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in the churchyard, and indeed, as day by day, sitting often and looking on that wonderful ocean, her soul swelled with proud and melancholy memories of the past glories of her people, Hebraism closed more and more round her like a mantle, and from the greatest of the works of the Creator she drew inspiration to reject all thoughts which she imagined might take from His majesty So one day she sat with Electra Chichester upon
the beach; behind them the towering cliffs, before them the vast sea.
The sun shone with dazzling brilliance, and Electra sought shelter from it under the shadow of a large umbrella ; but Naomi, whose eastern and southern descent made her take kindly to heat, basked in the rays of the sun, and only lowering her hat against the glare on the water, she reclined in sy baritish ease, dreaming and thinking, and toying the while absently with the long ears of the mastiff who lay at her feet. At last fearing she was very unsociable to her cousin, she turned and began to talk to her.
“You don't seem to like Miss Yeo's fiancé ?”' she observed, carelessly.
6. Who would like him?" said Electra. " He's well enough-a gentleman; but he seems to care for nothing but hunting and fishing. I couldn't help laughing, to see him trying to initiate you into those sublime mysteries."
“ They go in at one ear, and out at the other,” replied Naomi. I wonder how Mr. Reynolds will get on with him; he was away at Lyme Regis the day we had the honour of meeting Mr. Carey."
“I don't suppose he will meet him," said Electra. “Mr. Carey isn't coming again for another week.”
“Is Mr. Reynolds going back to London again, then ?” asked Naomi.
“Bessie Yeo told me yesterday that he was going back to-morrow evening."
“I am very sorry for that,” said Naomi, frankly; "I like him
you be coming up to London this year again ?” she added.
“ No, not this year," returned Electra. “I should not
like to leave mamma; I might next season, perhaps. Oh! dear! Naomi, I wish you would stay longer; three weeks is such a little time."
“I should be happy to stay longer," said Naomi. “ You have all been so kind to me, that I shall retain a grateful remembrance of Devon, at least to the end of my
but I cannot leave my father for so long.". “I shall be dreadfully lonely," said Electra, sighing; and then she rose, and proposed that they should saunter on a little bit.
“ De tout mon coeur !” said the Jewess, rising also, surprised at the abruptness of her cousin's movement; but Tiger, the mastiff, looked up as he stretched himself, and immediately his tail began to wag, and he uttered a short bark. Naomi's glance followed the animal's, and beheld Norton Reynolds descending a path to the beach, evidently, however, without seeing the two girls ; but Tiger bounded forwards and jumped joyously round Reynolds, who had now reached the beach; then, as if in. viting attention to the cousins, he dashed after them, scattering the loose shingle about him like spray. It was impossible to continue their way without seeming to have deliberately avoided the priest. Naomi turned round, and, as if for the first time she had noticed him, exclaimed
“Electra, there is Mr. Reynolds."
- Where?” said Electra. “Oh! I see; I wonder if he is seaweed-hunting.”
“Have you found many shells, Mr. Reynolds ?” said Naomi, as they met the priest and shook bands; and glancing at her cousin she saw that her colour was somewhat heightened, but her manner did not seem embarrassed.
I am no shell-hunter,” said Norton Reynolds, smiling. “ There are some very lovely shells here I know; but I am come to say my last farewell to the sea before going back to city streets again."
And you will be among crowds and rattle again,” said Naomi, as they sauntered on. “My cousin tells me that you are going back to-morrow evening. You have had but a short sojourn, Mr. Reynolds." “A fortnight in this climate, and this sea air, has restored my health perfectly, Miss Da Costa ; and though I would fain prolong my stay among so many kind friends, it is the more incumbent 'on me to return, because Mr. Stewart wrote and told me to remain another fortnight.”
“ Then you will not be able to see Benislaw Castle," said Naomi Da Costa ; "and I am sure you would admire it so much. You seem to have such a taste for antiquities, and the old man who had charge of it told us so many legends. Do you remember that one about the Devil, Electra ?”
“ Yes,” said Electra, a little absently. Then rousing herself, she began to talk and laugh with great animation. They sat down presently on some fragments of rock, which had probably fallen many years before, and where the sea rippled up almost to their feet.
Their conversation had wandered from the old castle to history, and by an easy transition to architecture, a subject in which Naomi had a keen interest, and in which Norton Reynolds was well informed; but Electra knew little about it, and did not appear to care much more, for she rose up after a few minutes, calling to Tiger to go and fetch a log of wood, which was dancing about in the sea at a little distance off. There was a short silence, which Reynolds was the first to break.
“ Miss Da Costa,” he said, "you remember the question you asked me, and the reply I made to you now nearly a fortnight ago ?”
“Yes," said the Jewess, trembling inwardly: was it because while dreading, she had half wished that he might allude to the subject ?
You will forgive me," continued the priest, " for taking the only opportunity that I have before leaving this place of seeing you alone, to endeavour to remove the false impression you entertain of the Christian religion.”
Naomi did not immediately answer. Although Nor- . ton Reynolds was a Christian priest, be was still a priest, one too who evidently believed in his office, and from that carried a dignity which would have made it difficult even for an Atheist to bave treated him with disrespect. It
was impossible to Naomi Da Costa to answer him with a
“You are a Christian," she said, after a short silence, "and more-a priest–I cannot blame you for wishing to make a proselyte.”
“ You misunderstand me. I would not seek to conceal from you (I should forswear my cloth if I did so,) that I would willingly persuade you—if it were possible -to accept the Redeemer whom your own Testament foretells; but my object at present is to answer the question which you put to me, how do we know that we are right? I told you that if I had time I could easily reply to that objection. I have not had that time; but if you will allow me to lend you the book you read in the train—Mr. Stewart's work-you will be enabled to do us justice, to see that we do not found our belief on the New Testament alone, but on your own Bible."
“Mr. Reynolds,” replied the young Hebrew, “I hardly know whether to accept or refuse your kind offer. I know that Christians claim authority from the Inspired Writings for the anomaly of a GOD-Man. I beg your pardon, I should in courtesy have said what seems to me the anomaly; but would it be prudent in me to read such a work as you offer to lend me? It is the writing of a man highly gifted, learned in theology, and skilled in controversy. And what am I? a young girl, who cannot pretend to know the Scriptures intimately; who might accept as convincing proof what a learned doctor of our law would condemn as sophistry. I should come almost unarmed against armour of proof.”
“Nay," said Norton Reynolds, "I seek to show you upon what grounds we claim to rely on a crucified SaVIOUR. I ask you only to read the book ; then go to one of the doctors of your law, and let him explain to you the passages to which we give a Christian interpretation."
"A crucified SAVIOUR," said the Jewess, speaking half to herself. “You believe that God took the form, the nature of a man-you believe that the mighty JEHOVAH was the Son of a woman-you believe" (and as she spoke she lifted her large eyes, glowing with all the
pride, all the fire of her race, and stretched her hand with a gesture of unconscious majesty towards the ocean,)“ that the awful God who made that sea, who said to these waves, .Thus far sbalt thou go, and no further,' died the shameful death of the Cross, a condemned malefactor, a scorn, and a hissing. How can you believe this? How can you degrade to the dust the Creator, whose Name even should not be spoken lightly ?"
Norton Reynolds gazed in admiration on the speaker, whose countenance, always striking, now wore an expression which enhanced to the utmost its noble beauty; but it was an admiration mixed with sorrow, to see that enthusiasm, which would have lent dignity even to ordinary features, aroused, not for but against the religion of CHRIST.
“ It is in that Incarnation-it is in those sufferings at which you marvel,” he said, “ that we build up the glory of our faith-a God who to save man, humbled Himself to death."
But Naomi shook her head. The glow had faded from her cheek; the light from her eyes; and a stern, almost stubborn expression had settled on her features.
“No," she said, no, I cannot read your books; I could not without failing in my duty to my father, for if he saw the work you have offered to lend me, he would, if it were mine, burn it, and reprove me severely that I had ever accepted a loan which he would consider so griev. ous a blasphemy against our holy religion. I am grateful to you for the kindness, but while thanking you
I must decline the book."
“You refuse, then, to do us this justice ?" said the priest, smiling.
"I do you no injustice," replied the Jewegs; " but to me Christianity is as Atheism or Judaism to you, I shrink from placing my mind in an unequal contest with the mind of such a man as Mr. Stewart, as any Christian of my age might shrink from reading the writings of a talented atheist, with this difference against me, that atheists, I believe, are rarely profound, and still more rarely earnest, and Mr. Stewart is both.”
She rose as she spoke, for Electra at that moment