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But, as they slumbered in their mother's lap,
On the hillside, where still the cottage stands, On the hillside, among the cataracts, In happy ignorance the children played; Alike unconscious, through their cloudless day, Of what they had and had not; everywhere Gathering rock-flowers; or, with their utmost might, Loosening the fragment from the precipice, And, as it tumbled, listening for the plunge ; Yet, as by instinct, at the 'customed hour Returning; the two eldest, step by step, Lifting along, and with the tenderest care, Their infant brother.
Once the hour was past;
As if he wished to follow in its flight
Great was the recompense
In the south
May He who winged the shaft when Tell stood forth,
LXVIII. - OUR DEBT TO SOCIETY.
See in Index, GLORIOUS, IDEA, POSSESS, TOWARD, FICHTE. See remarks, $$ 49, 51, on the argumentative style, &c.
1. Each of us is bound to make use of his culture for the advantage of society. No one has a right to labor only for liis own enjoyment, to shut himself up from his fellow-men, and make his culture useless to them; for it is only by the labor of society that he has been placed in a position wherein he could acquire that culture: it is in a certain sense a product, a property of society; and he robs society of a property which belongs to it, if he does not apply his culture to its use.
2. It is the duty of every one, not only to endeavor to make himself useful to society generally, but also to direct all his efforts, according to the best knowledge which he possesses, toward the ultimate object of society, — toward the ever-increasing ennoblement of the human race.
3. When we contem'plate the idea now unfolded, even without reference to ourselves, we see around us à community in which no one can labor for himself without at the same time laboring for his fellow-men, or can labor for others without at the same time laboring for himself; where the success of one member is the success of all, and the loss of one a loss to all : – a picture which, by the harmony it reveals in the manifold diversity of being, introduces a cordial feeling of satisfaction to the mind, and powerfully raises the soul above the things of time.
4. But the interest is heightened when we turn our thoughts to ourselves, and contemplate ourselves as members of this great spiritual community. The feeling of our dignity and our power is increased when we say, — what each of us may say, — “My existence is not in vain and aimless; I am a necessary link in the great chain of being which reaches from the awakening of the first man to perfect consciousness of his existence, onward through eternity. .
5. “All the great and wise and noble that have ever appeared among men, — those benefactors of the human race whose names I find recorded in the world's history, and the many others whose benefits have outlived their names, — all have labored for me; I have entered into their labors; I follow their footsteps on this earth where they dwelt, where they scattered blessings as they went along.
6. “I may, as soon as I will, assume the sublime task which they have resigned, of making our common brotherhood ever wiser and happier ; I may continue to build where they had to cease their labors; I may bring nearer to its completion the glorious temple which they had to leave unfinished.”
7. “ But," some one may say, “I too, like them, must rest from my labors.” O, this is the sublimest thought of all! If I assume this noble task, I can never reach its end; and so surely as it is my vocation to assume it, I can never cease to act, and hence can never cease to be.
8. That which men call Death cannot interrupt my activity ; for my work must go on to its completion, and it cannot be completed in Time ; — hence my existence is limited by no Time, and I am Eternal : – with the assumption of this great task, I have also laid hold of Eternity !
Pronounce CHAMOUNI, shah' moo-ny, Arvé, ar'vay, ARVEIRON, ar-vay ron, AVALANCHE, ar'a-lansh, HIERARCH, hi' e-rark.
See in Index, RAVINE, TRAVELING or TRAVELLING, COLERIDGE.
Delivery. The style of this celebrated poem is meditative and devout; and admiration mingled with awe should be the prevailing expression. It should have the middle pitch, slow tiine, and a pure quality of voice, expanding in the more animated passages to an earnest orotund. In the last stanza the rising inflection should be chiefly used, and in parts the continuative or parenthetic tone. See 31. At Blanc (third line of first stanza) give the rising inflection.
Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star