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from the threshold of existence! The faint, faltering accents, struggling in death to give one more assurance of affection!
Ay, go to the grave of buried love, and meditate! There settle the account with thy conscience for every past benefit unrequited, every past endearment unregarded, of that departed being who can never-never-never return to be soothed by thy contrition !
If thou art a child, and hast ever added a sorrow to the soul, or a furrow to the silvered brow of an affectionate parent-if thou art a husband, and hast ever caused the fond bosom that ventured its whole happiness in thy arms to doubt one moment of thy kindness or thy truth-if thou art a friend, and hast ever wronged in thought, or word, or deed, the spirit that generously confided in thee if thou art a lover, and hast ever given one unmerited pang to that true heart which now lies cold and still beneath thy feet: then be sure that every unkind look, every ungracious word, every ungentle action, will come thronging back upon thy memory, and knocking dolefully at thy soul, —then be sure that thou wilt lie down sorrowing and repentant on the grave, and utter the unheard groan, and pour the unavailing tear; more deep, more bitter, because unheard and unavailing.
Then weave thy chaplet of flowers, and strew the beauties of nature about the grave; console thy broken spirit, if thou canst, with these tender, yet futile tributes of regret ; but take warning by the bitterness of this thy contrite affliction over the dead, and henceforth be more faithful and affectionate in the discharge of thy duties to the living.–WASHINGTON Irving.
NEVER has a view of mountains made such an impression
Lebanon has a character which I have not seen either in the Alps or Mount Taurus : it is the mingling of the imposing sublimity of the outlines and the summits, with the gracefulness of the details and the variety of tints—it is a mountain solemn as its name-it is the Alps under the sky of Asia, plunging their aerial crests into the deep serenity of an eternal splendour. It appears that the sun reposes for ever upon the gilded angles of these summits : the dazzling whiteness with which it impresses them is confounded with that of the snows, which remain to the middle of summer upon the highest tops. The chain developes itself before the eye for a length of at least sixty leagues, from the Cape of Saide, the ancient Sidon, to the environs of Latakia, where it begins to decline, in order to leave Mount Taurus to cast its roots into the plain of Alexandretta.
Sometimes the chain of Lebanon rises almost perpendicularly from the sea, with villages and large monasteries suspended upon their precipices ; sometimes it retires from the shores, forming immense gulfs, and leaving verdant spots or ridges of sand between it and the waves. Vessels frequent these gulfs, and go to anchor in the numerous roads with which the coast is indented. The sea is there of the bluest and most sombre hue ; and although it is always billowy, the waves, which are broad and high, roll in vast circles upon the sands, and reflect the mountains as in a stainless mirror. These waves produce a dull murmur at once harmonious and confused, which mounts to the vines and the carob-trees, and fills the fields with life and stirring sound. To my left the coast of Beirout was low; it was a continuity of little tongues of land crowned with verdure, and only preserved from the overflowing of the sea by a line of rocks and sand, covered for the most part with ancient ruins. Farther on, hillocks of red sand, like that of the Egyptian deserts, jutted out into a promontory, and served as a beacon to mariners ; on the summit of this promontory the broad tops of a forest of Italian pines were visible, and the eye, glancing between their scattered trunks, fell upon the sides of another chain of Lebanon, and even upon the advanced sand-bank upon which Tyre (now Sour) was built.
When I turned to the land side, I saw the high minarets of the mosques, like isolated columns, mounting into the undulating azure of the morning; the fortresses which command the town, and from the crevices of their walls a multitude of climbing plants, wild figs, and wall-flowers springing; the round battlements of the fortifications; the level sweep of the mulberry-trees in the fields; here and there the flat roofs and white walls of country-houses, or of the huts of the Syrian peasants; and beyond, the green banks of the Beirout hills, covered with picturesque edifices of every description, Greek convents, Maronite convents, mosques, and santons, and clothed with foliage and tillage, like the most fertile hills of Grenoble, or of Chambéry, Then there was always Mount Lebanon, taking a thousand curves and bends, grouped in gigantic masses, and casting its heavy shadow, or making its snows glitter, over all the scenes of this landscape.-Lamartine’s Travels in the East,
The Children's Corner.
STORIES OF VILLAGE MAIDENS.
CHAPTER IV. FURTHER CONSEQUENCES OF THE FALSEHOOD, AND ANOTHER
The happiest of all states is the state of innocence; to be a pure and harmless lamb of CHRIST's fold; to have a conscience undefiled ; and with open face to look to heaven and trust in God is the blessed privilege of unoffending children: but for those who have in any degree lost their baptismal innocence, there remains the door of repentance open for their return; and they can return in no other way.
Next best then, after innocence, comes penitence. How good it is to find a child with a tender conscience! How their deep undissembled grief draws one's heart towards them! It would seem as if repentance in some wonderful way, by virtue of the incarnation and atonement of our blessed Lord, undid the deed of evil, and re-imprinted the image of God on the defaced soul. And so, as Angels in heaven rejoice, the Ministers of Christ, the angels of the Churches, rejoice in the repentance of their children. They love them in their penitence with a peculiar tenderness such as they never felt towards them before they had offended. Thus was I drawn towards little Mary Stone when I witnessed her deep grief for what appeared to be the fault of a moment, extorted by sudden fear, and repented of and confessed immediately afterwards. And the event proved I was not mistaken.
On the other hand, I think there is nothing much more shocking than to find a child hardened in sin, with an unfeeling conscience, and a persevering spirit of deceitfulness. I do not know whether or not the character is more gradually formed by little acts, but I sometimes think one wilfully wrong action, persisted in and made worse by a determined course of deceit, such as I am now about to tell of, has often fixed children's characters for ever, so that from that time they are positively wicked, and go on growing worse and worse, till God's long-suffering is exhausted, and they are cut off in their sins.
In the course of that day, I happened to meet Ann Marsh in the village. I asked her what had passed between her and Mary Stone, She told me that James Atkins had asked her to go up into town for some barm, and that Mary Stone, who was standing by at the time, had turned and said to her as soon as he had shut the door, “ I'll go with you, if you will give me half your lollypops.” She also denied that she had prompted the lie; and said that she was quite surprised when she heard Mary Stone say that her mother had sent her. Alas! I thought, what fearful wickedness lies upon the soul of one or other of these two children : whichever tells the truth, the other must speak an untruth almost every word she utters. But of this I said nothing to Ann Marsh. I passed on and went to James Atkins's cottage; and from him I learnt that Ann Marsh had been sent up, as was said before, to fetch him some barm from the neighbouring town.
I then asked his wife, a quiet thoughtful person whom I could fully trust, what had passed between the children at her door. She said she really could not recollect, and she would not say anything for fear of saying what was incorrect. But when I was passing again in the afternoon, she asked me to walk in, and said, “I have been thinking, sir, about what you asked me this morning, and now I can tell you all the rights of it. I did not like to speak this morning; but now I remember it all quite well.
“ I said, 'Ann, I wish you would go and fetch me a jug of barm, and she answered, “We're just going in to Mr. Herbert's to sing.' And I said, “ If you make haste back, I dare say you'll be in time.' So she said she would go, and I gave her the jug. Then she turned towards Mary Stone, who was standing nearer your house, and said, “Come, Poll, you go with me:' but the other child said, • No, I must go in for the singing.' I saw she was unwilling to go; but I shut the door and went in before they had gone.”
“You are sure,” said I, “it was Ann Marsh who asked Mary to go first, not Mary who asked Ann to let her go along with her?"
“Oh yes, sir,” she replied, “ quite sure. The other didn't want to go at all.”
you hear anything about the lollypops ?” “No, sir, but I heard Ann say, “You shall go shares,' or something of that sort.”
I afterwards learnt that Mary Stone's father had seen Ann drag her down the steps, and another person had seen them going up the hill in the way Mary had described, Ann pulling her along by
Let my young readers remember that James Atkins's cottage lay near my house, between it and the town, and they will be prepared to understand the scene that follows.
In the afternoon sent for Ann Marsh. She came into my study very pale, and sat down on a chair against the wall. I was sitting some little distance from her at the table. I addressed her very seriously, but not unkindly. I said,
“ Remember, Ann, you are in the sight of God: He sees you, and He knows the whole truth. If you tell a lie, you cannot hide it from Him, and He will judge you for it at the last day.”
As I spoke, her face became still paler; and never changed from the most deadly white the whole time she was in the room.
I then asked her, “ Did not you ask Mary Stone to go with you ? you had better tell me the truth; I shall not be angry if you do.”
She replied, without hesitation,
“ No, sir, she asked me to let her go. She said, “ You'll give me half the lollypops, won't you ?'”
“ Are you quite sure,” I repeated, “ that she asked you to let her go; and you never asked her to go with you?"
Yes, sir, quite sure.” “Ann," I said severely, “how dare you say that? I know better, Mrs. Atkins told me herself that she heard you ask Mary to go; and heard her say, No, she must go in and sing. And Mrs. Atkins heard you promise her a share of what you got, if she
Ann said nothing. I then added, “ Now that you see I know the truth, why should you tell any more lies about it? tell me now the whole truth. You asked her to go; and she did not like; and you persuaded her; this you don't deny : your silence is a confession,” no answer. “ Now tell me, did not she come inside my gate after you had asked her ? and did not you follow her up the steps, and pull her down ?"
No, sir, I never came near the gate. She was with me at Mrs. Atkins's gate, and I said, Come along, and she came.”
“Then you went straight up the hill from Mrs. Atkins's ?" I inquired; «
you never turned back at all towards my house ?" “No, sir, we went straight along up."
“Recollect,” I said again ; "she came in, and came up the steps, and you
followed her in. You cannot forget it, because you must have come a good way back.”
“No, sir, I never was within the gate. never seed her on the steps. I never came near the steps.”
“Ann," I said, “ you are telling me falsehoods. George Stone was standing at the Bell, and saw her go up the steps, and he saw you follow her in, and pull her down the steps. Now tell me. Did you ask her to go with
?” “ Yes, sir.” “ Did you follow her up the steps and bring her down ?” “Yes, sir.” “ Did you offer to give her half ?” “ Yes, sir."
I then left my seat, and walked close up to her, and said seriously, but not unkindly,
" Ann, you are a strange child; as soon as you find I know anything, you confess it: as long as you think don't know, you deny it. Are not you a very naughty child ?”
“ Yes, sir."