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I do not know what Mr. Wellings' answer was, but it inflamed Marten so much, that he shook the part of the coat which he had grasped, and used some expression so decisive, if not to say, violent, that Benjamin Hargrave, who was standing below, thought it time to interfere ; and, springing up immediately upon the step, burst the wood work, which giving way from the top, brought all the three young men with a loud crash upon the ground. In the fall, Marten struck the side of his face against a projecting point of the booth, although he did not so entirely lose his balance as to fall prostrate on the earth-in truth, he was on his feet so soon again as to be able to assist Mr. Hargrave and Mr. Wellings: and I am happy to say, that, as he raised Mr. Wellings, he paid so much respect to his own character, as to beg his old schoolfellow's pardon for any hasty expression he might have used.
Mr. Wellings could do no other than admit the apology; on which Marten again repeated his inquiry respecting Henry. Remember,” he said, “ that I was entrusted with him, and if anything has happened to him, I shall blame myself.”
“ If you be inquiring for the little chap as was with you this morning, he is safe enough,”
replied a rough voice from behind the young men. He went over the bridge towards his home; I suppose it might be an hour agone.”
As Marten turned round to thank the speaker for the information, he recognized his friend of the morning; on which the young man added, “ You did not relish my prediction respecting what the town was to gain, and the country to lose, when you and your friend quitted the one to come into the other; but to my mind, there never was a prophecy better made out.”
“ I could find in my heart," returned Marten, “to- to-- but I have had enough of folly for one day at least.” Then, turning to Wellings, he said, “Good bye, old schoolfellow! When we meet again, I hope we shall both be wiser ! Forgive me, if I have been rude; account to Lord F- for my sudden disappearance—and so adieu.” With that he quitted the course, and made the best of his way to Prince Rupert's tree ;-during the first part of his progress being in such a state of anger against himself, that he would gladly, had it been possible, have changed his feelings with the most miserable beggar he met by the way. But as the scene of his mistakes became more remote, and he entered upon the breezy heights between the city and the vale of Teme, his mind gradually recovered its tran
quillity; and he was led to see, we trust divinely, that no great harm had happened after all ; and that if the follies he had fallen into that day should have proved to have opened his mind, and make him feel the weakness of all resolutions made in his own strength, he might, perhaps, have reason to consider this as one of the happiest seasons of his life.
“ Truly,” he exclaimed," when I am inclined to speak again of mounting to the heights of virtue in my own strength, I hope that I shall always remember that the sublime and the ridiculous very often set up their tabernacle upon the same eminence."
As Marten turned the brow of the hill, his anxieties were relieved by the appearance of his friend, seated upon a stile, and reading a small book, which he had luckily found in the corner of his pocket.
Not to be read by any person who is not quite
assured that he has a soul.
Having traversed that long, high field, where first the breezes of Malvern are felt by one passing in that direction, from Worcester, Marten entered a narrow pathway, on the brow of the eminence, near Prince Rupert's tree, and there saw Henry before him, sitting on a stile, and deeply engaged with a small volume, which he had lately procured as a present for Mauricebeing no other than that renowned collection of fairy tales, in which the history of the Blue Bird Prince may be found at length, and at large. Henry had anticipated the pleasure of hearing these read to him by the young
Hibernian, whilst he was himself engaged in drawing. Notwithstanding which, this book came so opportunely to his hand, whilst waiting on the stile for Marten, that he drew it from his pocket with the feelings of one who had found a treasure, and seating himself very conveniently on the broad ledge of the stile, he was presently lost to all the world in the contemplation of haunted castles, knights in armour, cruel stepdames, and enchanted princesses; in the mean time, not a solitary passenger disturbed himnot a step was heard near him-all those who had been scattered over the path almost from sun-rise, were gathered together in the cityand none of these were yet on their way back, with the exception of our friend Marten ; but Henry was so lost in his book, that he did not heed the approaching step of his friend; hence, Marten had much leisure to observe the air of perfect peace which was shed over the whole person of Henry, as he sate on this stile, although he had but a partial view of his features.
When our own minds are in a state of strong excitement, it is often affecting to observe the calmness of another, and more so when that other has been subjected to nearly the same agitating circumstances by which we have been so seriously affected ; it is no consolation on these occasions to discover that the events which have so thrown us off our balance, are altogether unworthy of producing such powerful effects. Such reflections do but increase