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come, have been before us, and some are
here whose high usefulness we readily
acknowledge, and whose company it is an
honour to join. But, there are others here
Bastards of the Mountain, draggled fringe
on the Red Cap, Panders to the basest passions
of the lowest natureswhose existence is a
national reproach. And these, we should
consider it our highest service to displace.

Thus, we begin our career! The adventurer
in the old fairy story, climbing towards the
summit of a steep eminence on which the
object of his search was stationed, was
surrounded by a roar of voices, crying to him,
from the stones in the way, to turn back. All
the voices we hear, cry Go on! The stones that
call to us have sermons in them, as the trees
have tongues, as there are books in the running
brooks, as there is good in everything! They,
and the Time, cry out to us Go on! With a
fresh heart, a light step, and a hopeful courage,
we begin the journey. The road is not so
rough that it need daunt our feet: the way is
not so steep that we need stop for breath, and,
looking faintly down, be stricken motionless.
Go on, is all we hear, Go on! In a
glow already, with the air from yonder height
upon us, and the inspiriting voices joining in
this acclamation, we echo back the cry, and
go on cheerily!


WHEN Death is present in a household on a
Christmas Day, the very contrast between
the time as it now is, and the day as it has
often been, gives a poignancy to sorrow,—a
more utter blankness to the desolation.
James Leigh died just as the far-away bells
of Rochdale Church were ringing for morning
service on Christmas Day, 1836. A few
minutes before his death, he opened his
already glazing eyes, and made a sign to his
wife, by the faint motion of his lips, that he
had yet something to say. She stooped close
down, and caught the broken whisper, ' I
forgive her, Anne! May God forgive me.'

' Oh my love, my dear! only get well, and
I will never cease showing my thanks for
those words. May God in heaven bless thee
for saying them. Thou'rt not so restless, my
lad! may beOh God! '

For even while she spoke, he died.

They had been two-and-twenty years man
and wife; for nineteen of those years their
life had been as calm and happy, as the most
perfect uprightness on the one side, and the
most complete confidence and loving submission
on the other, could make it. Milton's
famous line might have been framed and
hung up as the rule of their married life, for
he was truly the interpreter, who stood
between God and her; she would have
considered herself wicked if she had ever dared
even to think him austere, though as
certainly as he was an upright man, so surely
was he hard, stern, and inflexible. But for
three years the moan and the murmur had
never been out of her heart; she had rebelled
against her husband as against a tyrant, with
a hidden sullen rebellion, which tore up the
old land-marks of wifely duty and affection,
and poisoned the fountains whence gentlest
love and reverence had once been for ever

But those last blessed words replaced him
on his throne in her heart, and called out
penitent anguish for all the bitter estrangement
of later years. It was this which made
her refuse all the entreaties of her sons, that
she would see the kind-hearted neighbours,
who called on their way from church, to
sympathise and condole. No! she would stay
with the dead husband that had spoken
tenderly at last, if for three years he had
kept silence; who knew but what, if she had
only been more gentle and less angrily reserved
he might have relented earlierand in time!

She sat rocking herself to and fro by the
side of the bed, while the footsteps below
went in and out; she had been in sorrow too
long to have any violent burst of deep grief
now; the furrows were well worn in her
cheeks, and the tears flowed quietly, if
incessantly, all the day long. But when the
winter's night drew on, and the neighbours
had gone away to their homes, she stole to
the window, and gazed out, long and
wistfully, over the dark grey moors. She did not
hear her son's voice, as he spoke to her from
the door, nor his footstep as he drew nearer.
She started when he touched her.

' Mother! come down to us. There's no
one but Will and me. Dearest mother, we
do so want you.' The poor lad's voice trembled,
and he began to cry. It appeared to
require an effort on Mrs. Leigh's part to tear
herself away from the window, but with a
sigh she complied with his request.

The two boys (for though Will was nearly
twenty-one, she still thought of him as a lad)
had done everything in their power to make
the house-place comfortable for her. She
herself, in the old days before her sorrow, had
never made a brighter fire or a cleaner
hearth, ready for her husband's return home,
than now awaited her. The tea-things were
all put out, and the kettle was boiling; and
the boys had calmed their grief down into a
kind of sober cheerfulness. They paid her
every attention they could think of, but
received little notice on her part; she did
not resistshe rather submitted to all their