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Captain Alcock's hounds met on Saturday at the Bois de Pau. It seemed strange to be hunting when the trees were in such full leaf, but this late rendez-vous afforded us an opportunity of saying good-bye, d Dieu, and leben-sie-rohl, to many English, French, and other friends and acquaintances with whom we had been pleasantly associated throughout the past winter and spring, and with all of whom we shall not again find ourselves, excepting in our photograph albums!
There is something sad in the feeling that we are for ever losing sight of many who have taken part in the sociability of a winter, especially when the thought suggests itself that some of this number will never leave their own country again, save to seek another and a brighter Home than that at Pau !
Then again one recalls to mind with deep thankfulness how many invalids have so benefited by their sojourn in this warm and sheltered refuge, that it is difficult to recognize some of the pale faces which appeared at Pau at the beginning of the winter.
CONCERNING SOME STAINED GLASS.
BY CECILIA MACGREGOR.
Do you imagine, gentle reader, from this heading to my subject, that you are about to be treated to a learned ecclesiological article on stained glass and its composition ? if so, you will soon find out your mistake. For that I would rather refer you to Winston's charming book on this subject, though even that cannot enlighten us as to when stained glass came into use. Perhaps you may have been so fortunate as to have seen in your travels specimens of the perfection to which this art can be carried; and you will remember with pleasure windows at Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford, and other places, not forgetting those in our own Westminster Abbey. Stained glass is a subject about which a good deal may be written, for it is eminently suggestive of thought. The readers of The Monthly Packet will not soon forget an extremely interesting account last year of the Fairford windows, that appeared in its pages ; from which we learnt that they were supposed to have inspired our great Christian poet, Keble, in the composition of his beautiful verses'verses which now rank amongst the classics of our language.
One day last spring (one of those days when it is hot in the sun but still cold in the shade) I was returning from a solitary walk : owing to my being alone, my thoughts had had full leisure for dwelling on much that had been passing around, in the world general and particular. It may be that I had been trying to solve that great problem-Life; whilst, like too many, I had perhaps allowed the shadows to preponderate over the sunshine which it contains for us, if we will only look for it. Quite apart from any circumstances of fleeting interest, the spring has a touch of sadness in it for many, though Vernal hours should sorrow heal.'
Intent on my own thoughts, I passed by a glazier's shop; standing immediately before it, and obstructing the pathway, was a little boy, who, evidently highly delighted with his newly-found treasure, was eagerly looking at the sun through a piece of deep-blue stained glass. It directly occurred to me that there was some analogy between my thoughts and that child's amusement. And the question proposed itself to my mind, whether the golden days' had in reality vanished for me any more than the sun had from the child who, by his own act and self-pleasing, purposely obscured the light which sought to penetrate across his path? For we had both been viewing things through a medium. It is possible that, as what is true of the lesser part is also true of the whole, in thus looking at the world we may not have been alone. Perhaps others, to their own unhappiness, may have been doing the very same thing; indeed, the child, with the piece of stained glass in his hand, was only an emblem of what is going on in the world, in which we more or less take part every day.
Here is a very possible instance of a shadowed medium between us and sunshine. We rise in the morning; it is all brightness, life and light surround us on every side. The matin-bell calls some of us to daily prayer—a proper and very happy commencement of the day before any of its brightness is sullied by contact with what we call the dimming routine of the world's duties. The medium through which we are looking now is bright, we admit; for, in church, the sun shines brightly through the eastern window, touching the pictured saints with its golden light; its rays fall on us as we kneel, and it seems as if the reflection of their heavenly features grave and fair' helped to make us yearn after their victory, and alike conquer and be crowned. “The lonely air is thronged with shadows bright;' around us too are the angels; and the rays of light grow deeper; while we realize also more fully than before the deep truth we have just expressed, 'I believe in the Communion of Saints.' But anon the priest's voice is heard pronouncing the grace, the soft Amen is chanted, the service is over. For a brief moment we pause; Heaven is surely within, the world without; are we prepared to encounter it? which of the angels, the trailing of whose pinions we almost fancied we heard as we knelt, (before the echo of the last Amen had quite died away,) will hover around and watch over us when we leave? Will it be the angel Joy? one that we should always choose, I suppose, if left to ourselves.
Well, we leave the church; before we arrive at home, on our way thither, somebody has taken less notice of us than we expected ; our pride is offended ; already our ruffled spirits are less prepared for any interruptions to our cherished plans we had arranged for the day. Perhaps we had filled up our morning thus : 'An hour was to be devoted to perfecting ourselves in some piece of music; our special friend, who was coming to spend the evening, had asked us to play Mendelssohn's last book of “Lieder,” which we had heard Miss Goddard render so charmingly not many evenings before. Then there were some popular essays about which everybody was talking, and which we should be expected to criticize; and many other things which would require time. We had promised our protégé, Mrs. Brown, the crochet shawl before luncheon, which we had sat up to finish the evening before, as a ride was planned for the afternoon which would fully fill it up.'
The medium through which we are looking at the world is still bright enough; we do not know the interruption to our plans awaiting us on our return home. To our great dismay we discover that our younger sister's governess has been telegraphed for immediately, and we are requested to take her place for the day. 'How provoking of Miss Watson's mother just to send for her to-day! we think, but feel ashamed to say. What a weary weary world it suddenly becomes for us! All our plans are overthrown, and our attention and energy must be given instead to those tiresome children. “Why could they not prepare for Mr. Roche's class by themselves ? Prosing over Italian composition is such a head-achy occupation. And then to have to listen to Dulcibella's drumming on the worn-out school-room piano, instead of enjoying the brilliant Collard and CoHard in the drawing-room. Of course we are obliged to acquiesce, but our manner in doing so, we cannot help feeling, gives our mother pain ; for we have given deep sighs, and exclaimed against the weary weary world in which we live.'
As we left the room, to remove bonnet and shawl, the door was shut violently; the angel ‘Joy' parted from us then. It waited to see if we took up our duty (whether this or any other that arose) cheerfully, patiently, in the spirit of the lines we had so lately sung in church, on
• The daily round, the common task,
In theory it was all very well; but where is the yearning now after the saints' victory ? Ah! how sadly we often fail to carry our good resolves into action, forgetting, as it has so well been remarked, that subjection to the laws which place us in relation to the creatures is, in truth, only an indirect form of obedience to God. We are trained to a submissive will by degrees, through the early discipline of childhood, afterwards through self-discipline under the checks, the hindrances, the disappointments, the sorrows, the reproofs, the denials, which make up so large a portion of life.' It was surely our own fault that day that we looked at the world through a shadowed medium. The brightness was still there; for many it would only have been intensified rather than obscured. To those who bave learnt to see in the crossed will, training and discipline, it certainly would have been. But our selfishness and impetuosity scared from our side our bright visitant 'Joy,' and we were left to the care of the angel Sorrow.'
Hitherto we have been speaking of what are generally called trifles; but it is by them that our view of life is mostly coloured. Let us look at them calmly for a few minutes in their true light without shrinking; for great joys and great sorrows are from their very nature scarcely of everyday occurrence. After all, we must admit that our burden is lighter far to bear than that of many around us. Here is an instance. The golden sunlight that streamed down on us in church (a very glimpse of Heaven, as it seemed) shed its rays on others-on one whose whole life many would think to be composed entirely of shadow. The grey light intervening ever between her and sunshine.
Mary Montague was the last survivor of a large family; her last remaining brother (to her father, mother, brother, husband, all in one') had been drowned before her very eyes, while trying to save the lives of some shipwrecked fishermen on the coast. Ab! the storm that shattered their vessel was scarcely less fierce than the tempest of anguish sore which swept across the poor sister's heart when her treasure was taken from her. But time is a great consoler, and dries up some of the saddest tears; at any rate, it hushes their vehemence. Now it was Mary Montague's privilege to minister consolation to others: the lessons she learnt in church that morning were not in vain. The angel Sorrow had knocked at the door of her heart, but she listened for the murmured blessing sorrow always brings' to some purpose. Could not some of the sunbeams be carried away with her when she left the church that morning? It should be hers to console and cheer others in their desolation ; to help the infirm, to teach the ignorant, to minister to the sick, and keeping her own will in subjection to carry out the priest's directions in school and parish. So the angel Joy’remained all day by her side. Crosses came of course, (for what life is without them ?) but when they did, the rays of sunshine, streaming through the eastern window, shone again vividly before her. So they became changed into joy, for each one would add to the brightness of the Crown promised at the last. A refrain of those sweet lines echoed ever in her ear
• While I do my duty,
Struggling through the tide,
On the other side.'
We know not indeed the struggles in doing and suffering of those around us. As we have seen, the medium through which they look at the world may be happier far than our own. The mosaic from the consecutive atoms of their lives may form in the end a more perfect whole. Outwardly for them it is sadness, desolation, and poverty; all shadow without sunlight anywhere; but after all, they are living a life above the world, and so the mists and fogs that dim our view of it are not felt in their higher better atmosphere; while every day the hidden world becomes clearer, and a voice seems to say
Well I know thy trouble,
( my servant true;
I was weary too;
One day all My own,
Shall be near My Throne.'
To bring out a perfect mosaic is the ambition of the artificer in stained glass. All the small pieces are, however, bought separately in the market, the white and the coloured; the art consists in adapting the shadows and penciling. And our life is made up, too, of a number of atoms, of which shadows must also form a component part. May the great Artificer so harmoniously blend together the precious sunlight and shadow, that though now we see as through a glass darkly,' in the end we may win the unclouded vision of the blessed.
"Oh, holy wondrous vision !
But what, when this life past,
Shall end in Heaven at last ?
Of uncreated light,
Of them that win the fight ?'
AUNT CECILY'S MUSIC LESSONS.
PART I.-MABEL'S MUSIC-BOOK.
DINNER was served at seven precisely, and the ladies left the diningroom sooner than usual on account of the concert. The drawing-rooms at Ashton Hall were both large, with a wide and lofty archway between them. The inner room, where the grand piano-forte stood, was chosen for the orchestra.' The harmonium had been brought from the library, and both instruments had been looked over carefully by an excellent tuner from the cathedral town that morning. Music-desks and seats for the fiddlers were arranged in proper order, and altogether the 'orchestra' looked quite business-like. À sofa had been placed against the wall, out of sight from the other room, for the lady performers to retire to when they were not playing. This was Clara's doing at the last moment, and she puzzled Mabel by calling it the 'green-room.' When she had said several times, 'I'm determined to have a green-room,' "This is to be the green-room,' Miss Mellany had said, “Don't be so silly, Clara ;' and Mabel's heart beat, for she began to fear that she was going VOL. 7.