Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thanks be unto God, who giveth me the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Mr. St. Belmont was now ready to exclaim, with the troubled patriarch, "If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”

Still no murmur escaped his lips: the steady flame of endurance flickered not in his experience: his eye lost none of its brightness. The tears which he shed—and some tears did escape him-seemed to wash away every obscuring film, which former unmixed happiness and prosperity had created. He looked out with a keenness of vision, before unknown to himself, and beheld already things which are eternal.

“Th' invisible appeard in sight,

And God was seen by mortal eye." One only remaining tie bound him to earth, and that he felt might soon be snapped asunder. The partner of his joys, and the sharer of his griefs, she who had been to him an “help meet” indeed, yet remained. On no one occasion had she caused a throb of pain to pass through his heart. The affection of their youth had strengthened with their age; and now they seemed as if they should go down together to rest in the grave. But infallible Wisdom had decreed it otherwise. One more trial was to be endured by the bereaved father and affectionate husband, and that was to be a fiery trial !

The health of Mrs. St. Belmont, which repeated shocks had considerably impaired, seemed for a

time to rally; and she was advised by her medical attendants to take moderate exercise on horseback,-a mode of travelling of which she was remarkably fond. She had been celebrated for the ease and gracefulness with which she sat the most spirited animal. It was judged proper, however, on the present occasion, that one of a gentler mettle than she had been in the habit of managing, should be furnished her. All things were arranged, and she set off one morning, with more than usual spirit; while Mr. St. Belmont rode by her side, delighted beyond expression at her appearance. They had proceeded a few miles from home, when on turning suddenly an angle on the road, a pile of stones catching the eye of the horse which Mrs. St. Belmont rode, it instantly took fright, and, before her husband could render her any assistance, she was carried by the frightened animal a considerable distance: her riding-habit became entangled, -and she fell with violence to the ground.

The servant who was in attendance galloped hastily to a farm-house which stood at a little distance, for help, while Mr. St. Belmont, throwing the reins on his horse's neck, dismounted, and raised his wife in his arms. One look,-one fond look of recognition, was given by her, and all was over. Her spirit, with a gentle moan, took its flight to join her daughter, in realms where sorrow, and disease, and pain, and death, are unknown. The lifeless remains of Mrs. St. Belmont were borne to the farm-house, and medical aid was obtained,

but the healer's art was in vain : to restore her required the power of Him who commanded, and the spirit of Jairus's daughter came again.

The measure of Mr. St. Belmont's sorrow now appeared full.

He had drunk the bitter cup, even to its dregs: still he murmured not! The remaining days of his pilgrimage were devoted to uninterrupted acts of benevolence and piety; and at length he died, as he had lived, furnishing ample evidence to the sceptic and the infidel, that a philosophy superior to their's does certainly exist. If a question, as to its nature and source, agitates their minds, we direct them to the Bible ; and if surprise possesses any, while contemplating the magnanimity of Mr. St. Belmont, the secret of the whole is disclosed in one word, he wasA CHRISTIAN.

THE TRIUMPH OF FEELING.

A mother's love, ah, who can show it ?
A mother's grief, ah, who would know it ?
A mother's love, is nature's feeling;
A mother's grief,-past nature's healing.
A mother's love, is strong,-deep,—thrilling,
A mother's grief,-o'erwhelming,-killing!

The revellers in the gay city of New York, were still engaged in thought-diverting song and dance. The splendid drawing-rooms and extensive saloons blazed with unrivalled brilliancy, presenting a facsimile of the beau ideal of the poet; such as the creative genius of the author of Lalla Rookh has furnished. Smiling beauty held its devotees entranced; the worshippers of the bacchanalian god bowed servilely before his shrine, and by large and destructive potations from the grape, the juniperberry, or distillations from molasses, seemed to bid defiance to any attack which reason or reflection might make upon them :-all was noise,-motion, hilarity. The blush of morning was already visible: still the song and the wassail rout were heard. The mists which frequently envelop the Kiltany mountains, had fled before the monarch of daywhich looked like a beacon fire above the proud eminences of Allegany-and here and there threw its bright eye upon the waters which encircle the city, as if to contemplate its own beauty in the liquid mirror. Still the dance was continued; and the bosom of many a sportive fair one beat with a quicker motion than did the “light fantastic toe,” to the sound of spirit-stiring music;-and thus, as if no heart heaved with any other emotion than such as perfect happiness could produce, the inhabitants hailed the anniversary of their Independence, at the jubilant celebration of it, in New York.

But there was one among the multitude, who participated not in the joyous festivity ; whose heart beat not in unison with the high sounds of enjoyment which generally prevailed :—she was a lonely, cheerless widow. All night she had watched, and listened, and prayed, and wept, yet no sounds of approaching, well-known footsteps, such as she wished and hoped to hear, greeted her troubled spirit, or cheered her drooping heart. The noisy din of the rejoicing dwellers in the city, rose and fell upon her ear; the song and the laugh were heard floating upon the thin silent ether; but these, so far from reviving, only added to her sorrow, and made the wo, that sat heavy upon her

« PreviousContinue »