Page images
PDF
EPUB

in such wet weather, is likely to make is received by E. and her friends with her ill; and when she does call, she the same respect as ever.

She is not steals an hour from other pressing duties, ashamed to walk with S. through the and says, that she always comes when they town, or to seat her at her table when permit; but, where there is a will, there there is company; nor when a haughty is a way,' and if she really loved me, she female, who employed S., thought fit to might contrive to be with me oftener.” wound her feelings by rudeness, did E. These are unreasonable demands. hesitate to reprove that person, and as

L-, directly he gains admission to sert the rights of her friend, in such a the society of a friend, begins to apply style, as made the proud and harsh beto him for money, to patch up his almost haviour of the other appear most conruined credit ; a loan clenches his good temptible. Nor is poor S. the only opinion ; ever so prudent a refusal, to daughter of aflliction befriended by E. ; ever so unreasonable a request, severs she is noted for never forsaking her his attachment in an instant.

friends in their poverty, so long as their K. surrounds himself with friends, conduct is correct. who can afford to give him luxurious en- A wise distinction is to be made betertainments. Take away the good din- tween the poor, and the ill conducted. ners, and choice wines, and the cement Y. is a character whom none of his reof their union is lost.

spectable friends can notice with proFashionable friendships are of all priety, not on account of his poverty, others, perhaps, the most heartless. though that is the effect chiefly of his Mrs. A. calls on Mrs. B.; they flatter ill conduct, but on account of his moral and compliment each other in the most degradation, which is almost complete. fulsome style, and separate to entertain Time after time have kind friends, hopthe next circle they meet, by holding ing for his amendment, placed him in each other up to contempt and ridicule. respectable situations ; but he loses one Mrs. M. will not bestow the favour of by his idleness, another by intoxication, her invitations upon those whom it would and a third by carelessness or passion. be a credit to know for their piety, their Meanwhile talents, and prudence; but she courts

The clothes that are on him are turning to rags, one for her fine house, another for her

And thus he goes on till he starves or he begs." title, another because she moves in a fashionable circle.

Can the best disposed cherish friendship From one she hopes for an introduc- with such a being ? tion ; from another the use of her car- Wis a charming companion: he riage ; and, with regard to a third, it has wit at will; has seen life in its will be counted an honour for her card varied aspects ; he is talented; persons to be left on the table.

who meet him are delighted with him, and To forsake our friends in their poverty hold themselves in readiness to serve is cruel indeed. I know an interesting him : but he is touchy and proud; an instance of that genuine friendship, unintentional word offends him, a thouwhich follows its object from the sum- sand would not persuade him to yield. mit of good fortune, step by step, down - has the character of being a into the vale of obscurity, and there most friendly woman. sheds its benign influence.

sip: not a funeral, a lying-in, an hysS. and E. were young friends in very teric fit, or a wedding, but she is full of respectable circumstances. After the officiousness. She seeks excitement, she marriage of S., a series of afflictions loves to be amused. The dull routine of bowed down her spirit: her friend E. was duty in her own family, is neglected,

at hand to sympathize. Poverty and this neglect is interpreted into a disfollowed at the heels of other misfor- interested sacrifice offered on the shrine tunes; E. was as kind as before the for- of true friendship; whereas, it is really a tunes of S. declined. S. became a personal gratification, partaking of curiwidow, with a dependent family. E. osity, (

(so dear to woman's heart,) was not ashamed to own her friend, or to novelty, perhaps a portion of kindness, help her to obtain charity.

S. is now

and a great deal of bad taste. “Oh,' living in a very humble abode, her dress said L- when her cousin died in her

and mean; she looks like what arms, 66 what a scene I had to encounshe is, a decayed lady. E. moves in the ter ! The children were neglected same sphere as she always occupied. S. little objects, their clothes turned to rags .

I call her a gos

ever

[ocr errors]

is poor

was

for want of mending ; the house dirty , ing, to declare that he would withdraw from the cellar to the garret; every clo- his name, and have no more to do with set was untidy, nor was there one useful the society. In his friendships, he shows article in readiness; valuable goods the same touchy and capricious temper. were found spoiled by carelessness : my H— loves novelty in friendship; heart ached to see it all.” This heart- she is introduced to a person respecting ache, however, instead of being assuaged whom she knows but little ; she is deby endeavouring to better the condition lighted with the manners of this new acof things, appeared to be relieved only quaintance, a rapid interchange of visitby making known, to a whole neighbour- ing takes place, and she speaks of her new hood, the faults of the departed, whose friend with an excitement of pleasure. I dying breath had commended her help- know one instance, in which the wife of a less orphans to the care of this tatler. swindler, newly settled in the village, be.

How much more charitable would it came her intimate companion, and proved have been to have cast a veil over the the source of much discredit and anxiety failings of one who could no longer de- to her. Another time, she formed a fend herself, and, as a disinterested friendship with a stranger, who shortly friend, to have done all that was possible after embezzled large property, for the house of mourning.

missing in the night, and has never been

heard of since. I believe these proved “ Now in that house you're sure of knowing to the necessity of some knowThe slightest scrap of news that's going.”

ledge of character before fixing upon her I fear that this is too true a descrip- friends ; but she still forms hasty attachtion of many families, who, nevertheless, ments, which disappoint her expectations, pass for worthy people. Suspect, read and are broken off as suddenly as they er, that your's is a gossiping friendship were commenced. if you are a frequent visitor at such Let us, in our intercourse with those houses, sitting, perhaps, for hours, to the we value, endeavour equally to avoid too neglect of your duties at home, hearing great familiarity and reserve; for each and communicating gossip; these meet- tends to check the growth of genuine ings are hotbeds in which the rank weeds friendship. of mischief spring and flourish. G- To take uncourteous freedoms, and knows other persons' business better utter rude speeches, is surely a bad way than her own; she surrounds herself of manifesting the warmth of our atwith idlers, who will prate for a whole tachment. To throw off respectful manmorning about the dress, affairs, and ners is at all times to lay ourselves open even motives of their neighbours. G- to well-merited dislike.

The unconhas also vanity enough to suppose that strained ease which should characterize she is an object of observation and in- our friendly intercourse, and which forms terest to all about her-a centre towards one of its delightful features, must never which almost every action of her neigh- degenerate into a habit of taking unwarbours, in some measure, has a bearing. rantable liberties, which, though the Her first eager question is, “Was my aggressor may not be sensible enough to name mentioned at such and such a perceive and avoid, the subject of them

Her second, “What was said may keenly feel, and not hesitate to reof this, that, and the other person ?" sent. Let it not be supposed that the Those who will feed her vitiated appetite writer would here advocate an undue or with a tale of flattery, or call up and formal attention to that worldly etiquette, join her indignation by repeating how a breach of which is considered to be she was defamed, are held to be her sin- unpardonable among a certain class : far cere friends.

from it; for this might partake of the The conduct of R- always reminds nature of fashionable friendship, which me of a wayward child among its com- has been already deprecated. panions, who, if it cannot have its own Nor would I wish that love and will, perpetually cries out, “ Then I esteem should hide itself under a rewon't play,” and whimpering, retires to served exterior ; rough-handed familiarsulk in a corner.

If Ꭱ . meets a ity crushes the fair flowers of friendship; committee, and the members venture to but a cold and heartless behavour kills differ from him, and carry their point the root. ever so fairly, he has been known, two Thus I have endeavoured to point out or three times in the course of an even- some few things relating to friendship,

party ?"

66

so; for

which I have observed as exceptionable. | dently shows that their language, a Let me conclude this part of my sketch good index of the mind, did not possess by suggesting, that in this introductory a name to denote the Divine Being. state of being we must not expect per- The Bushmen, again, descended, as fection. Alas! we have no right to do I presume, from the Hottentot tribes,

as in water face answereth to are, of all the inhabitants of South face,” we behold but the picture of our Africa, the most wretched and degraded. own in the faults of our friends. They are the common pirates of the

desert, and, in many instances, they have been compelled to become so by

the cruelty and avarice of those who IGNORANCE OF GOD IN SOUTH AFRICA. have taken possession of their lands,

We have heard of the praying mantis their game, and their wild honey. They of the Hottentots, and it has been said have neither house nor hall. Their most that they yielded some kind of homage delightful home is in the unfrequented to that insect. To what extent this desert, or secluded recesses of a cave, homage prevailed among that people, or ravine. They remove from place to and what was its nature, I have never place as convenience or necessity rebeen able to learn, as I have never met quires, when a few branches and a little with one of that people who knew any grass constitute the materials of their thing on the subject. The Namaquas humble domiciles. They have neither and Corannas, who lie far beyond the flocks nor herds, and their earthly all Hottentot tribes, and who are the same the females carry on their backs. Though people, having the same customs and shrewd in their minds, and active in possessing the same nondescript lan- their dispositions, they have no name guage, know nothing of such a worship. nor knowledge of a Divine Being. During my stay among the Great Na- When the missionaries commenced maquas, beyond the Great Orange river, their labours among the Bechuanas, a where the Hottentot nation may be seen people distinct, and in many, respects in its original and unmixed state, I superior to those tribes we have just have often taken up the mantis in my been describing, did they find among hand, and put the question to the gentle, them any thing like idolatry, religion, the simple, the wise, and the unwise; or religious awe? No, they found a but the reply invariably was, We never nation of infidels! They possessed a heard of such a worship. The name copious language, a social and patriand the only name which these tribes archal government, and manners and have for God, is Tsuikuap, which, in customs indicating that they had deits etymological derivation, signifies nei- scended from generations farther adther more

nor less than a sore, or vanced in knowledge than the present. wounded knee. How this appellation But was there any thing like legends was applied to the Divine Being, I can- among them, or altar dedicated even not conceive; for all that is known of to an unknown god, to which the misthis great Tsuikuap, or wounded knee, sionary could appeal ? No! I stand is, that he was a great sorcerer, or per- here as a living witness to testify, that haps, with more probability, a chief of my ears have been hundreds of times ancient renown. The only instance of stunned with roars of laughter, when superstitious fear that I ever witnessed with my veteran and faithful brother among the Great Namaquas was at a Hamilton, I have been labouring to invillage where I was sojourning. During form their darkened minds, and conthe night, the village was attacked by vince them that there was one mightier lions, and the women were loud and than man, even the mighty God, the long in their cries and complaints against Creator of the ends of the earth; and my the sorcerer, who, they maintained, had eyes have often beheld their derision and entered into the lions to revenge their scorn when reasoning with them on creaingratitude to him for some services tion, providence, and redemption. The which he considered were not suffici- name for the Supreme Being adopted by ently awarded.

our first interpreters, was certainly the The Kafirs on the south-east coast most suitable, and seemed to us to be have adopted the same Tsuikuap, or all that remained of what once was-a Utiko of the Hottentots, which evi- name which is nearly the same with the

[ocr errors]

MALTA.

66

Syriac, having the same signification, in its etymological import, namely, the It appears from Homer, that the high or heavenly One. But the views earliest inhabitants of this rock were the entertained by the few who knew any Phenicians. They are fabulously, rething about it, were the very reverse garded as giants, and “a ruin still exists,” of what the name implies; for all that says the Rev. S. S. Wilson,

not far they knew on the subject, was what from my residence, called the Giant's they had heard from people in the Tower. In 1519, before the Incarnanorth ; namely, that this Morimo was tion, the Phenicians took the island, a thing that lived in a hole under a hill, and held it 448 years; after which they and being wise and cunning, sometimes were expelled by the Greeks; these by came out and did malicious deeds, in the warlike inhabitants of Carthage, and killing cattle and inflicting diseases. But the latter in their turn yielded to the so little reverence had they for this Romans in the first Punic war, when foreign deity, if such it might be called, Attalus took possession of the place. that I have heard them frequently say, It was during their occupation that the * We wish we could get hold of this holy apostle Paul was cast upon these Morimo, and we would transfix it with shores, in the reign of Tiberius, and the our spears !” This Morimo, known to creek where he was stranded retains few, was only kept in remembrance by the name of St. Paul's Bay. The first sorcerers and rain makers, and some- time I visited this creek was in 1820, times used as a bugbear. We could not when I killed a serpent near the spot possibly offend such a people by telling where the blessed man shook one from them that their gods were no gods, his hand. Paul planted a church here. or that they were an ungodly nation. One, ten minutes' walk from my house, Our greatest difficulty was to get them still bears the name of St. Publius, the either to think or reason with us on individual named in Acts xxviii. Alas! these subjects. They were to them the gospel introduced by St. Paul has sounds without sense, and it only ex- been long supplanted by another goscited their wonder that we should per- pel.' Rome has laid her withering severe in talking to them about things hand on the once pure church of Malta, so palpably inconsistent with all the and replaced its truth by a system of ideas that ever passed through their paganism baptised with a Christian minds. I have visited many tribes, and name.” conversed with individuals from many interior nations, but I never could, in one instance, discover that they had the shadow of an idea, that there ex

THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE. isted any thing to be feared or loved beyond what could be tasted, seen, or The Scriptures come to us as absolute felt. I have, many times over, directed truth, pure from any admixture of errors; them to the starry heavens, the beau- we are therefore to receive them, not as the tiful order and succession of the seasons, words of man, which ought always to day and night, and the endless variety be canvassed and examined, but as the of the handiworks of God; but alas! words of God, who can neither deceive they never raised their thoughts so high, nor be deceived, whose knowledge is like brutes they lived, like brutes they truth, and his essence is reality. Every died. Did time permit, I could give communication from God is not only you many instances of their deplorable true, but imperative. It is the will of ignorance, some of them too ludicrous him whose will must be done. The for the present solemn occasion, while authority of Scripture is therefore the we are pleading for never-dying souls, authority of God. Whatever is affirmed and endeavouring to bring the depth in the sacred volume is proved. “It of their misery to bear on your Chris- is written” is a decision which admits tian sympathies. Often have I been of no appeal. Every sentence in the compelled to smile at their egregious Bible is as much sanctioned by the ignorance, while my heart was heaving place which it occupies, as if, like the the deep sigh, to see the image of God law given upon Mount Sinai, it were so lost, and lost in the grossest darkness. ratified by all the thunders of the hea. -Rev. R. Moffat.

vens.- Douglas.

OLD HUMPHREY'S COUNTRY

GRATIFICATIONS.

I like the heath-covered mountain and How different are the tastes of differ the bright yellow-blossomed furze; the

the moor; the broken ground, thick with ent people ! I will now tell you a few of red sandy rock, festooned with pendant my country gratifications ; I have already plants and clinging ivy; and the lonely noted down some of those which I enjoy pond, choked up with long grass, flags, in the town. Solitude has its advantages and bulrushes. ' I like to slake my thirst as well as society.

at the spring in the hollow of the green Times of relaxation may be made bank; to see the yellow frog leap from doubly sweet if our eyes are quick to ob- the brink into the crystal water, graceserve the beauties of our common scenes, fully diving to the bottom; and to gather and our hearts grateful to Him, who has fresh green water cresses in the limpid scattered about our every day path in- brook. numerable objects of loveliness and in

I like to steal behind the old oaks in a terest. I like to sit on the edge of a dry ditch, the deer, and the timid fawn, as they

park, approaching unperceived the stag, where the dog rose, and the bramble, lie in their lairs among the fern, or and wild convolvolus, are seen; and the browze among the moss and tufted chickweed and hayrif grow together, grass. To hide myself in the wood, with the dandelion. I like to stand in that I may see the nimble squirrel an old stone quarry, gorgeous with hang, mounting the tall trees, and springing to ing creepers. I love to mutter to myself his dray, or leaping from branch to in the lonely lane, to speak aloud in branch, poised by his spreading tail. the fields, and to sing on the wide-spread I like to sit in a retired nook, on the common, with my heart as well as my brink of a stream, overhung with tantongue

gled brushwood, watching the fish leap“When all thy mercies, O my God, ing from the waves, and the moor hen

My rising soul surveys;
Transported with the view, I'm lost

plashing among the roots of the trees, In wonder, love, and praise."

under the high bank; and to stand on I like to listen to the simmering the edge of an old moat, whose dark sound of the grasshopper; the rapid and neglected waters are covered with tapping of the woodpecker against the the broad leaves of the water lily, when hollow tree; the creaking cry of the the rat ventures forth, pushing his imcorn drake in the mowing grass ; the peded way to the island in the midst, or mellow pipe of the blackbird in the plunging suddenly beneath the water. the melodious

song

of the throstle I like the singing and the flight of in the copse, and the sweet melancholy birds ; the waving of the yellow corn in music of the nightingale in the wood. the wind; the breezy, whispering sound

I like to see the ploughman at his of the leaves on the trees, and the sedge work early, whistling a sprightly tune, on the river's side; I love the fresh while the lark is warbling above him; foliage of spring, the ruddy glow of the shepherd, as he goes forth in the summer, the rich tints of autumn, and grey of the morning, with his shaggy dog; the bracing air of a winter's day. the hedger, with his mittens, boots, and bill I like to sit on a stile, under a spreadhook; and the mole catcher laden with ing oak, when the sun is somewhat dehis traps. I like to look on the mower clining in the west; to watch the busy as he scythes down the long grass ; to world on the wing, the birds warbling hear the laugh of the merry haymakers ; above me, the butterfly fluttering joyand to see the reapers cutting the corn, ously, in the sun, the gnats dancing in and gathering the sheaves into the gar- the air, and the dragon fly darting along

the surface of the running stream. I I like to gather field flowers, the pale love to fling bits of paper into the babprimrose, the yellow cowslip, the purple bling brook, and to watch their course; violet, and the daffodil, dancing in the to gaze on the clear bright water as it breeze; to pick up the snow-white ripples over the red sand or polished mushroom from the dewy grass, to pluck pebble stones; and to follow, with scrutihazel nuts in the coppice, and the ripe nizing glance, the sharded beetle as he blackberry from the straggling thorn. hides himself in the grass. He who cannot feel thankful to God for I like to wander in a wood, when the a blackberry, has no right to pluck it winds are abroad; when the trunks of from its thorny stem.

the trees bend, the branches creak, and

brake;

ner.

« PreviousContinue »