Page images
PDF
EPUB

his ow

The pastor replied, “Charlie is too! We know, also, that after two knights young to be confirmed, but bad you not of the barn-yard have measured better be confirmed in the church with strength, it is never allowed to the vanthe other Catechumens?”

quished to crow, while his conqueror “But I promised Charlie that I fills the whole neighborhood with the would here kneel by his side, and be news of victory. Sometimes the weaker baptized with him. The dear child has bird draws out of the fight, and sneaks taught me the need of a Saviour. I off to a convenient distance, and then do not like to disappoint him.”

utters a protest against his antagonist's Angels in heaven must have rejoiced arrogant pean. Nothing can excite in seeing mother and child kneeling such fury in the winner as this breach side by side, and receive the holy sacra- 1 of faith. It is the duty of every knight ment.

of the tail-feathers to fight till he falls After that Charlie regularly brought dead—that being altogether the most his mother to the catechetical lectures. approved course—or else, being vanOn the evening of the confirmation he quished, he must run for some corner, sat aside of her among the catechumens. or get his head safely out of reach and And on Easter morning he sat with there, in silence, listen to his rival's her again. It seemed as though the chant, and at dusk sneak off to his roost, dear boy wished to encourage and help and keep always thereafter at a safe disbis mother in starting out in a Chris- tance from his master. When, theretian life. He looked as though he fore, a mean-spirited rooster fights till would say:

his courage fails, then takes to his heels, “Mother, I will stand by you. And it is his duty to hold his peace. He has should you feel backward and afraid as no right to express an opinion. Are not you kneel down at the altar, just think all rights transferred to victors ? A: dethat Charlie is seeing you from the pew feated rooster has no right to turn hisand praying for you.”

torian, and mislead the neighborhood And now as he sees Charlie in his as to the facts. Accordingly nothing class, the pastor says to himself: "There seems to stir such rage in a triumphant is the dear little boy who brought his cock as to hear his runaway antagonist mother with him to our Saviour.” And bearing false witness over the fence. as he sees mother and child come to Woe to him if wings and feet do not church together, he is every time re- speedily put him out of reach! minded how Charlie Jones stands by But the inward mood out of which his mother, brings her to the bouse of much crowing proceeds is still to be God, and walks by her side on the way I considered. All night the rooster to heaven. And as he passes the door drowses and sleeps. Suddenly, at certain of their home, be sighs the prayer : hours, without excitement, he shoots “ God bless the little home missionary, forth into the darkness a long, shrill Charlie Jones, and his now grateful, crow. which, from the stillness of the new-born mother.”

night, seems far louder than the day

crow. Again and again, as distant Beecher on Crowing. answers come in, he renews the effort.

Is it a dream that he is repeating? Or Can any man tell why a rooster crows? | is he wound up, like an alarm clock, to or upon what principles the instinct acts go off at a given hour? Or are these as to times and seasons ?

I the duties imposed upon him by some That crowing is sometimes of the na- gallinaceous superstition? ture of a challenge, every observant Equally strange is it, in the daytime, man knows. If a strange cock comes to witness a discreet and faithful old into the neighborhood, and wanders fellow, who has been leading about his near the precincts of a barn-yard not flock, crooning, scratching, calling or his own, he will, at the first sounding of warning, in a temperate and domestic his horn, be answered back by cock and way, all of a sudden stretch himself up, cockerell, all over the farm, and unless flap his wings, and crow till the hills he precipitately retreats there will be a ring again. The act sets off a fusilade, challenge and a fight.

of crowing birds, north, south, east, west,

[ocr errors]

far off and near, loud or faint in the interest over their precious pages, we distance.

unconsciously form in our minds an The original precentor listens a mo- image of their manners and appearance. ment, and solemnly renows the declara- But how often, when we approach them tion, whatever it was or meant; the echo face to face, must we throw aside our of answering birds fills the air. Are mental man, as a spurious likeness, and they denials or answers? In a few min- strive, with no little effort, to convince ntes the responses end, and each bird ourselves that the one we see is after all returns to his scratching and pompous the man. Thus my imaginary portrait parading.

of Hengstenberg represented him as a That there is some supposed moral grey-headed veteran, whose life was fast duty in this act, seems to be corrobo- waning towards evening. So firmly had rated by the conduct of an old bluff this image impressed itself upon my Cochin on my premises He has never mind, that an evening of the most shown a combative spirit. Indeed, his friendly, familiar conversation with him reputation for courage is very bad. He could not shake off my doubts, whether shuns conflict, and smells danger from after all he was not another man. It afar and hides himself And yet he is seemed incredible that he should still be very proud of his crow, and with as little in the prime of life, of such a bland, reason, on account of any good qualities affable, personal appearance, with a face of voice, as can be conceived. But at that looks as if no cloud had ever flitted due times, with great preparation, and athwart its brow. The bitter uncommuch shaking of his ponderous and un- promising polemic seems a very unsuitshapely body, he emits a most melan- able tenant for such a John-like physicholy, hoarse and feeble crow, and re- ognomy. peats it, and several times again exposes In person he was above medium himself to ridicule. The whole effort height, somewhat inclined to corpulency, might be likened to a short anthem by with a pleasant,oval face, that seemed to an old man, with cold in the head and beam with good will to all men. His asthma in his chest.

manners, without any perceptible effort, If we regard the most of crowing as indicated the graces of a polished gena piece of rude and inarticulate boast- tleman. His tidy dress, arranged with ing, then we find that pretty much the faultless precision, showed that he or whole world is involved in it. Men are somebody else was not wholly unmindvery busy in making known their mani- ful of the outward man. He was a very fold excellences, and not a few in ways good-looking man by nature, and of as vociferous as that of the chanticleer. course art would not make him less so.

But nations are famous for crowing. In this respect he differed widely from Every nation vaunts itself, and is puffed his great compeer Stahil, in whose puny, up. Each nation thinks all other na- awkward person the sparing hand of tions vain. They all boast together, nature would peep through all the outand each one in particular is disgusted ward polish and tinsels of art. Hengwith the conceit of all but itself. There stenberg had a clear, musical voice, and is more crowing done out of the barn- a free, fluent delivery; the very oppo. yard than there is in it.

site to Stahl's lisping speech and weak, From the New York Ledger.

unsonorous accents. His lecture-room was crowded with attentive hearers.

All his lectures bore the stamp of Recollections of Eminent German thoroughness. In dissecting and unrav. Scholars.

elling the intricate theories of Rational

ism, he sometimes resorted to the use of BY THE EDITOR.

sarcasm, and often dismissed the dis

membered subject with the gibe of ridiThere is a peculiar interest in form- cule. He knew no medium or affinity ing the personal acquaintance of men between the two Confessions, and was whose learning and spirit one has pre- strenuously opposed to the Synodical viously enjoyed, and communed with and representative form of church polthrough their writings. And as we ity. Religion as well as ruling must be ponder for days and weeks with intense done for and given to the people, but

not done through them. The Govern-Christian sympathy, how he spoke of the ment must give the people their Church duty and pleasantness of a forgiving, forand manage it for them. “Why,” he bearing communion of Christians, and said to me, “what can we expect from the bliss of its final, complete enjoyment, the people at present constituting the untrammelled by the passions and prejucongregations? If we leave it to their dices of earth, left upon my heart an im. choice, a large part would vote away pression which I trust may never die. the Bible and all true religion as super- Ritter, the celebrated geographer, stition and nonsense. They would elect belonged to the sages of Germany. Satan as their pastor.” Which is not | Though among the oldest men of without its truth under existing circum- science, he yielded to none in zeal and stances.

perseverance in his department of study. Nitzsch was altogether of a different In spite of his advanced age, he still stamp. Considerably beyond the meri- seemed strong and active. His tall, dian of life, his seemingly uncombed, erect form, and full, clear voice, showed bushy hair, fast turning gray, and his that time bad dealt gently with him. careworn features, indicated the severe When he entered his lecture hall, an student. When he lectured or preached almost breathless silence ensued. His his trembling hands he seemed to have silvery locks, carefully brushed, and his been very nervous) apparently embar- | tasteful attire, showed that age had not rassed his manners. Though lacking

made him neglectful of the elegance of animation and fluency, he was a very in- correct dress. He sat before his class, structive, and even impressive preacher. I like the father of a large family, and His sermons were elaborate, vet clear spoke with an authoritative confidence and simple. He tried to win his hearers that always becomes the wisdom and more by entreaty than threatening, experience of age. more by holding up before them the love In Ullman, of Carlsruhe, author of of God and the beauties of holiness than “ The Reformers before the Reformathe terrors of the Law and the vileness of tion," I was likewise greatly disapsin. He had a familiar conversational pointed ; a small, elderly man, so unasstyle. You could not help but feel that suming and unostentatious, that he he wished you well. He leaned forward looked like meekness personified. When upon his crossed arms on the pulpit, I first saw him, he emerged out of a litwith the air of a man who would say, tle world of books and manuscripts on “Come now, let us reason together.” the floor and his study table, and apSometimes he would press his hands proached me with an unsuspecting smile, and look at them in a half vacant man- stranger as I was, and with the frankner, as if his mind were wandering, ness of an old friend. He was full of while he entreated with paternal anxiety. I questions about the American Church, He spoke to his hearers with such child- her varied polity and prospects. He like, unpolemical simplicity, that he was one of those men, whose exteseemed to forget "the theologian” in his rior is no complete index of their mind. pious ardor « to persuade men.” He At first sight a person would have taken had labored hard for the union of the him for a good, rather than a mentally two Churches, and this was still the great man. He seemed entirely free burden and object of his anxieties. I from polemical rigor, and spoke even of shall never forget the last sermon I his enemies in terms of love and kindheard him preach. It was during the ness. He seemed penetrated by the meeting of a convention of ministers charity of the Gospel, which one could from the whole Kingdom, which many not help but feel in his presence. had hoped would warmly support the Such a soothing, genial atmosphere surUnion. But to the grief of its friends, rounded him, that when you parted a few days' deliberation proved the con from him, you felt a desire to return trary. He preached on 1 Cor. iii. 21-23, and linger about him longer. Of course words into which he poured the emo- a man of his spirit could not well help tions of his plaintive spirit with melan- but labor for the Union. The Ecclesicholy eloquence. How his mourning astical Board of Baden formed a new heart grieved over the hindrances to Catechism nut of the Heidelberg and

THIRISH

smaller Lutheran Catechism, which was they never imagine, therefore, that any chiefly the labor of Ullmann; a work one else can be. It is for them that for which he seemed eminently qualified rules of etiquette are particularly de

signed Were their instincts correct,

they would not need the rule, which Table Customs.

from the absence of instinct, appears to

them irrational, purely arbitrary. While certain forms of table etiquette may seem altogether conventional, even

more than a transgression of courtesy : fantastic, the forms usually observed

| it is a positive inconvenience to one's are founded on good sense, and adapted

neighbors. All awkwardness of posito general convenience. Table etiquette tion, such as sitting too far back from. is not, as is often alleged, merely a mat-lor leaning over the table, are reckoned ter of fashion, although some things I as rudenesses, because they put others that were in vogue a generation or two til at ease through fear of such acci. ago are no longer deemed polite. The dents as are liable to happen from any reason is that manners and table furni- uncouthness ture have undergone so many changes, These and kindred matters are trihave really so much improved, as to Ales: but social life is so largely comrequire a mutual readjustment.

eadjustment. For posed of trifles, that to disregard them

For example, everybody was accustomed, ' wholly is a serious affront. We can twenty or thirty years since, to use the hardly realize to what an extent our knife to carry food to the mouth, because I satisfaction or dissatisfaction is made the fork of the day was not adapted to l up of things in themselves insigpificant. the purpose. Since the introduction of until their observance or non-observance the four-tined silver fork, it has so en Lis brought directly home to us. tirely supplanted the knife that the

-Scribner's Monthly. usage of the latter, in that way, is not only superfluous, but is regarded as a vulgarism.

The Work-shops and Homes of Another example is the discontinu

Germany. ance of the custom of turning tea or coffee from the cup into the saucer.

BY THE EDITOR. Although small plates were frequently employed to set the cup in, they were The elite of German cities get their not at all in general use; and even fashions from Paris, the great fountain when they were used, the tea or coffee of the universe for taste-good and bad. was likely to be spilled upon the cloth. But in many places the substantial

The habit, likewise, of putting one's peasantry still wear the short breeches, knife into the butter arose from the fact | long-bodied vests and broad-brimmed that the butter-knife proper had not hats, which they wore in the days of been thought of. Such customs as these, Frederick the Great They sip their once necessitated by circumstances, are wine and beer, and whiff clouds of now obviously inappropriate.

tobacco fume from their yard-long Certain habits, however, are regu-pipes, as their great grand-sires did. lated by good taste and delicacy of But few reapers or grain-drills have yet feeling, and the failure to adopt them profaned their fields, nor threshing-maargues a lack of fine perception or so- chines their barns. They still reap their cial insight. One of these is eating or harvests by the slow process of the drinking audibly. No sensitive person sickle, and thresh it with the flail. can hear any one taking his soup, cof- | They have the same skioning, skimfee, or other liquid, without positive ming, two-wheeled, half-wagon plough annoyance. Yet those who would be they had when my father was a ploughvery unwilling to consider themselves ill boy on the Rhine. In Science and the bred, are constantly guilty of such fine Arts there has been progress in breach of politeness. The defect is that every branch, though sometimes downthey are not so sensitive as those with ward. But in the mechanical arts whom they come in contact. They they have not advanced a step, up or would not be disturbed by the offence ; | down, for many generations. The stove in Luther's study on the Wartburg is difficult for practical minds to see the nearly the same as those in common use gold. Their furnaces do not always now, only with some changes, which his separate the gold from the dross. The inventive genius suggested. The wagons, ore in some of their works gives us harness and general farming implements more trouble than we are willing to beare the very opposites of practical stow. utility. They point to a period when They have a different national and the first crude conceptions of agricultu- social temperament; the surface is like ral art struggled for expression. Some a waveless calm, while there is often a of their tools show a supreme contempt wild and fearful commotion underfor all mechanical laws, excellent only neath. It is so now. Germany is appato increase the labor, and diminish the rently in a state of tranquillity. Yet I power to perform it. Their churches, see under-currents and repressed pasbouses, habits, customs, all are old and sions, wbich, should they boil to the fixed.

surface, would raise another tempest The Germans take more time for whose waves and surges would lash everything than we do. They take upon every shore of Europe. With us, more time to eat, more time to drink, everything, good and evil, moves and more time to labor, more time to rest ripples at once to the surface. We have and enjoy. They are slower in good, not yet been taught the art of concealand slower in evil.

ing the passions. We make no secret The man of riper years can live on of our weaknesses. A slight gale in the the result of his past labors. So Ger- | political firmament will stir up a short many has a fund of mental energy, a bluster, in the form of a local riot, or a literary vitality, which neither admits Faneuil Hall indignation meeting, to nor requires any of this helter-skelter, permit the escape of popular foam. time-saving method of acquiring great Germany is not irritable, though its subends.

jects are characteristically so. Its The literature and life of Germany powers of endurance are astonishing. are peculiar. Ours is more like a An old, full-grown dog seldom notices stream, shallow, broad and brawling. the barking and biting of young pupTheirs like one that flows narrow and pies. And when it does turn, it is with deep. We are practical, they profound. the dignity and ripe experience of age. Both united, make a consistent and use Our progress and success in the meful compound. Both have their ad-chanical arts, and the constant demand vantages and dangers. Shallow streams for them, excites and nourishes a pasare only for light boats, and when they sion for the practical, at the expense of are upset in a gale, we have a hope to the profound. The study of the mereach bottom. Deep streams are more chanical and material, monopolizes the navigable, but many sink therein to field of investigation. We are prone to rise no more. We are too much given forget that however important laborto a certain (vielwisserei) intelligence, savers, time-savers, and distance-annihiwhich would know everything. Some lators are, that the steam engine and of our authors write and talk about electric telegraph will hardly regenerate things in the heavens, on the earth, and society. In the great sum of means under the earth. Write a book in a few they have their relative worth ; but months, which will run through several ideas mould mankind. But here, many cditions before the end of the year. are profound to a fault. They dive so Here a man will spend a long life-time deeply, that they are mostly beyond in writing on a Greek article, or in hearing distance of those for whom they spinning out the web of one idea ; and write. They expect men to receive their perhaps even leave that but half finished metal in the mine, instead of bringing when he dies. We, in our youthful it up to the surface. Still, in point of hurry, pick up grains of truth on the originality, productiveness and solid surface, and we sow them again on the erudition, they are far our superiors. surface. The Germans are the miners It would be blindness to deny this. in literature and science. They bur- | And indeed this need not excite our row among the ore, and the abundance jealousy, for it would be a great shame of this in some of their works makes it lif they were not. Let us once have five

« PreviousContinue »