« 이전계속 »
pletely made up her mind upon it. This is the first: and Jlighteft part.- In the next place, she unfolds her first design to follow her fortunes in whatever part of the habitable globe she thinks proper to pursue them : but not thinking this sufficiently expressive of her affection, she resolves to take up her abode in the fame house with her—to lodge under the same roof, however poor, and to share the same bed, however inelegant.—After this, she resolves to know no other people, than such as are equally the common friends of both—to enter into no attachments, but those which are united by the same tender ties to her dear Naomi; and to form no connections whatever, that can, in the least, derogate from the love she bore her. But she is not contented with having delivered these assurances, for she gees on, declaring that her very religion shall be the religion of her friend—that one faith, and one hope, shall animate their devotion, and that the God of one, shall be the God of the other. Even this does not satisfy her: for, she «ext determines not only to go with her the pilgrimage of life, but attend her beyond the gate of death—to die with her Naomi, should it be her Naomi's lot to fall first, and to be buried at last in the fame grave: and this she confirmed by an immediate oath of the utmost importance and sanctity amongst the daughters of Judah: "The Lord God do so to me, and more "also, if ought but death"—she- might have said—;/ death itself, part thee and me.
"When Naomi saw that she was stead"fastly minded to go, she left off persuading her; so they went until they came "to Beth-lehem; and when they arrived, "it came «to pass, that all the city were "moved about them, and they said, Is this "Naomi?" Here are fresh morals and fresh elegancies opened upon us: the disconsolate Naomi had no sooner set her foot upon her own land, than all those little passions which lie lurking in the bosoms of the illiberal and the inhospitable, were
instantly instantly awakened. Curiosity surveyed the tatters which she had not the soul to repair.—Ill-nature was, we may be sure, officious enough to throw in her bitter sarcasm. Pride was ready with her insulting offer of pity—Avarice lamented his incapacity to answer the good wishes of his heart; and in short, every arrogant, every paltry propensity was in arms against our defenceless travellers. But as Naomi originally lived in some degree of comfort and credit in her own country, and was now reduced, fit, of course, more particularly was the mark of their obloquy and conversation.
Upon entering the city, therefore, the mob flocked about her, to indulge the vulgar and villainous joy, of adding a fresh load to the-heart which was already groaning under its burthen; for it is, but too generally the horrid maxim, to assist where assistance is unnecessary, and to deny such assistance where it may be the means of continuing life, or of promoting happiness.
And And they said one to another—measuring no doubt the poor wretch from top to toe; and noteing with cruel criticism, every unfortunate particular—" Is this Naomi ?'* God of Heaven, as much as to fay—-is this the woman—the wife of Elimelech, who lived in such plenty—this poor ragged wretch—this shadow of herself—" Is this Naomi?" Mercy upon us—who would have thought it? Having exhausted all the unfeeling and hardened remarks, customary on such occasions, all their compassion, and all their cruelty, ended exactly in the old way :—in leaving her the loss of some sighs and tears—poorer than they found her. She soon found, that to rely upon the kindness of old friends, was but a precarious merest for it is not bearing too hard I fear upon human nature to suppose, that her very next-door neighbour, the very companion of all her girlish sports, would give with an ill grace, if (he gave at all, that pillow, or that. bread, of which, after so wearysome a journey she certainly stood much in need. Ill used by the world thereI fore,
fore, she began to lose the hope of such resources— the benevolence of distant relations, in whose memory she might be able to revive the images of tenderness, was likewise a fond idea, that was born and buried almost in the fame instant. Nothing of comfort seemed to remain in reserve, till the excellent Ruth, the faithful partner of her sufferings, suggested an expedient. And she said unto her friend, I perceive^ oh my dear Naomi, that our conveniencies must depend upon ourselves, and that we must owe our daily bread, to our daily labour: as it is now the beginning of the harvest, behold the opportunity of exerting ourselves is ac hand. Thou, indeed, art too much afflicted to toil: but for my part—'much and tenderly as ^sympathize with thee, I am in the prime of my youth, and able to gather something from the field: "Let me now therefore go and glean ** ears of corn after him. in whose sight I ** may find grace.'5