Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

The “ jeft” hand, as distinguished from the right, is the hand which we “leave;” inasmuch as for twenty times we use the right hand, we do not once employ the left; and it obtains its name from being « left” unused so often. “ Wild" is the parti. ciple past of “to will ;” a “wild ” horse is a “willed” or seif. willed horse, one that has never been tamed, or taught to submit its will to the will of another; and so with a man.

8. Do not suffer words to pass you by which at once provoke and promise to reward inquiry. Here is a conscience, '91 a solemn word, if there be such in the world. This word is from the Latin words “con,” with, and “ scirë,” to know. But what does that “con” intend ? “ Conscience " is not merely that which I know, but that which I know with some one else ; for this pre'fix82 cannot, as I think, be esteemed super'fluous, or taken to imply merely that which I know with or to myself. That cther knower whom the word implies is God, - his law making itse.f known and felt in the heart.

9. What a lesson the word “diligence” contains! How prof. itable is it for every one of us to be reminded, — as we arese reminded when we make ourselves aware of its derivation from “diligo,” to love, – that the only secret of true industry in our work is love of that work!

10. These illustrations are amply enough to justify what I have asserted of the existence of a moral element in words. Must we not own, then, that there is a wondrous and mysterious world, of which we may hitherto have taken too little account, around us and about us ; and may there not be a deeper meaning than hitherto we have attached to it lying in that solemn declaration, “ By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned ” 159

R. C. TRENCH.

XLVII. — THE STREAM THAT WAS MADE TO WORK.

1. That stream which runs through my garden gushes from the side of a furze-covered hill. For a long time it was a happy little stream ; it traversed meadows where all sorts of lovely wild-flowers bathed and mirrored themselves in its waters; then it entered my garden, and there I was ready to receive it. I had prepared green banks for it; on its edge and in its very bed I had planted those flowers which 138 all over the world love to bloom on the banks and in the bosom of pure streams.

2. It flowed through my garden, murmuring its plaintive song; then, fragrants with my flowers, it left the garden, crossed

another meadow, and flung itself into the seas over the precipi. tous sides of a cliff which it covered with foam. It was a happy stream; it had literally nothing to do beyond what I have said, - to flow, to bubble, to look limpid, to murmur amid flowers and sweet perfumes. But the world is ever jealous of the happiness of gentle indolence.

3. One day my brother Eugene, and Savage, the clever i engineer, were talking together on the banks of the stream, and to a certain degree abusing it. “There," said my brother, “is a fine good-for-nothing stream for you, forsooth! winding and daw. dling about, dancing in the sunshiu and revelling in the grass, instead of working and paying for the place it takes up, as an honest stream should. Could it not be made to grind coffee or pepper ?”—“ Or tools ?” added Savage.—" Or to saw boards ?” said my brother. I trembled for the stream, and broke off the conversation, complaining that they were trampling on my forgetme-not bed. Alas! it was against these two alone that I could protect the devoted streamlet.

4. Before long there came into our neighborhood a man whom I noticed more than once hanging about the spot where the stream empties itself into the sea. The fellow, 24 I plainly saw, was neither seeking for rhymes nor indulging in rev'eries upon its banks; he was not lulling thought to rest with the gentle murmur of its waters. “My good friend," he was saying to the stream, “there you are, idling and meändering about, singing to your heart's content, while I am working and wearing myself out. I don't see why you should not help me a bit; as yet you know nothing of the work to be done, but I will soon show you. You will soon know how to set about it. You must find it dull to stay in this way, doing nothing; it would be a change for you to make files or grind knives.”

5. Very soon!38 wheels of all kinds were brought to the poor stream. From that day forward it has worked and turned a great wheel, which turns a little wheel, which turns a grîndstone: it still sings, but no longer the same gently-monotonous song in its peaceful melancholy. Its song is loud and angry now; it leaps and froths and works now, - it grinds knives! It still crosses the meadow, and my garden, and the next meadow; but there the man is on the watch for it, to make it work. I have done the only thing I could do for it. I have dug a new bed for it in my garden, so that it may idle longer there, and leave me a little later; but, for all that, it must go at last and grind knives. Poor stream! thou didst not sufficiently conceal thy happiness in obscurity; — thou hast murmured too audibly thy gentle music.

FROM THE FRENCH OF ALPHONSE KARB.

XLVIII. - A RETROSPECTIVEES REVIEW.

1. O, WHEN I was a tiny boy,
My days and nights were full of joy,

My mates were blithe and kind!
No wonder that I sometimes sigh,
And dash the tear-drop from my cye,

To cast a look behind !

2 A hoop was an eternal round
Of pleasure. In those days I found

A top a joyous thing;
But now those past delights I drop;
My head, alas ! is all my top,

And careful thoughts the string !

3. My kite,131 how fast and far it flew ! Whilst I, a sort of Franklin, Ei drew

_My pleasure from the sky! 'T was papered o'er with studious themes, The tasks I wrote, - my presentoi dreams

Will never soar so high !

4. My joys are wingless all and dead;
My dumpgai are made of more than lead

My flights soon find a fall.
My fears prevail, my fancies droop,
Joy never cometh with a hoop,

And seldom with a call !

5. My football 's laid upon the shelf ;
I am a shuttlecock myself

The world knocks to and fro ;
My archery is all unlearned,
And grief against myself has turned

My arrows and my bow!

6. No more in noontide sun I bask ;
My authorship 's an endless task ;

My head 's ne'er out of school.
My heart is pained with scorn and slight,
I have too many foes to fight,

And friends grow strangely cool !

7. No skies so blue or 80 serene
As then ; — no leaves look half so green

As clothed the playground tree;
All things I loved are altered so !
Nor does it ease my heart to know

That change resides in me!

8. O, for the garb that marked the boy
The trousers made of corduroy, ki

Well inked with black and red ,
The crownless hat, ne'er deemed an ill me
It only let the sunshine still

Repose upon my head !

9. O, for the lessons learned by heart !
Ay, though the very birch's smart

Should mark those hours again ;
I'd “ kiss the rod,” and be resigned
Beneath the stroke, and even find

Some sugar in the cane !
10. When that I was a tiny boy,
My days and nights were full of joy,

My mates were blithe and kind !
No wonder that I sometimes sigh,
And dash the tear-drop from my eye,
To cast a look behind !

THOMAS BOOD.

XLIX. — ADDRESS TO THE INDOLENT.

From “ THE CASTLES OF INDOLENCE." 1. Is not the field with lively culture green

A sight more joyous than the dead morăss?
Do not the skies, with active e'ther clean,
And fanned by sprightly zephyrs, far surpass
The foul NovemberEl fogs, and slumberous mass,
With which sad Nature veils her drooping face?
Does not the mountain-stream, as clear as glass,
Gay dancing on, the putrid pool disgrace? -
The same in all holds true, but chief in human race.

2. It was not by vile loitering in ease

That Greeceti obtained the brighter palm 57 of art,
That soft yet ardent Athengei learnt to please,
To keen El the wit, and to sublime the heart, -
In all supreme ! complete in every part !
It was not thence majestic RomeEl arose,
And o'er the nations shook her conquering dart!
For sluggard's brow the laureleI never grows;
Renown is not the child of indolent repose.

3. Had unambitious mortals minded naught

But in loose joy their time to wear away,-
Had they alono the lap of dalliance sought,
Pleased on her pillow their dull heads to lay, --

Rude Nature's state had been our118 state to-day ;
No cities e’ersi their towery fronts had raised,
No arts had made us opulent and gay;
With brother-brutes the human race had grazed ,
None e'er had soared to fame, none honored been, none praised.

4. But should your hearts to fame unfeeling be,

If right I read, you pleasure all require :
Then see how best may be obtained this fee,
How best enjoyed t?ia, nature's wide desire.
Toil, and be glad! let Industry inspire
Into your quickened limbs her buoyanter breath!
Who does not act is dead; - absorptei entire
In miry sloth, no pride, no joy he hath ;
0, leaden-hearted men, to be in love with death!

5. Ah! what avail the largest gifts of Heaven, 80

When drooping health and spirits go amiss ?
How tasteless then whatever can be given !
Health is the vital principle of bliss,
And exercise of health. “In proof of this,
Behold the wretch who slugszi his life away,
Soon swallowed in disease's sad abyss,
While he whom toil has braced, or manly play,
Has light as air each limb, each thought as clear as day.

6 0, who can speak the vigorous joy of health,

Unclogged the body, unobscured the mind ?
The morning rises gay, with pleasing stealth,
The temperate evening falls serene and kind.
In health the wiser brutes true gladness'l find.
See! how the younglings frisk along the meads,
As Mayer comes on, and wakes the balmy57 wind ;118
Rampant with life, their joy all joy exceeds :
Yet what but high-strung health this dancing pleasaunas brande

7. There are 168 I see, who listen to my lay,

Who wretched sigh for virtue, yet despair.
“ All may be done,” methinks I hear them say,
“ Even death despised by generous actions fair, -
All, but for those who to these bowers repair !
Their every power dissolved in luxury,
To quit of torpid sluggishness the lair,
And from the powerful arms of sloth get free --140
”T is rising from the dead :- Alas! - it cannot be !"

8. Would you, then, learn to dissipate the band

Of these huge threatening difficulties dire, 156
That in the weak man's way like lions stand,
His soul appall,24 and damp his rising fire?

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »