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self, and came upon the parish. Still there was a kind of feeling toward her thoughout the village, and a certain respect as being one of the oldest inhabitants. As no one applied for the cottage in which she. had passed so many happy days, she was permitted to remain in it, where she lived solitary and almost helpless. The few wants of nature were chiefly supplied from the scanty productions of her little garden, which the neighbours would now and then cultivate for her. It was but a few days before the time at which these circumstances were told me, that she was gathering some vegetables for her repast, when she heard the cottage-door which faced the garden suddenly opened. A stranger came out, and seemed to be looking eagerly and wildly around.' He was dressed in seamen's clothes, was emaciated and ghastly pale, and bore the air of one broken by sickness and hardships. He saw her, and hastened toward her, but his steps were faint and faltering ; he sank on his knees before her, and sobbed like a child. The poor woman gazed upon him with a vacant and wandering eye—“Oh my dear, dear mother! don't you know your son ? your poor boy George ?" It was, indeed, the wreck of her once noble lad; who, shattered by wounds, by sickness, and foreign imprisonment, had, at length, dragged his wasted limbs homeward, to repose among the scenes of his childhood.
I will not attempt to detail the particulars of such a meeting, where sorrow and joy were so completely Nature, however, was exhausted in him ; and if any thing had been wanting to finish the work of fate, the desolation of his native cottage would have been sufficient. He stretched himself on the pallet on which his widowed mother had passed many a sleepless night, and he never rose from it again.
lended : still he was alive!-he was come home! he might yet live to comfort and cherish her old age!
The villagers, when they heard that George Somers had returned, crowded to see him, offering every comfort and assistance that their humble means afforded. He was too weak, however, to talk-he could only look his thanks. His mother was his constant attendant; and he seemed unwilling to be helped by any other hand.
There is something in sickness that breaks down the pride of manhood; that softens the heart, and brings it back to the feelings of infancy. Who that has languished, even in advanced life, in sickness and despondency; who that has pined on a weary bed in the neglect and loneliness of a foreign land; but has thought on the mother" that looked on his childhood," that smoothed his pillow, and administered to his helplessness ? Oh! there is an enduring tenderness in the love of a mother to a son, that transcends all other affections of the heart. It is neither to be chilled by selfishness, nor daunted by danger, nor weakened by worthlessness, nor stifled by ingratitude. She will sacrifice every comfort to his convenience; she will surrender every pleasure to his enjoyment; she will glory in his fame, and exult in his prosperity ; -and, if misfortune overtake him, he will be the dearer to her from misfortune; and if disgrace settle upon his name, she will still love and cherish him in spite of his disgrace; and if all the world beside cast him off, she will be all the world to him.
Poor George Somers had known what it was to be in sickness, and none to soothelonely and in prison,
and none to visit him. He could not endure his mother from his sight; if she moved away, his eye would follow her. She would sit for hours by his bed, watching him as he slept. Sometimes he would start from a feverish dream, and looking anxiously up until he saw her bending over him, when he would take her hand, lay it on his bosom, and fall asleep with the tranquillity of a child. In this way he died.
My first impulse, on hearing this humble tale of affliction, was to visit the cottage of the mourner, and administer pecuniary assistance, and, if possible, comfort. I found, however, on inquiry, that the good feelings of the villagers had prompted them to do every thing that the case admitted ; and as the poor know best how to console each other's sorrows, I did not venture to intrude.
The next Sunday I was at the village church ; when, to my surprise, I saw the poor old woman tottering down the aisle to her accustomed seat on the steps of the altar.
She had made an effort to put on something like mourning for her son; and nothing could be more touching than this struggle between pious affection and utter poverty: a black riband or soma faded black handkerchief-and or two more such humble attempts to express by outward signs that grief Vol. I.
which passes show. When I looked round upon the storied monuments, the stately hatchments, the cold marble pomp, with which grandeur mourned magnificently over departed pride, and turned to this poor widow, bowed down by age and sorrow at the altar of her God, and offering up the prayers and praises of a pious, though a broken heart, I felt that this living monument of real grief was worth them all.
I related her story to some of the wealthy members of the congregation, and they were moved by it. They exerted themselves to render her situation more comfortable, and to lighten her afflictions. It was, however, but smoothing a few steps to the grave. In the course of a Sunday or two after, she was missed from her usual seat at church, and before I left the neighbourhood, I heard, with a feeling of satisfaction, that she had quietly breathed her last, and had gone to rejoin those she loved, in that world where sorrow is never known, and friends are never parted.
BOAR’S HEAD TAVERN,
A SHAKSPERIAN RESEARCH.
" A tavern is the rendezvous, the exchange, the staple of good fellows. I have heard my great-grandfather tell, how his greatgreat-grandfather should say, that it was an old proverb when his great-grandfather was a child, that it was a good wind that blew a man to the wine. »
It is a pious custom, in some Catholic countries, to honour the memory of saints by votive lights burnt before their pictures. The popularity of a saint, therefore, may be known by the number of these offerings. One, perhaps, is left to moulder in the darkness of his little chapel ; another may have a solitary lamp to throw its blinking rays athwart his effigy; while the whole blaze of adoration is lavished at the shrine of some beatified father of renown. The wealthy devotee brings his huge luminary of wax; the eager zealot, his seven-branched candlestick; and even the mendicant pilgrim is by no means satisfied that sufficient light is thrown upon the deceased, unless he hangs up his little lamp of smoking oil. The consequence is, in the eagerness to enlighten, they are often apt to obscure; and I have occasionally seen