Page images

substitution may have, probably, been “Curses,” exclaims an enthusiastic occasioned by the unpoetical sound of the admirer of the lime tree, "on those German

a horn,” for sycamore, com- inhuman and ambitious tyrants, who, not pared with that of " linde” for lime tree. contented with their own dominions, inOther magnificent specimens are to be vade their peaceful neighbours, and send found in many towns of Switzerland, their legions, without distinction, to Germany, etc. These, like

destroy, and level to the ground such “ The hawthorn tree, with seats beneath its shade," venerable and goodly plantations and immortalized by Goldsmith, formed the their barbarity!" But sad though such

noble avenues! Irreparable marks of place of public rendezvous for business senseless proofs of ruthless havock be, or recreation, and were generally in the and deservedly as they must be lamented market or central part of the town. Tra- by all who admire these noble and indition relates, that in the many local conAlicts and factious disturbances, so fre- ries, would that the devastating effects

teresting monuments of bygone centu, quently occurring in the middle ages, the of the demon spirit of war, were stayed lime tree was the chief scene of contention, and its possession regarded as a de- upon these inanimate objects! “Whence

come wars and fightings among you ?” cisive triumph. The party taking pos- inquires the apostle James; and in the session of the place, planted a lime tree; language of inspiration, he returns anand if they were afterwards driven out,

swer to himself, “Come they not hence, this was cut down, and another planted

even of your lusts that war in your memby the opposite party. Hence these trees bers?” Jas.iv. I. Alas! that man formed were preserved with great care and res in the image of his Creator, should ever verence, being identified not only with lend himself a willing slave to work the the amusements or business of each

of him who

purpose generation, but as trophies of the victory from the beginning !"

was a murderer

What a proof of and success of their ancestors.

Mrs. the depravity of the human heart, that Hemans has beautifully embodied, in such unhallowed deeds should ever find “ The Lament over a fallen Lime Tree,'

excuse, commendation, nay applause, feelings which would naturally be excited over the downfal, either from age or lation.

among a self-styled enlightened popu

Yet is it not so ? Do not ruthless destruction, of one of these hal- those who are often the first to respond lowed trees.

to the cry of woe, to stretch out the “O joy of the peasant! ( stately lime!

hand of sympathy and aid to the indiviThou art fallen in thy golden honey time. dual sufferer, palliate, nay glory in suc

Thou whose wavy shadows,
Long and long ago,

cessful warfare ? Could we but follow
Screen'd our grey forefathers

the conqueror's chariot, and trace his From the noontide's glow;

progress over a deyastated, depopulated
Thou, beneath whose branches,

scene, strewn with the dying and the
Touch'd with moonlight gleams, dead, we could better estimate the worth
Lay our early poets,
Wrapped in fairy dreams.

of the pinnacle of glory which arises

from such a foundation. We should A glory is gone from our homes with thee.

see it based on the bodies of millions, Where shall now the weary

whose immortal souls have been hurried
Rest through summer eves ?

in an instant to their final account; on
Or the bee find honey,
As on thy sweet leaves ?

the smoking ruins of their once happy
Where shall now the ring dove

homesteads of peace and contentment;
Build again her nest?

on the ghastly looks of famished wretches
She, so long the inmate
of thy fragrant breast ?

bewailing the destruction of their wanBut the sons of the peasants have lost in thee, tonly destroyed crops; on the corpses of Far more than the ring dove, far more than the the grey-headed patriarch, and the

smiling babe, driven forth, homeless and These may yet find coverts

[ocr errors]

O tree of our fathers ! O hallow'd tree!


destitute, to the inclemencies of the sea. Leafy and profound, Full of dewy dimness,

son. Blessed are the words of inspiration,

which assure us that it shall not be ever But the gentle memories, · Clinging all to thee,

thus, which tell us of a day when the earth When shall they be gather’d,

shall be so filled with the glory of the

Lord, that they shall not hurt or destroy ; O pride of our fathers! O hallow'd tree! The crown of the hamlet is fallen on thee." when nation shall not lift up sword

Odour and soft sound :

Round another tree?



against nátion, nor kingdom against king- may afford to others the pleasure has dom, nor war be learned any more; given me, and call forth in their minds when Christ, the Prince of peace, who the same kind of reflections it has came to preach peace on earth, good-will excited in my own. My anecdote may towards men, and purchased that peace lose somewhat of its interest in not for man by the blood of his cross, shall being given in the exact words of the dwell in every heart, removing those relater: but this is a circumstance which thoughts and feelings which actuated these is altogether unavoidable. scenes of strife and bloodshed. “Thy The memory of Old Humphrey may kingdom come,” is the Christian's daily be defective in little circumstantials; prayer; and will not his daily efforts be but it is too faithful in matters of this directed to assimilate himself, and all kind to be much out of order in the over whom he has influence, to the general features and strengthy framespirit of his Divine Redeemer, the spirit work of an impressive anecdote, reof patience, peace, and love ?

lated with feeling, and accompanied with solemn reflections.

“Many years ago," said the relater, “I was a member of the Wet-Paper

Club. This club was held at a coffee AMONG the unnumbered recreations house in Gracechurch street, and obwhich the Giver of all good has placed tained its title from the circumstance of within the reach of the man of years, the newspaper being introduced wet the pilgrim far advanced in this world's into the club room. The members asthorny path, few afford me more real sembled at eight o'clock in the mornenjoyment than the practice of moving ing, when the wet newspaper was reunobtrusively, among my fellow men; gularly brought in; this

, when dried of seeing, without, as it were, being by the waiter, was laid on the table seen ; observing, without being ob- before the members, who thus secured served ; and of picking up such frag- for a season the monopoly of the news ments of character and information, as of the day, before it became the general are not only curious and interesting in property of the public visiting the coffee themselves, but also capable of being house. turned to good account. There is a 6. The members of this club, at one quiet revelling of the heart in such period, were numerous, and comprised cases, that is not the less enjoyed be- many of talent and celebrity ; but all cause it is unseen. Oh what a treasure institutions have in them the principles house is a cheerful spirit! What a of decay, whether they are literary, source of unlimited enjoyment is a love scientific, or social: no wonder that the of character !

Wet-paper Club should gradually deOne half the shrewd sentences, the cline. One member died, another reodd conceits, the pithy sayings, the moved to a distance, a third failed in humorous remarks, the striking ob- business, and a fourth attached himservations, and the arresting reflections self to some other social circle; so that that I have picked up in my rambles the time came when the members were among men, would make a volume of but few. Still the club struggled on, no common size, and, I could almost assembling at the accustomed time, and persuade myself, of no ordinary interest. exercising their accustomed prerogative, The wallet of the beggar contains not until I was left entirely alone. a greater diversity of scraps and odd- “ It was hardly to be expected that ments than may be found in the loose a solitary member would long receive fragmentary papers of Old Humphrey. I the same amount of deference and atI will select a recent scrap for your tention, which had been paid to the entertainment.

club in its collective form. For a time, The following anecdote fell from the the wet paper was brought in and dried lips of an intelligent member of the for my express use and advantage ; but, legislature, only a few days ago, and by degrees, this attention became irthere is in it so much that is interest- regular and uncertain, and at last, it ing, and withal so capable of general was altogether withheld.

There was and individual application, that I can- no distinction made between me and not refrain from recording it, that it | the casual visitor at the coffee house.



I cannot look back to the period de- | anecdote by any unnecessary observscribed by me, without a melancholy ations. He who cannot gather from interest. My associates are scattered it much of profitable reflection would and gone, and I, the last member of receive still less benefit from my

homethe Wet-Paper Club, am left alone. lier remarks. That part of it which

"For many years, I was accustomed refers to the Wet-Paper Club, is of to return from the Parliament House itself sufficiently striking; and what with three other members of the senate. follows it of the friendly coach party, The frequent protracted debates, and renders it still more so; but the adthe unlooked-for divisions and occur- dition of the sabbath assembly gives a rences that arise, render the adjourn-crowning interest to the whole. ment of the House uncertain ; it is, It is said that a three-fold cord is not therefore, inconvenient for members to easily broken, and sure I am that this have private vehicles waiting for them. tripartite narrative will not easily be No sooner did the adjournment take erased from my memory. place, than a coach was called, which conveyed my three friends and me to

HUMILITY. our several habitations. During our

Of trees I observe God hath chosen ride, what had occurred in the house the vine, a low plant which creeps upon naturally formed a part of our

the helpful wall: of all beasts, the soft versation, so that pleasure and advan- and patient lamb: of all fowls, the mild tage were derived from our friendly and gall-less dove. To be humble to custom of returning from the House in company. But this friendly coalition courtesy; to our inferiors, generosity.

our superiors, is duty; to our equals, could not last for ever; life is held on

Feltham. an uncertain tenure, and death is inexorable in his demands. When one

ALL IS VANITY. of the four died, it was deeply felt by

VANITY is inscribed on every earthly us, and when another was called away, it made a sad void in our friendly fra- pursuit, on all sublunary labour ; its ternity. Still there were two of us, will alike perish. An incurable taint of

materials, its instruments, and its objects but at last, my companion was numbered with the dead; and now I re

mortality has seized upon, and will conturned from the House alone. The

sume them ere long. The acquisitions coach fraternity, like the Wet-Paper

derived from religion, the graces of a Club, has passed away, and I am the renovated mind, are alone permanent.

Robert Hall. alone survivor of them both. Some years ago, I left the dwelling

ANTIQUITY. which I then occupied, and took an

Those whom we call the ancients, other at the distance of a pleasant drive

were in truth novices in all things, and on the opposite side of the river. In the immediate neighbourhood, I had kind; and, as we have added to their

properly constituted the infancy of manthree particular friends ; so that here knowledge in the experience of succeed. again there were four of us united together by friendly and social ties. During ages, it is in ourselves that we should ing the week, we not unfrequently met, in others.- Prescot.

recognize that antiquity which we revere and on the sabbath we duly assembled in the parish church. There is solemnity in the very remembrance of our sabbath meetings now; for time has

Ir thou wouldst have a good servant, numbered them among the things that let the servant find a good master. Be were and are not. One friend was not angry with him too long, lest he beckoned

from the world ; an-

think thee malicious;.nor too soon, lest other was summoned hence also, and he conceive thee rash ; nor too often, the third is now a tenant of the grave, lest he count thee humorous.--Quarles. leaving me to go to the parish church alone. Of the Wet-Paper Club, of the coach fraternity, and of the four church SURELY he is not a fool that hath ungoing friends, I am the only survivor !” wise thoughts, but he that utters them.

I will not weaken the effect of this--Bishop Hall.



[graphic][merged small]


scarcely fail of meeting with occasions The most ancient material from which which would call forth his remarks on paper was prepared, was the soft, cellular the general want of correctness and cirflower-stem of the papyrus, an aquatic cumspection in those particulars. Didst plant. This stem is from three to six feet thou ever hear him assert that the hailhigh, with three acute angles, one of which stones were as large as plums, or that a is said to be always opposed to the cur- bruise on his shin was as black as a rent of the stream in which it grows, as coal ?" No, I never did hear, from if to break its force. The leaves of the the lips of my uncle, any of those extrapapyrus are long and grassy, with a sharp vagant assertions; for he was a man of keel. The flowers, which are green, are truth, a sober-minded man, and a man produced in very large umbels; a form accustomed to weigh his words, and gowhich may often be observed, the name vern his tongue.' But the hint of my of which is derived from the resemblance esteemed “friend" led me to call to mind it has to an umbrella. The

papyrus is a some instances in which he manifested very common plant in Syria, Egypt, and his abhorrence of the appearance of a lie, Abyssinia ; and it is also met with in in all the shapes it wears. Calabria and Sicily: in gardens it is not The captain, who was, on many acuncommon. It inhabits stagnant waters counts, no great favourite with my uncle, and running streams; the flowering stems often made himself offensive by his exand leaves have been twisted into ropes ; travagant talk. He always dealt in suthe roots are sweet, and have been em- perlatives. When describing localities, ployed as food. According to Bruce, he would invariably pronounce each boats are constructed from it in Abys- either the most beautiful or the most sinia.

horrible place in the world.

“Pray, captain,” said my uncle, “in which

world do you mean? I have heard you TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD.

make the same remark of and “It is to be desired, friend Samuel, and all which places I used that some day, when the sharp-pointed to think were in one world, and all pen is in thy hand, thou wouldst give us within a hundred miles of each other ; some reminiscences of thy uncle's sen- but either you or I must be mistaken." timents on truth and falsehood : for, as It was the same in reference to character. an observer of human nature, he could | Every one of whom he spoke was either SEPTEMBER, 1841.

2 c

“the best man on the face of the earth,” | libly expose them to the charge of vulor “the greatest fool in the universe.” | garity and rashness, if not of direct un“Indeed !” said my uncle, “such a truth.” monster would be worth carrying about The captain was very fond of relating for a show, if one could but get the thing | marvellous stories. I have often gaped well attested, that he really is the great- at bim with astonishment, and sometimes est of his species; but I should be afraid with terror. On one occasion, he had that many others might be started, as been relating some incredible feat of his competitors for the palm of superlative own, which I repeated to Frank, who folly.”

was not present. “Oh,” said Frank, Perhaps there may, squire; but you “I don't believe any such thing; he has know it is only my random way of speak- po greater powers than other mening."

he could not do it; and if he had done Really, captain, at your time of life it, he would not have been so ready to and mine, I think we ought to lay aside boast of it.” But, Frank, he declared random talking, and speak only the that it was true upon his word and bowords of truth and soberness. We must nour." "I don't believe it a bit the do so, if we would wish to command re- more for that,” said Frank: 'I have spect or attention ; and we shall, if we heard uncle say, that the word and hobear in mind that idle words' are to nour' of a man who is so ready to stake be accounted for hereafter."

them for every trifle, are not worth The captain never took offence at what much.” In the course of a little time I my uncle said, but he often drew up his was of the same opinion; and not in that face, and looked at us young ones with particular instance alone. I have unian air of affected gravity, just calculated formly seen reason to conclude, that those to make us think lightly of what my who are most free with their asseverauncle had said ; but then, the characters of tions, are those on whose veracity least the men were so unlike, as to make all the dependence is to be placed. difference in the impression their words Arthur Longley was often led by a conveyed. When the captain did speak silly pride into a species of untruth; he truth and reason it was little regarded, would endeavour to conceal, or affect as coming from him ; and his sneers at to be ignorant of, any connexion with the remarks of others, especially of my one whom he deemed his inferior in uncle, were much more likely to bring rank and station. A gentleman once contempt on himself than on them. How- asked him if he had any relations in the ever, I always observed, when the cap- | town of —-, as he was acquainted with tain had been with us, my uncle took an a family there of the name of Longley. opportunity, without directly alluding to Arthur replied, that he believed his him, to guard us against the influence of father had a distant relation somewhere his frothy conversation. When he had in that neighbourhood. 66 A distant rébeen making a mere jest of his idle, lation, Arthur!” interposed my uncle, random words, I remember my uncle why Mr. Longley the tanner, at pointed out to us, in history, the prac- to whose family I doubt not my friend tice of the Athenians, to confine their refers, is your father's own brother; and youth to silence, lest they should acquire a more worthy and respectable man does a habit of talking foolishly, which in not exist. If all who bear the name of riper years they would find it difficult to Longley do it equal honour with your break through.

good uncle, I am sure you have no rea“I would not,” said my uncle,“ son to be ashamed of relationship to fine young people to silence ; for youth is them." the season of vivacity, and the gift of Under the influence of the same foolspeech seems to be innocently employed ish pride, if he happened to have a very in giving utterance to that vivacity, as slight acquaintance with a person of title well as in inquiring after solid information. or distinction, he would speak of him in I love to hear young people speak cheer- terms of affected familiarity, as an intifully and intelligently; but I would ear- mate friend. My uncle, more than once, nestly recommend them now, in the talked to him seriously on this subject. time of the formation of habits, carefully “ Not,” he said, “that it was of the to avoid the admission of any extrava- slightest consequence to the company, or gant phrases, which would soon become that any one of the company felt any infamiliar to them, but which would infal- ! terest in knowing whether yourself and



« PreviousContinue »