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on one so
tablet of his soul her image was engraved, its every motion will convey to memory the
inflicted virtuous, so lovely, and so neglected ; time cannot erase the impression, it will haunt him in his unquiet sleep, it will whisper horror to his waking dreams, and like an incubus, the name of Mary Elliott will sink him down to an early grave.
This noiseless sorrow tells the tale
J. G. Brooke.
THERE is something melancholy in the contemplation of the fading leaf ; it reminds us of the decline of life " in its sere ;” and while we cast our eyes around and they rest upon the ground, strewed with its faded visiters, we naturally ask, “ Are we prepared to meet the doom of death ?” that autumn of our existence; unlike that, however, of the forest growth, it has no return. It is an autumn without a winter or a spring, laying all things prostrate, like the leaves of the trees, whose sickly, faded hue
66 Overturned by vernal storm, Lovely in death, the beauteous ruin lay."
No! Life's a debtor to the grave, the receipt for which, when paid, is an eternal one! But are there not other reflections accompanying the view of the stripped trees, and the painted earth? Can we, while gazing on the beauty of the
? world fading away, in its brightness and sunshine, forget the
poor? They who look upon the approach of winter with the chill of death at their hearts ? Can we forget those on whose pathway of life the clouds of misfortune have rested, and which no sunshine has ever illumined ? Follow them awhile ; let us pass the melancholy picture of the falling leaf, and the glazed earth, and the whitened forms of the forest trees, stripped of their sunshine robes, and clothed in the icy garments of winter. Let us go into the chambers of the poor, the almost roofless tenements of the neglected, as it were, of God and man. Let us pause for a moment on faded, suffering, poor human nature. Follow us to an old, dilapidated building ; be careful of the steps, they are broken; now we are in the entry leading to the old, rickety staircase ; let us ascend. Hark! what cry is that? A moan, as from one suffering. How cold it is. The wind whistles fearfully down this winding pathway to the abode of wretchedness. How the old house rocks to the blast, as it comes chillingly over it. Higher yet; listen a moment, what is that? It is the shrill cry of an infant; it sounds like the last echo of life in the chamber of death! Misery dwells there; shall we walk in? No, higher yet! Hark! another child's voice, let us listen.
“ Dear mother, give me some bread. Oh, how hungry I am."
Let us go in that room. No, not now, before we leave the place we shall visit all, for it is a house of sorrow!
Higher yet! It grows colder ; see, here are heaps of snow, which has forced its way through the broken and shattered roof. How cold it is. Is that the room ? Hark ! there are voices, feeble, plaintive. Listen, are not those words of prayer? Do the poor ever pray? How can they pray, when the chill of poverty is at their heart, and their children crying for bread ? Shame! the poor ever
pray; their trust is in the Lord, whose watchful eye is over all. That prayer is heard! for the good man's prayer
“ Will, from the deepest dungeon, climb Heaven's height,
And bring a blessing down."
Yes, for on the threshold of that door stood the Home Missionary ; he was the ministering angel. Let him speak
for us :
“I ascended as high as the loft, where I could take hold of the shingles, through the crevices of which the wind was blowing. Here I found a poor widow with a little boy, about three or four years old, with scarcely anything to protect them from the winter's blast. Taking the little boy by the hand, I found it blue with cold. The tale of woe I heard from this poor woman's lips I cannot pretend to describe. Her husband, a worthless drunkard, went out on a whaling voyage last summer, and was drowned. She was formerly a member of a Christian church, but after marriage her husband would not let her attend a place of worship; but he would attend his dens of wickedness and come home to beat and abuse her. She was penitent, and tears flowed profusely down her cheeks."
This melancholy picture of the one room will suffice for the rest. The exertions of the missionary soon dispelled the clouds of woe and suffering that encompassed them, and for a while the sunshine of hope illumined the dark corners of their hearts. Was it hope deferred ? No! While we are in the house of poverty, and among the suffering poor, let the missionary paint two other pictures; they will do to hang up in the costly mansions of the great, beside the splendid productions of a Raphael and a Rubens. Let the rich man's children gaze upon them, and if there be mockery on their aristocratical lips, then are their parents yet to learn
the awful consequences of an ill regulated education, and may live to see the misery it will bring upon those it was his duty, as a man and a Christian, to have taught different lessons and better things. He who mocks the poor insults his Maker, for we are all the children of one God.
• The nameless He whose nod is Nature's birth.”
LOOK ON THESE PICTURES.
“ Back of Poplar Lane, in a court, in a small third story room, resides a poor widow, with three small children, the youngest of them only five months old. She is very low with a consumption. She buried her husband last summer, and was left entirely destitute. Oh, reader, could you have been there, to see this poor mother at the point of death, the little babe crying in the cradle, and her little boy lying in the corner with a raging fever, without the least means to procure anything to alleviate their sufferings, your heart would have melted to pity.
In Front street, below Vine, there is a family living in a cellar, ten feet below the level of the pavement. The husband has been out of employment all summer, and his wife is sick. They have four small children, the youngest but six weeks old. When visited, they were sitting around some lighted shavings warming themselves. The children had scarcely clothes susficient to cover their nakedness, and they are often without anything to eat."
AND ON THIS.
Imagine a splendid saloon, groaning under the most costly furniture, and the choicest gems of nature and art from every clime. Mirrors reaching from the floor to the ceiling lined the room. There was the gorgeous ottoman, prepared after the latest Eastern fashion; the costly chairs and seats to match ; the carpet upon which the foot would fall as if it were an angel's tread—so soft, so rich, so plush-like. The eye closed at the brightness which met it at every step, and which was rendered still more dazzling by the reflection and glare of innumerable lamps, whose lights would have paled the sun ! It was night; the storm raged without wildly and fearfully. The fire blazed cheerfully on the hearth; the lord of the mansion lolled on the ottoman, smoking his cigar, for which he paid at the rate of forty dollars per thousand. Happy man! His lady was lost in a cushioned rocking-chair, and equally so in reading the last new novel; and the daughter was at the piano, the price of which would have bought a small house. Then came the wine, the cake, the nuts, the—but why go on? Hark! that blast. Listen to the roaring of the storm without. It is a fearful night. The painting of Rubens stared them in the face; the costly mirrors reflected all the comforts of that stately room, but the humble pictures of the Rev. John Street were passed by; his pencil was dipped in the colors of poverty ; his sketches were of the heart; they touch not the nabob. How cold it is. The poor are crying for bread and warmth; the rich man heeds them not in the fumes of his Havana cigars, and the rich glow of his costly wine; he forgets that there are those who would bless him for the nourishment of a crust of bread, and the warmth afforded in a single blanket! Yet, such is life.