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From Good Words. POOR PEOPLE. (FROM VICTOR HUGO.)
'Tis night. The cabin door is shut, the room, Though poor, is warm, and has a flickering light
By which you just distinguish through the gloom
Near it a mattress on rude benches spread
The mother kneeling, anxious and alone. While out of doors, with foaming breakers white Unto the clouds, the winds, the rocks, the night, The gloomy ocean lifts its ceaseless moan.
Her husband is out fishing. From a lad
With chance and danger he has had to fight, No matter what the weather-good or bad; The children hunger, and are thinly clad;
So in his little sailing boat each night
Till, all the children being put to sleep,
Sound as it mocked her, dismal shadows press Into her mind - waves rolling mountain high, Fragments of wrecks, and sailors in distress. And all the while, pent in its wooden frame, The clock's impassive pulse beats on the same; Each beat a summons countless souls obey, To enter life or pass from life away.
She muses sadly. Very poor they are! Her children's feet in winter time are bare; They never dream of tasting wheaten bread. Oh how the wind keeps roaring over head! The waves are hammering the shore, on high The stars like sparks seem flying through the sky.
Midnight in cities, is the reveller gay,
Your flesh and blood, may be the billows' prey; That with their precious heads the rude winds play;
That ponder how you will you cannot tell
That they, to hold their own against the gale And the unfathomed waves that round them swell,
Have but a plank or two and strip of sail Wild with the thought, you run through sand and wrack,
Ay! poor fishers' wives! 'Tis piteous to your lonely selves to say That husbands, brothers, sons, your souls, your lives,
And pray the rising tide to bring them back.
But Jenny thinks no case is like her own, —
"No help!" she sighs, "the boys are all too small!"
Poor mother! saying now, "Were they but
Their father is alone "- the day draws nigh When they will share their father's perils. Then "Would they once more were children!" wilt thou cry.
She takes her lantern and her cloak- maybe
You'd say Day wept its birth as mortal children do.
She wanders on- no window shows a light.
"Ah! the poor widow-I forgot her quite! My husband found her worse the other day, I'll just look in, a friendly word to say. Sick and alone. -a dismal lot is hers!" She knocks, she listens, no one speaks or stirs Jenny stands shiv'ring at the broken door; "Sick and with such young children, sick and poor
She has but two, but then her husband's dead." She knocks and calls, "What, neighbour! all in bed?"
Still the same silence-"Well, she must sleep fast;
No use in calling." All at once the blast,
Beat on the door and blew it open wide.
She entered, and her lantern's feeble light Revealed the hovel's bare and ruined plight,
The rain fell through the roof on every side
When she got home it was the break of day. She sat down pale and trembling, some regret Seemed to be weighing on her mind, she let The brow she clasped fall heavy on the bed And in short broken sentences, she said,
"My husband! Heavens! what will the poor man say!
Such toil and trouble — what a thing I've done!
Sudden the door bursts open, lets a track
""Tis you!" cried Jenny, as she caught and prest Her husband as a lover to her breast,
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Psalm lxxix. 8.
THE hawthorn hedge that keeps us from intruding,
Looks very fierce and bare When stripped by winter, every branch protruding
Its thorns that wound and tear.
But spring-time comes; and like the rod that
Each twig breaks out in green;
And honeysuckle, its bright wreath upbearing,
Its golden trumpets victory declaring
Nature in this mute parable unfoldeth
God's goodness in reproof my eye beholdeth,
There is no grievous chastening but combineth
Like angels stern, they meet us when we wander
With sword in hand, and yet with voices tender,
We fain would eat the fruit that is forbidden,
To save us from the pit, no screen of roses
The Wreath of Life its healing leaves discovers
No tender veil of heavenly verdure brightens
No sun of comfort the dark sky enlightens,
The last Great Day, each secret deep revealing,
THE SPIRIT OF THE SPRING.
The sorrows that to us seem so perplexing
Are mercies kindly sent,
SWEET Spirit of the Spring,
To guard our wayward souls from sadder vexing, I saw thee leave thy darling where the snow
And greater ills prevent.
But afterwards, God's blessed spring-time com
And bitter murmurs cease;
The sharp severity that pierced us bloometh,
To these preventing mercies, thus concealing
drops shed their light.
And I heard thee singing say,
Come, love, with me away,
And I'll chant a sweeter matin as we sunward take our flight.
"I will show thee where the lilies,
Are bright with golden halos and bending o'er
The hindrance that completely interposes
Stings back like thorny fence.
"Come say, love, wilt thou follow
At first, when smarting from the shock, com- I will give thee in a solo the heart's sweet overplaining
Of wounds that freely bleed,
God's hedges of severity us paining,
Till the merle takes up the chorus,
May seem severe indeed.
Most pleasant 'tis to warble where the daffodils
Whose pretty, playful ways
Have scooped out fairy bays
In the willow-wattled bank-side and by aldershaded nooks.
Sweet Spirit of the Spring,
Tis heaven to hear thee sing;
For Spring, with flowers and sunshine, and the merry lark away,
Were but an eyeless grace
With the soul out of her face, Though children light the meadows and frisky lamb-kins play.
From The London Edition.
I know, how weak soever I now appear, [ INAUGURAL ADDRESS DELIVERED TO THE shall not depart out of this life till my
UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREW'S,
tongue glorify his name in the same place.' Gentlemen, that town was St. Andrew's,
MARCH 19, 1868.
BY JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE, M.A., RECTOR OF that galley slave was John Knox; and we know that he came back and did glorify God' in this place and others to some purpose.
My first duty, in the observations which I am about to address to you, is to make my personal acknowledgments on the occasion which has brought me to this place. When we begin our work in this world, we value most the approbation of those older than ourselves. To be regarded favourably by those who have obtained distinction bids us hope that we too, bye and bye, may come to be distinguished in turn. As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities. Our expectations for the future shrink to modest dimensions. The question with us is no longer what we shall do, but what have we done. We call ourselves to account for the time and talents which we have used or misused, and then it is that the good opinion of those who are coming after us becomes so peculiarly agreeable. If we have been roughly handled by our contemporaries, it flatters our self-conceit to have interested another generation. If we feel that we have before long to pass away, we can dream of a second future for ourselves in the thoughts of those who are about to take their turn upon the stage.
Therefore it is that no recognition of efforts of mine which I have ever received has given me so much pleasure as this movement of yours in electing me your Rector; an honour as spontaneously and generously bestowed by you as it was unlooked for, I may say undreamt of, by me.
Many years ago, when I first studied the history of the Reformation in Scotland, I read a story of a slave in a French galley who was one morning bending wearily over his oar. The day was breaking, and, rising out of the grey waters, a line of cliffs was visible, and the white houses of a town and a church tower. The rower was a man unused to such service, worn with toil and watching, and likely, it was thought, to die. A companion touched him, pointed to the shore, and asked him if he knew it.
'Yes,' he answered, 'I know it well. I see the steeple of that place where God opened my mouth in public to his glory; and
Well, if anybody had told me, when I was reading about this, that I also should one day come to St. Andrew's and be called on to address the University, I should have listened with more absolute incredulity than Knox's comrade listened to that prophecy.
Yet, inconceivable as it would then have seemed, the unlikely has become fact. I am addressing the successors of that remote generation of students whom Knox, at the end of his life, called round him,' in the yard of this very College, and exhorted them,' as James Melville tells us, to know God and stand by the good cause, and use their time well.' It will be happy for me if I, too, can read a few words to you out of the same lesson-book; for to make us know our duty and do it, to make us upright in act and true in thought and word, is the aim of all instruction which deserves the name, the epitome of all purposes for which education exists. Duty changes, truth expands, one age cannot teach another either the details of its obligations or the matter of its knowledge, but the principle of obligation is everlasting. The consciousness of duty, whatever its origin, is to the moral nature of man what life is in the seedcells of all organized creatures; the conditions of its coherence, the elementary force in virtue of which it grows.
Every one admits this in words. Rather, it has become a cant now-a-days to make a parade of noble intentions. The application is the difficulty. When we pass beyond the verbal propositions our guides fail us, and we are left in practice to grope our way or guess it as we can. So far as our special occupations go, there is no uncertainty. Are we traders, mechanics, lawyers, doctors? - we know our work. Our duty is to do it as honestly and as well as we can. When we pass to our larger interests, to those which concern us as men — to what Knox meant by knowing God and standing by the good cause' - I suppose