“I thought on years back—on all my parents’ friends—the H——s, the F——s, on D—— S——, and on many a merry evening, in the fireside circle, in that comfortable back parlor—it is never used now.—
“O ye Matravises of the age, ye know not what ye lose in despising these petty topics of endeared remembrance, associated circumstances of past times;—ye know not the throbbings of the heart, tender yet affectionately familiar, which accompany the dear and honored names of father or of mother.
[Footnote 1: This name will be explained presently.]
“Maria! I thought on all these things; my heart ached at the review of them—it yet aches, while I write this—but I am never so satisfied with my train of thoughts, as when they run upon these subjects—the tears they draw from us, meliorate and soften the heart, and keep fresh within us that memory of dear friends dead, which alone can fit us for a readmission to their society hereafter.”
“——I had a bad dream this morning—that Allan was dead—and who, of all persons in the world do you think, put on mourning for him? Why—Matravis. This alone might cure me of superstitious thoughts, if I were inclined to them; for why should Matravis mourn for us, or our family?—Still it was pleasant to awake, and find it but a dream.—Methinks something like an awaking from an ill dream shall the Resurrection from the Dead be.—Materially different from our accustomed scenes, and ways of life, the World to come may possibly not be—still it is represented to us under the notion of a Rest, a Sabbath, a state of bliss.”
“——Methinks, you and I should have been born under the same roof, sucked the same milk, conned the same horn-book, thumbed the same Testament, together:—for we have been more than sisters, Maria!
“Something will still be whispering to me, that I shall one day be inmate of the same dwelling with my cousin, partaker with her in all the delights which spring from mutual good offices, kind words, attentions in sickness and in health,—conversation, sometimes innocently trivial, and at others profitably serious;—books read and commented on, together; meals ate, and walks taken, together,—and conferences, how we may best do good to this poor person or that, and wean our spirits from the world’s cares, without divesting ourselves of its charities. What a picture I have drawn, Maria! and none of all these things may ever come to pass.”
“——Continue to write to me, my sweet cousin. Many good thoughts, resolutions, and proper views of things, pass through the mind in the course of the day, but are lost for want of committing them to paper. Seize them, Maria, as they pass, these Birds of Paradise, that show themselves and are gone,—and make a grateful present of the precious fugitives to your friend.