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plaining "all things written in the law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning himself." (Luke, xxiv. 44.)

When he had fully instructed them in the Messianic Scriptures, he prepared for his ascension. The power of his presence drew his friends as well as his disciples close around him. And in the dusk of the evening, that he might escape the notice of the multitude, he passed out of the city eastward, crossing the Kidron, and wound round the southern flank of Mount Olivet, all following slowly and in silence, while he announced to his disciples the import and prospect of their perilous mission. "Ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Go ye, therefore, into all the world, teach all nations, and preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. All power is given to me in heaven and in earth, and lo! I am with you always even unto the end of the world."

As he pronounced these words he had advanced round the southern flank of the mountain, leading his disciples, "as far as to Bethany." There, as he uttered the last words of the divine benediction, he lifted up his hands, spreading them out, perhaps over, and perhaps touching the heads of his apostles. While in this act he was parted from them. He threw aside the restraint which for the time weighed down his glorious resurrection body, and it rose majestically and was carried up into heaven; and the clouds received him out of their sight, into that spiritual and glorious world where he sat down on the right hand of the throne of God, to make intercession for us.

It was at nightfall, and the parting was so solemn and glorious, and his pathway to heaven so resplendent, and the majesty and benignancy of his ascending person so enrapturing, that his friends stood motionless and speechless, "gazing up into heaven," through the bright opening which his ascension had left in the sky. There probably they would have continued to stand had not the spell been broken by two of the heavenly visiters who had descended to witness the ascension. From the midst of the illuminated olouds, where they lingered in pity and admiration of the astonished and bereaved disciples, they descended to the earth, and "stood among them in white apparel, and said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing

up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." The charm was broken. Ascending Mount Olivet from the edge of the village of Bethany (for this was as near, and a more private way back to the city), they halted on the summit to look once more into the heavens, after their ascended Lord. But the sky had recovered its usual serenity, and spread out its calm blue canopy, lit up with the countless stars of heaven. On the spot where they halted, the piety of subsequent ages erected a magnificent church, and that same piety, sublimated into enthusiasm and credulity, transferred the scene of the ascension from the humble village of Bethany, far down on the southern flank of the mountain, to its summit. Hence the church, which is seen in the engraving, is called the Church of the Ascension. It is about half a mile due east from St. Stephen's gate, and about three hundred feet above the city. It is alone; neither tent nor hut is near it. And the only worshippers in it are a few monks; sometimes of the Greek order, and sometimes of the Armenian ; as the gold of the one outweighs, in the judgment of the Pacha of Jerusalem, the gold of the other. And not unfrequently very unchristian contests occur for the possession of the church; and in these contests, it has more than once been reduced to ashes. The traveller sees it from the northeast part of the city, sitting beautifully on the sacred Mount of Olivet; and if his piety or curiosity should lead him to ascend to it, he will be shown the footprint of our Lord, impressed in the solid rock, as he made the first bound towards Heaven. To this he will kneel, and will kiss it, if his faith waver not; or will turn away with regret and sorrow at the weak superstition that guards and worships an object Bo obviously apocryphal. In tho general uncertainty, and frequent absurdity of the sacred places shown to the traveller in the Holy Land, the free and intelligent Christian will see the wisdom and goodness of God. Had he designed those spots to be reverenced and worshipped, he would have provided for the certain knowledge of them. But in the kingdom of his Son he has made the divine glory and power to appear in the new and divine life which the gospel imparts to individuals and to nations, and not in sacred localities, or buildings, or relics.

A SMILE.

BY MBS. C. H. E8LING.

I Iooked upon thy youthful face, It sccmed as though the gates of heaven

In all its beauty bright, Had been unclosed awhile;

Till like a sunbeam through a eloud, So radiant was that face of thine,

It gleamed with sudden light; Lit by that sunny smile.

MADELENA'S CONFESSION.

BY EDITH MAY.

The Bride of Christ! oh, at those words there swept

Bright glories through my spirit! I was deaf

To the deep anthem. Prelate, and cowled priest,

The dim cathedral walls, the kneeling crowd,

The lattice where the black-veiled nuns looked through,

All parsed away from mine enraptured eyes!

I saw no more thy bowed form, oh my mother!

Nor his who stood far down the aisle of columns,

Hiding his bent brow with his mantle's foldl

It seems not long since I, a little child,

Trod yon cathedral floors, and in deep awe

First crossed my forehead with the holy water.

It seems not long, Jacopo, since we twain

Prayed, kneeling at one shrine; together winged

Our mated voices like paired larks to heaven,

Or, hand in hand, walked where the garden fountains

Cleft the grim lion mouths!

Have patience, Father,
For I am 'worn with fasting and much prayer,
And tears flow readily. How many days
Have I lain prostrate at the altar's foot,
The marble striking death into my heart,
Speaking no word, partaking of no food
Save water and the crust that gave me strength
To move rny lips in prayer! How oft till morn,
My forehftad pressed against His icy feet
Who hangs upon the cross, have I lain here
With but one grim companion. Kven thou,
Symbol of death, gaunt prophet of the tomb,
That in thy cavernous eyes dost hold the night,
Glaring beside my rosary and missal!

Thou knowest well my father was a noble,
That he lived gaily, making his great wealth
The slave of pleasure. I remember still
Revels, where wine flowed free, and festal times
That filled our lone vast palace by the sea
With guests and music. Then, at early twilight,
There ever came a young, bright girl, who took
Me, the weak child, within her gentle hold;
Smiling so softly, while my faint hands passed
Over the roses in her hair, the pearls
Clasped on her throot, and round, pure, dewy arms.
Ginevra! oh I loved to sjwak her name!
I loved my nurse to bear me to the window,
Where, lying on her shoulder, I could mark
My sister's white robes floating through the trees;
My sister, as she spake, or walked, or rode,
Great nobles at her side, who smiled and bent
Their plumed heads to catch her lightest word!

Rut this was for a season—Many months

The palace was deserted. Then, alone,

We wandered freely through the vacant rooms,

I, and my nurse Guiseppa. She would pause

Sometimes, by pictures of worn saints and martyrs;

Saint Lawrence in the flames, his lifted face

Pull of sublime forgetfulncss of pain;

Or Stephen, stoned and prone; perchance, to mark

Pale hermits watching in their forest caves,

With lamp and book, the inner darkness shapen

Into black fiends; or, sometimes, oh my soul!

An Ecce Homo, with dim, upturned eyes,

And red drops trickling from the crown of thorns!

All these Guiseppa scanned with reverent face,

I. in her arms held level with the canvass,

hooked on in childish fear.

There came a message
That said Ginevra, weary of the court,
Returned to us alone.

Twas early noon;
I, overwearied, dreamed upon my couch,
And when I woke, my sister stood beside me—
Ginevra! no! Ah, heaven! was that Ginevra
Who quivered at my fear, and in the sunlight
Stood shivering ere she bent and faintly pressed
Her lips upon my brow!

I never knew
What sorrow, like a tearful angel, rent
The veil between my sister's heart and God.
Her brow was as the forehead of a saint,
Bearing the marks of thorns, and on her face
None looked, except to breathe a sigh that tracked
Some upwinged thought to heaven. Oh, to my sense
Hor beauty was unreal; whether she prayed,
Kneeling beneath the altar lights, a glory
Tremulous in her hair; whether we twain
Paced the long galleries, where ranged silver sconces
Studding the walls, cast down before our feet
Black shades like chasms; whether to her voice
I listened, while the stealthy-footed night
Passed by unchallenged! As a captive stands
Vacantly gazing at the world without
Through his barred prison windows, all his heart
Busy with other scenes, so looked the soul
Through her blue, holy eyes. I loved her well—
I stopped my play to watch if she passed by,
Or if she mused beside the gallery windows,
As was her wont, I, stealing to her side,
Stood tiptoe, that my arms might clasp her waist.
And sometimes, cloistered in her chamber, there
We read and talked, till purple twiligftt stains
Sank through the marble pavement. In that room
There hung a copy of a rare old picture,
The Marriage of Saint Catherine.

I remember
That she grow farther from me. day by day,—
I guessed not wherefore. Over her blue eyes
The lids drooped heavily, as lilies loll
Against the swell of waves. No echo tracked
Her footsteps through the vaulty corridors;
And often in the night I saw her rise
To gaze upon Saint Catherine's blessed face,
Or prone before the crucifix, lie there
Praying till dawn.

Once more Ginevra stood
Flower-crowned and jewelled, but beneath the light
Of tall cathedral tapers. From the crowd
Quick sobs burst audibly; the very priests
Looked with sad eyes; nuns to the lattice pressed
And blenched away; but she unconscious stood
With folded hands and looks upeast, as though
The vacant space were legible to her gazing.
Then my fair, haughty mother cowered for fear,
My father's gay lips whitened.

From her brow
The wreath was taken; gem and bridal dress
Stripped from her consecrated form, her head
Shorn of its wavy wealth; and now, Ginevra,
Wrapped in the grave's pale robes, with limbs composed,
Looked marble In her coffin. Father! nay?
Forgive mo! let mo weep! For when again
They bade her rise, lo! in her symbol shroud
The nun lay dead I

We knew bright, silent angels
Had gently loosed the clinging arms of life,
Claiming their Lord's affianced. So she passed!
I bear upon my breast the cross that wore
Its outline upon hers.

Thou eamest, Jacopo.—
Playmate and friend 1

Do you remember now
How, while you twined the vine leaves in my hair,
I told you saintly legends! When we saw
Fair pictures in the clouds, you made them limn
Chariots and battling horsemen, but to me
Came trooping angels I

Still my sister's chamber
Seemed hallowed by her presence. Crumbling wreaths
Dropped from the crucifix; her favourite books.
Their pages blistered by her frequent tears,
Lay open as she left them, marked with flowers,
Or pencilled down the margin by her hand.
But most I loved the picture of Saint Catherine,—
She kneeling, while the holy child whose touch
The virgin guided, on her finger placed
The marriage ring, his face in lovely wonder
Raised questioning to his mother's.

To that place

I crept at noonday. There I treasured all

Linked with Glnevra's memory. Twas now

A garland we had woven; now a kerchief

That kept the faint rose odour she had loved.

I vexed my childish brain with pondering o'er

The books she prized. Those, histories of saints,

Temptations, miracles, and martyrdoms,

I peopled all the dark nooks of the palace

With phantoms of their raising. There, concealed

All through the slumberous noontide, first I read

Of Augustine, who heard the voice of God

Speak to him in the garden, and of her,

Holy Teresa, who stood face to face

With Mary's son, and carried to the tomb

Remembrance of the vision. When I saw

How laying down love, wealth, the pride of birth.

Bowing her shoulders for the cross, this one

Frail nun obtained a saint's repute, becoming

Founder of monasteries, and of a host

The spiritual mother, all my soul

Thrilled with the rapturous history. I could dream

Only of mysteries; or if light shapes

Beckoned me to the world, there slid between

Visions of her who o'er an open book

Hung pondering steadfastly; one pale, fair hand

Outspread upon the page, and one that held

Her brow within its hollow. Womanhood

Came, and my heart's betraying echoes scarce

Answered her loitering footfall. Life grew vague,

Nothing approached mo nearly.

The first star
Was a true prophet of thy step, Jacopo 1
My visions fled when up the flinty paths
His courser's hoof struck flashes. With a jest
My father greeted him ; my mother gave
Her white hand freely, while her laughter mixed
With their gay talk, and I, a space apart,
Smiled him glad weleome, with my every pulse
Answering the cordial music of his voice.
Oh, he was changed! I dared no longer chide
When his bold mirth trod heedlessly too close
To holy ground. I heard with eyes abased,
Rebuke awed into silence. He had sprung
Suddenly to full manhood. In his words
There was an athlete's sinew, though they played
With great things carelessly, as a fresh wind
Provokes the sea to laughter, and his pride
Ever seemed well placed, like a castle set
Upon a mountain. All my womanhood
Did homage to his strength. The life that coiled
Lazily at my heart leapt through my veins
With crest uplift, if mid the halls I heard

His footfall ring. Oh, Father, when he left,

Gone was the smile from sweet Saint Catherine's lip!

And the grave saints frowned on me, and my thought*

Shapen to prayer, put on unholy guise,

Mocking my vain devotion! Marvel not—

I was a child. Ginevra fled the world,

Like a chased dove that calms its panting heart

Under green forest boughs. Life stood unmasked.

And pleasure mocked her like a garland twined

Round a drained wine cup. As a vine that grows

Over some marble urn, a bird that builds

Under the cornice of some shattered temple,

Making its ruin echo with delight,

So to her heart, rent, filled with bitter dust,

Came one bright hope. Alas! my thrilling soul

Still quivered in the bended bow of life.

Youth was too mighty! I grew faint. My heart

Leapt at a quick word, and light tremors ran

Painfully through my limbs. My brain waxed dizzy

Over my books, and I would ponder hours

Ere I could wrest its meaning from the page

I strove to read; or if I knelt to pray,

My aimless thoughts went wandering blindly on,

The prayer I said suspended. Outward things

Unchallenged touched my senses that dull stupor

Muffled like sleep.

I stood within Saint Peter's And heard the Miserere. Through the twilight Burned thirteen starry tapers. One by one, Amid the chanting of the Lamentations, These vanished, till the last and brightest, Christ, Sank into darkness. With that hope's extinction, Like a retreating wave, the chant withdrew Beneath the cave-like shadows. Rippling echoes Tracked it to silence. Father, on my lips The stillness pressed like a remorseless hand! Above, the gray-winged twilight, like a moth Clung to the arches! I did strive to pray, But through my soul the slow-paced, cloistered thoughts Trod, saying "Miserere!" Deep the pause That from the shores of that hushed music stretched Like a black-throated chasm! I grew sick Hearing the echoes sound it! While 1 gasped, As 'twere a bird borne over an abyss On one bruised wing, athwart the chapel roof Fluttered a voice so sad, my panting heart Breathed in one gush of tears. I doubt not, Priest, White angels listening in God's presence then Leant on their harps and wept! The low notes failed Exhausted lv But as they ceased, oh heaven! As 'twere a scimitar quick bared, a shaft Hurled by a giant, a prolonged, loud shriek Leapt through the gloom, and like a dart rebounding Fell, shivered into echoes! Holy Mary! My every pulse thrilled with a separate pain! All through the crowd a light electric shiver Passed like a link. All dimly from mine eyes Fled the dark forms of priest, and cardinal, And heaven's vicegerent in his pontiff robes. I must have fallen but for one steadfast arm Girding my waist like iron. Scarce I marked How the whole choir with thick, sore sobs bewailed Christ's death. I know not what of sudden brightness Burst on my dazzled sight. Dispute it not! I saw the darkness cloven by wings that took Light like a prism, and when the rifted gloom Closed on their upward flight, my senses, prone, Met its returning pressure!

This was April; And ere my dumb soul spake again, the grape Was purple on the hills. Oh, i was weak As a young child! Jacopo in his arms Would bear me to the sea-shore, where T sat Long, vacant hours, numbering the waves, Counting the drifting clouds. They sang me songs— The music pleased me, but the married words

My dull ear noted not. Yot every day
Lifted my prostrate faculties. At last
The old life came to me again, aud l
Lived with my books and memories.

Yet, oh heaven 1
The dense gloom of the Roman chapel seemed
stifling my soul! A horror brooded o'er me;
To my weak brain moat dark forebodings came,
As night-birds haunt a ruin! As one left
In a blind labyrinth seeks in vain the outlet,
As a lost bird that beats its wings against
Tlie black roof of a cavern, so my thought
Conscious of light, pursued it. Pleasure came,
And Fear uplifting with unsteady hand
Her wan lamp, by its shifting rays transformed
The siren to a spectre. Did I stoop
To pluck a joy that seemed to commou eyes
Dewy with innocence, lo! underneath
There coiled some black temptation 1 The wido world
Was all a Paradise, where every tree
Held fruit forbidden. Whither could I fly f
Into dim solitudes, through trooping crowds,
Horror pursued me with extended arms!
Trembling I lingered hi Ginevra's chamber,
There forcibly impelled, there paralysed
By the cold, haunting presence of the dead.
Oh God! I heard her footsteps track the floor!
Oh God! I wakened from my sleep to feel
That I had scared away some brooding thing!
And once—believe it. Father!—in the moonlight
I saw her in her death-robes stand, and point
Her white, still finger to the pictured bridal!
They said that I grew like her, like the novice
Some still remembered; she who smiled farewell,
Thrusting her white hands through the convent grating;
Like the pale saint who, with the crucifix
Betwixt her palms, spake softly while she trod
The solitary chambers, with her prayers
Coupling the moments; not like her, the bright
Aurora of my childhood, on whose knee
1 have lain listless, through my fingers slipping
Pearl chains like rosaries!

Still, if I walked,
One step kept pace with mine, or if reelining
Mid the cleft rocks, I heard the sea rehearse
Its ancient song of chaos, every wave
Rhyming its fellow, still my heart took note
Of a timed footfall on the upper shore
Advancing and retreating. If I read,
And from my book glanced suddenly, I thrilled.
Knowing who stood apart, and on my face
Looked with a strange intentness.

Oh, thou world 1
Thy warm arms clave to me, thy painted lips
Cheated my senses! To my sleep came fiends
That mockptl me with hit smile, put on his shape,
Spake, with his voice, till, starting from my couch,
77i y nam'*, Jacopo. first upon my lips.

I feared to speak God's after! Then came prayers,

Fasts, and harsh penances. There was a chamber

Ginevra loved; a dim, square, lofty room,

Crossed and re-crossed by arches, paved with marbles

Stained in sea hues. One silver shining lamp

That burned behind a column, brake the night

With its still radiance. There, when midnight came,

Crept I as stealthily, with naked feet

Treading the corridors. There my faint soul

Staggered beneath its cross I The niched saints only

Might hear my heart shriek as I walled it in!

The marble where my forehead lay kept not

Count of my tears! And there, when fasts prolonged

Vanquished my sense, while Life, the jailor, slept

Came angels that unlocked the prison doors

And bade my soul go free. Athwart my brain

Flash and withdraw into the cloud of sense

That holds them captive, memories too bright

For human keeping—dumb, sweet dreams that passed

With finger laid on lip. Oh, gracious Father!

Great is my faith in penance that chains down

The senses in their cells, scourges the passions

Into meek virtues, and converts the house

Whore worldly guests held revel, to a cloister

Trod by pure visions, and upglancing prayers!

There came release. 'Twas midnight, and I seemed
In dreams to kneel, as kneels the Bride of Christ.
Yet not Madonna, but my sister, guided
The hand that placed the marriage ring on mine.
While yet I slept, a noise of many wings
Filled all the air, and at my ear a voice
Chanted a cradle hymn. Then I awoke,
And heard the echoes keep one lingering note.

They told me 'twas a dream, but felt I not

The constant pressure of the bridal ring?

And knew I not, though dim to human eyes,

How bright 'twould shine hereafterf Up to God

I sped my fresh hopes, that wing-wearied turned

To earth's most blessed shelter. Priest, as pure

As Catherine, the first nun, I wedded Heaven.

The tresses they have shorn were ne'er unbound

By love's light hand; the beauty that I laid

As 'twere a blossom, on His holy shrine

Kept sacred, ail, from love's profaning touch!

Last flod I here. With many tears, my mother,

Wouldst thou have stayed me, and Jacopo—nay!

I was appalled to look on his white lips!

Once, I remember, in my short novitiate,

When by the convent wall I paused to mark

The singing of a bird, and from above

There dropped a written scroll, oh! saints what wild

Idolatrous words defaced its blotted page!

I dared not look upon the writer's name.

'Twas sin to read, I know, for all the morn

There was that ringing through my unquiet soul,

That outvoiced organ, chorister, and priest'.

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A YEAR AT AMBLESIDE.

JANUARY.

Apter a long illness, during which I never saw a tree in leaf for upwards of five years, and passed my life between my bed and my sofa, I recovered—to my own surprise, and that of every one who knew me. In September, I crept out of doors, and lay on a bit of grass a few yards square. In October, I walked down to the sea-shore, and by degrees extended my rambles to a fine beach three miles from home. By this time there was no doubt of my being well; but it was evidently desirable to change the scene, and break off all associations of sickness with my daily habits, and I eagerly accepted the invitation of friends who lived on the banks of Windermere, to spend a month with them. That month determined my place of residence for, probably, the rest of my life.

I had seen the Lake district in a cursory way, some years before, merely passing through it on my way to Scotland. Its beauty had struck me with a kind of amazement. As I looked down into some of the vales, or around upon a wall of mountains, I was almost incredulous of what I saw. If I had been told that after a long and dreary season of hopeless illness, I should come and sit down for life in this region, I should have looked upon the prospect as one of the most marvellous of the shifting scenes of life.

Its beauty is not the only, nor to some people, the chief interest and charm of the Lake district. The mountains, by their conservative influence, have here hedged in a piece of old English life, such as is to be found nowhere else within the island. They have always hedged in a piece of the life that had passed away from the rest of the country. When the Romans were elsewhere building walls around the towns, and stretching out roads from point to point of the island, the Druids were still collecting their assemblage of wild Britons under the forest shades of this region. The remains of coppices of oak, ash, birch, and hollies, show how high up the mountain sides the ancient forest extended, and under those trees stood of old the long-bearded, shaven-headed, white-robed Druidical priests, sending up a flame of sacrifice, which scared the red deer, and the wolf, and the wild bull in their coverts, and brought the eagles from their highest perch by the scent of a prey. But even here change must come, though later than elsewhere,

and the Romans drew near, at last, to invade the region, and pave a road through it. It must have been a curious sight to the skinclad Britons who were posted as sentinels, when the Roman standards appeared among the trees, and helmets and spears glittered in the pathways of the woods. The Romans took possession of Windermere, and made a camp at its head. If the circles of stones planted by the Druids are visible here and there in the district, no less distinct are the marks of Roman occupation. In a field at the head of Windermere, the outlines of their camp arc obvious enough to the eye; and on a mountain ridge, still called High Street, are the fragments of pavement, which show that even here, above the highest tree-tops from which the British sentinels could look forth, the Roman soldiers made a road for their standards and their troops. What a sight it must have been from below! How the native mother must have shrunk back with her children into the caves of the rock, or the covert of the wood,—less afraid of the wild beasts than of these majestic invaders, against whom her husband was gone out with his scythe or his club! How she and her companions must have listened to the shock of falling trees, and the cleaving of the rocks, which gave notice that the enemy were making themselves a broad highway through the heart of the district. I always think of those cowering Britons now, when I go by the old Roman road, which descends upon Grasmere. The scene is open enough now, but I can conjure up the forests which clothed the mountain slopes down to the very brink of the Grasmere lake, in the days when the wild boar came down to drink, and the squirrel could (as the country people tell) go from Wythburn to Keswick—ten miles on a straight line,—on the tree-tops, without touching the ground.

After all, the Romans passed away before the Britons. The natives remained in considerable numbers in the fastnesses, when the glittering soldiers were no more seen on the paved ways, and the trumpets no longer echoed from one mountain peak to another. But the Saxons and Danes came in to take possession of the fertile spots as the Romans left them. They never obtained possession of the district, however. For six hundred years, the Saxons held

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