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judice against read prayers there is the the Prayer-Book (idiotically enforced vulgar idea, incapable of being accepted against the will of the people) was first for a moment by educated folk, that the read. It is a fell creepie,' said the clergyman is somehow inspired to con- speaker, and could aing down a Dean duct public prayer without preparation. yet.' That is to say, the speaker (of Just as much and just as little as he is whom one had hoped better things), ininspired to preach without preparation. stead of arguing against a view which The help to be looked for comes to the had been introduced with fair arguments man who has first done his own very civilly expressed, at once appealed to best. Here, as elsewhere, Heaven helps vulgar prejudice. It is admitted by all those who try to help themselves. There men of sense, that the folly and infatuais a still vulgarer idea at the root of the tion of those who sought forcibly to imprejudice in question. One would not pose the Book of Common Prayer upon have believed that its existence was pos- a nation that did not want it (and spesible unless assured by actual knowledge cially such a nation) were beyond all of the fact. There are those in some words. Every man has a right to worcongregations who think they are not ship God according to the order he likes getting
enough of work out of the clergy- best : and admirable as the Anglican man if he reads his prayers : who think Prayer-Book is, such as tried to compel that he is relieving himself a little, and Scotchmen to use it by the thumb-screw that his nose is not being kept sufficient- and the boot were fools, and worse than ly tight to the grindstone. I have heard fools. It is a surprise to many English this specially vulgar notion expressed in folk, to be told that when Protestant so mary words. 'I like to see a man Episcopacy was for a few years estabbreak out in a perspiration when he is lished in Scotland at the point of the prayin',' were the words of a horrid ani- bayonet, no Liturgy was used in churches. mal, known to the writer in his boyhood. The parish-church of St. Andrews was, . 'That minister wad thole mair steerage pro-cathedral of the Primacy (the catheof the boaddy,' was said of a powerful dral being in ruins): but when an Archbut quiet preacher, by one who desired bishop ruled there (ecclesiae parochialis greater gymnastic exertion. 'Our min- civitatis Sti. Andreae Archi-Episcopus, as ister's a grand preacher,' said a rustic: some of the existing Communion-Plate 'he whiles comes oot wi' a roar just has it) the worship was exactly what it like a bull.' And the notion that the task is to-day. Possibly the existing order is is in any way lightened, that the clergy- more careful and reverent than that of two man's work is helped in any way, is spe- hundred years since. And not against cially disagreeable to hearers of that cali- Episcopal government, but against the bre. A vulgarer notion, or one to be intrusion of the Service-Book, more vigorously stamped down, cannot the memorable riot at St. Giles's in by possibility be imagined.
Edinburgh directed. But while Jenny I have remarked that of recent days, Geddes had an undoubted right to dewhile various enlightened Scotchmen clare, in the manner most congenial to have argued for read prayers, those op- her nature, that she did not want the posed to read prayers have not argued but Volume which commends itself warmly bullied. Probably from their stand-point to so many Scotch folk now, it is interthey were right. At a recent meeting in esting to remark what was the value of Edinburgh of a singular institution called the worthy woman's reasons against it. the Pan-Presbyterian Council, a respecta- At the reading of a certain Collect, she ble man from America had the hardi. arose in wrath, and hurled her creepie, hood to get up and state some reasons in declaring that she was not going to have favor of a liturgy. He was not met 'the mass said at her lug,' that is, in her with argument, but with vulgar threats. hearing. Here is the prayer, which Jen* We'll have no liturgy,' said an individ- ny esteemed as implying the Mass. I ual who replied to him: and then the wonder if even a Pan-Presbyterian could individual went on to speak in praise of say anything against it. the woman Jenny Geddes, who cast her Lord of all power and might, Who art stool at the head of the Dean in the Ca- the author and giver of all good things : thedral at Edinburgh on the day when Graft in our hearts the love of Thy
Name, increase in us true religion, nour- ing himself. Plainly his statements in ish us with all goodness, and of Thy great relation to anybody are to be taken unmercy keep us in the same : through Jesus der all reservation. In the same work Christ our Lord. Amen.
he gives a Confession of his Faith, each Jenny, you see, was plainly a hopeless article in which is enforced in a manner blockhead. Any one who sees The Mass even more violent than the Decrees of in that beautiful prayer must needs be a Trent. That famous Council is content vulgar blockhead. Quite lately you to wish that something bad may happen might have heard it read in a Scotch to those who gainsay its creed. Anathema church, and by a Dean too: but no stool sit, is all it says. Mr. Blackie ventures was thrown, no voice.was lifted up against on the declaration that such as differ from the Mass. Things are changed, very him are in that extremity already. much for the better. The century was
And who denies this creed the Nineteenth, the year being indeed
Is damned indeed. 1877. The Dean was the Dean of Westminster. The church was the historic This statement is wholly without foundchurch of St. Andrews, already men- ation. Probably it is about as true as the tioned. And the congregation was the genial Professor's assertion with regard intelligent one which now happily wor- to the stout-hearted but thick-headed ships there.
Jenny Geddes. Professor Blackie of Edinburgh, live- I am not sure that the subject is one liest and most amiable of men, has a which it is profitable to prosecute farther. song in praise of the redoubtable Jenny. For, though profusion of material sugOne verse is as follows:
gests itself, in the form of opinions which
one has heard expressed by various huSome praise the fair Queen Mary, and some man beings, the opinions are in all cases
the good Queen Bess, And some the wise Aspasia, beloved by There is no special good in meditating
much better forgotten than recalled. Pericles : But o'er all the world's brave women, there's upon exhibitions of human vulgarity and one that bears the rule,
stupidity which cannot be meditated upon The valiant Jenny Geddes, that Aung the without some irritation of soul. Such
three-legged stool. With a row.dow—at them now !-- Jenny fling opinions as that a Bishop cannot be other the stool!
than a conceited and arrogant person :
that no parish clergyman will do his It may be hoped, however, that Mr. duty if he have so much as a thousand a Blackie is mistaken in the view he ex- year : that the competition of a dissentpresses. Probably Miss Nightingale, ing place of worship is a capital thing to Grace Darling, Joan of Arc, and one or make the Rector work hard : that men two others, have done finer things than of high rank are for the most part idle to begin a riot in a church by throwing blackguards : that most ladies of posia stool at an old man's head. And as tion are very little better than they ought the poem occurs in a volume in which to be: that money expended in providMr. Blackie has made several statements, ing places of learned leisure is money plainly mistaken, this statement may be wasted : that learning is of no value wrong too. Let another verse be quoted whatever : that Cathedral churches ought from the poetic Professor:
not any longer to be used for worship,
but ought to be regarded as architectural I am no gentleman, not I !
exhibitions, and even sold to the highest No, no, no ! Our stout John Knox'was none—and why
bidder : that organs and choirs are PopShould I be so ?
pish : that a Cross placed upon a ChrisI am no gentleman, not I !
tian grave is Ritualistic : stamp their No, no, no!
holders. But the only counsel one can And thank the blessed God on high,
offer to such as find the statement of Who made me so !
such views insufferably provocative, is, Here Mr. Blackie is wrong. He is a that they should keep out of the way of gentleman, as all who know him can tes- their fellow-creatures who hold and state tify: and his assertion as to John Knox such views. Love them, by all means : is as erroneous as his assertion concern- but give them a wide berth. 'I don't hate frogs,' said Dr. Johnson ; 'but I which had conveyed four mortals to a little prefer not to have them hopping about railway station which need not be specime.'
fied. A SHILLING FOR THE Lot,' was Let it be said in conclusion, that there the prompt reply, with a sharp glance at may be the most slighting mention, im- the persons indicated. The Lot consistplying the most depreciatory estimate, of ed of Canon Liddon, the Earl of Stratha fellow-mortal, while yet no malice is more, Mr. Malcolm MacColl, and one implied in the speaker, and no possible anonymous obscurity. The three emioffence could be taken by those depreci- nent members of The Lot were quite ated. "What is your fare?' was asked, delighted. -Fraser's Magazine. a little ago, of the driver of an omnibus
THE POETRY OF SEPTEMBER.
We suppose that every month in the their native country at all during that year has its own peculiar physiognomy, particular month. The crowd of tourby which the true lover of nature would ists which flies across the Channel, bound at once recognize it were he dropped for Alps, or Pyrenees, or Carpathians, or from the clouds in a balloon after a pro- what not, the moment they are free from longed absence in some other planet. the claims of business, or politics, or fashMonths melt into one another impercep- ion, rarely return till September has tibly, of course; but such a one would passed gently away. Of those others know that the middle of July was not who spend September in the country the middle of June, or the middle of Au- many, perhaps, are too much absorbed gust the middle of July. And this not in field-sports to notice the beauty which by the weather, or the temperature, or encircles them; and many more, perby any agricultural operation which haps, if they did notice it, would never might betray the truth, but by the pecu- get beyond observing that it was a very liar expression which Nature wears at fine day. We hope, however, still to find different seasons of the year. In July a few readers who have been touched by she is still young, still soft and fresh, the same feelings as ourselves under the with cooling showers and fickle skies, influence of this particular month, and and clouds and sunshine rapidly chasing with their sympathy, if there be such, we each other away. And for the full and shall be satisfied. The actual physical perfect beauty of ordinary English scene- beauty of a September day, though not ry there is no period of the year to com- so luxuriant, it may be, as July or Aupare with the six weeks which separate gust, stirs us, perhaps, with a deeper emothe end of June from the middle of Au- tion. The corn should not be all cargust. In August comes a slight change, ried, for the wheat, standing in shocks we know not what, something to be felt upon the hillside has a very pretty effect rather than described. Perhaps it is in the distance. There should be meadthat the face of Nature begins then to ows within view, in which the rich green wear rather a more set look, to show the aftermath, still ankle deep, has not yet first signs of middle age, and that lines been fed off. There should be the fine of thought become visible in her still stately hedgerow timber of the midland lovely countenance. But with the ensu- counties, or the hanging copses and long ing month the change is very apparent, woods of the west and south. There and it is on the manner in which the ex- should be the cool dark green of the pression of nature during an English turnips, contrasting with the pale yellow September affects both the heart and the stubble, looking sheeny and silky in the imagination that it is proposed to dwell sun. There should be a farmhouse or in this article.
two, and a village spire in the hazy disA September landscape is familiar to tance; and the foliage may be flecked the majority of Englishmen; but still here and there with two or three rust there is a numerous class of men, com- spots as a foil to the surrounding verdprising many among us who are the best ure. Here is an ordinary view enough. qualified to appreciate it, who rarely see But lie lazily on your back where the eye
can take in all these varied contrasts, and For it is not the mere beauty of feayou will allow that the same scene at an ture which characterizes September, great earlier period of the year would have as that is, on which we are about to wanted many of the charms which it ex- dwell; in this it is surpassed by other hibits now. If by the poetry of Septem- months. It is the expression which is ber we meant principally its suitability worn by this one-all that it suggests, all for descriptive poetry we might enlarge the spell which it seems to lay upon us on these charms in some detail. As it - which we hope to be able to describe, is, I shall merely observe on the singular- so that some few readers, as we have ity of the fact that descriptive poets should said, may recognize the likeness. We have turned to so little account the pecu- are presupposing, of course, that we have liar beauties of this season of the year. a seasonable September, the miid, warm, It is not so with painters. September sunny month which it is four years out has sat for her portrait to many eminent of five, and neither parched by drought hands, and we would call particular at- nor yet drenched with constant rain : tention to a picture in last year's (1876) September, in fact, in her normal and Academy, by Mr. Vicat Cole, called natural condition. Then let the sky be "The Day's Decline,” which is evident- perfectly blue, the air perfectly hushed, ly intended for September, and which, and the whole landscape bathed in a though it does not give the variety which flood of pensive sunshine, and “on such I have just described, brings out many a day" the mind becomes conscious of a of the special characteristics of the mixture of melancholy and sweetness month with marvellous fidelity. But which is wholly peculiar to this season. Thomson is our classic on such subjects; The sweetness of September is, indeed, and, though he could not fail to catch one of its most prominent attributes. the dominant characteristic of the month, No month in the year seems literally to he hardly seems to have drunk in the smile upon one like September. It is so full beauty of it. The following lines, gentle, so soft, so mellow. however, show that he was not without It seems to look at one out of mild appreciation :
hazel eyes with an almost human love
A serener blue, and tenderness, and an equable serenity With golden light enlivened, wide invests
which gives assurance of unchanged The happy world. Attempered suns arise, Sweet beamed, and shedding oft through lucid affection. And this it is which leads us clouds
by degrees to become conscious of the A pleasing calm ; while broad and brown melancholy of September. The contrast below
between the sense of repose, tranquillity, Extensive harvests hang the heavy head.
and permanence which is inspired by Rich, silent, deep they stand; for not a gale Rolls its light billows o'er the bending plain
her aspect, and the sense of the apA calm of plenty.
proaching termination of all summer This is truly fine. The epithets applied weather which we feel at the same time,
. to the ripe cornfields, "rich, silent, naturally gives rise to this sentiment deep,” are most felicitous. But the pri- We feel in gazing on September what we mary idea of Autumn with Thomson was
might feel in looking upon a beautiful and what its name denotes, that of a season
sweet-tempered woman, in perfect health of abundance and rejoicing.
and strength, whom we knew had but a
short time to live. It is, however, diffi Crowned with the sickle and the wheaten
cult to separate the elements which consheaf, While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow
stitute the sweetness from those which plain,
constitute the melancholy of this beautiComes jovial on, the Doric reed once more ful season. The profound brooding Well pleased I tune.
stillness of a September day, when you And we do not remember at the present may even hear the beetles dropping from moment either in Wordsworth, Tenny- the bean shocks in the adjoining field, , son, or Keats, the meed of even one must have struck many of our readers, melodious verse to the sweetest “ daugh- and one can barely say whether it contribter of the year," which dwells on her utes more to the sadness or the joy with pathetic beauty.
which we are inspired at such moments. New Series, Vol. XXVI., No. 5
Hark how the sacred calm which breathes not really be passing away, or that its life
around Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease,
will be prolonged like Hezekiah's. It In still small accents whispering from the
seems so difficult to suppose that the ground,
warm, genial, yet calm withal and tranA grateful earnest of eternal peace. quil weather, so redolent of life, health,
How frequently have we experienced and permanence, is so soon to leave us. the exact sensations here described by But then come up the words of George Gray, on a soft hazy September after. Herbert, “ But thou must die,”—and with noon, when, if the harvest is completed, thee all the lasting beauty of our briet there is often not a sound to be heard, English summer. October has its fine while the soft warm glow of all around days, but the days are short and the prevents the silence from being gloomy. nights are cold. It is as much an inThat is a time at which to lie on the door month as an outdoor month. With grass and “dream and dream ;" when, September come to an end all the molles without the help of any stimulant, you sub arbore somni in the happy afternoons, may kiss the lips you once have kissed, the moonlight stroll in the shrubbery, or and recall your college friendship from the lounge by the garden gate, with perthe grave : gliding by degrees into a haps some fair companion whom the kind of dreamy feeling, which you care softness of the scene makes doubly soft not to analyse too closely, that this in- herself. After September these become effable peace of nature, which passes all pleasures of the past; and thcugh of description, may be a type, perhaps, of course they are as appropriate to any that peace of God which passes all un- other summer month as they are to Sepderstanding
tember, yet September is the month in It is curious that September should be which people in the country see more of the one month in which we feel the each other than they do in June and strongest assurance of settled calm; have July, and when, consequently, there are more reason to believe that to-morrow more opportunities for the poetry of will be like to-day than at any other sea- moonlight flirtation. son of the year; and yet that it should And this leads us away to some lighter be the last month of summer with which considerations than those which we have all the really green, warm, pleasant days hitherto indulged in. Hitherto we have practically depart
. The poetry of decay been trying to depict, however feebly, is brought before us in October and No- what may be called the moral beauty of vember, but not in the month we are this season of the year. We have dwelt speaking of. In three seasons out of on the particular emotions which the asfour September is green to the last, or pect of nature at such a time awakens in sufficiently so to prevent one from not- us; on the contrast between the sensaing much change. And it is this con- tions of sweetness and of sadness, of retrast, no doubt, a contrast we have al- pose and of transitoriness, of maturity ready spoken of, which constitutes one and of decay, which it suggests to us. of its chief charms: the deep stillness But there is an artificial and social poetry before the equinoctial tempest. But the also about the month of September at same contrast may be regarded from an: which we have just glanced in the last other point of view. If there is one idea paragraph, and of which a little more more than another which the aspect of has still to be said. September, in fact, September awakes in us, it is one of mel- has, owing to a gradual change of habits, lowness and maturity. It seems to appropriated to itself many of the assospeak of the strength and fulness of ripe ciations which formerly belonged to and sunny middle age, the warmth of May, and which are still assigned to her youth without its fever, the sobriety of in the conventional language of poetry. age without its frost. The ideas of plen- But in the last quarter of the nineteenth ty and abundance, moreover, with which century September is the lover's month. we associate this month come in to cor- We are now, of course, speaking only of roborate the impression which its out- rural love-making. One month is the ward aspect is calculated to produce; same as another in the life of cities, but and a momentary fancy will sometimes in country life, and especially in the life fit across the mind that September can- of country houses, September bears away