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ed to thee the truest, sweetest joys, that gem the period of existence 1
My heart is too full to proceed. May He, who is Lord of the Keepers of the eight corners of the World, preserve thee! May the adored wife of Veeshnu be the friend of my child !!
DENBEIGH, at the time I met him, was on his way to the place of his nativity. He requested me to accompany him to his father's house; and found in me no disposition to reject a proposal so agreeable to my inclination. We proceeded together in the same carriage. Conversed of India—of our friends at Calcutta:—talked of all the little incidents that had occurred during my residence in that city; the most trivial of which, appeared interesting to the memory, on account of the pleasing ideas with which it was associated. Swiftly flew the wheels of
our chariot, but more swiftly flew the rolling hours, which were occupied by this sort of conversation. About noon, on the second day of our journey, we, by the direction of Denbeigh, struck into a narrow bye-road, which following the course of a clear stream, winded through the midst of a narrow valley. As we entered upon this road, the agitation of my companion became apparent. Every object that we passed, caused his heart to heave with tender emotion. In every shrub he recognised an old acquaintance, and in every tree he seemed to discover a long lost friend. “Let us stop here,” said he, at a turn of the road ; “the bridge for carriages is half a mile off, but I can take you a nearer way.” So saying, he leaped out of the carriage, and I followed his example. My friend surveyed the scene around, and the soft tear of delight glistened in his eyes. “There,” said he, “stands the old thorn, which, at the close of evening, I used to pass with such hasty steps, not daring to
look behind, from terrour of the fairies, who were said to hold their nightly revels beneath its boughs. Ah! there is the wood, whose filberts were so tempting. There the pool, where I first ventured to beat the wave with my feeble arm. On the outstretched branch of yonder beach, was suspended the swing, in which I have so often tossed my little sisters, who, half pleased and half afraid squalled and laughed by turns, as they were made to fly through the yielding air.” We had now reached a little rustick gate leading into an orchard, in one of the broad walks of which, we beheld an aged pair, enjoying the smiles of the meridian Sun. A little boy and girl sported beside them joy. ously picking up the apples, that lay hidden in the grass. Our approach was at length perceived. The old gentleman paused, and leaning on his staff, endeavoured to recognize us. The emotion of Douglas encreased.—He bound
ed forward—and taking a hand of each— WOL. 1 i. 21 *
while the bursting sensations of his heart choaked his utterance-gazed for a moment on the revered faces of his parents, and in the next, was in their arms. His poor mother could not, for a few minutes, reconcile herself to the darkness of his complexion, which fourteen years spent beneath the lustre of an Indian sky had changed from the fair red and white, such as now adorns the face of his little nephew, to the deep brown shade, that marks the European Asiatick. The good Lady gently pushed him from her, to examine more minutely the features whose more delicate lines were engraven on her memory. He smiled.—In that smile, she recognized the peculiar expression of her darling's face, and fondly pressed him to her maternal bosom. During this scene, I stood a silent and unobserved spectator; nor was it till after a considerable length of time, that Denbeigh sufficiently recollected himself to introduce me to his parents. To be called the friend of their son, ensured my welcome; but, that I might not be any restraint on their conversation, I attached myself to the little folks, to whom Uncle Henry was no more than any other stranger. As we approached the house, I observed, at an open window which fronts the orchard, a lovely girl, who seemed to view the party with a greater degree of interest, than curiosity alone could possibly inspire. Twice she came to the door, and twice returned irresolute. At length, she was observed by one of my little companions, who runing towards her, called out, Uncle Henry is come ! Uncle Henry is come ! the words gave wings to her willing, feet, she flew down the walk, and in a minute her beauteous face was hid in the bosom of her brother. The shrill voice of my little friend, had reached farther than the parlour. By the time we entered the Hall, the servants were assembled.—The old nurse was the first who pressed forward to salute the stranger– by whom she was received with the kindness due to her affection and fidelity. Two