The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
Edited by Charlotte Mason.
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
A Calendar: April
Volume 5, 1894, pg. 134-137
[Probably by Julia Firth. For an explanation of how this calendar works, see the first article in the series.]
3rd. George Herbert born, 1593. Read his poem on "Employment."
"If, as a flower doth spread and die,
Thou wouldst extend to me some good,
Before I were by frost's extremity
Nipt in the bud;
The sweetness and the praise were thine:
But the extension and the room,
Which in thy garland I should fill, were mine
At thy great doom.
For as thou dost impart thy grace,
The greater shall our glory be,
The measure of our joys is in this place,
The stuff with thee.
Let me not languish, then, and spend
A life, as barren to thy praise
As is the dust, to which that life doth tend,
But with delays.
All things are busy; only I
Neither bring honey with the bees,
Nor flowers to make that, nor the husbandry
To water these.
I am no link of thy great chain,
But all my company is as a weed--
Lord place me in they concert; give one strain
To my poor reed."
4th. St. Ambrose died, A.D, 397. Read--
"Ambrose had courage and moral force enough to win the day for the independence of the Church, and to establish the equal claims of its morality upon sovereign and people. The most eminent instance is found in his refusal to admit Theodosius within the church without a public expression of his penitence for the massacre at Thessalonica. In a popular broil, some lives had been lost and one of the emperor's officers maltreated. A man of sudden and violent passions, he gave orders for a general massacre, and before the edict could be countermanded, seven thousand helpless citizens were butchered. Ambrose relentlessly applied to the despot of iron will and boundless power, the same rules as would have been enforced against the humblest subject. He was of the same fibre as Nathan, John the Baptist, John Knox, Stephen Langton, and Judge Gascoigne.
"Plate sin with gold
And the strong arm of justice hurtless breaks.
Arm it in rags, a pigmy straw doth pierce it."
[King Lear, Act IV., Sc. VI.]
This he knew full well and he would none of it. In his eyes there was not one righteousness for the sovereign and another for the citizen. His firmness demands the gratitude of all liberal minds that crave equal justice for all. Theodosius died in his arms, and the last words of Ambrose himself are worth remembering: "I have not lived among you as to be ashamed to live; I have so good a Master that I am not afraid to die." And so he died, 397 A.D.
Como and Italian Lake Lands, by T. W. M. Lund, M.A.
7th. Wm. Wordsworth born, 1770. Read his own poem "To the Cuckoo."
"O blithe new-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice;
O Cuckoo! Shall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?
While I am lying on the grass,
Thy twofold shout I hear;
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off and near.
Though babbling only to the vale
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou brings unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.
Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery;
The same whom in my school-boy days
I listened to; that cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love,
Still longed for, never seen!
And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.
O blessed bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, fairy place
That is fit home for thee!"
13th. Handel died, 1759. Sing "Rejoice the Lord is King" to "Gopsal" tune by Handel.
15th. Death of President Lincoln, 1865. Read--
"Probably since the days of Washington, no man was ever so deeply enshrined in the hearts of the people as Abraham Lincoln. Nor was it a mistaken confidence and love. He deserved it--deserved it all. He merited it by his character, by his acts, and by the whole tenor of his life. His integrity was thorough, all-pervading, all-controlling, and incorruptible. He saw his duty as chief magistrate of a great and imperilled people, and he determined to do his duty, seeking the guidance and leaning on the arm of Him of whom it is written, "He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength." [From Dr. Phineas D. Gurley's speech at Lincoln's funeral.]
23rd. St. George, 303 A.D. Add verse to hymn as above.
Praise for the Christian soldier, the hero-knight, St. George!
Who 'gainst all cruel enemies, did battle for his Lord,
May we contend as nobly, and with him win the day,
When all powers of darkness shall faint and flee away!
Shakespear born, 1564. Read Longfellow's lines--"To the Avon."
25th. St. Mark. Collect, Epistle and Gospel. See printed hymn.
26th. Marcus Aurelius born, A.D. 121. Read--
"In his Meditations he has left us a grateful memorial of both his parents. He says that from his grandfather he learned (or, might have learned) good morals and the government of his temper; from the reputation and remembrance of his father, modesty and manliness; from his mother, piety and beneficence, and abstinence not only from evil deeds, but even from evil thoughts; and further, simplicity of life far removed from the habits of the rich.
Most remarkable are the nine rules which he drew up for himself, as subjects for reflection when anyone had offended him, viz:--
1. That men were made for each other: even the inferior for the sake of the superior, and these for the sake of one another.
2. The invincible influences that act upon men and mould their opinions and their acts.
3. That sin is mainly error and ignorance, and an involuntary slavery.
4. That we are ourselves feeble, and by no means immaculate; and that often our very abstinence from faults is due more to cowardice and a care for our reputation than to any freedom from the disposition to commit them.
5. That our judgments are apt to be very rash and premature; 'and in short, a man must learn a great deal to enable him to pass a correct judgment on another man's acts.'
6. 'When thou art much vexed or grieved, consider that man's life is only a moment, and after a short time we are all laid out dead.'
7. That no wrongful act of another can bring shame on us, and that it is not men's acts which disturb us, but our own opinions of them.
8. That our own anger hurts us more than the acts themselves.
9. That benevolence is invincible, if it be not an affected smile, nor acting a part. 'For what will the most violent man do to thee if thou continues benevolent to him? gently and calmly correcting him, admonishing him when he is trying to do thee harm, saying, 'Not so, my child: we are constituted by nature for something else: I shall certainly not be injured, but thou art injuring thyself, my child.' And show him with gentle tact and by general principles that this is so, and that even bees do not do as he does, nor any gregarious animal. And this you must do simply, unreproachfully, affectionately, without rancour, and, if possible, when you and he are alone.
'Not so, my child: thou art injuring thyself, my child.' Can all antiquity show anything tenderer than this, or anything more close to the spirit of Christian teaching than these nine rules?"
Farrar's Seekers after God. Page 2605.
30th. St. Catherine of Siena, 1380. Add verse to hymn as above.
Recall we now St. Catherine, the woman wise and brave,
Who counselled pope and cardinals, and sought the lost to save;
Siena's humblest quarter she blessed by work and word,
Supported pain and suffering, united to her Lord.
Read portion of a letter which she wrote to John of the Cell, who lost no time in leaving the delightful shades of Vallombrosa to hasten to Rome. "Shall we be found asleep at the moment when our enemies are at the gate? No! A great need is calling us, a great want is urging us, and love ought to wake us up. Have greater misfortunes ever befallen the Church than those which we see to-day? We ought to hasten to the support of the holy father who is surrounded with so many troubles; the more so as he invites with humility and kindness the help of the servants of God. He wishes to have such always about him. Reply, then, promptly to the Sovereign Pontiff, Urban VI. I conjure you by the love of Jesus to fulfil without hesitation the will of God in this matter. You will now prove, by the course you elect, whether you truly love God and desire the reformation of the Church, or whether you are chiefly devoted to your own consolations. I am convinced that if your self-love has been thoroughly consumed in the furnace of charity, you will not hesitate to abandon your cell: you will become content to inhabit the cell of self-knowledge, and be ready to give your life, if need be, for the truth. This is the moment for the servants of God to proclaim boldly the truth and to suffer for it."
To another: "You must be very slightly established in devotion if a change of residence would cause you to lose the habit of prayer. It seems that God takes account of places then, and that He is only to be found in woods and solitudes, even in times of public necessity! Go to!"
Mrs. Butler's Life of St. Catherine of Siena. Page 264.
Typed by AniElizabeth, Aug 2018; Proofread by LNL, May 2021