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LIFE AND DEATH
Many a man would die for wife and children, for faith, for country. But would he live for them? That, often, is the more heroic course-and the more sensible. A rich man was hiring a driver for his carriage. He asked each applicant how close he could drive to a precipice without toppling over. "One foot," "Six inches," "Three inches," ran the replies. But an Irishman declared, "Faith, and I'd keep as far away from the place as I could." "Consider yourself employed," was the rich man's
O he died for his faith. That is fine
More than most of us do.
But stay, can you add to that line
In death he bore witness at last
It is easy to die. Men have died
But to live: every day to live out
All the truth that he dreamt,
While his friends met his conduct with doubt,
Was it thus that he plodded ahead,
Never turning aside?
Then we'll talk of the life that he led―
Never mind how he died.
Ernest H. Crosby.
From "Swords and Ploughshares,"
Funk & Wagnalls Co.
ON BEING READY
At nightfall after bloody Antietam Lee's army, outnumbered and exhausted, lay with the Potomac at its back. So serious was the situation that all the subordinate officers advised retreat. But Lee, though too maimed to attack, would not leave the field save of his own volition. "If McClellan wants a battle,” he declared, "he can have it." McClellan hesitated, and through the whole of the next day kept his great army idle. The effect upon the morale of the two forces, and the two governments, can be imagined.
THE matowe who is trained to the minute,
May well be around when the trouble begins,
For they let him alone when they know he is there
To pick out the one who is shrinking and soft
The one who is fixed for whatever they start
They pass him along for the next shot in sight
When he knows he can win with a kick or a brick
Permission of the Author.
TWO AT A FIRESIDE
BUILT a chimney for a comrade old,
From "The Man with the Hoe, and Other Poems."
We often lose the happiness of to-day by brooding over the sorrows of yesterday or fearing the troubles of to-morrow. This is exceedingly foolish. There is always some pleasure at hand; seize it, and at no time will you be without pleasure. You cannot change the past, but your spirit at this moment will in some measure shape your future. Live life, therefore, in the present tense; do not miss the joys of to-day.
URE, this world is full of trouble
I ain't said it ain't.
Lord! I've had enough, an' double,
Rain an' storm have come to fret me,
Thorns an' brambles have beset me
What's the use of always weepin',
What's the use of always keepin'
Each must have his tribulation,
It's to-day that I am livin',
Yesterday a cloud of sorrow
THE ARROW AND THE SONG
We can calculate with fair accuracy the number of miles an automobile will go in an hour. We can gauge pretty closely the mount of merchandise a given sum of money will buy. But a good deed or a kind impulse is not measurable. Their influence works in devious ways and lives on when perhaps we can see them
SHOT an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
I breathed a song into the air,
Long, long afterward, in an oak
THE INNER LIGHT
"Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just,
says Shakespeare. But not only does a clear conscience give power; it also gives light. With it we could sit at the center of the earth and yet enjoy the sunshine. Without it we live in a rayless prison.
E that has light within his own clear breast
THE THINGS THAT HAVEN'T BEEN DONE
It is said that if you hold a stick in front of the foremost sheep in a flock that files down a trail in the mountains, he will jump it-and that every sheep thereafter will jump when he reaches the spot, even if the stick be removed. So are many people mere unthinking imitators, blind to facts and opportunities about them. Kentucky could not be lived in by the white race till Daniel Boone built his cabin there. The air was not part of the domain of humanity till the Wright brothers made themselves birdmen.
THE things that haven't been done before,
Those are the things to try;
Columbus dreamed of an unknown shore
And his heart was bold and his faith was strong
And he paid no heed to the jeering throng
The many will follow the beaten track
Are the things that were known before.
A few strike out, without map or chart,
The things that haven't been done before