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Grieved at his ignorance, I attempted to speak to him, for the last time, though I made two efforts before, but he always walked off sulky and reserved. The priest immediately interrupted me; and with a considerable degree of sharpness and acrimony, gave me to understand, that it is unlawful for their people, to hear any thing from those who are of the protestant religion; or to hold any argument with them, which they conceived to be heretical, as being contrary to the faith of the infallible Catholic Church. Wor. In what a dreadful state of mind this
fellow went into the eternal world !
Loveg. O Sir! it could not be worse. Soon afterwards he was conducted by the under sheriff and the executioner into the cart; his coffin being sent before him down stairs, and his priest went with him to the place of execution. He left the prison apparently quite hardened and sullen. And as we stopped this morning in town, a little time after the execution, by report, we have every reason to fear, that he died in the same horrid state of mind, in which he had lived all the days of his life.
Wor. And yet he conceived that all would be safe, because he had one of their priests at his elbow, and that he died a papist.
Loveg. Had he been a Mahometan, a Jew, or any thing but a Papist, I might have been able to have got at him : but such is the subtilty and craft of these Romish priests, that they shut up the people's minds from all instruction, but what they choose to administer themselves, and send them thus deluded, and unconverted from sin, with a rotten confidence in their priestly power, to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. *
* Though I am satisfied this is no more than a just representation of the sad effects of popery upon the human mind, yet I by no
Wor. But what became of the ordinary all this time?
Loveg. Sir, you remember I told you before, that he had done his duty, as it is called, in the former part of the morning; and it was his design to have conducted them to the place of execution, but having been informed of the respite, he did not suppose it was necessary for him to attend any further: he is a very
young man, but he wants the candour of the worthy Dr. Orderly.
Wor. Did you stop long after Sam Blood was carried to execution ?
Loveg. O Sir, we should have been glad if time would but have allowed us to have stopped longer still. I was highly pleased at what William Frolic said, after all his present fear of death was over.
Mrs. Wor. You really think, then, that his mind has been much softened by these events ?
Loveg. I hope so, madam ; but I have long learned not to draw hasty conclusions from appearances of this sort; yet he really seemed to be more anxious that I should pray for the conversion of his heart, after he had heard the good news of his pardon, than he was before ; and as he said he could expect nothing less than to be transported, and that he well deserved it, yet that wherever he went, if he took the same evil heart with him, he should be liable to fall into the same evil ways, all the world over.
Hen. And, Sir, it was very affecting to me, to hear him confess how ill he had treated my poor Sister, almost ever since she has been his wife; and how concerned he was at what my dear aged Father and Mother must have felt, since he has been connected with our family. He really wept more then, than at any time before, when he begged me to take home his most humble
means conclude that all papists are equally vitiated and corrupted, by that system they unhappily profess.
acknowledgments for all his past cruel conduct and misbehaviour; and that as he could not come and see any of them, he begged that they might come and see him, before he was sent abroad, that he might ask their pardon upon his bended knees; and as to his wife, it were too much to expect that she would go with him into transportation, at least, not till he had given some evidence, that his heart was truly changed, so that she might depend upon this, that he would never treat her as he had done ; and that while he suffered for his crimes, he would do all in his power to make her happy in her settlement in those parts, and that then he should be away from all such companions as had formerly drawn him aside.
Loveg. Yes, and then he cried, which pleased me most of all, “But none of these resolutions will ever do, if God does not change my heart;" adding, “O Mr. Lovegood ! pray, pray, above all things that God would change my heart !"
Wor. One would hope that he could not have expressed himself in such language, without somewhat of the grace of God. But how did Ned Sparkish appear?
Loveg. Why, Sir, he could make a number of vows and resolutions, but he soon began asking his Mother about different people in the neighbourhood ; and that as he was now to live, he should want some fresh clothes while he was in gaol. I am greatly afraid that all his repentance will evaporate with his fears.
Hen. Ah, Sir! but that which affected us as much as any thing before, was what Mr. Lovely did.
Wor. Whatever he does is done so much like himself, that I beg we may hear it.
Loveg. [Takes out his watch.] Sir, it is past eight o'clock, I must hasten home: what will Mrs. Lovegood think of me?
Wor. Can't you stop a quarter of an hour longer, and
tell the rest of your story? Mrs. Lovegood knows you are in good hands.
Loveg. O Sir, I begin exceedingly to want retirement, after so much fatigue of body and mind; especially as it is Saturday evening.
Wor. Well, Sir, we would not press upon your spirits, or your time; we'll wait till Monday, when you always come to see us. I wish you would bring Mrs. Lovegood and the children oftener than
do. Loveg. My good Mary is frequently obliged to act a Martha's part; and children are apt to be troublesome guests.
Wor. Perhaps, Mr. Henry, after you have seen your Father, you may have something more to communicate respecting William Frolic; if so, we shall be glad to see you at the same time.
Hen. Somehow, Sir, it seems quite impertinent in me, to come so often to your house; though you are so condescending to invite me.
Mrs. Wor. And, Mr. Henry, let me also invite your wife to attend you: you have married into a very worthy family.
Hen. Indeed I have, madam, and have reason to thank God for it. Mr. and Mrs. Considerate are very excellent people.
Wor. Mr. Henry, as I like to have my friends about me, I beg that you will request them to be of the party.
Hen. Sir, as they generally come by our house, down the hill from Mapleton to Brookfield Church, I will tell them of your kind invitation. I dare say they will be very happy to accept it.
Mrs. Mer. Let me request also, that dear old Mr. Littleworth may be one of the party.-How my dear husband delighted to talk with him, and to talk about him !
Hen. O madam, his want of education always keeps him back from such invitations.
Mrs. Wor. I beg you will bring him. We are charıned at the plain, unaffected simplicity of his manners : it is quite a treat to us.
Hen. Madam, I will tell him of your kind invitation; but we cannot well be both absent from the farm at the same time, about this season of the year.
Loveg. Come, Mr. Henry, we must be going, and as we walk together through the park, I am ready to attend you. [They all depart till Monday.]