The Man of Feeling


I entered the room where his body lay; I approached it with reverence, not fear: I looked; the recollection of the past crowded upon me. I saw that form which, but a little before, was animated with a soul which did honour to humanity, stretched without sense or feeling before me. ’Tis a connection we cannot easily forget:- I took his hand in mine; I repeated his name involuntary; - I felt a pulse in every vein at the sound. I looked earnestly in his face; his eye was closed, his lip pale and motionless. There is an enthusiasm in sorrow that forgets impossibility; I wondered that it was so. The sight drew a prayer from my heart: it was the voice of frailty and of man! the confusion of my mind began to subside into thought; I had time to meet!

I turned with the last farewell upon my lips, when I observed old Edwards standing behind me. I looked him full in the face; but his eye was fixed on another object: he pressed between me and the bed, and stood gazing on the breathless remains of his benefactor. I spoke to him I know not what; but he took no notice of what I said, and remained in the same attitude as before. He stood some minutes in that posture, then turned and walked towards the door. He paused as he went; - he returned a second time: I could observe his lips move as he looked: but the voice they would have uttered was lost. He attempted going again; and a third time he returned as before. - I saw him wipe his cheek: then covering his face with his hands, his breast heaving with the most convulsive throbs, he flung out of the room.