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tempt I endeavoured to throw on my Saviour, it is what I am unable to bear! O, my child ! my child! how gracious is that God who has restrained you from sins of this nature! These are what must make a death-bed terrible! O that I had been born without the faculty of speech! or that I had died before I knew good from evil! or that my life had been spent in the lowest dungeon of the earth, where I never could have had communication with mankind! O Emily!” he would often say, when addressing her, “I tremble when I think what mischief I may have done to the souls of others by my blasphemous jests!"
In this manner he would exclaim, and appeared with difficulty restrained from despair by all that could be said to him of the magnitude and power of redeeming love. Easier moments were, however, sometimes vouchsafed to him; and on these occasions Emily was full of joy, and had no other solicitude but about her Christopher.
It was the end of July; Emily was then in her eighteenth year; and she had lost her brother precisely five years; when, one morning early, her father having enjoyed a peaceful season the day before, called her to his bed-side, and, speaking calmly to her, said, “Emily, my child! darling of my heart! receive, my child, the thanks of your father. All I enjoy now of happiness, humanly speaking, is owing to you. You first persuaded me to read my Bible; you first nade religion lovely to me by your example; you introduced a pious person into my family; you have soothed, consoled, and comforted me in the hour of despair. Without my Emily, I should have sunk under my afflictions. Go then, blessed child; go then, happy child. This day I wish to devote to prayer and solitude. Go, visit your friends in the cottage; make this a holiday; I will see you again at supper.".
· My father!" said Emily, with apprehension. “Be not alarmed, my child," said the father; “ I simply wish to be alone to-day-I wish to devote it to prayer and meditation. I feel that it will do me good. I thank God that. I have, for some time, been blessed with the encouraging hope that all well with me, that my sins are pardoned, and that I shall be hereafter admitted among the blessed. I have no distressing fears now. Although my sins are great, I see that such a price has been paid for
me, as, even in the requirements of divine justice, must be deemed more than sufficient. I shall, I trust, never cease to deplore my sin and sinfulness; but the tears I shed are not those of despondency. You may leave me, there. fore, with pleasure; you may leave me with the pleasing thought, that your once infidel
father desires to be alone, that he may converse with his God, while you, my child, may enjoy the society of your humble friends, and the beauties of this charming country;"
Emily's countenance beamed with tenderness towards her father. He was pale, but the expression of his face was gentle. She kissed him, and saying, “ We shall meet again, dear parent, I trust, at supper, was going out ; when, recollecting herself, she returned, and said, “ But, my father, I do not deserve what you have just said of me.” And she made a free and full acknowledgment of her own departure from what was right, before she knew Madame Vauvrier.
The major, affected by this confession, again embraced her ; lifting up his eyes at the same time to heaven, as in the act of thanksgiving for the preservation of his Emily from the dangers which she had incurred by his neglect; and then he solemnly assured her, that it was only from devotional feelings he wished to be alone.
She left him; and full of gaiety, (innocent gaiety' we may call it, she hastened to take her breakfast, and went forth into the woods, lively with youth, and susceptible with pious feelings of the most delightful nature; and having in her bosom but one regret, one melancholy thought ; and this regarded the fate of Christopher.
And now, my courteous reader, I fear that my favourite Emily will incur your censure, connected with the facts that I am about to relate; in which I confess she did not evince the prudence and discretion that ber age, and es. pecially her religious experience, might lead us to expect; but we must remember our own youthful days, and, under a sense of their many imperfections, make allowance for her.
In retiring from her father's house, Emily had provided herself with a basket, and covered her head with one of those large straw hats usually worn in Switzerland, as a defence from the sun. In passing through the woods, at
tracted by the various beautiful flowers which appeared on every bank and in every brake, she plucked them in large quantities, and filled her basket. Among these, the crimson shrub-rose, then in high bloom, preponderated above the rest ; and, as it was the most abundant, so it was the fairest flower in her collection.
While gathering these flowers, she frequently broke forth into songs of praise, and gave utterance to those hymns she had lately learned from the ancient collection of the Vaudois which Madame Vauvrier had supplied her with. They were chiefly taken from those portions of the psalms, and other prophetic books, that describe the reign of Christ on earth, wherein he is exhibited as a Shepherd and a King, and all the earth described as his fold; when all nations shall be gathered together under his faithful care and government.
As she advanced, lovely and more lovely scenes burst on her sight; and, while her eyes beheld woods and waterfalls, shadowy coppices, sunny downs, snowy mountains, rocky precipices, verdant meadows, flowery banks, with all that is fragrant, all that is fair, all that is magnificent and glorious in nature, in a thousand various combinations, her spiritual mind contemplated the splendours of the kingdom of Christ on earth; and her thoughts were filled with the anticipation of those happy days when showers of blessings shall descend on the righteous; and when the saints of the Lord shall dwell quietly in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
Passing on, yet frequently pausing, she presently came out on the alpine pasture so often mentioned, and there she met with a rare spectacle—a little flock consisting of twelve sheep and a few lambs, feeding on the fragrant herbage. Neither was there wanting a shepherd to complete the scene; and such a shepherd, notwithstanding his russet coat, as might have been taken for the youthful David, ere yet his brows had felt the pressure of the royal
No less fair and ruddy was our shepherd of the Alps. He wore no hat, but his dark ringlets formed a natural coronet above his polished temples ; neither did he want bis staff of office, for he held å crook as he sat beneath the covert of the impending fragment of a rock. Yet, notwithstanding all these lively appearances, there
was a pensiveness in his manner; for he did not look up as Emily approached, but sat ruminating on some misfortune, which seemed to rest heavily upon him.
Emily came forwards, and soon recognised little Wilhelm. She was also at the same time welcomed by his faithful dog, with every testimony of regard which such poor animals are able to express. “ My little shepherd," said Emily, as she drew near to him, “how does it fare with you to-day? Where is your care for your sheep, that you allow a stranger to creep, unheeded, into your pasture ground ?"
At the sound of her voice, he started up; but the tear was in his eye, and his coral lips trembled as with agitation.
“Ah, lady,” he said, “ you are no stranger, and I am glad to see you: but I am so unhappy!"
“What,” said Emily, in alarm,“ what has happened? Is all well at home?"
“ All is well with those at home," said the sobbing boy, "" but very ill with me;" and he burst into tears.
Emily was afflicted for him. She drew close to him. • Nay, but, my boy,” she said, “what can have happened? -you, a shepherd, seated under the shade of a rock, refreshed by fragrant breezes, soothed by rushing waters and murmuring bees, while all the beauties of Switzerland are spread at your feet, and yet unhappy! Have you quarrelled with your little shepherdess ? Has Agnace forsaken you? What can be the cause of these tears ?
The child sobbed; he could not speak.
“Nay, but, my boy, you alarm me,” said Emily. explain this painful occurrence to me.
The young shepherd then, though not without some expressive gestures, thus stated his case to the lady. A certain farmer, he said, in the valley, having, engaged him to watch his sheep during the day, he had brought out with him a certain old hymn-book, which had been for
ages in his family, and had left it, as he believed, by the side of a spring at some distance below, where he had stopped to drink. “ And, oh, lady!” he added, “ my grandmother will be so troubled, if it should be lost'; for my grandfather's name was written on the first page at full length."
Here renewed grief interrupted the recital, and Emily
took occasion to administer some words of consolation. “ But if you think you know where you left the book, iny little man,” she said, “ why not go and fetch it, instead of sitting there indulging fruitless grief?”
The boy looked up with a kind of innocent amazement; and replied, “ What! and leave the sheep, lady?"
“ But cannot you drive them towards the spring ?"
“Ay,” said the boy, smiling through his tears, “and get the lambs tumbled over the rocks. No, no, lady; that will never do."
“ What must be done then?" said Emily: “cannot you direct me to the spring ?”
“ To be sure I could,” said the little boy, brightening up: “it is the spring down at the bottom of the south alp, over against the rock called the Giant's Tower; it may be a mile or more from here. But then, lady, you must understand, that I am not sure I left it there, though I think I did; for I had it in my hand just before I stopped to drink; but if it is not by the spring, I may have dropped it in the path between that and the farmer's, and you will have the trouble to go that way."
“ What way?" asked Emily.
“ Straight down the glen from the Giant's Tower, and up by the spring towards the Eagle's Nest-you know the Eagle's Nest—and then through the coppice, and over the long corn-field, and across the brook, and so up to the
“ Stop, stop,” said Emily; “I will not go an inch further.”
The little shepherd looked disappointed, and his lip began to quiver.
“But I will tell you what I will do,” said Emily, “ so don't be distressed. Give me your crook, and tell me how many sheep you have;' and I will keep the flock while you go up the hill, and down the dell, and under the rock, and over the brook, and wherever else you please, to seek the book.”
No, but you won't lady?" said the little shepherd, looking up archly at her.
“But I will," replied Emily.
“You really will ?" said the little boy, scarcely trusting in his good luck.