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I have been convinced for several months that what my hands find to do, I must do with my might; for my days are numbered.”
The solemn and anxious looks of those present did not escape Odora's notice; she clasped her little band each side her father's face, kissing him again and again, “You are sick, papa ; smell this pretty rose, it will cure you."
The fond father patted her, and set her upon the floor. She ran away, and was soon skipping and playing with the other children. At this time a gentle tap was heard at the door, and an aged lady, a mother in Israel, entered ; every one in this family was made glad whenever they were blessed with a visit from grandma Graham.
Mrs. Radford was much pleased that she was so fortunate as to meet
her dear friend; she had often been blessed, and her spiritual strength renewed in her society. Mrs. Morse was unusually sad, and whenever her dark hazel eyes, full of tenderness, rested upon her husband, a shade passed over her countenance, a half-suppressed sigh escaped her anxious bosom. The good old lady observed this, and spoke words of comfort such as these ; “Those that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion. He has proinised to hear his children in the day of their truhle.” She repeated a verse from her favorite hymn :
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word; What more could he say than to you he hath said,
You who to his bosom for refuge hath filed."
The old lady, in lower and more subdued tones, continued :
When through the deep waters I call you to go,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."
As she sat in the rocking-chair by the window, the wind had blown back her fine muslin border, which was full a finger deep-her silver locks were combed smoothly over her high but furrowed forehead. As she conversed upon spiritual subjects her countenance became radiant with hope. As the two ladies retired, Colonel Bertram entered.
“I am glad to see you home again, ieutenant. I hope your journey has not been in vain; I am particularly anxious that you should get well, for if reports are true we shall need the services of all our officers."
The Lieutenant calmly replied, “I hope the Government of Great Britain and that of the United States will honorably settle their differences, so that there will be no need of officers or men."
Colonel Bertram answered, “ There is but little prospect of such an adjustment of affairs. War is already declared between the two nations. Naval preparations are being made as fast as possible. I was on Commodore McDonough's sloop yesterday, it is to be launched to-morrow; there is a small party going down to dine with the Commodore. I hope you and your lady will be among the number.”
He told his friend that if he was able to ride, he would be in attendance. The two gentlemen spent the evening conversing upon the affairs of the nation; party politics were no longer agitated. Colonel Bertram was anxious that his friend should accept a Captain's commission, which had been offered him. The Lieutenant assured him, that his health would not admit of his accepting it.
The dinner party found the Commodore well qualified to entertain his guests. The question was asked him, when he thought the British would make their attack. He answered, “ There is no doubt but that it will be on the Sabbath; this has been the day they have chosen on other occasions ; they are a Christian nation, and I know not why they should choose this day in preference to any other, unless it is because they think that we will be less prepared. It would be unjust to judge the English by the officers that are sent here as the avengers of their imagined wrongs; they often assume a proud arrogance that seems not to be characteristic of the nation."
Mr. Graham, a revolutionary soldier, and for several months the Aide-decamp of General Washington, remarked, that he had heard his Com