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The widow had waited, with the utmost longing, her son's return, as she expected, at the close of the sermon; but two hours since then had elapsed, still he came not.--A dreadful misgiving took possession of her, either that Bernard had said, “I go, and went not,” or, having gone, his return had been prevented through meeting with some of his profligate associates, by whom, she doubted not, he had been decoyed to some one of those places, where every allurement to ruin the soul prevailed. Eleven o'clock had already been struck, and the heart of Mrs. Bretange sunk within her, as her fears led her, as every moment of suspense increased, to believe, most confidently, that her son, her beloved, unhappy, prayed for, son, was revelling in some haunt of vice, when a footstep fell on her quick ear :-she listened, but it was not Bernard's :-it drew nearer,—some one approached the door of her cottage,-a gentle knock informed her that admission was sought; an inquiry was made, and the well known voice of a friend answered. The door was instantly opened, when one who had just left the house of prayer, congratulated her on the change of heart which her son had experienced, and afterwards explained all that the widow required to know, who, clasping her hands, exclaimed, "Father, I thank thee,-my prayer is granted; he was dead, and is alive again.” Doubt would have mingled with her confidence, and blighted her joy, had not the character of her informant silenced it.
Her heart beat wildly; she experienced a delirium of pleasure; she elevated her clasped hands, wept like an infant, and prayed, and praised. Her happiness surpassed expression, while her gratitude mocked every attempt to give it utterance. And now the sound of Bernard's tread was heard, --the sound of his footstep even, was like music to her ear,-it approached-drew near—the door opened, and he entered. His countenance, as he held out his arms to receive his mother, proclaimed to her penetrating glance, the correctness of all that had been told her: she advanced to meet him, but the tide of joy, of rapture, was too powerful. She might have exclaimed, with old Simeon, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Ere the arms which she had extended, to enfold in their embrace her son, had reached him, she sunk down at his feet, and with one short, faint sigh, passed to heaven.
OR, CHARACTER DEVELOPED).
Bright ope'd his days as summer skies,
When blushing glory tinges heaven;
To dim, or change the fair scenes given.
That scaths the oak, and blasts the flower,
Affliction burst, with crushing power.
One came, with looks and voice as fair
As if the name of falsehood loathing;
A very fiend in angel clothing.
OF Vernet, the justly celebrated painter, it is chronicled, that while on ship-board, in the midst of a raging tempest, and when all hope of outliving the storm was given up both by the crew and passengers, the captain beheld with astonishment this son of genius, with his pencil in bis hand, standing, in calm enthusiasm, studying the terrible grandeur of the furiously-heaving waves, which were soon to swallow him up, and sketching, with greedy delight, the wild tossing world of waters, which broke and roared in deafening sounds around him.
With emotions somewhat similar to Vernet's, although in essentially different circumstances, I gazed upon the fascinating and constantly varying scenes of nature, as the swift moving vehicle by which I travelled, conveyed me through them. The whole country appeared like one majestic diorama, of unrivalled beauty. The ever changing views, in which mountains, acclivities, and extensive valleys, beautiful as those which adorn that land of song, Italy, with splendid mansions, and comfortable cottages, viewed alternately in light and shade, appeared, at once informing the traveller, not altogether unacquainted with the peculiar characteristics of the different counties of England, that the romantic scenery now contemplated, could be none other than that of Sussex.
In the distance, and occupying a long line of country, the dark and lofty hill of Blackdown rose majestically; and while I gazed upon its noble altitude, I could not avoid reciting part of a poem which I had seen long before.
“There towering Blackdown lifts its frowning brow,
In mock supremacy o'er vales below.
Midway the fury of the storm it meets,
Of thee, the fabled tongue of old legend-
Years had passed away with unthought-of celerity, since last the same objects had met my vision; years in which the strange vicissitudes of human experience, in their utmost extremes of joy and sorrow, had been felt, -though chiefly of the latter order,—yet still, with an unutterable impression, which mingled in its mystic character, the recollection of friends and enjoyments of goneby days,—the things around me struck upon the very core of my nature, and drew thence tones in unison with the impressions produced,-like as the sounds proceeding from the Æolian-harp are more or less plaintive, according to the power of the balmy breath that breathes upon it.