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the middle of the day of Thursday, I met with Isaac's eldest boy, a delicate, gentle little fellow, very unfit for his appointed task. It is really pitiable to see a child, the civilest lad in the parish and the head boy in the school, a good reader, a neat writer, and with wits to learn any thing that he could be taught, trembling and crying from terror at the thought of his fearful work in the coal-pit. It is not cowardice, but a feeling of inability for his work that weighs down his spirits. I was not at all surprised at the warm feeling with which he answered my questions, and at the settled air of sadness with which he said, “If they are not starved, the men think that the damps (that is, the foul air) have killed them ; but they'll be found any way to-night.” He had been on the spot all day, and was going again. “And you'll come and tell us directly?" but my heart sunk as I asked him. 6. What miserable news to bring !" I thought: “five young creatures, most probably unthinking and unprepared, called thus in so awful a way to meet their God! Starved to death-pining away miserably one after another-or all at once poisoned by the stifling damp -or altogether drowned and brought up pale and disfigured to their wretched friends! Oh! why should I ask him to bring me such news ?
It is a mercy, thought 1, "that such vehement anxiety cannot last long. But, to be sure, no one is so foolish as to hope
At that moment there was a hasty run down the lane, and a loud ring at the bell, “Mother! mother!" said a boy's voice; and Nancy, who was whitewashing in the kitchen, ran to the door. “Mother, they are all alive!” said the boy, scarcely able to breathe; and Nancy burst into tears. I believe if she had heard they were all dead, she would not have cried so much. We all found the use of our feet that moment. There was no more standing to muse and lament over the sad story.
“ Thank God, the boys are alive !- they are all alive !" was our greeting to one another as we met on the stairs ; and in a moment I was in the