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THE ITINERANT'S WIFE.
And unto pitying friends doth say,
Give us where we may lay our dead.” BY AN ITINERANT'S DAUGHTER.
Small graves far, far apart are found
Upon a wide, wide burial ground. She is her gray-haired father's pride,
She is her mother's surest stay : One stands and whispers by her side,
Still swiftly on the years do go; " Will you leave these and come away?
Her heart with zeal and love is warm ; Lo ! East and West and South and North
Her hands are weak, her step is slow,
And thin and nerveless is her form.
Her people seldom see her face,
She does not visit anywhere ; My Lord bids me a reaper be ;
They wonder that so oft her place Will you go forth and work with me?”
Is vacant in the house of prayer.
They think not of her many cares,
Nor all the weight of pain she bears.
Thus, day by day, her duties grow
More heavy, but her strength is gone ; Her new life awes her with its weight
But that the others may not know, Of earnestness ; “O Christ,” she prays,
She meekly toileth on and on, “ Help me to honor my estate.
Till strangers take the work away, She lives a pure, devoted life
And let the weary fingers rest; The young itinerant’s noble wife.
They fold the hands grown cold as clay,
And lay them on her quiet breast ;
There falls a silence over all,
There comes the shadow of the pall.
Her years the bell rings on the air,
We wonder they so soon are told, To firm-laced vines in kindly soils ;
For there was silver in her hair, The summer comes—"Arise, and go !”
And we had thought that she was old. She looseneth the clinging coils,
We say, “ 'Tis well that she hath died, And forth again doth sadly roam
For she was weak and frail at best; To find another transient home.
He soon will find another bride,
One of more zeal and strength possessed.” These early years with hope are bright,
We speak with dry and careless tone, Her heart with zeal and love is warm ;
He and his children grieve alone. Her hands are strong, her step is light,
And lithe and buoyant is her form. Her household is in order found,
They, standing on the hither shore
Of that dark stream that onward rolls, The most exacting call it good;
With ceaseless flow and sullen roar, She visits all the circuit round,
Unto the shadowy land of souls, Just as the pastor's helpmeet should ;
Watch where her life-boat went across, Her footsteps linger by the door Where dweil the suff’ring and the poor.
And though they feel that she is blest, They struggle with a sense of loss,
And long to follow her to rest ; Time glideth by on swiftest wings ;
Then hide their loneliness and pain, She bears the name of mother now;
And turn them to their toil again. Deep joy unto her heart it brings,
But lines of care unto her brow. For wants are many, income small,
She, standing on the farther shore, And given oft with poorest grace ;
Greeteth her loved ones on the strand Her children must be fitted all
Who went across the stream before : To fill in life an honored place ;
She takes her children by the hand, She layeth self aside for this,
And in the light of God's white throne, And counteth sacrifice as bliss.
Reads her life-pages, one by one.
That what she had not understood-
What here seemed ill and strange and blind Small, busy hands grow strangely still ; Hath wrought out everlasting good : Small feet no longer tread the floor,
Thus happy, blessed for evermore Small forms lie stretched out white and chill. She waits upon the farther shore. The mother weepeth by the clay,
-Methodist Advocate and Journal. The father stands with bowing head,
From The Dublin University Magazine. of entering. From Zoroaster to the man who THE SCIENCE AND TRADITIONS OF THE subjects household furniture to sleight-ofSUPERNATURAL.
hand tricks, all professors and disciples of MAGIC, SORCERY, AND WITCHCRAFT. forbidden arts are obnoxious to be ranged in The wide and full view of nature and its one of these categories. operations enjoyed by our first parents was It would take us out of our way to examine probably much contracted after their fall, and the various processes through which the clear only descended in a fragmentary manner to insight, accorded to our first parents of the their posterity. After the flood, this treas- relation in which all creatures stand to the ure, diminished and broken up, was far from Creator, passed in degenerating to the worbeing common property to the sons of the ship of created things, human passions, the children of Noah. It remained in greatest functions of nature, and the souls of departed fulness among the heads of families of the de- heroes. It is merely requisite for our pur, „scent of Heber ; and, when idolatry began to pose to say that the heavenly bodies, so mysprevail, it continued in an inferior and per- terious in their unapproachableness, and in verted form among the Assyrian and Egyptian their motions, and the undoubted influence priests. Among them were known, or be- of the apparently largest two on the condition lieved to be known, all means by which of the parent earth, became chief objects of knowledge of present and future things, and adoration. The prolific earth, which appeared of the cure of diseases, could be innocently to give birth to all living beings, to furnish obtained, or evilly wrung from spiritual pow- them with food, and all things essential to
This knowledge got in time the name their existence, and in whose bosom all seek of magic, for which different derivations have their final rest, was the loved, the genial been given. “Priestly knowledge” is prob- Alma Mater. Her handmaidens, the subtle ably the best equivalent. When any one and (as was supposed) simple elements, the gifted with a portion of this science chose to water, the fire, and the air, came in for their exert it for the mere attainment of power or measure of worship. The original notion of temporal possessions, or for the destruction the heavenly messengers and guardian angels or harm of others, he was looked on as a ma- became deteriorated in time to that of dæmons lignant sorcerer or witch would be in modern or genii. Our modern verse-makers, when times. Sir Edward Bulwer, who has made mentioning the genius of Rome, the genius magic, in its use and abuse, his particular of Cæsar, etc., scarcely reflect that what to study, has well individualized the higher them is a mere poetic image, was an existing, class of sages in the noble-minded Zanoni, and potent being to the contemporaries of the the evil-disposed professors in Arbaces, priest Tarquinii, tho Fabii, and the Julian family. of Isis, and the poison-concocting witch of As has been observed, nothing evil was Vesuvius.
necessarily connected with the word magic. There were at all times individuals tor- The Persian Magi were well qualified to rule mented with a desire to penetrate the designs their subjects by their superior attainments of Providence, the cause and mode of natural in science. They sacrificed to the gods; they processes ever before their eyes, the dark consulted them on their own affairs, but parmysteries of life, and of the union of mind ticularly as to the issue of events pregnant and matter, and they ardently longed that with the weal or woe of their people. The these deep and inexplicable arcana should Egyptian priests were depositories of all the become intelligible to their intellect. knowledge that had survived the dispersion
These classes of men saw within the range at Babel in a fragmentary form. Both priests of their mental and bodily faculties no means and Magi had recourse to rites in presence of of gratifying their wishes. Unblessed with the people for the foreknowledge of future patience or acquiescence in the Divine : ill, events. This, in fact, formed a portion of or faith in the power, or confidence in the the state religion; but an acquaintance with goodness of the Creator, they determined on more recondite and solemn ceremonies, which devising some means to oblige those beings they practised in secret, was carefully kept whose presence cannot be detected by bodily from the commonalty. organs, to be their guides through the laby While the Greeks and Romans paid divine rinth which they never should have thought honors to Jupiter and Juno, or their doubles,
Zeus and Héré, and the other divinities, great the goddess Circe, who can do nothing better and less great, some tradition of the primeval than direct him to sail to the confines of Ortruth held its ground among the more intel-cus, situate on the outer rim of the earth-enligent, and the existence of a Supreme Ruler circling ocean stream, and consult the shade was acknowledged. With some Destiny was of the blind Seer Tiresias. He arrives at the chief ruler, and an uneasy feeling was abroad gloomy beach that never basked in the warm that Jove would be deprived of power some light of the sun, scoops an ell-wide trench, day. It was the same in the Scandinavian pours into it milk, honey, water, wine, and mythology. The giants and the wolf Fenris meal, and last, the blood of the black ewe were to prevail against the Asir, though and ram given him by the enchantress. No themselves were, in turn, to perish also, and sooner has the blood been poured in than the after this twilight of the gods, the world was poor spectres of the mighty dead-hungry to be renewed under the sway of the All-Fa- and wan-crowd round the pit to drink the ther.
blood. The sage warrior's heart aches when Nearly everything in the mythologies was the shade of his revered mother presses fora corruption, or a distortion, or shadow of ward, impelled by hunger, and all ignorant some primeval revelation or religious ceremo- and regardless of the presence of her unhappy nial, or commandment solemnly given. son. Oh, stern destiny! he knows her well
The dread inhabitants of Jotunheim, though enough, but is forced to keep her off at the inferior to Odin and his family in Asgard, sword's point till Tiresias has satisfied his were an enduring trouble to them, especially thirst in the sacrificial gore. Then after as they were aware of the dreadful strife learning the destiny of his house, he may when the horrible twilight was to come. permit the poor maternal shade to come and This had a parallel in the Grecian mythology. satisfy her unnatural appetite. The Titans, though subdued and bound, could This
be said to be the earliest account not be destroyed : and Prometheus, suffering of a necromantic rite, which was not, howtortures on his rock, was less in awe of Zeus ever, practicable in ordinary cases. If the than Zeus was of him. These views, both body had not obtained sepulchral rites, the Grecian and Scandinavian, were the remains poor, shivering soul could not cross the Styx, of early traditions of truths debased and dis- and perhaps it might avail itself of the opfigured. The powers of evil were permitted portunity to appal some late relative by its to exert their forces to contravene the designs ghastly presence, exhort him to collect its of Providence in reference to the human race. mortal relics, burn them, move three times Towards the end of the world their baleful round the pyro, and pronounce the farewell energies will be exerted with their fullest charm which privileged the poor shade to force, but to be finally crushed ; and then cross in Charon's cranky cockle-shell, and God's kingdom will indeed come, and all, enjoy the sad comforts of Elysium. Once except the thoroughly reprobate, will have there, the shade was deaf to the voices of all no will but his.
mortal charmers,* and the curious inquirer Etherealized beings as they were, the gods into futurity either consulted an oracle, or might perhaps be happy in Olympus feasting employed the legal trafficker in omens, or on their nectar and ambrosia ; but for their made solemn perquisitions to the evil or good own meagre, shivering shades, once this life genius who was born at the same moment, was past, they expected but a chill, comfort- and would at the same moment perish with less existence. A long life on the warm, him. The system of paganism, being based genial bosom of mother Earth formed their in error could not be expected to be consistent. most cherished wish, and the spiritual beings Whatever the Grecian poets might think conthat ruled the air, the earth, and hades, were cerning the state of the separated souls, their invoked and questioned as to the future earthly weal and woe of the consulters.
* There were exceptions, however, to this general
rule. Some terrible adepts in magic incantations What a disheartening picture is given in
were even powerful enough to draw down dread the eleventh book of the Odyssey of the exis- Hecate from her sphere; nay the Dii Majores tence after death, and of the gloomy rites themselves were obnoxious to their hellish charms.
In the Hindoo mythology such power couid be obperformed by Odysseus in order to know his tained by severe penances. Witness Southey's Keown future fortuncs. He leaves the abode of hama.
Roman brethren would persist in considering riod from wine, to drink water, to bathe, to the spirits of the good as taking interests in be fumigated, to be rubbed well, and in fact the weal of their native cities or their own to observe a regimen similar to what a skilful surviving families. They hovered unseen physician of modern times would recommend. near the family hearths, and were believed The sick man was put to rest (generally on to dwell in the little images, the Lares, which the skin of a black ram) * where no glimpse were placed near the kitchen fires. These of heaven's light could penetrate, and wbere loved and reverenced little images resembled no sound from the outer world could be heard. monkeys rather than men. They were ap- Next day he was questioned by the priests as propriately clad in the skins of the dog, the to how the night had passed ; and in most faithful house-guard, and their festivals were cases he had a vision of the god to communiheld in the genial month sacred to Maia. cate. The heavenly visitor had appeared in The souls of wicked men, the Larvæ or Le- such or such a guise, and had prescribed mures, employed themselves on the other such and such remedies. These remedies, hand in working evil to their survivors, whose mostly extracted from herbs, and generally lot they envied. They received a kind of wor- accompanied with superstitious circumstances ship arising from fear. They were besought and charms, were resorted to with a most unnot to work harm to the house nor its inmates, hesitating faith on the part of the invalid. but to be their defence against stranger be- The cures were numerous, and the failures ings of their class. The homage paid to but few. Access to the adytum of the god them had thus a Fetish character. Frightful was out of the question. It was a great little idols were made to propitiate them, and privilege to be allowed to approach the apartprobably to frighten away strange Larvæ. ment of high priest or priestess, and all the Teraphim * of this class have been discovered active agencies of the secret machinery of under entrances to buildings at Nineveh. the establishment were religiously kept a Some have thought that the little idols car- mystery to the profane. f Hence the manried away by Rachel were of this frightful agement of the sick worshippers can only be character. We incline rather to suppose guessed at. One of these two theories may them to belong to the class of the benevolent be rationally adopted. The priests, well acand protecting Lares.
quainted with the science of optics, and the As all the knowledge possessed by the other divisions of natural philosophy, as well priests and philosophers of heathen times as the skilful treatment of the sick, would and in which the generality of men did not find it a matter of little difficulty to present share—was properly magic, the name was to the patient under the influence of a narnot connected with any idea of evil. It was cotic, amid fumigations and sweet music, a the abuse of this knowledge, such as causing, personification of the deity of the temple, by incantations, gods or demi-gods, or souls and make him listen entranced to the words of departed men to appear, and do for the of wisdom, and the health-imparting oracles theurgist something evil and out of the or- proceeding from his sacred lips. dinary course of nature; this was what was Theory number two supposes the existence odious, to which they gave the name goetia, of animal magnetism. and which was continued under the Chris After the skilful preparation of the patient tian dispensation by the title of " sorcery.” already described, and while his faith was
In the Egyptian temples, and in those strong, and his expectation of seeing glorious raised to Appollo, Esculapius, and others, sights was eager and intense, and while his were dormitories devoted to the convenience senses of smelling and hearing were enof patients, who, previous to a near approach tranced, he was subjected to a process of anto the divinity were required to abstain for imal magnetism. Then, while gifted with some short time from food, for a longer pe
* When the highland chief wished his seer to * Repheh--one who relaxes with fear, or strikes bring him information from the world of spirits, he with terror.
caused him to take his unhallowed rest on the hide + In Russian cottages were to be seen not long of a newly-slain bull, and within hearing of a catsince the tutelar Obross. In an islet off one of the aract. The rite was in force when Herodotus was British isles, an unshapely stone is, or was some collecting materials for his history, a black sheeptime ago, propitiated with libations, so that he skin being the bed-sheet in the earlier period. might send some good shipwrecks.
+ Pro Fanum-before or outside the temple.
clairvoyance, and his attention powerfully | Now perceive I an odor-an odor it seemeth of directed to this or that matter connected
lamb's flesh, with his complaint, he gave utterance to the As boiling—as boiling in bronze—and mixed with
the flesh of a tortoise. names or descriptions of the medicines on Brass is beneath, and with brass is this covered which depended his cure.
all over." * the wise priests lighted on a happily-condi
And indeed, just then, Croesus was seethtioned subject, they did not neglect to direct ing a lamb and tortoise in a brazen pot corhis regards to scenes and events about which ered with a brazen lid. they required some definite information. If
The other question was- -whether the the passive instrument of the skill and knowl. king's son, then dumb, would ever enjoy edge of the priests retained any memory of the faculty of speech, and this was the anhis experience next morning, hê of course gave credit to the god for the fancied visions or ecstacies. His cure followed. Isis, or
“ Lydian, foolish of heart, although a potentate
mighty, Horus, or Ceres, or Apollo, was powerful Long not to hear the voice of a son in thy palace. and propitious; the priests were their wise 'Twill bring thee no good ; for know, his mouth and benevolent ministers and favorites, and
he will open, greater lustre and glory were shed on the Of all days, on the one most unlucky.”' fane in which these wonders occurred.
Croesus, on the point of being slain in his At Delphi, where a priestess was the me- last battle with Cyrus, was preserved by his dium through whom Apollo gave counsels hitherto dumb son crying out to the Persian and uttered prophecies, she was questioned soldier—" Man, do not kill Cræsus!” by her managers while her brain was excited One of three suppositions must be made in by intoxicating fumes. She needed to lead a relation to these answers. mortified and chaste life, otherwise excite 1st. Herodotus has related the things which ment produced death. The priests made a were not. happy selection, when choosing their instru 2d. The Pythia was in the magnetic sleep ment, among maids of a delicate organization, when she was asked the questions, saw the and fine-strung or partly diseased nervous events, and gave true answers. system. She was never seen by any of the 3d. The devil had a certain knowledge of numerous worshippers that thronged to the what was passing where he was not personally temple for insight into their future lives or present, and a limited knowledge of future relief from their present maladies. She was events, and was thus able to keep up the decarefully bathed, rubbed, anointed, fumi- lusions of mythology. gated, and in all respects treated as the un Old-fashioned Christians, who consider it sound suppliants who came to be healed at safest to look on the natural sense as the rule, this or that temple.
and the non-natural as the exception, when Among the answers given at Delphi are studying the historic portions of Scripture, two remarkable ones, both returned to Cree- will, if they trust to the good old Geoffrey sus, the rich King of Lydia. He directed his Keating, of Halicarnassus, adopt at once our ambassadors to inquire of the oracle on the third hypothesis. German rationalists and hundredth day after their departure, and at a their English admirers, and all who put faith certain hour of that day, how he (Croesus) in Mesmer's buckets and brass rods, and igwas employed at the moment. The priests nore the personality of the spirit of evil, and having their unhappy Pythia composed in the are certain that the demoniacs of Judea were magnetic trance at the moment, directed her only afflicted with epilepsy, will favor the from headland to headland; and, having second supposition. landed her on the Asian coast, spirited her We have now seen magi and priests using on to the palace of Sardis. What is the rich such lights as were vouchsafed to them for monarch of Lydia doing at this moment, cried the benefit of their kings and patrons, and they ? and an answer came in Greek hexam- for the recovery of the sick ; but, beside these eters :
reverently disposed sages, there were others “See, I number the sands ; the distances know of more or less proficiency in the learning of I of ocean ;
*“ Ennemoser's History of Magic,” translated by Hear even the dumb; comprehend, too, the William Howitt.
thoughts of the silent.