Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

380

JOHN RUSKIN AND HIS HOME. plucking. Unfortunately no real goose was there, only a ghostly dream goose, represented tangibly by the garment she had been making. When she woke all her work had been pulled to pieces. Shame and mortification to have wasted the precious hours thus, but at least the lost work should be recovered ; she was determined to fill it up again, but sleep was over-mastering; the dream of plucking the goose returned, she undid her work the second time. Mother Nature gets her behests obeyed, and therefore the fight against such odds had to be given up.*

BENJAMIN WYLES. (Continued in our next.)

Jobu Ruskin and his Home.

He is a genial man, slight in body, with kind blue eyes and sunny face. He is shy in manner, but his friends think he is the best talker that can be found in the four corners of the earth. He is devoted to his home, and is one of the hardest workers.

His house is at Brantwood, Coniston, in the north of England. It is on a hill that slopes down to a beautiful lake. Near by is a wood in which a clearance has been made, and seats placed on either side of a laughing, leaping stream. The views are among the most beautiful in England. His kitchen-garden is brightened by rows of roses, and the meadow is sown with yellow primroses and violets, and no cattle are allowed to crop the winsome things. A great orchard is pink with apple blossoms in the spring. The rowers on the lake are picturesque. Sometimes a red-coated soldier gleams by, sometimes a party of young girls. The Coniston people love “the gentleman that writes books" at Brantwood, and never forget the Christmas feasts, when the great professor speaks a few kind words to every child in the room.

The house itself is a two-story, rambling structure, nestled under the hills. It was "bought without seeing” ten years ago. principal rooms look out upon the lake. The walls of his sleepingroom are quite covered with drawings from Turner, and the “turretroom" next to this is so designed that Mr. Ruskin may see the country all about him, and lose no effect of the splendid sunrises and sunsets on the lake. As he is always up at work before sunrise when in health, he never misses the beauty.

The drawing-room, the place of meeting for the household in the evening, where chess, music, and reading aloud are enjoyed-Mr. Ruskin often reading from Walter Scott's novels,—has many Turners on the wall, and some pictures by Prout and William Hunt, all in water-colours. The furniture is old fashioned, but not antique, much of it coming from his father's old home. It is not æsthetic, as the word is now understood. The dining-room walls are quite covered with oil paintings. On one side are three family portraits—those of his parents, and one of himself at three years of age, a pretty child with

* Our readers should purchase the Memorial sketch, from which this is taken. It is a gem of purest ray serene, and its lustre ought to be flashed into every General Baptist home. It is published by Weeks, Thomas, & Co., Liverpool.

[blocks in formation]

yellow hair, dressed in a white frock like a girl, with a broad, light blue sash and blue shoes to match. Here are beautiful paintings by Titian and Sir Joshua Reynolds.

The study is a complete and artistic workshop. On either side of the fireplace, over which is a beautiful sketch of Lake Geneva, are large bookcases, one filled with books, and the other with antiquities and minerals, which are in velvet-lined drawers. Many Turners are hung about the room. On a massive piece of chalcedony is Mr. Ruskin's motto, “To-day."-Wide Awake.

[blocks in formation]

* Our Friends the Free Will, or Free Baptists of America, have just held a series of meetings at OCEAN PARK,-a denominational “Watering place,” taken by the leaders of the denomination, and used largely by its members. This song was composed for the meeting of “Veterans.”

Bradford-once more.*

THE following information will interest our friends, who saw so much to admire in the Town Hall of Bradford, on the occasion of their entertainment therein by “the most worshipful the Mayor.”

The Tower, twenty-three feet square and 200 in height, is, in most respects, a reproduction of the celebrated Campanile of the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence; and it is rather curious that the position of the Bradford Tower in the valley very much resembles the position of the original in the valley of the Arno.

The figures, thirty-five in number, which occupy niches on a level with the third floor of the building, are each seven feet in height. They are said to represent, faithfully, the Sovereigns of England, commencing with William I., as they actually existed in costume, figure, and physique.

The picture which arrests attention at the foot of the principal staircase, illustrates the legend of the Wild Boar of Cliffe Wood, whose tongueless head was chosen to represent the crest of the town. It is five feet by four, and pourtrays the Council Chamber of the King. The celebrated hero who killed the boar is in the act of exhibiting the animal's tongue to His Majesty as proof of his title to the proffered reward. Behind him skulks the villain with the boar's head, who meant to cheat the hero of his due. Ladies and gentlemen of the Court look on with interest.

The Mayor's Reception Room is illuminated with mottoes, of which the following are among the more striking : “Labor omnia vincit.” “Labour is pleasure." Laborare est orare.” “Get your spindle and distaff ready, and God will send you flax.” “Salvation and greeting to you

all." Small cheer and great welcome make a merry feast.” “God speed ye plough, and send us corne enough.”

The Court Room is probably the finest in the kingdom. Richly stained glass windows in the ceiling contain representations of Justice, Faith, Fortitude, and Mercy; and carefully executed figures of the Arts and Sciences, Commerce, Navigation, Agriculture, and Industry.

The great clock strikes the hours upon a tenor bell of nearly four and a half tons, with a hammer weighing about three cwt. The thirteen bells form the largest peal ever cast in Europe, and are at present fitted with barrels which play twenty-one tunes.

An ivory žey-board, similar to that of a piano, can easily be attached, so that the bells may be played upon by the fingers in the same way that an organ is played. The clock and carillons have cost about £5,000.

The total cost of the building has been as nearly as possible £100,000; this is exclusive of the value of the site, which is estimated, at the present time, to be worth at least £40,000 more.

A. C. PERRIAM.

* From an elaborate paper kindly forwarded by the esteemed Town Olerk of Bradford.

A Personal Hitness. THE Outlook, 'in a review of “Is Life worth Living ? an Eightfold Answer,” says :

“Mr. Clifford's answer to the primal difficulty of believing in God at all, and in Him as knowable and lovable, as well as in the doctrine of immortality, is given so briefly and pointedly that we offer no apology for quoting it entire. It is evidently the answer of one who has worked out the problem in his own experience :

“(1.) I was obliged to admit that Christianity is here; it is part of the life, of the best and worthiest life of the day. That I could not deny. It is moreover a historical fact. It is as undeniably in the third century as it is in the last; and in the second as it is in the nineteenth. There is no more denying that, than there is the splendid sun of the mid-day heaven. And its corruptions notwithstanding, it is a glorious history, a history of slow but real progress, and must have an adequate cause.

“(2.) I found a new type of character in that second century; and by the side of it'the gospels.' Those 'gospels' give credible evidence of being the product of the earlier century; and they trace this new and prolonged effect to the man Christ Jesus. THAT MAN IS SINLESS. This was the startling phenomenon. No one could be more pitiful to sinners; no one more sensitive to infirmity; and yet 'He did no sin. He tells others to repent; but never repents Himself; to pray for forgiveness; but never asks for it Himself. It seemed to me He was not as other men are; and therefore could not have come here as other men did. His holiness is supernatural. He must be supernatural.

(3.) Seeing what Christ was, I could not but trust Him, and trusting Him I could not but welcome His words when He said 'Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you:' and I found that His words were 'spirit and life,' and He became to me the way, the truth, and the life.'

(4.) Faith in God and immortality became a delight. The love of God became joy and strength, and the service of men for God's sake an unspeakable privilege.

(5.) And now after more than twenty years' experience I cannot be brought by any process to doubt the efficiency of that method. It is part of my life. It is my solace now. Again and again I have suggested this same method to men and women who have been exiled in the Egypt of scepticism, and they have found it 'a pillar of fire by night and cloud by day.' Roman Catholics, driven into scepticism by the false and unchristian representation of Christ given by that Church, have laid hold of this thread and travelled out of subterranean gloom into the light of day. And I proclaim it now; with an invincible faith in the Master's word, 'no man cometh to the FATHER but by ME, and moreover, that no man cometh to the life most worth living save by the same Redeemer and Helper and Guide.”

MAKE DISTINCTIONS. DISTINGUISH between desiring a thing and merely doeming it desirable. You admit that a pure religious experience is desirable, but do you really desire it? Distinguish also between prejudice against a thing and disapproval of the particular means and methods that may be used to gain it. All men are not opposed to revivals whose judgment is against certain revivalistic tactics. Distinguish, too, between a sin, which implies guilt, and an error, which does not. Distinguish between wilful rejection of the truth and the doubtings of an honest mind. Almost everything in this world may be, at times, mistaken for something else. Be on your guard. Be not misled. Make distinctions. Draw them carefully and finely. Between two things that look alike there may, nevertheless, be all the difference between the true and the false, life and death, heaven and hell. In reference to such things, pray God you may do no injustice to yourself, nor to another.-Morning Star.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

IT is surprising with what speed ill news travels, and how mysteriously it finds its way about. Within a few days, everybody seemed to know that “ Bradford & Co.,” that promising firm, was about to go through the Court. And with the acquisition of this knowledge, everybody, of course, knew the causes of the failure. It was not alone that “that heartless, ungrateful manager” had absconded with such a large sum of money; the firm was young—only established about a year and a half, had worked on too small a profit to pay itself; had felt the dreadful depression in trade lately; and so on: much of which was true, and much false. Amongst those who knew all this were, of course, the Drewes; and, wonderful to say, those worthy people, Helena particularly, suddenly found that they were not at all surprised at Raymond's conduct; they had half expected it, somehow, all along. But perhaps the fact that Mr. Golding had at last made the desired proposal, had something to do with this.

Whatever outside people said or thought, the blow was a really crushing one—more violent, indeed, than it had at first seemed. Heavy bills were due at Christmas, now very near; the two shops that had been burnt were worth all the rest put together; through carelessness, the manager had bought huge quantities of stock, some unsaleable, and some rotting in the warehouse from want of being sold; expensive alterations and improvements had been made in the warehouse and the shops; and two debtors, after being allowed to run up giant bills, had decamped. Debt, debt, everywhere, and very little to meet it with. The case could not have been much worse than it was.

In all this confusion and failure, Rearden came forward, as Mr. Bradford and Mr. Weston thought, nobly. There must be something left out of the wreck, he said. If Mr. Bradford would accept, he would work his hardest to utilize that little to the greatest advantage, and what few pounds he possessed should go to help. Even Elsie, whose good opinion he had not yet quite won, could not avoid admiring him for his conduct, and for the disinterested way in which he spoke and made his offers.

The worst remained behind, however. Mr. Bradford thought that, with the few hundreds he had at the bank, he could at least be equal to his debts—which should be met, he said, if he sold everything but the coat on his back. Then came the intelligence that the account had been overdrawn to the extent of five hundred pounds! Within the last fortnight two sums, one of three hundred, the other five hundred, had been withdrawn, the cheques signed, as usual, “Oliver Raymond.” Mr. Weston and Elsie were present when Mr. Bradford, sitting in his arm-chair with his foot bandaged, received this news from Rearden. Elsie went pale as death. Mr. Weston—who had hitherto tried to find excuses for Oliver, and to soften his friend’s anger against him—burst out: “The unmitigated scoundrell” While Mr. Bradford really forgot himself so far as to utter an oath, and all but jumped up from his chair. Rearden stood and looked on gravely; nor could the closest observer have seen anything like the light of triumph in his eyes.

“A common thief and forger!” cried Mr. Bradford, purple with rage. “This is the accursed villain I have made a son of ! This is the return he makes”—

Elsie here came forward, her face white, but fixed with resolution. “Uncle,” she said, with quivering lips, her eyes gleaming with a new light, “you wrong Oliver.” She spoke in unnaturally steady tones, whose steadiness only betrayed the concentrated passion she was holding in check. “I will never believe he has robbed you. He has done wrong, but he is no thief; and if I hunt England through I will bring him to disprove this charge!” And, having uttered the impulsive words, she flew out of the room, and a little later out of the house.

« AnteriorContinuar »