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WOMAN THE REFORMER.
evil of the world. If woman in that empire of hers-HOME! held and taught right principles, and carried them out in daily practice, all that philanthropists contend and labour for would be effected. The difficulty, unhappily, is to make woman perceive that great public questions belong as much to her as to man, and equally demand her aid. For example, the PEACE Question; what is more just, decorous, fitting, than that woman should give her decided aid to the diffusion of this principle? Is not the religion of peace as dear to her? Is not the native tenderness of her character such as to incline her to peace? Is not the sweet office of peace-maker, on a large as well as small scale, in harmony with the gentler attributes of woman? When war has devastated the earth, who has suffered more than woman by its terrible recoil of misery? All the pæans of triumph were insufficient to overpower the wail of the widow and the orphan. While even in time of peace the exactions of the State to keep up a vast armament has fallen collaterally as heavily on woman as on man, and demands her intelligent investigation, as a wrong that limits the resources of her dependant family, and subtracts from the just gains of honest industry.
Then, woman on this peace question has some amends to make to society. Her smiles and her talents have been enlisted too often on the opposite side. Ladies, who would be the very first to exclaim, in real or affected displeasure, if a woman opened her mouth in public, on any useful or moral question; have stood forward and presented colours to a regiment, not unfrequently accompanying the act with a speech, "soft enough in the vowels," but so cruel in the meaning, that it is charity to suppose when they talked of defending the colours till death, they were guiltless of understanding the import of their words. They have sung war songs, played with gentle hands "the groans of the dying," in that old "Battle of Prague," which used to be such a capital stock piece of bravery and sentimentality in our boarding-schools. And as to their admiration of a red coat! it has been said, that they were
so dazzled by its brilliancy, that they seldom waited to discover whether its wearer had either heart or brains.
Then the abolition of capital punishments is as much a woman's as a man's question. Is it nothing to her that society should be brutalized by frightful exhibitions? Nothing to her that a punishment continues in force which does not protect the lives of the community;-for murder stalks fiercely through our land! And which cuts off the criminal from any hope of amendment, or opportunity to atone by his labour for the wrong he has done society. While a certain eclat attending his going off this mortal stage, feeds the morbid cravings of vicious minds, and incites the depraved to similar odious deeds.
The very fact so revolting to record, that there are women in the community who go to such spectacles as executions, is a solemn call to every rightminded woman to enter her indignant protest against such scenes.
Then education is pre-eminently a woman's question; to her the interests of the rising race are paramount. The ragged-school, the sabbath-school, the day-school; all means of relative and personal education must be matters of absorbing interest. That two such different words as "juvenile depravity" should have come together, and should express a fact, is a frightful anomaly in our enlightened age, a blot on our civilization. "Juvenile !" our heart leaps up at the sweet word; visions of rosy faces, and beaming eyes, and dimpled smiles, and sportive forms, pass before us as we write it. "Depravity!" a thick gloom covers the brightness, all is shade and sorrow! Oh! let woman remember that the evils of the world are perpetuated as much by the supineness of the good as the activity of the wicked; and that the dangerous classes are more often the victims, than the aggressors on society.
Then the early closing movement in practical carrying out, depends almost entirely on woman. Who are the frequenters of shops? At least twenty women for one man are the purchasers at all retail shops. A determination by women not to make a purchase after
given hour would soon decide the question of early closing. The shopkeeper does not desire to burn his gas and keep open his shop for mere amusement. Let women resolve to decide the matter for him, and shops would close early; and the hours of toil in other pursuits than those of retail trade would lessen, from the influence of example, and the alteration of the general custom. Then the temperance question belongs also to woman. It is the auxiliary to all the others. Make the world sober, and you strike a death-blowat war, which has ever been fostered by intemperance. Sober young men rarely enlist as licensed men-slayers-rarely want to quarreland are inclined to say
"Let those who make the quarrels be The only ones to fight." Sober men are not led into the commission of crimes, and are seldom the subjects or witnesses of sanguinary deathpunishments.
Sober men understand the value of education-comprehend the bane of ignorance. The clear brain, the sound heart, the active nerve, are his who slakes his temperate thirst at Nature's stream-who prefers God's merciful thought as expressed in water, rather than man's perverted thought as exhibited in wine.
Then, if domestic comfort is dear to woman, a happy home, and the means to keep it so, temperance ranks second only to religion in promoting family enjoyment. Let women, therefore, as they love themselves, their families, their country, and their God, see to it, that by example and precept they come decidedly forward into the ranks of those who meet the practical evil of intemperance by the only practical remedy-total abstinence.
We have spoken plainly, fair and gentle readers! The time has passedwe hope forever-when women required to be flattered and coaxed like children to perform their duty to society. The age is exigent, and demands earnestness of thought, words, and action. No time for picked phrases and compliments. Real esteem and love is shewn when a writer believes a reader loves truth, and in all faithfulness, however inadequate the expression, utters it.
THE LEVER OF LIFE. A TALE OF MODERN TIMES.
HELEN was deeply touched as the poor girl poured out her apologies, and described the sufferings they had endured. Is it possible, said she, that my father knows of your situation? Surely you have not acquainted him with your distress, or he would not have allowed you to be reduced to such a state as this?
Mary glanced hurriedly and anxiously at Helen's face, as she put this question, but feeling re-assured by its expression of earnest heartfelt sympathy, she answered :
"Your father, Miss Helen, employs a great many needlewomen, but he never sees us himself. He gets the work done as cheap as he can, and if we complain of the price, the foreman says, there's hundreds as would be glad to take it. They say its the scale price, and its no use to go against that, or we should lose the work altogether."
"Aye, Miss," added Mary's father feebly, "It's hard to see wages go down, down, till the poor, who are willing to work, have every bit of hope and heart ground out of 'em. Time was I could make both ends meet, tidy like, by my loom; but we're all pretty much the same now, competition seems likely to make us all paupers without paupers' relief."
Helen soon ascertained the real situation of the weaver and his family. His wife had died comparatively young, leaving him with four children to support. The eldest, Tom, of whom Helen had heard so unsatisfactory an account from the poor Irish woman, had been brought up to assist his father in the weaving. "He was a spirited wild boy," his father said, "and had got mixed up with a baddish lot, who took him to the public-house and made him unsteady, and then they held meetings, and talked about doing away the Government and getting up a row, till at last the police came down upon 'em, and then they showed fight, and Tom and several more were caught, and now he was in prison waiting for his trial." Mary was the eldest girl, "and oh!
THE LEVER OF LIFE.
Miss," said Millicent, "without her I should have been in my grave long ago; she's been a good daughter to me, a real good one; she's not much above eighteen now, and yet she has the thought of a woman. It's wonderful how she has kept us all alive. She seems to be working there at the needle from morning to night, and yet she manages to do everything that's wanted in the house, and nobody ever hears her complain for herself, though I know she'll work herself into the grave." The two younger children, boys, were seven and ten years of age; the elder of whom was employed to run errands by a neighbouring tradesman; and the youngest, little Lawrie, had been admitted into an infant school which had been opened in an adjoining street. The weaver's bed occupied one corner of the room, whilst a little mattress screened off on the opposite side and lying on the floor, served for Mary and the two boys.
After learning these particulars, Helen quitted, leaving with Mary some money for their immediate relief, and promising that she would soon visit them again, when she hoped to be able to propose some plan by which their condition might be permanently improved.
"We must try, Mary, to fulfil the doctor's directions, and when we have got your father round, I dare say we shall soon see him at his loom again, and while he is away we will try if we can't find a room or two where he will get better air, and light for his work." And thus having infused a ray of joy and hope, such as had seldom glad dened the weaver's attic, Helen took her leave of the Millicents, followed by a "good bye, lady," from little Lawrie, who pushed his curly head through the banisters, and kissed the hand with which she patted his pale cheek.
Helen turned towards the city, and was threading her way through the labyrinth of dismal streets leading towards the main thoroughfare, her mind intently occupied with the scene she had just witnessed, when a boy, rushing out of an adjoining court, stumbled violently against her; at the same moment she felt a sudden jerk at
her arm, and before she could recover from her alarm, her reticule and its contents were gone. This had been snatched by an accomplice at the moment his companion stumbled against Helen, and both were now speeding away up the street with their prize. Their course led them past Helen's first acquaintance, the old match-seller, who had watched the whole transaction, and as they ran past her she dexterously slipt out her foot and tript up the young thief. Darting upon him, and pinning him fast to the ground, she shouted lustily for the police.
"Take the swag, and let me go, you old beldame," cried the lad, taking the reticule from his breast and thrusting it into her hand. The woman eagerly seized the treasure, and her prisoner twisting himself out of her loosened grasp, darted down a neighbouring street, and was out of sight in a mo
"Ha, ha! they little thought my old eyes was a watchin 'em," said the poor woman, as she hurried up to Helen to restore her bag. "I see 'em a dodgin and sneakin in and out o' the court after they'd a catcht sight o' your bonnie satin cloak, such chances dont happen to 'em once and awhile down this way, and I could see they was up to mischief, but lor poor creeturs, its little they've ever learn'd, except stealin and shammin, for nobody's cared for 'em poor things, since they was turned babbies on the streets. But I'm glad, sure enough, that I managed to lay hold of your purty bag, ma'am, and here comes somebody as will see you safe out of this rookery-you may trust him, Miss, he's a good, well-behaved lad, and maybe-whispered the old woman-he can tell you something more about the young woman you was asking for, for I often sees him coming home with Mary Millicent, and carrying her great bundles for her."
Beckoning as she spoke to a tall decently dressed youth, whose fustian jacket, and apron twisted round his waist, indicated that he was a mechanic's apprentice, and who was approaching them on the other side of the street. She hastily explained to him what had occurred, and desired
him to see the lady safely as far as she might wish.
Helen, who had been much alarmed at the violence to which she had been subject, and her unprotected situation in such a neighbourhood, thanked the poor woman warmly not only for the restoration of her property, but her kind thought in procuring her an escort; and ascertaining her name and address, she slipt some money into her hand, and told her she should call and see her when she came that way again -then turning to her young guide, she asked him, if he could spare time to conduct her to the nearest cab-stand, where she would get a conveyance to the city. The youth seemed not only pleased but proud of his task as he proceeded to conduct Helen in the direction she wished. She was much struck with the frank open expression of his countenance, and the respectful and intelligent manner in which he replied to her questions soon gained her confidence, and raised her curiosity to learn some particulars connected with his history, for she soon ascertained that though his parents were poor, and he had had many difficulties and hardships himself to struggle with, yet that he had secured the advantages of a good ordinary education, and that he was still pursuing with avidity all such opportunities as his scanty leisure afforded for the cultivation and improvement of his mental powers.
THE STUDY OF CREATION.
CREATION. By this expressive word, we designate the visible works of God. These works constitute the most ancient volume of information that has been opened for human inspection. Long before the valuable art of printing was invented, or man had learned to engrave on tablets of rock, and write on the leaves of trees, the book of nature was spread before his wondering gaze, covered with the pencillings of Infinite Intelligence. But the antiquity of creation does not take away its attractiveness. It is ever fresh and ever new. The lapse of ages neither withers its beauty nor dims its glory. It has lost none of its power to kindle brightness in the eye, and
to wake up joy in the heart of the living
Beneath the magnificent dome of this richly decorated temple, the farmer and the landowner, the miner and the adventurer, the mechanic and the capitalist, the peasant and the prince, mingle together in the calm dignity of mental equality; forgetful of the artificial distinctions of society, and yielding themselves up to the fascinating influence of the gentle inspirations that flow from the beautiful objects by which they are encircled. The poorest of mankind, as well as the titled and wealthy, have a property in the green earth and the blue sky, co-extensive with personal liberty, and in the scenery of the one and the sublimity of the other, it is their privilege to find the fountains of rational delight.
To study Creation is not merely to see it. The savage wanders amid the finest developments of the sublime and the beautiful, without any experience beyond vague and transitory impressions. To the perceptions and emotions which the scenes around him would awaken in a cultivated intellect and heart, he is an utter stranger. The rustic who knows not how to read and who has never been taught to think, beholds the varied charms which cover the spreadings of a fertile district as the seasons roll along, with a vacant eye and a joyless spirit. The listless man of rank, who visits continental Europe with unreflective mind and a passion for exciting festivities, travels over countries eulogised by the lip
THE STUDY OF CREATION.
of eloquence, and the lyre of poetry, unblest with thrillings of rapt admiration. To study creation is to look at it thoughtfully, under the influence of an earnest desire and firm resolve to search out, and understand its elements, operations, and results, with the forms into which it is moulded, and the living creatures by which it is tenanted.
Discrimination is exercised. The differences between the simple and the complex, the minute and the gigantic, the plain and the beautiful, the familiar and the wonderful, the noxious and the beneficial, are clearly ascertained and classified. Objects are analyzed. The parts of which they are composed, the functions they exercise, and the purposes they subserve, are noted down with skilful carefulness. Then, that which has been separated is recombined. The judgment is delighted to mark the adaptation of the several portions, when placed in proper positions, to constitute a perfect whole. Its connection with other products of creative energy is plainly seen, and wonder is expressed at the harmony and finish given to the works of the great Architect. All this, and much more that is better felt than told, is comprehended in a studious contemplation of the universe. The natural eye is only the instrument of observation. The mental faculties and the affections of the heart look out through its skilfully delicate organization, and hold fellowship with the beauty and grandeur, the life and motion, the melody and joy, which pervade the vast circlings of creation's ever-shitting panorama. Imagination revels in a richness of colouring, which art cannot picture, and eloquence cannot describe; and sensibility rejoices in delightful impressions that would be sought in vain amidst the productions of human genius, or the excitements of artificial amusement.
The most obvious feature of Creation is Variety. If we survey the heavenly bodies in the aggregate, we find that they do not present even in the dim distance, a uniform appearance. One star differs from another star in glory. Some are remarkable for softness, others for intensity of radiance. Here a lonely orb gleams out in peerless brightness. There a multitude cluster so closely, that to the naked eye they seem to melt into a mystic sea of light. Differences are also observable in motion, remoteness, and magnitude. If
we look at them in classes and select the solar system for examination, much greater diversity is unfolded. The Sun fixed in the centre and revolving on is own axis, pours forth a flood of glory to illumine faroff worlds. Nearest the Sun, is the planet Mercury, seldom seen, except with the aid
of the telescope. Next comes Venus with matchless brilliancy. Our Earth follows in rotation, attended by a lonely satellite. Still more remote, Mars displays his fiery aspect. Then move forward the sister spheres, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, Beyond these are seen the majestic Jupiter, with his singular belts and four attendmoons. Taking a wider sweep, the sublime Saturn rolls on, with seven moons and two enormous rings. Last and most distant is Herschel with six satellites. Amongst the whole are interspersed a large number of Comets, which move in oval orbits, and when visible, constitute an extremely novel spectacle. The surface of the world, in its full extent, is not a flat monotonous wilderness. Mountains and plains, hills and valleys, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, forests, and luxuriant landscapes meet the vision, and charm the heart. a selected locality, the upland, the dell, and the streamlet, the ancient oak and the tender sapling, the corn-field, the meadow, and the garden, present the most pleasing combinations imaginable. Even the sandy desert has its rocks, and verdant patches, and refreshing waters to relieve its painful dreariness. The productions of the earth are almost innumerous, and vary with the seasons and the climes in which they grow. Ten thousand kinds of herbs and fruits with flowers of every hue are produced by the fostering soil and the genial elements. Necessaries, comforts, and luxuries abound to gratify the desires, to refresh the spirits, and to renovate the physical energies of mankind. The multitudes of living creatures are equally varied. Look at the finny tribes, from the diminutive sprat to the enormous whale. Examine the serpent kind, from the common viper to the dreadful boa constrictor. Contemplate animals, from the playful spaniel to the gigantic elephant. Consider the inhabitants of the air, from the insect that floats on the breeze, to the eagle that soars towards the sun. There is no sameness in any of these departments of observation. All are rife with diversified peculiarities, and striking contrasts. What a boundless variety of objects in the wide expanse of creation claim the attention and the vigorous exercise of our intellectual capabilities! What exuberant provision is made for the wants and wishes of the human mind! What countless opportunities of selection are given to the varying tastes which result from early training, physical constitution, mental peculiarity, temporal allotment, characteristic curiosity, and friendly fellowship! We may soar to the heights above, or dive to the depths beneath, or range over the earth's surface, and we shall find teem