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what signifies the word father to him who has denied God, the Father of us all ?” “Oh! press him not too hardly," said his weeping wife, coming forward from a dark corner of the room, where she tried to conceal herself in grief, fear, and shame. “Spare, oh! spare my husband-He das ever been kind to me;" and, with that, she knelt down beside him, with her long soft white arms mournfully, and affectionately laid across his neck. Go thou, likewise, my sweet little Jamie,” said the Elder, “ go even out of my bosom, and kneel down beside thy father and thy mother, so that I may bless you all at once, and with one yearning prayer.” The child did as the solemn voice commanded, and knelt down somewhat timidly by his father's side; nor did the unhappy man decline encircling with his arm, the child too much neglected, but still dear to him as his own blood, in spite of the deadening and debasing influence of infidelity.
Put the word of God into the hands of my son, and let him read aloud to his dying father, the 25th, 26th, and 27th verses of the eleventh chapter of the gospel according to St. John.” The Pastor went up to the kneelers, and, with a voice of pity, condolence, and pardon, said, " There was a time when none, William, could read the Scriptures better than couldst thou-can it be that the son of my friend hath forgotten the lessons of his youth?” He had not forgotten them— There was no need for the repentant sinner
his eyes from the bed-side. The sacred stream of the gospel had worn a channel in his heart, and the waters were again flowing. With a choked voice he said, " Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: And whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die. Believest thou this? She said unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
“ That is not an unbeliever's voice,” said the dying man, triumphantly; “nor, William, hast thou an unbeliever's heart. Say that thou believest in what thou hast now read, and thy father will die happy!” “I do believe; and as thou forgivest me, so may I be forgiven by my Father who is in heaven.” The Elder seemed like a man suddenly inspired with a new life. His faded
kindledhis pale cheeks glowed his palsied hand seemed to wax strong—and his voice was clear as that of manhood in its prime. “Into thy hands, O God! I commit my spirit;
and, so saying, he gently sunk back on his pillow; and I thought I heard a sigh. There was then a long deep si. lence; and the father, the mother, and the child, rose from their knees. The eyes of us all were turned towards the white placid face of the figure now stretched in everlasting rest; and, without lamentations-save the silent lamentations of the resigned soul—we stood around the DeathBED OF 'rhe Elder.
On Lord Byron's Lines upon the Field of Waterloo. Here is the very cunning of the poet—one train of ideas excited to prepare you for receiving, in its full force, the shock of their opposite. The ball-room thrown open to you; beauty and chivalry, in all the splendour that should grace the festive hour, presented to you; the voluptuous swell of music awakened for you; your senses, your imagination, and your affections, environed with scenes and images of sweetness, and grace, and loveliness, and joy-to strike you aghast with alarm, to bring trepidation and terror before you, in their most appa.iing shapes and attitudes, The whole scene, as by the waving of an enchanter's wand, changed in a moment! For smies, tears; for blushes, paleness; for meetings, partings; for the assembly, the muster; for the dance, the march; for the music, the cannon; for the ball-room, the battle-field! This is one of the most favourite feats of poetry, and occurs frequently in the works of all great masters. It is a means by which they provoke that agitation and hurry of spirits, which enable them to take possession of their readers; and which consists in bringing contraries into sudden collision. The luxuriant valley opens upon the sterile heath; the level plain borders upon the rugged mountain; you walk in imagined security, and find yourself upon the brink of an abyss; you fall asleep with the languor of the calm, and awaken with the fury of the tempest! Campbell soothes the apprehensions of Gertrude-places Albert and his interesting family in their lighted bower, prolonging the joy of converse—when Outalissi rushes in to tell them, that
“ The mammoth comes! the foe! the monster Brandt!
With all his howling—desolating band !” Thomson avails himself of the serenity of a placid summer's day, and the security and calm of requited, happy, communing love—to introduce the tempest, whose lightning strikes Amelia to the earth, a blackened corse! Milton works up his infernal hero to the highest pitch of demoniac exultation, to prepare his ear for the dismal, universal hiss, that aptly gratulates his triumph--extends, expands him into the full dimensions of monarchal pride, to throw him down, a reptile, upon the floor of Pandemonium! Shakespeare prepares a feast for the reception of the ghost of Banquo—brings the exultation and the agony of triumphant guilt, into iminediate contact—exhibits to us, at the same moment, and in the same person, the towering king, and the grovelling murderer!-or, in the tragedy of Hamlet, makes the grave-digger's carol, the prelude to the dirge of Ophelia!
The Perfect Orator. IMAGINE to yourselves a Demosthenes, addressing the most illustrious assembly in the world, upon a point whereon the fate of the most illustrious of nations depended—How awful such a meeting! how vast the subject! - Is man possessed of talents adequate to the great occasion ?--Adequate! Yes, superior. By the power of his eloquence, the augustness of the assembly is lost in the dignity of the orator; and the importance of the subject, for a while, superseded by the admiration of his talents.With what strength of argument, with what powers of the fancy, with what emotions of the heart, does he assault and subjugate the whole man; and, at once, captivate his reason, his imagination, and his passions! - To effect this, must be the utmost effort of the most improved state of human nature.—Not a faculty that he possesses, is here unemployed; not a faculty that he possesses, but is here exerted to its highest pitch. All his internal powers are at work; all his external, testify their energies. Within, the memory, the fancy, the judgment, the passions, are all busy: without, every muscle, every nerve is exerted; not a feature, not a limb, but speaks. The organs of the body, attuned to the exertions of the mind, through the kindred organs of the hearers, instantaneously vibra te those energies from soul to soul. Notwithstanding the diversity of minds in such a multitude; by the lightning of eloquence, they are melted into one mass—the whole
assembly, actuated in one and the same way, become, as it were, but one man, and have but one voice.—The uni, versal
cry is–LET US MARCH AGAINST Philip, LET US FIGHT FOR OUR LIBERTIES—LET US CONQUER OR DIE!
Lord Byron considered as a Moralist, and a Poet. As a moralist, Lord Byron is most exceptionable. There is not a more prolific source of positive virtue, than the habit of feeling benevolently towards our fellow-creatures. This he endeavours to cut up by the root. There is nothing of benignity, or even of urbanity, in his writings; all is sourness and harshness, a perpetual dreariness, sterility, that puts forth no medicinal shoot or cheering flower. So far as the kindly movements of the heart are concerned, among his species, Lord Byron is a rock; and among rocks
, only, a man. His works are not absolutely destitute of touches of virtuous emotion; but those that occur, are never of the social kind, unless you allow some few traits of merely animal affection. Lord Byron's morality counsels you to relax the grasp of friendship, to withhold the trust of confidence, to shut out your fellow from your heart, and lock it upon him. But, putting aside the tone of misanthropy which pervades his writings, how chaotic an idea does he give you of the government of his own mind, when he dedicates to his daughter the song in which he celebrates his mistress; when he can find no more fitting office for the hand of a parent, than that of imprinting upon the mind of a daughter, the indulgent position, that a woman may surrender her honour, and preserve her
purity! We do not pretend to scan the real character of Lord Byron. We know nothing of him, but what we learn from his works; and it is they that are to blame, if we do not profess the most exalted opinion of him.
We slight him upon
the warrant of his own hand. There is something perfectly puerile in the sketch that he so repeatedly gives us of his own character-a man whining forth his private discontents and dislikings, vending them, as it were, in every village, town, and city of the empire; making them as notorious, as if they had been committed to the oratory of the town-sergeant. A father, professing the most passionate tenderness for his offspring; and making her, in the servour of his love, a gift of the public record of his
weaknesses, caprices, passions, and vices, collected, drawn up, and authenticated by his own paternal hand.
As a poet, Lord Byron is the most easy, the most nervous, and—with the exception perhaps of Wordsworth— the most original of the day. His verses possess all the flowing property of extemporaneous eloquence. His diction seems to fall into numbers, rather than to be put into them. He reminds us of one who has written down his ideas just as they occurred, and finds that he has expressed himself in rhyme. No ekeing out of the verse; no accommodating of the sense to the sound; nothing that indicates a looking out for materials; every thing at hand, to be had only for the reaching, and fitting at the first trial. It would savour too much of pedantry, to point out errors of a merely grammatical description; but, it is somewhat singular, that so classical a writer should abound more in solecisms, than all his cotemporaries put together. This may be readily pardoned, however, if we take into consideration the rapid. ity with which he is reputed to compose. In all other respects, Lord Byron is seldoın incongruous, rarely redundant, never vapid; often pathetic, frequently sublime, always eloquent. If once he lays hold of your attention -unless, indeed, it be by some sudden start of displeasure -the chances are against your getting loose again, until he is satisfied to let you go.
Story of Le Fevre. It was some time in the summer of that year in which Dendermond was taken by the Allies, when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sit. ting behind him at a small side-board.— I say sitting; for, in consideration of the Corporal's lame knee, which sometimes gave him exquisite pain,—when my uncle Toby dined or supped alone, he would never suffer the Corporal to stand; and the poor fellow's veneration for his master was such, that, with a proper artillery, my uncle Toby could have taken Dendermond itself, with less trouble than he was able to gain this point over him: for many a time, when my uncle Toby supposed the Corporal's leg was at rest, he would look back, and detect him standing behind him with the most dutiful respect. This bred more little squabbles betwixt them, than all other causes for five and twenty years together.