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"A HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
The New Year,
ON New Year's eve the mother dreams of he] children's future, her daughter's marriage, her son'i success in life ; the father sees his boys growing up around him all that his heart could wish. The maiden dreams of her lover, and satisfies herself that the words she longs to hear must soon be spoken ; the man's heart beats high with hope as he thinks of a downcast eye anda blushing cheek. The schoolgirl is entranced at the thought of escap ing from the chrysalis state, and fluttering forth a gaudy butterfly among the roses of life, of which . as yet she does not suspect the thorns ; the boy has dreams innumerable-how he will be first alike in fichool.distinctionsandall athletic exercises ; how, -thanks to his skill, his school shall win the chal lenge cup, or be hailed victor in the ^cricket match. The visionary dreamer, who
: is 'ever hoping tor a state of impossible
perfection, dreams that the new year will fulfil his aspirations. The clergyman, kneeling either in the church at the " watchnight" service or by his hearth, and praying.earnestly for the welfare pf his flock at the solemn hour when a new page ui the book of their lives is opening before them dreams, too, of a happier and a holier time than
has gone before.
The statesman sees before him a vista of triumphs to be won, and great deeds serviceable to» his country to be accomolished. He dreams of a time when a party shall be of but small account when balanced against the common weal ; when each member of a government shall think more of
the well-being of the state than of individual bene fit or advancement; when a measure shall be accepted or rejected on its own merits, rather than on account of the side of the House from whence it emanates. He dreams of the time when the sword may be turned into a ploughshare by the sense of the nations condemning war.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold ; Ring out the thousand wars of old, Bing in the thousandyears of peace.
And, though all these dreams are but visions which pass away and vanish with the falling together of the embers by whose light our fancy paints them, who shall say that we are not the better for them ? that our minds are not purified and ennobled by dwelling, for no matter how short a time, upon those' better things, those higher possibilities, of which we are all so sadly apt to lose sight in the hurry and bustle of our daily lives ? j