A cottage will hold as much happiness as would stock a palace.
With "gentleness" his own character, "comfort" in his house, and "good temper" in his wife, the earthly felicity of man may be said to be complete.
—From the German.
What dangers threaten a great reputation! Far happier the man of lowly station.
We are happy in this world just in proportion as we make others happy.
A HAPPY COUPLE.
I think you the happiest couple in the world; for you are not only happy in one another, but happy in yourselves, and by yourselves.
Surely happiness is reflective, like the light of heaven; and every countenance bright with smiles, and glowing with innocent enjoyment, is a mirror transmitting to others the rays of a supreme and ever-shining benevolence.
To rejoice in the happiness of others is to make it our own; to produce it, is to make it more than our own. There is happiness in the very wish to make others happy.
Unmixed happiness is not to be found in this world.
Hatred always hurts the hater most of all.
It is the nature of the human disposition to hate him whom you have injured.
I am almost frozen by the distance you are from me.
If a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is, he keeps his at the same time.
Health is rightly appreciated only when we are sick.
A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.
He that is well does not know how rich he is. Better a healthy beggar, than a sick king.
It is better to have less wealth and more health.
Health is so necessary to all duties, as well as pleasures of life, that the crime of squandering it is equal to the folly.
Thou chiefest good, Bestow'd by Heaven, but seldom understood.
The only way for a rich man to be healthy is, by exercise and abstinence, to live as if he were poor.
—Sir W. Temple.
An innocent heart suspects no guile.
A BROKEN HEART.
Dr. Mitchell of Philadelphia, in lecturing to his pupils upon the diseases of the heart, narrated an anecdote to prove that the expression "broken heart" was not merely figurative. On one occasion, in the early period of his life, he accompanied, as surgeon, a packet that sailed from Liverpool to one of the American ports. The captain frequently conversed with him respecting a lady who had promised to become his bride on his return from that voyage. Upon this subject he evinced great warmth of feeling, and showed Dr. Mitchell some costly jewels, ornaments, etc., which he intended to present as bridal presents. On reaching his destination, he was abruptly informed that the lady had married some one else. Instantly the captain was observed to clap his hand to his breast, and fall heavily to the ground. He was taken up, and conveyed to his cabin on board the vessel. Dr. Mitchell was immediately summoned; but, before he reached the poor captain, he was dead. A postmortem examination revealed the cause of his unfortunate disease. His heart was found literally torn in twain! The tremendous propulsion of blood, consequent upon such a violent nervous shock, forced the powerful muscle tissues asunder, and life was at an end. The heart was broken.
Every heart has its secret sorrow, which the world knows not; and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad.
To know, to esteem, to love,—and then to part, Makes up life's tale to many a feeling heart.
Some men's hearts are as great as the world, and still have no room in them to hold the memory of a wrong.
How small is the human heart, and yet even there, God enters in.
A ROYAL HEART.
Ragged, uncomely, and old and gray, A woman walked in a Scottish town; And through the crowd, as she wound her way, One saw her loiter and then stoop down, Putting something away in her old, torn gown. "You are hiding a jewel!" the watcher said— (Ah, that was her heart, had the truth been read.) "What have you stolen?" he asked again; Then the dim eyes filled with a sudden pain, And under the flickering light of the gas She showed him her gleaning. "It's broken glass," She said. "I hae lifted it up frae the street To be oot o' the rood o' the bairnies' feet!" Under the fluttering rags astir That was a royal heart that beat! Would that the world had more like her Smoothing the road for its bairnies' feet!
—W. H. Ogilvie.
IS IT INSTINCT?
Ye who know the reason, tell me How is it that instinct Prompts the heart to like or not like At its own capricious will? Tell me by what hidden magic Our impressions first are led Into liking or disliking, Oft before a word is said?
Why should smiles sometimes repel us? Bright eyes turn our feelings cold? What is it that comes to tell us All that glitters is not gold? Oh! no feature, plain or striking, But a power we cannot shun Prompts our liking and disliking, Ere acquaintance hath begun.
Is it instinct? or some spirit Which protects us, and controls Every impulse we inherit, By some sympathy of souls? Is it instinct? is it nature? Or some freak or fault of chance, Which our liking or disliking Limits to a single glance?
Like presentiment of danger, Though the sky no shadow flings; Or that inner sense, still stranger, Of unseen, unuttered things? Is it? oh! can no one tell me, No one show sufficient cause Why our likings and dislikings Have their own instinctive laws?
The Bitterness of Estrangement.—To be estranged from one whom we have tenderly and constantly loved, is one of the bitterest trials the heart can ever know.
There is no place where weeds do not grow, and there is no heart where errors are not to be found.
We open the hearts of others when we open our own.
Earth hath nothing more tender than a woman's heart, when it is the abode of piety.
And yet when all is thought and said, The heart still overrules the head.
The All-Seeing Eye, whom the sun, moon and stars obey, and under whose watchful care even comets perform their stupendous revolutions—pervades the inmost recesses of the human heart, and will reward us according to our merits.
There's many a good bit o' work done with a sad heart.
To meet, to know, to love—and then to part, Is the sad tale of many a human heart.
The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite's (bird of the hawk kind) dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it.
The heart resembles the ocean! has storm, and ebb and flow; And many a beautiful pearl lies hid in its depths below.
The turnpike-road to people's hearts, I find, Lies through their mouths; or I mistake mankind.
The merry heart goes all the day, While a sad one tires in a mile-a.
DISSENSION BETWEEN HEARTS.
Alas! how slight a cause may move Dissension between hearts that love— Hearts that the world in vain had tried, And sorrow but more closely tied; That stood the storm when waves were rough, Yet in a sunny hour fell off, Like ships that have gone down at sea, When the ocean was all tranquility! A something light as air—a look— A word unkind or wrongly taken; Oh, love that tempests never shook, A breath—a touch like this hath shaken.
Men, as well as women, are much oftener led by their hearts than by their understandings; indeed nine times in ten it is so.
If God hath made this world so fair, Where sin and death abound, How beautiful, beyond compare, Will Paradise be found!
Let others seek earth's honors; be it mine One law to cherish, and to track one line— Straight on towards heaven to press with single bent, To know and love my God, and then to die content.
Many a man who prides himself on doing a cash business, regards his debts to Heaven with indifference.
THE DELIGHTS OF HEAVEN.
"Of the positive joys of heaven we can form no conception; but its negative delights form a sufficiently attractive picture,—no pain; no thirst; no hunger; no horror of the past; no fear of the future; no failure of mental capacity; no intellectual deficiency; no morbid imaginations; no follies; no stupidities; but above all, no insulted feelings; no wounded affections; no despised love or unrequited regard; no hate, envy, jealousy, or indignation of or at others; no falsehood, dishonesty, dissimulation, hypocrisy, grief or remorse. In a word," said Professor Wilson, "to end where I began, no sin and no suffering."
BELIEVE AND LIVE.
O how unlike the complex works of man, Heaven's easy, artless, unencumbered plan! No clustering ornaments to clog the pile; From ostentation, as from weakness free, It stands majestic in its own simplicity. Inscribed above the portal, from afar, Conspicuous as the brightness of a star, Legible only by the light they give, Stand the soul-quickening words—Believe and Live. Too many, shocked at what should charm them most, Despise the plain direction, and are lost. Heaven on such terms! (they cry with proud disdain,) Incredible impossible, and vain! Rebel, because 'tis easy to obey; And scorn, for its own sake, the gracious way.
IS THAT ALSO THINE?
A beautiful reply is recorded of a peasant, whose master was displaying to him the grandeur of his estates. Farms, houses, and forests were pointed out in succession, on every hand, as the property of the rich proprietor, who summed up finally by saying, "In short, all that you can see, in every direction, belongs to me." The poor man looked thoughtful for a moment; then, pointing up to heaven, solemnly replied, "And is that, also, thine?"
THE BETTER LAND.
"I hear thee speak of the better land, Thou callest its children a happy band: Mother! oh where is that radiant shore? Shall we not seek it and weep no more? Is it where the flower of the orange blows, And the fire-flies glance through the myrtle boughs?" "Not there, not there, my child!"
"Is it where the feathery palm trees rise, And the date grows ripe under sunny skies? Or 'midst the green islands of glittering seas, Where fragrant forests perfume the breeze, And strange, bright birds, on their starry wings Bear the rich hues of all glorious things?" "Not there, not there, my child!"
"Is it far away, in some region old, Where the rivers wander o'er sands of gold?— Where the burning rays of the ruby shine, And the diamond lights up the secret mine, And the pearl gleams forth from the coral strand? Is it there, sweet mother, that better land?" "Not there, not there, my child!"
"Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy! Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy; Dreams cannot picture a world so fair— Sorrow and death may not enter there; Time doth not breathe on its fadeless bloom, For beyond the clouds and beyond the tomb, It is there, it is there, my child!"
Plants look up in heaven, from whence They have their nourishment.
Help, when we meet them, Lame dogs over stiles.
It is not enough to help an erring brother out of the mire,—we must help to get him upon a rock.
History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
My precept to all who build is, that the owner should be an ornament to the house, and not the house to the owner.
Cling to thy home! if there the meanest shed Yield thee a hearth and shelter for thy head, And some poor plot, with vegetables stored, Be all that Heaven allots thee for thy board,— Unsavory bread, and herbs that scattered grow Wild on the river brink or mountain brow, Yet e'en this cheerless mansion shall provide More heart's repose than all the world beside.
—From the Greek of Leonidas.
DEFINITIONS OF "HOME."
Having offered a prize for the best definition of "Home," London Tit-Bits recently received more than five thousand answers. Among those which were adjudged the best were the definitions as follows:
A world of strife shut out, a world of love shut in.
Home is the blossom of which heaven is the fruit.
The best place for a married man after business hours.
Home is the coziest, kindliest, sweetest place in all the world; the scene of our purest earthly joys, and deepest sorrows.
The place where the great are sometimes small, and the small often great.
The father's kingdom, the children's paradise, the mother's world.
The ornaments of a home are the friends who frequent it.
God hath often a great share in a little house, and but a little share in a great one.
Home is the grandest of all institutions.
Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest; Home-keeping hearts are happiest, For those that wander they know not where Are full of trouble, and full of care; To stay at home is best.
There's little pleasure in the house when our gudeman's awa'.
—W. J. Mickle.
How many fine, well furnished and pretentious houses we now see around us, occupied and owned by successful people, in which there is hardly a market-basket full of books! Evidently showing that the material is of more importance than the intellectual.
We neglect the things which are placed before our eyes, and regardless of what is within our reach, we pursue whatever is remote. This is frequently and properly applied to the rage for visiting foreign countries, in those who are absolutely unacquainted with their own.
Abroad to see wonders the traveler goes, And neglects the fine things which lie under his nose.
A man without a home is like a bird without a nest.
Many a home is nothing but a furnished house.
ONE'S OWN HOME.
Travel is instructive and pleasant, but after all there is nothing so enjoyable as the independence and the luxury of one's own home. Travel is pleasant, but home is delightful!
Without hearts, there is no home.
A man unconnected is at home everywhere; unless he may be said to be at home nowhere.
—Dr. Sam'l Johnson.
HOME—DEVOID OF LOVE.
He enter'd in his house—his home no more, For without hearts there is no home—and felt The solitude of passing his own door Without a welcome.
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
THAT LAND THY COUNTRY.
There is a land, of every land the pride, Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside; Where brighter suns dispense serener light, And milder moons emparadise the night;— There is a spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest Where man, creation's tyrant, casts aside His sword and sceptre, pageantry and pride, While in his softened looks benignly blend The sire, the son, the husband, brother, friend;— "Where shall that land, that spot of earth, be found?" Art thou a man?—a patriot?—look around! O, thou shalt find, where'er thy footsteps roam, That land thy country, and that spot thy home!
—Sir Walter Scott.
It is a great happiness, if after being absent from home for a time you find no troubles awaiting your return.
Filling a house with bargains is apt to keep a couple from owning the house in which they place them.
'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home; 'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark Our coming, and look brighter when we come.
My house, my house, though thou art small, Thou art to me a palace.
TRUE NATURE OF HOME.
This is the true nature of home—it is the place of Peace; the shelter not only from all injury, but from all terror, doubt and division. In so far as it is not this, it is not home; so far as the anxieties of the outer life penetrate into it * * * it ceases to be home; it is then only a part of that outer world which you have roofed over and lighted fire in.
THE WANDERER'S RETURN.
He seeks the tranquil scenes of early days, Leaving the dazzling haunts of vain ambition; And now, he longs to meet a kindly gaze And hear a warm and cheering recognition.
How changed he seems! Though still in manhood's prime, Long hath he striven with care, want, and danger; Their iron grasp has wrought the work of Time, And all who view him, deem him as a stranger.
He meets with one who knew him when a boy: How oft, beneath yon trees, in summer weather, They sat, and pictured scenes of future joy, When they should tread the far-off world together!
They stand upon the old familiar spot: One feels long vanished memories steal o'er him; The other sees, yet recognizes not His blithe companion in the form before him.
Next comes a friend who in his wavering youth His footsteps had upheld with patient guiding; Wise in his counsel, steadfast in his truth, Prompt in his praise, and gracious in his chiding.
Hath he, indeed, discarded from his mind The object of his care and admonition? He hath not—yet he casts no glance behind; The wanderer fails to make his recognition.
What, doth his image live indeed with none? Have all expelled him from their recollection? Lo! a sweet lady comes—the cherished one To whom he breathed his vows of young affection.
He views her—she has lost the airy grace And mantling bloom that won his boyish duty; And yet a winning charm pervades her face, In the calm radiance of its mellowed beauty.
Can she forget? Though others pass him by, Failing his former features to discover, Will not her faithful heart instruct her eye To recognize her dear, her long-lost lover?
Oh! in that grief-worn man, no trace remains Of the gay, gallant youth from whom she parted; A brief and careless glance alone she deigns To the poor sufferer, chilled and broken-hearted;
Who feels as though condemned to lead henceforth A strange, a sad, a separate existence, Gazing awhile on those he loves on earth, But to behold them fading in the distance.
Lo! a pale matron comes, with quiet pace, And aspect of subdued and gentle sadness;— Fondly she clasps him in a warm embrace, And greets him with a burst of grateful gladness!
"Praise be to Heaven!" the weary wanderer cries, "All human love is not a mocking vision: Through every change, in every varied guise, The son still claims his mother's recognition!"
—From the Danish, by Mrs. Abdy.
Home's not merely four square walls, Though with pictures hung and gilded; Home is where affection calls, Filled with shrines the heart hath builded! Home! go watch the faithful dove, Sailing 'neath the heaven above us; Home is where there's one to love! Home is where there's one to love us!
Home's not merely roof and room, It needs something to endear it; Home is where the heart can bloom, Where there's some kind lip to cheer it!
What is home with none to meet, None to welcome, none to greet us? Home is sweet,—and only sweet— When there's one we love to meet us.
Beware of those who are homeless by choice! You have no hold on a human being whose affections are without a tap-root!
I am as homeless as the wind that moans And wanders through the streets.
GIVE GOOD MEASURE.
When I was a young man, there lived in our neighborhood one who was universally reported to be a very liberal man, and uncommonly upright in his dealings. When he had any of the produce of his farm to dispose of, he made it an invariable rule to give good measure, over good, rather more than could be required of him. One of his friends, observing him frequently doing so, questioned him why he did it, told him he gave too much, and said it would not be to his own advantage. Now mark the answer of this man. "God Almighty has permitted me but one journey through the world; and when gone I cannot return to rectify mistakes."
To be honest and faithful is to belong to the only aristocracy in the world—and the smallest.
On one occasion the first Napoleon being informed that a certain army contractor had cheated the government by supplying the troops with very inferior and insufficient food, sent for him to inquire into the affair. "How is this?" said the Emperor: "I understand you have been violating your contract." "Sire," was the answer, "I must live." "No," replied the monarch, "I do not see the must. It is not necessary that you should live; but it is necessary that you should do right."
Too much assertion gives ground of suspicion; truth and honesty have no need of loud protestations.
REUBEN AND SANDY.
Can any one who was present ever forget the broken voice and streaming tears with which he (Dean Stanley) told the story of two little Scotch boys, Reuben and Sandy? The story was as follows: "On a cold winter day, a gentleman in Edinburgh had, out of pity, bought a box of matches from a poor, little, shivering boy, and, as he had no pence, had given him a shilling, of which the change was to be brought to his hotel. Hours passed by, and the boy did not return. Very late in the evening a mere child came to the hotel. 'Are you the gentleman that bought the matches frae Sandy?' 'Yes.' 'Well, then, here's fourpence out o' yer' shillin'; Sandy canna come. He's verra ill. A cart ran over him and knocked him doon, and he lost his bonnet and his matches and yer sevenpence, and baith his legs are broken, and the doctor says he'll dee; and that's a'.' And then, putting down the fourpence on the table, the poor child burst into great sobs. 'So I fed the little man,' said the narrator; 'and I went with him to see Sandy. The two little things were living almost alone; their father and mother were dead. Poor Sandy was lying on a bundle of shavings. He knew me as soon as I came in, and said, 'I got the change, sir, and was coming back, and then the cart knocked me down, and both my legs were broken; and oh, Reuby, little Reuby, I am sure I am dying, and who will take care of you when I am gone? What will ye do?' 'I took his hand, and said I would always take care of Reuby. He understood me, and had just strength enough to look up as if to thank me; the light went out of his blue eyes. In a moment,
He lay within the light of God, Like a babe upon the breast, Where the wicked cease from troubling And the weary are at rest.'"
Honesty.—If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.
The birthplace of a man does him no honor, But a man may do honor to his birthplace.
He, the Duke of Devonshire, was not a man of superior abilities, but was a man strictly faithful to his word. If, for instance, he had promised you an acorn, and none had grown that year in his woods, he would not have contented himself with that excuse: he would have sent to Denmark for it, so unconditional was he in keeping his word—so high as to the point of honor.
—Boswell's Life of Johnson.
Honor is like the eye which cannot suffer the least injury without damage; it is a precious stone, the price of which is lessened by the least flaw.
A poor man claimed a house which a rich man had seized. The former produced his deeds and instruments to prove his right, but the latter had provided a number of witnesses; and, to support their evidence the more effectually, he secretly presented the cadi with a bag containing five hundred ducats, which the cadi received. When it came to a hearing, the poor man told his story and produced his writings, but lacked witnesses. The other, provided with witnesses, laid his whole stress on them and on his adversary's defective law, who could produce none; he, therefore, urged the cadi to give sentence in his favor. After the most pressing solicitations, the judge calmly drew from beneath his sofa the bag of five hundred ducats, which the rich man had given him as a bribe, saying to him very gravely, "You have been much mistaken in the suit; for if the poor man could produce no witnesses in confirmation of his right, I, myself, can furnish him with at least five hundred." He threw him the bag with reproach and indignation and decreed the house to the poor plaintiff.
What greater ornament is there to a son than a father's glory; or what to a father than a son's honorable conduct?
The honor is overpaid, When he that did the act is commentator.
By Hook or Crook.—This saying is probably derived from a forest custom. Persons entitled to fuel wood in the king's forest were only authorized to take it of the dead wood or branches of trees in the forest, "with a cart, a hook, and a crook."
Who bids me hope, and in that charming word Has peace and transport to my soul restor'd.
In all things it is better to hope than to despair.
How often disappointment tracks The steps of hope!
He that lives upon hopes will die fasting.
Hoping is the finest sort of courage and you can never have enough of it.
Who loses money, loses much; Who loses friends, loses more; Who loses hope, loses all: for he that wants hope is the poorest man alive.
Were it no for hope the heart wad break.
Our hopes often end in—hopes.
The setting of a great hope is like the setting of the sun. The brightness of our life is gone.
Hope is sometimes a delusion; no hand can grasp a wave or a shadow.
So we do but live, There's hope.
Hope.—"Hast thou hope?" they asked of John Knox, when he lay a-dying. He spoke nothing, but "raised his finger and pointed upward," and so died.
You must come home with me and be my guest; You will give joy to me, and I will do All that is in my power to honor you.
—P. B. Shelley.
All our sweetest hours fly fastest.
We leave Our home in youth—no matter to what end— Study—or strife—or pleasure, or what not; And coming back in few short years, we find All as we left it outside: the old elms, The house, the grass, gates, and latchet's self-same click: But, lift that latchet,— Alas! all is changed as doom.
CHILDREN IN THE HOUSE.
Lady, the sun's light to our eyes is dear, And fair the tranquil reaches of the sea, And flowery earth in May, and bounding waters; And so right many fair things I might praise; Yet nothing is so radiant and so fair As for souls childless, with desire sore-smitten, To see the light of babes about the house.
Often, old houses mended, Cost more than new, before they're ended.
Though we should be grateful for good homes, there is no house like God's out-of-doors.
—Robert Louis Stevenson.
Boswell: "I happened to start a question, whether, when a man knows that some of his intimate friends are invited to the house of another friend with whom they are all equally intimate, he may join them without an invitation." Johnson: "No, sir, he is not to go when he is not invited. They may be invited on purpose to abuse him"—smiling.
Houses are built to live in more than to look on; therefore let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may be had.
It's an unhappy household where all the smiles are dispensed in society and all the frowns at home.
He has no religion who has no humanity.
Our humanity were a poor thing, but for the Divinity that stirs within us.
With the humble there is perpetual peace.
When you see an ear of corn holding itself very high (or a human head) you may be sure there is nothing in it. The full ear is the lowliest; the full head the most humble.
Humility is the root, mother, nurse, foundation, and bond of all virtue.
Hunger is the mother of impatience and anger.
They must hunger in frost who spring-time have lost.
The full stomach cannot comprehend the hungry one.
Wait is a hard word to the hungry.
—From the German.
HUSBAND—EXCELLENCIES OF A.
Faithful—as dog, the lonely shepherd's pride; True—as the helm, the bark's protecting guide; Firm—as the shaft that props the towering dome; Sweet—as to shipwreck'd seaman land and home; Lovely—as child, a parent's sole delight; Radiant—as morn, that breaks a stormy night; Grateful—as streams, that, in some deep recess, With rills unhoped the panting traveler bless, Is he that links with mine his chain of life, Names himself lord, and deigns to call me wife.
Between husband and wife there should be no question as to material interests. All things should be in common between them without any distinction or means of distinguishing.
WHAT A SONG DID.
A Scottish youth learned, with a pious mother, to sing the old psalms that were then as household words to them in the kirk (church) and by the fireside. When he had grown up he wandered away from his native country, was taken captive by the Turks, and made a slave in one of the Barbary States. But he never forgot the songs of Zion, although he sang them in a strange land and to heathen ears.
One night he was solacing himself in this manner when the attention of some sailors on board of a British man-of-war was directed to the familiar tune of "Old Hundred" as it came floating over the moonlit waves.
At once they surmised the truth that one of their countrymen was languishing away his life as a captive. Quickly arming themselves, they manned a boat and lost no time in effecting his release. What joy to him after eighteen long years passed in slavery! Is it strange that he ever afterwards cherished the glorious tune of "Old Hundred?"
The I is worthy of aversion when it is principally confined to the person who uses it.
What am I? Naught! But the effluence of Thy light divine Pervading worlds, hath reached my bosom too. Yes, in my spirit doth Thy spirit shine, As shines the sunbeam in a drop of dew. Naught! But I live, and on Hope's pinions fly Eager toward Thy presence; for in Thee, I live, and breathe, and dwell, aspiring high, Even to the throne of Thy divinity. I am, O God, and surely Thou must be!
—Sir John Bowring's translation of Derzhavin's "Ode to God."
Ideas are like beards; men do not have them until they grow up.
A young man idle, an old man needy.
Labor is the divine law of our existence; repose is desertion and suicide.
If you want anything done, go to a busy man; Man of leisure never has time to do anything.
Lose this day loitering—'twill be the same story To-morrow, and the next more dilatory.
If any man wish to escape idleness let him fall in love.
Better lose your labor than your time in idleness.
Idleness must thank itself if it go barefoot.
—From the German.
I would not waste my spring of youth In idle dalliance; I would plant rich seeds, To blossom in my manhood and bear fruit When I am old.
Never remain ignorant for the want of asking questions.
Ignorance is often a voluntary misfortune.
—From the French.
Rather bear the ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of.
Man's ills are in the main of his own seeking.
Those who imitate us we like much better than those who endeavor to equal us. Imitation is a sign of esteem, competition of envy.
LONGING AFTER IMMORTALITY.
It must be so—Plato, thou reasonest well!— Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality? Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction? 'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us; 'Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter, And intimates eternity to man. The stars shall fade away, the sun himself Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years, But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, Unhurt amidst the war of elements, The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
Impertinence.—That man is guilty of impertinence who considers not the circumstances of time, or engrosses the conversation, or makes himself the subject of his discourse, or pays no regard to the company he is in.
Airs of importance are often the credentials of insignificance.
LIVING WITHIN OUR INCOME.
Live within your income. Always have something saved at the end of the year. Let your imports be more than your exports, and you'll never go far wrong.
All men are not susceptible to improvement.
It is better to have nothing to do than to be doing nothing.
Men of all ages have the same inclinations, over which reason exercises no control. Thus, wherever men are found, there are the same follies.
What madness to carry all one's income on one's back.
Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.
Fickleness.—Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro, as this Mr. —— ——?
Mankind is made up of inconsistencies.
Lose this day loitering, 'twill be the same story To-morrow, and the next more dilatory; True indecision brings its own delays. And days are lost, lamenting over days. Are you in earnest? Seize the very minute; What you can do, or think you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only begin it and the mind grows heated; Begin it, and the work will be completed.—
I hate dependence on another's will, Which changes with the breath of ev'ry whisper, Just as the sky and weather with the winds: With the winds, as they blow east or west, To make his temper pleasant or unpleasant.
If any man can do without the world, it is certain the world can do quite as well without him.
Living to-day on tomorrow's salary is a sure sign of financial indigestion.
Seek not every quality in one individual.
That is the best gown that goes most up and down the house.
I like the man who faces what he must, With steps triumphant and a heart of cheer; Who fights the daily battle without fear; Sees his hopes fail, yet keeps unfaltering trust That God is God, that somehow, true and just, His plans work out for mortals; not a tear Is shed when fortune, which the world holds dear, Falls from his grasp; better with love a crust Than living in dishonor; envies not, Nor loses faith in man; but does his best, Nor murmurs at his humble lot; But with a smile and words of hope, give zest To every toiler. He alone is great Who by a life heroic conquers fate.
—Sarah K. Bolton.
The smiles of infants are said to be the first-fruits of human reason.
The hour arrives, the moment wished and feared, The child is born, by many a pang endeared; And now the mother's ear has caught his cry; O! grant the cherub to her asking eye! He comes, she clasps him, to her bosom pressed, He drinks the balm of life, and drops to rest. She, by her smile, how soon the stranger knows; How soon by his the glad discovery shows! As to her lips she lifts the lovely boy, What answering looks of sympathy and joy! He walks—he speaks—in many a broken word, His wants, his wishes, and his griefs are heard; And ever, ever to her lap he flies, Where rosy sleep comes on with sweet surprise, Locked in her arms, his arms across her flung, That name most dear forever on his tongue. As with soft accents round her neck he clings, And cheek to cheek her lulling song she sings, How blest to feel the beating of his heart, Breathe his sweet breath, and kiss for kiss impart, Watch o'er his slumbers, like the brooding dove, And if she can, exhaust a mother's love!
—From Littell's Living Age.
NO ONE SHOULD BE BLAMED FOR HIS INFIRMITIES.
A hound, who in the days of his youth and strength had never yielded to any beast of the forest, encountered in his old age a boar in the chase. He seized him boldly by the ear, but could not retain his hold because of the decay of his teeth, so that the boar escaped. His master, quickly coming up, fiercely abused the dog. The hound looked up and said: "It was not my fault, master; my spirit was as good as ever, but I could not help mine infirmities. I rather deserve to be praised for what I have been, than to be blamed for what I am."
"On a cold winter evening," said Dr. T. L. Cuyler recently, "I made my first call on a rich merchant in New York. As I left the door and the piercing gale swept in, I said:
"What an awful night for the poor?
"He said come back for a moment; and in a very few minutes brought me a roll of bank bills, and said:
"Please hand these for me to the poorest people you know.
"After a few days I wrote him the grateful thanks of the poor whom his bounty had relieved, and added:
"How is it that a man so kind to his fellow creatures has always been so unkind to his Saviour as to refuse him his heart?
"That sentence touched him to the core.
"He sent for me to come and talk to him, and speedily gave himself to Christ. He has been a most useful Christian ever since. But he told me I was the first person who had talked to him about his soul in twenty years. One hour of work did more for that man than the pulpit effort of a life-time."
HIS MOTHER'S INFLUENCE.
It is reported that a young man being examined preparatory to joining the church was asked—"Under whose preaching?" The prompt reply—"I was converted under my mother's practising." Did any preacher ever utter so powerful a sermon as the young man embodied in those few words?
It is a common thing for men to hate the authors of their preferment, as the witnesses of their mean original.
At the first entrance into thy estate keep a low sail; thou mayest rise with honor; thou canst not decline without shame; he that begins as his father ended, will be apt to end as his father began.
Some grave their wrongs on marble; He more just, Stooped down serene, and wrote them on the dust; Trod under foot, the sport of every wind, Swept from the earth, and blotted from His mind; There, secret in the grave, He bade them lie, And grieved they could not escape the Almighty's eye.
One is keen to suspect a quarter from which one has once received a hurt. "A burnt child dreads the fire."
The noblest remedy for injuries is oblivion.
—From the French.
Hath any wronged thee? Be bravely revenged; Slight it, and the work is begun; Forgive it, and 'tis finished. He is below himself who is not above an injury.
A man hurts himself by injuring me: what, then shall I therefore hurt myself by injuring him?
Ink—Described:—The colored slave that waits upon thought; a drop may make a million think.
The innocent are gay.
There is no real courage in innocence.
What narrow innocence it is for one to be good only according to the law.
Better confide and be deceiv'd A thousand times by treacherous foes, Than once accuse the innocent Or let suspicion mar repose.
It is only the vulgar who are always fancying themselves insulted. If a man treads on another's toe in good society, do you think it is taken as an insult?
I once met a man who had forgiven an injury. I hope some day to meet the man who has forgiven an insult.
The borough of Hull, in the reign of Charles II, chose Andrew Marvell, a young gentleman of little or no fortune, and maintained him in London for the service of the public. With a view to bribe him, his old school-fellow, the Lord Treasurer Danby, went to him in his garret. At parting, the Lord Treasurer slipped into his hands an order upon the treasury for L1000, and then went into his chariot. Marvell looking at the paper, called after the treasurer—"My lord, I request another moment." They went up again to the garret, and the servant boy was called—"What had I for dinner yesterday?" "Don't you remember, sir, you had the little shoulder of mutton that you ordered me to bring from a woman in the market?" "Very right. What have I for dinner today?" "Don't you know, sir, that you made me lay up the blade-bone to broil?" "'Tis so; very right. Go away." "My lord, do you hear that? Andrew Marvell's dinner is provided; there's your piece of paper, I want it not. I knew the sort of kindness you intended. I live here to serve my constituents. The ministry may seek men for their purpose; I am not one."
Integrity is to be preferred to eloquence.
The integrity of men is to be measured by their conduct, not by their professions.
One of dull intellect cannot come in, nor go away, nor sit, nor rise, nor stand, like a man of sense.
God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave.
Respect other people's opinions; Intolerance is usually an index of weakness.
Irresolution.—Don't stand shivering upon the bank; plunge in at once and have it over.
The wife of a distinguished man when asked where her jewels were, replied, "my jewels are my children, my husband, and his triumphs."
A lady who was very rich, and fond of pomp and show, after having displayed, in a visit she made, her diamonds, pearls, and richest jewels, earnestly desired Cornelia, the illustrious, to let her see her jewels also. Cornelia dexterously turned the conversation to another subject, to wait the return of her sons, who were gone to the public schools. When they returned and entered their mother's apartment, she said to the rich lady, pointing to them with her hand, "These are my jewels, and the only ornaments I admire."
When you first saw the light of this world you were crying, and your friends were full of joy;—Live, so, that when you die, your friends will cry and you will be full of joy.
Of joys departed, Not to return, how painful the remembrance!
I cannot speak, tears so obstruct my words, And choke me with unutterable joy.
Joy when it's shared, its pleasure doubles, And sorrow, loses half its troubles.
Johnson: "It is commonly a weak man who marries for love." We then talked of marrying women of fortune; and I (Boswell) mentioned a common remark, that a man may be, upon the whole, richer by marrying a woman with a very small portion, because a woman of fortune will be proportionally expensive; whereas a woman who brings none will be very moderate in expenses. Johnson: "Depend upon it, Sir, this is not true. A woman of fortune, being used to the handling of money, spends it judiciously; but a woman who gets the command of money for the first time upon her marriage, has such a gust in spending it, that she throws it away with great profusion."
Never risk a joke, even the least offensive in its nature and the most common, with a person who is not well-bred, or possessed of sense to comprehend it.
A CONSCIENTIOUS JUDGE.
Sir Matthew Hale was very exact and impartial in his administration of justice. One of the first peers of England went once to his chamber and told him—"That having a suit in law to be tried before him, he was there to acquaint him with it, that he might the better understand it when he should come to be heard in court." Upon which Sir Matthew interrupted him, and said—"He did not deal fairly to come to his chamber about such affairs, for he never received any information of causes but in open court, where both parties were to be heard alike," so he would not suffer him to go on. Whereupon his grace (for he was a Duke) went away not a little dissatisfied, and complained of it to the king, as a rudeness that was not to be endured. But his majesty bade him content himself that he was no worse used, and said—"He verily believed he would have used himself no better, if he had gone to solicit him in any of his own causes."
When we are too young our judgment is at fault; so also when we are too old.
Give every one the benefit of a doubt. You might be sadly in need of it yourself some day!
—N. S. Murphy.
Gently to hear, kindly to judge.
We shall be judged, not by what we might have been, but what we have been.
He hears but half, that hears one party only.
Any time is the proper time for saying what is just.
—From the Greek.
Justice and truth may sleep but will never die.
Habits of justice are a valuable possession.
Justice means that standard or boundary of right which enables us to render to every man his just due without distinction.
"I expect" said one, "to pass thro' this world but once. If therefore there be any kindness I can do, or show, to my fellow-men, let me do it now, as I shall not pass this way again."
—Mrs. A. B. Hegeman.
Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.
Kindness has converted more sinners than either zeal, eloquence, or learning.
—F. W. Faber.
A long delay in kindness takes the kindness all away.
To remind a man of a kindness conferred is little less than a reproach.
In the Gentleman's Magazine for September, 1797, published in London, there appears a letter which shows Benjamin Franklin, the philosopher, in the character of a creditor. The letter, which was written in Paris, is as follows:—
April 22, 1784.
I send you herewith a bill for ten louis d'ors. I do not pretend to give such a sum. I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your country you cannot fail of getting into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your debts. In that case, when you meet with another honest man in similar distress you must pay me by lending this sum to him, enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation when he shall be able, and shall meet with such another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands before it meets with a knave to stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make the most of a little.
If none were sick and none were sad, We scarcely would be tender.
GRATITUDE OF AN INDIAN CHIEF.
A Scotch Highlander was taken prisoner by a tribe of Indians; his life was about to be sacrificed, when the chief adopted him as his son. They carried him into the interior; he learnt their language, assumed their habits, and became skillful in the use of their arms. After a season the same tribe began their route to join the French army, at that time opposed to the British. It was necessary to pass near to the British lines during the night. Very early in the morning, and it was spring, the old chief roused the young Highlander from his repose: he took him to an eminence, and pointed out to him the tents of his countrymen. The old man appeared to be dreadfully agitated, and there was a keen restlessness in his eye. After a pause—"I lost," said he, "my only son in a battle with your nation; are you the only son of your father? And do you think that your father is yet alive?" The young man replied, "I am the only son of my father, and I hope that my father is yet alive." They stood close to a beautiful magnolia in full blossom. The prospect was grand and enchanting, and all its charms were crowned by the sun, which had fully emerged from the horizon. The old chief, looking steadfastly at his companion, exclaimed: "Let thy heart rejoice at the beauty of the scene! To me it is as the desert; but you are free; return to your countrymen, revisit your father that he may again rejoice when he sees the sun rise in the morning, and the trees blossom in the spring!"
Little acts of kindness are stowed away in the heart, like bags of lavender in a drawer, to sweeten every object around them.
A good man that has done a kindness never proclaims it, but does another as soon as he can; much like the vine which is satisfied by being fruitful in its kind, and bears a bunch of grapes without expecting thanks for it.
There's no dearth of kindness In this world of ours; Only in our blindness We gather thorns for flowers.
Money can be repaid— Not kindness such as yours.
Returned Kindness.—When the country near Albany was newly settled, an Indian came to the inn at Lichfield, and asked for a night's shelter, at the same time confessing that from failure in hunting he had nothing to pay. The hostess drove him away with reproachful epithets, and as the Indian was retiring sorrowfully,—there being no other inn for many a weary mile,—a man who was sitting by directed the hostess to supply his wants, and promised to pay her. As soon as his supper was ended, the Indian thanked his benefactor, and said he would some day repay him. Several years thereafter the settler was taken a prisoner by a hostile tribe, and carried off to Canada. However, his life was spared, though he himself was detained in slavery. But one day an Indian came to him, and giving him a musket, bade the captive follow him. The Indian never told where they were going, nor what was his object; but day after day the captive followed his mysterious guide, till one afternoon they came suddenly on a beautiful expanse of cultivated fields, with many houses rising amongst them. "Do you know that place?" asked the Indian. "Ah, yes—it is Lichfield!" and whilst the astonished exile had not recovered his surprise and amazement, the Indian exclaimed—"And I am the starving Indian on whom at this very place you took pity. And now that I have paid for my supper, I pray you go home!"
KINDNESS TO INSECTS.
Let them enjoy their little day, Their humble bliss receive; Oh, do not lightly take away The life thou canst not give.
Getting money is not all a man's business: to cultivate kindness, is a valuable part of the business of life.
A more glorious victory cannot be gained over another man than this: that when the injury began on his part, the kindness shall begin on ours.
If you grant a favor, forget it; If you receive one, remember it.
Whoever knows how to return a kindness he has received must be a friend above all price.
Write injuries in the dust and kindness in marble.
DEFINITIONS OF A KISS.
The seal that stamps many a future.
A woman's most effective argument.
Woman's passport to her husband's purse.
A wireless message from the lips to the heart.
A kiss of the lips does not always touch the heart.
Pleasant is the welcome kiss When the day's dull round is o'er; And sweet the music of the step That meets us at the door.
Some say that kissing's a sin; But I think it's nane ava, For kissing has wonn'd[1051:A] in this warld Since ever that there was twa. Oh! if it wasna lawfu', Lawyers wadna allow it; If it wasna holy, Ministers wadna do it; If it wasna modest, Maidens wadna tak' it; If it wasna plenty, Puir folk wadna get it.
Knowledge is a comfortable and necessary retreat and shelter for us in an advanced age; and if we do not plant it while young, it will give us no shade when we grow old.
Ask the young people: they know everything!
A Persian philosopher being asked by what method he had acquired so much knowledge, replied, "By not being prevented by shame from asking questions respecting things of which I was ignorant."
Knowledge is not gained on a bed of roses.
If you have knowledge let others light their candles at it.
Men may acquire knowledge, but not wisdom. Some of the greatest fools the world has known have been learned men.
I have never yet found a man who did not know something of which I was ignorant.
If we do not plant it (knowledge) when young, it will give us no shade when we are old.
Knowledge without practice is like a glass eye, all for show, and nothing for use.
Johnson:—I remember very well when I was at Oxford, an old gentleman said to me,—"Young man, ply your book diligently now, and acquire a stock of knowledge; for when years come upon you, you will find that poring upon books will be but an irksome task."
The Earl of Morton said at John Knox's grave,— "He lies there who never feared the face of man."
The beauty and blessedness of labor are finely presented by John Greenleaf Whittier:—
Give fools their gold, and knaves their power; Let fortune's bubbles rise and fall; Who sows a field, or trains a flower, Or plants a tree, is more than all.
For he who blesses most is blest; And God and man shall own his worth Who toils to leave, as his bequest An added beauty to the earth.
Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.
The fruit derived from labor is the sweetest of all pleasures.
I have also seen the world, and after long experience have discovered that ennui is our greatest enemy, and remunerative labor our most lasting friend.
Some relaxation is necessary to people of every degree; the head that thinks, and the hand that labors, must have some little time to recruit their diminished powers.
None so little enjoy life, and are such burdens to themselves, as those who have nothing to do. The active only have the true relish of life. He who knows not what it is to labor, knows not what it is to enjoy. It is exertion that renders rest delightful, and sleep sweet, and undisturbed.
A LABORING SCARECROW.
Two old farmers were walking up a road near Dunfermline, when one of the pair, shading his eyes from the sun, pointed to a distant field and said:
"I wonder if that figure over there is a scarecrow."
He paused and considered the matter for a while, and then, in a satisfied tone, concluded:
"Yes, it must be a scarecrow; it's not moving."
But the other Scot had a sharper pair of eyes, and perhaps a better understanding of human nature.
"No," he said, dryly, "it's not a scarecrow; it's only a man working by the day."
ADVICE TO A YOUNG LADY.
The Rev. Mr. Berridge being once visited by a loquacious young lady, who, forgetting the modesty of her sex, and the superior gravity of an aged divine, engrossed all the conversation of the interview with small talk concerning herself. When she rose to retire, he said, "Madam, before you withdraw, I have one piece of advice to give you; and that is, when you go into company again, after you have talked half an hour without intermission, I recommend it to you to stop awhile, and see if any other of the company has anything to say."
SCOTCH STUDENT AS LAMPLIGHTER.
Many hardships endured by students attending university or college in Scotland have been brought to light from time to time. A student of Anderson's Medical College some years ago fulfilled the duties of lamplighter during his spare hours in a neighboring burgh. He had no other income than the few shillings he received weekly for lighting, extinguishing and cleaning the burgh lamps, and from this he paid his college fees and kept himself fairly respectable. On one occasion he applied for an increase of wages, and was called before the committee. One of the bailies remarked that an able-bodied healthy-looking young man like the applicant, might find some other employment instead of wasting his time as he was doing. The application for an increase was refused. One may conceive the bailie's surprise at a subsequent meeting when the town clerk read a letter from the lamplighter, tendering his resignation, as he had passed his final examination as a fully qualified doctor.
Ah! how sweet it is to remember—the long, long ago.
ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE.
Talking of the origin of language,—Johnson: "It must have come by inspiration. A thousand, nay, a million of children could not invent a language. While the organs are pliable, there is not understanding enough to form a language; by the time that there is understanding enough, the organs are become stiff. We know that after a certain age we cannot learn to pronounce a new language. No foreigner who comes to England when advanced in life, ever pronounces English tolerably well; at least such instances are very rare. When I maintain that language must have come by inspiration, I do not mean that inspiration is required for rhetoric, and all the beauties of language; for when once man has language, we can conceive that he may gradually form modifications of it. I mean only that inspiration seems to me to be necessary to give man the faculty of speech; to inform him that he may have speech; which I think he could no more find out without inspiration than cows or hogs would think of such a faculty."
—Boswell's Life of Johnson.
Laughter.—To laugh, if but for an instant only, has never been granted to men before the fortieth day from his birth, and then it is looked upon as a miracle of precocity.
—Pliny, the Elder.
A good laugh is sunshine in a house.
John Dryden said,—"It is a good thing to laugh, and if a straw can tickle a man, it is an instrument of happiness, and of health."
He who laughs overmuch may have an aching heart.
The vulgar laugh and seldom smile; whereas well-bred people often smile and seldom laugh.
Laughing is not always a proof that the mind is at ease, or in composure.
Agree if possible, for the law is costly.
If you've a good case, try to compromise; If you've a bad one, take it into court.
The law's delay, the insolence of office.
Law is sometimes like a mouse-trap; easy to enter, but not easy to get out of.
FOLLY OF GOING TO LAW.
To go to law is for two persons to kindle a fire at their own cost to warm others, and singe themselves to cinders; and because they cannot agree as to what is truth and equity, they will both agree to unplume themselves, that others may be decorated with their feathers.
He that goes to law for a sheep will be apt to lose a cow.
A lawyer's office is, I'm sure you'll find, Just like a mill, whereto for grinding come A crowd of folk of every sort and kind.
REQUISITES FOR GOING TO LAW.
Wisely has it been said—that he who would go to law, Must have a good cause, A good purse, A good attorney, Good evidence And a good judge and jury—and having all these goods, unless he has also good luck, he will stand but a bad chance of success.
In a lawsuit nothing is certain but the expense.
The Talmud says that when a man once asked Shamai to teach him the law in one lesson, Shamai drove him away in anger. He then went to Hillel with the same request. Hillel said, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. This is the whole law; the rest merely commentaries upon it."
Two go to law; a third, generally, bears off the spoil.
LEAVING THE LAWYERS A MARGIN.
A man from the country applied lately to a respectable solicitor in this town for legal advice. After detailing the circumstances of the case, he was asked if he had stated the facts exactly as they occurred. "Ou, ay, sir," rejoined the applicant, "I thought it best to tell you the plain truth; ye can put the lees till't yoursel'."
I know you lawyers can, with ease, Twist your words and meanings as you please; That language, by your skill made pliant, Will bend to favor every client; That 'tis the fee directs the sense, To make out either side's pretence.
Lawyers' gowns are lined with the wilfulness of their clients.
Two lawyers, when a knotty case was o'er, Shook hands, and were as good friends as before. "Zounds!" says the losing client, "How come you To be such friends, who were such foes just now?" "Thou fool," says one, "we lawyers, tho' so keen, Like shears, ne'er cut ourselves, but what's between."
Some lawyers have the knack of converting poor advice into good coin.
Laziness grows on people; it begins in cobwebs and ends in iron chains.
No man is so learned, but he may be taught; neither is anyone so illiterate, but he may teach.
The chief art of learning is to attempt but little at a time.
Learning by study must be won, 'Twas ne'er entailed from sire to son.
One pound of learning requires ten of common sense to apply it.
Who swallows quick, can chew but little. (Applied to learning.)
"Come little leaves," said the wind one day, "Come o'er the meadows with me and play; Put on your dress of red and gold, Summer is gone, and the days grow cold."
Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call Down they came fluttering, one and all; Over the brown fields they danced and flew, Singing the soft little songs that they knew.
Dancing and whirling the little leaves went, Winter had called them, and they were content. Soon fast asleep in their earthly beds, The snow laid a coverlet over their heads.
GENERAL LEE'S REPLY.
After the Civil War many offers of places of honor and fame came to General Robert E. Lee. He refused them all, says Thomas Nelson Page, in his biography of the soldier. The only position which he finally did accept, was the presidency of Washington College,—now Washington and Lee University, at Lexington, Virginia, with a small salary.
On one of these occasions, Lee was approached with the tender of the presidency of an insurance company, at a salary of fifty thousand dollars a year. He declined it, saying that it was work with which he was not familiar.
"But, general," said the representative of the insurance company, "you will not be expected to do any work. What we wish, is the use of your name."
"Do you not think," said General Lee, "that if my name is worth fifty thousand dollars a year, I ought to be very careful about taking care of it?"
Colonel Chesney, of the British Army, said of R. E. Lee: "The day will come when the evil passions of the great civil war will sleep in oblivion, and the North and South do justice to each other's motives, and forget each other's wrongs. Then history will speak with clear voice of the deeds done on either side, and the citizens of the whole Union do justice to the memories of the dead, and place above all others the name of the great Southern chief. In strategy, mighty; in battle, terrible; in adversity, as in prosperity, a hero indeed; with the simple devotion to duty and the rare purity of the ideal Christian Knight,—he joined all the kingly qualities of a leader of men. It is a wondrous future indeed that lies before America; but in her annals of the years to come, as in those of the past, there will be found few names that can rival in unsullied lustre that of the heroic defender of his native Virginia,—Robert Edward Lee."
From "Lee of Virginia," —By Edward Jennings Lee, M. D.
He that visits the sick, in the hope of a legacy, I look upon him in this to be no better than a raven, that watches a weak sheep only to peck out the eyes of it.
Leisure is sweet to those who have earned it, but burdensome to those who get it for nothing.
Full oft have letters caused the writers To regret the day they were inditers.
Letters which are sometimes warmly sealed, are often but coldly opened.
Though safe thou think'st thy treasure lies, Hidden in chests from human eyes, A fire may come, and it may be Bury'd, my friend, as far from thee. Thy vessel that yon ocean stems, Loaded with golden dust and gems, Purchased with so much pains and cost, Yet in a tempest may be lost. Pimps, and a lot of others,—a thankless crew, Priests, pickpockets, and lawyers too, All help by several ways to drain, Thanking themselves for what they gain. The liberal are secure alone, For what we frankly give, forever is our own.
The office of liberality consisteth in giving with judgment.
Libraries are the wardrobes of literature.
A lie has no legs and cannot stand; but it has wings, and can fly far and wide.
Equivocation is first cousin to a lie.
One lie Demands for its support a hundred more.
One lie must be thatched with another, or it will soon rain through.
Life is a journey, and they only who have traveled a considerable way in it, are fit to direct those who are setting out.
A term of life is set to every man, Which is but short; and pass it no one can.
Better, ten-fold, is a life that is sunny, Than a life that has nothing to boast of but money.
I have found by experience that many who have spent all their lives in cities, contract not only an effeminacy of habit but of thinking.
LIFE—DIFFERENT AGES OF.
At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.
I find one of the great things in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
There's a Divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them as we will.
The husband and the wife must, like two wheels, support the chariot of domestic life, otherwise it must stop.
NOT A CANDIDATE.
The following well-merited rebuke by a slave to his master, shows that persons occupying mean positions in this life are sometimes superior to those above them.
A gentleman in the enjoyment of wealth, and of high social standing, and wholly given up to the pleasures of this world, knowing that one of his slaves was religious, and happening to see him in the garden near the porch of his house, called him up rather to amuse himself than for any serious purpose. When the slave came to him, cap in hand, he said, "Tom, what do you think of me; do you believe I will be one of the elect when I die?"
With a low obeisance, the slave replied: "Master, I never knew any one to be elected who was not a candidate."
The master, struck with the gentle but just rebuke of the man's answer, turned and entered his mansion, and from that hour became a candidate, living thereafter a good life.
Every period of life has its peculiar prejudices: whoever saw old age, that did not applaud the past, and condemn the present times?
In life, as in chess, forethought wins.
Yes and No are, for good or evil, the giants of life.
THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET.
An old gentleman, accounting recently for his age and his happiness, said: "It is quite simple. Lead a natural life, eat what you want,—but of course prudence must be exercised—and walk on the sunny side of the street."
It is to live twice, when we can enjoy the recollections of our former life.
Life! We've been long together Through pleasant and through cloudy weather; 'Tis hard to part when friends are dear— Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear. Then steal away, give little warning, Choose thine own time, Say not "good-night," but in some brighter clime, Bid me "good-morning."
—A. L. Barbauld.
How short is human life! the very breath Which frames my words, accelerates my death.
Ah! what is human life? How like the dial's tardy-moving shade, Day after day slides from us unperceived! The cunning fugitive is swift by stealth; Too subtle is the movement to be seen: Yet soon the hour is up—and we are—gone.
Are we to have a continuous performance by "I did" and "I didn't"?
Into each life some rain must fall, Some days be dark and dreary But— Behind the cloud the sun's still shining.
Every man's life lies within the present; for the past is spent and done with, and the future is uncertain.
Lord, help me live from day to day, In such a self-forgetful way, That even when I kneel to pray, My prayer shall be for—others.
No one sees what is before his feet; we all gaze at the stars.
He who with life makes sport, Can prosper never; Who rules himself in nought, Is a slave ever.
A MISSION FOR EVERY ONE.
Think not thou livest in vain, Or that one honest pain Of thine is lost. He, who in loving care, Numbers thine every hair, Knows all the cost.
No lightest care of thine Escapes His love divine; No smile's forgot, Nor cup of water given. Each tender, loving deed, Like some strange, precious seed, Shall bear its fruit in heaven.
Nor dream, if thou wert gone From out life's troubled throng Thou'dst not be missed. Thou knowest not what heart, That lives in gloom apart, Would find its sunshine fled If thou wert dead— What slender thread of faith would break If thou shouldest prove untrue.
The flower that blooms in desert place And lifts its head with winsome grace, Might sigh: "Alas; ah, me: Why should I live where none can see?" But He who made both field and flood, Hath formed that flower and called it good, And in His wisdom placed it there To make the desert seem more fair: And if He then hath need of flowers To deck this barren world of ours, He hath a use for thee!
YOUTH, MANHOOD, OLD AGE.
How small a portion of our life it is, that we really enjoy. In youth, we are looking forward to things that are to come; in old age, we are looking backwards to things that are gone past; in manhood, although we appear indeed to be more occupied in things that are present, yet even that is too often absorbed in vague determinations to be vastly happy on some future day, when we have time.
Our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
LIFE REPRESENTED BY A NEWSPAPER.
This folio of four pages, happy work! Which not even critics criticize, that holds Inquisitive attention while I read— What is it, but a busy map of life, Its fluctuations and its vast concerns?
The acts of this life are the destiny of the next.
There are three whose life is no life:— He who lives at another's table; He whose wife domineers over him; And he who suffers bodily affliction.
Life is too short to be spent in nursing animosities, or in registering wrongs.
Think naught a trifle, though it small appear; Small sands the mountain, moments make the year, And trifles, life.
THE HAPPIEST LIFE.
Life's fittest station needs must be Midway between the poor and great: Above the cares of poverty, Below the cares of high estate.
—E. C. Dolson.
We find life exactly what we put in it.
The sweetest thing in life Is the unclouded welcome of a wife.
—N. P. Willis.
As we advance in life we learn the limits of our abilities.
Be ready at all times to listen to others.
A man with an empty stomach is a poor listener.
The only thing certain about litigation is it's uncertainty.
Little by little added, if oft done, In small time makes a good possession.
—Hesiod, a Greek, 850 B. C.
What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?
THE THREE LOOKS.
The old man looks down, and thinks of the past. The young man looks up, and thinks of the future. The child looks everywhere, and thinks of nothing.
For 'tis a truth well known to most, That whatsoever thing is lost, We seek it, ere it come to light, In every cranny but the right.
Where you are not appreciated, you cannot be loved.
When people fall in love at first sight, they often live to regret that they didn't take another look.
"I'm sorry that I spelt the word, I hate to go above you; Because"—the brown eyes lower fell— "Because, you see, I love you!"
—John Greenleaf Whittier.
Where there is love, all things interest; where there is indifference, minute details are tedious, disbelief is cherished, and trifles are apt to be thought contemptible.
If he loves me, the merit is not mine; my fault will be if he ceases.
To a man, the disappointment of love may occasion some bitter pangs: it wounds some feelings of tenderness—it blasts some prospects of felicity; but he is an active being; he may dissipate his thoughts in the whirl of varied occupation, or may plunge into the tide of pleasure; or, if the scene of disappointment be too full of painful associations, he can shift his abode at will, and taking, as it were, the wings of the morning, can "fly to the uttermost parts of the earth, and be at rest."
But woman's is comparatively a fixed, a secluded and a meditative life. She is more the companion of her own thoughts and feelings; and if they are turned to ministers of sorrow, where shall she look for consolation? Her lot is to be wooed and won; and if unhappy in her love, her heart is her world—is like some fortress that has been captured, and sacked, and abandoned, and left desolate.
Shall I confess it?—I believe in broken hearts, and the possibility of dying of disappointed love! I do not, however, consider it a malady often fatal to my own sex; but I firmly believe that it withers down many a lovely woman into an early grave. So is it the nature of woman to hide from the world the pangs of wounded affection.
To love and to be loved is the greatest happiness of existence.
Since there's no help for me, come, let us kiss and part— Alas! I am done, you see no more of me; But I am sorry, yea, sorry with all my heart, That thus, you have willed it,—to be free: Shake hands forever, cancel all our vows, And when we meet at any time again, Be it not seen in either of our brows That we one jot of former love retain.
Dr. Doddridge one day asked his little daughter how it was that everybody loved her: "I know not," said she, "unless it be that I love everybody."
He who is loved by man is loved by God.
If there's delight in love, 'tis when I see That heart which others bleed for, bleed for me.
Love is the only passion that justifies a perpetual hyperbole, i. e., poetic exaggeration.
There is an atmosphere in the letters of those we love which we alone—we who love—can feel.
LIFE WITHOUT LOVE.
Life without love is like day without sunshine, Roses bereft of sweet nature's perfume; Love is the guide mark to those who are weary Of waiting and watching in darkness and gloom.
Love to the heart is like dewdrops to violets Left on the dust-ridden roadside to die; Love leads the way to our highest endeavors, Lightens and lessens the pain of each sigh.
Life without love is like spring without flowers, Brook-streams that move not, or star-bereft sky; Love creates efforts most worthy and noble, Prompts us to live and resigns us to die.
The night has a thousand eyes, And the day but one; Yet the light of the whole world dies With the setting sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes, And the heart but one; But the light of a whole life dies When love is done.
—Francis W. Bourdillon.
One nail by strength drives out another, So the remembrance of my former love Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
Love is like the moon; when it does not increase, it decreases.
Behold the sun forget to shine, The brightest star to twinkle, The ivy round the oak to twine, The tearful heart to sprinkle The sod that wraps affection's grave, The never silent surging sea The sandy shore to lash and lave— Then think that I'll forget thee.
THE MAIDEN IN LOVE.
Sweet mother, I can spin no more to-day, And all for a youth who has stolen my heart away.
—Sappho, 600 B. C. —Translated by Appleton.
We are easily duped by those whom we love.
MORE THAN HIS SHARE.
"Martha, does thee love me?" asked a quaker youth of one at whose shrine his heart's fondest feelings had been offered up.
"Why, Seth," answered she, "we are commanded to love one another, are we not?"
"Aye, Martha; but does thee regard me with that feeling that the world calls love?"
"I hardly know what to tell thee, Seth; I have greatly feared that my heart was an erring one. I have tried to bestow my love on all; but I have sometimes thought, perhaps, that thee was getting rather more than thy share."
No disguise can long conceal love where it is, nor feign it where it is not.
Naught sweeter is than love. Whom that doth bless Regardeth all things less. If thou first taste of love, then shalt thou see Honey shall bitter be! What roses are, they never know, who miss Fair Cytherea's kiss.
—Nossis, Greek. Translated by Lilla Cabot Perry.
How often love is maintained by wealth: When all is spent adversity then breeds The discontent.
The moment one is in love one becomes so amiable.
ONE WHO LOVES.
I had so fixed my heart upon her, That whereso'er I fram'd a scheme of life For time to come, she was my only joy With which I used to sweeten future cares: I fancy'd pleasures, none but one who loves And doats as I did, can imagine like them.
The secret of being loved is in being lovely, and the secret of being lovely, is in being unselfish.
A lover never sees the faults of the one he loves till the enchantment is over.
THE TRAGEDY OF FICKLE LOVE.
He came too late! Neglect had tried Her constancy too long; Her love had yielded to her pride And the deep sense of wrong. She scorned the offering of a heart Which lingered on its way, Till it could no delight impart, Nor spread one cheering ray.
He came too late! At once he felt That all his power was o'er; Indifference in her calm smile dwelt— She thought of him no more. Anger and grief had passed away, Her heart and thoughts were free; She met him, and her words were gay No spell had memory.
He came too late! Her countless dreams Of hope had long since flown; No charms dwelt in his chosen themes, Nor in his whispered tone. And when, with word and smile, he tried Affection still to prove, She nerved her heart with woman's pride And spurned his fickle love.
OH, NO! WE NEVER MENTION HIM.
Oh, no! we never mention him, his name is never heard; My lips are now forbid to speak that once familiar word: From sport to sport they hurry me, to banish my regret; And when they win a smile from me, they think that I forget.
They bid me seek in change of scene the charms that others see; But were I in a foreign land, they'd find no change in me. 'Tis true that I behold no more the valley where we met, I do not see the hawthorn-tree; but how can I forget?
For oh! there are so many things recall the past to me— The breeze upon the sunny hills, the billows of the sea; The rosy tint that decks the sky before the sun is set;— Ay, every leaf I look upon forbids me to forget.
They tell me he is happy now, the gayest of the gay; They hint that he forgets me too,—but I heed not what they say: Perhaps like me he struggles with each feeling of regret; But if he loves as I have loved, he never can forget.
—Thomas Haynes Bayley, 1797-1839.
Is it possible a man can be so changed by love that one would not know him for the same person?
Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.
Love is loveliest when embalm'd in tears.
Caresses, expressions of one sort or another, are necessary to the life of the affections, as leaves are to the life of a tree. If they are wholly restrained, love will die at the roots.
MARTIN LUTHER AND HIS FRIENDS.
"My dear Veit," said Luther, "I have said it often and I repeat it again, whoever would know God aright and speculate concerning Him without danger, must look into the manger, and learn first of all to know the Son of the Virgin Mary, born at Bethlehem, lying in His mother's bosom or hanging upon the cross; then will he understand who God is. This will not only then be not terrible, but on the contrary most attractive and comforting. Guard yourself, my dear Veit, from the proud thought of climbing into heaven without this ladder, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ in His humanity. As the Word simple describes Him, stick to this, and do not permit reason to divert you from it; then will you apprehend God aright! I wish to know of no other God than the God who hung upon the cross, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and of the Virgin Mary."
Luther was remarkable for his contempt of riches, though few men had a greater opportunity of obtaining them. The Elector of Saxony offered him the produce of a mine at Sneberg, but he nobly refused it, lest it should prove an injury to him.
Dr. Johnson:—"A man gives half a guinea for a dish of green peas. How much gardening does this occasion? How many laborers must the competition, to have such things early in the market, keep in employment? You will hear it said very gravely, 'Why was not the half-guinea, thus spent in luxury, given to the poor? To how many might it have afforded a good meal? Alas! has it not gone to the industrious poor, whom it is better to support, than the idle poor? You are much surer that you are doing good when you pay money to those who work, as the recompense of their labor, than when you give money merely in charity."
He who is too much afraid of being duped has lost the power of being magnanimous.
A MAIDEN'S LAMENT.
Full oft he sware with accents true and tender, "Though years roll by, my love shall ne'er wax old!" And so to him my heart I did surrender, Clear as a mirror of pure burnished gold;
And from that day, unlike the seawood bending To every wave raised by the autumn gust, Firm stood my heart, on him alone depending, As the bold seaman in his ship doth trust.
Is it some cruel evil one that hath bereft me? Or hath some mortal stolen away his heart? No word, no letter since the day he left me; Nor more he cometh, ne'er again to part!
In vain I weep, in helpless, hopeless sorrow, From earliest morn until the close of day; In vain, till radiant dawn brings back the morrow, I sigh the weary, weary nights away.
No need to tell how young I am, and slender— A little maid that in thy palm could lie: Still for some message comforting and tender I pace the room in sad expectancy.
He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.
A truly great man never puts away the simplicity of the child.
He who does not advance, goes backward; recedes.
—From the Latin.
A man who is amiable will make almost as many friends as he does acquaintances.
An angry man is often angry with himself when he returns to reason.
AN OLD MAN OF ACUTE PHYSIOGNOMY.
An old man answering to the name of Joseph Wilmot, was brought before the police court. His clothes looked as if they had been bought second hand in his youthful prime.
"None; I'm a traveler."
"A vagabond, perhaps?"
"You are not far wrong: the difference between the two, is, that the latter travel without money, and the former without brains."
"Where have you traveled?"
"All over the continent."
"For what purpose?"
"What have you observed?"
"A little to commend, much to censure, and very much to laugh at."
"Humph! What do you commend?"
"A handsome women that will stay at home, an eloquent divine that will preach short sermons, a good writer that will not write too much, and a fool that has seen enough to hold his tongue."
"What do you censure?"
"A man who marries a girl for fine clothing, a youth who studies law while he has the use of his hands, and the people who elect a drunkard to office."
"What do you laugh at?"
"At a man who expects his position to command the respect which his personal qualities and qualifications do not merit."
He was dismissed.
Every man is a volume, if you know how to read him.
—W. E. Channing.
As no man is born without faults, the best is he who has the fewest.
Burns, the poet, when in Edinburgh one day, recognized an old farmer friend, and courteously saluted him, and crossed the street to have a chat; some of his new Edinburgh friends gave him a gentle rebuke, to which he replied:—"It was not the old great-coat, the scone bonnet, that I spoke to, but the man that was in them."
Man has been thrown naked into the world, feeble, incapable of flying like the bird, running like the stag, or creeping like the serpent; without means of defense, in the midst of terrible enemies armed with claws and stings; without means to brave the inclemency of the seasons, in the midst of animals protected by fleece, by scales, by furs; without shelter, when all others have their den, their hole, their shell; without arms, when all about him are armed against him. And yet he has demanded of the lion his cave for a lodging and the lion retires before his eyes; he has despoiled the bear of his skin, and of it made his first clothing; he has plucked the horn from the bull, and this is his first drinking-cup; then he has dug even into the bowels of the earth, to seek there the instruments of his future strength; from a rib, a sinew, and a reed, he has made arms; and the eagle, who, seeing him at first in his weakness and nakedness, prepares to seize him as his prey, struck in mid-air, falls dead at his feet, only to furnish a feather to adorn his head. Among animals, is there one, who under such conditions could have preserved life? Let us for a moment separate the workman from his work, God from nature. Nature has done all for this insect,—of which they had been discoursing,—nothing for man. It is that man should be the product of intelligence rather than of matter; and God, in granting him this celestial gift, this ray of light from the divine fire, created him feeble and unprotected, that he might make use of it, that he might be constrained to find in himself the elements of his greatness.
—By X. B. Saintine, in Picciola; or, The Prison Flower.
Wherever a man goes to dwell his character goes with him.
Our acts make or mar us,—we are the children of our own deeds.
O, but man, proud man! Dress'd in a little brief authority; Most ignorant of what he's most assured.
I've learned to judge of men by their own deeds, I do not make the accident of birth The standard of their merit.
What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In appearance how like a god! The beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!
Direct not him, whose way himself will choose.
He that can please nobody, is not so much to be pitied as he that nobody can please.
To quarrel with a drunken man is harming the absent.
Goethe said that there is no man so commonplace that a wise man may not learn something from him. Sir Walter Scott could not travel in a coach without gleaning some information or discovering some new trait of character in his companions.