« ForrigeFortsett »
her arms around her sister's neck with the laide, you have this solace : your dear air of one who knows not what to say. ones have been removed ; they have not Presently she perceived that Adelaide was been denied to you. You are the mother weeping.
of a blessed child in heaven, and twelve I cannot think,' she said at last, that of the best years of your life have been your Herbert was foolish even in his love. passed by the side of the man whom your He did not love you blindly, any more heart taught you to prefer to all other. than you loved your little Bertie blindly. Thank God for all that intercourse, and You would not have been indifferent to a let your mind dwell upon all that was glad fault in him. But let his affection for you and ennobling in it, as shut op in a sickhave been ever so strong, it was nothing to room you might begaile the time by travelthe love the Father has for the child, the ling in imagination through all the beautiElder Brother for the little sister. If the ful landscapes you had ever visited.' lower love excuses you, the higher does * Alas! the thought of the possession undoubtedly, and will yet speak comfort- only brings home to me the magnitude of ably to you.
the loss. But the higher Love is just,' said poor * And yet, Adelaide.
"'Tis better to have loved and lost, Just and yet a justifier,' replied Hilda,
Than never to have loved at all," reverently. 'That you should behave yourself quietly is as mach, perhaps, as is said Hilda, with a slight tremulousness in at present required of you. It is as much her voice. And to love, and to have and as we, at any rate, have a right to look to lose, cannot be so hard as to lose without for; and you are, dear, quiet and very having.' childlike.
'I believe you are right,' said Adelaide. *How good you are to me! I had "You think that we are like children, who, imagined you, for all your kindness, saying crying for something that they cannot be to yourself: “It is time that Adelaide trusted with, are pacified by being allowed roused herself; she broods and gives way to hold it for a little time.' more than is good for her.” You know Exactly; it is having it withheld altothat we used to consider you the strong. gether that seems to me so exceeding bitter.' minded woman of the family, Hilda.'
‘And that, my poor Hilda, has been Hilda drew a short, quick breath, as if your lot. Strange that a heart so slow she had been inadvertently touched on a to surrender as burs, could be won, in all tender point.
seeming, only to be disappointed.' • The Hand that has chastened you has Everything conspired to work the deso not all these years left me to myself, lation,' said Hilda. I had no sooner been Adelaide, or the strong would not have glad because of the gourd than it withered, brought forth sweetness.'
yet I had no reason to be angry because of Adelaide understood the allusion. Earlier the gourd.' in life Hilda had been harsh in her judg- "I wonder that you are so quiet.' ments and overbearing in her family rela- * I was not quiet ; at first I raged; but tions ; yet she was generally allowed to be I am very quiet now. How beit, Adelaide, & fine character. The Hilda of to-day was if I could have had twelve such years of finer, however, than the Hilda of whom my life to look back upon, as you have had; Adelaide had been so proud, and yet the sweetness of the draught would have against whom she had on occasion been reconciled me to a great deal of bitterness extremely irritated. They had had their at the bottom of the cap.' quarrels, and Hilda's admission brought * Dear Hilda, you do well to remind me them to mind.
of my mercies. "Don't think that I have • You must have thought me very sel- set myself not to be comforted because I fish,' said Adelaide, because I have never do not more easily appropriate the comfort since I came home entered into your past that is given.' troubles ; but I have had no heart to enter 'I do not ; and do you not be evermore on subjects which have been the burden of imagining that we are so ready to judge many a letter and of many an earnest prayer.
you.' 0, Hilda, what a selfish thing sorrow is ! My conscience is my accuser, and when They wrong prosperity who represent it Mrs. Woodly was here yesterday she said as so much more dangerous than adver- something that I know was aimed at me.' sity. When I was happy in husband and "I know,' said Hilda. child and home, I would have resented the • Yes, she asked me very pointedly if imputation of selfishness. I wanted every it was not bad for me to go to the Dingle one to be as happy as I was; but now I feel so much. She had seen me passing so so cold and shut up to my own grief.' many times, and thonght I ought to have
• It is not an ordinary one ; yet, Ade- company.'
to be guided by her own feelings. He thought there was something more of a melancholy pleasure than of pain in chronicling the last words and looks of those who had passed away from us, leaving the memory of past years a richer scroll for all they had inscribed upon it. And, he added, apart from his close friendship with the beloved departed one, he was in a position to enter peculiarly into the sorrow of his chief moarner, for his own dear Annie was slowly sinking under the same disease, and the fellowship of suffer. ing had made her anxious to know all she could of Mr. Forrester.
• When I look at my little ones, so soon to be motherless,' wrote Holyoke, 'I have a heavy heart. But you, who have recently graduated in the school of adversity, will know both my feelings and hers. I wish we could have you with us for awhile.'
It is not to be thought of,' said Hilda, in answer to a look of enquiry from Ade
* But shall you write him the kind of letter he wishes, dear ?'
. Most certainly I shall,' said Adelaide. * It can revive nothing that is not ever present. I shall begin to-morrow and write slowly and carefully, for I should like to give Mr. Holyoke all the satisfaction I can. Somehow I feel as if I ought to go to Annie; but what good could I do her? I have no spirit, and should only add to the depression.'
The letter expanded into a manuscript containing matter enough for a pamphlet. The epistolary style is generally the easiest to a woman's pen, for there is no inspiration to a confiding nature like the sense that it is telling its story in a sympathizing ear, and even the thought of making effort for another was consolatory to the writer in her morbid consciousness of general good-for-nothingness.
Mr. Holyoke was highly gratified by the touching memorials his shy request had elicited. To confide them to his own desk was like burying a talent in a napkin; so, having obtained permission from his correspondent, he sent abroad a pithy record of a life whose length could not be measured by the subtraction of the date of birth from the date of death.
Relapsed into a state of passive endurance, Adelaide had many a misgiving as to her duty to Ralph Holyoke's afflicted wife. Was the mere expression of sym. pathy enough? Might not the poor sufferer have an unspoken yearning for her help in this time of need? Yet her apathy was like the sleep of the trespassers on the have sunk into he would not wish to have me near her,' she consoled herself with saying. 'If he knew what the sound of a child's voice is to me, and how hard I find it to break the silence, or to smile, he would never wish to bring me into contact with a sensitive invalid and a brood of little children. Such a test I dare not, I will not, enconnter.'
She sits so much at her window that it is not likely she ever misses you,' exclaimed Hilda.
* And then when you were all talking about that poor Mrs. Evans, and wondering whatever she would do with all those little children dependent on her, and her hus. band's affairs found in such unexpected confusion, she said it was all the better for her, that she would be stimulated to action and would not give way to the brooding and melancholy other women so anfortunately indulge in after their husbands are taken. It made me reflect whether really, if the strong hand of Necessity had been laid upon me, compelling me to work for the things that belong to this life, I should have been any better for it. In my heart of hearts I believe I should not. I might have done wonders with a little child to live for, but without-well, I might knit and sew, and perhaps put stitches in enough to keep me out of the almshouse ; but I could not engage in any higher work, let the emolument be what it might.'
'In such deep depression it would not be possible.'
So as I can't go to Sunday-school, or take a district, or engage in active work for the Lord, I am determined to work for His poor with my needle. You shall give me the work to do and be my almoner. In time I may be able to occupy what small talent He has given me ; but at present-0, I hope I may not be con. demned for doing nothing better than a little sewing!'
The sound of an advancing step caused her to rise hastily from her careless position at Hilda's feet. Hilda lighted the lamp and drew the blinds just as the servant entered with a letter for Mrs. Forrester.
What peculiar handwriting !' she said ; for the long tremulous letters and the horizontal black dashes caught her attention. “Yes, it is from Ralph Holyoke, one of the best friends my Herbert ever had.'
The sisters read it together. It was not the first that Mrs. Forrester had received from Mr. Holyoke since her husband's decease ; but to the first she had not replied. Now the writer congratulated her on being at home, and expressed a hope that he might soon hear from her. Would it be painful to her to furnish him with such little incidents of his lamented friend's declining days as were not too sacred to be shared with another : fragments of that converse which to those privileged to enter into it had always been a rich spiritual and intellectual feast? The anxiety to have some of these dear memories of him which led him to proffer this request would not impel him to urge it.
Mrs. Forrester was
enchanted ground”; she could not shake it off.
•If Mr. Holyoke knew the dejection I * It would not be desirable,' said Adelaide. 'I am not what I was when you knew me. I have grown very apathetic and good-for-nothing and selfish. However strongly I may wish to rouse myself, I can. not; neither is the power given in answer to my prayer.'
So strongly did the voice of duty speak, that she mistook it for that of the Holyokes, and thought they arged her. Her mother suggested that they knew nothing definite of Mrs. Holy. oke's state. Perbaps she was not too weak to make a journey by easy stages, and might be persuaded to visit them. Change of air was highly beneficial to consumptive patients. To be taken away for a time from her little family and be well nursed by experienced people, might prolong her life. For Adelaide's sake and for her own they would do everything for her that could be done.
Adelaide wrote, therefore, inviting her, but with a painful misgiving lest inability to accept such an invitation should make it appear hollow and anmeaning. Mr. Holyoke, however, gave her full credit for sincerity, though in reply he said, 'I see you do not realize my Annie's weak. ness,
This letter increased Adelaide's remorse for her anwillingness to go to her, but it did not overcome it. They did not think hardly of her. They knew that she was crushed, and both perhaps imagined her to be influenced by motives of which she had become entirely oblivious. But a few weeks after, there came an appeal to which Adelaide could not remain inexorable :
My dear wife is worse. If you can come to us, do.'
Her sisters took on themselves all the arrangements for the journey, remarking to each other while they did so that perhaps the visit to that house of mourning might take Adelaide out of her own troubles. Adelaide, however, only felt as if there was required of ber a very bard thing. How could she, who had failed to appropriate the Divine consolation, bring it home to other hearts ?
The journey was long, and had to be performed in stages. The scenery through which she passed was beautiful, and its soothing influences penetrated her mind till the brooding melancholy was insensibly softened into a sweet serenity.
Then the very fact of being pat ont of the quiet tenor of her home-life energized her, so that when sbe arrived at her desti. nation she appeared brighter and better tban she had done since she ceased to make effort for her husband's sake,
The last stage of the journey was made with Mr. Holyoke, who had come to meet her. The morning air was delightful, and filled with the song of birds. The hatthorn bloomsscattered lavishlytheir luscious perfumes. The vital breathing of that blessed Spirit, Who brooded over the dark waters, and is ever apholding what we brought oat of chaos, might easily be discerned by the spiritual mind. And did He not apply the Father's words of promise and good cheer to these hearts which had known nights of weeping and anticipated many more sach nights 7 Whatever of the former things
was dark and gloomy would pass away. The Lord God would wipe the tears from off all faces.'
S- was a retired nook in Sonth Wales. The scenery around was lovels, and the breeze blew into it fresh and strong from the sea.
Yet its cove-like situation screened it from east wind and north.
'I feel as if I were in a new world,' said Adelaide,
Adelaide found the invalid dressed and laid on a sofa in her own room, Dear : window that commanded a view of the bay. The children spoke with hushed voices, as if habituated to the restraint that their mother's invalid condition imposed upon them. They had rather a forlorn look.
The tears came into Adelaide's eyes She could not find much to say to the children, but she would try to devote ber. self to their mother. O, how hard for her to have to leave all these dear ones!'
Their mother said simply, 0, I wish that you were coming here for good !!
But she did not look so apathetic. A little transitory excitement had lightened the deep sadness of her face. Annie's eye rested lovingly on it. It had associations for her tender and sweet, and it was quiet a rest to her to look at it.
The invalid was usually very languid in the morning ; but towards evening a bectic Ansh came in her face, the tone of her mind was exhilarated, and she talked as freely as the cough and her shortening breath would allow. She asked Adelaide many questions about Mr. Forrester, after she had ascertained that she could bear to speak of him, and told her what strength and hope she had derived from the memorials. She never wearied in telling Adelaide of her own husband's goodness and unselfish derotion to her. Her long affliction had thrown a heavy burden ox
him. To the children he had been father and mother both, and yet he had never neglected his pulpit and pastoral duties.
Adelaide was sure that he deserved all the tribute a wife's affection could pay.
• No one knew better than Herbert,' she said, 'how good he was to the very core.
One evening, after Annie had restlessly changed her position several times on the couch, and it had been difficult to please her in the arrangement of the pil. lows, she said : “Adelaide, I must speak to you. I must tell you what I have so wanted to.'
. Well, dear! What hinders ?'
"A foolish fear and delicacy hinders ; but I am hastening to solemn realities and oughtnottodread naming things belonging to the past, that I shall so soon have done with. In heaven they “are as the angels of God:” they “neither marry, nor are given in marriage.”
•What has put your mind on that track?' said Adelaide, not a little bewildered.
• Many things. The pain of leaving my children, for one—not that they come Bearer to my heart than their father ; but he is a man, and will carry his cross like a man, and he has his strong confidence in God to fall back apon. Now a little child suffers and knows not what ails him, and these dear ones will miss me and know not what it is they miss.'
• Then it might be worse for them if they were older. Try not to fret about them, love. You have God and one of the best of earthly fathers to leave them to.'
. And yet children need a mother. And sometime, as much for their sake as his own, Ralph may bring some good woman to his home, who will be all to him that I have been and more, but less to the children.'
• You should not encourage such an apprehension,' said Adelaide, tenderly.
It is as dangerous as it is painful. It will rob you of your peace.'
'I could not have given it words but for one thing, Adelaide. I know that he
whom I love better than all the world, would never have sought me if he could have had you.'
*Hush, dear l' remonstrated Adelaide, in & distressed tone. You know we were all thrown together under peculiar circumstances, and it is foolish now to attach importance to a passing fancy. The secret never passed my lips.'
0, but I knew! and Ralph and I have had no secrets. That, after we were married, gave me no pain; our love grew out of so much that was solemn. He was instru. mental in my conversion. With you I took sweet counsel, and so it was I looked up to both so much, that I could bear even to remember that his preference had been for you. It seemed quite natural.'
You were better adapted to him than 1,' said Adelaide.
I cannot see it. Your affection for Mr. Forrester blinded you to Ralph's merits, and without daring to hope that he could ever take his place in your heart, Adelaide, I know that marriages, based on a quiet love and esteem, and made as in the sight of God, are often very happy. Union of spirit grows. So, dear, if after I have been asleep awhile, Ralph should ask you to be his life-companion and mother to our children, I wish I could think you would acquiesce. For my chil. dren's sake I could be more resigned to go now, if you would give me a little hope that this sweet day-dream might be realized.'
Adelaide trembled from head to foot. It was hard to refuse the dying, yet she could not say solemn words lightly for the mere sake of pacifying.
* You have asked of me a very hard thing, Annie. I am deeply touched by such an expression of your confidence in me. What offices of friendship I have to bestow are little worth commanding ; but according as your husband or children require them they shall be forthcoming. I cannot promise more, dear. I am too broken-spirited to take grave responsibilities upon me.
SELECT LITERARY NOTICES, Life of the Rev. Samuel Romilly Hall. the work of one who knew and loved him By Thomas Nightingale. With Copious well. He has been judicionaly left, to a great Extracts from his Diaries and Letters. extent, to speak for himself, in the glowing London: Wesleyan Conference Office.- records which tell of his wonderfully rich The name of Samuel Romilly Hal is en. experience, in the diary of his early religious shrined in loving memory in many hearts, life; and afterwards by his charmingly, and a written memorial of him has been natural and straightforward bat thoughtcagerly looked for, and will be hailed by ful and instructive correspondence. Mr. thousands. It was fitting that it should be Hall was an exemplification of sanctified intensity of spirit. The perasal of his Parker and his school, which are mach biography will be a spiritual feast to all more powerful in America than with us, who serve the same Master with a spark though in this country they have their of the same zeal. Christian Ministers es- infidential representatives. Mr. Cook pecially should give this Memoir an ear- conducts his examinations in the name of nest perasal, and a place in their libraries exact science, and panses comparatively beside the Lives of Bramwell, Stoner and seldom to test his results by the Bible, Thomas Collins.
though they invariably agree with the This Memoir reveals fine and delicate inspired standard. The Lecturer insists traits in the character of Samuel Romilly especially on three points—the reasonableHall: tenderness, considerateness, deep, ness of the doctrine of the Trinity, the intense and tenacious affectionateness, absolute necessity of the Atonement, and along with highly sensitive honour ; quali. the final permanence of moral character. ties well known to all who enjoyed any We have weighed his arguments carefully approach to intimacy with him, though and tried every link of the chain, and we hidden from others by his strong, some- are quite satisfied as to their general jas. times stern sense of duty.
tice and trustworthiness. Now and then
we can scarcely approve the shape of a link, Boston Monday Lectures. With Pre- and more frequently—but still seldonludes on Current Events. By Joseph the way in which it is displayed ; but they Cook. Student's Edition, with a Copious are all strong and will bear the strain put Analytical Index. Transcendentalism, upon them. In the formal propositions Orthodowy, Biology, Heredity, Con- concerning the Trinity we should have prescience. London: R. D. Dickinson. ferred the Godhead' as a substitute for 1879.–This is a handy edition of these "God'; and we have noted an incautious exwell-known Lectures, with a serviceable pression or two, verging towards denial of index. Mr. R. D. Dickinson has pre- the true personality of Each of the Three; viously published them in other forms ; bat Mr. Cook's meaning is unquestionably we prefer the present to any of them. We orthodox. So, again, sometimes he seems have already noticed the series on Biology, to identify conscience with the Holy Ghost Heredity and Conscience. The remarks in a rather dangerous fashion, but the we now make have reference to the two error, if any, is purely verbal. Junior series on Orthodoxy and Transcenden- students of theology will find these Lectalism, though some of them are applic. tures really helpful in their treatment of able, mutatis mutandis, to all the the most perplexing confusions of modero Lectures.
rationalism, and the wisest might leam Mr. Cook's Lectures are distinguished something from them, if only in the art of by clearness of thought, aptness of illus- putting things. tration, vigour and boldness, and by studied The Preludes on Carrent Events have candour. The Lectarer has spent years in often little or no connection with the sabsequiet, methodical preparation, and has been quent discourse. When they trench upon favoured by Providence with such a varied politics they are sure to rouse more or less and thorough training as falls to the lot of of disagreement, and we at least wish they few. Travel has expanded his mind and had been spared us. But some of them stored it with pleasing imagery ; long possess a high value for both their spirit residence at German universities, and pri- and their matter. The winsome earnestness vate friendship with their most celebrated with which the logician and debater ap professors have rendered him familiar proves the work of Messrs. Moody and with the most modern thonght and the Sankey, and thanks God for it, and the latest discoveries of science; wide and per- wise counsel about religions conversation sistent reading has given him a sufficient may be instanced in point; nor can we acquaintance with theologians, poets and refuse & word of commendation to The philosophers, English, classic and Euro- Right Direction of the Religiously Irresa pean ; while experience as a Pastor and lute,' though we might take some minor Evangelist has taught him sympathy with exceptions to it. The mottoes prefixed to men, and deepened his conviction of the the Lectures are often very happy, parinfinite value of real religion. Withal, ticularly the selections from Æschylus. Mr. Cook has the courage of his opinions; The wider the circulation of the Bosten and he asserts them with a pugnacious Monday Lectures, and the more carefulthe and rather egotistical dogmatism that his study of them, the better. We should like rigorous dialectic and his avowedly pole- to see them often upon our Probationers mical purpose atone for and in part justify. Book Lists.
"Orthodoxy'and Transcendentalism'are devoted to a lengthy and thorough exami. Three Sermons on the Evideners of nation of the doctrines of Theodore Christianity. Thoughts on the Dura