ted to him for the adorning of his Master's crown; and so long as he conducted with the strictest circumspection of his office, what had he to fear in the way of so delightful a duty? He had never touched her hand; never had even the folds of her passing drapery brushed against his garments of mortification and renunciation; never, even in pastoral benediction, had he dared lay his hand on that beautiful head. It is true, he had not forbidden himself to raise his glance sometimes when he saw her coming in at the church-door and gliding up the aisle with downcast eyes, and thoughts evidently so far above earth, that she seemed, like one of Frà Angelico's angels, to be moving on a cloud, so encompassed with stillness and sanctity that he held his breath as she passed.
But in the confession of Dame Elsie that morning he had received a shock which threw his whole interior being into a passionate agitation which dismayed and astonished him.
The thought of Agnes, his spotless lamb, exposed to lawless and lice
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