5. He replied that he did, indeed, see a flickering light in that quarter. To make the fact still more sure, Columbus called another in whom he had confidence to look in the same direction. He said he had no hesitation in pronouncing that there was a light on the horizon. But the blaze was hardly seen before it again disappeared in the ocean, to show itself anew the next moment. Whether it was the light of a fire on a low shore, alternately appearing and disappearing beyond the broken horizon, or whether it was the floating beacon of a fisherman's boat now rising on the waves, and now sinking in the trough of the sea, they could not determine.
6. Thus both land and safety appeared together in the shape of fire to Columbus and his two friends, on the night between the 11th and 12th of October, 1492. The Admiral, enjoining silence, kept his observation to himself, for fear of again raising false hopes, and giving a bitter disappointment to his ships' companies. He lost sight of the light, and remained on deck until two in the morning,—praying, hoping, and despairing alone, awaiting the triumph or the return on which the morrow was to decide.
7. He was seized with that anguish which precedes the great discoveries of truth, when, suddenly, a cannon-shot, sounding over the sea, a few hundred yards in advance of him, burst upon his ear the announcement of a new-born world, which made him tremble, and fall upon his knees. It was the signal of land in sight! made by firing a shot, as had been arranged with the Pinta, which was sailing in advance of the squadron, to guide their course and take soundings.
8. At this signal a general shout of "Land ho!" arose from all the yards and riggings of the ships. The sails were furled, and daybreak was anxiously awaited. The mystery of the ocean had breathed its first whisper in the bosom of night. Daybreak would clear it up openly to every eye. Delicious and unknown perfumes reached the vessels from the outline of the shore, with the roar of the waves upon the reefs and the soft land breeze.
9. The fire seen by Columbus indicated the presence of man, and of the first element of civilization. Never did the night appear so long in clearing away from the horizon; for this horizon was to Columbus and his companions a second creation of God. The dawn, as it spread over the sky, gradually raised the shores of an island from the waves. Its distant extremities were lost in the morning mist. It ascended gradually, like an amphitheater, from the low beach to the summit of the hills, whose dark-green covering contrasted strongly with the blue heavens.
10. Within a few paces from where the foam of the waves breaks on the yellow sand, forests of tall and unknown trees stretched away, one above another, over the successive terraces of the island. Green valleys and bright clefts in the hollows, afforded a half glimpse into these mysterious wilds. Here and there could be discovered a few scattered huts, which, with their outlines and roofs of dry leaves, looked like bee-hives, and thin columns of blue smoke rose above the tops of the trees. Half-naked groups of men, women, and children, more astonished than frightened, appeared among the thickets near the shore, advancing timidly, and then drawing back, exhibiting, by their gestures and demeanor, as much fear as curiosity and wonder, at the sight of these strange vessels, which the previous night had brought to their shores.
11. Columbus, after gazing in silence on this foremost shore of the land so often determined by his calculations, and so magnificently colored by his imagination, found it to exceed even his own expectations. He burned with impatience to be the first European to set foot on the sand, and to plant the flag of Spain,—the standard of the conquest of God and of his sovereigns, effected by his genius. But he restrained the eagerness of himself and of his crew to land, being desirous of giving to the act of taking possession of a new world, a solemnity worthy of the greatest deed, perhaps, ever accomplished by a seaman; and, in default of men, to call God and His angels, sea, earth, and sky, as witnesses of his conquest of an unknown hemisphere.
12. He put on all the insignia of his dignities as Admiral of the Ocean, and the Viceroy of these future realms; he wrapped himself in his purple cloak, and taking in his hand an embroidered flag, in which the initials of Ferdinand and Isabella were interlaced, like their two kingdoms, and, surmounted by a crown, he entered his boat, and pulled toward the shore, followed by the boats of his two lieutenants.
13. On landing, he fell on his knees, to acknowledge, by this act of humility and worship, the goodness and greatness of God in this new sphere of His works. He kissed the ground, and, with his face on the earth, he wept tears of double import, as they fell on the dust of this hemisphere, now, for the first time, visited by Europeans,—tears of joy for the overflowing of a proud spirit, grateful and pious,—tears of sadness for this virgin soil, seeming to foreshadow the calamities, and devastation, with fire and sword, and blood and destruction, which the strangers were to bring with their pride, their knowledge, and their power.
14. It was the man that shed these tears; but it was the earth that was destined to weep. As Columbus raised his forehead from the dust, with a Latin prayer, which his companions have handed down to us, he thus addressed the Sovereign Ruler of the world: (sl.) "Almighty and eternal God, who, by the energy of thy creative word, hast made the firmament, the earth, and sea, blessed and glorified be Thy name in all places! May Thy majesty and dominion be exalted forever and ever, as Thou hast permitted Thy holy name to be made known and spread by the most humble of Thy servants, in this hitherto unknown portion of Thy empire."
15. He then gave to this land the name of San Salvador. His lieutenants, his pilots, and his seamen, full of gladness, and impressed with a superstitious respect for him whose glance had pierced beyond the visible horizon, and whom they had offended by their unbelief,—overcome by the evidence of their eyes, and by that mental superiority which overawes the minds of men,—fell at the feet of the Admiral, kissed his hands and his clothes, and recognized, for a moment, the power and the almost divine nature of genius; yesterday the victims of his obstinacy,—now the companions of his success, and sharers in the glory which they had mocked. Such is humanity,—persecuting discoverers, yet reaping the fruits of their inventions.
QUESTIONS.—1. What evidences had Columbus that land was near? 2. What did the mutineers do? 3. In what month and year was the new world discovered? 4. What is said of the natives? 5. What did Columbus do on landing? 6. What was the conduct of the officers and seamen?
* * * * *
FER' MENT, heat; glow. EN THU' SI ASM, excitement. PRO DIG' IOUS, very great. SPEC I MENS, samples. LEAGU' ED, joined; banded. PER SUAD' ED, convinced. PRE POS' TEROUS, absurd; ridiculous. VAUNT' ED, boasted. DE LU' SION, deception. CRED' U LOUS, apt to believe. UN RE LI' A BLE, untrustworthy. SUS PI'' CION, doubt; mistrust.
THE RETURN OF COLUMBUS.
DON GOMEZ AND HIS SECRETARY.
Don Gomez. WHAT! what is this you tell me? Columbus returned? A new world discovered? Impossible!
Secretary. It is even so, sir. A courier arrived at the palace but an hour since with the intelligence. Columbus was driven by stress of weather to anchor in the Tagus. All Portugal is in a ferment of enthusiasm, and all Spain will be equally excited soon. The sensation is prodigious!
Don G. Oh, it is a trick! It must be a trick!
Sec. But he has brought home the proofs of his visit,—gold and precious stones, strange plants and animals; and, above all, specimens of a new race of men, copper-colored, with straight hair.
Don G. Still I say, a trick! He has been coasting along the African shore, and there collected a few curiosities, which he is passing off for proofs of his pretended discovery.
Sec. It is a little singular that all his men should be leagued with him in keeping up so unprofitable a falsehood.
Don G. But 'tis against reason, against common sense, that such a discovery should be made.
Sec. King John of Portugal has received him with royal magnificence, has listened to his accounts, and is persuaded that they are true.
Don G. We shall see, we shall see. Look you, sir, a plain matter-of-fact man, such as I, is not to be taken in by any such preposterous story! This vaunted discovery will turn out no discovery at all.
Sec. The king and queen have given orders for preparations on the most magnificent scale for the reception of Columbus.
Don G. What delusion! Her majesty is so credulous. A practical, common-sense man, like myself, can find no points of sympathy in her nature.
Sec. The Indians on board the returned vessels, are said to be unlike any known race of men.
Don G. Very unreliable all that! I take the common-sense view of the thing. I am a matter-of-fact man; and do you remember what I say, it will all turn out a trick! The crews may have been deceived. Columbus may have steered a southerly course, instead of a westerly. Any thing is probable, rather than that a coast to the westward of us has been discovered.
Sec. I saw the courier, who told me he had conversed with all the sailors; and they laughed at the suspicion that there could be any mistake about the discovery, or that any other than a westerly course had been steered.
Don G. Still I say, a trick! An unknown coast reached by steering west? Impossible! The earth a globe, and men standing with their heads down in space? Folly! An ignorant sailor from Genoa in the right, and all our learned doctors and philosophers in the wrong? Nonsense! I'm a matter-of-fact man, sir. I will believe what I can see, and handle, and understand. But as for believing in the antipodes, or that the earth is round, or that Columbus has discovered land to the west,—Ring the bell, sir; call my carriage; I will go to the palace and undeceive the king.
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HAR' BIN GER, forerunner; precursor. UN PIL' LAR ED, unsupported by pillars. UN YIELDING, stubborn. DE CREES', edicts; laws. HAL' LOW ED, sacred; consecrated. MOLD' ER ING, decaying.
TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO,
1. Wake your harp's music!—louder,—higher, And pour your strains along; And smite again each quivering wire, In all the pride of song! (f.)Shout like those godlike men of old, Who, daring storm and foe, On this blessed soil their anthem rolled, TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
2. From native shores by tempests driven, They sought a purer sky; And found, beneath a milder heaven, The home of Liberty! An altar rose,—and prayers,—a ray Broke on their night of woe,— The harbinger of Freedom's day, TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
3. They clung around that symbol too, Their refuge and their all; And swore, while skies and waves were blue, That altar should not fall! They stood upon the red man's sod, 'Neath heaven's unpillared bow, With home,—a country, and a God,— TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
4. Oh! 'twas a hard, unyielding fate That drove them to the seas; And Persecution strove with Hate, To darken her decrees: But safe, above each coral grave, Each booming ship did go,— A God was on the western wave,— TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
5. They knelt them on the desert sand, By waters cold and rude, Alone upon the dreary strand Of oceaned solitude! They looked upon the high, blue air, And felt their spirits glow, Resolved to live or perish there,— TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
6. The warrior's red right arm was bared, His eyes flashed deep and wild: Was there a foreign footstep dared To seek his home and child'? The dark chiefs yelled alarm, and swore The white man's blood should flow, And his hewn bones should bleach their shore, TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
7. But lo! the warrior's eye grew dim,— His arm was left alone; The still, black wilds which sheltered him, No longer were his own! Time fled,—and on the hallowed ground His highest pine lies low,— And cities swell where forests frowned, TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
8. Oh! stay not to recount the tale,— 'Twas bloody, and 'tis past; The firmest cheek might well grow pale, To hear it to the last. The God of Heaven who prospers us, Could bid a nation grow, And shield us from the red man's curse,— TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
9. Come, then,—great shades of glorious men, From your still glorious grave! Look on your own proud land again, O bravest of the brave! We call you from each mouldering tomb, And each blue wave below, To bless the world ye snatched from doom, TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
10. Then to your harps!—yet louder,—higher And pour your strains along; And smite again each quivering wire, In all the pride of song! (f.)Shout for those godlike men of old, Who, daring storm and foe, On this blessed soil their anthem rolled, TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!
QUESTIONS.—1. Who are meant by godlike men of old? 2. Why did they flee to this country? 3. Who warred against them?
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SE RENE' LY, calmly; quietly. SUR MOUNT', rise above; overcome. TRAMP, tread, or travel. EB' ON, black, as ebony. GUARD' I AN, defender; protector. CHIV' AL RIC, brave; heroic. MAIL, defensive armor. EX ALT', lift up. FRAIL' TY, weakness. BLIGHT' ED, blasted. RE NOWN', fame; celebrity. STEAD' FAST, firm; resolute.
IN TER VENE', (INTER, between; VENE, to come;) come between; interpose.
SUC CEED', (SUC, after; CEED, to come;) come after; follow.
1. Press on! there's no such word as fail! Press nobly on! the goal is near,— Ascend the mountain! breast the gale! Look upward, onward,—never fear! Why shouldst thou faint? Heaven smiles above, Though storms and vapor intervene; That Sun shines on, whose name is Love, Serenely o'er Life's shadowed scene.
2. Press on! surmount the rocky steeps, Climb boldly o'er the torrent's arch: He fails alone who feebly creeps; He wins, who dares the hero's march. Be thou a hero! let thy might Tramp on eternal snows its way, And, through the ebon walls of night, Hew down a passage unto day.
3. Press on! if once and twice thy feet Slip back and stumble, harder try; From him who never dreads to meet Danger and death, they're sure to fly. To coward ranks the bullet speeds; While on their breasts who never quail, Gleams, guardian of chivalric deeds, Bright courage, like a coat of mail.
4. Press on! if Fortune play thee false To-day, to-morrow she'll be true; Whom now she sinks she now exalts, Taking old gifts and granting new. The wisdom of the present hour Makes up her follies past and gone: To weakness strength succeeds, and power From frailty springs;—press on! PRESS ON!
5. Press on! what though upon the ground Thy love has been poured out like rain? That happiness is always found The sweetest, which is born of pain. Oft 'mid the forest's deepest glooms, A bird sings from some blighted tree, And, in the dreariest desert, blooms A never-dying rose for thee.
6. Therefore, press on! and reach the goal, And gain the prize, and wear the crown: Faint not! for, to the steadfast soul, Come wealth, and honor, and renown. To thine own self be true, and keep Thy mind from sloth, thy heart from soil; Press on! and thou shalt surely reap A heavenly harvest for thy toil!
QUESTIONS.—1. What encouragement is given to those who press on? 2. Who fails, and who wins? 3. What is said of those who never dread to meet danger and death? 4. How are they rewarded, who press on?
* * * * *
EX PAND, develop; enlarge. EL E VATE, raise; dignify. VAR RI A BLE, changeable. PHAN TAS MA GO' RIA, magic lantern; illusive representations. UN' DU LA TING, waving; irregular. MO BIL'I TY, movableness; readiness to move. DO' CILE, teachable; obedient. CE LES' TIAL, heavenly. DIS' SI PATES, scatters, or confuses. IN FIN' I TY, boundlessness. GYM NAS' TIC, athletic exercise. O PAC' I TY, state of being opaque or dark. PA THET' IC, feeling; tender. IN DOM' I TA BLE, unconquerable. CO-OP' ER ATE, work with; join with.
MOUNT PER' DU, one of the high summits of the Pyrenees mountains, in Spain. The name signifies "Lost Mountain;" in allusion, probably, to its peak being lost in the clouds.
THE THREE FORMS OF NATURE.
FROM THE FRENCH OF MICHELET.
1. There are three forms of Nature, which especially command and elevate our souls, release her from her heavy clay and earthly limits, and send her, exulting, to sail amidst the wonders and mysteries of the Infinite. First, there is the unstable Ocean of Air with its glorious banquet of light, its vapors, its twilight, and its shifting phantasmagoria of capricious creatures, coming into existence only to depart the next instant.
2. Second, there is the fixed Ocean of the Earth, its undulating and vast waves, as we see them from the tops of "the earth o'er gazing mountains," the elevations which testify to antique mobility, and the sublimity of its mightier mountain-tops, clad in eternal snows. Third, there is the Ocean of Waters, less mobile than air, less fixed than earth, but liable, in its movements, to the celestial bodies.
3. These three things form the gamut by which the Infinite speaks to our souls. Nevertheless, let us point out some very notable differences. The Air-ocean is so mobile that we can scarcely examine it. It deceives; it decoys; it diverts; it dissipates, and breaks up our chain of thought.
4. For an instant, it is an immense hope, the day of all infinity; anon, it is not so; all flies from before us, and our hearts are grieved, agitated, and filled with doubt. Why have I been permitted to see for a moment that immense flood of light? The memory of that brief gleaming must ever abide with me, and that memory makes all things here on earth look dark.
5. The fixed Ocean of the mountains is not thus transient or fugitive; on the contrary, it stops us at every step, and imposes upon us the necessity of a very hard, though wholesome gymnastic. Contemplation here has to be bought at the price of the most violent action. Nevertheless, the opacity of the earth, like the transparency of the air, frequently deceives and bewilders us. Who can forget that for ten years, Ramon, in vain, sought to reach Mount Perdu though often within sight of it?
6. Great, very great, is the difference between the elements; the earth is mute and the ocean speaks. The ocean is a voice. It speaks to the distant stars; it answers to their movements in its deep and solemn language. It speaks to the earth on the shores, replying to the echoes that reply again; by turns wailing, soothing, threatening—its deepest roar is presently succeeded by a sad, pathetic silence.
7. And it especially addresses itself to man. It is creation's living eloquence. It is Life speaking to Life. The millions, the countless myriads of beings to which it gives birth, are its words. All these, mingled together make the unity, the great and solemn voice of the ocean. And "what are those wild waves saying?" They are talking of Life,—of Immortality.
8. An indomitable strength is at the bottom of Nature—how much more so at Nature's summit, the Soul! And it speaks of partnership, of union. Let us accept the swift exchange which, in the individual, exists between the diverse elements; let us accept the superior Law which unites the living members of the same body—Humanity; and, still more, let us accept and respect the supreme Law which makes us co-operate with the great Soul, associated as we are—in proportion with our powers—with the loving harmony of the world—copartners in the life of God.
QUESTIONS.—1. What are three great forms of Nature? 2. What is said of the Air-ocean? 3. How does the Ocean address itself to man?
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MO NOP' O LIZED, engrossed. CEL' E BRA TED, praised; talked of. PO' TENT LY, powerfully. MAR' I TIME, pertaining to sea. SA GAC' I TY, acuteness. IN TRE PID' I TY, daring valor. SAN' GUINE, bloody; cruel. EC CEN TRIC' I TY, peculiarity, oddity. WA' RI NESS, cautiousness. ED' I BLE, eatable. E MAN' CI PA TED, freed; liberated. IN TER ME' DI ATE, lying between. DEV AS TA TING, laying waste. DOUB' LE, sail around.
[Headnote 1: BASQUES, (basks), an ancient and peculiar people, living on the slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains.]
[Headnote 2: BRE' TON, a native of Brittany, an ancient province in France.]
[Headnote 3: NOR' MAN, that is, Northman, a name given to the ancient inhabitants of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, and afterward to their descendants who settled in the north of France.]
THE WHALE AND THE WHALER.
FROM THE FRENCH OF MICHELET.
1. Who opened up to men the great distant navigation? Who revealed the ocean, and marked out its zones and its liquid highways? Who discovered the secrets of the globe? The Whale and the Whaler! And all this before Columbus and the famous gold-seekers, who have monopolized all the glory, found again, with much outcry about their discovery, what had so long before been discovered by the whalers.
2. That crossing of the ocean, which was so boastfully celebrated in the fifteenth century, had often been made, not only by the narrow passage between Iceland and Greenland, but, also, by the open sea; for the Basques [Headnote 1] went to Newfoundland. The smallest danger was the mere voyage; for these men, who went to the very end of the then known world, to challenge the whale to single combat, to steer right away into the Northern sea, to attack the mighty monster, amid darkness and storms, with the dense fog all around, and the foaming waves below,—those who could do this, were not the men to shrink from the ordinary dangers of the voyage.
3. Noble warfare! Great school of courage! That fishery was not then, as it is now, an easy war to wage, made from a distance, and with a potently murderous machine. No; the fisher then struck with his own strong hand, impelled and guided by his own fearless heart, and he risked life to take life. The men of that day killed but few whales; but they gained infinitely in maritime ability, in patience, in sagacity, and in intrepidity. They brought back less of oil; but more, far more of glory.
4. Every nation has its own peculiar genius. We recognize each by its own style of procedure. There are a hundred forms of courage, and these graduated varieties formed, as it were, another heroic game. At the North, the Scandinavian, the rude race from Norway to Flanders, had their sanguine fury. At the South, the wild burst, the gay daring, the clear-headed excitement, that impelled, at once, and guided them over the world. In the center, the silent and patient firmness of the Breton [Headnote 2], who yet, in the hour of danger, could display a quite sublime eccentricity. And, lastly, the Norman [Headnote 3] wariness, considerately courageous; daring all, but daring all for success. Such was the beauty of man, in that sovereign manifestation of human courage.
5. We owe a vast deal to the whale. But for it, the fishers would still have hugged the shore; for, almost every edible fish seeks the shore and the river. It was the whale that emancipated them, and led them afar. It led them onward, and onward still, until they found it, after having almost unconsciously passed from one world to the other. Greenland did not seduce them; it was not the land that they sought; but the sea, and the tracks of the whale.
6. The ocean at large is its home, and especially the broad and open sea. Each species has its especial preference for this or that latitude,—for a certain zone of water, more or less cold. And it was that preference which traced out the great divisions of the Atlantic. The tribe of inferior whales, that have a dorsal fin, are to be found in the warmest and in the coldest seas,—under the line and in the polar seas.
7. In the great intermediate region, the fierce Cachalot inclines toward the south, devastating the warm waters. On the contrary, the Free Whale fears the warm waters,—we should rather say, that they did, formerly, fear them,—they have become so scarce. They are never found in the warm southern current; it is that fact that led to the current being noticed, and thence to the discovery of the true course from America to Europe. From Europe to America, the trade winds will serve us.
8. If the Free Whale has a perfect horror of the warm waters, and can not pass the equator, it is clear that he can not double the southern end of America. How happens it, then, that when he is wounded on one side of America, in the Atlantic, he is sometimes found on the other side of America, and in the Pacific? It proves that there is a north-western passage. Another discovery which we owe to the whale, and one which throws a broad light alike on the form of the globe, and the geography of the seas!
9. By degrees, the whale has led us everywhere. Rare as he is at present, he has led us to both poles, from the uttermost recesses of the Pacific to Behring's Strait, and the infinite wastes of the Antarctic waters. There is even an enormous region that no vessel, whether war-ship or merchantman, ever traverses, at a few degrees beyond the southern points of America and Africa. No one visits that region but the whaler.
QUESTIONS.—1. What has been done by the whaler? 2. By whom had Newfoundland been discovered? 3. What is said of the courage of the whaler? 4. What proof is given that there is a north-western passage, by water, from the Atlantic to the Pacific?
* * * * *
THRALL' DOM, bondage; slavery. IG NO' BLE, mean; degraded. HORDE, clan; tribe. FEUD' AL, pertaining to military tenure. DES' POTS, tyrants. PAL' TRY, mean; contemptible. RAP' INE,(rapin;) plunder; violence. FOR SOOTH', in truth; in fact. RUF' FIAN, robber; cut-throat. SERV' ILE, slavish; cringing. LIM' NERS, painters. DIS CI' PLE, learner; follower. CORSE, corpse; dead body. BRAWL, wrangle; contention. DIS TAIN' ED, sullied; stained. ECH' O ED, resounded.
RIENZI'S ADDRESS TO THE ROMANS.
[Footnote: RI EN' ZI, the last of the Roman Tribunes, was born in Rome about the year 1310. He was assassinated Oct. 8th, 1354 He was a person of extraordinary eloquence. In his day, Rome was a prey to contending factions of nobles. This kept the city in constant turmoil, and subjected the people to continual abuse and tyranny. It was the endeavor of Rienzi to arouse them to a resolution to be free.]
1. Friends! I come not here to talk. You know too well The story of our thralldom. We are slaves! The bright sun rises to his course, and lights A race of slaves! He sets, and his last beam Falls on a slave: not such as, swept along By the full tide of power, the conqueror leads To crimson glory and undying fame; But base, ignoble slaves! slaves to a horde Of petty tyrants, feudal despots, lords, Rich in some dozen paltry villages; Strong in some hundred spearmen; only great In that strange spell,—a name.
2. Each hour, dark fraud, Or open rapine, or protected murder, Cries out against them. But this very day, An honest man, my neighbor,—there he stands, Was struck, struck like a dog, by one who wore The badge of Ursini; because, forsooth, He tossed not high his ready cap in air, Nor lifted up his voice in servile shouts, At sight of that great ruffian!
3. (f.) Be we men, And suffer such dishonor'? MEN, and wash not The stain away in blood'? Such shames are common! I have known deeper wrongs. I, that speak to ye, I had a brother once, a gracious boy, Full of gentleness, of calmest hope, Of sweet and quiet joy; there was the look Of heaven upon his face, which limners give To the beloved disciple!
4. How I loved That gracious boy! Younger by fifteen years, Brother at once, and son! He left my side, A summer bloom on his fair cheek,—a smile Parting his innocent lips. In one short hour, That pretty, harmless boy was slain! (p.) I saw The corse, the mangled corse, and then I cried For vengeance! (ff.) Rouse ye, Romans!—ROUSE YE, SLAVES! Have ye brave sons? Look in the next fierce brawl To see them die! Have ye fair daughters? Look To see them live, torn from your arms, distained, Dishonored; and if ye dare call for justice, Be answered by the lash!
5. Yet this is Rome, That sat on her seven hills, and, from her throne Of beauty, ruled the world! Yet we are Romans! Why, in that elder day, to be a Roman, Was greater than a king! And once again,— Hear me, ye walls, that echoed to the tread Of either Brutus! Once again I swear, The eternal city shall be free!
QUESTIONS.—1. In what condition did the writer say the Roman people were? 2. What wrongs are complained of? 3. What special cases are mentioned? 4. What are the people exhorted to do? 5. What is the meaning of the suffix dom, in the word thralldom? See ANALYSIS, page 142, Ex. 189. 6. What is the meaning of the suffix less, in the word harmless? See page 140, Ex. 187. 7. How, according to the notation mark, should the first part of the third verse be read? 8. What rule for the rising inflections, third verse? See page 28, Rule I.
* * * * *
MUL' TI PLY, increase; continue. COL'TER, part of the plow that cuts the sod. GE' NI AL, productive. BE NIG' NANT, kind; bounteous. SAUN' TER ING, loitering. WOOD' BINE, honeysuckle. RE SPLEN DENT, splendid, beautiful. PO' TENT, powerful. ROAD' STEAD, place where ships may anchor. RE LI' ANT, trusting; depending. PES TI LEN' TIAL, infectious; noxious. PER PET' U AL, continual. STER' ILE, barren.
[Headnote 1: LE ON' I DAS, the celebrated Spartan leader who, with three hundred men, perished in the effort to resist the Persian hosts, at the mountain pass of Thermopylae, (B.C., 480.)]
[Headnote 2: MARS' TON, that is, Marston Moor, a place in Yorkshire, England, memorable for the defeat of Charles I., (in 1644,) by the forces of Cromwell and others.]
[Headnote 3: BAN' NOCK BURN, a village in Stirlingshire, Scotland, famous for the battle between the patriots, under Robert Bruce, and the English invading army, under Edward II., fought, June 25, 1314.]
[Headnote 4: AR MA' DA, a great naval armament sent by Philip II. of Spain, in 1588, for the conquest of England. It failed utterly, however, of its object, having been scattered and disabled by violent storms.]
SONG OF THE FORGE.
1. Clang! clang! the massive anvils ring,— Clang! clang! a hundred hammers swing, Like the thunder-rattle of a tropic sky, The mighty blows still multiply: Clang! clang! Say, brothers of the dusky brow, What are your strong arms forging now?
2. Clang! clang!—we forge the colter now— The colter of the kindly plow; Benignant Father, bless our toil; May its broad furrow still unbind To genial rains, to sun and wind, The most productive soil!
3. Clang! clang!—our colter's course shall be On many a sweet and sunny lea, By many a streamlet's silver tide, Amidst the song of morning birds, Amidst the low of sauntering herds, Amidst soft breezes which do stray Through woodbine-hedges and sweet May, Along the green hill's side.
4. When regal Autumn's bounteous hand, With wide-spread glory clothes the land,— When, to the valleys, from the brow Of each resplendent slope, is rolled A ruddy sea of living gold, We bless,—we bless the PLOW.
5. Clang! clang!—again, my mates, what glows Beneath the hammer's potent blows? Clink! clank!—we forge the giant chain, Which bears the gallant vessel's strain, 'Midst stormy winds and adverse tides; Secured by this, the good ship braves The rocky roadstead and the waves Which thunder on her sides.
6. Anxious no more, the merchant sees The mist drive dark before the breeze. The storm-cloud on the hill; Calmly he rests, though, far away In boisterous climes, his vessel lay Reliant on our skill.
7. Say, on what sands these links shall sleep, Fathoms beneath the solemn deep'? By Afric's pestilential shore',— By many an iceberg, lone and hoar',— By many a palmy western isle, Basking in spring's perpetual smile',— By stormy Labrador'?
8. Say, shall they feel the vessel reel, When, to the battery's deadly peal, The crashing broadside makes reply'? Or else, as at the glorious Nile, Hold grappling ships, that strive the while, For death or victory'?
9. Hurrah!—cling! clang!—once more, what glows, Dark brothers of the forge, beneath The iron tempest of your blows The furnace's fiery breath?
10. Clang! clang!—a burning torrent, clear And brilliant, of bright sparks is poured Around and up in the dusky air, As our hammers forge the SWORD.
11. The sword! a name of dread; yet when Upon the freeman's thigh 'tis bound, While for his altar and his hearth,— While for the land that gave him birth, The war-drums roll, the trumpets sound, How sacred is it then!
12. Whenever for the truth and right It flashes in the van of fight, Whether in some wild mountain pass As that where fell Leonidas [Headnote 1]; Or on some sterile plain and stern, A Marston [Headnote 2] or a Bannockburn [Headnote 3]; Or, mid fierce crags and bursting rills, The Switzer's Alps, gray Tyrol's hills,— Or, as when sunk the Armada's [Headnote 4] pride, It gleams above the stormy tide,— Still, still, whene'er the battle word Is LIBERTY, when men do stand For justice and their native land, Then Heaven bless THE SWORD!
QUESTIONS.—1. What things are mentioned as being forged? 2. What is said of the colter? 3. What, of the iron cable? 4. What, of the sword?
* * * * *
BEN E FAC' TION, gift; favor. E LATE', flushed with success. IN HER' ENT, natural. PER FEC' TION, excellence. VIG' ILS, watchfulness. UN BRIB' ED, not influenced by gifts. CON SO LA' TION, comfort. AV' E NUE, way; entrance. A TROC' I TIES, enormities. MOCK' ER Y, derision; ridicule. FAC' UL TIES, powers of the mind. CA PAC' I TIES, abilities.
SWIFTNESS OF TIME.
Let him that desires to see others happy, make haste to give while his gift can be enjoyed, and remember that every moment of delay takes away something from the value of his benefaction. And let him who proposes his own happiness, reflect, that while he forms his purpose, the days roll on, and "the night cometh when no man can work."
THE SHIP OF STATE.
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, O Union, strong and great! Humanity, with all its fears, With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate! We know what Master laid thy keel, What workmen wrought thy ribs of steel, Who made each mast, and sail, and rope, What anvils rang, what hammers beat, In what a forge, and what a heat, Were shaped the anchors of thy hope.
THE TRUE HERO.
The true hero is the great, wise man of duty,—he whose soul is armed by truth and supported by the smile of God,—he who meets life's perils with a cautious but tranquil spirit, gathers strength by facing its storms, and dies, if he is called to die, as a Christian victor at the post of duty. And, if we must have heroes, and wars wherein to make them, there is none so brilliant as a war with wrong,—no hero so fit to be sung as he who hath gained the bloodless victory of truth and mercy.
HEART ESSENTIAL TO GENIUS.
We are not always equal to our fate, Nor true to our conditions. Doubt and fear Beset the bravest, in their high career, At moments when the soul, no more elate With expectation, sinks beneath the time. The masters have their weakness. "I would climb," Said Raleigh, gazing on the highest hill,— "But that I tremble with the fear to fall." Apt was the answer of the high-souled queen: "If thy heart fail thee, never climb at all!" The heart! if that be sound, confirms the rest, Crowns genius with his lion will and mien, And, from the conscious virtue in the breast, To trembling nature gives both strength and will.
I consider a human soul without education, like marble in the quarry, which shows none of its inherent beauties until the skill of the polisher fetches out the colors, makes the surface shine, and discovers every ornamental cloud, spot, and vein that runs through the body of it. Education, after the same manner, when it works upon a noble mind, draws out every latent virtue and perfection, which, without such helps, are never able to make their appearance.
THE VANITY OF WEALTH.
No more thus brooding o'er yon heap, With av'rice painful vigils keep; Still unenjoyed the present store, Still endless sighs are breathed for more. Oh! quit the shadow, catch the prize, Which not all India's treasure buys! To purchase Heaven has gold the power'? Can gold remove the mortal hour? In life, can love be bought with gold? Are friendship's pleasures to be sold? No; all that's worth a wish—a thought, Fair Virtue gives unbribed, unbought. Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind; Let nobler views engage thy mind.
CONSOLATION OF THE GOSPEL.
Oh, precious gospel! Will any merciless hand endeavor to tear away from our hearts, this last, this sweetest consolation? Would you darken the only avenue through which one ray of hope can enter? Would you tear from the aged and infirm poor the only prop on which their souls can repose in peace? Would you deprive the dying of their only source of consolation? Would you rob the world of its richest treasure? Would you let loose the flood-gates of every vice, and bring back upon the earth the horrors of superstition, or the atrocities of atheism? Then endeavor to subvert the gospel; throw around you the firebrands of infidelity; laugh at religion, and make a mockery of futurity; but be assured that for all these things, God will bring you into judgment.
THE LIGHT OF HOPE.
1. Oh, who that has gazed, in the stillness of even, On the fast-fading hues of the west, Has seen not afar, in the bosom of heaven, Some bright little mansion of rest, And mourned that the path to a region so fair Should be shrouded with sadness and fears;— That the night-winds of sorrow, misfortune, and care, Should sweep from the deep-rolling waves of despair, To darken this cold world of tears?
2. And who that has gazed, has not longed for an hour, When misfortune forever shall cease; And Hope, like the rainbow, unfold, through the shower, Her bright-written promise of peace? And, oh! if that rainbow of promise may shine On the last scene of life's wint'ry gloom, May its light in the moment of parting be mine; I ask but one ray from a source so divine, To brighten the vale of the tomb.
PAMPERING THE BODY AND STARVING THE SOUL.
1. What'! feed a child's body, and let his soul hunger'? pamper his limbs, and starve his faculties'? Plant the earth, cover a thousand hills with your droves of cattle, pursue the fish to their hiding-places in the sea, and spread out your wheat-fields across the plain, in order to supply the wants of that body which will soon be as cold and as senseless as the poorest clod, and let the pure spiritual essence within you, with all its glorious capacities for improvement, languish and pine'?
2. What'! build factories, turn in rivers upon the water-wheels, unchain the imprisoned spirits of steam, to weave a garment for the body, and let the soul remain unadorned and naked'? What'! send out your vessels to the furthest ocean, and make battle with the monsters of the deep, in order to obtain the means of lighting up your dwellings and workshops, and prolonging the hours of labor for the meat that perisheth, and permit that vital spark, which God has kindled, which He has intrusted to our care, to be fanned into a bright and heavenly flame,—permit it, I say, to languish and go out'?
3. What considerate man can enter a school, and not reflect, with awe, that it is a seminary where immortal minds are training for eternity'? What parent but is, at times, weighed down with the thought, that there must be laid the foundations of a building which will stand, when not merely temple and palace, but the perpetual hills and adamantine rocks on which they rest, have melted away'!—that a light may there be kindled which will shine, not merely when every artificial beam is extinguished, but when the affrighted sun has fled away from the heavens'?
* * * * *
FRUIT' AGE, collection of fruits. WAX' ES, grows; increases. JU' BI LANT, joyous. TINGE, imbue. GLO' RI FI ED, exalted to glory. UN WA' RY, incautious. FAM' ISH ED, afflicted with hunger. BAN' ISH ED, driven out; expelled. RE NEW' ED, made new again. MA TUR' ING, ripening. VINT' AGE, produce of the vine. DIS LOY' AL TY, unfaithfulness. BE QUEATH' ED, left by inheritance. CON SID' ER ATE, thoughtful.
RE VIV' I FY, (RE, again; VIV, live; IFY, to make;) to make alive again, to bring to life; renew.
WE ALL DO FADE AS A LEAF.
1. "We all do fade as a leaf." Change is the essence of life. "Passing away," is written on all things; and passing away is passing on from strength to strength, from glory to glory. Spring has its growth, summer its fruitage, and autumn its festive in-gathering. The spring of eager preparation waxes into the summer of noble work; mellowing in its turn into the serene autumn, the golden-brown haze of October, when the soul may robe itself in jubilant drapery, awaiting the welcome command, "Come up higher," where mortality shall be swallowed up in life.
2. Why, then, should autumn tinge our thoughts with sadness. We fade as the leaf, and the leaf fades only to revivify. Though it fall, it shall rise again. Does the bud fear to become a blossom, or the blossom shudder as it swells into fruit; and shall the redeemed weep that they must become glorified'? Strange inconsistency'! We faint with the burden and the heat of the day. We bow down under the crosses that are laid upon our shoulders. We are bruised and torn by the snares and pitfalls which beset our way, and into which our unwary feet often fall.
3. We are famished, and foot-sore, and travel-stained, from our long journey, and yet we are saddened by tokens that we shall pass away from all these,—away from sin and sorrow, from temptation and fall, from disappointment, and weary waiting, and a fearful looking-for of evil, to purity and holiness, and the full fruition of every hope,—bliss which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor heart conceived,—to a world whence all that made this dreary is forever banished, and where all that made this delightful is forever renewed and increased,—a world where the activities and energies of the soul shall have full scope, and love and recognition wait upon its steps forever.
4. Let him alone fear, who does not fade as the leaf,—him whose sources are not in God, and who does not draw his life thence,—him whose spring is gathering no strength, whose summer is maturing no fruit, and whose autumn shall have no vintage. Is not this the real sorrow of us all? not a dread of change, but a secret consciousness of wasted power,—of disloyalty to God, as the supreme object of our love and service.
5. Yet even here the fading leaf brings hope. Our future is always before us. The past is fixed. No tears can wash away its facts. Let us waste no vain regrets upon it; but, from the wisdom which its very mistakes and sins have bequeathed us, start afresh on the race. Though yesterday we were weak, and selfish, and indolent, let us to-day—at this moment—begin to be strong, and brave, and helpful, and just, and generous, and considerate, and tender, and truthful, and pure, and patient, and forgiving. "Now" is a glorious word. "HENCEFORTH" is always within our grasp.
QUESTIONS.—1. To what are we compared? 2. What is said of change? 3. What change takes place in the leaf? 4. What, in man? 5. Who have reason to fear? 6. What is said of the past and the future?
* * * * *
UN HEED' ED, not regarded. EX POS' ED, unprotected. EX HORT' ED, urged; persuaded. AT TUN' ED, put in tune. ES SEN' TIAL, real; true. AN NOUNC' ED, proclaimed.
TEACHINGS OF NATURE.
1. The seasons came and went, and went and came, To teach men gratitude; and, as they passed, Gave warning of the lapse of time, that else Had stolen unheeded by: the gentle flowers Retired, and, stooping o'er the wilderness, Talked of humility, and peace, and love. The dews came down unseen at evening tide. And silently their bounties shed, to teach Mankind unostentatious charity.
2. With arm in arm the forest rose on high, And lesson gave of brotherly regard; And, on the rugged mountain brow exposed, Bearing the blast alone, the ancient oak Stood, lifting high his mighty arm, and still To courage in distress exhorted loud. The flocks, the herds, the birds, the streams, the breeze, Attuned the heart to melody and love.
3. Mercy stood in the cloud, with eye that wept Essential love; and, from her glorious brow, Bending to kiss the earth in token of peace, With her own lips, her gracious lips, which God Of sweetest accent made, she whispered still, She whispered to Revenge, Forgive! forgive!
4. The Sun, rejoicing round the earth, announced Daily the wisdom, power, and love of God. The Moon awoke, and, from her maiden face Shedding her cloudy locks, looked meekly forth, And, with her virgin stars, walked in the heavens,— Walked nightly there, conversing as she walked Of purity, and holiness, and God.
5. In dreams and visions, sleep instructed much. Day uttered speech to day, and night to night Taught knowledge: silence had a tongue: the grave, The darkness, and the lonely waste, had each A tongue, that ever said, Man! think of God! Think of thyself! think of eternity!
6. Fear God, the thunders said; Fear God, the waves; Fear God, the lightning of the storm replied; Fear God, deep loudly answered back to deep. And, in the temples of the Holy One, Messiah's messengers, the faithful few, Faithful 'mong many false, the Bible opened, And cried: Repent! repent, ye Sons of Men! Believe, be saved.
QUESTIONS.—1. What do the seasons teach? 2. What, the trees? 3. What, the sun and moon? 4. What, Messiah's messengers?
* * * * *
BE DECK' ED, adorned. AR RAY', dress; attire. MAN' TLED, spread; rushed. DE VO' TION, attachment. I DOL A TROUS, excessive. SEV' ER ED, rent; sundered. EN CIR' CLED, inclosed; surrounded. SA' BLES, mourning clothes. GIFT' ED, talented. FOUND ED, established. AL LURE', (AL, to; LURE, draw;) draw to; entice.
PASSING UNDER THE ROD.
[Footnote: These lines are founded on the following passage of Jewish history:—"It was the custom of the Jews to select the tenth of their sheep after this manner: The lambs were separated from their dams, and inclosed in a sheep-cot, with only one narrow way out; the lambs hastened to join the dams, and a man, placed at the entrance, with a rod dipped in ocher, touched every tenth lamb, and so marked it with his rod, saying, 'LET THIS BE HOLY.' Hence, God says by his prophet, 'I will cause you to pass under the rod.'"]
MARY S.B. DANA.
1. I saw the young bride, in her beauty and pride, Bedecked in her snowy array; And the bright flush of joy mantled high on her cheek, And the future looked blooming and gay: And with a woman's devotion she laid her fond heart At the shrine of idolatrous love; And she anchored her hopes to this perishing earth, By the chain which her tenderness wove. But I saw, when those heartstrings were bleeding and torn, And the chain had been severed in two, She had changed her white robes for the sables of grief, And her bloom for the paleness of woe! But the Healer was there, pouring balm on her heart, And wiping the tears from her eyes; And He strengthened the chain He had broken in twain, And fastened it firm to the skies! There had whispered a voice,—'twas the voice of her God: "I love thee—I love thee—pass under the rod!"
2. I saw the young mother in tenderness bend O'er the couch of her slumbering boy; And she kissed the soft lips as they murmured her name, While the dreamer lay smiling in joy. Oh, sweet as the rose-bud encircled with dew, When its fragrance is flung on the air, So fresh and so bright to that mother he seemed, As he lay in his innocence there. But I saw when she gazed on the same lovely form, Pale as marble, and silent, and cold, But paler and colder her beautiful boy, And the tale of her sorrow was told! But the Healer was there, who had stricken her heart, And taken her treasure away; To allure her to heaven, He has placed it on high, And the mourner will sweetly obey. There had whispered a voice,—'twas the voice of her God: "I love thee—I love thee—pass under the rod!"
3. I saw, too, a father and mother who leaned On the arms of a dear gifted son; And the star in the future grew bright to their gaze, As they saw the proud place he had won; And the fast coming evening of life promised fair, And its pathway grew smooth to their feet, And the starlight of love glimmered bright at the end, And the whispers of fancy were sweet. And I saw them again, bending low o'er the grave, Where their hearts' dearest hope had been laid; And the star had gone down in the darkness of night, And the joy from their bosoms had fled. But the Healer was there, and His arms were around, And He led them with tenderest care; And He showed them a star in the bright upper world, 'Twas their star shining brilliantly there! They had each heard a voice,—'twas the voice of their God: "I love thee—I love thee—pass under the rod!"
QUESTIONS.—1. What custom is alluded to, in the passage "I will cause you to pass under the rod?" See note. 2. Where is that passage found in the Scriptures? Ans. Ezekiel, 20th chap., 37th verse. 3. What instances are mentioned of individuals "passing under the rod?"
* * * * *
PET' U LANT, cross; fretful. CA LAM' I TY, misfortune. SA TIR' IC AL, keenly severe; cutting. NUI' SANCE, annoyance. JUST' I FY, give a right to. STU PID' I TY, extreme dullness. CUL' PABLE, blamable; censurable. IR RI TA BIL' I TY, excitableness. AP PEL LA' TION, name; title. VE' HE MENT, violent; furious. VO CIF ER A' TIONS, loud outcries. MEN' A CES, threats. CEN' SUR ED, blamed. VIN DI CA' TION, justification. LON GEV' I TY, length of life. CON TEMPT' I BLE, despicable.
THE PETULANT MAN.
MR. GRIM—MICHAEL—COUSIN MARY.
Cousin Mary. More breezes? What terrible thing has happened now, Cousin Grim? What's the matter?
Grim. Matter enough, I should think! I sent this stupid fellow to bring me a pair of boots from the closet; and he has brought me two rights, instead of a right and left.
Cousin. What a serious calamity! But, perhaps, he thought it was but right to leave the left.
Grim. None of your jokes, if you please. This is nothing to laugh at.
Cousin. So it would seem, from the expression on your face,—rather something to storm at, roar at, and fall into a frenzy about.
Michael. That's right, Miss; give him a piece of your mind! He's the crossest little man I have met with in the new country. You might scrape old Ireland with a fine-tooth comb, and not find such another.
Grim. How dare you talk to me in that style? I'll discharge you this very day!
Michael. I'm thinking of discharging you, if you don't take better care of that sweet temper of yours.
Grim. Leave the room, sir!
Michael. That I will, in search of better company, saving the lady's presence. [Exit.
Grim. There, cousin! there is a specimen of my provocations! Can you wonder at my losing my temper?
Cousin. Cousin Grim, that would be the most fortunate thing that could befall you.
Grim. What do you mean?
Cousin. I mean, if you could only lose that temper of yours, it would be a blessed thing for you; though I should pity the poor fellow who found it. Grim. You are growing satirical in your old age, Cousin Mary.
Cousin. Cousin Grim, hear the plain truth; your ill temper makes you a nuisance to yourself and every body about you.
Grim. Really, Miss Mary Somerville, you are getting to be complimentary!
Cousin. No; I am getting to be candid. I have passed a week in your house, on your invitation. I leave you this afternoon; but, before I go, I mean to speak my mind.
Grim. It seems to me that you have spoken it rather freely already.
Cousin. What was there, in the circumstance of poor Michael's bringing you the wrong boots, to justify your flying into a rage, and bellowing as if your life had been threatened?
Grim. That fellow is perpetually making just such provoking blunders!
Cousin. And do you never make provoking blunders'? Didn't you send me five pounds of Hyson tea, when I wrote for Souchong'? Didn't you send a carriage for me to the cars, half an hour too late, so that I had to hire one myself, after great trouble'? And did I roar at you, when we met, because you had done these things'?
Grim. On the contrary, this is the first time you have alluded to them. I am sorry they should have happened. But surely you should make a distinction between any such little oversight of mine, and the stupidity of a servant, hired to attend to your orders.
Cousin. I do not admit that there should be a distinction. You are both human; only, as you have had the better education, and the greater advantages, stupidity or neglect on your part, is much the more culpable.
Grim. Thank you! Go on.
Cousin. I mean to; so don't be impatient. If an uncooked potato, or a burnt mutton-chop, happens to fall to your lot at the dinner-table, what a tempest follows! One would think you had been wronged, insulted, trampled on, driven to despair. Your face is like a thunder-cloud, all the rest of the meal. Your poor wife endeavors to hide her tears. Your children feel timid and miserable. Your guest feels as if she would like to see you held under the nose of the pump, and thoroughly ducked.
Grim. The carriage is waiting for you, Miss Somerville, and the driver has put on your baggage.
Cousin. I have hired that carriage by the hour, and so am in no hurry. Your excuse for your irritability will be, I suppose, that it is constitutional, and not to be controlled. A selfish, paltry, miserable excuse! I have turned down a leaf in Dr. Johnson's works, and will read what he says in regard to tempers like yours.
Grim. You are always quoting Dr. Johnson! Cousin, I can not endure it! Dr. Johnson is a bore!
Cousin. Oh, yes! to evil-doers,—but to none else. Hear him: "There is in the world a class of mortals known, and contentedly known, by the appellation of passionate men, who imagine themselves entitled, by this distinction, to be provoked on every slight occasion, and to vent their rage in vehement and fierce vociferations, in furious menaces, and licentious reproaches."
Grim. That will do.
Cousin. "Men of this kind," he tells us, "are often pitied rather than censured, and are not treated with the severity which their neglect of the ease of all about them, might justly provoke." But he adds: "It is surely not to be observed without indignation, that men may be found of minds mean enough to be satisfied with this treatment; wretches who are proud to obtain the privilege of madmen, and——"
Grim. I will hear no more! Have done!
Cousin. So the shaft went home! I am not sorry.
Grim. No one but a meddlesome old maid would think of insulting a man in his own house.
Cousin. So, when, at a loss for a vindication, you reproach me with being an old maid! Cousin, it does not distress me, either to be an old maid, or to be called one. I must, however, remark, that the manhood that can charge against a woman her single state, either as a matter of ridicule or reproach, is not quite up to my standard.
Grim. Cousin Mary, I ask your pardon! But am I, indeed, the petulant, disagreeable fellow, you would make me out?
Cousin. My dear Caspar, you are generous enough in large things; but, oh! consider that trifles make up a good portion of the sum of life; and so "a small unkindness is a great offense." Why not be cheerful, sunny, genial, in little things? Why not look on the bright side? Why not present an unruffled front to petty annoyances? Why not labor,—ay, labor,—to have those around you happy and contented, by reflecting from yourself such a frame of mind upon them?
Life is short, at the best; why not make it cheerful? Do you know that longevity is promoted by a tranquil, happy habit of thought and temper'? Do you know that cheerfulness, like mercy, is twice blessed; blessing "him that gives, and him that takes'?" Do you know that good manners, as well as good sense, demand that we should look at objects on their bright side'? Do you know that it is contemptible selfishness in you to shed gloom and sorrow over a whole family by your moroseness and ill-humor'?
Grim. Cousin Mary, the patience with which I have listened to your cutting remarks, will prove to you, I hope, that, notwithstanding my angry retorts, I am convinced there is much truth in what you have said of me. I have a favor to ask. Send away your carriage; stay a week longer,—a month,—a year, if you will. Hold the lash over this ugly temper of mine,—and I give you my word that I will set about the cure of it in earnest.
Cousin. You should have begun earlier,—in youth, when the temper is pliable, and strong impressions can work great changes. But we will not despair. I will tarry with you a while, just to see if you are serious in your wish for a reformation, and to help you bring it about.
Grim. Thank you. We hear of reformed drunkards, and reformed thieves; and why may not a petulant temper be reformed, but a system of total abstinence from all harsh, unkind moods and expressions? Come, we will try.
QUESTIONS.—1. At what was Mr. Grim offended? 2. What did Cousin Mary say would be fortunate for him? 3. What blunder had Mr. Grim made? 4. How did he often behave at the table? 5. What does Dr. Johnson say of such men? 6. What did Cousin Mary finally say to him? 7. Of what was he convinced? 8. What did he resolve to do?
* * * * *
SAC' RI FICE, religious offering. STRAIGHT, immediately. SCUR' VY, low; mean. SCRU' PLE, hesitate. EN DURE', suffer'; tolerate. IM PURE, filthy; unclean. UT TER LY, entirely; completely. BLEM' ISH, defect; deformity. WA' VER ED, hesitated. IM PAR' TIAL, just; free from bias. RE FER', leave to another. PAR' DON, forgive. GHEE, kind of butter used in India. DIS TRUST' ING, suspecting. PAL PA BLE, obvious; evident. LAUD' ING, praising.
THE BRAHMIN AND THE ROGUES.
[Footnote: The fable, here thrown into verse, is related in English prose by Macaulay, who says:—"Thus, or nearly thus, if we remember rightly, runs the story of the Sanscrit Aesop."]
AN EASTERN FABLE.
VERSIFIED BY J.N. McELLIGOTT.
1. A Brahmin went out, the legends say, To buy him a sheep a certain day; For he had solemnly vowed to slay, In sacrifice, a sheep that day, And wanted a sheep his vow to pay. Three neighboring rogues (The cunning dogs!) Finding this out, Went straight about (Moved, I ween, by the very Old Nick,) To play the Brahmin a scurvy trick.
2. So one of them met him with the cry:— "O Brahmin! O Brahmin! won't you buy A beautiful sheep? for here have I A beautiful sheep for sacrifice, As ever was seen by mortal eyes."
3. "Where is your sheep?" replied the Brahmin; "Bring him out here, and let me examine." With that the wag Opened a bag, And out he drew To public view An ugly, dirty, horrible dog! Blind as a bat, and lame as a frog; With a broken leg, climbing a log. Or limping slowly over a bog.
4. "Wretch!" said the Brahmin indignant, "who Shamelessly utterest things untrue, And dost without a scruple endure To handle creatures the most impure, How darest thou call that cur a sheep? Do you think, foul knave, that I'm asleep?"
5. "Cur'!" said the fellow with steady tone; "A sheep it is, and a sheep alone; A sheep (see here, what a splendid fleece!) With flesh the sweetest, and fat as grease; And such a prize For sacrifice, As neither gods nor men can despise, Unless they both have dust in their eyes!" "Sir," said the Brahmin, surprised to find A person so utterly out of his mind, "'Tis certain that you or I am blind."
6. Then stepping up, Patting the pup, Rogue the second, as if amazed, While on the dog he steadily gazed, Exclaims aloud:—"The gods be praised! Since I've no need to market to go To buy me a sheep; for here's one so From spot and blemish perfectly free, That better could not possibly be. Isn't it nice? What's your price?"
7. The Brahmin, seeing this singular thing, Wavered in mind, like one in a swing; Yet answered the stranger, firmly,—"Sir, This isn't a sheep, but only a cur." "Cur?" with disdain, the new-comer said; "Why, man, you're surely out of your head!"
8. As this occurred, Came rogue the third, To whom, as being a witness new, And likely to take impartial view, Brahmin proposed at once to refer, Whether the creature was sheep or cur. All being agreed, the eager priest Said:—"Stranger, what do you call this beast?" "A sheep, to be sure!" the knave replied; "As fine a sheep as ever you spied."
9. "Well," said the Brahmin, "the gods this day Have surely taken my senses away!" Then begging the rogue That carried the dog, To pardon him for doubting his word, He, with a readiness most absurd, Purchased the creature with rice and ghee, Which went, of course, to the worthless three, And which they shared with wonderful glee.
10. Thus taken in, The poor Brahmin Offered it up, The filthy pup, Which so offended the gods, that they Sent sore disease his folly to pay: Thinking it right the man to chastise For so distrusting his natural eyes, And being led by palpable lies To offer a dog as a sacrifice.
Look out for the arts of the puffing tribe,— People that praise for the sake of a bribe; Lavishly lauding a book or a pill, Or any thing else the pocket to fill; Singing Simplicity fast asleep, And making her dream a dog's a sheep.
QUESTIONS.—1. What trick did the three rogues play off on the Brahmin? 2. In what way did they do this? 3. What moral is taught in this fable?
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E LAS TIC' I TY, returning vigor. MIN' I FIES, lessens; makes small. DEG RA DA' TION, abasement. ES TRANGED, alienates. UN ALMS' ED, not having received alms. HA BIT' U AL, accustomed. EX TRAV' A GANCE, superfluous expense. IM PER' TI NENCE, that which is not pertinent. SUS PI' CIOUS, distrustful. E CON' O MY, frugality. TRAN' QUIL, calm; undisturbed. BE NUMB' ING, dull; stupefying. IM PROV' I DENCE, wastefulness.
LIVING WITHIN OUR MEANS.
1. Oh, beware of debt! It crushes out the manhood of a man, Robs his bright eye of boldness, cheats his limbs Of elasticity, unnerves his hand, Beclouds his judgment, dulls his intellect, Perils his uprightness, and stains his name, And minifies him to his fellow-men; Yea, far worse degradation, to himself.
2. Who hath the hurried step, the anxious eye, Avoids the public haunt and open street, And anxious waits for evening? Restlessly Tosses upon his bed, and dreads the approach Of the tell-tale morning sunlight? Who, unmanned, Starts at the sudden knock, and shrinks with dread E'en at his own shadow; shuns with care The stranger's look, skulks from his fellow's glance, And sees in every man a creditor?
3. The debtor;—he is only half a man; He saddens and estranges his chief friends, Burdens his dearest relatives; he hears In vain the stranger's tale, the widow's prayer, And sends away the orphan all unalmsed. None dare to place him in a post of trust, And business men regard him with a shrug.
4. "Owe no man aught." Stand in the world erect, And lean alone upon thyself and God. The habitual borrower will be ever found Wicked, or weak, or both. Sweat, study, stint, Yea, rather any thing than meanly owe. Let thine own honest hands feed thee and thine, And, if not thy friend's purse, at least, respect Thine own sweet independence.
5. Have fewest wants: the book, however good, Thou shouldst not purchase, let it go unbought; And fashion's vests by thee be all unworn. Soon luxuries become necessities, But self-denying thrift more joy affords Than all the pleasures of extravagance. A cottage, free from clamorous creditors, Is better than a mansion dunned; a coat, However darned, if paid for, hath an ease, And a respectability beside: Gay, ill-afforded vests can never boast.
6. However cheap, Whatever thou want'st not, buy not. That is dear, A mere extravagant impertinence, For which thou hast no need. Feel first the want Ere it be satisfied; bargains full oft Are money-wasting things, that prudent men Will keep afar from with suspicious eye; Perchance to any but of little use, And to themselves, most likely, none at all.
7. The habit of economy once formed, 'Tis easy to attain to prosperous things. Thou then shalt lend, not borrow: shalt not want A helping trifle when thy friend hath need, Or means to seize an opportunity,— Seed-coin, to ensure a harvest. Thou shalt then Want not an alms for pinching poverty; And, though a sudden sickness dam the stream, And cut off thy supplies, thou shalt lie down And view thy morrows with a tranquil eye; Even benumbing age shall scare thee not, But find thee unindebted, and secure From all the penury and wretchedness That dog the footsteps of improvidence.
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OM NIP' O TENT, all-powerful. IN TER' MI NA BLE, endless. MILK Y-WAY, galaxy; luminous circle in the heavens. AS' TRAL, starry. IN FIN' I TUDE, unlimited extent. IM PET' U OUS, rushing. AS TRON O MER, one skilled in the science of the stars. AP PROX' I MATE LY, nearly. OM NIS' CIENCE, knowledge of all things. PER TUR BA' TIONS, irregularities of motion. AB' SO LUTE, entire. PRE CIS' ION, exactness. AD JUST' MENTS, arrangements. RET' I NUE, company. SAT' EL LITES, small planets revolving round others.
GRANDEUR OF THE UNIVERSE.
1. If you would know the glory of the Omnipotent Ruler of the universe, examine the interminable range of suns and systems which crowd the Milky-Way. Multiply the hundred millions of stars which belong to our own "island universe" by the thousands of these astral systems that exist in space, within the range of human vision, and then you may form some idea of the infinitude of His kingdom; for lo! these are but a part of His ways.
2. Examine the scale on which the universe is built. Comprehend, if you can, the vast dimensions of our sun. Stretch outward through his system, from planet to planet, and circumscribe the whole within the immense circumference of Neptune's orbit. This is but a single unit out of the myriads of similar systems.
3. Take the wings of light, and flash with impetuous speed, day and night, and month, and year, till youth shall wear away, and middle age is gone, and the extremest limit of human life has been attained;—count every pulse, and, at each, speed on your way a hundred thousand miles; and when a hundred years have rolled by, look out, and behold! the thronging millions of blazing suns are still around you, each separated from the other by such a distance, that, in this journey of a century, you have only left half a score behind you.
4. Would you gather some idea of the eternity past of God's existence,—go to the astronomer, and bid him lead you in one of his walks through space; and, as he sweeps outward from object to object, from universe to universe, remember that the light from those filmy stains on the deep pure blue of heaven, now falling on your eye, has been traversing space for a million of years.
5. Would you gather some knowledge of the omnipotence of God,—weigh the earth on which we dwell, then count the millions of its inhabitants that have come and gone for the last six thousand years. Unite their strength into one arm, and test its power in an effort to move this earth. It could not stir it a single foot in a thousand years; and yet under the omnipotent hand of God, not a minute passes that it does not fly more than a thousand miles.
6. But this is a mere atom,—the most insignificant point among his innumerable worlds. At his bidding, every planet, and satellite, and comet, and the sun himself, fly onward in their appointed courses. His single arm guides the millions of sweeping suns, and around His throne circles the great constellation of unnumbered universes.
7. Would you comprehend the idea of the omniscience of God,—remember that the highest pinnacle of knowledge reached by the whole human race, by the combined efforts of its brightest intellects, has enabled the astronomer to compute approximately the perturbations of the planetary worlds. He has predicted roughly the return of half a score of comets. But God has computed the mutual perturbations of millions of suns, and planets, and comets, and worlds, without number, through the ages that are passed, and throughout the ages which are yet to come, not approximately, but with perfect and absolute precision.
8. The universe is in motion,—system rising above system, cluster above cluster, nebula above nebula,—all majestically sweeping around under the providence of God, who alone knows the end from the beginning, and before whose glory and power all intelligent beings, whether in heaven or on earth, should bow with humility and awe.
9. Would you gain some idea of the wisdom of God,—look to the admirable adjustments of the magnificent retinue of planets and satellites which sweep around the sun. Every globe has been weighed and poised, every orbit has been measured and bent to its beautiful form.
10. All is changing; but the laws fixed by the wisdom of God, though they permit the rocking to and fro of the system, never introduce disorder, or lead to destruction. All is perfect and harmonious, and the music of the spheres that burn and roll around our sun, is echoed by that of ten millions of moving worlds, that sing and shine around the bright suns that reign above.
11. If, overwhelmed with the grandeur and majesty of the universe of God, we are led to exclaim with the Hebrew poet-king,—"When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?"—If fearful that the eye of God may overlook us in the immensity of His kingdom, we have only to call to mind that other passage, "Yet Thou hast made him but a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over all the works of Thy hand; Thou hast put all things under his feet." Such are the teachings of the word, and such are the lessons of the works of God.
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"WHOM HAVE I IN HEAVEN BUT THEE?"
MISS PAMELIA S. VINING.
1. 'Twere naught to me, yon glorious arch of night, Decked with the gorgeous blazonry of heaven, If, to my faith, amid its splendors bright, No vision of the Eternal One were given; I could but view a dreary, soulless waste,— A vast expanse of solitude unknown, More cheerless for the splendors o'er it cast,— For all its grandeur more intensely lone.
2. 'Twere naught to me, this ever-changeful scene Of earthly beauty, sunshine, and delight,— The wood's deep shadows and the valley's green,— Morn's tender glow, and sunset's splendors bright; Naught, if my Father spoke not from the sky, The cloud, the flower, the landscape, and the leaf; My soul would pine 'mid earth's vain pageantry, And droop in hopeless orphanage and grief.
3. 'Twere naught to me, the ocean's vast expanse, If His perfections were not mirrored there; Hopeless across the unmeasured waste I'd glance, And clasp my hands in anguish, not in prayer. Naught Nature's anthem, ever swelling up From Nature's myriad voices; for the hymn Breathes not of love, or gratitude, or hope, Robbed of the tones that tell my soul of Him.
4. This wondrous universe how less than naught Without my God! how desolate and drear! A mock'ry, earth with her vain splendors fraught! A gilded pageant, every rolling sphere! The noonday sun with all his glories crowned, A sickly meteor glimmers faint and pale! And all earth's melodies, their sweetness drowned, Are but the utterance of a funeral wail.
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THE MEMORY OF WASHINGTON.
1. Mr. President: I consider it a particular favor of Providence that I am permitted to partake, on the present solemn occasion, in paying the tribute of honor and gratitude to the memory of your immortal Washington.
2. An architect having raised a proud and noble building to the service of the Almighty, his admirers desired to erect a monument to his memory. How was it done? His name was inscribed upon the wall, with these additional words: "You seek his monument—look around."
3. Let him who looks for a monument of Washington look around the United States. The whole country is a monument to him. Your freedom, your independence, your national power, your prosperity, and your prodigious growth, is a monument to Washington.
4. There is no room left for panegyric, none especially to a stranger whom you had full reason to charge with arrogance, were he able to believe that his feeble voice could claim to be noticed in the mighty harmony of a nation's praise. Let me, therefore, instead of such an arrogant attempt, pray that that God, to whose providential intentions Washington was a glorious instrument, may impart to the people of the United States the same wisdom for the conservation of the present prosperity of the land and for its future security, which he gave to Washington for the foundation of it.
5. I yield to nobody in the world in reverence and respect to the immortal memory of Washington. His life and his principles were the guiding star of my life; to that star I looked up for inspiration and advice, during the vicissitudes of my stormy life. Hence I drew that devotion to my country and to the cause of national freedom, which you, gentlemen, and millions of your fellow-citizens, and your national government, are so kind as to honor by unexampled distinction.
6. Sir, I have studied the history of your immortal Washington, and have, from my early youth, considered his principles as a living source of instruction to statesmen and to patriots.
When, in that very year in which Washington issued his Farewell Address, M. Adet, the French Minister, presented to him the flag of the French Republic, Washington, as President of the United States, answered officially, with these memorable words:
"Born in a land of liberty, having early learned its value, having engaged in a perilous conflict to defend it, having devoted the best years of my life to secure its permanent establishment in my country, my anxious recollections, my sympathetic feelings, and my best wishes, are irresistibly attracted, whensoever in any country I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banner of freedom."
7. Thus spoke Washington. Have I not then full reason to say, that if he were alive his generous sympathy would be with me; and the sympathy of a Washington never was, and never would be, a barren word. Washington, who raised the word "honesty" as a rule of policy, never would have professed a sentiment which his wisdom as a statesman would not have approved.
8. Sir! here let me end. I consider it already as an immense benefit that your generous attention connected the cause of Hungary with the celebration of the memory of Washington.
9. Spirit of the departed! smile down from heaven upon this appreciation of my country's cause; watch over those principles which thou hast taken for the guiding star of thy noble life, and the time will yet come when not only thine own country, but liberated Europe, also, will be a living monument to thy immortal name.
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THE LOST ONE'S LAMENT.
1. Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, Filling the sky and earth below; Over the housetops, over the street, Over the heads of the people you meet, Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along! Beautiful snow! it can do no wrong. Flying to kiss a fair lady's cheek, Clinging to lips in a frolicsome freak, Beautiful snow from the Heaven above, Pure as an angel, gentle as love!
2. Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, How the flakes gather and laugh as they go? Whirling about in its maddening fun, It plays in its glee with every one; Chasing, Laughing, Hurrying by, It lights on the face and it sparkles the eye! And even the dogs, with a bark and a bound, Snap at the crystals that eddy around. The town is alive, and its heart in a glow To welcome the coming of beautiful snow.
3. How wild the crowd goes swaying along, Hailing each other with humor and song! How the gay sledges, like meteors, flash by, Bright for the moment, then lost to the eye! Ringing, Swinging, Dashing they go Over the crust of the beautiful snow; Snow so pure when it falls from the sky, To be trampled in mud by the crowd rushing by, To be trampled and tracked by thousands of feet, Till it blends with the filth in the horrible street
4. How strange it should be that this beautiful snow, Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go! How strange it should be, when the night comes again If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain! Fainting, Freezing, Dying alone, Too wicked for prayer, too weak for a moan To be heard in the crazy town, Gone mad in the joy of the snow coming down; To lie and so die, in my terrible woe, With a bed and a shroud of the beautiful snow!