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6. When we have one of our leading moralists * preaching with increased vehemence the doctrine of sanctification by force ; — when we are told, that while a selfishness, troubled with qualms of conscience, is contemptible, - å selfishness intense enough to trample down everything in the unscrupulous pursuit of its ends is worthy of all admiration ; — when we find that if it be sufficiently great, power, no matter of what kind, or how directed, is held up for our reverence, we may fear lest the prevalent applause of mere success, together with the commercial vices which it stimulates, should be increased răther than diminished.
7. Not at all by this hero-worship grown into bruteworship, is society to be made better; but by exactly the opposite, — by a stern criticism of the means through which success has been achieved ; and by according honor to the higher and less selfish modes of activity. And happily the signs of this more moral public opinion are already showing themselves.
8. It is becoming a tacitly received doctrine, that the rich should not, as in bygone times, spend their lives in personal gratification, but should devote them to the general welfare. Year by year is the improvement of the people occupying a larger share of the attention of the wealthier classes. Year by year are they voluntarily devoting more and more energy to furthering the material and mental progress of the masses.
9. And those among the wealthy who do not join in the discharge of these high functions, are beginning to be looked upon with more or less contempt by their own order. This latest and most hopeful fact in human history — this new and better chivalry — promises to evolve a higher standard of honor; and so to ameliorate many evils.
10. When wealth, obtained by illegitimate means,
* Mr. Thomas Carlyle of England.
inevitably brings nothing but disgrace, — when to wealth rightly acquired is accorded only its due share of homage, while the greatest homage is given to those who consecrate their energies and their means to the noblest ends, - then may we be sure that, along with other accompanying benefits, the morals of trade will be greatly purified.
XXV. - UNDER THE LEAVES.
This graceful and tender little poem should be read in a pure middle tone, with gentle force, and, in the last stanza, with reverential expression. The trailing arbu'tus flower, to which allusion is made, is common in the woods in various northern States of the Union, and blooms the latter part of April, often while snow is on the ground.
OFT have I walked these woodland paths,
Without the blest foreknowing
The fairest buds were growing.
To-day the south-wind sweeps away
The types of Autumn's splendor,
Outvying in their beauty
With Love's divine foreknowing,
God sees the sweet flowers growing.
XXVI. — ILLUSIONS IN RESPECT TO RICHES.
In get, CELLAR, INSTEAD, give the pure short sound to e. Drop it before na in swOLLEN, EVEN, FORGOTTEN, EATEN, &c. (swoll'n, ev'n, &c.). REALLY and IDEA have each three syllables. Give the pure sound of long o in THROAT, MOST, ONLY ; of o (as in nor) in HORSE ; of diphthongal u in GRATITUDE, OPULENT, VALUABLE; of oi in SOIL, BOILED.
See in the Index CHAGRIN, PICTURE, OBLIGED, SKY, GENIUS, EXQUISITE, ROTHSCHILD, Milton, MOZART.
1. The Egyptian king, who, swollen with grandeur, ordered a colossal staircase built to his new palace, discovered, to his chagrin, when it was completed, that he required a ladder to get from one step to another. He had forgotten that a king's legs, after all, are as short as a beggar's. Accumulate wealth as we may, the limits of our senses check us miserably every moment.
2. You call yourself proprietor; but houses and pictures outlive your mortal body, and after taking your will of them for a short time, that body is carried out of your own door, feet foremost, never again to enter it. Proprietor you were, perhaps, of farms and castles, estates and villages, but now you do not own even that hole in the ground, six feet by two, where your dust lies mingling with the soil.
3. “ Proprietor !” The artist who visits your picture-gallery enjoys it more than you, and is, in a better sense, the proprietor. You are rich enough to dine twenty-four times a day, but you must eat sparingly to enjoy dining even once; and the probability is, you will not that once relish your sumptuous viands so keenly as the poorest of your day-laborers will his boiled beef and cabbage.
4. Your cellar is full of exquisite wines, but you can drink only one bottle yourself. To help you use your store, you are obliged to call around you friends, relatives, parasites,— a little world of attendants, who live upon your substance, and many of whom, instead of gratitude, are likelier to make you a return in envy. You have thirty horses in your stable; you cannot mount but one, — ride after but two to six.
5. To be truly rich, one should have stomachs in proportion to the number of dinners he could afford; senses multiplied according to the amount of his stock in bank. At the close of his life, the richest man has hardly spent more upon his own positive enjoyment than the poor man. He has eaten and slept, and the poor man can do as much, and the proprietor scarcely more.
6. Rothschild is forced to content himself with the same sky as the poor newspaper writer. The most opulent banker cannot order a private sunset or add one ray to the magnificence of the starlight. The same air swells all lungs. The same kind of blood fills all veins. Each one possesses really only his own thoughts and his own senses. Soul and body,- these are all the property which a man owns; nay, he does not own even these, for he merely has them on trust from the Creator.
7. All that is valuable in this world is to be had for nothing. Genius, beauty, health, piety, love, are not bought and sold. You may buy a rich bracelet, but not a well-turned arm on which to wear it; a pearl necklace, but not a pearly throat with which it shall vie. The richest man on earth would vainly offer a fortune to be qualified to write a verse like Milton, or to compose a melody like Mozart.
8. You may summon all the physicians, but they cannot procure for you the sweet, healthful sleep which the tired laborer gets without price. Let no man, then, call himself a proprietor. He owns but the breath as it traverses his lips and the idea as it flits across his mind; and of that breath he may be de prived by the sting of a bee, and that idea, perhaps, truly belongs to another.
XXVII. — AGAINST WHIPPING IN THE NAVY.
COMMODORE STOCKTON. Sound unaccented ě in LEVEL, but not in HEAVEN (hevivn). In WORTH, FIRST, SINCE, heed cautions, § 9. Sound the h in HUMBLED.
See in the Index CHOPS, PROWESS, CHRISTENDOM, ALBION, JONES, BON HOMME, DECATUR, Hull, CICERO, VERRES, STOCKTON.
Delivery. Most of this spirited address should be delivered in the middle pitch, the quality of the voice being a bold and animated orotund.
1. THERE is one broad proposition, Senators, upon which I stand. It is this, — that an American sailor is an American citizen, and that no American citizen shall, with my consent, be subjected to the infamous punishment of the lash. Placing myself upon this proposition, I am prepared for any consequences.
2. I love the navy. When I speak of the navy, I mean the sailor as well as the officer. They are all my fellow-citizens and yours; and come what may, my voice will ever be raised against a punishment which degrades my countrymen to the level of a brute, and destroys all that is worth living for, — personal honor and self-respect.
3. In many a bloody conflict has the superiority of American sailors decided the battle in our favor. I desire to secure and preserve that superiority. But can nobleness of sentiment or honorable pride of character dwell with one whose every muscle has been made to quiver under the lash? Can he long continue to love a country whose laws crush out all the dignity of manhood and rouse all the exasperation of hate in his breast?
4. Look to your history, - that part of it which the world knows by heart, - and you will find on its brightest page the glorious achievements of the American sailor. Whatever his country has done to disgrace him and break his spirits, he has never disgraced her. Man for man, he asks no odds, and he cares for no odds,