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With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And ye, five other wandering fires, that move
In mystic dance not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
Prom hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rise;
Whether to deck with clouds the uncoloured sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Eising or falling still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines,
With every plant,—in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs,—warbling tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living souls: ye birds,
That singing up to heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail, universal Lord! be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil or conceal'd,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.

Notes.Arboroua.—Formed by trees. orbits. Their orb, that flies.—InthePtoleOrisona.—Prayers (Fr., oraison; I., oro— maic astronomy, still current in Milton's oratum, to pray). Numerous. — Here,— day, the fixed stars were set in spheres flowing in numbers. Fairest of Stars.— or orbs, which themselves moved, while The Morning Star. In Milton's day the stars were passively borne along. one star was thought to shine as the Five other Wandering Fires.—The PtoleMorning Star; but while Venus and maic system had only five planets. Mercury are most often intended by Elements, de.—In Milton's day the elethis name, other planets—Mars, Jupiter, ments were thought to be four—fire, air, Saturn—are, from time to time, morning earth, water; but the first is only a stars as well. The Fixed Stars.—It was condition of matter, not a substance, thought, in Milton's day, and till re- and the other three are compound bodies, cently, that while the planets moved, A quaternion is a group of four. The the other heavenly bodies were fixed. motions of the elements in innumerable This is a mistake, however, since all the circles were supposed to be the quickenorbs of heaven are in swift motion in their ing and sustaining force of nature.

THE GREATNESS OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.—Anon.

1874.

The Queen rules an Empire larger in its area, wider in its geographical distribution, and vaster in its population, than any Empire of ancient or modern times. If we cannot say of it as Gibbon does of the Roman Empire in his opening sentence, that it comprehends "the fairest part of the earth and the most civilised portion of mankind," his "image of the greatness of Rome" is utterly eclipsed by the simple enumeration of the subjects of the British Monarchy in an official census. One colony alone dwarfs the Empire to insignificance. "It was supposed to contain," says Gibbon, in the closing words of his first chapter, "above sixteen hundred thousand square miles, for the most part of fertile and wellcultivated land." The Dominion of Canada alone contains more than twice this area, or 3,376,925 square miles; the Australian Colonies have 2,960,722 square miles of territory; while India and Ceylon stand for nearly a million.

Smaller portions of the Empire are dotted all over the globe. The little island of Heligoland, the rock of Gibraltar, the military station of Malta, with the great group of islands clustered round the United Kingdom in the British seas, are our European territory. Travelling thence westward with the sun, the first land across the Atlantic is English, whether we sight Newfoundland in the north or the " still vexed Bermoothes " in the south. Beyond the Bermudas lie the beautiful West India Islands, and a further step takes us to British Honduras on the mainland of Central America. In South America we have British Guiana at the northern corner, and the Falkland Isles near the southern extremity of the continent. Recrossing the Atlantic we touch at St. Helena and Ascension, and then find before us the West African Settlements on the Gold Coast and the Coast of Guinea. In South Africa the Cape of Good Hope, Griqualand West, and Natal are all flourishing colonies of Englishmen. The Seychelles archipelago and the Mauritius are like stepping stones in the Indian Sea from which the Empire strides to India and Ceylon in the north, and Australia in the south. The British Empire thus puts a girdle round about the world. The area of the territory so widely spread is 7,769,469 square miles, and the number of persons who inhabit it is 234,762,593.*

The greater portion of this population is in India and Ceylon. These countries, " inhabited largely," to quote the EegistrarGeneral's Report, "by Aryan or Semitic stocks, that have given abundant evidence of courage, culture, skill, and industry," contain 962,820 square miles; less than a seventh of the whole area; but the population is 191,307,070. This vast multitude, professing many religions, speaking many languages, and split up into many races, dwells in 487,061 villages, and has 66,341,914 separate dwellings. Rather more than onehalf of them live by the culture of the soil, though even in India the tendency to gather into great cities is a marked feature of the social state. There are fifteen Indian cities, each of which contains more than 100,000 inhabitants. Calcutta, with its suburban town, has 794,645; Bombay has 644,405; and Madras has 397,552. These are the three great cities of the East. Lucknow stands next, with 284,779 inhabitants; while in the fertile North-West Provinces Benares, the Holy City of the Hindoos, has 173,352; Allahabad, at the confluence of the Jumna and the Ganges, has 105,926; Cawnpore, the city of painful memories, has 113,601; Agra, the monumental city of Shah Jeban, on the banks of the Jumna, has 142,661; and Bareilly, 105,649 in the town and cantonments. The old metropolis of the Moguls, Delhi, has 154,417 inhabitants; Amritsur, "the Pool of Immortality," and the chief city of the Sikh religion, has 135,813; and Rangoon, the capital of British Burmah, has 100,000. Patna, in the midst of the province of Behar, contains 158,900 people.

It curiously illustrates the difference between Eastern and Western civilisation that, whereas in the West women somewhat preponderate, in India the males are 98 millions to 92 million females. The Registrar-General suggests that the latter number is under-stated; and the nature of social life in India renders it more difficult to check census returns, in this particular, than it is in this country. There is, however, no reason to doubt that among this unadventurous population, this home-keeping and home-loving people, men predominate.

The religious census was only taken for 144 millions. Of these less than two hundred thousand were Christians, ninety

* There are 38 persons to a square mile in the Empire, 260 in the United Kingdom 201 in India, and 1'41 in the colonies. In some parts of India the density of the population more than equals that of England.

seven millions were Hindoos, thirty-six millions Mohammedans, two millions and a quarter Buddhists, and nine millions were of other faiths. The Hindoo religion is therefore largely predominant, and that of the Seer of Mecca is the only one which seriously holds that predominance in check.

It is very instructive to turn from this marvellous spectacle of a dense and docile population dwelling in the oldest of old world lands, to the two new worlds over which Englishmen have spread not only their Empire, but their language, their race, and their institutions. In the Southern hemisphere the vast island continent of Australia is all before the emigrant where to choose his- place of work. The vast expanse of 2,854,463 square miles is peopled by only 1,669,202 persons. New Zealand—the England, as it is called, of the Southern hemisphere—is the youngest born of the colonies, and the most progressive. The Census Eeport of the RegistrarGeneral, from which all these figures are taken, describes it as having "the moist and luxurious climate of England, with more warmth, mountains of Alpine grandeur, luxuriant vegetation, and veins of the precious metals." It is only one-fifth less in area than the United Kingdom, and its population is 286,393, "perhaps as numerous," the Report says, "as the population of Great Britain at the time of Caesar's invasion."

At the opposite end of the world are the yet vaster colonies of North America—a small nucleus of cultivated and populated territory, of some 350,188 square miles, or ten times as large as Scotland, with a population of 3,485,761. Beyond this lie the vast territories of Manitoba and British Columbia, with 2,750,000 square miles of land, very thinly peopled, some of it described by one of the latest travellers as a great lone land, where .the traveller meets not a soul for days. The vast territory lately ruled by the Hudson's Bay Company is not included in the census, but lies, like a huge reserve, to be occupied and subdued when climatic conditions shall have modified at the approach of civilisation, and the empty spaces of the continent shall have been filled to overflowing. Meanwhile, the whole colonial territory, nearly four times as large as British India, has about as many inhabitants as London. The population of the Dominion, including the 300 islands of the Bermudas, and exclusive of British Columbia and Manitoba and the North-west, is 8,789,670. The largest city is Montreal, which has 107,225 inhabitants; Quebec is next, with 59,699; and Toronto next, with 56,092. These vast countries which thus lie open before the English people, give room for an extension of our language, our literature, and our free institutions such as the world has never seen before. There seems to be no reason why we may not look forward to a time when these vast and fertile lands will be as populous as the great Indian plains, or even as our own island, and when, whether under one government or many, British communities will form the greatest aggregate population of one race and language on the surface of the globe.

Note. Shah Jehan, or Jehander,— the finest architectural creation in 1713-1718. He built the Taj, at Agra, India.

Composition.—Write out a compendious epitome of this extract.

'COME DOWN, 0 MAID, FROM YONDEB MOUNTAIN HEIGHT."—Tennyson.

Come down, O maid, from yonder mountain height:

What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang),

In height and cold, the splendour of the hills?

But cease to move so near the Heavens, and cease

To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine,

To sit a star upon the sparkling spire;

And come, for Love is of tho valley, come,

For Love is of the valley, come thou down

And find him; by the happy threshold, he,

Or hand in hand with Plenty in the maize,

Or red with spirted purple of the vats,

Or foxlike in the vine; nor cares to walk

With Death and Morning on the silver horns,

Nor wilt thou snare him in the white ravine,

Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice,

That huddling slant in furrow-cloven falls

To roll the torrent out of dusky doors:

But follow; let the torrent dance thee down

To find him in the valley; let the wild

Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave

The monstrous ledges there to slope, and spill

Their thousand wreaths of dangling water-smoke,

That like a broken purpose waste in air:

So waste not thou; but come; for all the vales

Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth

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