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FRANK MEANWELL,

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determination with which he had com mitted self-destruction.

Winter, like death, has two aspects. To the prepared, both are periods of happy rest. To the industrious and prudent, winter is the season for the cessation of labour, for repose, and for comfort. To the imprudent, who exercise little forethought, and ever enjoy all the blessings of the present without regard to the future, it is a period of suffering and desolation. Herein the moral and physical world correspond. Without, all is cheerless, bleak, silent, and barren; while within, bright fires are burning. cheerily, fed by the frosty air; and round the crackling logs still brighter eyes dance to the music of merry voices. It is the Into a thousand homes a gleam of sunseason hallowed by domestic joys, as well shine comes with Christmas-tide. All deas by religious customs; and, indeed, the sire that every one should partake of their reunion of fond hearts at home, is no in-happiness; and in giving the blessing, appropriate celebration of that reconciliation between the great family of man and their heavenly Father, which is marked by the festival of

each is doubly blessed.

Sit

CHRISTMAS

in the Christian churches throughout the

world.

Though the lovely green of the fields is not, and the broad waste of snow covers the meadow and overtops the hedge, hiding the violet and primrose banks, the robin type of the man of hopeful industry and faith in God-the trustful robin sings on the window-ledge, or grateful picks the crumbs the children's hands have scattered by the door. A simple teacher of a lovely truth is Robin Red breast, as he trills his song of cheerfulness midst frost and snow, when other feathered things are discontented and forlorn. His little bosom seems to blush to think how seldom those to whom he

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FOI SIT!
man's thoughts to the high privileges he
enjoys above the other members of the
animal kingdom, and stimulates his be-
nevolence to all living things. There is a
kindly spirit in the hour; it is the time
for opened hearts, the forgiveness of old
wrongs, the reconciliation of long parted
friends. The spirit of CHARITY is in
the air.
"Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets

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strike,

No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time."*

"The heart that still o'er all around,
Its happines doth fling,

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Oh! never doubt that heart must be,
A happy, happy thing!"
But while we have digressed, years have
passed and gone, and we can only catch
the Christmas scenes of the remainder of
this history. Scattered leaves must tell
the termination of our pen-loved story;
but like the unconnected records of some
ruined nation, they will be suggestive
the contents of the missing pages.

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sings are grateful for the guardianship of plough of Time. The latter has, earlier than OHIM whose eye observes the robin's wants, usual, left his business, in which the or twittering sparrow's fall. Though the Mr. Yardley is a wealthy partner, to see esky has lost its blue, and the trees are like the children as he persists in calling black spectress on the snow-clad hills, he them-dance under the mistletoe, and hear epipes this hymn of thankfulness for the them sing the Christmas hymn: Bas beauty of the corals which adorn the holly "Hark! the herald angels sing." A and the shawthorn, or the pearls that gem Sweet Isabel, without losing the soft ythe mistletoe, or the purple berries that are clustered on the stems of the bright leaved rose-bud look of May-day, has bloomed into a woman-gentle, affectionate, bu tivy..solev gu. 60-710H sad. Not without smiles; not witho brs Man is not all ungrateful. The contrast between the wintry prospect without and happiness; not without a full participation his home-joys within, directs the good Shakspere, Hamlet, Act. i, Scene 1.

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It is Christmas-time again. The family circle is again assembled round the surgeon's hearth. There are two vacant chairs still, but the surgeon and his friend the silk-mercer are there. James and Frank are absent. Where? The surgeon has scattered hairs of silver on his noble head, p and Meanwell's brow is furrowed by the

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And But 101

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in the joys of others; not without hope; not without a sweet reliance on a higher power. Yet, when silent, as she is now sitting, or alone, or engaged in sweet confidences with Philip, whose generous and chivalric heart has grown stronger in its noble impulses as the years have rolled along, an expression of sadness shades her lovely face, and reveals that her thoughts have wandered to some other place and time. To May-day?

"I have a letter here from James," said the surgeon to the delighted group. "And I have a letter from Frank," said the silk-mercer.

"We will draw closer round the fire," said Mrs. Keen, with a face radiant with smiles and benevolence," and hear them read." "Not 'till the little carol-singer outside has had his Christmas-box. Listen!" said Philip, lifting his finger.

They obeyed. With a tiny voice of tive tone, whose tremulousness expressed how cold was the night air, a child was singing beneath the window:

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was heard accompanying the boy as he
chaunted-
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"Hark! around, cherubic legions,
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Ushering thro' the liquid air,

Sing through the ethereal regions,.77
See the Son of Man appear fo
Ang ads
Shepherds be no more forlorn, 16367
Christ in Bethlehem is born.""
Prae eft
In the meantime the letters were read.
That from James Keen was as follows
Ladrone Islands.
MY DEAR FATHER, MOTHER, AND SISTERS.—
Frederick Turner, by which I send this, is now
I have only time to write a brief note, as the ship,
about to sail. We had a splendid voyage from
Singapore, from whence I dated my last. My
duties, as surgeon to the vessel, have been very
light till I arrived here, since when fever has been
amongst us. Yesterday, moreover, I am sorry to
say, some of our men got into a row with the pig-,
tailed barbarians at Macao, and received some
ugly wounds in the affray. I was unwillingly
mixed up with the affair, and narrowly escaped
with my life; indeed, if it had not been for a
fanquei, or foreign devil, as the Chinese call white
men, we should all have been murdered. We

plain-made our escape while we were able, and I have not had the opportunity of discovering to whom we are indebted. He appeared to be a man of great influence amongst the people, though young, and evidently an Englishman. His face and voice appeared familiar to me. I have no more time except to send my love, and to sign myself, Your affectionate son, JAMES KEEN.

May you all live in plenty,
And joys come round your door;
They lend unto the Lord, you know,
Who give unto the poor.

At Christmas-tide God gave to man,
His own loved Son to die;

Oh! can you, while you think on this,
A gift to me deny?

The streets are very dirty,
And my shoes are very thin,
But I have a little pocket,
To put a penny in.'

Philip rang the bell. In answer to the summons there entered a plump, goodhumoured looking man, in handsome livery, who said with a slight Irish accent:

"Did ye ring, sir?"

There is a little carol-singer outside, Barney, "said the surgeon, "give him this." "And this," said Philip. "And this," said Isabel.

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And, Barney," said the surgeon's wife, "take the little fellow into the kitchen, and see that he has a good supper."

Barney called the boy in, and giving him C the money, modestly added a little contribution of his own. Soon afterwards, from a distant part of the house, a sonorous bass

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"It was Frank," said Philip, jumping up. "I'm sure it was, are not you, 'Bel?"

Isabel said nothing. Her face and neck blushed crimson as she rose from her seat, ostensibly to re-arrange the holly and mistletoe with which her piano had been tastefully decorated by her sisters.

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"Oh! I shall be quite angry with anybody," continued Philip, "that tells me it was not Frank."

"So shall I," said Jessica, a younger sister of fourteen. "If it was not Frank it is very tiresome-and I think it ought to have been."

Everybody laughed at this sally, but the silk-mercer was almost uproarious in his mirth; indeed, that gentleman laughed so long, that everybody else began again.

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"I'll sit in Franky's chair," said the grey-haired surgeon, "for I know you will, all of you, be ready to kiss Frank as soon as his letter is read; and then you can kiss me instead, which will be quite as well."

"Indeed it wont," said Jessica, kissing her father at the moment, and then laughing out with such a merry-ringing voice, that everybody was obliged to laugh: too, and louder than before. More innocent fun

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MY DEAR FATHER.-You will have heard from Frederick Turner of the continued flourishing success of our business; and indeed we (for I am

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a partner, as of course you know) have been singularly fortunate. I have been, happy enough, moreover, to gain the confidence of the Chinese and Portuguese merchants of this port, to such an extent that they have made me a sort of arbitrator, or civil magistrate, in their disputes. I believe the Chinese would make a mandarin of me if they could. * * I have only recently returned from Canton, where I was admitted beyond the boundaries usually prescribed to foreigners, by the influence of the viceroy, in whose sedan, borne by sixteen bearers, I was taken to some of the most extensive tea-gardens, on the north of the city. *The oldest of our ships, the Frederick Turner, sails to-morrow, and by her I shall send this letter. Her cargo will chiefly consist of tea, but some large packages of silk, with some mandarin dresses and curiosities, will be sent to you. I have directed them to be left at the new warehouse for you. * ** I must now close this letter by saying that I envy it, and sign myself, my dearest father, Your very affectionate son, FRANK MEANWELL.

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P.S. I re-open this letter to add a little news. Yesterday, after I had sealed it, and made up the packages for you, I was suddenly called out to put a stop to a disturbance arising from the foolish conduct of some sailors belong to H.M.S. Thunder, now lying in the bay. The parties had got to blows before I arrived, but I pacified the Chinamen by promising to examine and inquire into the case, and punish the delinquents. The parley gave my countrymen an opportunity of escaping, of which they availed themselves. It was fortunate that they got off as well as they did, for the

natives had assembled in great numbers, and were armed. Two of the men from the ship I fancied I knew. One was exceedingly like James Keen; the name of the other I could not recollect, till Gregory, my clerk, declared that it was no other than his old acquaintance Samuel Oliver. I am sorry that I have no more time, but the captain is impatient. I have written this in his cabin.-F. M.

Time has strided on with no tardy step. Other years have flown, and Christmas has come again. In a bright wainscoted room in an old house in Berkshire there is a family-gathering. The circle is large, but there are no vacant chairs except the one

which has just been vacated by the quaker who, after blessing the young people (who are all very fond of him,) whispers a few words to Mr. Meanwell at the door, and jumps into the night-mail for London with a smiling face and joyful heart, for he believes that he has ministered to the happiness of the circle he has left.

There is laughter and fun in the hall where the mistletoe hangs, for Mr. Keen has been kissing his nieces under the bough, and James and Philip declare their intentions to follow his example. Between the bursts of merriment the sound of a sonorous voice is heard from the kitchen, where, to the great delight of some rustic fellow-servants, Barney is singing"Come, bring with a noise, My merrie, merrie boys,

The Christmas log to the firing;
While the good dame, she,
Bids you all be free,

And drinks to your hearts' desiring.
With the last yeare's brand
Light the new block, and,

For good success in his spending,
On your psalteries play
That sweet luck may,

Come while this log is a-teending.
Drink now the strong beere,
Cut the white loaf heere,

The whiles the meat is a-shredding;
For the rare mince-pie,
And the plums stand by

To fill the paste that's a-kneading." But who are the pair who have stolen out beneath the star-light sky, and tread the snowy pathway towards the old summer

house?

"Here was the very spot, dearest Isabel; the boughs are still twined together, but they are wreathed with snow and hoar-frost instead of the garlands that dear Philip and I hung upon them."

The youth pressed the maiden to his heart, and added fondly,-"Do you remember the question you put to me as I did homage to your floral throne, just here?"

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"I need not ask the question now, dear Franky," said the blushing maiden in reply, but for the sake of the dear memory of that sweet May-day, I will-but mind you give me the old answer in the very words." "I will."

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CABINET PICTURES

FROM ENGLISH HISTORY. BY AUNT MARY,

PICTURE XVII.

TOWN LIFE AND NATIONAL PROGRESS.

THERE was once a Spanish lady, a certain Donna Maria Déscober, living at Lima, who had a few grains of wheat, which she had brought from Estremadura: she planted them in her garden, and when they were grown, she distributed of the slender harvest to others; until that which had been counted in grains was counted in sheaves, and that which was counted in sheaves was counted in fields; and thence came all the corn that is found in Peru.

English labour had as small a beginning as the Spanish lady's few grains of wheat; yet thence has come-"all the corn that is found in Peru"-all our great cities, with their wonderful inventions and improvements-their wealth, and fame, and power. When you are urged to industry, think of this. All that you can do individually must be insignificant indeed; but remember, great results are brought about by united individual exertions. Individual labour has great value; God has laid it on each one of us as a necessity. Without it we cannot be well in mind, body, or estate -we cannot be easy or happy. But many persons must labour for one purpose, if the world is to be materially benefited. One village blacksmith may be useful:

"I love to hear the hammer's clang,
To see the bright sparks fly
In ruddy columns through the gloom
Of a December sky.

As, mid the dreary evening's gloom,

For cheery thoughts we stop, And find them in the boisterous warmth That fills the blacksmith's shop." But let us see what have been the results of many smiths gathering together in one ancient town-that of Birmingham. A writer in the year 1538, says "There be many smiths in the town that used to make knives, and all manner of cuttingtools, * and a great many nailers; so that a great part of the town is maintained by smiths, who have their iron and sea-coal out of Staffordshire." For many

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hundred years have the smiths of Birmingham been improving "all manner of cuttingtools," and thus rendering lasting service to all other industrial arts requiring such tools, as well as multiplying domestic conveniences of this kind. Then these same Birmingham smiths, often under other working names, went on improving and inventing in other branches of iron, metal, and ornamental work. In the last century a great man styled this town "the toyshop of Europe." The manufacture of buckles and buttons has been very extensive; so also of cast-iron and plated ware; and in japanning, glass-blowing, guns, and-recently-steel pens, Birmingham has taken the lead in England. It is hoped and expected that this town will vindicate its old reputation at out Great Industrial Exhibition next year.

There was a time when the good housewife had to spin her own household linen; and when it followed, as a natural consequence, that domestic life wanted much of the charm of cleanliness, through the scarcity of most necessary articles made of materials suitable for washing: the linen manufacturers of Manchester met this want; and, with the woollen manufacturers of the same town, materially increased the comforts of the English people, whilst laying the foundations of a manufacturing town of unequalled importance. From the 15th century Manchester has been regarded as one of the principal seats of industrial art in the kingdom; but the cotton trade chiefly has raised it to its present high rank as the metropolis of European manufacture. You may have heard that our late great statesman, Sir Robert Peel, derived his splendid fortune from the cotton manufactures, in which his father transacted so vast a business, that there were frequently not less than 15,000 persons employed in his factories. The father of this vigorous manufacturer, Sir Robert Peel's grandfather, had almost originated the art of calico printing in Lancashire. He was living in humble circumstances, when, about the year 1760, calico printing was first practised in this country on the banks of the Thames, by some French exiles. Mr. Peel at once experimented in the art, and his first pattern was a parsley leaf, which proving a very successful one, earned for him the title of "Parsley Peel." But

of trades to supply their loaded tables Then the production of rich vestments for the priests, and coverings for the shrines, created need of another, class of people And thus there sprung up around the old monasteries and cathedrals towns of busy and privileged artisans and traders, 5-197

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Most of the establishments for spinning, weaving, and printing cotton, are in Lan- Another way in which towns arose, was cashire, and principally around or in Man- by the growing necessity of trade for conchester, It has been calculated, that a stantly improving implements; and if the circle drawn round Manchester at the dis- English people had not always been vigortance of an hour's ride, comprises a more ously alive to this important need, the numerous population-chiefly manufactu-country could not have flourished as it has ring-than a circle encompassing London done. To place in every workman's hand at the same distance. In every part of the the tools best adapted for his work is of habitable world are the cottons of Man- the highest importance, let that work be of chester and its neighbourhood to be found; whatever kind it may. The improvement and it is impossible for us to estimate at of mining tools, of building tools, of agriall adequately the large amount of comfort cultural tools, of every implement or instru that they must have been the means of dis- ment used in the making and working of tributing. So you see that the story of the ships-are most important parts of the cotton trade resembles that of the corn history of our large towns. And the inof Peru. vention of machinery, and its rapid improve

But one great invention in particularment and most astonishing results, surpass created the factory system-the steam altogether the story of the corn of Peru. engine! You know that James Watt invented the steam engine-I cannot stay now to give you his history-but his invention would have been of comparatively little value if there had not been talent, and spirit, and industry in the working people of England, to make it available. As it was, hamlets suddenly became towns, and towns vast cities, through the action of steam engines. Farmers and peasants' sons threw down their spades, and left their ploughs, to resort to the wonder-working machines; and hun dreds of thousands of strong active people devoted themselves to the factory system, the life of which was, and is, the steam engine. rounds is is woy gribfig 18

Benjamin Franklin defined man as a tool-using animal; and the invention of tools and machines must always be a leading test of man's intelligence. The history of English machinery essentially belongs to our great towns. In the early times, the men of war with which the land teemed required weapons of war; to fabricate these the lords of castles were necessitated to draw around them the most skilful artificers they could find. Then they were obliged to have skilful armourers, who could devise and execute suits of mail, in which to clothe the lordly person of the baron, and his war-steed. These necessities led to certain privileges, offered and guaranteed to the workmen that placed themselves under the castle shadow; and this was as one in which towns arose.

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This great change has yet been hardly understood. By many excellent people it is lamented, because women and children are drawn away from home and school to

The case was similar with the great reli-work in the factories, and great evils natugious houses. These were in want of things of a different kind: these needed workmen

rally arise. But

I think I

Hart

are proge rolls on, and other discern that improved methods in the of living will be the true remedy for much that is complained of so that plans devised by which the will

fit to be employed on churches and abbeys of noble and beautiful architecture men of strength and skill, men of taste and genius, stone minsons, glaziers, embroiderers, gold and silver workers, artists, and many others. The great priests also were magnificent livers, and required a considerable variety

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the be served, and yet neither the home nor school be neglected. How this is to be done is not yet cleary although there are superior factories, under benevolent

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this parsley leaf proved, in the long run,
like the Spanish lady's grains of wheat;
for
with it originated a princely family for-
tune,
a baronet's title, and a cotton
trade which now supplies a great part of

the civilized world.

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