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Manasseh went away.

The counsellor reflected long; but, in spite of his avarice, he could not make up his mind to sacrifice his daughter. In a fit of good faith, he almost vowed to keep his word with his old schoolfellow at the college of the Grey Monks.

(To be concluded next month.)

THAT DAY.
The sun, dear! the sun, dear!

Had a voice in his every ray,
To tell thee, dear! tell thee, dear!

Who was waiting for thee that day.

The birds were singing sweetly, dear!

Upon every sun-gilt spray;
And this said all their songs, dear !

• Why comes she not here this day ?'
The water was rippling brightly, dear!

In its old restless way;
And every ripple laughed, dear!

To see me alone that day.

The daisy from the grass,

dear! Peeped up, in its own sweet way, With a sister flower by its side, dear!

More blest than was I that day!

The winds were breathing sweetly, dear!

And kissing, in their warm play,
Kissing my brow and my lips, dear!

More fond than thou that day!

The bud on the naked bough, dear!

Seemed to start from the old decay ;
Called forth by the sudden shine, dear!

More inspired than thou that day.
The new-fallen lamb, from the sod, dear!

Arose, with but brief delay;
And blithely follow'd its dam, dear!

More alive than thou that day.
The clouds, dear! the clouds, dear!

Were each touched by a roving ray;
And I the only cloud, dear !

That sullenly looked that day.
All things enjoyed the sun, dear!

And smiled, in their spring-time way;
But I could not enjoy the sun, dear!

For the want of thy smile that day.

* W.*

No, 99,

P

194

THE PLEASURES OF WALKING. The increasing magnitude of our towns has its advantages, no doubt; but those advantages are purchased at a costly rate. The good in one scale is often overbalanced by evil in the other,by evil so subtle that it frequently escapes our notice.

Exhilarating exercise in the open air is now almost unknown to the middle and working classes of our largest towns, whose local position and occupations most particularly require it. More educated they may be than their ancestors, and possibly more temperate; but will knowledge convert the foul air of the city into a healthy atmosphere? or will temperance change the unhealthy handicraft into agreeable and healthful exercise? The manly' sports and games of our ancestors are gone, and, on the spot where they flourished, stands the public-house. By the townsman the beauties of nature are rarely seen, and when seen are rarely enjoyed or understood; for how should he take delight in this beautiful world, whose existence has vibrated between brick walls and the factory or forge ?

The pleasures derivable from muscular exertion, under favourable circumstances, will endure even to extreme old age. With us they barely last out our childhood. The greatest delight of the child is in vigorous bodily exertion. His other pleasures sink into nothing in comparison with this. And, in the country, when the labourers are well fed and not overworked, the delights of athletic exercise endure at least till middle life. If this be the case with the hard working agriculturist, ought we not still more to expect it from him who plies the sickly trade, and whose employments should demand the counterbalance of athletic exertion? Surely we ought not to look for his entire abandonment of these exercises, even from his boyish days. The desire, the craving is extinguished, because the opportunity is unceasingly denied ; nor do his brethren of the shop and counting-house fare much better. Bodily disease soon comes on, for the body brooks not the absence of its congenial exertion; mental disease appears also, for the mind droops in the absence of varied and pleasurable excitement; mind and body react painfully, and thence the hypochondriac, the fanatic, the felon, or the madman. The philosophers of Greece knew better; for the calls made by this corporeal frame, and they were not satisfied with having knowledge and talking of it, they habitually carried their knowledge into effect in their own persons, and verily they had their reward. They lived long and happily, and did such feats of mental power as the world longs again to see.

The physical perfection and length of life which our aristocracy now generally attain, must, in part, be attributed to their fondness for the sports of the field. Objectionable as these sports are in many respects, it is impossible to deny their salutary effects on those who practise them in moderation. We see frequent accounts of aged nobles undergoing a degree of corporeal exertion, under the name of sport, and with marked advantage to their health, which would be considered the height of barbarity if inflicted as labour or punishment on any persons of their age. Rationalize athletic diversions, extend them through all ages and ranks of the community, and a fine and happy race will soon spring up: or exclude such exercises, throw every obstacle in their way, stop footpaths, enclose village greens, leave no accessible open spaces in and around towns and cities, and the consequence will be a marked change in the health, and happiness, and morality of a people.

Our pleasures are not so numerous that we ought to cast off any one, far less those which, as conducing also to health, are in some sense the basis of all other pleasures. It especially behoves townsmen of the more educated classes to contend against the evil, which afflicts them above all others; and young townsmen should exert themselves to the utmost to retain those of their boyish pleasures on which their health and happiness so much depend.

İt is the crying sin of modern society, that young men, when their education is (as it is called) finished, find it necessary to recommence it upon some rational plan. A great proportion of the educated persons in this country are townsmen, and very many of these have been brought up in complete ignorance of external nature, and in utter incapacity to taste her pleasures. Is this large and most important class of our countrymen always to remain ignorant of the delights of nature? Are they to be completely cut off from so large a portion of the purest and most lasting pleasures of humanity? Are they to be debarred from relishing or even understanding the greater portion of the field of poetry and most of the fine arts? Are they to be kept perpetual prisoners within the bars of that great jail, an English city, and only now and then suffered to take a peep at the outskirts, where the best has been done to destroy nature, or to deform her, or render her ridiculous ? Prisoners indeed they are, and not the less so because they have been rendered prisoners by education and habit, no less than by physical necessity.

Few townsmen appreciate thoroughly the pleasures of walking in a fine country; for these, like most of our simplest, least exciting, and most durable pleasures, do not come upon us all at once. They are composed of a great number of small parts, and require time and habit to produce their effect.

The changes of scenery in a fine country, as they constantly Fary with the season, hour, and weather, as well as with the position of the beholder, must be dwelt upon somewhat, or they will not produce their full effect in raising pleasurable emotions. It will not do to scamper over the ground as if we were travelling express, keeping exclusively in well-worn localities. Still less will a hoodwinked vehicle suffice, dashing along the high road (usually the ugliest line in the locality) under perpetual anxiety lest ten miles an hour should not be accomplished. To be fully enjoyed, or even tolerably seen, a fine country must be walked through. The independence of the pedestrian will carry him into scenery attainable to no other traveller, and will allow him to dwell without limitation upon anything that strikes his fancy and gives him delight. He is not the slave of his horse or carriage, or the fettered slave of the rapid stage-coach. He is not mocked by pleasures which he sees, but cannot wait for or get at to enjoy. Nature must be lived in for a time, and walked through, or she cannot be thoroughly known and fully enjoyed; she must not be glanced at, and then fled from as if she were the cholera morbus or plague.

An occasional visit to the country, and especially a pedestrian visit, is a valuable medicine for the mind; whatever it presents is fresh, and healthy, and beautiful, and a relief from the daily routine of labour and care. It conveys us for the time into a newer and a better world. A thousand associations that otherwise might grow so strong as greatly to circumscribe our happiness, may thus be prevented from becoming indissoluble ; among which not the least formidable are the petty domestic habits, whose bonds are at once the strongest and the least observed.

To the body, a complete change of food, of air, and of exercise, often produces remarkable results; and no less extraordinary is the effect of a change of scene, of society, pleasures, and thoughts upon the mind. Judicious travelling affords both; and its striking effects are proverbial.

A perpetual residence on the same spot, especially in the interior of a great town, must greatly enfeeble, if it do not completely destroy, habits of external observation, and tend materially to decrease many valuable powers. In the country nature checks this by varieties of productions, of seasons, and of weather ; but, in large towns, the changes of nature, except from heat to cold, are few and little observed; and her most beautiful varieties are never seen. In towns we become quick enough in observing and criticising each other; but the pleasurable excitement arising from external observation of beautiful images, is, in most instances, comparatively small.

Rich materials are gathered by the observing and reflecting mind from the variety (however trivial in appearance) which well-conducted travelling ensures, both in men and nature. To the pleasure of constantly acquiring new information may be added subsidiary occupations, such as drawing or botany, mineralogy and zoology. A very superficial knowledge of these subjects may be a source of great pleasure and instruction. Attainments far short of those of the professed artist will be sufficient for purposes of pleasure, and much satisfaction may be derived from small outline sketches, which any one, after a few trials, may readily take. It is not to be imagined, without actual experience, how many objects, events, and emotions will be renewed long afterwards, by a glance at a few scratches of the pencil made on the spot, which are hardly to be deciphered by any but ourselves. A written journal will do much; and, in conjunction with a graphic journal, will all but restore the past to the present.

Acquaintance with botany and mineralogy will cause us to observe many gratifying objects which otherwise we should have passed unheeded. It is astonishing how heedless we are of a thousand noticeable physical objects which present themselves before us. We are like the blind amid beautiful colours and elegant and ever-varying forms; we are in fact next to blind; for though we may see nature as a beauteous whole, and rejoice thereat exceedingly, our eyes are closed to most of the minor beauties of the mineral and vegetable kingdoms, which are, nevertheless, formed to give delight, and come in with their gentle and varying aid when we have had our fill of larger prospects. The fact of having previously observed a few of the more common minerals will open our eyes wonderfully as regards the mineral kingdom wherever we go; and an equally superficial examination of the parts and structure of a few plants, and a slight knowledge of the Linnæan system, will bring many an interesting plant under our notice at times when we are not in a humour for anything more extensive.

The townsman, whose youth was passed in the country, finds that an occasional return to it is of real importance. A thousand joyous reminiscences are excited, and pleasurable trains of thought kept up which form the basis of a cheerful character, but which continued absence is sure to weaken or efface at the time when advancing age most needs their aid.

• These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration ; feelings, too,
Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.'

WORDSWORTH.

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