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iv. BY CELIA THAXTER.
But fall’n like trees from our place
Hid, imbedded, enmossed -
Our dead leaves are raked up for mould; Leaning seaward, lovely to behold,
And some that were sun-ripe and gold, Clinging to the high cliff's ragged edge;
Blown out of the world into space,
Are not lost. Burning in the pure September sky,
BUNYAN AT BEDFORD.
BUNYAN the Pilgrim, dreamer, preacher, Looking out o'er headland, crag, and cape,
Sinner and soldier, tinker and teacher, O'er the ocean's vague immensity.
For heresy scoffed, scourged, put in prison
The day of Tolerance yet un-risen — Up to you my human thought I bring,
Who heard from the dark of his dungeon lair Sit me down your peaceful watch to share.
The roar and turmoil of Vanity Fair, Do you hear the waves below us sing?
And shadowed Man's pilgrimage forth with Feel you the soft fanning of the air?
Has now his revenge : he looks down at you How much of life's rapture is your right? In a ducally-commissioned Statue
In earth’s joy what may your portion be? A right good artist gave life and go to it, Rocked by breezes, touched by tender light, But his name 's Boehm, and Rhyme says “no” Fed by dews, and sung to by the sea !
And the dean of Westminster, frank and Something of delight and of content
fluent, Must be yours, however vaguely known;
Spoke Broad-Church truths of the Baptist And your grace is mutely eloquent,
truant. And your beauty makes the rock a throne.
Punch likes the duke and he likes the dean, Matters not to you, O golden flower !
And the summer air in the summer green, That such eyes of worship watch you sway;
When the Anabaptist poet and clown But you make more sweet the dreamful hour,
Was set up as the glory of Bedford town;
But ducal and decanal folk should learn And you crown for me the tranquil day.
That to deal with the Past is of small con-
Through the Sloughs of Despond that are
round us to-day,
Our guide for straggling souls to wait,
And lift the latch of the wicket gate.
| Each sect to the other doth freedom grudge, And seems lost.
Archbishop asks ruling of a judge.
| To tell us where pointeth minster spire, We fret, the mind labors, heart bleeds; | To show, though critics may sneer and scoff, We believe and we fear,
| The path to “The Land that is very far off ?” We believe and we hope, in a lie,
The People are weary of vestment vanities, Or a truth; or we doubt till we die,
Of litigation about inanities, Purblindly examining creeds
And fain would listen, O Preacher and Peer, With a sneer.
To a voice like that of this Tinker-Seer;
Who guided the Pilgrim up, beyond
The Valley of Death and the Slough of Des. To life we apply an inch rule
pond, And to its bestower ;
And Doubting Castle, and Giant Despair, Each to self an infallible priest,
To those Delectable Mountains fair, Each struts to the top of the feast,
And over the River, and in at the Gate And says to his brother, “Thou fool ! Where for weary Pilgrims the Angels wait ! Go down lower."
From The British Quarterly Review. Itiful demons to seduce men from alle-
Igiance to their human loves. The known ORNAMENTS of various kinds have
fact that fish greedily swallow any glitterbeen worn from all ages, both by civil
Jing object thrown into the water has been ized and uncivilized nations, but it would
taken advantage of by old story-tellers, probably be impossible to point to any
who never tire of relating how lost rings single ornament connected with which so
have been found at the proper nick of much interest attaches as to the finger
time in the stomach of a salmon or a ring. It is of great antiquity, and dur
mackerel. ing centuries of years has been associ
In old times the motto of to-day that ated with the most important concerns of
of “nothing is so successful as success" life, both in matters of ceremony and was by no means universally held, and. affairs of the heart. It has been used as
Polycrates the Samian was so uniformly a means of recognition, as a credential,
fortunate that he himself began to fear and as a form of introduction which in-1
that the gods did not love him. The wise sured hospitality to the bearer of it.
it Egyptian king Amasis persuaded him to Royal edicts were promulgated through
propitiate Nemesis by making away with
one of his most valued possessions, so its medium, and power was transferred
" he took the advice, and putting out to by its means. When Pharaoh committed the govern
sea, threw into the gaping wave his beaument of Egypt to Joseph he took his ring
tiful emerald signet ring, engraved by from his finger, and gave it to the young |
| Theodorus, the son of Telecles, a native
of Samos. Israelite as a token of the authority he
A fish of remarkable size bestowed upon him. So also when Ahas
snapped up the ring as it sank, and soon uerus agreed to Haman's cruel scheme of
afterwards this fish being served up at killing the Jews in all the king's prov
the king's table restored to him his ring. inces, he took the ring off his hand and
Amasis hearing of this last proof of Polygave it to Haman as his warrant, and
crates' inevitable good luck solemnly reafterwards, when he commanded Morde
nounced his alliance. At last, however, cai to write letters annulling the former
fortune turned, and being taken prisoner decree, he ordered them to be sealed with
by the Persians, Polycrates suffered death his ring.
by impaling. In the life of Kentigern, A ring formerly marked the rank and
related in the Acta Sanctorum, there is a authority of a man, and the king's ringle
legend of a recovered ring. A queen who
had formed an improper attachment was as important a part of the insignia of
to a handsome soldier, gave him a ring royalty as his sceptre or his crown. The form of the ring is emblematic of
of which had previously been given her by eternity and its materials of pricelessness.
her lord. The king finding the soldier Lovers are united by a ring, and departed as
jasleep with this ring on his hand, snatched friends are often kept in remembrance by
it off and threw it into the river. He the same token of affection. All these
afterwards went to his wife to demand qualities sufficiently explain the reason
it, and she sent secretly to the soldier, why in old tales and legends the power of
who of course could not return it. She the ring is a fruitful source of interest.
now sends in great terror to ask the asThe celebrated Sanscrit drama which
sistance of the holy Kentigern, who knew Kalidasa wrote upon the beautiful Sakun
the whole affair before, but to help the tala turns upon Dushyanta's recognition
queen he goes to the river Clyde, and of his wife by means of a ring which he
of a ring which he having caught a salmon, takes from its had given her: and golden rings have stomach the missing ring, which he sends frequently been used by fairies and beau- !
to her. She joyfully takes it to the king, who, thinking he had wronged her, swears
he will be revenged upon her accusers, • Rambles of an Archæologist among old Books and in old Places. By Frederick William Fair- but she beseeches him to pardon them. KOLT, F.S.A. London. Virtue and Co. 1871. As absolution for her sin, she consesses
it to Kentigern, and vows to be more monly used. Ambassadors wore gold careful of her conduct in future.
rings as a part of their official dress, and Finger rings are mentioned in the first afterwards the privilege was extended to book of the Bible, and they appear to senators, chief magistrates, and the equeshave been much worn by the Jews in all trian order, who were said to enjoy the ages. The ladies of Palestine adorned jus annuli aurei. The emperors assumed their hands with glittering rings, and the right of granting this distinction, chiefly valued those which were set with which was coveted as a sort of patent rubies, emeralds, and chrysolites.
of nobility. In time, however, its value Signet rings of gold, silver, and bronze declined, and the Emperor Aurelian gave were much worn by the ancient Egyp- the right to all the soldiers of the Emtians, and these were frequently engraved pire ; and in the reign of Justinian it had with representations of the sacred beetle become so common that all citizens were or scarabæus. This insect was venerated entitled to it. in Egypt when alive, and was embalmed The introduction of sculptured animals after death. It was worshipped both as upon the signets of the Romans is said the emblem of the sun and as the symbol to have been derived from the sacred of the world. The rings of the lower symbols of the Egyptians. Afterwards, classes were usually made of ivory and when the practice of deifying princes and blue porcelain.
venerating heroes became general, porSir Gardner Wilkinson describes a ringi traits of men took the place of the more in the possession of a Frenchman at ancient types; thus the figure of HarCairo which was one of the largest he pocrates was a fashionable device at had ever seen. It contained twenty Rome in the time of Pliny. Roman rings pounds' worth of gold, and amongst other were massive and of immoderate size, devices engraved upon it was the name and were consequently found by the ef. of a king, the successor of Amunoph III., feminate to be too hot for summer wear, who lived about 1400 B.C., and was known so that different kinds were introduced to the Greeks as Memnon.
| for the various seasons, There is no reference to rings in Homer, and they do not appear to have been
Charged with light summer rings his fingers
sweat, introduced into Greece till a later age un
a later age Unable to support a gem of weight. than his. The fashion, however, once
Dryden's “ Juvenal." set, spread fast, and in the time of Solon every freeman throughout Greece wore in times of sorrow the Roman changed one signet ring either of gold, silver, or his gold for iron rings ; and when he died bronze. That statesman, to prevent coun- his rings were often burnt with his corpse. terfeits, made a law that no seal engraver Rings were placed upon the statues was to keep in his possession the impres- of the deities and heroes, and were put sion of any seal ring that he had cut for on or taken off according to the festival a customer. At a later period the Greeks that was celebrated. Roman rings were used rings set with precious stones, and often of great value, thus that of the Emwore two or three at the same time. press Faustina is said to have cost the
They were therefore considered as orna- immense sum of £40,000, and that of ments, and their use extended to women, Domitia the still larger amount of who wore them of ivory and amber. £60,000. Demosthenes wore many rings, and he The early Christians did not imitate was stigmatized as unbecomingly vain the often indelicate symbols of the Rofor doing so in the troubled times of the mans, but took devices connected with state. The Spartans took a pride in their faith for their rings, such as the wearing plain iron rings.
dore, the anchor, fish, palm branch, &c. The ancient Romans wore iron rings, Ring making was an important branch of and purists continued to wear them long the goldsmith's art in the Middle Ages, after more precious metals were com- and a body of artists were called by the French aneliers. Rich enamel in curious official rings upon the right hand. This, devices usurped for a time the place of however, was opposed to the practice of the gems, and the workmanship was often of Egyptians, who considered the fourth finthe highest character, Benvenuto Cellini ger of the left hand as the ring finger. being the chief artist in bringing the art Still they did not confine themselves to to its greatest perfection.
that finger, for there is a figure of a woIn our own country rings have been man on a mummy case in the British Muworn by all the races that have succes-seum in which the fingers and thumbs of sively inhabited it.
both hands are covered with rings. Lo! here is a red gold ring,
| Among the Romans plain rings were With a rich stone ;
worn originally on either hand at option, The lady looked on that ring, but when gems and precious stones were It was a gift for a king.
added they were worn by preference on “Sir Degrevant.” (Thornton Romances.) the left, and it was considered exceedingly The old Celtic rings were usually of lettem
usually of effeminate to wear them on the right gold wire. Aildergoidgh, son of Muin- / hand. At first only one ring was worn, heamhoin, monarch of Ireland, who then one on each finger, and, lastly, one reigned 3070 A.M., is said to have been on each joint. Charinus, according to the first prince who introduced the wear
| Martial, wore sixty rings daily, or six on ing of gold rings in Ireland, which he each finger, and did not take them off at bestowed upon persons of merit who night, but slept in them. This was an excelled in knowledge of the arts and extreme case; but rings were often worn sciences.
on every finger and also on the thumbs. Fynes Moryson tells us in his “ Itin-|In Germany rings were frequently worn erary " " that the English in great ex
| upon the joints, as was the Roman cuscesse affect the wearing of jewels and tom. The wife of Sir Humphrey Staf. diamond rings, scorning to weare plaine
ford (1450) is sculptured in Bromsgrove gold rings or chaines of gold.”
Church, Worcestershire, with a ring on In one of Bishop Hall's Satires we every finger but the last one of the right read :
hand. Massive thumb rings were sup
posed to tell of wealth and importance, Nor can good Mvson wear on his left hand
and Falstaff declared that when young A signet ring of Bristol diamond;
lhe could have crept into an alderman's But he must cut his glove to show his pride,
thumb ring. That his tiim jewel might be better spy'd.
✓ The annular finger is now always the Modern rings owe all their beauty to fourth finger, counting the thumb as the their stones, for goldsmithery is no longer first, and it is necessary to bear this in an art, and little attempt is made to ob- mind, for sometimes the mistake is made tain elegance of workmanship in the gold- of counting from the forefinger. work. In the seventeenth century sharp-! Rings have played an important part in ly-pointed pyramidal diamond rings were the history of the world. They have much used for writing names and verses been used by the king to unite him to on glass, and few of the wits and fops of his kingdom, by the bishop to his see, the day were without one.
land the abbot to his monastery. Special Among the Jews the middle or little interest attaches to the ring with which finger of the right hand was that upon the Doge of Venice married the Adriatic which the ring was worn, and the signet on Ascension Day, when he addressed it was always upon the right hand, as ap- in these words : — “We espouse thee, O pears by the passage in Jeremiah, — “ As Sea ! as a token of our perpetual dominI live, saith the Lord, though Coniah, the lion over thee”-a vaunt that has long son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were been proved to be groundless. the signet upon my right hand, yet would We will now, before proceeding furI pluck thee thence.” Bishops, probably ther, stop to make note of a few historical following Biblical precedent, wore their rings. One of the most interesting that has .come down to our time is the signet (afterwards William III.) gave to the Prinring of Mary Queen of Scots, now in safe cess Mary. It is made of gold, set with keeping among the treasures of the Brit- diamonds, and enamelled black. Outside ish Museum. Sir Henry Ellis was of is engraved “ Honi soit qui mal y pense," opinion that this was Mary's nuptial ring and inside is the posy, “ l'le win and when she was married to Darnley, and wear you if I can." It is doubtful wheththat it affords the earliest instance of her er this ring was presented before marbearing the royal arms of Scotland alone riage or after ; if the latter the motto after having discarded the arms of may be understood as referring to WilFrance. When Dauphiness, she and her liam's design of contesting the crown of husband bad quartered the arms of Eng. England with his wife's father. land, which gave great offence to Queen The signet ring of Cæsar Borgia was Elizabeth. Within the ring is a mono- exhibited a few years ago at a meeting of gram formed of the letters M and A, the British Archæological Association, by which is of great historical interest, be- the Rev. C. H. Hartshorne. It is of gold, cause Sir Henry Ellis has pointed out slightly enamelled, with the date 1503, that in a letter from Mary to Elizabeth, and round the inside is the motto “ Fays written just before her marriage, she used cegue doys avien que pourra." A box the same monogram, probably as a puzzle dropped into the front, having on it Borfor the Queen of England and her Coun-gia, in letters reversed, round which are cillor Burghley. The clue was, however, the words “ Cor unum una via.” At the given to them when Darnley was created back is a slide, within which it is related Duke of Albany. “Another interesting he carried the poison he was in the habit ring is the one which Queen Elizabeth is of dropping into the wine of his unsussupposed to have sent to the Earl of Es- pecting guests. Hannibal carried poison sex, but which was never delivered to about with him in a ring, and when all him. It is of gold, with the head of the his hopes were gone he swallowed the - queen cit on hard onyx, and it is now in poison, and died. Pope Alexander VI. the possession of the Rev. Lord John (Borgia) possessed a key-ring such as was Thynne, who is descended from Lady used by the Romans, which contained Frances Devereux, Essex's daughter. poison. When he wished to get rid of an Aubrey relates that Queen Elizabeth had objectionable friend he gave him his ring a double ring, made with two diamonds, to unlock a casket, and as the lock was a which formed a heart when joined. She little hard to open the pin concealed kept one-half, and sent the other to Mary within gave the fatal prick. Rings of the Queen of Scots, as a token of her con- same kind of vorkmanship, but not with stant friendship; but, as Aubrey adds, so deadly a design, have been common, “she cut off her head for all that.” Mary and keys intended to open invaluable commissioned Beatoun to take back her caskets were often attached to rings. In ring to Elizabeth, when she determined referring to these singularities, we ought to seek an asylum in England. Before not to omit the mention of a ring made dismissing the maiden queen we may with a watch in the boss, which could be mention that her coronation ring was filed so wound up that it would make a small off her finger a little before her death, on pin prick the person who wore it at any account of the flesh having grown over it. I hour of the night he pleased.
In 1765 a very beautiful and perfect Ladies have always been ready to give gold ring was found by a workman among up their valuables in times of national the ruins of the North Gate House, on distress, but they have perhaps never Bedford Bridge, when that building was been so nobly rewarded for their devopulled down. In this prison the world- tion as during the great war of Liberation famed dreamer, John Bunyan, was con- in Germany. The ladies sent their jew. fined, and there is little doubt that this els and ornaments to the treasury for the was his ring. It bears his initials, 7. B., public service, and they each received in and is engraved with a death's head, and return an iron ring, with the emphatic the words “ memento mori." The ring eulogy, “Ich gab Gold um Eisen" (i gave was sold to Dr. Abbot, chaplain to the gold for iron). Duke of Bedford, and presented by him, We must now turn to the consideration in his last illness, to the Rev. G. H. Bower, of some official rings. Episcopal rings perpetual curate of Elstow, where Bun- are of great antiquity, and the newly made yan was born.
bishop in the Roman Catholic Church is In the Londesborough Collection is the invested with a ring by which he is maridentical ring which the Prince of Orange Tried to the Church, as a part of his con