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it has been long decreed that such or such a day shall be “a gaudy day ?” As for weddings, Charles Lamb has spoken for me on that chapter. The marriage of a very young girl,-who can be naturally gay on such an occasion ? The Father : anxious that all the glitter may be pure gold 2 The Mother : thinking how much she has struggled with since her bridal veil was put on, even if she have married a-(modesty forbids my filling the blank). The sister—who was her chamber companion, her confidante in the garden walk,-her other voice in the duet, her partaker in all manner of little childish pleasures or plans, that the old may not frown upon, but can hardly care about 2 No one, I verily believe, save the boy-groom man, proud of his favour, enchanted at the beauty of his blue coat, and either impudently or awkwardly triumphant in the privilege of saluting the 13ride's-maids ! The only really merry wedding I can fancy, is when Fifty-Five marries Forty : and there the mirth arises in fact from what is the summum bonum of human felicity—the unhoped for arrival of the Blessing ! Let us take heed, then, to put despotism from us, while ordering our own pleasures, or commenting on those of others. We shall not have an easy life, I am aware, for saying “live and let live,” and for doing accordingly. Quite the reverse. The angry will call us cold, and the bigotted latitudinarian;–the shallow will complain that we skim upon the surface—the one-eyed that we are blind;—and we walk on a very narrow path. There is a jargon about “simplicity,” which is merely the language of an absolutism worse than that we are condemning—insomuch as it has “nothing to show for it.” Better anything almost, than this cant. Ease in the conduct of our daily life, is not to be insured by our echoing the (cat-and-dog) mas of those who are poor in tastes, and limited in their capacities, and who, therefore, assume their barrenness to be the condition of Eden as it came from the hand of its Maker : My neighbour, Mr. Scald, is perpetually girding at the gay waistcoats of Mr. Fightington, which I mentioned when discussing my Mrs. Bell's and the Post's notions of a New Clothing Bill: but Mr. Scald forgets to let us know how often he has given half a guinea for a mackerel he meant to eat by himself: while I, who think both very extravagant, should not like over much to be questioned as to the money I have “thrown away” (Mrs. Bell insists on the word) on coins and curiosities; which would neither clothe the one nor feed the other; and which, I have at times a heart-sinking sense, are, after all, rubbish to one who has no museum.

But it cannot be rated as either uncharitable or tyrannical to point out the wisdom of free-will at precisely those times and junctures when the world is least disposed to allow it. While we endeavour to distinguish between the signs of real feeling, and the shows which are a relic of the by-gone times of savagecy, peace to their ashes ' And if it can be proved that Feasts, as formerly understood on the transaction of some important change in our lives, are really heartily relished by few save the interested and the uninterested: the Lazarillos—the Mrs. Gamps, and the PiqueAssiettes, who prowl about good (and bad) men's houses, wheresoover the sound of mourning and the smell of cookery break out— it is to be hoped that other and more individual ways of showing affection and geniality may be studied :—that Regret may not be gauged by the depth of the barrel of beer broached for mutes to swill—that Sorrow may not be exclusively presumed to sit upon “broad hems” — neither that they who do their best to go on their way resignedly—0 not unmindful, because silent l—may be sentenced to transportation to some penal colony where every vice flourishes, and neither humanity nor virtue exists—by the Sobbers, and the Blowers of Noses, because theirs was the fashion of the ancients —If I write lightly on this matter, it is because I feel deeply. Truth may sometimes fly a long way on a feather, whereas, if graven on lead, it may drop like a dump at the Prophet's foot, to be buried in the earth or picked up as a treasure, as may be.

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I HAD a vision in the years gone by—
A vision of a vast sepulchral hall,
Reared on gigantic columns, black and grim,
And lit with torches of undying flame.
Around the walls stood pedestals, whereon
Were statues numberless, the marble shapes
Of warriors, dauntless chieftains, stalwart knights,
That in the stormy battle days of old
Had won their right to that proud eminence,
And stood there crown'd. Majestic shapes, in sooth,

414

A VISION OF OLD FAMES.

Strong-limbed, stern-visaged, and with life-like eyes,
That seem'd for ever glaring at gaunt Death
With a fierce mockery;-all mighty men,
Men of renown were they, foremost in fight,
Whose names were blazon'd in the scrolls of fame,
For the world's worship. In their hands they held
Greaf swords, or keen-edged axes, and each foot
Was planted firmly on its granite base
With an immutable will, as who should say,
“We take our stand here till the eternal years
I}ring us renewal of our glorious prime !”
Above them hung old banners, that had waved
On many a stricken field, and with brief pause,
A trumpet blast reverberate, awoke
The hollow echoes of the vaulted aisles,
With its victorious clangour;-whereupon
Those banners rustled, waving to and fro
As in the rush of battle, and a strange
And ghostly murmur seemed to thrill around,
As if the marble lips of those dead men
Were striving to give utterance anew
To their old war-cries. And whenever thus
The trumpet sounded, then methought I saw
The spaces of the hall on a sudden filled
With a dense multitude, all kneeling low,
All pouring forth the tide of their hearts' love
And reverential homage at the feet
Of those crowned knights of war.

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Musing, I gazed,
Compassed with saddest phantasies of thought,
Till slowly waned the vision from my sight,
Chased by the dawn, and to my waking ear,
With the first matin-song of happy birds,
Came rumours of great battles, won afar,
Harvests of slaughter, garner'd in by Death,
And honours, by a world’s acclaim bestow'd
On our victorious generals.

Time rolled on,
And once again, in dream, I seem'd to stand
Within the portals of that hall of Fame.
Lo! change was busy there—change—ay the grand
Calm fixádness that reigned supreme before
Had vanished wholly; in its place was seen,
Working its pitiless ravage, fell Decay.
Still burnt the torches, though with failing fires—

Still on their pedestals were ranged the shapes,
The effigies of those stern men of old.
But all the jewels in their crowns were dim,
And from the drooping brows of some the crowns
Themselves had fallen ; phantom-like they looked,
An unsubstantial, ghastly, wan array,
Impalpable, unreal—their glowing eyes
Grown meaningless and void, their stately bulk
Shrunken and shadowy—all their grandeur gone,
All their proud bearing—scarce their meagre hands
Could clutch the deadly symbols of their sway,
Their rusted swords and axes—tottering,
As if o’ermaster’d by a fate sublime,
They stood in act to fall;-and when the trump
I3roke the drear silence, not as erst it did,
In notes of exultation loud and long,
But with a feeble melancholy moan,
It woke no recognition, and so died
Into a silence drearier than before.
Wide open stood the portals, but in vain—
No throng of worshippers sought entrance there,
No knees were bent, no vows were paid : pale Death,
And Desolation, and Decay alone
Stalk’d like avengers through the lone dim aisles.
So pass'd the hours, till one by one the flames
Of the wasted torches flicker'd and went out,
And pitchy darkness hover'd over all.
Then suddenly, a mighty thunder peal
Shook the huge fabric—the tall columns rocked,
The solid basements trembled, and in the midst,
What time the trumpet breathed its final blast,
A wail of lanentation and despair,
Most like the cry of a lost spirit's woe,
Down, headlong from their granite pedestals
Fell those false idols, while amid the din,
Methought I heard a solemn voice proclaim,
The voice as of an angel, clear and strong,
“These shedders of men's blood, for evermore
Their glory hath departed:—God hath said,
Eren God, the Lord Omnipotent, hath said,
There shall be no more war.’”

Oh blesséd dream! I look through the long vista of the years— I see the forms of the meek men of peace, The men with thoughtful eyes, and broad calm brows, That in their patient lowliness of heart

Have been up-lifted to the seats of power,
And from that eminence have scatter'd down
New light and wider blessings on mankind.
I see them wear the crowns of the world's love,
Its earnest homage, its enduring faith—
Wear them, not darkly in sepulchral halls,
I3ut in the open sunshine, 'neath the smile
Of the sweet heaven. I look abroad and scan
The rich plains of the populous earth, its vales,
Its mighty cities; o'er the seas I look,
Lit up with white sails of the merchant ships,
And in the length and breadth of the fair world,
I see no lingering token of the reign
Of the destroyer, War. But to my ear
Instead, the burden of a solemn hymn
Steals, floating upward from the souls of men,
Upward and onward still, from star to star,
Through all the spaces of the Universe,
“There shall be no more war !”—Oh! blessed dream |
T. WESTWood.

F.ABLES FOR FOOLISII FELLOWS. No. II.

THE IIIGIILAND AND TIIE LOWLAND SIIEEL WIIC) WENT TO WAR AT TIIE PERSUASION OF WOLVES. —e

IX a country not so remote that it cannot be reached by the moral of our fable there had been, from time immonorial, a feud between its IIighland and its Lowland races of sheep, which came to a collision whenever and wherever they met on the borders of their feeding-grounds, which neither their respective shepherds, nor their irrespective dogs, could prevent, appease, or put down, when once their bloods were up. It was shocking to mutton-eating men to hear of this perpetual petty warfare, and the rumours of a general rising of both of these belligerent parties, to bring their quarrel to a general battle, and abide the issue ; but this their lords and masters would not hear of for a moment, and contrived as much as possible to keep the rival clans apart, driving them to higher grounds on the one side, and lower grounds on the other, so as to leave a good broad neutral line of land between. The main bodies of both armies being

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