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pand with his success, the first idea which he entertained of his divine mission bears the stamp of an original and superior genius. The son of Abdallah was educated in the bosom of the noblest race, in the use of the purest dialect of Arabia; and the fluency of his speech was corrected and enhanced by the practice of discreet and seasonable silence. With these powers of eloquence Mohammed was an illiterate barbarian; his youth had never been instructed in the arts of reading and writing; the common ignorance exempted him from shame or reproach, but he was reduced to a narrow circle of existence, and deprived of those faithful mirrors which reflect to our mind the minds of sages and heroes. Yet the book of nature and of man was open to his view; and some fancy has been indulged in the political and philosophical observations which are ascribed to the Arabian traveler. He compares the nations and religions of the earth ; discovers the weakness of the Persian and Roman monarchies; beholds with pity and indignation the degeneracy of the times; and resolves to unite, under one God and one king, the invincible spirit and primitive virtues of the Arabs.--Gibbon.
Do you not think a man may be the wiser-I had almost said the better-for going a hundred or two of miles; and that the mind has more room in it than most people seem to think, if you will but furnish the apartments? I almost envy your last month, being in a very insipid situation myself; and desire you would not fail to send me some furniture for my Gothic apartment, which is very cold at present. It will be the easier task, as you have nothing to do but transcribe your little red books, if they are not rubbed out; for I conclude you have not trusted everything to memory, which is ten times worse than a lead-pencil: half a word fixed upon or near the spot is worth a cartload of recollection. When we trust to the picture that objects draw of themselves on our mind, we deceive ourselves : without accurate and particular observation, it is but ill drawn at first, the outlines are soon blurred, the colors every day grow fainter; and at last, when we would produce it to anybody, we are forced to supply its defects with a few strokes of our own imagination.— Thos. Gruy.
An acre in Middlesex is better than a principality in Utopia. The smallest actual good is better than the most magnificent promises of impossibilities. The wise man of the Stoics would, no doubt, be a grander object than a steam-engine. But there are steam-engines. And the wise man of the Stoics is yet to be born. A philosophy which should enable a man to feel perfectly happy while in agonies of pain, may be better than a philosophy which assuages pain. But we know that there are remedies which will assuage pain; and we know that the ancient sages liked the toothache just as little as their neighbors. A philosophy which should extinguish cupidity, would be better than a philosophy which should devise laws for the security of property. But it is possible to make laws which shall, to a very great extent, secure property. And we do not understand how any motives which the ancient philosophy furnished could extinguish cupidity. We know indeed that the philosophers were no better than other men. From the testimony of friends as well as of foes, from the confessions of Epictetus and Seneca, as well as from the sneers of Lucian and the fierce invectives of Juvenal, it is plain that these teachers of virtue had all the vices of their neighbors, with the additional vice of hypocrisy. Some people may think the object of the Baconian philosophy a low object, but they can not deny that every year makes an addition to what Bacon called "fruit." They can not deny that mankind have made, and are making, great and constant progress in the road which he pointed out to them.—Macaulay.
He [the robin) keeps a strict eye over one's fruit, and knows to a shade of purple when your grapes have cooked long enough in the
During the severe drought a few years ago, the robins wholly vanished from my garden. I neither saw nor heard one for three weeks. Meanwhile a small foreign grape-vine, rather shy of bearing, seemed to find the dusty air congenial, and, dreaming perhaps of its sweet Argos across the sea, decked itself with a score or so of fair bunches. I watched them from day to day till they should have secreted sugar enough from the sunbeams, and at last made up my mind that I would celebrate my vintage the next morning. But the robins, too, had somehow kept note of them. They must have sent out spies, as did the Jews into the promised land, before I was stirring. When I went with my basket, at least a dozen of these winged vintagers bustled out from among the leaves, and, alighting on the nearest trees, interchanged some shrill remarks about me of a derogatory nature. They had fairly sacked the vine *
* I was keeping my grapes a secret to surprise the fair Fidele with, but the robins made them a profounder secret to her than I had meant. The tattered remnant of a single bunch was all my harvest-home. How pal
try it looked at the bottom of my basket,
, -as if a humming-bird had laid her egg in an eagle's nest! I could not help laughing; and the robins seemed to join heartily in the merriment. There was a native grape-vine close by, blue with its less refined abundance, but my cunning thieves preferred the foreign flavor. Could I tax them with want of taste ?-). R. Lowell.
The lettuce is to me a most interesting study. Lettuce is like conversation : it must be fresh and crisp, so sparkling that you scarcely notice the bitter in it. Lettuce, like most talkers, is, however, apt to run rapidly to seed. Blessed is that sort which comes to a head, and so remains, like a few people I know; growing more solid, and satisfactory, and tender at the same time, and whiter at the center, and crisp in their maturity. Lettuce, like conversation, requires a good deal of oil, to avoid friction and keep the company smooth: a pinch of Attic salt, a dash of pepper, a quantity of mustard and vinegar, by all means, but so mixed that you will notice no sharp contrasts, and a trifle of sugar. You can put anything, and the more things the better, into salad, as into a conversation, but everything depends upon the skill of mixing. I feel that I am in the best society when I am with lettuce. It is in the select circle of vegetables.-C. D. Warner.
I believe there is nothing in nature which so enlaces one's love for the country, and binds it with willing fetters, as the silver meshes of a brook. Not for its beauty only, but for its changes; it is the warbler ; it is the silent muser; it is the loiterer; it is the noisy brawler; and, like all brawlers, beats itself into angry foam, and turns in the eddies demurely penitent, and runs away to sulk under the bush. Brooks, too, pique terribly a man's audacity, if he has any eye for landscape gardening. It seems so manageable in all its wildness. Here in the glen a bit of dam will give a white gush of waterfall, and a pouring sluice to some overshot wheel; and the wheel shall have its connecting shaft and whirl of labors. Of course there shall be a little scapeway for the trout to pass up and down; a rustic bridge shall spring across somewhere below, and the stream shall be coaxed into loitering where you will, —under the roots of a beech that leans over the water; into a broad pool of the pasture close, where the cattle may cool themselves in August. —D. G. Mitchell.
Paraphrase is the fuller or clearer reproduction of an author's complete thought in language; it is a faithful translation from the author's language to one's own.
The paraphrase of another's thought requires the closest attention to every detail-strict criticism of the words and patient analysis of the grammatical features of expression. At the same time, that interpretation which stops with such minute work is as imperfect and inadequate as that which neglects it; such a paraphrase is sure to miss all that gives life and spirit to the original. To the analytical judgment which is able to reproduce, with exactness, every shade of the author's meaning, must be added a vigorous imagination, by which the interpreter can put himself side by side with the author, and, looking thus through the author's eyes, and communing with his secret heart, can reproduce his inner feelings, his motives, and his ideas. It is the highest merit of such paraphrase that the paraphrast efface himself, and let the thought of the original be perfectly transmitted, through a new medium, to the reader.
Directions for Paraphrase.-From the foregoing remarks, the following principles may be deduced:
1. Get the full meaning of every word in the original, and the collective sense of the whole. When the mind is filled with the thought, express it freely in your own language, avoiding as far as possible the peculiar wording and construction of the original sentences.
2. Seek to reproduce the thought that is expressed and implied in the original, and no more. The words of the author should be avoided, except in those few cases where there is no fitting substitute; but an allusion, or a phraseepithet, or the suggestiveness of a particle, belongs properly to what is embodied in the passage, and must in some way enter into the reproduction.
3. Let all changes be made for the sake of greater clearness. Changes of figurative expressions are allowable; and in the translation of poetry, it is unadvisable to follow all the poetical flights of the original.
4. Guard against weakening the thought of the original by verbosity; but do not, for the sake of condensation, sacrifice fullness or clearness.
5. Endeavor to reproduce any peculiar excellences of the author's style; its humor, its elegance, its dignity. Above all try to maintain unimpaired the tone and spirit of the original; this is a point of great importance. Every literary work strikes a certain key-note, elevated or colloquial, humorous or severe; and while it is often an elegance as well as an advantage to rise on occasion to a higher strain, it is unfortunate to fall below the adopted standard.
The following are examples of paraphrase:
Original: For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.-St. Paul.
Paraphrase : "I was alive without the law once,” says Paul; "the natural play of all the forces and desires in me went on smoothly enough so long as I did not attempt to introduce order and regulation among them.”—Matthew Arnold.
Original: One may smile and smile, and be a villain.-Shakespeare.