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Reader, you are now with me in the chamber of a dying man ; 'tis night, and the gloom of the room is more ghastly from the taper's gleam and dull burning; the rich heavy curtains are screens before the windows, guarding against every blast of the wind, roaring and blustering outside. On the couch, with its beautiful damask drapery, lies the sufferer ; pain has distorted his features ; anguish has made his glance more keen; and how awful does he appear as he throws his wildly-rolling eyes full upon you! The twitching of the lips—the restlessness of the tongue, attempting to utter words and scarcely able to produce the faintest sound, are terrible things for the beholder. Did ever moan, with its hollow monotonous noise, ring so intensely through your ears? were you ever so startled or alarmed as by that? tumed not your blood cold and ached not your heart? Oh! the sufferings of that dying man are dreadful! he would purchase life were possible, by the loss of all his riches, for he possesses a store that has accumulated year by year, that its amount is astonishing. He fears to die; he trembles to quit earth; his soul already witnesses the power of a wronged Creator, and listens to the condemning accusations of a thousand opportunities (now past) once in his power of doing good. The widow's cry and entreaty, her earnest supplication and prayer, kneeling on the flinty stones at his feet, all humble prostration and tears before him, pleading forgiveness for her wayward boy, urging all the sympathies of a mother, and the pleas that woman's heart alone can contain and employ, asking pardon for her child's transgressionhis first offence too-rise before him with appalling vengeance. Who cast that lonely female's son in the dungeon of a prison? who parted parent and child, that affection might be checked, if possible, and early hopes blighted? who spurned expostulation, nor evinced that charitable spirit which the Saviour of mankind displayed ? who obeyed the resistless impulses of anger and revenge, rather than forbearance and pity? who was the cause of that son's condemnation? an exile far beyond the seas, to endure a life of drudgery, toil, and regret for seven weary, lengthened years, with none to cheer and console, but rather to oppress and torture ? Who, but the dying man Matthew Hales? Was there ever a more griping usurer towards the unfortunate, who had any transactions with him was there ever a more rigid and punctilious man, as to a minute or a farthing? was there ever a greater exactor, a more self-benefiting person, one who increased his riches by the lamentations of the wretched, and made himself affluent by the moans of orphans ? one who was ever heedless of all save self? regardless of others' success, and interested in no affairs but what were connected with his own good ? Such was Matthew Hales ; and never had a dying sinner more accusers, racking his last hours of existence, than he. The tender treatment of his wife, (alas ! she never experienced that
daily increased. When people have really convinced themselves--and they have pretty nearly done it-that they are born without either horns or spurs, and Were therefore never made for fighting and kicking; but are really born with hearts in their bosoms capable of the noblest sympathies ; capable of a large participation in God's own divine feeling of benevolence, and with hands most admirably adapted for pressing the hands of their fellows, there will be from year to year immense augmentations of the genuine peerage."—W. Howitt.
love a husband owes his partner,) can give him no respite; all remem brance of his coldness and his harshness is forgotten ; she acts as a woman-as a wife; her heart, her feelings, her better nature would not allow her to add another pang to those he is writhing under. Oh no! her endearing looks and her soothing words, her kind action: are unreservedly exercised, though their influence is lost. The over. flowing beneficence of that inherent fondness, characteristic of the softer sex, has overwhelmed each misgiving that might naturally have sprung up in her bosom, from the chilling language there registered that her husband once used towards her; from the withering and threatening scorn that he once threw at her; and from the gross insult of an upraised hand, proving the cowardice and littleness of the actor,-all these heart-recorded facts rise not in her mind; : love, pure and beautiful, unshaken in his attachment and everlasting, is the actuating principle with her; yet, for all this, no consolation can the poor victim find. What to him is the wife's tenderness, or the children's weeping gaze? What the embrace of his only son, or the kiss of his youngest daughter? What, indeed! they are nothing, for his soul is absorbed in the one bitter reflection, that instead of having promoted the welfare of his fellow beings, he has obstructed it; instead of benefiting mankind, he has wronged them; instead of regarding divine, moral, and social injunctions and usages, he has grossly violated all; instead of daily entreating Heaven's guidance, pardon, and blessing, he has never once thought of such a home; or dreamed of God, except when blaspheming. Instead of acting the husband's part and exercising a father's care, he has wilfully abused those privileges, and incurred the upbraidings of conscience. Ah! he once quieted that internal monitor, and lulled it to repose; for when in health 'he obeyed the calls of his selfish nature only : but now, vain are his means, his attempts; his memory can recall in the dying hour, no one act of kindness; no good deed; no praiseworthy purpose; no home made glad by his munificence; no abode of poverty illumined by a ray of charity; no unthinking youth saved from ruin and infamy by his instrumentality; no cause to benefit society, or confer good, ever aided or patronised by him ; but few smiles and loving accents for her he vowed to love and cherish ; but few instances of fondness to those he should have joyed to hear calling him “father," and making glad his heart by their gleesome prattle, or, in riper years, smoothing his decline. No; conscience cannot be quieted; the sentence is before his eyes ; he is now thunderstruck, as it were; paralysed at the enormity of that crime, of not creating happiness as far as he could, being an instrument in God's hand-an accountable instrument; in short, of not doing to others as, in any circumstances, he would have wished to be done by.
I draw the veil, and refrain from portraying the awful picture further. Let us, then, pause and sermonise ; yet not exactly so; but teach ourselves a lesson, if that we are still ignorant, that it is our duty to study man, not merely superficially, but in every character of his mutable condition ; in all the different stations and occupations ; in every variety of temperament and circumstance he is subject to. The philosophic mind, in contemplating man, can generally trace the
evils he most displays, to some origin that is radically wrong and false; the poor criminal that expiates his crime by a death on the scaffold, or by an exile of deep sorrow in a stranger's land, was probably never taught in his childhood to discriminate between meum and tuum, or right and wrong; was never blessed with early instruction, and led from the juvenile delinquencies that convicted him, to a more suitable path, even that of rectitude, by either tenderness or authority. He grew up, a hungry, pilfering, sly, artful lad; made more obdurate from the cruel usage of the world; more avaricious and cunning from the plenty that temptingly surrounded him, and in a great measure enticed him to become a thief; manhood branded the disgraceful epithet upon his brow, and with this stamp as his inheritance, he prowled from nook to corner, from corner to cellar, a perfect Cain ; but when blood stained his hands, and the guilty one was condemned, and the public descanted on the enormity of his deed, then “the world' humanely opened their eyes, and some pitied the wretched one; others censured him the more fiercely; and all wondered how he could so far have outraged the rules of social intercourse and bands of brotherhood !
What! did they never think how often, perhaps, their carriage might bave passed that culprit when a child, prowling in the streets ? Does no voice arise from conscience, reminding them, that had they rescued only him from ignorance, vice, and death, a far more glorious deed would have been theirs, than the distinction of having subscribed a boasted thousand pounds for a charitable purpose? How true is it, that the spathy—the wilful neglect of many-must cause them to trace their doom in that of Dives; nor less true is it, that every man aims at the possession of some darling object, some El Dorado,-and in the acquirement of it, all his means, hopes, and faculties are employed. Worshipping this idol so continually, produces neglect of all save self; and the result is, every avenue to virtue becomes, in too many instances, completely blocked up. One exerts himself to possess fame; another, rank; and a third, power; and a fourth regulates his conduct by his love of money ; and what a world of sorrow and trouble do they endure, admitting each one gains his favourite allurement! How alienated become his views respecting his fellow-beings, from the avidity and concentrated eargerness with which he follows his cherished schemes !
This sketch of Matthew Hales is not solely the fruit of the ima. gination. No; imagination has, in part, assisted; the whole, however, is the picture, true, vivid, and faithful, of a poor creature shrinking from death. And I fear Matthew Hales is not a solitary exception : were the numerous portraits of human life but deeply scanned and regarded, many a similar character could be found; and it is only from a want of observation, that we appear surprised, when a beam of intelligence opens our eyes to them, at things most common-even of daily occurrence. That conscience with us may never rise in judgment, be it our ceaseless task to aim at conferring good; and not only teaching good, but practising what we do teach. An eminent, yet eccentric divine, with whom I was acquainted, often urged upon his flock, the necessity “of doing as he said, not as he did;" may we step one degree higher, and do both; teach what is right, and practise it; for example is most powerful, and often most efficacious. Trul may Juvenal's rebuke be applied to these modern times : “ Rari quipp boni” (Good men are scarce). Yes ; and the world, instead of settin forth a good man's merits, and holding him out as an exemplar, gene rally condemns him as eccentric; as one whose brain is not quite right Thus defamation has no small part in checking sympathy, and aiming to subvert moral goodness.
THE CRUSADER'S RETURN.
“ Alas! the mother that him bare,
If she had been in presence there,
She had not known her child !"- MARMION.
Rest, pilgrim, rest! thou’rt from the Syrian land,
Thou’rt from the wild and wondrous East, I know
And by the darkness of thy sunburnt brow.
So full of hope, for that far country's bourne !
And dimm'd in aspect, who like thee return!
Through the high chesnuts lightly plays the breeze,
The sailor's hymn hath died along the seas.
'Midst the grey pillars of yon ruin'd shrine ?
He that hath left me train'd that loaded vine !
(Oh! hath a day fled since his childhood's time?)
Beneath its shade-the convent's vesper chime.
With his glad voice he would have welcomed thee,
There, in his place thou'rt resting--where is he?
But once again ! How oft it wanders by,
Troubling the heart with its wild melody!
In that far land, the chosen land of yore,
And the dark eye of this Italian shore ?
The dark, clear, lightning eye! on heaven and earth
It smiled-as if man were not dust-it smiled!
And 1-my heart grew young before my child !
Fill'd all my home ev'n with o'erflowing joy,
Where is he pow? my pride, my flower, my boy!
Like a spring dewdrop-then his forehead wore
I knew these woods might be his world no more!
Whom we have rear'd, watch'd, bless'd, too much adored !
And bounded from me, with his father's sword !
Pressing a bloody turf-the young and fair,
Where hosts have met-speak ! answer! was he there?
Shut o'er those bursts of bright and tameless glee ?
That look gives hope—I knew it could not be !
O'er thee, too, brooded in thine early years.
Bathed all thy faded hair in parting tears ?
Why dost thou hide thy face, yet weeping on ?
New Monthly Magazine.
A MELTING STORY. No other class of men in any country possess that facetious aptness of inflicting a good-humoured revenge which seems to be innate with a Green Mountain Boy.
One winter evening, a country store-keeper in the Mountain State was about closing his doors for the night, and while standing in the snow outside putting up his window-shutters, he saw, through the glass, a lounging, worthless fellow within, grab a pound of fresh butter from the shelf, and hastily conceal it in his hat.
The act was no sooner detected than the revenge was hit upon, and a very few moments found the Green Mountain store-keeper at once indulging his appetite for fun to the fullest extent, and paying off the thief with a facetious sort of torture for which he might have gained a premium from the old inquisition.