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The Dance consists of ten stanzas. Mahoun (that is, Mahomet, a kind of incarnation of the Evil One) summons his principal servitors to make an entertainment before him. The Seven Deadly Sins make their appearance, and each of them recites a verse satirizing the vices of the times:
THE DANCE OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS.
Lets see, quoth he, now wha begins :
Begoud to leap at anis.
Like to make vaistie wanis ;
His kethat for the nanis :
The girned with hideous granis.
Then ire came in with sturt and strife ;
He brandished like a beir :
All boden in feir of weir;
Frawart was their affeir :
With knives that sharp could shear.
Hid malice and despite :
With fenyeit wordis quhyte :
To lie that had delight;
Of them can never be quit.
Next him in Dance came Covetyce,
That never could be content :
All with that warlock went: Out of their throats they shot on other Het, molten gold, me thocht, a futher,
As fire-flaucht maist fervent; Aye as they toomit them of shot, Fiends filled them new up to the throat
With gold of all kind prent.
Syne Sweirness, at the second bidding, Came lik a sow out of a midding,
Full sleepy was his grunyie : Mony swear bombard belly huddroum, Mony slut, daw, and sleepy duddroun,
Him servit aye with sonnyie ; He drew them furth intill a chain, And Belial with a bridle rein
Ever lashed them on the lungie : In Daunce they were so slaw of feet, They gave them in the fire a heat,
And made them quicker of cunyie.
Then Lechery, that laithly corpse,
And Idleness did him lead;
That had in sin been dead :
Like torches burning red.
To Dance he did him dress :
In surfit and excess;
In creesh that did incress :
Their leveray was na less.
THE TRUE LIFE.
Be merry, man, and tak not sair in mind
Make thee gude cheer of it that God thee sends,
DUNCAN, HENRY, a Scottish clergyman and ne originator of savings banks, born near Dumfries, in 1774; died in 1846. In 1810 he instituted at Ruthwell a parish savings' bank, the success of which led to the establishment of other banks of the same character. He also discovered in 1828 the footprints of animals on layers of clay between the sandstone beds in a quarry in Dumfriesshire. He was the author of The Cottage Fireside and The Sacred Philosophy of the Seasons (1836–37).
BLESSINGS OF THE DEW.
The beneficial effects of dew, in reviving and refreshing the entire landscape, have already been adverted to. How frequently do we observe the aspect of the fields and woods improved by the dew of a single night. In the summer season, especially, when the solar heat is most intense, and when the luxuriant vegetation requires a constant and copious supply of moisture, an abundant formation of dew often seasonably refreshes the thirsty herbs, and saves them from the parching drought. In Eastern countries like Judea, where the summer is fervid and long continued, and the evaporation excessive, dew is both more needed, and formed in much greater abundance, than in our more temperate climate. There it may be said to interpose between the vegetable world and the scorching influence of a powerful and unclouded sunto be the hope and joy of the husbandman, the theme of his earnest prayer and heartfelt gratitude. Accordingly, the sacred writers speak of it as the choicest of blessings wherewith a land can be blessed ; while the want of it is with them almost synonymous with a curse. Moses,
blessing the land of Joseph, classes the dew among "the precious things of heaven;" and David, in his lamentation over Saul and Jonathan, poetically invoking a curse upon the place where they fell, wishes no dew to descend upon the mountains of Gilboa. The Almighty himself, promising, by the mouth of one of His prophets, to bless His chosen people, says, “I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as a lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon." Here the refreshing and fertilizing effects of dew beautifully represent the prosperity of the nation which God specially favors and protects. The dew is also employed, by the prophet Micah, to illustrate the influence of God's people in the midst of an evil world, where he says, that "the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people, as a dew from the Lord." What emblem more expressive of that spiritual life, in some of its members, which preserves a people from entire corruption and decay !
Another beautiful application of the dew in Scripture, is its being made to represent the influence of heavenly truth upon the soul. In the commencement of his sublime song, Moses employs these exquisite expressions : “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew; as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." Similar passages might be quoted from the sacred writers, wherein, by a felicity of comparison that all must at once acknowledge, the word and ordinances of God are likened to the dew of the field.
As the dew of a night will sometimes bring back beauty and gloom to unnumbered languishing plants and flowers, and spread a pleasant freshness over all the fields, so will some rich and powerful exposition of revealed truth, or some ordinance, dispensed with genuine fervor, not unfrequently enliven and wholly refresh a Christian congregation, or even spread a moral verdure over a large portion of the visible church.-Sacred Philosophy of Seasons.