Chapter 39666070

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1898-04-30
Page Number2
Word Count794
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLaunceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)
Trove TitleThe Children in the Snow. A True Story
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CHAPTER IV. George Green was lying at the bot tom of a precipice, from which it was plain he had fallen. Sarah Green was found at the smminit of the precipice. From the position of the bodies it was conjectured that the husband had de sired his wife to pause for a, few minutes, wrapping her meanwhile in his own great coat while he ad vanced and sought to reconnoitre the prospect, and, by a glimpse of some familiar object, rocky peak, or tarn or peat-field, make sure of their situation. He had probably been blinded by tale snowstorm, or deceived as to the na ture of the ground in front- of him, for the precipice over which he had fallen nas but a, fewv yards from the point at which he had evidently quitted'his info. The surface of the snow about him was quite undisturbed. HIe had pro bably died without a. struggle; it might be without a groan. It was re membered afterwards in Langdalehead thatbon the night of the sale a. furious wind had borne with it the sound of wild shrieks from the mountains. It was. thought that these were the agonising cries of the poor wife in her utter misery and desolation when it becanme clear to her, past doubt of

hope, that her husband was lost to. her, and that her own fate was sealed.. Her position had been a frightful one.. Supposing her husbahd to have suf fered much ere death came to him at. the bottom of the precipice, the sound of his plaints and moans must have. reached her ears as she rested above,. helpless, cruelly adding to'her an guish. It. was thought that she had remained stationary in the attitude in which her husband had left her,. exhausted with fatigue, paralysed by fear, until she had gradually perished of exposure. The husband and wife, 'had kept together to the very. point at which, he below .the rock. and. she' above it, their sufferings had ter minated. Traces of their footfalls could be found in the snow, only half- obliterated by later falls. They had. wandered miles and miles awaM y from the right path, oftentimes crossing and doubling back upon their own track. By the time they. reached the high and remote: rock at which death befell them, their fatigue must. have bee.n excessive, and all chance of escape must have been over for both of them. They were further from home then when they ,had started: from Langdale. They were miles from any human habitation. It was possible that some time before reach-' ing the rock George Green might have sacved himself singly, had he been cruel enough to desert his companion. But it was not to be supposed that a man of any feeling would abandon his poor fainting wife under such cir cumstances. The funeral of the ill-fated man and wife was attended by all the dwellers in the vale. The poet Wordsworth wrote memorial stasnzas upon the occa sion, beginning Who weeps for strangers? Many wept For George and Sarah Green; Wept for that pair's unhappy fate, Whose graves may here be seen. By night upon these stormy fells, Did wife and husband roam; Six little ones at home had left, And could not find that home. And concluding- Oh, darkness of the grave! how deep After that living night That last and dreary living one Of sornow and affright! Oh, sacred marriage bed of death! That keeps them side by side In bond of peace, in bond of love That may not be united. After the funeral, a distribution of' the children took place among the wealthier families of the neighbour hood. There was a generous struggle to be foremost in rendering help to·. the poor orphans, and even the hum blest dwellers in the vale put in their claim to bear some part of the neces sary expenses that had to be incurred. The Wordsworth family acknowledged' a peculiar interest in the future wel fare of the children, and they re% ceived one of them into their own household. On their behalf a subscription list was opened. The Royal Family were made acquainted with the facts of the case, and were especially interested in the story of the suffering children.. in the snow. Queen Charlotte and three of 'the royal princesses became contributors to the fund, and from the: towers of Windsor Castle came kind messages of enquiry concerning, and" expressions of sympathy with, the humble memoir of thd unfortunate' family, and Do Quincey, in his "Recol lections of the Lakes," has set forth: the story at considerable length, and after his most eloquent fashion. ' Prom these sources have been derived the" facts above recited. (Concluded.) 9-~-