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fixed it where it grew, withering with age, or as if smitten with an unhealthy blast.
Those who had been the occupants of " Star Cottage,” at the period I refer to, were a widow lady, with her son, and three daughters. Mrs. Jameson was in possession of a comfortable income; not large, but still sufficient to allow it to be said of her, that she moved in circumstances of ease and respectability; and to enable her to minister to the necessities of her fellows: nor did she do that with a niggardly hand, which Providence had empowered her to do bountifully: no!—“freely she had received, and freely she imparted.” She considered herself rather as the almoner of what she possessed, than the independent owner; and hence, with an eye to the period when it will be said—“Give an account of thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer steward,” she strove to act as steward of the manifold grace of God.”
“She open'd wide her liberal hand ;
The wretched shar'd her store;
She yet possess'd the more.” Her son had just emerged from his minority, when I left this part of the country. With him I had formed an attachment, whose base was firm and changeless. How often, locked arm in arm, have we journeyed from cottage to cottage, affording assistance, to the extent of our ability, both to the bodies and souls of their inhabitants. How
“ a good frequently, from hour to hour, have we conned together the classic page, glowing with enthusiasm, or melting with pity, according to the bent of our author. He appeared to me, both in person and mind, a lively prototype of the lamented Kirk White. His fine and piercing eye seemed as if lit up by the fire of his soul, the intellectual powers of which, were formed alike for the investigation of metaphysical abstrusities, and to revel in the. brilliant fascinations of poetical imaginings. His piety was deep and practical: it led him to seek the welfare of others, while health admitted it,supported him under the endurance of protracted pains of body the most acute, and cheered him in the immediate prospect of death. Sabbath after Sabbath he gathered around him the children of the poor, and with all the gravity of three score years, and with the simplicity and patience of an unlettered mind, he attended to his infantine charge, and
"Pointing to brighter worlds, he led the way."
Of the daughters of Mrs. Jameson, I feel unable to speak as I would,-or rather, to write what I feel, and what their character appears to demand. Of Annette, the eldest, I shall have occasion to furnish information, more in detail, in the sequel of my narrative, and may therefore pass by any attempt at description now, except to say, that in person, she was rather elegant than otherwise. Her countenance, which was perfectly feminine, generally wore a dash of pensiveness upon it; but when the secret chord of her soul was touched, her eye brightened up on the instant with a degree of vivacity, which gave a new expression to her physionomie. Marietta, the second, was, in almost every sense, different from her sister. With a temper bland and open as the morning of a summer's day, ere any clouds have risen, and a countenance which looked like kindness personified, it was scarcely possible to know, without esteeming her. Her's was a face of never ending sunny smiles. In her eye there was a brilliant softness, which sorrow could scarcely dim. If she strove to look pensive, or attempted, as ladies sometimes, for certain purposes, love to do, —to look, unutterable things,-it was attempt; for through the gravity which she assumed, or the pretty pout which she put on, the cheerfulness and good nature of her spirit shone out. She was not, however, destitute of feeling;
-oh no : her sensibilities were of the finest order. The recital of a tale of wo, would bring tears into her eye, and acts of sympathy from her purse. While nothing that was mean, or degrading to female character, attached to her habits or manners; yet pride, which elevates its possessor above every act of condescension, was only known to her by name. In person she was about the middle size ; but when compared to Annette, she might be said to be robuste.
The youngest of the three was at her parent's house only occasionally.
She had not yet completed her school days. Her scholastic engagements, however, were now rather of an ornamental than of a studious kind. To the severer parts of educational exercises, she had already given such attention, as to have acquired no inferior standing among her female compeers. A full development of her character had not yet been given; still such indications were furnished as would have enabled a disciple of Lavater unhesitatingly to have pronounced them, as the budding forth of a respectable reservedness of manner, the offspring of a highly cultivated mind, combined with the exercise of thought. The stiffness of hauteur, and the fastidiousness of pedantry, were no ingredients in her composition ;-no. Harriot was free with her friends as the unsophisticated child of nature, and affable to all as the fabled goddess of smiles herself. I stay not to attempt a particular portraiture of the personal charms of the sisters, it is with the mental and moral beauty I have to do, rather than with those attractions which an hour's affliction can destroy, and which, at death, must depart; although in this particular, many weak minds might have envied them, “Who oftener bow before their mirror'd charms,
Than at confessional, or throne of Grace;"
and but few of the "fair inamoratos” of the land
could have lifted their heads above them, from actual superiority.
As I stood before the cottage, my mind reverted to the scenes, the happy scenes which I had there shared in. It was a kind of common centre, where, at the close of the day, friends often met. Sometimes Henry would amuse, by his spirited recitations, or please by his drollery; or one of the sisters entertained with music, while the voices of the others accompanied the instrument. Thus passed the happy hours, whose flight was only perceived when, after solemn prayer, the oftrepeated “good night,” was heard. But ah! how changed the scene Separation dashed in among the happy group, making a chasm, fearful almost, in its results, to some, as that which is said to have yawned of old, in the Roman forum, while no Marcus Curtius has appeared to close the mighty breach. Henry has long since ceased to be an inhabitant of this world. His mortal remains sleep beneath the blossom-scented skies of Madeira, whither he had repaired in pursuit of health, but from whence he was destined never to return. Friendship claimed a tear, as my mind strayed over these things, and unrestrained, it fell,—while my pencil furnished, on the occasion,
Farewell ! as brother dear to me;
And shall we meet no more ?