Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

signed for the purpose, and thus the Such oyster-farms exist now in large immense quantity of seed-oysters are numbers, mainly in England, where a saved, which on natural banks fall an single private oyster-park, near Whitcasy prey to countless devourers. These stable, is valued at two millions of dolare sold as Native Brood to dealers in lars; and in France, where the Governthe article, and conveyed to artificial ment, true to its fostering policy, supponds or reservoirs, called oyster-parks. ports the enterprises by every means in These receptacles, which are often of

its

power. vast size, have a floor of clean stone When the poor oyster leaves these slabs, covered with čne sand, on which vats, it approaches its tragic end, which the small oysters are carefully laid on it reaches only after much tribulation. the proper side, and a little inclined. The journey to the landing-place, whethThe sea-water is made to enter gently, er it be a pier in the river or a railwayso as not to wash sand into the shells, station, is generally pleasant enough ; which would kill them instantly, and they are transported carefully, travel in rises and falls with the tide outside. good company, and are occasionally reIf the oysters are to be very large and freshed by supplies of new sea-water. of light color, each tide must bring fresh But when they arrive, the bad treatwater; but if they are to be delicate and ment begins; they are pushed into basof finer taste, the water is allowed to kets, tossed into barrels, pitched on remain some time in the basins, so as to carts, fortunate, yet, if a kind hand favor the development of the micro- brings them at intervals a pittance of scopic plants, which are always present water. Too often, however, the same in sea-water and largely form the food hand gives them a stone instead of a of the oyster. Here they are kept gen- loaf, for the common error still prevails, erally three or four years, till they have that salt and common well-water will reached a good size and are considered do as well—a cruel mistake, since it is fit for consumption. So far, their edu- neither the salt nor the water which cation has been left largely to Nature; sustains the life of an oyster, but the but now additional steps are taken to abundance of invisible plant-seeds and perfect their condition, if they are to microscopic spores contained in scabring specially high prices. They are water, which kitchen-salt kills on the stored in large, shallow vats, where they spot. At last they reach their goal: if gradually get rid of the taste of mud, handsome, well-shaped, and well-flavorwhich many still have, especially when ed, they are introduced to the palaces they come from beds and banks situated of the rich and the noble, to give, like at the mouths of rivers. Here they are wits and poets, additional relish to their simply kept in fresh sea-water; the meth- sumptuous feasts; but if sturdy, thickod of fattening them with oatmeal hav- backed, strong-tasting creatures, Fate ing been given up, as the throwing in consigns them to the capacious tubs of of dead stuff only makes the water foul common carters; they are dosed with and the oyster sick, and because very coarse black pepper and pungent vinegar, fat oysters are considered, like prize and depart this life, partly embalmed cattle, none the better for overfeeding. after the manner of ancient Pharaohs.

THE MAPLE-TREE.

An April day with April showers
Had burst the buds of lagging flowers.
From their fresh leaves the violet's eyes
Mirrored the deep blue of the skies;
The daffodils, in clustering ranks,
Fringed with their spears the garden-banks,
And, with the blooms I love so well,
Their paper buds began to swell;
While every bush and every treo
Bourgeoned with flowers of melody;
From the quick Robin with his range
Of silver notes, a warbling change
Which he from sad to merry drew,
A sparkling shower of tuneful dew-
To the brown sparrow in the wheat,
A plaintive whistle, clear and sweet.
Over my head the royal sky
Spread, clear from cloud, its canopy;
The idle noon slept, warm and wide,
On misty hill and river-side ;
And, far below me, glinting lay
The mirror of the azure bay.

I stood beneath the maple-tree;
Its crimson blooms enchanted me,
Its subtle perfume haunted me,
And drew me thither unaware,
A nameless influence in the air.
Its boughs were bung with murmuring bees
Who robbed it of its sweetnesses ;
Their cheerful hymning, loud and strong,
Drowned with its bass the robin's song,
And filled the noontide April air
With Labor's universal prayer.
I paused to listen ; soon I heard
A sound of neither bee nor bird,
A sullen murmur mix'd with cheer,
That rose and fell upon the ear
As the wind might, yet, far away,
Unstirred the sleeping river lay,
And even across the hillside wheat,
No silvery ripples wandered fleet.

It was the murmur of the town
No song of bird or bee could drown.
The rattling wheels along the street,
The pushing crowd with hasty feet,
The school-boy's call, the gossip's story,
The lawyer's purchased oratory,
The glib-tongued shopman with his wares,
The chattering school-girl with her airs,

The bells that bade the bridal hail,
The new-born infant's lusty wail,
The moaning sick man on his bed,
The coffin nailing for the dead,
The factory's wheels that; round and round,
Forever turn, and with their sound
Make the young children deaf to all
God's voices that about them call,
Sweet sounds of bird, and wind, and wave,
And life no gladder than a grave.

These myriad-mingled human voices,
These intertwined and various noises,
Made up the murmur that I heard
Through the sweet hymn of bee and bird.
I said, “If all these sounds of life
With which this noon-tide air is rife,
These busy murmurings of the bee
Robbing the honeyed maple-tree,
These warblings of the song-birds' voices
With which the blooming hedge rejoices,
These harsher mortal chords that rise
To mar Earth's anthem, to the skies,-
If all these sounds fall on my ear
So little varying, yet so near,
How can I tell if God can know
A cry of human joy or woe
From the loud humming of the bee,
Or the blithe robin's melody?

God sitteth somewhere in His heaven.
About Him sing the planets seven ;
With every thought a world is made
To grow in sun, or droop in shade;
He holds creation like a flower
In His right hand, an idle hour;
It fades, it dies : another's bloom
Makes his air sweet with fresh perfume.
Or did He listen on that day
To what the rolling world might say,
Or did He mark as, one by one,
Its gliding hours in light were spun;
And, if He heard the double hymn
The earth sent up to honor Him,
Which song was sweeter in His ear,
Which murmur did He gladlier hear ?

VOL. II.-28

THE PROTESTANT PROTEST AGAINST PROTESTANTISM.

THE Ritualistic movement in the Eng- izing impulse. The prime leaders in lish Church was, in its origin, and con- this reform, moreover, are well known sidered as to its first purpose, a reform. as men of profound thought and pure It began at least thirty-five years ago, life. Is it any wonder, then, that this when Dr. Pusey, the regius-professor new influence has not been confined in of Hebrew at Oxford, and others who its effects to the clergy, but has also thought like him, published the cele- awakened enthusiasm among the laity? brated Tracts for the Times. The Tract- But the Tractarians had ulterior obarianism of that day was the parent of jects, looking beyond a spiritual revival. Ritualism. It was a reform, we have They arrayed themselves against the insaid; for, while it is impossible to dis- vasion of positive and aggressive rationguise its wrong tendencies, we must in alism-against the resistance vigorously simple candor concede its original puri- opposed to all authority, human and ty. It arose in connection with a re- divine, when, as the Bishop of Oxford awakening of the English Church, which says, “every opinion, every institution, had to a great degree lost its spiritual almost every fact, in politics, in history, vitality. The Tractarians, notwith- in morals, and in religion, were assailed ; standing the remarkable difference as and upon the Established Church, which to the proposed means of effecting their was naturally the very central point of reformation, and as to some of their ul- the revolving cyclone, the storm burst terior objects, started with a purpose in all its fury.” Between the church similar to that which moved the Dis- and this violent opposition stood the senters of the last century. It is true Tractarians. And as they looked out that with the intention of a spiritual from their watch-towers upon the berevival the likeness ends, but that in- sieging enemy, it was only natural that tention is exactly what we here insist they should contemplate the character upon. Let it be that one movement of the struggle and carefully scrutinize goes on at present within the pale of the weapons used against them. They the English Church, while the other accordingly reasoned thus: “This is sought to reach its ends by separation; the development of Protestantism. For grant, also, that the one was essentially three centuries there has been a rapid Protestant, while the other tends to- progress of the human intellect, and ward Rome-still this truth remains, here is the result: Human Reason, proud that both aimed at a spiritual revival. of its achievements in science, in the If in this aim the Dissenters succeeded mechanic arts, and in culture, now adin their way, we have also to concede a vances claims which threaten to destroy similar success to the Tractarians. The the religious instincts of the race." This church was moved by their efforts. is the old argument, of which the adTheir deep earnestness has revolution- vocates of Romanism never weary. ized the preaching of the English cler- Thus the movement which we are gy; instead of a mere doctrinal essay, or considering may fairly be called a reachomily on the advantages of a virtuous tion against Protestantism. life, the sermon has become an effective this disguised by its leaders. The Rev. exposition of home-truths and an ear- R. H. Froude (father of the historian), nest appeal to the human heart. Chari- an ardent fellow-laborer with Dr. Pusey, table organizations, particularly those distinctly announced his desire “ to unfor the benefit of the poor and of the protestantize the church,” and spoke outcast, have received a new and vital- of the Protestant Reformation as

Nor was

а

limb badly set, which required to be the subjects of theological dispute. Bebroken again.” Attributing to Protest- fore the same tribunal they cited the docantism all the evils which threatened trines relating to justification by works, Christianity, the Tractarians could sug- the apostolic succession of the clergy, the gest no better remedy than a return to supreme authority of the church, auricuthe Anglo-Catholic faith of the sixteenth lar confession, and conventual establishcentury. Here we find the motive which ments, and imparted to them the same brought out the Tracts for the Times. significance which is given them by RoOld questions which had slumbered man Catholics. Each one of these docsince the Reformation were revived. trines, advanced in this form, became During the silence of centuries the Eng- aggressive, and constituted a separate lish Church, while maintaining the ex- ground for the renewal of a controversy ternal form of the ritual and of the long since either buried, or transferred to sacraments, as it had been left by the the forum of private judgment and belief. Reformers, had allowed the greatest One of these doctrines-that of the possible variety of subjective belief supreme authority of the church-a reamong its members. If we were to affirmation of the decision of the Counselect any single aspect of that church cil of Trent, that tradition is of equal which appears to us the most commend- authority with Scripture, was a formal able, it would be this toleration of vari- annulment of Protestantism. For the ous beliefs ; indeed, this toleration is a primary and distinctive feature of the fundamental characteristic of Protest- Protestant Reformation was its revolt antism itself. Take, for example, the against the imperative authority of traEucharist. The external form in which dition. It was only by the absolute the sacrament is presented in the Eng- denial of this authority that a basis was lish Ci rch is for all believers the same furnished for resistance to those claims (or was before the Ritualistic advent); of the Papacy, upon which rested but to one the material elements may its oppressive intolerance and its asbe simply spiritual symbols, while to sumption of temporal as well as of another they appear informed with spiritual supremacy over Christendom. the veritable body and blood of Christ. The Papal ritual, with its elaborate As to this, Jeremy Taylor truly says: symbolism and its splendid vestiture; “It were better it were left to every the vast and impressive material superman to think as he pleases; for there structure which had been erected above was peace in the church for a thousand the simple faith of apostolic times, and years, while they were satisfied with which, while assuming to express that believing heartily without inquiring faith, had in reality crushed it, and beanxiously.” Surely, the best policy was come a splendid mausoleum, built by to exclude this sacrament from the list human pretension over the ruins of a of “vexed questions." What the evil divinely-appointed church; the supereffects of the opposite policy are we see stitious reverence for images and relics, clearly in the controversy which arose involving inevitably the degradation the moment the Real Presence was lately and possible extinction of a spiritual insisted upon by the Ritualists. The religion; the complex system of saintchurch was forthwith divided into two worship, which, to a great degree, subparties, one of which pronounced the stituted the intercession of departed doctrine of Consubstantiation “hideous martyrs and other canonized worthies and carnal," while the other branded all for the propitiatory sacrifice of a crucidisbelievers of the doctrine as “on the fied Saviour; the creation of a new side of Antichrist.”

kingdom of Purgatory—unknown to The Tractarians revived this doctrine, Scripture, but finding its type in the as also that of baptismal regeneration, pagan Hades — peopled by departed and, by summoning them from the sanc- souls, incapable alike of evil and of Suary of individual faith, made them well-doing, for whom the sufferings of

a

[ocr errors]
« IndietroContinua »