Tales Of A Traveller, By Washington Irving

 -  I sat
down by his bed-side, and watched him, but he never spoke again. My
presence, however, gave him - Page 210
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I Sat Down By His Bed-Side, And Watched Him, But He Never Spoke Again.

My presence, however, gave him evident satisfaction - for every now and then, as he looked at me, a vague smile would come over his visage, and he would feebly point to the sealed box on the table.

As the day wore away, his life seemed to wear away with it. Towards sunset, his hand sunk on the bed and lay motionless; his eyes grew glazed; his mouth remained open, and thus he gradually died.

I could not but feel shocked at this absolute extinction of my kindred. I dropped a tear of real sorrow over this strange old man, who had thus reserved his smile of kindness to his deathbed; like an evening sun after a gloomy day, just shining out to set in darkness. Leaving the corpse in charge of the domestics, I retired for the night.

It was a rough night. The winds seemed as if singing my uncle's requiem about the mansion; and the bloodhounds howled without as if they knew of the death of their old master. Iron John almost grudged me the tallow candle to burn in my apartment and light up its dreariness; so accustomed had he been to starveling economy. I could not sleep. The recollection of my uncle's dying scene and the dreary sounds about the house, affected my mind. These, however, were succeeded by plans for the future, and I lay awake the greater part of the night, indulging the poetical anticipation, how soon I would make these old walls ring with cheerful life, and restore the hospitality of my mother's ancestors.

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