« PreviousContinue »
sustained and forgotten, ere those great hidden world's origin and the beginning of things. riches were disturbed, and brought to light. Any one may be satisfied on this latter point by
" In order to give some idea,” says Hum- referring to the chapter on the Greek philoso: boldt, "of the luxuriance of the vegetation of phers in " Tytler's Universal History.”, the primitive world, and of the immense masses How is every part of this world crowded with of vegetable matter which were doubtlessly ac- proofs of design and of benevolence! There cumulated in currents, and converted in a moist seems not an atom of matter forgotten or neg. condition into coal, I would instance the Saar- lected : like the glasses in a kaleidoscope, the brücker coal measures, where one hundred and simple substances of nature are perpetually as. twenty beds are superposed on one another, in- suming new forms of attractions and usefulness : clusive of a great many which are less than a all is music to the ear, and beauty to the eye. foot in thickness; whilst in the forests of our While there is boundless profusion in nature, temperate zones, the carbon contained in the there is no waste; the debris of yesterday's races trees growing over a certain area would hardly serve to-day a fresh purpose in the economics of suffice, in the space of a hundred years, to cover the world; and while nothing is wanting, neither it with more than a stratum of seven French is anything in excess. Amid so much apparent lines in thickness."
disorder, too, all is order : the materials in the When we know that the depth of the Lanca- cabinet of Nature are arranged with all the regu. shire coal-fields is about one hundred and twenty larity of a nice philosopher; or in cases where feet, this gives us a vivid idea of not only the this order is temporarily deviated from, the er. higher temperature of the earth during the car- ception serves the prosperity of God's creatures boniferous depositions, but also of the immense better than the rule could have done, as in the time it must have required to form and harden instances we have mentioned in some districts the measures.
where the strata have been disturbed to place We have mentioned that the temperature in the metals within the reach of man. creases as we dig below the surface, and to ac- 1. There is a sadness in the reflection that the count for this we may state that geologists very busiest life of study must leave us on a low fora generally believe that the centre of the earth is in the school of knowledge-sad thought, inin a state of fusion, and that volcanoes are, to deed, were this life our only existence; it is
, use a familiar illustration, the safety valves of however, but the lower school; and the Christian the globe. This, of course is theoretical ; yet student, who sees that in the material world it is certainly possible, even probable ; but as everything answers the end of its creation, we cannot test beyond a limited depth by actual cannot doubt that his soul, with its insatiable observation the nature of the earth's strata, we cravings after knowledge-his soul, from whose must be contented to remain uncertain. Our depths the cry“ Excelsior" is perpetually aris
. theory, at any rate, is more reasonable than that ing to heaven, is destined for a life happy and of the Brahmin scriptures, which assert that the glorious ; of which bis present state, in its best world is supported by an elephant, upheld in his aspects, is but a very faint image. turn by a monster tortoise. « On what the tor- It is no strange earth in which we shall lie toise rests,” says Humboldt, “the credulous down until our resurrection: there is no place Brahmin is not permitted to inquire."
in it dark that the eye of Providence is not Here we may draw what appears to us a most perpetually overlooking it; and no atom of our reasonable and fair argument for the truth of composition can be scattered beyond the reach the Bible ; it is this : our scriptures, though of His hand. they have not anticipated, do not, we believe, in With all her wonders, all her beauties, her any instance, when rightly interpreted, contra- myriads of past and present existences, our dict science; whereas the pretended sacred planet is but a point in our system, and our writings of the Brahmins and others contain system but a speck in infinite space ! falsities which an English child would scorn to How well does the language of Job become credit. The Brahmin scriptures in particular our lips —"Surely there is a vein for the silrer, contain false systems, systems of astronomy, &c., and a place for gold, where they fine it. Iron which stamp them as untruthful, when held in is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten the light of modern scientific knowledge. No out of the stone. He (God) setteth an end to degradation of this kind has been the fate of our darkness, and searcheth out all perfection; the Bible: we have, indeed, discovered that our in- stones of darkness and the shadow of death. terpretation of its meaning has, in a few unim- He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he portant instances, been mistaken; but the cor- overturneth the mountains by the roots. LO! rections consequent on such discovery have these are parts of his ways; but how little a porbeen fearlessly made, and the volume of mercy tion is heard of him? but the thunder of his is left intact-and this while the writings of the power who can understand ?” * best of the uninspired ancients are full of absurdities, when they approach the subject of the
* Job, ch. 26 and 28.
A N A M E RICAN S K E T C H.
BY G. B. D.
Her life was short, but fair,
Unsullied by a blot;
So murmur not !
It is the common lot
In a comfortable parlour whose closely-drawn an object of envy to her companions, they all curtains and bright cheerful fire made one forget loved her, that she was so unconscious of her the wintry storm that was raging without--or if evident superiority. thought of, the knowledge but served to enhance “Often have I sat with Clara and her sister the comfort within-a calm and placid matron on the gallery of their cottage home, in the calm was sitting near the fire, and as she plied her stillness of some bright moonlight night, and glittering knitting-needles, ever and anon her listened to her sweet musical voice, as she would sweet serious eyes would rest, with a loving repeat passage after passage from some favourite glance, upon two fair young girls, who were poet, and thought, as I gazed upon her, that she seated at a table in the centre of the rooin, upon herself was as fair as any of the beautiful creawhich stood a globe-lamp. One was busily em- tions of the poet's fancy. ployed with her needle, the other seemingly en- “Our sweet Clara, though portionless, was gaged in looking over a book of prints, but not without admirers, and from among the throwing it down with a half-smothered yawn, many she selected one whose similarity of tastes she exclaimed
seemed to point him out as a fit companion for "What a dull dreary evening! How can you one so gifted. sit sewing there, dear Helen, as if your life de- “I was at her bridal. Always lovely, Clara pended upon every stitch? Throw it by, and looked still lovelier in her wedding-robes, with come and take this seat by mamma. I will the happiness she felt irradiating her sweet seat myself here at her feet, and she will tell us countenance. I shall never forget her father's some of those recollections of her youth, which look of pride as he placed her hand in that of charm us so much; will you not, dear mamma?” her husband, nor the tearful smile of her mother,
The lady smiled and said, as she laid her as she committed her darling to another's guarhand caressingly on the speaker's head- dianship. We all rejoiced at her marriage, for
" Willingly, my dear; but the choice must she had wedded, not only one capable of aprest with you."
preciating the priceless gift of her love, but the "You have often promised, dear mamma, to heir of a wealthy family, and we all felt that one tell us of your early friend, Clara,” said Helen. so frail and delicate should not be exposed to "She was very beautiful, was she not?” the privations entailed by poverty.
"Sweet Clara, she was, indeed, very beautiful, “I did not see Clara again for several years, with her dark hair parted upon her brow and when we again met in the city which had been folded simply around her classic head, and her her residence since her marriage, and which was deep blue eyes so fraught with tenderness, half now to become my home. The first time I saw veiled with their long lashes. She was the her after my arrival was at church. It was the realization of a poet's dream. It was in a sunny season of an Episcopal visitation, and the church southern home that I first met Clara S—, and was thronged with strangers, eager to witness I thought that I had never seen one more beauti- the solemn rite of confirmation. The soothing ful. Nearly of the same age, we soon became and solemn services of the church, which for friends, and I learned by more familiar inter- some time I had not been able to attend, occourse to love her deeply. Indeed she was cupied my whole attention ; but the voice of the loved by all who knew her.
priest requesting the candidates for confirmation “ Her parents' dearest treasure, she was the to approach the altar, caused me to look up, and charm of the domestic circle; even the old I saw Clara, among many others, coming up the household servants regarded her with a love aisle. My eyes filled as I saw that beautiful and approaching to idolatry. Gifted with a mind of gentle being kneeling in reverential awe before the highest order, and a deep poetic tempera- the altar, and heard her sweet voice in the ment, her natural enthusiasm was blended with responses prescribed by the ritual, wherein a shrinking modesty, which lent a new charm to she renounced the 'pomps and vanities of the her always graceful manner; instead of being world,' and solemnly ratified the vows made for her in her baptism; and I mingled my prayers “ What a beautiful drive that was. Our road with those of the good bishop, as, placing his ' was bordered on each side by beautiful summerhands upon her bowed head, he prayed God to residences, each embowered by shade-trees, defend this his servant, and bring her to His among which one might notice the deep green everlasting kingdom. We met as if we had of the China-tree with its fragrant clusters of parted but yesterday, with the free frank cor- lilac flowers, the graceful Alanthus and delicate diality of old.
Mimosa, and the bright glossy green of the live “I soon left for the north, and on my return oak, that pride of our southern forests; richly after an absence of some months, I called to see cultivated gardens, in which bloomed flowers of Clara.
every hue, from the humble violet to the stately "I was admitted to her room, and found her oleander and superb cape jasmine, were spread with a fair young babe upon her breast, and a out before us, in many instances only separated new and holier beauty upon her brow, a beauty from the road by hedges of Cherokee rose, which had its source in the deep fount of a whose pure white flowers contrast so beautifully mother's love.
with the deep green of its polished leaves. “ It was a beautiful picture to see that fair " It was a beautiful spot that new home of young mother, as she sat in a large arm-chair, Clara's; and when I reached it, I found ber her slight figure wrapped in a snowy robe, the husband sitting on the gallery. He assisted me delicate lace of her cap just shading her pure from the carriage, and in answer to my infair brow and cheek, bending so lovingly over quiries concerning Clara, replied that she was the little fragile blossom nestled to her bosom. very feeble; 'but," he added, she will be glad She might have sat a model for the Madonna. to see you.' I followed him to her room. Her health failed visibly from the hour of her “She was lying half buried in the cushions child's birth—but she did not seem aware of it; of her couch, which had been drawn before an her whole soul seemed to be centred in her open window, through which the sweet south baby, and it was, in truth, a lovely baby. breeze came laden with the perfume of the China
"Do you know, dear,' she said to me one blossoms and the sweet breath of the yellow morning, as I entered her chamber and found jasmine. Oh! how fearfully had she changed. her fondling her infant, “that to-day is my birth- Her whole appearance showed but too plainly day? I am twenty years old to-day.'
that consumption had claimed its victim. She "I kissed her cheek, offered my kind wishes told me that she would spend the summer with for her and her child's happiness; but the tears her mother, and when I return home,' she rose to my eyes, for I feared that she might added, you will be often with me, dear-will never see another birthday, and I knew that her you not spend the winter here with me?" ! husband was even then planning a journey for could scarcely restrain my emotions, as I took her benefit.
her wasted hand in mine and promised all she “ They were absent but a few months ; Clara required. pined to return to her home and to her child, “My visit was never claimed. Before the and she was gratified. Her husband purchased winter Clara was laid in the silent tomb, leaving a beautiful residence near the city, and sur- to us the memory of her short life, as of a rounded her with all the luxuries which love beautiful dream, vanished too quickly. could devise or wealth could purchase, in the “Alas ! how many of the fair young daughters vain hope of prolonging her existence.
of our land die thus in the loveliness of youth! “I had not seen Clara for some weeks, and Oh! would that my warning voice could arouse one bright afternoon in the early summer, I pre- mothers to the necessity of taking more care to vailed upon a friend to drive me out to see her. strengthen the constitution of their children by
| early training."
THE CHILD'S CORNER.
LITTLE GRACE'S EXPERIENCES. “O, Mamma-dear Mamma! How nice
how delightful-that will be !” she exclaimed, BY ELIZABETH O'HARA.
jumping about, and clapping her hands. “Shall Grace Harcourt had one day been a very good we go early-very early indeed ?" girl, had practised attentively, written a careful “ Yes, as soon as Grandpapa is up, and I copy, and repeated her lessons quite perfectly, have seen that he has everything quite comfortawhen her mamma told her she had a great treat ble. We must not neglect Grandpapa, you in store for her.
know." “0, what is it, Mamma? Do tell me," she “No, that would never do. But, Mamma, cried.
Grandpapa gets up so dreadfully late! Could “I mean to take you with me to-morrow to not we just ask him to make haste to-morrow?" Forest Grove, where you have so often wished to Why, no. We may be sure he will do so go. We will ride there in your Uncle's pony- if he be well enough; and it would not be kind chaise; and when we have seen the grounds we to hurry him.". will have our dinner under the trees.'
“Why not, Mamma?”
"Because it would seem as if you cared more much easier now, and I shall be very glad to see for your own pleasures than his comforts ; 80 my old friend, Miss Price. You will have a you must make up your mind to wait patiently, lovely day for your drive. There, make haste like a grateful little girl. And do be very care- off, my pet. Good-bye!" ful not to make a noise to disturb him.”
Now, what made this sudden change in Mr. “Well, I will try ever so hard, Mamma, to be Gresham's feelings ? Good temper; that was quiet; for indeed 'I do love Grandpapa. But all. People, when they are ill and in pain, are may I tell him I have been good, and where I sometimes cross and unreasonable, as Grandam going to-morrow?”
papa had been; but Mrs. Harcourt's patience, Certainly, my love. And now put your and Grace's generosity, made him feel his folly. books away, and run off to your play.' Was not that better than if they also had mur
Grace was so delighted at the prospect of the mured and fretted ? promised enjoyment that she could think and Some of my little readers may wonder why I talk of nothing else. And next morning, when call Grace generous, since she had not given she was called, her first question was— away anything; but generosity does not always "Is it a fine day, Jane?”
consist in making presents: we must learn to “Beautiful, Miss Grace," answered Jane; give up also before we are truly generous. while the bright sun filled the room with cheer- I wish I could describe Grace's great joy as
she drove along beside her Mamma. She had the And how is Grandpapa, Jane? Is he getting best thing in the world to make her happy-an
approving conscience; she knew she had really “No, Miss; and your Mamma hopes you been good, and quite deserved her present pleawill remember to be very quiet, as Master said sure. The village, as they passed through it, he had had a bad night."
looked prettier and busier than it bad ever done; Poor Grace was sadly grieved at this news, and how gaily the fire burned in the blackbut she crept about the house like a little smith's forge, while the sparks danced off the mouse; and, though she was not very fond of hot iron he was hammering! Then, it was so work, amused herself with her doll's things till funny to see the geese waddling along the green her Grandpapa came down; as her Mamma ad- to the pond, where was a poor hen, who had unvised her not to run in the garden, lest she wittingly hatched a breed of goslings, clucking should tire herself.
to them in great distress as they ran to the At length Grandpapa appeared. Grace ran water, where she could not follow them. Grace to shake up the cushions of his chair, as usual ; laughed at the hen's mistake, and then felt bat he was rather poorly that morning, which almost sorry for her. There was little Johnny made him tebly; 80, instead of thanking her, he Barker, too, creeping along to school in his roughly hade her move out of the way. Her clean white pinafore; she wished he could go heart swelled at this, and she thought it very to Forest Grove with them. hard to bear; but she said nothing, and stood And then came the pleasant lanes, with their by, watching how patiently her Mamma waited high hedges, with wild flowers twisting about on him and placed all his little comforts within them, studding the sloping banks, and lending his reach. Though the chaise was at the door, fresh scents to the soft, warm air, already perand Shag, the pony, stood pawing the ground, fumed by the fragrant hay -- the corn-crake as if he too would like the excursion, she chirping in the fields, and the lark carolling had the forbearance not to mention it. Many above them, far out of sight-butterflies darting children I know would have called out “The in and out of the flowers, and every now and chaise is come, Mamma—do make haste; I am then a pretty little cottage starting up by the sure we shall be too late;" but Grace was less road-side, with rosy, nut-brown children crowdselfish.
ing to peep over the half-door at the travellers. “And what am I to do all day?" asked Could anything be more delightful ? Grace Grandpapa. “I cannot think what takes you nestled up close to her dear Mamma, and hoped out this hot weather. I am sure it will rain.” she might always be a good giil.
"Ono, Grandpapa, the glass is at 'set fair,' At length they reached Forest Grove, and and the sky is so blue, it cannot be going to then her joy was unbounded. First of all there rain.”
was a dear little house at the Park gates ; this "Miss Price will come and spend the day with was the Lodge, and the woman who lived in you, Father. I really do not like to disappoint it having been an old servant of Mrs. Hare my patient, good, little Grace."
court's, was delighted to see them, and made I do not want Miss Price. My leg is worse them promise to come back and eat some of her
strawberries and cream. Then, after skimming “Shall we stay at home, Grandpapa ?" said along the avenue, which was smoother than a Grace; "I do not care very much." But as garden-walk, and was arched over by limes and she spoke the tears filled her eyes, even though horse-chestnut trees, forming a canopy of green she tried to keep them back.
leaves above them, they arrived in front of the Mr. Gresham looked at her for a moment, house, built like a castle! Grace had so long and then, stooping down to kiss her, answered, wished to see a real castle, and now, here was “No,
my generous, unselfish darling, you one, with a lawn as soft as a velvet carpet before shall not lose your jaunt for me. My foot is it, and thick groups of every sort of tree, their
foliage contrasting wonderfully in shape and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, colour. A peacock strutted on the terrace- nor anything that is his. Do you remember walk, displaying his gorgeous tail, now wide that, eh, Grace? It is dangerous to wish for outspread, now gracefully drooping; and deer, these riches, delightful as they are; because real deer, were tossing their antlered heads, and you may become dissatisfied with your own bounding along quite near; while the sun lit up position, and forget how much better off you are the farthest corners, and played over the masses than many poor children. Would you like to of verdure; and pretty light clouds chased each change places with Betsey Adams, for instance? other across the blue sky. “Oh, Mamma !” |--the little girl who weeds our garden, and she cried, “ how beautiful, how very beautiful! works in the fields all day.” how I wish Grandpapa was with us."
“No, that I would not, Mamma. Her cottage They went all through the hot-houses, where is so cold and dirty—and do you know, I really she was almost bewildered by the wonderful tro- believe she has often nothing but dry bread to pical plants and strange flowers; but it was so eat. O, no, I would not be Betsey Adams for the very warm there, that I question if she enjoyed world !" that part of the visit as much as her Mamma, “ Then think of her another time when you still it was very pleasant; but her joy was un- wish to change places, and remember how much speakable when they went over the grounds. more fortunate you are. Besides, Lady Isabella There she saw a pond with gold and silver fish, is so accustomed to this lovely place, that she quite tame, who darted about in the clear water, does not admire it as you do.” and popped up their heads for the crumbs she “ Now do you really mean that, Mamma? was allowed to give them. There was also an Is it possible?” aviary, with ever so many foreign birds, of the “Quite possible, my love. I do not think brightest colours she could imagine, some so you yourself care very much about the easysmall, they were hardly larger than a big bee, chairs and sofas in our house, or the nice soft but all alive, hopping about from spray to spray, carpets under your feet, the thick curtains to and chirruping incessantly. Then there was a keep out the cold, your frocks for summer and broad lake, with a pretty boat, and a man wait- winter, your enug little bed, your good breaking to row them across; a noble swan, too, was fasts and dinners." swimming proudly about, looking so stately, “O but, Mamma, everybody has these and gracefully curving its long neck. There things !" was no end to the pleasures of the day.
“Everybody you visit, my little girl; but When they landed, Grace was allowed to run when Betsey first came to our house, she told about the Park freely, and gather a fine nosegay Jane she had never seen such a grand place in of the monthly roses, honeysuckles, and wild her life.” flowers that were allowed to grow at the foot of “Well, I never thought of that before. Will the fine old trees, while her Mamma sat under you let me try to save up something for ber, their shade and read. At length, quite tired Mamma? I wonder if she has a plum-pudding out, she seated herself by her Mamma, and on Christmas-day like we have, or a twelfththen they opened their basket of provisions, to cake?” see what Jane had packed up for their dinner, No, that she has not, Grace." and found some nice cold fowl and ham, a tart, “ Then I declare I will save up some of my a bottle of currant wine, and a cake. Oh! pocket-money and give her one that I will
. how Grace enjoyed her dinner in this pleasant And so Lady Isabella does not care for all these spot.
fine things, any more than I do for my little Mamma,” she asked, “are there any little garden? How funny! But I suppose she girls here? This is Lord De Vere's house, I would be sorry to lose them, Mamma?” know; but the man said the birds were Lady Certainly; as you would be, my child, were Isabella's. Who is Lady Isabella, and how old you to lose all the comforts you enjoy." is she?
It was now time for them to return to the “She is Lord De Vere's only child, and is Lodge, according to their promise. The strax. just about your age, Grace.”
berries and cream were excellent; and as soon “A little girl ! how very happy she must be. as they had despatched them, they drove off I wish I could see her. Would not you like to homewards. Shag trotted along briskly, and see Lady Isabella, Mamma?”
their moonlight-ride was
as pleasant as the “No, I am very well satisfied as I am, morning journey. All was so quiet and peace. Grace."
ful, the very flowers seemed asleep; the warm Oh, but Mamma, to live in this beautiful air steamed up, rich with odours ; not a sound place, to have all those darling little birds for was heard but the nightingale's song, or the one's very own, and to be able to go on the distant watch-dog's bark. The children who lake every day-I am sure I wish I were she.” had played along the road were now safe in bed;
“ Softly, softly, my Grace, or I shall be quite but the bright fire-light shone cheerily out from sorry I have brought you to Forest Grove, if some of the cottage windows, and showed their the sight of all these beauties is to make you mothers busily frying a supper for the hungry discontented and envious."
labourers. Envious, Mamma? But surely I may just “O, Mamma," said Grace, “I am sure all wish to have the same fine things as she has ?” the world may be happy if they will; for every