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FORTY YEARS SINCE.     23

their afflictions, and keep thyself unspotted from the world." Her faithful obedience to this admonition, uttered from the confines of another state, might have cheered her heart, had it been wont to linger amid the recollections of its own virtue. The tissue of her good deeds, which was extolled by others as woven by a perfect hand, she was accustomed so to scan, as to administer to her humility.

Such influence had imagination in this hour of excited feeling, that almost, her husband, the companion of her youth, seemed present, in his accustomed seat by her side. In fancy, she gazed upon his mild features, radiant with the beams of intelligence. Half she listened to his voice, explaining the axioms of science, or pouring forth the spirit of benevolence. Then came the prattling tones of children, the smile, the sport, the winning attitudes of those three boys, who returned no more. But illusion vanished, and more bitterly than her melancholy poet, she might have apostrophized the grim conqueror;

     "Thy dart flew thrice and thrice my peace was slain,
     And thrice, ere thrice, yon moon had fill'd her horn."[1]

Yet no repining mingled with her sorrow. She loved Him who had chastened her; and raising upward eyes, whose pure azure shone through the big tear, she uttered in the low tone of mental devotion, " I thank Thee that I am not alone, for Thou art with me." Tenderly impressed by a renovation of her woes, yet gratefully revolving the short space which separated her from her beloved,

  1. Edward Young, The Complaint: or Night-Thoughts on Life, Death & Immortality, Night I.