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of oaks and chestnuts, where the mountain-shepherds fed their flocks amidst scenes of rural beauty and simplicity. At length they saw before them the hamlet specified in the letter of Monsieur, consisting of many thatched cottages, situated under the shade of a rude coppice. A torrent poured from the hills to the left of the village, and rested in a clear lake in the depths of the valley. The inhabitants of this village were, as the travellers had been informed at Mende, of the Reformed Religion; and a plain church, with a wooden spire, marked the place of worship belonging to these poor people.
The travellers proceeded till they came to the entrance of the rural village, where they alighted; and, not seeing an inn, or any thing like one, they asked a person whom they met where they might conveniently lodge and accommodate their mules.
Being directed to a small farm-house, they proceeded immediately towards it; and there, entering a courtyard, they speedily met with the accommodation they desired. The mules were led into a kind of barn or stable, and Mrs. Montague and her party were conducted into a rude kitchen. But,” said Mrs. Montague to Mr. Harwood, “now that we are here, what next is to be done? Where is Monsieur to be found? Or is it likely that poor Antoinette should be in this place ?"
While she was speaking, Monsieur himself entered the house, but not with his usual alacrity and animation. He approached Mrs. Montague; he took her hand; he looked earnestly in her face; but the tears stood in his eyes.—“Ah, Madame," he said, “ you are, indeed, come; but you are come too late. Nothing now remains to be done but to weep over the grave of our beloved Antoinette. Murdered by the harshness and cruelty of her relations, our Antoinette sleeps in the dust.
On hearing this, Alice, the faithful Alice, uttered a shriek of horror; and, rushing out of the house, hastened to the little burying-ground of the village, indicated by the steeple of the church peeping over the thatched roofs of the houses which bordered the village street.
As if led by one impulse, the whole party followed, and entered, by a narrow wicket, into the church-yard,
which was on all sides but the front encompassed by the coppice.
In the darkest and most retired corner of this churchyard, in a place overhung by the thick boughs of the neighbouring trees, a newly-made grave had attracted the eager Alice to the spot. Before Monsieur was able to come up to her, she sprang forwards, and was about to throw herself on the grave, when she saw a young man standing by it, his arms folded, and his eyes fixed upon the spot. It was Theodore, whose love for Antoinette was stronger than death itself.
At sight of Alice he started, for he knew her again, but did not speak, till the poor woman, wringing her hands and bending towards the grave, exclaimed, “O, my daughter! dear child, whom I have borne so often in my arms in thy infancy! lovely and pious lady! and do I live-do I live to look upon thy grave ? A thousand afflictions fall on the heads of those who brought thee to this!"
Theodore shuddered at these words, and said, "Alice, they did not expect it to come to this—they could not have expected it.” So saying, he turned away, and for awhile yielded to the agony of his feelings.
In the mean time, the rest of the party were come up; and as they surrounded the grave they wept, and uttered the deepest expressions of sorrow and regret.
“Lovely Antoinette !" exclaimed Mrs. Montague. “O Joanna, we did not know her value when she was with us, but now she is taken away."
Joanna was distressed; she could not speak; but, kneeling down, she kissed the earth which covered the grave.
At that moment, Theodore, who had walked to a little distance, returned, and advancing, gave his hand to Mrs. Montague. Mr. Harwood then stooped towards the grave, as if intent on the object entombed therein, when suddenly he clasped his hands, and raising his eyes towards heaven, he exclaimed, Look up, my friends; Antoinette-our lovely Antoinette-is not dead; she lives in the presence of her Reedeemer-of Him who completed her salvation.” Then, falling on his knees, the pious young man poured forth a prayer, so warm, so
fervent, so evangelical, that all the party were edified, soothed, and comforted.
Religion,” said Theodore, as he arose from the grave, “religion, I am persuaded, is no fable, no trick of priestcraft. 0, Mr. Harwood !" he added, extending his hand to him over the grave, “give me a share in your friendship; be my guide, my counsellor ; endeavour to complete the work which my Antoinette began.”
All were deeply affected; but I forbear from further description of this scene.
As they departed from the grave, and while they gave it one last and lingering look, Mr. Harwood exclaimed, “As a lily among thorns was the lovely Antoinette ; but now she is removed to a more genial soil; and unfolds her beauties in the paradise above."
But now, as my story has run to an unwarrantable length, I hasten to conclude as concisely as possible; and, because my readers may wish to know how Antoinette came into the valley near Mende, I must inform them, that having suffered severely in the convent, she contrived to make her escape, aided by the inadvertence of a porter, who accidentally left open a door of the garden, at the hour when the family were assembled in the chapel. She walked for some miles through the forest, and thence escaped to the mountains; where she took shelter, in the village above mentioned, in the cottage of a poor old woman, a descendant of one of the ancient Waldenses. There, while living in obscurity and poverty, for some weeks she enjoyed great peace; which was augmented rather than diminished by the rapid advances of a disorder occasioned by the dampness of the cell in the convent.
From this place she contrived to write to Monsieur; but her letter did not reach him till a few weeks before her death! He, however, arrived in time to administer consolation to her during the last few days of her life, and to be benefited by her pious conversation.
Theodore did not arrive till a few hours before her death. She, however, knew him, and was able to say much to him on the subject of his eternal interest. He and Monsieur both witnessed her death; and her eyes were closed by Theodore himself.
The succeeding history of the various personages of this narrative may be briefly stated.
Monsieur returned to the valley of Anzasca, after having parted with Mrs. Montague; and his first work there was, to rid his library of all the books of the French sophists, which he replaced with the productions of some of the most excellent Swiss divines. This procedure indicated a state of mind which leaves us no more anxious thoughts for our old friend Monsieur.
Madame la Comtesse did not long survive her granddaughter. She had not foreseen the dreadful catastrophe occasioned by her severity; and it was observed that she never seemed happy after being informed of it.
The comte lived some years after the death of his mother, unacquainted with domestic happiness : spending most of his time in the houses of restaurateurs and the cafes, amidst clusters of infidels and noisy politicians.
Eleanore, who had so sinfully acquiesced in the illusage of her sister, in order to remove a rival who stood between her, as she thought, and the affections of her cousin, whom she had long secretly loved, had, however, entirely failed of her object; and, finding that, although Antoinette was dead, Theodore did not think of her as she had wished, in the height of her disappointment she married an old nobleman who happened to present himself at the time, and became a wife without affection, and, some time afterwards, a mother without principle. She lived to see all the horrors of the French Revolution, and finished her life in a prison in Paris; but whether in a state of penitence for her complicated offences, or otherwise, we cannot tell.
The chevalier, afterwards the comte de Jentirely broke through the friendship he had formed with Montague and Mr. Harwood. He visited them more than once in England, before the breaking out of the Revolution; and when that awful event took place, he spent many months with them in the valley so often spoken of in the early part of my narrative. Mr. Harwood and Mrs. Montague had reason to think that his religious views were correct, his principles fixed, and his morals pure. He still, however, talked of Antoinette, and was pleased to be shown the places in which she
delighted when residing in England. When the reign of terror was past, he returned to France; but not finding himself at liberty in Paris to follow his own ideas of religion, he bought an estate in Switzerland, where he was residing when we last heard of him.
Joanna was still living with Mrs. Montague when these records were made; but we have not heard whether she has yet added judgment, moderation, and composure, to her other excellent qualities.
Of Mr. Harwood we have nothing to add, but that he still continued to assist Mrs. Montague in all her benevolent designs.
And now, my courteous reader, I conclude my narrative, and am amply repaid for the trouble I have taken in compiling it, if I have succeeded in showing, by a fair and lovely example, the nature of those works produced by the Holy Spirit in the heart of man; and how entirely distinct they are from those appearances and imitations which are often mistaken for them.
The lady of the manor, having concluded the history of Eleanore and Antoinette, requested her young people to unite with her in prayer.
A Prayer for Divine Guidance. “O ALMIGHTY LORD GOD, hearken to our voice, for we have no other hope or trust but in the merits and death of thy dear Son. We hope, through the infinite mercy of our God, we have been brought to a sense of our lost and ruined state by nature. We feel that we are utterly vile and helpless, and entirely guilty in the view of infinite justice; at the same time, we bless thee that we perceive the sufficiency of that salvation provided for us, and so gloriously effected by the wonderful co-operation of the three persons in the Trinity. Lost, as we are, through the malice of Satan, yet have we been predestinated to life through thy love; and though justly condemned for our sin, yet are we justified by the merits of God the Son; and though unfit, through the sinfulness of our natures, for admission into glory, thou hast promised a new heart shall be bestowed upon us by the VOL. VII.