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CHARAOTER OF A FAIR AND HAPPY MILKMAID,

[By Sir Thomas Overbury.]

[Sir Thomas Overbury was a gentleman of good family, boro at Compton Scorfen, in Warwickshire, jo 1581. He was educated at Oxford. He became me great favourite in the Court of King James the First, bot soon fell à sacrifice to the jealousy of the infamous Earl of Somerset, who caused him to be poisoned in the Tower, in the 33d year of his age. Those concerned in the murder were after wards brought to justice. " He was the author of The Wife,' and other poems;' and of Characters,' from which the following is an extract. He was reputed one of the most accomplished men of his time.)

A FAIR and happy milkmaid is a country wench, that is so far from making herself beautiful by art, that one look of hers is able to put all face-physic out of countenance. She knows a fair look is but a dumb orator to commend virtue, therefore minds it not. All her excellences stand in her so silently, as if they had stolen upon her without her knowledge. The lining of her apparel, which is her. self, is far better than outsides of tissue; for though she be not arrayed in the spoil of the silk-worm, she is decked in innocence, a far better wearing. She doth not, with lying long in bed, spoil both her complexion and conditions : nature hath taught her too immoderate sleep is rust to the soul; she rises therefore with Chanticlere, her dame's cock, and at night makes the lamb her curfew. In milking a cow, and straining the teats through her fingers, it seems that so sweet a milk-press makes the milk whiter or sweeter; for never came almond-glore, or aromatic ointment on her palm to taint it. The golden ears of corn fall and kiss her feet when she reaps them, as if they wished to be bound and led prisoners by the same bạnd that felled them. Her breath is her own, which scents all the year long of June, like a new-made haycock. She makes her hand hard with labour, and her heart soft with pity; and when winter evenings fall early, sitting at her merry wheel, she sings defiance to the giddy wheel of fortune. She doth all things with so sweet a grace, it seems ignorance will not suffer her to do ill, being her mind is to do well, She bestows her year's wages at next fæir, and in chusing her garments, counts no bravery in the world like decency. The garden and bee-hive are all her physic and surgery, and she lives the longer for it. She dares go alone and unfold sheep in the sight, and fears no manner of ill, because she means none; yet, to say truth, she is never alone, but is still accompanied with old son 2s, honest thoughts, and prayers, but short ones : yet they have their efficacy, in that they are not palled with ensuing idle cogitations. Lastly, her dreams are so chaste, that she dare tell them ; only a Friday's dream is all her superstition; that she .conceals for fear of anger. Thus lives she, and all her care is, she may die in the spring time, to have store of fowers stuck upon her winding-sheet.

STORY OF A BETROTHED PAIR ;

· From Crabbe's Borough.

Mr. Crabbe is a living writer of the most original excellence. He has published several volumes of Poetry, in which he has chosen for his subjects the peculiar virtues and vices, blessings and miseries, of humble life. He has looked upon the Labouring Classes with the most diligent observation; and he has written concerning them in a manner that must awaken the most Christian feelings in themselves, and the warmest benevolence in those who have the means of doing them service, The following pathetic story is a beautiful specimen of bis powers." Mr. Crabbe is a Clergyman of ihe Church of England.]

YES! there are real mourners- I have seen
A fair, sad Girl, mild, suffering, and serene ;
Attention (through the day) her duties claim'd,

And to be useful as resign'd she aim'd;
· Neatly she drest, nor vainly seem'd t expect

Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect;: .
But when her wearied parents sunk to sleep,
She sought her place to meditate and weep;
Then to her mind was all the past display'd,
That faithful memury brings to sorrow's aid :
For then she thought on one regretted Youth,
Her tender trust, and his unquestion'd truth;
In every place she wander'd, where they'd been,
And sadly-sacred held the parting scene ;
Where last for sea he took his leave—that place
With double interest would she nightly trace ;
For long the Courtship was; and he would say,
Each time he sail'd— This once, and then the day :!,
Yet prudence tarried; but when last he went,
He drew from pitying love a full consent.

Happy he sail'd, and great the care she took
That he should softly sleep, and smartly look ;
White was his better linen, and his check
Was made more trim than any on the deck;
And every comfort men at sea can know,
Was her's to buy, to make, and to bestow :
For he to Greenland sail'd, and much she told
How he should guard against the climate's cold;
Yet saw not danger; dangers he'd withstood,
Nor could she trace the fever in his blood :
His messmates smil'd at flushings in his cheek,
And he too smil'd, but seldom would he speak;
For now he found the danger, felt the pain,
With grievous symptoms he could not explain ;
Hope was awaken'd, as for home he sail'd,
But quickly sank, and never more prevail'd.

He call’d his friend, and prefac'd with a sigh
A lover's message, Thomas, I must die :

Would I could see my Sally, and could rest My throbbing temples on her faithful breast, And gazing go !--if not, this trifle take, And say, till death I wore it for her sake : “Yes! I must die-blow on, sweet breeze, blow on!

Give me one look before my life be gone ;
• Oh! give me that, and let me not despair,
• One last fond look-and now repeat the prayer.'

He had his wish, had more; I will not paint
The Lovers' meeting : she beheld him faint;
With tender fears she took a nearer view,
Her terrors doubling as her hopes withdrew;
He tried to smile, and, half succeeding, said,
" Yes !.. I must die,' and hope for ever fled.

Stili lòng she nurs’d him ; tender thoughts meantime
Were interchang'd, and hopes and views sublime.
To her he came to die, and every day
She took some portion of the dread away ;
With him she pray'd, to him his Bible read,
Sooth'd the faint heart, and held the aching head;
She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer;
Apart she sigh’d; alone, she shed the tear;
Then, as if breaking from a cloud, she gave
Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave.

One day he lighter seem'd, and they forgot
The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot;
They spoke with cheerfulness, and seem’d to think,
Yet said not so- perhaps he will not sink.'
A sudden brightness in his look appear’d,
A sudden vigour in his voice was heard ;-
She had been reading in the Book of Prayer,
And led him forth and plac'd him in his chair;
Lively he seem'd, and spoke of all he knew,
The friendly many, and the favourite few ;
Nor one that day did he to mind recall,
But she has treasur'd, and she loves them all ;
When in her way she meets them, they appear
Peculiar people-death has made them dear.
He nam’d his Friend, but then his hand she prest,
And fondly whisper'd, “Thou must go to rest;'*
"I go,' he said ; but as he spoke, she found
Ilis hand more cold, and fluttering was the sound;
Then gaz'd affrighten'd; but she caught a last,
A dying look of love--and all was past!

She plac'd a decent stone his grave above,
Neatly engrav'd-an offering of her love ;
Før that she wrought, for that forsook her bed, :
Awake alike to duty and the dead :
She would have griev'd, had friends presumed to spare
The least assistance—twas her proper care.

Here will she come and on the grave will sit,
Folding her arms, in long abstracted fit;
But if observer pass will take her round,
And careless seem, for she would not be found;
Then go again, and thus her hour employ,
While visions please her, and while woes destroy.

THE CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE.

[By Sir Henry Wotton.] [Sir Henry Wotton was born in 1568. He was educated at Winchester, and af New College, Oxford ; and after travelling througli most of the countries of Europe, was employed by King James I. as his Ambassador to several of the Foreign Courts. As a reward for his faithful services, he was' appointed (although a Layman) Provost of Eton College, in 1623, where he died 1639.

The latter days of this accomplished Scholar were spent in literary retirement, during which he composed many valuable works in History, Science, and Poetry, of which the following is an interesting specimen.]

: How happy is he born and taught,

That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill.

Whose passions not his masters' are,
Whose soul is still prepard for death;
Untied' unto the world by care
Of public fame, or private breath.

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice hath ever understood ;
How deepest wounds are given by praise,
Nor rules of state, but rules of good.

Who bath his life from rumours freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat:
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great.

Who God doth late and early pray,
More of his grace then gifts to lend :
And entertains the harmless day:
With a religious book, or friend.

This man is freed from servile bands,
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall :
Lord of himself,, though not of länds,
And having nothing, yot hath"all.

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- A FAMILIAR acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures is absolutely incumbent upon all who have the means of reading them. In these days, when Education is open to every one, few can stand excused for remaining ignorant of the Word of God. But it is not found that the most ignorant are always the most disinclined to this study. It is disheartening to observe the number of those who, with every qualification to examine the Bible for themselves, still leave it on the shelf, or open it but for form's sake on Sundays. To such we would remark, that they little know its value even as an historical work, as a book of mere amusement, still less its importance as containing all that is essential to Salvation. Thousands neglect it as a dull Book, and tens of thousands refuse to unclasp it lest they should find themselves condemned in every page.

Many persons rest satisfied with a confused notion of its contents, and think their duty perforined by reading a Chapter now and then as a Task. Such readers know as little of the Bible as of the Koran, and if suddenly called upon to give an account of it, would be utterly at a loss what to answer. More persons of Education share in this gross ignorance than are willins to confess it. We are persuaded that many well acquainted with the general history and literature of their country, are more ignorant of the Bible than the humblest Charity-Boy.

Sensible of the importance of doing all in our power to lessen the number of those who are yet strangers to the Sacred Writings, we propose to lay before our Readers a Summary Account of the Books of the Old and New Testament, to enable any of our Readers who may not hitherto have had leisure or inclination to seek such informa, tion for themselves, more clearly to perceive the connection and mutual dependence of the several parts of Scripture.

These Lectures are the substance of a course of familiar addresses personally delivered on board one of His Majesty's Ships on a foreiga station. The cordiality with which they were received, and the þigh' satisfaction the author experienced from this endeavour to

VOL. I.

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