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parly who shut their ears. You know the issue of it. My father's great spirit bore up against it for some time---my father never was a bad man—but that spirit was broken at the last—and the greatly-injured man was forced to leave his old paternal dwelling in Staffordshire—for the neighbours had begun to point at him.—Maria! I have seen them point at him, and have been ready to drop.
In this part of the country, where the slander had not reached, he sought a retreat—and he found a still more grateful asylum in the daily solicitude of the best of wives.
" An enemy hath done this," I have heard him say, and at such times my mother would speak to him so soothingly of forgiveness, and long-suffering, and the bearing of injuries with patience; would heal all his wounds with so gentle a touch; I have seen the old man weep like a child.
The gloom that beset his mind, at times betrayed him into scepticism— he has doubted if there be a Providence! I have heard him say, " God has built a brave world, but methinks he has left his creatures to bustle in it how they may."
At such times he could not endure to hear my mother talk in a religious strain. He would say, " Woman, have done you confound, you perplex me, when you talk of these matters, and for one day at least unfit me for the business of life."
I have seen her look at him—O God, Maria! such a look ! it plainly spake that she was willing to have shared her precious hope with the partner of her earthly cares—but she found a repulse
Deprived of such a wife, think you, the old man could have long endured his existence? or what consolation would his wretched daughter have had to offer him, but silent and imbecile tears ?
My sweet cousin, you will think me tedious—and I am so— but it does me good to talk these matters over. And do not you be alarmed for me—my sorrows are subsiding into a deep and sweet resignation. I shall soon be sufficiently composed, I know it, to participate in my friend's happiness.
Let me call her, while yet I may, my own Maria Leslie! Methinks, I shall not like you by any other name. Beaumont! Maria Beaumont! it hath a strange sound with it, I shall never be reconciled to this name—but do not you fear—Maria Leslie shall plead with me for Maria Beaumont.
And now, my sweet Friend,
ELINOR CLARE. I find in my collection several letters, written soon after the date of the preceding, and addressed all of them to Maria Beaumont.--I am tempted to make some short extracts from these—my tale will suffer interruption by them—but I was willing to preserve whatever memorials I could of Elinor Clare.
(AN EXTRACT.) -- İhave been strolling out for half an hour in the fields; and my mind has been occupied by thoughts, which Maria has a right to participate. I have been bringing my mother to my recollection. My heart ached with the remembrance of infirmities, that made her closing years of life so sore a trial to her.
I was concerned to think, that our family differences have been one source of disquiet to her. I am sensible that this last we are apt to exaggerate after a person's death—and surely, in the main, there was considerable harmony among the members of our little family—still I was concerned to think, that we ever gave her gentle spirit disquiet.
I thought on years back—on all my parents' friends—the H---s, the F--s, on D SS--, and on many a merry evening, in the fire-side circle, in that comfortable back parlour —it is never used now.
Oye Matravises* of the age, ye know not what ye lose, in despising these petty topics of endeared remembrance, associated circumstances of past times ;—ye know not the throbbings of the heart, tender yet affectionately familiar, which accompany the dear and honoured names of father or of mother.
Maria! I thought on all these things; my heart ached at the review of them—it yet aches, while Iwrite this--but I am never so satisfied with my train of thoughts, as when they run upon these subjects — the tears, they draw from us, meliorate and soften the heart, and keep fresh within us that memory of dear friends dead, which alone can fit us for a readmission to their society hereafter.
* This name will be explained presently.
(From another Letter.) -4" I had a bad dream this morning—that Allan was dead --and who, of all persons in the world, do you think, put on mourning for him ? Why, Matravis.- This alone might cure me of superstitious thoughts, if I were inclined to them; for why should Matravis mourn for us, or our family?—Still it was pleasant to awake, and find it but a dream.—Methinks something like an awaking from an ill dream shall the Resurrection from the Dead be. ----Materially different from our accustomed scenes, and ways of life, the World to come may possibly not be—still it is represented to us under the notion of a Rest, a Sabbath, a state of bliss."
(From another Letter.)
-- METHINKS, yon and I should have been born under the same roof, sucked the same milk, conned the same horn-book, thumbed the same Testament together :—for we have been more than sisters, Maria!
Something will still be whispering to me, that I shall one day be inmate of the same dwelling with my cousin, partaker with her in all the delights, which spring from mutual good offices, kind words, attentions in sickness and in health,—conversation, sometimes innocently trivial, and at others profitably serious; — books read and commented on, together; meals ate, and walks taken, together, -and conferences, how we may best do good to this poor person or that, and wean our spirits from the world's cares, without divesting ourselves of its charities. What a picture I have drawn, Maria !—and none of all these things may ever come to pass."
CFrom another Letter.)
->“CONTINUE to write to me, my sweet cousin. Many good thoughts, resolutions, and proper views of things, pass through the mind in the course of the day, but are lost for want of committing them to paper. Seize them, Maria, as they pass, these Birds of Paradise, that show themselves and are gone,and make a grateful present of the precious fugitives to your friend.
To use a homely illustration, just rising in my fancy,--shall
the good housewife take such pains in pickling and preserving her worthless fruits, her walnuts, her apricots, and quinces-and is there not much spiritual housewifery in treasuring up oUr mind's best fruits,—our heart's meditations in its most favoured moments ?
This said simile is much in the fashion of the old Moralizers, such as I conceive honest Baxter to have been, such as Quarles and Wither. were, with their curious, serio-comic, quaint emblems. But they sometimes reach the heart, when a more elegant simile rests in the fancy.
Not low and mean, like these, but beautifully familiarized to our conceptions, and condescending to human thoughts and notions, are all the discourses of our Lord—conveyed in parable, or similitude, what easy access do they win to the heart, through the medium of the delighted imagination! speaking of heavenly things in fable, or in simile, drawn from earth, from objects common, accustomed. · Life's business, with such delicious little interruptions as our correspondence affords, how pleasant it is !—why can we not paint on the dull paper our whole feelings, exquisite as they rise up ?"
(From another Letter.) " I Had meant to have left off at this place; but, looking back, I am sorry to find too gloomy a cast tincturing my last page—a representation of life false and unthankful. Life is not all vanity and disappointment—it hath much of evil in it, no doubt; but to those who do not misuse it, it affords comfort, temporary comfort, much—much that endears us to it, and dignifies it—many true and good feelings, I trust, of which we need not be ashamed—hours of tranquillity and hope. But the morning was dull and overcast, and my spirits were under a cloud. I feel my error. ,
Is it no blessing, that we two love one another so dearly that Allan is left me—that you are settled in life—that worldly affairs go smooth with us both—above all, that our lot hath fallen to us in a Christian country ? Maria! these things are not little. I will consider life as a long feast, and not forget to say grace.
(From another Letter.): " --Allan has written to me--you know, he is on a visit at his old tutor's in Gloucestershire—he is to return home on Thursday—Allan is a dear boy—he concludes his letter, which is very affectionate throughout, in this mannerElinor, I charge you to learn the following stanza by heart
The monarch may forget his crown,
That on his head an hour hath been;
Was made his wedded wife yestreen;
That smiles so sweetly on her knee :
And all that thou hast done for me. The lines are in Burns—you know, we read him for the first time together at Margate—and I have been used to refer them to you, and to call you, in my mind, Glencairn—for you were always very, very good to me. I had a thousand failings, but you would love me in spite of them all. I am going to drink your health."
But to return to our narrative..
had but foup stairs a. could night.
They had but four rooms in the cottage. Margaret slept in the biggest room up stairs, and her granddaughter in a kind of closet adjoining, where she could be within hearing, if her grandmother should call her in the night.
The girl was often disturbed in that manner—two or three times in a night she has been forced to leave her bed, to fetch her grandmother's cordials, or do some little service for herbut she knew that Margaret's ailings were real and pressing, and Rosamund never complained—never suspected, that her grandmother's requisitions had anything unreasonable in them.
The night she parted with Miss Clare, she had helped Margaret to bed, as usual—and, after saying her prayers, as the custom was, kneeling by the old lady's bed-side, kissed her grandmother, and wished her a good night—Margaret blessed her, and charged her to go to bed directly. It was her customary injunction, and Rosamund had never dreamed of disobeying.
So she retired to her little room. The night was warm and clear--the moon very bright—her window commanded a view of scenes she had been tracing in the day-time with Miss Clare.
All the events of the day past, the occurrences of their walk, arose in her mind. She fancied she should like to retrace