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Blackwood's Magazine,
II. Eight Days. Part XVI.,

Cornhill Magazine,

Leisure Hour,

Nineteenth Century,
Part II.,

Murray's Magazine,

Murray's Magazine,

Gentleman's Magazine,

Chambers' Journal,




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TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For Eight DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the Living Age will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of Remittances shouldne

be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks, and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.

Single Numbers of The Living AGB, 18 cents.


But they — their day and night are one. A LETTER from abroad.

I tear

What is 't to them, that rivulets run, Its sheathing open, unaware

Or what concern of theirs the sun? What treasure gleams within; and there –

It seems as though Like bird from cage

Their business with these things was done Flutters a curl of golden hair

Ages ago : Out of the page.

Only, at times, each dulled heart feels

That somewhere, sealed with hopeless seals, Fronı such a frolic head 'twas shorn!

The unmeaning heaven about him reels, ('Tis but five years since he was born.)

And he lies hurled Not sunlight scampering over corn

Beyond the roar of all the wheels
Were merrier thing.

Of all the world.
A child ? A fragment of the morn,
A piece of Spring!

On what strange track one's fancies fare! Surely an ampler, fuller day

To eyeless night in sunless lair Than drapes our English skies with grey

'Tis a far cry from Willie's hair; A deeper light, a richer ray

And here it lies Than here we know

Human, yet something which can ne'er To this bright tress have given away

Grow sad and wise : Their living glow.

Which, when the head where late it lay For Willie dwells where gentian flowers

In life's grey dusk itself is grey. Make mimic sky in mountain bowers;

And when the curfew of life's day

By death is tolled,
And vineyards steeped in ardent hours

Shall forfeit not the auroral ray
Slope to the wave,
Where storied Chillon's tragic towers

And eastern goid.
Their bases lave;


And over piny tracts of Vaud
The rose of eve steals up the snow;
And on the waters far below

Strange sails like wings
Half-bodilessly come and go,

A WORN-OUT boat upon the shore,
Fantastic things;

The children's playground is it now,

The troubled deep it tempts no more, And tender night falls like a sigh

It lies at rest like rusty plough. On châlets low and châteaux high;

And yet it basks in bright noontide, And the far cataract's voice comes nigh,

It echoes gladly childish voices; Where no man hears;

A sailor's wife leans here, and wide And spectral peaks iinpale the sky

Her outlook till her heart rejoices. On silver spears.

Here lovers meet when dusk draws near, Ah, Willie, whose dissevered tress

Their voyages have scarce begun; Lies in my hand! - may you possess

Ah! may they keep vows true and dear, At least one sovereign happiness,

Until their resting days are won.
Ev'n to your grave;
One boon than which I ask naught less,

For 'tis not every craft that lies
Naught greater crave:

So calmly on a kindly shore;

And 'tis not every heart is wise May cloud and mountain, lake and vale,

To cherish love when youth is o'er. Never to you be trite or stale


BEATRIX L. TOLLEMACHE. As unto souls whose wellsprings fail

Or flow defiled,
Till nature's happiest fairy-tale
Charms not her child !

For when the spirit waxes numb,

APRIL, young April, Alien and strange these shows become,

Ever fresh and dear, And stricken with life's tedium

“Sweet sixteen

among the months, The streams run dry,

Darling of the year !
The choric spheres themselves are dumb, Ere your smile can flash and die,
And dead the sky,

Lo! a tear o'ertakes it;

Ere the tear is fully globed, Dead as to captives grown supine,

Dainty laughter shakes it. Chained to their task in sightless mine:

Loose your curls upon the wind Above, the biand day smiles benign,

That shall 'tice the swallow : Birds carol free,

Press your lips upon the spray, In thunderous throes of life divine

And the rose shall follow! Leaps the glad sea;


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From Blackwood's Magazine. applying natural forces, it would not be CIVILIZATION,

miraculous in the special sense of the 'Tis very commonly said (perhaps no term. A genuine miracle must be an act assertion is less likely to be disputed) that or process transcending and independent the age of miracles is past; yet the state of all natural law — an impossibility in ment will hardly bear analysis, unless the fact. For instance, there never word “miracle” is used only in a secon- time when the Irishman's aspiration to dary and special sense. Dr. Johnson de- be in, two places at once, “like a bird,”? fioes it as "a wonder, an event contrary could be fulfilled, for that would violate to the laws of nature ; ” but Professor what we must recognize as a law which no Skeat, a later and stricter etymologist, sane person would spend a single hour in only gives “a wonder, a prodigy;” and studying to evade, that no single body on turning to find his interpretation of can simultaneously occupy more than one "prodigy,” lo! he can only explain it as ubi. There are doubtless laws in nature

a portent, a wonder.” Now, if a miracle of which we know nothing, and therefore is nothing more than something astonish- have not yet recognized; feats performed ing, something to excite wonder, surely by means of these laws may seem to us the age of miracles is in full swing ; sur- miracles, but we have no right to call them prises lie in wait for us round the corner supernatural because we cannot trace the of each new almanac. On the other hand, action of the law. if we adopt Dr. Johnson's alternative in- There is no irreverence to Scripture terpretation, the proposition is as unstable involved in this assertion. We see through as ever, for the doctor himself would as- a glass darkly; we know in part. The suredly have considered that to travel lawgiver reveals himself to us by the from London to Edinburgh in eight hours action of his own laws, by us imperfectly would be “contrary to the laws of nature."| understood ; that action has in past times During the whole history of the world, up transcended or evaded the observation of to his time, the fastest locomotion on land those who witnessed certain events which had been by means of horses yoked to we class as miracles, just as the possibile wheeled vehicles; imagination failed to ity of travelling sixty miles an hour transurmise anything beyond what could be scended the imagination of Sir Walter accomplished by the fleetest animals har. Scott, and just as the nature of the elecnessed to the most perfect chariot. Sir tric current has bitherto evaded definition Walter Scott was not deficient in imag. by men of science ; each of these pheination, but one has only to turn to the nomena are miracles in the sense that opening paragraphs of the “Heart of they justly excite our wonder, but not in Mid-Lothian to recognize the author's the sense that they are supernatural. Tlie conviction that travelling had been brought firmer a man's faith in the unseen, the to perfection. When he wrote " Perhaps. firmer must be his conviction that although the echoes of Ben Nevis may soon be there are many things superhuman, there awakened by the bugle, not of a warlike is nothing supernatural. It is a redundant chieftain, but of the guard of a mail. adjective; everything that exists is natucoach,” he evidently thought he was tres-ral, for nature is omnipresent, and by its passing beyond the verge of probability; laws everything that is unnatural ceases to yet in a few months from now these echoes exist. The most striking miracle that will resound to the clatter and roar of ex- can take place - the restoration of the press trains, devouring the ground at the dead to life — is not one whit more miracrate of fifty miles an hour. Could Sir ulous or beyond our powers than the Walter see this, what could he do but origin of life itself or the circulation of the exclaim with one of his own creatures, blood. So long, therefore, as there remain “ Prodigious ?” To him it would appear unfathomed mysteries such as these, so a miracle.

long the age of miracles endures. But, considered as a mere achievement Looking back along the road travelled of human ingenuity and perseverance by human beings in what we conceitedly


call the March of Civilization, what a blun-in the earlier stages of the system. The dering, crooked track it is! how much offspring of an alliance carefully selected shorter the journey might have been made! to produce a race of coal heavers might How deeply the ground is trampled where conceive an invincible desire to become a frequent conflicts bave taken place ! how court florist, or one destined to excel as a many mighty barriers thrown across it by musician be possessed with an unreason. lawgivers, ecclesiastics, warriors, may able impulse to be a member of Parliastill be traced by their crumbling ruins. ment; but firm and scientific administra. That which we call progress,” observes tion might be relied on to eradicate these Mr. Leslie Stephen, “is for the most part eccentricities in time. Some people may a process of finding the right path by tum- be disposed to think the present governbling into every ditch on each side of the ment have allowed a great opportunity to way.” Can it be claimed that our course go past when they constituted a ministry even now is less staggering and blindfold of agriculture by act of Parliament, inthan heretofore? Consider, for instance, stead of setting up a ministry of matrithe precautions taken for the physical mony. However, this is a hazardous development of the human race. It is subject; it is rather of what civilization possible that in after ages our posterity has done for us than of what it might have will look back with amazement to the nine done, or may do, that it is intended to treat teenth century, when people in the van of in this paper. civilization freely devoted mind and means To resume the metaphor of a march (for to developing the most capable strains of which I am in no degree responsible) — domestic animals, and were content to one looking back over the line of it may leave the perpetuation of their own spe. descry in the distance certain races that cies to utterly random haphazard. The seem hardly yet to have started, and he is mighty Clydesdale dray-horse, the racer perhaps puzzled to account for their lag. with lungs and legs enabling him to out- gardness. Arithmetic is the simplest of strip the hurricane, and the shaggy little the three R's, as well as the most indis. Shetland, are members of identically the pensable in anything like business, yet same species; in the two first, qualities there are primitive races whose language latent in the original animal have been fails to define any proportion beyond developed by thoughtful selection of par- duality. Some of the Australasian tribes ents, and in the last have had to manifest reckon up to two and no further - every• themselves only in the degree permitted thing beyond that being comprised in a by an inclement climate and scanty food. word meaning “plenty.” The west Aus. Were the same discretion and control ex- tralians have advanced a little further, and ercised in the preliminaries of human by means of counting their fingers and matrimony, instead of leaving them all to toes, and (in the higher standards) other the guidance of a proverbially blind little people's fingers and toes, may be considgod or the calculations of mercenary pruered quite ready reckoners. One of these, dence, what physical and intellectual mir- wishing to express "fifteen,” would say, acles might not follow! Each succeeding “Marh.jin-belli-belli-gudjir-jina-bang-ga" generation might excel the last in symme- that is,“ a hand on either side and half try, beauty of countenance, the use of all the feet.” * The Tonga Islanders are a the senses duly balanced by intellectual (long way further on, for they not only cap qualities. Gentlemen there might then count up to one bundred thousand, but be — not classified as such on account of have given proof of a highly developed their balance at the banker's or the super sense of humor. They got bored by ficial trick of caste, but because they the French explorer Labillardière, who would be gentle in the strict sense i.e., “pressed them further and obtained nu. men of birth till in time a mongrel would merals up to one thousand billions, which be as out of place in human society as it were duly printed, but proved on later ex. is now in a pack of fox-hound. Disap

* Primitive Culture, by Professor E. Tylor, vol. ing. pointment, of course, might be expected chap. vii.

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amination to be partly nonsense words | king's sign-manual commanded obeisance and partly indelicate expressions; so that in the uttermost parts of his realm ; lovers' the supposed series of high numerals flames were fanned even when their whisforms at once a little vocabulary of Tonga pers were hushed by distance; and, marindecency, and a warning as to the prob-vel of marvels, men being dead yet spoke able results of taking down unchecked in their own words to countless unborn answers from question-worried savages.” generations. A man must be in love

Think what a vast interval of education woman must be a mother before either a mind in this primitive state has to trav. can realize the full value of letters. There erse before it can apprehend the bare ex. are some who never find themselves in istence of the legion numerals handled by either of these conditions - to whom permathematicians, let alone handling them haps correspondence has been so watered himself. Talk of miracles ! Herein is down by frequency and by the added imone far worthier of wonder than the In-portunity of telegrams that they have come dian juggler's magic mango, that the to look on the post-bag as an irksome indwarfish intellect whose reckoning power cident, like shaving.

And all of us (lovers fails to apprehend definitely more than and mothers excepted, bien entendu) have "we two” – everything over that being suffered indolence to interfere with interan unnumbered crowd — can be trained course by letter. Lord Byron wrote letters to grasp even the elementary measure-not amiss, yet even he willingly shirked ments of science, such as that of the putting pen to paper.

"No letters to. velocity of light, and, thus trained, com- day," he notes in his journal; "so much prehend the magnitude involved in the the better no answers."

We are prone fact that the rays which left the star Alde- to assume that the age of correspondence, baran Beta fifty thousand years ago are like that of miracles, has passed away; if only just reaching the earth now, though that is so, it has happened through our they have been travelling hither through own neglect. Letters are but written conthe intervening space at the rate of one versation ; bright, natural conversation is hundred and eighty thousand miles a sec. the outward and visible sign of friend. ond ever since. To cause the warm blood ship; and bright, natural letters are as to course again through dead veins, or to delightful and as highly valued as ever change water into wine, are more sudden, only we are too lazy to write them. Yet but scarcely more wonder-stirring feats what loads of leisure some people have ! than wakening the dormant faculties of How few of the young men (young women the mind or turning ignorance into knowl- must be credited with plenty of industry edge.

in correspondence) who loll away rainy Ages ago a Phænician merchant, ingen- hours in country houses over the pages of ious beyond his fellows, and overwhelmed sporting and society papers ever think of by the increasing multitude and complex. taking up a pen to exchange thoughts with ity of his transactions, devised a series of distant friends! Let us pry into the corsymbols by means of which, scratched on respondence of a member of this enviable tablets of baked clay, he was enabled to class, taking care to fix on one who is exchange information with traders at a heart-whole, untrammelled by engagement distance. “Behold how great a matter a with any fair — for, of course, the mind of little fire kindleth!” What a blaze of the enamoured male is abnormally active, illumination may be traced to that uncer- and drives the quill far and fast. tain spark! A faculty took its birth It is perhaps the afternoon of Sunday, therefrom, second only in importance to often a period of self-reproach by reason articulate speech. Hitherto intercourse of the seductions of luncheon all too genin absence had been as impossible as it erous. The golden youth rises from before is now for a man to be simultaneously in the fire, yawns, stretches himself, and askmore than one place. Henceforth distance ing his host what time the post goes out, in space and time were alike set at naught; straddles off to the smoking.room, observa the wall of Pyramus was penetrated; the ling that he has a lot of letters to write.

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