of all the events which are recorded in it. Surely Ernest's first day's tempt at more promiscuous visiting, and at carrying out his principles more thoroughly, had not been unfruitful. But he must go and have a talk with Pryer. He therefore got his lunch and went to Pryer's lodgings. Pryer not being at home, he lounged to the British Museum Reading Room, then recently opened, sent for the Vestiges of Creation, which he had never yet seen, and spent the rest of the afternoon in reading it.

Ernest did not see Pryer on the day of his conversation with Mr Shaw, but he did so next morning and found him in a good temper, which of late he had rarely been. Sometimes, indeed, he had behaved to Ernest in a way which did not bode well for the harmony with which the College of Spiritual Pathology would work when it had once been founded. It almost seemed as though he were trying to get a complete moral ascendancy over him, so as to make him a creature of his own.

He did not think it possible that he could go too far, and indeed, when I reflect upon my hero's folly and inexperience, there is much to be said in excuse for the conclusion which Pryer came to.

As a matter of fact, however, it was not so. Ernest's faith in Pryer had been too great to be shaken down all in a moment, but it had been weakened lately more than once. Ernest had fought hard against allowing himself to see this, nevertheless any third person who knew the pair would have been able to see that the connection between the two might end at any moment, for when the time for one of Ernest's snipe- like changes of flight came, he was quick in making it; the time, however, was not yet come, and the intimacy between the two was apparently all that it had ever been. It was only that horrid money business (so said Ernest to himself) that caused any unpleasantness between them, and no doubt Pryer was right, and he, Ernest, much too nervous. However, that might stand over for the present.

In like manner, though he had received a shock by reason of his conversation with Mr Shaw, and by looking at the Vestiges, he was as yet too much stunned to realize the change which was coming over him. In each case the momentum of old habits carried him forward in the old direction. He therefore called on Pryer, and spent an hour and more with him.

He did not say that he had been visiting among his neighbours; this to Pryer would have been like a red rag to a bull. He only talked in much his usual vein about the proposed College, the lamentable want of interest in spiritual things which was characteristic of modern society, and other kindred matters; he concluded by saying that for the present he feared Pryer was indeed right, and that nothing could be done.

`As regards the laity,' said Pryer, `nothing; not until we have a discipline which we can enforce with pains and penalties. How can a sheep-dog work a flock of sheep unless he can bite occasionally as well as bark? But as regards ourselves we can do much.'

Pryer's manner was strange throughout the conversation, as though he were thinking all the time of something else. His eyes wandered curiously over Ernest, as Ernest had often noticed them wander before: the words were about Church discipline, but some-how or other the discipline part of the story had a knack of dropping out after having been again and again emphatically declared to apply to the laity and not to the clergy: once indeed Pryer had pettishly exclaimed, `Oh, bother the College of Spiritual Pathology.' As regards the clergy, glimpses of a pretty large cloven hoof kept peeping out from under the saintly robe of Pryer's conversation, to the effect, that so long as they were theoretically perfect, practical peccadilloes-or even peccadaccios, if there is such a word - were of less importance. He was restless, as though wanting to approach a subject which he did not quite venture to touch upon, and kept harping (he did this about every third day) on the wretched lack of definition concerning the limits of vice and virtue, and the way in which half the vices wanted regulating rather than prohibiting. He dwelt also on the advantages of complete unreserve, and hinted that there were mysteries into which Ernest had not yet been initiated, but which would enlighten him when he got to know them, as he would be allowed to do when his friends saw that he was strong enough.

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