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were past his comprehension how such a thing could ever come into a man's head.
5. Uncle Abel, too, had some relish for the fine arts 5; in proof of which, I might adduce the pleasure with which he gazed at the plates in his family Bible, the likeness whereof is neither in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth. And he was also so eminent a musician, that he could go through the singing book at one sitting without the least fatigue, beating time like a windmill all the way.
6. He had, too, a liberal hand, though his liberality was all by the rule of three. He did by his neighbor exactly as he would be done by; he loved some things in this world very sincerely; he loved his God much, but he honored and feared him more; he was exact with others, but he was more exact with himself, and he expected his God to be more exact still.
7. Every thing in uncle Abel's house was in the same time, place, manner, and form, from year's end to year's end. There was old Master Bose, a dog after my uncle's own heart, who always walked as if he were studying the multiplication table. There was the old clock, forever ticking in the chimney corner, with a picture of the sun upon its face, forever setting behind a perpendicular row of poplar trees. There was the never-failing supply of red peppers and onions hanging over the chimney.
8. There, too, were the yearly hollyhocks and morning glories blooming about the windows. There was the “ best room,” with its sanded floor; the cupboard in one corner, with its glass doors; the evergreen asparagus bushes in the chimney; and there was the stand with the Bible and almanac on it in another corner. There, too, was aunt Betsey, who never looked any older, because she always looked as old as she could ; who always dried her catnip and wormwood the last of September, and began to clean house the first of May. In short, this was the land of continuance. Old Time never took it into his head to practise either addition or subtraction or multiplication, on its sum total.
9. This aunt Betsey aforenamed was the neatest and most efficient piece of human machinery that ever operated in forty places at once. She was always every where, predominating' over and seeing to every thing; and though my uncle had been twice married, aunt Betsey's rule and authority had never been broken. She reigned over his wives when living, and reigned after them when dead; and so seemed likely to reign on till the end of the chapter.
10. But my uncle's latest wife left aunt Betsey a much less tractable subject than ever before had fallen to her lot. Little Edward was the child of my uncle's old age, and a brighter, merrier little blossom never grew on the verge of a snow-drift. He had been committed to the nursing of his grandmamma till he had arrived at the age of indiscretion, and then my old uncle's heart so yearned for him that he was brought home.
11. His introduction into the family excited a terrible sensation. Never was there such a contemner8 of dignities, such a violator of high places and sanctities, as this same Master Edward. It was in vain to try to teach him decorum. He was the most outrageously merry elf' that ever shook a head of curls. He laughed and frolicked with every body and every thing that came in his way, not even excepting his solemn old father; and when you saw him with his fair arms around the old man's neck, and his bright blue eyes and blooming cheek peering 10 out beside the bleak face of uncle Abel, you might fancy you saw Spring caressing Winter. Uncle Abel's metaphysics" were sorely puzzled by this sparkling, dancing compound of spirit and matter; nor could he devise any method of bringing it into any reasonable shape, for it did mischief with an energy and perseverance that were truly astonishing.
1 CXT/E-CHIŞ-ING. Instructing by ask- 1 7 PRE-DÔM'I-NĀT-ING. Ruling ; con.
ing questions and receiving an- | trolling; prevailing. swers on religious subjects.
8 CÓN-TEM'NER, One who contemns 2 RĘC-TĂN'GY-LẠR. Literally, having or disregards.
right angles ; rigid ; exact. | 9 ĚLF. A fairy or imaginary being; a 8 CÏR'CỤM-SPECT. Careful ; discreet. term often applied to any small 4 WIT'TI-CIŞM. A joke; a jest.
and sportive being. 6 FINE ÄRTS. Arts which are not 10 PĒĒR'ING. Looking narrowly or
chiefly mechanical, as painting, curiously ; peeping. music, and sculpture.
| 11 MĚT-A-PHYş'ịcs. Mental science; + CọN-TỈN'-ANCE, Constancy; per-1 the philosophy of the mind as dis manence.
tinguished from matter.
XXI. - LITTLE EDWARD, CONCLUDED.
1. But uncle Abel was most of all perplexed to know what to do with him on the Sabbath ; for on that day Master Edward seemed to exert himself to be particularly diligent and entertaining.
2. “Edward ! Edward must not play Sunday!” his father would call out; and then Edward would hold up his curly head, and look as grave as the catechism ; but in three minutes you would see pussy scampering through the “best room,” with Edward at her heels, to the entire discomposure of all devotion in aunt Betsey, and all others in authority.
3. At length my uncle came to the conclusion that "it wasn't in nature to teach him any better,” and that “he could no more keep Sunday than the brook down in the lot.” My poor uncle ! he did not know what was the matter with his heart; but certain it was, he lost all faculty of scolding when little Edward was in the case, and he would rub his spectacles a quarter of an hour longer than common when aunt Betsey was detailing his witticisms and clever doings.
4. In process of time, our hero had completed his third year, and arrived at the dignity of going to school. He went through the spelling book, and then attacked the catechism; went through with it in a fortnight, and at last came home in great delight, to tell his father that he had got to “ Amen."
5. After this, he made a regular business of saying over the whole every Sunday evening, standing with his hands folded in front, occasionally glancing around to see if pussy gave proper attention. And being of a practically benevolent turn of mind, he made several commendable efforts to teach Bose the catechism, in which he succeeded as well as might have been expected. In short, without further detail, Master Edward bade fair to become a literary wonder.
6. But alas for poor little Edward ! his merry dance was soon over. A day came when he sickened. Aunt Betsey tried all her simple remedies, but in vain; he grew rapidly worse and worse. His father's heart was torn with sorrow, but he said nothing; he only staid by his child's bedside day and night, trying all means to save him, with affecting pertinacity?
7. “Can't you think of any thing more, doctor?” said he to the physician, when all had been tried in vain. “ Nothing," answered the physician.
8. A momentary convulsion passed over my uncle's face. “The will of the Lord be done,” said he, almost with a groan of anguish.
9. Just at this 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 woke from troubled sleep.
10. “O dear! 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
Certinacity link of an all h
mate, the cat, crossed the room. “There goes pussy,” said he: “O dear, I shall never play any more.”
11. At that moment, a deadly change passed over his countenance. He looked up in his father's face with an imploring expression, and put out his hand as if for help. : There was one moment of agony, and then the sweet features all settled into a smile of peace, and “mortality was swallowed up of life.” My uncle laid him down, and looked one moment at his beautiful face. It was too much for his principles, too much for his consistency', and he “lifted up his voice and wept."
12. The next morning was the Sabbath – the funeral day; and it rose 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 touching to behold. I remember him at family prayers, as he bent over the great Bible, and began 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.
13. 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 kneeled down to pray. The energy of sorrow broke through his usual formal reverence, and his language flowed forth with a deep and sorrowful pathos which I shall never forget. The God so much reverenced, so much feared, seemed to draw near to him as a friend and comforter, his refuge and strength, “a very present help in time of trouble.”
14. My uncle rose, and I saw him walk to the room of the departed one. He uncovered the face. It was set with the seal of death; but O, how surpassingly lovely! The brilliancy of life was gone, but that pure, transparent