"Dear father, may I now show you how the Church of Rome is contrary, in numerous important points, to the Holy Scriptures; and, therefore, not only not rightly called the true Church, but unworthy to be called a Christian Church at all?"
"Yes, let me hear," said Mr. Clayton, meekly.
"I will be brief, then, father, and enlarge afterwards on the most important points," said Humphrey.1
That's page twenty-five. Humphrey then proceeds to natter on, interrupted only once, until page thirty-two.
"Meekly" adds an unintentional touch of comedy to the whole proceeding: so nice of Dad to listen patiently to his newly-converted son. Of course, Dad is converted at the end of Humphrey's spiel, whereupon Humphrey "silently offer[s] up his thanks to God that his father's mind had been so speedily enlightened" (32). A reader in an uncharitable frame of mind might suggest that Dad converts just to get Junior to shut up.
There's more accidental humor in the next chapter. Humphrey has been lecturing again; at his father's suggestion, he decides to "go over the chief points against which those who love the Bible protest," and in order to fortify himself, "draw[s] some pamphlets from his pockets, and a paper of manuscript notes" (41). It's good of Humphrey to come prepared (sort of like a sixteenth-century Boy Scout), but one can imagine his father and sister experiencing a certain sinking feeling at this juncture. Matters get even worse, if possible, at the end of this chapter. After listening to Humphrey hit every notable Protestant talking point in the book, Dad starts to declare his true conversion in words that could also be interpreted uncharitably, to say the least: "Enough, enough, my son!" (52).
(On the positive side, the frontispiece would make a perfect book cover: the engraving shows a group of Victorians contemplating a martyr's monument. Totally on point for my topic!)
1 W. H. G. Kingston, The Martyr of Brentwood; Or, Three Hundred Years Ago, new ed. (London: S. W. Partridge & Co., n.d.), 25.