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Anna and Olive both ask for Manuals of Private Prayer for girls from nine to eighteen. We should recommend both either Bishop Ken's Manual for the Scholars of Winchester College, (Parker,) or Mr. Brett's Office of the Most Holy Name. (Masters.) They should, however, be shewn where to begin in the latter, as the daily prayers are to be found in the middle of the book. There is a short form for self-examination, but the best instruction on that subject for girls is in Miss Sewell's Readings before Confirmation. (Longmans.) The Cards published by the S.P.C. K. are the most suitable for poor children.

If a letter be sent to the Editor for Greta, it shall be answered with full information about The Society of the Apostolic Rule.

Declined with thanks.- Nona; C. J. C. ; Legend of the Rhine. Not one of these has an address on the same paper with the MS.

In reply to H. H.-Does . H. H.' know English Medieval Embroidery,' published by Parker ; und Church Needlework,' by Miss Lambert (Murray) ? H. H's second question is asked in Vol. VIII. of Penny Post, and thus answered:- Poetry is the history of ancient times. To Herrick we must confess our obligation for acquaintance with some of the manners pertaining to this great feast (Candlemas)

“Down with the Rosemary, and so
Down with the Baies and Mistletoe,
Down with the Holly, Ivie, all,

Wherewith ye dressed the Christmas hall." In Vol. IX. the query is again asked, and thus answered :Christmas decorations are generally removed on the vigil of the Purification. In Vol. X. of the Penny Post, iz Minor Notes for the Month :-* There seems a very clear tradition that this is the day for taking down holly and ivy from our churches and houses, (referring to Candlemas,

“Down with the Rosemary, and so,"' &c. Answer to Eva.—The repetition of the Psalm was a mistake, owing to its not having been erased from the list of material in type.

Can anyone who is a working member of The Ladies' Industrial Society, the depôt of which is, or was, 75, Westbourne Grove, speak encouragingly of its results, to one who would be glad to dispose of her works ?-H. E. H.

H. C.—The Sisters of St. Michael's, Shoreditch, are of the Church of England. A convent simply means a place of coming together ; and we can see no reason against its adoption. If no name ever used by Roman Catholics was permitted, our ecclesiastical nomenclature would be small indeed, and would certainly exclude Sisters and Sisterhoods.-ED.

Muriel.—Collections of varieties of postage stamps had better be advertized in the exchange columns of the Queen or the Mart newspapers. Miss E.'s--if old English penny stampswould be best in the fire. It has been requestedwe believe by authority--that such collections should not be made, as they are of no possible use, and are liable to fall into hands that use them fraudulently.

St. Luke's Mission, Burdett Road, Stepney.-The Rev. W. Wallace acknowledges with thanks :-F. B., a Parcel of Clothing; F. P., Farnham, 38.; M. P., £2; C. F., £2 7s. 6d. ; from Burnley, 1s.; K. P., £l; from Wellington, Salop, a very useful Parcel of Clothing; F. L., £10 10s.

N. N. would suggest to Helen, if she wishes for modern and fashionable patterns, to get paper models from Madame Adolphe Gouband, 30, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. A flat pattern is sent, as well as the same made up-trimmed. N. N. has found it a good plan to let the children (if it is a class in a school) pay for pinafores and other garments as they make them, as it gives the children an interest in their own work, and leads to saving habits ; but N. N. should add it is a rather more troublesome way than an ordinary saving club.

J. E. asks for ineuns of obtaining employment as an illuminator, or of disposing of her illuminations.

John and Charles Mozley, Printers, Derby.

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Dante, in the ninth Canto of the Inferno, has drawn afresh upon the stores of classical legend. The Thessalian witch Erichtho is mentioned by the poet Lucan in his Pharsalia ; but we have no means whatever of identifying the spirit evoked from the Giudecca, if indeed Dante had any one individual in his thoughts, and was not merely devising a way to account for Virgil's knowledge of the lower circles of hell. Proserpine, the queen of everlasting woe,' is apparently in a position of greater honour than her husband Pluto: she does not, however, appear further in the narrative. It will not be necessary here to narrate the details of the old story of Medusa, and the head which turned those who looked on it to stone. We shall better act up to the poet's exlıortation by referring our readers to Dr. Neale's Stories from Heathen Mythology,' in which he allegorizes with his accustomed skill the ancient fable, wherein Perseus during his fight with the Gorgon dares not look upon her face, but views her reflection in the polished mirror which the goddess of wisdom had given him: signifying to us Christians 'the shield of faith, which will be as a mirror to us, shewing us sin in its true light; whereas if we look at it as it seems, we shall be, as Lot's wife was, turned to stone, and have no power to flee from it.' We do not think such an interpretation will be found unsuitable to the present passage. The beauty of the description of the Angel's approach needs no pointing out. The last line of his speech refers to the legend of the capture of Cerberus by Hercules, who dragged him up to the world above in obedience to the command of Eurystheus.

THE INFERNO.-CANTO IX.

The coward hue with which my cheek was stained

When back to me I saw my master wending,

The sooner his unwonted air restrained. VOL. 7.

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PART 42.

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20

Mindful he stopped, as one by ear attending,

For eye soon failed in its comprehension

Through the black air and grossest clouds impending. Then he, “We needs must win in this contention,

If not ... 'twas such did offer ... one expected

By me ... O how delays his intervention ! Well did I notice how that he corrected

His opening words by those thereafter spoken,

In meaning with the former unconnected.
Yet since perhaps I strained his sentence broken

To worse significance than he intended,

His utterance seemed of fear the certain token. • Hath any e'er from the first round descended

To the pit’s bottom through these drear expanses,

One whose sole pain is hope for ever ended ?' This question when I asked, "It seldom chances

That any of us,' he in turn replied,

*Along the road which now we take, advanees. 'Tis true, I once this downward journey tried,

By that fierce Erichtho's enchantments taken,

Who souls and bodies joined that erst had died. But lately was my Aesh of me forsaken,

When she within that city made me enter,

A spirit from Judas' circle to awaken. There is the lowest place, gloom's very centre,

Farthest from heaven's all-circling sphere: unfailing

I know the road; be this thy fear's preventer. This pool, its pestilential fog exhaling,

Lies round about the eity full of mourning,

Whither we go not without wrath prevailing.' And more he said, which I forget; for turning

My fixed glance under the full attraction

Of that high pinnacle with summit burning, I saw uprise there in a moment's fraction

The three infernal furies, blood-besprinkled,

Who seemed feminine in limb and action, With greenest hydras girt, while intermingled

Were horned snakes for hair and vipers growing

With which were bound their temples fiercely wrinkled. And he, of those hand-maidens not unknowing

The queen of everlasting woe that tended,

Said, 'Lo, the Erinyes, with hot anger glowing.
That is Megæra, to the left ascended;

Alecto on the right; in mid position
Tisiphone. And therewith his words he ended.

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With nail and palm to horrible condition
Each beat and tore her breast, with cry so lurid

50 That to my guide I turned in suspicion. ‘Medusa, come; to adamant assured

So shall we change him,' cried they, downwards gazing,
''Twas ill the assault of Theseus we endured.'
Turn thyself round, no more thy vision raising;
For if it once the Gorgon’s face beholdeth

No chance is left thee for thy steps' retracing.'
So saith the Master, and himself enfoldeth

My face turned backwards, and with act imperious

Me with his own hands, mine not trusting, holdeth. 60 Oye of understanding sound and serious,

Regard the doctrine which is bere concealed

Beneath the veil of this my verse mysterious. Now came, across the turbid waves revealed,

A crashing sound, tremendous, awe-inspiring,

Whereat in terror both the fosses reeled ; Not otherwise than as a wind untiring,

Born of opposing solar heats, which heweth

The forest through, and no respite desiring Rendeth the boughs, and far their fragments streweth: 70

Before it rolls a cloud of dust immensest,

And beasts and shepherds in full flight pursueth. He freed my eyes, and said, 'With gaze intensest

Direct thy vision o'er the foam long-standing

There where the bitter fog to view is densest.' As frogs before the serpent foe disbanding

Speed through the water, all their powers employed,

Till each is gathered on the welcome landing ;
So I beheld some thousand souls destroyed
Fly before one who passed the Stygian river

80 With unwet feet upon the surface buoyed. His left hand waved he often, to deliver

His face from the gross air suspended o'er bim,

And of this sole annoyance seemed receiver.
I saw how like one sent from heaven he bore him,

And turned me to the Master, who then signed

That I should quiet stand, and bow before him.
Ah me, with what superb disdain he shined !

He reached the gate, one touch with wand was given,
And straight it opened, free and unconfined.

90 O abject race, from heaven's high palace driven !

Began he on the threshold fear-frequented ; • Whence is't

such insolence in you hath thriven ?

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Against that will why kick ye discontented,

Whose law its end unmutilate declareth,

And oftimes hath your bitter woe augmented ? What profits it to push at fate? Ill fareth

Your Cerberus, be it to your mind recalled,

Who chin and throat hairless to this day beareth.' Then backwards o'er the foul road unappalled

He went, without a word to us, appearing

As one whom other cares have spurred and galled, Than of the things that lie before him. Fearing

No longer, towards the land our steps we carry

After those words of blessed import bearing. Then enter we without an adversary;

And I who was desirous of discerning

The lot a place so strong enclosed, tarry When once within, my eyes around me turning,

And lo, on all hands a great plain extendeth,

With woes replete and evil torments burning. Like as at Arles, where Rhone its waters lendeth

To the lake, or where Quarnaro's gulf comprising

The Italian limits, up to Pola sendeth Its laving tide, the tombs all round arising

Destroy the level; so 'twas here repeated,

Save that the method was of worse devising; For roots of flame amid the graves were seated,

Which to such glow to kindle them were able,

No art on earth needs iron more fiercely heated. Their lids were lifted all in balance stable,

And out there issued such wild lamentation,

As well might suit the lost and miserable. And I, O Master, say what is this nation

That here within these vaults to woe allied

Make known with sighs their grievous situation.' Then, “Here are the heresiarchs,' he replied,

• With their disciples of all sects: the spaces

More than thou wouldst believe, are occupied. Like here with like is buried; and their places

With less or greater heat are circumvented.'

Then passing to the right, we turned our paces Between the ramparts and the souls tormented.

(To be continued.)

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