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UNCLE ABEL AND LITTLE EDWARD-OONTINUED.
1. But, alas, for poor little Edward ! his merry dance was soon over. A day came when he sickened. Aunt Betsey tried her whole herbarium, but in vain; he grew rapidly worse and worse. His father sickened in heart, but said nothing; he only stayed by his bedside day and night, trying all means to save him with affecting pertinacity. 2. 56 Can't
you think of anything more, Doctor ?" said he to the physician when everything had been tried in vain.
“Nothing," answered the physician.
6. Then the Lord's will be done !” said he.
Just at that moment a ray of the setting sun pierced the checked curtains, and gleamed like an angel's smile across the face of the little sufferer. He awoke from disturbed sleep.
3. “Oh dear! oh, I am so sick!” he gasped feebly. His father raised him in his arms; he breathed easier, and looked up with a grateful smile.
Just then his old play-mate, the cat, crossed the floor.
“ There goes pussy,” said he, “Oh dear, I shall never play with pussy any more."
4. At that moment a deadly change passed over his face; he looked up to his father with an imploring expression, and put out his hands. There was one moment of agony, and then the sweet features all settled with a smile of
peace, tality was swallowed up of life.”
5. My uncle laid him down and looked one moment at his beautiful face; it was too much for his principles, too much for his pride, and "he lifted up his voice and wept.” The next morning was the Sabbath,—the funeral day, and it
56 with breath all incense and with cheek all bloom.” Uncle Abel was as calm and collected as ever, but in his face there was a sorrow-stricken expression that could not be mistaken.
6. I remember him at family prayers bending over the great
Bible, and beginning the psalm, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations.” Apparently he was touched by the melancholy splendor of the poetry; for after reading a few verses he stopped. There was a dead silence, interrupted only by the ticking of the clock. He cleared his voice repeatedly and tried to go on, but in vain. He closed the book and knelt to prayer. The energy of sorrow broke through his usual formal reverence, and his language flowed forth with a deep and sorrowful pathos, which I have never forgotten. The God so much reverenced, so much feared, seemed to draw near to him as a friend and comforter, to be his refuge and strength, "a very present help in time of trouble."
7. My uncle arose, and I saw him walk toward the room of the departed one. I followed,
I followed, and stood with him over the dead. He uncovered the face. It was set with the seal of death, but oh! how surpassingly lovely was the impression ! The brilliancy of life was gone, but the face was touched with the mysterious triumphant brightness which seems like the dawning of heaven.
8. My uncle looked long and steadily. He felt the beauty of what he gazed on; his heart was softened, but he had no words for his feelings. He left the room unconsciously, and stood in the front door.
9. The bells were ringing for church, the morning was bright, the birds were singing merrily, and the little pet squirrel of little Edward was frolicking about the floor. My uncle watched him as he ran, first up one tree and then another, and then over the fence, whisking his brush and chattering just as if nothing was the matter. With a deep sigh, uncle Abel broke forth
“How happy that cretur is! Well, the Lord's will be done.”
10. That day the dust was committed to dust, amid the lamentations of all who had known little Edward. Years have passed since then, and my uncle has long been gathered to his
fathers, but his just and upright spirit has entered the liberty of the sons of God.
11. Yes, the good man may have opinions which the philosophical scorn, weaknesses at which the thoughtless smile, but death shall change him into all that is enlightened, wise, and retined. “He shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars forever and ever."
ADDRESS TO A SPIDER.DR. LITTLETON.
1. Artist, who underneath my table
Thy curious texture hast displayed,
Wert once a lovely blooming maid !
Fear no officious damsel's broom ;
And spread thy banners round my room.
Thou’rt welcome to my homely roof;
And undisturb'd attend thy woof;
4. Whilst I thy wond'rous fabric stare at,
And think on hapless poet's fate;
And rudely banish'd rooms of state.
Thou draw'st the slender strings with pain ;
To spin materials from his brain.
That spreads her charms before his eye;
And that's a conquest little better
Than thine o'er captive butterfly.
7. Thus far ’tis plain we both agree,
Perhaps our deaths may better show it;
PLAIN, IF NOT POLITE.—MRS. MOODIE.
1. ONCE I was driven by a young Irish friend, to call on the wife of a rich farmer in the country. We were shown by the master of the house into a very handsomely furnished room, in which there was no lack of substantial comfort, and even of some elegancies, in the shape of books, pictures, and piano. The good man left us to inform his wife of our arrival, and for some minutes we remained in solemn state, until the mistress of the house made her appearance. She had been called from the wash-tub, and, like a sensible woman, was not ashamed of her domestic occupation. She came in, wiping the suds from her hands on her apron, and gave us a very hearty and friendly welcome.
2. She was a short, stout, middle-aged woman, with a very pleasant countenance; and, though only in her colored flannet working-dress, with a night-cap on her head, and spectacled nose, there was something in her frank, good-natured face that greatly prepossessed us in her favor. After giving us the common compliments of the day, she drew her chair just in front of me, and resting her elbows on her knees, and dropping her chin between her hands, she sat regarding me with such a fixed gaze, that it became very embarrassing.
3. “So,” says she, at last, " you are Mrs. M.- ???
6. The same.”
4. She drew back her chair for a few paces with a deep-drawn sigh, in which disappointment and surprise seemed strangely to mingle.
Well, I have he’rd a great deal about you, and I wanted to see you bad, for a long time; but you are only a humly person like myself after all. Why, I do think, if I had on my best gown
сар, I should look a great deal better and younger than you."
5. I told her that I had no doubt of the fact.
“ And pray,” continued she, with the same provoking scrutiny,“ how old do you call yourself ?" I told her
my 6. “Humph !" quoth she, as if she rather doubted my word, two years younger nor
you look a great deal older nor that.” After a long pause, and another searching gaze, do you
call those teeth your own ?" Yes,” said I, laughing; for I could retain my gravity no longer; “in the very truest sense of the word they are mine,
them to me." 7. “ You are luckier than your neighbors,” said she. arn't
you greatly troubled with headaches ?” “No," said I, rather startled at this fresh interrogatory.
8. “My!” exclaimed she, “I thought you must be, your eyes are so sunk in your head. Well, well, so you are Mrs. M- of Belleville, the woman that writes. You are but a humly body, after all."
9. While this curious colloquy was going on, my poor Irish friend sat on thorns, and tried, by throwing in a little judicious blarney, to soften the thrusts of the home truths to which he had unwittingly exposed me. Between every pause in the conversation, he broke in with
“I am sure. Mrs. M- is a fine-looking woman—a very young-looking woman for her age. Any person might know at a glance that those teeth were her own. They look too natural to be false.”