صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

7. I had reserved a broad piece of silver for the old widow But I first ran toward the river, and walked


the mill-bank, I was surprised at the apparent' nărrowness of the stream; and, although the willows still fringed the margin, and appeared to stoop in homage to the water-lilies, yệt they were diminutive ! Every thing was but a miniature of the picture in my mind. It proved to me that my faculties“ had grown with my growth, and strengthened with my strength. With something like disappointment, I left the river side, and strolled toward the church. My hand was in my pocket, grasping the broad piece of silver. I imagined to myself the kind look of recognition' I should receive. I determined on the way in which I should press the money into the widow's hand. But I felt my nerves slightly tremble, as I thought on the look her son had given, and again might give me.

8. Ah, there is the cottage; but the honeysuckle is older, ana it has lost many of its branches! The door was closed. A pet lamb was fastened to a loose cord under the window, and its melancholy bleating was the only sound that disturbed the silence. In former years I used, at once, to pull the string that lifted the wooden latch; but now I deliberately knocked. A strānge female form, with a child in her arms, opened the door. I asked for my old acquaintance. “Alas! poor Alice is in her coffin : look, sir, where the shadow of the spire ends: that is her grave." I relaxed my grasp of my money.

“And her deformed boy?” “He, too, is there!” I drew my hand from my pocket. 9. It was a hard task for me to thank the woman, but I did

I moved to the place where the mother and the child were buried. I stood for some minutes, in silence, beside the mound of grass. I thought of the consumptive lad, and as I did so, the lamb, at the cottage window, gave its anxious blēat. And then all the affectionate attentions of my own mother arose on my soul, while my lips trembled out: “Mother! dear mother! would that I were as is the widow's son! would that I were

Ap pår' ent, seeming ; clear; plain._Di min'ủ tive, small.–Miniature (min' e tůr), a smail likeness ; on a small scale. — * Fåc' ul ties, power of the body or the mind.— Recognition (rek og nish' un), knowing again a thing that has been absent; acknowledgment

[ocr errors]



sleeping in thy grave! I loved thee, mother! but I would not have thee living now, to view the worldly sorrows of thy ungrateful boy! My first step toward vice was the oath which the deformed child heard me utter."

10. But you, who rest here as quietly as you lived, shall receive the homage of the unworthy. I will protect this hillock from the steps of the heedless wanderer, and from the trampling of the village herd. I will raise up a tabernacle to purity and love. I will do it in secret; and I look not to be rewarded openly.


22. SCENES OF CHILDHOOD. “I came to the place of my birth, and said, “The friends of my youth, where are they ?' and echo answered, “Where are they?" 1. ONG


had elapsed' since I gazed on the scene, Which


fancy still rõbed in its freshness of greenThe spot where, a school-boy, all thoughtless, I stray'd,

By the side of the stream, in the gloom of the shade.
2. I thought of the friends who had roam'd with me there,

When the sky was so blue, and the flowers were so fair,
All scatter'd!—all sunder'd' by mountain and wave,

And some in the silent embrace of the grave!
3. I thought of the green banks, that circled around,

With wild-flowers, and sweet-brier, and ěglantīne crown'd;
I thought of the river, all quiet and bright

As the face of the sky on a blue summer night. 4. And I thought of the trees, under which we had stray'd,

Of the broad leafy boughs, with their coolness of shade;
And I hoped, though disfigured, some token to find

Of the names and the carvings impress'd on the rind. 5. All eager, I hasten'd the scene to behold,

Render'd sacred and dear by the feelings of old;

E låpsed', passed away.--*Sản' dered, separated.-- Eg' lan tine, a species of rose; the sweet-brier ; according to Milton, the honeysuckle.

Ana I neem'd that, unalter'd, my eye should explore

This refuge, this haunt, this Elysium of yore.
6. 'Twas a dream !—not a token or trace could I view

Of the names that I loved, of the trees that I knew :
Like the shadows of night at the dawning of day,

“ Like a tale that is told,” they had vanish'd away.
7. And methought the lone river, that murmur'd along,

Was more dull in its motion, more sad in its song,
Since the birds that had nestled and warbled above,

Had all fled from its banks, at the fall of the grove. 8. I paused ; and the moral came home to my

Behold how of earth all the glories depart !
Our visions are baseless; our hopes but a gleam;

Our staff but a reed; and our life but a dream. 9. Then, oh, let us look_let our prospects allure? —

To scenes that can fade not, to realms that endure,
To glories, to blessings, that triumph sublime
O’er the blightings of chānge, and the ruins of time.



23. ANECDOTE OF A Dog. MAN on horseback, with a fine dog, was joined by another

horseman; they entered into conversation, and the owner of the dog began to boast of the cleverness of his animal. By way of proof he dismounted, took a shilling from his purse, marked it, and put it under a stone, mounted again, and rode away with his companion. When they had gõne four or five miles, he told the dog to go back and fetch the shilling.

2. He was perfectly understood by the sensible and willing creature, and in a very short time the dog had found the stone, and endeavored to obtain the shilling. But the stone was large

Elysium (e lig' e um), place of delight for happy souls after death, as the ancients thought; abode of the happy.- Allure', draw, or entico. .Realms, regions ; countries.



and heavy, and after trying in vain to turn it over, or to scratch away the hard soil underneath it, he gave up the attempt, sat down beside it, and waited patiently. He had not waited lòng before two horsemen came up, traveling in the opposite direction to that by which his master had gone. When the dog saw the travelers approach, he began to scratch and howl, and show the plainest signs of anxiety to overturn the stone.

3. The horsemen very naturally thought that underneath the stone there was a rat, or weasel, or some other creature, and one of them dismounted and overturned it; to his great surprise he found a shilling, and never imagining for a moment that this could be the object of the dog's anxiety, he put it into his purse, and that into his trowsers' pocket. The dog had now quite recovered his composure; he paid no more attention to the stone, but followed the two strāngers on their journey. In vain they tried to drive him away, and at length, supposing he had lost his master, they allowed him to have his own way.

4. In the evening, when they reached the inn, the dog was still with them, lay quietly under the table, and took readily the food they gave him. But when they prepared to go to bed, nothing' would satisfy the dog but he must sleep in the same room with the man he seemed to have chosen for his new miaster, the man who had taken the shilling; he had his own way again, and a mat was provided for him at the foot of the bed.

5. Meantime the other two horsemen had reached their journey's end, and put up for the night. The master of the dog had boasted all the way that Peto would soon join them again, and certainly bring the shilling; but as time passed he grew uneasy, and when bedtime arrived he retired with a heavy heart, feeling certain that his dog was killed; for nothing else, he said, could have prevented his return, and he was sure that no one could erer take him alive by force, or entice him away.

6. But Peto, far from being dead, was sleeping very comfort ably on his mat at the foot of a strānger's bed; the moment, however, that daylight appeared he was stirring. Whether "boots” opened the door, or whether he made his way through the window, which the traveler had opened for air in the hot

"Nothing (nůth' ing).

summer night, certain it is, that when the unfortunate man arose, the dog was gone—and his trowsers were gone, too!

7. And now for Peto’s master again. He arose disconsolate, met his friend at the breakfast, and sighed while he confessed that his dog had not appeared. But in the middle of breakfast, Peto rushed into the room, and with great demonstrations' of joy, and evidently in perfect health and high good humor, laid down a pair of trowsers at his master's feet.

8. The whole proceeding was at first perfectly incomprehensible, but a light soon broke in upon the gentleman's mind, and turning to his companion, he exclaimed, “In these trowsers we shall find the lost shilling.” He drew forth a purse as he spoke, and there indeed he found, among other coins, the very shilling he had marked the day before. Some months passed away before an explanation took place, and the unfortunate owner of the trowsers received his property.


24. A HUMAN BEING WITH NOTHING TO Do. COST miserable, worthy of most profound pity, is such a

being! The most insignificant object in nature becomes a source of envy; the birds warble on every tree in ecstasys of joy; the tiny flower, hidden from all eyes, sends forth its fragrance of full happiness; the mountain stream dashes along wifi a sparkle and murmur of pure delight. The object of their creation is accomplished, and their life gushes forth in harmonic work.

2. O plant! O stream! worthy of admiration, of worship, to the wretched idler! Here are powers ye never dreamed of faculties divine, eternal;' a head to think, but nothing to con: centrate the thoughts; a heart to love, but no object to bathe with the living tide of affection; a hand to do, but no work to

Dem on stra' tions, marks; proofs.—'Ev'i dently, easily seen; clearly. - In com pre hèn' si ble, not understood. — * In sig nif' i cant, small ; mean ; contemptible. Ec' sta sy, highest degree of joy ; rapture.•Di vine', heavenly ; belonging to God.—'E tèr'nal, without beginning or end; endless -- Con cèn' tråte, to fix ; to bring into a common center

« السابقةمتابعة »