صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

now aspire to be the equals of the lords of creation. siology and the various functions of our bodily They try to comprehend and share his studies, they organs are as familiar to them as their A B C, even sometimes adopt as their own walk in life the how is it that, in defiance of true art and beauty, learned professions for which he fits himself. And they destroy their natural grace of form and moveall this is well enough-indeed, it is distinctly good, ment by useless and unsightly protuberances in the always supposing that they do not neglect the duties shape of bustles, and ignore all medical warnings by which necessarily and naturally fall to a woman's lot. persistence in the pernicious custom of tight-lacing,

It was said of a celebrated lady poet, that she and in wearing boots with preposterous pointed heels ? always went about with huge holes in her stockings; What, in the name of all absurdity, is there of and it was added, in her defence, that of course beauty in the bustle, which, after all, only reminds a person of so exalted a soul, and of so rare an one of a camel or a dromedary. Or what is the intellect, could not be expected to give attention attraction of a tiny waist that forms so painful and to such trifles as this part of her understanding. unnatural a contrast to the broad shoulders of our

But be this as it may, it is undoubtedly one of English damsels, and, in its glaring disproportion, the greatest signs, in the present, of true progress, only suggests an hour-glass or a wasp, and with them that the girls of to-day, in their cultivation of the shortness of life and sting? higher intelligence, are not losing sight of those And, once again, what can there be left of the useful, every-day talents, which are as distinctly gifts easy, upright carriage, and firm, graceful, gliding as the others, and which conduce so much to the walk which are some of a maiden's great charms, comfort, not only of their possessors, but of every when her feet are encased in tight boots, the heels one about them.

of which perpetually throw her forward by their In looking over the past, we wonder at the height, while by their pointed and spiral shape, they changes which a comparatively few years have give her almost the appearance of lameness. wrought in the condition, physical, mental, and With regard to the absurdity of the kind of boots moral, of girls, and we cannot but regard with pity which many ladies wear now, we could hardly have the monotonous life of the young women of old, a better illustration than that we present in our en. those fair damsels whose minds, for the most part, graving. This young lady is perhaps as badly shod slept, slumbered on, like the beautiful princess in for skating as she can well be. the enchanted wood, unless the kiss of fate, awaken- In St. Petersburg, where there has been a great ing perhaps their intellect and their hitherto un deal of attention paid to the science of skating (for recognised and uncurbed passions, at one and the everything is a science now-a-days), the boots are same time, ushered them into a world of mixed much more sensible. fascination and danger, some preparation for which A lady of our acquaintance not long ago went to would have helped to modify the one and to lessen a first-class Russian bootmaker's with a pair of the other.

American spring skates for which she wished to have We congratulate you, girls of to-day, upon the suitable boots made. And she was somewhat surbrighter prospects that open before you. We con- prised, when, after taking off the boot she was gratulate you upon your open colleges, your schools wearing, the bootmaker set her foot down upon a of telegraphy, your scientific lectures, your hospital sheet of white paper, and with a soft pencil carefully training, your superior and inexpensive literature, marked the exact shape of it, and a very different and your opportunities for learning cooking, and pattern it was, as you might suppose, from the usual sewing, and all household duties. And we also fashionable boot of to-day. But when the new pair congratulate you upon the change which modern was sent home, with their broad low heels, and times have brought into your amusements, and the stout sole, but fitting perfectly, lined with warm revolution and reformation, in one, of medical scarlet flannel, and lacing up the front, the young opinion which now recommends plenty of fresh air, lady confessed she had never worn anything half so simple nourishing food, warm, easy, comfortable comfortable, and for skating they were not to be clothing, and riding, skating, brisk walking, and surpassed for warmth, steadiness, and support. swimming, instead of the languid airing in a Ah! girls of to-day, if you would show yourselves carriage, or the lazy turn or two round a garden, as clever, and well educated, and sensible, and above which used to be considered ample exercise even for vanity, as we would have you ; if you would fit a young growing girl.

yourselves for a future of usefulness, whether as So much for the advantages which the girls of to. single women, or as wives and mothers, follow day have over those of yesterday. But there is one fashion only so far as it does not interfere with point in which their judgment is still at fault, and health, comfort, and good taste. into which their superior knowledge (albeit backed Cultivate your minds, by all means, and learn too by competent medical opinion) has not yet given how to perform well every domestic duty; but attend them an insight. We refer to the great Moloch of also to all that concerns your physical health, and the time, the senseless idol that goes by the name of avoid those things which may injure the body, and Fashion.

bring suffering and sorrow into the future. Of course if these were like the old days of And, above all, in the development of intellect, ignorance and blind submission to arbitrary laws, and in due care of the health God has given, forget we should not be surprised at the unquestioning not that " The fear of the Lord is the beginning of obedience rendered to the rules of dress which some wisdom,” and that the heart needs training, the unknown Parisian despots lay down. But now,when moral nature culture, the spirit the fostering of the the schools of art, and anatomy, and medicine are religious life, ere the girl of to-day can be all open to fair students, and the principles of phy

“A perfect woman, nobly planned.”

M. E. R.

9)

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

sorrows.

6

JN WEMORIAM.

because you can float on the surface, dear Louie,
that the river is not profound.”
"Oh, dear,"

dear,” cried the girl, "what a good GIRL sat reading the “ Holy Grail.” Her woman you are. How foolish I am, the most vapid A face kindled with emotion ever and anon as a of all! I am floating on this stream, and despising

line caught her fancy or quickened her con- the very depth that bears me up.”
science. For a brief space she was at knightly “Even so, my child.”

Camelot, breathing the same atmosphere as “ You have known real heroes, real heroines ? the men who had seen to pass that mysterious vessel, · Yes, dear." which no man could see and rest unchanged.

Many ? " When she laid the book down, she went to an “Not many in comparison, but enough to furnish easy-chair, where a woman in middle life reclined, more idylls than a busy world would have time to playing with some light work.

read about.” “No heroes or heroines now-a-days, auntie," said " Forgive my discontent,” cried Louie ; "and she.

teach me, oh teach me !" The lady looked up smiling. “ So you have come Well, dear, the greatest human teacher has said, out of dreamland, Lonie, and this world is not good To thine own self be true ; ' and the Divine Teacher enough for you. Live a while longer before you has said, "Blessed are those which hunger and judge; don't despair yet.”

thirst after righteousness.' “ If all the real people could go into books, and all “But if my hunger and thirst make me rail at the ideal people could come into life, what a world it other people ? ” would be!" sighed the girl, impatiently,

“ Hungry people are cross sometimes," said Mrs. • My dear, there are many men and women who Graham, smiling. live twice as noble lives because no one suspects their “ You make excuses for me, Aunt Lizzie.

The commonplace is only on the surface.” “Yes, while you make none for yourself.” You mean dowdy people, aunt, who dress five The girl sat up at that, and smiled her brightest, years behind the time, and always turn down the and picked up a piece of plain work, and sewed in corners of their mouth at a joke. Horrible!” silence, and the lady said nothing to disturb that " What is the matter, Louisa ?”

fruitful quiet. She waited for a future time. “I don't know. I wish I did. The world is so It came some evenings afterwards, when Mrs. disappointing."

Graham was in her own cosy room, sitting at an old Disappointing," echoed her aunt, “ at seven- desk, where she kept relics of the past. She was teen !"

turning out old letters, pamphlets, curiosities, every Yes, aunt, more disappointing than at seventy. sort of treasure that can accumulate from childAt seventy a woman has settled down; by that time hood to middle age. Louisa came in, in the midst she is used to being alive, and knows how to bear it. of the operation, and asked if she should be in the But when one is young, one is so disheartened." way. “Why?”

No, my dear, I am glad you

have come.

There “You expect something different. Why should is something here for you to see. Yes, this is it. I there not be knights of the Round Table now, and look at it seldom, for even now, after many years, it ladies of a noble order too ? And yet, where are gives me pain.” they? There's Mr. Junior who goes to the City Louisa opened a velvet case, and looked within at and sings comic songs out of tune. There's Alicia a miniature. Graham, who lies in bed all day and goes to dance

· Was this a real woman ?" she asked, as her eyes all night. There's Lady Dresden, who never helps a fell on the inside. charity unless she is printed up a patroness. There's “It was once real in life, dear. And the repreCousin Richard, who talks about his friend the Home sentation is less fair than the reality was.” Secretary, because he wrote him a letter once." Could anyone be more fair ? ” asked the girl.

“ And now, yourself,” said Mrs. Graham. “ What She might well ask the question. The portrait of Louisa Graham ? Describe her ! ”

was painted in profile. A pure Greek line swept Impossible, dear auntie ; I'm cross-grained, out from the forehead to the nostrils, the mouth was at of tune, uncharitable, and unsatisfied. But, at least, once sweet and severe, the chin of sufficient prominI have an idea what I should be."

ence for character. Every feature in this woman “ So doubtless have others. Is their failure worse was clear, noble, and delicate ; even illness had been than yours ?

kind to her. For the signs of emaciation round her “Aunt Lizzie !” exclaimed the girl, bursting into deep blue eye added that nameless charm which, tears.

for want of a better word, is called spiritual. Her Mrs. Graham laid her hand on the glossy head, hair was drawn smoothly to the nape of the neck, which bowed to her knee. She could remember such and fastened in a coil of lighter colour than the long times in her own life, when realities struggled with lashes which shaded lier eyes. Grace was in the aspirations. This niece, usually full of interest, style, something even majestic in the pose. with unbounded spirits, would sometimes arrive at “ Auntie, was she a saint or a martyr, or both ? an hour of utter blankness, when she seemed to Or she might have been a queen, a real queen, simple stand alone in a commonplace world. “ Take and dignified ? ' courage, my child,” said the elder woman. "Life is “ Shall I tell you her story? " said Mrs. Graham. like the great stream of which the Scriptures speak. Why, yes, Aunt Lizzie, unless I tell it you first. The further you go the deeper it becomes; it is not | All the world fell in love with her, and made her

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

queen of the tournament. What came to her then, " Then she was most admirable, dear aunt.” to bring those lines of suffering ? "

“ Those who knew her best thought so, Louie. “I will tell you what I may, my child, so that Early in life she was thrown on her own resources. from a veritable life you may gain belief in the order She had a talent for almost everything, and all that of noble womanhood. She would indeed bave smiled she had she turned to account. Even by the time

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

at my enthusiasm in putting her among the number : she was twenty, my dear girl, she had accomplished she would be the last to suspect that she had done a task of complete unselfishness, from wbich manya anything heroic. What she admired in o:hers she man in her position would have shrunk. Then she failed to perceive in herself."

noved into a larger circle of life. She became one

[blocks in formation]

66

of a society where there was much wealth and no agonies of death, her clear brain, her everlasting small cultivation. Her beauty, which, as you see, energy supported her through duties that others was great, won for her admiration; and a bright dis- would have neglected for a passing cold. I was called position, a native wit, real intellect, made her so away from her a month or two before she died. Our much the more charming. She might have been a last good-bye was in a flood of sunlight. It streamed woman of ancient Greece for the great love of life that into the room, and as she sat back on the sofa, was in her, the true enjoyment of simple pleasures. beautiful still, we kissed-knowing that we should

“She was in a land where a beautiful woman, be meet no more in Time—the kiss that goes before she ever so poor, may gain wealth and position. Eternity.” Both were offered to her, and she knew the value of For a few minutes Mrs. Graham bent her head, them. Money commands the things she dearly overcome with the painful memory. But she raised loved, things of beauty and price, surroundings that it again with a smile, and continued : would have been suitable to her own grace. By There is the future for us all. I have told you position she would have moved amongst those whose what I thought allowable of this history that you manners were pleasant to her fine breeding, and be- might believe in noble lives, modern lives, lived in sides money and society, my child, there are things secret towards men, but open to the eyes of God. more costly than either. She refused them all. Remember, my dear, that those in public, known and Indeed, it never entered into her head to accept them. read of all men, are but types of thousands, for whom

She left the world that would in some measure there is no scrile, no publisher on earth.” have been at her feet, and in due time returned to And Louisa Graham did remember. Some years her home. It was in an obscure country place, and afterwards she found herself in the neighbourhood of there she lived with her parents and a young sister. the little foreign cemetery where her aunt's friend To help them she went away, to help them she lay. She went to visit the resting-place, and came back again.

while she stood there musirg, a lady in deep " She occupied herself with her sister's education. mourning passed her, making her way to the gates. That sister was the hope of her life. Even lovelier There she paused suddenly, and tried to support herthan herself and with rarer talents, she watched her self against the pillar. Miss Graham went to her progress and delighted in it. The two girls loved help, and seeing that she was exhausted with overeach other calmly, tenderly, profoundly, and the whelming grief, she led her to a seat and soothed her, younger one became a linguist and a musician, and more with the manner of sympathy than with she was from birth a painter.

words. The sorrowful tale came out in fragments. Then in the bloom of maiden beauty, when she had In that cemetery lay the mourner's husband and finished the dull routine which leads to every path children, taken from her with scarce a warning, in life, and was entering upon the joy of so rich a and she found herself alone in the world, thinking life itself, the younger sister died.

her sorrow bitterer than any other that had ever been. “You would say that the blow was enough to crush " Come with me,” said Louisa. She led her new my friend. You would say that she could no longer friend to the grave which she had but just left. The continue the same life, to be racked by associations setting sun was glorifying it, and, soothed by solemn of the past, to be constantly reminded of what might radiance, the mourner listened to the tale which Miss have been and could never be.

Graham told her, of a life whose blessing had been “For a time she broke down. But the deeper the to give. She listened, and seemed comforted. Lonesorrow, the less it may lie on the surface. Her liness was robbed of some of its terrors. Life that brave spirits rallied after a while, and she hid her could give, was no longer a perfect blank. pain, as it were, in the hand of God. She went on “ God bless you for telling me this !" she said. “ I to work for the parents who were left to her; she have mourned without hope, in bitterness and despair. struggled through difficulties, through deceptions, But such lives as this one, of which you tell me, through adverse circumstances, meeting each trouble preach to us. Oh, yes, God will be with us in our as it arose with a ready wit and a sure hand. Shut agony. When we appeal to Him in those words of up as she was to the narrowest surroundings, she His own past, · By Thy Cross and Passion,' He will never lost buoyancy or a gay courage. There was remember us. Pray, that we who sorrow may be able no eating canker in that heart, she had given to call up faith and hope by those words. Pray that up herself to others, and she realised a life that in the long years of quiet endeavour, we may not to others, though not to herself, showed itself as faint : nor sink in weariness, nor starve in dearth.” sacrifice.

Let us thank God for the awful and the most "I never knew a woman more vastly intelligent; blessed Cross of Christ,” said Miss Graham. her knowledge was the fine thing that is called cul- She stayed on after her companion bad again ture. She animated others with her spirit, never departed, writing a few lines for her aunt Graham, oppressed them with her learning.

which are transcribed here : “Thus she lived, Louie, and thus she died. Hard

The setting sun shone thro' the gathering shade, work and a tendency to that beautiful disease which

Athwart the tomb of a noble maid; is so fair on the surface and so fatal underneath,

But sure as that sun again shall rise,

To burn in splendour amid the skies, these killed her.”

So sure shall the life that's hid with God, “ Then she became a very sad woman ?"

Though it sleep awhile beneath the sod, “Not in the least. She believed that God was with

Awake from the gloom of Death's dark night,

To the dawn of Resurrection light; her. For two years she never got but a few steps

And the joy of that hour shall surely be from the house, yet in the house she toiled as in her

The savour of all eternity. days of strength. Up to the last, between the

M. B.

PRIZE ESSAY ON JUVENILE SMOKING.

HE following paper won the Ten Pound Prize “ Excelsior Club,” and in that room they met each week, and offered in The Sunday School Chronicle for the played chess and draughts, snap, happy families, lottoos,

dominoes ; read the dozen fresh papers and magazines provided best Essay on Juvenile Smoking. The offer weekly; in their jovial moods they sung songs and choruses, was made known in very many London and they had discussions, lectures, and entertainments, and they

country newspapers, and the consequence was started and maintained a cricket club, which met on Saturday that 163 papers were received. A large number of afternoons at the nearest park. “And all went merry as a

marriage bell.” these were so excellent that the adjudication was a long and serious matter, and we are sure our readers

II.-THE PUFF COMTEMPLATIVE. will think that the writer of the following well de- There were one or two boys in the class who did not, how. served the prize. May we beg all our boys, elder ever, take advantage of the club, and latterly had not attended lads, and young men to read this. The design was to regularly on the Sundays; so one evening Morris went round

to see one of them. As he turned the corner of a street he elicit compositions that the young would read, and, suddenly caught sight of the boy in company with three other therefore, the writer had them in his mind.

lads; the group were sauntering slowly along, looking mar. vellously precocious, and, yes, there was no mistake about it

each of them was smoking. Two of them were smoking SMOKING IN PUFFS.

cigarettes, one had a short dirty brown pipe, while the other

rejoiced in the possession of a real “meerschaum.” I.-THE PUFF DESCRIPTIVE.

Have you ever trembled for very shame? Philip Morris

did as he looked. Not that his conscience smote him, for A the

don, leading from the ships to the warehouses, from the | the lad he had come to seek, the swaggering gait, disgusting warehouses to the shops, from the shops to stately mansions, spitting, and unhealthy colour, struck him with horror and and thence to the open country. A great road, along which rolled shame; the boy had been so different, so gentlemanly and ten thousand vehicles each day, and on each side of the road pleasant. Philip felt he could not face the boy as he was, and a long continuous stream of life ran its course, men, women, so hurried away back without being noticed. and children, each stream possessing as it were two currents You have probably noticed that when a subject is once which flowed in opposite directions, that never hardly seemed brought vividly and prominently before you, how very often to stop; but that increased as it were to a flood, at certain you afterwards notice things in common everyday-life that are morning and evening hours, and at times would seem to go connected with it which you passed unnoticed before. merrily along, and then would drop to a sober jog-trot speed, Morris had never smoked a pipe or cigar in his life; tobacco and so the line of folks went on until long after the bells rang shops had therefore no attraction for him, but to-night, hurryout and said good-by to the day that was gone, and welcomed ing back to the club, he for the first time noticed how many the day just born.

there were about. As he stood gazing out of the club window Many great streets crossed this road, and near to one of he could seo four; and what a number of people went by these junctions a shrewd man of business planted a shop, to smoking! He sat and watched the different characters; five feed the people and send them on to their cares and worries, workmen passed along together, each with a short pipe, then bargains and toils, refreshed and helped. A few yards off three clerks or shopmen smoking out their very souls; then from where this shop stood, another man had (but over two some lads, many of ihem following the same plan. The great score years ago) also planted a house of refreshment for weary majority of the passers-by were smoking, and so he counted travellers to rest, and be strengthened and encouraged; some and watched on until the darkness came, but still he sat at the called it a chapel, but some who trod its floor oftenest called it window perplexed and worried. He was thinking of the boy. “the Gate of Heaven."

Going home that night he called upon a friend of his, a Annexed to this building was a smaller one, where children medical man; he himself never hardly required medical aid, met, and met again so often that many were now no longer but he was personally acquainted with this gentleman. children, but still met there because they loved those that Doctor,” said he, “ wouldn't it iinprove me if I took to gathered there, and even the very walls.

smoking?" Philip Morris had turned his steps there each first day of " It would improve me, my dear sir," said the doctor, the week for ten years past; at first as a scholar to listen, but laughing and shaking hands with him, “for I should the hand of Timě led him at last to the teacher's seat, and for get a chance of seeing you much oftener; but you must find the last seven years others looked to him for direction and out the answer to this question yourself. Go and examine a help, and so, humbly and reverently, he opened the book and smoker's face, mouth, and teeth ; find out what it does to his delivered his message.

blood and nerves; and when you have found that out, I'll tell On each Sunday he met his boys, and the number increased, you a little more. Forty per cent. of my income comes to me and the lads grew tall and strong; some wandered off, but from the tobacco shops round here, and "--but a patient most remained ; bonds of affection linked them together, and came in, and Morris left. they became a band of brothers. They had begun to find that “ The boys ought to know all this,” said Morris, as he Sundays were very far apart, the gap was very wide, the stride turned over to sleep that night. from one Sabbath to the next was very difficult.

Morris kept this subject well before his mind; he observed, “Nothing for it,” thought Philip, “but to meet together read, and conversed about it, and pondered over it. He one some week evening.

day saw a man puffing the smoke into a plant; he asked the And they did.

man what that was for. “To kill the insects," the man reNot at the school perish even the thought! No, the plied. He afterwards learnt that that was

a famous way of idea was too radical, that was a Sunday-school, handed over killing them. during the week to the flies and dust, but the keeper of the " But insects breathe the same air as we do,” thought coffee-house previously alluded to had a fine large club-room Morris. “What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander; over his shop, fitted up with nice little tables and chairs, and if the fumes of the tobacco kill insects, it only requires them luxuriant armchairs, to be let to anybody, Christian or Pagan, to be stronger to kill the man as well." for a very moderate sum per quarter, and to that place Philip Another time he saw a very respectably dressed individual invited his class one Wednesday evening, and he never re- walking along, spruce and smart, with a cigar in his mouth; pented it. They received the invitation with enthusiasm, and coming in the opposite direction was a most dissolute-looking that enthusiasm never waned; they elected their secretary, character, a veritable rough, with a pipe in his hand. In his they drew up rules and kept them, they insisted upon them- drunkenness he had not strength or sense to keep it alight, and selves paying for the place, and their subscriptions were more he was looking round for a light. He regarded the respectable than sufficient for that purpose; they called themselves the individual as a member of his fraternity; certainly at one

66

« السابقةمتابعة »