothing to speak of, ma'am. Leastways, nothing to trouble ye about." "But I can see that it is something that troubles you, Norah," said Annie, taking the rough hand of Annorah in hers, and drawing her nearer. Is it something that you would rather I should not know?" Indeed no. But it's loath I am to add my bit troubles to yours, when ye suffer yer own so patiently. It's only that all my relatives, and the praste, and the Catholic neighbours, are waiting for me to come home, to bring me back to the ould Church by force. An' Phelim, poor boy, came to tell me to keep away. It's worse he'll be for the damp air; and it's angry they'll be for my staying away." Ah! Annorah, my dear nurse, I was afraid that rougher times awaited you. I was afraid they would persecute you."



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50 BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A HERETIC." especially for the wisdom that cometh from above. She improved, too, rapidly enough to satisfy a less partial teacher. In the varied arts of housewifery, and in the more intricate use of the needle, she had also become quite expert, and, to use Mrs Lee's own words, was quite a treasure in every part of the house." Little lame Phelim came for an hour each afternoon to Miss Annie's room to be made a schollard, shure; and every Saturday evening found Annorah, with her Bible, seated by her mother's fireside, reading, and in her own earnest but uncouth manner expounding the truths she read. One Sabbath evening in March, Father M'Clane set out for a walk to Mrs. Dillon's cottage. His prospects and reflections had been of a grave and sad character throughout the day, and his threadbare coat and lean purse had been more than usually suggestive of the great truth, that all earthly comforts are fleeting and transitory. For the first time Biddy had that day absented herself from the Catholic chapel. Annorah had lately added to her Scripture reading, Kirwan's Letters to Archbishop Hughes." She read it to her mother whenever a spare hour enabled her to run home. Biddy had been greatly interested in the appeals and arguments of her talented



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THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. 47 "Afther dusk. I thought ye would like her to kape away to-night." Now blessings on ye for a handy callant as ye are," said Biddy, patting his shoulder approvingly. An' how is she?" "Well as ever, mother, and kind-tempered and good too. A power of good things she has sent, and they're safe hid in the cellar. The money is in me coat pocket, mother. Shall I give it ye ?" "Not now. Kape it till all be gone. Was she sorry or mad, Phelim ? "Mad? Notatall. Sorry? I don't know at all. Her voice was all courage and kindness; but I saw big tears on her cheek, for all that." The mother and son sat silently looking into the fire for a few moments. At last Phelim spoke. "Mother," said the boy, "ye'll not have them abuse her and torment her, just for changing into such a dear crathur ?" She's a heretic, lad." "What o' that? She's good, any way," said Phelim stoutly. "I would I were a big man. We'd see who would throuble her then. It's a thrashin' they'd get, an' it's manners they'd learn, and no charges made for the teaching." Whisht, lad! it's careful and sly we must be. An' do ye not bother yer poor head wi' yer sister's new notions. It's a nation o' throuble I'd



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ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. 21 whisper. Kape quiet, will ye, and let the poor lamb slape !" Mrs. Lee hardly knew whether to be amused or provoked as she, the mistress of the house, obeyed Annorah's imperative gesture, and withdrew softly from the apartment. CHAPTER III. ANNORAI LEARNS TO READ. IN a very few days Annie was intrusted to the sole care of her young Irish nurse, who served her with the most affectionate attention. Mrs. Lee often came to sit with her suffering child, but Annorah alone performed the tender offices of the sick-room. Rough and uncouth as she was, she readily adapted herself to the services required; and no power on earth could have persuaded her that Annie could be so well taken care of by any one else. It naded a dale o' contrivance, to be shure," she said to her mother one afternoon, when, Annie being asleep, she ran home to ask after the family, "or I would be well bothered with all her pretty talk o' books, and taching me to read and write; but she, poor darlin', shall say whatever she plazes to me."



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28 ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. Why, then, I can coom as soon as the grandest. How shall I coom ?" "I will tell you how I came to him. I studied his holy Word to learn his will, and I prayed often that he would give me his Spirit to teach me the way to him." "An' did he?" Yes. In a little time I began to know more about myself, and to see how much I needed a Saviour; and then I saw how willing Jesus must be to save me, having died for me as well as for others; and so, in a way that I can't explain, I was led to give myself to hig, and I soon found peace in believing. He will ieach you, Annorah, and lead you right, if you earnestly seek him. Look at the sunset clouds. Did you ever see such gold, and crimson, and purple before? But the sunset is not half so bright and beautiful as the true Christian's prospects." Looking at the sunset reminded Annorah that it was late for her charge to be out. A very slight rustle in the bushes behind her, recalled what she had strangely forgotten, in her interest in the conversation. She took up a large stone and threw it among the bushes. "What is there, Annorah ?" asked Annie, in alarm. "Only a sarpint, miss."



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38 PHELIM BRINGS BAD TIDINGS Annorah often found these things very hard to bear. Her quick Irish blood was up with the first insulting word; but she sought for strength from above to control it, and no outbreak of passion was suffered to mar the sweet lesson that her patience and kindness toward all was insensibly teaching. She was getting ready for her usual Saturday evening's visit to her mother's cottage, when her attention was attracted by the low whistling of a familiar Irish air in the yard below. Looking out, she observed her lame brother, Phelim, making signs for her to come out. A little alarmed lest some evil had befallen her mother, she hurried out to meet him. "What is it, Phelim ? What is the matther, dear?" Matther, do you ask ? Well, the matther is, that ye're not to coom home till ye're sent for. Are ye not ashamed to make such a row?" I don't know what you mean. Sit down, Phelim dear; you're over weak to keep standin' so. Does the new liniment no help ye at all? And ye must carry home the money to mother, and the tea, and the sugar, and some nice warm woollen stockings that Mrs. Lee showed me how to knit for yerself, darlin'; and Heaven grant



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PHELIM BRINGS BAD TIDINGS. 37 I'll hear her for meself coom next Saturday. Och! what a row it will make an' Father M'Clane, and Teddy Muggins, and Mike Murphy get wind o' a heretic Bible being brought to the place! But I'll hear and judge for meself, that I will; an' if the praste be right, small harm is there to be shure; and if he be wrong, the better for me poor sowl, and a saving o' money." CHAPTER V. PHELIM BRINGS BAD TIDINGS TO ANNORAH. ANNORAH'S troubles were not ended by the unexpected encouragement received from her mother. Her brothers and sister, and Irish acquaintance generally, soon heard that she no longer went to mass or to confession; and great was the uproar among them. The unsparing rebukes of Father M'Clane, whenever he met with any one sup"posed to have any influence over her, soon fanned into life not only a vehement hatred of the Protestants, but a bitter feeling of enmity toward the poor girl herself. Those who had been most cordial now either passed her in sullen silence, or openly taunted her upon her defection; and the very children in the lane hooted after her, when she made her usual weekly visit to her mother.



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18 ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCE quarrelled, and the young ones were aye cross or sick; and a bad time they made of it all." Did you come directly here?" "No; we stayed where we landed for seven weeks, till we got word to our cousin." And since you have been here, Annorah, what have you been doing? Have you been to school ?" "No; the praste forbade." Poor thing! Then you cannot read?" How should I know reading, I'd like to know? Who would teach me that same?" Many good people would like to do it, if you would like to learn." I'm ower knowin' for that, miss," replied Annorah, with a glance which betrayed that she was rather suspicious of Annie's good intentions. It's a mighty pity that readin' was contrived at all, for it's the books that makes the black heretics o' us. Let alone the books and the readin',' said Father M'Clane to me last evening, and confess to me faithfully all that ye hear in the grand Protestant family, an' all will go well wi' ye, Annorah,' says he, 'now and for evermore.' Annie laughed pleasantly. And so you are to play the spy and the tattler; and however kindly we may treat you, you are to report all



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BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A "HERETIC." 49 The other is the roomiest, and the floor is the plainest." Hurrying out with ready good-will to assist in the needful preparations, Biddy soon removed any suspicions that might have been entertained in the minds of any of her neighbours of any leaning on her part toward heresy. CHAPTER VII. BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A HERETIC." SEVERAL months passed quietly by. It was winter, and the heaviest snow that had fallen within the memory of that personage so universally known and respected-namely, the oldest inhabitant-now lay upon the ground; and all in town and country who were partial to the exercise of skating could enjoy it freely. But the severe cold confined the delicate invalids to their heated rooms, and fair Annie Lee again found herself shut up to the tiresome routine of sickroom pleasures, only varied by intervals of suffering. The pleasure, however, predominated. She seemed almost to forget her pain and increasing languor in her unceasing efforts to instruct her young nurse. Annorah, on her part, thirsted for knowledge, 4



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TO ANNORAH. 39 that it's no a bad turn o' pain ye will get in yer bones by cooming to tell me. There's a cranberry-pie that Mrs. Lee was to send for your own self, Phelim dear; it will relish better than our mother's plain cooking." The thought of eating the dainty so thoughtfully provided, produced a choking sensation in the boy's throat, as if it had there come into a collision with his wrath against heretics. But he said nothing, and Annorah went on:" I've been making some caps for mother; but ye're no able to carry so many things at once, poor fellow." Still Phelim did not speak, but he gazed earnestly into her face. The moon was up, and he could plainly see the traces of tears on her cheek, and the sad but loving expression of her eyes as she returned his gaze. An' it's the Protestant religion that makes you so good and kind, Norah," he said at length; our Lady help me, and I could just be a heretic wi' ye!" It's little I know yet o' the truth, but, 0 Phelim, it's a lovely way to heaven; and the swate, blessed feeling that fills up the heart when I pray straight up to the Lord Jesus Christ himself, is better than to have all the diamonds in a queen's crown. It makes me so



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30 THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAH beginning to sing too, she commenced talking again. "Heaven send it mayn't be thrue, but it does look like the heretic's doings. She were like a brimstone match, or like gunpowder itself, at home, and tender-hearted as a young baby besides. Shure, it's a mighty power, any way, that has so changed her. I can't jist feel aisy about it, for it's Father M'Clane will find out the harm of her good spaches and doings." The words were hardly out of her mouth when the priest entered. The storm on his brow was not unnoted by Biddy, but she respectfully set a chair for him in the cleanest part of the room. She was not quite so easily terrified by priestly wrath and authority as she had been in her own country; for she had the sense to know that the ghostly father's malediction did not, as in Ireland, entail a long course of temporal misfortunes upon the poor victims of his displeasure. But she had not yet acknowledged to herself the doubts that really existed in her mind in regard to the truth of the Romish faith; she still clung to the errors in which she had been brought up, and feared the effect on her eternal happiness of Father M'Clane's displeasure. So it was with a beating heart that she awaited his time to address her.





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54 BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A "HERETIC." ye not, give up these heretic doings, and stay in the communion o' the holy Church?" "An' it plaze yer riverence," replied Biddy, no ways disconcerted, "yer blessed saints are nothing to me; an' I shall do as I plaze." "Hear the woman Do you hear the bould blasphemer ?" he exclaimed. "An' what if they do hear? It were a sore pity they should be sthruck deaf to plaze ye," replied Biddy, her eyes flashing with excitement. "I would ye were in ould Ireland, or, for the matther o' that, in purgatory itself." "We would-" said the priest. "No doubt o' it. But it's here I am, at ycr service," interrupted Biddy. "Yes, and it's here ye've been bought for a wee pinch o' tae and a few poor, lean chickens. Sowl and body ye've been bought, and a mighty poor bargain have the blind purchasers made o' it." "Plazing yer riverence, ye know nought o' what ye are saying, and small throuble ye'll make wi' yer idle words. It's not a turkey, duck, or hen could buy Biddy Dillon. Ye've tried it yerself, father, and so ye know." "It's a black heart ye have," said the priest, whose courage was hardly equal to his anger, and whose valour speedily cooled before resolute



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ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS. 61 their love and confidence. Young as she was, Annie had learned that all efforts to benefit the unfortunate or ignorant are vain so long as the cold shoulder is turned towards them. She had proved in Annorah's case the magic effect of loving words and sympathy. As the spring advanced, Annie grew weaker. The mild air seemed to enervate rather than to brace her system, and she grew daily more emaciated. Her paroxysms of pain were less frequent, and she suffered most from languor and drowsiness. It was apparent to all but her fond parents that her days were numbered. They watched over her with the tenderest affection, hoping when there was no hope, and persuading themselves and each other that she would rally again when the ripe summer brought its gentle breezes and beautiful blossoms. "She is so fond of flowers and of the open air," said Mrs. Lee to Annorah, when, after an unusually restless and painful day, Annie had fallen asleep at last, and both left the room to breathe the fresh evening air. "When the weather gets settled so that she can let you draw her little carriage down by the mill-stream again, she will brighten up and get stronger. It is enough to make a well person ill, to be shut up so long." Ye know best, shure," said Annorah, in her



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12 TH E K I ND i RiS H N R S E



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THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAH. 29 "Well, let us hasten home. Mamma will be anxious." After they left, the dark form of a man rose from behind the green knoll where they had been sitting, and moved slowly along the bank of the stream, down the valley. It was Father M'Clane. CHAPTER IV. TIE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAII AT HER MOTHER'S COTTAGE. BIDDY DILLON had just finished a large ironing for one of the families in the village, and having placed the clothes-frame where the dust from the open fire-place could not fall on the fine starched linens and muslins, she began to set her table for tea, at the same time counting over the gains of the week. Not a trifle in her calculations were the wages of Annorah, who came regularly every Saturday evening to add her contribution to the family fund. "It's a good child she is gettin' to be, and a pleasant-tempered one, too," said Mrs. Dillon to herself; "it's made over intirely, she is, our Lady be praised She began to sing the burden of an Irish ditty, but the broken-nosed tea-kettle over the fire



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ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCE, ETC. 13 Annorah ? Very well. When shall she come, mamma?" Not until Monday, I think," replied Mrs. Lee. Then turning to Mrs. Dillon, she added, You may send her on Monday." An' she gets a mad streak along o' that pritty crathur," said Mrs. Biddy, as she went downstairs, she desarves the warm bating she'll get from her own mother at home." CHAPTER II. ANNORAII'S FIRST APPEARANCE IN TIE SICK-ROOMI. MONDAY came, and Annorah came too. It was with a doubting heart and a troubled look that Mrs. Lee introduced her into her daughter's chamber. It would be difficult to find a plainerlooking or a more awkward girl. Mrs. Lee looked at the monstrous foot in its heavy shoe, and at the thick, freckled hands, that seemed incapable of the gentle services that Annie's helplessness required, and wondered at her own folly in indulging the singular caprice of her daughter. But a single look at Annie assured her that she, at least, felt no misgivings. Still, she did not like to leave them by themselves until she had tested the new attendant's ability.



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BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A "HERETIC." 53 because ye are heretics all, that ye shun the confession and the holy mass. Do ye know what the Church has power to do wi' the like o' ye? Arrah! it was the heavenly and not the mortal wisdom that made the hot fires o' purgatory for such. Small help will ye get from me when the flames are scorching ye. Never a mass shall be said for a sowl o' ye, unless ye repent at once." And what call have ye to spake the like o' that," said Biddy, and me sitting peaceably by me own fire wi' the neighbours ?" She spoke in a low, uncertain tone, for his sudden appearance had startled her. A hush had fallen on the little assembly, and signs of terror flitted across the faces of the most timid, as the familiar voice of the priest recalled their old Popish fears. He was not slow to perceive this, or to take advantage of it. And who taught yer lame boy to read at all ? Who brought the heretic Bible into yer house? And who gathered the poor neighbours together to hear the false words that lead to perdition? Answer me that, Misthress Dillon," said the priest in a tone of anger. Biddy did not reply, though she had quite regained her usual courage. "I'll ask ye a plain question, Biddy Dillon, and I want a straight answer. Will ye, or will



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36 THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAH. of the saints. Everybody is invited to pray straight up to God himself." The girl's downright heresy, and her contempt for the mummeries of the Romish communion, troubled her mother. But what could she do? The change for the better in the child's temper had prepared her to look favourably upon the change in her religion. She listened to Annorah's continued account of what she had learned from the Bible with the greatest interest, feeling every moment more and more disposed to accept its teaching, and less and less disposed to blindly submit to the priest. Annorah stayed till a late hour with her mother, repeating over and over again the truths so interesting to herself, and obtaining permission at last to bring the Bible itself on her next visit. She was strictly cautioned, however, to bring it privately, lest Father M'Clane should hear of it, and, in Biddy's language, kick up a scrimmage." There were more ideas in the old woman's head than had ever found room there before, when, after Annorah had gone, she sat down by herself before the fire. She was both ambitions and imaginative, and long vistas of future greatness opened before her, all commencing with the wonderful fact that her child could read and write. "An' it's not all a queer drame," she said;



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14 ANNORAH'S FIRST APPEARANCE Annorah," she said, what sort of work can you do? I'm afraid you are not used to such services as Miss Annie will require." I can do most anything, ma'am," answered the girl resolutely. Indeed! Well, let me see how you would manage to place Annie on the bed when she is tired of the sofa." The words were scarcely out of her mouth before Annorah had lifted the frail form of the invalid in her arms and deposited her in the middle of the bed. Annie burst into such a laugh as she had not indulged in for a year. I think you may be satisfied, mamma," she said; I never was moved easier." Mrs. Lee began to think better of Annie's plan, and joined quite cordially in her daughter's mirth. And if she were too tired to rest in any "position, what would you do?" Carry her to the windows, or out in the air, for a change.-Will ye plaze to thry it, Miss Annie?" "Not now, Annorah." Then looking towards her mother, she said, Mamma, you may be easy; Annorah and I shall get on famously together." Thus assured, Mrs. Lee left them, and went



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AT HER MOTHER'S COTTAGE. 33 ing too, to be to you in place o' yer own father, Heaven rest his sowl; but he's gone to a better counthree than this sinful world. An' yer own good, child, is what I think on in spaking to you of Miss Annie and the heretics generally. It's not for meself, shure, that me prayers go up at the could midnight hour whin ye're all sleeping in quiet. It's not me own throubles that make me dream o' Heaven's wrath, but it's me care for yer sowl, Annorah, and for the sake o' yer gettin' saved at last." Hear that, Norah, child," said her mother. "Who else ever fretted themselves for yer good ? What would become o' ye, an' Father M'Clane gave ye up entirely ? "Your riverence must stay till I draw the tae and fry a bit o' the chicken," added Biddy, as the priest rose to take his leave. No, thank you," he replied; "I must not sit down at ease. Small rest is there for me when the wolf is in the fold, and the flock is in danger." He took leave quite cordially, but when he was gone, Biddy turned, with a shadow on her round face, to speak to her daughter. An' what's this ye've been doing, child ? Is it me own ears that have heard o' yer Biblereading and railing at the praste? What's coom 3



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A ir



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ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS. 59 But, alas for him and his prospects! he could do nothing with the people. The Protestant clergyman of the village, when he heard of the interest felt in lame Phelim's reading, readily came to their assistance, and joyfully read and explained the divine lessons. As their knowledge of the right way increased, their impressions of its importance to them personally were deepened, and Annorah soon had the happiness of seeing not only her mother and brother bowing at the foot of the cross of Christ, but many others earnestly seeking the salvation of their souls. The little Irish neighbourhood had been named New Dublin. It stood quite by itself, a thick belt of wood and the narrow mill-stream isolating it from the large village, where Mr. Lee'sresidence stood. Nothing but the smoke, which in summer as well as in winter is ever pouring from Irish chimneys, revealed to a visitor the existence of their pleasant hamlet. Still it was not so far retired but that, when a wake was held for the dead, the noise of the revelry seriously disturbed their quieter neighbours ; and when a row ensued, as was often the case, the distant uproar alarmed as well as annoyed the timid women and children. But no one thought of interfering. The wealthy owners of the iron-works and factories



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40 PHELIM BRINGS BAD TIDINGS. light and happy; so contented intirely. It quiets the bad temper into perfect peace; and I love, as I never dreamed of doing before, all my friends and enemies too. It's little I know yet, Phelim, but all the gould in the world, and all the world's hate too, shall not hinder me from learning more o' God's wonderful way to save sinners. But hurry home now, Phelim, mavourneen; the raw night air is no good for ye." "They may say what they will, Norah," said the boy, but I'm sure I will love ye for ever. An' ye'll tache me to get those heavenly feelings, I'll jist follow the road ye have taken. I've plenty o' time, as ye know." Do ye mean, will I teach you to read?" Yes." I'll speak to Miss Annie about it. Hurry home as fast as you can. Good-night, and God bless you." With an affectionate kiss they parted; and Annorah went slowly back to her young mistress's room. How is this, Annorah? asked Mrs. Lee, as she entered. How happened you to return so soon?" "I have not been home, an' ye please, ma'am." "Are you not going to-night? asked Annie, raising her head from her pillow, and noticing,



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58 ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAiHS PROSPECTS. Testament brought out. Phelim read very poorly, and was often obliged to spell over the long words, and did not always succeed in giving the correct pronunciation; but no fault was found by his eager listeners. He read how Christ healed the leper, and poor Peter Barry found in the story a word of encouragement for him. He read of the Saviour's gracious compassion for the hungering multitude; and his ignorant auditors praised the divine Being who so sympathized with mortal infirmities. Phelim was often interrupted by remarks or approving comments, but these in no way diminished the interest of the sacred story. CHAPTER VIII. ANNIE'S DEATII-ANNORAH S PROSPECTS. ON every pleasant evening Biddy Dillon's cottage was thronged by those who came to listen to the Word of God. It was in vain that Father M'Clane opposed these meetings. His threats and arguments, once so potent, seemed now but to lessen his power. He even secured the services of z neighbouring priest, and with him visited each Irish family in succession, coaxing and flattering where his authority was not acknowledged.



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42 THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. But they haven't yet, Miss Annie." Perhaps it is not what you would call persecution, but it is sad to have those we love turn against us. You must trust in God, my poor girl. He will give you grace to bear it all." CHAPTER VI. THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. GREAT was the uproar in Biddy Dillon's cottage when it was found that Annorah was not coming to make her usual Saturday evening visit to her mother. Preparations had been made by Father M'Clane for holding a regular confessional; and an hour before sunset, he had taken his seat in the little darkened chamber, behind a table on which four tallow-candles were burning, with an uncertain, flickering light. It had been decided in the council of relatives and friends that Annorah's only chance of salvation lay in speedy confession, and it was very reasonably supposed, that could she be brought back to that Popish duty, a great point would be gained in the way to her perfect restoration. It was, therefore, no affectionate, loving circle that had now assembled to bear a hand" in



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44 THE CONFESSIONAL--AN IRISH FROLIC. will be but a sorrowful waste o' the powther, barrin' the swate chance ye are losing now o' a comfortable frolic. Arrah, now, Dennis darlin', a sup o' the whisky for me, a thrifle sthrong, an' ye plaze. It's a could night to be out wi' an empty stoomach." Stay till the morning, father," said Biddy, coming up to him with an anxious face; we cannot kape peace an' ye do not bide wi' us; the frolic will be all the better an' ye stay to the orderin' o' it,-and the best bed is waitin' yer riverence's convanience. There's Sandy and Mike will fight an' ye lave, and Katy there is ready to tear out the eyes o' big Nelly Murphy. It's quarrelling they've been the whole blessed day. Bide with us, lest the dear childer who is the cause o' it all should be kilt and murdered intirely, an' she sthrays home to-night." She spoke in a low voice, and he replied in the same tone, drawing her back from the crowd, who were all talking together. Look here, Biddy Dillon," he said; the girl must lave that grand house and come home to live here with you." "Lave Miss Annie, do ye mane, sir ?" Small hope for her sowl an' she do not." And few are the pennies I can bring to yer riverence when the child has no wages to bring



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62 ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS. grief resuming her national accent and brogue" Ye know best, but it's thinner and weaker she's getting, and is a baby for weight in me arms. Och! the dark day it will be for poor Norah when she looks her last on that swate angel face!" And the poor girl burst into tears, and covered her face with her apron. After a few moments she went on to say,-" It'll go hard wi' ye all, Mrs. Lee: ye'll miss her dear ways an' her heavenly smiles; she is yer own blood, were she not an angel intirely. But oh, ma'am, she's been to me what no words can tell; and the short life o' me will seem without end till I go to wait on her above. Oh, what'll I do without her, when the whole world is dark as night? Mrs. Lee could not reply, for she, too, was weeping. There was something in Annorah's desolate tone that went to her heart, and inspired a pitying affection for the plain-looking girl by her side, which she would once have thought impossible. She began to comprehend the mystery of Annie's caressing manner to her young nurse. "Annorah, my poor girl," she faltered at length. Ah, ma'am, in all me troubles, and when I was wickedest, was it not her voice that was full and sweet with the pleasant encouragement? Oh,core o' me heart, acushla, what'll I do? what'll I do?"



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ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. 27 poor girl, you will meet much opposition. I am afraid that your family will join with the priest in opposing you." "Let them. I'll fight them all with pleasure -more especially the praste." "But fighting is not the way to make them think well of the religion of Jesus. He was mild and gentle, patient under abuse and persecution; and he must be your pattern, if you desire to please God. You must pray to him, Annorah, for a new heart, so that none of these angry feelings will trouble you." "Is it the new heart, miss, that makes you so sweet and patient ?" If I have any goodness, Annorah, it is because God has changed my old heart, and made it better. It is his grace that enables me to suffer without complaining; and it is his love, which I feel in my heart, that makes me calm and happy in my greatest pain." "Then I am sure," said the girl earnestly, forgetting for a moment that she was overheard, "I will never rest a day at all, till I get that same done for me. But mayhap he will not be so willing to look upon me." "In his holy Book we read that he is no respecter of persons, and that whosoever cometh unto him he will in no wise cast out."



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ANNIE'S PLAN. 9 pose to catch them, soul and body. It is an evil that we cannot remedy.-Have you more pain than usual, my dear?" said Mrs. Lee, appearing a little startled, and bending anxiously over Annie's couch as she observed an unusual flush on her pale cheek. No, mamma; but I was thinking of a plan that I have had for some weeks, and hoping that you would not object to it." Object! You shall have whatever you like, if it can be procured. What is it, Annie?" Oh, dear mamma," said Annie, I do so long to do some good! I cannot bear to live such a useless life. Every day, when I feel the goodness of God and his great love to me, I long to do something for him. And I think, mamma, that I have planned a way to do good without getting off my sofa." You are always doing good, Annie. Do you suppose that your patience under suffering is not a lesson to us in our smaller trials? There are many ways in which you are a blessing to us all; so do not weary yourself with new schemes. If God had required active service from you, he would have given you health and strength." "But I can do something, mamma. Please to hear my plan. I want to tell you something



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IN THE SICK-ROOM. 15 down-stairs with a better opinion of the rough Irish girl than she had thought it possible to entertain an hour previous. Left by themselves, the two girls began to form an acquaintance with each other. Two persons more unlike could not have been brought together. Annorah was evidently much interested in her young charge, and felt the most unbounded sympathy in her sufferings. Annie spoke first. Please draw my couch nearer the window, Annorah. That will do. Now, sit down on this low stool, and tell me how long it is since you left Ireland." It's two years, miss, coom April." So lately? Then you remember all about the old country?" Remember An' it's me that'll niver forget that same. The beautiful counthree it is !" "Pleasanter than this, do you think?" A thousand times. There is no place in the world like it; the dear ould counthree !" Why, then, did you leave it, Annorah ?" "Bad luck we had, miss; and a worse luck intirely here, the mane town that this is." Tell me all about it." What for? That ye, too, may laugh like the rest, and call us the mane, dirty set of Irish



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64 ANNIE'S DEATH-ANNORAH'S PROSPECTS. ally improved by the happy influence of true religion, yet retains enough of the characteristics of her nation to make her an acceptable visitor in the humblest cottage in New Dublin. It was long after the death of her young mistress before she regained her usual cheerfulness. But time, the great healer of sorrow, has gradually softened her grief, and made her cherished memories of Miss Annie, like beautiful pictures, very pleasant to look upon. 4111I



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26 ANSORAH LEARNS TO READ. I, Annorah ? What does he know of me ?" "Nothing at all, savin' that ye are a saint, and he an ould-" Stop, stop, Annorah. We must not speak evil of any one. I hope that you were civil in your reply." Civil! indade I' was. I said, 'Ye should teach your flock better than to tempt honest people.' It's gettin' impudent ye are,' says he; 'ye'll be turnin' heretic next. You must be seen to and taken care of,' says he. 'Bad luck to ye says I; when ye sees me two eyes light me to confession again, ye may take care o' me and welcome.' " And shall you not go again I "Never again." Annorah saw the shadow raise its hand threateningly. No, indade. Where's the use o' telling all ye know to an ould creature like him? Doesn't the blessed Book say that no man can come to the Father but only through Jesus Christ? An' shure, the great Father in heaven is angered to see me kneel down before that biggest o' scamps, when I should be praying to himself. I'll do it no more." I am glad to hear you say so, Annorah; I do so hope," said Annie, as the affectionate tears stole down her thin cheek, "that you are beginning to learn in the school of Christ. But, my



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LIVE TO BE USEFUL; OR, THE STORY OF ANNIE LEE AND HER IRISH NURSE. LONDON: T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW; EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK. 1872.



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ANNIE'S PLAN. 11 I have thought of it all, over and over," replied Annie, and I think she will make a good nurse for me." Mrs. Lee hesitated a long time. She could "not bear to deny Annie, and could not overcome her dislike to the proposed arrangement. But Annie's pleading look at length decided her. "You wish very much to try this wild-goose plan !" she said, resuming the conversation. Very much, mamma," replied Annie. Well, you shall have your own way about it. It will last but a few days, I am sure; and the change will interest you at anyrate, poor thing !" Then going to the window, she looked down into the yard, and said, Mrs. Dillon, come up to Miss Annie's room, will you ?" In a minute the woman made her appearance at the door, with the suds still lingering in foamy flakes upon her arms and along the folds of her apron. You have a daughter, I believe ? said Mrs. Lee. "Two of them, an' ye plaze, ma'am," replied Biddy, wiping her arms as she spoke. Are they both at home ?" It's Bessie that is in service; and it's only Annorah that's at home, shure."



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BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A HERETIC." 57 Barry, and a free," added Biddy, turning to a stout man, who, with scarcely a whole article in his apparel, was lounging in the shade of a corner. Thrue for ye," he replied,-" though it's little I get out of it, barrin' the sup o' whisky wi' my supper." "But ye might-the more shame it is. Ye are weel-conditioned and hearty. It's no the counthree is to blame, neighbour, nor Katy indade. She works night and day for ye an' the childer. Ye are better here than over the sae." Oh, then, I don't know. When I came to this counthree, I had never a rag to me back, an' now, faith, I'm nothing but rags. A fine, illigant counthree!" Lave the liquor alone, Peter Barry, and ye may have the best of the land for yerself. An' ye would give up the dhrinking, a better lad could not be found, nor a handsomer." "It's too sthrong for me. It's many a day have I given it up for ever, and been drunk as a beast in an hour. But to-night, says Katy to me, It's the heretic Bible as is read at Mrs. Dillon's has a cure in it for weak sinners like you, Peter dear.' So I came to hear a bit o' the Bible, an' ye plaze." So Kirwan's Letters were laid aside, and a New



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48 THE CONFESSIONAL-AN IRISH FROLIC. have with a pair o' ye at once; and ye're no earning money, Phelim, boy, to buy off the praste. Kape a still tongue, lad, an' ye bite it in two; an' don't go for to meddle wi' matters concerning yer sowl. The praste an' yer poor mother will kape a sharp look-out; an' it will go hard, shure, if between us ye are not saved at last." "But, mother, where is the harm if I look for meself a bit? Who can see Norah, so gentle and loving, so careful o' you and me, so pleasant to every one, and not want to know more o' the way she has taken ?" "Yes, yes, lad; but have ye no sense at all? What if ye have been tould a secret, can ye not kape it the same? Now mind, once for all; ye're not to know it at all, if Norah brings home the Word o' the Lord to read to her ould ignorant mother (it's a swate voice she has), and ye shall hear the big Book as well; only mind, Phelim. acushla, ye're to know nothing at all, let who will spake to ye o' the same." "Yes; but, mother, what if I myself learn to-" Hush 1-Is it o' me ye are spaking ? asked Biddy, turning to a cluster of people who had drawn near them. It's no hearty I feel tonight, and poor lame Phelim is kaping me company. Is it room for the dance ye are wanting ?



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LIVE TO BE USEFUL. --*^!stfc K-



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ANNORAH LEARNS TO READ. 25 To be shure. But is it not because I am with those who spake English well, that I'm learning to read? So it was the truth, after all." "Not the whole truth, Annorah." Just then Annorah turned, and saw the shadow of a man on the sloping rock at the left hand. Her first impulse was to cry out, but the fear of alarming Annie, and her own natural courage, prevented her; and she soon thought she could detect in the shadowy outline a resemblance to Father M'Clane. Och, then, the murder's out," she thought; the mane creature has been listening, and faith now he shall have a pill that will settle his stomach intirely.-What were you saying, Miss Annie? she asked aloud, turning towards Annie's carriage. "I said that you did not tell him the whole truth." Small matter for that. It was all he asked for, and it's better plazed he is than if it were more. He's a lying -ould thing himself, any way! "Why, Annorah ?" "Ye may well open yer eyes. Did he not tell me last Sunday that you, miss, with your sweet voice and comforting ways, were jist a temptation placed in me way, by the ould inimy himself?"



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32 THE PRIEST MEETS ANNORAH her week's wages on the little table by her mother's side. I came for spiritual good, and ye thried to teach me to tattle. It's a mane trade intirely, lettin' alone the maneness of sich as teach it." Annorah exclaimed her mother, do you dare to spake in that way o' the praste himself?" I mean no harm, mother." "No harm repeated Father M'Clane, turning fiercely toward her. You won't cheat me with words like these." Annorah tossed her head scornfully and sat down opposite the priest, who on his part seemed far less desirous to carry on the war since her arrival. The cottage that he occupied belonged to Mr. Lee, and judging that gentleman by his own heart, he feared that an unfavourable representation of the case to him might either increase his rent or turn him out altogether. Besides, he was not unlike blusterers, and could denounce the erring with greater ease when they stood in awe of him. That Annorah felt neither fear nor reverence for him, it was easy to see. So, smothering his wrath, he began, to the great surprise of Mrs. Dillon, to address the girl in his most coaxing tones. Come, come, Annorah," he said, let us be friends. It's me that's ould enough, and will-



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52 BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A HERETIC." in me private consarns, it's soon he'll find himself relayed o' all throuble on account o' us." Annorah saw that there was no reason now to fear that her mother would be overawed by the priest; but she still lingered anxiously. Her mother saw the shade on her face, and asked,"What is it, Norah? Are you in throuble ?" "Do not quarrel with him, mother," replied the daughter. "Let him be dacent, and it's ceevil treatment he'll get; but no man shall browbeat me on me own floor," said Biddy, in a tone which declared the firmness of her purpose. It was on the night succeeding this conversation, that Father M'Clane visited the cottage. As he approached the house he paused at the unusual sound of a voice reading. It was Phelim imperfectly spelling out to his mother and a few of the neighbours one of the letters of Kirwan. The priest, who was not remarkably well versed in the books of the day, did not know the work, but supposed that it was the Bible to which they were so profoundly listening. His face grew as dark as the night shades around him. "I've caught ye at last!" he exclaimed, as, without ceremony, he burst into the room. This tells the story. It's not that ye are ill in bed, or hindered by the rain, or the could; it's



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BIDDY DILLON BECOMES A '* HERETIC." 55 opposition. It's blacker than ink ye are, Biddy Dillon, with the wicked heresy." Like most Irish women, Biddy was well skilled in the art of scolding, and among her neighbours was considered rather more expert in the business than themselves. When angry, abusive epithets seemed to fall as naturally from her tongue as expressions of endearment when she was pleased. A black heart, did ye say ? she cried, rising and facing the priest, who involuntarily retired a step from her; "the same to yerself! An' ye were bathed in Lough Ennel, and rinsed in the Sharron at Athlone, it would not half clane out the vile tricks ye are so perfect in. A black heart has Biddy Dillon? An' ye were ducked and soaked over night in the Liffey mud at Dublin, ye were claner than now? A black heart ? An' yerself an ould penshioner, idle and mane, stirrin' up a scrimmage in an honest woman's house, and repeating yer haythenish nonsense, an' ye able and sthrong to take hould o' the heaviest end o' the work Are ye not ashamed ? What are ye good for?" The saints preserve us what a tongue the woman has! exclaimed Father M'Clane, making a futile effort to smile, as he turned his face, now pale as death, toward the company. But