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That make ungrateful man! spit, fire! spout, rain!
Let the great gods,
Kent. Gracious, my lord, hard by here is a hovel;
Lear. My wits begin to turn.
Kent. Here is the place, my lord; good, my lord, enter.
Let me alone.
Wilt break my heart ?
Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much, that this contentious storm
In such a night as this ! O Regan! Goneril !
Present. King Lear, Cordelia, and Physician.
Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.
Leur. You do me wrong to take me out o'th' grave;
Cor. Sir, do you know me?
Lear. Where have I been? where am I ? fair day light?
Cor. Oh! look upon me, sir,
Lear, Pray, do not mock me;
Cor. And so I am; I am.
Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes. I pray you, weep not.
you have poison for me, I will drink it.
Cor. No cause, no cause.
Phys. Be comforted, good madam;
Cor. Will't please your highness walk ?
Lear. You must bear with me;
LESSON X X XIV.
THE DEFORMED CHILD.
In my school-boy days, there lived an aged widow near the church-yard. She had an only child. I have often observed, that the delicate and the weak receive more than a common share of affection from a mother. Such a feeling was shown by this widow toward her sickly and unshapely boy. There are faces and forms which, once seen, are impressed upon our brain ; and they will come, again and again, upon the tablet of our memory in the quiet of night, and even flit around us in our daily walks. Many years have gone by since I first saw this boy; and his delicate form, and quiet manner, and his gentle and virtuous conduct, are often before me.
I shall never forget—in the sauciness of youth, and fancying it would give importance to my bluff outside,swearing in his presence. The boy was sitting in a high-backed easy chair, reading his Bible. He turned round, as if a signal for dying had sounded in his ear, and fixed upon me his clear gray eye: that look! it made my little heart almost choke me. I gave some foolish excuse for getting out of the cottage ; and, as I met a playmate on the road, who jeered me for
blank countenance, I rushed past him, hid myself in an adjoining cornfield, and cried bitterly. I tried to conciliate the widow's son, and show my sorrow for having so far forgotten the innocence of boyhood, as to have my Maker's name sounded in an unhallowed manner from my lips. My spring flowers he accepted; but, when my back was turned, he flung them away. The toys and books I offered to him were put aside for his Bible. His only occupations were, the feeding of a favorite hen, which would come to his chair and look up for the crums that he would let fall, with a noiseless action, from his thin fingers, watching the pendulum and hands of the wooden clock, and reading.
Although I could not, at that time, fully appreciate the beauty of a mother's love, still I venerated the widow for the unobtrusive, but intense attention she displayed to her son. I never entered her dwelling without seeing her engaged in some kind offices toward him. If the sunbeam came through the leaves of the geraniums placed in the window, with too strong a glare, she moved the high-backed chair with as much care as if she had been putting aside a crystal temple. When he slept, she festooned her silk handkerchief around his place of rest. She placed the earliest violets upon her mantel-piece for him to look at; and the roughness of her own meal, and the delicacy of the child's, sufficiently displayed her sacrifices. Easy and satisfied, the widow moved about. I never saw her but once unhappy. She was then walking thoughtfully in her garden. I beheld a tear. I did not dare to intrude upon her grief, and ask her the cause of it; but I found the reason in her cottage: her boy had been spitting blood.
I have often envied him these endearments ; for I was away
from a parent who humored me, even when I was stubborn and unkind. My poor mother is in her grave. I have often regretted having been her pet, her favorite; for the coldness of the world makes me wretched; and, perhaps, if I had not drank at the very spring of a mother's affection, I might have let scorn and contumely pass by me as the idle wind. Yet 1 have afterward asked myself, what I, a thoughtless, though not a heartless boy should have come to, if I had not had such a comforter. I have asked myself this, felt satisfied and grateful, and wished that her spirit might watch around her child, who often met her kindness with passion, and received her gifts as if he expected homage from her.
Every body experiences how quickly school years pass away. My father's residence was not situated in the village where I was educated; so that when I left school, I left its scenes also. After several years had passed away, accident took me again to the well-known place. The stable, into which I led my horse, was dear to me; for I had often listened to the echo that danced within it, when the bells were ringing. The face of the landlord was strange; but I could not forget the in-kneed, red-whiskered hostler: he had given me a hearty thrashing as a return for a hearty jest.
I had reserved a broad piece of silver for the old widow. But I first ran toward the river, and walked upon the millbank. I was surprised at the apparent narrowness of the stream; and, although the willows still fringed the margin, and appeared to stoop in homage to the water lilies, yet they were diminutive. Every thing was but a miniature of the picture in my mind. It proved to me that my faculties had grown with my growth, and strengthened with my strength. With something like disappointment, I left the river side and strolled toward the church. My hand was in my pocket, grasping the broad piece of silver. I imagined to myself the kind look of recognition I should receive. I determined on the way in which I should press the money into the widow's hand. But I felt my nerves slightly tremble, as I thought on the look her son had given, and again might give me.
Ah, there is the cottage ! but the honey-suckle is older, and it has lost many of its branches ! The door was closed. A pet lamb was fastened to a loose cord under the window, and