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He died at the close of that darksome day,
A day that shall live in story:
" And left him alone with his glory.”
SORROW FOR THE DEAD.
The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal—every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open- this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang? Where is the child that would willingly forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved; when he feels his heart, as it were, crushed in the closing of its portal; -would accept of consolation that must be bought by forgetfulness? No; the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul.
If it has its woes, it has likewise its delights; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection -- when the sudden an
guish and the convulsive agony over the present ruins of all that we most loved, is softened away into pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness — who would root out such a sorrow from the heart? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of gaiety, or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom; yet who would exchange it even for the song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry? No; there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead, to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh, the grave!—the grave! It buries every error - covers every defect - extinguishes every resentiment. From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections. Who can look
grave even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb, that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies mouldering before him? But the
of those we loved - what a place for meditation! There it is that we call up in long review the whole history of virtue and gentleness, and the thousand endearments lavished upon us almost unheeded in the daily intercourse of intimacy:-there it is, that we dwell upon the tenderness, the solemn, awful tenderness of the parting scene. The bed of death, with all its stifled griefs - its noiseless attendance—its mute, watchful assiduities. The last testimonies of expiring love — the feeble, fluttering, thrilling ---oh, how thrilling! - pressure of the hand. The last fond look of the glazing eye, turning upon us even 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 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.
AMONG the prisoners taken at the battle of Hoosac, by the Americans, was an inhabitant of Hancock, in the county of Berkshire, a plain farmer, named Jackson. This man had conscientiously taken the side of the British in the revolutionary contest, and felt himself bound to seize the earliest opportunity of employing himself in the service of his king. Hearing that Colonel Baum, a British officer, was advancing with a body of troops towards Bennington in Vermont, he rose early, saddled his horse, and rode to Hoosac, intending to attach himself to his
corps. Here he was taken prisoner in such circumstances as proved his intention, beyond every reasonable doubt. He was, besides, too honest to deny it. Accordingly, he was committed to the charge of the high sheriff of the county, who immediately confined him in the county jail. This building was at that time so infirm, that, without a guard, no prisoner could be kept in it, who wished to escape. But to escape, however, was in no degree consonant with Jackson's idea of right; and he thought no more seriously of making an attempt of this nature, than he would have done in his own house.
After he had lain quietly in jail a few days, he told the sheriff that he was losing his time and earning nothing, and wished that he would permit him to go out and work in the day time, promising to return regularly at evening to his quarters in the prison. The sheriff having become acquainted with his character, readily acceded to his proposal. Accordingly Jackson went out regularly during the remaining part of the autumn, and the following winter and spring until the beginning of May, and every evening returned, at the proper time, to the jail.
In this manner he performed a day's work every day, with scarcely any exception besides the Sabbath, through the whole period. In the month of May, he was to be tried for high treason.
The sheriff made
preparations to conduct him to Springfield, where he was to be tried. But he told the sheriff, that it was not worth his while to take this trouble, for he could just as well go alone, and it would save both the expense and the inconvenience of the sheriff's journey.
The sheriff, after a little reflection, assented to his proposal, and Jackson commenced his journey - the only one, it is believed, which was ever undertaken, in the same manner for the same object. - While on his journey, he was overtaken by the Honorable T. Edwards, from whom this account was received. “Whither are you going.” said Mr. Edwards. “To Springfield, sir,” answered Jackson, "to be tried for my life.” Accordingly, he proceeded directly to Springfield, surrendered himself to the sheriff there; was tried, found guilty, and condemmed to die.
Application was made to the executive council for pardon. The facts were stated, the evidence by which they were supported, and the sentence, grounded on them. The question was then put by the president, “Shall a pardon be granted to Jackson?” The gentleman who first spoke, observed that the case was per