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per, with true burghal feeling, helped to resist. The old bridge, however, is not wholly gone a portion of it still remains, and even does good duty. It appears that after much litigation, a compromise was come to; the county trustees having been at the expense of a smart new bridge across the meadows, while that portion of the old bridge which spans the ordinary channel of the river still remains. Like all patched pieces of work, the result has been unsatisfactory. There is a raised causeway between the two bridges, and they do not stand parallel to each other; so that a man who should hold a straight course on leaving the old bridge, would, instead of entering on the other, tumble right over into the bottom below. But, be it from reverence for its association with Cowper, or whether it be from the more vulgar motive of saving his money, his lordship retains the bridge as it is, to the annoyance of the inhabitants-an annoyance, however, in which the poetical visitants of the place will hardly share.

at the same time, and to assure the Johnsons and the Roses, that, though Lady Hesketh and her servants were with him, there was still room for their accommodation. It is now no longer in the occupation of one family. At the one end is a grocer's shop, at the other an infant-school (and the noisy lessons of the children swelled pleasantly in our ears as we stood in the street on that summer's day), while between them, is a sort of arched gateway, apparently intended for a carriage-entrance, leading to a yard, up which a straw-plait manufacturer carries on his trade. From the market-place, a narrow lane leads down towards the vicarage. This is Silver End, famous in Cowper's correspondence as the abode of most of the idleness and depravity of Olney. The vicarage itself stands in another street, and nearly opposite to Cowper's house, each house having a garden, behind it, with one wall at the upper end, serving for the boundary of both; and it was that Cowper might meet the Olney curate that curate was John NewtonOlney is a smaller town than Newport- without encountering the stare of the "Silin fact, though possessed of a weekly mar- ver End blackguards," that a door was ket, it has more the appearance of a large broken out in the wall aforesaid, to allow village than anything else. It consists the two friends to communicate through chiefly of one large street, stretching to the their respective gardens. The vicarage is a north-east. At the upper end, the street sweet and pleasantly situated house, formopens out on the right, and forms a trian-ing a strong contrast to the gloomy old gular area, which constitutes "the Market mansion on the Market-hill. Its front is hill." At the upper end of this Market- nearly hidden with evergreens and flowerhill, and upon the right hand, stands Cow-ing shrubs. We were told that the inper's house. It is in some respects of more ambitious pretensions than its neighbors, being a story higher than any of the others, as well as being much longer, but without any pretensions to superior elegance of style or convenience of accommodation-in fact, it is exactly what Dickens would call "an old, large, rambling house." Its eight win-his tame hares on the carpet, and also the dows in a row are all of the same dull common-place style; and, looking at the monotonous appearance of the old house, with the mean accessories that surrounded it, and recollecting all the poverty and distress which Cowper himself describes as surrounding him, we could not feel surprised that a man of his exquisite and morbid sensibilities should have deeply felt the depression these daily scenes were calculated to inspire. The house is so large that it is a marvel how the small establishment of Cowper and Mrs. Unwin could have occupied it; though certainly its size .explained at once how it was that the poet was able to entertain so many of his friends!

mates of Cowper's house, as well as the person who now holds possession of the garden, were very courteous to strangers, and willing to show the relics that still remained of him. There, it was said, are to be seen the hole he cut in the parlor-door to allow of the uninterrupted gambolling of

greenhouse in the garden, in which he composed the greater part of the "Task," and translated the "Iliad," and which is kept up much as he left it: while, though the door broken out in the garden-wall to communicate with the vicarage was closed again when Mr. Newton left for London, still the patching was visible. These were tempting objects to gaze upon; but, on the other hand, we hate to exhibit our enthusiasm before strangers; we must either indulge our fancies in the presence of a friend or in solitude; and we turned away to those objects of interest which lay accessible to all, and where we needed no cicerone. Among these was the tall and solitary elm which

grows at the bottom of the market-place, | huts were almost destitute of furniture. In and which forms so conspicuous a feature one case, an aged woman sat at the door of in all the pictures we have seen of the her cottage with her needles and her pillow, poet's residence; and near it there stands in the act of lace-knitting-the very picture the identical pump of whose erection Cow- of the cottager whom Cowper so finely conper so humorously complains in one of his trasts with Voltaire as one who letters, as entailing expense on the inhabitants, while it would benefit no one but the shoemaker, opposite whose door it was erected. We repeated the lines with which he commemorated the event"Let Bannister now lend his aid

To furnish shoes for the baker,

Who has put down a pump, with a lamp at the top,

For the use of the said shoemaker."

The pump is now in a state of dilapidation, arising from neglect, so that it does not seem to have gained popularity with years. There is no lamp on the top, nor could we learn there ever had been, so that it is probable the opposition to the schemes of the reforming baker had been too powerful for him as for some greater reformers, and that he had been compelled to give up his design of surmounting it with a lamp as some solace to the outraged feelings and pockets of the frugal inhabitants.

In wandering through a strange town, it is always instructive to get into its back streets and lanes. We have no faith in the appearance which the main thoroughfares present, as revealing the character of the place or the condition of its inhabitants. They are always sure to put the best face on the matter; they wear a starched, hypocritical demureness, as if to cheat the stranger into a belief in their respectability. But in the back streets, and still more in the narrow lanes, you have the character of the place presented to you without disguise or any effort at concealment. There is no painful struggle there between poverty and respectability; want, and beggary, and profligacy feel that there they are upon their own ground, and that they have no occasion to hide their heads. Animated by such feelings as these we turned down Silver End, and through a back street, and emerged again upon the main thoroughfare by a lane that was narrower than any wynd in the High Street of Edinburgh. The accounts that are scattered through Cowper's correspondence of the deep poverty of the people, seemed, as far as we could judge by this hasty glance, to be borne out to the letter. The hovels of the people were small and ruinous, though in most cases scrupulously clean; while, through the open doors, it could be too plainly discerned that their

poor Nat

"Just knew, and knew no more, her Bible true, A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew." From the town we bent our steps to the churchyard, and, pacing in its quiet walks, we mused upon the exalted privilege of genius, which could confer upon an insignificant village like this, and its no less insignificant inhabitants, an immortality for which thousands have struggled in vain. What a satire upon the restless schemes of ambitious men, that in a few years oblivion, in spite of all their efforts, closes over the names and memories of so many of them! while here, without an effort, and without even the intention, the routine business and the petty squabblings carried on in an obscure village, with the petty actors in these ignoble affairs-the Reedons, the Rabans, the Peares, and the Pages, Gee," and "old Geary Ball"-have become enshrined in the memory of every reader of sensibility and taste, and their names have received an immortality as lasting as the English language can bestow. And now where were they all? Daniel Raban, the baker, who would not tolerate Thomas Scott, the commentator's preaching, and set up a rival meeting himself-Reedon, the schoolmaster, who had" made his prayer to God that he might become acquainted with some talent, and now, in the acquaintance of this worthy gentleman (meaning me, says Cowper), had found that prayer fulfilled"-Thomas Ashburner, the joiner, who, at a county election, had courageously throttled the ringleader in a riot, and quelled the disturbance-all of them, unknowing and reckless of the fame which had been secured for their memories, slept beneath the turf we trod, without even a stone that we could find to mark their graves.

Musing on these sobering recollections, we turned our steps outside the town, paused again on the old bridge, and gazed on Weston, about a mile and a half up the river, and which is truly what its name indicates, "underwood," reached the division of the road that leads to Clifton, gained the crest of the hill, and, pausing long on its summit, where the best view of the town could be obtained, we turned at last, and bade farewell to Olney.


From Taits Magazine.
THE night which wrapped the sullen fell,
And lulled the town in seeming death,
No footfall broke-no clanging bell,
And e'en the night-wind held her breath,
Till when the stillest hour had sway,
And all its sacred influence shed,
When music-like, an earlier day
Brought waking to a slumberer's bed.
So clear, though slow, the strain arose,
So soft, though quick, the sleeper woke,
That waking was itself repose,
It but prolonged the dream it broke;
With every note that nursed his mood,
The tide of years seemed ebbing fast,
Till the bare channel, ruin-strewed,
Gave back the memory of the past.
"Oh! often in my hours of pride,"

He said, "I've sought these thoughts to quell,
And even deemed that if the tide

Of Lethe flowed for me 'twere well;

As if the past some phantom were

I dared not to myself avow,

Or some dark shade of bygone care,

Whose presence shamed the happier now."

"Is then the future in thy dreams

So bright that there thy thoughts would dwell?
Or else the golden present teems

With joys thou canst not court too well?
O fool! go back, in deep regret,

Kneel at the altar of the past,
And own the joys thou wouldst forget
Have been thy best-may be thy last.

"Are these all nought-these things to shun?
The home where childhood wept and knelt,
The few unselfish deeds thou'st done,
The thousands thou hast known and felt ?
The act of love too lately learned,
The watchful toil, the prayerful tear,
So ill-deserved-so ill-returned,

It wrings the heart to name them here?
"The book that nursed thy waking dream,
And hopes, as false as flattering, gave,
The copse, the lane, the wooded stream,
Where first the swimmer struck the wave-
All these are thine, as in the hour
Of living presence, so to-day.
Let fortune on the future lour-
It cannot tear the past away.

"As in that hour? ay more-for ne'er
Such charms appeared in sweetest things,
As stealing through the midnight air,
This music o'er their memory flings;
Like those soft notes, the loved scenes are,
Which fond remembrance bids arise,
Though sweet the strain, more sweet by far
The conscious silence when it dies."

From Taits Magazine.



Dark, deep, and cold the current flows Unto the sea, where no wind blows, Seeking the land which no one knows.

O'er its sad gloom still comes and goes The mingled wail of friends and foes, Borne to the land which no one knows.

Why shrieks for help yon wretch, who goes
With millions from a world of woes
Unto the land which no one knows?

Though millions go with him who goes, Alone he goes where no wind blows, Unto the land which no one knows.

For all must go where no wind blows, And none can go for him who goes; None, none return whence no one knows.

Why should the wretch who shrieking goes With millions from a world of woes, Reunion seek with it on those?

Alone with God, where no wind blows,
And death his shadow-doom'd he goes:
That God is there, the shadow shows!
Oh, shoreless deep, where no wind blows!
And thou, oh, land, which no one knows!
That God is All, the shadow shows.




Iffleet along, and the empires fall,

And the nations pass away, Like visions bright of the dreamy night, That die with the dawning day. The lordly tower, and the battled wall, The lawn, and the holy fane, In ruin lie, while I wander by,

Nor rise from their wreck again.

I come with age to the hoary sage,
And the lamp of life grows dim,
Nor more its rays upon being's page
Emblazon delights to him.

I mourn the flight of the fleeting breath
From youth in its golden prime,
But Time is linked with decay and death,
And death is the lord of Time.



"They toil not, neither do they spin."

One morn before me were three figures seen,
With bowed necks, and joined hands, side-faced;
And one behind the other stepp'd serene,

In placid sandals, and in white robes graced;

They pass'd, like figures on a marble urn,
When shifted round to see the other side;
They came again; as when the urn once more

Is shifted round, the first seen shades return;
And they were strange to me, as may betide
With vases, to one deep in Phidian lore.
How is it, Shadows! that I knew ye not?

How came ye muffled in so hush a mask?
Was it a silent deep-disguised plot

To steal away, and leave without a task

My idle days? Ripe was the drowsy hour; The blissful cloud of summer indolence Benumb'd my eyes; my pulse grew less and less; Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath no flower;

O, why did ye not melt, and leave my sense
Unhaunted quite of all but-nothingness?
A third time pass'd they by, and, passing, turn'd
Each one the face a moment whiles to me;
Then faded, and to follow them I burn'd

And ached for wings, because I knew the three;
The first was a fair Maid, and Love her name;
The second was Ambition, pale of cheek,
And ever watchful with fatigued eye;

The last, whom I love more, the more of blame
Is heaped upon her, maiden most unmeek,-
I knew to be my demon Poesy.

They faded, and, forsooth! I wanted wings:
O folly! What is love? and where is it?
And for that poor Ambition! it springs
From a man's little heart's short fever-fit;

For Poesy!-no,-she has not a joy,-
At least for me,-so sweet as drowsy noons,
And evenings steep'd in honied indolence;

O, for an age so shelter'd from annoy,
That I may never know how change the moons,
Or hear the voice of busy common-sense!
And once more came they by;-alas! wherefore?
My sleep had been embroider'd with dim dreams;
My soul had been a lawn besprinkled o'er
With flowers, and stirring shades, and baffled

The morn was clouded, but no shower fell, Tho' in her lids hung the sweet tears of May; The open casement press'd a new-leaved vine,' Let in the budding warmth and throstle's lay; O Shadows! 'twas a time to bid farewell! Upon your skirts had fallen no tears of mine. So, ye three Ghosts, adieu! Ye cannot raise My head cool-bedded in the flowery grass; For I would not be dieted with praise, A pet-lamb in a sentimental farce!

Fade softly from my eyes, and be once more In masque-like figures on the dreamy urn; Farewell! I yet have visions for the night,

And for the day faint visions there is store; Vanish, ye Phantoms! from my idle spright, Into the clouds, and never more return.

Milnes' New Edition of Keats.

From the People's Journal.



What is life?

It is the flower,
Spring's offspring bright and fair,
That blossoms for a sunny hour,
Entwin'd around a leafy bower,
Untouch'd, unscath'd by care
How happy it seems,
In the sunny beams;
How merrily plays

In the brightening rays

As it haughtily nods to the saucy wind
That snatches a kiss,
In its joyous bliss,

And with easy grace
And quickening pace

It laughingly leaves the flower behind.
But ah! how soon-how soon doth change
The laughing breeze in its morning range;
It stoops not to brush
With a gentle rush

The dew from the leaves of the bower:
Nor deigns it to sip
From its ruby lip

The kiss from the beauteous flower:
Nor nestles it there
In a genial air

To whisper a loving mind,
But it passes along

In a bustling throng
And leaves the poor flower behind.

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the expediency of copying that practice also: but the Committee apologizes for not discussing constitutional or essential changes, from its own want of time. It also objects, that in this country the clôture would lead to surprises; which is true while the mere voting members use their license of staying away except at voting time.

PROMISED REFORM IN THE CONDUCT OF PUBLIC BUSINESS.-The Report of the Select Committee on Public Business must be accepted as a real earnest of reforms in the conduct of Parliamentary affairs. It is remarkable in many ways. It included men of the most diverse character and position: besides the intelligent Chairman, Mr. Evelyn Denison, there were, the administrative Gra- In the Congress of the United States, they have a ham, the industrious Hume, the economic Cobden, practice which they call "the previous question," the midnight Brotherton, the conservative Inglis, the and which is not at all like our "previous quesCommittee-ruling Greene, the acute and imaginative tion," but closely resembles the French clôture: it Disraeli, and the great political realist Peel. Among works well. The Americans have besides a rule, the witnesses, were the Speaker, M. Guizot, and a that no speeches shall last more than one hour; Member of the United States Congress. The do- which also works well, and is conducive to the procument is not voluminous, yet it is full of matter.gress of public business: even those who at first obThe Committee and the witnesses co-operated heartily to get to the truth, so far as they saw fit to understand the scope of the inquiry. The Committee did not touch one branch of the subject more important than any which it has investigated-the expediency of delegating the minor functions of Parliament to subordinate tribunals. We notice here and there, as usual, a tendency to press a crotchet, or to block out an unwelcome conclusion. But on the whole, sober earnestness and candor mark the drift of questions and answers. The results are, evidence to the purpose, and a succinct but substantial report.

jected to it now approve, and the public is better pleased. Our speaker affirms that the speeches on Wednesdays, when the shortness of the sitting enforces conciseness, are apt to be of better tissue. A similar result is observable in the higher class of our periodical literature-want of space puts a screw on the style, and tends to counteract prolixity and diffuseness. On this practice the Committee observes, that a great deal of business in the United States is transacted in the State Legislatures, so that the central parliament is relieved; which ours is not, so that we need more extended time. The Committee forgets that it was considering "discussion," or lengthening debate, not as a facility but as an obstruction to the transaction of much business. The objection is very suggestive in another way: it

The report includes several recommendations; three to be enacted, three to be optional, and one optional in form but having a coercive force. The recommendations of fixed rules are, that the num-points to the expediency of delegating the minor ber of stages on which any measure shall be open to discussion be diminished, thus diminishing the number of debates; the abolition of occasions for purely fictitious or obstructive debates, such as those on adjournment, by decreeing that questions of adjournment be decided by simple vote, without debate; and the waiving of the "money bill" privilege of the Commons touching imposts by the House of Lords, in cases where such imposts are purely of the nature of penalties or of costs for service rendered, and do not at all partake of taxation.

In the French Chambers, they have a practice called "la clôture," or the closing of the debate, which may be demanded by any two members, and is decided by vote without any debate, except one speech in opposition to the demand: it is very convenient for terminating a debate that manifestly drags on without further progress; it has worked well, and not oppressively. On this practice the Committee observes, that the French Chambers did much preliminary work in their Bureaux or subdivisions of the whole, a fact which suggests

functions of parliament-its local business, private bills, and railway jurisdiction-to subordinate tribunals. That might be done without derogating from the prescriptive power and authority of Parliament, by delegating those functions "during pleasure"-not with a view to frequent changes, but in order to retain the supreme hold ostensibly and in fact. However, the improved discussion likely to ensue from those recommendations which the Committee has adopted will pave the way for a more profitable discussion of further reforms hereafter.

The recommendations which the Committee makes by way of advice, and not to be formally enacted, are, that adjourned debates should usually be resumed at the next sitting, taking precedence of other business,-a very good suggestion, based on the principle of attending to one thing at a time; that the speaker should enforce "the established rule of the house which requires that members should strictly confine themselves to matters immediately pertinent to the subject of debate,"—a

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