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nature and grace inspire, when their united voices chord within the happy threshold into a desolate and dreary abode ; and the sisters bosom. A sarcastic observer of human weaknesses and foibles mourned for their brother, and refused to be comforted—because might have indulged in a sardonic grin at the doating attachment he was not. which they manifested towards their brother ; he might have Months passed away, and Erasmus was still in the prison of laughed his petty, nay, his spiteful, laugh, at the electric effect his passions ; at times he struggled to escape, but his efforts were which the mention of his name produced upon them. Let tliese never crowned with success, because never attempted in the right sneerers laugh away. They dwell but in the outer court of the way. They were the fitful struggles of disgust, and mortification, temple of the feelings; they cannot enter its “holy of holies," and and pride, and alarm ; while that hearty determination, utterly bow before nature in her sacred chamber ; they know not "the and totally to forsake sin, was wanting. One Sunday he strolled untrodden ways beside the spring of love," neither can they taste into a well-known and well-frequented chapel, when a favourite of the cup which is full and overflowing with the pure waters of hymn of his sisters' was being sung, and sung to the very tune love and peace. If a stranger talked of the worth and talent of which they most admired. Memory at once flew over the gulf Erasmus, the full, dark eye of the younger sister would expand which sin had created in his Christian course, and, as he looked with a brilliancy as mild and radiant as ever streamed from under back across the blackness and darkness of the chasm, he saw a the eyelids of human being, and her countenance would lighten sunny spot, where he had once “laid himself down in peace, for with a smile more glorious, more refreshing to the lover of the Lord sustained him.” He arose, and walked out of that unaffected simplicity, than the light of the harvest moon, when she house of worship, for its atmosphere was too ethereal for those walks in her brightness over the face of heaven. Isabella's tempe- | living thoughts of horror and remorse which gnawed him within. rament did not permit her changing feelings to appear so obvious And, as he walked along, the words of the hymo rang in his mind, in her manner; she was one of those who can control and conceal and dark clouds gathered, and thunders rolled, for conscience was what is felt. Nevertheless, her pleasurable emotions were also enjoying an hour of triumph. easily excited when her brother's name was the theme of admira- A low, plaintive voice, soliciting charity, attracted the attention tion, and there was no way in which a flatterer could sooner over- of Erasmus. It was a female's, whose countenance seemed to come her good sense than by dilating upon his accomplishments say, “ Disease and poverty have worked their will with me! and virtues.
Even in this region of probation, suffering, the child of sin, hath And he was worthy. No brother could be more kind, more blasted me with her touch!" He looked again, and there ar, affectionate, more devoted; the simplest act of courtesy was ren- peared something in her look and manner very different from dered more courteous by its manner; in the very tone of his voice, that of those shameless and wretched beings, whose souls are, as he regularly bade them "good night," before retiring to rest, as it were, petrified in their bodies. “ Poor creature!” he thought, there was a richness and a fulness which indicated fervour of affec- “thou bast, perhaps, been exposed to unavoidable misery, while tion. In their dwelling there was light and peace; and the two all my suffering proceeds from myself!”. At the impulse of the sisters would often embrace each other in the fulness of joy, moment, he emptied into the beggar's hand the contents of his thanking the God of mercy, who, though he had taken the parents purse, which consisted of a little loose silver ; and, as he walked away, had yet left them such a brother.
away amid a shower of extravagant blessings, PRIDE whispered But Erasmus walked not in his uprightness. There met him the benediction of complacency in his ear. It grew upon him on his way, first, “ the pride of life," then “the lust of the eye,” | insensibly that he had laid an acceptable offering on the altar of and behind them, masked, “false though fair," came “the lust universal charity, and that all goodness had not departed from of the flesh," and he bowed his head and worshipped them. him : he looked up to heaven, and vowed to the great God that he If angels strike their golden harps, and chaunt anew the anthem of would no longer grieve him, but from henceforth walk in his ways, salvation over every child of mortality who passes from “ death to and keep his statutes for evermore. Little did Erasmus dream life," how must they veil their faces in sorrow, when one returneth that he was, in effect, holding out, as it were, a bribe to the goods from life to death! The soul dies again ; it becomes a fearful ness of God to return and take possession of his heart; and that it spectacle to men, and the body is its sepulchre ; and the depraved might be said to him, as it was said to one of old,“
Thy money and excited passions are worse than a Roman guard, to watch that perish with thee !'' no friendly remembrance of God's love and mercy, no " repentance Returning home to seal with his sisters, by the sacrament of that needeth not to be repented of,” may come to steal him away, affectionate confession and forgiveness, the vow he had made to in the vain hope that they are sleeping ! Oh, ye who are yet in God, he was met by a few gay companions, with whom he had the freshness of your first love, may ye never have your feelings grown familiar. They urged him to accompany them in their excoriated, may you never approach so near the fire of unhallowed walk, and he consented, determining to preserve a gravity of passion as to be scorched by its power! They who are laid down aspect and seriousness of conversation in consistency with the vow in the tomb of the BACKSLIDER, are bound hand and foot in their which he had made. But he found it extremely difficult so to grave-clothes, and are never again able to arise, until He do ; and, ere he was aware, he was entrapped into a consent to pronounces the magic words, “ Come forth!” and turning round to dine with the party. Why need I attempt to describe what the Christian friends who are gazing with wonder and compassion, followed? Remember, reader, it was the Sabbath day, holy of bids them, “ Loose them, and let them go!”.
the Lord, and honourable ;' and marvel that a Christian man Isabella and Helen marvelled exceedingly at the change in their could spend such a day in such company. Erasmus felt himself brother's conduct, and their love blinded them as to its cause, sinking, and he drowned all thought in additional draughts of until Isabella, who, though ignorant of the ways of the world, wås wine ; and at last gambling was introduced, which absorbed every sharp and shrewd, discovered it. Formerly' these children of feeling of the soul. This was the guiltiest night that Erasmus affection knew each other's movements and occupations freely and had ever spent. The whole party rushed out about midnight, unreservedly; all their little pleasures were in common, and an inflamed with liquor, to brawl and swagger in the streets, and angry or a fretful look seldom veiled their countenances. Now, enjoy what they esteemed mirth; and the poor fallen and degraded Erasmus threw over his outgoings and incomings an air of mystery professor of Christianity sneaked after them, and, drunk as he and concealment, resisted kindly inquiry with petulance, and shut was, trembling lest some one among those he met would recognise his heart to those rays of affection which once expanded its him. After rambling about till they were tired, they entered one blossom-leaves, and gave them freshness and colouring. In the of those private gambling-houses which so disgrace large cities; early moments of his backsliding, conscience occasionally smote and here Erasmus met the fate of every novice in such scenes of him, and he would return to weep, and ask his sisters' forgiveness, iniquity. He was robbed, plundered, stripped; he sang, danced, and then go out to sin again! I once thought of tracing him in and leaped, affected a careless air and gay attitude ;-in fact, he his downward course, and presenting it to the reader's eye; to
did not need to affect, for he was delirious, mad, utterly mad; show how gradually the conscience becomes "seared as with a and the delirium did not terminate next day; for, with one or hot iron,” and to warn the young Christian of the danger of two wild associates, the debauch was prolonged, until nature, outlistening to the voice of the charmer,'when he would seduce raged and exhausted, suffered her perverter to fall prostrate on the him from the path of duty. But it is a delicate and a difficult earth. thing to do. It is exceedingly difficult to describe scenes which As he was passing through the horrible sensations which sucborder upon those things of which it is a shame even to speak,'' ceed a fit of drunkenness, his first thought was to put an end to without their having a tendency to injure a delicate mind, and to his existence. Disgraced and beggared, he could not face his pain a tender conscience. Let me, therefore, touch them not. It fellow man; and yet he dared to think of meeting the Hidden is sufficient to know that a departure from purity turned that one of eternity in his own everlasting abiding-place! No, no !
No self-murderer thinks of MEETING God. His idea is, (if pride bumbled to the very dust, he returned to the path of duty. A and passion will permit an idea to be formed,) that he will escape series of self-denials, and of kind devoted attachment, prored his into some remote corner of creation, and there hide himself from gratitude to his sisters—what could repay them !--but all their creature and from Creator. But another temptation entered the cheerfulness could never remove the melancholy which the remem. mind of Erasmus, and chased out the first. He had squandered brance of his fall had settled down upon his spirit. la spite even his substance, and plunged himself in debt. With a fearful of himself, it marred his future usefulness, for he became ïike one heart and a tremulous hand, he drew out a bill, to which he whose nervous system is destroyed, trembling at every step with attached the name of a worthy man, who had been a friend of his excessive cautiousness. father's, and was still a friend of the family. It was successful ;Erasmus received the money, and thus filled the measure of his
NATIONAL SONGS. iniquity by forgery!
His debts were paid ; but there remained a something behind We are not going to write an essay on National Songs,-albeit, which he could never redeem-a debt which he could never cancel.
many excellent things have been said, and doubtless many more When his fever had cooled down, and he could look calmly at the
might be said, on that fascinatiog and not unimportant subsituation in which he had placed himself, he shuddered with horror. A prison and a gibbet rose before his eyes ; the gay, and ject. We have been too much delighted with those before us to amiable, and much-loved Erasmus become an object of pity or
think of those of other lands; nay, we cannot turn to those of idle curiosity to a rude and gazing mob; and his sisters—he other times, when we are full of Samuel Lover's modern “ Songs almost leaped at the thought—his sisters ! oh, agony, agony! He of the Superstitions of Ireland.” Many of them are already as saw the soft and fair-haired girl, ever his peculiar favourite, borne “ familiar in our mouths as household words;"-we cannot pass fainting away from the last parting scene, while she whose firm along the street without encountering “ Rory O'More;" but the step and unquivering lip betokened strength of nerve and mental marriage of music to immortal verse is a union more advantageous endurance, wrung his hand with that expression of unutterable Hoe which lodgeth within the silent sufferer's heart. And he to the former than the latter. Music, whilst it may make poor heard the loud laugh of the scorners, as they assembled at the was
verses tolerable, takes from us the power of that undivided atten. sail board, and talked of hypocrisy, and imposition, and priestcraft,
tion which good poetry deserves, and many a beauty is dimmed by and Christianity, and blessed themselves in their folly; and he its harmonious companion. But we have been gratified in saw good men hanging their heads abashed, and sighing over perusing the little volume of Songs and Ballads recently published the fearful fall of one who had given promise of becoming a cedar by Mr. Lover. We give one, which, thougha illustrative of a in Lebanon.
German, not an Irish superstition, is a gem. Erasmus arose to fly for ever from his home, his country, and his friends. The stricken deer darts into the concealment of the
THE ANGEL'S WING. forest, and wots not that the arrow is in its side : we may change “ There is a German superstition, that, when a sudden silence takes place country and climate—we cannot change the heart ! His prepa- in a company, an angel at that moment makes a circuit among them, and rations, however, did not escape the notice of Isabella, and some the first person who breaks the silence is supposed to have been touched by vague expressions which escaped him roused all her suspicions. | the wing of the passing seraph. For the purposes of poetry, I thought two With her accustomed promptitude and energy, she questioned his persons preferable to many in illustrating this very beautiful superstition. meaning, and besought him, if there remained in his heart one
“ When, by the evening's quiet light, spark of affection, to tell her what he was about to do. The ap.
There sit two silent lovers, peal was rendered irresistible by the younger sister clasping him
They say, while in such tranquil pligbt, in her arms, and declaring that where he went there she would go, and where he died there she would die: he disengaged himself
An angel round them hovers ;
And further still old legends tell, from her grasp, confessed his crime, and with a maniac look exclaimed he must fly from them, from happiness, and from God,
The first who breaks the silent spell, a wanderer and a vagabond upon the face of the earth !
To say a soft and pleasing thing, A scream burst from Helen; but she was recalled to her recol.
Hath felt the passing angel's wing. lection by the authoritative air of Isabella, who never opened her lips, nor uttered any exclamation either of wonder or of sorrow,
“ Thus, a musing minstrel stray'd The support of the family was derived from a legacy, which was
By the summer ocean, paid yearly, but which was to cease at a certain definite period.
Gazing on a lovely maid, In addition to this, three equal sums of money had been deposited
With a bard's devotion : in the national bank, in their respective names, under the verbal condition that they should touch nothing but the interest until
Yet his love he never spoke, they were severally settled in life. Erasmus had already squan
Till now the silent spell he broke ; dered his own, and the bill which he had forged amounted to more
The hidden fire to flame did spring, than what belonged to both his sisters. He saw at once what was
Fanned by the passing angel's wing ! meant by Isabella, and in passionate language declared he never would consent to beggar them, as well as himself. The tone in
"" I have loved thee well and long, which she bade him hold his peace confounded him: she quietly
With hope of Heaven's own making ! gathered her mantle about her, commanded him to accompany her,
This is not a poet's song, and procured the money and the bill ere the forenoon had passed over their heads! On returning home, she walked deliberately up
But a true heart's speaking :to the fire, and threw the cause of their terror and alarm into it,
I will love thee still untired !' and, as she watched it blazing, a long convulsive sob escaped her,
He felt—he spoke-like one inspired; and a few tears trickled down her cheek. Not so Helen. She
The words did from truth's fountain spring, had remained at home in all the torturing misery of suspense and
Upwakened by the angel's wing. doubt; and, when she actually saw the fatal document burning, she looked alternately at brother and sister, and then ran about the
“ Silence o'er the maiden fell, room in an hysterical exuberance of joy. Then beholding Erasmus with his head reclined upon a table, and hearing his groans, she
Her beauty lovelier making ; ran towards him, and kissed him again and again, telling him,
And by her blush, he knew full well “ All is right, all is right !" The girls had destroyed their only
The dawn of love was breaking. means of independence as to worldly prospects—but they never
It came like sunshine o'er his heart ! thought of that, they thought of their brother.
He felt that they should never part. But this prompt and energetic deed, and the temporal sacrifice
She spoke—and, oh! the lovely thing of those noble-minded creatures, doubtless saved a brother from
Had felt the passing angel's wing." disgrace, and disentangled his soul from the snares of the de. stroyer. His future conduct showed that, though the fine gold • Songs and Ballads, by Samuel Lover. 12mo, London, 1839. Claporan had become dim, it was the precious metal still; for, with heart and Hall.
MISSIONARY AND MERCANTILE VOYAGE TO
Even the Dutch, who enjoy a privileged trade at the single port
of Nagasaki, are strictly prohibited from any propagation, or even JAPAN AND MALAYSIA.
mention, of religion ; although the Japanese are quite aware that We have just met with two very interesting volumes, recently theirs is widely different from the Roman Catholic, at which they published in America, contaiving accounts of two expeditions sent conceived so great a disgust. out by the American house of Oliphant and Co., merchants at This voyage ended in complete disappointment. After touch. Canton, with the purpose of ascertaining what could be done to ing at Napakiang, the port of Loo-Choo, to take up Mr. Gutzlaff, open up a commercial and religious intercourse for the United who met them there in the English frigate Raleigh, the Morrison States flag with Japan and the Malaysian archipelago, one proceeded to the bay of Yeddo, the residence of the emperor, chief object being to ascertain the probability of success in esta- which was preferred to Nagasaki, as it was feared that the Dutch blishing Christian missions in either of these countries. It influence there might be prejudicial. Dropping anchor off Cosima, appears that, alihough the firm are not the recognised agents at the entrance of the harbour, they were boarded by some of the of the American government, yet, in the voyage to the archi- natives, and the despatches which had been prepared, explaining pelago, they evidently acted in concert with it ; since, in the the motives of the visit, were forwarded ; but no other answer instructions delivered to the captain. he is informed that any was returned, save a smart cannonade the next morning, from additions he might make to nautical knowledge by surveys, &c., which they had great difficulty in escaping. When they had got would be appreciated not only by themselves, but by their govern- clear they began to consider what next should be done, as the ment : and he is also authorised to promise that a consul should Japanese declined any proposition to put them ashore, except by be sent to the capital of Borneo (Berni), if desired by the sultan. permission of the authorities; as they said, even if they succeeded This method of employing private houses in the establishment of in reaching their own homes, they would be immediately inquired trade, and the extension of Christianity, would seem not to be after and punished for returning in an illegal manner. They without its advantages ;—it is a mode of communication which recommended that an attempt should be made at Kagosima, the appears most likely to prevent any jealousy of the interference of chief port of Satsuma,—the southern division of the island of a foreign power, and to establish a free and amicable intercourse. Kiusiu,—and the residence of one of the most powerful and least There is, however, no intimation that the plan was successful in dependent of the feudal princes. On their arrival off the port the the present instance; but in regard to the whole of the commer- Japanese were sent ashore at their own request, as they entercial part of the expedition we are left very much in the dark, the tained an idea that their ill success at Yeddo was partly owing to information given being chiefly confined to the results of the their having been kept out of sight. They were received with inquiries made with the view of establishing missionary posts, and many expressions of kindness and commiseration by the inhabinotices of the natural productions of the places visited.
tants, and on their return on board, brought one of the village We will, in the first place, advert to the voyage of the ship officers with them. A packet for the prince was intrusted to this Morrison to Japan, which, although not the first in order of time, dignitary, who promised to forward it immediately. Two of the holds the first place in the volumes before us, and was undertaken Japanese returned with him, and their account of their adventures whilst the Himmaleh was yet at sea.
was taken officially by the village authorities, and promised to be In the early part of the year 1837 it singularly happened, that forwarded, together with the packet handed over by Mr. King. no less than three parties of shipwrecked Japanese were assembled | A pilot was furnished, who led them to an anchorage, and soon together at Canton. One of these had been thrown on shore on after a boat came from the village, to announce that a high the North-west coast of America, near the river Oregon, and had officer would be sent on the following day, and that meantime been rescued from the hands of the Indians by the superintendant they should be carried to a safer anchorage. When this announceof the Hudson's Bay Company, who had sent them to China, ment was made, the packet which had been sent on shore was where they were received under the roof of Mr. Gutzlaff, the cele- returned unopened, and unhappily in a way which made it imposbrated Danish missionary. This party was three in number. A sible for Mr. King to refuse to receive it, i. e. without his second, consisting of six, had been cast away on the island of knowing it." Hainan, and had been brought thence to Canton, under the imme- The particular manner in which this return was effected we are diate care of the Hong merchants. The third party, consisting of not informed of, but as its return was unknown, Mr. King deterfour, arrived at Macao from Manilla, and found a home with their mined to wait till some answer was received. In the course of countrymen at the house of Mr. Gutzlaff
. Their account of them- the following day “one coarse rude man, with two sabres (the selves was, “that they had left a port in Satsuma more than two distinguishing mark of a man in office), remarked, in the afteryears before for Nagasaki; that they had been driven by a typhoon noon, that we should not be taken to a better anchorage, and on the northern shores of Luzonia, one of the Philippine islands, that if we wished to trade we must go to Nagasaki. Mr. Gutzlaff and that they were there seized by men of black skin and curly was also told that there were serious disturbances, famines, insurhair, who carried them into the interior.” There was nothing rections, &c., in the country, and even at the capital ; and that improbable in this story, it being well known that Japanese junks Osaca, the third city of the empire, had been burned, by order of have been wrecked before on the same coast, and that there still the government, or of one of the contending parties ; circumexists a negro, or Papuan race, in the forests and inaccessible stances that might possibly have influenced the people in their interior of that beautiful island. These men contrived to escape reception of the Americans. The day passed over, and no demonfrom their savage captors, and, reaching the Spanish settlement strations of hostility were made, but no official communications at Manilla, were conveyed to Macao.
were received. A slight warning was given early next morning The presence of these men suggested the idea of attempting to by a fisherman, who pulled alongside, and told them they had open an American trade with Japan, by an expedition undertaken better go off,--apparently from the impulse of kind feeling. Soon for the return of his subjects to the emperor. The Americans after, cannon were brought down and placed on all the heights; had never had any trade with Japan, and might therefore plead but the operation was not immediately perceived, as everything that they were not included in the prohibition, by which the going on was concealed by screens of striped cloths, such as are European nations formerly trading to Japan were interdicted. said by Golownin to be stretched, on great occasions, in front of To show that their intentions were purely peaceful, the vessel was the Japanese fortresses. A brisk fire was soon opened, and the disarmed, and Mrs. King, the wife of one of the partners of the Morrison was obliged again to beat a hasty retreat. Considering firm, who went as supercargo, consented to accompany her hus it now useless to make any other attempt at landing his unforband. It was a matter of debate whether any Japanese transla- tunate charge, Mr. King directed his course homewards, and the tion of the Scriptures, and other religious works, should be taken; Morrison reached Macao, without any further mischance or any but it was length determined that nothing of the sort should be occurrence of particular interest. The shipwrecked Japanese carried, from the fear of alarming the religious scruples of the were afterwards provided for in different services in China. people; it was considered that, since religious disputes had been Mr. King, considering that, after the repulse of the Morrison, the cause of the original banishment of the Europeans, it would no new private American expedition has any chance of gaining a be most prudent to establish a commercial intimaey on a sure | footing in Japan, and that it is an object of importance that such footing, before venturing on the subject of religious intercourse. should be obtained, proposes that, in case a remonstrance made * The claims of Japan and Malaysia upon Christendom, exhibited in
by a small armed squadron should be disregarded, that one of two notes of voyages made in 1837, from Canton, in the
ship Morrison and brig Japanese that they are powerless against European coercion, if it
modes should be adopted, for the purpose of proving to the Himmaleh, under the direction of the owners.
, French: London, Wiley and Putnam. 1839.
be exerted against them.
The first, is to intercept and turn back the supplies of rice and soil and climate ; but at Macassar alone did they meet with any fish brought in junks to Yeddo: a project only objectionable from encouragement in the distribution of books. They had several in the misery it would cause to the people from the fault of their the Bugis' dialect, which was read without much difficulty by the rulers. The other is to place a strong guard at Kagosima, Macassars, and great eagerness was manifested to obtain them. the southernmost port of Japan, and then proceed to Loo-Choo, Our limits will not allow us to dwell on each point of the and the other islands at present in subjection to Japan, and voyage, and we must hasten on to Borneo, the most important declare them independent: a measure which Mr. King considers as object, and the most interesting, because least known. likely to be productive of the happiest results, and to lead to a After touching at Ternate, a small island near lololo, one of free communication with, and the great improvement of, all these the Moluccas, on which there is a Dutch settlement, and where islands, which are at present in a very impoverished condition, Mr. Lay made an arduous ascent to the crater of a volcano, and the effect of tyranny and oppression.
at Zamboanga, a Spanish settlement on the southern side of We have been brief in our notice of this voyage, which is Mindanao, the Himmaleh proceeded to Berni. chiefly curious as an additional instance of the persevering adhe. This place is one of the few of any consequence among all the rence of the Japanese government (for the people seem well archipelago which is not under foreign domination. It is peopled inclined to strangers) in their singular line of policy. It appears by Malays, who are governed by a sultan, who in his turn is very clear that unless some mode of coercion be adopted, it is not governed by his minister; and a very amusing account of the likely to be abandoned; but it is a question whether the trouble audience-chamber is given by Mr. Lay, which we shall tranand expense of forcing a trade would remunerate the American, scribe. or any other government; since Japan is by no means a rich " A levee was an amusing sight. On one hand you might see country, and her principal export consists of copper, which can be the minister, in person a small man, sitting with a demure coun. procured elsewhere.
tenance at a most respectful distance, and now and then uttering The commercial advantages to be obtained from a safe and free some expressions in a subdued and plaintive strain : on the other, communication with the islands of the Malaysian archipelago, the sultan, with a proud stare mingled with a wild anxiety, who rich beyond estimation in all the productions of the East, are felt these soft words to be severe strictures upon his behaviour, infinitely greater ; and the voyage of the Himmaleh, undertaken coming, too, from a man who expected that they should not only by the same house (Messrs. Oliphant and Co.) in the preceding be felt, but be considered as cautions for regulating his conduct year, and not completed when the Morrison set sail, had that in future. He resembled an animal with one foot in a trap, who object in view, and was especially directed to missionary purposes. would fain change his uneasy position with no less cost than the The Rev. E. Steevens, a gentleman attached to the American loss of a limb. The minister, to whom we have referred more mission, and highly esteemed for his talents and character, joined than once, is the chief executive officer in the state. The disthe expedition, and, on his lamented death at Singapore, his tinction between him and the sultan was very concisely made by place was supplied by the Rev. James T. Dickenson, also a a brother of the latter in conversation with myself and fellow. member of the American mission. G. T. Lay, Esq., “ an accom- traveller one evening. The one speaks, and the other acts.' plished Englishman, who had served under Captain Beechey as The entire control and management of all public matters are naturalist to the expedition of the Blossom in 1825 to 1828, and placed in the hands of the latter, who, from the advantage of such had lately come out as agent for the British and Foreign Bible a situation when a man of talent, like Muda Hasim, can enact his Society,'' also accompanied this expedition. It is from his pen own pleasure, and so leave the sultan a mere pompous title, that the account of the Himmaleh proceeds ; but, although of surrounded, indeed, with the habiliments of war and majesty, but exceeding interest, it does not trace the whole progress of the destitute of any real power or authority.” voyage *. In explanation of this it is stated in the preface, that The inhabitants are Mahomedans, but their observance of their "circumstances out of the control of the owners have prevented religion is very lax. Their form of government, as is general them from adding to Mr. Lay's missionary and scientific notes among the Malays, is feudal; and, as each chief prides himself any of a commercial or nautical character, and consequently there on having a number of his retainers residing round him for keeping is less of value to communicate than was anticipated in the outset up a numerous harem, each “great house” is surrounded by a of the attempt."
cluster of little ones, which gives a very irregular appearance to this The object of the voyage, as stated in the instructions given to aqueous city; for, as it is very customary with the Malays, a great the captain, were to proceed to Singapore, and there take in an part of the buildings are erected on piles, over the shallow parts investment for trade at Borneo, the chief city of that island, Berni, of the bay, and this not from want of room on shore, but from being regarded as the port of destination. An examination of the choice. The sovereign is elective; but he must belong to one coasts of Borneo was recommended, and the captain was at liberty particular family, and this mode of succession is, as is natural, to examine Celebes, and any other places which time would often productive of serious disturbances. The soil is rich and permit, their return being necessary by the spring.
productive, but ill cultivated ; pepper, upland rice, and pines, are The death of Mr. Steevens at Singapore caused some delay, grown on the upland hills, and a good trade once set on foot and the Himmaleh did not leave that place till the 30th of January, would doubtless soon change the face of the island, and increase when their course was directed immediately to Macassar, which its products to an immense extent. The fine river on which the they reached on the 10th of February, and from whence they did city stands affords very great facility for communication with the not depart till the 6th of March, in consequence of the death of interior of this important island, which is three times the size of some of the seamen, and the difficulty of supplying their places Great Britain, and the introduction of Christianity would, as must with Javanese seamen. This place, which is a Dutch settlement, always be the case, tend materially to humanize the society. Here is situated at the south-west of Celebes. Its inhabitants, a Malay are no strong Mohamedan prejudices to overcome, since, although race, have some distinctive marks, which point them out as a the religion is professed, it is but little reverenced. The abolition different tribe from the Bugis, the inhabitants of the Bay of of polygamy would stand most in the way of the success of the Bouin (many of whom are, however, to be found in Macassar), missionary. It was, however, encouraging to find that no oppoand the other tribes, who inhabit the different parts of the island. sition was made to the introduction of the Scriptures; but, on the Here, as at other Dutch colonies, the policy has been, and still is, contrary, a desire to possess them evinced, even by the prime to check all native improvement, and to reduce the people as low minister, Muda Hasim, who is represented as a man quite in as possible, by discouraging their trade; and hence the Macas- advance of his countrymen, and exceedingly desirons of improving sars, who formerly were a people of some consequence, and the condition of his countrymen, and introducing among them carried on an active commerce with their neighbours, are now the knowledge of European inventions. But a sudden stop was reduced to insignificance. Here, and at the other places touched put to the landing of a single copy of the Scriptures, or any other at on the route to Borneo, Mr. Lay and his companion, Mr. Malay book, by the captain, who was of opinion that, although Dickenson, made good use of their time in excursions into the they might be well received then, yet that the consequence would country, and procured some interesting information, chiefly as to be, thať" he should have his throat cut if he came that way The remarks on the meteorology, music, and natural history, of the
another year.” countries visited, appended, are very valuable : they are written in a
This is the only intimation we have that the trade at Berni was delightful manner, and in the true spirit of philosophical inquiry. We of a sufficiently encouraging nature to render a second visit advisregret that they are so short. We can here only thus briefly refer to them, able ; but that a considerable and very profitable commerce may but cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of making a few extracts from them be carried on by vessels properly manned and armed is very in some succeeding Numbers,
certain : the resources of these islands are not yet made available
to one-tenth of the extent a comparatively small regular inter- passing glory crowned,” walks forth in his strength and brightness course would develop. Although the trade of piracy is a de- through the fields of air, and takes his meridian stand in the deeplightful amusement to the Malays, who, as is the case with most blue vault of heaven ; and while his radiant beams illumine the half-civilised nations of a warlike character, think there is no wide concave of the sky, “the light clouds sublime, spread thin dishonour in robbing with the strong hand, yet they are not of a and fleecy white,” float gaily in his rays, and set off in vivid condaring disposition, and are easily checked by an appearance of trast the tint and beauty of the “ summer heaven's delicious blue” power. The inhabitants of Berni are already awed by the proxi- and the purity of the glowing transparent ether. Light airs and mity of Singapore, and have ceased to practise piracy themselves, gentle zephyrs skim over the meadows and fields, woods and hills, although they still too often afford a shelter to others who all mantled in green and decked with blossom, diffusing in soft continue it.
eddies the breathing fragrance of the vegetable kingdom. The The field now under our notice is a wide one, and deserving of rivers and streams roll joyously on in their channelled course, great attention, both by the merchant and the missionary, and we through enamelled plains or craggy dells, with their rising trout hope ere long to hear of other voyages in those seas, more deci- and salmon, and sailing May-flies; the lakes reflecting, in “modest dedly successful than that of the Himmaleh.
pride," and with dimpling wave, the wooded islands studding their bosom, and the cottages, woods, and mountains, stretching
close along their shores ; while the " birds on every bough," or THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY.
passing on hasty wing of business through the air, the lowing
herds of ranging cattle, and the shrill, intermitted, or drowsy * Queen of fresh Flowers,
notes of the insect tribes, make a mingled harmony to the ear. Whom vernal stars obey,
Even Man, laden with his thousand woes, real and imaginary, and Bring thy warm showers,
endowed with his conscious “ knowledge of good and evil,” feels Bring thy genial ray:
the spirit of life animate his inmost heart, and speaks the joy he In Nature's greenest livery drest,
feels, “ where nothing strikes his eye but sights of bliss." Descend on earth's expectant breast,
The month of May was the third of the year of Romulus, and To earth and heaven a welcome guest,
the fifth of that of Numa and Julius Cæsar, as it remains at present. Thou MERRY MONTH OF MAY!
Its name existed at a period long anterior to the time of the foun. * Mark how we meet thee
dation of Rome, as the majus or great month, from the vigour of At dawn of dewy day!
nature at this season, but was adopted and confirmed by Romulus Hark! how we greet thee
in compliment to the majores, or elders, who formed the senators With our roundelay!
of his council; in the same manner as the subsequent month of June While all the goodly things that be
was named Junius, in allusion to the juniores or younger subjects, In earth, and air, and ample sea,
who formed the warriors of his army. Others suppose it to have been ing up to welcome thee, Thou MERRY MONTH OF MAY!
originally derived from the goddess Maia, the mother of Mercury,
or of Maia, the bona dea (or good goddess, that is, mother Earth), “ Flocks on the mountains,
to whom sacrifices were offered on the first of May. By our Saxon And birds upon their spray,
ancestors it was termed the tri-milchi month, or month in which Tree, turf, and fountains,
the cows could be milked three times a day, from the luxuriancy All hold holiday;
of the tender juicy grass. The Germans of the present day deAnd Love--the life of living things, Love waves his torch, and claps his wings,
nominate it the Wonne-Monat, or month of delight and joy; And loud and wide thy praises sings,
The ancients characterised it as adorning the earth with flowers, Thou MERRY MONTH OF MAY !"
"chequering the fields with varied grass, and designate it as the
Bishop HEBER. green and verdant, the flowery and vernal, the showery and stormy, When the opening Spring, “ with dewy fingers cold,” has shed the dewy and fruitful
, the bland and luxuriant, the pleasant and its morning-light of hope on the coming year, and the succeeding from the prevalence of sunshine, regarded it as sacred to Apollo
grateful--the joyous, sprightly, and festive month of May; and sunshine and showers of chequered April have prepared the
The English poets and people generally, seem to agree in conferring breathing earth for the renewal of its vegetation, then comes the
on it the epithet of “MERRY,” though Milton, in the exuberance consummation of the spring in all its rich freshness, and the Month of May opens wide its portals of clear and glorious light, of his feeling, hesitates not to term it the "jolly” May; and in inviting every created being throughout the wide universe of God's associating the name and remembrance of this happy month with dominions to rejoice and be glad.“ Rise up, my love, my fair every object connected with the season : thus we have our “ May"
or May-blossom, May-ings, May-games, May-poles, May-queen, one, and come away. For, lo ! the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the sing- May-lily, May-wort, May-weed, May-flower, May-apple, May-fly
and May-butter, besides many others. The ancient painters ing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our
represented May as a youth of lovely countenance, arrayed in a land.” As the winter has passed from the face of nature, so the winter of the soul has gone from man, and the primeval air of robe of white and green, embroidered with flowers, having on his
head a garland of white and damask roses, with a lute in one Eden seems again to breathe around him, and all creation to glow hand, and a nightingale perched on the fore-finger of the other. again divinely with the Spirit of the Most High ; and, as that ** happy seat of our first parents was dimmed and marred in its Less fancifully classic, but with a simpler dignity of genuine feeling
and pure love of nature, our own ancestors have represented May purity by sin and disobedience, so the soul of man, redeemed from
as the loveliest of their village maidens, and have “rifled all the the curse
, looks fondly to its restoration to innocence and happi- breathing spring” to deck her with garlands and flowers, as their ness in the paradise of “ eternal spring" beyond the skies.*
Queen of May. May is the spring-time of hope and promise—the rainbow of the
May is the season when nature assumes her new livery for the reviving year. Campbell, in his address to that “ triumphal arch”
year. With what beauty, truth, and pathos, does the patriotic of the sky, says
Burns depict the native charms of this season, in allusion to the “ When o'er the green undeluged earth,
captivity and hard fate of Mary Queen of Scots, who, in this Heaven's covenant thou didst shine,
month, was brought to England as a prisoner of state !
“ Now Nature hangs her mantle green
On every blooming tree, And the mental eye, surrounded at this season with every cheering
And spreads her sheets o' daisies white object in nature, to raise hope and encourage aspiration after that
Out o'er the grassy lea. “better land," travels onward in vision to brighter and more
Now lav'rocks wake the merry morn, perennial scenes, and penetrates the rainbow-veil of promise :
Aloft op dewy wing,
The merle in his noon-tide bower,
Makes woodland echoes ring.
“Now blooms the lily on the bank, both eye and soul,”— '- now assumes his dominion, and," with sur
The primrose down the brae;
The hawthorn 's budding in the glen, • See Moxon's beautiful Sonnet on Spring.
And milk-white is the slaa.