Newspaper of Chicago Daily Tribune, March 30, 1873, Page 10

Newspaper of Chicago Daily Tribune dated March 30, 1873 Page 10
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10 ‘‘THE KEY TO ALL MYTHOLOGIES.” A Conversation with Marcus Au- relius. BT W. W, PTOBT, THE AMERICAN BCDLPTOH. ’ From the fortnightly Jlnieir. It was a dark and stormy night in December. Everybody in the house had long been m bed and asleep; but, deeply interested in the Medi tations of Marcus Aurelius, I had prolonged my reading until the email hours h'.d begun to in crease, and I heard the bells of the Capucin Convent strike for 2 o’clock. I then laid down Sny book, and began to reflect upon it. The fire fcad nearly burned out, and, unwilling yet to go, I threw on to it a bundle of canne and a couple of sticks, and again the fresh flame darted out, and gave a glow to the room. Outside the »torm was fierce and passionate. Gusts beat against the panes, shaking the old windows of Ihe palace, and lashing them with wild rain. At intervals a sudden blue light flashed through the room, followed by a trampling roar of thun der overhead. The fierce Libeccio howled like a wild beast around the bouse, as if in search of ' Its prev, and then died away, disappointed and growling, and after a short interval again leaped • xrith fresh fury against the windows and walls, * Ra if maddened by their resistance. As I sat, ’ quietly gazing into the fire and musing on many : shadows of thought that came and passed, my »imagination went back in the far-past when Mart ens Aurelius led his legions against the Quadi, - the Marcomanni, and the Sarmati, and brought before me the weather-beaten tent in which he . eat so many a bleak and bitter night, after the dutv of the dav was done, aud all his men had retired to rest, writing in his private diary those coble meditations, which, though meant solely for b»R private eye, are one of the most precious -heritages wo have of ancient life and thought. I seemed to see him there in those bleak wilds of Pannouia, seated by night in his tent. At his aide burns a flickering torch. Sentinels pace to ‘ aud fro. The cold wind flirts and flaps the folds of Prmtorium, and shakes the golden eagle above it. Far off is heard the howl of the wolf prowl ing through tho shawdowy forests that encom pass the camp; or the silence is broken by tho eharp, shrill cry of some night bird flying over head through tho dark. Now and then comes tho clink of armor from the tents of tho cavalry, or the call of the watch-word along the line, or the neighing of horses as the Circuitores make their rounds. He is ill and worn with toil and caro. He is alone; and there, under the shadow of night, beside his camp-table, ho sits and med itates, and writes upon his waxen tablets these lofty jjfirlcncea of admonition to duty and en couragement to virtue, those counsellings of himself to heroic action and patient en durance of evil and tranquility of iifo, that breathe the highest spirit of morality and philosophy. Little did he think, in his lonely watches, that tho words he was writing only for himself would still be cherished *.ftcr long centuries had passed away, aud would "be'pondered over by the descendants of nations which were then uncultured barbarians, as lowin civilization as the Pannoniaus against whom he was encamped. Yet of all the books that ancient literature has left us, none is to bo found con taining tho record of higher and purer thought, cr more earnest and unselfish character. As I f lanced up at tho cast of the Capitoliuo bust of im which stood in the corner of my room, and saw the sweet melancholy of that gentle face, ere care and disappointment had come over it •and ruled it with lines of aje and anxiety, a strange longing came over me to see him and hear his voice, and a sad sense of that great void of time and space which separated ua. Where is be now ? what is he now ? I asked myself. In what other distant world of thought and being is his epirit moving ? Has it any remembrance of the past—has it any knowledge of the present ? Yet the hand that wrote is now but dust which may be floating about the mausoleum whore ho was buried, near the Vatican, or perhaps lying in that library of tho Popes upon some stained manuscript of this very work it wrote, to be 1 blown carelessly away by some studious abbe as he ranges it on its shelf among the other precious records of the past. The hand is but dust, but the thoughts tbat It recorded are fresh and living as ever. Siuce he passed from this world, how little progress have ve made in philosophy and morality 1 Here in this little book are rules for tho conduct of life which might shame almost any Christian. Here ®re meditations which go to the root of things, and explore the dim secret world which sur rounds us, and return again, as all our ex plorations do, unsatisfied. Ail these cen turies have passed, and the same ques tions we still ask, and find no answer. Whore he is now ho knows the secret, or be is beyond the desire to know it. The mystery , is solved for him, which we are guessing, and his is either a larger,sweeter life, growing on and on I —or everlasting rest. A stoic, be found comfort in his philosophy, as great perhaps as wo Chris tians mid in our faith. Ho believed in his gods es wo believe in ours. How could they satisfy a mind like his ? How could these impure and passionate existences, given to human follies aud weaknesses,to low intrigues, to vulgar jealousies, to degraded loves, satisfy a nature so high, so eelf-denying, so earnest, so pure? Yet they were his gods; to them he sacrificed, in them he trusted, looking forward to a calm future with a serenity at least etpial to ours, undhturbed by misgivings; believing in justice, aud in unjust gods—believing in purity, and in impure gods. _ “No I” said a mild voice, “I did not believe in impure and unjust gods.*’ And looking up I saw before me the calm face of tho Emperor and philosopher of whom I was thinking. There he stood before me as X knew him from his busts aud statueSj with liis full brow and eves, bis sweet mouth, his curling bair, now a little grizzled with age, and a deep meditative look of tender earnestness upon his face. f know not why I was not startled to see him there, but I was not. It seemed to mo natural, as events seem in a dream. Tho realities, as wo call those facts which are merely visionary and traneitorv, vanished ; and the unrealities, as we call those of thought and being, usurped thoir place. Nothing seemed more fitting than that ho thould b© there. To tho mind all things are possible and simple, and there is no time or epace in thought which annihilates them. I rose to* greet my guest, with the reverence duo to such a presence. “Do not disturb yourself,” ho said, smiling; “I will sit here, if you please ;” and aospeaking, be took the seat opposite mo at tho fire. “Bit you,” ho continueo, “and I will endeavor to an swer some of the questions you were asking of yournif.” “ Had I known your presence I should hardly, perhaps, have dared to ask such questions, or at least in such a form,’’ I said. “ Why not ask them of me if you ask them of yourself ?” ho answered. “ They were just and natural in themselves, and tho forms of things aro of little use to one who cares for tho essence —just as tho forms of the divinities I behoved in are of no consequence compared to their es sences. What wo call thoughts aro but too often mere formulas, which by dint of repetition we finallv got to believe aro in themselves truths, while*they are in fact mero dead husks, having no life in them, and which by their very rigidity prevent life. No single state ment, however plausible, can contain truth, which is infinite in form and in spirit. If we are to talk together, let us freo ourselves, if we can, from formulas, since they only check growth in the spirit, and, so to apeak, are mere inns at which we rest for a moment oc account of our weariness and weakness. If wo stay permanently in them we narrow our minds, dwarf our experience, and make no progress. For what is truth but a continual progression to vard the divine ?” - “Yet would you say that formulas are of no use; that we should not in them sum up the beet of our thought ?” _ “Undoubtedly they are usefuL They are trunks in which we pack our goods. But as wo require more goods, we must have larger and <-ven larger trunks. It is only dead formulas v.liich kill, and the tendency of formulas is to die and thus to repress thought. XiOOk at the r.ut-i bell that holds the precious germ of the f nave tree. It is a necessary prison of a mo ment ; bat as that germ quickens and t-preads the shell must give way. or death is the consequence. Tho infinite truth can be compre 3.ended iu no formula and no system. All at tempts to do tins have resulted in the same end —«, : eat h. Every religious creed should bo living, b :t every Chinch formalizes it into barren words f.od Miapo-, and, ere long. Faith—that is, the liv ing. umpiring principle—dies, wrapped up in its icrmal obh'en auces or rigid statements, and bo cortps like the dead mummies of tho Egyptians —the forms of life, not tho reality.” “ Too true,” I answered, “ all history proves i* Ercrv r cal aud thinking man feels ft. As gets the better of our bodies, so conven tions and formulas get the better of our minds. But pray continue ; I only listen ; and pardon me for interrupting you.” “ What I say has direct relation to the ques tions you were asking when I entered. There is a grain.’oftcn many grains, of truth in every system of religion,but complete Truth in none. If wo wait until w© attain the perfect before adhering to one, wo shall never arrive at any. Each ago has its religious ideas, which are the aggregate of its moral perceptions by its imag inative bias, and those arc shapen into formulas or svstoms, which servo as inne, or churches, or temples of worship. These begin by represent ing the highest reach of the best thought of the. a"e, but soou degenerate into commonplaces, — thought moving ou beyond them, and of its very vitality of nature seeking beyond them. At these inns the common mass put up, and the host or priest controls them while they are there, and society organizes them, and so a certain 1 good is attained. In what you call the ancient divs when I lived on the earth, I found a system already built and surrounded by strong bulwarks of power. To strike at that was to etnko at the existence of society. A religious revolution ia a social revolution; one cannot alter a Faith without altering everything out of which it is moulded. To do that, more evil might result than good. Man’s nature is such that if you throw down the temple of hia worship at once, assaulting its very foundations, you do not improve his faith, —you but too often annihilate it. so implanted is it iu old prejudices, in the forms stamped on the heart in youth, and in the habits of thought. It is only by gradual changes that anv real good can be done,—by en larging and developing the principles of truth which already exist, and not by overthrowing the whole system at once.” “But’ in the religious system to which you gave vour adherence,” I exclaimed, “what in as there grand and inspiring! What truth was there out of which vou could hope to develop a true system ? for certainly you could not behove in the’divinities of your day.” “ Reverence to the gods that were,’ he an swered, “to a power above and beyond us. Recognition of divine powers and attributes. This lay as the corner-stone of our worship, as it does of yomvu” “ Almost,” I cried. “ it seems to mo worse to worship such gods as yours than to worship nouo at all. Their attributes were at best only hu man. and their conduct low and unworthy, their passions sensual and debased. Any good man would bo ashamed to do the acts calmly attrib uted to the divinities you woishipped. This, in itself, must have had'a degrading influence on the nation. How could any man be aanamed of anv act allowed and attributed to the gods j" Your notions on this point uro natural, he calmly answered, ** but they are completely mis taken. There is no doubt that in even* system of religion tho tendency is to humanize, and, to a certain extent, degrade God. To attribute to Him our own passions is, with the mass. uni versal. To deify man or to humanize God is the rule. You deify that beautiful character named Christ, and vou'humanizc God by representing Him as inspired with anger and cruelly beyond anything in our system. You attribute to Him a scheme of tho universe which is to mo abhor rent. Will you excuse me if I state lima plainly how it Birdies one who belonged to a different ago and creed, and who, therefore, cannot enter into tho deep-grained prejudices and ideas of your century and faith ?” “Speak boldly,” I said. “Do not fear to shock me. lam ao deeply planted that Ido not fear to bo uprooted m my faith. And, besides, .that is not truth which does not court assault, Biiro to be strengthened by it. throw my faith, overthrow it." “That I should bo most unwilling to do/ he answered. “No word would Isay to produce such a result. In vonr faith there is a noble and beautiful truth, which sheds a soft lustre over hfo ; and in mv own dav the pure and philosoph ic spirit of Jesus of Nazareth was iccognized by mo and reverenced. *Tia not of Him I would speak, but rather of the general scheme of the regulation of this world by God that I alluded to ; and I yet pause, fearing-to eiiock you bv a simple statement of this creed. “I pray you do not hesitate; speak! I am ready and anxious to hear you.” “ it is onlv in answer to what you Bay tho acts and passions attributed by us to our divin ities. as constituting a clear reason why we should not reverence them, that I speak. You attribute to tout God omnipotence, omniscience, and in finite love. Yet in his omnipotence he made first a world, and then placed in it man and woman, whom ho also made and pronounced good. In this, according to your belief, Ho was mistaken. Tho man and woman proved immediately not to be good ; and lie, omnipo tent as he’was, was foiled by another power named Satan, who upset at once his whole scheme. After infinite consideration, and in pity for man, Ho could or did invent no better scheme of redeeming him than for himself, or an emanation from himself, to take the tnrm of man, and suffer death through tlicir wicked ness and at their hands. Thus man, by adding to the previous fault the crime of killing God on the earth, acquired a claim to bo saved from tho consequences of his first fault.' A new crime fords a cause of pardon for a previous fault sim ply of disobedience. What whs this first fault which induced God to drive tho first man and woman out of tho Paradise he had made for them ? Simply that they ate an apple when they were prohibited. Is any Pagan legend more ab surd than this ? Then for tho justice of God,— on what principle of right can tho subsequent crime and horror without example of killing God, or a person, aa you say, of the Trinity, afford a reason for removing from man a penal ty previously incurred ? "NYhon one remembers that you assume God to be omniscient as well as omnipotent, and that Ho might have made any other scheme, bv simply forgiving man, or obliging him to redeem himself by doing good and acting virtuously, instead of committing a crime and a horror, this belief be comes still more strange. Nor can you explain it voursolf; you only say it is a mystery which is beyond vour reason, but none the less true. Yet, though it offends all sense of justice and right in my mind, you believe it and adhere to it as a comer-stone of your faith. Are you sure I do not offend you ?” “ Pray go on,” I said. “ When yon have said it is a mvsterv, vou have said all. Shall man, with his’deficient reason, protend to understand God ? This is a truth revealed to us by Ills only begotten Sou, Jesus Christ, who was Himself in a human form; and when God reveals to ns a mvstery, shall we not believe it r* Shall wo measure Him by our feeble wits ?” “I do not mean to argue with you. This is furthest from my intention ; though I might eay thin holdfl good of us in the ancient days, as well as with you now. I only wish, however, to show you that you believe what you acknowledge to be be yond reason—a mystery, as yon call It. . You be lieve this, and vet you despise tho Pagan for be lieving what his gods told him, simply because it was unreasonable or ridiculous.” “ Tbe question,” I said, “ is very different; but let it pass. Pray go on.” “ Your God is a God of infinite love, you say. Yet in tho opinion of many of you, at least, this infinitely loving God, omnipotent, andhaving the power to make man as Ho chose—omniscient, and knowing how to make him good and happy if Ho wished to—has chosen in his lovo to make him weak and impotent, to endow him with passions which aro temptations to evil, to afilict him with disease and pain, to render him susceptible to torments of every kind, and sufferings beyond bis power to avoid, however ho strive to bo good and virtuous and obedient. And then at the last, after a life of Buffer ing and struggle here, either to save him and make him eternally happy ; or, if Ho so elect, without any reason intelligible to you or any one. to plungo him into everlasting torment, from which he can never free himself. Now, I ask you in what respect is such a God bettor than Jupiter, who, even according to tho lowest popular notions, whatever his passions, was at least placable; Who, whatever were his follies, was not a demon like this ? And when one takes into consideration tho fact that there is not r humane man living who would not be ashamed to do to his own child ; however vicious, what he calmly attributes to his alb-loving God, tho belief in such a God scorns all tho more extraordina- I ry.” “Itis a mystery,” I said, “ that one like you, born in another ago and tinctured with another creed, could not bo expected to understand. It would bo useless for mo to attempt it, and certainly not now, when I so greatly prefer hearing you than speaking myself. My purpose is not now to defend my religion, but to listen to your defense of yours.” “ Well, then, allow us to have our mystery, too. If you cannot explain all, neither could we • but neither with ua nor with you was that a reason for not believing at all. It was the mys tery itself, perhaps, attracted ua and attracts you The love of tho unintelligible is at tho root of all systems of religion. If man is unintel ligible to us, shall not God be ? Man has always invested his goda with his own passions, and hia gods aro for tho most part his own shadows cast out into infinite space, enlarged, gigantic, and mysterious. Man cannot, with the utmost ex ercise of hia faculties, get out of himself any more than he can leap over his own shadow. He cannot comprehend (or inclose within him self) God, who comprehends and encloses him; and therefore he vaguely magnifies his own powers, and calls the result God God the Infinite Spirit made man; but in every system of religion makes Goa. In our own reason He is the best that wo can imag ine—that is, our own selves purged of evil and extended. Wo cannot stretch - beyond our- BC ‘‘At but vour goda wore not the best you could conceive. They wore lower of nature than man himself in some particulars, and were guilty of acts that vou yourself would reprove. This is because you consider them purely in their mvthical history, according to the notions of the common ignorant mass—not looking be hind those acts which were purely typical, often simply allegorical, to the ideas which they rep resented and of which they were incarnations. You cannot believe that so low a system as this satisfied the spiritual needs of those august and refined souls who still shine like planets in the sky of thought. Do you suppose that Plato and Epictetus, that Zeno and Socrates, that Seneca and Cicero, with their expand ed minds, accepted these low formulas of Divinity ? As well might I suppose that the low superstitions of the Christian Church, in which the vulgar believe, represent the highest philos ophy of the best thinkers. Yet for long centu ries of superstition the Church has neon accept ed by you just as it stands, with its saints and their miracles, and its singular rites and core monies. Nor has any effort boon made to cleanse the bark of-St. Peter of the barnacles and rub bish which encumber, and defile it. Religious faith easily degenerates into superstition in the common raiud. And why has the superstition been accepted ? Simply because it is so deeply ingrained into the belief of the unthinking mass, that there might be danger of destroying all faith by destroying the follies and accidents which had become imbedded in it. Not only for this; bv moans of these very superstitions men may beled and governed, and leaders will not surrender or overthrow means of power. Yet the best mind,” he continued, “did what thov could in *ncient days to purify and refine tho’popular faith, and sought even to elevate their notions of the goda by educating their sense of the beautiful, and by presenting to them images of the gods unstained by low pas sions and glorious in their forms.” “But surely your idea of Jupiter or Zeus,” I answered, “ was most unworthy when with that which we ontorlain of the infinite God, the source of all created things, the solo and supremo Creator. The Hebrews certainly at tained a far loftier conception in their Jehovah than vou in vour Jupiter.” “ What matters names ?” ho replied ; “ Zeus, Jehovah, God, are all more names, and the ideas they represented were only differenced by the temperaments and character of the various peo ples who worshiped them.” “But the .lohovah of the Jews was not merely the head ruler of many gods, but a single uni versal God. one and infinite.” “ No! T think not. The Jehovah of the Jews underwent mr.uv changes and developments with the growth of the Hebrew people ; and in many of their writings ho ia represented as a passionate, vindictive, and even unreasonable and unjust od. whoso passions were modified by human arguments. And, so far from being a universal Gotl of all, ho was specially the God of the Hebrews, and in so constantly represented in their Scriptures. Ho comes down upon earth and interferes personally in the doings of men, and talks with them, and discusses questions with them, and sometimes oven takes their ad vice. In process of time this notion is modified, and assumes a nobler typo ; but ho is never the Universal Faf ;r, nor the God whose essence is love—never, that is. until the coming of Christ, who first enunciated the hlca that God is love — rejoicing over the earing o I man, far and above all human passions. ‘Vengeance is mine’was the original idea of Jehovah; and He was feared and worshiped by the Jews as their peculiar God, whoso chosen people they were. As for his unit*/, whatever may have been the popular au pers’Utious of the Greeks and Romans, God is recognized by the greatest and purest minds as one and indivisible, the Father of all, who com mands all, who creates all, who is invisible and omnipotent. Do you not remember the frag ment of the Sybilitna verses preserved by Lac tantius, S. Thcophilus Antiochonus, and S. Jue tinus, where it is said that Zeus was one being alone, self-creating, from whom all things are made, • who beholds all mortals, but whom no mortal can behold ? And Euripides cxclaims, “ Where is the house, the fabric reared by man. that could contain the immensity of God i ” and r xids that the true God needs uo sacrifices on his ultar. And Sophocles, also in similar lines, proclaims the unity and uni versality of God. And Theocritus, in his Idylls, echoes the same sentiment. The same oast of thought, the same lofty idea of God, ia found among vho ancient Romans. Lucan exclaims in his ** I’harsaha If you can over- “ Jupiter cst quod ciimquo video, quo cumquo mo veri?.” Valerius Somtius makes him tho one universal omnipotent God, tho Father and Mother of us all: ♦‘Jupiter onmipotens, regum rcmmquo denmque, Proncuifar, dciuu, ccua nuus ct omnee. Can any statement bo larger and more Inclusive than this ? Such indeed was the true philo sophic idea of Jupiter, as entertained by tho best and most exalted in ancient days. You must go to the highest sources to learn what tho highest notions of Deity are among anv people, and not grope among tho popular superstitious and, myths. Then, again, what nobler expressions of our relation to an infinite and universal*spirit of God aro to be found than in Epictetus and Seneca ? 4 God is near you, is with you, is within you.’ Seneca writes. ‘ A sacred spirit dwells within us. tho observer and guardian of all our evil and all our good. There is no good man without God.’ And again : 4 Even from a corner it is possi ble to spring up into heaven. Rise, therefore, and form thyself into a fashion worthy of God.’ And again: ‘lt is no advantage that con science is shut ut) within us. AYo lie open to God.’ And still again: ‘Do you wish to render the gods propitious? Be virtuous.’ One mpdit cite such passages for hours from the .writings of these men. Can you, then, think that our notions of God and duty were so low and no debased ? “But, after all, through this there is a belief in a pure and infinite Being beyond—a Being be yond all human passion; not imperfect and sub ject to wild caprices, and capable of abominable acts.” “ You eco, wo go back to the same question,” ho replied. “You profess to worship a* God above nature, aud yet your prayers aro to Christ, the man,—to the saints, who wore lower men and women, —and you cling to these as me diators. Well; and wo* also believed in a Spirit aud Power undefined aud above all, whoso na ture we could not grasp, and who expressed Him self in even* living thing. Our gods were but anthropomorphic symbols of special powers aud developments of an inlinito aud overruling power. They partly represent, in outward shapo and form, philosophic ideas and human notions about the infinite God, and partly body forth tho phenomena of nature, that hint at tho great ulti mate cause behind them, of which they aro, so to speak, tho outward garment, by which tho Universal Deity is made visible to man. In our religion nature* was but tho veil which half hid tho Divine power. Everywhere they peered out upon ua, from grove aud river, from night and morning, from lightning and storm, from all tho elements and all tho changes and mysteries of tho living universe. It delighted ua to feel thoir absolute, active presence among us,—not far away from ua, involved in utter obscurity, and beyond our comprehension. Wo saw the Great Cause in its second piano, close to us, in the growing of tho flower, in tho drifting of the cloud, in theorising and sotting of the sun. Our gods (representing the great idea beyond, and doing its work) were-anthropomorphic by neces sity, just as vours are in art. Tho popular fables aro but the mythical garb behind which lie great facts and truths. They am symbolical representa tions of tho great processes of nature, of tho laws of life and growth, of tho changes of the seasons, of tho strife of the elements. * Apollo was the life-giving sun; Artemis, tho mysterious moon; Ceres and Proserpine, the burial of tho grain in tho earth, and its reappear ance and fructification. So, on another plane, Minerva was the philosophic mind of man; Venus, the imprisoned ’ embodi ment of human love, as Eros was of spiritual af-• factious; Bacchus, the serene and full enjoy ment of nature. Wo but divided philosophically what you sum up in one final cause; but all our divisions look back to that cause. In an im aginative people like the Greeks, there is also a natural tendency to mythical embodiment of facts in history as well as in nature; and, in the early periods, when little was written down, tra ditions easily assumed the myth form. Ideas were reduced to visible shapes, and facts were etborealized into ideas and im aginatively transformed. Tho story of Diana and Endymion, of Cupid and Psyche, will always be true—not to tho reason, but to the imagination. It expresses poetically a sentiment which cannot die. So also, what matters it, if Dmdalus built a ship for learns, and Icarus was simply drowned ? Sublimed into poetry, it became a myth, and learns flew on waxen wings across the sea. All poetry is thus allegorical. Tho wind will always have wings until it ceases to blow. These myths are simply poetic moulds of thought, in which vague senti ments, ideas, and facts are wrought together into an express shape. Think what your own literature or thought would be without the old Grecian poems. Let the reason reject them as it will, aud drive them out into tho cold, the im agination will run forth and bring them back again to warm and cherish them on its breast. Facts, as facts, are but dead husks. The spirit cannot live upon them. Besides ; are not our myths enchanting ? -Could anything take THE CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE: SUNDAY, MARCH 30, 1873. their place? Can science, peering into all things, ever find' tho secrets of nature. After all its explorations, tho final element of life, tho motive and inspiring element, that is tho essence of all tho organism it uses, and with out which all is mere material, mere machinery, flees utterly beyond its reach, and leaves it at last with only Quat in its hands. Poes not tho little child that makes playmates of the flowers, and the brooks, and the sands, find God there bettor than any of us ? The subtle divinity hides anywhere, entices everywhere —is just out of reach everywhere. We cirtch glimpses of it, breathe its odor, hear its dim voice, see the last flutter of its robe, pursue it endlessly, and never can seize it. Tho poet is poet because bo loves this spirit in nature, and comes nearer it; hut he cannot grasp it; and for all his pursuit he comes back laden at last with a secret be cannot quite tell, and shapes us a myth to express it as well as ho may.” “But surely,” I answered, we should distinguish between mere poetry and fact— between science and fancy. So long as we admit the unreality of merely fan ciful creations and explanations of facta, wo may bo pleased with them; but let us not bo misled by thorn into a belief of their scientific truth.” “Ah, His the old story! Tho little child has a bit of wood, which, to her, in the free ulay of her imagination, is a person with good and bad qual ities, who acts well or ill, whom she loves or de spises. She whips it; ehe caresses it; she scolds it; she sends it to school or to bod; she for gives it and fondles it. All is real to the child more real, perhaps, than to tho nurse w ho stands beside her and laughs at her, and says ‘ How silly I Como away,—it id only a stick!’ Which is right ? The Greeks were the child, and you are tho nurse. What is truth, which is always on our lipa,—truth of history, truth of science, truth of any kind ? Who knows, —history ? Two persons standing together see tho same occur rence, —is it tuo same to both? Far from it. The literal friend is amazed to hear what the im aginative friend saw. Yet both may bo right in their report, only one saw what the other had no senses to perceive. Wc only see and feel ac cording to our natures. What we are modifies what wo see. Out of tho camomile flower tho physician makes a decoction, and the poet a song. History is but a dried herbarium of with ered facta, unices tho imagination interpret them. I cannot but smile at what is called ins ton* ; and of all history, that of our own Boman world seems tho strangest, because, perhaps, I know it best.” “Ah !” I broke in, “ how one wishes you had written us familiar memoirs of your time, and given us some intimate insight into your life, your thoughts, your daily doings. Wo have bo to grope about in the dark for any knowledge of you. And then, in tho history of aid, what dread ful blanks ! Ido not feel assured, except from vour ‘ Meditations, ’ as wo call them, and your letters, that wo really know anything accurately about you. About tho Thundering Legion, for instance—what is tho truth r” “There,” he answered, “is an instance of tho case with which a fable is made, and how a sim ple fact mar he tortured into an untruth merely to suit a purpose. When I was on my campaign against the Quadi, in tho year 174, tho incident to which vou refer happened. Tho spring bad been cold'and late, and suddenly the heats of summer overtook us in tho enemy’s country. After a long and difficult march on a very hot day, wo suddenly came upon the enemy, who, descending from tho mountains, attacked ns, overcome with fatigue, in the plains. The bat tle went against us for some time, for my army suffered so from thirst, and heat, and exhaustion that they were unable to repel the attack, and wore forced back. While they were in full re treat and confusion, suddenly tho sky became clouded over, and a drenching shower poured upon us. My men, who woro dying of thirst, stopped fighting, took off their helmets and reversed their ehielda to catch tho rain, and while they were thus engaged tho enemy renewed their assault with double fury. All seemed lost, when suddenly, as sometimes occurs among the mountains, a fierce wind swept down with terrible peals of thunder and vivid flashes of lightning; the ram changed into hail, which was .blown and driven with such fury into the facer of tho enemy, that thev were confounded and confused, and began in their turn to fall back. My own men, having tho storm only in their backs, refreshed by tho rain they bad drunken from their shields and hel mets, and cooled by their bath, now anew at tacked, and pouring upon their foe with fury, cut them to pieces. Among my soldiers at this tirao was an old legion, organized in tho time of Au gustus, named tho Fulminata, from tho fact that they boro on their shields a thunderbolt, and upon thid simple story, repeated by many early writers in the Christian Church, that this legion was composed of Christians only, that tho storm was a miraculous interpreta tion of their God in answer to their prayer, and that they then received tho name of Fulminata. in commemoration of this miracle. This is the simple truth of the care. My men said that Jupiter Pluviua'casne to their aid, and they sacrificed to him in gratitude ; and on the column afterwards dedicated to mo in commem oration of my services by the Senate, you will seo the sculptured figure of Jupiter Tluvius, from whoso beard, arms, and head tho water is streaming to refresh my soldiers, wliilo his thunderbolts are flashing against tho barba rians.” As be spoke these words, a flash of lightning, so intense as to blind the lamps, gleamed throngh tho room, followed hr a startUng peal of thunder, which seemed to shako not only the house but tho sky above us. He smiled and said, “ Wo should have said m older time that Jupiter affirmed the truth of my statement: but you are above such puerilities, I suppose." Certainly I should not say it was a sign from Jupiter. Tho thunder was on tho left, and that was considered by you a good omen, was it not ? * El ccrll genltor de parte serena Intomilt Uevuni.’” “ This thunder on tho left was considered a good omen. But what was it you said after you asked the question ? You seemed to bo making a quotation in a strange tongue,—at least a tongue I never beard.” “ That was Latin.” I answered, blushing a lit tle, "and from Virgil—Virgilius, perhaps, I ought to say—or perhaps ilaro." “Ah! Latin was it,” he said; “I beg your pardon. I thought it have been a charm to avert the Evil Eye that yon were uttering,” “As difficult to understand as the Elousmian mysteries,” I said. “ And, by tho way, what were the Eleusiuian mysteries ?” "Tbev were mysteries! lean merely say to you that they concealed under formal rites the worship of the spirit of nature, as symbolized in Dcmetor, aud Persephone, and Dionysos. In their purest and hidden meaning, they represent ed the transformation, purification, and resurrec tion of humanity in a now form and in another existence. But lam not at liberty to say more than this. Tho outward rites woro for tho mul titude the inner meaning for the highest and most developed minds. Were it pdmuttod to mo to explain them to .yon, I think you would not take so low a view of our religious philosophy as von now seem to have. What you hoar and read of was merely tho outward and mystical drama, with its lustrations and fasting, and cakes of ses-me and honey, and processions—as symboli cal in its way as yonr mass aud baptism, and hav ing as pure a significance. Bat " ho continued, “ to revert to the ques tions which wo were previously discussing. It seems to mo in certain respects that your Faith is not even so satisfactory as ours ; for its tendency is to degrade-tho present in view of the future, and to debase humanity in its own view Life with ns was not considered disgrace ful nor man a mean aud -ontemptiblo creature. Wo’did not systimaticall} humiliate ourselves and cringe before tho Divine powers, but strove to stand erect, and not to forget that wo were made by God after his own imago. We did not affect that false humility which in tho view of tho ancient philosophers was contemptible—nay, oven wo thought that tho pnde of humility waa ■ of all the most despicable. We sought to keep ourselves just, obedient to our beat instincts, temperate and simple, looking upon life as a noble gift of the gods, to bo used for noble pur poses We believed, beside this, that virtue should be practised for itself, and not through any hope of reward or anv fear of punish ment hero or hereafter. To act up to our highest idea of what was right was our principle, not out of terror or in tho hope of conciliating God, hut because it was right ■ and to look calmly on death, not ns an enl. but as a step onward to another existence. To desire nothing too much ; to hold, oneself eqnal to any fato ; to keep oneself in harmony with nature and with one’s own nature; calmly to endnro what is inevitable, steadily to abstain from all that is wrong; to remember that there ia no such thing as misfortune to the brave and wise hat only phantasms that falsely assume these shapes to shake the mind; that when what we wish does not happen, we shonld wish what does happen; that God hath given ua courage, m- "nan unity, and fortitude, so that wo may stand up against invasions of evil and bear mis fortune. Such were our principles, and they enabled ns to live heroio lives, vindicating the nobility of human nature, and not despising it :as base and lost; believing in tho justice of God and nht on his caprice and enmity to any of us, and having no ignoble fear of the future.” "But are not for the most part these principles onra?" I answered. “Do we not believe that virtue is the grand duty of man ? Do none of ns seek to live heroic lives, and sacrifice our- solves to do good to the world and to our broth ers ?” “ Certainly, you lead heroic lives; but your great principle*is humility,—your great motive, rewara or fear. You profess to look on tnia life as meau and miserable, and on yourselves as creatures of the dust; and you declare that you have no claim to bo saved from eternal damna tion by leading a just life, but only by a capri cious election hereafter. You profess that your God is a God of lore, and you attribute to Him enmity and injustice of which you yourself would bo ashamed. You think you aro to bo saved because Christ died on tho cross for you, and aro not sure of it oven then. But with us every one deserved to bo tried on his own merits, and to expiate hia own errors and crimes.” “It is supposed by some that you wore half a Christian yourself. Is this so ?” “If you meau that I reverenced tho life and doctrines of Christ, and saw in Him a pure man, I certainly did. But in my principles I was a stoic purely, and it is only as a philosopher that I admired tho character of Christ. You think the principles ho preached wore new ; they were really as old as tho world almost. Hia life was blameless, and he sacriliced his life for Ills principles ; and for this X reverence him, but no furtner. Hin followers were, however, far less pure and self-denying, and they sought power and endeavored to overthrow tho State.” “ Was it for this you persecuted them?” I said. “I did not poraecnto them,” ho answered. “ As Christians they were perfectly free in Borne. All religions were free, and all admitted. No ono was interfered with merely for hia religious belief and worship, whether it were that of Isis, of Mithra. or of Jehovah, or of any other deity. It was only when tho Christiana endeavored to attain to power and provoke disturbance in tho State, to abuse authority, and set at defiance tho laws, that it became necessary—or, at all events, was considered necessary —to stop them. When they were not content with worshipping accord ing to their own creed, but aggressively de nounced tho popular worship as damnable, and sought to cast public contempt on all gods but their own, they outraged the public sense as much as if any one now should denounce Christ as a vagabond, and seek by abuse to overthrow your Church by all sorts of blasphemous lan guage. Nor would it matter in the least in your own time that any person so outraging decency should be absolutely honest in hia intentions, and assured in his own mind of the truth of hia own doctrines. Suppose ono step further, that any set of won should undertake not only to turn Christ into ridicule publicly, but should also abuse the government and conspire to over throw the monarchy. You would then have a case similar to that of tho Christiana in my day. At all events, it was believed that it was a settled plan with.them to overthrow the empire, and it was for this that they wore, as you call it, persecuted. For my own part, I was sorry for it, deeming in such matters it was better to take no measures so severe : but I personally bad nothing to do with it. It was tho fanatical zeal of the Government, who, acting without my com mands, took advantage of ancient Jaws to punish tho Christians; and this your own TartuMian will prove to you. They undoubtedly supposed that the Christiana were endeavoring to creator political and social revolution, —that thovworo in fact Communists, as you would now call them, intent upon overthrowing the State. I confess that there was a good deal of color given to such a judg ment by tho conduct of tin Christians. But as for myself, as I said, I was opposed to any movement against them, believing them ail to bo of honest purpose, though perhaps some what excited and fanatical.” “ Whv did you think that they were Com munists*?” I asked. “ Had you any sufficient grounds for such a belief ?” . “ Surolv ; the most ample grounds in tho very teachings’of Christ himself. His system van essentially communistic, and nothing eise. ills followers* and disciples wore all Communists ; they all lived in common, had a common puree, and no ono was allowed to own anything. They wero ordered by Christ not to labor, but to hvo from day to day. and take no heed of the future, and lav up nothing, but sell all they bad, and live like the ravens. Christ himself denounced riches constantly—not tho wrong use of riches, but tho mere possession of them ; and said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Not a bad rich man, observe, but any rich man. So, too, hia story of Lazarus and Dives turns on tho same point. It does not ap pear that Lazarus was good, but only that ho was poor; nor docs it appear that Dives was bad, but only that ho was rich ; and when Dives in Hades prava for a drop of water, he is told that ho had tho* pood things in his lifetime, and Laz arus tho evil things, and that therefore ho is now tormented, and Lazarus comforted.” “But, snrelv.” I answered, “it was intended to mean that i)ivos had not used his riches prop erly ?” “Nothing is said of tho kind, or even inti mated ; for all that appears, Dives may have been a good man. ana Lazarus not. The only apparent virtue rf Lazarus is, that ho was a beg gar- the only fault of Dives, that ho was rich. Do von not remember, also, the rich young man who desired to bccomo ono of his followers, and a-ke-1 what ho should do to be saved? And Christ told him that doing the commandments, and being virtuous and honest, was not enough ; but that ho must sell all that he had, and give it to tho poor, and then bo could follow Him, and tho rich Rood man was very sorrowful, and went away. Wlmt doe* all ibis mean but Communism ? Yob: tho system Ho would carry out was com munity of goods, and Ho would permit no one to have possessions of bis own. It was this which made his hoct so feared and hated among certain classes in Homo. But, for myself, I had never anv band in any persecutions, citber.of Christians or others, nor was I over aware that they were persecuted. I know that persons were punished for political offenses who happenedto bo Christians : and that was all. I think, that hanpeued. Believe mo, my soul was averse from all such things, nor would I over allow* oven my enemies to ho persecuted, much less those who merely differed from mo on moral and philo sophical theses. Nay, I may say they diffcicd httlc f r om mo oven on those points, as yon may well see if von read that little diary of mine m rannonia, wherein X was not so base as to ho to I cried, “ that book is a moat precious record of tho purest and highest mo rality.” • ...... ** *XiH a poor thing,” ho answered, “ but sin cere I strove to act up to my best principles ; but life is difficult, and man is not wiho, *ud our opinions arc often incorrect. Still, 1 strove to act according to my. nature —to do the things which were lit for me. and not to bo diverted from them by fear of any blame ; to keep the divine part in mo tranquil and content; and to look upon death and life, honor and dishonor, pain and pleasure, as neither good nor evil m themselves, but only in tho way m which wo re ceive them.' For fame I sought not; for what is fame but a smoke that vanishes, a nver that mu a drv, a lamp that scon ia extinguished—a tale of a day, and scarcely oven so much. There fore it hclitVuH not deeply to consider it, bat to pass on through tho little space assigned to ua conformably to nature, and in content, and to leave it at last grateful for wnat wo have received, just as an olive falls off when it is ripe, blessing nature which produced it, and thanking tho tree on which it grow, bo, also, it is our dutv not to defilo the divinity in our breast, but to follow it tranquilly and obediently as a god, saving nothing contrary to tnath, and doing nothing contrary to justice. For our opinions are but running streams, flowing in various wave; but truth and justice are over the same, and permanent, and our opinions break about them ae tho waves round a rock, while they stand Ann forever. For every accident of life there Is a corresponding virtue to exercise ; and if wo consult the divine within us, wo know what it is As wo cannot avoid tho inevitable, wo should accept it without murmuring; for we cannot struggle against the gods without injur ing ourselves. For tho good we do to others, wo have our immediate reward ; for the evil that others do to us, if we cease to think of it, there is no evil to us. It is by accepting an offense, and entertaining it in our thoughts, that wo increase it, and ren der ourselves unhappy, and veil our reason, and disturb our senses. As for our life, it should bo given to proper object*, or it will not be decent : in itself; for a man k.fcio same in quality as the object that engages bis thoughts. Our whole nature takes the color of our thoughts and ac tions. We should also be careful to keep our selves from rash and premature judgments about men and things; for often a seeming wrong done to us is a wrong only through our misapprehen sion, and arising from our fault. And so, mak ing life as honest as possible, and calmly doing our duty in the present, a» the hour and tho act requires, and not too curiously considering the future beyond us, standing ever erect, and be lieving that the gods aro just, we may make our passage through this life no dishonor to the Power that placed ua bore. Throughout the early portion of my life, my father, Antoninus Plug x call him ray father, for he waa over dear’ to me, and was like a father,—taught mo to bo laborious and assiduous, to be serene and just, to be sober and kind, to be bravo and without envy or vanity ; and on bis death-bed, when he felt the shadow coming over him, he ordered the Captain of the Guard to transfer to mo tho golden statuette of Fortune, and gave him his last watchword of ‘ Equanim ity.’ From that day to tho day when, in my turn, I loft the cares of empire and of life, I ever kept that watchword in my heart —equanim- ity ; nor do 1 know a better one for any man. “ Oh, tell me, for yoi know,” I cried, “ what ia there behind this dark veil which we call death ? You have told me of your opinions and thoughts and principle* of life, hero; hut ofthat life hereafter you have not said a word. Wha* is it ?” There was a blank silence. I looked up—the chair was empty! Tiiat noble figure was no longerthere. •* Fool that I was ! ” I cried, ‘ 4 why did I dis cuss with him those narrow questions belong ing to life aud liistory. and leave that stupendous question unasked winch torments us all, and of which he could have given tho solution ?” I rose from my chair, and, after walking up and down tho room several minutes, with the influence of him who had left me still filling my being as a refined an;- delicate odor, I went to the window, pushed wide tho curtains, and looked out upon tho night. The clouds were broken, and through a rift of deep, intense blue, the moon was loosing out on tho earth. Far away, tho heavy and ragged storm was hovering over the mountains, sullen and black, and I recalled tho words of St. Paul; “ When tho Gentiles, who have not the :aw, do by nature tho things contained in tho law, those having not the law are a lair unto them selves, and the doers of tho law shall be justified.” . BABY AND MUSTARD PLAYING BALL. A FLORIDA INCIDENT. Koon In the tropics, blue and bright, Under the palm-tree stands uprigat; The dew of the rainbow i: burned in a glare, Rut it leavM a dazzle and flush in the ilr; Ami tho breath of the fragrant month of June Is sweet with tho spices of summer noon. Under the shatluck and lemon trees Grandpa dozes away at cose; The with its crimson hood. Id scattered about like drops of blood; Slips into hia slumber, aud interweaves A dream of the arrows parting tho leaves. And the gallant fellows who full with Dade In the reddened grass of tho Everglade, And tho Colonel-Governor going to dine, With his own blood red in the cups of wine. The poUiccana’a panicles, ■With bird-of-paradiae plume and bells, Are steeped in bud, till petals arj rolled In tiny edging of scalloped gold; And the Cape jessamine’s scented snow Breathes in the fragrance and In the glow ; And the spice of the oleander flics Under the lids of his sleepy eyes ; And a cypress-vine hath blown a score Of scarlet blooms on the puncheon floor— Over the floor and rustic hall Where baby and Mustard are playing ball: Baby a round little one-summer man, And Mustard a pickle of bbek-and-ian.' And sweet little rustic scene it is Of tropical splendor and homely bliss. The sunburned baby, as brown as a nut, Tosses the ball in the broad log-hu f , Till Mustard catches It, hand over Land, And rolls outside, with a bump, on the sand ; And grandpa dozes and inly grieves. As he dreams of the arrows parting the *eaves ; While baby backs on his limber wrist. Holding the bone-rattle fastiu his fist. And over the stoop, with a stumble and fall. For Mustard and bqby are playing ball. Chubby and saucy, my brave little man. Collar and tousle the black-and-tan, For he can bound and bounce with the ball. While you, my little one, have to crawl. And flower and foliage fence you in The porches of yellow jessamine. But outside meadows have daffadowndillies, And all the lake margin is white with lilies, Where the shadows of flying paroquets, Green and gold iu the quivering heats, Seem to plunge in the water, and skim In a cool refreshing under-swim ; Far under the nosing alligator, Whose bubbling spine along the water Startles the shadowy-white egret Out of the border of emerald wet; While grandpa dozes and dreams again Of an old wound opened with fresh red stain, And knows not baby has on all fours Crept and tumbled quite out-of-doors. Nor hears the mocking-bird's mimic call Of baby and .Mustard playing balk Spine japonlcas, princc’s-feather, Dahlias and asters crammed together ; Lilacs, laburnums, virgin’e-crace. And pafeaion-flower In blue and lace; Catch-fly and cockscomb, crimson ruffed, Portulaccas and candy-tuft; . Orchids, pinks, and anemones, The myriad phlox and argemonea ; Marigold, bearfe-eate, violet, Verbenas and pansies, mignonette ; Sensitive plant and the rose of Sharon, Adam’s needle and the rod of Aaron— Growing together, the wild and tame. And more that the florist can not name, For every spear-grass shows a comb. And weeds in flower are quite at home. A jolly play-ground this for the man, playing at ball with the biact-and-um. And mamma away at her spinning-wheel; While grandpa, shuddering, seems to feel Tho Indian arrow-head scrape the bone, And awakes with a sudden sigh or groan— Awakes for a hasty glance and call To baby and Mustard playing ball. Grand is the golden Florida Juno In the sweet of the fragrant afternoon, In vital being so rich and rife ; Tho lake's white pebbles arc sparks of hfc, And the fountain, bubbling hour by hour, Blooms in a beautiful foamy flower. With stamen and pistils of priamy spray, And pollen of sunshine blowing away, Bat baby, with crab-like lurch and crawl, And frisky Mustard had lost the ball. When out of tho portulacca bed, There shoots a cone-shaped, scaly head. The red blood curdles and hard bones quake At the whir of the deadly rattlesnake Not a foot from tho baby's chubby fiat, Hus climhed'corala and lifted wrist— Too late for help : no bullet could flr Before tho little ouo has to die. Ol>l God of mercy ! how dread a screen To draw before the beautiful scene ! All life and loveliness ! at a breath The horror and shudder of sudden death ! A little white dove, whose tender plumes Scarce beat the air with their feathery flumes. Plucked by a cruel hand, and the spit Scut quivering, bleeding, quite through it; A Utile white bud that's pulled apart To the pink of its innocent little heart, That might have given some Joy, we know. Had it been left alone to blow; All cruel things that we do each day Sum and complete themselves in the way The cruel snake, with its cusped fang. Out of the portulaccaa sprang. Careless, unconscious, bravo little one, Tawnv and ripe in the Florida atm. Chubby and naked, with nut-liko fist. He strikes with a lubv’s random wrist. The coiled snake struck, in ccllisivo battle, Hia pciscn fangs—in tho baby’s rattle! Te Deum laudamwf! A baser cause, Has stirred and wakened a people's When a shouting army, in rank on rank. Have crowded the churches Just to thank Their God, with vocal and brazen din, That He has permitted them so to sin. But tarry your glad surprise— A Florida rattlesnake never flies. The beauty of swiftly-recovered coil. Sudden and smooth as the glide of oil. And the shuddering boat of his deadly hum Is the rattlesnake’s rallying tenor drum. Courage! little one, chubby and tough, But surely now you have done enough V 2fot, with your baby and naked hands. To grapple the pretty thing in the sands 7 Yet grandpa's shout and mamma’s scream Burnt like life in a startled dream. Too late; but Mustard has beard the call, And goes for the snake instead of the bail. Tug and twist, and a sudden Jerk- Bravo ! Mustard has done the work! Limp, with tho life beginning to fail, Down to tho tip of his rattle-tail, While grandpa nowdera away at his head. And—ruins tho’portulacca bed. And this, I gather, will do for all Of baby and Muntard playing ball In the fragrant Florida afternoon And juicy beauty of spicy Jund; And, like the snake, to end wiih a tale—: One dog in the world there is, “not for sale.” Jesus, who loveth and • Some to mercy and some to Biased are such as receive grace, And In their little ones see Hisifarj, —Will Wallace Harney in Harper'* Magazine for April* —. The Joyless American Face. ' "What is to bo done to prevent this acrid look of misery from becoming &u organic characteris tic of onr people ? “ Mak-J them play more,” says ono philosophy. No doubt they need to “ play more hut, when one looks at the aver age expression of a Fourth of July crowd, one doubts if ever so much multiplication of that kind of holiday would mead the matter. No doubt we work for too many days in the year, and play for too few; but, after all, it is the heart, and the spirit, and the expression that wo bring to our work, and ijot those that wo bring to our play, by which our real vi tality must bo tested, and by which our faces will be stamped. If we do network health fully, rcasoningly, moderately, thankfully, joy ously, we shall have neither moderation nor gratitude, nor joy in our plsy. And here is the hopelessness, here is the root of the trouble, of the joyless American face. The worst of all demons, the demon of unrest and overwork, broods in the very sky of this land. Blue and clear and crisp ana sparklingas our atmosphere la, it cannot or docs not exercise the spell. Any old man can count on the fingers of one hand the persons be has known who led lives of se rene, unhurried content, made for themselves occupations and not tasks, and died at last what might bo called natural deaths. So long as the American is resolved to do in one day the work of two, to make in one year the fortune of his whole life and his children’s, to earn before be is iO the reputation which belongs to three scoro and ten, so long ho will go about the streets wearing his present abject, pitiable, overwrought, joyless look. But, even without a change of heart or a reform of habits, ho might better his countenance a little, if ho would. Even if ho does not feel like smiling, he might smile, if he tried; and that would bo something. Tho muscles are all there; they count the same in the American as in the French or the Irish face; they relax easily in .youth; tho trick can bo learned. And even a trick of it is bettor than none of it. Laughing-masters might be as well paid as dancing-masters to help on society.— From Bits of Talk, by 11. B. LADY LUKE. The golden day was over, A glorious day in Juno ; And up from the shimmering ocean Slow rose the lady moon. And the wavelets on the shingle Rippled a slumbrous tune, Whilst an angel’s voice was singing A lay to ** la belle lune I” An angel, yes, though earth-born. The sheen of those vollet ejes I knew were but reflections Of hues from Paradise. Those tresses bathed in moonlight. That vestment’s classic fold. Seemed an angel’s snowy mantle. And radiant crown of gold. And I almost feared to see her Join “ sister spirits * fair. And ascend to the asphodel meadows Up yonder silver stair. So I drew her closer to me. And her hand more tightly press’d ; And lovingly her beauteous head She pillowed upon my breast. She was mine, she vowed, mine only. Whilst moons should wax or wane; She longed to give her virgin troth To me in holy fane. She sought not rank or honors, She spurned the thought of gold; The love I proffer’d to her Was more than wealth untold. She would share my name and fortunes. It could not bo too soon; She invoked, to witness that maiden vow. The changeable lady moon. And I kiss’d, and rebaptiz’d her. To those wavelets’ slumbrous tune, Bv, alas I the ominous title Of beautiful Lady Lune, She deserved it. Next November She married a big dragoon ; She shares his wealth. She owns hifl name, She is now his Lady*—Loon 1 —London Society. HTJMOB. Twisted hemp cures felons. # . When is charity like a bee? When it begin* tc hum. —The national pair o’ docs—Pub. docs and Mo- Can a son he said to take after his father, when tho father leaves nothing to take ? A Texas paper speaks of r * tho death of sev eral residents of this district by throat-disease, superinduced by razors.’’ the Chief of the Fire Department. 4< No won der,” was the reply; *• it was made to play.” —The little boy who sang, *‘l want to be an angel,” in Sunday-school with so much energy that he almost choked himself, confessed to an enterprising reporter that he really wanted to be a captain on a canal-boat. —Vermont forgets all the hardships of the past winter in jubilation over its maple-sugar season, and cheerfully asks. What’s the odds so long as it’s sappy ? —A political orator, speaking of a certain General whom he admired, said he was always on tho field of battle where the bullets were the thickest. “ ’Where was that ? ” asked one of tho auditors. “In the ammunition wagon,” re sponded another. — “Do you like Browning?” asked a reading man of a young lady whom he had taken down tc dinner. Tho fair creature by his side (who was no book-wonn) answered, “Yes. That is, Hike crackling.” “X am a self-made man,” said a sharper, the other day, to a gentleman whom he had just got the best of in a bargain. “I am glad to hear you say so,” responded the gentleman, “ for it relieves my Maker of a great responsi bihty.” ...... —fepivens says that he can’t perceive that the currency has any of tho elasticity that Boutwell brags about. He tried to stretch a fivo-dollai bill to a ten, but only succeeded in demonstrat ing the legal tenderness of the paper. Wo are inclined to believe that women are going for tho polls in dead earnest, from the fact that, of nine married men talking politics in a Danbury grocery, on Saturday evening, seven were entirely bald.— Danbury Ifeics. —Emmv (mamma’s volunteer Secretary); 14 How is this to be answered, Kitty? I don’t know what to say!—(Beads)— * 31rs. Fitzmode at home on tho 3Uth inst. from i to 6 o’clock.”* Kitty; “ Well, I shonld write and say mamma did not know Mrs. Fitzmode had been away, bui wonders she should return to stop only two hours! ” —A Parisian gun-maker has the following no tice outride hia window; “To those Disap pointed in Love. A Great Choice of Patent Re volvers. N. B.—ln the case is all the apparatus necessary for extracting the ball and dressing the wound.” —Punch finds fun in the coal famine. Wife— “o, Charles, how kind of the Browns!—freads)— 4 Mrs. Brown presents her compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Jones, and hopes they will give her the pleasure of their company at a fire party on Mon day, March 3. Fires lighted at 6:30.’” —ln St. Louie, the other Sunday, the Rev. Dr. Burlingame preached from the text: “How old art thou ?" The next day about one-third of the women in hia congregation called around to tell him that it was none of liis business. —The Macoupin (111.) Inquirer says that a Greeno County voting lady, who is worth 630,000, recently refused to many a clergyman because she thought ah© was unfit to bo the wife of a minister. He then abandoned hia sacred calling and proposed again. The second time eho de clined ms offer on the ground that she was too good to marry a man who would throw away hia clerical robes to win a woman’s hand. —O, the snore, the beautiful snore, filling her chamber from ceiling to floor! Over the cover lot, under the sheet, from her dimpled chin to her pretty feet! Now rising aloft like a bee in Jane; now sunk to the wail of a cracked bas soon! Now, flute-like, subsiding, then rising again, is the beautiful snore of Elizabeth Jane. —A fond father in Burlington growled like a dog with a sore head because a physician charged 61(J for removing a kernel of com from his son’s car, whore it had lodged. Ho said a coflin only coat 67, and the com would have sprouted soon, and might have been pulled up by the roots. —Recently it rained very heavily, and a beau tiful young lady was waiting in a doorway for a car. Up came polite youth, and, with a Chester flcldiau bow that would have delighted Edmund Yates, said : “ May 1 have the pleasure of pro tecting you with my umbrella ?” And she said, in a charming voice; “ Elevate your rag.” Ha looked as though the remark depressed him con siderably. —A Hartford toper appealed to a merchant of that city for the wherewithal to buy a drink. The merchant, being a temperance man, could not comply with his request; but the fellow’s imploring'manncr and condition touched him. “Wcll, n said the persistent fellow, “if you can’t give it to me, couldn’t you lend that gentle man ton cents (pointing to the clerk), and ho could give it to me.” It is needless to say that the chap got his ten cents. —A miadle-aged man, a stranger, was pitched upon bv a ruffian while crossing Essex street bridge, Saturday, and, after being pretty wollpum meled. was flung over the bridge. His cries brought out the neighbors, but the rumor sudden ly arising that the victim was a book agent, tho villain effected his escape. "When the bleed ing stranger heard what he had been taken for, he profanely regretted he hadn’t struck on his head when.ho went over the bridge, and frac tured his own skull. —Danbury JVetrs. —Filial piety sometimes assumes most affect ing forms. An Eastern physician, who pays a food deal of attention to anatomy, was presented y hia son, upon hia birthday, recently, with a very interesting corpse which tho devoted child had resurrected from tho cemetery the night be fore. When the father saw it, he sat down upon the piano-stool and burst into tears. He said that at least ho felt repaid for all tho trouble he hod with that boy, for all tho nights ho hod charged around the room with him in his infan cy, and for the anxiety with which the father had watched and directed the growth of the child's moral nature. —A Gallowstown ladv recently requested her husband to go to the dressmaker and tell her that eho (his wife) had changed her mind, and would have the watered silk made up instead of the poplin, and that “if she thinks it would look better with bias flounces, without puffing, and box plaited below tho equator, which should bo gathered in hemstitched gudgeons up and down the seams, with a gusset-stitch between, she can make it up that way, instead of fluting thebobi net insertion and piecing ont with point aj> plique, as I suggested yesterday.” The man i* now a raving maniac.-

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