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money and wooden shoes." He had resided in France for a short period, during troublous times, and this residence did not improve his admiration of democratical principles. He arrived in the United States with a hatred of France, and found that the war of independence had left amongst the people of the States a strong detestation of England, and an admiration of the French revolution, then in progress. Everywhere he heard England spoken against; her king called a tyrant, her aristocracy sneered at, and her institutions ridiculed. This did not please his English ears; and, inspired by the spirit of contradiction, so strong in his nature, and by attachment to his native country, he entered the lists as a powerful advocate of what would now be called toryism. Amongst his various works published in America, under the name of Peter Porcupine, (which were afterwards reprinted in England, in twelve volumes octavo.) is "A little plain English addressed to the People of the United States, on the Treaty negotiated with his Britannic Majesty," which has the following motto:

"An habitation giddy and unsure

Hath he who buildeth on the vulgar heart.
Oh, thou fond Many! with what loud applause
Didst thou beat Heaven with blessing Bolingbrok
Before he was what thou wouldst have him be?
And now, being trimmed up in thine own desires,
Thou beastly feeder, art so full of him,

That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up."

While Cobbett resided in Philadelphia, the following incident in his life occurred. Having, in 1796, quarrelled with his bookseller, he opened a shop, and, in a manner truly characteristic of him, bade defiance to his opponents. His friends feared for his personal safety, for the people were infected with the love of France. "I saw," he says, "that I must at once set all danger at defiance, or live in everlasting subjection to the prejudices and caprice of the democratic mob. I resolved on the former; and, as my shop was open on a Monday morning, I employed myself all day on Sunday in preparing an exhibition, that I thought would put the courage and the power of my enemies to the test. I put up in my windows, which were very large, all the portraits that I had in my possession of kings, queens, princes, and nobles. I had all the English ministry, several of the bishops and judges, the most famous admirals,-in short, every picture that I thought likely to excite rage in the enemies of Great Britain,-early on the Monday morning I took down my shutters. Such a sight had not been seen in Philadelphia for twenty years." The daring of this act produced excessive rage; the newspapers contained direct instigations to outrage, and threats were conveyed to him in the openest manner: but there were many amongst his political opponents, and even the people, who admired the Englishman.

Dr. Rush, an eminent physician of Philadelphia, adopted the use of mercury and copious blood-letting, in his treatment of cases of the yellow fever, which raged in 1797. Cobbett attacked him, calling him a Sangrado, with other nicknames and abuse, in the use of which he was so famous all his lifetime. Dr. Rush commenced an action against him; and Cobbett, after ineffectual attempts to get the trial postponed, retreated to New York, and commenced business as a bookseller; but the state of Pennsylvania sueing him for forfeited recognizances, he crossed over to England, where he arrived in 1800. His career as a public writer in this country belongs, therefore, to the present century. Before he left America, he published a strong, coarse, sarcastic paper, called the "Rushlight," in which he attempted to vindicate himself for not going into court, to abide the result of the action.

with two small farms, and was preparing to give himself up to a country life, when he was nearly ruined by a government prosecution. He had, in his "Weekly Register" for the 10th July, 1809, expressed himself in strong terms respecting the flogging of certain militia-men, at Ely, and these were made the subject of a prosecution, which was conducted by Sir Vicary Gibbs, the attorney-general. He was tried in 1810, condemned to pay a fine of £1000, and to be imprisoned for two years in Newgate-a harsh and cruel verdict. His property was necessarily neglected, while he was in prison; and he had also to pay twelve guineas weekly for the accommodation of comfortable apartments. But his energy did not flag. He carried on the " Weekly Register" vigorously; and, when he came out of Newgate, assailed government in a series of papers called " Twopenny Trash," the circulation of which reached at one time to a hundred thousand copies,

From this time Cobbett is to be considered as a powerful radical writer, appealing to the masses on all popular questions; and engaging their sympathies by the clearness and vigour of his style, and the downright hearty manner in which he entered upon every subject that interested him. The quality of his intellect was vigour, and his style had a kind of innate nervous power, as if the man passed into every sentence that he wrote. He had no greatness of mind-no comprehension of view. Whatever he did, whether it was right or wrong, he did it with all his might, and therefore he did it well. No matter what the opinion was which he advocated— gold against paper, the superiority of old times to the present, the character of a king's speech, or the House of Commons, the oppression of the poor by the rich, the approaching ruin of the country, or, in his own emphatic words, "the downfall of the THING"-Cobbett's straw or Cobbett's corn,-whatever he took up, important or trivial, true or false, he advocated as if his life depended on the issue; and hence his pen, which he handled with a naturally vigorous power, became doubly powerful from acquired intensity of purpose. There was no catching him wrong-no tripping him up. If he advocated an opinion one day which he derided on another, it was of no use to quote Cobbett against Cobbett to him:-he would rush at his antagonist with a felicitous sneer, or bespatter him with a shower of nicknames. His felicity in bestowing nicknames was exquisite: you might overthrow him in argument, but in return he might plaster an unlucky epithet on his adversary which might stick to him for life. His scurrility involved him in various personal actions for libel.

His incessant activity enabled him to produce a great number of publications, some of which have been very useful. His whole life was a process of self-education after his own fashion, and many of his books were the result of it. His works on education have great merits and great defects. His clear intellect made him bring everything down to his own level; if he understood the matter, he was sure to make others comprehend it—but woe to any principle which Cobbett did not see through ! But then, again, his intense egotism often spoils his common-sense. In his French Grammar, for instance, he boasts incessantly of the facility with which he acquired the language, by his own unaided efforts, when, in fact, he perfected his French by his visit to France, and then by teaching French emigrants in America. The young man, ignorant of this, and who attempts to acquire French in the manner which Cobbett prescribes, becomes discouraged-for though, in the level clearness of his explanations, Cobbett descends to his young readers, in the nature and extent of the tasks he prescribes he not only wants them to come up to himself, but even to go beyond him. His English Grammar, again, is disfigured by the intrusion of temporary political opinion and feeling; he comments on king's speeches and statesmen's despatches, and in giving examples of a noun of multitude, joins "a gang of thieves" with "the House of Commons." His Cottage Economy," "Village Sermons," "Advice to Young Men and Young Women," contain much that is excellentthough the man, the intense politician, and intense egotist, continually breaks through.

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He began in England as a tory writer, was introduced to some of the members of the government, dined with Mr. Pitt, and enjoyed the acquaintance, for a short time, of Mr. Gifford, afterwards editor of the "Quarterly Review." He started a tory daily paper, called the "Porcupine," which was continued only a few months; and then he began his "Weekly Register," which he kept up for thirty-three years. His gradual change of politics is early marked in the "Register." His temper was too intractable Cobbett's moral nature was deficient in back-bone, and he was and stubborn, and his love of notoriety too strong, to permit him therefore not only inconsistent, but unreliable. Personally, his to become a steady subordinate. He began to lay about him in conduct was excellent-temperate in his habits, a very early riser, his furious "Porcupine" style, and was involved, in 1804, in two and perpetually doing something. His egotism led him, of course, actions for libel, on members of the Irish government, in each to talk perpetually about his temperance and his early rising, and of which he was cast in £500. But as his politics became more much of his good opinion of men hinged on the questions, if they distinctly radical, the sale of his publications increased; he pro- rose by day-light and abstained from malt liquors. If he happened, jected and conducted for some time the well-known "Parliamentary in travelling, to sleep at an inn, he cared little who was in bed after History," the early volumes of which bear his name; was him; up he was in the morning, bawling out for sleepy" Boots,' gaged in other speculations; and in 1806 made a kind of attempt and, as he mounted his horse, bestowing hearty objurgations on all to get into Parliament, by offering to stand for the borough of who did not, like him, get up and ride ten miles before seven or Honiton in Devonshire. He afterwards bought an estate at Botley, eight o'clock.


In the troublesome times of 1817, when certain acts of Parliament made free expression on political matters somewhat dangerous, Cobbett sailed for the United States-his Register, however, continued to be published, the manuscript being sent across the Atlantic. Pecuniary as well as political entanglement made his removal apparently necessary for a time. He was absent two years, returning in 1819. He then set up a daily paper, which lasted only two months, involving him in loss; and two individuals prosecuted him for libel, one of whom recovered £1000 damages. His spirit, however, was too elastic for despondency, and his exertions never flagged. He tried to get into Parliament in 1820, standing as a candidate for the city of Coventry, but he was defeated; and six years afterwards he was defeated in a similar attempt at Preston.

During the years 1829 and 1830, he visited the principal towns of England and Scotland, delivering political lectures. During all his past life he had been strongly embued with prejudices against Scotland; and he never missed an opportunity, in his writings, of venting his contempt and sarcasm on the Scotch " feelosophers," as he called them. He now, however, professed himself a great admirer of Scotland and the Scotch, and admitted that his visit to that country had done him good. In 1831 he ran considerable risk from another government prosecution for libel, the charge being grounded on an article which had appeared in his Register, which it was affirmed was published with the view of exciting the agricultural labourers to acts of violence, and to destroy property, He defended himself in a speech of six hours; and the jury not being able to agree in a verdict, he was discharged.

In 1832, Cobbett obtained one great object of his ambition, a seat in Parliament. He was returned as one of the members for Oldham, in the first Parliament assembled after the passing of the Reform Bill. There can be no question that if Cobbett had entered Parliament in the vigour of his powers, he would have taken a very prominent part in its proceedings. He was now, however, seventy years of age; and Wilberforce gave it as his opinion that it was very difficult for a man to succeed in the House of Commons who entered it much after the age of thirty. Still, Cobbett distinguished himself; he made a number of effective speeches; "but his success in this new field did not, on the whole, come up to expectation, and on more than one. occasion he damaged himself by those strange blunders which here and there mark every portion of his history." He died on the 18th of June, 1835, after a very short illness, aged 73 years.

as ever.

Thus passed away William Cobbett, the plough-boy, the private soldier, and the M.P.; whose writings fill more than a hundred volumes; who for forty years kept himself conspicuously before the public by the activity of his mind and pen; who rose over crushing calamities (provoked by his own reckless imprudence) which would have sunk men even of more than ordinary resolution; and who, till within a day or two of his death, continued to fill his Weekly Register with matter as amusing, as lively, and as caustic, Yet he has left nothing behind him that will perpetuate his memory. "His mind was one of extraordinary native vigour, but apparently not well fitted by original endowment, any more than by acquirement, for speculations of the highest kind. Cobbett's power lay in wielding, more effectually perhaps than they were ever wielded before, those weapons of controversy which tell upon what in the literal acceptation of the words may be called the common sense of mankind, that is, those feelings and capacities which nearly all men possess, in contradistinction to those of a more refined and exquisite character, which belong to a comparatively small number. To these higher feelings and powers he has nothing to say; they, and all things that they delight in, are uniformly treated by him with a scorn, real or affected, more frank and reckless certainly in its expression than they have met with from any other great writer. He cares for nothing but what is cared for by the multitude, and by the multitude, too, only of his own day, and, it may be even said, of his own country. But in his proper line he is matchless. When he has a subject that suits him, he handles it, not so much with the artificial skill of an accomplished writer, as with the perfect and inimitable natural art with which a dog picks a bone."


LET not the law of thy country be the non ultra of thy honesty, nor think that always good enough which the law will make good. Narrow not the law of charity, equity, mercy; join Gospel righteousness with legal right; be not a mere Gamaliel in the faith; but let the sermon in the mount be thy turgum unto the law of Sinai. Sir Thomas Browne's Posthumous Works.


ENGLAND has been called the "Ringing Island," and, sooth to say, although her bells are not honoured with the ceremonious observance of the countries under the rule of the Roman and Greek churches, where more prayers are said at the baptism of a bell than at that of a child, yet our English bells have been duly respected, and have been celebrated by our poets, although none, like Schiller, have sung the "Lied von der Glocke," the "Song of the Bell."

In our prosaic croakings, we do not pretend to fill up the important subject of clockology or bellology,-call it which you will, gentle reader such a history, like the moulding of a bell, would be "a work of thought and toil;" and we fear that even "measured words," which charmed the labours of Schiller's bellfounder, would scarcely reconcile our readers to details so dry and uninteresting but we have a word or two to say, in proof that bells and belfries are still held in regard, and have their use. We must pass by "Great Tom," as though he were not, notwithstanding his wonderful power over the vergers, among whom


"Ne'er a man

Will leave his can,

'Till he hear the mighty Tom."

Even the great bell of St. Paul's, whose sad office it is to proclaim the death of the mighty, and the great bell of Moscow, which cannot speak at all-a dumb giant,-must pass unnoticed; for, hark!

"The merry bells all ringing round,

Which to the bridal feast invite."

And shall we leave this blithe invitation for a dull disquisition on "Great Tom!" Far be it from the spirit of good-humour. Let "all go merry as a marriage-bell." Let us enjoy the "bobmajors," the "triple bob-majors," and fancy at least that our neighbours sympathise. And so they do in every place where there is real neighbourhood,—a thing often ridiculed, but in which the good feeling engendered overpowers the concomitant gossip: a state of society necessarily banished from the heart of great cities, yet still to be found in their suburbs; but most healthily flourishing in retired county villages, where the church is as it were the centre of the community, and the rector and the squire are the two luminaries of the parish.

Ringing is an art difficult to attain, and its professors are worthy of all honour; for who can bear to hear "sweet bells jangled out of tune?" The perfection of the ringers of St. Stephen's church, at Bristol, so charmed England's queen, the noble Elizabeth, that she incorporated them, and granted them a charter, duly observed to this day. Truly, it is a little perverted,--none of its members being practical ringers. But do they not pay their quarterings? their fines for non-attendance in the belfry? and do not the real bonâ-fide ringers (who, by the way, do not disgrace their predecessors) enjoy the benefit of the multitudinous forfeitings? And is there not an annual dinner at the "Montague," that tavern famed throughout Christendom for the super-super-excellence of its turtle? And do not the "ringers" command the best, and enjoy it with so much zest and good-neighbourly feelings (almost all the members belong to the parish, having their houses of business there), that their annual assembly is celebrated as being the most pleasant meeting throughout the year? Yea! all this good,—this benefit to society (for so it is),—has arisen from a well-rung peal, which resounded from one of the most beautiful belfries in the kingdom, when Queen Elizabeth honoured Bristol with her presence. The charter, setting forth all the laws of ringing, and of a formidable length, is read aloud, by the in-coming junior warden, on each inauguration day, when the old master and wardens vacate their offices, and resign them to their successors; and it is often an agitating trial to a novice, "unaccustomed to public speaking," thus to expound the laws of the belfry to his brother ringers. One rule-the only one, by the way, that we remember,-struck us when, on a certain occasion, we witnessed this festive meeting of St. Stephen's ringers every ringer who should presume to enter the belfry without first kneeling down on the lintel, and praying, incurred a fine. This pious custom, we fear, has fallen into desuetude.

Although we have never heard of any other incorporated ringers than the favoured sons of St. Stephen; yet most companies of ringers possess a code of laws for their due government, and adhere very strictly to their rules. The following "Articles of Ringing" are upon the walls of the belfry in the pleasant village of Dunster, in Somersetshire; a place known in history as the spot where the celebrated lawyer and statesman, Prynne, was for a long period confined in the castle, an ancient and picturesque building still in existence.

"1. You that in ringing take delight,
Be pleased to draw near:
These articles you must observe,
If you mean to ring here.

"2. And first, if any overturn
A bell, as that he may,

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We love the well-rung peal, when well-tuned bells discourse sweet music, and tell us that some at least of the denizens of earth are rejoicing; and the deep tone of the passing bell, "swinging slow with sullen roar,' ," leads us to sympathise with the sorrows of our neighbours. Thus bells-one of the characteristics of a Christian country-have their effect in awakening sympathy in the heart, and thus keeping open the springs of virtue; and we hail each new accession to the belfry with the feelings and in the words of Schiller :

"Neath heaven's blue-vaulted canopy,

There where the cradled thunders sleep,
The neighbour of the starry sky,
High o'er this dull earth shall it sweep;
Shall join the ehorus from above

Of the bright everlasting spheres,
Which praise their Maker as they move,
And lead along the circling years.
Eternal things, of import high,

Shall occupy and bless its chime;
On it each hour that passes by

Shall strike, and give a tongue to time.
Its voice to sorrow it shall lend,
Itself unfeeling joy or pain;
And with its varying notes attend
On life's eventful varying scene;
And as its tones, which loud and clear
Burst forth, upon the ear decay,
We learn that nothing's constant here,-
That sounds of earth shall pass away."


For a fit of passion: Walk out in the open air; you may speak your mind to the winds without hurting any one, or proclaiming yourself a simpleton. For a fit of idleness: Count the tickings of a clock; do this for one hour, and you will begin to pull off your coat the next, and work like a negro. For a fit of extravagance and folly: Go to the workhouse, or speak with the ragged inmates of a gaol, and you will be convinced

"Who makes his bed of briar and thorn,

Must be content to lie forlorn."

For a fil of ambition: Go into the churchyard, and read the gravestones; they will tell you the end of ambition. The grave will soon be your bedchamber, the earth your pillow, corruption your father, and the worm your mother and your sister. For a fit of repining: Look about for the halt and the blind, and visit the bedridden, and afflicted, and deranged; and they will make you ashamed of complaining of your lighter afflictions.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM. NEARLY two thousand five hundred years ago, the greatest monarch that then reigned on the earth was musing, as he reclined on his bed, and marvelling "what should come to pass hereafter." He could not but know that a mightier conqueror than he, even Death, would come and level him and his greatness with the dust; and his busy thoughts rose, and vainly strove to pierce futurity. A vision was vouchsafed to him—a more magnificent dream than ever floated before the half-waking sense of prince or peasant. A majestic image stood before him, "whose brightness was excellent, and the form thereof was terrible ;" and this colossal figure was a type of MAN, from that hour to a yet future period. "Thou art this head of gold," said the Hebrew captive to the king, as he expounded the dream: "The God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory." He was the despotic master of a vast empire, and round about him were the monuments of his genius and his grandeur. "Is not this great Babylon that I have built?" said he, when intoxicated with his greatness-that "golden city," through which the river Euphrates flowed, and which inclosed within its bounds that famous tower, built ere the earth was rightly dry of the flood, when the tongues of men were confounded, and they were scattered over the face of the earth. The river still rolls through the plain of Babylon, for rivers and mountains, the sea and sky, are the work of God: but the remains of the great city are shapeless masses of ruins, and the passing Arab pitches his tent in the midst of a scene of utter desolation, that once echoed the hum of myriad voices, and was covered with all the indications and emblems of wealth, magnificence, and glory. Next to the head of gold, the breast and the arms of the "After thee shall arise another kingdom image are of silver. inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth." Thus the Persian overthrows the Babylonian, and the Macedonian overthrows the Persian. The breast and the arms of the image are of silver, typifying the Persian empire; the belly and thighs of brass, emblems of the dominion of Alexander the Great and his successors. The legs

are of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay. How finely is the Roman empire shadowed out, at once in its strength, and in its decline and fall! The legs are of iron, but, as we descend, the feet are part of iron, and part of clay. This is iron-handed Rome in its greatness, and in its gradual decay; and then the toes, "part of potters' clay, and part of iron," are emblematic of the various kingdoms that rose out of the ruins of the Roman empire, one of them, doubtless, being Britain. Thus did Nebuchadnezzar obtain the desire of his heart-a glimpse was given him of that futurity, into which he longed to look-and in this simple, yet comprehensive, colossal figure, was MAN exhibited to him, as indicated by the empires which were successively to take the chief place in ruling the earth.

But why thus show the things that shall come to pass hereafter, if one empire is merely to succeed another, one conqueror merely to conquer another, and man to be a plaything for his brother man? Far better would it be for us to remain in our ignorance, than thus to have a dim outline of hundreds and thousands of years, wherein the race seem to degenerate from age to age, for the head of the image is of gold, and the toes are of iron, mixed with miry clay! But now comes the simple, yet sublime catastrophe, which gives consistency, beauty, and grandeur, to the dream. The great truth was proclaimed 2500 years ago, in the court of the king of Babylon, that man is a progressive creature! A stone, cut out without hands, is hurled against the hardness and the baseness of his nature, and the great image totters to its fall-now it descends in a shower of fragments"the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, are broken to pieces together, and become like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carries them away that no place is found for them; and the stone, that smote the image, becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth.”

Now, this image, though a compound of many metals, is yet perfect in shape and form, and is to us a type of the entireness of There is no annihilation in the natural the history of our race. world, and there is none in the moral; Babylon is rased from the earth, and its records almost from the page of history; Persia is

the shadow of that Persia typified by the arms and breast of silver; the exploits of Alexander the Great and his successors have been taken but to "point a moral, and adorn a tale;" and Rome, imperial Rome, succeeded by the modern nations of Europe, seems to have existed only to give occupation to a Gibbon or a Sismondi! Yet human society, from age to age, is one perfect form. The head may be of gold, and the toes of iron, mixed with miry clay; but there are not two heads, neither are there two bodies. Every kingdom has a purpose, and every individual man has a purpose, in existence-there is nothing aimless or objectless in the works of God, and He overrules the works of man. This is the great business of what is called philosophical history, to endeavour to pour light over the chaos-to exhibit how Babylon links with Persia, and Persia with Greece and Macedon, and Greece and Macedon with Rome; and to show, that, while man is often working like a blind mole in the dark, there is a superintending Power, extracting good even out of his evil, and resuscitating the old buried arts of Egypt, to enlighten and instruct the children of the youngest empire of the earth.

While we are thus taught by the colossal figure the lesson of the entireness of human society, we are also taught by the dream that human society would go on from age to age without improvement, were it not for an outward and exterior influence acting upon it. Christianity comes not with might and power to establish a kingdom or overthrow a dynasty; it interferes with none of the established forms that bind society together; it commands the Christian to render unto Cæsar-idolatrous Cæsar-the things that are his; and sends back the christian and slave to his christian master. Its whole influence is moral in its nature, working powerfully, yet working silently and unseen; like the atmosphere, it forces neither gates nor bars, but passes through crevices and openings, and fills the room; its spirit is abroad on the earth, and it will not rest till, like its great author, it occupies all space in the moral universe of man. The stone cut out without hands is a little one, and it is thrown against a huge image. But the day is coming when the blow will be felt over the framework of human society; and then, when all false systems of belief, and all pernicious and hurtful forms of government, are destroyed by its pervading influence and power, the gold, and the silver, and the brass, and the iron, of man's own making, will become like the chaff of the summer threshing-floor, which is carried away by the wind; and christianity, in all its purity and all its strength, will enter into every national system, and become the vital element of public opinion-the little stone become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth.

What a marvellous dream is this, which thus looks down through so great a period of history, and indicates its outline concisely, yet with a distinctness that no man can mistake! When Daniel expounded it to Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon was, indeed, a glorious city, and a wonder of the earth. That it should ever be reduced to such a mass of ruins-or rather a kneaded mass of brick, a "burned mountain "-must have appeared utterly chimerical to the Babylonian courtiers. But the dream was not expounded for their sakes, but for ours, and for all who choose to read aright the page of history. Any ingenuous mind that hesitates to accept the Bible as a revelation, would do well to sit down to the book of Daniel; and (bearing in mind that the evidence for the antiquity, genuineness, and authenticity of the work is as complete as can be brought forward on any similar historical or literary question) compare the prophecies fulfilled with those great events or transactions with which they coincide. No candid mind could make the experiment without feeling his scepticism staggering.

To those who are convinced in their minds-who feel that the Bible, as a whole, is altogether too marvellous a book to be other than what it claims to be-a recommendation to study the fulfilled prophecies as a confirmation of their faith, may appear unnecessary and superfluous. But they can read them for a purpose far higher and more useful to them. They believe in the progressive advancement of man; and this is a faith which sometimes requires faith to sustain. Whenever, therefore, your faith in this "cheering doctrine" becomes cloudy-when your horizon is contracted, and a thousand circumstances lead you to think that, after all, bating the exterior influences of civilisation, man is much the same moral creature as he has ever been, and that he will continue so to bego to the sure word of prophecy and receive a fresh impulse to your faith. Too often the huge colossal image of human society fills the whole field of vision; and then we are apt to forget the unseen power-the stone cut out without hands. The same dream and

its interpretation which describe to us so accurately the great empires which were to arise in after times, also assure us that a kingdom is to be set up, which shall never be destroyed the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." "While the evils associated with the christianity of remote ages," says Professor Vaughan, "have all, more or less, an existence among us, it is in a diminished and much enfeebled form. We everywhere see upon them the signs of a state of things which decayeth and waxeth old. Lengthened was the interval appointed to precede the announcement of our holy religion to mankind, and a long night of trial has since been allotted to it; but there is much, very much, to warrant hope that the future will constitute the age of its purity and its triumphs-that, better understood, and more devoutly received, it will pour down its richest blessings on a world in which it has suffered such manifold and protracted wrong."


DURING the reign of Cleomenes, Aristagoras, prince of Miletus, arrived at Sparta, for the purpose of inducing the Lacedemonian monarch to invade Asia Minor, then under the dominion of Darius Hystaspes; whose power Aristagoras feared, and whom he would have been glad to have seen defeated by the Spartans. The prince of Miletus appeared before the Spartan king with a tablet of brass in his hand, upon which was inscribed every known part of the habitable world, the sea, and the rivers. He addressed the monarch in a speech of considerable length, urging upon him the state of servitude in which the Ionians were placed by Darius, and reminding him of the ties of consanguinity between the Greeks and the Ionian cities of Asia Minor. He represented that the barbarians (the Persians, the word barbarian originally meaning stranger only) were by no means remarkable for their valour; that they were armed with a bow and short spear only; but that they had abundance of gold, silver, and brass; that they had plenty of cattle, and a prodigious number of slaves. Then pointing to the tablet in his hand, he explained the nations by which they were surrounded, the Lydians, the Phrygians, the Cilicians, and others; ending with the Maticini, "in whose district, and not far remote from the river Choaspes, is Susa, where the Persian monarch occasionally resides, and where his treasures are deposited. Make yourselves masters of this city, and you may vie in affluence with Jupiter himself." Aristagoras having finished,- Milesian friend,” replied Cleomenes, "in the space of three days you shall have our answer."

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On the day appointed, Cleomenes inquired of Aristagoras how many days' journey it was from the Ionian sea to the dominions of the Persian king. Aristagoras, whose policy it ought to have been to conceal the truth and lessen the distance, inconsiderately replied, that it was a journey of about three months. As he proceeded to explain himself, Cleomenes interrupted him, saying, "Stranger of Miletus, depart from Sparta before sunset; what you say cannot be agreeable to the Lacedemonians, desiring to lead us a march of three months from the sea." Having said this, Cleomenes withdrew.

"Aristagoras, taking a branch of olive in his hand, presented himself before the house of Cleomenes, entering which as a suppliant, he requested an audience, at the same time desiring that the prince's daughter might retire; for it happened that Gorgo, the only child of Cleomenes, was present, a girl of about eight or nine years old; the king begged that the presence of the child might be no obstruction to what he had to say. Aristagoras then promised to give him ten talents if he would accede to his request. As Cleomenes refused, Aristagoras rose in his offers to fifty talents; upon which the child exclaimed, Father, unless you withdraw, this stranger will corrupt you.' The prince was delighted with the wise saying of his daughter, and instantly retired. Aristagoras was never able to obtain another audience of the king, and left Sparta in disgust." This Gorgo afterwards married Leonidas.

Besides the extraordinary speech of Gorgo, a wife worthy of the hero of Thermopylae, this anecdote is deserving notice as being a description of the earliest map of a country upon record. The translator of Herodotus is wrong in saying "brass," as the plate was probably of bronze, a mixture of copper and tin, which was used for warlike instruments and other purposes, it being capable of taking a sharper edge than could in those days be given to iron; it was called by the Romans as, and by the Greeks chaleus. Of this material the Romans fabricated their best mirrors, and the swords found at Cannæ, supposed to be Carthaginian, are of bronze. Brass is a compound of copper and zinc, with which latter metal the ancients were unacquainted.


THE BRITISH MUSEUM is the only institution which in its objects and uses is fairly entitled to the name of national in England. The National Gallery is too limited, though it is gradually extending, and will, we trust, be one day worthy of its name. The Tower, now that the Lions are gone, and the Zoological Gardens have made us familiar with what would have made our forefathers stare, is, at best, but an exhibition for the "young folks"-the "march of intellect" has destroyed that kind of awe with which it used to be invested, and the chronological arrangement of the armour has actually taken the bread out of the poor Beefeaters' mouths; no longer can they hold forth, with edifying confusion, on helmets, shields, and spears, make a country visitor shudder as he touches the axe that actually cut off the head of Ann Boleyn, or curdle the blood in a true Englishman's veins, as he examines the instruments of torture that were found on board the Harmada! Westminster Abbey is a national building, but an unwise policy still keeps it as a show, and we are compelled to pay for liberty to muse over the remains of the mighty dead. Not so the British Museum-here we can enter freely, and survey the treasures of nature and art which it contains.

The British Museum was suggested by the will of the celebrated Sir Hans Sloane. He, during a long practice as a physician, and with the enthusiasm of a lover of natural history, had gathered a large collection of books, manuscripts, objects of curiosity and art; and these he directed his executors to offer to the British Parliament for the sum of £20,000. The offer was accepted, and the collection having been augmented by the addition of the Cottonian Library of MSS. which belonged to the nation, measures were taken, which resulted in placing the British Museum where it has ever since remained, in Montague House, a large building originally erected by the Duke of Montague for his residence. The Museum was opened for public inspection on the 15th January, 1759. It is not our present purpose to enter into a description of this large collection, which, we are sure, no visiter of London, however hurried, misses an opportunity of inspecting. What with its marbles and mummies, its birds, insects, minerals, &c. &c., there is matter enough for consideration to a visiter for many a repeated examination. Our present object is with the LIBRARY and READING-ROOM, which, under new arrangements, may be considered rather as an adjunct of the Museum, than as an integral portion of it.

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historians and antiquaries-Camden, Sir Walter Raleigh, Lord Bacon, Selden, Sharon Turner, and Lingard, all acknowledge their obligations to it. Then there are the Harleian, Sloanean, and Lansdowne MSS.-the latter collection having been bought in 1807;-the Burney MSS., chiefly of the Greek and Latin classics; collections by Rich, the son-in-law of Sir James Mackintosh, made while he was consul at Bagdad, along with a great number of other collections, acquired either by gift or purchase. The ancient rolls and charters, many thousands in number, partly belonging to the Cottonian, Harleian, and Sloane collections, form a distinct division of the MSS.

For a long period the Library and Reading-Room of the British Museum were only used by a very few individuals-scholars, antinumber of visits for the purpose of study and research did not quaries, historians, and collectors of curiosities of literature. The amount, in 1810, to 2000. The attendants of the Reading Room had quite a sinecure in those "good old days," when perhaps they had not above half a dozen individuals to accommodate with books. In fact there was no provision made for a large number of visiters; and the crowds that now attend would have quite horrified those tranquil souls, whose solitary researches were only disturbed by an occasional footfall. The increase has been very rapid of late years, and this has led to new and more spacious Reading-Rooms being provided for those who have the privilege of admission.

The new Reading Rooms occupy a portion of an extensive addition recently made to the buildings of the Museum. The entrance to the old rooms was by the main gateway of the Museum, leading into the great quadrangle; but the new rooms Place. To obtain admission, it is necessary that the person wishhave an exclusive entrance behind the Museum in Montague ing to become a reader should make application to the chief librarian, backing his application with the recommendation of some responsible individual. Should the person recommending be known to the chief librarian, the application will probably be granted at once; but otherwise the applicant may have to wait for a little time, a few days, or a week or two, in order that inquiry may be made. The professed object of this is to prevent disreputable persons from obtaining easy access to the Reading Room. When the applicant is admitted he receives a ticket, stating that Mr. So-and-so is admitted for six months, and that at the end of that period it must be renewed. The issue of these tickets is a mere formal matter; the applicant, after receiving one, may at once deposit it amongst his "archives;" for tickets are not required to be shown on each visit, the frequenters of the Reading Room walking in and out without let, hindrance, or question.

The Reading Rooms consist of two spacious apartments, with ranges of tables on either side. Round the rooms are presses filled with works of reference, cyclopædias, dictionaries, sets of magazines, journals of societies, topographical and geographical works, county histories, &c. These are open to the readers; but the first process in obtaining a book from the library is to consult the catalogue, and write the title of the work wanted in a printed ticket in the following manner :

Press Mark.

518 a

Title of the Work, or Number of the MS. wanted.

Size. Place. Date.

Clark, J.


Lond. 1810

Bibliotheca Legum.

Originally the Museum collection was divided into three departments, those of Printed Books, Manuscripts, and Natural History. The department of Printed Books consisted at first of the libraries of Sir Hans Sloane and Major Edwards; George II., by instrument under the Great Seal, added a library which had been collected by the kings of England from the time of Henry VII.; and, in 1823, the library of George III. was presented by George IV., with an injunction, however, to keep it wholly distinct from the general collection. This latter collection is known as the 'King's Library;" it was gathered together, during half a century, at an expense of nearly £200,000; and it is affirmed by Sir Henry Ellis, the chief librarian of the Museum, to be "in itself perhaps the most complete library of its extent that ever was formed." The general, or common library, is continually aug- The reverse of the ticket contains the following cautions :menting, by donations, by purchase, and by contributions under the Copyright Act; about £2,000 is annually expended in the purchase of old and foreign publications; and it contains at present about 270,000 volumes. This is, of course, exclusive of the King's Library.".

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The collection of MSS. in the library is very extensive, divided generally into classes, known by the names of their original collectors. Thus, there is the Cottonian collection, which was gathered by the celebrated antiquary, Sir Robert Cotton, and given by his grandson, in 1700, to Parliament, for the use of the nation, and which was transferred to the Museum when it was founded in 1757. This collection has been very useful to our chief national


March 14,


Please to restore each volume of the Catalogue to its place as soon as done with.


1. Not to ask for more than one work on the same ticket.

2. To transcribe literally from the Catalogues the title of the Work wanted.

3. To write in a plain clear hand, in order to avoid delay and mistakes.

4. To return the books to an attendant, and to obtain the corresponding ticket, the READER BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BOOKS SO LONG AS THE TICKET REMAINS UNCANCELLED.

The ticket (or tickets, if the reader requires more than one work) is handed to an attendant, who is stationed behind a kind of counter at the head of the main room. The reader then takes his seat at a table, and waits till his books are brought, or amuses himself by consulting some of the books of reference in the presses

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