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Allan told me that for some years past, feeling himself disengaged from every personal tie, but not alienated from human sympathies, it had been his taste, his humour he called it, to spend a great portion of his time in hospitals and lazar houses.

He had found a wayward pleasure, he refused to name it a virtue, in tending a description of people, who had long ceased to expect kindness or friendliness from mankind, but were content to accept the reluctant services which the often-times unfeeling instruments and servants of these well-meant institutions deal out to the poor sick people under their care.

It is not medicine, it is not broths and coarse meats, served up at a stated hour with all the hard formalities of a prison,it is not the scanty dole of a bed to die on--which dying man requires from his species.

Looks, attentions, consolations,—in a word, sympathies, are what a man most needs in this awful close of mortal sufferings. A kind look, a smile, a drop of cold water to the parched lipfor these things a man shall bless you in death.

And these better things than cordials did Allan love to administer---to stay by a bedside the whole day, when something disgusting in a patient's distemper has kept the very nurses at a distance—to sit by, while the poor wretch got a little sleepand be there to smile upon him when he awoke—to slip a guinea, now and then, into the hands of a nurse or attendantthese things have been to Allan as privileges, for which he was content to live, choice marks, and circumstances, of his Maker's goodness to him.

And I do not know whether occupations of this kind be not a spring of purer and nobler delight (certainly instances of a more disinterested virtue) than arises from what are called Friendships of Sentiment.

Between two persons of liberal education, like opinions, and common feelings, oftentimes subsists a Vanity of Sentiment, which disposes each to look upon the other as the only being in the universe worthy of friendship, or capable of understanding it,--themselves they consider as the solitary receptacles of all that is delicate in feeling, or stable in attachment: —when the odds are, that under every green hill, and in every crowded street, people of equal worth are to be found, who do more good in their generation, and make less noise in the doing of it.

It was in consequence of these benevolent propensities I have been describing, that Allan oftentimes discovered con

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siderable inclinations in favour of my way of life, which I have before mentioned as being that of a surgeon. He would frequently attend me on my visits to patients; and I began to think, that he had serious intentions of making my profession his study.

He was present with me at a scene--a death-bed scene -I shudder when I do but think of it.

I was sent for the other morning to the assistance of a gentleman who had been wounded in a duel,--and his wounds, by unskilful treatment, had been brought to a dangerous crisis.

The uncommonness of the name, which was Matravis, suggested to me, that this might possibly be no other than Allan's old enemy. Under this apprehension, I did what I could to dissuade Allan from accompanying me— but he seemed bent upon going, and even pleased himself with the notion, that it might lie within his ability to do the unhappy man some service. So he went with me.

When we came to the house, which was in Soho-Square, we discovered that it was indeed the man -the identical Matravis, who had done all that mischief in times past—but not in a condition to excite any other sensation than pity in a heart more hard than Allan's.

Intense pain had brought on a delirium--we perceived this on first entering the room—for the wretched man was raving to himself—talking idly in mad unconnected sentences, --that yet seemed, at times, to have a reference to past facts.

One while he told us his dream. " He had lost his way on a great heath, to which there seemed no end—it was cold, cold, cold—and dark, very dark—an old woman in leadingstrings, blind, was groping about for a guide”-and then he frightened me,--for he seemed disposed to be jocular, and sang a song

about an old woman clothed in grey," and said, - he did not believe in a devil."

Presently - he bid us "not tell Allan Clare"—Allan was hanging over him at that very moment, sobbing.—I could not resist the impulse, but cried out, " This is Allan Clare,— Allan Clare is come to see you, my dear Sir."—The wretched man did not hear me, I believe, for he turned his head away, and began talking of charnel houses, and dead men, and " whether they knew anything that passed in their coffins."

Matravis died that night.




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