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and modes of thinking, I will accept the pledge; but consider well, if you have not already done so, that if I receive the dear boy, I shall not bring him up.according to any of the received opinions or customs of the world.”
“ The world !” repeated Mr. Milner, with warmth; "what is the world to a poor dying man like me! I thank God, that through your instructions, and the views you early gave me of its emptiness and vanity, and of all its destructive tendencies, it never had the charms for me which it has for other young people less simply educated; but never, never did it appear of so little importance as it does at this moment; and I would rather look forward to seeing my beloved child an humble servant of God, in the lowest situation in life, than the first monarch upon earth. Take him, therefore, my dear friend, as the last pledge of love from your old and highly-favoured pupil Henry Milner.-Bring him up in your own simple way; talk to him, and give him the same kind of instruction as you gave to me, and all my wishes on his account will be fulfilled." ;
“We were very happy indeed," said Mr. Dalben, “my dear pupil, when we lived together in my little cottage; and if the Lord would assist me in my care of your dear boy, it would, I think, make up to me almost what I shall lose in his father. But, dear Henry Milner, beloved pupil and son of my heart, may I not hope that you may yet be spared to us?” .
“No," said Mr. Milner; “no, I neither expect nor wish for a prolongation of life: I am fully persuaded that I must soon die; therefore, my dear friend, set not your heart upon me; but love my little son, and for his sake recall to mind the days of my youth, and the sweet instructions you used to give me..
“Do you remember, my dear tutor, the conversations we used to have upon the subject of those blessed days when Christ shall reign from sea to sea, and from the river even unto the ends of the earth? How you used to tell me, when speaking of the glory of the ancient kings and heroes of the earth, and the vaunted conquerors of Greece and Rome, that this was a false and deceitful glory, and would be as much excelled by the glory of the kingdom of Christ upon earth, as the brightness of the sun exceeds that of a blazing flambeau? Do you recollect how many questions I used to put to you on
these subjects, and how you used to take the Bible and point out to me those passages which refer to this glo. rious time, when the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, --when springs shall burst forth in the desert place, and brooks of water in the thirsty land; and you used to describe to me at those times what would be the beautiful and holy deportment of the children of the Blessed One in those happy days in terms so warm and animated, that while I listened I often felt my young imagination, as it were, take fire, and every feeling of my heart engaged in the desire of promoting, as much as in me lay, the advancement of this kingdom upon earth?
“Ah! my friend, while other tutors'and instructers of youth are engaged in filling the minds of their pupils with precepts of worldly wisdom and worldly glory, you were continually employed in representing to me such views of true peace and true glory as were never yet verified on earth; insomuch so, that, with the divine blessing, my young heart was quite filled with these images; and I felt, while yet a boy, a more ardent zeal for the advancement of Christ's kingdom upon earth, than ever Spartan or Roman youth for the honour of his country, or the fame of his native city."
Mr. Dalben smiled, but there was a mixture of tender grief in the expression of his countenance as his pupil thus proceeded:
“I remember that you used to say to me, Dear Henry Milner, what sort of little boys are those who will be admitted into the kingdom of Christ on earth, and who will be allowed to play upon the hills of the millennium; not indeed such little boys as we now see; children with sinful, proud, and ambitious hearts; but holy children, who have received new hearts, and been made white in the blood of the Lamb, have been justified, regenerated, sanctified, and are at length admitted into glory-such little boys as these will play on the high hills of the millennium.'”.
« My dear pupil,” said Mr. Dalben, “I fear you will exhaust yourself by speaking so much." . “No, no," returned Mr. Milner with animation: “in promising to take my boy you have added, I think, some days to my life, and enabled me to look back on the sweet period of my childhood with renewed delight; inasmuch as I now dare to hope for the same holy and
simple instructions for my son as those on which I now dwell with such inexpressible delight. My beloved tutor, while under your care I was as happy as a sinful child of Adam could possibly be while carrying about with him a body of sin; and though, indeed, after I left you, and mixed with the world, I lost much of my peace of mind, He who undoubtedly willed my salvation ere yet the spirit of life was breathed into my nostrils, soon found means to recall me to himself, and will assuredly, in a very short time, make me blessed in his presence for evermore; for I have been enabled to place my confidence in him, and who ever trusted in him and was confounded ?"
Now, as I have made my first chapter somehwhat long, and as it contains some matters rather difficult for little boys to understand, I shall conclude it in a few words by saying, that Mr. Dalben staid with his dear pupil not only till he died, but until he had seen his remains placed in the grave; after which, he hired a chaise, and taking little Henry Milner on his lap, began his journey towards. his own home.
Containing an Account of Mr. Dalben's House and his Servants :
also a Description of his Dog and Cat, with certain other important Particulars
MR. DALBEN's house was situated in Worcestershire, between the Malvern Hills and the valley of the Teme, so that those who approached the house from the other side of the river saw the hills towering majestically above the house, and a grove of trees which grew at the back of it. The house itself stood in a very neat and beautiful garden, abounding, not only with vegetables and fruit, but also with many fair shrubs and flowers; among which several neat gravel walks went winding about, sometimes being in sight from the house, and sometimes being quite hid from the windows by the trees and shrubs.
The house was a very old one, even in Mr. Dalben's. time ; and I have been told by those who have lately visited that country that it is now quite gone to ruin.
It was, however, a lovely and comfortable abode as could possibly be when the old gentleman lived therein. It was laid out in a little hall or vestibule, on one side of which was the kitchen, and on the other the old gentleman's study, a handsome large room, which took up one whole side of the house. The kitchen window, which was a very large one, looked towards the front of the house, and commanded a fine view down the valley of Teme: but the window of the study opened the other way, and from hence the heights of Malvern were seen, lifting themselves above the trees in the garden and grove beyond. This study, which was as much as twenty-five feet in length, contained certain large bookcases, in which Mr. Dalben's books were placed in the neatest order: the floor was covered with a Turkey carpet; a bright mahogany table stood before the fire, and another in the bow-window; in which last place Mr. Dalben used to sit in warm weather. There was in this room a very comfortable sofa, and a warm rug lay before the fireplace; which last piece of furniture I particularly mention, because it was on this rug that the old cat used to take her place in a wintry evening, and where she not unfrequently spent her night.
On the inner side of this study was a large light closet, where Mr. Dalben used to keep his papers and such of his books as were not clothed in a handsome binding; and here he was so kind as to allow Henry Milner, when he was about six years of age, to keep a certain bag of rubbish which the little boy prized not a little, though it contained nothing but a few sticks and nails, some bits of string and scraps of paper, a bundle of penny pictures, and a clasp-knife which would not cut.
But I shall not say much about this bag in this place, lest I should forget the proper subject of this chapter; which is, to describe Mr. Dalben's house, his servants, and his cat and dog.
Over the study, which I dare say you have now got in your eye, was the old gentleman's sleeping-room, and over the closet was another small apartment, in which a little bed was put for Henry Milner, though he did not begin to sleep in it till the day when he was five years
old, because, till that time, it was thought necessary that he should sleep in the room with Mrs. Kitty, whom I shall speak of by-and-by.
Behind the kitchen was a brewhouse and poultryyard, and a large barn, with lofts above, every corner of which Henry Milner was well acquainted with, when he got to an age to go about by himself; and here also was a kennel for Lion, the great black dog, who, though he looked very fierce, and would sometimes make a terrible noise when he saw any thing he did not like, was nevertheless a very good-natured creature.
Mr. Dalben kept three servants : namely, Mrs. Kitty the housekeeper, who, though sometimes rather cross, was very honest and attentive to her master, having lived with him more than twenty years ; Thomas the gardener, and Sally the cook and dairy-maid. Thomas was as old as Mrs. Kitty, and knew every flower and tree in the garden as well as you know A, B, C ; but Sally was young, and often made Mrs. Kitty angry by looking out of the window when she ought to have been at her work.
And now I think that I have but one inhabitant of the family to make you acquainted with, and that is Muff the cat: she was called Muff, because a lady brought her, when she was a kitten, to Mr. Dalben's in her muff.
Muff was a tortoise-shell cat, and would have been very handsome, only that she had had the misfortune to lose one eye in a battle with a large rat; and you must be sensible that the loss of an eye is no great advantage to a cat, any more than it would be to you. However, we must consider what a very good thing it is that Providence has given two eyes to most creatures; so that, although we should lose one eye, we still shall have another to use, which would not be the case if we were born with but one eye, even if that eye were ever so large or handsome.
And now, having fulfilled my promise, I shall finish my chapter.