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much to do by giving a higher sense of life's duties, and a more wholesome tone over its pleasures and manners. The prevailing slang contempt both of God and of marriage-a contempt which possibly might be mainly one in appearance, and which had arisen on the one hand in a concession to a dissolute monarch, and on the other in a ridicule of the “righteous over much” of the Puritansmust be frowned down ; and this Steele and Addison determined to do. Steele gave all the glory of The Spectator to Addison, and for a time they worked evenly and alternately; but after a while the greater share of the papers fell to Steele, and he had to supply them hurriedly. This did not suit him as his mind was becoming more and more interested in politics, and in the year 1712 the doubt of the Hanoverian succession became so prominent, that he felt anxious to advocate Whiggism in a daily paper.

The Spectator only dealt with the amenities of life and did not admit politics, so Steele decided to close it at the 555th number on December 6th, 1712, and in the following March began The Guardian. It lived till October 12th, 1713. One paper, No. 128, on the "Demolition of Dunkirk," made a great stir, and Steele reverted to it again in Nos. 131 and 168. When The Guardian ended, The Englishman came out, and was entirely political ; and really to at all understand its papers, the politics of that date must be deeply studied. It only lived four months, and brought its writer into deep disgrace with the Tories, which he deepened by a pamphlet called The Crisis. This, and some of his papers in The Guardian, were deemed libellous, and he was expelled the House of Commons, where he sat as member for Stockbridge.

With the accession of George I. came brighter days for Steele. The Whigs were in power, and he was made surveyor of the Royal stables at Hampton Court, and a Deputy-Lieutenant in the Commission of the Peace for Middlesex, and he again sat in the House as M.P. for Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire. He was appointed Patentee of Drury-lane Theatre, which brought in £600 a year, and for the duties of which he was exactly fitted, and in 1715 he was knighted upon taking up an address to the king.

In 1719, the new Peerage Bill, which was to limit the number of Peers was proposed by the Earl of Sunderland, and caused the only coolness which ever existed between Steele and Addison. Addison approved of the measure, Steele did not 'and opposed it with his usual warmth, deeming that the tendency of the Bill, as he observed in a letter to the Earl of Oxford, “. was to introduce an aristocracy; for a majority in the House of Lords so limited, would have been despotic and unbearable.” He tried to rouse the nation in a pamphlet The Plebeian, to which Addison replied in The Old Whig. Then came out a second Plebeian, and then a second Old Whig, in which the author spoke disparagingly of his opponent, and died without a reconciliation soon after.

Steele was regularly persecuted on account of his opposition to the Bill. His patent of Drury-lane Theatre was revoked, but was in time restored; and there he brought out in 1722, with great success, his last comedy of The Conscious Lovers. In it, true to the sentiments of his early manhood, he again protested against duelling.

After this his health began to fail and creditors to press upon him (he had lost his good genius when his wife died a few years before); so, with a view to retrenchment, he retired in 1726 to Llangunnor in Carmarthenshire, to an estate of his wife's family, and lived at Ty Groyn, a farmhouse between Carmarthen and Llangunnor. He achieved the purpose of his retirement: he did pay every creditor, he met every obligation, and he also left a provision for his two daughters. During this retirement he was seized with paralysis ; and then it was seen that the faith in God and the genial disposition which had supported him through life, were not likely to desert him in his weary hours of sickness. The Bible and the Prayer-book were the only books he cared to read; and one who knew him then declares that “ he retained his cheerful sweetness of temper to the last; and would often be carried out of a summer's evening when the country lads and lasses were assembled at their rural sports, and with his pencil give an order on his agent, the mercer, for a new gown to the best dancer.” He died September 1, 1729, and was buried in St. Peter's Church, Carmarthen. A monumental inscription in Llangunnor Church gives this testimony to his character :

Who warm for freedom, and with virtuę fraught,

His country dearly loved, and greatly taught ;
Whose morals pure, the purest style conveys,
T' instruct his Britain to the last of days.

When we try to estimate the value of Steele's character, we are

struck with the freedom from sham in a man who ran every risk of being spoilt by society. His wonderfully genial manner, which sprang from genuine Irish warmth of heart and impulsiveness, made him welcome as a guest wherever he went; yet he held his own, and always fought on the side of truth and freedom, whether the taste of the day was against him or not. “We owe to him that swearing is unfashionable, and that a regard to religion is become a part of good breeding ;” and he taught by personal example, as well as by precept, that it is a positive duty to make life easier to other people by smoothing its rough road by small acts of benevolence. True, his carelessness and extravagance and, possibly, want of business habits, plunged him in debt; but he made a duty of retrenchment, and paid off all his liabilities. A great deal has been made out against Steele on the score of intemperance, and Addison's phrase of “poor Dick" has been turned into a term of pitiful reproach, instead of being interpreted into one of affectionate regard. The probable truth is, that Steele's head was always very easily affected by stimulants, and that he would be under the table with a quantity which would not produce the slightest effect upon Addison. Had he lived in this latter half of the nineteenth century, his own good sense would have taught him that for him the path of safety was the path of total abstinence. But whatever his faults were, we may call him a true patriot. He loved his country and sought to leave her better than he found her; and the good seed which he sowed has undoubtedly sprung up and borne fruit an hundredfold. It could not be otherwise, for “ Le bien ne meurt jamais."

THE WOMEN OF WEINSBURG.

THE

By J. Ryley ROBINSON, LL.D.
HE noble women of Weinsburg,

As long as the world shall stand,
Shall claim a place in the minstrel lays

Of the German Fatherland.
Bravely the citizens held out against
O’erwhelming numbers. Not for many a day

Had they partaken food in quantity
Sufficient for their need. Their choicest men
Had fallen at the outpost, or were stretched
On beds of sickness-wounded, spirit-crushed,
Despairing of success; for well they knew
That Conrad was preparing, with a host
Of troops well disciplined, and all elate
With hope of victory, to push the siege
With greater vigour; and had sworn by all
He held most sacred, that the morning light
Should be the last their

eyes

should ever see.
How slowly passed the hours until the dawn !
Though through the long dark night, unceasingly
They heard a thousand nameless sounds, which told
Of active preparation in the camp
For the great final conflict. When at last
The darkness disappeared, and the bright sun
Rose radiant from his slumbers—scattering all
The gloom of night, and lighting up the sky
With beams of splendour—everywhere they saw
Advancing 'troops cheering each other on.
Resistlessly they scaled the walls, and seized
The city gates; and though the burghers fought
With all the energy of dire despair,
'Twas fruitless, and in vain. The German troops
Drove all before them; and, ere long, the town
Lay at the mercy of the conqueror.

Victorious Conrad, terribly enraged
That such a handful of brave men had held
His troops so long at bay, gave strict command
To set the women and the children free,

where'er they chose; but bind the men, And, without mercy, put them to the sword.

In vain the women sought with tears to move
His heart to pity; all in vain they held
Their infants in their arms, and for their sakes
Besought his pardon for the citizens.
The edict had gone forth that they must die,

To go

And could not be recalled. Yet he would grant
This boon to them : each woman might convey
Upon her woulders or her arms whate'er
She held most dear, and none should hinder her.

Dejectedly they left his presence; all
That they possessed seemed valueless compared
With their dear husbands' lives ; but, when they reach'd
The open square, one noble woman stood
A moment in deep thought, then cried aloud :-
“Women of Weinsburg ! cast away your grief,
Take courage! for the Emperor hath said :
Let each one take that which she holds most dear
Upon her shoulders, or within her arms.
What, in the whole, wide world, is worth a thought
Compared with those we love? I shall attempt
(God grant me strength to do it !) to convey
My husband, on my shoulders, to the place
Appointed us beyond the city gates."

No argument was needed, they dispersed
To their own homes; and, when the time arrived
To quit the city, every noble wife
Bore her doom'd husband on her back. The host
Murmur'd at such an unexpected sight,
And called it an evasion; but—although
Severe in war- -the Emperor was struck
With their heroic conduct, and forbade
His soldiers to molest them. So the men,
Their wives, and children-all were saved alive.

And the noble women of Weinsburg,

As long as the world shall stand,
Shall have a place in the minstrel lays

Of the German Fatherland.

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