Abbildungen der Seite

material universe; the very processes of decay and death are but new constitutions and elements of vitality and activity. If these things be so, then what a disgraceful anomaly is laziness !

3. Having nothing to do is the very worst excuse that could be preferred for doing nothing. To have nothing to do is a disgrace to a reasonable being; to love it is a vice, and to persist in it is a crime. Whether by circumstances ad'verse to us we are deprived of employment, or are in no need of it through the possession of a competence, we are morally bound to find or to create a vocation for our activities and faculties.

4. “I have faith in labor,” says Channing; "and I see the goodness of God in placing us in a world where labor alone can keep us alive. I would not change, if I could, our 'subjection to physical laws, our exposure to hunger and cold, and the necessity of constant conflicts with the material world. I would not, if I could, so temper the elements that they should in. fuse into us only grateful sensations; that they should make vegetation so exuberant as to anticipate every want, and the minerals so ductile as to offer no resistance to our strength or skill. Such a world would make a contemptible race.”

5. The lazy die and are buried, and no man misses them; the workers live on in their works, and, in a true sense, possess the earth long after the earth holds their lifeless clay. Their monuments are around us, and above us, and under us; and we honor them for their work's sake, whether we will or not. “Heaven helps those who help themselves,” is a well-worn maxim, embodying in a small compass the results of vast human experience.

6. The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual. Fortune has been often blamed for her blindness; but fortune is not so blind as men are. Those who look into practical life will find that fortune is almost invariably on the side of the industrious, the self-denying, and the prudent, as the winds and waves are on the side of the best navigators. Nor are the qualities necessary to insure success at all extraordinary. They may, for the most part, be summed up in these two- common sense and perseverance.

7. Some writers have even defined genius to be only common sense intensified. A distinguished teacher spoke of it as “the power of making efforts." John Foster held it to be “the power of lighting one's own fire." Buffon said of genius, “ It is patience.” Newton's was, unquestionably, a mind of the very highest order; and yet, when asked by what means he had worked out his extraordinary discoveries, he modestly said, “If I have done the public any service, it is due to nothing but industry and patient thought."

8. “The fact is,” says the Rev. Sydney Smith, “that, in order to do any thing in this world worth doing, we must not stand shivering on the bank, and thinking of the cold and the danger, but jump in, and scramble through as well as we can. It will not do to be perpetually calculating risks, and adjusting nice chances. It did all very well before the flood, when a man could consult his friends upon an intended publication for one hundred and fifty years, and then live to see its success for six or seven centuries afterward; but at present a man waits, and doubts, and hesitates, and consults his brother, and his uncle, and his cousins, and his particular friends, till, one fine day, he finds that he is sixty-five years of age, – that he has lost so much time in consulting first cousins and particular friends, that he has no more time left to follow their advice."

9. The habit of strenuous, continued labor, will become comparatively easy, in time, like every other habit. Thus, even men with the commonest brains and the most slender powers will accomplish much, if they will but apply themselves wholly and indefatigably to one thing at a time. “The longer I live," said a successful man,

“the more I am certain that the great difference between men — between the feeble and the powerful, the great and the insignificant — is energy, invincible determination, a purpose once fixed: and then — death or victory!"

“ If what shone afar so grand
Turn to nothing in thy hand,
On again! the virtue lies
In the struggle, not the prize."




SEAR, a., dry ; withered.

LE'GION, n., a body of soldiers Gor’gon, n., a fabled monster that AUG-MENT', v. t., to increase. turned beholders to stone.

IM-MURE', v. t., to confine closely. SoD'DEN, pp. of seethe, to boil.

IM-MAC'U-LATE, a., without spot. GIB'bet (jib'bet), n., a gallows. A-MEN'I-TY, N., pleasantness. BAIT'ED, pp., attacked ; hăr'assed. IN-DI-RECTION, n., a course not mistato DRACH'MA (drăk'ma), n., a Greek coin. CoN-TRITION, n., repentance. Con-JUNCʼTION, n., union.

COM-PUNCTION, n., remorse. MEN’ace, n., a threat.

PRO-LIF’ic, a., fertile.


I do not give up my country. I see her in a swoon, but she is not dead. Though in her tomb she lies helpless and motionless, still there is on her lips a spirit of life, and on her cheek a glow of beauty.'

Thou art not conquered ; beauty's ensign yet

Is crimson in thy lips, and in thy cheeks,

And Death's pale flag is not advancëd there.” While a plank of the vessel sticks together, I will not leave her. Let the courtier present his flimsy sail, and carry the light bark of his faith with every new breath of wind; I will remain anchored here, with fidelity to the fortunes of my country, faithful to her freedom, faithful 10 ber fall!

* For Part I., see page 91 ; Part II., page 195 ; Part III., page 291.

2. — INDIGNANT DENIAL. - Knowles.

Lucius. Justice will be defeated.

Virginius. Who says that ?
He lies in the face of the gods. She is immutable,
Immaculate, and immortal! And, though all
The guilty globe should blaze, she would spring up
Through the fire, and soar above the crackling pile,
With not a downy feather ruffled by
Its fierceness !

3. — HORROR AND ALARM. Shakspeare.
Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight
With a new Gorgon. Do not bid me speak:
See, and then speak yourselves. — Awake awake!
Ring the alărum-bell ! — Murder and treason!
Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm, awake !
Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
And look on death itself ! — up, up, and see
The great doom's image! — Malcolm! Banquo !
As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites
To countenance this horror!

They never fail who die
In a great cause! The block may soak their goro;
Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
Be strung to city gates and castle walls ;-
But still their spirit walks abroad. Though years
Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
Which overpower all others, and conduct
The world, at last, to freedom!

I have lived long enough: my way of life
Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-honor - breath!
Which the

poor heart would fain deny, but dare not.

6.- Eulogy. - Shakspeare.
This was the noblest Roman of them all :
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they envy of great Cæsar;
He, only, in a general honest thought,
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, " This was a man!"

- IMPROVE THE PRESENT MOMENT. - Dryden. Happy the man, and happy he alone,

He who can call to-day his own:

He who, secure within, can say,
TO-MORROW! do thy worst, for I have lived TO-DAY!

Be fair or foul, or rain or shine,
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate are mine.

Not Heaven itself upon the past has power;
But what has been, has been, and I have had my



Horace Smith.

The country's amenity brings nd serenity;
Each rural sound seeming a menace or screaming ;
Not a bird or a beast but cries, “Murder!
There goes

the offender!
Dog him, waylay him, encompass him, stay him,

And make him surrender !" Nerves a thousand times stronger could bear it no longer!

« ZurückWeiter »