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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 298

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TWO MEMORIES 295 glow of magnificence outside added to the bareness of the wan and dim interior. When I entered I heard no sound but that of my own footsteps ; and though here and there was some solitary human figure, the place, filled with twilight, had an air of complete desertion. Presently, however, far off I saw a dim twinkle of tapers ; and as I moved down the nave towards the opening of the great dome, a low, hoarse murmur gradually became distinguishable. Following the sound, I was led to one of the transepts ; and there before an altar, half-lost in the surrounding space, was a small kneeling congregation, making a black parallelogram in the obscurity. The low voice of the priest came tremulously over their bowed heads, only interrupted by the response of a rare Amen. The worshippers were so few, and the sound of their worship was so low, that the illimitable building, otherwise wholly silent, seemed cold and indifferent to this small act of devotion ; and I vainly tried to catch some of the priest's words, in order to see what the service in progress was. In time, however, my doubts were answered. The tremulous voice all of a sudden became clearer. I heard a cadence, and I heard words which I recognised. It was the begin-ning of the Litany of Loretto. Then a change came over the whole proceedings. Again and again, at quickly recurring intervals, in a single volume of sound, from the lips of the entire congregation, came the cry, 'Ora pro nobis.' The cathedral at last was touched ; and a flock of innumerable echoes

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