« ForrigeFortsett »
BY S. T. MARTYX.
MATERNAL FAITHFULNESS. strengthen him in the hour of temptation, or seek to
lead him to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the
sins of the world? Can faith rely cheerfully on the Where is the Christian mother whose heart, as she promises, under circumstances such as these? An inlooks upon the beloved nursling in her arms, does not cident which occurred a few years since may, perhaps, involuntarily utter the prayer—“O that this child might answer this question. live before God! That this heart, so unconscious of The husband of the writer was at that time settled sin and its attendant misery, might even now be new in the ministry, in a seaport town in New England. created by the blessed Spirit, and this infant voice learn Vessels from various quarters of the globe were conto lisp the praises of the Redeemer, while yet earthly stantly in the harbor, and his sympathies were strongly joys and sorrows are a sound unknown!" Can a excited in behalf of that interesting class “who go mother's love, in all its depth and intensity, be content down to the sea in ships and do business on the great on behalf of her child, with any boon short of the sal- waters.” Little comparatively was then felt or done vation of his soul? Can she rest satisfied, while pour- for their salvation by the American churches, and many ing out the heart's richest and purest affections over the of them were hardened and degraded in the extreme, precious gift, without an ardent desire that it may be but Mr. soon found one avenue to the heart improved to the glory of the great Giver? Surely not, through which he could always approach the most if she remembers the ten thousand claims of her Re- abandoned. The simple question—"Have you a mothdeemer to the undivided love and service of the crea er-a praying mother?” never failed to touch a chord tures he has made; surely not, if she remembers the un- which vibrated through every nerve, and brought down certainty of life, and the possibility that death may un- the scoffing unbeliever in the tearful simplicity of twine those clasping fingers from her neck, and shroud childhood, a willing listener to the voice of kindness her beloved one in the darkness of the sepulchre. and instruction.
He who well knew a mother's love, has made ample On one occasion, at an evening meeting in the vesprovision in the promises for the fulfillment of its ut- try, a sailor came forward, and after a thrilling exhormost desires. The blessing of Abraham has come on tation to those present who were impenitent, related the Gentiles through faith, and it secures to faithful, his story, which was substantially as follows: He was believing parents, the everlasting interests of those who a native of the adjoining town of T—, and had a are dearer to them than life. Resting with unshaken pious mother who dedicated him to God in infancy, and confidence on the word of Him who cannot lie, the endeavored faithfully to train him up for heaven. In pious mother may sow the seed of divine grace in the early youth he had the misfortune to lose this best of youthful heart, water it with her prayers and tears, and earthly friends, but on her dying bed she warned, inthen, in the assurance of hope, wait the blessed issue. structed, and prayed for him, and before her death exHer head may be whitened with the frosts of age, or it acted from him a solemn pledge that he would seek her may be resting on its last cold pillow before those prayers covenant God, and prepare to meet her before his throne. shall be answered; but if there is joy in heaven over He became soon after a sailor boy, and in that school of one repenting sinner, surely that sainted mother who is depravity forgot the lessons of his childhood, and learned bowing near the throne, will not be ignorant that it is the language and habits of the enemies of Jesus. As a the son of her love, he for whom she suffered, and good seaman, however, he was promoted to the rank of wept, and prayed while on earth, whose conversion has first mate, and in this capacity was one beautiful evensent a thrill of rapture through all the bright ranks of ing keeping his watch on deck alone, when, as he was the redeemed. Amid myriads of sympathizing and re- gazing upon the stars which glittered above him, joicing spirits, she shall confess that he is faithful who thoughts of his neglected God, of his childhood's hath promised, for this her son was dead and is alive promise, and more than all, of his beloved mother, came again, he was lost and is found!
suddenly into his soul, until it was overpowered with But there is a Christian mother whose heart, as it strong emotion. His lips invountarily uttered the inyearns over her distant "sailor boy," and remembers quiry—“ Where is my mother?” and an answering all the perils and temptations with which he is sur- || voice from those bright stars seemed to reproach him rounded, almost refuses to be comforted. He who, in with his broken vow, as memory brought up from her childhood and youth, was so tenderly watched and nur
secret cell the whole scene of that mother's last illness tured—whose infant prayer was lisped at her knee, and and death. Conviction fastened upon him, his sins in whom her heart was so bound up that the very were set in order before him, and in the agony of his thought of separation seemed to chill the current of spirit, he fell on the deck and cried aloud for mercy. life within it—he is now far from her, exposed to hard. The captain supposing him deranged, sent another to ships and dangers which she shudders to contemplate. supply his place, and had him removed to the cabin; “His path is on the mountain wave,
but as his distresses continued to increase, they made His home is on the deep."
the nearest harbor, and sent immediately for a physiAnd among all the associates with whom he comes in cian. He could not “minister to a mind diseased," and daily contact, who shall care for his soul? Who, like advised the captain to call in a clergyman. This was a mother, shall guard him from the approaches of evil, |accordingly done; and as the Rev. Mr. F. entered the
THE GREEK CLASSICS.
cabin, he was accosted by the trembling penitent with
Original. the eager inquiry, “Are you a minister of Christ? | THE GREEK CLASSICS.-NO. VIII. Can you pray?” The conversation was deeply inter
BY GEO. WATERMAN, JR. esting, and at its close the sailor promised to accompany Mr. F. to a prayer meeting which was to be held in the TAE neighborhood that evening. While there, the Savior of sinners was revealed to his soul, his burden taken GRECIAN comedy, like her sister, tragedy, traces her off, and a new song of praise put into his mouth. He origin to the rites of Bacchus. Both were the offspring left the vessel and started at once for home, that he of the choral songs performed in the worship of that might proclaim to his old friends and neighbors the divinity. Those of a serious character, and in which wonderful love of God to his soul. The mother, who sublime sentiments were inculcated, constituted the base had prayed so often for his conversion and had died of the noble tragic structure; while from those of a without the sight, was low in the dust, but who can lighter cast, and whose object was mirth, sprung the doubt that as the joyful tidings of another repenting more simple yet pernicious comedy. The Phallic songs sinner reached the heavenly host, her harp was loudest from which comedy arose, were a part of the Bacchanal in its notes of praise !
worship, and consisted in what might, perhaps, be apThe above is not an isolated case. If all the instan-propriately termed ballads—whose object was to create ces in which God, in a remarkable manner, has answer-, mirth either by sneers, or satire, or sarcasm. About the ed prayer and honored maternal faith were recorded, time that Æschylus, from the Dittryramb, and the Sathe unbelief of Christian parents would be rebuked: but tiric Chorus, erected the tragic structure, Epicharmus, of the hundreds who are the recipients of his mercy, from the Phallic song, constructed that of comedy. very few give him the glory. Enough is known, how-|| After him Aristophanes improved and enlarged its pow. ever, to warrant us in asserting, not only from the word, ers, which continued so long as Greece was a people. but from the providences of Jehovah, that the provisions Under Aristɔphanes, and those of the same school, for the salvation of our children are as broad and ample comedy was frequently used to censure the vices of as for our own souls, and that it is our privilege to train those who would not bear reproof in any other way, them up for God, with the full assurance that he will In comedy every thing was done in jest, and generally accept the offering, and in his own way bring them for sport. Hence, parodies on different tragic compointo his family, and make them “heirs to an inher- sitions were frequent. From the characters of tragedy itance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not thus remodeled to suit the taste of the laughter-loving, away.”—Mother's Magazine.
were afterwards added those of tragic writers themselves. This paved the way for the introduction of every char
acter upon the stage. Personal animosity and private THE ROSE.
jealousy were never at a loss for subjects on which to I saw a rose perfect in beauty: it rested gracefully vent their malignity. Hence the virtuous as well as upon its stalk, and its perfume filled the air. Many | the vicious were frequently made to feel the lash of stopped to gaze upon it, many bowed to taste its fra- | satire from the pen of the comedian. Even the good grance, and its owner hung over it with delight. I and virtuous Socrates did not escape. These scenes passed it again, and behold it was gone! its stem was could only be enacted when the people were free. . Afleafless, its root had withered, the inclosure which sur ter the subversion of their liberties, comedy underwent rounded it was broken down. The spoiler had been a considerable change. “Simultaneously with the there: he saw that many admired it, he knew it was overthrow of Athenian independence appeared the first dear to him who planted it, and beside it he had no oth-|| distinct specimen of a new species of dramatic poetry, er plant to love. Yet he snatched it secretly from the in which the pungent sarcasm, the political heat, and hand that cherished it; he wore it on his bosom till it the rampant humor of the Aristophanic muse were exhung its head and faded, and, when he saw that its glo- changed for graceful lessons of morality, accurate dery was departed, he flung it rudely away. But it left alineations of character, and the interest of regular plots.” thorn in his bosom, and vainly did he seek to extract it, The author of this change was Menander. After him for now it pierces the spoiler, even in his hour of mirth. | followed Diphilus. With Posidippus ends the history And when I saw that no man who had loved the beau- of the Grecian comic drama. Grecian literature and ty of the rose, gathered again its scattered leaves, or Grecian liberty expired together. bound up the stalk which the hands of violence had broken, I looked earnestly at the spot where it grew, Much dispute has arisen between learned men in fixand my soul received instruction. And I said, Let hering the birth-place of Epicharmus. Some have thought who is full of beauty and admiration, sitting like the him a native of Crastus, some of Coos, and others of queen of flowers in majesty among the daughters of Megara in Sicily. All, however, agree that he passed women, let her watch lest vanity enter her heart, beguil- his life at Syracuse. About as much doubt exists coning her to rest proudly upon her own strength; let her cerning his parentage. His father's name was Chimaremember that she standeth upon slippery places, “and rus, or Tityrus. His mother's name, as is most generbe not high minded, but fear.” — Mrs. Sigourney. ally thought, was Sicida. He flourished about the
THE GREEK CLASSICS.
year 500, B. C. Of his personal history we know but | ist a doubt,” says a writer in the Encyclopedia Metrolittle. He was for a time a school teacher in Syracuse, politana, “that our author was a man of considerable inand instructed pupils about four years previous to the fluence and political importance among his countrymen.” Persian invasion. He seems, however, to have devoted The circumstances of the times in which he lived were the greater part of his time to the composition of liter- well calculated to give a bold and daring spirit, like that ary works. According to Diogenes Laertius he com- of Aristophanes, immense influence over an ignorant, posed several treatises on medicine and philosophy. vicious, and fickle multitude, such as the great mass of His greatest works, however, were of a dramatic charac-Athenians were at that time. The fatal Peloponnesian
About the time, or perhaps a little before Æschy- war was then in progress. Hence, all the vices incident lus brought the first regular tragedy upon the Grecian to such a state of things were to be expected at the mestage, Epicharmus produced the first comedy properly tropolis of the democratic states. It was among the so called. Before him this department of the drama multitude he sought and obtained popularity. It is true consisted of nothing but a series of licentious songs the great and the good according to the standard of and sarcastic episodes, without plot, connection, or that age were his admirers. And his writings, regardconsistency. He gave to each exhibition one singleed merely as specimens of literary labor, are, many of and unbroken fable, and converted the loose interlocu- them, worthy of all the commendations that have been tions into regular dialogue. As we have before stated, bestowed upon them. But it is doubtful, after all, whethtragedy, under Phrynicus, had begun to assume some er they really felt for him that respect which they on thing of that stately form which was perfected, or at many occasions manifested. The true secret—at least least much improved by Æschylus. The woes of he- with many of them—was, Aristophanes was exceedroes, and the majesty of the gods had already become ingly popular, and possessed a vast amount of power its principal theme. The Sicilian poet seems to have among the common people, and, from mere selfish conbeen struck with the idea of exciting the mirth of his siderations, they desired his friendship; for his malevoauditors by the exhibition of some ludicrous matter, lent muse knew no one too exalted or too virtuous to dressed up in all the grave solemnity of the newly in- shield him from his attacks, if caprice or any other vented art. Discarding, therefore, the low drolleries of motive should call forth his keen sarcastic powers. the ancient comedy, he opened a novel and less invidi- Even the virtuous Socrates did not escape the lash of ous source of amusement, by composing a set of bur- his satiric wand. Yet this boldness and fearlessness of lesque dramas upon the usual tragic subjects. These character were frequently exerted in a good cause. succeeded very well, and for a long time the principal He was undoubtedly a lover of his country. He therefeature of comedy was a burlesque upon some tragic fore earnestly contended for peace. The same motive
And when comedy returned, as it afterwards led him to expose to the public view, with all the vividdid, to personal satire and invective, the tragic poets ness of reality, the vices of those who administered the were the chief characters against which its efforts were affairs of state. The degeneracy of the times was also directed.
inveighed against by the same pen which did so much Epicharmus was a very voluminous writer. Apollo- to promote and perpetuate the very vices of which he dorus is said to have made a collection of his works in complains. That he was a favorite of the great body ten volumes. His plays number between forty and fif- of the people we have abundant evidence. Nor was ty. Suidas reckons fifty-two. He was celebrated as this fact unknown to foreign nations. The fame of his well for the beauty of his style as for the originality of boldness had extended far and wide. It had even his conception. The Greeks gave the name of “ Epi- reached the throne of the Persian monarch; for we are charmion” to his style, thus making it proverbial for informed that, on a certain occasion, when the Lacedæits beauty and purity.
monian (or Spartan) ambassadors had an interview His moral character could not have been very high, with the Persian monarch, the first question he asked as we are informed by Plutarch that he was severely was, whether they were masters of the seas, and the fined and doomed to heavy manual labor by Hiero for second related to our author: "Which of the two pow. some improper jests which he introduced in the pres-ers does he censure?" inquired the King; “for the ence of the Queen.
cause of the party which he espouses will certainly Of the further particulars of his life we know noth- come off victorious in the present war, inasmuch as ing. He is said to have lived to the age of ninety. they have him for their coadjutor.” Only fragments of his works remain.
Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, greatly desired
Aristophanes to take up his residence at the Sicilian Aristophanes was a native of the island of Ægina, acourt, but in vain. He loved the soil of Attica too small island opposite Athens. He was a son of Philip dearly to exchange it for even a royal abode. of Rhodes, and born B. C. 456. Although born at Ægi. The style of Aristophanes is deservedly admired. na, he seems to have been educated at Athens, where he He wrote many plays. Eleven only of his comespent nearly the whole of his life. Of his early history | dies, out of more than sixty, are preserved. These, but little is known. He was a writer of comedy, and however, are sufficient to judge of the style of his doubtless the most illustrious of that class of writers writings, and the character of his powers of concepwhich Greece has ever produced. “There cannot ex-lltion.
THE GREEK CLASSICS.
Of the time or manner of his death we are not cer- || stage is, that the former was a national institution. An tainly informed. He probably lived to nearly the age admission fee of two oboli (about six cents) was charged of eighty.
each person entering for the support of these exhibi
tions. But even this, at the instigation of Pericles, was This poet was a native of Athens, and born B. C. | paid out of the public treasury to all such as desired it. 342. His father, whose name was Diopithes, was, at The buildings necessary for theatrical exhibitions bethis time, commander of the Athenian forces at the longed, also, to the state, and were erected at the public Hellespont, and must therefore have been a person of expense. Another difference was, that dramatic perconsiderable influence among his countrymen. Of the formances were alike attended by all. The learned and history of Menander we know scarcely any thing. He the illiterate, the rich and the poor, the highest officer was the inventor of what has been termed the new of the state and the meanest citizen, all here met tocomedy—so called because it dropped personal abuse, gether for the purpose of instruction or amusement. and became more regular in its construction. He died The religious character of these performances, and the at the age of fifty, having written 105 plays. It is said exclusion of females from all exhibitions excepting by the Roman poet, Ovid, that all the plays of Menan- those of tragedy, gave also a distinctive character to der turned upon love. If this be true, as it undoubted- the ancient drama which is wanting in that of more ly is, we have in his works, one of those chief charac- modern date. These differences were all calculated to teristics of the modern drama which has rendered it so elevate the Grecian stage, both in its intellectual and exceedingly pernicious to the morals of society. When moral character, far above that which, in later ages, has amarous scenes are brought upon the stage, their direct | taken its place. Yet, if we examine the moral influtendency is to injure and impair the moral sensibilitiesence of theatrical exhibitions, even among the Greeks, of all who witness them; at least such has been the we cannot but be pained at the result. The stately universal result, and we must judge of the tendencies and majestic character of tragedy created a desire for of a thing by its actual results.
something of a lighter character, and better suited to Menander seems to have been patronized by Ptolemy the morals, or rather want of morals, of a degraded Lanus, the successor of Alexander the Great in the populace. This desire was fully satisfied in the debagovernment of Egypt. Of his writings fragments only | sing exhibitions of comedy. The laughter-loving here remain.
found that which excited their mirth. The malevolent
could here vent his malignity unharmed, and the profliDiphilus, the contemporary of Menander, was born gate of every character here found all that he desired at Sinope, in Pontus, and died at Smyrna, in lonia. to gratify the propensities of a vitiated taste. It is no His comedies were celebrated for their wit, sense, and wonder, then, that comic performances acquired such pleasantness. He, together with Posidippus, who be- an influence over the public mind. The expenses began to write three years after the death of Menander, ing paid out of the public treasury afforded an opporwas the last Grecian comic poet. '« Below this pe- tunity to all to witness these exhibitions. The funds riod it is vain to search for genius worth recording. thus appropriated were taken from the military resources Grecian literature and Grecian liberty expired together. of the country. Hence, in time of danger there was A succession of sophists, pedagogues, and gramma- no supply to meet any emergency that might arise. rians filled the posts of those illustrious wits whose Fearing lest, in great difficulties, these funds might respirit, fostered by freedom, soared to such heights as vert to their original use, and thus infringe upon their left the Roman poets little else except the secondary favorite amusement, the Athenians passed a law mafame of imitation."
king it a criminal offense of the highest character to We cannot leave the general subject of the drama introduce any law for that purpose. Twice during the without a passing remark upon the influence of the invasions of Philip of Macedon did Demosthenes atGrecian stage upon the character of the nation. This tempt to restore the theatrical fund, as it was called, to was of two kinds, intellectual and moral. Its intellec- | its proper use in the defense of the nation. But his tual influence was in general salutary. It called forth efforts were fruitless. The corrupted multitude were so those talents which might otherwise have lain dormant, wedded to this chief source of their corruptions, that, or been awakened only to deeds of violence. The ex- rather than give up their amusements, they suffered hibition of dramatic performances called together the their country's liberties to expire. Had it not been for talent of the nation of every character. Its direct ten- the degenerating influence of the stage, Greece might dency, therefore, was the diffusion of knowledge. Its long have survived the period of her overthrow. Her intellectual advantages were not altogether unlike thosevices, and nothing else, proved her ruin. Morality and derived from modlern lectures. In judging of the intel- liberty stand or fall together. If, then, we would prelectual or even moral tendency of the Grecian theatres, serve our own country free and happy, we must seek however, we must not compare it with our own. The to promote religion and a deep-toned morality by every points of dissimilarity were so numerous and so great, means in our power. The same elements which dethat in many respects little or no analogy can be traced.stroyed Greece are at work among us; and nothing Especially is this true with respect to tragedy. One but the Bible and a consequent healthy moral influmarked difference between the Grecian and modern ence can save us from a similar ruin.
BY MISS DE FOREST.
the comparative worthlessness of mere beauty, and afTHE CONTRAST.
fords occasion to show that in a marriage sought in You shall see some gay, elegant youth, as he passes trueness and earnestness of feeling, the parties, by a rethe street, noting with a sort of wonder the cordial, ciprocation of the common burdens of life, by dividing earnest salutation of some young working man, as he the cares and sharing the satisfactions, lessen the evils, meets his acquaintance, perhaps a market girl, or a and enhance the felicities of both. MATILDA. laundress. May be she is not comely—may be positively awkward; and the young aristocrat says to himself, “Foh! that coarse featured dowdy! It is all put
Original. on, that warmth and heartiness! He can't care for
THE HILLS OF CHENANGO. her-he can't admire or love her!” and in fancy he compares with her the soft, fair, graceful, petted syren who for the time enslaves his own youthful spirit. “How opposite-how unlike!" he says; and unlike Ye beautiful hills! in your ever-green dress'd and opposite she is, indeed, both in person and in char- | The mist at your feet—the snow on your breast
Like armies, dark-baner'd for combat, ye stand; We do not affect to say that goodness never consists || Nor bend ye, nor bow ye, for mortal command. with elegance and beauty. But as we know that adu-|| And thus have ye stood, since the day of your birth, lation and the praises of the vain, as shadows, follow Unscath'd by the mighty convulsions of earth; their possessor, so we do say, that it is not to be found || And thus may ye stand, in your brilliant array, here, nor half as easily retained as by one who, in the While Time in his balance creation doth weigh! depressed scale of life, confined to duties, and necessi- Bend down from thy height thou tall sentinel pine, tated to submission, finds humility and an obliging tem- | And whisper a tale of the days of “lang syne.” per the best passports to her own ease and preferment;| The sentinel pine bends down with the blast, and, not stopping here, is not only amiable but pious. But little he recks for the days that are past. Such a one, none will dispute, does, in sterling worth, From thy gentle recess, fair Chenango, upshine, outweigh the gossamer affectations, the blandishments,|| And yield me the knowledge that long hath been thine. and the fascinating beauty of our other portrait. Chenango is silent-old Winter bath thrown
ten years have elapsed since the youth | A spell o'er its music—a hush o'er its tone. first presented won the race from all his rivals, and, Ye raging storm spirits, that sweep o'er the breast amidst their envy and his own exultation, became the Of these lofty pine summits, and love there to rest, husband of our adulated beauty. But the idea of sen-| Ye yet have a voice, and its melody 's heard, timent—in the youthful vocabulary meaning love only— When the depths of the old mountain forest are stirr’d. has had some better instruction of experience; and he Ye beautiful hills! Aye, the storm-spirits love confesses, with a sigh, that there may be more in wo-To hide in your glens—through your valleys to roveman than what enchants the fancy, or “fills the eye."| Now howling—now sighing—caressing-caress'd And he were now disposed to look with less derision. They yield no response to my earnest behest. upon the humble youth, who, choosing not by the eye, Of the ages long past, your vassals refuse but the affections, has not been deceived in the regards A thought, or a glimpse, to the laboring muse. which his heart demanded; for he, too, has married his As your heavy foundations, their secrets are deep, early acquaintance. And she has been a help-meet for And as long as oblivion sleeps they shall sleep. him-she has encouraged, consoled, and assisted him, Yet know we the red men once roamed in these woods and he is getting cheerful and easy as he advances in The war-whoop once startled their wild solitudes; life. Whilst the gayer youth, feeling ever vexed and And we know that a race, more mighty than they, hindered, is becoming sad by disappointment, and silent|| Hath driven their remnant for ever away. for want of sympathy. But since his mistake was of Adown this sweet vale, where the wild deer once his own choosing, he makes himself up to the manli rangd, ness of equanimity; but it is an equanimity so stern The azure of heaven alone is unchanged; that you could hardly recognize him as the hilarious And cottage and villa have sprung into light, youth of our first presentation.
Where the darkness of nature once rivald the night. Our two pictures together may illustrate the position Ye beautiful summits! Still shelter with pride that a youth of hardship and labor, in blunting the The homes where our fathers have worship'd and sense to mere externals, has the effect to make early diedwise-in choosing. And, as in the partner, what, by | The homes of the good, and the hearths of the bravethe drudgery of life, may be lost in grace and elegance, || The only inheritance freemen should have. in one of a true nature be more than compensated by Blithe summer-gay autumn-stern winter-sweet the necessity of goodness. And whilst we would point springout the weakness of a fastidious and false motive in Each season its tribute of beauty shall bring; the most important step in life, and of the irretrievable While he who hath form'd ye will watch o'er ye still, and bitter chagrin which it occasions-marking, also, And robe ye in grandeur, 0, beautiful hills!