Imatges de pàgina
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with this exception, she imagined she had so disposed of every personal memorial, as to be secure from too frequent a renewal of her griefs by the sight of external objects. She was, however, mistaken. We were all seated in the parlour, myself, and my wife endeavouring to divert the widow's thoughts from the past, by directing them to the future management of her little girl, and flattering ourselves that we had infused into her mind a more than usual serenity, when our attention was aroused by a barking and laughing without-the door was thrown open, and in scampered Juno, with the old white hat tied upon her head, while little Fanny followed shouting behind, delighted with the success of her frolic!-“O Fanny! Fanny !" cried the agonised mother, “why did they suffer —?” She could not utter a word more; but, overcome by her feelings, rushed out of the room, and locked herself in her own chamber. The child, it seems, had seized the old white hat in the first confusion of her father's death, and concealed it in a closet of the nursery, whence she had now withdrawn it to fasten upon Juno’s head, quite unconscious of the distress she was preparing. Young as she was, I endeavoured to impress upon her mind the loss of her papa, for so she always called him, and the necessity of refraining from all mention of his name, or allusion to his death, in the presence of her mother. She appeared to understand, and promised to obey my directions. Fortified and composed by the consolations she never failed to draw form her solitary religious exercises, the widow shortly returned to the parlour, and a tranquillity, though somewhat embarrassed, was again established in our little circle; when Fanny, ready to burst with the possession of what she considered a mystery, kept hovering about her mother; and, at last, taking her hand, and looking up in her face with an 'affectionate importance, she lisped out hesitatingly, “I know some.

thing: papa's dead, but I musn't tell you, because it's a great secret, and you'll be angry if I do.” The poor widow hid her face in her handkerchief with one hand and with the other covered the child's mouth, as if to silence her; but as the little urchin seemed disposed to expostulate, I took her by the hand, led her out of the room, and directed the maid to put her to bed

On re-entering the parlour, I once more found the mother in a state of comparative serenity, and calculated on passing the evening without further outrage to her feelings. The child was asleep, the old white hat was locked up, and it was settled that after tea I was to read a sermon, which I had selected for the purpose, as the best adapted

to pour balm and peace into her wounded bosom. The equipage was already set out, and I recalled that simple but exquisite picture of fire side enjoyment, which Chilvers was so fond of quoting:

The hearth was swept, the fire was bright,
The kettle on for tea, &c.

when my attention was called to Juno, who, instead of basking leisurely before the fire, as was her wont, kept searching round the room, smelling to every individual, and occasionally planting herself close to the door, with an earnest air, as if expecting the arrival of some one else. After waiting some time, she betook herself to the rug, with an appearance of disappointment, whence she presently started, with a short bark, and expression of alacrity, towards the It was Patty entering with the urn.

Now, if Juno had been in a frame of mind to be easily pleased, she could not have muttered such a discontented growl at sight of Patty, whose fair complexion, auburn hair, red arms, and somewhat substantial figure, constituted her a pleasing specimen of the rural English, or rather Saxon, beauty ; while

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her manner and attire rendered her a worthy counterpart to Milton's "peat handed Phillis.?! Juno, however, who had no eyes except for her poor master, whom she was never to see more, returned grumbling to the rug. Exactly the same eager excitement and surly disappointment occurred, when the maid returned with the toast ; but the dog instead of contenting herself with the rug upon this occasion, stood before her mistress, looked wistfully in her face, and whined, as if inquiring for her master. I exchanged glances with my wife, and saw at once that we mutually understood what was passing in Juno's mind, as well as her mistress's. Poor widowed sufferer! I saw her nostrils dilating, the muscles of her mouth working, and her eyes filling, though by a resolute effort of self-command she was striving to surpress and swallow down the rising emotion. She might, perhaps, have succeeded, but Juno, after again listening some time at the door, while a dead silence reigned in the chamber, finally placed herself before her mistress, and set up the most dismal and affecting howl I ever heard. My heart sank within me, as if a cold hand had been dragging it down, and I felt my eyes suffused. My wife had turned towards the window to hide her emotion, for I perceived that she was weeping, and notwithstanding the intensity of my feelings, so rapid and inconsistent are our thoughts, that I found a moment for mentally condemning the absurd fashion of reticules, as she had no handkerchief, and was wiping her eyes with the petticoat of Fanny's doll which had been left in the window seat. But who shall describe the agony of the widow? The gush of passion overpowered all the barriers of resolu. tion and religion, the woman predominated over the Christian, and her emotions flowed more vehemently from the previous control to which they had been subjected. Convulsive and hysterical sobs for some time choked her utterance, and when she was able

to articulate, as if anxious to excuse the violence of her grief by the virtues of its object, she turned towards me, and exclaimed: 66 Wasn't he a kind creature!-every body loved him; and even Juno, you see, cannot forget him. O! sir, you don't know half the kind, generous, and charitable things he did in private !". Her feelings again overpowered her ; she sank her head upon Juno's, who by this time had leaped into her lap, and I shall never forget her wo stricken look, when she raised it and sobbed out, (Psha! where is my handkerchief, my tears are blotting the paper ;) when she sobbed out

Gentle reader, forgive me; my heart and my eyes are both too full; I cannot write a word more.

MEMNON'S HEAD. It is well known, that there were two statues of Memnon: a smaller one, commonly called the young Memnon, whose bust, by the skill and perseverance of Belzoni, has been safely deposited in the British Museum; and a larger and inore celebrated one, from which, when touched by the rays of the morning sun, harmonious sounds were ported to have issued. Cambyses, suspecting that the music proceeded from magic, ordered this statue to be broken up, from the head to the middle of the body; and its prodigious fragments. now lie buried amid the ruins of the Memnonium. Strabó, who states himself to have been a witness of the miracle, attributes it either to the quality of the stone, or to some deception of the priests; while Pausanias suspects that some musical instrument was concealed within, whosc strings relaxed by the moisture of the night, resumed their tension from the heat of the sun, and broke with a sonorous sound Ancient writers vary so much, not only as to the cause of this mysterious music, but even as to the existence of the fact itself,

that we should hardly know what to believe, were it not for the authority of Strabo, a grave geographer, and an eye-witness, who, without any apparent wish to impose upon his readers, declares that he stood beside the statue, and heard the sounds which proceeded from it: “Standing,” he says, “with Elius Gallus, and a party of friends, examining the colossus, we heard a certain sound, without being exactly able to determine whether it proceeded from the statue itself, or its base; or whether it had been occasioned by any of the assistants, for I would rather believe any thing than imagine that stones, arranged in any particular manner, could elicit similar noises."

Pausanias, in his Egyptian travels, saw the ruins of the statue, after it had been demolished by Cambyses, when the pedestal of the colossus reinained standing ; the rest of the body, prostrated upon the ground, still continued, at sunrise, to emit its unaccountable melody. Pliny and Tacitus, without having been eye-witnesses, report the same fact; and Lucian infornis us, that Demetrius went to Egypt, for the sole purpose of seeing the Pyramids, and the statue of Memnon, from which a voice always issued at sunrise. What the same author adds, in his Dialogue of the False Prophet, appears to be only raillery: “When (he writes) I went in iny youth to Egypt, I was anxious to witness the inira. cle attributed to Memnon's statue, and I heard this sound, not like others, who distinguish only a vain noise; but Memnon himself uttered an oracle, which I could relate, if I thought it worth while." Most of the moderns affect to discredit this relation altogether, but I cannot enrol myself among them ; for, if properties, even more marvellous, cau uc proved to exist in the head of the young Memnon, it would be pushing scepticism too far, to deny that there was any thing supernatural in the larger and more celebrated statue. Unless I have been grossly

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