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wanted; and I gladly promised to come again before leaving the country, in which my stay was to be short. When we came in sight of the gig that had been dispatched to fetch me, the old man took his leave, and returned to his solitude. I returned to the valley, to be alternately scolded and caressed. Verily, the people that have no influence over our destinies are ever the kindest. Why is this so? I visited the hermit more than once, and we became the best friends in the world. On my third visit he told me the story of his life, which brings me to the close of my story. If I do not give his own words exactly, I do so very nearly, for he spoke rapidly and succinctly, plainly stating the facts that remained vividly in my memory. This was his tale :

"I was the youngest son of a merchant, of some standing in the city of London. I was educated at Christchurch, where my brother, who was nine years older than myself, had been before

He was destined for the church ; and I always thought and spoke of him as a great man, after his entrance into one of the colleges at Oxford. Our mother had died when I was very young; and we had an only sister, two years younger than my brother. It would be vain for me to tell you how we both loved that sister; she was the star that lighted us periodically to our home; without her it would have been desolate. Of my father I remember little, except that he was a nervous, irritable, irresolute man, who always seemed to be out of his place, playing a part without entering into it. I was twelve years old when he died, and I was taken from school to attend his funeral. I was too young to understand every thing that occurred at the time; but I was sufficiently conscious of the changes that immediately took place. Our home was broken up, and we removed to lodgings at Camberwell. My father, to the astonishment of every one, had died a bankrupt; his business was a ruined one, but, fortunately, his liabilities were small. My brother of necessity quitted the university, and resigned at once the prospects with which he had been prepared to set out in life. His noble conduct won the admiration of all who knew him; and through the influence of some friends, he obtained a situation in the Bank. With perfect heroism he devoted himself to two objects :—the welfare and maintenance of my sister and myself, and the liquidation of our father's debts. What he accomplished in the period of four years was astonishing. He was never for a moment without occupation. Turning his learning to account, for he was acquainted with several languages, he procured employment as a translator; and the greater part of every night was consumed in this and other literary labours. He had, too, become my tutor. Thinking that in our altered fortunes I should be company for our sister, errant of old. I was quite conscious that a man who had voluntarily renounced society, would little like being so intruded upon, (and his own forbearance made me ashamed of lingering,) yet I did not like to go so soon; and perhaps he perceived this

, for with true politeness he changed the subject, and directed my attention to the scenery for which he imagined I had risked so much.

“ This is indeed a glorious view !” he exclaimed; " and it is a glorious gift to be enabled to appreciate fully the wonderful works of God. Doubtless his eye was upon you when, rapt in contemplation of the beauties his hand had scattered around, you remained unconscious of the peril that encompassed you. To him, rather than to myself, or to any chance, you owe the privilege of still living :-praise be to God!”

The earnest and reverent manner in which these words were spoken, as well as the words themselves, stirred my spirit more powerfully than any sermon I had ever heard. How much indeed I had to be thankful for, and how little I had thought of thankfulness ! My heart swelled to my throat, and my eyes filled with tears. Again the recluse seemed to comprehend my thoughts, and with the instinctive delicacy known to so few, he again changed the subject.

“ Doubtless you marvel at my leading a lonely life up here, much as you admire the scenery. Men do not usually devote a life to the sole contemplation of these things. You have not been unfortunate enough, or have not lived long enough, to comprehend how far earthly trial may make an individual thankful for the comparative happiness of solitude and quiet.”

Ah ! had I not I-how little we know of one another, how little we ever can know! I do not recollect what I said in reply -what we most wish to say is generally left unsaid, or has no voice, save for the ear of God. Shortly afterwards there was a stir in the valley; I was missed, and there was a hue and cry after me. The recluse was the first to perceive this, and he directed my attention to it. He went into his cave, and returned with a long pole, to which he had attached something that looked like a small sail; and this he waved about to attract attention. I waved my handkerchief, and at length we were perceived. The people looked like atoms beneath us, yet we could hear their shouts.

Your friends will doubtless meet you,” said the old man; "I will perform my part by leading you into the way." This he did most kindly: and by the way I promised, at his own request, that I would never again undertake an adventure so perilous. In return, he said he should be glad to see me, if I would visit him in a more legitimate manner. This was what I

wanted; and I gladly promised to come again before leaving the country, in which my stay was to be short. When we came in sight of the gig that had been dispatched to fetch me, the old man took his leave, and returned to his solitude. I returned to the valley, to be alternately scolded and caressed. Verily, the people that have no influence over our destinies are ever the kindest. Why is this so? I visited the hermit more than once, and we became the best friends in the world. On my

third visit he told me the story of his life, which brings me to the close of my story. If I do not give his own words exactly, I do so very nearly, for he spoke rapidly and succinctly, plainly stating the facts that remained vividly in my memory. This was his tale :

“I was the youngest son of a merchant, of some standing in the city of London. I was educated at Christchurch, where my brother, who was nine

years older than myself, had been before me. He was destined for the church ; and I always thought and spoke of him as a great man, after his entrance into one of the colleges at Oxford. Our mother had died when I was very young; and we had an only sister, two years younger than my brother. It would be vain for me to tell you how we both loved that sister; she was the star that lighted us periodically to our home; without her it would have been desolate. Of my father I remember little, except that he was a nervous, irritable, irresolute man, who always seemed to be out of his place, playing a part without entering into it. I was twelve years old when he died, and I was taken from school to attend his funeral. I was too young to understand every thing that occurred at the time; but I was sufficiently conscious of the changes that immediately took place. Our home was broken up, and we removed to lodgings at Camberwell. My father, to the astonishment of every one, had died a bankrupt; his business was a ruined one, but, fortunately, his liabilities were small. My brother of necessity quitted the university, and resigned at once the prospects with which he had been prepared to set out in life. His noble conduct won the admiration of all who knew him; and through the influence of some friends, he obtained a situation in the Bank. With perfect heroism he devoted himself to two objects :—the welfare and maintenance of my sister and myself, and the liquidation of our father's debts. What he accomplished in the period of four years was astonishing. He was never for a moment without occupation. Turning his learning to account, for he was acquainted with several languages, he procured employment as a translator; and the greater part of every night was consumed in this and other literary labours. He had, too, become my tutor. Thinking that in our altered fortunes I should be company for our sister,

he withdrew me from the school, and two hours of every day, morning and evening, were devoted to my instruction. In these pursuits, added to his daily attendance at the Bank, there was no flagging, no weariness exhibited ; nor did he lose his buoyancy of heart, or depart for an instant from the kind, affectionate manner habitual to him. In the midst of all these occupations, he yet found leisure for relaxation, not on his own account, for this was but another of his self-imposed duties,-but for the sake of our sister, whom he loved to surround with every little luxury his means would allow. Devoting an hour to her was only adding another to his nightly vigils, — to him a light sacrifice, His love for her seemed to increase with time; it was more like idolatry than any ordinary earthly affection. And she was conscious of this, and appreciated it; and if she had any sorrow, it was on account of the incessant labour of James, and because he never would believe that he did for her a tenth part of what she deserved, or he wished to do. She was a fair, delicate creature, with soft hazel eyes, and brown silken hair that curled in rich masses about her round face. Her smile was exquisitely beautiful, and her laugh, witchery itself. With a heart full of deep, strong affection, a sweet, equable temper, and a mind stored with intelligence, she was indeed well fitted to be loved, and to form the happiness of home. Boy as I was, I fully comprehended that in losing her we should lose every thing. During the fourth year after my father's death, her health became delicate, and then it became apparent how great was the influence she exercised over the mind of James. Every thing was neglected, forgotten, save her, and the means of restoring her. The physician recommended the air of Brompton, and thither we went; and there, as she grew better, James gradually returned to his old habits of unceasing labour. At Brompton we became acquainted with the family of a wealthy merchant, who, although he himself went every morning to his counting-house in the city, had not deemed it necessary to find for his only son other occupation than such as befitted a gentleman,—the pursuit of his own pleasure. This son and two daughters assiduously cultivated the acquaintance of myself and Mary. James, too much occupied to attend to either as he wished, appeared at first to be pleased at the prospect this friendship held out of varying our hitherto solitary amusements. He would look gratified when, on his return from the city, Mary would speak with animation of the delightful drive she had had, of the sights she had seen, and of the kindness of her new friends. She was certainly gratified, and her health was rapidly improving. This was worth much sacrifice on the part of one who only lived to promote her happiness. But shortly I discovered an evident uneasiness in James's manner that I had never noted before. I thought at the time that perhaps—as I did myself-he disliked the rather supercilious young gentleman whose acquaintance we had thus made. Accustomed to the contemplation of my brother's handsome, open countenance, beaming with frank good-nature, and high honour, and intelligence, I could not forbear noting the contrast presented in that of our new friend. Brought up with selfish habits, and narrow views, and possessing no native energy or goodness, he was certainly, both in manner and personal appearance, a most unprepossessing man. If my brother did not dislike him, he certainly disliked my brother. In his presence his manner was constrained, and he appeared to still less advantage, seldom lifting his eyes to look him in the face, but glancing furtively at him when he turned another way.

Before Mary he certainly did his best to appear amiable; and always disposed to think well of everyone, the unsuspecting girl rated him above his real worth. The change that had gradually come over James, became daily more apparent, until at length it alarmed both Mary and myself. He no longer left us or returned with his old, joyous, smile; he frequently quitted the house without seeing either of us, and entered it again only to shut himself up in his own room. His plea of indisposition was feasible enough, for he daily grew paler and thinner, but it was evident that some mental trouble was overwhelming him. In vain Mary and myself implored him to relax, for a time, in his unceasing labour; he applied himself for a time more assiduously than ever-at length, the explanation came. Mary had been accustomed to drive out with her friends nearly every afternoon, when the weather permitted. One morning, James asked, as a favour, that she would remain at home, as he wished to have some uninterrupted conversation with her in the afternoon. Very readily, Mary promised this, and, alarmed by the agitation of his manner, awaited with much anxiety his return from the city. I that had beard his request and seen the manner of making it, was also greatly agitated. I was a shy, reserved, boy, sensitive, and possessed of strong affections, but not gifted with my brother's animated manner of expressing them. I felt oppressed with a dread of I knew not what, and before my brother's return, I went out on a long ramble. I reached home late in the evening, and found everything in confusion. Mary had been in a succession of fainting fits, and was now sobbing in the helplessness of utter grief; my brother had quitted the house. For two days I remained in a state of anxiety I cannot describe; my brother did not return, and Mary was incapable of giving me any explanation,—she seemed

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