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cause of your affliction, that I may few, large, and lustreless ; not a syimpathize with your sorrows, if í breath of wind stirred ; and the rush cannot alleviate them." He scarcely of the burn sounded deeper and seemed to hear or regard me, but stronger than by day. We moved drawing a long, suppressed sigh, and along in unbroken silence. I feared speaking as if he were thinking to call up the emotions which I had aloud rather than answering me, he so lately witnessed in such fearful replied, “Yes ! such was the scene agitation. He appeared to be sufferon that night, the last of my nights ing under an internal struggle. I of earthly happiness ; such were the could remark the restrained and breathings of the music ; so the song measured regularity of his breathand the laugh went round, and so ings, evidently warring with supdid the youth gaily weave the maze pressed and struggling sighs. I not of the sportive dance! Lovely are unfrequently felt his arm tremble these maidens, but how far inferior within mine, as a strong shuddering to her loveliness! Does she yet re- passed over his whole frame. At member me? Does her pure spirit length he suddenly stopped, -graspbehold the grief of my waste and ed my hand,-gazed upon me with widowed bosom? Oh! ye gay re- a look of inexpressible emotion, and vellers! grief may smite you in the exclaiming, “ My only friend !”midst of your mirth, as it has done threw himself into my arms, leant me, and leave you too in joyless de- his head upon my shoulder, and spondency, and never-ending gloom. burst into an unrestrained agony of Your festivities tell me of days when tears. I am not ashamed to confess I could also be the gayest of the gay! it, I wept along with him; and his And in the midst of all your joys, I heart was more relieved by the unfeel that addition to my sorrow which restrained utterance of its woe, and would come upon me, were you all as my deep sympathy, than it could I am, or rather, were all your griefs have been by the most grave and poured upon my individual heart." cold moral lecture upon the unavail. “My dear Henry,” said I, “my own ing nature of human sorrow. A short friend and old companion ! recollect time brought us to the termination yourself ; think where you are. I of our walk, during the remainder am sure you would not wish to ex- of which we had continued almost pose the state of your feelings, and as silent as before, each being too your secret griefs, be their cause deeply engaged in thinking to admit what it may, to the rude and curious of much conversation. When we gaze of so many strangers. Come, were about to separate, Henry broke rouse your spirit! Be a man; and through the restraint in which we do not yield so openly to the power bad both continued, and spoke more of sorrow! This, I can well per- freely than I had hoped for. “My ceive, is no place for you. Go, tell dear friend," said he, “ I am sensi Mr W. that you are unwell ; bid him ble of the extravagance, of iny congood-night, and I will accompany duct this evening; and in considerayou home. Nay, I will take no re- tion of our long and uninterrupted fusal,” continued 1, seeing him hesi- friendship, I feel that I owe you an tate ;“ I see too plainly that you are explanation of my grief, which you unhappy ; and for my own part, I must have regarded as unaccountassure you, that to remain any long- able, and extremely ill-timed. But er here at present would be no gra. I cannot, I dare not trust myself to tification to me." He suffered him- do so in the way of common converself to be persuaded ; and after tak. sation. I could not endure to bear ing our leave of the company and my own voice uttering the story of our kind host, we walked away to- my grief. I will write a short acgether.
count of it, and send it to you as a The night was mild and calm. letter. This you may regard as the The faint dim edge of the waning highest possible proof of iny friend. moon was sinking languidly through ship for you, as you will then be the thin pale clouds, and gradually my first, my only confidant." We nearing through the verge of the then parted, after a warm and affechorizon. The stars were scattered, tionate farewell, and in the space of a day or two I received the promised party of his friends, chiefly young communication. I perused it with people ; thither I had the supreme considerable interest, and have every felicity to conduct the fair object of reason to believe that it is a simple my silent and almost unconscious statement of real occurrences, and adoration. The party were all known the feelings to which they gave to each other, and the utmost harbirth. The following is a copy of mony and gladness prevailed. Danmy friend's letter, without addition cing, as might be easily supposed, or alteration :
formed no small part of the evening's
entertainment. In this graceful acMy Dear FRIEND,
complishment, as in all things beThe kind sympathy which longing to a finished education and you displayed, and which drew from a refined mind, Mary highly exme a promise of relating the secret celled. The joyous gaiety of all cause of my grief, again comes upon around her, and the enlivening exme with a soothing influence and a citement of sportive music, called sweet recollection, reminding me to forth her gentle spirits into more fulfil my promise. Painful as the than usual buoyancy, and she looktask may be, I feel it now my duty ed, and breathed, and moved, pure to perform it ; nor will I shrink from and happy cheerfulness herself. But, it, though it will open afresh the why do I dwell on that night? why wounds which can never be com recal its glad moments to memory? pletely healed.
moments then enriched with pleaYou may recollect accompanying sures never, never to be renewed, me on a visit to the beautiful little but followed by a misery unspeakacountry retreat of my dearest friend ble, interminable! Suffice it to say, Mrs , and you cannot have for- that, at the time of separation, it was got her lovely daughter, concerning observed, with much dismay, that whom you amused yourself awhile the weather had changed greatly for in teasing and rallying me. At that the worse. A chilling sleety rain was time, I was beginning to feel an un- driving fierce and fast, with a cold, accountable desire to make frequent bitterly cold east-wind; and we repetitions of my visits, and to were compelled to proceed homelengthen them as far as propriety wards through the midst of this inwould allow.
clement blast, heated by the late It was then that an attachment to mirthful exercise, and utterly unthat lovely girl took entire posses- provided with any means of protecsion of my heart, stamped a bias tion. upon my thoughts and feelings, and in vain did I strip myself of every by its sad termination left me what disposable part of my clothing to I now am, and must ever be-a cover her,-in vain did I endeavour lonely, companionless mourner. Your to shelter her from the violence of temporary absence from this part of the wind and rain, by keeping mythe country prevented you from self in the direction whence it blew. knowing what i now proceed, with Alas! alas ! in spite of all my efforts, a sick, sick heart, to relate. I had the extreme keenness of the cold, become, by my repeated visits, a sort drifting, sleety rain, and the peneof privileged friend, permitted to trating wind, assailing a frame and come as often as I could conveniently a constitution naturally delicate, and do so, and spend a few hours, with at that time peculiarly exposed and out any regard to formal ceremony, sensitive of their attacks, struck a and without requiring to assign any chillness to her heart, and through ostensible reason for my visit. Í every vein, from the effects of which had not, however, dared to ask my she never recovered! I called next own heart why my walks termic day to inquire after her health. I nated so often at 5 , and why saw her; and by the pale, pale its pulsations became tremblingly cheek and dim eye, the low sad tone rapid when that lovely girl met my of the voice, and the heavy breatheyes, walked beside, or conversed ing, I knew that she was ill, very ill with me. About that time, one of indeed. When I beheld her altered the neighbours had invited a small looks, I felt my heart swell with a feeling now no longer ambiguous; me, stronger and stronger, that her and in a moment of deep emotion, I days in this life were numbered, and ventured to express, what in different fast nearing their termination. Often circumstances I would not have dared did the afflicted mother speak to me to utter. My suit was modestly, of her dear Mary, destined to fill an dispassionately, but firmly checked; untimely tomb; and often, often yet were my visits not forbidden, did I wish that it could be possible and I had the satisfaction of per- for me to purchase her health at the ceiving that my temerity had not expense of my own. And, oh ! how drawn upon me her hatred. My vie agonizing was it to behold a being so sits, however, from that time, became lovely, sinking gradually under the rather less frequent, and assumed influence of an insidious disease, like a more tender and deeply respectful some fair flower smitten and blight, character, and though I still saw her, ed in the very source of its growth, it was generally in the presence of and drooping into premature decay, her mother.
in the midst of its expanding beauty! After a lingering and protracted ill. But let me not dwell upon this ness, she appeared to have overcome part of my melancholy relation. I the strength of the disease, and to need not attempt to describe the probe again in a state of gradual re- gress of the incurable disease. Still covery. She herself seemed to think less am I able to describe the unutthat she was no longer in any danger. terable and increasing weight of woe Never shall I forget the delight which overpowered my heart, as I which filled and overflowed my heart saw her, the lovely, the gentle, the when I met her at a short distance good, pining and wasting away,-dy. from her mother's house, one mild ing by degrees. I feel it yet, but no sunny afternoon, and in a playful power of words can ever express its tone she bade me observe the power hundredth part! In a short time she of the sun, which had called her became so weakened as to be obliged forth like a butterfly from its shel, to stay within her room, and soon ter, to flaunt and idle in his beams, after she became unable to leave her Day after day passed on; but her bed. Several days passed without strength did not increase ; nay, in my seeing her, during which I conspite of her assertions to the con- tinued unremitting in my inquiries; trary, it seemed to diminish. I mark, but every answer served only to ed the anxious looks of her mother, strengthen my fears, and banish every and I feared to speak of the lovely faint glimmering of hope. At length, but faded form of the daughter. Å after a most painful and sickening fearful conjecture haunted my mind interval, I was one day told that she which I dared not investigate, and had requested me to be called into could not banish. At length, one her room. With throbbing heart I day, after her mother had continued obeyed; and entered with soft and in a long and silent fit of abstrac- gliding steps into that apartment tion, into which she had gradually where lay, never more to rise, she fallen upon Mary's leaving us, and who was dearer to me than my own retiring to her own room on account existence. Never, till the latest moof fatigue, she roused herself up, ment of my life, shall I forget the and asked me what was my candid scene and the occurrences of that opinion concerning the state of her hour. They are indelibly stamped daughter's health? " I fear," con upon my inemory, and can only fade tinued she, with a voice almost chokwhen memory itself is no more, ed by sorrow, “I fear my poor Close beside the head of her dying Mary is fallen into a rapid consump- daughter's bed there sat the mother, tion.” A long and bursting sigh, and in deepest affliction, yet with a coun: a look of unutterable grief, was the tenance in which the intensity of only answer Icould make to her; and maternal sorrow was subdued into it told but too plainly that I had no- silent, uncomplaining resignation. thing of hope or consolation to offer. Grief, mortal grief, had stricken, and From that day forward I watched her would have burst her heart, had it with deep and painful anxiety; and not been sustained by ihe consedaily was the conviction forced upon lation of religion, and soothed by the balm of heavenly piety. She tachment was, though in secret, rewept not; but the subdued and sigh- turned, is now the only recompence ing tones of her voice, and the set- in my power to make you for your tled sadness of her looks, spoke far kindnesses. I therefore wish you more of woe than could have been that happiness with another which, done by the most copious floods of had it pleased the Almighty, I might tears, and the loudest lamentations, perhaps have shared. If I may yet woe which nothing could have en make one request, let me beg of you, abled her to support but an humble for my sake, to comfort my poor moacquiescence in the decrees of Provi ther. I had much more to say to you, dence, founded upon a firm belief of but my weakness will not permit me. the pure and heavenly doctrines of Give me your hand. May the blessChristianity.
ing of God attend you! Farewell !" Gently supported by pillows, there As she spoke thus, she gave me lay the dying maiden. How chan- her soft, slender, and almost deathged from her lately blooming in all cold hand, and turned upon me such the glow of youth and health! Wast- a look of kindness, holy love, and ed almost to a shadow, and sinking tender pity, that my soul melted under the pressure of a mortal sick within me, and I could no longer ness, she was still lovely; but her control my feelings. I knelt beside beauty was of now a strange, un the bed, pressed her hand to my heart, earthly character. Too delicately fair which rose and swelled in my breast for this life, she seemed like an inha. almost to suffocation, and sobbed aubitant of the aerial world. The mo- dibly, while the tears fell fast from tion of the blood was almost visible my eyes, and moistened her pale and in the small blue veins wander- emaciated arm. For a short time I ing across her pale marble fore- was insensible to every thing, SO head; and a light emanated from overwhelming was the agony of my her mild eyes, full of a pure, lofty, grief. I cannot endure more, I do not and spiritual meaning. A faint smile think I shall endure so much, at the overspread her face when she saw moment of death. I pressed her hand me, and she bade me come forward, again and again to my lips, faltered and asked me kindly how I was, in out a broken farewell, and staggered a soft, low, silver tone, which thrilled out of the room. How I reached through my very soul. “ I am glad home, and how I passed that night, you are come," said she;" I wished to I know not. Next day I again went see you, as in all probability it is the to make my usual inquiry. As I last time I ever shall in this world.” approached the house, it seemed co
I could not answer her; a thou- vered with sadness, darkness, and sisand recollections and feelings rushed lence. An undefinable dread came upon my heart, and overpowered me. over me. I dared not think, I even « Nay,” said she, “ that is unman- sbuddered at the sound of my own ly; it is almost unkind : why would breathings; I at last ventured to you increase the sadness of my dying speak. It was as I might have exhour, by yielding to unavailing sor- pected, but which I had hoped, even row? I had hoped that you would in despite of certainty, would not behave with more firmness. You get be. The spirit which animated make me hesitate to speak what I in that fair form was fled. I got admistended when I sent for you." With sion into the house--into the room a strong effort, I restrained my agi where she lay. I saw the body tation, and she continued : " In the a sight which will never cease to presence of my mother, and as a dy- haunt my sleeping visions, and my ing woman, I may now say to you, waking imaginings. I see it now what in no other circumstances I -pale, cold, lifeless-lovely, but could have done. I have observed awful. My eyes are fixed on it, with your attentions to me for some time a gaze of shuddering dread,-my soul past; I could not but understand yearns over it, yet shrinks from it them; and I may now say that they with a feeling of ineffable mystery. were not disagreeable to me. I have What is it now? what was it lately? thought it my duty to say so much, I turned away in silence, and went because the assurance that your at- and hid myself in the darkest part of
a thick plantation. My thoughts, son were experiencing the same promy feelings, I will not attempt to cess of corruption, and yet possessed describe. I attended the funeral ; I of all its living powers of sensation saw the coffin, that contained the body and consciousness. I feel the cold, of her so deeply loved, committed to gnawing reptiles, clustering round the dark and dreary grave; I heard my heart, which shudders and thrills the heavy, cold, damp mould fall, with morbid acuteness of feeling. I sounding drearily and sullenly over shut my eyes, and, beating my breast it, and I felt as if it were piled over in desperate horror, prostrate myself my own breast. Every additional upon the cold ground, and wish to quantity thrown into the grave struck be at rest at once and for ever. an additional chill into my heart-a At other times I feel more soothed chill which not the fairesť form, nor than agonized by indulging my grief. the kindest smile of any woman, can Tears may flow, but they are not the ever remove. My affections are in tears of bitterness ;-sighs may heave deed buried in that silent abode. my bosom, but they are not the deep,
Since that day, I have felt that I heart-bursting sighs of utter wretchhave indeed done with all the plea edness; and, in the midst of my sures and enjoyments of this world. sorrow, a dreamy pensiveness will Loneliness is my portion, and my grow over my mind, till, in fancy, I heart is wedded to my remembrances, can hold communings with the saintand to one soft ringlet of beautiful ed spirit of my Mary. I hear her hair. When mirth and revelry ring soft and gentle voice calling me away around me, they remind me too from this land of sorrows to that powerfully of my irreparable loss, home of pure peace and undisturbed and call forth an insupportable in- repose, where the power of death tense recollection of that night which shall be feared and felt no more. I accuse as the cause of my Mary's You lately witnessed my emotions, death. When friends forsake me, you have now received a simple but or the world frowns upon me, I feel true relation of their cause. Pity myself without a sympathising heart me or blame me at your pleasure. I to share and soothe my distress. In cannot command my feelings if I either case, in the extremes of grief would, nor perhaps would I if I occasioned by witnessing joy, or ens could. I once possessed a light and during injuries, I fly to the grave sportive heart; I never shall again. where my only beloved lies. It is I could once have enjoyed the song my retreat-my only place of re. and the dance; they now only sadfuge--my quiet home. Earth has den my soul, plunge me into deeper to ine no beauty, no allurement, but melancholy, or call forth a burst of in that lone spot, where sleeps, in an uncontrollable anguish. My heart untimely tomb, she who was more may rest for a little in chill torpidity, than all the world to me. The soft but when moved, its emotions are green grass, and the gentle daisy, those of woe ; often watered with my tears, which deck the turf that covers her dark
My heart was calm, its griefs were stilla, and narrow bed of rest, are dearer to
And all its silent woes might seem
As when, by Winter's cold breath chill'd, me than all the most beautiful and
Soft glides the noiseless, ice-bound far-famed productions which the
stream. whole globe of earth can afford. The light drop of dew, suspended like a But from my heart, and from my brain, tear upon the wild flower over her These feelings ne'er can banish d be ; grave, is to me brighter than the They slumber'd, but they wake again most costly jewel glittering on the
In one wild burst of agony. monarch's diadem. At times, when Afresh the strearn of sorrow flows, my griefs are strongly excited, and My heart's deep wounds are open tore; my heart is sick and pained within My bosom heaves with all the woes me, I bend over the grave and moan So keenly, wildly felt before. aloud, while thoughts and fancies of Have I not knelt beside the grave unutterable horror come upon me. I Where my soul's hopes all buried lie, think of the cold mouldering body And pluck'd the weeds that o'er it wave ? below, and I feel as if my own per Then what have I to do with joy !