You picture him, hot and red-handed from murder, soothing his battered conscience with some devilish Requiem for the unshrived soul he had just parted from its broken body, and leaving upon the harmonium the ineradicable traces of his guilt. Thus he lived, poised between murder and the Church, spending upon the vulgar dissipation of a Breton village the blood and money of his foolish victims.
"Of all the foul offences against God and man," resumed the Valaisan, in the manner of one that is about to sentence, "that which hastens a living soul, unshrived, unconfessed, unprepared, and with all its sins upon it, into another state of being and into the dread presence of his Almighty Judge, is the heaviest, and the last to be overlooked by the law.
"If a preacher chooses to be savage; to write from dyspeptic or neuralgic states; to send his congregation, unshrived, to the nether regions why, I shrug my shoulders and let it pass. Most likely, on the next Sunday, he will be full of consideration for tender consciences, and grandly shut the gate he threw open so widely on the last occasion.
"Christians have been called into the dread presence, unconfessed and unshrived, to-night; and we should bethink us of their souls, rather than indulge in this grief in behalf of one that, however faithful, ends but an unreasoning and irresponsible existence."