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vocabulary be "unconstitutional:" we can believe that to Whig perceptions the proposal of such a sessional amalgamation ten days ago would have looked like the promised return of a fabulous golden age.
Stuff and nonsense, Sir (some bustling red-taper would have exclaimed)-all trash, practical rubbish. Party, Sir, party spirit, Sir, is the air we, habitués, breathe : without it we die.”
We heartily wish, for the country's sake, that the present interregnum might be extended to Christmas next, with a month's or six weeks' interval for grouse-shooting as a sort of holiday treat to keep honourable members in good humour; for, should such an uninterrupted attention to public business take place, we confidently predict that more work and better done would be despatched than has been witnessed for the last fifty years. But we must stop, or we shall be reported at Brookes's or the Reform Club as counselling Lord Derby to become a second Strafford, and attempting to rule without a Parliament and a majority in the House of Commons, which would be exceedingly “unconstitutional.” Genuine Whigs, in the plenitude of their transmitted prepossessions and prejudices, regard Parliament, not as a deliberate assembly, but a cock-pit or a ring in which Lord Jacky may set-to with Sir Billy, and honourable members may bet upon the event.
The Monthly Packet of Evening Readings for the Younger Members
of the English Church. London: Mozley, We are glad to find this little publication progressing with unabated spirit. The “Castle Builders,” to which we referred in our last number, is continued with increasing interest. In the “ Monthly Packet” for January there is a very clever and original article on “ Rivers,” the first of a promised series. It is characterised by a close observation and deep love of nature; and we shall look for the continuance of the subject with interest.
Stories and Catechisings in Illustration of the Collects. London:
Mozley. 1852. Since our notice of Numbers 1 and 2 of this publication we have received the two succeeding numbers, which sustain the character their predecessors have gained for the work. It is published stitched in a cover and also in packets, each Sunday being distinct, thus facilitating its distribution among the poor. It will be found very useful to district visitors of the Church of England : indeed, we know that it is extensively used by them,
Lyra Christiana : Poems on Christianity and the Church, Original and Selected. From the Works of ROBERT MONTGOMERY, M.A.
George Bell. 1851. Many of the poems collected in this pocket volume have appeared before in various periodicals; but the author has rendered an acceptable service to the lovers of sacred poetry in thus bringing them together in one volume. This circumstance, however, of so many of the poems having already been published, precludes a lengthened notice of this volume; and the small and accessible form in which we find it convinces us that the collection will be in the hands of those readers who admire poetry as soon as would the pages of our journal; and if there are any lovers of poetry who have not yet seen it, we recommend them by all means to procure this little volume, for it is precious in contents.
Mr. Montgomery looks at all things with the eye both of a poet and a Christian. We might open at any page in proof of this, and we take • Faith's Inward Ear:".
“ But if thine ear be tender, clear, and true,
And sensual clay no longer clog the mind,
And hear Christ syllabled by wave and wind.
And drops of balm each glade and glen array,
While ope the eyelids of commencing day:
In breezeless glory rocked to living rest,
Till ocean's calm lay mirror'd on thy breast;
By pebbled shore where plaintive waters meet,
And dark the seaweed slumbered at thy feet;
Some tone celestial, like a spirit, glide,
And all hier spell-work by His hand supplied.
Be Thy meek virtues our most glorious choice;
And hear creation echo'd with thy voice.
Soft o'er the soul may lulling whispers fall,
• Father in heaven! for home prepare us all' (201)
Most of the poems are of this short description, as will be quite evident from the fact of there being more than two hundred-and-fifty within the compass of three hundred small pages.
Where there is so great a variety to choose from, selection is difficult. We take one near the beginning of the volume, “ Creation's first Priest":
“Oh! to have gazed on glorious earth and sea,
Our breathing world began to smile,
Or, like some list'ning heart awhile,
To greet her glories and command the whole.
The higher attribute of God,
Till earth by human foot was trod;
To offer incense, pure as God design'd ?
Three persons speak, three minds commune,
A council holds the dread Triune;
The outward measure of their inward plan.
Soft lustres o'er his features play,
And brow and bearing both display
Wake sympathies ! through earth and air
Your genial motion everywhere;
And silence echoes with the charm of speech" (12). These extracts will suffice to show the nature of the contents of this collection of poetry to those who know it not ; and, so far as our opinion has any weight, we would earnestly recommend the work to all our readers. It is a world in which we continually need the refreshment which devotional poetry is best calculated to afford ; and Mr. Montgomery unites in a rare degree the reality of sobriety, which is inseparable from true piety, with the imagination and fancy necessary to constitute a poet, so that we derive instruction as well as pleasure from his poetry; and we think that this little volume is likely to become one of the most popular of Mr. Montgomery's works.
The Rectory of Glenmurragh: a Tale. Dublin : Oldham, 1852. This is a simple, well-told, and very interesting little story, inculcating right principles and breathing throughout an excellent spirit. The lovers of works of fiction may, perhaps, object that the denouement is somewhat too transparent after the first two or three chapters; but for our own part we like to be put out of our pain with regard to the fate of the hero and heroine, and to get an early glimpse of a happy finale to the drama. It is a graceful, and, what is better, a safe book,
The Evening Ball and the Morning Funeral; a True Tale.
Dublin : Oldham, 1852. We can readily believe that this is a “true tale," inasmuch as the main incident upon which the lesson it is intended to convey hinges is one of every day occurrence--a sudden death. We do not for a moment doubt, but on the contrary accord our fullest belief, to the purity of the author's motive in giving the story and his own deductions to the world. His object has questionless been to promote the spiritual welfare of his readers; but we doubt very much if he have not fallen into an error, common to the class of writers to which he belongs, of shrouding religion in the gloom of his own mind. The hospitable owner of a mansion in the vicinity of an Irish town opens his house to the young folk of his neighbourhood, and among those bidden to the feast was a young person who died before its celebration. The entertainment opens with a ball, which, albeit the writer holds such amusements in utter abomination, he goes some distance to witness through the windows of the mansion. He tells us that Satan especially delights to be present on such occasions.
It is more easy to say where he is than where he is not; and, albeit we no great advocates of that particular species of amusement, we cannot discover in it, per se, anything inconsistent with the purity of the youthful mind. The foot is a far less dangerous member when put in motion than the tongue; and we can imagine quite as much mischief to accrue from a conversazione or a tea party, even though it be a temperate one, as from a dance in a drawing-room,
William Wallace. A Romance. Edinburgh : A. and C. Black. ONE of the numerous legends associated with the early life of the adventurous Scottish patriot, William Wallace, has afforded the theme of a tale of stirring interest. The legend in question, which is in some degree confirmed by modern historians, is furnished by an enthusiastic bard yclept "Blind Harry,” who sang the feats of the youthful chieftain with edifying unction, though in strains of somewhat questionable rhythm. The romance details, the early aspirings of the young warrior for the achievement of his country's freedom, and the growth of his affection for the heroine-a, highsouled maiden, whose chivalrous spirit well-accorded with his own. By the crafty schemings of Arthur Heselrig, a nephew of the Governor of Perth, and who conceives a brutal passion for the affianced of Wallace, the young girl is confined in Lanark Castle, of which he is governor, while Wallace is directing the insurrectionary movement. By a clever counterplot, an adherent of Wallace is introduced into the castle as the “Black Leech,” and gains the confidence of Heselrig by pretending to rival him in villany. He thus obtains' an insight into all his plans, and by communicating them to Wallace is enabled to frustrate, while affairs are brought to a climax by the capture of Lanark Castle, when the royalists are defeated and the maiden set at liberty and united to Wallace. Such is a bare recital of the ground-work of the tale; and, while we may regret that the author has not continued his history to a later period of the hero's career, we are yet bound to confess that he has completely succeeded in what he has attempted, and has produced a romance which, from the interest attached to the leading character and the associations of the period, excites the imagination and enchains the attention.
Magazine for the Young. 1851. London : Mozley. We have from time to time mentioned in terms of commendation this cheap and interesting little periodical, and we are glad to welcome it in its collected form of another annual volume. It is full of amusement and sound instruction arranged in an attractive form, and thus especially adapted to the comprehension and taste of the class of readers for which it is designed. Vor is it without its features of interest for those of riper years. We hope to see evidence of its continued prosperity in many future annual volumes,