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to it, and more nakedly disgusting; because it memories her companions during the liveis stripped of all the allowances and palliations long day. But these subjects are lightly which are admissible in all other cases. And touched this disgust is not compensated for by a corre- failed in giving them utterance; and the on, as though the heart within her sponding satisfaction in our own good; for the very best good we can ever recognize in our sorrowful now was, we fear, victorious in selves falls so far short of our own conceptions, the end. A birth-day spent-we can hardly so fails to satisfy the requisitions of the moral say kept-in a sick room is sufficient to sense, that it can afford no gratification. make the most heedless think; but she draws her comfort from the reflection—" If with every year of contemplation the world appears a more astonishing fact, and life a more noble mystery, we cannot but be reanimated by the recurrence of every birthday, which draws us up higher into the regions of contemplation, and nearer to the gate within which lies the disclosure of all mysteries which worthily occupy us now, and doubtless a new series of others, adapted to our then ennobled powers." A sublime imagining, and no less true than solemn ; yet declaring too well that mere human help was insufficient on such occasions.
If it is thus in the season of vigor, health, and self-command, how inexpressibly absurd is the mistake of bringing such a topic as consolation to the sick and sequestered!-to the sick, whose whole heart is faint, and the mental frame disordered more or less, in proportion as the body is jaded and the nerves unstrung; and to the sequestered, who perforce devour their own hearts, and find them the
If the consoler could but see the invisible array which comes thronging into the sick room from the deep regions of the past, brought by every sound of nature without, by every movement of the spirit within the pale lips of dead friends whispering one's hard or careless words, spoken in childhood or youth-the upbraiding gaze of duties slighted and opportunities neglected the horrible apparition of old selfishness and pusillanimities-the disgusting foolery of idiotic vanities: if the consoler could catch a momentary glimpse of this phantasmagoria of the sick room, he would turn with fear and loathing from the past, and shudder, while the inured invalid smiles, at such a choice of topics for solace. Then it might become the turn of the invalid to console-to explain how these are but phantoms-how solace does abound, though it comes from every region rather than the kingdom of conscience-and how, while the past is dry and dreary enough, there are streams descending from the heaven-bright mountain-tops of the future, for ever flowing down to our retreat, pure enough for the most fastidious longing, abundant enough for the thirstiest soul. The consoler may then learn for life how easily all personal complacencies may be dispensed with; while the sufferer can tell of a true 'refuge and strength,' and 'present help,' and of this 'river that gladdens the city of God,' and flows to meet us as we journey towards it."
to the invalid; it is admirably considered. The subject of the third Essay is nature We need not dilate on the theme, in introducing it, for its power and beauty are sufficient recommendation. All who have seen the look of rapture with which the eyes of the dying are lighted up on beholding fresh and living flowers, remember that sight for It is wonderful, that power of nature over sick and wasted forms, acting upon them like an enchanter's spell, and calling back life to beat strongly about the heart, as in better days! The sights and sounds about us, at such a time should be wellchosen; they will vary with different dispositions-some are satisfied if they can lie all day long, with eyes beholding heaven others look lower to the green earth or the sea expanse.
"When an invalid is under sentence of disease for life, it becomes a duty of first-rate importance to select a proper place of abode. This is often overlooked; and a sick prisoner goes on to where he lived before, for no other reason than because he lived there before. Many a sufferer languishes amidst street noiswindows command dead walls, or paved courts, or some such objects; so that he sees nothing of nature but such sky and stars as show themselves above the chimney-tops. I remember the heart-ache it gave me to see a youth, confined to a recumbent position for two or three years, lying in a room whence he could see of birds by his bed-side, and the flowers his nothing, and dependent therefore on the cage friends sent him, for the only notices of nature that reached him, except the summer's heat and the winter's cold. There was no sufficient
There are next some touching allusions to those "marked days”—anniversaries-so joyous with us in early youth, so mournfules, or passes year after year in a room whose when time's finger inscribes them upon tombs. These commemorative seasons, and, above all, that day of olden merriment, Christmas, our invalid recommends should be passed alone. With her sprigs of holly over the fire-place, she can flit away, fancyplumed, to a thousand hearths, enter "rooms full of young eyes," or gaze for a moment on "the cozy little party of elderly folk round the fire or tea-table, and make her
reason why he should not have been placed where he could overlook fields, or even the sea."
To the latter our friend inclines, and assigns her reasons for its choice in her own
its sandy beach, where there are frequent wrecks-too interesting to an invalid—and a fine stretch of rocky shore to the left; and above the rocks, a spreading heath, where I watch troops of boys flying their kites; lovers and friends taking their breezy walk on Sundays; the sportsman with his gun and dog; "What is the best kind of view for a sick farm-houses on Saturday evenings, to carry and the washerwomen converging from the prisoner's windows to command ? I have chosen the sea, and am satisfied with my yet further height. I see them, now talking their loads, in company, to the village on the choice. We should have the widest expanse in a cluster, as they walk, each with her of land or water, for the sake of a sense of lib-white burden on her head, and now in file, as erty, yet more than for variety; and also be- they pass through the narrow lane; and finalcause then the inestimable help of a telescope ly, they part off on the village green, each to may be called in. Think of the difference to us between seeing from our sofas the width of hind the village and the heath stretches the some neighboring house of the gentry. Bea street, even if it be Sackville-street, Dublin, railroad; and I watch the train triumphantly or Portland-place in London, and thirty miles careering along the level road, and puffing of sea view, with its long boundary of rocks, forth its steam above hedges and groups of and the power of sweeping our glance over half a county, by means of a telescope! But trees, and then laboring and panting up the chief ground of preference of the sea is ascent, till it is lost between the two heights, less its space than its motion, and the perpetual heights are more objects;—a windmill, now in which at last bound my view. But on these shifting of objects caused by it. There can be motion and now at rest; a lime-kiln, in a picnothing in inland scenery which can give the sense of life and motion and connexion with turesque rocky field; an ancient church-tower, the world like sea changes. The motion of a when the setting sun shines upon it; a colliery, barely visible in the morning, but conspicuous waterfall is too continuous, too little varied, as with its lofty wagon-way, and the self-moving the breaking of the waves would be, if that were all the sea could afford. The fitful action wagons running hither and thither, as if in of a windmill, the waving of trees, the ever-pure wilfulness; and three or four farms, at various degrees of ascent, whose yards, padchanging aspects of mountains are good and beautiful; but there is something more life- than their inhabitants would deem possible. docks, and dairies I am better acquainted with like in the going forth and return of ships, in I know every stack of the one on the heights. the passage of fleets, and in the never-ending Against the sky I see the stacking of corn and variety of a fishery." hay in the season, and can detect the slicing away of the provender, with an accurate eye, at the distance of several miles. I can follow the sociable farmer in his summer-evening ride, pricking on in the lanes where he is alone, in order to have more time for the unconscionable gossip at the gate of the next farm-house, and for the second talk over the paddock fence "But then, there must not be too much sea. of the next, or for the third or fourth before The strongest eyes and nerves could not sup- the porch, or over the wall, when the resident port the glare and oppressive vastness of an farmer comes out, pipe in mouth, and puffs unrelieved expanse of waters. I was aware of this in time, and fixed myself where the view away amidst his chat, till the wife appears, with a shawl over her cap, to see what can of the sea was inferior to what I should have detain him so long; and the daughter follows, preferred, if I had come to the coast for a with her gown turned over her head, (for it is summer visit. Between my window and the sea is a green down-as green as any field in horseman finds he must be going, looks at his now chill evening,) and at last the sociable Ireland; and on the nearer half of this down, watch, and, with a gesture of surprise, turns hay-making goes forward in its season. It slopes down to a hollow, where the prior of old beach, and canters home over the sands, left his steed down a steep broken way to the preserved his fish, there being sluices formerly hard and wet by the ebbing tide, the white at either end; the one opening upon the river, horse making his progress visible to me and the other upon the little haven below the through the dusk. Then, if the question. priory, whose ruins still crown the rock. arises, which has most of the gossip spirit, he From the prior's fish-pond the green down or I, there is no shame in the answer. Any slopes upwards again to a ridge; and on the such small amusement is better than harmslope are cows grazing all summer, and half less-is salutary-which carries the spirit of way into the winter. Over the ridge, I survey the sick prisoner abroad into the open air, and the harbor, and all its traffic; the view extending from the light-houses far to the right, among country people. When I shut down to a horizon of the sea to the left. Beyond my window, I feel that my mind has had an airing." the harbor lies another county, with, first,
In the writer's description of her own retreat, we recognise that pleasant little watering place, Tynemouth, in Northumberland. What a faithful daguerreotype painting is the following!
We are less inclined to agree with the writer's speculations on Life, than with other portion of the volume. The world's amelioration, and the consequent increase of human happiness, are her fond dreams; and she grounds their now probable nearness upon the growing influence of the popular classes. We are old-fashioned enough to regard the movements of the present day with fear, rather than hope. We do not think we have strengthened our political building by knocking away the buttresses and carefully picking out the corner-stones; nor do we see that we have wisely legislated for the masses, by giving them, through our new enactments, fifty masters where they had formerly one. We are stupid enough also to discredit people's advancement in virtue, since the era of reforms began. Neither increased power, nor increased knowledge, imply of necessity augmented goodness. A sword in a child's hand is most dangerous to the weak wielder of it; perhaps it had better for ever rested in its sheath. We want faith, moreover, in the world's improving itself; and we shall continue to hold such a thing as of impossible occurrence so long as we perceive man deficient alike in the power and in the will to effect the change. We are sure that when such an advancement comes, it will not be from the operations of the human mind, but from a change in the human heart.
less relish and success than by those at ease and in full vigor. In my childhood, I attended, as an observer, one fine morning, at the funeral of a person with whom I was well acquainted, without feeling any strong affection. I was somewhat moved by the solemnity, and by the tears of the family; but the most powerful feeling of the day was excited when the evening closed in, gusty and rainy, and I thought of the form I knew so well, left alone else was warm and sheltered. I felt that, if I in the cold and darkness, while every body had been one of the family, I could not have neglectfully and selfishly gone to bed that night, but must have passed the hours till daylight by the grave. Every child has felt this: and every child longs to know whether a sick friend contemplates that first night in the cold grave, and whether the prospect excites any
"Surely; we do not contemplate it-frepicture the whole scene, under every condiIn the dark night, we quently eagerly. tion the imagination can originate. By day, we hold up before our eyes that most won drous piece of our worldly wealth-our own right hand: examine its curious texture and mechanism, and call up the image of its sure tions? Each must answer for himself. As deadness and decay. And with what emofor me, it is with mere curiosity, and without any concern about the lonely, cold grave. I doubt whether any one's imagination rests there; whether there is ever any panic about the darkness and the worm of the narrow house.
"As for our future home-the scene where our living selves are to be-how is it possible The essay "Death to the Invalid," in imagination, when it is to be our next exthat we should not be often resorting thither though eminently beautiful, appears to us cursion from our little abode of sickness and over full of shadowy mysticism. There is helplessness-when it is so certain that we too much of philosophy in it-too little of cannot be disappointed of it, however wearily religion. Here, if any where, on account long it may be before we go-when all that of our utter ignorance, speculation should has been best in our lives, our sabbaths, all have little place. None but they who tasted sunset evenings and starry nights, all our revof it, can tell what it really is; yet the when all these things have always pointed erence and love that are sanctified by death, living love to color it with their own fancy- to our future life, and been associated with it, ings, and according to different dispositions how is it possible that we should not be ever or different emotions, to invest it at one looking forward to it now when our days are time with terrors, at another time with sur-low and weary, and our pleasures few? The passing beauty. To the invalid, and chiefly to the one who is so permanently, it is of course a constant thought; he turns to it without alarm as the natural exodus from captivity; and as the star brightens on which the eye fastens for a while, he sees in it hour by hour an added glory. We must give an extract :
"Those who speculate outside on the experience of the sick room, are eager to know whether this solitary transit is often gone over in the imagination, and whether with more or
liability is to too great familiarity with the subject. When our words make children look abashed, and call a constraint over the manners of those we are conversing with, and cause even the most familiar eyes to be averted, we find ourselves reminded that the subject of a person's death is one usually thought not easy to discuss with him. In our retirement, we are apt to forget, till expressly reminded, the importance of distinctions of rank and property in society, so nearly as they vanish in our survey of life, in comparison with moral differences; and, in like manner, we have to recall an almost lost idea, that death is an awkward topic, except in the abstract, when
our casual mention of a will, or of some trans- | sickness, whether in relation to one's self, or action to follow our death, introduces an awe to others; in the former case, as conductand constraint into conversation." ing to self-contempt, if not self-despair, And again, in reference to dear friends and in the latter, as debarring one especially who have felt with her all her feelings, and from the visits of children, "the brighthave now gone before her to rest, what est, if not the tenderest, angels of the sickbeautiful thoughts are these! If such de- room." She shows well, how widely friends partures form, for the healthful, a link with in health may err in the estimation of the the Unseen, how much more do they heigh-sufferer's fortitude-at one time imagining ten the invalid's anticipations of future things:
From her couch she has but to turn her eyes to the wall above, and behold "the consolations of eighteen centuries," in one Scheffer; and the fullness of her varied portrait-the CHRISTUS CONSOLATOR Of emotions she gives us in this, our last, extract:
that all power of endurance has passed away, because, through intense agony the soul is made to "cleave to the dust;" and "Perhaps the familiarity of the idea of death at another time giving him credit for subis by nothing so much enhanced to us as by lime patience, when he had really no cause the departure before us of those who have sympathized in our prospect. The close do- or temptation to feel otherwise. She demestic interest thus imparted to that other nies, from deep experience, the possibility life is such as I certainly never conceived of of becoming inured to pain, so as to disrewhen in health, and such as I observe people gard it; but she would have it encountered in health do not conceive of now. It seems but the other day that I was receiving letters by antagonistic forces, and thus subdued of sympathy and solace, and also of religious by the power of ideas. An omnipotent and philosophical investigation as to how life host of these she can call up at will, by her here and hereafter appeared to me; letters books and pictures, and their associations. which told of activity, of labors, and journeyings, which humbled me by a sense of idleness and uselessness, while they spoke of humbling feelings as regarding the privileges of my seclusion. All this is as if it were yesterday; and now, these correspondents have been gone for years. For years we have thought of them as knowing the grand secret,' as familiarized with those scenes we are for ever prying into, while I lie no wiser (in such a comparison) than when they endeavoured to learn somewhat of these matters from me. And besides these close and dear companions; what departures are continually taking place! Every new year there are several-friends, acquaintances, or strangers-who shake their heads when I am mentioned, in friendly regret at another year opening before me without prospect of health-who sends me comforts or luxuries, or words of sympathy, amidst the pauses of their busy lives; and before another year comes round, they have dropped out of the world-have learned quickly far more than I can acquire by my leisure-and from being merely outside my little spot of life, have passed to above and beyond it. Little ones who speculated on me with awe-youthful ones who ministered to me with pity-busy and important persons, who gave a cordial but passing sigh to the lot of the idle and helpless; some of these have outstripped me, and left me looking wistfully after them. Such incidents make the future at least as real and familiar to me as the outside world; and every permanent invalid will say the same, and we must not be wondered at if we speak of that great interest of ours oftener, and with more familiarity than others use."
In the inquiry on temper, the writer searchingly examines the causes and modifications of the irritability produced by
others that are tendered for our solace! One "See what force this is, in comparison with and another, and another of our friends comes hope of relief,' that talisman which looks so to us with an earnest pressing upon us of the well till its virtues are tried! They tell us of renewed health and activity-of what it will be to enjoy ease again—to be useful again— to shake off our troubles, and be as we once
We sigh, and say, it may be so; but they see that we are neither roused nor soothed by it. Then one speaks differently, tells us that we shall never be better-that we shall continue for long years as we are, or shall that pain, and disturbance, and death are insink into deeper disease and death; adding, dissolubly linked with the indestructible life of the soul, and supposing that we are willing to be conducted on in this eternal course by Him whose thoughts and ways are not as ours
but whose tenderness
Then how we
burst in, and take up the word! What have we not to say, from the abundance of our hearts, of that benignity-that transcendent sweet serenity-till we are silenced by our wisdom-our willingness-our eagerness-our unutterable joy."
Our failing space constrains us to pass over the two remaining essays, with but a brief allusion. They relate to the perils and pains of invalidism, and its gains and privileges, respectively; and are fully equal
to any of the preceding papers. Our readers will gather from our quotations the character of the work, which is of the purest kind. It is not a volume to be read through hastily, and then laid aside; but one at once requiring, and repaying, the severest study. The mind of the writer is plainly of that stamp, which Bacon calls full" and her sentences are weighty in thoughts-thoughts which create thoughts. It was a notion of Shelley's, that feeling so lengthens out life, that the man of talent who dies at thirty is immeasurably older than the dullard who drags on his unmarked existence to threescore. He has, emphatically, lived more. If we might reason similarly, the writer of these essays has lived centuries. Each hour has brought its thought-life with it, and emotions sufficient for years; and hours upon hours have gone over thus with her in her solitary chamber, and she has lived them all. In the present volume we have the records of a few. She possesses, almost in intensity, that lovely, yet how fearful, gift, the capability of suffering; and she has largely used it. Yet her experiences have ever brought some good with them, vivifying the heart, not hardening it; and when they depart, she invariably discovers that they have left a blessing behind them.
We have thought for many a day-and the book before us revives the impression -that more true heroism is needed for a severe sickness, than for mingling in the terrors of a battle-field. With life beating strong in his pulses, and health careering in his veins, and now half-maddened by the braying of pibroch or clarion, the soldier rushes against his foeman-determined to "do or die." If he possesses a minute to think, his memories are thronged with the vivas of his countrymen, and the undying remembrances of generations to come; and danger, and wounds, and death are disregarded, when he feels that his name shall yet be a household word. But oh, how changed is every thing, when with nerves unstrung, and health-that life of life-departed, we have to encounter the enemy amidst the heart-depressing silence of the sick-room! The trial to be undergone is not a whit the less fiery, while the power and stimulant to endure it are wanting. Blessed be God for it, a new series of helps then comes in; and when the sun of this world has gone down, it is not darkness rules omnipotent, but the moon and stars arise in heaven to guide the wanderer.
We reluctantly close this beautiful volume, only to make it the frequent companion of our own leisure hours. It needs no further exposition, and what we have extracted will sufficiently plead its cause. We have only to add that the gifted writer is, we understand, Harriet Martineau.
THE ORIGIN OF THE HUMMING-BIRDS. From the Dublin University Magazine.
WHEN Saint Patrick preached in the Emerald Isle,
And their revels had held, in olden time,
So they went where the water-lilies float,
Bounds o'er the waters blue;
Boldly the fairies have taken their seat,
They gave to their Queen the largest flower,
The eddying ripples that bore them along,
The waters are hurrying away to the south,
And float on the ocean wide.
Though many a day and night they sailed,
That magic spell has banished the night,
While their westward course they take,
The fairies have reached the coral strand,
They fly away in a merry band
To the pleasant citron bowers. And the humming-birds seen in that sunny clime, Sparkling with rainbow hues, Are the Fairies who left the Emerald Isle, In their lily-white canoes.