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MOURN, for a noble Prince !
A Prince of royal race !
Death makes one vacant place,
Bereaved-she stands alone--
And Sovereign of the Throne
So good, so wise, so brave;
Has found an early grave :
When sackcloth veils the throne;
A grief before unknown :
Ten thousand eyes be dim;
And find the like to him?
To God's divine decree ;
Whate'er that will may be :
From His divine abode :
The widow's faithful God,
Tales and Sketches.
“WHAT IS YOUR LIFE ?" ing which there recently had been a conA STORY FOR THE NEW YEAR.
troversy amongst his relatives, he had i opened the family Bible which, valued only
as a register, lay on an upper shelf in his CHAPTER I.
library. The sight of its illustrations had The New Year had come cheerily, there carried him back to his almost-forgotten was no question about that; and few were childhood, and, as he paused, he had read so stupidly indolent or absorbed as not to the words,“ Go to now, ye rich men, weep rejoice that the first day of January had and howl for your miseries that shall come brought a change of weather, and sub upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and stituted, for the mist and rain of Christmas, your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold a brilliant sunshine, and drying, though and silver is cankered ; and the rust of gentle, winds. Even Isaac Norris felt them shall be a witness against you, and something like faith, or hope, or charity, shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye or an aspiration after those virtues, glow in have heaped treasure together for the last his breast, as, according to annual custom, days." he prepared to spend New Year's day with He read the context, and it impressed the nieces, nephews, and cousins, who him greatly. He could not forget those loved, or tried to love, him.
solemn and awful sentences. They seemed He was a gruff, unamiable, and selfish to set themselves to a strange, unearthly old fellow, commonly; but, as we have said, tune, in order that they might ring in his the first morning of that year suggested ears until midnight :two or three good thoughts, even to him, “For what is your life? and made him wish, or almost wish, or " It is even a vapour ! almost wish to wish, that he could be a “Your riches are corrupted; wise and useful man, instead of —..
“Your gold is cankered ; Instead of what? Was it possible that " And the rust of them shall witness Mr. Norris bad began seriously to test against you!" his moral qualifications by a code above į Such were the words which every stroke that of the worldlings to whom his ! of the hospital clock, every beat of his own name was, as he well knew, synony- | pulse, appeared to echo. mous with excellence ? Had he, at last, He could not sleep until he had soothed discovered that it was possible to gain the his conscience by a resolution to attend world and lose the soul? Could it be some place of worship on the following that a man whose success in life had won Sunday, and, if necessary, give up those the envy and admiration of thousands of amusements to which, as he knew, his fellow-citizens was prepared to acknow Christian people were wont to object. ledge that he was not really useful ? Did Mr. Norris had an idea that it would be he not spend his money, and thus afford very good policy to become religious. He employment to half-a-score of domestics, was growing older, and, of course, he was and a crowd of worthy tradespeople and not so absurd as to suppose that he could mechanics ? Had he not given five live for ever. Prudence enjoined him to hundred pounds towards the erection of lay up treasure in heaven,- it was quite a clock-tower for St. A— 's hospital, and clear that it would be a good speculation were not the inhabitants of
B h is to do so, and he had still a liking for good native village, indebted to him for a hand speculations. The only thing that persome monument in honour of his great plexed him was—how ! grandfather?
It is a question that has puzzled wiser Mr. Norris had done all this, but, heads. Man has been occupied for cen“somehow,” as he expressed it, “he was turies in a search after the means of laying not satiafied.” A conscience, by no means up treasure in heaven. The Bible alone tender, had been awakened on New Year's can afford him a solution of the problem, eve, and that by a portion of Scripture. but few have as yet consented to receive its To ascertain the date of a death, concern testimony. That morning, after some
meditation, Mr. Norris went down to his l “How much will you love me if I give breakfast-room with a complacent smile you a gold watch that day?" upon the usually grave and dignified Floy thought a moment, and then said, countenance in which the world-by the “As much as I can." light of its owner's property-discovered « And how much is that? As much so many expressive, nay, handsome features. | your mother and father ? " He planned to be really generous that day.. Floy shook her head. If gold could buy heaven he would have “ Your brothers ?” Another shake. it, he was resolved. Noon found him “ Your nurse, then ? Right at last!” with his lawyer,-making alterations in Instead of saying yes, as he expected, his will. As soon as he died, the funds of Florence blushed, and said, “Nurse is difSt. A--'s hospital were to be the ferent. She teaches me good things, and richer by ten thousand pounds; an alms- I like her very much." house for thirty widows was to be erected “Then I am jealous, and you may tell somewhere in his native county; and her so! As to her teaching you, that twenty deserving charities were to share all must be moonshine. She isn't a governthat remained of his property, after the payment of certain complimentary legacies “No, uncle ; but she explains the Bible to relatives, who, although rich enough to to me, and takes me to her church-a very do without it, would, as he knew, expect | little one with no bells - where her minister, some token of remembrance.
who was once a missionary, preaches about This settled, Mr. Norris went to dine the Saviour every Sunday." with the people whom he had disinherited. “Why don't you go to church with your His morning's work had given him great | mamma?” said Mr. Norris. satisfaction. It was such a clever device,
"Because mamma always has a headache he tlıought, for overreaching not only his or a cold on Sunday," replied the child; nephews and nieces, and the Prince of “and papa is too tired to walk." darkness, but the searcher of hearts him Mr. Norris laughed, and remarked that self!
they were both so delicate, that it was danThe Pharisees of old believed it possible gerous : especially after going to the opera to enter the realms of truth by cunning on Saturday night! craftiness. They were viler than any, yet "I wonder they don't have a doctor," they thanked God that they were better said he, facetiously. than other men. Earth was too good to - They have,” said Florence : “Doctor be their home, yet they talked confidently Bayard was here last week. He's a funny heaven!
| man, isn't he?"
" What makes you think so ?". CHAPTER II.
“Why, he says such odd things !” said
Florence. “He told mamma that you It was yet early in the first afternoon of would carry your next fit! Wasn't that the year, when Mr. Norris alighted at his
ridiculous ? "? nephew's door. It was his custom to bring “Very." presents for children in return for the hos " I asked nurse if it was difficult to carry pitality of parents, and he accordingly a fit, and she looked grave; but cook, who summoned a merry trio to the breakfast-1 was standing by, declared that it was much room, where, seated in a great arm-chair, | more likely the fit would carry you! Cook he amused himself by watching the little says odd things, too, sometimes !” ones as they opened their new treasures. If " I should think she did !” he loved anybody in the world—which was As Mr. Norris said this, he shaded his doubtful-Mr. Norris loved these children. face. The thought that his next attack of Certain it is, he was anxious to win their apoplexy might be fatal was altogether affection.
new to him. True, Bayard had exhorted him “Don't go away, Floy," he exclaimed, to be careful; but as yet no warning voice as the eldest asked leave to show mamma had ventured to breathe into his ear the her beautiful New Year's gifts. “Let the solemn truth that there was "only a step” others go, and do you stay and talk to me. between him and an awful death. When is your birthday ? "
He sat there thinking until his heart was “I shall be nine next November-on the | full, until old memories came sweeping twentieth.”
through his brain, until he bowed once more at his mother's knee, and said after his physician. He too was ill, nay, dying. her," Our Father.”
There was a peculiar solemnity about his All that day, even in the midst of his meeting with Mr. Norris. It was a connephew's guests, the fear of death was upon ference between two spirits about to be him. He was, however, too proud to ac disembodied, in reference to the future knowledge it. Of the prayer which his which lay before them. As Mr. Norris mother had taught him he did not really feel revealed his most secret thoughts to this a single phrase; but he imagined that there acquaintance of an hour, he for the first must be virtue in its repetition, and accord. time in his life understood what is meant ingly he went through it mechanically as by sympathy. often as he found himself alone.
They parted with mutual regret, and After this many people began to think Mr. A who, although he had faithhim religious. He was so in appearance, fully declared the whole counsel of God in but not in heart. For the first two months regard to salvation through Christ, was of that year, he was only kept from the anxious to give “ line upon line, and preshrine in which he had so long been con cept upon precept,” expressed his hope that tent to worship and bow down, by the con. he might return to-morrow. viction that death might at any moment He came, but Mr. Norris was insensible. call him to the bar of an inexorable justice. His servants had found him on the floor of
As spring advanced, his constitution his library soon after Mr. A—'s departure; broke up, and his physicians no longer and his death was hourly expected. How concealed the fact that he was in danger. | much he had thought and felt in the brief
"You may live many years," said Dr. period which elapsed between his conversaBayard,“ but still—".
tion with Mr. A-- and the stroke which He paused, for his patie ad turned laid him low, is known to God. away almost angrily.
It was an awful thing to linger in that “I understand you," said Mr. Norris ; silent house and know that before night "good morning."
came the soul would have passed from the The doctor withdrew, and Mr. Norris scene of its probation. As life ebbed, Mr. was glad of it. He longed for some friend A-'s visits to the sick room were proto whom he might reveal the terror that longed, and at last he refused to leave it. darkened his mind; but alas ! he knew of With an intense anxiety he watched for none who were capable of understanding it. the first sign of returning consciousness.
During his illness it had sometimes It came, but the power of speech was not occurred to him that “Nurse's mission- | restored. Listening with eager attention ary," the parson at the church without to the words concerning Jesus which his bells, might possibly suit him.
friend poured into his ear, Mr. Norris "I wish Floy would come and see me,” strove to thank him, but in vain. be exclaimed; "they keep her away as if « Do you rely on this precious Saviour?" I had the plague.”
asked the missionary." If so, put your He had forgotten how, in a moment of hand in mine." impatience, he had accused all his relatives The dying man raised his hand, but sufof legacy-hunting because they came almost fered it to fall again. Whether he had daily to inquire for him. However, Floy intended to make profession of faith in appeared next day with her nurse, and Mr. Christ, or not, it was impossible to decide, Norris had an opportunity of inquiring ! for at that moment the stern death-angel about their “ parson.”
smote him, and, in a solemn hush, his soul "He would come and see you, sir, if departed. The prophecy of the year's first that's what you mean,” said nurse, whose day was fulfilled, for his life had been kind heart was touched by the rich man's proved to be a vapour, which appeared and loneliness and danger. “Mr. A is always then “vanished away." It is possible that ready to visit the sick "
he was ready; we cannot tell. At the She stopped, and Mr. Norris supplied | eleventh hour salvation is “possible ;" the word, “The sick and dying. Pray ask | but who shall say that it is probable? him to call on me.”
Thousands to whom, at the beginning of The good woman promised obedience, last year, the voice of conscience said, ind kept her word, but it was late next day « Prepare for the time is short !” have, before Mr. A appeared, and even then through delay, most miserably perished. e came in opposition to the injunctions of l "To-day," cried the Bible, " is the accepted time!” “Not so," replied these man and a minister of the Gospel could unhappy ones, “To-morrow!" To-morrow ? be the same person. “Why," said the their to-morrow was eternity! as your so man, “I am the minister myself, and if may be, or mine! “For what is our life? you will come with me I think I can do you It is even a vapour, which appeareth for a some good.” Said the boy, “ My hands little time, and then vanisheth away!" are dirty, I cannot go." Said the minister,
“Here is a pump-why not wash ?” Said
the boy, “I am so little that I can't pump THE POWER OF KINDNESS.
and wash at the same time." Said the
minister, “If you will wash, I'll pump." A CERTAIN minister, in the United States He at once set to work, and pumped, and of America, was going one Sunday morn pumped, and pumped, and as he pumped, ing from his house to his school-room. the little boy washed his hands and his He walked through a number of back face till they were quite clean. Said the streets, and as he turned a corner, he saw boy, “My hands are wringing wet, and I assembled round a pump a party of little don't know how to dry them.” The min. boys, who were playing at marbles. On ister pulled out of his pocket a clean seeing him approaching, they began to Sunday pocket-handkerchief, and offered it pick up their marbles and run away as fast to the boy. Said the little boy, “But it is as they could. One little fellow, not clean.” “ Yes,' was the reply, “but it having seen him as soon as the rest, could was made to be dirtied.” The little boy not accomplish this so soon; and before he dried his hands and face with the hand. had succeeded in gathering up his marbles, kerchief, and then accompanied the min. the minister had closed upon him, and ister to the door of the Sunday-school. placed his band upon his shoulder. There On approaching the door, and hearing the they were, face to face, the minister of God hum of the children inside, the boy's heart and the poor little ragged boy, who had began to fail him, and, looking anxiously been caught in the act of playing at | at the minister, he said “Oh, sir, I cannot marbles on Sunday morning. And how go in now; I must wait till another time.” did the minister deal with the boy ? For 1 *But,” said the minister, "you promised that is what I want you to observe. He me that you would.” “Are you sure they might have said to the boy, “ What are will do me no harm if I go?" said the you doing here? You are breaking the boy. “Yes, I am sure they will not, Sabbath : don't you deserve to be pun- į said the minister. The little boy looked ished for thus breaking the command of in his face for a moment, and said, “ But God ?" But he did nothing of the kind. will you give me your word that they will He simply said, “Have you found all your ! do me no harm ? " Said the minister, “I marbles ?". "No," said 'the little boy, “I will give you my word that they will do you have not.” “Then,” said the minister, no harm." "Then,” said the boy, “I will “I will help you to find them ;" where go in.” Accordingly he went in. The upon he knelt down and helped to look for minister took him to an excellent old the marbles till they were all found. Then Sunday-school teacher, and in a few words the minister said to the boy, “Do you like i told him the story of the manner in which playing at marbles ?” “Yes," was the he had met with him, and what happened reply. “I," said the minister, “ used to | afterwards. The boy was put into a class, like playing at marbles when a little boy but he was not troubled with any ques. very much, and I think I could beat you; tions he could not understand. He was but," added he, “I never played marbles allowed to sit by and hear a hymn sung, on Sunday. I gave up that many years and some things explained, and be went ago.” The little boy's attention was ar- away much interested in all that he had rested. He liked his friend's face, and | seen and heard. The minister having began to wonder who he was. Then the inquired where he lived, found that his minister said, “I am going to a place father and mother were drunken and prowhere I think you would like to be — will fligate people. They were, however, very you come with me?" Said the boy, “ Where much pleased at their child having been do you live?” “Why, I live at such and ! noticed, and on the next Sunday they sent such a place," was the reply. “Why, that him to school clean and well clothed. He is the minister's house!" exclaimed the entered the day-school, got on rapidly, and, boy, as if he did not suppose that a kind 'from having been one of the Arabs of the