Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

reflections on others, it will be well to come back to some reflections on ourselves, for how soon shall we be numbered with those who are mouldering in the grave!

“The busy tribes of flesh and blood,

With all their cares and fears,
Are carried downward by the flood,

And lost in following years,
“ Time, like an ever-rolling stream,

Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream

Dies at the opening day.
"O God! our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come;
Be thou our guard while life shall last

And our perpetual home.

MODEL OF ST. PETER'S AT ROME.

I have visited this place with the hope of seeing an exhibition here, which I now find has been for some time removed. These little disappointments are not without their advantages, they prepare, or at least ought to do so, our tempers for greater

trials. But though the exhibition I came to see is not here, there is another well worth my attention. On arriving at the door of the room at the top of the staircase, a foreigner with a cap on his head addressed me in Italian, a language of which I know but little more than I do of Arabic; a second foreigner then came forward, and at last a third, all with caps on their heads, and all speaking Italian.

At last I found out that one or two of them spoke French, and being just enabled to carry on a conversation in that language, we have proceeded with very little difficulty. I have been formely introduced to

Signor Andrea Gambassini, the talented and persever ing artist whose wonder-working hands executed the splendid model before me, and am now the only visitor present examining, with curious admiration, the goodly pile.

The model of St. Peter's, reduced to a hundredth part of the size of the real building, is beautifully executed in Indian oriental wood and ivory. The white marble figures and architecture of the original edifice are well imitated on ivory in the model, while the different-coloured marbles are represented by wood of various kinds. Colonnades, obelisks, porticoes and pillars, domes, roofs, pavements, pediments, statues, and painted windows, are all copied with the greatest care; and as the model is made to open, the internal as well as external part of the cathedral is exposed to the spectator.

Signor Andrea Gambassini appears very well pleased with my admiration of his workmanship, and with the compliment that I have just ventured to pay him. The undertaking of the model was a bold one, and the execution of it is such as to entitle him to deserved praise. Like me, the Signor has some years graven on his brows, and it behoves us both to be looking forward to a fairer edifice than this is, even to a “building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," 2 Cor. v. 1.

Amid all the goodly glory of St. Peter's, I cannot but remember that it is one of the strong holds of Poperya temple wherein the mummeries of the Romish religion are practised with a high hand. Would that a purer faith and simpler religious ceremonies prevailed within its decorated walls, and that the Lord of life were

there worshipped in simplicity and truth, for “thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all," 1 Chron. xxix. 11.

I have admired, by turns, the grand colonnade, by Bernini, of two hundred statues, and two hundred and eighty-four pillars, the portico entrances, the statues of St. Peter, St. Paul, the apostles, and the Saviour, the grand vestibule, the marble pavement, the chapels, the great altar, and the grand cupola, with a vast variety of other interesting details, and the shades of evening are now beginning to prevail. When will the worshippers of St. Peter's, worship God in simplicity and truth!

SHOPS AND SHOP WINDOWS.

cup

of

What a bounteous banquet of costly viands is spread before an ardent-minded, grateful-spirited perambulator! Not more certain is the bee to find honey in the every flower, than he to find interest in every object which engages his attention. The goodly earth on which he treads, and the glorious canopy of the skies above his head, are kaleidoscopes, of ever-changing beauty and delight.

What a wide spread page is London for him to gaze upon! and how full of absorbing interest and instruction! Human life is there depicted : its glare and its

gloom, its sunshiny joys, and its shadowy griefs A word on shops and shop windows.

Here is a grocer's shop, but the profusion, the absolute prodigality of the scene oppresses me.

There seems enough of grocery in the window to supply the neighbourhood. The fresh, fragrant, and delectable teas in the finely-formed wooden bowls are enticing; to say nothing of the ample chests, lined with lead, and ornamented by Chinese artists, whose contempt of perspective is so well known. How significantly the mandarins bow their heads, and beckon with their hands! what beautifully painted canisters! what stores of coffee, chocolate, and cocoa ! what boxes of figs, and loaves of refined sugar!

And the raisins and currants, the spices and the can. died lemon-peel! Oh, how the Christmas times of my youth burst upon me at the very sight of them!

Days of my youth, the long pass'd years

Of childhood round me rise;
I see them glistening through the tears

That start into my eyes.
The joys that roạnd my bosom press'd

When thoughtless, young, and wild,
Come, like a sunbeam, o'er my breast-

Again I am a child.

Well do I remember (who does not remember ?) the scenes of far-famed Christmas in days gone by. A dozen of us, light-hearted, laughter-loving, giggling boys and girls are seated at a supper table whence the older guests have just retired. Roast beef, and turkey, and cold fowls, and ham, and tårts, and custards, and jellies are before us; with mince pies in abundance. We are roving like bees from one sweet to another. Present, past, and future, all is happiness. Turn the

you do, others

not

trencher and blind-man's buff are in prospect, and mulled elder wine and toast, before we break up for the night.

But shall I be wiser, and tell you where the commodities in the grocer's shop and window come from? Oh yes ; for if

you do not know, it will be useful information; and if

may possess this advantage. With all the amusement we can gather, there is no going through the world in a creditable manner without a little knowledge.

Raisins are brought from Spain and Turkey; currants from the isles of the Archipelago; lemons grow in Portugal, Spain, and Italy; and spices as well as sugar, are the produce of the East and West Indies.

The latter article is brought to England in hogsheads. See! there are two. empty ones standing at the door, with a swarm of flies and a crowd of boys round them. One youngster is picking the sugar from the bung-hole; another is reaching up to the top, where the rough hoop and rusty nails are likely enough to tear his ragged jacket; and a third has his head and body in the cask, with his legs in the air, like a duck getting up something from the bottom of a shallow pond. There they are, all licking their sugary fingers, and smiling.

A friend of mine, who is a dear lover of cheerfulness, once gave me this advice: “Whenever you get into a corner among a set of people unreasonably silent, afraid to speak, or even to smile, say to them at once, • What a hubbub a score of kangaroos would kick up in a plantation of dry sugar canes!' and if that observation does not provoke a little merriment, you may give them up as perfectly incorrigible.”

« AnteriorContinuar »