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PICTURES OF HOME.
THE ATTRACTIONS OF HOME.
THESE are sweet words. Home! Who is not charmed with its music? Who hath not felt the potent magic of its spell?
By home I do not mean the house, the parlor, the fireside, the carpet, or the chairs. They are inert, material things,
which derive all their interest from the idea of the home which is their locality. Home is something more ethereal, less tangible, not easily described, yet strongly conceived-the source of some of the deepest emotions of the soul, grasping the heart-strings with such a sweet and tender force, as subdues all within the range of its influence.
Home is the palace of the husband and the father. He is the monarch of that little empire, wearing a crown that is the gift of heaven; swaying a sceptre put into his hands by the Father of all; acknowledging no superior, fearing no rival, and dreading no usurper. In him dwells love, the ruling spirit of home. She that was the fond bride of his youthful heart, is the affectionate wife of his maturer years. The star that smiled on their bridal eve has never set. Its rays still shed a serene lustre on the horizon of home. There, too, is the additional ornament of home-the circle of children-beautifully represented by the spirit of inspiration as "olive plants round about the table." We have been such. There was our cradle. That cradle was rocked by a hand ever open to supply our wants; watched by an eye ever awake to the approach of danger. Many a livelong night has that eye refused to be closed for thy sake, reader, when thou, a helpless child, wast indebted to a mother's love, sanctified by heaven's blessing, for a prolonged existence through a sickly infancy. Hast thou ever grieved that fond heart? No tears can be too freely, too sincerely shed, for such an offence against the sweet charities of home. If there was joy in the palace at thy birth, O, never let it be turned into sorrow by any violation of the sacred laws of home.
We that had our happy birth, like most of the human race, in the country, recall many tender and pleasant associations of home. There is earnest poetry in this part of our life. We remember with delight the freshness of the early morn; the sprightly walk among the dewy fields; the cool repose amid the sequestered shades of the grove, vocal with the music of nature's inimitable warblers; the "tinkling spring," where we slaked our thirst with the pellucid waters, as they came from the hand of the Mighty One; the bleating of the flocks, the lowing of the herds,
the humming of the bees, the cry of the whippoorwill, the melancholy, monotonous song of the night-bird, relieved only by the deep bass of that single note, which he uttered as he plunged from his lofty height into the lower region of atmosphere-these are among our recollections of home. And they come softened and sobered through the medium of the past, but without losing their power to touch the heart, and still endear that word, home.
There, too, perhaps, we saw a father die; having lived to a patriarchal age, he bowed himself on his bed, saying, "Behold, I die; but God shall be with you;" and was gathered to his people. Nor can the memory ever forget that mother, in her meek and quiet old age, walking through many a peaceful year on the verge of heaven, breathing its atmosphere, inhaling its fragrance, reflecting its light and holy beauty, till at length she left the sweet home of earth for her Father's home in heaven.
"So gently dies the wave upon the shore."
MARRIAGE AT HOME.
Home, too, is the scene of the gay and joyous bridal. When the lovely daughter, affianced to the youth of her heart, stands up to take the irrevocable pledge. What an interesting moment! I saw, not long since, such an one. She stood unconscious of the blended charm which innocence and beauty threw around her face and person; her soft, smooth, polished forehead was circled with a wreath of flowers; her robe was of purest white, and in her hand was held a boquet of variegated roses. Beside her stood the happy man, for whom she was to be-
"A guardian angel, o'er his life presiding,
As I pronounced the words that made them one, adding the nuptial benediction, a tear fell from the eye of the bride on the wreath in her hand! It was a tribute to "home, sweet home." Not that she loved father and mother less, but husband more. That piece of music, "The Bride's Farewell," plunges deeper into the fountain of emotion in the soul, than any other combination of thought and song to which I ever listened. Was the bride ever found who was equal to its performance on the day of her espousals, or rather in the hour of her departure from her long-loved home, when the time had arrived to bid farewell to father, mother, brother, and sister?
MUSIC AT HOME.
Music in a family is the means of domestic cheerfulness. A musical family will, in spite of cares, perplexites, and even of trials, be a cheerful family. Not gay do I mean; for there are many points of difference between cheerfulness and gaiety. But cheer
ful in that sense of the term which implies good spirits, and freedom from what Robert Burns calls "carking care;" and in which needless depression of spirits and morbid melancholy are kept out of a family. You can have the sunshine of cheerfulness in your house on the most rainy, cheerless, or wintry day that ever was, if you can have music. And if affliction, by some trying providence, has caused tears to flow, or aching of heart and sorrowfulness of spirit, music, coming to the aid of divine consolations and the sympathy of friends, will be a sweet soother of the pain which is experienced, and lighten the weight which oppresses the spirit.
Music promotes good nature in a family. And in this world, where there is so much of old Adam manifested in a thousand ways, and in the family, sometimes, as well as elsewhere, any thing which will promote good nature is to be prized. Who can be mad in the midst of music? or fret and scold with sweet sounds falling upon his ears? or keep up sour and sulky manners, when the very air around him is bland with soft harmony?
MAKING A PLEASANT HOME.
It is a duty devolving upon ever member of a family to endeavor to make all belonging to it happy. This may, with a very little pleasant exertion, be done. Let every one contribute something towards improving the grounds belonging to their house. If the house is old and uncomfortable, let each exert himself to render it better and more pleasant. If it is good and pleasant, let each strive still further to adorn it. Let flowering shrubs and trees be planted, and vines and woodbines be trailed around the windows and doors; add interesting volumes to the family library; take a good paper; purchase little articles of furniture to replace those which are fast wearing out; wait upon and anticipate the wants of each; and ever have a pleasant smile for all and each.
Make home happy! Parents ought to teach this lesson in the nursery and by the fireside, and give it the weight of their precept and example. If they should, ours would be a happy and a more virtuous country. Drunkenness, profanity, and other disgusting vices would die away; they could not live in the influence of a lovely and refined home.
Does any one think, "I am poor, and have to work hard to get enough to sustain life, and cannot find time to spend in making our old house more attractive." Think again-is there not some time every day which you spend in idleness, or smoking, or mere listlessness, which might be spent about your homes? "Flowers are God's smiles," said Wilberforce; and they are as beautiful beside the cottage as the palace, and may be enjoyed by the inhabitants of the one as well as the other. There are but few homes which might not be made more beautiful and attractive. Let all study
to make their residence so pleasant, that the hearts of the absent back to it as the dove did to the ark of Noah.
LOVE OF HOME.
O, not the smiles of other lands,
Though far and wide our feet may roam,
Can e'er untie the genial bands
Sweet is the hour that brings us home,
To be the first to greet us.
When the world hath spent its frowns and wrath,
And care been sorely pressing,
"Tis sweet to turn from our roving path,
And find a fireside blessing.
O, joyfully dear is the homeward track,
LITTLE CHILDREN AT HOME.
Somebody once said, beware of that man who does not love children; and we have abundant proof that great minds have always been delighted with the frolics of innocence. The Duke of Wellington was remarkable for his fondness of children; and when the veteran Blucher beheld the children assembled at St. Paul's, the unconscious tear trickled down the cheek of the hardy warrior. The great Burke delighted to unbend his mighty mind amid children's play, and would lie his listless length on the floor, whilst they jumped over him in laughing sport; and as for the fairer portion of creation, Euripides hath long ago declared, they are "all fond of children."
Children are human flowers. Cares crush the spirit, and labor sobers animal life. Disappointment blights and treachery sours the sympathies of the soul, and mildew and rigidity would gather apon the face of human existence but for infancy, springing up in all highways and by-ways, with smiling and bounding step, and joyous laugh, carrying the wayworn man back to his own springtime, whence, plucking a boquet for his buttonhole, he forgets what manner of person he is, and joys on to the smile and the tune of other days.
MOTHER AT HOME.
What is so faithful as a mother's love? From infancy to age, "through good report and through evil report," the dews of maternal affection are shed upon the soul. When heart-stricken and abandoned, when branded by shame, followed by scorn, her arms are still open; her breast still kind. Through every trial that love
will follow, cheer us in misfortune, support us in disease, smooth the pillow of pain, and moisten the bed of death.
Happy is he who knows a mother's love.
HOME IS WHERE THERE'S ONE TO LOVE US.
Home 's not merely four square walls,
Though with pictures hung and gilded;
Filled with shrines the heart hath builded!
Sailing 'neath the heaven above us!
Home is where there's one to love us!
Home 's not merely roof and room,
It needs something to endear it;
Where there's some kind lip to cheer it!
None to welcome, none to greet us?
When there's one we love to meet us!
TO YOUNG MEN.
WE extract the following beautiful paragraph from the address lately delivered before the graduating class of Rutger's College, by the Hon. Theodore Frelinghuysen, and commend it to the perusal of the young.
"Resolve to do something useful, honorable, and do it heartily. Repel the thought that you can, and therefore may, live above labor, and without work. Among the most pitiful objects in society is the man whose mind has been trained by the discipline of education-who has learned how to think, and value his immortal powers, and with all these noble faculties cultivated and prepared for an honorable activity, who ignobly sits down to nothing; and, of course, to be nothing; with no influence over the public mindwith no interest in the concerns of his country, or even his neighborhood-to be regarded as a drone without object or character, with no hand to lift, and with no effort to help the right or defeat the wrong. Who can think with any calmness of such a miserable career? And however it may be with you in active enterprise, never permit your influence to go in hostility to the cause of truth and virtue. So live, that with the Christian poet, you may truthfully say, that