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No matter if he lost sometimes,
He's got th' stuff in him that climbs,
An' when his chance was mighty slim,
He came up smilin'-good fer him!

James W. Foley.
From "Tales of the Trail,"
E, P. Dutton & Co.


If defeat strengthens and sweetens character, it is not defeat at all, but victory.


E sang of joy; whate'er he knew of sadness

He kept for his own heart's peculiar share: So well he sang, the world imagined gladness

To be sole tenant there.

For dreams were his, and in the dawn's fair shining,

His spirit soared beyond the mounting lark;
But from his lips no accent of repining

Fell when the days grew dark;

And though contending long dread Fate to master,

He failed at last her enmity to cheat,
He turned with such a smile to face disaster

That he sublimed defeat.

Florence Earle Coates.

From “Poems,"
Houghton Mifflin Co.


“I can resist anything but_temptation," says a character in one of Oscar Wilde's plays. Too many of us have exactly this strength of will. We perhaps do not fall into gross crime, but because of our flabby resolution our lives become purposeless, negative, negligible. No one would miss us in particular if we were out of the way.


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WELL for him whose will is strong!

He suffers, but he will not suffer long;
He suffers, but he cannot suffer wrong.
For him nor moves the loud world's random mock,
Nor all Calamity's hugest waves confound,
Who seems a promontory of rock,
That, compass'd round with turbulent sound,
In middle ocean meets the surging shock,
Tempest-buffeted, citadel-crown'd.


But ill for him who, bettering not with time,
Corrupts the strength of heaven-descended Will,
And ever weaker grows thro' acted crime,
Or seeming-genial venial fault,
Recurring and suggesting still!
He seems as one whose footsteps halt,
Toiling in immeasurable sand,
And o'er a weary sultry land,
Far beneath a blazing vault,
Sown in a wrinkle of the monstrous hill,
The city sparkles like a grain of salt.

Alfred Tennyson.


To be impressed by a thing merely because it is big is a human failing. Yet our standard of judgment would be truer if we considered, instead, the success of that thing in performing its own particular task. And quality is better than quantity. The lioness in the old fable was being taunted because she bore only one offspring at a time, not a numerous litter. "It is true," she admitted; but that one is a lion."

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Tad a quarrel,

HE mountain and the squirrel
And the former called the latter “Little Prig”;
Bun replied,
“You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together,
To make up a year
And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry.
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut."

Ralph Waldo Emerson,


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CHEN Duty comes a-knocking at your gate,

Welcome him in, for if you bid him wait,
He will depart only to come once more
And bring seven other duties to your door.

Edwin Markham.

From "The Gates of Paradise, and Other Poems,"
Doubleday, Page & Co.


“The thief steals from himself. The swindler swindles himself,” says Emerson. Apparent gain may be actual loss; material escape may be spiritual imprisonment. Any one may idle; but the men who are not content unless they climb the unscalable mountains or cross the uncharted seas or bear the burdens that others shrink from, are the ones who keep the heritage of the spirit undiminished.

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Lean flame against lean flame we flash,
O, Fates that meet me fair;
Blue steel against blue steel we clash-
Lay on, and I shall dare!

But Thou of deeps the awful Deep,
Thou Breather in the clay,
Grant this my only prayer- Oh keep
My soul from turning gray!

For until now, whatever wrought
Against my sweet desires,
My days were smitten harps strung taut,
My nights were slumbrous lyres.

And howsoe'er the hard blow rang
Upon my battered shield,
Some lark-like, soaring spirit sang
Above my battlefield.

And through my soul of stormy night
The zigzag blue flame ran.
I asked no odds—I fought my fight-
Events against a man.

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