given an asperity to his temper, and made him almost a hater of the human race; and these feelings had lent their character to his countenance, marking its naturally harsh expression with suspicion and melancholy.
He was about five-and-twenty when the pangs and the terrors of death fell upon her whom he regarded as his parent. She died--as a sinner dies--with insulted eternity frowning to receive her. A few minutes before her death, she desired the cripple to approach her bedside. She fixed her closing eyes, which affection had never lighted, upon his. She informed him that he was not her son.
"Oh, tell me, then, whose son I am! Who are my parents?" he exclaimed, eagerly. "Speak! speak!"
"Your parents!" she muttered; and remorse and ignorance held her departing soul in their grasp. She struggled; she again continued: "Your parents! no, Ebenezer, no! I dare not name them! I have sworn--I have sworn! and a death-bed is no time to break an oath!"
"Speak! speak! Tell me, as you hope fo