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Reflections swarmed in Mr. Barclay's mind, as he passed to the dying man's room through the luxurious apartments where pleasure, so called, had, through the demands of waste and extravagance, led to the fatal issue. Some of the lamps were still burning, or smoking in their sockets. He passed the open door of the supper-room. There still stood the relics of the feast, fragments of perigord pies, drooping flowers, broken pyramids, and piles - literally piles of empty champagne bottles; an enormous whiskey-punch bowl, drained to the last drop, stood in a niche in the entry.* The door of Mrs. Norton's apartment was open, she in hysterics on the sofa, her attendants running in and out, their minds divided between the curiosity ever awake on such occasions and the wants of the weak sufferer. When at last Mr. Barclay reached the old man's apartment in the third story, he found him bolstered up in his bed, breathing painfully. When he saw Mr. Barclay enter, followed by Harry, a slight shivering passed over his frame. He stretched out his arm and closed his eyes; Mr. Barclay took his hand. Norton felt that there was no longer time for delay or concealment. He attempted to speak, but his organs were now weaker than his mind. After several futile efforts, his quivering lips uttered the words, "I have

The writer was told by a lady, that after a party at her house where one of these mammoth punch-bowls had been nearly emptied, she offered a glass of the beverage to a servant; No, I thank you, madam," he replied, "I belong to the Temperance Society." What a satire !


-John-I-John-O, I

"You need not, sir; Harry has told me.” Norton turned his eager eye to his son. The blood that seemed to be congealed at his heart, once more flushed to his cheek. "All, Harry?"

much to tell you, cannot!


he asked in a husky voice.


Yes, sir; Mr. Barclay knows all that we know."


Norton's eye again explored Mr. Barclay's face. No reproach was there, not even a struggling and repressed displeasure, nothing but forgiveness and pity. The poor man understood it, and felt it to his heart's core. He was past tears, but the veins of his forehead swelled, his features were convulsed, and he said in a broken voice, "O how kind! but I can't forgive myself; - poor John! -he's past it! I'm going, and I can't- I can't even ask God to forgive me."

"My dear friend! do not say so, God is infinitely more merciful than any of his creatures. He pitieth us, even as a father pitieth his children."

These words seemed to the poor man's spirit like water to parched lips. He looked at his son, and then at his little daughter, Emily, who was kneeling behind the bed with her face buried in the bed-clothes, and he realized in the gushing tenderness of his own parental feelings the full worth of that benignant assurance, which has raised up so many desponding hearts. "Can you

he asked.

aloud, so that I can hear


will you pray for me? "Most certainly I will.”

"But now,

I mean,

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Mr. Barclay knelt at the bedside. Harry threw himself down by his sister, and put his arm around her. Her moanings ceased while their friend, in a low, calm voice, uttered his petitions for their dying father. It was no time for disguise or false coloring of any sort. Mr. Norton had lived, as many live, believing in the Bible and professing faith in Christ, but making a very imperfect and insufficient application of the precepts of Christianity to his life. In the main, he was a moral, kind-hearted, and well-intentioned man; but, misled by a silly ambition and an overweening fondness for a favorite son, he had destroyed him, deprived his younger children of their rights, and defrauded his best friend.

Mr. Barclay, in the name of the dying man, expressed his contrition for the evil he had done, and suffered to be done; for the barrenness of his life compared to the fruits it should have produced. He acknowledged the equity of that law which deprived him of the peace of the righteous in his death. And then, even with tears, he besought the compassion that faileth not, the mercy promised by Jesus Christ and manifested to many who had backslidden and sinned grievously, but who, like the prodigal son, had returned and been received with outstretched arms. In conclusion, he alluded to himself. He fervently thanked God, that when he had come from the home of his fathers, a stranger to a strange city, he had been received, befriended, and generously aided by his departing servant; and he

finished with a supplication that he might be heartily disposed, and enabled, to return to the children the favors received from the father.

Silence prevailed long after he ceased to speak. Harry and Emily were locked in one another's arms. Mr. Norton continued in fervent prayer. His eyes were raised and his hands folded. His spirit was at the foot of the cross, seeking peace in the forgiveness and infinite compassion there most manifest. When the old man's mental prayer was finished, there was comparatively peace on his countenance; but the spirit that struggles back over those self-erected barriers that have separated it from God, cannot have, must not expect, the tranquillity, the celestial joy, that is manifested in the death of those who have been faithful in life.

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Mr. Norton murmured his thoughts in half formed sentences: "He is merciful; ( Come unto me' -I am heavy laden. - Harry is very good!-0-0, how good you are to me. - Poor Emy, she won't have to go to the alms-house,

will she?"

Mr. Barclay turned his eye to the poor child, and for the first time noticed her dress. She had been wearied out with the party of the previous evening, and had fallen asleep without undressing; and now her ornamented pink silk frock, her rich necklace and ear-rings were a painful comment on her father's words. "Such a dress on a poor child who has no certain refuge but the almshouse!" thought Mr. Barclay. He felt the deepest pity for her, but he was too honest to author

ize false hopes. "No," he said in reply to Mr. Norton, "Emily shall not go to the alms-house, she shall not be a dependent on any charity, public or private, if she is true to herself. I will see that she is qualified to earn her own living.' far best, you 'll see to her,



-and poor Harry too?

"O, that is that's enough, Harry already earns his living. I will be his guardian. Shall I, Harry?"


"You always have been, sir," replied Harry, grasping his hand.


Yes, yes, he has; God reward him,

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he, not Í."


'O, father, I did not mean that, indeed I did not."


'Truth don't hurt me now," said the old man; "it's truth." And so it was.

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O bright occasions of dispensing good,
How seldon used, how little understood !

THE scene of life, not long after this, closed on Mr. Norton, and he was respectfully committed to the grave by those who regarded him as more sinned against, than sinning. Perhaps he was viewed in a different light by Mr. Barclay, whose

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