ePub 版

had even been at work among the Roman Catholics of the neighbourhood, and in consequence, threats had been uttered against him, which had withered, even in their spring, all poor Sophia's hopes of peace and enjoyment.

A few evenings after I reached them, a dreadful storm occurred : torrents of rain and furious blasts of wind shook the windows and the walls around us. In the midst of this strife of elements, he heard the sound of voices, coming up to the house : it instantly occurred to us that no human beings would venture out on such a night, but those who might take advantage of it, to effect a deed of darkness. Charles was reading a paper in a periodical to us, and we, ladies, turned very pale as the voices, which gaining roughness and loudness, perhaps from the effort to rise above the wind, passed directly by the window ; he leant back his head in the direction and maintained his composure, though I saw, and was doubly alarmed at it, that a solemn air overspread his face and brow. Presently a loud knocking at the door confirmed our fears; a minute of unbreathing panic followed; Charles then put his hand toward the bell, but before he could ring it, the servant-man, who was a Roman Catholic, crossed the hall, and without a word of interrogation, was heard to open the door. We had sat in awful silence; we heard loud voices mingling with the blast that burst in at the opened door, and heavy steps entering, and the servant stepping into the room, briefly informed his master that some men wanted to see him. Charles, for about a second, sat in calm silence, then slowly rose without a change passing over his face ; I saw that countenance, else I could not depict what my imagination could not represent to me. His wife neither stirred nor spoke; at the first sound of alarm her work had fallen on her lap, her hands grasped the table, and like a statue of marble she sat unmoved. I sprang between Charles and the door, and grasping his arm with one hand, while I endeavoured to lock it with the other, I uttered, I dare say, such incoherent expressions as such an occasion might draw forth: he looked at me for an instant, I think I see that look now, he dared not, I suppose, look at his poor wife, and quietly shaking off my feeble hold, opened the door, and with a firm step and erect carriage, advanced towards the men, whom I saw in dripping great coats, standing near the door. I know nothing of the interim, but I was roused by Charles's saying, in a loud and good-humoured tone, purposely I suppose for us to hear: 'Well, step into my study for a moment.'

He did not immediately return to us, neither did he go to the persons he sent into the study ; perhaps the threatened danger over, he felt it more ; perhaps his heart rose up in thankfulness to Him, under whose protection no weapon that is formed against us can prosper. After a little he put his head in at the door, saying, with a smile : 'No great cause for fear, ladies, only some of my parishioners come in search of licenses, to be married in the morning, and you know it would not be like an Irishman to be deterred from such a purpose by such a storm as this.''

Why did you not endeavour to prevent his going out?' I said to Sophia afterwards. She looked into my face silently, and after a pause, clearing her voice,


I This is a simplc relation of a real circumstance, though the announcement may appear ridiculous.

replied :—The moment the hall door opened he was as dead to me. I cannot now distinctly recall my feelings, but I think the bitterness of death was passed, I think I had resigned him.'

Poor Sophia ! a very short time after, I heard that the governess and the master were both dismissed, every article of furniture sold, that could be dispensed with, and the money laid out in purchasing bread or even potatoes for the children of those who had spent, at least their married life, in promoting the best interests of their fellow-creatures, both temporally and spiritually. The persecution against the clergy had commenced, and they who had managed to live in a cabin, on a curate's salary, were reduced to want, in a rectory.

Divine grace was the stay of Sophia's soul in a life of trial, and to this was added a depth of abiding affection to the partner of her cares, without which, however animated by the hopes of a better life she might have been, this world would have presented a saddening prospect to her.

I have drawn these hasty sketches from an unknown private life, from the wish, partly, to revive, in my own mind, the sweetness of former companionship, and perhaps, also, to make known to an English reader, that such characters may be found in the dwellings of the persecuted and oppressed clergy of Ireland.

S. B.



(Continued from page 539.-Vol. iii.]



Frank. Will you explain to us, mamma, about the blood. I cannot think how it gets into our bodies, nor what it is made of. Is there not a great deal in every person who is alive? Mamma. Yes, a great deal. Emily. Does it not move about?

Mamma. Yes, it is always circulating, through the means of tubes called blood-vessels, which are found in every part of our frame, and wbich are immediately connected with the heart, which is the source from whence they all proceed. But I will try first and tell you how blood is made. The food which we eat is received into the stomach, wbere it is prepared by digestion, into a substance fit for the nourishment of the body. Here there is a curious fluid placed, which changes it into a substance called chyme, which passes into the small intestine, and is there turned into a milky liquor called chyle. This is that fluid substance from which the blood is formed.

Emily. But, mamma, do you mean that all that process goes on with every thing which we eat?

Mamma. Yes, my dear, and very much more, which is too minute to be now described to you.

Jane. How wonderful! But what sort of a thing is the heart, and what has it to do with the blood ?

Mamma. The heart is properly a large hollow muscle divided into two distinct parts, one for sending the blood through the lungs, the other for sending it over the body. Each side of it has two great cavities, which are called the auricle, and the ventricle. The latter is surrounded with muscular fibres, the use of which is, to contract, so as throw the blood out of this part; or to expand the opening, so as to admit it. The ventricle, on the left side, has an opening into a large tube, called the aorta, or great artery, which, sending off an immense number of branches, carries the blood to every part of the body. The heart is contained in a membraneous bag, which

part of our frame.

Frank. You have not told us about the other thing, which you called the auricle.

Mamma. That is also a cavity, which opens at one end into the pulmonary veins, that is, those which are connected with the lungs, about which I will talk to you presently ; and at the other, it opens into the ventricle ; but there are valves or doors, which divide the one from the other, and prevent any fluid from passing from thence into the auricle.

Emily. What is the difference between a vein and an artery?

Mamma. The arteries are those vessels which convey the blood from the heart all over the frame,

« 上一頁繼續 »