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But none the less they watch the time,
When they may hear in gentle tone
The “Check,' which tells of one o'erthrown.
(Grey mare we fear of Fainéant King)
To join the all-excited ring.
HINTS ON READING.
It would be mere presumption in us to do more than notify that The Life of the Rev. J. Keble, by Sir J. T. Coleridge, has been brought out by Mr. Parker of Oxford, and is as beautiful and life-like a portraiture as ever one friend of a whole life-time drew of another.
Everybody wants and wishes for something short by way of comment to read at family prayers, and in Bible Readings for Family Prayers, by the Rev. W. H. Ridley, (Rivington,) we find the need more nearly met than we have ever seen it before. The readings are only one page long, and do not last three minutes, and they are almost always to the purpose. One little volume on Genesis and Exodus, and another on the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John, are all that have yet appeared; but we trust that Mr. Ridley will find encouragement to continue.
The Day of Bread; or, Sunday, and How to Keep it, (Parker,) is a single sermon bearing initials which we hope our readers have learnt how to prize-A. R. A. It is an earnest argument in favour of weekly Communion, enforcing that the Holy Eucharist is the one act of worship directly enjoined by our Lord, and pointing out the strangeness and inconsistency of our unfrequent obedience. Additional Church Services Legal and Desirable, by the Rev. A. R. Ashwell
, is also a paper that it would be well to ponder on, though it is too much ad clerum to come quite within the scope of our notices.
We grieve to see how many of our distinctively Church papers have been given up within the last year, but this gives a strong reason for supporting the survivors; and among these we would specially recommend the Literary Churchman, (Skeffington,) for the thoroughly sound and really Catholic view it takes of the subjects of the day, and likewise for its great usefulness as a guide to our reading. We really know of no paper so entirely trustworthy in its notices of books for the theological library, the drawing-room, the school, or the village.
Minor Chords, Poems by Sophia May Eckley, (Bell and Daldy,) is a volume of sweet echoes from the south of Europe caught by an American pen.
The Nobility of Life, by Laura Valentine, (Warne,) is a grand gift book, with chromo-lithographs illustrating some of the most notable virtues and graces mankind have shewn forth, such as patriotism, by a family arming against the Armada, with a vignette representing Winkelried; while the text consists of choice and pithy quotations in prose and poetry, setting forth the quality in question. It is a charming collection, and can hardly be turned over without pleasure and profit.
Aunt Judy's Magazine, always bright and winning, has been fully equal to itself lately. And we like to claim partnership with it in Gwynfryn's fresh sunny sketches of Friends in Fur and Feathers, now collected from her pages and ours in a charming green book, capitally illustrated. Mrs. Overtheway likewise forms a charming volume of quaint drollery and pathos—and Hans Christian Andersen's Later Stories will be a prize to many.
The Dance at the Feast, (Mozley,) is a very good village tale; and Polly's First Earnings is a capital number of the Curate's Budget.
Our readers hardly need to have the King of a Day, by Florence Wilford, (Masters) recommended to them. Seldom has a real anecdote been made more available as a story both of manners and character-than in this graceful fabric, built up on the fact of the Good Duke of Bourbon's yearly choice of a Twelfth-day King from among the children of the commonalty.
Mission Life, on a large scale, and the Net, (Bemrose,) on a small one, continue as excellent as ever, and ought to be found in every parish, the one to be read aloud and lent to the intelligent, the other to be taken in by cottagers and school children, to whom it is specially adapted.
Good Words for the Young is capitally illustrated, and the Cat and the Lump of Coal are both very good; but we are sorry that the usually charming author of 'Lilliput Levee 'should have spoilt her fairy wedding with a fairy bishop and fairy curates. Irreverence is always foolish and ugly; and this emphatically so, and most useless. Children-even the most pert and precocious—would be unable to understand the sneer at the curates. And on the side of the fairies too, it is subject of complaint; for is it not one of the most pathetic and poetical touches in elfin lore that they are supposed to yearn in vain after religious rites ? It is mere spoiling and vulgarizing these beings of mysterious fancy to make them human creatures in small. Neither do we understand those two heads of the Prophet Jeremiah and Ebed-melech. Our most charitable interpretation would be that bold drawings had been ruined and made into a caricature by the process of wood engraving. The second number is better, but Hoity Toity seems to us to usurp influences that ought not to be, even in sport, ascribed to fairy creatures.
Lamartine's striking but little known poem of Jocelin has been done into English verse by H. G. Evans and T. W. Swift, and published by Messrs. Rivington.
The Rev. Charles Rogers, LLD., has edited and published a volume which will interest many of our readers - The Life and Songs of Baroness Nairn. It contains, besides a full collection of Lady Nairn's Songs, a good portrait, engraved from a picture by the late Sir Watson Gordon, and some useful and interesting notes on the Songs. The publishers are Charles Griffin and Co.
On the Edge of the Storm, (Warne,) by the author of 'Mademoiselle Mori,' is a well-told story of the early days of the Great Revolution in France, introducing some touching scenes from among the Cagots, that strange race, who suffer continual persecution in the south of France. Stopping short of the chief horrors of the time, we have here an admirable sketch of the feelings of various classes in those days of hope, dread, and disappointment; and no one can read without warm love and interest for the grave gentle heroine, the sweet Chanoinesse Marcelle, and her wise and philosophic father.
The Sister's Year (Bennett) is a short story of life in Ireland. If we said Irish life, our readers would expect a rollicking tale, like caricature; but the heroes and heroines have nothing about them unlike ordinary gentlemen and ladies, such as most educated people now are in Ireland. Their surroundings, however, of Quakers, peasantry, an out-spoken steward, a kindly Roman Catholic priest, are all thoroughly national, as indeed is the ground-work of their characters; and the tale is altogether clever, well-written, and pleasant to read and to remember.
I Must Keep the Chimes Going, (Seeley,) by the author of Copseley Annals.' What the chimes are to say to the heart is, "Thanks be to God for His Unspeakable Gift;' and the manner in which this continual remembrance upheld a poor little fagged maid-of-all-work in a lodging-bouse in London is the subject of this story, a beautifully told one, full of bright interest. The Vendale Lost Property Office, by the same author, is one of the best and cleverest children's books we ever met with.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
No MS. can be returned unless the Author's name and address be written on it, and stamps be sent with it.
Contributions must often be de'ayed for want of space, but their writers may be assured that when room can be found they shall appear.
An American Subscriber, and very diligent reader of The Monthly Packet, would ask of its Editor some such notice of Italian books as has been given to the French lately. She especially desires information concerning Children's Story Books in Italian, and would thankfully receive any hints about what to read, and what to leave unread, in that language.-And can any of the Correspondents of The Monthly Packet tell her where the quotation, Cleanliness is next to godliness,' can be found? She knows Wesley quoted it in one of his sermons, and has been told it was a Spanish proverb, but she has been unable to truce it.-—Baltimore, U. S. A. E. H. wishes to know where she will find the following lines
* Is all the friendship that we two have shared,
For parting us-oh, and is all forgot?"
K. S. asks how to make and deal with Euster Eggs when made. We believe the best way is either to boil them hard, or to blow them first, according to one's trust in the daintiness of one's fingers ; then paint them with colours mired with gum-arabic. If boiled, they may be eaten, or played with by children ; if blown, kept as mementos. But our advice on the whole is, ‘Don't.' Traditionary customs, really traditionary, are charming; but an elaborate restoration of them is apt to be an awkward failure.
Mr. Allnutt acknowledges, with thanks, for the Nursery of the Good Shepherd, Portsea :-E. T., 28. 6d.; A Clergyman's Daughter, 58.; Miss Helen Bruxner, 58.
The Notice of St. Denys' Home is unavoidably delayed for want of space, but shall appear in our next.
A Constant Reader.-Filix-Fæmina is at present travelling on the Continent.
A. H.-L. L. replies, that the Italian mineral chalks are to be procured at Edinburgh, but does not give the address of any individual shop. She adds, that they require a crayon-holder ; the sketching should be done in charcoal, and erasures with stale white bread.
Ladies wishing for means of disposing of their own works, should put themselves into communication with the Ladies Industrial Society. Letters to be addressed to the Secretary, 75, Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, where the Bazaar is held.
T. asks whether the Sisterhood of St. Saviour's Priory is of the English or Roman communion ; and also where are the Parishes of St. Columba and St. Augustine, Haggerston.
Frank.—May not the expression, 'A vale of tears,' have its origin in the Eightyfourth Psalm, 6th verse, The valley of Baca'? which, according to old commentators, means . The valley of weeping.' The Prayer Book version gives an equivalent in “The vale of misery:'-M. C. S.
John and Charles Mozley, Printers, Derby.
OUR readers will hardly require to be reminded of the mythological character of Minos, represented in the heathen poets as one of the three judges of Hell. His colleagues, Æacus and Rhadamanthus, do not appear in the Divina Commedia ; and Minos himself is (as was before stated) transformed from an upright monarch, the pattern of earthly judges, into an unmistakeable demon; the grotesqueness of his mode of giving sentence being doubtless no mere poetical whim, but adopted of deliberate purpose by Dante.
The introduction of Achilles into this Fifth Canto is not very intelligible, as certainly Homer does not justify Dante's conception of him :
• Of Peleus' son, Achilles, sing O Muse
Nor can we determine for love of whom it was that he waged 'war to the end.' Of this the poet gives us no clue, and indeed he hurries over all other names to spend his whole strength on the narrative of Paolo and Francesca, whose tragic deaths had excited the compassion of all Italy, when Dante was about twenty years of age. Francesca, married to Gianciotto Malatesta di Rimini, a man deformed alike in body and soul, had seen and fallen in love with his brother Paolo, when Malatesta became acquainted with their guilt and slew them both. The intense feeling displayed in the latter part of this Canto bears witness to the effect produced upon Dante's mind by the sad fate of those whom he had probably been personally acquainted with : and yet his religious truthfulness saves him from making the least complaint against divine justiće. From the first impassioned appeal of line 80 to the despairing cry of Paolo at which he faints, his sympathy is ever on the increase, and yet throughout subordinate to his acknowledgment of the righteousness of their sentence. Nor can anything well exceed the tenderness with which he touches, as in line 135, on the one alleviation of their misery that was consistent with the just judgment of God. The city of line 98 is Ravenna, where lived Guido da Polenta, the father of VOL. 7.
Francesca. Caina (in line 107) is the lowest but one of the four divisions of the traitors' circle, devoted to the punishment of fratricides, among whom Malatesta would take his place after death. Dante explains elsewhere that the damned, though not aware of what is at the time passing upon the earth, are yet able to foretell the future; a power liable to be made use of by witches and sorcerers while the world lasts, but one which of course will cease, together with futurity itself, at the Day of Judgment, when with the resumption of their bodies the measure of their suffering will be complete.
THE INFERNO.--CANTO V.
FROM the first circle down I thus descended
To the second, which a lesser region binding
More pain includes, with bitter cries attended.
There on the threshold his assize he holdeth,
Dooms and adjudges by his tail's dread winding.
At his tribunal all her past demerit,
Then that inquisitor of sin beholdeth
And then his tail so oft is round him curled
As marks the circle lier misdoings merit.
He summons each in turn to judgment; quailing
They speak and hear, and then below are hurled. • O thou who visitest this house of wailing,'
Cried Minos, and suspended the appliance
Of his dread office, my appearance hailing,
Let not the broad road lure thee.' Then returned
My guide for answer, “Why this loud defiance?
So it is there willed where the power remaineth
The will to accomplish : more may not be learned.'
An entrance at mine ear, and I am taken
Where many a note of woe upon me raineth.
Which like the ocean when the tempest waxes,
Bellows and roars, by winds contrary shaken.
Sweeps on the spirits in its wild careering,