Imágenes de páginas

To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.

SIR, There are few things which amuse me more than the accounts which travellers have given us of the manners and customs of different countries.

In an account of this kind which I lately met with respecting Switzerland *, I was struck with the following passage, and, as I think it may prove interesting to your Cottage readers, you will perhaps take an opportunity of inserting it in some future number of your '". Visitor.” A few observations shall be added in conclusion.

The writer speaking of the interesting country alluded to, says, “ It has been proposed to institute a harvest home to be celebrated in every village, after having housed the corn, when rewards should be distributed to those husband-men who had most distinguished themselves. Such an appointment would probably be very useful, and certainly does honour to those who promote it. Without any formal institution, there are many villages which keep holidays of this kind. At Ormont, as soon as the return of the fair weather permits the shepherds to go up again with their flocks and herds, to those mountains which supply their summer feed, they proceed to the election of a King. Neither intrigues, factions, nor wealth determine their suffrages: they calculate only the services done to their community. If any one of them by his intrepidity or skill has de livered them from the ravages of a bear, or has slain a voracious wolf, or has enabled them to get rid of some other nuisance, he is forced on a throne, which peither. ceremony nor care surrounds. On these' occasions, when appeal is made to bis authority, a silent solemn ring is formed about him under the oldest tree of the mountain: his audience.hall is the circle of shade. Instead of a sceptre, he grasps a knotted staff: and perhaps some trophy of his prowess, as the skin of a wild beast, is the ornament of his person.

* Switzerland is a country in the neighbourhood of France from which it is separated by high mountains called the Alps. The inhabitants have always been remarkable for good morals and industrious habits. “ I have often seen men (says an excelleut writer) 'carry on their shoulders baskets of manure up steep ascents, where beasts of burden could not go, and this for the purpose of cultivating some little insulated spot of ground which did not appear worth any such labour. The country-women wear their knitting fastened round their waists, order to have it at hand to fill up every little interval that occurs in their domestic employments. If a Swiss woman goes to fetch water from the fountain, or faggots from the wood, her burden is skilfully poised on her head, wbilst her fingers busily ply, the needle.—What an example of diligence and industry!

If any shepherd has been convicted of profane swearing, or quarrelsome provocation, or has been guilty of any acts of intemperance, or of cruelty towards the cattle entrusted to his care, he is made to: stand up in this circle: the accusation and defence. are heard: the King dooms bim to some adequate punishment: and the sentence is strictly executed. This despotic authority over the shepherds is exereised with great wisdom and impartiality.”

Now here, my Cottage readers, I would beg you to turn your thoughts, for a while, to the consideration of that solemn day when he whom St. Peter so beautifully terms “ the shepherd of our Souls,” shall sit upon his throne to judge the world in righteous

I would entreat you seriously to consider how every idle or improper word, and every evil action must then be accounted for. Then all who bave been guilty of taking God's holy name in vain, all who have suffered corrupt communication to proceed ont of their mouth, all who have been contentious and quarrelsome, all who have abused the gifts of their Maker to intemperance and excess, all who have been hard-hearted and cruel; whether towards man or beast, all, in a word, who have lived in the practice of any sin condemned by the Gospel, will find how they have been treasuring up wrath for themselves againat the day of wrath. They will find how strictly the sentence, with which all impenitent sinners are threatened, will be executed upon them. “Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his Angels." O let the thought of this awful sentence deter you from all evil! And, on the other hand, for your encouragement to do all that is good, think of the blessedness of those who, having laboured, through the grace of God's Holy spirit, to regulate their thoughts, words and actions according to the precepts and example of their redeemer, shall be addressed by him on that day, with these joyful words, “ Come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”


R. B.


The following beautiful extract is taken from the

Memoirs of John Evelyn Esq., the Father of this excellent little Boy.

27th Jan. 1658. * AFTER six fits of a quartan ague, with which it pleased God to visite him, died my deare Son Richard, to our inexpressible griefe and and affiction, five years old, and three days onely; but, at that tender age, a prodigy for witt and understanding; for beauty of body a very angel; for endowment of mind, of incredible and rare hopes. **** As to his

Our young' readers will perceive that this letter is not spelt in the manner to which they are accustomed, but they must look at the date, and consider how many years ago it was written.--It would be good practice for children (and grown persons too,), whenever they see a date, to ask them. selves to what King's Reign it belongs.

[ocr errors]

piety, astonishing were his applications of Scripture upon occasion, and his sense of God; he had learned all his catechism early, and understood the historical parts of the Bible and new Testament to a wonder, and how Christ came to redeem mankind. These and the like illuminations, far exceeding his age and experience, considering the prettiness of his addresse and behaviour, cannot but leave impressions on me at the memory of him. He'would, of bimself, select the most pathetic psalms, and chapters out of Job, to read to his maid during his sickness, telling her, when she pittied bim, that all God's children must suffer affliction. He declaimed against the vanities of the world before he had seen any. Often he would desire those, who caine to see him, to pray by him; and, a year before he fell sick, to kneel and pray with him alone in some corner. How thankfully would he receive admonition, how soon be reconciled, how indifferent, yet continually cheerful! He would give grave advice to his brother John, bear with his impertinences, and say he was but a child. If he heard of, or saw, any new thing, he was unquiet till he was told how it was made: he brought to us all sich difficulties, as he found in books, to be expounded. He had learned, by heart, divers sentences in Latin and Greek, which, on occasion, he would produce even to wonder. He was all life, all prettiness, far from morose, sullen, or childish, in any thing he said or did. The last time he had been at church, (which was at Greenwich,) I asked bim, according to custom, what he remembered of the sermon: “ Two good things, Father," said he, “the blessing of grace, and the blessing of glory; with a just account of what the

preacher said." The day before he died, he called to me, and, in a more serious manner than usual, told me, that, for all I loved him so dearly, I should give my house, land, and all my fine things to his brother Jack; he should have none of them; and, next

morning, when be found bimself ill, and that I

persuaded him to keep his hands in bed, he demanded “ whether he might pray to God, with his hands unjoined?" and, a little after, whilst in great agonie, " whether he should not offend God by using his holy name so often calling for ease.” What shall I say of his frequent pathetical ejaculations uttered of bimself? « Sweet Jesus, save me, deliver me, pardon my sins, let thine angels receive me!"-So early knowledge, so much piety and perfection!-Bot thus God, having dressed up a saint fit for himself, would not longer permit him with us, unworthy of the future fruits of this incomparable hopeful blos.

Such a child I never saw: for such a child I bless God, in whose bosom he is. May I and mine become as this little child, who now follows the child Jesus, that Lamb of God, in a white robe, whithersoever he goes ! Even so, Lord Jesus, thy will be done. Thou gavest him to us, Thou hast taken him from us, blessed be the name of the Lord! That I had any thing acceptable to thee was from thy grace alone, since from me he has nothing but sin,

but that thou has pardoned! blessed be my God for ever. Amen."




One evening, Fanny had nearly finished laying out the dessert, and had gone out to gather a few more leaves, as the gardener bad not brought in quite enough. When she came back, she found Kitty in the room: she saw by Kitty's face, that all was not right; and indeed she had something in, ber mouth, when Fanny came in. On looking at the dish of cherries, Fanny perceived that some had been taken.

« AnteriorContinuar »