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that the old man had foreseen this end, when he spoke of the dry bones of the past, being vivified by the blood of the present.

The youth's expedition, despite its apparent ill success, did somewhat raise him in the estimation of his fellow-countrymen, as being a person ready to act promptly in any critical emergency. A further occasion for his services and his fortitude soon appeared. It was after this wise :

The Mexican astronomers divided time into cycles of fifty-two years, which long periods were again subdivided into cycles of thirteen years, years of eighteen months, and months of twenty days. At the close of every year, five days were added to make up the complement of three hundred and sixty-five; and at the end of every fifty-second year were added fifty-two quarters of a day, or thirteen whole days, so that the calculations of the astronomers squared with the course of the sun. The priests taught that the world had been destroyed three times, that each destruction had taken place at the end of a fifty-second year, and that a fourth destruction was to come upon them at a similar period. The sign of this destruction would be the non-appearance of the sun on the morning after the close of the fifty-second year. Hence they devoted the supernumerary thirteen days before-mentioned to prayer and fasting; and on the last day of the period all the men of the city went forth to a neigbouring mountain. having previously confined all the women in dungeons, it being believed that these, on the destruction of the world, would be turned into tigers and devour the men. On the mountain the men remained during the whole day, in great fear and tribulation ; but when, towards midnight, the constellation of the Pleiades became visible, they hailed it as a harbinger of good, and despatched swift messengers to the city, to liberate the women, and rekindle the sacred fire in the temples, where it had previously been extinguished as a mark of grief and despair.

Such being the disposition of men's minds in Mexico, it may well be imagined how great was their consternation, when, at the commencement of one supernumerary period of thirteen days, so great a darkness fell upon the city, that neither stars, nor moon, nor sun, were visible. It might have been easy, for those who did not feel the effects of this darkness, to speculate upon its causes; but to those who had lost all pleasure in speech, the face of the speaker being no longer visible, all arguments upon the origin of the evil were as distasteful as they were unsatisfactory. The only opinion which gained any credence, was, that the destruction of the world was at hand; and the very utterance of such an opinion was sufficient to strike terror into the hearts of the hearers, though there was not a man of them but knew that the ordinary death which might come upon him at any time, would be to him an equally effectual destruction of the world. But this, though strange, was not uncommon: death was not then, nor is now, much considered amongst the people; the probabilities of presently losing caste, or home, or friends, or fortune, were more often reckoned up than the chances that one brief hour, to-day, to-morrow, or a year, or ten years hence, might nullify the possession of them all. Such was—such is the case; though why this sanguine expectation of long life is implanted in our hearts, if it be not that we may do life's business without fear or carelessness, is hard to tell.

In this crisis, the elders of the people and the youth who served the priests, sat out on the mountain, and talked upon the best method,-if, indeed, any method were practicable,-of averting the danger. They sat round a large fire, whose flames shot up into the thick darkness, as though they too would divine the reasons of its presence.

The ocelot skulked surlily away from the glare, and the owl hooted because of his dazzled eyes; but neither was there ocelot so fierce, nor owl so blind, as the stern despairing wretches who could see no help for them in their peril, but sat sullenly and silently, listening to the trackling fire and the echoing rocks. Then the young man lifted up his kead, and beheld the old man standing near, and gazing upon the group.

** Father!" said he; and his companions started, and looked up also. “Father! what hope is there for us?"

And the old man said, “The flames point upwards; if they did not, they would cease to burn. What, if I told you, that he who mounted towards with those flames, would be a sun to his companions!"

And they all said, “ Would you have us die ?". "Oh, fools !” said the old man ; " must you not also die, if that happen which you now expect? Whether is it best to die for light, or to live in darkness?”

Then the youth arose and stood near the fire. The flames shot out their tangues, and well-nigh licked his hands. They seemed to beckon him towards them. “It is hard,” said he, “hard to die thus; but if it has been eter, or must be now, then let mine be the pain, and mine the glory."

"It both has been, and shall again be,” said the old man; “ for the aire is worthy of the labour."

Then the young man cast himself into the flames, which blazed presently with renewed vigour; and then, sinking gradually down, left etter darkness round them. But the east was already grey with the dawn, and, ere the elders had recovered from their astonishment, the rays of the sun shone on their ghastly faces.

"Fools !” said the old man, as they prepared to return homewards ; * have ye the more escaped death because ye feared it ? Behold time is accomplished ! for the sun has risen, and those who helped to to disperse the darkness shall stumble in the light.”

not

THE UNINHABITED HOUSE.

A BALLAD TALE.

A PALE youth stood by an antique hall,

Sad, and silent, and lone;
Word went forth, its ancient towers should fall,

When the dawn of the morrow shone.
The owlet to his ivied bower

Hooted his last good-night,
And the setting sun on the western tower
For the last, last time looked bright.

Yet, 'twas pity too, for that goodly pile,

That had once known glorious days,
Where the revel had blithely laughed erewhile,

With its torches all a-blaze.
There, the minstrel knight.his harp had hung,

And the palmer knight his bough;
And the lady her white arms o'er Spanish lute flung ;

But all is silence now.
Mused the youth in his mournful mood,

Till his brow had a shade of gloom ;
And he sighed, that a pile that so proudly stood

Should meet with such a doom.
Jesu! what fornis in antique vest

Are these that by him dart ?
They came not east, they came not west,

But seemed from earth to start.
Sisters they seemed, in life's first bloom,

And fair and lovely each ;
And on they glide through the twilight gloom,

Without or sign or speech.
But, oh! the elder of the twain,

The taller of the pair!
When shall a mortal glance again

Behold one half so fair.
Strange thoughts were in the stripling's mind,

Yet 'twas not dread or fear,
Though strange it seemed, such forms to find,

Where no living thing dwelt near.
Strange, too, to mark on maids so young

The garb of olden time,-
Such antique gear as had been sung

By minstrels in their rhyme.
As they passed through the court so wide,

His glance did still pursue ;
When they reached the lone tower side

They vanished from the view.
Alas, enthusiast ! in that hour,

Deep poison drank thy glance,
And love came on in all its power,

In all its wild romance.
He lingered there in fond delay,

But lingered still in vain;
The visioned form of lady gay,

It came not forth again.
Was it a spirit, that bade farewell

To that tower before its fall,
Or a fairy form that no more might dwell

Within that haunted hall ?
Was it a creature of earth indeed,

Or a form from a world unknown ?
However it be, that heart must bleed,

And that bosom make its moan.

The wasting strength, the pining hour,

Unhappy youth, are his;
To love, and love for evermore,

Without love's hope of bliss !
Ah! could the wizard's pitying spell

The fleeting form recall;
Or bid on earth that vision dwell

That holds his heart in thrall !
“ What ails thee, William of Mandeville,

What ails thy son and heir, That thy glance falleth cold and careless still,

On the bright and on the fair ? " There's not a maid thine eye shall choose,

But shall surely be thy bride ; There's not a dame that durst refuse

Lord William in her pride.
“Is she a baron's daughter proud ?

A baron's son art thou,
And loftier head than hers has bowed

To lowlier lover's vow.”
"Ah, Father! thou art a baron bold,

And thou art my noble sire;
And thou hast livings, lands, and gold,

And all that men desire.
"But, Father, one, one only maid

May o'er my bosom reign;
Too soon that form was doomed to fade,

And cannot come again !"
“Alas! my son, some witch's spell,

Or fatal fairy's charm,
In evil hour upon thee fell,

To work thee mortal harm."
"And be she witch, or be she fay,

Or ghostly damoselle,
Father, this heart can never stray

From her it loves so well!"
His head he to his pillow turned-

He turned his feverish cheek;
And still, as that wild bosom burned,

That wasted form grew weak.
Father! I hear a music sweet,

A wondrous melody;
A beckoning hand that bids me meet ;

My long-lost love I see."
"Alas, unhappy boy! you rave;

Nor music warbles near,
Nor mystic form is seen to wave

Its beckoning finger here !"
"Father! I see her! see at last

The Lady of the Tower!
I come !"---with that his spirit passed ;

He perished in that hour.

[graphic]

“THE NON-SYMPATHISERS."

No, I. BY GEO. R. TWINN, AUTHOR OF " IS IT PEACE ?” “ WOMAN'S LOVE,"

&c., &c., &c.

“ MINE were my faults; and mine be their reward :

My whole life was a contest, since the day
That gave me being, gave me that which marr'd

The gift; a fate or will that walked astray.
And I, at times, have fought the struggle hard,

And thought of shaking off my bonds of clay ;
But now, I fain would for a time survive,
If but to see what next can well arrive." BYBON.
" The sin-the sorrow—why wouldst thou renew

The past-the perished-vain and idle all !" HAWKER'S POEMS. Oh, cold and unthinking man! bound with the icy chains of apathy; slumbering in unconsciousness of any of the host of troubles that make life bitter ; why will you not use exertion, on your own part, to acquire a knowledge of your connexion with every individual ? It matters not with whom the radiance of the Creator is as visible 'neath the emaciated features and tattered clothing of the outcast, as 'neath the ermined robes of princely dignity. Oh, strange, cold heart! whose every throb and impulse awaken no thought of conferring good—no idea of benefiting others. O heart, thrice cased in adamant, why are thy beatings all for self? Can nature teach you nothing ?-can nature not send one gleam into your dark recesses ?-shines not the summer sun on the evil and good does not the same bright flower as much charm your senses, as those of the lowest or the most exalted ? And if thus Providence munificently considers all entitled fully to participate his many bounties, should not the Divine example infuse vitality into your streams, O heart, to attempt, as far as circumstances can enable you, the general plan of studying man, with a view to increase his happiness; to aid his attainment of right conceptions of all that is “ lovely, honest, and of good report ;” and prove, perhaps, the happy instrument of rousing from somnolency and utter disregard, many a soul, cased not in a body of flesh, but estranged from all save the promptings of selfishness? Unthinking man, and careless heart! how astonishingly slight must be your acquaintance with the gloomy pages of life's dark volume! Easy must have been your journey through the bye-ways of existence, never to have known sympathy with another's sorrow, nor felt the pangs of drear suspense! Have you never heard of-never known-homes and hearths made desolate and lonelygrey-headed old men sorrowing, robbed in their declining years of comfort, by the disgraceful conduct of a child, loved with an enduring love, notwithstanding his follies and his vices ?-families, once knit by the bands of affection and cemented by mutual endearments, scattered and severed, -seas, perhaps, rolling between, or the hand of hard griping oppression forbidding their meeting? Have you never known aught of friendships broken, and enmity, dark and subtle, usurping the

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