Page images

at the monstrous scenery, that horror seemed absorbed, for a while, in sheer astonishment. Sooner or later came a reflux of feeling that swallowed up the astonishment, and left me, not so much in terror, as in hatred and abomination of what I saw. Over every form, and threat, and punishment, and dim, sightless incarceration, brooded a sense of eternity and infinity that drove me into an oppression as of madness. Into these dreams only it was, with one or two slight exceptions, that any circumstances of physical horror entered. All before had been moral and spiritual terrors. But here the main agents were ugly birds, or snakes, or crocodiles; especially the last. The cursed crocodile became to me the object of more horror than almost all the rest. I was compelled to live with him; and (as was always the case almost in my dreams) for centuries. I escaped sometimes, and found myself in Chinese houses, with cane tables, etc. All the feet of the tables, sofas, etc., soon became instinct with life: the abominable head of the crocodile, and his leering eyes, looked out at me, multiplied into a thousand repetitions; and I stood loathing and fascinated. And so often did this hideous reptile haunt my dreams, that many times the very same dream was broken up in the very same way: I heard gentle voices speaking to me (I hear everything when I am sleeping); and instantly I awoke: it was broad noon; and my children were standing, hand in hand, at my bedside; come to show me their colored shoes, or new frocks, or to let me see them dressed for going out. I protest that so awful was the transition from the crocodile, and the other unutterable monsters and abortions of my dreams, to the sight of innocent human natures and of infancy, that, in the mighty and sudden revulsion of mind I wept, and could not forbear it, as I kissed their faces.-" Opium Dreams," by Thomas de Quincey.

The tallest and the smallest among us are so alike diminutive and pitifully base, it is a meanness to calculate the difference.-Thackeray.

ERE is my creed. I believe in one

God, the creator of the universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion.

As to Jesus of Nazareth, I think his system of morals and his religion as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is like to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as probably it has, of making his doctrines more respected and more observed; especially as I do not perceive, that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in his government of the world with any peculiar marks of his displeasure.

I shall only add, respecting myself, that, having experienced the goodness of that Being in conducting me prosperously through a long life, I have no doubt of its continuance in the next, though without the smallest conceit of meriting such goodness.-Franklin.

10 30

So to conduct one's life as to realize oneself-this seems to me the highest attainment possible to a human being. It is the task of one and all of us, but most of us bungle it.-Ibsen.

10 30


EBT, grinding debt, whose iron face the widow, the orphan, and the sons of genius fear and hate; debt, which consumes so much time, which so cripples and disheartens a great spirit with cares that seem so base, is a preceptor whose lessons can not be foregone, and is needed most by those who suffer from it most. -Emerson.

POOR Relation is one of the most irrelevant things in nature a piece of impertinent correspondency,-an odious approximation,- a haunting conscience,-a preposterous shadow, lengthening in the noon-tide of our prosperity, an unwelcome remembrancer, a perpetually recurring mortification, a drain

on your purse, a more intolerable dun upon your pride, a drawback upon success, -a rebuke to your rising, a stain in your blood,—a blot on your 'scut cheon-a rent in your garment,—a death's head at your banquet,Agothocle's pot,a Mordecai in your gate, a Lazarus at your door,-a lion in your path,-a frog in your chamber, a fly in your ointment,—a mote in your eye, a triumph to your enemy, an apology to your friends,—the one thing not needful,-the hail in harvest,the ounce of sour in a pound of sweet.

He is known by his knock. Your heart telleth you, "That is Mr.-." A rap, between familiarity and respect; that demands, and at the same time seems to despair of, entertainment. He entereth smiling and-embarrassed. He holdeth out his hand to you to shake, and-draweth it back again. He casually looketh in about dinner-timewhen the table is full. He offereth to go away, seeing you have company,-but is induced to stay. He filleth a chair, and your visitor's two children are accommodated at a side-table. He never cometh upon open days, when your wife says, with some complacency, "My dear, perhaps Mr.—will drop in today." He remembereth birthdays-and professeth he is fortunate to have stumbled upon one. He declareth against

fish, the turbot being small,—yet suffereth himself to be importuned into a slice against his first resolution. He sticketh by the port,-yet will be prevailed upon to empty the remaining glass of claret, if a stranger press it upon him. He is a puzzle to the servants, who are fearful of being too obsequious, or not civil enough, to him. The guests think "they have seen him before." Every one speculateth upon his condition; and the most part take him to be a tidewaiter. He calleth you by your Christian name, to imply that his other is the same with your own. He is too familiar by half, yet you wish he had less diffidence. With half the familiarity, he might pass for a casual dependant; with more boldness, he would be in no danger of being taken for what he is. He is too humble for a friend; yet taketh on him more state than befits a client. He is a worse guest than a country tenant, inasmuch as he bringeth up no rentyet 't is odds, from his garb and demeanor, that your guests take him for one. He is asked to make one at the whist-table; refuseth on the score of poverty, and-resents being left out. When the company break up, he proffereth to go for a coach-and lets the servant go. He recollects your grandfather; and will thrust in some mean and quite unimportant anecdote of the family as "he is blest in seeing it now." He reviveth past situations, to institute what he calleth-favorable comparisons. With a reflecting sort of congratulation, he will inquire the price of your furniture; and insults you with a special commendation of your window-curtains He is of opinion that the urn is the more elegant shape, but after all, there was

The violet is much too shy,
The rose too little so;
I think I'll ask the buttercup
If I may be her beau.

When winds go by, I'll nod to her
And she will nod to me,

And I will kiss her on the cheek
As gently as may be.

And when the mower cuts us down, Together we will pass, I smiling at the buttercup, She smiling at the grass. "A Song the Grass Sings,"

by Charles G. Blanden

something more comfortable about the old tea-kettle; which you must remember. He dare say you must find a great convenience in having a carriage of your own, and appealeth to your lady if it is not so. Inquireth if you have had your arms done in vellum yet; and did not know, till lately, that such-and-such had been the crest of the family. His memory is unseasonable; his compliments perverse; his talk a trouble; his stay pertinacious; and when he goeth away, you dismiss his chair into a corner, as precipitately as possible, and feel fairly rid of two nuisances.

There is a worse evil under the sun, and that is a female Poor Relation. You may do something with the other; you may pass him off tolerably well; but your indigent she-relation is hopeless.

He is an old humorist," you may say, "and affects to go threadbare. His circumstances are better than folks would take them to be. You are fond of having

a Character at your table, and truly he is one. ." But in the indications of female poverty there can be no disguise. No woman dresses below herself from mere caprice

The truth must out without shuffling. "She is plainly related to the Ls; or what does she at their house?" She is, in all probability, your wife's cousin. Nine times out of ten, at least, this is the case. Her garb is something between a gentlewoman and a beggar, yet the former evidently predominates. She is most provokingly humble, and ostentatiously sensible to her inferiority. He may require to be repressed sometimes,―aliquando sufflaminadus erat, -but there is no raising her. You send her soup at dinner, and she begs to be helped-after the gentlemen. Mr.requests the honor of taking wine with her; she hesitates between Port and Madeira, and chooses the formerbecause he does. She calls the servant Sir; and insists on not troubling him to hold her plate. The housekeeper patronizes her. The children's governess takes upon her to correct her, when she has mistaken the piano for harpischord. -Charles Lamb.

HE poet is chiefly distinguished

from other men by a greater promptness to think and feel without immediate external excitement, and a greater power in expressing such thoughts and feelings as are produced in him in that manner.

But these passions and thoughts and feelings are the general passions and thoughts and feelings of men. And with what are they connected? Undoubtedly with our moral sentiments and animal sensations, and with the causes which excite these; with the operations of the elements, and the appearances of the visible universe; with storm and sunshine, with the revolutions of the seasons, with cold and heat, with loss of friends and kindred, with injuries and resentments, gratitude and hope, with fear and sorrow. These, and the like, are the sensations and objects which the Poet describes, as they are the sensations of other men and the objects which interest them.-William Wordsworth.

80 80


SEND you herewith a bill for ten louis d'ors. I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your country with a good character, you can not fail of getting into some business, that will in time enable you to pay all your debts. In that case, when you meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must pay me by lending this sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with such another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands, before it meets with a knave that will stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make the most of a little.-Franklin.

80 80

USTICE is the only worship. Love

is the only priest. Ignorance is the only slavery. Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make other people happy.-R. G. Ingersoll.

N the early days of the antislavery agitation, a meeting was called at Faneuil Hall, in Boston, which a goodnatured mob of soldiers was hired to suppress. They took possession of the floor and danced breakdowns and shouted choruses and refused to hear any of the orators upon the platform. The most eloquent pleaded with them in vain. They were urged by the memories of the Cradle of Liberty, for the honor of Massachusetts, for their own honor as Boston boys, to respect liberty of speech.

But they still laughed and sang and danced, and were proof against every appeal. At last a man suddenly arose from among themselves,

honor of Massachusetts, nor because you are Boston boys, but because you are men, and because honorable and generous men always love fair play." The mob was conquered. Free speech and fair play were secured. Public opinion can do what it has a mind to do in this country. If it be debased and demoralized, it is the most odious of tyrants. It is Nero and Caligula multiplied by millions. Can there then be a more stringent public duty for every man -and the greater the intelligence the greater the dutythan to take care, by all the influence he can command, that the country, the majority, public opinion, shall have a mind to do only what is just and pure, and humane?-George William Curtis.


I must go down to the seas again, to the
lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to
steer her by;

And the wheel's kick and the wind's song
and the white sail's shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea's face and a
gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the
call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not
be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white
clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume,
and the sea-gulls crying.

vagrant gypsy life,


To the gull's way and the whale's way, I fine to talk

T is all

where the like a whetted
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a
laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when
the long trick's over.

"Sea-Fever," by John Masefield,

and began to speak. I must go down to the seas again, to the
Struck by his tone
and quaint appear-
ance, and with the
thought that he
might be one of
themselves, the
mob became sud-
denly still. "Well,
fellow-citizens," he
said, "I would n't be quiet if I did n't
want to." The words were greeted with
a roar of delight from the mob, which
supposed it had found its champion, and
the applause was unceasing for five min-
utes, during which the strange orator
tranquilly awaited his chance to con-
tinue. The wish to hear more hushed the
tumult, and when the hall was still he
resumed: "No, I certainly would n't
stop if I had n't a mind to; but then, if
I were you, I would have a mind to!"

about tramps and morality. Six hours of police surveillance (such as I have had), or one brutal rejection from an inn door, change your views upon the subject like a course of lectures. As long as you keep in the upper regions, with all the world bowing to you as you go, social arrangements have a very handsome air; but once get under the wheels, and you wish Society were at the devil. I will give most respectable men a fortnight of such a life, and then I will offer them two pence for what remains of their morality. Robert Louis Stevenson.

10 10

The oddity of the remark and the earnestness of the tone, held the crowd silent, and the speaker continued: "Not because this is Faneuil Hall, nor for the

When a firm, decisive spirit is recognized it is curious to see how the space clears around a man and leaves him room and freedom.-John Foster.

IKE all highly developed literatures, the Bible contains a great deal of sensational fiction, imagined with intense vividness, appealing to the most susceptible passions, and narrated with a force which the ordinary man is quite unable to resist. Perhaps only an expert can thoroughly appreciate the power with which a story well told, or an assertion well made, takes possession of a mind not specially trained to criticize it. Try to imagine all that is most powerful in English literature bound into one volume, and offered to a comparatively barbarous race as an instrument of civilization invested with supernatural authority! Indeed, let us leave what we call barbarous races out of the question, and suppose it offered to the English nation on the same assumptions as to its nature and authority which the children in our popular schools are led to make today concerning the Bible under the School Board compromise! How much resistance would there be to the illusion created by the art of our great storytellers? Who would dare to affirm that the men and women created by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Bunyan, Fielding, Goldsmith, Scott and Dickens had never existed? Who could resist the force of conviction carried by the tremendous assertive power of Cobbett, the gorgeous special-pleading of Ruskin, or the cogency of Sir Thomas More, or even Matthew Arnold? Above all, who could stand up against the inspiration and moral grandeur of our prophets and poets, from Langland to Blake and Shelley? The power of Scripture has not waned with the ages. Why not teach children the realities of inspiration and revelation as they work daily through scribes and lawgivers? It would, at all events, make better journalists and parish councillors of them-George Bernard Shaw.

80 30

The man who foolishly does me wrong, I will return to him the protection of my most ungrudging love; and the more evil comes from him, the more good shall go from me.-Buddha.

HERE is only one wish realizable on

the earth; only one thing that can be perfectly attained: Death. And from a variety of circumstances we have no one to tell us whether it be worth attaining.

A strange picture we make on our way to our chimeras, ceaselessly marching, grudging ourselves the time for rest; indefatigable, adventurous pioneers. It is true that we shall never reach the goal, it is even more than probable that there is no such place; and if we lived for centuries, and were endowed with the powers of a god, we should find ourselves not much nearer what we wanted at the end. O toiling hands of mortals! O unwearied feet, travelling ye know not whither! Soon, soon, it seems to you, you must come forth on some conspicuous hilltop, and but a little way further, against the setting sun, descry the spires of El Dorado. Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor.

-Robert Louis Stevenson.

90 90

HAT is the best solitude that comes closest in the human form-your friend, your other self, who leaves you alone, yet cheers you: who peoples your house or your field and wood with tender remembrances: who stands between your yearning heart and the great outward void that you try in vain to warm and fill; who in his own person and spirit clothes for you, and endows with tangible form, all attractions and subtle relations and meanings that draw you to the woods and fields. What the brooks and the trees and the birds said so faintly and vaguely, he speaks with warmth and directness. Indeed, your friend complements and completes your solitude and you experience its charm without desolation.-John Burroughs.

10 30


AD we lived, I should have a tale to tell of the hardihood, the endurance and the courage of my companions which would have stirred the hearts of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the story.

-Captain Robert F. Scott.

« PreviousContinue »