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PLAYING THE GAME
We don't like the man who whines that the cards were stacked against him or that the umpire cheated. We admire the chap who, when he must take his medicine, takes it cheerfully, bravely. To play the game steadily is a merit, whether the game be a straight one or crooked. A thoroughbred, even though bad, has more of our respect than the craven who cleaves to the proprieties solely from fear to violate them. It has well been said: "The mistakes which make us men are better than the accuracies that keep us children."
ES, he went an' stole our steers,
So, of course, he had to die;
I ain't sheddin' any tears,
Till we swung him clear an' high,
Here's the way it looks to me;
Do it strong an' SEE IT THROUGH!
That was him! He played the game,
Never claimed the deck was stacked,
Took his medicine-an' died!
So I say it here again,
What I think is true of men;
Like a plunger, that's the way!
From "Songs of the Workaday World,"
George H. Doran Co., Publishers.
There are some things we should all resolve to do. What are they? Any one may make a list for himself. It would be interesting to compare it with the one here given by the poet.
To see to it I grow and gain and give!
To wait in weakness, and to walk in power;
Back to the way!
Charlotte Perkins Gilman,
From "In This Our World,"
WHEN NATURE WANTS A MAN
Only melting and hammering can shape and temper steel for fine use. Only struggle and suffering can give a man the qualities that enable him to render large service to humanity. Lincoln was born in a log cabin. He split rails, and conned a few books by the firelight in the evening. He became a backwoods lawyer with apparently no advantages or encouraging prospects. But all the while he had his visions, which ever became nobler; and the adversities he knew but gave him the deeper sympathy for others and the wider and steadier outlook on human problems. Thus when the supreme need arose, Lincoln was ready-harsh-visaged nature had done its work of moulding and preparing a man.
HEN Nature wants to drill a man
And skill a man,
When Nature wants to mould a man
When she yearns with all her heart
Whom she royally elects;
How she hammers him and hurts him
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which only Nature understands
While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts
How she bends, but never breaks,
And with every purpose fuses him,
By every art induces him
To try his splendor out
Nature knows what she's about.
When Nature wants to take a man
And shake a man
And wake a man;
When Nature wants to make a man
To do the Future's will;
When she tries with all her skill
How she often disappoints
Whom she sacredly anoints,
With what wisdom she will hide him,
Never minding what betide him
Though his genius sob with slighting and his pride may not forget!
Bids him struggle harder yet.
So that only
God's high messages shall reach him.
When Nature wants to name a man
And tame a man;
When Nature wants to shame a man
To do his heavenly best
When she tries the highest test
That her reckoning may bring-
How she reins him and restrains him
And inspires him!
Keeps him yearning, ever burning for a tantalising goal
Lures and lacerates his soul.
Sets a challenge for his spirit,
Draws it higher when he's near it
Makes a jungle, that he clear it;
Nature's plan is wondrous kind
Leaps to challenge every failure and his ardor
And love and hope are burning in the presence
Lo, the crisis! Lo, the shout
Doth he come to lead the nation
From "Forward, March!"
The John Lane Co.