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rou8 to propitiate, at another; but her task was as perplexing as that of the man who had the fox, the goose, and the bag of oats to ferry over the river in a boat that would hold but one of them at a time. So large parties have it; and in the murky shadow of this simulacrum of sociability we are likely to freeze for some time to come; certainly until all purely mercantile calculation is banished from our civilities.
It is with visiting as with travelling; those who would make the most of either must begin by learning to renounce. We cannot do everything; and to enjoy our friends we must cur
tail our acquaintances. When we would kindle a fire, we do not begin by scattering the coals in every direction; so neither should we attempt to promote social feeling by making formal calls once or twice a year. If we give offence, so be it; it shows that there was nothing to lose. If we find ourselves left out of what is called fashionable society, let us bless our stars, and devote the time thus saved to something that we really like. What a gain there would be if anything drove us to living for ourselves and not for other people; for our friends, rather than for a world, which, after all our sacrifices, cares not a pin about Ur!
THE HOUSE OF JOHN KNOX.
BY HECTOR OBR.
There is certainly not much to commend or . not been such as to soften them. But we admire in the outward aspect of this humble have not come hither to find architectural pile. Its general features partake of the stern- j beauty; "far from us and from our friends be ness of the times in which it was reared, and | such frigid philosophy."—It is in the spirit its fate through the intervening centuries has j with which Samuel Johnson visited Iona that IMPROMPTU.
we mast pause before the House of John Knox!
The edifice stands at the head of "the Nether-bow," near the High Street, Edinburgh (old town). A considerable space stretches in front where a large concourse might assemble, and from the upper window tho Reformer was used to pour forth his eloquence without fear, favour, or affection. At the corner may be seen his bust of rudest stone, in the most artless sculpture, and near it, a triple inscription of the name of God in Greek, Latin, and English. The several apartments have been rented to different tenants whose sign-boards show prominent in our plate, but behind these is a redeeming trace more sublime in its associations than the mark of the bloody hyssop on the lintel and door-posts of Israel—immediately over the door, in the strong and simple language of the time, is written:—
"Lufe . God . above . all . and . your . nicbbour .
Knox has now been in his grave nearly three centuries. His works have thus far stood the test of time well; and the present age evinces an increased desire to do him justice. But there is scarce a name in history which excites among men such strong yet conflicting emotions—his traits divide each generation into ardent friends or bitter enemies, and many who agree on other points, crave to differ about the Scottish Iconoclastrs.
In the front rank of opposers stand all those interested in existing abutei, all who "love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil." To such, John Knox was the torchbearer of Time, pouring light on their orgies. But on the same side we find a very different class, whom to confound with the first would be the grossest injustice,—we mean the gentle and the amiable, who abhor revolution as " the worst remedy of the worst of men," and whose actions and lives are in happy contrast with their latitudinarian principles.
Of his admirers we must hail all the true friends of true progress. Knox was the very incarnation of "advancement." Nothing was
good or settled with him which could not be proved such,—and he kept his eye steadily on the morning sky of Christianity, and rejoiced as it grew brighter and brighter towards the perfect day. It is true, these characteristics may also have attracted to his standard the bold and bad, who follow the battle for spoil— but none such were his intimates in life, and could only follow him at a distance.
The subjoined is his portrait by Thomas Carlyle, a sketcher not much given to flattery. "They go far wrong who think that Knox was a gloomy, spasmodie, shrieking fanatic. Not at all. He is one of the solidest of men. Practical, cautious, hopeful, patient; a most shrewd, observing, quietly discerning man. In fact, he was very much the type of character we assign to the Scotch at present. . . . An honest-hearted, brotherly man; brother to the high, brother also to the low: sincere in his sympathy with both."
Knox pretended not to perfection himself, and no sane friend will claim it for him; but if we apply the old test that " he is most illustrious who is most useful," the Reformer will not occupy a mean place among the benefactors of his race. His was a most ungracious task, and he was not insensible to its grievousness. He felt like Moses while slaying the Egyptian, and hoped his countrymen would live to see and enjoy the "great deliverance" which he was working out for them. Lovelier men, in milder times, might and would follow and plant the tree of healing; his task was to root up the upas of centuries, and this accomplished, he died.
"He had a sore fight of an existence—wrestling with popes and princes,—rowing as a galley slave, wandering as an exile—a sore fight —but he won it. 'Have you hope?' they asked him, when he could no longer speak—he pointed upward with his finger and so died. His works have not died—the letter of his work dies, as of all men's; but the spirit of it never!" (Carlyle, Hero Worship.)
All honour then to his memory—and honour to the lowly rooftree that sheltered his aching head.
FAB ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE. A un ami qui demandalt un ooaseil sur unc malson qu'il faisalt batir.
Veux-tu, sans regie et sans equerre
Orienter la ruche a miel?
Et la fenetre sur le ciel.
All through the long, long polar day,
flave way with many a hollow groan,
And with many a surly roar;
But it murmured and threatened on every side,
And closed where he sailed before.
Ho I see ye not, my merry men,
8ir John, Sir John, 'tis bitter cold,
Bright summer goes, dark winter comes—
The dripping icebergs dipped and rose,
The summer's gone, the winter's come.
The summer goes, the winter comes—
The cruel ice came floating on.
And closed beneath the lee,
Till the thickening waters dashed no more;
Twas ice around, behind, before—
My God I there is no sea I
What think you of the whaler now?
Down sank the baleful crimson sun;
The snow came down, storm breeding storm,
And on the decks was laid;
Till the weary sailor, sick at heart,
Sank down beside his spade.
Sir John, the night is black and long,
Tho night is neither bright nor short,
What hope can scale this Icy wall,
The summer went, tho winter came—
The winter went, the summer went,
The winter came around;
But the hard, green ice was strong as death,
And the voice of hope sank to a breath,
Yet caught at every sound.
Hark! heard you not the noise of guns?
Hurra I hurra I the Esquimaux
Sir John, where are the English fields,
Be still, bo still, my brave sailors I
You shall see the fields again,
And smell the scent of tho opening flowers,
The grass, and the waving grain.
Oh! when shall I see my orphan child?
Be still, be still, my brave sailors!
Aht bitter, bitter grows the cold,
Oh! think you, good Sir John Franklin,
Twas cruel, Sir John, to send us here,
Oh 1 whether we starve to death alone,
THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL MONUMENT.
BI TBE BEV. J. B. ALLKH.
On the border of the broad and beautiful Potomac, due west of the Capitol and south of the President's house, on a spot in full view for ten miles down the river, till it sweeps round the bend at Mount Vernon, stands the beginning of the giant structure that is to be.
At a distance, it might be taken for a rather ungainly block of white dwelling-houses, but for the clear lines and surface it presents against the horizon. On a pyramidal base of dark stone, near twenty feet high, some fiveand-thirty feet of the marble obelisk are already built; and by the end of the season, it will be at least a hundred feet above the ground. Stone to the value of five thousand dollars is already prepared for use; and a steam engine is in working order for hoisting it to its resting-place. So much of the work is done and paid for, and about ten thousand dollars were on hand to commence operations on the first of April.
Agents are canvassing the country in every direction. About a thousand dollars were received in one week; and funds are coming in pretty steadily, at the rate of about three thousand a month. I saw lately a handful of golden eagles, the Chickasaws' gift of two hundred dollars "in testimony of their love for their great father." The Choctaws are to send their contributions in the shape of a block of stone. The several states of the Union are contributing their monumental blocks from their own quarries, and probably not one will be unrepresented in it. The Masons and the Odd Fellows have appropriated each Order its gift. About two hundred companies and associations have offered their subscriptions in granite and marble, at an average cost of about fifty dollars. Children's schools have sent their offerings in little sums; banks and capitalists in larger ones. About half a million more will be required to fill out the grand outlines of the plan, to say nothing of the deoorative appendages below.
The first project of some such great national structure dates back as far as 1783, when Congress passed a resolution to erect an equestrian statue of Washington in the national capital, wherever that might be. In 1804, the subject was taken up again in connexion with the public testimonials of mourning, after
Washington's death. But nothing was done till 1833, when a " Washington National Monument Society" was formed with Chief Justice Marshall at its head, and measures were taken to gather funds. By way of apportioning them as widely as possible among the people, subscriptions were limited to a dollar; it being caleulated that if only a quarter of that were given by every working man, it would be more than enough for the most imposing monument in the world. But one dollar is so little towards a million, that to many it seemed nothing at all; and some who would have freely given a thousand, refused and ridiculed the one. Then came the "crash" of 1837; the propitious season went by; only thirty thousand dollars were obtained; and the ambitious project went to sleep.
It woke again in 1847. While it slept, its seed had been growing, and had now expanded to fifty thousand dollars. Some thirty thousand more were added by diligent endeavours, and it was judged time to begin. The plan adopted was one quite as remarkable for vastness of outline as for beauty of detail; and it had this special recommendation, that its grandest feature must be completed first, and may stand by itself as long as it is thought desirable. The address at the laying of the corner-stone, was to be delivered by John Quincy Adams, on the 22d of February, 1848; but that day he was dying in the Capitol, and the Hon. Speaker Winthrop fulfilled his office on the fourth of July following.
In judging of the plan from the engraving, one should translate it by the aid of his imagination into the towering magnitude it is intended to have. As to the Doric colonnade and the circular "Pantheon" with its Italian balustrade, they are merely representatives for the present of a part of the architect's conception, and are never likely to be built. A great deal of affliction and indignation in respect of them, has gone to waste. I will endeavour first to do justice to his intention, and then suggest the modifications which he himself has hinted at, and which the public taste will doubtless demand.
The main thing in the structure is an obelisk, fifty-five feet square at the base, and intended to be six hundred feet high. Some intimations