« НазадПродовжити »
the reverse of what ought, in justice, have known this model of practical to have done either !'- This exclama- good feeling walk out through the tion is undoubtedly true ;-and from snow, and go to the cottage of some all I have ever seen I fully conincide sick or suffering villager, who was with my father's belief. I heard him poor. There have I seen her admionce say-'I do believe that there nister the relief and counforts of menever were but two men whom Eve- dicine, food, religious advice and line would have thought worthy of prayer, or kind and cheerful conversabeing loved ;-one still lives, it is tion, as the occasion required. NoFranklin—and the other was Milton' thing, indeed, could be more beautiI agree with him that she inight have ful, or tend inore-I feel it now-to become attached to such a man teach us what real charity is, than to Franklin : Milton strikes me as want- hear Aunt Eveline talk with the poor. ing blandness of disposition-but (you She did not assume interest in their will think me very fantastic, dear Ed- humble matters, as many do,—she felt ward, but recollect, you begged me to it;she listened to obtain the inforbe most minute) I think such a being nation she needed, with the utmost as, it might be supposed, could be patience; she questioned them with compounded of the best qualities of clearness, brevity, and kindness minFranklin and Las Casas, would be gled; she gave them ber advice in a nearer the mark than all.
manner which almost made the people “ My mother died, as you know, believe the ideas she suggested had while I was still quite young—and all originally arisen in their own minds. the recollections of my mental culti “ I recollect a remarkable instance vation apply to Aunt Eveline. Slight, of all these qualities. We were caught indeed, and smattering, is the all I in a snow-storm one very severe Januknow when I look at her stores of ary; we took shelter in a hovel which knowledge, which I have had the op- stood in the corner of a field, close to portunities of years to contemplate. She the road. There we found an old avoided, indeed, purposely, many of carpenter of the village, who said he the stronger and more abstruse stu was delighted to meet · kind Mistress dies, for me, which she had herself Eveline,' as the elder people always pursued. Still, even in what she did called her, as he had hit, he thought, lead me to, I had ample means of on a mechanical improvement in one seeing the qualities of clearness, of the tools of his trade, which he strength, delicacy, and rapidity by longed to explain to her. Off he set which her mind is distinguished ;-yet into a long explanation, of which I all these powers, and the acquisitions understood not one word, but which they had gained for her, were wholly Aunt Eveline went along with peruntinged with the slightest touch of fectly. When the old man had been pedantry or display.
in the full swing of his discourse about - But what I value far more than a quarter of an bour, the carriage arall this is the active excellence of her rived to bring us home, as it had been warm and adınirable heart. Oh Ed- known which way we had gone.
1 ward, if ever you find one trace of knew my aunt had a severe cold, and sympathy with suffering, or of desire I pressed her to go at once.
No, she to relieve it, in me, you will owe it to said,-she must hear out old Christothat invaluable woman. I will not pher's plan, which seemed to her very speak of the manner in which she de- ingenious. The conversation lasted voted her whole life to my parents and half an hour more, about the last three myself-or of the love she bore them, minutes of which she occupied in givand still, thank Heaven, bears to me. ing her opinion of the invention. My I allude now to her kindness, active father afterwards got her to confess and real, to the poor. Many and ma that she had given Christopher the ny is the bitter day in winter that I one idea which had made all the rest
of avail, and without which they would her an inmate. You will soon rejoice all have been useless; his suspicions for your own.
I allude to that de. having been roused by hearing the old lightful constancy of cheerfulness of man say several times— It's very odd, manner, which might be called gaiety but I thought of the best bit of the had it not a beautiful dash of tenderwhole plan while I was talking to kind ness which renders that too light a Mistress Eveline in the snow-storm.' word. A good heart, actively emMistress Eveline herself was laid up ployed, always produces this, which for a fortnight ; but she cared not—for your own heart will at once set before Christopher gained a round sum for your imagination. Oh! Edward, you the patent he got for the invention. do not even conceive how I bless you
“ I am sure, dear, dear Edward, for adding to my new home the only you are not one to think these details thing that could increase the happiness childish, or too minute. You will see I know will reign there—the society of at once that I could in no other way my dear, dear Aunt Eveline ! There so well show you what she really is. is but one feeling in the world which You may have heard some few sneers exceeds my unspeakable affection for at her talents and their cultivation her;-Edward, can you guess what among cold-blooded, fine' people; that is ?" but I have heard thousands of blessings bursting from the hearts of the The only addition which I shall poor, for the goodness of her heart. make to the picture, so ably and so
“ And these inward qualities have truly drawn in the preceding letters, produced one outward characteristic of the character of Eveline Meynell, which will make her a blessing, instead is the following tribute to her memoof an incumbrance, to that home of ry, which is inscribed on the slightly which, for my sake, my own love, you but beautifully ornamented slab placed have so kindly determined to make over her grave :
Sacred to the Memory of Eveline Meynell, grand-aunt of Sir Edward Meynell, Bart., present owner of Arlescot Hall, in this parish. He raises this monument to her as to The Second Best; the origin of that appellation, curTent in the family, having proved her to have been The Best of all. For, the universal object of affection must be the most good. And, when the husband of a long and happy marriage was asked, whom he loved the best, second only to his wife ?—when the affianced, who was second to his betrothed ?—the wife of the first year, who second to her newly-married husband ?—nay, when the bride, on the eve of 80 becoming, was asked who was second in her love to him she was about to wed?-each and all have answered,
THE CHARMED PICTURE.
BY MRS. HEMANS.
Oh! that those lips had language !-Life hath pasa’d
Thine eyes are charm'd, thine earnest eyes, And sometimes Pity-soft and deep,
And quivering through a tear;
Ev'n as if Love in Heaven could weep, A virtue thence is shed.
For Grief left drooping here. Oft in their meek blue light enshrined, And oh! my spirit needs that balm, A blessing seems to be ;
Needs it 'midst fitful mirth, And sometimes there, my wayward mind And in the night-hour's baunted calm, A still reproach can see.
And by the lonely hearth.
Look on me thus, when hollow Praise
Hath made the weary pine, For one true tone of other days,
One glance of love like thine!
Look on me thus, when sudden glee
Bears my quick heart along, On wings that struggle to be free
As bursts of skylark song.
Sweet face, that o'er my childhood shone,
Whence is thy power of change,
The rapid and the strange ?
I know the mystery well!
The Spirit of the Spell.
Oh! change no longer, Thou !
On thy pure thoughtful brow!
In vain, in vain !--too soon are felt
The wounds they cannot flee ; Better in child-like tears to melt,
Pouring my soul on thee !
THE MURDERER'S LAST NIGHT.
Until my twenty-seventh year I re- such homage. Nature had endowed sided in the small cathedral town of me, if not with eloquence, at least C-r in which I was born. My with considerable fluency of speech; parents-especially my mother-were and as my natural diffidence-which of a serious cast. She had been edu. at first was great-wore away, whether cated as a Quaker, but following her by extempore prayer or seasonable exown notions as to religion, she in the hortation, the effects I produced exlatter part of her life became attached ceeded those, the fruits of zeal, of to the tenets of that sect known by those about me. I became adınired the name of Moravians, and last of as one more than usually gifted, and all to those which, when held in con was gradually exalted into a leader. nexion with the ritual of the church The occasional tendency to gloom and of England, are termed “ Evangeli- nervous irritability to which my temcal;” or, in dissent from it, “ Metho perament inclined me, was yet only distical."
marked enough to throw no unbecomShe was warm and fancisul in her ing seriousness and gravity into the devotional practice; for which the be- features of so young an apostle. It lief as to the palpable and plenary in was strange to see persons of all ages fluence of the Holy Spirit upon the and both sexes admiring at the ionate human mind, in which she was bred, seriousness of so early a preacher, and may help to account. Of these aspi.. owning the sometimes really fervid rations I, an ardent and sensitive boy, earneslness of my appeals, my warnsoon learned to partake. My mind ings or my denunciations. I began was never naturally prone to vice; and more and more to feel myself in a stamy imagination, though forward, was tion above that of my fellows, and pure. I was brought up by my excel- that I had now a character to sustain lent parents in the practice of virtue; before the eyes of men. Young as I and I loved it. With an outward con was, could it well have been otherduct thus guaranteeing inward persua- wise ? Let me however speak the sions-with professions borne out by truth. Spiritual pride at last crept an unquestioned and pure, if not alto- upon me. Devotion by insensible degether unostentatious piety of beha- grees became tainted with self, and vior, what wonder that I soon became the image of God was, I fear, somea distinguished votary of the peculiar times forgotten for that of his frail and principles to which I had attached my- unworthy creature. True it was, I self. It is difficult for a young man still, without slackening, spoke comto know himself looked up to-be the fort to the ear of suffering or repentcause what it may-without his feel- ant sin—I still exhorted the weak and ings and his conduct being affected by strengthened the strong. I still warn
ed the besotted in corruption that the a footstep hard frozen in the snow, fruits of vice, blossom as she will, are and blood,-and the nails of the murbut like those of the shores of the derer's shoe were counted, even as his Dead Sea, seeming gay, but only days were soon to be. He was taken emptiness and bitter ashes. But, alas! a few days after with a handkerchief the bearer of the blessed message spoke of the old man's upon his neck. as if the worm that bore, could add blind is blood-guiltiness. grace to the tidings he conveyed to Up to the hour of condemnation, his fellow worm. I was got upon a he remained reckless as the wind precipice, but knew it not—that of unrepenting as the fint-venomous as self-worship and conceit; the worst the blind-worm. With that deep and creature-idolatry. It was bitterly re- horrible cunning which is so often vealed to me at last.
united to unprincipled ignorance, he About the year 1790, at the Assizes had almost involved in his fate another for the county of which the town of vagrant with whom he had chanced to Cris the county town, was tried consort, and to whom he had disposed and convicted a wretch guilty of one of some of the blood-bought spoils. of the most horrible murders upon re The circumstantial evidence was so cord. He was a young man, proba- involved and interwoven, that the jury, bly (for he knew not his own years) after long and obvious hesitation as to. of about twenty-two years of age. the latter, found both guilty ; and the One of those wandering and unsettled terrible sentence of death, within creatures, who seem to be driven from forty-eight hours, was passed upon place to place, they know not why. both. The culprit bore it without Without homie ; without name ; with- much outward emotion; but when taken out companion; without sympathy; from the dock, his companion, infuriwithout sense. Hearthless, friendless, ated by despair and grief, found idealess, almost soul-less! and so ig- means to level a violent blow at the norant, as not even to seem to know head of his miserable and selfish bewhether he had ever heard of a Re- trayer, which long deprived the deenier, or seen his written Word. It wretch of sense and motion, and, for was on a stormy Christmas eve, when some time, was thought to have antihe begged shelter in the hut of an old cipated the executioner. Would it man, whose office it was to regulate had done so ! But let ine do my duty the transit of conveyances upon the as I ought-let me repress the horror road of a great mining establishment which one
of this dreadful in the neighborhood. The old man drama never fails to throw over iny had received him, and shared with him spirit—that I may tell my story as a his humble cheer and his humble bed; man-and my confession at least be for on that night the wind blew, and clear. When the felon awoke out of the sleet drove, aster a manner that the death-like trance into which this would have made it a crime to have assault had thrown him, his hardihood turned a stranger dog to the door. was gone ; and he was reconveyed to The next day the poor old creature the cell, in which he was destined was found dead in his hut-his brains agonizingly to struggle out his last beaten out with an old iron implement hideous and distorted hours, in a state which he used—and his little furniture of abject horror which cannot be derifled and in confusion. The wretch scribed. He who felt nothing—knew had murdered him for the supposed nothing-had now his eyes opened hoard of a few shillings. The snow, with terrible clearness to one object-from which he afforded his murderer the livid phantasma of a strangling shelter, had drifted in at the door, death. All the rest was convulsive which the miscreant, when he fled, had despair and darkness. Thought shudJeft open, and was frozen red with the ders at it—but let me go on. blood of his victim. But it betrayed The worthy clergyman, whose par
ticular duty it was to smooth and or to retain one feather's weight in sosten, and, if possible, illuminate the the balance against him, let me bumlast dark hours of the dying wretch, bly hope and trust. That I was a was not unwilling to adınit the volun- cause, and a great one, of this unhaptary aid of those whom religious pre- py delusion, let me not deny. God dispositions and natural commisera- forgive me, if I thought soinetimes tion excited to share with him in the less of the soul to be saved than of work of piety.
The task was in him who deerned he might be one of truth a hard one. The poor wretch, the humble instruments of grace. It for the sake of the excitement which is but too true that I fain would bare such intercourse naturally afforded danced, like David, before the Ark. him, and which momentarily relieved Within and without was I assailed by his sick and fainting spirit, groaned those snares which, made of pride, are out half articulate expressions of ac seen in the disguise of charity. The quiescence in the appeals that were aspirations of my friends, the eyes of made to him ; but the relief was phy- mine enemies, the wishes of the good, sical merely. The grasp of the and the sneers of the mistrustful, friendly hand made waver, for a mo- were about me, and upon me; and I ment, the heavy shadow of death undertook to pass with the Murderer which hung upon him-and be grasp
LAST NIGHT-such a last !ed it. The voice breathing mercy but let me compose myself. and comfort in his ear, stilled for a second the horrid echo of doom-and It was about the hour of ten, on a he listened to it. It was the gusty and somewhat raw evening of drowning man gasps at the bubble of September, that I was locked up air which he draws down with him in alone with the Murderer.
It was sinking—or as a few drops of rain to the evening of the Sabbath. Some him at the stake, around whom the rain had fallen, and the sun had not fire is kindled and hot. This, alas! been long set without doors : but for we saw not as we ought to have done the last hour and a half the dungeon -hut when the sinking wretch, at the had been dark, and illuminated only word «
mercy," laid his head upon by single taper. The clergyman of our shoulder and groaned, we, san the prison, and some of my religious guine in enthusiasm, deemed it deep friends, had sat with us until the hour repentance. When his brow seemed of locking up, when, at the suggestion smooth for a space, at the sound of of the gaoler, they departed. I must Eternal Life, we thought him as “a consess their “good night," and the brand snatched from the burning.” sound of the heavy door, which the In the forward pride (for pride it gaoler locked after him, when he was) of human perfectibility, we took went to accompany them to the outerhim-him the Murderer—as it were gate of the gaol, sounded heavily on under our lutelage and protection. my heart. I felt a sudden shrink We prayed with him, we read to him within me, as their steps quickly —we watched with him—we blessed ceased to be heard upon the stone his miserable sleeps—and met his stairs—and when the distant prison more wretched awakinys. In the pre- door was finally closed, I watched the sumption of our pity, we would last echo. I had for a moment forcleanse that white, in the world's eye, gotten my companion. When I turnwhich God had, for inscrutable pur- ed round, he was sitting on the side poses, ordained should seem to the of his low pallet, towards the head of last murky as hell. We would it, supporting his head by his elbow paint visibly upon him the outward against the wall, apparently in a state and visible sign of sin washed away, of half stupor. He was motionless, and merey found. That that intended excepting a sort of convulsive movetriumpb inay not have helped to add ment, between sprawling and clutch