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chirp, chirp! Cricket going in to finish him. Hum, hum, hum-m-m! Kettle not to be finished. Until at last, they got so jumbled together in the hurry-skurry, helter-skelter, of the match, that whether the kettle chirped and the cricket hummed, or the cricket chirped and the kettle hummed, or they both chirped and both hummed, it would have taken a clearer head than yours or mine to have decided with any thing like certainty. But of this there is no doubt, that the kettle and the cricket, at one and the same moment, and by some power of amalgamation best known to themselves, sent each his fireside song of comfort streaming into a ray of the candle that shone out through the window, and a long way down the lane. And this light, bursting on a certain person, who, on the instant, approached towards it through the gloom, expressed the whole thing to him, literally in a twinkling, and cried, · Welcome home, old fellow ! Welcome home, my boy!
6 This end attained, the kettle, being dead beat, boiled over, and was taken off the fire."
One brief passage from “ The Battle of Life" is all which can here be given ; but this is significant in a time like this nineteenth century, fraught with “ wars, and rumors of wars," on the battle-fields of the Old World and the New, and more full than ever of moral conflicts and victories,
“I've a great mind to say it's a ridiculous world altogether, and there's nothing serious in it,” observed the poor old doctor.
" • You might take twenty affidavits of it, if you chose, Anthony,” said his sister; “but nobody would believe you with such eyes as those.'
6. It's a world full of hearts,' said the doctor, hugging his younger daughter, and bending across her to hug Grace (for he couldn't separate the sisters), and a serious world, with all its folly, - even with mine, which was enough to have swamped the whole globe; and it is a world on which the sun never rises but it looks upon a thousand bloodless battles that are some set-off against the miseries and wickedness of battle-fields; and it is a world we need be careful how we libel, - Heaven forgive us ! ~ for it is a world of sacred mysteries ; and its Creator only knows what lies beneath the surface of his lightest image.'
This chapter, though already so long, cannot be closed without a few words from “The Haunted Man," which are dear to all those parents who have angels in the skies; who say with “Mabelle," * that
" In that land where sin can ne'er defile,
There waits for me this joy, -
My angel blue-eyed boy.
* Mrs. Moses G. Farmer.
A little wave thrown on the sea of life,
But not its storms to breast;
And then to be at rest.”
“ In the few moments that elapsed while Milly silently took him to the gate, the chemist dropped into his chair, and covered his face with his hands. Seeing him thus when she came back, accompanied by her husband and his father (who were both greatly concerned for him), she avoided disturbing him, or permitting him to be disturbed, and kneeled down near the chair to put some warm clothing on the boy.
666 That's exactly where it is : that's what I always say, father,' exclaimed her admiring husband, there's a motherly feeling in Mrs. William's breast that must and will have went!'
Ay, ay,' said the old man: "you're right. My son William's right.'
“It happens all for the best, Milly dear, no doubt,' said Mr. William tenderly, “that we have no children of our own; and yet I sometimes wish you had one to love and cherish. Our little dead child that you built such hopes upon, and that never breathed the breath of life, - it has made you quiet-like, Milly.'
“I am very happy in the recollection of it,' William dear,' she answered.
• I think of it every day.' 66. I was afraid you thought of it a good deal.' 666 Don't say afraid. It is a comfort to me, it speaks
to me in so many different ways. The innocent thing that never lived on earth is like an angel to me, William.'
“6. You are like an angel to father and me,' said Mr. William softly. I know that.' '
16" When I think of all those hopes I built upon it, and the many times I sat and pictured to myself the little smiling face upon my bosom that never lay there, and the sweet eyes turned up to mine that never opened to the light,' said Milly, 'I can feel a greater tenderness, I think, for all the disappointed hopes in which there is no harm. When I see a beautiful child in its fond mother's arms, I love it all the better, thinking that my child might have been like that, and might have made my heart as proud and happy.'
“Redlaw raised his head, and looked towards her.
“* All through life, it seems by me,' she continued, to tell me something. For poor neglected children, my little child pleads as if it were alive, and had a voice I knew, with which to speak to me. When I hear of youth in suffering or shame, I think that my child might have come to that, perhaps, and that God took it froin me in his mercy. Even in age and gray hair, such as father's, it is present, saying that it, too, might have lived to be old, long and long after you and I were gone, and to have needed the respect and love of younger people.'
“Her quiet voice was quieter than ever as she took her husband's arm, and laid her head against it.
"Children love me so, that sometimes I half fancy it's a silly fancy, William they have some way I don't know of, of feeling for my little child and me, and understanding why their love is precious to me. If I have been quiet since, I have been more happy, William, in a hundred ways; not least happy, dear, in this, that even when my little child was born and dead but a few days, and I was weak and sorrowful, and could not help grieving a little, the thought arose, that, if I tried to lead a good life, I should meet in heaven a bright creature who would call me mother.'
“Redlaw fell upon his knees with a loud cry.
6660 Thou,' he said, “who, through the teaching of pure love, hast graciously restored me to the memory which was the memory of Christ upon the cross, and of all the good who perished in his cause, receive my thanks, and bless her!"
" Then he folded her to his heart; and Milly, sobbing more than ever, cried, as she laughed, 'He is come back to himself! He likes me very much indeed too! Oh, dear, dear, dear me, here's another!'
“Then the student entered, leading by the hand a lovely girl, who was afraid to come. And Redlaw, so changed towards him, seeing in him and in his youthful choice the softened shadow of that chastening passage in his own life, to which, as to a shady tree, the dove so long imprisoned in his solitary ark might fly for rest and company, fell upon his neck, entreating them to be his children.