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ences, and not least by this last sad affliction, had the soul been nurtured which was to

Assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men."

In the evil days on which his lot had now fallen, for the Commonwealth was ended, and Charles tho Second had returned, he was proscribed, and his life in peril. Sunk in the depths of poverty,

" With darkness and with dangers compassed round,”


he sat him down to write that work which the world has said is the greatest of the fruits of genius. He sent it forth to a ribald generation; it was hailed with jeers and derision. How could Charles and his parasites apprehend the meaning and the spirit of Paradise Lost? But he was assured that it would live; and with calm confidence he committed it to the future ; that future, which by its appreciation, reverence and love, has justified his lofty trust.

Paradise Lost was followed in a few years by Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes; and now nothing is left to the great bard but to die. He has sung an immortal strain, and lived a life worthy of such a singer; and his death rounds and completes the whole. As we stand by the open grave in St. Giles's, Cripplegate, with the small party of his contemporaries who are here to pay him the last sad




tribute of respect, we repeat the words which he used of his own blind hero;

“Samson has quit him
Like Samson, and heroically has finished
A life heroic.
Nothing is here for tears : nothing to wail,
Or knock the breast; no weakness, no contempt,
Dispraise or blame; nothing but well and fair."

As we look around upon the strife of little souls, and mark the petty prizes for which they are contending; as we hear upon all hands the wails of discontent and complaint, and feel how few are the mighty and the noble to cheer us with the light of their presence and the inspiration of their example and their words, we are strongly tempted to join in the grave reproach of Wordsworth's sonnet:

“Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:

England hath need of thee; she is a fen

Of stagnant waters;-altar, sword and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower
Have forfeited their ancient English dower

Of inward happiness. We are selfish men.

O raise us up; return to us again,
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.

Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart ;
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sca;
Pure as the naked heaven, majestic, free.

Yet didst thou travel on life's common way
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay."

Thus have I attempted to show by these examples, how men have struggled with undaunted front, against the severest misfortune and privation, making head against calamity, revealing the latent resources of our nature, vindicating the compensations which God has made to wait upon every condition of man's life. We have seen men, without the light, achieving eminence in abstract and natural science, in history and poetry, performing feats which would be esteemed wellnigh prodigies even for those who possessed their vision.

There is one department, however, wherein I am obliged to record the inferiority of the blind. I mean that of spoken eloquence. There is a popular fallacy that this is a profession wherein the blind may readily excel; to which Mr. Wirt's celebrated description of the Blind Preacher, in his letters of the British Spy, has given still greater currency. I will not charge that distinguished person with intentional extravagance; but his picture is an exaggeration. · His own mind was in a morbid and excited state ; profoundly impressed by the sabbath-like stillness of the forest; the grassy turf illumined by flashes of sunshine, and speckled by the twinkling shadows of the leaves; while through the trees appears the modest country church. Brooding over a yonth inis-spent, haunted by the phantoms of remorse and despair, he crosses the threshold of the house of God, to hear if any word



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We introduce him to our wives and daughters ; if his crimes are spoken of we significantly hint at “wild oats,” or speak in studied phrase of “ youthful indiscretions.” Mamma suggests that all young men are a little wild, but marriage cures them of that; and our young ladies think him only the more interesting because he is esteemed a “fast young man." You knowingly permit the roué to embrace your daughter in the dance; you entrust her to his care in long walks and rides; you permit the seducer to lead your daughter to the altar, and give him your paternal blessing; and at the same time soothe yourself into complacency at being one of a “most respectable people,” and a“ most Christian society.The fair image of God is despoiled and shattered, and the iconoclast is accepted as respectable and worthy.

Oh, the weary foot-falls and despairing hearts among the graves of the five-and-twenty thousand lost women of the city of New-York! Their mournful dirge has been sung by the same great-hearted poet who awoke the strains of the Song of the Shirt. Let him tell the fate of one of them, for it is the story of the class :


" Alas for the rarity
Of Christian charity

Under the sun !
Oh, it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,

Home she had none.

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With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood with amazement,

Houseless by night.

“ The bleak wind of March

Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,

O the black flowing river:
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery

Swift to be hurled
Anywhere, anywhere

Out of the world!

** In she plunged boldly No matter how coldly

The dark river ran, Over the brink of it, Picture it, think of it

Dissolute man! Lave in it, drink of it

Then, if you can!

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