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AM inclined to believe that the intention of the Sacred Scriptures is to give to mankind the information necessary for their salvation. But I do not hold it necessary to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, with speech, with intellect, intended that we should neglect the use of these, and seek by other means for knowledge which these are sufficient to procure for us; especially in a science like astronomy, of which so little notice is taken by the Scriptures that none of the planets, except the sun and moon and once or twice only Venus, by the name of Lucifer, are so much as named at all.
This therefore being granted, methinks that in the discussion of natural problems we ought not to begin at the authority of texts of Scriptures, but at sensible experiments and necessary demonstrations.-Galileo.
one one immedi
ately comes upon this incorrigible mob of humanity. It exists everywhere in legions; crowding and soiling everything, like flies in summer. Hence the numberless bad books, those rank weeds of literature which extract nourishment from the corn, and choke it. They monopolize the time, money and attention which really belongs to good books and their noble aims; they are written merely with a view to making money or procuring places. They are not only useless, but they do positive harm. Nine-tenths of the whole of our present literature aims solely at taking a few shillings out of the public's pocket, and to accomplish this, author, publisher and reviewer have joined forces.-Schopenhauer.
I often to
myself what famine is, but the human mind is not capable of drawing any form, any scene, that will realize the horrors of starvation. The men who made the Corn Laws are totally ignorant of what it means. The agricultural laborers know something of it in some counties, and there are some hand-loom weavers in Lancashire who know what it is. I saw
the other night, late at night, a light in a cottage-window, and heard the loom busily at work, the shuttle flying rapidly. It ought to have a cheerful sound, but it is at work near midnight, when there is care upon the brow of the workmanlest he should not be able to secure that which will maintain his wife and children
-then there is a foretaste of what is meant by the word "famine." Oh, if these men who made the Corn Laws, if these men who step in between the Creator and His creatures, could for only one short twelvemonth-I would inflict upon them no harder punishment for their guilt-if they for one single twelvemonth might sit at the loom and throw the shuttle! I will not ask that they should have the rest of the evils; I will not ask that they shall be torn by the harrowing feelings which must exist when a beloved wife and helpless children are suffering the horrors which these Corn Laws have inflicted upon millions. -John Bright.
O know the mighty works of God; to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance can not be more grateful than knowledge.
F we wish to be just judges of all things, let us first persuade ourselves of this: that there is not one of us without fault; no man is found who can acquit himself; and he who calls himself innocent does so with reference to a witness, and not to his conscience.-Seneca.
HEN a man of genius is in full swing, never contradict him, set him straight or try to reason with him. Give him a free field. A listener is sure to get a greater quantity of good, no matter how mixed, than if the man is thwarted Let Pegasus bolt-he will bring you up in a place you know nothing about!-Linnæus.
HERE are two great forces which seem sheer inspiration and nothing else I mean Shakespeare and Burns. This is not the place or the time to speak of the miracle called Shakespeare, but one must say a word of the miracle called
All of a sudden, without preface or warning, he breaks out into exquisite song like a nightingale from the brushwood, and continues singing as sweetly, in nightingale pauses, till he dies. The nightingalesings/because he can not help it; he can only sing exquisitely, because he knows no other So it was with Burns. What is this but inspiration? One can no more measure or reason about it than measure or reason about Niagara; and remember, the poetry is only a fragment of Burns. Amazing as it may seem, all contemporary testimony is unanimous that the man was far more wonderful than his works If his talents were universal, his sympathy was not less so. His tenderness was no
mere selfish tenderness for his own family for he loved all mankind, except the cruel and base-nay, we may go further and say that he placed all creation, especially the suffering and depressed part of it, under his protection. The oppressor in every shape, even in the comparatively innocent embodiment of the factor and the sportsman, he regarded with direct and personal hostility But, above all, hesaw the charm of the home. He recognized it as the basis of all society. He honored it in its humblest form, for he knew, as few know, how sincerely the family in the cottage is welded by mutual love and esteem.
We are not sure of sorrow,
Time stoops to no man's lure; And love, grown faint and fretful, With lips but half regretful Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure. From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free, We thank with brief thanksgiving Whatever gods may be, That no life lives forever; That dead men rise up never; That even the weariest river Winds somewhere safe to sea. Here, where the world is quiet,
Here, where all trouble seems
A sleepy world of streams.
His verses, then, go straight to the heart of every home, they appeal to every father and mother; but that is only the beginning, perhaps the foundation, of his sympathy. There is something for everybody in Burns. He has a heart even for vermin; he has pity even for the arch-enemy ofmankind. And his universality makes his poems a treasurehouse in which all may find what they want. Every wayfarer in the journey of life may pluck strength and courage from it as he pauses. The sore, the weary, the wounded will all find something to heal and soothe. For this great master is the universal Samaritan. Where the priest and the Levite may have passed by in vain this eternal heart will still afford resource.
For men that sow to reap:
by A. C. Swinburne
His was a soul bathed in crystals He hurried to avow everything. There was no reticence in him. The only obscure passage in his life is the love-passage with Highland Mary, and as to that he was silent not from shame, but because it was a sealed and sacred episode What a flattering idea," he once wrote, "is a world to come. There shall I with speechless agony or rapture recognize my lost, my ever dear Mary, whose bosom was fraught with truth, honor, constancy and love." But he had, as the French say, the defects of his qualities. His imagination was a supreme and celestial gift, but his imagination often led him wrong and never more than with woman. The chivalry that made Don Quixote see the heroic in all the common events of life made Burns (as his brother tells us) see a goddess in every girl he approached; hence many love affairs, and some guilty ones, but even these must be judged with reference to time and circumstances. This much is certain: had he been devoid of genius they would not have attracted attention. It is Burn's pedestal that affords a target. And why, one may ask, is not the same treatment measured out to Burns as to others?..... Mankind is helped in its progress almost as much by the study of imperfection as by the contemplation of perfection. Had we nothing before us in our futile and halting lives but saints and the ideal, we might well fail altogether. We grope blindly along the catacombs of the world, we climb the dark ladder of life, we feel our way to futurity, but we can scarcely see an inch around or before us We stumble and falter and fall, our hands and knees are bruised and sore, and we look up for light and guidance. Could we see nothing but distant, unapproachable impeccability we might well sink prostrate in the hopelessness of emulation, and the weariness of despair. Is it not then, when all seems blank and lightless, when strength and courage flag, and when perfection seems remote as a star, is it not then that imperfection helps us? When we see that the greatest and choicest images of God have had their weaknesses like ours, their temptations, their hour of
darkness, their bloody sweat, are we not encouraged by their lapses and catastrophes to find energy for one more effort, one more struggle? Where they failed, we feel it a less dishonor to fail; their errors and sorrows make, as it were, an easier ascent from infinite imperfection to infinite perfection.
Man, after all, is not ripened by virtue alone. Were it so, this world were a paradise of angels. No. Like the growth of the earth, he is the fruit of all seasons, the accident of a thousand accidents, a living mystery moving through the seen to the unseen; he is sown in dishonor; he is matured under all the varieties of heat and cold, in mists and wrath, in snow and vapors, in the melancholy of autumn, in the torpor of winter as well as in the rapture and fragrance of summer, or the bamly affluence of spring, its breath, its sunshine; at the end he is reaped, the product not of one climate but of all, not of good alone but of sorrow, perhaps mellowed and ripened, perhaps stricken and withered and sour. How, then, shall we judge any one? How, at any rate, shall we judge a giant, great in gifts and great in temptation; great in strength, and great in weakness? Let us glory in his strength and be comforted in his weakness; and when we thank heaven for the inestimable gift of Burns, we do not need to remember wherein he was imperfect; we can not bring ourselves to regret that he was made of the same clay as ourselves. Rosebery.
HE country life is to be preferred, for
there we see the
in cities, little else but the works of men; and the one makes a better subject for our contemplation than the other...
The country is both the philosopher's garden and library, in which he reads and contemplates the power, wisdom, and goodness of God.-William Penn.
I congratulate poor young men upon being born to that ancient and honorable degree which renders it necessary that they should devote themselves to hard work.-Andrew Carnegie.
HEN you come into any fresh company, observe their humours Suit your own carriage thereto, by which insinuation you will make their converse more free and open. Let your discours be more in querys and doubtings than peremptory assertions or disputings, it being the designe of travelers to learne, not to teach. Besides, it will persuade your acquaintance that you have the greater esteem of them, and soe make them more ready to communicate what they know to you; whereas nothing sooner occasions disrespect and quarrels than peremptorinesse. You will find little or no advantage in seeming wiser, or much more ignorant than your company. Seldom discommend anything though never so bad, or doe it but moderately, lest you bee unexpectedly forced to an unhansom retraction. It is safer to commend any thing more than is due, than to discommend a thing soe much as it deserves; for commendations meet not soe often with oppositions, or, at least, are not usually soe ill resented by men that think otherwise, as discommendations; and you will insinuate into men's favour by nothing sooner than seeming to approve and commend what they like; but beware of doing it by a comparison I❤ -Sir Isaac Newton to one of his pupils.
HE man who makes it the habit of his life to go to bed at nine o'clock, usually gets rich and is always reliable. Of course, going to bed does not make him rich-I merely mean that such a man will in all probability be up early in the morning and do a big day's work, so his weary bones put him to bed early. Rogues do their work at night. Honest men work by day. It 's all a matter of habit, and good habits in America make any man rich. Wealth is largely a result of habit.-John Jacob Astor.
FEEL most deeply that this whole question of Creation is too profound for human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton! Let each man hope and believe what he can.-Charles Darwin.
E thank Thee for this place in which we dwell; for the love that unites us; for the peace accorded us this day; for the hope with which we expect the morrow; for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth, and our friendly helpers in this foreign isles Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors. If it may not, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune, and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving one to another.
-Robert Louis Stevenson.
'N the name of the Past and of the Future, the servants of Humanity -both its philosophical and its practical servants come forward to claim as their due the general direction of the world. Their object is to constitute at length a real Providence in all departments-moral, intellectual and material.-Auguste Comte.
Education-A debt due from present to future generations.-George Peabody.
Y LORD: I have been informed by the proprietor of the World that two papers in which my Dictionary is recommended to the public, were written by your Lordship. To be so distinguished is an honor, which, being very little accustomed to favors from the great, I know not well how to receive, or in what terms to acknowledge IO When, upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your Lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your address, and could not forbear to wish that I might boast myself le vainqueur du vainqueur de la terrethat I might obtain that regard for which I saw the world contending; but I found my attendance so little encouraged, that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to continue its When I once addressed your Lordship in public, I had exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar can possess. I had done all that I could; and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.
Seven years, my lord, have now passed since I waited in your outward rooms, or was repulsed from your door; during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it
at last to the verge of publication, without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favor s Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patron before.
The shepherd in Virgil grew at last acquainted with Love, and found him a native of the rocks. Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labors, had it been early had been kind: but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and can not enjoy it; till I am solitary, and can not impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling that the public should consider me as owing that to a patron which Providence has enabled me to do for myself.
Having carried on my work thus far with so little obligation to any favorer of learning, I shall not be disappointed though I should conclude it, if less be possible, with less; for I have been long wakened from that dream of hope in which I once boasted myself with so much exultation, my lord,
Your Lordship's most humble, most obedient servant, Sam. Johnson.
I know not whether Laws be right,
But this I know, that every Law
This too I know-and wise it were
With bars they blur the gracious moon,
The vilest deeds like poison words
It is only what is good in Man
That wastes and withers there: Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate, And the Warder is Despair.
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