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[1162] could not diminish the tremulously pure radiance of the evening star; the air was full of spring sounds, and sweet spring odors came up from the earth. I felt that happy sort of feeling, as if the soul's pinions were budding. My mind was full of poetic thoughts, and nature's song of promise was chanting in my heart.

But what a change when I entered that human dwelling! I will try to give you an impression of what you, I fancy, have never come in contact with. The little room—they have but one—contains a bed, a table, and some old chairs. A single stick of wood burns in the fire-place. It is not needed now, but those who sit near it have long ceased to know what spring is. They are all frost. Everything is old and faded, but at the same time as clean and carefully mended as possible. For all they know of pleasure is to get strength to sweep those few boards, and mend those old spreads and curtains. That sort of self-respect they have, and it is all of pride their many years of poortith has left them.

And there they sit,—mother and daughter! In the mother, ninety years have quenched every thought and every feeling, except an imbecile interest about her daughter, and the sort of self-respect I just spoke of. Husband, sons, strength, health, house and lands, all are gone. And yet these losses have not had power to bow that palsied head to the grave. Morning by morning she rises without a hope, night by night she lies down vacant or apathetic; and the utmost use she can make of the day is to totter three or four times across the floor by the assistance of her staff. Yet, though we wonder that she is still permitted to cumber the ground, joyless and weary, ‘the tomb of her dead self.’ we

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