« PreviousContinue »
robbed; he has positively seen nothing; his landlady was a harpy, his bed-room was unhealthy, and the mutton was so tough that he could not get his teeth through it. Perhaps neither view is quite true; we shall be safest in the middle course; the view was passable, the landlady an ordinary landlady, and the mutton good English mutton—that is all. But oh, for the glorious spectacles worn by the good-natured man!-oh! for those wondrous glasses, finer than the Claude Lorraine glass, which throw a sunlit view over everything, and makes the heart glad with little things, and thankful for small mercies ! Such glasses had honest Izaak Walton, who, coming in from a fishing expedition on the river Lea, bursts out into such grateful talk as this :“Let us, as we walk home under the cool shade of this honeysuckle hedge, mention some of the thoughts and joys that have possessed my soul since we two met. And that our present happiness may appear the greater, and we more thankful for it, I beg you to consider with me, how many do at this very time lie under the torment of the gout or the toothache, and this we have been free from, and let me tell you,
every misery I miss is a new blessing."
(By permission of the Author.)
THE HOMEWARD BOUND.
By the AUTHORESS of “God's Providence House."
“On Christmas-day I shall dine with you in England."
Last Letter home of a Ship Surgeon.
“We come, we come ; through the bended foam
Our vessel cutteth her pathway home.
Glisten like gems from a mermaid's cave.
yearns for the gentle smile and tone
“Tell Anne, my little chattering pet,
On that open brow a darker shade,
Gaily we scud o'er the watery plain ;-
Buoyant and fearless of future ill,
A TALE OF THE LAST DAYS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.
A. H. "For Thy Life is our Way; . [made] by Thy example, and the footsteps of Thy saints, more bright and clear."-De Imitatione Christi. On a beautiful morning in the Ides of May, A.D. 403, about three weeks after the battle of Pollentia, a monk might be seen traversing with hurried steps one of the principal streets of Rome. He appeared to be about thirty years of age, and his long, black, woollen robe fell in graceful folds around his tall and noble figure. His face was entirely colourless, but the features were perfect in their outline ; and his calm, pure brow spoke of the intellect and goodness within. He was proceeding with a quick step, and evidently lost in thought, when he was suddenly aroused by a friendly hand laid on his shoulder, and, looking up, he saw before him a young man in the dress of a Roman officer, whose whole appearance marked him as a patrician of the highest rank. The monk immediately recognised him as a son of the great General Stilicho, who was now, from his valour and skill, become the chief support of the empire. The joy of this meeting was great to both, for Adrian had been the monk's earliest friend ; and although the fortune of war had of late necessitated the frequent absence of the young soldier, the separation had not served to weaken their mutual affection.
After the first few moments had passed, and Adrian had found time to notice his friend's appearance, he felt considerable astonishment at his altered attire. “What!” cried he,“ do I really see before me the young patrician Telemachus, in this disguise! Surely, my friend, thou art not become a Christian monk ?"
“Even so, Adrian," replied the monk, a bright smile illuming his face; “him who was formerly the noble Telemachus, men now call the monk Stephanos; but though my name is changed, my heart still retains old friendships. How have I longed to see thee, Adrian! and often do I pray that we may be one in faith, as we are in heart."
“Not yet, Telemachus, or Stephanos, as I suppose I must learn to call you," laughingly replied Adrian ;
my father and sister are already Christians, and I daresay that I shall some day follow their example, for I must confess that my sister's arguments appear to contain a great deal of truth, whenever I have patience to listen to her ; but my time is not come yet: besides, the life of a Christian is not the one best fitted for a soldier."
“Pardon me, dear Adrian," replied the monk, "every Christian is a soldier, as I hope you will one day know; but, tell me, have you seen your sister yet ?”
"I was going to the palace when I met you," said Adrian, “for I have not seen her once since she has been empress; it must be a pleasant thing to be the only daughter of a great general, and to become an empress, must it not?"
"If one could always be sure of being so really happy as your sister,” replied Stephanos, smiling; “but I am