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printed one, on first-rate paper, why all that prodigality of outlay which brings the better book to a premature grave, while the other lives on to poison or demoralize the world ? And yet in the face of this fact, our author propounds this dogma as a truism, which few will be disposed to question. “I believe that if the people can have the best thing as cheap as the worst, they will cleave to the best.” Now, has he not here lost sight of a very important consideration—the possible, the probable idea, that the people's notion of best and worst may be vastly different from his own ? And widely different it seems indeed to be, if the actual sales of these good and bad periodicals be really any criterion. Hear what the special correspondent of the Chronicle says of the literature of Manchester, which we may assume to be in some measure, typical of other large reading communities.
“Every London publisher knows that Lancashire furnishes no unimportant part of the literary market of England. I wished to ascertain the species of cheap literature most in vogue, and accordingly applied to Mr. Abel Heywood, of Oldham-street, one of the most active and enterprising citizens of Manchester, who supplies not only the smaller booksellers of the town, but those throughout the county, with the cheap works most favored by the poorer reading classes. The contents of Mr. Heywood's shop are significant. Masses of penny novels and comic song and recitation books are jumbled with sectarian pamphlets and democratic essays. Educational books abound in every variety. Loads of cheap reprints of American authors, seldom or never heard of amid the upper reading classes here, are mingled with editions of the early Puritan divines. Doublecolumned translations from Sue, Dumas, Sand, Paul Feval, and Frederic Soulie, jostle with dream-books, scriptural commentaries, Pinnock’s Guides, and quantities of cheap music, Sacred Melodists, and Little Warblers. Altogether the literary chaos is very significant of the restless and all-devouring literary appetite which it supplies.
“That species of novel, adorned with woodcuts, and published in penny weekly numbers, claims the foremost place. The contents of these productions are, generally speaking, utterly beneath criticism. They form, so far as I can judge, the English reflection, exaggerated in all its most objectionable features, of the French Feuilleton Roman."
“ Of each work of this class, the average weekly sale at this establishment alone was 6,000, whilst of Chambers' Journal it was only 900, and of Hogg's Instructor not more than 60!"
We cannot help thinking there is something beyond the paper duty at fault here. There may be some wisdom in the speculations of political economists, but we know that there must be more in the declaration of God's word, that righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
THE AUTHOR OF GOOD. A LADY applied to the eminent philanthropist of Bristol, Richard Reynolds, on behalf of a little orphan boy.
After he had given liberally she said, “When he is old enough, I will teach him to name and thank his benefactor."
Stop," said the good man, "you are mistaken; we do not thank the clouds for rain: teach him to look higher, and thank God.”
NOTHING EXTENUATE. Two neighbouring farmers had a dispute respecting the right to a certain meadow, and they could not compromise the matter. An action at law was accordingly brought to determine it. On the day appointed, one of the farmers having dressed himself in his Sunday clothes, called upon his opponent to accompany him to the judge. Finding his neighbour at work on his ground, he said to him, “Can you have forgotten that our cause is to be decided to-day ?"
“No,” said the other, “I have not forgotten it, but I cannot well spare time to go; I knew you would be there, and I am sure you are an honest man, and will say nothing but the truth. You will state the case fairly, and justice will be done.”
And so it proved; for the farmer who went to the judge, stated his neighbour's claims so clearly, that the case was decided against himself; and he returned to inform his opponent that he had got the property.
THE TEST OF FEELING. A RESPECTABLE merchant of London, having become embarrassed in his circumstances, and his misfortunes having been one day the subject of conversation on the Royal Exchange, several persons expressed great sorrow, when a foreigner who was present said, “I feel five hundred pounds for him; what do you feel P"
OUR COMMON FATHER. An indigent boy applied for alms at the house of an avaricious rector, and received a dry mouldy crust.
The rector enquired of the boy if he could say the Lord's Prayer, and was answered in the negative.
“Then,” said the rector, “I will teach you that_Our Father
—“Our father ?” said the boy; "is he my father as well as yours ?”
“ Yes, certainly."
"Then,” replied the boy, “how could you give your poor brother this mouldy crust of bread ?”
FEELING IN THE RIGHT PLACE. A PLAIN, good-hearted, matter-of-fact kind of man, who understood that a poor woman and her family were reduced to great distress by the loss of a cow, which was their principal support, generously went round among his neighbours to solicit that aid he was unable to give himself. He told a plain, simple, and pathetic tale, and received from each a very liberal donation of regret, sorrow, and sympathy. But, thought he, this will not buy a cow, and he consequently redoubled his exertions, but to the same effect. He now lost all patience, and after being answered as usual by the son of Midas with a plentiful shower of sympathetic feeling, said,
“Oh, yes, I don't doubt your feeling, but you don't feel in the right place." “No ?” said he, “I feel with all
soul.” “ Yes, yes, I don't doubt that either, but I want you to feel in your pocket."
THE GEOGRAPHY OF A THUNDERSTORM. THERE is no phenomenon in nature so awful as a thunderstorm; and almost every poet, from Homer and Virgil down to Dante and Milton, or rather down to Grahame and Pollok, has described it. In the Bible, too, we have a thunder-storm,—the description of a tempest, which, rising from the Mediterranean, and travelling by Lebanon and along the inland mountains, reaches Jerusalem, and sends the people into the temple-porticoes for refuge. And, besides those touches of terror in which the geographical progress of the tornado is described, it derives a sacred vitality and power from the presence of Jehovah in each successive peal. “The voice of the Lord is on the sea: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is on the mighty sea. The voice of the Lord is powerful, the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf: Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness: the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. The Lord sitteth upon the water-torrent: yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. The Lord will give strength unto his people:" (and now the sun shines out again ;) “ the Lord will bless his people with peace.”
Over many of the Psalms it sheds a flood of new significance when the reader understands their mechanism, as in the case of many it has been disclosed by the labors of Lowth, Horsley, Hengstenberg, and others. It was one happy morning in his house at Dundee, that my dear friend, Robert McCheyne, shewed me the geographical structure of this twenty-ninth Psalm. And certainly it enhances the meaning of this majestic ode when we conceive the spectator-psalmist as standing with the awe-struck multitude in the temple porch, and watching the march of the thunder-storm as it advances from the Mediterranean or "mighty" sea, and at last bursts in a water-flood around themselves.—Hamilton on the Literary Attractions of the Bible.
THE LAW WEAK; THE GOSPEL MIGHTY. “I cannot but record the fact of an actual, though undesigned, experiment which I prosecuted for upwards of twelve years. For the greater part of the time I could expatiate on the meanness of dishonesty, on the villainy of falsehood, on the despicable arts of calumny, in a word, upon all those deformities of character which awaken the natural indignation of the human heart against the pests and disturbers of human society. Even at this time I did press the reformations of honor and truth and integrity among my people; but I never once heard of any such reformations having been effected amongst them. If there were any thing at all brought about in this
it was more than ever I got any account of. I am not sensible that all the vehemence with which I urged the virtues and proprieties of social life had the weight of a feather on the venal habits of my parishioners. And it was not until I got impressed by the utter alienation of the heart in all its desires and affections from God-it was not till reconciliation to him became the distinct and prominent object of my ministerial efforts—it was not till I took the scriptural way of laying the method of reconciliation before them-it was not till the free offer of forgiveness through the blood of Christ was urged upon their acceptance, and the Holy Ghost given through the channel of Christ's mediatorship, to all who ask Him, was set before them as the unceasing object of their dependance and their prayers:—it was not, in one word, till the contemplations of my people were turned to those great and essential elements in the business of a soul providing for its interest with God, and the concerns of its eternity, that I ever heard of any of those subordinate reformations which I aforetime made the earnest and zealous, but I am afraid, at the same time, the ultimate object of my earlier administrations.”—Dr. Chalmers.
THE FRIENDLY SHOWER. A merchant was one day returning from market. He was on horseback, and behind him was a valise filled with money. The rain fell with violence, and the good old man was wet to the skin. At this he was vexed, and thoughtlessly murmured