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AUNT AMY AND HER STRANGE WAYS.
“No, madam, no. I will meet him myself and tell him all," I replied. “ Dear, generous, unsuspecting Charles ! how little does he imagine me capable of so magnifying his little failings, and so basely slandering him in his absence,” continued I, bursting into tears of self-reproach and contrition. “ Oh shame! shame! what evil spirit has had possession of me this morning!"
“ The evil spirit which we have most reason to dread, my dear child, is that which dwells in our own deceitful hearts,” observed Mrs. Amy, as she rose and walked to the door, adding, " But compose yourself, Susan, I will go myself to meet Mr. Travers.”
She quitted the room, but returned almost immediately with several cards which she had received from the servant.
“Be tranquil, Susan," she said, “ it is only a messenger of Hymen come to claim due honors from you on his approaching festival at Colonel Lutterel's; there are your cards."
I received them, and untying the silken knot, sat gazing on the name of my most intimate friend, without the slightest emotion of interest, until, as I sat nipping and pinching the cards into all imaginable shapes, Mrs. Amy accidentally observed and interrupted my employment, by exclaiming,
“ My dear! what in the world are you doing with that very beautiful card ? Surely it deserves more delicate treatment, considering whose name it bears! What are you thinking of, Susan ?”
* Neither of Louisa Lutterel nor her marriage, an eligible one as it is, and much as I love her," was my reply. “But, Aunt Amy, I really do not think myself the most blamable in this morning's little matrimonial squabble," I added, forcing a smile.
“ Little matrimonial squabble!” repeated Aunt Amy in a tone of mingled astonishment and rebuke. · Oh Susan: how can you speak of it so lightly. No ósquabble, as you call it, can be trifling, my dear child, especially between a inarried couple. You do not think yourself most blamable! But which of you is the professing Christian, Susan? Which of you has been with Jesus and learned of bim’ to return good for evil, and to be meek and lowly of heart ?"
“ Enough, Aunt Amy, enough,” cried I, conscience-stricken ; “I stand convicted a liar and a slanderer, and that, too, of my own husband.
( have sinned against heaven, and in your sight,' and I acknowledge that you have acted a faithful Christian part, which I trust I shall one day thank you for; and I, oh how have I forgotten the solemn vows that are upon me, and instead of winning poor Charles to Jesus by my own blameless walk and conversation, my whole conduct has been calculated to disgust him, and render repulsive the religion I profess to love."
“No, no, Susan, not so bad as that, I hope," interposed Mrs. Amy; “your temper is naturally quick and irritable, and I have perceived that ill-health and household cares have increased the malady. Indeed, indeed, dear Sue, you are not conscious how petulantly and capriciously you frequently behave towards your husband. I have observed this to be a growing evil, and have trembled in view of the consequences to which it might lead.
It is from such petty jarrings as these that all family discords proceed. Alas! alas! how much of guilt and misery might be traced to a trifling quarrel such as this on the argument of shirt collars."
The solemn tone in which the peroration of her speech was uttered struck me crously, that in my April humor I was unable to suppress my risibility.
“ Aunt Amy, you are the strangest woman I ever heard of!" I exclaimed. “ All this about a shirt collar !"
" Aye, Susan, "Such dire effects from little causes spring,'” rejoined Aunt Amy seriously. • I have known divorces and death to proceed from causes as trifling so often, that I cannot join you in your merriment on this occasion. But to be accurate, ihere were nine collars instead of one,” she added. “You are now for diminishing, as you were at first for increasing the number."
“ How very precise you are, Aunt Amy.".
“ Well, my dear, I think what has now occurred should make us more careful than ever what and whereof we affirm,” rejoined Mrs. Amy. " Let us both lay the lesson to heart, Susan, and beware of speaking passionately, lest we accuse falsely, and then are tempted to wish the accused one guilty in order to vindicate ourselves. In short, dear child, strive to govern your tongue and temper better, and may God help me to do likewise. Certain it is,” she continued, “that no one can quarrel and be blameless, since it takes two at least to
AUNT AMY AND HER STRANGE WAYS.
make a quarrel. Believe me, child, there must, be faults on both sides; and let me whisper this piece of advice into your connubial ear, Mrs. Susan. Whatever be the faults of your husband, let it not be your tongue that proclaims them-however just be the charges, let it not be his own wife who brings the accusation against him,” she added in an impressive whisper.
• Let me do him justice now, then, Aunt Amy. Let me do poor
Charles one little piece of justice,” cried 1, blushing with shame and contrition. “ If he did swear about his shirt collars this morning, it was only after great provocation from me. I awoke sick and sad, and felt displeased, I believe, with Charles, for being so well and happy, for I am sure he did nothing else to vex me ; and I must do him the justice to say that never but once before in my life, have I ever heard an oath escape him, and I acknowledge with shame and sorrow, that in both instances I was the cause of it."
“ And you have reason for shame and sorrow, Susan," replied the straight-forward Mrs. Amy, looking at me reproachfully; "and those two unguarded expressions, which he was irritated into uttering. were multiplied into twenty curses a day! Oh, Susan, may Heaven forgive you for bearing false witness against your neighbor.'”
" Oh, Aunt Amy, how have you shown me to myself this day !-how little have I been aware of the “spirit that dwelt within me!' I exclaimed. · Pray for me, dear Aunt, that I may be more faithful to my vows, and that God will enable me to walk in mine house with a perfect heart!' Oh that you could be always near to warn and reprove me whenever you see my temper rise.
It is hard, Aunt Amy, you know not how hard it is to hold such a spirit as mine in subjection--and I have many vexations
“ Beware, Susan--beware of this self-excusing propensity. Remember it was the first evil inclination which manifested itself in our fallen nature after the fall - The woman that thou gavest me, she tempted me,' was the cowardly excuse of our first father,” said Mrs. Amy, earnestly. “You have no more vexations than other people, my child—nay, you have fewer than most, and none from your husband. I never heard him utter an unkind or sneering word to you, or of you, and I regret, dear Sue, that I cannot say as much of his
wife; but never yet have I heard you disagree, when the fault was not wholly your own. This is plain speaking, my dear child, but severe diseases require severe remedies, and however unpleasant it may be to me, duty requires that I should speak the truth and the whole truth; and I am sure your own conscience will acquit me of having uttered a word more than truth.”
“It does, Aunt Amy; you have dealt faithfully with me, and kindly too, for it is with a view to my own welfare that you have spoken,” I replied, “and so may God reward you and help me!”
“ He will help you, dear Sue. Go to him with your trials and troubles, and he will be your helper. Watch your own temper narrowly, and remember, my dear child, that it is only . he that overcometh who obtaineth the crown,' and · he that governeth his own spirit is greater than he who taketh a city.'
“If mine is ever subdued, Aunt Amy, I shall owe it to you, under God, for never before did I suspect half the evil that dwelleth within me. Oh, I no longer wonder at what Cousin Tom said of you," I added.
6 Never mind what Tom said of me,” returned Mrs. Amy, hastily. “It was no more than I deserve, I dare say, be it what it may; but unless it has reference to some of my faults which ought to be corrected, and of which I am ignorant, we will let it pass, and put away these shirt collars."
“Nay, Tom said nothing disrespectful of you, if he said nothing very flattering to me. He only said, “Well, Sue. you've coaxed Aunt Amy away from me in your selfishness, but you will not want her long-you will find her a second conscience to you, and as I rather suspect that one is more than you can manage to keep the peace with, you will soon be glad to let her go again.' So you see he said no ill of you.”
And you see how I shrink from hearing my faults spoken of by those I love. But for a consciousness of my own ill deserts, I should not shrink from hearing anything that could be said of me," observed Mrs. Amy.
Well, Aunt, if you are always as quick in detecting your own faults, you are a fortunate woman," I replied.
" Which unfortunately is not the case," an. swered Aunt Amy, some of them having grown with me from youth to age, of wbich I am undoubtedly yet living in profound igno
I am sure, at least, that not a night
comes in which, on reviewing the actions of the day, I have not something to confess and repent of, and not a day passes in which I do not discover the workings of a deceitful heart in scme hitherto unsuspected form.”
“What then must you think of me, Aunt Amy, whose faults are so glaring as to have called down upon me such solemn admonitions and reproofs as you have now given me ?”
“ I think, my dear niece, that being now aware of your faults and your danger, you will study and labor to escape the latter by correcting the former. Had I thought otherwise, I should have spared both you and myself the pain which this morning's conversation has occasioned us both. To tell you the truth, Susan, and in saying it I am confessing a great sin,” continued Mrs. Amy, “I have long been putting off a known duty, in the hope that by discovering and correcting this evil in your temper and conduct yourself, you would spare me the performance of so unpleasant a task. Day after day have I sheltered myself under every shift and evasion that could afford the slightest excuse for the omission of the painful duty, but I found that nothing but a straightforward open rebuke would be of any avail. Your petulance was increasing by indulgence. Your husband's home was beginning to become uncomfortable, and you were unconsciously pur
suing a course which I knew must terminate in the alienation of your husband's devoted affection, the disruption of the tenderest earthly ties, and the ruin of domestic comfort. Could I have remained silent and yet have been innocent of the consequences ? How could I look on and say nothing ?"
“ You could not, Aunt Amy—thank God, you did not !” cried I fervently. “ But where are you going, Aunt Amy ?”
" To my room, my dear; I have need of retirement and reflection."
“ Bear me in your remembrance to the throne of grace, dear Aunt; but I need not ask it, it is in my behalf you go to plead."
“ Not in yours only, dear Sue, I have an errand in my own behalf,” replied Aunt Amy, with a faint smile, “lest in . keeping others' vineyards’ I neglect mine own, where so many tares and noxious weeds spring up while I am sleeping."
Remember me there, also, dear Aunt, and may God make me grateful for the faithful admonitions of so true a friend," I said ; and kissing me affectionately, Mrs. Amy withdrew to the solitude of her own apartment.
And now, cousin Frank, who, after this, shall venture to deny that Aunt Amy is a very queer woman, and has very queer ways ?
OF NICHOLAS COPERNICUS.
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH.
I. It is well known that one of the latest distinctions bestowed upon M. Leverrier, that to which he undoubtedly attaches the greatest value, is his nomination as Professor of Celestial Mechanics among the Faculty of the Sciences. This young and already celebrated Academician commenced his course of lectures in the midst of the applauses of more than twelve hundred auditors, among whom were many eminent men.
At the sight of this brilliant scientific triumph, this popular homage to merit, we felt the greatness of our civilization, and could not avoid a recurrence to the past.
Our readers as well as ourselves will be perhaps interested in comparing the present with bygone ages.
Now, when an astronomer discovers a planet in the heavens, as M. Leverrier has just done, the thousand voices of Fame are eager to chant his glory; his own name is given to the new world which he has revealed; the ministry of his own country are lavish of offices, honors and congratulations ; crosses and medals are showered upon him from all the embassies and all the academies ; princes, great and small, thank him in autograph letters; his natal city does not wait until his death to have his features sculptured in the immortal marble; and if any envious person dares dispute his claims, the murmur of the insulter is lost amid the general acclamation.
It was quite otherwise with the Leverriers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with those men who discovered, not a single planet only, but the motions of the whole celestial system, the secrets of God himself, and the laws of creation !
This may be judged of by the simple history which follows.
May, in the year 1543. Stars were sparkling in the azure vault, like innumerable jewels on a ground of velvet. The silence of Nature was so profound, that one might almost hear the march of the hosts up the firmament, the ascending of the sap in the trees, or the breezes whispering to the flowers.
In the little city of Worms, a prebendary of Polish Prussia, everybody was asleep--everybody, excepting one man. This man was keeping vigil in a chamber at the summit of a tower, furnished with a table, some books, and an iron lamp.
He was an old man of seventy years, bent and furrowed by labor, but with an eye still sparkling with the fire of genius. His noble and beautiful countenance was expressive of serene contemplation. Strangers to the scenes of earth, his eyes were alternately opened or closed as he gazed at the heavens, or looked within himself. On his yet roseate cheeks dwelt the purest peace of conscience. His gray locks, still abundant, were parted in the middle of his forehead, and fell in ringlets quite to his shoulders. He wore the ecclesiastical costume of the age and of the country; the long close robe, with a fur collar, and double cuffs, also furred around the wrist.
This old man was the greatest astronomer of ancient and modern times, Nicholas Copernicus, born at Thorn, in Poland, the 19th of February, 1473, doctor of Philosophy, Theology and Medicine, titulary Canon of Worms, and honorary professor at Bologna, Rome, &c.
Having reached at once the limits of science and the termination of his own career, Copernicus had just finished his prodigious work: DE REVOLUTIONIBUS ORBUM CÆLESTIUM : Revolutions of the Celestial Bodies. Influenced, like Fontenelle, by a noble passion for astronomy, he had overturned all the theories of the ancients; removed our globe from the centre of the universe, and established there the sun; making Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Sat
THE DEATH OF NICHOLAS COPERNICUS.
urn &c., revolve around it. In a word, Copernicus had revealed the entire heavens to earth, and all this amid poverty, raillery and persecution, with no support but his own modest genius, and no instrument but a triangle of wood.
This very day, the Canon of Worms had received the last proof-sheet of his book, the printing of which his disciple, Rheticus, was superintending at Nuremberg, and before returning this decisive proof, he had wished, for the last time, to verify all his discoveries. God had given him an admirable night for this purpose, and he had passed the whole of it in his observatory
III. When the astronomer saw the stars grow pale in the east, he took the parallactic instrument, made by his own hands, of three little pieces of wood, and directed it successively to the four cardinal points. Then, assured that he had destroyed an
error of five thousand years, and that he was about to reveal to the world an imperishable truth, he knelt before the Book of Heaven with its sparkling characters, crossed his thin hands upon his breast, and thanked the Creator for having revealed to him His infinite work.
He afterwards returned to his table, and seizing a pen, wrote beneath the title of his book :
BEHOLD THE WORK OF THE GREATEST AND MOST PERFECT OF ARCHITECTS; BEHOLD THE WORKS OF GOD!
He then traced the dedication of his book : ** TO THE MOST HOLY FATHER POPE PAUL III.
“I dedicate my work to your holiness, that all the world, the learned and the ignorant, may see that I do not shun examination and criticism. Your authority and your love for science in general, and for mathematics in particular, will serve me as a shield against wicked and perfidious detractors, notwithstanding the proverb which declares that against the wounds of calumny there is no security.
“NICHOLAS COPERNICUS, of Thorn.” The lamp of the astronomer was growing pale before the early morning twilight; he leaned his forehead on his table, and slept with fatigue. The revealer of creation's mysteries was reposing as the Creator himself had done. Who will deny him right to do so, after sixty years of toil ?
His repose was not of long duration ; it was abridged by an old servant, who slowly ascended the staircase of the tower.
“ Messire,” said he to the canon, touching him on the shoulder,“ the messenger of Rheticus is ready to depart; he awaits your proofs and your letters.”
The astronomer prepared the packet, sealed it with his own. seal, and again fell heavily back upon his chair.
“ But this is not all," resumed the servant, awaking him again ;“ there are ten poor sick persons in the house; and then your presence is desired at Frauenbourg, for the water-inachine has stopped, and three workmen have been injured in endeavoring to put it in motion."
“The poor fellows! Let my horse be saddled,” cried Copernicus.
And rousing himself from the slumber which had overpowered him, he precipitately descended from the tower.
The house of Copernicus was one of the most modest in Worms; it was composed of a laboratory, where he prepared medicaments for the poor; a little studio where, versed in art as well as in science, he painted his own portrait or those of his friends, and his beautiful memories of Rome or of Bologna; finally, a lower saloon, always open to those who came to seek his remedies, his table, or his purse. Above the door was cut an oval opening, through which the sun, entering at midday, struck a point marked out in the neighboring apartment. It was the astronomical gnomen of the philosopher. The only ornaments of the room were verses written by his own hand attached to the mantel-piece.
It was in this saloon that the good canon found the ten sick men who demanded his care; he dressed the wounded, gave remedies to others, and alms and consolation to all. Then, having hastily swallowed a cup of milk, he was about to set out for Frauenbourg, when a cavalier, reeking with perspiration, brought him a new message.
Copernicus recognized, tremblingly, a letter from his friend Gysius, Bishop of Culm.
“God have pity on us,” wrote the latter, “and avert the blow which threatens us! Thy enemies and thy rivals, those who accuse thee of folly, and those who accuse thee of heresy, bave so raised the evil spirits at Nuremberg, that the people curse thy name in the streets,