Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

therefore never fails to strike those who understand good breeding and those who do not.

She does not run with a girlish eagerness into new friendships, which, as they have no foundation in reason, serve only to multiply and imbitter disputes. It is long before she chooses, but then it is fixed forever; and the first hours of romantic friendships are not warmer than hers after the lapse of years. As she never disgraces her good-nature by severe reflections on any body, so she never degrades her judgment by immoderate or ill-placed praises; for every thing violent is contrary to her gentleness of disposition and the evenness of her virtue. She has a steady and firm mind, which takes no more from the female character than the solidity of marble does from its polish and lustre. She has such virtues as make us value the truly great of our own sex; she has all the winning graces, that make us love even the faults we see in the weak and beautiful of hers.

[blocks in formation]

O, SCENES surpassing fable, and yet true

Scenes of accomplished bliss! which who can see,
Though but in distant prospect, and not feel
His soul refreshed with foretaste of the joy?
Rivers of gladness water all the earth,

And clothe all climes with beauty; the reproach
Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field
Laughs with abundance; and the land, once lean,
Or fertile only in its own disgrace,
Exults to see its thistly curse repealed.
The various seasons woven into one,
And that one season an eternal spring,

The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence,
For there is none to covet; all are full.
The lion, and the libbard, and the bear,
Graze with the fearless flocks; all bask at noon
Together, or all gambol in the shade

Of the same grove, and drink one common stream.
Antipathies are none. No foe to man

Lurks in the serpent now: the mother sees,
And smiles to see, her infant's playful hand
Stretched forth to dally with the crested worm,
To stroke his azure neck, or to receive
The lambent homage of his arrowy tongue.
All creatures worship man, and all mankind
One Lord, one Father. Error has no place;
That creeping pestilence is driven away;

The breath of heaven has chased it. In the heart

No passion touches a discordant string;

But all is harmony and love. Disease
Is not; the pure and uncontaminate blood
Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age.
One song employs all nations; and all cry,

66

Worthy the Lamb, for he was slain for us!" The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks Shout to each other, and the mountain-tops From distant mountains catch the flying joy; Till, nation after nation taught the strain, Earth rolls the rapturous hosanna round!

LESSON CLIX.

The Idea of a State. SIR W. JONES.

WHAT Constitutes a state?

Not high-raised battlement or labored mound,

Thick wall, or moated gate;

Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crowned; Not bays and broad-armed ports,

Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
Not starred and spangled courts,

Where low-born baseness wafts perfume to pride:
No-men, high-minded men,

With powers as far above dull brutes endued,
In forest, brake, or den,

As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude:
Men, who their duties know,

But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain;
Prevent the long-aimed blow,

;

And crush the tyrant, while they rend the chain
These constitute a state;

And sovereign Law, that state's collected will,
O'er thrones and globes elate,

Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.
Smit by her sacred frown,

The fiend Dissension like a vapor sinks;
And e'en the all-dazzling Crown

Hides his faint rays, and at her bidding shrinks.

[blocks in formation]

One with all a father's truth,
One with all the fire of youth.

One on earth in silence wrought,
And his grave in silence sought;
But the younger, brighter form
Passed in battle and in storm.

So whene'er I turn my eye
Back upon the days gone by,
Saddening thoughts of friends come o'er me,
Friends that closed their course before me.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Rosamund Gray. LAMB.

It was noontide. The sun was very hot. An old gentlewoman sat spinning in a little arbor at the door of her cottage. She was blind; and her granddaughter was reading the Bible to her. The old lady had just left her work, to attend to the story of Ruth.

"Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her." It was a passage she could not let pass without a

[ocr errors]

comment. The moral she drew from it was not very new, to be sure. The girl had heard it a hundred times before; and a hundred times more she could have heard it, without suspecting it to be tedious. Rosamund loved her grandmother.

The old lady loved Rosamund too; and she had reason for so doing. Rosamund was to her at once a child and a servant. She had only her left in the world. They two lived together.

They had once known better days. The story of Rosamund's parents, their failure, their folly, and distresses, may be told another time. Our tale hath grief enough in it.

It was now about a year and a half since old Margaret Gray had sold off all her effects, to pay the debts of Rosamund's father—just after the mother had died of a broken heart; for her husband had fled his country to hide his shame in a foreign land. At that period, the old lady retired to a small cottage in the village of Widford in Hertfordshire.

Rosamund, in her thirteenth year, was left destitute, without fortune or friends: she went with her grandmother. In all this time she had served her faithfully and lovingly.

Old Margaret Gray, when she first came into these parts, had eyes, and could see. The neighbors said, they had been dimmed by weeping: be that as it may, she was latterly grown quite blind. "God is very good to us, child; I can feel you yet." This she would sometimes say; and we need not wonder to hear, that Rosamund clave unto her grandmother.

Margaret retained a spirit unbroken by calamity. There was a principle within, which it seemed as if no outward circumstances could reach. It was a religious principle, and she had taught it to Rosamund; for the girl had mostly resided with her grandmother from her earliest years. Indeed, she had taught her all that she knew herself; and the old lady's knowledge did not extend a vast way.

Margaret had drawn her maxims from observation; and a

« PoprzedniaDalej »