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birth-day, and strange though it afterwards seemed to her to be--that belief prevented one single fear from touching his mother's heart, and she and her husband that night lay down in untroubled sleep.
And what could have been done for them, had they been told by some good or evil spirit that their children were in the clutches of such a night?
As well seek for a single bark in the middle of the misty main! But the inland storm had been seen brewing among the mountains round King's-House, and hut had communicated with hut, though far apart in regions where the traveller sees no symptoms of human life. Down through the long cliff-pass of Mealanumy, between BuchaelEtive and the Black Mount, towards the lone House of Dalness, that lies in everlasting shadows, went a band of shepherds, trampling their way across a hundred frozen streams. Dalness joined its strength, and then away over the drift-bridged chasms toiled that gathering, with their sheep-dogs scouring the loose snows in the van, Fingal the Red Reaver, with his head aloft on the look-out for deer, grimly eyeing the corrie where last he tasted blood. All "plaided in their tartan array," these shepherds laughed at the storm,—and hark, you hear the bagpipe play—the music the Highlanders love both in war and in peace.
and though they ken 'twill be a moonless night,-for the snow-storm will sweep her out of heaven,-up the mountain and down the glen they go, marking where flock and herd have betaken themselves, and now, at midfall, unafraid of that blind hollow, they descend into the depth where once stood the old grove of pines. Following their dogs, who know their duties in their instinct, the band, without seeing it, are now close to that ruined hut. Why bark the sheep-dogs so-and why howls Fingal, as if some spirit passed athwart the night? He scents the dead body of the boy who so often had shouted him on in the forest when the antlers went by! Not dead-nor dead she who is on his bosom. Yet life in both is frozen-and will the red blood in their veins ever again be thawed! Almost pitch dark is the roofless ruin; and the frightened sheep know not what is that terrible shape that is howling there. But a man enters, and lifts up one of the bodies giving it into the arms of those at the doorway, and then lifts up the other; and by the flash of a rifle, they see that it is Ronald Cameron and Flora Macdonald, seemingly both frozen to death. Some of those reeds that the shepherds burn in their huts are kindled, and in that small light they are assured that such are the corpses. But that noble dog knows that death is not there, and licks the face of Ronald, as if he would restore life to his eyes. Two of the shepherds know well how to fold the dying in their plaids,-how gentlest to carry them along; for they had learnt it on the field of victorious battle, when, without stumbling over the dead and wounded, they bore away the shattered body, yet living, of the youthful warrior, who had shown that of such a clan he was worthy to be the chief.
The storm was with them all the way down the glen; nor could they have heard each others' voices had they spoke; but mutely they shifted the burden from strong hand to hand, thinking of the hut in Glenco, and of what would be felt there on their arrival with the dying or the dead. Blind people walk through what to them is the night of crowded day-streets, unpausing turn round corners, unhesitating plunge down steep stairs, wind their way fearlessly through whirlwinds of life, and reach in their serenity, each one unharmed, his own obscure house. For God is with the blind. So is He with all who walk on walks of mercy. This saving band had no fear, therefore there was no danger, on the edge of the pitfall or the cliff. They knew the countenances of the mountains, shown momentarily by ghastly gleamings
through the fitful night, and the hollow sound of each particular stream bencath the snow, at places where in other weather there was a pool or a water-fall. The dip of the hills, in spite of the drifts, familiar to their feet, did not deceive them now; and then the dogs, in their instinct, were guides that erred not: and as well as the shepherds knew it themselves, did Fingal know that they were anxious to reach Glenco. He led the way as if he were in moonlight; and often stood still when they were shifting their burden, and whined as if in grief. He knew where the bridges were stones or logs; and he rounded the marshes where at springs the wild fowl feed. And thus instinct, and reason, and faith, conducted the saving band along, and now they are at Glenco, and at the door of the hut.
To life were brought the dead; and there, at midnight, sat they up like ghosts. Strange seemed they for a while to each others' eyes,-and at each other they looked as if they had forgotten how dearly once they loved. Then, as if in holy fear, they gazed in each others' faces, thinking that they had awoke together in heaven. "Flora!" said Ronald,—and that sweet word, the first he had been able to speak, reminded him of all that had passed, and he knew that the God in whom they had put their trust had sent them deliverance. Flora, too, knew her parents, who were on their knees; and she strove to rise up and kneel down beside them, but she was powerless as a broken reed; and when she thought to join with them in thanksgiving, her voice was gone. Still as death sat all the people in the hut, and one or two who were fathers were not ashamed to weep.
90.-PREFACE TO THE SCHOOLMASTER.
[ROGER ASCHAM was born in 1515. His father was a house steward in a wealthy family. By the patronage of Sir Anthony Wingfield he was placed at St. John's College, Cambridge. The Greek language had only been recently taught at the Universities, and Ascham devoted himself to its study with great ardour, applying himself with the utmost diligence to the instruction of others. In 1548, he was appointed instructor in the learned languages to the Lady Elizabeth, afterwards Queen; and, with the interval of three years, during which he travelled through Italy and Germany, he held offices at Court during the reigns of Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth. He died in 1568. When Queen Elizabeth heard the news of his death she exclaimed, "she would rather have thrown ten thousand pounds into the sea than have lost her Ascham."]
When the great plague was at London, the year 1563, the Queen's Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, lay at her Castle of Windsor: whereupon, the 10th day of December, it fortuned that in Sir William Cecil's chamber, her Highness's Principal Secretary, there dined together these personages, Mr. Secretary himself, Sir William Peter, Sir I. Mason, Dr. Wotton, Sir Richard Sackville, Treasurer of the Exchequer, Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Haddon, Master of Requests, Mr. John Astley, Master of the Jewel House, Mr. Bernard Hampton, Mr. Nicasius, and I. Of which number, the most part were of her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, and the rest serving her in very good place. I was glad then, and do rejoice yet to remember, that my chance was so happy, to be there that day, in the Company of so many wise and good men together, as hardly there could have been picked out again, out of all England beside.
Mr. Secretary hath this accustomed manner, though his head be never so full of most weighty affairs of the realm, yet at dinner-time he doth seem to lay them always aside and finding ever fit occasion to talk pleasantly of other matters, but most gladly of some matter of learning; wherein he will courteously hear the mind of the meanest at his table.
Not long after our sitting down, I have strange news brought me, saith Mr. Secrc
tary, this morning, that divers scholars of Eton be run away from the school, for fear of beating. Whereupon Mr. Secretary took occasion to wish, that some more discretion were in many schoolmasters, in using correction, than commonly there is. Who many times punish rather the weakness of nature than the fault of the scholar. Whereby many scholars that might else prove well be driven to hate learning, before they know what learning meaneth; and so are made willing to forsake their book, and be glad to be put to any other kind of living.
Mr. Peter, as one somewhat severe of nature, said plainly, that the rod only was the sword that must keep the school in obedience, and the scholar in good order. Mr. Wotton, a man mild of nature, with soft voice, and few words, inclined to Mr. Secretary's judgment, and said, in mine opinion the schoolhouse should be in deed, as it is called by name, the house of play and pleasure, and not of fear and bondage; and as I do remember, so saith Socrates in one place of Plato. And therefore, if a rod carry the fear of a sword it is no marvel if those that be fearful of nature choose rather to forsake the play, than to stand always within the fear of a sword in a fond man's handling. Mr. Mason, after his manner, was very merry with both parties, pleasantly playing, both with shrewd touches of many courste boys, and with the small discretion of many lewd schoolmasters. Mr. Haddon was fully of Mr. Peter's opinion, and said that the best schoolmaster of our time was the greatest beater, and named the person. Though, quoth I, it was his good fortune to send from his school unto the University one of the best scholars indeed of all our time, yet wise men do think that that came so to pass rather by the great towardness of the scholar, than by the great beating of the master; and whether this be true or no, you yourself are best witness. I said somewhat farther in the matter, how and why young children were sooner allured by love than driven by beating, to attain good learning; wherein I was the bolder to say my mind, because Mr. Secretary courteously provoked me thereunto; or else, in such a company, and namely in his presence, my wont is to be more willing to use mine ears than to occupy my tongue.
Sir Walter Mildmay, Mr. Astley, and the rest said very little; only Sir Richard Sackville said nothing at all. After dinner I went up to read with the Queen's Majesty. We read then together in the Greek tongue, as I well remember, that noble oration of Demosthenes against Eschines, for his false dealing in his ambassage to King Philip of Macedonia. Sir Richard Sackville came up soon after, and finding me in Her Majesty's privy chamber, he took me by the hand, and carrying me to a window, said, Mr. Ascham, I would not for a good deal of money, have been, this day, absent from dinner, where, though I said nothing, yet I gave as good ear, and do consider as well the talk that passed, as any one did there. Mr. Secretary said, very wisely, and most truly, that many young wits be driven to hate learning, before they know what learning is. I can be good witness to this myself; for a fond schoolmaster, before I was fully fourteen years old, drove me so, with fear of beating, from all love of learning, as now, when I know what difference it is to have learning and to have little or none at all, I feel it my greatest grief, and find it my greatest hurt that ever came to me, that it was my so ill chance to light upon so lewd a schoolmaster. But seeing it is but in vain to lament things past, and also wisdom to look to things to come, surely, God willing, if God lend me life, I will make this, my mishap, some occasion of good hap to little Robert Sackville, my son's son. For whose bringing up I would gladly, if it so please you, use specially your good advice. I hear say you have a son much of his age: we will deal thus together. Point you out a schoolmaster, who, by your order, shall teach my son and yours, and for all the rest I will provide, yes though they three do cost me a couple of hundred pounds by year; and beside, you shall find me as fast a
friend to you and yours, as perchance any you have. Which promise the worthy gentleman surely kept with me, until his dying day.
We had then further talk together of bringing up of children: of the nature of quick and hard wits: of the right choice of a good wit: of fear and love in teaching children. We passed from children and came to young men, namely, gentlemen: we talked of their too much liberty, to live as they lust: of their letting loose too soon, to overmuch experience of ill, contrary to the good order of many old commonwealths of the Persians and Greeks: of wit gathered, and good fortune gotten by some, only by experience, without learning. And lastly, he required of me very earnestly to show what I thought of the common going of Englishmen into Italy. But, saith he, because this place and this time will not suffer so long talk as these good matters require, therefore I pray you, at my request, and at your leisure, put in some order of writing the chief points of this our talk, concerning the right order of teaching and honesty of living, for the good bringing up of children and young And surely, beside contenting me, you shall both please and profit very many others. I made some excuse by lack of ability, and weakness of body: Well, saith he, I am not now to learn what you can do. Our dear friend, good Mr. Goodricke, whose judgment I could well believe, did once for all satisfy me fully therein. Again, I heard you say, not long ago, that you may thank Sir John Cheke for all the learning you have: and I know very well myself that you did teach the Queen. And, therefore, seeing God did so bless you to make you the scholar of the best master, and also the schoolmaster of the best scholar, that ever were in our time, surely you should please God, benefit your country, and honour your own name, if you would take the pains to impart to others what you learned of such a master, and how ye taught such a scholar. And in uttering the stuff ye received of the one, in declaring the order ye took with the other, ye shall never lack neither matter nor manner what to write, nor how to write in this kind of argument.
I beginning some farther excuse, suddenly was called to come to the Queen. The night following I slept little, my head was so full of this our former talk, and I so mindful somewhat to satisfy the honest request of so dear a friend, I thought to prepare some little treatise for a New Year's gift at Christmas; but as it chanceth to busy builders, so in building this my poor school-house (the rather because the form of it is somewhat new and differing from others) the work rose daily higher and wider than I thought it would at the beginning.
And though it appear now, and be in very deed but a small cottage, poor for the stuff, and rude for the workmanship, yet in going forward, I found the site so good as I was loath to give it over, but the making so costly outreaching my ability, as many times I wished that some one of those three, my dear friends with full purses, Sir Thomas Smith, Mr. Haddon, or Mr. Watson, had had the doing of it. Yet, nevertheless, I myself spending gladly that little that I gat at home by good Sir John Cheke, and that that I borrowed abroad of my friend Sturmius, beside somewhat that was left me in reversion by my oid masters Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, I have at last patched it up as I could, and as you see.
97. THE MOUNTAIN OF MISERIES.
Ir is a celebrated thought of Socrates, that if all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, in order to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy, would prefer the share they are already possessed of, before that which would fall to them by such a division. Horace has carried this thought a great deal further, (Sat. i. 1. 1, ver. 1,) which im- .
The reason of it is, because lukewarmness, or an indifferent spirit, is an undervaluing of God and of religion; it is a separation of reason from affections, and a perfect conviction of the understanding to the goodness of a duty, but a refusing to follow what we understand. For he that is lukewarm alway, understands the better way, and seldom pursues it; he hath so much reason as is sufficient, but he will not obey it; his will does not follow the dictate of his understanding, and therefore it is unnatural. It is like the fantastic fires of the night, where there is light and no heat; and therefore may pass on to the real fires of hell, where there is heat and no light; and therefore, although an act of lukewarmness is only an indecency, and no sin, yet a state of lukewarmness is criminal, and a sinful state of imperfection and indecency; an act of indifferency hinders a single prayer from being accepted; but a state of it makes the person ungracious and despised in the court of heaven: and therefore St. James, in his accounts concerning an effective prayer, not only requires that he be a just man who prays, but his prayer must be fervent; "an effectual fervent prayer,” so our English reads it; it must be an intent, zealous, busy, operative prayer; for consider what a huge indecency it is, that a man should speak to God for a thing that he values not; or that he should not value a thing, without which he cannot be happy; or that he should spend his religion upon a trifle; and if it be not a trifle, that he should not spend his affections upon it. If our prayers be for temporal things, I shall not need to stir up your affections to be passionate for their purchase; we desire them greedily, we run after them intemperately, we are kept from them with huge impatience, we are delayed with infinite regrets; we prefer them before our duty, we ask them unseasonably; we receive them with our own prejudice, and we care not; we choose them to our hurt and hindrance, and yet delight in the purchase; and when we do pray for them, we can hardly bring ourselves to it to submit to God's will, but will have them (if we can,) whether he be pleased or no; like the parasite in the comedy, "Qui comedit quod fuit et quod non fuit:" "he ate all, and more than all; what was set before him, and what was kept from him." But then, for spiritual things, for the interest of our souls, and the affairs of the kingdom, we pray to God with just such a zeal as a man begs of a chirurgeon to cut him of the stone; or a condemned man desires his executioner quickly to put him out of his pain, by taking away his life; when things are come to that pass it must be done, but God knows with what little complacency and desire the man makes his request: and yet the things of religion and the spirit are the only things that ought to be desired vehemently, and pursued passionately, because God hath set such a value upon them, that they are the effects of his greatest lovingkindness; they are the purchases of Christ's blood, and the effect of his continual intercession, the fruits of his bloody sacrifice, and the gifts of his healing and saving mercy; the graces of God's Spirit, and the only instruments of felicity: and if we can have fondnesses for things indifferent or dangerous, our prayers upbraid our spirits when we beg coldly and tamely for those things for which we ought to die, which are more precious than the globes of kings and weightier than imperial sceptres, richer than the spoils of the sea or the treasures of the Indian hills.