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Monthly Journal of Fashion,
EMBELLISHED WITH SIX HUNDRED BEAUTIFUL DESIGNS
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY I. PAYNE, 11, DENMARK STREET, SOHO.
THE WIDOW AND HER SON.
human being—the utter loss of reason. For some years after the
death of her husband and all her other children, this son was her There is not on this round green earth, a lovelier lake than support ; and there was no occasion to pity them in their poverty Achray, about a mile above Loch Vennachar, and as we approach where all were poor. the brigg of Turk, we arrive at the summit of an eminence, Her natural cheerfulness never forsook her; and although whence we descry the sudden and wide prospect of the winilings fallen back in the world, and obliged in her age to live without of the river that issues from Loch Achray, and the loch itself re- many comforts she once had known, yet all the past gradually posing, sleeping, dreaming on its pastoral—its sylvan bed. was softened into peace, and the widow and her son were in that
But let us rise from the green sward, and before we pace along shieling as happy as any family in the parish. He worked at all the sweet shores of Loch Achray, for its nearest murmur is yet kinds of work without, and she sat spinning from morning to more than a mile off, turn away up from the brigg of Turk into night within-a constant occupation, southing to ove before Glenfinglas, a strong mountain torrent, in which a painter, even whose mind past times might have otherwise come too often, with the soul of Salvator Rosa, might find studies, inexhaustible and that creates contentment by its uudisturbed sameness and for years, tumbles on the left of a ravine, in which a small band visible progression. of warriors might stop the march of a numerous host.
If not always at meals, the widow saw her son for an hour or With what a loud voice it brawls through the silence, freshen- two every night, and throughout the whole Sabbath-day. They ing the hazels, the birches, and the oaks, that care not even for slept too under one roof; and she liked the stormy weather when the dews in that perpetual spray; but the savage scene softens the rains were on—for then he found some ingenious employas you advance, and you come out of the sylvan prison into a ment within the shieling, or cheered her with some book lent by plain of meadows and corn-fields, alive with the peaceful dwel- a friend, or with the lively or plaintive music of his native hills. lings of industrious men.
Sometimes, in her gratitude, she said that she was happier now Here the bases of the mountains, and even their sides high up, than when she had so many other causes to be so : and when are without heather, a rich sward, with here and there a deep occasionally an acquaintance dropt in upon her solitude, her face bed of brackens, and a little sheep-sheltering grove.
Skeletons welcomed every one with a smile, that spoke of more than resigof old trees, of procligious size, lie covered with mosses and wild nation; nor was she averse to partake the sociality of the other flowers, or stand with their barkless trunks and white limbs huts, and sat sedate among youthful merriment, when summer unmoved when the tempest blows ; for Glenfinglas was anciently or winter festival came round, and poverty rejoiced in the riches a deer forest of the kings of Scotland, and the echoes of Benledi of content and innocence. But her trials, great as they had answered to the hunter's horn.
been, were not yet over; for this her only son was laid prostrate It is the property of the Earl of Moray, and from time imme- by fever; and when it left his body, he survived hopelessly morial it has been possessed by tenants of his own clan, the stricken in mind. His eyes, so clear and intelligent, were now Stewarts, who, living in this seqnestered situation, in a sort of fixed in idiocy, or rolled about unobservant of all objects living rural village, are connected with one another by inter-marriages or dead. To him all weather seemed the same—and if suffered, and passing their days in ease and comfort, furnish one of the he would have lain down like a creature void of understanding, finest examples of patriarchal felicity that occur in these modern in rain or in snow, nor been able to find his way back for many times.
paces from the hut. As all thought and feeling had left him-50 Not a more beautiful vale ever inspired pastoral poet in Arca- had speech-all but a moaning as a pain of woe, which noue but dia, nor did Sicilian shepherds of old ever pipe to each other for a mother could bear to hear without shuddering—but she heard prize of oaten reed, in a lovelier nook, than where yonder cottage it during night as well as day, and only sometimes lifted up her stands, shaded, but scarcely sheltered, by a few birch trees.
eyes as in prayer to God. It is in truth not a cottage--but a shieling of turf, part of the An offer was made to send him to a place where the afflicted knoll adhering to the side of the mountai). Not another dwel- were taken care of; but she besought charity for the first time ling-even as small as itself-within a mile in any direction. —such alms as would enable her, along with the earnings of her Those goats, that seem to walk where there is no footing, along wheel, to keep her son in the shieling : and the means were given the side of the cliff, go of themselves to be milked at ereving, to her from many quarters to do so decently, and with all the coma house beyond the hill, without any barking dog to set them fort that other eyes observed, but of which the poor object himhome. There are many foot paths, but all of sheep, except one self was iusepsible and unconscious. Thenceforth, it may almost leading through the coppice-wood to the distant kirk. The angler be said she never more saw the sun, nor heard the torrents roar. seldom disturbs those shallows, and the heron has them to him- She went not to the kirk, but kept her sabbath where the paraself, watching often with motionless neck all day long.
į lytic lay –and there she sung the lonely psalm, and said the Yet the shieling is inhabited, and has been so by the same lonely prayer, upheard in Heaven, as many despairing spirits person for a good many years. You might look at it for hours would have thought-but it was not s0—for in two years there and yet see vo one so much as moving to the door. But a little came a meaning to his eyes, and he found a few words of imsmoke hovers over it-faint as mist, and nothing else tells that perfect speech, among which was that of “ Mother!" Oh ! how within is life.
her heart burned within her, to know that her face was at last It is inhabited by a widow, who once was the happiest of wives, recognized! To feel that her kiss was returned, and to see the and lived far down the glen, where it is richly cultivated, in a first tear that trickled from eyes that so long had ceased to weep! house astir with many children.
Day after day, the darkness that covered his brain grew less It so happened, that in the course of nature, without any ex- and less deep--to her, that bewilderment gave the blessedness of traordinary bereavemeuls, she outlived all the household, except hope ; for her son now knew that he had an immortal soul and one, on whom fell the saddest afliction that can possibly befal a one evening joined faintly and feebly, and erringly in prayer.