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REV. PATRICK BRONTE’S COLLECTED WORKS.
O much had been written about the Brontés that I S was anxious, some twenty years ago, to find whether we could not get sufficient autobiographical matter to form a book of appeal in order to test the statements of the many authors who, in book or magazine, were spreading and re-spreading erroneous notions respecting every member of this gifted family, and their friends and neighbours.
My antiquarian friend—Mr. F. A. Leyland, of Halifax— Was anxious to add his quota for the honour of the family and district, but the line he took, whilst giving us many incidents in Branwell’s life, (the sadder preponderating over the brighter,) left us in mystification. Mr. Leyland’s long-delayed ‘‘defence ’’ appeared in two volumes in 1886. His work so displeased Miss Nussey with whom I had been intimately acquainted for a couple of years, that she desired to counteract some of his assertions, but she also wished to thwart a clergyman of East Anglia, who had got access to her Bronté correspondence with the object of bringing out a Bronté biographical work. She had sought my acquaintance, and I had agreed to print the letters at her death, and add other matters which I still have in MS. respecting the Bronté and Nussey families. During her visits to my home and my repeated visits to Fieldhead, where she then resided, we came to the conclusion that the most satisfactory insight into the personal life of Charlotte Bronté could alone be obtained from her letters arranged in chronological order, but as it might be advan- tageous for Miss Nussey to see them in type and make notes, we agreed to print but not publish them during her life time.
On March 18th, 1887, she again sent me her collection, with a note, the first sentence of which read,—‘‘I am sending off by train from Drighlington this evening a very precious parcel to you, just all that I had put together to come to you after my decease.”’
Dr. Joseph Priestley, the scientist, was born, there are half-a-dozen houses, and half-a-mile away is Oakwell Hall (the ‘‘
18 REV. P. BRONTE’S
COTTAGE POEMS. 19
20 REY. P. BRONTE’S
good of the pious, but for the good of those who are not so. And as no two characters can be more opposite, than these are, it is generally difficult, and sometimes impossible, in the same thing, to please both. The Great Apostle, says, ‘‘I am made all things to all men, that I
COTTAGE POEMS. 21
In the pursuit of his humble task, though the Author, for the most part held mental conversation with the unlearned and poor, he was amply recompensed by the suggestions of an approving conscience, and the pleasing reflection, that his Great Master, was the poorest of the poor, and was always ready, not only to instruct, but to associate with the meanest of his sheep.
Some licentious writers, may have a transient, unsat- isfactory joy, when their labours are extolled as ingenious, but unless such men are awfully hardened, reflection must now and then sting them with remorse, and dash the cup of their pleasures with poison, and gall. Whatever may be the fate of this little work, the Author has the pleasure to reflect that he meant well, and will be amply recom- pensed by this reflection. It has been said by some, that virtue is its own reward. However this may be, the Author must confess, that his labours, have already rewarded him by the pleasure which he took in them.
When released from his clerical avocations, he was occupied in writing the Cottage Poems; from morning till noon, and from noon till night, his employment was full of real, indescribable pleasure, such as he could wish to taste as long as life lasts. His hours glided pleasantly, and almost imperceptibly by: and when night drew on and he retired to rest, ere he closed his eyes in sleep, with sweet calmness and serenity of mind, he often reflected, that though the delicate palate of Criticism might be disgusted, the business of the day, in the prose- cution of his humble task, was well-pleasing in the sight of God, and might, by his blessing, be rendered useful to some poor soul, who cared little about critical niceties, who lived unknowing and unknown in some little cottage, and whom, perchance, the Author, might neither see nor hear of, till that day, when the assembled universe, shall stand before the tribunal of the Eternal Judge. The only source of the Author’s grief was a consciousness of his depravity and weakness, and a conviction, that the best of his actions, whether it related to their motives or end, could not stand the test of the All-seeing Eye.
REV. P. BRONTE’S
TO THE REV, J— B—, (VICAR OF DEWSBURY) WHILST JOURNEYING FOR THE RECOVERY OF_HIS HEALTH.
Thus, heaven-supported, forth she goes, Midst flatterers, critics, friends, and foes ; Secure, since He who all things knows, Approves her aim, And kindly fans, or fostering blows Her sinking flame.
Hence, when she shews her honest face And tells her tale, with awkward grace, Importunate to gain a place Amongst your friends ; To ruthless critics leave her case, And hail her ends.
To all, my heart is kind, and true, But glows with ardent love for you ; Though absent, still you rise in view, And talk, and smile, Whilst heavenly themes, for ever new, Our cares beguile.
The happy seasons oft return, When love our melting hearts did burn, As we through heavenly themes were borne, With heaven-ward eyes, And Faith this empty globe would spurn, And sail the skies.
Or, when the rising sun shines bright, Or, setting, leaves the world in night, Or, dazzling, sheds his noon-day light, Or, cloudy hides ; My fancy, in her airy flight, With you resides.
Where, far you wander down the vale, When balmy scents perfume the gale, And purling rills, and linnets hail The King of kings, To muse with you, I never fail, On heavenly things.
Where dashing cataracts astound, And foaming shake the neighbouring ground, And, spread a hoary mist around,
COTTAGE POEMS. 25
Whilst passing o’er this giddy stage, A pious, and a learned sage, Resolved eternal war to wage With passions fell: How oft, you view, with holy rage, These imps of hell!
See! with what madd’ning force they sway The human breast, and lead astray, Down the steep, broad, destructive way, The giddy throng ; Till, grisly death sweeps all away, The fiends among!
As when the mad tornado flies, And sounding mingles earth and skies, And wild confusion ’fore the eyes, In terror’s dressed, So, passions fell, in whirlwinds rise, And rend the breast!
But, whilst this direful tempest raves, And many barks are dashed to staves, I see you tower above the waves, Like some tall rock, Whose base, the harmless ocean laves, Without a shock!
REV. P. BRONTE’S
You preached to all, Whilst God, your zealous efforts blessed, And owned your call.
The very thought, my soul inspires, And kindles bright, her latent fires ; My muse feels heart-warm fond desires, And spreads her wing, And aims to join the angelic choirs, And sweetly sing.
May rosy health with speed return, And all your wonted ardour burn, And sickness buried in his urn, Sleep many years! So, countless friends who loudly mourn, Shall dry their tears !
Your wailing flock will all rejoice, To hear their much-loved shepherd’s voice And long will bless the happy choice Their hearts have made, And tuneful mirth will swell the noise, Through grove and glade. Your dearer Half, will join with me, To celebrate the jubilee, And praise the Great Eternal Three, With throbbing joy, And taste those pleasures pure and free, Which never cloy.
One sunny morn of May, When dressed in flowery green, The dewy landscape, charmed With nature’s fairest scene, In thoughtful mood, I slowly strayed O’er hill and dale, Through bush, and glade.
Throughout the cloudless sky, Of light unsullied blue, The larks their matins raised, Whilst on my dizzy view, Like dusky motes, They winged their way Till vanished in The blaze of day.
The linnets sweetly sung, On every fragrant thorn, Whilst from the tangled wood, The blackbirds hailed the morn ; And, through the dew, Ran here and there, But half afraid, The startled hare.
The balmy breeze, just kissed The countless dewy gems, Which decked the yielding blade, Or gilt the sturdy stems ; And, gently o’er The charmed sight, A deluge shed, Of trembling light.
A sympathetic glow, Ran through my melting soul, And calm, and sweet delight, O’er all my senses stole ; And through my heart, A grateful flood Of joy, rolled on To nature’s God.
Time, flew unheeded by, Till wearied, and oppressed, Upon a flowery bank, I laid me down to rest; Beneath my feet A purling stream, Ran glittering, in The noon-tide
REV. P. BRONTE'S
[ turned me round, to view The lovely, rural scene ; And, just.at hand, I spied A cottage on the green ; The street was clean, The walls were white, The thatch was neat, The window bright.
Bold chanticleer, arrayed In velvet plumage gay, With many an amorous dame, Fierce, strutted o’er the way, And motley ducks, Were waddling seen, And drake, with neck Of glossy green.
The latch I gently raised, And, ope’d the humble door ; An oaken stool was placed On the neat sanded floor ; An aged man, Said with a smile, welcome, sir, ‘¢Come, rest a while.”
His coarse attire, was clean, His manner, rude yet kind, His air, his words, and looks, Shewed a contented mind; Though mean and poor, Thrice happy he, As by our tale, You soon shall see.
But, don’t expect to hear Of deeds of martial fame, Or that our peasant mean, Was born of rank or name, And soon will strut, As in romance, A knight, and all In armour glance.
COTTAGE POEMS. 29
I sing of real life ; All else, is empty show: To those who read, a source Of much unreal woe: Pollution, too, Through novel-veins, Oft fills the mind, With guilty stains.
Our peasant long was bred, Afflictions meager child, Yet, gratefully resigned, Loud hymning praises, s-niled, And like a tower, He stood unmoved, Supported by The God he loved.
His loving wife, long since, Was numbered with the dead ; His son, a martial youth, Had for his country bled ; And now remained, One daughter fair, And only she, To sooth his care.
The aged man, with tears, Spoke of the lovely maid ; How, earnestly she strove To lend her father aid, And, as he ran Her praises o’er, She gently ope’d The cottage door.
With vegetable store, The table soon she spread, And pressed me to partake ; Whilst blushes, rosy-red, Suffused her face —— The old man smiled, Well pleased to see His darling child.
REV. P. BRONTE’S
With venerable air, He then looked up to God: A blessing craved on all, And on our daily food ; Then kindly begged, I would excuse Their humble fare, And not
The table-cloth, though coarse, Was of a snowy white, The vessels, spoons, and knives, Were clean, and dazzling bright ; So, down we sat, Devoid of care, Nor envied kings, Their dainty fare.
When nature was refreshed, And. we familiar grown ; The good old man exclaimed, Around Jehovah's throne, ‘¢ Come, let us all,
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He prayed, that for His sake, Whose guiltless blood, was shed For guilty ruined man ; We might that day, be fed With that pure bread, Which cheers the soul; And living stream Where pleasures roll. He prayed long for all; And for his daughter dear, That she, preserved from ill, Might lead for many a year, A spotless life, When he’s no more; Then follow him To Canaan’s shore.
His faultering voice then fell, His tears were dropping fast, And muttering praise to God, For all his mercies past, He closed his prayer Midst heavenly joys, And tasted bliss Which never cloys.
in sweet discourse, we spent The fast declining day: We spoke of Jesus’ love And of that narrow way, Which, leads through care, And toil below, To streams, where joys Kternal flow.
The wonderous plan of Grace, Adoring, we surveyed, The birth of heavenly skill— In Love Eternal, laid— Too deep, for clear Angelic ken, And far beyond Dim-sighted men.* * This is man in the original but is evidently a misprint.
COTTAGE POEMS. $5
And grief upon grief was my lot: Soon after, my Jambkin was slain ; My hare, having strayed from its cot, Was chased by the hounds o’er the plain. What countless calamities teem From memory’s page on my view !— How trifling soever you seem, Yet, once, I have wept over you.
Then, cease foolish heart, to repine, No stage is exempted from care: If you would true happiness find, Come follow! and
REV. P. BRONTE'S
The dead from their slumbers awake, And leaving their mouldy domain ; Make poor guilty mortals to quake— As pallid they glide o’er the plain! Sure, nature’s own God is oppressed, And nature, in agony cries ;— The sun in his mourning is dressed, To tell the sad news through the skies !
Yet, surely some victory’s gained, Important, and novel, and great; Since death, has his captives unchained, And widely thrown open his gate! Yes, victory great as a God Could gain over hell, death, and sin, This moment’s achieved by the blood Of Jesus, our crucified King.
But all tke dread conflict is o’er, Lo! cloud, after cloud, rolls away ; And heaven, serene as before, Breaks forth in the splendour of day ; And all the sweet landscape around, Emerged from the ocean of night; With groves, woods, and villages crowned, Astonish and fill with delight !
But, see! where that crowd melts away : Three crosses, sad spectacles shew! Our Guide has not led us astray ; Heart! this is the secret you’d know—— Two thieves, and a crucified God, Hangs awfully mangled between! Whilst, fast from his veins, spouting blood, Runs, dyeing with purple the green ! Behold! the red flood rolls along, And forming a bason below, Is termed in Emanuel’s song, The fount for uncleanness and woe. Immerged in that precious tide, The soul quickly loses its stains, Though, deeper than crimson they’re dyed, And scapes from its sorrows and pains.
REV. P. BRONTE’S
Yea, brighter far, than such as grace The annals of a princely race ; Where kings bestow a large domain, But to receive as much again, Or e’en corrupt the purest laws, Or fan the breath of vain applause.
Peace to the man, who stoops his head To enter the most wretched shed, Who, with his condescending smiles, Poor diffidence and awe beguiles: Till all encouraged, soon disclose The different causes of their woes— The moving tale dissolves his heart ; He liberally bestows a part Of God’s donation. From above, Approving heaven, in smiles of love. Looks on, and through the shining skies, The Great Recording Angel flies, The doors of mercy to unfold, And write the deed in lines of gold; There, if a fruit of
COTTAGE POEMS, 89
The prostitute with faithless smiles, Remorseless plays her tricks and wiles, Her gesture bold, and ogling eye, Obtrusive speech, and pert reply, And brazen front, and stubborn tone, Shew all her native virtue’s flown. By her, the thoughtless youth is ta’en, Impoverished, disgraced, or slain : Through her, the marriage vows are broke, And Hymen proves a galling yoke. Diseases come, destructions dealt, Where’er her poisonous breath is felt ; Whilst she, poor wretch, dies in the flame, That runs through her polluted frame.
Once she was gentle, fair and kind, To no seducing schemes inclined, Would blush to hear a smutty tale, Nor ever strolled o’er hill or dale, But lived a sweet domestic maid, To lend her aged parents aid— And oft they gazed, and oft they smiled On this their loved, aud only child: They thought they might in her be blest ; And she would see them laid at rest.
A blithesome youth, of courtly mien, Oft called to see this rural queen: His oily tongue, and wily art, Soon gained Maria’s yielding heart. The aged pair, too, liked the youth, And thought him nonght but love and truth. The village feast, at length is come; Maria by the youth’s undone —- The youth is gone; so is her fame; And with it, all her sense of shame: And, now, she practices the art, Which snared her unsuspecting heart ; And vice, with a progressive sway, More hardened makes her every day. Averse to good, and prone to ill, And dexterous in seducing skill ;
COTTAGE POEMS. 41
REV. P. BRONTE’S
In vain fair Susan walks the shore, And sighs for him she’ll see no more— For deep thev lie in Ocean’s womb, And fester in a wat’ry tomb.
Now, from the frothy, thundering main, My meditations, seek the plain, Where, with a swift fantastic flight, They scour the regions of the night, Free, as the winds that wildly blow O’er hill and dale, the blinding snow, Or, through the woods, their frolics play, And whirling, sweep the dusty way ; When summer shines with burning glare, And sportive breezes skim the air, And Ocean’s glassy breast is fanned To softest curl, by Zephyr bland.
But Summer’s gone, and Winter here, With iron sceptre rules the year— Beneath this dark, inclement sky, How many wanderers faint and die! One, flouncing o’er the treacherous snow, Sinks in the pit that yawns below ; Another numbed; with panting lift, Inhales the suffocating drift ! And creeping cold, with stiffening force, Extends a third, a pallid corse!
Thus death, in varied dreadful form, Triumphant, rides along the storm: With shocking
COTTAGE POEMS. 48
And frosts their icy morsels fling, But all within is mild as spring!
How blest is he !—blest did I say ?
REV. P. BRONTE'S
SENT TO A LADY ON HER BIRTH-DAY.
Tue joyous day illumes the sky, That bids each care and sorrow fly, To shades of endless night: frozen age, thawed in the fires Of social mirth, feels young desires, And tastes of fresh delight.
In thoughtful mood, your parents dear, Whilst joy smiles through the starting tear, Give approbation due: As each drinks deep, in mirthful wine, Your rosy health, and looks benign, Are sent to heaven for you.
But, let me whisper, lovely fair, This joy may soon give place to care, And sorrow cloud this day ; Full soon, your eyes of sparkling blue, And velvet lips, of scarlet hue, Discoloured, may decay.
As bloody drops, on virgin snows, So vies the lily with the rose, Full on your dimpled cheek ; But, ah! the worm in lazy coil, May soon prey on this putrid spoil ; Or leap, in loathsome freak.
Fond wooers come, with flattering tale, And load with sighs the passing gale, And love-distracted rave: But, hark, fair maid! whate’er they Say, You’re but a breathing’ mass of clay, Fast ripening for the grave.
REV. P. BRONTE'S THE
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In friendship, Fair Erin,* you glow, Offended, you quickly forgive, Your courage, is known to each foe, Yet foes on your bounty might live. Some faults, you however must own ; Dissensions, impetuous zeal, And wild prodigality, grown Too big, for your income and weal,
Ah! Erin, if you would be great, And happy, and wealthy, and wise, And trample your sorrows, elate, Contend for our cottager’s prize ; So, error, and vice shall decay, And concord, add bliss to renown, And you shall gleam brighter than day, The Gem of the Fair British Crown.
REV. P. BRONTE’S
And marked his mien, and marked his gait, And saw him trample sin, elate, And heard him speak, though coarse and plain, His mighty truths in nervous strain, I could not gain my own consent, To your acknowledged good intent.
I had my fears, lest honest Joun When he beheld his polished son, (If saints ought of our earthly know,) Would take him for some Bond-street beau, Or, for that thing—it wants a name— Devoid of truth, of sense, and shame, Which smooths its chin, and licks its lip, And mounts the pulpit with a skip ; Then turning round, its pretty face, To smite each fair one, in the place, Relaxes half to vacant smile, And aims with trope, and polished style, And lisp affected, to pourtray Its silly self, in colours gay: Its fusty moral stuff t’unload, And preach itself, and not its God.— Thus, wishing, doubting, trembling
COTTAGE POEMS. 58
REV. P. BRONTE’S
To.gossip, she never will roam, She loves, and she stays at her home, Unless when a neighbour, In sickness does labour, Then, kindly, she pays her a visit.
With Bible she stands by her bed, And when some blest passage is read, In prayer, and in praises, Her sweet voice she raises, To Him, who for sinners once died.
Well versed in her Bible, is she, Her language is artless and free, Imparting pure joy, That never can cloy, And smoothing the pillow of death.
To novels, and plays, not inclined, Nor ought that can sully her mind; Temptations may sliower,— Unmoved as a tower, She quenches the fiery arrows.
She dresses as plain as the lily, That modestly grows in the valley, And never will go, To play, dance or show, She calls them the engines of Satan.
With tears in her eyes, she oft says, ‘‘ Away with your dances, and plays,
COTTAGE POEMS 55
And ruin their souls— In pleasure she rolls, The foretaste of heavenly joys.
Her soul is refined by her Lord, She shines in the truths of his word, Each christian grace, Shines full in her face, And heightens the glow of her charins.
One day, as I passed o’er the mountain, She sung by a clear crystal fountain, (Nor knew I was near,) Her notes charmed my ear, As thus, she melodiously chanted.
REV. P. BRONTE'S
Her visage was sallow and thin, Through her rags peeped her sun-burnt skin ; With sorrow oppressed, She held to her breast, An infant, all pallid with hunger.
Half breathless, by climbing the mountain, She tremblingly stood by the fountain, And begged that our maid, Would lend her some aid, And pity both her and her infant.
Our maiden had nought but her earning— Her heart, with soft pity was yearning ; She drooped like a lily, Bedewed in the valley, Whilst tears fell in pearly showers.
With air unaffected, and winuing, To cover them, of her own spinning, Her apron of blue, Though handsome and new, She gave, and led them to her cottage.
All peace, my dear maiden be thine ; Your manner and looks are divine, On earth you shall rest, In heaven be blest, And shine like an angel, for ever.
More blest than the king on the throne, Is he, who shall call you his own ; The ruby, with you Conrpared, fades to blue, Its price is but dust on the balance.*
Religion makes beauty enchanting ; And even where beauty is wanting, The temper and mind, Religion—refined, Will shine through the vail with sweet lustre.
* Prov. xxxi, 10.
COTTAGE POEMS. 57
SPIDER AND ELY.
Tue sun shines bright, the morning’s fair, The gossamers* float on the air, The dew-gems twinkle in the glare, The spiders loom, Is closely plied, with artful care, Even in my room.
See! how she moves in zigzag line, And draws along her silken twine, Too soft for touch, for sight too fine; Nicely cementing : And makes her polished drapery shine, The edge indenting.
Her silken ware, is gaily spread ; And now, she weaves herself a bed, Where, hiding all, but just her head, She watching lies, For moths, or gnats, entangled spread, Or buzzing flies.
You cunning pest! why forward, dare So near to lay your bloody snare! But, you to kingly courts repair, With fell design, And spread with kindred courtiers, there,
COTTAGE POEMS. 59
A YOUNG CLERGYMAN.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
COTTAGE POEMS, 61
REV. P. BRONTE 8
For scanty fare: Attend: and gather richest spoil,
REV. P. BRONTE'S
Gives life, and light, There, streams of pleasure, ever flow, And pure delight.
Christ, says to all, with sin oppressed,
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My food is but spare, And humble my cot, Yet, Jesus dwells there, And blesses my lot: Though thinly I'm clad, And tempests oft roll, He’s raiment, and bread, And drink to my soul.
His presence, is wealth, His grace, is a treasure, His promise is health, And joy out of measure. His word, is my rest, His Spirit my guide: In him I am blest, Whatever betide. III. Since Jesus 1s mine, Adieu to all sorrow ; I ne’er shall repine, Nor think of to-morrow: The lily so fair, And raven so black, He nurses with care, Then, how shall I lack ? IV. Each promise is sure, That shines in his word,
And tells me, though poor, I’m rich in my Lord,
REV. P. BRONTE'S
Hence! sorrow, and fear, Since Jesus is nigh, I'll dry up each tear, And
COTTAGE POEMS. 67
IX. Whatever is hid, Shall burst on my sight, When, hence I have fled To glorious light. Should chastisements lower, Then, let me resign, Should kindnesses shower Let gratitude shine.
Hence! sorrow, and fear, Since Jesus is nigh,
THE RURAL MINSTREL.
RURAL MINSTREL: A MISCELLANY
70 KEV. P. BRONTE'S
RURAL MINSTREL. 71
been comparatively few. No country, perhaps, has pro- duced more than our own. England has given birth to various authors of this kind, who seem to have acquired the rare faculty of pleasing and profiting, at the same time: nevertheless, their writings, for the most part, are too voluminous and obscure, for the majority; so that the perusal and purchase of them require more time and money, than the generality of readers are disposed to give. It, therefore, appeared to the author, that, in addition to the little works of a useful tendency, already published in verse, it would not be amiss to write another, which, from its size, the nature and manner of its com- position, and the matter it contained, would have some tendency to convey useful instruction, in a mode not unacceptable, and which, in the perusal and purchase, would require no great portion of money or time-
He does not think it necessary to apologize for deliver- ing his sentiments in verse, since he is authorised to do so by many excellent precedents in human composition, as well as by those inimitable poetical compositions, which in the volume of Divine Inspiration, written in the original Hebrew, convey the most interesting, and important truths.
In the attempt to profit, whilst he pleased, the author frequently laboured under considerable difficulty, and may not, in all respects, have kept the critical line of rectitude, nevertheless, he proceeded, according to the best of his conscience and judgment, endeavouring, as nearly as he could, to copy after the great Apostle, who became all things to all men, that he might by all means save some.
The author has preferred writing the greater part of his little volume in the irregular metre, as it is sanctioned by the authority of some of the most eminent authors, is most congenial to his own mind, and seemed to him best calculated for poems of a descriptive nature. These are the author’s views and motives; how far he is right, and has succeeded, in his humble attempt, he must leave the candid reader to determine.
72 REV. P. BRONTE'S
RURAL MINSTREL. 73
74 REV. P. BRONTE'S
And whilst they hear the solemn Bell, Drink pleasures, that no tongue can tell ; Their souls all on fire, With heavenly desire, In holy transports wing their way,
RURAL MINSTREL. 715
When he is gone ; Upon his marble stone, This poor memento, strikes the searching eye,
46 REV. P. BRONTE’S
The rays of grace, From Jesu’s face, The bright empyrean, through, There, countless saints, will swell the heavenly choir, Their tuneful voice, to joyful praise inure ; Enraptured, strike the golden wire ; To the Ancient of Days Hallelujahs raise, As long eternity’s ages endure.
A FRAGMENT OF A ROMANTIC TALE.
Her leaden sceptre, swayed the midnight hour, Nor cloud disturbed the pure ethereal way, The moon full orbed diffused a silver shower ; The stars attendant on their nightly queen, In twinkling lustre, sailed the deep serene, Their mingling rays, shed placid light, That sweetly silvered o’er the night, Usurping half his empire from the King of day, Who wearied, with a tedious summer course had hurled, His golden chariot, to the lower world, With cheering ray, and swifter flight, To chase the lingering shadows of their moonless night. Slept all the gentle breezes, midst the listening wood The noiseless leaves were still, Nor murmuring from the hill, Was heard the falling flood, Nor stirred the wearied beetle, on his humming wing, Slept every shepherd’s flute, And every sound was mute,
RURAL MINSTREL. V7
Amidst this solemn, silent hour, From Kirkstall Abbey’s ruined tower, Now rose; now fell; With cadence sweet, and soft melodious swell, Such notes as angels play, Where basking in eternal day, In full celestial choir, They touch the golden wire, And hallelujah’s sing, To their Almighty King, Whilst every heavenly sound, in wondering silence hears,. The more than music of the sweet harmonious spheres. When the sweet music ceased its mellow sound, And echoing, answered every arch, around ; Whether, a tuneful shepherd, skilled in
q8 REV. P. BRONTE'S
Of land unknown, and name obscure, And he that bears the rule ; The blood-stained hero, and the conquered slave, The wise man, and the fool ; The fearful, and the bold, And all, of earthly mould, Shall find a common grave, Where lethes waters, their dull mansions lave. There’s one alone, the general wreck defies, The honest man who waits upon his God, In faith submissive to his Sovereign nod ; And anchors all his hopes, beyond the skies. His name shall live, when all things else decay ; And heaven, and earth, and time, shall pass away. Hail ruined tower! that like a learned sage, With lofty brow, looks thoughtful on the night ; The sable ebony, and silver white, Thy ragged sides from age to age, With charming art inlays, When Luna’s lovely rays, Fall trembling on the night, And round the smiling Jandscape, throw, And on the ruined walls below, Their mild uncertain light. How heavenly fair, the arches ivy-crowned, Look forth on all around! Enchant the heart, and charm the sight, And give the soul serene delight ! Whilst here, and there, The shapeless openings spread a solemn gloom, Recal the thoughtful mind, down to the silent tomb, And bid us for another world prepare. Who would be solemn, and not sad, Who would be cheerful, and not glad, Who would have all his heart’s desire, And yet, feel all his soul on fire, To gain the realms of his eternal rest, Who would be happy, yet not truly blest, Who in the world, would yet forget his worldly care, With hope fast anchored in the sands above, And heart attuned by sacred love, Let him by moonlight pale, to this sweet scene repair.
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Here, unrequited love, Mild as the turtle-dove, Will lose its frown, Its slow consuming fire no longer burn ; The lanquid pulse, will quicker play, The erring feelings cease to bear the sway, Whilst long discarded reason, will again return ; And all the lovely scene with softest soothings crown ;
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Here, worlds themselves, may pass away, And sun, and moon, and stars decay, Here, all the glories of the skies burst on the sight, And shed their pure effulgence bright, On the enraptured eyes; Whilst all around, sweet Eden’s roses blow, And heaven’s own blessings o’er the bosom flow. So spake the voice, through the still womb of night ; The stars withdrew their twinkling, and the moon her light ; The clouds fast
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On the delighted eye ; Or in fantastic dance, Wheels its uncertain glance, With bickering dazzle, on the ceiling high, Or round the papered walls, Where light, and shade soft undulating play, When evening’s curtain gently falls, And clothes the face of things in silver gray. Here, chaste simplicity, in humble guise, Makes every thing complete, Nor dazzles, nor offends the eyes, But elegantly neat, Displays her charms, Steals o’er the heart, and all our senses warms. As when Aurora borne on Zephyr bland, With vernal sun-beams, in her hand, In softest colours, paints her fairest scene, And leaves the fields to summer, clothed in coarser green, So chaste simplicity, on all around, Exhausts her skill, flings to the ground, Her matchless pencil, and ethereal
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Here amaranth, for ever rooted, blows, Nor, faithless, hides the serpent’s fatal wiles.
The man is taught of God; Obeys his sovereign nod,— The sacred Scriptures, are his constant guide
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And light a ray of hope, And bear my spirits up, And all my keener griefs, to blank oblivion hurled, Absorbed in her illimitable womb, Would leave the softened mind, Arrayed in solemn joy, —— Whilst thou dost love, and still art kind, No gloomy changes can my peace destroy. O, love celestial! bent on themes divine ; Nor self-consumed in fiercest flame ; Nor as the moon, unwarming dost thou shine ; But like a smiling morn of May, When phoebus lends a genial ray, Thou givest life, and light ; Thy silken cord, is soft and strong, And draws the yielding mind, with easy force along: Should ocean heave, with adverse gales, I Or prosperous winds, inflate the sails ; Thy tender sympathy, is still the same ; Thy constant glow, the bosom warms, Whilst each succeeding day, unfolds increasing charms, And fills the soul, with ever-new delight.
But love divine! the spring of purest joy, With all that charm the heart, its cares destroy : The conscience cleanse from all its guilty stains, Produce unbroken rest, And make us truly blest ; With the Father of love, Have their sources above, Which clear as crystal fountains, o’er the smiling plains, Their wholesome waters roll ; Their courses marking, as they gently glide, By fresher verdure, and a margin wide, Of fragrant flowers decked in livelier hue,— That round the meadow, countless beauties strew, Regale each sense, and charm the ravished soul.
Then, let the vernal landscape’s ample bound, That gayly smiles around, With all the sweets, it richly spreads abroad, To us, our Father, and redeeming God, Progressively endear ;
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Whate’er we do, whate’er we say, Let pure religion, bear the sovereign sway ; So shall each rolling year, Crowned with thy birth-day, solid joys impart ; And gently sooth, our undivided heart ; And when our spring of life is done, And sets our summer-sun ; When time shall blot from’ memory’s view, These humble lines addressed to you, And e’en the fields, and pleasant cot, Where, once we lived, shall be forgot, Conveyed to brightest realms above, And wrapped in purest, warmest love, Where sin, and death, and changes ne’er annoy, We'll taste of endless bliss, without alloy.
Anp is he gone ?—and has he left behind, A mourning widow, to deplore his loss ? And have his little babes no father kind, To watch their tender years, And daily food procure ? And must they guileless toss, Amidst a sea of troubles, cares and fears ? Unpitied, unprotected, must they roam, Without a friend, without a home, And unsupported, all the ills of life endure ? And shall those hopeful boys who once their father’s pride, Would smiling prattle, by his guardian side, Be left a prey, to each temptation strong ? And shall sweet Mary, guileless, lovely maid, Without his sage advice, and tender aid, Be left so helpless, and so young ?
He’s gone.— He’s gone.—And never shall return ; His bier was slowly carried down that lonely way.— The humble few, by whom his corse was borne, In plaintive air, were often heard to Say,
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Hence, blest, and blessing, rolled his years away: But, now, he’s from us torn,— And shall his widow, and his orphans mourn,
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And looking clearer on the night, Will shed a flood of silver light, On the delighted world ; The nodding tower, will catch her beam, And glance will every limpid stream, That tinkles down the vale.— And whilst her silver wain, is upward hurled, And countless stars, in twinkling beauty scale, The glowing, crystal sky.— With milder beauties, on the wondering eye, Reflected in the glassy lake below ; Another moonlight, starry heaven, will glow.
Hail, luna! empress of the silent night ; Thy changing form, and thy uncertain light, Fit emblems are, of this terrestrial scene, Where, ever-changing objects flit around, Leave no impression, where they once have been, And as they pass, proclaim, with solemn sound,
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Along the sky, thy sable globe unseen, would roll, Whilst utter darkness, would involve the saddened pole. So, if we shine, With rays divine, And taste, believing, of celestial joy ; The Saviour is our sun, By him the glorious work is But if in wrath, he turn his face, away, The saddened soul, benighted, goes astray, And gnawing sorrows, all its peace destroy.
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In hops the redbreast, half
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Blessed is the man, and free from harm,
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But slowly wasting, hidden fires, That oft inflame impure desires, Blow up the kindling wrath of God, Bring down the judgments of his sin-avenging rod, And give acutest pain ? What is power? What is universal sway, And all the dreams that round ambition’s fancy play ? What is honour? What is gain ? But beds of roses, laid on sharpest thorns.
What is all this sinful world to me ? An empty fleeting toy.— My sickened mind abhors the loathsome sight ; Haste, tardy death, and instant free, My wearied soul, from this tormenting plight, And launch me into purest joy ; Where I shall dwell with God, For aye, disburdened of this painful load.
To be removed from hence—and numbered with the dead— With utter ruin fraught, The overwhelming thought, My trembling soul benumbs, With hideous revolution comes, And horrid thundering back, on my defenceless head! I hear the Judge Eternal say,
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Sang through the bending wood, In solemn, slow, and melancholy mood, As if to sooth his mind, And chase away his heart-corroding pain.
Like faded lily, drooped his head, Whilst pale despair, sat on his clouded brow; And whilst he weeping cried,
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Suspect a faithless rock, below, Let Jesus be your pole-star, bright, Who shines propitious, in the darkest night, So shall you safely land, on Canaan’s shore, Where we shall meet, to part no more.
My eyes grow fixed and dim, My pulse’s palpitations faintly play, The ambient air, ten thousand angels skim, And soft, I hear, the joyous summons, ‘‘ come away!”’ The opening heavens, around me shine !— I see the looks of Jesus, all benign !— I hear celestial music, where the seraphs dwell ;— Loud, loud, my soul, triumphant sing !— The grave and hell, have vanquished fled !— And gently smiling o’er my bed, Pale death has lost his sting !— I go—I go—my wife—my children—all farewell !—
HARPER OF ERIN.
AN ancient harper, skilled in rustic lore ; When summer hailed the mild departing spring ; High on a rock, on sweet Killarney’s With flying fingers, touched the tuneful string. A wildly sentimental grace, Kach feature marked, of his expressive face ; And whilst his fingers swept the mellow chords along, In sweet accord, with his seraphic lyre, His soul spoke through his eyes, its wild poetic fire ; And thus he raised his song. I shall not sing of Erin, beauteous isle, Nor of her courteous sons, for valour famed, Nor of Killarney, queen of lakes,— Adorned with nature’s sweetest smile, * Erin is the poetical name for Ireland.
is the name of a beautiful lake in Ireland; remarkable for its pellucid waters, echoing rocks, and picturesque shore.
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And every grace that can be named,— To view whose charms, Insensibility herself awakes,
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And gnash their teeth, in black
(‘The frontispiece bears the names of James, del., Stather, sculp., and in the smallest script a sentence from page 13, “The good old ‘cottager discovered by the light of a candle a young man,
COTTAGE IN THZ
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THE COTTAGE IN THE WOOD, c€c.
MANY writers whose selfish aim is rather to please than profit, strangely misrepresent human affairs: they so
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man any where and he cannot be happy. The reason is obvious; the good man carries his mind with him, and thence he draws his remedies, his antidotes, his comforts: the bad man also carries his mind with him, but it is a source of unruly desires, vain expectation, heavy dis- appointment, and keen remorse.
I have taken the liberty of making these remarks, in order to prevent my readers from thinking that the inhabitants of the Cottage in the
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in a crystal rill, tinkled down to a rivulet in the vale. All around, for a considerable distance, was covered with trees, hence the little mansion was called
COTTAGE IN THE
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about sun rise, a tall genteel looking man entered the cottage, and they recognized in him the person already alluded to. He behaved himself politely and spake very sensibly, but it was evident from his wan cheeks and drowsy looks that he was jaded with the debauches of the night. Addressing himself to these good people with some marks of confusion, he apologised for the trouble he gave them on a former occasion, and candidly confessed that drunkenness was his besetting sin, and often led him into dangers, and various and gross acts of and folly. I
They now felt it a duty incumbent on them to give him such good advice as piety and prudence dictated; and first of all the venerable old man thus faithfully and respectfully remonstrated with him:
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honest with me, I also will be honest with you. To tell you the truth, I have had my doubts about the Bible; I have sometimes thought the whole was but a fable, invented by priests to put money in their pockets, and to fill such simple people as you and me with idle terrors.”
The undaunted veteran soldier of Christ, instantly said
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wish the scriptures to be false; because if they are not, you must go to hell. With this bad inward feeling, you eagerly listen to what every ungodly man has to say against them. Then you do not study them for yourselves. at all; or if you do read a chapter here and there, it is not that you may see the truth, but that you may harden your hearts against it. You cannot possibly therefore discover your mistake. You are like the moles in my little garden; you live under yrownd, and can relish no pleasure in the world
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could be numbered amongst the stony and thorny ground hearers, who at first received the word with joy, but in time of temptation fell away.
Such was the force of truth upon the mind of our young infidel, that he candidly owned he was almost per- suaded to be a Christian. The genuine, though ludicrous picture of infidelity which he had just seen exhibited, made him confess that he often doubted the truth of his system, and that it now seemed more brittle than ever. After some further conversation, he took his leave, with evident reluctance, informing his humble friends that he would take the liberty of calling on them at a future opportunity; that he lived but a few miles off, and that his name was William Bower.
Upon enquiry, they found he was a gentleman of con- siderable fortune, and possessed many amiable qualities, but was wretchedly addicted to drinking, and often led by this vice into the meanest and most dangerous company.
On his way home, Mr. Bower seriously reflected on what he had heard; his conscience, not yet entirely seared, made some faint struggles to alarm him, whilst his judg- ment warmly approved. He frequently afterwards called at the cottage, apparently much reformed, and conducted himself in such a becoming manner, as to render his company both agreeable and instructive.
One day, when Mary was going to the nearest market town, to buy some necessary articles of food and raiment, he accidentally overtook her, and alighting from his horse, after a good deal of familiar and friendly conversation, hesitatingly said, ‘‘ Mary, I have long looked upon you with an eye of affection; I have often thought that you were born to a higher condition than that which you now enjoy, and I have pitied the poverty of your venerable parents.
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Mary, in her simplicity and integrity, but half suspect- ing his meaning, and wavering between gratitude and indignation, faulteringly answered, you intend, Sir, that I should become your servant, though I should be sorry to leave my parents, yet, if you obtain their consent, seeing it would be so much for their good, I cannot reasonably object to your liberal offer.”’
To which, with an air of triumph, that bespoke his confidence of success, he jocosely replied, ‘‘I intend to advance you far above the rank of a servant: you shall be my wife in every thing, the ceremony of marriage only excepted. Come, Mary, let us be parson and clerk ourselves. Mutual consent is all that’s required.”’
Warmed with indignation, and covered with blushes, Mary briefly and decisively rejoined, ‘‘ You shock me, Sir! I had thought better of you; I hope nothing in my conduct ever warranted such an opinion of me. Let me see you no more; I abhor and reject your proposal, and pity and despise yourself.”’
This able and unexpected rebuff greatly disconcerted our hero, he felt his own littleness, and being confounded and mortified, he was about to remount his horse and ride off; when his passions, which he had never been accustomed to control, kindled with increasing fury, and impelled him towards the possession of the desired object, whatever obstacles might lie in the way. Standing awhile in silence, as if to recollect himself, with humbled counten- ance, and in a lower tone, he said, ‘‘I only made this experiment to obtain a satisfactory proof of your integrity. My dearest Mary, excuse me; I now make you a proposal in the sincerity of my heart, which I think you cannot reasonably object to; I freely offer you myself, and all I possess in just and honourable marriage.”
‘‘T cannot,’ answered Mary, excuse your conduct, even admitting you had these motives for it which you mention, You ought not, like Satan, to have acted the part of a tempter. And as for your offer of marriage, I must entirely reject it. I thank you for the honour you do me in this respect; but on this, as well as on all other occasions, I trust I shall follow the directions of God,
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and he says, ‘Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? Aud what communion hath light with darkness ? and what concord hath Christ with Belial ? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?’ Now, Sir, since I suppose you do not often read your Bible, I will tell yon where vou may find this passage; you will find it in the sixth chapter of St. Paul’s second Epistle to the Corinthians.”
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‘¢ My God, I thank thee for the victory which thou hast given me, through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour! Thy Son left all the glory of heaven for my sake, and I make this sacrifice for his. Througk thy help I have sacrificed the propensities of a deceitful heart, to the better dictates of my judgment and conscience. Had I done otherwise, I must have forfeited all pretensions to thy protection and love, and might probably have paid for my sin and folly, by the destruction of my peace here, and my happiness hereafter. I now solemnly devote myself, and all my concerns, to thee. I know that thou canst bring pleasure out of pain, and good out of evil, and wilt never leave me nor forsake me. If it be thy blessed will, turn this man from the error of his ways, so that notwithstanding he is lost to me for ever, he may be thine to
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contributed more than all to increase her embarrassment, was another offer of marriage made by Mr. Bower. But notwithstanding this, she never lost her faith and patience, and steadfastly
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their way home they were assailed by a furious tempest of wind, rain, and thunder. In consequence of the lightning striking an oak that grew close by, their horses took fright and threw them. Through a kind providence, they received no injury. For a while they were deeply impressed with the circumstance ; but soon forgetting the solemn warning, they resumed their idle songs and blasphemous conversa- tion. Somewhat shocked, Mr. Bower lingered behind, and whilst he was occupied in reflecting on the guilt and danger of his state, and in looking up to God for deliver- ance, his companions were suddenly shot from behind a _hedge by robbers who had waylaid them. Stealing through the trees in the greatest trepidation, he made his escape, and was so affected with what had happened, that through the divine blessing, all the good impressions he received at the cottage revived, his mind was enlightened, his out- ward conduct reformed, and he became a new man, being every way as remarkable for his piety and prudence, as he had formerly been for his wickedness and folly.
A minute account of these things having reached the ears of Mary, gave her unspeakable delight. She remem- bered that she had prayed for him, and looked upon his conversion as an answer to her petitions.
He had been informed of her prosperity, and ardently longed to see her; but as he was become poor, he was afraid to hazard an interview, lest it should tend only to increase his uneasiness, without putting him into the possession of the object he had long loved, but whose incalculable value he now saw more clearly than ever. He was at this time an assistant in a large school, and constantly offered his services gratis, to the poor children, on the Sundays. One day, whilst employed in these charitable labours, the mutually desired interview was brought about. Mary, not knowing anything of his attendance, called to distribute amongst the most diligent of the children some books as the reward of their merit. But how great was her surprise on seeing Mr. Bower sedulously occupied in teaching them! For some time he did not observe her: but on two women, who stood by, exclaiming ‘ what a lovely and kind
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began to palpitate. With becoming diffidence and un- feigned affection, he immediately addressed her. His language, though somewhat inarticulate, pleaded elo- quently in his behalf. Her father—her mother—the Cottage in the Wood—and past endearing scenes, instantly rushed to her recollection. She was moved to tenderness, and felt that she loved. Her conscience now told her that she might indulge the pure passion; her words and manner, though modest and dignified, were kind and encouraging, and gave Mr. Bower reason to hope that she might yet be his. On his way home he could not help saying to himself, O how amiable is true religion! It purifies the principle, directs the judgment, sanctifies the conduct: it so entirely changes both body and soul, that it is justly termed in Scripture a second birth, and likened to a new creation. Mary might seem pleasing, even in a state of nature; but O, how lovely as a child of God! She is humble without knowing it; condescending with- out being proud of it; and irresistibly charming whilst she aims only at adorning the cause of her Saviour. Even when buried in the depths of ignorance and vice, I could not help valuing her, but I now see that her price is above rubies.
Mary was not less agreeably affected by the interview. She could not but sensibly feel the pleasing change, which religion had wrought in the principles and conduct of Mr. Bower. However polite and engaging the conversation and manner of sensual young men may occasionally ap- pear to a graceless and unthinking woman, yet all who view them closely, and with spiritual discernment, will readily discover the loathsome deformity of their mind, and the base hypocrisy of their conduct. Though I would be far from considering, or wishing others to consider the eyes at all times as the infallible index of the mind, or the tongue as the faithful messenger of the heart, yet I can- not help observing, that a good judge of characters will seldom be long in the company of the wicked and dissi- pated, without discovering something in their looks and sayings, which discloses the pollution of the fountain from whence it flows. A rake, however artful in making
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cannot captivate any but those who are already in bondage to ignorance and sin. Mr. Bower was once an agreeably accomplished rake, in full possession of these allurements, that have inveigled so many to their ruin. At that time, Mary, though not without an effort, resisted and overcame all his temptations. But now his looks are humble, his manners unaffectedly kind, his conversation instructive, lively, and spiritual, and his whole deportment far more pleasing to her than it ever had been. What once could be termed only a disallowed and transient passion, is now become pure and settled affection, found- ed upon the immoveable basis of friendship and esteem. This is the only love which can be considered genuine and lasting, and which will remain unsullied by tempta- tion, and undiminished by adversity.
But notwithstanding Mary’s good opinion of Mr. Bower, she resolved not to give too much way to her feelings, or to do any thing which might savour of rashness. She did not, therefore, immediately consent to marry him, but calling in religion and reason to her aid, she waited a few months, in order that what she did, might have the appro- bation of her judgment and conscience, as well as of the tenderest emotions of her heart.
When time, that revealer of secrets, had fully discovered that her affection was not misplaced, she freely gave her hand to Mr. Bower, whose patience was well nigh ex- hausted. A connexion formed under such favourable circumstances, might naturally be expected to turn out well: and so it did. They lived many years together, not without some trials, but in the full enjoyment of as much happiness as can fall to the lot of humanity, in this changeable and uncertain world.
Their constant aim was to glorify God, and to make each other happy. All captious propensities and selfish feelings were dissolved and lost in the warmth of their affections, and the purity of their principles. With the same religious sentiments, views, and feelings, they tra- velled Zionward, still cheered by the reflection, that the common cup of their pleasures in this life, was but the foretaste of that infinitely purer banquet of eternal joys,
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of which they should participate together in heaven. Thrice happy lot! Desired by all, but attainable only where there are correspondent causes, true religion, per- fect unanimity, sweet cordiality, steadfast confidence, and pure, refined, and mutual love. Pious, obedient, and affectionate children are sources of great comfort to all who have them. They are never failing springs of plea- sure, both rare and new; more than compensating for that tender anxiety for their welfare, which can actuate none but a parent’s bosom. With much prayer and dili- gence, Mr. and Mrs. Bower brought up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and lived to enjoy the fruits of their labours. Where others, who pur- sue a different course, have sorrow, they had joy. With the sweet Psalmist of Israel, whilst contemplating his son Solomon, they could experimentally say, ‘‘ Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but
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rapturous looks, and heard her encouraging words, they could not refrain from exclaiming, ‘‘O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory ?”’
When the time of her departure drew near, she called her mourning husband and children to her bed-side, and tenderly embracing them, said, ‘‘ Weep not for me, I am going to heaven, where I hope we shall all meet ere long, to part no more. Walk by faith in Christ—flee that which is evil—seek that which is good—anchor your hopes above —and when you think of me, remember these my last ceased, and a holy rap- ture continued to beam from her eyes till she closed them in death. A solemn silence pervaded the room for some minutes after her soul had escaped from the prison of the body. Her husband was the first who interrupted this awful pause. Affectionately embracing her unconscious clay, he cried, ‘thou art gone—thou art gone—-the ten- derest of wives, and the best of mothers! Thou hast left an aching void here which the world can never fill.’ His hand was now on his breast, and the big tears coursed one another down his manly cheeks. But recollecting himself a little, and turning to his afflicted children who were giving way to the loudest lamentations, he said, ‘let us resign to the will of God; his ways are the wisest and the best. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away: blessed be the name of the
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The Pious Cottager’s Sabbath.
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Invited, that with heavenly music swell Upon the fresh’ning breeze—And as the way Is long, they carry plain and ready fare ; Lest by returning home to better food, Their souls should lose the richer banquet of The afternoon. Thrice happy day of rest! How swift it passes o’er their heads! And as The smiling moments fly, they scatter from Their fragrant wings, ten thousand sweets exhal’d From the pure Fountain of Eternal life. In prayer and praise, and exposition true, The faithful legate of the skies, fulfils His sacred office. From his lips, touch’d with A living coal blown to the clearest flame By breath divine, there flows a tepid stream Of eloquence, that rushing o’er the soul, Fills it with ecstasies of pure delight.
The holy, just, and strict condemning law, In Sinai’s thunder
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The genial soil for deeds of heavenly growth, Where no rude winds disturb the rising plants, Nor rushing torrents whelm their broken stems, But warm prolific breezes softly breathe ; And meditation like the dew from heaven, A rich variety diffuses wide, Of odorous, flow'ry, green, and-fruitful gold. This is the golden harvest of the word, Where they who sow in sorrow, reap in joy: And man forgets the evils of this life, In sweetest antepast of bliss above.
Now, wrapt in holy fire, they spend the time, In close perusal of the Sacred Book; Or, all their conversation rais’d to heaven, They dwell on Christ’s Eternal Love, and see, Through Faith, the brightness of his face, and feel The breathings of his Spirit whisp’ring peace.
When night around her sable curtain draws, And wearied nature claims her wonted boon— They take their frugal meal, and then in sweet Accord, with tuneful tongues, they joyful sing His praise, who on his bright eternal throne, Sways the vast sceptre of the boundless whole. With holy boldness, kneeling down, they call Him Father; all their wants make known, and crave A full supply.—He hears his children’s voice, Well pleas’d; and gives them more than they can ask.— Secure beneath the shadow of his wings, They go to rest; sweet sleep their eyelids close, And fits them for the duties of the morn.
How rich, how fair, are heavenly Wisdom’s ways! How peaceful all her paths! the narrow road Of bliss, how dazzling bright ?—None walk therein, But those who follow Christ, and bear his cross, With all the shame annex’d—and as they go, Ne’er dare to turn aside, nor backward cast A wishful look, but hasten on with firm Resolve, and steady peace, by faith upheld, The prize immortal, keeping still in view.
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Shoot down the glen, and stem the roaring flood, Leap on the bank, ’midst clouds of dashing spray, And fast through dangers dread, pursue their way !|—
But see! the night assumes a blacker hue, Deep thunders roll, quick gleams the lightning blue ; The gusty storm comes on with whelming sweep ; Uprooted oaks rush down the rocky steep ; The streaming clouds, their copious torrents pour, And blacker still, the angry heavens low’r! Bright, and more bright, the quivering lightnings flash ; Loud, and more loud, the rattling thunders crash ; In hideous darkness, wind, and rain, and fire, Heaven seems to vent on man its hottest ire !—
O, sinner! think on that great day of dread, When the last trump shall wake the drowsy dead, When for these thunders, falling skies shall sound, And for these lightnings, far as thought can bound, Through endless space, ten thousand worlds shall flame, And burn to ashes, wide creation’s frame!
But ’midst this din of elemental war, How speed our heroes? will they fearless dare The night’s fell gloom, and all its ruthless ire ?— Full on they drive through wind, and rain, and fire: The sounding whip, and bloody steel they ply ; Their panting horses swift as lightning fly ; Till passing underneath a spreading oak, The fire electrical, with sudden stroke Resistless, rends the stubborn mighty stock, And round the bark flies shivering, with the shock !— Then snorting loud, they darting sidelong, lay Unhurt, their riders, on the mossy way! And pass with reinless speed, the opening glade, And find meet shelter, in the friendly shade.
Now, the exhausted lightnings harmless play, With lambent flame, pale as the milky way, That track serene, which by their mingling light, Remotest stars shed on the lovely night. The mellow thunder scarcely heard to roll, Far distant, mutters round the brightening pole ;
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Hush'd are the winds, the breaking clouds retire, And countless stars light up their twinkling fire : The rising moon unfolds her silver beam, And gaily shines, on tow’r, and tree, and stream. No sound is heard, save where the tinkling rill, In tuneful cadence trickles down the hill; Or sweetest philomel, in yonder grove, Hails the fair scene, in warbling notes of love. But that the fields, and woods are drenched with rain, And that sing’d oak frowns darkly on the plain, The change so sudden, and so fair, might seem The idle workings of a fairy dream !
Our heroes with the incident
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Whate’er the cause; with wary step and slow, They move along—and often, sidelong throw A fearful look—their conscience up in arms, Shakes every languid joint, with dread alarms. I At every sound, they stop, with painful start— Feel the cold bullet rankle in their heart ; Or, panting writhe beneath the bloody knife, In nameless torture, issue forth their life ; And then to judgment, hurry through the air, "Midst all the horrors fell of black despair ! Imagination, in her sickly dies, Drew these sad images before their eyes ; Pale guilt lent terrors to the airy forms, And shook the mental frame, with all her storms.
O, for a pardon from the courts above! O, for one ray of pure celestial love; And that bright hope which gilds the gloom of death, Sweet comfort yielding with our yielding breath! So wish’d our revellers, for well they knew, How to distinguish
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Let her peruse, and to a flood Of tears, give way.
Is there a wife, fond, true, and fair, Whose bosom never knows a care, Save what her husband’s weal moves there, Let her bemoan, A sister dead ; whom reptiles share, Beneath this stone.
Is there a mother, whose kind heart, When her lov’d babes, from right depart, Inflicts the rod, yet feels the smart, Let her draw nigh, And all her fondest cares impart— And heave a sigh.
Is there a lovely guileless maid, Whose case demands sweet counsel’s aid, Here, let her wand’ring feet be stay’d, In sorrow free: A bright example lowly laid, Says, ‘ Follow me.’
Let all the truly good and wise, Who knowledge, truth, religion, prize, With aching hearts, and tearful eyes, For Mary, mourn ; For, hance she’s fled beyond the skies, Ne’er to return.
But, why weep o’er her senseless clay, Whose soul now basks in endless day !— Go, reader— go—she points the way, To joys above ; Where death, and hell, ne’er couch for prey, And God is love.
ON WILLIAM BOWER.
Heng, sceptic stop: perverse to own a
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Stop, giddy crowds, that throng the road to hell, Here musing—break the soul-deluding spell. Behold a man, who like yourselves was toss’d, On-stormy seas, with helm and compass lost ; Till Christ the pole-star, glittered through the dark And grace to harbour blew the shatter’d bark— Beneath this stone, in cold obstruction, rest, With deepest night, and blank oblivion press’d, The bosom with another’s joys o’erflown, The heart that bled for sorrows not its own; The head that plann’d how others ought to live, The hands that knew no pleasure, save, to give: The loving husband, father, neighbour, friend, All these, beneath, their ashes darkling blend— Yet, ‘tis but sleep—his soul has ta’en its flight, And blooms unfading in the realms of light ; And on that latest, most tremendous day, When earth and skies, shall, trembling, pass away ; His body wak’d—with loud triumphant song, Shall fairer rise; ’midst the seraphic throng, Its shining consort join—whilst through the air, Angelic legions sing,—‘ Thrice happy pair! ‘ Wear these bright robes, partake of endless joy, ‘Where sin, and death, and sorrow, ne’er annoy, ‘Where Christ reflects his Father’s brightest ray, ‘And fills the heavens with eternal day!
T. (nkersley, Printer, Bradford.
MAID OF KILLARNEY:
OR, ALBION AND FLORA: A MODERN TALE; IN WHICH ARE INTERWOVEN SOME CURSORY REMARKS
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correct certain errors, and establish certain truths, which to him appeared to be of no small consequence.
In order to accomplish this his much-desired end, he has endeavoured, as much as conscience and truth could warrant, and his abilities allow, to ingratiate himself with every reader, so far at least, as to obtain a patient hearing. Whether, therefore, he has attempted to appear shrewd or simple, humourous or grave, it was that by a species of innocent guile, he might allure to well-doing. In this, though follow- ing at an immense he has endeavoured to walk in the footsteps of him of Tarsus, who became all things to all men, that he might by all means save some. Would that, like that glorious luminary, the author of this little volume could have proceeded with all singleness of heart; but he is too sensible of his own weakness fully to believe, and too candid openly to avow, that his motives were so pure. Perhaps he is not altogether insensible to praise or blame; and this might have been one reason why he preferred being anony- mous, that at a safer distance, and through a wary loop-hole, he might so behold the fate of his little work, that whatever it might be, he who intended no harm, might receive none. Should he be treated in a hostile manner by any, he is aware that it will be his own fault if he does not profit from the circumstance, well knowing that an enemy will sometimes tell us those unwelcome truths, which a friend’s parti- ality might be unable to discern, or his tenderness want fortitude to reveal. If good men approve, he will be glad; but should they, on the conirary, offer only disapprobation or neglect, he will still have left the consolation of knowing that he meant well.
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MAID OF KILLARNEY.
original; so that he who has once seen them, will not easily forget them, and will generally wish to see them again. What say you to this, Mr. Mac Farsin? Have I not drawn a very fine picture? Is it not a
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their immortal souls essential Then taking him by the arm, they both stooping low, made their entrance.
The interior of the building corresponded perfectly with its outside. The whole furniture consisted of an old table and chest, falling to pieces, two or three low stools, and a bed of straw, in which there lay rolled up in a tattered blanket, a poor emaciated old woman in the last stage of a consumption. They could discern through the smoke at the side of the bed, a beautiful contrast to every other object. When they drew nearer, they distinctly saw a very inter- esting and lovely girl. She courtesied respectfully, and blushing rosy red, hurried out of the cabin, wishing them
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and potatoes, and sometimes a little tea, with her own white hands; and stands by my bed side, more like my child, than the daughter of Captain Loughlean; and says, in a sweet kindly voice, ‘Nanny, what more do you want, and I will do it for you?’ God bless her, and reward her, for I cannot
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meditating on the happy effects of religion, on a death-bed; and Albion, revolving in his mind the solid virtues, and matchless graces of Flora Loughlean. Their cogitations, however, were occasionally interrupted by the acrimony of the smoke of the burning peat, which brought tears in abundance from their eyes.
After they arrived at the inn, and dined, Mr. Mac Farsin said, ‘‘I must leave you here, Albion, for a few days, and go and visit a countryman of my own, who I understand lives about thirty or forty miles from hence. He is a mercantile man, and in my own line of business. We may possibly enter upon some speculation of mutual advantage: I could wish our tour to produce something more solid, than the beauties of lakes and So saying, he ordered his horse to be got ready, and set off immediately.
Albion, who began already to fear a rival in his friend, was inwardly rejoiced at his departure, though, if he had tried himself at the bar of his own judgment, he could scarcely have made the discovery: so deceitful and intri- cate are the windings of the human heart.
CHAP. II. Giving a Description of an Irish Wake.
No sooner was Mr. Mac Farsin gone, than Albion began to prepare for a walk to the cabin. The first thing he did, was to put a few small pieces of silver into his pocket ; and then to recollect himself, whether he still retained in his memory, some of his friend’s good sayings, or any scriptural expressions suitable for a death-bed. The truth is, he never before inclined to the house of mourning, nor was he much fitted for the solemnity of such a place. He was willing for the present, however, to persuade himself that his motives were pure; so off he sets, taking the
He had not gone far, when he met with a respectable looking gentleman, who, taking off his hat and bowing, asked, Whether he was going to the Wake.
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funerals of Roman Catholics, and is altogether a very unmeaning ceremony. But they quote for their authority, the mourning of the Israelites over Jacob’s remains, as they carried them from Egypt to the sepulchre of his explain it,’’ said Albion, no little astonished at what he witnessed, ‘‘ pray explain it a little farther; and translate to me a few of their
saw your daughter, and was exceedingly pleased with her attention and kindness towards the deceased.”’
Mr. Loughlean, who had served as a Captain of Foot, under the Duke of Wellington, during his late campaign on the Continent, and was both a Christian, and a man of the world, hastily ran over Albion from head to foot, with a keen scrutinizing eye; and with all a father’s anxiety, warily said, ‘‘Have you ever, Sir, met with my daughter before ?’’ When Albion assured him he had never enjoyed the happiness alluded to, He
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yet returned from her usual excursion. More, I fear, than her constitution can bear, she exerts herself in administer- ing to the wants of the neighbouring poor and afflicted, who are very numerous in this part of the country.”
Just at this moment, a light foot was heard in the passage. Flora stepped in. Albion and she soon recog- nized each other; and, as he was well bred, and she, though modest, naturally free, they soon felt perfectly at ease. In half an hour the whole party seemed as well acquainted, as if they had been known to each other for a dozen years. Dinner was at length announced, and they all sat down to a plentiful, but not superfluous table.
Albion, as far as good breeding would allow, began more minutely to scrutinize his new friends, for so he felt them to be already in his heart. Flora he carefully examined first. But whilst his eyes wandered over her, he felt a strange kind of diffidence, lest she should look up and detect him. She appeared to be about seventeen years of age. Her eyes were blue and expressive; her figure was graceful; her hair a light brown; her stature something about the middle size; her manners simple but engaging ; her voice was soft and tuneful; and when she spoke, a sweetness unutterable pervaded her countenance. Her features were not so exact and regular as to constitute a perfect beauty; but what they wanted in this respect, was abundantly supplied by the fascination of expression, and all those irresistible charms which we sometimes see, but for which we cannot find a name.
Opposite Flora, sat her father, a man who had turned his fortieth year. He was straight and tall, had a searching eye, and commanding aspect: his attitudes were lively and natural, and his voice full and authoritative; so that had it not been for a certain benignity that shone out in all his words and actions, you might have thought him better qualified for heading a company, than gracing the domestic circle. In his earlier days, his cheerfulness approximated to levity; but ever since the death of his wife, which happened about three years after Flora’s birth, a thoughtful air bordering upon melancholy, characterized his looks, even when he smiled.
Just before Albion, sat Doctor Laurence O’Leary, uncle to Flora, by the mother’s side. His mind was cast in no ordinary mould. He thought but little in common with other men, and yet few could say that he did not think right. His mode of expression had something in it char- acteristic; and there was an oddity in his physiognomy and dress, which rendered him a perfect original. He had numbered his sixtieth year; yet he carried about him but few symptoms of decay, and was in full possession of all the activity and vigour of youth.
Albion himself was a well-bred, agreeable man, of soft and genteel manners, sterling sense, and a masculine and noble air: he spoke but little, yet he spoke well; and though his action was sparing, and his zeal not ardent, there was a sufficient expression in both, to make all he said interesting.
Such were the party in Loughlean Hall. After they had dined, and many preliminary remarks were made, ‘‘What think you,” said Albion to Doctor O’Leary, who sat opposite, ‘‘ What think you of Roman Catholic Eman- cipation? Would it benefit Ireland ?”’
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you!’ Should ever Protestants and Roman Catholics sit together in Parliament, they will constitute a mixture of powder and sparks, that will blow the fabric of the State to atoms!”’
‘‘Tf such be the danger, Dr. O’Leary, how comes it to pass that our wise Statesmen do not more strenuously oppose the measure ?”’
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The Captain taking a glass of wine, and in the mean while pushing round the decanter, after a moment’s pause, said, ‘‘ What think you, gentlemen, of the Field of Water- loo?”
CHAP. IV. The Tea Table.
Aut writers that I am acquainted with, whether ancient or modern, whatever pernicious qualities they have ascribed to tea, have never once accused it of paralyzing the tongue: but, on the contrary, have represented it as infusing unus- ual vigour into that superexcellent member. Would, that it might with equal propriety be said, the tongue has been well employed, when under this mighty influence. But all Doctors, whether of divinity or physic, unequivocally assert, and satisfactorily prove, that there is more scandal over a tea-table, than can be found at the tables of drunk- ards, gamesters, or any other tables whatsoever.
It is a great pity there should be any ground for this heavy accusation. Tea, which is the most social, ought at least to be a harmless repast. If the case of some unfortunate wight must be argued at a tea-table, before a hospitable dame and her fair guests, we ought, surely, to expect
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my brief political harrangues.’’ Albion nodded assent, for there was no time to speak, and the Doctor proceeded.—
probability they came to their melancholy end, through that little remains of conscience, and tenderness of heart, which they still possessed, and which prevented them, even at their own peril, from imbruing their hands in their fellow creatures’ blood. Let it not be said, these evils cannot be cured: they only want to be carefully examined, and boldly met, with a disinterested and judicious zeal, worthy of the great occasion. It is true, the Ministry and Parliament, that would apply a remedy to this fatal disease of the Commonwealth, must expect to meet with strong opposition from an interested quarter.—But let them boldly stand forward on the side of justice and truth, and sure success and lasting glory will crown the attempt. Let them repeal some laws, and strengthen, relax, and male others; let them so simplify their code, that it may have for its motto, ‘‘
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of those men you blame, deserve certainly what you say of them; but there are others, who intend Church and State no harm; but, being misled by their more designing breth- ren, do really think their political views just, and their measures salutary.’’ Then addressing Albion, he said,
last, is not the least. Take the double meanings, the buffoon- ery, the meretricious ornament of the stage, blend them well together, and tell me whether history records any composition so poisonous and destructive! Know, Sir, that I am not a novice; I have been what is termed, a man of the world; and in those days I indulged in the amusements alluded to. But, thank God, I am now convinced of their vanity; and hesitate not to say from my heart, that the reflection of them is bitter unto me; and that no influence of mine should be wanting, to keep a son, a daughter, or a friend, from coming into contact with them, or even harbouring in their hearts a desire after them.”’
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But, hark! the gusty tempest raves !— The bursting cloud down pours !— Old Ocean heaves his mountain waves !— The pealing thunder roars !— Dull—deep’ning—down the sky it rolls; Shakes the wide world, and steady poles!
The minute-gun, and shrieking cry, Are faintly heard on shore !— Man—man the life-boat !—fly
charms of music on former occasions than he; and though he had often the first opportunities, yet, whether it was owing to the tuneful pitch of his mind, or the exquisite skill of Flora, he felt as he bad never done before—He was absorbed and lost in the most agreeable and refined enjoyment. But all dreams of pleasure are transient, and so were his. Supper was announced, and the music ceased.
Whilst they sat at table,
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Exhibiting a Scene, that may very be contrasted with one in the first Chapter.
THE next morning, after breakfast and prayers were over, and a momentary pause succeeded to a good deal of social converse, Captain Loughlean said, ‘“‘I have to request, Mr. Burnet, that you will visit a man not far from hence, whose name is John Saville. Ue is now upon the brink of eternity, and very ill prepared, I fear, for the bar of judgment. He has led a very wicked life. Infidelity, and all its train of evil
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Albion briefly replied, ‘‘It was awful
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‘‘Very well, Sir, I thank you,” replied Mr. Burnet. And had it not been for shame, Albion would instantly have said, ‘‘ And I too, Sir, am well and happy!’’ The magic words wrought like a charm upon him; he was immedi- ately cured both in body and mind!
Bible Society,’ is the mighty Nile, into which countless rivers pour their tributary waters, and who, majestically winding his irresistible course through different climates and nations, at length, disdaining his prescribed hmits, swells out, spreading flowery verdure, and golden harvests, over the surrounding country! Nor do I see, Sir, any reason why these two great Societies should maltreat, or envy each other. They ought to recollect, that they are both employed in promoting the same good end, and that their various efforts may be of mutual advantage. For emulation has a spur that stirs up some to action, who would otherwise spend their time in guilty activity, and drowsy
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be happy here, and hereafter, is the sincere wish and ardent prayer of, Yours faithfully,
erected here; for surely no place is better calculated for inspiring the sublime feelings of devotion
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in a short time, they found themselves in the midst of the Lake! The weather was mild, the sky a cloudless blue, the wind was still, and the glassy Lake reflected in its bosom the heavens, and all the surrounding scenery. The woods and groves seemed to grow downwards; the lofty mountains to point their rocky tops towards the nether skies; and a mock sun, as if he would rival the real one, blazed beneath in all his glory!
Flora blushed, and secretly wished she had kept on her glove, and left the lily rooted where it was; for she could not bear even the thought of art or affectation.
They now approached the Eagle’s Nest, that rock so universally celebrated for its echoes; and bringing the boat to, and placing themselves in a proper situation, Paddy drew out a large horn, and filling it with a mighty blast, like another Triton, there was such a mellow repli- cation, and sweet mingling of sounds, that, except the melody of Flora’s harp and voice, Albion thought he had never heard any thing so enchanting. After this was re- peated several times with noble effect, Captain Loughlean fired a pistol: the sound was several times reiterated ; sometimes soft, and sometimes loud as the original ex- plosion; and then undulating, it died away in hollow murmurs, through the distant mountains !
But the sun was now verging towards the horizon, and Paddy, according to orders, resumed his boat and his passengers, and plied his way both oar and sail. The milder tints of evening, and the shadows of the mountains, stretching far over the Lake, formed a picturesque and lovely scene! As they glided on, they discovered at a distance several beautiful little islands, like emeralds set in silver, and hanging rocks, and shady groves. The en- chantment of the scenery, and the pleasures of conver- sation, beguiled the time, so that ere they were aware, they found themselves landed within a mile of Albion’s temporary home.
After Captain Loughlean had given Albion a pressing invitation to dine with him the following day, they parted, well pleased with the excursion, and with each other. Nor was Paddy’s pleasure the least. For after he had been sufficiently compensated by the Captain for his labour, Albion, slipping a guinea into his hand, elicited from him such grateful ejaculations, as proved him to be over- whelmed with surprise and joy. I
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a curious Coincidence.—A simple Narrative,
On the morning after her excursion, Flora re-entered upon her usual occupations. From six o’clock to eight, she generally read the Scriptures, and other books of a divine nature and tendency. At half past eight, she joined family prayer. Between that and nine, she break- fasted with her father and uncle. From nine to eleven, she perused history and the belles-lettres; such works as were calculated to refine, without sullying the mind. She walked or rode out between eleven and twelve, for the sake of exercise, or to administer to the wants of the sick and afflicted. From twelve to one, she superintended the preparations for dinner. The afternoon, she devoted to fancy work, or more useful domestic employments. She gave an hour or two in the evening to her harp, and she concluded the day as she began it, with lively and spiritual exercises, full of heavenly enjoyment. Thus time never hung heavy on her hands, but seemed too short for her various delightful and profitable pursuits and avocations.
Sometimes this system was inevitably broken in upon, but it was in general kept up with nice punctuality. So economical was our fair heroine of her time, that it might justly be said of her that she lived more in a single day, than numbers of her age and sex, do in a year. Take the feelings and reflections of a trifling and vain creature, whose whole time is occupied with novels and articles of dress; and compare these with the reflections and feelings of Flora Loughlean. How vast the difference! The one is born in vanity, lives in vanity and goes out of the world in vanity. The other answers the end of her creation: her life is one bright course of the highest enjoyment, her death is gain. The one can never make a good wife or mother ; the other will be a blessing to her children, and a crown of joy to her husband. Flora had returned from her morning excursion, when
Albion was expected at the Hall. On entering the parlour, a circumstance occurred, which, taking her by surprise,
somewhat ruffled her mind. She had given the house- keeper a strict charge in the morning, to send a little meat to a poor family in the neighbourhood, who had eaten nothing for two days. Just when she had sat down, she heard a cry of distress at the window, and looking out, a little ragged boy, weeping bitterly, exclaimed, ‘‘O! Miss Loughlean, my mother has fainted with hunger!”’ Flora ran to the housekeeper, and finding she had not sent the cold meat,—‘‘
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making a long face. I was so provoked, that I believe I should have horsewhipped the knave, haa he not scamp- ered off as fast as his feet could carry him.” “Then,
When dry, I lie on mossy bed, Beneath the willow tree ; Afar, the star weeps o’er my head, The dew so fresh and free.
When rain, amain, falls from the sky, Or snow o ‘erspreads the gtound ; To pen, or den, or barn, I fly, And sleep both safe and sound.
But why lament those ills I bear ; Or say, that none for Ellen care! There is—there is—above the sky, One who will hear poor Ellen’s cry ; Jesus, his name— Aye,
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Poor Ellen’s well, As all can tell, Who have the Saviour seen— There’s one above, The God of love, Who looks on Ellen Green.
Here, Flora ran into the kitchen, and bringing out a large piece of bread and cheese, gave them to Ellen, who making a low courtesy, went off with her dog, singing as follows
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clothes which I can no longer wear, I give her from time to time, and take her such food as she loves best, and 1s most suitable for her.
I KILLARNEY. 173
she was before she came here, is not perfectly known. Some say, that she had been well brought up, but that the death of her lover, and of her parents, a little afterwards, together with many other misfortunes, so wrought on her mind, that she became what you now see her. Be this as it may, Providence has not forsaken her—my Father has determined that she shall never want, and as long as I live, Ellen shall have a friend.”
Thus ended Flora’s simple but affecting narrative. Albion listened with attention, and thought that he had never seen one so lovely, so good, and so kind. The remainder of the evening was spent in music, and promis- cuous conversation.
CHAP. VIII. The Attack.—The Victory.—Another Political Hint.
After Dr. O’Leary and the Captain had arrived, and supper was over, they prevailed upon Albion to stay for the night. Captain Loughlean himself performed family worship. And after much pious and interesting conversa- tion, they all retired to rest, never dreaming of what was to happen ere day.
Albion for a long time slept but little. The story of
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during his campaign on the Continent, and who still continued to serve him, in his more tranquil abode in Loughlean Hall. The Captain rousing himself, as he had been wont, when an alarm pervaded the camp, exclaimed, ‘‘ Order them to beat immediately to arms! Is the enemy near?”
bless your Honour,” said John O’Flacharty, are neither at Vittoria nor Waterloo, it is the Rebels, or a few Whitcboys, or Robbers, that have surrounded your
garret, to fire from above. He gave a blunderbuss to the Doctor, and assigned him his station. To Albion, he handed a double-barrelled gun, saying, ‘‘ I need not exhort an Englishman to be courageous. With the cool characteristic intrepidity of your countrymen, stand and fire out at that will guard this entrance.’’ So saying, he took with him two large horse pistols, and his. broad sword, and placed himself in the post of honour. This was the most vulnerable part. It was a back passage, where both the door and window were but weak and ill secured. And uow the firing was carried on briskly, though irregularly, both from within and without. Every now and then, the Captain shouted, ‘‘ Trust in God, and fight courageously! We shall soon beat them off.”
Flora, perfectly collected, though pale as a fading lily, went from room to room, anxiously asking her Father, and Albion, whether they remained unhurt, and if they wanted any thing. Qn one of her visits to Albion, his gun, through frequent firing, or on account of being over-charged, recoiling severely, caused him to stagger back several paces. Flora alarmed, ran towards him, and asked him, with tender anxiety, whether he was hurt. Albion, having recovered, turned round, and with a look of ineffable tenderness, replied, ‘‘My sweetest Flora, I am well—take care of yourself, for if you be hurt, I am undone !
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another, reconnoitred the borders.—All was still. He then called his brave fellow soldiers into the parlour, and finding them all in good spirits, and unhurt, he shook them heartily by the hand, and thanked them for their able assistance. ‘‘ Now,’’ said he looking up to heaven, let us return thanks to God. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. God has given us the victory, to his name be the praise!’’ Then, kneeling down, he prayed and gave thanks with great fervour and devotion.
After this religions duty was performed, he called old Mary, who was half dead with fear, and ordered her to bring them some refreshment. She did every thing, beginning at the wrong end; and they would have been but badly served, had not Flora assisted her.
their escape. One woman came running to the Captain, and said, ‘‘ When I heard the firing, I got up; and shortly after it ceased, my husband and I, looking out at the window, about break of day, saw three men go past. One had his arm in a sling, the other had his head bound up, and the third had a handkerchief tied round his hand. They were making all the haste they could, and were soon out of After four hours’ careful research, the Captain, the Doctor, and Albion, returning, sat down to breakfast. Albion looked frequently at Flora with the greatest ex- pression of tenderness; but she, reflecting on the hasty declaration of the preceding night, was more distant and formal than usual. She was complimented much on her presence of mind, and admirable ruse de guerre.
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Juries, in my opinion, are frequently an obstruction to both. Nothing more than the consent of a decided major- ity ought to be requisite for a verdict. What an absurd idea, that one robust, unprincipled juror, may starve out, and bring over to his measures, eleven well intentioned, and less hardy men! A Jury also, ought to be so chosen, that is, they ought to live at so great a distance, that they should know nothing, if possible, but what came out on evidence, and that they might have nothing to fear from the resentment of coadjutors or relations. If a Jary be empannelled from a neighbourhood overrun by a banditti, or some epidemic disease that has laid hold on the body politic, who can expect that a robber will condemn a robber, or a rebel a rebel? The ignorance also of Juries, may sometimes be as bad as their prejudice. For these and various other similar reasons, I do believe and aver, that the cause of genuine liberty and justice requires, that Jurors should live at a considerable distance from the residence of the prisoner, upon whose guilt or innocence they are to decide; that they should be men of sound principles, independent fortunes, and a competent share of learning and knowledge; and that the agreement of two-thirds of their number only, should be requisite to constitute a verdict.”’
The clock now struck eleven ; and Albion, having busi- ness of importance to transact at his lodgings, took his leave for the present of Loughlean Hall.
The Departure.—The Return.
after Albion had arrived at the Inn, his honest Hostess brought him a letter, urging his speedy return to England, to settle accounts, and transact business of importance, connected with his father’s death, which had taken place about two years before.
How rapid is the flight of time! How powerful the current of events, that constantly rushes down the decliv- ity of this world! If ever these reflections occur with due force, it must be when an author, being charmed with
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his own performance, scarcely perceives the hours as they glide by, and fondly dreams that he sees his charmed readers hurried along with him. But, alas! how transient too, is this illusion! How often are his dreams dissipated in air, whilst he, miserable wight, finds himself awake only to censure, disappointment, and regret!
In order, however, that the author of this little work may, at all events, incur no serious inconvenience himself, or cause a waste of time to others, he has studied brevity; and must, therefore, request the indulgent reader, to excuse his omitting to give a circumstantial account of the breaking down of coaches, the restifness of horses, and the adverse winds and calms, that may have retarded Albion on his journey; and after many tender adieus at Loughlean Hall, at once to imagine him in England, thoughtful and pensive in his chamber, or restlessly wan- dering through his spacious domains.
About three weeks after his arrival, whilst looking over his father’s papers, he found the following fragment, addressed to himself, but which had never been delivered.
To my dearly beloved and only Child,
Albion. My Son, I ‘‘T am now going the way of all flesh, and have left you ample worldly possessions. Oh! that I could but leave you an inheritance in heaven! They call you amiable, my Son, and they say right. You relieve the necessitous, you soothe the afflicted, and you are just and honourable. But do you love God supremely? Have you faith in his Son? Are you guided by his Holy Spirit ? Have you undergone that change, without which no man shall see the kingdom of heaven? After having done all your duty, can you say from your heart, I am an unprofitable servant? And falling down at the Saviour’s feet, can you plead guilty before him, depending solely upon his merits and mediation for a gracious acceptance with your Almighty Father? O, my Son, remember that not only must the outward conduct be hely, but all the inward views changed, and the feelings sanctified, before you can have any just ground for hope. Read the
Scriptures, and you shall see; for they——but my sick- ness and pain overcome me, I must leave this till another time—O, my Son—my Son—God bless thee, my Son !”—
Here, the faithful and tender remonstrances abruptly ended; and Albion, walking through the room in great agitation, repeated to himself, ‘‘O my Father! my Father! great was thy love to me. Often hast thou con- versed with me in such language as this! Often, during thy illness, have I seen the tears roll down thy manly cheeks, whilst holding me by the hand, thou wouldest point towards heaven, and enlarge on this thy darling theme !”’
For several days afterwards, the circumstance dwelt on Albion’s mind with increasing solemnity and interest. He would often exclaim—‘ Am I, indeed, an unworthy man, and in a state of condemnation! What is my crime! Are not my good works many, and my evil actions
In this state of perplexity, he perused the Scriptures, prayed fervently unto God, and embraced all the means and ordinances of Divine appointment. Nor was he satisfied till he went unto Mr. Johnson, the excellent vicar of the parish, and opened unto him all his heart.
This good man was so much moved with the narrative, that for some time he could scarcely speak. At length, he said,
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wore such a garb of austerity, as induced him to think, that
The Captain, perhaps, deemed this a prudent measure, as Albion promised he would soon return, and pliant youth is very susceptible of impression.
A few days after this, a gentleman, who had just come from England, and had been in company with Mr. John- son, related at Loughlean Hall, the happy circumstances of Albion’s conversion. The Captain heard the relation with rapture, and Flora seemed unable to suppress her sensations of delight.
Two months had now elapsed; and, Albion, having settled all his aftairs, set out for Ireland, with a longing heart. When he saw that beautiful island rise out of the ocean like a blue cloud, he looked at it from the deck, till his eyes waxed dim, and he could view it no longer. But the winds were propitious, and the post horses good, and in three days from the time he left his mansion in York- shire, he found himself seated with his honest Hostess, on the banks of Killarney. He had not been in five minutes, before he eagerly inquired after the inhabitants of the Hall. She informed him, that they were all well, and that Flora about ten days before, had refused the hand of a gentleman of ample possessions, and heir apparent to the title and estates of an ancient Irish Earl. The reasons she assigned for this were, the youth’s dissipation, and criminal disregard to religion and virtue. Albion trembled to think he had such a rival, but loved Flora the more, for her purity of principle, and noble disinter- estedness.
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pace; and had it not been that just at this critical moment, an old maiden lady, an Aunt of hers, came out, perhaps, in the first overflowings of his heart, all his resolutions might have vanished; and whether well or ill received, he might have made a full declaration. He said something in a hurried manner.—Flora turned round. The meeting was warm and kind, and they all three walked up together to the Hall.
The Captain saw them coming, and running out to meet them, welcomed Albion as a friend and a brother; and, almost ere he had time to speak, said, ‘‘ Flora’s Aunt is come, and the Doctor and I must be a good deal from home; will you do us the kindness of stopping with us a fortnight, or three weeks, to guard the
march with a simple, yet dignified air, not inaccessible to the poorest, and most illiterate hearer.”
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the peace of numbers, and into which Albion was irresist- ibly drawn, after he had laid himself down upon his bed.
He often courted sleep, who, like a coy, coquettish mistress, as often fled from him with disdain, or only lulled him to unrefreshing slumbers, and presented him with startling dreams. Sometimes he thought that Flora loved him; again he feared she did not. He would then summon up all that a faithful memory could supply, and carefully examine and weigh each look, word, and action; yet still he could arrive at no rational and satisfactory conclusion.
‘‘Her he would say to himself, ‘‘is friendly and generous. But all this, perhaps, is mere Irish hospi- tality.” Then he would slumber a little; and incoherent dreams placing him in England, would leave him to wander at a distance from Flora; or instantly transport- ing him to Goughlean Hall, would alternately delight and torment him, with her yielding kindness, and the horrid images of successful rivals. Again awaking, he would blame himself for his want of resignation to the Divine will, and earnestly endeavour to be more serene and tranquil. ‘‘ Why,” he would exclaim, ‘‘Can I not leave this, as well as my other affairs, to the supreme Disposer of all events, who is infinitely wise and merciful, and has promised to make all things work together for good to those who love him, and unreservedly confide in his gracious
Thus, waking, slumbering, dreaming, and in pleas- ing embarrassment, and self-reproach, Albion struggled through the long night, nor did he sleep soundly till the dawn of day. When he awoke, he felt refreshed, and joyfully hailed the return of morn, that lovely season, just before sun-rise, when the dappled East is suffused with heavenly blushes, and tranquil rosy light adorns the landscape.
going forth to his labour, adding [added] his whistle and his song to the gleeful concert.
The clouds now parting and folding, seemed to vanish into air, and the glorious sun raised his broad orb slowly over the blue mountains. The world was full of life and joy! Albion contemplated the scene, with more than a philosophical mind. With the eye of a Christian, he viewed it through the medium of faith; and his enraptured soul was carried through all the gradations of existence, up to the throne itself of God. There, contemplating the great first cause, he saw the various golden chains of Providence, by which were suspended the greatest and most minute concerns, and which cannot be broken or dissolved by any power short of Omnipotence.
When Albion had offered up his morning sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to his Creator and Redeemer, he went down with a heart well prepared to join in family worship. Sweet to him was the reading of the Sacred Word; and sweet that chastised, but ardent zeal, that glowed in every breast, whilst with one mind and spirit they knelt around the throne of grace.
When the season for Flora’s morning excursion arrived, she set out, and Albion begged leave to accompany her. They had not gone far, when they met a poor old man, tottering under the weight of infirmity and age. Taking off his hat, and bowing low, he addressed himself to Flora, requesting that she would step into his little cottage, pointing at the same time towards it, and inti- mating that he was in great distress. Flora instantly obeyed the call of humanity.
When she entered, nothing but sickness and sorrow presented themselves. Four or five ragged children sat by the fire, or ran here and there, across the floor. Once they disputed loudly about a cold potatoe; but the possessor, by eating it with haste and eagerness, speedily ended the quarrel. Their father, a pale emaciated figure, leaned his head on an old chest by the wall, and with tears in his eyes, told them to be quiet. Then looking pitifully at Albion and Flora, begged their pardon, and said, ‘‘But I cannot well be angry with my dear little
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babes, they have eaten almost nothing these two days. In general, they are very affectionate, but hunger seems to have changed their nature, and made them
father, who went out a bit ago, is able to do nothing. I don’t feel for myself, but I feel for my little children ; and, above all, for these two little innocent creatures. Their moans go to my very heart.”
Here the tears flowed fast from the poor woman’s eyes, and pressing her infants to her bosom, she sobbed heavily.
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am very hungry; will you give me a piece of bread, or a potatoe? Father
spoke so long, that I have tired both you and myself. Pray, Madam, excuse me, for I know not when to stop, when I begin to talk of the goodness of the Lord. Blessed, for ever blessed be his holy name.”
‘Jenny, I am exceedingly glad to hear such language from you, under your present circumstances. Through infinite mercy, your good education is not lost. You feel, and you speak like a Christian, and a woman of sense. And you have this day taught me such a lesson, as I trust I shall never forget. Sometimes, in the midst of plenty, I fall short of that high and refined spiritual enjoyment, which you have just informed me has fallen to your lot, in the lowest depth of want and poverty. Go on in this bright course, and you shall have more happiness in this life, and more riches and glory in the next, than shall ever be possessed by some who inhabit palaces, and who, though they are pious people, fall far short of your Christian attainments. Here, Jenny, are five shillings for you, and when they are done, let me know, and you shall have something more. Send also to the Hall this afternoon, and you shall have some milk and bread for your children and yourself. I shall give you also some clothes for these little babies.”
The poor woman, who could hardly speak for joy, man- aged to thank her; and pressing her babes to her breast, faulteringly said,
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words adequate to express her gratitude; but her looks and manner spoke most eloquently. Her affectionate husband endeavoured to thank his bountiful friends; and the eyes of the little children glistened with joy, whilst they were heard whispering to each other, ‘‘ We shall soon have plenty of milk and potatoes, for Mammy has got handfuls of money.”
But happy as our Cottagers were, Albion and Flora felt that it was more blessed to give than to receive; and taking their leave, went in quest of other objects of charity. After they had visited several poor people, and admin- istered to the wants of both their bodies and souls, Flora, addressing herself to Albion, said,
‘‘Tell me, Betty,” said Albion, ‘‘ does ever this Lady
give you any thing? Somebody must supply your wants, for you seem plump and
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the roof. Her Bible lay open in the window; her work-box was placed on a stool; and her doll reposed on a bed of thyme in a corner. Ellen herself sat on her little cart, crowned with a beautiful flowery wreath, and was busily occupied in making a collar of roses for Lion.
‘‘T am said Flora, looking towards the Bible, ‘I am very glad, Ellen, to see that you have been lately reading in that good book. I hope it gives you much
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The Disclosure.—The Conclusion.
Arter Albion had passed several days at the Hall in pious conversation and rational amusement, and had risen very high in the esteem of his friends, he became anxious to disclose his heart to Flora, but waited impatiently for a favourable opportunity.
One evening, just after sun-set, when his impatience was wound up to the highest pitch, Captain Loughlean said to him,
not melt the ice of age, and might add too much fuel to the fire of youth. When they arrived at the Hall, thus much was evident—a smiling serenity sat on their coun- tenance, the sure sign of inward happiness.
Albion hastily followed Captain Loughlean into his Library, whither he had just gone; and after considerable hesitation, said, ‘‘I confess, Sir, that never till this moment have I been a coward.”’
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very different conclusion. Most assuredly I set the due value upon the worldly comforts of my daughter, but it would give me but small pleasure, to know that she was rich and great, if I thought her soul in danger of perdition.”
Here, the Captain ringing the bell, ordered the servant to tell Flora to walk in. Just as she entered,
immortal souls; and encourage each other in the great work of laying up treasure for them in heaven.”’
Here the Captain’s address ended; and Albion and Flora embracing each other, wept tears of joy!
Thus, courteous Reader, have I led you to the end of your journey. If the way has appeared long, charge it on the badness of the roads, and the insipidity of your conductor: if it has seemed short, let it remind you of the brevity of life.
When you consider that in one single hour we have surveyed lakes, cataracts, mountains, crossed seas, and travelled over many leagues of land; that we have wan- dered through the intricate mazes of politics, or journeyed through the more sublime paths of religion; when you think of the hopes, fears, sorrows, and joys, of the various personages: we have met with— Instead of censuring unreasonably the conciseness or obscurity of your guide’s information, let me beseech you to reflect that this, the land of your pilgrimage, is a chequered scene; that your seventy years in retrospect, will seem an hour; and they only are truly wise, who sedulously redeem the time.
Page 61, Line 23, add “he” before
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THROUGH the merciful providence of God, and the interposition of kind friends, you are now, as I suppose, in the first class in your Sunday-school, and, consequently are able to read considerably well. This is one reason why I have not been careful to select for you the easiest words and phrases, judging it proper that you should have a dictionary, and be able to find out in it the meaning of such phrases and words as you do not clearly understand. This talent of reading which you possess, will prove a blessing or a curse, just according to the use you make of it. If you read the scriptures and other good books only, your souls will be edified and comforted; but if you read every tract that is put into your hands by cunning and designing people, or eagerly search out for, and peruse such tracts and books as you know before to be bad, then you are sure to be corrupted and misled, and your talent of reading will become a source of sin and misery to yourselves and others.
Whatever may tend to give you unworthy notions of Christ ; whatever may be calculated to make you think highly of yourselves, or to look down with discontentment upon your lot; whatever would aim at inflaming your natural passions, which are already much too fiery and ungovernable, is bad, and ought carefully to be avoided. Never let the fine style in which a book may be written, nor the recommendations of the licentious, though learned people, induce you to read it, if you have reason before- hand to conclude, that it will not make you both wiser and better. Should you have a taste for poetry or history, biography or science, you may find, within the range of what is altogether unexceptionable, excellent treatises on these subjects. The scriptures themselves afford the finest specimens of beauty and sublimity in the world. I have here written to you in the most interesting manner
THE PHENOMENON. 208
I could, on a subject which is of itself very interesting ; and I have taken care occasionally to intersperse such observations, as might be profitable as well as pleasing.
The phenomenon I am about to speak of, was of an extraordinary nature. During the time of a tremendous storm of thunder, lightning, and rain, a part of the moors in my chapelry, at the time specified in the title-page, sunk into two wide cavities; the larger of which measured three hundred yards in length, about two hundred in breadth, and was five or six yards deep. From these cavities ran deep rivers, which uniting at the distance of a hundred yards, formed a vast volume of mud and water, varying from thirty to sixty yards in breadth, and from five to six in depth; uprooting trees, damaging, or alto- gether overthrowing solid stone bridges, stopping mills, and occasionally overwhelming fields of corn, all along its course of ten or fifteen miles. Now, the grand First Cause of this, and every other phenomenon, is God, whose instruments all are the to execute his various purposes of infinite justice or mercy. Nevertheless, as to second causes, we may fairly reason thus :—
The moor in which this phenomenon took place, had, for years past, been rather soft and swampy; so that even during the summer season, it required a little precaution in the traveller, to go over it dryshod. It shook also to the tread, and contained several small oozing springs. At the distance of about half a mile, there were eminences also of a marshy nature. Under the surface of the ground, in all probability, a watery and muddy reservoir, or number of reservoirs, communicating with each other, may have been forming for many ages. On the day of the phenomenon, there were heavy rains, much lightning and thunder, and unusually great heat. These reservoirs may have been overcharged by the water that descended immediately upon them, and by that which oozed into them, from the neighbouring eminences. The extraordin- ary heat also, must have produced considerable expansion, which, in conjunction with the tremour occasioned by the loud thunder, may have caused the surface of the ground to shake and rend, and open a passage for the struggling elements. Whether this may be called the disruption of
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a, bog, or an earthquake, is of no great consequence, either as it relates to the interest it may excite, or the effects it has produced.
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Fast dusty whirlwinds drive along the plain, The gusty tempest gives the
THE PHENOMENON, 207
The bleating sheep, or heedless, or too slow; The eattle with a loud, last dismal low; The bridges, trees and rocks, and earthy mounds, With thundering crash, and deepening hollow sounds, In dread confusion, tumble in the waves Of that thick flood, that darkens, foams, and raves, With loud resistless force, and loosen’d rein, Threatening to whelm the wide adjacent plain : And had not God, who stills the ocean’s roar, And hems it in with one eternal shore, Said to the wide, the deep disparting hill— ‘¢ Restrain thy foaming fury—peace, be still, ‘¢ When thou hast reach’d my last defined degree—”’ The country round had swum one murky sea; Whilst Albion loud had rais’d her plaintive wail, And he who writes had never told the tale.
Thus, Power Infinite, and Love Divine, The utmost bounds of Satan’s rage define ; Even when he seems to roam without a rein, God counts the links of his eternal chain: Making his flood, that would the world assail, Flow through the limits of a narrow vale; Still lessening, till it gains its last degree, And sinks for aye in mercy’s shoreless sea.
As onward rolls the dark, resistless tide, Pale, trembling mortals, flee on either side. The clanking engines, and the busy mill, In thick obstruction, deep immersed, stand still. Grim devastation lord’s it o’er the plain,— The gardens bloom, the mead, the yellow grain, The green plantation, and the brambly wood, Lie deeply buried in the murky flood. The finny tribe to ’scape these horrors try, And sunk in muddy suffocation die. The snowy geese, that crop the grassy brim, The motley ducks, that gabbling, featly swim With unsuspecting joy, await the roar Of that thick flood, that tangling, whelms them o’er. All nature sinks, and dies beneath the sway Of those black waves, that ponderous force their way,
208 THE PHENOMENON.
O’er trees, and rocks, and high opposing mounds, Breasting along with hollow, thund'ring sounds!
But as the fiercest passion soonest dies, And lightest fuel first in ashes lies, So this vast flood, that foam’d with loudest roar, Was, self-exhausted, soonest heard no more; For, long ere night was clad in sable vest, It sank within its banks, and went to rest; Whilst many a muddy stream went trickling still, With tinkling music down the neighbouring hill ; And many a rivulet pursued its way, With wid’ning surface, till another day.
If, whiist the torrent swept a narrow vale, Misgiving mortals shook with horror pale, How dread the horrors keen, that thrilling ran
IN THE CHURCH OF HAWORTH, On Sunday, the 12th day of September, 1824,
IN REFERENCE TO AN
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ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER.
I the Reader to understand, that in preparing this Sermon for publication, I have condensed and shortened it, as much as the nature of circumstances would admit, in order, that as it was princi- pally intended for the poorer classes of the people in Haworth, and the adjoining parishes, it should, both in the perusal and purchase, require as little as might be of their time and money. I am also desirous that the Reader should know, that it appeared to me to be a duty incumbent on some one, to afford them an opportunity of procuring, at an easy rate, a plain and practical statement of an extraordinary occurrence, of a monitory nature, which ought to be remembered and improved.
SERMON ON THE ERUPTION. 211
A SERMON, &c.
PSALM XCVII. 4, 5.
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an airing on the common, and as they stayed rather longer than I expected, I went to an upper chamber to look out for their return. The heavens over the moors were blackening fast. I heard muttering of distant thun- der, and saw the frequent flashing of the lightning. Though, ten minutes before, there was scarcely a breath of air stirring; the gale freshened rapidly, and carried along with it clouds of dust and stubble; and, by this time, some large drops of rain, clearly announced an approaching heavy shower. My little family had escaped to a place of shelter, but I did not know it. I conse- quently watched every movement of the coming tempest with a painful degree of interest. The house was perfectly still. Under these circumstances, I heard a deep, distant explosion, something resembling, yet something differing from thunder, and I perceived a gentle tremour in the chamber in which I was standing, and in the glass of the window just before me, which, at the time, made an extraordinary impression on my mind; and which, I have no manner of doubt now, was the effect of an Karthquake at the place of eruption. This was a solemn visitation of Providence, which, by the help of God, I shall endeavour to improve.
By considering How and for what reason Earthquakes are produced.
And then by making some particular observations in reference to that
SERMON ON THE ERUPTION. 218
it to sink lower than usual. Thus earthquakes have been in different ages and countries, the most dreadfully effec- tive instruments of vengeance, which God has employed against his guilty creatures. Sometimes by earthquakes God has merely agitated the ground, and filled the inhabi- tants with terror. Sometimes he has caused wide and awful chasms to be made, but has destroyed no lives. Sometimes he has opened the flood-gates beneath, and produced standing pools of water; or, as in the case before us, overwhelming rivers that have borne down all before them. And sometimes by earthquakes he has let his vengeance fall in all its terror, shaking and sinking whole cities, with thousands of inhabitants, in a moment of time, and covering the ruins of men and
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The kindling also by some of the aforesaid causes, of what miners usually call fire damps, and which are frequently to be found at the bottom of deep pits and wells, may produce such a convulsion and expansion as will constitute an earthquake. The dreadful effects of these fire-damps when kindled are but too well known in this country, to need an illustration ; sometimes in deep and extensive coal-pits, where there is not a free and continual flow of air, explosions take place, that scorch and force all things round them; and, in an instant of time, hurry numbers of souls into eternity.
Water also is another cause of earthquakes, and the last that I shall mention. When a number of streams suddenly rush into one place under ground, which lies considerably below their respective sources, and especially when this water so collected is made to expand by extra- ordinary heat, arising from electrical fluid, or some other cause, like the too powerful expansion of water in an overcharged and overheated boiler, that trembles and bursts, it will make the earth that surrounds it to shake and rend, till the expanding element, urged on by the incumbent streams, obtains a vent, and either forms itself into a standing lake, or rolls onward in an impetuous torrent. This, in all probability, was the nature of the phenomenon we have under consideration; which, though it may be called by some the bursting of a bog or quag- mire, had all the precursors, accompaniments, and results of an earthquake, and justly merits that appellation.
This shaking and opening of the earth, and eruption of mud and water, was preceded by a profound calm, and accompanied by a very high wind, and much lightning and thunder: and both before and after, the air was strongly electrified, as was manifest from the sultry heat, the frequent and vivid lightning and loud thunder, and the apparent mingling of the clouds, and their copper- coloured, and hazy, lowering gloom. In all probability, as the ground is already sunk to a great extent, and riven and shaken for a considerable distance, there will be a more than usual conflux of water to the place; which may, from time to time, produce other sinkings of the earth, and other eruptions of -mud
SERMON ON THE ERUPTION, 215
and water, upon a less extensive and less destructive scale.
The operating cause, whatever it was, must have been very powerful; as two cavities were formed, one of which was not less than four or five yards deep, in some places, and six or seven hundred yards in circumference; and a rapid torrent of mud and water issued forth, varying from twenty to thirty yards in width, and from four to five in depth; which, in its course for six or seven miles, entirely threw down or made breaches in several stone and wooden bridges—uprooted trees—laid prostrate walls—and gave many other awful proofs, that, in the hand of Omnipo- tence, it was an irresistible instrument to execute his judgments.
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sense our Lord viewed them, when he spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of his coming to judgment ; and in this sense we ought to view the earthquake that has lately been produced in our own neighbourhood and parish.
Let us then endeavour, by God’s help, to improve this solemn visitation, by making some particular observations in reference to it, as being the immediate olject of our attention this day.
On the day after the earthquake, when the fame of it had reached the inhabitants of Haworth and surround- ing parishes, motley groups of people from all quarters, hastened in to view the scene; and exhibited, in miniature, a picture of the world—a picture not merely of the inhabi- tants of Haworth, and Keighley, and Bradford, but of England, and France, and Spain, and the four quarters of the globe.
As I was myself one of the number, I had an op- portunity of a near view of the picture, in the most advantageous light; and found it exactly to resemble fallen man, in all ages and climates, since God expelled our first parents from the garden of Paradise.
Whether we examine the Scriptures, or
SERMON ON THE ERUPTION. 217
Others, I observed, were absorbed in matters still nearer home; whose sorrows were confined within the narrow limits of their own fields of corn, so lately their hope, but now laid prostrate and ruined. But the greater part, by far, I could perceive, rushed on, impelled by mere idle curiosity.
Here and there, however, I was able to discern one in deep ccntemplative mood, who saw by faith through nature to nature’s God, and could in the appropriate language of our text say—‘ His lightnings enlightened the world, the earth saw and trembled. The hills melted like wax, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole
Some, I discovered, who being mere scientific men, could neither penetrate so far, nor rise so high as this; who only looked at second causes, and grovelled here below. In all their observations, however shrewd and appropriate in some respects, I could easily perceive, that they generally left out of their reasoning, the Grand First Cause. They wanted the wings of faith, to soar above matter into the region of spirit—and this want cannot be supplied, by the utmost stretch of human invention and power.
When [ arrived at the two great cavities, I was strongly reminded of some memorable events recorded in the Scriptures, and of many of the occurrences of daily life.
A few gravely contemplated the sunk and riven earth, and, in pious ejaculations, poured out their hearts unto God. Like pious Noah and his family, whilst surveying the ravages of the Deluge, they thought of the direful effects of sin, of the infinite mercy, as well as justice, of the Lord; and how, in this instance especially, he had graciously remembered mercy in judgment.
Several graceless persons wrangled and disputed with each other, even in the very bottom of the cavities, and on their edges; utterly regardless of the warning voice of Providence, that so lately spoke to them in thunder, and seemed, even yet to give a tongue and utterance to every chasm that yawned around them.
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Similar to this, was that bad spirit that actuated the discontented Israelites, when they murmured rebelliously over the very seam of the closed pit, which, but the day before, had swallowed up a part of their host for the sin of rebellion.
Many, I perceived, on their return home, who in all the giddy frivolity of thoughtless
SERMON ON THE ERUPTION 219
Happy are they, and they only, who attend to the voice of the Holy Spirit; who deny themselves, and take up their daily cross, and follow Christ. They shall have faith, which is the victory that overcometh this world— they shall come off more than conquerors over death— and, in perfect security on the last day, they shall fear- lessly and triumphantly survey the wreck of universal nature, when the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood—when the stars shall fall from their orbits, and the heavens and earth shall dissolve in flames, and pass away.
Printed at the Columbian Press, by T. I nkersley, Bradford.
[This Sermon, preached Sept. 12th, 1824, in reference to the Eruption ten days before, was reprinted in the Cottage Magazine, (Bradford), Jan. 1825, pp. 9-18. It, and the “ Phenomenon” that precedes it, with the Sermon on Mr. Weightman that follows, were reprinted at Keighley for R. Brown, Bookseller, Haworth, about a dozen years ago, in a pamphlet
of 41 pages. ]
220 REV. P. BRONTE’3
SIGNS OF THE TIMES;
OR A FAMILIAR TREATISE
IN THE YEAR 1835.
BY P. BRONTE, A. B.,
INCUMBENT OF HAWORTH, NEAK BRADFORD, YORKSHINE.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 221
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SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 928
owing to the circumstance of its establishment, contrary to the doctrines of Christ and his apostles. It is certainly very true, that the Christian religion was not established in the apostolical age. But how could it? An idolatrous emperor was then master of the civilized world, and abhorred and persecuted Christians, wherever he found them; and so did many of his successors. But as soon as the empire of Rome was put under the control of Christian monarchs, they established and supported, at the public expense, and for the public edification, that mode of Christian worship which, in their opinion, was most expedient and scriptural. And how could they have acted otherwise with a clear conscience? What would any reasonable man think of a king or government that contrive with much study and labour, a code of laws, and enforce their execution at the public expense, and after all, say to the nation,— We leave all the concerns of immortal souls and the great cause and honour of God to the voluntary principle. We will make no certain religious provision for those who either cannot, or will not, provide i in this way for themselves. They may go to any place of worship, or no place of worship, as they please. A good father lays down a system of religious instruction for his children, and so does a good master for his servants; but we, the guardians of the state, and the commonwealth, devise no plan, and execute no plan of spiritual edification for you; we cannot devise a system that will please you all, and therefore, we will not call upon you all to support any system of religion. Think, plan, and execute for yourselves, or, if it please you better, neglect all these concerns entirely and for ever. However shallow and inconclusive this mode of argumentation may seem, yet all the arguments used against an established religion, when divested of rhetorical attire, come to the same conclusion. For these, as well as many other reasons, which my prescribed limits do not permit me to mention, it seems, I must confess, to me most evident, that the wisest and most scriptural plan, for every govern- ment, is to establish that religion which they deem to be the most agreeable to Scripture, and the best adapted to the wants of the community; tuking, at the same time,
SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 225
and give some remote indications of an inclination to listen, at length, to the remonstrance of Scr ipture, sound policy, and justice.
In every establishment, however, since from its very nature it must be upheld at the expense of the community, due care should be taken to avoid, as far as practicable, vexatious enactments and proceedings. The money that must be raised, should be derived from sources that will produce the least collision between parties of different religious opinions, and no farther expense should be incurred than the nature of the case justly demands. Hence, in England, as must be obvious, tithes should be
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I never attempted to justify the spoliation of the Church of Rome; this act was unscriptural, and worthy of catholic Henry the Eighth, who mainly performed it. But his crimes, and the crimes of some who resembled him, cannot be laid to the charge of William of glorious memory, and his protestant successors on the throne of Britain. The present occupiers of church property, taking things as they were, and vielding to long established customs and laws, have been guilty of no act of spoliation or injustice. Agreeably to all the notions of legal possession, they have as fair a claim on their dues, as any landed proprietor can have on his rents. Nor is it true, that all the churches, and their respective emoluments, ever did belong to Roman Catholics; vast numbers of churches have been erected and endowed by the lberality of protestant indi- viduals. In these respects, our two universities, and our churches strongly resemble each other. The Acts of Parliament, such as they were, conferred their grants in perpetuity, and the tenure was considered as good as that of any lawful deed, however skilfully constructed. The doctrine, that a government is entitled to take away whatever it has given, is pregnant with delusion and danger, and would lead, if generally persisted in, to the most fearful consequences. If this doctrine be good for any thing, it must be followed up in all its bearings; it must not, like an ex post fucto law, be maintained in a particular case. Should a government be justified in taking away whatever it has given, then our great charter of liberty, all the various acts of parliament, respecting the freedom of the subject, and indeed every legal en- actment dear to Englishmen, might be repealed, till despotism once more raised its frightful head in our land. No government, however constituted, could despoil the Church of England, or any other church, of any portion of its property, without committing a sin against the decalogue, and consequently against its author, who is God. No act of any government can ever repeal that solemn act of the Majesty of heaven, which was passed by himself on Mount Sinai, amidst the awful sound of the loud supernatural trumpet, and smoke and fire and light- ning and thunder.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 227
Should human beings, therefore, in the infatuation of their impiety, rush against the thick boss of Jeliovah’s buckler, let us obey God rather than man, and leave the consequences to him who recompenseth the righteous, and punisheth the wicked, and who is an infinitely wise and just Judge, that cannot be deceived by specious arguments and false pretences, but who is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, as well as of all the words and actions of our lives.
I have never been able to discover, that because an orthodox church was but ill attended by a superstitious people, averse to its doctrines, that could be urged as a sufficient reason why it should be pulled down, especially in places where the inhabitants are numerous. The greater their mental darkness, the greater is their need of gospel light, and the more urgent we should be to enlighten their gloom. No one thinks of removing a missionary station, because the natives around are back- ward in their attendance for a season, and given up to the destructive pursuits of idolatry. On the contrary, greater efforts are generally made by the righteous, to extend the light of the gospel, even when lke the father of the faithful, thev are compelled, by circumstances, to believe against hope. I can hardly persuade myself that men who reason, and often judge rightly in other matters, can be altogether misled by their judgments when they come to argue against the Establishment. I have often been doubtful, whether vanity and selfishness and envy and ambition might, like subtle ingredients, have mixed them- selves with substances of a less exceptionable nature; so that there was sin committed both against the conscience and judgment. Should I be right in this, which might appear to some an uncharitable conjecture, the test of a death-bed must prove severe to such people; and those words and actions, which have been used by them as specious means to obtain evil ends, will have no tendency to divest death of his sting, or disarm him of his terrors.
In regard to opening our two universities, and our church-yards to all who may choose to enter them, whether they have any religion or no religion at all, in order to say what they like, and do as they like, whilst they are there,
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the whole project is so strange an aggression, so nearly allied to persecution, and so opposed to all the wise regulations of society, that I think it cannot long be persisted in. At any rate, if common sense, and a con- viction of the necessity of proper organization, in all associations of mankind, will not suffice, argument would not answer any good purpose whatever.
If there be a want of universities, let those who feel it, build them, and get them properly endowed and chartered and rightly organized, agreeably to the dictates of their own conscience and judgment. Let them, also, purchase ground for interring their dead, and have it enclosed and legally secured, and all things pertaining to it, disposed agreeably to their political notions or their religious creed. And let no one have it in his power to make aggressions on them, or disturb their repose. This is but reasonable and just, and can be controverted only in opposition to justice and reason.
Though charitably disposed towards all Christian churches, I believe the Church of England and Ireland to accord best with Scripture; and yet I am far from suying, that our excellent Establishment is perfect. Time may have wasted or worn some of its parts; the season of its
SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 229
generally be found in the last pages of the books of his reckoning. It has often seemed to me passing strange, that the warmest advocates of the voluntary principle, are men who deny the doctrine of free will altogether, or qualify their observations by stating, that we cannot of ourselves will to do any thing which is good.
There is another sign of the times. I refer to the manifest indication of a growing conviction that, in our generation, we are wiser than our forefathers. Hence we hear of the march of intellect, the wisdom of the nineteenth century, and are often reminded, that the schoolmaster is abroad. How far these high pretensions of the present generation are justifiable, it may be right briefly to inquire. Some discoveries, of modern date, have certainly led to the acquisition of knowledge; such are the properties of the magnetic needle and the telescope,—the circulation of the blood,—the composition and force of gun-powder,—the nature of electricity,—and the power and application of steam.
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ancients left all the modern sculptors far behind, the historical accounts of their works, and the fragments which still remain, put beyond a doubt. The art of painting elegantly and durably on glass, and superlative skill in architecture, are in the wane, as may be fully demonstrated from history, and the astonishing ruins yet to be seen in Greece and Rome, and various other parts of the world. These architectural relics of antiquity, even in their mutilated state, produce a simple, grand, and overwhelming effect, and totally eclipse the puerile efforts of modern times. And when we consider the vigour, sublimity, comprehensiveness, and applicability of the Greek and Roman languages, we shall have no difficulty in discovering that those who invented and needed them, in their daily intercourse with each other, excelled most of the moderns, as far in their mode of thinking, as they did in their manner of speaking and writing. What real grounds have we then for our self-complacency? We certainly have some advantages, especially such as flow directly or indirectly from the wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures; but we have also in various important instances lost more than we have gained, and, in our march of intellect, made a retrograde movement. Through the art of printing, which is comparatively modern, know- ledge has been more generally diffused, than when it depended solely on the art of writing; but in ancient times, whilst the rivers of knowledge ran in narrower channels, they, also, frequently were deeper, and more rapid and powerful. Greater numbers of the present, than of the former, generation know a little, but fewer know much. And when with a little knowledge there is connected a deal of humility, the result cannot fail to be
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disgraced not only the Scotch and
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indeed, I have written any thing which the wise and good should deem it necessary to controvert.
On re-perusing these few lines, it appears to me that I have redeemed my pledge neither to be acrimonious nor personal. In what I have advanced, I have acted chiefly or exclusively on the and have confined myself for the most part to generalities, leaving the discussion of particulars to those who have either better abilities or more inclination for that species of composition.
In an age when nearly all can read, some wiil occasion- ally write, though they should present only old ideas in a newer dress. I like, myself, to read the writings of well- meaning and goud men, even where they differ from me in opinion; admitting their main object be to improve the condition of the human race in both the worlds. Should the end of all our efforts be confined to party, and limited by time and the grave, we may gratify our pride, or foster our vanity, and sell our eternal interest for the sake of perishable gain; but if breaking through the partialities of our nature, by faith, we advocate for con- science’ sake alone, the cause which we deem best; man may feel inclined to excuse our errors, and palliate our offences; and God, in his infinite mercy, will, for his Son’s sake, and through his Spirit’s operations, cause our -darkness to disperse, and our light to shine brighter and brighter till the perfect day: and after the earthly house of this our tabernacle shall have been dissolved, he will give us houses, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
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TREATISE ON BAPTISM. 235
any other than a Methodist minister. It would appear from your quotation, that he is a
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TREATISE ON BAPTISM. 237
in general, are, I understand, greatly exasperated against him; as they stoutly maintain, that in washing their cups and pots, they but seldom or never dip them; but on the contrary, dip the towel, and then rub them with it, after it has been thoroughly wetted. My friend Peter, suffer me just to remind thee, that if thou dost quarrel with thy fellow men, thy case may be hazardous; but if a contest arises between thee and the ladies, thou wilt be placed beyond the utmost confines of hope; so that all thy priestly dignity will not save thee from
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TREATISE ON BAPTISM. 239
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but I feel myself to be quite free. And after due delibera- tion, as I think I have already proved, I am still of opinion that it is scriptural and right to baptize infants, or if you like it better, to sprinkle, but that if, through the criminal neglect of the parents, or the unsoundness of their doctrinal views, children should die, without the rite of baptism, by sprinkling or otherwise, the infinitely merciful Saviour, who loved them, and kissed and blessed them, will not shut them out of his heavenly kingdom. But this will afford no excuse for you, or any other Baptist, for the non-performance of your duty. But you might say, why then, do we not perform the funeral service over dead persons, who have not been christened ? To this I answer, we earnestly wish that parents might bring their children as soon as practicable, to be initiated into Christ’s church by baptism, though we are far from thinking that unbaptized children shall be shut out from heaven. Consequently according to our canon laws, we feel it to be our duty to use all lawful means for obtaining this our good end: and when parents know, that they cannot have the funeral service performed over their deceased children, unless they have been previously bap- tized, it tends to stimulate them to the performance of their duty. Peter Pontifex seems to be against children receiving ‘the communion, whilst he acknowledges that St. Augustine recommended the practice, and that both he and Origen were advocates for infant Baptism. I would ask my friend Peter, whether those who are fit for sitting down at the table of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in heaven, are unfit for partaking of bread and wine at the table of the Saviour on earth? Verily they could not prove and examine themselves, previously ; but, my dear Peter, do you seri- ously imagine that this in their case, would be necessary ? I think I hear you answer, no.—Then why should any examination, be necessary, in their case before Baptism ? I have never declared myself to be for or against infant communion. Bat showld we neglect our duty in one case, that cannot be adduced as a reason why we should neglect it in another. The nearer we come to the performance of our duty the better. This is the only answer which, at present, I deem it expedient to make to Peter Pontifex’s
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question, why we do not admit children to the Lord’s table as well as to Baptism ?
In reference to the expression that, nowhere in scrip- ture are we forbidden to baptize children, Peter Pontifex writes in the following sublime and logical style. ‘If this reasoning be valid, then transubstantiation, holy water, &c. with nearly all the mummeries of popery must be right, because the scripture does not forbid them. Yea, on the same principle, we may baptize a dog, a cat, or a bell!’? Now, I retort in Peter’s language, saying to him and all such reasoners.
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‘‘Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be I ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea.” 1 Cor. x. 1, 2. The proper plural inflection from the identical word
TREATISE ON BAPTISM. 248
ways, cannot, without obvious impropriety, be made to signify immersion, and in others, cannot signify it at
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But pardon me, dear Peter, I had almost lost sight of your tract, which 1 am occupied in answering. You use very harsh terms toward me, where I speak of the danger resulting to an ungodly crowd, from your mode of bap- tizing. Since you like not what I have said, I will give you the opinion of your favourite, the Rev. Daniel Isaac. He writes as follows. You will find the passage near the beginning of his work. Though you let out all the spleen of your furious temper on me, on this point you will find that he writes in much stronger terms than I did, and has not at all minced the matter. He observes,
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My friend Peter, I never, as you falsely represent me, said that Baptist proselytes would go to hell. What I spoke in reference to too great an eagerness to make proselytes, and its consequences, was meant to refer to all denominations, guilty of this dangerous error.
I have now waded through your tract, paying, to what you have written, all due attention. One thing, however, I think I have omitted. You break some of your jokes on ‘Irishmen. Do you not know, that an Irishman is your lord and master? Are you not under the king’s ministry ? And are they not under Mr. an Irishman ? And do not you or your friends pay to him a yearly tribute under the title of rent? And is not the Duke of Wellington, the most famous, and the greatest of living heroes, an Irishman? And dare you, or your adherents, take one political step of importance without trembling, lest it should not meet the approbation of your allies in Ireland? Then as an
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Why then accuse me of crimes which I never committed. I again assert, that I wish to live in peace, and to be on good terms with all my ministerial brethren, of every denomination, and to co-operate with them in every good work of charity. You and I, my friend Peter, are now upon equal ground: and unless you are otherwise minded, our controversy may be at an end. Should you, however, write again, let me admonish you to keep your temper, and to write only the truth. If you abide by this rule, I shall fear nothing you can say against me. But should you injuriously transgress it, I may have recourse to the only adequate means which may be calculated to answer a good and efficient end, under such circumstances. I have, as far as the answering of your tract would permit, avoided personalities, and indeed every case should stand exclu- sively on the ground of its own merit. I have heard that we may expect soon to see some tracts, written against our excellent Establishment, which, under Providence, has long stood the ablest bulwark against infidelity and dangerous innovation. But let our opponents beware. Every attempt against this church has, hitherto, operated only like the wind against the firmly rooted oak. It has been shaken ;—but it has struck its fibres wider and deeper in the ground, and has grown loftier, more umbrageous, and stronger. Even at this moment, the enemies of this Church are the cause of laws which will operate in a salutary manner upon its useful- ness and stability, though their intentions aimed at very different results. Only let Churchmen serve God in the faith, and be true to themselves, and false or hostile to no one, and they shall wax stronger and stronger. Their house is built on a rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Ere I conclude this little tract, I cannot help remarking on the great diversity of opinion amongst Christians, who all profess to deduce their doctrines and practices from one source, the Bible. On the right of Baptism alone, some think sprinkling and infant baptism most scriptural; others will baptize adults only, and these by immersion in water; and the Quakers deem it best to dispense with the external form altogether; using no water at all, and trusting to the Holy Ghost and to jire!
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those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an Infidel,” I. Tim. v. 8. As Churchmen, in reference to all things connected with baptism, we try to our uttermost to abide by these Scriptures. Well knowing that life is both short and uncertain, we provide such substitutes as we can, for our children, in the way of wise and scriptural precaution, and make such spiritual provision for our family as time and circumstances may permit. Our Baptist friends smile, cr rail at these things, and term them Roman Catholic superstition, and downright heathenism. Now, mark their inconsistency. When they have any money, or lands to leave, after their death, they make a will and appoint executors, and guardians, and use all due precaution ;—why do they not act in a simi- lar manner in regard to the eternal concerns of their children? O prejudice! prejudice! and priestcraft, and selfishness, what mischief have you done in the world!
What an awful sight it is in a Christian country to see young men and women, nineteen or twenty years of age, stalking about, as if in a land of heathens, without having been initiated into Christ’s church by baptism! And all this, under the plea that little children, who are fit for the kingdom of heaven, are not worthy to be members of Christ’s church on earth, by sprinkling, pouring, or dipping! What would Abraham have said, had he seen any of his uncircumcised adult brethren going about in this way, with such an excuse ?
Since writing the preceding remarks, I have read a work on Baptism, by the Rev. William Thorn, Independent minister. This unanswerable performance leaves the Baptists without one word to say in defence of their system. The work which I have answered compares your dear little children with dogs, cats, and bells, in reference to their fitness for baptism! And mark well, this per- formance was executed by a Baptist minister who has considerable influence amongst his brethren. What a sample of the whole! Ye parents and guardians, in the name of Christ, who took up little children in his arms, and kissed and blessed them, and pronounced them, and only such as them, to be fit for his heavenly kingdom, initiate them, as soon as you can, into his church, by
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baptism, through sprinkling or pouring, which as you have seen, is the most decent and scriptural method. Mind not the cunning craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive by false arguments and idle sophistry ; but walk in all things agreeably to the Scriptures, and that common sense and reason which God has given you. With real kindness,
I remain, yours truly, P. BRONTE.
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Let our friends, the Baptists, read what they please, on their side of the question, and then let them, with prayer, and withowt prejudice, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest, the works of the Rev. Daniel Isaac, Wesleyan Methodist minister, and of the Rev. William Thorn, a minister of tlie Independents, and I have no doubt what- ever, but that in a very short time, through a gracious Providence, we shall see our Baptist friends, coming in large numbers to Pedobaptist ministers, to have the solemn scriptural rite scripturally performed by sprinkling or pour- ing, which are the fittest emblems to represent the out- pourings of the Spirit, so often referred to in
A FUNERAL SERMON
REV. WILLIAM WEIGHTMAN, M.A.,
IN THE CHURCH OF HAWORTH,
ON SUNDAY, THE
WEIGHTMAN’S FUNERAL SERMON. 2538
IN THE FIFTEENTH CHAPTER OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS, AND THE FIFTY-SIXTH, FIFTY-SEVENTH, AND FIFTY- EIGHTH VERSES, YOU WILL FIND THE FOLLOWING
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These reflections press upon me with unwonted force, whilst I consider, as on the present occasion I must necessarily do, the shortness and uncertainty of this mor- tal life, our vast responsibility, the speed of time, and the consequent near approach of eternity; an eternity to every one of us either of unspeakable happiness or unutterable woe.
The text itself is a sermon in reference to what I have already hinted, and in discussing it I shall first give a general explanation; and then apply it more immediately, directly or indirectly, in reference to the present occasion.
Both in biographical sketches and funeral sermons great care should be taken to consider, full as much the interest of the living as the fame of the dead; and everywhere, and at all times, there should be a due regard to truth, whether it may please or displease, disappoint or satisfy. For want of abiding by this rule many productions, such as I refer to, are calculated to mislead rather than edify, and most assuredly to give us a very different idea of men aud manners from what we obtain by a careful perusal of the unerring and impartial word of God.
Our text would powerfully urge us to believe the truth, and to speak and practise it. Who that reads it can avoid being almost absorbed and lost in the contemplation of its doctrines. ‘‘The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.”’ This it commences with, and solemn words they are, especially when it is considered that it is appointed for man once to die, and after that the judgment. None of us can plead any exemption. Die we must, whether we will or no, and judged we must be, though we should call on the hills and mountains to cover and hide us from the face of Him, who will sit on the great white throne of judgment. And should we on the last day of account be found to have been under thd law and not under grace, then we shall discover by sad experience ‘‘that the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” Through sin, and sin alone, death entered into the world; and not only was death intro- duced by sin, but sin gave death a goad, a poisoned dag- ger, fatal and tormenting, and capable of destroying both body and soul in hell for ever. The perfect law of God,
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so far from wiping off this poison, or demolishing this sting, added virulence to the one, and strength and poignancy to the other. The perfect law of God, through man’s imperfection, notwithstanding its divine ordination for life, was found to be unto death—like a just but stern and inexorable judge, this law, in its spotless purity and wide latitude, arraigned the thoughts, desires, words, and actions, and all the commissions and omissions of the criminal, considering a breach of one, as a breach of all its commandments, and finding that there was none righteous, no not one, and not making atonement or opening a way for pardon, it passed the dreadful sentence on the culprit, and would have left him to perish for ever. We may, therefore, say with the Apostle, be to God which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”” Yea we must come, after all our windings and subterfuges, and seek out the strait gate and narrow way, which is Christ, the truth and the life. We must enter in at the one, and walk in the other, if we would escape hell, and get into heaven. This may puzzle, or perplex, and disgust fallen proud man; the infidel may sneer, the scorner may laugh, the philosopher may despise, the lukewarm may disregard, and the sophist cavil; and Satan, and the evil deceitful heart may join the unholy alliance; yet the cause of God must stand. What was the result of the operations of the Eternal Mind, what. was suggested by infinite mercy, and love, and executed by the hand of the Almighty, has prevailed, and shall for ever prevail, till the wicked shall be consigned to perdition, and heaven shall be peopled with the redeemed. To fulfil the Law, and make it honourable, to make atonement for the sins of the world by dying to conquer death, and take away his sting, by descending into hell to gain more than the victory over hell, was the work of Christ, who alone was capable of executing it, whilst the prerogative of the Spirit is to make Christ to be formed in our souls the hope of glory. Who then, in the fulness of his heart, would not say, ‘‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ;” and with St. Paul would not add, ‘‘ therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your
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labour is not in vain in the Lord?” In this sinful, perverse world, we may often meet with difficulties and dangers, in our way to heaven, which, where faith is weak, may tend powerfully to shake us from our stead- fastness; but knowing what is threatened, and what is promised, who it is that opposes, and who it is that encourages, whom we fight for, and whom we fight against, let us put on the whole armour of God, and courageously dispute every inch of the ground; marching vigorously and boldly on, till the victory is won, and we obtain the prize of immortality. We must abound, and continue to abound in the work of the Lord. Our obedience to Him, must not be and dealt out in sparing measure, but must result from the overflowings of a heart changed by the renewing of regencration—so shall we infallibly obtain the reward of our labour—a reward, indeed, not of debt but of grace—the free unmerited grace of Him who was dead and is alive again, who has the keys of hell, of death, and of the prison of the grave, and the kingdom of heaven. Our frail bodies must soon perish, and return to the dust; but by the power of Him who has said, ‘‘ Let it be,” and the universe was created, they shall be raised in their own proper identity, in a manner far surpassing the comprehension of man, and probably of the highest Arch- angels, when this mortal shall put on immortality, and shine with unfading splendour for ever and ever.
These were the scriptural doctrines preached, practised, and maintained by him whose loss we deplore.
In his preaching, and practising, he was, as every clergyman ought to be, neither distant nor austere, timid nor obtrusive, nor bigoted, exclusive, nor dogmatical. He was affable, but not familiar; open, but not too con- fiding. He thought it better, and more scriptural, to make the love of God, rather than the fear of hell, the ruling motive for obedience. He did not see why true believers, having the promise of the life that now is, as well as that which is to come, should create unto them- selves artificial sorrows, and disfigure the garment of gospel peace with the garb of sighing and sadness. Pon- dering on, and rejoicing in the glad tidings of salvation, he wished others to rejoice from the same principles, and
WEIGHTMAN’S FUNERAL SERMON. 957
though he preached the necessity of sincere repentance, and heart-felt sorrow for sin, he believed that the convert, in his freedom from its thraldom, should rejoice evermore in the glorious liberty of the gospel; nevertheless, that he should mix fear with his
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wore well; the surest proof of real worth. He had, it is true, some peculiar advantages. Agreeable in person and manners, and constitutionally cheerful, his first introdue- tion was prepossessing. But what he gained at first, he did not lose afterwards. He had those qualities which enabled him rather to gain ground. He had classical attainments of the first order, and above all, his religious principles were sound and orthodox. This was manifest in his sermons, which, with the key of scripture, opened through Christ, the door of salvation to all—and which, though sometimes above the reach of ordinary capacities, always exhibited clearness, truth, and argument, well calculated to edify the generality of attentive hearers. When I stated to him that it would be desirable he should descend to the level of the lowest and most illiterate of his audience, without departing from the pure and dignified simplicity of the scriptures, he would good naturedly promise to do so—and in this respect, there evidently was a gradual, but sure improvement. As it ought to be with every Incumbent, and his clerical coadjutor, we were always like father and sen—according to our respective situations—giving and taking mutual advice, from the best motives, and in the most friendly spirit; looking on each other, not as rivals, but as fellow labourers in the same glorious cause, and under the superintendence of our common Lord and Master.
In visiting, and cottage lectures, a most important part of a minister’s duty, he who, in reference to this world is now no more, was as active and sedulous as health and cirumstances would permit; and in the Sunday School, especially, he was useful in more than an ordinary degree. He had the rare art of communicating information with diligence and strictness, without austerity, so as to render instruction, even to the youngest and most giddy, a pleasure, and not a task. The Sunday School Committee, and Teachers, as well as learners, have duly appreciated his talents in this way, and will long remember him with esteem and regret. In these familiar remarks I do not,
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on the failings and vanities of this world,
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No attempt has been made to compile a list of the Rev. P. Bronté’s fugitive pieces, but they are supposed to be rather numerous in the columns of the Leeds Mercury and Leeds Intelligencer from 1809. Amongst his pseudonyms it is supposed that ‘‘ Sydney,” two columns in the Mercury of Dec. 1st, 1810, stands for Mr. Bronté.
His friend, the Rev. W. Morgan, issued a magazine at Bradford, and it is known he contributed thereto amongst other articles one on ‘‘ Conversion,’’ 1815.
The Rev. J. Buckworth of Dewsbury, and other local clergymen, founded a religious magazine in Jan., 1812, which had a prosperous run for many years. The first volume was printed by Baines of Leeds, but the rest by Inkersley of Bradford, except for a year or so when he had his press at Dewsbury. Extracts from Mr. Bronté’s poems are given, as also the Bog Sermon in Vol. 14, Jan., 1825. I think there is good reason to assume that he wrote the few articles in this ‘‘ Cottage Magazine” which bear the pseudonym—A Cottaye Writer. In the first volume, 1812, besides an extract from his ‘‘ Cottage
FUGITIVE PIECES. 265
For, here on earth, both one and all, We try to rise on others’ fall; And think our lustre shines the best, When dusky veils obscure the rest. But Newton sage and others say, The sun doth play you wea and nay; That, at each point of time, his force Attracts, repels, thy fiery course; In contradiction—strange to say— Lest you should wander from your way, And that, when he has got thy meed, He sends vou on your way with speed. Alas! alas! should this be so? How many suns are here below, Save that they want both heat and light, And never shine, by day or night— Attract—repel—get all they can— And part with nought to hving man! Some say thou art electric fire, And hast a tail of plague and ire— That all along thy airy way You shed on men a baleful sway ; That on the nations near and far You sow the seeds of bloody war. Small need for these thy fatal arts ; For we abound in wrathful hearts, And cunning heads, and blighting gales, And martial hands, and fiery tails— And swift to ill—for ill combine, With ready skill, surpassing thine.
Thy course is chang’d, as sages say, And thou hast run a novel way, Just that the wond’ring world might own Thou hast a will and way thine own. In this, fair stranger, we’re inclined To follow thee, and have our mind— Whate’er sarcastic mortals say, For we have orbits where to move, By impulse strong, of hate or love ; And we have ends to answer here, Though in a dark and narrow sphere.
Since last this earth has seen thy face, Thou hast been wide in many a place— And many suns and worlds hast known, Besides these orbs we call our own ;— Say, hast thou, in thy leisure hours,
PART IJ.—THE BRONTES OF IRELAND.
TENTATIVE PEDIGREE, on the authority of the Rev. Wm. Wright, D.D., in his
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source. Indeed, his metaphor breaks down by his magni- fying Hugh Bronté to such an extent that the novelists, his grandchildren, are very ordinary people compared with himself, and the great literary river degenerates into a mere beck, if we assume Dr. book to be true. Instead of the source of the Nile being discovered, we are being led into mists and false trackways.
All are ready to admit that the Bronté phenomenon has fascinating attractions, but few will grant that the mystery cannot be reached by English investigations, which there is no need to compare to the muddy banks of Egypt. It is a dirty comparison and untrue. To account for the genius we must resort to heredity, and Ireland has supplied strong wills and mental endowments to the frail constitutions inherited from the Cornish mother. County Down, more or less, may take credit for the intellectual vigour, but Penzance supplies much of the physiological and religious conditions, and yet the details of the plots of all the novels, Emily’s included, are distinctly personal to the writers, autobiographical, and ‘‘ Yorkshire.” The dreary moor, the domestic suppressed sadness, the struggle to reach womanly independence and share in the burdens of life, nay even the Brussels episode—with an illegal (I do not say un-christian) love, if such existed, these with the daily experiences of mentally strong, nervously weak, constitutionally feeble women are the factors that must be considered in accounting for the Bronté phenomenon. It muy be generally stated that Anne Bronté represented the Cornish element, Emily the Irish, and Charlotte a combination.
Environments have much to do in the colouring and moulding of all our lives, but barren moors, loneliness, unhappy homes, (but this spoken of the Haworth parson- age I more than dispute, I deny it emphatically), dis- appointments; these— any more than advantages, luxury, magnificent scenery, can never alone make character or create genius. We welcome the efforts of Dr. Wright to trace out the Bronté genealogy, and if his work is reliable he has robbed Yorkshire of its most wonderful novel and Emily Bronté falls from the unique post she has held, but one sentence from Charlotte’s introduction to ‘‘Wuthering
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Heights’’ is worth more than a large book full of argu- ments by anyone else. That sentence we have; and neither Dr. Wright nor my old friends Dearden and Leyland can possibly shake the fact that Emily wrote Wuthering Heights, and plotted it herself. Even if Dr. Wright, speaking after the fact, could shew that the story was based on family experiences in Ireland, which I am bound to say he has failed to do, we must then only remark that he has met with a curious coincidence. Although I corresponded with Dr. May, of Rathfriland,* some years before either Dr. Wright’s book was published or Mr. Erskine Stuart’s, who was the first to visit County Down and write a few genealogical notes on the Irish Brontés, I was then and am still far from thinking ‘ that. there are many surprises yet in store for students of this Celtic
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plot; but to state that he had written screeds of the novels—plural, notice, before 1847, is stating an impossi- bility for he could not have touched upon a single one of Charlotte’s or Anne’s.
OF IRELAND. 271
ever passed her lips. The Rev. Patrick Bronté left his Irish home early, and has left very little evidence to support so strong a description of his power as a story- teller as the following: *‘ Miss Nussey has often told me [not very often,] of the marvellous fascination with which the girls would haug on their father’s lips as he depicted scene after scene of some tragic story in glowing words and with harrowing details. The breakfast would remain untouched till the story had passed the crisis, and some- times the narration became so real and vivid and intense that the listeners begged the vicar to proceed no further. Sleepless nights succeeded story-telling evenings at the vicarage.”
I begin to think I have missed my opportunities these thirty years in failing to secure just one of the wonderful narrations. I have interviewed Martha Brown, the ser- vant, and Haworth people repeatedly ; have corresponded with and visited the Rev. A. B. Nicholls; interviewed the family and neighbours in Ireland; have spent hours together repeatedly with Miss Nussey; have known in- timately Mr. Leyland, Mr. Dearden, Mr. Abraham Holroyd and others who were capable of speaking authoritatively on this subject; have read Mrs. Gaskell’s book, of course, more than once or twice; Sir Wemyss Reid fails to give an inkling of it and he knows Miss Nussey well; and lastly I have printed Charlotte Bronte’s Letters, 880 pages of closely printed matter, and I have to wait for Dr. Wright to supply the information so very desirable for this ‘¢Memoir.”’ Alas! everything shews that Mr. Bronté was a matter-of-fact man; but even if he were a great: story- teller, which would be a new phase in his character, surely Dr. Wright does not imply that this is a proof that he told his daughters the Welsh story.
THe Fictious Account
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that Hugh spoke with a Scotch accent, a very doubtful assertion, foolishly changed his position to the north. Hugh was one of a large family. His father was a man in prosperous circumstances, and Hugh was one of the youngest children. When about five years old, about the year 1750, or a little earlier, his father's sister Mary (and her husband Welsh Bronte, a foundling whose story fol- lows,) came to this happy family, and, pretending to be rich, got
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marvellous memory of a child of five. to remember the exact words of the reply,—‘ I'll teach you to disobey me, you magnificent
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more likely that the Doctor mixes up different events, a charge he brings against Alice.
Next follows a chapter on the ten years Hugh spent in his Uncle Welsh’s miserable home, and leads off by the bold assumption that the invectives poured on the
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house at Ballynaskeagh.” This was big style, and quick work. It took me much longer to get from Newry to Ballynaskeagh in 1897. He gave a ‘ boisterous’’ knock at the thatched cottage door. It was very rude to do so, as it was not quite so big as a castle. Probably the prettiest girl in County Down, an Irish beauty and a pure Celt, with long golden ringlets, forehead of parian marble, evenly set teeth like lustrous pearls, rosy cheeks, long dark-brown eyelashes, deep hazel eyes with violet tint and melting expression, lambent fire ready to flash indignation and scorn,
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writes of the pitched battles that were annually fought in real earnest around the Bronté homeland. I visited some of the sites this autumn and found the people full of tales of bloodshed and hatred. The McClory family is both numerous and widespread in the Upper Bann Valley, that is, south of Lough Neagh, and some of the townlands are distinctly Catholic still, whilst the majority of the people are Presbyterians and Protestant Episcopalians. From what I heard at Ballynaskeagh, Annaclone, Rathfriland, Ballynafern, Katesbridge and Ballyroney, I am persuaded that 120 years ago Hugh Bronté would have no slight struggle as a Protestant in managing to win a Catholic maiden for a wife; and assuming that Alice was a Cath- olic the runaway wedding was almost a necessity, though we have no need to spice it with the horse-riding, the disappointed rival, the sumptuous viands from this place and the other, and we are led to wonder how Dr. Wright: got to know more of Hugh’s inner life, thoughts, expres- sions and actions, in 1776, than we can now learn of his son Patrick with all our advantages. I must state that some of Hugh’s descendants dispute that Alice ever was a Catholic. There are several Paddy McClorys but none of the name can give definite genealogical history. Hugh’s secret courtship in the Lover’s Arbour strikes one as being dangerously near McClory’s house, (it is only a few yards away), whilst his journeys from Mount Pleasant, near Dundalk, (where I found a family named Welsh this year,) to Ballynaskeagh and back is a journey I cannot comprehend without the help of
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One would think an account book had been preserved. We are willing to believe that all this was usual and that the wedding race by young men for the broth or whisky took place, but why the loaves should be fetched from Newry, and the beef from Rathfriland and the whisky from Banbridge caps all, except that Alice meanly cheated Burns, tricked her family and friends, and on that same day married Hugh at Magherally Church. ‘We are further astounded to find how philosophically all ends on this one day, and Hugh and his wife are settled in a cabin close by Paddy McClory’s home.
As a romance all this may read very well, and there is a substratum of folk-lore and social history behind it; perhaps even the tradition of the plot has some truth; but it must be left as highly conjectural; and although the reader is waiting for something substantial a few more lines must be devoted to a romance more incredible than the one just finished.
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men and women—well educated and fairly acquainted with England, allowed the stripling to oust them.
In amazing details we are told that Welsh, arrayed in black cloth and fine linen, with prominent cast in both eyes and jackal-like dentals, asked the assembled family to consent to give Mary, the youngest sister, to be his wife. He became a sub-agent, of whom we have a general description, and managed by intrigue to win Mary’s con- sent by threats and persuasions and to gain her and the homestead. The fortune-teller or spey-woman became his ally in accomplishing this object. Welsh afterwards assumed the name Bronté, pray what was he before. This is described as an ordinary eviction, and yet this transac- tion alone is credited with giving birth to the tenant right theory. A common saying in Ireland is
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the brunt—he returned to Loughorne as farm servant. Of course, no one but Dr. Wright is my authority. The marriage was in 1776, the first clear date we reach, and shortly the cabin at Emdale was furnished by them.
is the name of a townland or township in Drumballyroney-cum-Drumgooland parish. The house is on the Banbridge and Warrenpoint Road, just where the Newry and Rathfriland Road crosses it, nearly a mile from Ballynaskeagh Manse, unless you cross over the Manse fields by permission. Since Dr. picture was taken the isolated gable has gone, and the place was occupied by two goats when I saw it. A repulsive feeling arises as you tread the mud floor, and it takes a strong imagination to picture this birthplace of the Rev. Patrick Bronté as a comfortable home even at the best. I call it a good four miles from Rathfriland to this house, but Irish roads and Irish air are not wearisome nor oppressive.
Newry is nearly nine miles away, and Banbridge about five, Iam told. The house or kitchen was Hugh’s corn- kiln, and the part still covered was the bedroom. Mr. Bronté probably gave Mrs. Gaskell the information that he was born in the adjacent parish Aghaderg, and yet he may have made a mistake being nearly eighty, for the townland boundaries are not well studied by the peasants now, and many of them seldom travel out of their own townland, except to Banbridge. Assuming that the Em- dale cabin, now called the Kiln, and which has now degenerated from a cow-byre to a goat-shed, is the exact building, we may rest satisfied that Patrick’s birth-place— here or in Aghaderg—was as lowly as any biographer could wish to raise a hero from, and it speaks volumes for the climate to find men and women of eighty and ninety living in such homes to-day. Dr. Wright gives a poem which he thinks Hugh wrote and his son Patrick polished. If Bronté-work, it is far more likely to have been the son’s, judging by the high-flown language and the mythological reference. Dr. Wright has done good service in rescuing these verses. He calls them ‘ Alice and Hugh.”
The expression in it of finest fibre of my
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glowing description of this happy family, of the indus- trious father and the ever genial mother whose smile have tamed a mad bull.” It was hardly necessary thus early to bring in her death-bed scene with the words ascribed also to Mrs. Bronté, of Haworth,—‘‘ She thanked God that her husband had never looked upon her with a
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nothing of their original home, yet Dr. Wright in the Bookman for Feb. 1897, with a credibility that is astound- ing and amusing, and a vivacity that is delightful to see, links Frank’s grandfather, born between 1750 and 1780, probably later, to the old home in South Ireland. Such jumping at conclusions not only shews an utter incapacity to tackle a genealogical enquiry, but weakens one’s faith in the previous attempts. With this weak genealogical instinct and a strong imagination there is no wonder we get the simplest bit of bolstering ever attempted by a learned literary gentleman. I may be reminded that I moved a resolution thanking the Doctor for speaking at the Bronté Society meeting when this great discovery was first made known. I have no need to deny it, and I hope every Bronté student will welcome any Bronté or Prunty information, though the informant, like Frank Prunty, cannot state whether his grandfather came from Galway or Drogheda, but it is culpable guess work to assume he was brother of Hugh the runaway, and total incompetency to put him down as uncle.
I may venture to say that the name Bronté can have no Irish origin except as a derivative from Prunty. Phil- ologists, as students of Grimm’s Jaws will allow, find no difficulty in accounting for the substituting of B for P, o for
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1750. I shall be very pleased, indeed, if this assertion provokes research, and the discovery of the name, even the barest record, before that date will be a welcome tit-bit for British newspapers. Who will be the first to find the clue to this literary query ? Those who know the
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‘brother’s folly was no factor in conducing to genius. From both mother and father they inherited their peculi- -arities, strong mental endowments in frail bodies; high strong wills, and independency of religious thought; with literary instincts and scribbling proclivities, fostered by precept and example in both parents.
The source of the Nile, speaking of Bronté genealogy figuratively, is still undiscovered. Hugh Bronté was no
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My friend Mr. Erskine Stuart, long before Mr. Shorter got them from the same source, supplied me with copies of the baptismal entries at Drumballyroney of six of Hugh Bronte’s children; before 1800. Five times we have Brunty and once Bruntee.
The Rev. Wm. Moore, Vicar of Drumgooland, supplied the following extracts :
Drumgooland Parish Registers begin in1779. Baptisms:
1779, March 16.—William, son of Hugh and Elinor Brunty, Ballyroney. 1781, May 27.—Hugh, son of Hugh and Elinor Brunty, Lisnacreevy, Drumballyroney. 1788, Nov. 8.—James, son of Hugh and Elinor Brunty, Lisnacreevy, Drumballyroney. 1786, Feb. 19.— Walsh, son of Hugh Bruntee of Lisna- creevy, by Eleanor McClory his wife.
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Reid says there is a tradition that the name was Bronterre (French). Another suggestion 1 is that it is Spanish because. ‘‘wines of Bronte
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VERIFIED PEDIGREE : Hugh Bronte or Brunty born about 1745-1755. Died about 1808, his wife about 1822, both buried at Ballyroney. ==Alice McClory, sister of Paddy McClory according to Dr. Wright, but Miss Shannon tells me that Patrick McClory was her father: perha)s both correct. The registers of Hugh’s children at their baptism give the mother’s name several times as Eleanor; the mother’s name is omitted on the other occasions. I Patrick William Hugh J ames Welsh b.March1777 b.1779 b.1781
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public-house, and lived with a son in Ballyroney. His six sons became steady, prosperous men. From the widow of a grandson, at Rathfriland, I got a few particulars of these sons, and Miss Shannon tells me he died at the age of 88. His descendants, (not given in the order of their birth,) were :
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He was never married, and is often referred to as the giant; but this simply means he was a tall, well-built man of about six feet height. We must find fault with Dr. Wright, who often talked with
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November bear the blight of the devil, and so leave them to him, but we never make a tragedy out of a comedy. Then Hugh is called a ghost-baiter, and was so squeezed by Frazer’s ghost that he gave up the ghost. This state- ment is foolish and untrue, for the only serious mishap that ever overtook him was a rupture caused by lifting a great weight, and this with old age prevented his engaging in hard work. ‘His death was rather unexpected, but quite Old Norton’s tales were not trustworthy. Hugh has the reputation of having been great in religious controversy, but I have found no support for the statement that he became superstitious and lost his first religious convictions. At that time there were supposed to be wandering ghosts in all solitary places, and it would have been a marvel if Ballynaskeagh had been without. These spirits are said to have haunted the glen, and the headless rider story, 80 common in Yorkshire folk-lore, has been also located there as well. The solitude of the place adds local colouring. Hugh Bronte went forth to lay these spirits, carrying a sword and Bible. Such things have been done in fun in my time in this York- shire village, and it is a pity to spoil the enchantment. Those who like realistic ghost stories may read this with satisfaction if not with profit, but Mrs. Heslip laughs immoderately at the story; especially the frolicsomeness of her uncle Hugh, and a white sheet, and a turnip- lantern with ghastly eyes and mouth cut out. Mrs. Heslip and her mother were never troubled by Frazer’s ghost, and the whole story about Hugh trying to coax the ghost out of his sister’s house by fiddling is an amusing fabrica- tion, but to state that Hugh went home wild with excite- ment, retired to bed in a delirium of frenzy and suffered a terrific squeeze from the ghost, from which he never recovered, is an egregious blunder that Dr. Wright might easily have found out, for he can never have believed there was any foundation for the story. This is giving a reality to a silly injurious story that a minister of the gospel should make perfectly clear to be a myth, even if it happened to be believed by Hugh himself. Hugh Norton’s stories may suit a Captain Mayne Reid, but they are inadmissible as strict biography.
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We join with Dr. Wright in deploring the influence such stories had over us in our infantile days, and all he has recorded of apparitions—and more to them—I can locate, with variations, in Yorkshire; so the Brontés had no more to do with the tales than I had.
Hugh’s visit to Haworth and London will be referred to subsequently.
James Bronte was baptised Nov. 3, 1788, and he lived & bachelor’s life, reaching the long age of 87. He was a shoemaker, and like his brother Hugh, was a favourite with children. His sister Alice said he took a hand at everything, or as we Yorkshire people would say, he was a knackler, or Jack-of-all-trades. He was very smart and active with his tongue. He had a strong, direct way of putting a thing. He is said to have visited Haworth and spoke of Charlotte as “ tarrible sharp and
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John, and daughters, Elizabeth, Sara Jane, Marianne, Maggie, two of whom live at Ballynaskeagh, where they are justly held in great esteem. ‘he last-named has several times been impelled to write trenchant replies to false statements and foolish gossip respecting her maternal ancestors, and I am indebted to her for some family notes and the portrait of her great-aunt, Alice Bronté.
Walsh, the father of Mrs. Shannon, was, like his brother Hugh, an amateur fiddler, and prosperous road-maker. He was more cultured in manner than his brothers in Ireland, and carried sufficient self-respect as became him. For some time in middle life he had a public-house, but not a shebeen, in the lower house, opposite the glen. The wonder is where any custom could be found, and if I am to judge from the present inn at Ballynaskeagh kept by Mr. James Sands, a gentleman farmer, I must state, though a decided prohibitionist and abstainer, that I cannot see much comparison between the inns of County Down and the drinking shops of England.
Walsh, undoubtedly, had a great fight with Sam Clark at Ballynafern. There is nothing more generally known about the Brontes than this duel; and a skirmish at Rathfriland Fair between the burly Hugh and another man is equally certain, but considering the times, the spirit of the country and the usual accompaniments at a fair there is nothing special in the fact. But to state that from ten to fifty thousand were present at Walsh’s fight, including some clergymen and country gentlemen, and that the mothers had purposely fed them on game-cocks, oat-bread and new milk is to add an element of doubt to the narration.
‘Welsh was a fine looking man, gentlemanly though uneducated, with a sensible way of expressing himself, and a pleasant quick utterance.”’
One of the most astounding statements in Dr. Wright’s book is that this son was named after the villain and foundling. The fact that Hugh had a son of this name disproves the whole story. We can find more plausible reasons for the name, for (1) 16 is a common surname about County Louth. I met with a fiddler of the name at Dundalk last summer. (2) There is also a Welsh family
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in the centre of Ireland who have reached the baronetage. (8) The tradition is that Hugh’s son was named after an esteemed minister, but whether so remotely as from Mr. Welsh, (the grandson of John Knox,) who as a presby- terian missioned North Ireland, is not certain. From a cutting from the Down Recorder, June 24, 1857, we learn that the Rev. P. Bronté had then three brothers in the locality of Rathfriland, all of respectability and smartness, and that one of them accompanied Dr. May on a visit to a Bronté family stricken with fever.
JaNE Bronte was baptised Feb. 1, 1789. She and her sisters are described as tall, red-cheeked, fair-haired, handsome women, with dark eye-lashes, strong minds and massive frames. Jane only reached the age of thirty, whilst the other nine averaged over eighty.
Mary was baptised May Ist, 1791. She reached the age of 75.
Rose was born about the year 1798, but the register for that pericd is missing. She reached the age of 77. She and Sarah were twins.
Saran, married Simon Collins, and had issue, Stewart, d. inf., Stewart, Alice, Mary, Jane, Sarah, Paggie, Rose Ann, Hugh, William. The parents were married at a Register Office, and it was a runaway wedding. The Newry Telegraph, long after Rev. P.
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partiality to the last. With a sister and two brothers she was accustomed to attend Aghaderg Parish Church in the village of Loughbrickland, after changing their residence into Ballynaskeagh townland, and not till old age and three intermediate miles hindered were they missed from ser- vice. They were tall, strongly-built men and women. To talk with Alice Bronté was like conversing with ‘the last minstrel.’ Her very accent was so different from the present vulgar tongue of the locality to which these remarks refer, it had that decided Scottish flavour for which the inhabitants were formerly remarkable. This testimony of the local paper is worthy of preservation and to the editor I am indebted for supplying it, and two other printed sketches.
There is no need to state that the Bronté home at Lisnacreevy, 1778-1794, and the larger house at Bally- naskeagh, where Alice was born, and the groundwork ruins of which may still be traced between the two houses now tenanted there, were lively scenes when this large and sympathetic family resided there. We know from Mrs. Heslip and others that there was no opportunity for. melancholy, notwithstanding its solitude, when the aged and stalwart bachelors and maids laboured and sang from morn till night.
From Alice Bronté, the Rev. J. B. Lusk, of Bally- naskeagh, (who has with praiseworthy assiduity sincerely sought out facts,) obtained the most reliable account of her father. She stated that ‘‘he came from Drogheda. When he was eight years of age an uncle took him from his father’s place intending to make him his heir, as he had no children; but after he went to his uncle his aunt had a child, and so he left and came to Emdale. He never saw either his mother or uncle again.’’ See the Sketch, March 10, 1897. Mr. Lusk had several interviews with Alice, who described ‘her father as ‘not very tall, but purty stout, and sandy-haired, and her mother fair-haired. He was very fond of his children, and worked for them to the end of his days.’ The mother died after the father. Mrs. Heslip tells me that her grandparents were buried at Ballyroney Church, near the school-house.. I am told: hy her, and by Miss Shannon that Alice always asserted:
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she was named ‘after her mother’ notwithstanding the repeated entry of Eleanor in the parish register. I
Miss Shannon and her sister state that their grand- father, Walsh Bronte, was named after a clergyman. They are not ‘poor, illiterate cabin people,” as I can vouch by personal visit; and having like their mother and grandfather lived thereabouts continuously, their testi- mony should be accepted when they affirm that Patrick’s father was an only son and had just one sister, and, being orphans, they lived with their mother’s brother in Drogheda. Hugh afterwards came to Hilltown to some relatives of his mother, and settled in Down. His sister once visited him after his marriage. They never heard of Dr. Wright’s traditions, and disbelieve his myths, and in common with Mrs. Heslip, who lived with her unmarried uncles and aunts till she was seventeen, they resent the slanderous remarks on some of the descendants. Public. sympathy will go with them, without raising the maligned persons into angels. I ventured to express strong doubts as to the truth of the tale—not the veracity of Dr. Wright—when we met at Haworth, and intercourse with the Bronté family, the Rev. A. B. Nicholls, Ulster gentle- men and peasantry, confirms me he has been imposed upon in his genealogical statements, but I am convinced after all he is a truth-seeker, and it is a fact we have no authentic pedigree before 1776 to substitute for his con- jectural one. Patrick’s paternal and maternal grandfathers are still unknown, and his mother’s name strangely con- fused in the register. When Dr. Wright affirms, amidst all this apocryphal history, that old Hugh Bronté was more eloquent than O’Connell, &c., more imaginative than his grand-daughter novelists; a better novelist than they ; nay, that they were mere plagiarists, surely the reader cries, ‘‘ Hold! no
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Wright’s book. Hugh’s influence was certainly favour- able to the development of stalwart, upright sons, and the worst charge brought against him is that of manufacturing stories as long as he lived, some of which were so un- earthly and awful that both he and his hearers were afraid to part company for the night.
Truly he must have had a depraved imagination if he believed his own stories, as Dr. Wright states, and was afraid of his own inventions in his own house. After this we take his autobiography with all the greater hesitancy, cum grano salis. Yet he never used an immodest word or suggested an impure thought. We expect as much from an Irishman. Deceit met condign punishment in his romances. We have his three books named,—the Bible, the Pilgrim’s Progress, and the other Ulster favourite Burns’ Poems. It seems that none of his sons possessed the story-telling faculty, except Patrick, and the printed works of his will shew how little fire touched his tongue. The rest talked with a dash of genius; we should say in Yorkshire that they called a spade a spade; and when we are told that Patrick at two or three years of age used to listen to his father’s entrancing stories as if he understood what was being said we should use either the Irish word ‘crack’ or the Yorkshire slang ‘ hold hard.’
Three points are here inexplicably dragged in from Miss Nussey. ‘‘ Miss Nussey has often told me of Patrick’s power to rivet and awe his children with realistic descrip- Please delete the word ‘‘ often,’’—the acquaintance was too short. Then again, ‘‘ Charlotte refused an offer of marriage from Miss N.’s brother, an incident here made public for the first time.” Please delete the word ‘‘ first,” for I had made it known before Dr. Wright knew Miss Nussey. Thirdly, we have a piece of delightful patronizing that Charlotte Bronte’s Letters will easily dis- pel ;—‘‘ Miss Nussey watched the novelists’ growth of intellect and she believes that Emily got most of her facts from her father’s narratives.” Of the several writers, most of whom have had much longer intercourse with Miss Nussey than Dr. Wright, he alone has squeezed this opinion out. But listen! ‘It is not credible that Patrick
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shew that none of Patrick’s brothers and sisters—who lived in the neighbourhood all their lives—ever narrated the romance to their children we may assume that there was no romance to narrate. But then Miss Nussey, dragged in to support a theory, ‘‘ NEVER HEARD ANY REFER- ENCE TO THE STORY, NOR DID THE BRONTES EVER IN HER PRESENCE REFER TO THEIR
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OF IRELAND. 299
Branwell? There was no dawdling, the brothers gallantly bowed to the sisters, and thoughtfully one of them carried the spinning wheel, and the sober figure in black followed. This very young boy in flowery language describes the dell and the district to my satisfaction, and I hope to visit it again and see the six straggling houses that overlook the marvellous half-mile glen. I did not realize its past history when I visited it in the gloaming in genial Mr. Lusk’s company.
Dr. Wright’s ‘potato blight’ chapter is in itself a valuable acquisition, and when we pass from substantial descriptions, religious, social and political, to matters of folk-lore and superstition, we equally value his kindly services to history and literature, as when he reminds us that frosted blackberries were thought to be clubbed by the devil, we can equally see the mental obfusion of our Yorkshire ancestry, but when he begins to apply these general notions in an exaggerated form to Hugh Bronté— and which of the two, father or son, is meant makes no difference, he spoils the biography. As for Hugh’s casting rotten potatoes to the devil into the glen just opposite his house, and apostrophizing his Satanic Majesty and defy- ing his malicious disposition, the whole thing falls into @ common-place incident when Mrs. Heslip, who lived nearly twenty years close by her uncle, and helped him in the fields and at home, states as she did to me recently, that he jocularly picked out the rotten potatoes and with an old saying that applied quite as well to the black- berries, ‘‘ That is for the Devil.’’ So much for the Devil’s Dining Room.
Near it, at the glen, is the Cockpit, used as such possibly when the public-house was established, even on Sunday afternoons. I can neither prove nor deny, but can believe quite as bad things have happened in our Yorkshire villages at as recent a date.
Tae Temperance Movement is one of the other great points attributed to the degeneracy of Bronte’s sons, and started by the Rev. David McKee, Presbyterian Minister at Anaghlone (or Annaclone). A sermon on the Recha- bites so disturbed his congregation that he thought fit to print it rather than recall it, and his nephew and former
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pupil, Professor Edgar of Belfast, along with another old pupil—the Rev. Joseph Penney, took up the public advo- cacy in 1829. Professor Edgar was a constant lecturer at Bradford, and some of his pamphlets were printed there in 1881, &c. Ihave found no reason for thinking that he knew or called upon the Rev. Patrick Bronte at Haworth. Such a sermon at that time was as likely to rouse the ire of ordinary drinkers as much as of publicans, and it is only fair to state that the Bronte houses were perfectly isolated dwellings, and that then as now there was no cluster of houses to form what we should call a village, but simply wide-spread straggling cottages.
Hueu’s visir to
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fixed in these two months, December and January. No wonder that not the ghost of a tradition lingers at Murray’s, and Smith’s, and the British Museum.
The castigation of the reviewer in London is as pure a piece of nonsense as was ever repeated in earnest; a ‘‘com- plete account of which would be somewhat ludicrous,” and perfectly unnecessary for it never happened. He returned to Haworth on his homeward journey. During his absence consumption had been rapidly sapping the life of Anne, who proposed to accompany him home, called him her noble uncle though he had failed to find and thrash the reviewer, and threw her long, slender arms round his neck. Dear me! he might well feel rewarded. Charlotte told him (? what) about Emily and Branwell, and gave him a few sovereigns. Dr. Wright says ‘I often talked with Hugh of his adventures in England but the conversation always came to an abrupt termination if I referred to
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Mr. Mackay had not the advantage of knowing any of the Bronte family or friends, and he certainly does not know the Bronte localities or he would not assign lodgings for Hugh near the river at Haworth; but, guided only by previous biographies, he has added a book that must take a conspicuous place in Bronté literature.
Immediately after the appearance of Mr. Mackay’s able criticism appeared a small book without date from the pen of
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on such ancient testimony, it is useful to note that when Mr. Lusk read the paragraph to him about Mr. Ramsden’s interview, he affirmed he remembered nothing about it, two months afterwards. He next passed the Manse where Mr. Lusk now resides, and states that the ruins of the old ‘‘ straw-thatched mud cabin, in which the Rev. David McKee, a queer personage, eccentric, in white corduroy
804 THE BRONTES OF IRELAND.
Ramsden, we think the conjecture as to Patrick entering the father than the Presbyterian ministry might very well have been left unwritten, for it casts a slight on the Episcopalians, as well as pronounces Mr. Harshaw, the Presbyterian, a man of weak principles. Mr. Ramsden is rash in stating that it is a matter of public notoriety in that part of the country that Patrick received