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This was how it came to pass

This was how it came to pass

“And now I will add but two things more. Be true through life to each other, love as only brothers should do, strengthen, warn, encourage one another, and let who will be against you, let each feel that in his brother he has a firm and faithful friend who will be so to the end; and, oh! be kind and watchful over your dear sister; without mother or sisters she will doubly need her brothers’ love and tenderness and confidence. I am certain she will seek them, and will love you and try to make you happy; be sure then that you do not fail her, and remember, that were she to lose her father and remain unmarried, she would doubly need protectors. To you, then, I especially commend her. Oh! my three darling children, be true to each other, your Father, and your God. May He guide and bless you, and grant that in a better and happier world I and mine may meet again. — Your most affectionate mother,

— “CHRISTINA PONTIFEX.”.

From enquiries I have made, I have satisfied myself that most mothers write letters like this shortly before their confinements, and that fifty per cent keep them afterwards, as Christina did.
Chapter 26

I have often thought that the Church of Rome does wisely in not allowing her priests to marry. Certainly it is a matter of common observation in England that the sons of clergymen are frequently unsatisfactory. The explanation is very simple, but it is so often lost sight of that I may perhaps be pardoned for giving it here.


that their children were white and puny; they were suffering from home-sickness. They were starving, through being over-crammed with the wrong things. Nature came down upon them, but she did not come down on Theobald and Christina. Why should she? They were not leading a starved existence. There are two classes of people in this world, those who sin, and those who are sinned against; if a man must belong to either, he had better belong to the first than to the second I do notknow the immediate sequelto theforegoing correspondence..

I WILL give no more of the details of my hero’s earlier years. Enough that he struggled through them, and at twelve years old knew every page of his Latin and Greek Grammars by heart. He had read the greater part of Virgil, Horace, and Livy, and I do not know how many Greek plays: he was proficient in arithmetic, knew the first four books of Euclid thoroughly, and had a fair knowledge of French. It was now time he went to school, and to school he was accordingly to go, under the famous Dr. Skinner of Roughborough.

Theobald had known Dr. Skinner slightly at Cambridge. He had been a burning and a shining light in every position he had filled from his boyhood upwards. He was a very great genius. Everyone knew this; they said, indeed, that he was one of the few people to whom the word genius could be applied without exaggeration. Had he not taken I don’t know how many University Scholarships in his freshman’s year? Had he not been afterwards Senior Wrangler, First Chancellor’s Medallist and I do not know how many more things besides? And then, he was such a wonderful speaker; at the union Debating Club he had been without a rival, and had, of course, been president; his moral character — a point on which so many geniuses were weak — was absolutely irreproachable; foremost of all, however, among his many great qualities, and perhaps more remarkable even than his genius was what biographers have called “the simple-minded and childlike earnestness of his character,” an earnestness which might be perceived by the solemnity with which he spoke even about trifles. It is hardly necessary to say he was on the Liberal side in politics.

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