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put a stop to during the night, I have seen robberies attempted and detected during the day; and I certainly never saw a poor thief treated elswhere with such unrelenting cruelty. A Chinaman seems to have no mercy for a thief; nor is this feeling to be wondered at in an over-peopled country, where all have to work for their bread and where idlers are sure to starve. During the winter, in Canton, the lower classes suffer severely from cold ; they are poorly fed and worse clothed; and hundreds of them may be seen about the streets, shivering and looking the very picture of absolute wretchedness. Amongst these, a few old women may be seen sitting by the side of the streets earning a scanty subsistence by mending and patching the clothes of people as poor as themselves. These poor women, having all undergone the barbarous operation of cramping the feet during infancy, are consequently unable to undertake anything but sedentary employment to gain their bread. The very small size to which the feet of some of the Chinese females have been distorted by cramping them with bandages during the first six years of their lives, is almost beyond belief. I have seen a full-grown woman wearing shoes, and walking in them too, not more than three and a half inches long. Their walk resembles that of a timid boy upon ice; it is necessarily slow; and, indeed, some of them require the aid of a staff in one hand while they lean with the other on the shoulder of a female attendant. The smaller the eyes and feet of a Chinese beauty the more she is admired. I once asked a respectable Chinaman what he thought of this custom of cramping their daughters' feet? His reply was, “Very bad custom.” On my inquiry further, whether he had any daughters, and whether their feet were treated in the same way, he answered in the affirmative, but asserted, that they had been subjected to the cruel ordeal by their mother against his will. He added, that in a Chinaman's house, where there were young girls, no peace could be had, night or day, for their cries, which lasted till they were six years old. He gave us a reason for the mother's insisting on her daughters' submitting to this long course of pain and suffering. “Suppose he no small foot, no man wantjee make he number one wife.” A respectable Chinaman, it appears, chooses a small-footed woman for his principal wife, while for number two, three, and four, he contents himself with ladies whose feet are as nature made them, and who are, consequently, more able to make themselves useful in household matters.
Davidson's " Trade and Travel in the Far East.
OUR TOWN. It would really be a just punishment of those who are continually prating about antiquity, and who condemn every thing that is modern because it is such, to put them, if possible, down to the savagery of a thousand years ago. The world has been travelling onward as regularly as day-light, and our forefathers were only gropers in the darkness, whilst we are moving in open and conscious noontide. This statement gains especial force when applied to our own country, and the most emphatic illustration when referred to “ Our Town.”
One may imagine its condition, when perched on a tiny hillock elevation, it looked like an unsubmerged relic of the Adamic world. There was its large religious house, its residence of monks, nodding dutiful respect to its superior of Ely. Miles around presented a waste of waters, and truth, like Noah's dove found no other resting place for the sole of its foot. Let me send away to this age the misanthrope and grumbler, and try whether his sentimentality could find food for entertainment, in an isolation more dread and horrible than that of Napoleon at Helena, and not less frightful than the maddest fiction ever depicted.–Fancy, may draw upon winds whistling through endless osier beds, the flapping wing and discordant note of water fowl, and the dull tone of monastic bell, but let me prefer the honest facts and circumstances of the year of our Lord, 1847. At such a period,“Our Town" was made up only of a sombre brotherhood and their retainers, for few, save the seekers of hospitality, ever
put foot, within the precincts of the monastery. Here, was a clustering spot of the charity, learning, and piety of the times, and hence issued all the tones of music and devotion, that arose toward heaven for miles. One can hardly decide the reason, why these good brethren clung to this wild spot, whether they were really, the conservators of morals and letters, waiting the times of their favourable extension; or, whether they were carnal enough to love loneliness, for laziness sake, and a ghostly life, for good living.–Modern historians have made their own comments, and broached their own opinions on the subject, but the better and undoubted authority of Bede, makes their religion, a system of gross error, tyranny, and superstition, and shows that the public mind, from peasant to prince, felt its grovelling subjugation. Thank God for these better times, when, if men fall into moral error, they at least do it wittingly, and in the blaze of day. If indeed these men were learned, and such they were, they had the craft to use their learning illegitimately, and became only the more expert, in chaining down the minds, binding the consciences, and putting out the mental eyes of the nation, and therefore we cannot but rejoice for the period, when Providence permitted the barbarous Vikingr, or Sea Kings, to break up these cells,--to take the bushel off the candlestick,—to scatter this Alphabet to the common use.
Who can really think of the broils of the heptarohy without a shudder ; or, contemplate the bead roll, of the potentates of East Anglia, without dismay. Where might took the place of right, and the throne was oftener wrested, by violence and murder, than by less harmful means, and whilst occupied, only held by an ignorant and imbruted potentate,--who can think that personal safety could be ensured, much less, that any of those arts should be discovered, and appliances resorted to, that mould and fashion a people, and put them into a disposition, for the almost spontaneous growth of virtue. So many independent states, would naturally enough, soon blend into one kingdom. Streams adjacent, are prone to seek a common course, and, although their junction may be cut out by the sword, yet, we are wont to justify the means, by the results which ensue.
It gratifies us to trace the onward struggles of liberty and enlightenment, now chained, then under a cloud, now receiving new impulses, again being retarded, until the last and bravest prince of the Saxon Line, found defeat and death, under the power and arms of the Norman William, who, making important modifications of the English Constitution, and material additions, laid the ample platform of our laws, and opened out the way to that national glory and honour, which make us now, the envy and admiration of the world. “Our Town," then, has put on more phases than autumn presents, and shown as many hues as the chameleon, yet, slow as have been its transitions, it has been moving onward. It has been pumped and drained into territorial existence, and dragged itself out of the bog, like an Alligator from the slime of the Nile. This Soham, of Saxon Times, begotten in ignorance, nurtured at the very teats of barbarity, and dandled in the arms of superstition, made its bow to the rigorous court of William, and, taking up the complexion end usages, common to the reigns of nearly eight hundred years, stands out, in all the immunities of the blessed times of Victoria. It would be a wasteful and fruitless research, to enquire into our early social circumstances, for so tiny an affair as ourselves, is lost in the dust and distance of ages, to look for a needle in the bed of the Thames, would be as wise a pursuit, as to search for any particular record of Soham, in the tomes and folios of the historical writer of very remote times, but, what truth cannot entirely accomplish, imagination may help along, and those who do not like the peacock's feather, may pull it out if they please. No. 9. Vol. I.
We shall not then stand on tip-toe, to fetch down the musty and clasped volume, but prefer the “ Life and Times” of Soham, some two hundred years since, just as she seems to rise into a clear horizon, and cognizable form, Let us date from the stirring times of the Commonwealth, and see how our little microcosm has been affected, civilly, domestically, and morally.
G. To be Continued,
THE RELATION OF ATHEISM TO A FUTURE STATE OF BEING.
BY JAMES STEELE. MORAL writers, in describing the appalling consequences of atheism, enumerate, among others, a total oblivion of all the fears and hopes of a world beyond the grave. They tell us that the fool who says in his heart“ there is no God,” in the same spirit of absurd impiety says also there is no hereafter,—nought after death but “the dark, unbroken sleep of nothingness ” But let us, in dealing with the atheist, ever bear in mind that the two points admit of being argued on different grounds. Independently altogether of the existence of a Supreme Being, we might argue for a futnre state on on the principle of a mere continued existence.
Discarding the idea of an infinite series of men, let us suppose a point in remote antiquity, in which one man was created. This being, whether the creation of chance, fate, or a fortuituous concussion of atoms, or whatever the atheist substitutes for a Supreme intelligent mind, might have started into existence with the intellect of a Newton. In this there is nothing incredible, even if the hypothesis of the atheist be admittted ; for surely the power, whatever it be, which created a mind capable of producing the Principia, might have conferred at once that vigour of intellect which was the growth of years. This man, on surveying but his solitary self, but the one unpeopled planet on which he stood, would, by a rapid act of thought, land in the inference that that which created him could create other beings, that that which had given existence to one planet could have given existence to others. He would not infer that creative energy had exhausted itself in him, and the place of his abode. Nor might this be all. On contemplating life, and if made aware, by any means, of its cessation at death, he would not fail to perceive that if there at first existed any energy sufficient to have called him into existence from nothing, that same energy could raise him from the dust, and make him to be again all that he was before.
All this the atheist could not deny. He may speak of the improbability of future being, but its possibility he must admit. His own existence does away with all difficulty in the case. His own reason must suggest that there is in this, ground for tormenting anxiety. The very uncertainty of the case generates doubts of the most harrassing description. The very fact that he may live for ever is sufficient to give a sting to every pleasure. The hand-writing upon the wall is that dread word-Eternity. He must, if he thinks at all, come to this awful conclusion,—the same power, however blind and unintelligent, which placed me here, may transpose me elsewhere ; it may perpetuate all the pains I feel, increase their number, and augment their intensity, and all this where no wisdom rules, where no mercy pities, where “ chaos umpire sits," where all is hopeless woe and irremediable confusion. It may be that my future destination may be a happy one, but who can assure me that it will not equal in misery all the felicity wbich is fabled of the heaven of the New Testament?
And such is Atheism. The man who, insensible to the multitudinous proofs of the divine existence and attributes which meet him on every hand, which press upon all his senses, which occupy in their succession every moment of his existence, can yet afford to deny his Creator, must, if he thinks at all upon his future destiny, contemplate but a chaos of disorder. Under the influence of that moral disease which he has suffered to obtain the mastery in his spirit, he can see no truth in religion, no God, no mercy, no life and immortality. Without believing in a place of punishment, he realizes, in his moments of most sober reflection, the essential evils of that place which, separated from the divine presence, contains the fire which never shall be quenched, the worm that will not sleep and cannot die.”
VARIOUS and essential are the services performed by the animals of this tribe, to mankind. In many countries they are almost the only beasts of draught and burden that are employed. They are gregarious, and in a wild state inhabit the most retired deserts. In the southern parts of Siberia large herds of them are occasionally seen. They are extremely swift, active, and vigilant; and have always a sentinel who gives notice to the herd of the approach of danger, by a loud neigh, on which they gallop off with astonishing rapidity.
In Ukraine they are used as food. The Cossacks catch the wild horses on each side of the Don in the winter, by driving them into the vallies filled with snow, into which they plunge and are captured. Their excessive swiftness is such as entirely to exclude any other mode of taking them.
The horses of South America live in herds, some of which are said to consist
of ten thousand. As soon as they perceive domestic horses in the field, they gallop up to them, caress, and by a grave and prolonged neighing, invite them to run off.
In Arabia they are found in their highest perfection, and are as dear to the Arabs as their own children. They are the fleetest animals of the desert, and are so well trained as to stop in their most rapid course by the slightest check of the rider.
The French consul at Saïd once offered to purchase the whole stock of a poor Arabian, which consisted of a mare, with an intention to send her to Louis XIV, the poor man having arrived with his magnificent courser, dismounted, and looking first at the gold, and then steadfastly at his mare, heaved a deep sigh :-"To whom is it ( he exclaimed) that I am going to yield thee up? To Europerans ! who will tie thee close, who
will beat thee, who will render thee miserable! Return with me, my beauty, my jewel ! and rejoice the hearts of my children!” As he pronounced the last words he sprang upon her back, and was out of sight almost in a moment.
The horses of the Bedouin Arabs, whose lives are spent in traversing the scorching sands, are able, notwithstanding the fervency of the sun, and the suffocating heat of the soil over which they pass, to travel three days without drinking, and are contented with a few handsful of dried beans given once in twenty-four hours.
But there are few countries that can boast a breed of Horses so excellent as
The English hunter, a portrait of which we have given above, is allowed to be among the noblest, most elegant, and useful animals in the world.
The celebrated race Horse “Childers" was capable of passing over eighty-two feet and a half, in a second of time : while, as it regards strength, a horse has been known to draw, for a short space, the weight of three tons, and to carry at one load the weight of more than nine hundred pounds.
OUR CHILDREN'S PAGE.
FACTS WORTH REMEMBERING.
A span was 11 inches nearly. Ezekiel's reed was 10 ft. ll} ins.
Behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man's
hand a measuring reed of six cubits long.- EZEKIEL, 40 C., 5 v. A Sabbath Day's journey was 1155 yards; or about two-thirds of a
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which
is from Jerusalem, a Sabbath Day's journey.--Acts, 1 c., 12 v. Jerusalem is distant from London about 2000 miles. Lady Day celebrates the Virgin's miraculous conception. Palm Sunday celebrates Christ's entrance into Jerusalem. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs after
the 21st of March. Ascension Day is forty days after Easter Sunday. Whitsunday is 49 days after Easter Sunday. Trinity Sunday is the next after Whitsunday. Michaelmás is a festival in honour of Michael and the Angels, re
corded in the Revelations. Advent Sunday is that which is nearest to St. Andrew's Day. St. Stephen and the Holy Innocents' celebrates the massacre of the
first martyr; and the children by Herod. All Saints' is a day of prayer for saints who have no special days.