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George H.-I will say nothing, but leave you to time and the care of a greater than I. We have exchanged our verse, let us now change our subject too, and walk homeward; for I trust you, this night, intend to make my roof happy in your presence, and the sun is sinking.
Lord H.—Yes, you know I am there to be introduced to my new sister, whom I hope to love, and win from her a sisterly regard in turn.
George H.-You, none can fail to regard ; and for her, even as you love me, you must her, for we are one.
Lord H.-(smiling)—Indeed ; two years wed, and say that.
George H.-Will your lordship doubt it? From your muse I took my first lesson.
With a look, it seem'd denied
All earthly powers but hers, yet so
This borrow'd life, he thus replied
And shall our love, so far beyond
That low and dying appetite,
Not hold in an eternal bond ?
O no, belov'd! I am most sure
Those virtuous habits we acquire,
Must with it evermore endure.
Else should our souls in vain elect;
And vainer yet were heaven's laws
They gave a perishing effect.
Lord H.-(sighing)—You recall a happy season, when my ughts were as delicate of hue, and of as heavenly a perfume
as the flowers of May.
George H.—Have those flowers borne no fruit ?
Lord H.—My experience of the world and men had made me believe that they did not indeed bloom in vain, but that the fruit would be ripened in some future sphere of our existence. What my own marriage was you know,-a family arrangement made for me in my childhood. Such obligations as such a marriage could imply, I have fulfilled, and it has not failed to bring me some benefits of good will and esteem, and far more, in the happiness of being a parent. But my observation of the ties formed, by those whose choice was left free, has not taught me that a higher happiness than mine was the destined portion of men. They are too immature to form permanent relations; all that they do seems experiment, and mostly fails for the present. Thus I had postponed all hopes except of feeting joys or ideal pictures. Will you tell me that you are possessed already of so much more ?
George H.—I am indeed united in a bond, whose reality I can. not doubt, with one whose thoughts, affections, and objects every way correspond with mine, and in whose life I see a purpose so pure that, if we are ever separated, the fault must be mine. I believe God, in his exceeding grace, gave us to one another, for we met almost at a glance, without doubt before, jar or repent. ance after, the vow which bound our lives together.
Lord H.—Then there is indeed one circumstance of your lot I could wish to share with you. (After some moments’ silence on both sides)—They told me at the house, that, with all your engagements, you go twice a week to Salisbury. How is that? How can you leave your business and your happy home, so much and often?
George H.—I go to hear the music; the great solemn church music. This is, at once, the luxury and the necessity of my life. I know not how it is with others, but, with me, there is a frequent drooping of the wings, a smouldering of the inward fires, a languor, almost a loathing of corporeal existence. Of this visible diurnal sphere I am, by turns, the master, the interpreter, and the victim ; an ever burning lamp, to warm again the embers of the altar; a skiff, that cannot be becalmed, to bear me again on the ocean of hope ; an elixir, that fills the dullest fibre with ethereal energy ; such, music is to me. It stands in relation to speech, even to the speech of poets, as the angelic choir, who, in their subtler being, may inform the space around us, unseen but felt, do to men, even to prophetic men. It answers to the soul's presage, and, in its fluent life, embodies all I yet know how to desire. As all the thoughts and hopes of human souls are blended by the organ to a stream of prayer and praise, I tune at it my separate breast, and return to my little home, cheered and ready for my day's work, as the lark does to her nest after her morning visit to the sun.
Lord H.-The ancients held that the spheres made music tc those who had risen into a state which enabled them to hear it. Pythagoras, who prepared different kinds of melody to guide and expand the differing natures of his pupils, needed himself to hear none on instruments made by human art, for the universal har. mony which comprehends all these was audible to him. Man feels in all his higher moments, the need of traversing a subtler ele. ment, of a winged existence. Artists have recognised wings as the symbol of the state next above ours; but they have not been able so to attach them to the forms of gods and angels as to make them agree with the anatomy of the human frame. Perhaps music gives this instruction, and supplies the deficiency. Although I see that I do not feel it as habitually or as profoundly as you do, I have experienced such impressions from it.
George H.—That is truly what I mean. It introduces me into that winged nature, and not as by way of supplement, but of inevitable transition. All that has budded in me, bursts into bloom, under this influence. As I sit in our noble cathedral, in itself
one of the holiest thoughts ever embodied by the power of man, the great tides of song come rushing through its aisles ; they pervade all the space, and my soul within it, perfuming me like incense, bearing me on like the wind, and on and on to regions of unutterable joy, and freedom, and certainty. As their triumph rises, I rise with them, and learn to comprehend by living them, till at last a calm rapture seizes me, and holds me poised. The sarne life you have attained in your description of the celestial choirs. It is the music of the soul, when centred in the will of God, thrilled by the love, expanded by the energy, with which it is fulfilled through all the ranges of active life. From such hours, I return through these green lanes, to hear the same tones from the slightest flower, to long for a life of purity and praise, such as is manifested by the flowers.
At this moment they reached the door, and there paused to look back. George Herbert bent upon the scene a half-abstracted look, yet which had a celestial tearfulness in it, a pensiveness beyond joy. His brother looked on him, and, beneath that fading twilight, it seemed to him a farewell look. It was so. Soon George Herbert soared into the purer state, for which his soul had long been ready, though not impatient.
The brothers met no more ; but they had enjoyed together one hour of true friendship, when mind drew near to mind by the light of faith, and heart mingled with heart in the atmosphere of Divine love. It was a great boon to be granted two mortals.
THE PROSE WORKS OF MILTON.
WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION, BY R. W. GRISWOLD.
The noble lines of Wordsworth, quoted by Mr. Griswold on his title-page, would be the best and a sufficient advertisement of each reprint: "Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour.
Return to us again,
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart;
In cheerful Godliness, and yet thy heart
One should have climbed to as high a point as Wordsworth to be able to review Milton, or even to view in part his high places. From the hill-top we still strain our eyes looking up to the mountain-peak
“Itself Earth’s Rosy Star.”
We rejoice to see that there is again a call for an edition of Milton's Prose Works. There could not be a surer sign that there is still pure blood in the nation than a call for these. The print and paper are tolerably good ; if not worthy of the matter, et they are, we suppose, as good as can be afforded and make le book cheap enough for general circulation. We wish there