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some pressing circumstances, forced to think, he shrunk from with a weakness that enervated, or selfreproach that overwhelmed him.
By degrees, the artist emerged from the obscurity that attended his first appearance at Leeds; and a bookseller having permitted his pictures to be hung in his shop, was so fortunate as to dispose of two of them. This circumstance renovated the spirits of Lewis : he took better lodgings immediately; replenished his wardrobe ; increased bis stock of materials ; sent his eldest son to school; and considerably extended his credit with various new tradesmen ;
- but he neglected to pay those who had trusted him, and whom he thus made his enemies, to the sincere grief and mortification of his wife, whose utmost endeavours could not enable her to repay them ; for, as he was now much at home, it was impossible for her to carry on her employment with effect, especially as she was again likely to increase her family, and her second son was a very delicate boy, and occupied much of her attention. Many a heart-breaking sigh did she breathe over him, under the distressing idea that the hardships to which he had been exposed, in consequence of their poverty, had preyed upon his constitution ; for, notwithstanding all that may be said, and with truth, respecting the healthiness of poor people's children, yet it will not be found that scanty meals and long protracted fasts produce firm flesh and ruddy looks. Agnes well remembered that her boys at Manchester were blessed with both, and her heart sickened at the present contrast ; but she endeavoured, in all her sorrows, to look up to her heavenly Father for consolation and strength, and, as far as it was possible, to lead her poor babes to the same celestial fountain ;and many a time did the little boys, kneeling on each side of their prostrate mother, with clasped hands and devout looks, listen to her fervent prayers for their welfare and that of her beloved partner, who at some times fervently partook of their devotions, but never without evidently suffering so much, that the tender heart of his wife almost shrunk from witnessing emotions, which she perceived were indications of sensibility, unaccompanied by resolution, and unattended by reform. From time to time he suffered every opportunity for really benefiting himself and family to escape, either from a carelessness which lost the hour for securing employment, a haughtiness which rejected it, or, what was prejudicial in the highest degree, a versatility in the application of his talents, which, while it evinced his real superiority, prevented every effect that might have been expected. After three years' residence in a rich, populous, and hospitable town, Agnes found herself again with a babe at her breast, her second son in his coffin, and her eldest, pale, emaciated, and weeping by her side, without money to procure support for the one, or interment for the other surrounded by creditors she
could not satisfy, and far distant from all her natural connexions,—yet forced to urge the instant departure of her dejected husband, lest every pang she felt should be aggravated by seeing him dragged to a long-threatened prison.
Poor Ludovico, after lamenting many hours, as one that “ refused to be comforted,” over the dead body of his beloved brother, witnessed the still acuter pang which his mother felt, when, emptying her little purse of the few hard-earned shillings which remained, she put them into the hands of his father, and besought him to take advantage of the night, and hasten out of the country, ere the law should seize him. The bitter sorrow visible in his countenance, as he glanced his eye over the wretched apartment he was quitting, arrested that of Ludovico; he watched its pathetic expression, as pursuing each object of love and interest; it regarded first the coffin of the departed child—then the cradle of the sleeping babe-his own swollen face and weeping eyesand lastly, the wasted form and pallid countenance of his mother, on which it rested with an expression of sorrow that seemed to concentrate all human misery.
The boy flew into his father's arms; he sobbed convulsively upon his bosom; he felt as if his very heart was breaking. “ My poor fellow !” said Lewis, struggling with himself, “ my dear boy ! do not give way to this sorrow; remember, it is your duty to exert yourself for your mother's sake; I leave her to your care, Ludovico; she has now no other comforter ; remember that, my dear, my only son.” The father pressed him to his heart, and fled.
“ We have a Comforter above,” said his mother, approaching the bewildered and overpowered boy : “ and to that Comforter we must both look, my dear; but you know we can only have a right to do so by controlling our immoderate grief. It is natural that you should mourn for Raphael, that you should lament parting with your father at such a time of affliction, for our blessed Lord himself wept at the tomb of Lazarus; but you know, Ludovico, he did not indulge in affliction, he did not increase the sorrows in which he sympathised by his own excess.”
Ludovico promised to subdue his grief, and he sought divine assistance ; then turning to his mother, he said, “ Oh, mother ! if I could indeed help you, I should be happy even now-I feel I should.”
“ You will help and comfort me most at present, by endeavouring to sleep, my child. My fears for your health outweigh every other.”
Ludovico kissed her, and crept to his solitary bed, which, though the night was far advanced, he had feared to visit, from a consciousness that it would renew his sorrow; but his recent agitation had spent itself, and a ray of hope that he was yet capable of assisting and comforting his mother solaced his
mind; and, in a long and ardent prayer, he poured out his heart to Him that “ despiseth not the day of small things ;” after which he sunk into a sound and refreshing slumber, and which, though not a long one, renewed his strength. Hearing uncommon noises in the streets, he recollected that it was a great fair ; and concluded that, though early, it was better to rise, and collect the various thoughts which he well remembered had occupied his mind the morning before.
On entering the sitting-room, he perceived his poor mother just as he had left her; and though she had now his little sister in her arms, yet it was plain, from the appearance of her work-table, that she had been sitting up all night making gloves, and he doubted not it was with the intention of disposing of them in the fair. After an affectionate salutation to her and the babe, and one tender look towards the melancholy corner which contained the loved remains of his brother, he busied himself with looking up several articles that were scattered round the room, but with an air of such quietness, that his mother fancied he was attaching some little mystery to his. employment; and rejoicing that he was going to adopt any means of dissipating his distress, she appeared not to regard him, but fixed her eyes attentively on her nursling ; whilst Ludovico, having collected various necessaries for drawing, which had