Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

far removed from the pride of luxury, or the But I saw, when she gazed on the same lovely form, littleness of parsimony; his diet was very spar- Pale as marble, and silent, and cold; ing, since during many years he took only one But paler and colder her beautiful boymeal a-day, assigning the weakness of his And the tale of her sorrow was told. stomach as the cause. He lived nearly without But the Healer was there, who had smitten her heart, sleep. His power of memory was almost in

And taken her treasure away; credible; so that he could immediately recog. To allure her to heaven, he has placed it on high, nise, after the lapse of many years, any whom And the mourner will sweetly obey. he had only once seen ; and though he had There had whispered a voice - 'twas the voice of her been frequently interrupted for many hours Godwhile in the act of dictating, he would, without “I love thee, I love thee-pass under the rod ! " being reminded, forthwith resume the thread of his subject; and never forget, though over- I saw when a father and mother had leaned powered by an infinite multiplicity of business, On the arms of a dear cherished son, such things as it was important for him in his And the star in the future grew bright in their gaze, ministerial character to know. His judgment As they saw the proud place he had won; was so sound and exact on all subjects, that his And the fast coming evening of life promised fair, decisions seemed almost oracular; nor do I re- And its pathway grew smooth to their feet, member an instance of any error being com- And the star-light of Love glimmered bright at the mitted by those who followed his advice.

And the whispers of Fancy were sweet;

But I saw when they stood bending low o'er the

grave (The following lines are from the pen of Mrs M. S. B.

Where their hearts' dearest hope had been laid, DANA, and were founded on the following passage of Jewish And the star had gone down in the darkness of night, history : “ It was the custom of the Jews to select the tenth And joy from their bosoms had fled. of their sheep after this manner : The lambs were separated But the Healer was there, and his arms were around, from dams, and enclosed in a sheep cote, with only one nar.

And he led them with tenderest care, row way out; the lambs has tened to join the dams, and a man placed at the entrance, with a rod dipped in ochre, And he showed them a star in the bright upper touched every tenth lamb, and so marked it with his rod,

worldsaying, LET THIS BB HOLY.” Hence, says God by his pro- 'Twas their star shining brilliantly there! phet, “I will cause you to pass under the rod."- New York

They had each heard a voice-'twas the voice of their Recorder.)


“I love thee, I love thee-pass under the rod !" I saw the young bride, in her beauty and pride,

Bedecked in her snowy array,
And the bright flush of joy mantled high on her cheek,

And the future looked brilliant and gay;

And with woman's devotion she laid her fond heart
At the shrine of idolatrous Love,

WHERE is the person who has ever walked on the

sea-shore, who has not observed what is commonly And she anchored her hopes to this perishing earth By the chain which her tenderness wove.

called a sca-jelly? These sea-jellies are very much But I saw when those heart-strings were bleeding at the mercy of the winds and waves; and after a and torn,

breeze they are often seen spread on the shore; and And the chain had been severed in two,

as they show no symptoms of life when they are out She had changed her white robes for the sables of of the water, many see them without supposing that grief,

they ever had life. But when we see them floating And her bloom for the paleness of woe;

in a quiet creek, it is evident that they live, and But the Healer was there, pouring balm on the heart, enjoy the life that God has given them. Their gelaAnd wiping the tears from her eyes,

tinous body is a flattish hemisphere; and they move And he strengthened the chain he had broken in through the waves by gracefully contracting and twain,

expanding their body, like the folding and unfolding

of an umbrella. And fastened it firm to the skies.

By naturalists they are ranked There had whispered a voice-'twas the voice of her among the Acalepha; and they derived this learned God

Greek name from a property which many of them “I love thee, I love thee-pass under the rod ! " possess of stinging like a nettle. Bathers often learn

this by painful experience. When they fall in with I saw the young mother in tenderness bend

a large Scoudre (the Scotch name), and get entangled O'er the couch of her slumbering boy,

among its long envenomed threads, they find themAnd she kissed the soft lips as they murmured her selves in a most unenviable predicament. I have name,

known ladies so much stung, that, what with pain While the dreamer lay smiling in joy.

and what with fear, they were in a fever, and had Oh! sweet as the rose-bud encircled with dew, to send for medical aid, Only a few of them have When its fragrance is flung on the air,

this stinging property; and it is probable that it is Bo fresh and so bright to the mother he seemed, bestowed on the few for the defence of the many, as As he lay in his innocence there !

they are all supposed to say, “ Touch me at your peril.” Many serpents are harmless, but as others found that the brown-coloured, melon-shaped mars, of them are exceedingly poisonous, the whole race though ribbed like a Beroë, did not represent the are hated and shunned as venomous reptiles, and as true outline of the animal: it formed merely the kindred of the serpent that had so much share in centre of a gelatinous ball, which, though scarcely Adam's fall. The only one of the sca-jellies that I visible even in the bowl, proved a most effectivo know to be possessed of the stinging talent is the instrument of motion. Such were its contractile large brown Scoudre so comioon on our shores.*. powers, that its sides nearly closed at every stroke

We had seen several beautiful sea.jellies this morn- behind the opaque centre, like the legs of a vigorous ing, chiefly those of a bluisb-white colour, with violet swimmer; and the animalunlike its more bulky markings above; in some, a cross; in others, four congeners, that, despite of their slow, persevering circles. There is a pretty kind which I have occa flappings, seemed greatly at the mercy of the tide, sionally seen in Arran, about the size of a large and progressed all one way — shot, as it willed, orange, of a buff colour, and more hemispherical than backward, forward, or athwart.”. The transparent the commoner kinds. We saw them best from the tumbler gave me this advantage in observing it, that deck of the steamer, before starting from Lamlash, I could use a magnifying lens when it approached and when the vessel stopped for a little in Brodick the side of the tumbler. Notwithstanding this adBay. We doubt not that they got the name of vantage, it was some time before I observed the true Medusa from the circular fringe of tentacula pro- form of the animal, as Mr Miller's excellent descripceeding from their margin, bearing some resemblance tion had not then been published. The transparent to the Gorgon's head, with its ringiets of serpents. bail that rose above its body was so very pellucid,

There was one discovered by my son David, which that it was a good while before I observed it all. It was quite new to us, and, from its minuteness, pro- rose to a considerable height above the buff-coloured bably known to few. We took it home, and put it body of the animal; and it was elegantly shaped, in a tumbler of sea-water, that we might better like the fine crystalline shades often placed over observe its structure and its graceful evolutions. stuffed birds, or artificial flowers, or miniature figures I would have attempted to describe it, but glad was formed of pure alabaster. The finest crystal vase I, soon after we had seen it, to find this done to my was clumsiness itself when compared with it. It was hand by one who is acknowledged by the best judges fine as the transparent soap-bubble blown out of a to be facile princeps in the scientific world, as a pipe; and we doubt not that, like this bubble, it graphic describer of nature --- Mr Hugh Miller - would have been iridescent, had it been so placed best known among men of science as the author of as that the sun could ha shone on it. Delicate as the truly interesting work on the “Old Red Sand- its fabric was, the rigour of the little creature was stone," but better known to our countrymen in gene- very remarkable, and has been well compared to the ral as the talented editor or the “Witness.” Nothing efforts of a strong swimmer, as it alternately conescapes his scientific eye; and from his “Summer tracted and expanded its pellucid organization. The Rambles” I learned that he had about the same time margin of its mouth had a close fringe of brownish discovered it when aboard the Betsey, off the Island of tentacula. By the aid of the lens I could observe Eigg. He speaks of two-one scarcely larger than a

that they wore drawn in when the body was conshilling, “ another still more minute” (ours, I think, tracted, but that at every stroke they were protruded about the breadth of a sixpence), “and which, pre

like forked lightning, or like tethered serpents, dartsenting in the water the appearance of a small hazel ing or flashing forth, till they were larger than the nut of a brown-yellowish hue, I was disposed,” he whole body of the animal. says, to set down as a species of Beroë. On getting Though I am not much acquainted with the classione caught, however, and transferred to a bowl, i fication of the Medusæ, I think that this tiny Gor

gonette should probably be ranked in the genus * The threads retain their virulence after they have been

Thaumantias, as it bears some resemblance to Thauseparated froin the animal by the force of the waves. When I wis in a boat one day near Ardrossan, I grasped, as it was

mantias Thompsoni, which I found some years ago carried past by the tide, what I thought was a rare and beau

at Milport, and which is figured, I think, in the tiful purple Alga, but I very speedily let go my prize.

“ Annals of Natural History." When I conjectured Major M-, who was alongside of me, next grasped it as it that in favourable circumstances it would be iripassed him ; but in a moment dashed it back into the sea.

descent, I did not remember that Thaumantias was We looked at each other, and, notwithstanding the smarting of our tingers, laughed on tinding that we had both greedily rendere it probable that the name was given because

one of the names of Iris, the rainbow; but this caught a Tartar-disjtcta membra Medusa.

This reminded me of what Captain James Craig had told of iridescence. me, on giving me a beautiful little specimen of a kind of In looking at this little Medusa, with its semiporcupine fish, which he got off Ichaboe. Seeing many of invisible gelantinous canopy, and comparing it with them swimming round the vessel, he caused one to be hauled

others of its kindred, we could not help thinking ut? up in a burket, and laid hold of it with his hand; when, blowing itself up like a ball, and erecting its spines, with

the beautiful soap-bubble balloons we had lately which it was as closely covered as a hedgehoz, it soon caused seen, which, though in some respects alike, in others him to rue his temerity. He contrived, however, to hand it differed from each other. Those formed in the usual to the mate, who very quickly slipped it, without warning, way, by air breathed from the lungs, which had lost into his neighbour's hand ; and it passed thus from hand to

part of its oxygen, and had got in its place some carhand, till all were convinced that it was less uncannie to grasp a stout Scotch thistle, or to handle an urchin, than to

bonic acid, were evidently heavier than the atmoshave anything to do with this well-armed little African pheric air into which they were launched from the sailor.

bowl of the tobacco-pipe; for so soon as they had

[blocks in formation]

lost the impulse given them when they were disen- English, “What a beautiful head!- but it has no gaged, they showed a downward tendency, and, after brains !” Had this gash fox understood Scotch, we a few windings, came down to the ground. Another doubt not he would have said, “ It's very bonny, but, was formed in the same manner, with this difference, alas ! it is toom !" that it was filled with hydrogen gas, which had been But we must close with the little Jedusa with collected in a bladder; and thus, being lighter than which we started; which, unless it has been known the atmospheric air, it rose beautifully, and soon and named before, we may not improperly name, in fastened itself on the ceiling of the room in which honour of its Scotch discoverer, Thaumantias Milleri. the experiment was performed.

It was less than any around it; but, endowed with Will my juvenile friends forgive me should I say, spirit and innate vigour, it evidently rejoiced in the that by balloons and Medusa I am reminded of exercise of its power, and seemed not only the most

young men and maidens,” and should I try to read active, but the most happy of the whole. It was them a short lesson? Has not “ God made of one delightful to see this little crystal bell putting forth blood all the nations of men to dwell on all the face a miniature giant's strength, and, instead of yielding of the earth?” Has he not “ fashioned their hearts to the adverse tide, bounding at will through the alike?” And yet, with a common origin, and a com- opposing waves, in companulated beauty. mon nature, and great similarity in many respects, is And is not it the representative of a class? Yes, there not in other respects a striking dissimilarity ? of a noble class—the excellent ones of the earth, Take a given number of the young of the same age, whom God has ennobled, giving not mere talent, but of the same rank, and with the same privileges-- energy, generated and sustained by grace. We honour how often does their history prove as different as day talent; but mere talent may dishonour the possessor and night! Some are fair, but frail, floativg or flut- of it. Even genius may perish amidst its own deceittering about for a little in great beauty, and with ful coruscations; but grace burns, not with a flickersome promisc; but they are unsound at the core; ing blaze, but with a steady flame—the fire of holy they seek not to get quit of the stony heart which zeal for God's glory, accompanied with the kindly they carry about with them: they have consequently warmth of brotherly love. It gives elevation to the a tendency to descend, and, like our carbonated mind, and heavenly strength to human efforts. He bubble, they fall lower and lower, till they mingle who is rich in grace is “always abounding in the with the dust. Others are like the massive Medusa, work of the Lord, forasmuch as he knows that his without energy, or effort, or aim. They swim with labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.” It has the tide; they allow themselves to be driven about been quaintly said respecting one of this class, “ The and tossed by every wind and wave; they think not sun stood still when he was not busily employed in of the breakers ahead, though they are constantly his Master's service.” In trying circumstances it nearing them; and a life of aimless ease soon termi- exalts what might have seemed an ordinary character nates in utter ruin. Others are like the great stinging into one that is extraordinary, in doing or in sufferScoudre-intent on evil, and capable of inflicting it. ing, converting the natural timidity of female loveSee you a person of this description, my young liness into the warrior's courage or the martyr's friends? Flee from him; habet fænum in cornu"- endurance; or giving to the man whose life has been " he has a wisp on his horn," showing him to be spent amidst the useful arts of peace, that heroic vicious, given to push and gore. Shun him as you firmness of Christian principle which mighty kings would the pestilence.

may not be able to imitate; and which raises above Another class there is, puffed up with self-conceit, the fear of man, that worketh a snare. BERNARD aiming at great things, but, from want of ballast, Palissy, to whom France was indebted in the sixunable to execute them. How aspiring is that little teenth century for the introduction of the manufachydrogen bubble! It mounts high; but it carries ture of enamelled pottery, was one of the most little up, and it brings less down. Chemista tell us extraordinary men of his time; in his moral character that hydrogen is the lightest of all ponderable sub-displaying a high-mindedness and commanding energy stances. Vanity is lighter. Unhappy they who have altogether in harmony with the reach and originality their head full of it. They remind us of the aspiring of conception by which his understanding was distinyouth in Heathen mythology, whose ambition it was guished. “ Although a Protestant, he had escaped, to drive for a day the chariot of the sun, but, having through royal favour, from the massacre of Barneither strength nor skill to guide the wing-footed tholomew; but having been soon after shut up in the steeds, and leaving the beaten track, he perished in Bastile, he was visited in his prison by the king, the daring enterprise. They recall also to our re- who told him, that if he did not comply with the membrance another ancient fable, written when established (Popish) religion, he should be forced, foxes spake, and players on the stage not only per- however unwillingly, to leave him in the hands of his sonated fictitious characters, but wore a false face-enemies.” Forced ! sire,” replied the brave old a mask, sometimes with finer features than those it Huguenot —" forced! this is not to speak like a covered. In those days of yore Reynard found a king; but they who force you cannot force me. I can fine mask. He looked at it with surprise and admi- die.” And he did die-not by the sword, nor by ration; but happening to turn it over, and finding the axe of the headsman, which, comparatively, that it was light, light, he lifted up his voice and would have been merciful, but by lingering imprisonexclaimed, not in Latin, “ Fronti nulla fides"— ment in the dungeons of the Bastile, from which he “ there's no trusting to looks,"_but in pure ancient was not delivered, till, in the ninetieth year of his Greek, which, as his interpreter, we must render into 1 age, death set him free!

hibited when both wages and prices were lower THE CONDITION OF THE LABOURING than at the time this estimate was made. CLASSES IN PALESTINE.

On this expenditure, the condition of the

labouring population in Syria is described as BY JOHN KITTO, D.D.

easy and good, comparatively with that of the

same classes in England. They feed on mutton The information on this interesting subject (at about twopence halfpenny the pound) seve1, which may be gleaned from the Scriptures is ral times in the week, bread daily, sometimes

very scanty of definite facts, although there are rice pillaus, and always bulgur pillaus. Bulgur general statements conveying the impression is a preparation of wheat, husked and bruised that the labouring population rarely experienced or half ground, after being moistened and dried. the want of necessaries, and enjoyed a fair These pillaus are lubricated either with butter amount of comfort, except when the regular current of the national existence was obstructed They have also curds and butter-milk, cheese,

or oil, and are very palatable and satisfying. by scarcity, or disturbed by war. From the parable of the houscholder and his eges, olives, various dried fruits, and a large

variety and abundance of vegetables, besides labourers in Matt. xv., we learn that the rate herb-roots, turnips, and radishes preserved in of wages for field labour in the time of Christ brine or vinegar, and cucumbers and capsicums was one denarius by the day. This is reckoned in vinegar, for winter use. as equal to sevenpence halipenny. The wages

Their clothing is not very coarse.

The fine of agricultural labour in Syria, before Mehemet climate allows them to wear light cotton, and Ali became master of the country, was consi- other similar apparel; and in the short winter derably less than this in noininal, but probably they are generally well covered. Their lodging about the same in real value; and although is good. Generally every family has a separate : there was a great rise in all kinds of wages house, or set of rooms. The cost of this varies under the Egyptian rule, the prices of commo

with the locality; but lodging generally is cheap dities rose in more than an equal proportion, in Syria, compared with most other countries. and the labouring man was not better, nor in

It should be observed that this statement deed so well off, upon the higher than he had with respect to food, clothing, and lodging, embeen upon the lower rate of wages. The comforts which he could secure upon his higher not limited to husbandmen.

braces the labouring classes in general, and is

Some artisans wages were, therefore, not greater than those

earn twice as much, and a few thrice as much, which bis previously lower wages would pro- as the field labourer. Smiths, stone-cutters, vide; and this explanation is necessary, because carpenters, painters, tailors, and saddlers, are the the information on which our statement pro: trades whose wages are highest. These and ceeds was obtained while the higher rate of other trades probably have the same relation in both provisions and wages existed—being that ancient times as now to agricultural labour. which is embodied in the report on the com

And there is sufficient reason to think that the mercial statistics of Syria, rendered to the labouring classes generally among the llebrews Government by Dr Bowring in 1840.

were quite as well off as their successors in the From a careful consideration and comparison Promised Land; and their food, clothing, and of circumstances, we strongly incline to think

accommodation not materially different in quathat the current rate of wages for field and lity or kind. other labour in Syria bears very much about the same proportion to the price of provisions

THE SHEPHERD AND THE LAMB. as it did in the time of Christ; and therefore

(FOR PARENTS.) that the sevenpence halfpenny of the Jewish labourer at that day went quite as far, in the The only child of two thoughtless parents died. The purchase of food and other necessaries, as the parents became on this account, not only sorrowful, wages now obtained in the same country: ind

but disposed to question the goodness of God. They if so, we shall see, in the condition of the present

even petulantly inquired of their minister, how it Syrian labourer, no bad representation of that

could be possible that a God of love could have dealt of the labouring population among the ancient

so hardly with them as to take their only child. To Hebrews.

this question the pastor promised a reply, and he Then, bearing in mind the temporarily enhanced rate of wages and cost of commodities,

“ You would know from me why God has taken the following may be taken as exhibiting the your child from you? Well, then, be is determined rate and proportion of expenditure to one of to have from your family at least one member in

heaven. the labouring classes :

You parents would not prepare to enter

into heaven; and if that child of yours had been Food, £7 to £8 sterling

allowed to remain, you would also have prevented it Clothing, 3 to

from going thither. Hear, further, a parable. Lodging in towns,

2 to

There was a good shepherd, who had prepared costly Lodging in country, 1 to 2

fodder in his fold for his sheep, but the sheep would This makes the rate of expenditure vary from not enter, He gave himself much concern to in£H to £16, and the same proportions were ex- duce them to enter, but they always retreated far.

en- / gave it :


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]





ther backward from the open door. Then he took bed. “Now, brother worm,” said the queer but a lamb from the flock, and dragged it in; and behold, wise old patient, “ I asked this last piece of service the parent sheep ran in after it! The good Shep- for your own good as well as mine. You will be herd is Christ; the open fold is heaven; the lamb, worth of an armful of poor, sinful, dying clay. It

nothing the worse for having felt the weight and your child. Have ye the hearts of parents ? Pre

will help you to keep in mind your good resolutions. paro to follow your child. It has been taken from Christ be with you! In his own gracious words, you on purpose to allure you to the skies."

• Go, and sin no more.'

.'”The Old Bachelor in the

Old Scottish Village.
A QUEER old humorist lived in a little old cottage in

TOO LATE FOR CHURCH, the outskirts of our village. He had travelled much Some people are always behind-hand in everything. in the East, and had made money as a merchant in

It is their habit. They sit up late at night, and rise Smyrna. Being a native of our parish, and a bachelor, he came to close his mortal chapter where it

late in the morning, especially on the Sabbath; and began. I need scarcely say that, like so many of his it is ten o'clock before they are aware of it. The class, he was fidgety, testy, and troublesomne, but a bell rings, and then they are in a great hurry; but after lover of fair play-withal, warm-hearted, and benevo- all do not get to the place of worship till the service lent.

At bottom, too, he was a thoroughly religious has commenced. They meant to have been in sea

He and I were getting on uncommonly well together, when, greatly to my sorrow, he took ill and

son, but something happened to detain them; and so died, only a few months after we had becoine ac- something almost always happens, and will happen, quainted. An odd incident befell him on his death- till they put their clocks a quarter of an hour forward, Ded; and I must relate it, as illustrative of his cha

or resort to some other expedient to quicken their racter.

dilatoriness. Viewed in every light, this is a great A thief made his way into the cottage one mid

fault. In all ordinary cases, families can be punctual night, and entered his dying chamber to steal; for he was counted rich as a nabob. There was a light

on the Sabbath if they please. Even when the mornburning in the room. “What do you want, friend" | ings are shortest, and they live several miles from was the testy demand of our disturbed old gentleman. the church, by making suitable arrangements and “ Your money and your jewels,” said the thief. rising early, they can be in good season, as many “Oh! you are there, are you? Very well. Just such families always are. If it is our duty to look at these old legs of mine (thrusting out his emaciated members from beneath the bed-clothes); attend public worship at all, it is a duty to be

in our seats when the exercises commence. nay, lay hold of them-feel them--so, you must be

How perfectly convinced in your own mind now that I our thoughts be collected, and our minds cannot go into the next apartment, where my money suitably composed, if we do not enter the house is. Come, then, take me on your back, and carry till the middle of the psalm, or till the first prayer me there.” Saying this, the old chap, dying though is half through? What right have we to exhe was, actually rose and got out of bed. The thief drew back, with a look of ghastly surprise.“ Hark pect that God will meet us with a blessing, if we do ye! son of woman born," continued the old gentle- not punctually meet him in the place and in the way man emphatically, as he sat him down on the front of his appointment? Will he wait for us when we of the bed, and raised his fore-finger with warning are stupidly lagging behind the time; or will he withsolemnity; "I am far on my way to eternity, and draw his presence and withhold his blessing? Those you are coming on behind me. You are here to steal who can say with David, “ I was glad when they certain trash of mine. Come, now, you must do better than that. Draw near. Here is this bald old said unto me, Let us go into the house, of the Lord," heart of mine. Stand forward. Reach me now will never be late if they can avoid it. It is a great your thievish hand into this inveterate bosom of fault—a grievous sin. Emphatically is it great and mine. Oh! do but steal, rob, plunder from it grievous, when families come in late, and march with covetousness, lust, anger, and every other lingering their rustling silks up the broad aisle, to draw all bad passion, and send me lighter on my way. Oh! do this, and you shall have all my gold. You shake the eyes of the congregation upon them. Is this your head-you cannot. Here, then, friend, I am an uncharitable supposition ? We fear not. We anything but heavy-you must take me on your have known persons who seemed, at any rate, to back.” The thief could not stand this. He fell court this sort of notoriety -- who were so far from down on his knees, and begged the old man's for making it a part of their religion not to disturb others giveness. “Are you really in want?" asked the eccentric invalid. “I am, was the reply; " but in their devotions, that it was a matter of calculation deserve to be so, for I have been dissipated and

not to come in till the whole congregation was seated idle; but I think I am a changed man." “ Take and ready to receive them. this key, then," said our dying friend; “ open my desk in the next room there (pointing to the door);

TRIFLING WITH CONVICTIONS. you will find a purse of gold in it-bring it to me." The thief did so. “Take that,” said the worthy You that are at any time under convictions, O take humorist, and he served out his gold liberally into heed of resting in them! Though it is true that the thief's trembling hand. With tears in his eyes, conviction is the first step to conversion, yet it is not the poor penitent again fell on his knees, and craved conversion-a man may carry his convictions along a blessing on the dying man. He was about to with him into hell. retire. Nay, friend, you must help me into my What is that which troubleth poor creatures when bed first," said the old gentleman; “it is anything they come to die but this—I have not improved my but reasonable that I be ra:sed up at midnight in convictions; at such a time I was conviuced of sin, this sort of manner." Accordingly, the thief lifted but yet I went on in sin in the face of my conviction; the old man up in his arms, and put him into the at such a sermon I was convinced of such a duty, but

« PreviousContinue »