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To fix the fate of Cressy or Poictierger
3. – BEAUTY. — Gay.
4. — THE PLEASURES OF MEMORY. — Rogers. Hail, Memory, hail! In thy exhaustless mine, From age to age, unnumbered treasures shine! Thought, and her shadowy brood, thy call obey, And Place and Time are subject to thy sway! Thy pleasures most we feel when most alone, The only pleasures we can call our own. Lighter than air, Hope's summer-visions die, If but a fleeting cloud obscure the sky; If but a beam of sober Reason play, Lo! Fancy's fairy frost-work melts away. But can the wiles of Art, the grasp of Power, Snatch the rich relics of a well-spent hour ? Theso, when the trembling spirit wings her flight, Pour round her path a stream of living light, And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest, Where Virtue triumphs, and her sons are blessed. 48
5. — AMBITION. – Byron. He who ascends to mountain-tops shall find
The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow: He who surpasses or subdues mankind
Must look down on the hate of those below. Though high above the sun of glory glow,
And far beneath the earth and ocean spread, Round him are icy rocks, and loudly blow
Contending tempest:100 on his naked head; And thus reward the toils which to those summits led.
6. – DEFIANCE. — Young.
7. – AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE. — Wordsworth.
She dwelt among the untrodden ways beside the springs of Dovo.
XXXII. - ON COMPRESSION IN SPEECH AND WRITING.
1. Talk to the point, and stop when you have reached it. The faculty some possess of making one idea cover a quire of paper is not good for much. Be comprehensive in all you say and write. To fill a volume upon nothing is a credit to nobody. There are men who get as one idea into their heads, and but one, and they make the most of it. You can see it, and almost feel it, when10 in their presence.91 On all occasions it is produced, till it is worn as thin as charity.
2. They remind us of a blunderbuss discharged at a humming. bird. You hear a tremendous noise, see a volume of smoke, but you look in vain for the effects. The bird is scattered to atoms. Just so with the idea. It is enveloped in a cloud, and lost amid the rumblings of words and flourishes. Short letters, sermons, speeches, and paragraphs, are favorites with us. Commend us to the young man who wrote to his father, “Dear sir, I am going to be married ;” and also to the old gentleman, who replied, “Dear son, do it.” Such are the men for action; they do more than they say.
3. Eloquence, we are persuaded, will never flourish in any country where the public taste is infantile enough to measure the value of a speech by the hours it occupies, and to exalt copiousness and fertility to the absolute disregard of conciseness. The efficacy and value of compression can scarcely be overrated. The common air, we beat aside with our breath, compressed, has
the force of gunpowder, and will rend the solid rock; and so it is with language.
4. A gentle stream of persuasiveness may flow through the mind, and leave no sediment : let it come at a blow, as a cataract, and it sweeps all before it. It is by this magnificent compression that Cicero confounds Cat'ilines, and Demos thënësel overwhelins Es’chinësel; by this that Mark Antony, as Shakspeare makes him speak, carries the heart away with a bad cause. The language of strong passion is always terseel and compressed; genuine conviction uses few words: there is something of artifice and dishonesty in a long speech.
5. No argument is worth using, because none can make a deep impression, that does not bear to be stated in a single sentence. Our marshalling of speeches, essays, and books, according to their length, deeming that a great work which covers a great space, — this “inordinate appetite for printed paper,” which devours so much and so indiscriminately that it has no leisure for fairly tasting anything, – is pernicious to all kinds of liter. ature, but fatal to oratory. The writer who aims at perfection is forced to dread popularity and steer wide of it; the orator who must court popularity is forced to renounce the pursuit of genuine and lasting excellence.
XXXIII. — TURNING THE GRINDSTONE. 1. Wuen I was a little boy, I remember, one cold winter's morning, I was accosted by a smiling man with an axe on his shoulder. “My pretty boy,” said he, “ has your father a grindstone?” -“Yes, sir,” said I. — “You are a fine little fellow,” said he ; “ will you let me grind my axe on it?” Pleased with the compliment” of “fine little fellow,” “( yes, sir," I answered. " It is down in the shop.” —“And will you, my man,” said he, patting me on the head, “get me a little hot water ?” How could I refuse? I ran, and soon brought a kettle full. “How old are you? and what's your name?” continued he, without waiting for a reply ; “I am sure you are one of the finest lads that ever I have seen ; will you just turn a few minutes for me ?”
2. Tickled with the flattery, like a little fool, I went to work, and bitterly did I rue the day. It was a new axe, and I toiled and tugyed till I was almost tired to death. The school-bell rang, and I could not get away; my hands were blistered, and the axe was not half ground. At length, however, it was sharp
ened ; and the man turned to me with, “ Now, you little rascale you ’ve played truant; scud to the school, or you 'll buy it !" —“Alas!” thought I, “it was hard enough to turn a grind. stone, this cold day; but now to be called a little rascal, is too much."
3. It sank deep in my mind; and often have I thought of it since. When I see a merchant over polite to his customers, – begging them to take a little brandy, and throwing his goods on the counter, -- thinks I, That man has an axe to grind. When I see a man flattering the people, making great professions of attachment to liberty, who is in private life a tyrant, methinks, Look out, good people! that fellow would set you turning grindstones. When I see a man hoisted into office by party spirit, without a single qualification to render him either respectable or useful — alas! methinks, deluded people, you are doomed for a season to turn the grindstone for a booby.
XXXIV. — THE PRESENT IN VIEW OF THE FUTURE.
1. The smallest thing becomes respectable when regarded as the commencement of what has advanced, or is advancing, into magnificence. The first rude settlement of Rom'uluski would have been an insignificant circumstance, and might justly have sunk into oblivion, if Rome had not at length commanded the world. The little rill near the source of one of the great American rivers is an in'teresting object to the traveller) who is apprised as he steps across it, or walks a few miles along its banks, that this is the stream which runs so far, and which gradually swells into so immense a food.
2. So, while103 I anticipate the endless progress of life, and wonder through what unknown scenes it is to take its course, its past years lose that character of vanity which would seem to belong to a train of fleeting, perishing moments, and I see them assuming the dignity of a commencing eternity. In them I have begun to be that conscious existence which I am to be through intinite duration; and I feel a strange emotion of curiosity about this little life, in which I am setting out on such a progress; I cannot be content without an accurate# sketch of the windings thus far of a stream which is to bear me on forever.
3. I try to imagine how it will be to recollect,1m at a far distant point, what I was when here; and wish, if it were possible, to retain, as I advance, the whole course of my existence witain the scope of clear reflection ; to fix in my mind so very strong an idea of what I have been in this original period of my time, that I shall most completely possess this idea in ages too remote for calculation.
XXXV. - HYMN.
How are thy servants blest, O Lord! How sure is their defence !
Thy mercy sweetened every toil, made every region please ;
Confusion dwelt in every face, and fear in every heart,
For, though in dreadful whirls we hung, high on the broken wave,
In midst of dangers, fears, and death, thy goodnessol I 'll adore,
XXXVI. -THE GRAVES OF A HOUSEHOLD.
THEY grew in beauty, side by side ; they filled one house with glee
One, 'midst the forests of the West, by a dark stream is laid ; -