Imatges de pÓgina
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whole force of a summer sun poured down upon its devoted head, without even the shelter of a leaf or a bough to protect it.* The poor creature lay at the bottom of its cage, gasping for breath, and was unfurnished with either food or water. So strongly did I feel moved to pity by its unfortunate condition, that I determined to intercede in its behalf. I knocked repeatedly with my knuckles on the door; but receiving no answer, I gently raised the latch, and found myself in a small low apartment, which appeared to answer the double purpose of a kitchen and a living room.

The scene which now presented itself was worthy the pencil of a Wilkie or a Hunt. There was but one human being present; but from her I could not take my eyes. Nay now, gentle reader, repress that smile, which is curling your lip so disdainfully, and cease your bantering remarks; for methinks I hear you say, "Now for a love adventure; the author has mounted his highflyer, and is going to rave about dimpled cheeks, pearly teeth, and dove-like eyes, in a strain more befitting a midshipman in her Majesty's navy, than a sober, middle-aged gentleman, who wears short gaiters, and carries two seals to his watch." No, my dear friend, there were neither dimples, teeth, nor even eyes to be seen; for these last were closed in sleep and as for the two first, they had long taken a final leave of the person before me. In sober parlance she was an old woman-a very old woman-and one who bore no traces of ever having been remarkable for personal attractions. What then, you will say, could I see so interesting about her? I scarcely know myself; perhaps it was the whole scene together that pleased me; there was, besides, an air of neatness and comfort in the interior of the cottage, which the outside did not lead one to expect.

Seeing that my entrance into this dwelling did not awake its inmate, who still continued to slumber in her high-backed chair, I hesitated what to do; but being, like the good dame before me, rather overcome with the heat of the weather, I took possession of a vacant seat, and began to look about me. The old-fashioned, one-handed clock, ticked solemnly in its tall and well-polished case; and the walnut-wood dresser was garnished with its holiday plates; but the large open chimney pleased me the most; it was capacious enough to form a little room of itself. The massive fire-dogs, of cast iron, seemed as if they had once belonged to the

Similar acts of brutal cruelty may at this season be witnessed daily, both in town and country. Innocent birds, as we have repeatedly said, are a doomed race.- -ED. K. J.

hall of some baronial mansion, and accorded well with the stout iron plate which defended the chimney-back from the fire.

Across the mantel-piece was stretched a small valance of printed cotton, over which was suspended, in a neat black frame, a picture of the Nativity, upon which the artist had not been sparing of his colors. On either side of this, hung a china medallion; upon that on the right was inscribed, "Prepare to meet thy God," and on its companion, "Lay hold on eternal life." Near the fire-place stood a quaint-looking arm-chair, the seat of which was covered with a well-worn calf-skin. But to return to the old woman: there she sat near the ample chimney, and by the side of a small round table, whose three legs each terminated in a claw holding a ball. Before her lay a few of those miscellaneous articles which are supposed to be necessary to the art of stitchery. In the midst of these things sat a pretty tortoiseshell kitten, diving its little busy paw into the recesses of the work-basket, and making a glorious confusion amongst the cotton and bobbins: luckily for her, all this mighty mischief was unperceived by her mistress, who still continued her nap.

The work upon which the good woman had been engaged, was the knitting of a stocking; and though the grasp of her fingers was unloosed from the pins, they were frequently moved by the convulsive twitchings of an uneasy sleep. The ball of worsted had rolled into the middle of the room, assisted perhaps by the same mischievous agency that was at work amongst the cottons.

The slumbers of the person before me were by no means tranquil; ever and anon she sighed bitterly; and once I thought that I saw a tear stealing from under her eye-lashes. "Poor soul!" thought I, "you, too, have tasted of the bitterness of life!" It seemed to me also, as if she had known better days; for her dress, though made of coarse materials, and in a byegone fashion, had something about it above that of a common cottager. Her silvery hair was neatly parted below her plaited cap-frill, and her neckerchief was of snowy whiteness. She was a little woman, of a spare habit; and though there was nothing approaching to a lady about her, yet she did not look exactly like a village goody.

At length, with a heavy sigh, she awoke; and, contrary to my expectation, manifested but little surprise at seeing me before her. It is true I have not much the appearance of either a housebreaker or a pedlar. She did not even ask my business, but mechanically resuming her knitting, she quietly informed me that her nephew would be home from his work in a few minutes, as the clock

had gone five, and that Susan had stepped out to Mrs. Simmons's with some clothes to mangle.

"You seem to have been enjoying a comfortable sleep, ma'am," said I; for, with my usual absence of mind, I had quite forgotten the original cause of my entering the cottage.

"Indeed I have, sir," she replied; "but bless me, here have I dropped one, two, three stitches, while I have been dozing. Well-a-day, sleep's a refreshing thing, come when it will. It makes one forget all one's troubles, though new ones do seem to rise up ever a-while in one's dreams. Do you believe in dreams, sir?

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Why, partly, madam," said I, willing to fall in with her humor; "I must say I think there is sometimes more in them than most people will allow."

"Do you think so, sir?" she replied, rather eagerly; "I have oftentimes strange dreams myself; one in particular, which returns to me again and again.'

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"I should like to hear it," said I. "Ah! sir, it would tire the like of you to be listening to an old woman's dreams. There's my nevey, whenever I say any thing about them, he tells me I am growing childish; and Susan, too, begins to talk to me about the march of intellect, and all manner of things, that I never heard of when I was young."

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"Young people will presume a little upon their education now-a-days, ma'am.”

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"But they are very kind to me too, sir. Five years, next Martinmas, I have lived with them. Once I had children and a husband, but now all are gone, and it appears to me like a dream that I was once a wedded wife. Oh! the long weary years that have passed over my head since those happy days! It seems almost as if death had forgotten me. Around me I see falling the and healthy; fathers and mothers, the young wife and the only child; whilst I, who have none to care for me, still live on. Sometimes, in my dreams, I seem to die, and pass into another world, so bright, so beautiful, and peopled with familiar forms; when I wake up to the dull cold reality of this life, I feel almost angry at being recalled to sufferings and infirmities which seemed to have left me for ever. Even while you have been sitting here sir, one of these dreams which I mentioned to you has been busy with my mind, and which, as you wish it, I will relate to you. I must have fallen asleep with my eyes open, for I recollect perfectly that at first I saw everything in the room as distinctly as I now see it. I heard the clock tick, and watched the flickering shade of the rose tree upon the casement, but I had not the power to move

or speak. I felt exceedingly faint, and gradually a kind of mistiness seemed to come between me and the objects in the room; they appeared to get further off, yet larger. A chilly feeling crept over me; it came first in my hands and feet, and seemed gradually to invade my whole frame, till my heart itself was frozen and lost the power of beating. The shade deepened, till all was dark, and a feeling of icy coldness seemed to wrap me round on every side; this, in its turn, faded away into total insensibility. Gradually came returning consciousness, accompanied by a feeling of being poised in the air. I could as yet see nothing, but all around was a rushing, rustling sound, as of angels' wings. *** The vision returned to me, and the air seemed alive with beautiful forms, which came thronging round in countless myriads; thousands of sweet voices were singing the praises of the most high, and other spirits seemed to be journeying the same road with myself. * After a long flight, gradually rocks, mountains, trees, and rivers became visible, and I found myself in a garden more beautiful than it can enter into the imagination of man to conceive; cool fountains, mossy dells, and the sweetest flowers were on every side; the spirits of those I loved on earth came thronging round to welcome me. Though they had neither shape nor form, I knew them for friends; and my heart yearned towards them. They appeared but as the small pale light of a glow-worm, shining from its leafy bower. of my youth, long lost, and ever mourned; Here again I seemed to rejoin the husband and a still small voice gently whispered, in accents once familiar- Mother!'"

**

from her eyes the tears which were slowly Here the poor old woman paused, to wipe stealing down her furrowed cheeks.

Poor weary soul! Who knows, thought I, whether this dream of thine be not a fore

shadowing of the future? Why should we strive to make Death a King of Terrors? Rather let us think of him as a herald of bliss. Weep not for the dead!

CHILDHOOD.

H. HARKNESS.

Hark! the whoop of merry voices-
Hark! to childhood's roundelay;
How the human heart rejoices

In its wild and boundless play!
In its never-ceasing gladness,

In its innocence and mirth-
Who could yield to grief or sadness

While such music glads the earth? Happy, merry, sunny childhood, Wheresoe'er thy bright smiles beIn the household or the wild wood Thou'rt a thing of joy to me!

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SNOW & STEAM,—A REMARKABLE SIGHT.

CLIMBING over a layer of congealed snow, hardened, I imagine, by the falling steam of the hot spring, I saw right before me three jets of steaming water-the largest one several inches in diameter

shooting from the high, steep bank of the little stream, through the massive unyielding rock, and sending the steam high up into the clear atmosphere. The sight was most beautiful. The steep bank, and the boiling hot water, which shot hissing out, while flakes of snow lodged close around the edge of it, was a strange spectacle in such a region of frost. High over the edge of the bank hung an immense quantity of snow, like a monstrous featherbed just ready to slip down by its own weight. The steam kept licking the lower parts of the heap; while the sharp south-wester, which blew through the dale, hardened the crust, and retained the snow in its precarious position. The steam itself congealed and was transformed into icicles, and thus served to prop the snow like so many columns. Out of this self-formed winter palace rose the steam vapor; and the warm sun, shining upon it, changed it into myriads of glowing pearls, tinged with the most radiant and beautiful colors of the rainbow. -GERSTAECKER's Journey Round the World.

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OUR ASYLUMS are now affording proofs innumerable, of the error that exists in the early education of children. Their brain is unfitted for the task assigned it, and in later years the result is insanity. This is just what might be anticipated.

There are two classes of individuals to whom the truth, that the mind influences the body, and through the body itself, ought to be a subject of serious consideration-public men and parents. It is the vice of the age to substitute learning for wisdom, to educate the head, and to forget that there is a more important education necessary for the heart. The reason is cultivated at an age when nature does not furnish the vation of it; and the child is solicited elements necessary to a successful cultito reflection when he is only capable of sensation and emotion. In infancy, the attention and the memory are only excited strongly by things which impress the senses and move the heart; and a father shall instil more solid and available instruction in one goodness are exemplified, seen, and felt, hour spent in the fields, where wisdom and than in a month spent in the study, where they are expounded in stereotyped apho

risms.

No physician doubts that precocious children, in fifty cases for one, are much the worse for the discipline they have undergone. The mind seems to have been strained, and the foundations of insanity are laid. When the studies of maturer years are stuffed into the head of a child, people do

not reflect on the anatomical fact, that the brain of an infant is not the brain of a man; that the one is confirmed, and can bear exertion, the other is growing, and requires repose; that to force the attention to abstract facts, to load the memory with chronological and historical or scientific detail; in short, to expect a child's brain to bear with impunity the exertions of a man's--is just as rational as it would be to hazard the same sort of experiment on its muscles.

The first eight or ten years of life should be devoted to the education of the heart, to the formation of principles, rather than to the acquirement of what is usually termed knowledge. Nature herself points out such a course; for the emotions are then the liveliest, and most easily moulded, being as yet unalloyed by passion. It is from this source that the mass of men are hereafter to draw their sum of happiness or misery; the actions of the immense majority are, under all circumstances, determined much more by feeling than by reflection; in truth, life presents an infinity of occasions where it is essential to happiness that we should feel rightly-very few where it is at all necessary that we should think profoundly.

THE HORRORS OF PRIDE.

BY CHARLES SWAIN.

THOUGH Pride may show some nobleness When honor's its ally,

Yet there is such a thing on earth

As holding heads too high!

The sweetest bird builds near the ground,
The loveliest flower springs low;

And we must stoop for happiness,
If we its worth would know.

Like water that encrusts the rose,
Still hard'ning to its core,
So Pride encases human hearts

Until they feel no more.
Shut up within themselves they live,
And selfishly they end

A life, that never kindness did
To kindred, or to friend!

Whilst Virtue, like the dew of Heaven
Upon the heart descends,

And draws its hidden sweetness out,
The more-as more it bends!
For there's a strength in lowliness
Which nerves us to endure;-
A heroism in distress

Which renders victory sure!

The humblest being born, is great,
If true to his degree;
His virtue illustrates his fate,
Whatever that may be!-
Thus, let us daily learn to love
Simplicity and worth ;-
For not the eagle, but the Dove,
Brought peace unto the earth!

THE YEW TREE

THIS BEAUTIFUL TREE is supposed, in former ages, to have prevailed in Ireland, as an aboriginal, by the number discovered in a fossil state; though at present, there are said to be none but planted yews in that country. Those trees, situated in the accessible parts of the mountains, are generally cut down and brought to market for chairs and steps of ladders; for which use their durability renders them valuable, while others unassailable by man, for a number of years, bid defiance to

The raging tempests and the mountains' roar,
Which bind them to their native hills the more.

Strutt, in his "Sylva Britannica," gives some admirable representations of these inFountain Abbey, Yorkshire, supposed to teresting trees: as the very ancient ones at have existed anterior to the foundation of the monastery, or at least coeval with that date (1128). 26 feet in girt at 3 feet from the ground; and Of six remaining, one measures the Fortingal Yew, in the churchyard, amid the Grampian mountains, though now disjoined by the lapse of many centuries, when entire, according to Pennant, was 56 feet in circumference. At Marthy, Worcestershire, grows one twelve yards round; and an extraordinary tree of the same kind may yet be seen in the palace garden at Richmond, planted three days before the birth of Queen Elizabeth. But still more interesting is the justly celebrated yew, at Ankerwyke, near Staines (fifty feet high, and in girt, three feet above the ground, twenty-seven feet), to which, and the current tradition connected therewith, as standing in the vicinity of Runnymede, Fitzgerald thus alludes :

Here patriot barons might have musing stood, And planned the charter for their country's good.

But for an unrivalled poetical description of extraordinary yew trees, we are indebted to the muse of Wordsworth :

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There is a yew tree, pride of Lorton Vale,
Which to this day stands single in the midst
Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore,
Nor loth to furnish weapons in the hands
Of Umphraville or Percy, ere they marched
To Scotland's heaths, or those that cross'd the

sea,

And drew their sounding bows at Azincour;
Perhaps of early Cressy-or Poictiers.

Of vast circumference, and gloom profound,
This solitary tree! a living thing,
Produced too slowly ever to decay;
Of form and aspect too magnificent

To be destroyed-but worthier still of note

Are those fraternal four of Borrow Dale,
Joined in one solemn and capacious grove;
Huge trunks! and each particular trunk a growth
Of intertwisted fibres serpentine,

Upcoiling, and inocterately convolved,
Nor uninformed with phantasy, and looks

That threaten the profane; a pillared shade,
Upon whose glassy floor of red-brown hue,
By sheddings from the pining umbrage tinged,
Perennially, beneath whose sable roof
Of boughs, as if for festal purpose decked
With unrejoicing berries, ghostly shapes
May meet at noon-tide-Fear and trembling
hope,

Silence and foresight-death the skeleton,
And time the shadow, there to celebrate,
As in a natural temple, scatter'd o'er
With altars undisturbed of mossy stone,
United worship, or in mute repose
To lie, and listen to the mountain flood,
Murmuring from Glennamara's inmost cave.

The cause of the general introduction of the yew tree into cemeteries has been differently surmised. The following explanation seems sufficiently probable. The sacred funeral yew, well calculated to give solemnity to the village churchyard, and from its unchanging foliage and enduring nature, fit emblem of immortality, has ever been associated with religious observances. When anciently it was the custom, as it still is in Catholic countries, to carry palms on Palm Sunday, the yew was substituted on such occasion for the palm.

Two or three trees, the usual number growing in church-yards, were enough for such purposes. Of these, one, at least, was more especially consecrated, and was then estimated at twenty times the value of less hallowed trees of its own kind, and double that of the finest oak, as appears from ancient record. An extract from Caxton's Directions for keeping Feasts all the Year, printed in 1483, may be considered decisive on this subject. In the lecture for Palm Sunday, the writer, after giving the Scripture account of our Saviour's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, proceeds thus: "Wherefore holy chirche this day makyth solemne processyon in mind of the processyon that Cryst made this day. But for eucheson that we have nou olyve that berith green leaf, algate therefore we take ewe instead of palm and olyve, and berin about in processyon, and so is thys day called Palm Sunday."

In confirmation, we may add, that the yews in the church-yards of East Kent are, at this day, called palms. Small branches were likewise wont to be borne at funeral solemnities, and cast into the grave. It is remarkable that bodies interred beneath the shade of trees, return to their pristine dust in a very few years, perhaps one third less time than when deposited in the open ground. This rapid decay may be in some degree occasioned by the perpetual percolation of concentrated moisture, and the comparative absence of sun and air. That our mortal remains should be laid to rest beneath such natural canopy, seems almost an inherent propensity in human nature.

Puss.

"DON'T YOU REMEMBER?" BY ELIZA COOK.

OH! these are the words that eternally utter
The spell that is seldom cast o'er us in vain;
With the wings and the wand of a fairy they flutter,
And draw a charmed circle about us again.
We return to the spot where our Infancy
gambolled;

We linger once more in the haunts of our Youth; We re-tread where young Passion first stealthily rambled,

And whispers are heard full of Nature and Truth, Saying," Don't you remember?"

We treasure the picture where Color seems breathing

In lineaments mocking a long-worshipped face; We are proud of some trees in a chain of close wreathing,

Oh! what is the secret that giveth them power And gold-links of Ophir are poor in its place.

To fling out a star on our darkest of ways? 'Tis the tone of Affection-Life's holiest powerThat murmurs about them, and blissfully says, "Don't you remember ?"

The voice of Old Age, while it tells some old story, Exults o'er the tale with fresh warmth in the As the haze of the twilight e'er deepens the glory

breast;

Of beams that are fast going down in the west. When the friends of our boyhood are gathered around us,

The spirit retraces its wild-flower track; The heart is still held by the strings that first bound us,

And feeling keeps singing, while wandering back,

"Don't you remember?" When those whom we prized have departed for

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I SAW Mount Etna in its winter character at the beginning of March, 1830. Three-fourths of the mountain, namely, the whole of the naked, and almost the whole of the wooded zones, lay beneath an unbroken covering of snow; while, at the base, all the fields were clothed in the brightest green of spring. Peas, beans, and flax, were already in full blossom; the flowers of the almond had fallen, and given place to the leaves; and the fig-leaves were with hyacinths, narcissus, crocuses, anemones, and beginning to unfold. The meadows were decorated countless other flowers. Etna stood there as an enormous cone of snow, with its base encircled by a gigantic wreath of flowers.-SCHOUW's Earth, Plants, and Man.

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