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1. Concerning Growing Old, Eraser's Magazine, 131
2. Retribution, Englishwoman's Journal, 143
3. The Works of De Quincey, .... Press, 151
4. The Wild Sports of India Literary Gazette, 155
5. The Protestant Movement in Italy, . . . Eclectic, 158
6. Mental Stature, Saturday Review, 166
7. The Humboldt Correspondence, . . . Spectator, 169
8. The Austrian and Russian Reforms, ." 171
9. European Anxieties, Press, 172
10. The Neapolitan Crash, Examiner, 174
11. Yeast: the Political Fermentation, . . . Spectator, • 175
12. The Treason of Charles Lee, .... Athenaeum, 178
13. A Final Arctic Search Saturday Review, 181
14. Travels and Adventures of the Rev. Joseph Wolff, Athenceum, 183
15. The Ruling Passion, Chambers's Journal, 187
16. An Arctic Boat Journey, .... Literary Gazette, 190
Poetry.—The Best Gift, 130. The Rook, 130. Lines in a Season of Sickness, 130. Two Roads to a Red Riband, 168. Cheer for Garibaldi, 168. The Conveyancer's Pupil's Lament, 192.
Shobt Articles.—Remains of Man in Caves, 142. Arctic Boat Journey, 150. Fall down a Well at Pompeii, 154. Discoveries in Van (Assyria), 165. Life of Ilallam, 170. Egyptian Monuments, 180. Cheap Meat, 189.
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THE BEST GIFT.
Durkness is past;
Peace come at last.
The web she hath wove,
Some one to love I
Summer there is but one,
Day without night;
No frost nor blight—
Cares pointless prove,
Some one I love.
Flowers have sweeter sprang,
Skies seemed more clear,
Heaven seemed so near—
All price above,
Since I have loved.
Harshness, where bides it now 1
Sorrow, where fled?
Joy come instead.
Trust to be proved,
Speak to me, silver stream,
Language thou'st found,
Field, brook, and grove,
One that I love.
Sweet rose, thou hast a voice
In thy world I rejoice—-
To thce is granted,
Prize it, and treasure it,
Some one to love thee, Heart,
Let the Skylark make her boast <IPthr high and laurelled host Who have hailed her Heaven's Chorister so
Let the Nightingale repeat
Let each bird in her degree,
Her proper tribute, whether
Though her voice be somewhat hoarse,
While their private lives—I guess,
Oh, in sooth, I love that clangor
When, with half-shut, dusky pinion,
LINES IN A SEASON OF SICKNESS.
BY A GOOD LIVER.
Mt stomach's ever craving for enjoyment
And I supply it,
Because, from diet,
But then there comes the melancholy question,
Why do I suffer,
A poor old buffer, So much from gout and bile and indigestion?
Some people gorge their brains with erudition,
Learning and thinking;
Eating and drinking
From Fraser's Magazine.
I Was sitting, on a very warm and bright summer morning, upon a gravestone in the churchyard. It was a flat gravestone, elevated upon four little pillars, and covering the spot where sleeps the mortal part of a venerable clergyman who preceded me in my parish, and who held the charge of it for , sixty years. I had gone down to the churchyard, as usual, for a while after breakfast, with a little companion, who in those days was generally with me wherever I went. I And while she was walking about, attended i by a solemn dog, I sat down in the sunshine on the stone, gray with lichen, and green with moss. I thought of the old gentleman who had slept below for fifty years. I wondered if he had sometimes come to the | churchyard after breakfast before he began his task of sermon-writing. I reflected how his heart, mouldered into dust, was now so free from all the little heats and worries which will find their way into even the quietest life in this world. And sitting there,! I put my right hand upon the mossy stone. The contrast of the hand upon the green i surface caught the eye of my companion, who j was not four years old. She came slowly j up, and laid down her own hand beside mine j on the mossy expanse. And after looking i at it in various ways for several minutes, and contrasting her own little hand with the | •weary one which is now writing this page, she asked, thoughtfully and doubtfully, —: Was your hand ever a little hand like mine?
Yes, I said, as I spread it out on the stone, | and looked at it: it seems a very short time since that was a little hand like yours. It' •was a fat little hand: not the least like those thin fingers and many wrinkles now. When it grew rather bigger, the fingers had generally various deep cuts, got in making and rigging ships: those were the days when I intended to be a sailor. It gradually grew bigger, as all little hands will do, if spared in this world. And now, it has done a great many things. It has smoothed the heads of many children, and the noses of various horses. It has travelled, I thought to myself, along thousands of written pages. It, has paid away money, and occasionally received it In many things that hand has fallen short, I thought j yet several things •which that hand found to do, it did with its
might. So here, I thought, were three hands, not far apart. There was the little hand of infancy; four daisies were lying near it on the gravestone where it was laid down to compare with mine. Then the rather skinny and not very small hand, which is doing now the work of life. And a couple of yards beneath, there was another hand, whose work was over. It was a hand which had written many sermons, preached in that plain church j which had turned over the leaves of the large pulpit-Bible (very old and shabby) which I turned over now; which had often opened the door of the house where now I lire. And when I got up from the gravestone, and was walking quietly homeward, many thoughts came into my mind ConCerning Glowing Old.
And, indeed, many of the most affecting thoughts which can ever enter the human mind are concerning the lapse of Time, and the traces which its lapse leaves upon human beings. There is something that touches us in the bare thought of Growing Old. I know a house on certain of whose walls there hang portraits of members of the family for many years back. It is not a grand house, where, to simple minds, the robes of brocade and the suits of armor fail to carry home the idea of real human beings. It is the house of a not wealthy gentleman. The portraits represent people whose minds did not run much upon deep speculations or upon practical polities; but who, no doubt, had many thoughts as to how they should succeed in getting the ends to meet. With such people does the writer feel at home: with such, probably, does the majority of his readers. I remember, there, the portrait of a frail old lady, plainly on the furthest confines of life. More than fourscore years had left their trace on the venerable head: you could fancy you saw the aged hands shaking. Opposite there hung the picture of a blooming girl, in the fresh May of beaut)*. The blooming girl was the mother of the venerable dame of fourscore. Painting catches but a glimpse of time; but it keeps that glimpse. On the canvas the face never grows old. As Dekker has it, "False colors last after the true be fled." I have often looked at the two pictures, in a confused sort of reverie. If you ask what it is that I thought of in looking at them, I truly cannot tell you. The fresh young beauty was the mother: the aged grand-dame was the child: that was really all. But there are certain thoughts upon which you can vaguely brood for a long time.
You remember reading how upon a day, not many years since, certain miners, working far under ground, came upon the body of a poor fellow who had perished in the suffocating pit forty years before. Some chemical agent, to which the body had been subjected—an agent prepared in the laboratory of nature—had effectually arrested the progress of decay. They brought it up to the surface: and for a while, till it crumbled away, through exposure to the atmosphere, it lay there, the image of a fine sturdy young man. No convulsion had passed over the face in death: the features were tranquil; the hair was black as jet. No one recognized the face: a generation had grown up since the day on which the miner went down his shaft for the last time. But a tottering, old woman, who had hurried from her cottage at hearing the news, came up: and she knew again the face which through all these years she had never quite forgot. The poor miner was to have been her husband the day after that on which he died. They were rough people, of course, who were looking on: a liberal education and refined feelings are not deemed essential to the man whose work it is to get up coals, or even tin: but there were no dry eyes there when the grayheaded old pilgrim cast herself upon the youthful corpse, and poured out to its deaf car many words of endearment, unused for forty years. It was a touching contrast: the one so old, the other so young. They had both been young, these long years ago: but time had gone on with the living, and stood still with the dead. It is difficult to account for the precise kind and degree of feeling with which we should have witnessed the little picture. I state the fact: I can say no more. I mention it in proof of my principle, that a certain vague pensiveness is the result of musing upon the lapse of time; and a certain undcfinablc pathos of any incident which brings strongly home to us that lapse and its effects.
"In sileneo Matthew lay, and eyed
The spring beneath'the tree:
"' No check, no stay, that streamlet fears— IIow merrily it goes '.
'Twill murmur on a thousand years,
"' And here, on this delightful day,
I cannot choose but think
"'My eyes are dim with childish tears,
My heart is idly stirred,
That is really the sum of what is to be said on the subject. And it has always appeared to me that Mr. Dickens has shown an amount of philosophical insight which does not always characterize him, when he wrote certain reflections, which he puts in the mouth of one Mr. Roker, who was a turnkey in the Fleet Prison. I do not know why it should be so; but these words are to me more strikingly truthful than almost any others which the eminent author ever produced:—
"' You remember Tom Martin, Neddy? Bless my dear eyes,' said Mr. Kokcr, slinking his head slowly from side to side, and gazing abstractedly out of the grated window before him, as if he were fondly recalling some peaceful scene of his early youth, 'it seems but yesterday that he whopped the coal-hearer down at the l-'ox-under-the-Hill, by the wharf there. I think I can sec him now, a coming up the Strand between two street-keepers, a little sobered by the bruising, with a patch o' winegar and brown paper over his right eyelid, and that 'ere lovely bull-dog, as pinned the little boy afterwards, a following at his heels. What a rum thing Time is, aint it, Neddy ?'"
Here we find, truthfully represented, an essential mood of the human mind. It is a more pleasing picture, perhaps, that comes back upon us in startling freshness, making us wonder if it is really so long ago since then, and our sentiment with regard to time is more elegantly expressed; but it really comes to this. You can say no more of time than that it is a strange, undefinable, inexplicable thing; and when, by some caprice of memory, some long-departed scene comes vividly back, what more definite thing can you do than just shake your head, and gaze abstractedly,like Mr. Roker? Like distant bells upon the breeze, some breath from childhood shows us plainly for a moment the little thing that was oursclf. What more can you do but look at the picture, and feel that it is strange? More important things have been forgotten; but you remember how, when you were four years old, you ran a race along a path with a green slope beside it, and watched the small shadow keeping pace with you along the green slope; or you recall the precise feeling with which you sat! down in the railway carriage on the day when you first came home from school for the holidays, and felt the train glide away. And when these things return, what can you do but lean your head upon your hand, and vaguely muse and feel? I have always much admired the truthful account of the small boy's fancies, as he sits and gazes into the glowing fire " with his wee round face." Mr. Ballantine is a true philosopher as well as a true poet.
"For a' sae sago ho looks, what can tho laddie ken?
He's Thinkin' Upon Naethino, like mony mighty men!"
We can all "think of naething," and think of it for a long time, while yet the mind is by no means a blank.
It is very easy, in one sense, to grow old. You have but to sit still and do nothing, and time passing over you will make you old. But to grow old wisely and genially, is one of the most difficult tasks to which a human being can ever set himself. It is very hard to make up your mind to it. Some men grow old, struggling and recalcitrating, dragged along against their will, clinging to each birthday as the drowning man catches at an overhanging bough. Some folk grow old, gracefully and fittingly. I think that, as a general rule, the people who least reluctantly grow old, are worthy men and women, who see their children growing up into all that is good and admirable, with equal steps to those by which they feel themselves to be growing downward. A better, nobler, and happier self, they think, will take their place; and in all the success, honor, and happiness of that new self, they can feel a purer and worthier pride than they ever felt in their own. But the human being who has no one to represent him when ho is gone, will naturally wish to put off the time of his going as long as may be. It seems to be a difficult thing to hit the medium between clinging foolishly to youth and making an affected parade of age. Entire naturalness upon this subject appears to be very hard of attainment. You know how many people, men as well as women, pretend to be younger than they really are. I have found various motives lead to this pretence. I have known men, distinguished at a tolerably early ajje in some walk of intellectual exertion, who in announcing their age (which they frequently did without any necessity), were wont to deduct three or five years from the actual tale, plainly with the intention of making their talent and skill more remarkable, by adding the clement of these being developed at a wonderfully early stage of life. They wished to be recognized as infant phenomena. To
be an eloquent preacher is always an excellent thing; but how much more wonderful if the preacner be no more than twentytwo or twenty-three. To repeat The Batile of Hohenlinden is a worthy achievement, but the foolish parent pats his child's head with special exultation, as he tells you that his child, who has just repeated that popular poem, is no more than two years old. It is not improbable that the child's real age is two years and eleven months. It is very likely that the preacher's real age is twentyeight. I remember hearing of a certain clerical person who, presuming on a very youthful aspect, gave himself out as twenty-four, when in fact he was thirty. I happened accidentally to see the register of that individual's baptism, which took place five years before the period at which he said he was born. The fact of this document's existence was made known to the man, by way of correcting his singular mistake. He saw it; but he clung to the fond delusion j and a year or two afterwards I read with much amusement in a newspaper some account of a speech made by him, into which account was incorporated an assurance that the speech was the more remarkable, inasmuch as the youthful orator was no more than twentyfour! Very, very contemptible, you say; and I entirely agree with you. And apart from the dishonesty, I do not think that judicious people will value very highly the crude fruit which has been forced to a certain ripeness before its time. Let us have the mature thing. Give us intellectual beef rather than intellectual veal. In the domain of poetry, great things have occasionally been done at a very early age; for you do not insist upon sound and judicious views of life in poetry. For plain sense and practical guidance, you go elsewhere. But in every other department of literature, the value of a production is in direct proportion to the amount of the experience which it embodies. A man can speak with authority only of that which he has himself felt and known. A man cannot paint portraits till he has seen faces. And all feeling, and most moods of mind, will be very poorly described by one who takes his notion of them at second-hand. When you are very young yourself, you may read with sympathy the writings of very young men; but when you have reached maturity, and learned by experience the details and realities of life, you will be conscious of a certain indefinable want in such writings. And I do not know thct this defect can be described more definitely than by saying that the entire thing is veal, not beef. You have the immature animal. You have the "berries harsh and crude." But long after the period at which it ia