They gathered round him; they soothed, and comforted, and prayed for him; but his soul refused comfort, and all his strength appeared to have been broken down at once like a feeble reed. At last a momentary energy returned; his eyes were lifted to the gloaming heaven where a few stars had already begun to shine, and a bright look illuminated his countenance. They listened deeply—“Yes, mother,” he murmured, in broken tones, “forgiven now, for Christ’s dear sake. O thou merciful God! Yes, there they are, and we shall meet again. Verny—oh, happy, happy at last—too happy!”
The sounds died away, and his head fell back; for a transient moment more the smile and the brightness played over his fair features like a lambent flame. It passed away, and Eric was with those he dearliest loved, in the land where there is no more curse.
“Yes, dearest Eric, forgiven and happy now,” sobbed Mrs. Trevor; and her tears fell fast upon the dead boy’s face, as she pressed upon it a long, last kiss.
“And hath that
early hope been blessed with truth?
Hath he fulfilled the promise of his youth?
And borne unscathed through danger’s stormy field
Honor’s white wreath and virtue’s stainless shield?”
HARROW. A Prize Poem.
The other day I was staying with Montagu. He has succeeded to his father’s estate, and is the best-loved landlord for miles around. He intends to stand for the county at the next general election, and I haven’t the shadow of a doubt that he will succeed. If he does, Parliament will have gained a worthy addition. Montagu has the very soul of honor, and he can set off the conclusions of his vigorous judgment, and the treasures of his cultivated taste, with an eloquence that rises to extraordinary grandeur when he is fulminating his scorn at any species of tyranny or meanness.
It was very pleasant to talk with him about our old school days in his charming home. We sate by the open window (which looks over his grounds, and then across one of the richest plains in England) one long summer evening, recalling all the vanished scenes and figures of the past, until we almost felt ourselves boys again.
“I have just been staying at Trinity,” said I, “and Owen, as I suppose you know, is doing brilliantly. He has taken a high first class, and they have already elected him fellow and assistant tutor.”
“Is he liked?”
“Yes, very much. He always used to strike me at school as one of those fellows who are much more likely to be happy and successful as men, than they had ever any chance of being as boys. I hope the greatest things of him; but have you heard anything of Duncan lately?”
“Yes, he’s just been gazetted as lieutenant. I had a letter from him the other day. He’s met two old Roslyn fellows, Wildney and Upton, the latter of whom is now Captain Upton; he says that there are not two finer or manlier officers in the whole service, and Wildney, as you may easily guess, is the favorite of the mess-room. You know, I suppose, that Graham is making a great start at the bar.”