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Speak of me then with gladness, not with tears,
No more to part!
M. N. M.
Is like the violet flower,
In some sequestered bower;
Who sips its gentle sweets;
Nor all the care he meets.
Amid the wild alone;
Of cloud is seldom thrown;
Beneath the sultry day;
How pleasant be his way!
That every tempest braves,
of ocean's wildest waves;
Within its shade is given;
Seems less like earth than heaven.
A SABBATH DAY-DREAM.
BY GRACE GRAFTON, AUTHOR OF OLD AGE AND BEAUTY,' 'THE NEW-YEAR,' ETC.
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.' • The weather is so warm, and I have eaten such a dinner, that I am confident I shall fall asleep, if I go to afternoon church. What shall I do, mother ?'
Go to church, Louisa, as your father desires. Listen to the service, with proper devotional feeling; and give Mr. Snorer's sermon your undivided attention, and you will be in no danger of falling asleep.'
• Mother, I have tried that, and for the life of me, I can neither keep my feelings nor my attention alive enough to keep my senses awake. I have to pinch myself, and run pins into my knee, yet all will not do; some invisible power presses down my eye-lids; and before I am aware, there I sit, my stupid head nodding, with its eyes shut, in full view of the congregation.'
• You have said all this before, Louisa ; but you cannot stay at home, without displeasing your father; so let me advise you to make a virtue of necessity, and do your best to overcome this unlady-like habit of sleeping in church.'
Louisa's mother might have added more; but her father's voice was now beard, summoning her to attend him; and as in silence she pursued her way by his side, along the dusty path, beneath a scorcking sun, her heart rebelled, and she longed to be in her own pleasant garden, or seated beneath the cool piazza. However, to church she went, and to sleep she went; and while her father listened approvingly to the sound doctrine and well-turned sentences of Mr. Snorer's discourse, the nasal twang and monotonous cadence of the good preacher had their customary lulling effect on the senses of several of the congregation; but I doubt if any one of them was visited with so singular a dream, as occurred to poor Louisa, during her stolen slumbers.
The silly girl had read in one of her French lessons, a certain fanciful story, called the Palace of Truth,' and she now fancied the sacred edifice converted into such an abode, and Mr. Snorer's motley congregation subjected to the involuntary betrayal of their inmost thoughts. Even her respected father did not escape. He, good man, listened with profound attention, to be sure; but instead of the spirit of piety, an imp of sectarian intolerance occupied his mind; and all the arguments of the worthy Mr. Snorer were treasured there, as offensive and defensive weapons, wherewith to carry on a wordy war (fighting still under the banner of the Prince of Peace,) with certain of his heretical neighbors. Even in her dream, Louisa felt sorely grieved at her imagined discovery of how very, very far her father's spirit of religious controversy led him from the path of true christianity.
A gentleman who sat in the next pew, was wide awake, and apparently attentive; but when his thoughts were laid bare, they were found to consist of interesting calculations touching his earthly stores; while his wife, a notable house-keeper, was laying thrifty plans of domestic economy,
her eyes at the same time fixed steadfastly on the minister, whose discourse she seemed to be devouring with both her ears.
A young lawyer was next subjected to the ordeal, and his mind presented such a medley of incongruous ideas, of shallow learning and vain conceits, that there was no room for devotion; and Louisa was glad to pass him by, and take a peep at the thoughts of his next neighbor, a brother lawyer, and, to casual observers, his counterpart in * mental endowments; but there was a great contrast in the inner man. All wandering fancies were banished, and his high intellectual were turned attentively to the sermon of good Mr. Snorer, to whom he was listening, as he had often done before, wishing and hoping to draw instruction from his words; something to satisfy the cravings of a religious heart. But he was disappointed, as usual, and fell into criticisms on the preacher; pronouncing him ‘dry,' “phlegmatic,' and wholly uninteresting.'
An old bachelor sat near, a regular attendant on divine service; a religious man; a man who admitted no excuse for those misguided individuals who pass through this weary pilgrimage without God in the world. There at least Louisa expected to find a well-regulated mind, properly devoted to the exercises of the day. But it was not so. The good man's heart was wandering after his eyes among the younger and fairer portion of the congregation; though he felt half disposed to quarrel with them for looking so pretty in their Sunday bonnets, that he could not keep his eyes off them. Louisa smiled archly, with malicious glee, when she found which way the old bachelor's thoughts were straying, and she dreamed that he stretched out his hand to
seize her, and take his revenge ; but she stepped back, and turned demurely toward a pew, where reclined a gentleman with perfumed handkerchief in one hand, and on the other a kid glove. This young man was one of Louisa's beaux, and she felt curious to know whether Mr. Snorer's preaching produced any effect on his mind. But to her surprise, she could not find that he had any mind. There was a vacuum in its place! It was a mere puppet, dressed up in the externals of good society!
Louisa turned to some young acquaintance of her own sex, and, as she expected, found them with their frivolous thoughts intent upon dress, running up and down the scale of fashion, with the same monotonous perseverance with which young ladies are taught to run their scales on the piano. When their eyes lighted on a new and expensive dress, well garnished with feathers, and furbelows, and all the paraphernalia of fashion, they might be considered at the top of the scale; and down their silly thoughts ran again, when a dowdy object met their view. There was one lady, whose handsome face and brilliant eyes
had often excited Louisa's admiration. They seemed capable of expressing the pure intellectual sentiments of an elevated mind; but Louisa dreamed that the fine qualities of this beautiful girl were obscured by pride and vanity; and even in church, these prevailed, to the exclusion of feelings better befitting the occasion. Perhaps, thought Louisa, if the preacher's words reached her heart, for a heart she has of innate worth, beating beneath that lovely form, if the preacher's words touched one chord there, it might respond in a nobler strain. But the discourse did not fix her attention, for which it would be hard to blame poor Mr. Snorer; and Louisa found her contemptuously scrutinizing the mean apparel of some humble-looking strangers in a pew before her. Mother and daughter they appeared to be, and were, as Louisa remarked, any thing but well dressed. However, though the outside was mean, there was worth beneath it. In the heart of the old lady dwelt the piety which ‘passeth show;' nor was her daughter destitute of devotional feeling ; but at that moment, a sad struggle was going on in her mind. She felt herself meanly attired, in the midst of wealth and fashion. Poverty seemed to hang about her as a garment; and she was striving in vain to conquer this unworthy sense of debasement, by every lesson in favor of meekness and humility, that christianity had taught her. Mortification had entered her young heart, and envy stood in the portal. How can I pray here, thought she, amid looks of scorn, and eyes of cold inquiry? "Go into thy closet and shut the door ;' these words seemed to be ringing in her ears, and she longed for the sanctity of solitude, to relieve her from feelings which were at war with devotion. When she raised her head, her cheeks were flushed, and her eyes suffused with tears. It was the blush of false shame; the tears were those of mor tified pride; and as her mother at the same moment raised her head, there was a remarkable contrast in the expression of tranquil resig. nation in her pale countenance. Louisa was gazing on them both, with much interest, and preparing to search deeper into their hearts, when a bustle in the congregation awakened her. Mr. Snorer had reached the end of his sermon, and very soon he and father Somnus
stalked off together; and Louisa walked silently home. On arriving there, she hastened to her mother's room, and exclaimed as she entered, “Oh! mother! I have had such a dream!'
A dream, Louisa ?' said her mother, in an incredulous tone. “I cannot think
you have been sleeping in church again !' • That was a matter of course, I am sorry to say,' replied Louisa ; but my dream, dear mother; will you hear my dream ?'
Silence gave consent, and Louisa recounted her silly vision, as related above ; at the conclusion of which, her mother yawned several times; and then remarked, that if dreams were any criterion of the disposition of the dreamer, Louisa must stand accused of great want of charity in her interpretation of her neighbors' thoughts.