Imatges de pÓgina
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in the house, and lay without stirring, as if hiding themselves, below the long table at the window. One sister sat with an unfinished gown on her knees, that she had been sewing for the dear child, and still continued at the hopeless work, she scarcely knew why, and often, often putting up her hand to wipe away a tear. "What is that?" said the old man to his eldest daughter : "what is that you are laying on the shelf?" She could scarcely reply that it was a ribbon and an ivory comb that she had brought for little Margaret, against the night of the dancing-school ball. And, at these words, the father could not restrain a long, deep, and bitter groan; at which the boy, nearest in age to his dying sister, looked up weeping in his face; and, letting the tattered book of old ballads, which he had been poring on, but not reading, fall out of his hands, he rose from his seat, and, going into his father's bosom, kissed him, and asked God to bless him; for the holy heart of the boy was moved within him; and the old man, as he embraced him, felt that, in his innocence and simplicity, he was indeed a comforter. "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away," said the old man; "blessed be the name of the Lord."

The outer door gently opened, and he, whose presence had in former years brought peace and resignation hither, when their hearts had been tried even as they were now tried, stood before them. On the night before the Sabbath, the minister of Auchindown never left his manse, except, as now, to visit the sick or dying bed. Scarcely could Gilbert reply to his first question about his child, when the surgeon came from the bed-room, and said, "Margaret seems lifted up by God's hand above death and the grave: I think she will recover. She has fallen asleep; and, when she wakes, I hope -I believe that the danger will be past, and that your child will live."

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They were all prepared for death; but now they were found unprepared for life. One wept that had till then locked up all her tears within her heart; another gave a short,

palpitating shriek; and the tender-hearted Isabel, who had nursed the child when it was a baby, fainted away. The youngest brother gave way to gladsome smiles; and, calling out his dog Hector, who used to sport with him and his little sister on the moor, he told the tidings to the dumb, irrational creature, whose eyes, it is certain, sparkled with a sort of joy. The clock, for some days, had been prevented from striking the hours; but the silent fingers pointed to the hour of nine; and that, in the cottage of Gilbert Ainslie, was the stated hour of family worship. His own honored minister took the book;

"He waled a portion with judicious care;

And, Let us worship God,' he said, with solemn air;"

a chapter was read — a prayer said; and so, too, was sung a psalm; but it was sung low, and with suppressed voices, lest the child's saving sleep might be broken; and now and then the female voices trembled, or some one of them ceased altogether; for there had been tribulation and anguish, and now hope and faith were tried in the joy of thanksgiving.


The child still slept; and its sleep seemed more sound and deep. It appeared almost certain that the crisis was over, and that the flower was not to fade. Children," said Gilbert, our happiness is in the love we bear to one another; and our duty is in submitting to and serving God. Gracious, indeed, has he been unto us. Is not the recovery of our little darling, dancing, singing Margaret, worth all the gold that ever was mined? If we had thousands of thousands, would we not have filled up her grave with the worthless dross of gold, rather than that she should have gone down there with her sweet face and all her rosy smiles?" There was no reply, but a joyful sobbing all over the room.

"Never mind the letter, nor the debt, father," said the eldest daughter. "We have all some little thing of our own, - a few pounds, - and we shall be able to raise as much as will keep arrest and prison at a distance. Or if

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they do take our furniture out of the house, all except Margaret's bed, who cares? We will sleep on the floor; and there are potatoes in the field, and clear water in the spring. We need fear nothing, want nothing; blessed be God for all his mercies!"

Gilbert went into the sick-room, and got the letter from his wife, who was sitting at the head of the bed, watching, with a heart blessed beyond all bliss, the calm and regular breathings of her child. "This letter," said he, mildly, "is not from a hard creditor. Come with me while I read it aloud to our children." The letter was read aloud, and it was well fitted to diffuse pleasure and satisfaction through the dwelling of poverty. It was from an executor to the will of a distant relative, who had left Gilbert Ainslie fifteen hundred pounds.

"This sum," ," said Gilbert, "is a large one to folks like us, but not, I hope, large enough to turn our heads, or make us think ourselves all lords and ladies. It will do more, far more, than put me fairly above the world at last. I believe that, with it, I may buy this very farm, on which my forefathers have toiled. But God, whose Providence has sent this temporal blessing, may he send us wisdom and prudence how to use it, and humble and grateful hearts to us all.”


"You will be able to send me to school all the year round now, father," said the youngest boy. And you may leave the flail to your sons now, father," said the eldest. "You may hold the plough still, for you draw a straighter furrow than any of us; but hard work for young sinews; and you may sit now oftener in your arm-chair by the ingle. You will not need to rise now in the dark, cold, and snowy winter mornings, and keep threshing corn in the barn for hours by candlelight, before the late dawning."

There was silence, gladness, and sorrow, and but little sleep in Moss-side, between the rising and the setting of the stars, that were now out in thousands, clear, bright, and sparkling over the unclouded sky. Those who had lain down for an hour or two in bed could scarcely be said to

have slept; and when, about morning, little Margaret awoke, an altered creature, pale, languid, and unable to turn herself on her lowly bed, but with meaning in her eyes, memory in her mind, affection in her heart, and coolness in all her veins, a happy group were watching the first faint smile that broke over her features; and never did one who stood there forget that Sabbath morning, on which she seemed to look round upon them all with a gaze of fair and sweet bewilderment, like one half conscious of having been rescued from the power of the grave.



RULE I. A simple affirmative sentence generally closes with the falling inflection.


The storm is over.

The places that knew thee shall know thee no more.

Regard paid by the Orator and the Poet to the Perfection of Man.


MAN has an instinctive longing after a state of perfection. He cannot rest satisfied with any attainment which he has made, but every degree of excellence suggests to him a still higher degree that lies beyond. The poet has in his mind a perfect ideal, and he presents these insensible images to his readers. The pastoral and elegiac strains express the feeling of pleasure in the destination of man to a state of uncorrupted excellence, and in the possibility of his making constant advances towards that state. The satirical poem expresses the feeling of dissatisfaction with the remoteness at

which man is actually found from this ideal perfection. The ode breathes forth the inspiration of one who contemplates the excellence of his race, and it is exhibited in the ideal standards of virtue, or in the exploits of particular worthies.

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When the poet is inspired with the thought of the approximations which are made towards the character of perfect rectitude and worth, or of the sad deviations from that character, or of the conflict between virtue and the outward world, or of the triumph of the one over the other, he pours forth his feelings, sometimes in the form of the tale, sometimes in that of the drama now in the heroic, and again in the tragic


But he is always satisfied with the bare presentation of an ideal. He suggests no methods, and urges no motives for the attainment of this perfect excellence.

In this respect he differs from the orator. Eloquence does not linger so long as poetry in the imaginative description of the faultless state. It presents a more exact analysis of the good desired, gives a more definite view of the necessity for struggling to reach it, and of the means and motives for overcoming the hinderances to its attainment. The poet simply aims at a vivid portraiture of ideal perfection; the orator strives to connect with this portraiture a realization of the imagined excellence. And eloquence is and does all that it can and should be and do, when it urges man onward in his endeavors to realize the perfectness of his being, to attain a complete harmony with himself and with the world out of himself. It must aim, therefore, at a complete illumination of the mind, at a purifying of the affections, at a proper stimulus of the will.

He is not truly eloquent who endeavors to persuade men by any motives, or to any deeds, which interfere, in any manner, with their intellectual or moral perfection. If the speeches, which are designed to cajole or delude men, contain some elements of genuine eloquence, they are still destitute of the higher elements of the appropriate aim and spirit which impart an ennobling character to every sentence

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