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by filling with idle visions a bead which has no power to direct them; but when education has been conducted on a different plan, and the intellectual faculties have been brought into exercise, the effect will be quite different--that which would tend to weaken the one mind, would only act as an occasional relaxation, or stimulant, to the other; and if no such relaxation be afforded the mind, will it not be too liable to fall into that which is much more hurtful ? There are, with all, occasional moments of unoccupied time, unfit for those deeper studies which may form their more regular occupation, in which the youthful mind might be led to seek pleasures of a dangerous kind, both to mental and moral character; . but if he possess a taste for poetry, he will there find a pleasant resource constantly at hand.”
“Of course, Madam,” said a gentleman, who had just before quitted another part of the room, and who had been listening attentively to the lady's remarks, “of course you refer to a limited reading of poetry. You would not wish to put into the hands of young people the poems of Lord Byron, of Moore, Shelly, and others I could name.” “O, by no means," said the lady, “I would first introduce to them Milton; and after. they had studied his sublime conceptions, I would give them Thomson, Young, Beattie, and others of the same class, and when I considered their principles fixed, I should have no objection to Shakspeare; but, by thus allowing them at first to read only poetry of the first class, I should form their tastes, and they would afterwards be unable to relish the productions of modern times."
Here the last-mentioned gentleman entered into a defence of modern poets and poetry, which brought on a discussion of their comparative merits; and this had continued some time, when the old gentleman whose physiognomy I mentioned as particularly prepossessing, and who had hitherto been a silent listener, took advantage of a pause in the conversation to introduce the following remarks:
“My dear friends,—you have been advocating, with much ingenuity, the merits of several celebrated poets, but you have passed over some who, in my opinion, rank the highest of allyou
have forgotten to enumerate the Sweet Singer of Israel, or
the sublimely-inspired bard Isaiah, and yet there is scarcely an idea that we admire, in modern poetry, but we find its original in these, or one of the other scripture poets.
Our familiarity with them makes us apt to pass over their beauties without notice; but I cannot conceive of a greater delight to a truly poetic mind, than to peruse them for the first time. In the Psalms of David, we find all the varieties of style combined, and with equal success—at oue time, the plaintive tones of complaint, at another the cheerful aspirations of praise, beautiful similes, elegant pastorals, and powerful descriptions. And when we turn to Isaiah, our attention is arrested by the simple grandeur of bis style, and the extraordinary power he possesses of placing the scene he intends to represent before the mind, and of heightening its effect by strong contrast. Our minds seem forcibly drawn along with him, and, as he mourns over the desolate city, or rejoices with the blossoming desert, we are constrained to sympathize with him. But it is not merely for their poetical beauties that we should distinguish them, but more especially for that intrinsic worth of which no other poetry can boast-for that revelation of the mind and purposes of God contained in them. But here we have a proof of the depravity of our tastes, as well as hearts-that very circumstance which should increase our admiration of the inspired poets, is that which blinds the eyes of the world to their beau. ties; they cannot admire that which is constantly reminding them of a holy and sin-hating God, whilst the same talents, though united with blasphemy and licentiousness, would excite their highest encomiums; they can see no beauty in the praises offered to the great Jehovah, but they dwell with rapture on those which celebrate a heathen deity. How often are we called upon to lament the sad debasement of that noble faculty of man, the imagination, and to feel that, where it has reached its noblest height, it has been prostituted to the service of sin. But this melancholy fact should make us prize highly those instances in which it has served only the cause of virtue; and while we dwell with pleasure on the grand conceptions of Milton, and follow the independent flight of Cowper, and many others and still more, while we have the Hebrew poets in our possession, we should be careful not to defile our minds, in the slightest degree, with the profane and loose productions of too many gifted but immoral writers, who, in all ages, have been the cause of much mischief, and the means by which so many have been led astray."
The old gentleman ceased, and the company, thus led in their eunversation, spent their time pleasantly and profitably, in various additional remarks on this interesting subject.
(From Thompson's Southern Africa.) Tue overmastering effect of the human eye upon the lion, has been frequently mentioned, though much doubted by tra, vellers. But from my own inquiries among lion hunters, I am perfectly satisfied of the fact; and an anecdote that was related to me a few days ago, by Major Mackintosh, (late of the East India Company's service) proves that this fascinating effect is not confined exclusively to the lion. An officer in India, having once rambled into a jungle adjoining the British encampment, suddenly encountered a royal tiger ; the rencounter appeared equally unexpected on both sides, and both parties made a dead halt, earnestly gazing on each other. The gentleman had no fire-arms, and was aware that a sword would be no effective defence in a struggle for life, with such an antagonist. But he had heard, that even the Bengal tiger, might be sometimes checked by looking him firmly in the face. He did so: in a few minutes the tiger, which appeared preparing to take his fatal spring, grew disturbed, shrunk aside, and attempted to creep round upon him behind. The officer turned constantly upon the tiger, which still continued to shrink from his glance; but darting into the thicket, and again issuing forth at a different quarter, it persevered for above an hour in this attempt to catch him by surprise, till at last it fairly yielded the contest, and left the gentleman to pursue his pleasure wulks.
The direction he now took, as may be easily believed, was straight to the tent, at double quick time.
(Continued from p. 29.) CAArles and Edward then left the room with their papa, . who had offered to assist them in some chemical experiments they were anxious to try. The rest were all soon employed, except Ellen, who seemed determined to make it an uncomfortable day, in spite of all her mamma's efforts to the contrary. Emma was working a baby's cap, as a present for her aunt, and Sophia began to copy a piece from her music-book, for her cousin Ann. Mrs. Symonds asked Ellen if she would read to them, as she had a very interesting book she wished to hear, which must be returned in a few days. Ellen complied, more because it was her mamma's wish she should, than because she felt any
inclination to read; but after getting through a few pages, she became interested in the subject, began to feel the benefit of being employed, and nearly forgot her troubles, which, a few minutes before, had appeared insurmountable. Mrs. S. explained to them what they did not quite understand, and thus the morning passed till dinner was announced, when Ellen exclaimed, “ Dear me! is it two o'clock?"
They waited a few minutes for Mr. S., who, when he joined them, said he had been detained by a gentleman who was just
come from the country, and who had travelled thirty miles on the outside of the coach,
"What, in all this rain ?" enquired one of the children. • Yes, -and he told me that, uncomfortable as it made him, he could not wish it to cease, because he knew it would be so beneficial to the farmers, who had been wanting rain to soften the ground, that the seed might be more easily sown. So you see here is some consolation for us; and who would not sacrifice personal enjoyment for public good ?"
Ellen thought this was intended for her, and she was afraid to lift her eyes from her plate, lest they should all be looking at her, although her papa did not think more of her than of the rest when he made the remark. So uncomfortable and suspicious does a sense of having acted improperly always make us.
After dinner Mr. and Mrs. Symonds joined the young folks in a geographical game, in which each was expected to give some account of the country, the name of which was on the card selected. This caused a great deal of amusement, and Ellen was quite delighted because she had fewer forfeits than the rest, for her answers were generally correct, as she paid great attention to her studies, and took pains to remember what she learnt; and this made it more lamentable that she should ever be so sadly out of humour as she had been that morning. Upon Mrs. Symonds's taking up Africa she spoke of the intense heat of the climate, and the distress experienced by travellers, owing to the great scarcity of water. All listened to her account with interest, but no one knew the object she had in view, except Ellen, who felt self-coudemned; but her mamma's account so completely convinced her of her error, that she thought how very foolish it was to wish, for a moinent, that she had been born in any other country, and under any other circumstances, than those in which she was then placed.
When the game was finished, Mrs. S. left the room to attend to some domestic concerns. Ellen followed her, and waited in the passage till she returned, and then, bursting into tears, she said, “Oh! mamma, I am very sorry for what has passed this morning." “ And so am I, my love," said Mrs. S., taking her hand, and leading her into the study,
" and the more so,