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minished interest; and, on this occasion, every one seemed as anxious to hear it again, as though they had never heard it before. In this song, the singer, at the end of every verse, had to break out into a fit of laughter. When Ralph Rogers began to sing, his face shone brightly; but whether it was occasioned by the ale. which he had taken, or by the cheerful blaze of the fire, it would be hard to determine.
Ralph sang with uncommon glee, and managed the laughing part with uncommon success. At first he tittered, then burst out into a loud horse laugh ; at another time he held his sides as though he was exhausted with his mirth, and all so naturally, that the whole party was entertained beyond measure. At the moment, however, when Ralph was giving one of his loudest bursts of laughter, he stopped suddenly, his face grew deadly pale, his eyes appeared fixed in one direction, and it was clear that his whole frame was wrenched
Whether the contortions with which he had exercised his body in his riotous mirth, had brought on spasms, or whether the visitation sprang from any other cause, I know not; but poor old Ralph Rogers was carried away from the place of festivity with little hope of his life ; and his laughter was thus, in a moment, turned into mourning.
Men value a horse for his swiftness, and a tree on account of the fruit which it bears; but when the horse has lost his swiftness, he is valued no longer; and when the tree ceases to bear fruit, it is displaced to make room for another. It was the same with Ralph Rogers ; his drollery had bound him to his friends; but when his mirth and laughter were exchanged for sighing and tears, no one sought his company. As the butterfly, that revels in the beam, is broken by the storm, so the buoyant spirit of Ralph Rogers broke down beneath the weight of affliction. He could look back on a life of laughter; but that would not protect him from a
death of sorrow.
Had poor Rogers, instead of wasting his manhood in idle conceits and unseemly merriment, read, with an humble and inquiring mind, the gospel of truth, and laid up stores of consolation for the hour of affliction ; nay, had he, even at the eleventh hour, in his old age, sought the Saviour of sinners with all his heart, he would doubtless have found pardon and peace, a present help in time of trouble, and a bright prospect of a glorious immortality. Alas! poor Rogers languished, neglected on his bed of sickness. His fun and drollery availed him nothing. He sank rapidly to the grave, and closed a life of laughter by a death of despair.
The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal—every other affliction to forget ; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open—this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang ? Where is the child that would willingly forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns ? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved; when he feels his heart, as it were, crushed in the closing of its portals, would accept of consolation that must be bought by forgetfulness ? No, the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul. If it has its woes, it has likewise its delights; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection ; when the sudden anguish and the convulsive agony over
the present ruins of all that we most loved, is softened away into pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness— who would root out such a sorrow from the heart? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of gaiety; or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom; yet who would exchange it, even for a song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry? No, there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song.
There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh the grave !—the grave !
It buries every covers every defect - extinguishes every sentiment. From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections. Who can look down upon the grave even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb, that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies mouldering before him!
But the grave of those we loved—what a place for meditation! There it is that we call up in long review the whole history of virtue and gentleness, and the thousand endearments lavished upon us almost unheeded in the daily intercourse of intimacy—there it is that we dwell upon the tenderness, the solemn, awful tenderness of the parting scene. The bed of death, with all its stifled griefs—its noiseless attendance—its mute, watchful assiduities. The last testimonies of expiring love ! The feeble fluttering, thrilling-oh! how thrilling !pressure of the hand. The last fond look of the glazing eye, turning upon us even from the threshold of existence! The faint, faltering accents, struggling in death to give one more assurance of affection!
Ay! go to the grave of buried love, and meditate ! There settle the account with thy conscience for every past benefit unrequited—every past endearment unregarded, of that departed being, who can never -never return to be soothed by thy contrition ! If thou art a child, and hast ever added a sorrow to the soul, or a furrow to the silvered brow of an affectionate parent—if thou art a husband, and hast ever caused the fond bosom that ventured its whole happiness in thy arms, to doubt one moment of thy kindness or thy truth—if thou art a friend, and hast ever wronged, in thought, or word, or deed, the spirit that generously confided in thee-if thou art a lover, and hast ever given one unmerited pang to that true heart which now lies cold and still beneath thy feet;—then be sure that every unkind look, every ungracious word, every ungentle action, will come thronging back upon thy memory, and knocking dolefully at thy soul—then be sure that thou wilt lie down sorrowing and repentant on the grave, and utter the unheard groan, and pour the unavailing tear; more deep, more bitter, because unheard and unavailing.
Then weave thy chaplet of flowers, and strew the beauties of nature about the grave; console thy broken spirit, if thou canst, with these tender yet futile tributes of regret; but take warning by the bitterness of this thy contrite affliction over the dead, and henceforth be more faithful and affectionate in the discharge of thy duties to the living.–Washington Irving.
A MORNING AT BOW STREET. HENRY NEWBERRY, a lad of thirteen years, and Edward Chidley, aged seventeen, were fully committed for trial, charged with stealing a silver tea-pot
from the house of a gentleman in Grosvenor-place. There was nothing extraordinary in the circumstances of the robbery. The younger lad was observed to go down into the area of the house, whilst his companion kept watch, and they were caught endeavouring to conceal the tea-pot under some rubbish in the Five Fields; but the case was made peculiarly interesting by the unsophisticated distress of Newberry's father. The poor
old man, who it seems had been a soldier, and was at this time a journeyman pavior, refused at first to believe that his son had committed the crime imputed to him, and was very clamorous against the witnesses; but, as their evidence proceeded, he himself appeared to be gradually convinced. He listened with intense anxiety to the various details ; and when they were finished, he fixed his eyes in silence, for a second or two, upon his son ; and turning to the magistrate, with his eyes swimming in tears, he exclaimed, “ I have carried him many a score miles on my knapsack, your honour !”
There was something so deeply pathetic in the tone with which this fond reminiscence was uttered by the old soldier, that every person present, even the very gaoler himself, was affected by it. “I have carried him many score miles on my knapsack, your honour,” repeated the poor fellow, whilst he brushed away the tears from his cheek with his rough unwashed hand, “but it's all over now! He has done, and so have I !”
The magistrate asked him something of his story. He said he had formerly driven a stage-coach, in the West of Ireland, and had a small share in the proprietorship of the coach. In this time of his prosperity, he married a young woman with a little property, but failed in business, and, after enduring many troubles, enlisted as a private soldier in the 18th, or Royal Irish Regiment of Foot; and went on foreign service, taking with him his wife and four children, Henry (the prisoner,) was his second son, and his “darling pride.” At the end of nine years, he was discharged, in this country, without a pension, or a friend in the world ; and coming to London, he, with some trouble, got employed as a pavior, by “the gentlemen who manage the streets at Mary-le-bone." “Two years ago, your honour,” continued he, “my poor wife was wearied out with the