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the Fathers had been dusted with a brush of peacock's feathers, and the snow-white pillow disposed in the inner chamber, and all things set to rights, the hostess quietly disappeared ; so that when the rector returned in a few moments, he could not fail to perceive that he was reïnstated in greater comfort, and it looked as if some tidy angel had been present and fanned the little sanctuary with his pluine. Once fairly ensconced in his chair among his books, the voice of our little man would scarce be heard from day to day. He came regularly to meals, but ate so frugally that the whole year was to him a Lenten season. On Monday mornings, he took his hat and cane, and wandered off; on Tuesday, he was quite chirpy and conversational ; but during the rest of the week, demure and silent ; for he worked hard in the composition of sermons. He seemed to indulge in no sort of unmixed recreation ; he took to himself no season of holiday, for the purpose of travelling, during the hot summer months ; he never went a-fishing, and was very abstinent in the pleasures of the tea-table. In short, he acted so prudently and on the negative as to afford small chance for gossip or remark, except in the common-place allusions which were made to 'our little man.' Any knowledge which the people had of him was associated only with the desk or with the pulpit, with a christening or with a funeral, or with some ministerial act. This reserve was at least on the side of safety; for it is, alas ! too true with respect to the clergy, that any thing like a freedom of genial intercourse, will afford occasion which will be used against them. Even the poor widow who ministered to his little wants, knew little about him, except that he gave no trouble, that he ate nothing, that he was a wonderful preacher, and a dear, good little man.
Whatever his habits were, however, they sprang from the constitution of his mind, and were probably but little modified by his calling. In any position, he would have been subdued and retiring in his demeanor. There was that about him which seemed to indicate that he would never take unto himself a wife. He was too much attached to books and study, and the little sanctuary beneath the widow's eaves, and had few wants and cravings beyond what these might supply. As far as could be discerned, he had no particular yearning for the beauty of woman, notwithstanding the real warmth and tenderness of his nature. As for the fair of his flock, he was singularly precise and formal in his conduct toward them, indulged in no witticism or pleasantry, nor gave the slightest token that he looked on any of them particularly to admire them. The poor widow did not think that there was much probability that he would ever marry. Indeed he had become so much a fixture in her house, and she so much engrossed in taking care of him, that she felt a jealous love, which would have been greatly jarred and worried with the thought. As to her own little stipend, which would be thus diminished and almost brought to naught by such a step, it never once entered her thoughts. There was no imminent danger, nevertheless she sometimes exhorted him with a motherly counsel that a good wife would greatly promote his influence and render him more happy. The little man merely shrugged his shoulders, replied nothing, and the poor woman's heart was set at rest.
One day, as he sat opposite to her in the parlor, he quietly turned down the leaf of a book which he had been reading, and said, “Mrs. Wadham!'
There was something in the tone of his voice, for him, so startling, that her nerves were shocked, her knitting-needle fell out of her hand, and she dropped a stitch.
* Dear me!' she exclaimed, when she had recovered her self-possession, · Mr. Allison, how suddenly you spoke. How you frightened me!'
Did I, my dear friend? I ask your pardon. It is necessary for me to speak to you about a subject which may involve some change of plans.'
The old lady placed her knitting in her lap, and her heart sank within her. She had no apprehension, however, of what he was actually going to say. She had long dreaded that he would be called away to some more promising field of labor ; for she had often made the remark that such devoted piety, such a Christian walk and temper, and such evangelical, heart-searching sermons as he preached, were worthy of those who could appreciate them more and reward them better. It was this contingency which hung over her head, and alarmed her at this present; for she looked at him in no other light than as a young angel, with a glory around his brow.
Then you have received a call from a new parish ?' she inquired sadly, while she eyed him somewhat curiously.
Nothing of the kind, my dear friend, at least not lately; I am expecting to remain where I am for the present, God willing.
* Thank God for that!' said the widow, scarcely concealing her emotion ; “I should be lost in my old age without my dear pastor, whom the LORD preserve, for the sake of His unworthy servant.'
• Mrs. Wadham, you have sometimes hinted upon the subject, and I have, following up your suggestion, decided that if I ever marry, it must be done quickly.
The old lady was thunder-struck. * My suggestion !' she half-said, but repressed her words, and, striving to appear cheerful, she wished him great joy.
A few moments after, she went into her own chamber and wept. It was the best kind of selfish feeling; for her household, as at present arranged, was as peaceful and happy as any thing could be this side the grave.
"Ah!' said she, this is a world of changes, but the LORD knows what is best for us all.
The little man, however, did not give any intimation as to who the person was whom he had in view, neither did any report of his intention become current, so well was his character as a bachelor confirmed. But he was gone every Monday, and no one knew where he went. His hostess always used to suppose that his errands were to visit the sick, to give alms to the poor, and to distribute tracts. And no doubt he took these things in his way. She was sure, however, that it must be a godly woman, although she did not know any one within the compass of fifty miles who was worthy to become the wife of so saintly a man. He had, however, said that if he ever married, the event must occur VOL. XLVI.
roon; and when a whole year passed away and it did not come about, but she still swept his room, and mended his shirts, and ironed his surplice, and nursed him like a child whenever he had a head-ache or a cold, she supposed that he had changed his mind, and she was right. He would have no other bride but the Church. The whole affair was involved in mystery, and neither she nor any one else seemed to know about the only love adventure of our little man. Whatever it was, it must have formed the one incident of his life. Rooted and grounded in a single spot, his life was like that of a tree which is planted and grows up by some calm and crystal water.
At last, when he had scarcely yet attained his prime, while in the mid career of quiet usefulness, the hand of sharp disease was laid upon him, and on a pleasant Sunday morning he breathed his soul away. A deep, strong feeling was evinced at his death, which had not fully revealed itself while he was living. A true affection is always garnered up in reserve, and never spends itself in loud acclaim, or in the outburst of popular favor. A calm and steady purpose in the way of doing good, will work its way into the esteem and love of men without the aid of brilliant parts, and though it courts no praise, it wins each day a secret approbation. The tears which fall at last upon the good man's icy brow all sparkle with a silent eloquence which brings to genuine worth its first and last and best and only tribute. The keen regret which welled from divers hitherto unknown and hidden sources around the grave of our little man, proved what the people thought of him. The germ of good, however furtively it may be cast abroad, will some time be acknowledged for its pleasant bloom, although it spring up by the mountain-rock, or mix its sweets with those which float above the unbounded wilderness. The desk and pulpit of the village church were draped with black, and to those who came within the hallowed courts, there stole back from beyond the grave some fainting echoes of a voice which had been disregarded.
The poor widow mourned for him as for an only son, but with a grief so silent though corroding, that it did not make appeal to human sympathy. When for the last time she crept up the stair-case, and opened the door of the study more quietly than usual, the cold atmosphere of death met her, and struck to her heart. She went to arrange the chamber, and she performed the task with the same scrupulous neatness as ever, while the occupant lay there with sealed lids. She closed the open volumes and placed them upon the shelves. She examined carefully the text of the Holy Book where it had last been perused, (it was the fourteenth chapter of Saint John's Gospel,) then she ventured to lay her hand upon the scattered papers and the half-finished sermon, and as she put them away, let fall upon them a plentiful shower of tears. Then she proceeded to fold up his clothes, and put them in a bureau, and the few valuable things which he possessed placed under lock and key, as if they had been great treasures. After that, she paused a few moments before retiring, and like the widow of Nain, gave vent to her unmingled grief. It was mid-summer. She went into her garden, and returning in a few moments with a handful of flowers, placed them on the breast of her dear, departed friend ; and having
done so, she felt that her ministrations were ended, and that she was left alone on earth.
On the day after the funeral, she was seen bustling about with more than ordinary energy, sweeping the porch, gathering sticks in the yard, clipping a rose-bush with scissors, and the souls of many people were drawn toward her on account of the stipend which she had lost. In the afternoon, she sat down alone at her tidy tea-table ; she bowed her head and clasped her hands to say a silent grace; she poured out the fragrant tea from the urn, and placed the cup to her lips; she tasted it, and put it down ; she raised it again, but could not drink it, any more than if it had been gall and vinegar. A deadly sickness came over her ; she went up-stairs and put her own chamber in order. Looking out of the window, she saw a little girl pass by, and beckoned and called out, Martha.' Then she lay down to a sleep, which was soon to be merged in that unbroken rest which remains for the people of God. The clods of the valley were again broken up near the newmade grave of him whom she had called her son, and her funeral rites were performed respectfully; but the great world is not disturbed a moment from its complacency when a poor old lonely creature ceases to be.
Not long since, I passed by the spot where her cottage stood, but it was worse than desolate. The march of improvement is too direct and rapid and gigantic in its strides to turn aside for the sake of poetic sentiment, to have respect for buds and flowers, or to tread even lightly on the affections or feelings of the heart. A detachment of men, as if belonging to some army, with a standard-bearer, had passed along, and staked out the passage as they went. Go in a straight and direct line they would, so surely as the compass pointed directly. They turned aside for no obstacles; they hewed their way through rocks, they filled up valleys, spanned rivers, trespassed on old domains, and cut asunder houses, as if no power on earth stood in their way. And now with a great rolling sound like an earthquake, the steam-cars thunder onward, a dusty multitude is borne along each day with headlong haste, and, for a second of time, if they only knew it, are occupying the very spot where once stood the writing-table, and book-shelves, and secluded study of OUR LITTLE MAN.
W OMAN'S GLORY.
ONE little star in all the sky
Is heralding the coming night;
No cloud is hovering near it now,
But lonely on its azure path,
With all the glory that it hath,
So, far above earth's stained soil,
Should woman's glory ever beam,
To gild all 'neath its gentle gleam,
A PICTURE IN A GILT F R A ME.
A RICH man lives in an up-town square,