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century, a hundred years ago, these seminaries were not the easy, gay, and brilliant concerns which they now are. The formal tutoresses exacted then the most scrupulous reverence from their pupils, and every slight neglect was immediately followed by “various dips and bobs,” such as the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey attributes to those who conducted her education. Neatness and punctuality were enforced with sovereign power, and the hours of play were abridged, at each end of the day, to afford the utmost possible time for the labors of the needle. Accomplishments, as now they are called, when attended to at all, were driven into a corner. Unhappily, too, what religious instruction was given, was so contrived as to make that which should be the sweetest and most joyful of all instructions, the driest, bitterest, and most wearisome of all lessons; but what were all these accumulated troubles to the whaleboned and buckramed bodices, in which all the little misses were laced, and pulled and pushed out of form, in those barbarous days? Even the iron collars and stocks for the feet, which came into fashion after these, were less torturing than these whalebune stays.
If, therefore, Mary Craddock returned from school with a pale face and depressed spirits. and if she carried these through life, can it be wondered at, for she suffered only with many others in
There was no natural energy nor strength of nerve by which the mourning widow could throw off her depression, when left by her kind uncle to please herself; neither had any new source of earthly enjoyment been opened to her, when those were closed to her from which she had expected to have derived comfort for years to come. Her husband had been cut off when he was becoming daily more and more dear to her, and his remains rested in the church near Craddock Court, with those of the babe which had been carried from her breast to the grave.
The old gothic tower of that church mingled itself in almost every view from the window of the room in which the widow oftenest sat. It presented itself, too, in various points of sight whenever she took her daily walks in the trim alleys of the square stiff garden behind the mansion ; it loomed by moon and star-light in solemn majesty against the sky, whilst one, and
only one, ray of light proceeded from it, and this was from a window of the belfry seen above the mass of yew trees in the burying ground, and of which the gothic tracery was often rendered clearly distinct by the admission of the moon-beam through an answering window on the opposite side of the tower. So near, too, was this edifice to the lady's window, that she could distinctly hear the call of every rook or daw which frequented its old eaves, and the hoot of every owl which harboured in the turrets.
It would have been well for that poor lady, if she had had any domestic occupation, but she was too prudent or timid to avail herself of the permission to direct her uncle's housekeeper, and, as is commonly the case with infants nursed by another, her baby son was never willing to come to his mother, but ever stretched his infant arms to his nurse, and wept aloud when she attempted to take him to herself, too painfully reminding her of that pale sweet child, her first-born, who had seemed to have lived only in her arms, and had at last expired upon her bosom. In fine and curious needlework, once her pleasure, she no longer had any delight; and even the fair posy which she was creating with her needle, and which her husband had often commended, remained unfinished. Hitherto, up to those hours of solitary widowhood, she had never been accustomed to take delight in reading, and had scarcely heard of the square light closet, within her uncle's dressing room, into which all the books at Craddock Court had been tumbled probably before her birth, and certainly not very many years after the squire's education was supposed to be finished. Of the only real solace of the afflicted, religion, and such religion as is revealed in scripture through the illumination of the Divine Spirit, the poor widow knew nothing; nay, and perchance had never thought seriously up to the moment in which she had been by a second terrible blow, the loss of her husband, made to feel the utter vanity of all present things. The loneliness of her life after the first hurry and shock, tended to impress the truth of this newly awakened conviction (without, however, leading her to look for the better and more enduring realities of the gospel), and as her uncle did not oppose the determination she had formed of keeping much in retirement duing her first year of widowhood, and of neither visiting nor being
seen by visitors, there occurred no circumstance to divert her from these gloomy trains of thought. Hence, was the afflicted lady in great danger of sinking entirely into a state of morbid melancholy; her feeble and languid constitution opposing no hindrance to the progress of this mental disease. To make matters worse, she began at length to fancy that there was some merit, something pleasing to God, in the cultivation of gloomy ideas, and in the observance of painful, self-denying, and dark forms.
Is it here, then, in this dismal, barren, scene, that we are to look for the springing up of such a fountain of sparkling, living, waters, as, having kept on its course for nearly a hundred years, now promises to branch forth in countless rills, and to carry gladness with it through many a hitherto parched and arid desert ? Another month may, we trust, supply an answer to this enquiry.
M. M S. (To be continued.)
ILLUSTRATIONS OF PROVIDENCE.' The following incidents, which appear in a remarkable manner, to indicate a special providence watching over God's people, occur in the life of the Rev. John Johnson, formerly minister of St. George's, Manchester.
Preaching at Bretherton, the opposition was so violent that he was obliged abruptly to dismiss the congregation. On returning to his lodgings, being pelted with stones, he caught hold of one of the supposed offenders, by the collar of his coat, but failed in obtaining from him the information he wanted respecting his accomplices.
The next morning he applied to a justice of the peace, for a warrant against the person who disturbed his congregation ; but the magistrate being a clergyman, and irritated against all schismatics, like Mr. Johnson, refused his assistance, though he actually signed a warrant for assault, on the application of the man who had been laid hold of.
Foiled in this attempt to procure justice, Mr. Johnson applied for, and obtained a warrant from another clergyman of more liberal sentiments and with clearer views of magisterial duty, and brought the matter to a trial.
When the jury were called, one of them failed to answer, an 1 an indifferent person was called from the body of the court to supply his place. Mr. Johnson's licence to preach was as a matter of form demanded, as well as that for the place of worship in which the offence took place. To the latter document, the counsel for the defendant most unjustifiably demurred, and insisted that the signature should be identified, a difficulty which owing to the distance at which the deputy registrar resided was considered insurmountable. To the surprise of all, however, a respectable gentleman, well acquainted with his hand-writing, came forward and attested its genuineness.
Mr. Johnson's case having been made out, two witnesses were called for the defendant. The first, pressing through the crowd, said “ Make way, I'll swear through them all.” He accordingly attempted to prove that the accused party had made no disturbance at all. The second witness, however, not only refused to forswear himself, but completely negatived the evidence of the other.
The matter was now left in the hands of the jury : but their prejudices would have over-mastered their sense of justice, had it not been for the firmness of the supernumerary juryman, who threatened to expose the party-motives of the others, if they persisted in their purpose of recording an acquittal. So shamefully did this feeling predominate, that when they returned into court, the foreman prefaced his verdict with an apology,—“We are very sorry; but we are obliged to bring in the man Guilty."
After this signal defeat, the counter-charge of assault against Mr. Johnson was abandoned, though one of the witnesses had actually brought a torn waistcoat into court to prove the violent character of the seizure which had been made on the man's coat-collar!
Thus, by what the unthinking would call a series of chances, were the ends of justice most unexpectedly attained, and the character of a valuable servant of Christ vindicated. Was it chance which brought an honest juryman into court, who remained alone faithful among the faithless ? Was it chance that furnished a competent witness to a signature which not one in a thousand could have attested ? Was it chance that touched the conscience of a hired false witness, and compelled him to swear to his own
hurt, and the confusion of his colleague? And, lastly, was it chance that mastered a bigoted and besotted bevy of eleven persons, and constrained them with deep and unfeigned sorrow, to record a conviction, when they had, one and all, determined before-hand to acquit the prisoner ?
We have not so learned the scheme of Providence to believe this. “Verily there is a reward for the righteous : verily He is a GOD that judgeth in the earth !"
WANTS A SITUATION. MR. EDITOR, -As at the commencement of a New Year most people are busily engaged in forming plans for the future, I take the liberty of bringing under the notice of your readers an individual, whose services I may venture to predict, they will never regret securing for themselves.
I can strongly recommend her : for having been so fortunate as, at various times, and in different places, to have been for a season under the same roof with her, I have had opportunities of observing how very much the order and comfort of a family have been enhanced by her presence, and have been able to draw comparisons between such and other households, where she has been a stranger.
It is no unusual thing to hear of individuals who are “ willing to make themselves generally useful.” The person I recommend is not only willing, but able, to do so; and her capabilities are acknowledged by all, even by those who are most reluctant to employ her on their own account.
You will, perhaps, remind me, that as the Youths' Magazine is intended for the perusal of the junior members of families, it would be doing the person in whom I profess to take so much interest, a greater kindness, were I to recommend her more directly to the heads of families ; as upon them, unquestionably, falls the responsibility of selecting the inmates of their establishments.
But allow me to observe, that it is to the young especially, I address myself, and that they are the persons whom I most desire to interest in her behalf; assured that, if in youth they secure her services, they will be rewarded by finding her the