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terror of death. If you think it right to differ from the times, and to make a stand for any valuable point of morals, do it, however rustic, however antiquated, however pedantic it may appear; - do it, not by insolence, but seriously and grandly, as a man who has a soul of his own in his bosom, and did not wait till it was breathed into him by the breath of fashion. Let men call you mean, if you know you are just; hypocritical, if you are honestly religious; pusillanimous, if you feel that you are firm : resistance soon converts unprincipled wit into sincere respect; and no aftertime can tear from you those feelings which every man carries within him who has made a noble and successful exertion in a virtuous cause. - Rev. Sydney Smith.
4. IMPORTANCE OF VERACITY. — Let it be always borne in mind that he who knowingly utters what is false tells a lie; and a lie, whether white or of any other color, is a violation of the command of that God by whom we must be judged. And let us remember that there is no vice which more easily than this stupefies a man's conscience. He who tells lies frequently will soon become an habitual liar; and an habitual liar will soon lose the power of readily distinguishing between the conceptions of his imagination and the recollections of his memory. Let every one, therefore, beware of the most distant approaches to this detestable vice. A volume might easily be written on the misery and loss of character which have grown out of a single lie; and another volume of illustrations of the moral power which men have gained by means of no other prominent attribute than that of bold, unshrinking veracity. — President Wayland.
5. ON PERSEVERANCE UNDER FAILURE. — The differences of character are never more distinctly seen than in times when men are surrounded by difficulties and misfortunes. There are some who, when disappointed by the failure of an undertaking from which they had expected great things, make up their minds at once to exert themselves no longer against what they call fate, as if thereby they could avenge themselves upon fate; others grow desponding and hopeless; but a third class of men will rouse themselves just at such moments, and say to themselves, “ The more difhcult it is to attain my ends, the more honorable it will be; " and this is a maxim which every one should impress upon himself as a law. Some of those who are guided by it prosecute their plans with obstinacy, and so perish others, who are more practical men, if they have failed in one way, will try another. – Niebuhr.
6. THE ABUSE OF THE IMAGINATION. — He who cannot command his thoughts must not hope to control his actions. All mental superiority originates in habits of thinking. By vain thoughts, we may und rstand those wilful excursions of the imagination, those airy visions of future happiness (as improbable as they are indeed undesirable), which, it is to be feared, are by many not only admitted, but encouraged. The effects of this kind of indulgence on the mind are much the same as those of intemperance on the body; enfeobling its powers, rendering every present occupation insipid, every duty dry, and creating a distaste for all mental improvement; at the same time that it cherishes the love of self, and blunts every benevolent and generous senti. ment.
Nor is it too much to say, that an habitual indulgence of these visionary pleasures is absolutely incompatible with religious improvement. The mind, whose favorite employment is forming plans and wishes for possessing the pleasures, honors, riches, vanities of this world, cannot be seeking, "first, the kingdom of God;” cannot be “hungering and thirsting after righteousness ;'. cannot have “fixed its affections on things above." Well, then, might David exclaim, “I hate vain thoughts, but Thy law do I love.” He knew that to love both was impossible, for he setg them in direct opposition to each other. – Jane Taylor.
7. IDLENESS. – An idle and vacant life, even with all the aid that amusement can give, is not calculated to be a happy one; and this simply because Providence has constituted us with a view to activity, as what was to be the means of accommodating the raw materials of the physical world to our needs. Idleness, therefore, injures and disorganizes, while activity alone will preserve health or secure the prolongation of life. Who, it may be asked, in one word, are the happy? — Those who have something and not too much to do; that something being suitable to their faculties and their tastes. Who are the unhappy? Alas! what a large portion of the class is composed of those who, having all their ordinary needs supplied from other sources, do not need to labor! - Chambers.
8. A IIABIT OF JESTING. —- Some persons give themselves up so entirely to an ironical and bantering kind of discourse, and use a phraseology so full of whimsical slang, that their real sentiments are at length buried beneath a mass of rubbish, and, after knowing them for years, you become alive to the painful recol. lection, that, during the whole time, you have not found in their character a single piece of solid ground whereon to rest your foot. Persons of this kind live in a perpetual masquerade ; they grow old with the rattle in their hands; and, while their neighbors are all more or less busied with serious objects, they aim at no higher gratification than that of being laughed at. All manly and estimable qualities in time sink under the habit. — Ib.
9. LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS. – To abstracts the mind from all local emotion would be impossible if it were endeavored, and would be foolish if it were possible. Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses, whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future, predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and my friends be such frigid philosophy as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. The man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force on the plains of Marathon, El or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.I — Johnson.
CLXXII. — FROM HAMLET.
HAMLET – GUILDENSTERN — ROSENCRANTZ. Hamlet. W at have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
Guildenstern. Prison, my lord !
Ham. A goodly one; in which there are many con'fines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one of the worst.
Ros. We think not so, my lord.
Ham. Why, then 't is none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison.
Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one; 't is too narrow for your mind.
Ham. 0! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams. ... But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?
Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.
Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you ; and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear, a halfpenny.1 Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining ? Is it a free visitation? Come, come ; deal justly with me; come, come; nay, speak.
Guil. What should we say, my lord ?
Him. Anything; but to the purpose You were sont for, and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to color; I know the good king and queen have sent for you.
Ros. To what end, my lord ?
Ham. That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether ye were sent for, or no ?
Ros. What say you ? [To GUILDENSTERN.]
Ham. Nay, then I have an eye of you; [Aside.] if you love me, hold not off.
Guil. My lord, we were sent for.
Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moulter no feather. I have of late (but wherefore I know not) lost all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercises : and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile prom'ontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majesti. cal roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties ! in form, and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel ! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the păr’agon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? .Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands. You are welcome; but my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.
Guil. In what, my dear lord ?
Ham. I am but mad north-north-west ; when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw.
ANOTIIER SCENE WITH THE SAME.
Ham. Your wisdom should show itself more richer, to signify this to the doctor; for, for me to put him to his purgation would, perhaps, plunge him into more choler.
Guil. Good, my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start not so wildly from my affair.
Ham. I am tame, sir; pronounce.
Guil. The queen your mother, in most great affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you.
llam. You are welcome.
Guil. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do your mother's commandment; if not, your pardon and my return shall be the end of my business.
Ham. Sir, I cannot.
Ham. Make you a wholesome answer; my wit 's diseased : but, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command; or, rather, as you say, my mother; therefore no more, but to the matter. My mother, you say, –
Ros. Then thus she says : Your behavior hath struck her into amazement and admiration.
Ham. O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother! But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration ? Impart.
Ros. She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you go to bed.
Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any further trade with us ?
Ros. My lord, you once did love me.
Ham. And do still, by these pickers and stealers ! [Showing his fingers.]
Ros. Good, my lord; what is your cause of distemper? You do surely but bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend.
Ham. Sir, I lack advancement.
Ros. How can that be, when you have the voice of the king himself for your succession in Denmark ?
Ham. Ay, sir, but, “ While the grass grows,” — the proverb is something musty. [Enter the Players, with recorders.]KI O, the recorders: - let me see one. To withdraw with you :[To Guil.] Why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me into a toil ?
Guil. O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.
Ham. I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe ?
Guil. My lord, I cannot.