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Again, and again the lash is uplifted, and again it falls. Exhausted nature, taxed before to the uttermost, sinks at last. The dying man is left upon the blood-stained earth. The sun-set hues fade from the western sky, the cold gray mountains rise in bold relief against the purpling azure of the sky, from which one tiny star peeps forth, as if to light to heaven the ascending spirit. “ Come quickly, Lord Jesus," he tries to utter; his tongue refuses its office, one deep sigh, and the stiffening corpse is all that remains of the released glave. “Hard indeed it is to bear the cross,” I excl:iimed ; "how glorious must be the crown, which can recompense so much suffering."
Bewildered by the sudden flood of light, which pours from yon gates of many coloured pearl, let us wait for an instant before we venture to approach the celestial barrier. Now gaze reverently within. What do we see ? A glory so bright that our weak orbs are dazzled. Presently a group of spirits passes before the gates. They are clad in glittering garments, and they bear palms in their hands. Their brows are decked with radiant crowns, and their countenances wear an expression of such ineffable joy and peace, as to us is incomprehensible. Happy souls are they, who, on earth have passed through “peril, toil, and pain,” but have now received their reward. And is it not worth more than all the sufferings the whole human race has ever felt ?
The glorious vision passes, I raise my eyes ; it had all been but a waking dream, and I was still resting on the mossy bank, with the cool water rippling at my feet. Taking up my book, I rose to return home, musing as I went on the scenes which fancy had called up before my mental sight, and studying the lessons which they should teach. All must bear the cross below, even though all be not called to pass through the trial of persecution. No lot is so fair but it is overcast at times by some shadow ; no path is so smooth but some roughnesses must come in the way. The race must be run, before the goal is gained. But the reward awaiting the successful runner, more than compensates for the fatigue he must undergo. All must bear the cross below, who, hereafter would wear the crown :—the crown everlasting of life.
EVENINGS WITH THE EDITOR.
EVENING THE THIRTEENTH.
Aug. What might be called Festive Literature is certainly wonderfully improved.
Mrs. M. In what respect ?
Aug. Why, Christmas books, for example, are not now the empty, frivolous things they formerly were; things only purchased for their beautiful engravings and elegant bindings, looked at for awhile, and then condemned to inglorious banishment as out of fashion. Now we have the same beauty of outward form and decoration combined with valuable reading, so that Books of the Season, as they are styled, address both the mind and the eye.
Ed. This indicates a vastly improved taste on the part of the public. I recollect how eagerly, when a child, I used to look for the “ Annuals,” feeling it a sort of mysterious investigation to open the closely sealed covers which enwrapped them, and holding the books as if they had been chesnuts, only for a different reason. The stories were little bits of novels, and generally of a very flimsy texture, not unlike those silly love stories which disfigure the pages of so many cheap weekly periodicals.
Emm. One Annual still, however, survives--THE BOOK OF BEAUTY.*
Ed. What portraits does it contain ?
Emm. Those of eleven ladies, who, if the engravings do not flatter too much, must be very lovely women. As they are said to “adorn the Court of Victoria," I need scarcely mention their names, as you are not likely to know them.
* London : Bogue.
Mrs. M. Really, Emmeline! Ed. She is perfectly correct. It is so long since I attended “the Court of Victoria," that I cannot even remember when it
Emm. I may mention one fact, however, for the credit of lady scribblers, that two of these beautiful creatures are autho
Aug. So then, authoresses are not always to be described as grim, elderly spinsters, of slovenly habits, and inky exteriors ?
Emm. Neither grim nor spinsters in the present instance, for the ladies are Mrs. Phillipson and Mrs. Jones, who is also a poetess and an artist.
Ed. What books had you chiefly in view, Augustus, when forming your present judgment of Gift Books ?
dug. Oh, various books ; here are two which will confirm my judgment, ELWES' SKETCHER'S TOUR ROUND THE WORLD,* and TUPPER'S PROVERBIAL PHILOSOPHY.
Ed. I should scarcely think Tupper needs all this pictorial display. Every third or fourth page has an exquisite engraving. The cost to the publisher must be enormous; but he doubtless expects, as he deserves, to have a large sale for this noble volume. The Sketcher's Tour-what have you to say about it?
Aug. It appears Mr. Elwes travelled for his own amusement, and a pretty long tour he had. He will not need amusing for many years to come.
Ed. Where did he go? Aug. He left England in 1848 for Madeira, thence he went to Brazil
, landing at Rio Janeiro, made an excursion to Constantia, travelling through vast forests for days. Next we find bim at Bahia, escaping narrowly from shipwreck on the Amazon, visiting the daughter of Rosas at Buenos Ayres, galloping, like Sir Francis Head, across the Pampas, climbing the Andes and sketching from their tops, resting afterwards at Santiago, the capital of Chili, perplexing bimself about the antiquities of Peru, taking out his pencil in Honolulu, touching at Tahiti, and having thus satisfied his curiosity with these parts, sailing for Australia.
Mrs. M.. What a rambler after amusement ! Aug. On the Australian coast he gets wrecked, yet reaches Hobart Town in safety. His course then lay to the East, and he stops for awhile at Manilla and preserves some recollections of its scenery in his portfolio. By and by he is at Hong Kong, then at Canton, then at Shanghae, and then homeward, taking a view of Aden by the way, and arriving in London after a journey literally round the world.
* London: Hurst and Blackett.
+ London: Hatchard.
Emm. It is one great advantage of his rambles that he used his pencil freely, and twenty-one of his sketches, copied in coloured lithography, are in the single volume, within the modest compass of which he has contrived to compress the history of his adventures.
Mrs. M. This seems another narrative of a traveller's adventures, BENWELL'S TRAVELS IN AMERICA.*
Emm. But there are some things about it I do not like; for example, the whip and chains figured on the binding, the repulsive frontispiece, representing the horrors of lynch law and slave flogging, and the general style of disparagement in which the author describes most American things and people. At the same time I must acknowledge that Mr. Benwell appears to tell a plain and unvarnished tale, drawn from notes taken during four years spent on the American continent. The observations of a man who travelled through the most populous parts of the States of New York and Ohio, proceeding viả Cincinnati to the Missouri country, going down the Missouri and Mississippi to New Orleans, a tour of three thousand miles, then crossing an arm of the Gulf of Mexico to the Floridas where he fought in the Indian wars, then through Georgia and South Carolina to Charleston, whence he embarked for England—the observations of such a man are entitled to great respect.
Aug. There must be a large amount of roughness and vulgarity amongst the Americans.
Ed. Probably owing partly to the peculiar spirit of independence which they think it a duty to cherish and manifest, and partly to the amalgamation with the American nation of very large numbers of bad specimens of humanity that continually migrate thither from other parts of the world. The “ domestic institution may also hare much to do with sustaining the coarseness of the Americans.
Mrs. M. It is not fair, however, to suppose that all Americans are alike. I have met with some, who were really gentlemen in their minds and manners. It would be a curious question, how far the existence of a court, with its ceremonies and polished mamer tends to civilize a people.
Ed. We will hope a court is not quite indispensable to the improvement of dear brother Jonathan, or, I fear he will retain his savage condition some time longer.
Emm. Skip now, if you please, from America to India.
Emm. To notice AN ENGLISHMAN'S LIFE IN INDIA. It is principally a sketch of the seasons, scenery, and society of Bombay. The writer, Dr. Moses, has seen all that he has described, and has given a plain and sensible narrative, condensing within the compass of a moderate volume, materials which might easily have been inflated into two or three volumes.
* London : Binns and Goodwin.
† London : Binns & Goodwin.
Ed. Does Dr. Moses touch upon the religious condition of India ?
Emm. Yes, because he considers that this constitutes a topic too important to be omitted, even in the most desultory account of that country. He has great hopes that the iron railways, which are eventually to cover India, will facilitate Missionary effort.
Ed. You are pleased with this book, then ? Emm. Very much so; it affords a good insight into Bombay life, and is written with a special view to its perusal by the young, so that it will form an excellent gift book.
Aug. Popery, popery again! what is the reason that people are so blind to the enormities of popery, while its history is so constantly brought under their notice ?
Ed. Å difficult question, Augustus, which I shall treat as commentators do knotty texts, quietly pass over. But what called it forth ?
Aug. PROTESTANT ENDURANCE UNDER POPISH CRUELTY.* It seems there was no good account, or no easily accessible account, 1 should rather say—because M'Orie's History was extant -of the Reformation in Spain ; and a Mr. M'Coan has drawn up one, bestowing much time and pains upon it. The original sources of information have been carefully examined, and the author has given, "a short but complete outline of the History of Protestantism in Spain.” He shows plainly enough, that Popery has never lost its features of essential wickedness, that when not coerced by the strong arm of the civil power, it has always made war with the saints. That victims are not dow offered on its reeking altars does not prove that its spirit is changed, only that, as honest Bunyan well pourtrayed giant Pope, its power is weakened, and it scowls at the pilgrims it cannot destroy. The hatred of the truth, which consigned the Spanish martyrs, in the sixteenth century, to the flames in Valladolid and Seville, is the same that more feebly but as truly shows itself in the persecution of the Madiai and other sufferers for the Gospel in the Italian States.
Mrs. M. How greatly, then, should we dread the spread of Popish principles in this country. And yet, many persons speak of Popery as a harmless thing, and others defend and copy many of its peculiarities of system.
* London : Binns & Goodwin.