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MOUNTAINS OF GALILEE AND SAMARIA. Our view representing the mountains of Galilee and Samaria is taken on the road from Nazareth, looking south ward. The mountain to the right, in the foreground, is alleged to be that from which the people of Nazareth designed to cast Jesus down. (Luke iv. 29.) The heights of Little Hermon are seen to the left, beyond which the view opens towards the plain of Esdraelon, over which are seen the distant mountains of Samaria.
The range of hills, known as Little Hermon, is of no considerable elevation, fertile, fit for pasturage, and covered with abundance of vegetation, which is not the case with the more mountainous region usually called Hermon. From the superior fruitfulness of the former, it is usually regarded as that referred to by the Psalmist.* (Ps.cxxxiii. 3, see also Ps. xlii. 6, and lxxxix. 12.)
The view embraced by our engraving is thus described in the Church of Scotland's “Mission to the Jews.” (vol. ii. p. 66.) The spectator is standing on Mount Tabor, a few miles to the eastward of the spot chosen by our artist, and commences his
survey with the plain of Esdraelon. " To the west and south-west lay the largest part of the great
* Kitto's Palestine. We are indebted to the same source for our embellishment,
plain of Esdraelon, bounded by the long ridge of Carmel, and watered by the full-flowing Kishon, making its way through it toward the Mediterranean. To the south, and immediately in front of us, was the graceful range of Little Hermon, and behind it the summits of Mount Gilboa. Between us and Hermon lay stretched that arm of the plain of Esdraelon which encircles Tabor, beautifully variegated with immense fields of thistles and wild-flowers, giving the whole plain the appearance of a carpeted floor. How great must have been its beauty when its wide open surface was adorned with thriving villages planted amidst fields of waving grain, and gardens of blossoming fruit trees, and closed in by the fertile hills that guard the horizon! At the foot of Hermon, Mr. Calman pointed out to us Endor, where Saul went to consult the woman who had a familiar spirit on the last night of his unhappy career; and a little way to the west of it the village of Nain, still marking the spot where Jesus raised the widow's son to life. (Luke vii. 11.)
OUR LIVING LETTERS.
CHAP. VIII.-KEEPERS AT HOME, AND GADDERS ABOUT.
“When my wife,” continued our friend, “repeated to me what had passed in this intercourse with the widow, I expressed my persuasion that a movement for good had already taken place within her breast, though I did not presume to say to what extent it had yet gone. But I remember making this remarkthat the very slightest voluntary motion was as strong a proof that a body was not actually dead, as the most free and powerful action of the limbs.'
* That same evening, when the sun was gone down and the air was somewhat tempered, for the day had been very hot, we availed ourselves of a key which had been kindly lent us to take a stroll in the fragrant pleasure grounds of the lodge; and although on such occasions we avoided walking very near the
house, yet we could not always avoid crossing some open space from which we might see the carriage ring and the portico.
Surprised I cannot however say we were, but rather grieved, when once, being in such an open space, we saw Mrs. Lauriston's chariot drive out of the ring, bearing the lady, as we had no doubt, to some late assembly.
“My wife remarked, as her eye followed the carriage, ‘I can scarcely conceive any temptation from abroad which should have influence enough to induce a mother to leave her babes ; how can she expect, where her own maternal feelings are not strong enough to dispose her to keep a perpetual watch over her children, that any motives can be sufficiently powerful with an hireling to ensure her better attention to these helpless ones ?'
As my wife, and indeed as all thoughtful parents must do, first considered the evils which too often accrue to infants from the repeated and prolonged absences of mothers, I at the same time was forcibly struck by what then came before me, of what must be the inevitable consequences to servants when either left to themselves at home, or taken out during those hours which should be given to rest; at which period as I have somewhere read in a quaint old writer, if the body is deluded of its repose by the excitations of pleasure, the moral portion of the animal man, as in
revenge, ceases to watch, and like one walking in his sleep, falleth into every gin and snare which lieth in his path.'
“True, most true,' exclaimed Paternus ; 'and if the lovers, and
pursuers of midnight pleasures- I mean those only who are not ill-intentioned, could see the under-workings, and the behindhand scenes, of their gorgeous tinselled delights, oh! surely they would pause, even from feelings of common humanity, in the mid-way of their selfish career. For this, my brethren, is certain, that there exists scarcely a gorgeous public amusement which has not some fearful mischief lurking in the back ground; and though' he added, “the force of evil is not to be overcome by the exertions only of the best of parents or friends, yet it is probable that the greatest possible check which could be opposed to immorality in families of civilized society must be given, if more attention were attached to the injunction of St. Paul, to young women, that they should be keepers at home;' and to the old ones, that they should enforce this duty upon them. Experience has taught me,' he added, 'that supposing both to be moral persons, the dullest mother who lives amongst her children, and hives her family at an early hour each night, promotes more moral good, and prevents more moral evil in her household, than the most refined and intellectual example of her sex, who, like Mrs. Lauriston in her gayer days, looks for, and follows her gratifications abroad. But enough of this; now proceed, my brother.'
“ Though I was in my youth a very early riser,” continued our friend, “I was not dressed when a note written in pencil was put into my hand : it was from Mrs. Lauriston, imploring me and my wife to come to her instantly. Of course we obeyed the summons with the least possible delay, following the bearer of the note through the little wicket; and though we enquired of him what had happened, he either could not, or would not, give us any information.
“We were ushered through a vestibule to the foot of the stairs, where a young girl whom we had seen about the children, ran down a few steps to meet us, saying, “This is kind, sir, my lady is in the greatest distress.'
"• Lead the way,' I said, and she running before us up the stairs and along a gallery, unclosed a door into a suite of rooms, the communications between which were all open; they were what were devoted to the use of the children, and consisted of a school room, several bed rooms, and a day nursery. We were led on through three of these apartment to the fourth—the day nursery ; and there we saw Mrs. Lauriston seated on a low chair, with her youngest child stretched on her knees, his head being pillowed by her arm.
The remarkable and almost death-like stillness and paleness of the child, in his night dress, contrasted fearfully with the wild agonized expression of the mother and the gay apparel which she wore, though she had torn off some ornaments and cast them from her, as if in a paroxysm of disgust and remorse.
“This is good-kind,' she screamed, for she was quite hysterical: then looking imploringly at my wife, ' Come you,' she said, • that are a mother indeed, tell me what they have done to my boy ;-must he die?'
My wife having looked at him for a moment and asked one or two questions, was soon enabled to hit upon the truth. “They have,' she said, 'drugged him with some sleeping potion. I