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there must be no idol or earthly love to fill the space which He created for Himself alone. When we determine to serve Him-to choose between life and death-we must count the cost, and give up all, all of earth, nor think to share our hearts with Him and others. He made us for Himself, we are His by right, so when we place ourselves in His hands we only give Him what is really His. And then, for fear we should faint and fall in this lifelong strife, He has set us in His Church, given us sacraments, wherein we may ever find Him and grow in grace, and has blessed us with examples of His saints to help us on our
“I have never been confirmed," said Virginia, timidly. “When I was at school Mrs. Dudley asked me if I did not wish it, but somehow I thought if I were I should have to be so grave, and it was such a responsibility that I put it off, and so- Was it very wrong?" she added, seeing the gravity on her brother's face deepening.
He did not answer at once,-fear lest he should be too hard upon one who had received so little religious teaching, kept him silent, then he said,
“ These duties require so much solemn thought and consideration, that to enter upon them lightly is worse than not to do so at all. Do not worry yourself with thoughts about your past actions being blameable, but remember that now when I place the responsibility of your position before you, were you to disregard and put them aside, it would be utterly different. What in one case may be an error of judgment, is in another a flagrant act of sin. Feeling as you do now, it would be very wrong to put off Confirmation, and so I shall take upon myself to speak to Mr. Courtenay about it to-morrow, that no time
may be lost.”
He spoke in so decided a manner that Virginia was somewhat awed, and felt as if the old reserve was stealing over her, but with an effort she put it aside and said humbly,
“Shall you mind talking more on the subject some other time? Now, you must be tired, and I think you must stop; too much speaking is so bad for you. You know I have not resigned my office of nurse yet, and I order you to take some wine. Then I must go out, and will post your letter ; meanwhile, you must get a sleep.” So she poured out his wine, and as she gave it to him added softly, “ Thank you
for your help,” and his answer was a fervent “God bless you.” But though Virginia had listened so eagerly to all that Evered had
said, and had declared she was ready to forego all to find true peace, these were only momentary feelings. Something stronger and deeper than mere sentiment is required to bring us to GOD,—often the resignation of all on earth which we hold most dear.
“And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, fand suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.”—2 Sam, xxi. 10.
SEVEN sons of Saul, by stern decree
Yet was there one on that dark spot
No voice she uttered, save alone,
Day turned to night, and night to day :
J. H. TALBOT.
AN HOUR IN THE DORÉ GALLERY.
Of all the numerous picture exhibitions of the season, few, we imagine, considering its size and the limited number of pictures, have attracted more visitors than the small gallery in Bond Street, which has for some time now been occupied exclusively by the works of Gustave Doré, and his growing fame as an artist has been augmented by the universal notice his large picture of “CHRIST leaving the Prætorium” has attracted. Whatever may be the various opinions as to the limits and defects of M. Doré's genius, no one we think can stand before this great creation of his pencil quite unmoved, or turn away without acknowledging his power. It must be allowed by all who are even slightly acquainted with his style, that he has a most marvellous facility for representing, or in some cases merely intimating, number, distance, and movement.
To take one tolerably familiar instance, one of the Old Testament illustrations : looking very closely into the picture, only a number of apparently random and meaningless lines are visible, but regarded at a proper distance a vast flock of sheep appears. There literally seems no end to the densely packed mass, with the setting sun just catching their fleecy backs. The appearance of boundless space, profound depth, and the effective treatment of light and shade, give a vague feeling of awe and a sense of the supernatural that veil the horror of some of the illustrations of Dante's Inferno, which are open to the charge of a morbid gloating over the horrible that can hardly be called healthy. Call to mind Martin's wellknown picture of the “Day of Judgment," and others of that class. One is almost tempted to smile at the attempt to represent by a handful of people who may quite easily be counted, the myriads who will rise at the last day. It is a subject the mind cannot grasp, and the effort to portray it savours of presumption; but had Doré attempted it, at least there would have been the appearance of infinite space, obscurity the eye could not pierce, and a countless multitude, while the beings actually represented would in some mysterious manner suggest to the mind millions more.
To the world at large Doré is chiefly known by his book illustrations, especially by those of the “ Idyls of the King,” the original drawings for which are now hanging in the corridor of the Bond Street Gallery. To speak of all would occupy too much time, so we will briefly notice those belonging to “Elaine,” as they perhaps are the most popular. “ Lancelot approaching the Castle of Astolat” is one of our favourites. The long green vista closed by the distant castle, the thick and shadowy woods suggestive of unforeseen dangers and adventures, and the solitary figure of the Knight Errant seize completely the spirit of the poem. “ Lancelot bidding adieu to Elaine" is in most respects a failure. Elaine, we think, is not sufficiently beautiful : indeed one of Doré's weak points is the female face, -we can hardly point to one really lovely woman's face in all his works. (The beauty of his Francesca is so clouded by horror and anguish that it ceases to be the prominent feature.) In the Idyls it is pre-eminently the case that the character of his females is expressed rather by their figures than their faces. “Torre and Lavaine bidding adieu to the body of Elaine" is again rather disappointing, and argues some carelessness in construction, for neither the pose of the maiden's figure, nor the barge, are easily identified with those in the next illustration, “The Body of Elaine on its way to King Arthur's Palace.” This is the most beautiful of all. The silent river with its wooded banks sloping steeply to the water's brink, overhung by a misty shadow, out of which the turrets of the castle tower grandly. The barge gliding smoothly on, propelled by the dumb servitor, the drapery dipping in the stream, the light just glinting “the bright hair streaming down” and lighting up the white lily folded to her breast.
It is painful to turn from this to the next design, “ The King reading the letter of Elaine.” It seems a very false and horrible idea to set the dead body upright on a chair,— Tennyson's "reverent bearing” does not countenance this ; surely they merely raised the bier (so specially mentioned) and bore her into the great hall, unprofaned by a touch. There the court gathered round to “pity, muse, and wonder," till Arthur took the letter from her passive hand. The last illustration is “ Lancelot’s remorse.” He is sitting on the river's bank, pondering uneasily on Elaine's love, Guinivere's jealousy, and Arthur's misplaced trust. There is a desolation in the sky and water, and the broken reeds, in perfect harmony with the dejected figure of the knight, self-convicted, and longing for the power to break the sinful bands that hold him fast. Among the illustrations of “ Guinivere" are two, quite perfect in their way, the “ Three joyous Sprites,” and “The Fairy Circle.” It is hardly possible to conceive anything