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THE FLIGHT OF TIME.
Then comes a thought, with thrilling power,
And when a social hour we spend
And when we closely circle round
CLARISSA P. WOLLEY.
INCIDENTS OF MISSIONARY LIFE.
It was the afternoon of a summer day, and though detained till a late hour by company, we were attracted towards the post-office. That place, indeed, by periodical fits, is a potent magnet. Horses being at hand, and we the adopted daughters of the wilderness—having learned to do without beaux when we can't get them-attended each other thither, late as was the hour. Most of the road lies through a pleasant woodland, and there seems a rivalship between the birds and the flowers, each contending for the honor of being most captivating along the way. They say it is but three miles; but they remind me of the painter in our town, who, for the comfort of the weary traveller, as he affirmed, made the guide-board say one mile to the village, which was at least a mile and a half distant. To me, it is just five miles to that office, and I cannot make it less. It is a short half mile to the first house; and a short mile from that to some uninhabited cabins beyond; then, a long mile to the creek, and thence two long ones to the river ford, or ferry—but especially to the ferry; then through the river, up that steep winding path, over that hill of loose rocks, up its neighbor, and away through all those twistings and turnings—and it is a long half mile to the house; long enough to make up the first short one. It may be that my estimate savors a little of haste to be revelling in the contents of the sanctum which keeps our treasures so safely; but then, one can dream out and peruse half-a-dozen long letters while a messenger is gone for them. Yes, it is five miles, whether I go or send; and that office ought to be moved, postmaster and all. We should be sorry indeed to part with so faithful and obliging an official in that department; though we sometimes playfully threaten to report against him when he sends us empty away. Still, he bears patiently with such childishness, philosophizing, I suppose, that disappointment spoken out is not laid away to sour the temper and corrode the heart; and he evidently sym
pathizes in the joy he wakens when he can fill our hands from that snug closet.
The sun had set; and having exchanged missives at the office, we departed homeward without alighting. “If we were only across the river-it is so late," said my friend. “ Yet it is only a brook now. Who would think fear or danger could ever lurk in this current ?” I replied. “I only dread that it should detain us a little.” Our twilight ride was agreeable, though we did not banish from our thoughts the possibility of meeting some reckless spirit,
half seas over,” as the sailors say. We reached home without accident. “Is the river up ?” said the gentleman who met us at the door. “I think I could walk across it dryshod with a little care," I replied. roaring is that then?” We listened, and scarcely knowing whether to credit our eyes or ears, we could not answer for the wild music we heard.
Visitants from beyond its banks tarried among us next night, and had found it unfordable. Our first intelligence from the post-office was, that a member of the family being at the door about half-an-hour after we left, bearing and knowing the sudden rush of waters, warned the ferryman, who reached his boat, a short distance from the house, just in season to secure it. There had been no rain in our vicinity. The clouds must have poured their abundance on the mountains, where are the sources of this and its tributary streams. Had we left home as early as we intended, and had this event been as much earlier in the evening, there is no knowing what might have been our fate, for it was our purpose to tarry a little at the house.
An instance once occurred of a person attempting to ford, going too far to retreat before he saw the danger from the torrent coming furiously toward him, climbing a tree upon the island, just above the ford, and next day being rescued by his friends, who had from the shore witnessed his peril.
Water, in motion or repose, is requisite to a ship, on the calm bosom of the sea. We the perfection of natural scenery. At Naples, like to stand on the shore at eventide and look the fiery views of Vesuvius are beautifully along the pile of cliffs, while the shadows play softened by the bay in which the form of the on their sides, and the last day-beams give dismountain reposes, as in another heaven. And tinct outlines to their brows; while darkness the image of the city rests so soft, so pure, creeps onward over field, and hill, and hamlet, that one might almost think it the abode of and city, even to the deep; and the moon celestials.
stands on the cerulean floor above, like a throne The delicious landscapes of South Devon, of ivory in readiness for some great potentate ; England, receive their finish from its bright and over the sea the horizon is tinged " with bays, and winding, placid streams, bordered by azure, green, and gold," mysteriously and delioak forests that sweep upward from their cately blended, shooting columns of light into shores, rounded or concave, echoing to glad, the sky, and throwing mellow reflections upon rural voices, and to the splash of every oar that the waves.
And we as freely admit into the dips and glitters over the clear element. definition of ocean scenery, the vast view that
The scenery of eastern New York is the gift stretches over the waters and up to the heavens, of the Hudson. The bold Palisades, the sweet though relieved by an occasional vessel, and dales, the crowns of verdure, the friendly bounded, where we stand, by shore and cliff, as slopes, what would they be but for the majesty we do that in which nothing meets the eye
but of the grand old river ? We must have the " the sky above and the deep below.” We mirrors of nature before we can take in her have seen a dark cloud hang over the ocean full revelations. Give us the calm, deep Con- when the sun lingered at the last rood of the necticut, winding in fertilizing freedom be- open sky, just ready to “drop into his harbor ;'' tween the hills that smile or frown on bor- beneath that cloud white canvass was spread, ders of New Hampshire and Vermont, or their and a stately ship bounded onward to the pier beauty and grandeur are wofully diminished. where we stood. Suddenly that cloud was Give us the Penobscot and Kennebeck, and riven, and two black wings spread far on either Portland's archipelago of isles, or we care not side the golden chasm. Those sails were for the great Maine. Let us have the capri- bathed in excess of glory, as if the heavens cious Merrimack, tumbling among rocks, overflowed with brightness! Who could paint spreading into bays of silver, and driving his it? Yet what could form a lovelier or grander spring torrent onward in defiance of the chains picture? Thus, we thought, does the light of of winter, or the pleasant places of Concord the Eternal break through the clouds of death, would lose half their glory.
on the soul of the dying saint! Thus does the Yes, if Nature would " glide into our musings light of the “Sun of Righteousness” kindle on with a mild and gentle sympathy,” she must the deep from which he is escaping, to throw not only wave her woodland branches, and its splendors full into the port in which he is hold her roses to our eye, but give us the me- to rest. Such is the scenery of the sea. lodies and reflections of her rivers, lakes, and Have you ever witnessed sunrise on the
the deep? The king of day lifts himself from But our theme is ocean scenery. From this his bed of waters, and the ocean, catching the we are not disposed to exclude all that savors light of his eye, tosses a thousand wave-offerof the land. We like, here and there, a boat, ings before him, while the sea-bird wheels and
dances to his glory, and the finny people sport lightly, or tumble carelessly on the radiant billow. And then the sunset! There may be those who see in it nothing peculiar, nothing inexpressible ; indeed, many a voyage may be made without the sight; but let that sight come; let the sun go down amid his stately pavilion of clouds, when the whole firmament seems mustering its shadowy forms to do him homage, to put on mourning drapery, to catch his last retreating glories, or to weave themselves into a thousand shapes of romance and of life, and he must want the ordinary elements of poetry and admiration, whose spirit does not kindle with strange fire. We have our sunsets on land, when the mountains seem smothered in clouds; smoking, burning, blazing, with all the colors of earth and heaven, and in view of which the whole world of beings and of objects seems wrought up to the supernatural, so that it requires no effort to imagine angels visible amid the elements, building golden palaces in all the sky, and strewing the world with gorgeous fragments of saphire and crystal.
But if you would have an idea of one ocean sunset, transport, in fancy, to the sky, the fields, mountains, and forests of a whole continent; behold in the midst of them, pouring down from the heights, a score of Niagaras, the more awful for their silence, into chasms which only thought can fathom. See those torrent seas at once frozen into crystal, and becoming as the pillars of heaven, sinking into the profounds of the ocean, whilst a thousand Mont Blancs tower up in purity and whiteness, surpassing the burning glories of a sunset among the Alps. Look again! Those mountains and columns are builded into temples and cities, like the temple and city of the Apocalypse, whose stupendous and wealthy grandeur render them fit only for the dwelling of the Eternal! Along the line of the horizon, for a thousand leagues, are myriads of gigantic coursers, chariots, and men, clothed in unearthly splendors, and driving tumultuously onward, as if to the coronation of "the Great King."
Again, the sky is one vast burial plain, and the myriads of living and moving objects, so lately radiant as if they had been robed in the pavilions of eternity, compose one long, grand, solemn, funeral train; as if it were the mourning of creation, and we were about to hear from the last trumpet
"Nature dies, and God and angels Come to put her in the grave." Then, there are the icebergs, wreathed in mist, or glowing like ponderous diamonds, in the sun! Bright, cold, solemn monuments of the ocean's dead! There are the starry night and the phosphoric fire, when the firmament and the sea seem to sparkle with rival strife, and the moon sits umpire of the brilliant emulation. There is the ocean in his fury, when winds sweep his breast, and his might and majesty awake at the summons; and in his repose such as the "ancient mariner" related to his spell-bound listener:
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath, nor motion;
Upon a painted ocean." Other scenes are familiar to the "sons of the deep;" those fitted for the tragic muse and for the genius of the pencil; but perhaps the most novel and peculiar is the rising moon, just on the horizon, with a ship in full sail between her and your eye. It is a perfect sea-piece, in a frame of silver. But its perfection is that of a moment. The one rises gloriously upward, the other passes rapidly on, and the heavenly and the earthly are parted.
Thus may we find at sea many a glorious object, to kindle the imagination, enlarge the mind, and thrill the heart; but we feel that beneath us and around us all is distant and cold. We miss the warm and friendly earth, the flowers that greet our eye, and yield to our fingers. We miss the aspect and the voices of home. The sky may be bright, and varied, and full of poetry, but we hear not the voice of the bird, nor the hum of animated nature. The deep has no music but the dull roar of its waves and the death-notes of the tempest. The sun may rise gloriously and shake from his brows the ocean drops, but we choose to hail his coming where the dews are on his path, and he casts his mellow light over human habitations. Much there is at sea to gladden and inspire us, but with all its life, all its "dread magnificence,” all the beauty and glory that shine in its skies, our hearts instinctively say,
Oh, give us the land again,
Its fresh, bright streams,
see in dreams.
THE GOOD SAMARITAN AGE.
In a late number of the Parlor Magazine, we delineated the hopeless ruin of a gifted man addicted to the use of intoxicating drink.
Thirty years ago” there seemed no good influences in society to reclaim the wandering, to restore the fallen, or to save the ruined. The current of influence bore down strongly on the vicious, and they were swept away almost without a struggle for life. Let us now turn from that sad picture to the present day, when society has learned to give up no son of misfortune or vice, so long as he may be in the world. A new era has dawned on mankind, and the inebriate, with his craving, “scalding thirst” for that which is destroying him, may look up and hope for salvation now and hereafter.
It was on a certain cold night, when the winds were holding festival out of doors, and all good people drew closely around the merry fire, that two persons might have been seen in a parlor, splendidly furnished with every thing to please the taste and give comfort. They were young; the one a young man of perfect form, and a countenance indicative of superior intellect. On that countenance was traced an evident anxiety, which he could not conceal. His eyes were intently watching the face of his companion, a beautiful girl, whose face was very pale, and indicative of a painful internal struggle. Her accomplishments had been perfected by all the aids of wealth, and her personal beauty was only excelled by those qualities of mind and heart which made her an admirable woman. Too intelligent to be vain, and tou gifted to be envious of any, she was admired and loved by all. With ail these excellencies she had that womanly delicacy which forbade her to encourage attentions which she could not reciprocate.
William had been absent for several years, acquiring an education, and only a few months before this tine had returned with the first honors of his class, and every prospect of excelling in the profession of the law, which he was rapidly acquiring. In common with many gifted youths, while in college he had
learned to love wine, and occasionally had been known to be intoxicated. He was of too frank a disposition to disguise any habit, and of course it soon became known that he was not principled against the use of intoxicating drinks.
William evidently had proposed a delicate question, which was now exciting painful and tumultuous thoughts in the mind of his companion. For a long time there was no reply, save that at last some bright tears stole down her cheeks, whether in sorrow or joy remains to be seen.
Emily, I do not wish to annoy you with needless importunity,” said the young man, after a long silence, “and yet you must see that it is a subject which forbids suspense. I have told you all my heart, and all its feelings for you. And I did expect an immediate reciprocation of them, because your whole demeanor for some time past has given me boldness to hope."
William, I beg you not to distress me any longer with this subject. I have already said too much in acknowledging, by action and word, that you have called out a new feeling for you, to which hitherto I have been a stranger.”
“ But will you leave me thus in painful suspense concerning my proposal? Emily, it were better to reject me entirely, than hold me thus."
It had been only a few days previous to this, that Emily's pastor, a venerable man, noted for his wisdom and his great interest in the young, had met her. He had loved her as his own child, nor had he less affection for William. But he was a wise man, and had seen too much of life to be blinded by dazzling talents, which were, as he knew, only a richer soil for the seeds of vice, as well as the seeds of virtue. He had watched with profound interest the rapid development of William's talents, and with no less pain the power of a habit which, unchecked, would ruin him finally. To have that noble girl laid on the altar for such a sacrifice as he feared it would prove, pained him.