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old-fashioned parlour! I can remember, as well as if I had seen them but yesterday, the noble flowers on the crimson damask chair-covers and window-curtains; and those curiously carved tables and chairs. I could describe every one of the stories on the Dutch tiles that surrounded the grate, the rich China ornaments .on the wide mantel-piece, and the pattern of the paper hangings, which consisted alternately of a parrot, a poppy, and a shepherdess,-a parrot, a poppy, and a shepherdess.

The room being so little used, the window-shutters were rarely opened; but there were three holes cut in each, in the shape of a heart, through which, day after day, and year after year, I used to watch the long, dim, dusty sunbeams, streaming across the dark parlour. I should mention, however, that I seldom missed a short visit from my master and mistress on a Sunday morning, when they came down stairs dy dressed for church. I can remember how my mistress used to trot in upon her highheeled shoes; unfold a leaf of one of the shutters; then come and stand straight before me; then turn half round to the right and left; never failing to see if the corner of her wellstarched handkerchief was pinned exactly in the middle. I think I can see her now, in her favourite dove-coloured lustring, (which she wore every Sunday in every summer for seven years at the least,) and her long, full ruffles, and worked apron. Then followed my good master, who, though his visit was somewhat shorter, never failed to come and settle his Sunday wig before me.

Time rolled away, and my master and mistress, with all that appertained to them, insensibly suffered from its influence. When I first knew them, they were a young, blooming couple as you would wish to see; but I gradually perceived an alteration. My mistress began to stoop a little ; and my master got a cough, which troubled him, more or less, to the end of his days. At first, and for many years, my mistress' foot upon the stairs was light and nimble, and she would come in as blithe and as brisk as a lark; but, at last, it was slow, heavy step; and even my master's began to totter. And, in these respects, every thing else kept pace with them : the crimson damask, that I remembered so fresh and bright, was now faded and worn; the dark polished mahogany was, in some places, worm eaten; the parrot's gay plumage on the walls grew dull; and I myself, though long unconscious of it, partook of the universal decay.

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The dissipated taste I acquired upon my first introduction to society, had, long since, subsided; and the quiet, sombre life I led, gave me a grave, meditative turn. The change, which I witnessed in all things around me, caused me to reflect much on their vanity; and when, upon the occasions before-mentioned, I used to see the gay, blooming faces of the young saluting me with so much complacency, I would fain have admonished them of the alteration they must soon undergo, and have told them how certainly their bloom, also, must fade away as a flower. But, alas ! you know, sir, looking-glasses can only reflect.

LESSON LX.

*

The Silent Expression of Nature.---ANONYMOUS. “ There is no speech nor language-their voice is not heard.”—Ps. xix. 3.

WHEN, thoughtful, to the vault of heaven

I lift my wondering eyes,
And see the clear and quiet even

To night resign the skies,
The moon, in silence, rear her crest,

The stars, in silence, shine,-
A secret rapture fills my breast,

That speaks its birth divine.
Unheard, the dews around me fall,

And heavenly influence shed,
And, silent, on this earthly ball,

Celestial footsteps tread.
Aërial music wakes the spheres,

Touched by harmonious powers :
With sounds, unheard by mortal ears,

They charm the lingering hours.
Night reigns, in silence, o'er the pole,
And spreads her gems

unheard : Her lessons penetrate the soul,

Yet borrow not a word.

* From “ Musæ Biblicæ," published, London, 1819.

Noiseless the sun emits his fire,

And pours his golden streams; And silently the shades retire

Before his rising beams.

The hand that moves, and regulates,

And guides the vast machine,That governs wills, and times, and fates,

Retires, and works unseen.
Angelic visitants forsake

Their amaranthine bowers;
On silent wing their stations take,

And watch the allotted hours.

Sick of the vanity of man,

His noise, and pomp, and show,-I'll move upon great Nature's plan,

And, silent, work below. With inward harmony of soul,

I'll wait the upper sphere; Shining, I'll mount above the pole,

And break my silence there.

LESSON LXI.

A Thought.-BLACKWOOD's MAGAZINE.

O could we step into the grave,

And lift the coffin lid,
And look upon the greedy worms

That eat away the dead
It well might change the reddest cheek

Into a lily white,
And freeze the warmest blood, to look

Upon so sad a sight!

Yet still it were a sadder sight,

If, in that lump of clay,
There were a sense, to feel the worms

So busy with their prey.

O pity, then, the living heart,

The lump of living clay,-
On which the canker-worms of guilt

Forever, ever prey.

LESSON LXII.

Fidelity.-WORDSWORTH.

À BARKING sound the shepherd hears,

A cry as of a dog or fox;-
He halts, and searches with his eyes

Among the scattered rocks :
And now, at distance, can discern
A stirring in a brake of fern,
From which immediately leaps out
A dog, and, yelping, runs about.

The dog is not of mountain breed;

Its motions, too, are wild and shy; With something--as the shepherd thinks

Unusual in its cry: Nor is there any one in sight, All round, in hollow, or on height; Nor shout, nor whistle, strikes his ear:What is the creature doing here?

It was a coye, a huge recess,

That keeps, till June, December's snow; A lofty precipice in front,

A silent tarn* below!
Far in the bosom of Helvellyn,
Remote from public road or dwelling,
Pathway or cultivated land,
From trace of human foot or hand.

There, sometimes, does a leaping fish

Send through the tarn a lonely cheer: The crags repeat the raven's croak,

In symphony austere.

* Tarn is a small mere or lake, mostly high up in the mountains.

Thither the rainbow comes; the cloud ;
And mists, that spread the flying shroud;
And sun-beams; and the sounding blast,
That, if it could, would hurry past :-
But that enormous barrier binds it fast.

Not knowing what to think, a while

The shepherd stood; then makes his way
Towards the dog, o'er rocks and stones,

As quickly as he may;
Nor far had gone, before he found
A human skeleton on the ground :
Sad sight! the shepherd, with a sigh,
Looks round, to learn the history.

From those abrupt and perilous rocks,

The man had fallen,—that place of fear!..
At length, upon'the shepherd's mind

It breaks, and all is clear.
He instantly recalled the name,
And who he was, and whence he came;
Remembered, too, the very day
On which the traveller passed this way.

But hear a wonder now, for sake

Of which this mournful tale I tell ! A lasting monument of words

This wonder merits well :The dog, which still was hovering* nigh, Repeating the same timid cry, This dog had been, through three months' space, A dweller in that savage place. Yes,t proof was plain, that, since the day

On which the traveller thus had died,
The dog had watched about the spot,

Or by his master's side :
How nourished here, through such long time,
He knows, who gave that love sublime,
And gave that strength of feeling, great
Above all human estimate.

* Pron. huvi-ur-ing.

yiss.

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