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He will, communicate with us, and make impressions on our minds which we cannot account for in any other way; and hence it is that I think it right to tell you what I felt then.
My mother was also the mother of nine other brothers and sisters. She, as well as my beloved father, laboured hard to provide for so large a family, and I believe that her unwearied labours and over-anxious cares for our welfare reduced her constitution, never strong, to a state of feebleness. She had been sinking several weeks, and was now confined to her bed. I had returned from a distance to live in my native town, and saw her often, and as often she wished me to read and talk and pray with her. On the morning she died, and it
appears at that instant, I was engaged in attending upon a customer in our place of business in my usual good health and spirits, when there came over me a peculiar sensation, and I felt as if I must faint away. The sensation, however, passed off; but I had scarcely recovered before a youth came in hastily from my father's house, to say I must come quickly, for my mother was dying. I directly ran—it was only over the market-place--but when I got there that loving spirit had departed. And many times before that mother's face was covered from our view in the cold grave did I go to gaze on its placid features, which seemed still to say
“Fear not, my son, chase all thy fears away." And although my eyes are almost dimmed as I write down these last remembrances of a loved and loving mother, yet thinking about her of whom I am writing has brought up before
my mental eyesight, more distinctly that for many years past, her living features.
As I said at first, it is next to impossible that any one should ever forget, if they ever knew, the uniform kindness and tender love of his own mother. Many instances have come crowding unbidden upon my recollection since I began to write this, but I will not attempt to mention any of them. I will only say that our mother's love to us was,
“Ne'er roughen'd by those cataracts and breaks,
That humour interposed too often makes." No one, then, who reads this, can wonder that two sons of such a mother should be disposed to go on a pilgrimage of filial affection to the place of her birth.
But it is time I conducted my young readers along with us on our visit to the place. More than once before I had attempted to reach it by a London steamer, but had been disappointed, in consequence of the vessel not stopping long enough at the port to permit of my walking there, and seeing all I wished to see, and getting back in time for its return. This time we set off over-night, and went by a steamer to Gravesend, and thence by rails through that awful tunnel, which lies between the two places, to Chatham, where we stayed all night; and at about eight the next morning, by another steamer, we reached the port, above which, at four miles distance, the village is situate.
And now I must ask my young friends to wait a little longer for the remainder of my narrative. In the meantime I hope they will, if they are yet blessed with that greatest of earthly blessings—a living loving mother-do all they can to make her some return of loving obedience.
THE BEAR AT COLLEGE.
ONE day a large hamper reached Oxford by the railway, directed to a gentleman in the University, who was well known for
his fondness for the study of patural history. He opened the hamper, and out jumped a creature, the size of a sheep-dog, with long shaggy hair, and of a brownish colour. This was a young bear, born on Mount Lebanon, in Syria, a few months before. The moment he was released from the hamper he made the most of his liberty, and the door of the room being open he rushed off down the cloisters. Service was going on in the chapel, and, attracted by the sound of the organ, he ran to the door of the chapel; and just as he arrived at the door the beadle was coming out, who no sooner saw him than he ran off as fast as his legs could carry him, and darting into a high pew he bolted the door. The bear, whose name was
“Tiglath Pileser," being frightened by the sight of the beadle, turned from the chapel and ran at full speed round the great square, putting to flight numbers of dogs who used to resort thither in the afternoon. After a sharp struggle he was overtaken and secured by his new master, and a gown was thrown over him. During the struggle he got one of his master's fingers in his mouth; and—did he bite it off? No! poor thing; but he began sucking it with the mumbling noise for which
bears are remarkable. Thus he was led back to his master's rooms, walking on his hind legs, and sucking the finger with all his might. A collar was put round his neck, and he became a prisoner. His good-nature and amusing tricks soon made him a great favourite, and a cap and gown were made for him, dressed in which he presented a most ludicrous appearance. When the holidays came he was taken by his master to his home in the country, and was daily taken out for a walk round the village to the great astonishment of the villagers. There was a little ghop kept by an old woman, who sold sugar-candy and such like matters, and here Tig, as he was called for shortness, was once treated to some sugar-candy. Soon after he got loose, and at once made off to the old woman's shop, into which be burst; and the moment she saw his shaggy head, and heard the clatter of his chain, she ran up stairs frightened out of her wits. When assistance arrived, Tig was found seated on the counter, helping himself to some brown sugar, and it was with much difficulty he was dragged away. When college again commenced he returned along with his master, much altered in appearance, for being of the family of the silver bears of Syria his coat was almost white; he was much bigger and stronger, and his teeth had begun to make their appearance, so that he was much more difficult to manage. The only way to restrain him when he was savage was to hold him by his ears.
But on one occasion he tore his cap and gown to pieces in a fit of bad temper. His tricks at last became so rough and dangerous that his master was one morning informed that “either he or the bear must leave college.” So
he was again packed up and sent to the Zoological Gardens in London. Here he was placed in a comfortable den by himself; but he missed the society to which he had been so long used; he refused his food, ran perpetually up and down his den in the vain hope of escaping, and was one morning found dead. Poor Tig!
THE FALLS OF NIAGARA. THESE celebrated falls of North America form the most stupendous cataract of waters in the world. The scene is awfully grand! An American Poet says :“The thoughts are strange that crowd into my
brain While I look upward to thee. It would seem As if God poured thee from his 'hollow hand,' And hung his bow upon thine awful front; And spoke in that loud voice, which seemed to him Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour's sake, “The sound of many waters;' and had bade Thy food to chronicle the ages back, And notch His centuries in the eternal rocks.
Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we That hear the question of that voice sublime ? Oh, what are all the notes that ever rung From war's vain trumpet, by thy thundering side! Yea, what is all the riot man can make, In his short life, to thy unceasing roar! And yet, bold babbler, what art thou to Him, Who drowned a world, and heaped the waters far Above its loftiest mountains ?-a light wave, That breaks, and whispers of its Maker's might.