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pulse beats feeble, his breath becomes shorter; he exhibits every mark of approaching dissolution.
This is old Eighteen Hundred and Seventeen; and as every class of readers must remember him a young man, as rosy and blithesome as themselves, they will, perhaps, feel interested in hearing some of his dying expressions, with a few particulars of his past life. His existence is still likely to be prolonged a few days by the presence of his daughter December, the last and sole survivor of his twelve fair children; but it is thought the father and daughter will expire together. The following are some of the expressions which have been taken down as they fell from his dying lips :
I am,' said he,' the son of old father Time, and the last of a numerous progeny; for he has had no less than five thousand eight hundred and seventeen of us; but it has ever been his fate to see one child expire before another was born. It is the opinion of some, that his own constitution is beginning to break up, and that, when he has given birth to a hundred or two more of us, his family will be complete, and then he himself will be no more.'
Here the Old Year called for his account book, and turned over the pages with a sorrowful eye. He has kept, it appears, an accurate account of the moments, minutes, hours, and months which he has is. sued, and subjoined, in some places, memorandums of the uses to which they have been applied, and of the losses he has sustained. These particulars it would be tedious, to detail, and perhaps the recollection of the reader may furnish them as well or better; but we must notice one circumstance; upon turning to a certain page in his accounts, the old man was much affected, and the tears streamed down his furrowed cheeks s as he examined it. This was the register of the forty-eight Sundays which he had is, sued; and which, of all the wealth he had to dispose of, has been, it appears, the most scandalously
wasted. These,' said he, were my most precious gifts: I had but fifty-two of them to bestow. Alas! how lightly have they been esteemed !' Here, upon referring back to certain old memorandums, he found a long list of vows and resolutions, which had a particular reference to these fifty-two Sundays. This, with a mingled emotion of grief and anger, he tore into a hundred pieces, and threw them on the embers, by which he was endeavouring to warm his shivering limbs.
• I feel, however,' said he, more pity than indignation towards these offenders, since they were far greater enemies to themselves than to me. But there are a few outrageous ones, by whom I have been defrauded of so much of my substance, that it is difficult to think of them with patience, particularly that notorious thief Procrastination, of whom every body has heard, and who is well known to have wronged my venerable father of much of his property. There are also three noted ruffians, Sleep, Sloth, and Pleasure, from whom I have suffered much; besides a certain busy-body called Dress, who, under pretence of making the most of me, and taking great care of me, steals away more of my gifts than any two of them.
As for me, all-must acknowledge that I bave performed my part towards my friends and foes. I have fulfilled my utmost promise, and been more bountiful than many of my predecessors. My twelve fair children have, each in their turn, aided my exertions; and their various tastes and dispositions have all conduced to the general good. Mild February, who sprinkled the naked boughs with delicate buds, and brought her wonted offering of early flowers, was not of more essential service than that rude blustering boy, March, who, though violent in his temper, was well-intentioned and useful.-April, a gentle tenderhearted girl, wept for his loss, yet cheered me with many a smile.
June came erowned with roses, and
sparkling in sunbeams, and laid up a store of costly ornaments for her luxuriant successors: but I cannot stop to enumerate the good qualities and graces of all my children. You, my poor December, dark in your complexion, and cold in your temper, greatly resemble my first-born January, with this difference, that he was most prone to anticipation, and you to reflection.
• If there should be any, who, upon hearing my dying lamentation, may feel regret that they have not treated me môre kindly, I would beg leave to hint, that it is yet in their power to make some compensation for their past conduct, by rendering me, during my few remaining days, as much service as is in their power; let them testify the sincerity of their sorrow by an immediate alteration in their behaviour. It would give me particular pleasure to see my only surviving child treated with respect: let no one slight her offerings; she has a considerable part of my property still to dispose of, which, if well employed, will turn to good account. Not to mention the rest, there is one precious Sunday yet in her gift; it would cheer my last moments to know that this had been etter prized than the past.
'It is very likely that, at least after my decease, many may reflect upon themselves for their misconduct towards me: to such I would leave it as my dying injunction, not to waste time in unavailing regret; all their wishes and repentance will not recal me to life. I shall never, never return! I would rather earnestly recommend to their regard my youthful successor, whose appearance is shortly expected. I cannot hope to survive long enough to introduce him; but I would fain hope that he will meet with a favourable reception; and that, in addition to the flattering honours which greeted my birth, and the fair promises which deceived my hopes, more diligent exertion and more persevering efforts may
be expected. Let it be remembered, that one honest
Having thus spoken, the Old Year fell back on his
How swiftly pass our years!
How soon their night comes on!
And human life is gone!
The foliage late that clad the trees,
Cold WINTBR hastens on!
Fair Nature feels his grasp;
And sighs their glory past !
Thine Autumn too will quick decay,
But Summer will return,
In all her beauties dressed !
And be by man caressed !
Can never, never hope return !
Then may we daily seek
A mansion in the skies,
And glory never dies!
With joys as vast as angels' pow'rs!
Shall praise the love that made it ours.
| Bee-eater, 1566
Belzoni, M. 266-address to the
mummy at his Exhibition, 268
Birds, congregating of, 289
Botanist, British, 181
Bryan, M. 68
Buccinum, xliv-barpa, xlv-lapil-
lus, ib. striatum, ib.
Bucket, lines on, 218
Burke, Dr. E. 281
Butterfly, lines 79
Callcott, Dr. 142
Cardium, xxxi-edule, ib.
Carling Sunday, 68
Carnival at Rome, 5-Cornish, 193
Chatham, earl of, 139
Childermas Day, 305
January 1822, 15; February, Christmas Day, 296-305
Chough, cornish, 156
277 Circumcision, 1
Coat-of-mail shell, xxi
Complaint of the dying year, 310