« PreviousContinue »
modity as time, it would much lessen the sum of human misery and want. “If a person were to throw a purse of money, or a single guinea, into a river, he would be looked upon as foolish, and if he were thus to continue to throw away his property, he would be justly thought a nadman; but a man that throws away his time, his health, his peace, and his soul, acts a part much more absurd and hurtful.”-(Toplady's Works.)
When Lord Nelson was leaving London, on his last but glorious expedition against the enemy, a quantity of cabin furniture was ordered to be sent on board his ship. He had a farewell dinner party at his house; and his upholsterer having waited upon his lordship with an account of the completion of the goods, was brought into the dining room, in a corner of which his lordship spoke with him. The upholsterer stated to his noble employer, that every thing was furnished and packed, and would go in the waggon from an inn at six o'clock. “And you go to the inn, Mr. A., and see them off.” “Ishall, my lord, I shall be there punctually at six.” “ A quarter before six, Mr. A.," returned Lord Nelson, “ be there a quarter before six; to that quarter of an hour I owe every thing in life.”
The great French chancellor d'Aguesseau, em. ployed all his time. Observing that Madame. d'Aguesseau always delayed ten or twelve minutes before she came down to dinner, he composed a work entirely in this time, in order not to lose an instant; the result was, at the end of fifteen years, a book in three large volumes quarto, which went through several editions.
Dr. Doddridge, in his Family Expositor, has this note :-" I will here record an observation, which I have found of great use, and to which I may say that the production of this work, and most of iny other writings, is owing that the difference of
rișing at five and at seven in the morning, for the space of forty years (supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour,) is equivalent to the addition of ten years in a man's life.”
Dionysius, the Sicilian, employed his time so well, that, being asked by one who wanted to speak with him, if he were at leisure, answered, “Heaven forbid that I should have any leisure time.”
There is a dial in the Temple with an inscription that quaintly tells the reader not to waste his time : The words arem" Begone about your business.”
With these anecdotes we shall close our “Few words on Time.” If we have only awakened reflection in the minds of some of our readers, we have not laboured in vain, for when the mind is brought to reflect, it must improve; and, as Jeremy Taylor says, “ In every action reflect upon the end; and in your undertaking it, consider why you do it.”.
This word is derived from the Latin Januarius a name given to the month by the Romans, from Janus, one of their divinities, to whom they attributed two faces; because on the one side, the first of January looked towards the new year, and on the other towards the old one. The word Januarius may also be derived from Janua gate, in regard to the month being the first, which is, as it were, the gate of the year. It was introduced into the year by Numa Pompilius, -Romulus's year beginning in the month of March. The Christians heretofore fasted on the first day of January, by way of opposition to the superstition of the heathens, who, in honor of Janus, observed the day with feastings, dancings, masquerades, &c. Some are of opinion that Janus represented the sun, and say that he is double-faced, because he opens the day when he rises, and shuts it when he sets. He is supposed to have been the first who invented crowns, ships, and barges, and who coined money of brass. He is represented with a staff of white thorn in one hand, and a key in the other; and is the most ancient of the gods.
1.-CIRCUMCISION.NEW YEAR'S DAY. This day commemorates the circumcision of our Saviour on the eighth day after his nativity. It is a ceremony in the Jewish religion first annexed by God as a seal to the covenant which he made to Abraham and his posterity, in the year of the world 2107.
STANZAS ON THE NEW YEAR. I stood between the meeting years
The coming and the past, And I ask'd of the future one,
“ Wilt thou be like the last ?”
In many an anxious day?
. To look upon thy way!
Upon the last year's close.
In its dark breast repose !
And ghosts of pleasures fled:
Cold, colourless, and dead.
And sicken o'er the void ;
On worse than nought employ'd. Oh vanity! alas, my heart!
How widely hast thou stray'd,
For better purpose made!
As nothing to me now;
As does an altered brow?
That sever'd friendship's chain;
Lest they unite again.
To think upon the dead,
Lay down their weary head.
Are with their happier lot:
At least we broke it not.
Thus thinking of the meeting years,
The coming and the past,
“ Wilt thou be like the last ?"
That to my thought replied,-
That waits a mortal bride:
This waste of worldly care,
L. E. L. On this day presents are very commonly sent to friends and acquaintances, the custom of which was probably adopted from the Saturnalia, which were feasts instituted in honor of Saturn, and kept at Rome on December 17th, or the sixteen calends of January. They continued about a week, during which there were frequent and luxurious feastings amongst friends, and presents were sent mutually. But as the heathens imagined the sending presents at this season was unlucky, and an omen of the success of the following year; and as some Christians appear to have entertained the same notion, several holy men, and some general councils, forbade any such custom, because the observance of it out of any such design or view, was superstititious and sinful. The practice itself, however, is innocent, if not praiseworthy. For as Brand, in his Popular Antiquities, says :-" If I send a new year's gift to my friend, it shall be a token of my friendship; if to my benefactor, a token of my gratitude; if to the poor, which at this season must never be forgotten,
it shall be to make their hearts sing for joy, and give ---praise and adoration to the Giver of all good gifts.”
Dr. Drake says:" New year's gifts were given and received, with the mutual expression of good wishes, and particularly that of a happy new year. The compliment was sometimes paid at each other's