Imatges de pàgina
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Bess was looking hard at me, whin- that, not that; but I loved her true, I nying for her breakfast.

“ Bess," says say,

- I loved her true, and I'd spoken I, very slow, “ we must get home — to- my last words to her, my very last; night- any — how.”

I had left her those to remember, day I pushed open the door. It creaked in and day out, and year upon year, as out into a great drift, and slammed long as she remembered her husband, back. I squeezed through and limped as long as she remembered anything. out. The shanty stood up a little, in I think I must have gone pretty nearthe highest part of the Goth. I went ly mad with the fever and the thinking. down a little, – I went as far as I I fell down there like a log, and lay could go. There was a pole lying groaning, “God Almighty! God Althere, blown down in the night; it mighty!” over and over, not knowing came about up to my head. I sunk it what it was that I was saying, till the into the snow, and drew it up.

words strangled in my throat. Just six feet.

Next day, I was too weak so much I went back to Bess and Beauty, as to push open the door. I crawled and I shut the door. I told them I around the hut on my knees, with my could n't help it, —- something ailed hands up over my head, shouting out my arms, - I could n't shovel them as I did before, and fell, a helpless out to-day. I must lie down and wait heap, into the corner; after that I never till to-morrow.

stirred. I waited till to-morrow. It snowed How many days had gone, or how all day, and it snowed all night. It many nights, I had no more notion was, snowing when I pushed the door than the dead. I knew afterwards ; out again into the drift. I went back when I knew how they waited and exand lay down. I did n't seem to care. pected and talked and grew anxious,

The third day the sun came out, and and sent down home to see if I was I thought about Nannie. I was going there, and how she — But no matter, to surprise her. She would jump up no matter about that. and run and put her arms about my I used to scoop up a little snow when neck. I took the shovel, and crawled I woke up from the stupors. The bread out on my hands and knees. I dug it was the other side of the fire ; I could down, and fell over on it like a baby. n't reach round. Beauty eat it up one

After that, I understood. I'd never day; I saw her. Then the wood was had a fever in my life, and it's not used up. I clawed out chips with my strange that I should n't have known nails from the old rotten logs the shanbefore.

ty was made of, and kept up a little It came all over me in a minute, blaze. By and by I could n't pull any I think. I could n't shovel through. more. Then there were only some Nobody could hear. I might call, and I coals, — then a little spark. I blew at might shout. By and by the fire would that spark a long while, — I had n't go out. Nancy would not come. Nan- much breath. One night it went out, cy did not know. Nancy and I should and the wind blew in. One day I never kiss and make up now.

opened my eyes, and Bess had fallen I struck my arm out into the air, and down in the corner, dead and stiff. shouted out her name, and yelled it out. Beauty had pushed out of the door Then I crawled out once more into the somehow and gone.

I shut up my drift.

eyes. I don't think I cared about seeI tell you, Johnny, I was a stout- ing Bess, – I can't remember very well. hearted man, who 'd never known a Sometimes I thought Nancy was there fear. I could freeze. I could burn up in the plaid shawl, walking round the there alone in the horrid place with ashes where the spark went out. Then fever. I could starve. It was n't death again I thought Mary Ann was there, nor awfulness I could n't face, - not and Isaac, and the baby. But they

never were. I used to wonder if I was n't dead, and had n't made a mistake about the place that I was going


One day there was a noise. I had heard a great many noises, so I did n't take much notice. It came up crunching on the snow, and I did n't know but it was Gabriel or somebody with his chariot. Then I thought more likely it was a wolf.

Pretty soon I looked up, and the door was open; some men were coming in, and a woman. She was ahead of them all, she was; she came in with a great spring, and had my head against her neck, and her arm holding me up, and her cheek down to mine, with her dear, sweet, warm breath all over me; and that was all I knew.

Well, there was brandy, and there was a fire, and there were blankets, and there was hot water, and I don't know what; but warmer than all the rest I felt her breath against my cheek, and her arms about my neck, and her long hair, which she had wrapped all in, about my hands.

"O don't!" said she, and first I knew she was crying.

"But I will," says I, "for I 'm sorry." "Well, so am I," says she. Said I, "I thought I was dead, and had n't made up, Nannie."

"O dear!" said she; and down fell a great hot splash right on my face. Says I, "It was all me, for I ought to have gone back and kissed you."

"No, it was me," said she, "for I was n't asleep, not any such thing. I peeked out, this way, through my lashes, to see if you would n't come back. I meant to wake up then. Dear me!" says she, "to think what a couple of fools we were, now!"

"Nannie," says I, "you can let the lamp smoke all you want to!"

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So by and by my voice came. "Nan- be her face, looking as it looked at me nie!" said I.

BUSY BRAINS. Arestie Affott.


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But sometimes I think, Johnny, when it comes my time to go, - if ever it does, I've waited a good while for it, — the first thing I shall see will


just then.

ly her works; she has the assurance to attempt to answer questions about all things else in heaven and earth; but when her life is the subject of inquiry, that life seems to elude her own observation. We see in the evening sky stars so dim that the eye cannot fix upon them; we only catch glimpses of them when we are looking at some other point aside; the moment we turn the eye full upon them, they are lost to r sight. This covert and transient vision is the best which men have ever yet caught of the Mind, which they have

studied so long to know. The meta- which every student passes through, physicians look directly at it, and to which turn and return upon the mind, them it is invisible, and they cannot irresistible and mysterious ? What agree what it is, nor how it moves. are the causes of those strange and And when we look aside at the anato- delightful exaltations of mind in which my and physiology of the human frame, thought runs like a clock when the or, on the other hand, at the complex pendulum is off, and crowds a week and endless variety of human actions of existence into an hour of time ? and human experience, we catch only Whence are those dull days which a partial and unsatisfactory glimpse of come so unexpectedly, and sometimes the soul which is beyond.

lead a troop of dull followers, to inThought, as we have suggested, will terrupt our life's work for a week at uncover to us almost anything sooner a time? Where are we to search for than the secrets of its own power. It obstructions in the channels of the has explained much about the con- mind when ideas will not flow? How ditions of rapid vegetation, and how is it that, after a period of clearness to procure profitable crops from the and activity in thought, the brain earth ; but how little has it yet dis- grows indolent, and, without a feeling closed of the conditions which secure of illness, or even of fatigue, work lags vigorous thinking, and best promote and stops ? By what right is it that, the development of truth !

at times, each faculty in our possession But some one may say: " I supposed seems to grow independent, and refuses that the conditions of mental activity to return to its task at our call ? What were well known; they are quiet, are the secret psychological conditions peace of mind, neither too much nor which influence the mental powers as too little food, and a subject which in- strangely as if there were a goblin who terests the feelings, or effectually calls had power to mesmerize Fancy and forth the powers of the mind."

put it to sleep, to lock up Imagination Though you know all this, you are in a dreary den of commonplaces, to in ignorance still. Truly a savage blindfold Attention and make sport of might profess the art of agriculture his vain groping, and to send sober in this fashion ; for all this is only Reason off on foolish errands, so that as if one were to say that the con- Mistress Soul has not a servant left ? ditions of success in farming were to Such variations of mental power, be where there were no earthquakes which we call moods of mind, are or avalanches, that is, to be quiet ; to often caused, doubtless, by ill-health, have the ground cleared of trees, that or by fatigue, or by some irregularity is, to have the mind free from cares of habit, or by anxiety of mind; but and the shadows of sorrows ; to have the experience of every student will neither too much nor too little sun- probably attest the existence of such shine and rain, that is, to be properly variations where none of these causes fed ; and to have good seed to put can be assigned. There are moods into the ground, that is, to engage the which we cannot trace to illness, or mind with a topic which it will expand weariness, or external circumstances. and reproduce. After all these things Men are prone to regard them as have been secured, it is only a sort of whims, which sometimes they struggle barbaric husbandry that we have prac- against and sometimes they yield to, tised. The common and rude expe- but at all times wonder at. rience of men, laboring without think- The connection of the mind and ing about their labor, teaches these body, and the dependence of the mind things, and the very beginnings of the upon the health and vigor of the body, art and science of Intellectual Econ- have been much dwelt upon; and we omy come beyond and after these. cannot be too deeply sensible of the

What shall we say of those moods debt which the student owes to those who have made this truth prominent to His difficulty was a lung complaint, or him. But, after all, it is wonderful with asthma; but his biographer says : “ It how much independence of bodily suf- occasioned disturbance to no person fering — and even of suffering in the but himself, and persons might be brain the mind carries itself, and with him without any other concern this fact seems worthy of more dis- than that created by seeing him tinct recognition than it has received. suffer.” Notwithstanding this permaIt significantly confirms our belief in nent suffering, his works are alike lathe existence of an immaterial prin- borious and voluminous. ciple, or soul, superior to the mere Robert Hall, in the period when his functions of the brain. Great and intellectual power was most vigorous, healthful mental activity often exists pursued his daily studies almost rein a disordered body; and biographi- gardless of the pain which was his cal literature is full of illustrations of companion through life. Dr. Gregory the power of a strong will to accom- pursued a course of study with him plish brilliant results while the system in metaphysics and in mathematics; is agitated by physical distress.

and he writes: “On entering his room Campbell, the poet, pursued his reg- in the morning, I could at once tell ular habit of writing every day, even whether or not his night had been reunder the pressure of much bodily freshing ; for if it had, I found him at pain.

the table, the books to be studied Cowper never, when it was possible ready, and a vacant chair set for me. to perform his task, excused his frail If his night had been restless, and and desponding body from attendance the pain still continued, I found him in his little summer-house, morning lying on the sofa, or, more frequently, and afternoon, until his forty lines of upon three chairs, on which he could Homer were arrayed in English dress. obtain an easier position. At such The ballad of " John Gilpin” originat- seasons, scarcely ever did a complaint ed during one of his illnesses. With issue from his lips; but, inviting me the hope of diverting his mind during to take the sofa, our reading coman unusually severe attack of gloom, menced. .... Sometimes, when he Lady Austen related to him the his- was suffering more than usual, he tory of the renowned citizen, which proposed a walk in the fields, where, she had heard in her childhood. The with the appropriate book as our comtale made a vivid impression, and the panion, we could pursue the subject. next morning he told her that the lu- If he was the preceptor, as was comdicrous incident had convulsed him monly the case in these peripatetic with laughter during the night, and lectures, he soon lost the sense of that he had embodied the whole into pain, and nearly as soon escaped from a ballad.

our author, whoever he might be, and Paley's last, and perhaps, for his expatiated at large upon some train day, his greatest work, — his “Natural of inquiry or explication which our Theology," - was principally composed course of reading had suggested. As during the period in which he was sub- his thoughts enkindled, both his steps ject to attacks of that terribly malady, and his words became quicker, until nephralgia.

erelong it was difficult to say whether So great was the delicacy of John the body or the mind were brought Locke's constitution, that he was not most upon the stretch in keeping up capable of a laborious application to with him.” the medical art, which was his pro- Hannah More, who wrote many volfession; and it is not improbable that umes, and accumulated a fortune of his principal motive in studying it nearly a hundred and fifty thousand was that he might be qualified, when dollars from them, was an invalid. In necessary, to act as his own physician. her early life, as well as in her de


clining years, she was subject to suc- sore from head to foot, and with the cessive illnesses, which threw great symptoms of old age. His “Saint's impediments in the way of her intel- Rest” was written as his meditation lectual exertions. Morning headaches in a severe illness, and after he had prevented her from rising early. She been given up by his physicians. used to say that her frequent attacks Lindley Murray commenced his work of illness were a great blessing to her, as a grammarian, and his other writindependently of the prime benefit of ings, after disease had fixed upon his cheapening life and teaching patience; declining years. Having successively for they induced a habit of industry engaged in the practice of law, and in not natural to her, and taught her to mercantile pursuits, and having retired make the most of her well days. She from the latter with some property, he laughingly added, it had taught her fell into ill-health, which compelled also to contrive employments for her him to go abroad, and kept him an sick ones ; that from habit she had exile through the remainder of his learned to suit her occupations to every long life. The disease with which he gradation of the measure of capacity was afflicted was a weakness in the she possessed. “I never,” she said, lower limbs, which precluded him from “afford a moment of a healthy day walking, and, after a time, from taking to transcribe, or put stops, or cross t's, any exercise whatever. He was thus or dot my i’s. So that I find the low- imprisoned, as it were, in a countryest stage of my understanding may seat, near York, in England; and here be turned to some account, and save he commenced those literary labors, better days for better things. I have which, so far from being forbidden by learned from it also to avoid procras- his illness, did much to alleviate his tination, and that idleness which often sufferings. He says: “In the course attends unbroken health.”

of my literary labors, I found that the Baxter, one of the most voluminous mental exercise which accompanied of English writers, was an invalid. them was not a little beneficial to my After speaking of his multifarious la- health. The motives which excited bors as pastor, preacher, and also me to write, and the objects which I surgeon to the poor in general, he hoped to accomplish, were of a nature says these were but his relaxation; calculated to cheer the mind, and to his writing was his chief labor, which give the animal spirits a salutary imwent slowly on, for he had no amanu pulse. I am persuaded that, if I had ensis, and his weakness took up so suffered my time to pass away with much of his time. “ All the pains little or no employment, my health that my infirmities ever brought on would have been still more impaired, me," he adds, “were never half so my spirits depressed, and perhaps my grievous and afflictive as the unavoid- life considerably shortened.” able loss of time which they occa- Of Lord Jeffrey, who was a very

hardsioned. I could not bear, through working man, it is said that one of his the weakness of my stomach, to rise cures for a headache was to sit down before seven, and afterwards not till and clear up a deep legal question. much later; and some infirmities I The cases of Pascal, Dr. Johnson, labored under made it above an hour Channing, and others, will doubtless before I could be dressed. An hour occur to the reader. It will suffice here I must have of necessity to walk be- to mention one more,--that of William fore dinner, and another before sup- of Orange, whose vigorous, compreper, and after supper I could seldom hensive, and untiring intellect through study." He is described as one of a long course of years wielded and the most diseased men that ever shaped the destinies of England, and reached the full limit of human life, en- enabled him, if not to make a more tering upon mature life diseased and brilliant page in history, yet to leave

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