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emaciated looks, and hear those groans :-oh, my friends, what a glorious exchange would heaven be for these! To fly through regions unconfined as air—to bask in the sunshine of eternal bliss—to carol over endless hymns of praise—to have no master to threaten or insult us, but the form of Goodness himself for ever in our eyes : when I think of these things, death becomes the messenger of very glad tidings; when I think of these things, his sharpest arrow becomes the staff of my support; when I think of these things, what is there in life worth having ? when I think of these things, what is there that should not be spurned away ? Kings in their palaces should groan for such advantages; but we, humbled as we are, should yearn for them.
And shall these things be ours? Ours they will certainly be, if we but try for them ; and what is a comfort, we are shut out from many temptations that would retard our pursuit. Only let us try for them, and they will certainly be ours; and what is still a comfort, shortly too ; for if we look back on a past life, it appears but a very short span ; and whatever we may think of the rest of life, it will yet be found of less duration : as we grow older, the days seem to grow shorter, and our intimacy with time ever lessens the perception of his stay.
Then let us take comfort now, for we shall soon be at our journey's end; we shall soon lay down the heavy burden laid by Heaven upon us; and though death, the only friend of the wretched, for a little while mocks the weary traveller with the view, and, like the horizon, still flies before him, yet the time will certainly and shortly come when we shall cease from our toil; when the luxurious great ones of the world shall no more tread us to the earth; when we shall think with pleasure of our sufferings below; when we shall be surrounded with all our friends, or such as deserved our friendship; when our bliss shall be unutterable, and still, to crown all, unending.”
HAPPIER PROSPECTS BEGIN TO APPEAR.—LET US BE INFLEXIBLE, AND FORTUNE WILL
AT LAST CHANGE IN OUR FAVOUR.
HEN I had thus finished, and my audience was
retired, the gaoler, who was one of the most humane of his profession, hoped I would not be displeased,
as what he did was but his duty; observing, that he must be obliged to remove my son into a stronger cell, but that he should be permitted to visit me every morn
ing I thanked him for his clemency, and grasping my boy's hand, bade him farewell, and be mindful of the great duty that was before him.
I again therefore laid me down, and one of my little ones sat by my bed-side reading, when Mr. Jenkinson, entering, informed me that there was news of my daughter; for that she was seen by a person, about two hours before, in a strange gentleman's company, and that they had stopped at a neighbouring village for refreshment, and seemed as if returning to town. He had scarcely delivered this news, when the gaoler came, with looks of haste and pleasure, to inform me that my daughter was found! Moses came running in a moment after, crying out that his sister Sophy was below, and coming up with our old friend Mr. Burchell.
Just as he delivered this news my dearest girl entered, and, with looks almost wild with pleasure, ran to kiss me in a transport of affection. Her mother's tears and silence also showed her pleasure.
“ Here, papa,” cried the charming girl, “ here is the brave man to whom I owe my delivery; to this gentleman's intrepidity I am indebted for
my happiness and safety- A kiss from Mr. Burchell, whose pleasure seemed even greater than hers, interrupted what she was going to add.
“Ah, Mr. Burchell!” cried I, “this is but a wretched habitation you now find us in ; and we are now very different from what you last saw us. You were ever our friend : we have long discovered our errors with regard to you, and repented of our ingratitude. After the vile usage you then received at my hands, I am almost ashamed to behold your face; yet I hope you'll forgive me, as I was deceived by a base, ungenerous wretch, who under the mask of friendship has undone me."
" It is impossible,” replied Mr. Burchell, “ that I should forgive you, as you never deserved my resentment. I partly saw your delusion then, and, as it was out of my power to restrain, I could only pity it.'
“It was ever my conjecture,” cried I, " that your mind was noble ; but now I find it so. But tell me, my dear child, how hast thou been relieved, or who the ruffians were that carried thee away.”
“Indeed, sir,” replied she, “ as to the villain who carried me off I am yet ignorant. For as my mamma and I were walking out he came behind us, and almost before I could call for help, forced me into the post-chaise, and in an instant the horses drove away. I met several on the road to whom I cried out for assistance, but they disregarded my entreaties. In the meantime the ruffian himself used every art to hinder me from crying out; he flattered and threatened me by turns, and swore that, if I continued but silent, he intended no harm. In the meantime I had broken the canvas that he had drawn up, and whom should I perceive at some distance but your old friend Mr. Burchell, walking along with his usual swiftness, with the great stick for which we used so much to ridicule him! As soon as we came within hearing, I called out to him by name, and entreated his help. I repeated my exclamation several times, upon which, with a very loud voice, he bade the postilion stop; but the boy took no notice, but drove on with still greater speed. I now thought he could never overtake us, when in less than a minute I saw Mr. Burchell come running up by the side of the horses, and with one blow knock the postilion to the ground. The horses, when he was fallen, soon stopped of themselves, and the ruffian stepping out, with oaths and menaces, drew his sword, and ordered him, at his peril, to retire; but Mr. Burchell, running up, shivered his sword to pieces, and then pursued him for near a quarter of a mile; but he made his escape. I was by this time come out myself, willing to assist my deliverer ; but he soon returned to me in triumph. The postilion, who was recovered, was going to make his escape too: but Mr. Burchell ordered him, at his peril, to mount again, and drive back to town. Finding it impossible to resist, he reluctantly complied, though the wound he had received seemed to me at least to be dangerous. He continued to complain of the pain as we drove along, so that he at last excited Mr. Burchell's compassion ; who, at my request, exchanged him for another at an inn where we called on our return."
“Welcome, then,” cried I, “my child! and thou her gallant deliverer,' a thousand welcomes! Though our cheer is but wretched, yet our hearts are ready to receive you. And now, Mr. Burchell, as you have delivered my girl, if you think her a recompense, she is yours :
you can stoop to an alliance with a family so poor as mine, take her; obtain her consent, as I know you have her heart, and you have mine. And let me tell you, sir, that I give you no small treasure; she has been celebrated for beauty, it is true; but that is not my meaning : I give you a treasure in her mind.”
“ But I suppose, sir,” cried Mr. Burchell, “that you are apprised of my circumstances, and of my incapacity to support her as she deserves ? " “ If your present objection,” replied I, “be meant as an evasion of
“ my offer, I desist; but I know no man so worthy to deserve her as you; and if I could give her thousands, and thousands sought her from me, yet my honest, brave Burchell should be my dearest choice !"
To all this his silence alone seemed to give a mortifying refusal ; and, without the least reply to my offer, he demanded if he could not be furnished with refreshments from the next inn; to which, being