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I had much to say, but my hand trembles and refuses to do its duty. A long and a last adieu, my dear friend: may God bless you, and may we meet in a world where there is no more separation — where God will wipe away all tears from the mourner's eyes, and where sorrow and sighing will flee away. 66 Yours in the hour of death.
“ ARTHUR SAMPSON."
Fast rolled the tears down my cheeks as I read this touching letter of my dear old schoolfellow, Arthur Sampson.
When I had reached the end I laid it down, and hiding my face in my hands, wept bitterly. “I shall never see him more," I thought to myself, “I shall never see him more in this world. Dearly as I loved him, I shall never hear his voice again. Oh, Death! thou spoiler of the world, what havoc dost thou make among its inhabitants ! How dost thou break up family circles, and the circles of friendship! How dost thou cause the tear to flow, and the heart to ache! Couldst thou not have found some useless member of society whereon to vent thy rage, rather than one so lovely, and whose bud of promise gave such rich hopes for the future?” But, checking myself, I continued, “it is the lot of man to die in the flower of his age as well as in hoary years. Yon churchyard exhibits the graves of infants of a span long as well as those of men who have attained the full stature of our race. The inscriptions on the tombs exhibit the fact, that the child of a day old is as liable to death as the man of fourscore years. And why should I sorrow as those without hope ? My dear friend has probably by this time entered the golden portals of the eternal city: let me seek him there, and be united with him again for ever!
* Be silent, oh my grief, my thoughts discern
A cup of bliss that yet for man remains :
Will strike the last of a long list of pains.
The happy soul will take an angel's flight;
And greet its friends, and join them with delight.
And stand impatient to receive us there:
Descend, and wast me through celestial air.'”_ Farr.
As I ceased I took up my pen to write to my dear old friend, still hoping that, though I could not expect to see him more, he yet might read a line from me, expressive of the anguish I felt at his dying communication. My hope was vain : it was answered by his mother, and sealed with the sign of mourning. I wept again; and often, in my pathway through life, I have dropped a tear to his memory.
Nor have I wept alone for my dear old friend, Arthur Sampson. In accordance with his wish, I made known the sentiments he entertained towards Charles Murphy on his dying bed ; and Charles, in reply to my intelligence, wrote a touching letter, in which he stated that he mingled his tears of regret with mine. And I have seen his tears flow fast at the memory of his old schoolfellow. On visiting me a few months after, as we were both at leisure for some days, he expressed a desire that we should visit Arthur Sampson's
grave. The journey was no inconsiderable one, but nevertheless the wish was in unison with my own inclinations, and I consented. “We cannot spend our time more profitably," I replied, “than in meditating over the grave of such a pious friend. It may have the effect of solemnising both our hearts, and of making us sit more loosely to the world.”
I shall never forget the countenance of my friend Charles Murphy, as the old sexton of the little village of W-pointed out Arthur Sampson's grave to our view. “ There it is, gentlemen,” the old man replied, in answer to our question; "there it is, gentlemen, and a fine youth he was. I never buried a finer, and, what is more than that, a better youth. It was a mortal pity he should have been taken away so young. And yet, for the matter of that, gentlemen, he did not die too soon for himself. If the soul of any one whose body I have buried is gone to heaven, it is the soul of Mr. Arthur Sampson. I could tell many a tale of his goodness; and yet I don't believe he ever thought that he did a good deed. He was, indeed, a rare youth, and I shall not, I expect, see the like of him before I go down to the grave myself.”
The old man did not cease his praises of our dear old schoolfellow till he saw the tears chasing each other down the cheeks of both Charles Murphy and myself. Then checking his loquacity, he made a low bow; and, retiring to the farther end of the churchyard, left us to indulge in our sorrows, and to meditate over Arthur's grave without interruption. We lingered there a
full hour, neither speaking a word. As we took our departure I remarked, - May we, my dear Charles, live as he lived, and die as he died, and then we shall meet him again in heaven!”.
The heart of Charles was almost too full to speak ; but he pressed my hand with emotion, and exclaimed, “God grant that I may so live and die!"
MY COUSIN JOHN.- MY RECEPTION AT UNCLE JOHN'S.-SNOW-BALLING
MOTHER MARPET'S DOOR, - MOTHER MARPET'S REVENGE. - COUSIN JOHN'S WAYWARDNESS. - REMONSTRANCE FRUITLESS.-- UNCLE JOHN'S GRIEP AT HIS CONDUCT. -- UNCLE JOHN'S PREDICTION CONCERNING MYSELF.- HIS DEATH, AND ITS EFFECTS UPON COUSIN JOAN. — RUPTURED FRIENDSHIP. - OUR LAST MEETING, AND THOUGHTS ON FRIENDSHIP. - CONCLUDING REMARKS.
“On his journey youth doth start,
Strong of limb and stout of heart,
AMONG the various companions of my youth, perhaps no one was dearer to me than Cousin John. Not that our dispositions were in unison, or that our pursuits harmonized; on the contrary, our dispositions were wholly dissimilar, and our pursuits were at variance; but then he was my Cousin John, and with all his faults I loved him still.
From our earliest infancy, it was the custom of the parents of myself and Cousin John to cause us to meet at least three or four times in the year ;