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I was curious to watch the effects of this calamity on the varied characters of mankind. There was, however, universally, an interest in the Bible, now it was lost, such as had never attached to it while it was possessed. Some, to whom the Sacred Book had been a blank for twenty years, and who never would have known of their loss but for the lamentations of their neighbours, were not the least vehement in their expressions of sorrow. The calamity not only stirred the feelings of men, but it immediately stimulated their ingenuity to repair the loss. It was very early suggested that the whole Bible had again and again been quoted piecemeal in one book or other; that it had impressed its image on human literature, and had been reflected on its surface, as the stars on a stream. But alas ! on inspection, it was found that every text, every phrase which had been quoted, whether in books of theology, poetry, or fiction, had been remorselessly obliterated.

It was with trembling hand that some made the attempt to transcribe the erased text from memory. They feared that the writing would surely fade away; but, to their unspeakable joy, they found the impression durable; and people at length came to the conclusion, that God left them at liberty, if they could, to reconstruct the Bible for themselves out of their collective remembrances of its contents. Some obscure individuals who had studied nothing else but the Bible, but who had well studied that, came to be objects of reverence among Christians and booksellers; and he who could fill up a chasm by the restoration of words which were only partially remembered, was regarded as a public benefactor.

At length, a great movement was projected amongst the divines of all denominations, to collate the results of these partial recoveries of the Sacred Text. But here it was curious to see the variety of different readings of the same passages insisted on by conflicting theologians. No doubt the worthy men were generally unconscious of the influence of prejudice; yet somehow the memory was seldom so clear in relation to texts which told against, as in relation to those which told for, their several theories.

It was curious, too, to see by what odd associations, sometimes of contrast, sometimes of resemblance, obscure texts were recovered. A miser contributed a maxim of prudence, which

was "

he recollected principally from having systematically abused. All the ethical maxims were soon collected; for though, as usual, no one recollected his own peculiar duties or infirmities, every one kindly remembered those of his neighbours. As for Solomon's "times for everything, ” few could recall the whole, but everybody remembered some. Undertakers said there was “a time to mourn”; and comedians said there was “a time to laugh"; young ladies innumerable remembered there was "a time to love”; and people of all kinds, that there

a time to hate”; everybody knew there was "a time to speak”; and a worthy Quaker added, that there was also “ a time to keep silence.

But the most amusing thing of all was, to see the variety of speculations which were entertained respecting the object and design of this strange event. Many gravely questioned whether it could be right to attempt the reconstruction of a Book of which God Himself had so manifestly deprived the world ; and some, who were secretly glad to be relieved of so troublesome a monitor, were particularly pious on this head, and exclaimed bitterly against this rash attempt to counteract the decrees of Heaven. Some even maintained that the visitation was not in judgment, but in mercy; that God, in compassion, and not in indignation, had taken away a book which men had regarded with an extravagant admiration and idolatry; and that, if a rebuke at all was intended, it was a rebuke to a rampant Bibliolatry. This last reason, which assigned, as a cause of God's resumption of His own gift, an extravagant admiration and reverence of it on the part of mankind--it being so notorious that even the best of those who professed belief in its Divine origin and authority had so grievously neglected itstruck me as so exquisitely ludicrous, that I broke into a fit of laughter-which awoke me!

The morning sun was streaming in at the window, and shining upon the open Bible which lay on the table; and it was with joy that my eyes rested on these words, which I read through grateful tears,—"The gifts of God are without repentance.'

R

The Colonel's Death-Bed. Clive, and the boy sometimes with him, used to go daily to Grey Friars, where the Colonel still lay ill. After some days, the fever, which had attacked him, left him; but left him so weak and enfeebled that he could only go from his bed to the chair by his fireside. The season was exceedingly bitter, the chamber which he inhabited was warm and spacious; it was considered unadvisable to move him until he had attained greater strength, and till warmer weather. The medical men of the House hoped he might rally in spring. My friend, Dr. Goodenough, came to him ; he hoped too: but not with a hopeful face. A chamber, luckily vacant, hard by the Colonel's, was assigned to his friends, where we sat when we were too many for him. Besides his customary attendant, he had two dear and watchful nurses, who were almost always with him-Ethel, and Madame de Florac, who had passed many a faithful year by an old man's bedside ; who would have come, as to a work of religion, to any sick couch, much more to this one, where he lay for whose life she would once gladly have given her own.

But our Colonel, we all were obliged to acknowledge, was no more our friend of old days. He knew us again, and was good to every one round him, as his wont was; especially when Boy came, his old eyes lighted up with simple happiness, and, with eager trembling hands, he would seek under his bedclothes, or the pockets of his dressing-gown, for toys or cakes, which he had caused to be purchased for his grandson. There was a little, laughing, red-cheeked, white-headed gown-boy of the school, to whom the old man had taken a great fancy. One of the symptoms of his returning consciousness and recovery, as we hoped, was his calling for this child, who pleased our friend by his archness and merry ways; and who, to the old gentleman's unfailing delight, used to call him . Codd Colonel.' • Tell little F_ that Codd Colonel wants to see him!' and the little gown-boy was brought to him; and the Colonel would listen to him for hours, and hear all about his lessons and his play; and prattle, almost as childishly, about Dr. Raine and his own early school-days. The boys of the school, it must be said, had heard the noble old gentleman's touching history, and had all got to know and love him. They came every day to hear news of him; sent him in books and papers to amuse him; and some benevolent young souls—God's blessing on all honest boys, say Ipainted theatrical characters, and sent them in to Codd Colonel's grandson. The little fellow was made free of gown-boys, and once came thence to his grandfather in a little gown, which delighted the old man hugely. Boy said he would like to be a little gown-boy; and I make no doubt, when he is old enough, his father will get him that post, and put him under the tuition of my friend Dr. Senior.

So weeks passed away, during which our dear old friend still remained with us. His mind was gone at intervals, but would rally feebly; and with his consciousness returned his love, his simplicity, his sweetness. He would talk French with Madame de Florac, at which time his memory appeared to awaken with surprising vividness, his cheek flushed, and he was a youth again -a youth all love and hope—a stricken old man, with a beard as white as snow covering the noble careworn face. At such times he called her by her Christian name of Léonore ; he addressed courtly old words of regard and kindness to the aged lady; anon he wandered in his talk, and spoke to her as if they still were young.

Now, as in those early days, his heart was pure; no anger remained in it; no guile tainted it; only peace and good will dwelt in it.

The days went on, and our hopes, raised sometimes, began to flicker and fail. One evening the Colonel left his chair for his bed in pretty good spirits, but passed a disturbed night, and the next morning was too weak to rise. Then he remained in his bed, and his friends visited him there. One afternoon he asked for his little gown-boy, and the child was brought to him, and sat by the bed with a very awe-stricken face; and then gathered courage, and tried to amuse him by telling him how it was a half-holiday, and they were having a cricket-match with the St. Peter's boys in the green, and Grey Friars was in and winning. The Colonel quite understood about it; he would like to see the game; he had played many a game on that green when he was a boy. He grew excited ; Clive dismissed his father's little friend, and put a sovereign into his hand; and away he ran to say that Codd Colonel had come into a fortune, and to buy tarts, and to see the match out.

I, curre, little white-haired gown-boy! Heaven speed you, little friend.

started up.

6

After the child had gone, Thomas Newcome began to wander more and more. He talked louder; he gave the word of command, spoke Hindustani as if to his men. Then he spoke words in French rapidly, seizing a hand that was near him, and crying, Toujours, toujours !! But it was Ethel's hand which he took. Ethel and Clive and the nurse were in the room with him; the latter came to us who were sitting in the adjoining compartment; Madame de Florac was there, with my wife and Bayhan. At the look in the woman's countenance, Madame de Florac

He is very bad, he wanders a great deal,' the nurse whispered. The French lady fell instantly on her knees, and remained rigid in prayer.

Some time afterwards, Ethel came in with a scared face to our pale group. He is calling for you again, dear lady,' she said, going up to Madame de Florac, who was still kneeling;

and just now he said he wanted Pendennis to take care of his boy. He will not know you.' She hid her tears as she spoke.

She went into the room, where Clive was at the bed's foot; the old man within it talked on rapidly for a while: then again he would sigh and be still: once more I heard him say hurriedly: "Take care of him when I'm in India ;' and then with a heart-rending voice he called out, Léonore, Léonore !' She was kneeling by his side now. The patient's voice sank into faint murmurs; only a moan now and then announced that he was not asleep.

At the usual evening hour the chapel bell began to toll, and Thomas Newcome's hands outside the bed feebly beat a time. And just as the last bell struck, a peculiar sweet smile shone over his face, and he lifted up his head a little, and quickly said " Adsum!' and fell back. It was the word we used at school, when names were called ; and lo, he, whose heart was as that of a little child, had answered to his name, and stood in the presence of The Master.

A Lifeboat Episode.

(By kind permission of the Author.) One night in January, 1881, during a tremendous storm, a brig struck on the sunken reefs within the southern arm

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