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To picture in prophetic rhyme
3. When I am old ? - Perhaps ereti then
I shall be missed from haunts of men ;
CAROLINE A. BRIGGS.
CXI. - HYMN OF THE MOUNTAINEERS.
For the strength of the hills we bless thee, our God, our fathers
God! Thou hast made thy children mighty, by the touch of the mountain
sod. Thou hast fixed our ark of refuge where the spoiler's foot ne'er
trod; For the strength of the hills we bless thee, our God, our fathers'
God! We are watchers of a beacon whose light must never die ; * We are guardians of an altar midst the silence of the sky; The rocks yield founts of courage, struck forth as by thy rod; For the strength of the hills we bless thee, our God, our fathers'
For the dark-resounding caverns, where thy still, small voice is
heard; For the strong pines of the forests, that by thy breath are stirred; For the storms, on whose free pinions thy spirit walks abroad; For the strength of the hills, we bless chee, our God, our fathers'
The royal eagle darteth on his quarryki from the heights,
The banner of the chieftain 162 far, far below us waves;
CXII. — IS KNOWLEDGE POWER? 1. If I wished to prove the value of religion, would you think I served it much if I took as my motto “ Religion is power” ? Would not that be a base and sordid view of its advantages ? And would you not say, he who regards religion as a power intends to abuse it as a priestcraft? If the cause be holy, do not weigh it in the scales of the market; if its objects be peaceful, do not seek to arm it with the weapons of strife ; if it is to be the ce'ment of society, do not vaunt it as the triumph of class against class.
2. Knowledge is one of the powers in the moral world, but one that, in its immediate result, is not always of the most worldly advantage to the possessor. It is one of the slowest, because one of the most durable, of agencies. It may take a thousand years for a thought to come into power, and the thinker who originated it might have died in rags or in chains. Saith an Italian proverb, “ The teacher is like the candle, El which lights others in consuming itself.”
3. Therefore, he who has the true ambition of knowledge should entertain it for the power of his ideä, not for the power it may bestow on himself. It should be lodged in the conscience, and, like the conscience, look for no certain reward on this side the grave. And, since knowledge is compatible with good and with evil, would it not be better to say, “ Knowledge is a trust" ? Hence, so far from considering that we do all that is needful to accomplish ourselves as men when we cultivate only the intellect, we should remember that we thereby continually increase the range of our desires, and therefore of our temptations.
4. We should endeavor, simultaneously, to cultivate both those affections of the heart which prove the ignorant to be God's children no less than the wise, and those moral qualities which have made men great and good when reading and writing were scarcely known. Patience and fortitude under poverty and distress; humility and beneficence amidst grandeur and wealth; justice, the father of all the more solid virtues, softened by charity, which is their loving mother; accompanied by these, knowledge, indeed, becomes the magnificent crown of humanity,.
- not the imperious despot, but the checked and tempered sovereign of the soul.
SIR E. BULWER LYTTON.
5. It is a miserable mistake, though by no means an unfrequent one, to suppose that the value of the intellect consists mainly or principally in its sufficiency for our worldly furtherance. The man who can come to such a conclusion is in much the same degree of baseness and absurdity as those who were followers of vur Saviour only for the sake of the loaves and fishes. We value intelligence high, not because it may lead us to such things, as, indeed, it often does, but because it raises us above them. Not that I am one of those who regard the advantages of this world as things absolutely of no account. Good houses and good clothes, and a good diet, and good possessions generally, are welcome, for the most part, even to the most rational man. I would not detract from them; let them pass for their full value; only thus much would I say, that the only effect upon our welfare of these and all other external things is by their impressions upon the mind.
6. Impressions from without never fail to be dulled and deadened by repetition. But our intellectual habits, on the contrary.kz are strengthened by exercise; they become quicker, more vivid, and more agreeable, from day to day. As the mind is the man, we must address ourselves to the mind if we would procure the man's enjoyment; we must frame it to energy, and quickness, and sensibility. A person of loose, and feeble, and listless disposition, will be feeble and listless still, though he be surrounded with pleasurable resources. They will merely tantalize him ; he can do nothing with great means; whereas the man of intelligence, quick, lively, and full of spirit, can make much of very little means, turn all things to account, find everywhere a soul of gladness, and “good in everything.”
7. Thus am I requited. This is the service that my mind, with all the pains that I have bestowed upon it, has rendered me; and verily, the reward is not such as to attract the worldly
eye, or kindle the lust of covetousness. There is nothing of show or glitter in it; nothing of pomp or circumstance • neither by its means have I arrived, nor am I ever likely to arrive, at great. ness. It speaks not in the trumpet-blast of fame, but in the still voice of consciousness. Nor yet am I altogether sure that my mind, as I have framed it, will insure me what is called success in life; for this depends not on one's self; occasion may be wanting to it, competition may keep it out, accident may frustrate it.
8. But, though it has given me none of these things, it has done me a far better service, inasmuch as it has enabled me to forego them, and to live contentedly without them. It can never assure me the favors of fortune, but it has made me independent of her. By its aid I can find my happiness in myself, instead of looking for it anxiously, and hurriedly, and vainly, in things without me. This is my reward; and, on the whole, comparing what I have gained with what I have undergone, I am well satisfied with it, — satisfied to the very fulness of gratitude. Truly then did Solomon say unto us, “Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom; and, with all thy getting, get understand. ing. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee; she shall bring thee to honor when thou dost embrace her. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee; love her, and she shall keep thee.”
CXIII. – TRUE COURAGE.
1. ONWARDS' throw all terrors off!
Slight the scorner, — scorn the scoff.
2 Mark the slowly-moving plough:
Is its day of victory now?
CXIV. — HISTORICAL CHARACTERS.
1. DEMOSTHENES. - Creasy. • Op all political characters,” says the German historian, Heeren, “ Demos'thěnēs is the most sublime; he is the purest tragic character with which history is acquainted. When, still trembling with the ve'hement force of his language, we read his life in Plutarch, El when we transfer ourselves into his times and his situation, we are carried away by a deeper interest than can be excited by any hero of the epicEl muse or of tragedy.EI From his first appearance till the moment when he swallowed poison in the temple, we see him contending against destiny, which seems to mock him with malignant cruelty. It throws him to the ground, but never subdues him.
« What a crowd of emotions must have struggled through his manly breast amidst this interchange of reviving and expiring hopes! How natural was it that the lines of melancholy and of indignation, such as we yet behold in his bust, should have been imprinted on his severe countenance! It was his high calling to be the pillar of a sinking state. Thirty years he remained true to this cause, nor did he yield till he was buried beneath the ruins of his country.”
It was about the middle of the fourth century El before our era when Demosthenes began to command attention in the Athenian assemblies. His first attempt, like those of Walpole and Sheridan in the British parliament, EI was a failure; and the derision which he received from the multitude would have discouraged an inferior spirit forever. It only nerved Demosthenes to severer study, and to a more obstinate contest with his physical disadvantages. He assiduously practised his growing powers as an advocate before the legal tribunals before he again ventured to speak on state affairs. But at length he reappeared before the people, and the dominion of his genius was supreme.
2. CICERO AND DEMOSTHENES COMPARED. — Fenelon. To me Demos'thěnēs seems superior to Cicero. I yield to no one in my admiration of the latter. He adorns whatever he touches. He lends honor to speech. He uses words as no one else can use them. His versatility is beyond description. He is even concise and ve'hement when disposed to be so, — as against Căt'iline, against Věrres, against An'tony. But we de. tect the embellishments in his discourses. The art is marvellous, but it is not hidden. The orator does not, in his concern for the