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tumn, that Kate Elliott sat by the bedside of her dying mother. Yes—Mrs. Elliott was fast reaching that bourne whence no traveller returns! Her cold had settled on her delicate frame, and consumption—that fell destroyer—had claimed her for its own. She had fallen into an uneasy slumber; her hair had escaped from her cap, and contrasted its raven blackness with the death-like hue of her face. Kate sat in silent despair; she seemed without the power-of tears. Not far from her sat Mrs. Lacy, whose aged countenance wore an expression of deep sympathy and sorrow.
"Kate!" Kate started; her mother was awake. "I must leave you, my child; nay, remember 'tis God's will. Tell Charles, my last blessing was for him—my last command that he should cherish you with all a brother's care. Come nearer, Kate,"—and she obeyed; "we shall meet again, dearest, in a better world—where there are no cares—where all is joy—and peace—and bliss:—my children
—my God "and with a deep sigh, her
"What are your future plans, Miss Elliott?" said Mrs. Lacy to Kate, a few weeks after her mother's death.
"I intend to take a small school," replied Kate, "if f can procure one; and support myself thus, until my brother's return. I have written to him, but it will be sometime before he receives my letter."
"You forget, Miss Elliott, that there is a school in Woodford; but if you will not take it amiss, lady Willerton, at Willerton House, was trying to get a teacher for her children, and I am sure you would suit her."
Kate could not bear the idea of being dependent on others; and though Mrs. Lacy wished her to stay with her, still she felt she| should be dependent upon her; and while health and strength were her's, she determined to maintain herself; so she sought Lady Willerton.
Willerton House was a fine, noble-looking mansion; with its broad avenues shaded by oaks, and its gravelled carriage-walks. Lady Willerton was middle-aged, and bearing the remains of considerable beauty in her countenance, although it was masculine; and Kate somehow was not possessed in her favour.
The furniture belonging to Kate, Mrs. Lacy purchased; and as she would not part with her piano—her mother's gift—it was toj remain in Mrs. Lacy's care. The expense attendant on her mother's illness had exhausted nearly all their money, and with but a few dollars remaining, Kate became gov^ erness to Lady Willerton's children.
Mrs. Lacy took an affectionate leave of her; and begged if she ever needed a home, or a friend, that she would come to her.
Kate's pupils were three young girls, the eldest scarcely fourteen. Naturally possessed of good dispositions, they had been indulged to a fault, until they were pettish, wild, and wilful as possible. She had much to bear with them; but their wilfulness was preferable to the cold and distant^manner of their elder brother and sister.* Helen Colbert was haughty, vain, and proud ; jealous of the admiration Kate excited, and envious of her rare beauty. Lord Henry was her counterpart in personal appearance, manners, and disposition.
Kate felt keenly the difference between her former and present situation. Once, she was the admired of all; if she sang or played, all listened in rapt devotion—all were entranced; now, though very seldom, if at Lady Willerton's request she took her place at the harp or piano, though her execution was brilliant, and her ear true to harmony, none praised—" it was only the governess."
Willerton House was now crowded with visiters; and amid others, Lord William Brereton—Henry Colbert's intimate associate. He was reckless, wild, and dissipated, but heir to an immense fortune; and in consequence of this last virtue, a fit and suitable match for the Lady Helen. Brereton had seen Kate, and struck with her commanding beauty, he determined to induce her to become Lady Brereton, if only to provoke the Willerton's, and Helen, in particular, whom he disliked, and whose plans he had long seen through. Too coxcombical to fancy Kate could refuse him, he persisted in forcing his disagreeable attentions upon her; and at last, with an air of confident success, he informed her it was his intention to make her Lady Brereton.
Kite's eye flashed, and her cheek glowed, at his confident and half-insolent manner, but wilh an air of mock-humility, she begged to decline his proposals.
The coxcomb was astounded!" What," said he, " the poor governess refuse me, Lord William Brereton! Egad! you are not in earnest V
"lam in earnest," replied Kate; "Lord William Brereton, the poor governess scorns you;"—and with a flashing eye, and proud step, she left the room. In the hall she met Lady Willerton, whom she had no doubt had heard all that had passed; and in this opinion she was confirmed, when, in an hour's time. Lady Willerton informed hpr she should have no further use for her services.
To Mrs. Lacy, then, her only friend, Kate went. She was warmly welcomed, but Mrs. Lacy's quick eye perceived the change in Kate's looks. Nothing could exceed the marble whiteness of her brow, but on either cheek dwelt a feverish hectio»spot; and her eyes were unusually bright and dilated. On the morrow, Mrs. Lacy fount! her in a raging fever. In her delirium she called upon her mother, and begged that she might die too. Oh! it was a sad sight to behold that young and beautiful being, lying so utterly helpless; and sadder»still jpas it to listen to the wild and passionate appeals that ever and anon burst frorn her lips. * * *
No. 3. Manners.—"There Remaineth a Rest,8fC.—Jl Calculation. 81
It was the ninth day—the crisis of her fever; and to Mrs. Lacy's joy, she had fallen in a calm, cool slumber. Toward evening Kate awoke suddenly, and her glance felt on a tall handsome youth at her bedside—was it a stranger ?—no, it was Charles—her own Charles! Who can describe the joy of their meeting?
Charles had not received their first letter, but immediately on receiving Kate's, he had started for home, accompanied by his uncle, Mr. Clare, whose name had struck him; and after a few inquiries, he discovered in the wealthy Indian nabob his mother's brother. Although the vessel in which he had sailed was lost, still his life was preserved, and to letters which he had written lie received no answer. He had married a wealthy merchant's daughter, but who had lately died. He had no children, and the sight of Charles arousing old memories in his heart, he had determined to return to his native land.
Kate rapidly recoverpd, and in one month a happy group were assembled in Elliott Cottage, consisting of Mr. Clare—its owner, —Charles and Kate Elliott, and Mrs. Lacy, who was in future to reside with them.
Kate was playing on her piano to her uncle; her canary, Bob, reinstated in his old place, was rivalling her in his clear, ringing song; but as she rose from her piano, tears glittered in her beautiful eyes as she exclaimed, " Oh! if mother were but here!" but her tears were dripd, as she remembered her last words—" We shall meet again."
Manners—A due sense of propriety of conduct towards all classes of the community is ohli<ratory on every one, although some appear hardly aware of it. The manners of a man are the mirror which reflects his disposition and the feelings of his mind. Suavity of manners always gains friends—moroseness engenders enmity. An affable address, of course, always pleases; but a surly response creatss a prejudice and a dislike which years cannot dissipate.
"THERE REMAINETH A REST FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD."
O think of that land where the righteous are blest. Where the weeping and weary find solace and rest, That land where no spirit bv grief is opprest.
O think of that land!
That land whose brieht hills are eternally clad
O think of that land I
O thi nk of that land, with its green, shady bowers, With the beauty arid fragrance of undying flowers, Where the pure and the holv are passing bright hours.
6 think of that land!
A land where sweet fountains of glory arise,
O think of that land!
O think of it. Christian, when weary and faint, When with toil and oppression in sadness ye pant; 'Tis a land which no pencil in beauty can paint.
O think of that land!
O think of that land, ye with sceptre and crown,
O think of that land!
Vain mortal! thy garments with jewels arrayed.
And the halls of thy glory will moulder away,
Mother, think of that land when tears dim thine eye,
O think of that land;
For there it doth dwell in the mansions of God,
O think of that land!
Bright land of bright glory, thou dost beam like a star!
Ti II we reach that blest land.
Till we're safo from the tumult of sorrow and sin,
nd the sweet song of victory in triitmph begin,
Sprinpfield. B. S. H.
Four hundred million breaths make up
The term of human life!
In pain—in calm—in strife.
For three score years his bosom swells With breath drawn carelessly;
Yet while he drains that measured air,
Oh! think—ye of the reckless heart,
That with each scornful breath ye heave,
THE PANTHER'S LEAP.
A WESTERN SCENE. "Oh! liow the mother loves the chili] she nursed."
It was a fine morning in August, when little Samuel Eaton was about seven years old, that he was making a dam in the brook that ran before his fither's door. He was an only and beautiful child, his mother almost idolizing him. There he was with his trousers tucked up above his knees, working like a beaver, his mother's bold eye gleaming out from beneath his sunburnt hair, and with some of his father's strength, tugging at a large stone in the bed of the stream.
"Sammy, you'd better come in, hadn't you?" said Hannah, in a tone half mother and half mate.
"No-o-o, I guess not yet," replied Samuel.
An acorn came floating down the water. The boy took it up—looked at it—was pleased, and " reckoned" in his mind ther^r was more up the "gully," and when his mother's back was turned, off he started for the acorns. The gorge of the mountain into which he was about to enter, had been formed (the work of centuries) by the attrition of the stream he had just been playing in—and walking on a level that bordered each side of the water, he boldly entered the ravine. An almost perpendicular wall or bank ascended on each side, to the height of a hun dred feet, composed of crags and rocks fritted by decay and storm into fantastic shapes and positions. A few scattered bushes and trees sought nourishment from the earth that had fallen from the level above, and, excepting their assistance, and the unseen surface of the rock, this natural parapet seemed inaccessible but to bird and beast. About an eighth of a mile from the entrance, a cataract closed the gorge, throwing up its white veil of mist, seeming guardianship of the spirit waters. The verdant boughs, hanging over the'bank, cast a deep gloom upon the . bed below, while so lofty was the distance, they seemed to grow out of the sky, blue patches of which were to be seen peeping between them.
Hannah Eaton soon missed her boy, but as he had often wandered to the fields where his father was at work, she concluded he was there, and checked coming fears with the hope that he would return at the hour of dinner. When he came, Joseph, nor any of the men, knew where he was. Then the agitated mother exclaimed, "He's lost, he's lost! and my poor boy will starve and die in the woods!" Gathering courage, she hastily summoned her family around her, and despatched them nil but her husband to search in different directions in the neighboring
forest. To him she said, " Scour every field you call your own, and if you can't find him, join me in the gorge."
"He wouldn't go to the gorge, Hannah." "He would go any where." She knew not why, but a presentiment that the boy had followed the course of the stream, dwelt strongly on her mind.
"I can't find him, Hannah," said the husband as he rejoined her not far from the mouth of the gorge.
An eagle flew past the mother as she entered the ravine. She thought to herself the dreadful birds are tearing my child to pieces; and, frantic, she hastened on, making the walls of the cavern echo back with the scream for her offspring. Her only answer was the eternal thunder of the cataract, as if in mockery of woe, and flinging its cold spray upon her hot and throbbing temples. "Fool that I am, how can he hear me!" She strained her eyes along the dizzy height that peered through the mist till she could ho longer see, and her eyes filled with tears.
Who but a mother can tell the feelings of a mother's heart? Fear comes thick and fast upon the reeling brain of Hannah. "Oh, my boy—my brave boy will die," and wringing her hands in agony, she sank to her husband's feet.
The pain of "hope deferred" had strained her heart's strings to the severest tension, and it seemed as if the rude hand of despair had broken them all.
The terrified husband threw water upon her pale face, and strove by all the arts he knew to win her back to life. At last she opened her languid eyes, stared wildly around, and rose trembling to her feet. As she stood like a heart-broken Niobe, "all tears," a fragment of rock came tumbling down the opposite bank. She looked up. She was herself once more, for half up the ascent stood her own dear boy.
But even while the glad cry was issuing from her lips, it turned into a note of horror —" ()h, mercy—mercy!"
The crag on which the boy stood projected from the solid rock in such a way as to hang about twelve feet over the bank. Right below one of the edges of this crag, partly concealed among the bushes, crouched a panther.
The bold youth was aware of the proximity of his parents, and the presence of his dangerous enemy, at about the same time.— He had rolled down the stone in exultation, j to convince his parents of the high station he had attained, and he now stood with another in his hand drawing it back and looking at them, as if asking whether he should throw it at the terrible animal before him.— Till then, the mother seemed immoveable in her suspense, but conscious of" the danger of her son, if he irritated the beast, she rushed some distance up the rock, and motioned with her hand and head that he should not throw. Yet, with the feeling mind of childhood, and temper little used to control, he fearlessly threw the fragment with all his might at the ferocious beast. It struck on one of his feet. He gave a sudden growl lashed his tail with fury, and seemed about to spring.
"Get your rifle, Joseph!" The poor man stirred not. His glazed eye was fixed with a look of death upon the panther, and he appeared paralyzed with fear. His wife leaped from her stand, and placing her hands on her husband's shoulder, looked into his face and cried, "Are you a man, Joseph Eaton? Do you love your child?" He started as if from sleep, and ran with furious haste from the ravine.
Again Ihe mother looked towards her son. He had fallen upon his knees, and was whispering the little prayers she had taught him, not in fear, but an indefinite thought came across his mind that he must die. The panther was upon his feet. He stooped to spring. The distracted mother could keep still no longer. She rushed up the steep ascent with the energy of despair, reckless of the danger, thinking only of her son. The rocks crumbled and slipped beneath her feet, yet she fell not. The sharp rocks cut her flesh but she heeded it not . On, on she struggled in her agony.
The ferocious creature paused for a moment, when he heard the wietched mother's approach. True to his nature he sprang at the boy. He barely touched the crag, and fell backward as Hannah ascended the opposite side.
"Ah!" said she, laughing deliriously, "the panther must try it again before he parts us, my boy; but we won't part;" and sinking on her knees hefore him, she fondly folded him to her breast, bathing his young forehead with hot tears.
Unalterable in his ferocity, and the manner of gratifying it, the panther again sprang from his former situation. This time he was more successful. His fore foot struck the edge of the crag. "He will kill us, mother. he will kill.us!" and the boy nestled closer to his mother's bosom. The animal struggled to bring his body on the crag—his savage features but a step from the mother's face. "Go away! go away!" shrieked Hannah, hoarse with hoiror.—"You shan't have my child." Closer—still closer he came, his red eyes flashing fury, and the thick pantings of his breath coming in her face.
At this awful moment she hears the faint report of fire arms from the gulph below—
the panther's foothold falls, his sharp claws loosen from the rock, and the baffled beast rolled down the precipice at the feet of Joseph Eaton.
The sun's last rays gleamed brightly on a little group at the mouth of the gorge. They were on their knees—the mother's bleeding hands over the head of her son, and the voice of prayer going to their Guardian for His mercy in thwarting the Panther's Leap.
From Chambers' Edinburg Journal.
The world seems to have agreed to consider step-mothers, particularly nnd generally, only in connection with all that is harsh and cruel. The word has indeed become proverbial, to mark an association in which the one party is the victim of the other. Chivalrous as the attempt may appear, we are disposed to put in a word against this sweeping condemnation of a class which must comprehend many estimable persons. Ft appears to us that there is no small absurdity in presuming a necessary character in every person who enters into a particular relation in life. A young lady may be in the bloom of womanhood, possessed of every grace which can adorn her sex and age; she may have lived for years the most loving and beloved member of a domestic circle, cementing the ties of kindred with a thousand proofs of tenderness and affection; but no sooner has she consented to become the wile of one who has children by a former spouse, than the eye of suspicion is cast upon her, and these sweet attributes seem to fall from her, like the trappings of a masqtierader. She may be gentle, kind, generous, and agreeable, to all the rest of the world; but it is supposed to be utterly impossible that she can entertain one spark of regard or a flection for these usually helpless and unoffending beings, who, from their position, appeal naturally most strongly to her sympathies, and whom it is both her duty and interest to cherish.
It is quite true, that when the hallowed tie of mother and child is severed by the cold hand of death, no second bond of affection can be quite so strong and pure; but surely for this reason it is folly to reject that which must in the nearest degree replace it. A little reflection on the position of a man— the more especially supposing him an active man of business—bereaved of his partner while yet on the sunny side of middle age, will assuredly prove that the wisest plan he can adopt is almost always that of giving his children a step-mother. Let us grant that her care is less watchful, her affection less deep, her deportment less fond, than those of her who cannot be restored; but, instead of looking back with vain complainings, let us rather compare her behavior with that of the hired guardian, who, from the fallibility of human nature, must necessarily be far more deficient in those impulses and actions, the failure of which are so constantly regretted. Governesses, teachers, and nurses, are all human beings, and they must indeed be unfortunate mortals if they have not home ties and affections, far warmer and dearer than any they can form for the children committed to their care, however conscientiously they may fulfil the duties they had undertaken. Let us suppose the children are confided to some female relative; if she be single and inexperienced, a mere theorist, she is very seldom a fit guardian or guide; if she be married, the chances are very great that she has interests infinitely more clashing than those of the step-mother. From our own observation, we do firmly believe, that in the dissentions and disunions that sometimes occur after second marriages, the aggressors are almost always the first children or their relatives. Indeed, we could cite many facts in corroboration of this assertion, but refrain from doing so, lest the feelings of individuals should be wounded; but we will select one narrative, because those whose feelings it is due to spare, are alike beyond the reach of prying curiosity, sympathy, or commiseration; and because the relation of it may illustrate more forcibly the point we have in view, than a string of disjointed observations could ,do.
Mr. Charles Barham was about eight-andthirty, and had been a widower three or four years, when he thought proper to fall in love with Mary Veilliers, the orphan, and almost portionless daughter of an officer in the navy. He met her first at the house of her married sister, with whom she resided ; and her graceful person, her winning manners, and intelligent conversation, very soon completed her conquest.
Perhaps he did not regard her the less because he perceived how affectionately attached to her were her little nephews and nieces: and he certainly very much respected those feelings which had induced her to linger in a home, necessarily not the most independent in the world, until six-and-twenty, simply, as from good authority he soon found out, because, though she had received two or three advantageous offers, she did not intend to marry without being in love. It seemed a heart worth the winning; and when at last he discovered that it was all his own, he found that his emotions were quite as deep and true, as when, a dozen years before, he had offered his humbler fortunes, and,
as he had fancied, a fresher heart, to a younger and more beautiful bride. Though his former married life had not been quite all sunshine, neither had it been very stormy. Mrs. Birham had been a spoiled child, and her temper was consequently not perfect; still, they were what is called a happy couple, and her husband loved her most sincerely to the day of her death, with a love, perhaps, only surpassed by that he bore the two children she left him. At the period of his second marriage, his son was ten years old, and the little Ellen eight.
It was in the country he met Mary Veilliers; in the country he married her, and not till he brought her to his home in London had she seen his children. But she had heard of their beauty and talents from their fond father. And happy in the present, as well as in her anticipations of the future, they were naturally included in all her castle building. For feeling hearts, (and the stepmother had a very feeling one,) are always grateful for love and tenderness, however rich they may deserve both, and are ever on the watch to repay, as it were, the debt that seems due; or, in simpler phrase, it is not only a pleasure to please those who love, when we can do so with ease, but it is a pleasure to make sacrifices for them. Not that there was any sacrifice in the case with regard to Mrs. Barham and her husband's children. Unknown, unseen, she felt that she would and must love them, even from the impulse of her own kindly nature; but her cooler judgment, if she consulted it at all, must have told her, that to wreathe all their hearts intoone knotof happiness and affection would be the surest means by which to bind her husband's love yet more dearly to her. It was night then they arrived in London; and though the children were in bed, Mrs. Barham could not wait till morning for an introduction. The nurse, an old servant of the family, preceded them, with a single taper, as Mr. Barham led his impatient bride to the chamber of his son. The boy was sobbing in his slumber; he had evidently cried himself to sleep. The nurse seemed grave, and though there was an overstrained civility in I her manner, she looked at her master from 'time to time, as if he had done something of which she felt heartily ashamed. They could get no clear account from her of why the child had been fretting; but when Mrs. Barham stooped to kiss his cheek, the child awoke, and turning his head quickly on the pillow, refused the proffered caress.
"We have frightened him—oh! I am so sorry," exclaimed Mrs. Barham.
"We did not mean to wake you, Charley," said his lather; "but now that you are awake, kiss your mamma."