« ZurückWeiter »
point at him.-Maria! I have seen them point at him, and have been ready to drop.
In this part of the country where the slander had not reached, he sought a retreat-and he found a still more grateful asylum in the daily solicitudes of the best of wives.
"An enemy hath done this," I have heard him say—and at such times my mother would speak to him so soothingly of forgiveness, and long-suffering, and the bearing of injuries with patience; would heal all his wounds with so gentle a touch;-I have seen the old man weep like a child.
The gloom that beset his mind, at times betrayed him into scepticism--he has doubted if there be a Providence! I have heard him say, "God has built a brave world, but methinks he has left his creatures to bustle in it how they may."
At such times he could not endure to hear my mother talk in a religious strain. He would say, "Woman, have done-you confound, you perplex
when you talk of these matters, and for one day at least unfit me for the business of life."
I have seen her look at him-O GOD, Maria! such a look! it plainly spake that she was willing to have shared her precious hope with the partner of her earthly cares-but she found a repulse
Deprived of such a wife, think you the old man could have long endured his existence? or what consolation would his wretched daughter have had to offer him, but silent and imbecile tears?
My sweet cousin, you will think me tediousand I am so-but it does me good to talk these matters over. And do not you be alarmed for me-my sorrows are subsiding into a deep and sweet resignation. I shall soon be sufficiently composed, I know it, to participate in my friend's happiness.
Let me call her, while yet I may, my own Maria Leslie ! Methinks I shall not like you by any
Beaumont! Maria Beaumont ! it hath
a strange sound with it—I shall never be reconciled to this name-but do not you fear-Maria Leslie shall plead with me for Maria Beaumont.
And now, my sweet Friend,
God love you, and your
I find in my collection several letters, written soon after the date of the preceding, and addressed all of them to Maria Beaumont.-I am tempted to make some short extracts from these- my tale will
suffer interruption by them-but I was willing to preserve whatever memorials I could of Elinor Clare.
FROM ELINOR CLARE TO MARIA BEAUMONT.
I have been strolling out for half an hour in the fields; and my mind has been occupied by thoughts, which Maria has a right to participate, I have been bringing my mother to my recollection. My heart ached with the remembrance of infirmities, that made her closing years of life so sore a trial to her.
I was concerned to think, that our family differences have been one source of disquiet to her, I am sensible that this last we are apt to exaggerate after a person's death—and surely, in the main, there was considerable harmony among the members of our little family-still I was concerned to think, that we ever gave her gentle spirit disquiet.
I thought on years back-on all my parents'
friends-the H- -s, the F -s, on D.
and on many a merry evening, in the fireside circle, in that comfortable back parlour-it is never used
O ye Matravises* of the age, ye know not what ye lose, in despising these petty topics of endeared remembrance, associated circumstances of past times;-ye know not the throbbings of the heart, tender yet affectionately familiar, which accompany the dear and honoured names of father or of mother.
Maria! I thought on all these things; my heart ached at the review of them-it yet aches, while I write this but I am never so satisfied with my train of thoughts, as when they run upon these subjects-the tears, they draw from us, meliorate and soften the heart, and keep fresh within us that memory of dear friends dead, which alone can fit us for a re-admission to their society hereafter.
FROM ANOTHER LETTER.
I HAD a bad dream this morning -- that Allan was dead-and who of all persons in the world, do you think, put on mourning for him? Why-Matravis. This alone might cure me of superstitious thoughts, if I were inclined to them; for why should Matravis mourn for us, or our
* This name will be explained presently.
family?-Still it was pleasant to awake, and find it but a dream.—Methinks something like an awaking from an ill dream shall the Resurrection from the Dead be.-Materially different from our accustomed scenes, and ways of life, the World to come may possibly not be still it is represented to us under the notion of a Rest, a Sabbath, a state of bliss.
FROM ANOTHER LETTER.
-METHINKS, you and I should have been born under the same roof, sucked the same milk, conned the same horn-book, thumbed the same Testament, together :-for we have been more than sisters, Maria!
Something will still be whispering to me, that I shall one day be inmate of the same dwelling with my cousin, partaker with her in all the delights which spring from mutual good offices, kind words, attentions in sickness and in health,-conversation, sometimes innocently trivial, and at others profitably serious;-books read and commented on together; meals ate, and walks taken, together, and conferences, how we may best do good to this poor person or that, and wean our spirits from the world's cares, without divesting ourselves of its