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strengthened, the sense quickened, the genius awakened, the affections raised — the whole man turned to the best account? You must invigorate the containing and sustaining mind, you must strengthen him from within, as well as fill him from without; you must discipline, nourish, edify, relieve, and refresh his entire nature; and how ?
5. Encourage not merely the book knowledge, but the personal pursuit of natural history, of field botany, of geology, of zoology; give the young, fresh, unforgetting eye exercise and free scope upon the infinite diversity and combination of natural colors, forms, substances, surfaces, weights, and sizes. Give young students everything, in a word, that will educate their eye or ear, their touch, taste, and smell, their sense of muscular resistance; encourage them to make models, preparations, and collections of any natural objects; and, above all, try and get hold of their affections, and make them put their hearts into their work. Let them be drilled in composition; by this we mean the writing and spelling of correct, plain English — a matter not of every-day occurrence, — let them be encouraged in the use of a wholesome and manly literature.
6. But one main help is to be found in studying, and by this we do not mean the mere reading, but the digging into and through, the energizing upon, and mastering the best books. Taking up a book and reading a chapter of lively, manly sense, is like taking a game at cricket or a run to the top of Arthur Seat. Exertion quickens your pulse, expands your lungs, makes your
blood warmer and redder, fills your mouth with the pure waters of relish, strengthens and supples your legs; and though on your way to the top you may encounter rocks and baffling débris, just as you will find in serious and honest books difficulties and puzzles ; still you are rewarded at the top by a wide view. You see as from a tower the end of all. You see the clouds, the bright lights and the everlasting hills on the far horizon. You come down the hill a happier, a better, and a hungrier man, and of a better mind.
7. But, as we said, you must eat the book, you must crush it, and cut it with your teeth and swallow it; just as you must walk up, and not be carried up the hill, much less imagine you are there, or look upon a picture of what you would see were you up, however accurately or artistically done; no — you yourself must do both. He who has obtained any amount of knowledge is not truly wise unless he appropriates and can use it for his need.
DR. JOHN BROWN.
LXXVIII. – THE AMERICAN FLAG.
When Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air,
And set the stars of glory there;
And striped its pure, celestial white,
Who rear'st aloft thy regal form,
When strive the warriors of the storm, And rolls the thunder-drum of heaven, Child of the sun! to thee 'tis given
To guard the banner of the free,
The harbingers of victory!
The sign of hope and triumph high,
And the long line comes gleaming on. Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet,
Has dimmed the glistening bayonet, Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn
To where thy sky-born glories burn; And as his springing steps advance, Catch war and vengeance from the glance.
And when the cannon-mouthings loud
Then shall thy meteor glances glow,
Each gallant arm that strikes below That lovely messenger of death.
Flag of the seas! on ocean wave
Thy stars shall glitter o’er the brave; When death, careering on the gale,
Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail, And frighted waves rush wildly back
Before the broadside's reeling rack,
Shall look at once to heaven and thee,
Flag of the free heart's hope and home!
By angel hands to valor given; Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born in heaven. Forever float that standard sheet!
Where breathes the foe but falls before us, With Freedom's soil beneath our feet, And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us !
JOSEPH RODMAN DRAKE.
LXXIX. — THE SOUTHERN SOLDIER.
1. You of the North have had drawn for you with a master's hand the picture of your returning armies. You have heard how, in the pomp and circumstance of war, they came back to you, marching with proud and victorious tread, reading their glory in a nation's eyes.
2. Will you bear with me while I tell you of another army that sought its home at the close of the late war — an army that marched home in defeat and not in victory, in pathos and not in splendor ?
3. Let me picture to you the footsore Confederate soldier, as, buttoning up in his faded gray jacket the parole which was to bear testimony to his children of his fidelity and faith, he turned his face southward from Appomattox in April, 1865. Think of him as ragged, half-starved, heavy-hearted, enfeebled by want and wounds; having fought to exhaustion, he surrenders his gun, wrings the hands of his comrades in silence, and lifting his tear-stained and pallid face for the last time to the graves that dot the old Virginia hills, pulls his gray cap over his brow and begins the slow and painful journey.
4. What does he find — let me ask you, who went to your homes eager to find in the welcome you had justly earned, full payment for four years' sacrifice — what does he find when having followed the battle-stained cross against overwhelming odds, dreading death not half so much as surrender, he reaches the home he left so prosperous and beautiful ?