« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
stone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow. When I see kings lying by those who deposed them, — when I consider rival" wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, — I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little . competitions, factions, and debates, of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together. — Addison.
13. The Efficacy Of Prayer. — There are some who say, "What good to pray? God is too far above us to hear creatures so insignificant." And who has made these creatures so insignificant? Who but God has given them thought, sentiment, and the faculty of speech? And if He has been thus good towards them, was it to abandon them afterwards, and repel them far from Him? Verily, I say to you, whoever says in his heart that God despises his works, the same blasphemes God. There are others who say, " What good to pray to God? Does not God know better than we what we have need of?" Yes; God knows better than you what you have need of; and that is why He would have you ask it of Him; for God is himself your first need, and to pray to God is to begin to possess God. The father knoweth the wants of his son; must the son therefore never make a request of his father, nor thank him for his benefits? There sometimes passes over the land a wind which dries the plants, and then we see their withered stems droop towards the earth; but, moistened by the dew, they recover their freshness, and lift up their languishing heads. The world has its scorching winds which pass over the soul of man, and make it arid. Prayer is the dew which refreshes the soul. — De Lammenais.
14. Death.—O, death! dark hour to hopeless unbelief! hour to which, in that creed of despair, no hour shall succeed! being's last hour! to whose appalling darkness even the shadows of an avenging retribution were brightness and relief — death! — what art thou to the Christian's assurance? Great hour! answer to life's prayer; great hour that shall break asunder the bond of life's mystery; hour of release from life's burden; hour of reunion with the loved and lost, — what mighty hopes hasten to their fulfilment in thee! What longings, what aspirations, breathed in the still night, beneath the silent stars; what dread emotions of curiosity; what deep meditations of joy; what hallowed impossibilities shadowing forth realities to the soul, all rerge to their consummation in thee! 0, death! the ChrisBan's death! What art thou, but a gate of life, a portal of heaven, the threshold of eternity! — Dewey.
CXLIX. — ADAM AND ORLANDO.
Orlando. Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go
Adam. But do not so; I have five hundred crowns,
Orl. O, good old man! how well in thee appears
Adam. Master, go on, and I will follow theo,
At seventeen years many their fortunes seek;But at fourscore, it is too late a week:
CL.—A SISTER PLEADS FOR A BROTHER'S LIFE.
Isabella. I Am a woful suitor to your honor, Please but your honor hear me.
Angela. Well; what'syour suitf
lsab. There is a vice, that most I do abhor,
Ang. Well; the matter?
Isab. I have a brother is condemned to die:
Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it!
Isab. O just, but severe law!
Ang. Maiden, no remedy.
Isab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him, And neither Heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.
Ang. I will not do't.
Isab. But can you, if you would?
Ang. Look! what I will not, that I cannot do.
Isab. But might you do't, and do the world no wrong If so your heart were touched with that remorse As mine is to him?
Ang. He's sentenced; 't is too late.
Isab. Too late? why, no: I, that do speak a word,
Ang. Pray you, begone.
Isab. I would to Heaven I had your potency, And you were Isabel should it then be thus!
No! I would tell what't were to be a judge,
Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
Isal Alas! alas!
Ang. Be you content, fair maid;
Isab. To-morrow? O, that's sudden! Spare him, spare him.
Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept: Those many had not dared to do that evil, If the first man that did the edict infringe Had answered for his deed: now, 't is awake; Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet, Looks in a glass," that shows what future evils (Either now, or by remissness new-conceived, And so in progress to be hatched and born), Are now to have no successive" degrees, But, where they live, to end.
Isab. Yet show some pity!
Ang. I show it most of all when I show justice;
Isab. So you must be the first that gives this sentence, —
Would use his heaven for thunder; nothing but thunder.
Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured, —
His glass' essence, — like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high Heaven
As make the angels weep.
We cannot weigh our brother with ourself:
Great men may jest jvith saints: 't is wit in them
But, in the less, foul profanation.
That in the captain's but a choleric word,
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me?Isab. Because authority, though it err like others,
Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know That's like my brother's fault; if it confess A natural guiltiness, such as is his, Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue Against my brother's life. Ang. [Aside.]" She speaks, and't is
Isab. Gentle, my lord, turn back.
Ang. I will bethink me. — Come again to-morrow.
Isab. Hark, how I '11 bribe you! Good, my lord, turn back
Ang. How! bribe me?
Isab. Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.
Ang. Well; come to me
Isab. Heaven keep your honor safe!
Ang. Amen. Shakspeare.
CLI. — THE MIND ITS OWN EDUCATOR.
1. Knowledge and virtue, or, in other words, intellectual and moral improvement, are mainly the mind's own work. The ordinary processes of direct instruction are, at best, but means, facilities, and aids, — of immense importance, it is true, but which presuppose in the mind to which they are applied an active, self moving cooperation. None can carry us up the hill of learning It must be done, if done, by the strain upon oui »wn sinews by the wrenching of our tiwn musctes, by the indomi