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JOHN BUNYAN AND HIS WIFE.
spirit, applied to the House of Lords for his release ;
her husband's case, prayed for justice : Judge Twisden," says John Bunyan, "snapt her up, and angrily told her that I was a convicted person, and could not be released unless I would promise to preach
Elizabeth : 'The Lords told me that releasement was committed to you,
you give me neither releasement nor relief. My husband is unlawfully in prison, and you are bound to discharge him.' Twisden : 'He has been lawfully convicted.' Elizabeth : 'It is false, for when they said "Do you confess the indictment ?" he answered, "At the meetings where he · preached, they had God's presence among them.” Twisden: Will your husband leave preaching ? if he will do so, then send for him.' Elisabeth :
My Lord, he dares not leave off preaching as long as he can speak. But, good my Lords, consider that we have four small children, one of them blind, and that they have nothing to live upon while their father is in prison, but the charity of Christian people. Sir Matthew Hale : Alas! poor woman.' Twisden : 'Poverty is your cloak, for I hear your husband is better maintained by running up and down a-preaching than by following his calling?' Sir Matthew Hale : 'What is his calling ?' Elisabeth : 'A tinker, please you my Lord; and because he is a tinker, and a poor man, therefore he is despised and cannot have justice.' Sir Matthew Hale : 'I am truly sorry we can do you no good. Sitting here we can only act as the law gives us warrant; and we have no power to reverse the sentence, although it may be erroneous. What your husband said was taken for a confession, and he stands convicted. There is, therefore, no course for
you but to apply to the King for a pardon, or to sue out a writ of error; and, the indictment, or subsequent proceedings, being shown to be contrary to law, the sentence shall be reversed, and your husband shall be set at liberty. I am truly sorry for your pitiable case. I wish I could serve you, but I fear I can do you no good.
Little do we know what is for our permanent good. Had Bunyan then been discharged and allowed to enjoy liberty, he no doubt would have returned to his trade, filling up his intervals of leisure with field-preaching; his name would not have survived his own generation, and he could have done little for the religious improvement of mankind. The prison doors were shut upon him for twelve years. Being cut off from the external world, he communed with his own soul; and, inspired by Him who touched Isaiah's hallowed lips with fire, he composed the noblest of allegories, the merit of which was first discovered by the lowly, but which is now lauded by the most refined critics, and which has done more to awaken piety, and to enforce the precepts of Christian morality, than all the sermons that have been published by all the prelates of the Anglican Church.
Lord Campbell's Lives of the Judges.
THE LONG-EARED AFRICAN FOX. This singular variety of the Fox was first made known to naturalists in 1820, after the return of De Laland from South Africa. It is an inhabitant of the mountains in the neighbourhood of the Cape of Good Hope, but it is so rare that little is known of its habits in a state of nature. The Engraving was taken from a specimen which has been lately placed in the
Zoological Society's gardens in the Regent's Park. It is extremely quick of hearing, and there is something in the general expression of the head which suggests a resemblance to the long-eared bat. Its fur is very thick, and the brush is larger than that of our common European fox. The skin of the fox is in many species very valuable; that of another kind of fox at the Cape of Good Hope is so much in request among the natives as a covering
for the cold season, that many of the Bechuanas are solely employed in hunting the animal down with dogs, or laying snares in the places to which it is known to resort.
In common with all other foxes, those of Africa are great enemies to birds which lay their eggs upon the ground; and their movements are, in particular, closely watched by the ostrich during the laying season. When the fox has surmounted all obstacles in procuring eggs, he has to encounter the difficulty of getting at their contents ; but even for this task his cunning finds an expedient, and it is that of pushing them forcibly along the ground until they come in contact with some substance hard enough to break them, when the contents are speedily disposed of.
The natives, from having observed the anxiety of the ostrich to keep this animal from robbing her nest, avail themselves of this solicitude to lure the bird to its destruction; for, seeing that it runs to the nest the instant a fox appears, they fasten a dog near it, and conceal themselves close by, and the ostrich, on approaching to drive away the supposed fox, is frequently shot by the real hunter.
The fur of the red fox of America is much valued as an article of trade, and about 8000 are annually imported into England from the fur countries, where the animal is very abundant, especially in the wooded parts.
Foxes of various colours are also common in the fur countries of North America, and a rare and valuable variety is the black or silver fox.
Dr. Richardson states that seldom more than four or five of this variety are taken in a season at one post, though the hunters no sooner find out the haunts of one, than they use every
art to catch it, because its fur fetches six times the price of any other fur produced in North America. This fox is sometimes found of a rich deep glossy black, the tip of the brush alone being white; in general, however, it is silvered over the end of each of the long hairs of the fur, producing a beautiful appearance.
The Arctic fox resembles greatly the European species, but is considerably smaller; and, owing to the great quantity of white woolly fur with which it is covered, is somewhat like a little shock dog. The brush is very large and full, affording an admirable covering
for the nose and feet, to which it acts as a muff when the animal sleeps. The fur is in the greatest perfection during the months of winter, when the colour gradually becomes from an ashy grey to a full and pure white, and is extremely thick, covering even the soles of the feet. Captain Lyon has given very interesting accounts of the habits of this animal, and describes it as being cleanly and free from any unpleasant smell : it inhabits the most northern lands hitherto discovered.
MOUNT TABOR. The Plain of Esdraelon, in Palestine, is often mentioned in sacred history, as the great hattle-field of the Jewish and other nations, under the names of the Valley of Mejiddo and the Valley of Jizreel, and by Josephus as the Great Plain. The convenience of its extent and situation for military action and display has, from the earliest periods of history down to our own day, caused its surface at certain intervals to be moistened with the blood, and covered with the bodies of conflicting warriors of almost every nation under heaven. This extensive plain, exclusive of three great arms which stretch eastward towards the Valley of the Jordan, may be said to be in the form of an acute triangle, having the measure of 13 or 14 miles on the north, about 18 on the east, and above 20 on the south-west. Before the verdure of spring and early summer has been parched up by the heat and drought of the late summer and autumn, the view of the Great Plain
is, from its fertility and beauty, very delightful. In June, yellow fields of grain, with green patches of millet and cotton, chequer the landscape like a carpet. The plain itself is almost without villages, but there are several on the slopes of the inclosing hills, especially on the side of Mount Car. mel. On the borders of this plain Mount Tabor stands out alone in magnificent grandeur. Seen from the south-west its fine proportions present a semiglobular appearance ; but from the north-west it more resembles a truncated cone. By an ancient path, which winds considerably, one may ride to the summit, where is a small oblong plain with the foundations of ancient buildings. The view from the summit is declared by Lord Nugent to be the most splendid he could recollect having ever seen from any natural height. The sides of the mountain are mostly covered with bushes and
woods of oak trees, with occasionally pistachio trees, presenting a beautiful appearance, and affording a welcome and agreeable shade.
various tracks up its sides, often crossing each other, and the ascent generally occupies about an hour. The crest of the mountain is table-land, 600 or 700 yards in height from north to south, and about half as much across, and a flat field of about an acre occurs at a level of some 20 or 25 feet lower than the eastern brow. There are remains of several small ruined tanks on the crest, which still catch the rain water dripping through the crevices of the rock, and preserve it cool and clear, it is said, throughout
The tops of this range of mountains are barren, but the slopes and vallies afford pasturage, and are capable of cultivation, from the numerous springs which are met with in all directions. Cultivation is, however, chiefly found on the seaward slopes; there many flourishing villages exist, and every inch of ground is turned to account by the industrious natives.
Here, amidst the crags of the rocks, are to be seen the remains of the renowned cedars with which Lebanon once abounded; but a much larger proportion of firs, sycamores, mulberry trees, fig trees, and viaes now exist.