A rap at the door was heard. She arose and hastened to it. No person was in sight; but in the moon’s bright rays stood a basket, on which lay a card, stating that it and its contents were for her and her child, and that on the morrow a nurse and every comfort they might want would be provided.
She bowed herself beside it, and thanked God for the gift. Then with a joyful heart she carried it within, and her child’s eye sparkled as he heard the glad news, that He who watcheth the sparrows had not forgotten them.
Let us return now to that thatched cottage. She, whose mild eye gazeth up to heaven, whilst passing the door of the famishing mother and child an hour previous, had heard the words with which that mother had encouraged her dying son.
With speed the maiden hastened to her home, and from her own limited store carried forth that basket, and heaven-like bestowed the gift unseen and unknown, save by Him who seeth and who rewardeth. The deed of mercy accomplished, she hastened to her home; and now, as she looks upward, how her eye beams with joy, and her heart breaks forth in songs of gratitude to Him who made her the instrument of so much good!
Gold, with all its power, cannot bring joy unless dealt forth with a willing heart like hers. The king in his palace, whose sceptre’s sway extends over vast dominions, hath no pleasures capable of rivalling that which, by an act of charity, was brought to the soul of that young cottage girl.
Reader, whatever your condition, you can possess a joy like hers. If you have not what men call wealth, with which to help the weak and desponding, you have a smile of sympathy, a look of kindness, a word of love. Give those, and you shall know what a blessed thing is Charity.
NOW CLOSE THE BOOK.
Now close the book. Each
page hath done its part,
Each thought hath left its impress on the heart.
O, may it be that naught hath here been traced
That after years may wish to have effaced!
O, may it be Humanity hath won
Some slight bestowment by the task now done!
If struggling Right hath found one cheering word,
If Hope hath in desponding heart been stirred,
If Sorrow hath from one lone soul been driven
By one kind word of Sympathy here given,
Then in my soul a living joy shall dwell,
Brighter than art can paint or language tell.
Yes, close the book: the story and the song
Have each been said, and sung. I see the throng
Of gentle ministrants who’ve led my pen
Withdraw their aid. I hear the word, Amen.
And now to you, who have been with me through
The “Town and Country,” I must bid adieu.
The Project Gutenberg Etext of Town and Country, or, Life at Home and Abroad by John S. Adams ******This file should be named tclha10.txt or tclha10.zip******