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plot, to lop away the hanging branches of the old fir-trees. I remember them sweeping to the ground.
I have often left my childish sports to ramble in this place --its glooms and its solitude had a mysterious charm for my young mind, nurturing within me that love of quietness and lonely thinking which have accompanied me to maturer years.
In this wilderness I found myself after a ten years' absence. Its stately fir-trees were yet standing, with all their luxuriant company of underwood—the squirrel was there, and the melancholy cooings of the wood-pigeon—all was as I had left itmy heart softened at the sight—it seemed as though my character had been suffering a change since I forsook these shades.
My parents were both uead—I had no counsellor left, no experience of age to direci me, no sweet voice of reproof. The Lord had taken away my friends, and I knew not where he had laid them. I paced round the wilderness, seeking a comforter. I prayed that I might be restored to that state of innocence in which I had wandered in those shades.
Methought my request was heard—for it seemed as though the stains of manhood were passing from me, and I were relapsing into the purity and simplicity of childhood. I was content to have been moulded into a perfect child. I stood still, as in a trance.
I dreamed that I was enjoying a personal intercourse with my heavenly Father--and, extravagantly, put off the shoes from my feet-for the place where I stood, thought, was holy ground.
This state of mind could not last long—and I returned with languid feelings to my inn. I ordered my dinner-green peas and a sweetbread—it had been a favourite dish with me in my
childhood—I was allowed to have it on my birthdays. I was impatient to see it come upon the table-but, when it came, I could scarce eat a mouthful-my tears choked me. I called for wine-I drank a pint and a half of red wine--and not till then had I dared to visit the churchyard, where my parents were interred.
The cottage lay in my way—Margaret had chosen it for that very reason, to be near the church-for the old lady was regular in her attendance on public worship--I passed on-. and in a moment found myself among the tombs.
I had been present at my father's burial, and knew the spot again--my mother's funeral I was prevented by illness from attending—a plain stone was placed over the grave, with their initials carved upon it--for they both occupied one grave.
I prostrated myself before the spot-I kissed the earth that covered them— contemplated, with gloomy delight, the time when I should mingle my dust with theirs--and kneeled
with my arms incumbent on the gravestone, in a kind of mental prayer—for I could not speak.
Having performed these duties, I arose with quieter feel. ings, and felt leisure to attend to indifferent objects. Still ] continued in the churchyard, reading the various inscriptions and moralizing on them with that kind of levity which will not unfrequently spring up in the mind in the midst of deep melancholy.
I read of nothing but careful parents, loving husbands, and dutiful children. I said jestingly, Where be all the bad people buried ? Bad parents, bad husbands, bad children-what cemeteries are appointed for these? do they not sleep in con, secrated ground ? or is it but a pious fiction, a generous eversight, in the survivers, which thus tricks out men's epitaphs when dead, who, in their lifetime, discharged the offices of life, perhaps, but lamely. Their failings, with their reproaches, now sleep with them in the grave. Man wars not with the dead. It is a trait of human nature for which I love it.
I had not observed, till now, a little group assembled at the other end of the churchyard ;. it was a company of children, who were gathered round a young man, dressed in black, ting on a gravestone.
He seemed to be asking them questions-probably about their learning-and one little dirty ragged headed fellow was clambering up his knees to kiss him. The children had been eating black cherries—for some of the stones were scattered about, and their mouths were smeared with them.
As I drew near them, I thought I discerned in the stranger a mild benignity of countenance, which I had somewhere seen before I gazed at him more attentively.
It was Allan Clare! sitting on the grave of his sister.
I threw my arms about his neck. Texclaimed “ Allan"-he turned his eyes upon me he knew me we both wept aloud it seemed as though the interval since we parted had been as nothing- I cried out, “ Come and tell me about these things.”
I drew him away from his little friends--he parted with a show of reluctance from the churchyard-Margaret and her grand-daughter lay buried there, as well as his sister--I took him to my inn--secured a room, where we might be privateordered fresh wine-scarce knowing what I did, I danced forjoy.
Allan was quite overcome, and, taking me by the hand, he said, “ This repays ine for all.”
It was a proud day for me--I had found the friend I thought dead-earth seemed to me no longer valuable, than as it contained him ; and existence a blessing no longer than while I should live to be his comforter.
I'begar at leisure to survey him with more attention. Time and grief had left few traces of that fine enthusiasm which once burned in his countenance-his eyes had lost their original fire, but they retained an uncommon sweetness, and, whenever they were turned upon me, their smile pierced to
“ Allan, I fear you have been a sufferer.” He replied not, and I could not press him further. I could not call the dead to life again.
So we drank, and told old stories and repeated old poetry and sang old songs—as if nothing had happened. We sat till very late-I forgot that I had purposed returning to town that evening—to Allan all places were alike-I grew noisy, he grew cheerful-Allan's old manners, old enthusiasm, were returning upon him-we laughed, we wept, we mingled our tears, and talked extravagantly.
Allan was my chamber-fellow that night--and lay awake, planning schemes of living together under the same roof, entering upon similar pursuits—and praising God that we had met.
I was obliged to return to town the next morning, and Allan proposed to accompany me. “Since the death of his sister,” he told me, “he had been a wanderer."
In the course of our walk he unbosomed himself without reserve-told me many particulars of his way of life for the last nine or ten years, which I do not feel myself at liberty to divulge.
Once, on my attempting to cheer him, when I perceived him over thoughtful, he replied to me in these words :
“Do not regard me as unhappy when you catch me in these moods. I am never more happy than at iimes when, by the cast of my countenance, men judge me most miserable.
“ My friend, the events which have left this sadness behind them are of no recent date. The melancholy, which comes over me with the recollection of them, is not hurtful, but only tends to soften and tranquillize my mind, to detach me from the restlessness of human pursuits.
“ The stronger I feel this detachment, the more I find my self drawn heavenward to the contemplation of spiritual objects.
“ I love to keep old friendships alive and warm within me, because I expect a renewal of them in the world of spirits.
“I am a wandering and unconnected thing on the earth. I have made no new friendships that can compensate me for the loss of the old--and the more I know mankind, the more does it become necessary for me to supply their loss by little images, recollections, and circumstances of past pleasures.
"I am sensible that I am surrounded by a multitude of very worthy people, plain-hearted souls, sincere and kind. But they have hitherto eluded my pursuit, and will continue to bless the little circle of their families and friends, while I must remain a stranger to them.
“Kept at a distance by mankind, I have not ceased to love them—and could I find the cruel persecutor, the malignant instrument of God's judgments on me and mine, I think I would forgive, and try to love him too.
“ I have been a quiet sufferer. From the beginning of my calamities it was given to me not to see the hand of man in them. I perceived a mighty arm, which none but myself could see, extended over me. I gave my heart to the Purifier, and my will to the Sovereign Will of the universe. The irresistible wheels of destiny passed on in their everlasting rotation—and I suffered myself to be carried along with them without complaining."
ALLAN told me, that for some years past, feeling himself disengaged from every personal tie, but not alienated from human sympathies, it had been his taste, his humour he called it, to spend a great portion of his time in hospitals and lazarhouses.
He had found a wayward pleasure, he refused to name it a virtue, in tending a description of people, who had long ceased to expect kindness or friendliness from mankind, but were content to accept the reluctant services, which the oftentimes unfeeling instruments and servants of these well-meant institutions deal out to the poor sick people under their care.
It is not medicine, it is not broths and coarse meats, served up at a stated hour with all the hard formalities of a prisonit is not the scanty' dole of a bed to die on—which dying man requires from his species.
Looks, attentions, consolations, in a word, sympathies, are what a man most needs in this awful close of mortal suffer ings. A kind look, a smile, a drop of cold water to the parched lip-for these things a man shall bless you in death,
And these better things than cordials did Allan love to ad. minister--to stay by a bedside the whole day, when some thing casgusting in a patient's distemper has kept the very
nurses at a distance—to sit by, while the poor wretch got a Jittle sleep—and be there to smile upon him when he awoko --to slip a guinea, now and then, into the hands of a nurse or attendant-these things have been to Allan as privileges, for which he was content to live, choice marks, and circumstances of his Maker's goodness to him.
And I do not know whether occupations of this kind be not a spring of purer and nobler delight (certainly instances of a more disinterested virtue) than arises from what are called friendships of sentiment.
Between two persons of liberal education, like opinions, and common feelings, oftentimes subsists a vanity of sentiment, which disposes each to look upon the other as the only being in the universe worthy of friendship, or capable of understanding it--themselves they consider as the solitary receptacles of all that is delicate in feeling or stable in attachment: when the odds are, that under every green hill, and in every
crowded street, people of equal worth are to be found, who do more good in their generation, and make less noise in the doing of it.
It was in consequence of these benevolent propensities I have been describing, that Allan oftentimes discovered considerable inclinations in favour of my way of life, which I have before mentioned as being that of a surgeon.
He would frequently attend me on my visits to patients; and I began to think that he had serious intentions of making my profession his study.
He was present with me at a scene-a deathbed sceneshudder when I do but think of it.
I was sent for the other morning to the assistance of a gentleman who had been wounded in a duel, and his wounds by unskilful treatment had been brought to a dangerous crisis.
The uncommonness of the name, which was Matravis, suggested to me that this might possibly be no other than Allan's old enemy. Under this apprehension, I did what I could to dissuade Allan froin accompanying me- e--but he seemed bent upon going, and even pleased himself with the notion, that it might lie within his ability to do the unhappy man some ser
So he went with me.