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E rejoined the Colors on Friday. On Monday we are to move out. Today, being Sunday, is full dress Church Parade ☛ I slept badly last night, and am feeling uneasy and limp.
And now we are sitting close-packed in church ☛
The organ is playing a voluntary. I am leaning back and straining my ears for the sounds in the
dim twilight of the building se Childhood's days rise before my eyes again. I am watching a little solemnfaced boy sitting crouched in a corner and listening to the divine ser
that pale man in his long, dignified black gown, toward that sonorous, unctuous mouth, from whose lips flows the name of God se
Look! He is now stretching forth his hands. We incline our heads. He is pronouncing the Benediction over us in a voice that echoes from the tomb. He is blessing us in the name of God, the
Under the wide and starry sky
This be the verse you grave for me:
"Requiem," by Robert Louis Stevenson
vices The priest is standing in front of the altar, and is intoning the Exhortation devoutly. The choir in the gallery is chanting the responses. The organ thunders out and floods through the building majestically. I am rapt in an ecstasy of sweet terror, for the Lord God is coming down upon us. He is standing before me and touching my body, so that I have to close my eyes in a terror of shuddering ecstacy..
That is long, long ago, and is all past and done with, as youth itself is past and done with. . . .
Strange! After all these years of doubt and unbelief, at this moment of lucid consciousness, the atmosphere of devoutness, long since dead, possesses me, and thrills me so passionately that I can hardly resist it. This is the same heavy twilight-these are the same yearning angel voices-the same fearful sense of rapture do
I pull myself together, and sit bolt upright on the hard wooden pew.
In the main and the side aisles below, and in the galleries above, nothing but soldiers in uniform, and all, with level faces, turned toward the altar, toward
Merciful. He is blessing our rifles that they may not fail us; he is blessing the wiredrawn guns on their patent recoilless carriages; he is blessing every lest a single bullet precious cartridge, be wasted, lest any pass idly through the air; that each one may account for a hundred
human beings, may shatter a hundred human beings simultaneously. Father in Heaven! Thou art gazing down at us in such terrible silence. Dost Thou shudder at these sons of men? Thou poor and slight God! Thou couldst only rain Thy paltry pitch and sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah. But we, Thy children, whom Thou hast created, we are going to exterminate them by high-pressure machinery, and butcher whole cities in factories. Here we stand, and while we stretch our hands to Thy Son in prayer, and cry Hosannah! we are hurling shells and shrapnel in the face of Thy Image, and shooting the Son of Man down from His Cross like a target at the rifle-butts.
And now the Holy Communion is being celebrated. The organ is playing mysteriously from afar off, and the flesh and blood of the Redeemer is mingling with our flesh and blood.
There He is hanging on the Cross above me, and gazing down upon me. How pale those cheeks look! And those eyes are the eyes as of one dead! Who was this Christ Who is to aid us, and Whose blood we drink? What was it they once taught us at school? Didst Thou not
love mankind? And didst Thou not die for the whole human race? Stretch out Thine arms toward me. There is something I would fain ask of Thee. . . . Ah! they have nailed Thy arms to the Cross, so that Thou canst not stretch out a finger toward us.
Shuddering, I fix my eyes on the corpselike face and see that He died long ago, that He is nothing more than wood, nothing other than a puppet. Christ, it is no longer Thee to whom we pray. Look there! Look there! It is he. The new patron saint of a Christian State! Look there! It is he, the great Genghis Khan. Of him we know that he swept through the history of the world with fire and sword, and piled up pyramids of skulls. Yes, that is he. Let us heap up mountains of human heads, and pile up heaps of human entrails. Great Genghis Khan! Thou, our patron saint! Do thou bless us! Pray to thy blood-drenched father seated above the skies of Asia, that he may sweep with us through the clouds; that he may strike down the accursed nation till it writhes in its blood, till it never can rise again. A red mist swims before my eyes. Of a sudden I see nothing but blood before me. The heavens have opened, and the red flood pours in through the windows. Blood wells up on the altar. The walls run blood from the ceiling to the floor, andGod the Father steps out of the blood. Every scale of his skin stands erect, his beard and hair drip blood. A giant of blood stands before me. He seats himself backward on the altar, and is laughing from thick, coarse lips-there sits the King of Dahomey, and he butchers his slaves. The black executioner raises his sword and whirls it above my head. Another moment and my head will roll down on the floor-another moment and the red jet will spurt from my neck ..... Murderers, murderers! None other than murderers! Lord God in Heaven! Then
The church door opens creaking— Light, air, the blue of heaven, burst in. I draw a breath of relief. We have risen to our feet, and at length pass out of the twilight into the open air.
My knees are still trembling under me.
We fall into line, and in our hobnailed boots tramp in step down the street toward the barracks. When I see my mates marching beside me in their matter-of-fact and stolid way, I feel ashamed, and call myself a wretched coward. What a weak-nerved, hysterical breed, that can no longer look at blood without fainting! You neurasthenic offspring of your sturdy peasant forebears, who shouted for joy when they went out to fight!
I pull myself together and throw my head back.
I never was a coward, and eye for eye I have always looked my man in the face, and will so do this time, too, happen what may.-Wilhelm Lamszus.
NOWLEDGE is essential to con
quest; only according to our ignorance are we helpless. Thought creates character. Character can dominate conditions. Will creates circumstances and environment.- Annie Besant.
IT is assumed that labor is avail
able only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it, induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them and drive them to do it without their consent. Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded all laborers are either hired laborers or what we call slaves.
Now, there is no such relation between capital and labor as here assumed. . . Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.-Abraham Lincoln.
To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes.
F we were to single out the men who from the beginning of our Colonial state until the present time have most eminently contributed to fostering and securing religious freedom, who have made this country of ours the haven of refuge from ecclesiastical tyranny and persecution, who have set an example more puissant than army or navy for freeing the conscience of men from civil interference, and have leavened the mass of intolerance wherever the name of America is known, I would mention first the Baptist, Roger Williams, who maintained the principle that the civil powers have no right to meddle in matters of conscience, and who founded a State with that principle as its keystone. I would mention second the Catholic, Lord Baltimore, the proprietor of Maryland, to whom belongs the credit of having established liberty in matters of worship which was second only to Rhode Island. I would name third the Quaker, William Penn, whose golden motto was, "We must yield the liberties we demand." Fourth on the list is Thomas Jefferson, that "arch-infidel," as he has been termed by some religious writers, who overthrew the established church in his own State, and then, with prophetic statesmanship, made it impossible for any church to establish itself under our national Constitution or in any way to abridge the rights of conscience.-Oscar S. Straus.
LIKE to be beholden to the great metropolitan English speech, the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven. I should as soon think of swimming across the Charles River when I wish to go to Boston, as of reading all my books in originals, when I have them rendered for me in my mother tongue.-Emerson.
HAT night there was an unusual atmosphere in her corner. She had a newly tallied cap on her head and her little Sunday shawl over her shoulders. Her candle was burning and the hearth stones had an extra coat of whitewash.
She drew me up close beside her and told me a story.
"Once, a long, long time ago, God, feelin' tired, went to sleep an' had a nice wee nap on His throne. His head Iwas in His han's an' a wee white cloud came down an' covered Him up. Purty soon He wakes up an' says He: "Where's Michael?
“Here I am, Father!' said Michael. "Michael, me boy,' says God,' I want a chariot and a charioteer!'
Right ye are!' says he. Up comes the purtiest chariot in the city of Heaven an' the finest charioteer.
"Me boy,' says God, 'take a million tons of th' choicest seeds of th' flowers of Heaven an' take a trip around th' world wi' them. Scatter them,' says He, 'be th' roadsides an' th' wild places of th' earth where my poor live.'
"Aye,' says the charioteer,' that's jist like Ye, Father. It's th' purtiest job of m' afther-life an' I'll do it finely.' ""It 's jist come t' Me in a dream,' says th' Father, that the rich have all the flowers down there and the poor have nown at all."
At this point I got in some questions about God's language and the kind of flowers☛
"Well, dear," she said, "He spakes Irish t' Irish people, an' the charioteer was an Irishman." "Maybe it was a woman!" I ventured.
"Aye, but there's no difference up there."
"Th' flowers," she said, "were primroses, buttercups, an' daisies, an' th' flowers that be handy t' th' poor, an' from that day to this there's been flowers a-plenty for all of us everywhere!""My Lady of the Chimney-Corner," by Alexander Irvine.
T is well for a man to respect his own vocation whatever it is, and to think himself bound to uphold it, and to claim for it the respect it deserves. -Charles Dickens.
The religions of the world are the ejaculations of a few imaginative men.
UNDOWN is the hour for many strange effects in light and shade enough to make a colorist go delirious-long spokes of molten silver sent horizontally through the trees (now in their brightest, tenderest green), each leaf and branch of endless foliage a lit-up miracle, then lying all prone on the youthful-ripe, interminable grass, and giving the blades not only aggregate but individual splendor, in ways unknown to any other hour.
HAT gives Anatole France his
Preach about yesterday, Preacher!
When the hand of Deity smote and
And the heathen plagued the stiffnecked Jew;
lasting hold over his hearers is not his cleverness, but himself-the fact that this savant who bears the heavy load of three cultures, nay, who is in himself a whole little culture-this sage, to whom the whole life of the earth is but an ephemeral eruption on its surface, and who consequently regards all human endeavor as finally vain-this thinker, who can see everything from innumerable sides and might have come to the conclusion that things being bad at the best, the existing state of matters was probably as good as the untried: that this man should proclaim himself a son of the Revolution, side with the workingman, acknowledge his belief in liberty, throw away his load and draw his swordthis is what moves
Or when the Man of Sorrow came,
Preach about yesterday, Preacher,
Preach about tomorrow, Preacher!
I have particular spots where I get these effects in their perfection. One broad splash lies on the water, with many a rippling twinkle, offset by the rapidly deepening black-green murky-transparent shadows behind, and at intervals all along the banks. These, with great shafts of horizontal fire thrown among the trees and along the grass as the sun lowers, give effects more peculiar, more and more superb, unearthly, rich and dazzling.
Of those hot depths that shall receive The goats who would not so believe— Preach about tomorrow, Preacher, Not about today!
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F I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use.
The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.-Darwin.
Better late than never.-Dionysius.
a popular audience, this is what plain people can understand and can prize. It has shown them that behind the author there dwells a man-behind the great author a brave man.-Georg Brandes.
OVE is the river of life in this world. Think not that ye know it who stand at the little tinkling rill, the first small fountain.
Not until you have gone through the rocky gorges, and not lost the stream; not until you have gone through the meadow, and the stream has widened and deepened until fleets could ride on its bosom; not until beyond the meadow you have come to the unfathomable ocean, and poured your treasures into its depths not until then can you know what love is.
-Henry Ward Beecher.
IFE seems a perpetual succession of events, to which man submits. We never know from which direction the sudden blow will come. Misery and happiness enter and make their exits, like unexpected guests. Their
only in constantly doing more The greatest good a man can do is to cultivate himself, develop his powers, in order that he may be of greater service to humanity.-Marshall Field.
laws, their orbits, their principle of gravi. E must learn that any person who
will not accept what he knows to be truth, for the very love of truth alone,
Preach about the old sins, Preacher!
You must not covet your neighbor's
And woman must cling at every cost
tation, are beyond man's grasp. Virtue conducts not to happiness; nor crime to retribution; conscience has one logic, fate another, andneither coincide. Nothing is foreseen. We live confusedly and from hand to mouth. Conscience is the straight line, life is the whirlwind which creates over man's head either black chaos or the blue sky. Fate does not practise the art of gradations Her wheel turns sometimes so fast that we can scarcely distinguish the interval between one revolution and another, or the link between yesterday and today. -Victor Hugo. Greatspendersare badlenders.-Franklin
Preach about the other man, Preacher!
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
ACH and every man ought to interest himself in public affairs. There is no happiness in mere dollars. After they are acquired, one can use but a very moderate amount. It is given a man to eat so much, to wear so much, and to have so much shelter, and more he can not use. When money has supplied these, its mission, so far as the individual is concerned, is fulfilled, and man must look still further and higher. It is only in wide public affairs, where money is a moving force toward the general welfare, that the possessor of it can possibly find pleasure, and that
is very definitely undermining his mental integrity. It will be observed that the mind of such a person gradually stops growing, for, being constantly hedged in and cropped here and there, it soon learns to respect artificial fences more than freeYou have not dom for growth. observer of such been a very close men if you have not seen them shrivel, become
commonplace, mean, without influence, without friends and without the enthusiasm of youth and growth, like a tree covered with fungus, the foliage diseased, the life gone out of the heart with dry rot, and indelibly marked for destruction-dead, but not yet handed over to the undertaker.
AN is incomprehensible without Nature, and Nature is incomprehensible apart from man. For the delicate loveliness of the flower is as much in the human eye as in its own fragile petals, and the splendor of the heavens as much in the imagination that kindles at the touch of their glory as in the shining of countless worlds.
-Hamilton Wright Mabie.
I would rather be sick than idle.-Seneca.