Chalfont, was that of a star, itself unapproachable. As he himself meekly intimates, she was reserved for another. He seems to have fully understood his own position in respect to her; although, to use his own words, ‘others, measuring him by the propensity of their own inclinations, concluded he would steal her, run away with her, and marry her.’ Little did these jealous surmisers know of the true and really heroic spirit of the young Latin master. His own apology and defence of his conduct, under circumstances of temptation which St. Anthony himself could have scarcely better resisted, will not be amiss.
I was not ignorant of the various fears which filled the jealous heads of some concerning me, neither was I so stupid nor so divested of all humanity as not to be sensible of the real and innate worth and virtue which adorned that excellent dame, and attracted the eyes and hearts of so many, with the greatest importunity, to seek and solicit her; nor was I so devoid of natural heat as not to feel some sparkling of desire, as well as others; but the force of truth and sense of honor suppressed whatever would have risen beyond the bounds of fair and virtuous friendship. For I easily foresaw that, if I should have attempted any. thing in a dishonorable way, by fraud or force, upon her, I should have thereby brought a wound upon mine own soul, a foul scandal upon my religious profession, and an infamous stain upon mine honor, which was far more dear unto me than my life. Wherefore, having observed how some others had befooled themselves, by misconstruing her