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fortnight prior to the opening scene of our story. At this period the two eldest sons were accustomed to assist their father in his perilous occupation. Their sister, Mary, was advancing into womanhood, and becoming almost the image of her mother. Willie, as he was affectionately termed, was now of course twelve years of age. He had been extremely delicate from his infancy, and many were the anxieties that had been cherished on his account. On a Sabbath evening, a fortnight before the period which we have made the commencement of our story, he had been complaining even more than usual of headache and faintness; and when the family had all retired to rest, his father, on going to bed, found himself unable to sleep from the anxious thoughts which haunted him. At length, after many tossings, he found that repose he so much needed, but awoke again at early dawn. Willie, who slept with him, was in a composed slumber; yet the anxious parent found himself so wakeful that he arose. into the next room, where his sons, Hugh and John, slept, he was struck by the singularly beautiful countenance of Hugh, on which the rays of the sun seemed to concentrate, and to throw a glorious halo; and though only thinking at present of his son's beauty, the poor fisherman, after the dire accident happened which we are about to record, looked back on this brilliant sunshine on Hugh's face as if it had been a sort of omen of the event.

It was a bright and beautiful morning, early in September. The sea, which the week before had been stormy and disturbed, now lay placid and calm as a tired child asleep. There seemed to be a peculiar brightness in the atmosphere. The spars and rigging of several small trading vessels, lying anchored in the bay, looked as if drawn against the sky by a pencil, so distinct were they in their outlines and tracery. John Waterston was that day engaged to assist a neighbour in binding his sheaves in the reaping field ;: but his eldest sons, after an early breakfast, prepared to set out for the deep-sea fishing. Willie was better, and was anxious to accompany them, but this his father was unwilling to allow. Hugh and John, however, overcame his unwillingness by urging that Willie would be better for the sea air ; and who would dream of danger in such a calm, beautiful morning? Alas! How true is it. “We know not what an hour may bring forth !" Mary diligently prepared a seat in the stern of the boat for Willie, with a pillow and her tartan cloak, while Elspith busied herself in packing a basket with a bottle of milk and some oaten cakes. At length all was ready; and shoving off the boat from the sandy beach, the twin brothers pulled at their oars, and the boat soon receded from land. Ere they were beyond hearing, the fond father came out from his cottage, and called after them, “Take care of Willie,” to which they both responded, “ That we will."

A breeze having sprung up, the brothers took in the oars and hoisted a sail ; and Hugh went aft beside Willie, taking the helm, while John lounged over the bow of the boat looking down at the feathery forest of sea-weed beneath. How little he thought that his bones would yet whiten in some fathomless recess of the ocean, if, indeed, the monsters of the deep should permit a vestige of his body to remain ! About a mile from the shore there was anchored a pleasure yacht belonging to a gentleman in the neighbourhood, a Mr. Blair, to whom our fishermen were well known. In it, at this time, were Mr. Blair himself and two gentlemen, his friends. When the “ Mary Waterston," (for so old John had named his wherry,) neared this yacht, Hugh hailed them, asking, “Will ye up anchor, and try a run with us?” This proposal Mr. Blair declined; but Hugh, not hearing him well, shifted the sail in order to run up to the yacht. The boat, in turning upset, two large round stones which had been placed in the bottom of the boat for ballast, and which had not been secured, having rolled over to one side. The three brothers were fortunately not entangled with the wherry; and the two eldest being able to swim, all would have been well, but for Willie, who was unable from weakness to exert himself. Hugh, however, got hold of him, and kept him up almost out of the water, with thetone hand, while he kept afloat with the other, and shouted in anguish, “O save Willie, save Willie!" John seeing Willie so far safe in Hugh's hands struck out in the hurry of the moment for the yacht, but ere he had gone far, returned, afraid of Hugh's sinking under his burden. All this which has taken us some time to describe was the incident of a minute. The party in the yacht saw all that took place, and hastened to get up their anchor and row to the assistance of the young men. In the meantime, John had returned to Hugh, whose strength being now exhausted, handed Willie over to him, saying, “Keep Willie safe for I am gone, and immediately sunk.” The yacht was almost immediately on the spot ; and John, who was an 'expert diver, soon brought up his brother Hugh, who was insensible; and the yacht made to the shore with all speed, doing all they could on the way for Hugh's resuscitation. He revived after a little; but their joy at this was soon over, for he began to vomit blood, a dismal sign of his having burst a blood-vessel. The poor young man, in his anxiety to save Willie, had fallen a sacrifice to his affection.

How can we describe the return of these young fishermen to their home? Such a scene can be better imagined than portrayed. The father's mute anguish, Mary's heart-rending sobs, and Elspith's sympathizing sorrow, must already have been suggested to the minds of my readers. Medical assistance was promptly called ; and the benevolent Dr. Stewart of the neighbouring town of - was constrained, after examination of his patient, to fulfil his mournful duty in acquainting Hugh and the afflicted family, that he did not think the poor sufferer had long to live. O how constantly was poor Hugh waited on! How many were the inquiries made by the neighbours, with whom he had been an universal favourite: His self-devotion in saving Willie at the risk of his own life, gave an heroic lustre to his character, that called forth a corresponding sympathy from all who heard of the afflicting incident.

The Rev. Mr. minister of the Associate congregation of - (of whose church Hugh's father was an elder, and himself, John and Mary, were members,) was daily at his bedside ministering unto him the consolations of the Gospel, and delightedly listening to his lucid views of the great and leading truths of our most holy faith. •From a child he had known the holy Scriptures,' and had deeply meditated on the wondrous truths revealed in them; and now they

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were as a lamp, guiding his feet and lighting his way through the dark valley of the shadow of death.

Need we say more to explain the scene with which we opened this sorrowful tale? The whole family had been by turns sitting up through a fortnight of anxious nights, and at last worn out in body and in mind, all are asleep, save John, who is also unable to keep entirely awake. Hugh, who had not vomited blood for some days, was fondly supposed by his dear relatives to be a little better; but, alas! these wishful hopes proved fallacious. Hugh, we have said, had fallen into an uneasy slumber. After an hour of restless sleep he awoke, and calling John, said, “I have a sore pain at my heart, I think I am dying. You had better awake my father and the rest." This John instantly did, and on his return found the vomiting renewed. The poor sufferer then sank back and fainted, and on his recovering a few minutes after, the family were all surrounding his death-bed. His father said to him, on observing the striking change on his features which the approach of death produces, “ Are you afraid to die, Hugh ?” O! that all



in this last and solemn scene, be able to give the same answer as Hugh was enabled to give. He said, “No! Christ hath for me unstinged death. O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin ; but thanks be to God, who hath given me the victory through Christ Jesus my Lord.'” Soon after saying this, he expired.

The affecting incident which we have so imperfectly related, was but the beginning of many sorrows to this humble family. After Hugh's death, John, feeling acutely the loss of his companion, thought of going to sea, to which his father had great reluctance ; but, at length overcome by his son's importunities, he consented. In coming home on his second voyage, while performing a perilous duty aloft, the young sailor fell overboard, and the sea was running so high at the time that the captain, though a humane man, was constrained to turn a deaf ear to the piercing cries of " help,” which came borne on the gale. Thus the twin brothers, so alike in life, in the manner of their death were not divided.

The intelligence of his son John's death, superadded to that of Hugh's, broke the heart of the old fisherman; and he

soon sunk under this load of affliction, though, in meek submission, he was enabled to kiss the rod which smote him.Mary, a meek, gentle creature, formed for the sunshine of heaven, and not for the clouded darkness of this sinful valley of tears, soon followed her father to the grave. None are now left of that happy family but the youngest, who, tenderly taken care of by Elspith, yet struggles on through this weary world; and feeling that he only is wanted to complete a happy re-union in heaven, seeks to look forward to that as his home; and who, in order to impress others with the shortness and uncertainty of this life, and to inspire them with a longing after a better country, has penned this short, but he hopes instructive chapter from real life.

MY MOTHER'S GRAVE. It was thirteen years since my mother's death, when, after a long absence from my native village, I stood beside the sacred mound, beneath which I had seen her buried. Since that mournful period great changes had come over me. My childish years had passed away, and with them all my youthful character. The world had altered too; and, as I stood at my mother's grave, I could hardly realize that I was the same thoughtless, happy creature, whose cheek she had so often kissed in her excess of tenderness. Bu the varied events of thirteen years had not effaced the remembrance of that mother's smile. It seemed as if I had seen her yesterday; as if the blessed sound of her voice was then in my ear. The gay dreams of my infancy and childhood were brought back so distinctly to my mind, that, had it not been for one bitter recollection, the tears I shed would have been gentle and refreshing. The circumstance may seem a trifling one; but the thought of it even now, agonizes my heart-and I relate it that those children who have parents to love them, may learn to value them as they ought.

My mother had been ill a long time, and I had become so much accustomed to her pale face and weak voice that I was not frightened at them as children usually are. At

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