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PETER JONES,

OR

ONWARD BOUND.

CHAP. I.

LIFE'S MORNING.

“Oh! many are the Poets that are sown
By Nature; men endowed with highest gifts,
The vision and the faculty divine,
Yet wanting the accomplishment of Verse,
(Which, in the docile season of their youth,
It was denied them to acquire, through lack
Of culture, and the inspiring aid of books,
Or haply by a temper too severe,
Or a nice backwardness, afraid of shame,)
Nor having e'er, as life advanced, been led
By circumstance to take unto the height
The measure of themselves—these favoured beings,
All but a scattered few, live out their time,
Husbanding that which they possess within,
And go to the grave, unthought of."

WORDSWORTH," Excursion.”

In one of those cities which are as the eyes of Britain, there lived a poor, ignorant, yet not altogether unhappy family, bearing the name of JONES. The city wherein they dwelt is a great city; and its merchants rank as honourable ones in the earth-their ships are to be found on every sea.

Products of all climes are brought to that city, to be worked up into

А

rare and curious fabrics, or to be consumed for bodily satisfaction and heart's-ease. Our poor family were not so poor but that they could afford to use a little tea and sugar, though from whence these came they knew pot unless it were from some place far abroad, where the Blacks inhabit. Intellect had begun its march in those days of which we now speak: but it had marched past the house of the Joneses. You might have made them stare, had you asked, Whether the laying down of the handsome pavement on which they daily trod, or the building of the Egyptian Pyramids were the greater performance ? And grievously would they have been puzzled with the question, whether, when they opened their shutters of a morning, it was the darkness that went out, or the light that came in. Yet they were human beings; had hearts swelling with all human emotions; they maintained communion with the “ region of invisibles;” and believed that they were destined to live for ever.

The father and mother of this family were as different in their temperaments and dispositions as day is from the night. But being married, they lived and agreed wondrous well. For though they had never studied the ethics of marriage, nor the philosophy of living, nor analysed the why and the wherefore of the reason of their agreement, it so happened that by a sort of instinct they apprehended the fact that opposite tempers might be made to coalesce, instead of coming into collision; and they saw with the“

of their understanding” much more plainly thạn if it had been laid down to them by a diagram, that the action of two opposing forces might drive the ball of existence, not in the direction of the one or of the other, but as it were in a medium between the two.

'eyes

As for the father, had you seen him, and conversed with him, you might have pronounced him a grim, austere, sour,

crabbed man, very ignorant and very obstinate; and in many respects so he was. Ill health had made him grim and austere-poverty and toil, ignorant and obstinate. The mother was a lively, merry creature-light, but not volatile; cheerful, but scarcely gay. The whole family—and it was a large one-dwelt within the darkness and the shadow of all the light of this land.

Nay, there was light within the obscure dwellingplace of the Joneses. Their house was in a narrow street, surrounded by dirt, misery, drunkenness, and brawls: but old Jones used to say that the “candle of the Lord” shone “within his tabernacle." He was ignorant

“His soul proud science never taught to stray

Far as the solar walk or Milky Way." But he had learned to read, and to prize his BIBLE ; it soothed the sorrows of his lot, and cheered him with the prospect of a brighter hereafter; and under its influence he acquired an unbending integrity of character-was scrupulous in his words, and rigid in his actions. Though an ignorant he was a good

man.

One of the children of this family was called PETER JONES, and he was an odd-looking little urchin. His mother loved him, for she thought he was the most sagacious of her offspring; and with those aspirations which even the most ignorant and wretched feel, she indulged the hope that her Peter might one day be a great man. Yet a passipg stranger, marking the squab little fellow sitting on the pavement, and damming up the puddle with his feet, might reasonably have paused before he gave

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