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Magnum Bonum, Charlotte M. Yonge Perhaps it was the cluster of young faces that led the preacher thus to speak, and as he went on, he must have met the earnest and responsive eyes that are sure to animate a speaker, and the power and beauty of his words struck every one. To the Evelyns it was a new and beautiful allegory on a familiar idea. Janet was divided between discomfort at allusions reminding her of her secret, and on criticisms of the description of alchemy. Her mother’s heart beat as if she were hearing an echo of her husband’s thoughts about his Magnum Bonum. Little Armine was thrilled as, in the awe of drawing near to his first Communion, this golden thread of life was put into his hand. But it was Jock to whom that discourse came like a beam of light into a dark place. When upon the dreary vista of dull abnegation on which he had been dwelling for a month past, came this vision of the beauty, activity, victory, and glory of true manhood, as something attainable, his whole soul swelled and expanded with joyful enthusiasm. The future that he had embraced as lead had become changed to gold! Thus the whole ensuing service was to him a continuation of that blessed hopeful dedication of himself and all his powers. It was as if from being a monk, he had become a Red Cross Knight of the Hospital. Yet, after his soiled, spoiled, reckless boyhood, how could that grand manhood be attained? Later in the afternoon, when the denizens of the hotel had gone their several ways, some to look and listen at Benediction in the Convent church, some to climb through the pine-woods to the Alp, some to saunter and rest among the nearer trees, the clergyman, with his Greek Testament in his hand, was sitting on a seat under one of the trees, enjoying the calm of one of his few restful Sundays; when he heard a movement, and beheld the pale thin lad, who still walked so lame, who had been so silent at the table d’hote, and whose dark eyes had looked up with such intensity of interest, that he had more than once spoken to them.

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