« AnkstesnisTęsti »
so comparatively exempt from sorrow and pain. All animals which tread upon the earth partake more or less of the misery which is inseparable from it; but the lark, which rises above us, seems also to rise above the infirmities which are the inheritance of our fallen nature."
"Yet birds mope," I replied; "a captive even in a golden cage pines for the freedom of its native woods."
"That is true," said the hair-dresser; "but then you see, sir, he suffers from the unkindness of those who deprive him of his freedom. In his natural state, I fancy the life of a song-bird is one of joy-pure joy."
"If those are your sentiments, my friend, I am surprised that you don't emancipate all your slaves at once."
"Well, sir," returned he, with a contracted brow and a sigh, "I have often thought it was cruel in me to keep them confined, but I couldn't part with them now; and, another thing, if they were to be turned loose in the world, every one of them, poor creatures! would be killed by their brethren, who don't know what civilization is."
"That is hardly consistent with the 'pure joy' which you fancy belongs to the feathered tribe in their wild state-❘ eh ?"
My worthy barber looked rather puzzled for a moment; but presently a smile lighted up his pallid countenance, and announced that the solution of the mystery was near at hand.
"It does at first sight," he observed, appear rather at variance with their gentle natures, and yet, I have no doubt it is a merciful provision, if we only knew all : a bird that has been once thoroughly domesticated would never again be able to bear the hardships which those endure with ease who have always lived in forests; it would perish, as you or I would do, sir, if we were turned out of our comfortable dwellings, and were clothed and fed as scantily as the earliest inhabitants of this country were; so it may be a humane feeling which prompts wild birds to kill those who have been caged, and who would inevitably die a lingering and painful death if left to provide shelter and food for themselves."
of command stand on the right leg, then on the left, then tuck his head under his wing as if playing at bo-peep, and then lay on the table as if completely exhausted or even dead. Another, a linnet, draws water from a well in a thimble, in a most workmanlike manner. Then there is a magpie, who, when at home, resides in a wicker cage, but who is much more frequently found hopping about the door-way and chattering for the amusement of little boys, without either rhyme or reason.
My friend, in addition to cutting hair and making bird-cages, is a kind of Hullah among his feathered songsters; he teaches them their notes, and gives to a canary the vocal accomplishments of a nightingale, by which its value is greatly enhanced. He has also written a little work on song-birds, and is often consulted by his lady customers, when their favorites are laboring under any temporary indisposition. He told me that he was called up one cold night in December to go and see the pet parrot of an old lady, supposed to be suffering from some mortal ailment, which had caused its kind owner much anxiety and alarm; and although he could do nothing but assure her that there was no ground for any serious apprehension, the old lady made him accept a fee for his professional attendance and opinion.
What he most dreads is a thunderstorm. I was in his shop one day, and was much surprised at the concern which he exhibited lest any of his birds should suffer from fear of the lightning. The operation of hair-cutting was entirely suspended; | pocket-handkerchiefs were carefully put over the cages; and I really believe, if the storm had lasted much longer, that he would have put up his shutters and discontinued business for the day.
My worthy friend has in his collection one or two birds of remarkable talent. There is a goldfinch who will at the word
It is said, "one touch of nature makes the whole world kin." In like manner, all lovers of nature, however high in social position, will recognize in the characters which I have described, that congeniality of taste and feeling, by virtue of which, however humble they may be, they are made worthy to associate with the most distinguished naturalists of their class. Such powers of appreciating the works of the great and good Creator as are thus often detected in persons occupying the humblest stations in society, should teach us never to despise those who seem to be beneath us.
I HAVE here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.MONTAIGNE.
RAMBLING through the ever-accumulating beauties and sweets of literature we pluck flowers, and with them, now and then, fruit. They come, like the denizens of the conservatory, from various and widely-separated habitats; but most of them are hardy, and all may be acclimated in the reader's mind. We begin, as apropos to the thoughts suggested, and to the sources of our bouquet, with DE POREE's description of
A LIBRARY ARMY.
All minds in the world's past history find their focalpoint in a library. This is that pinnacle from which we might see all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. I keep Egypt and the Holy Land in the On this side of them is closet next the window. Athens and the empire of Rome. Never was such an army mustered as a library army. No general ever had such soldiers as I have. Let the military world call its roll, and I will call mine. The privates in my army would have made even the staff-officers of Alexander's army seem insignificant. Only think of a pla toon of such good literary and philosophical yeomen as will answer my roll-call. "Plato!" "Here." A sturdy and noble soldier. "Aristotle!" "Here." A host in himself. Then I can call Demosthenes, Cicero, Horace, Cæsar, Tacitus, Pliny, and of the famous Alexandrian school, Porphyry, Iamblicus, Plotinus, and others, all worthy fellows every one of them, fully armed and equipped, and looking as fresh as if they had received the gift of youth and immortality. Modest men all; they never speak unless spoken to. Bountiful men all; they never refuse the asker. I have my doubts whether, if they were alive, I could keep the peace of my domains. But now they dwell together in unity, and all of the train in one company, and work for the world's good, each in his special way, but all contribute. I have also in a corner the numerous band of Christian Fathers-Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Augustine, St. Ambrose, and others, with their opponents, Fronto, the rhetorican, Crescens, the cynic philosopher, Celsus, Marcus Aurelius, and Julian the Apostate. They now Jie peacefully together, without the shade of repugnance or anger. It is surprising how these men have changed. Not only are they here without quarreling or disputing, without ambition or selfishness, but how calmly do they sit, though you pluck their opinions by the beard! Ages have wrought, generations grown, and all the blossoms are cast down here. It is the garden of immortal fruits, without dog or dragon. No such garden was Eden, in the past. It is the Eden to which the race is coming, that is to see the true Adam and the true Eve.
eye was dimmed as the gallant Frenchman placed, reverently, upon the bier a wreath of immortelles. In referring to this simple fact, and to the sneering remark that it is a popish custom, a traveler asks, pertinently:
Would it be very popish to see your little daughter rise on a shining summer's morning, and hear her say she will go to granma's grave that day, and lay a bright yellow immortelle upon it? It is only a few dried flowers bound together in a wreath, and bearing mottoes of "Hope," and "Love," and "Regret." O, you would be glad to see your child (ay, you would) follow the popish custom, and lay that child's wreath over the honored clay; and you would be yourself refined in seeing her.
SIMPLICITY AND SUBLIMITY OF THE SCRIP-
ALBERT BARNES, in a discourse "on the Influence of the Gospel on Imagination," describing the style of the sacred writers, gives utterance to thoughts which have occurred, perhaps, to almost every earnest searcher of the Scriptures:
While Christianity is based on facts, and while those facts are stated with the most accurate precision, and will bear the application of the severest laws of criticism, yet the form in which they are presented is just as if it were intended to make the most that is possible to be made of the imagination. Truth and holiness are the broad basis on which all is to rest; but there is obscurity, there is grandeur, there is vastness, there is infinitude on which the mind may range forever. Take the sufferings of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. The narrative is simple and unaffected, as if written by a child. There is no mere rhetoric. There is not a word of astonishment; there is not an attempt to excite the passions or to The circumstances of the narrative picture the scene. are so accurate and so minute that it seems almost as if there were an effort to give a mere dry detail, and as if the writers meant to anticipate every objection, and to prevent the possibility of a suspicion that the account was forged, and yet the whole account seems just as if it were designed to have as much for the imagination to supply as possible. Fewer words could not have been used in the description. And how the Saviour looked; what was the aspect of the heavens; what was the effect on the minds of those who witnessed the scenes; who is there that has not been disposed to ask of some one who knew? The resurrec tion of Jesus-the most solemn and grand event that has occurred in the world-entering into all the hopes of man and shedding new light around the grave-how simple and short the account, and what a degree of obscurity rests upon it where the imagination may roam! The final resurrection of the just and the unjust; the bursting of the graves, and the sea giving up its dead; a world on fire, and all the dead mounting up to meet their final judge; how simple the details in the Scriptures; how almost tantalizing the statements; and yet what a field of glory! How sublime! How obscure!
FLOWERS UPON THE TOMB.
THEY have a custom in Continental Europe of visiting, annually, the graves of departed loved ones, and laying upon them wreaths of flowers. The brave general, Pellisier, followed the remains of his coadjutor, Lord Raglan, to the grave, and many an English
WHAT IS FAITH?
AN exceedingly simple question, but one to which answers almost innumerable have been given. DR. JELF, in a recent sermon
before the University of Oxford, thus gives a practical summary of its results and effects. He asks:
What is faith? It may be somewhat understood by its results. It is no partial or transient feverish emotion with which the soul throbs now and then, but it is the regular pulse of our spiritual life. It is not an occasional recognition of the facts of our redemption, but a steady, lively remembrance of all that Christ has done for us. It is not merely the casting an occasional glance to Him, not an occasional dedication of ourselves to Him as His liege subjects, but it is a fixed and concentrated gaze, the total surrender of ourselves, our reason, and our wills. It is not an occasional Lord, Lord, but it is as if a man should say, "Lord, thou art mine, and I am thine; I am sick, do thou heal me; I am lame, do thou support me; I am blind, do thou lead me; I am lost, do thou save me;" combined with a ready mind, a firm step, a quick eye; a ready mind to do what He bids, to follow where He leads; a quick eye to see His bidding, catch His glance and meaning; a firm step to tread in His path.
THE EMPTY CUP.
BOGATZKY has some pertinent and sensible remarks on worldly happiness, and the vanity of all attempts to educe soul-satisfying enjoyments from mere earthly gratifications:
If you were to see a man endeavoring all his life to satisfy his thirst by holding an empty cup to his mouth, you would certainly despise his ignorance; but if you should see others, of finer understandings, ridiculing the dull satisfaction of one cup, and thinking to satisfy their thirst by a variety of gilt and golden empty cups, would you think that these wero even the wiser, or happier, or better employed, than the object of their contempt? Now this is all the difference that you can see in the various forms of happiness caught at by the men of the world. Let the wit, the great scholar, the fine genius, the great statesman, the polite gentleman, unite all their schemes, and they can only show you more and various empty appearances of happiness; give them all the world into their hands, let them cut and carve as they please, they can only make a greater variety of empty cups; for, search as deep and look as far as you will, there is nothing here to be found that is nobler or greater than high eating and drinking, than rich dress and human applause, unless you look for it in the wisdom and laws of religion. Reader, reflect upon the vanity of all who live without godliness, that you may be earnest at a throne of grace, to be turned from the creature and seek for happiness in the Creator. The poorest Christian, who lives upon Christ, and walks in daily fellowship with God, is happier than the richest worldling. Indeed, such only are happy.
A MOTHER'S LOVE FOR HER FIRST-BORN. SIMPLY expressed, and truthful, as many witnesses, were it needful, might be called upon to prove, is this statement of a father relative to the death of his first-born:
We were to leave our lodgings on Monday morning; but on Saturday evening the child was seized with convulsions, and all Sunday the mother watched and prayed for it; but it pleased God to take the innocent
infant from us, and on Sunday, at midnight, it lay a corpse in its mother's bosom. Amen. We have other children, happy and well, now round about us; and from the father's heart the memory of this little thing has almost faded; but I do believe that every day of her life the mother thinks of the first-born that was with her for so short a while; and many and many a time has she taken her daughters to the grave, where he lies buried, and she wears still at her neck a little, little lock of gold hair, which she took from the head of the infant as he lay smiling in his coffin. It has happened to me to forget the child's birthday, but to her never; and often, in the midst of common talk, comes something that shows she is thinking of the child still, some simple allusion that is to me inexpressibly affecting. I shall not try to describe her grief, for such things are sacred and secret; and a man has no business to place them on paper for all the world to read.
THE LAST WORDS OF GOETHE.
Ir is related of a little girl, who had given her young heart to the Saviour, that when, on her death bed, she was asked as to her feelings now that she was entering the dark valley, she faintly echoed back the question, "Dark? dark? It is not dark!" How different the last words of the learned philosopher and poet when his hour had come:
By a closed window in the city of Germany sat an old man, grave, and dignified, and serene. Books were scattered around him, and his pen was still in his fingers-that pen which for more than fifty years he had wielded with an almost superhuman power; but now the hand that held it moves nervously in the air, and seems to be writing vague and indistinct shadows, where no substance was. The eye that had flashed like a meteor or a sun is now darkened and obscured.
He had trod the steeps of learning, gathering many a laurel; and, treading the flowery paths of poetry, he plucked sweet flowers on heights where mortals seldom tread. His mind, gigantic in its grasp, and farseeing in its penetrations, had piled up speculations high and majestic, and separated the atoms of thought, which to others were elements. He had captivated, enchained, charmed, dazzled, bewildered; but now he was treading the dark valley, and its gloomy shades began to thicken around him; no light streamed in from the eternal throne; and his mind, wandering amid the mazes of poetry and philosophy, could only cry out in anguish, "Open the shutters and let in more light!" And soon the "silver cord was loosed, and the golden bowl was broken, and the keepers could no longer look out at the windows," and thus crying out for more light his soul departed.
What a picture of a gifted man, endowed with a genius far beyond the common order of even intellectual men; successful in every department of knowledge, even those so wide apart as poetry and optics; loaded with honors; living to see his own fame acknowledged in all lands; and dying only when the ordinary term of human life had long been passed; yet when death did come, unable to articulate any confident hope or a single consolatory word, amid the overshadowing gloom! Yet how could it be otherwise? The great man lived in sordid egotism. He was a god to himself. This feeling ran through all his course. When, therefore, he died, what was left
to him but to utter that mournful cry, Open the shutters and let in more light! The strong man wanted a helper when he began to go down into the dark valley.
THE RELIGION OF EPITAPHS.
THE Greyson Correspondence, noticed at some length in our pages last month, is pervaded by a keen and caustic vein of sarcasm. As a specimen, take the following, equally applicable to some graveyards in our own country as to those in England:
I spent some time in the church-yard, spelling out the names of some of the old inhabitants of our early days, and beholding, with pleased surprise, from the (as usual) truthful epitaphs, that many of them were garnished and decorated with virtues of which, while they lived, I had not had the smallest suspicion; so artfully had Christian humility concealed their excellences!
Superstition no longer deifies the dead, but affection angelizes them. For my part, I think if I were bedaubed and bedizened with one of the tawdry epitaphs I have sometimes seen in a country church-yard, it would be enough to make me get up in the night and scratch it out. There was our old acquaintance, Farmer Veesey's fat wife, who resembled (as some one said of her like) "a fillet of veal upon castors," decked out in a suit of virtues which might not have misbecome a scraph. Several others of our old acquaintances I found were such wives, mothers, neighbors, friends; so charitable, gentle, forgiving! Surely the parson in our time must have had an easy time of it, an absolute sinecure, with such a flock.
It is really odd to see so much wickedness above ground, and so much goodness under it. Ah! if they could but change places, what a pleasant world it would be! Or rather, perhaps, we ought to say, "Who can wonder that so much iniquity is left among the living, when such cart-loads of all the cardinal and other virtues are thus yearly shoveled into the earth
by the undertaker?" Any way, however, it is a pleasant thing to find our old friends improved by keeping, and looking better in their winding-sheets than ever they did in silks or satins.
WEBSTER gives, as one of his definitions of the word Bore-A person or thing that wearies by iteration. In that sense the word does not appear to have been known by Walker. The thing, however, has existed in all ages, and ROGER of LILLE, a theologian of the thirteenth century, thus
incessantly, and deal out again all they receive; and when they begin their labors, they always promise to be very brief. They never forget names or places; these are their guides and finger-posts to long harangues. They have a great talent of minute description, and treasure up every cast-off rag of other men's conversation. They are the great torments of a university man's life.
This class of men never die; they never have the common decency to die. They spin out existence to the latest moment, and usually enjoy good health and the unimpaired use of their tongue till the latest moment. In fact, they are never dumb till they are coffined. They travel extensively, and know all countries and persons, and everything in and about them. They stick closely to you, nor can any coldness of manner shake them off. If you get into a passion, they only smile at your simplicity. Bolt them out of the door, they will come in by the window to tell you something they had forgotten to mention. They read VOL. XII.-7
CHARLES READE is down upon the stoneworshipers, and amuses himself with pleasant raps, not upon the rocks, but on the rock-chippers:
Politics, love, theology, art, are full of thorns; but when you see a man perched like a crow on a rock chipping it, you see a happy dog. You who are on the look-out for beauty, find irregular features or lackluster dolls; you who love wit are brained with puns or ill-nature, the two forms of wit that exist out of books. But the hammerist can jump out of his gig at any turn of the road, and find that which his soul desires; the meanest stone a boy throws at a robin is millions of years older than the Farnese Hercules, and has a history as well as a sermon.
Stones are curious things. If a man is paid for breaking them he is wretched; but if he can bring his mind to do it gratis, he is at the summit of content! With these men life is a felicitous dream: they are not subject to low spirits like other men; they smile away their human day; and when they are to die they don't seem to mind it so very much. Can they take anything easy by giving it one of their hard names-is the grave to them a cretaceous, or argillaceous, or ferruginous bed, I beg their pardon-stratum?
THE wise man found nothing new under the sun. He alluded more especially to the discoveries of science and the revelations of
philosophy. HUGH MILLER goes a step further, and finds nothing new even in the regions of the absurd and the ridiculous:
"No one need expect to be original simply by being absurd. There is a cycle in nonsense, which ever and anon brings back the delusions and errors of an earlier time. The follies of the present day are transcripts, unwittingly produced, and with, of course, a few variations, of follies which existed a century ago.
THE GERMS OF THE BEAUTIFUL HERE are a few stanzas (the author is not known to us) with which we may appropriately end our chapter for the present
Scatter the germs of the beautiful,
That the rose may spring by the cottage gate,
Cover the rough and the rude of earth
Scatter the germs of the beautiful
In the holy shrine of home;
Let the pure, and the fair, and the graceful there In their loveliest luster come;
or annexation of a province, the laboring classes, under a fresh sense of the manifold tyrannies, exactions, and disorders from which they are delivered, usually express satisfaction and delight. But as the first generation dies out, and another rises up knowing nothing but the even, steady, continuous demands of the British authorities, demands which they cannot evade, as they often might amid the weakness and turbulence of native rule, they are apt to settle down into a state of necessitated acquiescence, or sullen indifference, or latent disaffection and discontent, often secretly sighing for a change of rulers, that might give them some chance of helping or bettering themselves. Such I believe to be the general condition of the people of India as regards their feelings toward the British and their government. And such being their condition, any one might anticipate the evolution of conduct which they might be expected to exhibit in the midst of a rebellion, with what must appear to their minds its doubtful issues. The quieter and more thoughtful
Scatter the germs of the beautiful
In the depths of the human soul;
They shall bud and blossom, and bear the fruit, spirits, under dread of ultimate retribution, would
While the endless ages roll;
hold back, or perhaps show favor or kindness to such Britons as came in their way. The bolder, more resolute, and more impetuous spirits, on the other hand, would at once be ready to sound a jubilee of triumph over the downfall of the British power, and equally ready to display the insolence of triumph over helpless and fugitive Britons. And this I believe to be å tolerably exact picture of the state of feeling and conduct among the native population in the Northwest and Central Indian territories toward the British and their rule.
Leave not a trace of deformity
In the temple of the heart,
Scatter the germs of the beautiful
And curved each line in grace.
Plant with the flowers of charity
The portals of the tomb,
And the fair and the pure about thy path
The National Magazine.
EDITORIAL NOTES AND GLEANINGS.
THE REVOLT IN INDIA.-Perhaps never since the world began have been enacted scenes of greater horror than India has exhibited during the last few months of the year just ended. The barbarous cruelties of the natives, inflicted upon defenseless men, women, and children, arson, robbery, rape, murder, with the terrible retaliation of the British soldiery, have been spread before the public by pen and pencil until the soul sickens at the picture. And the end is not yet. True, Delhi has fallen, and the English papers predict the speedy annihilation of the rebellion, and the restoration of order and tranquillity. Either intentionally or from ignorance, the extent of the disaffection is vastly underrated. We have been told that it is confined almost exclusively to the Sepoys or native soldiers, and that, even of them, it embraces but a portion. Certainly nothing is to be gained by a suppression of the truth, or by giving it a false coloring. No man in India has had a better opportunity for ascertaining the facts in the case than the well-known missionary, the Rev. Alexander Duff, whose life has been devoted to the cause of Christ in India. He has given his views upon the subject in a letter written to a friend in Scotland. Although they are expressed in his own strong language and nervous style, his facts may be relied upon, and his opinions are entitled to consideration. As to the feelings of the great masses of the natives toward the British government Dr. Duff says:
"That there ever was anything like affection or loyal attachment, in any true sense of these terms, on the part of any considerable portion of the native population toward the British power, is what no one who really knows them can honestly aver. Individual natives have become attached to individual BritOf the truth of this statement even the recent sanguinary mutinies have furnished some conspicuous examples. But such isolated facts can prove nothing as to the feelings generally prevalent with respect to the British and their power. On the first subjugation
"After escaping from the murderous hands of mutineers, British gentlemen and ladies have, in particular instances, experienced kindness at the hands of the common villagers; but in far the greater number of instances they have experienced quite the reverse. On this account they have been constantly compelled to shun the villages altogether, and betake themselves to jungles and beasts of prey, and to manifold privations, the narration of which makes one almost shudder. And among the murders ever and anon reported in our public journals, how often do we find this entry opposite a name, 'Killed by the villagers! One of a volunteer expedition, which lately went out into the district of Meerut, writes that it was 'evident as they went along that the whole country was up,' adding, that on reaching Rerote, which city was considered friendly to us, they were at once received by a 'friendly salute of thirty matchlocks in their faces Authentic notifications of a somewhat similar kind have also reached us from other places. A medical gentleman who has recently published an elaborate account of the escape of himself, with other gentlemen, ladies, and children, amounting in all to twenty-seven in number, from Angur, in Central India, testifies that every vil lager was uncivil, and that the smile of respectful submission with which the European officer was wont to be greeted, was displaced by an angry scowl and raj (or reign) was at an end.' Throughout their haughty air toward the despicable Feringhee, whose twelve days' wanderings they continued to encounter the most terrible hardships and dangers from the hatred, incivility, and contempt of the villagers. This very day, in one of our public journals, a gentleman, long resident in the interior, thus writes: I have lost all my property, but my principal object is to impress upon my countryinen (to convince the government of this truth seems hopeless) the utter and most virulent hatred the natives have evinced throughout this outbreak, both to our government and Europeans generally. In every instance where troops have mutinied they have been joined by the inhabitants, not only of the bazaars, but of the towns and villages adjacent, who not only assisted the Sepoys in burning, looting, (plundering,) and destroying government property, and that of European settlers, and all Christians, and in killing any of them they could; but after the depart
ure of the mutineers, continued the devastation, and completed it. I am a very long resident in this country, and having been in a position to hear the true sentiments of the natives (who neither feared me nor required anything from me) toward our government, and ourselves, I have been long aware of their hatred toward both, and that opportunity alone was wanted to display it as they now have done; and where it has not been shown, rest assured it is only from fear or interest, and when they did not recognize opportu nity.'
"Now, in the face of these, and scores of other substantially similar statements from all parts of the Northwest and Central India, what becomes of the lullaby declarations of those who would fain persuado