Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/201

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181
A QUESTION OF CREED

{{hyphenated word end|ing|touching. They were all good members of the Episcopal Church and had been since they landed in Virginia; moreover, one of my Father's brothers was an Episcopal clergyman and Head Master of the Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia's bed-rock of religious respectability. The baptism was only conditional, for the Catholic Church baptizes conditionally those who have been baptized in any church before, but even so it must have been trying to them as a precaution insolently superfluous. I do not remember that anything was ever said, or suggested, or hinted. But there was an undercurrent of disapproval that, child as I was, I felt, though I could not have put it into words. One thing plain was that when we children went off to our church with my Father, we were going where nobody else in my Grandfather's house went, except the servants, and that, for some incomprehensible reason, it was rather an odd sort of thing for us to do, making us different from most people we knew in Philadelphia.


Nor had I the chance to lose sight of this difference at the Convent. The education I was getting there, when not devoted to launching my soul into Paradise, was preparing me for the struggle against the temptations of the world which, from all I heard about it, I pictured as a horrible gulf of evil yawning at the Convent gate, ready to swallow me up the minute that gate shut behind me. To face it was an ordeal so alarming in anticipation that there was an interval when I convinced myself it would be infinitely safer, by becoming a nun, not to face it at all.