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employed before a judge, who generally managed the case by a private arrangement with the richest of the two parties concerned. A young nobleman in the first year of Alexander II.'s reign set a pack of hounds to tear in pieces a serf boy—an only son—who had been negligent in the charge of a favourite dog ; and the nobleman was stabbed to the heart by the boy's indignant father. A soldier who casually met an officer had to halt, uncover, and stand cap in hand till his superior had passed. There was said to be only one official in the government of Moscow who would refuse a bribe ; and a Russian could not travel abroad without paying a tax of £40, to be renewed every year he was absent. Letters were actually bought from the postman, who if he delivered them safely, expected a fee. Only 300 students could enter the Universities in the reign of Nicolas, that Emperor being of opinion that this number would supply as many officials as were needed for the public service; and miles of land, now cultivated by freed serfs on the banks of the Volga, was then a virgin forest, and rank grass. Yet M. Pobedonoszof, who was tutor to the present Emperor, is said to have declared, that the restless, feverish state of the country now is due to the late reign having been twenty-five years of uninterrupted reforms, and that what it really requires is a period of cessation from all reforms, which would give it rest. And there are Englishmen long resident in Russia who ask, Do the Russians show themselves so just and true in all their dealings with either their inferiors or the state, as to assure us that a Russian parliament would pay the interest on its foreign debt as faithfully as it has been hitherto paid by an autocrat ? Would the upper class take upon its own shoulders its fair proportion of taxation ? or would not the peasants be more likely to be deprived of some of the privileges which they obtained from the late Emperor? Would the punctuality on Russian railways now enforced by the crown be regarded by a people to whom the value of time or of accuracy in speech is quite unknown ? and would not the credit and consequent external strength of the Empire be lowered by internal dissensions, broken engagements, and imprudent foreign wars? In short, have the Nihilists given any more proof than the Taeping rebels in China, that they are fit to take a part in the government of the Empire whose administration they are so anxious to upset ?

One of the late Emperor's most pleasing traits was his attachment to his invalid mother, by whose bedside he kept watch for the last four nights of her life. To spare her feelings he would never allow himself to be addressed in the regal style in her presence after his father's death; and she gratefully acknowledged his affection, in a codicil to her will, added a few months before her own death. “It was due to the pious care that my children showed towards me in my saddest hours, after the death of my inexpressibly loved husband, that I did not sink under such an unexpected calamity. Their love has preserved my life, especially the ever wakeful care and tenderness of my much loved son, the Emperor Alexander. Sustained by such warm filial love I have been enabled to withstand the most terrible strokes of fate. From the depths of my heart I thank you, my dear son Alexander, my fondly loved daughter-in-law Marie, and all my equally beloved children. May Heaven requite you for it, and your posterity also. You will read these lines when I shall be no more, but within me there lives the faith and the conviction that the bonds that have united us, and made us cling together here will not be rent finally asunder by death, and that the blessing of your father and my own will follow and shield you through your whole lives.”

The poor Empress Mother was decidedly no prophetess; but while she lived, she had been an object of mutual interest with all her family which seemed to have been sometimes needed, after she had passed away. At that period contemporary authorities spoke in high terms of the domesticity of the Emperor, whose moral rectitude as a young man, was said to be only equalled among princes, by that of the Comte de Chambord. But from that date heavy clouds overhung the political atmosphere. The Polish insurrection instigated by the Emperors of the French and Austria, for the sake of weakening Prussia's ally, and carried on by Austrians, and emigrant Poles, gave the greatest uneasiness in the Russian Court; and when it was followed by the Austrian and Prussian War, the Russian Empress's entire sympathies went with her Austrian relative whom she had advised her brother the Duke of Hesse Darmstadt to assist with his army, while her husband inclined to his old uncle in Prussia. In 1870, the same difference existed on the point of the Franco-German War. But when the Empress was at Nice some years ago, it was hardly possible to send a telegram in the morning as the clerks were occupied for hours in forwarding the Empress's very long daily message to her husband, and in receiving the reply

They now lie buried together in the Fortress Church, not in the chancel with their predecessors, but lower down in the nave among those princes and princesses who never reigned, having long selected this place for themselves, for the sake of being near the son and daughter who died before them. The four tombs covered with flowers are enclosed in one railing, the sovereigns in front, and the small sarcophagus of the little Grand Duchess Alexandra just behind her father's, and that of the Czarewitz Nicolas behind their mother's. There was room for only one more tomb among the Emperors and Empresses who are buried in the chancel, and it was reported in S. Petersburg, that the Nihilists had hoped that Alexander II. would have been placed there; and they would have tried to make the peasants believe, that Providence never intended another Emperor to reign, as there was no space left for him. Several very touching memorials are placed on the Imperial tomb, among others a wreath from the peasants of Bulgaria “ to the memory of their Liberator," and a wreath from the distant town of Irkutsk in Siberia.

J.

FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION.

It was night, they say of old,
When with an auriol gold,

Transfigured JESUS stood;
Beneath His feet a sleep-
On hills and moon-tricked deep

And fragrant wood :
It is night when we must, too,
This veil of earthly hue

Cast at our feet to shine:
In night of sin the soul
Her fleshly robes to roll,

And stand divine :

It was on a hill so high,
That in the starry sky,

CHRIST seemed to pass to heaven ;
Earth throbbing at its feet,
But crowned by airs so sweet

Only to angels given :
It is on the hill of prayer,
Where heaven fills every air,

Yet steep to trembling feet,

We learn to change and grow
With hope and love aglow,

For shining robes complete.

It was in the labouring life,
The three years' mighty strife,

When as the fleckless light-
Not in the peaceful fold
Of Nazareth of old-

CHRIST stood within His fight.

It is in the daily round,
In midst of strife profound,

The spirit wins her Rest,
That very strife lends wings
To show us nobler things

And make us wholly blest :

*

Within this earthly night,
My soul then, taught aright,

Learn like thy LORD to shine,
Standing on Prayer's steep crest
By enemies distrest

Show that thou art divine!

M.

QUIET.

If we study the personal history of Man through the bright days of Christianity, through the twilight centuries of dawning civilisation, or through the dark unknown ages of antediluvian times, we seem to see him as it were, in the midst of incessant turmoil and unrest, seeking, and groping, and yearning for a better life, far removed from the petty cares and troubles of this one. And the essence of this future life is to be rest. Man knows this, for it is the one thing that man can say he knows about the mystery of death, and that is, that wbatever else death may bring, it does bring an everlasting rest and peace, an eternal quiet. So we see by the writings of the ancient philosophers, though their schools of thought were many, yet those who did believe in a God at all, seem all to meet on the common ground of agreeing that the primary attribute of the gods was that they were embarrassed by no care or trouble, and were fully satisfied in ever enjoying the fulness of an eternal quiet. As Epicurus says, “ that being which is happy and immortal, is not burdened with any labour.” These ancients represented the gods as lying reclined beside their nectar on the hills together, but “ careless of mankind.” The cry of the weary Lotos-eaters was for “ long rest or dreamful ease.” How far the Jews realised the depth of the peace that is the golden crown of the future life, is impossible to say. But Nature has always suggested to man the analogy of sleep to death. Abraham's bosom was the coveted place of rest in the dim land of Sheol. It wanted, however, the complete truth of the full revelation to show man that the life after death is more than mere rest. The New Testament opens to us two more conceptions of this future state, the joy and the consciousness of tasting this rest. To depart from the body is to be with God, and the presence of God is of the very essence of quiet.

There is a rugged range of mountains, very rough, and stony, and jagged at the base, but sloping upwards in gigantic peaks of level eternal snow, and it is called the Sierra de la Summa Paz, the mountains of Perfect Peace. The idea is suggested to one at once on being brought face to face with the mystic majesty of mountains, which point upward in their silent robes of snow, peaceful and quiet, into the Unseen. Their base is firmly planted in this world, but their summits exist as it were in another. Their feet are enwrapped in the things of the earth, earthy, but their heads are shining glories, hid safely in the mist of the ethereal, the heavenly. So it is with us. We Christians wait not for death to cut the trammels of this world to find rest; we, who have to labour-and labour is sanctified duty-we cry not out for dark and dreamful ease. “The peace which passeth understanding" has come down to us, and does come down to us. But we must be even as these mountains if we are to taste of the quiet of God. Our feet must be planted on the earth doing the will of Him Who put us here, but our hearts and souls must be ever looking upward to Him from Whom we came and to Whom we are going. Thus only shall we feel enwrapped in the mist of His Holy Presence, thus only shall we stand silent and calm and quiet in robes of glittering white.

The silence of God, this hiding of the Creator as it were away from the created, is, perhaps, of all things, the most mysterious to the soul that seeks after God. A fearful and complex mystery which cannot be grasped or at all comprehended, but only faintly and dimly appre

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