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cessive moment, life and death seem to divide between them the dominion of mankind, and life to have the larger share. It is otherwise in war: death reigns there without a rival, and without control. War is the work, the element, or rather the sport and triumph of Death, who glories not only in the extent of his conquest, but in the richness of his spoil. In the other methods of attack, in the other forms which death assumes, the feeble and the aged, who at the best can live but a short time, are usually the victims; here they are the vigorous and the strong.

It is remarked by the most ancient of poets, that in peace children bury their parents, in war parents bury their children nor is the difference small. Children lament their parents, sincerely, indeed, but with that moderate and tranquil sorrow, which it is natural for those to feel who are conscious of retaining many tender ties, many animating prospects. Parents mourn for their children with the bitterness of despair; the aged parent, the widowed mother, loses, when she is deprived of her children, every thing but the capacity of suffering; her heart, withered and desolate, admits no other object, cherishes no other hope. It is Rachel, weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are not.

But, to confine our attention to the number of the slain would give us a very inadequate idea of the ravages of the sword. The lot of those who perish instantaneously may be considered, apart from religious prospects, as comparatively happy, since they are exempt from those lingering diseases and slow torments to which others are liable. We cannot see an individual expire, though a stranger, or an enemy, without being sensibly moved, and prompted by compassion to lend him every assistance in our power. Every trace of resentment vanishes in a moment: every other emotion gives way to pity and terrour.

In these last extremities we remember nothing but the respect and tenderness due to our common nature. What a scene then must a field of battle present, where thousands are left without assistance, and without pity, with their wounds exposed to the piercing air, while the blood, freezing as it flows, binds them to the earth, amidst the trampling of horses, and the insults of an enraged foe! If they are spared by the humanity of the enemy, and carried from the field, it is but a prolongation of torment. Conveyed in uneasy vehicles, often to a remote distance, through roads

almost impassable, they are lodged in ill-prepared receptacles for the wounded and the sick, where the variety of distress baffles all the efforts of humanity and skill, and renders it impossible to give to each the attention he demands. Far from their native home, no tender assiduities of friendship, no well-known voice, no wife, or mother, or sister, is near to sooth their sorrows, relieve their thirst, or close their eyes in death! Unhappy man! and must you be swept into the grave unnoticed and unnumbered, and no friendly tear be shed for your sufferings, or mingled with your dust?

We must remember, however, that as a very small proportion of a military life is spent in actual combat, so it is a very small part of its miseries which must be ascribed to this source. More are consumed by the rust of inactivity than by the edge of the sword: confined to a scanty or unwholesome diet, exposed in sickly climates, harassed with tiresome marches and perpetual alarms; their life is a continual scene of hardships and dangers. They grow familiar with hunger, cold, and watchfulness. Crowded into hospitals and prisons, contagion spreads amongst their ranks, till the ravages of disease exceed those of the enemy.

We have hitherto only adverted to the sufferings of those who are engaged in the profession of arms, without taking into our account the situation of the countries which are the scene of hostilities. How dreadful to hold every thing at the mercy of an enemy, and to receive life itself as a boon dependent on the sword! How boundless the fears which such a situation must inspire, where the issues of life and death are determined by no known laws, principles, or customs, and no conjecture can be formed of our destiny, except as far as it is dimly deciphered in characters of blood, in the dictates of revenge, and the caprices of power!

Conceive but for a moment the consternation which the approach of an invading army would impress on the peaceful villages in our own neighbourhood. When you have placed yourselves for an instant in that situation, you will learn to sympathize with those unhappy countries which have sustained the ravages of arms. But how is it possible to give you an idea of these horrours? Here you behold rich harvests, the bounty of Heaven, and the reward of industry, consumed in a moment, or trampled under foot, while famine and pestilence follow the steps of desolation. There the cottages of peasants given up to the flames, mothers expiring through fear, not for themselves but their infants; the

inhabitants flying with their helpless babes in all directions, miserable fugitives on their native soil! In another part you witness opulent cities taken by storm; the streets, where no sounds were heard but those of peaceful industry, filled on a sudden with slaughter and blood, resounding with the cries of the pursuing and the pursued; the palaces of nobles demolished, the houses of the rich pillaged, and every age, sex, and rank, mingled in promiscuous massacre and ruin!

LESSON LII.

Nature and Poetry favourable to virtue.-Humility recommended in judging of the ways of Providence.-BEATTIE.

O NATURE, how in every charm supreme!
Whose votaries feast on raptures ever new!
O for the voice and fire of seraphim,

To sing thy glories with devotion due!
Blest be the day I 'scaped the wrangling crew,
From Pyrrho's maze, and Epicurus' sty;

And held high converse with the godlike few, Who, to th' enraptured heart, and ear, and eye, Teach beauty, virtue, truth, and love, and melody.

Then hail, ye mighty masters of the lay,

Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth! Whose song, sublimely sweet, serenely gay, Amused my childhood, and informed my youth. O let your spirit still my bosom sooth, Inspire my dreams, and my wild wanderings guide: Your voice each rugged path of life can smooth, For well I know wherever ye reside, There harmony, and peace, and innocence abide.

Ah me! neglected on the lonesome plain,

As yet poor Edwin never knew your lore,
Save when, against the winter's drenching rain,
And driving snow, the cottage shut the door.
Then, as instructed by tradition hoar
Her legend when the beldam 'gan impart,
Or chant the old heroick ditty o'er,
Wonder and joy ran thrilling to his heart:
Much he the tale admired, but more the tuneful art.

Various and strange was the long-winded tale;
And halls, and knights and feats of arms displayed;
Or merry swains who quaff the nut-brown ale,
And sing, enamoured of the nut-brown maid;
The moonlight revel of the fairy glade;
Or hags that suckle an infernal brood,

And ply in caves th' unutterable trade,* 'Midst fiends and spectres, quench the moon in blood, Yell in the midnight storm, or ride th' infuriate flood.

But when to horrour his amazement rose,

A gentler strain the beldam would rehearse,
A tale of rural life, a tale of woes,

The orphan-babes, and guardian uncle fierce.
O cruel! will no pang of pity pierce
That heart, by lust of lucre seared to stone?
For sure, if aught of virtue last, or verse,
To latest times shall tender souls bemoan
Those hopeless orphan-babes, by thy fell arts undone.

Behold, with berries smeared, with brambles torn,t
The babes now famished, lay them down to die :
Amidst the howl of darksome woods forlorn,

Folded in one another's arms they lie;

Nor friend, nor stranger, hears their dying cry: "For from the town the man returns no more."'

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But thou, who Heaven's just vengeance dar'st defy, This deed, with fruitless tears, shalt soon deplore, When Death lays waste thy house, and flames consume thy

store.

A stifled smile of stern, vindictive joy

Brightened one moment Edwin's starting tear:
"But why should gold man's feeble mind decoy,
And innocence thus die by doom severe ?”-
O Edwin! while thy heart is yet sincere,
The assaults of discontent and doubt repel:

Dark, even at noontide, is our mortal sphere;
But, let us hope ;-to doubt is to rebel;
Let us exult in hope, that all shall yet be well.

*Allusion to Shakspeare.

Macbeth.-How now, ye secret, black, and midnight hags,
What is't ye do?
Wilches.-A deed without a name.

MACBETH.-ACT IV. Scene 1. + See the fine old ballad, called The Children in the Wood.

Nor be thy generous indignation checked,
Nor checked the tender tear to Misery given;
From Guilt's contagious power shall that protect,
This soften and refine the soul for heaven.

But dreadful is their doom whom doubt has driven
To censure Fate, and pious Hope forego:

Like yonder blasted boughs by lightning riven,
Perfection, beauty, life, they never know,
But frown on all that pass, a monument of wo.
Shall he, whose birth, maturity, and age,

Scarce fill the circle of one summer's day,
Shall the poor gnat, with discontent and rage,
Exclaim that Nature hastens to decay,
If but a cloud obscure the solar ray,
If but a momentary shower descend!

Or shall frail man heaven's high decree gainsay,
Which bade* the series of events extend

Wide through unnumbered worlds and ages without end!

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One part, one little part, we dimly scan,

Through the dark medium of life's feverish dream; Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan,

If but that little part incongruous seem.

Nor is that part, perhaps, what mortals deem;
Oft from apparent ill our blessings rise.

O then renounce that impious self-esteem,
That aims to trace the secrets of the skies:
For thou art but of dust; be humble, and be wise.

LESSON LIII.

Consideration of the excuses that are offered to palliate a neglect of religion.-BUCKMINSTER.

FIRST, it is often said, that time is wanted for the duties of religion. The calls of business, the press of occupation, the cares of life, will not suffer me, says one, to give that time to the duties of piety, which otherwise I would gladly bestow. Say you this without a blush? You have no time, then, for the especial service of that great Being, whose goodness alone has drawn out to its present length your cobweb thread of life; whose care alone has continued you

*Pronounced bad.

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