tive, resistless as an impulse as it was sacred as a duty.
"But forgiveness is God-like, my son."
"May-be, madam; but I am mortal."
"But it is a human duty."
"To an open, gallant foe, madam—yes! I will render it him to-morrow, and honour him from my soul the better he fights me and the harder he strikes; but the serpent that stings me in the dark I set my heel on, for the vermin he is, and serve God and man when I strangle him!"
The venerable Abbess sighed; she had ministered to him through his unconsciousness and through his suffering, she had seen him bear torture with a silent endurance that seemed to her superhuman in its heroism, and she had wept over the stately stature, levelled like a cedar felled by the axe, and the superb strength brought down to worse than a child's weakness, till she had felt for him something of a mother's tenderness, and found it hard to urge him to love and to pardon his injurers. Moreover, Mother Veronica was no casuist.
"It must be bitter, my son, I know," she murmured, "and the evil spirit is strong in us, and fearful to subdue; but one who suffered a deadlier