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not help enquiring of myself, · Are these the qualities which are suitable to a child of the dust? to a creature whose breath is in his nostrils? who is liable
every moment to dissolution from a thousand accidents ? and who after death must pass into an unknown state of endless happiness or misery?-a state, O! who can tell how awful! how full of terrors to him who has no ac- ' quaintance with the true God!'
“In such reflections as these, mingled with sad recollections of the pleasures of which I had so lately tasted, together with some painfully tender thoughts of my departed sister and her orphan son, I wasted several weary hours, till at length, worn with fatigue, I fell into a profound sleep; from which I awoke again only to waste the next day in wretched feelings and perplexing thoughts.
“In this manner several days passed, and passed like a dream of which I have little remembrance - when, at the period in which it was expected that we might look for
my father's return, a courier arrived with all speed from Baden, whither my father had followed the court, to inform us that he had been engaged in a duel with the Count of Rheinswald, who had insulted him at a public table; and that he had received a wound which, although believed to be but slight, would probably confine him for some weeks to his bed.
- This second disastrous letter affected my poor mother so violently, as to render her incapable of using any means to soften to me this dreadful information; though there was reason enough to suppose that it would distress me beyond measure, as one whose folly had occasioned so terrible a calamity. I had undergone for some days past severe agitation of mind, and so overwhelming was the shock I received on the arrival of this last afflicting information, that I was seized with fever, became delirious, and remained for some time in such a condition as to know nothing of what passed around me, though my internal horrors were such as I cannot forget even to this day.
“ Since that period, and especially on the recollection of what I then suffered, I have often thought that the parent or tutor who labours to awaken the intellect of his pupil, and to cultivate bis talents and imagina
tion, without giving them a proper direction, is doing the individual as great an injury as he could possibly devise. Such parents are engaged in rousing a sleeping lion, who may probably spend his fury without restraint on the surrounding world. It may confidently be enquired of every experienced teacher, whether, setting religion apart, he does not find his most intelligent pupils always the most difficult to be governed? The awakened intellect of unregenerate man becomes a restless principle, ever propelling its possessor to action; and a right feeling being wanting, the individual becomes the torment of himself, if not the pest of society. It is well known that the intellectual powers of the greater part of mankind remain from the cradle to the grave in a state of comparative inaction; and I can conceive nothing more dreadful than a mighty population alive in every faculty of the mind, acute, lively, instructed, and yet without grace. It is impossible to appreciate the evil which might proceed from such a state of society: yet I believe this to be the state in which many young men are now to be turned out of our schools and colleges; and if our religious labours do not keep pace with the march of intellect in our people, I fear that many such characters may be produced from our national schools and other inferior places of education. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
“ But to leave these reflections, which might carry me too far; I shall content myself with saying, that, during the illness of which I speak, my mental sufferings became so great, and my poor mother was so greatly alarmed on my account, that, instead of going in all speed to my father, as she had at first intended, she lingered by my bed till my father, whose wound being in the arm was not found to be so dangerous as was at first supposed, arrived at home to receive the melancholy tidings of the death of one child, and to find another extended on the bed of sickness.
My father had been at home some days before I had so far recovered my recollection, as to recognize that dear parent, whose unhappy adventure had been the cause of my suffering. But never shall I forget that sweet moment, when, the crisis of my fever being past, I opened my eyes, after a deep sleep, and saw both my
parents watching anxiously by my pillow, my father holding my hand, which I had unconsciously placed in his; his fine countenance expressive of the strongest feelings of parental tenderness, and his noble person, rather rendered more interesting than otherwise by a suit of deep mourning and the silk scarf in which his wounded arm was suspended. • O my father!' I exclaimed, trying to lift myself up to him, but sinking again from weakness on my pillow—when I instantly felt the relief of a flood of tears, without which it was thought that I might have relapsed into my former confusion of intellect.
My child! my Ellen !' repeated this tender father: 'then I am not at once to be bereaved of both my daughters; our Ellen is restored to our prayers.'
"I cannot describe the scene which followed; it was such as no words can do justice to: and I well recollect, that, from this moment, through the gradual progress of my recovery, I was constantly attended by one or other of these beloved parents, who administered to all my wants, and continually supplied me with such amusements as I could best enjoy.
“I have said that my father was no infidel, that he had a respect for religion, and that he always looked to and spoke of some uncertain time when he intended to devote his mind to sacred subjects; steadily affirming that the knowledge of divine things should be the end and aim of all literary research, but still deferring that noblest of all studies to some indefinite time, which in the common course of things could never have come. On occasion, however, of my restoration and my
sister's death, which was described in the letter as having been full of holy hope and divine confidence, the result, under the divine blessing, of a religious life, he expressed himself more than once in a very pious and touching manner, spoke of the necessity of being always prepared for death, talked of the uncertainty of earthly things, and the comfort of constantly looking to a better world. But as he became familiar with the idea of the death of his firstborn, and as he saw the rose of health blossoming afresh upon my cheek, his serious impressions seemed to wear away; so that in the short space of three months since our visit to Swetzinghen, every thing had
returned to its usual course in the castle of Warenheim: and as the house was filled with visitors about the time of the Christmas festivities, my father's health as well as my own being entirely restored, a stranger would not have supposed, excepting from our sable habits, that our house had been so recently a house of mourning.
“But before I entirely dismiss the subject of our visit to Swetzinghen, I must account for the duel which had taken place between my
father and the Count of Rheinswald. It seems that this young man had taken offence at my father's sending me from Swetzinghen at so short a notice, and before he could have had time to be
apprized of my departure; and that having no doubt of my father's motives for so doing, he had taken occasion to remonstrate with him on the subject, and to solicit my hand by a decided declaration of regard. My father treated him with politeness, for he was incapable of rudeness, but declined the proposed connexion: soon after which the count took occasion to insult
father at a public table; when anger arose to such a height between them, that it was thought necessary by the company present, for the honour of my father, that the matter should be determined by a duel.
· My father, who was naturally a remarkably gentle character, was, however, capable of high irritation; and having no strong religious principles to restrain him, he allowed himself to be persuaded, from a sense of false honour, not only to endanger the life of a fellow-creature, but also to hazard his own. And he had reason, as he often afterwards declared, for the utmost gratitude to God, that a more sorrowful termination was not permitted to this affair than a slight wound in his own arm, without any injury whatever done to his adversary.
“Were it to my present purpose, I might here say much, very much, on this dreadful practice of duelling, so frequent on the Continent. But I refrain, in consideration that my history has already run to a considerable length, and that I believe there are now few persons in England who have not just and correct opinions on this subject.
“ The winter passed away at Warenheim without being marked by any event worthy of notice; and when the spring arrived, it brought with it the hope of little Alfred's speedy arrival, together with his tutor the excellent Mr. Gisborne. No sooner were we informed that they were actually on the Continent, than my father proceeded to Cologne in order to meet them, as Mr. Gisborne had chosen the route through the Low Countries in order that he might visit an old friend who at that time resided at Bonn.
“When my father reached Cologne, he found that Mr. Gisborne's friend expressed so strong a desire to detain the old gentleman in his house for a few weeks, that he judged it best to yield to his solicitations; and accordingly, leaving one of his own servants to take care of the venerable traveller, and bring him forward in his own time, he hastened back to his family, accompanied by his little grandson.
“ It may well be supposed that I was a little anxious to see this child, who was the only representative of a sister I had never known; and having been told that he was a pretty boy, I had already attributed to him all the external perfections with which the poets have adorned Hyacinthus, or Narcissus, or the youthful Ganymede; so that during my father's absence I was exceedingly impatient, and felt the wings of time to move with a very heavy pace. At length, a courier having announced the speedy approach of my father's carriage, I had scarcely time to run into the portico, before the little traveller, preceding his companion, sprang from the carriage, and was folded in my arms.
“ • And whom do you resemble? and what are you like?' I said, as I drew back, and held him at a distance, while my keen and eager gaze brought blushes into his cheeks, and he struggled, though gently, to get
Alfred,' I said, you are not like what I expected, though you have golden hair and sparkling eyes; but I imagined you to be very different from what I now behold.'
“And what might you have expected, my Ellen?' said my father, coming up to us at the moment.
. See you not how you perplex this little stranger? he has a tender spirit, and every thing in this country is new to him. Come, come, my boy,' he added, taking his hand, 'you want some refreshment, no doubt:' and, so say