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body. What a life the poor wretch leads; and what she complains of most, never an instant to clean herself!

BOOK-BORROWING. She is about as dirty as a sweep. Even on Sundays, When we were at school, it was customary for the she has but a faint remission from duty. By way of boys to write on the fly-leaf of all their books, especially an immense favour, she is allowed to go to evening their more attractive ones, these verses, intended as a service once a fortnight. The soul of a maid-of-all- sort of take notice for the careless and the furtive work is, I suppose, thought be very little worth. borrower :Dear, kind-hearted legislators, do not lavish all your

• If thou art borrowed by a friend, compassion on factory workers. Spare a little for

Right welcome shall he be domestic servants. Do pass a law that they shall not

To read, to study, not to lend, labour more than the moderate quantity of eighteen

But to return to me. hours out of the four-and-twenty !

Not that imparted knowledge doth It has been remarked, that the greatest solitude in

Diminish learning's store, the world is to be alone in London. A young man be

But books, I find, if often lent, comes painfully aware of this truth when he is settled

Return to me no more. in one of the abodes I have above described. The

Read slowly, pause frequently, think seriously, family circle, the agreeable chit-chat, the sisterly or

Keep cleanly, return duly,

With the corners of the leaves not turned down.' maternal affection, the thousand comforts of home, are sadly missed. If there is one thing more than another in the three first lines of these familiar verses, the the want of which is painfully felt, it is the charm of owner very generously offers to lend the book to any female society. After being engaged in business, or, friend who simply wants to read and study it. This which is very often the case, the pursuit of business, the praiseworthy liberality is quite in the spirit of that of whole day, to return to one's lonely lodgings with no the celebrated book - collector Grollier, who had his friend to greet, no company to cheer, is what renders splendid volumes inscribed with the words, Jo. Groleven a sojourn in London so distasteful and almost in- lierii et amicorum, implying that they were intended for supportable to country visitants. The lodger sits in his the use of his friends as well as himself. There is apartment in the midst of the huge city, whose whole something selfish in refusing to lend a book, provided it extent, with its millions of human beings, contains no is not a very rare or costly one. The selfish bookfriend, perhaps no acquaintance. The occasional knock owner should be reminded of the anecdote of the poor at the door announces no friendly visitor. Perhaps the student at college, who sent a note to one of the prooccupant of the second floor, who, after labouring in the fessors to ask the loan of a book. The professor's reply uninviting toils of a salaried law-clerk during the day, was, that he never lent books to any one, but that the returns to his wife and three children, who have seen student was very welcome to come to his library and read no familiar face since his departure; or perhaps a all day long. Soon after this denial, on one very frosty fellow-adventurer is retiring to his single apartment on morning the professor, not being able to get his fire to the top floor, which serves both as a sitting and bed- burn, sent to the poor student to borrow a pair of belroom,

lows. “No,' said the youth, ‘I never lend my bellows If a young man has not means sufficient to support to any one, but the professor is quite welcome to frequent attendance at the theatres, and other places of come here and blow my fire all day long.' At an amusement; if he is compelled to live frugally, and has early period, when books were exceedingly rare and no friends or acquaintances to whom he may occasion- valuable, from their existing only in the form of manually resort, a life in London requires no slight self-de- script, it was but reasonable to refuse to lend them, as pendence, no small self-sufficiency, to yield anything their accidental loss would have been irreparable. It like pleasure or satisfaction. The property of .home was customary then to secure them to the shelves by sickness' becomes very strongly developed ; and nothing chains, ropes, bolts, &c. The library at Grantham still short of a stern necessity, or an indomitable persever-contains several books attached to chains. During the ance, can sustain the wanderer from the domestic hearth. thirteenth century, so scarce and precious were the It is a common remark, that frier.ds are much more manuscript books, that it sometimes happened that if scarce than acquaintances; and at no time is the truth a religious council were assembled, and wanted to conof this observation more strikingly apparent than during sult the works of the Fathers, they had to send to a a pilgrimage in the metropolis. And yet, with all these considerable distance to borrow them at much expense, drawbacks; notwithstanding the vast and thronged giving a heavy security for their safe return. The solitude, the absence of friends, and of fresh air; not works of eminent medical men were so rarely to be met withstanding the narrow street, the close room, the with, that on one occasion, when a king of France dingy curtains, and the solitary meal—there is yet a wished to possess a copy of the writings of Baize, a pleasure, great and supporting, in the pursuit of a celebrated Arabian physician, the faculty of medicine worthy object amid such sources of discouragement and of Paris would not lend it even to the monarch withdepression. There is a satisfaction in overcoming diffi- out pledges. Heber, the great book-collector, intended culties, and in battling with opposing circumstances, to have bequeathed his extensive library to the British which the pleasure-seeker never knows; and the dili- Museum, but he altered his will, in consequence of the gent frequenter of theatres, the visitor in crowded halls, authorities at that institution refusing to lend him a and the attendant on the marts of fashion, has never rare work, which he wished to compare with one in his felt, and is incapable of feeling, the proud self-gratula- possession, he being at the time confined to his house, tion which arises in the breast of the youth struggling and unable to go to the library. The condition on in the solitude of London-battling to overcome diffi- lending a book, that the borrower is not to take upon culties, and buoyed up with the hope of being ultimately himself to lend it, is very necessary with many free-andsuccessful

easy sort of people. Charles Lamb, writing to Coleridge, It is pleasing to know that the condition of young says, 'Why will you make your visits, which should men in lodgings in London is beginning to be meliorated give pleasure, matter of regret to your friends ? You by various movements in the social world. A cheap never come but you take away some folio, that is part and improving kind of literature offers its solacements; of my existence. I had no right to lend you the book associations of the club-house character, or at least you have just taken. I may lend you my own books, offering the advantages of a library and lectures, have because it is at my own hazard, but it is not honest to been established in different quarters of the metropolis; hazard a friend's property ; I always make that disand for strangers falling into sickness, that useful estab tinction. Many a reader must have had the mortificalishment, the Sanatorium, offers a friendly asylum on tion to find that books, if often lent, return to him no moderate terms, and thus is illness robbed of one of its more. We can call to mind a long list of works, and most distressing features.

solitary volumes of works, that have had leave of

absence, but are never likely

to rejoin their regiment national libraries—is not only a crime, but a folly, as it is Some time ago, the Sydney Gazette' contained an ad-like trying to rob one's own library, for it already belongs vertisement from a gentleman, requesting his friends to to every body. The universal feeling ought rather to be return various books that they had borrowed, and, by an anxiety to add something to it, than a mean wish to way of inducement, promising to lend them more after- filch from it. wards. Sir Walter Scott, on lending a book to a friend, begged that he would not fail to return it, adding good. humouredly, `Although most of my friends are bad

SINGULAR ADVENTURE WITH A LION. arithmeticians, they are all good book-keepers.' This The following is told on the authority of Mr Moffat, the joke of Sir Walter's reminds us of some one's witty Cape missionary :-A man having sat down on a shelving verses, entitled “The Art of Book-keeping,' in which low rock near a small fountain to take a little rest after the following lines occur :

his hearty drink, he fell asleep; but the heat of the rock

soon disturbed his dreams, when he beheld a large lion How hard, when those who do not wish

crouching before him, with its eyes glaring in his face, and To lend--that's lose-their books,

within little more than a yard of his feet. He was at first Are snared by anglers-folks that fish With literary hooks;

struck motionless with terror, but recovering his presence

of mind, he eyed his gun, and began moving his hand slowly Who call and take some favourite tome,

towards it, when the lion raised its head and gave a treBut never read it through:

mendous roar; the same awful warning being repeated They thus complete their set at honie,

whenever the man attempted to move his hand. The rock By making one at you.

at length became so heated, that he could scarcely bear his Behold the book-shelf of a dunce

naked feet to touch it. The day passed, and the night also, Who borrows-never lends;

but the lion never moved from the spot: the sun rose Yon work, in twenty volumes, once

again, and its intense heat soon rendered his feet past feelBelonged to twenty friends.

ing. At noon the lion rose and walked to the water, only

a few yards distant, looking behind as it went, lest the New tales and novels you may shut

man should move, when, seeing him stretch out his hand From view-'tis all in vain; They're gone-and though the leaves are “cut,"

to take his gun, it turned in a rage, and was on the point They never "come again."

of springing upon him. But another night passed as the

former had done; and the next day again the lion went For pamphlets lent I look around,

towards the water, but while there," he listened to some For tracts my tears are spilt;

noise apparently from an opposite quarter, and disappeared But when they take a book that's bound,

in the bushes.' The man now seized his gun, but on first 'Tis surely extra-guilt.

essaying to rise, he dropt, his ankles being without power. A circulating library

At length he made the best of his way on his hands and Is mine---my birds are flown ;

knees, and soon after fell in with another native, who took There's one odd volume left, to bo

him to a place of safety; and, as he expressed it, with bis Like all the rest, a-lone.

toes roasted.' This man belonged to Mr Schmelen's

congregation at Bethany.' 'He lost his toes, and was a I, of my Spenser quite bereft,

cripple for life.'
Last winter sore was shaken ;
of Lamb I've but a quarter left,

AN INCONSISTENCY.
Nor could I save my Bacon.

The horror which is especially evinced in the minds of
They picked my Locke, to me far more

us all by the death of one man by railway accident, more Than Bramah's patent worth;

than by other means, I have often thought must result And now my losses I deplore,

from the idea that at any time it may be our own case ; Without a Home on earth.

yet here are thousands upon thousands annually destroyed

around us by means as fatal, but, with common care, more Even Glover's works I cannot put

easily prevented, which at any moment may seize upon My frozen hands upon,

the strongest of us; and this, until lately, with scarcely a Though ever since I lost my Foote, My Bunyan has been gone.

word or a thought upon the subject. Happily, however,

we are now on the eve of a great and glorious and irresisMy life is wasting fast away

tible change.- Report of H. Austin, Esq. on the Sunitary ConI suffer from these shocks;

dition of Worcester.
And though I've fixed a lock on Gray,
There's gray upon my locks.

THE SIN OF BUILDING UNWHOLESOME HOUSES,
They still have made me slight returns,

It is proved that, besides the waste of money, health, And thus my grief divide ;

and life incurred by the system now usually pursued in For oh ! they've cured me of my Burns,

erecting the lower classes of dwellings in great towns, And eased my Akenside.

where comfort, cleanliness, and decency are either not

thought of at all, or are sacrificed to a short-sighted But all I think I shall not say,

greediness of gain, there is also an incalculable amount of Nor let my anger burn;

demoralisation attributable to the same causes; and that, For as they have not found me Gay, They have not left me Sterne.'

to say the least, an effectual bar is thereby put to the

intellectual, moral, and religious improvement of this large To an advertisement of a recent work on Surnames, portion of the community.Letters of the Rev. C. Girdlestone. the publisher adds this line of recommendation :- An

SALE OF NEGRO CHILDREX. amusing volume, which comes home to cverybody. If so, it must be a capital book to lend, for most works are

According to an advertisement in a New Orleans newssadly deficient in instinct to find their way home.

paper, the following' orphan children' are offered for sale: Last year it was stated in the Chamber

of Deputies years ; David, aged about nine years ; Cyrus, aged about

-- John, aged about twelve years; James, aged about eleven that, through lending works from the Bibliothèque nine years ; Yellow Alex., aged about eight years ; Black Royale at Paris, no less than twenty thousand of its Alex., aged about eight years ; Abraham, aged about five volumes are lost, and a great number mutilated. The years. Negro children are usually valued by their weight, manuscript of Molière, stolen thence in 1825, was re that being considered a pretty good criterion of their health cently offered for sale by auction in Paris, the minister and strength. The custom, accordingly, is to place them of public instruction not being able to recover it by in the scales. A likely boy will fetch from five to six dolmeans of the tribunals, for want of any mark to prove lars a-pound; but some go as high as nine dollars a-pound. its identity. By recent regulations, this valuable library is protected from the recurrence of such depredations. Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also In our own country, the British Museum has not escaped

sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. ORR, from stealers of books, manuscripts, prints, and speci

147 Strand, and Amen Corner, London; and J. M'GLASHAN,

21 D'Olier Street, Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAMBERS, mens. To steal from such places as these-free, public, Edinburgh.

JOURNAL

EDINBURG)

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR

THE PEOPLE,' CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.

No. 168. NEW SERIES.

SATURDAY, MARCH 20, 1847.

PRICE 11d.

a less exquisite consciousness of life, a less full enjoyWHAT IS LIFE?

ment of life. I do not mean to perplex myself either with physiolo If life is the summum bonum, the more we have of it gical or psychological questions. I will rather set out the better. The portion of the mere physical man is with assumptions which will be understood by all, and contemptibly insignificant when measured with that of contradicted by none. Judging by the conduct of men, the intellectual man; and this not comparatively, but and by their sentiments, from Job downwards, Life, positively. I mean that the two portions are not of the abstractedly, must be considered the summum bonum, same value to the individuals possessing them, even the mere privilege of living the highest boon of Pro- taking into consideration their relative social position ; vidence. Exceptions to this rule might no doubt be a fact which will at once appear, if we suppose the two pointed out. Cases might be mentioned in which life individuals to be in the same station in society. The has been considered secondary to honour, fame, the gra- case is not altered, however, if we suppose them to be, tification of pride or revenge, or relinquished in favour as they generally are, in different or opposite stationsof the mere tranquillity and unconsciousness of the the one rich, and the other poor. A thing is said, ecograve. But these are the cases of a few individuals out nomically, to be worth just as much as it will fetch ; of the myriads of mankind, for, generally speaking, and so it is with life as we are now considering it. The

smaller portion is little more than sufficient to keep the * The weariest and most loathed worldly life

functions of the body in movement, while the latter not That age, ache, penury, imprisonment,

only does this, but opens a thousand sources of pleasure Can lay on nature, is a paradise To what we fear of death.'

and profit to the mind. Life, in this sense, may be

compared to money. A small sum enables us to proIt is therefore worth inquiring-What is the nature of vide for our physical wants ; while a large sum surthe gift we estimate so highly? What is the real loss rounds us with comforts, elegances, and luxuries. It is We sustain in its deprivation? What, in short, is nonsense to say (though it is frequently said that the Life?

small sum is as much to the poor man as the large one Some philosophers tell us that life is combustion, is to the rich ; for this is to suppose the former to be and that the poets, by the inspiration of their art, fixed immovably in his condition of poverty. When suggested the true definition when they likened it to the poor man becomes rich, his views extend, his desires the flame of a taper. This may be true, or it may not; soar, his wants multiply in proportion; and even so, as but it is wide of my present purpose. In asking what the ignorant man amasses stores of knowledge, he feels life is, I mean to put a moral, not a scientific question, a thousand delightful and hitherto unknown sensations and address it not to the learned, but to the ignorant. superadded in his being—a new world spreads before his In like manner, if I inquired what is the body? I should eyes, a new heaven opens upon his soul. be answered by the chemist that it is a combination of Let us consider the first experiments of a child in the carbon, lime, iron, and various other substances; but I exercise of his faculty of sight. Everything is new and would rather be told, by the ordinary world, of its bones, strange to his eyes. He confounds forms and distances, sinews, and muscles.

or rather he has no such perceptions as those of form Life can only be known to the general inquirer by its and distance, till these gradually awaken from the action. We do not know how we come to live, but we action and reaction of the other senses with the one in know that we do live. How do we know this? By our question. At length he recognises objects, persons, sensations ; which sensations are the germ of our ideas, places, and insensibly acquires that degree of knowthe elements of all our thoughts and feelings. If this ledge which enables him to move without danger, and be true, it is incorrect to say that one of the lower play his part in the social circle around him. If he stops animals is as conscious of life as a man. The power of here, he is indeed different from the brutes, because he the germ can only be measured by its development; and belongs to a more perfect race of animals ; but in the farther this development is carried, the greater con various instances he suffers himself to be outstripped sciousness of life there will be. A man, therefore, has by them, without seeking compensation in the higher more life, so to speak, than an animal; and a thinking faculties of his being. Nature has lavished her skill on and civilised man, than a savage. If we could strip a the external senses in the lower animals, but denied to thinking and civilised man of his intellectual faculties, them intellectual development; while man she has one by one, we should find him descend in the scale of endowed with the power of almost endless progress, animal being till be landed in the brute nature. In that though originating in less acute organs of touch, taste, state he would still live. The functions of the body smell, sight, and hearing. In most of these an ignorant requisite for sustaining life would still go on ; but he man in civilised society is inferior to his dog ; and it is would have a smaller portion of the principle of life, I only in the savage, who, owing to his being entirely

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excluded from intellectual exercise, is thrown back in the acquisition of knowledge; and there are few so upon such rudiments, that the animal finds a worthy | ill remunerated as wholly to exclude their follower from competitor.

the stores of thought that are now so widely diffused by But we shall suppose that the individual in question the press. To complain of the monotony of life, is to is not satisfied with using his sight merely to know his complain of inertness of mind. Among the lower classes, friends or enemies, merely to enable him to work or to this inertness is the slumber of faculties that have never play, merely to enlighten the small circle of his daily been awakened ; among the upper (who term it ennui), employments, like the candle which illumines his cot- it is the weariness of faculties that have wasted themtage room. In him this wonderful faculty, without selves upon contemptible pursuits, and when these have being really increased in acuteness, receives, when in palled, have not energy enough left for anything higher combination with the other powers of his nature, a or nobler. In the former case, the individual frequently higher development. It enables him to traverse the takes to drinking, and is pitied by the unreflecting, on whole earth, to become familiar with all the kingdoms account of the temptations to which he was exposed by of nature, to penetrate into the regions of space, to his monotonous trade; in the latter, he is graphically number the stars of heaven, to measure their distances, described as being used up'-he has nothing more in to trace their patlıs through the sky. What a different him, and is only fit to be laughed at on the stage, shoved faculty is sight in this man from that of the human aside in the streets, and walked over in the crowd. clod! But each of the other faculties is, in like manner, To live is not merely to touch, to taste, to smell, to acted upon by the rest, and the results are as wonder- see, to hear : it is to use all our faculties in the highest ful in all. The senses are originally less perfect in man condition of development our opportunities permit. This, than in the lower animals; but their combinations oc- and not the other, is the natural life of man. A person casion developments so grand and godlike, that we lose whose mind is vacant is like a stunted plant, kept down in their contemplation all thought of the humble germs from its proper growth by insufficient light, or heat, or from which they sprang:

air. This is as yet, to a certain extent, the position of • I think : therefore I live,' says the philosopher. But us all; for the mind of the world is only in the process the two actions cannot be separated. Life is thought. of awakening from the slumber of ages. We are only A thinking man lives more than another, and he lives pressing forward to the accomplishment of an unknown longer.

destiny. We have not yet reached our state of nature; The complaint of shortness of life is, generally speak- we have not yet thrown completely off the shackles of ing, as absurd as it is common. It is usually made by circumstances that so long impeded our growth, and persons whose lives are of no value either to them- strangled our energies. But we are on the way, and selves or society, and whose time merely consists of so that is much. Life, in its higher sense, which was many years. A dog might reasonably enough complain formerly confined to individuals of the shortness of his life, since he uses his faculties to

Lights of the world, and demi-gods of fame' the best advantage in his power; but the complaint is ridiculous in a man who is satisfied with the life of an now pervades the masses of the people. It exists in the animal. With countless treasures within his reach, he hut as well as in the palace, in the workshop as well as complains of being poor, because he will not stretch in the study. And the result of this approach to intelforth his hand to grasp them! If life is thought, he lectual equality is moral sympathy; for there is a freehas it in his power to live long. The slumberer, for masonry in knowledge which, in spite of physical and instance, who is awakened by these lines into intellec- social differences, makes men brethren. No one who tual energy, will live as long in one day as lie has has his eyes open can fail to recognise this fact. It hitherto done in several years. This may be illustrated accounts clearly and intelligibly for appearances which by a very common circumstance. If we set out to walk would else give the lie to all history. Before the geneover a plain unvaried surface—an expanse of sand, for ral advance of knowledge, social prejudices in this couninstance-however tedious we may find the journey try are vanishing like mists before the sun, and poliwhile in progress, it will appear short when it is over. tical prejudices have already wellnigh disappeared. It In looking back, we have no data wherewith to mea- may, indeed, have been from sheer exhaustion that, after sạre. The line of time has a beginning and an end, and a twenty years' war, the states of Europe relaxed their our thoughts have no halting-place between. If, on the gripe of each others' throats ; but it is owing to the other hand, we traverse the very same distance com- general progress of knowledge that the torch of war has puted in miles, but diversified with towns and villages, never since been rekindled, and that, after a thirty years' woods and waters, hills and valleys, the converse will peace, wę seem now as remote as ever from the mad. take place. The journey will appear short while we are ness of strife. The bellicose propensities of statesmen in progress, for we shall have no time to think of its would no longer receive encouragement from the people length, being carried away at every step by some new - we should no longer see a crowd of simpletons rushand interesting object; but on looking back in imagi- ing in with the offer of their lives and fortunes' at the nation, we shall find so many landmarks by the way. first whisper of a project for defacing the image of God, side, so many channels of thought intersecting our and destroying the work of civilisation. But fortunately course, that the distance will seem immense. The these propensities no longer exist, for statesmen themnumber of miles may be the same, but the one journey selves have shared in the spirit of improvement. Comis longer than the other, and we have lived longer pare the aspect of parliament now with that which it during its course.

presented before the battle of Waterloo-before the The monotony of life is another groundless complaint, sins of the European kings were cast upon the back occasioned by our failing to ask ourselves the question of a single sacrifice, and the poor scape-goat sent off What is life? Life is neither weaving, nor printing, to the wilderness of ocean! We may no longer listen nor digging: it is thinking. There is no employment entranced to the thunder of eloquence, or have our so dull or uniform as to deprive its follower of the power senses bewildered in the mazes of rhetoric, for the forof thought. Nay, the more mechanical the employment, tune of nations hangs no longer upon the intonation of the more opportunity it may be said to afford for mental a voice or the turning of a period; but a general good cultivation. The shuttle has before now borne burthen sense, a general tone of moral feeling, and a general to the lofty rhyme,' and it was no intellectual task-yearning after the good of all, in contradistinction to work which gilded the visions of him

that of cliques and classes, attest the progress of gene

ral knowledge. • Who walked in glory and in joy,

Beautiful, no doubt, are the tree-tops, towers, and Following his plough upon the mountain side.'

pinnacles that are gilded by the level rays of the mornThere are few avocations of so absorbing a nature as to ing sun; but the shadow which then broods over the afford no time whatever for the exercise of the faculties I lower portions of the picture is cold, and dark, and

drear. That sun, thank God, has now risen high above value, independently of any special interest in the the horizon; and although the loftier objects of the story. scene are still clearly defined against the radiant sky,

During the first year of the reign of the Emperor beneath we have light and heat pervading the whole surface, and opening flowers giving forth beauty and Teenshun [1458 of our era], a military chief named perfume from the humblest hillock, from the lowliest Wang was appointed to reside at the station of Nandell.

yang, in the province of Honan, and forth with went Let us turn our eyes for a moment

thither, taking his family, consisting of his wife and two • O'er the dark rereward and abysm of time,'

daughters, along with him. The name of the elder of where lights are gleaming through the gloom like stars Keaou Lwan, and that of the younger was Keaou Fung.

these maidens, who was about eighteen years of age, was upon the distant shore. These lights are the great men of antiquity. The genius of individuals survives, while Although only sixteen years of age, Fung was already that of nations is lost. Instead of tongues and peoples, betrothed to a cousin in a distant part of the country ; we find only books and names; instead of cities and and as she was married, and removed with her husband palaces, only tombs and ruins. A great cycle in the shortly after the arrival of the family in Nanyang, world's age was accomplished in the fall of the Roman Keaou Lwan was left in a solitary and unpleasant posiempire. All antecedent realities were expunged, and tion. To console her as much as possible, her father only a few records here and there saved from destruc- kindly invited her aunt, Tseaou, to come and reside as tion; and then a new course of existence was begun,

a member of the household. and a new chapter of history opened. How different is this era from the last ! Instead of

Aunt Tseaou was a lively and obliging person, but stars and darkness, we are in the midst of life and light. her society failed to console her pensive and affectionate Ours is the age of a moral and intellectual movement, niece. Keaou Lwan's accomplishments and feelings of which it is impossible to imagine the end. Science, were of an interesting kind. From her infancy she had instead of being locked up in temples and schools, is been an ardent student of books; she could wield her diffused throughout the length and breadth of the land; pen, and compose with classic elegance ; and it was and the pale mechanic,' bending over his monotonous task, laughs at the ignorance of Pliny. But while in only from being a favourite daughter, with rare exceldulging in a thankful pride, let us all those who have lence of character, that her parents had prevented her the power to impart knowledge, and those who have from being long since wooed and betrothed. Frequently the ability to receive it—let us all bethink ourselves of would she sigh when standing in the pure breeze, or comthe higher responsibilities involved in our higher advan- plain to the bright moon of the icy state of singleness tages. We, the people at large, occupy the place of the to which she seenied to be doomed. Aunt Tseaou, who priests and thaumaturgists of the antique world, and was very intimate with her, understood the feelings of wo to us if we neglect the sacred fire committed to our her heart; but beyond her aunt, no one else, not even charge! We are not like the shadows of bygone his- her parents, knew anything about the matter. tory: our spirits will survive in endless transmission. Forward !--forward !' the cry of destiny. Awake,

‘One day, being the Tsing Ming term, she went to the ye who slumber, from the slumber of your faculties! back garden, accompanied by Aunt Tseaou and her waitRead, listen, speak, feel, think! In one word-LIVE: ing-maid, to play at the game of the Chinese swing or for life is thought!

roundabout, by way of amusement. Just when in the

very height of their noise and merriment, they sudWANG KEA OU LWA N.

denly espied, at a gap in the garden-wall, a very finelooking young gentleman, dressed in mulberry-coloured

clothes, and wearing on his head a cap or kerchief of A CURIOUS little volume has come into our possession, the Tang dynasty, who was bending forward his head purporting to be a Chinese tale, printed at the Canton and looking on, calling out without ceasing, “Well done! press in 1839, and translated from the original by Robert well done!” Keaou Lwan got into a sad flutter, her Thom, Esq. resident at Canton. It is a small square whole face became the colour of scarlet, and hiding herbook, done up in a green cover, with the title first in self behind Aunt Tseaou, they precipitately made the Chinese characters, and then in English. Yet even in best of their way for the fragrant apartment, and the English, the name of the work is somewhat hard to get waiting-maid went in after them. The student thus through. It is as follows, WANG KEAOU LWAN PIH seeing no one in the garden, leaped over the wall, and NEEN CHANG Han, which words, as we learn from the entered, and immediately spying something or other preface, compose the name of the heroine of the story, among the grass, and taking it up, he found it to be a and may be abbreviated into the more manageable handkerchief of scented gauze, three cubits long, and terms, Wang Keaou Lwan. Ac ling to Chinese cus-finely embroidered. Of this he took possession, as if it tom, the surname goes before the Christian name, and had been a pearl of great price; and hearing the sound therefore Wang must be understood to be the lady's of people coming from within, he made his exit from family appellation. She was, in short, Miss Wang; and the garden as he had entered it. Then taking his stand by this, as well as by the more familiar name Keaou as before, in the gap of the wall, who should he find it Lwan, we shall take the liberty of speaking of her. be but the waiting-maid coming to look for the gauze

Miss Wang's story is a romance of the affections, handkerchief! The student seeing her go round and founded, it is said, on facts, and has been selected from round again and again, and hunt here, and there, and a large collection of fictions by the translator, .partly everywhere, until perfectly fagged, at length smiled, from being pleased with the manner in which the plot and told her that he had picked up the object of her is developed, and partly from the quantity of poetry search.' interwoven in the piece.' Within our limited space, we A chaffering conversation now ensues, in which the can do no more than offer an abridgment of the story, young gentleman mentions that his name is Ting paraphrased in certain passages; but even in this par- Chang, that he is a son of Professor Chow, and is at tially altered form, the reader, we hope, will obtain a present a student in the adjoining college. He has no tolerably correct idea of the original. As a specimen objection to give up the handkerchief, but only into the of Chinese literature, the piece may not be without its hands of the fair owner; and to make her acquainted

A CHINESE TALE OF BYGONE YEARS.

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