The Man of Feeling eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about The Man of Feeling.
is dry; and it burns, it burns, it burns!”—­She drew nearer to Harley.—­“Be comforted, young lady,” said he, “your Billy is in heaven.”—­“Is he, indeed? and shall we meet again? and shall that frightful man (pointing to the keeper) not be there!—­Alas!  I am grown naughty of late; I have almost forgotten to think of heaven:  yet I pray sometimes; when I can, I pray; and sometimes I sing; when I am saddest, I sing:  —­You shall hear me—­hush!

“Light be the earth on Billy’s breast,
And green the sod that wraps his grave.”

There was a plaintive wildness in the air not to be withstood; and, except the keeper’s, there was not an unmoistened eye around her.

“Do you weep again?” said she.  “I would not have you weep:  you are like my Billy; you are, believe me; just so he looked when he gave me this ring; poor Billy! ’twas the last time ever we met! —

“’Twas when the seas were roaring—­I love you for resembling my Billy; but I shall never love any man like him.”—­She stretched out her hand to Harley; he pressed it between both of his, and bathed it with his tears.—­“Nay, that is Billy’s ring,” said she, “you cannot have it, indeed; but here is another, look here, which I plated to-day of some gold-thread from this bit of stuff; will you keep it for my sake?  I am a strange girl; but my heart is harmless:  my poor heart; it will burst some day; feel how it beats!” She pressed his hand to her bosom, then holding her head in the attitude of listening—­“Hark! one, two, three! be quiet, thou little trembler; my Billy is cold!—­but I had forgotten the ring.”—­She put it on his finger.  “Farewell!  I must leave you now.”—­She would have withdrawn her hand; Harley held it to his lips.—­“I dare not stay longer; my head throbs sadly:  farewell!”—­She walked with a hurried step to a little apartment at some distance.  Harley stood fixed in astonishment and pity; his friend gave money to the keeper.—­Harley looked on his ring.—­He put a couple of guineas into the man’s hand:  “Be kind to that unfortunate.”—­He burst into tears, and left them.

CHAPTER XXI—­THE MISANTHROPE

The friend who had conducted him to Moorfields called upon him again the next evening.  After some talk on the adventures of the preceding day:  “I carried you yesterday,” said he to Harley, “to visit the mad; let me introduce you to-night, at supper, to one of the wise:  but you must not look for anything of the Socratic pleasantry about him; on the contrary, I warn you to expect the spirit of a Diogenes.  That you may be a little prepared for his extraordinary manner, I will let you into some particulars of his history.

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The Man of Feeling from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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