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world, and she deceased from me, and I was left alone with the children ; and every night, after I had done work, I washed their faces and put them to bed, and washed their little bits o'things, and hanged them on the line to dry myself, for I'd no money, your honour, and so I could not have a housekeeper to do for them, you know. But, your honour, I was as happy as I well could be, considering my wife was deceased from me, till some bad people came to live at the back of us, and they were always striving to get Henry amongst them; and I was terribly afraid something bad would come of it, as it was but poorly I could do for him ; and so I'd made up my mind to take all my children to Ireland. If he had only held up another week, your honour, we should have gone, and he would have been saved. But now !” Here the poor man looked at his boy again, and wept, and when the magistrate endeavoured to console him, by observing that his son would sail for Botany Bay, and probably do well there; he replied, somewhat impatiently, “Aye, it's fine talking, your worship; I pray to the great God he may never sail anywhere, unless he sails with me to Ireland !” and then, after a moment's thought, he asked, in the humblest tone imaginable, “ Doesn't your honour think a little bit of a petition might help him ?”
The magistrate replied, it possibly might; and added, “ If you attend his trial at the Old Bailey, and plead for him as eloquently in word and action as you have done here, I think it would help him still more.”
“Aye, but then you won't be there, I suppose, will you?” asked the poor fellow, with that familiarity which is in some degree sanctioned by extreme distress; and when his worship replied that he certainly should not be present, he immediately rejoined, “ Then—what's the use of it? There will be nobody there who knows me; and what stranger will listen to a poor old brokenhearted fellow, who can't speak for crying?"
The prisoners were now removed from the har, to be conducted to prison ; and his son, who had wept incessantly all the time, called wildly to him, “Father, Father !” as if he expected that his father could snatch him out of the iron grasp of the law : but the old man remained rivetted, as it were, to the spot on which he stood, with his eyes fixed on the lad ; and, when the door had closed on him, he put on his hat, unconscious where he was ; and, crushing it down over his brows, he began wandering round the room in a state of stupor. The officers in waiting reminded him that he should not wear his hat in the presence of the magistrate, and he instantly removed it; but he still seemed lost to every thing around him; and, though one or two gentlemen present put money into his hands, he heeded it not, but slowly sauntered out of the office, apparently reckless of everything.
How beautiful to the eye and to the heart rise up, in a pastoral region, the green, silent hills from the dissolving snow-wreathes that yet linger at their feet! A few warm, sunny days, and a few breezy and melting nights, have seemed to create the sweet season of spring out of the winter's bleakest desolation. With the revival of nature our own souls seem restored. Happiness becomes milder, meeker, and richer in pensive thought; while sorrow catches a faint tinge of joy, and reposes itself on the quietness of earth's opening breast.
On such a vernal day as this did we, who had visited the Elder on his death bed, walk together to his house in the Hazel glen, to accompany his body to the place of burial.
At the door the son received us with a calm, humble, and untroubled face; and, in his manner towards the old minister, there was something that could not be
misunderstood, expressing penitence, gratitude, and resignation. We all sat down in the large kitchen ; and the son decently received each person at the door, and showed him to his place. There were some old grey heads, more becoming grey, and many bright in manhood and youth. But the same solemn hush was over them all; and they sat, all bound together in one uniting and assimilating spirit of devotion and faith.
A sober voice said that all was ready; and the son and the minister led the way reverently out into the open air. The bier stood before the door, and was lifted slowly up with its sable pall. Silently each mourner took his place. The sun was shining pleasantly, and a gentle breeze passing through the sycamore, shook down the glittering rain-drops upon the funeral velvet. The small procession, with an instinctive spirit, began to move along; and, as I cast up my eyes to take a farewell look of that beautiful dwelling, now finally left by him who had so long blessed it, I saw, at the half-open lattice of the little bed-room window above, the pale weeping face of that stainless matron, who was taking her last passionate farewell of the mortal remains of her father, now slowly receding from her to the quiet field of graves.
To the tolling of the bell, we moved across the green mounds, and arranged ourselves, according to the plan and order which our feelings suggested, around the bier and its natural supporters. There was no delay. In a few minutes the Elder was laid among the mould of his forefathers, in their long ago chosen spot of rest. One by one the people dropt away, and none were left by the new made grave but the son and his little boy, the pastor and myself. • What a simple burial had it been; dust was consigned to dust; no more. Bare, naked, simple, and austere, is in Scotland the service of the grave. It is left to the soul itself to consecrate, by its passion, the mould over which tears, but no words, are poured. Surely there is a beauty in this; for the heart is left unto its own sorrow, according as it is a friend, brother, a parent, or a child, that is covered up from our eyes. Yet, call not other rites, however different from this, less beautiful or pathetic ; for willingly does the soul connect its grief with any consecrated ritual of the dead. Sound or silence, music, hymns, psalms, sable garments, or raiment white as snow, all become holy symbols of the soul's affection ; nor is it for any man to say which is the most natural, which is the best of the thousand shows and expressions, and testimonies of sorrow, resignation, and love, by which mortal beings would seek to express themselves when one of their brethren has returned to his parent dust.
My mind was recalled from all these sad, yet not unpleasant fancies, by a deep groan; and I beheld the Elder's son fling himself down upon the grave, and kiss it passionately, imploring pardon from God. “I distressed my father's heart in his old age; I repented, and received thy forgiveness, even on thy death bed! but how may I be assured that God will forgive me for having so sinned against my old grey-headed father, when his limbs were weak and his eyesight dim !” The old minister stood at the grave, without speaking a word, with his solemn and pitiful eyes fixed upon the prostrate and contrite man. “ Fear not, my son,” at length said the old man, in a gentle voice ;-"fear not, my son, but that you are already forgiven. Dost thou not feel pardon within thy contrite spirit?" He rose up from his knees with a faint smile; while the minister, with his white head yet uncovered, held his hands over him, as in benediction; and his beautiful and loving child, who had been standing in a fit of weeping terror at his father's agony, now came up to him, and kissed his cheek, holding in his little hand a few faded primroses, which he had unconsciously gathered together as they lay on the turf of his grandfather's grave.-Washington Irving.
AN EVENING RHAPSODY.
How blissful the time when the sun is descending,
ding, Illumed by its God on the verge of the tomb.
Oh! sweet to the ear when the night airs are coming,
Yes! welcome to me is thy coining, dear Even,