The cotton-tree, or, Emily, the little West Indian

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Title:
The cotton-tree, or, Emily, the little West Indian a tale for young people
Added title page title:
Emily, the little West Indian
Physical Description:
105 p. : ; 18 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Lynch, Theodora Elizabeth, 1812-1885
Publisher:
J. Hatchard & Son
Place of Publication:
London
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Jamaica -- Description and travel -- Juvenile fiction
Nannies -- Juvenile fiction
Genre:
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by Mrs. Henry Lynch.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 18672632
ocm18672632
Classification:
lcc - PR4897.L98 C6 1847
System ID:
AA00011339:00001


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THE COTTON-TREE;


on,



EMILY,


THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


A TALE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.






BY MRS. HENRY LYNCH.






LONDON:
JOHN HATCHARD & SON, 187, PICCADILLY.
1847.







































I 1 -1











THE COTTON-TREE.



I WAS born in Jamaica, and my first re-
collections are those of a large shadowy
house, a wide piazza, and kind black faces.
Yes, little English reader, you may laugh ;
but there are stars that cheer the traveller
on the darkest heaven; and there were
' smiles from these sable nurses that filled
my infant heart with happiness.
For hours I would sit between the knees
of my good Nana," as she told me some
wild African legend, or related, in a Nan-
B




2 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

cy story," with animated gesture, the spec-
tral performances of some wonderful
sprite.
But there are yet dearer memories than
these gleaming in beauty, like the distant
landscape through the mist of time.
Tlie morning kiss !-Oh! with what de-
light I gathered the blossom from the
orange-tree, that I might give the pale
flower to my dear mother! and as I took
my seat on the bed, I would playfully dress
her locks in the bridal wreath. "And
who, my child," she would say, "bid those
snowy blossoms shine amidst the dark

A Nancy tale is what may be termed a
ghost story, and is generally a metrical account
of some superhuman power, chanted by the negro
in a wild, low strain.




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN,


leaves? Who painted the pomegranate with
its beautiful crimson ? and who upholds
those delicate lilies in strength, with the
scorching summer around them, refreshing
them with the silent dews of night ? Is it
not He, my love, who took little children
in his arms and blessed them ?"
I did not see much of my father, for he
was engaged throughout the day; but I
remember, like a distant dream, my first
indistinct idea that sorrow dwelt amongst
us.
My infant brother died.* And our
It is customary amongst the negros to make
noisy lamentations on the death of any member
of the family. My sister breathed her last,"
writes a lady, and in an instant the room was
crowded with people, some of whom. I had never
before seen; all were wringing their hands, assum-




4 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

negro servants made loud wailings; and
they changed his resting-place by my mo-
ther's side for a coffin, a narrow bed, and
they strewed his infant form with flowers,
and pressed his cold face with kisses. When
I asked what sorrow was, my mother smiled
sadly and said, "It is the friend of un-
belief ; for if we believe that Jesus died
and rose again, then we know that those
who sleep in Jesus, shall God bring with
him." '
Shall we see my brother again ?" I
inquired.
Yes! when this mortal shall put on im-
mortality," replied my mother, then shall
be brought to pass the saying which is writ-

ing my sorrow as their own, and in frantic ges-
tures and loud cries, mourning the departed."




' THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


ten, Death is swallowed up in victory ; "
and then they took our little -one ,to a wild
mountain grave, and we saw him no more.
I did not, at that time, fully understand
all my mother's observations ; yet I have
reason to believe, that her pious instruc-
tions were not altogether lost upon me;
for, even at that early age, I had an inde-
finable idea of the safety of those who
died in the Lord.
Another pleasant memory, that I have
of that early time, is our long evening
drive to a beautiful old Cotton-Tree, which
had, for many years, stood there in its
giant beauty, looking on man from gene-
ration to generation, as he journeyed from
the cradle to the tomb Yes, it was un-
der the evening shadows of this pleasant
B 3




6 THE COTTON-TREE ; O, EMILY,

tree, that my mother filled my infant mind
with its first thoughts of our Saviour's love.
What deep emotion I felt, as she told me,
in simple language, the history of the holy
Jesus! She dwelt much on the love -of
the Father in sending his Son to die for re-
bellious' man. And will you not, my
child,"- she would say, give the dew of
the morning, your youth and strength, to
one who has done so much for you?"
It is true that, during the day, I did
not think much of these conversations; yet
when the lengthening shades of evening
reminded me that the hour for our drive
was approaching, it was my custom to run
into my mother's dressing-room, exclaim-
ing, 0 mamma, do go to the Cotton-tree,
the beautiful Cotton-tree, and tell me some




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


more Bible stories." Thus unconsciously
I began to feel an interest in sacred things ;
and even at that time, a spark of love to-
wards my Redeemer was kindled in my
bosom, which, in after life, wien the waves
of temptation were rolling darkly, shone
forth as a beacon-light, tremblingly indeed,
but saving me from destruction and death.
Our homeward way lay by the river-
side, where the feathery bamboos were
bending in graceful beauty over the sha-
dowy waters. In one place the stream,
forcing its way over a low rocky barrier,
greatly attracted my childish admiration,
while every hue of the rainbow was mir-
rored in its silvery cascade.
Sometimes a gleam of crimson and gold
would pierce through the tangled foliage,




8 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

and look more richly beautiful for the
darkness that surrounded it: to use my
mother's language, it was like faith
making even sorrow lovely."
And then the fireflies, the beautiful
fireflies, they would rise in thousands
around us, as if the stars had lost their
way, and were flitting about on earth.
I well remember some lines, that my
dear parent taught me on this occasion :-

THE FIREFLY.
Who makes the evening firefly gleam
Over the land so far;
And bids it on the darkened earth,
Shine like a twinkling star ?

Who paints its emerald-tinted ray,
And on the twilight air,
Holds it in beauty all unknown
Whilst gorgeous day is there ?




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


Who bids it to the lowly vale,
Give forth its trembling light,
And brighten thro' the fitful gloom
The vapour-mantled night ?


He who, in distant spheres, upholds
The planets as they roll;
Who stoops to guide the lowliest thing,
And loves the contrite soul !


The firefly's ray is like the hope
Faith sheds around the tomb;
Clinging to darkness, giving light
That beautifies the gloom.

When we returned from our drive, my
mother would prepare for dinner. I said
my infant prayer at her knee ; and then
creeping beneath the musquito-net with
which my little bed was carefully shielded,
I slept till the first gleam of morning




10 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

roused my nurse from her slumbers, and
she took me an early walk.
The distant mountains were wrapped in
mist, which, as the sun rose from the crim-
son east, wore a thousand brilliant hues.
Now they were clad in silver, now in gold,
and now again they were dressed in the
sober purple of the distant landscape. The
nightingale, a happy little creature, was
giving its lonely song to the morning; for
it does not, like its English namesake,
keep its mellow notes only for the evening
or midnight hour.
THE TROPICAL NIGHTINGALE.*
In the depth of the woods it hath tameless mirth,
And it pours forth its song on the morning earth;

The nightingale of Jamaica is the only sing-
ing bird in that island, its notes are sweet and





THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


And the evening's breath as it wanders by,
Is fraught with the notes of its melody.


And loudly and clearly in joyous tone,
It breathes the anthem of praise alone ;
To no other bird is the sweet boon given,
The gift of song-'neath that tropic heaven.


It sings when evening hath shadowy birth,
When day's bright glory hath passed from earth,
The hymn of love, in its softest lay,
To the -flower that waves in the moon's pale ray !


It speaks to the mourner, and bids arise,
From the lonely heart to the darkened skies,
A song of thanksgiving in grief to Him,
For the mercies still left, though life be dim!

melodious. Whence it has derived the appella-
tion of nightingale, I know not, unless, indeed,
its sweet song about sunset may give it some
claim to that title. It is often called the mock-
ing-bird.




12 THE COTTON-TREE; OR, EMILY,

We generally spent the hot months at
a pleasant mountain residence ; and there,
unshackled by the restraints of a town
life, and enjoying a much larger portion
of the society of my beloved mamma, my
hours glided happily, though, alas! too
swiftly, down the current of time.
The front piazza was not enclosed by
jalousies, as is usually the case in town;
and round some of the pillars, the beauti-
ful wax-plant was wreathing its boughs,
ftting forth here and there its massive
bu elegant blossoms.
Others were completely covered by the
luxuriant clasp of the wild jasmine ; and
then again the Indian creeper would be
seen, with its tiny crimson blossoms, mo-
destly contributing its share of beauty to
the decorations of the gallery.




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


The lawn around us, at this season of the
year, was richly green, in consequence of
the rain that fell on the mountains almost
every afternoon at the same time; and
the tulip-tree, the scarlet-cordia, *the deli-
cate logwood, and the South Sea rose,
gave much beauty to the little spot; to
say nothing of a thousand orange-trees,
that filled the air with fragrance; and
the trumpet-leaved datura, that, like the
sympathizing heart, reserved its deepest
perfume for the darkened hour. '
We had a shadowy walk too, where, long
before the sun was set, I was allowed to
play. Sometimes my mother wouldd join
me, bringing her work or a pleasant book.
The boughs of the grenadilla had com-
pletely covered the light trellis-work;
C




14 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

and its large passion-flower would shine
here and there, like a pale star through the
green leaves that surrounded it.
We heard, softened by distance, the
voices of the negros, as they worked in
the vale below; and the murmuring of
the mountain stream, that, in an impetu-
ous torrent, was forcing its way to the
ocean; The rivers, indeed, at the rainy
season, become so swollen, that it is dan-
gerous, nay, sometimes impossible, to pass
them. Bridges, in most places, are useless;
they would be carried away by the strength
of the rushing water. An experienced
negro, however, can tell the precise mo-
ment when one may venture to drive or
,ride through the river; and it really would
be no uninteresting scene to an English




THE LITTLE WEST INDTAN.


eye to see ladies on horseback, pale with
terror, tremblingly giving up the reins to
their sable guides; and the.wild unconcern
and noisy glee of the children, who, on
the shoulders of some trusty African, are
carried in triumph through the tide.
The gullies, or mountain torrents, are
still.more dangerous. I remember going
with my dear mamma to pay a visit to a
friend in the Lowlands. We set off long be-
fore sunrise : the sky was clear and cloud-
less, and part of our way lay through one of
those gully-tracks, at this time a dry, sandy
hollow. When we returned in the even-
,ing, the sky was still unclouded, the sun
was calmly sinking in the golden west, and
again we' drove into the gully, without a
thought of storm or rain. When we were




16 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

in the midst of it, we heard the sound as
of many waters ;' and in a moment, the
mud-stained torrent was rushing upon us.
The terrified horses began to kick and
plunge; the driver was alarmed: my mother,
with admirable presence of mind, took the
whip from his hands, and urged the fright-
ened animals up the slippery bank. Ano-
ther instant, and we were safe; and as we
looked back on our danger, and saw what
had so lately been dry ground converted
into a mighty stream, bearing down large
trees to the ocean, we raised our hearts in
thankfulness to Him, who, even whilst
showing forth his power, delighteth in
mercy.
Before October, we were again settled
in town; and as Christmas approached, Mrs.




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


Wilson, an old friend of my mother's, came
to pay us a visit.
She was an English lady, who had es-
tates in our little island, and was now
arranging about their sale, purposing, in a
few months, to return to England. She
was tall, thin, and pale, with an ele-
gant figure, and a stylish manner which
caused her society to be much sought after;
but she lacked the smile of kindness, the
gentle look of forbearing affection, to
which I had, through life, been accustomed.
She laughed unmercifully at my Creole ac-
cent ; for, although my mother had taken
pains, to keep *me from what is called,
amongst West Indians, talking negro,"
yet, there was a languor and drawl in my
manner of speaking, which drew from her
c3




18 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

the most cutting sarcasms. She had, how-
ever, been the early friend and school-fel-
low of my mother, therefore I tried to
think kindly of her; and at night, bending
over my little bed, my dear mother would
tell me how I must patiently bear reproof,
if I wished, in sincerity, to be a follower
of the meek and lowly Jesus.-Thus tran-
quilly passed the happy years of my early
childhood.
But a trial was now approaching, of the
nature of which you, my little English
reader, can form no just conception. I
mean the time was drawing nigh when I
was to be separated, not for weeks or
months, but for years, from my beloved
parents.
Mrs. Wilson was to return in the spring




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


to England. The opportunity for my de-
parture, under her care, was considered too
good to be lost; and it was accordingly
arranged that I should accompany her.
At first I entreated my parents to let me
stay with them only a little longer; but
seeing that my importunity caused my
mother yet deeper grief, I learned to be
silent.
I was to have remained at home till
I had attained my fifteenth year; for it
was to a finishing school, as it is termed,
that my mother wished to send me : and as
my thirteenth birthday had only just
passed, I could not, all at once, reconcile
my mind to a separation, which hitherto
I had been accustomed to look on as a
distant sorrow.




20 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

To attempt to describe the intensity of
my suffering at this time would be im-
possible : the whole world seemed changed,
and the fair face of nature scarcely any
longer attracted my admiration.
I thought the bright sunshine could not
sympathize with my sorrow: the flowers
were beautiful as ever, none drooped for
my grief: but my little chamber witnessed
tears, bitter tears, that seemed to bear away
the strength from life.
But there was one untaught but affec-
tionate: being, on whose faithful breast I
poured the stream of my childhood's grief-
my negro nurse! Well do I remember
how she would sit on the ground by my
side, and in her own peculiar way endea-
vour to comfort me.




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


"Hi! my missis, my sweet young missis,"
she would say, Da whorra dem tears for ?
big hot tears too : Nana no lub see dem.
Remember, Massa Jesus Christ, him suffer
worser; and young missis no must hab
trouble too ? Tan' patience, my sweet mis-
sis ; please God you come back again, fine,
handsome pickney, and cleber too, and
then no more cry :"--always ending her
advice with some striking simile, so custom-
ary amongst this simple people : Rain
make flower sweeter, not kill dem!"-
meaning, that my present trial should pu-
rify, and not overwhelm my young heart.
At this time very frequent were my
drives with my mother, to the beautiful
Cotton-Tree. It seemed as though a halo
of love beautified her every word, her




22 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

every action. To be at her side, was to be
breathing the very atmosphere of affection;
and in spite of the cloud of anticipation,
'that rested so darkly on my'young spirit,
I was always soothed and comforted by
her conversation. She would tell me of
her own early life, and how the sorrow of
parting from her parents had been a
messenger of mercy to. her, leading her to
think of the unchanging and ever-present
Father and Friend. .
My Emily," she would say, you have
heard of Jesus, and I trust, in some mea-
sure, you have learnt to love him. Hitherto
he has been to you like the bright and morn-
ing star on a cloudless sky ; now if you
continue to seek Him, He will reveal Him-
self to you in other characters: as your




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN. "


Rock of refuge in danger, your Shield in.
sorrow's storm, and your unfailing Guide
in the difficulties which must sometimes
surr6und you. Only trust Him, and when
your father and mother are far from you,
the Lord will take you up."
In this way 'she continued to impress
on my mind, a sense of the sufficiency that
was in Christ Jesus; and in after life,
much of this precious advice would, in the
hour of temptation, come back on my
heart with convincing and restraining
power.
It was after one of these evening con-
versations, during which we had been
noticing the extreme sultriness of- the
weather, that we were startled from our
sleep at midnight, by the severe shock, of




24 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

an earthquake. The house literally trem-
bled in the grasp of the Almighty, and
then all was quiet.. Rushing like a
frightened bird to my mother's side, there
I stood, till a cool, pleasant breeze came
whispering through the stillness. I shall
never forget her pale calm face, as, kissing
my forehead she gently said, God is our
Refuge and Strength; therefore will we not
fear, though the earth be removed, though
the mountains be carried into the midst of
the sea."
From the nature of my father's occu-
pation, my mother was much in society;
yet, endued with power from on high,
amidst temptations and trials, with a lowly
and contrite heart, she walked humbly
with her God. The law of kindness dwelt




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


on her lips, sorrow ever found in her a
sympathising friend, and when the needy
saw her, they blessed her. Indeed she
lived as seeing Him who is invisible; and
appeared to enjoy no common share of
communion with the Master whom she
loved and served. And there is a sweet
promise," my love, she said, as I was re-
turning to my little bed, still somewhat
terrified at the earthquake, there is a
text of comfort, which you must take as a
soothing draught, and it will lull you into
pleasant sleep : The mountains may de-
part, and the hills be removed; but my
kindness shall not depart from thee,
neither shall the covenant of my peace be
removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy
on thee.'"




26 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

But the day of my departure was ra-
pidly approaching, and for the last time
I went with my mother to the pleasant
shade of the Cotton-tree.
She was unusually silent during the
drive, and once or twice I saw she was
engaged in mental prayer. After we had
been for some time seated beneath the
pleasant shade, she drew -me close to her
side, and with a look of inexpressible ten-
derness she said, Emily, my child, have
we not had hours of sweet communion
here ? have not our faith and love been
strengthened, and have not our hearts
burned within us, as we made mention of
the Saviour ? 0, my Emily," she con-
tinued," you will soon be far from the
watchful care of a parent; but the good




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


Shepherd will not forsake his own, he will
encircle you with the arms of his love!
It is in your power," she added, her
voice trembling, and her dear cheeks grow-
ing paler than usual from deep emotion ;
":it is in your power abundantly to repay
me for the care I have bestowed on your
infancy.
"You will return in a few years, and I
may be no longer on earth... Nay, grieve
not, my beloved, she said; if the Father
bid the wandering child rest her weary head
on his bosom, would you mourn ? Oh, no;
but for the living must be our thoughts.
And now promise me," she added, in a
voice of deep solemnity, whilst a heavenly
expression rested on her face, "beneath the
shade of this spreading Cotton-tree, that




28 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

has witnessed the sweet counsel we have
taken together-promise me, that when I
am no longer here, you will speak to your
father of holy things; promise me, that
you will ask him to turn to your mother's
God for comfort. Tell him how, in
earnest prayer, I have wrestled for him;
tell him, though it may be at eventide, I
know,he will be called into the fold."
When my feelings would allow me to
speak, I promised to do as she desired;
and then we knelt together, and 0, with
what fervour she prayed for the husband
of her youth, the father of her precious
Emily, for him whose love was the sweet-
ener of her life, whose smile was the sun-
light of her pilgrimage!
It seems to me but as yesterday, that




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAIN.


solemn evening. The ocean was crimsoned
-with sunset. Two or three bats, were
flitting across the dusky sky, and a soft
golden light played with the tangled
boughs of our old Tree.
As we descended the path, that led to
the carriage, Look up !" my mother said:
" the first faint star of evening is gleam-
ing there : it has witnessed your promise;
and it shall yet look down on you, as in
this very place you tell your beloved
father all that passed this evening."
I felt a sort of indefinite idea, that some
important trust had been committed to
me; but the arrangements for my voyage
soon occupied my childish mind.
I was very fond of knitting; and my
mother furnished& me with a little bag,
D 3




30 THE COTTON-TREE; OR, EMILY,

well stored with worsteds of many colours;
for any occupation, she said, would serve to
amuse me on board ship.
I had, I recollect, a tin-box, laden with
oranges, cakes, and sweet-meats of various
kinds : but. all was sadness to me. The
parting presents received from my friends
I viewed as so many screens, that were
vainly endeavouring to hide my misery
from me; and when I rested my head on
my father's shoulder for the last time,
when I received the parting kiss from
that tender mother's lips, which were cold
as marble, and felt the pressure of her
chilly hand, my young heart was indeed
overwhelmed, my spirit was ready to faint
within me.
I will not dwell on the horrors of sea-




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


sickness; nor on the wretchedness that I
experienced at the commencement of this
new era of my existence. My mother was
no longer near me; and in the darkness of
my despair, I could not pray for comfort.
To those who have never suffered thus,
the peculiar nature of my feelings on re-
ligious subjects at this time would be in-
describable.
I seemed to be at a greater distance
from my Saviour, now that my beloved
mother was no longer near me; .and when
I read my daily chapter in the morning,
the very sight of my mother's Bible caused
my tears to flow.
Mrs. Wilson was gentle in her manner
to me, indulging my wayward fancies, far
more than I had anticipated.




32 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

In calm weather I would sit- on deck
with my knitting ; but busy memory was
ever at work, painting the early happy
scenes of my childhood: and the evenings
under the Cotton-tree were not the least
prominent in the faithful picture.
I gave way to a spirit of discontent and
repining, mistaking it for a natural sorrow;
and I was ever busy imagining myself a
most unhappy being, and comparing my
lot with- that of more fortunate English
children..
But the voyage was now over, and Mrs.
Wilson took me to her home. We landed
in the month of May, and the beauty of
the scene almost lured me for a while
from the selfishness of my grief.
Mrs. Wilson's pleasant home was situated




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


in the rich and beautiful county of Devon.
The first glimpse I had of the house
was through an avenue of fine old elm-
trees. It was built in the cottage style;
and a lawn, covered with turf, richer and!
softer than any I had yet seen, surrounded
the pleasant dwelling. The grass was de-
corated by small but elegant little silvery
flowers, which I afterwards learnt were
called daisies.
Mrs. Wilson's daughters received me,
kindly; and on their asking me some ques-
tions about Jamaica, I burst into tears, and
wept so bitterly, that it was long ere I
had courage to look on the strange new
scenes and faces around me.
I was soon left alone, and the first thing
that attracted my attention was the pecu-




34 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

liar fragrance of the sweet-briars, that sur-
-rounded the low French windows, and
-filled the room with their perfume.
I That flowery tree, too, with its golden
ringlets dancing in the sun: what could
it be ? It was a laburnum: and although I
.know -something of the lilac, in our tropic
land, still that which now breathed its
sweetness around me was of a stronger
and richer kind; and, strange as it may
,seem, the very sight of all these beautiful
-but unknown flowers filled my heart with
an oppressive sense of desolation.
It was arranged that I was to sleep in
a small but pleasant attic with the house-
keeper, a faithful domestic, who had been
long in Mrs. Wilson's service.
Oh! what real anguish of heart I felt,




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


when kneeling in the silence of my chamber
I asked my Saviour to protect and bless
me. I have before mentioned, that I felt
as if at a distance from my God, my very
sorrows seemed to rise before me, as a dark
curtain, hiding my soul from the light of
his countenance.
I did not, at that time, know the cause
of all this. I did not know, that my poor
feeble will was impiously at war with the
will of its Maker; I had yet to learn, that
before the stricken heart can receive one
gleam of true comfort, one smile of love from
its Redeemer, it must lie lowly at the foot
of the Cross; but, blessed be God, he does
not leave us to ourselves; he leads us by
paths that we know not, till he .brings us
to the desired haven.





36 THE COTTON-TREE; OR, EMILY,

I shed many tears on this first night of
my arrival, and then, wrapping my heart
in the dreary mantle of its sorrow, I fell
asleep.

THE STRANGER CHILD.
I know your land is bright and fair,
A thousand sunny flowers
Are giving freshness to the air,
And beauty to the bowers;
And by the pleasant woodland strain,
From memory half beguiled,
Joy steals into the heart again
Of the lonely stranger child!

And beautiful your setting sun
Strews golden light around;
And night itself comes stealing on
With silvery moonlight crowned.
Then thoughts of distant happy hours,
When life's bright morning smiled,
Of whispering palms, of orange bowers,
Rest on the stranger child !





THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


God of the lonely, hear my prayer ;
A hiding-place thou art,
A Father present everywhere;
0, soothe the yearning heart!
And though dim shadows round me rise,
Deem not my sorrow wild;
While thus, beneath far alien skies,
I dwell a stranger child!

I soon became in a measure accus-
tomed to my new friends; though I mourn-
ed for the love that I had lost, with a sense
of desolation that I can find no words to
express.
My time, at present, was much at m1y
own disposal, and I would sit for hours on
a small root-seat on the quiet lawn, be-
neath the shade of a gigantic elm, imagin-
ing myself a most wretched being; and
although I was not altogether without a
E




38 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

sense of dependence on God, yet I did not,
in any way, look to him for comfort. I
would pray, that is, I would pour out my
sorrows before him; and I took especial de-
light in appropriating to my own particu-
lar circumstances, all those texts of a
mournful tendency, which I imagined ex-
pressly painted my grief: My heart with-
in me is desolate; I go mourning all the
day long," &c.
Mrs. Wilson's daughters were very fond
of society, and when they were not from
home, there were many visitors at the
house, so that I was left very much to the
companionship of the old housekeeper.
She was a worldly-minded, but very
agreeable woman; and often would she
amuse me by her tales of the olden time,




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


when ladies wore powder in their hair, and
hoops in their petticoats.
I, in return, would tell her something
from the short past of my little life, and
she would express much interest when I
described the fruits and flowers of my tro-
pical home ; but when I spoke of my mo-
ther as a sweet and gentle creature, under
the influence of a religion that made the
present life joyful with a glorious hope of
immortality, she only shrugged her shoul-
ders and said, it seemed to her, that the
Methodists were a moping set, and that I
was the most miserable child on the face
of the earth. Thus had I, already, by my
inconsistent conduct, done harm to that
blessed cause, in itself altogether lovely
and of good report.




40 THE COTTON-I'REE ; OR, EMILY,

After the midsummer vacation it was
arranged, that I should go to a boarding-
school, about two miles from Exeter. This
establishment was carried on by Madame
de Souffrain, an English lady, the wife
of a French Protestant, who taught the
young ladies the language of his own
country.
The very name of school filled my in-
experienced heart with terror; and, after a
pleasant journey, when they told me the
dreaded building was actually in sight, I
thought I should have fainted.
We entered the iron-gates. The circu-
lar lawn was enclosed by a neatly-trimmed
shrubberry, and a broad gravel-walk led
immediately to the house.
We were ushered into a handsome draw-




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


ing-room, and Madame de Souffrain re-
ceived us most politely. She was a hand-
some lady, although somewhat passed the
meridian of life. She wore a massive
gold chain, and a dark velvet head-dress :
her cheeks were red, and her appearance
somewhat masculine. Nevertheless she
smiled kindly on me, asked me some
questions concerning my distant home,
which made my tender heart beat, as. if it
were struggling to escape from its prison-
house ; and then, without waiting, for an
answer, she began to arrange with Mrs.
Wilson, the alterations necessary for my
wardrobe.
In a short time everything was settled
and I, who, a few weeks ago, had thought
my cup of sorrow full to the brim, now
E3




42 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

wept my adieu to Mrs. Wilson, as if some
new woe had fallen on me.
I was a diffident, bashful child, and I
suffered much from the scrutiny of the
girls when I was introduced into the school-
room. Many of them were sitting at a
long table, some working, some writing,
and the younger ones dressing their dolls.
" And how do you like England ." "Was
the voyage long ?" with a thousand ques-
tions of 'the same nature, were poured on
my ear.
They laughed when I spoke; and I. felt
the blush of shame mount to my forehead
when I discovered that my Creole accent
was the cause of their merriment. I soon
found they were luring me to talk, only
that they might find new cause for mirth




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


in the novel style of speech that I had so
unwittingly introduced among them.
I could stand this no longer, and, in an
indignant tone I told them, that children
from the country they affected to despise,
would not behave in so rude a manner;
that they would not thus laugh at a
stranger. Upon this, some of the young
ladies asked me, if I thought I had my
little slaves around me, that I spoke thus
hastily; and made many bitter observa-
tions, which were silenced only by the
entrance of Madame de Souffrain.
I soon became initiated in school disci-
pline; and being naturally of a docile dis-
position, I had not many more disputes
with my companions.
One little girl asked me most innocently,




44 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

if my father were a negro ; and Madame
herself expressed astonishment at the fair-
ness of my complexion, as she thought one
born in the West Indies must necessarily
wear the shadow of Africa's sable daugh-
ters.
My companions would sometimes re-
proach me for what they termed my child-
ishness, laughing at the affectionate way in
which I spoke of my dear mother; so that
by degrees I learnt to mention this precious
name less frequently, and my sorrow was
confined to my own heart. None knew
the tender memories that clouded my
young spirit; no human eye saw the tears
that steeped my pillow; but One there was,
even at that time, though I knew it not,
looking down on me in watchful love ;




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


One unwearying in care, and tender in pity
to a wayward, unthankful child.
I was considered diligent in my studies,
and in a little while I had made some
proficiency in French and music; but
very often, when I had really taken pains
with my exercise, my carelessness was
blamed : and for my mother's smile of en-
couragement, and whispered word of praise
at such a time, what would I not have
given ?
: Sometimes at night, I would think of
that dear parent's holy counsel, till my
heart was softened, and I prayed, really
prayed that the Holy Spirit would draw
me back to Him from whom I felt I had
sadly wandered.
We regularly went to church twice on




46 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

Sunday; and Madame de Souffrain care-
fully examined us in our Catechism. We
learnt the Collects, and sometimes a portion
of the Epistle or Gospel, and then, during
the evening, we were allowed to ramble
about the large' playground, at the back
of the house.
This was tastefully interspersed with
laurel-trees, and the walls were concealed
by a thick shrubbery, which was guarded
by a flower-bed, at this time of the year,
just beginning to wear its loveliest dress;
for the many-hued roses of summer were
bursting into fragrant life.
Once or twice on a low seat which I had
placed for myself, in a favourite corner of
the green, I endeavoured, on this holy day,
to read portions from my pocket Bible;




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


but the sneers of my companions, or the
more painful rebukes of those who told me
not thus to make a display of religion, soon
caused me to give up the practice; and
though a still small voice seemed to whis-
per, "Is. not this being ashamed of Jesus ?"
yet I tried to stifle the inward monitor by
vain efforts to convince myself, that had I
persevered in reading, I might have in-
duced many to believe I was a hypocrite,
and thus have injured the cause of my
God.
The holidays approached; but as Mrs.
Wilson and her daughters were in Paris,
there could be no change for me, and as I
watched the happy children, half wild with
delight at the prospect of so speedy a meet-
ing with their parents, I thought my over-




48 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

wrought heart would break: 0, my
mother," I would exclaim when I was
alone, how could you send me from you !"
I had not learnt that my earthly affections
needed this check, that I might be com-
pelled, as it were, to lean on my Saviour.
The summer meadow needs rain as well
as sunshine; the grape must be crushed ere
it yield the luscious wine ; the flower must
be broken ere it give its sweetest fragrance;
and man, rebel man, must bear the chas-
tening of his God ere he bring forth fruit
unto holiness.
During the holidays I was left much
alone ; the playground was my place of
continual resort. Sometimes I busied my-
self in comparing my lot with that of my
schoolfellows, who were now, I imagined,




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


enjoying a very large share of happiness
at home ; forgetting, that till the soul be-
come reconciled to its Redeemer, it cannot
taste, even under prosperous circumstances,
real peace, but is like the troubled stream
with sunshine above it, and flowers on its
banks, discoloured and obnoxious from the
impurity that lies beneath.
Then I would, in imagination, place my
dear mother and my schoolmistress side
by side; and as the latter gained nothing
by this position, I fancied myself very
miserable, till the chime of the village
bells, as, softened by distance, it floated on
the evening air, found me quite ready to
mingle a shower of tears with their sooth-
ing melody.
During this time, I had never raised one
F




50 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

real prayer for comfort, I had never in
sincerity and humility asked for resigna-
tion to the will of my Father and my God.
My evenings were generally spent .in
the company of Monsieur and Madame de
Souffrain. I was allowed to partake of
the tea and hot muffin, at their little
rosewood table; and sometimes, when the
old gentleman was particularly complai-
sant, he would interest me greatly, by
telling me of his early sufferings in France.
He would relate to me how he had been
deprived of his property; and how, being
rigorously imprisoned, he had contrived to
make his escape. More than once I induced
him to tell me how, during the gloom of a
dark winter's night, he had let himself down
by the means of sheets and blankets from




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


a small high window ; and, in the disguise
of a market-woman, had found his way to
Calais. There, with his basket of eggs, he
had been quietly allowed, with some others,
to cross the Channel, at the Straits of Do-
ver, and thus to regain that liberty which
was dearer to him than life itself.
It was on one of these summer evenings
that Madame told me I was shortly to have
a companion, as Lucille Bowring, an or-
phan girl of fourteen; was, in a few days,
to be placed under her care.
She lost her father, who was in the
army," continued Madame, when she was
veryyoung. Her widowed mother died last
year, leaving this young creature with a
decrepid and very aged grandmother. Her
guardian, therefore, determined to send her,
to me.




52 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

"I am told she is gentle, and at times even
cheerful; and as all who know her become
attached to her, she will, I doubt not, in
some degree be a comfort to you."
Now, so strange is the, nature of the
human heart, that when I retired this
evening to my garden corner, I endea-
vo.ured to fence my feelings, as it were,
against this intrusion of comfort, cherishing
my sorrowful thoughts with much delight,
and then triumphing in the idea, that till
I again returned to my distant home, I
must be miserable.
It is true, I had many trials : I was far
from the land of my childhood, from the
friends of my early life; with my beloved
parents I could no longer take sweet coun-
sel; and the cold carelessness of my young




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


companions deeply wounded my too sen-
sitive heart.
Nevertheless, there were consolations
provided for me at that time, if I would
have stretched forth the hand of faith to
receive them. There is comfort in Christ
Jesus, for every situation in life. There
are hopes like stars, made to give radiance
to darkness, and precious promises to the-
broken in heart, that, like light flowers,
give forth their fragrance to the gloom.
Early in the next week a gentleman
arrived, leading by the hand our young or-
phan. She was in deep mourning; and one
of those delicate and lovely children, whose
every thought is painted on the varying
cheek. Her very light hair hung in na-
tural ringlets round her snowy neck; and
G3




54 THE COTTON-TBEE ; OR, EMILY,

as she timidly raised her eyes to mine,
sparkling through tears, they reminded me
of the violet, glowing in morning dew; for
they were not altogether blue, but seemed
to have something of the deeper hue of
that lovely flower.
To all the questions put to her, she
answered mildly and respectfully; and her
smile brought such dimples into her cheeks,
and gave such an expression of almost in-
fantine beauty to her mouth, that one could
not help regretting it died away so soon.
She turned very pale, when her guar-
dian rose, to take his leave. He kissed her
affectionately, and I thought he whispered
of a never-failing friend.
Already, I felt my heart drawn towards
this gentle stranger; for had not the




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


shadow of an orphan's woe in a measure
fallen on my path ?
I was allowed to take the sweet child
to our playground. "Lucille," I said,
gently taking her hand, shall I show you
my garden-chair ?" for there is a freema-
sonry amongst young spirits, and the in-
tercourse of childhood is unshackled by
those restraints with which etiquette binds
society in after life.
This is my favourite seat," I con-
tinued; "from this spot I can hear the
pleasant sound of the church bells; and
sometimes the blackbird's song is loud."
"But why are you here, during the
holidays ?" inquired Lucille. "I thought
that only those who were deprived of home"
-for she had not courage to mention the




56 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

name of mother-"remained at school, dur-
ing this pleasant time." I then explained
to her, that the home of my childhood was
separated from me by the trackless ocean;
and as I spoke of my own dear parents, she
rested her fair brow confidinglyonmy shoul-
der, and wept a shower of tears in refresh-
ing rain; for she seemed soothed and com-
forted after this expression of her sorrow.
She joined our little tea-party; and
appeared grateful for the slightest atten-
tion.
There was a peculiar expression of
sweetness, mixed with something that
was not sadness, on her lovely face, and
though I did not then know it, young as
she was, the Saviour had called her to
him, put his hands on her, and blessed
her.




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


Oh it is sweet to see the confidence of
early youth, leaving its weakness, its help-
lessness, and its childish sorrows all with
Him, who even as a father pitieth his chil-
dren, pitieth them that fear him!
There is no doubt but that Lucille was
naturally blest with a sweet and gentle
disposition; and now that her sinful na-
ture was renewed by the power of divine
grace, her character was peculiarly at-
tractive.
The first Sunday that we spent together,
she brought her Bible to our seat, with a
book of hymns, and when I asked her to
read to me, she modestly, and in a some-
what tremulous voice, read the eighth
chapter of the Romans, whispering to me,
that this was one of her mother's favorite




58 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

portions of scripture; thus, for the first
time, mentioning that dear name. And
now that she had unlocked the secret
current of her thought to me, she spoke
affectionately and'sweetly of that tender
parent; telling me how she had, whilst
reading this chapter, impressed on the
infant mind of her child the blessedness
of those who, living in Christ, could not
come under condemnation. Under any
circumstances," continued Lucille, "my
mother would tell me, that the child of
God, the heir of eternal life, might be
happy ; and do you not think, Emily," she
said, that sorrowful children, such as we
are, may have peace, yea, joy, full of glory ?"
I was astonished, I was confounded.
Lucille's appearance was almost infan-




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


tine, owing perhaps to the natural sim-
plicity of her character. Her hat had
fallen back, and, only suspended by the
ribbon, was resting on her shoulders : her
long fair hair was floating on her neck;
and as she looked upwards in the quiet
confidence of childhood, with the beauty
of holiness glistening on every feature,:
" Surely," I thought, "'of such is the king-
dom of heaven;' Verily, 0 my Father,' out
of the mouths of babes and sucklings, thou
hast ordained strength.'"
Now Madame de Souffrain, under a
somewhat haughty exterior, and with a
stern manner, which was no doubt occa-
sionally assumed, for the better carrying
into effect schoolkdiscipline, possessed what
is generally called a kind heart; that is,




60 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

she was willing to oblige when no re-
trenchment of her own comfort was to be
the sacrifice. In compliance: with our ear-
nest -entreaties, it was therefore arranged,
that Lucille and I were to be sharers of
the same bedroom ; this was a real blessing
to me, and in the retirement of that little
chamber, many a lesson of holy instruction
did I receive from that young disciple.
There was so much diffidence and hu-
mility about Lucille, that she never ven-
tured to give me advice'; indeed the dear
child seemed scarcely to know how
closely she was walking with her God;.
though I have no doubt she felt the secu-
rity and peace which is ever the portion
of those who live in communion with
their Saviour.




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


At night she would frequently remind
meof the blessings we enjoyed: Emily,"
she would say, have we not many mer-
cies ? These warm rooms, these comfort-
able beds ? 0 we must not murmur !"
At other times, when she saw me giving
way to a discontented or repining spirit,
she would gently and sweetly remind me
of the sufferings of the early Christians,
how they counted not their lives dear
unto them, but rejoiced that they were
reckoned worthy to suffer for the sake of
their Saviour, contrasting our own more
favoured circumstances with theirs: and
never did this young creature awake in the
morning without breathing forth the voice
of thanksgiving to her Maker and Pre-
server.





62 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

I think I see her now, in her white
muslin cap, sitting in her dressing-gown
at the bedside, and repeating some such
simple hymn as the following:-

Gracious Saviour, hear me!
Through the coming day,
Father be thou near me,
Watching o'er my way,
Though a weak and sinful child of dust,
Yet I lean on thee in faith and truth.

On life's early dawning
Thou hast sweetly smiled
Through the stormy morning
On thy lonely child,
And I bless thee now, through grateful tears
For thy love, the sunlight of my years.

On the orphan's sadness,
Thou hast shed a ray,
Throwing softened gladness
On the soul's dismay,




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


Speaking of thyself as Father-Friend-
The faithful one, enduring to the end.

Saviour, now I sing thee
Childhood's grateful hymn;
Help me, Lord, to bring thee
Praise when life grows dim;
In youth, in age I ask but for thy love,
To shed on life the glory from above!


But the summer vacation was over, and
the young ladies had all returned. In a
day or two, everything went on again in
the same routine as if no holidays had
separated us. Lucille became yet fonder
of me; and so timid was her disposition,
that sometimes she appeared almost afraid
to leave my side.
We were soon called "The Methodists ;"
and when we brought our books into the




64 THE COTTON TREE ; OR, EMILY,

playground on Sunday evening, reproach
seemed to deepen into anger.
What !" said one of the young ladies,
to the gentle Lucille, do you mean to
tell us that you are better than we are ?
You are a little hypocrite ; and some day,
you will be put to shame." The first
part of this speech appeared wholly un-
intelligible to the dear child; but at its
conclusion, she meekly said," Oh no ; they
that trust in Him shall never be put to
shame :" thus unwittingly giving a reply,
that silenced her accuser.
On another Sabbath evening,: we had
put aside our books, and were walking
in the shrubbery; Lucille had been show-
ing me her mother's miniature ; but seeing
Miss Hay wood approaching us, my gentle




THE LITTLE WEST: INDIAN.


friend hastily replaced the treasure in her
bosom. I am glad, that you are, at last,
afraid of pretending to be so good," said
this hardened young lady, addressing Lu-
cille. At any rate, I see you try to
hide your Bible." Lucille, not compre-
hending her meaning, replied with a sweet
smile, Oh no, I have not my Bible with
me ;" adding with unusual animation,

Ashamed of Jesus! sooner far
Let midnight blush to own a star."

Oh, you little sinner !" answered Miss
Haywood, in the loud tone of irritated
feeling : I shall tell Madame, that she
does not know you. You add falsehood to
o deception ; I can prove that you have
been hiding your Bible ;" and so saying,
G3




66 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

she rudely drew the miniature from its
resting-place on Lucille's neck.
I shall never forget the crimson hue,
that for a moment overspread the cheeks
of this young creature, and then yielded
to a deathlike paleness. I thought she
would have fainted. Miss Haywood," I
angrily said, "you envy Lucille, because
you cannot be like her, and you have no
right to treat her in this way." But Lu-
cille had hastened from us, and when I
found her in our bedroom, no trace of agi-
tation was visible on her calm countenance.
"I have been praying, my Emily," she
said, that I may not only speak as usual
to Miss Haywood, but that my feelings to.
wards her may be those of kindness. My
gentle mother used to tell me, that the




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


very atmosphere of religion was love.
" Emily," she continued, whilst her
gentle eyes filled with tears, your affec-
tion for me, must not lead you to forget
the blessed Saviour's injunction to one
who sought to defend him : Put thy
sword into thy sheath. Think you not,
if I prayed to the Father, he could pre-
sently send me more than twelve legions
of angels ? but thus it must be now.' Yes,
dear Emily, we too could be defended from
the strife of tongues, if such were our Fa-
ther'swill; but it is necessary for us, that
we should bear this chastening."
She was soon engaged in conversation
about her mother ; and when summoned
by the tea-bell to join our companions, I
should have thought Lucille had forgotten




68 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

all that had passed in the shrubbery, had
it not been for the peculiar tone of kind-
ness in which, when obliged to speak, she-
addressed Miss Haywood, who really looked
as if she felt herself in the wrong.
From this time, no more' direct attacks
were made on our proceedings; and we
were allowed in the garden corner unmo-
lested to read the Holy Scriptures.
Our time passed on with very little
change, till the autumn of the fourth year
of our residence in England.
I had twice spent the summer holidays
with Mrs. Wilson; but as Lucille, the gen-
t1e, affectionate Lucille, did not accompany
me, I did not enjoy these visits.
Mrs. Wilson complimented me on my
improved appearance; said, that I was very




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


tall for a girl of my age ; adding, that I
promised to be as handsome as my mother.
She then spoke of the importance of a strict
attention, to accomplishments, as they were
necessary, she said, for the establishment of
a young lady in Jamaica; by which I un-
derstood she meant marriage; and when I
told her it was my wish never to leave my
dear mother, she smiled sarcastically, and
bid me ask her girls what they thought
of this matter.
With unmixed pleasure, I returned to
Lucille, who appeared to have been for-
gotten by all her relatives, but blessed in
an especial manner by no small share of
communion with her Saviour.
It was a rich summer evening in the
beginning of August, when I returned to




70 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

Madame de -Souffrain. Lucille met me
with a beaming smile; for the happiness of
others had ever been to her a source of
unmixed joy. I have news for you," she
said, after the first salutations were over ;
" pleasant, happy news, dear Emily,; a let-
ter from your far-off home :" for this dear
child, utterly alone in the world as she
was, had so completely imbibed the spirit
of her Master, that she was ever ready to
rejoice with those that rejoiced, forgetting,.
in the unselfishness of her renewed nature,
her own desolate situation in the happi-
ness of another.
With a throbbing heart, I hastily tore
open the letter. But how doth the gold
change, the fine gold become dim! With
anguish of spirit, I read of the illness of my




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


beloved mother : as I proceeded with the
letter, my father gently and tenderly called
upon me to mingle my tears with his,
for that my dear parent was dead!.. .How
I hastened to my room I know not; but in
an intense agony of mind, inexpressible
indeed in words, but known to those who
have thus suffered, I threw myself, upon
my bed ; and I am convinced, that had I
cried unto the Lord for comfort, He would
have been true to his promise, Call
upon me in the day of trouble, and I will
deliver thee !" But, alas! I could only, in
the bitterness of my grief, exclaim, Was
ever sorrow like unto my sorrow ?" and
my soul refused to be comforted.
I can never forget the gentle attentions
of the amiable Lucille during this time of




72 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY, *

darkness. Madame at first condoled with
me; but she soon grew weary of my una-
bated grief. The young ladies, impelled
by curiosity, came to look at me. Lucille
alone was unwearied in her efforts to soothe
me; and faithfully but gently, she strove
to check the murmurings of my wayward
heart.
I was attacked by a nervous fever, and
confined for more than three months to
my bed; and throughout this illness, my
affectionate nurse was made instrumental
in leading me again to the path of peace.
Lucille was truly one of those who united
in her character the wisdom of the
serpent with the harmlessness of the dove.
She had no theological arguments; she
had no idea that the truths of the blessed




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


Bible were ever perverted or disbelieved.
Its threatening would blanch her cheek,
but the promises, the sweet promises of
the Saviour gleamed as precious stones on
the breastplate of her faith and love.
Although so young, she had passed
through the furnace of affliction, she had
been placed under the Purifier's hand; and
she came forth from the process reflecting
the image of the Refiner.
"Ask first for submission, dear Emily,"
she would say, and then pray for comfort.
You do not know the happiness, the sweet
peace that will arise, if even in trembling
you can say, 'Nevertheless, not my will
but thine be done.' And then the dear
child, in her concern for my welfare, over-
coming the natural diffidence of her dis-
H





74 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

position would kneel by my side, and pour
forth her soul for me in the earnestness of
prayer..
On one occasion, when I was very rest-
less, in a low sweet voice, she lulled me to
sleep with the following

HYMN.
Pray in thy childhood pray !
T will rest as- dew upon the opening flower;
T will rise, as fragrance on life's early day :
Sweet is the incense of the morning hour.

And sorrows yet may fall,
Before thy sun has gained the middle sky,
And clouds, and darkness, with their gloomy pall,
Around the path of infancy may lie.

Then gird thy soul in prayer !
'T will fill the aching void of orphan woe,
And chase away-the shadows of despair;
Pray, and thy peace shall like a river flow !




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN;


Pray! and thy God shall be
Thy hiding-place, in Sorrow's dreary night;
Thy Rock of Refuge, thy o'ershadowing Tree;
Thy Strength in weakness, in thy darkness Light!

Lucille," I said, the first day that I
was able to leave my room,;" Lucille, how
can I ever thank you for all your kind-
ness to me ?"
She looked at me in unaffected surprise,
and with a smile brightening her innocent
face, "You cannot mean to thank me for
my love," she said, with much simplicity :
" for have you not given me in return your
own sweet affection ?" For more than
this, I thank you, my gentle one," I an-
swered; I shall ever bless you for the
faithfulness with which you pointed out
to me how my rebel-will stood as a bar-
rier between my soul and God.




76 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

"I now pray, that I may bow to the
severest trial that comes from a Father's
hand; and already half the weight of my
anguish is removed. Now I can say from
my own experience, that sorrow has its
peculiar seasons of comfort, and that when
lying lowly at the foot of the Cross, we
are cheered by many a smile from the
Man of Sorrows."
I had never before spoken so unreser-
vedly to Lucille. She looked earnestly at
me for a moment, and then burst into tears.
These are tears of thankfulness, dear
Emily," she said : there is joy in heaven
amongst the angels of God, when one
sinner repenteth : and may I not rejoice
too ?" she added with a bright smile;
"may I not bless Him, who has done such
great things for you ?"




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


As she remained affectionately leaning
on me, wrapped in deep thought, or en-
gaged in silent prayer, I noticed for the
first time, the transparent delicacy of her
complexion, and the slender appearance of
her fragile form. She had grown much
during the last year. I thought of her
languor, her shortness of breathing ; and
symptoms, that appeared hitherto to have
been unnoticed by us all,. rushed on my
agitated mind, and stood before me as so
many harbingers of consumption. Lu-
cille," I said, you are not well; you have
been exerting yourself too much for me :"
and then, unguardedly giving way to the
feelings that oppressed me, I told her I
felt sure she would be taken from us, and
that I should ere long, be left without the
sweet boon of her love.




78 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

She looked tenderly at me. Did not
the Saviour say," she answered, "'If this
cup may not pass from me, except I drink
it, not my will, but thine be done ?' It is
not to some peculiar sorrow that you
must endeavour to submit, if you wish for
peace,; but you must bow to the Father's
will in all things."
And do you really think you will be
taken from us ?" I inquired. Oh, yes!
for some months past," she answered, I
Jiave felt that life was not for me; and I
think I would not wish it otherwise."...
It would take me far beyond the limits
of this little tale, were I to dwell on the
many conversations that passed between
us at this time; suffice it to say, that as
the outward form decayed, the inner




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


spirit was renewed day by day. As the
shadows of the tomb rose around this
lovely child, the halo ,of faith illumined
the darkness.
As winter approached, Lucille was
confined to the house. A medical prac-
titioner was called in, and her studies, he
said, must be laid aside.
I think I see her now, with her Bible,
her constant companion, in her hand, re-
clining on the sofa, her cheeks beautifully
painted by the bright hectic of consump-
tion.
" So death beneath the rose-bud loves to smile,
And smiling blasts it."
We all loved Lucille, and it was indeed
an affecting sight, that lone creature on
the couch of languishing, on the bed of




80 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

death, and not one relation near her ; not
one message of love sent to ask concern-
ing the sufferer.
Her grandmother's mind had altogether
failed, and her guardian was abroad, and
not expected to return till the spring.
But not a murmur ever escaped the lips
of this dear child of Jesus.
With the most exalted faith, she mixed
an almost infantine simplicity of manner;
she had in truth received the gospel as a
little child, and I do not think that the
shadow of a doubt ever darkened her path.
I am convinced, that much of the un-
easiness of the prospect of death, expe-
rienced by many high in the Christian
world, arises from a want of entire depen-
dence on the Saviour.





THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


They do not see the full extent of their
helplessness, and therefore they do not,
as one of these little ones, rest for light,
peace, joy, hope, and salvation, on the
all-sufficiency of their Redeemer.

LUCILLE'S DYING HYMN.
I feel that I am dying;
But He is by my side
Who trod the gloomy valley,-
He, who for sinners died.
A low and gentle whisper
Is sounding in mine ear,
Fear not, thou orphan trembler,
For I, thy God, am near."

Death stands as king of terrors,
And shakes his bony crown;
But I, in Christ, am victor,
1 care not for his frown !
Yes-hlie, my Lord, is near me,
Jesus, the strong to save;




82 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

Therefore thou hast not conquered,
0 dark and silent grave !

HIe who through life has led me
Will not forsake me now ;
I twine faith's laurel garland
Around my dying brow;
All fearless I go forward
To walk where thou hast trod,
In thee made perfect, Saviour!
My spirit pants for God.

Lucille rapidly lost her strength ; and
it was a beautiful sight, as the last enemy
approached, to see this fragile creature,
endued with power from on high, looking,
calmly and fearlessly, in the very face of
the king of terrors.
"My weakness, my helplessness, my
insufficiency," she said, do not terrify
me ; they only cause me to enfold myself




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


yet more closely in the spotless garment
of my Redeemer's righteousness." She
spoke to all her companions of the pre-
ciousness of Christ; then calling me to her
she gave me her mother's picture. Not
one murmur" she softly said. Keep this
for my sake; no one else will value it."
I think her last words were, Lord,
thou knowest that I love thee!" and
then this lovely child, this desolate stran-
ger, was called to her Father's home.
Her short life was over ; her quiet
labour of love had been accomplished; she
had been the means of leading back one
poor wanderer to the Saviour; and now,
in my deep sorrow, leaning on my God, I
was enabled at last to say, Not my will,
but thine be done." Grief itself seemed




84 THE COTTON-TREE; OR, EMILY,

to wear a different aspect and the very
clouds that overshadowed me, were bright
with the hues of morning.
The gentle Lucille was soon forgotten.
Except in my own breast, it seemed as
though her memory had passed away from
earth ; but I trust that her society proved
a real blessing to me ; for now, though
sorrowful, I was enabled to rejoice in my
Saviour.
I had many solitary hours during my
lonely holidays. Lucille's sweet voice was
gone; yet I could scarcely wish her back
again; for life,, at best, is shadowy to an
orphan; and now she was at rest on her
Saviour's bosom.
At the end of the next summer, I re-
ceived a letter from my dear father,




THE LITTLE WEST INDTAN.


telling me, that during the autumn, I was
to leave England and return to my tropical
home. Strong feelings of pleasure were
mixed with softer memories, when I thought
how soon I should again see my native land,
the home of my happy, happy childhood.
Madame de Souffrain was soon busily
engaged in getting ready my outfit;"
that is, she was purchasing for me an
.abundant supply of summer clothing ; and
ere the gloom of November had darkened
the autumn landscape, I had bid adieu
for ever to the instructors of my youth-
to the spot where Lucille and I had
taken sweet counsel together....
Who can look on the ocean and not
see the hand of the Almighty on its rest-
less surface ? It was on the face of the




86 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

waters that the Spirit of the Creator
moved ; and ever since that time, in storm
and calm, the solemn deep has been, as it
were, the hiding-place of his power.
We had pleasant weather, and favour-
able winds; and at the end of six weeks,
the blue mountain peak of Jamaica was
in sight.
The sun was giving its parting boon of
gold and crimson to the waters, when I
again looked on the distant shores of my
native land. Sad, yet softened recollec-
tion filled my heart as the morning of
childhood rose before me. I thought of
that dear parent whose guiding love was
no longer to direct me on the intricate
path, of life, while the precious instruc-
tions of the gentle Lucille came into




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


my mind, and I was enabled calmly to
say, It is the Lord."
The next morning we were anchored
in Kingston harbour, and, in a few
moments, I was clasped in the embrace
of my beloved father. We had been se-
parated for nearly seven years, and only
those West Indians who have been -thus
situated can enter into the feelings of my
dear parent on this occasion. He wept
like a child. I think I see him now, as
pushing back the hair from my forehead,
he told me, that my smile vividly brought
to his recollection, my precious mother
as in maiden loveliness he first beheld her.
Everything that affection could devise,
was provided for my comfort in my plea-
sant home, and the welcome of the negro




88 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

servants to their young missis," though
expressed in their own peculiar way, was
warm and affectionate. Hi!" exclaimed
an old man whose head had grown sil-
very in our service. Him 'de same
maugre pickney ? him tan handsome, for
true." My King !" said another, "him
worser dan him moder;" by which mode
of expression he intended to convey his
idea of my superior beauty. Cho, see
him laugh, an him teet tan like ibory."
As for my old nurse, she was bathed
in tears, and literally groaned out herjoy.
She clasped me in her arms : she pushed
the cotton turban from her head, as if it
impeded her sight as she gazed on me;
she wrung her hands, and very loud was
her lamentation of happiness. Now




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


me die happy! poor ting, poor ting !
Look at him cheek, red like de pomegra-
nate, oh! ah ooh !"
As my father was one of the leading
people in society, we were much in public;
nevertheless I had many hours of retire-
ment, and I sought for strength to enable
me faithfully to perform my new duties,
and for wisdom to steer my course aright
through the perplexities that sometimes
surrounded me.
White hairs had already scattered their
snows on my father's temples ; and there
was a look of anxiety on his pale face,
and a restlessness in his manner, at times,
that distressed me. Often would I play-
fully ask him to let me be the sharer of
his troubled thoughts; but he would
i3




90 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

always make an excuse for his reserve,
sometimes telling me that he had not
heart to cloud the sunshine of my morn-
ing days.
He had ardently loved my mother, and
he valued and respected the religious cha-
racter ; and though he was very regular
in his attendance at church, yet I feared
that religion was only outside, whilst the
heart remained untouched by a Saviour's
love.
I felt the difficulty of speaking to him
on the subject, lest it might give me the
appearance of taking more on myself than
was dutiful in a daughter; but I poured
out my soul to my God, and said, Lord,
what wilt thou have me to do ?" It was
whilst thus engaged in prayer, that I




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


remembered the last evening I had spent
with my dear mother beneath the shadowy
Cotton-tree, her earnest entreaty, and the
sacred promise I had given her.
It seemed but as yesterday-that solemn
evening! I only wondered that I had
ever forgotten it: now it was brought
back to my mind with such power, that
the gate of duty was open before me.
My father had given me a beautiful
black American horse; and although living
in a town, many were the pleasant rides
we took together.
I soon persuaded my dear papa to ac-
company me to the beautiful Cotton-tree.
We left our horses at the bottom of'the
gentle slope, and, ascending the well-
remembered path, in a few moments we




92 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

were sitting on the very spot where I
had so often held sweet converse with
my sainted'mother.
There was the same tranquil ocean, the
same golden sun sinking in the west; yet
one frail flower was broken, and earth
missed it not: she was gone, and her
place was to know her no more.
That dear mother's life and death was
for some time the theme of our conversa-
tion, till the realities of eternity stood so
closely before me, that I could no longer
be silent on the important subject.
0, my father," I said, I had on this
very spot many sweet conversations iwith
my mother, and she spoke to me of a
Saviour's love, and of the peace and hap-
piness of that soul which was reconciled




THE LITTLE WEST INDIAN.


to God through Christ : and it was under
the shade of this old tree," I continued,
"the very last evening that we were
together, that she made me solemnly
promise to speak to you of the blessed
hopes of immortality-' Tell him,' she
said, 'to seek your mother's God. Man
can find no resting-place in this life, till
the anchor of his soul is fixed on the
Rock of ages.'"
My father listened in silent emotion.
Again the evening star gleamed through the
dark foliage, and I told him how my dear
mother had predicted that as we thus
conversed of sacred things, that very star
should look upon us.
After continuing silent for some time,
in a low voice, my dear father said,




94 THE COTTON-TREE ; OR, EMILY,

" Emily, our God has enabled you to be
a faithful child to me. That dear mother
being dead, yet speaketh! We will meet
here from time to time : and may we not
feel, that as we speak together concerning
the kingdom of God, that she is looking
down on us ?"
My father's heart was softened, and we
continually spent many a happy evening
beneath the shade of this dear old tree.
Often would my loved parent exclaim,
" Oh, what happiness I have lost! oh that
I had remembered my Creator in the days
of my youthi"
As rain upon the thirsty ground, so did
the precious truths of the gospel sink into
his heart, and he was enabled to bring
forth fruit to perfection.




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