Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

CHILDREN DANCING. I DARE say my reader has observed the scarcely disguised impatience with which adult votaries of Terpsichore look on at an infinite dancing; perhaps he has felt it himself; perhaps the writer has done so in his time. Yet the dancing of children is, in sooth, pleasant and a pretty sight; and I have never felt this more strongly than on occasions when the floor has suddenly been taken possession of by grown up dancers in immediate succession to those little ones. Compare the temperance of both, and you will not need a better proof, that grace is natural and not acquired ; nay more, that it may be lost by overstraining and artificiality. I was following with my eyes the crowd of little bright joyous things, and thinking there was grace in all their movements---grace equally in the perfect dancing of some, and in the bounding disregard of art in others-in their boldness or bashfulness—demureness or riot; there was grace, I thought, in the small curly velvet-tuniced boy of seven or eight, pulling the muslin skirt of a pretty lass of ten, with the urgent plea—" ì say, will you dance with me ? do now;" and in the precocious coquetry of the two-tailed fairy, as she disengaged herself with a pirouette from the hands of her too juvenile suitor, and flung from her laughing blue eyes such an irresistible invitation to a smart young middy of Havannah, as brought him instantly to her side. Away they flew round the room, in wild enjoyment, and in the polka that children dance

par excellence ; and some chord in my memory had just been struck by the piteous spectacle of the poor little mortified fellow, who biting his finger and slowly shaking his ever round figure, at length ran and buried his face in the lap of a lady. My attention, I say, was thus engrossed, when pooh! into the midst of the lillipution throng rushed a human avalanche, in the shape of a full growna very full grown-couple of polkists! The cavalier, though not old, was fattish, and had a round small spot of baldness on the crown of his head; the lady an exorbitant crenoline. The poetry of the scene vanished in a moment.

NOT THE SLIGHTEST DOUBT ABOUT IT. A young lady being asked whether she should wear a wig when her hair turned grey ? replied, with the greatest earnestness- Oh! I'll die first.

THE WORLD'S INGRATITUDE. “The only pocket,” says a sour philosopher," that really opens and melts over a man's bier, is a pocket of hops!—The age.

A CURATE of a parish, meeting a little boy in the village, asked him if he could

say
his

prayers. No,” replied the boy, “ but I have a brother at home is a devil at it.

WILL THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE ?

Thou art dreaming, gentle maiden,

Of a calm and happy life;
Of a loving friend to shield thee

From care, and want, and strife.
How radiant looks the future,

How fair in every view;
Thou art dreaming, gentle maiden ;

But will those dreams come true ?
Thou art dreaming, youthful student,

Of celebrity and fame;
Of the honours which shall cluster

Around thy lowly name:
of the rich and varied pleasures

Which soon thy path shall strew.
Thou art dreaming, youthful student;

But will those dreams come true ?
Thou art dreaming, busy merchant,

Of thy ships far out at sea;
Of prudent speculations,

Which shall bring wealth to thee;
Of the dignity, the comfort

Which shall from wealth accrue;
Thou art dreaming, busy merchant;

But shall those dreams come true ?
Thou art dreaming, happy mother,

Of the darlings at thy side ;
And thy baby girl appeareth

As a fair and graceful bride;
And thy boy has grown to manbood,

Esteemed by not a few;
Thou art dreaming, happy mother;

But will those dreams come true?
Ah, how frequently does sorrow

Put all such dreams to flight,
As our waking moments banish

The visions of the night!
The scenes which fancy pictures

To our enraptured glance,
Like the mirage, will elude us,

As towards them we advance.
And e'en if we attain them,

And grasp our longed-for prize,
Alas! how very seldom

Our hopes we realise !
Then, while, with ardent footsteps,

We fancied bliss pursue,
Oft let us ask the question,-

“But will those dreams come true ?"

CURIOUS ANAGRAMS. FRENCH Revolution-Violence, run forth ! Paradise Lost-Reap sad toils.- Paradise Regained-Dead respire again.

VOL. II.

E

BIRDNESTING. The Ven. Archdeacon Thorp, in his recent address to the Tyne Side Naturalists' Field Club, observed :-“The birds, I say so with much pain, are fast disappearing from the banks and walks of Durham, by reason of the ruthless practice of the egg collectors, and among them my school-fellows, who debase the calling of the naturalist by purchasing the specimens they should gather, thus bribing the needy children of the city to plunder the nests of our little friends, deprive our neighbours of a rich enjoyment, inflict wanton pain, and destroy one of the most charming of nature's works. When will man learn to remember that his dominion over the animal creation is given as a trust ?”

WEDDING DIVINATION. Being lately present on the occasion of a wedding at a town in the East Riding of Yorkshire, I was witness to the following custom, which seems to take rank as a genuine scrap of folk-lore. On the bride alighting from her carriage at her father's door, a plate covered with morsels of bride's cake was flung from a window of the second story upon the heads of the crowd congregated in the street below; and the divination, I was told, consists in observing the fate which attends its downfall. If it reach the ground in safety, without being broken, the omen is a most unfavourable ove. If, on the other hand, the plate be shattered to pieces (and the more the better), the auspices are looked upon as most happy. -Oxoniensis.

ILLUSTRIOUS FARMERS. Adam was a farmer while yet in Paradise, and after his fall was commanded to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Job, the honest, upright, and patient, was a farmer, and his firm endurance has passed into a proverb. Socrates was a farmer, and yet wedded to the glory of his immortal philosophy. Cincinnatus was a farmer, and the noblest Roman of them all. Burns was a farmer, and the Muse found him at his plough, and filled his soul with poetry. Washington was a farmer, and retired from the highest earthly station to enjoy the quiet of rural life, and present to the world a spectacle of human greatness. To those names may be added a host of others, who sought peace and repose in the cultivation of their earth. The enthusiastic Lafayette, the steadfast Pickering, the scholastic Jefferson, the fiery Randolph, all found au El Dorado of consolation from life's cares and troubles, in the green and verdant lawns that surrounded their homestead.

EXTRAORDINARY FEAT OF NATURE.-Jumping from winter to summer without a spring.

FACTS. “We have ever found,” says an American paper," that blacksmiths are more or less given to vice. Carpenters, for the most part, speak planely, but they will chisel when they can get a chance. Not unfrequently they are bores, and often annoy one with their old saws.

LONDON. The British capital has been called a province covered with houses; the chief causeway of the world; the great estuary of the tide of human existence; the empress of all cities, with whose fame the nations "ring from side to side;" the Babylon of the West, which, in wealth and population, may claim precedence of contemporary realms! There is but one London ; and, take it for all in all, it is at this day a more interesting object of contemplation than any other spot of similar dimensions on the surface of the globe. It wants the spacious quays and the pleasant gardens of its neighbour on the Seine ; it partakes not of the melancholy magnificence of Rome,“ lone mother of dead empires,” the historical sanctuary of hallowed recollections ever eloquent of olden fame, 'mid ruins darkened with the crust of centuries ; it is not adorned, like Florence, with the delicate creations of those wondrous masters, who left Art's self effete, and hopeless of an equal effort; it boasts not of the glad and glorious scenery of Naples, rejoicing in a soil where even the shade is more generous than our northern sunshine, and reflected with all its classic villas and picturesque details in the limpid loveliness of the subjacent Mediterranean; it is not consecrated, like Venice, to the very genius of poetry, and graced with beauteous gondolas, that glide along its liquid thoroughfares through the stillness of evening, in harmony with the barcarole and the serenade, the tabor and the guitar; nor yet is it clothed with the romantic grandeur, surrounded with the goodly prospect, or dignified with the inountain diadem of Edinburgh. But still its geometrical inmensity, enormous population, immeasurable moral influence, political supremacy, indomitable enterprise, tremendous wealth, and, to sum all, its vast, various, and comprehensive intellectual capabilities, constitute in the aggregate a more curious theme for speculation than any other visible object throughout the world.

HIGH ENTERTAINMENT. “The most expensive theatre in London is that of St. Stephen's; for you pay more for a seat in that house than in any other, and stand a great chance of losing your place after all."

“ PATRICK," said a lady to a strip of green Erin, who was officiating the kitchen, “where is Bridget ?” “Indeed, ma'am, she's fast asleep, looking at the bread bakin'.”

THE GIFTS OF GENIUS. With what a scornful disregard of wealth, and the position of the moment, Almighty God scatters the priceless gifts of genius among his children! the great poet, the illustrious statesman, the eloquent orator, is as likely to go forth from the brown-faced labourer's cottage over the way, as from the sumptuous palaces of the capital. The future ruler of an empire may be unconsciously digging yonder field; and that very school may be, under God, the appointed means of revealing his unsuspected destiny to him and the world.

ODE TO SOLITUDE.
I quit a-while my pleasing rural care,

The fields with sheaves, the meads with hay-cocks crown'd,
And to thy groves, 0 Solitude, repair,

Admit me goddess, to the hallow'd ground.
Hail, sweetest Solitude, of peace the queen,

Parent of rest and silence! nurse of thought!
Best preparation when our works begin,

And, when they cease, best solace, though unbought
What the two demons vile thy sacred name

Frequent usurp, in darkest shades retird;
Foul Sloth and Melancholy, foes to fame,

And all that e'er a virtuous fame acquir'd.
Yet far from these, the happy temples glow,

With morn or ev'ning's gentle radiance bright;
Nor heart-struck grief, nor pride thy vot'ries know

With wisdom blest, and wisdom's calm delight.
O deign to visit oft, with all thy train,

Frail erring man, not yet in error bold;
Welcome, e'en when those sister angels twain,

Friendship and wedded love their empire hold.
Hail sacred Solitude! e'er time hegan,

Thou to the glorious throne of God was nigh;
Wast present when He form's Creation's plan,

So wond'rous, wise, and good! so deep! so higb!
O here descend, nor let my vows be vain ;

Bring every kindred grace in all thy state;
And if, ought human might become thy train,

Let fairest Science, on thy footsteps wait.
But lo! she comes; and where thy altars rise,

She pours fresh blessings on thy votary's head;
Nor think, my son, with cheering voice she cries,

That here around thee desolation spread.
See what a heav'nly host around thee stand;

See, as I wave this wand, what glorious forms,
This wand, this soul-compelling wand, commands !

Each breast their virtue animates and warms.
See Socrates advance, of thought profound,

And fair Philosophy's selected train ;
Hark! from yon grot what Grecian harps resound !

Well answer'd now by many a modern strain.

« AnteriorContinuar »