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covered mound and plain wooden cross. There my father at déjeuner, and remained the whole lay bright laughing Désirée Blanc, the prettiest, day. They were literary men, and I knew my merriest girl in the village last spring. Who father would too thoroughly enjoy so unwonted would have thought of death for her? And her a pleasure to allow them to depart, while there look the last time I saw her, a few days before was a possibility of detaining them. For a time her death, which had haunted me for days, but I worked in the garden, then took a book, and had then caused me no deep thought-only tears tried to read; but vainly. The new deep thoughts -recurred to me.
that had been so suddenly aroused that morning I said something about her being better when were still filling my mind. I could not rest, and the warm spring weather came. She did not at last I went out; first to my mother's grave, answer; but, oh, the look in those bright, mourn- where I lingered long ; then far away through the ful eyes, so infinitely sad and wistful! I tried wood-paths, and up the steep mountain side—the again to cheer her, but she said, in her low, gasp- same teeming freshness and beauty of life around ing voice :
me—the same turmoil of unrest and uncertainty “No, Mademoiselle—I am dying. I know it, within. The golden rays of the setting sun were I feel it. And I do not know where I am going ;- bathing the young fresh foliage of the woods, the it is all so dark, -so dark;' and she shuddered. dark walls of the ruined castle, the grim gray
“ Cannot Father Fontaine help you?” I asked. towers of the stately old château, the lowly homes
No," she said; "no, no, he does not help me. of the village, with living light, when I returned He says all will be well at last, if I have the last —but the churchyard lay in shadow. And the rites of the Church. But I want to know; and shadows deepened round my heart. it is all dark,-oh, so dark !"
Finding the visitors still in my father's study, Her mother entered and I left, bearing with me I went, led by the same strong impulse that had the haunting gaze of those pleading eyes. I so strangely influenced me all day, into my looked at her grave and thought of this. She mother's boudoir. Since her death, it had been knew now. .
And how soon might not I know ? unused and rarely entered ; everything remained Oh, for the secret which brought such light to exactly as she had left it, except the book-shelves, my mother's last hours! Oh, for the book in several of which were quite empty—others held which she said she found it! And suddenly I only a few volumes. As I raised the jalousies, , resolved to ask my father about it. Sometimes, and the golden sunset light poured into the room, now, that long unspoken name was mentioned the faded hangings and dust-covered furniture between us.
I would ask him that very day. were brought into strange contrast with its freshHe must know; and the hunger of my heart was ness and purity. And they brought, too, my too great to brook delay, even at the cost of dis- mother's last words,—“Light out of darkness.” pleasing or paining him ;-I must ask. And with Around me the mute tokens of the past, the these solemn thoughts in my heart, I spent the silent recorders of my mother's daily life—of what bright hours of that birthday.
it had been, rather,-lay telling of decay and death. But from above, through the high narrow window,
over the lower part of which a dense mass of CHAPTER IV.
tangled jessamine had fallen, came that beautiful
light. Earth and Heaven contrasted. And as I MY MOTHER'S LEGACY.
looked up into the deep blue patch of sky visible It was a rare thing for the monotony of our through the clear upper panes, and watched & quiet household to be broken in upon by visitors ; light fleecy cloud glide slowly past, tinted richly yet that day, when I longed with feverish rest with the amber radiance that pervaded everything, lessness of impatience to be alone with my father, from my soul's depths went up a dumb prayer to make the plunge I longed but dreaded to for light, a voiceless cry for help. make, two strange gentlemen from Besançon I think I felt that day as a child might feel arrived before the hour at which I used to join / when he discovers that the narrow but sunny
path along which he has been carelessly tripping, that paper still—one of the few treasures saved gathering sweet blossoms, chasing gay insects, from the wreck of my earthly all. It bore these listening to glad sounds, borders upon a yawning words :abyss, into which a loosened stone, a careless “God is light, and in him is no darkness at step, a giddy moment might plunge him, and all.” finds he is alone. No one to clasp his out- “God is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and stretched hand; no one to hear his feeble cry for cannot look upon iniquity.” help! O how I longed for the light which my “The righteous God trieth the very hearts and mother had found! the light in which now I reins." knew she dwelt. I had thought that out through “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and know the long hours of that eventful day; had thought, or rather felt it out. God, I knew, was the “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine upsource of all created light. Was he not too the rising. Thou understandest my thought afar off. fountain of all revealed light ? Was not that light “Thou compassest my path, and my lying on ber dying face from him? And had that down, and art acquainted with all my ways. light been given then, to be quenched so soon by “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, death? No; I felt it was rather as the first lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. ray gilding the mountain-peaks, telling of a ful- “Thou hast beset me behind and before, and ness of day to come. My mother was with God, laid thine hand upon me. and I had resolved to seek God!
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it But how? I knew not. Strange, no thought is high, I cannot attain unto it. of the forms and rites of my Church occurred to “Whither shall I go from thy spirit ? or me then, as stepping-stones to that knowledge. whither shall I flee from thy presence ? All seerned so new, so wide, so far beyond human “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there : help. With a thought of the book I so longed if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art to possess, I turned to the rifled shelves, and took there. up volume after volume. A missal, poems, lives "If I take the wings of the morning, and of the saints, simple books of science and history, dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea ; household guides,-nothing to help me. Father “Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy Lefévre had taken good care of that.
right hand shall hold me. Mechanically I turned over first one and then “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; another, mechanically and aimlessly; but He who even the night shall be light about me. watches the sparrow's fall, and marks the young “Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but raven's cry, was looking in love and pity on me. the night shineth as the day : the darkness and He understood, for he had roused the blind the light are both alike to thee." yearning of my heart; and he sent me a message “God is a spirit; and they that worship him of love, disguised as one of wrath and terror, from must worship him in spirit and in truth.” an unexpected source.
“What shall it profit a man, if he gain the From the leaves of a book I took up with list- whole world, and lose his own soul ? ” less fingers and unseeing eyes, fluttered a tiny “For we shall all stand before the judgmentsheet of paper. I stooped and picked it up. It
It seat of Christ.” was yellow with age; and in the tremulous, faded And below, as if added after, in a still feebler characters, I recognised the tracings of my hand :mother's feeble hand. The words were new and “ There is ONE Sacrifice for sins." strange to me. I knew nothing of their inspired “ONE Name whereby we must be saved.” source, yet my soul thrilled and quailed before “ONE Mediator between God and men.” their power. Written in uneven letters, telling That was all ; but it was enough. The “twoall too plainly of weakness and suffering, the liv. edged sword,” quick and powerful, pierced my ing words searched into my soul like fire. I have heart, burning into it "like fire;" breaking it asunder “like a hammer that breaketh the strong And then, that solemn judgment-seat, with the rock in pieces.”
terrible form of an angry Christ enthroned upon When, or for what purpose, my mother had it, lightnings in his hand, and thick thunderwritten these searching words, why she had placed clouds around him-as I had once seen it depicted them in that book, I shall never know on earth; in a dark old picture—rose before me. The but I believe that I shall “know hereafter," when solemn question, "What shall it profit a man, if the secret workings of God's gracious plans for he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?” bringing his people to himself, when still “ blind,” awoke with fresh power that awful monotone “ by ways that they know not,” shall be revealed. “Eternity," that had been resounding through Then I think it will be shown that He who sees my heart's secret chambers all day. the end from the beginning, guided that feeble But those last words, in some indefinable way, hand, and prompted that trembling heart, to trace brought a gleam of hope. They told of a way the living words that should be the means of rous- that might be found. Others had found it, and ing the child she so fondly loved, for whom, I might not I? They spoke of one Name in which doubt not, she prayed so much, from the sleep of there was salvation, one Sacrifice for sins, and of sin, of deadly error and ignorance.
one Mediator between God and men.
There was Little did Father Lefèvre think, when he so salvation, then—there was a sacrifice there was carefully carried away every trace of my mother's some thing, some one, to come between my shrink"heresy,” that a tiny paper, in one of those harmless, ing soul and its God. This kept me from deordinary books, would frustrate all his schemes. spair. One day I might find the meaning of
Holding the paper in my hand, I stood as this. I have found it now. “ Thanks be unto spell-bound. But what a tempest was at work God for his unspeakable gift.” in my soul, doing in a few brief moments what How long I stood there I cannot tell. I heard years often fail to do! It brought me, a poor, sounds that betokened the departure of the guests, naked, helpless, shivering sinner, into the awful, as one hears voices in a dream ; but I did not searching, actual presence of the living God! A move. But at last I caught my father's voice God, the terrible beams of whose ineffable, un calling my name, wonderingly, a little impatiently. approachable light, blazed full into the very inmost Then I started, and found the red glow of evenrecesses of my heart, the hidden depths of my ing had faded; and as I looked up, I met the being; and yet a God of such immaculate purity, bright, pure gleam of the first star. I had loved such awful holiness, that no spot or stain, no to watch it, but now it appeared to me like a shadow of defilement, could possibly be tolerated calm, pure, clear eye, looking down from heaven by him! A God, too, from whose presence there into my very soul; and hastily folding the paper, could be no escape, from the cradle to the grave and concealing it in my bosom, I went at once -no, nor beyond! By night and by day-sleep- to my father. ing and waking-thinking or speaking-behind, I found him weary and chafed and sad. The before, around, above, beneath-an awful, actual, strangers had brought tidings from the outer living, abiding Presence! It was around me then. world, which rarely reached us in that quiet spot, I felt it. It had been around me since I had and then only as dim echoes of long-past things drawn the first breath of life-unfelt, unacknow-tidings of disquiet and unrest, mutterings of a ledged, unknown.
coming storm. They spoke of a corrupt adminisYes; and unworshipped, unserved. For with tration, a tottering throne, a neglected and ignoone mighty sweep of an invisible hand, the veil rant and discontented people, an idle and disthat covered my sight was withdrawn, and I saw organized soldiery. They told of rumours of war, how hollow, how empty, how meaningless had been of a leap into the dark to sink or save a falling the vain forms and childish rites I had looked dynasty : a war, tjo, that would be specially upon as worship. More; what mockery, what bitter to us personally—a war with the great insult, they had been to Him who claims to be German people, and we half Germans ourselves. worshipped "in spirit and in truth."
My father was French, but the fresh years of his youth had been spent in Germany. There he was silence, and my heart beat thick and fast had dreamed his first day-dreams, and formed with the intensity of conflicting feeling,-fear of the one friendship of his life--none the less lasting grieving or displeasing my father, and longing because the hand of death had made it a memory desire to hear what my heart so bungered and ere its first fair bloom of promise had faded or thirsted after. I felt it must be at once, if at ripened into fruit. My mother was German. all : soon Barbe would enter with lights, and the
But I think it was less in its French or German right moment be lost. aspect that my father grieved at the prospect In a voice thick with emotion, I stammered— of strife, than over the blight of his life-vision, “Papa, it is my birth-day to-day, you know; the receding of that mirage of universal brother- will you grant me a birth-day favour ?” hood and fraternity of nations that had lured him “Surely, my child," he answered; " if I can. on so long. But it is not of these things I mean Then, feeling how the hand I bad laid on his tremto speak. I am no politician, only a simple bled, he exclaimed, in a tone of almost startled woman,-not even a patriot. How often I have surprise, “Why, Léonie, my darling! what is this? thought of the poor French soldier, lying bleeding Why do you tremble ? Is the favour you mean to death in the fatal streets of Sedan, who asked, to ask so great, or am I so terrible to you
?” hearing a wounded German stretched beside himn The loving gentleness of his voice, and the lifting up his voice in prayer to CHRIST— fond clasp in which he took my trembling hand “Are you then a Christian ?”
gave me courage, and I said—“No, no, dear “Yes," was the reply.
papa—at least, the favour is great to me, and I “Why then do we fight you ?"
am afraid of paining you by asking it.” Ob, kings and princes and statesmen, who He was silent, so I continued—“Papa, I want would not rather bear his own share of suffering, you to tell me about my mother.” than your burden of responsibility! But this is I felt him start, and his hands clasped mine idle talking: such things will be, must be, till convulsively. But the ice was broken, and I told the end come, and the Prince of Peace reign him all—all that I have written here-all about gloriously.
her, I mean, only touching lightly upon the For a time we spoke of these things, my father workings within my own spirit, concluding with and I; and I feared the opportunity I had so a burst of passionate tears, the result of the day's longed for would not come. But at last there overstrain and conflict.
ITHRIDATES, king of Pontus, had an em- inside the tasks were irksome enough, but the stolen
pire in which two-and-twenty languages waters were sweet to the poor lad who could not pay were spoken; and it is asserted that there for such learning; and with his wonderful retention of
was not a province in which he could not words, and with a grammatical intuition which has never administer justice, nor a subject with whom he could been thoroughly explained, he went on acquiring till, at not converse in his own dialect, and without the aid of the age of seventy, he could converse in upwards of an interpreter. But the royal linguist was eclipsed by fifty languages, besides possessing some knowledge of at the late Cardinal Merrofanti, who died as recently as least twenty more. Basque is the most difficult lan1849. This wonderful man was the son of a carpenter guage of Europe; but Merrofanti was at home in both its at Bologna, and acquired his first knowledge of the clas- dialects. Germans he could address either in high Saxon sical languages by listening to the scraps of Latin and or in the patois respectively of Austria and the Black Greek which came through the open casement of a school. Forest. With Englishmen he never misapplied the room window near which he was working. To the boys sign of a tense—a feat of which fev Scotchmen or Irish
men can boast. When Dr. Tholuck visited the Vatican From a volume of Miscellaneous Lectures by the late Dr. James Hamilton, about to be published by Messrs. James Nisbet
he was amazed at the correctness with which Merrofanti and Co. As might be expected, the lectures teem with treasured kept up the dialogue, first in Arabic, then in Persian; facts appropriately applied, and sparkle all over with the subdued humour which characterized the style of the gifted and
and to mention nothing more, he was so thoroughly lamented author.-ED.
master of Chinese that he could preach in the College of the Propaganda to the students from the Celestial tionable value. An appraiser, who lately lived at HampEmpire.
stead, could enumerate all the shops from Temple Bar Of Dr. John Leyden, the distinguished Orientalist, to the Pump in Aldgate; and from being able to tell many mnemonic feats are recorded. Amongst others, all about every corner house in London, who lived in it, it is mentioned that after he had gone to Bombay a case and what business was carried on in it, he went by the occurred where a great deal turned on the exact wording sobriquet “Memory Corner Thompson.” Mr. Paxton of an Act of Parliament, of which, however, a copy could Hood knew a man in London who could repeat the not be found in the presidency. Leyden, who before whole of Josephus; and William Lyon, an itinerant leaving home had had occasion to read over the Act, actor well known in Edinburgh a hundred years ago, undertook to supply it from memory; and so accurate used to gain wagers by committing to memory overnight was his transcript that when, nearly a year after, a the Daily Advertiser, and repeating it word for word printed copy was obtained from England, it was found to next morning. be identical with what Leyden had dictated.
One of the most curious branches of geological science Richard Porson had a remarkable memory. On one originated with that sagacious and accomplished man, occasion when some friends were assembled in Dr. Bur- Dr. Henry Duncan of Ruthwell. In 1828 he observed ney's house at Hammersmith, in examining some old in certain sandstones the footprints of tortoises, and, folnewspapers which detailed the execution of Charles I., lowing up the cue thus furnished to a suggestive mind, they came on sundry particulars which they fancied had the Dumfries-shire discovery has expanded into a sepabeen overlooked by Rapin and Hume; but Porson in- rate little science called Ichnology. It amounts to this: stantly repeated a long passage from Rapin in which Myriads or millions of years ago the tide was ont, and these circumstances were all recounted. Once, when in the beach was smooth, and soft, and flat, and there fell the shop of Priestley the bookseller, a gentleman came a shower of rain, and pitted the surface in a particular in and asked for a certain edition of Demosthenes. way; or it was hail, which made its own particular Priestley did not possess it, and as the gentleman seemed mark. Then came a little salt-water lizard, or a crab a good deal disappointed, Porson inquired whether he sidling along, or frog the size of a well-fed pig, leaping wished to consult any particular passage. The stranger and waddling by turns, and on the micaceous mud each mentioned a quotation of which he was in search, when inscribed the whole history of that day's proceedings Porson opened the Aldine edition of Demosthenes, and, -a little autobiography or Pilgrim's Progress in the after turning over a few leaves, put his finger on the genuine reptilian or batrachian handwriting; and there passage. On another occasion, calling on a friend, he it remained till the tide gently rose, and with fine sand found him reading Thucydides. His acquaintance asked or clay filled up the impressions. And now that the him the meaning of some word, when Porson immedi- whole is converted into rock, there comes some exploring ately repeated the context. “But how do you know that Miller or Mantell, and turns over the stony leaves, and it was this passage I was reading ?" asked his friend. reads the record as plain as if it had been printed yes“Because," replied Porson, “the word occurs only twice terday. in Thucydides ; once on the right hand page—in the Many psychologists maintain that if an impression is edition which you are using—and once on the left. I once made upon the mind, it remains for ever. And observed on which side you looked, and accordingly I there are certain seasons of life or certain circunstances knew to which passage you referred.”
when-if we may use the metaphor-the receiving surWithin the range of our own experience most of our face is peculiarly susceptible, and when the impressions readers must have encountered examples of ready or made are deep, and sharp, and definite. So is it in retentive memory. The last time that the writer visited childhood and youth. The objects then familiar, and a college contemporary distinguished for his scholarship, the texts, the hymns, the languages then mastered, behe found him with a Greek Testament in his hand. On come a life-long heritage, and, like the footprints of the asking him if he had not got it all by heart, he replied cheirotherium in the sandstone of Saxony, it may have that he scarcely thought he had, but he believed that if been a pulpy tablet on which they were first projected, any phrase were given he could tell the chapter and but in the interval it has petrified, and they are now verse where it occurred, and repeat the context. We engraven in the rock for ever. We might go further, tried him with passages till we were wearied, but it was and add that, on the whole, people remember the things impossible to puzzle James Halley; and we believe that in which they are really interested, or the things which the trial might have been extended to the Greek tra- it is very much for their interest to remember. In the gedians and Homer with scarcely inferior success. A one case, like the fine mixture of argillaceous sand left gentleman who used to attend our church once offered by the retiring tide, and ready to take in and retain the to repeat verbatim any sernion, on the following day, minutest traces—the mental tablet or mnemonic organ without taking a single note; the only stipulation which is in a state of spontaneous receptivity, and without any he made was that he should be warned beforehand, so trouble on your part the interesting object will make its as to keep his attention fixed at the tiine. Frequently own mark, and will survive for days, for years, perthese powerful memories are filled with matters of ques- | chance through all existence. In the other case, you