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consign to oblivion; and it was hoped that, with others, Emily would insensibly feel her bereavement softening in the lapse of time, and that, like the lake beside her, when long lashed by the storms of the mountains, her mind would at length be wearied into rest. Her occupations were not very dissimilar to those which had previously employed her years. Lovely as was her demeanour, and exemplary as she had been in every department of private and social duty, she now only appeared to be becoming less interested in the world, and more detached from its pursuits, as if desirous of setting all her affections on things above; or if she visited that world, you might have supposed it only with such a feeling, as actuates angels for their charge.
Her leisure hours were now more uniformly devoted to retirement and meditation; while her communion with heaven seemed daily to grow more sweet. Yet her piety was active; and she by no means allowed, what we may term, the selfishness of religion so to engross her, as to withdraw her attention from those she looked upon as committed to her care. Considering herself the mother of a numerous family, she was continually devising something to promote their present comfort, or their future welfare. Her visits to the abodes of the mourners, now herself the chief, were sources of sacred delight. 'By the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better;' and she derived, from a participation in the sorrows of others, a temporary alleviation of her own.
The arbour, in which she had had the last affecting interview with Alphonzo, was henceforward more generally her resort. Here she was observed, at intervals, gazing on his picture, dear from its resemblance to the original, but dearer still, as having been placed on her bosom by his own hand: here, too, she was often overheard singing his favourite hymn: here, at times, she was found in prayer; and here she was frequently seen to weep. With the little volume of La Roche, now studied with renewed diligence and pleasure, as the companion of her solitude, she had all the consolation she could receive on this side the grave. There she 'drew water with joy out of the wells of salvation;' and there she met a solace for every disquietude, and a balm for every woe. Beneath the shade of the trees that encircled the remains of her venerable friend, she would often retire at evening; and when an unexpected foot approached, she would start as if awakened from some dream of happiness that had vanished for ever, while the unbidden tear, that slowly wandered down her pale cheek, revealed some secret, which her lips would not disclose. She loved, too, to visit the woods and glens, where she had strayed with one now no more—
— "Wild as the mountain-bee,
Yet, although perceptible only to the view of Omniscience, her sorrows were silently preying upon her life. The wound was hidden, and the hand invisible that inflicted it; but it was mortal—it reached her heart. She had lost the object of her fondest affection. By a stroke appalling, as unexpected, she had been bereft in one overwhelming moment of 'the desire of her eyes,' and the centre of her dearest thoughts and unceasing solicitudes. In the inimitable language of the prophet: 'She was a virgin, girded with sackcloth for the betrothed of her youth.' Her harp hung neglected on the willow: or if she occasionally strung it to some song of Zion, it was one whose mournful cadences peculiarly sympathized with her pain. As a destruction from the Almighty that day had come; and, buried beneath its mysterious desolation, la}'all her earthly hopes. 'Her vine was wasted: her fig-tree was barked; and her joy had for ever withered away.' She bowed, indeed, or at least desired to do so, with unfeigned submission to the will of heaven; but it was more than her gentle frame could bear, and nature gradually sunk under the weight.
From this period her health insensibly declined. In vain was every assistance sought, every remedy applied. A physician able to raise her up, it is true, there was— he who of yore had compassion on the widow, weeping over an only son—but his aid was now mysteriously withheld. Though she did not complain, nor was conscious, for a considerable time, of any positive ailment, her appetite forsook her, her nights became wakeful, and her strength diminished. Her eye still denoted the serenity of her mind, but it imperceptibly exchanged its natural vivacity for a sickly translucent brightness, accompanied by that look of chastened melancholy, which arises from hopeless, but resigned grief; while
"Upon her cheek, the rose so fair,
But-a few months had intervened, when her increasing debility, attended with a feverish restlessness, and that alternation of suffering and ease, which forebodes consumption, too mournfully indicated the approaching crisis. Soon, it was apparent to all,