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or some picture of domestic rural comforts always before them, from whence they may select a simile at leisure. In much the same manner do modern authors keep half-a-dozen obsolete compositions lying open on their scrutoire ; and, pilfering a line from one, a sentiment from another, and a fine passage from a third, they jumble them up together in a mass; array them in modern guise; and then just bring in a thread of their own to unite them in harmonious concord. After which, they rub their hands in ecstasy, and read over and over again the inspired productions of their ingenious Muse. But I must now return to my subject, and to the congregation, amongst whom I found no other very conspicuous objects; for it consisted principally of Farmers, and the other usual inhabitants of our Villages. But the Clerk must not be forgotten : a stout man, with a stomach that appeared to have run away with his legs, from their unequal proportion, and ornamented with a patch over one eye. He was remarkable for preserving, in all its elegant idioms, the peculiar dialect of the country; add to which, he not only served out consolation for the souls, but also for the bodies of the Villagers, as he was a publican, reputed to sell capital Beer, inferior only to that of Boniface, mentioned before in a sketch of the village. The younger part of the congregation were seated on some raised forms, to compensate for the want of an organ by their own natural voices. This had been introduced by the Squire ; who thought a hymn relieved the mind from the length of the Morning Service; and generally chimed in himself, with no inharmonious voice, though perhaps it was more accustomed to the Death of Reynard. Miss Emily assisted, however, with the sweet delicious tones of a voice more enchanting to me than those of more practised melodists. It is not lost on the old Gentleman, for it generally falls to her lot to sing him to sleep of an evening after the labours of the day. But, however, as soon as the Church Service was over, the Tenantry all remained stationary in their pews till the Squire had passed ; who, in his way, exchanged a nod of recognition, or salute, with every one, in however low a rank of life; while they all seemed anxious to obtain this token of his kindness. As soon as we gained the door, he begged me to get into his phaeton, and let him. drive me home; but this I obstinately refused, though I could scarcely resist the invitation, as I handed Miss Emily in. I stood some time watching the carriage, as it moved rapidly on; and, after it vanished from my sight, remained some minutes thinking with pleasure on the warm-hearted Squire and his pretty Niece; after which I rambled onwards through the church-yard, which is always a scene of so much interest and importance on a Sunday. Here I found some parties of the villagers talking over public affairs, with very knowing and shrewd countenances ;
little knots of friends indulging in social chat; some village damsels hastening home, with Bible and Prayer Book neatly folded up in white kerchiefs; and one or two sage moralizers on tombstones, who were trying to decipher death-heads, hourglasses, and inscriptions, caked in the dust of antiquity. As I approached the village, all was bustle and happiness; the very birds above my head appeared to twitter notes of gratitude for the safety which this day afforded them from guns and other deadly weapons. Every spot from the farmer's house to the ploughman's cottage bore convincing proofs of Sunday, that happiest of days to a countryman, who looks forward to it with as much gusto as Musgrave to his holiday sports. My sight, however, was not more regaled than my nose, by several savoury dishes that passed rapidly by me from the baker's : it is a universal maxim that your country people will enjoy a good dinner on a Sunday, though they starve the other six days of the week for it. Woe be to luckless child, who, in his way home with the family repast, should hap to trip over unheeded stone, or any other obstacle: down falls his steaming cargo in the mire; smash goes the best dish_" Oh! what a fall is there!” In vain the unhappy urchin wrings his hands, or laments over the smoking ruin; the delicacies are lost for ever, and destined to become the prey of some insolent crow, or half-famished beggar, whose eyes would glisten with joy at such a banquet. It is fashionable in these days to make apostrophes,--so my reader must pardon me for this, and with more kindness, I hope, than the aforesaid destroyer of the expected repast will receive from his disappointed family at home, who will be perhaps compelled to feast on mouldy cheese, in lieu of the delicious pudding. By the time I had finished these observations, I found myself at the end of the village, and that, should I not hasten home, all my chance of luncheon would inevitably be lost. In my way over the fields there still appeared new signs of Sunday; for the hedges were invaded by troops of joyous children, pilfering them of every thing worth eating, from the roseate hip to the purple sloe and blackberry, while farther on several parties were marshalling for a nutting expedition to a neighbouring wood. But I bid a hasty farewell to them, and, on arriving at the Rector's, found a message from Shurleigh Hall to inform me that Master George had arrived unexpectedly, and that the Squire requested me to ride over the next day. Having returned an answer, I began to anticipate no little pleasure from my visit, and fell asleep at night to dream of Shurleigh and the benevolent Fox-hunting Squire.
Here's a kind Farewell to thee!
Thou'lt say Farewell to me...
Nor mourni upon the shore ; ..
And the sea-wave and its roar...u.
, I dream'd a heart was mine, - :
With its passion and its joy; .
e And I lov'd it as a boy; ..s
is why . . But all is over now, Marysi... agora qu*
• The dream and the delight'; .
And I'll bury, all beside, Mary,...
... Io forgetfulness to-night.. ...... ose i I'll sing the song that others sing, . 14. 7. I'll pass the jest with all; " .
And I will not tame my spirit's wing w In banquet or in hallj. eiro ve n But I'll fill one cup alone, Mary, we pas !!
* 1. To drown thy maiden spell;
Pissing And I'll drain that cup to thee, Mary, is. An
For a Health and a Farewell! .. .
.: When the snow-white sails are set, .. ,100 spe
And the seaward gale is blowing ... 1". My eyes shall not be wet, " My tears shall not be flowing: szür die in. Dit
But when England fades away, Mary, i to post hiel wat .. And I'm lone upon the sea ; * into
Oh! I'll look tow'rds England' then, Mary,"") is desce And sigh Farewell to thee. T e go ty, it i, ens . . i
. G. M... )
« Protinus, ut mopeain, si quid monitoris eges Tu,
Quid de quoque viro, et cui dicas, sæpe videto.
AMONGST several kind and friendly precepts of Horace, from which I have selected the lines which appear at the head of this subject, a source of admonition presents itself to our view, which might be serviceably applied to all ranks of life, and deserves the notice of all generations. Were all inclined to bestow that sufficient portion of attention upon it which it merits, to resist that malicious propensity against which it so forcibly warns us, how seldom would the violations of friendship occur which frequently afflict mankind! How many enmities and jealousies, which have been fomented by wilful slander, or a careless freedom of speech, would, in a great measure, sink into oblivion !
The vice of Calumny can never be too harshly stigmatized, or too vehemently condemned. It is unworthy of the man of honour, and contemptible to every follower of Virtue, Generosity, and Honesty. We should preserve our tongues from it, as from the touch of pollution; and banish it from our hearts, as the enemy of Candour and Happiness,—as the bane of Friendship and Peace.
Calumny, when merely exercised and encouraged for purposes of wickedness, denotes the heart from which it proceeds to be of the blackest nature, and competent to the performance of any actions degrading to a man and to a Christian. The foe who attacks our characters and our reputations in secret,who excites the opinions of mankind against us by false tales and dark insinuations,—can, in no respect, be deemed less pernicious than the assassin, who, under cover of night, aims his dagger at our breast,—than the serpent, which corrupts our blood with its venom, while it lurks beneath our feet. That foe, when we unguardedly trust ourselves to his power, and confide ourselves to the seeming candour and sincerity so readily assumed by him, is occupied, at the very interval when we are most defenceless, in framing or executing some project for our ruin and misery. We can avoid the fangs of the rattlesnake; for, by the noise which accompanies his motions, we are informed of his approach ;-we can shelter ourselves from the fury of the tempest, for the distant thunder and the gathering clouds forewarn us of its attack. But Calumny assails us in secret; and, while her features wear the
semblance of Piety and Friendship, the venom of Malice and Iniquity gushes from her heart.
Yet, although the calumniator must be held in the light of one utterly lost to all sentiments of virtue and conscience, we should not refuse our advice and our pity to some, who, notwithstanding they are equally culpable with those infected with the abovementioned vice, are perpetually liable, without any wicked intent, to involve their friends, and all who are acquainted with them, in misery. It is of those I speak, who heedlessly and incautiously relate whatever remarks they may have heard, and aggravate them by fabrications of their own; merely intending those remarks as an embellishment of conversation, and as a source of amusement for themselves and their hearers. The folly of such conduct must be observed by all who are inclined to bestow one serious thought upon it. When we behold the conflagrations which arise from a single spark,—when we hear of the wrecks which proceed from one trivial instance of neglect, and the deaths which have been caused by a wound, trifling and insignificant in its origin,--how plainly must the danger and the sorrows, which spring from such heedlessness and folly as this, present themselves to our minds! Can we be ignorant, while we are amusing our companions at the expense of one who is absent, by relating his words and actions in a manner which we should think dishonourable in his presence, that many of his enemies may hear us, and succeed, by our own animadversions, in the accomplishment of their own purposes? Are we positive that many to whom we are addressing ourselves may not, in their turn, inform him of our cowardly and ungenerous attack, at a time when he is unable to defend himself, or answer our remarks? May we not excite quarrels between him and his friends, or lessen the good opinions of many of his acquaintance ? May we not offend those who are most dear to him, and are confident that our assertions are unfounded and unkind ? Such consequences as these must all, in the hour of consideration, occur to us. .. But, as I have said before, a person may be the cause of much enmity and unhappiness, while he little imagines or intends it. He is encouraged by the laughter and applause which his attempts to please others receive, and is so deluded by them, that he finally suffers the most unguarded expressions to escape from his lips. But, unless he is kindly warned by some friend of his error, he will inevitably bring down misery upon himself and those connected with him ; and, should he escape an unhappy end, which most probably awaits him, will be despised and shunned, as the propagator of mischief and the pest of society,
Edward Overton was the son of a gentleman in the South of England, who possessed a handsome property, and was connected