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trial; for her father at length determined to marry again, and he chose a very different woman from Margaret's mother. The second Mrs. Ellis's character is well described :
“Never in her life had Mrs. Ellis been known to give a soft answer to any one. Even when she was in the best of humours, her words were quick, rough, and decided; and when she was put out,' there was not any one who liked to come within the range of her tongue. She was what is commonly called a “bard' woman. She knew that this was said of her, and had been rather proud of it than otherwise."
However, Margaret's quiet and gentle character exercises a great influence upon Mrs. Ellis, who is much struck with the way in which Margaret makes the boys mind her, without ever being harsh or unkind, and she determines to try the success of “ Margaret's secret:”
** That's just what I mean to do,'(said Mrs. Ellis to her husband,)' and no laughing about it. It may be hard; I dare say it will. Everything is hard that one isn't accustomed to; but I am not one to give in at the first difficulty. I've been sitting here this half hour and more thinking, and the end of it is, that if it is the having a 'soft answer,' instead of a hard one, always ready that makes the difference between Margaret and me, I'm willing to try whether I can't lessen this difference. And the reason, one reason at least, why I tell you what I am going to try and do, John, is because I know that it will be hard work, and I think it's easier to go on with a thing when one has told any one what one means to do.' 'Yes,' replied her busband, it helps to put one's spirits up, and to keep one up to the mark ; that's true.' 'Well, said Mrs. Ellis, I tell you what I am going to do; for, like you, I'm sick of trouble and quarrelling. It mayu't always be easy for a person like me to find a soft answer,' but at any rate I can keep from giving a hard one.'
In a few months after this conversation took place, Margaret was offered a situation in London, as lady's maid to "Lady Gresinam"-a young married lady, with two little children, but a great invalid, suffering under a mental malady which was brought on by the sudden and distressing death of her father, to whom she was devotedly attached. Margaret's patience is severely tried by the unreasonable demands of the poor lady ; but her compassion and love are strongly excited, and she only longs to be able to bring her “ dear lady" to, think of something beyond this present world, and to find that " peace which passeth understanding.” But time goes on, and Margaret finds no opportunity of speaking on the subject next her heart; i but she never ceases to pray for the conversion of Lady Gresham, and her prayer was answered.
Months passed away, and Margaret was very happy in her new home. Lady Gresham was very kind to her; and the two little chil. dren seemed to like notbing better than to be with Margaret, and to listen to one of the Bible stories which she often told them during their walks and play hours. One day, when Margaret was in Lady Gresham's room, and Lady Gresham was asking Margaret how it was that she had borne the death of her mother so well, Margaret simply said, “Oh, my Lady, I could not bear it at all at first, for I knew nothing about Jesus then; my mind was full of trouble, and it was only when I came to Him that I found rest.”
"Rest!” The words sank into Lady Gresham's heart, but she made no answer ; and at that moment Sir Charles entered the room, Margaret little thought at the time how deep an impression those few words had made on Lady Gresham's mind. But she was soon to
see how wonderfully her prayer was answered. Not long after the conversation we have repeated took place, Lady Gresham was seized with a sudden and alarming illness, and the doctors did not entertain the slightest hope of her recovery. But Margaret could not believe that her mistress, so young, so beautiful, must really die; and it was not till Lady Gresham sent for her to her bed-side, and told her how she had been the means of bringing her to Christ, and gave
her a dying charge, to take care of the children when she was gone,—that Margaret realized the solemn fact, that Lady Gresham would die :
“ ¢1 am dying, Margaret,' said Lady Gresham. 'I feel it, and I am happy; for I long for rest, and there is rest in Christ. ..... I am weak, and I cannot talk as I should like to do, or I would tell you that this is not so new a thing to me as it may seem to you. I should like to have told you, Margaret, because I am very happy, and I owe it to you. I am dying, and going to be bappy for ever ; and, Margaret, it will be through you.”'
“ Through me, my lady? Oh, no!" for now Margaret thought, could it be through her, when for months and months she had sought an opportunity, and it had seemed to her as if none had been granted.
"Yes, Margaret, peace; the peace I now feel comes from God, but it came through you. Perhaps you think such sudden peace cannot be real! If so, I must teach you. No one could feel as I do and be mistaken. It is rest—it is happiness and I feel, too, it is death. I have never been religious as you bave, and, alas! I know very little of my Bible. If I were going to live, it would be a great loss to me to be so ignorant; and that is why I want to talk to you now, Margaret, while 1 yet have the power to do so; for I am anxious about my darling children, and I want you to remain with them, and teach thein, and try to bring them to love Jesus while they are young. I shall be learning in heaven soon. teach them.'”
And Margaret promises to remain with the children, as their nurse and teacher, till they are too old to need her care.
And here we may leave Margaret quietly and happily fulfilling the duties that God has given her to do, and we leave it to our readers to procure the book for themselves, and to find out what was Margaret's secret.” We cannot help thinking, however, that such books as these would do far more good to the class of readers they are intended for, if the heroines were not made quite so perfect. We do not find such characters in real life; and we doubt if they really exist anywhere except in fiction. Every one, however good and holy, has faults and failings of some kind, and it can only dishearten young Christians to find how impossible it is to become as perfect a character as “ Margaret.” If such books as these were written more naturally, they would be far more useful.
Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile. By John Hanning Speke, Captain É.Ñ. Indian Army. William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London. 1863.-In our author's introduction we have some interesting, and, to a Christian mind, very touching observations upon the present condition of the sons of Ham. The curse of their father Noah is still visibly upon them. As far as we ean learn, they have been for ages without prophets or teachers, or any traditions of a written word to guide them; and while Europe
I leave you to
and Asia were blessed with instruction through the medium of His prophets, and knew more or less of the Divine law through various channels, these
poor Africans seem to have lost all the tradition even of a God who made them and of a future state. The Scripture seems most literally fulfilled. They are still “the servants of servants.” The Wanguana, for instance, who are slaves sold in the market, and purchased by the Arabs, are sometimes released ; then, after years of rather comfortable servitude, if they regain their liberty, their first effort to gain a position in life is to trade in slaves. Thus slavery begets slavery. The account Mr. Speke gives of the utter degradation of the native negro is enough to stir up a missionary spirit in the coldest heart. Can a Christian hear of these benighted heathen without seeking to show them the better way? Here is one of their horrid superstitions. When in distress, in order to discover a propitious time for commencing a war, they send for a magician. We will quote Mr. Speke's words :
“The doctor places a large earthen vessel, half full of water, over a fire, and over its mouth a grating of sticks, whereon he lays a small child and a fowl, side by side, and covers them over with a second large earthen vessel, just like the first, only inverted, to keep the steam in; when he sets fire below, cooks for a certain period of time, and then looks to see if his victims are still living or dead; when, should they be dead, the war must be deferred; but, otherwise, commenced at once."
Our author seems rather to marvel how it should be that the negro has existed so many ages without making any improvement:
"He does as his fathers did. He works his wife, sells his children, enslaves all he can lay hands upon, and, unless when fighting for the property of others, contents himself with drinking, singing, and dancing like a baboon, to drive dull care away."
They are without God, and “His hand is stretched out still ” to fulfil His word concerning them.
However, we must confine ourselves to the principal object of Captain Speke's travels. Our space will not permit us to amuse our readers with his interesting accounts of the customs and manners of the various tribes amongst whom he journeyed. His patience must have been sorely tried by the many hindrances that delayed him, both from the illness of some of his party, and the treachery of others. The continual feuds between neighbouring tribes made it very difficult to obtain aid from one without encountering hostility from the rest; while the dishonesty of foreign traders caused Captain Speke's good faith to be sometimes suspected. At length his efforts were crowned with success, and he
“Saw that old father Nile without any doubt rises in the Victoria N'yanza ;” and " As I had foretold,” he says, “that lake is the great source of the holy river which cradled the first expounder of our religious belief. I mourned, however, when I thought how much I had lost by the delays in the journey having deprived me of the pleasure of going to look at the north-east corner of the N'yanza, to see what connection there was, by the strait so often spoken of, with it and the other lake where the Waganda went to get their salt, and from which another river flowed to the north, making • Usago an island.' But I felt I ought to be content with what I had been spared to accomplish; for I had seen full half of the lake, and had in. formation given me of the other half, by means of which I knew all about the lake, as far, at least, as the chief objects of geographical importance were concerned.
"Let us now sum up the whole, and see what it is worth. Comparative information assured me that there was as much water on the eastern side of the lake as there is on the western-if anything, rather more. The most remote waters, or top head of the Nile, is the southern end of the lake, situated close on the third degrec of south latitude, which gives to the Nile the surprising length, in direct measure. ment, rolling over thirty.four degrees of latitude, of above 2300 miles, or more than one-eleventh of the circumference of the globe. Now from this southern point, round by the west, to where the great Nile stream issues, there is only one feeder of any importance, and that is the Kitangŭlé river; whilst from the southernınost point, round by the east, to the strait, there are no rivers at all of any importance; for the travelled Arabs one and all aver, that from the west of the snow.clad Kilimandjaro to the lake, where it is cut by the second degree, and also the first degree of south latitude, there are salt lakes and salt plains, and the country is hilly, not unlike Unyamŭézi; but they said there were no great rivers, and the country was so scantily watered, having only occasional runnels and rivulets, that they always had to make long marches in order to find water, when they went on their trading journeys; and further, those Arabs who crossed the strait when they reached Usoga, crossed no river either."
The brink of the Nile is described as most magnificent :
“Nothing could surpass it. It was the very perfection of the kind of effect aimed at in a highly-kept park; with a magnificent stream from 600 to 700 yards wide, dotted with islets and rocks, the former occupied by fishermen's huts, the latter by sterns and crocodiles basking in the sun,-flowing between fine high grassy banks, with rich trees and plantains in the background, where herds of the nsunnŭ and hartebeest could be seen grazing, while the bippopotami were snorting in the water, and florikan and guinea-fowl rising at our feet.”
The falls are represented, to use Captain Speke's own words, as, though beautiful, not exactly what he had expected.
“For the broad surface of the lake was shut out from view by a spur of hill, and the falls, about 12 feet deep and 400 to 500 feet broad, were broken by rocks. The roar of the waters, the thousands of passenger-fish, leaping at the falls with all their miglit, the Wasoga and Waganda fishermen coming out in boats and taking post on all the rocks, with rod and hook, hippopotami and crocodiles lying sleepily on the water, the ferry at work above the falls, and cattle driven down to drink at the margin of the lake, small hills, grassy-topped, with trees in the folds and gardens on the lower slopes, made a most lovely picture.”
Thus the mystery of ages is at last explained, and the pretended discoveries of Bruce, who was in fact a great impostor, are exposed in their proper colours. The origin of the sacred Nile is taken out of the regions of fable, and stands, henceforward, amongst simple geographical facts. Poetry has lost much, but science has been the gainer. We live in a matter-of-fact world after all, and even our discoveries bear down our pride.
The Siege of Jerusalem by Titus. By Thos. Lewin, Esq. Longman, Green, and Co., London. 1863.-Although entitled “The Siege of Jerusalem," the main object in this volume is to illustrate the topography of Jerusalem. And no small credit is due to Mr. Lewin for the success with which he has interwoven an interesting historical narrative with a subject which, from its nature, would otherwise probably afford but little interest to the generality of readers. We have perused Part I., which relates to the siege of Jerusalem, with much pleasure. It is written in a style somewhat similar, though by no means equal, to Macaulay's History of England.
The chief incidents of the siege have, it is true, been narrated, centuries since, by Josephus, and briefly by others, from whose writings the present history is of course compiled. Much pains have evidently been bestowed in acquiring a thorough knowledge of the subject, and also in preparing maps and ground-plans of the holy city and its vicinity, and there can be but little doubt of its general correctness; so that Mr. Lewin's account of the overthrow of Jerusalem by the Romans is likely to prove an acceptable contribution to our general literature.
The Second Part is a journal of our author's visit to Jerusalem-a visit necessary in order adequately to describe the locality. Without it the outline must have been indefinite and devoid of character ; while the history would have been comparatively insipid, and wanting in those minute details and casual occurrences which infuse freshness and vivacity into a work which is itself little more than a reproduction. This portion of the publication calls for but few remarks, so many books of travel having of late years been published on Palestine and its cities; but it, like the First Part, converges directly to the main object—the illustration of the topography of Jerusalem.
The Third Part, being a sketch of Jerusalem from the earliest times to the siege by Titus, will prove to the biblical student by far the most valuable portion of the work. It is evidently the result of much study, and is full of information. The value of the work is considerably enhanced by an ample table of contents and index, in addition to which there are numerous plans of some of the chief buildings, &c. And yet, after all, Mr. Lewin candidly admits that a great part of the topography of the city at present lies buried some five fathoms under the surface. We know of no field of research more full of promise than the ancient underground Jerusalem.
A Vacation Tour at the Antipodes, through Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, and New Zealand, in 1861, 1862. By B. A. Heywood, M.A. Longman, Green, and Co. 1863.-We have perused this volume with much interest. Written in an easy and natural manner, it is full of information. The geological and agricultural, as also the mercantile and social, condition of the countries is described with minuteness and care. The work is written with intelligence, and is devoid of that strain of levity and affected indifference to everything relating to religion, which too frequently characterizes writings of a similar description. The volume is interspersed with some amusing anecdotes, which convey to the reader a fair idea of the state of society in the colony ; while at the same time it is full of information on many matters, in themselves of comparative insignificance, but which will prove of much value to those who intend to emigrate; such as the prices of the necessaries of life, the terms and rate of labour, the price of land, &c.
A Book for Tourists in Ireland: Sights to be seen in Dublin and Connemara. By the Rev. W. C. Plunket, B.A., Domestic Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Tuam. London : Jas. Nisbet and Co. 1863.— But a brief period has elapsed since the religious circles of this land were almost entirely occupied with the extraordinary outpourings of the Holy Spirit on the unhappy people of Ireland. And yet, strange to say, the interest in this remarkable awakening suddenly flickered, and lately appears to have almost died away. From this interesting little volume we learn, however, with great pleasure, that the work itself has not died out with the interest here felt in it. On the