« PreviousContinue »
old acquaintance Dr. Pliant. It was evident that some of his pupils had not limited the expression of their gratitude to a tea-service! As the house-door closed behind him, and his handsome equipage drove off, my imagination represented to me the brilliant dining-room, the loaded table, with its massive gold glittering in the light of a hundred tapers, the heavy silken hangings, the luxurious carpets, the air redolent of delicious odours,-all the adjuncts of splendour and opulence, which his lordship was that evening enjoying; and then my thoughts involuntarily reverted to that mean chamber in Goodge Street, and the lonely, uncheered death-bed of " my father's old friend."
ON A LANDSCAPE BY CUYP.
WHAT lonesome scene is this? The craggy
The stunted brake, the solitary tree,
Or straggling sheep that pluck the herbage brown,
Seem its fit people. Yet even here are found
THE TWO JOURNALS.
Nor herb, nor flow'ret lurketh in the dell,
So to the cheerful mind some sweet is found,
Fribourg, July 10th.-To-day we passed through the Hellenthal. How beautiful it is! The steep sides of the valley, where first one enters it, are entirely clothed with luxuriant forest trees; and the slant rays of the sun, just tipping the leafy summit of each in suc
cession, invested the whole with such velvet softness, that one might almost have fancied one looked on a gigantic bank of moss. I thought how contentedly I could spend the remainder of my days in that secluded spot, now that the hopes and aspirations of youth have sobered themselves down to the calmness of resignation.
Having made our way through the overhanging rocks, which seem almost to close in the valley, we returned to the upper world, and accidentally found ourselves eye-witnesses of a sad and striking scene.
Not far from the road, a farm-house, with its adjacent buildings, was still smoking: the flames had been subdued, but the humble habitation was in ruins, and the garnered crops were all consumed. On a rough stone, a few paces off, sat an aged pair: they looked in mute despair upon the destruction of the home, where, as we were told, they had passed the whole of their long lives;—the home of their youth, of their maturity, of their old age; the home where they had reared a
numerous family;—the home where they had known all the joys and the sorrows of life.
They were still in their holiday garb, now the only one they possessed; for they had left their house in the morning to attend the wedding of a grandchild, at a village some miles distant, and, during their absence, the buildings had, by some accident, caught fire. As the venerable couple were returning homewards, they first perceived a volume of smoke in the direction of their farm, and they arrived in time to see the roof of their dwelling fall in.
The neighbours were eagerly hurrying in every direction; all was bustle and confusion around them, while they sat still, contemplating the devastation! I never shall forget the expression of helpless misery depicted in their countenances: they were past the age of exertion or of hope; and, after a long life of honest industry, and of laborious respectability, they were reduced to beggary,-for they had lost their all; crops, furniture, clothes, the all of persons in their station.