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LESSON XLII.

Parody* on the preceding.-BLACKWOOD's MAGAZINE.

Near where yon brook flows babbling through the dell, From whose green bank those upland meadows swell, See where the rector's splendid mansion stands, Embosomed deep in new-enclosed lands,Lands wrested from the indigent and poor, Because, forsooth, he holds the village cure.t A man is he whom all his neighbours fear, Litigious, haughty, greedy, and severe

e; And starving, with a thousand pounds a year.

Midst crowds and sports he passed his youthful prime; Retirement had, with him, been deemed a crime: When the young blood danced joc'und through his veins, 'Tis said his sacred stolet received some stains. By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour, By friends, or fawning, he lays claim to power : For, three fat livings own his goodly sway; Two wretched curates starve upon

his

pay.
Celestial Charity, that heavenly guest,
Could ne'er find entrance to his close-locked breast :
The common vagrants pass his well-known gate
With terror's hasty step, and looks of hate;
For well they know the suffering poor he mocks ;
Their wants are promised Bridewell|| or the stocks.
The soldier, seamed with honourable scars,
The sailor, hasting from his country's wars,
In vain to him may tell their wo-fraught tale;
Their wounds, their eloquence, may not prevail :
Though, by their valour, he in peace remains,
He never gives a mite, to soothe the wanderers' pains.

Thus to depress the wretched is his pride;
His seeming virtues are to vice allied ;
Backward to duty, bateful to his ears
Sound the church bells to summon him to prayers ;

* Parody ;--A kind of writing, in which the words of an author, or his thoughts, are taken, and, by a slight change, adapted to some other subject. + Cure -The office or employment of a curate or clergyman.

Stole ; --A long robe worn by the clergy in England. || Bridewell ;-Å house of correction.

And, like the wolf that stole into the fold,
And slew the sheep, in woolly vestments rolled,
Still bent on gain, he watcheth night and day,
To rend and make God's heritage his prey.

Called to the bed where parting life is laid,
With what reluctance is the call obeyed !
A few brief prayers in haste he mutters o’er,
For time is precious, and the sick man poor;
Fancy, even now, depictures to his eye
Some neighbour's pigs forth-issuing from the sty,
Whose wicked snouts his new-formed banks uproot,
Close in the ditch, and lop the hawthorn shoot.
Full many a luckless hog, in morning round,
He drives, deep grunting, to the starving pound.

When in the church, that venerable place,
A sullen frown o'erspreads his haughty face:
A preacher's frown conviction should impart,
But oft his smile should cheer the drooping heart.
He blunders through the prayers with hasty will,
A school-boy would be whipped who read so ill,
Then mounts the pulpit with a haughty mien,
Where more of pride than godliness is seen;
Some fifteen minutes his discourse will last,
And thus the business of the week is past.

The service o'er, no friendly rustics run
To shake his hand; his steps the children shun;
None for advice or comfort round him

press,
Their joys would charm not, nor their cares distress;
To notice them they know he's all too proud;
His liveried lackeys spurn the village crowd.
When for the mourner heaved his breast the sigh !
When did compassion trickle from his eye!
Careless is he if weal or wo betide,
If dues and tithes be punctually supplied.

Such is the man blind chance, not God, hath given To be the guide of humble souls to heaven. To preach of heaven he'll sometimes condescend, But all his views and wishes earthward tend. Like a tall guide-post, towering o'er the way, Whose lettered arms the traveller's route display, Fixed to one spot, it stands upon the down, Its hand still pointing to the distant town.

LESSON XLIII.

Elegy on Mrs. Mary Blaize.---GOLDSMITH.

Good people all, with one accord,

Lament for Madam Blaize ; Who never wanted a good word

From those who spoke her praise.

The needy seldom passed her door,

And always found her kind; She freely lent to all the poor

Who left a pledge behind.

She strove the neighbourhood to please

With manner wonderous winning; And never followed wicked ways

Unless when she was sinning.

At church, in silks and satins new,

With hoop of monstrous size, She never slumbered in her pew

But when she shut her eyes

Her love was sought, I do aver,

By twenty beaux, and more;
The king himself has followed her
When she has walked before.

But now, her wealth and finery fled,

Her hangers-on cut short all, Her doctors found, when she was dead

Her last disorder mortal.

Let us lament, in sorrow sore;

For Kent-Street well may say, That, had she lived a twelvemonth more--

She had not died to-day.

LESSON XLIV.

The sick Man and the Angel.-GAY.

“ Is there no hope ?” the sick man said : The silent doctor shook his head; And took his leave with signs of sorrow, Despairing of his fee to-morrow. When thus the man, with gasping breath : “I feel the chilling hand of death. Since I must bid the world adieu, Let me my former life review. I

grant my bargains were well made; But all men over-reach in trade. 'Tis self-defence in each profession: Sure self-defence is no transgression.

“ The little portion in my hands, By good security on lands, Is well increased. If, unawares, My justice to myself and heirs Hath let my debtor rot in jail, For want of good sufficient bail ; If I, by writ, or bond, or deed, Reduced a family to need; My will hath made the world amends : My hope on charity depends. When I am numbered with the dead, And all my pious gifts are read, By heaven and earth! 'twill then be known, My charities were amply shown." An Angel came.

"Ah! friend," he cried, "No more in flattering hopes confide : Can thy good deeds, in former times, Outweigh the balance of thy crimes ? What widow or what orphan prays To crown thy life with length of days ?A pious action's in thy power: Embrace with joy the happy hour. Now, while you draw the vital air, Prove your intention is sincere: This instant give a hundred pound : Your neighbours want, and you abound."

“But why such haste ?" the sick man whines,
“Who knows as yet what heaven designs !
Perhaps I may recover still :
That sum, and more, are in my will."

“Fool!” says the Vision, " now 'tis plain,
Your life, your soul, your heaven, was gain :
From every side, with all your might,
You scraped, and scraped beyond your right;
And, after death, would fain atone,
By giving what is not your own."
“While there is life, there's hope,” he cried :
“Then why such haste ?" so groaned and died.

LESSON XLV.

The Voice of the Seasons.-— Alison. THERE is, in the revolution of time, a kind of warning voice, which summons us to thought and reflection; and every season, as it arises, speaks to us of the analogous character which we ought to maintain. From the first openings of the spring, to the last desolation of winter, the days of the year are emblematic of the state and of the duties of man; and, whatever may be the period of our journey, we can scarcely look up into the heavens, and mark the path of the sun, without feeling either something to animate us upon our course, or to reprove us for our delay.

When the spring appears, when the earth is covered with its tender green, and the song of happiness is heard in every shade, it is a call to us to religious hope and joy. Over the infant year

the breath of heaven seems to blow with paternal softness, and the heart of man willingly partakes in the joyfulness of awakened nature.

When summer reigns, and every element is filled with life, and the sun, like a giant, pursues his course through the firmament above, it is the season of adoration. We see there, as it were, the majesty of the present God; and, wherever we direct our eye, the glory of the Lord seems to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

When autumn comes, and the annual miracle of nature is completed, it is the appropriate season of thankfulness and praise. The heart bends with instinctive gratitude before

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