A distinguished man lay on his deathbed, when a great mark of distinction and honour was brought to him. Turning a cold glance on the treasure he would once have clutched with an eager grasp, he said, with a sigh, "Alas! this is a very fine thing in this country, but I am going to a country where it will be of no use to me."
Who can reflect, without sadness, on the closing moments of the gallant General Neil? His life-long dream had been to obtain the little baton and ribbon of Marshal of France. He could not sleep after seeing it conferred on McMahon, as a reward of valour in the battle of Magenta. Before the next engagement, he told his friends that this time he would win the prize he so much coveted. The conflict was over, and they sought him anxiously upon the gory field. They found him almost crushed beneath his war-horse, and the practiced eye of the surgeon told him that life would soon be over. Word was sent to the emperor, who quickly arrived, and taking from his own breast the badge of Marshal of France, he placed it above the heart of his faithful follower. The lifelong dream was realised, and with a single throb of exultant joy and gratitude he threw his arms about the neck of his sovereign—the next instant he fell back in the embrace of a stronger king.
O, how can we struggle, and toil, and distract our hearts from the one great purpose of life, simply to gather about us possessions which, though they may be very fine things in this country, "will be of no use to us in the country we are so shortly going to."