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"Bitter had it been to leave him,
But in all my heart's distress,
The great anguish which consumed me,
Seemed to swallow up the less.

"Let me go! my soul is wearied,
No fond heart of me has need,
Life has no more duties for me;—
I am but a broken reed!

"Let me go, ere courage faileth,
Gazing, gazing thus on thee!—
But in life's last awful moment,
Alice! thou wilt stand by me!"

From her seat rose Alice Woodvil,
And in stedfast tones began,
Like a strong yet mourning angel,
To address the dying man.

"Not in death alone, my brother,
Would I aid thee in the strife,
I would fain be thy sustainer,
In the fiercer fight of life.

"With the help of God, thy spirit
Shall not sink an easy prey.
Oh, my friend, prayer is a weapon
Which can turn whole hosts away!

"God will aid thee! We will hold thee
By our love!—thou shalt not go!—
And from out thy wounded spirit,
We will pluck the thorns of woe.

"Say not life has no more duties
Which can claim thee! where are then,
All the sinners; the neglected;
All the weeping sons of men?

"Ah, my friend, hast thou forgotten
All our dreams of early days?
How we would instruct poor children,
How we would the fallen raise!

"God has not to me permitted,
Such great work of human love,
He has marked me out a lower
Path of duty where to move.

"But to thee, His chosen servant,
Is this higher lot allowed;
He has brought thee through deep waters,
Through the furnace, through the cloud;

"He has made of thee, a mourner
Like the Christ, that thou may'st rise,
To a purer height of glory,
Through the pangs of sacrifice!

"'Tis alone of his appointing,
That thy feet on thorns have trod;
Suffering, woe, renunciation,
Only bring us nearer God.

"And when nearest Him then largest
The enfranchised heart's embrace:—
It was Christ, the man rejected,
Who redeemed the human race.

"Say not then thou hast no duties;—
Friendless outcasts on thee call,
And the sick and the afflicted,
And the children, more than all.

"Oh, my friend, rise up and follow,
Where the hand of God shall lead;
He has brought thee through affliction,
But to fit thee for his need!"

Thus she spoke, and as from midnight,
Springs the opal-tinted morn,
So, within his dreary spirit,
A new day of life was born.

Strength sublime may rise from weakness,
Groans be turned to songs of praise,
Nor are life's divinest labours,
Only told by length of days.

Young he died: but deeds of mercy,
Beautified his life's short span,
And he left his worldly substance,
To complete what he began.


MODERN science is invading all the old
realms of whims and fancies, charms and
witchcrafts, prejudices and superstitions. No
kind of ignorance seems sacred from attack.
The wise men of our generation are evidently
bent beyond recall on finding out all things
that may by possibility be discoverable, no
matter what pains the search may impose.
Not content with making lightning run
messages, chemistry polish boots, and steam
deliver parcels and passengers, the savants are
superseding the astrologers of old days, and
the gipsies and wise women of modern ones,
by finding out and revealing the hitherto
hidden laws which rule that charming mystery
of mysteriesthat lode star of young maidens
and gay bachelorsmatrimony.

In our fourteenth number we gave a
description of the facts made out by the returns
of the Registrar-General on the subject of
life and death in London and the Country.
The office of that official has some other
duties, however, beyond that of chronicling
the business of mortality and birth in this
land of ours. There is a third great heading
in his tables, under which there are long lists
of serious looking figures, and they tell, not
in units, or in fews, like the back page of a
newspaper, but in tens of thousands, how
many marriages take place in England. And
besides the mere number of these interesting
events, these figures reveal what are found to
be the laws regulating their frequency and
other circumstances connected with them,
such as how many couples are joined by the
costly and unusual mode of special license;
how many by ordinary license; how many
(and they are the great majority) by the old
English fashion of " out-asking " by banns;
how many by the new systems introduced for
the union of various classes of dissenters, at
Registrars' offices, in registered places of
worship; how many between Quakers and
between Jews; and, beyond all these particulars,
how many young folks, hot of heart and full
of courage, take the awful plunge into matrimony
whilst " not of full age; " how many
men reject the advice of Sir Roger de Coverley,
and marry widows; and how many widows,
like the wife of Bath, love matrimony so well
that when once released from its bonds they
tie themselves up in them again. The history