“Very true—um—very true,” observed Cophagus, putting more Quakerism than usual in his style, and drawing out his ums to treble their usual length; “Happy life—Japhet—um—all at peace—quiet amusements—think about it—um—no hurry—never swear—by-and-bye heh!—spirit may move—um—not now—talk about it—get well—set up shop—and so on.”
I was tired with talking so much, and having taken some nourishment, gain fell asleep. When I awoke in the evening, friend Cophagus and his wife were not in the room; but Susannah Temple, whom I had first seen, and of whom I had made inquiry of Ephraim, who was Cophagus’s servant. She was sitting close to the light and reading, and long did I continue to gaze upon her, fearful of interrupting her. She was the most beautiful specimen of clear and transparent white that I ever had beheld—her complexion was unrivalled—her eyes were large, but I could not ascertain their colour, as they were cast down upon her book, and hid by her long fringed eyelashes—her eyebrows arched and regular, as if drawn by a pair of compasses, and their soft hair in beautiful contrast with her snowy forehead—her hair was auburn, but mostly concealed within her cap—her nose was very straight but not very large, and her mouth was perfection. She appeared to be between seventeen and eighteen years old, as far as I could ascertain, her figure was symmetrically perfect. Dressed as she was in the modest, simple garb worn by the females of the Society of Friends, she gave an idea of neatness, cleanliness, and propriety, upon which I could have gazed for ever. She was, indeed, most beautiful. I felt her beauty, her purity, and I could have worshipped her as an angel. While I still had my eyes fixed upon her exquisite features, she closed her book, and rising from her chair, came to the side of the bed. That she might not be startled at the idea of my having been watching her, I closed my eyes, and pretended to slumber. She resumed her seat, and then I changed my position and spoke, “Is any one there?”
“Yes, friend Newland, what is it that thou requirest?” said she, advancing. “Wouldst thou see Cophagus or Ephraim? I will summon them.”
“O no,” replied I; “why should I disturb them from their amusements or employments? I have slept a long while, and I would like to read a little I think, if my eyes are not too weak.”
“Thou must not read, but I may read unto thee,” replied Susannah. “Tell me, what is it that thou wouldest have me read? I have no vain books; but surely thou thinkest not of them, after thy escape from death.”
“I care not what is read, provided that you read to me,” replied I.
“Nay, but thou shouldest care; and be not wroth if I say to thee, that there is but one book to which thou shouldest now listen. Thou hast been saved from deadly peril—thou hast been rescued from the jaws of death. Art thou not thankful? And to whom is gratitude most due, but to thy heavenly Father, who hath been pleased to spare thee?”