He was a good soldier, Captain Barlow that happy mixture of brain and brawn and courage that had coloured so much of the world's map red, British; he was the terrier class all pluck, with perhaps the pluck in excelsis the brain-power not preponderant. "Who is the handsome native he looks like a Rajput?" Elizabeth asked, indicating the man who was evidently the leader among the others.
He did not implore the pity of Heaven with cries of anguish of the "Kyrie;" he did not, with the "Gloria in Excelsis," sing the splendours of the heavenly heights; the reading of the Testament did not draw him from his materialistic reverie, and he forgot to join in the homage of the "Credo."
No book was produced, all was repeated from memory. They durst not raise their voices, but the birds were their choir, and as they murmured their Gloria in Excelsis, the sweet notes rang out in that unconscious praise.
The most powerful movement of feeling with a liturgy is the prayer which seeks for nothing special, but is a yearning to escape from the limitations of our own weakness and an invocation of all Good to enter and abide with us; or else a self-oblivious lifting up of Gladness, a Gloria in excelsis that such Good exists; both the yearning and the exaltation gathering their utmost force from the sense of communion in a form which has expressed them both, for long generations of struggling fellow-men.
But Lord! how many people it takes to marry a man like Chilvers! How sacred the union must be! Pray take a paragraph more: "The four bridesmaids Miss etc., etc. wore cream crepon dresses trimmed with turquoise blue velvet, and hats to match. The bridegroom's presents to them were diamond and ruby brooches." 'Chilvers in excelsis! So he is no longer at Exeter; has no living, it seems.
At the foot of the large crucifix, which occupied a somewhat shadowy corner, lay a wreath of magnificent crimson roses. It would seem as though some high festival were about to be celebrated, and I gazed around me with a beating heart, half expecting some invisible touch to awaken the notes of the organ and a chorus of spirit-voices to respond with the "Gloria in excelsis Deo!"
As he was attending the funeral in the Catholic burial-place, and stood with his wife and children listening to the service which the priest was reading, his heart filled with grief and his eyes moist with tears, the inscription on a gravestone just before him happened to attract his attention. It was this: "Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
And, lo! in the middle of the night the ass brayed and the ox bellowed, and Hilarion started up. And he saw the heavens open with a great brightness as of beaten and fretted gold, and angels coming and going, and holding each other by the hand, and wreathed in roses, and singing "Gloria in Excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis."
There was, indeed, such an appearance of land in the southwest that Columbus threw himself upon his knees and returned thanks to God, and all the crews joined in chanting Gloria in Excelsis.
The music, whose heart-stirring notes accompanied the solemn service, deeply moved the souls of both sisters; but when, after the Gloria in excelsis Deo, the Cum Sancto Spiritu pealed forth, Eva, who, absorbed in devotion, had long since ceased to gaze around her, felt her sister's hand touch her arm and, following the direction of her glance, saw at some distance the man for whom her heart yearned, and the grave, devout knight yonder seemed far nearer to her than the gay companion who, in the mazes of the dance, had gazed so boldly into the faces of the men, so tenderly into those of the fair women.