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certainly feel yourself belonging to it, even against your wishes by the oppressions you would suffer? And do you, then, the less belong to a government, because of its being good, and not oppressive? Not belong to a government! Ah! you walk the Streets, protected by a shield which you do not sec: you are safe in your hor at night, not so much by the bolt on the door, as by the :,visible presence of law, which is round the house to gua^ it. In your manner of thinking, in your free conversation wiifl your friends, in your innermost feelings and in your outward life, and even in the tone of your voice, there is the proof and the influence of the government you belong to.— Wm. aloruntford.
2. The Lovt Of Home. — It is only shallow-minded pretenders who either make distinguished origin a matter of personal merit, or obscure origin a matter of personal reproach. Taunt and scoffing at the humble condition of early life affect nobody in America but those who are foolish enough to indulge in them, and they are generally sufficiently punished by public rebuke. A man who is not ashamed of himself need not be ashamed of his early condition. It did not happen to me to be born in a log-cabin; but my elder brothers and sisters were born in a log-cabin, raised among the snow-drifts of New Hampshire, at a period so early, that when the smoke first rose from its rude chimney, and curled over the frozen hills, there was no similar evidence of a white man's habitation between it and the settlements on the rivers of Canada.
Its remains still exist; I make to it an annual visit. I carry my children to it, to teach them the hardships endured by the generations which have gone before them. I love to dwell on the tender recollections, the kindred ties, the early affections, and the touching narratives and incidents which mingle with all I know of this primitive family abode. I weep to think that none of those who inhabited it are now among the living; and if ever I am ashamed of it, or if ever I fail in affectionate veneration for him who reared it, and defended it against savage violence and destruction, cherished all the domestic virtues beneath its roof, and, through the fire and blood of a seven years' revolutionary war, shrunk from no danger, no toil, no sacrifice, to serve his country, and to raise his children to a condition better than his own, may my name, and the name of my posterity, be blotted forever from the memory of mankind ! — Daniel Webster.
3. Hesistance To Ridicule. — Learn from the earliest days to msure your principles against the perils of ridicule; you can no more exercise your reason, if you live in the constant dread of iaughter, than you can enjoy your life, if you are in the constant 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 ou jnean, if you know you are just; hypocritical, if you are onestly 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. — Reo. 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 b ild, unshrinking veracity. — President Wayland.
t. 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 difficult 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 Tub Imagination.—He who cannot command bis thoughts must not hope to control his actions. All mental superiority originates in habits of thinking. By vain thoughts we may understand those wilful excursions of the imagination, those airy visions of future happiness (as improbable as they are iudeed 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; enfeebling 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 sentiment.
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 sets 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 iheir ordinary needs supplied from other sources, do not net'd to labor! — Chambers.
8. A Habit 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 recollection, 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. — J)"
9. Local Associations. — To abstract85 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 Mar'a.thon," or whose piety would cot grow warmer among the ruins of Iona." — Johnson.
CLXXII.— FROM HAMLET.
Hamlet — Guildenstern — Rosencrant^.
Hamlet. What have you, my good friends, deserved at toe hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither? Guildenstern. Prison, my lord! Ham. Denmark's a prison. Rosencrantz. Then is the world one.
Ham. A goodly one; in which there are many con'fines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one of the worst. Bos. 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.
Bos. Why, then your ambition makes it one; 't is too narrow for your mind.
Ham. O! 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?
Bos. 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." 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?
Ham. Anything; but to the purpose You were sent 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, Dy 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 moult" 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 yoli, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical 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 par'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 ifl southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw.
ANOTHER SCENE WITH THE SAME.
Guil. Good, my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
Ham. Sir, a whole history.
Guil. The king, sir, —
Ham. Ay, sir, what of him?
Guil. Is, in his retirement, marvellous distempered.
Ham. With drink, sir?
Guil. No, my lord, with choler
Ham. Your wisdom should show itself more" richer, to signify this to the doctor; for, for me to put him to his purgatica wouldj perhaps, plunge him into more choler.