Imatges de pÓgina
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go! would to God

you were in
your grave

with

your brother Theodore !-Henrie withdrew to a distance, and, kneeling down in a dark part of the room, he continued to pray for his poor father and mother ; till, being quite weary, he fell fast asleep on the floor.

“ When Henrie awoke, he was surprised to find it was daylight: he sat up and looked round him on the prison-room ; it was a large and airy room, receiving light from a window strongly grated with iron. In two corners of the rooi were two old-fashioned, but clean and comfortable-looking beds ; opposite the beds were a chimney-piece and hearth for burning wood; and several old-fashioned chairs and a table stood against the wall; there were also in the room two doors, which led into small closets. “ Henrie's

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poor

father and mother had fallen asleep on the floor, after having wearied themselves with their violent grief; the Marquis had made a pillow of his cloak, and the Marchioness of a small bundle which she had brought in her hand out of the carriage. Henrie looked at them till his eyes were full of tears; they looked pale and sorrowful even in their sleep. He got up gently, for fear of disturbing his poor parents, and went to the window : the air from the opposite hill blew sweet and fresh in at the casement; it reminded Henrie of the air which he used to breathe in Claude's cottage. The window was exceedingly high from the court of the castle ; so that the little village below, and the opposite green hill, with its cottages, and flocks, and herds, were all to be seen from thence above the walls of the court. . . What reason have we to be thankful to God ! said Henrie : I was afraid

my poor father might have been shut down in a dismal vault, without light and fresh air. If the governor of the castle will but allow us to stay here, and give us only bread and water, we may be happy : and I have my little Bible, and my Book

of Martyrs. O that my dear parents would study this little precious Bible ! how happy might we still be ! happier far than we were at Paris! Blessed affliction, I should then say, which brought my poor father and mother to God.'

“ Whilst Henrie stood at the window, he heard some one unbar the door; and an old man came in with a basket, in which was a comfortable breakfast. 'I have orders,' said he, ‘from ту. lord the

governor, to give you everything which is convenient.'--'God bless

your lord ! said Henrie ; and he begged the old man to return his thanks to him.-'I shall come again presently,' said the old man, “and bring you the things which you brought with you in the carriage.'-'Your lord the governor is a good man,' said Henrie: 'Heaven bless him !'— My lord fears God, said the old man ; and if your noble father will but make himself contented, and not try to get away, he will have nothing to complain of here; and you would do well to tell him so. My young gentleman, excuse an old man for giving his advice.” Henrie went up to the old man, and taking his hand, thanked him for his kindness.

“When the old man was gone, Henrie, full of joy and thankfulness to God, began to take the things out of the basket, and to set them in order upon the table ; and now Henrie found the use of having been brought up to wait upon himself, and upon others; he soon set out the little table in the neatest way, and set a chair for each of his parents ; and all this so quietly, that the poor Marquis and Marchioness did not awake till he had done. The Marchioness first opened her

Henrie ran to her, and kissing her, said, 'Dear mother, get up and join with me in praising God; see what comforts God has prepared for us ! We are fallen into good hands : look around on this room ; how light, how airy, and how pleasant it is ! Henrie then told her all the kindness of the governor, and showed her the breakfast prepared for them ; but she still looked sullen and unthankful, and began to blame the Marquis, as he lay asleep, as the cause of all her afflictions. Oh, mother! dear mother!' said Henrie, vexed, this is wrong, very wrong: now is not a time to find fault with each other : we are all sinners; we have all done wrong. Look at my poor father ; how pale he looks, and how he sighs in his sleep!

eyes, and looked round her.

You once loved him, dear mother; oh, now love him again, and comfort him in his trouble.'

“In this manner Henrie talked to his mother till she broke out into tears, and putting her arms round Henrie's neck, 'My child, my Henrie,' she said, you are too good for me!' Yet still Henrie could not persuade her to take any breakfast : she placed herself in a chair in a corner of the room, and, leaning her head upon her hands, continued crying without ceasing

“ When the Marquis awoke, Henrie endeavoured to comfort him as he had done his mother : the Marquis embraced him, and called him his beloved child and only comfort ; but he complained that he was ill, and put his hand to his head. Henrie brought him a dish of coffee, which he made him drink; and the old man coming in with the linen and other things which had been brought from Paris, they put some clean linen on the Marquis, and the old man and Henrie assisted him to bed. The Marquis continued to get worse, and before night he was in a violent fever. This fever continued many days, and brought him very near to his death. Whilst this illness lasted, Henrie never left him; and the governor of the castle not only provided him with everything he wanted, but brought a doctor from the village to see him.

“For many days the poor Marquis did not seem to know anything that passed, or to know where he was, or who was with him, but seemed in great horror of

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mind, expressing great dread of death ; but when his fever left him, though he was very weak, he recovered his recollection, and expressed himself very thankful for the kindness he had received, particularly from the governor and the doctor. As to Henrie, he kissed him often, called him his darling son, and could not bear him to leave him for a moment. It was lovely to see how Henrie watched by his poor father, and how he talked to him : sometimes soothing and comforting and sometimes giving him descriptions of the happy manner in which he used to live in Claude's cottage : And all this happiness, dear father,' he would say, came from our being religious : for all the ways of religion are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.'—'Claude and Maria,' said the Marquis one day to Henrie, 'were very good people : they always led innocent lives : they had no sins to trouble their consciences, therefore they were happy ; but I have many evil actions to remember, Henrie. If religion is true, and there is a place of punishment in the next world, I must be miserable : 'I dare not think of it, and should be sorry to believe it.'-' Oh, dear father,' said Henrie, ‘how you mistake the nature of religion! Our dear Saviour came to save sinners, not faultless beings : he came to cure the sick, and heal the broken-hearted. If you have been a sinner, dear father, you are such a one as our Saviour came to seek. Do, dear father, let me read the Bible to you. I have got a little Bible; and I will, if you please, read a little to you every day, as you can bear it: and then you will be able yourself to judge from this holy Book, that in the eyes of God all men are miserable sinners; and that it was on this account that God sent his Son, that through faith in him they might be saved.'

The Marquis did not refuse to hear Henrie read : accordingly every day this pious son used to read certain portions of Scripture to his father, choosing

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those parts first which showed man's utter wickedness, and want of power to save himself; and afterwards, those parts which set forth what had been contrived of God for man's salvation. The Marquis having nothing else to take his attention-no cards, no wine, no gay companions-and being still confined by weakness to his bed, often lay for many hours listening to the holy Word of God. At first, as he afterwards owned, he had no pleasure in it, and would rather have avoided hearing it; but how could he refuse his darling son, when he begged him to hear a little, only a little more ?

“In the mean time, the Marchioness appeared sullen, proud, and unforgiving : she seldom came near her husband, but sometimes spent the day in crying and lamenting herself, and sometimes in looking over the few things which she had brought with her from Paris. The governor of the castle, seeing her so miserable, told her that he had no orders from the King to keep her or her son in confinement, and that she had liberty to depart when she pleased, and to take her son with her; but Henrie would not hear of leaving his poor father, and used all his endeavour to persuade his mother to stay.

“When the Marquis was first able to leave his bed, and sit in his chair opposite the window, Henrie was very happy: he brought him clean linen, and assisted him to dress; and when he had led him to his chair, he set the table before him, and arranged upon it, as neatly as he could, the little dinner which the old man had brought in the basket, with a bottle of weak but pleasant wine, which the governor had sent him.

Dear father,” said Henrie, 'you begin to look well you look even better than you did when you were at Paris. Oh! if you could but learn to love and fear God, you might now be happier than ever you were in all your life: and we might all be happy, if my

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