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THE ORIGIN OF THE MOSS-ROSE. tried the strength of these first, then finding that he
could neither get over nor under, he turned round, and,
at a full trot, made the circuit of the church, and got to
the other side of the poles by another path. Here was
no straying about, and at last finding his way, but a fixed
resolve to go round, as if an idea had at once flashed
across his mind. Another day, a waggon had been put
standing in the narrowest part of his road to the stable :
he looked and tried each side, but found there was not
space enough for him to pass ; he took very little time for
consideration, but put his breast against the back part of
the waggon, and shoved it on to a wider part of the road,
then deliberately passed on one side to his stable. Could
human wisdom have done better? But to crown all his
manæuvres, I mention the following as being, I consider,
very extraordinary. During the winter a large wide drain
had been made, and over this strong planks had been
placed for our friend, the cart horse, to pass over to his
stable. It had snowed during the night, and froze very
hard in the morning. How he passed over the planks
loose from the cart at breakfast, he came up to them,
and I saw his fore-feet slip; he drew back immediately,
and seemed for a moment at a loss how to get on. Close
to these planks a cart-load of sand had been placed; he
put his fore-feet on this, and looked wistfully to the
other side of the drain. The boy who attends this
him stand there, called him. The horse immediately
turned round, and set about scraping the sand most
vigorously, first with one foot then the other. The
boy, perhaps wondering what he would be at, waited to
see. When the planks were completely covered with
sand, the horse turned round again, and unhesitatingly
walked over, and trotted up to his stable and driver. -
EXCELLENCE OF THE BRITISH POLITICAL SYSTEM.
OUR political system is placed in a just correspondence
and symmetry with the order of the world, and with the
mode of existence decreed to a permanent body com-
posed of transitory parts; wherein, by the disposition of
a stupendous wisdom, moulding together the great mys-
terious incorporation of the human race, the whole, at
one time, is never old, or middle-aged, or young, but in a
condition of unchangeable constancy, moves on through
the varied tenor of perpetual decay, fall, renovation, and
progression. Thus, by preserving the method of nature
in the conduct of the State, in what we improve we are
never wholly new; in what we retain we are never wholly
obsolete. By adhering in this manner, and on those
principles, to our forefathers, we are guided not by the
superstition of antiquarians, but by the spirit of philo-
sophic analogy. In this choice of inheritance, we have
given to our frame of polity the image of a relation in
blood ; bending up the constitution of our country with
our dearest domestic ties; adopting our fundamental
inseparable, and cherishing with the warmth of all their
combined and mutually-reflected charities, our State,
our hearths, our sepulchres, and our altars. – Burke.
Palm Leaves. - 1. The Pair
of Slippers........................ 30
To the Fringed Gentian.... 31
The Last Supper of Leonardo
The Origin of the Moss
The best Epitaph.......
Printed by R. CLAY, Bread Street Hill.
THE CHANCES OF FORTUNE.
We should be sorry to acquiesce, without some “It cannot be too often repeated,” observes Ma
| reservation, in the view of our destiny exhibited dame de Staël, “that the experience, whether of
either in the lady's prose or the poet's verses. individuals or of nations, furnishes to them but one
We cannot think so hardly of our common lot, as to favourable moment for securing good fortune or
represent to ourselves the whole family of man as power; that moment must be seized as it flies; for
receiving, among the innumerable openings of forthe happy chance seldom returns a second time in
tune presented to each during his three score and the course of the same destiny; and, to him who
ten years, but one that leads to happiness, and has let it slip, there remains for the rest of his life enjoying but one fleeting moment of opportunity only the bitter experience of continued reverses." to enter upon it. What fearful odds would there be These words are little more than a paraphrase of a
of against any man's escaping the shoals and miseries the well-known passage of Shakspeare, which we
of so dubious a voyage! What hope could any of cannot doubt Madame de Staël had in her eye when
us reasonably entertain, that, among the numberless she wrote them. ..
accidents of a changeful life, he should have the
skill, or presence of mind, or good fortune, to " There is a tide in the affairs of men
seize upon the one right chance at the one right Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
We must not, however, rashly impeach the philo
sophy of our own matchless poet, or of the acute, Madame de Staël unquestionably announces the and ingenious Frenchwoman. Principles may be principle broadly and unqualifiedly, as one that she sufficiently true for all the purposes of a limited or herself fully believes in. The absence of qualitioccasional application, which become false and dan- 'cation, however, may very fairly be taken for one gerous if held forth as universal laws. We may of those artifices of rhetoric, proper to writings of safely admit, that it would be false to lay it down as the class to which the work belongs in which the one of the fixed laws of our being, that, one chance passage in question is to be found, which are intended of success suffered to pass unimproved, the shadows to give emphasis to a statement which, if guarded of disappointment and reverse sink down upon our by all the reservations required by strict.logie in fortunes, never to be listed off or dispersed, for it works of pure reasoning, would fall coldly and inwould be contradictory of our daily experience ; etiectually on the ear. In works of a declamatory and that it would be, moreover, a most mischievous character, one of the most effectual means of perthing for any man to believe in as a general law, suasion is the unhesitating confidence with which because tending to induce a fatalism of the most the writer commits himself to assertions which will disheartening character, and to paralyse every not bear a very minute examination; it shows him effort to redeem the errors of youth and inexpe- to be in carnest; and we give him credit for having rience; and yet leave ourselves room for asserting, satisfied himself on better grounds than he is able that, taken in a restricted sense, and applied to a to show to us; nay, the slight touch of paradox inspecial description of circumstances, it is a principle volved rather enlists our sympathies than shocks founded in sound philosophy, and susceptible of a our reason. We must, therefore, not reject such a most salutary application to the business of life, statement of a principle or philosophical law as that an opportunity for securing any of fortune's unworthy of attention, because it will not bear a gr’at prizes, once presented and not taken advan- ! kind of criticism for which it was never intended. tage of, seldom or never returns a second time to the In the present instance, Madame de Staël is speaksame man.
ing of the errors committed by the Constituent The lines quoted from Shakspeare are placed by Assembly, which gave its first form and body him in the mouth of Brutus, immediately before the to the French Revolution. She represents it as battle of Philippi. The philosophic Roman em- having had the destiny of France placed in its ploys them to vindicate his determination, in oppo- hands, during the interval between the fall of the sition to the advice of his friend and colleague Bastile on the 14th of July, and the removal of the Cassius, to peril the fate of his cause upon the issue Royal Family and Legislature from Versailles to of a decisive battle. The disastrous result would Paris, on the 6th October, 1789. That interval appear to give rather a denial than a practical con- rightly used, she contends, would have enabled firmation to the soundness of the application of the it to secure the liberties and future welfare of principle in that particular case. Indeed, it may France; but, having been suffered to pass unimbe doubted, whether the main intention of the cha- proved, its uses neglected or misunderstood, a racter of Brutus, as drawn by Shakspeare, was not second opportunity of saving their country, for the to illustrate the inadequacy of mere theoretical same men, was not within the range of reasonable wisdom, unsupported by practical experience, to probability. So applied and limited, we cannot grapple with the difficulties of a great emergency, refuse our assent to the proposition, or, at all and the danger of rashlv applying the refined con- events, brand it as false in principle or mischierous clusions of philosophy, gained in the closet by mere in practice. study and reflection, and without a sufficient ac- "There is a kind of superstition in such matters, quaintance with the qualities and powers of the which most men have a tendency to cherish. The material agents with which they are to be wrought wisest of us has some hankering after a belief in out, to the actual business of life. He, most pro- lucky days, in favourable or untavourable omens, bably, meant 17s to inter, that the plain common- in the existence of more things in heaven and sense and military experience of Cassius, the earth, than are dreamt of in our philosophy. We practised soldier and man of'the world, would have hold more tirmly than we are often aware of, by the been a safer guide in a question of mere strategy, persuasion of some mysterious and unseen agency, than the well-sounding speculations of his philo- undetined even to our own minds, and which we sophic friend, who, with the characteristicdogmatism should not care to be asked to detine, --some power of a mere theorist, bearing down all opposition by whose seat is higher than earth, yet lower than the weight of his unrivalled moral character, and heaven,-a fate-which gives a direction to our torcontident in the soundness of his judgment, not so tunes, and governs the results of our actions, on much from overtreening self-conceit as from abso- principles apparently.capricions, or at least inerlute inexperience, assumed the guidance of atlairs plicable to our reason. It is this which, in former which he had not sufficient practical knowledge to days, gained for the rereries of judicial astrolegr, direct. We may, therefore, with much likelihood, admission into minds at the same time fully imbued contend that, so far from asserting unqualitiedly, and not merely with philosophy, but with sound relito its extreme extent, the principle expressed in the gious truth; and which still, although, in these passage quoted, it was part of Shakspeare's object matter-ot-fact times, every year clears arar some to expose the danger of rashly or ignorantly ap- of the not unplea irs twilight which used to hang plying such speculations to actual affairs. He res- over certain regions of our beliet, leads many : cues it from undue contempi, by putting it into the derout Christian, in every walk of lie, to mingle mouth of the wisest and most philosophic character with his habitual reliance upon the good providence he had ever drawn; but he makes the result show of God, a clinging belief in something else, as inthat it is not by acting upon nice quilliets of phi- fluencing his destiny-he does not weli know wha:-losophy, but by the skill derived from actual which it wouid greatly disturb his religious feeülgs experience, that an important enterprise can be to be compelled to embody to his own mind br conducted to a successful issue.
giving it a name.
It may be partly some touch of this superstitious ing himself after she is far out of sight, limps feeling, which causes us to hold strongly by the off a cripple for life. The timid man, fearing a persuasion that every man's life has its turning similar mischance, shakes his head and turns depoint, its crisis, which colours, for good or evil, the spondingly away. The indolent man would gladly remainder of his career. It is a belief, however, step up if she would only stop for a moment, but which we are fully persuaded has more than super- he cannot risk such a leap; he prefers taking his stition to rest upon, and forms part of the creed of chance of what may yet cast up by way of conalmost every observer of human life; not in the veyance less difficult of entrance. The unready, or extravagant sense which we have already dis- irresolute man, gets up with the full purpose of claimed, as dooming us to but one chance of hap- doing what man can in the matter; he considers piness or success against numberless chances of how he shall best prepare himself for the spring; misery and disappointment, but according to a which leg he shall put foremost; whether he will more sober and regulated understanding of it. leap before she has quite come up to him, or The best evidence of the general acceptance of after she is a little past, and various other matters; such a persuasion, is the large proportion of the but before he can make up his mind on the half of most successful works of fiction whose interest these points, she has flown past, and his opporhinges upon circumstances bearing more or less tunity is gone. But one man alone of many, directly upon it. The authors of such works watchful, resolute, composed, --neither hurrying bedelight to fix our attention upon some one event, fore the time, nor lagging behind it,-well prepared often an apparently trivial occurrence, from which beforehand, and having accurately calculated his disissues an influence, good or evil, as the nature of tance,-with a firm foot and fearless spirit, springs the narrative may require, which pervades its in just as she is passing by him, and is borne onwhole course; and the watching for the return of ward in triumph and safety to receive the reward this influence at every important turn of the story, of his courage and skill. For the rest, some trudge with the feeling of gratified surprise at its occa- | onwards on foot, some are taken up by other and sional, often unexpected, appearance, constitutes humbler conveyances, and deposited at a humbler one of the most exciting pleasures of that descrip- resting-place than their fortunate companion has tion of reading. Such a mode of viewing our con been received into; some get foundered in the dition and fortunes would not continue to please, mud, and perish by the way. had it not some foundation in truth and nature Taking, then, a somewhat lower ground than
The biographies of several of the men who have Shakspeare and Madame de Staël have done, we risen to the highest professional eminence, fur-may safely assert it for a truth, without meaning nish us with striking illustrations of the road to to discourage any attempt to retrieve past errors, high fortune baving been entered upon at some or to make up for past neglect, that one opporunexpected turning, by a narrow opening, which tunity allowed to slip past unimproved, a second common observation would have overlooked, - will not be presented which can be turned to the which common sagacity would have deemed a same account. The tide having turned, does not deviation from the true path-from the difficulties | flow again for that man; it is an ebb which conof which common industry or courage would have tinues to recede till the day of his death. There shrunk. Such things we generally call fortunate is no day on which something may not be done, chances, and, in one sense, they are so; they are but less than might have been done the day before; opportunities for distinction or success, which no and far, far less than might have been done had the merit, no genius, no industry, can create. But tide been taken at the flood. they are not so rare in their occurrence, as is the The practical lesson which we think ought to be combination of endowments required to seize hold drawn from this, is the value of present time ; the and make a right use of them. Some there may portion of time with which alone, or at least be, the very step-children of fortune, to whom they mainly, we have to do. It is difficult, but it is necesare never presented; but how much more fre- sary, to fix upon our minds the conviction, that quently is it the case, that we have been either not some important moment yet to come, but the dreamingly unconscious of their presence, or too ordinary common-place-looking one now actually indolent to take advantage of them, or wanting in in our hands, may perchance be the turning point skill rightly to use them! It is the combination of of our fortunes. If, while idly lamenting the past, sagacity to perceive the opportunity, energy and or listlessly speculating upon the future, we suffer acuvity to act upon it, presence of mind to act the present to pass away without being turned to exactly at the proper moment, and skill to turn it its proper account, we suffer, beyond all question, rightly to advantage, which makes the fortunate a loss which can never be recovered; and, for anymau-the man whom one of those things called thing we can tell, we are letting slip the one great lucky chances raises to wealth and distinction. | chance of our lives. For it has this peculiarity,
We may suppose the aspirants for the gifts of that we never know when it is presented to us. fortune to be like men stationed at different points It sounds no trumpet before it to call our atten! by the side of a road, along which the goddess tion to its approach. It comes silently and
passes in her chariot at a swift and steady pace, stealthily upon us, bearing nothing about it to dis
standing still for no one, but ready to carry forward tinguish it from the crowd of every-day times and i to a happy goal whoever can spring up and take occurrences by which it is surrounded. To make
his seat by her side. Noiseless in her approach, sure of it we must make sure of all. How many a she must be carefully watched for; and he whose man of genius and accomplishment is there now mind has been occupied by a hundred frivolities, wearing out his life in the struggle to make way finds that she has passed him long before he against a receding current, who might have been dreamt that she was near. The rash man springs standing on the very topmost pinnacle of fortune, too soon, and, falling under the horses' feet, lies had he been sufficiently watchful to take the tide stunned and senseless in the dust; then, recover- at the flood !
BEAUCHAMPS. A TALE.
| loving her, sweet pretty creature as she was ; and I shall Chap. II.
always think, sir, asking your pardon for saying so, that
Miss Tracey, or my lady, wheedled Master Mark away (Continued from page 20.)
from her." At the time of my leaving Knightswood, Mary was, 1." I hope not so, Hannah, either.” I think, about fifteen ; Mark Gifford four years older. “ I should be sorry to misjudge any one, sir ; but with Their mutual affection seemed so to have grown with your leave, I will tell you all I know of the matter; and their growth, so deeply to have taken root in the heart when I have done, perhaps you may come to be pretty of each, and so likely to ripen into a full and lasting much of the same mind yourself." Then, edging her attachment, that, as I before observed, the intelligence of chair a little nearer to the fire, and arranging with the Mark's union with Harriet Tracey took me by surprise; tongs the bits of wood of which it was composed, she but enough of these reminiscences.
continued in a more confidential tone: I resolved on visiting Bath. Julia Tracey was still “ The last time Master Mark left home for the uniunmarried; and, although she had long ceased to be an versity, he seemed as fond of Miss Deane as ever. The object of particular interest, she had never been for day before he was to go, he came up to the little book. gotten; in short, there was no saying what, after all, room, that you may remember; or may be, as it was at might not happen. Discovering, however, that an old the top of the house, you might never have been in it. and favourite servant of Mrs. Gifford's, and whom I well | Miss Deane was very partial to that room, and used remembered, was still residing at Fordover, I resolved, mostly to bide there, when not in the parlour with my before leaving the country, to call upon her; partly with mistress. There was a sight of old books in this little a view to obtain information concerning Mary Deane, of room, and had been from time out of mind, however they whose history I knew only, that, on the death of Mrs. come there ; Master Mark went rummaging amongst Gifford, she had gone to reside with some of her father's them one time when he was at home for the holydays, family. From a passage in one of Mark's letters, written and got leave of my mistress to have a few shelves put about that period, I feared that she had not been well up in the same room ; after which he and Miss Deane provided for by her aunt; and although he had, pro- sorted and set up the books. Some of them they read bably, taken upon himself the care of relieving her from together, by snatches, as they could find opportunity; all embarrassments of a pecuniary nature, I could not and some he set marks in, for her to read to herself but suspect that there were other claims, which, though when he was away; and many a time have I known her gaining by independence the power, he had lost the sit up there, perishing in the cold, because she would inclination to fulfil. At all events, I wished to learn not anger my mistress by taking books into the parlour. the present residence of Miss Deane; and, as the ad- To be sure, it was a pleasant sunny place enough, with vanced age and infirm health of Mr. Penrose had two windows, one looking out into the wilderness as obliged him to resign the care of his parish to'a Curate, then was, and the other, front ways, into the pleasure I knew no one more likely than old Hannah to satisfy | | ground. Miss Deane used to keep her canaries up me on that point.
there, and in the south window she had her myrtles and To her cottage I accordingly repaired ; and, on enter- geraniums; and altogether, as I was saying, she took ing the neat kitchen, found it necessary, in the first great delight in this room. Well, up came Master place, to identify myself with the Master Harry of olden Mark; it happened that I was in the next room, which time; and next, I had to be well settled in an arm was the china closet, looking for a teapot as my mistress chair, and drink currant wine, besides answering a had been inquiring about: he did not shut the door variety of questions, before I could gain, in my turn, after him, and so, presently I heard him say, how sorry the slightest particle of information. After a time, he was to think that this was the last day of his being however, Hannah recovering from the surprise which at home for a good while to come. "Will it be longer my entrance had occasioned, recollections of former than usual, Mark ?' says she. He made answer, that days, of her old mistress, and all appertaining to Beau- most likely it would ; for he thought next time he must champs, prevailed. A strange place it was now, she stay up and read for his degree. I think those were his observed, by all accounts; for her part, she did not like words, though I did not rightly understand their meanto look at the tops of the high chimneys from her owning; I remember thinking, there were books enough back window, and therefore it was not to be thought she for him to read in, if that was all he wanted, without should ever cross the threshold. Great changes, she did stirring from where he then was. I knew, by the sound hear, took place after the new lady came; the laundry of her voice, when she answered him, that Miss Deane turned into a servants’-hall, and her mistress's little was very much concerned ; though she said he must, in breakfast-parlour into a housekeeper's room; the main course, know best what he ought to do; and that, for of the old pictures, too, she was told, were stowed away her part, she was sure he would not be absent longer in the lumber-garret. Seemingly she recollected my than he could any ways help. "Yes,' says he, Mary, connexion with the present family, for she suddenly you may well be sure of that; and when once I have checked herself, and, casting on me a glance of sus- got through my examinations, I shall lose not a moment picion, added, “but, then, it don't matter what such as in returning to Beauchamps. In the meantime,' says I think about it.”
he, you will read what I have looked out for you; After a moment's silence, she resumed, in a more and I have left some of my own books for your amusecheerful tone, “ And you be’nt married, sir, yet?” ment. I need not commend Carlo to your kindness,
"No, Hannah, not I; the means, or the time, or for you know the old saying. ... Yes, thinks I, any something or other, have always been wanting: and one may know what that means; however, as I did not Miss Deane, tell me about her; is she married ?"
want to listen to such sort of discourse, I contrived to “No, poor dear, more's the pity."
| make a rattle amongst the china, that should let them “ Then amongst all’ the young people whom you know whereabouts I was ; not but what, as the door of remember at Beauchamps and Knightswood, only two the china closet stood open, Master Mark might have have married ?"
seen me plainly enough as he came up the stairs. “And they two," replied Hannah, with some asperity, Master Mark ! how I do forget myself: poor mistress “wern't paired aright.”
used to be always telling me of it; she said as I should “ They were not paired, certainly, as I had myself never leave off' calling her nephew Master Mark, if expected; I confess that I always fancied Mr. Gifford I lived till he was as old as herself. However, that did more partial to his own cousin than to any one of not come true, for I have found it easy enough to say mine."
| Mr. Gifford since I left Beauchamps; and it is only “ There was no fancy in the case, nor cousinship talking of old times, sir, that makes me go back to neither, for that matter; but no one could be off of | Master Mark.”