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tallow, for they make nothing better. It's plain that all they think of with their beasts is to show what great beasts they may become! All I know is, if I was a monstrous rich nobleman I couldn't do it. I should think that I was somehow mocking myself, knowing that I had so much and others so little, when I crammed and stuffed an ox as nature never intended him to be stuffed, and all to make him a monster of fat,-a devouring wonder. I do believe it, grandmother ; when I saw such an over-fat, useless creature, I do think my conscience would smite me, and I should say to myself—“ Juniper Hedgehog, think you have four legs, and that's you.” However, I thank my stars that I'm not a duke. If I was, I should certainly go into quarantine for a time ; for there's something abroad-a ducal fever-that's catching ; I'm sure of it.

You ask me, grandmother, to send you news about new books. With all love and affection, I think this only a bit of conceit in you ; because you must know that whatever we do that's good, the Americans always steal from us. And I must give 'em this credit, they know what they ’re about ; they ’re not ignorant thieves, for they always steal with a taste. Then, as of course you 'll have The Cricket on the Hearth printed on brown sugar paper, and sold for three cents. (a very high compliment this to Mr. Dickens), I shall say nothing more about it. I shall only call your attention to a great escape that that gentleman has had from the murderous Morning Post. It's well known that no author ever survives a cut-up in the Post. No: then he 's as done for, as if one of their own man-milliner's needles had gone right through his heart. After such a cut-up, a man is generally found dead in his bed the next morning. Hardened offenders have been known to live two nights, but this is rare. Well, knowing this, you will judge my feelings,-loving the man as I do for a noble work of God, doing noble work-you will judge my feelings when I read what follows in the blessed Morning Post of Dec. 22. It was in the very third page, in the very fifth column ; and was part of a review of The Cricket on the Hearth. Well: the Post, in the fifth column, page 3, says :

To notice such rubbish at all, as literary works, is perhaps not over •consistent; but, recollecting that they are the offspring of one who is paraded at public places as a “great gun,” yea, a tremendous cannon, of literature, we are bound, in justice to our readers, to express our opinion upon them. ... The man who could write, and the people who can read, such unmitigated twaddle, are fit only to resume their

pinafores and betake themselves incontinently to tops-and-bottoms and sago pudding ... A silly, slovenly nurse-girl, who realises the juvenile idea of

“ See-saw, Margery Daw,
Who sold her bed and lay upon straw,
Was not she a dirty slut

To sell her bed and lie in the dirt ?” and an enthusiastic manufacturer of cock-horses, and other similar prodigies of the animal creation, with his blind daughter and grinding employer, together with a pair of " loveyers,” make up the dramatis persone. They are all eminently stupid in thought and foolish in action.

Well, when I read this, you might have knocked me down even with the goose-feather of the Post. At a glance, I saw that Dickens was lost to us. Knowing the Post's tremendous powerfor at least three French milliners take it in—I felt that the author could not survive it. It must kill him. In a minute I saw Mr. Wakley, the coroner, and all that, and read the verdict“ Died by the Post.Well, hardly knowing what I did, I turned over the leaves of the Post, and came to another notice of The Cricket on the Hearth, in page 6, column 4 ; a notice of the drama of The Cricket, in which the book was spoken of after this fashion. Yes,-in the same paper ; at page 6, column 4:

The characters are flesh and blood characters, with live hearts in their bosoms, bounding and palpitating, and fluttering with human aspirations, and human joys and sorrows. It is a simple story, wholesome and natural ; and breathing as freshly of the rural homes and the yeoman life of England, as a canvass of Gainsborough or Morland. Its great and abounding charm lies in its fine spirit of goodliness--its inspirations spring up gracefully and lightsomely from the well of the home affections, and are evoked by the tricksey beings that haunt the chimney-nook. The cricket's chirp is the faöry music that charms within its circle all the gentler virtues and the abiding amenities that shed a sacred halo around the domestic hearth. You may be sure I was astonished at this. But it has all been cleared up since. I now understand, that in future upon all great questions of letters or politics, the Post intends to have two separate hands to do 'em- that is, one way for the fools and knaves, and the other for the decent people. Yes, in future, the Post is to be like a chess-board, entirely made up of black and white. The above I think a very pretty sample of the way in which the thing will be done.

80. XIII.- VOL. III.

And now, good bye, grandmother. Who knows when I shall be able to write to you again! For folks do say that we 're going to cut one another's throats about a place they call the Oregon. Well, if it does happen, I know what will be the end of it. We shall kill a few hundreds—perhaps a few thousands--we may knock a few towns to pieces, and play other devil's tricks. We may have our sea-fights, with—for the glory of war-brigs going down with their colours nailed to the mast : and after we've done all this, we shall then see whether we can't call in somebody to settle the matter, gunpowder having failed to do it. Now, let us try this plan first.

There's been a very good notion afloat, that the merchants of both countries should meet and address one another, and so smooth away the difficulty, that the matter might be put to what is called arbitration. Well, I think the plan a good one. Squares of infantry, and squadrons of horse, are very pretty at a review, but let the war be fought by quiet gentlemen in a fight of words ; let the worst weapon used, be a goose quill--the worst ammunition, ink,

With this wish—not forgetting also to wish you, and, by the bye, everybody else, a happy new year, I am,

Your affectionate grandson,

JUNIPER HEDGEHOG.

THE OLD SOLDIER.

CLOTHED in rags, and blind and lame,
Hunger-smitten, bent and old,
To my door a beggar came, -
Shivering in the winter's cold.
Pity for the poor old man
Touched my heart, I gave him food,
And questioning him, he thus began
His life's sad tale in pensive mood.

“Four score years the earth I 've trode,
Forty years I've begged my bread;
My manhood's prime I spent abroad,
Hired the blood of men to shed.
I remember, when a youth,
How I loved each blood-stained story,
All to me was sacred truth
That pertained to war and glory.

Twenty summers o'er my head
Scarce had flown, when from a home
Of peace and love I madly fled,
Afar in foreign lands to roam.
For a paltry sum of gold,
When my brain was fired with drink,
Mind and body both I sold
For a soldier dare not think!
I never felt a soldier's pride;
I felt I was a slave and wept ;
While with war's ensanguined tide,
O'er the groaning earth we swept.
Horrid sights I oft have seen,
Dreadful sounds I oft have heard ;
In a hundred fields I've been,
Where my blood hath stained the sward.
I left a limb in Hindostan,
On Egypt's plains. I lost my sight,
And home returned, a homeless nian,
My eyes my heart—berest of light.”

THE SPIRIT-VOICE.

In our nature there are circles of being : inward, deep is the principle of adoration ; feelings profound, wanderings of melodious joy, outborne from the consciousness-the growing consciousness of our : connection with the eternal; generated by waves of spiritual life, outflowing from divinity and diffusing themselves over our being : out from these, powers connecting us with humanity, social, brotherly ; whence love, compassion, and tenderness flow: out farther still, powers taking connisance of beauty, light and shade, colours variegated, and all the forms of material things : and out from all these, and surrounding all these, are powers of sensation, the last link of our connection with the universe. Our nature is one, although the circles of life are many. Travelling up and down in it is a voice, unceasingly uttering itself, sounding through the whole of our being, from the interior of our spiritual constitution to the outskirts of our physical organisation : coming forth from a power-a living power, hidden in the depths of the soul, beneath its foundations. In this power we rest ; from it we draw life. It meets us at every step, in every feeling. in every

thought, in every act: we are wholly encompassed by it. Beyond it we never can go ; retire from it we find impossible: it is within and without, beneath and above, near and afar. It desires to diffuse itself throughout our nature, to fill every circle of our being; beginning in our deepest and inmost parts, and spreading up through and out through our frame, leaving not the least fibre of physical organisation unanimated by its life. It is an exhaustless fountain—an inextinguishable light-an indestructible power. It is love and joy-purity and peace-harmony and melody-beauty and grace ;-it is courage and fortitude-manliness and strength; all perfecting, creative.

The voice ever uttered by this living power, has been heard in all nations, by every rational soul ; hitherto faintly, sometimes more, sometimes less distinct. The moment a soul hears its utterance, it acknowledges its authority. When it speaks through a man, the thrill passes over humanity. Eighteen hundred years ago, it spoke through one with an awful sublimity, its tones richly laden with a musical joy ; humanity heard the voice and was refreshed ; felt itself more divine than its consciousness had hitherto attested : that voice spoken from a great depth, with a germ of the eternal in it, continues still to be heard, waxing louder and more sublime, inspiring the benevolent with courage—the upright with a love of purity; whispering hope into the ear of the despondent and down-cast-giving strength to the feeble and oppressed--and a balm to the wounded ; making the heart of the oppressor quail with fear-arresting the criminal in his career, and annihilating the life of corruption ; opening up a bright future in this world, and bearing humanity on towards the land of life, purity and peace.

And humanity, subject to illusions and delusions and vain wan. derings, becomes more eager to hear the voice. It has listened, and listens still ; it has heard, and hears more ; it obeys as it hears. Following its every act of obedience, it becomes finer toned ;-and by the action and reaction of obedience and its results, its progression proceeds —- the channels of its being become sounder, purer and more properly positioned, and truth flows in as if in streams :the change in its being has caused a change to come over nature ; and so finely touched is its inward parts, it “ hears the beating of nature's heart," and God in the soul holds communion with God in nature.

This change stealing in upon a soul brings along with it high

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