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" It is very correctly stated, that a person's character is known by his amusements and his companions; and it is a very reasonable inference to draw : for the Scriptures say, 'Can two walk together unless they be agreed ?'- Amos, iii. 3.
“ There are some who make choice of friends from a similarity of taste and pursuits ; there are those who associate as friends, that they may pursue the wicked plan of their own corrupt inclination. One chooses a friend who will flatter his deceitful conduct and give assistan«e to his falsities; while another will make choice of a friend who will encourage his pride and ambition ; but this is not the friendship which you are to seek as a Christian. Your choice must be made upon the foundation of religion alone ; for there is no other that can secure to you the blessings which friendship is intended to confer Having made this the test of your choice of so invaluable a treasure, when you have found one, let the first of your duties be faithfulness.
“Nothing is considered more disgraceful than to deceive a friend, or betray a secret which he has committed to your care. But not only be careful of that which he has committed to you, but make it your continual practice to do him all the kind offices which are in your power.
“ Expect not perfection in any human being ; but learn to excuse in another the failings which you yourself may not be able to avoid, remembering that
'A friend should bear a friend's infirmities.' And in times of danger, a true friend leaves not his companion in distress, but, like David and Jonathan, hazard their lives for the safety of each other.
“Another duty incumbent upon friends, and the most important, is the constant encouragement of each other to virtue and holiness ; it is the bond which will bind you inseparably together, and smooth the rugged paths of life, and it will enable you to look with complacency beyond the trials of this life, to a world where kindred spirits shail never be separated, but dwell for ever in the presence of that Friend, who sticketh closer than a brother.'— Prov. xviii. 24."
The morality inculcated in this meritorious little volume is, we need not say, unexceptionable, nor is there anything faulty in the religious opinions expressed ; but we confess it would bave given us great pleasure if Mrs. Ayers had gone somewhat further in the inculcation of religious truths. The great doctrine of the atonement of Jesus as the only ground of a fallen creature's hope, and without which any system of religion is like a body without the soul; this all-important doctrine does not receive that prominency which it ought always to have affixed to it in every work which treats of religious subjects. We are sure the omission is accidental, and not the result of any want of perception on the part of Mrs. Ayers, of its unspeakable influence. We advert to the absence of any marked reference to this essential feature in the evangelical scheme, in the hope that the talented authoress may supply it in a future edition. July, 1845.—VOL. XLIII.-20. CLXXI.
Residence at the Court of London, comprising Incidents, Official
and Personal, from 1819 to 1825. By GEORGE Rush. Mr. Rush was one of the American diplomatists at London during the years intervening between 1819 and 1825. He had consequently access to the best society, and mingled largely in the political circles of the interesting period of his residence in London. The work before us contains his more interesting reminiscences. One of these relates to a dinner at Mr. Canning's:
“It would not have been easy to assemble a company better fitted to make a dinner-party agreeable, or to have brought them together at a better moment. Parliament having just risen, Mr. Canning, and his two colleagues of the cabinet, Mr. Huskisson and Mr. Robinson, seemed like birds let out of a cage. There was much small talk, some of it very sprightly. Ten o'clock arriving, with little disposition to rise from the table, Mr. Canning proposed that we should play •Twenty Questions. This was new to me and the other members of the diplomatic corps present, though we had all been a good wbile in England. The game consisted in endeavours to find out your thoughts by asking twenty questions. The questions were to be put plainly, though in the alternative if desired; the answers to be also plain and direct. The objects of your thoughts not to be an abstract idea, or anything so occult, or scientific, or technical, as not to be supposed to enter into the knowledge of the company, but something well known to the present day, or to general history. It might be any name of renown, ancient or modern, man or woman; or any work or memorial of art well known, but not a mere event, as a battle, for instance. These were mentioned as among the general rules of the game, serving to denote its character. It was agreed that Mr. Canning, assisted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who sat next to him, should put the questions; and that I, assisted by Lord Granville, who sat next to me, should give the answers. Lord Granville and myself were, consequently, to have the thought or secret in common; and it was well understood that the discovery of it, if made, was to be the fair result of mental inference from the questions and answers, not of signs passing, or hocus pocus of any description. With these as the preliminaries, and the parties sitting face to face, on opposite sides of the table, we began the battle.
First question (by Mr. Canning):-Does what you have thought of belong to the animal or vegetable kingdom ? Answer—to the vegetable.
Second question—Is it manufactured or unmanufactured ? Manufactured.
Third-Is it a solid or a liquid? A solid. [How could it be a liquid, said one of the company, slily, unless vegetable soup?]
Fourth- Is it a thing entire in itself, or in parts ? Entire.
Sixth-Does it exist in England or out of it? In England.
Twelfth-Does it pass by succession? [Neither Lord Granville nor myself being quite certain on this point, the question was not answered; but, as it was thought that the very hesitation to answer might serve to shed light upon the secret, it was agreed that the question should be counted as one in the progress of the game.]
Thirteenth-Was it used at the coronation? Yes.
Fourteenth-In the Hall or Abbey? Probably in both; certainly in the Hall,
Fifteenth-Does it belong specially to the ceremony of the coronation, or is it used at other times? It is used at other times.
Sixteenth-Is it exclusively of a vegetable nature, or is it not, in some parts, a compound of a vegetable and a mineral ? Exclusively of a vegetable nature.
Seventeenth- What is its shape? [This question was objected to as too particular, and the company inclining to think so, it was withdrawn; but Mr. Canning saying it would be hard upon him to count it, as it was withdrawn, the decision was in his favour on that point, and it was not counted.]
Seventeenth (repeated).—Is it decorated or simple? [We made a stand against this question also, as too particular; but the company not inclining to sustain us this time, I had to answer it, and said that it was simple.]
Eighteenth-Is it used in the ordinary ceremonial of the House of Commons, or House of Lords? No.
Nineteenth-Is it ever used by either House ? No.
Twentieth— Is it generally stationary or moveable? Moveable. The whole number of questions being now exhausted, there was a dead pause. The interest had gone on increasing as the game advanced, until, coming to the last question, it grew to be like neck-and-neck at the close of a race. Mr. Canning was evidently under concern lest he should be foiled, as by the law of the game he would have been, if he had not now solved the enigma. He sat silent for a minute or two; then, rolling his rich eye about, and with his countenance a little anxious, and in an accent by no means over confident, he exclaimed,
I think it must be the wand of the Lord High-Steward!' And it was-EVEN so. This wand is a long, plain, white staff, not much thicker than your iniddle finger, and, as such, justifies all the answers given. In answering the ninth question, Lord Granville and I, who conferred together in a whisper as to all answers not at once obvious, remembered that some quaint old English writers say that the Lord High-Steward carried his staff to beat off intruders from his Majesty's treasury! When at the twelfth, Mr. Canning illustrated the nature of . his question by referring to the rod of the Lord Chamberlain, which he said did not pass by succession, each new incumbent procuring, as he
supposed, a new one for himself. I said that it was not the Lord Chamberlain's rod; but the very mention of this was burning,' as children say when they play hide-and-seek; and in answering that it was not, I had to take care of my emphasis. The questions were not put in the rapid manner in which they will be read; but sometimes alter considerable intervals, not of silence-for they were enlivened by occasional remarks thrown in by the compiny, all of whom grew intent upon the pastime as it advanced, though Mr. Canning alone put the questions, and I alone gave out the answers. lt lasted upwards of an hour, the wine ceasing to go round. On Mr. Canning's success, for it was touch-and-go with him, there was a burst of approbation ; we of the diplomatic corps saying, that we must be very careful not to let him ask us too many questions at the foreign office, lest he should find out every secret that we had!”.
Letters from New York. Addressed to a Friend in England.
By Mrs. Childs. Mrs. Childs is one of the most attractive of female writers in the New World. Her fame and her works are well known in this country. These “ Letters " are worthy of her pen. We give two specimens of the style in which they are written. The first is an incident in natural history:
“ He (the narrator) was one day in the fields, near a stream where severil geese were swimming. Presently he observed one disappear under the water, with a sudden jerk. While he looked for her to rise again, he saw a fox emerge from the water, and trot off to the woods with the unfortunate goose in his mouth. He chanced to go in a direction where it was easy for the man to watch his movements. He carried his burden to a recess under an overhanging rock. Here he scratched away a mass of dried leaves, scooped a hole, hid his treasure within, and covered it up very carefully. Then off he went to the stream again, entered some distance behind the flock of geese, and floated noiselessly along, with merely the tip of his nose visible above the surface. But this time he was not so fortunate in his manæuvres. The geese, by some accident, took the alarm, and flew away with loud cackliny. The fox, finding hinself defeated, walked off in a direction opposite to the place wliere his victim was buried. The man uncovered the hole, put the goose in his basket, replaced the leaves carefully, and stood pitienily at a distance to watch further proceedings. The sly thief was sown seen returning with another fox, that he had invited to dine with him. They trotted along right merrily, swinging their tails, snuffing the air, and smacking their lips in anticipation of a rich repast. When they arrived under the rock, Reynard eagerly scratched away the leaves ; but, lo! his dinner had disappeared. He looked at his companion, and plainly saw by his countenance that he more than mis. doubted whether any goose was ever there, as pretended. He evidently considered his friend's hospitality a sham, and himself insulted. His
contemptuous expression was more than the mortified fox could bear. Though conscious of generous intentions, he felt that all assurances to that effect would be regarded as lies. Appearances were certainly very much against him; for his tail slunk between his legs, and he held his head down, looking sideways, with a sneaking glance at his disappointed companion. Indignant at what he supposed to be an attempt to get up a character for generosity on false pretences, the offended guest seized his unfortunate host, and cuffed him most unmercifully. Poor Reynard bore the infliction with the utmost patience, and sneaked off, as if conscious that he had received no more than might naturally be expected under the circumstances.”
The other extract may, with great propriety, be called a Romance of Real Life:
“ One of my father's brothers, residing in Boston at that time, became a victim to the pestilence. When the first symptom appeared, his wife sent the children into the country, and herself remained to attend upon him. Her friends warned her against such rashness. They told her it would be death to her and no benefit to him, for he would soon be too ill to know who attended upon him. These arguments made no impression on her affectionate heart. She felt that it would be a life-long satisfaction to her to know who attended upon him if he did not. She accordingly stayed and watched him with unre. mitting care. This, however, did not avail to save him ; he grew worse and worse, and finally died. Those who went round with the death-carts had visited the chamber, and seen that the end was near. They now came to take the body. His wife refused to let it go, She told me that she never knew how to account for it, but though he was perfectly cold and rigid, and to every appearance quite dead, there was a powerful impression on her mind that life was not extinct. The men were overborne by the strength of her conviction, though their own reason was opposed to it.
“The half-hour again came round, and again were heard the solemn words, · Bring out your dead.' The wife again resisted their importunities ; but this time the men were more resolute. They said the duty assigned to them was a painful one ; but the health of the city required punctual obedience to the orders they received. If they ever expected the pestilence to abate, it must be by a prompt removal of the dead, and immediate fumigation of the infected apartments. She pleaded and pleaded, and even knelt to them in an agony of tears, continually saying, 'I am sure he is not dead.' The men represented the utter absurdity of such an idea ; but, finally overcome by her tears, again departed.
i With trembling haste she renewed her efforts to restore life. She raised his head, rolled his limbs in hot flannel, and placed hot onions on his feet. The dreaded half-hour again came round, and found him as cold and rigid as ever. She renewed her entreaties so desperately that the messengers began to think that a little gentle force would be necessary. They accordingly attempted to remove the body against her will; but she threw herself upon it, and clung to it with such frantic strength,