« AnteriorContinuar »
readers as they were to us, they will humble one, and such as did not hold receive with no ordinary gratification out to its contributors any inducement this interesting legacy. Had Miss to extraordinary effort. But, with Taylor never published any thing be- Miss Taylor, the prospect of eficient fore, these papers would be sufficient usefulness was an adequate stimulus; to entitle her to rank very high among and in writing for the Youth's Magaour best moral writers. Many of zine, she appears never to have excusthem would have been esteemed accep- ed herself from taking all the pains table contributions in the days of the that could have been inspired by a Spectator, or the Rambler. It ought, trembling solicitude for fame. indeed to be recollected, that they The papers are seventy-nine id numwere written for young persons; that ber. As a mere list of the contents the choice of subject, as well as the would give little idea of their nature, unpretending style, has been deter- we shall at once proceed to select a mined by this circumstance ; that the few specimens of their varied characmedium through which they found ter. The first that we shall take, is of their way to the public, was a very a sportive cast,
THE DISCONTENTED PENDULUM. An old clock that had stood for fifty years four hours: perhaps some of you, above in a farmer's kitchen without giving its own. there, can give me the exact sam. er any cause of complaint, early one sum The minute hand, being quick at figures, mer's morning, before the family was stis- instantly replied, “ eighty-six thousand four ring, suddenly stopped.
hundred times." Upon this, ihe dial-plate (if we may credit “ Exactly so," replied the peodalim : the fable) changed countenance with alarm; “well, I appeal to you all, if the thought of the hands made an ineffectual effort to con this was not enough to fatigde ope? and when tinue their course; the wheels remained mo I began to multiply the strokes of one day tionless with surprise ; the weights bung by those of months and years, really it is de speechless; each member felt disposed to lay wonder if I felt discouraged at the prespert: the blaine on the others. At length the dial so after a great deal of reasoning and besitainstituted a formal inquiry as to ihe cause of tioo, thinks I to myself, l'II stop." the stagnation; when hands, wheels,weights, The dial could scarcely keep its courtewith one voice protested their innocence. nance during this harangue; but, resuming But now a faint tick was heard below, from its gravity, thus replied: the pendulum, who thus spoke:
“ Dear Mr. Pendulum, I am really astrie“I confuse myself to be the sole cause of ished that such a useful, industrious personas the present stoppage; and am willing, for yonrself should have been overcome by this the general satisfaction, to assign my reasons. sudden suggestion. It is true you have done The truth is, that I am tired of ticking.” a great deal of work in your time. So we Upon hearing this, the old clock became so have all, and are likely ti do; and, althoagh enraged that it was on the point of striking. this may fatigue us to think of, the question
" Lazy wire !” exclaimed the dial-plate, is, whether it will fatigue us to do : would holding up its hands
you now, do me the favour to give about balf “ Very good !” replied the pendulum, a dozen strokes, to illustrate ny argu“it is vastly easy for you, Mistress Dial, ment.” who have always, as every body knjws, set The pendulum complied, and ticked six yourself up above me,---it is vastly easy for times at its usual pace.." Now," resumed you, I say, to accuse other people of lazi. the dial, “ may I be allowed to inquire, if ness! You, who have had nothing to do all that exertion was at all fariguing or disa the days of your life but to stare people in greeable to you ?" the face, and to amuse yourself with watch “ Not in the least," replied tbe pendulum: ing all that goes on in the kitchen! Think, --" it is not of six strokes that I complaja, I beserch you, how you would like to be nor of sixty, but of millions." shut up for life in this dark closet, and wag “ Very good," replied the dial, “betrec backwards and forwards, year after year, as ollect that although you may think of a mil. I do."
lion strokes in an instant, you are required “ As to that," said the dial, “is there not to erecute but one ; and that bowever aften a window in your house on purpose for you you may hereafter have to swing, a ponent to look through ?”
w ll always be given you to swing in.' “ For all that,” resumei the pendulum, “That consideration staggers me, I cod“it is very dark here; and altbough there is fess," said the pendulum. a window, I dare not stop, even for an in “ Thep I hope," resumed the dial-plate, stant, to look out. Besides, I am really "we shall all immediately return to our duty; weary of my way of life; and if you please, for the maids will lie in bed till noon if we I'll töll you how I took this disgust at my stand idling thus." employment. This morning I happened to Upon this, the weights, who had sever be calculating how many times I should have been accused of light conduct, used allebert to tick in the course only of the next twenty- influence ia urging him to proceed: when ,
as with one consent, the wheels began to counter all its crosses at once. One moment
cipation of the duties, the labours, the trials When the farmer came down to breakfast to temper and patience that may be expectthat morning, upon looking at the clock, he ed. Now this is unjustly laying the burden declared that his watch had gained half an of many thousand moments upon one. Let hour in the night.
any one resolve to do right now, leaviog then
to do as it can, and if he were to live to the MORAL.
age of Methuselah, he would never err. But
the common error is, to resolve to act right toIt is said by a celebrated modern writer, morruxo, or next time, but now, just this once, “take care of the minutes and the hours will we must go on the same as ever. take care of themselves." This is an admi It seems easier to do right to-morrow than rable hint ; and might be very seasonably to-day, merely because we forget that when recollected when we begin to be “ weary to morrow comes, then will be now. Thus in well-doing," from the thought of having life passes, with inany, in resolutions for a great deal to do. The present is all we the future, which the present never fulfils. bave to manage : the past is irrecoverable ; It is not thus with those, who “by patient the future is uncertain; nor is it fair to bur- continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, den one moment with the weight of the next. honour, and immortality :".--day by day, Sufficient unto the moment is the trouble minute by minute, they execute the appointthereof. If we bad to walk a hundred ed task, to which the requisite measure of miles, we still need set but one step at a time, time and strength is proportioned: and thus, and this process continued would infallibly baving worked while it was called day, they bring us to our journey's end. Fatigue gen- at length rest from their labours, and their erally begins, and is always increased by works follow them." calculating in a minute the exertion of hours. Let us then, “whatever our bands find to
Thus, in looking forward to future life, let do, do it with all our might," recollecting, os recollect that we have not to sustain all that now is the proper and the accepted time. its toil, to endure all its sufferings, or en
The Author of " Essays in Rhyme” will be recognized in
In days of yore, as Gothic fable tells,
What were they ?---you ask: you shall presently see.
The first thing he tried was the head of Voltaire,
Next time he put in Alexander the Great,
A long row of alms-houses, amply endow'd
Again, he performed an experiment rare : A monk, with austerities bleeding and bare, Climbed into his scale; in the other was laid The heart of our Howard, now partly decayed ; When he found, with surprise, that the whole of his brother Weigh'd less, by some pounds, iban this bit of the olber.
By further experiments, (po matter how,)
At last the whole world was bowl'd in at the grate;
Dear reader, if e'er self deception prevails,
We should have been tempted to it is; but Miss Taylor lias here pretranscribe the • Complaint of the Dy- sented us the · Life of a Lookinging Year,' a beautiful paper, had it not Glass,' abounding with bright reflecalready been laid hold of by selectors tions. It is too long to transcribe. and compilers, without being always We must, however, make room for the fairly ascribed to the proper author.* entire paper entitled, “How it strikes Mr.Montgomery,in his Prose by a Poet, a stranger :' it is, perhaps the most has written the life of a flower, and an masterly in the collection. exquisite piece of vegetable biography
HOW IT STRIKES A STRANGER. In a remote period of antiquity, when the ally heard : and craftsmen of all kinds of supernatural and the marvellous obtained craft were there ; and the light of a candle a readier credence than now, it was fabled was seen in every dwelling, and the voice that a stranger of extraordinary appearance of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride was observed paciog the streets of one of the were heard there.
The stranger mused magnificent cities of the east, remarking with awhile upon the glitteriog scene, and listenan eye of intelligent curiosity every sur teved to the confused murmur of mingling rounding object. Several individuals gathersounds. Then suddenly raising his eyes to ing around him, questioned him concerning the starry firmament, he fixed them with an his country and his business; but they pre expressive gaze on the beautiful evening sently peri eived that he was unacquainted star which was just sioking behind a dark with their language, and he soon discovered grove that surrounded one of the principal himself to be equally ignorant of the most iemples of the city. “ Marvel not," said he common usages of society. At the same time, to his host, “ that I am wont to gaze with the dignity and intelligence of his air and fond affection on yonder silvery star. That demeanour forbade the idea of his being was my home ; yes, I was lately an inhabieither a barbarian or a lunatic. When at tant of that tranquil planet; from whence a length he understood by their signs, that vain curiosity has tempted me to wander. they wished to be informed whence he came, Often had I beheld with wondering admirahe pointed with great significance to the tion, this brilliant world of yours, ever one sky; upon which the crowd, concluding him of the brightest gems of our firinament: and to be one of their deities, were proceeding the ardent desire I had long felt to know to pay him divine honours: but he po sooner something of its condition, was at length uncomprehended their design, than he rejected expectedly gratified. I received permission it with borror ; and bending his knees and and power from above to traverse the mighty . raising bis hands towards heaven in the atti- void, and to direct my course to this disa tude of prayer, gave them to understand that tant sphere. Tu that permission, however, be also was a worshipper of the powers one condition was annexed, to which my eaabove.
gerness for the enterprize induced me hastily After a time, it is said, that the mysterious to consent; namely, that I must thenceforth stranger accepted the hospitalities of one remain an inhabitant of this strange earth, of the nobles of the city ; under whose roof and undergo all the vicissitudes to which its he applied himself with great diligence to natives are subject. Tell me, therefore, I the acquirement of the language, in which pray you, what is the lot of man; and exhe made such surprising proficiency, that in plain to me more fully thaul yet understand, a few days he was able to hold intelligent all that I hear and see around me." intercourse with those around him. The “Truly, Sır,” replied the astonished noDoble host now resolved to take an early ble, "alihough I am altogether unacquaintopportunity of satisfying his curiosity re ed with the mariners and customs, products specting the country and quality of his and privileges of your country, yet, meguest : and upon his expressing this desire, thinks I cannot but congratulate you on the stranger assured him that he would an your arrival in our world; especially since swer his inquiries that evening after sunset. it has been your good fortune to alight on a Accordiogly, as night approached, he led part of it affording such various sources of him forth upon the balconies of the palace, enjoyment as this our opulent and luxurious which overlooked the wealthy and populous city. And be assured it will be my pride city. Inoumerable lights from its busy and pleasure to introduce you to all that is streets and splendid palaces were now re most worthy the attention of such a distinflected in the dark bosom of its poble river; guished foreigner. where stately vessels laden with rich mer Our adventurer, arcordingly, was prechandize from all parts of the known world, sently initiated in those arts of luxury and lay anchored in the port. This was a city pleasure which were there well understood. in which the voice of the harp and the viol, He was introduced by his obliging hust, to and the sound of the misstone were continu their public games aud festivals; to their
* It appears in the “Common-Place Book of Prose,” (a neat and tasteful little scrap-book, printed at Edinburgh in 1828,) with the name of the Rev. Dr. Henderson attached to it. The Editor should have abstained from giving the name of the supposed author of an anonymous paper without better information.—(As it will be new to the American reader, the editors of the Atheneum have inserted it at the close of this article.)
theatrical diversions and convivial assem- agreeable, declared that he must refer him to blies : and in a short tiine he began to feel the priests for further information ; this sabsome relish for amusements, the meaning of ject being very much out of bis province. which, at first, he could scarcely compre “ How !” exclaimed the stranger, " then hend.' The next lesson which it became de- I cannot have understood you ;---do the sirable to impart to him, was the necessity priests only die !---are not you to die also?" of acquiring wealth as the only means of ob His friend, evading these questions, bastily taining pleasure. A fact which was to conducted his importunate companion to one sooner understood by the stranger, thao he of their magnificent temples, where he glad. gratefully accepted the offer of his friendly ly consigned him to the instructions of the host to place him in a situation in which he priesthood. might amass riches. To this object he began The emotion which the stranger had be to apply himself with diligence; and was trayed when he received the first idea of becoming in some measure reconciled to the death, was yet slight in comparison with manners and customs of our planet, strangely that wbich he experienced as soon as he ca. as they differed from those of his own, when thered from the discourses of the priest, an incident occurred which gave an entirely some notion of immortality, and of the alternew direction to his energies.
native of happiness or misery in a future It was but a few weeks after his arrival state. But this agony of mind was exchanged on our earth, when, walking in the cool of for trausport when he learned, that, by the the day withi his friend io tbe outskirts of the performance of certain conditions before city, his attention was arrested by the ap- death, the state of happiness might be secar. pearance of a spacious enclosure near which ed. llis eagerness to learu the nature of they passed; he inquired the use to which it these terms, excited the sarprise and crea was appropriated.
the contempt of his sacred teachers. I bey “ It is," replied the nobleman, “a place advised him to remain satisfied for the pre of public interment."
seot with the instructions he had received "I do not understand you," said the and to defer the remainder of the disco-s100 stranger.
till the morrow. " It is the place,” repeated bis friend, “ How," exclaimed the novice, " say yos “where we bury our dead."
not that death may come at any hour -Day “ Excuse me, Sir,” replied his companion, it not then come this hour:--and what if it with some embarrassment, “ I must trouble should come before I have performed these you to explain yourself yet further.”
conditions! Oh! withhold pot this errellesi The nobleman repeated the information in knowledge from me a single moment!" still plainer terms.
The priests, suppressing a smile at bis “I am still at a loss to comprehend you simplicity, then proceeded to explaie their perfectly,” said the stranger, turning deadly Theology to their attentive auditor: but pale. This must relate to something of who shall describe the ecstacy of his happiwhich I was not only totally ignorant in my ness when he was given to understand, that own world, but of which I have, as yet, had the required conditions were, generally, of no intimation in yours. I pray you, there. easy and pleasaot performance; and thai the fore, to satisfy my curiosity ; for if I have occasional difficulties or in coprenience any clue to your meaning, this, surely, is a which might attend them, would entirely matter of more mighty concernment than cease with the short term of bis earthly exist any to wbich you have hitherto directed ence. “If, then, I understand you rightly,
said he to his instructors, “this esent which My good friend," replied the nobleman, you call death, and which seems in itzelf you must be indeed a novice amongst us, if strangely terrible, is most desirable and you bave yet to learn that we must all, blissful. Wbat a favour is this which is sooner or later, submit to take our place in granted to me, in being sent to inhabit a these dismal abodes; nor will I deny that it planet in which I can die!" Tbe priests is one of the least desirable of the circum- again exchanged smiles with each other; stances which appertain to our condition ; but their ridicule was wholly lost upon the for which reason it is a matter rarely referred epraptured stranger. to in polished society, and this accounts for When the first transports of his emotion your being hitherto uninformed on the sub- had subsided, he began to reflect with sore ject. But truly, Sir, if the inhabitants of upeasiness on the time he had already iai the place whence you came are not liable to since his arrival. any similar misfortune, I advise you to be. “ Alas, what have I been doing !" és• take yourself back again with all speed; for claimed he. “ This gold which I have beca he assured there is no escape bere; nor could collecting, tell me, reverend priests, will it I guarantee your safety for a single hour.” avail me any thing when the thirty or for
“ Alas,” replied the adventurer, “I must ty years are expired which, you say, I may submit to the conditions of my enterprize; possibly sojourn in your planet!" of which, ull now, I little understood the im Nay,” replied the priests, “but ferils port. But explain to me, I beseech you, you will find it of excellent use so long as something more of the nature and consequen you remain in it.” ces of this wondrous metamorphosis, and tell “ A very little olit shall suffice me," reme at what period il most commonly happens plied he : " for consider, how soon this peto man."
riod will be past : what avails it what my While he thus spoke, his voice faultered, condition may be for so short a season 1 and his whole frame shook violently ; bis will betake myself, from this bour, to the countenance was pale as death, and a cold grand concerns of which you have charitadew stood in large drops upon his forehead. bly informed me."
By this time his companion, tinding the dis Accordingly, from that period, continues course becoming more serious than the legend, the stranger devoted himself 10