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Without waiting a reply, she hastily how life looks to them, that so you may left the little shop.
divert their thoughts by natural transiA few minutes afterwards the clerical tions into diviner and diviner channels ? man, who had registered his name the Have you in that way, as Christ did, day before, came wearily in. He sat striven to mingle intimately the current down upon an old stool in front of the of
your life with the muddy stream of counter, and, leaning his head on one theirs ? Or, have you not withstood hand, inquired of the merchant whe- them, meeting them angrily, as one ther the answer to his application was breasts the billows of the attacking sea, ready.
and striving in antagonism to thrust The old gentleman opened his regis- them hastily to the right-about?” ter, and, turning over the pages, read “How could I,” answered the clergyfrom yesterday's leaf : “Occupation, man, despondingly, "defile the beauty pastor in a great city; cause of appli- and loveliness with which God had cation, fruitless labor.'
blessed my reveries with the glutinous “It is necessary," said he, looking mud of the trafficking street — with upon the clergyman with a kind smile, the vile clinging dust of the money"to make the statement of the cause grubbers ?" of application rather fuller. How is it “My dear friend," said the compenthat your labor is fruitless ?"
sation merchant, seriously, "I regret “I have poured out my life," said that you did not more carefully read the pale and weary minister, while a our circular. You would have observed light arose in his eyes, and a faint flush that you are not one of the class of perspread over his cheek, “I have poured sons with whom alone our charter forth my life upon my flock, if haply by permits us to transact business. It is the lavish expenditure of it I might buy absolutely out of my power to furnish them for God. My heart is consumed you a compensation. But will you not with anxieties spent in my pastorate, consider the inquiries which I put to and my brain is dry with thought spent in my sermons. Yet they go all to The venerable man spoke with such their merchandise and their handicraft, an apostolical air of benignity, yet of assenting to my doctrine, and prais- authority, that the poor wearied clergying my work and my life; but I can- man seemed too much impressed for not lift a soul to look up as I look remonstrance. up. I cannot raise one into the at- "I will endeavor," said he, with a mosphere wherein I live. I cannot sad humility," to profit by your advice. feel that they understand my work I am so spiritless and shaken that I or my aspirations; their life or their cannot contend with you, nor complain. needs; or any one of the great central And I think your questions significant truths which are the food of my own and appropriate to my needs. In ansoul. I am weary and heart-sick, in swering them, I may possibly find the despite of prayer. I must have a help- compensation which I cannot obtain ing hope or I shall die. I must have
from you." a compensation."
And he departed, with the same tired “My dear sir," said the merchant, and unelastic step with which he had " allow me to make one additional in- entered. quiry. Since you have found it impos- In a little while there entered the sible to lift your parishioners heaven- young man whose occupation was not ward into the sphere which you, the indicated by his exterior. He walked student and philosophic thinker, in- promptly to the counter, and asked for habit, have you tried, in pure faith and an answer to his application. The old trust, to lower yourself into the grosser merchant read, as usual, from the regissphere of their lives, and there to shed ter, “Occupation, a thinker and speakabroad streams of pure light, like a er; cause of application, disgust." lamp in a noisome cavern ?
"Disgust?" repeated he, questioningly, say, that although they do not under- disgust? That is not a sufficiently stand your life, yet that you fully com- full specifiation of the occasion, my prehend theirs—their conceptions of young friend. Will you have the good. business, of money, of labor ? Do you ness to explain yourself a little more at know, by placing yourself in their situa- length ?” tion, by looking through their eyes, Then the young man impetuously
Aung back the brown hair from his high pensation, I would not grudge ten times forehead, and rapidly told his troubles the highest market price.” to the old merchant.
"Let me make one inquiry of you." "I have,” said he, “no purpose in said the old merchant; "have you living; and no pleasure or complacency ever set yourself steadfastly to underin it. I tried the business of the law; stand what work is in truth and right but it was full of pettifoggery and fully, demanded of every man how far he drudgery. I became an artist; but the may follow his pleasure, and how far he artists had each his bagful of little must merely labor; and have you faithspites, and art was full of drudgery. I fully endeavored to live the life that would have been a teacher of youth, for was thus indicated to you?" teaching was the profession of Christ The young man considered for a on this earth, and now that he is gone moment, and then replied, yet with an it is yet the noblest occupation for men; air of surprise, but I had not enough divinity in me to "I cannot bear to waste my strength maintain me under the burden of the in mere labor, where no beauty or truth work, and it is full of terrible drudgery. is the result. I have striven to do Then I became an editor; but the what should be lovely and noble in itdetail and daily recurrence of the drudg- self; and so to increase my own powers ery quickly discouraged me; besides and perceptions about the lovely and that, my honesty was flung back at me the beautiful.” as falsehood, by my lying fellow-editors, “I regret,” answered the old gentleand even my subscribers dropped off in man, “ to be obliged to say that our a direct ratio to the amount of truth I charter, as you would have perceived told. Then, I would have become a upon a careful perusal of our circular, merchant; but, from the very first day, prohibits us from transacting business I was crushed beneath the mindlessness except with persons who come under of the drudgery in figures and accounts, certain descriptions to which you do not and angered by the swindling and false- answer. I shall therefore be under the hood which passed current as shrewd- disagreeable necessity of declining to ness and far-sighted speculation. So, supply you with the compensation at last, I have cast aside all those things which you require. But will you allow -have, above all, given up my noble me to urge you to make some additional aspiration to teach, and so to live for investigations, and to favor us with the good of others, and have fallen back another call ?" upon the purpose of evolving my own The young man's face exhibited anger thoughts. I am only a literary vaga- as the merchant spoke; and he answered bond now. I write tales, articles, para- with hasty brevity, “I don't know whegraphs, letters, and sell them wherever ther I will or not; but it appears to me I can. I earn money enough, and that if I fulfill the requirements implied perhaps I have much pleasure in the in your question, I shall be in a position espression of my own thoughts in my very independent of any gentleman in own way. Yet I am deeply disgusted. your line of business.” I accomplish nothing. I reach forward * In that case,” rejoined the merchant, with an agonizing grasp, to draw myself with another of his singularly intelligent upwards, but I find no hold. I would looks, "you would both save your fain be a voice, loudly heard in favor money and enjoy the pleasure of indeof all that is good; but my feeble cries pendent philosophizing." are smothered in the apathetic silence, The youth made no answer to this or the brassy clatter of trade. I would remark, but left the little shop quite fain make my life a long and strenuous thoughtfully, as if the old gentleman effort in some single noble direction, had told him something worth considerand thus do worthily some one great ing: work; but the cruel force of daily Within a little while there next enpressures, and, of late, especially, this tered the young girl who had recorded disappointing and disgustful sorrow her name the day before in the register. that is enclouding me, hem me in as with She was slender and graceful, but pale, a ring of spears;
and I am either frantic and with a sad expression upon her or stupefied, and in either case helpless delicate oval face. She inquired in low and useless. That is my disgust. Is and musical tones for the answer to her your compensation ready? For a com- application. The old man read from
his book: “Occupation, seamstress; The old merchant looked upon her, cause of application, sorrow.” He much moved. “My daughter," he said, looked kindly at the fragile figure of “ do you live quite alone ?" his customer, and said :
“ Yes; I came with my parents, who “ That is a good and sufficient cause were without relatives, from across the for application, if I understand the case sea, and we were very happy for a time. correctly; but I must request a fuller But I lived at home and there only ; specification from you, my young friend. and when they died I had no friends Some sorrows are such as not to admit left. I have labored too hard for friendof compensation."
ship; and where was I to find friends “Are they?" questioned the girl, of my own degree? I am quite alone." " What sorrows?”
“But how have you endured so "Perhaps," said the merchant," long?" should say that they cannot be compen- “I have refreshed my life from the sated under our rules of proceeding. I Sabbaths. They have kept me alive; mean sorrows self-imposed and self- with the faint glow of their peace which sustained."
shone onward and backward into the “I have no such," said the slender weary week, I have endured. But I girl. “I have no objection to tell you, think I can endure no longer. I must however, what my circumstances are. have a compensation for so many years I sew, for my living, all day, and often of my sweet youth, all gone.” much of the night. Except for the “But do you love less to think upon Sabbaths, I have no time to read, to the far light and pleasant life of heaven sing, to play, to exercise, or to write ; than formerly?' yet I am educated, and even accom- “Oh, no, no, indeed! but very much plished. I was brought up in wealth, but singular afflictions have destroyed “Bat,” continued the old man, "do all my friends, until I-whose family you think that the same compensation circle was never large, but yet the that has abundantly repaid for fifty dearer for that-am quite alone in the years of successless and wasting labor, world; and I have no prospect except among savages not at last one single of a short, gloomy, and laborious life. point humanized; for wife and children I should so love to be singing or playing speared alive by them; for years of beautiful music; or to be sketching learned toil, whose results they burnt; amongst the scenes of the bright free for many, many other disappointments; country; or careering about the fields for an old age, in short, of poverty and and lanes on my pony; or rambling in solitary weakness, coming after a long the shady woods or along the breezy life of earnest and honest labor—do you hillsides; yet I am only able to live think that such a compensation would from day to day by stitching in a little serve one who is daily losing all the close dreary room. I have borne it beauty and pleasure which you know very well for three or four years, and you could enjoy?” have eaten the bread earned with my As the old man sketched this short own hands. But yesterday, my em
outline of a life, she lifted her head ployer used harsh and bitter words to from the counter and looked up at him. me, and defrauded me of a few shillings. She seemed to gather strength from the And suddenly, as I meditated upon the loving kindliness of the smile which he injustice, a great shadow of agony fell bent
upon her. The same mysterious, down over me, for I asked whether I searching glance which had seemed must then waste' away all the life and more or less to discomfit her predeceshappiness which I feel myself able to sors, did not put her at fault. She enjoy. Is there to be no end? I hardly gazed up at his venerable face with a seem to have thought of it before, for I faint and sad answering smile, saying: have worked steadily, and refreshed
* I think so. Oh! yes; I am sure myself, on each Sabbath, for the alter- of it. Give it to me, I beg of you, nating week. Still, I am wasting and, speedily. I shall die for want of it.” being stunted in mind and body. Is The old man continued again speakthere to be no end, no happiness, no ing, however, rather to himself than to freedom, ever anywhere again?” She the golden-haired young girl. wept quietly as she said the last words, “Yes! A peace that enables one to kaying her head upon the counter. walk above the world, as if sustained by golden chains dropt down to him out portion of your acquisition to some one of heaven! Would a mere conscious- as much in need as you were. That ness of that kind, which fellow-beings will recompense me.” could seldom understand, and would The young girl departed with a much seldomer admit or value-would that re- lighter step than that with which she pay one for years of loneliness and had entered. Having, as before, busiweary toil, either past or future?”. ness which called me to another part of
“Oh! yes; oh! yes,” said the sad the city, I now requested the old mer.. applicant. “Give me peace, give me chant to favor me with one of those peace, or something which may fortify circulars to which he referred so often; me from the fearful shapes which of late with which demand he readily complied. crowd thronging around my poor worn “I fear, however,” said he, as he heart. Give it me."
handed me the document, “ that you And she stretched out her hands, will not find it a very successful effort and bent forward in unconscious eager- in its peculiar department of literature. ness.
It is an experiment of my own, and I “ You lack not so very much, my have not at all satisfied myself by my daughter," said the merchant. “Does combinations of capitals, exclamation it not comfort you, in some small mea- points, and shopman-English. I sussure, to know that even a helpless old pect I should have made a much better man like me understands your grief, puff if I had paid the grocer at the corand has felt the like, and that he suffers ner, or the printer's devil, to compose yours with you ?"
it for me." “ Yes,” said she; “I am sure it I did not haunt the compensation does."
merchant's little shop any more. In“For the rest,” he continued, “I will deed, if I remember rightly, his estabname your compensation. And lest lishment was shortly after closed. you forget it, I will write the name for Whether he was forced by a tide of you. Young people do not always re- business prosperity to remove to one member what is only told to them.” of several new marble-fronted stores,
So he wrote a single word upon a which were about that time erected near slip of paper, and put it into the young the business center of the city, or whegirl's hand.
ther he was obliged to suspend opera“My daughter," said he, “it is tions by finding that his wares were not FAITH. Your deliverance will surely suited to that market, I cannot say. come. Do you not know it?"
The circular which he gave me conIt was with a beautiful and quiet tained a business-like statement of the intensity of utterance that he bent objects of the company for which he was slightly towards his fair interlocutor, acting as general agent—their charter and spoke. The depth of his emotion from the central government, and some caused his piercing eyes to become dim- rose-colored exemplifications of the promed with tears, and his face flushed, and bable pecuniary prospects of the cona slight tremor or agitation fled through cern, which latter vaticinations, from his aged frame, as if he had named some my observations upon the old merchant, name of mysterious power. It was I fully believe, and am consequently of almost as if an inspiration had de- opinion that sundry large fortunes have scended upon him; and I thought I been made by leading stockholders. If could see the reflection of it in the any one recollects some person who apbrighter smile which played across the pears to command large amounts of thin and delicate face of the maiden, as money and whose sources of income she looked and listened.
are unknown, I recommend him, if ** Yes, yes,” she answered. “Faith. curious, to inquire whether such wealthy Still, I had it before. It had only de- person was not connected with the parted from me for a season. Works Compensation Company. have long been my portion. For re- The circular I had fully intended to newed faith, my dear sir, I have to transcribe.in full, as a fitting termination thank you. And what am I to pay for to this short account, and likewise as a my compensation ?"
conclusion, which, being ready made, *** Oh," answered the merchant, “ you would save me the trouble of composing need not be uneasy about that. Some any formal peroration, but I regret to time, you may, if you wish, transfer a state that I am unable to find it. I re
collect, that upon a hurried application provisions; and I experience so much for a proper envelope, for some toy mortification at the loss, and the conseor confectionery intended as a gift, Í quent unavoidable lameness of my nardelivered over sundry scraps of paper, rative, that I find myself totally unable among which it must have gone. I to compose such a peroration as I mencannot trust myself to replace the state- tioned. My story, therefore, must apments of the circular from mere memo- parently conclude here, without any ry, lest I do injustice to its careful end.
S the traveler approaches the city he has seen the Alps. He has, however,
of Berne from Basle, the whole but glanced at one page, in an endless range of the Bernese Alps, including volume. An air of Haydn, a passage of Mont Blanc, breaks upon his view. The Shakspeare would almost furnish as effect is startling. There they stand, adequate an idea of their deep and everthose mighty and famous Alps, even as varying splendors. Only long familiain the ancient days and in the genera- rity can enable him to appreciate hon tions of old; huge giants clothed in gar- completely they surpass in magnificence ments of white, looking down upon even the apparently glorified represensuccessive races and rolling centuries. tations by poets and painters. I have Thus they stood when Joseph lay in an enjoyed the privilege of studying them Egyptian prison and when the Son of about eighteen months. No scenery on Man hung upon the cross at Golgotha. earth can compare with them in power They have beheld Hannibal, Cæsar, over the imagination. They are never Charlemagne, and Napoleon, with all the same and never at rest. Magical their hosts and banners, appear and dis- changes float over them perpetually, appear upon their respective destinies. Each play of light, each modification of With a kind of inexpressible fascination, the atmosphere, each advancing hour, the the glance leaps from peak to peak, and shadow of every cloud, works its soft, measures those broken, inaccessible slow marvels of grace and splendor. slopes, those polar regions of rock and How often have I been struck, mute and ice, towering into the pure, cold, upper spell-bound, by the sudden bursting upon air, above the flight of the eagle and the me of this resplendent spectacle, through floating cloud. There they lie for ever, an opening in the forest, on turning a huge blocks of parian marble, banks of precipice, or mounting a hill. It is not new-fallen snow, drifted up amid the only that, at each new sight of them, stars ; piles of spotless, dazzling clouds the mind better understands their imresting on the horizon, or battlements of mensity; but they appear in some unerburnished silver. One feels like Chris- pected variety, according to the season, tian, upon the top of the high hill called day, hour, or point from which they are Clear, gazing, at last, upon the gates of viewed. They amaze by their exquisite the Celestial City.
beauty, and overwhelm by their subMany thoughts and emotions throng limity. Like a grand oratorio or mighty upon the mind; souvenirs of history, poem, they are full of unexpected discoglimpses of armies, battles, and heroes; veries, and sweet surprises which ravish Cimbrian hosts and Roman legions; an the soul more and more as we underoppressive sense of the insignificance of stand them better. man, the fleetingness of life and the The walks about Berne are number. glory of Him who “ laid the foundations less and perfectly beautiful, but this of the earth, when the morning stars towering and almost unearthly phenosang together and the sons of God menon crowns them all with a new and shouted for joy."
ineffable glory, deeply suggestive of deThe tourist, fortunate enough to catch votional feeling. They recall the land this passing view on a clear summer day, of Beulah, and one seems nearer God in returns to his country with an idea that presence of these revelations of his