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rous poultry were perched in repose on the bars of a fence which separated a haystack, full of fragrance, from the field. The quiet was so universal that every thing seemed afraid to disturb it; the very bees had ceased to hum. I felt it in my mind and in my nerves; in my senses and in my thoughts: for all, all, were at peace. My father had blessed me with peculiar fer. vour that morning, and my heart dilated with joy and gratitude. The soothing, indeed, which I felt all over me, brought me at once to heaven. It is God, said I, that has made me thus susceptible. It is His bounty that I should thus feel. And feel it I did more and more tenderly, as well as more gratefully, when I said with an emotion worth a world,


The other and shorter extract, the possession of which I coveted, was headed,

« SELF-APPROBATION. “ Yes ! one self-approving hour, though retired from the gaze and acclamations of the world, is worth all that the pomp and glory of that world can confer. It refreshes the heart, though in the deepest seclusion, even in the solitude of the night, when no one sees us but our Maker. How sweet then is true religion, when, not merely the offspring of the understanding and reason, but the effusion of a grateful heart, worshippng from love! In sickness and sorrow, under misfortune and mortification, its voice, conveyed by this self-approbation, consoles and supports. It is really that “medicine which ministers to

a diseased mind, and plucks a rooted sorrow from the memory.""

O Bertha ! how did I feel these beautiful sentiments, the indications of your own natural and blameless heart ! How more than ever did I love you for them! Thus was that heart laid bare. Was it possible to read such thoughts and such language without blessing her ?

There were other passages, from French and Italian writers, as well as English, which portrayed her dear mind on other subjects ; but I forbear: though I found from several articles, how much she admired the simplicity of nature, and preferred it to all inflation and meretricious ornament. One began with

“ Il naturale è sempre bello ;"

another with

Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law

My services are bound.” There was also a passage from Sévigné, which shewed her disposition well.

“ Pour moi, j'aime encore mieux le mal, que la remède ; et je le trouve plus doux, d'avoir de la peine à quitter les gens que j'aime, que de les aimer médiocrement.

0! kindest of creatures, - thought I, if ever thou lovest, what will not thy love be!

I hasten, however, to the last selection in the album, which was in the form of a letter, in French; whether a genuine letter, or only an exercise, I could not tell, for it did not appear to whom it was ad

dressed, or by whom written, only in form it was headed,

“A MA CHÉRE MAMAN." As Bertha had no mother, this made me suppose it was a fiction, and being in the open album, I classed it with the rest, and had the less scruple to peruse it. It seemed to represent an answer to a letter which had been received, and it ran thus :

“ Je ne doute point, chère Maman, que le séjour de la campagne ne vous soit très utile. Le spectacle qu'on y découvre, excite les reflexions; la solitude qu'on y goute, favorise les réveries. La terre est un livre, expliqué par les physiciens; commenté par les naturalistes; et c'est Dieu lui-même qui en est l'auteur. Il a écrit de sa main ces merveilles qui ravissent la vue, et qui, sous mille différentes couleurs, nous apprennent à connoitre sa puissance, et sa majesté. Rien de plus agréable que de s'égarer vers le soir dans les magnifiques avenues dont vous faites si bien la description. C'est là qu'on se forme une compagnie de sa mémoire, et de son imagination. Il semble alors, que l'age d'or revient



pas, et que toutes les passions sont endormies.”

I was, as I have said, charmed with this picture of mind, for so I reckoned it. Whether it was a real letter or not, I did not much care; as I was convinced the feeling described was genuine; and what was not my pleasure, to find my own favourite sentiments thus glowing in the bosom of the being I loved best, and admired most in all the earth! - It was time that I should leave this dangerous oc


cupation, which acted like a spell upon my vision and my faculties. It would have been better for me never to have looked at it, or rather never to have entered the summer-house. Certainly these proofs of one of the most delightful and accomplished of minds, by no means weakened the effect of the most lovely of per

I therefore tore myself away, though I knew not where to go to escape from myself.

My musing took a thousand directions, and my feet almost as many. There was not a path in the park which I did not explore, the whole time occupied with the one engrossing subject, so that I forgot the advance of the evening, and how far I had strayed from the house. Even the twilight had now subsided and was lost in absolute darkness; for though the sky might have afforded some glimmering of light in the open spaces, I had now penetrated the deepest covert of the preserves

“ Whose lofty trees 'yclad with summer's pride

Did spread so broad, that heaven's light did hide,

Not percible by power of any star.”
In short, to quote another poet-

“ Nox erat, et terris animalia somnus habebat ;'*

for, though now far off, I faintly heard the turret clock at the house strike eleven, and only then thought of the truant I had played towards the family, who must have been astonished, if not offended, at my

*“ 'Twas night, when every creature, void of cares,
The common gift of balmy slumber shares.”

Dryden's Virgil.

absence. Nevertheless, I continued to “ feed on thoughts” which did not move “ harmonious numbers," but waged war with one another, till my whole heart became a seat of contest and agitation little fitted for sober resolve.

The necessity, however, of finding my way back to the house suspended my feelings for a moment, when I heard a considerable rushing among the bushes, followed by a voice exclaiming, “ Damn them, they are here."

Somewhat alarmed, I called out—“Who are you?” to which I just heard the reply, “We'll shew you fast enough ;” and at that instant I was levelled with the ground by the blow of a bludgeon. · My senses were not quite gone, for I heard the fearful words of another voice, “ Damn the rascal, sarve him outfinish him ;” and another blow descending on my head left me insensible.

How long I remained so I could not tell, when I found myself reviving in the arms of two of Mr. Hastings' keepers, who, from my long and mysterious absence, had been sent with lanthorns in search of me. Finding I bled profusely, they shewed no small signs of alarm, asking, as if to console me, whether I really felt murdered, and obligingly adding, “ it was lucky the gentleman had got into the preserves, for this here blow was meant for one of us.” By this I found I was indebted for being laid

prostrate to a gang of poachers, and was congratulated on being left alive, though considerably shattered.

While they endeavoured to raise me, we were all

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