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NIGHT AND MOONLIGHT.
Chancing to take a memorable walk by moon., be thankful for the light that reaches me from light some years ago, I resolved to take more the star of least magnitude. Stars are lesser or such walks, and make acquaintance with another | greater only as they appear to us so. I will be side of Nature. I have done so.
thankful that I see so much as one side of a ceAccording to Plipy, there is a stone in Arabia lestial idea, one side of the rainbow and the suncalled Selenites, "wherein is a white spot, set sky. which increases and decreases with the moon."*! Men talk glibly enough about moonshine, as My journal for the last year or two has been if they knew its qualities very well, and deselenitic in this sense.
spised them-as owls might talk of sunshine. Is not the midnight like Central Africa to most None of your supshine!--but this word comof us? Are we not tempted to explore it--tomonly means merely something which they do penetrate to the shores of its Lake Tchad, and not understand, which they are abed and asleep discover the source of the Nile, perchance the to, however much it may be worth their while Mountains of the Moon? Who knows what to be up and awake to it. fertility and beauty, moral and natural, are there. It must be allowed that the light of the moon, to be found ? In the Mountains of the Moon, sufficient though it is for the pensive walker, in the Central Africa of the night, there is where and not disproportionate to the inner light we all Niles have their hidden heads. The expe- have, is very inferior in quality and intensity to ditions up the Nile as yet extend but to the that of the sun. But the moon is not to be Cataracts, or perchance to the mouth of the judged alone by the quantity of light she sends White Nile; but it is the Black Nile that con- to us, but also by her influence on the earth and cerns us.
its inhabitants. “The moon gravitates toward I shall be a benefactor, if I conquer some the earth, and the earth reciprocally toward realms from the night-if I report to the ga. | moon.” The poet who walks by moonlight is zettes anything transpiring about us at that sea- conscious of a tide in his thought wbich is to be son worthy of their attention-if I can show referred to lunar influence. I will endeavour to men that there is some beauty awake while they separate the tide in my thoughts from the curare asleep-if I add to the domains of poetry. rent distractions of the day. I would warn
Night is certainly more novel and less pro- my hearers that they must not try my thoughts fane than day. I soon discovered that I was by a daylight standard, but endeavour to realize acquainted only with its complexion; and as for that I speak out of the night. All depends on the moon, I had seen her only as it were through your point of view. In Drake's “ Collections a crevice in a shutter, occasionally. Why not of Voyages," Wafer says of some Albinos walk a little way in her light?
among the Indians of Darien-“They are quite Suppose you attend to the suggestions which white, but their whiteness is like that of a horse, the moon makes for one month, commonly in quite different from the fair or pale European, vain, will it not be very different from anything as they have not the least tincture of a blush or in literature or religion? But why not study sanguine complexion. ..... Their eyebrows this Sanscrit ? What if one moon has come are milk-white, as is likewise the hair of their and gone, with its world of poetry, its weird heads, which is very fine. . i. . They seldom atachings, its oracular suggestions-so divine a go abroad in the daytime, the sun being disacreature freighted with hints for me, and I have greeable to them, and causing their eyes, which not used her-one moon gone by unnoticed? are weak and poring, to water, especially if it
I think it was Dr. Chalmers who said, criti. shines towards them; yet they see very well by cising Coleridge, that for his part he wanted moonlight, from which we call them mooneyed." ideas which he could see all round, and not Neither in our thoughts in these moonlight such as he must look at away up in the heavens. | walks, methinks, is there “the least tincture of Such a man, one would say, would never look a blush or sanguine complexion," but we are at the moon, because she never turns her other intellectually and morally Albinos-children of side to us. The light which comes from ideas Endymion-such is the effect of conversing which have their orbit as distant from the earth, | much with the moon. and which is no less cheering and enlightening I complain of Arctic voyagers that they do not to the benighted traveller than that of the moon enough remind us of the constant peculiar and stars, is naturally reproached or nicknamed dreariness of the scenery, and the perpetual as moonshine by such. They are moonshine, | twilight of the Arctic night. So he whose theme are they? Well, then, do your nigbt-travelling is moonlight, though he may find it difficult, when there is no moon to light you; but I will must, as it were, illustrate it with the light of
the moon alone. * Selenites, or the moon-stone, said to be still Many men walk by day; few walk by night. found in China, which is reported to increase and It is a very different season. Take a July night, decrease with the Moon (Dyche).-ED,
| for instance. About ten o'clock, when man is
asleep, and day is fairly forgotten, the beauty of that the sun is gone. The rocks retain all moonlight is seen over lonely pastures where night the warmth of the sun which they have cattle are silently feeding. On all sides novel absorbed. And so does the sand : if you dig a ties present themselves. Instead of the sun, few inches into it, you find a warm bed. there are the moon and stars; instead of the You lie on your back on a rock, in a pasture wood-thrush, there is the nightingale ; instead of on the top of some bare hill at midnight, and butterflies in the meadows, glowworms, insects, speculate on the height of the starry canopy. sparks of fire! Who would have believed it? The stars are the jewels of the night, and perWhat kind of cool, deliberate life dwells in those chance surpass anything which day has to show. dewy abodes associated with a spark of fire ? A companion with whom I was sailing, one So man has fire in his eyes, or blood, or brain. very windy, but bright moonlight night, when Instead of singing-birds, the short chirp of the the stars were few and faint, thought that a man grasshopperlark, the hooting of owls, and the could get along with them, though he was conshrill note of the cricket, but above all the siderably reduced in his circumstances--that deep croaking of the pond-frogs by stream and they were a kind of bread and cheese that never pool. The tall rye stands upright, the corn failed. No wonder that there have been astrogrows apace, the bushes loom, the grain-fields logers-that some have conceived that they were seem.boundless. On the reed-shores, by theriyer's personally related to particular stars. Du sides, the tall reeds occupy the ground like an Bartas, as translated by Sylvester, says he'll army, their heads nodding in the breeze. Small trees and shrubs are seen in the midst, over
“Not believe that the great Architect whelmed as by an inundation. The shadows of With all these fires the heavenly arches decked rocks and trees and shrubs and hills are more
Only for show, and with these glistering shields, conspicuous than the objects themselves. The
| Tawake poor shepherds, watching in the fields,”— slightest irregularities in the ground are re. he'll vealed by the shadows, and what the feet find “not believe that the least flower which pranks comparatively smooth appears rough and di | Our garden-borders or our common banks, versified in consequence. For the same reason And the least stone that in her warming lap the whole landscape is more variegated and pic Our Mother Earth doth covetously wrap, turesque than by day. The smallest recesses Hath some peculiar virtue of its own, in the rocks are dim and cavernous; the ferns | And that the glorious stars of heaven have none.” in the woods appear of tropical size. The broom and wood-sage in over-grown wood-paths wet! And Sir Walter Raleigh well says, “The stars you with dew up to your middle. The leaves of are instruments of far greater use than to give an the shrub-oak are shining as if a liquid were obscure light, and for men to gaze on after sunflowing over them. The pools seen through set;" and he quotes Plotinus as affirming that the trees are as full of light as the sky. " The they “are significant, but not efficient ;” and light of the day takes refuge in their bosoms." also Augustine as saying, “ Deus regit inferiora as the Purana says of the ocean. All white ob corpora per superiora :" God rules the bodies jects are more remarkable than by day. A dis- / below by those above. But best of all is this, tant cliff looks like a phosphorescent space on a which another writer has expressed : “Sapiens hill-side. The woods are heavy and dark. Na. adjuvabit opus astrorum quemadmodum agricola ture slumbers. You see the moonlight reflected terre naturam"; A wise man assisteth the work from the boles of particular trees in the re- of the stars as the husbandman helpeth the nacesses of the woods, as if she selected what | ture of the soil. to shine on. These small fractions of her light It does not concern men who are asleep in remind one of the plant called moon-seed-as if their beds, but it is very important to the trathe moon were sowing it in such places.
| veller, whether the moon shines brightly or is In the night the eyes are partly closed, or re- | obscured. It is not easy to realize the serene tire into the head. Other senses take the lead. I joy of all the earth, when she commences to The walker is guided as well by the sense of shine unobstructedly, unless you have often smell. Every plant and field and forest emits its been abroad alone in moonlight nights. She odour now-spire in the meadow, and tansy in seems to be waging continual war with the the road; and there is the peculiar cent of Herb- clouds in your behalf. Yet we fancy the clouds Robert, which has begun to show its needles. to be her foes also. She comes on magnifying The senses both of hearing and smelling are her dangers by her light, revealing, displaying more alert. We hear the tinkling of rills them in all their hugeness and blackness, then which we never detected before. From time to suddenly casts them behind into the light contime, high up on the sides of hills, you pass cealed, and goes her way triumphant through a through a stratum of warm air--a blast which small space of clear sky. has come up from the sultry level at noon. It In short, the moon traversing, or appearing tells of the day, of sunny noontide hours, and to traverse, the small clouds which lie in her of the labourer wiping his brow and the way, now obscured by them, now easily dissi. bee humming amid blossom. It is an air in pating and shining through them, makes the which work has been done which men have drama of the moonlight night to all watchers breathed. It circulates about from woodside to and night-travellers. Sailors speak of it as the billside, like a dog that has lost its master, now moon eating up the clouds. The traveller all
alone, the moon all alone, except for his sympa- The Hindoos compare the moon to a saintly thy, overcoming with incessant victory whole being who has reached the last stage of bodily squadrons of clouds above the woods and lakes 'existence. and hills. When she is obscured, he so sympa- Great restorer of antiquity, great enchanter! thizes with her that he could whip a dog for her In a mild night, when the harvest or hunter's relief, as Indians do. When she enters on a moon shines unobstructedly, the houses in our clear field of great extent in the heavens, and villlage, whatever architect they may have had shines unobstructedly, he is glad. And when by day, acknowledge only a master. The village she has fought her way through all the squadrons street is then as wild as a forest. New and old of her foes, and rides majestic in a clear sky things are confounded. I know not whether I unscathed, and there are no more any obstruc- am sitting on the ruins of a wall, or on the mations in her path, he cheerfully and confidently terial which is to compose a new one. Nature pursues his way, and rejoices in his heart, and is an instructed and impartial teacher, spreading the cricket also seems to express joy in its song. no crude opinions, and flattering none ! she will
How insupportable would be the days, if the be neither radical nor conservative. Consider night, with its dews and darkness, did not come the moonlight, so civil, yet so savage! to restore the drooping world! As the shades The light is more proportionate to our know. begin to gather around us, our primeval in- ledge than that of day. It is no more dusky in stincts are aroused, and we steal forth from our ordinary nights than our mind's habitual atmolairs, like the inhabitants of the jungle, in search sphere, and the moonlight is as bright as our of those silent and brooding thoughts which are most illuminated moments are. the natural prey of the intellect.
Richter says that “the earth is every day “In such a night let me abroad remain overspread with the veil of night for the same. Till morning breaks, and all's confused again.” reason as the cages of birds are darkened, namely, that we may the more readily appre- Of what significance the light of day, if it is hend the higher harmonies of thought in the not the reflection of an inward dawn ?--to wbat hush and quiet of darkness. Thoughts which purpose is the veil of night withdrawn, if the day turns into smoke and mist stand about us morning reveals nothing to the soul? It is in the night as light and flames ; even as the merely garish and glaring. column which fluctuates above the crater of When Ossian, in his address to the sun, Vesuvius in the daytinie appears a pillar of cloud, exclaimsbut by night a pillar of fire."
There are nights in this climate of such se- / “Where has darkness its dwelling? rene and majestic beauty, so medicinal and fer
Where is the cavernous home of the stars, tilizing to the spirit, that methinks a sensitive
When thou quickly followest their steps, nature would not devote them to oblivion, and
Pursuing them like a hunter in the skyperhaps there is no man but would be better
Thou climbing the lofty hills, and wiser for spending them out-of-doors,
They descending on barren mountains ?" though he should sleep all the next day to pay for it, should sleep an Endymion sleep,' as who does not in his thought accompany the the ancients expressed it-nights which war stars to their “cavernous home," “ descending rant the Grecian epithet ambrosial, when, as in with them “on barren mountains ?" the land of Beulah, the atmosphere is charged Nevertheless, even by night the sky is blue with dewy fragrance, and with music, and we and not black; for we see through the shadow take our repose and have our dreams awake: of the earth into the distant atmosphere of day, when the moon, not secondary to the sun,
where the sunbeams are revelling.
"gives us his blaze again,
Diana still hunts in the English sky.
“In heaven queen she is among the spheres;
She, mistress-like, makes all things to be pure : Eternity in her oft change she bears :
She Beauty is; by her the fair endure.
OLD AGE, when it has been attained in the paths of wisdom and virtue, claims universal honour and respect ; since the old, in goodness and piety, are marked by having stood the great trial of human lifeyears assailed by temptation, yet passed in virtue. The young may promise fairly and hope fairly, but the old are sanctified by practice; and none but the ignorant or the vicious can despise that time of life which God himself has marked with peculiar favour; since honoured age is often declared by his holy prophets to be the temporal reward of the pious and the just. The wise will ever reference age, the fool alone will despise
"6 Time wears her not; she doth his chariot guide;
Mortality below her orb is placed :
By her is Virtue's perfect image cas,t”
соск с во W.
“Meteorologists observe that during the still | In two lines ascribed to Drayton: dark weather which usually happens about the Brumal Solstice, cocks often crow all day and
“And now the cocke, the morning's trumpeter, all night: hence the belief that they crow all
Play'd Hunts up for the Day-Star to appear.' night on the vigil of the Nativity.
Butler, in “Hudibras” (part iii. canto 1), has : * There is this reinarkable circumstance about
“The cock crows, and the morn draws on, the crowing of cocks: they seem to keep night
When 'tis decreed I must begone." watches, or to have general crowing matches at certain periods, as soon after twelve, at two, And in Blair's “Grave,” the apparition evanishes and again at daybreak. These are the Alectro- at the crowing of the cock, phones mentioned by St. John. To us these “Tusser gives the order of crowing, in his cockcrowings do not appear quite so regular in “ Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie,” their times of occurrence, though they observe as follows: certain periods, when not interrupted by changes
“Cocke croweth at midnight, times few above six, of the weather, which generally produce a great
With pause to his neighbour to answer betwix: deal of crowing ; indeed, the song of all birds
At three aclocke thicker, and then, as ye knowe, is much influenced by the state of the air,
Like all into mattens neere day they doe crowe: “ It seems that crepusculum, or twilight, is the At midnight, at three, and an hour yer day, sort of light during which cocks crow most. They utter their language as well as they may.” This has been observed during the darkness of eclipses of the sun, as in that of September 4th. / Or, who can forget the allusion in Milton's 1820.
“ Comus," where the two brothers, benighted " It was long ago believed among the common in the forest, 10
l in the forest, implore that they may but hear the people that at the time of cockcrowing the mid
he mid: village cock "count the night-watches to his night spirits forsook these lower regions, and
k these lower regions, and feathery dames ?” went to their proper places. This notion is very
“Bourne thus illustrates the sacredness and ancient; for Prudentius. the Christian poet of solemnity of the periods of crowing: “It was the fourth century, has a hymn, the opening of
of about the time of cockcrowing when our Saviour which is thus translated :
was born. The angels sung the first Christmas
carol to the poor shepherds in the fields of “They say the wandering powers that love | Bethlehem. Now it may be presumed, as the The silent darkness of the night,
Saviour of the world was then born, and the At cockcrowing give o'er to rove,
heavenly host had then descended to proclaim And all in fear do take their flight.”
the news, that the angels of darkness would be This idea is illustrated by Shakspeare in “Ham- | terrified and confounded, and immediately ily let,” where the ghost was “about to speak, away; and perhaps this consideration has partly when the cock crew;" and "faded at the crow
| been the foundation of this opinion. It was, ing of the cock.” By a vassage in “ Macbeth,” | too, about this time when our Saviour rose from “we were carousing till the second cock," it ap: the dead. A third reason is, the passage in the pears that there were two separate times of cock
Book of Genesis, where Jacob wrestled. with crowing; and in “ King Lear” we have, “he
the angel for a blessing; where the angel says begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock.” | And in “Romeo and Juliet,”
Bourne likewise attaches much importance to
“the circumstances of the time of cockcrowing, “ The second cock has crow'd ;
being so natural a figure and representation of The curfew-bell has toll?d ; 'tis three o'clock.” the morning of the resurrection; the night as Chaucer, in his “Assemblie of Foules," has :
shadowing out the night of the grave; the third
watch being, as some suppose, the time our “The cocke, that horologe is of Thropes lite."* Saviour will come to judgment at; the noise of “The disappearance of spirits at cockcrow is a
the cock awakening sleepy man, and telling him, frequent fancy of the poets. Herrick, in his as it were, the night is far spent, and the day is " Hesperides," “ The Old Wive's Prayer,” has :
at hand, representing so naturally the voice of
the archangel awakening the dead, and calling up “Drive all hurtful fiends us fro'
the righteous to everlasting day. So naturally By the time the cocks first crow.”
does the time of cockcrowing shadow out these Spenser says of one of his spirits :
things, that probably some good, well-meaning “The morning cock crew loud ;
men might have been brought to believe that And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
the very devils themselves, when the cock crew And vanished from our sight.”
and reminded them of them, did fear and trem
ble, and shun the light.” * Id est--the clock of the villages.
I “ In the Great or Passion Week, as kept in
the fourth century, the fast of Good Friday was “Imperial Calendar” for the year 1822, in the prolonged by all who were able to bear it, over list of persons holding appointments in the Lord the succeeding Saturday, while Christ continued Steward's department of the royal household, in the tomb, till cockcrow on the Easter morn- occurs the “cock and cryer at Scotland-yard." ing.
The attendants on a sick bed are well aware “During Lent, so late as the reign of George that the objects of their anxiety experience, in I., an officer of the Court, denominated “the ordinary circumstances, the greatest amount of King's cockcrower,” crowed the hour every night suffering between midnight and daybreak, or within the precincts of the palace, instead of the usual period of the crowing of the cock. calling it in the ordinary manner. In Debrett's
OUR PARIS CORRESPONDENT.
MY DEAR C._,
I known to the concierge (doorkeeper) he was reThank God the cholera panic is over, and the fused admittance. Fancy this important perParisians begin to venture home to their winter sonage's dismay when he was told who the quarters--although they say that the hospitals visitor was! Oh dear, dear! he could not open are still full of fever, small-pox, and other the door half wide enough to prove his horror at complaints that usually follow the epidemic. having confounded the Emperor with a simple We certainly have proved ourselves great citizen! His Majesty smilingly reassured him cowards on the occasion, and yet what an ex- as he received his profound excuses, and passed ample their Majesties set us, visiting all the hos- into the sick wards. As soon as it was known pitals in the very height of the distemper! It that the Emperor was there, the cries of “Vive was really admirable, and justly excited great l'Empereur" came from every bed : and those adıniration from all parties, particularly with who could scarcely move managed to lift their regard to the Empress, who was suffering under heads to get a glance. “Oh," said Napoleon, a very severe cold, therefore more exposed to smiling, to a doctor near him, “I see they are take the disease. Accompanied by Mdlle. better as they find their voices !” Hundreds of Bouvet, her young and pretty “lectrice," and people had assembled round the doors of the the Marquis de Lagrange, she spent an hour at hospital when the news spread that the Emleast at each hospital, talking to the sisters of peror was there; and you may imagine what charity, and to the doctors; and, approaching the shouts greeted him as soon as he appeared. He beds of the sick, she questioned them, con- and the Empress sent 25,000 francs from their soled them, and cheered them up with the private purses to the families that the cholera greatest kindness, both women and men. One has deprived of support. The court left St. poor creature, whose sight was dimmed-per- Cloud on the 12th for Compiègne. A few days haps by approaching death-mistaking her Ma- before going, the young artists who had carried jesty for the sister, answered to a question she off the grand prizes at the School of Fine Arts put him with “Oui, ma sœur.” “It is were invited to dine at the imperial table. Unnot I who speak to you,” said the good fortunately for many the notice given was too sister, “but the Empress." "Do not correct short, and only two or three could enjoy the him," quickly interrupted the august lady; honour. Her Majesty's féte, St. Eugenie, was “that is the most beautiful name he can give celebrated the day after their arrival at their me." Was it not a graceful and well-deserved autumnal residence. Many an ambitious little compliment to these devoted nurses? You heart is now going pit-a-pat with fond hopes to may imagine how our excitable populace, waiting be invited to Compiègne, it being the ne plus outside, expressed their enthusiasm when her ultra of joy and delight to get one's nose in Majesty returned to her carriage. It was truly there. No invitation at the Tuileries can equal a noble step on her part, and certainly did a Compiègne. Her Majesty orders the invitagreat deal of good, by restoring confidence to tions personally, which gives a character of inmany whom fear had put in danger of death : timacy that all are proud of. There are always and it was all done so quietly, without any pa- at every season several artists and authors rade; one felt that it was from kindness of amongst the number of the elect, though it heart. The Emperor went to the Hotel-Dieu must be very galling to the wives of these genincognito, accompanied only by one gentleman : tlemen to be excluded from Paradise. As a man he arrived after four o'clock, when the doors and his wife are one, the law ought to be that were closed to the public, and the members of where one is invited so is the other. The King the administration gone home. Not being and Queen of Portugal are expected on the 4th