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is not necessary that the reader of this poem-to appreciate its beauty-should have enjoyed the privilege of seeing these two admirable ladies-models of that grace which survives youthmutually supporting and supported—dignifying the simplest life, and rendering lovely the unconcealed touches of a sacred old age. But we believe these lines are not more beautiful in themselves than they are precisely true in fact.

* Dear Agnes, gleamed with joy and dashed with tears

O’er us have glided almost sixty years,
Since we on Bothwell's bonny braes were seen,
By those whose eyes long closed in death have been,
Two tiny imps, who scarcely stoop’d to gather
The slender hare-bell on the purple heather ;
No taller than the fox-glove's spiky stem,
That dew of morning studs with silvery gem.
Then every butterfly that crossed our view
With joyful shout was greeted as it flew,
And moth and lady-bird and beetle bright
In sheeny gold were each a wonderous sight.
Then as we paddled bare-foot, side by side,
Among the sunny shallows of the Clyde, *
Minnows or spotted par with twinkling fin,
Swimming in mazy rings the pool within,
A thrill of gladness through our bosoms sent,
Seen in the power of early wonderment.

A long perspective to my mind appears,
Looking behind me to that line of years,
And yet through every stage I still can trace
Thy visioned form, from childhood's morning grace
To woman's early bloom, changing how soon!
To the expressive glow of woman's noon;
And now to what thou art, in comely age,
Active and ardent. Let what will engage
Thy present moment, whether hopeful seeds
In garden-plat thou sow, or noxious weeds
From the fair flower remove, or ancient lore
In chronicle or legend rare explore,
Or on the parlour hearth with kitten play,
Stroking its tabby sides, or take thy way
To gain with hasty steps some cottage door,
On helpful errand to the neighbouring poor-
Active and ardent-to my fancy's eye
Thou still art young in spite of time gone by.
Though oft of patience brief and temper keen,
Well may it please me in life's latter scene,

To think what now thou art and long to me hast been. * «The manse of Bothwell was at some considerable distance from the Clyde, but the two little girls were sometimes sent there in summer to bathe and wade about.'

• 'Twas

( 'Twas thou who woo'dst me first to look
Upon the page of printed book,
That thing by me abhorred, and with address
Didst win me from my thoughtless idleness,
When all too old become with bootless haste
In fitful sports the precious time to waste.
Thy love of tale and story was the stroke
At which my dormant fancy first awoke,
And ghosts and witches in my busy brain
Arose in sombre show, a motley train.
This new-found path attempting, proud was I,
Lurking approval on thy face to spy,
Or hear thee say, as grew thy roused attention,
“What! is this story all thine own invention ?”

" Then, as advancing through this mortal span,
Our intercourse with the mixed world began,
Thy fairer face and sprightlier courtesy
(A truth that from my youthful vanity
Lay not concealed) did for the sisters twain,
Where'er we went, the greater favour gain;
While, but for thee, vex'd with its tossing tide,
I from the busy world had shrunk aside;
And now in later years, with better grace,
Thou help'st me still to hold a welcome place
With those whom nearer neighbourhood have made
The friendly cheerers of our evening shade.

With thee my humours, whether grave or gay,
Or gracious or untoward, have their way.
Silent if dull, oh precious privilege !
I sit by thee; or if, call’d from the page
Of some huge, ponderous tome which, but thyself,
None e'er had taken from its dusty shelf.
Thou read me curious passages to speed
The winter night, I take but little heed,
And thankless say, “ I cannot listen now,”
'Tis no offence; albeit much do I owe
To these, thy nightly offerings of affection,
Drawn from thy ready talent for selection ;
For still it seem'd in thee a natural gift,
The letter'd grain from letter'd chaff to sist.

' By daily use and circumstance endeard,
Things are of value now that once appear'd
Of no account, and without notice past,
Which o'er dull life a simple cheering cast ;
To hear thy morning steps the stair descending,
Thy voice with other sounds domestic blending;
After each stated nightly absence met,
To see thee by the morning table set,


Pouring from smoky spout the amber stream
Which sends from saucer'd cup its fragrant steam :
To see thee cheerly on the threshold stand,
On summer morn, with trowel in thy hand,
For garden-work prepared ; in winter's gloom,
From thy cold noon-day walk to see thee come,
In furry garment lapt, with spatter'd feet,
And by the fire resume thy wonted seat;
Ay, even o'er things like these, sooth'd age has thrown
A sober charm they did not always own.
As winter hoar-frost makes minutest spray
Of bush or hedge-weed sparkle to the day
In magnitude and beauty, which bereav'd
Of such investment, eye had ne'er perceiv'd.

• The change of good and evil to abide,
As partners link’d, long have we side by side
Our earthly journey held, and who can say
How near the end of our appointed


By nature's course not distant :-sad and reft
Will she remain,—the lonely pilgrim left.
If thou art taken first, who can to me
Like sister, friend, and home-companion be?
Or who, of wonted daily kindness shorn,
Shall feel such loss, or mourn as I shall mourn ?
And if I should be fated first to leave
This earthly house, though gentle friends may grieve,
And he above them all, so truly proved
A friend and brother, long and justly loved,
There is no living wight, of woman born,
Who then shall mourn for me as thou wilt mourn.

"Thou ardent, liberal spirit ! quickly feeling
The touch of sympathy, and kindly dealing
With sorrow and distress, for ever sharing
The unhoarded mite, nor for to-morrow caring-
Accept, dear Agnes, on thy natal day,
An unadorn'd but not a careless lay,
Nor think this tribute to thy virtues paid
From tardy love proceeds, though long delay'd.
Words of affection, howsoe'er expressed,
The latest spoken still are deem'd the best :
Few are the measured rhymes I now may write;

These are, perhaps, the last I shall indite.'-pp. 219, 222. With these most affecting verses we think it well to conclude these few remarks, trusting that nothing in them will be found inconsistent with the profound respect we feel for Mrs. Joanna Baillie's name, and that the freedom in which we have indulged will be accepted as a guarantee for the sincerity of our praise.


Arr. VI.-Trifles from my Portfolio ; or, Recollections of Scenes

and small Adventures during Twenty-nine Years' Military

Service. By a Staff Surgeon. 2 vols. 8vo. Quebec. 1839. THIS gentleman makes

so very free with other people's names that we have no hesitation about mentioning his own. Dr. Henry was attached, during a long series of years, to the 66th regiment, and, as we are told, equally appreciated in the messroom and the hospital-a sturdy, jovial, humorous little Irishman, and a skilful surgeon. Puellis nuper idoneus, he has recently taken to himself a Canadian wife and farm, and amused his leisure by inditing these • Trifles,' which are, in fact, pretty copious memoirs of his adventurous campaigns in the fields of Venus as well as Mars. We have had of late so many • Military Recollections' that the title did not particularly attract us; but, after the volumes had been on our shelves for more than twelve months, we casually took them down; and a perusal so amused us, that we must invite our readers to a participation in the feast of reason.'

The early part, in which he records his boyhood, youth, and professional education, offers nothing worth dwelling upon; and though his account of his experiences in the Peninsula contains several lively passages, they relate to scenes which have engaged so many clever pens—from Gleig to Quillinan-that we think it better to step on to India—for which region the 66th regiment embarked exactly as the news of Bonaparte's escape from Elba reached the Downs, March, 1815. As they started, our author betted a dinner that the Great Man would be caged again by the 15th of April-a curious anticipation of Ney's pledge to Louis XVIII.—and a good dinner it must have been, since we find it hinted that the bill cost the sanguine doctor nearly 1001. 'in expensive Calcutta.'

Among the best of his Indian chapters is that describing a voyage from Dinapore to Cawnpore :

' In the beginning of July we embarked on the Ganges, now full to the brim. If any person wishes to luxuriate among roses let him repair to Ghazepore, where the whole country, for some hundred or two of square miles, is thickly covered with them. Rose-water and the exquisite attar of roses are, consequently, cheaper here than in any other part of India ; though the latter, when genuine, must always be a most expensive article, from the enormous consumption of roses in its preparation. It takes a prodigious quantity of the petals to make an ounce of attar; and to produce a quart bottle would require, I suppose, a heap about as big as St. Paul's.'—vol. i. p.

184. This fragrant exordium contrasts vividly with what comes after. When we reflect that the inhabitants of the valley of the Ganges


are in number at least thirty millions; that the superstitious reve. rence for the sacred river induces every family who can possibly approach it to commit their dead to its waters, and that for the greater part of the year the atmosphere is very hot, -we may form some notion of the multitude of human corpses, in every stage of dissolution, that must be perpetually mixed with or buoyant on the flood—the surface waters must be actually a decoction of putridity. It can be no wonder that infectious diseases, with cholera at the head, should eternally hover over this gigantic open sewer of Bengal, and diverge far and wide from its centre of corruption. Dr. Henry has a description of the scene too painful to be quoted. We can but allude to the enormous flocks of vultures and other birds of prey eternally flapping and screaming over the floating masses of decay, tearing and disembowelling naked carcases of men, women, and children. But the horror of horrors is the fact that the voyager can never keep near the shore for an hour at a time without seeing some old, worn-out, decrepit grandfather or grandmother, carried to the verge of the stream by the hands of their own offspring, their mouths stuffed with the holy river-grass, and the yet gasping bodies tumbled into the flood. We are weary of hearing that such usages could not be interrupted without alienating the minds of the Hindoos. No superstition was supposed to be more deeply rooted than the horrid one of the Suttee--but a single rescript put that abomination down-and, except from certain sleek Brahmins interested in the matter of burning fees, not one voice has been heard to complain of the abolition. The same as to infanticide in soine extensive districts, where it had prevailed from a remote antiquity. Who can doubt that all these diabolical atrocities have always been perpetrated amidst the secret loathing of the priest-ridden population of India ? It is of the very essence of such tyranny that it succeeds in suppressing all outward show of aversion on the part of its victims :

' Ducitur iratis plaudendum funus amicis.' The feelings of humankind are the same everywhere; and we are well convinced that the authority of a civilised government could in no way be strengthened so effectually, as by making itself felt wherever it extends to be the immitigable enemy of every usage that wars against the instincts of natural affection.

Nay more—we venture to say that the English government in India can never gain anything by authorising spontaneously any act that tends to compromise it in the eyes of the natives, as if it were, as a power, indifferent to the distinction between Idolatry and Christianity. The majority of the better educated natives are, we may rest assured, infidels to the creed of their ancestry.


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