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The character of such a man would have in it little connexion even with innocent gayety. Yet among those of his own religious persuasion, he is reported to have been cheerful. The descendants of persecutors, or those whom he supposed guilty of entertaining similar tenets, and the scoffers at religion by whom he was sometimes assailed, he usually termed the generation of vipers. Conversing with others, he was grave and sententious, not without a cast of severity.

But he is said never to have been observed to give way to violent passion, excepting upon one occasion, when a mis'chievous truant-boy defaced with a stone the nose of a cherub's face which the old man was engaged in retouching. I am, in general, a sparer of the rod, notwithstanding the maxim of Solomon, for which school-boys have little reason to thank his memory but on this occasion I deemed it proper to show that I did not hate the child.-But I must return to the circumstances attending my first interview with this interesting enthusiast.

In accosting Old Mortality, I did not fail to pay respect to his years and his principles, beginning my address by a respectful apology for interrupting his labors. The old man intermitted the operation of the chisel, took off his spectacles and wiped them, then replacing them on his nose, acknowledged my courtesy* by a suitable return. Encouraged by his affability, I intruded upon him some questions concerning the sufferers upon whose monument he was now employed.

To talk of the exploits of the Covenanters was the delight, as to repair their monuments was the business, of his life. He was profuse in the communication of all the minute information which he had collected concerning them, their wars, and their wanderings. One would almost have supposed he must have been their contemporary, and have actually beheld the passages which he related; so much had he identified his feelings and opinions with theirs, and so much had his narratives the circumstantiality of an eye-witness.****

Soothing the old man by letting his peculiar opinions pass without contradiction, and anxious to prolong conversation with so singular a character, I prevailed upon him to accept that hospitality which my patron is always willing to extend to those who need it. In our way to the schoolmaster's house we called at the Wallace Inn, where I was pretty certain I should find my patron about that hour of the evening.

* Pron. kur'-të-se,

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After a courteous interchange of civilities, Old Mortality was prevailed upon to join his host in a single glass of liquor, and that on condition that he should be permitted to name the pledge, which he prefaced with a grace of about five minutes, and then, with bonnet doffed and eyes uplifted, drank to the memory of those heroes of the Kirk who had first uplifted her banner upon the mountains. As no persuasion could prevail on him to extend his conviviality to a second cup, my patron accompanied him home, and accommodated him with the prophet's chamber, as it is his pleasure to call the closet which holds a spare bed, and which is frequently a place of retreat for the poor traveller.

The next day I took my leave of Old Mortality, who seemed affected by the unusual attention with which I had cultivated his acquaintance, and listened to his conversation. After he had mounted, not without difficulty, the old white pony, he took me by the hand, and said, "The blessing of our Master be with you, young man. My hours are like the ears of the latter harvest, and your days are yet in the spring; and yet, you may be gathered into the garner of mortality before me; for the sickle of death cuts down the green as oft as the ripe; and there is a color in your cheek, that, like the bud of the rose, serveth oft to hide the worm of corruption. Wherefore, labor as one who knoweth not when his master calleth. And if it be my lot to return to this village after you are gone home to your own place, these auld withered hands will frame a stone of memorial, that your name may not perish from among the people."

I thanked Old Mortality for his kind intentions in my behalf, and heaved a sigh, not, I think, of regret so much as of resignation, to think of the chance that I might soon require his good offices. But though, in all human probability, he did not err in supposing that my span of life may be abridged in youth, he had over-estimated the period of his own pilgrimage on earth. It is now some years since he has been missed in all his usual haunts, while moss, lichen, and deer-hair, are fast covering those stones, to cleanse which had been the business of his life.

About the beginning of this century, he closed his mortal toils, being found on the highway near Lockerby, in Dumfries-shire, exhausted and just expiring. The old white pony, the companion of all his wanderings, was standing by the side of his dying master. There was found upon his person a sum of money sufficient for his decent interment, which

serves to show that his death was in no ways hastened by violence, or by want.

The common people still regard his memory with great respect; and many are of opinion that the stones which he repaired will not again require the assistance of the chisel. They even assert, that, on the tombs where the manner of the martyrs' murder is recorded, their names have remained indelibly legible since the death of Old Mortality; while those of the persecutors, sculptured on the same monuments, have been entirely defaced. It is hardly necessary to say that this is a fond imagination, and that, since the time of the pious pilgrim, the monuments, which were the objects of his care, are hastening, like all earthly memorials, into ruin and decay.


The religious cottage.-D. HUNTINGTON.
"SEEST thou yon lonely cottage in the grove-
With little garden neatly planned before-
Its roof, deep shaded by the elms above,

Moss-grown, and decked with velvet verdure o'er?
Go lift the willing latch-the scene explore-
Sweet peace, and love, and joy, thou there shalt find:
For there religion dwells; whose sacred lore
Leaves the proud wisdom of the world behind,
And pours a heavenly ray on every humble mind.

"When the bright morning gilds the eastern skies,
Up springs the peasant from his calm repose;
Forth to his honest toil he cheerful hies, ·

And tastes the sweets of nature as he goes-
But first, of Sharon's fairest, sweetest rose,
He breathes the fragrance, and pours forth the praise :
Looks to the source whence every blessing flows,
Ponders the page which heavenly truth conveys,
And to its Author's hand commits his future ways.

"Nor yet in solitude his prayers ascend;

His faithful partner and their blooming train, The precious word with reverent minds attend, The heaven-directed path of life to gain. Their voices mingle in the grateful strain-

The lay of love and joy together sing,

To Him whose bounty clothes the smiling plain, Who spreads the beauties of the blooming spring, And tunes the warbling throats that make the valleys ring.”


The deaf man's grave.—WORDSWORTH.

ALMOST at the root

Of that tall pine, the shadow of whose bare
And slender stem, while here I sit at eve,
Oft stretches towards me like a long straight path,
Traced faintly in the green sward; there, beneath
A plain blue stone, a gentle dalesman lies,
From whom, in early childhood, was withdrawn
The precious gift of hearing. He grew up
From year to year in loneliness of soul;
And this deep mountain valley was to him
Soundless with all its streams. The bird of dawn
Did never rouse this cottager from sleep
With startling summons: not for his delight
The vernal cuckoo shouted; not for him
Murmured the laboring bee. When stormy winds
Were working the broad bosom of the lake
Into a thousand, thousand sparkling waves,
Rocking the trees, and driving cloud on cloud,
Along the sharp edge of yon lofty crags,
The agitated scene before his eye
Was silent as a picture: evermore
Were all things silent wheresoe'er he moved.
Yet, by the solace of his own pure thoughts
Upheld, he duteously pursued the round
Of rural labors; the steep mountain-side
Ascended, with his staff and faithful dog;
The plough he guided, and the sithe he swayed;
And the ripe corn before his sickle fell
Among the joc'und reapers. For himself,
All watchful and industrious as he was,
He wrought not; neither field nor flock he owned:
No wish for wealth had place within his mind;
Nor husband's love, nor father's hope or care.
Though born a younger brother, need was none

That from the floor of his paternal home
He should depart, to plant himself anew.
And when, mature in manhood, he beheld
His parents laid in earth, no loss ensued
Of rights to him; but he remained well pleased,
By the pure bond of independent love,
An inmate of a second family,

The fellow laborer and friend of him
To whom the small inheritance had fallen.

Nor deem that his mild presence was a weight
That pressed upon his brother's house; for books
Were ready comrades* whom he could not tire,—
Of whose society the blameless man
Was never satiate. Their familiar voice,
Even to old age, with unabated charm
Beguiled his leisuret hours; refreshed his thoughts;
Beyond its natural elevation raised

His introverted spirit; and bestowed
Upon his life an outward dignity
Which all acknowledged. The dark winter night,
The stormy day, had each its own resource;
Song of the muses, sage historic tale,
Science severe, or word of holy writ,
Announcing immortality and joy
To the assembled spirits of the just,
From imperfection and decay secure.

Thus soothed at home, thus busy in the field,
To no perverse suspicion he gave way,
No languor, peevishness, nor vain complaint:
And they who were about him did not fail
In reverence, or in courtesy; they prized
His gentle manners and his peaceful smiles,
The gleams of his slow-varying countenance,
Were met with answering sympathy and love.

At length, when sixty years and five were told, A slow disease insensibly consumed The powers of nature; and a few short steps Of friends and kindred bore him from his home (Yon cottage, shaded by the woody crags,) To the profounder stillness of the grave. Nor was his funeral denied the grace Of many tears, virtuous and thoughtful grief; Heart-sorrow rendered sweet by gratitude.

†Pron. le-zhure.

*0 as u.

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