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spire, often gives to such a plain the dig-| cultivate the frame of mind appropriate to nity which arises from the suggestion of the inter-sermonic spaces of a Scotch Sab limitless expanse; and in travelling along bath, when the native peasant discovers a the most featureless of European steppes or congenial form of amusement in ealmly American prairies there are some objects spitting over a bridge. The genuine sailor to serve more or less as milestones, and so can be perfectly happy in a waking doze, to help the imagination to realize the dis- or in pacing backwards and forwards with tance traversed. But the circle visible as many thoughts as the Polar bear at the from the deck of a ship has a radius of Zoological Gardens. The passenger who not more than some five or six miles, and has had the misfortune of a tolerable eduthere is no visible proof that the view is cation, and therefore suffers from occanot always bounded by the same identical sional intellectual cravings, must seek for horizon. The waves might, for anything some kind of spiritual opium. The parthat appears, be like the fifty elephants ticular nature of the dram will of course which some Eastern potentate caused to be vary according to his idiosyncrasy: Playdriven round in a circle so as to delude his ing cards, although the most obvious revisitors with the appearance of an indefinite source, is open to two or three obvious obmultitude; their number impresscs us no jections. Few people can spend their more than the bars in his revolving cage whole time without impatience in playing ought to impress a squirrel. Day after cards, and the amusement generally inday we sce the same succession of objects, volves confinement to the stifling air of the with enough variation to make us sick at cabin. It is better to sit on deck with one time and to leave our dinners at an- some printed matter having the outward other, but yet varying within singularly semblance of a book. The most popular narrow limits. In short, when regarded and obvious prescription is a volume of serwith dispassionate eyes, we fear it is im- mons, and the benevolence of some steampossible to deny that the sea is a monoto- boat proprietors has made ample provision nous and singularly commonplace object, of such spiritual sedatives. But, as a rule, excepting always the cases in wbich it the dose requires a little sweetening. Most serves as an admirable background to fine persons, from habit, shrink too much from coast scenery. But why there should be so the sight of such a medicine to be capamuch sea out of sight of land is a problem ble of taking it kindly. The mind's stomwhich to our present understandings must ach instinctively rejects it. The choice will be abandoned as inscrutable.
generally lie between a solid history, which The more practical question remains, of has the merit of flattering the patient into the best means of lowering our intellects the belief that he is doing a virtuous action, into harmony with our circumstances. The and a novel of the maundering domestic first condition to be desired is of course to school - one of those admirable performsubordinate the spiritual as much as possi- ances which seek to flavour a diary with a ble to the physical nature. The models dash of the sermon. The mind is thus, as which nature sets before us are the jellyfish, it were, pleasantly tickled without being as an embodiment of the purest indolence; roused into over-activity. And it may be or, for persons of more irrepressible spirits, wise occasionally to take a few turns upon the porpoise, which is invariably in a state deck, or play the lively game of shovelof rollicking conviviality about nothing at all. board with a strict view to the improvement An animal which can be constantly throw of the appetite. ing somersaults in the dulness of the deep The fact that morality is subject to cersea conveys a more useful moral than the tain geographical limitations is well known, busy bee or other favourites of our child-though not often avowed. Upon the sea, the bood's moralists. There are generally to duty of hard labour may be said to become be found on board ship a few persons who inoperative. The duty of bearing Chrisseek relief in affecting, and perhaps at tian charity would, on the contrary, almost times in really manifesting, a noisy ex- appear to be inverted. When one is forced hilaration — in bad puns and small practi- into social relations by the forcible means cal jokes, and some of those conventional of being locked up together in a big box, symptoms of high spirits which pass muster it is unnecessary to maintain the bond by amongst a dreary company. Persons of more spiritual means. One has necessarily more normal temperament will find it so many interests in common with one's easier to adopt the opposite 'alternative. fellow-passengers that it is permissible to They will linger lovingly over meals, and indulge to some extent in the pleasures of lie in their berths as late as is compatible malevolence, harmless because they cannot with breakfast. At other times they will lead to any rupture. Now it is very
strange if a large proportion of our com- ing ill of our neighbour so very soon after panions are not persons who in many ways his back is turned. In a long voyage this shock our prejudices. Their nationality, resource gradually dries up, and there must their habits of eating, drinking, and cloth- come in time a period when every one ing, their manners and customs, and, if we knows what every one can say about everyare fortunate, such waifs and strays of scan- body else, and all the comments that can dal as may have stuck by them, will all give ensue.
Persons have been known to come room for backbiting and slander. It gives home from such trials with tempers unspoilt, additional piquancy to the pursuit that on and intellects enriched; but it must, we board ship there is a constant probability should imagine, be the secret hope of most that everything said will be overheard, and companions in a long voyage that for some thus to the ordinary pleasure of spreading time to come they may see as little as posevil report is added a kind of sporting fla- sible of each other, till they have, so to vour; we snatch a fearful joy when speak- I speak, got the taste out of their mouths.
From The Speotator.
Gross with mire, and foul with mud,-
Loud and clear,
That all may hear, Sings the Lark.
The Lark sings low,
“ The city is dull and mean,
Never a soul is clean;
And beyond the low black line
Of trees the dawn peeps red, And clouds blow woolly and fine
In the blue lift overhead; And out of the air is shaken
A fresh and glistening dew,
And tremble thro' and thro';
A human shape comes, dark
Flitting across the park :While over the shadowy green,
Singing his “ Hark, oh! hark !" Hovering, hovering, dimly seen,
Rises the Lark.
“Mystery ! O mystery ! ”
Clear he sings to lightening day. “Mystery ! O mystery ! Up into the air with me,
Come away, come away !”
“ Praise to Nature's plan !
Till the beast flowers up in man;
Pallid and proud stalks he,
And he pauses bitterly
0, loud and clear, that all muy hear,
Rising higher, with “ Hark, oh! hark!”
Higher, higher, higher, higher,
The souls stream out of the dark, Quivering as the dull red fire
And the city's spires gleam bright; Of dawn grows brighter, cries the Lark; The world, the world, is awake again, And they who listen there while he
Each wanders on his way, Singeth loud of mystery,
The wonderful waters break again Interpret him in undertone
In the white and perfect day. With a meaning of their own,
Nay! nay ! descend not yet, Measuring his melody
But higher, higher, higher, By their own souls' quality.
Up thro' the air and wet,
Thy wings in the solar fire !
There, hovering in ecstacy,
Sing, "Mystery, O mystery !”
O Lark ! O Lark! hadst thou the might The colour of a maiden heart,
Beyond the clouds to wing thy way, Heart's chastity is on her face,
To sing and soar in wondrous flight, She scents the air with nameless grace,
It might be well for men this day. And where she goes, with heart astir,
Beyond that cloud there is a zone, Colour and motion follow her.
And in that zone there is a land, And in that land, upon a throne,
A mighty Spirit sits alone, What should the singer sing
With musing cheek upon his hand.
And all is still and all is sweet,
Around the silence of his seat;
Beneath the waves of wonder flow, While I cheer her merrily,
And coolly on his hands and feet Come up high ! come up high! to a cloud in
The years melt down as falling snow. the sky! And sing of your soul with me!”
O Lark ! O Lark !
Up! for thy wings are strong;
While the day is breaking, Scowling face his palms between,
And the city is waking, Judd the cracksman meditates
Sing a song of wrong Treason deep against his mates;
Sing of the weak man's tears, For his great hands itch to hold
of the strong man's agony, Both the pardon and the gold;
The passion, the hopes, the fears, Still he listens unaware,
The heaped-up pain of the years, Scowling round with sullen stare,
The terrible mystery. Gnawing at his under lip,
O Lark ! we might rejoice, Pond'ring friends and fellowship,
Could'st reach that distant land, Thinking of a friendly thing
For we cannot hear His voice, Done to him in suffering,
And we often miss His hand; And of happy days and free
And the heart of each is ice Spent in that rough companie;
To the kiss of sister and brother; Till he seeks the bait no more,
And we see that one man's vice And the Lark is conqueror.
Is the virtue of another;
Yes, each that hears thee sing
Translates thy song to speech,
And, lo! the rendering “Who sells his friend is mean;
Ís so different with each. Better hang than drain
The mighty are oppressed, The cursed gold of the Queen
The foul man winneth best, A whip for the rogue who'd tell
Wherever we seek, our gain The lives of his pals away
Is bitter, and salt with pain, Better the rope and the cell !
In one soft note and long Better the devils of Hell !
Gather our sense of wrong Come away ! come away!”
Rise up, 0 Lark ! from the clod,
Up, up, with soundless wings,-
Rise up to God! rise up, rise up, to God! O Lark ! ( Lark !
Tell Him these things! Up, up! for it is light,
From The Saturday Review. making society lenient to the little follies of MÉS ALLIANCES.
married women, unless too strongly pro
nounced — partly because the human heart THE French system of parents arranging insists on a certain amount of free will, the marriage of their children without the which fact must be recognised; but partly, consent of the girl even being asked, but we must remember, because of the want of assumed as granted, is not so wholly mon- the young-lady element in society. In strous as many people in England believe. England, where our girls are let loose early, It seems to be founded on the idea that, we have free-trade in flirting; consequently, given a young girl who has been kept shut we think that all that sort of thing ought to up from all possibility of forming the most be done with before marriage, and that, shadowy attachment for any man whatso- when once a woman has made her choice ever, and present to her as her husband a and put ber neck under the yoke, she ought sufficiently well-endowed and nice-looking to stick to her bargain, and loyally fulfil her man, with whom come liberty, pretty dress- self-imposed engagement. es, balls, admiration, and social standing, One consequence of this free-trade in the chances are that she will love him and flirting and this large amount of personal live with him in tolerable harmony to the liberty is that love-marriages are more freend of the chapter; and this idea is by no quent with us than with the French, with means wholly beside the truth, as we find it whom indeed, in the higher classes, they are in practice. The parents, who are better. next to impossible; and, unfortunately, the judges of character and circumstances than corollary to this is that love-marriages are the daughter can possibly be, are supposed too often mésalliances. There is of course to take care that their future son-in-law is up no question, ethically, between virtuous to tbeir standard, wbatever that may be, vulgarity and refined vice. A groom who and that the connexion is not of a kind to smells of the stable, and who speaks broad bring discredit on their house; and on this, Somersetshire or racier Cumberland, but and the joint income, as the solid bases, who is brave, faithful, honest, incapable of they build the not very unreasonable hy- a lie, or meanness in any form, is a better pothesis that one man is as good as another man than the best-bred gentleman whose for the satisfaction of a quite untouched life is as vicious as his soul is mean. The and virginal fancy, and that suitable exter- most undeniable taste in dress, and the nal conditions go further and last longer most correct pronunciation, would scarcely than passion. They trust to the force of reconcile us to cruelty, falsehood, or cowinstinct to make all square with the affec- ardice; and yet we do not know a father tions, while they themselves arrange for the who would prefer to give his girl to the smooth running of the social circumstances; groom, and who would think horny-handed and they are not far out in their calculations. virtue, dressed in fustian and smelling of The young people of the two lonely fight- tbe stables, the fitter husband of the two. house islands, who made love to each other If we take the same case out of our own time through telescopes, are good examples of and circumstances, we have no doubt as to the way in which instinct simulates the im- the choice to be made. It seems to us a pulse which calls itself love when there are very little matter that honest Charicles two or three instead of one to look at; for should tell his love to Aglaë in the broad we may be quite sure that had the light- Doric tongue instead of in the polished house island youth been John instead of Athenian accents to which she was accusJames, fair instead of dark, garrulous in- tomed ; that he should wear his chiton a stead of reticent, short and fat instead of hand's breadth too long or a span too short; tall and slender, the lighthouse island girl that his chlamys should be flung across his would have loved him all the same, and brawny chest in a way which the young would have quite believed that this man bloods of the time thought ungraceful; or was the only man she ever could have loved, that, as he assisted at a symposium, he and that her instinctive gravitation was her should not hold the rhyton at quite the profree choice. The French system of mar- per angle, but in a fashion at which the reriage, then, based on this accommodating in- fined Cleon laughed as he nudged his neighstinct, works well for women who are not bour. Yet all these conventional solecisms, strongly individual, not inconstant by tem- of no account whatever now, would have perament, and not given to sentimentality. weighed heavily against poor Charicles But, seeing that all women are not merely when he went to demand Aglaë's hand; and negative, and that passions and affections the balance would probably have gone do sometimes assert themselves inconve- down in favour of that scampish Cleon, wlio niently, the system has had the effect of was an Athenian of the Athenians, perfect
in all the graces of the age, but not to be understands then how right his parents were compared to his rival in anything that makes when they cashiered his pretty Jane as a man noble or respectable. We, who soon as they became aware of what was read only from a distance, and do not see, going on, and sent that artful Sarah to the think that Aglaë's father made a mistake, right about - just a week too late. It is and that the honester man would have been the same with girls; but in a far greater exthe better choice of the two. It is only tent. If a youth's mésalliance is a millstone when we bring the same circumstances home round his neck for life, a girl's is simply to ourselves that we realize the immense destruction. The natural instinct with all importance of the social element; and how, women is to marry above themselves; and in this complex life of ours, we are unable we know on what physiological basis this to move in a single line independent of all instinet stands, and what useful social ends its touches. Imagine a fine old country it serves. And the natural instinct is as true family with a son-in-law who ate peas with in its social as in its physiological expreshis knife, said “ you was ” and “they is,” sion. A woman's honour is in her husband ; and came down to dinner in a shooting- her status, her social life, are determined jacket and a blue bird's-eye tied in a wisp by his; and even the few women who, hayabout his throat ! He might be possessor ing made a bad marriage, have nerve and of all imaginable virtues, and, if occasion character enough to set themselves free required, a very hero and a preux chevalier, from the personal association, are never however rough; but occasions in which a able to thoroughly regain their maiden man can be a hero or a preux chevalier are place. There is always something about rare, whereas dinner comes every day, and them that clogs and fetters them, always a the senses are never shut. The core within kind of aura of a doubtful and depressing a conventionally ungainly envelope may be kind that surrounds and influences them. as sound as is possible to a corrupt human- If they have not strength to free themselves, ity, but social life requires manners as well they never cease to feel the mistake they as principles; and though eating peas with have made, until the old sad process of dea knife is not so bad as telling falsehoods, generation is accomplished, and the " grossstill we should all agree in saying, Give us ness of his nature" has had strength to drag truth that does not eat peas with its knife, her down. After a time, if her ladyhood let us have honesty in a dress coat and pure-has been of a superficial kind only, a woman heartedness in a clean shirt, seeing that who has married beneath herself may ease there is no absolute necessity for these down into her groove, and be like the man several things to be disunited.
she has married; if, however, she has suffiLove-marriages, made against the will of cient force to resist outside influences she the parents before the character is formed, will not sink, but she will never cease to and while the obligations to society are still suffer. She has sinned against herself, her unrealized, are generally mésalliances based class, and her natural instincts; and so has on passion and fancy only. A man or done substantially a worse thing than the woman of a mature age who knows what he boy who has married his mother's maid. or she wants may make a mésalliance, but Society understands this, and, not unjustly, it is made with a full understanding and de- if harshly, punishes the one while it lets the liberate choice; and if the thing turns out other go scot-free; so that the woman who badly, they can blame themselves less for makes a mésalliance suffers on every side, precipitancy than for wrong, calculation. and destroys her life almost as much as the The man of fifty who marries his cook woman who goes wrong. All this is as eviknows what he most values in women. It is dent to parents and elders as that the sun not manners, and it is not accomplishments; shines. They understand the imperative perhaps it is usefulness, perhaps good-tem- needs of social life, and they know how per; at all events it is something that the cook fleeting the passions of youth are, and how has and that the ladies of his acquaintance they fade by time and use and inharmonious have not, and he is content to take the dis- conditions ; and they feel that their first duty advantages of his choice with its advantages. to their children is to prevent a mésalliance But the boy who runs away with his mother's which has nothing, and can have nothing, maid neither calculates nor sees any disad- but passion for its basis. But novelists and vantages. He marries a pretty girl because poets are against the hard dull dictates of her beauty has touched his senses, or he is worldly wisdom, and join in the apotheosis got hold of by an artful woman who has of love at any cost all for love and the bamboozled and seduced him. It is only world well lost; love in a cottage, with when his passion has worn off that he wakes nightingales and honeysuckles as the chief to the full consequences of his mistake, and means of paying the rent; Libusa and her