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I gaze on the long array of groves,
A silence,—the brief sabbath of an hour,—
Thus, in this feverish time, when love of gain
Our spirits with the calm and beautiful
EXERCISE XXXVIII.-SUCCESS IN LIFE.-Anonymous.
[An example of serious, didactic style, and plain, practical discourse. The reading requires attention to clear, distinct enunciation, appropriate inflection, impressive emphasis, and deliberate pauses; the modulation is, properly, reserved. Passages of this description, though not so inviting to the fancy, as those of a livelier character, form the substance of instructive reading; and a perfect command of this style is, therefore, a matter of great moment.]
It is a source of regret, that many young men entertain the idea, that individual advancement in life, depends as much on what is commonly called good fortune, luck,— chance, as on perseveringly following out correct preconceived principles of action. This mistake in worldly ethics has been fatal to the prosperity of thousands. It deters enthusiastic genius from soaring in her flights; it hinders ordinary and industrious minds from untiringly following out their well approved plans; it affords temptation to the undecided to relax in their efforts; and,-worst of all,— it presents a plausible excuse for the inexcusable failures of the indolent and the vicious.
We will not venture unqualifiedly to assert, with Goëthe, that 'every man has his own fortune in his own hands, as the artist has a piece of rude matter, which he is to fashion to a certain shape;' but assuredly experience demonstrates, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that more,-very much more, of success or failure, depends on the individual himself, than the world at large appear willing to believe. And if we wish to turn that world to our purposes, how otherwise can we learn its tendencies, than by carefully studying its features, its modes of action, and its current thoughts?
Man can never be understood by being analyzed in the secluded cloister, or the world's tide be estimated by abstract calculations, deduced from the pages of philosophy. To know the world, we must be of the world; there must genuine experience be gathered; and little can it be doubted that one year's active intercourse with 'the busy hum of men,'
will do more to cultivate those qualities which promote success in life, than a quarter of a century of abstract study and laborious thought. Well has the physically darkened, but mentally illuminated Milton written:
"Not to know at large of things remote
It should be ever borne in mind, that success in life is not regarded by the wise man as an end, but as a means of happiness. The greatest and most continued favours of fortune, cannot, in themselves, make an individual happy; nor can the deprivation of them render altogether miserable, the possessor of a clear conscience, and a well constituted mind. The sum of human enjoyment is not, cannot be, derivable from one source ;-many circumstances must contribute to it.
“One principal reason," remarks Bentham," why our existence has so much less of happiness crowded into it, than is accessible to us, is, that we neglect to gather up those minute particles of pleasure, which every moment offers to our acceptance. In striving after a sum total, we forget the ciphers of which it is composed; struggling against inevitable results which we cannot control, too often man is heedless of those accessible pleasures whose amount is by no means inconsiderable when collected together. Stretching out his hand to catch the stars, he forgets the flowers at his feet, so beautiful, so fragrant, so various, so multitudinous."
In conclusion, another most fertile source of human disappointment, arises from having entertained views of life altogether incompatible with the imperfect character of human nature, or the declared end of our probationary residence on this earthly planet. "What is it," inquires Goethe, "that keeps men in continual discontent and agitation? It is that they cannot make realities correspond with their conceptions; that enjoyment steals away from their hands; that the wished for comes too late, and nothing reached or acquired, produces, on the heart, the effect which their longing for it, at a distance, led them to anticipate."
EXERCISE XXXIX.-THE PAST.- -Sprague.
From the Ode pronounced at the Centennial Celebration of the Settlement of Boston, 1830.
[Lyric verse imparts peculiar intensity to tone, and vividness to modulation.]
Peace to the mingling dead!-
Chief, Pilgrim, Patriot, sleep;
All gone!-How changed! and yet the same
Still from his noonday height
The same green valleys smile; the same rough shore
But where the bristling night-wolf sprang
Upon his startled prey,
Where the fierce Indian's war-cry rang,
Where the bold Patriot drew his blade,
All gone!—The wild beast's lair is trodden out,
Where once the death-whoop vexed the air;
Ask, where the breeze the long grass waves,
The Patriot!-go, to Fame's proud mount repair ;—
The tardy pile, slow rising there,
Of those who for their country fell.
All gone!-'Tis ours, the goodly land,
* The Mayflower.
Look round, the heritage behold;
See living vales by living waters blessed;
The men who set Faith's burning lights
To guide their children through the years of time;
And roused the nations with the truth sublime.
EXERCISE XL.—THE LAWYER AND THE POLITICIAN.-Murphy. Speakers,-Quidnunc* and Codicil.†
[The remarks introductory to EXERCISE XXXIII. are applicable here. The following dialogue is intended as an exercise for students at academies.-The Latin words introduced should be spoken with all the assumed dignity of pedantry.]
Cod. Mr. Quidnunc, your servant. The door was open; and I entered upon the premises :-I'm just come from the hall.
Quid. 'Sbodkins, this man has now come to keep me at home. [Aside.]
Cod. Mr. Quidnunc, I am instructed to expound the law to you.
Quid. What, the law of nations?
Cod. I am instructed, Sir, that you 're a bankrupt.-Quasi bancus ruptus-banque route faire.-And my instructions say further, that you are summoned to appear before the commissioners to-morrow.
Quid. That may be, sir; but I can't go to-morrɔw; and so I shall send them word. I am to be to-morrow at Slaugh
* A crazed newspaper politician and a bankrupt. † A pedantic lawyer.