which we are going, and one or two even go as far as Hampton Court; beyond that distance the river is only navigable for barges and small boats.'

How wide is the river?' I said. 'If you look at its mouth, beyond the Nore, there is a part which measures nearly eighteen miles across; at the Nore it measures six miles; at Gravesend its width is about half a mile; at Woolwich, a quarter of a mile; and at London Bridge, about 700 feet. But here we are at Richmond.'

"We stopped for half an hour at Richmond, and then returned by one of the steamers. On our way, we passed under the bridges which I described to you in a former letter.* Leaving Richmond Bridge, we passed under the new railway bridge, Kew Bridge, Hammersmith, Putney, Battersea, Vauxhall, Westminster, Hungerford, Waterloo, Blackfriars, Southwark, and London Bridges. We then landed, crossed to the other side of the bridge, and entered one of the larger Gravesend steam-boats.

"In our course to London Bridge, we had passed many pleasant villas and parks, belonging to the merchants of London, and had seen a great variety of scenery. On reaching the bridges connected with London, my friend gave me account of them, which I think you would like to hear.


"Westminster Bridge,' he said, is the oldest of the bridges, and is in a ruinous condition; it

Page 285.

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"A Happy New Year," saith the old church bell,
As it rings in the clear air loudly;
And its deep-toned echoes mount and swell
To the pure blue heavens proudly.

"A Happy New Year," quoth its iron tongue,
To the blithe, and the sorrow-laden,
To the grey-haired sire, to the stripling young,
To the grandame, and fair young maiden.

"I could tell much of the passing year—

Much of its joy and sorrow;

But a new-born one is hastening here,

And I'll bid it a fair good-morrow."
And again rung out the old church bell,
With a strain of wildest gladness;
Then sank from its loud triumphant swell
To a wailing note of sadness.
"Many who welcomed my joyous tone
As I greeted the year now dying,
Away to their last long rest are gone,
And under the sod are lying;
Age hath lain down with manhood's prime,
And woman, her vigil keeping,

Just closed the loved one's eyes in time,
Ere she herself lay sleeping.

"And childhood returns like a priceless boon
Back to the Giver given;

"Twas hard for the mother to yield so soon
Her cherub back to heaven.

Still I welcomed home each pallid one,
With my slow and solemn knelling;
Till they silenced my voice, lest its fearful tone
Should reach the sick man's dwelling.

"There are eyes that smiled on the last New Year, Shall smile on another never;

There are hearts that throbbed for a proud career,
Shall throb no more for ever.

Oh! a gallant harvest old Death hath made,
That stern and hoary reaper;

And the busy sexton hath plied his trade
O'er many a dreamless sleeper.

"Yet a welcome blithe for the young New Year,
With his untold joy or sorrow;
He cometh an unknown stranger here,

And we'll bid him a fair good-morrow.
Still, part we as friends no more to meet

With the year that hath just passed o'er us;
While with chime and with peal we'll warmly greet
The unveiled one before us.


R. A. P. 79

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Set to Music for "PLEASANT PAGES," by G. CHALONER.


sweeping o'er the

sweeping o'er the



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Clear wind, cold wind, like a Northern giant,

Stars brightly threading all thy cloud driven hair,
Thrilling the black night with a voice defiant,

I will meet thee there.

Wild wind, bold wind, like a strong armed angel,
Clasp me round-kiss me with thy kiss divine!
Breathe in my dulled heart thy secret sweet evangel-

Mine, and only mine!

torrents from air

torrents from air

The small notes are required in some of the stanzas only.

Fierce wind, mad wind, howling through the nations,

Knew'st thou how leapeth that heart as thou sweep'st by,
Ah! thou wouldst pause a while in a gentle patience,
Like a human sigh.

Loud wind, strong wind, stay thou in the mountains!

Fresh wind, free wind, trouble not the sea?


Or lay thy freezing hand upon my heart's wild fountains,
That I hear not thee!


Sharp wind, keen wind, piercing as wood-arrows,
Empty thy quiverful! pass on! what is't to thee
Though in some burning eyes life's whole bright circle narrows
To one misery!



6th Week.




P. You would have liked to hear the Lancashire people as they talked of James Brindley, about 100 years ago.

"Who is JAMES BRINDLEY?" one would ask, perhaps. "How can such a rough-looking country fellow think of undertaking such a difficult work? You don't think, do you, that he can make the duke's canal from Worsley to Manchester?"

"Not he!" another might say. "Why, I have known him these twenty years. He spent the first seventeen years of his life as a mere country labourer; and, what is more, he has never been taught to read or write. No one has taken the pains to educate him."

In this way, perhaps, the people would talk of James Brindley; for many were disposed to laugh at him; they thought him presumptuous to try and form the Duke of Bridgewater's canal.

Moral Biography.

Perhaps, however, when these people talked of James Brindley, somebody would be present who knew him. And he would speak in a different strain. "I can tell you," he would say, "that you do not know this man properly. Let me tell you something of his early life."

"James Brindley was born at Tunsted, in Derbyshire, in the year 1716. His father was very poor, so he let his boy grow up, with all kinds of companions, where his only chances were to learn bad habits, and get no education. Scarcely any one taught him anything good; and, even now, he cannot read; while, as for writing, he can almost sign his name, and that is all. So I suppose that he scarcely ever got an idea out of a book; he gets his thoughts from all that he sees round about him.

"Well!" the speaker would continue, "all these things are very much against him, of course. But I can tell you that he's a man who likes to have things against him'; he likes to have something to push against; he seems made on purpose for it. When he was about seventeen years old, he began to feel the power within him. The power which makes men do hard things we call determination. And, when he felt so much determination in him, he thought, 'I should like something harder to do than driving a horse and cart ;' so he went to Macclesfield, in Cheshire, where he bound


himself apprentice to a millwright."

A millwright, you know, is a man who makes machinery for mills. Now, he must be very determined who can learn to make mill-machinery, and yet not be able to read. "So," the speaker would conclude,


James Brindley is the right sort of man to make a canal; and, mind you, I say that he will do it. Mark my words! that determined man will certainly carry out the duke's wonderful plans."

Brindley himself had never seen a paper-mill, but when he was helping his master, he soon began to suspect that the thing was not being done properly. So he said nothing to any one, but waited till his week's work was over; then he set out alone, across the distant country, to have a look at the mill himself. He reached the mill, and examined all its minute parts. He could not, however, make any note of them; he only entered his observations in his head, looking over the machine again and again, until he felt himself perfect master of it. He then returned to his work in good time by the Monday mornMr. Bennett, did not knowing, having travelled the whole much about his business, so he distance of fifty miles on foot. used to leave young Brindley On the Monday morning he by himself for whole weeks, to set to work again by himself; get through his work the best and, to the surprise of all, he way he could. But this was corrected his master's mistakes, an advantage to him; for he completed the whole machine, always would get his work and even improved it. Now, done somehow'; he would friends! what I mean to say is, make his inventive faculties that such a man as that has work to find out how his duties spirit enough to do anything. were to be done. And he Trust him! he'll make the canal always did find out the way, somehow. He'll bore through and did what he wanted. mountains and rocks, and he'll cut his way through any place, you'll see, if the duke will only try him!"

"Yes," another would add, "I say, too, that he will, just because he likes anything hard to do. I can tell you something more about him. His master,

"Let me tell you only one thing," he would add; "just to show how determined he is. His master, Bennett, some time ago, was employed to build a paper-mill. The poor man had never seen one before, so he went off to a distant part to inspect it. His observations, however, were not of much use to him. When he returned, he could not succeed with the mill; he had only bewildered himself.

So all the people who were talking about Brindley, agreed that he would be able to make the new canal.

L. And did the Duke of Bridgewater try him?

P. Yes. Try and imagine the man talking to the duke. It is said that Brindley was


as plain-looking a man as any

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