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THE SHEPHERD'S BOY.
The enthusiasm which animated the boys, was communicated to the citizens; and when the place was summoned to surrender, an indignant refusal was instantly returned. The jacobite governor, who had withdrawn the garrison under his command, was suffered to make his own escape in disguise; and the citizens, with a governor of their own election, and with the countenance and assistance of seventeen clergymen of the established church, and of seven dissenting ministers, resolved to stand firm to the last, in defence of their religion and their liberties.
The hardships which they endured in the execution of their noble purpose, during a siege which lasted above four months, were such as had seldom before, and have probably never since, been endured by the defenders of a beleaguered city. Horses, dogs, cats, rats, and mice formed the provisions of the garrison ; and the prices at which these horrible provisions were sold, were such as proved the intensity of the distress which prevailed. “ In all human probability,”—wrote, in his diary, the Protestant commander of the garrison, George Walker, himself a clergyman,"we could not think ourselves in less danger than the Israelites at the Red Sea. But the resolution and courage of our people; the necessity we were under ; and the great confidence and dependence among us on God Almighty, that He would take care of and preserve us, made us overlook all these difficulties."
The pious trust thus expressed by the gallant Governor Walker, doubtless animated the exhortations which he frequently addressed to the suffering citizens, urging upon them the importance of their perseverance in abiding by the cause of the Protestant religion; nor was his trust disappointed. When the pumbers of the brave defenders of Londonderry were much reduced by frequent sallies on the besiegers; and when famine and disease had disabled at least a third part of the remainder, relief, in the shape of provisions, arrived by sea; and after a blockade of one hundred and four days' duration, just when the valorous defenders were reduced to the last extremity of endurance, the memorable siege of Londonderry was raised.
Such a passage of history can never be forgotten; and must, in all time, enhance the interest which cannot fail to be excited by a view of the city of Londonderry.
THE SHEPHERD'S BOY IN THE VALLEY OF HUMILIATION.
BY BERNARD BARTON.
With Bunyan, the Valley of Humiliation was evidently a favourite and familiar spot. He wrote of it, we will not say con amore—one of the last phrases which he would have used—but, with love. With what emotion does he depict it as “the best and most fruitful piece of ground in all those parts.” “It is fat ground,” he continues, and, as you see, consisteth much in meadows; and if a man were to come here in summer-time, as we do now, if he knew not anything before thereof, and if he also delighted himself in the sight of his own eyes, he might see that which would be delightful to him. Behold how green this valley is ! also, how beautiful with lilies ! I have known many labouring men that have got good estates in this Valley of Humiliation ; for 'God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.' Indeed it is a very fruitful soil, and doth bring forth by handfuls."
In these few sentences are condensed some of the most pleasing and powerful persuasions to humility ever penned. One cannot wonder that Bunyan should wish to give such a spot its fitting inhabitant. Here he is.
“Now, as they were going along and talking, they espied a boy feeding his father's sheep. The boy was in very mean clothes, but was of a fresh and well-favoured countenance; and as he sate by himself, he sang. “Hark !' said the guide, 'do you hear him ? I will dare to say, that this boy lives a merrier life, and wears more of the herb called heart's-ease in his bosom, than he that is clad in silk and velvet."
Who would add a word of comment on this picture? It is one of Bunyan's best.
Thus far the lamented Bernard Barton. In further illustration of the accompanying plate we would subjoin the following beautiful stanzas, from the pen of the highly-gifted Letitia Elizabeth Landon.
THE SHEPHERD Boy.
Like some vision olden,
Of far other time,
In the young world's prime,
Lonely Shepherd boy ;
In thy youth and joy ?
Or art thou complaining
Of thy lowly lot ?
Dost ask what thou hast not?
Weary of the past,
All but what thou hast ?
No: thou art delighting
In thy summer home;
Tempt the bee to roam;