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As this circumstance only accounts for the long and unvarying friendship of the Bishop, whose palace, in grateful remembrance of protection received in Piscator's cottage, was open, till death, to his long-tried friend — imagination can hardly conceive a more affecting groupe than Walton's cottage exhibited at the time when Morley, an outcast in the world, was here welcomed.
Having stated thus much, I shall now endeavour to dramatize the parting scene. Isaac has returned, on a beautiful evening in spring from his solitary amusement — to the small garden-plat before his door — where appears Morley, musing of the future --and his beloved Kenna, lately become a mother.
SCENE, Cottage of Isaak Walton, near Stafford;
Morley, and Kenna, with her Infant, Piscator returned from fishing.
Piscator.-I am glad to come back to my best friends upon earth, this fine, beautiful evening of the young May, when the cuckoo has been singing all day, putting us in mind of that verse in the Canticles, “The winter is past, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;" and trust me, no less glad to see my Kenna sitting with you, my friend, to enjoy the fragrant air, and look at the swallows skimming the green, as rejoicing to find themselves at home, after their long peregrination in unknown lands. Kenna.--And I indeed have had my eyes fixed
on them, and my heart also; for, alas ! our friend, to whom I shall ever be grateful for so much divine instruction in these troubled times, has spoken to me to-day of leaving us, and going beyond seas, on his distant peregrination, to-morrow morning.
Piscator.-I shall be sorry to hear of such a resolve, fearing that our hospitality may be thought too humble, albeit it is not a wit the less hearty; but tell me, good and virtuous Master Morley, are you tired of me and “my Kenna," and this our poor cottage; and the birds that sing us to rest at night, and wake us in the morning; and this small garden, and this neat honeysuckle arbour, where we “ study to be quiet.” Are you tired of me, and of these, or poor Kenna, so soon?
Morley.-Honest Master Walton, my kind and affectionate friend, I have lived here upwards of twelve months, far from noise and sorrow, and the troubles of life, and the painted mask of hypocrisy. I may say, I have lived here with more true joy and content than I have hitherto experienced in my journey to another country, -- a better country, my Christian friend, - where there “is neither storm or troubles, nor broken friendships," and " where the sleep of the weary is sweet,” and all tears are wiped from all eyes for ever! and, trust me, wherever I shall be, whilst this life of trial abides, I shall remember, as among the happiest, and peradventure the most profitable, seasons of my life, the time I have passed here in quietness, I hope, improvement of temper and heart.
Piscator.-Say not, so, good Master Morley; for much beholden to you as I and poor Kenna here have been, for your company,
I beseech you, stretch not your kindness so far as to speak of us otherwise than we are. Yet I thank the Giver of all good, that, in our lonely nook, we have been able to cheer, though but for a season, in his way, one whom we love - whom I have loved and respected so long, and with whom, with the Word of God and our Prayer-book, we have taken sweet council so long together!
Morley.-Yes, in this retirement of love and content, and quiet fellowship, we have indeed “taken SWEET COUNCIL together;" and we shall neither of us have occasion, if I may judge from my own heart, to say, with the sacred Singer, in his troubles, " It was not my own enemy, that has done me such dishonour; for then I could have borne it: but it was even thou, my companion and my own familar friend!” No! no! this we shall never say: whatever may be the changes and chances of our lot, we shall never say it was “thou, my companion and familiar friend,” who has done “dishonour” to us, or the humblest that live. Kenna.-But
have left out one word in what you have repeated from the best of counsellors — GOD'S HOLY WORD! and let me be bold to
honoured Master Morley—the words are, as I remember them, in our “Prayer-book," at the 55th Psalm, _“It was even thou, my companion, MY GUIDE!”
as you have ever been to me, I am sure, the most kind.
Piscator.–And yet, Master Morley, God knows what changes we may yet meet with upon earth.
Morley.—Like my Royal master and benefactor, I have ever found in trouble blessed comfort in the words of the Book of Psalms, when my “ heart is disquieted within me.” “When the enemy cried so and the ungodly came in so fast, and they were minded to do mischief, so maliciously were they set against him, and when the fear of death had fallen upon him," he found his best lesson of hope, or resignation, in this divine book; and am not I ready to cry out, “Oh! that I had wings like a dove, for then I would flee away, and be at rest; lo! then I will get me away afar off;” “I would baste to escape because of the stormy wind and tempest.”
Piscator.-But if our Kenna corrected the passage in which our kind instructor left out one word; let me remind my familiar companion” of a verse we have often repeated. 66 We took sweet council toġether," and, not only that, “but have we not walked in the HOUSE OF GOD as friends?”
Morley.-True! we “have walked in the house of God as friends, and we have worshipped together in the beauty of holiness ;" but the house of God is now no more esteemed than the house of Thieves, and they who bear rule have taken care to make our venerable Cathedrals not of more esteem,
the houses of the living God,” than a stall for oxen, while “ they break down the carved work thereof with axes and hammers."*
Kenna.—But they may be restored; and the affecting chant, to which I have listened in iny younger days, when we went to Paul's, with our father and our little brother Thomas,t may be heard again in some stiller time, though I shall perhaps be buried and in peace—who knows but in some of those beautiful cathedral houses of God, which are the pride of our land.
Morley.—Come, for I feel the tears, which I have not shed before, stealing into my eyes ! To-morrow, before the lark sings above the thatch, I shall bid you a long adieu, to seek the King, - to wander, I know not where, or where I may rest my head tomorrow night. I go, perhaps, to die, unremembered, in a distant land, faithful till death to the altars I revere, on which I have sworn no servile, but generous allegiance as to the throne! I could well be content to share the humble meal of piety and content, and domestic affection, in this nook; but I have pondered on every thing. Your circumstances, my kind and excellent friend, are not affluent, though such an humble and quiet heart is the best wealth. I might live to be a burden to both. I am advancing in life, but still unshrinking to meet whatever may be my fortune. My Royal and kind Master has perished--I have taken leave,
* Psalm lxxiv. 6.