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ON THE WASTE OF LIFE.
flock and the herd, have been slain in ten years' time to feed me, besides what the forest has supplied me with.
4. "Many hundreds of fishes have, in all their variety, been robbed of life for my repast, and of the smaller fry, some thousands. A measure of corn would hardly suffice’ me fine flour enough for a month's provision, and this årīsis to about six score bushels ; and many hogsheads of wine and other liquors have passed through this body of mine—this wretched strainer of meat and drink! And what have I done all this time for God and man? What a vast profusion of good things wasted upon a useless life and a worthless liver!
5. “There is not the meanèst creature among all those which I have devoured, but hath answered the end of its creation better than I. It was made to support human nature, and it . has done so. Every crab and oyster I have eat, and every grain of corn I have devoured, hath filled up its place in the rank of beings with more propriety and honor than I have done. Oh, shameful waste of life and time!"
6. In short, he carried on his moral reflections with so just and severe a force of reason, as constrained him to change his whole course of life; to break off his follies at once, and to apply himself to gain some useful knowledge, when he was snore than th
years of age. He lived many following years, with the character of a worthy man and an excellent Christian; He died with a peaceful conscience,' and the tears of his country were dropped upon his tomb.
7. The world, that knew the whole series of his life, were amazed at the mighty chānge. They beheld him as a wonder of reformation, while he himself confessed and adored the Divine power and mercy
which had transformed him from a brute
'Repast, (re påst'), the act of tak- prcfesses to believe in the religion of ing food ; that which is taken as Christ; especially one whose inward food or a meal ; victuals.
and outward life is conformed to the Suffice, (súf fiz?), to be sufficient doctrines of Christ; one born in a or enough ; to furnish or supply. Christian country or of Christian
3 Pro fü' sion, a large quantity. parents.
* Re flěc' tion, the turning of the · Conscience, (kon' shèns), the mind to what has already occupied power or principle within us which it; continued thinking.
decides on the lawfulness or unlaw6 Con strāined'.compelled; forced. fulness of our actions and affections, Christian, (krist' yan), one who and approves or condemns them.
to a man. But this was a single instance, and we may almost venture to write miracle' upon it. Are there not numbers, in this degenerate: age, whose lives thus run to utter waste, without the least tendency to usefulness?
HERE is something patriarchal still lingering about rural
life in Sweden, which renders it a fit theme for sõng. Almost primēvalt simplicity reigns over that northern land,almost primeval solitude and stillness.
2. You pass out from the gate of the city, and, as if by magic, the scene changes to a wild, woodland landscape. Around you are forests of fir. Overhead hang the long, fan-like branches, trailing with moss, and heavy with red and blue cones. Under foot is a carpet of yellow leaves; and the air is warm and balmy. 3. On a wooden bridge you cross a little silver stream, and
come fürth into a pleasant and sunny land of farms. Wooden fences divide the adjoining fields. Across the road are gates, which are opened by troops of children. The peasants take off their hats as you pass. You sneeze, and they cry, “God bless you."
4. The houses in the villages and smaller towns are all built of hewn timber, and for the most part painted red. The floors of the taverns are strown with the fragrant tips of fir boughs. In many villages there are no taverns, and the peasants take turns in receiving travelers.
5. The thrifty housewife shows you into the best chamber, the walls of which are hung round with rude pictures from the
| Mir' a cle, a wonder or wonder- toward any place, effect, or result; ful thing; an effect or event that desire. differs or departs from the known * Pri mē' val, primitive ; belong. laws of nature.
ing to the earliest times; original. ? De gěn' er ate, having become Cônes, bodies diminishing to a worse than one's kind; having lost in · point; the fruit of the pine, fir, etc., worth or goodness ; degraded; mean. that is shaped like a cone,
* Těnd' on cy, direction or course A non', quickly ; immediately.
RURAL LIFE IN SWEDEN.
Bible, and brings you her heavy silver spoons,-an heirloom, 'to dip the curdled milk from the pan. You have oaten cakes baked some months before ; or bread with anise-seed and coriander in it-or, perhaps, a little pine bark in it.
6. Meanwhile the sturdy husband has brought his horses from the plow, and harnessed them to your carriage. Solitary travclers come and go in uncouth' one-horse chaises. Most of them have pipes in their mouths; and hanging around their necks in front a leather wallet, in which they carry tobacco, and the great bank-notes of the country, as large as your two hands.
7. You meet, also, groups of Dalecarlian* peasant women traveling homeward, or townward, in pursuit of work. Thoy walk barefoot, carrying in their hands their shocs, which have high heels under the hollow of the foot, and soles of birch bark.
8. Frcquent, too, are the village churches, standing by the roadside, each in its own little garden of Gethsěm'anè. In the parish register great events are doubtliss recorded. Some old king was christened or buried in that church; and a little sexton, with a rusty key, shows you the baptismal fant, or the coffin.
9. In the churchyard are a few flowers, and much green grass; and daily the shaduw of the church spire, with its lòng, tapering finger, counts the tombs, representing a dial-plate of human life, on which the hours and minutes are the graves of men. The stones are flat, and large, and low, and perhaps sunken, like the roofs of old houses. On some are armorial bearings, on others, only the initials of the poor tenants, with a date, as on the roofs of Dutch cottages.
'Heirloom, (år' 18m), any furni- wore armor, the face, as well as the ture or movable that descends to the entire person, was concealed. In heir with the house ; any piece of order that the soldiers might recogpersonal property that has been in nize their leaders, the commander the same family for many years.
wore on his shield, or as a crest for · Sturdy, (stêr' di), hardy; stout. the helmet, some device, such as a
• Uncouth, (un k8th), misshapen ; bird, a beast, a spear, sword, etc. awkward ; not handsome.
By degrees this custom was reduced * Dalecarlia, (då'le kår' li d), an to a system, and the king arrogated old province of Sweden, now com- the right of bestowing on his brave prised in the læn or district of Falun. followers the exclusive privilege of
• Arm o'ri al bear' ings, coats-of- wearing certain devices on the shield arms, or parts of the coats-of-arms. or the helmet. This was the founIn ancient times, when the soldiers, dation of the science of heraldry, and especially their commanders, and the origin of coats-of-arme
10. Nor must I forgět the suddenly chānging seasons of the northern clime. There is no long and lingering spring, unfolding leaf and blossom, one by one; no long and lingering autumn, pompous with many-colored leaves and the glow of Indian
But winter and summer are wonderful, and pass into each other. The quail has hardly ceased piping in the corn, when winter, from the folds of trailing clouds, sows broadcast over the land snow, icicles, and rattling hail.
11. The days wane' apace. Erelong the sun hardly rises ăbove the hori'zon, or does not rise at all. The moon and the stars shine through the day ; only, at noon, they are pale and wan, and in the southern sky a red, fiery glow, as of sunset, burns álõng the hori’zon, and then goes out. And pleasantly under the silver moon, and under the silent, solemn stars, ring the steel shoes of the skaters on the frozen sea, and voices, and . the sound of bells.
12. And now the northerr lights begin to burn, faintly at first, like sunbeams playing in the waters of the blue sea. soft crimson glow ţinges the heavens. There is a blush on the cheek of night. The colors come and go; and change from crimson to gold, from gold to crimson. The snow is stained with rosy light. Twofold from the zēnith, east and west, flames a fiery sword; and a broad band passes athwart' the heavens, like a summer sunset.
13. Soft, purple clouds come sailing over the sky, and through their vapory folds the winking stars shine white as silver. With such pomp as this is merry Christmas ushered in, though ünly a single star heralded the first Christmas. And in memory of that day the Swedish peasants dance on straw; and the peasant girls throw straws at the timbered roof of the hall, and for every one that sticks in a crack shall a groomsman come to their wedding
14. And now the glad, leafy, midsummer, full of blossoms and the song of nightingales, is come! In every village there is a May-pole fifty feet high, with wreaths, and roses, and ribbons, streaming in the wind ; and a noisy weathercock on top, to tell the village whence the wind comèth and whither it goëth. The sun does not set till ten o'clock at night; and the children
• Wāne, decrease ; waste away.
: A thwart, across; through
THE SABBATH IN NEW ENGLAND
are at play in the streets an hour later. The windows and doors are all open, and you may sit and read till midnight without a candle.
15. Oh, how beautiful is the summer night which is not night, but a sunlèss, yět unclouded day, descending upon earth with dews, and shadows, and refreshing coolness! How beautiful the long, mild twilight, which, like a silver clasp, unites to-day with yěsterday! How beautiful the silent hour, when morning and evening thus sit togěther, hand in hand, benēatih the starlèss sky of midnight!
16. From the church tower in the public square the bell tolls the hour, with a soft, musical chime; and the watchman, whose watch-tower is the belfry, blows a blast in his horn for each stroke of the hammer : and four times to the four corners of the heavens, in a sonūrous' voice, he chants
“Ho! watchman, ho! twelve is the clock!
And hostile hand! twelve is the clock !" From his swallow's nest in the belfry he can see the sun all nignt lòng ; and further north the priest stands at his door in the warm midnight, and lights his pipe with a common burning-glass.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW,
55. THE SABBATH IN NEW ENGLAND.
HE observance of the Sabbath began with the Puritans,'
on Saturday night. At the going down of the sun on Saturday, all temporal afairs were suspended ;* and so zealously, did our fathers maintain the letter, as well as the spirit of the law, hat, according to a vulgar tradition in Connecticut, no beer
So no' rous, high-sounding : giv. Episcopal Church ; the first settlers ing a clear or loud sound
of New England. . Pū'ri tans, persons in the time 8 Těm' po ral, belonging to this of Queen Elizabeth and her imme. life or world, or to the body only. diate successors, so called in derision, * Sus pěnd' ed, caused to cease for because they professed to follow the a time ; delayed ; stopped. pure word of God, and reject the
• Zěal ous ly,
with ceremonies and government of the eagrrnoss.