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XL. — SELECT PASSAGES IN VERSE.
1. — Happiness. — Keble.
There are166 in this rude stunning tide
Of human care and crime,
Of the everlasting chime;
2. — Friendship.— Wordsworth.
Small service is true service while it lasts;
Of friends, however humble, scorn not one: The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,
Protects the lingering dew-drop33 from the sun.
3. — Comfort In Adversity. — Southey.
Methinks, if ye would know
How visitations of calamity
Affect the pious soul, 't is shown you there!
Look yonder at that cloud, which, through the sky,
Sailing alone, doth cross in her career
The rolling moon ! — I watched it as it came,
And deemed the deep opaque" would blot her beams
But, melting like a wreath of snow, it hangs
In folds of wavy silver round, and clothes
The orb with richer beauties than her own;
Then, passing, leaves her in her light serene!
4. — Futurity.40 — Dryden.
Too curious man, why dost thou seek to know
5. — Shortsightedness Of Man. — Trench.
A dew-drop, falling on the ocean-wave,
And. happy now, the grace did magnify
Which thrust it forth — as it had feared — to die;
Until again, " I perish quite," it said,
Torn by rude diver from its ocean bed:
O, unbelieving! —So it came to gleam
Chief jewel in a monarch's diadem.
6. — Independence. — Thomson.
1 care not, Fortune, what you me156 deny;
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace;
You cannot shut the windows of the sky,
Through which Aurora" shows her brightening faoo ,
You cannot bar" my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and liner fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave;
Of Fancy, Reason, Virtue, naught can me bereave!
7. — The Moral Law.— Wordsworth.
All true glory rests, All praise of safety, and all happiness,
Upon the moral law. Egyptian Thebes," Tyre by the margin of the sounding waves, Palmy'ra central in the desert, fell, And the arts died by which they had been raised.
Call Archimedes" from his buried tomb45
Upon the plain of vanished Syracuse," And feelingly the sage shall make report How insecure, how baseless in itself, Is that philosophy whose sway is framed For mere material instruments: — how weak Those arts and high inventions, if unpropped By Virtue.
8. — The Kuined City.
1 asked of Time, from whom those temples rose,
That, prostrate by his hand, in silence lie. His lips disdained the mystery156 to disclose,
And, borne on swifter wing, he hurried by ! — "These broken columns,58 whose ?" I asked of Fame:
(Her kindling breath gives life to works sublime131) — With downcast looks of mingled grief and shame,
She heaved the uncertain2'sigh, and followed Time.
I saw Oblivion pass, with giant stride;
"Haply thou know'st; — then, tell me whose !" I cried, "Whoso these vast domes that even in ruin shine?" — "I reck not whose," he said; "they now are mine!"
XLI. — JOHN POUNDS, THE COBBLER.
1. John Pounds was one of those good Samaritans" of whom every generation apparently produces seme examples. Born ?• the 17th of July, in the year 1766, at Portsmouth in England, he was apprenticed, when twelve years'of age, to a shipwright, with whom he served three years of his term, when a serious accident happened to the boy. Falling one day from a considerable height'into one of the dry docks," he dislocated his thigh, and was in other respects very grievously injured. Time and surgical ingenuity sufficed to restore him to a tolerable state, but he was crippled in such a manner as to be unfitted tc resume95 his trade; and so John Pounds became a cobbler.
2. He lived a lonely kind of life. Having no household sooi ety,92 and being little disposed to go abroad in quest of entertainment, he relieved his involuntary solitude by rearing99 and domesticating all kinds of singing birds and harmless animals; teaching some of them a variety of amusing tricks, and accustoming those of opposite6 propensities to live together in harmony. He would sit with a cat upon one shoulder, and a canary-bird on the other, charming away fear from the one, and curbing destructive inclinations in the other.
3. The notion of undertaking the gratuitous education97 of poor children seems to have been suggested accidentally to John Pounds. A brother of his, who was a seafaring man with a large family, had amongst the rest a feeble little boy, with deformed feet. John benevolently took charge of this lad, cured him of his deformity, and taught him to read. Thinking it would be well for the boy to have a companion in study, he took another, and then another poor child under his care, until at length he became a sort of ragged schoolmaster-general to all the poorer population; and, in a spirit of noble disinterestedness, performed a most serviceable work in his generation.
4. He might be seen, day after day, in his small workshop, about six feet wide, and eighteen in length, in St. Mary-street, Portsmouth, seated on his stool, mending shoes, and attending at the same time to the studies of a busy crowd of ragged children, clustering around him. Sometimes there would be assembled in his shop as many as forty boys and girls, the latter of whom he kept a little apart from the rest. In receiving pupils,98 he made choice98 of those who seemed most in need of his reforming discipline. He had a decided predilection for "the little blackguards," and was frequently at great pains to attract such within his door. He was once seen following a young vagabond" of this stamp, and endeavoring to entice him to come to
'iooi with the bribe of a baked potato.94
5. His methods of tuition were somewhat original.90. He collected all sorts of refuse82 hand-bills and scraps of printed and written paper, which he found lying anywhere uselessly about,d with these he contrived to teach reading and spelling. With the younger children his manner was particularly pleasant. He would ask them the names of different91 parts of their body, make them spell the words, and signify their uses. For instance, taking hold of a child's hand, he would say, "What do you call this?" and, having received his answer, direct him to spell the word. Then, giving the hand a playful slap, he would ask, "What do I do?" and teach him next to spell the word expressive of the act.
6. Should this remind any one of Mr. Squeers'g" analogous*' method of teaching a boy to spell " horse,"98 and' then, by way of emphatic illustration, sending him to rub such an animal down, that he might the better remember his lesson, it will be proper to recollect the different pretensions of the parties, and not to confound an ignorant charlatan" with an honest and benevolent person, who performs his work with conscientious consideration, and according to the extent of his ability and means.
7. Writing and arithmetic were taught by John Pounds to the elder pupils, in a manner to give them a creditable degree of skill in those branches. Many25 of the boys he taught to mend their shoes, to cook their food, and perform a variety of useful services for themselves and others. Not only did he superintend their sports and personal habits, but the generous and considerate teacher likewise exerted himself in curing their bodily ailments, such as chilblains, and coughs, and the manifold cuts and bruises to which the children of the poor are continually exposed. OftenTM he shared his own scanty and homely provisions with destitute and forsaken91 children. He acknowledged universal kinship with the neglected and unhappy.
8. The sort of education which John Pounds was enabled to give was doubtless very imperfect; but it was infinitely preferable to none at all. He had ample assurances that his steadfast labors, adhered to through a long life, were not fruitless. Coming home from foreign service or a distant voyage, often would some tall soldier, or rough jovial sailor, now grown up out of all remembrance, call to shake hands with him, and confess the benefits he had received from his instruction. These were proud occasions for the poor and modest cobbler. Other recompense than this he had scarcely any. So quietly and unobtrusively had he all along pursued his purpose, that comparatively few persons, of the respectable sort in the world's estimation, knew" anything of his proceedings.
9. It was the wish of John Pounds that his labors might terminate only with his life. The thought of lingering out anyortion of his days uselessly and helplessly was a painful one for him to entertain; and it was his hope to go off suddenly, in the way, as he said, "in which'03 a bird drops from his perch." The desire of his soul was granted. On the first101 of January,"1839, he expired suddanly, from a rupture of one of the large vessels30 of the heart, at the house of a gentleman whom he had called upon to thank for certain37 acts100 of kindness recently rendered to his establishment.
10. A little boy who was with him at the time carried the intelligence to his assembled school-fellows, who were all instantly overwhelmed with sorrow and consternation. Some of the younger ones returned to the house for several successive days, looking painfully about the room, and apparently unable to comprehend the reality of the loss they had sustained. Old and young, in a numerous and motley assemblage, followed his body to the grave, and saw him to his rest with tears and blessings.
11. One cannot sufficiently admire the heartiness and generosity of this poor man's labors. Patiently from year to year he went on, quietly performing these daily acts of charity and mercy, without needing or expecting anybody's approbation, or even conceiving that he was doing anything remarkable. A good man and a true one, he flung the benefits of his sympathy, and of such talents as he possessed, over all that seemed to need them; finding a joyful satisfaction in being useful to such as had no helper, and leaving, with an assured heart, the results of his endeavors to that universal Providence which heeds and nurtures whatever seeds of goodness91 are sown anywhere in the world. No slightest service to humanity can be lost, but successfully proclaims itself, or works silently to some benefit.
XLII. THE SPRING SHOWER.
1. Away to that snug nook! For, the thick shower