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the rattling sere leaves are rudely scat- / watch the changing clouds as the night tered by the blast; to watch the rooks, wind hurries them along the heavens, at eventide, as they skim along over and to think how much of peace, and farm houses and church spires, hills and joy, and happiness there is beyond them. valleys, woods and water, on their way I love to hear the owlet hoot from the to the distant rookery; to stand on the hollow oak; to see him winnowing his brow of the hill, as the shadows of way, with his long wings, to the old evening approach, and to listen to the barn; and to witness the stealthy rat tinkling of the sheep bell, in the valley and the weasel prowl about the outbelow.
houses, and steal among the roots of the I like to note the different features of hedge-row bank. the sheep, as they move about in the I like to stand at the foot of a craggy fields; to breathe the sweet breath of precipice, and still better to ascend to its the cows as they graze, or chew the cud very crest, and there seating myself, to in the meadow; to watch the calves as look down on the fearful depth below. they uncouthly run their races, scamper- I love to listen to the turbulent roar of ing along with their tails in the air; to rushing and falling waters, to explore gaze on the broad-chested, heavy-heeled caverns, to descend to great depths in wagon horses, neighing and kicking up the earth, and to witness the awful subtheir heels on the green turf; and to limities of a midnight storm. muse and moralize on old blind Dobbin, I like to loiter on the sea shore by as he stands half asleep under the shed, moonlight, and to look over the wide exhis ribs and hip bones sticking out; his panse of water at mid-day, to mark the lower lip hanging down, and his off hind fisher's skiff and distant sail; to gaze on foot resting on the tip of his shoe. the swelling fringed waves, till they ex
I like to pluck a bud from an over- haust themselves on the sands; to follow hanging bough, and musingly pull it to with my eye the sea gulls as they rise pieces, admiring its wondrous construc- and fall; and to watch the progress of tion, and thinking to myself, “No mor- the coming tempest.
eyes but mine have beheld these hid. I love to visit the mouldering walls of den beauties.” To gaze on the sun-lit a ruined abbey or castle, without a guide; clouds of heaven, till my cheeks are wet to ascend the broken steps of the towers, with tears, and my heart yearns for to gaze on the dry ditch below, from its light, and life, and immortality.
battlement; to ascend into its gloomy I like to see the acorns and oakballs on dungeons, and to stand “alone, alone, the knotted oaks; the fruit on the or- all alone,” in the grey silent hall, and chard trees; the wiry stems and cluster- call upon those who cannot answer. ing hops in the hop yard; the straggling I like to visit a country churchyard, poison-berry plant, with its red and to find out the oldest headstone, to clear yellow berries; and the flowery honesty away the moss that covers the name of on the hedges. I love to lean on the the occupier, and to make out the date gate of the clover field, where the bossy when he fell asleep. I love to lean on purple blossoms are pleasant to the eye, the old sundial; to muse under the old and grateful to the scent; to watch the yew tree, and to read the inscriptions on bees on the flowers of the peas and the tombs, from " Afflictions sore long beans; and to gaze on the ten thousand time I bore"—to “The Lord giveth, green tops that cover the acres of turnips and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed around me.
be the name of the Lord.” I like to start off, buttoned up to the Oh that all our gratifications may be chin, with my stick in my hand, on a sanctified, that in them all we may lawfrosty morning, when the trees and fully rejoice, as the bounties of our hedges are fantastically hung with rime; Creator, being made more and more when the snow crackles under my feet; sensible of the grace of our Lord and when the glossy-leaved, red-berried Saviour Jesus Christ, the love of God, holly bush looks cheerful; when the and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost ! fieldfare is abroad ; when the redbreast is tame and almost companionable ; and the snipe rapidly wings his way along the
SERPENT CHARMERS. half frozen brook.
These people are mentioned in the
moon glides tranquilly through the sky; to are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her
ear; which will not hearken to the voice Many of them, like Pliny's psylli, carry of the charmers, charming never so scorpions in their caps, next to their wisely,” Psa. lviii. 4, 5. Again by So- shaven crowns; perhaps the sting having lomon : “Surely the serpent will bite been bluntel. On the prophet's birthwithout enchantment,” Eccles. x. 11, day, the durweéshes perform some of And by Jeremiah : “For, behold, I will their greatest wonders. Among others, send serpents, cockatrices, among you, they used to eat live serpents; but their which will not be charmed, and they present sheykh has put a stop to this in shall bite you, saith the Lord," Jer, viii. Cairo. During Mr. Lane's first visit, it 17. This trade of serpent charming is was often done. Whenever a devotee very ancient; and at an early date Africa “ate the flesh of a live serpent, he was, was their chief theatre. They were or affected to be, excited to do so by a called psylli, and are frequently men- kind of frenzy. He pressed very hard tioned by Pliny, in his Natural History. with the end of his thumb, upon the
says, serpents were reptile's back, as he grasped it, at a frightened away by the mere smell of point about two inches from the head : these psylli,” book viii. chap. 38. He and all that he ate of it was the head and informs us, that they came over into Italy the part between it and the point where to show their feats, and even brought his thumb pressed; of which he made scorpions with them, book xi. ch. 29. three or four mouthfuls: the rest he They are still to be found exercising threw away. Serpents, however, are not their_mysterious craft all over Asia. always handled with impunity, even by But Egypt is probably still their princi, sáadies. A few years ago, a durweésh pal abode. Here Bruce saw them, and of this sect, who was called el-Feel,' here their performances were often ob- (or the elephant,) from his bulky and served by Nr. Lane. The result of his muscular form, and great strength, and inquiries may be thus summed up: "I who was the most famous serpent eater have met with many persons, among the of his time, and almost of any age, havmore intelligent of the Egyptians, ing a desire to rear a serpent of a very who condemn these modern psylli as enormous kind, which his boy had impostors; but none, who has been brought him, among others, that he had able to offer a satisfactory, explana- collected in the desert, put this reptile tion of the most common and most in- into a basket, and kept it for several teresting of their performances.” The days without food, to weaken it. He most famous snake charmers are dur- then put his hand into the basket, to take weéshes, or Mohammedan monks.“ The it out, for the purpose of extracting its charmer professes to discover, without teeth, but it immediately bit his thumb. ocular perception, (but perhaps he does He called out for help. There were, so by a peculiar smell,) whether there however, none but women in the house ; be any serpents in a house, and if there and they feared to come to him ; so that be, to attract them to him, as the many minutes elapsed before he could fowler, by the fascinations of his voice, obtain assistance. His whole arm was allures the bird into his net.” They then found to be swollen and black, and have been known to do this in broad he died after a few hours." Compare daylight, and when stripped naked. with this Jer. viii. 17, as above cited. “ He assumes an air of mystery, strikes the walls with a short palm stick, whistles, makes a clucking noise with his tongue, and spits upon the ground; and generally says, “I adjure you, by God, if A DREAD of dissolution is the comye be above, or if ye be below, that ye mon characteristic of animated nature. come forth : I adjure you, by the great in the days of primeval innocence, it name, if ye be obedient, come forth, if was felt by the parents of the huye
be disobedient, die ! die! die!' The man family, and hence they were warned serpent is generally dislodged by his stick, by the solemn declaration in reference from a fissure in the wall, or drops from to “ the tree of the knowledge of good the ceiling of the room.” It is sus. and evil :" “In the day that thou eatpected that sometimes a servant carries est thereof, thou shalt surely die,” the reptile. The most expert of them Gen. ii. 17. Nor is it difficult to find do not carry venomous serpents until some, in whom the work of restoration they have extracted their worst teeth. from the ruins of the fall is actually
THE FEAR OF DEATH.
proceeding, who are in “ bondage” from out repining or complaint. Once, in the fear of death. To them, therefore, a fit of extreme agony, seizing on a the following brief narrative is specially moment's interval, she exclaimed, “Oh! addressed, in the hope that it may tend this is dreadful, dreadful pain! but what to alleviate their disquietude, and to cast is it to what I deserve ? what is it to some brightness over the path to the that which Jesus bore for me ?” grave.
On the day preceding her dissolution, Among the plants of righteousness seeing that her strength was fast sinking, which have been raised from the unge- her husband observed,
- All is well, nial climate of this lower world, to your spirit is safe in those hands into bloom for ever in the paradise of God, which you have committed it.” She was a devoted Christian lady. She ex- answered with emphasis, “ Yes, it must cited no common attention in a sphere of be so; I know in whom I have believed; more than ordinary extent. In the case I have believed in Him through whom of this individual, there was a natural eternal life is promised, and I cannot liveliness of disposition, accompanied by doubt that my soul will be safe and ardent affections. She experienced in the happy without making God a liar." consecration of her youth to God, a high Aware how sensibly she felt the shrinkdegree of enjoyment, and was soon ing of nature from that mysterious rendered useful to others. The inter- and momentous point of human existesting vivacity of her manners, the ence, at which the soul glides out of amiability of her temper, and the con- time into eternity, and passes from the sistency of her conduct, exhibited re- presence of man into that of his great ligion in its own attractive loveliness ; | Creator ; and having expressed his and hence it added to the number persuasion that these emotions would of its possessors from the ranks of her subside as that solemn period apearly friends. Her subsequent course proached, it was consolatory for him fully realized the expectations thus awak- to receive from her own lips, on the ened and sustained ; it was that of piety morning of the last day she spent on in its simplicity, sincerity, and power; earth, the assurance that her mind was conferring its blessings on herself and relieved of this burden. “Alfred,” she on others. Still the fear of death often said, “I have lost my old fears of death; arose, and to this she frequently referred nothing of that kind is now left but a in the seasons of confidential and Chris- little uneasiness lest the last struggle tian intercourse. The issue of dissolu- / should be hard." tion indeed did not excite dread, but it When too feeble to converse, she rewas the anticipation of the shocks which plied to the inquiry, whether she was not merely impede but terminate the happy : “All is quiet and peaceful; I animal functions ; not only producing have no fear, but I have no particular temporary insensibility, but the absolute joy; I am too weak to think.” In the separation of the soul from the body, afternoon, she breathed with greater difso long united by the most intimate ties ficulty, and seemed anxious to be gone. in nature-yes, the prospect of these Observing the expression of sympathy agitated the mind, and caused the spirit and sorrow in the countenances of those to tremble in prospect of the future. standing at her bed-side, she faintly
Yet how vain were these apprehen- said, “ Agony, agony; but no sting!” sions will be apparent from a slight About an hour before her departure, sketch of the closing scene of her earthly shivering with cold, she said, “The pilgrimage. For four years, health had chills of death, the chills of death ;" been declining, and during nine-and- but looking up with an expressive smile, twenty weeks of suffering, she was en- she seemed happy at the intimation abled to display the passive graces of thus given of approaching mortality. the Christian character, to the comfort At length the crisis came. Having and edification of those around. Nothing lain some little time with her eyes seemed to produce so much distress as closed, she suddenly opened them, and a fear lest she should be suffered to looked unutterable things. It was not dishonour God, by expressions of peev- the mere smile of peace, nor even the ishness and impatience; and her con- glow of hope; it was ecstasy and triumph. stant desire was not the removal of Like Stephen's, her countenance appeared pain nor the restoration of health, but to shine as if it had been the face of grace to bear protracted tribulation with an angel. There was an effort to speak,
but no sound passed her lips. Had she, it to very little purpose. If it does, been able to communicate her feelings, an intimate acquaintance with the music she would have spoken, perhaps, not of nature will invest the expression of of death, but of heaven ; for it seemed those thoughts with a grace and refineas if she had already crossed the flood, ment, which the most persevering pracand was planting her first footstep on tice will fail to impart. Take lessons the celestial shore; or as if the un- of the winds, and of the waters, and foldinggates of the city, “which has of the trees; of all animate and all inanino need of the sun," had let fall a stream mate nature : so shall the very spirit of splendour as a special earnest of “the of sweet sound and expression enter far more exceeding and eternal weight into your bosom, and lie there ready of glory,” to which her sanctified and to pour itself forth upon the otherwise happy spirit was about to rise. After low and mechanical music, which the a few moments, the brightness which pressure of your hands produces on the had irradiated her sunken and pallid instrument.
One of Handel's finest countenance was gone, and, with a pieces is said to have been suggested gentleness which rendered it difficult by the labour of a blacksmith at his to tell when the last breath was drawn, anvil, so successfully did he watch for her soul departed to the realms of the harmony that lies wrapped in the everlasting day. Reader ! are you, as commonest sounds. a disciple of Christ, in bondage from The next rule I shall give you, is the fear of death? Then for this victory to listen attentively to skilful performover the king of terrors, thank God, ers, noticing particularly what emotions and take courage.
are excited in your mind by every passage, and by what means they continue to produce the effect which pleases you.
The gratification we derive from listenTo play a piece of music effectively, ing to music, is similar to that which you must comprehend it well. You poetry imparts to us. Both these demust also feel it deeply. It is impos- lightful arts call into being a thousand sible to excite lively emotions in another's beautiful imaginations, tender feelings, breast, while your own remains un- and passionate impulses. But in readtouched. There are two rules which ing poetry, we are delighted with the may assist you to attain quick percep- thoughts of another person; and though tions of what is correct and beautiful, a beautiful idea will give us new pleaand (with the help of the mechanical rules
sure every time we recur to it, still I have given you) to bring those per- this pleasure is little varied, and depends ceptions out in your own performance. on the conformation of the poet's mind, The first is, to cultivate a constant habit rather than of our own. l'he delights of listening to natural sounds. Every of music are of our own creation. We thing in nature has a melody which become for the time poets ourselves, goes to the heart, and from which we and enjoy the high privilege of inventmay gain some new and delightful ideas. ing, combining, and diversifying, at I have called your attention to the song pleasure, the images which harmonious of birds. Then there is the bleating sounds raise in our minds. The selfof flocks, and the lowing of distant same melody may be repeated a hundred herds, and the busy hum of insects. times, and inspire each time a train of Above all, the modulations of the human thought different from the last. Somevoice afford us a perpetual source of ob- times, it will call forth all the hidden servation. From thence we may gather stores of memory; absent friends, voices the expression of every stormy passion long silent in the tomb, lovely scenes, which agitates, and every tender affec- pleasant walks, and happy hours, come tion which soothes the heart. Nor can back to us in all their freshness and we listen to the fairy tones of children, reality. Then the future opens its their light-hearted carols, the bursts of dreary prospects, gilded by hope, and tiny merriment, their mimic griefs, and chastened by a mournful tenderness. simply told stories, without imbibing The exile is restored in glad anticipasome new and charming combinations tion to his country, the prodigal sobs of barmonious expression. If music out his penitence on his father's bosom ; brings no lovely thoughts and associa- the child of affliction is safely lodged tions to your mind, you are learning in that mansion where sorrow and cry
ing are unknown. Sometimes, the past | against this pernicious error, do not is forgotten, the future unneeded, the for a moment suppose, that I would mind wrapped up in the present con- shut you out from the privilege which sciousness of sublimity or beauty. Forms all creation enjoys, of sounding, its of delicate loveliness, things such as Maker's praise. Oh! there is a hardreams are made of, float before the mony in nature, inconceivably attuned mental vision, shaped into something of to one glad purpose. Every thing in a waking distinctness. Thoughts too the universe has a voice, with which it noble to last, high and holy resolves, joins in the tribute of thanksgiving. gushings of tenderness, alternately pos- The whispers of the wind playing with sess our minds with emotions all equally the summer foliage, and its fitful moandifferent, and equally delightful. The ings through the autunnal branches; poetical inspiration of Alfieri seldom the broken murmurs of the stream, the came upon him but when he was under louder gushing of the waterfall, and the the influence of music. Haydn's sym- wild roar of the cataract, all speak the phonies were all composed so as to praises of God to our hearts.
Who can shadow forth some simple and affecting sit by the sea-side, when every wave story, by which the author excited and lies hushed in adoration, or falls upon varied his own feelings, and wrought the shore in subdued and awful cadence, them up to that pitch of solemn pathos, without drinking in unutterable thoughts or animated gaiety, which to this day of the majesty of God ? The loud inspires all who hear his music with hosannas of ocean in the storm, and corresponding emotions.
the praises of God on the whirlwind, The expression of sacred music com- awaken us to the same lesson ; and prehends every emotion that can agitate every peal of the thunder is a hallethe human heart, and must be felt lujah to the Lord of hosts. Oh! there rather than described. The subdued is a harmony in nature. The voice tones of awful adoration ; the impas- of every creature tells us of the goodsioned fervour of desire; the humility ness of God. It comes to us in the of prayer; the wailing of penitential song of the birds ; the deep, delicious sorrow; the glad notes of thanksgiving; tones in which the wood-dove breathes and the loud chorus of praise : all these out its happiness; the gracefully melting have their own peculiar utterance, and descant of the nightingale; the joyous must be pervaded by a depth and so- thrilling melody of the lark; the thrush's lemnity which shall distinguish them wild warbling; and the blackbird's tenfrom the meaner affections of humanity. der whistle ; the soft piping of the bul. I am fearful of touching too lightly upon finch; the gay carol of the wren; the this hallowed subject. Many young sprightly call of the goldfinch ; and the persons, when their feelings are excited gentle twittering of the swallow. Even by sacred music, imagine themselves now when every other bird is silent, to be bettered by such feelings, and to little robin is pouring out his sweetest be under the influence of genuine reli- of all sweet notes upon yonder rosegious sentiments.
But if the plain ma- bush ; and so distinctly does he thank jesty of the word of God does not suffice God, who made the berries to grow for to kindle an equal fervour within us, him upon the hawthorn and the mounwhen we
are reading it silently and tain ash, and who has put it into the alone, we may be sure that the emo- heart of man to love him, and strex tions excited by the lovely songs and crumbs for him when the berries fail, pleasant instruments of men, are the mere that my soul, too often insensible to its ebullitions of natural feeling, and have own mercies, is warmed into gratitude nothing to do with religion. Those who for his. The very insect tribe have would sing the praises of the Lord must entered into a covenant, that God shall sing them with understanding.
at no season of the year be without a undying torch of truth must be lighted witness amongst them to his praise. up in that faculty before it can set For when the hum of the bees and the the heart in a flame. There exists not chirping of the grasshopper have ceased a more dangerous delusion, than to mis- to enliven us, and the gnat has laid by take the feverish excitement of the ima- his horn, then the little cricket wakens gination, for the cheerful and steady into life and song, and gladdens our glow of a rational devotion.
hearth with the same story till the winter But while I so anxiously guard you | is past. And so all nature praises God,