The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.
When he finished speaking he seemed entirely exhausted.  My father led him into the adjoining room, and assisted him to lie down upon his own bed.  He also gave him a little wine, which seemed somewhat to revive him.  Observing that he rapidly grew worse, my father summoned our physician, who was an old friend, and knew all the circumstances connected with our former acquaintance with Mr. Almont.  When the physician arrived, he expressed the opinion that death was fast approaching; said he,—­’I do not think he will see another sun rise,’—­and he did not.  He said but little, and suffered but little pain; but he sank rapidly.  His mind was clear to the last.  A short time before his death, he turned his eyes, over which the film of death was gathering, to my father, and, with much difficulty, said,—­’Pray—­for—­me.’  My father knelt and implored the mercy of heaven on the soul that was departing.  I could not bear that he should leave the world without one word in regard to what were his feelings in the near prospect of death.  Going near, I said,—­’Do you feel willing to trust yourself to the Saviour’s mercy to penitent sinners?’ He gave a sign of assent, and a more peaceful expression settled on his countenance.  ‘I know,’ said he in a whisper, ’that I have been a grievous sinner for many long years, yet the forgiveness guaranteed by you, whom I have so deeply injured, gives me a hope that God will also forgive the sins, for which I now trust I feel deeply penitent.’  After this, he lay for a short time in a kind of stupor.  Suddenly, he opened his eyes, and they rested upon my father, who stood by his bed-side.  His lips moved slightly, and my father distinguished the words,—­’Pray for me.’  He again knelt and prayed earnestly, in a subdued voice, for the spirit that was then entering the unknown future.  A few moments after, and the soul of George Almont was summoned to leave its earthly tenement.  When the small procession that had followed his remains to their last resting-place turned from the new-made grave, the two following lines from Gray’s Elegy came unbidden to my mind:—­

        No further seek his merits to disclose,
    Or draw his frailties from their dread abode.’

“Perhaps, Clara,” continued Miss Simmonds, “you may, in your walks through what is now called ‘The Old Burial-ground,’ a short distance from the village, have observed a lonely grave, marked by a plain marble headstone, and shaded by the branches of an aged tree; you may have noticed this grave, and never given a thought to the poor mortal who sleeps there.  That is the grave of George Almont.  Three years later, my father died, and I was left alone.  Since that period I have lived sometimes alone, and occasionally spending a short time with any family who happen to require my services, as I find it necessary to do something for my own support.  I have been able to support myself in comfort and respectability, and even occasionally to bestow charity in a small way to those less favored

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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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