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A certain employer of large numbers of men makes it a principle to praise none of them, not because they are undeserving, and not because he dislikes to commend, but because experience has taught him that usually the praise goes to the head of the recipient, both impairing his work and making it harder for others to associate with him. A good test of a man is his way of taking commendation. He may, even while grateful, be stirred to humility that he has not done better still, and may resolve to accomplish more. Or imitating the frog who wished to look like an ox, he may swell and swell until-figuratively speaking-he bursts.
OMEBODY said he'd done it well,
And presto! his head began to swell;
"Good work,” somebody chanced to say,
HE was the chap who made things hum!
This is a fact that is sad to tell :
To those who are wearied, fretted, and worried there is no physician like nature. When our nerves are frazzled and our sleep is unrefreshing, we can find no better antidote to the clamorous grind and frenzy of the city than the stillness and solitude of hills, streams, and tranquil stars. That man lays up for himself resources of strength who now and then exchanges the ledger for green leaves, the factory for wild flowers, business for brook-croon and bird-song.
I lost them yesterday
Among the winds at play;
The rustling of the trees,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the new-mown hay;
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Any one who has ridden across the continent on a train must marvel at the faith and imagination of the engineers who constructed the road—the topographical advantages seized, the grades made easy of ascent, the curves and straight stretches planned, the tunnels so carefully calculated that workmen beginning on opposite sides of a mountain met in the middle and all this visualized and thought out before the actual work was begun. Faith has such foresight, such courage, whether it toils actively or can merely bide its time,
HE tree-top, high above the barren field,
Rising beyond the night's gray folds of mist, Rests stirless where the upper air is sealed
To perfect silence, by the faint moon kissed. But the low branches, drooping to the ground,
Sway to and fro, as sways funereal plume, While from their restless depths low whispers sound: "We fear, we fear the darkness and the gloom; Dim forms beneath us pass and reappear, And mournful tongues are menacing us here.”
Then from the topmost bough falls calm reply:
"Hush, hush, I see the coming of the morn; Swiftly the silent night is passing by,
And in her bosom rosy Dawn is borne.
So Life stands, with a twilight world around;
Faith turned serenely to the steadfast sky, Still answering the heart that sweeps the ground
Sobbing in fear, and tossing restlessly“Hush, hush! The Dawn breaks o'er the Eastern sea, 'Tis but thine own dim shadow troubling thee."
Edward Rowland Sill.
PLAYING THE GAME
We all like the good sport—the man who plays fair and courteously and with every ounce of his energy, even when the game is going against him.
LIFE is a game with a glorious prize,
And often it ends in a fight;
(Regardless of wealth or fame),
How are you playing the game?
Do you wilt and whine, if you fail to win
And does, do better than you ?
Do you laugh tho' you pull up lame?
How are you playing the game?
Get into the thick of it-wade in, boys!
Whatever your cherished goal;
And you dare-to your very soul !
Let your purpose leap into flame
WHAT DARK DAYS DO
A real man does not want all his barriers leveled. He of course welcomes easy tasks, but he welcomes hard ones also. The difficult or unpleasant thing, puts him on his mettle, throws him on his own resources. It gives him something of
“The stern joy which warriors feel
Moreover as a foil or contrast it enables him to value more truly the good things he constantly enjoys, perhaps without perceiving them.
SORTER like a gloomy day,
Th' kind that jest won't smile;
T' make life seem wuth while.
Is washed out bright an' gay,
When skies air gray!
So gloomy days air good fer us,
They make us look about
The friends who never doubt,
And hold blue-devils back
When skies air black!
That's why I sorter like dark days,
My whole anatomy !
My soul would surely rust