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it. It is much wished that this dinner for sick and starving children should be supported principally, if not entirely, by the children of the rich, who may learn to shew their gratitude for their happier lot, by denying themselves some toy, or other fancied pleasure, that they may be able to send small, but if possible regular, subscriptions. They will gladly be received, either by

The Rev. J. C. CHAMBERS,

1, GREEK STREET, Soho.

Or by

THE SISTER SUPERIOR,

St. Mary's HOME, 10, Crown STREET, SOHO.

Subscriptions for the Invalid Kitchen should be sent either to the Rev. J. C. Chambers; or to

TAE SISTER SUPERIOR,

HOUSE OF CHARITY, 1, GREEK STREET, Soho. In either case it should be distinctly specified for what object the subscriptions are intended. I may take this opportunity of mentioning that clothes, new or old, are at all times most valuable, and at this time of the year especially, gifts of all kinds for the Christmas Trec. House of Charity,

Nov. 20th, 1869.

A PLEA TO CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN.

Dear Children,

All of you do not know what it is, day by day, to get up and have no breakfast before going to school or beginning your lessons, and then afterwards to have no dinner at home; but in this great city of London there are hundreds of little children who often go, day after day, looking amongst dirty rubbish for something to eat,' because there is no food at home. Very few of those who can help them know how much they suffer, or perhaps there would not so often be such sickness and misery; for there are plenty of kind hearts who would help if they could. For this reason it is, my dear Children, that you are going to be asked to help some few of these poor children to live, so that they may grow up and be useful people. For this reason a Sick and Starving Child's Dinner Table has been begun, and we want you to support it amongst yourselves. We want these poor little children to feel there are children who like to help them—that they may think that some of those children they often see and wonder at, do feel for all their misery. Often and often, when one of these children is ill, the doctor says, “She wants good food, or she will never get well. How can the food be got when the father has no work, and he has not even bread to eat? These are the kind of children we want you to help with a little of your money. For very little, one child may get one good dinner a-week : and perhaps, as these children grow up, they will try to serve and help those who have helped them, while those who do help will at all events know that the Good Shepherd, who so loves little children, and who sees and knows the least little thing that is done for Him, will not forget their little acts of love done for His sick and suffering children.

This is why it is, dear Children, that we ask your help for these poor starving children in Soho. Many and many a sad tale could be told you day by day, by some

of the three hundred children for whom we ask your gifts, and many a grateful little child will bless those who remember them in their time of sickness and need.

Do then, dear Children, help us and them.

THOSE WHO LIVE AND WORK AMONGST THE STARVING CHILDREN OF SoHo.

Please send help to the Rev. J. C. Chambers, Vicar of St. Mary's, 1, Greek Street, Soho, W.; or to the Sister Superior, St. Mary's Home, Crown Street, Soho, W.C., London, of whom any information may be obtained, and collecting cards may be had. Subscriptions may be paid monthly.

Mr. Editor,

Will you give me a corner to plead in? Half way between Kensington and Fulham high-roads is the district of Earl's Court.

Till quite lately, the southern portion of this has been a sort of no man's land. It is inhabited by poor of the lowest and most abject class—poor far too squalid and miserable to venture into the pewed churches of the neighbourhood--needing the full care and watchfulness of a pastor for its own special wants, and of a church in which he might minister to them.

Last year, a Mission was set on foot in this district; and this year, soon after Easter, the temporary church of St. Matthias was opened for service.

In July, the permanent church was completed and consecrated. The work has gone on so speedily, the congregations increase so rapidly, the services are so hearty and so frequent, that one feels that God's blessing rests on the cause; but there is a lamentable want of money for the work. A heavy debt of £1180 remains unpaid. The church is wholly unendowed, and dependent in all ways on the Offertory. The congregation, though united and earnest, are people of limited means, many of whom have already done their utmost ; and for much of the sum yet remaining to be paid, the earnest and over-tasked incumbent is personally liable.

St. Matthias is essentially a poor man's church, and the poor come to the hearty well-ordered services. They are most diligently visited and cared for by the incumbent and his district visitors.*

A guild has just been commenced for works of mercy among the poor, including night and Sunday-schools, a burial-guild, and other branches; but meantime, the spirit and energies of the incumbent and his helpers are crushed by this debt, and their want of power to meet it.

We have some of us heard that appeals to the readers of the Monthly Packet have been greatly blessed as a means of help. May this prove so, and relieve us in this our sore need. For St. Matthias is doing sure and Catholic work, in a district where such work was greatly needed; and those who come forward to help it must have the satisfaction of feeling that they are indeed helping to bear the Cross onward, as Christian soldiers should so bear it.

Yours, very faithfully,

K. S. M.

• There are three Celebrations weekly, daily Matins and Evensong, and four Sunday Services.

NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.

No MS. can be returned unless the Author's name and address be written on it, and stamps be sent with it.

Contributions must often be delayed for want of space, but their writers may be assured that when room can be found they shall appear.

Epiphilen 'Truncatum Major.—There is no continuation of The Heir of Redclyffe.

Perhaps it may interest Mrs. Twitch to know that a Scotch version of her ballad erists. It is to be found in Professor Aytoun's collection of Scotch Ballads, and bears the title of The Wife of Auctermuchty. The Compiler says, It is thought to be the production of one Sir John Moffat, u Pope's Knight," and may therefore have been composed about the year 1520. It is of the length of seventeen verses of eight lines, and has the same incidents as The Old Man and his Wife, with various misfortunes added, as washing, baking, and above all, churning; for the Scotch wife is malicious enough to skim the new milk before she goes

out. This could not happen where butter is made from the cream as in England.-North COUNTRIE.

M. P. will be much obliged if any Correspondent can tell her the name of the author of the hymn

'Oh! to be with Thee where Thou art,

My Saviour, my Eternal King.'
and where it may be found.
L. W. wishes to know the author of the Advent hymn-

When Christ came down on earth of old.'
Acknowledged with many thanks, 2s. 6d. from Bee, for The Sisters of the Poor.

Helena asks for Sunday books' for children from five to ten.“ -Children of the Church, by Mrs. O'Reilly, (Gardner)–Stories for every Sunday in the Year, by S. W., (S. P. C. K.)—The Kings of Judah, by F. M. Wilbraham, (Masters)- The Giant's Arrows, by the Rev. J. Erskine Clarke-Deeds of Faith, Triumphs of the Cross, Sermons for Children, by Dr. Neale-would all serve her purpose. My Sunday Friend is very promising in the specimen number.

In re F. D. E.'s query in the December Number of The Monthly Packet, I beg to inform her thut Miss ReynoldsWork-shop, 29, Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, Lundon-receives and disposes of ladies' point-lace work.-M. S. F.

M. A. thanks Volo non Valeo. She is endeavouring to raise £30 to place the Cripple in the Industrial Home at Kensington; and if any of the Subscribers of The Monthly Packet would send her even a trifle towards it she would be very thankful.- We give this notice, having begun the subject; but we wish it to be understood that we cannot insert appeals, or be responsible for contributions, for merely privale objects of charity.

M. R. would be very much obliged to anyone who could inform her if a Key has been published to Acrostics in Prose and Verse, by A. E. H., a sequel to Double Acrostics by Various Authors; and if so, where to procure it.

M. A. H. presents her compliments to the Editor of The Monthly Packet, and would be very glad to know if there is any society for educating the daughters of poor clergymen or professional men, of the sume kind as St. John's Foundation School, which is for boys.

John and Charles Mozley, Printers, Derby.

THE

MONTHLY PACKET

OF

EVENING READINGS

For Members of the English Church.

FEBRUARY, 1870.

THE DIVINA COMMEDIA OF DANTE.

The readers of last year's Monthly Packet will remember that our selections from the Divina Commedia had been carried down to the point where Dante and his guide ascend out of the third gulf of the circle of the fraudulent, after their conversation with Pope Nicholas III. on the misdoings of the Roman Pontiffs. We now proceed through the remaining gulfs.

In the fourth, over which they now pass, are imprisoned sorcerers and witches, who walk along weeping in silence. Their heads are twisted right round on their necks, so that they are compelled to go backward, the tears streaming down their shoulders and loins. Among them Dante sees Amphiaraus, Tiresias, and Manto the prophetess, whose history Virgil narrates at length, as she gave her name to the city of Mantua, his own birth-place. Then pass Eurypilus, the colleague of Calchas, Ardente, a cobbler of Parma, Michael Scott, astrologer to the Emperor Frederick II., and many others, all of whom the poets view from the bridge without descending lower into the gulf. Our readers will scarcely need to be reminded of Sir Walter Scott's introduction of the last-named wizard into his ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel.' Virgil again warns Dante that time is getting on; for the full moon (called “Cain and the thorns' according to an ancient version of the legendary man in the moon,') is touching the wave beneath Seville, and therefore, as seen from Jerusalem, is on the point of setting. As Purgatory is conceived as the antipodes of Jerusalem, so the Ganges and Seville, being the extremities of the known world, (though by no means one hundred and eighty degrees of longitude apart,) stand for the half-way stations east and west respectively; and the full moon's being on the latter meridian therefore implies that the sun has just risen on Jerusalem. It must be confessed that Virgil does not enforce very strict obedience to his own command. He must have let Dante talk a good deal on his way to the next bridge, for we have another mark of time very soon again in line 112 of the next Canto, by which it appears then to be ten o'clock on the morning VOL. 9.

8

PART 50.

of Easter Eve; so that an interval of about four hours has passed in the space of one canto. This is comparatively slow work, as a reference to the end of the eleventh Canto will shew that Dante had employed no less than nine in describing his progress during the two hours from dawn to sunrise.

In the twenty-first Canto the poets reach the bridge overhanging the fifth gulf, and from it behold the lake of boiling pitch. The city of Lucca, which was under the patronage of Santa Zita, was then notorious for its fraudulent traders, among whom we must suppose Bonturo de' Dati—ironically mentioned by the demon in line 41-to have been especially conspicuous. The Serchio passes within a short distance of the city, and feeds its baths, which are still celebrated. The fact that there was an image of our Saviour at Lucca, held in great veneration, supplies the key to the taunt of the fiends stationed beneath the bridge, as the sinner returned to the surface of the pitch after his plunge with body bent and head downwards, which they wilfully interpreted to be an attitude of adoration. The allusion of line 94 is to the surrender of the castle of Caprona in August, 1290. The Pisans defending it were compelled from want of water to capitulate to the allied forces of Florence and Lucca; and Dante, then serving in the Florentine cavalry, was present when the defeated army, who had bargained for the safety of their own lives, passed through the ranks of the besiegers. Line 108 refers to the rending of the rocks of Hell at our Lord's descent, which has been referred to more than once before by Dante. The 1300th year of the Christian era, dating from the Incarnation, had begun on the yesterday,' March 25th : and Dante counting our Lord to have finished his thirtythird

year at the time of his death, therefore reckons 1266 years since the first Good Friday. It should be noticed that Malacoda's assertion in line 126, that the poets would find another bridge at hand unbroken across the sixth gulf, was a lie, according to diabolic custom; and that when Virgil tried to reassure Dante by telling him that the fiends were grinning at the sinners in the boiling lake, he was mistaken, as they were grinning at the deception practised so successfully upon himself.

It is possible that our readers may be fairly disgusted with Dante's devils, and may compare them disadvantageously with those of Milton. It cannot be denied that they are a low vulgar set, without a single good quality to redeem their baseness. It is quite otherwise with Milton. On reading the Paradise Lost, we feel sure that Satan as there depicted could no more have done what these devils do, than could the hero of our favourite romance stoop to any unbecoming or ungentlemanly action. His grandiloquent speeches, his delighted admiration of the material beauty of the universe, his half-promptings to repentance-these and many other inventions of Milton's great epic are, we cannot help feeling, utterly unsuited to Malacoda, Barbariccia, and their followers. But the one merit of Dante's conception, that which outweighs all others put together, is his obedience to religious truth; his recognition of the great principle

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