« AnteriorContinuar »
tives of sincere affection, and never for a moment anticipated the brilliant lot which awaited her.
From the period of their union, every thing appeared to prosper.
Affluence seemed to pour in upon them, and at the time Alice made her most welcome appearance upon the stage of life, her parents were living in a beautiful villa in the neighbourhood of London, surrounded by all the luxuries and magnificence of wealth. Under these circumstances it may be easily imagined that the birth of Alice was attended by prospects of the brightest nature. A nursery, like the abode of a princess, was prepared for her, close to the chamber of her parents, whose happiness appeared all centered in this little being. The business of Mr. Seymour obliged him to be much from home; but every evening he returned to his family, and his first visit was to his baby's room. Did he happen to arrive during her sleeping moments,
how tenderly would he withdraw the silken curtains of her cot, and with eyes often moistened by the tear of doting affection, gaze with delight upon his treasure! Many a silent prayer was mentally addressed by this tender father, for the welfare of his darling child; and these pious wishes seemed to be received by the Author of all good, for every blessing appeared to be bestowed upon Alice, who, full of health and beauty, gave, as her mind gradually developed, every hope of being possessed of the sweetest disposition.
Her watchful parents were determined to give her every attainable advantage; therefore even in the choice of a nurse Alice was fortunate ; for they had selected for that office a young person who had been most carefully brought up, and thus, from her earliest infancy, Alice had the advantage of living with those who were well able to direct her
mind. To these circumstances may be ascribed
the sense of religion which was early inculcated in her heart, and that goodness and piety which embellished every act of her future life.
Her nurse was a truly excellent person, and no sooner did reason sufficiently en. lighten the mind of the little Alice, than she was taught to pray! But when she was allowed to address her Father in heaven, it was a privilege earned by good behaviour, and she was taught to consider it the highest she could obtain, Prayers uttered in such purity and goodness, one must believe are accepted and registered in heaven ; and it was indeed a beautiful sight, to see so young and lovely a creature, her
in infantine piety, lisping forth that little prayer, which I have always endeavoured to impress upon your minds, my beloved children ; but for the edification of any other young reader who may be unacquainted with it, I shall transcribe it here.
“O Lord! I know that thou art a
tender Father, and if I seek thee early, I shall not seek in vain. O teach me to love Theel and to know thy dear Son Jesus Christ! who, when he came on earth to save sinners, took little children into his arms, and blessed them.”
Mr. Seymour's affection for his little girl appeared daily to increase she was his idol. Her mother vainly endeavoured to moderate this too great love for an earthly object; not that her affection for her child was less fervent,-she loved her as dearly,—but her prayers to God were mingled with petitions that through His goodness she might acquire strength of mind not to allow this much loved child to prove to her a source of evil, by making her less mindful of the love she owed to her Redeemer, or by making this world so delightful, as to render the thought of leaving it a cause for anguish and affliction.
Mrs. Seymour's health had never been good; and as since her marriage she had
lived much alone, she possessed an advantage of which her husband, from the nature of his occupations, had been deprived. She had time for reflection--and she had made good use of that time! A great portion of each day had been devoted by her to the study of the Scriptures, and hence she became a truly enlightened Christian. Often did she entreat Mr. Seymour to recollect that their child was a mere mortal; that a few hours' illness might deprive them of her: and that it was his duty to set bounds to his feelings. When he looked at his darling, bright with health and beauty, he felt angry with his wife for interrupting his dreams of happiness by such gloomy anticipations; and went off to his counting-house with his mind full of schemes for increasing her wealth, and adding, as he imagined, to her happiness.
In the mean time, Alice was surrounded by masters of every description. Her father, in the pride of his heart, used to