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“As I walked of: my mind was insensibly filled with a crowd of pleasant images of rural winter life, that helped me gladly onwards over many miles of moor. } thought of the severe but cheerful labours of the barn-the mending of farm-gear by the fireside—the wheel turned by the foot of old age, less for gain than as a thrifty pastime—the skilful mother, making 'auld claes look amaist as weel's the new’—the ballad unconsciously listened to by the family, all busy at their own tasks round the singing maiden—the old traditionary tale told by some wayfarer hospitably housed till the storm should blow by—the unexpected visitof neighbours, on need or friendship—or the footstep of lover undeterred by the snow-drifts that have buried up his flocks;—but above all, I thought of those hours of religious worship that have not yet escaped from the domestic life of the Peasantry of Scotland-of the sound of psalms that the depth of snow cannot deaden to the ear of Him to whom they are chanted -and of that sublime Sabbath-keeping, which, on days too tempestuous for the kirk, changes the cottage of the §. into the Temple of God. “With such glad and peaceful images in my heart, I travelled along that dreary moor, with the cutting wind in my face, and my feet sinking in the snow, or sliding on the hard blue ice beneath it—as cheerfully as I ever walked in the dewy warmth of a summer morning, through fields of fragrance and of flowers. And now I could discern, within half an hour's walk before me, the spire of the church, close to which stood the Manse of my aged friend and benefactor. My heart burned within me as a sudden gleam of stormy sunlight tipt it with fire-and I felt, at that moment, an inexpressible sense of the sublimity of the character of that grayheaded Shepherd who had, for fifty years, abode in the wilderness, keeping together his own happy little flock.”—Lights and Shadows, pp. 131–133.
The next, of a summer storm among the mountains, is equally national and appropriate.
“An enormous thunder-cloud had lain all day over Ben-Nevis, shrouding its summit in thic darkness, blackening its sides and base, wherever they were beheld from the surrounding country, with masses of deep shadow, and ...ii, flinging down a Yo! of gloom upon that magnificent Glen that bears the same name with the Mountain; till now the afternoon was like twilight, and the voice of all the streams was distinct in the breathlessness of the vast solitary hollow. The inhabitants of all the straths, vales, glens, and dells, round and about the Monarch of Scottish mountains, had, durin each successive hour, been expecting the roaro thunder and the deluge of rain; but #. huge conglomeration of lowering clouds would not rend asunder, although it was certain that a calm blue sky could not be restored till all that dreadful assemblage had melted away into torrents, or been driven off by a strong wind from the sea. All the cattle on the hills, and on the hollows, stood still or lay down in their fear, the wild deer sought in herds the shelter of the pine-covered cliffs—the raven hushed his hoarse croak in some grim cavern, and the eagle left the dreadful silence of the upper heavens. Now and then the shepherds looked from their huts, while the shadow of the thunderclouds deepened the hues of their plaids and tar. taris' and at every creaking of the heavy branches of the pines, or wide-armed oaks in the solitude of their inaccessible birth-place, the hearts of the lone. ly dwellers quaked, and they lifted up their eyes to see the first wide flash—the disparting of the masses of darkness—and paused to hear the long loud rattle of heaven's artillery shaking the foundation of the everlasting mountains. But all was yet silent.
“The peal came at last! and it seemed as if an earthquake had smote the silence. Not a tree—not a blade of grass moved; but the blow stunned, as it were, the heart of the solid globe. Then was Where a low, wild, whispering, wailing voice, as of
many spirits all joining togetner from every point of heaven: It died away—and then the rushing of rain was heard through the darkness; and, in a few minutes, down came all the mountain torrents in their power, and the sides of all the steeps were suddenly sheeted, far and wide, with waterfalls. The element of water was let loose to run its rejoicing race-and that of fire lent it illumination, whether sweeping in floods along the great open straths, or tumbling in cataracts from cliffs overhanging the eagle's eyrie. “Great rivers were suddenly flooded—and the little mountain rivulets, a few minutes before only silver threads, and in whose fairy basins the minnow played, were now scarcely fordable to shepherd's feet. It was time for the strongest to take shelter, and none now would have liked to issue from it; for while there was real danger to life and limb in the many ranging torrents, and in the lightning's flash, the imagination and the soul themselves were touched with awe in the long resounding glens, and beneath the savage scowl .#. angry sky. “It was not a time to be abroad: §. all by herself was hastening down, Glen-Nevis, from a shealing far up the river, a little Girl, not more than twelve years of age—in truth, a very child. Grief and fear, not for for. but for another, bore her along as upon wings, through the storm; she crossed rivulets from which, on any other occasion, she would have turned back trembling; and she did not even hear many of the crashes of thunder that smote the smoking hills. Sometimes at a fiercer flash of lightning she just lifted her hand to her dazzled eyes, and then, unappalled, hurried on through the hot and sulphurous air. Had she been a maiden of that tender age from village or city, her course would soon have been fatally stopt short; but she had been born among the im. had first learned to walk among the heather, holding by its blooming branches, and many and many a solitary mile .#. tripped, young as she was, over mos and moor, glen and mountain, even like the roe that had its lair in the coppice beside her own beloved Shealing.”—Ibid. pp. 369—372.
We must add a part of the story of a fair child's sickness, in the family of one of our cheerful and pious cottagers.
“The surgeon of the parish lived some miles distant, but they expected him now every moment. and many a wistful look was directed by tearful eyes along the moor. The daughter, who was out at service, came anxiously home on this night, the only one that could be allowed her, for the poor must work in their grief, and servants must do their duty to those whose bread they eat, even when na: ture is sick,-sick at heart. Another of the daughters came in from the potatoe-field beyond the brae, with what was to be their frugal supper. The calm noiseless spirit of life was in and around the house, while death seemed dealing with one who, a few days ago, was like light upon the floor, and the sound of music, that always breathed up when mos; wanted.—"Do you think the child is dying?' said Gilbert with a calm voice to the surgeon, who, on his wearied horse, had just arrived from another sick-bed, over the misty range of hills, and had been looking stedfastly for some minutes on the little patient. The humane man knew the family well, in the midst of whom he was standing, and replied, “While there is life there is hope; but my pretty little Margaret is, I fear, in the last extrem: ty.’ There was no loud lamentation at these words —all had before known, though they would,” confess it to themselves, what they now were toldand though the certainly that was in the words of the skilful man made their hears beat for a little with sicker throbbings, made their pale faces poleo and brought out from some eyes a greater gush." tears, yet death had been before in this house, and in this case he came, as he always does, in a“” but not in terror,
"The child was now Icfl with none bul her mother by the bedside, for it was snid to be best so; and Gilbert and his family sat down round the tachen fire, tor a while in silence. In about a quarter of an hour, they began to rise culmly, and to go each to his allotted work. One of the daughters went forth with the pail to milk the cow. and another began to set out the table in the middle of :he floor for supper, covering it with a white cloth. Gilbert viewed the usual household arrangements with a solemn and untroubled eye; and there was almost the faint light of a grateful smile on his cheek, as he said to the worthy surgeon, ' You will partake of our fare after your day's travel and toil of humanity.' In a short silent half hour, the potatoes and oat-cakes, butter and milk, were on the board; and Gilbert, lifting up his toil-hardened, but manly hand, with a slow motion, at which the room was as hushed as if it had been empty, closed his eyes in reverence, and asked a blessing. There was a little stool, on which no one sat, by the old man's side! It had been put there unwittingly, «hen the other seals were all placed in their usual order; but l he golden head thai was wont to rise at that part of the table was now wanting. There was silence—not a word was said—their meal was before them,—God had been thanked, and they bei;an to eat.
"Another hour of trial passed, and the child was still swimming forits life. The very dogs knew there was grief in the house; and lay without stirring, is if hiding themselves, below the long table al the window. One sister sat with an unfinished gown on her knees, that she hari been sewing for the d"archild, and still continued at the hopeless work, she scarcely knew why ; and often, ofien putting up her hand to wipe away a tcnr. 'What is that Г said the old man lo his eldest daughter—'what is that you are laying on the shelf?' She could scarcely reply that it was a riband and an ivory cornb lhal she hid brought for little Margaret, against the night ot the dancing-school ball. And, nt these words, the father could not restrain a long, deep, and bitter groan ; at which the boy, nearest m age to his dying •ster, looked up weeping in his face, and letting the tattered book of old ballads, which he had been poring on, but not reading, fall out of his hands, he rose from his seat, and, coins into his father's bosom, kissed him, and asked God to bless him; for the holv heart of the boy was moved within him; and the old man. as he embraced him, felt ibat, in his innocence and simplicity, he was indeed > comforter. Scarcely could Gilbert reply to his first question aboul his child, when the surgeon гапмfrom the bed-room, and said. ' Margaret seems lifted up by God's hand above death and ihe grave; I think she will recover. She has fallen asleep; and, when she wakes, I hope—I believe—thai the danger will be past, and that your child will live.' They were all prepared for death; but now they were found unprepared for lift?. One wept that had till then locked up all her tears within her heart; another gave a short palpitating shriek; and the tender-hearted Isobel, who had nursed the child when it was a baby, faimed away. The youngest brother gave way to gladsome smiles; and, calling out hi.« áng Hector, who used to spori with him and hi» little sister on the moor, he told the tidings to 'ho dumb irrational creature, whose eyes, it is cer4m. sparkled with a sort of joy."—Lights and Sknimci, pp. 36—13.
There are many things better than this in the book—and there aro many not so good. We had marked some passages for censure, and some for ridicule—but the soft-heartedness of the author has softened our hearts towards him—and we cannot, just at present, say any thing but good of him.
The next book is "Adam Blair," which, it »eems, is by the author of Valerius, though it
is much more in the manner of the Lights and Shadows. It is a story of great power and interest, though neither very pleasing, nor very moral, nor very intelligible. Mr. Blair is an exemplary clergyman in Scotland, who, while yet in the prime of life, loses a beloved wife, and is for a time plunged in unspeakable affliction. In this state he is visited by Mrs. Campbell, the intimate friend of his deceased who, who had left her husband abroad—and soon after saves his little daughter, and indeed himself, from drowning. There are evident marks of love on the lady's part, and much affection on his—but both seem unconscious of the true state of their hearts, till she is harshly ordered home to the Highland tower of her husband, and he is left alone in the home she had so long cheered with her smiles. With nothing but virtue and prudence, as the author assures us, in his heart—he unaccountably runs off from his child and his parish, and makes a clandestine visit to her Celtic retreat—arrives there in the night—is rapturously welcomed—drinks copiously of wine— gazes with her on the moonlight sea—is again pressed to the wine cup—and finds himself the next morning—and is found by her servants, clasped in her embraces! His remorse and horror are now abundantly frantic—he flies from her into the desert—and drives her from him with the wildest execrations. Hie contrition, however, brings on frenzy and fever—he is carried back to her tower, and watched over by her for a while in his delirium. As he begins, after many day?, to recover, he hears melancholy music, and sees slow boats on the water beneath his window— and soon after learns that she had caught the fever from him, and died! and that it was the ceremony of her interment he had seen and heard on the water. He then journies slowly homeward ; proclaims his lapse to the presbytery, solemnly resigns his office, and betakes himself to the humble task of a day-labourer in his own former parish. In this state of penitence and humiliation he passes ten lonely and blameless years—gradually winning back the respect and esteem of his neighbours, by the depth of his contrition and the zeal of his humble piety—till at last his brethren of the presbyter}- remove the sentence of deprivation, and, on the next vacancy, restore him to the pastoral charge of his afflicted and affectionate flock.
There is no great merit in the design of this story, and there are many things both absurd and revolting in its details: but there is no ordinary power in the execution ; and there is a spirit and richness in the writing, of which no notion can be formed from our Пц1е abstract of its substance. It is but fair, therefore, to the author, to let him speak for himself in one specimen; and we take the account, with which the book opens, of the death of the pastor's wife, and his own consequent desolation. She had suffered dreadfully from the successive loss of three children, and her health had gradually sunk under her affliction.
"The long melancholy summer passed away, and the songs of the harvest reapers were heard in the surrounding fields; while all, from day to day, was becoming darker and darker within the Manse of Cross-Meikle. Worn to a shadow—as pale as ashes—feeble as a child—the dying mother had, for many weeks, been unable to quit her chamber; and the long-hoping husband at last felt his spirit faint within him; for even he perceived that the hour of separation could not much farther be deferred. He watched—he prayed by her bed-side—he strove even yet to smile and to speak of hope, but his lips trembled as he spake; and neither he nor his wife were deceived; for their thoughts were the same, and years of love had taught them too well all the secrets of each other's looks as well as hearts. “Nobody witnessed their last parting; the room was darkened, and no one was within it but them. selves and their child, who sat by the bed-side, weeping in silence she knew not wherefore—for of . she knew little, except the terrible name; and her father had as yet been, if not brave enough to shed no tears, at least strong enough to conceal them.–Silently and gently was the pure spirit released from its clay; but manly groans were, for the first time, heard above the sobs and wailings of the infant; and the listening household shrunk back from the door, for they knew that the blow had been stricken; and the voice of humble sympathy feared to make itself be heard in the sanctuary of such affliction. The village doctor arrived just at that moment; he listened for a few seconds, and being satisfied that all was over, he also turned away. His horse had been fastened to the hook by the Manse door; he drew out the bridle, and led the animal softly over the turf, but did not mount again until he had far passed the outskirts of the green. “Perhaps an hour might have passed before Mr. Blair opened the window of the room in which his wife had died. His footstep had been heard for some time hurriedly traversing and re-traversing the floor; but at last he stopped where the nearly fastened shutters of the window admitted but one broken line of light into the chamber. He threw everything open with a bold hand, and the uplifting of the window produced a degree of noise, to the like of which the house had for some time been unaccustomed : he looked out, and saw the external world bright before him, with all the rich colourings of a September evening.—The hum of the village sent an occasional echo through the intervenin hedge-rows; all was quiet and beautiful above . below; the earth seemed to be clothed all over with sights and sounds of serenity; and the sky, deepening into darker and darker blue overhead, show. ed the earliest of its stars intensely twinkling, as if ready to harbinger or welcome the coming moon, “The widowed man gazed for some minutes in silence upon the glorious calm of nature, and then turned with a sudden start to the side of the room where the wife of his bosom had so lately breathed; -he saw the pale dead face; the black ringlets parted on the brow; the marble hand extended upon the sheet; the unclosed glassy eyes; and the little girl leaning towards her mother in a gaze of half-horrified bewilderment; he closed the stiffening eyelids over the soft but ghastly orbs; kissed the brow, the cheek, the lips, the bosom, and then rushed down the stairs, and went out, bare-headed, into the fields, before any one could stop him, or ask whither he was going. “There is an old thick grove of pines almost immediately behind the house; and after staring about him for a moment on the green, he leapt hastily over the little brook that skirts it, and plunged within the shade of the trees. The breeze was rustling the black boughs high over his head, and whistling along the bare ground beneath him. He rushed he knew not whither, on and on, between those naked brown trunks, till he was in the heart of the wood; and there, at last, he tossed himself down on his back among the withered fern leaves and mouldering fir-cones. , All the past things of iife floated before him, distinct in their lineaments,
yet twined together, the darkest and the gayest, into a sort of union that made them all appear alike dark. The mother, that had nursed his years of infancy—the father, whose grey heirs he had long before laid in the grave-sisters, brothers, friends, all dead and buried—the angel forms of his own early-ravished offspring-all crowded round and round him, and then rushing away, seemed to bear from him, as a prize and a trophy, the pale image of his expiring wife. Again she returned, and she alone was present with him—not the pale expiring wife, but the young radiant woman-blushing, trembling, smiling, panting, on his bosom, whisper ing to him all her hopes, and fears, and pride, and love, and tenderness, and meekness, like a bride! and then again all would be black as night. He would start up and gaze around, and see nothing but the sepulchral gloom of the wood, and hear nothing but the cold blasts among the leaves. He lay insensible alike to all things, stretched out at all his length, with his eyes fixed in a stupid steadfastness upon one great massy branch that hung over him—his bloodless lips fastened together as if they had been glued—his limbs like things entirely des. titute of life and motion—every thing about him cold, stiff, and senseless. Minute after minute passed heavily away as in a dream-hour after hour rolled unheeded into the abyss—the stars twinkled through the pine tops, and disappeared—the moon arose in her glory; rode through the clear autumn heaven, and vanished—and all alike unnoted by the pros. trate widower. “Adam Blair came forth from among the fir. trees in the grey light of the morning, walked leis. urely and o, several times round the gardenreen, which lay immediately in front of his house, then lifted the latch for himself, and glided with light and hasty footsteps up stairs to the room, where, for some weeks past, he had been ac: customed to occupy a solitary bed. The wakeful servants heard him shut his door behind him; one of them having gone out anxiously, had traced him to his privacy, but none of them had ventured to think of disturbing it. Until he came back, not one of them thought of going to bed. Now, how: ever, they did so, and the house of sorrow was all over silent.”—Adam Blair, pp. 4–12.
There is great merit too, though of a differ: ent kind, in the scenes with Strahan and Campbell, and those with the ministers and elders. But the story is clumsily put to: gether, and the diction, though strong and copious, is frequently turgid and incorrect.
“The Trials of Margaret Lyndsay,” by the author of Lights and Shadows, is the last of these publications of which we shall now sa any thing; and it is too pathetic and full o sorrow for us to say much of it. It is very beautiful and tender; but something cloying: perhaps, in the uniformity of its beauty, an exceedingly oppressive in the unremitting weight of the pity with which it presses on our souls. Nothing was ever imagined more lovely than the beauty, the innocence, and the sweetness of Margaret Lyndsay, in the earlier part of her trials; and nothing, we believe, is more true, than the comfortable lesson which her tale is meant to inculcate," that a gentle and affectionate nature is never inconsolable nor permanently unhappy, but easily proceeds from submission to new enjoyment. But the tale of her trials, the accur mulation of suffering on the heads of the humblest and most innocent of God’s creatures, is too painful to be voluntarily recalled; and we cannot now undertake to give our
reaJere any account of her father's desertion of hie helpless family—of their dismal baniehment from the sweet retreat in which they had been nurtured—their painful struggle with poverty and discomfort, in the darksome lanes of the city—the successive deaths of all dû« affectionate and harmless household, and her own ill-starred marriage to the husband of another wife. Yet we must enable them to form some notion of a work, which has drawn more tears from us than any we have had to peruse since the commencement of oar career. This is the account of the migration of the ruined and resigned family from the sceue of their early enjoyments.
"The twenty-fourth day of November came at last—-a dim, dull, dreary, and obscure day, fit for parting everlastingly from a place or person tenderly beloved. There was no sun—no wind—no sound in the misty and unechoing air. A deadness lay over the wet earth, and there was no visible Heaven. Their goods and chattels were few; bul many little'delays occurred, some accidental, and more in the unwillingness of their hearts to lake а final farewell. A neighbour had lent his cart lor the flitting, and it was now standing loaded at ilie door, ready to move away. The fire, which hail been kindled in ihe morning with a few borrowed peale, was now out—the shutters closed—the door was locked—and the key put into the hand of the person sent to receive it. And now there was nothing more to be said or done, and the impatient horn tiarted briskly away from Braehend. The Umd girl, and poor Marion, were sitting in the cart —Margaret and her mother were on foot. Esther bid two or three small flower-pots in her lap, for i.. her blindness she loved the sweet fragrance, and the felt forms and imagined beauty of flowers; and the innocent carried away her tame pigeon in 1мг bosom. Just as Margaret lingered on ihe threshold, the Robin red-breast that had been her boarder lor several winters, hopped upon the stoneseal at ihe side of the door, and turned up its merry eyes to her face. 'There,' said she, ' is your last crumb from us, sweet Roby, but there is a God who lakes care o' us a'. 1 he widow had by this time shut down the lid of her memory, and left oil the hoard of her thoughts and feelings, joyful or Despairing, buried in darkness. The assembled group ol neighbours, mostly mothers with their children in their arms, had given the ' God bless Too, Alice, God bless you, Margaret, and llie Uve,' and began to disperse ; each turning to her iwn cares and anxieties, in which, before night, the Lyndeays would either be forgotten, or thought on »uh that nnpainful sympathy which is all ihe poor can afford or expect, but which, as in this case, o.ien yields ihe fairest fruits of charity and love.
"A cold sleet v rain accompanied ihe curt and ihe fix;', travellers all ihe way to the city. Short a» ihe distance was, they met with several other fliltinga, some seemingly cheerful, and from good to betler, —others with wue-begone faces, going like themselves down the path of poverty, on a journey from which they were to rest at night in a bare and hungry house. And now they drove through the suburbs, and into the city, passing unheeded among crowd« of people, all on ihetr own business of pleasure or profit, laughing, jibing, shouting, cursing,—the stir, and tumult, and torrent of cont'rep>ied life. Margaret could hardly help feeling elated with the glitter of all the shining windows, and ihe hurry of thu streets. Marion sat silent vifA Iter pigeon warm in her breast btlow her brown ¡look, unknowing she of change, of lime, or of place, and reconciled to sit paliently thero, with the soft plumage touching her heart, if the can had (one on, through the cold and sleet, to midnight!
"Tbe cart etopt at the foot of a lane too narrow
to admit the wheels, and also too steep for a laden horse. Two or three of their new neighbours,— persons in the very humblest condition, coarsely and negligently dressed, but seemingly kind and decent people, came out from their nouses at the slopping of ihe carl-wheels. The curt was soon unladen, and the furniture put into Ihe empty room. A cheerful fire was blazing, and the animated and interested faces of the honest folks who crowded into it, on a «light acquaintance, unceremoniously and curiously, but without rudeness, gave a cheerful welcome to the new dwelling. In a quarter of an hour ihe beds were laid down,—the room decently arranged,—one and all of the neighbours «aid ' Gude night,'—and the door was closed upon the Lyndsays ш their new dwelling.
"They blessed and eat their bread in peace. The Bible was then opened, and Margaret read a chapter. There was frequent and loud noise in the lane, of passing merriment or anger,—but this little congregation worshipped God in a hymn, Esther's sweet voice leading the sacred melody, and they knell together in prayer."—Triait of Margaret Lyndtay, pp. 66—70.
Her brother goes to sea, and returns, affectionate and happy, with a young companion, whom the opening beauty of Margaret Lyndsay charms into his first dream of love, and whose gallant bearing and open heart, cast the first, and almost the last gleam of joy and enchantment over the gentle and chastened heart of the maiden. But this, like all her other dawnings of joy, led only to more bitter affliction. Sne had engaged to go with him and her brother to church, one fine summer Sunday, and—the author shall tell the rest of the story himself.
"Her heart was indeed glad wilhin her, when she saw the young sailor at the spot. His brown sun-burnt face was alione smile of exulting joy— and his bold clear eyes burned through the black hair that clustered over his forehead. There was not a handsomer, finer-looking boy in the British navy. Although serving before the mast, as many a noble lad haa done, he was the son of a poor gentleman; and as he come up to Margaret Lyndsay, in his smartest suit, wilh his white straw hat, his clean shin-neck lied with a black riband, and a small yellow cane in his hand, a brighter boy and a fairer girl never met in affection in the calm sunshine of a Scottish Sabbath-day.
'"Why have not you brought Laurence with you'' Harry mnde her put her arm wilhin his, and then loin her lhal it was not her brother's day on shore. Now all ihe calm nir was filled wilh tho sound of hells, and Leith Walk covered with welldressed families. The nursery-gardens on each side were almost in their greatest beauty—so soft and delicate the verdure of the young imbedded trees, and so bright ihe glow of intermingled early flowers. 'Let us go to Leith by a way Ihave discovered,' said the joyful sailor—and he drew Margaret gently away from the public walk, into a retired path winding with many little while gates through these luxuriantly cultivated enclosures. The insects were dancing in the air—birds singing nil about them—ihe sky was without a cloud—and a bright dazzling line of light was all that was now soen for the sea. The youthful pair loitered in their happiness—they never marked that the bells had ceased ringing; and when at last they hurried to reach the chapel, ihe door was closed, and they heard the service chanting. Margaret durst not knock at the door, or go in so long after worship was begun ; and she secretly upbraided herself for her torgetfulness of a well-known and holy hour. She felt unlike herself walking on the street during the time of church, and beseecned Harry to go with her out of the sight of the windows, that all seemed watching her in her neglect of Divine worship. So they bent their steps towards the shore. “Harry Needham had not perhaps had any preconceived intention to keep Margaret from church; but he was very well pleased, that, instead of being with her in a pew there, in a crowd, he was now walking alone with her on the brink of his own element. The tide was coming fast in, hurryin on its beautiful little bright jo of variegate foam, by short successive encroachments over the smooth hard level shore, and impatient, as it were, to reach the highest line of intermingled sea-weed, silvery sand, and deep-stained or glittering shells. The friends, or lovers—and their short dream was both friendship and love-retreated playfully from every little watery wall that fell in pieces at their feet, and Margaret turned up her sweet face in the sun-light to watch the slow dream-like motion of the sea-mews, who seemed sometimes to be yielding to the breath of the shifting air, and sometimes obeying . some wavering impulse of joy within their own white-plumaged breasts. Or she walked softly behind them, as they alighted on the sand, that she might come near enough to observe that beautifully wild expression that is in the eyes of all winged creatures whose home is on the sea. “Alas! home-church – every thing on earth was forgotten-for her soul was filled exclusivel with its present joy. She had never before, in o her life, been down at the sea-shore—and she never again was within hearing of its bright, sunny, hollow-sounding and melancholy waves! “‘See,” said Harry, with a laugh, “the kirks have scaled, as you say here in Scotland—the pierhead is like a wood of bonnets.-Let us go there, and I think I can show them the bonniest face among them a'.' . The fresh sea breeze had tinged Margaret’s pale face with crimson,<-and her heart now sent up a sudden blush to deepen and brighten that beauty. They mingled with the cheerful, but calm and decent crowd, and stood together at the end of the pier, looking towards the ship. “That is our frigate, Margaret, the Tribune;—she sits like a bird on the water, and sails well, both in calm and storm.' . The poor girl looked at the ship with her flags flying, o: eyes filled with tears. ‘If we had a glass, like one my father once had, we might, perhaps, see Laurence.’ And for the moment she used the word ‘father' without remembering what and where he was in his misery.— “There is one of our jigger-rigged boats coming right before the wind-Why, Margaret, this is the last opportunity you may have of seeing your brother...We may sail to-morrow ; nay to-night.” -A sudden wish to go on board the ship seized Margaret's heart. Harry saw the struggle—and wiling her down a flight of steps, in a moment lifted her into the boat, which, with the waves rushing in foam within an inch of the gunwale, went dancing out of harbour, and was soon half-way over to the anchored frigate. “The novelty of her situation, and of all the scene around, at first prevented the poor girl from thinking deliberately of the great error she had committed, in thus employing her Sabbath hours in a way so very different to what she had been accustomed; but she soon could not help thinking what she was to say to her mother when she went home, and was obliged to confess that she had not been at church at all, and had paid a visit to her brother on board the ship. It was very sinful in her thus to disobey her own conscience and her mother's will, and the tears came into her eyes.— The young sailor thought she was afraid, and only pressed her closer to him, with a few soothing words. At that moment a sea-mew came winnow. ing its way towards the boat, and one of the sailors rising up with a musquet, took aim as it flew over their heads. Margaret suddenly started up, crying, "Do not kill the pretty bird,' and stumbling, fell forward upon the man, who also lost his balance.— A flaw of wind struck the mainsail-the helmsman
was heedless-the sheet fast-and the boat instantly filling, went down in a moment, head foremost, in twenty fathom water | “The accident was seen both from the shore and ship; and a crowd of boats put off to their relief. But death was beforehand with them all; and, when the frigate's boat came to the place, nothing was seen upon the waves. Two of the men, it was supposed, had gone to the bottom entangled with ropes or beneath the sail, in a few moments the grey head of the old steersman was apparent, and he was lifted up with an oar-drowned. A woman's clothes were next descried; and Margaret was taken up with something heavyweighing down the body. It was Harry Needham, who had sunk in trying to save her; and in one of his hands was grasped a tress of her hair that had given way in the desperate struggle. There seemed to be faint symptoms of life in both; but they were utterly insensible. The crew, among which was Laurence Lyndsay, pulled swiftly back to the ship; and the bodies were first of all laid down together side by side in the captain's cabin.”-Trials of Margaret Lyndsay, pp. 125–130. We must conclude with something less desolating—and we can only find it in the account of the poor orphan's ..o. from an ancient miserly kinsman, to whom, after she had buried all her immediate family, she went like Ruth, in the simple strength of her innocence. After walking all day, she comes at night within sight of his rustic abode.
“With a beating heart, she stopt for a little while at the mouth of the avenue, or lane, that seemed to lead up to the house. It was much overgrown with grass, and there were but few marks of wheels; the hedges on each side were thick and green, but unclipped, and with frequent gaps; somethin melancholy lay over all about; and the place ha the air of being uninhabited. But still it was beattiful; for it was bathed in the dews of a rich midsummer gloaming, and the clover filled the air with fragrance that revived the heart of the solitary orphan, as she stood, for a few minutes, irresolute, and apprehensive of an unkind reception.
“At last she found heart, and the door of the house being open, Margaret walked in, and stood on the floor of the wide low-roofed kitchen...An old man was sitting, as if half asleep, in a highbacked arm-chair, by the side of the chimney:Before she had time or courage to speak, her sha. dow fell upon his eyes, and he looked towards her with strong visible surprise, and, as she thought, with a slight displeasure. "Ye hae got off your road, I'm thinking, young woman; what seek you here?' Margaret asked respectfully if she might sit down. “Aye, aye, ye may sit down, but wo keep nae refreshment łoh. is no a, public; house. There's ane a mile west in the Clachon. The old man kept looking upon her, and with * countenance somewhat relaxed from its inhospita: ble austerity. Her appearance did not work as * charm or a spell, for she was no enchantress in " fairy tale; but the tone of her voice, so sweet and gentle, the serenity of her face, and the meekno of her manner, as she took her seat upon." . not far from the door, had an effect upon old Don" Craig, and he bade her come forward, and take" chair “farther ben the house.” ittle
“‘I am an Orphan, and have perhaps but litt claim upon you, but I have ventured to come here —my name is Margaret Lyndsay, and my mo". name was Alice Craig. The old man moved †. his chair, as if a blow had struck him, and loo et long and earnestly into her face. Her features ‘. firmed her words. Her countenance possessed! o strong power over him that goes down mys”.
through the generations of perishable o *. necting love with likeness, so that, the o: me cradle may be smiling almost with the ****