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plods homewards, entertaining and amusing himself with the lovely varieties of the itinerant life. And it must be admitted that the itinerancy (of which some illustrations will be given in the progress of this book) is a kind of curiosity. And when a man can reconcile himself to the perpetual want of fixity, having homes of all sorts, sizes, and qualities, every where, and a home, strictly and properly so called, no where, he may manage to keep up his spirits; when he can accommodate himself to the practice of forming friendships, some of them very cordial and delightful, and then separating from his friends, very likely never to see them again in this world ; when he can admire that sublimated spirituality which excludes personal esteem and natural affection, and which piously pushes him away from a place, just as he begins to know and love his people, say at the end of one or two years, he may toss his hat and shout “ three cheers for itinerancy !" But should he take to brooding over the rough work, the rough people, the parish allowance, the miscellany of disagreeables, he will sigh for retirement and solitude. Every comfortable cottage on the road side seems to him to betoken rest and permanency. Every pretty village, with its parish church and parsonage house, its neighbourly looking inn, its one draper's shop, one grocer's, one bookseller's, one surgeon's, one post office, one establishment in each branch of trade or business, seems to to him, come and live here, and settle down for life! Have a genteel

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house in a small way, and a snug select little library. Enjoy intelligent chat with as many right sort of people as we can supply, read your old books, preach in the Methodist Chapel on Sundays, write for the press, and make your life at once quietly happy and useful; yes, this will do well enough for the imagination. Thanks to Philistines, Pharisees and Gravediggers, we have been delightfully saved by their noble achievements, from all danger of laying up treasures on earth! Let us then give up all vain wishes about a quiet rural life, and make up our minds to fag on, and if it be the will of God, suffer on till we can live no longer.

Bishop Hall, Archbishop Tillotson, Cecil, and I know not how many other eminent writers and preachers, died in poverty, and shall we complain ? Still, let it be remarked, that whoever, by unjust words or deeds, plagues a Christian, and injures him in name and circumstances, will have to give an account of himself in the last day.

Good name in man or woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls :
Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.

Shakspeare.

CHAPTER XXV.

THE PLATFORM.

QUITE enough of eccentricity and its troubles for the present. Let us relieve ourselves. The writer is no stranger to platform work; he has never been like Demosthenes among the Greeks, nor Cicero among the Romans, nor Appollo among the orators of Apostolic times. But he has frequently spoken in his own way, and heard many others speaking in their own way, and is well convinced that he, and they, will be none the worse for neighbourly hints. Now for them. Superior platform speeches in public religious meetings greatly contribute to the spread of Christianity. They produce a healthful excitement in favour of Christian institutions, increase contributions, and afford to attentive and well judging hearers a large amount of mental and religious gratification. All speeches, however, are not superior, some are middling, some are tiresome, some are queer, some are miscellaneous, some are heterogeneous, some are too long, and very few of them too short. But I am not disposed to attribute the imperfections of speeches, in all cases, to defective ability in the speakers. In numerous instances there are impediments to good speaking, most of which might easily be removed. We want a more special and resolute attention to platform discipline.

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Suppose, now, we have a few handy little sections on this subject, faithful, yet kind.

SECTION I.-Begin every meeting exactly at the time announced. We do ourselves more harm before the public than we are perhaps aware of, when, after announcing by placards and from pulpits that such a meeting is to begin precisely at such a time, we loiter about, and do not begin precisely, but a quarter of an hour after. It is this bad practice of losing time at the beginning, which causes so much bustle and confusion in short supplementary speeches, while the people are going out by dozens just before the end.

SECTION II.-Let every speaker, if possible, take his seat on the platform precisely at the time announced. We willingly excuse unavoidable lateness;

but no toleration should be given to speakers who evidently seem to like being too late, as they are never in at the beginning. Ah, neighbours ! It is a delectable thing, is it not, for a man to be greeted on his entrance with a round of applause in a full meeting? Some men suddenly appear on the platform with hat in hand, a cane or handsome walking stick, and gloves. O, how nice! How elegant !

, how dignified ! and what a condescension! What a blessing to the audience, that the Reverend Gregory Greatman has arrived! This won't do, neighbours ; it is a little ingenious contrivance, not quite true dignity. “I pray you avoid it." (Shakspeare.]

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How much Christian dignity is there in wilfully missing the preliminary devotions, the chairman's speech, and it may be the speeches of several others ? People have no objection to your being clever and eloquent, but they want you to be polite, and you are not polite if you are always intentionally late. Mrs. Flounce, and Miss Furbelow may admire your costume, your walking stick and gloves, and be in raptures at your kindness in thus taking the audience by surprise, but soberly thinking persons will more regret your lateness than admire your eloquence.

SECTION III.—Let chairmen, however well qualified and eloquent, be considerate about time. When they see a number of good speakers on the platform, they should take care to give them fair play. A talented chairman should not, indeed, be stinted to time, nevertheless his opening speech should not be a lecture or dissertation. His proper work is to state the object of the meeting; make a short speech embodying his own approval of the object, and preserve order. I was pleased some few years ago with Lord John Russell, as the chairman at the anniversary meeting of the British and Foreign School Society, in London. On the platform were the Bishop of Manghester, Lord or Earl E— and numerous clergymen and dissenting ministers of eminence, as speakers. Lord John just said a word or two, and called upon the secretary to read the report. All the speakers had ample time, and at the close the noble chairman, in a moderately brief and telling address, “shewed

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