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cxx. — SELECT PASSAGES IN VERSE
1. Trust In God. — Young.
2. HE LIVES Long WHO LIVES WELL. — Randolph.
Wouldst thou live long ? The only means are these,
3. RETIREMENT. —Goldsmith.
0, blest retirement, 162 friend to life's decline !
Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay,
4. THE OLD MAN BY THE BROOK. — Wordsworth. Down to the vale this water steers, how merrily it goes : 'T will murmur on a thousand years, and flow as now it flows. And here, on this delightful day, I cannot choose but think How oft, a vigorous man, I lay beside this fountain's brink. My eyes are filled with childish tears, my heart is idly stirred, For the same sound is in my ears that in those days I heard
O Freedom ! thou art not, as poets dream,
6. THE FOLLY OF PROCRASTINATION.
7. PRACTICAL CHARITY. — Crabbe.
'T is not enough that we with sorrow sigh,
8. The Guilty CONSCIENCE. — Byron.
Is like the scorpion girt by fire :
And maddening in her ire,
9. PRAYER. — Alfred Tennyson.
10. CORONACH. EI — Scott. He is gone on the mountain, he is lost to the forest, Like a summer-dried fountain, when our need was the sorest; The fount, reappearing, from the rain-drops shall borrow, But to us comes no cheering, to Duncan no morrow! The hand of the reaper takes the ears that are höary, But the voice of the weeper wails manhood in glory ;
The autumn winds rushing waft the leaves that are serest,
CXXI. —- JOAN OF ARC.
1. What is to be thought of her ? What is to be thought of the poor shepherd girl from the hills and forests of Lorraine, who rose suddenly out of the quiet, out of the safety, out of the religious inspiration of deep pastoral solitudes, to a station in the van of armies, and to the more perilous station at the right hand of kings? The poor maiden drank not herself from that cup of rest which she had secured for France. No! for her voice was then silent. No! for her feet were dust.
2. Pure, innocent, noble-hearted girl! When the thunders of universal France, as even yet may happen, shall proclaim the grandeur of her who gave up all for her country, thy ear will have been deaf for five centuries. To suffer and to do, that was thy portion in this life: to do, - never for thyself, always for others; to suffer, — never in the persons of generous champions, always in thy own, — that was thy destiny; and not for a moment was it hidden from thyself. Life, thou saidst, is short; let me use that life, so transitory, for glorious ends. .
3. This pure creature -- pure from every suspicion of even a visionary self-interest, even as she was pure in senses more obvious — never once relaxed in her belief in the darkness that was travelling to meet her. She might not prefigure the very manner of her death; she saw not in vision, perhaps, the aèrial altitūde of the fiëry scaffold, the spectators on every road pouring into Rouen I as to a coronation, the surging smoke, the volleying flames; but the voice that called her to death, --- that she heard forever.
4. Great was the throne of France even in those days, and great was he that sat upon it; but well Joän knew that not the throne, nor he that sat upon it, was for her ; but, on the contrary, that she was for them. Not she by them, but they by her, should rise from the dust. Gorgeous were the liliesel of France, and for centuries had they the privilege to spread their beauty over land and sea, until, in another century, the wrath of God and man combined to wither them ; but well Joan knew — early at Domre'my she had read that bitter truth — that the lilies of France would decorate no garland for her. Flower nor bud, bell nor blossom, would ever bloom for her.
5. Joan of Arc was born in 1412, in the little village of Dome re'my, on the borders of Lorraine, in France. Her parents were poor, and maintained themselves by their own labor upon a little land, with a few cattle. Joan worked in the field in summer, and in winter she sewed* and spun. Small was her stock of learning, for she could neither read nor write; but she would often go apart by herself in the pasture, as if to talk with God. She was a devout attendant at church, and gave to the poor to the utmost extent of her means; a girl of natural piety, that saw God in forests, and hills, and fountains, but did not the less seek him in places consecrated by religion.
6. Her native land was at this period in a distracted state. Paris was occupied by English troops; and the King of England was declared by a strong party the rightful heir of the throne of France. The people of the north of France, seeing in his success the end of strife, favored his cause ; but in the south, the country people, and a part of the nobility, stood by the lineal heir, Charles the Seventh, and by the old nationality. Meanwhile the English were extending their power; and the city of Orleans was so closely besieged by them that its fall seemed inevitable. It was a dark day for France.
7. For some time, Joan had entertained the belief that she was in communion with the spirits of departed saints ; that she saw angelic visions and heard angelic voices. These voices now whispered to her the duty imposed upon herself of delivering France and restoring its nationality. She found the means of making her way to the presence of the true heir of the throne, Charles the Seventh; and although, as he stood among his courtiers, he at first, in order to test her prophetic gift, maintained that he was not the king, she fell down and embraced his knees, declaring that he was the man. She offered to raise the siege of Orleans, and to conduct Charles to Rheims Ei to be crowned.
8. At this time she was eighteen years old, slender and deli. cate in shape, with a pleasant countenance, a somewhat pale complexion, eyes rather melancholy than eager, and rich chesta nut-brown hair. As the king's affairs were hopeless, he did not refuse what seemed the preternatural aid proffered by Joan. She demanded for herself a particular sword in the church of St. Catharine, which was given to her. She put on a male dress, and unfurled her banner at the head of the French army, whom she had inspired with her own strong convictions of help from on high through her means.
9 She now appeared frequently in battle, and was several