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present circumstances, should continue long with to think little of her own ease in seeking their out some efforts of usefulness. So far from it, that good and that of their children. in the midst of her atiliction she was devising The force of these impressions would sometimes means of accomplishing her best desires; and as discover themselves in the most siinple, and thereher pains were alleviated, she arose to put them in fore affecting manner. If indisposition, or the weaexecution.
ther, had confined Martha for an unusual time, it Her recovery, however, was of so very partial a would assemble a little levee of kind inquirers. kind, that it left her hopeless of entering again on The latch of the door would be gently raised during those extensive plans in this neighborhood which intervals of the morning, and the head of the child, had formerly blended so much personal gratifica- or the matron, or the grandam, would present itself tion with the endeavor to do good. But these were with the inquiry, so as to show a real anxiety to the more readily given up at the call of Providence, hear of her welfare, and yet to shun any thing like as it would supply her with an occasion to practise intrusion. In the leisure part of the day she would self-denial; an exercise she thought herself back- have to receive some more regular visits from those ward to perform, but one which few have been ena- who, by their age or other circumstance, thought bled to perform so readily or so extensively. they might claim this privilege. All these worthy
Yet, accustomed as she had been to move in a villagers would evince, in various ways, their symlarger circle, she calculated little on the result of pathy. One was quite sure," that while Miss Reed her present confined and crippled exertions. Duty cared so much about others, she did not care enough she had taught herself to consider was hers, events about herself;” another thought that she would sit were God's; she determined cheerfully to do what much more comfortable in her easy chair than in she could, commending her teeble service to Him any other she could possibly have; another imwho can command success. And the issue furnish- agined that some little nicely she could prepare ed her with an important lesson; that God, in the would just please her palate ; and a fourth was cervery act of weakening our energies and limiting tain, that if she would take her favorite medicine, our labors, is designing to make them effectual.- it would soon cure her. And these remarks were The fact is, that such feebleness of effort is often seldom allowed to fall to the ground; without overruled to give better dispositions to what we do; shaping them into a promise, or waiting for a forand, after all, it is the disposition at which God mal consent, they were usually followed by some looks, and by which the human heart is influenced. little tribute of kindness beyond what their words
Martha's first attention was directed to the chil had given reason to expect. dren she had been accustomed to instruct; and, as These sentiments of sincere esteem prevailed she could not now go to them, she invited those who more generally than could be readily supposed. I were sufficiently near to come to her. This invi- recollect, somewhat earlier than the period on which tation was so well received, that she was quickly I am dwelling, I could not exactly distinguish the surrounded by a class as large as she could manage house of my sister's residence without inquiry. I advantageously. She gave her instructions to these went into a small shop in the hamlet to gain inforchildren once or twice in the week, and generally marion. An elderly woman, of a very notable and sought to do it in the absence of any witness. good-natured appearance, was within. I asked her She felt with Mr. Cecil, tbat to be at liberty in if she knew where Miss Reed lived ? talking with children, we must talk with them She hesitated; her name was not familiar to her. alone. It is, perhaps, sufficient commendation of “Miss Reed, at Mrs. D- -'s?” I continued. the method she adopted to say, that, although the "At Mrs. D- -'s! Oh yes, sir, yes, sir; it 's the attention of her little pupils was chiefly employed good young lady you mean, I dare say, sir." on religious subjects, they always came to her les- “Ah, I dare say it is," I replied “for I know sons with punctuality and eagerness.
Miss Reed is a good young lady.” Through the children she still had access to their “ Indeed she is, sir!" she said, satisfied now that parents; and that she might make the best use of | we were speaking of the same person, “and we all this, she formed a little library of well-chosen call her so about here." books, illustrative of domestic temper and economy, It was really matter of fact, that Martha's chaas well as of divine truth; and by lending these racter had identified itself more completely in the books as rewards to her scholars, she kept them minds of these people by some such appellative as circulating in their families with the strongest in- this, than by her own proper name. ducements to regard their contents. Frequently Nothing is more painful to the truly Christian the book so lent was, to express the sense of grati- mind than to find that we may win the affections of tode, returned not by the child, but by the mother, others towards ourselves, and yet fail in raising who would enlarge in simple language on the parts them to divine and uncreated excellence. No one which had interested her thoughts. When this could be further from undervaluing the esteem effect followed the arrangement, Martha deemed shown to her than Martha; but she had sought a it quite successful; it gave her an opportunity of higher object, and, if this was to be lost, all comintercourse which she knew how to improve, and paratively would be lost. And it was just here she which the poor are generally willing to embrace, had reason to fear disappointment. Towards herwhen they are treated respectfully, and they can self, the conduct of these villagers was more than discover a friendly concern for their happiness. she desired; but towards religion, it was far from
As her strength permitted, Martha went abroad giving her satisfaction. There was a willingness into the hamlet; and sometimes, with the help of to hear her remarks on it, but there was wanting Maria's arm, beyond it;
to try, as she used to say, the discovery of it in the spirit and practice as a "to do some good.” Her difficulty in walking living principle. They were not at a considerable made a seat ofien necessary to her; and she was distance either from church or chapel; and yet it now so well known and so much beloved in the vi- was not easy to prevail on them to attend the worcinity of her dwelling, that every cottage-door was ship of God on the Sabbath day; some excuse was open for her relief. Her affliction, therefore, which always found or invented to satisfy themselves. limited her exertions, gave her more free access to Her compassionate spirit was stirred within her the neighborhood, and imparted more weight to when she looked round on persons so full of regard her conversations. Those who were the witnesses to her, and whose hearts were so void of right feelof her sufferings could not avoid being impressed ing towards that eing who alone could protect, or with her uniform cheerfulness, and her readiness I help, or bless them.
Martha, however, persevered in her course, and | incapacity. Besides the benefit of her general efonly thought, as the difficulty arose, of opposing to forts, a school was formed at a distant hamlet, it a stronger combination of means. She consider which Maria undertook to attend once in the week; ed, that if she could not prevail on the inhabitants and Martha, on making known its dark and destito go to the ordinances of religion, where they were tute situation, induced the minister before mentionregularly observed, it was necessary, if possible, to ed to afford it a share in his time and attentions. bring them to the spot, and not to suffer the people Thus was Martha, by the kind agency of others, to perish for lack of knowledge. In acting under effecting as much through her days of pain and this conviction, she represented her views so effect- confinement, as could probably have been realized ually to a minister then staying at Cheshunt, that by uninterrupted activity. he at once consented to give his Wednesday even- From the mere description of these acts of ctaings to the benefit of this hamlet. Accordinglyrity, it will be seen that they were not of an expentheir sitting room, with the good will of the worthy sive character; yet, in continuing them week after widow, and to the great joy of the young inmates, week, little expenses were apt to accumulate. Some was determined on as the place of meeting and of these she was enabled to meet by the kindness worship.
of friends, who, knowing her disposition, made her It was now that Martha realized more the fruit an almoner; and to the remainder she devoted of her retired endeavors. If she failed generally every thing she could possibly spare. Every garin urging her neighbors to go some distance for the ment in her drawers, and every sixpence of her act of worship, she succeeded beyond expectation allowance, which was not indispensable to her, she in assembling them as was proposed. The awk- readily disposed of to others. I find in a quarter's wardness of first going into a large public assem- account of her expenditure about this time, the bly, with several other trivial considerations, which largest item of the whole is that for “Religious greatly influence our nature on very important oc- Tracts.” She never suffered herself to owe any casions, were overcome; "they were only going in- one any thing but love, but when her dues were to widow D- -'s, and those around them were settled, she thought of little more. She has fredoing the same thing."
quently made herself penniless 10 assist others; and When, therefore, the minister arrived at the time there is some great reason to fear, from what I have of service, the room was well prepared for his re- since learned, that she was too neglectful of the ception, and completely filled with attentive hearers, claims of a body rendered so delicate by indisposisome of whom were so strange to public worship tion. On this subject her friends would seriously that they knew nothing of its external forms and remonstrate; she would admit the justice and kindexpressions. The good seed, however, in many mess of what was said, but her inclination would cases, was cast in a prepared soil, and it grew up rest on the other side of the argument. “Rememand yielded the peaceable fruits of righteousness. ber," she would say, "how much good a trifle may Many were made the better for it in relative life; do. The gift of some little nicety to a sick person some were constrained differently to respect the may open the heart to regard what shall be of eterSabbath, and to travel to the means of grace; and nal value to him; and the outlay of a sixpence in some gave such evidence of a spiritual change as tracts may be benefiting others when we are no to be readily received to the communion of saints, more.” Úndoubtedly, compared with what many at the holy supper of their Lord.
give, Martha gave nothing; but compared with In the fluctuation of her sufferings, there would what they sacrifice in giving, and what is left after be periods in which Martha was compelled to re- giving, she gave as much as any, and more than sign herself to pain; but then it was she was most most: and this is the scriptoral test of charity. The concerned to excite others to do what was beyond widow's two mites, amid all the silver and gold cast her power. Unmindful of her own convenience, into the treasury that day, was the largest as well and even of her necessities, she would urge those as the noblest donation. who dwelt with her to go forth on some message of If it is to be admitted that Martha did not suffimercy. Their desire was to please her; and as ciently regard her bodily welfare, the concession they found her mind was much more satisfied by must end here, for of the superior part of her naabsence on such errands than by any attentions their ture she was never unmindful; and her present presence could impart, they commonly met her situation was considered as a call to increased menwishes without remonstrance. Frequently the aged tal improvement. During this winter, therefore, widow was to be seen issuing from her home, happy she pursued a profitable course of reading, and reto fulfil some little suggestion of Martha's for the newed her studies on the subjects which had preconsolation of others; and more frequently did her viously been on hand. Particularly she completed attached friend, Maria, follow out her footsteps in her reading and reflections on education with growher more active days, seeking to confer similar ing satisfaction. Maria generally joined her in blessings, and to bring home to the invalid some these engagements, and the pleasure was greatly encouraging report.
heightened by the presence of one who was interOur happiness springs from our duty, even when ested in her studies, and whom she could assist to duty wears the aspect of self-denial. These three tread the paths she had already trodden. friends made considerable sacrifices in this course But with much time to be occupied in one posof humble exertion; but they were repaid by un- ture, it was desirable to diversity employment; and sought rewards. Their work of love gave them with the most acute pains to be endured, it was nesomething to devise, to arrange, and to converse cessary to add to change the attraction of novelty. about. Their separations and ineetings gave a zest Indeed, all that could be devised was frequently into their society and intercourse. They had an ob- suficient to divert the mind from the sense of unject before them which endeared them to each other, controllable suffering. Whatever was likely to avail and kept the best sympathies of the heart alive 10 in helping her yet more to forget her atliciions and the wants of humanity. Above all, there were the to occupy her attention and ume, she was anxious substantial proofs of usefulness more or less arising. to adopt. With this purpose she determined, when The good, but retiring widow, entered more into the fatigued with those pursuits which were more arspirit of active benevolence, and did more than duous and familiar, to turn froin them to the French would otherwise have been done; and Maria, language; and when she should be weary of this, catching the views of her friend as she proceeded, she ided herself with the means for pracusing sought to accomplish the more from her lamented | drawing. In both these new exercises she made quick progress, and for the latter she formed a saw their property torn from them so suddenly which strong attachment. Her love of nature gave her they had been years in obtaining, which seemed so an interest in paiating; she could use the pencil necessary to their comfort, and which they could when she could do nothing else; and she was ac- not possibly replace by any renewed exertions, her customed to speak of this recreation with gratitude, spirits were overwhelmed. Her imagination exas contributing to fill up many hours of life ap- aggerated the distress; and while she did not expointed to suffering, and which, had she dwelt on it actly know the extent of loss, she feared that every more, she might have been less able with patience thing might be lost, and that her aged and revered to endure.
parents miglit be called to suffer most, when the Her attention, at this period, was given to her very “grasshopper was becoming a burden.” It temper as well as her mind. Her disease affected was then that her affliction was first regarded with her nervous system in a high degree; the state of temporary impatience; it withheld her hands from excitation to wiich she was sometimes brought, administering to their wants, and her feet from was most difficult for her to contro!: and she has fleeing to their presence in their adversity. several times expressed a fear that it might, by con- However, she communicated with her parents on tinued action, render her temper irritable, peevish, the subject in the most tender and affectionate manand troublesome. She had otten marked the influ- ner. She reminded them of those consolations ence of bodily infirmity on the social dispositions in which are apt to be farthest from the thoughts when other persons, and as often she had deplored it, and they are most needed; and meekly suggested those prayed against it; but now she thought herself in considerations which she had found most useful in danger of the very thing she feared. However, her lifting the mind above the endless vicissitudes of fear was her security; it kept her eyes open on the life. She re-assured them that she was entirely encroachments of this evil; and resolutely to watch satisfied with what they had done for the welfare against it was to conquer it.
of the family, and that they must not take blame Martha, indeed, was so inured to resist the self- to themselves because their plans had been crossed ish principle, that she was the more prepared to by events which human prudence could not foresee, contend with it under this one appearance; and nor human power control. She made it a distinct and su complete was her victory, that no one ignorant earnest request, that they would not tolerate a moof her mind would have thought it had cost her a ment's uneasiness concerning herself, as she hoped struggle. She was not only free from peevishness she should soon be better; and that, under no cirand ill-humor, she was still gentle, kind, and ciieer- cumstances, could she allow herself to be burdenful. She did not undervalue atientions that had some to them, whose burdens she wished, above all become familiar to her, nor use them needlessly earthly things, to lighten. Enough it would be to where they were kindly offered. She did not with her, more than enough, should she find that, from hold acknowledginent because it might be taken the wreck of their possessions, they still retained for granted; and much less did she manifest impa- any thing approaching to a sufficiency for themtience and displeasure at services which were meant selves. From their children, she urged, they must io please her. She had still a kind word, and as now release their thoughts; they had already done kind a smile for any expression of sympathy, while their duty towards them. the whole bodily frame was under the most distress- Martha uttered all this, and much more, in the ing irritation. The magnitude of this conquest ardor of her sympathy; and her thoughts were earnmay be estimated when it is considered, that many estly engaged in considering how she might most who have subdued a vicious principle have failed readily make herself independent of the very limited in contending with a petulant disposition.
resources of her parents. The instruction of children had always been peculiarly her delight; and
she conceived her object might be best accomplished CHAPTER XIX.
by teaching a small and select number of young 1819-20.
pupils. Reflection increased her approbation of the
plan. She knew the engagement would be pleaWHILE Martha was bearing cheerfully her own sant to her; she concluded that her connections sufferings, she was assailed, by relative aftliction, would supply the requisite number; and she conin a more vulnerable part. Her parents, who, by sidered it providential that her attention had been the act of retiring from worldly business, appeared so fully employed on education in its more ornato be placed beyond the reach of hazard, were early mental and essential parts. There was only one called to endure a considerable loss. The indivi- thing which stood in the way of her immediately dual who, with the best reputed character, had en carrying this scheme into execution--it was the tered on their house and trade, soon became a bank-state of her health. She met this difficulty by hoping rupi, and all they received for the valuable property it would be removed ; but this hope had inwardly trusted to his use was an insignificant dividend. many fears to contend with. She could not avoid
It too often happens, that the first loss leads to a reflecting that she had been unwell for a long pesecond; in attempting to recover what is past re- riod; and that, although now recovering from a demption, we lose what is yet possessed. Our pa: heavy paroxysm of pain, disease had rather seemed rents, anxious to enlarge a narrowed income, and to establish itself on her constitution than otherto provide an opening into life for their younger wise; and these reflections gave to her plans a son, ventured a considerable portion of their re- visionary and impracticable character. Then, maining property in the house of a sugar refiner. again was the cup of affliction most bitter to her This was done with fair prospects of realizing the spirit. It was hard, extremely hard, to see the proposed objects; but, just at this period, such a hand of Providence cutting off the natural sources stagnation came over this line of otherwise profit of supply, and, at the same time, withholding those able trade, as to perplex and shake the most weighty bodily energies which were necessary, by honorable establishments. "In the issue, all the parties con- exertion, to provide for herself and yet to be recerned lost whatever they had advanced.
signed ! No event in our domestic history affected Martha Hard as it was, Martha was enabled to exemplify equally with this. She had thought that whatever it. But perhaps her own words will best discover trials might await their offspring in the course they the agitation, submission, and gratitude of her had to run, her beloved parents would terminate heart. their days at ease and in peace. But now, when she June 2-(her birth-day.) Trulv, it is a pleasant
thing to give thanks unto the Lord! In looking but this was alleviated by the distance between back on the past year, my temporal, intellectual, them still being very trifling. Everything else was and spiritual blessings should excite me to joy and as she could desire. She saw that the proposed praise. Amid all that has threatened my life and plan would continue at her side her affectionate my comfort, I am sull preserved, and have food to companion, Maria; that it would give opportunities eat, and raiment to put on. Yea, my cup runneth of receiving her parents, who were already prepar. over. Notwithstanding the great hindrances aris, ing to spend some time with her; and that it would ing from severe pains and oppressive lassitude, I necessarily bring her into closer communion with have been favored with considerable opportunities her brother's family. Indeed, the change was stored for mental improvement. But, above all, I would with more good than we could at first perceive. give thanks that I am still preserved in the narrow From this time it was my privilege to consider my path -still hungering and ihirsting after righteous- sister a constituent member of our family; and I ness-still longing to have the selfishness of my na- must ever be thankful, in the review, that it enabled ture extirpated, and to live only to God. May I us to contribute so easily to her comfort, and to ieglorify the Giver of these blessings! When do our ceive from her, in return, so much benefit to ourbenefits appear so valuable as when most conscious selves and our children. of our weakness and unworthiness ?
In the month of August, the whole family, with “Let the goodness of God in the past excite con- the exception of the youngest member, met in this fidence under present circumstances. What though peaceful cottage, and spent some interesting weeks property should be lost; let me remember that I together. Much time and many clouds had passed and mine are in the hands of Infinite Love. What over us since we had so met; and the retirement of though trials may threaten; let me remember that the spot, and the quiet flow of relative intercourse, the hearts and atlairs of all are under the control had a sensible charm to us all, retreating as we of Jehovah. He knows no difficulty in dispersing were for a while from the pressure of public duty, the thickest clouds, and causing his sun to shine or the severe strise of life's calamities. with more than its usual brightness. O may I trust Martha, however, more than any one, was qualiin Him with all my heart, and not be afraid ! fied to enjoy this meeting. In her suffering and
"Let this Goodness promote in ine true penitence. isolated situation, she had been often ready to desLet me seriously ask, What have I done? What pair of a reunion to her family; and now ihat she have I neglected ? Whom have I forgotten ?-May was in the midst of them, her disease seemed to the eternal Spirit work in me a genuine and deep subside, in a measure, under the joy of her spirits. repentance!
She remembered that we assembled beneath trial "Great God! Hear me, I beseech thee, while I and loss; but she now knew its extent, and she repray, that henceforth I may live as in thy sight, and solved that she would be the sufferer; that what ihai a sense of thy presence may keep me from was lost should be lost to her, and her parents should every thing that would offend thee, and cause me yet be happy. With this view before her, she could to abound in every good word and work. Especially not so deeply lament it: it would be a selfish lamentgrant that thv glory may be my constant, my only ation; and io console her parents, she appeared to aim; and thai I may promote it by pure benevolence, them and 10 us filled with conteniment and cheerlively spirituality, deep humility, and strong faith. tulness. She was indeed our comforter; but yet, to O Lord, I am nothing, and worthy of nothing; but the eye of parental love and sorrow, there was somethou art able and willing to do more for me than I thing in all this happy resignation that would affect can ask or think. Behold thy servant waits for the it to fears. They looked on her as a sufferer and a fulfilment of her prayers, through the merits of thy daughter--their only daughter; they knew that no dcar Son, believing it shall be well with her!" one could be so aflected by their losses as herself;
“ June 7.-1 have received more positive inform- they had valued what the kindness of Providence ation of the losses my dear parents have sustained; had given chiefly on her account; and now, with and I fear they may still be found to be greater; all her cheerfulness and soothings, she would often bui sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. The appear, in their troubled sight, nothing better than future seems most gloomy ; sorrow attends me which the pet lamb of the family, destined to be the meek, way soever I turn. I would commit my family to unconscious victim of the fiery trial which was to the divine care, but it is very difficult. O that I try them! may now honor God by the most steadfast and Notwithstanding this variation in Martha's circheerful reliance on his Providence !
cumstances, and the degree in which it was likely “Sorrow is still with me. I fear Maria and I tv subserve her happiness, her thoughts still revert. shall be separated. She has been as Jonah's gourded to the scheme of education which had occurred to me; her incessant kindness has in no small de- to her on the first shock of the family reverses. gree mitigated my privations and sufferings. May She fondly looked to it as the means of independthe Father of the faiherless protect and reward her! ence and usefulness. She was not too proud, but This separation is the more painful, because not too conscientious to rely on the resources of her expected, and it is attended by circumstances very dearest friends, while she had the prospect of astrying to my feelings.- Peace! It is the Lord! He sisting herself; she knew that, by engaging in some cannot err- --He can make darkness light!" such pursuit, she should best induce her parents to
Previously to the occurrence of these domestic feel satisfied on her account; and I believe I may trials, I had been desirous, as Martha was likely to add, that it was contemplated with more pleasure, remain at Cheshunt, to provide her with a few more as it would exercise some virtues of the character comforts than her present situation could afford; which she had been accustomed to place high in and I now thonght that a favorable opportunity was the scale of Christian excellence. furnished for effecting the change. Influenced by In proportion, therefore, as she could anticipate the occasion, and other domestic reasons, I procur- the accomplishment of her design, she was satised a small cottage in her neighborhood ; and having fied; and her satisfaction bad recently arisen conmade what arrangements were necessary, I solicited siderably, from the apparent amendment in her iny sister to enter upon it, and to gratify me by un- health. As the object approached nearer to expecdertaking its management.,
tation, it appeared the fairer to her hopes. Every To her, every request of her brother's was accept-thing, she thought, favored it. The cottage was able; and this was especially so. It gave her con- well suited to the purpose ; and Maria was iendercern to quit the humble roof of her widowed friend; I ing her services in any wav that should best con
tribate to it. She had nothing to do but to name it pain. Life is short, but it is awful to think what a to her brother, and this she determined to delay no world of suffering may be crowded into it! longer.
I cannot forbear inserting the following lines, as I well remember the intercourse which sprang they allow the sufferer to speak for herself:from this determination. It revealed a character familiar to me in new and trying circumstances ; | The sun is set upon another day and it discovered such delicacy towards me, such Of weariness and pain. How oft that sun tenderness towards her parents, such just respect Has seen me sporting in its joyous beams, towards herself, and such a fixed energy of purpose Lavish of youth, and counting on long days to do whatever was right or worthy, as filled me of undisturbed delight! But ah, how changed! with admiration. But ihen it was painful to think These faculties. that once with eager joy that her bodily powers gave little hope that these Perused the page of science, now lie wrapt exercises of the mind could be brought out in ac- Iu melancholy sleep. This heart no more, tion; and still more painful to perceive, that on this with rapture kindling, feeds with living joy point Martha had deceived herself. I saw, with And growing hope on all things beautiful. ihankfulness, that lately her health had really im- Chained to one narrow spot, this feeble frame proved; yet I saw nothing which led me to suppose Lies like a statue, scarcely breathing life, she would soon be in a state to embark in the pro- Save when aroused by pain to sense of wo. posed responsible undertaking.
My summer's day, my gleam of light is pastMy opinion was sought, and I could not refrain The short remains how winterly aud drear! from expressing my fears, yet I could not express | All now is darkness, darkness to be felt. them strongly. Martha was not prepared to give Ah, whither shall I turn in this sad hour? them a free entertainment at this moment. The To whom shall I betake me? O my God, fever of the mind, like that of the body, produces a Thou art my hope! and though thine hand should slay, false strength and spirits; and, under this excite- Yet will I trust ihee! Well thy servant knows ment, she ihought herself belter than she was. I Thy word divine is faithfulness and truth. considered thai, though no other pleasure should be Thon will not leave me in the vale of death, realized, she might enjoy, for a considerable time, But gently lead me, by thy gracious hand, that of anticipation ; and, without pressing cold To that bless'd world where suffering is no more! and unwelcome reasons on her attention, I wished her to act so as most to gratify her inclinations. Early in the opening of the year twenty, as the
Of course she embraced the object, and gave her- spring advanced and the weather meliorated, Marself to the preparations which should be necessary tha found some partial relief: and her spirit symto its realization. Her attention was fully engaged, pathized in the hopeful character of the season. It and her heart was at rest. She thought not of what is difficult to make any one who did not observe she had lost, but of what she might be enabled to her, understand how readily she recovered herself effect. With the means of self-provision, she con- on the least qualification of her afflictions-how nected the probability of training a number of her quickly health and cheerfulness re-appeared in her own sex rightly to discharge their duties in this life, countenance, and animated gratitude dwelt on her and to estimate whatever belonged to the world to lips. She was accustomed to say, "that a state of come. At length, all the preliminary steps were ordinary pain was a blessing;" and though this ortaken; and she now looked to the issue with a hope dinary pain would have been extraordinary to most the more serious and powerful, from the trouble, other persons, it was always enjoyed with positive the expense, and the time which had been given satisfaction. to it.
For some time it had been conjectured that the But life is proverbial for the wreck of human different and perplexing appearances of disease on hope. Notwithstanding the excitements still acting her frame were symptomatic of a spinal injury; on Martha's spirits, her health declined as the win- and the use of an horizontal posture had been sug. ter advanced. She was for some time unable to gested. The recommendation, however, had not admit this--it involved the ruin of all her earthly been adopted; it was very unwelcome to Martha espectations. The admission, the reluctant admis- and to her friends. The thought of being confined son, however, at last forced itself upon her; and to one position, in one room; of being excluded now that the illusions of hope were broken, her spi- from the society and agreeable changes which arose rits fell from the elevation they had kept, and her to her from being able to visit the sitting-room, and health appeared to her really as it was, and worse stroll round the garden, could not at once be enterthan it ever had been.
tained or even tolerated. But experience, in the This winter was eminently a painful one to Mar- end, proved that the measure was expeclient, if not tha. Her favorite schemes, on which she had acceptable. It became evident to her, that her disdvelt for some months, and from which she could tress of body was equal to its motion; and when Dot at once avert her thoughts, now occurred to her through the day she made no exertion, and was remind only to distress her; for some time afterward clining on the sofa, her nights were comparatively sbe could not speak of the subject, or look on a free from pain. At length, the power of locomochild, without tears.
tion was so restricted, that the ascent and descent How far anxiety and disappointment excited a of the stairs formed an obstacle almost insurmountsinister influence on the body, cannot be decided; able; and listening to the more serious requests of but the animal system now discovered fresh symp- her medical advisers, she determined on confining toms of derangement. The former attacks returned herself to the mattress. with greater violence; and, in addition to them, The last day previous to the proposed and indesome affertions appeared of a paralytic character; finite confinement, was an affecting one to us all. so that alternately she was the subject of excru- In the close of that day, I supported Martha to take ciating pain, and of a torpid insensibility creeping her final walk in the garden. It was a fine evening over the body, from which the spirit recoils more in the month of May; and the garden, of which than from agony itself. The history of most of she was peculiarly fond, was dressed in its best ber days and nights at this period would embrace array. The one half of it was thrown into cool only the following transitions--acute pain would and comfortable shade by the clustering trees; while ascend into delirium; delirium would sink into the remainder was resting under the mild radiance apathy; and apathy again would be awakened by the setting sun.
The flowers and shrubs were