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that would happen duriug that time might place her beyond all risk. Besides, you shall speak your husband's words, as you wished, my precious one, and I must have time for practice, that they may approach to something like worthiness to be uttered by those lips. Then you must do another thing that I wished, my Walter; but that you cannot do, no, nor any one living-write your own praises as they deserve to be written.' Walter soon found that he did not need much practice. He continued to write, and his pieces continued to be successful; while her sketches were more greedily sought after, from the double interest which they had acquired. All cause of fear for her general health had vanished; and now he had but one, which was of an absorbing nature, and yet so mixed with joy at the prospect of another being like herself coming to dwell in such an atmosphere of love, that at times all fear was forgotten. She became a mother; she was safe-his own -quite safe, and there was the little helpless one, with a world wrapped up within it-a sacred trust--a part of her he worshipped, yes, worshipped too idolatrously; and he looked upon blossom and bud, and he wept over them; and then his heart laughed within him, and he wept again, and asked heaven what he had done that he should be so blessed-what he should do to continue to deserve such bliss. Mother and daughter continued rapidly to improve, and Walter began the eventful piece. You will not forget your promise of letting me have something to say about you, dear Walter ; how I shall long for it to come!' *Nay, love, I gave you no promise; I should not know what to write. Well, then, find out some place where I may say what I like; just a blank space that I may fill up;' and the place was found, and the piece was written, and the day arrived. There were no fears of success; there were no tremblings at thoughts of a failure; they had sufficient power to keep them ahead of the world ; they had high principle to carry them through all they did; and they had their own most secure treasure and comfort of love, of which nothing on earth could deprive them. Half the anxieties, half the tremors and fears and quakings that wait on any pursuit that brings man or woman a little more conspicuously forward than the multitude, arise from vanity and the excessive love to please—not to give pleasure; not from the intense interest in their object, but intense love of themselves; modesty, diffidence, bashfulness, are often, almost always, different words applied to that one feeling of selfconsciousness which excites the fear to come forward lest all that the world exacts should not be achieved. Walter had not to endure the pain of seeing any of these weaknesses in her he loved. The only suffering he had ever known through her was the result of her precarious health, and even then the tender pleasure of cheering her when there were pallid looks, of supporting her when there were trembling limbs, far outweighed all anxiety.

At the requisite hour they went to the theatre. I'he two old friends, one now a grandfather, the other trying to make himself believe he was one, and intending to put a like cheat on the little daughter, as far as teaching her to lisp him out as one could deserve the name, went with them ; the former to take his prescribed part in Walter's play, the latter to witness the triumph of her who, despite of her acquired matronly character, retained yet her old, or rather young, epithet of the darling. The house was full; the curtain rose; and all went well.

The time came for the utterance of the speech on which the wife had set her heart. A girl, the heroine of the piece, (who was at the same time Walter's,) was reproached with being about to marry one beneath her.

• He is not worth thy love;'—the wife's colour rose-her chest heaved-her form dilated—and her eyes flashed as though they would wither the speaker; for awhile her feelings seemed too intense for utterance; at last she spoke :

• Not worth my love! Hear this, ye blessed gods !
Ye who have dowered him with your precious gifts
So richly, that yourselves do feel a fear
Lest he should show himself as one of ye.
Oh! be not envious ; take not part in this;
Or rather lend thy lightning to mine eyes
To scorch yon rude blasphemer into dust.
Not worth my love! Were I the fairest fair,
Had all the wealth of twice ten thousand worlds,
They would be poorest dross compared with all
The treasure that his love doth bring to me.
Not worth my love! Come, come to me, my life,
My star from out the darkness—hope in gloom.
Come, let my soul leap through mine eyes to thine!
Oh let me hear that voice whose every tone
Comes like an angel to awaken love
Within the deep recesses of the heart!
Look on me! speak to me! and let me live
In learning how I may deserve thy love,

Or let me die---so it be in thine arms!' At the conclusion of the speech the audience rose with their enthusiasm. The blood which had rushed tumultuously to the face and neck of the speaker at the commencement, had now entirely deserted it. She remained some time motionless, and then gently turned her head towards the side scene-a thing she had been observed to do often during the evening—for why?-Walter was there. At last she was seen to totter, and the next instant Walter rushed on the stage, and caught her in his arms in time to save her from falling. The curtain dropped amidst the tumult of the house. This gradually subsided into a waiting quiet. No one stirred, for all were alike anxious for tidings. They waited longer-longer-yet no one came, and the stillness was again broken up, first by one voice, and then another, till at last there was an universal clamour for the manager. Another minute they were hushed into stillness by his appearance. Pale as ashes, with trembling lips, three words were all he uttered, 'SHE IS DEAD!' A universal shudder ran through the house, but no voice spoke. Slowly, silently, each one, as if treading over a grave, departed ; and nothing now remained save darkness and death!

S. Y. (To be continued.)

NATURE'S MINISTERIES.

Does thy heart bleed-has early grief

Planted its thorn within thy breast?
Oh! turn to nature for relief,

And she will soothe thee into rest.

From out her treasured flowers and dews

She will distil a healing balm,
And soft, into thy soul infuse

A heavenly and enduring calm.
Her voice, the voice of living things

Exulting in the bliss they share,
The murmur of the rippling springs,

The whisper of the summer air.
Yes, these, with softly varied tone

Shall win thee to the sweet belief,
That this wide earth is not alone

A scene of dark unmingled grief.
Dost thou, with tearful eye, look back®

Through the dim vista of long years,
Where childhood's brightly-gleaming track

Like a last ray of light appears?
Come to the daisy broidered mead,

And where the cowslip hangs its bell,
Oh! these will sweetly, gently lead

Thy spirit with a mystic spell.

To those loved scenes where Nature first

Opened her living springs to thee,
And thy young heart, by feeling nurst,

Gave back its own sweet melody.
Is thy soul sick ; does it recoil

From human guilt and human woe,
From sordid pride, and craft, and guile,

And pain that hath no hope below ?

Ol! lift thy dim and aching sight

From earth to heaven, and let it rest
Amidst those far-off worlds of light,

The dwelling-places of the blest.

Gaze on, for holy thoughts are there,

And high resolves, and strength, and power ;
The Spirit of the breathing air
Will bless thee in that hallowed hour!

C. P.

CORPORATION REFORM.

ONWARD rolls the movement, resistless in its progress, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, but still it rolls onward, gaining fresh impetus from every would-be impediment. The great Reform Bill for the purification of the national council has become a matter of history, and the lesser Reform Bill for the purification of the local councils has become the subject matter of public debate. The faults of the first are the faults of the last likewise. Rights are secured to the people, by law, but they are denied their exercise, by a system of private penalties over which the law has no controul. The people may vote for their representatives, but it must, in many cases, be as their taskmasters choose to direct, under pain of their taskmasters' persecution. The only remedy for this is to deprive the taskmaster of the knowledge how his dependent votes, by enabling the voter to vote in secret, i. e. to vote by ballot. At the word ballot rise a host of Whigs and Tories, denouncing all secrecy as unmanly, un-English, and cowardly. Let all these charges be made good, and what then? If the coward needs strengthening, and can be strengthend by the ballot, then the ballot is a good thing. A man's unprejudiced judgment is needed to choose the best men at an election ; and all things which tend to unsettle his judgment should be removed. The real objection of Whigs and Tories to the ballot is not that it is in itself cowardly, but that it is a stronghold to cowards, and makes them as effective resisters of arbitrary power as those who possess more nerve. The dishonest ballot-opposers like cowards, they are the fittest men to submit to their evil influence; they like slaves, and they hate all things, and the ballot amongst them, which tend to raise the slave into a freeman. There are honest opponents of the ballot who abhor it because it is secret, and secrecy is the opposite of frankness; these people would have all men brave and incorruptible; they would have a nation of heroic patriots, ready to enact every species of self-sacrifice for the pure love of country. These people argue upon false assumptions. They take it for granted that all Englishmen are Hampdens, that every shopkeeper walks the street with as bold a bearing as an American woodsman treads the forest path. Were it so, the ballot would not be needed; but it is not so. In a country where the pressure of population, corn laws, and custom-houses reduces men to such a state of destitution, that large numbers of them consent to wear, for the sake of food, the badges, and liveries, and patchwork garments of their richer fellows—in such a country free and sturdy independence cannot be a national characteristic, and the rich will contrive to

unless insurmountable difficulties be thrown in their way. In the United States there are no badgecoated white servitors, yet even there the ballot is considered the only effective guarantee of independence. How much more, then, must it be needed in a country like England, a huge den of aristocracy, where every man below the King is master and dependent in his own person at one and the same time. Not the will of the Whigs but the will of the people has forced on Reform ; the Whigs have done all they could to retard, and have yielded to necessity. In yielding to it they have taken all possible pains to leave open the sphere of aristocratical influence. Why such a man as Francis Palgrave, a mere curiosity antiquarian, and at the same time the most inveterate public jobber a jobbing government could find, why such a man should have been appointed a commissioner of Municipal Reform can only be accounted for by supposing the Whigs anxious to make as-little-as-need-be a reform. But his protest has not availed; antiquity is set at defiance, and reason is taken for the basis of future Municipal government without regard to prescription. All is fair on the surface, and it remains for the people themselves to defeat the sinister purposes for which the details have been improperly arranged. The people must bear in mind that the aggregate of town-governments serve to make up a general government, and that if the town-governments be corrupt, the general government will be corrupt likewise. If well managed, the local governments will form admirable schools for future legislators. If badly managed, they will merely be engines of more effectual misgovernment than the ancient corporations, inas uch as the ancient corporations are glaring abuses which no one is deceived by, and the future Municipal governments will present a fair surface while all below is rotten—they will satisfy the sight and cheat the sense, a thing much to be deprecated, as the majority of human beings are but too apt to judge by externals, without using the radical test of reason. There is an anecdote told of one of the Guelphs, which, whether real or fabricated, is much to the purpose. Discussing the cause of Charles's head rolling on the scaffold, he remarked, Pooh! pooh! Charles was a fool; Charles was a fool; Charles should have governed by his (corrupt) parliament,' Let the people beware, lest the apparent liberality of Whig Corporation Reform be intended to cover a purpose of this description. Let them watch that there be no Lord Chandos

oppress

the poor,

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