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shepherdesses of the Dole, in general, your sort of air and manner? I ask only for information, as a traveller.”
Emily was still silent, and the question was repeated; on which she replied, somewhat angrily,“ Indeed, Sir, I don't know, I have a very limited acquaintance."
“I have read of shepherdesses," said the stranger," who have united all the elegance of courtly manners with the beautiful simplicity of pastoral life; but I always doubted the existence of such lovely beings, till I this morning vi. sited the Dole. I am only now anxious, Madam, to know whether I am to consider you an exception to others, or a sample of all the shepherdesses of the Alps ?”
Emily was now provoked beyond endurance, and turned suddenly round, to desire the stranger to leave her immediately; when, to her surprise and delight, she recognized her former beloved friend, and the friend of her brother, Charles Harrington. This was an overpowering discovery; and she remained motionless with astonishment.
“O! my Emily ! my dear sister ! my own Emily!” said the smiling youth,“ and have you at length recognised your old friend ? and do I see you converted into the fairest shepherdess the world ever saw ? Forgive, my lovely Emily, the uneasiness I occasioned you by my persevering pursuit of you when you thought me a stranger; but I could not resist the temptation; it was too much for me at the moment; I could not resist it, I must confess. I hope I have not offended beyond forgiveness.”
“O, Charles," said Emily,“ this sudden meeting has quite overcome me !" and she burst into tears, and was with difficulty preserved from falling, while she faintly articulated the name of Christopher.
“Be happy, my sister," replied Mr. Harrington; “ wipe away those tears. Your Christopher, and my Christopher, is at hand; he waits only to know whether he may presume to appear. We were told, by a peasant whom we met near the chateau, that you would be found in the vicinity; and we hastened to seek you; not presuming to present ourselves before your father till we had heard your report.
This delightful assurance was too much for Emily, who was so wholly overpowered by it as to lose a consciousness of all that passed; till, recovering her recollection, she
found herself in the arms of her brother; while her second and scarcely less dear brother was kneeling at her feet, holding both her hands.
“O, Emily! dear Emily!" were the first words which she heard from her brother, “can you forgive your Christopher? and is it here, upon my native hills, that I am restored to all that is dear to me on earth? O my God!" he added, lifting up his eyes to the heavens,“ if my father will forgive me, I shall be doubly happy! O, my
friend! my Charles ! my sister! my Emily !-how can you be rewarded for all, all you have done for me?"
There are scenes in life which defy description; and such were those that attended the restoration of Christopher to Emily
Wheri composure was a little restored to this happy party, many interesting explanations followed, not necessary to be recapitulated. Emily told of the happy change in her father's character; and it now appeared to her for what reason he had set apart a day for prayer and meditation; for, on recollection, it was found to be precisely that day four years since Christopher left his home; and it was, no doubt, in order that he might spend the day in prayer for his child, that this altered father had desired to be alone.
“O!” said Charles Harrington, “what a proof is this of a changed heart! the Almighty has, indeed, renewed a right spirit within him. Who, on observing these things, can question the renewing power of the Holy Spirit? Who can doubt that the power of God is necessary to set man free from the dominion of sin? O, my Emily ! let us pray, that, if we have not yet experienced the power of regenerating and sanctifying grace, we may seek it as the first of blessings. Happy as you now are, my Christopher," added the young man, “depend upon it, without religion, you will not continue to be so. You look at me, Emily,” continued Charles Harrington ; “ perhaps you are surprised to hear such words from the mouth of a military youth. But I have been blessed with convictions of the truth, since we lived together, such as I never before was conscious of; and it is my grief that my conduct has not been answerable to these convictions."
“ Your conduct, my friend!” said Christopher: “O, Vol. VII. H
Charles ! could I but live and act as you do, I should be happy indeed!”
“If Mr. Harrington,” said Emily, “is a true Christian, he will not, he cannot think highly of himself-he cannot be satisfied with his own attainments. Religion gives selfknowledge, and self-knowledge must always occasion hu mility.”
The young men looked at Emily, as she spoke, with love and admiration; and the conversation took another turn, while they still lingered in the place where they had first met, and considered how they should break the news of Christopher's return to his father.
At the same time, Emily accounted for the situation in which Mr. Harrington had found her; and observed, that she must remain to take care of her flock till the little shepherd-boy returned to take the charge from her.
“Amiable shepherdess !” said Charles, “I owe the little boy a thousand thanks for the trick he played you this morning; it has added unexpected charms to our meeting,"
“Ah, Mr. Harrington!” said Emily, smiling, 6 was it not very cruel of you to alarm me as you did ? But I forgive you with my whole heart, since you have brought my brother back to his family: but do not suppose that the little boy meant to play me a trick; he is too simple for any device of this kind; it was entirely my own proposal to take charge of the sheep."
“ Happy sheep! happy pasture ! lovely hills ! delightful country!" said Christopher : “ and most happy am I to be returned to it under such blessed auspices! O, Emily! you little thought for whom you decorated yourself with those charming flowers !"
Thus the young people conversed till the return of little Wilhelm, who hastened to inform Emily that he had found his book, and that he felt greatly obliged to her.
The youth was much surprised to find her in such company; and more so to be thus addressed by Charles ! “ Best of little shepherds, how am I to thank you for causing such enjoyment to me this morning? Never, never shall I forget the happy and delightful scene of the pasture ground, and that lovely shepherdess I found there."
And now Emily, relieved from her charge, returned her crook to Wilhelm; and, bidding him tell his grandmother
that their prayers were answered, and that she had found her brother, the three young people proceeded to the chateau.
It was but midday when the happy party reached the house, and the hour was not yet arrived at which the major had appointed to see his daughter. Nevertheless, Emily stole softly up to his room, and,
passing through the antechamber, quietly opened his room-door. There (O pleasing sight!) she saw her father engaged in prayer. He started at seeing her, but she advanced with the boldness of one who brings good tidings; and, gathering speed as she approached, she threw her arms round him, before he could rise, and, falling on her knees by his side, “ Join with me, my father,” she said, “ in the voice of thanksgiving. Your prayers are heard, your supplications have reached the throne of mercy: O my father! my father! your son is found—is returned-is in this house-and waits your forgiveness !"
“ Emily!" said the major, turning to her, “my Emily !" and, attempting to rise, his strength failed him, and his daughter, weeping aloud, could scarcely support him till Charles and Christoph * ran into the room.
O! who can describe the scene that took place ? Love, mercy, gratitude, and tenderness, had their full scope and most happy exercise; and the once-infidel father, on this occasion, gave an indisputable evidence of that change of heart effected only by infinite power. All anger, all resentments, on the part of the father, were past; and the contrite son felt that he could only atone for his impatience and undutifulness by devoting his future life to promote the happiness of his parent.
And now let us attend this blessed family in that last hour of the evening, when, having concluded their temperate meal, they united in one act of prayer and praise, to the honour of divine grace; accompanied by Madame Vauvrier, who had hastened to the chateau as soon as the happy news had reached her.
And now, I would record—that it pleased the Almighty to enable this blessed family to continue in those paths of piety into which they had been happily introduced, by the divine blessing on the instructions of Madame Vauvrier; that the glorious influences of the Spirit were never with
drawn from them; that deep repentance was vouchsafed to Christopher; and that he now affords one of the brightest examples which his country can supply.
The infirmities of the major cut him short before age had bleached his head, or he had attained his fiftieth year; yet not until he had held on his knees the children of his Emily, who, in her twentieth summer, became the happy and beloved wife of Mr. Harrington.
The departure of the major was easy and full of consolation;
circumstance that occasioned the aged Madame Vauvrier, who watched him till the last moment, joyfully to exclaim, “O God! I thank thee; for another soul is added to the multitudes of the redeemed.”
This venerable Christian was also blessed in her death; and her daughter's children, in the third generation, are now flourishing like cedars in Lebanon; exemplifying the words of the Shepherd of Israel - I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. (Psalm xxxvii. 25.)
The history of the Shepherdess of the Alps being concluded, the young ladies expressed heir satisfaction.
My dear young friends," said the lady of the manor, “ if I have found the means of uniting pleasure with profit, I do most sincerely rejoice; and I hope that when you remember Major Muller and his family, you will feel the conviction that the father of the family was unacquainted with happiness till he ceased to scoff and learned to pray."
The lady then requested the party present to join her in devotional exercises.
For a Spirit of Prayer. “O ALMIGHTY LORD! help us, thy sinful creatures, to pray to thee in an acceptable manner ;-inspire us with a deep and lasting sense of the obligations we are under to thee, not only for our creation and preservation, but for the means of grace and the hope of glory. Let our prayers arise to heaven as the odour of holy incense. Accept them in the name and through the merits of our blessed Saviour; and let all our desires and requests result from the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit ; and let not the imper