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His royal highness had sent out a summons for a great military review, which was to take place on a Sunday. The bishop had been long confined to his room, and did not hope, nor, I suppose, wish, ever in this world to go out again. He ordered his carriage, however, upon hearing this, proceeded to Carlton House, and waited on the prince, who received him very graciously.
“I am come, sir,” said the bishop, “urged by my regard for you, for your father, and for this great nation, which is anxiously beholding every public action of yours. I am on the verge of time: new prospects open to me: the favour of human beings is as nothing to me now. I am come to warn your royal highness of the awful consequences of your breaking down the very little that remains of distinction to the day that the Author of all power has hallowed, and set apart for himself.”
He went on, in pathetic terms, to represent the awful responsibility to which the prince exposed himself, and how much benefit or injury might result to the immortal souls of millions, by his consulting or neglecting the revealed will of the King of kings; and, after much tender and awful exhortation, concluded with saying, “ You see how your father,
greatly your inferior in talent and capacity, — has been a blessing to all around him, and to the nation at large, because he made it the study and business of his life to exert all his abilities for the good of his people, to study and to do the will of God, and to give an example to the world of a life regulated by the precepts of Christian morality. He has been an object of respect and veneration to the whole world, for so doing. If he has done much, you, with your excellent abilities, and pleasing and popular manners, may do much more. It is impossible for you to remain stationary in this awful crisis; you rise to true glory and renown, and lead millions in the same path by the power of your example, or sink to sudden and perpetual ruin, aggravated by the great numbers whom your fall will draw with you to the same destruction : and now, were I able to rise, or were any one here who would assist me, I should, with the awful feeling of a dying man, give my last blessing to your royal highness.”
The prince, upon this, burst into tears, and fell on his knees before the bishop, who bestowed upon him, with folded hands, his dying benediction : the prince then, in the most gracious and affecting manner, assisted him himself, to go down, and put him into his carriage. — The bishop went
home, never came out again, and died the fifth day after. On hearing of his death, the prince shut himself up, and was heard by his attendants to sob as under deep affliction.
THE STUDY OF THE ANIMAL WORLD. Mrs. Ellis.
I would recommend to the attention of youth, an intimate acquaintance with the nature and habits of the animal world. Here we may find a source of rational and delightful interest, which can never fail us, so long as a bird is heard to sing upon the trees, or a butterfly is seen to sport among the flowers.
I will not go the length of recommending to my young country women to become collectors, either of animals or of insects; because, as in the case of translations from the best of ancient writers, this has already been done for them, bet. ter than they are likely to do it for themselves; and because I am not quite sure, that simply for our own amusement, and without any reference to serving the purpose of science, we have a right to make even a beetle struggle to death upon the point of a pin, or to crowd together boxes full of living creatures, which, in the agony of their pent-up sufferings, devour and destroy one another.
Happily for us, there are ably written books on these subjects, from which we can learn more than from our own observation; and museums accessible to all, where different specimens of insects and other animals, are so arranged as materially to assist in understanding their nature and classification; and far more congenial it surely must be to the heart and mind of woman, to read all which able and enlightened men have told us of this world of wonder, and then to go forth into the fields, and see the busy and beautiful creatures by which it is inhabited, sporting in the joyous freedom of nature, unharmed, and unsuspicious of harm. Yes, there is an acquaintance with the animal creation, which might be cultivated, so as to do good to the heart, both of the child and the philosopher, an acquaintance which seems to absolve these helpless creatures from the curse of estrangement from their sovereign man,- an acquaintance which brings them near to us, in all their natural peculiarities, their amazing instincts, and in the voiceless, and other unintelligible secrets of their mysterious existence.
And it is good thus to be acquainted with that portion of creation which acknowledges, in common with ourselves, the great principle of animal life; to know that enjoyment is enjoyment, and that pain is pain, to myriads and myriads of beings, in some respects more beautiful, in others more curious, and, in all, more innocent, than ourselves. It is good to know, so far as men can know, for what purpose Almighty power has created them. It is good to behold their beauty, to understand their wonderful formation, and to examine the fairy fancy-work of some of their sacred little homes. It is good to be acquainted with the strength of the mother's love, when she stoops her wing to the spoiler, and offers her own life to save her tender brood. It is good to know that the laws of nature, in their filial and parental influences, cannot be violated without sorrow as intense, though not as lasting, as that which tortures the human heart on the separation of parent and child. It is good to know how these creatures, placed by Divine wisdom under the power and dominion of man, are made to suffer or to die, when he neglects or abuses them.
The earth and the air, the woods and the streams, the gardens and the fields, tell us of all this. When we sit under the shade of a lofty tree, in the stillness of summer's balmy noon, the note of the wood-pigeon salutes us from above. We look up, and the happy couple are nestling on a bough, as closely, side by side, as if the whole world to them was nothing, so long as their faithful love was left. On a lower branch of the same tree, or on a broken rail close by, the little robin sits and sings, looking occasionally askance into the face of that lordly creature whom instinct teaches him to shun. Yet is it less a reproachful, than an inquiring glance, as if he would ask, whether you could really wish to frighten him with all the terrors which agitate his little breast on your approach. And then he sings to you again, a low, soft war. ble; though his voice is never quite so sweet as in the autumn, when other birds are silent, and he still sings on amidst the. falling leaves and faded flowers. Next, the butterfly comes wavering into sight, yet hastening on, to turn its golden wings once more up to the sunshine. The bee then hurries past, intent upon its labours, and attracted only for a moment by the nosegay in your hand; while the grasshopper, that mase. ter of ventriloquism, invites your curiosity, — now here, now there, but never to the spot where his real presence is to be found. And, all this while, the faithful dog is at your feet. If you rise, — at the same moment he rises too; and if you sit down, he also composes himself to rest. Ever ready to go or stay, he watches your slightest movement; and so closely and mysteriously is his being absorbed in yours, that, although a ramble in the fields affords him a perfect ecstasy of delight, he never allows himself this indulgence, without your countenance and companionship.
But it is impossible so much as to name one in a thousand of the sweet and cheering influences of animal life, upon the youthful heart. The very atmosphere we live in, teems with it; the woods are vocal, — the groves are filled with it; while around our doors, within our homes, and even at our social hearth, the unfailing welcome, the transient glimpses of intelligence, the instinct, the love of these creatures, are interwoven with the vast chain of sympathy, which, through the whole of what may be a wandering and uncertain life, binds us to that spot of earth where we first awoke to a feeling of companionship with this portion of the creatures of our heavenly Father's care.
Of all the seasons there is none that can vie with the spring, for beauty and delightfulness. It bears the same figure among the seasons of the year, that the morning does among the divisions of the day, or youth among the stages of life. The English summer is pleasanter than that of any other country in Europe, on no other account but because it has a greater mixture of spring in it. The mildness of our climate, with those frequent refreshments of dews and rains that fall among us, keeps up a perpetual cheerfulness in our fields, and fills the hottest months of the year with a lively verdure.
In the opening of the spring, when all nature begins to recover herself, the same animal pleasure which makes the birds sing, and the whole brute creation rejoice, rises very sensibly in the heart of man. I know none of the poets who
has observed so well as Milton, those secret overflowings of gladness which diffuse themselves through the mind of the beholder, upon surveying the gay scenes of nature : he has touched upon it, twice or thrice, in his Paradise Lost, and describes it very beautifully, under the name of “vernal delight," in that passage where he represents the arch-fiend himself as alınost sensible of it: “Blossoms and fruits, at once, of golden hue,
Appeared, with gay enamelled colours mixed : On which the sun more glad impressed his beams Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow, When God hath showered the earth; — so lovely seemed That landscape : and of pure now purer air Meets his approach; and to the heart inspires Vernal delight, and joy, able to drive All sadness but despair.” The creation is a perpetual feast to the mind of a good man: every thing he sees cheers and delights him. Providence has imprinted so many smiles on nature, that it is impossible for a mind which is not sunk in mere gross and sensual delights, to take a survey of them, without sensations of pleasure. The Psalmist has, in several of his divine poems, celebrated those beautiful and agreeable scenes which make the heart glad, and produce in it that “ vernal delight" which I have before taken notice of.
Natural philosophy quickens this taste of the creation, and renders it not only pleasing to the imagination, but to the understanding. It does not rest in the murmur of brooks, and the melody of birds, in the shade of groves and woods, or in the embroidery of fields and meadows; but considers the several ends of Providence which are served by them, and the wonders of Divine wisdom which appear in them. It heightens the pleasures of the eye, and raises such a rational admiration in the soul, as is little inferior to devotion.
It is not in the power of every one to offer up this kind of worship to the great Author of nature, and to indulge these more refined meditations of heart, which are doubtless highly acceptable in his sight; I shall therefore conclude this short essay on that pleasure which the mind naturally conceives from the present season of the year, by recommending a practice for which every one has sufficient abilities.
I would have my readers endeavour to moralize this natural pleasure of the soul, and to improve this “ vernal delight," :