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could do no more than relieve her pains, and make death easy_for she died. I want strong words to tell what I felt then; but I cannot find any that will describe, even faintly, how terrible it was to me to see my Mary first suffer. and then perish, without having the least power to relieve or save her, though I would have laid down my life most gladly to redeem her from the grave. But she died; and it was my fate to follow to the tomb her who had been to me as part of my own life, and without whom I felt that I could only half live.
When I returned home from discharging this most melancholy duty, and was going up-stairs, I heard the complaining cry of my child: I went and took her; and felt, for the first time, that I was not yet utterly desolate, since she was left to me. She was all my joy from that day; but my only remaining joy did not last long. The poor little thing seemed to pine away from the time her mother died, though nothing was spared to supply the loss as much as possible to her. But nothing availed. She also died. She died in my arms, where only she seemed quiet and
contented. During her long illness her distress had been such, that when at last I laid her dear little lifeless body down upon the bed, I could not but feel thankful that her sufferings were over.
Hers were over; but mine seemed then to begin. Her wants and my anxiety about her had partly occupied my mind, and prevented it from dwelling so entirely as it would otherwise have done upon the loss of her mother. But now both my losses--all my losses, pressed heavily upon me at once. I went up and down in my house, but it was all desolate without the pleasant faces and cheerful voices to which I had been accustomed; and because my home was thus desolate, and kindness and love no longer awaited me there, all other places were desolate to me. Indeed, my losses left me more completely alone in the world than I have yet informed the reader; for both my parents had long been dead, and my brother had made himself a stranger to me; and besides him I had no other near relation.
me I saw that it was my duty to
endeavour, by some occupation, to divert the sorrows that oppressed me. Some friends advised me to engage more actively in trade; but none were now left me to be benefited by my gains; and for myself, I had far more than my wants were likely to require. So, after much consideration, I determined to travel, in the hope that, by moving from place to place, and seeing strange things and strange people, the life which had ceased to be happy might be made tolerable. It was on this account that I went abroad; and I, in time, became resigned, and even cheerful, though I have not ceased to lament my early losses, or to feel how very different my life, now drawing to its close, has been from all that I had expected and hoped.
I never visited England from the time I first went abroad until the year before last, when I finally returned. During the many long years of my absence I went about from one place to another, as opportunity offered, without caring much where I went. I have thus been a great traveller; and I think there is hardly any coun
try in which I have not been, or any strange or wonderful thing that I have not seen. It is very likely that I should still be on my travels, and should have ended my life in some foreign land; but when I arrived at Calcutta, in the year 1833, I found a letter waiting there for me, the contents of which greatly surprised me, and altered all my plans. This was the letter:
OLIVER,-If my conduct towards you had always been brotherly and kind, I should not feel it difficult to tell you that I am now at the point of death, leaving two sons and a daughter without any friends in the world, unless you will be a friend to them.
ROBERT OLDCASTLE.' · I will be a friend to them! I cried aloud; and I felt delighted to think that I had again found something in the world to care for and to love. I embarked for England in the first ship that sailed, and, after a quick and prosperous voyage, arrived at London, where I soon found my brother's children, who were living, in very
humble circumstances, with a distant relation of their mother. I found that my brother, after having wasted the property left him by our father, had entered the army, in which he, in the end, became a major. When his services were no longer wanted, he was obliged to live upon his half-pay, which did not prevent him from marrying a lady, who brought him two boys named Henry and Francis, and a girl called Jane. Henry, who was twelve years of age, I found to be rather a proud and fiery boy, with great confidence in himself. He was apt to think that he knew more than he really did; and therefore, when I talked with them about my travels, he seldom asked me a question until he felt in his mind that it would not make him seem ignorant of something that he ought to have known. Altogether, he is a noble and generous little fellow; and though he may make one angry twenty times a-day, it is impossible not to love him greatly. Francis, otherwise • Frank,” is two years younger than his brother. His gentleness, his anxiety to please, and his