« PoprzedniaDalej »
A Love-TOKEN FOR CHILDREN. Designed for Sunday-School Libraries. By the Au
thor of “The Linwoods,' 'Live and Let Live,''Poor Rich Man, and Rich Poor Man,' etc. In one volume. pp. 142. New-York : HARPER AND BROTHERS.
Miss Sedgwick is pursuing a literary path of usefulness and honor, with undeviating steps; and long may she live to walk therein, and to illustrate the beauty of doing good, both in her productions and by her example. Possessing a heart softened with the love of human kind, she delights to seize upon scenes and events of common life, which, when followed out, serve, in the lessons they impart, to rob adversity of its sting, and as a counterpoise against the struggles of a world. She never seems to forget, that in the humblest creature of earth, there is a soul whose genealogy is God as well as her own. Hereafter, we cannot doubt, she will enjoy the reputation of having been, preeminently, the moral benefactress of the first nation of freemen on the globe; having sown, broad-cast, in the hearts of the youth of this republic, the seeds of humble domestic virtues, which shall yield in the future an hundred fold. Incidents of every-day existence – in the selection and results of which are displayed the eye of a true artist, not less than the benevolent spirit of the philanthropist, and the heart of a Christian - are detailed in the little book before us with the most winning simplicity, and yet with singular dramatic effect.
There are eight stories in the volume, bearing the titles of 'The Widow Ellis and her Son Willie,'' The Magic Lamp,'. Our Robins,'' Old Rover,''The Chain of Love,'' Mill Hill,' (in two parts,) and “The Bantem.' Although intended for the young, there are moral truths in these unpretending little stories, which 'children of a larger growth' might imbibe, with edification and profit. We had marked passages in the first tale, and had separated a link or two from' The Chain of Love,' (a' similitude' worthy of Bunyan,) to present to our readers; but all our extracts are shrunk to this little measure of quotation from 'Our Robins :'
"At a short distance from the village of S—, on the top of a hill, and somewhat retired and sheltered from the roadside, lives a farmer by the name of Lyman. He is an industrious, intelligent, and honest man; and though he has but a small farm, and that lying on bleak, stony hills, he has, by dint of working hard, applying his mind to his labor, and living frugally, met many losses and crosses without being cast down by them, and has always had a comfortable home for his children; and how comfortable is the home of even the humblest New-England farmer! with plenty to satisfy the physical wants of man, with plenty to give to the few wandering poor, and plenty wherewith to welcome to his board the friend that comes to his gate. And, added to this, he has books to read, a weekly newspaper, a school for his children, a church in which to worship, and kind neighbors to take part in his joy, and gather about him in time of trouble. Such a man is sheltered from many of the wants and discontents of those that are richer than he, and secured from the wants and temptations of those that are poorer.
“Late last winter Mr. Lyman's daughter, Mrs. Bradly, returned from Ohio, a widow with three children. Mrs. Bradly and I were old friends. When we were young girls we went to the same district school, and we had always loved and respected one another. Neither she nor I thought it any reason why we should not, that she lived on a little farm, and in an old small house, and I in one of the best in the village; nor that she dressed in very common clothes, and that mine, being purchased in the city, were a little better and smarter than any bought in the country. It was not the bonnets and gowns we cared for, but the heads and hearts those bonnets and gowns covered.
“The very morning after Mrs. Bradly's arrival in S-, her eldest son, Lyman, & boy ten years old, came to ask me to go and see his mother. 'Mother,' he said, ' was not very well, and wanted very much to see Miss
S. So I went home with him. After walking half a mile along the road, I proposed getting over the fence and going, as we say in the country,"cross lots.' So we got into the field, and pursued our way along the noisy little brook that, culling Lyman's farm in two, winds its way do the hill, sometimes taking a jump of five or six feet, then murmuring over the stones, or playing round the bare roots of the old trees, as a child fondles about its parent, and finally steals off among the flowers it nourishes, the brilliant cardinals and snow-white clematis, till it mingles with the river that winds through our meadows. I would advise my young friends to choose the fields for their walks. Nature has always some
thing in store for those who love her and seek her favors. You will be sure to see more birds in the green fields than on the roadside. Secure from the boys who may be idling along the road, ready to let fly stones at them, they rest longer on the perch, and feel more at home there. Then, as Lyman and I did, you will find many a familiar flower that, in these by-places, will look to you like the face of a friend; and you may chance
new acquaintance, and in that case you will take pleasure in picking it and carrying it home, and learning its name of some one wiser than you are. Most persons are curious to know the names of men and women whom they never saw before, and never may see again. This is idle curiosity; but often in learning the common name of a flower or plant, we learn something of its character or use; 'bitter-sweet,' 'devil's cream-pitcher,' or 'fever-bush,' for example.
"'You like flowers, Lyman,' I said as he scrambled up a rock to reach some pink columbines that grew from its crevices.
""Oh, yes, indeed I do like them,' he said ; 'but I am getting these for mother; she loves flowers above all things - all such sorts of things,' he added, with a smile.
“ I remember very well,' said I, 'your mother loved them when she was a little girl, and she and I once attended together some lectures on botany ; that is, the science that describes plants and explains their nature.'
"Oh, I know, ma'am,' said he, 'mother remembers all about it, and she has taught me a great deal she learned then. When we lived out in Ohio, I used to find her a great many flowers she never saw before; but she could class them, she said, though, they seemed like strangers, and she loved best the little flowers she had known at home, and those we
about the do
door, and mother said she took comfort in them in the darkest times.'
" Dark times I knew my poor friend had had much sickness, many deaths, many, many sorrows in her family, and I was thankful that she had continued to enjoy such a pleasure as flowers are to those that love them.
"As we approached Mrs. Lyman's, I looked for my friend, expecting she would come out to meet me, but I found she was not able to do so; and, when I saw her, I was struck with the thought that she would never living leave the house again. She was at first overcome al meeting me, but, after a few moments, she wiped away her tears and talked cheerfully. I hoped,' she said, 'my journey would have done me good, but I think it has been too much for me; I have so longed to get back to father's house, and to look over these hills once more, and though I am
am weak and
rds can't tell how contented I feel; I sit in this chair and look out of this window, and feel as a hungry man sitting down to a full table. Look there,' she continued, pointing to a cherry-tree before the window, 'do you see that robin ? ever since I can remember, every year a robin has had a nest in that tree. I used to write to father and inquire about it when I was gone; and when he wrote to me, in the season of bird-nesting, he always said something about the robins; so that this morning, when I heard the robin's note, it seemed to me like the voice of one of the family.'
"'Have you taught your children, Mary,' I asked, to love birds as well as flowers ?'
" I believe it is natural to them,' she replied ; 'but I suppose they take more notice of them from seeing how much I love them. I have not had much to give my children, for we have had great disappointments in the new countries, and have been what are called very poor folks; so I have been more anxious to give them what little knowledge I had, and to make them feel that God has given them a portion in the birds and the flowers, his good and beautiful creation.'
"Mother always says,' said Lyman; and there, seeming to remember that I was a stranger, he stopped. What does mother always say?" I asked.
"She says we can enjoy looking out upon beautiful prospects, and smelling the flowers, and h
just as much as if we could sav
e could say they are mine! "Well, is is not just so '?' said Mrs. Lyman ; 'has not our Father in heaven given his children a share in all his works? I often think, when I look out upon the beautiful sky, the clear moon, the stars, the sunset clouds, the dawning day; when I smell the fresh woods and the perfumed air ; when I hear the birds sing, and my heart is glad, I
ink, after all, that there is not so much diflerence in the possessions of the rich and poor as some think ; 'God giveth to us all liberally, and upbraideth not,''".
"'Ah!' thought I, the Bible says truly, 'as a man thinkeib, so is he. Here is my friend, a widow and poor, and with a sickness that she well knows must end in death, and yet, instead of sorrowing and complaining, she is cheerful and enjoying those pleasures that all may enjoy if they will; for the kingdom of nature abounds with them. Mrs. Bradly was a disciple of Christ; this was the foundation of her peace; but, alas! all the disciples of Christ do not cultivate her wise, checrsul, and grateful spirit.''
We trust that this little volume will be widely circulated among our young friends as a New Year's Gift. Surely nothing could be more appropriate, or fruitsul of good lessons. True, it is not embellished with pictures, nor does it gleam in purple and gold; but it'has that within which passeth show.'
Incidents of TRAVEL IN EGYPT, ARABIA PETRÆA, AND THE HOLY LAND. BY AN AME
RICAN Second Edition, with Additions. New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
We have already noticed this work at large in these pages, accompanying our remarks with copious extracts. We have nothing to add to the praise which we bestowed upon the first edition of the book, suve in regard to the additions which are here presented, and which are characterized by similar interest of topic, and freshness and originality of style, which the public have already so much admired. We are struck, in the added portions, with the many additional corroborations of the truth of Scripture history which they contain. The writer follows in the very footsteps of the Saviour. At Jacob's well, where Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman, our traveller would fain sit down. 'I could feel,' says he,' and realize the whole scene. I could see our Saviour coming out from Judea, and travelling along this valley; I could see him, wearied with his journey, sitting down on this well to rest, and the Samaritan women, as I saw them at every town in the Huly Land, coming out for water. I could imagine his looking up to Mount Gerizim, and predicting the ruin of the temple, and telling her that the hour was coming when neither on that mountain nor yet in Jerusalem would she worship the God of her fathers. A large column lay across the top of the well, and the mouth was filled up with huge stones. I could see the water through the crevices; but, even with the assistance of Paul and the Arabs, found it impossible to remove them. I plucked a wild-flower growing in the mouth of the well, and passed on.' As he approached Sychar, the ancient Shechem, he saw a shepherd sitting on the bank of a beautiful stream, playing a reed pipe, with his flock feeding quietly around him; and outside the gate of the town, he beheld niore than a dozen lepers, 'their faces shining, pimpled, and bloated, covered with sores and pustules, their nostrils open and filled with ulcers, and their red eyes fixed and staring. With swollen feet they dragged their disgusting bodies toward me, and with hoarse voices extended their deformed and hideous hands for charity.' He 'must needs go through Samaria,'also, where he learns, from an old Samaritan, that as cordial a hatred exists now as of old, between the Jews and Samaritans, they having no intercourse, save in the dealings of the market-place. 'I asked him,' says our author, about Jacob's well; he said he knew the place, and that he knew our Saviour, or Jesus Christ, as he familiarly called him, very well; he was Joseph the carpenter's son, of Nazareth; but that the story which the Christians had about the woman at the well was all a fiction; that Christ did not convert her; but that, on the contrary, she laughed at him, and even refused to give him water to drink.'
At the ancient Samaria, whose destruction was foretold by the prophet Amos, and amid the ruins of the palace of Herod, our traveller thus ruminates: ' And Herod has gone, and Herodias, Herod's brother's wife, has gone, and the lords, and the high captains, and the chief estates of Galilee' are gone; but the ruins of the palace in which they feasted are still here; the mountains and valleys which beheld their revels are here; and -oh, what a comment upon the vanity of worldly greatness! — a fellah was turning his plough around one of the columns. I was sitting on a broken capital under a fig-tree by its side, and I asked him what were the ruins that we saw; and while his oxen were quietly cropping the grass that grew among the fragments of the marble floor, he told me that they were the ruins of the palace of a king – he believed, of the Christians; and while pilgrims from every quarter of the world turn aside from their path to do homage in the prison of his beheaded victim, the Arab who was driving his plough among the columns of his palace, knew not the name of the haughty Herod.' At the Lake of Genesareth, he exclaims: 'Christ walked upon that sea, and stilled the raging of its waters, and preached the tidings of salvation to the cities on its banks. But where are those cities now? Chorazin and Bethsaida, and thou too, Capernaum, that wast exalted unto heaven! The whole
lake is spread out before me, almost from where the Jordan enters, unto where that hallowed stream passes on to discharge its waters in the bituminous lake which covers the guilty cities; but there is no city, no habitation of man; all is still and quiet as the grave;' save the miserable relic of the ancient Tiberias, standing on the very shore of the sea, a mere speck in the distance. Tyre, also, is thus described:
“On the extreme end of a long, low, sandy isthmus, which seems to have crawled out as far as it could, stands the fallen city of Tyre, seeming, at a distance, to rest on the bosom of the sea. A Turkish soldier was siationed at the gate. I entered under an arch, so low that it was necessary to stoop on the back of my horse, and passed through dark and narrow streets, sheltered by mats stretched over ihe bazaars from the scorching heat of a Syrian sun. A single fishing-boat was lying in the harbor of the crowning city, whose merchants were princes, whose traffickers were the honorable of the earth.'
"I left the gate of Tyre between as honest a man and as great a rogue as the sun ever shone upon. The honest man was my old Arab, whom I kept with me in spite of his bad donkey; and the rogue was a limping, sore-eyed Arab, in an old and ragged suit of regimentals, whom I hired for two days to relieve the old man in whipping the donkeys. He was a dismissed soldier, turned out of Ibrahım Pacha's army as of no use whatever, than which there could not be a stronger certificate of worthlessness. He told me, however, that he had once been a man of property, and, like honest Dog. berry, had had his losses; he had been worth sixty piastres, (nearly three dollars) with which he had come to live in the city, and been induced to embark in enterprises that had turned out unfortunately, and he had lost his all.”
The reader will admire with us the quiet, oblique humor with which Mr. Stephens records many of the minor incidents of his journeyings. He learns, on rising in the morning, at Tiberias, that an European bas arrived during the night. He hunts him up, and finds him to be a sporting English traveller, as 'indifferent' as SANDS' 'Mr. Green,' equipped with shooting-jacket, gun, dog, etc., - a regular old stager, 'who did not travel for scenery, associations, and all that, but who could tell every place where he had bagged a bird, from Damascus to the Sea of Galilee ! Again, and cordially, do we commend these volumes to our readers.
THE Works of CHARLES LAMB. To which are prefixed his Letters, and a Sketch of
his Life. By THOMAS Noox TALFOURD, one of his Executors. În two volumes. pp. 935. New-York : HARPER AND BROTHERS.
Right pleased are we, in common, we doubt not, with the reading public at large in this country, to find the presses of the above-named eminent publishers groaning again under the burthen of 'good works.' Long may they live to print, and that their judgment and taste be as well exercised in the future as in the past — long may we live to read! The BrothERS Harper have been national benefactors; and, having sustained the pressure' with unfaltering credit, they may look forward into time, and see their names graven upon a thousand monuments of human intellect. Next to present success, we trust they regard this posthumous renown with becoming reverence and affection.
On looking over these volumes, we find them far more complete than we had anticipated. The' Memoirs and Correspondence,' reviewed in our last number, do not fill even the first volume; and to these are added all the productions of 'Elia,' with many other essays, published letters, under assumed signatures, poems, sonnets, blank verse, album verses, dramatic efforts, etc., the whole forming a complete collection of the author's works, in a convenient form, and beautiful dress. Having already gone largely into the merits of the work, and presented copious extracts, we shall content ourselves with a few brief and desultory selections from the poetical department of the first volume.
From Lines Composed at Midnight,' we take the subjoined thrilling and graphic picture of one dying with consumption:
Those are the moanings of the dying man,
"On his tedious bed
Wheu night comes, I shall gel a little rest!'
We are sorely tempted to transcribe' Angel-Help,' stanzas suggested by a drawing, in which is represented the legend of a poor female saint, who, having spun until past midnight, to maintain a bed-ridden mother, has fallen asleep from fatigue, and angels are finishing her work. But we pass to the annexed fragment, descriptive of a curse visited by a witch-beldame upon the child of a venerable baronet, who has repulsed her from his gate, while she is asking alms:
"Some two months after,
"And sure I think
'The Housekeeper,' one of those choice embellishments of common objects, for which Lamb was so remarkable, must close our extracts for the present :
• The frugal snail, with forecaste of repose,
A fine and spirited engraving of 'Elia,' delving (by candle-light, as was ever his wont,) at the mines of the elder spirits of English literature, from the burin of Dick, gives additional attractions to these very handsome volumes.