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Often the straight road to the thing we desire is blocked. We should not then weakly give over our purpose, but should set about attaining it by some indirect method. A politician knows that one way of getting a man's vote is to please the man's wife, and that one way of pleasing the wife is to kiss her baby.


BABY mole got to feeling big,

And wanted to show how he could dig;
So he plowed along in the soft, warm dirt
Till he hit something hard, and it surely hurt!
A dozen stars flew out of his snout;

He sat on his haunches, began to pout;
Then rammed the thing again with his head-
His grandpap picked him up half dead.
"Young man," he said, "though your pate is bone,
You can't butt your way through solid stone.
This bit of advice is good, I've found:
If you can't go over or under, go round.”

A traveler came to a stream one day,
And because it presumed to cross his way,
And wouldn't turn round to suit his whim
And change its course to go with him,
His anger rose far more than it should,
And he vowed he'd cross right where he stood.
A man said there was a bridge below,
But not a step would he budge or go.
The current was swift and the bank was steep,
But he jumped right in with a violent leap.
A fisherman dragged him out half-drowned:
"When you can't go over or under, go round."

If you come to a place that you can't get through,
Or over or under, the thing to do

Is to find a way round the impassable wall,

Not say you'll go YOUR way or not at all.
You can always get to the place you're going,
If you'll set your sails as the wind is blowing.

If the mountains are high, go round the valley;
If the streets are blocked, go up some alley;
If the parlor-car's filled, don't scorn a freight;
If the front door's closed, go in the side gate.
To reach your goal this advice is sound:
If you can't go over or under, go round!

Joseph Morris.


How many of us forget when the sun goes down that it will

tise again!

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No doubt the world is cursed with grafters and parasites-men who live off the body economic and give nothing substantial in return. But an appearance of uselessness is not always proof of such. We should not condemn men in ignorance. As old as Esop is the fable of the rebellion of the other members of the body against the idle unproductiveness of the belly. In this passage the fable is used as an answer to the plebeians of Rome who have complained that the patricians are merely an encumbrance.

HERE was a time when all the body's members
Rebelled against the belly; thus accused it:

That only like a gulf it did remain

I' the midst o' the body, idle and unactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing

Like labor with the rest, where the other instruments
Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mutually participant, did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. Note me this, good friend;
Your most grave belly was deliberate,

Not rash like his accusers, and thus answered:
"True is it, my incorporate friends," quoth he,
"That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon; and fit it is;
Because I am the store-house and the shop
Of the whole body: but, if you do remember,
I send it through the rivers of your blood,

Even to the court, the heart, to the seat o' the brain;
And, through the cranks and offices of man,
The strongest nerves and small inferior veins
From me receive that natural competency

Whereby they live. Though all at once cannot
See what I do deliver out to each,

Yet I can make my audit up, that all

From me do back receive the
And leave me but the bran."

flour of all,

What say you to 't?

William Shakespeare,


We may acquire the resolution to be happy by resting on a bed of roses. If that fails us, we should try a bed of nettles.

F I have faltered more or less


In my great task of happiness;
If I have moved among my race
And shown no glorious morning face;
If beams from happy human eyes
Have moved me not; if morning skies,
Books, and my food, and summer rain
Knocked on my sullen heart in vain :-
Lord, thy most pointed pleasure take
And stab my spirit broad awake;
Or, Lord, if too obdurate I,
Choose thou, before that spirit die,
A piercing pain, a killing sin,
And to my dead heart run them in!

Robert Louis Stevenson.


Robert Bruce, despairing of his country's cause, was aroused to new hope and purpose by the sight of a spider casting its lines until at last it had one that held. In the following passage the poet, uncertain as to his own future, yet trusts the providence which guides the birds in their long and uncharted migrations.


GO to prove my soul!

I see my way as birds their trackless way.
I shall arrive! what time, what circuit first,
I ask not: but unless God send his hail
Or blinding fireballs, sleet or stifling snow,
In some time, his good time, I shall arrive:
He guides me and the bird. In his good time!
Robert Browning.


The thought of this poem is that a man's best helper may be that which gives him no direct aid at all—a sense of humor.


E fought for his soul, and the stubborn fighting
Tried hard his strength.

"One needs seven souls for this long requiting,"
He said at length.

"Six times have I come where my first hope jeered me And laughed me to scorn;

But now I fear as I never feared me

To fall forsworn.

"God! when they fight upright and at me I give them back

Even such blows as theirs that combat me;

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"They fight with the wiles of fiends escaping
And underhand.

Six times, O God, and my wounds are gaping!
I-reel to stand.

"Six battles' span! By this gasping breath No pantomime.

'Tis all that I can. I am sick unto death. And a seventh time?

"This is beyond all battles' soreness!"

Then his wonder cried;

For Laughter, with shield and steely harness,
Stood up at his side!

From "Merchants from Cathay,"

Yale University Press.

William Rose Benét.

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