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of Peers the lords bow to the empty throne of the earthly sovereign); that it cannot be an excessive tribute of veneration to bend the knee to the present King Himself. That the Warden believed the King to be present there in the Eucharist, as fully as he did, he did not doubt. The Warden could not have expected that the boy would argue with him, or make any protest; but he seemed almost disappointed that Fernando said so little.
"You understand," he observed in a staccato voice, "that this practice must be wholly discontinued."
Fernando said that he quite understood; and looked as though awaiting some signal of dismissal from the presence. But the Warden saw no reason for so promptly ending his discomfort, and enlarged austerely on the evils of a Romanizing tendency. As he discoursed he surveyed Fernando from head to foot-no great distance; and before he had done, something he saw caused him to demand:
"What do you wear upon your watchchain? What medal is that?"
It was a very small medal, about the size
of a sixpence, and the Warden advanced to scrutinize it.
"An old Irishwoman in my mother's district at home, to whom my mother was kind, gave it to me two years ago, and ever since I have carried it on my chain."
On one side of it was the portrait of Pius IX, then already in Heaven, where his prayers might be helping Fernando; on the other was St. Peter's effigy, and around it the legend, "" 'Ubi Petrus ibi Ecclesia." The Warden turned it about in his big hand, and his eyes did not glance pleasantly on the wearer of it. But he did not order the lad to remove it; and when he had tossed it away, he said nothing as he stepped back to his place on the rug. His silence could, he knew, be sufficiently overpowering. His silence and his face did almost overpower Fernando.
"I shall always keep it," the boy said, "but if you think it wrong that I should wear it-here-on my chain, I will take it off and keep it in my pocket out of sight."
At that moment the Warden's butler,
who looked like a verger, entered with a telegram, and the Warden said:
"You can go, Burscough."
And Burscough went; that was the first episode.
WHEN next Fernando was wanted the matter was somewhat serious.
He soon became aware that though the great majority of his schoolfellows were not much concerned with such matters, there were some few who were, or were disposed to be, quite as High Church as himself. I daresay, though I do not pretend to know if it were so, that they were sons of clergymen with "advanced" views. To some of them St. Wolstan's seemed painfully moderate. How the boys found each other out I cannot tell, but they certainly did find Fernando out, and gradually came to talk to him of these things. This was not till he had been some time at the school, and perhaps he was then known to be even more "High "" than was approved by some of his pastors and
The result of these confidential discussions
was a scheme that was, it must be confessed, peculiar. To Fernando it seemed a pity that the boys with ideas like his own should be mere lonely isolated units, scattered through the school, unable to encourage and support each other. If united somehow in a group they might give mutual help to one another; especially help to be High Church. Why might they not combine and make of themselves a sort of guild?
Then the scheme, as first imagined, grew in the boy's mind, and became more ambitious. Why should not the guild extend beyond St. Wolstan's and bring together boys with the same ideas belonging to different schools?
Fernando himself knew boys, a few of whom were High Church, at several of the great schools. No doubt they also felt themselves isolated, and no doubt they, too, would like the idea of such encouragement as would come from association with boys of like mind in their own schools and elsewhere.
Certain simple rules might be kept by all, and certain practices followed, such as confession, prayer to the saints, prayers for the dead, and so on.