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Gladly!” said the poet, following his guide. They passed through villages and hamlets where the poor were going to rest under their roofs of straw ; then by noble mansions and through spacious parks and avenues of stately trees, until they approached the suburbs of a great city glittering with a thousand lamps. On the main road a lord's carriage was almost driven over a poor infirm man.
A type of this Old World ! " said the poet. “ We take better care of each other in our New World,” said the guide. As they passed over a bridge, on its battlements stood a woman about to throw herself into the water ; but the guide seized her gently and whispered some words into her ear which seemed to act as a charın.
See,” said the poet, “ in one of these chambers, perhaps, sits some poor author distressed because his genius must not unfold for want of a little money ; while in yon mansion, a merchant is stulying the investment of an enormous capital.
Men are so unlike each other here, that they cannot believe themselves to be brothers.”
They passed by lanes crowded with children growing up in ignorance; and they met the carriage of a bishop returning from the IIouse of Peers, where he had just delivered a speech against every mode of teaching the poor, excepting one which was quite impracticable.
* Down that lanc,” said the poet, “ live poor women who ply the needle fourteen hours a-day for twopence; and here comes the carriage of Madame Piccolo, who has carned five hundred pounds by singing in an opera to-night."
“ This is such a strange, fantastic world, that it seems like a dream to me when I visit it sometimes,” said the guide ; “ but we will leave it now.”
Then the scene suddenly changed; and nothing lay before the travellers but a wide expanse of country covered with moonlight. They passed along until they came to the sca-shore. " This is the sea,” said the guide, " which flows between the Old World and the New; it is the flood of Time, in which a great part of the Old World will be swallowed.”
They embarked in a vessel, on the deep, clear, blue water. Below the waves they saw ruins which the waters had already covered. There were prison-walls, and chains, and scourgos, all overgrown with sea-weeds, and bright-coloured fish were swim
ming in and out of the windows of old dungeons. “ Thus,” said the guide,
“all the grim monuments which distinguish the Old from the New World will be buried in these waters : then the two worlds will be alike, and a constant communication will be maintained between them over this sea.”
As the voyagers proceeded on their way, the sky became clearer, and the face of the water assumed more beautiful colours. As morning dawned, a strain of sweet music was heard swelling over the water. The poet gazed in the direction from which the wind was blowing, and saw a green and gently-rising land. Snowy-white halcyons hovered over the blue sea, that laved the blooming coast. Along the slope there were lines of houses, each having a garden in the front. Streams and fountains played among the flowers, and gave life and freshness to the
On the summit of the hill rose a temple of white marble, from which the strain of music issued. - This is the Land of Rest,” said the guide, as the vessel touched the shore. go up to the temple, and join in the services. So they walked through gardens, up the easy slope, until they came to the entrance of the temple. “ It is the festival of Autumn,” said the guide, as they entered. Before them was a marble altar, covered with garlands of golden grain, fruits and flowers, and the teacher, clothed in a robe of white, with a scarf of emerald green, stood by the altar. “Religion with us,
said the guide, “ maintains a communion with all the beautiful changes of nature, and with the progress
of human life. It has the same basis as the religion professed in the Old World ; but we develop it in a very different way. As God reveals his glory in various forms, we worship him in various modes.” The most beautiful sight in the temple was the company of children, who sang with the men and women a hymn, in many parts, of gratitude to God for the harvest, and in praise of human industry. • The men who are singing,” said the guide, labourers in the fields, and these are their wives and children.” The hymn was beautifully sung.
Sometimes one treble voice of a child gave out the subject, and then one voice after another stole into the strain, until it rose into a sweet and solemn fulness of sound.
When the hymn was ended, the teacher gave an address, chiefly directed towards the children.
“Sce, children,” said he, “all things live and work for cach other. The sun, the rain, the dews, the earth, the moon, the
stars—all have shed their influences to ripen this ear of corn. When you behole this you must see the sun shining, the rain falling, the earth cherishing the seed, and man labouring for its growth, while God pours his blessing through all these means. Here, then, is a symbol of life. And as this corn is thus given for your life, so you must devote your lives for the support and happiness of the whole family to which you belong. All thing's are holy which live in the bond of union. Not alone in this temple is divine service performed. Jlere we have the expressions in words, music and other symbols, of that worship which is otherwise expressed in deeds. Every stroke of the miner's axe; every movement of the gardener's spade and the reaper's sickle, animated by a good and benevolent motive, is an act of worship. All branches of art and industry are parts of one continual service in one temple.” Such was the strain of the teacher's discourse.
The poct was delighted with the arrangement of industry in this New World. lle remained for some days in one of the agricultural villages, making himself acquainted with the lives and circumstances of the labourers. Their condition even realised the dreams of his poetry. Labour and happiness were married. The toiling hand was directed by the well-developed mind. labourers and their families rose soon after dawn, and before going forth to the fields many of them united with their children in singing cheerful songs, praising the Creator, and encouraging man's industry. At an early hour in the crening, except during harvest, they returned to their homes, washed themselves, and changed their dress, then amused themselves in their gardens, or read, or sung, or talked, or played on musical instruments until the hour of rest. In every village was a library, and also a spacious building as a Bath-and-Wash-IIouse for the whole of the inhabitants.
“Ilere the Old World is imitating you,” said the poet. “We have now public baths for the poor in our metropolis.”
“A very good beginning,” said the guide—“ one of the best signs of your times!”
There was a school in every village. The country was divided into districts, each containing a number of villages ; and certain literary and well-qualified men were appointed over these districts. One gave lectures on music, another on painting, another on the natural sciences, and so on, according to their respective attain
ments; so that the minds of the people were kept in union with the best intellects of the country.
After inspecting and admiring the works of industry and the educational system of the country, the poet visited some of the places of public amusement. He was delighted in the Gallery of Painting to find that artists did not restrict themselves to a few old subjects ; but devoted their powers to illustrate and beautify the life of the people around them. Here art and industry were companions. Peasants stood gazing on beautiful pictures, and were glad to find that the artist did not consider their labours unworthy of his peucil. One artist exhibited a series of pictures illustrating peasant-life. In one painting the peasant was seen going forth into the fields in the freshness of a spring morning. In other parts of the series, the various employments of ploughing, sowing, reaping, and harvest-home were illustrated ; and in the last number, the aged labourer, surrounded with his family, sat under a tree before his cottage, in the evening light, enjoying anticipation of the rest beyond the grave.
Equally was our poet charmed in the Hall of Music ; for here the musicians of the country did not come to exhibit strange tricks upon instruments, nor merely to show their ability, but to employ the powers of harmonious sounds, reverently and reasonably, for the delight and edification of the people. Accordingly, the pieces sung and performed were not on stale theatrical subjects, but such as hymns, anthems, and cantatas on various themes of real human life. One of these pieces, which pleased our poet well, was a cantata on the " Praises of Labour,” consisting of various songs, celebrating various parts of industry, giving
“ Honour to the sailor brave,
Brings up earth's riches to the light ;" and ending with a full chorus, in which miners, peasants, and other workers all sang heartily,
“ The friendly heart and the working hand
Shall spread contentment through the land.” Among the places of recreation, there was one where the poet found especial amusement. It was an observatory upon a high hill, commanding a view of some parts of the Old World. Here was a large telescope placed under the care of a speculative man,
who was glad to obtain some information from the poet respecting the scenes in the Old World, which the telescope revealed.
“I -20," said the man of the telescope, “ in a park near your metromlis, splendid equipages, conveying persons of great importance, as I suppose ; but, though I have seen these persons assembling on grounds where lorses gallop, or where those troops of men in red clothes march about, I can never see them amid an assembly of labourers, or taking any part in the recreations of the poor people. Ilow is this?"
" Those men with gay equipages,” said the poet, ·lorils, our aristocracy,' and, of course, they cannot associate with poor people."
Vlat: lo they not recognise the importance and dignity of labour ! Then there must be in lamentable want of education among your gay people," said the observer ; " but what do these troops of wil mee mean? They have implements ; but I caunot see that they use them in any useful work, and yet they do not seem to be at play."
“We call them our soldiers,” said the poet, “ and they are employed to kill people in other nations, or to keep our own people in control."
“What do you require such a sort of government? Have you no temples?” sail the observer.
I see large buildings, here and there, with towers and spires, and I should take these to be your temples ; but I cannot see any schools attached to them, and few people go to them except once in seven days."
• These are our churches,” said the poet : " but they have not schools attached to them.”
“Oh, then, your schools are perhaps these large gloomy buildings which we see,” said the observer ; “ but they are built in a very bad style for schools.”
They are prisons instead of schools,” said the poet ; "prisons where we chain up unhappy men, who often become criminals for want of good education.”
“ You give me gloomy views of the Old World,” said the observer ; “I shall no longer be able to look upon it with pleasure."
“ But in yon Old World,” said the poet, “ there are some minds who have visions of a New World, and who are determined to strive patiently for the fulfilment of what good prophets have said.”
“ Then there is a hope for you,” said the observer ; "and I