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The first result of his inspection him with his degradation. Perwas an involuntary exclamation of haps the strongest effect of the surprise. Could this be the original revelation was due to its abruptdesign which he had believed him- ness; but be that as it may, it is self to be reproducing! was it pos- certain that Tremaine felt the full sible that the same man, with the force of it. It is scarcely necessame soul, could have painted this sary to remark that the Doctor, in first and this last! Which should planning to corrupt the youth's he rather trust—the identity of the artistic integrity, had calculated picture or the identity of his soul? on a corresponding decay in his
Seldom does the opportunity love for Francesca. So well-planned occur to a human being to place a scheme deserved to succeed; but his past side by side with his success of that kind, when it comes, present,—to contrast the two in- is apt to be too complete—to emdividualities : nor would it be easy brace too much. Like the fiend in to forecast in imagination the sen- the legend, it is altogether too comsations which such a contrast would placent for comfort. produce. The mere memory of After a while Mr. Tremaine's what has been is not sufficient; outward composure in a measure for memory is tinged with the returned; he took up his palette colouring matter of current life. and brushes once more, and seating Only that which embodies in visible himself at the easel, he began to form the essence of our past exist- work on the unfinished copy with ence, will serve. Edward Tre- great earnestness and rapidity, maine's picture, revealing as it did and with a singular smile playing the innermost traits of his dis- about his lips. So diligent was he position and character at the time that by the time the Doctor and of its production, afforded the best his ward were due, the picture was advantages for such an experiment. completed after a fashion, and was Yet the artist's face, instead of placed side by side with the other. expressing
the gratified self-esteem And then Mr. Tremaine, with his of one who has come upon proofs heart beating high and fast, his of his advancement, suggested the
cheeks flushed and his eyes bright, horror of a wretch who has just waited for the visitors to appear. discovered the existence of a loath- The expected knock came at some and fatal disease, which for last. “Now for it!” Tremaine years has been feeding upon his muttered; and opening the door, very vitals.
he admitted the suave Doctor, with When Tremaine had hidden the fashionable Francesca, on his away that first picture in the dark arm. closet, resolving to copy his suc- The Doctor began his greetings cessive copies thenceforth, he had with his customary smooth done so from an unacknowledged courtesy; but the artist, seeming conviction that it contained a subtle quite to ignore his presence, turned truth and beauty which he had upon Francesca a glance of such lost the power to repeat. Once earnest and appealing affection as out of sight and mind, the distress could scarcely have failed to imwhich the recognition of impotence press her, had she been on the inflicts had subsided, and he had look-out for it. But she happened been able to live his downward to be so absorbed in shaking out life very comfortably. Now sud- her skirts, arranging her scarf and denly the ghost of his forgotten adjusting her hairpins, that she excellence arose, and confronted escaped it entirely.
Tremaine then addressed the degradation, and despair, these Doctor. “You wished to see the could not wholly hide the likeness original design, Fannie tells me, of borne by each to its inspired which all I have done since has counterpart on the neighbouring been a reproduction. Your re- canvas. The brightness and sweetquest has led to an odd discovery. ness of the latter cast over the If you recollect the exact terms of other's murky darkness an addiour agreement of two years back,
tional gloom. you won't need to be told what the There was a silence; then the discovery is. Be kind enough to Doctor laughed shortly and decompare the first with the last.”
risively; his bony finger sought So saying, he drew aside the veil his thin nose, and he looked at he had thrown over the two Tremaine with a malicious leer. pictures, and the Doctor assumed “ Are you aware that you have the attitude of an indulgent con- broken the conditions of our noisseur.
bargain ?" inquired he. “No one · Yes, very beauti- eh! what's can call this last picture a copy of this ?” he broke off harshly. He the original. All the money you threw a malign side glance upon have received up to this time conTremaine, who returned it with a sequently reverts to me." haughty smile. Francesca shewed Tremaine, contrary to his her appreciation of the situation patron's expectation, did not break by remarking vaguely, “How very out into entreaties and protestamean and unkind !
tions. He put the Doctor aside But whatever doubts as to Ed- with a contemptuous gesture, and ward Tremaine's genius had here- turned his eyes full on Francesca, tofore existed, they were now dis
who shrank nearer to her guardian. pelled. The Doctor felt this in the When he spoke, his voice was midst of his anger; Tremaine resonant with power, yet penetrathimself knew it, and his eyes ed with an undertone of sad and kindled with the glory of the con- yearning tenderness. viction; only poor Francesca failed Come, Fannie ; it is not too to apprehend it; but that, perhaps, late. See-our souls are painted was not entirely her own fault. there-pure and loving as they
The two pictures were both per- were once, and dark and hateful fect in their way; and the excel- as they have been growing since. lence of each brought into startling But the spell that man had thrown relief the excellence in the other. over us is broken! Brush away Each borrowed from the other an the dust and stains that have
They were dis- settled on your heart. Cast off similar as life and death, yet were this slavery, and be my own little bound together by an appalling Fannie again!" kind of relationship, like that But here the Doctor interposed, which links evil to good.
in tones as smooth and musical as In those hasty touches which the
" What has occurred, artist had given his latest copy, he Edward, though painful in itself, had but carried to its logical con- renders easier the task of acquaintclusion the change which had all ing you with an important piece along been in progress. The three
of news. The regard which (I am faces which now looked forth from pleased to note) you still retain for the frame were the faces of con- Francesca, is, I am sure, greater demned souls; but deep as were than to desire her marriage to a the marks upon them of misery penniless artist; and I know you
will rejoice to hear that she has this afternoon consented to become my wife-thereby securing to herself the luxury and the tender care which otherwise she must have forfeited.”
“Oh, Fannie!” cried Tremaine, in a deep, tremulous voice, “is this the truth? Can you leave me, now, and unite yourself to him?"
“But you've lost your money," Fannie whimpered ; * and Guardie suits me better."
The Doctor gave his intended wife his arm, and they were about
to depart, when the artist, pointing to the satanic visage peering from the dark background of his latest work, said
"It may have escaped your notice, sir, that not only one but both the conditions of our bargain have been violated.
This copy was painted for some one else than my old patron!”
But did no punishment overtake the Doctor and Francesca for their sins ?—Yes; a very ghastly one: has it not already been foreshadowed ?-they married !
Let the theologian rest satisfied The subject of Miracle is one as
with his wordy triumph. It is to which what is called public useless to dispute on such a basis. opinion in England is in a state of
With men who can not only utter, chaos. It is not only a question but (if there be any such) believe, which is regarded from opposite what has been cited, logical argustand-points. That is the case with
ment is useless. Press them never most matters of great importance.
so hard, the door of escape is It must rather be admitted that we always open. “I cannot reply to fail, as a rule, to look at the ques- your sophisms—but that is only a tion from any fixed and definite trial of my faith. The wisdom of stand-point at all. Our hasty and
this world is foolishness in the perturbed glances are like the sight of God. There is, of course, glimpses which are caught, from an answer to all that you have to the deck of a storm-tossed vessel, say. I do not, at the moment, know of a coast veiled in drifting mists. what it is; but that has nothing to The language for the most part
do with the matter. You are only used in describing the subject is blindly cavilling at Divine truth.” equivocal and confused. Many of So long as the Church could those to whom it is most import- present, or could make the slightant to form distinct and tenable
est pretence to present, a unity of opinions on the matter, shrink from front against all assailants, such all discussion as a sort of impiety. a position as the above was not Has not the Church spoken? Is only proud, but tenable. And at not Christianity a religion of the head-quarters of Catholic miracle, founded on, and by Christendom it is still regarded as miracle? Are not its priests and the citadel of the Faith. If the bishops, according to the creed of watch word Semper, ubique, ab the great majority of Christendom, omnibus can no longer be uttered, clothed to this hour with direct, from a sheer sense of shame, as supernatural, miraculous power? applicable to the rank and file of Is not an implicit admission of this the Church, its whole
and power spreading wider, day by day, virtue has become concentrated in among the descendants and suc- her supreme ruler with a distinctcessors of men who did not blush ness not attained by the greatest to be called Protestants ? How, Pope who ever defied the world then, can there be any question as before the actual wearer of the to miracles ? To doubt on the tiara. And for the rank and file, matter is to doubt the truth of not only of the Catholic Church, Christianity, to be one of the out- but of all those who claim in any cast. There is the end of the way to be provinces, or schools, or matter.
even guerilla bands, of Christen
dom, the doctrine of obedience is consideration which, according to one that brings much comfort. It the sole authority that can be may well be questioned whether it properly invoked on the subject, is is not a grave offence to suggest an essential element in the case. to a private soldier, in matters Again, in requiring the perecclesiastical as well as in matters formance to be in attestation of military, a doubt as to the strate- some truth, it is not stated gical capacity of his officers, or as whether this is the primary and esto the absolute strength of the sential condition of the miraculous positions he is ordered to defend. or whether it is only a secondary But it is another matter for the and subsidiary condition. In the military student, for the engineer, latter case the application is infor the staff-officer, for the man definite. Any event, whether from who may one day have the re- its regular occurrence, as that of sponsibility of command. To him the seasons, or from its unique another chapter of duty is opened. character, as the destruction of a He must not only know how to city, may be said to be in attestaobey—he must be taught how to tion of some truth. And to those think and how to guide. It is in who believe in the controlof human the case of the corresponding events by Divine power-and to group of students in religion that others than these the discussion it becomes a duty to have some has no interest-many effects are what clearer ideas as to miracle above human or natural power, if than they can derive from ecclesi- the word natural have its ordinary astical text-books.
An event so startling that, but II.
for its occurrence, it would be In order to approach so vexed regarded as impossible, which was and thorny a subject of discussion not implored by any prayer, or with any prospect of advantage, it predicted by any prophet, but is necessary first to define in what which formed a main link' in a sense ambiguous or comprehensive certain chain of events, would not, words are to be used, and then to or at any rate need not, be a employ them in that sense alone. miracle, according to this definiFirst of all, therefore, it is, of tion. Thus, if we are prepared to course, necessary to explain in accept as strictly historic the what sense the word miracle is to account given by the Book of be used in the following pages. Exodus of the crossing of the Red The definition given in the last Sea, and not only so, but to attach edition of Johnson's Dictionary to such a phrase as "a wall unto has either the disadvantage of them on their right hand and on
a large number of the their left," a literal sense, which
accounts of events, is not the interpretation of Semitic which are ordinarily called miracu- scholars, this great wonder could lous, or that
of giving so vague only be called a miracle if it served and elastic a limit as to comprehend to attest the truth of the words of almost every event. “Miracle, in Moses-not as being in itself a theology,” is there said to be means of safety for the twelve “ Effect above human or natural tribes. Again, the case which power, performed in attestation of Josephus cites as very similar to some truth.” This definition omits that of the escape from Egypt, the any reference to the worker, or
passage of Alexander the Great assumed worker, of the miracle ; a into Asia, during an unprecedented
excluding events, or