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to be drawn between the pain and pleasure of the most unselfish mind (and ill-health, for instance, may draw it), we should not quarrel with it, if it contributed to the general mass of comfort, and were of a nature which general kindliness could not avoid. Made as we are, there are certain pains without which it would be difficult to conceive certain great and overbalancing pleasures. We may conceive it possible for beings to be made entirely happy; but in our composition, something of pain seems to be a necessary ingredient, in order that the materials may turn to as fine account as possible; though our clay, in the course of ages and experience, may be refined more and more. We may get rid of the worst earth, though not of earth itself.

Now the liability to the loss of children,-or rather what renders us sensible of it, the occasional loss itself,—seems to be one of these necessary bitters thrown into the cup of humanity. We do not mean that everybody must lose one of his children in order to enjoy the rest; or that every individual loss afflicts us in the same proportion. We allude to the deaths of infants in general. These might be as few as we could render them. But if none at all ever took place, we should regard every little child as a man or woman secured ; and it will easily be conceived, what a world of endearing cares and hopes this security would endanger. The very idea of infancy would lose its continuity with us. Girls and boys would be future men and women, not present children. They would have attained their full growth in our imaginations, and might as well have been men and women at once. On the other hand, those who have lost an infant are never, as it were, without an infant child. They are the only persons who, in one sense, retain it always; and they furnish their neighbours with the same idea.* The other children grow up to manhood and womanhood, and suffer all the changes of mortality. This one alone is rendered an immortal child. Death has arrested


* “I sighed,” says old Captain Bolton, “when I envied you the two bonnie children, but I sigh not now to call either the monk or the soldier mine own." Monastery, vol. iii. p. 341.

it with his kindly harshness, and blessed it into an eternal image of youth and innocence.

Of such as these are the pleasantest shapes that visit our fancy and our hopes. They are the ever-smiling emblems of joy ; the prettiest pages that wait upon imagination. Lastly, “ of these are the kingdom of heaven.” Wherever there is a province of that benevolent and all-accessible empire, whether on earth or elsewhere, such are the gentle spirits that must inhabit it. such simplicity, or the resemblance of it, must they come. Such must be the ready confidence of their hearts, and creativeness of their fancy. And so ignorant must they be of the “knowledge of good and evil,” losing their discernment of that self-created trouble by enjoying the garden before them, and not being ashamed of what is kindly and innocent.


[NOTE.—The grave alluded to by Leigh Hunt, in one of the most beautiful and touching passages of this most beautiful and touching essay, is that of his mother, in Hampstead churchyard. The memory of his mother was always inexpressibly dear to him.

The Deaths of Little Children was one of Charles Lamb's favourite papers.-E. 0.]



MONG other comparative injuries which we are accus

tomed to do to the characters of things animate and

inanimate, in order to gratify our human vanity,--such as calling a rascal a dog (which is a great compliment), and saying that a tyrant makes a beast of himself (which it would be a very good thing, and a lift in the world, if he could), is a habit, in which some persons indulge themselves, of calling insipid things and persons " sticks." Such and such a one is said to write a stick; and such another is himself called a stick ;-a poor stick, a mere stick, a stick of a fellow.

We protest against this injustice done to those genteel, jaunty, useful, and once flourishing sons of a good old stock. Take, for instance, a common cherry-stick, which is one of the favourite sort. In the first place, it is a very pleasant substance to look at, the grain running round it in glossy and shadowy rings. Then it is of primeval antiquity, handed down from scion to scion through the most flourishing of genealogical trees. In the third place, it is of Eastern origin; of a stock, which it is possible may have furnished Haroun al Raschid with a djereed, or Mohammed with a camel-stick, or Xenophon in his famous retreat with fences, or Xerxes with tent-pins, or Alexander with a javelin, or Sardanapalus with tarts, or Solomon with a simile for his mistress's lips, or Jacob with a crook, or Methuselah with shadow, or Zoroaster with mathematical in


struments, or the builders of Babel with scaffolding. Lastly, how do you know but that you may have eaten cherries off this very stick ? for it was once alive with sap, and rustling with foliage, and powdered with blossoms, and red and laughing with fruit. Where the leathern tassel now hangs, may have dangled a bunch of berries; and instead of the brass ferrule poking in the mud, the tip was growing into the air with its youngest green.

The use of sticks in general is of the very greatest antiquity. It is impossible to conceive a state of society in which boughs should not be plucked from trees for some purpose of utility or amusement. Savages use clubs, hunters require lances, and shepherds their crooks. Then came the sceptre, which is originally nothing but a staff, or a lance, or a crook, distinguished from others. The Greek word for sceptre signifies also a walking-stick. A mace, however plumped up and disguised with gilding and a heavy crown, is only the same thing in the hands of an inferior ruler ; and so are all other sticks used in office, from the baton of the Grand Constable of France down to the tipstaff of a constable in Bow Street. As the shepherd's dog is the origin of the gentlest whelp that lies on a hearth-cushion, and of the most pompous barker that jumps about a pair of greys, so the merest stick used by a modern Arcadian, when he is driving his flock to Leadenhall Market with a piece of candle in his hat and No. 554 on his arm, is the first great parent and original of all authoritative staves, from the beadle's cane wherewith he terrifies charity-boys who eat bull's-eyes in church-time, up to the silver mace of the verger; the wands of parishes and governors; the tasselled staff, wherewith the band-major so loftily picks out his measured way before the musicians, and which he holds up when they are to cease ; the white staff of the Lord Treasurer ; the court-officer emphatically called the Lord Gold Stick; the bishop's crozier (Pedum Episcopale), whereby he is supposed to pull back the feet of his straying flock; and the royal and imperial sceptre aforesaid, whose holders, formerly called shepherds of the people (IIoquevés Aawr),


were seditiously said to fleece more than to protect. The vaulting-staff, a luxurious instrument of exercise, must have been used in times immemorial for passing streams and rough ground with. It is the ancestor of the staff with which pilgrims travelled. The staff and quarter-staff of the country Robin Hoods is a remnant of the war-club. So is the Irish shillelah, which a friend has well defined to be " a stick with two buttends." The originals of all these, that are not extant in our own country, may still be seen wherever there are nations uncivilised. The Negro prince, who asked our countrymen what was said of him in Europe, was surrounded in state with a parcel of ragged fellows with shillelahs over their shoulders,Lord Old Sticks.

But sticks have been great favourites with civilised as well as uncivilised nations; only the former have used them more for help and ornament. The Greeks were a sceptropherous people. Homer probably used a walking-stick, because he was blind; but we have it on authority that Socrates did. On his first meeting with Xenophon, which was in a narrow passage, he barred up the way with his stick, and asked him, in his goodnatured manner,

where provisions were to be had. Xenophon having told him, he asked again, if he knew where virtue and wisdom were to be had ; and this reducing the young man to a non-plus, he said, “ Follow me, and learn ;" which Xenophon did, and became the great man we have all heard of. The fatherly story of Agesilaus, who was caught amusing his little boy with riding on a stick, and asked his visitor whether he was a father, is too well known for repetition.

There is an illustrious anecdote connected with our subject in Roman history. The highest compliment which his countrymen thought they could pay to the first Scipio was to call him a walking-stick ; for such is the signification of his name. It was given him for the filial zeal with which he used to help his old father about, serving his decrepit age instead of a staff. But the Romans were not remarkable for sentiment. What we


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