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loveliness, and endowing the spectator with Donne while preaching in St. Paul's on Christorgans of a more spiritual vision, so that in
mas Day, 1627:looking, one felt as if the golden thoughts of “But,” says he, "as a thoughtful man, a the genius who once dwelt among those trees pensive, a considerative man, that stands still were still living and shedding an ethereal light for awhile, with his eyes fixed
the ground on every feature of the scene where they first before his feet, when he casts up his head, hath found expression. One's soul would fain have presently, instantly, the sun or the heavens for taken wing at once, gently to glide down into his object; he sees not a tree, nor a house, nor a the leafy retirement where Donne used to have steeple by the way; but as soon as his eye is those strange minglings of happy thought departed from the earth, where it was long and plaintive feeling. I was soon down the fixed, the next thing he sees is the sun or the hillside and through the pretty embowered heavens:--So when Moses had fixed himself lanes which led to the banks of the Wandle, long upon the consideration of his own inand along by the old ivy-covered wall which sufficiency for this service, when he took his remains to tell of Merton Priory.
eye from that low piece of ground, himself, Merton or Meretun, the town by the pond, considered as he was then, he fell upon no is divided from Mitcham by an old bridge on tree, no house, no steeple, no such consideration which the pilgrim is tempted to linger and as this-God may endow me, improve me, look into the quiet waters until they reflect exalt me, enable me, qualify me with faculties visions of the successive generations which fit for this service,—but his first object was that have lived and passed away from their flowery which presented an infallibility with it, Christ margin. There would be the death-scene of Jesus Himself, the Messiah Himself.” Cynewulf of Wessex, followed by the bloody Now, however, I must needs hasten to struggles between Ethelred, Alfred, and their Donne's village retreat. Another half-hour, Danish foes. Then would pass the foundation and there is the village green. Who could ceremonies of the old Priory in 1117, with wonder that finely framed spirits should have Ethelbert the sheriff figuring as the founder chosen a home in that old Surrey village ? of the first wooden church, and its outstanding There were but few tokens of antiquity in parish sanctuary still showing its ancient flint the architecture of either cottages or mansions; walls. Then would come the royal pomp of but there were still the broad, free, fresh-lookHenry the Third's Parliament and its issue ing “greens,”—the “upper" and the “lower"
. of the famous “Statutes of Merton;" and green, the latter still graced with some rows of then the rise of Merton College in 1264,
noble old elms, the venerable relics of that under Walter de Merton, Bishop of Roch. leafy border which once beautified the village ester.
"folk-land,” and afforded shade to the old and But such visions were not the only entice- the young who used to sport or doze in the ments to linger. I would have sauntered in open air of summer-tide. The church, of the nursery grounds hard by, which now cover course, was to be visited first of all. It was a the site of Nelson's dwelling during the inter- comparatively modern building, of pleasant vals of his life ashore; especially by the side proportions and appearance, covering the site of the fishpond, the only thing left upon which on which several earlier sanctuaries had echoed he used to look; and there I would be regaled to the prayers of former generations. The one once more by the talk of the good though in which Donne had often worshipped was quaint old gardener, who moralized on the destroyed by lightning about six years after he changes of times and seasons, and helped me had joined “the Church of the First-born, by his native logic and the light of his own written in Heaven." transparent simplicity of character, to dis- I found an old woman in the church, who re. tinguish between the common notions of great- membered the building which followed that of ness as attached to human titles, achievements, Donne's time, and which was taken down to and fame, and that Christian childlikeness make way for the present erection. which the Divine mind esteems as the highest “I have been here over fifty years,” she said, standard of greatness. That old man's homely “and since my time all the old families have remarks about looking away from self to gone; here are some of their tombs along the Christ in order to be great in His kingdom or aisles. One of the oldest you see is that of the fit for His service, reminded me of a striking
Crowleys; here they lie.” And, lifting the passage which once fell from the lips of matting, she showed me an old slab in the floor,
with an epitaph “To the memory of Sir Am. ment of Lineria Cymbalaria. No vestige of a brose Crowley, and Dame Mary, his wife.” Sir house or a cottage could I see anywhere in Ambrose, as his memorial says, was an Alder- which it seemed likely that Donne could have man of unblemished probity and a sincere lived. The oldest house, according to the belief and practice of true Christianity." He opinion of my oldest informant, was “The figures in the Tatler as “Sir Humphry Green- Canons,” but that looked too modern in its hat."
style. Nobody that I met with ever heard of “Did you ever hear anything of Dr. Donne?” Dr. Donne as a resident in Mitcham. said I. Is there any story afloat about his “Which 'green' do you think is the olderresidence here ?"
the upper' or the lower'?” said I to a com. “Who p” said the old woman, “Dr. Donne ? fortable-looking shopkeeper in the “ upper" No; I never heard of anybody of that name;
green. nobody knows him here.”
“Oh, the upper' of course!” “Do you know anything, then, about where Who does not like to be identified with the Sir Walter Raleigh used to live?”
"upper" style of things ? The“upper green," “Oh, yes; he used to live in a house that , however, did seem to be of older date in the was once up at the end of Whitford Lane. All style of its surrounding architecture; and one gone now, sir, like everybody and everything was disposed to stay and be hushed by the else.”
music of the breeze among the elms, until he “And so," thought I, as I left the old could realize the fact that somewhere here woman to the use of her brush, " the courtier, must have been the house which the suffering the soldier, the sea captain, the man who husband and father used to call “My Mitcham offended his sovereign by tainting the breath | Hospital,” “My Close Prison," " My Dungeon of young England with tobacco fumes, has left of Mitcham." traditional impressions on this village mind, Why should he give such titles to so beauti. while the seraphic and devout Doctor has no ful a retreat ? • Those who have read the letters name or memory in the place where some of of that husband and father will not fail to divine his greatest trials were suffered, and where
a reason. He must have suffered much during many of his immortal thoughts were conceived
the years 1607.9. His correspondence with and cherished!” He might have been speaking Sir H. Goodyere, and others, contains many from the pulpit as I passed out of the church, I
passages that touch one painfully. with such living impressiveness did a passage “ This letter," says he, "hath more merit from one of his sermons occur to me:
than one of more diligence, for I wrote it in "The ashes of an oak in the chimney,” said my bed and with much pain. I have occasion he, are no epitaph of that oak, to tell me how to sit late some nights in my study (which high or how large that was. It tells me not
books make a pretty library), and now I what flocks it sheltered while it stood, nor what find that that room bath a wholesome emble. men it hurt when it fell. The dust of great matic use; for having under it a vault, I make persons' graves is speechless, too; it says that promise me that I shall die reading, since nothing; it distinguishes nothing. As soon my book and a grave are so near.” the dust of a wretch whom thou wouldst not, And again, “ I receive, this 14th, your letter as of a prince whom thou couldst not, look of the 10th, yet I am not come to an underupon, will trouble thine eyes if the wind blow standing how these carriers keep days; for I it thither. And when a whirlwind hath blown would fain think that the letters which I sent the dust of the churchyard unto the church, upon Thursday last might have given you such and the man sweeps out the dust of the church an account of the state of my family, that you unto the churchyard, who will undertake to needed not have asked by this. But, sir, it sift those dusts again, and to pronounce—this hath pleased God to add this much to my afflicis the patrician, this is the noble flour; and tion, that my wife hath now confessed herself this the yeomanry, this the plebeian bran P” to be extremely sick; she hath held ont thus
The next thing was to walk towards Whit- long to assist me, but is now overturned ; and ford Lane, to see
, not the house of Raleigh, here we be in two beds or graves; so that God but the old brick wall which surrounds the spot hath marked out a great many of us, but taken where it stood. It was, indeed, a venerable none yet. I have passed ten days without wall, with its heavy embattlements of ivy, and taking anything, so that I think no man can here and there its beautiful pendulous adorn. live more thriftily."
Nothing, however, among all the allusions to sometimes as the refined genius, instinctively his domestic sorrows is more touching than the shrinking from common business; as when he following disclosure to a friend :
says to Sir H. Wooton : “I write not to you out of my poor library, “The observation of others upon me is my where to cast mine eye upon good authors preservation from extreme idleness ; else I kindles or refreshes sometimes meditations not profess that I hate business so much, as I am unfit to communicate to near friends; nor from sometimes glad to remember that the Roman the highway, where I am contracted and in- Church reads that verse, A negotio perambulante verted into myself ; which are my two ordinary in tenebris, which we read From the pestilence forges of letters to you. But I write from the walking by night, so equal to me do the fireside of my parlour, and in the noise of plague and business deserve avoiding; but three gamesome children; and by the side of you will neither believe that I abhor business, her whom, because I have transplanted into a if I enlarge this letter, nor that I would afford wretched fortune, I must labour to disguise you that ease which I affect; therefore return that from her by all such honest devices as to your pleasures." giving ber my company and discourse. There. He is not alone in this feeling. Many a fore I steal from her all the time which I give genius besides Donne has found it easy to this letter, and it is therefore that I take so identify business and pestilence. short a list, and gallop so fast over it. I have Our correspondent from the "Mitcham hosnot been out of my house since I received pital” could be cheerful at times, however, and your packet. As I have much quenched my his cheerfulness finds beautiful expression senses, and disused my body from pleasure, too:and so tried how I can endure to be mine own “As all shadows are of one colour," says he grave, so I try now how I can suffer a prison. to a friend, "if you respect the body from And since it is but to build one wall more which they are cast (for our shadow upon clay about our soul, she is still in her own centre, will be dirty, and in a garden green and how
many circumferences soever fortune or our flowery), so all retirings into a shadowy life own perverseness cast about her. I would I are alike from all causes, and alike subject to could as well entreat her to go out, as she the barbarousness and insipid dulness of the knows whither to go. But if I melt into a country; only the employments and that upon melancholy whilst I write, I shall be taken in which you cast and bestow your pleasure, busithe manner : and I sit by one too tender ness, or books, give it the tincture and beauty. towards these impressions, and it is so much But truly, wheresoever we are, if we can but our duty to avoid all occasions of giving them tell ourselves truly what and where we would sad apprehensions, as St. Hierome accuses be, we may make any state and place such ;
for we are so composed, that if abundance or but that he did it ne contristaretur delicias glory scorch and melt us, we have an earthly suas (that his darling might not be sad).” cave, our bodies, to go into by consideration,
From a hint in this letter it is clear that he and cool ourselves; and if we be frozen and was in the habit of composing while pacing contracted with lower and dark fortunes, we the road; and now one can scarcely ever have within us a torch, a soul, lighter and ramble through the shady lanes about Mitcham warmer than any without: we are therefore without feeling as if he were stepping on the our own umbrellas and our own suns. These, footprints of the afflicted but peaceful man
sir, are the salads and onions of Mitcham, whose walking hours were often filled with sent to you with as wholesome affection as happy abstractions and loving thoughts. The your other friends send melons and quelquestyle of his letters had much of that stateli. choses from Court and London.” ness or even stiffness which belonged to his In his correspondence with ladies he proves times. His compliments sometimes appear himself capable of most delicate, playful, and stilted or dressed in buckram; but after all, elegant compliment; and, indeed, whether there is now and then an agreeable freedom more serious or more gay, more studied or which pleasantly approaches the greater natu- more free, in his style, he well sustains his ralness of our later period, while there is own definition of letter writing always the happy revelation of a warm and “I make account that this writing of letters, generous heart. His letters from Mitcham show when it is with any seriousness, is a kind of him frequently as the depressed sufferer; and ecstasy, and a departare and secession and
never are, for I have a little satisfaction in
suspension of the soul, which doth then com- front, and its antique sitting-room upstairs. municate itself to two bodies; and as I would That lad bad good sense and fine taste-at every day provide for my soul's last convoy, least I think 80; he loved antiquity, and like though I know not when I shall die, and per- a good fellow, stuck to old friends. The chance I shall never die, so for these ecstasies 'King's Head” was my inn,“ of course;" and in letters, I oftentimes deliver myself over in there I found a cheerful welcome, and enter. writing when I know not when those letters tainmeut that was really worthy of an old shall be sent to you, and many times they | English inn.
Mitcham will always live among my trea. seeing a letter written to you upon my table, sures of memory; while it must ever have a though I meet no opportunity of sending it.” special charm for those who lovingly study
Donne's character and life while he sojourned " Which is the best inn in Mitcham ?” I in it. To Donne's experiences in that peaceful inquired of a lad who was passing just as I old Surrey village we probably owe a sentence, finished
first ramble through the village. which, by the light and influence of its just Why the King's Head, of course.”
thought and graceful expression, has often “Of course! Why 'of course'?” was my helped those whose life's discipline has been question to myself, as at a first glance I com- like his to "sing of mercy and judgment":pared the “
King's Head” with a stuccoed, “ This is the difference between God's mercy pretentious, modernized "public" on the other and His judgments, that sometimes His judg. side. The lad, however, was right. The ments may be plural, complicated, enwrapped King's Head was the old original,” a vene. in one another, but His mercies are always so, rable brick building, with its shadowy elnis in and cannot be otherwise."
(To be continued.)
HE difference between 7 and 8 is not boots No. 78 (my number). He would hunt him
very great; only a single unit. And up; thought he was breakfasting. Here was yet that difference has power over a
new vexation. Who was the man that had man's whole temper, convenience,
taken my number and gone for my boots ? and dignity.
Somebody had them on, warm and nice, and At my boots were set out at night to be was enjoying his coffee, while I walked up and blacked. In the morning no boots were there, down, with less and less patience, who had though all the neighbouring rooms had been none too much at first. No servant returned. served. I rang. Ι
I rang again, and sent energetic messages to "A pretty hotel!-nearly eight o'clock, going the office. Some water had been spilled on the out at nine, breakfast to be eaten, and no boots floor. I stepped in it, of course. In winter yet.”
cold water feels as if it burned you. Unpacked Thewaiter came, took my somewhat emphatic my portmanteau for new stockings. order, and left. Every minute was an hour.
Time was speeding. It was quarter past It always is when you are out of temper. A eight: train at nine, no boots and no breakfast. man in his stocking-feet, in the third story of I slipped on a pair of sandal-rubbers, too large a hotel, finds himself restricted in locomotion by inches for my foot, and while I shufiled I went to the door, looked up and down the along the ball, they played up and down on my hall, saw chamber-maids; saw, afar off, the feet. First, one shot off; that secured, the master of the coal-scuttle; saw gentlemen other dropped on the stairs. It was very walking in bright boots, unconscious of the annoying. privileges which they enjoyed, but did not see Reached the office, and expressed my mind. any one coming with my boots. A servant at First the clerk rang the bell three times length came, round and ruddy-faced, very kind furiously, then ran forth himself, met the and good-natured, honest and stupid. He in- boots, who had boots 79 in hand, narrow and formed me that a gentleman had already taken long, thinking perhaps I could wear them. Who
knows but 79 had my boots ? Some curiosity upon that infirmity that puts a man's peace at was beginning to be felt among bystanders. It the mercy of a chalk line. was likely that I should have half the hotel Are not most of the pets and rubs of life as inquiring after my boots. I abhor a scene. undignified as this ? Few men could afford Retreated to my room. On the way thought to-morrow to review the things that vexed that I would look at room 77's boots. Behold, them yesterday. They boast of being free, yet they were mine! There was the broken pullo permit the most arrant trifles to rule and ride straps; the patch on the right side, and the very them. A man that is vexed and angry turns shape of my toe,-infallible signs ! The fellow the worst part of himself out to sight, and had marked them 77 and not 78. And all this exhibits himself to the pity and contempt of hour's tumult arose from just the difference spectators. Who would put on a buffoon's between 7 and 8.
coat and fool's cap and walk forth to be jeered ? I lost my boots, lost the train, lost my And yet one's temper does worse by him than temper, and, of course, lost my good manners. that. And men submit to it, not once, but Everybody does that loses temper. But, boots often, and sometimes every day! once on, breakfast served, a cup of coffee I wonder whether these sage reflections will brought peace and good-will. The whole make me patient and quiet the next time my matter took a ludicrous aspect. I moralised boots are misplaced ?
"PARSONS' SONS AND DEACONS' DAUGHTERS."
HEN a thing is flagrant, there seems been what they are; they are knaves, but here
to be a tendency to think it frequent. is one who is fool as well as knave, and what Thus one gross breach of trust by can be worse than that ?” The thing is un.
one member of a class or profession, natural and unseemly, even to those whose shakes our confidence, even against our judg: standard is the very lowest; and to those whose ment and our will, in all. A single exorbitant hand and whose hopes are on the side of the lawyer's bill, for instance, gives us for life a good in the world's battle, it is painful as horror of the law, and we submit to injustice or treason or desertion. extortion from any other quarter rather than And the single instances which thus by the from that in future. Or, again, the evil life of very power of evil which they possess fasten one minister of a congregation is remembered themselves in our memories--the boy who sat in his own neighbourhood long after he has beside us at school, whose wickedness was passed away; and, be his successor never so a very byword, or that one "unfortunate” earnest, and of never so good report, there family with which we were at one time brought remains still in the hearts of many an unac- into contact-lead us, even before we are aware knowledged distrust of all religion. Evil, of it, to think that all are alike, until we find though we all lift up our voices loudly enough ourselves questioning whether a child" brought against it, finds congenial soil in our hearts; up in the way he should go," will not certainly and where it cannot bear its natural fruit of “ depart from it when he is old.” like evil living, it produces too often an un- The numerous instances where the training reasoning but all-distrusting cynicism; and of youth has been in good and manifestly for thus, more widely than we think, “the evil good also, where the hopes of Christian parents that men do lives after them.”
have been fulfilled in the lives of Christian It is probably from this that the almost children, and the good seed has remained and proverbial notion of the wickedness of good borne fruit to the third and fourth generation, men's children has arisen. To the worst of are forgotten. They are not noticed, because men there is something most repulsive in that they do not put themselves forward; and the failure of early hopes, which is seen when very sense that “this is just as it should be" Manasseh reigns and does that which is evil, leads us to overlook them in our general estiwhere Hezekiah, his father, had done that mate of the value of religious education, just which was right in the sight of the Lord. as we set down a garden as "full of weeds" “ They had no such opportunities,” they say,
when there is fruit in it also. “ in their youth, or they would never have But, whilst thus denying the justice of the