Page images
[ocr errors]

principle which unites us as brothers, and when our earthly pilgrimage is over, and we are candidates for that celestial Lodge in the heavens, may we be prepared for that eternal change "in favour with God and man.

In conclusion, may I allude to the presence of the insignia of Death around our altars? During three short months have we been called to pay the last tributes of respect to the mortal remains of as many members of this Lodge. While the emblems of mourning have been fresh within our view, while the turf has scarcely settled on the inanimate form of one, we have been called upon again and again for the renewal of those feelings which have so lately poured forth in sympathy, to show our reverence for the dead.

“ This is the state of man ; 10-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And-(when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening)-nips his root,

And then he falls."

[ocr errors]

“Where now is all their greatness ? Low, level with the earth !"

Brothers, since last we assembled within this sacred place, has the voice of one* of us become still in death !-cut down in the pride of manhood, before he had attained the meridian of life—while his feelings were warmed with our principles, and with our honours—his heart, which throbbed with the affection of the husband, the love of the parent, the filial duty of the son, the fraternal yearnings of the brother, has suddenly ceased to beat!

“Reflect and seriously meditate on the admonition.” "Alas! all that is made must be destroyed ! all that is born must die.”

May He who is the Father of the fatherless, and the widow's God, influence us to do our duty towards them, and guide us in our efforts for the diffusion of the principles of Benevolence and Charity.

[ocr errors]




How fleeting is the rose's bloom,
How transient is the spring's perfume,

How frail is all mortality.
The mystic flower lives and dies
The murky fog ascends the skies,

And sinks into inanity.
The beanteous morn ascends her car,
O’er shadowing every lingering star;

Fair gift of the Divinity.

* P.G. Wm. Cunningham.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

If ever there were a mortal who suffered undeservedly, that mortal is myself. I am guilty of no enormous crime. I am not one of those persons who look after every body's business, except their own. I am tolerably charitable ; that is, rather than be pestered with the importunities of a beggar, I throw him a penny. I am a regular attendant at church, and though I sometimes fall asleep during a long sermon, I do not scoff at the parson when I awake. I am not given to liquor, except when oppressed with sorrow, which unfortunately is too often the case, and even then I am not quarrelsome. This last good quality some of my kind friends account for, by saying I am a coward; but such an assertion, I assure the reader, is perfectly unfounded : and yet, though possessed of these, and numerous other negative qualifications, I am scorned, laughed at, despised, shunned, and made miserable, and all for what? Because I have a nose ? “A nose !" methinks I hear the reader exclaim, why so has every one.”. Aye, reader, but mine is no common nose—would that it were. Didst thou ever read Shakspeare's description of Bardolph, whose monstrous proboscis is compared to an ignis-fatuus? If so, thou mayest form a faint idea of my most prominent feature, though no description can paint to thee my nose as it really is, decorated with its ruddy pimples and quizzical twists; yet, heaven knows, its present appearance has not been caused by intemperance, or any other excess: it has “ grown with my growth, and strengthened with my strength,” until it has gained its now unseemly ponderosity.

I have no friend to whom I can impart my sorrows, and, therefore, reader, though thou art an utter stranger to me, I have made choice of thee for a confidant. Patient reader-if thou art not patient, throw aside this record of misery, for be assured I shall quickly put thy patience to the test—it may seem strange to thee why, and for what reason, a single feature should make me so unhappy:"bear with me yet a little longer, and I will pour into thine ear a tale, “whose lightest word shall harrow up


thy soul.” I am one of the most sensitive and bashful beings in the world, so that I cannot walk the streets without meeting with a host of vexations; and the most petty slight or insult will rankle in my memory for days and weeks. No one can take a hint sooner than myself; and if I am in company, which latterly happens but seldom, and an allusion of a disagreeable nature is made to any one, I examine it in all its bearings with painful nicety, until I construe it as being applied to me. This unfortunate disposition has caused me endless uneasiness. If there be a whisper, I am instantly on the alert to catch its meaning, for I fancy myself and nose are the subjects of conversation, and consequently sit on thorns. I have heard of people being haunted by spectres, that make it a rule of regularly becoming visible at a certain hour of the night; but this amounts to nothing, when compared to the manner in which I am haunted by my

By night and by day, it is ever before my eyes, saluting me with its fearful length and redness. “Oh! for a long, long sleep, and so forget it!" Never do I walk forth, without being greeted by the vulgar, with some offensive appellations. Innumerable are the ill-natured names that have been heaped upon me by the lower class ; of which "nosey” is the most common. Many a time have I hurried away, like a dog with a canister at his tail, when pestered by a group of graceless urchins, following and shouting after me; and when I have gained my destination, I have cursed my nose, and wept out of pure vexation. The more respectable class do not express themselves so openly, but then their astonished looks, and significant smiles, speak daggers to me. Every step which I take, some wandering eye is fixed upon me, and so am I annoyed by these gazes, that my cheeks have generally a blush of as deep a crimson as that which tinges my nose, rendering me still more conspicuous. To add more to my distresses, I am remarkably fond of females, yet such is the peculiarity of my countenance, that I am entirely unfitted for their society. Wilt thou believe it reader? I was once desperately in love; aye, and I had the assurance to declare my passion, and as thou mayest suppose, was unsuccessful in my suit. If thou art not already tired with my prosing, I will relate to thee the progress and catastrophe of this unfortunate affair.

The only house at which I felt myself comfortable, was the dwelling of a young man who had been my school-fellow, and who ever took my part, and repressed the insults and tricks which my fellow-students were accustomed to play upon me, on account of the deformity of my face ; for even when at school my nose was of an alarming dimension. My old school-fellow introduced me to his father and sisters, and though at first sight, it was difficult for them to restrain their risible faculties, at my grotesque appearance, they soon grew familiar with me; and as I am naturally good-tempered and obliging, I soon became a sort of favourite with the family. I was at first somewhat galled by the smothered titters, and illconcealed mirth of the servants, when I entered the house; however, I was pretty liberal in my bounty to them, so that these marks of rudeness soon passed away. My friend had three sisters, and when in their company, I was often so charmed, that I forgot my nose, and all the taunts and uneasiness I had experienced on its account, and exerted myself to the utmost to please them in return. The young

ladies were all lovely; but by far the most beautiful, in my eyes, was the youngest, whose live


ly simplicity, and arch and expressive glances, made a complete conquest of my poor heart. Love stole upon me imperceptibly, and I was over head and ears, before I discovered my situation. Reader, didst thou ever feel a deep yet almost hopeless attachment? If not, thou canst have no idea of what I suffered. It was in vain that I endeavoured to reason myself out of my passion : every day it became stronger. I resolved to try what effect absence would produce upon me, and refrained from visiting my fair enslaver for the space of a week. At the end of that period, I was still worse, and found that I could hold out no longer. I, therefore, went to the house more frequently than ever, and at every visit drank large draughts of love. I at length resolved to brave all, and bring my amour to a crisis by revealing my sentiments. My nerves were braced to the extremest pitch, when I sallied forth to execute my purpose; and to increase my courage, I had fortified myself by swallowing a few extra glasses of port. I walked into the house with a firm step, and just opportunely for my purpose, found my enchantress alone. This was the most eventful moment of my existence: I was kindly invited to take a chair, and encouraged by the bland manner in which the words were spoken, I drew

my seat near her. A short time elapsed in exchanging commonplace civilities, and as I was afraid of losing the precious opportunity, I cast an anxious look around the room, to be assured that there were no listeners, and then attempted to speak. My tongue clove to the roof of my mouth, and denied me utterance; the chairs and tables seemed to be amusing themselves by dancing round the apartment; and my heart beat as though it were keeping time to their movements. This lasted for a few moments, and then I managed to stammer out my meaning; what I said, I know not; but this I know, I did express myself so as to become sufficiently intelligible, and no sooner had I finished my declaration, than my fair one rivetted her eyes on my nose, and after striving to no purpose, to repress her mirth, burst into a long and loud fit of laughter, and ran from the room.

Whether from the excess of my feelings I fainted; or how I got out of the house, I am utterly at a loss to conceive. The first thing that I recollect is, finding myself in the street, walking at a terrible rate, without hat, and with a train of boys at my heels. I gained my door, rushed in, fancied my blood had attained such a heat, that it bubbled like boiling water, and threw myself, quite exhausted, on a couch. My mistress and my nose were constantly before


visions became of the most frightful description. Once I dreamt that my nose had been transformed into a rocket, had shot from my face, and set the bed-curtains on fire. In my eagerness to escape from the flames, I was on the point of jumping out of the window, when I awoke. Another time I dreamt that I had found favour in the sight of my mistress, and was preparing to greet her with a kiss, when she assumed the shape of a demon; a pair of wings jutted from her shoulders, and seizing me by the nose, she sprung with me into the air, and alighting on the top of a steep precipice, plunged me into a dark and dread abyss: when I arrived at the bottom, the shock awoke me, and I found that I had leapt down stairs, and bruised myself in the most pitisul manner.

But why do I trouble thee, good reader, with my sorrows! why do I complain of that which cannot be remedied! I have consulted physicians innumerable, as to the means of removing this cursed protuberance from


me, and


my face; I have rubbed it with all kinds of ointments; nay, I have even thought of getting it amputated, but this I am told would prove fatal. Poverty may be surmounted by perseverance and industry; ill-health may be got the better of: in short, for all other human evils there is a remedy, but a long nose will attend its owner to the grave. Pray, reader, that thou mayest never be cursed, like him who now obtrudes his nose and sufferings upon thy notice.

[blocks in formation]

I SLEPT—and my spirit unchained from the grosser and heavier links which unite it with mortality, roamed abroad far and free. Then methought, that shapes, shadowy and at first formless and indefinite, gleamed before with a many-hued and indescribably beautiful light. Dim was it at first as the faint dawning of the early day, tinging the air with its delicate rose-colour; but the light increased, and after wavering awhile, settled down into a perfect brilliancy, steady, pure and fragrant; and a voice, low, sweet and deeply moving, stirring all the finer chords of my rejoicing yet trembling frame, like the breath of the western wind on fringed and whispering branches, issued forth from the flame; and to mine ear it sounded as of familiar music. It was faint and tender as the sigh of a sleeping babe and to no other than the spiritual sense could it have been audible. A strange tremor of unwonted delight stole over my rapt spirit, and I listened as the watchers by the sick-bed of a loved one do. Its tones grew more full and deep as it rose in its pure melody, until the air around was tremulous with music. “Sad and unquiet spirit,” it sighed "what seekest thou among the dreamy regions of the infinite and true.” And my soul gathered strength to answer “ I seek for Truth.”— Then the voice replied “ Canst thou not find truth among thy own, that thy spirit seeks it here? Hast thou exhausted the full fountain of a parent's or a sister's love?” And I answered “The mother who might have loved her child as only mothers can, died and passed away, before her child could repay her, or know her love. The father has clung by his wayward boy, till manhood, but I seek for more, I wish that truth and purity which may be unmingled even with a parent's pride, and which may not be divided, but be wholly mine. One fair being was twined with my earliest life, a brother's love watched over her unsleepingly and his heart beat high in her unsullied presence. She has learned another and a deeper tie, the love of her infant years has been swallowed up by a more powerful passion and I am alone.” Then the voice said " Hast thou tried the magic spell of the dark eye and the glossy curl, the merry laugh that thrills the heart of man, the glances that wakéd his soul's depths." And I said—“I have—from my early hours I have been a slave. The beauty even of common things has been my idol. I have lain me down for hours

« PreviousContinue »