« 이전계속 »
were shaking hands quietly but cheerfully, and inquiring after the welfare of each other's families.
3. There, a small knot of neighbors were speaking, without exaggeration of the respectable character which the deceased had borne, and mentioning to one another little incidents of his life, some of them so remote as to be known only to the grayheaded persons of the group ; while a few yards further removed from the spot were standing together parties who discussed ordinary concerns, altogether unconnected with the funeral, such as the state of the markets, the promise of the season, or chānge of tenants ; but still with a sobriety of manner and voice that was insensibly produced by the influence of the simple ceremony now closed, by the quiet graves around, and the shadow of the spire and gray walls of the house of God.
4. Two men yět stood togěther at the head of the grave, with countenances of sincere but unimpassioned' grief. They were brothers, the only sons of him who had been buried. And there was something in their situation that naturally kept the eyes of many directed upon them for a long time, and more intently: than would have been the case had there been nothing more observable about them than the common symptoms of a common sõrrow.
5. But these two brothers, who were now standing at the head of their father's grave, had for some years been totally estranged from each other; and the only words that had passed between them, during all that time, had been uttered within a few days past, during the necessary preparations for the old man's funeral. No deep and deadly quarrel was between these brothers, and neither of them could distinctly tell the cause of this unnatural estrāngement.
6. Perhaps dim jealousies of their father's favor-selfish thoughts that will sometimes force themselves into poor men's hearts, respecting temporal expectations —unaccommodating manners on both sides—taunting words that mean little when
1 Exaggeration, (egz åj'er d'shun), •Es trānge' ment, the act of being enlargement beyond truth.
made strange, or a ceasing to be Unimpassioned, (un'im påsh'. familiar and friendly with. und), without showing signs of pas- Temporal expectations, expecsion or feeling.
tations of this world, as goods and • In těnt' ly, attentively; fixedly. Possessions.
uttered, but which rankle and fester in remembrance-imagined opposition of interests, that, duly considered, would have been found one and the same—these, and many other causes, slight when single, but strong when rising up together in one baneful' band, had gradually but fatally infected their hearts, till at last they, who in youth had been seldom separate and truly attached, now met at market, and, miserable to say, at church, with dark and averted faces, like different clansmeno during a feud.“
7. Surely, if any thing could have softened their hearts toward each other, it must have been to stand silently, side by side, while the earth, stones, and clods were falling down upon their father's coffin. And doubtless their hearts were so softened.
8. But pride, though it can not prevent the holy affections of nature from being felt, may prevent them from being shown; and these two brothers stood there together, determined not to let each other know the mutual tenderness that, in spite of them, was gushing up in their hearts, and teaching them the unconfessed folly and wickedness of their causeless quarrel.
PART SECOND. HEADSTONE had been prepared, and a person came A forward to plant it. The elder brother directed him how to place it-a plain stone with a sand-glass, skull, and crossbones, chiseled not rudely, and a few words inscribed.
2. The younger brother regarded the operation with a troubled eye, and said, loudly enough to be heard by several of the bystanders, “ William, this was not kind in you; you should have told me of this. I loved my father as well as you could love him. You were the elder, and, it may be, the fāvorite son ; but
* Rankle, (rångk’ 1), to grow more Clăns' men, persons belonging rank or strong; hence, to become to a clar or tribe. more violent; to rage. .
Feūd, a contention or quarrel, ? Bāne' ful, injurious; poisonous; satisfied only by bloodshed; a deadworking ill.
ly hatred or strife between clans, * In fěct' ed, tainted with disease; families, or parties in a state ; strife; poisoned.
I had a right in nature to have joined you in ordering this headstone, had I not?”
3. During these words the stone was sinking into the earth, and many persons who were on their way from the grave returned. For ăwhile the elder brother said nothing, for he had a consciousness in his heart that he ought to have consulted his father's son in designing this last becoming mark of affection and respect to his memory ; so that the stone was planted in silence, and now stood erect, decently and simply, among the other unostentatious' memorials of the humble dead.
4. The inscription merely gave the name and age of the deceased, and told that the stone had been erected “by his affectionate sons.” The sight of these words seemed to soften the displeasure of the angry man, and he said, somewhat more mildly, “ Yes, we were his affectionate sons; and since my name is on the stone I am satisfied, brother.
5.“We have not drawn togěther kindly of late years, and perhaps never may ; but I acknowledge and respect your worth ; and here, before our own friends, and before the friends of our father, with my foot above his head, I express my willingness. to be on other and better terms with you; and if we can not command love in our hearts, let us, at least, brother, bar out all unkindness.”
6. The minister who had attended the funeral, and had something intrusted to him to say publicly before he left the churchyard, now came forward, and asked the elder brother why ho spake not regarding this matter. He saw that there was somcthing of a cold and sullen pride rising up in his heart, for not easily may any man hope to dismiss from the chamber of his heart even the vīlèst guest, if once cherished there. With a solemn, and almost severe air, he looked upon the relenting man, and then, changing his countenance into serenity, said gently
“Behold, how good a thing it is,
And how becoming well,
In unity to dwell!” 7. The time, the place, and this beautiful expression of a nate
* Unostentatious, (un 8s ten ta’ shiús), modest; not showy.
ural sentiment, quite overcame a heart in which many kind, if not warm, affections dwelt; and the man thus appealed to bowed down his head and wept. “Give me your hand, brother ;” and it was given, while a murmur of satisfaction ărose from all present, and all hearts felt kindlier and more humanely toward each other.
8. As the brothers stood fervently, but composedly grasping each other's hand, in the little hollow that lay between the grave of their mother long since dead, and of their father, whose shroud was haply not yět still from the fall of dust to dust, the minister stood beside them with a pleasant countenance, and said—“I must fulfill the promise I made to your father on his death-bed. I must read to you a few words which his hand wrote at an hour when his tongue denied its office.
9. I must not say that you did your duty to your old father ; for did he not often beseech you, ăpart from one another, to be reconciled, for your own sakes as Christians, for his sake, and for the sake of the mother who bare you, and, Stephen,' who died that you might be born ? When the palsy struck him for the last time, you were both absent; nor was it your fault that you were not beside the old man when he died.
10. “As long as sense continued with him here, did he think of you two, and of you two ălone. Tears were in his eyes ; I saw them there, and on his cheek too, when no breath came from his lips. But of this no more. He died with this paper in his hand; and he made me know that I was to read it to you over his grave. I now obey him. “My sons, if you will let my bones lie quiet in the grave, near the dust of your mother, depart not from my burial till, in the name of God and Christ, you promise to love one another as you used to do. Dear boys, receive my blessing.'”
11. Some turned their heads away to hide the tears that needed not to be hidden—and when the brothers had released each other from a long and sobbing embrace, many went up to them, and, in a single word or two, expressed their joy at this perfect reconcilemènt. The brothers themselves walked away from the church-yard, arm in arm, with the minister to the
? In reading this sentence, it er, whom the minister addressed. must be remembered that Stephen His mother died in giving him was the name of the younger broth. birth
manse.' On the following Sabbath, they were seen sitting with their families in the same pew, and it was observed that they read together off the same Bible when the minister gave out the text, and that they sang together, taking hold of the same psalm-book.
12. The same psalm was sung (given out at their own request), of which one verse had been repeated at their father's grave; a larger sum than usual was on that Sabbath found in the plate for the poor, for Love and Charity are sisters. And ever after, both during the peace and the troubles of this life, the hearts of the brothers were as one, and in nothing wera they divided
V Through Death's untroubled night;
The link that binds us bright !
That warms us is the same;
Alike we fondly claim.
Lõng be her love repaid ;
Round the same hearth we played.
Each little joy and woe ;-
Lit up so lõng ñgo.
To hold us till we die ;
Till side by side we lie. CHARLES SPRAGUR.
* Månse, a habitation or house; especially, a clergyman's dwelling-house