« ZurückWeiter »
summits, inaccessible to mortal foot, was calculated to inspire, which, said he, naturally leads the mind to that Be. ing by whom their foundations were luid. “ They are not seen in Flanders ;" said Mademoiseile, with ä sizli. « That is an odd remark,” said the philosopher, smiling. She blushed,, and he enquired no further.*
40. It was with regret he left a society in which he found himself so happy; but he settled with La Roche and his daughter a plan of correspondence; and they took his promise, that if ever lie came with in fifty leagues of their dwelling, he would travel those filty leagues to visit them.
41. Abcut three years after, qur philosopher was on a visit to Geneva; the promise he made to La Roche and his daughter, on his former visit, was recalled to his mind by the view of that range of mountains, on a part of which they had often looked together.
42. There was a reproach too, conveyed along with the recollection, for his having failed to write to either of the in for several months past. The truth was that indolence was the habit most natural to him, from which he was not easily roused by the claims of correspondence, either of his friends or his enemies; when the latter drevx thcir pens in controversy, they were often unanswered as well as the former.
43. While he was hesitating about a visit to La Roche, which he wished to make, but found the effort rather too much for him, he received a letter from the old man, which had been forwarded to him from Paris, where he had then fixed his residence.
44. It contained a gentle complaint of the philosopher's Want of punctuality, but an assurance of continued gratitude for his former good offices, and as a friend whom the writer considered interested in his family, it informed him of the approaching muptials of Mademoiselle La Roche, with a young man, a relation of her own, and formerly a pupil of her father, of the most nobie disposition, and respectable character.
45. Attached from their earliest years, they had been separated by his joining, one of the subsidiary regiments
* The philosopher was a resident in Flanders, and a sceptic. The reproof of his infidelity is inimitably delicate. In short, this whole story is a beatiful satire on deism, bigotry, and metaphysical theology while it paints unaffected virtue, benevolence, and picty, in the most engaging manner.
of the Canton, then in the service of a foreign power. In this situation he had distinguishsd himself as much for courage and military skill, as for the other endowments which he had cultivated at home. The term of his service was now expired, and they expected him to return in a few weeks, when the old man hoped, as he expressed it in his letter, to join their hands and see them happy.
46. Our philosoper felt himself interested in this event; but he was not, perhaps, altogether so happy in the tidings of Mademoiselle La Roche's marriage, as her father supposed him.
Not that he was ever a lover of the lady ; but he thought her one of the most amiable women he had seen; and there was something in the idea of her being another's forever, that struck him, he knew not why, like a disappointment.
47. After some little speculation on the matter, howev. er, he could look on it as a thing fitting, if not quite agree. able; and determined on his visit to see his old friend and his daughter happy.
48. On the last day of his journey, different accidents had retarded his progress; he was benighted before he reached the quarter in which La Roche resided. His guide however, was well acquainted with the road, and he found himself in view of the lake, which I have before described, in the neighborhood of La Roche's dwelling.
49. A light gleamed on the water, that seemed to proceed from the house; it moved slowly along as he proceeded up the side of the lake, and at last he saw it glimmering through the trees, and stop at some distance from. the place where he then was.
50. He supposed it some piece of bridal merriment, and pushed on his horse that he might be a spectator of thescene; but he was a good deal shocked, on approaching the spot to find it to be the torch of a person clothed in the dress of an attendant on a funeral, and accompanied by several others who like him, seemed to have been employe ed in the rights of sepulture.
51. On the philosopher's making enquiry who was the person they had been burying? one of them, with an accent more mournful than is common to their profession, answered, " then you know not Mademoiselle, sir ! you. never veheld a lovelier."La Roche !!” exclaimed he, in reply-alas. it was she indeed!” The appearance of Grief and surprise which his countenance assumed, attracted the notice of the peasant with whom he talked.
52. He came up close to the philosopher" I perceive you are acquainted with Mademoiselle La Roche," “ ACquained with her! Indeed I was! When, how, where did she die? Where is her father?” “ She died, sir, of the heart break, I believe; the young gentleman to whom she was soon to be married, was killed in a duel by a French officer, his intimate companion, and to whom, before their quarrel, he had often done the greatest favors.
53. “ Her worthy father bears her death, as he has often told us a christian should. He is even so composed as to be now in his pulpit ready to deliver a few exhortations to his parishoners, as is the custom with us on such occasions. Follow me, sir, and you shall hear him.” He followed the man without answering.
54. The church was dimly lighted, except near the pulpit, where the venerable La Roche was seated. His people were now lifting up their voices to that Being whom their pastor had taught them ever to bless and revere.La Roche sat, his figure bending gently forward, his eyes half closed, lifted up in silent devotion. A lamp placed near him, threw a light strongly on his head, and marked the shadowy lines of his age across the paleness of his brow, thinly covered with gray hairs.
55. The music ceased La Roche sat for a moment, and nature wrung a few tears from him. His people were loud in their grief. The philosopher was not less affected than they. La Roche arose. « Father of mercies," said he, “ forgive these tears; assist thy servant to lift up his soul to thee; to lift to thee the souls of thy people! My friends it is good so to do ; at all seasons it is good; but in the days of our distress, what a priviledge it is! Well saith the sacred book, Trust in the Lord; at all times trust in the Lord. 56. “When every other support fails us, when the fountains of worldly comfort are dried up, let us then seek those living waters which flow from the throne of God.It is only from a belief of the goodness and wisdom of a supreme Being that our calamities can be borne in a manner which becomes a man.
57. “ Human wisdom is here of little use; for in proportion as it bestows comfort, it represses feeling, without
which we may cease to be hurt by calamity, but we shall also cease to enjoy happiness. I will not bid you be insen, sible, my friends! I cannot.
58. “ I feel too much myself, and I am not ashamed of my feelings; but therefore may I the more willingly be heard; therefore have I prayed God to give me strength to speak to you; to direct you to him, not with empty words, but with these tears : not from speculation, but from experience; that while you see me suffer, you may know also
my consolation. 59. “ You hehold the mourner of his only child...the last earthly stay and blessing of his declining years ! such a child too! It becomes not me to speak of her virtues; yet it is but grateful to mention them, because they were exerted towards myself. Not many days ago you saw her young, beautiful, virtuous and happy: Ye who are parents will judge of
affliction now. But I look towards him who struck me; I see the hand of a father amidst the chastenings of my God.
60. “ Oh! could I make you feel what it is to pour out the heart when it is pressed down with many sorrows; to pour it out with confidence to him in whose hands are life and death ; on wliose power awaits all that the first enjoys, and in contemplation of whom disappears all that the last can inflict! For we are not as those who, die without hope; we know that our Redeemer liveth; that we shall live with him, with our friends, his servants, in that blessed land where sorrow is unknown, and happiness as endless as it is perfect.
61. “Go tben, mourn not for me; I have not lost my child : But a little while and we shall meet again never to be separated. But ye are also my children. Would ye that I should not grieve without comfort? So live as she lived ; that when your death shall cone, it may be the death of the righteous, and your latter the like his.”
62. Such was the exhortation of La Roche, bis audience answered it with tears. The good old man had dried up his at the altar of the Lord ; his countenance had lost its Sadness, and assumed the glow of faith and hope. The philosopher followed him to his house.
63. The inspiration of the pupit was past; the scenes they had last met in, rushed again o bis mind.; La kuche
cw his arms around his neck, and watered it with his
tears. The other was equally affected ; they went together in silence into the parlor, where the evening service was wont to be performed.
64. The curtains of the organ was opened ; La Roche started back at the sight="Oh my friend,” said he, and his tears burst forth again. The philosopher had now vecollected himself; he stept forward and drew the curtain close. The old man wiped off his tears, and taking his friend by the hand, “ you see my weakness," said he, -5°tis the weakness of humanity ; but my comfort is not therefore lost."
65. “ I heard you," said the other, “in the pulpit; I rejoiced that such consolation is yours." friend," said he, “and I trust I shall ever hold it fast. If there are any who doubt our faith, let them think of what importance religion is to calamity, and forbear to weaken its force; if they cannot restore our happiness, let them not take away the solace of our affiction."
66. The philosopher's heart was smitten; and I heard hím long after confess, that there were moments, when the remembrance overcame him even to weakness; when amidst all the pleasures of philosophical discovery and the pride of literary fame, he called to his mind the venerable figure of the good La Roche, and wished that he had never do ubted.
" It is, my
FUNERAL OF GENERAL FRASER, NEAR SARATOGA
RELATED BY GENERAL BURGOYNE.
BOUT sunset the corpse of General Fraser was 1.
bro't up the hill, attended only by the officers who -had lived in his family. To arrive at the redoubt, it passed within view of the greatest part of both armies.
2, General Phillips, General Reidesel and myself, who were standing together were struck with the humility of the procession; They who were ignorant that privacy had been requested by General Fraser, might ascribe it to neglect.
3. We could neither endure that reflection, nor indeed restrain our natural propensity to pay our last attenicn to his remains. We joined the procession and were witnesses of the affecting scene that ensued.
4. The incessant cannonade during the solemnitý; the steady attitude and unaltered voice of the chaplain who