« PreviousContinue »
A HUMAN BEING WITH NOTHING TO DO. 87 joy: the tīny: flower, hidden from all eyes, sends förth its fragrance of full happiness : the mountain stream dashes along with a sparkle and murmur of pure delight. The object of their creation is accomplished, and their life gushes forth in harmonico work.
2. O plant! O stream! worthy of admiration, of worship, to the wretched idler! Here are powers ye never dreamed offaculties dīvīne,eternal ;4 ă head to think, but nothing to concentrate the thoughts; a heart to love, but no object to bathe with the living tide of affection ; a hand to do, but no work to be done ; talents unexercised, capacitieso undeveloped,' a human life thrown away—wasted as water poured forth in the desert. Birds and flowers, ye are gods to such a mockery of life!
3. Who can describe the fearful void of such an existence, the yearnings for object, the self-reproach for wasted powers, the wearinèss of daily life, the loathing of pleasure, of frivolity, 10 and the fearful consciousness of deadening life-of a spiritual paralysis" which hinders all response" to human interest when enthusiasm " ceases to ărouse, and noble deeds no longer call forth the tear of joy ; when the world becomes a blank, humanity a far sound, and no life is left but the heavy, beņumbing weight of personal hopelessness and desolation.
4. Happier far is the toiling drudge who coins body and soul into the few poor shillings that can only keep his family in a long starvation: he has hope unceasingly to lighten him, a duty to perform, a spark of love within that can not die; and wretched,
Ti' ný, very small; little; puny. 'Yearnings, (yern'ingz), strong 2 Har mon' ic, concordant; agree- desires. ing; musical.
10 Fri vòl'ity, fondness for vain 3 Dî vīne', heavenly; belonging and foolish pursuits; triflingness. to God.
11 Pa răl' y sís, loss of power, * Eternal, (e têrnal), without be- either wholly or in part ;-usually ginning or end; endless.
applied to the loss of voluntary mo.. • Con cen' trate, to fix; to bring tion in any part of the body. all one's powers together.
12 Re sponse', an answer or reply. "Ca păc' i ties, those powers by 19 Enthusiasm, (en thủ' zi åzm), a which we are enabled to receive warm zeal in respect to some object instruction; talents.
or pursuit. . Un'de věl'oped, not brought 4 Drădge, one who works hard, out; hidden.
or labors with toil and fatigue ; an * Void, an empty space.
weary, and unhuman as his life may be, it is of royal worth-it is separated by the immeasurable distance of life and death, from the poor wretch who is cursed for having no work to do.
T FEEL as if it were not for me to record, even though this I manuscript is intended for no eyes but mine, how hard I worked at that tremendous short-hand, and all improvement appertaining to it, in my sense of responsibility to Dora and her aunt. I will only add, to what I have already written of my perseverance at this time of my life, and of a patient and continuous' energy which then began to be matured within me, and which I know to be the strong part of my character, if it have any strength at all, that there, on looking back, I find the source of my success.
2. I have been very fortunate in worldly matters ; many men have worked much harder, and not succeeded half so well ; but I never could have done what I have done, without the habits of punctuality,' order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one object at a time, no matter how quickly its successor should come upon its heels, which I then formed. Heaven knows I write this in no spirit of self-laudation.'
3. The man who reviews his life, as I do mine, in going on here, from page to page, had need to have been ă good man, indeed, if he would be spared the sharp consciousness of many talents neglected, many opportunities wasted, many erratico
"Măn'u script, any thing written effort to gain or accomplish somewith the hand.
thing. 2 Tre měn' dous, fitted to awaken Con tin' u ous, completely join'terror or dread ; such as may astonish ed; not interrupted. or frighten by its force, loudness, etc. Punctuality, (půngkt u ål’i tl),
3 Ap per tain' ing, belonging the quality or state of adhering to,
* Respon si bil' i ty, the state of or observing the exact time of an being answerable ; obligation to pro- appointment. vide for, or pay.
Self-lau dā' tion, self-praise. • Aunt, (int).
10 Er rătic, having no certain • Per'se vēr' ance, a continued course ; wandering ; roving.
and perverted' feelings constantly at war within his breast, and defeating him.
4. I do not hold one natural gift, I dare say, that I have not ăbūsed. My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that, in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnèst.
5. I have never believed it possible that any natural or improved åbility can claim immunity' from the companionship of the steady, plain, hard-working qualities, and hope to gain its end. There is no such thing as such fulfillment on this earth.
6. Some happy talent, and some fortunate opportunity, may form the two sides of the ladder on which some men mount; but the rounds of that ladder must be made of stuff to stand wear and tear; and there is no substitute for thorough-going, ardènt, and sincere earnèstnèss. Never to put one hand to any thing, on which I could throw my whole self; and never to affect depreciation of my work, whatever it was ; I find, now, to have been my GOLDEN RULES.
TEN of thought! be up, and stirring night and dāy:
I Sow the seed—withdraw the curtain—CLEAR THE WAY! Men of action, aid and cheer them, as ye may!
There's ă fount ăbout to stream,
There's a flower about to blow;
Men of thought and men of action, CLEAR THE WAY! 2. Once the welcome light has broken, who shall say
What the unimagined glòries of the day?
i Per vert ed, turned from the which, is put in the place of another. right use, end, or way.
Depreciation, (de pré'shi ’shun), 2 Im mū' ni ty, freedom from the act of lessening or crying down 3 Súb' sti tūte, one who, or that price or value.
Aid the dawning, tongue and pen ;
Aid it, for the hour is ripe,
Men of thought and men of action, CLEAR THE WAY! 3. Lo! ă cloud's about to vanish from the dāy;
And a brazen wrong to crumble into clāy.
With the right shall many more
Many others, great and small,
I. 18. A MORNING CONVERSATION. NrRS. BOLINGBROKE. I wish I knew what was the mat
M ter with me this morning. Why do you keep the newspaper all to yourself, my dear?
Mr. B. Here it is for you, my dear; I have finished it.
Mrs. B. I humbly thank you for giving it to me when you have done with it,I hate stale news. Is there any thing in the paper ? for I can not be at the trouble of hunting it.
Mr. B. Yes, my dear; there are the marriages of two of our friends.
Mrs. B. Who? who?
Mr. B. Your friend, the widow Nettleby, to her cousin, John Nettleby.
Mrs. B. Mrs. Nettleby! But why did you tell me ?
A MORNING CONVERSATION.
paragraph one's self. One loses all the pleasure of the surprise by being told. Well, whose was the other marriage ?
Mr. B. Oh, my dear, I will not tell you; I will leave you the pléasure of the surprise.
Mrs. B. But you see I can not find it. How provoking you are, my dear! Do pray tell it me.
Mr. B. Our friend Mr. Granby.
Mrs. B. Mr. Granby! Dear! Why did not you make me guess? I should have guessed him directly. But why do you · call him our friend? I am sure he is no friend of mine, nor ever was. I took an aversion' to him, as you may remember, the very first day I saw him. I am sure he is no friend of mine.
Mr. B. I am sorry for it, my dear ; but I hope you will go and see Mrs. Granby.
Mrs. B. Not I, indeed, my dear. Who was she?
Mrs. B. Cooke! But there are so many Cookes—can't' you distinguish her any way? Has she no Christian name?
Mr. B. Emma, I think-Yes, Emma.
Mrs. B. Emma Cooke! No; it can not be my friend Emma Cooke ; for I am sure she was cut out for an old maid.
Mr. B. This lady seems to me to be cut out for a good wife.
Mrs. B. May be somI am sure I'll never go to see her. Pray, my dear, how came you to see so much of her ?
Mr. B. I have seen věry little of her, my dear. I only saw her two or three times before she was married.
Mrs. B. Then, my dear, how could you decide that she was cut out for a good wife? I am sure you could not judge of her by seeing her only two or three times, and before she was married.
Mr. B. Indeed, my love, that is a very just observation. 17 Indeed my love that is a very
Mrs. B. I understand that compliment perfectly, and thank you for it, my dear. I must own I can bear any thing better than irony:
Mr. B. Irony! my dear, I was perfectly in earnèst.
* Aversion, (a vēr'shủn), opposi- 3 I'ron y, a kind of ridicule, in tion of mind; a fixed or constant which we seemingly adopt or apdislike; the object of constant dislike. prove what we really reject or con. > Can't, (kånt), can not.
demn; sarcastic praise.