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and activity, in the smaller parts, or
lower orders, give facility to all its
operations; and each may do his
part to impede them, by contempt
of the laws, or neglect of his own
particular function or calling. We
seldom make sufficient allowance
for the heavy and vexatious respon-
sibility which rests on the higher
powers of a state; who are not only
answerable for their own, and often
for the people's errors, but are some-
times liable to all the animadver-
sions of an ignorant, misjudging
populace, incapable of appreciating
or even comprehending the motives
which actuate their rulers, yet ever
ready to condemn piecemeal the
measures which they have no means
of judging in the aggregate, and to
add murmurs and turbulence to the
labors and difficulties of govern-
ment. Let us imagine the situation
of a skilful mechanic, regulating the
movements of some complicated
piece of machinery (a clock for in-
stance), every part of which we will
suppose to be endowed with the
power of seeing and reflecting, and
a right to speak and act, according
to its limited observations on the
state of the whole clock.
should I swing to all eternity," says
the pendulum, "while above us all
stands that lazy, sleek dial-plate,
that never contributes a finger to
the movements of the clock, or so
much as looks down on me, who am
toiling so far below him?"
you!" says the main-spring, "you
are in your proper place, born to
drudge, and fit for nothing else;
what have you to expect, when the
importance of my function is over-
looked? I, who have been fashioned
with the utmost delicacy, and polish-
ed with all the art of man: yet,
while all the world gaze upwards on
the dial, they forget even the exist-
ence of a main-spring."
have, indeed, both reason to com-
plain, neighbors," says the chain;
"yet your situations are sinecures

GENUINE Patriotism is one of the noblest, because it is the most disinterested of affections. The love of our kindred is implanted by nature in our bosoms, and kept alive there by the influence of duty and of habit; and from it spring such a reciprocity of pleasures and advantages, that a man will usually cultivate it for its own sake. But the love of our country, though it be also a natural and habitual affection, less closely involves our selfish comforts and gratifications. The interest of each individual and that of the public are no doubt intimately connected; yet men, in general, may go quietly and carelessly through the world, quite indifferent to everything beyond their own little circle of cares and interests, perfectly exempt from national partiality, or overweening anxiety for the public good.. Even in the most turbulent times, the majority have little else to do than to be quiet; but how many virtues, how many duties (and those not always the easiest of performance), are often comprised in that little phrase, to be quiet! Let it not be supposed that those who are loaded with the cares of government, who toil in the senate, com mand fleets or armies, or otherwise figure on the stage of public life, are the only true patriots. These, indeed, deserve the thanks of their country, in proportion as their efforts in her service are constant and disinterested: but the most obscure individual has also his part to perform; the poorest has his mite to contribute to the general stock of internal peace, probity, and industry, which form the main support of every government, and are the basis of all national happiness and prosperity. Some must be called to the arduous task of conducting the great machine which the mass of the people compose; but every atom does its part to forward or retard the movement. Submission, content,


compared with mine, and I am never thought of, except to be screwed up, almost beyond what I have strength to bear and look at those idle gilt hands; while we toil to support their elevation, we have nothing better to expect. Let us pull them down, or make them work harder, while we take our turn to rest." "Lose no time in proclaiming our wrongs,' interposes the bell; "for my part, I desire no rest until affairs go on better: I will strike no more at their bidding, but use my voice to a better purpose; every pin and screw shall know its grievance, and every wheel be in

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cited to turn its own way." It must be allowed, that the task of the workman becomes rather arduous. While he tries to regulate the pendulum, out fly pins; while he adjusts the wheel, the chain snaps, and the clapper of the bell rings out an incessant din concerning abuse, liberty, and reform; and all this time the clock stands, or goes wrong. Thus we need not doubt that those who neglect their own calling, or murmur at the burden of their particular station, or stir up the same discontent in others, are not patriots, but, on the contrary, the worst enemies a state can have to contend with.

THE GATHERER. "Little things have their value."

The Last of the Witches.-THE last individual put to death for witchcraft in Great Britain, was burnt little more than a century ago.-In the year 1722, (says Sir Walter Scott,) a sheriff-depute of Sutherland, Captain David Ross of Littledean, took it upon him, in flagrant violation of the then established rules of jurisdiction, to pronounce the last sentence of death for witchcraft which was ever passed in Scotland. The victim was an insane old woman belonging to the parish of Loth, who had so little idea of her situation as to rejoice at the sight of the fire which was destined to consume her. She had a daughter lame both of hands and feet, a circumstance attributed to the witch's having been used to transform her into a pony, and get her shod by the devil. It does not appear that any punishment was inflicted for this cruel abuse of the law on the person of a creature so helpless; but the son of the lame daughter, he himself distinguished by the same misfortune, was living so lately as to receive the charity of the present Marchioness of Stafford." Since this deplorable action, there has been no judicial interference in Scotland on account of witchcraft, unless to prevent explosions of popular enmity against people suspected of such a crime, of which some instances could be adduced. The remains of the superstition sometimes occur; there can be no doubt that the vulgar are still addicted to the custom of scoring above the breath, as it is termed (that is, draw ing blood, by two cuts in the form of a cross on the witch's forehead), and other counter-spells, evincing that the belief in witchcraft is only asleep, and might in remote corners be again awakened to deeds of blood. An instance or two may be

quoted, chiefly as facts known to the author himself. In a remote part of the Highlands, an ignorant and malignant woman seems really to have meditated the destruction of her neighbor's property, by placing in a cowhouse, or byre, as we call it, a pot of baked clay, containing locks of hair, parings of nails, and other trumpery. This precious spell was discovered, the design conjectured, and the witch would have been torn to pieces, had not a high-spirited and excellent lady in the neighborhood gathered some of her people (though these were not very fond of the service), and by main force taken the unfortunate creature out of the hands of the populace. The formidable spell is now in my possession.About two years since, as they were taking down the walls of a building formerly used as a feeding-house for cattle, in the town of Dalkeith, there was found below the threshold stone, the withered heart of some animal stuck full of many scores of pins ;-a counter-charm, according to tradition, against the operations of witchcraft on the cattle which are kept within.Among the almost innumerable droves of bullocks which come down every year from the Highlands for the south, there is scarce one but has a curious knot upon his tail, which is also a precaution, lest an evil eye, or an evil spell, may do the animal harm.

Eyes.-Descartes preserved all his life an astonishing predilection for women who squinted; and why? because the first woman who made an impression on his heart had that defect.-Southey, speaking of the late Rev. George Whitefield, says, "his complexion was very fair, his features regular, his eyes small and lively, of a dark blue color; in recovering from the

measles, he had contracted a squint with one of them; but this peculiarity rather rendered the expression of his countenance more remarkable, than in any degreee lessened the effect of its uncommon sweetness." Present and future Fame.-Reynolds has told us, and from him, whose genius was crowned with the most brilliant success during his life, from him it came with unexampled magnanimity, that "those who court the applause of their own time, must reckon on the neglect of posterity." On this I shall not insist as a general maxim; all depends on the character of the time in which the artist lives, and on the motive of his exertions. M. Agnolo, Raf faelo, Tiziano, and Vasari, Giuseppe d'Arpino, and Luca Giordano, enjoyed equal celebrity during their own times. 'The three first enjoy it now, the three last are forgotten or censured. What are we to infer from this unequal verdict of posterity? What, but what Cicero says, that time obliterates the conceits of opinion or fashion, and establishes the verdicts of naThe age of Julio and Leone demanded genius for its own sake, and found it-the age of Cosmo, Ferdinand, and Urban, demanded talent and despatch to flatter their own vanity, and found them too; but Cosmo, Ferdinand, and Urban, are sunk in the same oblivion, or involved in the same censure, with their tools-Julio and Leone continue to live with the permanent powers which they had called forth.-Fuseli.


The Bishop of St. Asaph.-A violent Welsh squire having taken offence at a poor curate, who employed his leisure hours in mending clocks and watches, applied to the bishop of St. Asaph, with a formal complaint against him, for impiously carry ing on a trade, contrary to the statute. His lordship, having heard the complaint, told the squire he might depend upon the strictest justice being done in the case. Accordingly the mechanic divine was sent for a few days after, when the bishop asked him, "How he dared to disgrace his diocese, by becoming the mender of clocks and watches?" The other, with all humility, answered, "To satisfy the wants of a wife and ten children." That won't do with me," rejoined the prelate; I will inflict such a punishment upon you as shall make yon leave off your pitiful trade, I promise you," and immediately calling in his secretary, ordered him to make out a presentation for the astonished curate of a handsome living.

Caius Cestius-When I am inclined to be serious, I love to wander up and down before the tomb of Caius Cestius. The Protestant burial-ground is there; and most of the little monuments are erected to the young men of promise, cut off when on their travels, full of enthusiasm, full of enjoyment; brides, in the bloom of their beauty, on their first journey; or children borne from home in search of health. This stone was placed by his fellow-tra

vellers, young as himself, who will return to the house of his parents without him; that, by a husband or a father, now in his native country. His heart is buried in that grave. It is a quiet and sheltered nook, covered in the winter with violets; and the pyramid that overshadows it, gives it a classical and singularly solemn air. You feel an interest there, a sympathy you were not prepared for. You are yourself in a foreign land; and they are for the most part your countrymen. They call upon you in your mother tongue-in English-in words unknown to a native, known only to yourselves: and the tomb of Cestius, that old majestic pile, has this also in common with them. It is itself a stranger among strangers. It has stood there till the language spoken round about it has changed; and the shepherd, born at the foot, can read its inscription no longer.-Rogers.

The Gnat. The wings you will find ornamented with a fringe of feathers or scales, as are also the ribs of the wings. The wings, when viewed as transparent objects, present a most interesting spectacle; but when viewed under the opaque speculum, and placing a black ground behind them, they present to the eye of the observer the most splendid colors, equaling some of the most brilliant specimens of minerals! The horns are also fine objects, so also are the head, eyes, and legs; in short there is no part of this insect but is highly interesting in the examination! Every part of it is profusely ornamented with scales or feathers, varying in their characters from each other, according to the part from whence they are taken. Each of these deserves minute inspection under the microscope, in order to discover the beauties with which this insect is adorned.

Genius.-Genius of every kind belongs to some innate temperament; it does not necessarily imply a particular bent, because that may possibly be the effect of circumstances; but without question, the peculiar quality is unborn, and particular to the individual. All hear and see much alike; but there is an undefinable though wide difference between the ear of the musician, or the eye of the painter, coinpared with the hearing and seeing organs of ordinary men; and it is in something like that difference in which genius consists. Genius is, however, an ingredient of mind more easily described by its effects than by its qualities. It is as the fragrance, independent of the freshness and complexion of the rose; as the light on the cloud; as the bloom on the cheek of beauty, of which the possessor is unconscious until the charm has been seen by its influence on others; it is the internal golden flame of the opal; a something which may be abstracted from the thing in which it appears, without changing the quality of its substance, its form, or its affinities.-Galt.




[VOL. 5, No. 7.


AMONG the thousand and one subjects upon which modern essayists have chosen to descant, the New Year is, perhaps, the most hacknied. Yet, however trite the theme has become, there exists in the mind of man a secret sympathy which usually induces him to pursue them, when more elaborate essays on Fame, Fortune, or Ambition, are passed over unread. These, it is true, are suited alike to all seasons; and as far as the subject itself is concerned, may be taken up to-day, to-morrow, or indeed, not at all but there is a charm about the New Year which hallows the most common-place allusion to it, and gives to the remark an air of freshness, which perchance may be sought in vain when the spell (and surely there is a spell!) which the momentary union of time with eternity throws around them, is dissolved. Those oft-repeated axioms of morality, which at other times are addressed but to the ear, now penetrate the most obdurate heart, and for awhile elevate us in the scale of being. We listen attentively to the strange mysterious voice of Meditation; and Fancy, like an ark-imprisoned dove, glides noiselessly over the scenes which we have passed, and searches for a resting place in vain! The ground whereon she seeks for a moment to alight, proves baseless or illusory, and she is forced to keep forever on the wing! Hope, beckoning

31 ATHENEUM, VOL. 5, 3d series.

her towards the future, holds out the promise of an olive-branch.But what are the promises of Hope? are they not fairy vistas in the clouds, which too often delude the eye with unreal prospects, and upon nearer approach whelm the heart in disappointment. The Cretan Labyrinth was easier far to be explored, than the cloud-mantled pathways of the future, illumed only, as they are, by the glimmering reflections of the past.

But hark the merry bells recall imagination home again! and he who can listen to their peal of congratulation unmoved, is possessed of feelings which few would envy. Ring on, ye joyous revellers !-The wisdom of the nineteenth century is advancing rapidly to your overthrow, and posterity will, mayhap, stand in need of variorum notes, to tell them the meaning of

"Those evening bells,-those evening bells!

How many a tale their music tells!

For my own part-heralds alike of merriment and mourning-I should be sorry to live without your music, or to die without your knell. And I can wish nothing worse to those tasteful vandals, who do all they can to deprive you of your timehonored sanctuaries, than that they may never feel your happy New Year!

New Year! What then hath become of the old ?-Gone to eternity! the moralist exclaims. And

the moralist is right! But who can assure us of its ever having been present? Where are the proofs ? The old year!-Hath it not passed away like a summer cloud?-True, but the shower which hath descended therefrom has widely altered the aspect and appearance of our earth. The bud has expanded into blossom-the gay blossom, likewise, has "fallen into the sere and yellow leaf;" and the withered leaf itself has been swept away by the stream! In the breast of youth, hope has given place to disappointment, and there is a wrinkle on the brow of age, like the traces of the shower, bearing witness that it has been-And ask you for further proof?

Now it is that the brain of man is teeming with new projects, and busying itself in forming good resolves! Projects and resolutions are, however, easier formed than executed; and therefore, of the thousands who start upon a fresh race, the majority never attain the imaginary goal. Some, afflicted with shortness of breathing, are soon obliged to relinquish the contest, and contentedly take to their old paces; whilst others, like the over-hasty Nisus, stumble at the very threshhold of success, when the prize is all but


This is the month of abundant snows, and all the intensity of frost. Keen biting frost is in the ground; and in the air a bitter, scythe-edged, perforating wind from the north to the north-east, sweeps the descending snow along, whirling it from the open fields, and driving it against whatever opposes its course. People who are obliged to be passing to and fro muffle up their faces, and bow their heads to the blast. There is no loitering, no street gossiping, no stopping to make recognition of each other; they shuffle along, the most winterly objects of the scene, bearing on their fronts the tokens of the storm. Against every house, rock, or bank, the snowdrift accumulates. It curls over the tops of

walls and hedges in fantastic wildness, forming often the most perfect curves, resembling the scrolls of Ionic capitals, and showing beneath them romantic caves and canopies. -Hollow lanes, pits, and bogs, now become traps for the unwary traveller, the snow filling them up, and the wind leveling all to one deceitful plain. It is a dismal time for the traversers of the wide and open heaths, and one of toil and danger to the shepherd in mountainous tracts. There the snows fall in amazing quantities in the course of a few hours; and, driven by the powerful winds of those lofty regions, soon fill up the dells and glens to a vast depth.

The delights of the social hearth on such evenings as these, when the wild winds are howling around uor dwellings, dashing the snow or hail or splashing rain against our windows, are a favorite theme with poets and essayists, and truly it is an inspiring topic. All our ideas of comfort, of domestic affection, of social and literary enjoyment, are combined in the picture which they draw of the winter's fire-side. When Cowper exclaims,

"Now stir the fire, and close the shutters


who does not feel his heart expand at the thoughts of his own beloved fireside circle, and follow the poet with kindling sympathy through his ensuing apostrophe to winter, and his picture of evening enjoyment? Such is a Winter Fireside! and we love to hear our writers speaking of its pleasures in strains of enthusiasm. But we may expand the picture. We may add, to the zest of its personal and almost too selfish enjoyments, touches of generous and philanthropic sentiment, which will signally heighten its pleasures, and enlarge its power of improving the heart. How delightful, whilst sitting in the midst of our family or friendly group, in the actual possession of all these pleasures, not only to contemplate our own happiness, but to send our

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