Transcriber's Notes: Words surrounded by underscores are in italics in the original.
Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been left as in the original. Some typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected. A complete list follows the text.
A row of five asterisks surrounded by blank lines represents a thought break. All other asterisks indicate ellipses. Ellipses match the original.
Table of Contents was added by the Transcriber.
OVER TWO THOUSAND EXTRACTS FROM ANCIENT AND MODERN WRITERS, AND CLASSIFIED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
J. PURVER RICHARDSON.
COPYRIGHT 1910 BY J. PURVER RICHARDSON
PRESS OF BROWN-MORRISON CO. LYNCHBURG, VA.
Good sir, or madam, whosoever thou mayest be, to whom this volume shall come, cast it not aside, but read it. Its quaint, curious, and helpful selections have been gathered through many years of careful research on both sides of the Atlantic. They will make thee wiser and better, and will conduce to the growth of thy mind, and the health of thy body. Let this book be to thee a magazine of literary food, of which thou shalt partake, and which thou shalt assimilate and digest to the constant increase of thy well being.
The gathering of this bouquet of literary gems has been a work of pleasure, but the compiler shall say nothing of himself for, "the least that one can say of himself is still too much."
JOHN PURVER AND ANNIE SUE,
"To mine own People: meaning those within The magic ring of home—my kith and kin;
And those with whom my soul delights to dwell— Who walk with me as friends, and wish me well;
And lastly, those—a large unnumbered band, Unknown to me—who read and understand."
PAGE PREFACE 3 Letter A 7 Letter B 27 Letter C 46 Letter D 99 Letter E 112 Letter F 119 Letter G 148 Letter H 168 Letter I 199 Letter J 210 Letter K 213 Letter L 220 Letter M 248 Letter N 295 Letter O 300 Letter P 306 Letter Q 332 Letter R 333 Letter S 344 Letter T 379 Letter U 399 Letter V 400 Letter W 402 Letter Y 433 Letter Z 435 INDEX 437
LIFE AND LITERATURE
Abilities—No man's abilities are so remarkably shining, as not to stand in need of a proper opportunity, a patron, and even the praises of a friend, to recommend them to the notice of the world.
Absence, with all its pains, Is by this charming moment wip'd away.
Abuse is the weapon of the vulgar.
It is told of Admiral Collingwood that on his travels he carried a bag of acorns, and dropped one wherever there seemed a likely spot for an oak to grow, that England might never lack ships.
Acquaintances—It is easy to make acquaintances, but sometimes difficult to shake them off, however irksome and unprofitable they are found, after we have once committed ourselves to them.
Acquaintance softens prejudices.
Many persons I once thought great, dwindle into very small dimensions, on a short acquaintance.
Speak out in acts, the time for words Has passed, and deeds alone suffice.
All may do what has by Man been done.
An act, by which we make one friend, and one enemy, is a losing game; because revenge is a much stronger principle than gratitude.
All the world practices the art of acting.
Do what you can, when you cannot do what you would.
A good action performed in this world receives its recompense in the other, just as water poured at the root of a tree appears again above in fruit and flower.
If the world were to see our real motives, we should be ashamed of some of our best actions.
Our actions are our own; their consequences belong to Heaven.
What thou intendest to do, speak not of, before thou doest it.
There is as much eloquence in the tone of voice, in the eyes, and in the air of a speaker, as in his choice of words.
Actions—What I must do, is all that concerns me, and not what people think.
An actor, when asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury why actors were more successful in impressing their auditors than preachers, replied, "Actors speak of things imaginary as if they were real, while you preachers too often speak of things real as if they were imaginary."
ON LEAVING, AFTER A SHORT VISIT.
She gazed as I slowly withdrew; My path I could hardly discern; So sweetly she bade me "adieu," I thought that she bade me return.
Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
Adversity does not take from us our true friends; it only disperses those who pretended to be so.
Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.
He who never was acquainted with adversity, has seen the world but on one side, and is ignorant of half the scenes of nature.
In prosperity the proud man knows nobody; in adversity nobody knows him.
The finest friendships have been formed in mutual adversity.
It is a disingenuous thing to ask for advice, when you mean assistance; and it will be a just punishment if you get that which you pretended to want.
—Sir A. Helps.
Before giving advice we must have secured its acceptance, or rather, have made it desired.
There is nothing more difficult than the art of making advice agreeable.
Every man, however wise, sometimes requires the advice of a friend in the affairs of life.
He who gives advice to a self-conceited man, stands himself in need of counsel.
Pouring water on a duck's back. (Fruitless counsel or advice).
Most people, when they come to you for advice, come to have their own opinions strengthened, not corrected.
In man or woman, but far most in man, And most of all in man that ministers And serves the altar, in my soul I loathe All affectation. 'Tis my perfect scorn; Object of my implacable disgust. What! Will a man play tricks, will he indulge A silly fond conceit of his fair form And just proportion, fashionable mien, And pretty face, in presence of his God? Or will he seek to dazzle me with tropes, As with the diamond on his lily hand, And play his brilliant parts before my eyes When I am hungry for the bread of life? He mocks his Maker, prostitutes and shames His noble office, and, instead of truth, Displaying his own beauty, starves his flock.
The Cure of Affectation—Is to follow nature. If every one would do this, affectation would be almost unknown.
Affectation of any kind, is lighting up a candle to our defects.
Affectation is the vain and ridiculous attempt of poverty to appear rich.
How sad to notice in one—changed affections, A cold averted eye.
Be still, sad heart, and cease repining, Behind the clouds the sun is shining; Thy fate is the common fate of all; Into each life some rain must fall—, Some days must be dark and dreary.
Affliction—For every sort of suffering there is sleep provided by a gracious Providence, save that of sin.
Affliction's sons are brothers in distress; A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!
Affronts—Young men soon give, and soon forget affronts; old age is slow in both.
Old age is a joy, when youth has been well spent.
THE APPROACH OF AGE.
Six years had passed, and forty ere the six, When time began to play his usual tricks; The locks once comely in a virgin's sight, Locks of pure brown, displayed the encroaching white; The blood, once fervid, now to cool began, And Time's strong pressure to subdue the man. I rode or walked as I was wont before, But now the bounding spirit was no more; A moderate pace would now my body heat, A walk of moderate length distress my feet. I showed my stranger guest those hills sublime, But said, "The view is poor, we need not climb." At a friend's mansion I began to dread The cold neat parlor and gay glazed bed; At home I felt a more decided taste, And must have all things in my order placed. I ceased to hunt; my horses pleased me less— My dinner more; I learned to play at chess. I took my dog and gun, but saw the brute Was disappointed that I did not shoot. My morning walks I now could bear to lose, And blessed the shower that gave me not to choose. In fact, I felt a languor stealing on; The active arm, the agile hand, were gone; Small daily actions into habits grew, And new dislike to forms and fashions new. I loved my trees in order to dispose; I numbered peaches, looked how stocks arose; Told the same story oft—in short, began to prose.
Age is a matter of feeling, not of years.
G. W. Curtis.
Men are as old as they feel, and women as they look.
May you all be as old as I, And see your sons to manhood grow; And many a time before you die, Be just as pleased as I am now.
Old age and faded flowers, no remedies can revive.
'Twas impious then (so much was age rever'd) For youth to keep their seats when an old man appear'd.
Goethe said: "It is only necessary to grow old to become more indulgent. I see no fault committed that I have not committed myself."
The young are fond of novelty, The old of custom.
Speak gently to the aged one, Grieve not the care-worn heart; The sands of life are nearly run— Let such in peace depart!
Elderly people look back upon the friends, relatives and acquaintances of thirty, forty or fifty years ago, and say, "There are no friends now-a-days like the old friends of long ago." It is natural for them to think this way, particularly when most of the old friends are dead; but the fact is, that there are friends as true now as ever.
These are the effects of doting age, Vain doubts, and idle cares, and over-caution.
Do you seek Alcides' equal? There is none but himself.
"When I look at my congregation," said a London preacher, "I say, 'Where are the poor?' When I count the offertory in the vestry I say, 'Where are the rich?'"
At table, discussing with some friends the subject of raffles, Bishop Wescott said that he objected to them as part of the gambling question, and also on wider grounds. He objected to all the "side means" which were sometimes combined with sales of work for "getting money out of people." Such money, he thought, as distinct from that which is given, was not wanted nor acceptable.
—The Contemporary Review.
What stamps the wrinkles deepest on the brow, It is to be alone, as I am now!
The following Hawaiian alphabet, consisting of twelve letters, was in use, and had been for something like a hundred years, when the compiler visited the Islands in 1886. It was given to the Hawaiians by the missionaries, viz.:
a, e, i, o, u, h, k, l, m, n, p, w.
THE AMBITIOUS MAN.
A slave has but one master; the ambitious man has as many masters as there are persons whose aid may contribute to the advancement of his fortune.
How easy it is to be amiable in the midst of happiness and success!
The sea of ambition is tempest—tost, And your hopes may vanish like—foam.
To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.
Amusements—The mind ought sometimes to be amused, that it may the better return to thought, and to itself.
Thy father's merit sets thee up to view, And shows thee in the fairest point of light, To make thy virtues, or thy faults conspicuous.
THE QUEST OF ANCESTORS.
"Of all the notable things on earth, The queerest one is pride of birth."
A few years ago a well-known Bostonian, the descendant of an honored family, began the ancestral quest with expert assistance. All went merry as a marriage bell for a time, when suddenly he unearthed an unsavory scandal that concerned one of his progenitors. Feeling a responsibility for the misdeeds of his great-grandfather, he ordered all investigation stopped, and the disagreeable data destroyed; but he had delved too far. His genealogist had told a friend, and the secret was out beyond recall.
—D. O. S. Lowell.
MERIT FROM ANCESTORS.
Were honor to be scann'd by long descent From ancestors illustrious, I could vaunt A lineage of the greatest; and recount, Among my fathers, names of ancient story, Heroes and god-like patriots, who subdu'd The world by arms and virtue. But that be their own praise; Nor will I borrow merit from the dead, Myself an undeserver.
He who constantly boasts of his ancestors, confesses that he has no virtue of his own.
Never mind who was your grandfather. What are you?
A good man's anger lasts an instant, A meddling man's for two hours, A base man's a day and night, A great sinner's until death.
Have nothing to do with men in a passion, for they are not like iron, to be wrought on when they are hot.
Anger generally begins with folly, and ends with repentance.
He who subdues his anger, conquers his greatest enemy.
A fit of anger is as fatal to dignity as a dose of arsenic to life.
—J. G. Holland.
It is much better to reprove, than to be angry secretly.
Catch not too soon at an offence, nor give too easy way to anger; the one shows a weak judgment, the other a perverse nature.
He who can suppress a moment's anger, may prevent a day of sorrows.
Nothing can be more unjust, or ridiculous, than to be angry with others because they are not of our opinion.
When a man grows angry, his reason flies out.
Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
The daughter of an army officer, whose life had been spent in the far west, told the following anecdote: "Indians, when they accept Christianity, very often hold its truths with peculiar simplicity.
"There was near our fort an old chief called Tassorah. One day, when I was an impulsive girl, I was in a rage at my pony, and dismounting, beat him severely. The old man stood by, silent for a moment.
"'What words have I heard from Jesus?' he said, sternly. 'If you love not your brother whom you have seen, how can you love God whom you have not seen?'
"'This horse is not my brother!' I said scornfully.
"The old man laid his hand on the brute's head and turned it toward me. The eyes were full of terror.
"'Is not God his creator? Must He not care for him?' he said. 'Not a sparrow falls to the ground without His notice.'
"I never forgot the lesson. It flashed on me then for the first time that the dog that ran beside me, the birds, the very worms were His, and I, too, was one of His great family."
Kindness to animals is no unworthy exercise of benevolence. We hold that the life of brutes perishes with their breath, and that they are never to be clothed again with consciousness. The inevitable shortness then of their existence should plead for them touchingly. The insects on the surface of the water, poor ephemeral things, who would needlessly abridge their dancing pleasure of to-day? Such feelings we should have towards the whole animate creation.
—Sir Arthur Helps.
THE GRACIOUS ANSWER.
(The first half of each stanza should be subdued; the last half confident and full of assurance.)
The way is dark, my Father! Cloud on cloud Is gathering thickly o'er my head, and loud The thunders roar above me. See, I stand Like one bewildered! Father, take my hand, And through the gloom Lead safely home Thy child! The way is dark, my child! But leads to light. I would not always have thee walk by sight. My dealings now thou canst not understand. I meant it so; but I will take thy hand, And through the gloom Lead safely home My child! The day goes fast, my Father! And the night Is growing darkly down. My faithless sight Sees ghostly visions. Fears, a spectral band, Encompass me. O Father! Take my hand, And from the night Lead up to light Thy child! The day goes fast, my child! But is the night Darker to me than Day? In me is light! Keep close to me, and every spectral band Of fears shall vanish. I will take thy hand, And through the night Lead up to light My child! The way is long, my Father! And my soul Longs for the rest and quiet of the goal; While yet I journey through this weary land, Keep me from wandering. Father, take my hand; Quickly and straight Lead to Heaven's gate Thy child! The way is long, my child! But it shall be Not one step longer than is best for thee; And thou shalt know, at last, when thou shalt stand Safe at the goal, how I did take thy hand, And quick and straight Lead to Heaven's gate My child! The path is rough, my Father! Many a thorn Has pierced me; and my weary feet, all torn And bleeding, mark the way. Yet Thy command Bids me press forward. Father, take my hand; Then, safe and blest, Lead up to rest Thy child! The path is rough, my child! But oh! how sweet Will be the rest, for weary pilgrims meet, When thou shalt reach the borders of that land To which I lead thee, as I take thy hand; And safe and blest With me shall rest My child! The throng is great, my Father! Many a doubt, And fear and danger, compass me about; And foes oppress me sore. I can not stand Or go alone. O Father! take my hand, And through the throng Lead safe along Thy child! The throng is great, my child! But at thy side Thy Father walks; then be not terrified, For I am with thee; will thy foes command To let thee freely pass;—will take thy hand, And through the throng Lead safe along My child! The cross is heavy, Father! I have borne It long, and still do bear it. Let my worn And fainting spirit rise to that blest land Where crowns are given. Father, take my hand; And reaching down Lead to the crown Thy child! The cross is heavy, child! Yet there was One Who bore a heavier cross for thee; my Son, My well-beloved. For Him bear thine; and stand With Him at last; and from thy Father's hand, Thy cross laid down, Receive a crown, My child!
—Henry N. Cobb.
Anxiety is the poison of human life.
Beware, as long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance.
Appearance—Thou art after all what thou art. Deck thyself in a wig with a thousand locks; ensconce thy legs in buskins an ell high; thou still remainest just what thou art.
A man's reception depends very much upon his coat.
APPEARANCES OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD.
Sometimes our estimate of men and women On short acquaintance is very much at fault.
A gentleman and his wife—Pierrepont by name—passengers on one of the great Atlantic steamers, not knowing any of the other passengers, kept very much to themselves; he usually reading aloud to his wife, and she occupied in some needle work; for this, they were commented upon, and not very favorably, and generally were called the "stupid couple." Little did these same passengers know the true character of that gentleman and lady. An incident that occurred on board soon proved the bravery and heroism of the one, and the gentleness and self-sacrifice of the other. The captain had with him his only son, a boy of some eight summers, a great favorite of all on board from fore to aft. The little fellow, climbing on the side of the ship, somehow fell overboard. The lady happening to be on the other side of the deck, saw the child climb up, and immediately missed him. She quickly laid her hand on her husband's shoulder, looking in his eyes, and cried out, "Oh, save the boy, he has fallen overboard." In one moment he was on his feet, kicked off his canvas shoes, threw his hat on the deck, and turning his face toward the bridge, where he knew some of the ship's officers were always stationed, he called out in a voice which rang like a trumpet call over the ship, "Man overboard." Then, with a quick run and leap, he cleared the rail, and the broken twisting water of the ship's track had closed over him. He was on the surface again in a moment, and taking a glance back at the ship to know his position, stretched out into a long steady stroke in the direction where he knew the child was.
Instantly the captain's hand was on the engine-room telegraph, and down into the depths of the ship went the signals. First to "stop," and the tremor all over the ship ceased. The bell rang again, and the index moved to "astern-slow;" then in a minute or two, to, "half;" then he called out to the second officer—"Man overboard! Stand by to lower away the gig," which was quickly obeyed, and four hands, a coxswain, and a man for the boat's bow were instantly off and rowed fiercely.
In a little while Mrs. Pierrepont—who was on the bridge with Captain Hood—said, "Do you see them; are they together?"
"Yes," replied the captain, "I believe they are." But his voice was now broken, and he took hold of Mrs. Pierrepont's hand. "I have watched my child from here with the glass, till at last he floated so low that I could scarcely see him, and just as he seemed sinking your husband dashed across the spot where he was, and I saw by a wave of his hand towards the ship that he caught him. He is now waiting for the boat."
It was getting dark when they returned. The child, who was shivering, was immediately carried away to have a warm bath, and a little later was in the saloon with dry clothes on, as merry as if nothing had happened.
When Pierrepont stepped on the deck, a rush was made at him, and both hands were shaken till he thought his arms would be pulled off.
The captain said all he had to say in a very few words, and with a hand-grasp which said more than words.
A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it.
—Eccles. 6, 2v.; Saint Luke 12, 20v.
To love applause is praiseworthy; to seek it is weakness.
Eat an apple on going to bed, and you will very soon send the Doctor begging his bread.
Appointments may be given, Not the capacity to fill them well.
Dr. Johnson to Boswell—"If general approbation will add anything to your enjoyment, I can tell you that I have heard you mentioned, as a man whom everybody likes. I think life has little more to give."
If you arbitrate a dispute between two of your friends, you are sure to make an enemy; if you arbitrate between two of your enemies, you are sure to make a friend.
—Bias, a Greek.
Never contend with one that is foolish, proud, positive, testy; or with a superior, or a clown, in matter of argument.
ASKING AND BESTOWING ASSISTANCE.
Those who are constrained to solicit for assistance are really to be pitied; those who receive it without, are to be envied; but those who bestow it unasked, are to be admired.
Associates—A man should live with his superiors as he does with his fire; not too near, lest he burn; nor too far off, lest he freeze.
If you always live with those who are lame, you will yourself learn to limp.
Never forget that if you are not interesting your audience, you are fatiguing it.
The beautiful are never desolate, For some one always loves them.
Beauty of face is but a fleeting dower, A momentary gleam, a short-lived flower, A charm that goes no deeper than the skin; Beauty of mind is firm enthroned within.
There is the beauty of infancy, the beauty of youth, the beauty of maturity, and, believe me, ladies and gentlemen, the beauty of age.
Beauty with selfishness, is a flower without perfume.
What is beauty? 'Tis the stainless soul within That outshines the fairest skin.
—Sir A. Hunt.
FRAGILE IS BEAUTY.
Fragile is beauty: with advancing years 'Tis less and less, and, last, it disappears. Your hair too, fair one, will turn grey and thin; And wrinkles furrow that now rounded skin; Then brace the mind and thus beauty fortify, The mind alone is yours, until you die.
Beauty without kindness dies unenjoyed and undelighting.
O bed! Delicious bed! That heaven upon earth to the weary head!
Generally men are ready to believe what they desire.
The kindest benefactors have no recollection of the good they do, and are surprised when men thank them for it.
A beneficent person is like a fountain watering the earth, and spreading fertility; it is, therefore, more delightful and more honorable to give than receive.
There is no benefit so small, that a good man will not magnify it.
To receive a benefit is to sell your liberty.
He who receives a benefit should never forget it; he who bestows one should never remember it.
To act always from pure benevolence is not possible for finite beings. Human benevolence is mingled with vanity, interest, or some other motive.
Bereavement makes the heart tender and sympathetic.
If you wish to become acquainted with your betrothed, travel with him for a few days—especially if he is accompanied with his own folks—and take your mother along.
The Bible is The Index to Eternity; He can not miss Of endless bliss That takes this chart to steer his voyage by.
The following lines of Sir Walter Scott are said to have been copied in his Bible:
Within this awful volume lies The mystery of mysteries. Oh! happiest they of human race, To whom our God has given grace To hear, to read, to fear, to pray, To lift the latch, and force the way; But better had they ne'er been born Who read to doubt, or read to scorn.
Remember, that in prayer, you are speaking to God; that in reading the Bible, God is speaking to you.
FACTS ABOUT THE BIBLE.
The learned prince of Grenada, heir to the Spanish throne, imprisoned by order of the Crown for fear he would aspire to the throne, was kept in solitary confinement in the old prison at the Palace of Skulls, Madrid. After thirty-three years in this living tomb, death came to his release, and the following remarkable researches, taken from the Bible, and marked with an old nail on the rough walls of his cell, told how the brain sought employment through the weary years.
The 35th verse, 11th chapter of John, is the shortest.
The 9th verse of the 8th chapter of Esther is the longest.
The 8th verse of the 97th Psalm is the middle verse of the Bible.
Each verse in Psalm 136 ends alike.
The 37th chapter of Isaiah and 19th chapter of 2d Kings are alike.
The word "girl" occurs but once in the Bible, and that in Joel, 3d chapter and 3d verse.
The word "Lord" is found 1853 times, the word "Jehovah" 6855 times, the word "reverend" but once, and that in Psalms 111th chapter and 9th verse.
The four most inspiring promises are in John, 14th chapter, 2d verse, 6th chapter and 37th verse; Matthew, 11th chapter and 28th verse, and in Psalms, 37th chapter and 4th verse.
The finest chapter is in Acts, 26th.
Who, coming to this sacred book, with a sincere desire to know God's will for the direction of his life, will say that he can not find it? Who, desiring to be instructed in the way of salvation "through faith which is in Christ Jesus," will consult its pages, and say it is not made plain to him? Who, coming to it for equipment of his spiritual life, will say that there are still needs of that life which are left unprovided for? Who, seeking direction in the way of the life everlasting, can doubt that, if he faithfully obeys its teaching, he will reach that goal? The Scripture fulfils the ends for which it was given; no higher proof of its inspiration can be demanded. * * * * * What the closing verse of the 20th chapter of John's Gospel says of that book: "But these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life through His name," may with equal truth be applied to the Bible as a whole.
—James Orr, D. D., Glasgow.
A Little Bird Told Me—The origin of this phrase is doubtless to be found in Ecclesiastes, x, 20:—For a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
Old birds are hard to pluck.
A man ashamed of his humble birth is never alone, because all good people are ashamed of him for being ashamed.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; The soul that riseth with us, our life's star, Hath elsewhere had its setting, And cometh from afar.
My birthday!—What a different sound That word had in my youthful ears! And now each time the day comes round, Less and less white its mark appears.
Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others, can not keep it from themselves.
Boasters—For boasters the world has no use; but it is always on the lookout for men who do things. Solomon said: "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own lips."
Sir Walter Scott, in lending a book one day to a friend, cautioned him to be punctual in returning it. "This is really necessary," said the poet in apology; "for though many of my friends are bad arithmeticians, I observe almost all of them to be good book-keepers."
AN EXPERIENCE AND A MORAL.
I lent my love a book one day; She brought it back; I laid it by: 'Twas little either had to say,— She was so strange, and I so shy.
But yet we loved indifferent things,— The sprouting buds, the birds in tune,— And Time stood still and wreathed his wings With rosy links from June to June.
For her, what task to dare or do? What peril tempt? What hardship bear? But with her—ah! she never knew My heart, and what was hidden there!
And she with me, so cold and coy, Seemed like a maid bereft of sense; But in the crowd, all life and joy, And full of blushful impudence.
She married,—well, a woman needs Someone, her life and love to share,— And little cares sprang up like weeds And played around her elbow-chair.
Years rolled by—and I, content, Trimmed my own lamp, and kept it bright, Till age's touch, my hair besprent With rays and gleams of silver light.
And then it chanced I took the book Which she perused in days gone by; And as I read, such passion shook, That, I needs must surely cry.
For, here and there, her love was writ, In old, half-faded pencil-signs, As if she yielded—bit by bit— Her heart in dots and underlines.
Ah, silvered fool, too late you look! I know it; but let me here record This maxim: Lend no girl a book Unless you read it afterward!
—F. S. Cozzens.
We should make the same use of a book that the bee does of a flower; she steals sweets from it, but does not injure it.
Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.
If thou art borrowed by a friend, Right welcome shall he be, To read, to study, not to lend, But to return to me.
Not that imparted knowledge doth Diminish learning's store; But books, I find, if often lent, Return to me no more.
The feeling that books are real friends is constantly present to all who love reading. "I have friends," said Petrarch, "whose society is extremely agreeable to me, they are of all ages, and of every country. They have distinguished themselves both in the cabinet and in the field, and obtained high honors for their knowledge of the sciences. It is easy to gain access to them, for they are always at my service, and I admit them to my company, and dismiss them from it, whenever I please. They are never troublesome, but immediately answer every question I ask them. Some relate to me the events of past ages, while others reveal to me the secrets of Nature. Some teach me how to live, and others how to die. Some, by their vivacity, drive away my cares and exhilarate my spirits; while others give fortitude to my mind, and teach me the important lesson how to deport myself, and to depend wholly on myself. They open to me, in short, the various avenues of all the arts and sciences and upon their information I may safely rely in all emergencies. In return for all their services, they only ask me to accommodate them with a convenient chamber in some corner of my humble habitation where they may repose in peace; for these friends are more delighted by the tranquility of retirement than with the tumults of society."
Books introduce us into the best society; they bring us into the presence of the greatest minds that have ever lived. We hear what they said and did; we see them as if they were really alive; we are participators in their thoughts; we sympathize with them, enjoy with them, grieve with them; their experience becomes ours, and we feel as if we were in a measure actors with them in the scenes which they describe.
Those who have collected books, and whose good nature has prompted them to accommodate their friends with them, will feel the sting of the answer made by a man of wit to one who lamented the difficulty which he found in persuading his friends to return the volumes that he had lent them:
"Sir," said he, "your acquaintances find, I suppose, that it is much more easy to retain the books themselves, than what is contained in them."
The following gives a pathetic description of a studious boy lingering at a bookstall:
I saw a boy with eager eye Open a book upon a stall, And read, as he'd devour it all; Which, when the stall-man did espy, Soon to the boy I heard him call, "You, sir, you never buy a book, Therefore in one you shall not look." The boy passed slowly on, and with a sigh He wished he never had been taught to read, Then of the old churl's books he should have had no need.
Books that you may carry to the fire, and hold readily in your hand, are the most useful after all. A man will often look at them, and be tempted to go on, when he would have been frightened at books of a larger size and of a more erudite appearance.
COSTLY, YET USEFUL BOOKS.
How foolish is the man who sets up a number of costly volumes, like superfluous furniture, for mere ornament, and is far more careful to keep them from contracting a single spot of ink, than to use them, as the means of instructing his ignorance, and correcting his faults! Better a man without books, than books without a man.
There are two bores in society—the man who knows too much, and the man who knows too little.
Those who would scorn to "accept"— Borrow, and keep without qualm.
A boy of 17, 18 or 19 has reached an age when he should win his own way, and seek his own sustenance, physical and mental.
"My boy," said a father to his son, "treat everybody with politeness, even those who are rude to you, for remember that you show courtesy to others, not because they are gentlemen, but because you are one."
GRACEFUL AND GALLANT.
It is reasonably safe to assume from a story in the New York Tribune that the late Henry Harland, the novelist, was seldom kept after school in his boyhood.
Among Harland's early teachers was a charming young lady, who called him up in class one morning and said to him:
"Henry, name some of the chief beauties of education."
"Schoolmistresses," the boy answered, smiling into his teacher's pretty eyes.
—From Youth's Companion.
John Ruskin, in one of his lectures, said: "There is just this difference between the making of a girl's character and a boy's: You may chisel a boy into shape as you would a rock, or hammer him into it, if he be of a better kind, as you would a piece of bronze; but you can not hammer a girl into anything. She grows as a flower does—she will wither without sun; she will decay in her sheath as a narcissus will if you do not give her air enough; she must take her own fair form and way if she take any, and in mind as in body, must have always—
"'Her household motions light and free, And steps of virgin liberty.'"
You bring up your girls as if they were meant for sideboard ornaments, and then complain of their frivolity. Give them the same advantages that you give their brothers; teach them, that courage and truth are the pillars of their being.
Again: "The man's work for his own home, is to secure its maintenance, progress, and defence; the woman's to secure its order, comfort, and loveliness.
"What the man is at his own gate, defending it if need be, against insult and spoil, that also, not in a less, but in a more devoted measure, he is to be at the gate of his country, leaving his home, if need be, even to the spoiler, to do his more incumbent work there.
"And in like manner what the woman is to be within her gates, as the centre of order, the balm of distress, and the mirror of beauty, that she is also to be without her gates, where order is more difficult, distress more imminent, loveliness more rare."
You can lead a boy to college, but you can't make him think.
The boy who does not respect parental authority, will very soon be apt to repudiate all law, both civil and ecclesiastical, human and Divine.
THE BLIND BOY.
"O say! What is that thing call'd light, Which I must ne'er enjoy? What are the blessings of the sight? O, tell your poor blind boy!
You talk of wond'rous things you see, You say the sun shines bright; I feel him warm, but how can he Make it day or night?
With heavy sighs I often hear You mourn my hapless woe; But sure with patience I can bear A loss I ne'er can know.
Then let not what I can not have My cheer of mind destroy; Whilst thus I sing, I am a king, Although a poor blind boy."
THE ORPHAN BOY'S TALE.
Stay, lady, stay, for mercy's sake, And hear a helpless orphan's tale, Ah! sure my looks must pity wake, 'Tis want that makes my cheek so pale. Yet I was once a mother's pride, And my brave father's hope and joy; But in the Nile's proud fight he died, And I am now an orphan boy.
Poor foolish child! how pleased was I When news of Nelson's victory came, Along the crowded streets to fly, And see the lighted windows flame! To force me home my mother sought, She could not bear to see my joy; For with my father's life 'twas bought, And made me a poor orphan boy.
The people's shouts were long and loud, My mother, shuddering, closed her ears; "Rejoice! rejoice!" still cried the crowd; My mother answered with her tears. "Why are you crying thus," said I, "While others laugh and shout with joy?" She kissed me—and with such a sigh! She called me "her poor orphan boy."
Emerson said: "Give a boy address and accomplishments, and you give him the mastery of palaces and fortunes wherever he goes; he has not the trouble of earning or owning them; they solicit him to enter and possess."
A great man being asked what boys should learn, he replied, "That which they will use when men."
It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.
Eaten bread is soon forgotten.
Birth is much, but breeding is more.
Good breeding consists in having no particular mark of any profession, but a general elegance of manners.
Good breeding is the result of much good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial.
Climate—The climate of Great Britain, as that of no other country in a like latitude, derives its peculiarity from its situation and from the prevailing winds, which are from the southwest, except in the months of April and May. The thermometer for six months in the year averages near 60 degrees, and seldom, if ever, drops below 36 degrees during the remaining six months, thus affording, according to all authorities, one of the healthiest climates in the world.
—Students' Reference Work, Edited by Chandler B. Beach, A. M.
The Nobility of Great Britain—The British nobility is the most enlightened, the best educated, the wisest, and bravest in Europe.
A brother's sufferings claim a brother's pity.
When thy brother has lost all that he ever had, and lies languishing, and even gasping under the utmost extremities of poverty and distress, dost thou think to lick him whole again only with thy tongue?
A Saying of Napoleon—Once at St. Helena, when walking with a lady, some servants came along carrying a load. The lady, in an angry tone, ordered them out of the way, on which Napoleon interposed, saying, "Respect the burden, madam." Even the drudgery of the humblest laborer contributes towards the general well-being of society; and it was a wise saying of a Chinese Emperor that, "If there was a man who did not work, or a woman that was idle, somebody must suffer cold or hunger in the Empire."
—Dr. H. D. Northrop.
No one knows the weight of another's burden.
The more we help others to bear their burdens, the lighter our own will be.
WHAT WE OWE TO ROBERT BURNS.
Burns has been one of the world awakeners. His voice rang out of the stillness, like the clear sweet notes of a bugle horn, and his songs were sung with a nerve and strength of nature that stirred to its depths the popular heart.
Describing Robert Burns' conversational gifts, Mr. Carlyle wrote: "They were the theme of all that ever heard him. All kinds of gifts, from the gracefullest allusions of courtesy to the highest fire of passionate speech, loud floods of mirth, soft wailings of affection, laconic emphasis, clear piercing insight, all were in him."
He awoke the poor and the despised to the dignity of man as man, irrespective of the accidents of poverty or wealth.
"The rank is but the guinea's stamp, The man's the man for a' that."
Thus helping to deliver men from the debasing worship of sordid gold, and of such rank as kings can confer on even the most worthless.
"The man of independent mind He looks and laughs at a' that."
He opened the eyes of the Scottish people, at home and abroad, to the glory of their nation's history, and glowing with the hope of a day—
"When man to man the world o'er Shall brithers be for a' that."
He also opened men's eyes to the hatefulness of all shams and hypocrisies; of meanness, selfishness and pride; of all narrowness and greed and cruelty thus—
"Man's inhumanity to man Makes countless thousands mourn."
And again: He opened men's eyes to the cruelty and injustice of harsh judgment, seen oftenest perhaps in people judging, or misjudging others, who have yielded to temptations, or sunk under debasing influences, to which they themselves have never been exposed. Where has Christian charity and kindly consideration for others been more nobly taught than in these lines:
"Who made the heart, 'tis He alone Decidedly can try us; He knows each chord, its various tone, Each spring, its various bias. Then, at the balance, let's be mute, We never can adjust it; What's done we partly may compute, But know not what's resisted."
He opened many eyes when he wrote the following:
"O, wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, And foolish notion; What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us, And even Devotion!"
We all, according as our business prospers or fails, are elated or cast down.
I'll give money to any well deserving friend, but in the matter of business, I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
Sentiment is not now recognized in business affairs.
To business that we love, we rise betime, And go to it with delight.
Keep to Your Calling—Bishop Grostest, of Lincoln, told his brother, who asked him to make him a great man: "Brother," said he, "if your plough is broken, I'll pay the mending of it; or if an ox is dead, I'll pay for another; but a ploughman I found you, and a ploughman I'll leave you."
Who, knowing nothing, claim to know it all. What each intends, or will intend, they know. What in the queen's ear the king said, they know. What never was, or is—they know it, though!
The would-be buyer, alas! so often depreciates.
The road to "bye and bye" leads to the town of never.
Do not insult calamity: It is a barb'rous grossness, to lay on The weight of scorn, where heavy misery Too much already weighs men's fortunes down.
I can't, does nothing. I'll try, effects miracles. I will, accomplishes everything.
Among the ancient warriors it was a custom, when any one did a meritorious action, to say: "That will be a feather in his cap."
Whom the cap fits, let him wear it.
Capacity without education is deplorable.
As to cards and dice, I think the safest and best way is never to learn to play them, and so be incapacitated for those dangerous temptations and encroaching wasters of time.
Cards were at first for benefits designed, Sent to amuse, not to enslave the mind.
To carry care to bed is to sleep with a pack on your back.
Put off thy cares with thy clothes; so shall thy rest strengthen thy labour; and so shall thy labour sweeten thy rest.
To win a cat, and lose a cow. (Consequences of litigation).
Deliberate well on what you can do but once.
A life of caution is overpaid by the avoidance of one serious misfortune.
Say not always what you know, but always know what you say.
Never sign a paper you have not read, nor drink water you have not examined.
No two persons are ever more confidential and cordial than when they are censuring a third.
There are ceremonious bows that repel one like a cudgel.
Excess of ceremony shows want of breeding—that civility is best which excludes all superfluous formality.
The only sure things are those that have already happened.
LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Dr. Chalmers of Scotland, arrived in London, on the 13th of May, 1817, and on the following day preached in Surrey Chapel, the anniversary sermon for the London Missionary Society. Although the service did not commence till eleven o'clock, at seven in the morning the chapel was crowded to excess, and many thousands went off for want of room. He rose and gave out his text from 1 Cor. xiv, 22-25. He had not proceeded many minutes till his voice gradually expanded in strength and compass, reaching every part of the house and commanding universal attention. His sermon occupied about an hour and a half in the delivery. A gentleman wrote to a friend: "I have just heard and witnessed the most astonishing display of human talent that perhaps ever commanded hearing; all my expectations were overwhelmed in the triumph of it."
At an afternoon service he preached in the Scotch Church, in Swallow Street. On approaching the church, Dr. Chalmers and a friend found so dense a mass within, and before the building, as to give no hope of effecting an entrance by the mere force of ordinary pressure. Lifting his cane and gently tapping the heads of those who were in advance, Dr. Chalmers' friend exclaimed, "Make way there, make way please, for Dr. Chalmers." The sturdy Londoners refused to move, believing it was a ruse. Forced to retire, Dr. Chalmers retreated from the outskirts of the crowd, crossed the street, stood for a few moments gazing on the growing tumult, and had almost resolved altogether to withdraw, as access by any of the ordinary entrances was impossible. At last a plank was projected from one of the windows very near the pulpit, till it rested on an iron palisade, and the Doctor and others gained entrance. The impression produced by the service which followed, when all had at last settled down into stillness, was deeper than that made by any of those which preceded it.
—From Memoirs of Thomas Chalmers, LL.D. By Rev. Wm. Hanna, LL.D.
What can be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of Heaven and earth could come by chance, when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster!
Times change, and we change with them.
When you seek to change your condition, be sure that you can better it.
BROTHER AND SISTER.
In a village churchyard in England, there is the following epitaph. It is there applied to a husband; but, by altering a single word, it can be made to apply to brother, sister, or comrade; and the one who fulfils all that is implied in the praise, is surely a most admirable character:
"He was— But words are wanting to say what; Think what a husband should be. He was that."
The sun has some spots on his surface, and the best and brightest characters are not without their faults and frailties.
The crown jewel of character is sincerity.
An appearance of delicacy is inseparable from sweetness and gentleness of character.
THE UPRIGHT CHARACTER.
He is not just who doth no wrong, but he Who will not when he may; not he who, lured By some poor petty prize, abstains, but he Who with some mighty treasure in his grasp May sin securely, yet abhors the sin. Not he who closely skirts the pale of law, But he whose generous nature, void of guile— Would be, Not seem to be, The upright man.
—Philemon, a Greek. Translated by Millman.
As daylight can be seen through very small holes, so little things will illustrate a person's character.
CHARACTER SHOULD NOT BE BELOW HOME STANDARD.
Alexander Simpson, the elder brother of Sir James Simpson, watched over the boyhood of the latter with parental care. When the social usages of the town and the prevalent free mode of living presented strong temptations to the boy, Alexander would put his arm round his neck and tenderly warn him: "Others may do this, but it would break a' our hearts and blast a' your prospects were ye to do it." After one such warning, "Jamie was greatly troubled, and cried nearly a' the nicht (night) like to break his heart." He obeyed the warning, and became a celebrated physician in Edinburgh.
Small kindnesses, small courtesies, small considerations, habitually practiced in our social intercourse, give a greater charm to the character than the display of great talents and accomplishments.
Character—After I have named the man, I need say no more.
—Pliny the Younger.
Oaths are not the cause why a man is believed, but the character of a man is the cause why the oath is believed.
There is no man suddenly either excellently good, or extremely evil.
He who aspires to public position, offers his character for a football.
No character is more glorious, none deserving of universal admiration and respect, than that of helping those who are in no condition of helping themselves.
Prosperity tries the human heart with the deepest probe, and brings forth the hidden character.
The history of a man is his character.
The firm foot is that which finds firm footing; The weak falters, although it be standing upon a rock.
To be thoroughly good natured, and yet avoid being imposed upon, shows great strength of character.
The charitable give out at the door, and God puts in at the window.
—From the German.
CHARITY—IN WORD ONLY.
When thy brother has lost all that he ever had, and lies languishing, and even gasping under the utmost extremities of poverty and distress, dost thou think to lick him whole again only with thy tongue?
That charity begins at home is true, Yet this is rightly understood by few. But, lest you should not easily discern, I counsel you, my friends, this lesson learn; The home of charity is a mind possess'd Of wishes to relieve whoe'er's distress'd; In town, or country, or on foreign shore, She's ne'er from home when pity's at the door.
Be not frightened at the hard words "imposition," "imposture;" give and ask no questions. "Cast thy bread upon the waters." Some have, unawares, entertained angels.
As charity covers a multitude of sins before God, so does politeness before men.
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.
Where there is plenty, charity is a duty, not a courtesy.
We step up, when we stoop down, to help the needy.
Did you ever see the horses taken to water? They rush into some beautiful stream, and drink of it to their heart's content; after which they turn their backs upon it, or stamp in it with their feet, until the water is polluted. This is the price they pay for their refreshing draught. But what, then does the noble river? It immediately floats away the mud, and continues after, as it was before, full and free of access for the same or other thirsty creatures. And so must you also do. If there be a fountain of genuine charity in your heart, it will constantly, and spontaneously overflow, whether those who drink of it are thankful or not. This life is the season for sowing and scattering; we shall reap hereafter.
Give freely to him that deserveth well, and asketh nothing.
I asked for alms! He flung a coin at me Contemptuously. Not without sense of shame I stooped and picked it up. Does this fulfil The Master's will To give a cup Of water in His Name?
I asked for bread! He handed out to me Indifferently A ticket for some food. It answered to my need. Was this the way On that great day Christ stopped to feed The hungry multitude?
When we shall wait, After this mortal strife, Eternal life, And to His presence go As suppliants indeed, Will it be thus He will on us In our great need His priceless gift bestow?
It is charity not to excite a hope, when it must end in disappointment.
When you see a man in distress, acknowledge him at once your fellow man. Recollect that he is formed of the same materials, with the same feelings as yourself, and then relieve him as you yourself would wish to be relieved.
Leviticus, xxv, 35.—"And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him; yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee."
Mr. H——, an ingenious artist, being driven out of all employment, and reduced to great distress, had no resource to which to apply except that of an elder brother, who was in good circumstances. To him, therefore, he applied, and begged some little hovel to live in, and some small provision for his support. The brother melted into tears, and said, "You, my dear brother! You live in a hovel! You are a man; you are an honor to the family. I am nothing. You shall take this house and the estate, and I will be your guest, if you please." The brothers lived together without its being distinguishable who was proprietor of the estate, till the death of the elder put the artist in possession of it.
They said, "The Master is coming To honor the town to-day, And none can tell what house or home He may choose wherein to stay." Then straight I turned to toiling, To make my home more neat; I swept and polished and garnished, And decked it with blossoms sweet.
But right in the midst of my duties A woman came to my door; She had come to tell me her sorrow, And my comfort and aid to implore. And I said, "I can not listen, Nor help you any to-day; I have greater things to attend to." So the pleader turned away.
But soon there came another— A cripple, thin, pale and gray— And said, "O let me stop and rest Awhile in your home I pray." I said, "I am grieved and sorry, But I can not keep you to-day; I look for a great and noble guest." And the cripple went away.
And the day wore onward swiftly, And my task was nearly done, And a prayer was ever in my heart That the Master to me might come.
I thought I would spring to meet Him, And treat Him with utmost care, When a little child stood by me With a face so sweet and fair— Sweet, but with marks of tear drops— And his clothes were tattered old; A finger was bruised and bleeding, And his little bare feet were cold.
And I said, "I am sorry for you: You are sorely in need of care, But I can not stop to give it; You must hasten other where." And at the words a shadow Swept over his blue-veined brow. "Some one will feed and clothe you, dear, But I am too busy now."
At last, my toil was over and done, My house was swept and garnished, And I watched in the dusk alone; I waited till night had deepened, And the Master had not come; "He has entered some other door," I cried, "And gladdened some other home!"
Then the Master stood before me, And His face was grave and fair; "Three times to-day I came to your door, And craved your pity and care. Three times you sent Me onward, Unhelped and uncomforted; And the blessing you might have had was lost, And your chance to serve has fled."
"O Lord, dear Lord, forgive me; How could I know it was Thee?" My very soul was shamed and bowed In the depths of humility. And He said, "The sin is pardoned, But the blessing is lost to thee, For failing to comfort the least of Mine, You have failed to comfort Me."
John Paul, of Siena, was always very liberal to the poor. On his deathbed he exclaimed, "What I have kept, that have I lost, and what I have given away, that I have yet, what I have refused I now regret."
Another is reported to have said: "I have lost everything except what I have given away."
A SERMON OF MOHAMMED.
When God made the earth, it shook to and fro till He put mountains on it to keep it firm. Then the angels asked, "O God, is there anything in Thy creation stronger than these mountains?" And God replied, "Iron is stronger than the mountains, for it breaks them." "And is there anything in Thy creation stronger than iron?" "Yes, fire is stronger than iron, for it melts it." "Is there anything stronger than fire?" "Yes, water, for it quenches fire." "Is there anything stronger than water?" "Yes, wind, for it puts water in motion." "O, our Sustainer, is there anything in Thy creation stronger than wind?" "Yes, a good man giving alms; if he gives it with his right hand, and conceals it from his left, he overcomes all things." Every good act is charity; your smiling in your brother's face, your putting a wanderer in the right road, your giving water to the thirsty is charity; exhortation to another to do right is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter is the good he has done in this world to his fellowmen. When he dies, people will ask: "What property has he left behind him?" But the angels will ask: "What good deeds has he sent before him?"
Charity—It is another's fault if he be ungrateful; but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige many that are not so.
He gives double who gives unasked.
He that cheats me aince (once) shame fa him; but he that cheats me twice shame fa me.
The cheek Is apter than the tongue, to tell an errand.
If you have a word of cheer, Speak it, while I am alive to hear.
You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make earnest effort to confer that pleasure on others?
—L. M. Child.
Cheerfulness smoothes the road of life.
Cheerfulness is full of significance: it suggests good health, a clear conscience, and a soul at peace with all human nature.
Chide a friend in private, and praise him in public.
A CHILD'S SERMON.
A writer once told how a little child preached a sermon to him.
"Is your father at home?" I asked a small child at our village doctor's doorstep.
"No," she said, "he's away."
"Where do you think I could find him?"
"Well," she said, with a considering air, "you've got to look for some place where people are sick or hurt, or something like that. I don't know where he is, but he's helping somewhere."
A SLEEPING CHILD.
How happy are thy days! How sweet thy repose! How calm thy rest! Thou slumberest upon the earth more soundly than many a miser and worldling upon his bed of down. And the reason is—that thou hast a gracious God and an easy conscience. A stranger to all care, thou awakest only to resume thy play, or ask for food to satisfy thy hunger.
A full-blown rose besprinkled with the purest dew, is not so beautiful as a child blushing beneath her parents' displeasure, and shedding tears of sorrow for her fault.
A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child.
He who does not correct his own child, will later beat his own breast.
The future destiny of the child is always the work of the mother.
A child's eyes! Those clear wells of undefiled thought! What on earth can be more beautiful! Full of hope, love, and curiosity, they meet your own. In prayer, how earnest! In joy, how sparkling! In sympathy, how tender!
These little shoes! How proud she was of these! Can you forget how, sitting on your knees, She used to prattle volubly, and raise Her tiny feet to win your wondering praise?
INSCRIPTION ON MY LITTLE SON'S SILVER PLATE.
When thou dost eat from off this plate, I charge thee be thou temperate; Unto thine elders at the board Do thou sweet reverence accord; And, though to dignity inclined, Unto the serving-folk be kind; Be ever mindful of the poor, Nor turn them hungry from the door; And unto God, for health and food And all that in thy life is good, Give thou thy heart in gratitude.
Words of praise are almost as necessary to warm a child into a genial life as acts of kindness and affection. Judicious praise is to children what the sun is to flowers.
What the child says out of doors, he has learned indoors.
LINES ON MY NEW CHILD-SWEETHEART.
I hold it a religious duty To love and worship children's beauty; They've least the taint of earthly clod, They're freshest from the hand of God; With heavenly looks they make us sure The heaven that made them must be pure; We love them not in earthly fashion, But with a beatific passion. I chanced to, yesterday, behold A maiden child of beauty's mould; 'Twas near, more sacred was the scene, The palace of our patriot Queen. The little charmer to my view Was sculpture brought to life anew. Her eyes had a poetic glow, Her pouting mouth was Cupid's bow: And through her frock I could descry Her neck and shoulders' symmetry. 'Twas obvious from her walk and gait Her limbs were beautifully straight; I stopp'd th' enchantress and was told, Though tall, she was but four years' old. Her guide so grave an aspect wore I could not ask a question more; But follow'd her. The little one Threw backward ever and anon Her lovely neck, as if to say, "I know you love me, Mister Grey;" For by its instincts childhood's eye Is shrewd in physiognomy; They well distinguish fawning art From sterling fondness of the heart. And so she flirted, like a true Good woman, till we bade adieu. 'Twas then I with regret grew wild, Oh, beauteous, interesting child! Why ask'd I not thy home and name? My courage fail'd me—more's the shame. But where abides this jewel rare? Oh, ye that own her, tell me where! For sad it makes my heart and sore To think I ne'er may meet her more.
One day a little girl looking out of the window saw a number of poor men from a nearby jail, working in the hot sun of a July day. They looked tired and hot, and she knew they must be thirsty. She remembered Christ's words, "I was thirsty and ye gave Me drink, was in prison, and ye came unto Me," and the thought came to her, "I can do both." With her mother's permission she took a little bucket of cold water, with a dipper, and gave to each man in turn, refilling the bucket several times. As she went from one to another in her white frock, her sweet smile gave even better cheer than the water. The thanks of the prisoners were very hearty. One asked her, "Little lady, what made you do this?"
After a moment's pause, she replied, "That is what Christ said to do, and—I was sorry myself." He lowered his head and said, "God bless you, little Christ-child."
A man soon learns how little he knows, when a child begins to ask questions.
The child's restless observation, instead of being ignored or checked, should be diligently ministered to, and made as accurate as possible.
Speak gently to the little child! Its love be sure to gain; Teach it in accents soft and mild: It may not long remain.
—Geo. W. Hangford.
I Samuel ii, 18—"Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child; girded with a linen ephod."
The Rev. John Brown was born in 1722, in the county of Perth in Scotland. In a narrative of his experience, he remarks, "I reflect on it as a great mercy, that I was born in a family which took care of my Christian instruction, and in which I had the privilege of God's worship, morning and evening. About the eighth year of my age, I happened, in a crowd, to push into the church at Abernethy, on a Sacrament Sabbath. Before I was excluded, I heard a minister speak much in commendation of Christ; this, in a sweet and delightful manner, captivated my young affections, and has since made me think that children should never be kept out of church on such occasions."
To impose on a child to get by heart a long scroll of phrases without any ideas, is a practice fitter for a jackdaw than for anything that wears the shape of man.
—Dr. I. Watts.
The tear down childhood's cheek that flows, Is like the dewdrop on the rose.
THE CHILD AND THE "RISING DAY"
The following is a true narrative of an experience in life:
It was nearing three o'clock of last Easter afternoon, when a woman, clad in deepest mourning, entered the gates of the beautiful "sleeping place" on Walnut Hill. Her attitude, as she sank upon a carefully tended mound, denoted deep dejection. She had not yet learned that the "tree of death is fruited with the love of God," neither the joy of the "afterward," but knew only the grope of a stricken soul.
In the distance, sat a child upon a grave, alone. Coming nearer, she recognized him as one who had never known a mother, and whose father had lately been taken, leaving him without kindred. The love between that father and child had been passing sweet.
The bereaved lady knew this, and that he had been thrown homeless upon the world. Yet, absorbed in her own grief, had given him little thought. Drawing near, she observed closely the rare beauty of the boy, scarcely five years of age, genius and nobility stamped on his brow, and exquisite tenderness on the mobile lips.
He looked up eagerly, asking fearlessly, "Is your name Mary? Are you the woman who talked with the angel when the stone was rolled away."
"Oh, no, dear," she replied. "Whom are you looking for?"
"For Jesus!" said the boy reverently.
"But he is not here. He is risen."
"Yes, I know, that's it, but I've been waiting here all day for Him to come and raise my papa up. He's late, and I thought maybe He sent you to tell me to wait a little, just as He sent Mary to tell His disciples, you know," said the boy, wistfully.
"Yes, dear, but"—hesitating to shatter the boy's beautiful faith.
"I am tired" (pathetically), "but it is never too late for Jesus," he added bravely, while a tear rolled down the velvet cheek. "He is sure to come, 'cause it is the Rising Day" (exultingly). "Don't you 'member?"
The woman stooped to kiss the child, and began to sob violently, dropping on the grave beside him.
"What makes you cry, lady? Is your papa here to be raised up?"
"No, no, darling, but my sweet daughter is."
"Don't cry, then," stroking the lady's hand. "Jesus never goes by Rising Day. He'll surely come and give you your little girl and me my papa! He'll come to-night. I saw the two men who came from [256:A]Emmaus go by early this morning, and they will be walking back soon in the evening, and Jesus will meet them and turn and walk with them, and they will all be talking gently about the dying and the rising, and the men will not know Him, but I shall, and He will stop here when I call, and raise my papa up."
"How will you know Him, dear boy?"
"By His smile and the Transfiguration picture that papa showed me in his study. But I'll know Him bestest in here," putting his hand on his breast, "by the love!" raising his lustrous eyes to hers.
"Will you know your papa? Are you sure?"
"My papa!" with wondering ecstatic voice. "My own papa! I shall know him by the love, and you your little girl. They will not look the same, 'cause Jesus didn't, but they knew Him by their love!"
"And we'll know them by our love!" lingering fondly on the repetition with lustrous, far-seeing gaze.
The woman clasped the child to her breast with a passionate embrace, while rising to meet a supreme hour. (The child must not—shall not be disappointed and his beautiful faith shattered).
"Phillip!" she said, "listen. The angel sent me to tell you that Jesus had gone into heaven, and to take you to your papa. Come!"
Without a moment's hesitation he took his messenger's (?) hand and passed out of the gates, looking not backward by a glance. Expectation held him silent, while the woman's face was illumined by a great light. Entering the door of a pleasant house, she passed on through the hall into the dining-room, saying to the maid: "Bring some food for this dear child; he has fasted all day."
A pitcher of milk and a plate of bread and honey were set beside a plate of cold, broiled fish.
"Now I know this is the house," the boy exclaimed exultingly, "for they had the fish, the bread and the honey! It's all here, just the same, and he'll come to-night!"
Turning swiftly to the hall, the woman almost flew along the corridor to meet her husband's steps. Drawing him to one side, she told with rapture of her encounter and the sweet expectancy below.
"Now, Harold, Heaven has sent us a child, who shall be the angel to roll away the stone from our grave. His wonderful vision must not be darkened, neither his faith destroyed. Rise, my husband, to the most glorious hour of your life. 'I shall know him by the love,' he said. Let us see that he does."
Returning for the child and extending her hand with a smile, he eagerly asked, "Will you wash and comb me to meet my papa? It isn't too late yet, is it?"
The voice was half a sob, but full of hope. The ineffable trust pierced her heart while reassuring him with swift, tender tones.
"Come, Phillip, we will go to him," she cried tremblingly.
As she opened the door upon a winning, noble-faced man with tears on his cheek, smiling with outstretched arms upon the boy, he hesitated a moment, took one step forward and then leaped into the open arms, threw his noble head back, and gazed with lustrous, questioning eyes.
"You don't look like my papa, quite."
"'Cause you are changed. But I know you by the love, and you know me, don't you?"
"By the love, dear boy," with shining eyes, but marble lips.
The child nestled down upon the breast, his chest heaving, while the man stroked the soft curls, soothing him with every word known to love's alphabet, till finally, crooning a cradle song, the exhausted child fell asleep. He had found a father by the love. His faith was saved, and by it, she who had groped blindly among the tombs had found her Easter.
—From the Christian Observer, March 30, 1904. By Mrs. Helen Strong Thompson.
[256:A] St. Luke, xxiv, 13.
Say "Yes" and "No" to a child and stick to it. This is the beginning of discipline.
The way to spoil a child is to give it all it wants and require nothing in return. The way to make a child grow up sensible and unselfish is to give it little, and require of it much. For it is not what others do for us that benefits us, but what we do for ourselves and others.
Some one truly said, the best way for a man to train up a child in the way it should go, is to travel that way sometimes himself.
I Kings, i, 6—"His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, 'Why hast thou done so?'"
A young man, as he was going to the place of execution, desired to whisper something into his mother's ear; but when she came, instead of whispering, he bit off her ear, telling her, that it was because she did not chastise him for his faults when a boy, he was brought to such an unhappy end.
Could it be believed that a child should be forced to learn the rudiments of a language which he is never to use, and neglect the writing a good hand, and casting accounts?
Childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day.
Children, a bond of union than which the human heart feels none more endearing.
What children hear at home soon flies abroad.
I never hear parents exclaim impatiently, "Children, you must not make so much noise," that I do not think how soon the time may come when, beside the vacant chair, those parents would give all the world, could they hear once more the ringing laughter which once so disturbed them.
—A. E. Kittredge.
Children are certain cares, but uncertain comforts.
What is there in nature so dear to man as his own children?
The dutifulness of children is the foundation of all virtues.
His cares are eased with intervals of bliss: His little children, climbing for a kiss, Welcome their father's late return at night.
A BAD EXAMPLE.
Whatever parent gives his children good instruction, and sets them at the same time a bad example, may be considered as bringing them food in one hand, and poison in the other.
Children have neither past nor future; and what scarcely ever happens to us, they enjoy the present.
An honorable life is the best legacy a father can leave to his children.
Children should not be flattered, but they should be encouraged. They should not be so praised as to make them vain and proud, but they should be commended when they do well.
Children are excellent physiognomists, and soon discover their real friends.
Dr. Guthrie—He believed—to use his own words—that "where parents will never punish their children, those children will punish them."
From Dr. Guthrie's Memoir.
Indulgence to children breeds ingratitude.
A man who gives his children habits of industry, provides for them better than by giving them a fortune.
Choose rather to leave your children well instructed than rich. For the hopes of the learned are better than the riches of the ignorant.
WOULD YOU HAVE ANSWERED SO?
You would not be in a Japanese house long without noticing their extreme politeness, and that this politeness was especially shown by children toward their parents. The one thing that Japanese children must learn is perfect obedience; a child would as soon think of refusing to do a thing altogether, when told, as to ask why he must do it.
A little * * * girl, the child of a missionary, was playing in the street with some Japanese children.
"Mary," called her father from the house, "come in."
As she paid no attention, the others thought she had not heard, and began to say to her: "Your august father is calling you," "Your honorable parent is beckoning to you," and so on.
"I don't care," said Mary.
The children stopped playing and looked at her in astonishment. Her father called her again. This time she answered crossly, "I don't want to come in. What for?"
At this the children picked up their playthings and hurried home, talking excitedly all the way. "Rude little foreigner!" "Bad little girl!" they said, and it was a long time before Mary saw anything of her friends again.
Juniors in Japan.
Children—Living jewels, dropped unstained from Heaven.
Children know, Instinctive taught, the friend and foe.
Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.
Children are like the to-morrow of society.
Children think not of what is past, nor what is to come, but enjoy the present time, which few of us do.
Children—I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.
Love of children is always the indication of a genial nature, a pure and unselfish heart.
What use to me the gold and silver hoard? What use to me the gems most rich and rare? Brighter by far—aye! bright beyond compare— The joys my children to my heart afford!
Children need models rather than critics.
Spurgeon said: "With children we must mix gentleness with firmness; they must not always have their own way, but they must not always be thwarted. If we never have headaches through rebuking them, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up. If you yield up your authority once, you will hardly ever get it again."
Parents deserve reproof when they refuse to benefit their children by proper discipline.
My dearest pastime is with children.
Children are poor men's riches.
Nothing has a better effect upon children than praise.
—Sir P. Sidney.
Their Little Needs—It is often asserted that both men and women would be selfish beings but for children. They call out, and refine, and soften the best feelings of the parental heart. Their little needs are so many, and their simple ignorance so affecting, and their very caprices so winning, that love and attention flow out to them almost instinctively.
That must be a hardened nature which can be unmoved by the soft touch, the playful childishness, and the hundred little pranks of a baby.
You can not expect better manners from your children than you teach them. They imitate instinctively.
Children should be taught early to sympathize with the deformed, the crippled, and otherwise unfortunate beings: A little dwarfed girl in one of our great cities committed suicide a few years ago because she was so weary of being laughed at and ridiculed by her associates in the streets and at school.
An old street pedlar was set upon by school children and so annoyed and misused that he became insane.
MY CHILDREN STILL.
A young preacher recently called upon an eminent Divine, and in the course of conversation asked him how many children he had. "Four, sir," was the reply. At the supper-table, the visitor perceived two beautiful children seated by the side of the mother. Turning to his host, he said, "I thought you had four children, sir: Where are the other two?" Lifting his eyes, the holy man of God pointed upwards, while a sweet smile broke over his countenance. "They are in Heaven," he repeated slowly and calmly; "yet my children still: not dead, but gone before."
Dr. Samuel Johnson once said, "Above all, accustom your children constantly to tell the truth; without varying in any circumstance." A lady who heard him said, "Nay, this is too much, for a little variation in narrative must happen a thousand times a day, if one is not perpetually watching." "Well, madam," said the Doctor, "you ought to be perpetually watching."
He knows not what love is, that has no children.
Children are travelers newly arrived in a strange country; we should therefore make conscience not to mislead them.
IT'S ONLY ME.
A lady had two children—both girls. The elder was a fair child; the younger a beauty, and the mother's pet. Her whole love centered in it. The elder was neglected, while "Sweet" (the pet name of the younger) received every attention that affection could bestow. One day, after a severe illness, the mother was sitting in the parlor, when she heard a childish footstep on the stairs, and her thoughts were instantly with the favorite.
"Is that you, Sweet?" she enquired.
"No, mamma," was the sad, touching reply, "it isn't Sweet: it's only me."
The mother's heart smote her; and from that hour "only me" was restored to an equal place in her affections.
Children are usually what their mothers were, or are.
Be careful to discountenance in children anything that looks like rage and furious anger.
Children will grow up substantially what they are by nature—and only that.
St. Luke, xxiv, 29—"Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent."
(Two of the disciples to our Lord on the way to Emmaus.)
DESCRIPTION OF THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST.
The following description is alleged to be derived from an ancient manuscript sent by Publius Lentellus, President of Judea, to the Senate of Rome:
"There lives at this time in Judea, a man of singular character, whose name is Jesus Christ. The barbarians esteem Him as their prophet; but His followers adore Him as the immediate offspring of the immortal God. He is endowed with such unparalleled virtue as to call back the dead from their graves and to heal every kind of disease with a word or a touch. His person is tall and elegantly shaped; His aspect, amiable and reverend; His hair flows in those beauteous shades which no united colors can match, falling in graceful curls below His ears, agreeably couching on His shoulders, and parting on the crown of His head; His dress, that of the sect of Nazarites; His forehead is smooth and large; His cheeks without blemish, and of roseate hue; His nose and mouth are formed with exquisite symmetry; His beard is thick and suitable to the hair of His head, reaching a little below His chin, and parting in the middle below; His eyes are clear, bright, and serene.