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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 419 pages of information about The Lost Hunter.

CHAPTER XXVI.

  Whose part in all the pomp that fills,
  The circuit of the summer hills. 
      Is that his grave is green. 
  And deeply would their hearts rejoice,
  To hear again his living voice.

  BRYANT.

The funeral, with the usual celerity with which such things are done in our country, was to take place on the next day.  Too often the haste appears indecent, and it may be that in some instances the body has been buried before life deserted it.  It would seem that the family felt constrained by the presence of the corpse, and compelled to exercise an irksome self-control, and, therefore, desired to hurry it under ground, as if it would be less likely there to know how soon it was forgotten.

But in the present case there was no reason why the body should be longer kept.  There could be no doubt that life was extinct.  It had lain too long in the water to admit a ray of hope to the contrary.  The sooner it was placed in its final earthly home the better for poor Jane Sill, the widow.  Her grief would the sooner be mitigated, by withdrawing her thoughts from the dead to fix them on the necessity of providing for the living.  Until the burial the sympathizing neighbors took upon themselves to perform the usual work of the household, such as cooking the necessary food, &c., and one or another came in at times to look after the children, to see that nothing was neglected for their comfort, and to console the lone woman in her affliction.  But this could not last long.  It was better it should not, but that things should, as quickly as possible, resume their usual and natural course.

When the hour for the ceremony arrived, Mr. Armstrong sent round his carriage to convey the mourning family in the melancholy procession, while he and Faith, as the distance was short, proceeded on foot to the house.  It was situated on a sandy beach, near the Wootuppocut, and a considerable company had collected together before their arrival.  Poor Josiah’s generosity and good-nature had made him a general favorite, and his acquaintances had pretty generally turned out to render to him the last testimony of affection it would ever be in their power to pay.  The house was too small to hold all present, so that besides the relations, very few except females were admitted.  Faith entered, but her father, though courteously invited in, and in consequence of his connection with the accident that caused the death, considered in some wise a mourner, preferred to remain on the outside.  Meanwhile, during the preparations in the house, groups without were scattered round, engaged, in low voices, in various conversation.  In some, expressions of condolence and pity were let fall for the condition of the widow and her family; others descanted on the good qualities of the deceased; others debated on what might be the feelings of Armstrong, and wondered what he would give the widow.  They

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