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An excellent, however uneasy lesson, Mowbray! said I.—By my faith it is! It may one day, who knows how soon? be our own case!

I thought of thy yawning-fit, as described in thy letter of Aug. 13. For up started Mowbray, writhing and shaking himself as in an ague-fit; his hands stretched over his head with thy hoy! hoy! hoy! yawning. And then recovering himself, with another stretch and a shake, What's o'clock ? cried he; pulling out his watch-and stalking by long tip-toe strides through the room, down stairs he went; and meeting the maid in the passage, I heard him say-Betty, bring me a bumper of claret; thy poor master, and this d―d Belford, are enough to throw a Hercules into the vapours.

Mowbray, after this, amusing himself in our friend's library, which is, as thou knowest, chiefly classical and dramatical, found out a passage in Lee's Oedipus, which he would needs have to be extremely apt; and in he came full fraught with the notion of the courage it would give the dying man, and read it to him. 'Tis poetical and pretty. This is it:

When the sun sets, shadows that show'd at noon
But small, appear most long and terrible:

So when we think fate hovers o'er our heads,
Our apprehensions shoot beyond all bounds:
Owls, ravens, crickets, seem the watch of death;
Nature's worst vermin scare her godlike sons:
Echoes, the very leavings of a voice,

Grow babbling ghosts, and call us to our graves.
Each mole-hill thought swells to a huge Olympus ;
While we, fantastic dreamers, heave and puff,
And sweat with our imagination's weight.

-Q

VOL. VII.

He expected praises for finding this out. But Belton turning his head from him, Ah, Dick! (said he,) these are not the reflections of a dying man!-What thou wilt one day feel, if it be what I now feel, will convince thee that the evils before thee, and with thee, are more than the effects of imagination.

I was called twice on Sunday night to him; for the poor fellow, when his reflections on his past life annoy him most, is afraid of being left with the women; and his eyes, they tell me, hunt and roll about for me. Where's Mr. Belford ?-But I shall tire him out, cries he-yet beg of him to step to me-yet don't—yet do; were once the doubting and changeful orders he gave: and they called me accordingly.

But, alas! What could Belford do for him? Belford, who had been but too often the companion of his guilty hours; who wants mercy as much as he does; and is unable to promise it to himself, though 'tis all he can bid his poor friend rely upon !

What miscreants are we! What figures shall we make in these terrible hours!

If Miss HARLOWE's glorious example, on one hand, and the terrors of this poor man's last scene on the other, affect me not, I must be abandoned to perdition; as I fear thou wilt be, if thou benefittest not thyself from both.

Among the consolatory things I urged, when I was called up the last time on Sunday night, I told him, that he must not absolutely give himself up to despair: that many of the apprehensions he was under, were such as the best men must have, on the dreadful uncertainty of what was to succeed to this life. 'Tis well observed,

said I, by a poetical divine, who was an excellent christian*, That

Death could not a more sad retinue find,
Sickness and pain before, and darkness all behind.

About eight o'clock yesterday (Monday) morning, I found him a little calmer. He asked me who was the author of the two lines I had repeated to him; and made me speak them over again. A sad retinue, indeed! said the poor man. And then expressing his hopelessness of life, and his terrors at the thoughts of dying; and drawing from thence terrible conclusions with regard to his future state; There is, said I, such a natural aversion to death in human nature, that you are not to imagine, that you, my dear Belton, are singular in the fear of it, and in the apprehensions that fill the thoughtful mind upon its approach; but you ought, as much as possible, to separate those natural fears which all men must have on so solemn an occasion, from those particular ones which your justlyapprehended unfitness fills you with. Mr. Pomfret, in his Prospect of Death, which I dipped into last night from a collection in your closet, which I put into my pocket, says, [and I turned to the place]

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Mr. Pomfret, therefore, proceeded I, had such apprehensions of this dark state as you have: and the excellent divine I hinted at last night, who had very little else but human frailties to reproach himself with, and whose miscellanies fell into my hands among my uncle's books in my attendance upon him in his last hours, says,

It must be done, my soul: but 'tis a strange,
A dismal, and mysterious change,

When thou shalt leave this tenement of clay,

And to an unknown-somewhere-wing away;
When time shall be eternity, and thou

Shalt be-thou know'st not what-and live-
thou know'st not how !
Amazing state! no wonder that we dread

To think of death, or view the dead;
Thou'rt all wrapt up in clouds, as if to thee
Our very knowledge had antipathy.

Then follows, what I repeated,

Death could not a more sad retinue find,
-Sickness and pain before, and darkness all behind.

Alas! my dear Belford [inferred the unhappy deepthinker] what poor creatures does this convince me we mortals are at best!-But what then must be the case of such a profligate as I, who by a past wicked life have added greater force to these natural terrors? If death be so repugnant a thing to human nature, that good men will be startled at it, what must it be to one who has lived a life of sense and appetite; nor ever reflected upon the end which I now am within view of ?

What could I say to an inference so fairly drawn? Mercy, mercy, unbounded mercy, was still my plea, though his repeated opposition of justice to it, in a manner

silenced that plea ́: and what would I have given to have had rise to my mind, one good, one eminently good action to have remembered him of, in order to combat his fears with it?

I believe, Lovelace, I shall tire thee, and that more with the subject of my letter, than even with the length of it. But, really, I think thy spirits are so offensively up since thy recovery, that I ought, as the melancholy subjects offer, to endeavour to reduce thee to the standard of humanity, by expatiating upon them. And then thou canst not but be curious to know every thing that concerns the poor man, for whom thou hast always expressed a great regard. I will therefore proceed as I have begun. If thou likest not to read it now, lay it by, if thou wilt, till the like circumstances befall thee, till like reflections from those circumstances seize thee; and then take it up, and compare the two cases together.

AT his earnest request, I sat up with him last night; and, poor man! it is impossible to tell thee, how easy and safe he thought himself in my company, for the first part of the night: A drowning man will catch at a straw, the proverb well says: and a straw was I, with respect to any real help I could give him. He often awaked in terrors; and once calling out for me, Dear Belford, said he, Where are you?-Oh! There you are!--Give me your friendly hand!-Then grasping it, and putting his clammy, half-cold lips to it-How kind! I fear every thing when you are absent. But the presence of a friend, a sympathising friend-Oh! how comfortable!

But, about four in the morning, he frighted me much : he waked with three terrible groans; and endeavoured to speak, but could not presently-and when he did,-Jack,

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