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Mr. Fitz,'' he said to the box-keeper, and then went out.
Fitz took a few crowns from the drawer, placed them in the hand of Aloise, helped him to rise; and then giving him his arm, assisted him out of the theatre.
Kindly supporting the poor boy's tottering steps, the box-keeper led him to an undertaker's shop, and gave orders for a humble coffin. Then seeing him able to walk to his mother's lodging, Fitz took leave of him, and returned to the theatre.
The widow inhabited a miserable apartment in an obscure part of the city. Want and misery were stamped on the innocent faces of the five little ones who surrounded her, and who with one accord rushed toward Aloise as he entered.
The eldest, a pretty girl about ten years old, drew them back, and putting her lips close to her brother's car, whispered—
"Have you brought any supper, Aloise?"
"Here," said he, giving her the silver he had received.
"Si much as that?" said the sister; "they must bo much pleased, to give you so many crowns."
"So much pleased, Marianne, that they have dismissed me."
;i Then you are no longer an actor?" said one of the little boys. "So much the better. It is an ungodly profession, our curate says."
"Yes," rejoined another child, "but how shall we get money to buy bread, if Aloise does nothing?"
"Hush, hush," said Marianne; "don't let your dear mamma, hear this bad news to-night. We will pray to God, who has taken papa to Himself, and perhaps ho will send us some consolation."
Aloise was silent. He watched all night by his father's corpse, and the next morning followed it to the grave. Instead of returning home ho wandered idly through the streets, pursued by the still recurring question. "What can I do?" Night approached. He thought of returning to his mother, recollecting how uneasy his absence would I make her; but when he looked around he knew not where he was. In absence of mind he had wandered far into the country, and the rushing of a river struck his ear. He approached its bank, and overcome by fatigue and hunger sank down upon the soft grass. For some time he watched the flowing water, till a dreadful idea entered his poor and harasst d brain.
"Beneath that quiet wave," he thought, "all my woes will soon be ended. I am no longer good for anything. I am only a burden to my mother, giving her only another mouth to feed. I will therefore die, and all will be over." Aloise had been educated in sentiments of Christian piety; and now, like a ray of light from heaven, the thought struck him that he was meditating a fearful crime. He shuddered, and kneeling down, prayed fervently to God for pardon.
While on his knees, his ideas became gradually confused, the waters ceased to flow, and the stars to shine. Aloise slept.
When he opened his eyes it was daylight. The scene around was gilded by the rising sun. He heard the pleasant singing of the birds, and his heart expanded with joy. He was still among the living—he had not accomplished his wicked resolution; and, falling again on his knees, he thanked God for his mercy. Notwithstanding his bodily weakness, he felt refreshed, and sat down for a few moments on the grass, to collect his thoughts, ere he set out on his return to the city.
While thus resting, his eyes fell on a smooth, white chalk stone, on which was traced the delicate semblance of a sprig of moss, with all its minute flowers and tender fibres. He remembered that the evening before his tears had fallen on this stone, and moistened the sprig of moss which had probably fallen on it from the beak of some wandering bird. Now the moss was no longer there, the wind had blown it away, but its impress remained so exquisitely traced on the smooth white surface of the stone, that the young German could not help being struck with the phenomenon.
"This means something," thought he. "I may havo been led in mercy to this spot. I am a bad actor, a bad singer, but who knows? I may be reserved for something better."
Taking the stone in his hand, Aloise rose up and turned his step homeward.
At the gate of the city he met his little brother, whom his mother had sent to seek him. The child told him that on old uncle of their mother had come to see hor the morning of the burial, and had given her a sum of money to relieve her wants.
"My God, I thank thee," said young Senefelder, mentally. He did not then know that the stone which he held in his hand would cause him in a few days still greater emotions of thankfulness. At first he employed I his discovery only in ornamenting the covers of caskets, snuff-boxes, &c., but one day it occurred to him to take off on wet paper the picture drawn on stone. The experiment succeeded, and thus lithography, or printing from stone, was discovered.
In time, Aloise brought the art to perfection. Ho studied chemistry for the purpose; and rich and happy were his prosperous family around him. He felt that ho never could be sufficiently thankful for having outlived his design of self-destruction.
"Why should we ever despair ?" he would say, "God can turn our pain into pleasure, and our bitterness into joy."
MEMOIR OF JOHN SWEETLOVE, OF BOLTON. I The subject of the following sketch was born in the j month of April, 1831, in Lever Street, Great Bolton. When he was only three years of age he sustained a eerious loss by the death of his father. Owing in some measure perhaps to this circumstance, ho lived till he was thirteen years of age without any desire for Sabbath school instruction, or any concern for his spiritual welfare; at that age he began to attend a Sunday-school in the neighbourhood where he resided. Alter a while he fell back again into his former careless habits, and remained in this state till the close of the year 1849, when he was providentially led to the Wesleyau Association School in j Bowker's Row, Bolton. His attendance at this school was remarkably regular and constant; ho was also particularly noted in his class for seriousness and attention. .. By the blessing of God, upon the means employed for !| his spiritual instruction, ho soon became deeply concerned for the salvation of his soul. He was invited to attend '• a class-meeting, and to become a member of the Society. I He gladly accepted the invitation, and after the usual time of probation, was enrolled as a member of the church , militant; little anticipating, at the time, that he would so . soon be called to join the church trinmphant.
He evidenced an earnest desire to bo delivered from the bondage of sin, and to enjoy the liberty of God's dear children. Nor did ho in vain seek salvation; for he who says " Come unto mo all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," removed from his conscience the burden which oppressed him, and whispered in his soul, "Thy sins, which were many, are all forgiven thee." So that in the language of the Prophet, he was enabled exultingly to exclaim "O Lord, I will praise thee; though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and and behold thou comfortest me." In this state he continued to enjoy the comforts and blessedness of true religion. Il
For some time previous to his death, his health gradually declined, but ho was able to go through his ordinary work, until within a few days of his dissolution, when he was obliged, on the Wednesday morning, to desist and return home, owing to pain and weakness of j body. It was then that his case assumed a serious aspect.' The time of his departure was rapidly advancing; and on Friday morning, being the last day he spent upon earth, his symptoms were truly alarming. Indeed, he seems to l have had a presentiment, that on that very day he should I finish his earthly career, for he declared to some of his relatives early in the morning that he should dio at two j o'clock.
His medical attendant, on arriving, declared his case hopeless, and deemed it unnecessary to prescribe for him. When the opinion of his doctor was made known to him, he manifested no alarm. Death was not tho king of terrors to him. He was fully prepared for his change; and when a friend asked him, if he had heard what the doctor had said, he replied "Yes, I have no desire to live." His leader, accompanied by a friend, visited him a few hours before he died, and putting the question to him "How are you, John?" He replied "I am comfortable and yet miserable;" evidently referring to tho calmness and serenity of his mind, and to the excruciating pain of his body. He was afterwards asked, "Is your hope and confidence in God?" He distinctly and emphatically replied, "Yes, my hope and trust are in God. Ileligion is my all and in all. I am not afraid to die." In this happy frame of mind he continued till within a few minutes of two o'clock, when he gently fell asleep in Jesus, and his trinmphant spirit took its flight to the eternal mansions of light and glory.
"His God sustained him in his final hour.
He died January 17th, 1851, aged twenty years. Could he be permitted to pass the limits which bound the residence of the saints in light, and address his relatives, his school associates, his friends, and the members of tho church with whom he was united, O how he would urge upon them, by the worth of the soul, by the misery of the impenitent, by the happiness of glorified spirits, by the love of God, and by the sufferings and glory of Christ, to be in earnest for the salvation of their souls! How solemnly nnd impressively would ho remind us that it is a serious thing to die and to enter into the presence of tho Judge of all! that life is uncertain, and that the only true source of bliss is to be found in the reconciliation and favour of God! His death was improved, by the writer, to an over-flowing congregation, in our chapel, Bowkcrs Row, Bolton, Sunday evening, January 2Cth, 1851.