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performed or duty violated is still with us, for our happiness or our misery. If we say, the darkness shall cover us—in the darkness, as in the light, our obligations are yet with us. We can not escape their power, nor fly from their presence. They are with us in this life, will be with us at its close; and in that scene of inconceivable solemnity which yet lies further onward, we shall still find ourselves surrounded by the consciousness of duty, to pain us wherever it has been violated, and to console us so far as God may have given us grace to perform it.— Webster.
He was an old bachelor, of a small independent income, which, by careful management, was sufficient for all his wants. He revolved through the family system like a vagrant comet in its orbit; sometimes visiting one branch, and sometimes another quite remote ; as is often the case with gentlemen of extensive connections and small fortunes in England. He had a chirping, buoyant disposition, always enjoying the present moment; and his frequent change of scene and company prevented his acquiring those rusty, unaccommodating habits with which old bachelors are so uncharitably charged. He was a complete family chronicle, being versed in the genealogy, history, and intermarriages of the whole house of Bracebridge, which made him a great favorite with the old folks; he was the beau of all the elder ladies and superannuated spinsters, among whom he was habitually considered rather a young fellow; and he was master of the revels among the children; so that there was not a more popular being in the sphere in which he moved than Mr. Simon Bracebridge. Of late years he had resided almost entirely with the squire, to whom he had become a factotum, and whom he particularly delighted by jumping with his humor in respect of old times, and by having a scrap of song to suit every occasion. We had presently a specimen of his last mentioned talent, for no sooner was supper removed, and spiced wines and other beverages peculiar to the season introduced, than Master Simon was called on for a good old Christmas song. He bethought himself for a moment, and then, with a sparkle of the eye, and a voice that was by no means bad, except that it ran occasionally into a falsetto, like the notes of a split reed, he quavered forth a quaint old ditty.-W. Irving.
When the inordinate hopes of youth, which provoke their own disappointment, have been sobered down by longer experience and
more extended views—when the keen contentions and eager rivalries which employed our riper years have expired or been abandoned when we have seen, year after year, the objects of our fiercest hostility and of our fondest affections lie down together in the hallowed peace of the grave—when ordinary pleasures and amusements begin to be insipid, and the gay derision which seasoned them to appear flat and importunate—when we reflect how often we have mourned and been comforted, what opposite opinions we have successively maintained and abandoned, to what inconsistent habits we have gradually been formed, and how frequently the objects of our pride have proved the sources of our shame,-we are naturally led to recur to the days of our childhood, and to retrace the whole of our career, and that of our contemporaries, with feelings of far greater humility and indulgence than those by which it had been accompanied; think all vain but affection and honor, the simplest and cheapest pleasures the truest and most precious, and generosity of sentiment the only mental superiority which ought either to be wished for or admitted.- Jeffrey.
Now, while I was gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look back, and saw Ignorance come up to the river side ; but he soon got over, and that without half the difficulty which the other two men met with. For it happened that there was then in that place one Vain Hope, a ferryman, that with his boat helped him over; so he, as the others, I saw, did ascend the hill to come up to the gate, only he came alone; neither did any man meet him with the least encouragement. When he was come up to the gate, he looked up to the writing that was above, and then began to knock, supposing that entrance should have been quickly administered to him; but he was asked by the men that looked over the top of the gate, “Whence come you, and what would you have?” He answered, “I have eat and drank in the presence of the King, and He has taught in our streets.” Then they asked for his certificate, that they might go in and show it to the King; so he fumbled in his bosom for one, and found none. Then said they, “You have none!" but the man answered never a word. So they told the King, but he would not come down to see him, but commanded the two shining ones that conducted Christian and Hopeful to the city to go out and take Ignorance, and bind him hand and foot, and have him away. Then they took him up and carried him through the air to the door that I saw on the side of the hill, and put him in there. Then I saw that there was a way to hell even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the City of Destruction.—John Bunyan.
He who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth ; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. It is true no age can restore a life whereof, perhaps, there is no great loss; and revolutions of ages do not oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole nations fare the worse. We should be wary, therefore, what persecution we raise against the living labors of public men; how we spill that seasoned life of man, preserved and stored up in books; since we see a kind of homicide may thus be committed, sometimes a martyrdom; and if it extend to the whole impression, a kind of massacre, whereof the execution ends not in the slaying of an elemental life, but strikes at that ethereal and sist essence, the breath of reason itself,—slays an immortality rather than a life.—Milton.
I can not, my lords, I will not join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. This, my lords, is a perilous and tremendous moment; it is not a time for adulation; the smoothness of flattery can not save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must, if possible, dispel the delusion and darkness which envelope it, and display, in its full danger and genuine colors, the ruin which is brought to our doors. Can ministers still presume to expect support in their infatuation ? Can parliament be so dead to their dignity and duty, as to give their support to measures thus obtruded and forced upon them; measures, my lords, which have reduced this late flourishing empire to scorn and contempt? But yesterday, and England might have stood against the world : now, none so poor to do her reverence! The people whom we at first despised as rebels, but whom we now acknowledge as enemies, are abetted against you, supplied with every military store, have their interest consulted, and their embassadors entertained by your inveterate enemy; and ministers do not and dare not interpose with dignity or effect.
The desperate state of our army abroad is in part known. No man more highly esteems and honors the English troops than I do; I know their virtues and their valor ; I know they can achieve anything but impossibilities. You can not, my lords, you can not conquer America.—Earl of Chatham.
My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows
from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Let the colonies always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government; they will cling and grapple to you; and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it be once understood that your government may be one thing and their privileges another; that these two things may exist without any mutual relation, the cement is gone —the cohesion is loosened—and everything hastens to decay and dissolution. As long as you have the wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith, wherever the chosen race and sons of England worship freedom, they will turn their faces towards you. The more they multiply, the more friends you will have; the more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience. Slavery they can have anywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil. They may have it from Spain, they may have it from Prussia; but until you become lost to all feeling of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they can have from none but you. This is the commodity of price, of which you have the monopoly. This is the true act of navigation, which binds you to the commerce of the colonies, and through them secures to you the wealth of the world. Deny them this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond which originally made, and must still preserve, the unity of the empire.-Edmund Burke.
I would have a woman as true as Death. At the first real lie which works from the heart outward, she should be tenderly chloroformed into a better world, where she can have an angel for a governess, and feed on strange fruits which will make her all over again, even to her bones and marrow. Proud she may be, in the sense of respecting herself; but pride, in the sense of contemning others less gifted than herself, deserves the two lowest circles of a vulgar woman's Inferno, where the punishments are Small-pox and Bankruptcy. She who nips off the end of a brittle courtesy, as one breaks the tip of an icicle, to bestow upon those whom she ought cordially and kindly to recognize, proclaims the fact that she comes not merely of low blood, but of bad blood. Consciousness of unquestioned position makes people gracious in a proper measure to all; but, if a woman puts on airs with her real equals, she has something about herself or her family she is ashamed of, or ought to be. Better too few words from the woman we love, than too many; while she is silent, Nature is working for her; while she talks, she is working for herself. Love is sparingly soluble in the words of men; therefore they speak much of it; but one syllable of woman's speech can dissolve more of it than a man's heart can hold.-0. W. Holmes.
In passing judgment upon the characters of men, we ought to try them by the principles and maxims of their own age, not by those of another; for although virtue and vice are at all times the same, manners and customs vary continually. Some parts of Luther's behavior, which appear to us most culpable, gave no disgust to his contemporaries. It was even by some of those qualities, which we are now apt to blame, that he was fitted for accomplishing the great work which he undertook. To arouse mankind, when sunk in ignorance or superstition, and to encounter the rage of bigotry, armed with power, required the utmost vehemence of zeal, as well as a temper daring to excess. A gentle call would neither have reached nor have excited those to whom it was addressed. A spirit more amiable, but less vigorous than Luther's, would have shrunk back from the dangers which he braved and surmounted.-Robertson.
According to the tradition of his companions, Mohammed was distinguished by the beauty of his person—an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused. Before he spoke, the orator engaged on his side the affections of a public or private audience. They applauded his commanding presence, his majestic aspect, his piercing eye, his gracious smile, his flowing beard, his countenance that painted every sensation of the soul, and his gestures that enforced each expression of the tongue. In the familiar offices of life he scrupulously adhered to the grave and ceremonious politeness of his country: his respectful attention to the rich and powerful was dignified by his condescension and affability to the poorest citizens of Mecca; the frankness of his manner concealed the artifice of his views; and the habits of courtesy were imputed to personal friendship or universal benevolence. His memory was capacious and retentive, his wit easy and social, his imagination sublime, his judgment clear, rapid, and decisive. He possessed the courage both of thought and action; and although his designs might gradually ex