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haustion of incendiary appeals, and delusive or impracticable aims.

All this good, too, has been effected without sacrifice, almost without cost. Little substantial has yet been conceded to Ireland ; only a disposition evinced to do something. The Charitable Bequests Act was passed last year; an increased grant to Maynooth is proposed this; mere trifles, while the obstructiveness of landed tenures, and the injustice of the Protestant establishment are tolerated. Yet for such poor boons, so used have they been to hard fare, disdainful treatment, and savage denials, the Irish feel grateful, overjoyed, and will be ready to worship, almost eat up, Queen Victoria, if she condescends to visit them.

We must, however, conclude; and, as we began with the religious public, we shall conclude with it; and we trust in a friendly spirit. But we cannot conceal that, for once in our lives, we think the Government and Legislature have shown themselves more wise and just than the people, and that the vox populi is not, in this case, what it is said to be; that is, if the present outburst against the Maynooth grant may be taken as an expression of the public sentiment. To the venerable remnant of the No-Popery party we have no remark to offer, since they have happily ceased to exercise any noticeable influence in the affairs of this world. Neither shall we impugn the inotives of the Dissenters ; for, according to their doctrine, every religion ought to be self-supported, and therefore it is quite consistent in them to oppose what they look upon—though we think mistakenly-an initial step in the endowment of Irish Catholicism. They ought, however, to recollect, that the community are not all of their persuasion, and that a Government which aims at practical measures must frame them in correspondence with the diversities of national sentiment.

The voluntary principle may be a just and Christian principle; but at present it seems not one of universal application. With an enlightened and well-conditioned population, it may be safe and practicable; they are able to support, and not likely to be misled by the over-zeal or sinister arts of their teachers. It could do no harm if tried on a small scale in Ireland-on the Protestant portion of the community, for example. But here, everything is contradiction; for the rich and intelligent minority, who do not require it, the State has provided a church'; while its poor and illiterate majority is left to the voluntary principle, to provide a church for themselves, and be at the mercy of a needy priesthood, whose maintenance impoverishes and degrades them.

A DREAM, WITH A SIGNIFICATION. Last night, when I was in bed, and fast asleep (if I dared I would say, wide awake, but I know no one would believe me)—when I was sound asleep, then I had a dream, which so puzzled me that I resolved it should be committed to paper ; for the perplexity of others also—here it is, correctly narrated. I must premise that I had entertained at dinner, a certain Anglo-Catholic doctor of divinity, a learned geologist, and a young man whose business it was to enjoy life and weary himself with doing nothing. Whether these individuals were unconscious agents in my slumbers, I cannot say; undoubtedly they talked me half dead; but I will not blame them altogether; a plentiful and late repast might have contributed much towards the disagreeable vision.

Methought I lay in my chamber, the dreariest room in all the dreary old house, listening to a violent east wind that blew right against the windows, and howled in the chimney like half a dozen mad cats : my lamp burned on the hearth, and a little volume of Goëthe's works, containing Faust, lay close by. I had been reading it before I undressed, to get rid of the words, Apostolical Succession, which my reverend friend had impressed painfully on my ears; and afterwards 1 flung it there for the purpose of holding down the carpet, that every

fresh gust urged in waves over the floor. I seemed to be gazing at this, and wishing to feel drowsy, when a sudden creak of the door caused me to turn my eyes in that direction: there was a shuffling of feet, and a clearing of throats, and the next moment, much to my astonishment, entered four old men--four of the drollest specimens of antiquity that I have ever had the fortune to behold. I shall not describe them, more than to remark that they had every one a villanous expression of countenance, especially the foremost, who wore a monkish garb, and carried a crooked staff in his hand. The others were each attired differently—one like a grim astrologer, another in parti-coloured robes, and the third in rags. The monk went to the fire-place, took up the lamp, and tottered to my bed. I shut my eyes in terror, but I heard that the rest had followed his example, and were all standing round.

Ah, this is the poor soul,' he exclaimed, in a sarcastic tone ; this is he who is so bewildered about his choice of a road to go to the devil! Well, I think I have a right to be his guide : what say you, brothers, will you give him up to


“Ah, ah, ah ! laughed the burly astrologer, do you, my old fellow ? have you forgot that he forswore you ten years since? No, no, I'm the man to take him under hand; he likes me, bless him-and that should decide the matter.'

He follows me!' cried the ragged demon; he is mine ; day and night he runs on my track—you may frown, and clench your fists; but I have, and I'll hold him!

0, aged dreamer,' exclaimed Motley, placing his hand on my heart, 'the blood that flows here was never meant to move at your command ! only wait till he wakes, and offer yourselves then ; if he be left unshackled in his election, I'm certain of him.'

My visitors, having uttered these speeches, drew chairs to the fireless grate, and sat down. I gazed on in mute wonder ; there was something familiar in all their faces; but, for my life, I could not guess how or when I had seen them before.

While we are waiting,' said the astrologer, ' let us indulge in a little friendly chat; it would be vastly pleasant if we should all agree to reveal our secrets, and tell the various methods we employ for entrapping these queer little creatures. None can overhear us. Come, who will begin?'

• That will l,' cried Motley, I am the substance, you are shadows. I have known the time when you were scarcely imagined, and then I ruled tranquilly! In those days it was small trouble to govern man. I left him to his nature, and his nature led him in my steps. Now, my task is difficult. From the time he first sheds a tear or smiles a conscious smile, you conspire to drive me away; and yet how vain it is! His will is with me after all, and I have cunning ways to keep it to the end. I offer present enjoyment. I bid him think only of that present. I tell him if he wishes for happiness, he must seize every opportunity of possessing it. To the child I say, “ Pluck the fruit; it will decay to-morrow. If you wait till it ripen, another hand may snatch it.” To the youth, “Love; the beautiful is the good. I adjure you to love the beautiful with all your heart.' And gladly they listen, unless a greater spirit has forestalled me. Afterwards, indeed, the child sickens, and the boy looks with shame on the object of his idolatry; but then I threaten, I say, “Your enjoyment is contained in this narrow circle, despise it if you please ; there is nothing beyond.” So the poor wretch turns again to his toys, embraces his clay divinity, lavishes his wild affections on gods of earth and gold, and dies, as I would have him, a ridiculous self-detested worm. My empire is founded on two bases--the desire of man for what is excellent, and the absence of all excellence. Love excellence he must; attain it he cannot. He hungers, and eats dust; thirsts, and

drinks poison. He may know the quality of his food; but, I ask him, why he should abstain when he cannot procure better? Starvation is but to change one misery for another. He feels that, and the conviction subdues him, and I bend him, like a sapling, to my will.'

Here the motley old man paused, and a stern grin went round the circle, while the monk laid his staff over his knee, and leaning his hairy chin on his hands, began to mumble forth words to this effect :• Brother, you are my best ally: where


have sown the seed I ever reap the most bountiful harvest. Let

your votaries once be compelled to confess the worthlessness of your gifts, and it is wonderful how eagerly they will fly to me. It is true I hold out no lures of animal pleasure; I nourish them on neither dust nor vermin. I show them how loathsome such garbage is, and then I promise glorious things, if they will but consent to starve. And the idiots bow to me, and offer up their thanks as to a great deliverer. Without a single pledge, they surrender their all on the strength of an empty word. I trample on their dearest joys; they kiss my feet. I denude them at their last mortal hope, and set them completely naked on the wave-beaten shore of life; and when their present wretchedness is perfect, I admonish them to keep their eyes fixed on the shining future. There they stand, monuments of faith, till death, half in pity, half in scorn, knocks them into the grave, and finishes their privations and expectations together.'

You are a couple of dishonest knaves,' observed the astrologer, who had decidedly the most open countenance of the three; 'my disciples are, at least, not deceived by their master. With all my strength I strive to keep their eyes open; but, oh the obstinacy of this humanity! The fallacies they invent to cheat themselves! They dare not look Truth in the face; they twist their rebellious bodies, and wink, and turn their heads, and almost dislocate my wrists, when I would hold them for a moment before her mirror; nevertheless, I have power, and, sooner or later, it will be telling on your dominions, my masters! There are some scattered wanderers from your flocks, who joyfully seek refuge with me. Unstartled by the sternness of my dwelling, they boldly pass

its threshold, and few are the men who, once over, would think of returning; for those who follow me there are spirits fearless as us; they would confront their fate, and the only reward I hold out to them is, that one day they shall do it. Doubtless, if our designs were bare to the world, the wisest men would unite with me.'

The ragged ancient was now the only one that had not spoken; when called upon by his companions, he shook his head, rose, and, stealing to the bedside, pulled my hair sharply. 'I saw your eyes, you rascal !' he said, laughing; ‘you have heard these discourses ; now, have you not reason to cling to me ?

•Who are you?' I stammered, staring at the strange, yet well-known face. “Ah, ah, ah! Who am I? What a question! Well, listen. I will tell you. My name is’

At that interesting moment an awful rumbling sounded in the chimney, and down came a quantity of soot and lime, dislodged by the wind. The little volume of Goethe was buried, the light extinguished, and the four old men vanished into vacuity, leaving me in a state of indescribable terror from which I am hardly yet recovered.



I also have seen Virgil.'

Great would be my grief did either my title or my motto treat the reader as the weird sisters did Macbeth—namely, palter with him in a double sense ;' rather would I have him confess himself amused by the double sense of the one, and own that if the other be not the most pertinent and apposite in the world, I, at least, justify it by showing that the next best thing to having seen Virgil is listening to those who have seen him.

Now, this being a season of the year full of reminiscence, one of the land marks of memory in the voyage of life, recalled to my mind the great fortune with which I was favoured on the opening of last year, in being privileged to listen to one who had seen,' not indeed Virgil himself, but a poet of our own day, whom few ladies, at least, will consider as his inferior.

Oh, Genius! what a magic dest thou shed around thee! -not only upon all that thine own spells have created or made radiant with fresh beauty and grandeur ;-not only upon the splendour or loveliness of thine own ideal world, or the majestic shores and living objects which thou hast delighted to haunt and celebrate in this ;—but upon every spot of common earth


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